Teal’c looked… annoyed. And suddenly less than convinced everything was going to end well. Which might have something to do with the fact that Kazuto had at least one more pen, twisting between his fingers. Joy.
“Trouble is the least of our worries, Colonel. As you already know.” Twist and flip. The pen looked so casual, black ink in clear plastic with a brassy tip. “Silica. He won’t hurt Pina. We won’t let him.”
It was the way Kazuto said it that put the hairs up on Jack’s neck. Not hopeful. Not determined. Not even reassuring, the way a kid his age should try to be for a kid her age. Just plain, simple fact.
They’re worried about me hurting the feather duster? Come on. What kind of vicious bastard would hurt a little girl’s pet dragon….
Memory flung up a maniacal, cackling face, as a helpless man shattered.
Yeah. That kind.
He was facing down a pair of kids who thought he could be that kind of evil. That was just… wrong.
Also stupid, on their part. A guy who’d hurt a pet likely wouldn’t stop at hurting a child. And these two had been caught in Kayaba’s little death game. They should definitely know better.
“O’Neill.” Teal’c crossed his arms, the picture of strained Jaffa patience. “Did you pass Argo in the hall?”
Argo? He hadn’t seen-
Part of him was still insisting this was impossible. Kids strayed into places they shouldn’t all the time. And kids would go to crazy lengths to defend their pets. He should know. Kids did not set up a multi-part distract-and-ambush to lure their chief opponent away and cut him off from reinforcements.
Except from what Teal’c was carefully not saying, that was exactly what the Jaffa thought they’d done.
Making no sudden moves, Jack raised an eyebrow.
Asuna’s wide-eyed, innocent boyfriend was neither wide-eyed nor innocent now. He met Jack’s gaze with a level look the colonel knew very, very well. Just, not from this side of it.
Right here, right now, I know exactly how to kill you, deadly calm eyes made clear. Are you going to make me use that?
“You were never stationed in Antarctica,” Kazuto said bluntly. “What do you want from us?”
Teal’c raised a hairless brow. Take this seriously.
Huh. Teal’c did not do that lightly. Not even for kids.
So Jack thought twice, and toned his snarking down a little. “What I want,” he said deliberately, “is to figure out why the hell Kayaba killed almost four thousand people. And where the hell he is, so my team can explain to him that we kind of object to this little thing called murder. If we catch him here in America, he’s toast.”