Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Nine Shots

I'm keeping it short today because if I don't I'm going to blather endlessly, and we've all had enough of me doing that.

The three prisoners we took during the attack wouldn't talk. They gave us absolutely nothing about where their people came from, what their goals were, what the motivation was. Nothing at all. So, a public trial was held for crimes against us. All three were found guilty.

Our system for dealing with executions, though rarely used, relies on a draft. If no one volunteers then names are drawn. That's just how it goes.

I volunteered. I didn't want to do it, but I felt as though I had to. Those people were enemies, merciless and dedicated. I looked into their eyes as I approached them, no hoods or blindfolds to keep them from seeing the end coming. I think that was a piece of theater to allow fear to build. Maybe if they saw death coming at them they'd break and start telling secrets.

Two men, one woman. The woman was between the men. Their crimes and punishment were read out before the crowd. They were given a chance to say a few last words. None of them took the opportunity. Will presided over the event, and he was the one to give me the signal to continue. I thought there would be hesitation, some creeping sense of wrong.

My hands did there well-practiced trick, though. Smooth and easy. In the old days we were taught to put two in the chest and one in the head. Now it's reversed. One bullet to the heart to kill or close enough to it, two in the head after the first prisoner fell over.

I moved on to the woman. I felt nothing but a vague sense of waste.

I might have expected anger or hate or some kind of fire, but her eyes were empty and resigned. She closed her eyes. I took the light out of them.

The last prisoner was no different. It was all over in less than a minute. Nine bullets, nine cracks of thunder, and then cleanup. I took a cold shower after then ate some breakfast.

Guess I'm ready for anything now.

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