Character: Major Edward Beck
Prompt: Table 3, #25 - Guilt
Warnings : Spoilers for pretty much everything that's ever happened in the series may lie within.
Word count: 535
Summary: And now what? (continued)
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/N1: Words in red are Beck's thoughts as he's writing; not what was actually sent.
A/N2: I have no military knowledge or background; everything I know I've learned through Wikipedia and various TV shows and movies (and we know how accurate all of those things are!) So, apologies in advance for incorrect terminology, or protocol.
July 4, 2007
I've started – and thrown away – this letter three times. (How do I thank you? How do I explain the guilt I will always carry? How can I accept your forgiveness? How do I protect you, even though I have to leave?)
By the time you read this, I'll be gone (I never imagined when I arrived that it would be this difficult to leave). You'll wake this morning to find a town almost empty of soldiers, but with your hometown heroes returned to the fold. Both events should give you reason for joy.
I thanked you for not giving up on me, but I don't think I managed to convey just how grateful I was that you waited with me while my commanders determined my fate. It meant the world, and I will never forget it, especially considering everything that happened the last week I was here.
Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Thank you. For everything.
You have an enormous - and wonderful - capacity for forgiveness and compassion, Heather. I hope you never lose that, no matter what happens in the next few months (possibly years). You made my time in Jericho – well, not enjoyable; we were too much at cross-purposes for that, weren't we? But you did make it bearable.
You were very good at your job as my liaison and I hope Mayor Anderson, Eric and Jake appreciate your value and give you the responsibility and the recognition you deserve. You'll prove to be a very valuable asset to Jericho, if those three men will only give you the courtesy of listening to you when you speak, and respecting your ideas and suggestions.
Although I've left Jericho two hundred troops who are still nominally under my command, I have no idea when (or if) I'll be back. I belong to Texas now, and I follow their orders; I will go where they send me (I can see your face as you read these words. I'm a soldier. It's what I do. To a point.) I hope to come back to Jericho someday, under better circumstances than those in which I'm leaving. I hope to see you again and assure myself there was no lasting damage from my presence here; to assure myself that you and the rest of the town are okay.
This won't be a short war – and it will be a bloody one. I only hope that what's left standing at the end of it will be what we're hoping for.
I leave you in good hands. Captain Clark is a good man, a good soldier, and you'll always have Jake to look out for you. I'll have some knowledge of what's happening in Jericho through Captain Clark; if you need anything, he should be able to get word to me – so long as our channels of communications remain open.
I can't really think of anything left to say except –good-bye, and good luck, and I hope...well, given the situation, I hope you stay safe, and that this war passes you by. (I hope you'll sometimes think of me, and think of me with kindness. I'll think of you often you've become my conscience's voice, and face.)