DaGarver's Miki Pseudo-Route (updated 12/25)

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DaGarver's Miki Pseudo-Route (updated 12/25)

Postby DaGarver » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:10 pm

Introduction

Hello. I go by many names. On these forums, DaGarver works just fine. Steam and 4chan know me as Garver. I've been writing for the Katawa Shoujo community for a little over 4 months now, doing a number of one shots and a pair of epilogues, just to practice the craft and become a better writer overall. I enjoy my creative writing, or virtually any creative experience in general.

This is my Miki "pseudo-route," though I don't particularly like that term. Still, it sticks, so we'll roll with it. Also, there are choices in Act 1, just to get a sense for how Hisao would end up with her. Those will be minimized in latter entries, probably only for critical plot moments/branches, if they are present at all.

For those of you that have read Ride, that was my long-ago prototype for some character aspects of Miki I'd portray in her own route, if I were to write one (and I was definitely thinking about writing one back then, though I was woefully inexperienced). As my writing skills have improved a bit since I've started producing content for the community, I decided to take another shot at it.

I will be updating this thread, along with my pastebin. I've definitely enjoyed writing what I have so far, so I can't imagine that Act 2 will be far behind. I have already finished Act 1, but it is still open to criticism as I post entries.

Enjoy, folks.

***********************************

Update Log

Oct 22, 2012: I'm posting two entries for Act 1 to start. The first does not include any Miki, and I imagine people would want to actually get a look at where I'm going with her character.
Oct 23, 2012: Updated titles of posted scenes to actually be correct (Act 1-A, 1-B vs. Act 2-1, 2-2), posted act 1-C.
Oct 25, 2012: Posted act 1-D.
Oct 26, 2012: Posted act 1-E. Edited the beginning of 1-B to reflect Hisao's attitude toward bailing on Emi.
Nov 11, 2012: Act 2! (finally)
Dec 25, 2012: A double update to make up for the month of nothing.

***********************************

"Can you forgive yourself?"

Table of Contents

Act 1: Life Expectancy
-- Scene A: Exercise (cont.)
-- Scene B: A Textbook Breakfast
-- Scene C: Lunch Break!
-- Scene D: Old and New
-- Scene E: Fire in the Sky

Act 2
-- Scene 1: Friends and Perspective
-- Scene 2: Self-Discovery
-- Scene 3: Truancy
Last edited by DaGarver on Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:36 pm, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: DaGarver's Miki Pseudo-Route

Postby DaGarver » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:11 pm

Act 1-A: Exercise (cont.)
pastebin: http://pastebin.com/p9Q5TZxX

I fell asleep. For how long? What time is it? I'm feeling a little lightheaded, and I keep blinking compulsively. Pushing the curtain aside, I squint my eyes against the unfiltered light pouring in from the window. The texture of the canvas feels nothing like the wind did before.

What was the last thing I was doing? I remember falling, a stumble as the result of my heart fluttering faster than it should have been. Running with Emi. Pushing myself to go faster, to match her speed. The stupidity of it all, and ending up here in the head nurse's office.

A quiet voice pulls me away. “Hello.” Flipping my head around, I'm greeted by a girl sitting in one of the nearby chairs. Clad in the standard uniform, the white of her tunic blends in with her pale skin and silver hair. The most striking feature, her bright, blood-red eyes, catches me a bit off guard. “I was watching you sleep,” she continues. “You're the boy who likes watching girls sleep, right?”

Wait... what? “Um... I'm sorry, can I help you?”

She cocks her head in curiosity. “This is my regular appointment,” she claims. “The better question is: What are you doing here? I'm not used to sleeping guys on the table during my appointment.”

“I uh...” Stammering. Wonderful. Guess I'm not over the whole 'anxious about my disability' thing yet. “I had a fall. And here I am.”

“Really?” A cheesy grin carves into her face. “You must be quite fragile, then.”

Is she making fun of me? “Hey, I have a very serious condition!”

“And that would be...” I turn my head, cheeks flushing with a hint of pink. “C'mon, you can tell me. I won't bite or something crazy like that.”

“Um... it's a...” Just say it, Hisao. She's not going to let up about it. “It's a heart defect.”

That seems to pique her interest. Her eyebrow arches. “So, what you're saying is, we are the same?” I look back at her, bewildered. She moves to explain. “I've had heart problems since I was really young.” She clutches at her chest. “Since about four years old or so.” Her eyes drift upward, meeting mine again. “I'm Rika, by the way. Katayama Rika, class 2-3.”

2-3? So she's a year younger than me. “Pleased to meet you, I guess. Nakai Hisao, just Hisao is fine.” She nods approvingly. “By the way,” I continue. “Where is Nurse?”

“He stepped out to take a phone call.” And left two teenagers in a room alone? Is he mad? “Why do you ask?”

“Just wanting to get out of here.” I rub the back of my head, followed by my chest. Both still feel a little bit sore. “Class to get back to and stuff, you know?”

She scoffs, waving a hand at me. “Class.”

I mimic her earlier action, raising my own eyebrow at her. “You some kind of delinquent?”

She taps her chin, pondering her response. “You could say that. I just like living my life the way I want to. Only have so long, yeah?”

“That's one way to look at it. Still, why not make the most of what we have? Get an education and all that?” I throw my arms in the air for emphasis.

She responds with only a snicker. “Sorry, but I don't know you well enough to talk philosophy. No offense. Maybe some other time.”

We sit in silence for a while. Just how long is Nurse going to take with that phone call? Till the end of the day? Watching the clock gets boring after a while, just listening to the ticks and tocks... Soothing, almost. Like I could just fall back asleep right here.

“Out of curiosity...” Rika's voice snaps me out of it again. “How did you have your accident?”

Hm, that. “I was running. Nurse's suggestion.”

“Oh? Running?” She sounds genuinely interested now. “He sends me running, too. With Miura. I think she's in your class, isn't she? 3-3, brown skin, missing a hand?”

“Yeah, I think I do know her.” She sounds familiar at least. I think she was daydreaming on my first day, so I didn't really get a chance to talk to her. Not to mention that Misha and Shizune dominated the majority of my time soon after. “I didn't realize that she ran.”

Rika nods. “Yeah. Track team. Second only to the Legless Wonder.”

The... Legless Wonder? “You mean Emi?”

“Yeah, her. Ibarazaki. Fastest thing on no legs or something like that.” Her tone carries a hint of disgust, as if there's some former animosity between them. “I ran with her for a while when I first got here. Didn't like how hard she drove me, so I switched with Miki when she came aboard.”

“Really? She didn't seem that bad.” She honestly didn't. A bit expecting, yeah, but not terrible, by any means. Nothing I couldn't handle.

“Ah, so you were with her. That explains why you're here.” A hearty laugh escapes her throat. “She ran me into the ground my first day, too. A real workaholic, huh?”

“Yeah, I guess.” I'm not sure what else I can say. I kind of agree with her, I could use something a little slower-paced.

“Listen, you should come run at night with me and Miki. She'll go a lot easier on you.” An invitation already? “And hey, exercise is better than none, as far as Nurse goes, right?”

Can I really bail on Emi like that? I pushed it really hard today, and I felt proud of myself for trying to keep up with her. And she seemed so enthusiastic about having a morning run partner. I might feel like a huge jerk if I just swap to Miki. What to do...

[Stick with Emi.]
>[Run with Miki.]

“Sure, I'll go with you guys. When should I show up?” I could go with not waking up at 5am every morning, that's for sure.

“We run at 8pm sharp, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.” She holds up her index finger matter-of-factly. “I'll tell Miki sometime today, and you can start with us tomorrow.” Sounds like a plan I can get behind. I'll have to tell Emi about the change in plans over lunch later.

The front door clicks open. Nurse's explosive voice roars into the room. “Ooo-kay, Miss Katayama. Sorry about that, I...” He catches sight of me sitting up and smiles wide. “Ah, Mister Nakai. Good to see you up and moving, so to speak.”

“Yeah, just woke up.” Talking to Rika has thankfully pulled most of the grogginess out of my voice.

“And I assume you've already met Miss Katayama?”

Rika sighs, folding her arms across her chest. “For the last time, Nurse, just Rika.”

He chuckles. Their dynamic is almost similar to the one he shares with Emi, though she is undoubtedly more modest. “I only do it for the laughs.” She grumbles. “Well, Hisao, let me just do one last checkup and I'll send you on your way.”

He runs through the essentials: heart rate, blood pressure, breathing capacity... nothing I'm not used to from standard physicals. A few notes later, he nods approvingly at his clipboard. “Looks like everything is normal. You're good to go, Hisao. And try not to overdo it next time.”

“That reminds me,” I interrupt. He opens one curious squinted eye. “Rika was telling me about running with Miki. I wanted to try out her routine before settling down. That okay?”

He rubs his chin. “Miura? I suppose. She's much more laid back. Maybe that's what you need to start out with.” A smile returns to his face. “Sure, why not. I'll let Emi know.”

“Uh, don't worry about that,” I fret. “We have lunch scheduled later today. I'll tell her then.”

That trademark smile of his debuts, a toothy grin spreading from ear to ear. “Alright, your funeral. Now scoot, you have classes to get to.”

I nod, turning to Rika. “I'll see you tomorrow?” She smiles, and nods in turn. I make my way out of the Nurse's office, closing the door behind me.

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Last edited by DaGarver on Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: DaGarver's Miki Pseudo-Route

Postby DaGarver » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:12 pm

Act 1-B: A Textbook Breakfast
pastebin: http://pastebin.com/kUL9UUTQ

I'm forced awake by the blaring of my alarm clock. Only now do I realize that I forgot to take it off the early setting for running with Emi in the mornings. I wanted to at least get some extra sleep before running tonight. She wasn't particularly pleased with my bailing on her, but calmed down after I told her I would still be doing it with Miki. I almost detected a hint of disappointment, like she was getting more out of it than just the runs from me. Maybe she was, I don't know. Too tired right now to really remember all the details.

What day is it? Oh, right, Saturday. Only a half day today. I never quite understood why we do the half day on Saturday. It seems so superfluous, so out of place. I'd rather just have two full days for my weekend. C'est la vie.

I roll over, tugging the sheets back over my head. Much to my dismay, the sun has decided to betray me, casting excessive rays of sunlight into my room. I struggle to find that same comfortable position I was in before being disturbed, but it continues to elude me. Perhaps waking up might be the best course of action.

Listen to yourself, Hisao. You've got a shot at a free extra few hours of sleep; make the most of it! Unfortunately, my mind is too restless. I start thinking about what today has in store for me: a new routine, maybe some new friends... Yeah, I'm not getting back to sleep.

I swing my legs over the edge of the bed, grumbling and shaking my fist at the sun. Just to convince myself that I'm awake, I down my first daily regiment of pills with the help of a glass of water.

So... I have two hours to kill or so. I guess I could go get breakfast for once. Seems like as good of a plan as any. After a quick shower, I put on my uniform, toss my bag over my shoulders, and head for the cafeteria.

The cafeteria is noticeably barren. Not many students here are morning people. I'm not normally one, either, but I might as well make the most of being awake. I pick up a bowl of rice, some scrambled eggs, and a diced fruit dish, then claim a seat by myself. I pull a textbook out of my bag, electing to go over today's lesson ahead of time.

The material isn't that hard. Chemistry and mathematics were both some of my strong suits at my old school, and I did a decent job keeping up with my studies while I was in the hospital. Playing catch-up feels odd, for once. I wasn't the best student overall, but I would still find myself one step ahead more often than not.

“Is that a textbook you're reading?” The voice is feminine, almost tomboyish and vaguely familiar. I think I've heard it in class a few times. Looking up, I see a brown-skinned girl with dark hair, dressed in some odd combination of the boys' shirt and tie with the girls' skirt. She carries a small messenger bag against her side hip. And, of course, the signature missing left hand, wrist wrapped in white bandages. “You must be bored out of your mind to be reading a textbook!” she exclaims with a wide grin.

I blink a few times, mouth agape. Mostly out of curiosity toward the girl standing in front of me. If I remember right, this is Miura. Definitely fits the description, if nothing else. There's also the case that her left hand is missing. That hits the nail on the head. “Uh... I uh...” Stammering? Really, Hisao? And letting your rice fall out of your chopsticks? For shame. She's just a person, after all.

She starts giggling, something seeming almost too girlish for her. “A bit embarrassed, Nakai?”

“Um... it's Hisao.” I manage to regain some of my composure. “And you're... Miura, right?”

She sets her bag down, taking a seat across the table from me. “Miki. Surnames are too stuffy.” She puts her good hand on her neck, using her elbow to support the weight against the table. “You're running with us tonight, yeah? Rika told me you were interested.”

I stuff a helping of rice into my mouth, nodding my head before swallowing. “Well, more like she pulled me into it.” Miki raises an eyebrow. “She heard I was running with Emi and said I should give your routine a shot.” Another clump of rice meets my tongue.

“Ah, the Legless Wonder.” She even talks like Rika. Or maybe Rika talks like her. I haven't decided yet, as if I'm qualified to make that judgment. “She's a bit stuck up, if you hadn't noticed.”

“Really? She seemed pretty friendly, from what I saw.” And she did. A bit hard on getting me to work, but still nice about it.

Miki holds up both hands - er, wrists, waving her good hand back and forth. How many students in 3-3 have readily visible disabilities? Not many, I imagine. “No, no, not to say that she isn't friendly. Just a bit... demanding, is all.”

That I can understand. “Yeah, you have a point.”

“Of course I do!” She shoots another wide grin. It's almost infectious. I can't help but smile back when looking at her. “I always have a point.” She looks around for a moment, and I can swear I hear a light rumble from across the table. Her stomach, maybe? “Say, I'm gonna grab some food. Mind saving my seat?” Suspicions confirmed.

“Y-yeah, no problem...” Stammering again. She's just a person, you're just a person, there's no difference between you two. Stop acting like there is. Her flamboyant behavior, even in the way she walks, is distinctive and eye-catching. I wonder if she just does it for attention or if she's always been that way.

She takes her time getting breakfast. I go back to my textbook, at least attempting to get my mind out places that it shouldn't be right now. Today's lesson is supposed to be over some basics of thermochemistry: working with thermal reactions, heat engines, general thermodynamics... There are a few proofs of the core laws that I don't quite understand. I'm counting on Mutou going over those in class today.

I'm almost completely absorbed when she interrupts me again. “Reading again?” It's more penetrating this time. Sharper, as if she's genuinely disgusted. “You need to learn to live a little,” she derides as I set the book down. “Talk to people, have a social life.”

“Sorry,” I reply in between sips of juice. “I still don't know people here very well.”

“Not an excuse.” She finally sets her tray down on the table, bearing an assortment of food similar to mine. Downing her first clump of rice quickly, she glares at me with dark brown eyes. “You have to take action, to step out and put yourself as the pinnacle of attention.” Well, that's definitely something she does well.

“Yeah, not really my style. I'm more the aloof type, if you know what I mean.”

She sighs, rubbing her forehead with her fingers. “Alright, if you won't take action, then I will. After class, you and me. Lunch. Hanging out. Got it?”

I swear, she sounds like she should be in the army. And she claims Emi is overbearing. “The way you're talking, I guess I don't have much choice, do I?”

She finishes off a hardboiled egg before continuing. “If you know what's good for you, no.”

I mimic her earlier action, raising an eyebrow. It's more playful than serious. “Is that a threat?”

“What, you think you can take me?” That devilish grin suits her. “Just because I'm a girl?” Girl or not, she's probably more man than I am. She pounds her stump into her palm like a fist, just for emphasis. My lack of an immediate response seems to only goad her behavior. “Exactly. You can't handle the Miura Special.”

The... Miura Special? “I'm sorry, what?”

She laughs, setting down her chopsticks and drying a few tears of joy from her eyes. “Sorry, old wrestling stuff.”

I can't help but ask the obvious question. “Wrestling? How does that work with... you know?”

“With one hand, you mean?” She definitely seems more open about her disability than I am. I assume she has to be. Though I'm probably the exception to the rule right now. “It's a pretty recent thing. I'm actually a newer student.”

“Oh? How new?” Maybe this wasn't a bad idea, after all.

“This is my first full year here. I came in last December.” She downs a gulp of her coffee can, finished with her breakfast. “You're the new-new guy, so it's only fair that the new guys stick together, right?”

“Yeah, I guess so.” I'm still only halfway done with mine. She definitely has a voracious appetite. But she's so tiny. How on earth does she eat so much?

I check my watch: it's closing in on 7:30. Her focus is elsewhere, her head tilted away, facing into the crowd of students. “Say...” I start, trying to grab her attention. “It's getting close to class time. Should we head up?”

Her eyes widen a bit, as if I caught her by surprise. I think this is the first time all morning that I've seen them actually look feminine. “Yeah,” she replies with a smile, “sounds like a plan.”

We collect our trays, taking our dishes to the designated drop-off point. I didn't get to finish everything, but I never was much of a breakfast person anyways. Something is better than nothing. I swing by our table to grab my knapsack, and she picks up her messenger.

The trip up the stairs to floor three is quiet. We don't talk much as we walk, preferring to just get to our destination. Miki does notice Rika on the second floor, and they wave at each other. They seem like close friends, or something resembling that, at least. I wonder if Rika started with Miki right when she got here? Maybe that was Nurse's meddling again, trying to force people to socialize. It seems to work.

As we file into the classroom, I notice only four souls already inside: Shizune, Misha, a sleeping girl in the front row, and the girl with no legs also in the front row. The latter of the two I don't know seems to be lost in a book. Suzu, I think her name was. And the sleepy one is Molly. Or I could be mixed up. Awake for two hours already and it's still too early. Is there such a thing as a well-rested teenager?

“Don't forget,” Miki says before she takes her seat. “Lunch after class.”

“Got it.” I start moving to my desk before she stops me.

“And don't let the Dynamic Duo talk you out of it,” she whispers. “I know how they are.” The Dynami... oh, Shizune and Misha. Does she have nicknames for everyone?

I just nod and sit down at my desk next to Misha. Pulling a few notebooks out of my bag, I click a pen and write today's date at the top of the page: 9th June, 2007.

“Hey, Hicchan~!” Misha's voice practically pierces my eardrums. I - stupidly - turn my head towards her, giving her my attention. “Whatcha doing?”

“Just uh... just getting ready for class.” I mean, what else would I be doing right now? “Why do you ask?”

“Well, Shicchan~ wanted to invite you to lunch this afternoon!” Yep, here it comes. “We have a half day off today, after all! Might as well make use of it~.”

My expression goes flat, coupled with an apathetic glare. “Are you two still trying to rope me into Student Council?” I already have plans, and they heard about it from the horse's mouth. Well, one of them did, at least.

“Of course~ not, Hicchan!” Yeah, keep trying, Misha. “We just wanted to soc-ia-lize, that's all!”

I try to be as polite as possible. It's not exactly fair to be mean to her if she wasn't paying much attention earlier. “Sorry, I already have plans with Miki.”

Shizune looks confused, almost a tad concerned. But complacent. She makes a few quick gestures and goes back to her work. Misha translates with a rather grim look on her face. “Awww, darn~. Well, have fun, Hicchan.” That feels a little harsh, almost like she's trying to guilt trip me. Maybe I'm reading too much into it.

The rest of the class funnels into the room, their eyes weary from late Friday night antics. I guess that's one reason for me to have woken up earlier than everyone else. Where on earth would I have been anyways? Mutou follows not far behind them, looking more tired than usual. He sets a short stack of books on his tabletop, then gets right to work on the lesson.

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Last edited by DaGarver on Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:40 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: DaGarver's Miki Pseudo-Route

Postby Vekter » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:09 am

I'm too tired for a reaction image. Bah.

This is good stuff, man. Keep at it. Can't wait to see what you have planned
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Re: DaGarver's Miki Pseudo-Route

Postby Hoitash » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:43 am

I like how you worked Rika into the story; it's a neat twist that works well.

You're take on Mika is cute and quirky. I knew I was in trouble when I figured out I liked tomboys :)
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Re: DaGarver's Miki Pseudo-Route

Postby MrDan » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:58 pm

I'm enjoying this so far. The dialogue between Hisao and Miki was well done and felt right, and I like how you're doing Miki. Keep up the good work!
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Re: DaGarver's Miki Pseudo-Route

Postby DaGarver » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:40 pm

Act 1-C: Lunch Break!
pastebin: http://pastebin.com/MveCC4FW

Class passes quickly. Mutou seems as eager to have the day finished as anyone else, so he speeds through most of the details, only covering bare-boned concepts and abstract ideas. It's a bit disorienting at first, but I manage to keep up after a short struggle. The rest of the class doesn't appear so lucky. The more studious ones are scribbling furiously, trying to keep up. The rest have thrown in the towel.

My pink-haired neighbor falls into the latter category. She's laid her head face down on her desk, eyelids weary and heavy. I'm surprised Shizune hasn't gotten onto her about it. Perhaps she doesn't notice. Or maybe she doesn't care. It's possible that she's not the iron-fist dictator that I thought she was.

“And that,” Mutou declares, tapping the blackboard firmly with his stub of chalk, “is the core of thermodynamics.” He underlines the formula, finally finished with his proof. Students scribble away with their pens, copying down the last notes before he sweeps them away with his eraser. I swear he almost sighs at seeing such a lack of enthusiasm. I can imagine he just wants someone to be as excited about science as he is.

The midday bell rings. Writing ceases, and note-taking is replaced by the shuffle of papers and books being shoved into bags for the weekend. “Don't forget!” Mutou shouts over the din, cupping his hands over his mouth. “Tomorrow is the festival! Finish up whatever club duties you have and enjoy the festivities!”

“Fried food~!” Misha's bubbling voice, now bursting with energy, erupts into the crowd. “Games~! Activities~!” And she was so tired earlier...

I sling my knapsack over my shoulder, deliberately trying to escape Misha and Shizune before I get caught red-handed. I eye Miki's desk a few times; she's already gone. After having to turn down those two, she better not be bailing on me. I head out the classroom door, looking through the cluttered hallways for any sign of her.

“Hey, knucklehead!” Luckily, her voice is pretty easy to find. “Over here!” I turn my head toward the sound, seeing her wave a bandaged wrist in the air. Somehow, she finds a way to make it visible above the heads of her taller classmates. I weave through the mobs of people, bumping into a few along the way to meet up with her. She taps her foot on the ground, a scowl on her face. “You're late.”

“Late?” I ask rhetorically. “You said lunch right after class.”

“And I meant right after class. Bell rings, we go, no messing around. Got it?”

I can't think of anything else to do at this point than salute her. It feels natural. “Sir, yes, sir!”

She puts her hand on her hip, pointing at me with her wrist. “Sir?! Just where do you think you are, Private?”

I maintain my rigid stance. “Yamaku Academy, ma'am!” I emphasize the change in gender for my address. “Finest school for the physically disabled this side of the Pacific, ma'am!”

She smiles, baring a sliver of teeth at me. “That's more like it. Now, move out!” The hallway has cleared for the most part, mostly devoid of any life aside from the two of us. They must have been in a hurry to grab lunch and enjoy the rest of their day. I start my literal march down the hall, my 'superior officer' not far behind me. “Back straight!” she shouts. “Eyes in front! Hup! Hup!”

“Madam Sargent, where are we going for lunch?” My voice is still formal, stern.

“Unimportant, Private! Keep moving!” She'd make one hell of an officer, that's for sure.

I march down the stairs, taking them in steady rhythm. We reach the ground floor, and Miki pats me gently on the back. “Excellent work. At ease, Private.” I relax my shoulders, eliciting a giggle from my companion. I can't help but laugh along. In between chuckles, she says, “You put on a pretty good show. Should be in theater.”

“Really?” My tone is half-sarcastic. “You think I could make it?”

She shrugs nonchalantly. “Hell if I know. Not my thing. Now...” She puts her hand on her hip again, letting her left arm dangle freely. “Where's lunch?”

“Shouldn't you decide?” I offer. “You know this town better than I do. All I've been to is the Shanghai?”

She cocks her head. “The Shanghai? Who on earth took you there?”

“It was lunch on... Wednesday, I think. With Shizune and Misha.”

The hallway resonates with her laughing, as if she expected some different answer. “Of course. Completely like them to go there.” She spins on her heel, turning her head back so as to project her voice. “Anyways, why don't we just start walking? We can figure out where we're going on the way there.”

It's better than nothing. “Sure, sounds like a plan.”

We step outside onto the grounds, just the two of us. It's weird, some would probably consider this a date. Still, I've only started talking to Miki today. I'd rather not jump to any conclusions, and she doesn't seem like the swinger kind of girl, either.

“So, Hisao Nakai,” she says as we walk through the front gates. “I imagine you know a little bit about me, and yet I know nothing about you.”

I hum thoughtfully. “I don't know about that. I basically only met you today.” I glance at her through my peripheral. “And surely the school gossip crew has already dug up some dirt on me.”

She laughs, as if to say, 'You have no idea.' “You may be right. Still, I'd rather hear it from the horse's mouth. What brings you to Ye Olde Cripple Academy?” Yeah, she definitely has a nickname for everything. What on earth is she going to come up with for me? Heartbreaker? Actually makes sense, given what brought me here.

“I'd rather not talk about it,” I respond solemnly. “Touchy subject, still trying to get over it. Suffice to say that I have a heart condition.” I don't think I've told anyone at school the details yet, actually. Aside from those who already know, of course: Mutou, Nurse... the adults, basically.

“Fair enough. Not my place to butt in on your personal life.” That's... actually considerate of you, Miki. I might be warming up to her already. She turns her head and winks at me. “At least not yet.”

“You're awfully confident of yourself,” I retort. “What makes you so sure I'll be your friend?”

“You're on a lunch date with me, Hisao. Like I'm going to let you off the hook after this.”

“And what exactly is that supposed to mean?”

“It means you're stuck with me, at least in some sense. Plus, you're running with us tonight. Even more to seal the deal.” Oh, right. I was planning on turning in early for the night after catching up on homework. How did I forget about that in the span of a few hours? I chalk one up to absentmindedness.

We come up on a small delicatessen. “This seems good enough,” Miki suggests. “Mind if we stop here? Can grab some quick sandwiches and enjoy the weather.”

“Sure.” The word comes off more curt than I intend it to be, but she doesn't seem to notice.

Stepping inside, the odor of fresh-cut meats assaults my nose. A man in a paper apron stands behind the counter, donning a pair of plastic gloves. “Afternoon,” he says, snapping the second glove over his hand. I notice that he doesn't stare at Miki's obvious deformity. Maybe the local townsfolk are used to seeing Yamaku students that they've learned to look past the superficial? “What can I get for you kids today?”

Miki eyes a laminate menu spread out on a nearby table. As far as lunch goes, it looks like a sandwich is probably the best option. “This one, if you don't mind,” she replies, pointing to a line on the menu. He leans over the counter, discerning her choice.

“Coming right up, miss.” He pulls a pair of eggs out of a nearby fridge, lowering them into what looks like a steamer. I read the description of what she ordered: chopped, soft-boiled egg, lettuce, and a touch of mustard. The clerk approaches the counter again. “And for you, sir?”

“I'll have what she's having,” I respond with a smile. He repeats the same process as before, and we take a seat at a nearby table to wait for our sandwiches. She rests her neck against her palm, in the same position that she did earlier this morning. Her gaze focused on the exterior window, she hits her wrist against the table repeatedly, almost like she would be tapping her fingers.

“Something wrong?” I ask. Her eyes shift, but her body doesn't. “I thought this was supposed to be simple, fun.”

She puts up a smile. “Just thinking. I like watching people. It's interesting to see them walk past each other, how they talk and how they... you know what I mean?”

I force my attention outside. A few pedestrians pass by the window, some of them alone and some in pairs or packs. Some look like average townsfolk, some are still in the trademark green and white uniforms. The groups talk amongst themselves, occasionally stumbling on a familiar face. I can pick out a couple intricacies in their hand gestures, almost like hints at what they talk about.

“Yeah, I think I understand.” I nod my head once, just for the additional emphasis. “It's like getting into their heads, in a way, right?”

“Kind of. Not really. I just think it's entertaining.”

The sound of crumpled paper emanates from the counter behind us, followed by the clerk's voice. “Two chopped egg sandwiches, up and ready.” We both stand from the table, pick up our lunch, and hand the man our payment before walking out the door.

“So...” I say, looking into my little white bag. “Now what?”

She thrusts her hip outward, stump placed on the bone, tapping her foot on the concrete and humming to herself. “You decided you like people-watching, yeah?”

It's not hard to see where she's going with this. “Pick a bench, keep at it?”

“Exactly.” She smiles and starts running further away from the school grounds.

“Hey! Wait!” I shout after her. A futile effort. Impulsively, I start running after her, slowly at first and accelerating into something more resembling a sprint. As the distance between us only increases, I realize how stupid I'm being by trying to race a member of the track team. This is as ridiculous as trying to keep up with Emi yesterday. But it's not like I can't handle it, right? I'm not going anywhere near as fast as I was then.

A lurching in my chest makes me suddenly aware of my racing heart. It screams at me, 'You idiot, you pushed it hard enough yesterday, and now you're doing it again!' I swear I can see fractured pulses of red in front of me. Up ahead, Miki has stopped, standing triumphantly with her legs spread apart. As if she's taunting me.

My feet start stumbling, my thighs burning like hot lead. Am I going to fall again? Is this just going to be a repeat of the track and Nurse's office? I force myself to stop, hunched over with hands on my knees and gasping for air. But my heart keeps pumping faster. Come on, Hisao, routines. Deep breaths, calm thoughts...

“You okay?” I look up, seeing Miki standing over me with a concerned look on her face.

I summon the strength to stand up straight. After a few more pants, I reply, “Yeah, I think so.”

She rubs the top of her head with her stump. “Um... sorry.” She's... apologizing? Why?

“For what?”

“For pushing you. You even told me about it today, and I was stupid enough to forget.” Her stump meets her forehead. “Yeah, you don't need to be pushing yourself that much. For a while, at least.”

“Well, uh... thanks, I guess.”

A simple smile. One showing self-forgiveness and relaxation simultaneously. “Not a problem. That's enough excitement for today, though, don'tcha think?” I could go with not having my life threatened for the rest of the day. There'll be running later tonight, but I can worry about that later. Another simple response via nod. She steps into the nearby grass, right across the street from the line of shops. “Let's just claim a spot here, then. Hard to beat soft grass!”

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Re: DaGarver's Miki Pseudo-Route

Postby REDD_HEDD » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:46 pm

While Scissorlips' Miki from his Suzu pseudo-pseudo route is by far my favorite representation of Miki at the moment, i cant wait to see what you will do with your own interpretation. Especially having read some of of your work (notably your Hanako neutral-end epilogue) already, as well as what you have written for this so far, i have faith in your ability to do great things with this story :D

Keep up the good work!
"I think, in the end I'm not really happy with who I am either, but that doesn't mean I regret being who I am." -Rin

100% completion! :D

Lilly>Rin=Hanako>Misha>Emi>>>>>>Shizune
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Re: DaGarver's Miki Pseudo-Route

Postby DaGarver » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:38 am

Hoitash wrote:I like how you worked Rika into the story; it's a neat twist that works well.

You're take on Mika is cute and quirky. I knew I was in trouble when I figured out I liked tomboys :)


I'm trying to take her in a different direction than Scissorlips does. I want to make her my character, given that she is the focus of the story.

Vekter wrote:I'm too tired for a reaction image. Bah.

This is good stuff, man. Keep at it. Can't wait to see what you have planned

MrDan wrote:I'm enjoying this so far. The dialogue between Hisao and Miki was well done and felt right, and I like how you're doing Miki. Keep up the good work!

REDD_HEDD wrote:While Scissorlips' Miki from his Suzu pseudo-pseudo route is by far my favorite representation of Miki at the moment, i cant wait to see what you will do with your own interpretation. Especially having read some of of your work (notably your Hanako neutral-end epilogue) already, as well as what you have written for this so far, i have faith in your ability to do great things with this story :D

Keep up the good work!


Glad to see positive support! It feeds the drive, keeps me writing.
Last edited by DaGarver on Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DaGarver's Miki Pseudo-Route (through Act 1-C)

Postby DaGarver » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:41 am

Act 1-D: Old and New
pastebin: http://pastebin.com/beB2fmu1

Lunch and the subsequent walk back to campus is uneventful. We talk about people-watching more, we go over the basic introductory questions: hobbies, interests, current outlook on life.... Her reaction to my reading hobby was about what I expected, from how much I knew her: “That's a hobby?”

“Yeah, I think it is,” I respond. “Isn't a hobby something to do to spend time? Besides, there's a literature club, so it has to be -somewhat- legitimate, right?”

“Still, just how do you get in on something like that?” Her head cranes toward me. “Seems kinda boring.”

“I read a lot when I was in the hospital this winter,” I answer solemnly.

“Didn't you have friends come visit you?” Her eyes look almost worried, brows slanted downward. For someone with such an upbeat attitude, she's doing a good job of - at least - putting up a mask. If I didn't know better, I'd almost say she... cared about me?

“Not really.” I could tell her about what happened over those few weeks, before they stopped coming to visit. But I'd rather not, at this point. She's worried about me enough today already, with my episode at lunch. She definitely doesn't need to worry about me now. “We just kinda... drifted apart during the time away. They had school to take care of, and I was focused on getting better.”

Her gaze turns from me back straight ahead. “Alright. That makes sense, I guess.” Phew, guess she bought it. I'd rather not talk about it. I mean, I'm a little resentful of why I'm here. Of the heart condition, of being alone after my 'friends' left me behind. I'm not sure if it's more my fault for seeming so distant or their fault for giving up so easily. Even Iwanako, who supposedly cared about me, just walked off, never to be heard from again.

“You okay?” Hm? Ah, Miki. Right, she's still here.

I stuff my hands in my pockets. “...yeah, I think so. Just... thinking.”

“Well, lighten up a bit, man!” She smacks me on the back with her good hand. I lurch forward, gripping my chest, but not out of fear of an attack. She throws her arm around my neck, thrusting her stump to the sky. “Running tonight, festival tomorrow, lots of good times to be had!”

“Right...” I mumble, pinned in her deathgrip.

“Don't be such a debbie downer.” She releases me, walking ahead and turning around, propelling herself backwards. “There's a lot to life, Hisao. Too much to sit on your ass and feel sorry for yourself.”

Is there, though? I've got this thing called a heart condition, Miki. Even with whatever exercise I go through, I probably won't live past my 20s. That's not encouraging, in case you haven't heard. But should I be thinking this way around a girl I barely know? I'm not sure.

[Speak for yourself.]
>[Yeah, you're right.]

On second thought, I definitely shouldn't be. I smile at her. It feels like one of the few genuine smiles I've given out recently. “Point taken. I should probably do a bit more with myself, huh?”

“That's what I told you this morning, and it's what I'll keep telling you. I'm hoping you'll catch on eventually.”

“Just hoping?” I inquire. There has to be more to it than that.

“Okay, I'm putting a pretty big bet on it.” She turns back around, walking face-forward again. “But don't tell anyone I said that, got it?”

So... she has some ulterior motive. I'm not quite sure what it is. But I don't think I need to worry about it just yet. She seems innocent enough, caring about my well-being and making sure I have at least one friend. That alone might be all I needed. I haven't connected that well with many of the other people here. She's likable enough that I could get used to hanging out with her on a regular basis.

The rest of our walk continues in relative silence. She asks a few more questions, but tip-toes around my past. I kind of wonder what her story is. But, if she's going to be considerate enough to bounce around mine, then I'll pay her the same courtesy.

We don't talk again until we re-enter the campus gates, making a beeline for the dorms. “Hey, Hisao,” Miki says before I head off to my room. “You heading back up?”

“Yeah. Wanted to get some work done before running.” There's that assignment due Monday, and I'd like to fully enjoy my day off.

She nods. “Got it. Just don't be a loser and bail on us.”

“Duly noted, ma'am.” I give her another salute, and she starts walking away to her own dorm. I rush inside and up the stairs to my room.

As I fiddle with the keys, I hear the sound of unlatching locks. Lots of them. The door behind me opens, and Kenji steps into the hallway. “Sup,” he says, that cocky grin on his face.

“Nothing,” I reply quickly. “Just getting back from lunch.”

“Getting back?” he scowls. “You went -out- for lunch? Do you know what they could have put in that food? Toxins, carcinogens, radioactive waste... God only knows what kind of sludge you actually had for lunch.”

“It was just a street-side deli,” I shoot back. “Nothing to worry about, I promise.”

“Alright, I'll follow along. But only because I trust you.” He edges closer. Almost uncomfortably so. “We're two of the last sane men in the world, and we brothers in arms have to stick together, got it?” He presses his index finger into my chest.

“Yeah, understood.”

“Good. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have more business to attend to.” He starts back to his room before I cut him off.

“Business? What business?”

He cranes his head back at me, the overhead light glaring off his glasses. “Top secret. Super confidential. Can't tell anyone else right now.” He puts on an almost creepy smile before finishing his thought. “You'll find out soon enough.”

As quickly as he came out, he disappears back behind his impenetrable barrier of locks, accompanied by the sound of metal tumblers collapsing into place. A strange man, really. I wonder if I'll ever understand him.

I toss my bag at my bedside, collapsing onto the mattress with outstretched arms. What a day. Exhausting already. Wake up early, meet Miura the enigma herself, go to lunch with her, and then almost have a heart attack while running after her? Talk about stupid. Still, it was fun. She's definitely right, it beats sitting around feeling sorry for myself.

I chuckle to myself. It's kinda funny. I've known her for less than a day and she's already starting to have an influence on me. I'm actually excited about running tonight. I think I might have found someone I can actually talk to, even though all we did today was the standard intro conversation. And I'm interested to see where this takes me.

My bedside clock chirps five times. Wow, it's that late already? It'll be time for dinner here soon. I expected we spent a good amount of time outside, but not almost five hours. The real extent of my physical exhaustion starts to set in. Am I ready to go running in just a few hours?

I can feel my eyelids becoming heavier. An early morning combined with today's events... I could really use... a nap.

The darkness consumes my vision, and I drift into sleep.

~~~

Colors start falling all around me. Neutrals, mostly, browns and whites forming into snow-covered trees, melding with the dark gray sky. I'm standing amongst the blankets of snow, the chilled air stinging against my skin. This sensation... this scenery... it all feels familiar somehow. Like some twisted sense of deja vu.

My hands in the pocket of my hoodie, I can feel a slip of paper. It crumples easily as I unfold it. The individual kanji flow together, a regular, illegible mess of characters. Somehow, I manage to make out some meaning from them. As I read over the note again, I start to develop some sense of where I am.

“Hi... Hisao?” Her voice. Still. Quiet. Familiar. It's been months since I last heard it. “You came?”

I turn, note clutched in my fingers. The girl is shorter than I am, but roughly the same age. Same year in school and everything. I don't think I've ever spoken to her before now. “Iwanako?”

She nods, nervous. It's disturbingly obvious in the way she fidgets her hands. Her feet twist and turn in the snow, carving out little crevices in their wake. “Y-Yeah.” She covers her face with the collar of her coat, attempting to hide the red in her cheeks. Her eyes drift to the note in my hand; it seems to brighten her mood. “I'm... I'm glad you're here.”

“Yeah, I...” I've never done this before. I can feel a lump in my throat just thinking about it. Am I really as timid as she is? “I found this note in my locker. Was it yours?”

Another nod, weary from the long day at school. “So... you read it then.”

Isn't that implied? She can be kinda dense sometimes. I mean, I've never talked with her one-on-one. Except that one time in the snow. But this is that time, isn't it?

This can't be real. Why am I reliving this, and why so vividly? I look down at the ground, crunching the note in my fist. The action is nothing more than a divergence, something different than the way things actually happened. I just need something to show that I'm in control, anything to wake up from this perverted reality.

“Um... Hisao?” She sounds a bit frightened now. Her words quiver in shock as I destroy the note. “Is... is something wrong?”

She's not real, Hisao. You can break her.

But it's so hard. I cared about her. We had a chance, I thought; there was a spark, however small. At least an ordinary high school relationship. As if anything could be ordinary for me anymore. This week has only made me resent my heart, broken in more ways than one. If it wasn't for this damned condition of mine, we'd be together, in some clichéd, happy teenage romance. And yet we're not. And I can't help but feel that it's all my fault.

“Yeah,” I finally reply. “Very wrong.” A tear rolls down my cheek. Humanity? Something like that. I could use a little bit of it. I lift my eyes, locking with hers. “This isn't real, is it?”

She cocks her head. “Not real? What do you mean 'Not real?'”

“None of this. The snow, the trees...” I wave my arms around mid-sentence for emphasis. Finally, they point back at her, outstretched. “You. You aren't real. Just a... just a dream.” Her outline starts to blur, fading into her surroundings. Colors start to run from between the lines, flowing like melted crayons.

“I'm more than just a dream!” she shouts suddenly, fists held against her chest.

“No, Iwanako,” I snap. “You're just a memory. Something I have to leave behind.” I start to walk away, back on the past that I want to disappear.

“You idiot!” Her screaming draws my attention again. Her mouth widens, fangs bared. “I'm more than just some memory! I'm everything you could have had! Everything we could have been!” She leaps forward, torso lengthened like an undulating snake, talons extended and racing for me.

I cringe in terror. Even knowing that this is all a dream, I still cannot stifle the fear.

Her shadow descends, and the rest of the world goes black.

~~~

I lunge forward, bed sheets thrown aside in a cold sweat. The air of my room feels thick, almost difficult to breathe. A pair of fingers come to my neck, just to be safe: quick, but normal rhythm. It's nothing to worry about, at least not yet.

A nightmare? I can't remember the last time I had one of those. What could've sparked it? I never had them in the hospital, yet this was about that day in the snow with Iwanako. Surely I would have gone through a spell of them during my recovery, of all things. Maybe I'm just tired, trying to adapt to the new environment. Maybe it's the physical exhaustion from sprinting after Miki at lunch.

That reminds me, what time is it? The clock on my bedside nighstand answers: 8:42pm. Um... wasn't running at 8?

'Don't forget, 8pm sharp!'

Shit, I'm late. I leap out of bed, throwing on a pair of gym shorts and a white shirt, lacing up my tennis shoes before racing out the door. It doesn't take me long to reach the track, covered in the dark of the night. I don't see any sign of them still there.

I lean over on my knees, gasping for breath at the edge of the track. Guess this is what I get for deciding to try for a nap beforehand. I could probably get in a couple laps before I head back... seems a bit stupid, though. No one around to help if I have an attack, and I've gotten a good amount of exercise today already.

I right my posture, taking in one last deep breath while putting my hands on my hips. Looking around, it really is deserted. I remember Emi talking about how much she loved the track once during my morning runs with her. Maybe this is what she was talking about: absolute peace.

“Tired already?” Her voice catches my ear; my head jerks to the source. Miki sits at the top of the bleachers, yanking out an earbud and stowing them in her bag. Standing up from her seat, she arches her beck, arms stretched out into the sky. A pleased groan rolls out of her throat as she throws her bag over her shoulder.

“Took you long enough,” she says, beginning her descent. She hits the ground with a short hop. “Was starting to think you'd forgotten about us!” she finishes with a wink.

I scratch the back of my head. “Not really. I kind of um... overslept.”

As I expected, she laughs. Although it feels more like a playful snicker. “Sleeping? Really, knucklehead, that's your excuse?”

She likes that nickname a bit too much. Here's to hoping that it doesn't stick. “Hey, I think it's a good excuse.”

“Nope, definitely not.” She paces around me, tapping her chin. “Now, what to do with you?”

“What the hell does that mean?” I ask, following her closely with my eyes.

“Well, you missed your run tonight. You have to make it up to me somehow.” She continues her pacing, coming to a stop after her second round. A light bulb seemingly goes off in her head. “Got it! You're coming to the festival tomorrow, right?”

I was thinking about it. I haven't really made a decision yet. “Maybe. Why?”

Her face darkens quickly, from her standard smile to a disappointed scowl. “Wrong answer, bucko.” I arch my brow, demanding an explanation. “You're going. With me.”

I can't help but chuckle. “That's my payback? Going to the festival with a girl?” Some punishment.

She nods with enthusiasm. “Exactly. And same terms as this morning: I won't take no for an answer.” She gives me another playful wink. “Not if you know what's good for you.”

Why on earth would I say no to an offer like that? Is she insane? “Sure. When do you want me up and moving?”

She adjusts the strap of her bag, making sure it's secure on her shoulder. “I have to work first shift. 8am to noon. So... meet me at the track team's stand after that.” Her stump hits the palm of her hand, mimicking a pounding fist. “Are we clear, solider?” she asks, her tone laced with military formalism.

I follow along, saluting my commanding officer. “Aye aye, ma'am!”

She giggles. At least she enjoys that I play along. “At ease, private.” My shoulders return to their usual slumped state. She walks past me, hitting me in the upper arm with her wrist. “You're free to run if you want, but I'm heading back. Get some shut-eye. And don't be late this time.” With one last wink, she starts up the hill toward the dorms.

She's quite the character, isn't she?

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Re: DaGarver's Miki Pseudo-Route (updated 10/25)

Postby Blaze117 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:51 am

I haven't really though much about miki, or any other side characters for that matter, but this is very intriguing. I like it, she has a good character that I think I like already... :) keep it up!
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Re: DaGarver's Miki Pseudo-Route (updated 10/25)

Postby Mirage_GSM » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:08 pm

I maintain my rigid stance. “Yamaku Academy, ma'am!” I emphasize the change in gender for my address. “Finest school for the physically disabled this side of the Pacific, ma'am!”
...

Thinking about how this dialogue would sound in Japanese with all the honorifics cracked me up :lol:
Good story so far. Looking forward to the rest of it.
One thing though:
You just skipped the scene where Hisao tells Emi about abandoning their training. You don't have to write that scene in detail, but a few lines about Hisao remembering that event should be the minimum.
Last edited by Mirage_GSM on Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DaGarver's Miki Pseudo-Route (updated 10/25)

Postby MrDan » Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:21 pm

I liked the dream scene, and the dialogue was really enjoyable, especially at the end. If I was a more thoughtful person I might be able to find areas for improvement, but really, this is pretty solid so far. Looking forward to more.
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Re: DaGarver's Miki Pseudo-Route (updated 10/25)

Postby DaGarver » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:36 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:
I maintain my rigid stance. “Yamaku Academy, ma'am!” I emphasize the change in gender for my address. “Finest school for the physically disabled this side of the Pacific, ma'am!”
...

Thinking about how this dialogue would sound in Japanese with all the honorifics cracked me up :lol:
Good story so far. Looking forward to the rest of it.
One thing though:
You just skipped the scene where Hisao tells Emi about abandoning their training. You don't have to write that scene in detail, but a few lines about Hisao remembering that event should be the minimum.


I'll see what I can do. Just need to find a place to put it, probably in the second scene before Miki shows up.

MrDan wrote:I liked the dream scene, and the dialogue was really enjoyable, especially at the end. If I was a more thoughtful person I might be able to find areas for improvement, but really, this is pretty solid so far. Looking forward to more.


I was a bit worried that the dream scene was somewhat out of place at first. Some of my Steam friends disagreed, though, so it stayed in after going through a couple revisions.
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Re: DaGarver's Miki Pseudo-Route (updated 10/25)

Postby MrDan » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:59 am

DaGarver wrote:I was a bit worried that the dream scene was somewhat out of place at first. Some of my Steam friends disagreed, though, so it stayed in after going through a couple revisions.


Well, isn't it supposed to be a little out of place? Not in a bad way, but in a way that demonstrates that it's a dream scene, because dreams always have those little things about them that make them... off, if that makes sense. There was a different feel and tone to that whole scene, and I liked the effect it had.
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