Autopsy of a Failed Xros Over P2

Welcome Back. Last time we talked about Draft 1.

Here’s where things went bad.
DRAFT 2.

A.K.A: What was I thinking?

With the stupid idea of changing the premise so that Nanites were a known factor from the get go, I changed the entire SAO timeline so that Nerve Gears and SAO itself worked to basically BE the Otherworld. This time, the story was set sometime after GGO and not after Alicization. Instead of the death game, SAO was instead the first “Land” In an ever growing landscape of VRMMOs, all of which shared the exact same player base.

Because the players unknowingly uploaded copies of themselves, and thus were able to play all the time while still being productive in IRL. This world’s Kayaba’s idea was that players would become more productive in both worlds, and live in both equally, if there were simply TWO players for one soul. This completely ignored the Fluctlight problem by maintaining that connection with nanites.

Thus is the Prologue, recapping that event so many years ago, bringing us to the present.

Shino talks to Saya, much like she did in the first draft, only this time Shino’s distrust comes from the fact that once the world’s governments found out about the nanite problem, they pretty much banned public use of VRMMOs and Nanites. Players must keep their activities quiet lest they get arrested. Saya probes a bit too deeply, and Shino bolts, running into Mato much like before, only this time with a different type of collar. One that’s laiden with so many nanites that Mato could choose someone who’s uninfected, and give them the item so that way THEY would be brought into the Otherworld.

Shino elaborates for the audience that every Otherworld denizen does this, despite the risk.

Meanwhile on AINCRAD’s 22nd Floor, SINON, with optional Cait Syth mods for her ears and tail, runs into SILICA- already a dragon girl- and ARGO- the Rat Info Broker with actual rat whiskers. (People speculate whether she had a rat’s tail or not either, but she never takes off her long robe or pants and so nobody knows if she does or not.) Argo is looking for friends to help her with a rumor investigation.

Werewolves have apparently started spawning inside the game world, and Argo, naturally due to her fear of dogs, wants to see if she can get turned so she can get over said fear of dogs.

They head to the 23rd floor, discussing the rumors of how a Werewolf village down in Alfheim, near the Cait Syth capitol, had been raided by Salamander NPCs, burning the place to the ground. Rumor now has it that the wolves live up on Aincrad.

Long story short, they find the village. However, the wolves have a strange requirement for anyone to enter the village. No cloth- or metal- what so ever. It all has to be left outside the village. The reason for that, as our first introductory werewolf, KARLIEAH, explains, is that the transformation is hard on anything equipped- essentially a “Gear Shredder.” It should also be noted that unlike most typical werewolves, their ‘normal’ stage is already somewhat turned. A Werewolf in this draft NEVER returns to a pure human form once they’re turned. So despite being naked, for the most part, these werewolves have their lower arms and legs turned full wolf, while the rest of their bodies are covered in a short fur that, at a distance, only appears to make them heavily tanned.

Karlieah, it should be noted, is also a player who was turned (amongĀ  other Werewolves in this introductory pack, such as a male named BRYN), but knew Silica before hand. Silica says Karlieah was training to be a dragon tamer before up and disappearing suddenly. Karlieah says that it’s because she was turned into a wolf, and the curse takes a heavy toll on a person’s mind.

She leads them to the pack leader, passing by some kid!Wolves, who apparently have no memory of being in the outside world, but know that they are not from this world as well. This causes Sinon to think on the Kirigaya situation (Again they’re going camping).

Kirito and Sachi (Yes! Sachi livesss!) had found a young girl named Yui wandering through Aincrad with very little memories of what had happened to her in reality, and together those two had searched in reality to find out what had happened. They had found that Yui had been in a car wreck, and that the only reason she had survived it was because of the nanites working to heal her body up. This was just slightly before the governments discovered the nanite situation, and so the doctors were baffled by this. Kirito and Sachi found out that Yui’s parents were both dead, and they helped Yui, in Aincrad, work her way through understanding that, and eventually adopted her in that world. When she finally woke up in reality (Naturally during the whole kerfuffle of the governments trying to ban stuff), Kirito and Sachi got married IRL, and adopted her there as well.

Shino wonders what would have happened to those kids in this village to have caused such a similar memory crisis.

The Village pack Leader is RECON, (Silica recognizes him as Suguha/Leefa’s IRL friend who was not around much as of late), who at first appears to be normal and unturned from his usual Sylph appearance. However, he explains that he had raised his Dark magic Skills to a very high level, and thus had unlocked a disguise spell after being turned, and that was all it was.

He explains that this curse of becoming a werewolf in the Otherworld also affects their waking selves on Earth. Things like feeling uncomfortable in clothing, feeling colder than you should have due to a lack of fur, as well as near uncontrollable desires to want to mate with another wolf.

Yeah, I actually said that. It’s a plot point, though.

There are various theories that the wolves have about how this curse works, but they don’t want to risk testing them to see what happens. Argo, naturally, decides that they’ll test some of it out, and so recruits the aid of a fellow Info broker who also was investigating this werewolf thing (and had arrived there shortly before she had).

Silica runs into a familiar face in the wolf village- a boy around her age that had helped her back in the early days of SAO. They were classmates, as a matter of fact, and lately she’d noticed him acting strange. Reason? Lycanthropy. She decides that, since the in game transformation to wolf appeared to be permanent and she didn’t want to lose her dragon appearance (Won in a contest or specially hand crafted, something like that), she decided to ask him to try biting her in reality to see what happened.

The boy, SAO avatar name is “Duke” and real name Takato Matsuda…. yeah, Digimon Tamers reference, I couldn’t resist since they both have red eyes and brown hair…. well, he takes a little bit of convincing, but he agrees to it.

And so the next day at school, they slip out during gym class and he bites her. This unleashes a whole slew of problems that nobody was expecting, as they’re both turned into full fledged were wolves in the same bite. As everyone is still in the same village, Silica warns Sinon that something went wrong, and to get over to Keiko’s school to try to fix this.

Argo’s waking self, Kana, calls Shino during class to provide an excuse, and Shino leaves, but Yomi, a classmate, is suspicious, and so follows, revealing herself as an Otherworld denizen before offering Shino a ride to Keiko’s school. Shino wants to decline, but Yomi essentially blackmails her into letting her come along or else she’d tell the teachers that Shino’s excuse was a lie.

I then did a sequence where Kana, acting slightly wolfish despite looking normal and human, and Shino sneak into Keiko’s school while Yomi distracts the front door guard with a flat tire on her motor bike. In this version of the universe, Yomi is quite the actress to be, meanwhile, Dead Master is a bit of a tactician and hacker, and can manipulate how the world sees her and those around her thanks to the nanites that are basically in everything.

This comes in handy when Kana and Shino get Takato and Keiko out of the gym’s janitor closet, and find that those two are stuck in full on hybrid mode like the other werewolves in game. Yomi puts up a disguise field around them so everyone can get to Shino’s apartment (again living alone), while Shino heads to the Dicey Cafe to excuse Kana and Keiko’s absences to everyone else without causing much of a fuss.

The Cafe scene is a bit different, but otherwise the same. We get to see that Asuna is completely different from canon SAO- she and her Otherself, also called Asuna, continually swap places much to everyone’s confusion. One Asuna is kind and sweet, the other is loud and bossy, thanks in part to that one having been the one to defeat Illfang, the first floor boss, and take over his armies thanks to the Last Hit Bonus, becoming the Kobold Queen. Nobody knows which was the real Asuna before everything went down, but everyone is kind of glad, especially when they think back to that time her parents tried to put her in arranged marriage to a real douchebag. (She challenged him to a fencing duel- if she won, the engagement was off. …. She won, naturally. Left him running out of the dojo in nothing but his heart print boxers…. which now had some…rather clever carvings in their fabric.)

Yui is a bit “younger” than in canon at this point of the timeline, in terms of appearance, anyways. She’s actually older due to not being an AI in this universe. Still has her D’AAAAW moments, though, and appears hiding behind Sachi’s legs, peeking out in embarassment (as she’s been in physical rehab after the accident, trying to get used to walking again. Easier, thanks to the Otherworld and the nanites, but still took a while).

We return to Shino’s apartment, and Shino cooks dinner. Spaghetti and Meatballs… It’s every bit more disturbing than it sounds when I say that Keiko and Takato had tomato sauce stains around their mouths.

Yomi and Dead Master scan the Nanites, trying to figure out what’s going on, and discover that in the Otherworld, Silica is now immune, and Duke has lost the “Permanent Transformation” Flag that other one sided WW’s like Argo have, and can eventually regain human form on that side.

They then discover that WW’s on the Earth side have an overabundance of Nanites ready to leap into action and transform someone, and come to the realization that the nanites might be able to travel through water to infect people.

That night, the Otherselves travel to the remains of the original village to investigate there as well…only to run into STRENGTH, who turns from her usual form into a ROBOTIC WEREWOLF instead of an organic one.

I could NOT get the fight to work, and decided to scrap it at this point. Every solution to the problem was just too convoluted to pull off successfully. Nothing was working.

Also, this story was quickly veering into a full on Werewolf AU fic rather than a cross over. What happened next in my mind’s draft?

STR destroys the remains of the village and absconds, leaving our heroes with no leads. And then…

Recon’s human self finds Suguha at a pool (Her location and Saturday activity for the first draft), gets in the water, and then transforms.

As theorized, the nanites travel through water and everyone in the pool turns into a wolf. Other Werewolves, like Karlieah’s human self, also lose control and do that same thing, only for her at the beach, or for Byrn, diving into a water reservoir and turning there, leaving the water infected and having anyone that drank it becoming turned.

Also, at some point, Keiko and Takato would lose it as well, and head out into the forest. Catching them before they got too far would be the only way to prevent Kirito, Sachi, and Yui from getting bitten and turned as well. (Not that it doesn’t stop those two from turning some other random happenstance campers through the usual means of biting them.)

We would discover that THIS was Saya’s plan for fixing the earth in this timeline. Turn everyone on Earth-Side into a wolf, and then perform that same Nanite Terraform event which would turn everything digital into reality. Voila, everyone from the Otherworld whose human self had been turned were immune, and so would their descendants be immune as well. Wolves and Misc. Creatures, side by side.

Saya had a clever trick, though. All those government folks who tried banning VRMMOs and Nanites? The world transformation would do only ONE thing to them. Make them unable to breathe the air that had been cleansed by the nanites.

Clever, right?

Sounds a bit terroristy and revengey though, to me. Another reason why I scrapped this draft.

Onwards to part 3.

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