J. Pretense’s Letter of Last Resort

To be opened by nuclear submarine commanders if the UK has been destroyed.

25 September 2018

To the Captain of HMS Vanguard: My first instruction to you is that you read this letter aloud to your assembled officers and crew. Let there be no mistake as to what the final act of Her Majesty's Government was. If you decide not to do so, know that what could have been the burden shared by all is now yours alone. All of us hoped this day would never come. But the fact is, it did, whatever the reasons for it. At this very moment, you may be the most powerful men left in the world, and with that comes the weight of the world on your shoulders. It is more than any man should have to bear, but this is now your lot. First, you need to ascertain if civilization as we know it has indeed ceased to exist. Assuredly you have followed all protocols that have led you to open this letter, but even they are insufficient. If you can identify any sign of human life remaining on this Earth, no matter their responsibility for this disaster, if any, it is your first and foremost duty to preserve it. Understand that you are now responsible only to God and your own conscience. A good many have failed already to uphold that solemn calling in the care of nuclear arms, but even in my demise, I would hope for better for those who remain. As there is nobody who remains who will ever hold you accountable for your choices, consider the remainder of this missive to be advisory. No possible good can come now from the nuclear armaments you carry. They will neither be useful in exacting vengeance upon whomever caused this calamity, nor will they provide for your self-defense. In fact, they make you a target for any megalomaniac who would seek to make matters even worse. It is therefore my strong advice that you dispose of the weapons in such a way as to ensure they will never be recovered - jettisoning them into the deepest available trench would be my advice, but as you are the sailor and I am not, do what makes sense to you to fulfill this objective. It is unlikely that you are the last vestige of humanity, if for no other reason than it is highly likely other submariners have survived this calamity. Regardless of the flag they bear, seek to make contact with them. You are not instructed to place yourselves under the command of another naval force, but you may do so if you deem it wise. Only do so if it permits you to carry out your primary objective, which is the preservation of what life remains, and the hope of rebuilding civilization. If you can find such a place, attempt to make landfall where the bombs haven't fallen. If it is not safe for you to remain, find essential supplies and return to the sea until such time as you can establish a colony, in the grand tradition of the Empire. God Save The Queen,

Rt Hon J. Pretense
J. Pretense
Prime Minister

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