Re: You Want Happy Endings?
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From: Lisle Naismith [pcs.noitadnuof|htimsianl#pcs.noitadnuof|htimsianl]
To: Lisle Naismith [pcs.noitadnuof|htimsianl#pcs.noitadnuof|htimsianl]
Subject: Memo To Self

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Why bother?

Let's say the Scarlet King awakens. Let's say he eats 4,000 sacrificial virgins for breakfast.

Halfway through #2,374, he remembers a particularly funny knock-knock joke.

He laughs, he chokes, and none of his slaves know CPR.

Let's say the flesh god and the machine god decide to settle their differences once and for all. Let's say they bring every Sarkic cultist and Broken-God-fearing soldier to the final battle.

The battlefield is on the other side of a wormhole, which closes and never opens again.

Only catch, we never know who wins. But we can live with that.

Let's say we find an infinitely huge wall of drawers.

Let's say we fill them up with every anomalous item, where they'll be perfectly content until the heat death of the Universe.

And let's say we still die screaming.

Why bother?

May 12th, 2016. One of my few days off in spring. I drank milk straight from the jug without looking at the expiration date - it should have been spoiled for two days. It wasn't. Still fresh.

8:00 AM, Penny Naismith was off to school, and Mrs. Rosa Naismith told me that she had to go to a parent-teacher conference for Penny later.

"I'll go," I said.

"Don't," she said. "It's your day off."

"Last week, I saw a D-class eaten alive by a snake made of intrusive thoughts. I think I can deal with bitchy teachers."

Rosa grimaced, skeptical. It's Mr. Glassman, isn't it, I thought, starting to miss the Mind Viper.

9:00 AM. I sip a mimosa. There's a classic Doctor Who marathon on PBS. Old Tom Bakers. Rosa catches me grinning ear-to-ear as the title theme comes on. She laughs.

3:00 PM. Mr. Glassman, assistant principal, told me that my daughter "doesn't handle bullies well."

I said, "then how about we do something about the kids trying to provoke her?"

He said, "look, when she's older, you won't be there to force her to toughen up. Do you want to coddle your daughter all your life, or let her build character?"

Half an hour of smiling and nodding later, I took a photo out of my wallet. Said it was of Penny at her baptism.

The photo was a of NARCISSUS-class visual cognitohazard that had just been decommissioned. Seeing the foam come from his mouth was one of the finer points of my life as a father, and well worth the reprimand from the O5 council.

Mr. Glassman's still healthy, of course. Only difference is, he believes that if Penny ever cries, a seven-foot-tall eel-man lurking outside his peripheral vision will eat his eyeballs.

6:00 PM. Penny and I watched a movie that introduced her to swear words. She laughed hard enough to start wheezing.

8:00 PM. Penny's in bed early, contented.

8:30 PM. Pretty sure I can't go into detail on a Foundation email server, but Rosa's still got it after ten years. My pelvis still hurts thinking about it. God Bless America.

You want happy endings?

Fuck you.

You want sad endings?

Again, fuck you.

There are only endings. If 15 years of service to a shadow fascist organization bent on locking up all our demons in boxes has taught me anything, it's that "good" and "bad" are completely subjective. One man's ZK-class reality failure is another man's orgasm.


Why bother?

Because sometimes, temporarily, everything goes right.

Whatever your situation, however bad things get - As long as you're alive, there can always be a great day.

You got this, Lisle. You're making Penny and Rosa proud, and Dr. Henderson too, wherever he is.

Don't let the nihilists and quitters seduce you. There will be more May 12th, 2016's if you can keep the bastards locked up.

And if you can help it, don't detonate the on-site nuke until you've finished the Tom Baker episodes.

Dr. Lisle Naismith
Site Director, Foundation Site-59

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