This was for the Writing Group's Feb. 7th assignment, which was:
You are the newly elected leader of a nation at war. Your first task is to hand write orders that will - without being read - be copied, sealed and delivered to locked safes for each of the commanders of vehicles (air, sea, ground, whatever) that have nuclear weapons. The orders are only to be opened in the event that your nation is destroyed and there is no leadership or government left for the commanders to receive orders from with respect to launching a nuclear attack.It's not as good as I would like, but it gets my point across fairly concisely.
Keeping in mind you may have to convince a commander who has just lost everything and has no one to answer to anymore to follow your orders, what do you say?
My final directive to you is simple: DO NOT USE ANY NEUCLEAR OR MASS DISTRUCTIVE WEAPONS, and keep your crew alive.
Hear me out before discarding this order. At this point you may feel vindictive or that you have nothing left to live for. At the least there is nothing for you to come home to. As awful as this is, furthering the annihilation of our species and long term destruction of the planet won't solve what's already occurred.
What CAN be a solution is one of two options I see from this side. Either,
1) retreat, and escape with your crew and ship into exile. In such you will have saved the small part left in the world of our country, culture, and beliefs, so that we are not completely eradicated. Carry on wherever you can, keep our memory and principles alive, so the future won't loss us.
2) surrender, assuming you believe the enemy will not kill any of you, and in doing so attempt to gain the condition of being able to return to our country once it's safe to search for survivors or anything salvageable of who we once were. This way you can attempt to help any part of us that might still be in need.
Either way, the point is to keep as many of us who are still alive as such to carry on for the rest of us, without costing any more lives.