Waking to Another Sky Ch3 bit – Change the Game

The screen showed a sardonic Japanese man in glasses and a white labcoat, seated at his ease behind an executive’s neat desk. “General Hammond. By now you have a very interesting problem on your hands.” A slight shrug. “I suppose it’s only fair to fill you in on what you may have missed, carrying out Stargate Command’s mission to protect the planet.

“Even now, you’ve never truly delved into why the NID sought out my assistance. You have – not without cause – concluded the NID’s covert elements, who seek to take advantage of off-world technology, have no more noble goals than their own profits and power. And so you have committed what any gamer could inform you is a mortal sin. You are not curious.

“This, is a mistake.”

A montage of images flowed across the screen. A ha’tak in space. An Asgard mothership. A Replicator shattering under a shotgun blast. A glowing ribbon device, shrouded in darkness except for the outline of a hand behind it.

“Years ago, you opened the doorway to a universe that had forgotten our world existed. Since then you have sought to find friends and allies, as you should have. But you have not examined the conditions they put on your aid.

“The Tollans refuse to help us because we are not advanced enough. The Tok’ra likewise; that, and if our medical technology progressed to eliminate ills such as cancer, no Earth-born human would volunteer to become a host. The Nox are pacifists who hide from the universe, and claim to be morally superior to anyone who dares defend himself with violence. And while the Asgard may favor your Colonel O’Neill, the terms of the treaty they amended to protect us will only hold until we gain enough technological knowledge that the System Lords deem us a threat. Which they may do at any time.

“Take it from an MMO designer, General. This game is unwinnable.”

Another montage. Niirti caught half-visible. Ma’chello’s Goa’uld-killers. The NID’s cache of stolen technology. An odd, rectangular cube of sapphire crystal, like nothing the SGC had ever seen.

“Individuals have tried to game this stalemate to gain advantages over the System Lords. Nirrti seeks to create an advanced host for her own gain. The NID look for technological shortcuts, or super soldiers to fight the Jaffa hand to hand. And you, General – you look for allies and loopholes, trying to stave off interstellar foes with guile and bullets.

“You are all missing the point. All of these tactics only gain you advantages if you follow the elder races’ lead, and allow the System Lords’ petty dance of power to go on. And by those rules we cannot win.

“So if you don’t like the rules… change the game.”

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52 thoughts on “Waking to Another Sky Ch3 bit – Change the Game

    1. But it does not convince me he was right to go forward with his chosen course of action.

      But then I am a horrible person with a natural bent towards fanaticism, and I’ve needed to harden my heart against mad appeals to fixing everything and making it all better.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. >I’ve needed to harden my heart against mad appeals to fixing everything and making it all better.>
        Problem is he probably viewed the situation as a vicious spiral that ended with humanity enslaved or the Earth destroyed unless some other faction made a massive slip-up and all the pieces happened to fall in Earth’s favor.

        Considering his actions, Kayaba may be a gambling man but there are some bets you just don’t take.

        Ergo he pulls this to give humanity a chance somehow. It won’t solve everything by a long shot but at least the galactic game isn’t 100% unwinnable any more.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It probably is authentic to the character. It is plausible as the result of an insane mind, and works. Especially given Kikuouka’s mad scheme in canon.

        My problem is that this sort of discussion tends to shift me to the mode I use for evil in real life. Fixing on needs stoppin’ when no one is really disagreeing is boring.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. The next step should be interesting. Because presumably Kayaba is going to outline how he has been filthy little min-maxer/power-gamer and has changed the game in Earth’s favor.

    And how the ‘seeds’ he has planted via the players are vital to this.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. (Eyes rant sideways) Why do I feel like, in this universe, Kayaba may look at Kirito and Asuna and see, not just the heroes of his final campaign, but his *masterworks*?
    …yeah, just gave myself a case of the crawling horrors. I was just about to wish him a fate worse than death, but considering the setting that would probably be Goa’uld possession, and that would be a disaster for our heroes

    Liked by 3 people

  3. and allow the System Lords’ petty dance of power to go on.

    That is a good point.

    Why are we playing by those rules?

    Why are we almost dignifying and legitimatizing the System Lords’ claims of godhood and that humans are their property?

    Because all of those elder races are treating Earth as a rebel slaves, which kinda of implies that they think that Gao’uld do have the right to consider humans their property – at least to a degree. And they let it go on for an awful long time across the universe. And unless it is happening in some of disputed space, they seem to have no problem letting it continue.

    I bet another some of those elder races aren’t that fussed about the slavery because the Gao’uld can’t enslave them. Not because of tech but because they cannot become hosts. Not saying that they like it but since it is never going to be their problem, they don’t have the same visceral reaction to it.

    Kayaba in this verse seems to falling into what I call the Magneto camp where their methods are horrid and wrong but terms of why they are doing the thing in the first place, they aren’t exactly wrong or they have a very good point that the good guys are ignoring for one reason or another.

    And I have to agree with not wanting to play a game that I have no hope of winning because it is so heavy rigged against me.

    Its from another series but I think the rule might fit well here: “If someone thinks they have the upper hand, break it.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually the SGC don’t play by the established rules and have, in fact, upset the board. The problem with that is that with the board so badly upset the Earth is kinda screwed so the SGC is desperately looking for allies while doing their best to kick the board back over every time the Goa’uld get close to setting it back up because the moment a new equilibrium is reached the big boss is going to turn their sights on the Earth.

      So Kayaba? Has completely misread the situation, but that’s not out of character. In canon Kayaba went about turning a revolutionary new technology into a /game console/ and spent years developing a massive multiplayer game for the /sole/ purpose of creating a real-life fantasy story. Give him something like the Stargate revelation and I can see him deciding he knows better than everyone else involved because he is a legitimate genius. Factor in that his primary source information is the NID…and it’s going to be heavily slanted against the SGC’s approach.

      To be fair the SGC’s approach isn’t perfect, but it is a damn sight better than anything else that’s on the table save for completely abandoning the fight and turtling up under the protections of the Protected Planets treaty…except that the SGC knows full well that the Asgard are a paper tiger at this point.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The problem with the SGC’s methods is that they are non-viable if you take away the plot armor and Deus ex machina that showed up in the series. Been years since I watched the show but I still remember plenty of events that were 1 in 10,000 chance for survival and the SG1 got them. And that a lot of the SGC’s actions in the larger galaxy never came back to bite Earth

        Liked by 2 people

      2. *thoughtful nod*

        I can see that. Arrogance is a common problem for those antagonist types. And sometimes the protagonists.

        SGC is doing their best – there is no perfect approach – but one does worry that even their best might not be enough. Because sometimes it isn’t.

        And probably not alone in wishing they have allies who weren’t “well, we’d help you if you weren’t so primitive” and/or stretched just as thin as they are and therefore without the spare resources to be much help and/or have a certain of amount of vested interest in keeping Earth less advanced.

        Because I’ve notice that you don’t seem too many people volunteering to be Tok’ra hosts who have better options. Any better options. Death or playing host to an alien that you are just going to have to trust won’t decide to trap you in your own body isn’t much of a choice. I know, just because someone can do something, doesn’t mean that they will do something but can’t help but remember that after the immediate threat to her life was over, the Tok’ra who took Sam didn’t try to come clean, didn’t try to give Sam a choice about hosting her. Got the impression that Sam was expected to be damn grateful for the opportunity to have a Gao’uld in her body (And the Tok’ra wonder why her answer to being a host again is not only no but hell no).

        Liked by 1 person

      3. There are limitations to any creative team trying to keep a television series running. Getting it done flawlessly might’ve taken a dozen competent mil sci fi novel writers, and a military staff. Reliance on fortune and lack of verisimilitude in planning is an acceptable trade off for what they did manage to do.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. >trantos01
        >February 19, 2017 at 11:19 am

        >The problem with the SGC’s methods is that they are non-viable if you take away the plot armor >and Deus ex machina that showed up in the series. Been years since I watched the show but I still >remember plenty of events that were 1 in 10,000 chance for survival and the SG1 got them. And >that a lot of the SGC’s actions in the larger galaxy never came back to bite Earth

        To be completely fair without plot armor they never would have made it back to Earth in the very first episode. The entire narrative of Stargate is reliant on plot armor, and sometimes the plot is stupid.

        For one thing, while the US wouldn’t have taken it to the UN, as soon as the scope of what was going on with the Stargate became known they would have shut the program down and either buried in concrete or brought in their closest allies because even a moron would know that continuing to operate it without doing so would be asking for a disaster.

        My point wasn’t that Kayaba was wrong to fear that the SGC’s efforts wouldn’t be enough to save the world, but that his assertion that they were “playing by the rules of the galaxy at large” was wrong. Could they have found a better approach? Without the intervention of a genuine mad scientist it’s unlikely…and even then probably not given what happened the few times they /did/ encounter mad scientists against the Goa’uld.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. *Nod* Quite valid read on the situation. Kayaba saw what he considered a problem, and decided he knew better than anyone how to solve it. What the SGC will do to deal with his results, hopefully, will show everyone involved can take lemons and make lemonade.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. >What the SGC will do to deal with his results, hopefully, will show everyone involved can take lemons and make lemonade.>
        As long as somebody keeps the NID on a leash. Because with their track-record they’d make combustible lemons resulting in said lemonade burning down the house.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I can see in the future of the WtaS ‘verse (after the SGC is declassified, the Earth is safe etc) Kayaba being recorded as one of the pivotal individuals in history.

      Not a good man or even a sane one, but definitely one that played a pivotal role.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Canon Kikuouka has a plan that is basically ‘hi tech weapons to substitute for the Japanese people not having enough guts’. There’s a Bacon quote that can be restated ‘wealth and hi tech weapons are spit if your people are gutless’. You can also go badly wrong going the other way, the Japanese during WWII and I hear the French during WWI did so.

    I think infantry have not been made obsolete by high tech weapons. (I had an interesting discussion a couple weeks back over whether tanks had been made obsolete by asymmetric warfare. I’m thinking not.) Furthermore, any high tech weapons system is only as effective as the politicians funding (hence veto over using) it. One could interpret recent history as supporting the idea that a population’s politicians become useless far earlier than the population loses the ability to field good infantry.

    In short, I suspect canon Kikuouka was badly written, perhaps exacerbated by the Japanese standard historical curriculum.

    The Japanese are more ‘stout and warlike’ than canon Kikuouka gives them credit for, and if the Americans have lost that quality it is very recent. Gamers can study all sorts of things for verisimilitude, but that doesn’t mean that Kayaba really groks the mentality of the SGC.

    Kayaba may be a layman overestimating how intractable a problem might appear to an expert.

    An expert may know that certain ‘obvious shortcuts’ are really just a way to screw up your main problem solving effort.

    Even without the matter of Kayaba having limited information, and probably not knowing about the time travel stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. >Kayaba may be a layman overestimating how intractable a problem might appear to an expert.>
      When did the canon SGC ever have an actual plan to survive the System Lords other then lurch from problem to problem as they randomly bounce around the Gate system?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We see things from SG1’s perspective during the times when very bizarre things are happening. If SG1 is partly the emergency reserve, then other teams systemically going towards other goals will only show up when things go badly wrong.

        “Keep the system lords infighting, and assassinate any one that gets too far ahead of the pack” is a plan, even if not an awesome plan.

        SG1 is not a normal group of people. The time travel incidents mostly don’t stick, but in them we do see SG1 throwing their lives away, and showing great dedication to the mission. Add on to the ingenuity we see regularly, and they are a very reliable group of assassins. If the SGC were relying on ‘assassinate any one that gets too far ahead of the pack’ without having SG1 available, it would be a much worse plan. Realistically, SG1 shouldn’t have been usable that way for so long, but going too far down that rabbit hole involves trying to get Ringo, Kratman, Weber, Drake etc… to create a plausible AU set of fanon.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. At the start they were pretty sure if they could just get Apophis out of the picture Earth would be safe, because he was the Goa’uld who’d claimed this territory and ha’taks would need years to get to Earth. So they mostly wouldn’t bother.

        Then Apophis managed to pull a hyperspace drive advance out of a hat so he could travel to Earth in weeks or less.

        …Things went downhill from there.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. They do show that there are alternate universes where things went much, much worse. Like another comment said, we’re following the team that got those chances. And huh, Drake writing SG1, that would have been different. Weber is too in love with big ships and ship battles, Ringo has issues with military/civilian boundaries and is far too much in love with rape, and Kratman is a nazi sympathizer himself, so I don’t think those would be good choices, but Drake can be entirely grounded the way the show would need. It’s a pity Keith Laumer isn’t around anymore. I’d love to see what the BOLO creator could do with the show’s tech.

    And on the other side, while he’s a bastard, he has added six thousand more minds(minus red and most orange players) that are creative, intelligent, and used to having to pull together to face issues that involve the fate of everyone in their world. That is a lot of extra oomph that Stargate needs to avoid burnout and give them more options, just there, ignoring Skills or anything else he did with nanites.

    Liked by 2 people

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