“Okay, Doc Flint’s got a point,” Jack allowed, looking at Silica. “But he’s a vet, and you’re not, and we don’t know much about your little friend. So listen to the animal doc. And don’t take her outside. Got that?”
Silica nodded, one hand reaching up to coax the dragon into landing on her shoulder. Pina nestled into brown hair, but kept a watchful eye on him. “I understand.”
“Outside of that, it’s been a long day for everybody,” Jack shrugged. “We should get some rest.” He tried not to glance too obviously at Kazuto. Come on, kid. Talk to me.
“You said, Kayaba killed four thousand people.” Black eyes were opaque.
Oof. This could get ugly.
Between Kayaba’s gift videos and that near-stampede to get orange players away from everybody else, it looked like the survivors blamed Kayaba for the monsters.
But they knew damn well, not everybody had been killed by monsters.
“Kayaba’s equipment killed four thousand people,” Jack stated. “We know how. We don’t know why.” Not so it’d hold up in a court of law, anyway. Gloating videos about killing people because they lost a game – yeah, love to see a judge take that as probable cause.
The teen’s eyes seemed to get even darker. “How did they die?”
Nanites run amok. Not telling you that. “It was death. It’s ugly. It’s over-”
That fast, Pina was in the air again. And he was being stared at, by two kids who knew way too much about sharp pointy things. “Okay,” Jack drew out the word. “What’d I say?”
Though damn it, he was pretty sure he knew. Kayaba had told them in his little intro that he’d shut their hearts and lungs down. Which was not what had happened-
Kazuto knew how it could work, Jack realized. A fourteen-year-old kid knew how Kayaba could kill them.
How the hell did he know that?
“We assisted Janet Fraiser in her attempts to save the latest victims,” Teal’c said levelly. “Their manner of death was unique. Janet Fraiser informs me this cause of death has only been seen in cases where Kayaba’s NervGear was running the SAO program.” He arched one shaved brow; serious, yet unthreatening interest. “You do not simply blame Kayaba.”
Deliberately, Kazuto shook his head.
Teal’c nodded gravely. “Who else do you hold responsible?”
Oh, this was going to be interesting.
“Kayaba set the NervGear to kill anyone who died in the game.” Kazuto’s gaze didn’t falter; and the guts it took to pull that off, Jack knew only too well. “But it wasn’t just monsters and traps that killed people. What will you do with the player-killers?”