I have been in discussion with the council for most of the last two days. Against the advice of every one of my friends except Will, who abstained from giving me his opinion, I have asked for the right to join up with troops who will take the fight to the UAS borders. Because what we have now is no longer a war for our freedom versus the UAS fighting to control. This is a war of survival on both sides. The UAS sees us--all of us--as a threat to their very existence. They aren't coming for us to bring the Union or the western groups under their control. They're out to exterminate, because the leadership there realizes they've picked a fight that has escalated out of their control.
I should mention that the council voted overwhelmingly to deny my request. The reasons? Let's see: I've been depressed. I've been unpredictable. I've expressed a desire to see the fighting end. I've questioned the actions of our leaders. I've spent time advocating other solutions than violence in the face of overwhelming opposition.
In short, they don't trust me to do it. I don't understand how one man could so badly threaten a group of soldiers when he's burning to accomplish their goals, but there you have it. Apparently I've gone from being something of a folk hero around here to being seen as an unstable guy who can't be trusted to defend his people.
And you know? As much as it pisses me off, I can still understand. All of those things are true, though I'd argue that context matters more than the council admits. I'm benched, and if I'm being kept out of the larger fight now, when it matters more than ever, then I can't envision a situation where I'll be allowed to do my part. Sure, I can go outside the walls and fight the undead, maybe even take on the UAS if they make it this far into Union territory, but I won't be trusted to go out into the world as I once was.
I begin to wonder exactly what we're fighting for. I've spent the last three years surviving just as much as any other person. I've dedicated much of my time and energy to helping as much as I can. Yet here I am, a free man, sitting in my own home being told I can't leave to defend what may be an emerging nation.
Maybe it's those kind of thoughts that keep me from the front lines. One of the reasons the council gave me, that the undead would rise soon as the seasons change, is certainly true enough; yesterday was so warm that our scouts saw a few zombies on the outskirts of the county. They were moving freely. My home may need me here to defend it.
But I can't help feeling that in the urge to resist those who would oppress us, we've become too cautious and perhaps a shade oppressive ourselves. I'm not averse to having leadership with ultimate say about defense and how we operate as a community, but it seems to me that volunteers for dangerous front line combat should be given a chance. What do they think I was going to do, commit suicide by UAS? Run? Or suddenly decide that the people and land I've bled for were worth less to me than enemy lives?
If that was the idea, then the council can go fuck themselves. Every single one of them who voted against me. Some of the them--many of them, to be honest--are friends. I know them well. That's a big part of why this hurts so much.
It's their call to make, but that doesn't mean I have to like it at all. I have work to do here. Paperwork.