jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Author's Note: This is the start of a fanfiction adaptation of Christine Love's visual novel, Hate Plus. It continues from where the Analogue: A Hate Story adapt left off. It features a female player character, who left the Mugunghwa with *Mute and is currently married to her.

Content Note: Internalized sexism and homophobia, and suicidal ideation.

* * *

People who write about space say that it's vast. Impossibly, incomprehensibly vast. They say sci-fi writers have no sense of scale, and call people out for writing whole planets as a single ecosystem or town. Or spreading a story across a whole galaxy, when it doesn't need even a continent.

That's kind of how I experience space travel, though, in real life. I can fly thousands and thousands of light years to get somewhere, and never even leave the building I landed on. Crawling across the Mugunghwa was the most exploration, and probably the most physical activity, I've gotten in my entire life. And I'm used to the world being small, whether it's the cage and the yard I grew up in or the tiny spacecraft I now live in.

The one where the power was out.

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Yesterday, after a harrowing trip into the next city over to refill our prescription, we met up with the woman we ran into last week to play Warmachine versus her Hordes list.

A zoomed-out view of the snowy, rocky battlefield, with Ret forges spread out and preparing to converge on the clumped-up Legion warbeasts and troops.

The games store has some awesome terrain tables.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the game(s), Warmachine and Hordes are sort of like playing a tag-team fighting game. You each pick a warcaster (or warlock, in Hordes) and a small group of either robots or monsters that character can control, and you win by defeating your opponent's character. There are things like infantry units and siege engines, the same as in large-scale games like 40k, but those are all optional add-ons.

She was using the Legion of Everblight half of the Hordes two-player boxed set, while we brought the Retribution of Scyrah starter battlegroup plus our Arcantrik Force Generator (the big model on the right in the pic up there). So basically, she had a squad of Ogrun spear-throwers to go with her monsters, while we had a big lazor gun and our myrmidons. Both of our lists had 21 points' worth of models.

Kaelyssa and two of her myrmidons square off against a Carnivean heavy warbeast, with the rest of the Legion battlegroup looking on.

WARNING: Getting this close to a Carnivean is hazardous to your health.

We made a newb mistake early on when we moved our warcaster, Kaelyssa, up into the threat range of pretty much every one of our opponent's models. She had her warlock, Lylyth, nail Kae with a couple of arrows, and that brought her health bar down by like 4/5.

We managed to pull back though, and had our myrmidons do most of the up-close fighting like they're supposed to. The three of them finished off the big warbeast in one turn of blade-swinging, while our battle engine kept blowing craters in the battlefield from long range. I think that it taught our opponent not to leave her models clumped together!

Just for fun

It was really a fun, casual game though, and we both strategized out loud while reminding each other of the rules. The best part was right towards the end, when our forces had made short work of most of hers but she had a single lesser warbeast close enough to charge Kaelyssa. We both spent like 10 minutes trying to figure out how to improve its chances of making a last-ditch warcaster assassination. One of our myrmidons ended up killing it as it ran past, but I think if it'd made it then she would have won!

So, we had a lot of fun on this outing. But the best part was that she used the correct pronouns for us without our even telling her. ^^; She didn't give us any trouble about our models' pronouns, either.

Stay tuned for next week, when our Tau secure some objectives for the Greater Good ~

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Today we went down to the games store to play BattleTech. There's a small but loyal group of fans who play the original skirmish minis game there, in its modern incarnation which doesn't look out of place on the shelf even if its rules are still 80's-tastic.

For the uninitiated, BattleTech is basically what happened when North American military history enthusiasts got ahold of the first Macross Saga anime VHS cassette tapes, and officially licensed its mecha designs for a tabletop "wargame" of the kind that was state-of-the-art back then. Most people aren't into that kind of thing, so you're more likely to have heard of the MechWarrior series, which are PC and console games set in the BattleTech 'verse.

BattleTech returns to its anime roots, with this amazing fan-made animation. Click here if you can't see the video.

Over the decades, BattleTech has had tons of lore written for it, of a sort which is actually kind of refreshing coming from Warhammer 40,000. Because while "40k" fetishizes neo-feudalism, BattleTech deconstructs it, in much the same vein as Analogue: A Hate Story. The giant "mechs" shooting at each other are largely a backdrop for stories of political intrigue and interpersonal drama, each of which serves to underscore just how dysfunctional societies are in their time and have been throughout history.

Case in point: The recently released House Kurita Handbook, which we're dying to get our hands on, describes an interstellar realm which deliberately regressed to be an echo of feudal Japan ... or at least, of the parts of it that future space settlers idealized. Including state Shinto shrines devoted largely to warrior ancestors and the Coordinator, and not so much to nature or traditional gods.

Our personal BattleTech character -- we create one for every game -- is a shrine maiden at one of the few which enshrine Inari Ōkami, in our headcanon. Because this is a mecha anime, some of the miko are entrusted with the shrine's ancient BattleMechs, a "lance" of four with widely varying capabilities. They are some of the few women who were allowed to pilot these vehicles before Theodore Kurita's military reforms, and over the years they have been subordinated so much to the male-only DCMS that they are not even permitted to use live ordnance.

Until now!

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Author's Note: This is the start of a fanfiction adaptation of Christine Love's visual novel, Hate Plus. It continues from where the Analogue: A Hate Story adapt left off. It is written from the POV of a female player character, who left the Mugunghwa with *Mute and is currently married to her.

Content Note: Nothing this time but some implied sexism.

* * *

"Mrs. Investigator?"

A familiar voice, coming from far away. I stirred, raising one hand, then flopped it back down on the blankets.

"Mrs. Investigator."

There was that voice, again. What did she want? It couldn't be as important as sleeping right now. I hurt all over.

Something gently tickled the sides of my head. It felt soothing and inviting, like being scritched by a human. I raised my head, trying to nuzzle into it, and felt it touch the bridge of my nose. It felt just like wearing my glasses.

This time I heard the voice clear and distinct, inside my head. "Mira, it's *Mute. You need to wake up ... "

I opened one eye, groggily. The lights in the White Princess' cabin were a dim amber, and I could barely make out the shape right beside me.

" ... we don't have a lot of time left."

I made both eyes open and tried to focus. Then I saw what the shape was, and sat bolt upright in a panic, flailing my arms and instinctively grabbing and holding onto my plushies.

Holy CRAP, I thought.

*Mute is in bed with me.

What the HELL did we do last night?!

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Thoughts on *Mute's Character Arc in Hate Plus, by [tumblr.com profile] raynt, with emphasis added by us:

When you first encounter her, you know Hyun-ae is being deceptive for unclear reasons, while Mute, on the other hand, just seems awful. She seems to at first despise everyone and is constantly snide. [...] Mute can be reliably counted on to have terrible views regarding women’s’ capabilities and what is 'proper’ for them.

Yep, that's about right. I didn't want to have anything to do with her in my first playthrough of Analogue: A Hate Story.

So when after [...] reading about the noblewoman being mocked and put-down by her husband and Mute asking my opinion on it, I select the 'she deserved it’ option because I figure that’s what Mute expects to hear. And then she disagrees with me, saying something along the lines of, “Well, in a way, true. She was a failure of a wife and a disgusting human being. But… that’s no excuse to treat someone like that, even her! No one should be treated cruelly like that."

I was floored. This was the point where I started to actually like Mute. Because it became apparent that Mute isn’t actually hateful. She has very messed up views, but she believes in them so strongly because she is genuinely convinced that these are the things that will be best for everyone’s well-being and happiness.

I think I grasped that pretty early on too, in my playthrough of *Mute's route. Which is maybe partly because, back when I used to say and believe a lot of hateful things I really believed in them, too. I hadn't had enough contact with the outside world yet to realize all these things were wrong. And most of the contact I did have, like browsing DA for furry art and reading webcomics, seemed so shameful that I learned to compartmentalize it.

Sort of like *Mute's fascination with "scandalous" women and acts.

All that said, let me get to the main thing I want to say about Mute in Hate Plus.

Spoilers for Hate Plus (the game) )

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We're a harmonious plural system which collects identities, paints miniatures, and lives in Eorzea. We make stories, essays, and games.

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