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Chapter 7: Honourable

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In the end Navi could not murder over 5,000 thousand people; even if they are brutal evil slavers belonging to the vile Free Systems Alliance. In fact Navi wasn’t the sort that could murder a single individual and that is why he was accepted into the UEN StarNavy and became an official of the UEN. Navi could kill in self-defence or in defence of others but wouldn’t be able to commit deliberate murder and it was largely due to the combination of his Genetics and the Neural Link.

In the year 2030 humans started producing designer babies; in the advanced countries of the time there were lots of restrictions but in the poor countries it became a free for all. Those who could afford it paid to have their embryos be modified to produce people with good health, high intelligence, beauty and robust athleticism. Eventually even places like the United States and the European Union relented. The age of designer babies had come and over the decades genetic traits that increased the probability of high morality were isolated and became the norm for designer babies.

Thanks to the invention of the Neural Link it became possible to store the entire record of a person’s life. The UEN used the data provided by the Neural Link to generate a morality analysis and only those with a high morality factor could become UEN officials. The UEN wanted to make sure that the StarNavy officers could never be used by the nefarious to turn the military weapons on civilians and so the requirements for military service was an extremely high morality factor.

None could cheat the morality analysis since a secure Sim impartially analyzed every decision ever made through Neural Link data rate your morality factor. However it didn’t mean that society was free of the population who possessed the baser animal instincts and 40% of the human population had those very instincts they’d inherited from the ancestors who had religious objections to designer babies. That meant that only 5% could be considered suitable candidates for becoming UEN officials.

Thus it was not impossible for Navi to commit murder it was just very unlikely, and when it came to it he could not justify the murder to himself; he wasn’t a psychopath.

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Seven ships in total met-up with Audacious; Navi picked them up on his way out of the Agrissa system. Navi had initially been surprised by the turnout but it seemed that after learning about the space habitation plans of the net-group from acquaintances some decided to check it out on their way to Terra. Navi had not expected that the largely pampered elites who could afford their own ships would be interested but he was pleasantly surprised. Navi knew that the Audacious secret was out and it would no longer be possible to hide it.

Even more surprising was the fact that the slaves were rediscovering their humanity. Not all of them had been slaves for most of their lives and although many of the older slaves had died enough had survived to pass on they familial history to the new generation. There were those over the age of 30 standard Earth years who had clear memories of the days before the fall of Earth; clear memories of a time when they weren’t slaves and they held inalienable rights as citizens of the UEN.

These former slaves understood the value of the service Navi had rendered upon them; freeing them from the life suffering and torment under the yoke of tyranny imposed by the FSA. These few began calling themselves the new Avalonians and whole heartedly embraced Navi’s philosophy on making a home in space itself and only using planets to gather resources. Navi was proclaimed an Emissary of the Beginning and seen by the Avalonians as a prophet of the latter days.

Navi could understand why they would regard him as a saviour but he didn’t welcome the exultation because it meant that he would never be able to get rid of these people. Navi’s original plan of taking all of the former slaves to Terra and once again regain sole utilization of Audacious had hit an unexpected snag. The Avalonians would undoubtedly refuse to leave, and worse they now expected where possible for Navi to rescue all the other human slaves as is the duty of a saviour.

Navi somehow found himself in a complicated situation. He had wanted to create a space based human community but he hadn’t expected that it would happen this quickly. Navi had thought that it would take 10 to 20 years to bring even 5,000 over to his philosophy but thanks to his altruism there were now over 25,000 people who would faithfully follow him on his endeavour. Navi couldn’t take the ones who had been slaves for most of their lives seriously but those who remembered the UEN could not be dismissed so easily.

Those who knew the kind of life that awaited them on Terra but still chose to follow Navi were truly Navi’s kindred and Navi would not abandon them. Navi would have to live-up to his creed and take responsibility for those who believed his promise of safety in space.

With this the Avalon Federation was now truly born and the reluctant Navi who’d given birth to it would have to come up with a governance system.

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Navi couldn’t help being selfish; he wanted to maintain sole ownership of Audacious. Therefore the governance system Navi came up with would allow for individuals to own their own StarShips. The Avalon Federation would become a Federation of Colonies composed of both colonies in the form of Colonial Ships and Independent Outposts in the form of privately owned ships. This system would allow Navi to retain sole ownership of Audacious and would give a similar opportunity to any that desired it.

The primary difference the Avalon Federation would distinguish itself with from the other human territories is that it would restrict legal personality to citizens and would not extend it to Corporations. Navi believed that corporations had been structured to be psychopathic in their singular pursuit of profits and as such could not be trusted with the right of a citizen. Therefore in all legal matters businesses would have to be represented by their owners or organisations of owners. The currency of the Avalon Federation would remain as materials previously used by the UEN and now both the Human Republic and Terra.

Navi had the Audacious Sim put together a Constitution for the Avalon Federation based on these and other Egalitarian Values. The 7 ship captains and their crew welcomed the new Avalon Federation Constitution once they ran the details through their Sims. Because of the Neural Link a direct Democracy had been possible for a long time but the Nations of the UEN had been too accustomed to a representative Democratic Model and thus resistant to giving power directly to the People.

The Audacious Sim had concluded that a Direct Democratic Model gave the least risk of vested interests perverting the government into one that served the interests of the powerful few. Therefore with the Audacious Sim closing down all the legal loopholes it was possible to create a Nation that would not fall victim to the mistakes of the past; undoubtedly they’d make new mistakes, but this could be a real new beginning for those who would choose the Avalon Federation.

With the Constitution in place the Sim could design a set of laws that best aligned with the new Avalon Federation Constitution. Navi didn’t want to go through the necessary consultative processes that would be necessary in law making; after all humans had over a thousand years of democratic processes on records. From the experience of 1000 years of laws in democratic countries the Audacious Sim could construct a set of laws that properly aligned with the new Avalon Federation Constitution and its Egalitarian values.

Navi had long since decided that the Avalon Federation would be an Egalitarian Democratic Meritocracy governed through a direct Democracy with Sims at the heart of everything. The Avalon Federation would put more trust in Sims than any human nation in history. Navi had seen for himself the untapped power of the Sims and he was convinced that humanity’s persistent resistance to a proper merger with the Sims is why they were so easily defeated and had they embraced the merger survival probability would have been higher.

The Avalon Federation would encourage the joining of man and Machine.

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A few months into the journey to the targeted Oriculcum mining site Navi received a Hail from the 3 former Holdouts that had now become StarShip Captains for the Human Republic StarNavy. Apparently Captain Benjamin Hendricks, Captain Dan Ervin and Captain James Adams had learnt of Navi’s Audacious from posts on the Interstellar Network made by people on the ships that were meeting-up with Audacious in the Agrissa System.

Navi hadn’t told his net-group about Audacious so the fact that some posted info about Audacious on the internet was not a surprise, but now that it had attracted the attention of human officials things would get complicated. At first the FSA thought that the Net-group was likely put together by Avalon to hide their activities but later they began to wonder about the captain of the Audacious; the one who Identified himself simply as Navi.

It didn’t occur to the FSA that Navi’s story was a lie because Audacious is very imposing, but now their spies within the Human Republic military were indicating that they were actually dealing with a former UEN Ensign. It seemed too incredulous to suggest that a single individual somehow managed to gather the resources to build a 75km long 12km wide StarShip; something they believed was beyond the capabilities of their own Free Systems Alliance.

What the FSA was ignoring was the fact that it would not have been possible for Navi to build Audacious under normal circumstance; there would have been too much competition for resources. However with everyone fleeing the Agrissa sector the field was wide open for someone with resources to plunder. Navi’s use of the Radioactive Debris Field was the game changer in this scenario, and the fact that he had access to a Class 5 Sim and limited military clearance along with engineering expertise made it possible for Navi to act.

Now the FSA was looking at reports that 3 Naval Officers had asked their friend to help with the evacuation of Civilians from the Human systems to Terra. Navi’s response had been that he would talk it over with the High Council of the Avalon Federation. The FSA was worried about the suggested route of ships that would rendezvous with Audacious because it would bring them close to one of their secret slave worlds. The FSA had already lost a lot of slaves to Audacious, and given the professed ethos of Avalon it was likely Audacious would intervene again.

The FSA ultimately chose to inform the Wocuk Reptilians that the Terrosa BattleGroup was escorting a group of Civilian Human Ships through Sector 297. The FSA hoped the Reptilian presence would force the HRS Terrosa to choose a different path. The Titan Class StarCruiser HRS Terrosa would be too valuable for the military to risk it in a region of space that held no strategic value.

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The Avalon Federation Constitution required that the High Council consisted of elected Councillors and Ship Owners. The Constitution required that each Councillor represent 0.5% of the population. Therefore the Room had 207 people and 1 Android. Even then Navi wouldn’t risk actually showing up for the council meeting; his paranoia wouldn’t allow the kind of trust such a thing would require. The fact that Navi had the protection of Audacious and there was a reasonable assurance of security from any threat aboard the ship but Navi would not risk it.

Thus the 5 key members of the High Council formed the Executive with each meant to represent a faction. Navi is the Audacious owner, Captain Barnes represents the other ship owners and their passengers, and lastly Jono, Eloy and Zen representing the liberated faction.

The long discussions continued; they’d been at it for over 2 hours.

Navi : " No matter how you look at it; Audacious isn’t a warship."

Capt-Barnes : " Again; they’re not asking for you to participate in a Battle. All they’re asking is that you accommodate refugees."

Navi : " No; that’s how they phrase it."

Navi could see annoyance in everyone’s faces.

Jono : " Aren’t they your Friends?"

Eloy : " Shouldn’t you trust them? Is it that bad to trust them even a little?"

Navi : " They are my friends and I trust them more than everyone else, but that’s the whole point of my objection. It’s because I trust them that I shouldn’t trust them."

Now they are all shaking their heads and sighing in exasperation.

Zen : " So trust is a reason not to Trust?"

Capt-Barnes : " You really are paranoid; aren’t you?"

Navi : " Basically the people you trust the most are the ones whose betrayal will prove lethal."

Jono : " So you think they’ll betray you?"

Eloy : " Betray us?"

Navi : " Not deliberately! They exist in an environment where vested interest rule the show, and in the end I don’t know the extent of Reptilian and FSA infiltration. The FSA has a lot of links with the other aliens and where they go everyone has a foot in the door. Therefore my friends likely serve a vast range of interlinked competing interests, and taking Audacious anywhere near that mess would not be prudent."

Zen : " But what about the innocents?"

Capt-Barnes : " Didn’t we just agree that Avalon would not turn its back on those who sincerely need our help? Are we just going to forget about that?"

Navi : " Where Possible! That’s what it says; where possible. The needs of the innocent do not create an automatic obligation on Avalon’s part. Avalon does not have to bear the weight of responsibility for all humanity. As agreed; Avalon Citizenship is not automatic but a right and obligation that must be chosen freely. I cannot in good conscience risk the lives of the people aboard Audacious; even if it is to save other lives. My first and primary responsibility is to the lives under my care. Audacious looks imposing but it is nothing compared to the Capital Ships of the Powerful Five. Even the Zaarz that were willing to go against 72% of the original UEN Fleet didn’t dare pick a fight with the alien nations arrayed against humanity, and that means they recognized their military power; something humanity found out when the slaughtered us. Their Corvettes have the energy output of our BattleCruisers, and the only thing that could stand up to them are the Titan Class StarCruisers. I designed Audacious to be more than a match for more than a few Titan Class StarCruisers, but I suspect the reptilians and the others have in their arsenals Fortress or Garrison Ships that would probably be more than a match for Audacious. My logic and that of the Audacious Sim simply says we should always minimize the risks."

Jono : " It can’t be helped then."

Eloy : " But is it Honourable?"

Navi lets out a long sigh.

Navi : " Only Honourable in the sense that we fulfil our duty to protect the lives of those in our care."

Zen : " I guess the risk is simply too high."

Capt-Barnes : "Perhaps when Avalon is stronger we will have the power to help."

Navi could see the sadness in their eyes and he understood it because he felt the same sadness.

However Navi would not allow guilt to make him commit unforced errors. The path ahead would be difficult but the hope for a prosperous future can only be nurtured by survival; nothing was more important than survival.

They sent the message rejecting the request from the Human Republic StarNavy. The 3 captains were not surprised by the reason given for the refusal because they were well aware of Navi’s paranoia, but they were relieved to hear that Avalon was committing itself to giving military aid once Avalon’s own circumstances were more secure.

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