Black Ring Three: Another Way

Jeanette, unlike most adventure story heroes, feels guilt when she has to hurt or kill her enemies. She can’t help but imagine the loss felt by their friends and families. She almost always has little choice, when someone must be killed to save innocent people from being hurt or killed, or made to suffer the destruction of their culture. How much guilt would she feel if, reluctant to take someone’s life, she doesn’t make the effort to save the lives of others? It’s always a moral choice, and it is never an easy one. There is always a price to pay.

There is a classic ethics conundrum. You are standing by a railroad switch. A car with six people in it has stalled on one track. A car with only one person in it has stalled on the other track. And a train is coming. The way the switch is set now, if you do nothing, the train will hit the car with six people in it. If you choose to throw the switch, the train will take the other track and, because of your action, it will kill the one person in that car. What will you do?

The choice is not always that clear. Jeanette has to struggle each time. It is especially difficult when a decision cannot be delayed for even a moment or two. She just hopes that whatever she chooses to do is the right thing. Even when it is obvious that she is right, each death she causes adds to the stain in the back of her mind. But she keeps on, knowing that whole cultures will suffer if she doesn’t accept that guilt. And always hoping that, the next time, maybe she will find a different solution.