Vignettes from Final Fantasy VI
A Plaque Upon Entering Dragon’s Neck Coliseum
War is the game above all others. And what is a game, what else would we call a game? A contest. A measure of who is best. War then is the measure of a man, a woman, a world. It requires all, like true contests do. It is an engine that takes as its fuel your blood and your soul and that of your enemy and it creates of it an ordered world. An ordered world. You ask a question of war: who is better? And war will tell you. War will tell you what remains. Peace cannot tell you that. Peace answers no questions. It is silent on every issue. But war speaks. It will make plain all matters, if you let it. No need for government, for freedom, for self. Step up. Place your wager. War knows your question already. No need to say it aloud. But keep it in your head, just the same. You’ll need it when the music starts.
Old Man of the Veldt
[It’s about time. Blasted stove has been on the fritz for years, seems like.]
[Well go on, it’s right there. I’ll just take my seat. I’m waiting on the repairman, you see.]
[You catch that rider you tell him I knowed he stole from me. Tell him I want it paid back in tonic. I got no use for him to come around if all he does is poke his self where it don’t belong. Eh, say, you wouldn’t know anything about stoves, would ya?]
[Didn’t figure you would. I’m waiting on a repairman. Had that damn rider send a letter. He’s a thief, you know that? Says he’s a merchant. I used to have a wife. I used to have a wife and we used to brew coffee every morning on this here stove. We were so happy. But he come busting in one day, after, well. We did love each other so. Saw the blood. Broke this chair. Broke the stove. Clock. The midwife she told me to calm myself and find the down, but well. I had to get him out of here. You can’t let a demon linger. They latch onto a place. They fester. But he’d already broke everything. He broke it all.]
[You still here? Is everything fixed yet?]
If I have found my shape
It is best to use it
If the cup wished
To be the tea
What vessel could hold it?
So the mold
To be the blade
So the teacher
Must remain empty.
What I taught you: sit; stay; come; fetch; speak; attack.
What you learned: attack; attack; defend.
What I have learned: attack; throw; magic.
When you were a puppy, you played with my daughter.