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The Choice

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“Jonathon, do you know who this is?”
“No Calvius. Who?”
“That doesn’t matter, he’s one of them; the enemy.”
“The enemy.”
Jonathon watched the hooded figure with a mixture of distaste and curiosity, but little hostility. Calvius taught him that disdain was a much more clever emotion to feel than hostility.
Calvius was watching Jonathon, not the hooded figure, scanning his face for any sort of sympathy, the feelings that the weak feel without question. Jonathon was not weak.
“What has he done?”
Calvius circled the man, but kept his eyes on Jonathon. “He has done many things, raised a family, divorced his wife, remarried, gotten drunk, gotten rich, became poor. He’s lived a life, Jonathon, something you’ve never had.”
“Am I supposed to be envious of what he has?”
Calvius shook his head.
“You should hate, but not be a hater.”
“Friendly, but never a friend.”
“Love…”
“But never a lover.”
“Our creed, Jonathon.”
“Our life, Calvius.”
Jonathon held out his open palm, waiting to receive the knife. Calvius held to him, and Jonathon took it. Jonathon took three steps to the man in the chair. He knew he was allowed only three questions once he had the knife.
“May I see his face?”
“He has no face to you.”
“Does he know me?”
“It doesn’t matter who he knows here, it matters whether or not you allow his knowledge to continue.”
“Was that your motive?”
Calvius slapped Jonathon. The apprentice suffered with dignity. His master explained.
“Jonathon, his only crime is not against me, nor you, but us, what we stand for.”
“I stand for myself, and so do you.”
Calvius applauded. Jonathon put the knife to the man’s throat. Life or death, Jonathon would not suffer for this man’s death. The man would not be remembered by him, but simply fade deep into Jonathon’s memory. Jonathon did not know the man, the man did not know Jonathon, neither had wronged the other.
“So why kill him?” Calvius asked.
Jonathon brought the knife across the man’s throat.
“Why not, Calvius?”



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