The meeting broke up early. You’d think it would take days to reach such a decision, but only fifty-three minutes had passed, I walked with the President in the gardens. On the lawn a peacock called, the sound rasping and full of anguish.
“All of them?” I said. “Must they all die?”
The President brushed hair from her eyes. It was a weary gesture. “You know the answer. If even one survives, this will get out.”
Beyond the walls, I heard the rumble as the tanks moved off.