The holographic image resolves into that of a man with shaggy blonde hair, wearing a tweed jacket over a Hawaiian floral print shirt. The INNOVATIONS FOR THE FUTURE/INNOVATIONS FOR TODAY logo glows red on the backdrop as Bob Busby, CEO of Spark, paces on the matte black stage.
“Answer a question for me, people. It’s a serious question. I know, I know, man, I’m supposed to be the one handing out the answers, right? But I just can’t wrap my brain around this one. Jeebus knows I’ve tried, right? Here’s my question: When’s the last time the military gave us something that was good news? When did the Vanguard ever hand the people of the Solar Consortium a brilliant piece of technology, something well-intentioned, something meant to advance us all into the future instead of maybe blowing us all back to the Kardashian Epoch? Okay, man, maybe I lied. I know the answer. Sue me. Never, man. Not once. But they talk a good line, don’t they? This whole Project Starshine, enlisting the best and brightest to chase the Sol System’s first functional faster-than-light drive, it sounds great on paper. And if they pull it off, man, I am telling you right here and now that it’ll be proprietary for the military and the rest of us, man, all the little people, we can [BLEEP] right the hell off, can’t we? Yeah, man. We can. But we won’t. Personally, I don’t think they can pull it off. But you and me, man, if we put our heads together, let me tell you right here, right now, we can tell Albert Einstein he was a better clerk than he was a traffic cop. So, let’s do it. Bring me your brains for Operation Fast Forward. Your ideas. My resources. Man, there’s nothing we can’t do. We’ll outrun rainbows.”