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6rant6's avatar

Which role would you elect in this post-apocolypse fantasy?

Asked by 6rant6 (13604 points ) February 7th, 2012

After some Bruce Willis move happens, you are left wandering the countryside, out of food and virtually out of hope. Unless you get help you will certainly die.

You come upon a stronghold, a city. You ring the bell and the gatekeeper says that admission is only possible if you can do a job they need doing. You reel off your resume but nothing clicks. The gatekeeper explains what positions are available. Most of them are related to the punishment of those who break the laws of the settlement. They try and execute a handful of people each week for stealing food, or trying to break in to the city, or other serious crimes that threaten the precarious society. Most of the jobs available are related to this function.

They are:

Judge: you will be required to sentence exactly half the people who appear before you to death. You will hear ten cases a week. The gatekeeper assures you that you will know that people are really guilty by the evidence you see.

Hangman: You pull the lever. That’s all you do. Ten minutes, 5 times a week.

Hangman’s Assistant: You build gallows, set up equipment for each condemned person, put the noose around the sentenced criminal’s neck, and bury the bodies. This is a full time occupation.

Question 1: which of the above do you choose? Or will you wander off to die somewhere?

Just as you are about to deliver your choice, the gatekeeper receives news of two new openings.

There is to be another gate opened. You could be the gatekeeper. Mostly, you will be turning people away to certain death. Sometimes (as now) there are openings for people to come in. If you do this job, you spend 24 hours a day at the gate, napping when things are slow.

Also, there is an opening for cook. Nine apprentices are already at work learning the job, and you could be the tenth. Only one of the ten will be given a place, and the other nine turned out to certain death.

Question 2: You now have five jobs to choose from: Judge, hangman, hangman’s assistant, gatekeeper and cook apprentice. Which do you choose?

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24 Answers

deni's avatar

The gatekeeper seems like an okay fit. Or, I might wander off, and if I couldn’t find other life, return to be the gatekeeper. If the position was still open. If not I’d try for the cook. I think I could make it.

ragingloli's avatar

Walk back to my spaceship and charge pulse phaser cannons and quantum torpedoes for orbital bombardement.
If I were a lowly human, I would walk into the desert to die with my honour intact.

Coloma's avatar

None of the above. I’d just pass right on by and let the chips fall where they may. I’m not afraid to die, and I’d prefer death to collecting heads in a basket.
Now if they needed a cook, gardener, happy brownie baker and stand up comedian to issue comedic relief for the towns folk, count me in. I just watched ” The book of Eli” recently…how depressing, no thanks.

rebbel's avatar

Surely they must also need a gardener, or a cleaner or something?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’d take the position of the cook. I’d poison everyone except a handful of the strongest warriors that I trusted, then they and I would take over the kingdom.

6rant6's avatar

@rebbel Already filled.

iphigeneia's avatar

Hangman’s assistant. I’d consider the labour my penance for being involved with murder.

But they do seem to be turning away/killing a lot of people. I wonder if it might be worth getting a band together and setting up another community. They must be running out of space for graves.

TexasDude's avatar

Oh God, it’s Ethics 490 all over again.

I’d kill all the men, enslave all the women, brainwash all the children, and pillage every usable supply. I would burn what was left of the city to the ground and travel elsewhere.

I made an A in Ethics

mrrich724's avatar

Hangman or hangman’s assistant. Hangman has the easiest job. But building gallows and equipment also sounds interesting.

keobooks's avatar

I don’t get into these questions too much, but cooks assistant would probably be the worst job. I mean… there are 9 assistants and once the get the 10th they kill the other 9? Then there’s one? I find it likely they will slowly find 9 more..

Symbeline's avatar

I’d be the judge, and then just not sentence anyone to death. What the hell kind of place is this where they hang a hungry man for stealing? Why doesn’t he have food, anyways? I mean, either I’m gonna starve in the woods, or starve in this city…what is the big incentive to go live there? And even if a place did have enough food and the criminals did deserve to be punished, I wouldn’t want to live in some death town that has fun executing people constantly. What is this, 1796 France?

So I’d be the judge and punish those who deserve it, but I wouldn’t be so goddamn severe. And if anybody gets on my case for not killing anyone, I’d be like, listen up douchebag, respect mah authoritah! Then I’d kick em in the shins.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I would make a samurai gang donning samurai apparel doing samurai things.

King_Pariah's avatar

Judge. Then I’d find them all guilty of being innocent of being Jack Sparrow. And then commute their sentences from death to life in prison.

digitalimpression's avatar

Hangman. Being as they are all horrible choices.. I might as well go with the one that requires less of my time.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Once I did get in, I would become the 11th crook every day. If they only try the first 10 and only hang 5 of them I would have it made.

Symbeline's avatar

@digitalimpression But maybe it’s the most traumatizing one, too? I mean, the judge decides whether or not one dies, so that has to weigh on the conscience…the apprentice has the most work to do, and is traumatized too…but the hangman is, ultimately, the direct connection to the person and their deaths. Maybe that’s why he needs so many days off.

But then, all those jobs, unfortunately, people would probably get used to after a bit.

MilkyWay's avatar

If I’m gonna die, I might as well die around food.
I choose cook.

King_Pariah's avatar

Are they sure they won’t need guards with the new gate going up? I’d be fine with that

keobooks's avatar

IMO, @WestRiverrat wins. That answer cracked me up

DancingMind's avatar

“Out of food”—the “average” human can go without food for three weeks. With my extra padding and very efficient metabolism, I figure I’ve got at least that long, if not some amount more. And since water was never mentioned, I’m going to assume there is a water supply somewhere.
“Virtually out of hope”—I don’t run on hope, I run on stubbornness, so I don’t think this would prevent me from going on. Might make it less pleasant.

The city: terrifies me. Its way of conduct terrifies me. The people, willingly participating to eke out a little bit more time, terrify me. I couldn’t participate. I couldn’t be that.

Anyway: if they’re really so short on food themselves they’re stealing and killing each other, they don’t seem to have a very sustainable design. Packing a bunch of people into a small area of fairly unfertile land, won’t work; it’s not working, too many fighting for too little.

I want to know what this countryside looks like, and where I can go. Surely there’s some kind of existence to be made off it. I’m an omnivore with an efficient gait, in a world where life populates every insane little crevice. My stubbornness does not believe I wouldn’t have a shot at surviving, or be better off dying wherever I wind up, than in that city.

And if this is happening sometime in the future, I would probably have had enough time—what I’ve been in the process of beginning—to acquire at least some of the skills I aim to learn, to be able to care for myself, without needing society as a crutch, should something ever happen (like it has in this scenario.) If it’s right now, I’ve always learned fairly quickly, and I’m not useless as I am.

I say all this, of course, assuming they let me walk away.

mazingerz88's avatar

Definitely cook. Amongst the choices, this is the only one that would give me hope, knowing I’ll be feeding people. But please, no cooking human beings or making them into biscuits!

Zaku's avatar

Judge, and then with five choices, judge.

I would be agreeing with the idea that if the gatekeeper lied to me about knowing the condemned were guilty, then I would not be bound by honor to the agreement myself. The system sounds likely to be very corrupt, but as judge, I would be in a position of some power to make good decisions, and also perhaps to find others interested in change, or to start some sort of revolution to make things better.

ucme's avatar

Alpha male who cherry picks the hottest surviving females for humping detail.

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