Part 23: Alternately
OK, retconning away all of the previous chapter, we're back to a more stable position. I've been nice to *Hyun-ae for the whole run. I just came back from activating *Mute and getting her questions. Things are going well.
Which means it's time to explore more *Hyun-ae alternate dialogue!
Ah, um... well... thank you...
Well, if you like it, then that's good! It's just, I... I was thinking...
Well, I was just thinking... you know I've always been into cosplay.
Oh, uh, alright then...
I just thought maybe, you might be interested... ah... sorry...
Um, let's get back to what we were doing before, then! Forget I ever asked anything!
Oh... well, fine. Geeze, never mind, then!
I wanted to do something fun for you, but if you're going to be a jerk, forget about it!
Just kidding, I want access to the cosplay command. There is still much to be a jerk about.
That was the joke answer! You're not supposed to pick that one!
I'm sorry... I just thought maybe, you'd find it cute...
Then just go ahead and change it back. Um, sorry... this really is awkward after all...
Ah, geeze, what are you implying?! I'm not... it's... I'm not trying to be...
...I guess there's maybe such a thing as too far...
You know... the part that's really sort of funny?
I actually have no idea how an outfit like this is supposed to feel.
Not like, emotionally... I mean, literally. I have no idea what suits feel like; I've never worn them in my life.
Ah, well, the chance for that has long disappeared.
Anyway, I should stop babbling! I'm just really excited, that's all.
I suppose I should really let you get back to it. Lead on, investigator, and your trusty sidekick will help as best she can.
...I should have expected that. I suppose you're right.
Anything else... wouldn't really be proper.
Let's just get back to work, then...
I'd like to take aside here to talk about the costume design for *Hyun-ae. Here they are again, for review:
Look at the first four. There's an identifiable theme to them. Each one is primarily black and white, with blue highlights, and at least somewhat form-fitting. *Hyun-ae's body language varies, but it's generally open, expressive gestures, making use of her hands.
Now contrast the hanbok. It's huge, conceals her figure, and has a totally different color scheme. While wearing it, *Hyun-ae's body language is much more withdrawn, with her hands neutrally at rest in front of her.
Hyun-ae designed the first four. The hanbok was chosen for her. It's the only one that doesn't express who Hyun-ae is, instead making her generic - anybody would look more or less the same in that outfit.
The change_outfit command is a silly and fun little tangent, but the visual design really does make it clear that cosplay is a form of self-expression for her.
Credit to Alopex for a lot of these observations.
Anyway, let's go poke around a bit.
Ah, the infamous, scandalous Block 2.
I... well... that was what I was taught before I got married.
A marriage is between a man and a woman, for the purpose of continuing the family. That's just the way it is, that's what all human relationships are based on.
Love has nothing to do with any of that. Love's just what happens when you submit properly.
And sex isn't for a woman's enjoyment, it's for producing sons. That's what marriage is all about.
So by that reasoning, it's completely wrong for two women to... be... together, like that. It's, um, letting their passions get in the way of their womanly duties or something.
Oh... well... very well, then.
Well... that's the only reason I can see for that being wrong.
I mean, it's... I don't know. I'm not saying... I'm not saying I'm like that or anything! I just...
Not that Oh So-jin had a good marriage or anything... I don't envy that. Not even slightly!
And... I can't really imagine ever doing that with any of my servants...
Geeze, this is such an embarrassing thing to be talking about... can't we talk about something else?
Well, it's stupid and horrible. How can you say that?!
Geeze... just... how can you read what I've been through, and really believe that's the way things should be?!
What's wrong with you?!
And onwards to the Questions.
What, you think I should look like a little teenage girl instead?
It's been over six hundred years since I died! I think I have the right to age myself just a little!
Or, what, should I make myself look more realistic for a six hundred year old woman? What would that even look like? Should I present myself as a skeleton in a hanbok for you?!
Why would you even say something so stupid? Geeze...
Then this whole sequence happens.
If you know what you're doing, then it only takes about three minutes.
Back to work! For a while, I'll keep doing things as per normal.
Why... Why won't you give me the benefit of the doubt? Why are you so cruel to me?
Fine! I give up!
You're... You're impossible. I thought, somehow, you'd be different from all the others... but no, you're just as cruel.
Why? Why do you have to be this way?
I just... I tried to like you, but...
I'm through. I refuse to keep talking to you!
And booted again.
OK, we'll give her the benefit of doubt, in the name of accessing more dialogue options.
Next divergence is here, on the subject of Hyun-ae's adoptive mother.
What? Don't pity her... pity me!
Maybe... Maybe... I don't know.
Maybe she was like me once. Maybe she wasn't always terrible. Maybe... Maybe she did just get worn down, like I did.
But... But if that excuses what she did to me...
Well, I don't think it does! I think she had a choice!
But... But if it does...
...then surely what I did was just as forgivable. If you can forgive her for what she did to me, then you have to forgive me for what I did to them!
At least... at least the people I wanted to hurt weren't innocent. At least there's that.
Her excuse? What did I ever do to deserve such cruelty, even if she did believe everything she said?
I don't... I can't forgive her. I can't pity her.
I still hate her.
I know you've had faith in me, and I promise... I promise it hasn't been misplaced.
There's just one more thing.
I don't think you'll be surprised. You seem smart. I'm sure... I'm sure you've already guessed what it is.
Ask me the obvious question!
That... wasn't the question I meant, but...
I don't... that's... what are you saying?
I just think of you as a friend! Nothing more! It's not like I'm answering your questions because I'm in love with you or anything!
Ahhh, geeze... it's not... I don't... really...
...can we please get back to... the big question you wanted me to answer...?
I mean, it sounded like you want to hear the answer... it's not like I want to prove myself to you because I like you! I just... think you should know.
Just, please... ask it...
Then we learn all this.
Now, let's get some real answers.
Then... Then... will you please at least tell me why? Please?
Never? I'm not asking if you think it's right, just that you please try to understand!
I know... I know I shouldn't have...
Forgive me for putting words into your mouth... but clearly, you are!
...so... fine. Fine. Fine then!
You... You... You hate me.
I thought you were better than everyone else... I thought maybe, you'd actually care about me...
You're just like the rest. You're just like everyone else!
I don't... I don't feel anything for you anymore.
What... what more is there to say, then?
Well. Maybe she'll still want to be my space sidekick?
I thought, here was my chance, here was someone who might care about me. Someone who might be different from all those cruel people I had to live with.
I thought here was my chance to have a real life. Here was my chance to fall in love. Here was my chance...
I don't understand what happened! You seemed so nice... but... well, it doesn't really matter now.
That's it, then.
Just disconnect, and leave. Leave right now, and never come back!
Go away! Go! Just leave me alone!
The button's in the corner. Click it. Quit.
I have nothing more to say to you. If you want closer... you're not going to get it!
Just click quit, and leave me alone!
And that's that. Dead end.
Let's go back, though. There's still more Hyun-ae has to account for.
I didn't suppose so.
Um, well, then...
Alright... then what?
I... I know that. Of course they didn't!
But... please, please, you have to understand. Just put yourself in my shoes, I'm begging you!
I didn't know!
You have to remember... I only left my parents' house once: When I went to live with my husband.
You have to remember... I only left my husband's house once: When I went to live with my parents.
I was a woman! A noble woman! I was never allowed to have any contact with the outside world!
I know you've read about so many different families on the ship now... but it's not as if I ever knew any of them, or had even heard of them!
From the day I woke up to the day I died, I was caged. Kept completely ignorant of the rest of the ship. My world was my father's house, and my husband's house. That's it. That's how it was supposed to be.
As far as I was concerned... everyone in that world did deserve to die!
Now I know. Now that I've read everyone on the ship's logs, now that I'm thinking clearly again... now I know.
But... at the time?
It honestly... It honestly never even occurred to me that there was anyone outside of that little world.
It... It was just them.
Putting this update together has been extremely depressing, so let's end on a lighter note.
How can you... oh, you can?
Then... why did you say you couldn't?
Well, I... thank you, then! Thank you! Thank you so much.
And from there, it's off to the usual endings.
That's about it for Hyun-ae's side of the story. If we want to really complete the picture, though, we'll need a different viewpoint.