[This post is from Matt’s point of view.]
The murmur of voices reached them before they reached the pool of light that surrounded the cookfire. Matt’s heart grew a little heavier the closer he got, his stomach folding in on itself.
I set us on this path. This was me. It didn’t matter that others had agreed with him, had decided this was a good idea to at least try. It started with him, with his idea, with his assertion.
Win or lose, succeed or fail, this is on me. No one else. Just me.
He took a deep breath before they reached the edge of the firelight, exhaling it slowly and trying to center. It was at the same time easier and harder than he thought it would be.
Eyes turned to them as he and Phelan came into the light. Everyone seemed tired, anxious. Matt couldn’t blame them for that. He felt the same way.
God, I hope we can get a little more rest before we march.
He knew they wouldn’t, though. There just wasn’t going to be that kind of time.
“Well,” he said softly. “Let’s get down to it. Are the scouts here?”
“Anselm’s bringing them,” Marin said quietly. “It won’t be long.”
Matt nodded. “Okay. Are we ready for this?”
“Never,” Cameron said, then smiled crookedly. “But that doesn’t matter. It’s a job and we have to do it. We don’t have a choice. If we don’t send a message then this shit doesn’t end. I want to send a message.”
“Me too,” Matt said, shoving his hands into his pockets. “Hard and fast. One you can’t argue with. This needs to stop and it needs to stop now. It’s been a year and I’m tired of it.”
“We all are,” Jacqueline said. “That’s why we’re all behind this. One way or another.”
“Then let’s get to work.”