Richard had been much busier this year than the previous, with so much training on top of schoolwork. However, he’d still almost died twice, and been hospitalized one of those times. That was pretty comparable, and there were still a few months left to go. That meant he might still end up in more trouble. Staying on campus wouldn’t help much, as many of the incidents had happened there… but everyone entering the grounds was being more thoroughly vetted. That didn’t mean that nobody would attack Richard, and it didn’t mean no accidents would happen, but it was slightly safer than nearby city. Richard didn’t want to cower in one place forever, and had no plans to restrict his activities.
It was all a matter of risk calculation. Even normal people could get in an accident or get attacked by a mugger and killed. Mountain climbing and skydiving were more dangerous, especially depending on the planet. There were a number of physical activities that increased chances of injury or death… but people still did them. They determined that the risks were acceptable, consciously or not. Likewise, Richard would have to determine what risks were acceptable for himself. He didn’t plan to do anything particularly risky, but instead just wanted to live a normal life. If he wanted to go out to a restaurant, he didn’t want fear from stopping him. He wouldn’t let it. He could have food delivered, but that would just be giving in… and it wasn’t the same as going in person.
As it turned out, he wasn’t interested in going to a restaurant. There was a new movie out that he was interested in seeing… well, it was a few weeks old, but he was now free to go. Everyone went, including Elena and Richard’s parents. Richard had considered going with just his friends… but this way he didn’t have to pay out of his spending money. He also had to admit he still felt a little bit unsafe. Elena also brought two bodyguards with her, though Richard doubted they would be necessary if something actually happened. There were several people who were undoubtedly more qualified than them. Richard had become much more capable in that regard lately, and though he might be able to take them unarmed or beat them in a firefight, they were probably still better at being bodyguards than himself. Either way, having more people wouldn’t hurt… and having them along was the only way Elena would be allowed to go. Richard actually found it a sign of a good friendship that she was actually willing to go, even with what had happened the last time.
Their entire entourage took up about half of a row of seats. They sat in a row of medium-large seats, primarily because of Jot who actually needed the space. Though he was not that much bigger than humans got, seats of that size were a bit uncomfortable. The movie itself was an action film, but still managed to have a good plot. Even so, Richard found himself dissatisfied somehow.
Jot, as usual, was the first to notice. “What’s wrong? Didn’t enjoy the movie?”
“No. I mean maybe. That’s not it. It was pretty good but… the action scenes seemed too… unrealistic.” Richard nodded to himself as he confirmed what it was that felt strange. Now that he’d had some experience with real combat… and a larger amount of simulated combat, various things seemed strange.
“I see. That will probably continue to be the case, as you know how such things could or should actually go.”
Richard sighed. “Does this mean movies won’t be as fun? That’s kind of a disappointing thought.”
Jot shook his head. “You’ll get over it. Some of them won’t be as entertaining… but the good ones will continue to do so, no matter how wrong they do everything. You might just get a different kind of enjoyment from it.”
Richard nodded. “I suppose so. After all, you still enjoy martial arts films even after you’ve practiced for a long time. I was probably just thinking about it too much.”
Sometimes, Richard found writing a paper harder than fighting for his life. More specifically, it was harder to make progress. There were many decisions to make, what should be said, how to say it… He could get paralyzed by indecision. He supposed the same could happen in combat, but if you let yourself be paralyzed by indecision then you just died, which solved that problem quickly.
Currently, he was writing a paper for a philosophy class, but it also directly involved history. They were given the assignment of discussing war, and what was acceptable and what was not. Did it matter who started the war? Did the actions of the enemy change what was acceptable from the other side? Richard had to consider these things. The professor didn’t seem to expect the ‘right’ answer, just that the students carefully reason through what they wrote. Richard thought there probably was a ‘right’ answer, but whether that was something that people could actually know for sure was something else. He knew for sure that it couldn’t be completely stated in a handful of pages… and maybe not even in a handful of books, or libraries. He supposed that was a good thing to mention.
This led him to think about the modern day. Though there weren’t many wars, that was only by name. Over the galaxy, there were more than a few conflicts that involved fighting, and many of those could be counted as wars even if there were no official declarations. Likewise, civil wars still happened because people couldn’t figure out a way to resolve things peacefully… or didn’t think things would end up in their favor. There were still wars, but when thinking of wars, he couldn’t help but think about the biggest one. Although it had happened a long time ago, the war with the Demoniacs was one of the biggest events in galactic history. It had was one of the largest scale wars that had ever happened, spanning thousands of systems and a hundred years… and it had ended with the only complete extinction of a spacefaring race on record. He knew some details about the war, but not many, and certainly not why that choice was made. Still, he knew someone who did. Maybe his father could provide some insights.