Daniel took a quick look, and felt his pulse speed up. Goujun’s not with her. Not good. “Kanzeon Bosatsu? Is there something we missed?”
Sanzo snorted; even as Sam started, and frowned. “That’s not Kanzeon.”
“He’s right,” Sam stated, as Teal’c’s eyes narrowed in stoic curiosity. “It’s not. Kanzeon doesn’t have much naquadah… but you don’t have any. Who are you?”
“Colonel, SG-1,” Sanzo said formally, rising as Goku grumbled himself awake, “the honorable Lady Miaoshan, former host to Kanzeon Bosatsu.”
He must be going numb to shock, Daniel decided. That had barely rated a huh on the internal oh bleep meter.
Even so. A Tok’ra’s former host? How? Why?
Gojyo was gaping. “You said she was an old hag!”
Sanzo’s smirk could have scared a great white. “I said she had ancient wisdom. You called her an old hag.”
Not-Kanzeon tched, crossing her arms in a gleam of silk and silver. “So now I can’t pull any twin tricks. Spoil my fun, why don’t you?”
“Would I dream of interfering with the holy plans of the princess who escaped Hell itself?” Sanzo said graciously.
“Oof! Sanbutsushin manners? What have I done to you lately?” Miaoshan looked over SG-1, her gaze slightly different from the Kanzeon they knew. More gentle humor, Daniel thought, and a little less of the sharp edge the Queen had, negotiating for a treaty she hoped would save her people from destruction. “So you’re the nightmares that have System Lords checking under their beds. I am very glad to see you.”
Less of an edge, Daniel thought. Like the sheath to Kanzeon’s sword. Doesn’t mean she’s not dangerous.
“You were a host?” Sam took a step forward; then glanced at the children. “I’m sorry, we shouldn’t….”
“No, we shouldn’t,” Miaoshan agreed. “Those are dark times to speak of. But we must.” She waved an elegant hand. “Would you permit me the honor of hosting you in my own quarters? You might be more comfortable there.”
Right. So she’d noticed them twitching whenever snaky heads peeked out of the lotus ponds. And watching Sanzo toss some kind of a leather ball to be grabbed, swum with, and chased, had been utterly bizarre.
“Lead the way, Princess.” Jack gave her a half-bow. “I’ve got questions. So many questions.”
“When am I going to learn to stop asking questions….”
Out of the corner of her eye, Sam saw Daniel pat the colonel on the shoulder. He needed it. Thumping his head on the table like that couldn’t feel good.
Not that she could really blame him, either, as she and Teal’c went through Goujun’s report. What they’d learned from Miaoshan….
Well. It fit with what they’d seen from Jacob taking Selmak as a host, honestly. The Tok’ra offered people a chance to strike back against the System Lords. They were honest about that. They shared control of the host body; they were honest about that, too. They were just a little… fuzzy about certain details. Like how few options operatives had to choose their own missions – or how much operatives were discouraged from maintaining contact with any human friends or family that might still be alive. Human connections were undue influence. A way for Ra and the System Lords to hunt Tok’ra down, and destroy them. A weakness.
And Miaoshan and Kanzeon had been deep cover operatives. Meaning any time Miaoshan was in control of the body, she had to act like Kanzeon. Or the whole charade would have gone up in smoke.
“I’ll spare you the details of being a Queen, and required to breed,” Miaoshan had said quietly. “Let us only say, I am very, very grateful that my sister-in-mind crafted me a new body, that is only mine.”