Waking to Another Sky Ch1 bit – Vice-Commander

The girl lifted her head, following her friend’s gaze. For a moment, Janet could read her face like a book: I don’t know you, I don’t trust you, where is this place?

Then both teenagers huddled with the wild-haired redhead and the massive black man again, obviously intent on hashing something out fast.

“They’re plotting,” Jack sing-songed at her.

“With people they’ve never seen before?” Janet said skeptically. “Everyone in the game had computer avatars. Even if they had a chance to interact before Kayaba changed all the rules, they can’t have recognized each other that fast….”

Except Jack was right. People didn’t huddle in us against the world with strangers. Which meant they weren’t strangers to each other. How?

“Uh-huh,” the colonel said dryly. “So how come those guys,” he nodded toward about five young men who’d casually put themselves between the foursome and the rest of the room, “are acting like your staff when you and Carter plan a raid on Danny’s coffee- where the hell did he go?”

“Captain Fraiser!” Nurse Jordan skidded to a stop in the doorway behind them. “We’re getting reports that- oh….”

“We may have good news,” Janet admitted, still looking for black hair. Where the heck had Kirigaya gone? “At least, no one’s keeled over yet, so-”

Daniel cleared his throat. “Janet? She’s coming for us.”

The chestnut-haired girl had solved any modesty problems by whirling up her sheet over her shoulders like a white cloak. Now she hit the floor at a fast march. Janet could almost hear imaginary heels clicking, as the jubilant chaos parted before a seventeen-year-old Japanese schoolgirl stalking like Jack on a mission, heaven help anyone who got in her way.

Daniel’s right. She’s headed for us.

The girl stopped at what Janet had come to think of as good snarking distance, and swept them with another look. “I am Asuna, Vice-Commander of the Knights of the Blood Oath. Who are you, and where are we?”

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51 thoughts on “Waking to Another Sky Ch1 bit – Vice-Commander

  1. >“Everyone in the game had computer avatars. Even if they had a chance to interact before Kayaba changed all the rules, they can’t have recognized each other that fast….”>
    Yeah about that Janet. *G*
    >Janet could almost hear imaginary heels clicking, as the jubilant chaos parted before a seventeen-year-old Japanese schoolgirl stalking like Jack on a mission, heaven help anyone who got in her way.>
    Kirito may be the better combatant/skirmisher/scout but Asuna is the Command material here.

    Watching Jack attempt to wrap his brain around the situation of having to treat a teenager as a fellow military commander will be fun. Because if he starts talking down to her/giving her the mushroom routine a lot of the clearers are not going to be very cooperative.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. >Which should clue you in about how much people outside the game don’t know about the inside.>
      Same as canon, really. They had no way of peaking into the system to see what was happening.
      >And yes, Asuna’s much better at Command. Poor Jack. Hee.>
      And to top it off they’ve lost sight of Kirito.
      Meaning the Black Swordsman is A: Getting ready to act as support for Asuna in case this turns nasty, B: checking out escape routes for the players (air ducts included) and/or C: lifting SG1’s wallets (and potentially their sidearms) so the players can find out who these people are.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. >“He’s just a kid, how dangerous can he be?” >
        -Argo pops up out of nowhere-
        Argo: Interested in a general biography? Can’t give the personal stuff but I have very good rates.

        Jack: Sonofa-Where did you come from?!?

        Argo: You need to use smaller air vents in the base. That or add defenses and have grates that are harder to remove.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. >>”I am Asuna, Vice-Commander of the Knights of the Blood Oath. Who are you, and where are we?”

    She’s giving her position in an organization and stating it as if it’s important and something they should know. That’s going to take a few people aback. There’s a ranking here, and she’s the top of the heap. Eventually someone needs to point out that given the fate of the Commander of the KoBO, she’s been promoted. And the SGC at least is going to be all “no, she doesn’t have a rank. KoBO was in the game. You don’t have to listen to a teenager anymore.”

    One good thing about waking up to being hosted by the military, and a forgein military at that, is the players are going to be clumping up together. Because social creatures that we are, we are prone to ‘us vs them’ and a lot of the brain chemicals associated with euphoria and pleasure surges increase social bonding, but increase a group’s tendency to exclude outsiders. So, euphoria of ‘we cleared the game’ and ‘Miracle! They live!’ is added to ‘why are we in an American military base,’ to create a very strong stonewalling.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. > And the SGC at least is going to be all “no, she doesn’t have a rank. KoBO was in the game. You don’t have to listen to a teenager anymore.”>
      And the players are going to be “Sure we don’t HAVE to, but we trust her judgement.”

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Through I feel a little sorry for him, having to deal with this lot. Both of them.

        Also, I know you guys are supposed to keep SGC secret but people who were lied to and because of those lies were almost killed (or in some cases were killed) AND can tell that you are lying are not going to trust you further than they could throw the Moon.

        They are not going to take people at their word. Especially people they don’t know and have no reason to trust. They might be willing to trust but verify.

        But since they will likely be able to tell that you are lying to them, possibly not even lying convincingly, and that you want them to tell you everything about themselves and what happen to them while refusing to explain anything yourself . . . yeah, that willingness to trust but verify is going to evaporate fast.

        Normal teenagers and adults would stonewall you for giving them the mushroom routine. In no small part because doing the mushroom routine effectively says that you think they are too stupid to realize that you are lying to them and lying badly.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It’s worse than you think. There are a few things they can verify that the SGC doesn’t know about… 😉

        Daniel’s quick enough to figure out they know they’re being lied to, and Hammond will be able to fill in some of the pieces because Kayaba does some epic trolling.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. >yeah, that willingness to trust but verify is going to evaporate fast.>
        And it might get even worse. Because Kibaou and his cronies are very likely to be among the survivors and he is more then willing to shoot his mouth off to spread hate and fear. Particularly if it ends up getting the ‘Beaters’ in hot water.

        Liked by 4 people

      4. >*Thoughtful nod* Fortunately, Thinker and a lot of other guilds can sit on him.>
        Or provide a bit of percussive maintenance to his skull.

        Liked by 4 people

  3. The funny thing about Asuna is that she can be just as sneaky as Jack when she wants to be. Considering she has Kirito on her side, I can see Janet forcing tranqs on Jack in the near future ( no one wants the Colonel to have an aneurysm after all).

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Reminds me of Leverage:

    Nate – “Kid’s making me nervous.”

    Hardison – “He’s not doing anything.”

    Nate – “Well, that’s my point. You know. He should be panicking and he’s not.”

    Hardison – “He’s just a kid, Nate. How bad could it get?”

    Nate – “How many grown men said that about you while you were raining digital fire down on their lives?”

    Hardison – “Hahaaaah. Now I’m nervous.”

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Guys, remember that you don’t know a lot about what was in the game while it was going on.

    You have what MMORPGs are normally like.

    You have what people who were in the beta who did not get trapped in the game and/or some of the programmers could tell you (and yes there had to be other programmers – Kayaba might be a genius but he’s still only one person) about it.

    You have what you have been able to surmise from outside observations.

    You do not know a lot of the whats, whys, wheres, hows, etc.

    Do not assume. It makes an ass out of you and me.

    And Asuna might be a teenager and so are some of the others but you’d think finding an alien parasite who, if they don’t do something like flash the gold-eyes or fall into their usual mwa-ha-haing, can be in anyone and therefore look like anyone. And they probably aren’t the only alien race you have met or will meet that didn’t look dangerous but was. Not saying treat the kids like aliens. Just remember there is a lot you don’t know and the usual “kid cannot be that dangerous” might not apply.

    Besides you have plenty of home-grown kids who were never trapped in a death game who can do a heck of a lot of damage. Just because someone is young doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of ruining your day in new and interesting ways.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Part of the problem is simply wrapping your mind around what Kayaba did in the first place: Set up ten thousand innocent bystanders to live or die at the whim of electronically-generated results. It’s evil. It’s callous. It’s System-Lord level cruel.

      And for all the SGC’s hardheaded experience with reality, they still think “we’re the good guys.” So… even with all the research they could do, accepting what happened will be tough to swallow.

      Not to mention Janet’s people have had a year of treating “helpless comatose patients”. That mindset colors first impressions.

      The team will try not to underestimate anyone, but things are going to get a bit messy….

      Liked by 3 people

      1. All true . . .

        But Jack should probably cast his mind back to the first time he met Daniel and some of their early interactions. And while that first impression was true to a degree, the key word there is to a degree.

        Or Teal’c.

        Or any number of the random encounters they have had. Appearances can be deceiving.

        And keeping in mind not to assume even about people you already know is probably a good mindset to have while trying to prevent Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

        Yes, it is easy to assume that your 1001 interaction with someone is going to be roughly on par with the other 1000 interactions. And most of the time you are right. But just because say Thor is unlikely to turn on Jack or SGC without a reason doesn’t mean he can’t. Or that he wouldn’t one day.

        Helpless comatose patient and second-hand reports of their personality / temperament, etc is probably not the best way to gauge what someone is actually like. Or what they are capable of. Janet, I imagine someone would make a lot of incorrect assumptions about YOU in the same situation.

        And especially what they are like now. Even setting aside the nanites, trauma changes people. The Kazuto Kirigaya who logged into Sword Art Online on Day 1 is not the same person who just woke up in the infirmary.

        I know the mindset is understandable. And would pop up even if one is trying their hardest not to do that very thing. It just .. . arghh!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m totally putting my money on Kirito sneak raiding for his NerveGear. I don’t see him (and definitely not Asuna) being comfortable with Yui’s data in the hands of the military, especially a foreign one.

    Also, Round 1: Lightning Flash Asuna vs Colonel Jack O’Niell is one match I would pay for. She’s going to eat him alive, particularly given his feelings on how children should be sheltered and kept out of things.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. >Asuna vs. Jack will really get going in chapter 2…. 😉>
        It’ll be an interesting contrast because Asuna doesn’t really do the snark thing. She is, however rather resistant to various types of snark and similar verbal jabs.

        Liked by 3 people

  7. Asuna vs Jack….
    Y’know, Argo’s gonna or pissed this went down so quickly. No time to sell tickets or scam stupid people with bets. (Of course, next time she will be prepared)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Vathara said this argument is going to run all the way into chapter two and as Asuna is likely going to be acting as the Point Woman for the Clearers in general, I doubt this is going to be the only ‘discussion’ she and Jack have.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. The way Asuna’s introducing herself is very much a test. She knows that they might not have a clue what her title means and that it sounds too melodramatic to be taken seriously, especially since she’s a teenage girl. How they react will tell her a lot about how much they know, and whether they are worth trusting.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. But does she note that part of her introduction – and therefore part of this test – was the way every SAO survivor between her and SG-1 automatically made room for her?

      Because even rival clearer guilds paid her respect and regards. And amongst those who weren’t clearers her she was considered quite the celebrity. That deference? Is noteworthy.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t know. Obviously Jack wants to be protective of kids and sometimes assumes that civilians are dumb. But… He is from a special forces background, and he has seen foreign kids who were child soldiers, and he does kinda have a thing for efficient women.

    So it could very easily morph into Jack being helpful and understanding in some ways, but stubborn as a mule on other points. As dads (or superior officers) can often be.

    OTOH, if they were actually getting attacked, Jack would probably get a lot more pragmatic. (And terrified of the young soldiers getting too heroic, at least until he saw their pragmatism.)

    Liked by 3 people

      1. >We also have to take into account that Jack now has to deal with several thousand surviving gamers.
        …Yeah, he’s doomed. 😉>
        This line reminds we so much of Digibro’s youtube review of the army gathering sequence in Log Horizon season 1

        The review starts with this line:
        “Question: How does one mobilize a gigantic group of nerds to go to war? Short answer: Moe”
        If you want to find the full thing, google: Great Scenes in Anime: Moe Will Mobilize You in Log Horizon
        His analysis is both funny and insightful.

        While the SAO players here are not the same as the ones in LH, their motivations, mentality, SoP and RoE are probably going to clash with Jack’s…..a lot.

        And any attempts by him to intimidate them into ‘getting with the program’ are going to backfire in so many ways.

        Liked by 3 people

  10. Also, we don’t know how SAO was changed to fit this crossover universe… we know there is the sensing but what else?
    Also, the teens are is very good shape because nanites. Just saying, if they wanted they could get out of that facility and have a really great go at freedom…until they came to the ocean or had to deal with someone taking offense to them wearing a costume in an airport.
    And as for Jack trying to…assert his lead/authority over the young adults who just walked through a death trap and made it out….i am going to guess the group’s reaction is somewhere along the lines of “no. Heck no. Not on this or any world.” Followed by a trial seperation to cool tempers which might be followed by a tenuos start of alliance.

    Liked by 3 people

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