❯ .hack//CHECK – What ( Chapter 5 )

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

Tiffany’s heart began to pound with a rhythm so loud and violent that she thought it would fly out of her chest. She bolted to her room. The next thing she knew, she had already logged on.

. . .

Naomi gated into the root town of New Mac Anu. To her surprise, it was much bigger than the town she had known before.

« Deacon! », she called frantically as she ran through the bustling streets. « DEAC! STAN! WHERE ARE YOU!?! »

She checked her member list, but Deacon’s address wasn’t there, and Stan’s wasn’t either. « Oh, crap… », she collapsed to her knees.

#Chime, chime# YOU HAVE NEW MAIL.

« Huh? », said Naomi.

. . .

Tiffany opened the new piece of mail. It read.

« Hey, Tiff. It’s me, Jack, a.k.a. Deacon.

I just figured I’d let you know that I was all right. Yeah. I heard the news on the radio. Remember that Wave Master that Stan hit? She’s dead… Or, actually, I should say he’s dead.

IM me when you can. We have to talk… »

. . .

SexyTiff2509: Jack! You scared me half to death! What happened?

JackSprat: After I saw the protect break, I started thinking, and remembered something. I’m just glad I was able to remove my goggles in time. That’s not the worst of it though.

SexyTiff2509: Huh?

JackSprat: My character’s been deleted. It’s like the he never existed. But, that’s not what really bugs me. That damn « Data Drain » ruined my woofers!

SexyTiff2509: You mentioned the WM?

JackSprat: Yeah. I was fixing my stereo when I heard. The guy who died was a coworker of mine. I knew he played World III, but I’ve never seen his avatar… he hadn’t been to work in a while. You can even check the boards. His character’s name was Irene. According to the post, his party hasn’t been able to contact him.

SexyTiff2509: What?

JackSprat: Yeah… He’s been dead for a few days now… Have you heard from Satn?

JackSprat: *Stan

SexyTiff2509: No. I don’t even know his e-mail address.

JackSprat: Me either… What’s up with that guy? The way he keeps information, you’d think he was running from the FBI or something…

SexyTiff2509: Crap… Now I’m really worried…

SexyTiff2509: Wait. What about th TB?

JackSprat: The Twin Blade? I don’t know…

SexyTiff2509: Did they mention what killed your coworker?

JackSprat: yeah. They said his brain just quit working.

SexyTiff2509: That’s scary. I don’t even know if I’m willing to log on again…

JackSprat: Well, you’re obviously OK. . . wait. You can log on?

SexyTiff2509: Yeah. My character’s still there. With the same inventory and everything.

. . .

#Chime, chime#YOU HAVE NEW MAIL

. . .

 » Hey, Tiff, Jack. I heard. This is Danny.

You think it has anything to do with that guy? I’ll be on the IM. »

. . .

STANspark: Really, Jack? Damn…

SexyTiff2509: Stan? How did you survive?

STANspark: I got banned. AGAIN!

JackSprat: Aw, damn. I gotta break you out again?

SexyTiff2509: Huh?

JackSprat: In WIII, when a player gets banned, his avatar is sent to a prison-like dungeon…

JackSprat: In the dungeon, they can either do the time, or someone can break the character out.

JackSprat: However, if the character is only banned for a few days, it’s normally recommended that you just wait it out…

JackSprat: But, if the player is anything like Stan, who gets lifetime banninates, …

JackSprat: The only way to get the character back is to break him out of jail.

SexyTiff2509: That doesn’t sound so bad…

JackSprat: It’s much worse. The whole area is guarded by minefield of level 99 monsters. NO PORTALS! So you don’t know where they come from. To make matters worse, there’s one extra condition…

SexyTiff2509: Extra Condition?

JackSprat: Any character that dies there is banned for life.

JackSprat: Geez. It looks like I’m gonna have to spend fifteen dollars.

STANspark: Sorry. (>_<;)

JackSprat: Regardless, this is a three-man job. We, the Groovers, will only have two…

SexyTiff2509: Uh-oh…

JackSprat: We need to call « him »…

.hack//CHECK – Death
.hack//CHECK – Deal