Challenge #03099-H191: Orders Are Not an Excuse

The Good Soldier - Bridget Kielas-Fecyk


I'm a brave and proud soldier.

I'm strong with sword and bow.

And upon my Leige’s orders,

My enemy did I lay low.


I found my enemy was a father.

A child now filled with tears.

Into my arms I took her.

And tried to calm her fears.


My Leige, oh please, forgive me.

For my duties I must forsake.

For I've killed this child's father.

Now as my child, this girl, I take.


Now I've grown older and perished.

Oh God, forgive my soul.

For I was merely a soldier....

When my enemies, did I lay low. -- DaniAndShali

When meat meets metal, be holding the metal. It seemed like simple advice, but war is never clean, never easy, and never, ever, simple. There are some parts of it that are simple. When it's them or you, you make sure it's them. But when it's their kid or you...

It had been reflex. Pure luck that Zyf had got their blow in first. Luckier still that the other armoured figure in the smoke and chaos had been unable to strike back. Zyf hadn't wanted to. That was one of the complicated parts. More complicated still was the tiny figure that came out of hiding to try and convince a corpse to get up and save her.

It would have been easy to classify her as enemy and finish her as quickly as the last one to die. But... truly honourable people don't just stop at the easy solutions. It wasn't ethical to kill an unarmed noncombatant, and Zyf's combat eyescreen disagreed. This was one of the enemy. Toxic, hazardous, dangerous... Zyf ignored it and adjusted the settings. Their suit would send an alert to Top Brass, safely in orbit above. Let it. This was the right thing to do.

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