Not-Given

2

#done with ur shit crumplyface

things that probably happened
  • art director:we have to have a red-and-green pair
  • yusuke kozaki:...do we HAVE to
  • art director:yes, it's fire emblem
  • yusuke kozaki:and the green one has to have green hair?
  • art director:he's the green one, yes
  • yusuke kozaki:ugh
  • art director:and he has a child who inherits his hair color by default
  • yusuke kozaki:UGGHHHHHH
Memories by Eldermaxsonvevo

Time really did seem to slow down before death. His senses were heightened, his eyes had pinpointed his fatal mistake, and he could hear his allies screaming his name.

Instinctively, he closed his eyes before the impact.

What he saw were memories; his life flashed before his eyes. So that was true too. He saw himself at age ten, smaller and scrawnier than the others, sitting alone, preferring to observe a mantis cannibalize her partner than to play games with the other boys.

He had been beaten by a group of older boys, and later, his father on the same day for not standing up for himself.

His next memory was of when he graduated with the highest marks in science at the age of seventeen. His mother wiped away a tear, pride clear in her eyes and smile. Even his little sister was there, one hand holding their mother’s, one clutching her doll tightly.

He remembered that doll being brought to him with it’s arms almost torn off, an eye missing and smelling like it had been in a drain for weeks. She had pleaded for him to fix her doll, to make her all better.

He had abandoned his homework to stitch the arms back together, sew on a button as a replacement eye and carefully hand-washed it. His sister forgave him for all the awful tricks he had played on her when they were younger and he was far less mature.

“You made her all better!” She had said with joy. “You’re the best doctor ever!”

He had chosen the medical trade because of her. She never stopped talking about how he fixed her doll, how he always makes people better.

“Can you make mother feel better too?” She asked one day.

“I will do my best.” He had replied.

Their mother passed away a month later from an unknown illness.

He had been beaten by his father for weeks after the funeral. It was his fault, he should have graduated earlier. He should not have been so selfish and given up school so they could afford medicine. He shouldn’t have been born. The insults had gotten progressively worse as did the drinking.

One day, he and his sister woke up alone.

He studied and worked as hard as he could, and when he came home, he cooked whatever he could find or grow, up until his sister eventually became old enough to do the cooking instead.

He became a fully-licensed doctor at the age of twenty-six, and he was able to secure a job as a surgeon at the nearest hospital. His sister was able to finish school and even though she would normally have to marry and leave home, neither of them wanted to leave each other when they were all they had. 

Four years later, war had been declared. He left his sister weeping for him, even though they had mutually agreed that his skills as a doctor and a surgeon would greatly benefit the soldiers.

That’s why he was here. That’s why he was about to die. He fought in the war, he killed but could only hear his sister urging him to save. He fought to protect her, and he faced many regrets in doing so.

However, the only regret he could truly think of was never being able to see her again.

He awaited death. He knew this was it. The war, Maxis’ research, the archaeological dig site, the undead… it would all be the death of him.

“Doctor Richtofen!”

He could hear a voice. Masculine. American. Familiar.

“Doc! Can you hear me?”

He felt as though he were swimming in the thick mud, trying to claw his way back towards the familiar, warming voice.

“Doc… Edward. It’s me, Tank. You’re alive. I gotcha.”

“Tank… Dempsey?” His voice felt raw and his words slurred. He opened his eyes to find his vision hazy, able to barely make out the relieved expression on the man before him. “What… on earth happened?”

“You just… I dunno, one of those rotting bags of meat clawed you and you just dropped. I - we… we thought you were uh…” Tank rubbed the back of his neck, a nervous habit he had been unsuccessful in preventing, and cleared his throat. “I thought you died.”

Richtofen looked up from where he was seated in one of the bunkers against a wall. He had been moved during his flashbacks, it seemed.

“I remember why I’m here, why I joined the war. It’s difficult to believe that I had forgotten.” His voice was almost a shocked whisper, as if he had seen a ghost, “I remember why I must keep fighting.”

“We gotta keep fighting to protect the ones who can’t defend themselves. And the ones we care about, right?”

“Ja,” Richtofen sighed, “exactly.”

“That’s why I saved your life.” Tank stood up from his cross-legged position opposite the doctor and offered him a hand. “Gotta protect the people we care about.”

Marilynne Robinson is one of the greatest writers of our time, and her new collection, The Givenness of Things, has been shortlisted for the 2016 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay.  In this excerpt, Robinson urgently argues for the value of the humanities.

Humanism was the particular glory of the Renaissance. The recovery, translation, and dissemination of the literatures of antiquity created a new excitement, displaying so vividly the accomplishments and therefore the capacities of humankind, with consequences for civilization that are great beyond reckoning. The disciplines that came with this awakening, the mastery of classical languages, the reverent attention to pagan poets and philosophers, the study of ancient history, and the adaptation of ancient forms to modern purposes, all bore the mark of their origins yet served as the robust foundation of education and culture for centuries, until the fairly recent past. In muted, expanded, and adapted forms these Renaissance passions live on among us still in the study of the humanities, which, we are told, are now diminished and threatened. Their utility is in question, it seems, despite their having been at the center of learning throughout the period of the spectacular material and intellectual flourishing of Western civilization. Now we are less interested in equipping and refining thought, more interested in creating and mastering technologies that will yield measurable enhancements of material well-being—for those who create and master them, at least. Now we are less interested in the exploration of the glorious mind, more engrossed in the drama of staying ahead of whatever it is we think is pursuing us. Or perhaps we are just bent on evading the specter entropy. In any case, the spirit of the times is one of joyless urgency, many of us preparing ourselves and our children to be means to inscrutable ends that are utterly not our own. In such an environment the humanities do seem to have little place. They are poor preparation for economic servitude. This spirit is not the consequence but the cause of our present state of affairs. We have as good grounds for exulting in human brilliance as any generation that has ever lived.

Read the rest of the excerpt here.