Op-ed: Over Ten Years On, It's Not Too Late to Strip Noir of his Statue
Note: The Scope's Galactic Hour with Ret Gloriaxx is reproducing this op-ed piece by syndication arrangement with the author and the Villore Clarion, where it first appeared on YC121-04-28.
When cameramen and photographers set up their equipment on a suburban lawn in early YC110, only an hour before the arrival of the chairman, they had no way of knowing how infamous the image of a smiling Admiral Alexander Noir standing on his front step, holding an Aidonis Statue would become. At the time, Admiral Noir was bestowed with the informal title of least controversial winner in the history of the award. The YC104 award of the Aidonis to Emperor Heideran VII was condemned by many in the press, and even the earlier decision to give the award to all the signatories of the Treaty of Tierijev became a matter of contention when that meant the statue went into the hands of the Chief Executive Panel - some of whom helped spark the war to begin with. In contrast, Admiral Noir had earned praise from across the very border regions in which he fought. Active members of the Caldari Navy had kind words for him.
When neoclassical architectural and concept artists came together to sketch out the first Nyx-class supercarrier design, they did so in the wake of the Yoiul Conference. This generation of young dreamers were the first in decades whose thoughts could alight upon peace, and the first flights of the fledgling CONCORD encouraged them. King Doule dos Rouvenor III, the Great Reconciler, had so many paintings of himself commissioned during his 36-year reign that each Gallentia World History textbook publisher could claim one for their covers and still have some to put on display in the Library of Outer Lyace. His scepter must have been literally right there, glittering in its faux gilt glory, tempting university students as an aesthetic muse. If there was irony that such a symbol of peace would be transmuted into a tool of war, it was subverted by the first Nyx, which never saw violence. The FNS Nyx finished construction after the end of the war. Its earliest iteration was poorly suited for the battlefield, packed not with ammunition, but instead with the latest in cutting-edge ergonomic and medical technologies. The Federation Navy put it to better use offering relief to wartorn systems.
How surprised both parties must have been on May 15th, YC110. Were they more surprised than the rest of us, we who have read about Noir and the Nyx, yet never saw either with our own eyes? They must have been watching the footage of the Malkalen shields failing when the FNS Wandering Saint passed the point of no return. We don't know how they felt, but we know how the Aidonis Foundation felt about it. “Despite whatever madness possessed Alexander Noir in his final hours, it does not erase the near-century of his work for peace. The Aidonis Statue was awarded for these efforts and will not and should not be taken away," according to the Foundation's board of directors in a public statement.
I suppose, if we wanted to determine the truth of such a statement, we would have to consider Noir's near-century of diplomatic work. Who can forget his passionate testimony before the Senate in favor of the State-Federation Crielere research project, which led to advances in morphite applications, field generation physics, and tech two blueprints? The halls between laboratories drew persuasive political powers such as a Jovian delegation, President Souro Fioritan, Ishukone CEO Otro Gariushi, surely establishing a stable foundation for further collaboration for years of, oh, I'm sorry. My teaching assistant has just informed me that project ended in ruins and Gariushi was among the several hundred thousand casualties of Noir's attack.
Perhaps our purposes would be better served by looking further back in Noir's career. Let us examine his deft diplomacy in the Tierijev Pocket. Tierijev was a single system under State control for the entire Gallente-Caldari War, in spite of being surrounded by Federation systems, which were inhabited by Federation citizens. During the war, it was a vast military complex, one way in, one way out, via a jumpgate that led deeper into State territory. Then one day the CEP and a Federation delegation arrived, signed a piece of paper, and the war was over. Noir was there to advocate for new jumpgates in Tierijev, ones that would link it to its neighboring Federation systems, and even suggested the framework for joint military administration of the system that led to its rise as a major trade post. In fact, let me check my notes -
My mistake. After the "Malkalen Incident," the State withdrew their Tierijev assets and redeployed them elsewhere in light of increasing tensions with the Federation. Bad example.
In YC110, the Aidonis Foundation could be forgiven for underestimating the consequences of Noir's “madness.“ Many repercussions will take more than a decade to see in full. In over ten years, though, and soon to be eleven, we have lived their legacy: war. Whatever peace Noir worked for, he has more than undone. The end of the first Gallente-Caldari War would have happened without his contributions. The beginning of the second would not have.
Doctor Felisenne Olvenari is a professor of political science at the University of Caille. Her seminal work, Communication Networks: The Lynchpin of Empires, will arrive in bookstores on May 10th YC121.