Monstrous Compendium Ch2 bit – Neurology

“Do you know how the NervGear works? Why we started the game without pain, but now, when we get hit, we feel it?”

Klein rolled his eyes. “Because Kayaba’s an asshole.”

Kirito’s face was pale. “Kayaba may not have had anything to do with it.”

Issin whistled. “Okay. Try that again with a few more details. You don’t think Kayaba wanted us to feel it when our HP goes down?”

“I’m not sure he had a choice. NervGear works because the brain synthesizes reality from nerve input, it’s not one to one-” Kirito stopped. Made himself take a few breaths. “When they were first putting out FullDive, there were all kinds of scientific articles arguing about how it worked. Or how researchers thought it worked. Some articles went back a few decades. About researchers deliberately inducing phantom limb feelings in people who didn’t have amputations.”

“Phantom limbs,” Klein said blankly. That totally did not make sense – no, wait. It did. “You’re saying our avatars are, what? Phantom body syndrome?”

“Spooky,” Kunimitzz sing-songed.

“In some experiments, they had the subject imagine picking up objects, and used visual tricks so the items moved,” Kirito stated. “Once someone was used to the ‘phantom arm’ – they’d stick a pin where the subject imagined the arm was. And the person felt pain.”

Klein rubbed at the hairs on the back of his neck. That was beyond spooky.

“Those experiments were just for a few hours,” Kirito went on, face grim. “Kayaba’s locked us in. We can’t log out. We’ve been here months. The brain is plastic, it can change with your surroundings. And this is the only reality our brains have.” He flexed half-gloved fingers, and nodded at Issin’s ears. “If sorcery is a random event, if becoming youkai is a quest reward…. Klein. The longer we’re in here, the less – normal – the Otherworld will be. What if we don’t get out soon enough? What’s going to happen to us?”


14 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch2 bit – Neurology

  1. Oooo. And Kirito spreads the High Octane Nightmare Fuel around.

    Also, had the ‘fun’ thought. SAO survivors are lethally trained and know that they can kill. What they don’t necessarily know is the damage they can do that isn’t immediately lethal. They don’t have the image of a crushed rib cage, as an immediate example. This could be very ugly even without phantom limb syndrome.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Nope. Not enough info for that logic jump in-universe. From an outside reader perspective? Oh~ yeah. This is gearing up to be one big explosion.

        Thirty Xanatos Pileups can //hurt//…

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Out of curiosity, did you source this to books, scientific journals, lay magazines like New Scientist, or something else entirely? I notice that you rely on books to an extent more storage than I currently have. That said, I have ideas. Google Play. NCBI Bookshelf. And two libraries, public and university.

    Would any of your sources be easier to find in a public library compared to a university library just for medical texts? The university library is best used if a) there are clearing out books relevant to a character’s interests and it’s a historical fiction work or b) it’s a medical journal article I can Xerox all the pages of. This is because my sort of cardholder could not take books home unless the library was getting rid of them.

    By the way, I have a card for the closest public library, and because I can get there on foot, I’m less likely to be shut out by construction compared to the university library. That actually happened and it’s what made me let my card expire along with the expense.


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