Action or inaction?

Can both have the same effect, the same...consequences?

It's cold, dark; shadows line every corner, the light cowering in tiny streams. The air chills as the voice speaks.

"It's a choice. One or the other. A or B. One or Two. Perfectly simple, choose, like a game"

But, this isn't a game. No. A game couldn't be this cruel.

Two chairs, secured to the floor house his reason for being here. Here in this dark, dank cellar of a building, snow falling on ice outside, the wind growling through the snapped and broken trees which crowd the structure. It's desolate.

Chair one, dark haired, head hanging in unconsciousness. Once pristine, far too expensive suit, crumpled, his tie acting as a humiliating gag. Blood caked the side of his arm, staining the grey suit, revealed after he was stripped of the thick winter coat. His trusted senior agent; limp, responsive.

Chair two, darker hair, black, head hanging in unconsciousness. Longer, pigtails. God, no. Why? Not even a field agent, not even an agent. Didn't carry a gun, that he knew of, didn't carry a badge. Snatched from her work place by cruel, brutal force. Force he could still see.. Hands were tied to the chair, secured from moving even the tiniest inch. His libratory tech; limp, unresponsive.

"Choose what?" A stubborn reply, gun trained on the Voice.

"You don't understand. Not yet." A short, harsh laugh. "My men have a machine trained on these two members of your team. However, you are just one shot, one man, so you must choose. If you aim at Petrov here, you can save your senior agent, but Antosha will shoot your strangely dressed lab rat. Shoot Antosha and Petrov will not hesitate. One will live in that case." Calm, collected, foreign and deadly.

"And if I shoot not to?" The handgun shifted in the agent's grip minutely.

"Then neither Petrov nor Antosha will hesistate." It wasn't the compromise. Those who did not fear death rarely feared their consequences.

A groan emanated from Chair One. Bleary green eyes looked up slowly, took in the scene, locked eyes on blue. Pleading. For himself or for another?

"Choose. Choose now. I can choose. Would you prefer that?" That voice again.

"No." This was his decision. Always would be. Always would weigh on his mind. His guilt. His decision.

In the darkness, and the cold, and the desolation which whipped and snarled at the edges of the building.

"I grow weary. Thirty seconds."

Twenty five seconds

There was a third option

Twenty seconds

A third option

Fifteen seconds

There was a fourth option now. Could he do it? Could he really do it?

Ten seconds

Was there a right answer? A muffled hmph from chair one. A creak and a strain of rope. To no effect.

Five seconds

Think! There had to be a correct solution, the world wasn't this black and white. But, yes. Yes, in this case, it has to be.

A single shot shattered the windswept silence. There was a moment of nothing, even the rock strewn hills held their collective breath. The second gunshot, quick and hardly noticeable, started natures heartbeat once more, and even though one heartbeat stilled, the world continued on.

The voice coughed softly, rubbing his jaw with a calloused hand. "That was to be expected...however. Maybe next time we do it on a sheet, that mess will not come of the concrete."