Pets have arrived with Fortnite Season 6, cute little friends you can carry around on your back that react to just about everything you do, even death. It raises the question: what happens to Fortnite's dogs when you die? Do they go to heaven as all dogs do? Do they suffer? Are they even aware of their own mortality?
The following is close observation of the last moments of my life in a recent squad match. I will discuss the stages Fortnite's backpack dog appears to pass through on their rapid march to oblivion.
Content warning: the dog is very cute and also a cartoon.
Stage One: Down
I lose all my health and enter a downed state. The dog reacts to my fall by climbing out of its basket. Bewildered, it alters between joy, confusion, and anger.
Stage 2: An invisible threat fast approaching
A primal fear takes hold. The Fortnite dog stares into the distance, teeth bared, eyes unmoving, tracking a preternatural invisible threat.
Stage 3: Acceptance
It is too bold to call it peace, but there is a change in the final moments of a Fortnite dog's life. A calm washes over. The threat is gone, or the threat is too near to thwart. Fear, bravery: these cannot save the Fortnite dog now. And, as if it had access to the knowledge of the many lives it had already lived, all the lives it had yet to live, the Fortnite dog comes to accept their fate.
Stage 4: Immateriality
The Fortnite dog phases into an ascendant immaterial form as loaded weapons pass through their body. By now their perception has shattered. The Fortnite dog becomes a ghost. It is conscious but, effectively, dead.
Stage 5: Erasure
And then they are gone. Vanished. Ripped from the fabric of reality only to appear on the back of yet another flossing soldier doomed to die. Such is the existence of a Fortnite dog.