One of the major slams against the characters I write about is they have "no honor." I have been thinking about that and found I don't understand it. Honor, to me at least, is a code a person lives by. Since this post is in the context of a person trained and equipped to take lives, the emphasis of at least part of it will be on that.
The Honor Code itself, at least to me, has changed over time. It reflects the society as much as the religious beliefs of the people who practice it. I also believe it is an artificial construct, especially now.
Most of you know that honor, the core belief, has stayed the same throughout history. This is in the context of a tribal warrior, the only type of warrior until the rise of the nation state and the industrial age. Nationalism, and borders, are a recent invention. Chivalry, an invention that in my opinion was only given lip service, is something else entirely.
So what is "Honor?"
I believe it is simple. All who are not of your people, and that can be as small as a family group, are the enemy.
Those that are your people will be treated differently than the "Others." You have a code for your people and a code for the "Others." You can extend hospitality and small kindnesses but that is it.
Is killing quickly, and for what may seem trivial reasons the "Others", wrong? No. Not if they are armed and posing as warriors themselves. For if they choose to arm themselves than they should be expected to understand what that means.
There is no honor in killing people from afar. There is no honor in killing the unarmed. That is slaughter. That is murder. Wiping out a village from the air in a machine that was designed for just that is nothing but joining yourself with a machine. No one has value and all are targets.
Since the machines are the tools of those whose policies will bring the collapse why feel like you owe them? Why serve them? Their idea of honor is not respect for the person but rather for vague goals that enrich a few. I see no respect for others in the current concept of honor. A military formation today is a pseudo family and an attempt to manipulate by counterfeiting the warrior groups that existed for millennium.
In a post collapse scenario survival will be tribal. I doubt very seriously that in that context PTSD will be a problem. Why? Because what will be done for easily understandable reasons. We must stop these/this person because they will hurt people I care about if I don't. I am sorry, I may understand what is driving you, and I may respect your skills but my child will eat.