The members of the Gatchamania.com site have been running a fun set of challenges called "Bradbury's Jar": a word picked at random as though taken from a container of papers with one word each, with which a writer then crafts a story using that word. I've read many but until now was unable to participate because I was so busy trying to finish Defiance. Now that it's done, I can finally have some fun with the challenge. These two chapters are my first attempts at it.
Author's Chapter Notes:
Bradbury's Jar word: consequences
I see my second in command staring off into space and I know he's thinking the same thing I am: what do we do, when we must go back into war? How can we function, when somewhere on the other side is a Devil Star assassin who in truth isn't one of their own? Who by association must be considered a target as unequivocally as those she spies upon, even though she saved my second's life. Does she realize that every moment he prays she understands this: that when we face Gallactor again we will kill all in our sight without prejudice, for if we hold ourselves back in attempt to protect her, the consequence will be worse--their command echelon will notice this change in our tactics and sweep their ranks for the spies they suspect we are avoiding. She will die at their hands, and only after they torture her first. The other consequence is that she dies by our hand, unwittingly, collateral that we are unable to avoid. I don't know what would be worse. Neither of us know how to avoid either circumstance. All we can do is hope she is able to stay out of our way. And then, perhaps, be lucky enough to escape us all.