Commander Abiodun's image appeared on the holographic projector, before the Unity Council. The captain stood proudly upon the bridge of the newest cruiser in the African Union Republic's Space-Fleet, the Nyota ya mtoto. He was a young man, but strong-minded, easily recognised by the Grand Admiralty for his dedication and passion to do his duty to the African Union, and to Humanity. Composing himself for a moment, he spoke to the Council.
"The encrypted communication package received by our Exterior Bound sensors array matches identification tags with an entry from our copy of the original archive created by the Western Alliance, seven-hundred years ago. We have ran, and re-ran integrity checks with the same result. It is my duty to inform the Council that the package is both original and genuine. How will the council advise on this matter?"
There was a moment of silence among the Council Members; soon replaced by the whispering murmurs of members discussing with each other how best to proceed. With confidence, a unanimous nod was given to the Council Chairwoman, Zuwena Zadzisai; who stood up from her podium at the centre and interacted with her console to address the Commander directly.
"It is with unanimous consideration that this Council agrees on the matter, that we must pursue the source of the communication. We consider the situation here on Earth, not just for Africa, but for our entire cradle of life, our world, to be in such a precarious position that we have no other choice but to seek to branch beyond Sol."
The chairwoman paused, looking around at the other members, many nodded in agreement; after years of conflict against the incumbent superpower - the Russian and Chinese-lead Central Earth Government, the African people sought to be free from war and conflict, to start on their own path - among the stars if required. However, some members expressed concerned faces; there were some who wished to stay and fight; to preserve the heritage land of Africa. As such, Chairwoman Zadzisai would issue another statement.
"However, the African Union Republic will not abandon our heritage land, of African and her people. We will stay and fight - but we must seek new allies beyond our frontiers if we are to do so. If the content of the communication package is genuine and sincere, then perhaps we have already found our first ally, from our past. This council hereby authorises the African Union Navy to investigate the signal further and make the necessary previsions and arrangements for an expedition beyond Sol, to establish contact with those that sent it.
This is a new frontier for our Union, but I believe that with our continued strength and resiliance that we have shown for a thousad years so far, we can forge a new path for the African people among the stars - and at home, alongside our brothers and sisters of humanity. Perhaps my dream for us is mis-placed, perhaps we will always see war and conflict? Or perhaps what makes us human is that we have hope.
As such, we must never give up. Commander Abiodun, inform your crew that Nyota ya mtoto will be leading the expedition. You represent the youngest and brightest of our people, and you will carry our culture and way of life into the stars and into the annals of legend. It is time for the African People to take their place in space-faring history, beyond Earth, and into the future of humanity!"
The Chairwoman stepped down from her podium to great cheering among the African Union Republic Council, while she smiled and was confident that the best decision had been made, she could not help but feel a weight of responsibility pulling her back, as the events of the next few years could have dire consequences for the Republic and the African people.
(continued in part 2)