“Tea a good sign?” Jack murmured, right at his shoulder.
“So far,” Daniel whispered back, breathing in the waft of green tea and jasmine. They were both holding full cups now, but from what Kurusu and Kibito had gone over of customs, they should wait until the minister and Ayame drank.
He knew Jack would have waited anyway. Just in case. After all, in a lot of cultures hospitality was a sacred custom… but human nature being what it was, there was always some slimy jerk who put the practical use of poison above being honorable toward unknown and alien enemies.
From the stories they’d heard, Biba had been that most dangerous of jerks; one who looked noble, even heroic, all the while he was plotting the death of untold thousands. Minister Yamazaki and Lady Ayame both had reasons to be on edge.
One of those reasons was sitting between Kurusu and Jack. Who knew what Elder Dogen would do?
I know he and Lady Ayame discussed a plan going in here, Daniel thought. But… Jack saw what Dogen did with Hidemi. Dogen’s only going to keep to Ayame’s plans until he has what he thinks is a better idea.
Meaning for once, SG-1 was in complete agreement with a native leader: Dogen Makino and his followers had to get off the hayajiro. It was too likely someone was going to die, otherwise. Maybe a lot of someones.
At least Naokata wasn’t here to roust people up. He and Kibito were cooling their heels a bit outside the conference room, for reasons Minister Yamazaki glossed as courtesy and which Daniel really thought were just to cut down on the number of stressed, armed people all in one place.
Not that he cared if Kibito decided to literally sit on one twitchy samurai to keep him quiet. Which might not be the most professional stance for an anthropologist analyzing the local culture, but as an out-of-towner just trying to survive on the same armored train as paranoid locals, Daniel really couldn’t muster much dispassionate analysis at the moment.
We really, really need to get off this planet.
Which was why he and Jack were here, listening in on local lords politely feeling each other out on what was going to happen to the stations and hayajiro next. If it’d just been a case of a System Lord and ha’tak on top of the Stargate, he wouldn’t have worried. SG-1 had taken those odds and lived to tell the tale. Near-endless zombie hordes? Yeah, they were going to need help.