Only In Death Does Duty End

Making mistakes

From the pages of Zak's personal journal

Whatever happens, don’t let it stress you out. When you’re stressed out, you make mistakes.

Those are not my instructor’s exact words, but they are the gist of it. It’s one of those lessons you don’t learn from the words, only from doing.

I’m learning.

I got stressed out. I should be used to people shooting at me by now, and I guess I am. I’m not used to people shooting others to get at me, and my reaction was to fall into old habits. I chose our taxi pilot on old, flawed, misplaced assumptions. By the time I realised it was already too late.

I spent the flight trying to think of a solution. Anything. Anything other than the obvious. Those hunting us have carelessly wasted too many innocent lives already. Saving this one, just this one, would be the tiniest beginning to balancing the scales.

But seventy minutes is not enough, and as the taxi touched down on the landing platform there were still no better options. So we took the only one we had, together. Rezrel ensured there would be no screams. Maza made his death plausible. And I… I made sure I would never forget.

Never forget what we had to do.

Never forget who and what we are working for.

Never forget that our enemy has crossed a line, and dragged us down with them.

I won’t make such a mistake again. When I make a mistake, people die. That is my reality now, and my only regret is that it took me so long to learn. That it took a life to learn.

My only task now is to make sure his life and his death was not wasted.

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