11/3/11 4:32 PM
From the holovid diary of THOMAS CONNERY, Commander, Terran Republic, Discovery-1. July 14th, 2638
Two months out of twenty-eight have passed in our long journey to the wormhole and ultimately to the future of mankind. Despite the never ending list of things to do, extended space travel has a way of offering plenty opportunities for introspection. Lately my thoughts have turned to war; odd that they should, as it is something that no living human has ever experienced.
War had always defined human existence, and has many times taken us to the brink of no existence at all. Before the formation of the Terran Republic, Earth had known no years without the blemish of war, no time of worldwide peace, nothing but strife and anguish.
Even considering the great technological advances we had made, we couldn’t keep up. Earth’s human population had grown far past a sustainable capacity. In the years leading up to the great war, tensions had begun to rapidly increase as countries scrambled to claim what was left of the planet’s natural resources. It was all futile, though, as we had set the course for this conflict centuries before.
The morning of January 18th, 2426 marked the beginning of what would become the greatest loss of life humanity had seen. Responding to intel indicating imminent and simultaneous attacks, Earth’s six greatest countries declared war on each other. As we know now, nobody in command of any of the countries who survived the initial firefight could remember issuing the codes that launched their missiles, nor did they know who sent out the initial warnings. But they all knew the war that began that cold winter morning had been long expected. Perhaps it was even desired.
The first year of worldwide conflict drastically changed everything. Nearly half the human population died, either in the war or because of it. Our weapons and tactics did far more than just destroy targets; they crippled integral parts of our civilization, from communication to food production. Starvation and disease killed as many as guns and bombs.
But then, eighteen years later, on December 19, 2444, our final war ended. Not because we learned the folly of our ways, but because scientists announced the existence of the wormhole, and a new threat from beyond. We were not alone. All past truths were eradicated in the single instant the universe opened wide, and they were replaced by a single new truth: If mankind wanted to survive, all nations and all people would have to work together.
On May 13, 2445, an armistice was signed by all the nations which codified the end of war. Amazingly, in the following decades, borders fell and governments merged. Where there had been nearly two hundred separate countries, now there would only be one united planet under the banner of the Terran Republic.
Representatives from all the former nations would sit on its council. Because those in charge understood that Earth either moved forward together or perished together, they lay down laws that would be strictly and evenly enforced. It was vital to the T.R. that no individual would ever again be permitted to slow down the safe progress of all peoples.
For first time in her history there was peace on Earth, and this time that peace was embraced by everyone.
At the end of its ten-year term, the Terran Republic constitution mandated free and open elections. The people, freed from worry, didn’t want anything to change and voted the Terran Republic back into power. Ten years later they did the same. At the end of the first century, on the date the wormhole was to open one more time, the people once again voted the Terran Republic into office. And so they did for another hundred years.
There were some who fought against such mandated peace. There were always those who wanted more. But when they struck, the Terran Republic struck back, harder. To ensure the continuation of peace, the T.R. enacted strict laws and harsh penalties. But the people, enjoying the most prosperous moment in humanity’s history, encouraged them on. As T.R. President Harrikan proclaimed in 2598: “All citizens must display loyalty and fealty to the Republic, above all. Strict retribution is sometimes required, and if minor freedoms must be compromised to ensure the continued security and prosperity of all, then so be it.”
Loyalty and fealty to the Republic, above all. These became the words the Terran Republic lived by and the words the people embraced.
And they are the words I spoke on the day I took office; however, I have always disagreed with Harrikan about the second part. One should never give up their freedoms for security. A man far greater than Harrikan said that 600 years earlier.
Today, under the banner of the Terran Republic, I lead a bright and hopeful fleet toward a new frontier and a new future. But though the ships are at peace as we speed toward the wormhole, I sense a frightening undercurrent. I believe there may be some who don’t want this trip to succeed and I fear others whose doubt could blossom into something more. And, I am also sensing, as we speed closer to the wormhole, something else; that same imperceptible, subliminal dread I felt on my first voyage to the Moon Belt, that warned me not to continue, yet still forced me onward. Something is out there and I am being told to turn away from it, but something inside me tells me I cannot.
So why, you who are watching this must ask, do I still lead us on? The answer is simple and it has fired mankind’s imagination since we lived in the darkest caves. No matter the warnings or the doubts, no matter how inflammatory words become or how many fists are raised in resistance, mankind has never, and can never, turn from our future.
Whatever must, will occur today, but there will always be a tomorrow.