After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete)

WORDS WORDS WORDS
User avatar
Yukarin
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:42 am

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc (Done)/Miki6 (up 20140522)

Post by Yukarin » Thu May 22, 2014 3:01 am

oooohhhhhhh shiiiiitttt

mikiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3536
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc (Done)/Miki6 (up 20140522)

Post by brythain » Thu May 22, 2014 8:05 am

Yukarin wrote:oooohhhhhhh shiiiiitttt

mikiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
Errm, I'm not sure if that's anguish or shock or schadenfreude… :D
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

User avatar
Yukarin
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:42 am

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc (Done)/Miki6 (up 20140522)

Post by Yukarin » Fri May 23, 2014 2:08 am

its more of the three combined.

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3536
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

AtD—Miki's Arc (Part 7 up 20140522)

Post by brythain » Fri May 23, 2014 9:24 am

This is the seventh and final part of Miki's arc in my post-Lilly-neutral-end mosaic, 'After the Dream'.
It is written from Miki's perspective in 2040, as she recounts events of the years leading up to it.
This piece runs often in parallel with this part of Rin's arc.



Miki 7: Butterfly Strokes (T +16)

Ah fuck, there’s still time to put things into place. Maybe things’ll work out. I should have told Rin earlier. That’s what’s going through my mind.

But Nat tells me to take things easy, to start at the beginning, to continue from where I left off, and that’s what I’ll do. Let’s go back about eight years.

*****

“Auww! Auww! Auww!”

What the hell, I think to myself as I swing my legs off the mattress. Behind me, Rin grunts sleepily. She sleeps very soundly. As usual, she’s managed to roll the blankets around herself, leaving me in whatever I’ve managed to keep on.

That’s Chiba’s alert cry. He must be hungry but it’s too damned early for that. Coming, coming, I mumble in my head. I don’t know what I’m mumbling under my breath, but it sounds a lot worse. Damn cat. It’s five in the morning, says the digital display.

I stick my head out of the doorway, but nothing seems to be happening in the corridor. Old Kazuo, Rin’s dad, sleeps hooked up to an oxygen tank; he’s only eighty-three, but he had a stroke recently, and he’s not recovered well.

“Auwwwww?”

He’s in the kitchen. Shit, has he dragged a mole or a bird in or something, for a friendship-offering to his people?

Still bleary, I stumble down the stairs and round the corner. Huh?

It takes me some time to see this, to think about what I’m seeing, to do anything. Chiba keens again. He runs over to me, bumps my shin, his tail all fluffed up in apprehension or fear.

Motoko is sitting at the kitchen table, a single cup of tea in front of her. There’s something else on the table, not the morning newspapers. I look at her.

“Mother?”

There is no response. Only a faint smile. She looks comfortable leaning against the wall. She never does that. She always reminds me that good posture is important. Where’s her sarcastic morning greeting? Something’s wrong.

Of course something is wrong. It’s all in that folded, sealed paper packet on the table. It’s addressed to me, but I only read it after I know Rin’s mother, whom I also call Mother, is gone. She’s been gone a while; the hands are cold and lifeless.

I take out the first sheet. It looks new. The ink is still alive.

[To my very dear Miki: Father passed away just after midnight. He was my life, and I looked after him and now he is gone. I have made him neat and comfortable. I will soon be gone too, for I do not want to be Rin’s burden and yours. With these words comes also my love. Mother.]

[The flowers and ghosts become one / My heart is a million pieces.]

I won’t get water on the page. It’s good calligraphy, that. It is. Motoko, artistic to the end. I’m not breathing right. Everything is wrong. But I have to read the rest, because she’s Mother. “Auww?” Chiba asks, but I have no answers yet.

The second sheet is thinner paper. It looks older, as if written quite some time before the first.

[Dear Miki. You and Rin are both our daughters. Rin came earlier and we treated her badly because we did not know what to do, and an old friend showed us where we might look. So we sent her away.]

Rin, wandering around Yamaku, lost. Rin, without words, all her energy in her feet. Orphaned by design. But her parents made soup for me on cold nights. Gave me a room. Fussed over me.

[You came later, and you were Rin’s friend—heaven gave us a second chance. Then you brought Rin home. Many years had been wasted by two foolish old people, but now the gods had pardoned us, and we were happy again. Our debt to you is great.]

I can hardly see the words. I am holding the paper at a distance, and my hand is shaking. I put the second sheet next to the first. There is a third sheet, also old.

[It is perhaps too much to believe that you will read classical poetry, but if you can be patient with our aged selves, we will share something with you.]

[Weighted down with snow / The branches crack in the hills / Bright moon arises.]

[A great poet named Shinkei wrote something like this. You may wish to visit his grave some day in the hills under Oyama. He also said that the heart’s flower can bloom, and it can fade, and it will fall silently one day. But it will always be there.]

[It is too late to say everything to Rin, and she may never understand. But permit us to say that we have loved you both, and we humbly request that you look after her as we never could and never did. With gratitude and affection, Kazuo Tezuka and Motoko his wife.]

It’s all there is. The cat, my cat now, rubs forlornly against my ankle.

*****

Rin and I are standing in the autumn leaves. Autumn’s a wonderful season for Rin, because the light on her red-brown hair is fantastic. As she’s aged, her face has become more sharply defined. It’s like watching some artist carve stone slowly into a sculpture that gets more beautiful with each small scratch. Her joints are getting a little stiff, though, and that’s a concern for me.

Mother and Father have a single marker in the field just a short distance away from the house. I’m still Miki who’s a little superstitious, a little silly about things. I bring Rin here to show them that I’m still looking after her, like a big sister would. I bring Rin here hoping that she’ll understand they loved her. I don’t know if she does.

Behind us, Chiba hunts a leaf, pounces on and hassles it a bit. He loves the fallen leaves.

“We have all the house now. It feels different without them. Bigger.”

“Yeah, it does. I really miss them sometimes.”

“How did they make me? I need to paint them. I can’t see how a Rin can be parts of Kazuo and Motoko.”

“Well, Motoko used to paint a lot, maybe that’s where you got the skill, the way of seeing things.”

“Motoko is all hummingbirds and flowers. Different.”

“And Kazuo used to enjoy thinking about how to use words, like you do.”

“Rin doesn’t enjoy thinking about how to use words. It’s hard. It comes out wrong and people get angry with her.”

Pounce. Harass. Curl up with a big red leaf in the mouth, raking it with hind paws. I wish I were Chiba instead.

“Aww, babe. People aren’t always exactly like their parents. They don’t have to be.”

“Yesss. Parents are parents. Rin’s not a parent. Let’s go home, Miki. Rin’s sad.”

My live hand on her warm hip, we begin to walk back together through the leaves. Chiba freezes for a second, then gets up and runs after us. There’ll be a basket of tangerines on the kitchen table, and we can sit around and have some.

*****

Time passes quickly. It’s nine years after Hisao died, and we’re forty-four years old now, me in February, Rin in March. Rin works from home, now that she’s got a lot more space, and when the mood strikes her, she does great designs that Hakamichi can use. She finds inspiration in some dead European artist named Giger. Creepy stuff, but it’s made less disturbing by Meiko Ibarazaki, who still communicates with Rin frequently. Rin calls her ‘Mom’.

I’m still handling Global Initiatives, and I guess I never really said what that means. In the old days, they used to call it ‘Business Development’, which is basically making alliances and thinking of ways to do new things or do things in a new way, preferably with friends (or Families) who will share the risk.

Old Kyu has gone to be with his ancestors, and I hardly ever visit the R&D basement these days. All I have of him is memories and a couple of pics from staff functions. Miki’s no naïve kid, I know goddamn well I’ve got father issues—my dad was a hero, and I missed him and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just proof that big bad Miki Miura is indeed human.

Yeah, ‘big bad Miki’ is a meme that started back at the orphanage, when I used to beat up on kids who bullied Ikezawa. I heard one bully tell another kid, “If you don’t shut up, we’ll get big bad Miki to whack the shit out of you.” That felt terrible, being used to bully other people. I didn’t know what to do about that.

In Yamaku, there were a few people who remembered this. Miki, in your face. Miki, all your base are belong to her. All kinds of ungrammatical memes stuck to Miki Miura, evil girl who finally graduated from 3-3. But I had friends who didn’t think that way.

“Miura-san, your 11 am appointment has arrived. Shall I show them in?”

“Of course. Thank you, Uchida-san.”

My personal executive secretary bows and discreetly exits. Uchida’s a very competent guy, not just a secretary but also a mid-ranking Family auxiliary who for some crazy reason looks up to me. He helps me execute strategy, although our joke is that he should tone down the executions a bit or we’ll attract attention from the police.

In the outer office, I hear him act the part of the deferential and near-invisible guardian of his boss’s domain. But there’s no real need for that today, because some old friends have come to visit.

“Miki!”

“Hello, friend.”

“Naomi! Nat! It’s great to see you guys. What brings you all the way from Osaka?”

My two friends haven’t changed much. They’ve been a couple for more than 25 years now. I used to hang around with them because they knew everything that happened in school, and they’d make really funny comments about it. They were also kind and generous and didn’t judge me.

Naomi Inoue still wears her hair short and fair, much like the rest of her. She still has inky fingers, because of her very un-Japanese habit of not washing her hands, and a preference for pen-and-paper over tablet-and-workstation. She claims that obsessive hand-washing triggers epileptic fits, and so do video screens.

Natsume Ooe needs little introduction, because it’s she who’s been editing my stuff so far. Brooding and dark-haired, always looks a little scruffy because of her habit of running her hands through that hair, and has one golden-green eye and one ‘normal’ brown-black eye. She has a very careful, deliberate manner.

[NO: Well, perhaps I should return that favour. Miki Miura hasn’t aged much either; she still wears her hair long and black, but there is one long grey streak probably for visual effect—very striking. This is all currently tied up in a single ponytail. Her features are striking, tanned, almost non-Japanese in their chiseled lines. She still looks very fit, but her one outstanding feature is a left forearm and hand assembly of sculpted dully-gleaming titanium alloy.]

[MM: Fine, you’ve always been better at this. Thanks a lot.]

“The Shimbun wants us to report on how Japanese industries are helping with the rehabilitation of variously debilitated people in East and Southeast Asia. Of course we tried Shizune first, for access to her Family, but she gave us a cryptic smile and sent us to you.”

Me? Oh, I get it. Shizune’s not officially with Hakamichi Industries, and this area is something I’m familiar with. Clever, that one.

Naomi chimes in with, “It looks very very good, politically speaking, if we can squeeze in some human interest stuff about how Japanese citizens also receive such benefits and in fact head such initiatives. That’s you, Miki.”

Argh! Politics. And disabled-person talk. Joy. We three all share Yamaku in common, where we spent years learning how not to think ‘disabled’. It’s hard, even in these enlightened days. You say something like, “Hisao’s wife had no legs,” and people think ‘cripple’ automatically. I still have problems when I show my left arm in public. If you’ve no legs, you can still wear long dresses and skirts, but someone armless like Rin finds it hard not to be noticed.

And that’s something Naomi, always so innocent-sounding, has not mentioned. I bet they want Rin in on this too. I’m sure as hell Shizune is right behind all of it.

*****

So I’m not really surprised when a couple of months later, I’m told I have a meeting in the R&D basement, with a certain GI project on the agenda. I’m curious about why they’d hold it there, but one always responds politely to polite in-house invitations. Politics, right?

“Miura-san, your 10.30 am appointment has arrived. Shall I show Hakamichi-san in?”

You’re fucking kidding me, right? What 10.30 appointment anyway? Of course, that’s not what I say out loud.

“Thank you, Uchida-san. Please do me that honour.”

I wonder how he’s communicating with Shizune out there. She hates her electronics. Wait. Is it Shizune, or is it somebody else? This whole damn place is infested with Hakamichis, after all.

I quickly check my appointment calendar, which gives me no joy. I’ll get Uchida for this, see if I don’t. I get to my feet. Hmmm? Whoever it is moves really quietly. And gives me an eyes-over without looking embarrassed at all.

“Good morning, Miura-sama! This lowly person offers honour to the senior lady. Your beauty eclipses the sun, and is greater than what this one’s poor imagination had conjured from all the pathetic reports.”

I’m looking up at a guy who stands about two metres and is built like a boxer, although it’s all sheathed in a well-cut silk suit. He’s got the Hakamichi blue-black hair, tied back in classical style. When he bows, not a strand of it moves.

“Good morning, Hakamichi-san. This person is surely a disappointment despite your very polite description.”

I bow back and he presents his card to me, all the while saying nice things. I offer him a seat and read carefully.

[Hideaki HAKAMICHI / Senior Counsel, Nakai Foundation.]

Could this be Her Imperial Majesty’s kid brother? I can’t remember if I’ve met him, but I’m sure I’ve heard of him somewhere… Right! He married Ikezawa. Shit, what a catch. Okay, that’s good both ways, let’s not be a bitch today. But what’s this Nakai Foundation thing?

“I am told by someone we both know, Miura-san, that I have to attend a meeting with you at 11 am, with your R&D engineering group?”

“Ah. It is a mystery to me as to the exact agenda of this meeting. I regret to say that I had scanty knowledge as to who would be in attendance. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to your role on this no-doubt-important occasion?”

Kyu-sensei taught me how to use language well. I’m willing to bet that this guy’s talent has been nurtured by Ikezawa. ‘Eclipses the sun’, and all that. Hah.

“If I may have your kind permission to speak less formally?”

“Sure, Hakamichi-san.”

“Ah. My sister sends greetings from Yamaku, as does my lady wife. There are a few matters I had to speak with you about, and I really should have requested an earlier occasion. The blame is all mine.”

He produces a thin folder from his slim case.

“Paper speaks softly, Miura-san. These are copies of documents concerning the establishment of the Nakai Foundation ten years ago. It was the outcome of a bequest made in Hisao Nakai’s will, but it has taken us this long to completely disentangle the actual assets involved. With the passing in July 2030 of Mutou-sensei, the then executor, my sister is now responsible for seeing that Nakai’s will continues to be carried out.”

That’s a bunch of surprises all in one. Nakai had money? Mutou was his executor? Mutou’s... dead? Damn, he was a good man. Could be boring sometimes, but always meant well. And why did he pass this on to Shizune? Must be something to do with Yamaku.

I accept the folder, and he runs through the contents with me on the way down to our meeting. This shit is amazing, and I can’t wait to tell Rin—except that I’ll probably have to wait six months before I’m allowed to do that.

*****

Finally, it’s her birthday. I have a big surprise planned for her. More than one, actually. Early in the morning, I roll out of bed, taking care not to step on Chiba, who loves our bedside rug. Quietly, I pad out to the kitchen to use the terminal there. The cat stretches and follows me, just as surefooted and silent.

[Magician, this is Raven. Is everything ready?]

[Wicked is in the air, lady. Full party loaded, ETA Fukuoka Base as expected.]

[Thanks, Magician. See you later.]

I toss a serving of warm tuna-surimi mix and serve it to an appreciative leopard-cat. Later, he’ll run outside and tell the whole neighbourhood how much he loves the stuff, but I’m okay with that. Now to wake Rin up for her birthday presents.

*****

It goes well even when Shizune comes out to greet us at the new Nakai Foundation building at Fukuoka. Rin’s surprised (well, I’m a bit shocked that everything is arranged so grandly), and I can tell she doesn’t like the colour scheme (Hakamichi blue and silver), but she’s otherwise fine. Then we get her into the big conference room, where there’s a birthday cake. I almost cry with happiness when she sees Meiko and receives a big hug. The look on Rin’s face as she closes her eyes and tries to hold Meiko with her arm-bits—that’s priceless.

Later isn’t so good, though. In fact, it’s fucking horrible when she stops talking to me while we’re in the hotel next to the Foundation. She’s clearly upset at the other part of what was meant to be a birthday surprise.

For some time now, I’ve noticed she’s had problems painting and drawing. It’s arthritis, and I’ve compared notes with Nat, who’s had that problem for much of her life. It’s not good.

“Babe, your toes are going stiff.”

“I use my mouth.”

“You need help with luggage!”

“I use my mouth. And wheels.”

“It’s not convenient!”

“It’s not Rin.”

I lose it a bit. We’d gone through a lot of effort to make sure Rin would be the first recipient of our new line of intelligent arm prosthetics. Even I hadn’t tried that tech yet. And I thought she’d be grateful, because she’d always wondered what it was like to have hands, often said she wished she could hug better.

I end up weeping, because I’m angry but yet I think I get it. She never had arms. She wonders about it in theory, it’s an idea to her. She hasn’t lost anything, not like me. She has no phantom limb pain that wants a limb to go with it.

I love Rin. I don’t want to fight with her. Not on her birthday. But I’m tired and I’m just all used up inside. If she doesn’t want them tomorrow, I’ll be fine with that. Tonight, maybe I shouldn’t say anything more. So I curl up, and hide my tears, my silly rage; I’m sad Miki who thinks she’s failed to understand and who’s hurt the one she loves.

*****

In the end, she agrees. She can remove them at any time she wants, anyway. Once the interface has been established at her arm-bits and the socket nanosurfaces have been installed, she can just add new arms by plug-and-play. They’re pretty strong, and much easier to control than mine.

I stay with her while they do the full-body scans and brain-mapping and everything. She says that she feels weird. I hope things work out. I’m worried because Rin’s never had arms before. Will it blow her mind?

To make it easier, I’ve actually let them scan me first. Maybe I’ll get some cool tech too. More than a third of the way through the 21st century, a lot of science fiction is coming true.

When we get home to Tsushima, I go next door to reclaim Chiba from our long-suffering neighbours. He’s out hunting but he comes home when I call. He reproaches me for being away so long: [Auwww you damn pile of shit human, how can you leave me with strangers all this time, ya gotta make it up to me now!!] —that’s what I imagine he’s saying when he makes those frustrated noises and nips me on the ankle.

It’s almost funny when Rin tries to tickle him with her new hands. He fluffs up in shock and yowls and runs into a corner. What’s not so funny is that Rin looks so hurt that I have to hug her. Carefully, she hugs back. It’s a great feeling.

Over the next few weeks, she gets very excited about the new things she can do. It’s as if the arms are like new brushes or palette knives or tools. When she finds she can use them for 3D replication and make designs for execution in ceramic or plastic media, she’s over the damn moon. I love it! I love her.

I’m at the office when I receive a visit from Shimadzu-san, who’s Director, Healthcare. She’s being very polite, and I wonder if she’s looking for more data on Rin’s adaptation to the prosthetics.

Formalities over, we sit down over tea. And then she begs my indulgence and says even more polite things. Now I’m really wondering, so I tell her to spit it out, we’ve known each other for long enough.

Well, it’s been a good run, although I always wanted to be a swimmer, not a runner. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia. CLL. It’s just meaningless sounds, or it would be, except that I’ve been working here long enough to guess what it means. Something like cancer, but with my white blood cells.

It showed up in my scans and blood analysis, Shimadzu says. Prognosis unknown, but mostly crap.

*****

Four years left, actually. Rin, I haven’t much longer, and I’ve tried to tell you what’s happening. But I don’t know if you understand. There aren’t many people I can trust to keep you safe in this crazy world.

Nat’s one of them. She’s helped me buy a house in Osaka, and it’s ours now. You’ve had a hard life, and everybody’s gone, just like it was with me. It was just us two, and now not even that. You’ll have to trust Nat. And that’s all I want to say for now.

[NO: I am honoured by this trust you have placed in me. I will do my best. Is there anything else?]

[MM: Nothing I haven’t already said. Remember, life’s a bitch, but at least I made it mine.]

[NO: That is really a very Miki line. Rin will get to decide what to do, but I will handle the rest, and whatever she has no opinion about. You and she have had a great thing together. From experience, the best you can do is to make sure it is always remembered. Hugs.]

=====
prev | end


Editor’s Note:

Miki Miura died in winter, in the January of 2044. She was not yet fifty-five. Rin Tezuka sold the house where they had spent almost fifteen wonderful years together, and moved to Osaka. I still have dinner with her a couple of times each week. It is hard to tell what goes on in her head, but I think she enjoys it as much as I do. These things become more precious with time. It is the duty of those who remain to remember those who have gone before.

To the memory also of Naomi Inoue (1989-2040), my dearest friend and companion.
All my stories of love and life belong to you. Rest in peace.


— Natsume Ooe, Osaka, Spring 2045
Last edited by brythain on Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:42 am, edited 3 times in total.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

User avatar
dewelar
Posts: 1228
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:09 pm
Location: The Fifth Thing

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete 20140523)

Post by dewelar » Fri May 23, 2014 10:46 am

I'm still of two minds about this arc, but I suppose that's because I'm still processing it. This exchange struck me, however:
“Babe, your toes are going stiff.”

“I use my mouth.”

“You need help with luggage!”

“I use my mouth. And wheels.”

“It’s not convenient!”

“It’s not Rin.”
*nods* Rin is very much concerned about identity, and so it's not surprising to see her fight to maintain every shred of hers when she can. I find it interesting that once she felt she had a handle on it, she started referring to herself in the third person. That strikes me as being quite Rin.

Something else has been itching at the back of my mind throughout this mosaic, and the note about Naomi brought it to the forefront. It's extraordinarily sad to see so many of these characters die without even having anything close to an average lifespan, and only Hanako, Hideaki and maybe (since they're left unclear) Rin and Misha even made it to that average. When you include all the adults who also died young, it really underscores that sadness.
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3536
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete 20140523)

Post by brythain » Fri May 23, 2014 10:59 am

dewelar wrote:*nods* Rin is very much concerned about identity, and so it's not surprising to see her fight to maintain every shred of hers when she can. I find it interesting that once she felt she had a handle on it, she started referring to herself in the third person. That strikes me as being quite Rin.
That's something I noticed, although I think that it wasn't consistent. Rin tends to objectivize herself when she can't deal with the subjective.
dewelar wrote:Something else has been itching at the back of my mind throughout this mosaic, and the note about Naomi brought it to the forefront. It's extraordinarily sad to see so many of these characters die without even having anything close to an average lifespan, and only Hanako, Hideaki and maybe (since they're left unclear) Rin and Misha even made it to that average. When you include all the adults who also died young, it really underscores that sadness.
Hanako hits 95, Lilly goes to 90 and Akira to 82. Shizune reaches her 75th birthday. Goro Kaneshiro hits 77 and Meiko Ibarazaki, who's older than he is, lasts another two years beyond him. It's not that bad! :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

User avatar
dewelar
Posts: 1228
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:09 pm
Location: The Fifth Thing

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete 20140523)

Post by dewelar » Fri May 23, 2014 11:41 am

brythain wrote:
dewelar wrote:*nods* Rin is very much concerned about identity, and so it's not surprising to see her fight to maintain every shred of hers when she can. I find it interesting that once she felt she had a handle on it, she started referring to herself in the third person. That strikes me as being quite Rin.
That's something I noticed, although I think that it wasn't consistent. Rin tends to objectivize herself when she can't deal with the subjective.
Which makes sense, too, because that's when she's becoming disconnected from said identity, and thus she views it as being "other".
dewelar wrote:Something else has been itching at the back of my mind throughout this mosaic, and the note about Naomi brought it to the forefront. It's extraordinarily sad to see so many of these characters die without even having anything close to an average lifespan, and only Hanako, Hideaki and maybe (since they're left unclear) Rin and Misha even made it to that average. When you include all the adults who also died young, it really underscores that sadness.
Hanako hits 95, Lilly goes to 90 and Akira to 82. Shizune reaches her 75th birthday. Goro Kaneshiro hits 77 and Meiko Ibarazaki, who's older than he is, lasts another two years beyond him. It's not that bad! :)
Well, of those, only the first two are above the average (in Japan, average lifespan is 87 for females and 82 for males).
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3536
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete 20140523)

Post by brythain » Fri May 23, 2014 11:56 am

dewelar wrote:
brythain wrote:
dewelar wrote:Something else has been itching at the back of my mind throughout this mosaic, and the note about Naomi brought it to the forefront. It's extraordinarily sad to see so many of these characters die without even having anything close to an average lifespan, and only Hanako, Hideaki and maybe (since they're left unclear) Rin and Misha even made it to that average. When you include all the adults who also died young, it really underscores that sadness.
Hanako hits 95, Lilly goes to 90 and Akira to 82. Shizune reaches her 75th birthday. Goro Kaneshiro hits 77 and Meiko Ibarazaki, who's older than he is, lasts another two years beyond him. It's not that bad! :)
Well, of those, only the first two are above the average (in Japan, average lifespan is 87 for females and 82 for males).
Must be the stresses of life. Distinct abnormalities in social relationships, all working on each other. Generally, get out of there or die young, for our poor Yamaku denizens. I'm glad you picked up on my hidden subtext though—Hisao's like this black hole, the closer you get to him, the faster you get sucked in. *kidding*

Seriously, the trend in Japan is towards a lower life expectancy overall. It's been slipping the last few years, so… I've taken liberties by balancing that against the availability of better medical tech. A few other heuristics for handling populations with non-normal traits, and *clunk* the elephant in the room: increased mortality rate for all the people of Yamaku, on average. :(
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

User avatar
forgetmenot
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:33 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest.

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete 20140523)

Post by forgetmenot » Fri May 23, 2014 12:12 pm

I think what I enjoyed most about Miki's story was the addition of Natsume as editor. It lampshades the "unreliable narrator" trope so well. While it may not have been my favorite of your arcs so far, it still felt fresh and enjoyable to read. After writing as many of these as you have, that's an impressive feat indeed. It's enough to assure me that I'll enjoy reading whatever comes next, whether it be another piece of this puzzle, or something else.

User avatar
dewelar
Posts: 1228
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:09 pm
Location: The Fifth Thing

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete 20140523)

Post by dewelar » Fri May 23, 2014 12:16 pm

brythain wrote:Seriously, the trend in Japan is towards a lower life expectancy overall. It's been slipping the last few years, so… I've taken liberties by balancing that against the availability of better medical tech. A few other heuristics for handling populations with non-normal traits, and *clunk* the elephant in the room: increased mortality rate for all the people of Yamaku, on average. :(
Oh, yeah, I wasn't trying to say it isn't realistic, just that it's inordinately sad, and in large part that's because it's realistic.
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

User avatar
Rhodri
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:28 pm
Location: The Capital of the Welsh boyo!

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc (Done)/Miki1 (up 20140515)

Post by Rhodri » Fri May 23, 2014 12:20 pm

forgetmenot wrote:
Rhodri wrote:Holy damn, we're gonna see (some form of) a Miki route get finished! The curse shall be broken!!!
Silence, fool! You'll draw the curse's attention!
Who's laughing now! The cruse is broken! Go Miki writers, write my pretties! Write!

Serious mode engaged.

Even if Miki and Rin got their time together, it was never long enough and thinking of Rin soldiering on for another 20 years, especially after rereading part 6 from her arc...the fucking feels man, you made me cry again. I swear you rip me up emotionally on purpose...but I so love this mosaic. Its full of joy, hope, fulfilment, loss, sorrow and grief. Its up there with the best KS fiction for me.
"She also ties you up to a chair. You're gonna like that. Chairs are good. Chairs are your friend."

BeeFhGhost, Jan 15th 2012.

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3536
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete 20140523)

Post by brythain » Fri May 23, 2014 1:24 pm

forgetmenot wrote:I think what I enjoyed most about Miki's story was the addition of Natsume as editor. It lampshades the "unreliable narrator" trope so well. While it may not have been my favorite of your arcs so far, it still felt fresh and enjoyable to read. After writing as many of these as you have, that's an impressive feat indeed. It's enough to assure me that I'll enjoy reading whatever comes next, whether it be another piece of this puzzle, or something else.
I'm thankful for such a kind audience, really. Sometimes you make me aware of things that I've only been doing subconsciously or without much deliberation. For example, the little exchange with dewelar about life expectancy—I calculated what I could, tried to be realistic, and it all ended up terribly sad (as dewelar very sharply pointed out) because it's realistic.

In this case it's the lampshade-the-unreliable-narrator-trope thing. I suppose I did know what I was doing, but I'd never explicitly planned it that way. I was just wondering where the heck all the other classmates were, my theory being that Yamaku alumni would tend to keep in touch, having one particular kind of shared experience they were unlikely to find anywhere else in Japan. Then I realised that if you took KS seriously and tried to make as much of each route happen as possible within the constraint of having Lilly's neutral ending be 'true', some things became very interesting—and if you extrapolated, you got this kind of mosaic, where not everyone remembers stuff accurately, but it's still possible to guess at events.

So, time to take another break while I fend off the next person with a story to tell… :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3536
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc (Done)/Miki1 (up 20140515)

Post by brythain » Fri May 23, 2014 1:28 pm

Rhodri wrote:
forgetmenot wrote:
Rhodri wrote:Holy damn, we're gonna see (some form of) a Miki route get finished! The curse shall be broken!!!
Silence, fool! You'll draw the curse's attention!
Who's laughing now! The cruse is broken! Go Miki writers, write my pretties! Write!

Serious mode engaged.

Even if Miki and Rin got their time together, it was never long enough and thinking of Rin soldiering on for another 20 years, especially after rereading part 6 from her arc...the fucking feels man, you made me cry again. I swear you rip me up emotionally on purpose...but I so love this mosaic. Its full of joy, hope, fulfilment, loss, sorrow and grief. Its up there with the best KS fiction for me.
I will flat out say that Rin's story, whether from her side or Miki's side, was the most painful for me. The one thing about Rin is that she's really incapable of telling her story the way she wants to tell it. At some points, things don't make sense to her, but she wants them very badly to make sense. It's agonising. In the end, she sometimes compromises by letting other people make sense of things for her.

Thanks for telling me how you felt. In a way, this makes me feel like Rin does when something goes right, when she knows she has a chance of understanding what's really happening. In the same way, I'm reassured that my story-telling, such as it is, has 'gone right'. :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

User avatar
Yukarin
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:42 am

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete 20140523)

Post by Yukarin » Fri May 23, 2014 4:38 pm

Hmmm, so it means that Hanako's the oldest of the bunch then?

But yea, that was hella deep holy shit

Eagerly awaiting Natsume's part yay.

User avatar
griffon8
Posts: 1116
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:47 pm
Location: Southeast Michigan, USA

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete 20140523)

Post by griffon8 » Fri May 23, 2014 8:06 pm

After hearing some about some scandals where families were collecting government checks for relatives over 100 years old who were actually dead, I wonder if the averages are skewed a little high…
I found out about Katawa Shoujo through the forums of Misfile. There, I am the editor of Misfiled Dreams.

Completed: 100%, including bonus picture. Shizune>Emi>Lilly>Hanako>Rin

Griffon8's Writing

Post Reply