Waking to Another Sky Ch4 bit – Scissors Aren’t Enough

We brought Sword Art Online out with us. Klein shivered a little, remembering the mingled unease and outright glee he’d felt at Kirito’s simple, “Scan works.”

Because knowing how to use a katana? Awesome. Utterly. But he’d spent two years leveling up his Curved Swords know-how. Teach the brain, the body stood a chance of catching on. It was weird, but it wasn’t impossible

IMing works. Even if it’s just a little – how the hell did Kayaba do that?

…And Kirito’s avoiding the problem. Go figure. “Yeah,” Klein agreed. “We need some space. Big-time. We were all spread over seventy-odd levels, and now six thousand of us are jammed in the same building. Bites.” Maybe not so much for the Japanese contingent of the survivors… nah. He’d seen Kirito adjust to Aincrad’s wide-open spaces. The Black Swordsman felt just as hemmed in as the rest of them. “So. What’d you find?”

Shivering a little, Kirito pointed to the document open on the screen. Complete with little pictures of DNA helices, and some funny light-and-dark banded pictures like ones Klein remembered seeing on detective shows. DNA fingerprinting, with captions that… whoa. No wonder Kirito was shaking.

“They think,” Kirito gulped, scanning the text again. “They think we have nonhuman DNA in us. That Kayaba… whatever he put in the NervGear, it didn’t just access our nervous system. It genetically engineered us.”

“Hair and eyes,” Klein stated, suddenly glad he’d never done that particular low-level quest. And what a shock that had been once the NervGear started coming off. Some hair that ended regular brown or black had long roots of silver, blue, pink; you name it. A lot of people had borrowed some of the scissors Argo had filched, either to cut a Gordian knot of incurable bed-head, or to trim off bits that just weren’t them anymore.

A few of the nurses had tried to talk people out of that. Usually the ones who’d stared the most at people’s eyes. As if scissors would fix that.

Kirito shook his head. “I don’t think Bluebook even knew about that. They’re looking at… blood proteins, I think. Hormones. Antibodies. Ours – aren’t all human anymore.” He skimmed another page. “They identified at least three… levels of alterations. Low modification is almost normal human. Then there’s medium, and high-mod. Though a few months ago they suggested they should split those last two groups, and make five levels. There’s supposed to be a file of names in the appendix… damn it, Otherworld names-”

“Save a copy, we’ll sort it out later,” Argo said firmly. “Breathe, Ki-bou. We’re all in the same mess, ne?”


41 thoughts on “Waking to Another Sky Ch4 bit – Scissors Aren’t Enough

  1. And Kirito just went through the SGC’s computer security like a chainsaw through warm butter. Helps that he was on the inside of the toughest defenses but still.

    I wonder what else they’ll manage to dig up before SG1 comes back?

    Klein: “Why is there a security camera clip of Silica’s fuzzball with a Nervegear on it’s head?”

    >A few of the nurses had tried to talk people out of that. Usually the ones who’d stared the most at people’s eyes. As if scissors would fix that.>
    Not good. Some Otherworld people are getting twitchy and it’s only going to get worse when the enhanced abilities and Skills get demonstrated etc.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Heh. First time (and hey, all subsequent times!) I read that paragraph, I was: Klein just pointed out, the “dull” hair and eyes aren’t who they are any more. This is not something that will be giving SG-1, the medical staff, and everyone else a happy.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. >This is not something that will be giving SG-1, the medical staff, and everyone else a happy.>
        Particularly when the players want to go outside and/or interact with their families again.

        For example Lisbeth/Shinozaki Rika now has pink hair and eyes. Before she even steps out of the building there are probably going to be demands that she dye her hair along with wearing colored contacts and/or sunglasses to appear ‘normal’.

        I can see that rubbing a lot of players the wrong way. Because as you said, this is who they are now. And these people are now demanding that they hide it, as if it was something wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Dyed hair isn’t too bad in America, so decent cover story for undyed player hair, you might want sunglasses anyway outside in Colorado when snow covers ground, and military fashion apparently does go for sunglasses a bit. Integration back into Japanese society? The idea of them having Ichigo’s experience in Bleach does amuse my horrible sense of humor.


    1. As Kirito said, Doctors, save maybe Janet, most consider computer security a hassle. So thing like password123, or the number of the month on the end password is probably most of them. Or he found someone’s password on a sticknote under the keyboard at a nurse’s station.

      That is, well I’m wondering if age and treachery are at play here. This is information they can’t keep back, and they need the players to trust it, and that whatever the Airforce hired Kayaba to do, he hijacked it away from them for his own twisted ends.

      What if Hammond expects this to happen, and let it? To get the Guilds to see that the Air Force at least sees Kayaba as an enemy too?

      Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s even a way that, if properly presented, might convince higher-ups that yes, Bluebook really *does* need those upgraded computers they’ve been trying to requisition for the past three years.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. If they don’t already, everyone there is going to hate the word “surprise” especially if the sentence contains the name Kayaba.

    The Black Swordsman felt just as hemmed in as the rest of them.

    It probably doesn’t help that Kirito is an introvert and therefore needs time by himself. And space. Without other people in it.

    A lot of the players are probably introverts.

    And even those that aren’t . . . well, living practically in each other’s pockets grates on everyone’s nerves.

    Also even tied up, I don’t think anyone wants to spend more time than is necessary around the orange players.
    Especially the ones who are trying to be civilized but fighting the urge to do what their well-honed danger sense telling them to do – eliminate the threat.
    “Get them away from me before I do something I probably won’t regret.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dr. Fraizer is ready to break out the restraints for any orange player she discovers. Jack? It might only be his duty that keeps him from saying “I’m gonna take a walk, try to finish up be I get back?” Teal’c? He’d offer to stand outside by the door to make sure they weren’t interrupted.

      Another thing to consider, I’m not sure how the demographics break down, but several of the players were mid-teens. Also till July of 2015 the age of majority in Japan was 20 (18 now). So how many of them are legally under age at least in Japan? Word they woke up is going to make things even more ‘tense’ if there is any blocking of getting Japanese reps in there.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Fun thought.

    How much of what the NetGear+ disconnected the body from was simulated in SAO and transferred back to the body?

    In particular, stress adaptation. Clearers are used to stress in the game. They may even need it, there is some evidence that this is a thing that can happen. What happens if they get up to a high level of stress, even combat stress, and their bodies cannot take it?

    Medics probably have data on what happened with blood pressure, heart rate, etc…, maybe even muscle tension, but it is not clear that they would have figured it out. Or perhaps it would’ve been a minority opinion.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Simple exercise would probably be a good way to accustom the players to any difference in in-game stress vs IRL stress. Can’t really send them out to play in the quad (assuming there is one) without shoes, and shoes would let them fly the coop, so… corridor running?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Ten to one someone gets into a sparring match or duel that ranges out of whatever room their in and along at least one corridor.

        Liked by 3 people

      1. The hospital isn’t inside the mountain. At worst they’ll set it on fire.

        It’d be neat to cross SAO with something that’d result in uncontrolled powers capable of starting fires.

        Heretical Edge would also be amusing, even if it wouldn’t do that.

        Liked by 3 people

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