Star Trek Hunter
Episode 21: The Enemy of My Enemy
Scene 14: Truth Seekers
“I have told you about conspiracies and there definitely is one within the Federation. Or to be more accurate, there are many. Cabals of powerful people conspiring to increase their power. The means vary from one conspiracy to another. Some quietly build monopolies in trade, hoping to go unnoticed until only they and their small circle of trusted co-conspirators can hold a world hostage to their control of a vital resource.
“Others quietly gather the levers of political power, telling lies here and half-truths there to sway public sentiment and allow them to do whatever they want to do while the vital decisions about your lives are made in back room meetings that you will never see – votes that are never recorded – deals kept off the public record.
“Still others deal in assassination and dirty tricks, hiding their very existence not only from the public but from all the other centers of power. These are the most dangerous as they will stop at nothing to get their way. We will give them a name since they will not give one to themselves – for now, I will refer to them as the Pretenders. They operate under a pretense of legitimacy, but they do whatever suits their purposes – whatever feeds their desperate need for control.
“Conspiracies are built out of people. People not very different from you and me. They conspire for various reasons. Greed. A lust for power. Recognition within their cabal. Sometimes they conspire out of a misguided desire to do good – as if you, the citizens of this United Federation of Planets, were incapable of recognizing what is good and supporting it for yourselves. And sometimes they do it out of a self-righteous belief that they are always right. Remember the Pretenders – this is the kind of people they are – people who believe they are always right. And they will stop at nothing because when you are always right, the ends always justify the means.
“Ordinary, greedy conspiracies for power and control are dangerous enough. The Pretenders are far, far more dangerous because of their belief in their infallibility. But there is something far, far, far, more dangerous than all the conspiracies that have ever thrived throughout history:"
“Conspiracies only survive in the dark. Within the Federation, we humans are fortunate to have built a post-scarcity economy. One in which our citizens work not for survival, but for self-fulfillment. You do not have to be anything. Which means you can be whatever you want. And what we need are patriots. So how can you show your patriotism?
“Let me tell you a story about a patriot. A citizen of the Federation – my father, Radovan Ivonovic. My father was born on his family’s farm in Pilgrim’s Landing on the Colony of New Hope. I was born on that same farm. Like my father, I was taught first how to plough, sow, cultivate, harvest and store food. It is a lesson in hard work that, learned early in life, travels with you the rest of your days and leaves you restless in times of ease.
“Not that times were easy on New Hope. Then, as now, many people were aware of the conspiracies around them – for the powerful have always conspired against us. Many, many people left the Colony of New Hope – they left to colonize new worlds away from the Federation. I hear a lot of people saying similar things today – separatists wanting to leave the Federation. My father accurately predicted what would happen to those people. I did not want to believe him, but over the years he was proved right every single time. Every. Single. Time.
“Those who left the Federation simply ended up with conspiracies among themselves. And to make things worse, without the protection of the Federation, they fell prey to nausicaan raiders. Ferengi adventurers. Orion slavers. Cardassian overlords. Democracy never flourished in any of these breakaway colonies. What few survived the ravages of the cardassians were later slaughtered by the jem’hadar in the Dominion War.
“My father said they were traitors and they deserved what they got. So what did he do? My father started a newspaper. An actual, printed ink-on-paper newspaper. Its stories are not broadcast on any computer frequency. To read those stories, you must actually receive a copy of the paper. And my father taught me journalism, how to write, how to research, how to ferret out the truth that the powerful go to such lengths to conceal.
“This is what I am asking you to do. To not be complacent. I want you to become a truth seeker. Whether you farm or move goods or serve in Star Fleet or just sit on the beach – I am asking you to open your eyes. Find the truth – do not assume you know the truth – find it for yourself. And then let other people know. Build a channel. Start a discussion group. Or even print a newspaper.
“But how do you get people to listen? My father started the Good News of New Hope in order to shed light on the conspiracies he was aware of. But he got people to read by telling their stories too. The good and the bad, side by side. For every ruthless would-be monopolist, there was always a lawyer who would provide free counseling or someone who would stand up for you when you could not stand up for yourself. Find these stories too.
“We cannot win unless we have something to win. We cannot fight unless we have something worth fighting for. We cannot prevail unless we have a reason to prevail.
“So yes, there are conspiracies all around you. Some are comically harmless. Some are vast and powerful. And some are downright deadly and threaten not only our lives but the very moral fiber of our Federation – they cut at who and what we are. I am calling on you to protect those fibers. To bring them together. To be what the founders of my homeworld wanted to be for all of humanity. For all members of the Federation. A new hope.
“This is Federation Councilmember Emory Ivonovic reaching out to you, the new hope of the Federation. Calling on you to be the voice of the people. Asking you not to allow the conspirators to control your lives but to take back that control. To be truth seekers. To rise to your patriotic duty to our people and not to leave the Federation, but to rebuild it anew from within.
“You will hear my name again. You will see my face again. I have promised not to leave you and we will never let the voice of the people be silent in the face of the Pretenders or any other conspiracy. Subspace Radio Ivonovic will not fall silent again. Together, we will do what must be done in every generation – we will rise up and build this Federation anew.”