Part 37: Session 15 Part 2*RECORDING BEGINS*
[Image of a flapping Terran flag]
"Ta humanity, ya need ta balance buildin' a nation with conquerin' yer enemies if ya wanna be called Great."
Humanity doesn't claim to be saints. Nor can we truthfully condemn ourselves as monsters.
[The UN building. A pan across the numerous nation and planet flags]
"So far as I know, we're the only species who didn't manage to unify our planet."
Yet our weakness also defines our strength: with so much independence, more ideas can be tested and adopted. You will not find a more neighborly institution than the Terran Alliance.
[Shots of a boat motoring across the ocean, cross fade to an XR Freighter in mid-warp flight]
"I started life the son of a New England fisherman, I joined the Navy, became an astronaut, and now here I am, head a' state a' the Terran Alliance."
Opportunity is nearly limitless within the Terran Alliance, regardless of your background.
[Zoom on the Freighter's engine drive, which bears a clear "Made in Terran" stamp]
"How many other species figured out ship-sized hyperdrives? Maybe we ain't been marchin' straight forward like some unified species, but compared ta them we been dancin' a jig tryin' ta catch up."
Terrans are unique among the galaxy. When none were apparent, we chose no single path. Now that the paths are laid bare, our choice is not to choose.
[The flag on the Terran stamp morph fades into the original shot of the Terran flag]
"The Stellar Senate officially rules in favor a' Neutrality."
Terran Alliance. No judgments, no accusations.
Fancy. Funny thing, though, is I don't remember bein' half that eloquent.
We did some touching up for the commercials, mostly to make concise talking points, but you were the one who spoke the words, Ulrik.
If you say so. You gonna do yer report now?
Of course. You may notice that taxes are over 10% higher than they were previously. Our approval ratings have not gone down more than marginally, so I have determined this to be an acceptable taxation level.
By the way, for those senators who are itching for a war with the Torians, I'd just like to remind everyone of the economic treaty we signed with them several years back. You'll see their contributions to our economy there on the "Income" column. In fact, let me plainly spell this out: declaring war on the Torians will wipe out our surplus and start a deficit. What isn't spelled out on this chart is that the Torians are also our third largest trade partner, behind the Drengin and Altarians. That's another roughly 180 billion credits in new deficits. We'll have to shut down espionage spending completely to even approach the numbers we're getting now.
There's also the fact that we'd be declaring war against both an ally and a treaty-holder. Even if we technically dropped both these treaties before declaring, the others would understand exactly what we did. Our alliance network would collapse in on itself.
There is no love lost on the Torians. Everyone knows they are far too large and expansionist.
And if we took their place, that would make us the "good guys?" Suddenly everyone would love the people who took the Torians' place?
Simmer down, folks, save it fer the committees. Lal, what's goin' on that ain't worth rantin' about?
Sorry, but I really cannot approve of the war hawks in the Stellar Senate. Our peaceful espionage efforts have been continuing at a regular pace.
In mid-October, I decided that advancing the cause of neutrality should involve giving the Yor a fighting chance. When the new liaison-bot was shipped to Earth, I apologized for the inconvenience by giving them our strongest anti-missile technology. It really is the least we can do for them.
It also ensures that the Torian-Yor war drags on as long as possible. And make no mistake, while the Altarians and Iconians are contributing elements to this conflict, without our intervention the Torians are the real executors of this war.
I suppose so. Well, after we showed the Yor our generosity, they came to us twice more asking for help, at which point I gave them access to further defensive technologies.
I think they've never had to thank an organic life form before. They really seem out of their element, relying on us like this.
Ain't there somethin' yer forgettin'?
Well…in the middle of all this, the Iconians declared war on the Torians.
And after that nice little speech ya gave about good stickin' up fer good. It's like they didn't even hear ya preachin'.
Yes, well, while the Torians and Iconians may not be allies of each other, they are both allies to the Terrans, and that makes their infighting our business. I was able to act as a mediator between the two, and at some small technological expense, I stopped the war before it started.
The latest lower house election shows some fairly strong support among the Federalists and the War Party. I only wish I had enough time to spend on domestic campaigning so that the Pacifists could get a voice.
I was sent to the UP meeting last week, where we debated on charging a fee for planets not located in their proper territory. I decided that a 3 bc/month fee per planet was more than reasonable, but while Terrans may have a stronger voice in the UP than the Torians these days, the Iconians and Altarians voted with them to get a majority for "no fee."
And I'm sure the fact that all three have got planets in Terran space has got nothin' ta do with it.
Moving on, you can see here that our efforts to reach out to the Yor have not been in vain. In fact, the Drengin Empire has been watching our latest moves, and between our declaration of Neutrality and our show of compassion, they may be willing to ally with us. As usual, I highly recommend this step. In fact, by becoming allies with the Drengin, their ongoing conflicts with the Torians and Altarians would become our business, thus we could finally step in and end the wars.
Finally, here is our list of trades at the end of the year. Senator Zakharov?
Yes, well then. Firstly, Expert Logistics and Advanced Life Support are both incremental technologies, giving us larger fleets and longer ship ranges, respectively. The Paulos continue to research a storm in shield technologies, bringing us the first ever energy "shields." Finally, the Iconians have provided designs and organization specs which we are calling the Merchant Trade Complexes.
The Iconians are truly fascinating. For a species that didn't even have a concept for "free trade," they are adapting nicely to a competitive galaxy. From what I've seen, the Complexes could improve a planet's economy by a full 50%. It's just a shame that more than one per planet would make it lose its effectiveness. Still, our regular economy structures are over twice as effective as what the Iconians have, so our benefit stands to be even higher than what they could manage.
If you are finished, Senator Morgan?
The brainwave manipulation of the Invention Complexes was a good start, but all this talk recently of conflict and mediation reminded me of something: conflict drives innovation. Enter the Neutrality Learning Center: through advanced remote brain manipulation (totally voluntary, I should add), the conflict that naturally generates between scientists (at least in our system) is redirected towards constructive ends. Earth's labs are scheduled to be the first to receive the new upgrades.
As for our current project, we are now working on building feasible Massive Hulls. We should see reproducible results no later than 12 weeks from now.
Cool. Yang, you still workin' on those military crystals?
They are, in fact, nearly as tapped out as they can be, so I have resumed construction on other starbase types.
Cooler. Deidre, you got any announcements?
Nod has finished building the Micro Repair Bots, which have been shipped across Terran space to all our military starships. Given the wide-ranging potential of the Bots, we are still working on getting them into the civilian markets.
I like to call them "The Seven-Fold Reverse: break your vehicle and the Nod Micro Repair Bots will make it seven times as strong."
The buildup continues. Several of the new Hengest Transports have been commissioned. Given their capacity and our soldiers' performance, I believe only one would be needed for an average planet. Still, we can afford to wait and build up further, I believe. Based on the differences in our galactic territory report, I would guess that both the Torians and the Yor have managed to take one enemy planet each.
So when I was worried about the Nautilus caught behind enemy lines before? Turns out that ain't such a problem what with them fallin' in a wormhole and bein' ejected inta Arcean space.
And yet they're still hard at work. I love those bastards.
Harder at work than you assholes, anyways. So do somthin', damnit!
Infrastructure Development Commission
Unless given a commission, either by the senate or a committee chairperson, idle starports will produce constructors. All starbases, upon receiving an upgrade, shall immediately build Battle Stations I should they not already possess it.
Automatic ship designs shall focus on beam weapon technology. All forces which can be spared from active conflicts are to reinforce the Terran-Torian border.
Colonial Support Initiative
Senator Godwinson may not use her prerogative to name new colonies.
Xeno Relations Board
Energy credits and technologies are authorized for any and all foreign technology trades; priority is given to military technologies so purchased. Humanity is prohibited from selling or trading away colonization technologies. The Terrans shall maintain a strictly neutral stance in the Torian-Drengin War. Also, a lend-lease plan shall be implemented regarding minor civilizations, whereby we shall sell certain frigates for whatever may be gained to those minors at war with non-Terran major powers.
Colonial Development Commission
The starting order for all colonial buildings will be: build a factory, a market center, a factory, a market center, one research center, one starport, and one farm (once possible, only up to 13b) in that order, using special tiles when appropriate. All unused development tiles shall be utilized at Senator Skye's discretion. This law reaffirms that any senatorial action will supersede any committee chairperson's unilateral decision.
Trade and Loan Commission
The XR Freighter shall be upgraded when applicable.