Waking to Another Sky Ch5 bit – Shock

“…I made them come after me.”

Sam winced at the empty tone. Pale skin, staring into the distance, no obvious emotion…. Combat shock. A bad one.

Evidently Klein knew it when he saw it, too. Fuurinkazan’s leader pulled what looked like a medieval version of a thermos out of his inventory, shoving it into half-gloved hands. “Drink it. You need to get warm.”

Kirito shook his head, face still blank. “I don’t want to be warm-”

Asuna stepped right into his space, eyes bright. “You’re not the only one who had to!”

Black eyes flinched, blinking reluctantly back to here and now. “Asuna?”

“No. I’m not okay.” Her face scrunched up; but she swallowed the tears, and looked him in the eye. “But I’m the Vice-Commander. I can’t cry here. And… it happened so fast. They came at me, I had to….” She gulped again, eyes shining. “What happened? You were in the back….”

“They brought a boat in under the warehouse. They came through a trapdoor we didn’t find,” Kirito got out. “They had some kind of smoke bombs, they were already lighting them… some Divine Dragons spotted them, but they were green. The Dragons wouldn’t attack first….”

Klein muttered something under his breath. “So you let the Coffins see you.”

One shallow nod. “I baited them, Klein. It was a trap. I was a trap. I didn’t give them a chance-”

The redhead swept him into a one-armed hug.

“What are you doing?”

“You’re an idiot,” Klein said thickly. “You’re a live idiot, thank god… Kirito. Damn it, listen to yourself. You baited them with the Black Swordsman. And you’re still green. They took the first swing.”

“But-”

“They were Laughing Coffin. You know what they had to do to get in.” Klein let go, just enough to ruffle black hair. “You’re alive. They’re dead. The ones who aren’t, the Army’s got now. Let’s get the hell out of here.”

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57 thoughts on “Waking to Another Sky Ch5 bit – Shock

  1. Someone should forward some Klein’s bits to someone in the USMC with clearance for SGC material. Jam through a few more promotions for him. May or may not eye him for OCS. Though in that case I think Klein would insist his dress saber be something more than a very long butter knife.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. This amuses me unduly. Klein complaining “I worked years for my Curved Blade skill. At least get me a good quality Saber, if I can’t have a Katana.”

      Liked by 4 people

      1. > “I worked years for my Curved Blade skill. At least get me a good quality Saber, if I can’t have a Katana.”>
        “What are you talking about, this is a quality dress sword?”
        -Sounds of twisting and tortured metal-
        “If I can bend it into an impromptu bracelet with my bare hands, it’s not a quality weapon.”

        Liked by 5 people

      2. Historically, Mameluke swords were pretty tough sabers. (Hence why they were ripped off from dead enemies “on the shores of Tripoli.”) The modern Marine ones are mostly used for show, so they mostly aren’t as expensive as real Damascus steel, etc. But there’s nothing in the regs that prevents you from having a real one, AFAIK. (And anybody who has family that dates back from the days when officers did carry sharp swords… might have one.)

        That said, Lindybeige has pointed out in the past that not all real swords were supposed to be sharpened. If you have a skinny piece of strong steel with the proper weight and balance, sharp doesn’t have much to do with cutting.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. I have a scar from a butterknife– I dropped it, and tried to catch it– and I accidentally put a gash in the wall when I heard a noise up stairs in the baby’s room, and the decorative bastard sword that’s basically a baseball bat shaped sort of like a sword was the nearest thing. Grabbed it and sprinted up the stairs.
        (it was a pretty decent gash, too– I had to fill it in, we were renting….)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh man, that brings up a plausible plot point.America,for (idiotic) reasons, is death on swords.The clearers probably need melee weaponry NOW!!!, like some people need coffee NOW!!!.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Japan has very strict laws about owning or carrying a sword. It’s called the “Firearm and Sword Possession Control Law”.

      Enough so that I wondered if all the players were technically criminals the moment SAO turned into a death game and their weapons were potentially lethal. It’s unlikely, as they probably define swords as being made out of metal, not data, but it’s not impossible.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. They’re probably uncomfortable about no longer being armed, but the Japanese players ARE going to accept “no you can’t have a weapon” from anyone who isn’t an enemy.

        Japanese don’t have the social concept “the right to bear arms”.

        It’s probably messing with their heads to be in the “real world” AND being “potentially in danger”, rather than having a sharp distinction between the “game” and reality.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Depends on which state you live in, I’d think. In my state, a concealed weapons license allows you to concealed-carry any manner of dangerous or deadly weapon, including bladed ones.

      …which doesn’t help a plot set in Colorado obviously…

      But I’d bet that a lot of weapons laws, especially those written in the western states and after firearms were common, don’t even mention swords. And that which is not forbidden… well, technically is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

      But until that point… ^_^

      Liked by 2 people

      1. And some, the CWP is only for concealed carry. My state, the state supreme court explicitly ruled that as long as the weapon is not carried concealed, it’s fine without any license needed (including explicitly calling out swords as allowed), tho they also warned that this didn’t mean you could be stupid about it without having to worry about being temporarily arrested and having to go to court. “Yes, it’s allowed. If you’re stupid, you can still win the court case, but it’s a big hassle for everyone and probably expensive too.”

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Japan’s laws are apparently a lot stricter than anything one can find in the US as far as blades go.

        I understand that Texas has some fairly strict blade control rules.

        Swords would fall under knife control laws that restrict blades over a certain length. For example, Colorado restricts concealed blades over 3.5 inches, per the knifeup dot com website. (However, the illegal kinds are not fixed knives. So a sword worn unconcealed would be fine. Barring local or base restrictions.)

        Lizbeth may be better off.

        That said, the real late limiting factor may be that anything that will stand prolonged usage (given player strength) is likely going to be something whose circulation the Air Force is going to want to restrict. It is possible that the Air Force will recruit enough of the crafters that, at least in the short term, anyone with a high tech sword will be working for the Air Force, who will have retrained them on guns. In which case, concealed carry of pistols. Colorado is shall issue to residents 21 or older. They would probably apply through the El Paso county sheriff’s office.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Teal’c a) already has decades invested in training on Jaffa weapons, so of course he uses those b) did have time to train to a lower standard on Earth weapons c) probably would have done so to better understand the tactics of his allies d) I vaguely recall an incident or two of him using firearms, but could easily be imagining or falsifying the memory. (OOC: Only using earthly firearms would have cost the show some of its flavor. Plus, the SGC would’ve probably had a pretty good budget for experimenting with gear, and it would’ve been expensive to realistically simulate that through writing and props. Much easier to just put together a list of gear and uses at the start of the project.)

        I am morally certain that Kayaba’s tactical preparation would have holes in it by US military standards. Unlike like a lot of his other stuff, it can’t be handwaved by saying he stole it from the Ancients, as the Ancients were probably horrible at it and may not even have been a shock infantry culture. I think that if he had consulted with anyone militarily competent enough to cover the gaps they would have pointed out how deeply flawed his whole plan was.

        I think retraining on firearms would serve three ends. Well, the first two are the last one. 1. Making sure the players are prepared to deal with intelligent organized enemies who use ranged weapons. 2. Making sure the players are prepared to fight in coordination with allies who use ranged weapons. 3. Firearms based combat is something the US military already knows how to use to teach people to fully understand the US military’s methods of infantry combat.

        I think that if players stick with the US military for long, and if they are going out into the field, they will get retrained on firearms. Especially if they are working as leaders or instructors.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. That said, by the time players decide to settle in Colorado, it is likely that they will be feeling safer and comfortable at lower levels of preparation for lethal violence.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Of course, as far as retraining for guns “because guns are better”, the question becomes “does Kirito in GGO apply to this Kirito+nanites in ‘RL’?” Because if the upgraded Kirito can pull that off, what he needs is a lightsaber not a gun.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. It’s not ‘guns are better’. It’s that, from the death rate, Kayaba can’t have fed the players into something like the Argonne or even Gettysburg. So the players aren’t familiar with the modern infantry experience, do not necessarily have answers to artillery, tanks, and machine gun nests, and worse might not know that they don’t have those answers. It’s that mixed units with different training are a disaster waiting to happen.

        That said, the laconic ‘if’ makes the point that this is irrelevant. I had forgotten that the SGC knows this, isn’t stupid and desperate enough to do NID/Kayaba crud (which is probably a major theme of the story), and probably won’t be making a habit of sending players through the gate (barring volunteers willing and able to enlist in the US military normally).

        Maybe Asuna has been bitten by the command bug, and will be going through a service academy in a few years. That is probably outside the scope of the story.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. This is actually something I’ve found interesting to research. Each generation’s military historians go talking about how the previous generation made such horrible mistakes and failed to learn from the past, and how unlike the previous generations _they’ve_ managed to learn the lesson… yet the next generation says the same about them. And the pattern that crops up is that the reason for this is because each generation sees “in this particular circumstance, with that particular equipment, training, etc, X has good results and Y fails”, and they “learn the lesson” that “X has good results and Y fails” and forget the “in this particular circumstance, etc, etc” bit that leads up to it. And the next generation sees only that “they did X and avoided Y, and that didn’t turn out so good in any situation except this one little exception over here that we can ignore”. Instead of realizing that the actual problem was improper generalization of rules. So each generation continues to make the same mistake, even if the particular manifestation of it changes each time because the particular circumstances do.

        Anyway, there’s lots of reasons why the lessons of the Argonne and of Gettysburg are _not_ actually as currently applicable as they might at first appear. Not least of which being that they were largely dependent on the limitations of the soldiers involved in them, which are drastically different than the limitations of SAO-survivor Clearers. Sure, it’s always good to examine how war went in the past, but it’s also often fatal to assume either that lack of examination of past war is necessarily a critical flaw or that examination of it is a sure method of winning. (After all, as they say, “each generation fights the last generation’s war”) If anything, I’d actually point to Jack (as opposed to T’ealc) as an example of too much analysis of “modern” war, and not enough understanding of the sort that the Clearers can do.

        And, don’t forget, Kayaba had them up against stuff that the SGC and NID had been up against, including modern weapons and other tech, and they still were winning. It might be best to consider how and why that was so. Yes, there’s modern advanced-tech/society/etc snobbery, but while it obviously isn’t a good idea to discard modern stuff out-of-hand, it also isn’t a good idea to assume “it must be better”. Especially considering SG’s concept that “modern human stuff _isn’t_ better, we’re just getting lucky.”

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Instead of realizing that the actual problem was improper generalization of rules. So each generation continues to make the same mistake, even if the particular manifestation of it changes each time because the particular circumstances do.

        A sub-rule of this that I like to make explicit is that there’s almost nothing that you actually spell out, step by step, unless something has gone wrong, or you know there was a change.

        I can still remember my shock when I found out that until fairly recently, doctors didn’t wash their hands. My mom does basic vet work– I’ve been hanging around for c-sections and such since before I could focus my eyes. (Literally hanging for the first one– my car seat was hung from a rafter so I wouldn’t be at risk of being stepped on.) Of course people wash their hands before cutting someone… but they didn’t always; that kind of an assumption can get people killed.

        Hand washing is something that’s easy to forget, so it’s a bad example in that people actually write it down– but things like “a cup of water” being 8oz, vs meaning something like “a normal sized drink.” Or what is meant by “camping.” (My family, a campsite has a space you can put your tent, a space you can build a fire pit, and a creek you can build a water-fridge in; my husband’s family, they have power outlets and sometimes wifi. Predictable story there. 😀 )

        Liked by 1 person

      9. As someone put it, “Inside 30 feet, a knife is faster than a gun. Outside 30 feet, I have other options.”

        Which Jack, BTW, has proved in canon. Guns vs. Goa’uld shield? Fail. Knife?

        That got through.

        Like

      10. You face the kind of war your enemy thinks you are less prepared for than they are.

        If you are planning your nation’s defense and have the budget*, you prepare for every type of war.

        That the Star-Gate writers matched the conflict to the capabilities and interests of the Air Force does not mean that other types of war are obsolete. Or that that United States should not prepare for them.

        Now I’ve been harping on about the high intensity large unit shock infantry type of war with meatgrinder battles, largely because we can be pretty sure Kayaba did not expose the players to it. (Maximum raid size suggests that the largest size of player force in a combat was platoon. These probably were not facing company or battalion size forces organized as intelligently as competent humans would. I don’t think Kayaba had the AI for that, and we don’t see near enough deaths.)

        The question of occupation is where it really seems likely the Star-Gate writers were handwaving. One thing that the Air Force tends to not do is hold and administer territory. Air ports, yes, territory they don’t really have or want the boots for. Realistically, someone should have needed to come up with a rather large occupation army, or there would have been consequences from not having one. I don’t remember this, but maybe I’m at fault.

        Canon SGC mostly did small unit raids. The players are maybe prepared for small unit raids.

        That Kayaba could simulate something in game does not mean that he did, that the players have an answer to it, and that they would be effective against it in the real world.

        The fancy cyborg enhancements do not make them immortal. The game did not make them the highest grade of shock infantry. The players would have problems against large numbers of competent enough infantry with enhancements. Because the enhancement tech will spread to other powers eventually.

        *You never have the budget.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Screwed up, meant the above as a reply to Ashley.

        I do not think we see the Jaffa with indirect fire artillery all that much. That’s effective well beyond 30 feet, if you are in a large enough group that your enemy can be sure enough of where you are to spend the shells. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve always wondered whether Klein killed anyone in the Laughing Coffin battle. In canon we don’t really see anything short of him hitting someone with his katana, but it’s something I thought about whenever I saw the LC raid.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. On the one hand, you have to applaud them for feeling guilty about killing someone(s) and/or setting up a lethal ambush.

    On the other hand, said persons were murderous scum who had to kill three people to even get into this psycho club . . . maybe I’m being harsh but I’d say good riddance to bad rubbish.

    SAO is already difficult enough to survive without a (unofficial) guild of mass-murdering psychos running around. Difficult as it is face and do, they can’t afford to be gentle with LC here. In addition to the “surrender or else” for the raid . . . probably would need the policy at the prison that attempting to break out or someone trying to break you and other prisoners out (especially if those trying to do so are LC) will be treated with utmost severity.

    This and the other recent snippets so make me wish I could introduce Kirito to Kenshin.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Not sure how effective they would be . . . not to mention just trying to administer the drugs . . . bunnies are awfully wily. And have a lot of sharp teeth.

        Plus they are so good at making what look like just a random thought and use that as smokescreen to hop into someone’s else bunny corral and infect one of them with their crazy ideas . . . or breed. It’s hard to tell which sometimes . . .

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I dunno about ‘shoulds’, but I’m not convinced that these bunnies are all that fertile.

        I’ve read a RuroKen/SAO fic.

        They have incompatible implied political worldbuilding, so you’d need a gimmick to get the characters interacting in their most authentic state.

        That said, bunnies are pattern matching, and everyone has a different mind, so estimates of fertility are subjective guessing.

        Pay no attention to the Full Metal Panic/SAO outline behind the curtain, which I came up with around the time that I observed that SAO/RuroKen might have fertility issues. (Mine is a weak idea that I mashed to mush. Heihachi Edajima is too much of a positive influence even with the Great Old Ones.)

        Liked by 2 people

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