Charlie bent over the wash basin, getting the last of the blood off her hands. It has been a trying couple of days. At first she was looking forward to being left alone with her grandpa. She needed space from her Mom and Miles. But most importantly she needed space from Monroe. Her thoughts still lingered on that searing kiss he gave her the night before they left to go get his son. It had felt good, and that was bothering the hell out of her. He had destroyed her family, she'd tried to kill him for heaven's sake. She hated this man, didn't she?
If only Monroe's kiss were the only thing that was bothering her. But she couldn't get the look in grandpa's face after she killed those soldiers on the wagon out of her mind. What the hell did he expect her to do? Stop the wagon and ask them politely what they were carrying. Yeah like that would have gone over well. It would have just gotten them both caught and killed. And now those looks were intensifying. He looked at her like she was a monster. He looked at her like he looked at Monroe.
After they found the oranges, and broke into the quarantine camp and found the victims of Typhus, she knew they couldn't wait for the other's to get back to get answers. If she did it might be too late. So she took matters into her own hands. And if Gene didn't like her methods, then screw him. This was war, and war was ugly. She was going to fight back the only way she knew how. The way Miles and inadvertently Monroe had taught her.
Making the decision on her current plan of action hadn't been hard. Actually it had been damn easy. Part of her worried about that. But after everything she's been through she knew there was no room for doubt, no room for indecision. A year ago she would have never even thought about doing what she was doing, at least not on her own. She would have left it up Miles to make the hard choices, to do the dirty work.
Well that Charlie was gone. The one who stared at post cards, aching to see and experience the world outside of her village. Well she sure as hell got her wish. She's experienced the world and it's changed her. Maybe her grandpa's looks weren't too off base. She killed without a second thought. Hell she'd lost count of the number of lives she'd taken. She had learned early on how to compartmentalize. To put those feelings away. It was the only way she could do what needed to be done and not go crazy or fall into a pit of despair and slit her wrists.
Maybe she couldn't stand the look of sadness and horror in his eyes because she had the same look when she looked at herself in the mirror from time to time. When she stopped and took the lid off the compartment she kept those thoughts and feelings about all of the horrible, unthinkable things she'd done. And she knew she'd do more. She wouldn't hesitate. Because if she did someone she loved could die. And she wasn't about to lose another member of her family.
She had been fighting for so long, and didn't see an end in sight. She used to wonder how Miles could have possibly turned into the monster he was when he was with the Militia. That man was nothing like man she had come to know and love. But now she was starting to understand. The unending fighting, the unending death, it starts to change a person. Miles had told her once that she was the reason he changed, that she had saved him. Well right now she was nobody's savior. She just hoped that if she saw the end of this war that she would have a shred of morality left and somebody would see something worth saving. That she would be able to find some peace. And hopefully she would be able to be the person her father and Maggie had wanted her to be.
Charlie shook her head. Going down that road would get her nowhere. She had a job to do. They needed information. They had been flying blind for far too long. One of these guys had to know how the disease was spreading, where it was coming from, and what the master plan for Willoughby and her family was. And by damn she was going to get answers any way she could. And if Gene couldn't stomach it, well that was too damn bad. Miles would understand.
She heard him clear his throat as he walked up behind her. She started to dry hands and turned around. His disapproving stare bored into her. She just stared back, silently asking "what". Gene took a step toward her and tried to reach out to touch her shoulder. Charlie sidestepped out of his reach. She knew what was coming next and she didn't have time for it.
"Charlie please, stop what you're doing. This isn't you. This isn't right." Gene pleaded.
So they were going to do this again. "Grandpa," she warned. "Don't, just don't. I'm doing what needs to be done."
"Charlie." he tried one more time.
"You know what I don't have time for this."
Gene shook his head and watched his granddaughter walk back into the room where she had a bruised and bloodied Patriot officer tied to a chair.
"Let's try this again," he heard her say as she closed the door. Next was the unmistakable sound of a fist hitting flesh.