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.hack//C.S. Chapter 9

Inside the Raven Guild @HOME is a terminal christened the Serpent of Lore.  Its chief functions are monitoring and data management.  Access to such a terminal within The World is a privilege only endowed to administration.

A P.C. stands before that terminal without making a sound.  On his face is a set of small spectacles.  His attire is reminiscent of an Asian monk's and he holds, in contrast to his physique, a folding fan.  He is Yata, the Raven Guild's Master, and the axle holding together project G.U.

The only P.C. who can enter a guild's @HOME are the guild's members.  The Raven Guild's @HOME is particularly special in this regard since it isn't a guild that accepts "General P.C."  Regardless, a small shadow appears behind Yata.

Yata doesn't turn around.  He merely readjusts his spectacles with his fan.  "…You're either a hacker, or someone from the inside."

The shadow doesn't cower and walks straight towards Yata.  "I'm not a hacker, but you could say I'm similar to one.  I'm just a former employee taking advantage of lingering privileges."

The shadow steps into Yata's line of sight as she speaks.  Standing before him is the cat type P.C., Divine.  Yata's inhuman way of questioning remains the same as he says, "A former employee who still has access to this place…"  His tone changes into one seeking confirmation as he says, "…You're part of the R.A. project."

Divine speaks with a calm tone as she says, "Yes, I'm a fool who was unable to prevent that absurd experiment."

Yata breaks away from his interrogative style of speech and glances towards Divine.  "Didn't two employees resign from there…?"

"Hee, so you also took note of a rank and file employee.  That person is off doing something else.  Since those up top can't really be trusted, we don't really stick together all that much."

Yata once more faces his terminal.  "…There's nothing about Amagi[1] here."

Divine passes her report about Ikaruga to Yata as she says, "I did not come here to discuss the past, I came for the sake of the future."

Yata raises his eyebrows for a moment.  He opens the report and skims it.  "I see, Amagi didn't just gaffe.  Something like this was also left behind."  He closes the file and beings copying the information into the Serpent of Lore.

"I believe that child was the first victim.  But even if I help him here, there's nothing I can do out in the Real."

Yata returns the report to Divine as he says, "Have you made contact with him?"

Divine's tail barely sways as she takes back the report.  "Only once during the experiment.  After that, it was always in The World.  I don't know where he is in the Real."

Divine then adds, "It may be too late now, but… I still want to atone for it."

"How?"

According to the report, not many people know about Ikaruga.

"The most feasible method of rescuing Ikaruga…"

""Skeith's restoration[2].""  Yata and Divine come to a magnificent agreement.

Yata then points out a flaw.  "However, the present Ikaruga exists as data.  There's a high possibility that he would flow into Haseo."

Divine crosses her arms as she says, "I've also wondered about that.  Perhaps Ikaruga can act normally despite being data because of Skeith."  In other words, Ikaruga's existence will be compromised if he's separated from Skeith.

Right now, even with Yata's knowledge, that is the only method to help Ikaruga Divine can conceive.

Yata places a hand on the terminal and looks at the monitor.  "To return his soul to the Real, we first need to know how it's binded to The World."

Divine tiptoes towards the door as she says, "First off, converting human thought into data is impossible.  Ikaruga's mind, however, isn't fully patterned."

Yata doesn't turn to face Divine, but still says, "…If you learn something, let's meet here again."

There is little time.

Divine says, "Thanks…  We, might call ourselves this world's administrators, but I get the feeling we don't know much of anything about it…"

Yata continues to work in silence once Divine leaves the Raven Guild's @HOME.

T/N: And the mystery deepens.  No, I am clueless as to Amagi's identity.  The .hack wiki states that she's a 14 year old girl from .hack//links, so this one is probably a different person.  More will probably be revealed further into the novel.  See you all then,

-Gandire Alea

[1] 天城のことは、此方にも非がある

[2] スケィスを元に戻す

10. The R.A. Project, Naoto's Report

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