I never like being a follower. I'm a leader by nature. I hate it when someone works against orders I give. But sometimes I have to wonder why I'm like that. Sometimes I wonder why I feel the need to be in complete control of everything my team does. Successes are shared by the team. But the leader is blamed for the failures. The leader is scorned for some of the hardest decisions he makes—the ones that cause someone else suffering. But often the leader had no choice.
I tried to save the little girl, I really did. I believed I was doing right. After all, Jasmine was human; she belonged with us, with her mother. Even as she told me of what the fairies would do, the ways in which they would destroy the world, I still prepared to do all I could to keep her where I thought she belonged, at home.
"If they want to they can make great storms, wild seas, turn the world to ice, kill every living thing! Let me go!"
The fairies, as we called them, were much more powerful than I had believed—or, at least, than I had dared to believe. But I knew in my heart that Jasmine was right. If they so desired, the fairies could destroy the world and search for other "Chosen Ones" in the past.
So in that moment, I was forced to make one of the hardest decisions I ever had to. I would be depriving Jasmine's mother of her only daughter, Jasmine would no longer be human—but isn't that a small price to pay for the survival of the world?
"The child won't be harmed?"
"Jack, you can't—," Gwen gasped from behind me, shocked at what I was about to do.
No, I couldn't listen to Gwen. I could not let her compassion sway me. It was the girl or the world. "Answer me! She won't be harmed?" I could almost feel Gwen's horror turning to hatred.
The fairies confirmed it—Jasmine would live forever. And I had no choice but to believe them. They wanted their Chosen One. "This world?" Jasmine asked. "Is that all you want?"
"What good is that to you? There will be no more Chosen Ones!" I hoped that Jasmine herself would decide to stay, to remain with her mother. It was the last chance we had of keeping her human.
"They'll find us, back in time."
She spoke with the voices of the fairies. She no longer belonged with us.
And so I let her go. "Take her," I said quietly.
"Jack, no!" Gwen made to run and stop the girl, but I grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back, wrapping my arms around her to keep her from running to the girl.
"You asked me what chance we have against them; for the sake of the world, this is our only chance!" Gwen wrenched away from me and left, though I could still feel the disdain she was feeling for me. But she would grow to understand, wouldn't she? She had to know that I had no choice.
I stood in silence as Jasmine walked away. She turned around, her blonde hair blowing almost magically in the breeze. "Thank you." As the fairies descended around her, I knew that I had done the right thing, even for the girl. But I also knew that few would see it that way.
"Jas!" Jasmine's mother came running toward me. "Jas!" She cried out for her daughter before turning around and running at me, shouting "No! No!" over and over again as she tried to beat me in anger. Grabbing her wrists, I kept her from doing any damage as I slumped to the ground with my arms around her.
"I am so sorry," I said sincerely as she cried into my chest.
As we made our way back to the SUV, the members of my team were silent. Or, more accurately, they were giving me the silent treatment. "What else could I do?" I received no answer.
Back at the Hub, the team still refused to speak to me. All except Ianto. I have to admit, I am surprised that he seems to have forgiven me for the recent tragedy that occurred involving his girlfriend. Obviously some resentment remains, but he seems to understand that I had no choice in the matter. Just as it was his girlfriend or the universe, it was Jasmine or the world. And I made the right choice. The rest of the team would grow to understand. At least, I hoped that they would.
Sometimes a leader is forced to make a decision that seems unforgivable, even when it's the right decision. This is where being a follower is probably the better position to be in. But I am a leader, and I will continue to work to protect the world, even when I have to make the hard decisions in order to do so.
I have no choice.