Okay, plenty of discussion for me to go into a little more depth on what I thought...
For context, Google translates Schwäche to mean: weakness, debility, deficiency, frailty, feebleness, faintness, failing, softness, foible, penchant, fondness, slackness, partiality, slightness, poorness, proclivity, dimness, lightness, lowness, unsoundness, or brittleness.
Interestingly, most of those terms seem apt, though it's likely the intended use was simply "weakness". I'll defer any further reflection on German to our resident native speaker.
Also for context, since some of the comments seem to have missed it, this was posted May 27, 2009. Act 1 was released on April 29, 2009. The Canon was much
smaller back then, with a lot more unknowns. It's really not fair to judge it for inconsistencies with post-Act 1 Canon.
Granting that this WetCrate is still essentially 3 years removed from the WetCrate, it's fascinating to see what appears to be a signature melancholic tone to his works - a dull grey world, with the occasional silver lining; the primary conflict focusing around trying to distinguish silver from chrome.
On to the meat of this particular story.
As I touched on, it's fascinating from an academic standpoint to see it prefigure themes and conflicts from the final product (especially since thehivemind headcanons Emi as a lesbian
). Fascinating in an altogether different manner for the guesses at future canon - Emi having family in England, Hanako having family (another WetCrate story included Hisao seeing Hanako's mother, stepfather, and half brother), etc.
Also amused by the inclusion of Hisao running with Emi in a Lilly route, since it's something added to many Lilly fan fiction works (for the obvious reasons) - especially as this fic explores what should be obvious potential complications in that arrangement.
As for Lilly's relative absence from the story, I feel that, for the in media res
approach attended, the first five paragraphs after "Memories assaulted his consciousness" sufficiently set the stage for where they are. On top of that, the increasing repetition of "Lilly" as Hisao gradually approaches the danger zone is a particularly powerful bit.
Admittedly, this draws on personal experience. I once found myself in a similar situation (with many significant differences that are irrelevant to this point). Hisao's "Ackbar Sense" (e.g., "This is dangerous, get out now!") is actually a terrifyingly good representation of your conscience screaming at you in that kind of situation. It is very much the classic battle of the shoulder angel saying "This is wrong and you know it. This will only end in tears." vs the shoulder devil saying "No one will know." You know
the shoulder devil is the devil in the conversation, you know
he's lying to you, and yet... you still want to side with the devil.
Similarly, I think you're all missing a lot of the buildup to Emi's breakdown. I return to those five paragraphs setting up the conflict. Imagine, if you will, a hypothetical route in which you're experiencing both Emi and Lilly's Act 2 routes. The moment Hisao chooses one, you know
the other will be absolutely destroyed.
On top of this, I get the sense that I may be putting Hisao's thought of "These things aren't supposed to break" in greater prominence than maybe other readers might. The (unfortunate) picture that develops in my head is an Emi whose jealousy and envy gradually turns into hatred (not necessarily the type that she would recognize as such). So she developed a plan - seduce Hisao, then toss him away, destroying him the way he destroyed her. Using a hacksaw, she sabotages her running leg - just enough that it'll break on its own when put under enough strain. Shock him into realising he cares about her, then come to him that night, bare everything to him, and make him hers.
Of course, not as diabolical as that all sounds - less of an elaborate plan, and more taking things as they go. The sabotage of her leg was planned, of course, but the rest was at last marginally organic.
But, after it's all over, the morning after, realising the terrible thing he's done, Emi hates herself. She also hates Hisao, for letting her seduce him. But, in a terrifyingly accurate reflection of canon Emi, she tries to box it up and set it aside - "-but tomorrow morning you'd better not be late!"
As for italicising the main character's first-person thoughts in a third-person story, it doesn't bother me that much as a stylistic choice. Especially as this is more third-person over-the-shoulder vs third-person omniscient.
At the end of the day, it is very rough, and unpolished. Without a part 2+, though, it's very hard to say for certain whether it's a gem or a turd.