Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Page 1637

((Triple Wednesday -- Page 3 of 3))
But anyway,’ said Garovel, ‘it wasn’t what you might call a “good war.” Or--okay, maybe that sounds like an oxymoron and simply an impossibility--and maybe it is. War is obviously terrible. But what I mean is, it wasn’t a war that we had a good reason for fighting. We were the aggressors, and we were trying to destroy all these libraries before they could “sow disorder” or “stir dark sentiments” among our people. That was basically the extent of our justification for it. And even though I believed it at the time and for many years thereafter, when I look back on it now... well. I’m ashamed of myself, to say the least.

Hector wasn’t sure what to say.

...But perhaps that doesn’t really give you a complete pictures of things,’ said Garovel. ‘I’ll put it more bluntly. Over the course of the war, I burned down seven different libraries and slaughtered dozens of innocent people in the process.

Now Hector really didn’t know what to say.

Of course, they didn’t seem so innocent to me at the time, nor was I acting alone, but that doesn’t absolve me of my crimes, I think.

It... it was three thousand years ago, Garovel.

That doesn’t absolve me, either, Hector.

I... I don’t... uh...

It’s okay. You don’t have to say anything. And you don’t have to overlook it, either. It’s a part of my past, and even though that’s not who I am anymore, I wanted you to know about it.

He felt like he had to say something, but he didn’t know what. Garovel had really killed people? Innocents?

He was having a hard time with that. He didn’t want to believe it. But then again, life was different three thousand years ago. And it was a different culture. And... and...

...Why did you tell me that?’ said Hector.

The reaper took his time answering. ‘I... don’t want to hide the truth from you. Even when it’s terrible.

But that’s...’ Hector sighed in his own mind. A part of him--a rather strong part of him--wished that Garovel hadn’t told him. He didn’t want to think of Garovel as having done something like that. ‘Did you... did you really kill innocent people? Like, non-combatants who couldn’t fight back?


Somehow, that one word hurt Hector more than he thought it would. It was so difficult to understand, to consolidate with everything he had already known about Garovel. This was someone who had resurrected him for the expressed purpose of rescuing innocent people, and yet...? Now Garovel was saying...?


It was one thing for Garovel to have fought and killed people in a war. Other warriors. That was what Hector had been thinking the reaper was going to say. Even that thought had made him uncomfortable, but now, he felt like he would’ve understood that a lot better, at least. When you were in a war, you were fighting for your own survival as much as you were to achieve victory for your side. It wasn’t pleasant to think about, maybe, but it was understandable.

Killing non-combatants was beyond that, though, Hector felt. That was significantly more awful.

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