- "This is something that is part of an even bigger flow of things. It's my fear that Tsukasa may be just the first one to be swallowed up by it."
- — Subaru —
Encounter is the sixth episode of .hack//SIGN.
The episode begins with a confrontation between Mimiru and BT over the capture of Tsukasa. After BT denies Mimiru's accusations of leaking information about Tsukasa to the Crimson Knights, Bear decides to step in and suggest they focus on what to do about the situation rather than argue about it. Mimiru simply decides to rescue Tsukasa from his prison.
Subaru, leader of the Crimson Knights, takes it upon herself to interrogate him. Tsukasa reveals that he can smell and feel pain within The World. Despite the unlikeliness of this being true, Subaru believes Tsukasa's story, and the two form a mutual agreement in which the Knights will not bother Tsukasa so long as he refrains from recklessly using his Guardian. Subaru then asks if Tsukasa has any knowledge of The Key of the Twilight, which he denies.
In a field, Mimiru calls out Sora, who she believes gave information about Tsukasa to the Crimson Knights. Sora doesn't deny her accusations and adds that he wasn't paid for the information. Annoyed, Mimiru demands that he tell her where Tsukasa is. Sora agrees only if she helps him.
Sora soon appears in the prison area, where he betrays the knights by immediately dispatching Silver Knight and the two knights guarding the area. He enters the barricaded area and takes Tsukasa away from Subaru despite her objections. Tsukasa willingly follows Sora, telling Subaru not to chase him. As the two escape, Crim appears near the exit, blocking their path. Sora stays and keeps Crim busy, allowing Tsukasa to escape. As soon as he leaves the area, he is met by Mimiru.
Mimiru talks with Tsukasa in another field and tries to convince him that she had nothing to do with the knights that captured him, but Tsukasa doesn't care. He makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with others and accuses everyone of being selfish and gates out just as Sora gates into the field.
Back in the prison area, Silver Knight is told by Subaru not to issue a warrant for the capture of Tsukasa and Sora, not revealing the exact reason why. Crim gives advice to Silver Knight as the two leave, but Subaru coldly tells Silver Knight to ignore him and returns to Mac Anu, leaving Crim feeling regretful about his choice to leave the Knights.
At Dun Loireag, Mimiru laments her encounter with Tsukasa and soon decides to log out. Before doing so, she encounters BT, who tells her to check the BBS for a rumor about a monster, different from Tsukasa's Guardian, that cannot be defeated. These rumors have already been confirmed by the Knights. Subaru decides that this is the beginning of a large movement that began with Tsukasa, but she knows nothing about its true nature. Nevertheless, she orders the Knights to work on investigating it, believing that it will one day envelop the entire game.
The episode ends with Tsukasa sitting by Aura's bed, saying that he will not leave or listen to others again.