I CHANGED the world ― not a boast but obvious when you look at an atlas. Humanity should be grateful, yet is not; I get short shrift in the histories.
The maps show my stupendous achievement, yet people show it best. My dream still pulls them to The Great Southland, for it is their dream also, an ember glowing deep within the ashes of despair. Look at them.
From the hunger and the slaughter; from the political and religious cauldrons of Europe and Africa and Asia and America, the poor, the hopeful and the dispossessed follow the dream. Others, as ever it was, come perhaps in greed or as desperate outlaws, yet theirs is the same motivation: a fresh start free from social disruptions, the beacon of opportunity beckons.
That beacon for all was raised by me, and, yes, I was indeed a striver as indicated by my family name, Stirling, derived from an ancient Viking word. A striving seagoer, I brought enlightened living to a savage wilderness.
Few of the dreamers have heard of me, Captain James Stirling, Royal Navy, and fewer care, yet my haven remains. It is ready for everyone, ready for you who read these words. My beam dominates the southern hemisphere and shines for the world ― my irrepressible dream, the soul of Australia.
Let me tell you how I did it against impossible odds. The idea came soon after I invaded the United States. I recall a fog of cannon smoke blinding my vision but nothing could reduce the noise of the guns blasting. My guns. They rained destruction and death upon the Americans, whose flimsy coastal defences were built in haste and futility against the might of the world’s greatest navy. My navy.
Now my task was to eliminate those forts, enabling our brave British troops to launch their shore landings. We were teaching the Yankee upstarts a lesson long overdue.