Authors note: although this story is not set at any particular time, it is based on a discussion between Dylan and Tyr in 'Una Salus Victus' (#207), and so if you haven't seen that episode, you may want to skip this story.

Point of View

Dylan wondered the corridors of Mendocino Drift, looking for his contact. He had been informed by the Sinti government that the respected philosopher Alan Ross was on the station, and if he could be convinced to speak out on behalf of the new Commonwealth, it would add weight to their credibility.

The main plaza was a wide-open space with a huge window making up the ceiling. The view was incredible, and Dylan could understand why artist from across the known worlds flocked here for inspiration. He made his way across the main chamber and into a small café that nestled in the corner. He walked up to the bar and caught the attention of the Perseid serving drinks, "I'm looking for a man called Ross, Alan Ross." The bartender pointed to a table outside, where a shot, scruffy-dressed man sat in the sun.

Dylan made his way out to the table, "Alan Ross?" The man looked up, "Depends who's asking." Dylan held out his hand, "Captain Dylan Hunt of the Starship Andromeda." Ross shock the offered hand, "Oh yes, you're the one flying around the universe trying to re-start the Commonwealth. Let me guess: you've come to try and get me to support your little quest." Dylan sat opposite the philosopher, "If you would indorse the Commonwealth Charter, it would be a significant boost to our course."

Ross smiled, "I wish I could help you captain, but no." Dylan was shocked, "Why not?" Ross leaned forwards, "Are you a student of history, captain? I am, and history has taught us one thing, time and again: all civilisations fall. On every world where sentient-life has evolved, civilisations have risen and fallen. Now, I grant you that the Systems Commonwealth lasted a lot longer than most, longer than some species, but in the end, it to fell. You may as well try to re-start the Roman Empire of Earth, or the first Dynasty of San-Ska-Re."

Dylan shook his head, "But the Commonwealth stood for order, for justice." Ross raised a hand to stop him, "And a long, happy life for all? Like I said captain, I am a student of history. I know you where born on Tran- Vedra, and that you where an officer in the high Guard, but you're civilisation fell 300-odd years ago. But when a civilisation fell, it laid the groundwork for a new one. Maybe the Nietzscheans will take over, or the Than-Thre-Kull, or even us humans. Who knows?"

Dylan was in shock, "You're saying that the Commonwealth can't be reborn?" Ross smiled, "I'm saying that the Commonwealth you knew and served is lost forever. Maybe this new one of you're will be better, maybe it will be worse, I can't say. But I can tell you this: it will be different. At the moment you're trying to re-shape the universe to fit your vision of how it should be, but a lot has happened since your time. The universe is just lucky you're a just man: others would use the power you have to take control for themselves."

Ross stood and placed a few coins on the table, "If you ever decide to let this new Commonwealth find it's own path, then I may be willing to help you out. Good day Captain Hunt."

The End