Waking to Another Sky Ch5 bit – In a Canyon

“I still haven’t found anything in Kayaba’s files that mentions anyone’s legal name,” Janet nodded. “I wonder if that’s how he could do this. Who they were before the game didn’t matter to him; all he cared about was who he could make them become….” She shook it off, and pointed at the image; a block of names beginning with K. “You can see Kirito’s there, alive. Right and down… Kuradeel. His time of death looked familiar, so I ran a search on the text file to see if anyone had died just a few minutes before or after. And I found one. With those two names – Kuradeel and Godfree – and the time and day… I think I found something.” She swallowed dryly. “I just couldn’t watch it alone.”

Sam glanced at him. “Should we get Teal’c up here, sir?”

Jack thought about it, chewing his lip a bit. He wanted Teal’c to see it all, eventually. Right now? “Taking care of the critters is more important.”

Daniel raised his brows at Janet. “Maybe you should check him for a fever.”

“For the kids, not the critters,” Jack said pointedly. “They need to trust somebody, or we’re going to lose them to the monsters in their heads. I’d like it if they trusted the nurses. I’d love it if they trusted us. But right now, Teal’c seems to be the closest to getting through to them. They listen when he talks, and they believe him when he says he doesn’t know. I’ll take what I can get.” He waved at the monitor. “Roll ‘em.”

A date and time, over two weeks ago. A familiar sandstone canyon. A too-familiar laughing madman, tearing apart his disbelieving victim with deliberate stabs of a sword. Only this was no brief, horrifying flash of video.

“K-Kuradeel, what are you-”

“Oh, it’s not personal.” The grinning madman raised his blade. “But in my story, I’m the only one who returns alive….”

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32 thoughts on “Waking to Another Sky Ch5 bit – In a Canyon

  1. -Double checks episode-
    This is going to be interesting. Assuming this video goes to Kuradeel’s death, SGC is about to get a very important name dropped: Laughing Coffin.

    This is important because it will show that not only where people killing other players, some of said PKers got organized.

    As a result I can see Jack being a lot more invested in making sure that the ‘Orange players’ are properly restrained and guards put in place. Because a bunch of serial killers who might be even stronger and faster then Teal’c is not something one can take lightly.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Also making sure the NID never EVER find out about said people. Because that bunch of loonies would consider this bunch of loonies perfect people to unleash on the System Lords. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

        Liked by 3 people

    1. And from what we saw of the PKers in Laughing Coffin (there where some Green Players ‘convinced’ by them to act as intermediaries, buyers etc) Kuradeel was pretty “meh” in terms of his insanity.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Especially, and I know that the SGC can’t take this into account, but in the second season of SAO (following is somewhat spoiler-y) they had Laughing Coffin members who were killing people in real life because they could. The Laughing Coffin members deliberately sought targets and poisoned them, it was premeditated and carefully planned murder. So yes, the orange-players need to be locked up.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. you know this makes me wonder if there would be a point where enough people had died to make Kayaba change his plans?

    like, if there was only a hundred people left in SAO after something went wrong.

    what do you think Kayaba would do in such a scenario?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. mostly because it indicated that he had other emotions than asshole? that he had to distance himself to continue with his plan.

        I just wondered what could make him give up on the plan and what he would do once he couldn’t continue SAO, without a winner to end it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think using the game names might simply be a combination of RP and not knowing them for everyone to a degree of certainty that justified using them for anyone. Or maybe it helped him not make the connection between Kayaba and Heathcliff, which was rather important to his plan.

        I’m skeptical of a model of Kayaba that is mentally normal enough to be that inhibited about killing humans.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. on your 5:15 post. An interesting thought would be that Kayaba wouldn’t take action, but SAO itself would. This is based on a story over on FFN by Ozzallos called Saotome Art Online (SAO & Ramna 1/2). Ramna Saotome (of R1/2) is a weapons skill consultant with SAO designing skills when the death game starts. The story itself starts after SAO ends, but like most of Ozzallos’ fics, features flashbacks.
      https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12293902/1/Saotome-Art-Online
      SPOILER
      In the story Cardinal (AI base for SAO and, later with ealier version, Alfhiem) had a “DEL/Root-All” command, essentially making it commit suicide when the game was won, and it had to let the game be won, but it could alter things because Cardinal didn’t want to die. Which might have explained why some of the higher level bosses were much more difficult than the lower ones (#75, Skull Reaper) as IIRC every 25 floors the bosses were deadlier than the others.
      SPOILER END
      So Cardinal might alter the difficulty in SAO in order to let the players survive, thus letting Itself live.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Same way US Air Force test pilots in the Fifties and Sixties thought when a colleague plowed their aircraft into the ground. There was even a book titled with the phrase. They didn’t have “The Right Stuff.”

      Because to Kayaba it can’t be his plan was in any way flawed. No, he was forced to work with inferior material, or material with undetected flaws. He’ll simply have to come up with a way to get a new pool of candidates and do it again.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think it would work best if it was something like a earthquake cutting power to most players or a player killer found a way to kill EVERYONE in the safezones.

        something Kayaba didn’t plan for, a rocks falls everyone dies that the DM had nothing to do with.

        something that wouldn’t cause his denial reflex to kick in. and if you only have a hundred players left, what do you do with them? do you deploy all the therapy-bots? do you send a sorry for the inconvenience message and let them log out?

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Depends on the Kayaba.

      I think for fanfic purposes there is room in authorial fiat for that to vary quite widely.

      The second most murderous Kayaba I recall outlining wouldn’t have cared, because he was operating across parallel worlds and for each game killing all the players except for the party that cleared the game.

      I’ve outlined ones that would’ve been a) more sacrifices the better b) doesn’t matter at all, as long as the data gets collected c) are there enough survivors with the desired qualities?

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Hm… probably a minor point, but I wonder if you’re going with the anime or original version of Kuradeel’s end? In the anime, Asuna saved Kuradeel but then Kirito had to pull a last-ditch save to keep Kuradeel from backstabbing her. In the original light novel (IIRC), Asuna flat-out one-shotted Kuradeel’s homicidal ass, without the slightest bit of hesitation. I always thought the anime version robbed Asuna a bit — as if she could go all Mama Bear on someone threatening Kirito, but choked on the final follow-through. And while I’ll never think of Asuna as a stone-cold killer, I *don’t* see her as someone who would hesitate the way anime!Asuna did in such an immediate, clear-cut case of defense-of-other.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Just had a thought: if hair and eye colour got changed in RL by the nanites, what happened to players who got tattoos? Kuradeel tattooed himself to show allegiance to Laughing Coffin, and I think the real guild members did so too, so there might be a way to ID them – and the hospital might even have that kind of thing on their files already, along with other alterations that were noticeable when people were in NerveGears.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I understand that tattoos are a bit taboo in mainstream Japanese society.

        I also understand that they are in fashion for young people in the US military. I’m not sure how much of that is Air Force compared to other services.

        Culturally, the players are no longer going to be an isolated bubble. Some of them are going to be able to and choose to reintegrate into mainstream Japanese society. Some are not.

        There may be a large collection of the latter interacting heavily with US military personnel. I’ve had a fun moment or two speculating about how ‘player’ culture might change.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m wondering if SG-1 might get suspicious about how many of the SAO things they’ve seen involve Kirito, or they might be so used to “the main characters do everything” that they are used to that kind of thing.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. See, trailing off like that is ominous because it could be any number of things to fill in the blanks.

        ‘Suspicious enough’ too what? Think he’s a plant? Collaborated? Been body-jacked by Kayaba (that can in SG-1 canon, and in SAO the only thing making it unlikely is Kirito’s lack of an integrated Nervegear or similar wetware system. SAO canon, Kayaba can upload, just not download… Who knows if SG-1 nanomachine’s can bridge that Gap)?

        Or is it ‘suspicious enough’ to think Kayaba’s​ going to keep showing an interest in his adopted protege?

        That phrasing of yours really has me worried.

        Like

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