Jack pointed at Janet’s keyboard. “So we’ve got another name. Anything in Kayaba’s files on Laughing Coffin?”
Already tapping keys, the doctor nodded. “Yes.” Another finger-stab put what looked like a Wiki entry up on the screen. “Formed sometime this January, membership – cute. Redacted.” She eyed blacked-out lines of text in a way that would have had Marines crying for their mommies. “Guild leader, redacted. Player-classed as a red guild. Number of known PKs… god. Over three hundred people.”
“Bad year,” Jack agreed.
Daniel and Janet traded a look. She raised an eyebrow. Daniel sighed.
“Okay, what am I missing?” Jack obliged. “Three hundred people. Bad year.”
“Very bad,” Janet deadpanned. “Given how many people were still alive when Laughing Coffin started? That’s a homicide rate of about four percent. In less than eight months.”
Um. But. “That’s the number of people who get killed in New York,” Jack objected.
“And the last I heard, Colonel, New York City had about eight million people within a mile of Times Square,” Janet persisted. “If New York had the same homicide rate as Kayaba’s game, we’d have over three hundred thousand people dead on the streets, and the country would be screaming to send in the National Guard. Even Fiorello La Guardia wouldn’t be able to keep people from lynching him.”
Okay, that was bad.
“Look at it another way. No matter how big a society gets, every person tends to know about fifty other people,” Daniel put in, face grave. “Fifty times three hundred – Jack, that’s fifteen thousand people. More than twice as many as survived the game. Everyone would have lost someone to Laughing Coffin.”
“If you crunch the numbers, sir, at that rate?” Carter put in. “Over those eight months, Laughing Coffin murdered more people than Kayaba.”
Oh. Shit. “You’re saying Doc made the right call,” Jack said reluctantly. “Get these guys away from the other victims.”