When I embarked upon the mission of a visual novel, the very first thing I saw was based around the song (NOT the video) of Ultravox’s ‘Vienna.’ It’s Atti’s Good End… if you can make it. Good luck; military widows are a bag of broken glass. They deserve our respect and comfort, but peace can only come from God through themselves.
The hardest thing I’ve ever written.
[hodgepodge of images referenced in this paragraph]
‘I am Atti Gaetsuri. Female. 24 years old. I was born and raised in an insignificant village in northern Hokkaido. I completed High School, with honors. I completed technical college in Sapporo with a degree in Accounting, with honors. I have always known what I want and what to do. I am the Japanese ideal of intelligence, training, self-control, reason and precision. After graduating college, I accompanied three friends for a dive trip on Okinawa. Since then, my life has never been the same.’
[I’d like all of the above on page 1, for the contrast when the page is turned]
[First image of Atti, hands clasped together below her chin; the kind of smiling joy you only get in Heaven] then
[maybe half page of Atti looking into the main room of their home. Her husband, Hal Reardon, is asleep on the couch in a tee shirt and boxers. Little Yuki is sleeping precariously balanced on his chest. The place is a FUCKING DISASTER. Clothes strewn everywhere, trashcan overflowing with diapers. Bras hanging from the light fixtures to dry, shit, he’s got a BAR leaning up in the corner… are those really mortar rounds? You can’t see the floor for clutter]
‘I’m the happiest woman in the world!’
[note: < > indicates speaking Japanese]
‘My 5-day dive trip took an unexpected turn.’
‘On the second day we’d just finished some shore diving.’ Atti in 1-piece suit with dragon image on it, mask/snorkel up on head, carrying rest of gear. She and her three friends walk past group of three guys. We just see a panel of them from the side. Atti’s eyes, following. She stops, turns. We see guy, who’s also stopped and turned. Stare. She walks to him a few steps. “Watashi (shakes head) I… dive… here… morning. You come?” “Hai. <what time?> Her eyes widen in surprise. “<Nine o’clock>” He smiles. “<see you!>” “Wait! (points at self) Atti Gaetsuri” He repeats gesture, “Hal Reardon” Each group heads off in opposite directions, to questions/ribbing.
Next AM (sun still low). Both groups show. Atti produces Japanese-to-English phrasebook; laughing, Hal shows his English-to-Japanese book. Diving scenes. Later, on beach, packing gear. Atti pages through book, “We eat dinner?” “<everyone?>” “<Just us>”
‘My friends went home at the end of five days. I stayed… for awhile.’
Montage of scenes. She on base, meeting his friends and guys from his unit. More diving. Relationship development.
‘And then I sent home for some of my things… and stayed longer.’
Her moving in; his exasperation when she takes over bathroom. “You live like a dog! A bad dog!” Atti cleaning, cooking meals.
Table conversation. “There’s a bookkeeping job in Paymasters office, if you…” “I’ll take it.” “Again with the sudden decisions.” “With you, all my decisions are the right ones.”
Image of them in bed together [just in bed, not banging]
‘There was then something unexpected.’
At table. “Hal.” “Hmmm?” (cleaning service pistol) “I’m pregnant.” He puts pistol down, looks out window for a few moments. Gets up. “Alright, let’s go.” I thought he was taking me to a doctor for…. It turned out to be something else. Office on base; sign on desk “Cpt(?) C. Subler, Chaplain” “The Corps paperwork is pretty straightforward; the consulate work might take a bit more time… and, what about a ceremony and ring?” “Sir, so long as we’re married in the eyes of the Corps, we’ll deal with the government and God later.” “(laughing) Ooh-rah, Marine. Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Reardon.” “Mrs. Leardon… (she says)”
Cut back to Domestic Bliss scene. “camera zoom” of several frames over Hal and Yuki to laptop behind couch. Email about their unit deploying to Afghanistan in ten days.