Monstrous Compendium Ch 12 Ficbit – Hello Nurse

Kirito had to thump his head on glass again. Gently, Asuna would bap him if he gave himself a concussion. Oh, this was going to be so hard to explain to his family.

No getting out of it. He breathed out, watching breath fog on the window. And they’ll love her. I know they will.

So how do I find everyone?

Start with finding just one. He had Asuna’s IRL name, that and a little internet research-

He tensed, nerves singing with being targeted.

“Oh there you are! I was so worried.”

A tall brunette in a nurse’s uniform, long braid hanging over one shoulder of her blue jacket. She adjusted her glasses, as if double-checking she had the right patient, a professional smile on her face. “You really shouldn’t be up and around, Kirigaya. I know all the medical dramas make it look like walking with an IV is easy, but we need to take a few precautions first.”

Her stance is balanced. Ready for trouble. Her eyes… she’s watching everyone. Not just me.

And when a local fighter thought there might be trouble, a smart clearer paid attention.

The nurse held out a hand. “I’m Nurse Aki, I’ve been looking in on you during your stay. Let’s get you back to your room so we can see about maybe getting that needle out.”

During his stay? That was the most inane, bland way anyone could possibly refer to the whole trapped in a NerveGear coma mess, to say nothing of what had really been going on with youkai and dragons and….

Beniryuu has people here.

It sent ice through his veins, worse than Nicholas the Renegade’s attacks. Because he’d annoyed Beniryuu, even before today, and red dragons weren’t above revenge by burning everything you loved to the ground first.

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60 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch 12 Ficbit – Hello Nurse

  1. -Nurse Aki

    Beniryuu has people here.-
    Well in canon, Aki is a JSDF sergeant but it’s entirely possible that that Kirito is correct in this story. Either way I suspect we’re going to be seeing some darkfire sparks (at the very least) unless Aki manages to convince Kirito she’s not a threat to him and his.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I‘m expecting Darkfire as well, plus a „Hello, Kuroi no Kenshi“- moment on Nurse Aki‘s side.

      If she is indeed JSDF, dealing with a coma patient suddenly turning combat veteran is going to be one heck of a wake-up call.

      As it should be entirely possible to remove an IV in a corridor (just haul the kid to the nurse‘s station first), her wanting him back in his room for that is… suspicious.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I doubt Kazuto would know something like that. I just see this as a precaution for getting him out of sight of any possible antagonists, and making sure he won’t keel over the very next second. He is an invalid after all.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Might not want to remove it, just put the…no idea what it’s called, it looks like a giant band-aid that is clear and usually has strap shaped bits going off the sides, to keep it from getting messed up.

        I can’t imagine that they’re actually using a metal needle, but even the plastic inserts can get loose very easily; I worked the one out of my hand from basic typing even with the plastic holder on it.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. If you are wanting to chase down someone in the hallways, unless you have a bag already packed, you are not going to want to do so with all the paraphernalia of the modern hospital on hand. When she pulls the needle, she is going to want a bandage on hand, is going to want him at least sitting and where help is available to minimize the risks of a severe bleed, is going to want to have his records handy, and is going to want to take his vital signs. Some or all of that is readily available in his room.

        Possibly also Asuna’s room, depending on how the hospital computers work.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Her wanting to get him back to his room is not suspicious if what’s actually happening here is that she’s currently praying nobody notices Kazuto’s feathers.

        After all, they blend well enough into hair that until he’d washed the poison off Furinkazaan and Asuna hadn’t quite noticed the graft.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Well, it seems that Kirito is able to trust Aki to not be a threat to himself, from the vibes she gives of.

      More chilling for me is the signal that not all of the danger is confined to VR, or to/from Eberron. Certainly, it was already apparent that denizens of Aincrad were already physically in Japan, providing support for the project to iniatiate a mass “spiriting-away”, but I admit to having assumed that the others would be like Nagata Shinichi/Recon, and pretty much neutral, if not allies against Beniryuu. Of course Beniryuu would have some agents of his to act in his interests among the humans. If they’re youkai, or at least from Eberron, they’ll know that not upholding their side of the mission would likely end poorly for them…

      That “Nurse” Aki has been watching over Kirito would seem to mean that he’s been already singled-out as a person-of-interest by Kikuoka, and that things are likely to be much more upfront and direct. No doubt Kikuoka and his team also took notice of the incident when Suguha and Midori came to visit with the feather. I wonder if she’ll be more directly involved, since she’s already in contatct with, and congnisant of, a member of the “illegal aliens”?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. You know, Beniryuu is not the be all and end all of the world. Natural that Kirito has his threat radar tuned for that.

    The problem with Beniryuu having people here is his MO. We’ve seen him tricking an existing human organization. We’ve not seen him working with an organization of dragons. We can strongly suspect that his draconic prophecies work is in fact isolated from other dragons. He doesn’t respect two-legs enough to have an organization of trusted collaborators recruited from them. His known existing tricked collaborator organizations have come to suspect him. So for him to have truly reliable assets, he probably would have needed to recruit a cult. Which he could have done. But it would have taken time, time he doesn’t seem interested in spending that way, and there seems little reason for him to anticipate the need. Additionally, someone leading an actual DnD cult seems likely to have clerical casting levels, or an interest in that type of spell casting.

    I think OOC we have to go with the JSDF Aki, Kikuouka has been read in on the Kirito/Leafa/Recon information transfer, and Aki has instructions.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. There are already dragon cults in Japan. But they are primarily about rain worship, river/water worship, or sea worship. Or thunder worship. Not surprising in Asia. And there is one about a purple cloud that turned into a dragon.

        Benten/Benzaiten has a dragonslayer story associated with some of her temples, but that is about flood control too, probably.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Oh, and Emperor Jimmu, Antoku, etc. were descended from a dragon daughter of the sea king/dragon.

        So yeah, it could be an Imperial Household Agency problem, or it could be under the Religious Affairs division of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, or it could be JSDF, or State, or….

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Surely Aincrad does not know of all the places on Eberron cultists could be recruited from, and if there are two material planes, why not three?

        Ship over some extra brainwashed sleeper agents, and have them in place before SAO starts.

        That said, it doesn’t feel right for this fic. And I don’t buy that Beniryuu is that well prepared.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. -Kikuouka has been read in on the Kirito/Leafa/Recon information transfer-
      Where was this indicated?

      I know that Recon told Suguha, Midori and Sakuya but I don’t remember any indication that he ended up informing the SAO taskforce (or that the people he talked to did).

      Liked by 3 people

      1. -Probably through Matteo – she works for the Task Force, remember?-
        Sure it’s possible, but would she?

        I don’t know what precise reaction the Taskforce and greater government would have with said knowledge (if they believed her) but it would no doubt open a massive can of worms.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. -This has made things… awkward. –
        I somehow get the feeling that this is a British level of understatement.

        Because I’d imagine the first thing that the taskforce/government would work on is ‘magic users, how to we deal with them?’

        And second would be ‘how can we use them?’

        Because while Seijirou Kikuoka might have limits, Mr “To me, the lives of one hundred thousand artificial fluctlights are worth less than a single soldier’s.” has at least a certain level of ‘ends justify the means’ in his plans.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. -And now you know one reason Matteo will be one of the ones pushing for “leave”. Enough bad stuff’s happened to her brother already!-
        And it’s the most beautiful irony imaginable.

        By their own actions, the JSDF (and potentially other portions of the Japanese government) will be driving away the very people they need to understand and deal with this new fact of life (particularly if magic levels of Earth start increasing due to Beniryuu’s meddling, the planer conjunction etc). And the harder they try and keep the various people in Japan, the more said individuals will want to leave.

        It’s something you see over and over in fiction. Government X focuses on certain individuals and wants them under control due to special abilities. But at the same time they don’t ever trust said individuals treating them like prisoners/criminals/dangerous weapons etc etc.

        Sometimes, just sometimes offering only a carrot instead of the carrot+stick (or just the stick) is a better way to get somebody to willingly work with you.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Kikuoka is actually going to be one of the more sane types dealing with the situation, and he will offer carrots.

        …That said, he may also advise some people to leave, “at least temporarily”, given what he’s already found out about warlocks. Because no group of politicians in the world is going to respond rationally to people who can theoretically kill you just by touching you. Not without a lot of shouting first.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. This is why your Asian bureaucracy comes in handy.

        There is actually some kind of Bureau of Rites thing in a lot of Asian governments, and historically there have been things like bureaus in charge of dragons and mages. So the chances are high that somebody knows for sure that X situation should be covered by Y bureau, which totally coincidentally is run by a relative or classmate or person from his hometown.

        And if nothing else, the vestigial Imperial Japanese bureaucracy is in charge of a lot of this stuff.

        Liked by 3 people

      6. I’ve never actually seen a fic make use of that, in that aspect. I’ve seen fics where there were parts of the government dealing with “magic” or “non-human races” or whatever the story had, both secret and openly acknowledged ones, but never a story about “suddenly the stuff needs dealt with, and everyone’s scurrying around, but then the bureaucracy proves its forethought and planning by already having a department to handle that, despite no one thinking such a thing existed.” That could make for an amusing/interesting fic.

        “Finally, my vindication! I’ve not just been sitting here for 50 years getting a paycheck for doing nothing! My day has come, my department is needed, and all will see. I. Am. Prepared. For. This.”

        Liked by 6 people

      7. See also, Stargate probably made use of the “make a contingency plan for absolutely everything” that the Army* has on file, for explaining how some group that was “supposed” to be wiped out managed to pull a win.

        *OK, all the officer schools do this, and heck it’s a HOBBY for enlisted, but Army gets the press because they keep publishing some of them. Most recent was zombies, IIRC, CONPLAN 888.

        Liked by 3 people

      8. Hee! Yes, that is the sort of thing I like. Or, “Guess what agency got absorbed back in the ninth century by an ancestral form of your agency?”

        The Imperial Household Agency has a website, and there is an audio app in English in case you go to the palace grounds on a public visiting day. Fun stuff.

        Liked by 4 people

      9. ….there would probably be someone who not only knew that, but had a hobby of setting up plans for whatever the thing they’re technically in charge of….

        Liked by 2 people

      10. Which was why I used the “finally, vindication” example. He’s had that hobby for a long time, and been laughed at for it by all his colleagues. After all, no one seriously believes it’d ever happen. And now, it does, and he’s the only one who’s prepared.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. That’s because “organization of dragons” is a contradiction of terms.

      Dragons are prideful, solitary and prone to hoarding – even among the Good-aligned dragons (i.e. metallics and the like), while individuals might join forces temporarily for a shared goal, any attempts at anything more permanent runs near-completely counter to their nature, and would inevitably tear itself apart as egos warred.

      Plus, Beniryuu is/was a Red, by-far the worst of the lot, which only heightens the problem.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. There is, of course, something else that worries the JSDF overseeing the sleeping players for the day of ‘logout’.

    ‘Laughing Coffin’.

    Kirito and Asuna are /targets/ to any LC survivors; because those people are well and truely you-have-no-escape screwed, and sunk cost fallacy is a thing people do, not just bad logic.

    Yes, they know about them. If even /one/ survivor knew about them and woke up early. I’m not sure Sachi did, but it seems likely.

    Getting any of the luminaries who took down that bunch out of sight, provided LC was actually a thing at all in MC online would be…important.

    Amusingly, this applies /even if all of Laughing Coffin got pulled into Eberron due to being murderous scum/, because it will be minimum, several days before anyone /knows/ that on logout.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. What I would like to see is Nurse Aki’s POV as she talks to Kirito and he focuses on her as a possible threat and she realizes it.

    Because she may be JSDF and maybe a trained intel agent, but Aki has *nowhere* near the amount of combat time as a certain jumpy PTSD’d Ranger with access to Darkfire.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, but she has to realize that first. She’s dealing with a patient that’s been comatose for two years, even if he’s been fighting, how dangerous could he really be, right? Of course we know that the answer is ‘very’ but the risk assessment is based on the fact that we’ve seen them fight. She’s maybe seen a short video of him in a fight. Intellectually she may also know he didn’t realize ALO wasn’t also a death game. Emotionally and practically, she has no clue what she’s dealing with.

      Right now, Kirito needs to curl up with Asuna under a flock of cockatrice in Stheno’s cave, or be tucked up in Testutora’s house of healing with Asuna and Fuurinkazan. Somewhere he knows and has proven to be safe.

      Now, what I want to know is how did this AU’s version of ‘Rescue Thinker from the maze’ go.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. But remember that others have woken up before (Sachi, for example), and while it was noted that they were sometimes temporarily crippled, that still doesn’t stop them from _trying_ to lash out when they first wake up or shortly afterward.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. You would have to be an idiot not to expect PTSD from certain kinds of people who have been in certain situations. I doubt this chick is dumb.

        Think about your own engrained reactions around someone sick. You talk about what you are doing, in a quiet calm voice. You approach the person slowly unless they are falling or something. We expect sick people to possibly freak out, even if we have never seen it happen.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Well even if the Spirit is willing, the Flesh just came off a two year nap. Sure he might try, and darkfire will probably be a nasty thing to yank out. But even if she recognizes Kirito is looking at her as a threat to take out? She will probably want to deescalate the situation more because she’ll think he’ll hurt himself more than hurt her. Just due to the idea he’s doing damn good staggering around with an IV pole to prop on.

      Oh, another reason to give to pull him back to his room. He might want some privacy if they are pulling his catheter out. O.O

      Liked by 2 people

  5. But Kirito is not only one of the highest levelled players in the game, he is the one that tracked and defeated (i)Beniryuu(/i). It would not surprise me if a heavy squad of agents lead by Kikuoka come running up as soon as they realize what happened.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. An examination of…level

    So the sao clearers and general population have been in essentially a coma or coma lite for a year or two and change. Surely this makes them weak and containable, at least for a while, right?

    Only, not so much.

    Kirito retained wyld empathy and darkfire. At the least he should have combat healing up shortly. Lesser restoration is in the ra spell list last i checked, and his caster levels seem to stack. /he will probably be back to full strength by the end of the day/.

    And even with the debuff of ‘sao victim’ hes already mobile and game to try adventurer issue plans.

    He’s a particularily well developed adventurer. But the rest of them will be picking up just as well, if slower. Marginally.

    D&d/pathfinder characters leave things we recognize as humanly impossible behind around level three. I doubt there are many mc online victims lowere than level six or so…

    And thats without becoming youkai.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Meaning this is where we fall into the numerous holes in the level based system Dungeons & Dragons is so fond of.

        Kirito has +/-15 levels worth of experience in Monstrous Compendium Online… In RL his body’s been in a coma and magic is much weaker on Earth than in Eberron. So his experience – and therefore his skills – outweigh what he’s supposed to be capable of at the level you’d stat him out at to reflect his Earth-based stats.

        …Stuff like this is why I prefer point-buy tabletop systems.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’d honestly prefer Hero for it myself(well, that’s for a longer term game, for a short one I’d cheat and use Aberrant, I could likely stat up most of the cast with 15 mins or so apiece.) Then again, I think Superhero games do really well on both the point buy and fantasy aspects, given everything else that they have to account for.

        That said, communication is so important here, and it’s likely going to be groups divided by a common language for just long enough. Though I’m sure Kirito wouldn’t appreciate that most of his relatives and found family are fighting down urges to wrap him up, never let him go, and lecture him later about how much of a risk he took.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. >> Does that mean you are using GURPS Dungeon Fantasy for your fantasy roleplaying needs?

        Actually, I’ve never tried GURPS, though I’ve always kind of wanted to.

        My introduction to pen & paper was… Well. Okay. Technically my introduction was when my dad brought me along on his gaming nights because Mom was busy and that was cheaper than getting a babysitter, so I overheard snatches of Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu and Ars Magica depending on the night farther back than I can actually remember. But I didn’t really retain any of it, so I don’t really count that.

        The first pen & paper I actually participated in was when one of my buddies ran White Wolf’s Exalted in highschool. Partially due to mechanics, partially due to setting that system is actually my favorite. As for what I usually play these days for High Fantasy games… That’s a bit more variable.

        FATE and FATE Accelerated are simultaneously good for flexibility and ease to run and build characters for. The main game I run is actually TSR’s old Marvel Superheroes role-playing game (heavily house-ruled), and between my fondness for Urban Fantasy and bad habit of throwing in new IPs whenever I’m uncertain where to take the game next… I’ve given its fantasy elements/mechanics a real good workout.

        For all my above talk about point-buy I do still appreciate the ease of building a quick dungeon-crawl that Pathfinder allows, and that’s my preferred ‘light module-based hack-n’-slash’ system. Plus, while some ideas are difficult to translate to a level-based system the fun of combining Feats, Prestige Classes, Multi-classing, and races is something I do enjoy. It’s like… Building a puzzle. Except instead of a picture at the end of it you’ve got a character doing absolutely ridiculous amounts of damage.

        On that note I’ve got a buddy who’s been talking about using Starfinder to run a John Carter of Mars-styled game for a while now, and another who’s been on-again-off-again Gaming a DC Adventures game that has the magical elements of the DCU as the central focus.

        I will admit, for a supers game I have decided that Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Ed – the mechanics used in DCA
        – is my favorite. If the Marvel game I was running wasn’t so far along as to make things difficult I’d probably have switched the party over.

        I think a supers system really does work well to represent a fantasy game… But between nostalgia and an extremely fun setting, Exalted is probably still my favorite.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. DF uses templates to emulate classes, and to make sure that characters are for their point value fairly optimized for dungeon crawling combat.

        So a bit less decision paralysis starting out than ‘five perk points, up to fifty in disadvantages, and starting with two fifty’, which is the assumption for starting characters that most of the DF material is built around. On the GM’s side, it also avoids most of the decision paralysis of the rule buffet that GURPS makes available. (Mailanka’s Psi Wars is a really fun worked example of navigating the rule buffet starting only from the design goal of ‘imitating the feel of Star Wars without being restricted by the design details of canon.’)

        Liked by 2 people

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