Crown Infernal

Stargate: The Fifth Generation

~ Episode 12 ~

~ Bushido ~

~ The Way of the Warrior ~

Author's Notes
This episode goes back to the ethos of the original series, that which first drew me into the show - exploration and mythology. In this case, the mythology is Japanese.
There are a few Japanese words and phrases, but worry not! The small amount of Japanese is written phonetically and hyphenated for ease of reading, plus there are {translations} in superscript. Having set the scene, as it were, the rest of the story is written in normal English.

The episode concludes with some of J's back story. When I started this project,
I began by creating the characters, including back stories. Maxine's and Theo's were covered in the first two Preludes. Luc's back story appeared in ep. 5: Perdition, Catch My Soul.

Now, it's J's turn...

Grateful thanks to R.M. for the beta
and to sensei J.V.J. Mitchell for the loan of some of his martial arts books
~ like I don't have enough of my own! LOL!

Part 1

All the official members of SG-24 were gathered in the briefing room waiting for General Bradfield to prep them for their next mission. The general had reluctantly acceded to Bachman's request - which had been expressed more like a demand - to sit in on the meeting.

Although not yet passed fit for active duty, Bachman had said, he didn't like being left out of the loop and wanted to keep up with his teammates' activities. Bradfield figured that if he turned down the 'request,' Warren would overturn that decision which would reflect badly on himself. Thus Bachman's malign presence spread gloom among all those others present, including Bradfield as he began the briefing.

"Your mission tomorrow, is to P8W-426, known to the people there as Dai-Ni-Wakusei. This is another wildcard world which SG-24 will be visiting as a first contact team. Old MALP photos of the area around the 'Gate suggest that the world is similar to Japan in the seventeenth century."

"Doesn't sound very promising," Bachman butted in, "so why are we wasting time visiting it?"

"You aren't visiting it, Captain," J pointed out trenchantly.

Bradfield hid a smile; time the ex-Lt. Colonel was put in his place - not that it would last.

"Good thing," Bachman snapped back in his usual sneering mode, "'cause I can't imagine you getting anything useful out of this mission, so I won't get dragged down with you. Sir."

"Nothing whatever is hidden. From of old, all is clear as daylight," J responded cryptically.

"What?!" Bachman looked baffled and suspicious.

"The old pine tree speaks divine wisdom. The secret bird manifests eternal truth," J continued amid sniggers from the rest of the team, including Lt. Kern.


On a roll, J went on. "There is no place to seek the mind. It is like the footprints of the birds in the sky."

"Oh, you have totally lost it - sir," Bachman growled, feeling he was deliberately being toyed with. He stood up and stalked out.

"Result!" Theo muttered to his cousin.

"What was all that about?" Bradfield asked, caught between amusement and mystification.

"They're zen ko-ans," J replied. "Sayings of the wise designed to make the rest of us think."

Maxine shot him a speculative look. She didn't recall any of those ko-ans among Oma Desala's utterances. Moreover, J had used the correct pronunciation, which she suspected that Grandfather Daniel hadn't, given that he'd spelt it 'cones' in his journal.

The briefing broke up shortly afterwards, and once Eli had gone, Maxine invited the rest round to her apartment that evening. She'd taught them a fair number of Japanese words already. Now she felt that they should learn a few basic conversational phrases and sentences - 'Good morning/afternoon,' 'please,' 'thank you (very much),' excuse me,' 'I'm sorry,' 'my name is...' and so on.

She was not best pleased therefore when J showed up late, so late in fact that the rest were already packing up to go home for an early night.

"Sorry, Maxine, I had to collect some extra equipment from home to store in my PATT for tomorrow," he said. Equipment from a life long past, he thought, but didn't say.

"Fine," Maxine sighed and handed him a sheet of paper. "I suggest you run your eyes over this, then you might have some idea of what's being said."

"Yes, ma'am!" he said, giving her a sloppy salute and a grin."

"Well just don't blame me if things go pear-shaped!"

"Wouldn't dream of it!" J smiled.

The following morning, SG-24 shipped out to P8W-426. J and Luc helped Lt Kern to hide the AVCOP and his PATT among the surrounding bushes.

"I'm leaving you here to guard our backs, Eli," J told him. "Stay under cover, make a note of whoever comes and goes, and call me if anything threatening appears. Keep your voice down though."

The rest of SG-24 set off along the narrow paved road that led away from the 'Gate. It was a pleasant drive on a warm, sunny morning, even though they were restricted to single file.

The road was edged with brightly colored azaleas in full bloom, and beyond them, tall bamboo canes provided a light green backdrop. This was a little unsettling in that it obscured the view beyond. On the plus side, the movement and sound of the bamboo would betray anyone hiding there. The road dropped gently down to the coast. On top of a low cliff was a small wayside tea house.

The tea house

Maxine thought it would be a good idea to stop there to ask directions and gather intell about the local situation.

"Good thing I thought to bring some loose change with me," J grinned, rattling his pocket.

They entered the building where they were greeted by a young man named Ka-zuo who was one of two acolytes, studying under a monk named Toshi-hiro. Ka-zuo led the four guests into the main room, then fetched Toshi-hiro to attend to their needs. Maxine ordered tea for the four of them, and J handed over a one unit gold piece from the Agora.

Toshi-hiro smiled in pleased surprise and dismissed Ka-zuo to fetch their guests' requirements. Shortly afterwards, Ka-zuo, accompanied by his fellow acolyte, Ki-yoshi, returned bearing not only tea - jasmine tea with flowers floating in it - but moon cakes also.

As they ate, Toshi-hiro talked to Maxine. J listened in, nodding as if he understood, and getting frosty looks from his linguist. Toshi-hiro told her that this part of the world was ruled in the name of the emperor, Higashi-yama, by the shogun, Tsuna-yoshi, a retired samurai.

"Sumi-masen,{Excuse me} " J cut in, "Kor-e wa Dai-Ni-Wakusei des' ne." {This is the second world, isn't it?}

"Hai," Toshi-hiro agreed.

"So-ko, doch'ra Dai-Ichi-Wakusei des' ka." {So where is the first world?}

"Dai-Ichi-Wakusei wa o tosh'te kado-guchi wa hoshi des'." {Through the Gateway to the Stars}

"The Stargate," J smiled, then noticed the stunned look on Maxine's face.

"Oh, you are so screwed!" Luc laughed.

J shrugged and continued speaking in Japanese to the monk, enquiring about how they'd come to Dai-Ni-Wakusei. Toshi-hiro told them the tale; Luc and Theo zoned out.

The Legend of Dai-Ichi-Wakusei and Dai-Ni-Wakusei

"Long, long ago," Toshi-hiro began, "in a land far, far away, known as Dai-Ichi-Wakusei, lived the Koku-min. They were the People of The Island Nation who lived under the benevolent rulership of His Majesty, the Emperor, Kam'-yamato. He claimed to be descended from the sun goddess, Amateras'."

"Whoa!" Maxine exclaimed, "she was a goa'uld!"

"Nan des ka,{Sorry, I don't understand}" Toshi-hiro said. "That word is unknown to the Kon-jin - the people of this world."

He continued his tale. "The first gods created Dai-Ichi-Wakusei, number one world, which was chaotic and formless. So they created two divine beings, the Sky Lord, Iza-nagi and the Earth Mother, Iza-nami who was to be his wife.

They went to The Floating Bridge of Heaven which connects Heaven and Earth. Iza-nagi created an island by churning the seas below with Amano-n'boko, a jeweled spear. The divine couple descended the bridge to the island and made their home there. Their offspring became a number of islands. That part of the story does not end well.

"Many hundreds of years later, the islands were well populated by the Koku-min. They were peace-loving and lived in harmony with nature. But it was not to last. What does?

"One day, the Earth Mother returned from the underworld and visited the then emperor, Hachi-man. She took the form of a glowing mist and was using the name— "

"Oma Desala," Maxine murmured, eyes wide.

"Hai," Toshi-hiro nodded, looking surprised. "She warned Hachiman that bad men with glowing eyes— "

"Those would be the ones we call the goa'uld," J informed him.

"Ohh?! Well then, she warned that these goa'uld were coming to kill him and enslave the Koku-min. He and they must flee. At first, he was reluctant to run away like a coward - he would stay and fight them.

"The Earth Mother said that these bad men would come from the skies in flying ships and had weapons far more powerful than Hachiman could muster. They would reach Dai-Ichi-Wakusei in thirty days.

The only chance for him and the Koku-min, was to follow her to Dai-Ni-Wakusei, a safe new world she had found for them. If he cared about his people, he would lead them to Dai-Ni-Wakusei. She would return in four weeks to take them to their new home.

"At this, Hachiman capitulated, and when she returned, he had collected a crowd of several thousand people, all carrying as much as they could.

Side by side, Hachiman and the Earth Mother lead them to a big red torii gate. It was near the base of the island's highest peak in the ridge that formed the backbone of the main island. It seemed to shimmer in a mystical glow. A little way beyond was a stairway leading upwards.

Oma Desala waits at the torii gate

"The Koku-min followed their two leaders to the top of the stairway. There, on a stone platform, they saw a large grey ring of some unknown substance. They had never seen it before. The Earth Mother called it kado-guchi wa hoshi." Toshi-hiro turned to J. "I think you called it 'Staru-geit'?'"

J nodded, trying to ignore Maxine's dagger looks.

Toshi-hiro continued. "The Earth Mother told all the Koku-min to stand well back, then she waved her arm and water seemed to gush out then settle back like a vertical pool. She told Hachiman he must trust her and he would come to no harm. He must tell the Koku-min to follow him, then he must walk through the 'water.'

"As the last Koku-min were moving on to the platform, there was the sound of marching boots approaching up the stairs. The Earth Mother stood at the top of the stairway and ordered those men to return whence they had come. Their leader responded disrespectfully and pointed his strange spear at her. There was lightning playing around its tip.

"Before he could use his weapon, the Earth Mother smote him and those nearest to him, turning them into blackened shells of their former selves. The rest turned and fled.

"The Earth mother collected the rest of the Koku-min and led them through the kado-guchi wa hoshi. On the other side, Hachiman joined her. She said she would return to Dai-Ichi-Wakusei and remove the kado-guchi wa hoshi, so the bad men could never find or follow them. She also suggested that Hachiman rename his people, the Kon-jin, or people of this world, so as to confuse anyone seeking the Koku-min."

After Toshi-hiro had finished his account, J sought further information about the current situation in relation to the shogun, Tsuna-yoshi. Here, the monk was equally forthcoming.

The shogun lived in his castle, Shiro no Sora. The name meant the Castle of the Sky as it was perched upon a high rocky crag.

Shiro no Sora

The long stairway up to it meant that the PATTs would have to be left at bottom.

Tsuna-yoshi had some of his family living with him most of the time. His elder son, Masato, often travelled around their territory with his men, making sure everything ran smoothly and sorting out any problems. He was away in the north at the present time.

Currently living in Shiro no Sora was Tsuna-yoshi's second son, Yasuo, who was an administrator and lawyer. The Shogun also had four daughters and several grandchildren. The two elder daughters, Nyoko and Hanako were married to sons of other shoguns to seal alliances. Aiko, the youngest, was still a child.

The third daughter, Mika-zuki was causing her father to lose sleep. She was sixteen and he wished her to marry Yasa-hiro, eldest son of the powerful shogun, Hide-tada.

Yasa-hiro, an estimable and charming young man, was also at the castle courting Mika-zuki, who was being obdurate. She imagined herself to be in love with a dashing youth of no status.

Maxine was looking mulish. "But if she doesn't love Yasa-hiro, she shouldn't be forced to marry him."

"She will not be forced to wed someone distasteful to her, but must give him a chance to woo her," Toshi-hiro explained.

J frowned at Maxine. "My sympathies are with Yasa-hiro. She sounds like she has the makings of a real termagant."

SG-24 set off for the castle after J had checked in with Eli. The latter had absolutely nothing to report. All was quiet and peaceful.

At the base of the stairway was a large flat area, presumably a parade ground. The four parked their PATTs there and headed for the stairway.

The stairway to the castle

"Looks like a good place for an ambush," Maxine observed.

"That's the general idea," J said, "for visitors who come with ill intent."

"A defence against would-be attackers," Luc suggested.

"Yep," J concurred, taking point, "and for us to show our trustworthiness by trusting them."

He slowed down approaching a turn in the stairs, calling, "Ohayo gozaimas. {Good morning.} Major Mitchell to moshi-mas. {My name is Major Mitchell}"

Then he waited for a response; J waited without moving for some twenty minutes, telling the rest to do likewise. "It's a test - sort of."

Finally, a guard leader and four men come out of the bushes. "Iras-shaimas {welcome} Mei-cha Mi-cher'."

"Haji-me-mash'te, {Pleased to meet you.} Ogenki des ka {how are you?}" J responded.

Having established their bona fides, the team was escorted to the castle where they met Tsuna-yoshi, the shogun. He invited them to share an early lunch with #2 son, Yasuo, and discuss trade options.

Tsuna-yoshi came back to join them at the end of the meal, followed hot on his heels by a worried looking young man - Yasa-hiro, the suitor.

"I cannot find the lady Mika-zuki," he said, looking worried. "We were walking in the garden when a servant summoned her. I fear something has happened to her."

"Worry not, son-in-law to be. She will have gone to her room." He despatched an elderly lady - her old nurse, Jin - to fetch his daughter. Jin rapidly returned, looking upset and bearing a sealed letter.

Tsuna-yoshi read it, looking increasingly distressed. "She has run away with Hisoka the gardener's boy. Oh, the shame! My humblest apologies, honorable Yasa-hiro. If you wish to withdraw your offer to wed Mika-zuki, I shall of course understand."

"I have not changed my mind. I believe she has been tricked by this Hisoka. He is secretive, and I have seen him sneaking around in places he should not be."

"Indeed?" Tsuna-yoshi said. He beckoned a servant whom he sent to fetch the gardener's boy, Hisoka.

The servant returned in short order, not with Hisoka, but with the gardener himself. He had no knowledge of this Hisoka; had never employed him. He had seen a young man matching the description of Hisoka, snooping around but he'd never managed to catch him to talk to. He seemed to disappear into thin air as soon as the gardener came anywhere close to him.

At this point, the guard leader from the stairway craved admittance. As he and his men returned down the stairs, one of them was struck and injured by an arrow. There seemed to be a message wrapped around the shaft. They had been unable to find the archer.

"Shinobi des ka" J asked. "Hai, tab'n," {possibly} agreed the guard, handing the bloody arrow to Tsuna-yoshi.

"Shinobi?" Maxine asked.

"Better known in the west as ninjas," J replied as Tsuna-yoshi read the message, looking grimmer than ever.

"The lady Mika-zuki has been kidnaped by Takeshi, the bandit leader," he cried, sounding distraught. "He is demanding a thousand gold pieces for her safe return, or his son - his son - Hisoka, and all his men will ravish her!"

He lamented loudly that he was now too old, and with #1 son, Masato, on the northern borders, there was no one to deal with Takeshi and rescue Mika-zuki.

Yasa-hiro offered to rescue the lady, who had clearly been tricked in the most cruel manner into imagining herself in love with Hisoka and running away with him.

"I cannot and will not put your life at risk," Tsuna-yoshi stated. "You have a brave and noble heart, but you are not a fighter."

J stepped forward. "Then I will be your representative in this endeavor."

Part 2

Part 3

SG-5G: Home Page

by Hatshepsut

Crown Infernal