Duty
by Chaoseternus

Duty.

That a single word could describe his life so completely made him wonder if he had really truly lived.

He was a creature, a being solely obsessed with duty, before they had been destroyed; his duty to the colonies had been paramount, even over his duty to his family. During the destruction, before Roslin had widened his eyes he had seen his duty purely as getting into the fight, of taking the war to the cylon people, of vengeance for the destruction they had wrought.

Now, he only saw his duty to the continued survival of what little remained of the Colonial people.

Duty.

Such a small, simple word, four letters only one of which was a vowel yet it was so powerful, so binding, so meaningful and so very controlling. It had certainly controlled him, had lost him his wife, had for many years lost him his surviving son and had prevented him reaching the higher ranks, the stars he had once coveted.

But at the same time, his duty had ensured that some humans at least had survived, that one ship at least was immune to the cylons and their ability to infiltrate computers. Without that one word, he would be as dead as all the others, victim of the great treachery of the cylons and most likely, those few survivors he guarded dutifully like the precious jewels they were with him. Yet that word had held him back… putting him in the position he was in now and ensuring that some humans survived, at least for the moment.

It was strange that a simple word could both hold you back yet give you the edge needed for survival. It was strange that a simple, four letter word could hold you back yet give you so much.

It was strange that such a simple thing could control you, turn you away from your family, many of your friends yet still ensure that old, dried up you might be, that it was you who survived when so many didn't.

Duty.

What was duty anyway?

It controlled you, empowered you but what did it truly mean?

du·ty
n. pl. du·ties

An act or a course of action that is required of one by position, social custom, law, or religion: Do your duty to your country.
Moral obligation: acting out of duty.
The compulsion felt to meet such obligation.

The compulsion felt to meet such an obligation

That felt right at least, the only thing that really did these days. He felt compelled to save those few who survived, compelled to keep everyone alive as long as possible, compelled to live on and do his best as so many died around him, many by their own hands.

Duty was a compulsion, a controlling drive, it fuelled him, forcing him to get up and command everyday despite the screams of his aging body, asking him to rest just a little more, the cries from his abused mind for a break, a rest, something to ease this terrible controlling drive from his mind.

Duty.

Four letters that defined him, controlled him, abused him yet saved him.

He hated it, yet couldn't, wouldn't live without it.

He was a creature of duty, and he was too old to change that.

He sighed, rising up slowly from his bed, reaching swiftly for his uniform.

Another day and once again only one thing gave him the strength to get up and face it.

Duty.

What was he without it?


Duty Definition From: dictionary.referenceDOTcom