They’ve given me a few moments to write this before they hang me. It’s meant to be a confession, no doubt to fuel the propaganda of Castelon. It’s better this way, the Coalition will not believe anything coming from Castelon so my family will be safe. For that I’m glad, mostly because everything I’m going to write is true.
I didn’t start out as a murderer, but I am one now. Drogue picked me to be in the Special Division. The General himself came up to me after I was promoted to Major and said, “I need a man like you. You live for this.” Looking at him I swear he was practically giggling thinking about what he was going to have me do. I turned him down. I honestly thought he was going to have me killed right then and there. He let me go and I was able to take charge of a platoon at the front far away from Drogue. Unfortunately, Drogue’s reach is greater than I thought. He would send me well wishes frequently: my platoon being merged with Drake’s Recon force, me and my squad going out on recon patrols a mile away from the kingdom of Castelon, me delivering an ultimatum to Hillcrest myself. Drake wants to get me, but it’s worth it. I have nightmares about the things I’ve heard the Special Division does. If I only knew where the camps were I could write it here. If the High Command knew what Drogue was doing he’d be executed for Conduct Unbefitting of an Officer.
I avoiding being in Drogue’s squad, but he reserved a special mission just for me. During the Battle of Hillcrest, Major Drake told me to lead a squad of Drogue’s handpicked best to cause as much damage as possible to “crush morale”. That was easy to read: kill civilians as brutally as possible. Civilians that were hiding in their homes, civilians that never lifted a hand to the Coalition. I wish I would say I told Drake no and faced the consequences Drogue had in store for me. I didn’t. I lead the squad under the cover of darkness and hid in some farm house after we butchered the family. When the battle began, we moved from house to house. We torched people in their beds with the Dragon Tongue units. I’m glad I won’t live much longer because I’ll never be able to get that smell out of my hair. It was too much. During the fifth house, I cut down the shooter of the Dragon Tongue team and turned the flames on the others. They fell almost instantly. The house went up too. I sat down and let the place burn around me. It went black as the roof collapsed.
The people of Hillcrest pulled me out of the rubble. I wish they let me burn. They worked me over pretty good. The magistrate kept asking me “How could you do this?”. I just shrugged. I had no answer for him. What do you say? I look at everything I’ve done in this war, and shudder because it just started. Who knows what’s to come. I hope that I’m counted as a casualty of the battle. My family might get a commendation from the Emperor. That would help them a lot. I just wish I could know they’re safe. The guards are coming. They say if it’s done right, you’re neck breaks and you die instantly. I hope it’s quick, but I don’t deserve it. It’d be more mercy than I’ve shown.
Maj. Eric Hallworth