Rell was so used to peering down tunnels. His vision defined and constrained, yet focused and unwavering. He gauged the winds, timed the many protectors between him and his target. Some of these protectors were solid barriers that came to rest; whereas, others were transient flowing in and out of his focused line of sight.

Rell never asked if what he was staring at was right, moral, or just. He was told that the contraction of ligaments and tendons in one of his fingers was clean and decisive. This was all that he needed to know. He was a sniper, an expert marksman who neutralized targets in service of God and country. He excelled at creating immersive, waking dreams as he waited for the perfect moment to offer this final solution.

Yet, something was different. A growing uncertainty with the acceptance of his missions and compliance with his training. The uncertainty grew like a seed and he wondered if it were in fact a cicada. He wondered if he was the best person to serve as a hand of God. Ending lives and traumatically altering the course of countless other lives. He wondered if his superiors and his handler were appropriate arbiters of who lived and who died. He knew nothing of the men and women that he killed, except for their daily habits. Rell grew increasingly mindful of his wound. This wound was growing fatal. Blurring his vision, widening the tunnel, and asking questions. His conscience was alive, awake, and conjuring regret.