From the desk of Former Premier Robert Davis. A collection of memoirs.
Due to unforeseen and terrible circumstances, I find myself beginning my foray into the post-political world on a most melancholy note. Not a day goes by in which I am not reminded of the terrible circumstances in which we find our fine nation.
War in this galaxy is never more than a stone's throw away. It seems the cycle of war and peace mirrors life and death itself. I'm afraid that it is a cycle that fundamentally defines us, like a type of code written into our genes. If we ever do manage, as a community of nations, to transcend this pattern, what we shall find in its place is not something of this universe. We will have stepped beyond labels such as Nepleslian or Yamataian and into something far grander than can be described in words.
I expect that I will not live to see that age.
Of course, such lofty dreams are best reserved for the dreamers, not those whose job it is to preserve an entire nation's way of life in the face of constant danger. No, their duty is of a much more pragmatic nature, entailing the kinds of difficult decisions that lead to many a night of hard drinks. Theirs is the duty that weighs heaviest, that pains the most; and men who can bear such a burden are, at least in my humble experience, both rare and far between.
These are, I think, the memoirs of one such man.
Entry #1: "Anyone can wear a hat."
It was late in the spring when I received mine; a thing of black and green felt, no different I thought from any of the hats that my predecessors of days long forgotten had worn.
I remember the tailor wearing a very low cut dress, with a little silver heart in the lapel. I suppose that's a really stupid thing to remember but that's just how things like this happen. She smiled, but I do not believe she fully understood the depth of the importance that this image would come to fill.
Robert Davis, hero to the people and eventually the Sky Marshall, isa hero. With a name like that, it behooved me to look the part as well - for people need their heroes, or at least some enduring belief in the existence of heroes and the fairness and rightness of man. Over the course of my life, my command and eventually when circumstances forced the Emperor to resign, in my time as then Grand Admiral, I have discovered just how important this lie is not only to the populace, but to myself as well.
The reality is that we're all a very difficult monster; we are, above else, human beings. In all of my life I have never met another species so alien to me sometimes as my own. The war, and the needless violence, and the cruelty of our darkest imaginings - these are all facets of our existence, barely concealed beneath the surface of the general, almost clerical fabric of society.
It takes a special sort of flair to make people believe in something greater than themselves. You have to care about little things like appearances, sometimes. So I bought the hat, even though it's the only hat of its kind in existence and my advisers called it a waste of taxpayer dollars. And I tipped the tailor, and smiled. But ultimately, it's just a hat - physically, a thing that protects my head, and hides my receding hairline.
But to the people? It's something entirely different. It's a bold, uncompromising statement of intent; I am the leader, here, and I will call the shots. I will protect the people.
Ah, now you see, that's the thing; sometimes, it can't be done. We are, after all, only human. Animals. Beasts at war not only with our brothers but also with our own nature. It takes a firm hand to hold the leash, and even then, the owner must beware; he holds a wolf by the ears. Should your hand slip just a little, the result is disaster.
So it is with a nation; not just a nation, a galaxy. I age, and I fear that the work I have devoted my entire existance towards may never, in the end, be realized.
In the end, I ask myself if it really matters whose head the hat rests under. We all possess in us this innate potential to do great good, as well as great evil. Anyone can wear a hat, but I find myself wearing THIS particular one, which under its brim rests the hopes and dreams of a nation.
Such a fragile thing is belief! Is it possible that all society truly requires is a man upon a pedestal, hands outstretched before him, speaking in an air of command?
During my service, to this great nation - I call it a nation, for what else am I to call a unified Nepleslia? - I have seen men throw away their lives, simply for belief. Every day I have asked, and for belief, I have been granted unquestioning loyalty even unto death. Some of my hardest decisions have not been upon the battlefield, but have in fact been behind a desk, all awash with the guilt that men - men just like I - are living and dying at my behest. I say, I know in my heart, that they die for a greater world to come. But that is my belief.
It is their belief - my belief - that will endure. Whether it is I that must wear this hat, or some other man, the belief in a greater world must not be allowed to die. It is a fire in a windstorm; though a weary burden, those of us who must carry it, must never let it fall. The power of belief is astounding. It warms the hearts of all but those who realize they hold the torch.
There have been times - yes - when I have myself been afraid that I am not worthy to hold the belief of a nation within my hands. There have been times that I have doubted myself, and that I have flagged, and those times I have clung hardest to this hat. It is those times that I have stood the straightest. For to seem unhurried, to be calm in the face of great crisis - that is what a hero must do. For if the light snuffs, it casts all to darkness.
The torch must never fall.