Waking to Another Sky Ch1 bit – Zing

“Nanites,” Jack echoed. Oh, the day just kept getting better.

“We think they’re maintaining the victims’ physical condition.” Janet’s words had the clinical tone of a doctor who’d seen the utterly unknown snatch too many lives from her hands. “We’re fairly certain they’re delivering… whatever Kayaba cooked up with the NID for genetic manipulation. And we know they kill the patients if you take the NervGear off. Something in the helmet, maybe part of the program delivered through the hidden servers, keeps the nanites working. Doing – whatever Kayaba’s nightmare made him do to these people. Take the helmet off, the nanites berserk, and….” Her voice failed her.

“That’s all she wrote,” Jack filled in. “Got it.” He chewed on a knuckle, thinking. “So we’ve definitely got genetic manipulation going on here. But it’s from some kind of human? Not some weird Goa’uld… thing?”

“That’s the problem, sir. We’re not sure.” Sam touched the back of his seat. “Kayaba’s samples came from the NID’s offworld teams. We think that’s where the creatures came from; worlds the NID visited, that we haven’t seen yet.” A mix of controlled anger and even more controlled scientific avarice played over her face. “A lot of them seem to have been Ancient-listed worlds.”

Places the Goa’uld had never visited. Worlds that might be treasure troves of tech, knowledge, or flat-out planet-threatening peril. Or all of the above. Yeah. Right. Now it made sense. “We disappeared these people, because you don’t know if they’re human anymore.”

“Jack,” Daniel started.

Janet held up a hand. Turned in her seat, so she could look the archaeologist in the eye. “He’s right. I hate it, Daniel – but he’s right. The families know the victims are alive, but they think we moved them here to protect them from Kayaba. They don’t know we’re protecting everyone else. We don’t know what Kayaba planned to do to these people. And we’re dealing with alien technology, which means it doesn’t matter what he planned. He may have done something entirely different.” She sighed, as if letting some of the weight of the world slip off her shoulders. “That said, Jaffa have a few odd genes in their makeup,” she glanced at Teal’c, “And I defy anyone to tell me you’re not human.”

A slight smile creased their alien buddy’s face. “Indeed, Janet Fraiser. I would be honored to defend the Tau’ri of Stargate Command as equal to any Jaffa of Chulak.”

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51 thoughts on “Waking to Another Sky Ch1 bit – Zing

  1. Well that answered one of my questions . . .

    Janet does have a point. Since they don’t know exactly what was done to the people, they can’t predict what it has done to them. For all they know, what he has done has rendered every one of those players something that looks human but isn’t – not where it matters. And for some of the players that is probably true. Because Kayaba is fiddling with delicate, fussy stuff that is very, very easy to break beyond repair.

    Besides, Kayaba might be a genius but he can’t claim to know everything about the tech and such he is using. It could very easily do things that he didn’t know about and/or couldn’t predict. There is a reason that scientists and such messing with things they don’t understand is such a trope.

    Of course, doing stuff even he couldn’t predict might have been part of the plan. Because the element of surprise can be very critical. After all surprise, along with the chronic underestimating, is one of the reason that SGC has been giving the Gao’uld such a headache.

    Also I had the suspicions that even after it is shown that most of the players aren’t a threat, some people are going prefer if they stay ghosted. For Reasons. (Some of these people probably would get along with Yamamoto from The Project Universe).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was very interesting poking who was likely to vote for keeping these people off the radar, and what exactly the players might choose to do about that. *G*

      Kayaba is a genius – I’m saying on the order of Sam or Daniel level genius, which in the SG-verse means he’s likely to be able to pull off ten impossible things before breakfast. So he knew… most of what he was doing. Thankfully.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. So he knew… most of what he was doing.

        So do Sam and Daniel . . . and they still go “Oops” sometimes.

        Jack: *groans* “Okay, what kind of oops are we dealing with here? On the scale of ‘minor mishap, we can handle it no problem’ to ‘General is going to kill us’ to ‘shit, I think I might have just caused the end of the world’?”

        Liked by 2 people

  2. a) NID Star Gate teams sound interesting to my bunnies. b) Kayaba could do interesting things with terrestrial samples misappropriated by the NID. I understand that in real life the military has done a fair amount of research regarding combat stress and combat fatigue.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. NID Stargate teams did exist, until Jack caught them; it’s implied in the show that Jack didn’t catch all of them, either.

      And oof, yes. Janet’s probably one of the best doctors to put in this mess, honestly. She knows about people having to deal with not only recovery, but sheer weirdness.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. >“Nanites,” Jack echoed>
    NANOMACHINES SON!

    I have a suspicion that those nanites aren’t ‘just’ maintaining the players conditions and performing the genetic modification. Considering the level of modifications he’s already doing, enhanced physical and mental capabilities aren’t too farfetched for Kayaba to add.

    As pointed out however, this is going to make it much harder for the survivors to go back to their original lives as the government will be very interested in keeping them for ‘observation’.

    Insert stupidity from Kinsey and NID here.

    Still it does result in the potential for interesting scenes.

    Jake: Did I just see that or are my eyes going?
    Daniel: If you saw a marine get tossed around by a little 14 year old girl then yes.
    Ayano/Silica: He was being mean to Pina!

    All joking aside, if SAO is anything like canon I suspect PTSD and similar issues are going to be rampant among the players when they wake up. Jake is going to be in a bad place, because he’s going to be seeing a lot of his issues and experiences mirror in them. It might have been technically only in their minds, but for them it was all too real.

    Oh and could somebody ID and lock up the Red players ASA-bloody-P please? That’s a ticking time bomb I don’t want to touch with a ten foot pole.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Here the Feds are in a good place to question the players, match real ID to game ID, and start building a case against Laughing Coffin. If the players were moved to the US, they may very well fall under US murder and self defense laws.

      Of course, maybe I’m just saying that because I’ve been thinking on an SAO AU that gets the same thing done by a different route.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. >Just wait until Jack really realizes one of the scariest players is a teenager, yes. No human being should be that sneaky…. >
        Ah yes, the super stealth hi/bye. Just the thing to send the Ex-Black Ops soldier’s nerves to river dancing.
        >And Asuna vs. Jack is fun. *EG*>
        Yes, I can see Asuna the co=leader of the KoB don’t really taking well to Jake trying to ‘protect’ them while giving the mushroom routine.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Poor Jack is set to met another sneaky teenager in ‘Around too. Or maybe I should say teenagers. Because Aladdin is pretty sneaky for a blue-haired Magi.

        Your bunnies also seem to have taste for introducing Jack to kids who just might save the world, if they don’t accidentally break it in the process as of late.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. I wonder…

    Is Kayaba a descended Ancient in this? Or perhaps he’s a harcesis that slipped through the cracks? Or even a mad goa’uld/tok’ra?

    I will be surprised though if he’s simply a run of the mill human (admittedly a genius, but still just plain human).

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Oh, nasty stuff there. Because even in canon, there were SAO players who became monsters without every having someone touch their DNA. Rosalie, her guild, Laughing Coffin…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Rosalia wasn’t so much a monster as a delusional bitch. If you’ve only read the light novel version of the story it’s not /quite/ as apparent as in the anime, but she’s convinced herself that nobody /actually/ dies. I also think it’s implied that Titan’s Hand didn’t start off killing their marks, but that it was slow road probably started with a hold up gone to the dogs and an accidental (un)lucky crit that killed one of the people they were robbing.

      Laughing Coffin on the other hand /are/ a bunch of crazies getting their murder on for sh#ts and giggles. Sometimes literally as in the case of Johnny Black (guy is creepy as all get out).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Indeed! Still, Rosalia would have been up on man slaughter charges if nothing else. Laughing Coffin on the other hand, well. I didn’t get too far into season two before I fizzled, but I believe it was Laughing Coffin behind the murders in season two. They’d become death addicts.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. But how could you even tell that there was nothing warping their brains? If I was their defense attorney (American justice system, American problems) I could make that argument to a jury as easy as pie. “Kayaba was literally playing around with the defendant’s brain like a bartender would try blending new mixed drinks. Jurors, I ask you, should the defendant be found guilty of murder when the minute she put the NervGear on it started poisoning her brain? She was not responsible for her actions.”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hence manslaughter instead of murder in the first degree. As I understand it, manslaughter means there are extenuating circumstances and that there wasn’t premeditat and that under normal circumstances the person would not have killed.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Ah, this has been enlightening. Also, I don’t think Jack has wrapped his head around the implications yet (or perhaps hasn’t been briefed on how many children/teens were playing SAO)… because once he figures out that the NID and Kayaba were using stolen Ancient tech to expirament with making *child soldiers*…um. I think the word I’m looking for is incandescent. It so beautifully sums up both Jack’s towering rage once the pieces fall into place, and the condition of whatever hole these NID people are hiding in after Jack is done with it.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Supposedly the game had lower age limits. Kirito’s one of the people who hacked or ignored them; Silica and other kids, the same.

      *Wry G* Kayaba wasn’t after child soldiers. He may have effectively created some, but his true goals were a lot more… far-reaching.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. >*Wry G* Kayaba wasn’t after child soldiers. He may have effectively created some, but his true goals were a lot more… far-reaching.>
        So he’s making Humanity 2.0?

        Because depending on what changes the nanites made, it might not just be the somatic cells (AKA non-reproductive cells) of the players that got…..tweaked. And hell, depending on the design of the nanites, they themselves might be ‘naturally’ passed on to the next generation.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Might not have been his intentions but it is still what happened. Plus they might point out that he made it that difficult for anyone to get the players out of the game before his conditions were met but teenagers and kids can just breeze past the age limits . . .

        Liked by 1 person

      3. More accurately everyone younger than Silica, possibly everyone younger than Kirito were under the age limit. I’m reasonably sure that Kirito himself was over the age limit given that the people he mentioned as being underage to play are the 8-10 year old’s in the orphanage.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. >What game is the SGC playing?>\
        At a guess? A sick twisted mod of XCOM Enemy Within where EXALT is running rampant, funding is getting slowly choked off, manufacturing and research times are at least 10x longer and the probability of the Temple ship appearing resulting in automatic game over (since you haven’t completed the prior story missions) is increasing each month.
        >What do they need to tilt the odds in their favor? 😉>
        Jake: Big Honkin’ Space Guns
        *G*
        Or rather people with an innate comprehension on how to utilize and reverse-engineer the various alien technology they find.
        Lisbeth: Call me Dr. Vahlen one more time and you’re getting a wrench embedded in your skull.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Oh man, the use of nanites also brings up an esoteric point. The System Skills only activated after you got to the right motion or position. In other words, they took the place of reflexes. And programmed them into the players nerves directly. The first person who jumped an SAO survivor got whupped and a very jumpy survivor got the kriff out of there. There are very lethally trained people coming out of SAO, and then were expected to come back into normal society. My head canon says that’s part of why they had a special school for them, because otherwise the guilds and parties would have been twitcher and bullies would have been broken. Japan does have one of the worst bullying problems after all.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Relax guys.

        Compared to nearly all of the wonder makers in the SG-verse Kayaba’s practically a saint. Sure he’s ruined multiple lives forever while traumatizing and/or killing thousands of people but that’s pretty much it.

        No uncontrolled weather manipulation, twisting of time and space into pretzels, runaway biological disasters that could destroy humanity or devices that are explosive to the extent a Tsar Bomba feels inadequate etc,

        Honestly the eeping will come when the players wake up and A: Jack realizes what he now has to deal with and B: when Kinsey sticks his nose in and everything goes to hell.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Kayaba is not a good man, but he is a great one. Much like Alexander the Great. Whitewash all you want, he isn’t famous for saying “I came, I saw, I made peace.” So. Kayaba, to quote Ollivander, “terrible. But great.”

        Or as Lestrade said of Sherlock. “He’s a great man. And if we’re very, very lucky, one day he might be a good one.”

        When describing people, ‘good’ and ‘great’ are not synonymous.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. >Oh, definitely. SG-1 would agree with you. They’d also like to hand Kayaba to Teal’c. On Chulak.>
        Of course considering Kayaba, he’ll get the last laugh by ending up a quantum ghost in the machine when the players wake up and will be zipping around the internet and/or the Gate network.

        Liked by 2 people

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