Waking to Another Sky Ch3 bit – Error Warning

-“By now you have discovered that the Log Out button has vanished from the main menu. This is not an error. It is a feature of Sword Art Online.

-“You will not be able to log out on your own.-

-“If you have read the manual-”-

“And now we know how our Marines got stuck,” Jack quipped.

Eyes on the video, Daniel waved a hushing hand. “Shh!”

-“The NervGear intercepts and alters the transmission of impulses to the voluntary and autonomic nervous system. In short, it governs your breathing and heart rate; here, and in the other world you left behind.

-“Disconnecting the power for ten minutes, being cut off from the system for two hours, or any attempt to suspend, hack, or remove the NervGear, will halt these vital functions. In several cases relatives or friends have already tried to remove the NervGear. Regretfully, two hundred and thirteen players have already exited this game, and the real world, forever.”-

Screens flashed in the air before the robe; flickers of news articles, weeping women and children on TV, internet headlines of Game Turned Deadly, and Deaths Caused By Online Game Continue to Rise.

-No… no way.- Klein’s voice, even if the redhead they glimpsed in the crowd was far too languid and handsome to be the man they’d met. -The gear’s supposed to be safe!-

-There are supposed to be safety interlocks.- A tall young man with dark blue hair, and Kirito’s voice. Unlike most of the faces around him, his tension spoke of confusion, but not panic. The dawning dread in wide eyes was far too deep to be panic. Half-gloved hands curled into fists. -But if some of the safety measures were firmware, not hardware….-

-Firmware?- Klein pounced, gripping the blue-haired man’s shoulder.

-Proprietary programs and hardware in combination,- Kirito said grimly. -They can be set with a trigger. Safety testing wouldn’t find them, because they’re not part of the operating system. They’re below the operating system. Like a hidden short circuit, that only breaks when you jar the computer.-


56 thoughts on “Waking to Another Sky Ch3 bit – Error Warning

    1. I’m actually not sure what “a lot of research” is defined as. *Rueful* I’m the person who takes out a half-dozen books from the library to chase down something to the point I think I have a rough idea what’s going on.

      For SAO technical stuff, I actually got a lot from Catsy and other authors discussing stuff on Spacebattles and the SAO forum on Fanfiction.net. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I used to write firmware. Given current technology, that’s where I’d place the hack. It would be neat to do it in hardware, but the hardware is touched by a lot of hands before it goes into production so any major oddity would be harder to hide. Firmware, on the other hand, is usually a very small team with very little oversight (unless you’re Intel or IBM and make lots of chips). The chip company I used to work for had exactly 3 people writing firmware.

        If you wanted to presume a hardware hack, Kabaya could have formed a small company to do a custom chip design and sold it as a game enhancer (like a souped up network or graphics card).

        Then, again, you have nanites so…anything goes.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Firmware is pretty basic knowledge. The firmware would have also needed extensive testing, but since Kayaba was ultimately in charge of everything’s architecture he could make sure there were security flaws he could exploit.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Everything in computer security comes ultimately rests on hardware. Hardware is made in factories which have a trained workforce and documentation. If Kayaba relies on a hardware hack, either the factories can be used to figure things out, he did something clever with the supply chain, or he did something clever to the factories. Here he has offworld tech, nanites, and so can use it to modify the devices after they are manufactured and tested. Since the modified versions probably have much higher statistics, they can run all the old, tested software and firmware on an emulator for the original hardware. Thus the dummy software that everyone thinks is production says everything is A OK. While the real client hardware and software, and real server hardware and software, is murdering folks and doing who knows what.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Oh goodie, SG1 gets to watch the story of Aincrad and learn just why the all the coma patients are acting like twitchy combatants that just got out of a war zone.

    I have to wonder if Kayaba only made a highlights reel (big events and floor boss fights) or also tossed in glimpses of the society that the players built over the two years of imprisonment.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. My guess would be both. The Heathcliff scam pretty much proves that he was in this for watching the human element of this nightmare unfold at least as much as any of his other motivators, imo. Why pass up a golden opportunity to show off his masterpiece?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. >As Northland will later point out, it’s not enough!>
        So they get just enough to realize how much they don’t know and have to go ask the players. Nicely done Kayaba.

        And understandable that they will need clarification. Trying to figure out the events of two years from watching a series of short videos would be like somebody trying to learn all the details of SAO’s plot by watching an AMV. For example:

        You might get some of the broad strokes but there are a lot of question marks.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. >*Nod* Very good point>
        Not to mention there can be information bias depending on who selects/compiles the videos.

        Hammond: “Miss Yui, I’m grateful for the help but we were hoping for a slightly broader view of the events in Aincrad.”

        Yui: “Mama and Papa are my most important people. Why shouldn’t I focus on them?”

        In the background Kirito and Asuna are both beet red from the various lovey-dovey clips that Yui has been showing while the other players are desperately trying to not laugh like hyenas.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Actually, *did* Kayaba make this highlights reel? That would imply that he is somehow watching the SGC closely enough that he knows the reintroduction of the players to the real world has been… less than optimal, and is atttempting to correct it.
    …and now I’m picturing Kayaba as some sort of sick guardian angel, virtually hovering over the players’ lives and ‘nudging’ them onto whatever his definition of the proper path is. (Shudders)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We can’t say if Kayaba predicted the degree of difficulty in player reintroduction. What I saw for the ‘highlight reel’ was Kayaba promoting Cardinal to record particular events for later (IE by the SGC) review.

      I have difficulty imagining it recording the entirety of all player actions for over two years to let Kayaba pick and choose the best bits.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. No, likely not. But he probably was recording on the beta testers from the start, then switching to other surviving players. Kirito’s one of the few betas who actually managed to adapt to the changes and keep going, so he definitely had Kayaba’s attention.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What is effectively a highlights reel does make sense for Kayaba’s ego. After all, he does want to show off just how clever he is.

    “Look, I’m so clever that nobody even knew I was their trusted comrade until towards the very end.”

    Does have the added bonus of getting SG-1 at some context about why the players have been reacting the way they have. And might make some of them face-palm at the some of the way they have been handling the situation so far – “Okay, that was a mistake. Let’s not do that no more.”

    Also, even as just some highlights they might see enough to start to get an inkling of why people are listening to Asuna. And Kirito can put the fear of him into people.

    Maybe also why some people have been none too gently hogtied and why even a twitch from them has them reaching for a sword that isn’t there.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Betrayal and deception tends to do that.

        I bet the twitches will make even more sense once they learn about Laughing Coffin and their MO.

        After it’s not paranoia if people really are out to get you.

        Maybe acknowledge that considering what Laughing Coffin has done, the players have been remarkably restrained by simply tying them and giving them the stink-eye.

        Through I imagine some people have at least some desire for one of them to try something. “Please try something stupid you PK scum so I can justifiably break your face.”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. >I bet the twitches will make even more sense once they learn about Laughing Coffin and their MO.>
        Jack: “Right I think we just got a good notion of what that kid meant when she said ‘derentis’. It’s shorthand for ‘psycho indiscriminate serial-killer and torturer’. “

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I was just hit by a terrifying thought. Does Daniel know what //dentis// means already or does he need to research it? If he needs to research it first, that’s more time for someone to make a (fatal) mistake…

    Also — yay. More proof Kayaba is a thorough SOB. Because not only would it require the massive amount of research insinuated on the comment higher up to set everything up inside the NervGear just right to pull this off, he also would have had to do a heck of a lot of research into //biology//. And that’s just to get the NervGear to not kill people on accident, to say nothing of what havoc he loosed on the player’s DNA.

    …is Kayaba even dead in this AU? Nightmare Fuel!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. >…is Kayaba even dead in this AU? Nightmare Fuel!>
      Well it depends on what one considers ‘dead’. As per canon the guy is a ghost in the machine/internet after his Nervegear scanned his brain at the moment of death (when SAO shut down). While said scan got the data, his brain ended up medium well-done in the process.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. A Ghost in the Machine? Then he’s not dead enough. Quick! Someone grab the Major! She’ll fix him! (The one from Ghost in the Shell. Though Carter would be handy in… er… debugging this issue, too.)

        …fudge. Bunny for adoption? GitS/SAO? Though, granted, the Major would //break everything// just by breathing…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. >A Ghost in the Machine? Then he’s not dead enough. Quick! Someone grab the Major! She’ll fix him! (The one from Ghost in the Shell. Though Carter would be handy in… er… debugging this issue, too.)>
        Problem is that he’s very likely not ‘just’ on the internet due to a few factors.

        1. We’re not sure what Kayaba intends after his death/ascension/upload but I really doubt he’d stick around in the SAO servers in case the players/SGC smash them.

        2. Human computers have been shown to roughly interface with the Stargates which apparently have a sort of quantum network (or something) to keep aligned.

        3. Vathara is using Kryal’s “Stargate/DHD may download grammar and vocab to your head.”

        4. Kayaba uploaded languages into the players heads to the point where they can effortlessly speak American English (see Silica) that many never learned and all have a special ‘Aincrad’ language that has Abydonian words and Japanese dialect along with some Ancient loanwords sprinkled in.

        My guess is that the Nervegears and Servers are/were at least partially connected to the Stargate network in order to get said language (along with potentially other bits of knowledge). End result Kayaba is bouncing around the stargate network somewhere or sifting through an Ancient database that is connected to it.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. And here comes cybergeddon ala kayaba. There are enemies you don’t leave breathing before you even give them your side. Kayaba is not so much the dogged pursuer that doesn’t stop (think team rocket but competent) but he still has the drive to create SAO which is one heck of a long plot to get working. Especially with only himself as the only person on his side. Gotta say though, if he used his powers for actually morally good things….well maybe bye bye cancer or maybe just world hunger. Just saying.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. World Hunger is not a technical problem. World Hunger is essentially an artifact of a bunch of different human systems. Altering human systems to desire by technocratic means (which is what most proposals are) does not work. Trying very hard to make it work, being utterly unrelenting in determination, is a really good way to creep into mass murder.

        Cancer may be a bunch of different pathological conditions that only look the same. If the mechanisms are all different, a single cure probably isn’t happening.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Yeah. Life, Liberty, and Property isn’t generally the sort of sexy that appeals to technocratic ‘change the world’ fetishists. Kayaba’s ego would probably be bored to tears. To support ‘life, liberty, and property’ is to be one of hundreds of thousands to millions of advocates advancing ideas put together by hundreds to thousands of minds better suited to that than one’s own. It doesn’t even get one a social reputation for intelligence; the ideas that win that reputation are ones that flatter intellectual academics by suggesting that everything would be better if they were running things.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. See, my vote is “alive, kicking, and causing more mayhem” in this AU. In vanilla SAO, Aincrad was the endgame, he had no reason to continue once it was gone. But in this world, where Aincrad existed not just so that Kayaba could live out his fantasy, but so that he could shape humanity’s future… why on earth would he want to bite the big one before the end of his ultimate campaign? Even if Kayaba’s not the DM of his personal universe anymore, he’s still a major player (at least in his twisted little mind) and I have no doubt that he will continue to try to influence events. Maybe by running a new SAO-style experiment. Maybe by screwing with the players directly via ‘helpful information’ or ‘system patches’ (if I were Kirito and Asuna, this would be something I had nightmares about, considering they were his favorites by the end of the game) Either way, saving humanity is his new mission, and I have no doubt he’ll do his best to see it through to the end.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m thinking the same thing, that he is still out their carrying out his mission. I think, by this point, he IS one of the Major Players in the game. He might not be correct about EVERYTHING but he knows enough and is ruthless enough that he is almost by definition going to change the balancing act the SGC is operating under. Whether that is a GOOD thing or not is entirely secondary to the fact that he is going to change the way the game is played…if only by his attempts to blow the SGC wide open.

        Hmm…as to where he got all the info to do a lot of this…I wonder if he did what Jack did in that episode and stuck his head into the Ancient Archive Device…right before scanning his brain.

        Liked by 2 people

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