July 9th 2014
Welcome back, I’m Parker Terrell and this is the Plain Truth. As always, a quick reminder that this show and our opinions are in no way associated with the advertisements you just heard. We are an independent program, and, as long as I’m in charge, we’ll always remain so.
Before the break we were discussing the UEE’s monopoly on jump data transfers and what that means for our privacy. Now, our comm-specialist Arlo brought up an interesting point. Arlo, would you mind repeating what you said to me during the break?
Arlo Theodore: Well, you were pointing out that the UEE reads everything sent by spectrum. Which, yeah, is pretty much a no-brainer, since they’re the ones that regulate all inter-systems communications.
Nothing scares our government more than the idea of a true and free dissemination of information. Sorry for interrupting, Arlo, go on.
Arlo Theodore: Well that’s the thing, since everyone knows that the spectrum is watched, I was saying that when you want to keep something really private you have to use a courier like FTL or something.
And there it is. You got a big secret, you send it by courier. A more and more common practice. But here is a scary thought for all of you to consider. Think about our government’s past. Think about the wealth and resources at their disposal. Think about to what lengths they would go to protect that. Doesn’t it seem a little naïve to hope that courier transfers are any more secure than comms?
All right, I’ve been keeping our next guest waiting for long enough. If you’ve been anywhere near a NewsOrg these last few days you have undoubtedly heard the High-Secretary bragging about the supposed completion of “Phase 10.” Joining us to shed some light on what exactly Phase 10 means for the Synthworld construction project is Ed, a private contractor who has been working on Project Archangel for the past seven years. It is worth mentioning that ‘Ed’ is not Ed’s real name. We here at Plain Truth want to honor Ed’s brave decision to speak out by doing everything in our power to protect his employment and his anonymity.
Ed, can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate you being here today.
Ed (distorted voice): Thanks, Parker.
According to the official release, the completion of Phase 10 means, and I’m reading here, “that the atmospheric generators have been properly primed to begin the next step forward in the bold development of the first truly synthetic world,” and then it goes on listing a bunch of congratulations and backslaps. Real informative stuff. If you could enlighten us, Ed, what is Phase 10 really?
Ed: I have no idea. Me and the guys were really scratching our heads when we started seeing the news come in over the feed. I’ve worked on the thing for seven years and the first I ever heard of Phase 10 was this week.
What phase is the project in, then?
Ed: As far as I know, we don’t use phases to track progress. Maybe they do higher up or something. Those atmospheric generators are real enough though, but they’ve been in place since before I started and I doubt they’re going to be switched on anytime soon.
And why is that?
Ed: In the simplest terms, we don’t have the gravity for it yet. We start pumping out gas now and you might as well be dumping it directly into space.
Now, I ask this next question because I can proudly say that our audience is almost completely composed of skeptics: what makes you qualified to give such an assessment?
Ed: I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m just a guy on the ground. I’m sure there are a lot of brains on Archangel who’d probably disagree with my point of view, but I do have a degree in planetary engineering and to date I’ve been a part of four completed terraforming projects.
Don’t sell yourself short, Ed. Your perspective is exactly the sort of thing that the UEE needs to be listening to. It really seems that the only thing Project Archangel has been able to produce in its seventy years of existence is government waste and lies.
Ed: Well, that’s really why I’m here. I was so excited to be hired on to Archangel. When I was a kid, I used to sit locked in my room for hours playing with the official Synthworld construction set. It’s probably why I got into this line of work. My first day there, I couldn’t stop grinning. Terraforming is one thing, but to be able to really build a planet, that’s a dream come true. Of course, sadly, the reality of what’s going on there is anything but.
And that’s exactly what the Plain Truth is for, to provide a dose of reality. The question of course is why bother with this Phase 10 ruse in the first place, and the answer is the same as always, money. The budgetary hearings are beginning next month, and it seems like the Senate may be ready to place this whole boondongle on the chopping block. This Phase 10 nonsense is nothing more than a desperate attempt to keep credits flowing into Chronos, where High-Secretary Sharrad can spend it without any oversight. We need the Senate to finally act in the Empire’s best interest and end this nightmare once and for all.
Ed: No! That’s not what I’m saying at all. Synthworld needs to be saved.
Ed: If we finish this it would be the greatest thing Humanity has ever accomplished. We’re building a new world. Isn’t that worth the risks?
Haven’t we moved beyond risk assessment? We’ve seen time and time again exactly what completing this world will cost us. Ed, weren’t you moments ago pointing out that officials are lying to cover up how off-track the project is?
Ed: The lies and cover-ups are the problems. Not the project. A lot of the issues happening with the Synthworld are because people are too worried about the project being axed. Mistakes are hidden. Failures are swept under the rug. If people really knew what’s going on —
Nothing’s going on! That’s the issue!
Ed: If people really knew what’s going on, if we were able to put everything out in the open, then maybe the project could finally get the resources it needs to be finished. The only way to get everyone working together on this is to show them truth.
Damn it, Ed, I’m not sure if I want to shake some sense into you or shake your hand. Either way, let’s take another break, and see if I can sort out which one I’m going to do. All of you make sure to stick around for some unexpected debate on the future of Project Archangel. Stay vigilant. The Plain Truth will return.