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PSO2 Story Guide Episodes 4-5
The story of PSO2 has many chapters & is very long.
This isn't meant to be a substitute for the game, or as a transcript of the entire script/plot, but rather a way to understand, read-up-on, speculate, analyze & get a really good idea of what's going on in the game.
This section is for Chapters 4 and 5 ONLY. For all the plot before this, see the Story Hub. Because the game is divided up over these sections, the plot will be as well.
Character Guide
Planets/Areas Guide
Special Quest Mission Write Ups
Color key
Green Text: Speculation or opinions
What You Do/The official "Party Line" appears in RED TEXT
Bold Text: Important information
Choice Options: Blue Text
Dates & Times (Story is time travel related) Purple Text
Story Guide HUB

At 1540
Enga’s on his ear phone in Hitsugi’s dorm room (As it is private, and close to the track area where the portal card ended up at). EG can’t contact ARKS. We don’t even know where it went, how are we supposed to return? Damn it all. He has put Hitsugi on her bed. Hitsugi beings to sparkle. Is ether cascading out of control? What is this? You raise a hand to her and sparkle too, then suddenly flash into her computer screen. Enga is shocked and runs over, but he can’t do anything.

Now, Hitsugi is still in her water area.
Hitsugi is sick of being alone, she doesn’t want to lose everything. She’s still lamenting in her water. Aru’s voice says he’s here too, she shouldn’t cry. Not just him, Enga and you are there too. Can you feel us here? She closes her eyes and golden light shines on her. She says its warm, is this everyone? She stands now and Aru says she’s not alone, she’s not wrong. She claims to not have motives, she even lost to Kohri. She's sick of being in pain and afraid, suffering and struggles, all of it. She’s just tired of it. Aru appears behind her and says he’ll take all of her burdens. She turns to him, he’s in his causals now, and tells her not to cry he doesn’t want to see her….like that time she rescued him, so open her, yes face forward, and smile. But he sparkles and fades. She tries to follow him, but he says he’ll always be by her side. He fades into a flash of light an she runs to grab it.

At 1550
Aratron is clashing with Matoi and Ophiel is helping him, but as she’s about to be struck you fend off Aratron. Ophiel says it’s impossible, you should’ve been isolated onto Earth. Aratron assumes Och & Phul were defeated, it’s unexpected and will make the plan deviate. They cube up and vanish into the air.

1550 / A Co-occurance
Hitsugi is dumped into the room with Mother, Xiera and the controls. Mother is holding up Aru with one hand who says he’s so glad she’s here. She dissolves him though, into herself in a halo of dots. She’ll take some getting used to, but no matter she’ll learn how to use it soon. Hitsugi demands "where’s Aru," Mother says she saw it herself (meaning that Hitsugi witnessed Mother dissolve him right here and now) so she absorbed the Catalyst. Now, mother crackels with some odd energy and blue dots.
She’s glad she woke up though, because combined with the escape from the moon, the access here through pso2 shows great promise but it was too late. Hitsugi speculates that Aru is inside Mother, so Mother asks what of it. Hitsugi laughs, but mother calls it cold and unpleasant. There’s a lot to being a girl, cowardice frustration and anger but with all mixed, now all she can do is laugh. Mother says to go to sleep once more the next time she wakes all will be finished. She summons a big red sword and chops her. Hitsugi blocks with her katana which sends her skidding back . She knows what she must do. She was an idiot in the past, carless reckless, acting without thinking and crying. But now she’s experienced it all already: she’ll never act like that again. She hates those feelings but most of all , she hates being alone. Her katana sends off cubes. She doesn’t want to lose anyone anymore. No one disspaars! She’ll protect all that matters to her. It’s right its natural an the place she belongs is where she is right now. She wont deceive herself anymore.

She unsheathe the sword, spins, and gets a very fancy red outfit with a big fake braid added to her hair. It’s white and woven in at the bottom of her usual ponytail. There are white fins all around the tail. The outfit has heels for the knee-high boots, a floral theme, and big wide sleeves. The katana she makes has changed too, the blade is a pinkish and it has a long handle. The scabbard is wound in floaty ribbons and is white.
So, yes, this is strait up magical-girl nonsense where if someone just believes in themself enough they can twirl their way into a prettygirl-frou-frou fun outfit with the magical friend power to beat the boss! Woo! It's not like that is BAD PER SE....however it has a PLACE (in magical girl stories where it is expected, welcomed, and belongs) and the place probably shouldn't be in the scifi-space-opera that is Phantasy Star.
Mother says there’s no record of the armor, the appearance within her. Kohri says its "Ame-No-Sword of the gods". (She has been standing around this entire time, but done nothing) Hitsugi says she’ll save everyone, so call her greedy if you must, it’s the decision we made together.
Mother! I’ll defeat you and take Aru back! It’s her only goal.
Mother calls upon Kohri to attack Hitsugi. She does, but Gram hits her new sword, and gets struck. Mother says the wavering has gone from Hitsugi. Xiera gets up. She says everyone’s doing their best. Xiera can’t give up either. (Yes she 3rd persons here) The power of Xiera type (of which there is only one, like tiggers...who also does third person) can’t be underestimated! She takes back the controls, and creates a dome over herself of some type of energy. Xiera is offended that Mother would say 'a flustered child' to her. But the controls are her limit. Further assistance is impossible.

Mother had wanted to destroy the ship, but said that time’s against them, so she tells Ophiel to activate the shield. Kohri protests that Hitsugi will be left, but Mother says worry later. Kohri promises to come back and get her, but leaves along side Mother.

Matoi and you arrive, asking is everyone ok.
Xiera is so upset she couldn’t protect Aru. Matoi greets Hitsugi.

It Must Have Been Painful
Welcome Back

If you say It Must Have Been Painful Hitsugi says it was, but it’s over so it doesn’t matter now. She’s sorry because she was hesitant they took Aru. She’ll save everyone, not just him, that’s what she’s chosen. No matter how selfish she will be because she’s decided. After all, it’s big sisters’ job to save little brother, so just wait Aru, she’s coming.

The chapter ends.

Not a terrible chapter at all.
The time gimmick where you were repeating the clown/zombie sequence was genuinely confusing. It's also something that's very fitting with those characters: it's something they'd do. The Maxwell gimmick was another good one, because it fits with characters of any level & you have to figure it out.
You don't know if Och & Phul kill themselves successfully
Aru was absorbed by Mother, but you can bet he didn't dissolve
It didn't open up a pile of plot holes, which is remarkable for this area of the story. It was pretty straightforward, which was nice, and everyone was on their own motivation/true to character.
Maybe Enga learned something and maybe he didn't
This 'battle' sort of 'humanizes' Xiera a little bit. It's VERY doubtful that her fretting & going 3rd person is an act put on by a true sociopathic entity. (Her earlier 'stupid dialoge & acting emotions makes people do what's needed easily' line which roused suspicion.)

Reunion With Matoi
You find Matoi in the lobby
, and she tells you she woke earlier than you & they’ve been moving her everywhere since then, it feels like forever! It’s been too long a time, so she feels lost on what to talk about first. She says current events first, so thanks for rescuing her, at the time she was the only one who could fight, so the truth is she was a bit scared.

It’s Thanks To Hitsugi
You Did A Good Job

What is the first option? What’s thanks to her? That one doesn’t make sense. If you say You Did A Good Job , she says she did her best and we made it because everyone worked together, you & Hitsugi too, she’s glad to see you all back. She wanted to encourage Hitsugi but it seems to have backfired so she was worried. But she came back and now has determination in her eyes, so from now on we’ll have to properly support her so she won’t handle everything alone. You hand on hip, seem to contemplate this, so Matoi says you looked her way, and thought about the old her? She promises not to get lost again, if something happens, she’ll rely on you. She’ll never forget she’s not alone any more.  

Aru’s True Identity
241 4/19 at 1100

On the bridge, Xiera says her head is pounding as she covers her face. (How is that possible? She’s a robot, remember…has no one fixed her / can’t fix self?)

Are You Really Ok?
Shouldn’t You Still Rest?

If you ask Shouldn’t You Still Rest? She says no no its ok, Xiera can move again. And this isn’t the situation where she can just lie in bed. Hitsugi thinks for a little bit, then apologizes for causing so much trouble. Xiera says no, she didn’t do anything wrong, the ones causing all the destruction are the ones to blame. She still thinks its her fault it happened, so she wants to apologize properly to Aru… This reminds Xiera though, so she wants to inform everyone of the damage caused by the recent attacks. The ship only was temporarily taken control over, so all systems are back to normal now. It also returned to being near Earth. They finished all countermeasures against it ever happening again. Casualties though…it’s a relatively small number. Because the limiter was also exploited, the majority of ARKS were unable to fight intruders so it was a good call to evacuate instead of battling. But Aru was…

Hitsugi now is the one with some good news, saying to not let it worry her, she knows because she was connected to him, that he was absorbed by Mother. Yes…he was the one by her side cheering her on every time she was down, but the connection is now very weak. But, it hasn’t vanished so that’s why she’ll take him back from Mother no matter what.

Enga now appears to ask why she would do that?
(How did he get to the ship? He was stranded in her dorm room when last we saw him. Maybe the ship being back near Earth made...whatever anyone does to 'go there', to work again? There's no explanation.)
Then NO Enga has learned NOTHING this entire time. What is Enga, even? He doesn't know why someone would want to save their friend? Has he ever had a friend? Does he know what empathy is? This is just bad writing for him. Make him ask something at least a teensy bit logical

Xiera says the best place to start is by defining what Aru & Mother really are.
Ardem now calls in, saying there’s a passage about her in the EG Records. If it’s like their legends, was an entity that arrived on earth in ancient times.  (Oh boy here we go again ripening up the plot holes) The entity from a different universe (as if anyone could ever actually KNOW that) has awakened recently and began to move.
Xira chips in to enhance the story, it was a problem of ARKS doing. She reminds everyone that MOTHER is a copy of ‘Akashic Record Xion”, the very first model. Although she was created successfully, it was uncontrollable and abandoned in subspace. (This still checks out with previous accounts of what happened—though ‘subspace’ is still that ill-defined MacGuffin—the other chapters were never FREE of plot holes but they made a heck of a lot more sense. But the Subspace MacGuffin was always of ‘MacGuffin’ status because nobody explained what it was, why she could be shoved there, how she couldn’t get out, and how they jammed her in there.

The Xion copy the photoners made was bad because everyone was having nasty emotions and anger/murder/whatever around it and they didn’t do a good job in making it. Xion opened her own plot hole with it because if she could time travel to a degree / peek into other eras, she knew full well the thing would go wrong and try to kill her. Even if she didn’t know the exact events would create Luther = Loser, the body-snatching weirdo and her biggest foe that eventually kills her while he tries to know everything there is to be known. Did you know that knowing all there is to be known includes what it feels like to have a 2 inch cockroach drink the tears from the edge of your eye while you lie down? It also includes other "fun facts" like what it's like to drown in a septic tank. Remember: all the knowledge includes ALL the knowledge. And it sure is all in be careful what to wish for.

It ended up arriving on Earth and became Mother. That’s why Ether and Photons are so similar, they were originally the same thing. Ardem says to not let the chain of events bother you, ARKS. (Let’s let it bother everyone here then: bring forth the Devils Trailer semi-truck to drive though the plot hole created by “oh it just ended up on Earth”. How’s that for the world’s largest hand-wave? She might as well have said “It went there because I said so”. Cross dimension how? Learn about other dimension even existing how? Able to still exist in other dimension….and not be a planet….how??? You can’t even ask questions at this point because it’s all so much piles of contrived nonsense and hand-waves to get this stupid thing to happen at all.

Regardless of how Mother was born, she still led Earth civilization to a new evolution of technology. The series of events is something the people of Earth must overcome, this wall is now blocking our evolution. (They are mis-using the term evolution here, they mean advancement of society) More importantly though, we should focus on Aru. Xiera has some info on that though. We gained enough data during the recovery of Hitsugi and during Aru’s absorbtion to reveal what he really is.

In accordance with your character awakening, (after the big Matoi battle) a mass of darkness was trying to regain form. He’s a Falz! (So THAT’s why his outfit was so Falz-ey when he auto-generated it out of nothing on the bridge.) Hitsugi is shocked, a Dark Falz is the absolute enemy of ARKS! Yes, Xiera confirms a fragment of PD, and an entity that controls darkers, it’s a Dark Falz by its very definition. A DF is a powerful darker, it chooses a host to attempt to take over, and then materialize. (As you saw with Afin's sister, Gettemhart & Loser too)

This causes Hitsugi to remember the time when she had Aru as a character in the game and a sudden weird darkness came over it (right-right at the very start of this episode you can page back to the event) and ‘wrecked her game’. Xiera says that it was a new DF that tried to capture Hitsugi as its host. (Because anything in the PSO dimension is fair game-----aaaaaand nobody ever explains how PSO2 works!) The host was instead an avatar made of Ether, Hitsugi was forced to log out and the influence of your character’s power (Remember, you tried to save the Aru-avatar thing thinking it was a person when it wasn’t.) With all the factors miraculously overlapping, Aru didn’t take form as a Dark Falz, but as Aru, a person.

When Mother confronted him (on the bridge) she called him “A Fusion of Ether & Photons.” He was born from your own photons, and Hitsugi’s ether. Enga feels it’s too much to be a coincidence, is it even possible? Aru did say that the people who guided him through the darkness were you & Hitsugi. If the ‘darkness’ means DF, that’s got to be what he meant. Enga thinks its an absurd hybrid, but Xiera thinks that since it was a DF, the only reason it became a hybrid was because your char repressed the darkness. The situation will get worse though, because the darker elements in Aru were always kept in check by your char photons being near by. But Mother absorbed him, went far away, and both connections to Aru are now very weak. Once the photons run out…what’s left inside of Aru?

Suddenly, a red alarm screen pops up in front of Xiera.
She’s startled and angry because she was in the middle of something. There’s a huge phantom outbreak on Earth Las Vegas, so you & Enga make a run for the door. Enga explains that whatever it is they’d have to fight it anyway to get it out of the way so why not just go now. He tells Hitsugi to get ready because she’s surely coming too. After a pause, she nods and all 3 run off.

An interesting bit.
It's still difficult because the whole 'avatar mechanic' is still unexplained. However, it seems to be that the 'fake arks characters' that the PSO2 somehow makes are just puppets for their users like Hitsugi. Hitsugi was then 'kicked out of' her Aru shaped puppet by the dark-blob. But, because she was a good person, you are a good strong person, the dark blob got into her Aru Puppet and then promptly failed. He was a blank slate, but could talk. His basic personality was friendly, but based on a female (Hitsugi). So her puppet became a sentient person thanks to the dark blob, but instead of becoming evil like Gettemhart, he became friendly/neutral. He is able to stay a normal person thanks to everyone feeding him positivity photons / ether by hanging out with him.
But now, all he has is evil Mother ether and distance surrounding him, so he could easily just die because the body is a puppet created by a game (huge plot hole) and the personality only worked by feeding off others.

Dark Phantoms
A camp ship is dispatched to Las Vegas (even though the game shows it going right for Japan--did they not make a 'lands on the america side of the globe? I guess not) where a high rise is on (not very convincing copy pasted in) fire in several places. A Decol Malluze is in the courtyard along with other Phantom enemies. Enga feels he’s seen them before. Hitsugi suspects that

They’re Darkers…
They Feel…Different

If you make her say They’re Darkers (It’s the Gachas (Dagash), (Bonta Bearatus)Bonta Bearadda, Decol Malluze (Decol Malluda), Vido Luze (Vidoluda) & Lanzune (Ranca Varaze) enemies, all of which are ‘phantom recolors’ of the regular darkers, Enga says Darkers? They finally showed up. Hitsugi says the color and form is a little different like darkers but also phantoms. Xiera confirms they’re hybrids. Enga says they’re using ether to create embodied darkers, they’re really off their rocker now. This leads you into a fight with the various Ether-Darkers. Several groups of thse have appeared, so Xiera will point them out on the map and drop you catapult jumper pads so you can reach each one. (They are on rooftops & etc) Of course, nobody notices this all going on, and nobody responds to any of the fires, which don't actually seem to do any damage and also Las Vegas had no people in it at that time because GARME GUD RITE?? The problem remains that the ARKS sheild field of secrecy can 'keep people out and damage in' but it does nothing for the 1000s of people who are at home or in the massive 1000 room hotels at the time of all this. They sure weren't transported out of there whilest in the shower just so some stupid magic blue birds could flop around. Nobody ever thought this through and it rubs it in your face every 5 minutes.

At the final catapult is the Decol Malluze.

2028 4/19 at 1330
If you can pass all of that, the Decol Malluze dies. As it falls, Hitsugi asks Xiera that this is going on because Aru was absorbed by Mother? Xiera says it’s the likely case. She reiterates that now that your connections are weakened, what’s now within him is mostly darker elements. (So, this is basically giving MOTHER the power to use her own ether to generate her own type of darkers) She says it’s not strange for a darker aspect to strongly appear because she is using him.

Hitsugi says the fusion is a new type of phantom, the ESC-A Darkers. Enga says we saw them ourselves, and proved the theory true. But if they have the same properties as Darkers, then this is really bad, he scowls. There was a previous secret incident where Darkers DID appear on earth, and we (the EG) dealt with it, alsongside ARKS but they caused a lot of fuss. They infect everything, now becoming phantoms which can endlessly appear…
It’s not something he wants to think about. Xiera says with this combat data though, they’re not entirely darkers yet…however…There’s not much time to waste. Hitsugi says everything’s getting screwed up because of her, she’s got to get Aru back as soon as possible!

Don’t Get Too Worked Up
Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard

If you say Don’t Get Too Worked Up (Because both of these mean something very similar) She’ll ask did you hear that just now? It was nothing geez. Enga says it’s not nothing you idiot, we’re in such a bad situation—this current situation is all because of you keeping everything to yourself (No it isn't) so don’t go mumbling along, just tell us when you feel something. After all, he’s still her big brother. At this, he claps her on the shoulder.

She thinks about this for a bit, then walks a bit away, explaining. She says it’s painful and frustrating end everything up till now is self loathing and disgust. But she’ll never stop, she’ll not lose anything ever again. Enga says she has a strong heart, but nothing will change if you continue to carry burdens alone, so rely on others more. She says if only she had a reliable person to stand by her side…

Enga (semi mocks? What is this?) Yes…if only…

But now, both of you are with her so all is ok. No, she did have someone before, but she was too blind to see it. She then looks up and says isn’t that right Kohri? Just in time for her to drop out of the sky with Gram. Hitsugi is only juuuust able to block her. Kohri says she’s here to pick her up, so it’s time to go see MOTHER with her, and go back to normal, this time, for sure.

Kohri is sad to see you. She sees you and blames you for Hitsugi acting strange. If it wasn’t for you Hitsugi would be with her now. She pants, and swings Gram at you. Now, you have to fight her. She will laugh, cough, generate pink crystals, and swing Gram around. This is a fairly normal duel type fight, where you and the NPCs are battling against her and her unusual tricks.

If you can beat her…she says Hitsugi is lively, better than the doll like state from before. She holds gram and staggers, saying it’s fun fun! Being with Hitsugi is always so much fun. Enga says he suspects she knows, but there’s something really creepy about her.

Yeah, here he goes again showing how much disregard he has for her, and her friends. As if seeing your best pal turn insane/possessed by a known evil isn’t traumatic at all. And calling her ‘some girl’ even after Hitsugi has repeatedly said “her best friend” and almost sacrificed her own life trying to save her/not kill her.

Hitsugi says she’s always talked like that.
(No she hasn’t, the game can’t even keep its own cannon) Enga is skeptical, and says to choose your friends wisely, I guess. Hitsugi says it’s none of his business…which…it isn’t…but gee, why have this out right here? Hitsugi says even though she’s strange, she’s not that kind of girl. (What kind?) She laughs hysterically and says playing with Hitsugi is just so much fun! That’s why she laughs, that’s when Khori would…

But a Bonta Bearatus rushes at Kohri (So, these ESC-A darkers don't pick a side, they just attack everyone, that's probably important to note for something later) and Hitsugi pushes her away and chops it. However, it doesn’t look like she’ll chop it in time, so Enga rushes at the scene…only to discover that she has, in fact, dispelled it into the ether cubes that all ESC-A stuff becomes when wrecked.

Kohri is shocked. But why? She’s supposed to be manipulated. Kohri says it’s because they’re friends, of course. Kohri starts to remember promising to be at her side, and that they were friends. She appears to start really thinking about things, now that she's had a big scare. But Ophiels voice appears. No sooner than you hear him, you see him. He cubes in right behind her and says No need to think, open your heart, close your eyes. If we lose you, mother will be sad. He puts his hand over her face and she stares at the blue cubes there. No one would be able to save her friend….

He then disappears her in his cubes, and looks to your party.
Hitsugi says you’re…He hasn’t met (your team) since Japan, but he’s already allowed himself to examine the details of her body very thoroughly. (How can he inspect? This is obviously meant to be very pervy (he is a 'doctor' of some kind) maybe he means inspecting photos) He is Ophiel Herbert, the MC apostle of Water, he announces.
Hitsugi demands of him what he’s done to Kohri. He claims she misunderstands, he & Mother are only supporting her in her goals. (He knows full well he is lying here) Her goal is to get you back, and return to that daily life you had before. To that end, he’s able to force her to avoid thinking about unimportant things. Enga says that’s what manipulation is, and shoots him during the sentence with his automatic gun. This causes him to cube up and vanish just as quickly.

He knows he is lying because he openly confessed earlier to just using Kohri.
He knows he’s not supporting her goal because he is actively fooling her into trying to murder Hitsugi
But what is the point of lying to your party? He gains nothing. No one does.
Enga actually IS good at something, which is effective use of ambush in that unlike every other character (seemingly ever) he will actively gun people down mid-sentence. That is actually a good move.

The “Kohri Would…” that gets interrupted was probably to be followed by ‘to cry, to get upset, or to panic’ , had she been allowed to finish the sentence.

Kohri probably actually CAN be fine.
This popping half out of the daze/haze that Ophiel casts proves this of her. She was afraid of the Bonta Bearatus, and was absolutely not going to swing Gram on it. That Hitsugi would risk herself to bash it was enough to pull her out, so he’s not infinitely strong.

Enga is still really insufferable?
How is this guy this rotten? There’s no “I’m sorry your only friend in ALL THE WORLD who you risked your life for is mind-trapped by those filthy people, I’ll do everything I can to help you get her back!” It’s just ‘eew shes gross why do you choose sucky pals’

Out Of Control
A time cubes/static appears on the screen
. This is to let you know that it will be another scene that nobody could possibly witness, but that is required for you to understand the plot.
 2028 4/20 at 1200
In a really large area, with what looks like Luther’s portal, Mother has summoned a screen. This area is all new, it’s mostly gray metal with aqua glows in the walls. There is green water in a deep floor, with a bridge over the top. Submerged square pillars are below the water. The main platform in the area has a big ring at the back. This is what looks like Luther used to go to the Xion place. It’s full of the geometric designs created by ether. Mother floats in front of this.

Watching her screen are Aratron, Ophiel, and Kohri. The screen shows images of the ESCA Darkers. Aratron says something different is beginning to appear. Earth Guide called them ESCA Darkers. She says he’s right, if there’s any difference though, its that the new phantoms are under her control. He asks if it is her will that they commit destructive behavior on earth. She thinks about it, and says she’s not used to it. The fusion of ether and photons, she’s taken in Aru, but she’s not used to him. Because of that, though they come from her will, a part of them still isn’t on her control yet. Aratron asks why she hasn’t yet gotten used to it.

Aratron’s a real tough cookie here.
He’s actually dogging her on the issue. He’s a lot bolder than anyone else has been thus far, which is fairly unexpected but an interesting development.
Ophiel steps in though, and thinks it’s the connection of You and also Hitsugi. Mother agrees, that as long as the connection remains, Aru will always exist, and never completely absorb. It’s very strong, but it was the connection that allowed Aru to be born into existence in the first place. In order to break it, all we can do is kill anyone connected. Kohri shrieks to kill her??

Ophiel says yes, that’s the only real way to save her. He begins to circle Kohri. He explains with his usual mess of lies like “Her brainwashing is rooted so deep, even with surgery he couldn’t do anything. That’s why, all we can do is kill her, reset her, resurrect her. You understand, right Kohri?” He pats her shoulder and she stares at the floor. She asks if we do that, she’ll return to normal? We can return to those days of school, the council, and clothes? An idle conversation? She looks up, asking right, right?

Ophiel leans in and says of course, of course.
Aratron watches this but he doesn’t speak or move. Remember, you can’t see his eyes at all due to his massive, hamster-like eyebrows.

In a long hall, later on, Aratron and Ophiel are walking. (It’s very similar to the time-repeater hall) Aratron says something’s wrong though. This stops Ophiel. Ophiel asks if it’s Kohri, we just look at her goals and desires we can’t even help it that she’s unhinged. Aratron says that her instability is obvious, but something’s off about Mother too. She has a desire for revenge and hostility against the Photoners who reside in PSO2 Dimension, that, he knows.

He knows this because she DIDN’T TELL HIM what she learned when she got Aru. Aratron doesn’t know the Photoners are extinct. Because she didn’t tell anyone. And that tells more about her—which is that  she IS unjustified in what she’s doing……….and she knows it…….because she’s keeping their extinction a secret to keep her apostles on board with her plan & respecting her ‘as a good person’. She knows revenging on the random ARKS people is wrong because while the Photoners might have gotten them started, they're really not that related. If a parent does something bad, you don't punish the child, and that's even more removed from what she's doing.

However, to those of us on Earth, she’s treated everyone with nothing but kindness and compassion--He explains. But recently, attacks on the EG are more severe, and today she said to kill Hitsugi and another person. Ophiel reasons that sacrifices must be made for the greater good, after all, we’ve made many for the sake of MC. He thinks these decisions were difficult for her, so that doesn’t seem strange to him.

There is no good context here for ‘how Mother was before’, you just have to believe Aratron when he says that she’s strange/different and that a kill order is so unheard of.

Aratron says Ophiel is now strange too. He turns to him, asking why did you kill Bethor?

Opheil claims it was Mother’s orders. Aratron doesn’t think it’s true, because if that’s the case, why leave Hagith alone? (Because Hagith wasn’t exploding all around in cities, causing meyhem and being blatantly obvious about supernatural kookoo powers--the thing that Mother is most against. He shook his phablet until the green boat man came out and sent it into the far ocean and was never heard from again. That is, in fact, a very different situation, but Aratron doesn’t seem to think so.)  That was your own judgment (to kill him)…..he accuses. Why doesn’t Mother ever question you, Ophiel? Because of that, he’ll ask you himself…

At this, he does a herculean feat, which is he –actually raises his monster brows to reveal his eyes!- He then uses his ‘magic voice’ and piercing stare to ask

“What do you see beyond the path you walk with Mother?” He lifts his eyebrows and stares him down. (Aratron’s eyes are blue, but very dull, without highlights)

Ophiel annoys him by answering him with the question, “What do you think of the situation on earth now?”
He then claims that humanity has declined so much lately, in its genetics, tech, mental capacity and more…to the point where we’re devolving. Then Ether and Mother appeared, old man. A recreation of humanity, a paradigm shift. For humanity’s sake he doesn’t care about dirtying his hands, all is for the future of the planet, sacrifices now and in the future. As he extols his own virtues he walks off down the hall as Aratron stays behind.

The future of the planet…he scratches his head, "he would’ve been better as a philosopher than a doctor", he laments.
The Scene Ends.

Aratron is not all bad.
His magic voice doesn’t work on everyone.
It is being super-implied that Ophiel thinks he is using Mother for his own obscure goals.
Aratron is actually probably the most intriguing character here
You don’t know what motivated him into the MC, but you can tell he has an ok morality at least. Ophiel, on the other hand, is also likely a bit unhinged because “kill everyone on earth to remake it in my image” is a typical unhinged motivation, and he sees Mother as the way to do it. LITERALLY nobody is declining in technology and the planet isn’t doing 100 incest so genetics aren’t magically ‘getting worse’, there’s no mutants running around, and people aren't getting any dumber except certain ones...... So all the ‘oh no devolving’ is false too.

ESCA Darkers Emerge
On the bridge, you wait before Xiera with Hitsugi. She says ESCA Darkers are troubling. Xiera agrees that leaving them alone isn’t ok. They’re even more dangerous than normal darkers. Hitsugi asks how are they really that bad? Xiera says they’re more powerful because they are a fusion enemy. Phantoms can manifest anywhere because they are controlled by the enemy Mother. But, the ones we really can’t ignore are…ESCA darkers. ARKS deals with darkers, but if we get shorthanded…
Hitsugi nods in, with that she’ll step in and use her power too. You nod also.
The scene ends.

It is true that these ESCADarkers have more hp and are tougher but they tend to behave the exact same as what they are modeled on, except the ESCA Ragnus which will destroy things with much more ferocity than a regular one.

Checking Security With: Casra
On the bridge Xiera looks crossly at Casra, who scowls back. Hitsugi suggests we all 3 leave, as you & Enga look on. Casra turns to her and says oh no…ms Hitsugi and Mr Enga are involved in this conversation too…so by all means stay right there. Hitsugi wants to know what it’s all about. Enga guesses that it’s confirmation on status of Oracle’s security and control of the panic MC caused around here. Casra confirms it, because he’s part of the Intelligence Unit, he can’t just let that pass. That’s why he’s there in person, not sending Aika or Quna. He needs to know if there are traitors among ARKS.

Hitsugi asks if he refers to…us?
While risking a possible misunderstanding, yes, it’s possible that info leaked from either one of you two, possibly both. Enga says it’s logical, there’s no reason to have a leak in ARKS, it’d have to be Earth based. Hitsugi is a bit put out by this. Xiera claims it’s not possible, it was Mother’s hacking that caused all of the problems. There’s no way Hitsugi nor Enga could be involved. She flails a bit and summons a screen to prove it.

Casra tells her that she shouldn’t be riled up, because we too checked all transmission records also. However, conversations without transmissions, a direct conversation isn’t out of scope. (Meaning, that if someone was just talking, without the ear phone thing) What do you think though, you were there?

There’s No Need To Say
Your Accusations Have Gone Far Enough

Neither one of these is the ideal way to counter someone like this. The REAL answer is “Mother READS MINDS so ANY person is a suspect” To be followed with “She got here because two people went to the moon, it was me and Enga, she traced the transport & then pretended to be Xion”
But, if you say “There’s No Need To say” (You don’t need to antagonize him) Hitsugi will smile, and he just says if you say so, there’s nothing left to say. Then he walks away. Xiera asks where’s he going. He’s done with his confirmations, so he’s headed back, he’s sure she already calculated countermeasures for something similar…the IU will back your judgement, so that should settle things, yes?

He apologizes for his ‘rude behaviour’, and for testing them, but that’s his duty. So, let’s meet again everyone. Then he leaves. Xiera says he’s always so aloof, it ticks her off just watching the guy. She scowls him out of the room, and as soon as the door shuts, Hitsugi asks how we were tested. Enga thinks he was watching our reactions while we spoke, his eyes were so serious, he was creepy. Xiera thinks his main problem is that he enjoys pitting people against his actions, as if he’s devouring them. But, you do need to enjoy yourself in order to keep doing an awful role…she shakes her head and says it was pretty rude so next time she’s going to file a complaint against the IU directly from management!

The scene ends.

Casra enjoys drama, and his own role. He KNOWS he’s the ‘damage sponge’ that’s meant to attract all the ill will / hate drama for his organization. He antagonizes people for the greater good but is unaffected by everyone getting offended at him--because he knows that offending them is the point. He’s actually really important, and probably the best sort for the job, really. But, once you know it’s all an act AND a job, he’s not nearly as offensive. His attacks aren't personal in the usual way, he riles up people and says outlandish things / gets rude to get his results. Xiera should be able to see through this, and not even aggravate at his ‘aloofness’ because it’s all part of the party.
As Casra might say, her aggrivating is telling of herself instead instead of him...that she does have actual emotions (and isn't completely sociopathic as she implied earlier that emotions/relations are just a farce to get people to do things) and thus can be offended and stressed and whatever else it is that people feel. The scene was more interesting than expected.

Continues on Story Guide 11