❯ .hack//CHECK – Out ( Chapter 8 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

The man stood there, blade slung over his shoulder, and his free arm hanging at his side. Deacon Blue and Naomi stood in front of him, staring. Nash was near the far wall.
« From Steely Dan, right? That was my favorite group… Remember ‘Do it Again’? », said the man.
« Just who are you?! », Deacon shot. Nash flung his arms in front of his chest.

« My name, is Swan. », said the man.

« Impossible! This guy is level 100! I thought the cap was 99! », exclaimed Nash.
#Whoosh# Swan disappeared. #Swoosh# #CLANG!# Deacon had appeared in front of Nash, and intercepted Swan’s attack. « Watch it, Nash! I don’t wanna have to go for the hat trick! », said Deacon. Without warning, Swan split his sword into two again… #Swish#
« SWITCH! », shouted Naomi. Suddenly, Nash was where Naomi was previously standing. Naomi and Deacon, on the other hand, fell off of their feet as green hexagons began to fly off of their persons. PROTECT BREAK.
« Uh-oh! », shouted Deacon Blue.
« Data Drain: Arc. », stated Swan in a fiendish tone. Suddenly, two spirals of parallel lines shot from his arm.
Deacon began to run towards Naomi as the lines approached…
#Tink, tink#
The lines bounced off of Naomi and Deacon, fell to the ground, and disappeared.
A collective, « What? » was heard.
Without hesitation, Nash used a Flash-bomb. There was a bright light.
. . .
Danny had received an E-mail message…
« Hey, Danny, this is Jack.
Sadly, we all got our asses kicked trying to un-banninate you. Now, we’ve all been banned. I hope you’re happy.

You can log on now! Also, we gotta talk. See you! »
. . .
In a vast field of flowers, Deacon, Stan, and Naomi lay, staring at the clouds above…
« So, let me get this straight… We got our asses whooped by a guy named ‘SWAN’?! », yelled Stan.

« Seems that way. », replied Deacon, « But, what I don’t get is why I’m not in a coroner’s office by now… »

« Me either… », said Naomi, « I’m just glad to be alive. Which is why I’m leaving. »

« I did some digging around last night. », said Deacon, « I found something interesting about the Twin Blade we encountered on that job. »

« Huh? », said Stan.

« In China, a fifth-grade girl had died in front of her computer more than a week ago. Since there was a thunderstorm that night, the local authorities ruled the cause of death as an accident. They thought the house had been hit by lightning, and the subsequent surge had just shorted out her brain. », said Deacon, « It would have made sense, too. Almost all electronic devices in the house were rendered useless… Well, everything but the iron. »

« Huh? »

« The iron wasn’t digital. Not only that, but when they checked the house, there was no sign of lightning damage. Funny thing is, the computer worked just fine. »

« So the little girl was the Twin Blade… », said Naomi.

« Tiff, you can’t leave. », stated Deacon, « This guy knows who we are… »

Naomi sat upright, and looked at Deacon in wide-eyed horror.

« What? »

« Remember? He mentioned ‘Do it Again’. »

« So? »

« ‘You go back, Jack, Do it Again.

Wheel turnin’ round, and round.

You go back, Jack, Do it again…' », sang Deacon, « He’s got our number. If you got any siblings, tell them to stay off WIII for a couple of days. »

« Damn. That’s creepy! », quipped Stan, « How do we know it’s not just a coincidence? »

« Before he mentioned the song, he sang a few bars from ‘Deacon Blues’. »

Naomi stood, left the party, and gated out.

.hack//CHECK – Jam