Waking to Another Sky Ch4 bit – Killer Question

“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?”

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21 thoughts on “Waking to Another Sky Ch4 bit – Killer Question

  1. Murder is murder, self defense is self defense. Did Andrew Branca have his book out by then?

    Yanno, if they hack into the SAO servers, it could be seen as compromising the chain of evidence on the murders for which there is no witness testimony.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If it does go through military jurisdiction, Jack has made a number of comments that might be prejudicial to the outcome. Unlawful command influence anyone? Okay, there are (probably) a lot of Colonels in the Air Force. Jack is still pretty senior for right here, right now.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Fun thought: This didn’t just happen in Colorado, America. This happened on an Airbase. Ergo, Military jurisdiction. Though given foreign nationals and everything, this could go to the Supreme Court.

    Anyway, fairly sure Branca’s book wouldn’t cover military jurisdictions. I’m legitimately unsure how I’d learn about relevant established legal precedent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Never mind the small manner of providing proof. IIRC wasn’t that an issue with PKs in the canon SAO? I do know that at least one former member of Laughing Coffin was involved with the events of GGO

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That was definitely an issue, and one reason most teenage SAO survivors got shunted into the same school. Regular teachers just weren’t sure what to do with minors who’d committed homicide – self-defense or not.

        Like

    2. Also, didn’t some of the initial murders take place before the servers moved? So you have murders taking place in multiple countries, some of which might have been perpetrated by the same people (hello Laughing Coffin). How does that even work?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is important. A very important moment. What Jack says here will determine how the players treat the SGC, and the rest of the world as a whole. Because if the player-killers are going to be allowed to roam, one of the survivors is going to pony up the guts and make a serious go at killing them. It doesn’t even have to be a noble thing, someone is going to snap and attack them because, “They killed him/her! They need to suffer for what they did!” They’ve had two years to get used to killing people, that isn’t going to cause a flinch.

    Also, very interesting to have three solos doing this. Silica is a well known face of the midlevels and *everyone* knows Argo, and the clearers know Kirito. If things go badly enough south, the other survivors have a moral blow, but also a berserker boost, but the guilds can rally around the leaders and attack.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You know, “I don’t know, we can lock them up away from the others for the moment, but prosecuting and convicting them . . . . ” is a perfectly valid response.

    And telling Kirito that he can have the (orange) players locked away indefinitely without a problem, might be a BAD response.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeah, the PKers are going to be an issue. There’s ZERO forensic evidence, and trying to charge someone with murder with nothing but eyewitness testimony is going to be a nightmare. Not to mention that the chain of eyewitness evidence is hopelessly broken — there’s been no way for the SGC to question people separately since they woke up (and let’s not even mention the *years* the various witnesses have had to contaminate (and, from a defense attorney’s POV, potentially collude) each others’ testimony), so trying to cross-check stories is… iffy at best. And locking up *alleged* PKers on nothing *but* eyewitness testimony… how do you prove that that testimony is honest? How many of these PK allegations just someone trying to settle a score? (damn few, though sadly not zero, probably) but any decent defense attorney is going to ride that bit of reasonable doubt *hard*)
    And when *all* a judge (assuming they ever even get the *jurisdiction* issues sorted, ergh) has is “he says/she says,” and *nothing else*…
    Unless something can be extracted from the server logs. But then the evidence is likely to be classified, or have classified blank spots in the chain of custody….
    Yeah, this is a mess that’s going to take YEARS to sort out. And the final “justice” achieved will be imperfect, at best.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A defense lawyer doesn’t even have to lean on the issues caused by classification. Mining the server logs? Computers that Kayaba had his fingerprints all over? Given how he changed ten thousand player avatar appearances? Yeah, any computer records the Defense can reasonable infer Kayaba could have been in are easy to seed doubt about their veracity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just figured that they’ll nab the server logs, and bring in a bunch of lawyers with clearances. They’d probably need the sort of lawyers that often have clearances, because J. Random Criminal Lawyer probably doesn’t have the background for the jurisdictional issues. Even if we deliberately step back from considering certain disputes of a political matter.

      To prove murder, you’d probably have to establish exactly how Kayaba killed people, and knew he would kill people. Nanites, which isn’t something the SGC wants to see discussed in a court room, unless that whole secret has already come out.

      A part of me likes the idea of trying before a panel of officers, instead of a judge and jury, but I’ve got to admit to having no clue what criteria would determine that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been looking at the manual for court martials, and the UCMJ. It is looking like a slam dunk ‘it depends’ unless Kayaba had a really weird contract with the SGC, and put some really weird things in his EULA.

        The default assumption seems to be that most of the players are civilians, so if the Feds prosecute it will be tried in the district court of Colorado. (It’d be interesting if Kayaba were hiding off world, but I’m pretty sure he was in the solar system while he was in the game, as I don’t think an interstellar relay has been established.)

        However, the combination of politics and potential AU legal elements could be extended to handle things under the UCMJ.

        It is going to be deep into politics anyway.

        I’m not sure if standard Star Gate canon implies that there is a judge on the Colorado district court who has clearance for Bluebook.

        Liked by 1 person

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