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- "We don't need to win. We just have to make sure we don't lose."
- — Bear —
Net Slum is the twenty-fourth episode of .hack//SIGN.
All the main players gate into Net Slum, which is full of what appears to be failed copies of Tsukasa. Tsukasa himself gates into the area Subaru is waiting for him, and the two gate into Net Slum together. With everyone together in the same place, Helba appears and introduces them to Net Slum. She explains that her program picked up the copies of Tsukasa six months prior. Apparently, their enemy was unable to make a true clone of Tsukasa and trapped the original inside the game instead. Silver Knight begins attacking the bad data clones to clean up the area, but is stopped by Bear so as not to hurt Tsukasa's feelings if he shows up. Shortly, Tsukasa does show up with Subaru and is asked why he was chosen for the enemy's plan. He responds that he doesn't know and runs off.
Subaru follows Tsukasa, who is scared, knowing that many of his memories were artificial ones created for him. He acknowledges that he may in fact be a girl in the real world, but that he is unsure which of his memories are real and which are constructed. Subaru comforts him and again expresses her wish to see him in outside The World regardless.
Meanwhile, Helba explains the true nature of the enemy and its goals. The enemy is an omnipresent being within The World. For some reason, Aura is linked to Tsukasa. When Tsukasa is positive, she grows in the desired direction, but when he is negative, Aura's growth is warped. The enemy's goal is to keep Tsukasa negative, permanently halting Aura's birth. Thus, the ultimate goal to fight the omnipresent being is to give birth to the correct Aura.
In Morganna's area, Sora demands to know Morganna's goals. Morganna responds, saying she desires deeper despair for Tsukasa and asks Sora what he desired. Sora merely replies "something interesting." Morganna offers to give him a Guardian, but Sora refuses, angering Morganna. When Sora escapes, Morganna calls Macha, who is still holding the Aromatic Grass given by Tsukasa. Annoyed, Morganna deletes the grass and commands her to pursue Tsukasa.
At Net Slum, the players plan for the coming battle. Helba will be monitoring from afar while the others fight. Bear explains that, since the only reason Tsukasa is even with them now is because of Subaru, the enemy will likely attack her first. As they discuss how they should handle her and Tsukasa, Macha appears and summons a Guardian to attack Subaru. Crim, Mimiru, and Silver Knight come to their aid and urge Tsukasa to take Subaru and run. Although it is held back for a while, the Guardian pursues and catches up to Subaru and Tsukasa. Just when it seems they are cornered, Tsukasa's Guardian appears to protect them. Both Guardians end up Data Draining each other, and they both disappear. The other players appear to congratulate Tsukasa and ask what he wants to do. Tsukasa replies that he wants to log out and return to the real world.
Macha returns to Morganna's area and is pleased to see that Aura seems to be recovering, but Morganna screams in anguish knowing that her plan is falling apart.