Delivering the Commonwealth

Six: The Address

ISG ARCHIVES
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CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED
DOCUMENT TITLE: ADDRESS TO EXPEDITION
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AUTHOR: JULIANA KAVANAGH
RANK: CAPTAIN, LSS DELIVERANCE
DATE: 23 FEBRUARY 2791 (STANDARD)
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LOCATION: LSS DELIVERANCE, IN TRANSIT
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RECORD NUMBER: CEF-001-3121-01A27
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SUMMARY: Remarks following destruction of the LSS Brunswick
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REMARKS:

This morning, I was prepared to give an address to the combined crews of our expeditionary fleet. It was meant to be a mid-journey reminder of the cause that each of us serves by being a part of this important endeavor. It was intended to infuse us once more with a sense of mission and purpose in what has been a challenging time.

To attempt to give that address now would be folly. But just as foolish would be to attempt to say anything that could make our present sorrow make sense. I do not know how to even begin to describe the loss we have experienced in our fleet. It is a loss that goes beyond the seventy-five lives lost.

Those of us who have pledged our lives to the fleet know the risks that come with such a commitment; the dangers of space travel and the challenges of providing security to our systems are full of perils. Every tour might be our last. These are the risks we sign up for. Even those of us on this expedition who are from the civilian world knew that this voyage might be a one-way trip.

But no one is prepared to face the threats that lurk in the human heart--the fear, the hopelessness, the dread that can make rational people lose all sense of perspective and cause them to collapse inward, often dragging others with them.

Although veterans of space never lose sight of how hostile the cosmos is to us, we learn to live with that horror and manage it over a career in the service. Tonight, we understand in a very real way that we cannot expect those of us who have joined this mission from civilian walks of life to be able to adapt quickly and easily to coping with a deep-space mission. It is stressful enough for us career spacers; the toll it takes on our civilian crew has been too long overlooked.

Tonight, we face the consequences of that emotional and psychological toll. In the coming days we will communicate the ways that we as a crew will address that toll and the measures, we will take to ensure that no crew member, civilian or fleet, ever has to face the terror of the void alone.

But tonight, I am here to give voice to our grief. To name the loss. To take a stand for the future of this expedition. 

I mourn the seventy-five souls lost: comrades we will never see again, shipmates and fleet mates who will never return to their home port, will never again see their loved ones, will never again gaze upon the stars of home.

I will mourn the brokenness that caused some of our comrades to inflict death on so many and such suffering on those who survived. But I will not allow myself to hate them--I grieve for them, too.

I grieve for them, but I will not yield to them. I will fight everything they believed in and everything that drove them to commit this heinous act. I will not surrender to the nihilistic view that our task is meaningless, that our chances are nil, our mission a diversion.

Our mission is the single most important mission the human race has undertaken in centuries. We seek not only to enlist the aid of the Commonwealth in fighting the Invaders who destroyed Farmark and have left our systems in fear--we seek to reunite our two long-separated branches of humanity. We seek to rejoin the greater interstellar society of the human race, to reclaim our ancestors’ birthright as human beings to that great civilization that shone so brightly into the void.

I do not know whether our mission will succeed; I only know that there can be no doubt that we must try. For to forsake this mission is to forsake the shared future of humanity and to surrender to the centuries-long silence we have longed to hear filled with the voices of our cousins from across the void. 

So long as I am captain of this vessel, we shall not surrender to despair, we shall not surrender to fear, we shall not surrender to the nihilism that excuses us from carrying out the responsibilities we bear to future generations to provide them with worlds safe, secure, free, and bound together in common purpose.

So long as you are my crew and you remain committed to this vision, we shall prevail in this task and bring deliverance to the homes we love.

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APPROVALS FOR ARCHIVING:

Nelso Brigantes-Fyfe, Adm., CINCSYD /s/

Turandot Halpern-Shah, Adm., CINCHAV /s/

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Emblem of the Intersystem Guard. Three gold stars and four blue circles representing the four worlds of the league enveloped in a gold laurel with the legend "Vigilance. Justice. Service."