VALIANT SPOTLIGHT
His Spirit Lives On
RAI

    The following is a transcript of the speech delivered on a
planet-wide broadcast, on July 5, 4003, by Terran Consortium President
Magnus.

    Greetings global citizens and fellow survivors. It goes without
saying that every one of us have just passed through the greatest test
in the history of Humankind. On this day, it is my privilege to announce
that the great war against the Malev invaders is finally over. We have
won back our homeworld. But every one of you listening to me now feels
the terrible price of this victory. For every survivor, there are two
persons who did not live to see this day. No one is untouched by loss
and sorrow. So, on this day of celebration, we pause to remember our
dead, and we remember the one who sacrificed himself to win this war:
Takao Konishi -- known the world over as "Rai".
    I first met Rai battling the Malevs near the hulking wreckage of
Japan. Watching his skill and ferocity in battle, I was later surprised
to learn that he was raised as a holy man. With the selfless humility
that was his hallmark, Takao had set aside his peaceful ambitions and
taken on the crushing responsibility of becoming the new "Rai" --
Spirit-Guardian of Japan.
    Early on, Rai taught us that the old nationalistic allegiances were
no longer effective against a global threat. "One world, one people" was
his rallying cry, and there wasn't a soul who heard it that didn't feel
the fighting spirit kindled in his own breast. Here was a natural
leader. Immediately, the hopes of all humanity came to rest upon his
shoulders.
    Of course, hope alone cannot carry a battle. We quickly learned that
all our combined strengths might not be enough to defeat our robotic
enemies. When first we assaulted the Malev Emperor, we suffered a
humiliating defeat. Barely escaping with our lives, we were reminded
that Rai was not the invincible, messianic figure we had built him up to
be. He was a man, with human needs and human frailties. And this is how
I ask you to remember him. He was no better than anyone else. And yet,
in his final, finest hour, he called upon the strength that lies within
us all.
    I know from personal experience that Rai was fallible. He made
mistakes, he hurt others. I was also there, at the end, as he fought his
last battle. And it was his human spirit that gave him the strength to
finally rid the world of the Malev menace. It was not his preternatural
ability to inspire others, nor the nanites that coursed through his
veins that saved the day. It was Rai's basic human decency -- his love
that ultimately triumphed. None of us who owe our lives to him today
possess the amazing abilities that made him so effective in battle.
However, I am reminding every human being who survived the Malev War
that ALL of us hold within our hearts the strength, the HUMANITY that
allowed Rai to triumph. And, as long as this Human Spirit survives, then
Rai will live on. Today, we celebrate Rai, not as a hero who stood head
and shoulders above his peers, but as a man who reminded us of the
strength, power, and beauty that burns within us all.