Waking to Another Sky Ch1 bit – Seemed Like a Good Idea

“As I understand it from General Hammond,” Janet picked up the story, “Kayaba was working with some of the less classified SGC reports to create training scenarios. At the same time, he was a game designer. And our friendly local anthropologist had some thoughts.”

“I did.” From the way Daniel winced, he regretted ever having those thoughts. “It seemed like a good idea?”

“It was, indeed, a valid thought, Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c said firmly. “It is not your doing that Akihiko Kayaba is a dishonorable man.”

Oh boy. That didn’t sound good.

Daniel sighed. “Jack… one of these days, the Stargate isn’t going to be classified anymore. And then what? People are going to find out we’ve been dealing with aliens. That the planet’s almost been destroyed dozens of times. That humanity’s best friends can’t figure out this thing we call clothes….”

Jack tried to stifle a snicker. He liked Thor, but Daniel had the Asgard pegged.

“Anyway. I thought if a few things we’d run into showed up in online games, the ideas would at least be out in the culture,” Daniel went on. “To cushion the shock, for when it all goes public. Kayaba thought it was a great idea. One that fit right in with the next game he was putting together. Where players would be visiting different worlds on every level, and there wouldn’t be any magic. Players would have to rely on their wits, and their weapons.” The archaeologist took a deep breath. “Sword Art Online.”

Oh. Shit.

Now Jack remembered the name, and wished he hadn’t. International criminal Akihiko Kayaba, on the BOLO list of every country that had access to the Internet, and wanted by Japan and the U.S. in particular. Japan because it was their people he’d trapped in his little death game, and the U.S. because….

Well. Officially, horrible humanitarian disaster, can’t stand by while one of our staunchest allies, and so on, and so on. Unofficially, certain organizations in the United States, courtesy of tech provided by the SGC, had been experimenting with tech that would let part of the internet move even faster. He didn’t know all the geeky details, but the ‘Gate techs had been drooling enough to dumb it down for him: forget building servers in the Big Apple to make microsecond trades on Wall Street. With this tech, you could plant them in Antarctica, and nobody would notice.

Well, maybe the penguins.

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38 thoughts on “Waking to Another Sky Ch1 bit – Seemed Like a Good Idea

      1. … I dunno if that makes me more grateful to skip the SWO bandwagon, or less.

        (Personal preference is Log Horizon. Felt like they did trapped in a game //right//.)

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I like both SAO and LH, but they’re very different approaches. In SAO all the sane characters are aware that only their minds are trapped in the game, and they have to get out before they die in the real world. Plus, one bad guy who trapped them, a defined villain to beat.

        In LH, nobody knows how they got trapped, and since they know Elder Tales was not a virtual reality, they know they’re physically here in Seldesha. Therefore they are trapped in the game world indefinitely, and there’s no time limit to what they do.

        I’m looking forward to Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody to see that take on “trapped in a game world”. Which promises to be different yet again. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I like both SAO and LH, but they’re very different approaches.

        Interesting . . .

        My bunnies have been chewing on some ideas for how characters would react to be trapped in a world that is both the game world and not. Like if it was LH, Shiroe wakes up in what is clearly Seldesha. It is recognizably Seldesha. His body is recognizably what he picked out for Shiroe. The spells look he thought they would if they were third-dimensional instead of on his computer screen. It has to be the game world. But there is no more menu screens that pop up or health bars or anything else that says game world than there would be on Earth. He can do stuff to replicate what those menus did – like Call those on his friends list but . . . Elder Tale is a game! It cannot be real.

        The bunnies’ evil thought was that someone was using Elder Tale since the days of the beta to build up the energy for a powerful spell . . . and something about how the spell wasn’t meant to trap outsiders in the game world but return some of Seldesha’s lost children back home. I think. They are being somewhat unclear.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I did wonder if Kayaba wasn’t the littlest bit prescient in Change of Fate.

        Because quite frankly the ORO survivors out there in the wider universe knowing what they know and doing what they do may be exactly what the galaxy needs at that point. The Survivors – whether they’re amongst the Flying Thantas or not – actually stand a reasonable chance of making the Imperial Era a less horrible place. At least on the wretched-hives-and-smugglers end of the spectrum.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. >And making sure the world got it right between the eyes. So to speak.>
      Huh, the way you phrase that reminds me a bit of the (unfortunately dead) SAO fic ‘Records of Noble Deeds’.

      To quote the summery:
      “There can be no heroes without someone who records their plight…” With those words Kayaba Akihito announced the world how he would trap 10,000 players in a game, and how he would send the videos of their lives and death to their families so the people outside could see their children, friends, and spouses try to live their life as best as they could in their virtual world.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. He was not quite that much of a jerk in this one. Not that way, anyway. After all, he was asked to help.

        But giving someone like Kayaba access to any of your info can be dangerous, because they can draw conclusions from what they have – and don’t have. You may not like the results of those conclusions….

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Last thread there was talk of SAO here being based on Stargate imagery. I wrote and deleted a comment speculating that Kayaba’s design choices would be based on his additional purpose. Turning the players into potential weapons against the Goa’uld is one possibility. (Of course, he’d need to simulate Goa’uld weapons for that, and might not have the data, or want to rework the combat system.)

        His goal probably depends on where he gets his data. The saner informed by reader knowledge mad scheme based on SGC data is weapons against the Goa’uld. But he doesn’t have reader knowledge, and his canon thinking was more on the batshit nuts end of the spectrum of reasons for doing such an evil thing.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. >But there are other things they can’t easily get their hands on, because they’re much more intangible….>
        Now this is interesting. The earth doesn’t need more hardened soldiers to fight the Gou’ld etc. They have standing armies already. So what is lacking, knowledge/mentality wise in regards to ensuring the human race’s survival against the Gou’ld and everything else out there?

        One thing I noticed in SG1 is that earth was by and large, pretty lack-luster/lazy when it came to figuring out and properly incorporating the new technologies in an effective manner. Mostly just tacking it on to existing designs etc.

        Now this can be attributed to lazy writers not wanting to rock the boat/cost of special effects etc but that’s harder to justify here

        It’ll be interesting to see what insights/capabilities the players have when it comes to countering advanced technology and using it when they get out. Though I could be on a wild goose chase here.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Hot wiring death gliders and ha’taks… Learning exactly which buttons to push to result in a megalomaniacal rant or blinding rage, depending on need… Food/not food/run like hell…

        Liked by 4 people

      4. One question is whether the Goa’uld are more dangerous to America than Russia, China, etc… The SGC might argue that, because it keeps them funded. But the other nations of Earth have proximity, less logistical obstacles, and the manpower and bureaucratic arts to occupy the US. An alliance between terrestrial and extraterrestrial enemies is probably one of the opponents that one would have to, realistically, plan against. So there’d be a trade off between deploying hardware against the Goa’uld and leaking away the tech advantage to Earthly foes.

        Early SG1’s creative team apparently had a fair amount of advice from people in the Air Force. They may have been clued in about R&D and procurement times. (On the other hand, IIRC the Air Force does get starships pretty quickly once they get handed the tech.)

        Liked by 3 people

      5. Hmm. And here we run into risk versus hazard. Risk being the probability of something hitting you, and hazard being the consequences if it does hit you. There is, in this scenario a much higher risk of on-Earth nations going after the U.S., true. However, even the most drastic attack by another Earth nation is highly likely to leave most of the world’s population alive.

        Whereas with the Goa’uld, the risk so far has been low – the SGC has defeated every attempted attack. But the hazard level if even one succeeds is “all human life wiped out”.

        Or as one volcanologist speaking to the USAF about Mt. Pinatubo said, “There is a 99% chance that this will be a small eruption, and everyone will be fine. However, there is a 1% chance that everyone within this radius will be 100% dead.

        As for alliances between other nations and extraterrestrial enemies – whoof. I guess the SGC is just lucky Apophis didn’t decide to drop in on some apocalyptic group and offer them big booms.

        …Then again, Goa’uld SOP if they can get that close to the planet is try to blow it up, so.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. If the local enemies don’t know about aliens, they can’t ask the aliens for bombs to blow up the world with.

        Apparently there’s a lot of history where a great outside power picks up a local ally, and they combine forces against the local ally’s enemies.

        The chemical warfare in Syria is an interesting case. As far as I know*, that nifty drone delivery system they have was not developed in some first or second world lab, and released per some policy directive. It was developed in the third world, by exploiting some engineering avenue that others overlooked, and is cheap and practical enough to change the utility of chemical warfare. Tech in Star Gate can do some very destructive things, and I’m far from convinced that no such comparable thing could happen. But maybe I’ve gone too deep down the political rabbithole. I’ve tried to avoid that here.

        *I work off open sources, and am maybe really lazy.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. From the way Daniel winced, he regretted ever having those thoughts.

    Don’t worry Danny, you aren’t alone in that.

    I wonder how much trouble has started with the phrase “It seemed like a good idea?”

    “It was, indeed, a valid thought, Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c said firmly. “It is not your doing that Akihiko Kayaba is a dishonorable man.”

    Thank you Teal’c.

    Kayaba thought it was a great idea.

    Well, it is a good idea.

    Through it sounds like he thought you were softballing it too much.

    Which . . . is kinda of true.

    Still . . . argh.

    With this tech, you could plant them in Antarctica, and nobody would notice.

    *tries to look innocent*

    Like you can a gateway to worlds beyond?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. >Kayaba managed to screw over more people than just the SGC and the players. A lot more….>
        Cue the Ascended Ancients gnashing their incorporeal teeth in rage because this stupid little human has disrupted their perfect plan for humanity.

        That is, the plan to use humanity as disposable patsies to deal with all the problems they hadn’t felt like cleaning up before they ran away from the material universe.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. I have a lot of conflicting feelings about Kayaba. Most of them caused by Change of Fate. But, even before that story, I couldn’t hate him at the end of season one. Maybe it would have been different if this had been the shonen I thought it was and I was attached to characters who died, but. Well. He’s a complex character and villain who really plays up my villain mantra. “It’s not hatred that’s important, it’s the desire to annihilate them.”

    Liked by 3 people

      1. It’s funny, I was – at the emotional remove of the reader/viewer – angry with Kayaba for trapping people in SAO and leaving them to suffer over the course of the arc. But I was more immediately pissed at Kayaba when he was revealed as Heathcliffe not for what I knew he had done by trapping everyone in his deathgame, but for his immediate betrayal of the heroes, his deception when they (aside from Kirito at least) trusted him, and his smugness when he paralyzed everyone and fought Kirito 1v1 (frankly, the more of a smug arsehole a villain is the more they spark an immediate negative reaction in me).

        When Heathcliffe was beaten and we get that final weird conversation/farewell from Kayaba to Kirito and Asuna as Aincrad collapses, not only the characters, but even the narrative seems weirdly forgiving of Kayaba for being responsible for nearly four thousand deaths. Some of that is that Kayaba has been defeated and the survivors freed, but the narrative takes great pains to show him losing with grace and musing on how the deaths weren’t what he wanted, that his deathgame came from an obsession with making his floating castle as ‘real’ as he could. Like that even excuses his actions in the slightest.

        I guess that Kayaba’s an annoying source of cognitive dissonance for me. I agree with the characters hating him. I agree that Kayaba needed – not ‘should have been’ but needed – to be stopped, and frankly deserved a far worse punishment than he got for what he did. But between spending the arc as an absent and emotionally distant Big Bad who the heroes were less focused on ‘stopping’ then they were on ‘surviving the actions he’s already taken’, his graceful defeat, and the narrative presentation of him the first time we really see him in person – never mind his second appearance at the end of the Fairy Dance arc where he’s basically a literal Deus ex Machina ally, and how his background presence since then have him playing trickster mentor to Kirito – he comes off feeling in-series way less terrible than just about any other villain we see.

        For example: Laughing Coffin genuinely just enjoy killing/torturing people; Suguo is a sadistic rapist/kidnapper on a power trip; and Death Gun is a serial killer/rapist who preyed on his target’s severe emotional trauma after getting close to her and becoming her friend under false pretenses because he was bored with his life.

        Kayaba, who ‘just wanted to make his world real’, comes off looking less amoral and terrible beside these later villains… except none of them could (or at least probably would in Death Gun’s case) have acted as they did without Kayaba to enable them first, and that’s before reminding myself that Kayaba killed nearly four thousand people.

        I dunno. I definitely regard Kayaba as a villain, but I don’t hate him like most (what I would call ‘good’ or enjoyable) villains. I think he mostly makes me annoyed with myself over my own cognitive dissonance.

        Liked by 1 person

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