Waking to Another Sky Ch1 bit – Oops

Kirito pulled back again, focusing on the area closer to him. Eventually someone else was going to come into this bathroom, and he’d rather have some warning-

Familiar warmth, a hall or two away. With a sense of mouse-sneakiness, and a cream-fed-cat’s level of smug.

Argo!

?!?

It… wasn’t quite like that itch you got when the system dropped a message in your box. More a tangle of feelings that he somehow knew weren’t his. Surprise, as if someone had tapped on Argo’s shoulder. Wariness, matched with insatiable curiosity.

Find a shadow, I’ll find you…. Damn. If he wasn’t getting words from her, she probably wasn’t getting them from him.

But at least Argo was out there. He could find her.

But how? What’s going on, how can I

Green in the mirror, where it had mostly faded from the rest of his vision. Emerald and gold shimmering in black eyes; the telltale gleam that meant Night Vision, Tracking, or just general Scan.

Kirito gripped the edge of the sink, feeling as if he’d taken a kobold’s club to the ribs. We’re out of Aincrad. We logged out. There’s no menus… the details… I told Silica, power in Aincrad was just an illusion. This is the real world!

The real world. With real porcelain and steel shivering under his grip, creaking in a way that – in the game – was a warning that this wasn’t an Immortal Object, and even as a DEX-specced DPS instead of STR, 96th level meant enhanced strength, and an item’s Durability was about to-

Crack.

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41 thoughts on “Waking to Another Sky Ch1 bit – Oops

    1. More like why //Janet// didn’t want them wandering about. I can’t think of anything that doesn’t involve Cassie being any //worse// on Janet’s nerves than this situation.

      Any part of Janet’s brain that’s allowed to gibber during a chrisis I imagine sounds like this: “Oh God unknown hazard that poor kid no idea what happened to him what he could do could hurt himself need answers strangle the bastard responsible //now// oh those poor kids damn it!”

      Cruel and Unusual punishment would be Janet & Jack teaming up to… handle… the responsible party. (Not like the responsible party wouldn’t deserve it…)

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Just in time for Jack to start catching on that keeping a lid on this will be tricky.

        Which was probably one of the points.

        Because Kayaba, guessing from what you have been saying, thought they were being too subtle about the whole aliens and would continue to be too subtle . . . to the point that they might as well have not said anything for all the good it did them. We need people to panic about the aliens before they are actually invading. Not during.

        Or just acknowledge that we might not have time for the slow and steady approach. Right now, they have stopped or at least delayed alien invasions. But that doesn’t mean they will always be able to. SGC is good but they are stretched pretty thin and they have no back up. It wouldn’t take much to overload that system and crash it. Heck, some of their enemies or potential enemies might even be counting on that and the fact that most people on Earth aren’t aware extra-terrestrial sentient life even exists . . .

        Liked by 2 people

  1. No Jack has a fair number of reasons for wanting the players to not ‘wander off’. Some sensible and others born from his own prejudices/opinions etc.

    But somehow I suspect the players accidentally cracking porcelain and warping steel with their bare hands was not one of them.

    Of course when Jack sees this he’s going to be lambasting Klein (since in this AU he is apparently military) for ‘letting this happen’ to the kids and civil ans. Never mind that Klein’s chances of preventing the thousands of players from leveling up would be about the same as a snowflake in an active blast furnace.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think Jack wouldn’t be nearly that unfair. In part because by that time Asuna, Kirito, and several others will have demonstrated to Jack that nobody could have kept these people out of trouble without heavy restraints. And maybe a combat infantry unit.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Which probably isn’t going to help calm him down much. He might not be able to point fingers at the military people but this is going to be hitting a lot of his buttons.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Hey, millions of Clone troopers couldn’t keep Jedi out of trouble before 66, and at least some of the clearers are up to that level of chaos. The only way to have any control is to hang on and try to aim.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. Well, Klein would probably give Jack an earful on gamer culture. Specifically the “asking people who they are in real life is rude” aspect of it. Which just so happens to include how old they are. Actually, having someone in SGC do some research on the basics of gamer culture (specifically MMORPG culture) would probably be a really good idea.

      I can totally see the vast majority of the people of the game honestly saying that they had no idea how old anybody was. Just that they were glad somebody was doing a bunch of research, sharing it and taking charge of the situation and that it wasn’t them.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh god. Speaking as someone who has played Fire Emblem, managing breakable weapons in an RPG is massively annoying. I imagine that having actual lives depending on it would raise it from annoying to _paranoia inducing._

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It did. It definitely did. Finding a reliable smith to maintain good weapons was critical – Lizbeth was relied on by a lot of people. And it was customary for players to carry several weapons in Inventory for when something broke.

      …Of course, then you ran into situations where you couldn’t access Inventory…

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Reminds me of that fic that had the ‘game’ people were in in Sword Art Online be …Dark Souls. That was horrifying.

      However yeah, breakable weapons would be horrifying, ESPECIALLY during boss fights.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The other day I thought up Kayaba, Prince of Amber. “I think it likely that your equipment breaks now.” Of course, my real interest was the opportunities to do horrible and surreal things to the players.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Like he doesn’t already? He even manages it after he becomes a literal ghost in the machine. (The fact that the Metamorphis spell in *the arc that never happened* transformed Kirito into basically Gleam Eyes should have been our first clue Kayaba was somewhat still around. While he was scrupulously fair, once you nailed him down to it, I can’t help but feel he took exception to someone hijacking his survivors. It compromised his promise to the players that clearing the game freed them.)

        Through a strict interpretation of what Kayaba says, he was one hundred percent honest. The fact that no one realized what he was up to, was not his problem. It’s like someone decided to combine Exact Words and Magnificent Bastard into one character. And they did it in the first episode. Fourteen episodes later, we realize the full scope of what he did. AND THEN we get to the end of the arc that never happened, and we realize, nope. We weren’t done with Kayaba’s shenanigans when there was the Seed.

        For a man who kidnapped ten thousand people into his world, Kayaba certainly believed in choices and in consequences. You could choose to buy his game and log on that first day, and the consequence was you were trapped in the game with no way out but up. (Literally) You could choose to stay in the Town of Beginnings and be trapped in the game until someone pulled the plug. You could choose to risk your life to clear the game. And there were some, like Kirito, who would choose to fall in love with Aincard despite the fact that it could kill them. The consequence of that was that Kayaba gave him God Level Access to Alfheim, and, though it’s not exactly followed through in canon, any other VRMMORPG that used the Seed as a basis.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. If it weren’t for canon, the idea of taking canon’s two and upping it to maybe a four wouldn’t be as attractive.

        Though Amberites aren’t transhumanist enough to commit suicide just because they have their memories uploaded. They’d fake their death using a human from a parallel world who looks just like them.

        Haven’t figured out Kayaba’s true agenda. Given the cross, it has got to be bizarre and metaphysical, and I’m more than willing to resort to AU inspired by second hand Amber Diceless. (Log Horizon could easily have been one of his side projects, but isn’t the main one.)

        Imagine you’ve beaten Kayaba, cleared the game, and gotten every survivor logged out safely. Except you didn’t, you are one of up to six people he spared, out of ten thousand. One reason he spared you is that you are now a VR game addict, and can be relied on to try this new game that just came out, which is really the next part of his plan.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Mine, all mine.

        Well, story ideas can’t really be owned, at least not at all compared to story implementations.

        This sings to me.

        On a nicer note, Kirito got into gaming through his aunt/mother Midori. Think she ever used Kiriri?

        Liked by 3 people

  3. This is the real world!

    Yes it is but . . . . with Kayaba, there always to be a “but” or “yeah about that . . .” buried in there somewhere.

    I think most of the people are going to freak out a little. Both SGC people and the SAO players. Sometimes for the same reason, other times for different reasons . . . . through some of the higher-level players will probably pull a Shiroe and simply schedule themselves a few times for a responsible, controlled freak out. Like “I’ll panic later. After lunch. If we aren’t being attacked. Or something else equally pressing doesn’t happen. And there is someone I trust to watch my back while I do it.”

    Liked by 3 people

  4. One of the truths of human nature and the military is that, if you gather young men together and do not keep them busy, they will find something to do. And the chances are good that several of them will either do property damage (usually inadvertent) or something illegal (probably on purpose).

    This is also the case with young women, but they tend to find different forms of trouble. And of course putting the two groups together creates other troubles. (Especially if guys want to impress girls.)

    So it is a serious principle of military leadership that one either needs to keep track of bored young soldiers and keep them busy and tired, or one needs to send them on leave.

    Aside from organizing Taco Night, there is not much Jack can do to provide the kids with recreation. So he will want to keep them busy.

    This does not make a leader beloved, but it reduces mayhem. Usually.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. On the other hand, the Air Force culture has some very weird traditions. Encouraging people to create customized quarters as soon as they are living off base, for instance. (Lots of building furniture and new architectural features. Sort of like Better Bachelor Pads and Gardens.)

    Since the kids are civilians living on base with no way to get to Lowe’s or Home Depot, and a lot of them are too young for beer, at lot of Stargate people may wish to abet them in customization.

    Given the super strength thing, somebody will probably want to take them golfing. (Either that, or find a way to express resentment at the physical requirements thing, or the community service required volunteerism requirements, or any of the other stupid bureaucracy things that Air Force people resent.)

    Civilian contractors and science types have a lot more leeway, and tend to use it for the covert amusement of lower ranking AF people. I know a guy who created a whole cover identity for his potted plant, sending out informational emails about his activities. (The plant “retired” when one of the generals started getting too interested in meeting Col. Palm.)

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Anyway, the original point of the prank was that there was an empty desk in a corner that presented a shin hazard, so everybody wanted to get rid of the desk. Since this was not allowed, they put a little potted palm on it. And since the Palm had his own desk, obviously he must work there, right?

        Liked by 3 people

    1. So I guess my point is that the kids would probably receive a lot of sympathy just because they are stuck in a bad situation, and because their presence promises some amusement. Of course, this might be balanced by the old Stargate hands anticipating mayhem or somebody getting possessed.

      Liked by 3 people

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