0062 - Kills - 2018.12.10

Comic!

Comment:

Yeah, Lee's being pretty rude here. But, of course, everyone in this scene is being at least a little socially weird. Lee is just... exaggeratedly so.

I do think it's perfectly natural to react negatively to someone proclaiming their proficiency in violence, even if you know intellectually that they pose no danger to you. I know I certainly get a low-grade fight, flight or freeze response whenever I'm around a professional fighter or a weapon owner or someone with a history of violence, and the presence or absence of a badge or a uniform or a license really doesn't affect that response at all. The difference between me and Lee is that I'm socially proficient enough to smile and nod and deflect until I'm out of line of sight.

I was at a furry convention once, years ago, and a psychological survey was being passed around. It asked questions about your fursona and about your personality, presumably in order to suss out correlations between the two. Now, I have a gecko character that I've used as a visual standin in the past - haven't drawn the damn thing in years - but, in the interests of science, I filled out the survey assuming that the gecko was my fursona.

I got to a question that asked if my fursona was a predator animal or a prey animal, and for a moment, it threw me. Actual geckos, of course, are typically insectivores, but I found myself checking the box for 'prey'. It was easier to envision my character being snatched up and torn apart a hawk than to envision it gobbling up a cockroach, particularly if that hawk and that cockroach are, in turn, someone else's standins.

I'm not entirely sure what that says about me - I'm certainly not going to claim that my instinctual antipathy to violence is some sort of moral value, any more than my instinctual antipathy to capsaicin burns on my rectum is racist against cultures that serve spicy food. I'm just saying that when confronted with someone who is capable of kicking my ass, I can't not feel as though my ass is in danger of being kicked. It's a subconscious thing, and I have to be conscious of it to prevent it from influencing my beliefs and actions.

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Transcript:

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0062 - 2167/07/06/11:28 - Rosenthal College, hex
Zoa: So you got so anxietied up that the army cut you loose, and now you're attending college.
CP: Actually, uh, they wanted me to keep going. I was on all kinds of drugs, getting the best physical and mental care available. Could have... I could have continued for decades, most people do. I discharged myself.
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[LC is visibly nervous]
CP: I had, uh... I had over three hundred recorded kills. They... they wanted me to stay. But I just, uh.... I... I couldn't.
Zoa: Three hundred is a lot?
CP: In two years? Yeah. Yeah, three hundred is, uh... it's a lot.
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CP: They, uh... they swapped out my wrists, parts of my spine, even parts of my... my, uh, my b-brain. I once went without sleep for five straight weeks, I was just... it was a kill streak. You don't break a streak.
LC: Zoa. We should go.
Zoa: You're not done your juice.
LC: We should go.
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CP: If you, uh... if you want to go, you can... you can go. I'm sorry.
LC: Thanks for the juice.
Zoa: Yeah, thanks, Caleb. This has been a good talk. I guess we'll see you tomorrow in class!
LC: Hnnngh.
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