Background: Sere missiles can wipe out a city completely. Nyma’s nation has been the only recipient of a seres strike. They’ve since acquired their own seres stockpile. They’re engaged in war with an state that lacks seres weapons.
[The Order] Codes for launching the seres weapons are embedded in a capsule in child’s chest. To retrieve the capsule, the president must kill the carrier using a dagger. The child carrier will accompany the president everywhere.
While protesters argued that 10-year-olds are too young to agree to the Order’s stipulations, they were not certain on dismantling the stockpile of sere missiles.
President Hans: The Order is forcing a dilemma, which enemies do not have to resolve.
They say not to think about the whole city, that’s too big. You have to look at the small things. Like that woman in the green coat. Just - gone. The couple holding hands over by the pigeons. They’re gone, too.
Nyma (under the persuasion of Tej, senior Order member) publishing her sometimes dark poems personified the protests from abstract “carrier children”, to “Nyma, the Poet in the Tower”.
President Hans also grew fond of Nyma, and couldn’t bring himself to
the codes murder Nyma even after 74 days of in-border warfare.
[Having seen the casualties in the stress, Tej offers to reset Nyma’s codes, hand the codes to President Hans, and escape with her.] Nyma wondered if this was what it felt like to stop being a child. “It’s not about right and wrong,” she said to him. “It’s about making it hard.”
The words tumbled out of Tej like they wanted to barb into the child’s heart and keep her here.
The carrier had to be always physically nearby in case she was, Peace forbid, needed.