Title: Oasis - Ch. 8/??
Character: Major Edward Beck
Prompt: Table 8, #87 - Guilt
Warnings : Major, major spoilage within for the last episode of season 2.
Word count: 719
Summary: And now what?
Disclaimer/Claimer: I do not own nor am I affiliated with Jericho or CBS or any of the other PTB in relation to the show (although if anybody has a Major Beck just kickin' around with nothing to do...send him my way!). No infringement is intended. I'm just taking the characters out to play, and will do my best to show them a very, VERY good time. ;)
A/N: Words in red are Beck's thoughts as he's writing; not what was actually sent.
July 4, 2007
I wasn't executed. Obviously. Luckily. Amazingly. I'd accepted the fact that I was likely going to die in the not too distant future – and not in battle, like I had recently assumed, but in front of a firing squad, convicted of treason. To be given a reprieve – a second chance at life – there's still a part of me that's stunned, and wondering what the hell just happened.
Waiting for the company commanders to make a decision was excruciating. Heather – the forgiving soul that she is – waited with me while they deliberated. She could have seen me arrested (like she saw Jake arrested). Instead, she saw them acknowledge me as their commanding officer.
They defected with me.
We gave the rest of the troops the choice to stay with the ASA, or to stand with us. We showed them the information from Hawkins' laptop, and let them choose. Most have chosen to stay. Those who have gone back have done so because they have family elsewhere in the ASA territory, and are afraid that their families will be made to suffer for their defection.
I understand, and we have let them go without prejudice, knowing that we may soon meet again – on the battlefield.
In case you're wondering about my sanity (as if you will see this any time soon), we've also heard from Jake. When I say we, I mean Emily and Darcy, who then told everyone else.
Jake and Hawkins got the bomb out of Cheyenne – got it to Texas. Proved to Texas that Cheyenne had lied about the origins of the bombs and what really happened in the September Attacks.
We are at war.
Emily told Jake about me and my troops. Because of that, and thanks to Jake, yesterday I spoke with General Quinn in Texas. We leave today for San Antonio.
We're already at war, so the checkpoints won't be a problem – we'll simply blast through them if we have to. But we hope to convince as many soldiers as we can of Cheyenne's duplicity, and to get them on our side.
Jake and Hawkins are returning today from San Antonio. Hawkins isn't really in any shape to travel – a gut shot will do that to you - but he wanted to be with his family, and to help Jericho - his home - make their stand. I'll be gone by the time they get here. Normally, we would pass on the road, except we're going by land and they're coming by air. Apparently, Texas no longer has a need for their diplomatic plane. (Are they communicating with Columbus? Have they been communicating with you, Colonel Beck? General Quinn didn't seem to recognize my name, so I just don't know...but I can hope.)
I, once again, have to do my duty and follow orders. I hope this government is legitimate and that we're not allies with it simply because it is also against the ASA. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" - isn't that the old adage? I hope that's not the reasoning in this case - I don't think I can take following the orders of a corrupt government a second time.
Hell, I don't know if I can follow any orders again without second thoughts. The things I've done while with the ASA aren't things I can just forget; I think the guilt will linger for the rest of my life. Even if the rest of Jericho can, like Heather, forgive me, I'm not sure if I can ever forgive myself. Perhaps not so much for the things I've done – many of my actions and decisions were to enforce peace, after all, and in many situations it didn't matter whose orders I was following, my actions would have been the same. But I chose to follow the ASA – never without thought and not without doubt – but even though I doubted, I followed anyway.
That's hard to understand; even harder to justify - although I have a million excuses.
I must go. It's almost time for us to leave, and I have other letters to write. Ironically, it's Independence Day, and we are once again a nation fighting for our freedom. It's also Jericho's Independence Day – independence from me and from the ASA.
We are at war.
God help us all.