981: Persona 3: Trade Me Chapters 16 & 17

Title: Persona 3: Trade Me
Author: Bayanette Winters
Media: Video Game
Topic: Persona
Genre: Romance/Adventure
URL: Chapter 16 & Chapter 17
Critiqued by Erttheking

E: So. Um. Wow.

J: John Freeman kicked grenide at Magnus with wite lanturn rung and it explode in face.

M: What is-GAH!

N: So um. I think he has this one covered.

S: You sure? You don’t think we should give him just a little bit of help?

C: Wait, was that Shepard or Seiko just now? Both their names start with an S.

E: It was Seiko. Hold on let me fix it. *Types*

Blowjob Princess: So what am I getting for a title?

W: *Snort* Come on Ert.

E: I never claimed to be mature. Yeah I think the one letter system isn’t gonna work anymore. Time to fully shift over to full names.

Cornelia: Aw, but I liked being C.

Ert: Yeah, well, when you get this many characters it’s inevitable.

Seiko: Back on topic, shouldn’t some of us go help him?

Nora: Just to be safe. Cornelia, Shepard, Seiko, with me.

Shepard: I don’t take orders from-

Seiko: Oh just shut up and go already.

Shepard: Ugh, fine.

Ert: So, it’s been awhile since it’s just been the three of us.

Goeth: Makes me feel all tingly inside.

Woods: So, we’re reviewing a Persona story right? We’ve been keeping up over the net.

Ert: Ah good, so you’re up to speed. Let’s jump right into it then. When we last left off we learned the Akira’s name was something different but really meant the same thing so introducing a new name was really kinda pointless. Also she’s freaking the Hell out over absolutely nothing.

Chapter 13

Ert: Song

(Song Counter: 16)

02/15/2014 12:47am

Akihiko brought Akira-no, Aila-another glass of water.

Woods: You know, outside of a first person story, there really shouldn’t be stuttering in the narration. So her name is Alia now?

Ert: I’m close to losing my patience and just calling her aye yai yai

She was being held in the room that Mitsuru had let her borrow the day the’d met. The only difference: she was being held captive there with Aigis as her warden. Akihiko at first had insisted that she didn’t need to be treated like a prisoner, but he was becoming less and less sure about that. Aila acted rather hostile towards anyone that tried to get close to her. She acted like a cornered animal when she felt threatened or too harassed.

Woods: Wait, we’re supposed to be suspecting Aila now? All the earlier situations where Mitsuru was being a bitch, even if it was out of character, and now she was in the right? This story is confused.

However, when Akihiko came into the room, the girl barely even glanced at him. She sat upright in a bed with dozens of pillows to support her wounds. Despite the bed’s small size, the silverette sat beside her on the covers.

Goeth: So it’s a small bed, yet it’s got dozens of pillows on it. This is an odd choice. And chance are it clashes with the tone the room would be trying to set.

“Here,” he mumbled, holding out the water to Aila. She gave it a glance, then turned away sharply. She was acting like a child, but Akihiko didn’t seem to understand it. “What? Are you not thirsty?”

“You should really drink,” Aigis insisted, her voice holding gentle concern. “It will be imperative to your recovery.” Aila sighed, picking up the glass and sipping at it with reluctance.

Woods: Yeah, acting like a child seems to be the right description here. I’m glad the narrative and I are finally on the same page, but it seems to contradict everything that’s happened up until this point.

“Akira,” Akihiko said, leaning down to look into the girl’s eyes. She gave a scowl to the carpet. “Oh, right…Aila, I meant.” It’d take him some time to get used to that. “You can tell me what’s going on. We’re friends, aren’t we?” The girl’s expression wavered, but she offered no reply.

“She still does not appear willing to talk,” Aigis stated. Akihiko huffed again.

Ert: Gonna take that as a no then Akihiko. Also, aw, is the wittle girl throwing a temper tantrum because Akihiko hasn’t gotten used to her real name that he just learned an hour ago? BOO HOO!

“We’ve been looking for your for months. We’ve been worried sick about you. I’ve been….” So many familiar feelings were inflating within him, threatening to burst from his body all at once. He didn’t fully understand them

Goeth: Do-do I punch them? Do I eat protein to make them go away?

…but what he did know was that he wanted Aila to say something. Anything. He hated her silence. He’d come to miss her voice calling out to him from the kitchen or her humming as she did the chores. It was even worse since she was right THERE and wouldn’t say a thing.

Ert: Personally I find it to be a pleasant change of pace. Now I don’t have to put up with her jumping from A to X personality…well I do but at least I don’t have to hear her talk while she does it.

Aila’s hand accidentally brushed his as she straightened a crease in her covers. Sparks engulfed Akihiko’s senses, and they were noticeable in the girl’s eyes, too. But all that passed between them was the pain that they both wore on their sleeves.

Goeth: Methinks the hormone ridden young adults don’t know what wearing pain on sleeve means. It requires you to actually show emotion. Like this. WEEEEEEEEE! I’m setting an endangered rainforest on fire!
…. … …. ….

“She still won’t talk,” Mitsuru stated. Ken, Akihiko, Yukari, Junpei, and Shinjiro all paid close attention to the woman while Koromaru sought loving attention from his comrades. “I grow impatient to learn what’s she’s remembered.”

Ert: I also grow weary of my out of nowhere elaborate and rigid use of my vocabulary

“She just needs more time,” Akihiko insisted. That comment gave him an icy-no, a hell frozen-over-glare.

“You continue to defend her, even when she’s lied to us about her identity.”

“She didn’t lie! She lost her memory!”

Goeth: Yeah, she just didn’t know that Akira wasn’t really her name. TOTALLY an accident. Just like the time I “forgot” that Tom Bombadil wasn’t my real name.

Ert: I don’t even want to know.

Woods: Yeah I call bullshit Akihiko. She said Akira was her name. If she forgot her real name, she would’ve said she didn’t remember her name. She LIED to you. Hate to burst your bubble, your waifu wasn’t honest.

Ert: And can we please make up our minds on the exact details of this girl’s memory?

“Then why does she refuse to answer our questions now? Why did she run from us? What is she hiding now?”

“Maybe she thought got scared by our leader’s cold glare….” Junpei inserted quietly. Mitsuru’s glower targeted the man and he silenced himself.

Woods: The cold stare that she has done little to prove unjustified. Also, Junpei, I recall at the end of the game you had a character arc that ended with you acting mature. Can you please remember that now?

“If she would only talk to us, maybe there’s a rational explanation for all of this,” Yukari reasoned. Her face was pensive; she didn’t seem to know what to think about Aila.

Ert: I looked ahead. There isn’t.

“I have my doubts,” Mitsuru nearly hissed. “I will not tolerate deception on my team. I thought for certain that Akihiko could convince her tongue to uncurl.”

“I tried,” Akihiko practically shouted. “But she’s not responding to anything I say.”

Ert: This is kind of out of character for Mitsuru as…well she didn’t exactly lie, but she did leave out certain elements of the Dark Hour to Yukari, Junpei and the main character when she told them about it. Granted she eventually came forward and was honest with them, but Mitsuru hating lies just seems out of character.

“Tch.”

Mitsuru noticed a dark gentleman exit in the corner of her eye, but didn’t report it.

Goeth: I guess it could be anyone. The question is, who is this mystery man? Is it Shinji, Shinji or Shinji?

“Nonetheless,” she carried on instead, “I’m tired of waiting for answers.

Woods: Ok, what’s the plan?

We’ll simply carry on as we have done these last few months. Maybe her tongue will loosen after she’s had some time to think of what she’s done.”

Ert: So because you’re tired of waiting…you’re gonna wait more. Oi.

“She’s not a child,” Akihiko argued foolishly. Mitsuru pretended not to hear him.

Ert: YOU JUST SAID SHE WAS ACTING LIKE ONE! Guh. I think I know why I like Mitsuru despite how “bitchy” she’s being. She’s the only character being consistent.

“Everyone get some rest. It’s been a long night, and I have a feeling that we’ll need our strength for tomorrow.”

…. …. ….. ….

Alia didn’t focus much on the robot, but Aigis seemed to be extremely fascinated by her. The doe-eyed hunk of metal kept her gaze trained on the girl’s eyes and hair.

“You look like her at some angles,” Aigis finally stated. Aila gave her no more than a fleeting look.

Goeth: I must now check from a prone position. This may sting a little.

“Like who?” She wondered if the android was smart enough to tell she was playing dumb.

“A dear friend.” Apparently not.

“Friend, huh?”

“Yes. She was the most important person in my life. For quite some time, my existence was meaningless without her.”

Ert: Well it wasn’t meaningless. You had a purpose, defeat Shadows. Your life might have been empty before Minako came along, but it wouldn’t be meaningless.

Something speared Aila’s heart, and she swiftly put a hand to her chest.

Goeth: Whoops! Thought the safety was on!

Aigis appeared distraught for a moment. “Is your wound bothering you? Shall I retrieve your medication?”

“No, thanks…” Aila ignored the soreness of her beating chest. This wasn’t her pain that entered her soul, and no medication in existence could make it subside. She’d just have to tough it out until she could escape that place.

Ert: There really wasn’t any way to make that paragraph more whiny and melodramatic is there?

The door to her prison opened and Aila later wished with all of her being that she hadn’t looked up. Shinjiro stood taller than ever, his body the very embodiment of strength. The boy wore his usual stern expression-the one that drove Aila crazy. Whenever he walked into a room with those thin set lips and darkened eyes, she didn’t know whether he was pissed or just thinking really hard about something.

Woods: You know, the mid-way point of the story is a little late to be giving in depth descriptions of your characters for the first time.

“Aigis,” the statue spoke, “take a break or somethin’. I need to talk with her alone.” He gestured to the half-brunette with his head, as his hands were stuffed too deep into his pockets to do any pointing.

“But Mitsuru-san ordered me to stand guard, no matter what.” The robot looked down uncertainly.

“Trust me….” The man approached the bed, not yet acknowledging the girl tucked inside its covers. “You don’t wanna be here when I get started. It’s not gonna be pretty.” Something inside the robot’s eyes focused, like her brain had just taken a picture of something truly profound.

Ert: So basically she’s not standing guard because things are gonna get messy? Isn’t that exactly the kind of thing guards are supposed to prevent!?

“Understood.” And with that, Aigis made her exit.

Until the door was closed, Shinjiro didn’t move. When that click echoed in the emptiness of the room, he at last dragged his gaze down to Aila. Something in his cold eyes made her skin shiver.

“What?” She couldn’t resist asking. Without so much as a “tch”, the man plopped into a chair beside the bed. His eyes never left her face. Aila waited for a long time for something to happen and, when nothing did, she started to squirm.

Woods: Well. This is intense…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

“What do you want?” She asked again. Shinjiro breathed in and out very slowly and methodically. Aila tried to revert to the same stony state and started smoothing out more wrinkles in her blankets. She could ignore him, she thought. She’d done it to Mitsuru and Akihiko-this should be a piece of cake….

However, she could practically feel his eyes piercing her skull, like shovels trying to dig out her innermost thoughts. She turned back to him, her temper flaring.

“What?!” She yelled. Despite her tone, no change came. “What do you want? Why won’t you ask me where I was? Or why I abandoned everyone? Or what I’m so pissed about?! Don’t you want to scold or shout at me or something?!”

Goeth: I mean my husband to be asked me if we were still friends, but silence? I just can’t take that!

“Tch,” Shinjiro began. Aila jumped at the noise. “What difference would it make?”

“W-well…” That was not a response that she had been anticipating.

Ert: So we officially jumped on the 9 o’clock train to nowhere and we’re making good time.

“You ain’t acting like you really care how we feel. You just care about what you want.” Aila opened her mouth then closed it. She couldn’t confirm nor deny his statement. Shinjiro sat up a bit from his seat, leaning forward over his knees.

Woods: And that’s supposed to mean what exactly?

He looked like an old army veteran about to tell a great but tragic war story. “You know that you put Aki through hell, right? And not the fun kind of hell where he’s fumbling around just to impress you.

Ert: Her her, Shinji’s constantly a dick to Akihiko and that’s funny, laugh sheep.

This one’s the kind that makes him lose sleep and makes him forget to eat. All he did, when he wasn’t looking for you, was train. I’m pretty sure that he actually lost weight during these last few months.” The man laughed emptily at the floor. “You really created a monster.”

Goeth: Monster? Does he shoot rockets and feed off the flesh of men? No? Then try again.

This time, the guilt that Aila felt was her own. Yes, the “other” memories were surfacing, but her own recollections of the silver-haired boxer made her heart squeeze and throb against her broken rib cage.

“I….” Aila didn’t have the words. They just hovered in the air around her, just barely out of her reach. Shinjiro, meanwhile, drew his gaze to her again.

Woods: Look, does she hate everyone or not? You need to pick.

“Was it worth it?” Aila met his eyes; her first mistake.

“What?” Her second.

“Running away.”

And her third; falling for the man’s trap. “I did not run away.”

Ert: Ok, ok, I’ll make it sound prettier for you. Relocating yourself from something you didn’t want to be around.

“Really?” The man sat back; he’d already won. “Then what were you doing?”

“I had to get away… I just couldn’t stay here with a bunch of murderers.”

Ert:…..

Woods: HAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh…that’s a good one…….fuck she’s serious isn’t she?

“Murderers, huh?” Shinjiro didn’t even seem phased. “That’s a strong word.”

“Don’t make fun of me.I’m being serious.”

Ert: Oh guys look! She wants to be taken seriously!

Woods: *Pinches cheeks* Well that’s just adorable. Who’s a big girl? Who’s a big girl?

She clenched the sheets, destroying all of her hard work to make them nice and neat. “If I had known who you all really were, I never would’ve stayed.”

“And just who do you think we are?”

Everything inside of Aila boiled into one frustrated sentence: “You’re the ones who let Minako die.”

Ert:..What? I beg your fucking what?

At the sound of her name, Shinjiro was thrown off guard. The air he’d been steadily drawing and releasing lost its rhythm. At the sight of this, Aila knew the tides had turned. However, the spout had already burst and the truth started coming out faster than she could contain it.

Goeth: Even I think that metaphor is tortured.

“She was all that kept me together when we were kids. She was the sister I never had, the conscience that I needed to make the right decisions,

Woods: Of course she was.

(Mary Sue Counter: 26)

the very personification of ‘good’ in this world. She was a great person that put all other person’s well-being above her own. And you all let her die…. You let Death take her without even putting up a fight.”

Shinjiro’s eyes hardened, his jaw clenched and his shoulders rose to his ears. “You don’t know shit, kid.”

Ert: Correct.

“Don’t know?! I found Mitsuru’s secret file on the matter.

Woods: Was it the one labeled TOP SEKRET?

Sure, you were more than willing to cater her funeral, but you didn’t even put any effort to keep her alive. You let the doctors remove the tubes from her throat before the monitors even went flat lined. And you thought you were all so clever to keep this a secret…” Tears were beginning to surface, but she refused to let them slide out. She wouldn’t give this man the satisfaction of seeing her cry tonight. “You killed Minako! All of you!”

Ert: Ugh. This is so many flavors of bullshit, but I need to let the rest of the conversation play out before I can say why.

Shinjiro swiftly stood, grabbing Aila’s arm in his giant fist. The girl thought he’d hit her, or at least throw her against the wall, but he just shook her enough to rattle the broken bones in her chest.

Woods: Oh, Nice going douchebag.

“Listen,” he ordered, his voice low and heavy. “I already told you that you don’t know shit. You know why? Because you weren’t there when she left. You didn’t see her body go limp in your best friend’s arms. You didn’t see her give up struggling on that bed. And you damn well don’t still hear the flat line that brought the entire hospital to silence.”

Ert: There wasn’t a hospital. The main character died on the roof of the school because his/her life force had been drained fighting Nyx. A hospital was involved afterwards, because like any friends worth their salt the cast took the main character to the hospital, but he/she was dead long before they got there. Of course he/she isn’t really dead, his/her soul is just acting as a seal but the body still flat lines.

Aila drew in a sharp breath; she didn’t want to hear anymore. She wanted to deny the pain that she saw in Shinjiro’s eyes-the same suffering she’d witnessed in everyone else since they’d first seen her big red eyes. She tried to shake the man off and he released her without a fight.

“You’re lying!” She screamed. “You let her die! All of you!”

Woods: LA LA LA LA LA LA LA NOT LISTENING!

“She’s not dead, stupid.” It was what he told himself every day. Minako was The Great Seal. She was trapped, not dead. Trapped. It was very different. But it felt so much like she had passed away…..

Ert: And this is why Aila being mad is 110% bullshit. First of all despite Mitsuru not trusting her, she left the door to the command room open with the computer unlocked for the sake of plot convenience. Secondly why would Mitsuru’s secret file contain misleading and/or false information? Why? What kind of sense does that make? Why would Misturu ever say to herself “You know what, I’ll type up this file to make it look like we killed her instead just in case some random girl needs a contrived reason to be angsty. Third? Why does this file exist in the first place? Well I’ll tell you. Purely so this half assed conflict can exist. There’s a half baked file with not all of the information on there just so Aila could run off for a couple of months. This is what passes for conflict in this story.

“You’re lying! You have to be!” Aila quickly covered her eyes; the tears couldn’t be stopped now. “You killed her! What other answer is there?! If you didn’t murder her, then it’s…my fault!”

Goeth: *Holds up opera binoculars.* Please continue.

Shinjiro, his mood slowly trying to regulate, gave the girl a curious eye. “Yours?”

“I didn’t find her fast enough.” Aila sobbed into her wrists. “If I had been faster…if I’d only tried harder…then maybe she’d….”

Woods: Uh, no. Shut the fuck up. You read a file when no one was looking then ran off for months killing everything you saw, then came back to save the people you hated, despite not fact checking this information that made you hate him, and overall we aren’t feeling sorry for you. Because you’re an unlikable dumbass.

(Mary Sue Counter: 27)

Aila felt a memory surface, but it was too much to bear. Nonetheless, an image persisted: A girl was ready for battle against an unbeatable force. She alone had the strength to defy gravity and rise from the ground. She had known what she was doing, even though her friends were calling her idiots from the floor below. She’d do whatever it took to keep this monster of hatred and destruction from the people she loved. That was how she’d always been: she’d always loved others more than she had herself. It was for them-it was always for them.

Ert: As opposed to Aila, who just does whatever the fuck she wants, logic be damned.

That devotion geysered upwards and filled Aila’s head so completely that she thought her brain would erupt. Instead, she leaked out the agony through her eyes, crying uncontrollably into her palms. She couldn’t fathom the depth of the feelings that Minako had for Akihiko and the others. It just didn’t make sense to her; Aila always been taught that she needed to protect herself before she’d be any good to others. That was what felt natural-not all of this selflessness.

Aila knew that Minako was alive, in a way. She knew what purpose she was serving and what she was protecting. She didn’t fully comprehend how it was possible, but the truth was there, laid out so candidly that it couldn’t be ignored. That only made the pain worse; it made her feel like there was nothing that she could do to change it. This fate had been chosen by Aila’s loved one, not forced. That didn’t make things better, but it made her hatred towards the Shadow Operatives dissipate quickly.

Goeth. CONFLICT OVER! Magical memories say so!

Woods: Well, this was a thrilling and complex development. She had to get this memories proving her wrong right after the months of doing stupid shit and not when it would’ve saved us all of these headaches. Of course. And if she’s not Minako, how come she’s getting all these memories?

Ert: We’re almost at the part that explains that.

Strong arms wrapped around the girl’s heaving form. Shinjiro was cradling her in an awkward yet gentle hold. Even though her psyche had been on the verge of tearing itself apart, Aila found comfort in those strong muscles. They made the aches die out and calmed her bleeding soul. Her mind was able to quiet at last. Aila dug further into the man’s embrace, desperate for the more of the numbing that he brought to her entire body. Even if this hadn’t exactly been how Shinjiro intended on getting the truth from her, the half-brunette knew that this ordeal would make her want to tell him everything…if he’d only hold her for a bit longer.

Woods: There there you dumb sack of shit. It’s not your fault that all your higher brain functions are nonexistent.

Was this what Minako felt with him before his coma? Had he broken her down, too, and made her collapse into a complete mess? Somehow, Aila doubted that the girl had been the one to break down, but knew in her heart that Akihiko would’ve been Minako’s choice to help pick up the pieces. He was the one who had made her feel whole and right with the world. As Aila’s tears subsided at last, she wondered if he’d be able to heal her in the same way.

Ert: Could this prose get any more purple and pretentious? Oi. With that the chapter ends and we move onto the next one.

Chapter 14

Ert: Song.

(Song Counter: 17)

02/15/2014 11:30pm

It was like she was a completely different person-much more like the Akira that Akihiko had come to know and care for. She sat very calmly before the other members of the group, flanked by Shinjiro. Akihiko knew that they’d been close before the disappearance, but how had he gotten the girl to talk to him again? Something stung in the silver-haired boy’s chest.

Goeth: Hm. Constantly changing personalities that happen at the drop of the hat. We sure this child isn’t bi-polar?

Ert: I don’t think bi-polar can explain half of the shit she pulls. Every other chapter the story throws up its arms and screams “New personality for main character now!”

“Are you ready to speak, Sonnel?” Mitsuru asked, her voice much more calm and level than it had been the night before. Aila looked to Shinjiro behind her. He nodded, leaning back against the wall. Aila returned her gaze to the crowd before her and gave a small sigh.

“I am,” she said. “But…I don’t know where to start.”

Woods: You can start by why the Hell all this bullshit is happening and why we should care. Not to the team though, to the readers.

“Start with what happened the night you met Akihiko.”

Aila nodded. “I have been searching for Minako for a little over a year now. Up until last September, I was living in Inaba with my father, a private investigator. One day, we were able to find some records regarding Minako’s life here. I came seeking her. I was attacked by something that I’m not even sure about. Either way, that’s the point where I lost my memories.”

Woods: This has got to be, without any exaggeration, the sloppiest handling of amnesia that we have ever seen. She can only remember her past except she can’t actually remember anything but she still knows her name until it turns out that wasn’t actually her name and she forgot that too but she thought Akira was her real name because reasons and now her memory is back, oh yeah, did we establish that? Maybe, not really. Really the amnesia sub-plot was just an excuse to have the story spinning its wheels in the snow not going anywhere.

“How do you know her?” Yukari asked. Then, she caught herself. “How did you know her, I mean…”

Aila drew in a deep breath. “Minako is my cousin.” Everyone was expecting a collective gasp from their group, but they were instead silent with awe.

Ert: Statics say bullshit?

Goeth: Loud and clear Captain!

(Mary Sue Counter: 28)

“I didn’t realize that Arisato had living relatives,” Mitsuru commented, her tone growing soft. “I looked, but there weren’t any records of family.”

“I’m not surprised. My mother is an…interesting woman. She insisted on changing our names and identities several times to avoid ‘the man’. Don’t ask me why, but believe me when I say it’s messed up my life more than enough.”

Woods: Don’t worry, we don’t need to ask. We all know that it’s lazy writing so that we can have a cheap dun dun DUNNNNNN moment. And you’re her cousin. Because of course you are.

(Mary Sue Counter: 29)

“So you didn’t know about her death before coming here?” Ken asked.

“I had heard rumors. But, due to the attack, I lost most of my memory.

Goeth: Rumors of a random high-schooler dying. Yeah, that sounds like something that would really keep the national gossip mills turning

Ert: Not to mention she said she had been looking for Minako for a year. Did Minako just drop off the grid? Not give Aila anyway to contact her? Because that’s pretty douchey and kind of contradicts the saint like image they’ve been building up of her.

When I found your computer records the night I left, I just…lost it. Everything I’d been searching for came back to me and the stress of finding out that my cousin really was dead….it was too much.” Aila gave Shinjiro a peculiar glance; Akihiko couldn’t read what it meant. “However, it’s been explained to me where Minako’s soul truly is.”

Goeth: Yeah that file that explained the connection you had to Minako’s death but not that she was actually dead. Contrivance.doc.

“The Great Seal,” Mitsuru stated, closing her eyes. The image of Minako’s stone form flashed through Akihiko’s mind. He clenched his fists, turning away from the memory.

“Yes.” Aila grew quiet, too, unsure of what to say next.

“Um, I’d like to ask something…” Fuuka slowly stood from her seat, gripping her braid in her fingers. Everyone waited for her to speak. “Why…were you able to summon that Persona?”

Ert: Oh boy, I can already tell that we have gotten off the train to nowhere and gotten on a flight to bullshit land.

Aila’s eyes widened, like she’d forgotten all about the occurrence. “Well….it’s a long story about why and how it happened, but since I came here, I’ve been absorbing a bunch of Minako’s memories. I suppose that…since then, I’ve gained one of her Personas?” Aila didn’t seem to know how to explain it. Akihiko heard gears click behind him and was surprised to see Aigis step forward.

Woods: So, you basically inherited all of the abilities of Minako, and also her power of the Wild Card, in addition to her memories.

Goeth: *Munchs popcorn* This’ll be fun.

Ert: No. Fucking no. Aila cannot inherit Minako’s powers. You know why? Because someone else ALREADY INHERITED THEM! Who? AIGIS!

Ert: Remember her? Character who only dropped into the story last chapter? In the Epilogue to Persona 3, which is called the Answer, she inherited the main character’s power of the Wild Card, and even his Persona Orpheus. She was promoted to main character and as of Persona Arena she STILL has the Wild Card so the Answer is very much canon. So Aila inheriting the powers that Aigis are supposed to be getting is just her taking a great big shit all over Aigis’ character.

(Mary Sue Counter: 30)

“So, you have been to the Velvet Room?” She asked. Aila looked at her with shock.

“Y-yes. You know the place?”

“Yes. It is where I gained the abilities that our leader had.” Aigis put a hand to her chest thoughtfully before speaking again. “Does this mean…you have her ability as well? To summon other Personas?”’

Woods: Wait, if the author knows that Aigis should have the ability of the Wild Card how come we haven’t seen Aigis summoning Orpheus or any other Personas? And what bizarre up is down dimension do we live in that two people can inherit Minako’s powers?

Ert: I feel like I should retract my previous rant…but I’m not going to because it’s still giving Aila special snowflake powers that at this point should be unique to Aigis. Also she’s getting Minako’s memories too, which makes her even MORE of a special snowflake.

(Mary Sue Counter: 31)

Aila looked nervous now. “Yes.” She whispered the response as though admitting to a terrible sin.

“Wait, wait wait wait,” Junpei came in, waving his hands around in the air. “So, you’re getting her memories and her powers?”

Goeth: It does sound stupid when you put that way doesn’t it?

“I suppose.” Aila sat back further into her seat. “I mean, I’m not getting all of her memories. So far, it’s just been the ones involving you guys.”

There was a collective reticence. Akihiko tried to make sense of it all, but he didn’t really know how to. He turned to Mitsuru and asked, “What do you make of all this?”

Ert: That someone is taking the piss.

“Well, let’s review the facts,” the woman began. “The same night that Sonnel came searching for Arisato, she was attacked by a creature-one of which we don’t know the identity. During this time, she loses her memories and starts having visions from our previous leader’s past. Shortly after, the Dark Hour returns, but under different circumstances than before.”

Woods: Yeah, speaking of which, are we ever going to get around to explaining why the Dark Hour is back and overall what the plot of this story is and what end goal we’re aiming for?

As if on cue, a clock nearby made a noise and the ambience became blue.

“Midnight,” Shinjiro muttered. He glanced up at the ceiling, his eyes searching for the sky outside, then looked back down to the group. “We also can’t forget that the Shadows out there are after her.”

Goeth: And why are they doing this again? It can’t be because of Minako’s powers, if it was Aigis would’ve been attacked by now.

“Indeed.” Mitsuru put a hand to her chin. “There is still too much that we don’t know.” She glanced at Aila curiously.

“I’ve told you what I know,” the girl insisted. “I swear to you that everything I’ve said is the truth.”

“Riiiight,” Yukari mumbled. Everyone looked to her. “What? First of all, I just have a hard time believing that she thought she had a different name when she lost her memory. And second, when we brought her back here last night, she wasn’t all calm and friendly like this. It has to be a trick.”

Ert: I’m agreeing with Yukari, what the fuck has the world come to?

“I came to Iwatodai with that fake identity. It’s just a name I made up on the spot, like I used to do with my mother. It just happened to be the name that I recalled after my accident.”

Woods: Classic case of bad writing. Main character’s dumbass little actions can all be hand waved away by convienent explanations. And this isn’t the same as explanations that help expand on a character, this an explanation that only exists to justify something stupid, like Aila not knowing her real name so we can keep her backstory TOP SEKRET!

“That would explain why I couldn’t find any records on ‘Akira Narukami’,” Mitsuru said, recalling the first night of the New Dark Hour. Her computer hadn’t brought up anything.

“Yeah. As for your second point, Yukari, since regaining my memories, I’ve had some…mood swings, to put it lightly. Having your own memories start to merge with someone else’s causes quite a bit of stress.”

Goeth: What, is that what we’re calling being badly written now?

“And that’s another thing: how can we really be sure that you’re gaining Minako’s memories?”

Aila sighed, closing her eyes. “I see the Paulownia Café. You and I…you and Minako are talking. When you start opening up to her-really start opening up-you express how jealous you were of your peers that had both parents. You told Minako that when you met her and realized what had happened to her parents, you felt…relieved.” Aila opened her eyes, and for a moment she wasn’t present in them. “Relieved to find someone just like you.”

Ert: And now she can just selectively pick out memories that she wants willy nilly? Sure, why not?

(Mary Sue Counter: 32)

Yukari jumped, her mouth hanging open in shock. Aila shook something out her head, returning to the present. She touched her bandaged ribcage and refused to look anyone in the eye. Akihiko wondered what exactly she had seen when she’d closed away the world. He wondered, if Aila had truly seen Yukari as Minako had, what did she see of him?

Woods: Oh yeah that’s right, I almost forgot, they have a stupid ass romance which we know will happen because they’re of the opposite gender and they talked to each other.

“Wow,” Junpei breathed. He tried to give a big smile and made his tone lighter. “Guess she really has you pegged, eh, Yuka-tan?” No one else laughed.

“We’d better get moving,” Mitsuru stated. “The Shadows are on the move again. There’s no doubt that they’ll be looking for Sonnel.”

Goeth: Is there? They really haven’t gone looking for her before. Even the three headed one just sat around and waited for her to show up. Really what makes you think that they’ll actively be coming after her?

She tossed some of her majestic red hair behind her. “We need to find more clues-not just about Sonnel, but the Dark Hour as well. For the time being, I’ll leave Aigis in charge of guarding her.” She gestured for the blonde robot to return to Aila’s side. Aigis nodded.

“Understood.”

“Everyone else, prepare to move. We’ll search all night if we have to.”

“What are we even searching for?” Ken asked.

“Anything that will lead us closer to the truth.” Mitsuru had no real answer; Akihiko could see that much.

Ert: So we’re heading back to nowhere now that we’ve had a nice long stay at bullshit land. Lovely. Honestly, this story feels so pointless. Persona 3 had a purpose, start the Dark Hour by killing all the major Shadows and reaching the top of Tartarus. This story is just people staggering around until a solution to their problems is thrown in their face.

But her stance still held firm and true. She would lead them to what they sought after-no matter the methods. He was truly grateful that his friend could be so strong when everyone else (himself included) didn’t even know how to feel. He stood with his comrades in arms and began heading for the door. He paused to look back at someone.

“You coming, Shinji?” He asked. The man was still leaning against the wall, silently watching the others go.

“Not tonight,” was his only response as he moved his gaze to Aila. Akihiko felt something nasty and poisonous rise in his stomach. He looked to Mitsuru, but she didn’t argue with their friend.

Goeth: It appears that he is getting competitive in his quest to acquire a mate.

Woods: Bad fanfic cliche #350, everyone thinks with their genitals.

“Ensure that no one gets in or out without my say so,” she ordered him and Aigis. Shinjiro made a noise in the back of his throat. Aigis nodded vigorously. The feeling in the pit of Akihiko’s stomach grew. He wondered if he should’ve tried to repress it, but without knowing what it was, he wasn’t sure how to fight it back. He turned on his heels to leave when a small, light voice called his name.

Ert: So who are they worried about? Aila still? Can’t be, that doesn’t make any sense. So who is Mitsuru talking about? Oh fuck it, the chapter is almost over.

Aila was leaning forward in her seat-and making it look painful, as tears were trickling out of the corners of her eyes and her fists were gripping her torso. Her two bodyguards moved to help her back into a comfortable position, but she waved them off. She stared into Akihiko’s face with a desperate glaze. She didn’t seem to know what to say.

“Please…,” she whispered over, “be careful.”

Akihiko’s heart warmed, the icky feeling in his chest slowly settling. “I will,” was his response. He turned away, feeling the flare for the battle return-fiercer than ever. Now that he knew where Aila was, he would do everything he could to ensure that she was safe.

Ert: We just had a moment. I guess. Well, that was twelve different kinds of stupid. It’s pretty vague as to exactly why Aigis inherited the Wild Card, but it’s heavily implied to be because she was closer to the main character than anyone else. In other words it implied that MCxAigis was canon. Pardon me a moment. *Runs of to squee in the corner*

Woods: Anyways, there was a special connection that allows the inheritance of powers to happen. And if Minako just vanished without telling Aila where to, well, I doubt that they have that connection. And with that the chapter is over. Next time-

Goeth: GUYS GET OVER HERE NOW! YOU NEED TO SEE THIS!

John Freeman: Feris wheelie rolleded fast like speed of light!

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34 Comments on “981: Persona 3: Trade Me Chapters 16 & 17”

  1. Herr Wozzeck says:

    I’m close to losing my patience and just calling her aye yai yai

    Are you sure you don’t want to call her “Ay carumba”?

  2. Herr Wozzeck says:

    He’d come to miss her voice calling out to him from the kitchen or her humming as she did the chores.

    I hope she wasn’t flanked by a batallion of mice. The last thing we need is for them to do this:

  3. Herr Wozzeck says:

    This is kind of out of character for Mitsuru as…well she didn’t exactly lie, but she did leave out certain elements of the Dark Hour to Yukari, Junpei and the main character when she told them about it. Granted she eventually came forward and was honest with them, but Mitsuru hating lies just seems out of character.

    Yeah, wasn’t there a whole chunk of the game’s plot where Yukari got all angry at Mitsuru over that?

  4. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Ert: There really wasn’t any way to make that paragraph more whiny and melodramatic is there?

    I can think of a way!

  5. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Something inside the robot’s eyes focused, like her brain had just taken a picture of something truly profound.

    And what the hell does that mean?

    Author, seriously, cut it out with the pretentious descriptions. They’re stupid.

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      However, the spout had already burst and the truth started coming out faster than she could contain it.

      *BAM*

      Cut. That. Out.

  6. Herr Wozzeck says:

    This is what passes for conflict in this story.

    And what a stupid conflict it all is. Jesus Christ…

    • erttheking says:

      Misunderstanding based conflict is rarely if EVER, done well. Breaking Bad managed to pull it off, and only because of five seasons worth of mis-trust had been built up before hand.

  7. Herr Wozzeck says:

    She had known what she was doing, even though her friends were calling her idiots from the floor below.

    Her friends were calling her “idiots”?

    *headdesk*

    Ert, correct me if there’s some kind of spell in Persona 3 that allows you to make copies of yourself that I just haven’t encountered yet, but I don’t think she really can be called multiple idiots, right?

  8. Herr Wozzeck says:

    It just didn’t make sense to her; Aila always been taught that she needed to protect herself before she’d be any good to others. That was what felt natural-not all of this selflessness.

  9. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Ert: Could this prose get any more purple and pretentious?

    At least it managed to stay on topic. That’s more than you can say for Twin Humanities

  10. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Up until last September, I was living in Inaba with my father, a private investigator.

    And wait a second. If this girl has been living in Inaba with a private investigator father, then where the hell was this father earlier? You don’t disappear for a long-ass time and drop out of contact with a father and then not have him try to reach out to Aila! Especially when he’s a goddamn private investigator who would probably be able to figure out where the hell she is!

    *headdesk*

    Did this author write this story by pulling flashcards out of her purse and just disregard the laws of narrative continuity to write whatever the flashcard told her to? ‘Cause that’s what this reads like.

  11. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Woods: Yeah, speaking of which, are we ever going to get around to explaining why the Dark Hour is back and overall what the plot of this story is and what end goal we’re aiming for?

    I’m going to assume that no, it won’t, ’cause Aila is a special snowflake.

  12. Herr Wozzeck says:

    “Yeah. As for your second point, Yukari, since regaining my memories, I’ve had some…mood swings, to put it lightly. Having your own memories start to merge with someone else’s causes quite a bit of stress.”

    *headdesk*

    You know, maybe I should take the flashcards image back. You know what this reads like? This reads like the author looked back at what she wrote, realized that she had written herself into a corner, made something up on the spot, and is now trying to cover her ass by pulling out all these explanations that honestly don’t make any sense at all.

    It’s actually kind of amazing that her way of trying to patch up plot holes ends up revealing just how badly written this whole thing is.

    Damn, I managed to find a real stinker for you, Ert. And the best part is, I didn’t even get to this point when I first looked it over!

    • erttheking says:

      I suppose it’s nice that she’s trying to fix her problems, but at the same side…ugh.

      Yeah, no kidding.

      • Herr Wozzeck says:

        Yeah. It’s like trying to fix a gasoline tank with a piece of newspaper.

        • erttheking says:

          Sometimes you can do interesting things with it too. I mean, I realized I gave contradicting takes to Sheryl’s backstory. Early on I said that an elderly medicine woman watched over her in her village, but later on (Like a year IRL) I said that the villagers had to take a lottery and the loser had to watch over her. I plan on merging the two, making it so that the lottery happened, but the medicine woman was more than happy to welcome her into her home and was the only one who treated her well. Though the she sadly died when Sheryl was still young.

  13. TacoMagic says:

    That devotion geysered upwards and filled Aila’s head so completely that she thought her brain would erupt. Instead, she leaked out the agony through her eyes, crying uncontrollably into her palms

    GAH!

    *Clutches his eyes and falls out of his chair*

  14. SuperFeatherYoshi says:

    Hey Ert! What do you plan on doing after this one? (Hopefully it’s based on something I actually know about… I don’t play Persona so this whole snarking is Greek to me.)

  15. SuperFeatherYoshi says:

    Shinjiro swiftly stood, grabbing Aila’s arm in his giant fist. The girl thought he’d hit her, or at least throw her against the wall, but he just shook her enough to rattle the broken bones in her chest.

    Blockquotes Strikes Back!


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