Part 32: .hack Outbreak - //Update 08 - Σ Sorrowful Sweltering Arena//Update 08
Hello everyone! It's been a very long time, hasn't it? By my reckoning, it's been 15 months since last we met. How is everyone doing?
Because I can't very well stay away and I didn't want to leave this unfinished, we're back again. Let's see this out, shall we? I reposted the last update just above, but to cover what we did last time, we fought Cubia and made the subtle change from being a reactive force to an active one.
Our first goal is to get Lios and Helba on the same side. It will not be easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. So, without further ado, shall we?
Last time, Blackrose did say that she posted a message on the board we should take a peek at. Perhaps this is it!
I hope Blackrose knows what she's doing. This post seems innocuous enough, but with how Lios has been acting, I don't doubt he knows she posted it.
: The plan is perfect! I'm not a woman for nothing!
: I guess we should head to Net Slum: Λ Pulsating Truth's Core, for now.
We pick up Wiseman, though we don't need him straight away. It'll save some time when we go to the next dungeon.
: Well, I don't know what you're both up to, but I'm afraid I deleted that post. It's no more. The truth is... she won't be coming here, I'm sorry.
Tell me that's not the epitome of
: The hackers... they're having a good laugh. They find the current affairs to be quite amusing. What do you intend to do with them? I'm curious to know, tell me.
: Why do you say things like that? Because it's the company's policy?
: Lios, you should know by now that the problems are unrelated to Helba.
: What do you know? Do you think you're a hero now because of that bracelet? Don't make me laugh! So wear that thing if you want. I will restore the system without the help of that abominable item!
: I'm trying to tell you that if we want the same results, we should work together.
: I do not work with hackers!
Lios knows Kite's right, but his pride won't let him agree right out. He's already made up his mind to agree to help but doesn't know how to say yes.
: If he wasn't so thick-skulled, I'd have done it already.
: Helba! How'd you -
: A deleted post is meaningful, fraught with significance Did you actually think I would pass up something that juicy? Deleting messages with clues that point toward the truth? Shameful! Even a pig-head like you is aware of the present situation... right?
: Fair enough, but first prove to me that you aren't a pig-head.
: The players who fell into comas during the game continue to suffer. What we ought to be doing right now -
: All right. If it will stop your insistent demand, I will do it on one condition. You can prove to me how serious you are by obtaining a Virus Core from the lowest level of the dungeon. The dungeon of Σ Sorrowful Sweltering Arena.
Told ya! He found a way to agree in his own way. Kite's already picked up on this, too. He's a pretty perceptive little guy!
: That's not a problem!
: Don't be ridiculous! What are we supposed to do if a Data Bug suddenly shows up?!
: Understood. I agree.
: Huh? Are you kidding? "Understood?" What are you saying?!
: If I do it, you'll work with Helba?
: Only if you fulfill the condition.
: It's nearly impossible to soften that pig-head. I want you to show him that you're serious.
Σ Sorrowful Sweltering Arena is added to the Word List.
I'm not gonna lie, I have absolutely no idea what level Kite is at right now. It's the same as what it was when he fought Cubia. 61, I think? Anyway, a level 62 area isn't a problem in the least.
: You understand?
: I understand. I won't use Data Drain in this area... but Lios, you'd better keep your promise, too.
This is an incredibly simple dungeon. There's maybe three or four monster portals between us and the goal.
This is a new enemy. They're weak to lightning elemental attacks and are wholly unremarkable except for one nasty thing that they never did here. This monster type has a chance to deal Death damage and it's something innate to all of them.
Funny enough, I never saw any of them do it until I was doing post-game stuff in Quarantine. It turns out that even at the level cap of 99, a level 15 monster in this family can still take off 90% of your HP with one swipe.
It's a little annoying.
We fought these guys in Cubia's dungeon. They're just as worthless as they were then.
These three floors seriously had no monsters between us and the exit. I still somehow fought the lone portal on the fourth floor because I got turned around and confused. It was another pack of Undead Voodoos, if I'm not mistaken.
Anyway, purple mist means a data bug, and we're not allowed to use data drain. This could get nasty.
Lios is here to make sure we hold up our end of the bargain.
: Let's go!
So there's something slightly wrong about this data bug.
Like the fact that it's down by 2/3 of its health and still hasn't protect broken.
We just killed a data bug. That's... that's not how that works. Before my old external hard drive suffered catastrophic failure at the end of the last thread, I had a recording where berryjon and I sat around bullshitting for 15 minutes as I slowly beat a data bug to death.
Eventually its health hit a minimum and refused to go lower. I want to say that it was at 50% health that the data bug stopped taking damage. It was well past the point that the thing protect broke. In fact, as I recall, it protect broke several times, and continued to do so even after hitting the invulnerable point.
This data bug didn't do that. Its health went to 0 and it laid down and died. It never protect broke once. Care to hazard a guess as to why that happened?
: Why didn't you use Data Drain? You might have fallen into a coma.
: You're the one that made him do it! What the hell are you saying?! We've fought something a lot stronger than that one! You don't know anything!
: Lios knows.
: What are you talking about? Anyway, that Data Bug you just defeated was a fake one that I created. If it was real, it wouldn't have gone that easily. Don't get cocky.
: I had a feeling it was. This game is just as important to Lios. So someone like that won't make us do something dangerous.
: Why didn't you say that in the first place? I thought I was going to have a heart attack!
: Lios, you lose.
God dammit, Helba. This isn't the time to be gloating like that. You know it makes Lios defensive!
: Yeah, I lost... I completely lost. This hell isn't amusing...
: Lios, while I'm at it, I'll tell you something else. CC Corp. has begun to create a script for their farce.
: Agencies that were sympathetic to CC Corp. are preparing to announce that the company is responsible. After hearing that, the upper management is going out on a gamble for their own protection.
: They are planning on throwing this world in the dark, along with the lost ones.
For the first time, his farce drops. As cold and detached as he pretends to be, he does genuinely care about the game and its players.
I think this news, more than the bet he lost, is what galvanizes him to help us. Before, he was sulking because Helba was rubbing her victory in his face. But this news she dropped has upset him enough that he's willing to finally go against the company and help the hackers he so despises.
: They'll probably say that hackers or terrorists are responsible for it.
: But that won't... do anything. That won't stop the infection of the network!
: Yes, you're right. CC Corp. know that, but they are still proceeding with it.
: We'll have to do something before they do something stupid.
: Lois, I did what you asked, but... I won't force you.
: You are such a brat... All right. I'll keep my promise. I will help you.
: You did pretty well. It's going to get busy.
: This is it!
: Yeah, it is!
We're finally now all on the same side. Now that we're not fighting each other while we fight the Wave, maybe we'll make some headway into bringing the coma victims back.
At the very least we should be able to limit the damage that happens due to data draining one of the eight phases, or even from fighting Cubia.
At any rate, that's enough for now. So let's see what's new on the message board, and see if we have any e-mails.
Lios did say he deleted Blackrose's post.
What? How does that even? WHAT?
Good to see that creepypasta is a universal thing. I think. Anyway, this is worth investigating even if it's just for a quick level or two.
Σ Fleeting Fallow Chaos is added to the Word List.
We've also got some new e-mails! Let's see what everyone's up to.
Why is Kite cursed to be surrounded by people who can't communicate properly? Between Gardenia and Moonstone, I swear...
Digimon Card Battles is a thing that exists in the .hack universe? I can't even laugh at that. I'd feel bad if I did.
It's like making fun of someone for liking to play Hearthstone. It's just not cool, y'know?
I'm pretty sure Kite is saying he's never seen a disaster movie in the asshole answer. You'd have to live a fairly sheltered life to have never seen a movie, even in the weird universe that .hack takes place in.
from Helba and Lios, we should be able to narrow it down.
It's all because of you.
Sure, Blackrose. Suuuure.
That's all for now!
NEXT TIME: We help Rachel and Moonstone.
See y'all then!