Title: Alicization Reporting
Summary: Kirito has been in the STL for a while now and Asuna along with the others wonder what in the world is happening in there. If only the translation A.I was making sense. Ah, who was she kidding, if he was involved it was probably all true.
Disclaimer: If I owned Sword Art Online, I wouldn't be dying in suspense here waiting for Alicization Dividing.
WARNING: SPOILERS UNTIL ALICIZATION RISING CHAPTER 8. IF YOU ARE NOT UP TO DATE WITH THE LIGHT NOVELS, TURN BACK NOW. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Asuna felt as if she had been waiting for years.
Standing here aboard the «Ocean Turtle» and looking through the window pane, where his body lay unconscious.
A hand lay on the glass softly as she stared at the device she knew was called a «Soul Translator». A large machine that spanned the entire room, it had bleak colors that did not really send out a welcoming vibe while hooking an apparatus onto his person.
She suppressed the ugly feeling festering in her gut, was this how he felt during those days after «SAO»?
The person who was in charge of this «Project Alicization», Higa Takeru, said that since time was accelerated at a thousand times of that of the real world inside the «STL», Kirito had probably experienced at least 2 years' worth of existence within the Underworld.
Asuna wondered what he was doing right now. She saw the world that was simulated by «RATH», it had looked a bit similar to Aincrad, where swords and stone were prominent, but it looked a bit peaceful as well.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the light coughing behind her. Turning around as she chastised herself inwardly for drifting off, Asuna saw Koujiro Rinko standing in front of her.
"Asuna-san, Higa-kun and Kikuoka-san were looking for you. They said they wanted to speak with you about something."
She said as she motioned for Asuna to follow her, walking out to the hallway towards where those two people were probably loitering about.
"Do you have any idea on what they wanted to tell me?"
"Well… they were talking about some kind of A.I, but I don't think that's it really related."
"I see, I wonder what they could want to talk about." Asuna finished the conversation as she was again lost in her thoughts.
She couldn't imagine any subject that they would talk to her about besides Kirito-kun. This was supposed to be a secret project after all. No matter how much Kikuoka liked Kirito, or her by extension, his superiors would probably draw the line somewhere. Perhaps this was about Kirito after all, a report perhaps?
By the time she remembered to take in her surroundings, they were already at the room where they first confronted the two about Kirito's whereabouts, the mentioned two were indeed back in their original positions, as if everyone was re-enacting a chapter in a stage play that they had already performed. As soon as they arrived, Kikuoka began.
"Ah, Asuna-kun, there you are. Perhaps you already guessed but today's topic involves Kirito-kun as well." Saying that, he nodded to Higa, who then started to type at the keyboard.
"What's this about Kikuoka-san?"
"You recall our previous discussion pertaining to that «Artificial Fluctlight» that disobeyed the «Taboo Index»?"
"Yes, I did recall something like that, she was called Alice right?"
"Indeed, then I suppose you remember that we were unable to extract the Fluctlight. Because time passes by a thousand times faster in there, the Integrity Church had already managed some sort of correction before we could intervene."
Remembering all these from a conversation before, Asuna merely nodded her head, unable to see where this was going. Kikuoka saw this and continued.
"Well, the next time this happens again, we want to be prepared so I had Higa-kun here prepare a program to… 'translate' the happenings in the Underworld so as to keep us updated." Finishing this speech, he turned to Higa, who paused in his typing and turned to them.
"What Kiku-san is trying to say is that, this program which I made using «Top-down A.I» as a template can basically comprehend all the happening in the Underworld even with the time rate difference and report it to us verbally so that the next opportunity for a Fluctlight like Alice appears again, we can extract it before it is corrected by the system."
Asuna began to see where this was going.
"So what you're saying is…"
Realizing that Asuna was onto his explanation, Higa smiled and nodded.
"Indeed, with this program, we can have a report on what Kirigaya-kun has been up to within the length of time that has passed in the Underworld."
Even after that conversation, in which Asuna thought they would revolutionize sliced bread from the enthusiasm they generated, the translation A.I was still actually compiling so they were unable to immediately get a report.
This delay only served to mount her increasing anxiety. After all this time, she finally got to hear what he was up to on the other side.
Of course, she thought with almost a petulant tone, they would say this kind of news to her and then make her wait. Perhaps Kikuoka was a bit bitter about her little wig trick, Asuna mused.
Still, perhaps learning what Kirito is doing right now is some kind of apology from him as well so Asuna waited and bore it without a word of complaint.
Finally, after what seemed to be about a few hours' worth of waiting (she seemed to be doing that a lot lately), she was again called to the room where the A.I was to be run.
After arriving in the room where everyone was gathered, Asuna learned that the A.I program was named Ai, she inwardly winced, at least she (Ai was a girl's name after all) wouldn't be called Sanmom or something.
She at first wondered why the report had to be given verbally by an A.I, wouldn't a visual presentation be more effective? It was then that she realized that if she viewed what Kirito was experiencing in real time, it would be like a watching a video that has been fast forwarded by 1000 times. So Ai was made to procure the important data and verbalize it to them.
Everyone gathered to the large monitor that was displayed on the wall which had the picture of a loading bar in its screen. They watched as it was completed itself form a third of the way to the end at a fairly quick speed and then they heard her.
"Good morning. I am the A.I created to oversee the interaction of the virtual space called 'Underworld'. My name is Ai."
From the corner of her eye, Asuna saw that Rinka-san was unable to hide her wince at the name. Perhaps she felt sorry for the A.I, or she had better naming sense than the other two.
More likely, it was both.
"Good morning Ai, for now we just want a report on subject 'KIRITO', please summarize the important data from the beginning and say it."
"Understood. Beginning process."
"Error: Invalid Cast Exception. Cannot compute data record ADE041-01."
Higa looked surprised by this but then ordered Ai to 'reverse the contemplation protocol' or something as he typed on the keyboard for a moment and turned to them.
"Sorry about that, I just started building Ai here last night. She apparently can't record what happened from the beginning to the current time so well just get an update on what he's currently doing and skip the earlier months." It was Kikuoka that replied.
"That's okay I suppose, but what was that error about? Can you fix it?"
"Well, I know what caused it at least. I gave Ai the understanding of most actions found in the daily lives of the citizens of Underworld, things like farming, baking and basically all actions that can be expected of a citizen. For a cast exception to happen… I guess he performed some actions that were outside the scope of the knowledge base."
That made sense, she thought, Kirito was quite unpredictable even at the best of times. Though he can usually be counted on to be up to some mischief, she thought with fondness.
"Don't worry though," Higa assured them "I guess it was foolish of me to expect the norm from Kirigaya-kun, he was our intended subject after all, I just updated the database so we'll probably know what he's up to at the present time, or as present as Ai can comprehend."
It was then that a strange feeling welled up from within Asuna, as she wondered. What was he doing right now, he has spent at least two years in another world right? Did he miss her? Or perhaps he met some nice girl and― shaking herself from such gloomy thoughts, Asuna steeled herself, she trusted him, in fact, he was probably taking a nap under some tree because of the good weather.
"Subject 'KIRITO' is currently leading a coup d'état against the government of Underworld."
"What." Asuna said. Of all the things to happen, she did not expect Kirito to perform a c―
"What." She repeated, as if Ai was a program that if refreshed would give a different output.
"Subject 'KIRITO' is currently leading a coup d'état against the government of Underworld."
Alas, it was not to be.
"What do you mean, he's leading a coup?" Asuna nearly growled as she pushed Higa out of the way and stood directly in front of the monitor, hands placed on the keyboard.
"A coup d'état, an action which consists of the infiltration of a small, but critical, segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder."
"I know what a coup is!" Asuna insisted, "But what is he doing right now?" Maybe the update was faulty or something. If she heard the actions he was currently taking, she might be able to figure out what he was actually doing.
Ai paused for a moment, Asuna felt as though she tilted her head thinking before she said.
"Subject 'KIRITO' is currently leading a two man force inside the government headquarters wherein he is engaging in combat with its elite forces."
Asuna paused for a moment before "You mean he's leading two others while facing powerful enemies?"
"Correction, the two man force previously described consists of himself and another entity which has the name―"
That was the sound of Asuna hitting the keyboard with both her hands, which was followed by the soft sound of "idiot―" and "going to get himself―" and a few other phrases that really shouldn't be uttered in polite company, this continued for a while until, a few minutes later, she faced the monitor again and asked.
"Why is Kirito in the government's headquarters?"
"Subject 'KIRITO' is the first criminal in the Axiom Church's 300 years of history and thus was apprehended by its elite forces, he then escaped and is currently heading towards where the head of the government is residing."
At this, Asuna surprisingly calmed down. Kirito being a criminal, it was utterly impossible no matter how much time has passed so there simply had to be something more to it. Deducing this and being thankful for the clear mind, she wanted to know more of situation.
"Does he have any swords?"
She did not hesitate in asking which weapon he is currently using. In that world, so many months ago, it was his greatest strength and passion. Where bonds where forged and shattered against the flow of time and the burden of conquest, it was a constant companion who never betrayed him even once. Even after then, at the different worlds of magic and flight, or of dust and gunpowder, it was still by his side. For as long as possible, he would surely go swing about a sword.
"Affirmative. Subject 'KIRITO' is currently armed with a giant cedar."
…She really didn't want to but―
"A giant cedar?"
Deciding to ignore this statement after her admittedly impressive monologue, she decided to inquire about the enemy's weapons instead.
"What are the weapons of the enemy then?"
Ai was silent for a few seconds, as if contemplating how to answer her before she spoke.
"The enemy he is currently facing is armed with an olive tree."
Asuna closed her eyes, sighed through her nose and silently counted to five then continued.
"An olive tree? How can the enemy use that as a weapon?"
Perhaps the use of trees as weapons was the norm in that society? But Asuna was starting to believe that Ai was playing some kind of prank on her.
Ah, who was she kidding, if he was involved it was probably all true.
"She uses the weapon as a―"
That was the sound of the expensive keyboard being damaged by Asuna's bare hands.
"Affirmative. She is currently engaged in a duel with subject 'KIRITO'."
Asuna stood up and turned to walk out of the room. Kikuoka, being the person who was vaguely connected to the military and thus 'brave', asked in a rather meek voice. "A-Asuna-kun?"
Only to be faced with a glare that made him in his tracks so fast, Asuna idly thought that perhaps he had a pure-AGI build.
"You." She said, as if she just suddenly recalled his existence, "You have another «STL», correct?" before he could even respond she continued "Good. Prepare one for me then. I'll be ready in a few minutes." Having said that she left the room.
Soon, in the room where the second «STL» was being prepared, Asuna readied herself to dive in the Underworld. This was urgent, she knew what happened to girls who dueled with Kirito and she needed to be there to do some damage control. Climbing onto the machine, she thought.
'Hang on, Kirito-kun, I'm coming.'
Aaaaand that's how Asuna became the second tourist of the Underworld.
Hello everyone! I am Tantei1412, and I present to you this fic! Well, seriously I don't know if this'll happen (Asuna going to the Underworld), I just finished Alicization Rising the other day and am eagerly awaiting Dividing. It seems that Kirito and Alice finally get some time alone! And to the people who somehow know what's going to happen next, shush! I shall enjoy it when it gets there. Nothing much to say here, except I hope that I can post up some more fics soon.
About Ai telling them that Kirito and Alice has a giant cedar and an olive tree respectively, she can't actually 'see' them but rather she reads the data and interprets it, and since their swords had the 'memories' of those trees respectively… that was the result.
And girls who duel with Kirito: Leafa, Sinon, Asuna herself… She has the pattern learned already.
 There's a robot in the Ocean Turtle named Ichiemom, and apparently a second one too, so Sanmom would be the third one.
Please review and point out typos! Criticism is welcome. Probably.
[Revision Notes] Procastination strikes again! Nothing new really, just changed a few things here and there. Thank you all for reviewing, both those who already did and those who will though special thanks for 'thelastsoldier21477', I really should have noticed that. Can't believe it took me this long to edit it...