Waking to Another Sky Ch2 bit – Pickpocket

“Relax.” An oddly whiskerless Argo grinned at all of them, blue sheet wrapped around her as a hooded cloak. “There was a lot of screaming, but the Aincrad Liberation Force pulled together, and the rest of us didn’t like them either.” Her grin had all the Rat’s wicked humor. “Ki-bou put the fear of him into Titan’s Hand, and you should have seen where Yulier got Kibaou. He’s going to feel that one for a week. Ooo, Sharpie!”

That quick, Argo was across the room waving a black marker in glee, as Janet did a double-take at her empty hand.

Pickpocket? Asuna blinked. The Skill flash was subtle, but – but how? They were out of the game-

Cold metal kissed her left wrist.

Asuna gripped the thin handle of a scalpel tucked into her sheet, and breathed a sigh of relief. Argo hadn’t just zipped across the room to snatch a marker, even if she was using it to draw whiskers on her cheeks with wicked amusement. The information broker had managed to pass by all three of them….

A quick glance at the tension easing out of Klein’s shoulders, and Asuna knew she’d guessed right. We’re armed. Not with much, but better than nothing.

“Oh, yeah.” Capping the black tip, Argo twirled the marker through her fingers. “Kirito asked me to pass on that you’d better watch out. Item durability here isn’t what we’re used to.” Smirking a little, she produced a bundle of red and white cloth. “And Lisbeth had some extra clothes. Thought you could use ‘em.”

Clothes. Yes. That would definitely help. Especially since the medics here seemed to need a refresher on the Ethics Code. Underwear was a good thing. “Thanks, Argo,” Asuna smiled, as the information broker made her way back across the room. Argo was tapping her fingers across books and tables and everything else as she went, outwardly delighting in just being able to touch something real. Inwardly… Asuna could almost see O’Neill’s blood pressure rising.

Good plan, Asuna thought. See how far you can push him. See how much he wants to control us, when we haven’t done anything wrong.

Keeping her eyes wide and innocent, she turned toward the doctor. “Is there somewhere we can go to change?” Because we need to get away from you. We need time to think. If Skills are still working, what do we do?

“Well,” Kirito said right behind her, “I did find a shower.”

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41 thoughts on “Waking to Another Sky Ch2 bit – Pickpocket

  1. I should probably feel sorry for SG1. This isn’t really their mess, and they’re doing the best they can to fix it. That said, I’m a horrible human being (munches popcorn)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. >“Ki-bou put the fear of him into Titan’s Hand, and you should have seen where Yulier got Kibaou. >
    Good to see that the normal ***holes are under control.
    >Ooo, Sharpie!”>
    Argo has gone into full Gadfly/Tease/Distraction mode. I’d feel pity for SG1 but I’m far too amused right now.

    And at the same time she armed the players, she’s good.
    >Good plan, Asuna thought. See how far you can push him. See how much he wants to control us, when we haven’t done anything wrong.>
    Ah passive-aggressive behavior, that’s going to drive Jack through the roof. He does it to other people, they don’t do it to him.
    >“Well,” Kirito said right behind her, “I did find a shower.”>
    Well it isn’t the full bath like he found in Aincrad but at this point I doubt Asuna will mind that much.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. SG1: *jumps* “Where the hell did you come from?”
    Kirito: *innocent blink* “Japan?”

    Or
    Kirito *points* “That door.”

    Prediction for later . . .
    (1) The gasket blown for the missing scaples. Assuming anyone notices they are missing.

    (2) Jack finishing up saying something that is directed at Kirito only to realize the kid is gone. Again. And he doesn’t know when the kid slipped out.

    (3) Someone talking about Kirito, completely unaware that he slipped in and heard almost everything they were saying until the “. . . . he’s behind me, isn’t he?”

    Meanwhile in another universe at some point, I can see Ja’far (and possibly others*) doing the same kind of trick.

    *The rest of them might not be able to seemingly walk silently through walls like our favorite not-a-ninja but I bet our heroes move a lot quieter than people would expect for actors, teachers, stunt people, and high school students . . . and you’d think with hair like that, none of them would be sneaking up on anyone anywhere at anytime.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Item durability here isn’t what we’re used to.

    Nice one. SGC-1 has no idea what the means. Because obviously video game items and real world items don’t behave the same way.

    For the SOA crew… yikes. A bunch of them are probably going to remembering their Spare Item Hoarding habits…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. >You don’t “borrow” stuff you want to keep from people who will notice right away!
      Argo has ratcheted up the tension for the other side, but she has calmed down her friends.>

      Way I see it, Argo deliberatly snatched the sharpie like that for multiple reasons.

      1. Put her her whiskers back on. After two years, she probably feels naked without them.

      2. Subtly demonstrate that Skills still work to the players without tipping off the interrogators.

      3. Re-arm what players she could with the weapons she could find.

      4. Throw the interrogators off balance by being as annoying as possible.

      5. Distract the interrogators so Ki-bou can slip back in to throw them further off with his stealth hi-bye.

      How SG1 and Janet react to all this and Asuna’s questioning will probably be the difference between the players opening up and relaxing or clamming up while looking to escape.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. >Heh heh heh… *Thumbs up.*>
        Considering that Argo has survived being an info broker in an environment where both the monsters and people could have it out for her, she would be a rather smart cookie about this sort of thing.

        Well except when dogs are involved. Then she just flees in terror.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. I wonder if SG1 are going to get another demonstration of what the players can do now. After all, Klein had a point earlier about Asuna’s startle reflex, and Argo makes an excellent distraction for both groups.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Maybe in that Asuna doesn’t freak out that Kirito just popped up behind her? Which would mean she’s either completely desensitized to this sort of stunt and/or she saw or heard him sneaking her way.

        Liked by 3 people

  6. >>Especially since the medics here seemed to need a refresher on the Ethics Code. Underwear was a good thing.

    Oh, you should be so very grateful for those nanites, since it looks like they kept the medical staff from having to use standard coma-patient procedures. One word, Asuna: catheter.

    But they probably did still have to do sponge-baths and such… A lot of people don’t think about what level of intimacy is involved in taking care of someone in a coma.

    Liked by 3 people

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