Sonnet Redoublé: The Tyrant

1. House: Cover

Your plan is executed; your game's won—

So long as I conceal this single tell.

There is no need to punish what you've done.

I know that you have fashioned your own hell.

I'll lie for you as you have lied for me,

And put this last discrepancy to rest.

Actions, not words, best repay loyalty;

Yours is greater than I'd deserved or guessed.

Say everything proceeded by the book;

Point out the data that I'll have supplied.

Give explanation, and they'll overlook:

No one will question why the tyrant died.

Just one deception more will make this right.

Don't talk of tyrants or a nation's plight.

2. The priest to Chase: Absolution

Don't talk of tyrants or a nation's plight:

There's no excuse to make for sins like yours.

To take another's life was not your right;

Forgiveness doesn't lie behind these doors.

Remember the commandment set in stone:

The words of God, the mortal act forbade.

Confess to earthly law if you'd atone—

Why do you look at me as though betrayed?

Pray to the Virgin Mother, to her Son,

To the Father for their mercy, undeserved.

Pray that you won't be damned for what you've done;

Pray your immortal soul might be preserved.

Go. Give to justice what it must demand.

You chose to kill. Conviction led your hand.

3. Chase: Guilt

You chose to kill. Conviction led your hand.

So speak the pangs of conscience, and of guilt.

I've crossed a line. And now I understand

I have to thread the maze of lies I've built.

I've said that nothing's wrong a dozen times;

I've left our bed and gone before she wakes.

It gets worse every day: the tension climbs,

And I know what will happen when it breaks.

I want things to continue as they were,

Want to deny the price already paid.

And I wish that I could confide in her,

That she would understand and stay, and aid—

Help drown the thoughts I can't escape at night.

To steal a life—don't think it was your right.

4. Foreman to Chase: Condemnation

To steal a life—don't think it was your right.

No rationale absolves you from this crime.

There's no excuse: the lines are black and white,

And you have gone beyond too far this time.

You played me for a fool. Our patient died.

Do you think numbers balance moral scales?

Cold-blooded murder's never justified—

'First, do no harm' is not a rule that fails.

And yet the massacre is at a pause:

Involve the law, and slaughter would commence.

A dead man's plans would swift become a cause.

Logic, not justice, stands in your defense.

You should have kept your oaths and stayed your hand.

Don't think you brought peace to a war-torn land.

5. House to Chase: Advice (I)

Don't think you brought peace to a war-torn land,

But it's enough for your conscience's sake.

I see the grays you do, and understand

The choices only ruthlessness can make.

You knew the numbers, the equation solved:

Kill just one man, preserve two million lives.

You chose to pay the moral costs involved:

Right can't be done when innocence survives.

So don't lament that the dictator bled—

I'll tell you now: he isn't worth remorse.

Don't think you should be martyred in his stead.

You've proven you won't break, so stay the course.

You knew the price that killing would extract.

Once challenged, though, you rose and dared to act.

6. House to Chase: Progress

Once challenged, though—you rose and dared to act.

Pushed hard enough, you pushed back and you thrived.

I forged in you the mettle that you'd lacked,

And the result was more than I'd contrived.

It never was a question of your skill,

But rather teaching you to stand, not bend.

You learned, and now I see you can and will

Translate the means to necessary end.

I fired you three years ago: a test.

You passed. If you return, I'll let you stay.

I find I'm almost proud how you've progressed.

Don't let your wife tell you to run away,

Or mold yourself to what she wants to see.

You're stronger than I'd guessed that you would be.

7. House to Chase: Advice (II)

You're stronger than I'd guessed that you would be.

This crucible will make you stronger still.

You've learned a truth that so few choose to see:

That sometimes, healing means you have to kill.

You still fear the damnation you were taught;

You don't want to admit the ways you've grown.

I see the damage guilt and shame have wrought,

The cage you've built. The key is yours alone,

For moral lines aren't etched in stone, but sand:

They vanish when they must; they shift and fade.

You changed and will redraw them. Understand

You are the sum of every choice you've made.

There was no question that you had to act.

But now, what will occur after the fact?

8. Chase to House: Loyalties

But now, what will occur after the fact?

Perhaps you know, the way you knew I lied,

For your aid kept my deceptions intact,

So harsh demands of law will go denied.

We're tied by every lesson that you taught,

By all the understandings left unsaid.

I'll cope, somehow, with what my actions wrought,

But can you help me find the way ahead?

I'm here because you're all that I still trust,

The only one who wouldn't see a sin.

The certainties I held before are dust.

Tell me how to rebuild, and I'll begin.

What answers are there even you can see

When truth condemns instead of setting free?

9. House to Chase: Practicalities

When truth condemns instead of setting free

Then silence is the hardest lie to learn.

Don't speak and make your life this choice's fee:

Take no more steps from which you can't return.

The vow you swore existed but to break;

The harm you did to one saved millions more.

What other path could a pragmatist take?

Far worse to save the one and damn the score.

So count the blood your actions didn't shed.

Let logic give you comfort; let it stand.

The facts are these: an evil man is dead.

His people owe their lives to what you planned.

When rules are senseless, wise men question why—

We aren't really so different, you and I.

10. Cameron to Chase: Schism

We aren't really so different, you and I:

At least alike enough to share a life.

I thought that once. But now I find your lie

Has cut the bonds between us like a knife.

Murder is beyond what I can forgive,

Beyond redress by words, by guilt or shame.

It isn't yours to choose who gets to live—

But it's not at your feet I place the blame.

House taught you how to play at being God,

That human lives are puzzles to be solved.

You're walking the same path that he once trod.

I see your end and find myself resolved.

This certainty's the weight of any stone:

That your choices will not reflect my own.

11. Chase to Cameron: Farewells

That your choices will not reflect my own—

I know. I only hoped that you would stay.

When you pack up and leave me here alone,

I'll mourn the future that I cast away:

The dreams of children, of the home we'd build,

The joyous years the two of us had planned—

I knew the tyrant wasn't all I'd killed.

I knew that you could never understand.

You see a line dividing white and black;

I see the grays, the subtleties of shade.

I made a choice, and wouldn't take it back—

But love, I do regret you were betrayed.

I know you have to leave, and I know why:

The marks of playing God won't fade and die.

12. Chase: Greater Good

The marks of playing God won't fade and die.

When did this choice become one I could make?

The silence that I keep cannot deny

The truth of every oath I dared to break.

But how could 'Do no harm' mean shedding blood

By healing one who'd commit genocide?

The tyrant's death just might hold back the flood,

And if I've damned myself—at least I tried

To serve the greater good, the larger whole.

I once had faith, hoped that God could be just.

Now, do I still believe I have a soul?

There is so little left that I can trust.

Is murder ever something to condone?

Some lines, once crossed, are etched as if in stone.

13. House to Chase: Mentorship

Some lines, once crossed, are etched as if in stone:

Who knows unfading scars better than I?

When bridges burn, there's no chance to atone,

So turn away. Don't watch the embers die.

I'd tell you what I never once was told:

You did the needful thing, and you were right.

But words can't heal, and you can't be consoled;

Nothing I say will help you sleep at night.

The most that I can do is keep you here,

And watch, and wait, and meddle where I must.

I see your pain, your losses and your fear,

But also see that I still have your trust.

Stay; stand by what your actions have begun.

Don't talk of guilt; don't dwell on what you've done.

14. House to Chase: Advice (III)

Don't talk of guilt; don't dwell on what you've done.

The time for guilt is over, come and passed.

For what good can remorse do anyone?

Regrets don't matter; only actions last.

Don't grieve your marriage ended in divorce:

You never could have borne your truths denied

Or been the man she wanted, walked the course

She set for you—although I know you tried.

And you retained far more than what you lost,

So I would count the end result a gain:

It's as simple as benefit and cost.

Don't wallow in unnecessary pain;

Continue the career that you've begun.

Your plan is executed; your game's won.

15. Dibala to Chase: Murderer

Don't talk of tyrants or a nation's plight.

You chose to kill. Conviction led your hand

To steal a life—don't think it was your right.

Don't think you brought peace to a war-torn land.

Once challenged, though, you rose and dared to act:

You're stronger than I'd guessed that you would be.

But now, what will occur after the fact,

When truth condemns instead of setting free?

We aren't really so different, you and I,

That your choices will not reflect my own.

The marks of playing God won't fade and die:

Some lines, once crossed, are etched as if in stone.

Don't talk of guilt; don't dwell on what you've done:

Your plan is executed; your game's won.