Why the Covenant are Going to Win this War
Posted By: Kotno<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 17 July 2005, 3:56 pm
"The Covenant ladies and gentleman, are going to win this war." Professor Perez proclaimed from his podium, hushing the crowd with the strength of his voice.
Perez waited a moment, letting the silence sink into the room. "But first, let me tell you why they haven't won yet," the Professor continued. "The Covenant haven't won this war yet, because man is strong, and though we are destined at this point to lose the war, we won't go down without a fight. And let me make this perfectly clear, we are, ladies and gentleman, fighting for our very survival. Reach has fallen. Dozens of colony worlds have fallen. The Covenant have been to human space and they have smelled victory. They have lapped at it. They have taken in a deep breath of it and found it intoxicating. Make no mistake, they are at the threshold, and they will not stop, not when they are this close.
"Man, as he stands now, at a crossroads in history, is largely united. On the whole, the colony worlds stand with us. The various races, cultures, and political factions of man stand now as one, knowing that our very survival depends on it. Gone are the days when we stood against one another bearing arms and distrust. And for that reason, we remain a formidable enemy against The Covenant. But how long can a man defend his castle before the walls are breached and the enemy pours in?
"It is my contention, that a man can not defend forever. With each world that falls to The Covenant, a brick falls from our castle wall, and with each battle a defender falls too. And thus the next world is a little less strong. The next wall a little less defended. And each battle becomes easier for The Covenant than the last, and in time, when the colony worlds have all fallen, and The Covenant find Earth, all of the defenders will be gone and we will be brushed aside, only a shadow of our former selves. We can not, ladies and gentleman, defend Earth with shadows.
"Wars take time my friends, and that is one thing we do not have. So you ask, if The Covenant haven't won because it is not yet their final hour of victory, how can we stand a chance? The answer I'm afraid, is quite simply, we can't. We can't stand atop our hill and simply believe they won't come. We can't stare blindly into the distance and ignore the rushing behemoth at our borders. The fact is, The Covenant are coming to Earth, just as they came to Reach, and to Coral, and to every other colony world that has fallen.
"But they aren't here yet. They aren't standing before us blades drawn, raised above their heads for a final swing. I urge you though, do not take comfort in the fact that they have yet to arrive at our doorstep. Do not fool yourself into feeling safe, or you will find one day that your very soul has been condemned and your body is gone, smoothed over with the rest of our defenseless planet. You must stand up and yell out loudly 'I do not have a chance!' You my friends, are but ghosts wandering the earthly plane, but you are not lonely ghosts. Imagine yourself standing upon the field of battle, bleeding to death from your wounds, but surrounded by the dead bodies of your enemy. The battle may be lost, but they will pay the price in blood.
"That ladies and gentleman, is our only hope. It is a sorrowful hope indeed, borne of death and destruction, but there is a measured peace in resigning to this fate. In death, in the moments before you pass away from this world, you can tell yourself that the man next to you still has a future. True, his future may be only a few seconds longer than yours, but it is still there. And beyond him, there is another man, and his future is even longer, and so each man might die knowing that he is not the last to go.
"You are here today, each and every one of you, because I am said in intellectual circles to be a man knowledgeable of war. While I can not point to a military pedigree, or any proven ability to lead men in battle, I can point to a realism of thought. Now you sit before me perhaps shaken, perhaps disheartened that I do not believe we can win. But what other conclusion can I come to? The Covenant have time and time again proven themselves in battle. They are willing to die for their cause because they believe in it. They believe, with every bit of their souls, that you do not deserve to live. And they will pursue that end until they can not pursue it any longer.
"What then, is it that you believe in? Do you believe in survival? Do you believe so strongly in survival that you are willing to die for it? Doesn't make much sense does it? I said before that we are united, and we are so both politically and emotionally. But are we united enough to believe our deaths can serve a purpose? Are we willing to die so that our neighbor might live?
"In wartime, soldiers go to battle believing they will be the lucky ones, that they will go off and see death, and deal death, but never have death see them. And that brings them hope, and they fight for hope. But what if they could fight for something else? Each one of us here today, man, woman, and child. We are all soldiers, and we are all sitting here hoping to be the lucky ones. That, is why we will lose. Because hope is a false idol, and in the end none of us will be lucky if we aren't willing to find luck in our own deaths.
"And so I have come to the crux of my argument. Yes, The Covenant are going to win, but time is not up yet. We still have the ability to forge for ourselves a new fate, but we can only do so through strength of will and a willingness to alter our states of mind. If we can each walk outside of this lecture hall and tell ourselves that we are going to die, but that we are going to do it for a reason, we can still have a chance in this fight.
"I have said already that for each death of a man, another man can live longer, and when he dies, another even longer. But no one, absolutely no one, can stand on the sidelines and say to himself that he will be the last man to go. Who is the last one is not important, what is important is the belief that you can die and still win the war. That you can lose your life in the throes of violence, and gain an eternity of peace. I implore you, walk out of this hall today and stand before the might of The Covenant and proclaim out loud that you will not walk off into the night alone, but that you will hold your ground and die a soldier, taking as many of the enemy with you as you can.
"You, and you, and you, none of you will be the last man. But if you acknowledge that, you can give hope the very notion of a last man. Now that, that is unity."