Waking to Another Sky Ch1 bit – Stealth

Even in the real world, bare feet still seemed to give you a Stealth bonus.

Kirito ducked into a stairwell, padding up and around a landing corner that would be behind the door if it opened. Suguha’s old gym bag was a featherweight on his shoulder, promise and uncertainty both wrapped in the faintest scent of bamboo and sweat.

I remember when this bag was new. It seems like yesterday.

Yesterday, and a lifetime away. From a time when he wasn’t looking for a threat cursor over every head. When he hadn’t expected every corner to reveal a new monster. When he didn’t think of clothes as a player purchase or a monster drop. And he was grateful to see clothes in Suguha’s bag, he really was; a set of black and gray sweats with a note in his mother’s handwriting that she hoped they had the right size….

But how do I unequip a hospital gown?

Head, meet palm. Repeat. Ow.

This is going to take more than a few menu clicks.

Which meant trying to get dressed in a stairwell was not the brightest idea he’d ever had. But right now he was alone, and this was as good a place as any to see if there was anything in Suguha’s bag besides clothes.

It’s not quest loot, Kirito reminded himself wryly, pushing past dark clothing to rubber-band-bound bundles of letters and a small coin-bag that jingled like it had enough yen for an emergency phone call. He’d grabbed the gym bag on instinct; if items dropped for you, you took them and sorted out if you could actually use them later. Because later often had to come after running a gauntlet of lizardmen, dire wolf packs, or orange-player bandits-

Where are the orange players?

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22 thoughts on “Waking to Another Sky Ch1 bit – Stealth

      1. Per google-fu: Derentis means “crazy or insane”. …I presume someone will be talking //very// fast to confirm Laughing Coffin is Joker “I am a total psychopath” level crazy, not “needs serious psychiatric help” level crazy.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. > And the truth about Laughing Coffin will be very hard to swallow.>
        What, the fact that they’re psychos or the idea that they are actually dangerous to trained and armed military personnel?

        Cue a scene with a trail of broken, torn and mangled soldiers leading out of the facility (and no indication the LC was even wounded) with Jack looking on in horror and confusion.
        All the players: “We told you so.”

        Because if they spot the clearers actively looking for them, LC is going to bolt and not care about subtly in their exit.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Re: killing people so the game wouldn’t be cleared

        What’s so hard to understand about “I don’t want to be prosecuted for murder, so it’s better if we don’t get out of here?”

        Given the apparent reach of VMMO’s in SAO, it would honestly be stranger to me if Kayaba _didn’t_ scoop up some people who were murderers before the game. If Asuna and co frame it like that…

        Liked by 2 people

      4. A lot of Laughing Coffin apparently sincerely believed there were no real-world consequences to their actions. Finding out otherwise, and believing it to the point of thinking they’ll be blamed for _Kayaba_ killing people, is not an automatic thing.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Eating and bathrooms are also going to cause problems. Getting your body back to normal on both those after even a few weeks of feeding tubes and catheters is not a simple exercise and after two years?
    I don’t know how realistic the on-line world was about this, but it’s definitely going to be a case of their bodies saying one thing and their minds saying another whichever way you handle it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sounds like Klein isn’t the one lagging a little bit on certain things.

    Now to be fair, he has gotten rather used to do things in-game. And since his survival depended on thinking in-game mechanics rather than in-real-life mechanics, and he didn’t have any idea how long it would take for them to beat the game (or even if he would survive that long – he’s good, he knows he’s good, but he knows plenty of people who were good who still died in the game), and he only just “returned” to real world, that is understandable.

    And somehow Kirito, I doubt you are ever going to shake what was referred to in another fic as superhero syndrome where one automatically accesses any space they are in for threats, weapons, and exits in that order. And again after anything in that space changes. Along with “Can I eat it? Or will it eat me?”

    Where are the orange players?

    Good question. And as noted above, you will probably also start asking where some other worse players are . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Also had the very nasty thought that there is no way which wards the players are in will correspond to in game alliances. The various groups are going to be thoroughly intermixed adding another layer of chaos to an already confused situation.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It would correspond somewhat though. All the high-level – so clearers + Laughing Coffin leadership – in one ward, the mid-levelers in another (and many non-clearer guilds were like the Black Cats and were tightly knit groups where everyone’s levels were fairly closely clumped together), and then the people who never really left the starting city… so leadership up various Guilds may be the next ward on, but most non-solo players should be able to find their immediate friends on short order.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good to know. I’d always just assumed their leadership were on the higher leveled end of things because it both took a party of clearers to take Laughing Coffin down and PoT was never caught, plus – if memory serves – the three Laughing Coffin members hired by Grimlock were treated as a legitimate threat by Asuna and Kirito, two of the best players out there.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Part of the problem was that they wore masks, and didn’t use their game IDs to refer to each other. Made them very hard to identify.

        And in the book canon, there’s a lot more than 3 LC members – and we know they use poison. A lot.

        Liked by 1 person

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