Age of Cosmic Exploration Chapter 292
Cheng Wen had long since been promoted from his earlier role of the Hope’s human resource department’s vice leader to its leader. He oversaw everything related to human resources on the Hope. In a way, he was one of the influential people on the Hope.
He was a hardworking and capable officer, and he wouldn’t intervene in places where his presence was not needed. Even though it was because of him that many original government workers from Country Z were pulled from obscurity and made powerful officers. the Hope still relied on a system of fair meritocracy. Therefore, as the years passed, Cheng Wen’s position slowly stabilized, his power as great as the power that government officials from Country Z enjoyed.
Even though the event from a few years ago had stopped the interactions between government workers, those interactions couldn’t be completely prevented. Eventually, liaisons between officials became common again. Of course, there wasn’t anything illegal about them.
Cheng Wen, as the human resource leader, an original officer from Country Z, had great influence on the Hope and was rumoured to be highly valued by Yao Yuan. Therefore, many Country Z government workers liked to align themselves with Cheng Wen. Even though Cheng Wen was selective in the friends he made, those that had relationships with him all felt impressed by him. Cheng Wen had the presence to make them believe in him.
That Sunday, Cheng Wen was sitting across from two individuals with a pot of tea brewing between them. Cheng Wen had invited them over for afternoon tea to discuss the things happening on the Hope. Cheng Wen made use of a television program to unconsciously segue into the Hope’s current situation.
"The current situation is quite dangerous, isn’t it? Even though we have started the Silent Journey plan, there is no telling whether we will run into aliens or not, and if we do, it’ll be another war." Cheng Wen sighed as he took another sip of his tea.
"You are so right," a slightly overweight middle aged man groused as he sipped his tea. "After this plan to save the Noah One was announced, there were complaints coming from the public. This latest warp has dropped us into a large and safe solar system. This caused some unrest among the citizens. Truth be told, being in the PR department now is not enviable."
This middle-aged man was a middle-ranking officer in the Hope’s Public Relations Department. He was another Country Z officer that rose in position during the face slap operation a few years ago. His rank might've been low, but he held a certain degree of influence on the Hope.
On the note of the Hope’s government structure, after so many years of adapting and changing, its structure had slowly started to mirror the structure of a cabinet. Everyone answered to the Chancellor, but other than that, the members of a department only answered to the responsibility of their own department. For example, the PR department was responsible for the information transfer happening within the Hope, including television, internet, and paper media. Yao Yuan wouldn’t order them to do stuff and allowed them to work out their own rules organically. Therefore, if there were any misgivings within the department, it would be the responsibility of the PR Department’s members to hand in their own resignation letter.
This was why the PR Department’s members, like the middle-aged man, would complain when the citizens of the Hope started to complain. After all, to save the Noah One was Yao Yuan’s decision, but the PR Department was faulted by the public because they mishandled the information promotion and direction. In the department, many felt unfairly judged.
"Actually, there are ways for the PR Department to make use of this situation." The complaint was what Cheng Wen was waiting for. However, he didn’t blurt out his plan but went about it leisurely.
The middle-aged man was first surprised and then asked excitedly, "You really have a plan? Brother Lee, you’re famed for your intellect. If you really have any bright ideas, please help us out. The PR Department is having a fit. Outside the Hope is a large solar system, filled to the brim with resources, but we can only stay here and idle and wait for two more space warps. Honestly, at least 30 percent the citizens are having second thoughts about this whole operation to save the Noah One…"
"30 percent?" The other middle-aged man chuckled. "That is an underestimation. I would believe it if you said half. After all, the progress on the Hope is going smoothly, and the population number is reaching the Hope’s limit. Unless we can create a larger mother ship in the next decade, the Hope will be extremely crowded. And with the increase in the population, the resource levels will be dangerous as well. And let’s not forget the people we’re going to save are people from Earth’s governments, not the mention the possible dangers we might stumble into."
The others didn’t rebut, because everything he said was the truth. The Hope was enjoying smooth progress. Be it population, life quality, or science, everything was improving. Becoming a Level 3 space civilization was something inevitable, so must they risk so much to save these people from Earth?
After all, who knew how many original government officials there would be? These people… were the ones who decided to abandon Earth with no regards for other human beings.
Therefore, even though Yao Yuan’s immense influence had made this project a reality, since no one dared to object, a hidden resentment among the public was something unavoidable, and this could be the threat that ripped the Hope from within.
Cheng Wen took another sip of his tea and smiled. "No matter how many people are having suspicions on this decision, it is undeniable that the PR Department is currently under great pressure. Therefore, why doesn’t your department broadcast some documentaries to counter this situation?"
"Documentaries?" The others repeated in curiosity. The slightly overweight man asked directly, "What kind of documentaries? The government propagandas from Earth? Or war documentaries on heroes that we’ve lost?"
Cheng Wen shook his head. "According to the current situation, one of the biggest possibilities are war with alien civilizations, so why don’t we broadcast footage of our war with the space merchants? The videos of them storming the Hope and the fights between our Defense Unit soldiers. The videos of how savage they were and how they had captured us. Then get some experts to educate the public on how to save themselves, how to find a safe location to hide, when to run when faced with this kind of situation. Isn’t that the best kind of documentary to broadcast at this juncture?"
The surprise was evident. They put down their tea cups and looked at Cheng Wen hesitatingly. The slightly overweight man said, "Cheng Wen… but wouldn’t this make the public complain even more? This will make them even more afraid of war with aliens, and the Chancellor will probably be forced to take action… Cheng Wen, you have to be careful about what you say, since we have those earlier representatives as examples."
This was honest advice from the man. What were those earlier representatives that were fired? They were those that wanted to challenge Yao Yuan’s influence and spread nasty rumors about him. However, they underestimated the hold Yao Yuan had over the Hope’s public. Their plans failed from the beginning. Furthermore, Yao Yuan was from Country Z, so the current Country Z people wouldn’t plot against Yao Yuan in the dark.
Cheng Wen laughed. "That will not happen, you people are overthinking this. Plus, I’m just giving a suggestion. Furthermore, the Chancellor is a fair person. As long as the documentaries are not falsified and not released behind his back, then he won’t come after anyone as he wishes. Furthermore, isn’t the Hope currently facing this threat? This will be precaution for the public, to improve our survivability in case of war. This will be the contribution of these videos. Regarding public opinion… How about we make a bet? Have the PR Department do what I suggested, and after seven days, if the public still has suspicions against saving the Noah One, then I will hand in my resignation and the PR Department can say that this was my idea. I will shoulder the responsibility. How about that?"
The slightly overweight man frowned but still laughed and said, "Brother Lee sure likes to joke. We’re in a cabinet system, so we will not push the blame to someone else, but since this is Cheng Wen’s suggestion, then I wouldn’t mind proposing it to my leader. He’ll make the final decision. After all, I’m just a lowly government servant…"
Just like that, three days later, the Hope’s newspaper, television, and internet changed up their usual offerings from praises on the Hope to the introduction of dangers in space, including the various alien space civilizations, the videos on the fight with space merchants, the death toll of the Defense Unit after the war, and the current number of soldiers on the Hope…
In the week after the promotion period, the public's opinion regarding this project to save the Noah One gradually moved towards negative. In fact, the uproar had gotten so intense that it had reached the House of Representatives, but before the week ended, the public opinion made a complete 180. More than 60 percent was in support of the project because the member list on the Noah One was also released in this period. It had more than 30,000 Special Ops soldiers from Earth…
Therefore, in less than half a month, the internal strife that was burgeoning met its end. All over the Hope, only a small fraction of people maintained a suspicion against this plan, and the majority was in support of Yao Yuan’s decision.
Lee Cheng Wen’s resume and history once again found its way to Yao Yuan’s table…