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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

This girl is wearing white ruffle top thigh high boots, 2 lace thigh garters, high heel black shoes & a short 1 piece skirt with long sleeves. It has the same pattern on it that Hagith's floating platform was made of. You do not get to see her hair or face, though.

She looks up and sees her, so the girl says if you're crying because you're betrayed, and if you're said because you lost someone you should tighten your fists and strengthen your resolve instead. Bring your friend back with your own two hands. She claims to know what she wishes for and extends a hand to Kohri.

The chapter ends.

There's shoe-horning going on here:
It would have been SO EASY for Hitsugi to say "I believe Mother will hurt or kill Aru, a human like we are." That's IT. ONE SENTANCE to calm Kohri down. She could still argue with this 'we were friends first' or something, but nobody in good conscience could say "yes kill a child in the name of my friendship". She refuses to explain ON PURPOSE to fuel Kohri into hating her to shoe horn the plot. There was absolutely NO URGENCY for your char/Aru/Hitsugi to leave the area, either. Everyone could have stayed to chat for 20 minutes or even a whole day sneaking around in Xieras illusion area. Notice how your guy doesn't protest the going away either. You could also fix this if you NEEDED shoe-horning by having Hitsugi be like 'nuuuu' as Xierra pulls everyone out too quickly leaving Kohri in the lurch.

Why does Hagith summon what he does?
He picks army tanks, army helicopters and......pavement steamrollers? The things that go slow and press dirt or asphalt down? Why? They don't make sense if you could summon literally ANYthing. Zombies make sense in his instance because they're a trooper.

Why can Hitsugi fight with a Katana?
Ok maybe she took a martial arts class, but you can bank on that this isn't going to get explained. It's not outlandish/stupid level at this point because all of her moves are normal (enough) that  you could do them if you had lessons AND a MAGIC BLADE. And magic blades are just fine, expected & natural here, so this is actually ok and not complain-able.

Enemy Explanation:
Since these will appear a lot, if you didn't play the game here goes an enemy explanation for the phantoms. The enemies would actually be pretty terrifying in person because they do physics-defying stunts, especially the

Snake Helicopters.
They have a rotary mini gun on the nose (do you know how big the shells are that those shoot? They're MASSIVE and just 1 would destroy irreprebly half a human, even on a glancing hit-- but it has machine-gun fire and infinite ammo) missiles, AND when that fails, they will crystalize their main rotor blades, aim themselves along the ground and rush at you. Since there's no one piloting, chopping people/stuff with the rotor is ok to do, even if it would crash the chopper or break an ordinary helicopter blade. This is its most fearsome attack. Why it's called "Snake" is never explained, there is nothing to with 'snake' about it.

The Tank Type 15:
It's a tank & it weighs a kajillion kilos and it's here to run you over because it's faster than you on foot. Of course, it has the huge main gun too, which you probably can't even use to shoot a human because it would vaporize it. It's "bullet" is probably the size of a human thigh. However, the tank also has manifestation capability. It can produce a flamethrower atop itself, missile pods, and a gigantic AOE missile that's at least 20 feet tall. Yes....from inside the relativly low profile tank it will rise up because....physics doesn't really apply to it. The giant missile is the best example of anti-physics that these machines have.

The Steamroller: These will of course go way way way faster than any normal roller to try and squash people. They also rear up & slam down. They can manifest a backhoe claw/dig thing and will dig up a massive chunk of ground, then try to flip it over onto you. In all cases any 'window' in the device is flat metal sheeting with blueish unnatural bolts along seams.

The Zombies: They're probably about 7 or 8 feet tall, give or take how tall the tallest character you can make normally is. There's a baton wielding guy, gun guy & sword guy. Being half formed and shambling about with weapons would make these a fright as well. These can also manifest, but it's uncommon. Like, gun guy can split in half at the waist and release a missile. Usually these will die before they can manifest a larger attack.

Hagith in: Embodiment Without Limits
Hagith is on a roof top in the city just after his retreat. He's super mad, yelling damn it. What was that, he never knew it existed. (Meaning the ARKS lander ship) He's been obliterated, he is one of the chosen. He stamps his foot and screams that he can't face Mother like this, it'll affect the company! He looks at the ETHER tower in the distance and decides he hasn't lost yet. His army is indestructible, isn't that right Emerald tablet? He lets it into the air. (And it floats)

If its not enough he'll create something stronger, even more amazing! Take in the Ether, o emerald tablet, your energy is unmatched show me power beyond money and construction without limit! The tablet now gathers and emits green dots of energy and sparkles all around. He gestures grandly as the thing escalates into....a man with glowing green eyes, and a green suit that looks military. He's wearing a cap, and has his hands on his hips. Hagith is pleased at this, but the guy kind of dematerializes and shoots away like a comet in a trail of squares across the city.

Well that was odd. He got so worked up his tablet turned into a guy and flew away. Who knew?
Also he’s not shocked he manifested a man?

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.

Meanwhile...
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?

Aika:
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 unless it's meant to imply something.

Aika 2:
How is Earth "her second home"? How long has she been going there? WHEN did this whole "Earth Dimension Fiasco" thing start? See...it 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 and pressing keyboard buttons to make them move.

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.

Now, you start Hitsugi & Aru’s ARKS ship tour.

These next story boards all have to do with it. These are to introduce your character to the NPCs, if you have just joined the game and are ignoring all previous episodes, so the tour is for YOU not them. This was a developer stated goal for ‘new joiniers’.

Hitsugi Meets Quna
When on the 'tour', you come across Quna along with, of course, Hitsugi & Aru. Quna says you're busy despite being recently reinstated, so are things calming down?

You can then say
You Seem Busy Yourself
Who Are  You Again?

She is dressed differently than her usual 'civilian clothes', this time in a green stripy visor cap, green jacket & gray shirt with gray skirt. Of course, she still has the dip-dye pigtails. If you say You Seem Busy Yourself, she feels its good to have something to do. She feels annoyed that these jobs are coming from 'that wily 4-eyes' (meaning Casra) Hitsugi then recognizes her, the Idol of ARKS who does concerts.

Upon being recognized Quna greets her, apologizing for not saying something earlier. Hitsugi greets back. She tells her she goes to all concerts and really likes it. Quna says its times like this that make her glad to be an idol. She then skeptically looks to you, saying you'll come occasionally but hardly gives your thoughts about it. Aru disrupts this mild jab by asking what's an idol & what's it do?

Hitsugi has to think about this...
So Quna tells him the job of an idol is to put a smile on everyone's face. With her body, voice and heart, tell them no one's alone, everyone's together so the people of ARKS are never lonely...he repeats this back so she says because there's limits to what someone can accomplish on their own, but if everyone's together something can always be done. Of course though, there's people who try to act always on their own, it's hard to follow them. But, she suddenly remembers she's got to go get ready for another concert, so see you later, please come! She runs off. Hitsugi is amazed that an idol would come to talk to you normally, open-heartedly, are you a bigger shot than she imagines?

Aika's Role
Xiera says she was about to call you when you reach the bridge. Aika re introduces herself under commander Casra. Xiera says the role is to make sure intel is kept away from the Chief Commander *Ulc, but The real reason is surveillance. This shocks your character. Xiera is surprised she'd say it out loud. Aika explains that Casra doesn't trust the people of Earth because they've already snuck across dimensions into 'our world'. (Which is true) There's a possibility that our supposed allies may be spies, so intelligence has instinctive doubts. Xiera says that despite hiding her own info, she's always prying it from others so she wouldn't expect less from Intelligence Division. Aika says they think alike and that's partially why she's here. She wants to conduct surveillance on the basis of trust you have with people on Earth. She wants you to lend a hand with minor requests, that's all. She hopes she's not asking too much because she can't guarantee much either. Xiera asks if she knows something we don’t?

She's been advised that trust and understanding are necessary for interactions with foreign cultures. So she's here as some experience with Earth while repping the Int. Unit. She hopes that she won't be an unnecessary burden under Xiera's care.

Note that this whole exchange goes almost no-where, and she completely ducks Xiera's question.

Io in: You're Too Forceful
While you do the phony tour, Io wants to know who's with you. Hitsugi introduces herself and Aru. Io says no need for formalities, why are you with upperclassman? (meaning your char) Hitsugi says she owes you a lot. So Io comes to the conclusion that it's about the trouble you were mixed up in. She seems sad about this. Hitsugi frets that it's becoming a rumor but she can't deny it. Io tells her not to worry, it is your char who has the natural talent for getting into trouble. Isn't that right?

That's Not True.
I Never Thought Of It As Trouble

If you say I never thought of it as trouble, She says that's just who you are. We're always saying to rely on us (Io means the ARKS who know you), but you still try to sort it all yourself. Aru asks if it's wrong to do everything yourself? She's not saying it's wrong...she just doesn't want you to push yourself too hard, and she wants you to trust 'us' more. (Who's us? Io herself doesn't seem to have many friends probably because she's a bit prickly) Instead of trying to keep all to self, ask for help if you need it, that's what friends are for. But no-matter what, there's no changing your mind. So we have to use this attitude to consider how to provide backup. Hitsugi asks if you're always like that?

Io says your-char never changes its mind, do you want to hear the story of how PD resurrected, and you went off to save Matoi by yourself? She then regales them with the story, but the scene ends.

Pietro in: Pietro vs Katori at the beach
This scene is lumped into the timeline with the tour, but Hitsugi & Aru aren’t there, and for some reason it’s on Vopar / Wopal.

Katori yells loudly at the beach that “while making a new class you must get the blessing of other classes first!” Using the allure and cuteness, of pets and endangering the Bouncer class, she won't forgive him. Of course, on the receiving end of this, is Pietro.

He says even though you say that, there's still a problem because summoner is already approved by ARKS. Isn't that right Catherine? At this, the pet is startled and begins biting his hand multiple times. He tries to wrestle the arm away from her, but it is vicious and won't let go. He shouts in pain, which amuses Katori greatly at 'the cute display'. She says she must steel herself against the charm of pets in this case.

When you arrive, Saga is there watching, and reassures you there's no issue here.
Katori is just complaining about summoner. It's an interesting experiment, but he has no interest in beasts fighting for him. The approval timing for the class was amazing though, had it been approved before Katori was chosen for Bouncer-Leader, it would have been very difficult to deal with. While her laziness has not changed, her way of thinking “I don't fight, so I take it easy”, she would have taken up summoner instead. But...because her mastery of Bouncer by now, it's improved it'd be a waste to let all the skill go. So now she's just complaining that SU lets you be laid back. (What he’s getting at is that she actually turned out to be a good Bouncer despite his constant pressure & doubts, but he recognizes that she could just as easily/more easily picked Summoner had the timing been different)

She then asks him for something to say because this has to do with the honor of all bouncers. SU is a class of laziness! Saga tells her to stop spreading rumors. So she asks for your input. Pietro finally notices you at this, telling the pet to look, it is our friend, are your 'children' doing well also?

Katori is offended at this, asking if you've fallen prey to his black magic. She runs up to you demanding the meaning of this, even if you could've chosen bouncer you chose SU??
So depending on your answer, maybe there's the possibility she could join SU too?? Right Saga? She questions and demands of him, fully believing you have changed your main class to Summoner. Denied! He says, now it's time to start new training. Wait wait! She says she wants freedom of choice of class, so he drags her off by her collar, saying she must complete her duties first. He then drags her the rest of the way off.

Peitro, who has only moved to the side in all this, tells Catherine that Katori sure is energetic, despite her harsh critique. However, this causes the pet to level its horns at him, then begin charging his leg with flip/stabs, as he tells it he'd never give up on her, nor let her go. He then protests that she's too excited and gets hurt yelling ouch and to stop, begging the pet as it continues flipping at him to cut his legs with the sharp horns. You then leave him to his fate.

Why does this continue?

Pietro is an odd duck to be sure, but it's strange that every single character including yours seems to have zero empathy for his situation, and zero curiosity as to why his pets hate him while he so clearly loves his pets. Empathetic characters walk away, other people simply ignore him. Katori saying 'its cute' when the dog rips at his hands* is...mean spirited (borderline psycho) because she actively wants him to be hurt/in pain because she feels he's affronting her class/her hard work so that's not a big surprise...but the whole situation is oddly nonsensical.  Especially because no one mentions anything about it. There was literally more sympathy for Gettemhart breaking lilipa robots in weird ways with his punching gloves than Pietro is getting here. (Scroll back and see, it’s documented here in the story write up) And remember, the robots on lilipa aren’t sentient / alive /aware, it’s like he’s punching already-broken toasters to bits inside of a garbage pile and the other characters are all like ‘boo hoo that’s scary how mean of him’ in a completely non-joking way. They are literally more upset that he breaks already-broken garbage and strews the bits around than they are of these animals repeatedly trying to eat a random stupid (but living) man.

*It's not like the pets don't do real damage: this isn't like a hamster karate-chopping somebody's sneaker in a 'wacky attack that does nothing', you KNOW pets do big damage to monsters including the oodans and whatever has 'human like' strength/damage-take-ability. These things are really hurting him but everybody treats it like a joke. WHY. "If pets are so great, why are yours always attacking you?" If SU is so great, why do the pets barely follow commands?