The proposition is for the SOS Brigade to fight the computer club over a networked PC game that they have created, called "The Day Of Sagittarius III". If the computer club wins, they get to reclaim their computer that Haruhi virtually stole from them. They are so confident in winning that they say if the SOS Brigade wins, they will get to keep 4 new laptop computers for each member.
The computer club then sets to changing the literary club room up with 4 laptops, connecting them up (including Haruhi's desktop PC) to a LAN network that goes to a server in the computer club room.
The contest is to take place in one weeks time. So for the rest of the week the SOS Brigade brush up on their skills at the game.
The game is a space battle simulation much like Asteroids. A triangle in the middle of your screen represents your fleet. There is also a 'fog of war' around space so that you cannot see enemy ships very easily.
During the week of practice, Nagato becomes familiar to the computer and the game and the programming code that runs it. She ends up ditching the GUI interface that mainly uses a mouse in favor of the keyboard and live programming language. Kyon persuades Itsuki and Yuki to play the game honestly without using any supernatural powers, and Haruhi is too engrossed in her gameplay to listen or even care about however supernatural some of her brigade members might be behaving a few meters away. Is she a ditz or something? As for Mikuru, well she has no idea how to play it and gets lost all the time.
Many minutes into the game, struggling against the computer clubs assault, Kyon talks to Yuki and she says that the computer club has cheated: their fog of war is permanently off, so they have a mighty advantage. Unlike the anime episode, the computer club also have another advantage; warp teleportation. They have all been teleporting to different locations inside the SOS Brigades fog of war area so they wouldnt notice.
Nagato, using the live programming code that is scrolling on her screen, is busy typing on her keyboard at superhuman speed. She has split her fleet into 20 different parts, all within legal limits according to the set rules. However, whilst simultaneously controlling 20 different ships, she has also hacked into the game code and created a cheat that will only activate under Kyons authorization. She asks him if its OK to go ahead and he agrees. Then she hits the enter button.
BAM, the SOS brigades fog of war has been turned off. Haruhi gets over excited as per usual and wants to charge ahead. The members of the computer club know whats going on and start to get worried. The SOS Brigade start to gang up on one of the enemy fleets. He decides to use his teleporting warp much to the disgust and bafflement of Haruhi. But this only causes a major trap set by Nagato. All the players warp to a set up that puts the SOS brigade fleets in a circle surrounding the computer club presidents flagship fleet, with the henchman located to the outer edges of the map. Haruhi gives the order of FIRE! and they set their guns on him and destroy him. Game over.
Instead of feeling glum having lost, the president of the computer club is awestruck by Yuki's hacking abilities, and asks her to come in occasionally to help them out. Although Haruhi objects at first, Kyon realizes that Yuki showed enormous enthusiasm to the game. This he realizes is the most emotional Yuki has ever been. Yuki looks at Kyon for some sort of permission to be allowed to enjoy participating with the computer club, and he tames Haruhi and tells Yuki to do whatever she feels like doing. Hence from here on out, Nagato occasionally visits the computer club instead.
I loved the anime episode, and this worked much the same. For a lot of the time in both iterations we were viewing the battle from the perspective of the collective imagination of the SOS Brigade, set in space. All the characters were properly getting into their military characters and saying stuff appropriate for real military battles.
I also loved another scene when Kyon was forced speechless when Koizumi explained that Kyon and Haruhi completely trust in each other. He goes on to explain that Kyon completely trusts in Haruhi not to cause any closed space if they loose the game, and that Haruhi completely trusts in Kyon to help them win the game.
What I'm reading next is confusing yet again. I'm skipping the next short story of the The Rampage which is set after the anime, and going BACK in time to read Live Alive, set just before The Day Of Sagittarius.
Sorry guys for the confusing messed up sequence of events. But it is the first short story of the next novel, The Wavering. >.<
Up next: the anime episode Someday In The Rain.
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