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You Don't Have To

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"I don't understand" Ryan cried, glancing at his teacher.

He received a sharp rap on the head in punishment, and an admonition never to look away from his enemy.

"But he isn't my enemy, he's my brother!"

Just then Ryault had tackled him, overpowering the younger boy and digging his knife into Ryan's chin. "You don't have to understand," their teacher said, "you simply have to do what is right. Even if the Fleet's enemy is your brother, you must fight."

-o-

Years later, Ryan locked eyes with Luke as Angela sniffled. "I don't understand!" she cried.

"You don't have to."