Tuesday, August 19, 2008

you see what you want and try to justify

Now that it's all said and done,
I can't believe you were the one
To build me up and tear me down,
Like an old abandoned house


Welcome to UG Tokyo, which is normally a Japanese sim that's well manicured, well tended, with dancing blue lights in the trees, and a dance floor with an over-arching rainbow festooned with ever-sprouting flowers.

So why am I showing as Exhibit A, an abandoned warehouse full of headcrab monsters, zombies that are being guided by the headcrabs, and reanimated hounds?

What you said when you left
Just left me cold and out of breath
I fell too far, was in way too deep
Guess I let you get the best of me


Well, it has to do with that sign in the center. In between the petrol barrels, the crawling headcrabs and the zombie spawning pools. That bright thing, one of a very few number of items in that warehouse that actually has functional power.

Let me dig up a closer image.

Well, I never saw it coming
I should've started running
A long, long time ago


This is an interesting new system. Only five people can camp on it at any given time, and that's more than fair--I think the days of camping farms on the grid and perpetually absent, glazed-eyes alts are drawing to a final close. And they pay low, but really, who doesn't, these days, and honestly--so I thought--how hard could it be?

The fellow who gave me directions said it was a 'fun way' to earn a few spare Lindens, and it didn't look too disreputable at first glance--until I took a step forward and clicked on the sign. Then I was promptly leapt upon by three flesh-eaters, a handful of headcrabs, and two burning-eyed dogs.

Honestly, I thought "Zombie Camping" meant, at best, lay in a grave-camper and moan. After all, I'd seen those last October.

And I never thought I'd doubt you,
I'm better off without you
More than you, more than you know


That didn't end well, and I was quickly struck down, being weaponless. I went back later, gun in hand, only to discover--I couldn't fire unless I was part of their group. That ended that, and I was struck down again, and--apparently being a glutton for punishment--went back a third time, shaken and bleeding.

It was time for a new approach.

I'm slowly getting closure
I guess it's really over
I'm finally getting better
And now I'm picking up the pieces


I called friends and loves together, and explained the situation. Miss Bohemia (in the blue in later shots) parceled out from her grand store of weaponry guns of diverse and megalithic design. Miss Graves (in the black), Miss Allen, Miss Bohemia and I took positions up on the catwalk, one of the rare "safe zones", and began picking off the headcrabs and the spiders.

You took a hammer to these walls,
Dragged the memories down the hall,
Packed your bags and walked away
There was nothing I could say

Some tips. The zombies--either version--can't climb. Which is a good thing, when they're spawned from the main floor, not the upstairs. And the spiders have a bit of problem climbing, oddly enough. The monkeys drift like ghosts, but they can be easily ignored and picked off. The dogs are more likely to attack the zombies than avatars shooting at them.


No, the biggest challenge are the headcrabs. They are a constant presence, hiding behind barrels, chips of fallen masonry, scurrying away from the light. And they are fast. And they jump.

And when you slammed the front door shut,
A lot of others opened up,
So did my eyes so I could see
That you never were the best for me

They can jump a considerable distance.

Adding to the complication of camping there is, one cannot stand farther than 30 meters from that central sign. And every few minutes, to prevent the very sort of parked avatars of 'normal' camping, a drop-down menu is presented, listing nine colors. Thirty seconds are allocated to select the color mentioned in text in the drop-down.

So you really have to be there to stay camping; unless you're just there to kill zombies.


Me being me, I couldn't just indulge in mindless slaughter. And my mind started drifting. Through my own personal hall of memories, the nostalgic paths worn to a rut, practically, from overuse...but I came to some conclusions.

It's taken me far long enough to see them, but now they are clear and unmistakeable.

It takes two (or more, but we'll keep to two for the sake of simplicity) to fall in love. It takes two to form a friendship. It takes two to start a family. This is known.

But what should be equally well known is that it also takes two to fall out of love. Two to start a fight, though I grant, sometimes it just takes the one to end one. Two to wage a war.

Well, I never saw it coming.
I should've started running
A long, long time ago


And I am tired and beyond tired of being blamed when I was only half the problem. I have made my share of mistakes, mistakes that have cut others deeply, mistakes that have cost me pride and prestige, and--lest I or anyone else forget--love.

I know this. I see the flaws in my chosen actions. I am clear in my culpability for love lost.

But it is not, it never was, solely my fault. It takes two to destroy a relationship. And I'm only half of the equation. An equal share of the blame and the consequence is not mine.

I refuse to continue to feel guilty for what was, indubitably, a cooperative endeavor.

I'm slowly getting closure
I guess it's really over
I'm finally getting better...


So. Zombies on the warehouse floor. Survive nine minutes for three Lindens. Then do it all again. Life brought down to simple necessities.

Aim. Fire. Reload.

I think I'm getting better at this.

(Lyrics from Chris Daughtry's "Over You".)


Rhianon Jameson said...

I don't know, what's wrong with a little mindless slaughter now and then? In a good cause, of course. Is the world really better off with those zombies in it? And pulling the trigger is often theraputic, so you're doing both social good and private good.

It's an interesting philosophical point as to whether it really requires two people to fall out of love. Mathematics is not my strong suit, but it seems that if you need two in one direction, then subtracting one person from the equation leaves the duo out of love. But philosophy aside, you raise an excellent point, that people change, circumstances change, and it's almost never the case that one party is wholly innocent when a couple fails to negotiate those changes.

Emilly Orr said...

Well, you see, I would agree, and it's not that I did not partake in the felling, but due to an incident on the mainland, I have access to a partially zombified form. And it's always slightly unnerving to run across 'fellows' which do not think or reason. They are less aware than rocks, most times, but still, that part of me that knows decay understands them more than I'd like.

I would agree that you are right: take any couple, turn one of them aside, the love is damaged, if not gone utterly. But I do believe it takes both halves of a couple to make decisions as a couple; if I damaged a love as deeply as I have been accused of doing--and I do not dispute the damage that was caused--still, it falls on the other party to try to salvage, or give up entirely.

There was no quarter given, no forgiveness extended. Thus, we both equally failed the test.