The holographic image resolves into that of an older man dressed in the uniform of a Vanguard officer standing behind a podium which bears the crest of the Vanguard. On either side are the Vanguard flag and the flag of the Solar Consortium. When he speaks, it is with a voice that is gruff and to the point. The superimposed information bar in the bottom right of the image gives his name as General William “Ironside” Jensen, Vanguard CinC.

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Given the inaccurate statements of the CEO of Spark, Mr. Bob Busby, I felt the need to correct some of his assertions and provide a few of my own. Let me start with the simple fact that if it were not for the Vanguard, and the armed forces from which we descended, keeping the peace and fighting for the freedoms we cherish, the esteemed CEO of Spark would not have the right to run his damn mouth in the first place.”

Pausing for a minute to let that sink in, he continues: “The goal of the Vanguard has been the protection and furtherance of all mankind. That also includes taking the advances we have made in war and applying them to peacetime. Many of the grand inventions we take for granted today were honed and tempered in the military. The airplane went from a curiosity to a highly tuned machine that then went on to become the common mode of transport we use even today. Radio went from a laboratory experiment and amateur hobby to a vital communications tool that keeps this world connected, and the worlds beyond. Those advances were provided to the world to the benefit of mankind ever since.”

Permitting himself another pause, he then continues. “It is true we are pursuing an advance in the realm of faster than light travel. Frankly I do not see this as a race; I see it as several means to an end. I will, however, say this. Should the Vanguard succeed in creating such a device, it will be shared with the world and not used to line anyone’s pockets. That is all. Thank you ladies and gentlemen.”