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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.
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Green Text: Speculation or opinions
What You Do/The official "Party Line" appears in RED TEXT
Bold Text: Important information
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Dates & Times (Story is time travel related) Purple Text
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A Meeting with the ARKS Intel division
241 3/31 at 1000

On the bridge, Hitsugi and Aru teleport in but Hitsugi is gloomy so he asks her what's wrong. She's struggling hard not to cry, focusing on her breathing and says gimme a minute. (And he does) This is clearly ALSO right-right after the Hagith fight so she’s mourning Kohri’s loss of friendship because she is goonish and failed to explain that she feels Mother will kill Aru if she gets the chance. Although no one has directly said they'd hurt Aru, and 'just wanting to see him' was on the table until Hagith was prepared to (presumably) murder her to get at him.

On the bridge are Casra and his 2nd in command girl. This is a new character that no one has yet seen. She is an anime tie-in character that GenericBoy meets.  She is a younger person (so, like high school age looking) with blue beret, long yellow hair in 2 braids that fade to hot pink at their tips. She's in thigh high boots with ruffle tops & a 1 piece blue short ruffle skirt with long sleeves. The under-patterning on this is little geometric stars. What's notable about her is that her mag is visible & it's the Rappy mag. Nobody else’s’ mag is ever visible in these things unless it’s on the field so this is odd.

Hitsugi feels the 2 new people look important & serious so she asks if she'll be interrogated like a prisoner of war?? Aru wants to know what a POW is. She tells him not to worry about that, she didn't come all the way to humiliate herself, she's prepared for this.

Mentally though, she confesses that she has no idea what's going on, what are they going to do to her? It'll be embarrassing! Are they going to do a body search of her? Not in here, in public surely...Should she take what they say with a grain of salt? They did save her but that doesn't mean they can do what they want right? (Notice how her thoughts right away go to someone doing a physical-touch search or making her take off her clothes. She just has a bit of a dirty mind / is obsessed with bringing up molesters at every opportunity ---because she just was teleported into that room….the ship knows literally every molecule of herself and clothing and anything she's carrying like concealed bombs or weapons SO some ineffective hands on search is like cave-man thinking)

Because she’s frozen in her pondering, Xiera says hello ARKS to Hitsugi whatever she's imagining no one's here to do anything to her. She's an important guest to them, we'd never treat you like a POW. The girl says she's the Earthling that's cooperating with us. Hitsugi asks who she is. She's Aika, the ARKS operative working in the Intelligence Division. She was performing an investigation on Earth. She briefly attended Earth school & learned a lot.

Xiera asks Casra if he's got anything to say about the Unit keeping the ops quiet for so long. He says come now, she makes him sound cold...we're just here today to cooperate and share the info they have on the matter. She's skeptical, though about the matter of her being invited onboard.
Casra says the commander is far too lenient. She'd gladly retrieve a broken trinket that was better off discarded and save something that doesn't need saving. That said though, it's not a bad trait, it's one of her best. At this point I'd not attempt to change her ways. Aru asks what he means. (Yes, it's still Casra, so you can expect him to be cryptic and annoying like this) Hitsugi assures him that she doesn't know either...though she narrows her eyes at Casra. This can be directly interperated that he's throwing shade directly on Aru & Hitsugi as they stand before him, calling Aru the broken trinket & Hitsugi a thing that didn't need saving. Why throw shade saying (essentially) well we should have let Mother kill these 2....but oh that wouldn't really be a good thing to let happen then would it.

Xiera ferrets him out because Ulc would have leapt into the situation that didn't require YET our aid. He admits Xiao's successor (Xiera) was trained well, because she understood so quickly. To be honest whether we informed the Cmdr or not, the result would have been much the same. He looks at Aika until she says the people that live on Earth are not so different from us, she can't ignore them like that. This is meant to sound reassuring, but it smacks of xenophobia in that if the Earthlings weren't so similar looking to ARKS/ex-photoners then they wouldn't be worth saving. It also shows that Aika AND Casra are possibly missing the point that it's the ARKS who are being invaded by the Earthlings, it's not the other way around.

Casra says his investigation came to the same conclusion as Ulc, thus we decided to come clean. Besides, if they'd continued in secret, your char would have ended up investigating them and it wouldn't end well. From now on, we'll share the intelligence regarding Earth environment, geography & the allies on Earth. Hitsugi is shocked at this, asking that there's really people on Earth who are aware that a whole ‘nother world is visiting?

Casra says of course because on Earth there are those who know & understand the ARKS who are useful allies. No official agreement has yet been made though so we can't share any details but...That's where we stand on the issue of not disclosing intel. He'll send the rest to Xiera, so she can review & brief further. They then both leave. Xiera calls them selfish and storms off to her chair. She appears her glasses. There's too much to keep up with! It's a huge file! How much have they hidden! Is it incomplete? They're unorganized! She goes into an info frenzy, fretting and rubbing her floating screens all around.

Hitsugi wants to ask her something, but she asks instead for more time to reorganize all this. Now, she begs you to give Hitsugi & Aru a tour of the ARKS ship. That way she'll be done by the time you get back. You nod at them, and they'll agree to follow you. Why do they need a tour of the ship though? Hasn't Hitsugi supposed to have been playing PSO2 for quite some time now? How many hours has she dropped in the game? The place should be like the back of her own hand at this point. A tour doesn't make sense unless something's changed.

Aika & Casra are in some sunny hall somewhere on the ship. She says if that's all you intended to give, you could have just sent her to do it. He explains that if it was so, he would've. He wanted her to see them all for herself. Especially 'that one'. We'll soon be busy so he expects hard work. Of course, she claims, because Earth is like a 2nd home to her.

The scene ends.

Of course Casra is still hiding something.
He doesn't feel useful unless he's keeping something from someone, whether it matters or not. But what's he hiding?

Look at how similarly she's dressed to Kohri's new best-revenge-palzy-walzy. BOTH of them in ruffle bottom short skirts in ruffle top thigh highs? Both long sleeve 1 piece skirt outfits? If this ISNT a plot point it’s going to be surprising because that’s just dull design.

Aika 2:
How is Earth "her second home"? How long has she been going there? WHEN did this whole "Earth Dimension Fiasco" thing start? leads you to believe it started around the time of whenever you got out of the stasis, but it could have been much earlier and simply gone unnoticed. Remember: It's this MOTHER thing AND Earth-dimension that is INVADING the one from PSO2. THEY are the invaders. They are the ones making "fake people" that are control-able by children in a game using a microphone to make the fake people talk.

The ARKS just pin-pointed where the invasion is coming from (the planet Earth) and went there to investigate. Distance doesn't seem to matter to these guys.

*Who wears thigh-highs?
What is with all the thigh highs? It's like they stick everybody in them. Even Hitsugi's got them on now. This is another "its supposed to be EARRRRFFF" issue. Everybody knows what Earth basically looks like and thigh-highs are NOT as common as jeans. But here they are. Ok let’s say it really is the future and they’re the new biggest thing.

So What The Heck Is Aru:
Ok so what WAS he? What WAS he when Hitsugi was controlling his actions with button presses and making her voice come out of his mouth with her microphone as she sat in her dorm in front of her screen?
He's a flesh & blood creature, no doubt. Was he brainless/a husk until she accidentally 'summoned him' into her room? A husk that would just do commands at the press of her buttons? Because any PSO character has MAD SKILLS that you literally cannot do on Earth like an 8 foot jump height from standing start, gun based levitation, sword-based levitation/movement and other various preposterous things & feats of strength that can't be accomplished by normal mortals, as well as things that would take zillions of years to learn/master.
And it's super clear that Aru knows none of these and is incapable of the feats of strength that ARKS do every day.
Did he suddenly spawn a nearly-empty (
because he can talk, move, walk, knows what people are, sense of self, coordination) brain when she summoned him? What about everyone elses' characters? Like KOHRI'S? Is there a duplicate Kohri body out there with no brain in it? Because remember: Hitsugi didn't make herself in the game but Kohri DID. What would happen if Kohri's char got summoned? She'd have an Aru-non-personality in a twin of herself-body to take care of.