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Requiem Aeternam.

by Shephard

[Weapon canted to the left]

– Working parts cocked fully to the rear and back to the front
– CLAP the feed tray cover open
– SWEEP LEFT removing rounds from the tray
– SWEEP RIGHT to ensure no rounds or debris are still in the tray
– SLAM the feed tray cover shut, weapon in the shoulder

[Trigger squeezed, no shot should be fired]

[Weapon canted to the right]

– CLAP the feed tray cover open
– REPLACE the ammunition belt into the feed tray, inline with the feed claws
– SLAM the feed tray cover shut
– Weapon in the shoulder, working parts actioned fully rear to front
– GPS — Tap the GAS plug to ensure its still seated, close the ejection PORT cover, ensure your SIGHTS are still at the correct zero

[Weapon away from the shoulder, await FCO]

The 7.62mm Light Support Weapon (equivalent to the American M240B in application and Mk. 48 in appearance — oddly enough, the LSW weighs more than the MAG58/M240 when loaded) will always be my favourite weapon. Sure, it weighs the same as a few bags of cement and kicks like Ong Bak on a good day, but boy does she tear shit up…


Funny how I can remember every little detail about a weapon I haven’t touched in four years, and yet I often forget to take my essentials with me when I venture out into the world. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve arrived at my destination, only to realise an important document or something to that effect has been left back at the house — and that’s despite reminding myself a countless amount of times the prior evening not to forget it. Even thinking about the number of examples I can give has me feeling terrible. Golly gosh…

I’ll stop after the Analytics course. Thankfully this information is easily retained, and that I’m keeping PDF versions of all transcripts for reference. But, no more study after this. I don’t want to live here anymore. This world, this lonely, lonely existence. The responsibilities I never asked for, yet carry out regardless. The constant pain, and internal sorrow. The inability to connect with my peers (and believe me, I’ve fuckin’ tried). The knowledge that the future, though uncertain, is sure to bring more pain and torment than I’m able to deal with.
I’ve done more than I thought I was capable of, and continue to do so in some vain attempt at maintaining the initiative. Well, I reckon I ought to put a stop to that shit right quick, eh? Why bother bettering myself so that some self-serving company can exploit me for all they can in the name of hard work? Do I really want to find myself in another office, working in an environment I know I can’t thrive in? Is jumping ship really going to see a marked improvement in my own situation, and of those I care about?
These are all questions I’ve asked myself a lot in the past few months. One common theme is that of not having anything in support of continuing to live and making these proposed changes. Now, mind you, this was a heck of a lot to process, so don’t you for a second think that I just pulled this out of my arse because “I can’t cope” or some such tripe.

I won’t go back to the hard stuff. There’s no need to when the doc gives me good enough stuff, but the sensation is still the same — euphoria, constant nodding, good feelings all around. No constipation nor the “opiate itch” either, which is a real plus. I may put this all in a bad light, but the fact remains that I’m able to function whilst under the influence, and often forget just how miserable my circumstances are.

…provided I stay within acceptable dosage levels that is.


It’s been two years since I went to this part of the ranges. I had a bit of a trek through there yesterday, seeing as they’re thinking of shutting the entire centennial park down due to the dieback disease spreading amongst the kauri trees. The last time I was here I took a few pictures, so I decided to do the same again. It brought back certain memories, but it felt good being in nature again. I even managed to see a tui bathing itself for a good few minutes, before I stumbled on a rock and scared the poor fella away. I hadn’t seen a tui in the longest time either…
I was at home in nature, in the ranges I’ve tramped across countless times. The quiet serenity of nature in all her beauty, and not a single soul to disturb me. Once again, I could bear witness to nature and that from which we came — and to which I shall return.
I could never imagine being that beautiful, but being one part of the entire picture? Yes, perhaps. I can only hope that nature would be so kind as to repurposing my broken corpse into something as beautiful as a kauri tree, or kakapo for that matter. My homeland is truly magnificent, the culture behind it more so. Most have forgotten that connection, but I’ve still kept it — thanks to my family who are no longer here.

I won’t head to Australia. I don’t think I could bring myself to actually live in that bloody place anyhow. Another remnant of 2015 was that of travelling through my country and revisiting places I hadn’t been to in quite some time. So, that’s what I’ll do. With my government assistance ending soon, I’ll be financially set until around Christmas time. I’ll travel from Cape Reinga right down to… Christchurch I reckon. Hadn’t been through there since Burnham and the quakes, and despite my thoughts on the city and its people, I’d do well to pay my respects to those who were lost.
Tauranga remains one of my favourite places, and with summer just around the corner, it ought to be a good time to cruise through the Mount. The Pacific side of the Far North is a sight to behold — the Bay of Islands, and curving back around to Kerikeri ought to do it. Marlborough Sounds and the small town of Picton were a pit stop for me back in ’10, but it seemed like quite the quaint area. The Sounds were gorgeous — from the ferry, in the air, and on foot. Taupo near the lake and Central Plateau. She’ll be chilly, but I’ve always loved that part of the country.

No matter where I go, I just want to enjoy myself. My mind is made up on opting out afterwards — this life of mine, and this world of ours… I’m the round peg still doing its best to squeeze into a damned square hole. Story of my life, all things considered…

“Because I want to see people and I want to see life.”

Not in some futile hope that it’ll convince me that there’s more to this life than the rat race, but because I want to see what it is that keeps others tethered.

“I’m flyin’ to the moon again, dreamin’ about marzipan. Taking all my medicine to take my thoughts away.”

Lady Del Rey… always knows what’s on my fuckin’ mind. Those two lines right there — something sweet, something sour. Sugar, spice, and all things not so nice; just the recipe I needed.


My lust for life withered out and died long ago. That sensation of lust long forgotten, along with whatever sex drive I once had. I think about my friends, about those who no longer talk with me, and those who have long since left this world. All I should do is send my thoughts, my love, through the ether, and hope it’ll guide them through the trials they’re all still yet to face. They’re strong, resilient, and know how to adapt to this world and what it’ll throw at them.

All I can say to myself and anyone who’ll bother paying me the courtesy of reading my nonsense is this: everything is gonna be okay.

“I hope that I come back one day. To tell you that I really changed, baby.”

…because I know the universe is cruel enough to keep my soul tethered here long after my physical form has become worm food or fertiliser. Instead of being ghosted, I’ll be the one doing the haunting. Heh.

But seriously: everything is gonna be okay.


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LoveYouAsYouAre 8/18/2017 - 2:44 am

Your such an amazing writer! Please stick around!

Shephard 8/18/2017 - 9:22 am

Bah. It’s nothing you can’t read in a portaloo or see etched into a BBQ table at your local dilapidated park. Besides, my memory is going, so it won’t be long before all punctuation and spelling drifts away with my mind, too.

(In fact, it probably already is.)

SadPotato 8/18/2017 - 4:45 am

Yeah, you’ll never lose the soldier in you. However, like I said to you quite a while back, and as I’m sure you know, you’re far more than just an ex-soldier.

Anyway, I’m glad to see that you’re still alive and kicking. And I’m glad to see that you’re grabbing life by the nads, despite you being set on exiting after everything is said and done.

Shephard 8/18/2017 - 9:39 am

…ain’t seen you ’round here since late May. Good to see you’re still in the fight.

I look back at myself and the person I see is… conflicted. Indecisive. Unsure of himself. I spent all of my energy putting on a front, and forgot who I was in the process. I can say I’m no longer suffering from those afflictions in such a manner that I ought to worry, but I’m glad about the lessons I learned.

Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop; so I thought it’d be best that I keep myself busy. Last thing I need is that forked tongue bastard showing up to harass me again.

I know it’s none of my beeswax, but I hope you’ve been able to stay in touch with braiNsane, or that she’s doing okay wherever she is — I miss reading through the banter y’all shared. Well, stay safe out there, and I’m hoping for the best for you (and braiNsane, wherever she is).

KoneWone 8/18/2017 - 11:19 pm

Hey again. You got me tearing up. The path through life is strewn with boulders, chasms and high fences. Knowing which way to go can often be a matter of flipping a coin.

You seem very attached to your country. It is possible to get away from others here, be followed through the trees by a fantail, hear the bellbirds calling and smell the earth. Reading your tramping story reminds me that I really need to get out into some space when I next can.

Not sure if this is your cup of tea but if you are thinking of hitting the road and want something physical to do to keep busy- Abel Tasman area needs summer roadies. In fact, 95% of all jobs advertised now are for labourers/roadies/STMS- unskilled or skilled. If I was younger, stronger and taller I would happily try that rather than sitting in a freaking office.

Shephard 8/22/2017 - 2:28 am

Hi there — how’s the temp work going so far? I’m not sure why you teared up, but perhaps something within my writing elicited such a reaction from you. Coin flips will always remind me of Anton Chigurh from “No Country For Old Men”. Although my chances aren’t good, I’ll still take a gamble at it.

It’s got its beauty and places of respite, yet it’s shameful that the people have fallen to the same nonsense afflicted most other western nations (as you’d pointed out in a previous comment of yours). Last night I saw a snippet of that show “The Project” where some fella was interviewing ol’ Billy English — part way through, they superimposed elements of “memes” to emphasise something edgy (to them at least) that Bill had said. I died a little inside, seeing that bullshit on what ought to be an informative, thought-provoking program. Well, thankfully I’ve still got Checkpoint with John Campbell on Radio NZ.

I worked the road gangs back in 2012-2013 for a bit, and loved that work for the most part. Except for when I was supervising and would catch some boys sitting in one of the trenches with some electric puha… Sadly I can’t work those types of jobs anymore, thanks to a series of fractures in my foot, but thanks for the suggestion anyway.

You should definitely go out for a tramp sometime. I plan on going on another walk soon, probably somewhere where there’s a better chance that there’ll actually be other people walking through.

KoneWone 8/23/2017 - 3:00 am

Hiya. Work is OK. Had a crisis this morning and wasn’t sure if I could get through the day -but I managed. It’s a temp job from hell … here do this job for us, none of us really know what to do so we’re relying on you to figure it out….ahhhh OK.

I did get teary. There was an underlying sadness that touched me.

I stay away from politics these days. I doubt I’ll vote. I don’t want to encourage them!

Shame about your foot…does that affect how long you can tramp/walk for? The road gang thing has always held a strange appeal for me. I used to fancy myself as a STOP/GO person on a quiet, forested road. Reality is completely different I expect.
There are so many jobs around for those strong and fit enough to labour all day. As I said, if I could-I would. Don’t know whether the boys would get away with the puha these days – D&A testing is rife.

I’ve been wanting to get up to the Port Hills again. Only been up once since the eq’s. Used to walk a lot up there. Sections of the road are closed due to rockfall risk and some of the tracks are high-risk now so there’s that. It’s a bit eerie up there and always an element of danger. We’ll see.

Walking alone is OK but it is comforting to see other people. Not sure why.

freeroma 10/23/2018 - 2:36 am

“They’re strong, resilient, and know how to adapt to this world and what it’ll throw at them.”
I told you once that people are strong, resilient.. back in ’16. A response to something.. I think I might have brushed you off with it at the time, but it was all I had to offer, given circumstances.
Still, true. Look where you, i suppose we are for proof of that.. I still know it’s not just a matter of strength but that’s it’s own thread.

You should know what keeps others tethered. I bet you it’s more the love of/for others than frustration..
And it’s usually that reason that fuels the search for ways for’d.
.. somewhere I hope there’s a balance to it all. I hope you reconnect with what you’ve lost..

Your country really is beautiful.. And I think Oz given half a chance can be, too. Plenty of the locals haven’t been killed by the wildlife/environ so there’s hope (no, we aren’t talking close calls right now).
Far as ghosts go, don’t haunt me and I won’t haunt you, deal? Seems fair ‘nough. For your sake, I hope you’re right with your view on the afterlife.. tho if you are, you may have a few choice words when you see me again, ha.. I think I’ll be gone first. We’ll see how it goes but I’ve lost most my hope and resolve.

“..is gonna be okay.”
The future leaves wiggle room. I hope you continue to allow that for yourself.. you’ve come so far from when I first saw you on here. You’ve come far from when we first started talking..
I’m sorry if I can’t let some things go. I may not talk to you for awhile… it’s hard now. I feel like a goodbye has been simmering for some time but I dont want it to be the end. I dont know if letting go would be better.. it seems I’m letting go of most else.

Kia kaha, Kiwi. Take comfort from those who’ve loved you and know the love remains.

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