Imagine that you became aware of some danger that was about to materialise and cost thousands of lives in the next two hours. You then approach a few people and explain to them what you had discovered. They look at you with a blank stare. You try again. They utter some words back that you do not understand. You try harder, this time with a sense of frustration in your voice. They frown. You try one more time. They look frustrated this time and utter more words that you do not understand.
You realise that they’re not speaking your language, so words are useless. You then madly reach for some instrument to draw figures in the sand or mark the surface of the earth – desperate now, because time is running out. They look on more attentively, sensing your distress. But they still cannot understand what the drawings mean or why you are so upset and worried.
You realise that time is running so short that you can no longer save them. Even if you could communicate to them the danger, the question is whether they would believe you and take action swiftly enough to avoid catastrophe. So – broken – you turn and run. You run because you know that self-preservation is all that you can do now. You take for the hills. You climb 500 metres – and you then see the disaster unfolding. A tsunami destroys the land and the people you were trying to save.
And now you know how The Captain feels. My desperate attempts to communicate through their language, through reason, and even by force and sarcasm – anything to get their attention to avoid disaster – seems to fail. The end seems inevitable for them.