Waking to Another Sky Ch3 bit – Rollercoaster

“General, I’ve ordered suicide watches posted. Many of these people act as if… no, they have just come out of combat. Computer-based or not. And all of them have been seriously dislocated from the reality they knew for the past two years. They need time to decompress. To figure out how things work in this world again.” Wry humor twitched Janet’s mouth. “Including bathrooms. Whatever Kayaba did left all the parts in working order, but – they’re still fumbling with sinks.” She shrugged. “Seriously, sir. It’s a major issue for coma patients. They have to come to terms with the fact that perfect strangers have been taking care of their bodies for two years. And a lot of these people are teenagers. Talk about death by mortification.”

From the faintly mortified look on the general’s face, he was imagining his own granddaughters in that situation. And didn’t like it much. “Let’s get this over with.”

“And some,” Kayaba’s voice chuckled, “truly rose to the challenge.”

-Hang on!-

One arm wrapped around the pink-haired smith, Kirito leapt off an icy wall into a backwards somersault, sword drawn-

The blade plunged into glistening white scales of a dragon’s back.

“No. Way,” Jack breathed.

Bigger than a Huey, the monster swerved and rolled as it soared upward through a chasm of ice, trying to shake loose its painful hitchhikers. Gritting his teeth against the wind, Kirito held them both tight to its back; gaze flickering between sword, dragon’s head, edge of the endless ice pit-

Sunlight.

Screaming, both were flung loose into empty air.

“Urk,” Jack managed, as the image of the snowfield shrank. “Someone needs to get that kid a rope.”

“You’re just jealous you didn’t get to do it,” Daniel murmured.

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72 thoughts on “Waking to Another Sky Ch3 bit – Rollercoaster

  1. “You’re just jealous you didn’t get to do it,” Daniel murmured.

    I agree with Daniel.

    Totally jealous.

    Through a rope probably would have been handy . . . through it is possible he did have one, just didn’t have time to get it out of his inventory.

    . . . . they’re still fumbling with sinks.”

    Besides embarrassment, another reason for that is not realizing their own strength. At least in the higher level ones. Fumbling is better than breaking.

    Also if what I’ve read is accurate, they didn’t have to wash-wash in game. The system cleaned up their in-game bodies and clothes.

    But yeah embarrassment at realizing that someone, likely several someones, has seen your . . . everything . . . for two years . . . . cue giant blush.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ja’far: “No, you can’t keep him. Or the Asuna girl.”
      Simon: “But-”
      Ja’far: “No!”
      Simon: “But what if they want to stay?” *big pleading eyes*
      Ja’far: *tries to resist – really, this shouldn’t work on him anymore – and sighs* “Fine! Only if they want to stay and you have to ask. Actually ask with your words. And you are doing all of the paperwork that results from this!”

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Side note: It would not surprise me if some of the nastiness that has spilled over from the Stargate and SGC’s general hanging-on-by-their-fingernails, that the local ruhk was already kinda of messed up.

        Through the SAO stuff might read as nastier to Kings and Magi simply because of many people were trapped and died in that trap – it’s a lot like that tower they destroyed in Boston in some ways.

        Still – the Mountain and the Gate probably screams “Fix this mess!” to those who are sensitive to it.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That sounds about right.

        Does explain a few things.

        It wasn’t that they never came up with crossover ideas or crazy crossover ideas before but I did notice a sharp uptick after I started reading your work.

        Through they have always been willing to spread their crazy around. My bunnies claim it is not out of a desire to wreak havoc (big fat fib) or because they are infectious (equally false) but because sharing is caring and they are very sweet-tempered souls . . . (biggest fib of them all).

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’ve been noodling around with a rather silly mess of concepts. ‘What if all the bad things are covertly happening in the Bay area, and when Frank Parker backsteps, he inadvertently calls in more?’ As I was poking at it, I realized that there was a simple explanation.

        *Spoilers for Zelazny’s Amber*

        Corwin drew his Pattern in the outskirts of Sunnydale during the night of ‘Halloween’.

        All all y’all’s fault.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Creativity is trained habit that searches prior art and the whole world for solutions to problems.

        Bunnies are when someone has a strong sense that ‘these patterns match, and should be executed’.

        Brainstorming and other forms of collaborative pattern matching train the sense of pattern matching.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Re: Crossover Commando Bunny: Yes, you do. I cannot count the number of times that blasted Bunny has snuck into my corral and poked my Bunnies into crossovers.

        (Then again… AHH. BotW. ATtC. DotH. HotP. PoA. Soul Gems. The Pack (fanfic version). PB (sort of). RuroSen. That’s at least 10 times.)

        Liked by 2 people

      1. >Though that scene in GATE was awesome.>
        One can occasionally find a diamond within the waste heap.

        Like one SB fic that actually makes the setting semi-interesting instead of just a stupid stomp fest: Gatehammer Fantasy Battles where you have Warhammer Fantasy meeting Falmart.

        Though now unfortunately my inner Stomp bunnies tossed up an idea of a What Comes Around/Gate cross involving the Empire’s army meeting the Kings, Simon’s generals and Morgan when they invade, potentialy popping out right in front of Hancock High. The phrase ‘Oh by Solomon what Horrible Violence’ comes to mind. Along with Morgan aggressively defending her territory from Rory, who thinks Alan’s cute.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Morgan and Amon – he’s their human, hands off his soul!

        Now I have the image of Amon and Morgan with Alan between them glaring at someone and snarling “MINE!” at the same time. . . . Alibaba might be there looking as fierce as he can be and nodding in agreement with Amon and Morgan.

        Alan is tore between flattered and very embarrassed. He’s blushing hard enough that it’s probably both.

        Ba’al and the General might have considered this amusing (and on some level they do, blushing Alan is always funny) but they heard that soul comment and give what happened in their past lives . . . they are also draped all over their King and snarling “MINE!”

        Simon also has mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, he’s flattered and he loves a group hug. On the other, he hates seeing that haunted look in Ja’far’s (and now Tiburon’s too) eyes when they remember certain events from their past lives.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. If getting used to bodies wasn’t bad enough, a significant number are now getting used to bodies with optimized STR and DEX. They probably aren’t going to get comfortable with themselves until they’re around high quality metal and stoneware they don’t have to worry about breaking. Which most modern buildings don’t have on hand. It must be pretty weird to not just be worrying about how your body works, but if it’ll break whatever you’re holding if you’re not careful.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Yeeeeah, suicide watches for some of these people might be a good idea. There have to be at least some cases of people that killed other players when they were attacked (I don’t know how possible it would be for an average player to disable someone non-lethally, especially if they were attacked outside a town) not to mention the victims that were captured by Laughing Coffin… they need serious counseling. Pity the players don’t trust the SGC enough at this point to open up. Doubly a pity that the base psychologist is an incompetent hack. (Again, just my understanding from reading fanfic, I haven’t watched much Stargate)

    Liked by 3 people

      1. There was a scene in Iron Man 3 with Tony and Bruce. Tony didn’t want to go see a real therapist, and a real therapist wouldn’t get half the stuff he had to talk about, so he elected Bruce, with a fancy therapist couch and all the fixings. Bruce’s only comment on the whole thing was, “I’m sorry, I’m not that kind of doctor. I’m not a therapist.” This is after he fell asleep on Tony less than 5 minutes into the beginning of the ‘session.’

        I suspect hitting things also helps, and there will be many chances to hit things.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. He could have a bigger dragon species if it was one that starts off small and grows slowly.

        Another factor is on how long he planned to have them hooked up to the NerveGear.

        Lifetime? Probably stick to small ones that are easier to feed and stay small enough to be easily handled (in theory – Pina will probably ‘easily handled’ all over someone – most likely someone trying to keep her away from her human).

        Periods of time? More flexible.

        Through I’m betting smaller simply because he cannot be sure he can get more alien lifeforms later and it was better to structure everything around what he absolutely did have rather than bank on what he might be able to acquire later.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Frankly, it was already a logistical nightmare from the start.

        Getting the building; getting the hidden subbasements constructed; getting the fauna through the Gate; then hooking them all up to the Nervegears and seeing to it they were taken care of?

        In SAO canon Kayaba had one person whose job was taking care of him where he’d hidden himself for his time in the game. Room and equipment for one patient and one caretaker is far easier than this and requires far less in the way of others’ cooperation. I can believe the NID helped him set some of it up to a point, but after he sprung his little surprise on the world with SAO the NID would’ve needed one heck of an incentive to keep pouring funds into the maintenance and care of all those lifeforms.

        So creatures great as well as small? Not stretching my willing suspension of disbelief that much farther.

        I figure the actual limit is if he could reasonably fit it through the ‘Gate… which does rule out the dragon, I suspect.

        No matter how funny Kazuto’s face would be when he saw it IRL.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Kayaba does have one incentive to coerce the NID with. Blackmail. As long as he can keep them from murdering him and erasing all his deadman’s switch messages, he can tell the world what they were doing with him. As long as he doesn’t push too far, this should be more effective on the NID than it would on the SGC.

        If feedings are the problem, perhaps he has a giant robot down there in a really hidden secret sub basement. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I bet some of the most unhappy people are the item crafters. Sure, Kayaba probably made the recipies relevant to real-world things, but they can’t get any mats!
    …And once they let on that they know anything, Sam and the rest of the science crew will be bugging them nonstop.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not just their mats but all their equipment. I mean we’ve seen Lisbeth’s setup in SAO. Think of the sheer amount of time, effort and money she needed to pour into getting that smithy up and running And then there was the equal time and expense in mats/equipment to grind all those fabrication skills.

      Years of hard and risky effort (that crystal dragon poo can’t have been the only mat that was dangerous to collect) just gone in a puff of electrons.

      When Liz and co manage to get some time to breath after the current crisis, I suspect they are going to be grumpy until they get at least some of the tools of their trades back. Won’t help that SGC will probably try to confiscate some of the products/produced tools because ‘the metallurgy is impossible etc etc, we need to study this now’.

      -WHAM-
      Lisbeth: “You can have my tools when you pry them from my cold dead hands!”

      Asuna: “Lis-chan you knocked him unconscious. He can’t hear you.

      Lisbeth: “The others can and they’ll fill him in.”
      —-
      Thinker: “And that Colonel, is one of the reasons we fighters don’t mess with a crafter’s gear.”

      Jack: “Great, an entire society of Carters.”

      Carter: “Sir!”

      Jack: “What? I’ve seen you and the rest of the lab crew can get like with any new alien gizmos.”

      Liked by 6 people

      1. >*G* In this case, I think Jack would be properly wary!>
        Well of course he is. He works with Carter after all.

        But why should he be the only member of the SGC getting his hand slapped (figuratively or otherwise) by the players?

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Some of the younger ones would also have put on some growth in two years, and some of the older ones would be waking up to middle age.

    Re: materials, I guess crafters would probably have a bad tendency to confiscate all the art therapy stuff.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. >Some of the younger ones would also have put on some growth in two years, and some of the older ones would be waking up to middle age.>

      The latter might depend for the mid-tiers and clearers at least. Aging is basically the process of the body’s systems slowly breaking down after we pass our prime. And we know that the nanite systems were apparently keeping even the low level players perfectly healthy. If that effect remains even partially now that they are disconnected from the game,the players are going t have very long healthy lives.

      As for the clearers? They’re fun. Remember that Kirito crushed a porcelain and steel sink by gripping it too hard. He didn’t punch or strike the object, it was a steady squeeze that did it. I don’t know the amount of force needed to pull that off but I’m fairly confident that ordinary human bones, muscles and tendons can’t apply that much, no matter how buff you get. And let’s not forget the high ranked battle healing that Kirito demonstrated in game which has probably translated IRL as well.

      The clearers skeletomuscular system has to have been rebuilt from the ground up. Because if just one part got enhanced they’d probably rip themselves apart any time they strained. I don’t know what they’re now made of but I suspect Janet and co have needed to get ‘creative’ when taking samples during autopsies since traditional tools just aren’t strong enough to cut the modified tissues.

      And here’s the really fun part: metabolism. There is no such thing as a free lunch and any bit of energy a living organism uses has to come from somewhere. The stunts that we’ve seen of the players (super speed, enhanced senses-potentially an active scan, enhanced strength) can’t be cheap in energy terms. And yet they aren’t tired and their bodies aren’t metabolizing any and every reserve which would result in intense hunger. Meaning energy efficiency has been enhanced through the roof or they have another source

      So it is very likely that every single cellular (and subcellular) system in all the players bodies has been modified extensively.

      End result? It’s very possible that the players are going to be in the ‘prime of their lives’ for a very extended period of time.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Ceramics can be pretty brittle, and what humans can do to steel depends on thickness and configuration. Scene is clearly meant to show off the super strength mod, so the assumption is probably still correct.

        But we haven’t actually had it confirmed that the effects will be longer life instead of shorter life. Author’s MO probably means it won’t be shorter, but that is OOC knowledge.

        Liked by 3 people

  6. They should also add on different bathroom culture. Also back to me thinking about the poor players trying to figure out how to turn a knob and the fine art of temp control on an unfamiliar shower. Someone might scald themselves. Ok know I’m pondering what type of toilets are in this building, are there auto flush ones and who’s the poor player that get’s the evil one that likes to flush while you but the seat cover on?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Do you think that the modifications may be the only reason that over half the players don’t scald themselves? It could be interesting to see the reactions of the medical staff when they figured out that the reason only low-level players were burning themselves wasn’t because they were having more difficulty than high-level players adjusting to the real world showers.

      Liked by 3 people

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