Monday, January 26, 2009

Nightmare samurai

Recounting my dream from last night, featuring Hiro and Kaito Nakamura from the television series Heroes:

Hiro and Kaito began in the basement of a typical suburban home. The lighting was dim and the environment had that concrete, unfinished look that so many basements do. As they climbed the flight of stairs to the second floor and closed the door behind them, my field of view turned back downwards into the dark. There, in the shadowy corners, something was stirring.


The sound of heavy footsteps and clanging metal became audible as an imposing set of samurai armour stepped out into view. The armour belonged to Kaito - a relic, heirloom, or some other kind of antiquity. But within the armour stood... nothing, nobody. It was moving, as if by some dark magic, without the benefit of matter to hold it up nor muscles to move the joints. Alive... and sinister.

An evil force was mustering itself once again. Something long forgotten, as evil forces often are. And it was reaching the tendrils of its influence into our world once again.

Kaito and Hiro parted ways, with Hiro travelling to visit a friend at his home. Meanwhile, these animated bodies of steel were making their move. I tracked the exploits of both Kaito and Hiro. Kaito, a practiced swordsman, had little to fear. He stalked cautiously about his house, katana in hand, ready to engage his otherworldy foe.

Hiro, on the other hand, was hiding out with his friend. Eventually, Hiro's friend grew anxious and tired of waiting. He fled their hiding spot, sword in hand. Using his eyes and ears, the friend tracked the movements of the lumbersome suit of armour haunting his home. It was clear he was ill-prepared. An ordinary man in our ordinary world, wielding his blade with woeful inexperience. The armoured warrior descended from upstairs to the main floor, leaving the friend cornered and with no choice but to launch his attack. He managed to get off a number of parries and stabbing motions before the battle turned around and he was mercilessly cut down.

As my omnipresent eyes circled the friend's lifeless and bleeding body, I heard him narrate: "So it was at 5 PM that I became the samurai's first victim. Hiro would be the second. The third..."

I remember my shock at hearing of Hiro's demise. After all, didn't he have superpowers? But more importantly, who was the third?

My attention returned to the friend's body. Standing beside it, was a woman, fraught with distress. It was his wife. Tearful, she lay herself down next to him, holding him in her embrace before the last vestiges of warmth were gone from his body. But I knew, at this unguarded moment, that the samurai was coming for her...


I awoke in a cold fear. Visions of deadly, invincible suits of armour still dancing through my mind. I checked the clock - 6:30 AM. Outside, it was still pitch black. I considered using the washroom before going back to sleep, but the prospect of of being ambushed by a lifeless samurai in the hallway still seemed very real. I dared not move. I'd like to remember this, I thought to myself. I reached to my nightstand and fumbled for a notebook. My hand trembled as I sloppily penned the words upon a sheet that I couldn't really see, as if by writing them down, I could bring the dream to life.

All the hours, I thought to myself, slaying Raydrics carelessly in Ragnarok Online, or watching suits of armour come to life in film... but never had these soulless creatures ever seemed quite so intimidating - quite so evil - as when they seemed real.

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As an aside, I thought I'd take this moment to note that I really hate samurai. I realize this is highly unusual. After all, samurai are slick, honourable warriors romanticized in both video games and movies. But they are were many ways, simply glorified mercenaries - swords for hire. Furthermore, it is their uncompromising honour code that fuelled the Japanese disdain for surrender. This attitude carried over into the Second World War, where the Japanese reviled the Chinese who surrendered to them. They treated their opponents as less than human: to be raped, tortured, worked, eviscerated, and experimented on. Yet faced with the overwhelming deterrent of atomic weaponry, Japan itself surrendered. They did not hang their heads in shame nor perform seppuku (ritual sacrifice) en masse. They did not fight to the last man, woman, and child. And while I certainly don't think they should have done so (for it would have been a catastrophic waste of life), it does make me bitter at the hypocrisy with which they scorned and tortured their opponents.

5 comments:

Samurai Teddy said...

uh oh, wet pajamas?

psycho-analysis:
high stress from cramming
samurai = impending exam
samurai's katana = exam will be a bloodbath, a slaughter
samurai's unstoppable advancement towards his victims = resistance is futile?

its ok, some people are scared of clowns, others ghosts... i guess for u its samurais.... its ok we don't discriminate..

a_ndy said...

Maybe now is not the best time to mention that I don't like clowns or ghosts either...

Teddies against Teletubies said...

yah clowns are scary

but you know what's REALLY scary? freaking teletubies man.. they try to infantize pp to milk-bottle-age with their seemingly innocent shows... teletubies are what you should be afraid of... pure evil.. *chills*

a_ndy said...

Teletubbies are awesome, man. Such a catchy theme song.

Teddy says Teletubbies are evil said...

they have a theme song? i thought they just mumble random baby single-words like "hot", "mom", "milk", and "more" or something like that

teletubbies should be banned.. it's worst than the violence in video games..