Waking to Another Sky Ch4 bit – the ALF

“Aren’t you the lady who went Indiana Jones on some spiky-haired guy with an electrical cord?”

“Kibaou deserved it.” Yulier looked calm, demure, and not at all shy about doing it again if she had to. “He’s a good fighter in a tight spot, and he’s very persuasive. But he has a habit of getting in over his head and taking down everyone else around him when things don’t work out. Early in the game, he almost got some beta-testers killed-”

“Yeah,” Mills cut her off. “Kibaou was on his way toward drumming up a mob. Torches, pitchforks, the whole works. That was ugly.”

Jack gave him a casual look. “Take it you did something about that.”

“Tried,” the merchant admitted. “Managed to head him off the first time. Second time… somebody else did. But it cost them.” He grimaced. “Kibaou’s a grade-A rabble-rouser. Keep an eye on him. And maybe a gag.”

“We thought he’d learned his lesson,” Yulier said sadly.

“I thought he’d learned his lesson.” Thinker admitted. “I should have listened to you.” He scratched wild hair. “Let’s just say, getting trapped unarmed in a dungeon for two days was not a good time. If Yulier hadn’t found some clearers to come get me….” He shook his head.

“Clearers?” Daniel jumped in. “Asuna said most of the clearers knew each other. What’s a clearer?”

For a moment three people were blinking at them, with the kind of look Jack recognized from pilots who’d just realized most people thought flaps came with the word mud in front. Or stunned particle physicists forced to explain what a hadron was, and why any sane man would want to collide it with anything.

Yulier pulled it together first. “They’re front-line players, like Agil. People who meant to clear the game, so we could all go home.”

“Kind of fell into it,” Mills grinned. “I showed up for the first level boss fight and stayed in one piece. Turned out I had a knack for it.”

“Thought you were a merchant,” Jack commented.

“Not the first time I’ve held down two jobs,” Mills shrugged. “Besides. Can’t be a merchant without something to sell. On the lowest levels, that meant you had to go adventure and get it.” He chuckled. “The good blacksmiths swing a mean mace.” He cracked his knuckles, and nodded toward the ALF leaders. “So. You want to keep people calm, these two are a good place to start. How many people did you have, over two thousand?”

“Something like,” Thinker nodded. “Most were just affiliate members, but… Colonel?”

Jack reminded himself not to catch flies. A guy who looked about as command-ready as – oh, say, Daniel – had managed to keep two thousand game players aimed more or less the same direction, without any official backing? Huh. “How’d you pull that off?”


39 thoughts on “Waking to Another Sky Ch4 bit – the ALF

  1. Being a sensible person while everyone else was having mental breakdowns or trying to raise mobs. Besides, Jack! You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover! Didn’t we already have the pretty girl lesson!

    (Also, I wouldn’t put command past Danny either. He’s like the Force, after all. A binding agent.)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, but Danny also has that official backing. As in, if you’re out on a mission and things fall in the dunny and Danny says jump out the window, you’d better be out the window before asking how high or there’s an organization that’s going to have *words* with you when you get back. After a guild is established and has members, after a while the members would enforce the command structure. To get started, and make the idiots listen to you? Would involve pounding heads together, perhaps literally. Ten to one, Yulier and Thinker spent time as orange players because they had to thump someone’s head against the wall. After all, if you didn’t make a habit of attacking other green players, the orange goes away.

      Besides. We’re MMORPGers. Guilds are comforting and wonderful things for us. When I have time and a working computer to play WoW, I have a family guild on my main servers, and I’m in several other guilds on different servers. (Not sure why, and I’ve probably been booted by now because I’m never there.) But that’s how things happen. For as wild and disorganized we are, get enough players into an MMORPG and give us the guild option, and guilds will happen.

      Also, Thinker. Not what you’d think of when you think of the person riding herd on two thousand plus people who acted as the prison guards. They’re the Home Guard, and if the clearers had all died because of a level cap? They’re the ones who would have had to bring the low levels up and to take over maintaining what was already cleared because Kayaba probably would have included a creep mechanic on the higher levels.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Being sensible, organized, informed, and having a clear agenda. Plus relative wealth, once the advanced player economy left the cautious behind.

      Thing is, Thinker came out of Japanese culture, and probably wasn’t even in the JSDF. Maybe he was a leader in business. But Thinker’s cultural background and hence social cues are more alien than Jack is likely to give him credit for, given the language thingy.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Starting all the way back with Abydos and getting the locals to rebel against Ra?

        BTW I’m sure Daniel has several technical terms for realizing the conversation is using the same words, but speaking two completely different languages.

        Finally Jack is still thinking of the SAO survivors as civilians, while Teal’c treats them as soldiers or warriors. Or maybe to take another analogy from further down, not just a frontier town, but a frontier fortress. There might be a town outside the gates, but there is at least an informal chain of command to get everyone to shelter when shit hits the fans and let the town militia handle the wall while the regulars sally out to fight.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. But Kirito is the one who has obviously been to Texas in another life… (I may not live there any more, but I’m a born Texan so I have to make the reference)

        Liked by 2 people

  2. And Agil gives them a fair warning that the crafters that Jack was just worrying about disarming aren’t the shrinking violets that people might expect from the addiction to needle and thread. What’s going to be interesting is that I don’t think we’ve had a full eight hours pass since the players woke up. What happens when night falls, and it’s time to bunk down for the night? Guilds are not going to break up and go to separate wards, the Night Watch of the ALF are going to want to consolidate the prisoners in one place to keep an eye on them, with some help from clearers because there are no walls and bars now. And Furinkaazan isn’t letting Kirito and Asuna out of their sight for awhile.

    And Agil may or may not have been subtle about keeping Yulier from mentioning the history of Kibaou of the mouth and Kirito. He certainly isn’t mentioning that Kirito is the one who took the legs out from under the mob the second time.

    Random thought, how many beast tamers stampede the basement when Silica shows up with Pina? She can’t be the only one who wants her partner back. (Also, is there tech based communication between tamers and their beasts or is it all just vanilla?)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. …wow, Daniel really needs to sit Jack down and give him some old westerns to read. It wasn’t military type command, it’s more “Frontier town mayor and his equal wife”. Which could include military, but also so much more.

    And dismissing Yulier when you just got told that “These two” deserves to bite him on the butt. Hard.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Considering Agil is a very successful merchant he has plenty of experience with this sort of bamboozling/misdirecting.

        Agil: Buy cheap, sell cheap. That’s my store’s motto!”

        Kirito: “The former, yes. The latter? I’ve seen your prices.”

        Agil: “Silence from the peanut gallery.”

        Liked by 3 people

    1. > you really shouldnt have your head this far stuck.>
      Vathara noted that part of Jack’s problem is that all this is occurring on Earth. He tends to have a different mentality about certain things when on the SGC’s ‘home turf’ as it were.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. There two specific modes close to appropriate, and he still hasn’t been given instructions clarifying what he should do. 1. “We seek weapons and allies against the Goa’uld” 2. “Nothing to see here but Deep Space Radar Telemetry folks.” Plus he still has a third mode strongly present, because he just got out of a three part season finale (Exodus, Enemies, Threshold) where Teal’c was brainwashed, Jack shot and nearly killed him, and the SGC ended up torturing Teal’c to the brink of death to undo the brainwashing. He hasn’t had enough time to put that behind him. He does not want these kids involved in what he deals with. That is really screwing with his head.

        If you’ve read Drake’s Redliners, the situation isn’t that bad, but it is probably a similar type of issue.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Jack, please remember that someone can look like what you’d expect a certain type to be (like a military-type commander) and be totally wrong for it personality wise. Or look perfectly harmless when they are anything but.

    Which we would have thought Daniel would taught about the second type very thoroughly. And given your sarcastic mouth, there are probably quite a few people who are shocked that you ever made Colonel, let alone haven’t been demoted or something.

    Not being deceived by appearances is probably why it is so fun to watch him meet people like Kenshin Himura because Kenshin doesn’t look dangerous and is really, really good at coming off as harmless as he looks.

    Hmm . . . Jack is totally not going to understand why he needs not to underestimate the little kid with long blue hair in ‘Around is he? And not just because a Magi is hard to wrap your brain around when you aren’t used to dealing magic.

    Jack needs that vacation or something similar very badly. Because he’s usually better at switching gears when he needs to than this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. >Hmm . . . Jack is totally not going to understand why he needs not to underestimate the little kid with long blue hair in ‘Around is he? And not just because a Magi is hard to wrap your brain around when you aren’t used to dealing magic.>
      I suspect he’ll have similer trouble with the gold-eyed blond that looks like a stiff wind would keel him over. Along with Simon. After all, how is he going to take an actor who dyes his hair purple of all things seriously.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. @shiroimakibawrites: Of course, Danny said nothing about aliens in his talk, because he didn’t think that. That was an idiot heckler. Unfortunately, that sure did smear his rep….

        But yes. Definitely. Looking at Danny and the way he tends to behave in public on Earth (especially before Abydos the first time), you would never know just how strong (and headstrong/willful) he can be, nor what a presence he can have when he really wants or needs to.

        Liked by 1 person

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