[identity profile] rhea-samma.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] watari_003
*feels guilty for not posting here as often as she should* 

This is located on ff.net and also posted to [personal profile] tatari

Carbon 14
-One shot-
Characters: 
Just Watari this time.
Genre: 'Existential'? 'Scientific'? 'Spiritual' maybe? (Some may consider it 'angst', though that was not the intent *shrug*)
Rating: PG I suppose. Nothing too shocking or offensive here.
Summary: Watari thinks. In terms of science. (Hints of unrequited Tatari [and past(?) unrequited TsuxTatsumi]
Author's Notes: The science should be accurate, and if not, I will die of shame.. and then blame it on the fact that I haven't had Chemistry proper since last year.

Carbon 14


The existence of a Shinigami is comparable to that of a half-life.

I am of course speaking in the scientific term of the word rather than the obvious literal interpretation, ah science.

Science. It conjures up a thousand other synonyms for me. A closer estimate would actually be around roughly twenty-four thousand nine-hundred sixty two. For those that care.

Scratch that, twenty-four thousand nine-hundred sixty four. And some of them are in other languages.


This is because science is in everything.

Science isn't even a 'thing' really, when you get right down to it. It is merely the metaphorical ruler used to measure things by. It is how we small, pitiful humans attempt to describe a universe--which is so vast and grand and wide--we are simply incapable of comprehending just how tiny we are in relation to everything else.

If I decided to grab my high-school chem book (actually a college text, since I was in the advanced courses), old, tattered, outdated, dog-eared, and decrepit and turned it to page 394 and read the description of radioactive decay and a half-life, I doubt it'd be that much different than the most recently released edition of the IUPAC's latest Gold Book. (Ah standards of measure. I suppose those are the little notches on my allegorical yardstick.)

Digression aside--to the point.

A half-life, put simply, is merely the time required for something to decay to half of its initial value. And that could be of anything really, but like most people of the current era, I'm thinking of time relative to a single radioactive decay.

I was so tickled when I first figured it out. As I always am when I manage to 'discover' something in a utterly new way that I know instead of know. That I actually com-pre-hend instead of just being cognitively aware of something. It's this small rush accompanied by a dash of self-consciousness, because really only a boring, lonely, loser would delight in finding radioactive decay as a paradigm for his existence.

........I guess we really are more like radioactive decay, but 'half-life' sounds better and is also, in its own way, appropriate. Though one is hardly mentioned without the other. I can't help but think, in my throes of over-analyzing, it's kind of how we stand with one foot in life and the other just beyond. I don't know which word represents 'living' and which means 'Shinigami.' Some days it's hard to tell. But usually I stick with 'decay' for Shinigami.

There are fifteen different types of radioactive decay, almost the same number of active Shinigami. Technically there are supposed to be eighteen of us but, well... Chidsiru and I both work alone, and I honestly am hard pressed to keep track with the more outlying sectors, other than Kyushu--since they don't work as much (an office myth I swear--even before Muraki came along to stir up trouble on a triennial basis) and they hang around all the time.

Of course, that's why I hang around the main office all the time too. No field work to be done, might as well spend that time in the lab.

The basic definition for radioactive decay is as follows: the process of unstable atomic nuclei emitting subatomic particles ).

Einstein reduced it to a simple, beautiful equation: E = mc2 

...The other thing about radioactive decay is that it has something called a 'parent nucleus' and a 'daughter nucleus' which is not at all like how it sounds when put into practice. In reality, it's just the old one adapting and shifting, making way for the new protons or neutrinos to come. Sort of.

I see it more as the passing of a mantle. Like us, eventually, slowly fading out and suddenly one day a completely new Shinigami is there. It has all the same beauty of dying stars.


The process is also totally random, so it's impossible to tell which atom of the sample is going to decay next. Fun huh?

And sometimes I wonder, who's it going to be? Who's going to be my next crisis? Because that's what Watari does. He's always there, with his wild, out-of-sync but-still-somehow funny comments and a gentle, healing smile and touch to fix people--or half-people--together.

I guess.

Usually I expect it to be Tsuzuki or Bon. But lately I find myself wondering if it won't be Tatsumi who explodes soon. The man is closer to the edge than I am, and probably twenty times as volatile. Which is saying something, considering how often I blow something up.

He hides it well. With a contained grace I almost envy. But really, I know he's killing himself. Slowly and surely.

Other days I wonder if it will be me. In my darker moods. Occasionally I even wonder who they will appoint to replace me when the time comes. When I am too worn down, or achieve Nirvana, or am decimated in my latest (ha) explosion. Whatever.

(I, in my ever-present compulsion to joke, smile to myself and quietly say sometimes when I'm alone, 'Well, I always wanted a daughter.')


(On rare occasions, perhaps a handful of times only, I still find myself surprised by a tiny, tiny prick of hurt in response to that statement.)


Anyways my predilection for the supposedly 'stronger' sex dooms me on that front. And my current front (when did this become a war?) in the romantic domain hasn't got a prayer. 'All's fair in love and war,' but half the game, I don't even know how to play.

Carbon fourteen has a relatively short half-life actually. Argon or Lithium take much longer to deteriorate.

A half-life doesn't always refer to radioactive decay.

I wonder what the average half-life of a Shinigami is.


Then I think on Tatsumi and Tsuzuki. And I think of what I see in Tatsumi's honest, blue eyes as he turns away and tries to hide the haunted echoes of twisted love and pain, lost among the thousands of other emotions he doesn't want us to see he has. I wonder if even love has a half-life. I wonder if it can be measured. 


And suddenly I find I hate my discovery hate it to the core.

Because I wonder, if we do have free will when everything is so damn structured, and blueprinted in all the building blocks, repeating like fractals. I wonder if crystal lattices start in the orbitals of the valence shells....

After all, a mineral's shape is determined by the structure of the crystal lattice, which is exactly the same at the molecular level.


It is another moment before a second thought strikes me. Sharp and yet subtle. What does it say about me, that I asked if love had a half-life and not about pain?


......


-end-

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November 2011

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