With a single sentence he sent them to their deaths. He knew what it was, he knew what it meant. He now understood the ruthlessness of war, the sacrifice of victory.
There was a time when he was normal. Just a kid, like we have all been at some time or another. Gazing into the sky, envying the birds their flight. Dreaming of a future he had absolutely no reference for. He had no perspective. He would be young forever. Wouldn't we all?
The burden on his shoulders was too massive to control. Most days he would sink in it. Wallow in that place between dreams. He couldn't be touched there. He couldn't be asked to decide. He was free from that horrible responsibility.
But it would be back. It always was. They would look to him, as their world fell apart, and he was expected to have the answers. To have the resolve. He was expected to order his friends into danger, to order them into eternal silence. And it was accepted that his word was law.
He had made so many mistakes. So many ******* mistakes. He had failed to see the bigger picture. He had failed to see the end coming. It was here now. And what terrified him the most wasn't the battle, wasn't the fear, wasn't the impending doom. It was the quiet acknowledgment. The smooth, calm smile on his face.
It was the end of everything, and he was ready for it.