I'm really torn, now. Between telling you what happened at the trial and between the awful news I got last night.
Aaron is dead. I don't know all the details yet and I feel like I should eulogize him here, but I think I need a day or two to deal with it before I do that. Next post, I promise. He deserves my full attention.
As for what happened at the trial, it's probably obvious that I'm not locked up or out in the fields working twelve hours a day. There was a surprisingly deep divide in the council over how our actions were viewed, a split I'm told closely mirrors the attitudes of many people in Haven itself. On the one hand we broke laws and took matters into our own hands. A small number of us went out and put ourselves in an enormously risky situation for minimal gain, an act that put some very high-level information (what we know) get dangerously close to enemy hands.
The other side of the argument is that with only a small force and some explosives, we recovered a vital member of our community, destroyed an enemy weapons cache, and showed the UAS that nowhere in their territory is safe. Many people are applauding what we did as an example of how Haven can be. How it should be.
The punishment is interesting, a sort of compromise. With the exception of myself, every person that went on this trip is an extremely valuable asset in the day-to-day operations of Haven. Jess, Becky, and Kincaid have roles that can function without them but at nowhere near the same level of efficiency. Me, not so much, but as all of us were tried together, we all got the same sentence. So count this as an instance of pure and unadulterated luck on my part.
Four hours a day, seven days a week, we are required to put in time at various (very) shitty jobs. Dirty, awful work that no one wants to do. Shoveling shit, cleaning putrid wounds, clearing our corpses, you name the job that makes you gag and we're the people for it. My own shifts will be in the morning or early afternoon depending on the job. Jess will be working all over the place, I'm sure. I don't know how Becky and Kincaid made out on that front, as all of us were given separate schedules after the trial.
It's a sort of probation mixed with community service, and the timeline on it is very long. Two years assuming we toe the line and behave ourselves. For minor infractions against the rules we get three months added on. If we break another major law, things will get...dark. That was made very clear to us. We were lucky as hell that the situation didn't fall to pieces immediately, more so that we succeeded in an almost spectacular fashion. Others are not encouraged to take the risks we took. Should any of us decide to break another law, all four of us will suffer. Imprisonment was the most pleasant option, let's put it that way.
So we're none of us sitting easy about this. Our continued freedom rests on the idea that the group as a whole will behave. It's a tightrope to walk, to say the least, but frankly I think we got off easy. I'd have been happy to take a punishment like lashes and get it out of the way. This is a sword dangling over our heads, sure, but it's one we can avoid with little problem as long as we behave.