The neutral zone
At the dawn of the 29th century, Leon Marshall, the newly elected Imperator, invited representatives of the Xi'An Empire, the Banu Protectorate as well as a Tevarin delegation to attend an opening ceremony on an orbital platform.
Several attempts were made to invite the Vanduul. There was no response from them.
Imperator Leon Marshall asked the huge crowd for silence and then spoke:
Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome.
It is a word that has not been associated much with humanity. We are aware that we have shown intolerance during these dark centuries. We know we have been suspicious. We have been cruel. But there is an old saying in our civilization that anyone can change. And it's true, people can change. We can change because we have seen our past mistakes. We can change because we want to.
Named after the biblical ship, we built this Ark as a vessel intended to travel through time and space. A place where it is possible to learn more about all races, those that have been discovered and those that have not yet been. A place that is not linked to a planet or to a particular species, because putting it on a planet would be like saying that it belongs to the species that inhabits it. No, the Ark must concern us all. It must belong to all of us. We offer this Ark to the universe as a place where it is possible to learn and meet. L'Arche will serve as a politically neutral zone where representatives of each species can meet in order to solve problems through speech.
I am proud to open these doors and invite all of you to fill this place with the vast and rich history that each species has to offer. May this Ark be the testament and the proud memorial of the lives we and our predecessors lived.