[FFML] [Mai Hime, Future] The Summer of Her Discontent 4--To Bear What Must Be Borne

John Biles john at biles.us
Tue Aug 4 21:32:39 PDT 2009


On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 10:08 PM, Bert Miller <hkmiller at theeddy.com> wrote:

> Last lap.  Now I suppose we have weeks or months to wait for either "Roger"
> or some other next story.


Children of an Elder God 24 has first priority, though right now I'm waiting
for feedback on the first quarter of it from Rod.

So right now, I'm working on a story starring Shinichiro.



>
>
> This took a little while; I kept getting side-tracked with too much
> side-speculation.


That's fine.

>
>
> John Biles wrote:
>
>
>
>     Dad and Aunt Mikoto were in their workout clothes, which is to say as
>> casual as Dad ever gets.  He and Mom both love to dress up and are totally
>> vain about it, though they'd never admit it.  Aunt Mikoto, on the other
>> hand, only dresses up for fancy occasions.
>>
>>
> This detail surprised me about Yuiichi.  In the series, he's usually in his
> school uniform, and kind of sloppily so.
> It doesn't seem to really fit with his "utter lack of a hairstyle".


The Mai influence and getting used to a life lived in business attire.



>
>
>  from this and stay on the sidelines, living in fear.  You are right.  We
>> do
>> all lose sometimes."  She shivered and I wondered what she had lost.
>>  "Real
>> strength isn't never getting knocked down, it's getting back up when you
>> do."
>>
>>
> Well said.  This is what really impresses about Mai in the series: that she
> takes the blows and comes
> back for more.  She surprised first Ishigami and later the O.L. in this
> respect.


Yeah, exactly.  I think a crucial thing is that her Mother died and she
mourned and became stronger for it.  She's lost loved ones before and come
to terms with it, which is why she doesn't break permanently in the face of
losing first Takumi, then Yuuichi.



>
>
>     Aunt Mikoto suddenly swallowed all her coffee and said quickly,
>> "Crystal's roommate and suitemates are here, trying to sleep."
>>
>>
> Heh.  Probably not very successfully, with people screaming about 'monster
> attacks' in their suite...


As seen later  :)


>
>
>  Natasha's Tale:
>>
>> Mom's boyfriend of the time, George.  Or was he Fred?
>>
> Red-haired and British?


Hehe :)  Could be.

>
>
>
>
>   and he liked emeralds and other
>> green gems and gave Mom and I jewelry to that effect.  He claimed it was
>> magical, but I think that was just him teasing me.
>>
>>
> Not sure how much I'd trust a gift from George or Fred...


You could trust a gift from one of those two to make you regret accepting
it!

>
>
>  not dead.  Unless...no, there was no way she could be talking about my
>> actual Father.
>>
>>
> BTW, you said something about Natasha finding out about her father in this
> story somewhere?  Where?
> Or did you just mean finding out what Shiho thinks of him?


I decided to take your advice and change it so she already knew, which meant
the bit where she finds out his name got changed.



>
>
>  to be over.  But Yuuichi offered to take the baby himself.  Mai was
>> pregnant
>> with Crystal and it would have been easy to pass you two off as twins."  I
>> was born the day after Crystal.
>>
>>
> Natasha said in 'Road Trip' that, if they were both Yuichi's daughters,
> Crystal would be her younger
> sister, not older.  Unless you have a specific reason to change it, suggest
> "I was born the day before Crystal".


DOH!


>
>
>  paused, then said, "I think whoever turned the snakes loose must have been
>> who I thought was stalking me."
>>
>>
> When was this?  Did I forget something, or is this a stray from an
> abandoned draft?


That would be a scene I totally rewrote and forgot to fix the consequences.
DOOOOH

Originally, instead of him running into Aoi and Chie, he got lost, thought
someone was stalking him when he heard footsteps and ran all the way to the
North Road and ran into another character I haven't shown on screen yet.

But I decided it didn't work for various reasons.


>
>
>     "He can't even keep his mouth shut about fantasizing about the two of
>> us
>> together in bikinis," she said.  "You think he could keep this secret?"
>>
>>
> Heh.


Not easy for him.


>
>
>  Aoi's Tale:
>>
>>    I woke up and went out to make everyone breakfast.  Chie mumbled
>> something incoherent about helping me, but I left her and Erica still
>> sprawled across each other.  Erica was mumbling about finding tasty
>> leaves.
>>
>>
> Dreaming of her elephant.  How sweet.


Yep!


>
>
>  Shun's Tale:
>>
>>
>> siblings.  But the Principal is in her forties, I think, which I guess
>> means
>> she might still have some nieces around our age," Kagami said.
>>
>>
> So the Principal as well as the Vice-Principal is definitely younger than
> she should be.
> I'm not sure what to make of the Principal, but it occurs to me that maybe
> you didn't intend
> all the stuff which confuses me:  "auburn ponytail" AND "glasses"; "kind"
> AND "tennis";
> no mention at all of, say, an indicative forehead or a particular shade of
> skin or relatives
> running a particular robotics firm.  It's as if you're conflating two
> different characters here.
> I don't think the Regent proves anything either way, given that the event
> discussed in Part 3
> apparently occurred when they were in high school.


It will become more clear down the road.  ^^;;

Though I will add 'has relatives in a robotics company' as it strikes me now
that would be well known.



>
>  Kasumi's Tale:
>>
>>    He was wearing a suit when I came down, and he looked very worried.
>> "Hey, I heard from your mother that you quit the track team."
>>
>>    I stared at the ground, wondering what he thought.  "Yeah, I'm too busy
>> for it," I said.
>>
>>
> Kasumi using "yeah" rather than just "yes"?  Or maybe "yes, I did.  I'm too
> busy...""


DOH
Changed to:

I stared at the ground, wondering what he thought.  "Yes, Uncle.
Unfortunately, I'm too busy for it," I said.

>
>     "I had an emergency meeting," he said.  "Ms. Johnson is napping in the
>> car in the parking lot."
>>
>>    "What's wrong?" I asked.
>>
>>    He laughed nervously.  "Now I feel a hypocrite, as I can't talk about
>> it
>> myself.  There was trouble with some business rivals."
>>
>>
> Hmm... in the same timeframe as Roger's client lost half-a-ship's worth of
> mechs to pirates.
> Not a good sign, but not enough to draw any conclusion.
>

Yep.


>
>
>     "Yes," he said.  "Though half of it consisted of me listening to this
>> tech woman spew words I didn't understand.  Ms. Johnson has a sister,
>> Harmony, who works in the tech department of US Robots.  Her Japanese was
>> good, but it was all words I never use and don't know."
>>
>>
> And we still don't know why on Earth "US Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc"
> would be part of
> a consortium working on a new solar power project.  On the other hand, if
> this is not what the
> project is really about, why would Shell Solar be involved?  I suppose it's
> possible that the
> large number of solar panels said to be involved needs its own automated
> maintenance force,
> which most participants wanted to make sure would be completely harmless,
> but somebody has
> a different idea...


That, as they say, would be telling.

>
>
>     "That's just for in private," Uncle Yuuichi said dryly.
>>
>>    "I still don't understand how I got stuck under the bed that time,"
>> Aunt
>> Mikoto said.
>>
>>
> Heh.


I had to hide under a bed in a woman's dorm one time with the RA about 3
feet away from my head with me trying to hold my breath.

I later concluded she must have known I was there and was maintaining
plausible deniability.

>
>
>  Crystal's Tale:
>>
>> you.  Knowing they'd been made to turn on each other made me very
>> uncomfortable; I had been assuming one big happy team, but...
>>
>>
> Even if she is only sixteen, Crystal is the daughter of a business
> consultant specializing in
> corporate reorganizations.  (Check out the Wikipedia page on "Forming,
> storming,
> norming, performing" for a concept Mai would have to be thoroughly familiar
> with.)  Crystal has heard lots about her father's job, and even took
> the trouble to read up in the area; she must have heard shop-talk from her
> mother
> as well, sometimes about the conflicts that happen during the formation of
> new teams.


Hmm, very good point.  But even new teams normally don't feature violent
attacks on each other, though.  ^^;;


>
>
> This reflection, attributed to Kasumi or Natasha, makes a lot of sense to
> me, but I
> think Crystal would have to be thinking about things a bit differently.
>  Maybe switching
> an internal pointer away from "happy sentai teams" to "Mom's real world
> stories".


Yeah.

Changed to:

Knowing they'd been made to turn on each other made me very uncomfortable.
Mother tells lots of stories about work, and new teams always experience
conflict.  It's just that conflict never involves open violence and trying
to make each other's loved ones evaporate.  Ugh.



>
>     "One of our biggest sources of trouble was Nagi, a servant of the
>> Obsidian Lord," Mom said.
>>
>>    Nagi...Nagisa...  "Nagi. What did he look like?"
>>
>>    Mom described him to me and I suddenly wanted to just douse myself in
>> gasoline and burn myself.  "Short, junior high...teal hair."
>>
>>
> Heh.


Heh.


>
>
>     "He goes to school and was helping me investigate the events at Fuuka,"
>> I said, burying my face in my hands in utter frustration with myself.
>>  "He's
>> probably also Kei and he's been totally playing me and I am going to kill
>> him."
>>
>>    "He's probably also 'Kei', then," Kasumi said, explaining Kei for
>> everyone.
>>
>>
> Crystal already said that.


Fixed.

>
>
>     "It looked like it," Aunt Midori said, then frowned.  "I suppose
>> anything that didn't fell into the ocean and washed out to sea.  It would
>> be
>> gone by now."
>>
>>
> Meaning we'll see such pieces play a piece in the story.  Or maybe they
> already have; I think
> we've already seen a color match.
>

Yep.

>
>
>      Aunt Shizuru swept in.  "It is my fault."
>>
>>    "Shizuru," Mom said.  "You don't..."
>>
>>    "I do," Shizuru said.  "I killed everyone in Primus.  Everyone who
>> died.
>>
> Points to Shizuru for this.  I can't have been easy.
>
> BTW, it occurred to me at some point that one of the kids might confront
> Shizuru and ask her
> why she didn't turn herself into the police (not necessarily
> confrontationally; given what happens
> later, I could see Crystal or Natasha doing so more out of desperation).
>  At any rate, it occurred
> to me that Shizuru might very well have done so:  walked into a police
> station, a few weeks
> later, and confessed to killing the entirety of Primus Research, by
> herself, with the help of her
> giant squid, which unfortunately she could no longer show to the police.
>  They'd throw her
> out, of course.  Then, if sufficiently depressed, she might study up on
> terrorist tactics books
> from the library, and try again a year or two later, only to have the
> police pull her first
> confession out of a file cabinet, together with her library records, and
> throw her out again.
> At this point, even the most conscientious perpetrator would have to give
> up.



Yep!

>
>
>  hate me, Kagami, you have the right.  I...I killed so many and I didn't
>> even
>> know their names.  It's all a blur.  But if your mother's first husband
>> died
>> there, then I am to blame and I am sorry.  Your mother is on the Primus
>> Survivor's Fund, right?"
>>
>>    "Yes, it pays my tuition to go to Rosewood and it will be paying to
>> send
>> me to college too," Kagami mumbled.  "You set that up?"
>>
>>
> You're generally using "mumbled" a lot in this story.  Here in particular,
> I'd suggest using another word
> or phrase, perhaps "replied slowly."  'Mumbled' implies that listeners have
> a hard time understanding,
> and is fine for embarrassing admissions, but this isn't one.


True, good point.   Fixed.

>
>
>  But you will.  You possess great power which will only grow stronger.  And
>> power corrupts."
>>
>>    "Lord Acton," Dan said.
>>
>>    Power corrupts Lord Acton?  Who is Lord Acton?
>>
>>    Aunt Shizuru blinked at him, then said, "What?"
>>
>>    "He's a historian famous for saying power corrupts and absolute power
>> corrupts absolutely," Dan said.
>>
>>
> This doesn't seem like Dan to me.  Who's he trying to impress?  Everyone
> present knows that
> he knows his history.  Just offer the quote the first time, and skip the
> attribution.
>

Okay.


>
>
>  But we promise, we will do our best to be responsible with our powers and
>> keep the family secrets.  We will make you proud of us and help defend
>> everyone from all the gods and demons that may rise against us.  May the
>> Crystal Princess be our witness."  The others repeated what I had said,
>> and
>> I felt a sudden jolt in my new tattoo.  Aunt Akane and Aunt Akira jumped
>> as
>> well.
>>
>>
> So this new promise did SOMETHING.
>

Yep!


>
>
>  much good, though Sakomizu-sensei, Aoi and Chie are all close by and armed
>> for trouble."
>>
>>
> So Mai is going to trust Sakomizu-sensei, and she assumes he knows
> everything Aoi and Chie do?
> And how does she know he's armed?
>
> Actually, now that I think of it, it's just as possible he's really working
> for Fumi as for anyone else,
> and you just haven't had occasion to mention it.
>

Yeah, he is.  (As is hinted at by Smith later.)

>
>
>     "Oh yes," Mom said.  "One more thing."  She let go of Aunt Shizuru,
>> clicking up a slide.  "The Sears Foundation. They possess the technology
>> to
>> create artificial Hime, using it to create Alyssa and Miyu."
>>
> Implying to the kids that Miyu is an artificial Hime.  Do none of the kids
> question the mismatch
> on numbers?  That would make sixteen.


It will come to them when they sit down and think about it, yeah.  Right
now, they're not doing the count-matchup.


>
>
>     My curiosity warred with the part of me which now didn't want to know
>> more.  God, they fucked up so much.  Can we really do better?  We have to
>> do
>> better.  I have to do better.  Or else they will have been right.  We have
>> to show them we can handle this and do better than they did.
>>
>>
> Nice reflection on Crystal's part, potentially charitable (especially if
> she does end up screwing
> up badly).
>


Yep!


>
>
>  Kasumi's Tale:
>>
>>    So he wants people like Ayumi-sempai, I thought, then told myself to be
>> less uncharitable.
>>
>>
> Heh.
>

Hehe.

>
>
>  was pretty thoroughly smashed up and turned into a campfire pit, but we
>> found a small amount of an odd reddish-pink crystalline substance which
>> Miyu
>> thinks..."  She frowned.  "It seems to basically be solidified spiritual
>> power."
>>
>>
> Gee, where could it have come from?
>

GOOD QUESTION :)

>
>
>     "Nagi," Aunt Haruka said.  "Five will get you ten it's that bastard
>> Nagi
>> in disguise.  Was he eating expensive Italian Sorbet?  Lime flavored?"
>>
>>    "No," I said.  "Why would he be eating ice cream?"
>>
>>    "Ahah!" Crystal said.  "That time you came over to our house in the
>> middle of the night, was that Nagi stealing your ice cream?"
>>
>>    "Hell yes," Aunt Haruka said.  "Do you know how much that stuff costs
>> to
>> import from Italy?  You'd think a country with over a hundred billion
>> people
>> could make decent sorbet, but no, I have to import it."
>>
>>
> Heh.


Do not mess with Haruka's ice cream.


>
>
>  Jinnai's Tale:
>>
>>    I only made it back in time because Ms. Johnson drove like a maniac.
>>  It
>> was my own fault for sleeping later than I planned.  "You really didn't
>> have
>> to drive me all the way back; I could have taken the train," I told her.
>>
>>
> She drove him from Osaka to Tokyo?  Wouldn't that be, like, six hours
> minimum?  When he could have gotten there
> in less than half that time by train?  (Shin Osaka to Tokyo Station is
> under two and a half hours by Shinkansen.)
>
> It doesn't seem to serve any purpose to the story; just have him take the
> train.  Or conceivably have
> her double as a private pilot if she has to be here for some reason.


I totally forgot about the bullet trains.  Since here in the US, you
basically never ride trains except at the local level.  ^^;;

Fixed.  ^^;;



>
>
>     "Mr. Smith?" I asked.
>>
>>    Mr. Smith was a grey haired old man, somewhere in his seventies, I
>> think.  He wore a nice, but out of date charcoal colored suit and a red
>> tie
>> with grey circuit patterns on it.  He saw me looking at the tie and said,
>> "One of my granddaughters gave it to me.  She works in electronics.  Yes,
>> I
>> am."
>>
>>
> No mention of the beak-like nose?  Even for an American, John Smith has a
> real beak.
>

Good point!


>
>
>     "So what have you found out about what happened at Fuuka in 2005?" I
>> said, getting right to the point.
>>
>>
> ...that he didn't already know...


Yeah, but how would Jinnai know?

>
>     He produced two more pictures, showing the dog-robot blowing up what
>> looked to me like parked military trucks, along with a picture of Ms. Kuga
>> beating up US Army soldiers.  "She fought the occupation of Fuuka by US
>> Army
>> forces too."
>>
>>
> The soldiers are now supposed to have been official U.S. Army, instead of
> the private force
> there were described as at the time?  The soldiers themselves told Shizuru
> and others that they had
> been asked in by the Japanese government (which U.S. forces would have to
> have been), but the
> soldiers don't say they're U.S. forces, and we don't see any U.S. insignia
> in the series itself, and
> Yamada said they were a private Searrs force (which we know they were from
> Searrs own
> actions).
>
> Now, after the fact, what would the situation have been described as?
>  Given that no witnesses
> could testify to U.S. insignia on uniforms or vehicles, I'd think it would
> be easiest on all parties
> involved to conclude that it was a rogue mercenary corporation, possibly of
> U.S. origin, but hired
> by persons unknown.  Everybody could have their own conspiracy theory about
> who, of course:
> the Japanese government, covering up supposed incompetence in the SDF
> (unable to deploy
> for whatever reason); the U.S. government, in a hurry and not willing to
> wait for a Japanese
> invitation (say because the 'plague virus' was originally stolen from a
> U.S. government
> laboratory); the soldiers were the real terrorists all along; etc, etc.


That makes sense.  I've never been quite clear on if those guys were
supposed to be US forces.

Mercenaries it is!

>
>
>     Only to be replaced by the woman who in this picture is just her maid.
>> IE, the woman who was probably really in charge all along, using this girl
>> as a disposable proxy to take the fall when everything went to hell.  I
>> grimaced at Himeno Fumi.  What a disgusting woman.
>>
>>
> Heh.


Garbage in, Garbage out.

>
>
>     He pulled out another file folder with stapled photocopies from several
>> journals.  "All published research connected to Primus concerned itself
>> with
>> human augmentation," Mr. Smith said, passing them to me.  "Human
>> augmentation.  Making people faster, stronger, healthier, and so on."
>>
>>
> You have a repeat of "human augmentation" there.  And is this true?  It
> wouldn't be that hard for
> Jinnai to check this claim, but I'd have thought there might be other
> topics.  Artificial Childs would
> emphasize robotics research.


That's the stuff you don't want people to know so you don't publish it.

>
>
>  Kasumi and now after both of them visited Fuuka, suddenly Kasumi was so
>> fast
>> I think she could set a world record or at least come close.
>>
> So he didn't really understand what he was looking at; he's underestimating
> Kasumi badly.  If he
> suspects secret research, should his presuppositions be getting in the way,
> though?  Suggest
> "..could set a world record, maybe shatter one."


Yeah, he doesn't fully understand what's going on.


>
>
>     "But you don't know specifics," I said.
>>
>>
> Heh.  Wanna bet?


Hehe.

>
>
>     "Most of the records were destroyed when 'Kiyohime' wiped out everyone
>> there.  It took me substantial effort to find these photos,
>>
> "I had to go back into my personal files from 23 years ago."
>
Hey, searching those file folders is tiring for an old man!



>
>     A very good investigator.  He'd been recommended to me by Mr. Robert
>> Cooper, one of the men I work with who is employed by US Robots.  He said
>> Mr. Smith did top of the line work and I had to agree.
>>
>>
> This Robert Cooper is certainly showing up a lot.


Yep!

>
>
>  said.  He pulled out another file folder.  "We know that all the girls at
>> Fuuka underwent medical examination during the army occupation, but not
>> the
>> boys.  It seems rather likely to me that the whole 'terrorists with
>> plague'
>> story was, in fact, an excuse to search for girls with certain qualities
>> or
>> maybe even specific girls."  He showed me several pictures of girls lined
>> up
>> to be checked by doctors.  "Some families eventually sued, but were paid
>> hush money."
>>
>>
> Smith is sticking remarkably close to the truth here.
>
> But who did these families sue?  Who paid?


The closer he sticks to the truth, the more any lies can take protective
cover under the truth.

They sued the government for failing to prevent this.

And tried to sue the school in some cases.


>
>
>     Another picture.  I knew this woman vaguely by reputation, though we'd
>> never met face to face.  Tate Mai.  "Tate Mai," I said.
>>
>>
> Suggest getting rid of the repetition, keeping the quoted instance.


Fixed!


>
>
>  skilled pianist and gives concerts periodically.  She has released two
>> records.  I have them on my MusicBox, in fact."  He pulled out the small
>> widget and played a short snippet.
>>
> Given that this is 2028, suggest he simply plays the short snippet via his
> phone, on demand.


Good point.


>
>
>  vice versa.  But if it had been a one way crush...no wonder she was
>> willing
>> to take on an entire facility by herself in order to rescue Akane.
>>
>>
> Or maybe you're badly overestimating how risky the whole venture was for
> Natsuki, i.e.
> underestimating the level of her enhancements.  Of course, you're thinking
> in terms of what
> you've heard or read might be technologically feasible.


Yes, exactly.


>
>
>     "Purely a coincidence," Mr. Smith said.  "Nearly three million
>> Americans
>> are named Smith; it's the most common family name in our mutual homeland.
>> Smith and Waynewright seem to have come to Japan and attended Tokyo
>> University a decade ago, but have no previous presence in Japan.
>>
> Heh.  Any previous presence anywhere else?
>

He's not sharing that if he knows it.


>
> Attended Todai?  Interesting; this would kind of imply they showed up in
> Tokyo looking 18-ish,
> and have been aging normally since.
>

More on that in the Roger Story.


>
>
>   Whatever
>> happened at Fuuka, I don't think they're connected to it, other than now
>> being tied to Kuga Natsuki and Fujino Shizuru.  Who I will note set up a
>> large fund for the surviving family members of those who died at Primus.
>> She's from very old money, and she seems to have devoted her whole life to
>> peace activism and being a Negotiator ever since college, and to some
>> degree
>> since high school."
>>
>>    Something is going on here, even if I can't quite figure out the whole
>> story.
>>
> Not sure why; given what John Smith has been saying, it's pretty easy to
> conclude that Shizuru,
> at the very least, must have been involved with 'Kiyohime'.  It could
> easily occur to Jinnai that
> Akane, who he's worried about, need not have participated simply because
> she was experimented
> on; need not have even known about the incident ahead of time, but merely
> learned of it later,
> and not been willing to turn in, the participants.  Which all happens to be
> true, actually.


Good point.

>
>
>  fear my brother and Akane are tangled up in it and...  They aren't aging.
>> Had Primus discovered some sort of aganathic?  All the way back in the
>> 2000s?
>>
> Heh.
>

It's just not a very generally applicable one :)

>
>
>   We have had some success retarding aging, but we're still working on
>> it.  But if it only works for people with the right DNA...
>>
> ...then clearly 'Kiyohime' will be persecuted once they're unmasked, so
> they'd better steal an experimental
> starship and flee the solar system.  (And maybe take Haruka's nanotech Hime
> technology with them.)


HEH


>
>
>     "Munakata Shiho, mother of Munakata Natasha, who goes to school with
>> your neice,
>>
> (SP) still misspelling 'niece'.
>

DOH

I found and corrected NINE times I did this.  ACK.


>
>
>     "I will see what else I can find," he said.  "I'm rather confused
>> myself
>> by all this.
>>
> I doubt that VERY much.
>
> Though I find I'm not sure what Smith is up to.  Maybe he's a real
> free-lance investigator now,
> and he's doing his best for Jinnai while hiding only his own past?  He's
> almost being honest enough for
> that; his only outright lie I could see concerns the bridge, and he's being
> as honest there as he could
> be consistent with hiding his own past (Jinnai couldn't possibly falsify
> his statements on the bridge
> without discovering the entire truth, including Smith's own background,
> first).
>
> OTOH, his order of presentation could be construed as trying lead lead
> Jinnai to a specific
> conclusion, without any possibility of comeback.


That would be telling, as they say :)


>
>
>  Only a few companies could afford to make something like that, but if
>> Fujino
>> was old money...
>>
> Smith didn't mention Haruka and/or Yukino?


Not yet.


>
>
>  Gin's Tale:
>>
>>    I was just trying to eat lunch when suddenly a swarm descended upon me.
>> To be precise, it was Hayao, Mandi, Sanae and Hotaru.
>>
> "Mandi was trying to dress fairly hot, but really, she's too short.  Sanae
> was dressed too conservatively
> to be hot.  Hotaru, however, would have been way hot if she'd been less
> groggy."


HEH :)



>
>
>     Hotaru now drank my coke.  "So tired," she mumbled.
>>
>>
> You know, pretending to be a fake vampire would be GREAT cover for a real
> one...
>

Yes, it would be :)


>
>     "Don't worry, I'm sure it'll be safe," Hotaru said confidently.
>>
>>
> Interesting that Hotaru is so confident.  And without even mentioning
> snakes..
>

Very interesting indeed!


>
>     "Any conclusions?" I asked.
>>
>>    "Not as much as, say, Kasumi, does, but enough to substantially reduce
>> the impact's effect on you.
>>
> Not as much what?  The sentence is missing something.
>

Not clear here, no.

Changed to:

"You drew Hime energy to defend yourself from the blows.  Not as much as,
say, Kasumi, does, but enough to substantially reduce the impact's effect on
you.




>
>     I hit Aunt Miyu with everything I had, right in the chest.  Then I
>> stumbled back, wringing my hand.  "OW."
>>
>>
> Heh.  Still no questions about Miyu from the kids?


I need to have them ask what exactly the difference is down the line, yeah.



>
>     "You're a heroine, not a sinner," Kasumi said, resting her head on Aunt
>> Miyu's shoulder.  "You probably saved our lives last night."
>>
>>
> ??? From persuading Kasumi to want to get stronger ???
>

AAAAAH.  This is a relic from an earlier draft where Miyu was the one who
came to the rescue.


Changed to:

"You're a heroine, not a sinner," Kasumi said, resting her head on Aunt
Miyu's shoulder.  "You've spent two decades fighting to defend the innocent
from the things that hunt them in the night."




>
>  intimacy.  So your love will grow.  Love needs a balanced diet, just like
>> you do."
>>
>>    I nodded, wishing I could take notes.
>>
>>
> Words fail me.


HEHE


>
>
>     Aunt Haruka said, "I will see about having them made.  If the
>> nanomachine project works, we may be able to give you artificial Hime
>> powers, but it's having some problems."
>>
>>    "Causing people to mutate into hideous monstrosities?" I teased.  I
>> know
>> that doesn't ever really happen.
>>
>>    "No, they break down when exposed to very much testosterone,"
>>
> Argh!  Another otome-ism.  Though this one isn't bad; almost worth a quick
> chuckle.


Actually, the ones in Otome broke down due to Sperm, I believe.

Otherwise, any Otome who got much exercise would have killed her own
nanomachines.




>
>
>  crushed and smashed up and rough.  The other side of it was cleanly sliced
>> as if someone had somehow smoothly sliced the granite with a blade.'
>> 'sliced, as if someone had somehow cut the granite with a very sharp
>> blade.
>> The top of it was a chunk of chinese writing.  So was the bottom.
>>
>>
> You have the almost the same phrase repeated twice here.


Doh.

This is an artifact of me somehow screwing up a grammatical fix suggestion
from my editor.  ^^;;

I think I just pasted in his suggestion without removing the original.


>
>
>     In a few places under the piled rubble, there was pinkish-red powder,
>> which Sanae collected into an envelope, using a hair brush from Hotaru's
>> purse.
>>
> Good luck analyzing leftover Hime star chunks.  OTOH, maybe possession of
> them will have
> some interesting effects on you...


Yeah, it's a little out of her league.


>
>
>     "Yes, but we can't ask Dan," Hayao said.  "Dan is inside the secret and
>> we are not.  He won't tell us."  He frowned.
>>
>>
> Nobody here has any solid reason to believe that this inscription has
> anything to do with the family secret,
> though.  In fact, if they suspect it did, asking Dan might be the best way
> to find out for sure:  if
> he clams, it does; otherwise, it doesn't.


Hayao is being a little over paranoid here, yes.

>
>
>  these mushrooms?"  I pointed to some purple mushrooms which now bloomed
>> around the edge of the clearing.
>>
>>    "It's not just you," she said frowning.  She pulled up two of the
>> mushrooms, putting them in a small bag.  "I can try and look these up."
>>
>>
> Or maybe possession of these will have some interesting effects...
>
> I liked this scene with Gin, Hotaru, and the cousins, btw; nice to see them
> in action.  Pretty
> competent detective work, too.


There's a lot of brainpower in that group, moreso than in the Junior Hime
brigade.

>
>
>  Crystal's Tale:
>>
>>    "I...Aunt Miyu said to tell you about my Child," I said a little
>> nervously.
>>
>>
> Why is Crystal nervous about talking to Mikoto, whom she's lived with her
> whole life?
> This reads too much, I think, like all the other sessions, where people are
> more-or-less
> meeting each other for the first time.


Hmm, true.  I can fix that.

Changed to:

"Aunt Miyu said to tell you about my Child," I said to her.  "Though I'm not
sure why."





>
>
>     "Oooh, yes!  She said he's some kind of giant robot monk?"
>>
>>
> When did Miyu see it?


She got told, now that I changed the story.  ^^;;


>
>
>  Sanae's Tale:
>>
>>    I could hardly believe that.  I mean, Taiki's never been a pacifist,
>> but
>> giving someone a brutal beating like that is totally unlike him.
>>
> More evidence something's up with Taiki.
>

Yep!


>
>   I really
>> gave him a piece of my mind but it didn't work.  We've all tried, but it
>> just doesn't seem to get through his anger for very long.  Hopefully,
>> Ayumi-sempai will make him feel better.
>>
>>
> Heh.  Until Ayumi gets possessed by something.
>

Picky, picky :)

>
>  like that.  Especially since I couldn't find those mushrooms in any of
>> Dad's
>> reference works in his office or in my usual online databases.  They glow
>> in
>> the dark, but I couldn't figure out why.
>>
>>
> Heh.


Heh.


>
>
>     And if I understand the test I ran, I think they cause hallucinations.
>>
>>
> Or maybe what you think you hallucinated really happened...
>

Heh!


>
>     I half-jumped out of my skin.  She'd been a good ways over at our usual
>> table when I came over here.  "Hey, Kasumi," I said.
>>
>>
> Somebody's going to notice Kasumi doing that.
>

Yes.


>
>  us alive.  "The idea that I'm getting power from a star makes me boggle."
>>
>>    "It's just hard to believe it's all real."
>>
>>    "It's not so hard for us because of the things we saw at Fuuka, but
>> it's
>> strange to be inside it, living it, instead of watching it from the
>> outside," Chie-Mom said.
>>
>>
> Now Chie sounds like she actually saw quite a bit more than Mai probably
> thought she had at the time.
>

Yeah, well, rewatching the final episode, it kind of looks to me like Chie
and Aoi are watching the Charge of the hime brigade in progress.  ^^;;


>
>     I was such an idiot, being suckered by Nagisa.  I had pretty much
>> trusted him implicitly, but he'd pretty much led me around by the nose.
>> Even if I couldn't figure out exactly what he was trying to accomplish or
>> why he did it that way.  Though from the things I knew now, his mother and
>> his likely father were both manipulators.
>>
>>
> Even if he did fool Crystal, none of it ended up hurting her.
>

Yes, but she's feeling frustrated anyway.


>
>  homework and I don't even know how much use I actually am.  Aunt Miyu
>> totally had to save our asses.
>>
>>
> ??? "Aunt Akira and Aunt Akane totally had to save our asses."



AAARGH


>
>
>     It would be so easy to just summon my sword and beat the shit out of
>> these damn liars.
>>
>>    A second later, I realized what I'd just thought and felt utterly
>> horrified with myself.
>>
> Heh.  Sixteen year olds, with this kind of power.  Not a good combination.
>  Could be worse, of
> course; it could be the K twins.


YEAH EXACTLY.


>
>
>  such a failure.  I thought I would be all awesome and I wasn't.  And
>> there's
>> so much I was counting on them to know and they don't.
>>
> Exactly.
>

Yep!


>
>  had worked well enough to get us there.  Or the Crimson Huntsman would be
>> using as hostages.  Or worse.
>>
>>
> Missing an "us" after "using".
>

Yep.

>
>  wasn't much use, really.  The others had to save us, and then Aunt Miyu
>> had
>> to save us all.
>>
>>
> And again with the Aunt Miyu saving the day.  This must be a relic of an
> old draft or something; too
> many occurences to be accidental.


Yes it is.


>
>
>  Kasumi's Karma:
>> Avenger into battle.  I am the eldest of the Hime, and I am ready to fight
>>
>>
> Suggest "eldest of the Younger Hime"


Yeah


>
>
>  for my world with my family and my friends.  I am ready to race with
>> comets
>> and tornados and the stars in their courses.
>>
>>    My name is Kurauchi Kasumi.
>>
>>    And I am no longer afraid
>>
> Beginning and ending with Kasumi; nice symmetry.


Yeah.  Summer of Her Discontent has a lot of other stuff, but the heart of
it is Kasumi's transformation under the weight of her new responsibilities.
And how it makes a stronger, better person.  First everything goes to hell
for her, and then she seizes control of the things she can and makes herself
anew.

(Whereas Crystal is now plunging down into the pit as Kasumi did in part 1)

The next story doesn't have a title yet, but will deal with Shinichiro and
his family and his life in Hokkaido and what happens when his dual lives
collide with each other.

Then we get Roger's Rules of Order once I finish revamping the ideas in it.
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