Monday, June 27, 2011

'The 19th of Nevermore'

(I'm calling the event 'The 19th of Nevermore', and there's probably a folk-ballad or three in that)

"There is a message from that time... he was either the last Prime Minister of the Solar Commonwealth or the first President of the Shadow Federation; before the 19th, he was Minister of Energy." Barbara keyed up the audio and Roman heard the words for the first time, the ones all space-born kids knew by heart.
"I have..." Roman remembered how Churchill had flubbed a line in one of his war-time speeches and gone on; 'but it must be remembered' in 'blood, toil, tears and sweat'.
"The homeworld of Mankind has been attacked by the enemy, and has fallen. There is little hope of survivors. The automated defenses in the Moon are still firing, but that rock is taking a terrific beating, and Earth, herself... is broiling under in-falling bollides from heavy impacts. There may be some... few, in deep shelters, but they are beyond our aid. I have therefore... withdrawn our remaining forces and ordered their dispersal." The voice paused again and swallowed nervously. Roman understood that he had just condemned thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, to ensure that some military force survived. By running away. That would haunt a man till the day he died.
"This is a bitter day, and these are bitter words. I call on all who hear this to bear the unbearable, to survive, to persist, even after the end of 'all we have known and loved.' We are all that is left of our planet and of our species. The enemy is afraid of us, is destroying all that they can. There is no victory, for them, if they should fail in that mission. But there is, for us, some bittersweet victory if we should succeed; drop by drop of blood, survivor by survivor of this apocalypse... Let us now therefore save what we can, let us, now, leave talk of loss and of revenge for another day. Survive! Please, because... you must."

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