Tom Connery

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Tom Connery was an explorer and politician, best known for serving as Vice President and President of the Terran Republic on Earth; his discovery of the Moon Belt and subsequently the first alien artifact; and his role as Mission Commander for the Wormhole Expedition that ultimately resulted in the settling of Auraxis. Despite this, he never actually saw the planet himself; Connery was killed in an explosion that destroyed the civilian starship Discovery-7 on January 6, 2642, six months before the planet came within range of the expedition fleet’s sensors.

Connery was a tall, distinguished man with a charming demeanor and biting sense of humor. A scholar by nature, he believed strongly in the transparent democratic structure of the Terran Republic and insisted that, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, one should never give up their freedoms for security. In this way, he would prove to have very little in common ideologically with the Terran Republic as it appears on Auraxis today. Connery also had a great fondness for dogs, personally adopting 6 of the 40 German Shepherds that he and his crew rescued from a crashed freighter during their return trip from the Moon Belt.

Contents

Detailed History

Tom Connery first became a household name in 2615, when he led a team of interstellar explorers in discovering the Moon Belt, a sparsely populated sub-section of the Kuiper Belt made up of the fragments of hundreds of destroyed moons—and the shattered remains of Pluto—extending from Neptune's orbit to beyond. His fame further increased when, to the surprise of many, Connery gave up his glamorous life of adventure in favor of politics, first temporarily filling the role of Vice President and finally being elected to the Presidency of the Terran Republic in 2618 for three consecutive 4-year terms. It wasn’t until 2630 that Connery, accompanied by a team of experts including xenobiologist Henry Briggs, finally returned to space. In truth, Connery wasn’t simply returning to space; he was returning specifically to the Moon Belt, to a particular moon fragment from which his team had discovered signals emanating fifteen years earlier. At the time, they didn’t have the equipment to locate the signal, but now—with the resources of a former President at his disposal—Connery and his team were positioned to make history once again.

The signal turned out to be emanations from a strange, delicately carved figurine of an alien species. Returning to Earth in 2642 with the artifact in hand, Connery and his team sparked an incredible boom for space exploration. And though this newfound interest in alien life resulted in the charting of the solar system twice as far as Pluto’s former orbit, it did not result in any more evidence of alien life.

In 2646, Connery petitioned the Terran Republic for the funds to mount an expedition through the wormhole, a great rift in space that scientists had calculated to open in Earth’s solar system every 98.3 years. With its next scheduled appearance but a few years away, the Senate tasked Connery with collecting the signatures of 75,000 volunteer crewmembers for his fleet in order to earn the government’s backing. He returned a mere two weeks later with over 300,000. By May of 2638, 128 ships had been reconditioned for the expedition, and by October of 2640 the fleet had reached the site of the wormhole’s predicted site. When it opened on October 20th—exactly as expected—the first wave of the fleet, including Connery’s flagship Discovery-1, were pulled through before they could even react. Other ships tried to follow, but ultimately the stress of the ships on the unstable wormhole caused it to collapse, taking with it the lives of almost half of the 75,000 man expedition.

Trapped in uncharted space with a fraction of their supplies, the fleet turned to Mission Commander Connery for leadership. They immediately began searching for a habitable planet to colonize, but despite Connery’s best efforts to keep the crew occupied and in high spirits, an insurgency movement formed amidst their growing restlessness. As months passed and violence erupted, his increasing desperation led Connery to impose curfews and military patrols, despite his personal hesitations about military intervention in day-to-day life. Despite—some may have argued because of—these measures, an insurgent-led assault was made on the military vessel Explorer-5 in January of 2642. Though it would have taken a much larger force than the 53 men and women in the assault to actually commandeer the cruiser, they nonetheless succeeded in temporarily taking the bridge and in killing the key military leadership there before Connery ordered them taken out by force.

Connery’s response to this treachery was one that defined his altruistic if not naive character: Rather than retaliatory strikes, he opted for diplomacy, calling a meeting between himself, the remaining military leaders, and representatives of the insurgency to negotiate a truce. On January 6th, 2642, the meeting took place aboard the civilian ship Discovery-7—but what was said there was never found out. An explosion, officially blamed on extremist members of the insurgency, tore through the Discovery-7, killing Connery and the other 591 people aboard.

With the death of Mission Commander Connery and the fleet’s few remaining military commanders, the role of Provisional Commander fell to Lieutenant Commander Brent Waterson. Declaring the situation a military emergency, a vote was taken and passed to give the military—and Waterson—unrestricted control of the fleet. It was a cruel irony that though Connery devoted much of his life to defending personal liberties, his death would ultimately play a part in the fleet voting away its freedoms for security from an unseen threat.

Holovid Diary Entries

January 18, 2636

It's been too long since I updated this thing. Well, here goes:

Two years ago, in May of 2634, my crew returned to Earth and announced our discovery. Revealing that single alien figure led to an explosion of curiosity and space exploration beyond even my wildest dreams. Thousands of star cruisers and space jumpers were hastily kludged together and launched into the void. Everyone wanted to be the one to find the big haul, to uncover a trove of alien artifacts, to find their art, to locate their machinery and devices, to learn exactly what they looked like, and then—the holy grail of all space exploration—to find actual alien life.

We took to the stars the way our ancestors must have taken to the seas. We had already colonized the Solar System. Human cities thrived on several planets and moons. But now we moved into a galaxy that offered thrills and excitement like no man had known before. Everyone wanted to find the aliens, of course, but the thrill of the unknown was just as strong a lure. That lone figurine led to rapid advances in spaceflight to rush further and faster to find the remaining artifacts before anyone else could. I was personally excited for what they would find in the Moon Belt and beyond, to see what the new blood would find and put me to shame. We thought we were watching the dawn of a new golden age.

But, less than two years later, after the explorers picked apart every pebble in the Moon Belt, after they searched every planet and heavenly body as twice as far as Pluto, nothing else was found. No more figures. No hint of art. No machines or devices. No sign of extraterrestrial intelligence. Suddenly, the thrill of the hunt was over and all but the most ardent of the explorers stopped searching. Some people in the media began to accuse me of manufacturing that artifact myself, to make it appear that I was still the great explorer I'd been in my youth. Fortunately, I had built up enough goodwill over the years that my critics were few, and even fewer listened to them.

The thousands of explorers that had returned to Earth empty handed were disappointing, to say the least.

I did have dinner with Henry the other day, however. The awkward, resentful kid I first met five years ago made something of himself quickly. He's become an infinitely more pleasant person to be around, a good friend, and our most preeminent xenobiologist. Over steak and wine he mentioned that, in just a few years, the wormhole was due to open again. This time we had the ability to travel to it and study it at close range.

New Year's 2636 was just a few weeks ago now. The wormhole, assuming it's not running late, would open again in 2640. Two years and change, to ready and launch the ships. Less than two years to reach the coordinates. It would take a massive effort to make such a trip possible, but the idea of discovering an unknown part of the universe excited me as little has for years. I could make it happen. I have to make it happen.

And hell, a trip through a wormhole sure beats retirement.

Tom Connery. Holovid diary. Out.

January 21, 2636

MINUTES OF THE TERRAN REPUBLIC SENATE

In Attendance, all twelve ministers, former T.R. President Tom Connery. Steven Sava, Recording Secretary. Meeting commenced 9:30 AM.

MINISTER HEYWOOD CUDEN (M. HC): I don't know why you keep pursuing this, Tom. Thousands of private pilots as well as military personnel have spent who knows how long searching the Moon Belt for extraterrestrial life. Surely, if it existed, we'd have found it.

TOM CONNERY (TC): We found that figure and all your scientists have verified its alien origin. They're out there, and we haven't found them yet. Besides, we're not talking about the Moon Belt h-

MINISTER WARREN MITCHELL (M. WM): Sorry to interrupt, Tom, but you ever think the aliens, if they even exist, don't want to be found? Or perhaps they died off while we were still crawling out of the sea? If they're extinct, it would explain why we can't find them.

TC: That would only explain why we can't find a living alien, but not their bones. Not their homes. Not their science or technology. With the exception of the figurine, their entire civilization and culture is non-existent in the Solar System and our known galaxy.

M. WM: Unless, Mr. President, those moon fragments you found were actually the shards of their planet. Their world may've been destroyed, removing all those things you say we can't find.

TC: Their world was destroyed, leaving a single indestructible figurine as the sole remnant of an entire civilization? You don't think they would've thought to have constructed some sort of structure out of this completely impervious material? You do remember the wormhole, correct?

MINISTER NOEL WATKINS (M. NW): Tom, I'll kindly remind you once to watch your tongue in presence of the Senate. And yes, the one that opened up two hundred years ago?

TC: Nearly three hundred. The wormhole's due to open again in approximately two years.

M. HC: We're at peace, Tom. We're prosperous and we didn't need it the last time it opened up. Nothing has changed since then.

TC: I think it has. Think about all we've accomplished in two years after finding a single piece of an alien civilization. We've mapped out space twice as far as we've ever been from Earth. The Moon Belt isn't that far, astronomically speaking, from where the wormhole is supposed to open. I've consulted with a dozen of the world's foremost astrophysicists and they agree my hypothesis is valid.

M. WM: And that is...?

TC: We don't know when or why the wormhole first opened, but while exploring the area, very specific low-level radiation was detected. That same low-level radiation was also detected in the Moon Belt. I, and the astrophysicists, believe there's a connection between the two, although I admit we don't know what that might be. Perhaps the moons, and don't forget Pluto, were destroyed when the wormhole opened for the first time, or perhaps something came through the wormhole and destroyed them, but there's no mistaking that these two disparate locations share that singular radiation.

M. NW: And that means... what exactly?

TC: We can't know for sure, but it's my belief that the figurine I found might have accidentally fallen through the wormhole during one of its periodic openings. That would explain why we can't find any bodies, any buildings, or any manufactured goods. They exist, but they exist on the other side of the wormhole. On the other side of the universe.

MINSTER ADAM MILLER (M AM): Even if this is true, Sir, what do you expect us to do about it?

TC: As you said earlier, thousands of ships explored the Moon Belt area. Most of those ships have been decommissioned. I'm asking for the funds to recommission no more than two hundred. I want to raise an all-volunteer crew to man and pilot them to the wormhole, and if it's considered safe, go through it. Can you imagine what we'll learn? What we'll find? And if I'm right, if the figurine did come from there, can you say no to what would be mankind's first alien encounter ever? We could very well be looking at mankind's second golden age in a single decade!

MINISTER ALICE CANTARI (M AC): The problem as I see it, Mr. President, is what if they turn out to be hostile and all you've done is show them the way back to Earth? We've worked so hard these past 200 years to create a perfect world. I don't think we should rock the boat.

M. AM: On the other hand, if they are intelligent and hostile, it would be better for us to go to them and learn their intentions than for Earth to one day find itself the victim of a surprise attack. Don't forget Pluto was blown up. If the aliens are capable of destroying entire planets, perhaps we have to take the initiative. We shouldn't bury our heads in the sand over what -

M. NW: Let's move on, shall we? Tom, I assume you've worked up your financial spreadsheet?

NOTE: FINANCIAL DATA REDACTED.

M. HC: Tom, even if we do decide to fund it, and even if you can find a crew willing to make such a voyage, not knowing for certain what they'll find or how long it will take to return, this is an extremely tight schedule. Just back-tracking the time necessary for such a trip, I think it's impossible to get a fleet ready in time and make it there before it closes.

TC: Minister Cuden, the ships are already there. Hundreds of massive ships that haven't been off of the planet since the Moon Belt rush. It wouldn't take long to bring them up to spec. And I think if you offer the people a chance to go to the other end of the universe, we'll have more volunteers than you can possibly imagine. But I need the Government's funding. And I need your blessing.

Ministers, we tamed our world through exploration. Our ancient explorers visited lands they never knew existed and saw things far beyond their wildest imaginings. We tamed this Solar System the same way. But now, we have a real chance to tame not just a handful of planets, but the universe. We need to take this chance to find what lies on the other side of that wormhole.

MINISTER GEOFFREY CUMMINGS (M. GC): Thank you, Mr. President. If you don't mind, we need to discuss this in private.


MINUTES OF THE TERRAN REPUBLIC SENATE, January 21, 2636.

Steven Sava, Recording Secretary. Meeting paused. President Thomas Connery vacated the chambers. Meeting continued.

M GC: Let me put this out there, if it's all right with the Ministers. Thomas is rather strong-willed. If we turn him down, he'll go to the people and state his case. And, with his popularity, we'll be overruled and come out of this looking ineffective. I believe letting him leave Earth on this fool's mission for a few years, keeping him out of the public eye, could be good for the rest of us. What do you say?

M. AM: Geoffrey, in all honesty, I'm disgusted. Tom's done more good for our people than any other five men in history. We should be embracing his legend, not working to tear him down.

M. GC: Perhaps, Adam, you misunderstand me. I'm saying we give him what he wants. Let him raise a crew and go on his mission. How is that not embracing him? And should we reap benefit from it, too, I don't see anything wrong.

M. HC: Adam, Geoffrey, let's hear from everyone else and then let's take our vote. Let's start with Warren.


MINUTES OF THE TERRAN REPUBLIC SENATE, January 21, 2636.

In Attendance, all twelve ministers and former T.R. President, Tom Connery. Steven Sava, Recording Secretary. Meeting commenced 4:30 PM.

MINISTER HEYWOOD CUDEN (M. HC): Tom, we've spoken. We argued. We firmly believe in exploration. After all, it's what saved the planet when it looked like we'd all sink into our own hatreds. But honestly, we don't think you can raise and train a crew in less than five months.

TOM CONNERY (TC): Minister Cuden, if I may...

M. HC: Please, Tom. Don't interrupt. We don't believe you can do it, but then again we've all doubted your ability to achieve success in the past. You've performed more miracles than any other living man. Because of that, we're willing to make a deal. If you can raise the necessary number of volunteers by February 12th, then we will honor our end of the bargain and fund the repair and reconditioning of 200 ships. But it's all up to you, Tom. You've got three weeks.

TC: Sir, you have a deal.

Amendment to the minutes of January 21, 2636. New date: February 3, 2636.

Tom Connery supplied signed affidavits containing more than 300,000 volunteers for his wormhole mission. He did so nine days before the Ministers' imposed deadline. He stated that he will narrow the list to a total of 75,000. To carry them on their mission he has requested 128 ships be reconditioned. A launch date of May 13, 2638, the anniversary of the Armistice, has been chosen. The Ministers unanimously approved President Connery's request and offered him their personal congratulations. Minister Adam Miller extended his desire to volunteer for the mission. President Connery accepted.

July 14, 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.

Our final and most perilous war began hundreds of years ago, on January 18th 2368, the day the world died.

One hour past dawn, 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 even desired?

Despite the fact that this was the so-called "war to end all wars", Nukes, ion warheads and even anti-matter explosives were never used, though nobody was certain why. But in the very first year of world-wide conflict, half the human population died, either in the war or because of it. Starvation and disease killed as many as lasers and explosives.

But then, seventy-seven 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. 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 less than twenty years, 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 Terran Republic 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.

October 23, 2640

I'm still coming to terms with what we experienced just three days ago.

The wormhole opened on the 20th, right on schedule. It had felt, initially, like the weight of the world was taken off of my shoulders. I heard cheering over every open channel when we had received positive confirmations of it forming. The doubts of the people could finally be squashed with this irrefutable evidence. The initial wave of 38 ships, including the Discovery-1, scrambled to engage engines to go through, but we had already fallen safely on the other side. Twelve more ships followed us into the rift. The wormhole wasn't nearly as deep as we had initially thought.

Based on our previous analysis, the wormhole should've remained open for approximately two weeks, but as soon as the first couple of waves moved through, it began to destabilize. I watched as sixteen ships were caught struggling in the extreme gravity created by the closing rift. The eleven closest to the opening pulled through, but were severely damaged. In the last moments just before it collapsed, we could see the remaining five trapped ships ripped apart by gravitational forces. The terror I felt watching those civilian vessels destroyed, knowing they met their end because of the journey I had planned, was indescribable.

I wanted to order my ship to turn around to save them, but it was already too late. Our engines were struggling to pull out of the massive gravity well created by the imploding wormhole. There was a real danger that we'd be sucked back into the fissure and destroyed. I'm extremely thankful we made it through unscathed, though I still don't know how we did.

After gravity anomalies were no longer being read, I ordered the military to rescue the crews of the eleven damaged vessels. Sensors indicated their engines were overheating and on the verge of self-destruction. The ships may have been lost, but I damn well wasn't going to lose the crews, too. We lost 200 lives on the damaged ships due to space exposure, but thousands more were saved thanks to rescue efforts.

In the beginning, at least, the approximately 40,000 survivors considered themselves lucky. There was relief and some sense of happiness for the time being. Sadly, it was short lived.

The severity of the situation settled in as quickly as the relief of being safe wore off. With the wormhole already closed, there was no way to go back to Earth. There was no way to find out what happened to the other ships. Were they caught on the other side? Did any survive? There would be no answers. Scientists couldn't even offer theories; no one knew how the wormhole got there and nobody knew why it disappeared. We knew nothing, other than that we were alone and we had no idea where the hell we were.

Even a fantasy rescue mission from Earth wouldn't be possible for another 100 years.

October 24, 2640

We held a meeting with fleet advisors yesterday to assess resources and plans for the immediate future. The results are a bit unsettling. Though we currently have a surplus of doctors and engineers, as most of the ships that made it through were primarily civilian ships, we suffered large losses in the military and agricultural departments. Only three of the twenty-three hydroponic ships made it through, and the only Explorer-class battle cruisers that survived were the two leading the fleet. Major Wilson told me in private that only 1,100 soldiers made it through. I'm extremely worried about the welfare of the people for the remainder of this journey with such little food. It's going to be arduous at best. I just hope the will of the people can weather the rest of the journey.

March 2, 2641

We aren't any closer to finding a planet suitable for terraforming than we were five months ago. We saw readings of gas giants a few months ago, as well as a rocky planet with far too much nitrogen, but nothing promising. To make matters worse, tensions between the T.R. and the insurgents have increased recently, and Colonel Morgannis is increasingly worried about an insurrection. As innocent people are getting hurt during these increasingly turbulent times, I had no choice but to go against my most basic principles. To protect our people and to enforce the peace, I had to call in the military. It pains me to see armed soldiers patrolling the halls in increasing numbers, because I know that with more soldiers comes greater resistance. But without them, I can see no other way to maintain some degree of safety.

December 22, 2641

It's been well over a year since we made it through the wormhole and we're still lost. Obviously, turning back isn't an option, so we have no choice but to continue on. The fleet has been referring to the journey as a death march for coming on a year now.

To protect the people, I ordered strict curfews. Despite this, fighting still breaks out regularly throughout the fleet. Initially, the soldiers were instructed to shoot only to stun. But when the insurgents started to kill innocent people, I escalated that order to shoot to kill.

I don't understand the insurgent's motives for their actions. I understand the journey hasn't gone as planned, and that we're desperate for a full meal, but our best hope this past year has been to work with one another. Yet every few weeks, someone ends up dead after a fight.

January 3, 2642

I had such great expectations. I wanted to believe that as a race we had progressed beyond our base fears. I didn't want to believe that technology was the only thing that separated us from our caveman ancestors. I fear I was wrong; there are some terrible people on board this fleet.

Yesterday, fifty-three insurgents broke into the military weapons supply aboard the Terran Republic military ship, Explorer-5. They killed six soldiers and stole nearly 300 Cyclers. With their stolen arms, they forced their way onto the ship's bridge and demanded the Captain to step down and give them the ship. It became clear almost immediately that reasoning with them was out of the question. They wouldn't budge on disclosing where they planned on taking the ship, what they were going to feed their crew with, or how exactly a few dozen armed civilians planned on operating an entire battle cruiser. I ordered troops to respond.

In the ensuing firefight, over seventy people died, including nearly two dozen T.R. soldiers. The insurgents were nearly wiped out, with only a few critically wounded. Our greatest losses came with the death of Captain Rebecca Grey and a few other key military leaders. Both Col. Morgannis and I have agreed it was a suicide mission intended to weaken our military, as they could've hijacked any of the civilian ships successfully once they retrieved the weapons. Instead, they decided to attack one of our two military vessels full of armed troops instead. They didn't stand a chance.

The civilian ministers, urged on by their constituents, declared martial law for the fleet. Military presence was increased dramatically. The curfew I instigated was strengthened. Everyone was to remain in their cabins after the 6PM dinner. Except for immediate family members, no groups larger than three could be together either in public or private. I did everything I could to fight these draconian measures, but a vote was taken. The people, desperate for peace and security, voted to extend military presence. For security against a minority, they voted away their own freedom.

Though with increased armed presence there have been no new outbursts of violence, the people have been imprisoned within the confines of these ships for over two and a half years now. This oppressive decree we've shackled onto the people will only serve to make them struggle more.

I decided to call for a secret meeting between the civilian ministers and the military to discuss easing the restrictions. Morgannis and I are coming up with a plan we hope will persuade the people to put down their weapons and work with us. I believe if we fail convincing them, this fleet will become nothing but a collection of derelict ships within a year. The colonel and I have only three days to write up a strategy before our meeting on board the Discovery-7.

For the sake of the fleet, I hope we get it right.

January 6, 2642

Perhaps I should have known it was a pipe-dream. If I had, I wouldn't have all this blood on my hands. If I had, seventy-five thousand men, women and children would be safe in their bedrooms on Earth, and not wherever here is, on the other side of the universe, lost and with no hope of ever returning home.

There is no way back. Starmaps are useless. Our scanners haven't detected even a single oxygen based planet anywhere near us. And as awful as our plight is, there are rumors that there's been talk of armed insurrection. I hope for all our sakes that talk is all it is. I'm afraid if that sort of rebellion begins I won't be able to hold back the Military who's been begging me for weeks to let them deal with the "mess" as they call it. As much as it goes against everything I believe I may not have any choice.

Despite it all, and I'm probably an idiot for saying this, I still have confidence. Perhaps not as much as I had on May 13, 2638 when we launched our fleet of 128 ships, but I believed then and I believe now:

We will find a planet.

We will find extraterrestrial life.

And we will do more than survive... We will thrive.

Unfortunately, I worry I may be one of the only few who does believe.

Rich is another who hasn‘t given up on us. Then again, he and I have been friends for so long we think alike. He thinks today's meeting will reset our course. We've had two hundred years of peace and prosperity and he's certain people won't want to go back to the old days. I hope he's right.

Thomas Connery, Holovid diary out.

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