Sides Of A Coin
Two men looked at the same event with guarded apprehension. One glanced upwards towards the sky and the other down at a computer monitor. Despite being thousands of miles apart, in that moment their destinies were intertwined.
The first man hugged his family, and then lied to them.
“It will be okay, we will be fine”.
He knew that if it didn’t happen today, it would happen soon enough. Perhaps tomorrow, or the week after. He and therefore his family were targets. His actions dictated their consequences, one way or another his children would follow in his footsteps.
The second man shook his superiors' hands and then lied to them.
“We have done all that we can, collateral damage levels will fall within the acceptable range”.
He knew that there were always innocents in close proximity to the targets. Given the operational constraints of the mission “all we could do” was a subjective phrase. More could always be done.
Despite not knowing each other, these two men were at war. Patriots to a cause far greater than themselves.
The first man knew it was his duty, his actions were a holy opportunity, a divine order. Besides, he knew that to refuse this obligation would have the same consequence. Death would come to him and his family, and he would rather die a hero then a traitor. At least this way he could make a difference.
The second man could have protested, pointing to conventions, directives and agreed upon rights. But he knew it would happen regardless, another would have just taken his place. Death would be swiftly delivered. The mission would be accomplished with or without him. At least this way he could make a difference.
Authors Note: The concept of subjective reality and moral relativism fascinate me. This is an early attempt at exploring those concepts with short fiction.
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