Waking to Another Sky Ch4 bit – Tempting Murphy

“Where the heck is he?” Jack asked the ward at large, looking for long black hair.

Janet didn’t glance up from applying a bandage to a wide-eyed boy’s scraped knee, cutting off threatening tears and babble about safe zones with one wave of a wrapped lime-green Lifesaver. Lucky kid. “If I had to guess, Colonel, I’d say Murray is still downstairs. He likes the company.”

Okay, ow, that was Doc giving him a bit of cold shoulder. Which went along with what he’d gotten from eavesdropping on her brief follow-up with the general.

“Colonel O’Neill has repeatedly ignored invitations to pun, and accrued multiple counts of Tempting Murphy. Mandatory R&R recommended immediately. Before he tempts Murphy again.”

Hmph. Like he didn’t know when he needed a break. Even if he had, this mess was way too big to take time off now. Six-thousand-odd confused survivors; they needed somebody to be the face of the SGC. And it had to be somebody they could yell and get mad at, who wouldn’t take it personally, so that Janet and her staff could do their jobs and take care of the biological wreckage Kayaba had left behind.

“Not Murray,” Jack grumbled, checking on the rest of his team. That flash of tied-back red hair was one over-ambitious Marine trying to chat Sam up for a date. Daniel had cornered Mills and another pair, one silver-haired young woman and a curly-headed guy with a bemused look, probably asking them awesome anthropological questions about what a merchant did in Kayaba’s world. And Asuna had claimed her own corner with a bunch of serious-looking gamers, including one pretty young lady with pink, blue, and purple hair. Jack hadn’t gotten close enough to eavesdrop – well, much – but he’d heard Commander and Heathcliff in there. And he knew the body language of subordinates reforming around a 2IC pretty well by now.

A seventeen-year-old girl was rebuilding her command structure. He didn’t know whether to snicker or be sweating bullets.

Though given how many other people had strolled in here to visit, with matter-of-fact poses that said allied but not under your command, he was leaning toward worried.

Then again, maybe he really ought to be worried about the fact a few of Janet’s nurses had volunteered needles and thread. Sharp pointy things. In civilian hands. Granted, currently in the hands of busy little bees stripping down scrubs and sheets and who knew what and piecing them back together into neat little tunics and other stuff that actually fit.

Though on the other other hand, he could see morale going up with the new clothes, and Danny’d always said dress was part of culture and self-image, and Jack knew damn well himself that denying somebody basic body-coverage was one of the fastest ways to get someone cowering as a prisoner. So the needles ought to stay. For now.


52 thoughts on “Waking to Another Sky Ch4 bit – Tempting Murphy

  1. A seventeen-year-old girl was rebuilding her command structure. He didn’t know whether to snicker or be sweating bullets.—–Be afraid Jack, be very afraid. Asuna is very capable.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. >Six-thousand-odd confused survivors; they needed somebody to be the face of the SGC.>
    What they need are answers which you aren’t willing to give them. They also don’t like patronizing attitudes which you have been giving them.

    >Sharp pointy things. In civilian hands.>
    You’d think after watching the videos he’d realize that these ‘civilians’ are quite experienced with handling sharp pointy things of every shape and size.
    Oh wait, duh:
    Go-Go traumatized Black-Ops Colonel selective memory!

    >So the needles ought to stay. For now.>
    And how do you intend to enforce said removal Jack, gun point? Because aside from the scalpels etc (that Jack hasn’t caught on about *EG*) said needles are the only implements of self defense these people have.

    And when you are not in a Safe Zone (and often when you are in one), you needed your weapons. And they do not really consider themselves to be in a Safe Zone at the moment.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The real problem is that Jack is very likely going to run up against another SAO culture aspect. Asking/demanding someone disarm themselves is very different then asking somebody to put their weapons away for SAOers.

        Weapons can be stowed in inventories or sheathed at the individual’s side but the players always had them, ready to be used. Demanding that somebody surrender their weapons to you I can bee being at the very least, extremely rude and varying degrees of “What the heck, man?”.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. >We’ll see if he even gets that far.>
        Right, his plans might get derailed just a little bit when Kirito and co show up with a certain blue-feathered piece of evidence in tow.

        The look on his face will be priceless.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the kid babbling about safe zones is one point of adjustment. They are used to places where they can’t get hurt, even through carelessness? It came up in another SAO AU fic, where instead of swords and fantasy, Kayaba did a remake of X-Com. O.O

    Asuna worried about the risks they took with using in game enhancements to short circuit safe procedures in the base. And that when they got out the survivors would die thinking they really could casually jump down thirty feet and expect to spring back up to the scaffolding on the other side, rather than take the time to climb down and up ladders.

    At least Jack is still only taunting Murphy. He has yet to slap Murphy across the face with a fresh herring and declare he doesn’t have the guts to do anything.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Over on Spacebattles and Sufficient Velocity, X-Com Online


        Gene Mods, Professional Standards is the part with Asuna worrying about the players forgetting their combat upgrades don’t apply when they get out of the game.


        Liked by 1 person

  4. I think that the he that Jack is referring to is Kirito . . . and good luck to him. That kid is very good at remaining unseen until he wants to be seen. Even when paranoid Black Ops Colonels are actively looking for him.

    He didn’t know whether to snicker or be sweating bullets.

    I’d vote for the second one . . . especially if you keep coming as very shady and half-spoiling for a fight.

    Maybe take a page from Teal’c who seems to have the whole the “I don’t want a fight. I can and will if I have to. And I’ll win that fight. So let’s all play nice” vibe down pat.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. *thoughtful nod*

        The “And I will win” was mostly determination / resolve because he has been in more than one fight where it didn’t matter how strong his opponent(s) were, he could not afford to lose. Where losing the fight meant he was dead. When losing meant one or all of his team was dead or worse.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. One of the things that I love about this fic is that – unlike a lot of stories that involve SG1 – it’s not the usual ‘we come in peace’ problem-solvers that are fixing problems and easing tensions. Daniel, who does this most, is being to the gamer’s minds entirely too nosey for comfort, and trying too hard to make the world they lived in for the last two years fit into his preconceptions of how modern first-world-country children and young adults should act. Sam, who most often can make peace with people with tech by fixing and understanding tech-related problems, is not especially relevant here, because she’s too caught up in the physical issues regarding the NerveGear and also, is not actually very present at the moment. Jack, who can keep things calm with the most military-minded, is having very real problems understanding what SAO has turned the players into, and is trying to treat them as standard American civilians or active military personnel.

    On the other hand, we see Janet, who most often only comes out when someone is sick and injured, and Teal’c, who usually plays ‘big, silent bodyguard’ unless they’re dealing with Jaffa, are taking the frontlines of actually calming the Gamers down by giving them what they need, treating them as perfectly capable individuals, and generally giving them space to figure themselves out.

    Meanwhile, Jack is trying to get himself REALLY BADLY HURT here. He’s trying to be the guy that these kids can break down, scream at, and maybe punch a bit, without apparently understanding that they’re more likely to pack up in the middle of the night and book it if they’re pressed too badly, with every willingness to do a fighting retreat if necessary, and to accidently injure the guy who’s pissed them off because they haven’t quite figured out their abilities versus normal human durability yet if they DON’T try to run for it in the middle of the night. In fact, I can see one of them accidentally hurting someone – maybe Jack – and then decided that i’s time to disappear rather than answer questions about that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Daniel is far too focused on how normal they were before SAO to realize just how far divorced from normal they’ve become. Helped in part by that fact that he doesn’t truly understand what they went through to get where they are.

      Also, to most people? Two-three years is such a short amount of time for a change on that big a scale. He’s used to seeing cultures that occurred over decades, centuries, millennia

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “Jack knew damn well himself that denying somebody basic body-coverage was one of the fastest ways to get someone cowering as a prisoner.”

    Or to get the exact opposite if they have any hand to hand experience, or even just a strong fight versus flight instinct.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Let’s see. Firstly, making clothes indicates that SGC hasn’t made the obvious and trust building step of providing the SAO people with ready made clothing. It also indicates that craft skills carry over from SAO.

    There’s also going to be problems with American vs Japanese culture, especially psychiatric help. The SGC is going to take the view that these traumatised children need serious therapy. The fact that this is true will not change the fact that telling them this would be considered insulting at best in Japan.

    Now, here’s a riddle about the actions performed in Aincrad. Were the players, legally speaking, in Colarado, a US military base, Japan, an unspecified abroad? Was Godfree murdered by Kuradeel or Kayaba? Was the attack on Laughing Coffin a legal decision by the Aincrad government or private citizens engaging in vigilanteism?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thing is, it has been mere hours since the players woke up. SGC has money, it is early November, they’ll be thinking about what they need to spend not to come in under budget.

      I’m not sure how many pallets 6000 sets of clothes is, but it’d probably take more time than that to go get that from a military warehouse, and get it shipped in.

      You could do things faster by sending someone with their government credit card to go to Wal-Mart, but there is only so much scale that will handle. I’m vaguely curious if Amazon could handle it, but they also have non-zero shipping time.

      This is a contingency unexpected in at least timing, and there are a lot of people to get moving on a lot of things, like housing. Yeah, Hammond’s staff should’ve had a rough plan, but they also should be scrambling to plug in specifics and get the ball rolling.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It might also be …comforting? stabilising?… for the players to have clothing in styles resembling those to which they are accustomed.

      And you can’t pick those up at your average retail store. (Believe me, I’ve looked *sadface*)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah that’s true. Course seeing that the players themselves are making clothes some one might come to the idea that buying bolts of fabric is a more cost effective answer than buying full outfits for everyone. Especially if they see that the style isn’t something you can get in a regular store.


      2. Crafters have time/scale issues. No matter how super human your hand speed, you simply cannot sew stuff faster than you can hand out premade stuff. Plus, superhuman hand sewing would be limited by the strength of the thread.

        Right now it seems like an emergency, combined with favors. Eventually some sort of economy will come into play. Crafters will want some sort of reason to invest significant amounts of time into production. If they do it as a business for money, there will be business decisions made as to whether factory made is worth the trade off. Some may just want to quit and move on with their lives.

        I’m personally thinking fatigues without insignia and either colored t-shirts, or colored brassards. Assuming people don’t distance themselves from the guild thing once they calm down and move on, which may be long term.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Note they did offer some clothes, whether or not people were willing to take them is another matter.

      Actions in Aincrad will be very, very tricky to figure out legally, yes. You can see why in canon the Japanese government tried to brush things under the rug and blame Kayaba for all of it.


  8. For people not skilled at considering logistics…6000 people is a huge load, especially all of the sudden. That would likely clean out all of the local stores(even if you got their whole inventory, not counting on the fact you need to get stuff to fit), especially as most of the big retailers are now ship to shelf on clothing. Even craft stores would be in a bad situation. There’s a reason FEMA has a lot of money in figuring out where they can grab stuff from in a hurry when situations go bad. Heck, food wise….

    People might get enough calories, but it will likely take three or more weeks to get it where food isn’t being rationed. I forsee lots of potatoes and rice. And soup.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. General Hammond is probably looking to grab some refugee relief/humanitarian disaster supply dump nearby. Which should cover the basics short term, if in a rather basic form. Food will be simple and skew vegetarian to avoid stepping into cultural problems about acceptable sources of animal protein for example.


    2. Air Force. If Hammond has the pull or gets the right authorization, there is no problem. Nearest AF field that can land cargo too far away? Fly in trucks and drivers.

      Plus, those bases should have many times that number, with a far amount of unused capacity. Though that gets into the limits of my knowledge and the questions of AU. Like maybe that universe didn’t have BRAC, or a had a different one.


      1. Bulk shipments are best done by land(Air Force focuses on fighting aircraft, not cargo loaders, and cargo loaders tend to be in a lot of motion and booked up by regular companies.) And yes, his best bet is whatever the local emergency caches are, depending on how much he has to keep under wraps, which is one of the real complicating factors.

        Actually, depending on what sort of timeline we’re looking at, Amazon might be fairly helpful, though it’s very unlikely that they’ll let them on there, but for cargo moving, they’ve done a lot to figure it out. Still very expensive, though.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Air Force has their own cargo planes. I don’t know the capacity and couldn’t tell you what they would have available in this case. Check out Air Mobility Command. Sure air is inefficient and costly, and could not alone supply the whole armed services on the other side of the planet. This is Colorado, on a big Air Force base. Unless the snow is really bad, there shouldn’t be any real problem. A mere six thousand shouldn’t be impossible unless they’ve really cut the budget in this universe.

        *Checks wiki* Peterson hosts an Airlift Wing (Wings apparently run around 6,000, but this is a reserve unit), so its field should be good enough. It is the same city as the hypothetical hospital, but otherwise the road distance is unclear. Assuming Hammond’s Staff is putting something together now, and he will have them go ahead soon, they may get planes loaded from warehouses at other Air Force bases this evening, in the air tonight, and maybe delivered tomorrow.

        Plus Colorado Springs has over 400,000. There may be a fair amount of swing even in local stores.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I still don’t see why rice is so frequently denigrated as a food. I like eating Rice & Beans (just simple rice, black beans, water, and salt), and even find it a comfort food. It tastes good, is nutritious, and is very good at heating you up on a cold day without burning you like some foods do if used for heat. And for me, there’s the added bit of nostalgia, since that’s what I remember as our primary food when I was a kid and we were living in Belize.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What you prefer partly depends on what you grew up eating as a staple, and whether you are sick of it. Also if you know how to cook it to get out the best flavor. Tastes differ, exposure matters, and exposure to some extent varies with culture.

        The rice will probably be a better hit than Janet expects, unless it is really badly cooked by Japanese standards. (Plus, there probably won’t be near as much soy sauce as people want. At least not at first.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I dislike plain white rice that tends to be bland, or drowning in butter(or worse, margarine.) And it’s amazingly easy to screw rice up. If all you had was that, I can see you hating rice(I prefer brown rice myself, or cooking it with seasoning, or stuff like risotto.)

        And I’d imagine it would be very different, American rice tends to be milled long grain, and if I recall my cooking classes right, Japanese cooking tends to go for sticky medium grain rice.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My comment was more on “why is ‘rice (and beans) a common example food for ‘you must be poor if you have to eat this horrible stuff that obviously no one could ever possibly actually like'”, when there are people who like it and it is quite good for you. The specific details of who likes which version done which way were interesting but unrelated.

        Tho on that note, I prefer white rice instead of brown, with further preference depending on what I’m making with it. Beans & Rice should not be sticky, Stir Fry rice should, Curry rice shouldn’t, Rice & Fish could go either way depending on spices and fish used, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. >>My comment was more on “why is ‘rice (and beans) a common example food for ‘you must be poor if you have to eat this horrible stuff that obviously no one could ever possibly actually like’”, when there are people who like it and it is quite good for you.

    Because it’s cheap. It fills you up, and has all sorts of wonderful benefits, but it’s cheap and makes a wonderful filler. I was trying to make a chicken and rice soup and threw in too much rice, and ended up with a rice mush. Very yummy, very filling, and I had great left overs for about a week so I can tell you it heated up nicely. But it took a soup that would have lasted one or two days and made it last that week. Fifty pound bag of rice, according to a quick check on the net, is roughly $20 USD. If you make your own soup, call it around, eh, let’s be extravagant, say $20 USD for all the ingredients and you’re using canned stock instead of a bullion. Call it one cup of rice to a gallon of soup. There are roughly two cups of uncooked rice to the pound. So. If you have 100 cups of uncooked rice for $20 USD, that’s $0.20 USD a cup. So that’s $20.20 USD for a week of meals.

    Liked by 1 person

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