It began as an exciting day for the Corps.

A new era is beginning for the crew, with new opportunities, new projects, and new expeditions; and to launch this new era the Corps was opening our doors to the public to revel in camaraderie and new connections.

It was the night of our open rehearsal, and the studio was flooded with new faces and new energies. Sasha and I were ecstatic to share the space with people just as excited and willing to learn as we were willing to teach. The Corps, as always, was a force of energy, welcoming the newcomers into our home space to share in our training and bonding.

The human psyche is an amazing entity, watching as people transform in the face of exciting new opportunities. To watch individuals pass through our doors, reserved and shy, testing the terrain to see if the waters are welcoming; and then observing them as they slowly begin to open up when they realize that the documentations are true and the Corps, with boundless effort and no filter to their actions, are just as strange and awkward and crazy in real life as they are portrayed through film. It is fulfilling to watch the bonding experience, to watch strangers open up to strangers so those titles are instantly dissolved.

The event ended with celebration and joy as our new friends went out to venture into the night with heads held high and new moves in their repertoire.

The rest of the evening saw the Corps holding a photo shoot to document our cosplays with the ever-talented and perfectly dressed Dom and Kan, while the Special Ops Squad prepared for their Comikaze expedition in October.

That was when tragedy struck.

As the Special Ops Squad powered through the night rehearsing and training and piecing together the set, the energy of the group waned as the ambition continued to soar.

The Corpsmen pushed through, encouraging one another yet always emphasizing safety in preserving our efforts for the real expedition. And yet I always seem to get away from myself, lost in my need to know more and do more and more often than not, I require Moblit or Nifa or Levi to pull me back into my own awareness again. But they were not there, and I hadn’t realized how dependent I am on their watchful eyes.

As we approached the end of the night and proceeded with our final run, I reverted to my usual self and got far too excited for my own good. I had learned a new maneuver, and instead of playing it safe as my ‘caretakers’ often force me to, I persuaded my tired limbs to jump off the metal structure.

As I came down from my jump, and foot connected with floor, I felt my right knee shift completely out of its joint and then resemble just as quickly. I remember thinking that, in that moment, I had pushed too far.

The initial wave of pain was instantaneous, and if Sasha had not come running to my aid I most likely would have purged the contents of my stomach onto the floor. When the sharp wave dulled to a throbbing and horrid ache, the squad went into immediate action. Mikasa and Petra helped move me into a more comfortable position, while Chibi Moon and Ilse made sure I had ice on hand. Jean, Connie, and Bertholdt sat with Makoto and Naruto, acting as moral support as I performed an analysis of the injury before passing out on the couches in the lobby.

I remember how quickly the night had transformed from a roaring whirlwind of laughs and exuberance only to end with a forced positivity in the face of the painfully inevitable. I fear very little in my time, but I feared the reaction of Erwin and the rest of the Corps once they found out how truly irresponsible I had been.

But, as has been the running theme of my life and my research, I am so often completely surprised by the outcomes of my endeavors.

The support and love I have received from the Corps has been mind-boggling, from the care I receive at HQ under Erwin, Mikasa, and Pixis’ watch, to the constant stream of visitations from Sasha and Jean, to my Pokemon Trainer friends, Free boys, and Sailor Scouts. The injury is substantial, and extreme measures must be taken before I can return to the field, but despite it all there is a clear and gleaming silver lining to this ordeal…and one that I will grasp with both hands.

What is in store for myself and the rest of the Corps now? Too much to recount in one entry, that is for certain. But I will record it all down, document every feat we overcome, so as to prove we—as a team, as a crew, as the Corps—can persevere through anything.

For the love of the art, for the joy of each other, and for the good of humanity. Sourumeito.

–H.Zoe

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