Waking to Another Sky Ch3 bit – Evac

Demon, Janet decided, hair standing up on the back of her neck as the blue-furred, goat-headed giant slashed out again, snake-headed tail hissing. Twenty feet if it was an inch, with a massive blade to match, held as casually as a Marine would grip his K-Bar. That Kirito could even deflect the blade enough to dodge seemed impossible, much less that he was also dodging rings of blue fire licking upward from thin channels on the dark-stone floors.

The image panned up and wide, from Kirito’s desperate battle to a dozen-odd shaking casualties on the floor, armor and weapons cracked and battered. Klein, Asuna, and the rest of Fuurinkazan were pulling out the wounded, with the sort of desperate hurry Janet had seen on her rare trips through the ‘Gate when everything went to hell.

October 18th, Aincrad Year Two, appeared across the bottom of the screen. Seventy-fourth floor boss fight: The Gleam Eyes.

“That’s not a fight, that’s an evac,” Janet whispered, heart in her throat even though she knew this was past and over. “They’re running out of time.” He’s taking hits. There’s too many down for his friends to evac. He can’t keep this up

Klein! Asuna!- Kirito deflected the blade to one side in a shower of sparks. -Hold it off; I need ten seconds!

Leaving the rest of Fuurinkazan, the other two dove in to keep the Gleam Eyes at bay.

Oh god, kid; ten seconds is a long time in a fight!

From the grim looks on their faces, Asuna and Klein knew that just as well as she did.

And they’re going in anyway….

Klein headed in first; trading a blow to force it to concentrate on him, before its second strike batted him away like a dazed wasp. Asuna darted into the opening he’d made-

No way.

Asuna ran up the spine of the demon’s blade, unleashing a green fury of blows into its chest. Let herself spin and fall, ducking under a massive fist by a hair’s breadth.

Klein’s katana licked out to slash under the furred armpit. Even armored, he was blindingly fast; dancing in and out of the demon’s range to give Asuna another opening.

But they haven’t fought together, Janet realized. Not like Kirito and Asuna have. They don’t have the same rhythm

It almost killed them.

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53 thoughts on “Waking to Another Sky Ch3 bit – Evac

  1. I’d complain about evil cliffhangers, but I think they are required by a bylaw somewhere for writers. *G*

    Now the waiting begins to see the form Starburst Stream takes in this universe.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Though out of all the questions that SG1 ask about the Gleam Eyes fight depending on when the video started, the big one will be ‘how did it go this FUBAR?’

    Because the previous clips have shown the players planning out boss fights insanely carefully. And yet this one seems to have fallen apart completely requiring a rather messy evac.

    I suspect that when Kibaou’s ‘leadership’ of the ALC (along with the rather desperate/reckless gambles to retain power at this point and later with Tinker’s attempted assassination) is laid out, SG1’s opinion will be rather low.

    Jack: “Joy. And here I was hoping that Kinsey was a unique phenomenon.”

    Liked by 3 people

      1. See, I consider screw ups to be people that just can’t/won’t do the assigned tasks. People that are motivated by active malice are something else altogether

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Hopefully by the end of “Sword Art Online: As Told by Kayaba” the SGC will at least understand that a) splitting apart the players will probably go about as well as outsiders attempting to turn the crew against each other and b) Asuna is very much in charge, and very tired of your nonsense.
    Those would be two big steps for the players and the military to start getting along. (And heaven help anyone that doesn’t get the message, because going by what happened the last time Kayaba decided to take drastic action… well, meep.)

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’ll admit, my first reaction after reading this was, “did the post-75th floor boss attack on Heathcliff/Kayaba and subsequent duel trigger an automatic “Final Boss Showdown” recording, and if so, will it pop up in the highlight reel given Kayaba’s penchant for both dramatics and carefully engineered information withholding?”

    …I mean, it feels like one of those things that would a) fit beautifully either way, and b) be withheld until the full chapter for the sake of Awesome, but I can’t help but wonder…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Demon, Janet decided

    Probably alien, actually. Through it’s easy to understand why that’s her reaction.

    But they haven’t fought together, Janet realized. Not like Kirito and Asuna have. They don’t have the same rhythm–

    Fighting together without getting in each other’s way and actually being helpful to the other takes practice. Lots of practice. And trust. Klein and Asuna trust each other enough – they just don’t have enough practice.

    Even with more practice, they probably wouldn’t be as smooth as Kirito and Asuna. Because some can work well enough with each other while others just mesh. Kirito and Asuna mesh.

    Despite the fact that he made it to show off, portions of the highlights reel might be handy for pounding certain truths through other skulls about the players. Both in the US and in Japan. Because a lot of them are going be like Janet and go “Why? They were just in a coma, weren’t they?”

    Even with the highlights reel, I have the feeling that some people are not going to get that their loved one is different. Or otherwise just to expect them to fall back into whatever niche they were fulfilling before and for that some that is so not in the cards.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even the low levels aren’t going to be able to fall back. Two years is a long time, and there’s been a level of stress and responsibility they’ve been under that will have caused certain advances is maturity. Also, under twelves are an incredibly adaptable group. After two years, they’re used to watching adults with suspicion. Regardless of the ACL members who tried to bully them, Laughing Coffin and other killers.

      The mid levels evolved a hunter/gatherer society, and a Vathara knows tech level. They craft. They’ve gotten used to the idea that they might just have a bad day and not come back.

      The clearers and high levels? They’ve gotten used being the tip of the spear. They’re the pioneers of the survivors. Combat changes people. It doesn’t have to be negative, but there are going to be issues with adapting back to a peaceful society. As said in A Change of Fate, they’ve lost the habit of staying out of trouble. Everyone who made it out of the Town of Beginnings did.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. *nods*

        Thinking that with some of the players that little fact – that none of them are the same as they were – is going to be more obvious in some than others.

        Some of the players themselves might try to pretend that they are still the same for one reason or another.

        And that fact that people often see what they want to see. Especially when the truth is something unpleasant or inconvenient.

        Like, let’s say, you were planning on your daughter becoming a dutiful, corporate wife whose looks are more important than her brain . . . that your daughter is now a tough warrior who survived incredible odds and is used to people listening to her and respecting her opinions would be very inconvenient.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. >Daniel already has suspicions of exactly what Kayaba had in mind. He’s not far off – and there’s a good reason to have a lot of young people in the mix.>
        Evacuation of Earth when the Snakes finally run out of patiance and test the Asgard’s bluff? Because in that case the survivors would be losing most/all of Earth’s tech base, industrial capabilities and knowledge because the various Alpha sites looked more like pre-fab military outposts then anything self-sustaining.

        You want to maintain a 21st century civilization? You’re going to need a lot more then what was shown on screen.

        So Kayaba has given a large group of people the abilities, knowledge and skills to not only survive but potentially thrive when tossed into a completely unknown and dangerous world.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. >*G* Hammond likes the way you think.>
        Thanks.

        Because if Goa’uld ships showed up they would have hours at most to evac as many people as possible through the stargate. So by and large you would not get the full range of people and skills needed to maintain 21st century equipment. Particulary when a lot of our equipment is designed for obsolescence.

        I can see Hammond pulling some stunts in regards to the Alpha set similar to what’s being done IRL with Open Source Ecology and the Global Village Construction Set (google them, they got some fun ideas). But even with the tools, you need people with the knowledge and capability to continue on after the Earth is captured/destroyed. And while SGC is adaptable, in an evacuation you’re new ‘colony’ would have soldiers, researchers, politicians and maybe some people from the nearby town etc.

        Not exactly the best mix for rebuilding/maintaining Terran society.

        But if you add in the players (minus the Orange players depending on crimes etc) you have close to 6,000 people with very useful skills.

        The ability to adapt and explore new/dangerous environments: Do I need to say anything here? *G*

        Utilizing local plants and animals for food: Cooking as a Skill probably includes how to prepare and test would-be ingredients beforehand in this AU.

        Harvesting and utilizing local materials for tools, weapons and contruction: The crafters would have this covered.

        Animal husbandry: Silica and the other tamers.

        And so on. The players might not cver every need, but they can will in a lot of the blanks. Hammond might hate Kayaba for what he’s done to these people he’s still grafteful. Because these are the perfect people to send through the gate to the Alpha site in case the Earth is lost.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. So good. Given the progression, and the timing, I’m not sure if Sg1 will be getting to see Skull Reaper…which…that fight. In a sealed no way out, get it right the first time or die fight, with what is more or less the melee equivalent of a battleship.

    As someone who has done MMO raiding – Skull Reaper is the kind of boss that usually wipes raids for weeks before someone gets it right.

    The Clearers were taking it more seriously than raiders in a game that is still a game, sure.
    It’s still the kind of thing that, in a game, would be expected* to wipe out the whole raid, Repeatedly. Untill everyone has both the needed gear level and the practice at it’s specific mechanics.

    And the clearers got it right the first time..well enough to clear it with ‘only’ 14 deaths.

    Which is both terrible casualties – 14 in 48, more than 25% – and very very impressive from the standpoint of MMO boss encounters. A very large number of boss fights are designed so that having 14 deaths early in the encounter would guarantee a full party kill. The remaining members wouldn’t have enough damage output to kill the boss before it hits it’s ‘Enrage’ timer – and kills the whole raid.

    SAO might not use this mechanic – but it seems to hit all the other MMO tropes squarely on the head, so I severely doubt it wouldn’t.

    This is pretty estoeric knowledge, too…I wonder how long it would take Sg1 to be let in on that tidbit of game designer habits.

    If they ever are, the reaction should be entertaining.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Explosions are entertaining. 🙂

        Plus Danny has twenty languages worth of words to insult Kayaba with.

        Also how tempting are people finding the idea of locking Kayaba in a room and telling everyone “You have one minute each, nothing fatal. Go!”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Definetly ouch.

        One could argue he deserves it. And some of them might just yell instead of hit him.

        They probably won’t do but they’ll think about it. Someone probably suggests it with the usual “don’t tempt me” response.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I just can’t help but to think of this scene from SAO abridged

    SAO abridged actually has less plot-holes and more character development than the original show.

    Like

      1. ATM I think we finally got the worst of it handled, for a while. RL is just going to suck for the foreseeable future. Though it should be a little less hectic.

        Currently getting started on the first major round of edits on Seeds of Blood, sequel to A Net of Dawn and Bones. I want to put another book out this year if I can! *Crosses fingers, knocks on wood!*

        Liked by 1 person

      2. *attempts to tie up the Dread One so he doesn’t interfere and lets your life be less interesting so that this happens faster and easier.* Yay books! I shall mark them on my Christmas/birthday lists and you will probably get emailed by my friend who has turned “Giving Leah signed Vathara books” into a birthday tradition. I haven’t seen her since my birthday this year, but she has given hints…

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Maybe with all this background, and proof of combat skills and player politics, Jack will finally understand that Asuna does what he does but with less back-up, and a better sense of style. He might even stop being such an ass.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Jack will never stop being an ass. He may realize that there are better people to be an ass to, though. I suspect that when the players finally meet the Tokra, they will find his particular brand of assery entertaining, if they have managed to get past his initial kee-jerk reaction by that time.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Hmm…You know, SG1 don’t seem to be really caught up in the ‘game’ functions of stuff…which leads me to believe that they might underestimate the significance of Duel Blades. Or rather, the 10 seconds of standing absolutely still in the middle of a fire fight to get out of combat so you can switch weapons while your friends are struggling to survive.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. With all the tech-nerds that staff R&D? There has to be someone there who uses RPGs and MMOs as therapeutic stress relief! I can see someone there getting something like Halo, if only for the freedom of dropping grenades/whatever on Annoying/Infuriating Aliens. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. *nods*

        And they need to snag one of those people and have them watch the highlights reel – they will pick up on stuff that is gamer stuff or can explain it. Stuff that SG-1 and the rest will miss because they aren’t gamers. Or they’ll see it but not know what it may mean or why it may be important / significant. And a bunch of other stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

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