[FFML] [SHnY] The Coin - Chapter Four
durandall at gmail.com
Sun Sep 18 16:56:08 PDT 2011
I had a lot of trouble with this chapter ... again. I think I'm going to have to stop doing this, so here are some last thoughts on the story; sorrymy view is too narrow to appreciate this more.
On Sep 17, 2011, at 11:17 PM, Michael Clark <eta.bootis at gmail.com> wrote:
> They gave Asakura a glimpse of what she wanted.
Really, more gave Haruhi a glimpse of what she wanted.
> Now, there are a lot of reasonable explanations, I'm sure. Maybe some
> passing hero snatched the hat off her head and transformed it into a
> spear, hurling it across the stadium to pierce Asakura's shoulder.
If you haven't revised the last chapter, this is about to become a massive point of contention for me.
It was alluded that Haruhi glimpsed Yuki, or at least her hair.
> "Asakura." His face scrunched up, like he wanted to spit out the taste
> of her name. "Something this sadistic could only be her doing. Am I
Why does he offer that suddenly? Isn't it (from his PoV) Kuyou's modus operandi? He's seen Kuyou try something similar; Ryouko he's seen with a knife three times (Melancholy, Disappearance, Surprise (book 10).
> I'm glad you didn't take her love confession seriously, then.
Missed chance for Kyon to be surprised/disgusted at the idea, if it's new to him, which Haruhi could react to (i've been whining about keeping Haruhi sympathetic/showing her regard for Kyon, though, so gonna be brief about this).
> "That's what I'm going to explain to you," he said, putting an arm
> around me and walking us out of the stadium. "I've known a lot of
> things for a long time, but none of them are as clear or as certain as
> this: that Asakura is a nut and would kill in a heartbeat if it served
Don't need two spaces after the colon, unless you capitalize that sentence (easily done by omitting 'that').
> Kyon kept me close to him, and it could've have been because the bus
> platform was overcrowded, either. Maybe he was afraid that Asakura
> would come out and jump us at any moment.
Haruhi is 'letting' Kyon 'keep her close'?
Also think you were aiming for 'couldn't' have.
> "It wasn't your doing. For that, I had some help. That's who we're
> going to see. The best person to help with Asakura--or, I guess the
> only person who can."
Kyon: And I'm going to be sneaky and clever instead of direct and honest.
Haruhi: Awesome; I'm working on being obstinately ignorant!
Kyon: Poor Communication Kills is a great trope, eh?
> "This one looks like it's ours," said Kyon. "Shall we?"
> You're dodging the question.
Kyon: Nope; just genre savvy. You won't believe anything I say, so I need someone else to tell you.
Haruhi: Is it a supernatural enemy? One who I've been given reasons not to, but will trust over people I've known for a year?
> He took a step up, into the bus, and I followed with Mikuru-chan's cap
> in my hands. In a bus stuffed full to the last seat, I think I finally
> understood what'd happened. Mori-san was wrong. She lied to me. She
> tried to trick me into feeling guilty for something I hadn't done--worst
> of all when what I _had_ done made me feel guilty enough! But she _was_
> right about something--that she'd been watching me, that others had been
> watching me, knowing what I could do even while I was totally ignorant,
> while I knew nothing. Asakura and Mori-san--they were the same. They
> were interested in me, in pushing me opposite directions to suit their
To be fair, I don't feel the canon Haruhi would have been so bad that Mori's act would be required.
This one did need it, but. :/
> "I wouldn't put too much stock in what Mori-san says," Kyon muttered.
> "I never thought she would've done it, but she did. She bent the truth
> to manipulate you. She knew damn well you had nothing to do with
> Asakura. She used it because it was easy--no, because it was
> horrifying. She took advantage of you when you were vulnerable." He
> scoffed. "And I thought she was one of the nicer ones."
Still doesn't feel right that Lyon got worked up and then dropped it, but that's not as off as Haruhi (when she needs/wants her brigade to be togethrr even more) not investigating at all.
I know it's a difference of values/points of view, but more and more it feels like the story is relying on poor choices on the parts of the characters, and gaps in communication to avoid reveals that prevent the story you want to tell.
> "Hey, I tried to tell you!"
> Bullshit you did.
And ... Haruhi once again does something bitchy right before a joke, once again killing my mood to be amused by it:
> I don't know. You could've told them we had cake.
> "That'd be a lie."
> He made a face. "That's actually pretty close to the truth, isn't it."
Should be a question?
> That... can't be, Kyon. You have to be someone special. An alien
> hiding out on Earth has a reason to keep their identity secret. Same
> for an esper. Same for a slider or a time-traveler or anyone else.
> They don't want to be found. But if you're just a normal person, if you
> knew all about these people and had no reason to hide anything for
> yourself, why would you keep any of that to yourself? Why would you
> keep it secret? I thought we were friends! Why wouldn't you tell me?
Kyon: I tried to?
Haruhi: Well, look, a few chapters ago, I admitted you were right to resist me when I was being pushy.
Haruhi: That's my entire budget of 'nice' for this story.
Also ... I really, rewlly have to say agsin ... I do not at all like Haruhi using Kyon's narration trick. Actually, it's become less likable to me as it's gone on; Kyon and Haruhi have different personaloties, and I feel you're actually kind of just dodging writing half of Hruhi's dialog.
I'd love to see whatever the heck that scene above was, and not just have to infer it. Kyon's not a super active guy, so it works. Haruhi is a super-active girl, and here I think is where I really realized why it wasn't working for me. She should be jumping and shouting, and this narrative style is just not cutting it to convey that.
> What might happen?
Kyon: ...did you forget the last three chapters?
> So that's what it is. You're afraid of me, just like Mori-san.
This is inadequately adressed. Why does Haruhi just accept that as a statememt of fact?
Why doesn't she have any interest in 'not being scary'? Instead of just making an assumption, Isn't haruhi smart enough to think qbout things? Maybe ask questions and try to fix them?
Not just randomly spend time throwing rocks at the haru/kyon ship?
> I figured not; we were starting out on a familiar path. This route from
> Koyoen along the train tracks--I know it well. So Kyon, we're going to
Because she can figure it out, but admitting it now prevents greater mood whiplash?
> "She's one of the kindest people I know."
> It's a girl.
Haruhi's all over the map.
> "I trust her with my life."
> I see. So she's fully-functional?
Another reference I get, but can't laugh at.
> I've never heard you gush so openly about a girl, Kyon. Even that
> friend of yours from middle-school--you were particularly cagey about
Haruhi ... seriously. Attack Kyon, belittle him, pick on him for daring to look at other people, and then fish for compliments/reasons he likes you.
> There's probably someone turned on by that, too, you know. It's a rule.
> What is it, thirty-two? Thirty-three? No, it's--
> "Don't start!"
> You know, Kyon, with that attitude, I can see why this alien hasn't
> shown you all her features yet.
Erg ... more insults to Kyon ... maybe he was putting off talking to her because he doesn't actually like her? She subconsciusly picks up on that, and that's why she's nastier to him than in canon, even with justitification not to? If that's the case, then, I can understand the characterizations you're going with for this fic.
If it's not what you're aiming for, then that is, unfortunately, what I'm getting from it.
> Of course. It only made sense. Someone interested in me would take an
> interest in the brigade, too. The great alien entity probably had its
> interface planted in Yuki's class. She must've befriended Yuki. Maybe
> she lives in this building, like Asakura used to, and Yuki, being quiet
> and private and introverted, would naturally keep this mysterious friend
> to herself--probably because she was asked to. Sticking to a shy girl
> like Yuki is the perfect cover. So starved for attention, Yuki would
> never suspect.
> That's a crafty alien data being for you. Mm! I'm so excited! Maybe
> that's strange, coming off what happened the stadium, but I can't help
> it. We're going to meet a real, live, extraterrestrial intelligence!
> I mean, this is the kind of thing I've waited years for! How should I
> approach it? Should I bow and say, 'Take me to your leader'? Wait,
> that's the wrong way around. Hell, she might not even understand very
> much, anyway. Human language could be difficult to pick up for them. I
> mean, Asakura was around for a while. I guess she found a way to blend
> in, but that doesn't mean they all can. I bet this alien is enamored
> with Kyon somehow. It'd figure if all she can talk about is how
> beautiful his eyes are or something.
Haruhi's internal logic here allows for Yuki to be hiding the aliem from her and she doesn't mind.
An unfortunate contrast to what actually happens.
> Kyon, you're pretty worried, aren't you?
Considering she doesn't really seem to give a damn, not sure why she asks.
> Not going anywhere? What are you, stupid? Come here, you. Yes,
> closer. You don't want Yuki to hear, do you? What are you trying to do
> with this? You're going to frighten Yuki off this alien friend of hers.
Seriously overplaying this. Yet another inconsistancy; from Yuki being the alien's roommate, to having to be kept in the dark?
Reiterating: Hruhi is all over the map, and not in a way that feels connected to the ball game.
> Oh, sure, sure. A little nap, and I feel as good as new.
> "You fainted."
> Fainted--wait, damn! Kyon, you're smiling out there, aren't you?
> You're laughing just a little bit, aren't you?
Don't see why Haruhi would bother denying it, just for a looney toons ref. Wouldn't she instead say it was justified?
Plus, fainting is a unique experience.
> Ah, of course. Sit down, have a cup of tea. It's not like the world's
> changed overnight. It just feels that way because I didn't see what was
> in front of my eyes.
Also feel her reaction is overstated. This is nothing compared to what she can do, and by now, she knows that.
> "Right. Nagato told me what the Entity was up to, why he let Asakura
> loose. Apparently Mori-san's bullying tactics worked so well on you
> that the Entity decided to act."
Kyon: I'd use the trump card to protect Yuki from the IDSE, but Haruhi's on her own.
> "And discovered how many licks it really takes to get to the center of a
> Tootsie Pop," said Kyon.
Feels way too flippant (though, your Haruhi does brutally murder my sense of humor) for Kyon's part, and he doesn't interrupt for no reason.
> "You picked up on that quick," said Kyon.
Haruhi: I'm only incapable of trusting/believing YOU, Kyon; I can believe Yuki just fine.
Kyon: I forgot about our special bond.
Haruhi: Glad to remind you!
> What Asakura would negotiate for was clear--my powers or some way to
> study them. Kyon and Yuki were in agreement on that. What she could
> offer in return neither would say. Honestly, it sounded a bit like
> Mother's bargaining habits. One time, we'd gone to Okinawa, and she
> wanted to buy a shirt to take back home. From three thousand yen to
> start with, she haggled the vendor down to one, scolding him for
> everything from shoddy workmanship to the scraggly shadow of his beard.
> I guessed two thousand yen was what he'd be willing to pay to make her
> stop. Everything has a price.
> Especially in a deal with the Devil.
You establish that Haruhi is predisposed not to trust Ryouko here.
> That's right. Yuki was different, but Kyon was still Kyon through and
> through. Okay, I didn't expect him to keep an entire alien race from
> me, but that didn't change who he was, just what I realized he was
> capable of. Regardless of who he dealt with, Kyon would still act a bit
> contrary to what they wanted, whether it was Mori-san's espers, Yuki's
> Entity, or this time-traveler woman he told me about. Good to know, I
> guess, that it wasn't just my orders he had trouble with.
Yeah, she was just told it's her fault ... and she has no interest in helping him or finding out more?
> "You know, Haruhi," he began early that morning, while Yuki went to
> refill the teapot, "it's not just Mori-san who's an esper or A--er, that
> woman who's a time-traveler."
Might want to restste; sounds a bit like Kyon is saying Mikuru is an esper.
> Vaguely. As I recall, you said something stupid that pissed me off, so
> I left. You want me to pick up the bill now?
Uuuurg. Haruhi has good memory! First with Yuki ... I'm sorry, it feels like there is an idiot ball going around, and Haruhi has it now.
These little bits where she's so patently igorant/in denial might work of she hadn't dscovered her powers but it's feeling forced here.
This specific one is also another intance of stretching Haruhi's unlikable qualities, since she's specifically stressing the 'Kyon's words are worthless to me' angle (which, as a Kyon/Haruhi shipper, yeah -- this is killing me).
> Okay, I guess I remember that. And I guess I can't be mad at you too
> much because you were right. You should've brought some proof though,
> and not just made some wild accusation like--oh, what was it?
> Mikuru-chan being a time-traveler, Koizumi-kun being an esper, and
Aknowlwdged, no apology, and then dismissed.
> Shut up. Shut up shut up shut up! What are you doing, Kyon? Why are
> you saying these things? You can't just keep doing this, saying
> whatever you want. You've taken Yuki away from me. The silent,
> bookworm character she's supposed to be is a sham!
Stupid littlr girl! Open your eyes and realize there are other people in the world!
People have valid reasns to be cautious around you! Did you forget being AFRAID OF YOURSELF last chapter!?
Lile Nagato doesn't have a right to be someone else? Hey! Your friends are opening up and explaining thigs tp you, maybe you should respond exclusively with disbelief, anger, and to crank the sociopathy up, blame _them_ for things that are you own fault!
So ... angry ... at thia character....
> That's the point! She's the same to you, but I have no idea who that
> person is! And now you're telling me Koizumi-kun and Mikuru-chan are
> the same? That I don't know them? That everything the five of us have
> done is a lie? Why the fuck would you say that to me? Why?
> "Hey, I didn't mean it like that! Settle down, all right?"
Seriously, still too selfish of her. Like Yuki has to be 'what Haruh wants' and not her own being?
> Okay. I'm okay. There's nothing wrong here. There's just Kyon making
> a terrible, terrible joke. Koizumi-kun can't be an esper; Mikuru-chan
> can't be a time-traveler. Then it'd all be just like our movie!
Ugh. You have really hammered the dysfunction/cripplong distrust that will cause Haruhi and Kyon to break apart forever here.
Or you're unintentionally overselling this/forgetting to include any positives in Haruhi's interactions with him.
Limiting their positive interactions to (pretty much) Haruhi's little fantasy earlier is startimg to give me the impression she doesn't at all lke him; just his looks.
> Asakura would be expecting us bright and early, so I called home to
> Mother, telling her I'd stay the night at Yuki's. That Kyon would stay
> the night too she didn't need to know. Some less wholesome people might
> think that two girls and a boy all alone in the same apartment a recipe
> for indecent behavior. I don't know what Kyon and Yuki were thinking,
> but I wasn't in the mood. Maybe it'd be different, if a time-traveler
> showed up at my door, saying he knew me in the future and wanted to see
> my younger self. I could accept that, but not if I knew him already, if
> I found out I'd seen him almost every day and he never said a word.
More reminders that Haruhi doesn't find Kyon good enough.
Was ths supposed to be endearing in some tsundere way?
> "Nagato and her boss haven't been on good terms since December," said
> Kyon. "The only thing keeping her here instead of being punished is the
> threat of what might happen if she were gone."
> What might happen?
> "I guess I should say it's the threat of what you might do to get her
Because Haruhi/the trump card can't be used here, where they could be for Yuki.
Kyon: Nonsense, it'll save the day!
Because Haruhi is going to do a 180 when she finds out you've been 'lying' about 'being John Smith'? Compared to how things have been in this fic so far?
Kyon: ...Maybe it'll be Kyon/Mikuru? Or Kyon/Yuki?
You better hope.
> "Quite the contrary," said Asakura, "it's an admirable sentiment, but if
> you believe what these two have told you, you already know both of those
> wishes have come true. You _are_ special, Suzumiya-san. The people
> around you are special, too, yet you don't seem happy about that at all.
> Why aren't you happy, Suzumiya-san?"
Ryouko is capable of admiration?
> "Don't talk to us pretending to care about Haruhi's feelings," said
> Kyon. "You don't know the meaning of the word."
> "I admit I don't, but unlike you, I won't pretend that Suzumiya-san's
> feelings are unimportant, either. If the Integrated Data Sentient
> Entity can give her something of emotional value, who are you to tell
> her it's meaningless? The only one who can decide that is
> Suzumiya-san." She hopped off the railing. "Come with me; see for
> yourself. We have much to show you; you won't regret it. That's a
> promise, you know! If you want me to swear by it, I'll gladly do so."
She knows the meaning and everything about it except what it feels like.
> "Haruhi, don't go with her; you can't trust her!" cried Kyon.
> Asakura narrowed her eyes--it was the first sign of visible annoyance,
> of anything other than a purely pleasant expression, I'd seen on her
> face. "And you have no say in the matter. Nagato-san will tell you so.
> This discussion is between Suzumiya-san and me." She gripped my hand
> like an iron claw and yanked me to her side.
Actually, Kyon did have a say in the matter. Because he spoke, evidently, and that was the catalyst.
> "No, Haruhi!" Kyon reached out, grasping at air, but it was Yuki who
> held him back. She clenched his coat with a tight fist. He kicked at
> the floor, but his shoes lost traction. They squeaked. They slipped.
> "Don't worry." Asakura looked at me with that unwavering smile again.
> "This will be fun. I promise!"
> There was a low, warbling sound. The world went black.
Erg. So. Haruhi does not even TRY to resist being abducted by someone she just found out has tried to kill Kyon repeatedly.
> Even if it means opening Pandora's box just to see if there's anything
> good at the bottom. I could say things were different since that rainy
> morning days ago--that I'd learned something, that I knew how to control
> myself and would never hurt anyone again, but that'd all be a lie.
> That's why it has to be just this one time and nevermore. This is the
> exception so that, the rest of the time, I can protect my friends from
> My friends, like Kyon and Yuki.
There's a scene up there where Haruhi went on about how 'Yuki was tken away from her'.
Another sudden reveral from Haruhi. The inconsistancy is psychotic, not endearing or confused.
> _Yes. The Blue One said you would come, that you were a friend, like
Can't understand why Ryouko would be nicer to these flesh-beings than humans.
> Rooter flew up from my side, hovering overhead. I think its the Piggy
> equivalent of looking directly at someone. Maybe their eyes (or
> whatever they have) are focused to look straight down most easily, so
> they can forage or hunt or whatever they do, and that's fine. Different
> species are different, after all, as long as they don't try anything
> funny. You're not going to try to turn me into a Mothertree or
> something, are you, Rooter?
Oh, right. Jesus as a virus. And trans-dimensional 'wishing' space.
> Rooter, if you keep that up, I'm going to have to call you _Kyon_
> He didn't reply. Actually, I don't know if Rooter's a _he_, either, but
> that's a question for another time. I don't sleep with aliens on the
> first date. After all, you have to establish there are compatible
> pieces first.
More reminders that Kyon is a target of derision and Haruhi doesn't feel for him. Again, already adequately estabished.
> But if I did nothing, if I let these Piggies suffer after they asked me
> for help, I'd like that even less.
Reminding us that Haruhi will listen to absolutely anyone else before Kyon.
> But on the other hand, imagine if someone like Asakura got her hands on
> whatever it is I can do. She tried to kill Kyon, after all. She didn't
> even deny it.
What, only NOW does thst occur to her?!
> She beamed. "The only price to come back is this." In her hands, she
> held a plain blue cube and offered it to me. "You can make it into
> whatever you want. What shape you make it take is up to you."
Setup for something later, I imagine, but, eh. Haruhi would work woth Ryouko.
After finding out about her trying to kill Kyon.
That ... was actually the deciding factor for me on this one.
> I learned a lot more about my powers and what I could do on that journey
> back to Earth. Asakura guided me and taught me a lot about manipulating
> matter and the difference between how the Entity does it and how I do
> instead. Is this what you call a friendly enemy? I don't really know
> what to make of her, but by the end of the trip, I could change the
> clothes on my back without even taking them off. I could make light and
> take it away. The hardest thing about it is thinking that you're bound
> in some funny way by the laws of physics. It's not a real restriction;
> it just keeps you from being really imaginative. When you're making a
> passing asteroid halt in its tracks and do a loop, you're not applying
> any real force to it. You're just making it do what you want to do. It
> may as well be as light as a feather. Its mass and inertia don't mean
Ugh. Haruhi taking lessons from Ryouko.
> When you're as powerful as I am, what you want can so easily become
Man. A chapter to grow.
A scene to backslide.
> "Not at all," said Asakura. "Beckett-san here is merely a freelancer,
> following her own agenda. It only appears that our interests coincide
> for now. What Beckett-san can do is something not beyond the
> capabilities of the Integrated Data Sentient Entity, but it is a
> technique we don't typically practice."
Do we need this unfamiliar crossover character?
> From Yuki's place I walked home. It must've been Monday by that point.
> I wasn't really sure; my phone wouldn't get any reception, and for a
> weekday morning, the streets seemed thin on people. It felt like
> everyone I passed was looking at me, watching me. It gave me a shiver,
> so I took my Tigers hat and pulled it down, over my eyes a little bit.
> I just wanted some time to think is all. Kyon and Yuki were in on the
> charade. Asakura had taken me halfway across the universe, and an old
> woman had vanished right before my eyes. But you know what the worst
> thing was?
That you will trust strangers more than your friends?
> She frowned. "I thought Kyon-kun would've told you all of this by now.
> Suzumiya-san, this is the future."
Kyon: "We HAVE established that Haruhi doesn't listen to anything I say, right?
Mikuru(big): " I just wanted a chance to make you into a butt monkey, too!"
Kyon: "That follows."
> "Would you like some tea?"
Okay, so ... sorry I couldn't give more C&C. I just have to stop here; this character ... not Haruhi, not likable and unfortunately, also not consistent.
I'm sorry, there's an interesting story, here, and I'd like to read it, but your protagonist seems to put effort into becoming less likable, and I feel that much of the story suffers for that. Much of it's just not accessible to me because I csn't get past the bad commuication choices, extra unlikableness Haruhi keeps picking up.
At this point, I'm really just going to have to bow out for good; I really don't enjoy your protagonist and I wish I could.
I'm sorry; good luck, amd thanks for sharing.
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