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  • Raccoon World
  • Park Min-gyu (bio)
    Translated by Jenny Wang Medina (bio)


" . . . that's respectable," B was saying sarcastically into the phone as I hung up on him. It wasn't because I didn't like him, or that I couldn't take any more of his belittling. It was because I could hear Team Leader Sohn's voice drifting toward me over three rows of desks and several clusters of office machinery. That guy shouting, "Yes, sir!" and running over to him is me-I'm an intern here at Moon Communications. I've been an intern here for four months. Even now, I still think

it's respectable. And I've been really good at doing this stuff for four months. There are eight interns total, all working to outdo each other. The pay isn't much to speak of, but I make enough to drive here and back. There's so much work to do that I have to stay up almost all night every night, but after the six-month training period, one intern will be chosen as a full-time employee. And the rest? Well, that's it for them. The personnel manager told us to "Think of this as good experience," but I definitely don't want to be one of the ones left behind.

The seven other interns are desperate too. It drives me crazy. [End Page 193] I can't let my guard down for a minute. And there are two girls in the group who have famously high scores on the TOEIC English test. Needless to say, it's intense, and the atmosphere is positively suffocating. Four of the interns are so-so and one's an idiot, but they're just as intense as the rest of us. You can never just say, "Oh well," and try to blame it on someone else if things go wrong. The fact is that that's just how life is, so

what can you do? Even I, I who made a name for myself as the singer of the rock group "Sam's Son" in college, can't do anything about it. All I can do is look things up, make copies, file, make phone calls, do research, and fetch coffee all day long. Yesterday I went and stood in for the department manager during his civilian defense training. Is that any sort of thing for a rock star to do? But it's respectable, respectable. Of course B, the drummer, was laughing so hard he cried.

Did you call me, sir?

Yeah, I thought you might be good at this sort of thing. Team Leader Sohn smiled at me. To make a long story short, I want to run this program, but it won't work. And . . . I want you to get it to work for me. Inwardly, I breathe a sigh of relief. Team Leader Sohn has such a bullish look about him that it always makes it hard to look him in the face. On top of that, the atmosphere was especially ominous that day because he was choosing his team for the big presentation competition.

This is

an old video game, from the looks of it. That's right, it is an old video game. Well, you need to download an emulator first, sir. An emulator? It would take a while to explain it to you, sir. I searched the Internet and simply found a MAME emulator, simply installed it, and [End Page 194] ran Team Leader Sohn's simple program. It worked. Simple.

This is

what is it sir? It's Raccoon World, of course. Raccoon World, sir? Yup, Raccoon World. Sure enough, jangly, manic music started blaring from the computer, and a jangly, manic little raccoon appeared in the corner of the screen. Team Leader Sohn smiled with a look on his face that said, "See?" and immediately got into the game. The game consisted of moving the raccoon across platforms and up ladders, picking up fruit, and avoiding these bug-like things that chased you. You died if you fell on an upturned tack. It was completely pointless.

What do you think? Well, . . . I don...