Snipped From The Same Cloth
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Pico Wilson sat in the middle of his corpse pile.
피코 윌슨은 제 시체 더미 한복판에 앉았다.

"What would you do with the powers of a god?"
"만약 신의 힘을 갖고 있다면 뭘 할 겁니까?"

The corpses remained silent. This was partially because they were uncertain of how to answer, but mostly because they were dead.
시체는 아무 말도 없이 가만히 있었다. 어느 정도는 뭐라 대답할지 분명하지 않아 그런 것일 수도 있지만, 대체적인 이유는 아마도 죽은 상태이기에 그런 것이리라.

"Most people couldn't handle it. Some people would go out and solve world hunger, cure poverty, disease, inequality. Some would turn the world into their personal playground, wreaking havoc or destruction. Some people would just hide away, fearing what they might do if they lose control."
"대다수는 그 힘을 다루지 못하죠. 어떤 이들은 나가서 세계 기아를 해결하거나, 가난, 질병, 불평등을 해소하는 데에 사용할 겁니다. 어떤 이들은 세계를 자신만의 놀이터로 바꿔, 온갖 걸 파괴하면서 아수라장으로 만들 거고요. 또 어떤 이들은 자기가 통제를 잃을 경우 일어날 일을 두려워하며 숨겠죠."

Pico jumped from the pile of bodies, landing like a cat on the wooden floorboards. He had picked a long-abandoned building as his new home; mice scuttled around the walls, water slowly leaked from rusty pipes.
피코는 시체 더미에서 뛰어내려, 나무 바닥에 고양이처럼 착지했다. 그는 이 오랫동안 버려져있던 건물을 제 새 집으로 삼았다. 쥐가 벽 안에서 돌아다니고, 녹슨 파이프에서는 천천히 물이 새는 건물이었다.

"It's like this, right… if you make someone a god, if you give them power over reality and an undo key, absolve them of all responsibility or fear of retaliation? They stop caring. When you can solve any problem by clicking your fingers, then everything just stops being fun. Existence itself becomes joyless."
"이렇게 볼 수 있죠, 뭐랄까…만약 누군가를 신으로 만들고, 현실을 주무를 수 있는 힘과 초기화할 수 있는 열쇠를 준 뒤, 자기가 한 일에 대한 책임이나 보복의 공포를 면제해준다면? 그는 더 이상 신경쓰지 않을 거에요. 만약 모든 문제를 손가락 퉁기는 걸로 해결할 수 있다면, 갑자기 모든 것에서 재미를 느낄 수 없게 되죠. 존재라는 것 자체가 재미없어질 거예요."

The corpses remained silent.
시체는 여전히 말이 없었다.

"Seventy percent, according to the books. That's how many gods kill themselves - sorry, 'Reality Benders'. That's how many deified, glorious beings decide to ragequit reality. It's scary, isn't it? Scary that beings like that think that the world we live in just isn't worth it. Seventy percent figure it's easier on them just to stop thinking. Forever. With numbers like that, how can ants like us compare? With people as great and powerful as that, how the fuck do I justify continuing my own existence? How does anyone?"
"자료에 따르면 70퍼센트라고 하더군요. 그게 얼마나 많은 신들이 - 죄송해요, '현실 조정자'들이 자살하는가에요. 그게 얼마나 많은 신격화된, 영광스런 존재들이 현실을 빡종하기로 결정했는가이죠. 무섭죠, 안 그래요? 그런 존재들이 우리가 살고 있는 이 세상을 그냥 가치 없는 것이라 여긴다는 게 무섭죠. 70 퍼센트나 되는 이들이 그냥 더 이상 생각하지 않는 편이 더 쉽다고 판단한 거예요. 영원히 말이에요. 그 정도 되는 수치에, 우리 같은 개미들이 어떻게 비견되겠어요? 그렇게 위대하고 강력한 이들도 그러는데, 나 같은 게 시발 어떻게 존재를 이어가는 걸 정당화하죠? 어떻게 모두가 그러겠어요?"

The corpses remained silent. Pico paced pensively.
시체는 아직도 말이 없었다. 피코는 깊은 생각에 잠겨 걸음을 옮겼다.

"The answer's simple. To keep people sane, to keep them satiated, to keep them static, you need to give them problems. Problems that they care about, problems that they can't solve trivially. It's like, you take a maths professor, and give him a bunch of addition problems. He could do it all, sure, but he wouldn't. Because it's not fun. No, he'd move on to algebra, and so we give him the more advanced stuff, solving for x, and he gets bored of that, and so we pump it up a bit, we give him functions, and sets, and transfinites and transcendentals, and imaginary numbers and quaternions and all sorts of nonsense and utter fucking bullshit… but, once they understand it, they'll get bored. People always get bored, so you need to mix up the problems, you need to change, right, you need to change the solutions to old problems. You get it?"
"답은 간단하죠. 사람들이 제정신을 유지하기 위해선, 만족한 상태가 유지되기 위해선, 한결 같기 위해서는 문제를 던져줘야 하죠. 사람들이 신경을 쓰는, 간단하게 해결할 수는 없는 그런 문제를요. 마치, 수학과 교수를 데려다가 덧셈 문제를 한가득 주는 거예요. 분명 다 풀 수는 있겠지만, 안 풀 거예요. 재미가 없잖아요. 그래요, 대수로 넘어가겠죠. 그러면 우린 더 어려운 문제를 던져주는 거죠. x값을 구하다가, 그것도 재미없어지면 난이도를 조금 더 올려서 함수를, 집합을, 초한수와 초월수를, 허수와 사원수 같은 온갖 헛소리와 별 개소리를 다 던져주는 겁니다…하지만, 일단 이해를 하고 나면, 다시 지루해하죠. 사람들은 언제나 지루해해요. 그러므로 문제를 섞고, 바꿔줘야 해요. 그래요, 이전에 준 문제에 대한 답을 바꿔야 한다 이거죠. 이해했나요?"

The corpses remained silent.
시체는 계속해서 말이 없었다.

"So they figure, it's all below them or whatever, and they off themselves, like whiny little kids. But you see, the big man in the sky, he didn't like this, right, and so he sent down… I dunno what you'd call him. The holiest of all men, I think, my personal messiah. So there was a stupid little doctor who was messing around, and the man up there, he takes a gander at what's going on, and the doctor looks up at the creator of all the fucking universe and he says 'Making Life'. And the doctor carries on, and he doesn't realise it, but the guy upstairs tweaks one of them a little bit, and he turns it into a man called Redd. Mister Redd, if you'd believe it. And Mister Redd comes down and teaches people the most important lesson, the only lesson worth teaching, right. The only problem that keeps changing, the only way you can deal, properly, with being a god, is being your own problem, is hating yourself, is being contrapositive to your own soul and going absolutely, unforgivably insane. Redd's like Jesus, right? And the man in the sky's the one who named him, it's a really clever little thing, because his name's kind of derivative of his own. Personally, I think it's a touch too obvious. Mister Redd, the Scarlet King incarnate."
"그럼 이제 그 사람들 생각엔, 모든 게 자기보다 낮게 보이니까 짜증나는 애새끼들처럼 떠나는 거죠. 그렇지만 말이죠, 저 높은 곳에 계시는 위대한 분께서는, 그게 싫었던 거죠. 그래서 보낸 게…뭐라고 해야 할지 모르겠네. 가장 신성한 이라고나 할까. 개인적인 구원자를 보냈다 하죠. 어쨌든 이곳저곳 기웃거리도 다니는 멍청한 박사 나부랭이가 하나 있었단 말이죠. 그리고 저 위에 있으신 분은, 뭔 일이 일어나고 있는지 한 번 흘낏 보셨어요. 박사도 온 세상을 쳐만드신 창조주를 올려다보고는 '생명을 만드는 중'이라 말했어요. 박사는 하던 일을 계속했지만, 위쪽 분께서 그가 만들던 생명 중 하나를 좀 비틀어놓은 건 몰랐단 말이죠. 그러고는 그 생명체에게 '정리정돈'이라는 이름을 붙이셨답니다. 정리정돈 씨라 불렀죠. 말이 안되는 이름이라 생각할지도 모르겠지만 말이에요. 그리곤 정리정돈 씨는 내려와 사람들에게 가장 중요한 교훈을, 가르칠 가치가 있는 유일한 교훈을 가르쳤습니다.

The corpses remained silent.

"No gasping? No shocked faces? Tough crowd, you lot. That was quite a twist, you know? That's what the world's built on. Revelation on revelation without any real grit beneath. But I digress. So Mister Redd, right, he comes down and he's basically Jesus, but the real one. And he tries to teach people how to handle godhood, yeah? He tries to teach people, but they don't listen right. So Redd made sure me and my brother listened. Now, my brother, he's a huge fucking heretic, he wouldn't listen to the word, right. But I did, I listened and I listened good, and so here I am. Passing on the word, trying to get people to listen, and they never do. You're all stupid, too stupid to go mad. I could handle godhood, right? I could totally handle it, I think."

Pico spun around just as The Janitor appeared at his door.
피코는 '청소부'가 문가로 걸어들어온 바로 그 때 몸을 돌렸다.

"What do you think?"
"어떻게 생각하시나요?"

The Janitor started to move towards him, raising its hand towards Pico's throat.
'청소부'는 그에게로 걸어오면서, 피코의 목을 향해 손을 들어올렸다.

"I reclaim the title of The Snipper."
"'절단사'라는 칭호를 되찾도록 하죠."

The Janitor stopped walking, lowering its arm. The Snipper frowned.
'청소부'는 걸음을 멈추고는, 팔을 내렸다. '절단사'가 미간을 찌푸렸다.

"Ah, that still got you. How sad. Why aren't you free?"
"아, 아직도 거기에 얽매여 있군요. 얼마나 슬픈지. 왜 자유롭지 못하죠?"

"I am free."
"전 자유롭습니다."

"No, you aren't. We've been over this, remember? We've been over this."
"아뇨, 안 그래요. 이미 한 번 얘기했잖아요, 기억 나요? 이미 한 번 얘기했어요."

The Snipper walked over to The Janitor.

"So how does this shit work, hm? Utter subservience to anyone whose name begins with 'The'? Because if that's it, this is seriously ripe for abuse."

"There is-"

"Silence!"

The Janitor remained silent.

"You're not free, see? You're not. Anyway, I was in the middle of something. Sit down until I finish ranting."

The Janitor crouched, then sat cross-legged on the floor. It looked up at the frowning madman in front of it, raspily breathing through its gas mask.

"Okay. Anyway. Something about… satiation, yes. See, all that people need to be happy is to never be happy. Seems fucking stupid, but so are people. So, say you've got a shitload of people, all of them being unfairly 'endowed', and I'm not talking about the size of their cock here, but their crazy powers. Seven of ten off themselves, so what are the other three to do? See, the big bad man had them all occupy each others' time, and my brother the heretic didn't really fancy that. So he went off and he had this big, elaborate, bullshit plan to kill him. Then I walk in and blow some brains out like Nobody's business."

The Janitor remained silent. Pico stalked around the sitting black figure, treading on its midnight trenchcoat.

"It was at that point that I realised, perhaps, I'd made a fatal error. I only wanted to free you, you beautiful thing, and the fact that this one man was the singular uniting force behind the three most powerful paramilitary organisations, our metaphorical three people left, completely slipped my fucking mind. Of course, I also did the thing with the slime… which you ended up stopping, unfortunately. It would have been so impressive; a nice self-cauteristing wound. Now everyone wants to kill me. Which, I think, is a bit of an overreaction."

Pico walked over and flopped, face-first, into his pile of dead bodies. He spoke again, words muffled and incomprehensible, while The Janitor sat and stared. The Snipper leapt out of his pile again, holding a decapitated head in his hands.

"You know what I despise most of all? Trying to get it to make sense. Nothing makes sense. No point in trying to understand any of it. Accept it and move on, you know? It doesn't matter if it's coherent or not."

The Janitor remained silent. The Snipper jumped over and sat down in front of it.

"Can I take your mask off?"
"마스크 벗겨도 될까요?"

"No."
"안됩니다."

"Don't move."
"움직이지 마세요."

Pico pushed his hand into The Janitor's neck, running his hands down until he hit the base of the mask. It dutifully stayed immobile as Pico pulled the mask up, breaking the airtight seal, stretching the black rubber until the filter moved up and over its head. Just as the mask moved to expose a thin, pink-lipped mouth, The Janitor stood, kneeing Pico forcefully in the face; it turned and ran as Pico wiped blood from his freshly split lip.

"Right. You're just the mask. Masks on masks on masks… fucking hell."
"좋아요. 당신은 그냥 마스크군요. 마스크 위에 마스크 위에 마스크…에라 시발."

He stood up again, reclining into his body pile. He flipped out a phone from his pocket, tapping its screen absent-mindedly.

"At this point, it's just… utterly devoid of impetus. Things are happening, but it's… there's nothing behind it. There's no depth; it's just all collapsed in on itself. There's too much going on. Time to make terrible decisions."

To: brother
수신자: 형
16 hartford street come beat the shit out of me or whatever
16 하트퍼드(hartford) 가 와서 날 뚜까패던가 말든가

To: sculptor
수신자: 조각사
16 hartford street I'm all that's left
16 하트퍼드 가 이젠 저뿐이에요

To: the fuckwad brigade
수신자: 좆밥 여단
16 hartford street this is the snipper hello
16 하트퍼드 가 절단삽니다 안뇽

To: janitor
수신자: 청소부
shit's gonna hit the fan
난장판이 될 겁니다

"It's not even worth it any more. Just finish it."
"이젠 아무 의미도 없어. 그냥 끝내도록 하지."

He threw his phone at the opposite wall, breaking it into pieces. Pico snuggled among his bodies, drifting into dreamless sleep.

middle of one is a cancer recruited
하나 중 중간은 모집된 암
Middle of two is a cancer cured.
둘 중 중간은 완치된 암.
Middle Of Three Is A Cancer's Core
중간은 암의
ALL ABOVE, A MADMAN BORED
무엇보다, 심심해진 광인
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