Whoa, that ending gave me a chill.
Young Rhory seems to have turned a corner into . . . what, I'm not quite sure.
A stark reminder that wars are never neat and tidy. No battle plan survives the first contact with the enemy. But Rhory seems to have shed some of his innocent idealism in favor of a cold efficiency that is troublesome. Where is the line between forceful response and atrocity?
I wonder if you will revisit Rhory and the think-tank again? I'd certainly love to read more. Well done!