86 Eighty-Six: Reasons to Live

Is there anything you would like to do? 

Shin doesn’t have anything he would like to do, or anywhere he would like to go. His sole purpose was to confront his brother’s ghost, housed in the body of Legion machinery. Lena helps him accomplish his goal and prolongs the short life span that is assured to the Eighty-Sixers who serve the Republic. Spared death, Shin leads the others deeper into Legion territory. He bids farewell to the Major and the Republic, free for the first time to act as he wants. 

But there is one big problem with Shin being free. 

After defeating his brother, Shin has no further purpose. Shin was ready to die in the fight with his brother, whether it was through his brother’s hands or the other legion members. Survival wasn’t on the table. Purpose didn’t exist for Shin beyond that reason. 

Leaving the Republic was certainly a nice touch, but the freedom gained after the battle was hollow. There was nothing gained in victory. And assuming the information Shin gave Lena is correct, the Legion will keep attacking until there is nothing left of the Republic. Forget the two year timeline, Legion will be able to sustain itself beyond those two years. It will be able to outlast a war of attrition with the Republic. 

So what is the point of escaping the Republic? What is the point of being free in a world where only certain death is the supposed guarantee. It’s a question of life and what to do in the time given to you. And Shin’s answer hasn’t changed, there is nothing that he wants to do. 

Finding a reason to live isn’t easy. 

When confronted with the reality of death, and having limited time Shin faces the same problem as the rest of the Eighty-Sixers. But Shin is realistic in his goals, he has no goals or things he wants to achieve because there isn’t a reason to have one. And while Shin might not have any reason to live, neither do the other Eighty-Sixers. None of them mention a reason to keep going after the main confrontation with Shin’s brother. 

Besides, their supplies are limited. So whether through starvation or battle, death is still assured. 

Having no hope of anything better, survival is sometimes all you can aim for. Even when not in the same position as Shin, all beings have to find their own purpose for living beyond survival. But the bad news for Shin is even if he finds a reason to live or a purpose in life his life-span seems all but guaranteed to be short. 

It’s hard to watch Shin struggle with the situation he has been placed in. There is no reason to believe in something more, or something better. The outlook is short-sighted, but if your expectations for living are also shorted-sighted it’s reasonable. Shin isn’t waiting for a miracle but there isn’t anything else beyond death for him. 

And it’s not just Shin who feels that way. All of the Eighty-Sixers have made peace with the fact that they are guaranteed to die. They won’t try to change the destiny they were given. All that is left for them to do is enjoy the small moments on their journey to death. Like the other Eighty-Sixers I am wondering if Shin will come up with some kind of answer. 

For the moment there seems to be a false hope of finding survivors in Legion territory somewhere. Forward is the only way to go. 

Do you agree? What are your thoughts? I want to know!

Is there anything you would like me to cover? Do you want to know my thoughts on anything? Have something I should know? If you answered yes to any of the previous questions, comment below!

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2 thoughts on “86 Eighty-Six: Reasons to Live

  1. I agree. It’s really heartbreaking. They are just kids who know nothing but war and death. They have no dreams or aspirations. All they want to do is find a place to die which is so sad and tragic. I wonder if that’s how our soldiers in real life feel after years of war. If thats true then they deserve more appreciation than they are getting now.

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