Below is an excerpt from "Linked."
The two characters, Naira (call sign "Rogue") and Lethal, are both Cursoi: soldiers with special powers. Lethal can instantly kill enemies by crushing their internal organs, while Naira is a healer.
The two started as archenemies and rivals, but at this point of the story they have "linked," a process beyond their control that caused them to share their consciousness and powers. This is why there are no quote marks; they are speaking in each other's head.
They've just returned from a mission where they had to slaughter a crowd of rioters.
Naira—Rogue, we were just carrying out orders. You have to separate yourself from the action, from the responsibility.
I can’t. I sob. Zera could have erased them. Took their bonking suicidal plan out of their heads.
It was their choice, Naira. Their free will.
And mine to take their life, I reply because we did have a choice. I did. I did not feel as compelled as I should have. Did you?
Lethal shakes his head and says, Opposing orders means taking responsibility for the consequences, though.
I consider his words. This is democracy. We are soldiers: the arm, not the brain. The majority of citizens who bothered to vote elected Crash. Crash is in charge of making decisions. I shake my head at the state of a planet who chose Crash as the brain, but who am I to betray democracy? To take responsibility for the deaths consequent to my choice? No one elected me, and I’d never run for president.
Lethal says, It gets easier with time. Maybe because I remember surviving. Lethal pauses. Or maybe because I forgot what it really means to live.