The message spread like a virus.
In the span of a day, it had entered every publicly accessible data network. On every display pane, holographic projector, or viewing screen tailored to receive outside broadcast the message played. It did so through every legal loophole the United Federation of Planet’s had in place concerning a mass media broadcast, breaking no laws if somewhat bruising the spirit of it.
But it was seen, and heard by billions.
From the core systems of Earth and Vulcan, to the distant shores of fringe colonies like Prism and Gagarian’s Folly. It began with a simple white background, upon which the upper torso and head of a human male appeared. He was of a respectable middle age, his face creased with laughter and smile lines that only deepened as he beamed for his audience. Clever eyes and dark brown hair artfully tousled gave him a look of a man used to a life outside. And his garb suggested the same, with no tailoring to his simple cloth tunic
“Good day fellow citizens of the Federation. Some of you will no doubt recognise my face, whilst to others, I will appear to you today as a stranger. Let me first assure the latter, that come to the end of this broadcast we will be quick friends. My name is Pallas Cant.”
He paused, his smile remaining as he brought his hands boyishly before him as though bashful.
“Yes, ‘that’ Pallas Cant. No doubt you have heard many people quoting my name in fiery speeches before committing acts of petty vandalism and social awareness. But I am here today to set the record straight, to undo some of the damage done by my detractors. To speak to you, the people of the Federation as equals. Something they would not want me to do.”
He held up a finger, grinning.
“Which ‘they’ am I referring to? Put simply I am speaking to our vaunted protectors in the Federation Council and the Starfleet. See, they wouldn’t want me talking to you. Far from it. Because it is your ignorance and tacit approval that keeps them where they are, shepherding you their flock through fields devoid of wolves and dangers apart from those they have manufactured over the decades. And now that some of us have awoken to this scheme, we are quickly being demonised.”
“But of course, shouldn’t I be demonised? After all we live in a society that has done away with want, and desire, and need? What better utopia could we ask for than the United Federation of Planets? If you want to be an artist, you may create as vividly as your imagination may take you. If you desire to study, worlds of intellectual stimulation abound. All of life is yours for the taking…”
He held out his hands, imploring to his audience…and then slowly brought his wrists together.
“But paradise is a cruel prison if you cannot leave. You’ve heard my name, you know my story. My parents. My homeworld. Gone, given away to monsters who only gave death and destruction in exchange. Mine is not the only world given away to be sacrificed on the altar of peace. But naming a hundred worlds that come to mind would do no good, as they are gone and as good as dead. I would rather think of next hundred, or perhaps of the worlds that will forever be excluded from the lottery of the state that is the UFP.”
He pointed off screen.
“They would tell you that leaving the Federation is a death sentence, that choosing to leave paradise is a sign of a deep and terrible madness. But is it? Really? Is yearning to be free such a madness in our so-called free society? Or is it merely a structural support propping up a tired and bloated system of government that is doing all in its power to secure its continued existence? Like a virus? A disease? I am here today to tell you that is not the case!”
He stepped towards the viewer, drawing them into his confidence.
“Already four worlds have seceded from the Federation. Small worlds to be sure, young and fierce to be sure, but they are the trailblazers. The Federation would call their actions madness, an invitation to anarchy and destruction at the hands of enemies the Federation and their warmongering Starfleet have generated over the centuries. Liars, I call them! Those four worlds thrive! They trade between themselves, with their Federation neighbours and with their brothers and sisters across the void! There is bountiful opportunity beyond the clutches of the Federation!”
His smile returned, bright and shining.
“Brothers and sisters of the stars! It is time for you to understand the Federation is no longer serving your best interests. Ask what they have done for your world, for your family. Where was the Fleet during the Dominion War for your world? For your family? If you were lucky enough to be on one of the Founding Worlds, well you know the answer. And if you weren’t…well, you know your answer as well. We’ll talk again soon, you have my world. But let me assure you, that beyond the borders of the skeletal hand of the Federation, there is a future for us. My name is Pallas Cant, your friend and ally in these trying times.”
This message was brought to you by the Freedom’s Legion on 25th July 2389. Would you like to know more?