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The little girl looked up. The sky… Why was it red?

Her mother told her not to stay out. She stared at the sky. A beautiful crescent of light appeared; it split into many more red pieces, and fell onto the ground. She was enticed by it to stay. The sky was filling up with the light. Even today’s dusk looked like yesterday’s dawn.

She heard a racket. It was late now. She was sure that her mother would come looking for her. She ran back to her house. She noticed the people flocking the streets.

“They are come! They are come!”

She did not understand this. She went to her house. Her mother looked anxious – “Where were you?” She did not reply to this. She asked about the people, and their anxiety.

Her mother asked her to stay inside the house.

He looked at the level ground in front of him. Another ‘acquisition’ for the “Good of Our Kind, and Restoration of Peace”…

He wondered how many volumes of blood had to be shed for this one. He waited for the officer to come. The others looked strong. He was extremely weak, he thought. The others’ faces were gaunt, and bold. He tried to look that way. The officer came in for the briefing. “We attack at dawn. It will be a very easy acquisition, men. We have to level the…” the officer trailed off.

He wasn’t listening. He prepared himself for the next day.

It was, indeed, a very easy fight, he thought. He looked at the razed capital. Dust and Ashes. What now? The Prince has had enough… Hopefully his last acquisition. The others were looking around for survivors –

He looked up. He thought he heard someone moan. He looked around - for survivors. The others thought he finally learnt the art of “leave no survivors”

He walked through the debris towards the source of the sound.

The moans stopped. He searched frantically for the voice, but he was lost.

The next day, the others dug up the corpse of the little girl. She had suffered a lot before she died. He could not bear to look at it. It was mangled brutally… the stench… oh the stench! But the others didn’t see it.

They burnt the corpse along with the others. Her mothers’ too, which was somewhere in the bottom. He walked away, he would not see it.

He wanted to do something. This should not continue. But, the Prince had declared these people to be barbarians. They had to be eradicated…

“Can I question my Prince?”

“Can I question my loyalty?”

He wanted to do something. But he was just a soldier. Just a soldier.

“This is not evil…” the academy-officer had said “… you are helping your fellow countrymen expand and survive over these barbarians…”

He looked up at the red sky. “They are right, I am wrong. This is not Evil…”

The mangled corpse…

“…but loyalty…”

The dust settled on his blood.

*********

It is necessary only for the good man to do nothing for evil to triumph

-Edmund Burke.

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