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Other Characters: Stanford Pines | Gravity Falls | mviw
Character Name: Benjamin Tallmadge
Series: Turn: Washington's Spies
Canon Resource Link: http://turn.wikia.com/wiki/
This history reflects the details of the show on AMC. There are key points that differ from the real life events surrounding the real Tallmadge and his spies, although the program tries to stay true to the book on which it's based, which in turn is based on true events and information pulled from historical record; however, what's written below follows fiction, not our reality. Also, it's important to note that events separate from Ben are certainly connected to him and are therefore relevant to the context of his history (which means more reading for you! Sorry).
Benjamin Tallmadge was born in the hamlet of Setauket on Long Island (now part of the town of Brookhaven, NY). He grew up as childhood friends with Caleb Brewster, Abraham Woodhull, and Anna Strong. These friendships would eventually prove to be the basis for a spy ring constructed to pass intelligence unseen by the watchful eyes of the British. Ben is a Yale graduate of 1773 and the son of Reverend Nathaniel Tallmadge. He later joined the Continental Army, along with his best friend Caleb Brewster, and eventually achieved the rank of Captain as part of the 2nd Continental Light Dragoons. Caleb himself is a whaler and is seen throughout the series taking advantage of his knowledge of the black market. He's ranked as a lieutenant. Perhaps due to his Patriot alignment or even association with smuggling, he's heard telling Abraham he can never show his face in Setauket again. Despite his more wild appearance and Ben's more clean-cut ways, the two appear almost inseparable with a strong bond of trust between them.
In the autumn of 1776, Ben and his men are ambushed by Robert Rogers and the Queen's Rangers, mercenaries paid for by the British Head of Intelligence, Major John Andre. Fed information from Continental General Charles Lee, the Rangers slaughtered Ben's unit. Ben wakes after the battle while one of the Rangers spears the dead and dying dragoons with a bayonet. He stabs the Ranger through the throat to kill him as silently as possible, then switches jackets with him and dons his hat in an attempt to escape. Rogers catches on to this by chance and manages to shoot Ben's shoulder in pursuit, but Ben's escape is ultimately successful.
As he was healing, Ben requested of General Charles Scott that the Continental Army hire spies against the British. Scott refuses this request and dismisses the idea of a traitor in their ranks despite Ben's insistence to the contrary.
Not long after this, Ben learns from Caleb that their childhood friend Abraham had met with him to sell his cabbage on the black market. When Abraham is picked up in his rowboat by the Continentals and waterboarded for smuggling and being a suspected spy, Ben intervenes and tries to convince him to join the cause. He lays out a test for Abraham first by insisting that he tell the name of the smuggler with whom he'd met. Abe refuses to give a name, prompting Ben to discreetly offer Abe the chance to spy for the rebel cause. Abe isn't entirely happy about this but he still doesn't outright refuse.
Later, Abraham comes across information while having dinner at his father's house with the British's Major Hewlett, a friend of Abe's father (and the man leading the garrison stationed in Setauket). The information rests in a coded letter discussing an upcoming raid of a Continental safe house using some of the soldiers stationed in town (including the newly promoted Captain Simcoe who had taken the place of Captain Joyce, who had been murdered while Abe was away from town smuggling cabbage). While dealing with being a murder suspect by having an alibi because of his smuggling--proof of which lay in the items he'd acquired from Caleb for his cabbage--Abe discusses Ben's offer of spying with Anna Strong (his ex-fiancee, childhood flame). He then asks her to hang a black petticoat to signal for a meeting with Ben's courier, as Ben instructed.
To Abe's surprise, Ben's courier is Caleb. Abe passes on the information, making Caleb promise that Captain Simcoe would be among the casualties, as he'd been harassing Anna much to her distress (Anna's husband Selah, known Patriot sympathizer and a delegate to Continental Congress, had recently been sent to the prison ship Jersey for engaging in a fight with Captain Joyce in Strong Tavern).
The British are ambushed at their attempted raid of the Connecticut safe house. Simcoe is the only survivor. Caleb tells Ben of the promise he'd made to Abe, but Ben insists that they interrogate him on the basis that he might know something about the leak on the Continental side. The image of his dead fellow soldiers still fresh in his mind, he places the stolen Ranger's bonnet on the head of a fallen redcoat soldier as a clear message to Rogers.
Ben and Caleb interrogate Simcoe in Connecticut, but he gives up no useful information and taunts them over dinner (being an officer, and as he and Ben are captains, the rules of war dictate that officers be treated properly). Simcoe's mockery becomes too much for Caleb, who strikes out at him. Despite this being an extreme breach of protocol, Ben doesn't put a stop to this. In fact, he seems to truthfully be repulsed by Simcoe who in turn revels in the disgust and anger coming from the rebel pair. Simcoe is strung up and bloodied by the time Scott bursts onto the scene, demanding that Ben face disciplinary charges for his actions at Fort Lee--meaning Caleb can't keep his promise to Abe, and a possible discharge if not worse for Ben.
Elsewhere, Robert Rogers still thirsts for revenge for his dead Ranger and he hunts down the soldier who left the bonnet. By November, he's led to Setauket and inevitably speaks with Anna and Abraham, wondering if the murder of Captain Joyce might have something to do with the dragoon who got away. Anna is still suspected of Joyce's murder, but with a little investigation in Joyce's room (a room in her own house where British soldiers are billeted) she'd previously discovered a letter from Joyce's lover mentioning a sound retreat, implying that the signal to retreat by the company drummer was a signal for the lovers to meet. Through a plan to have the retreat signal played by the company drummer, they inevitably discover Joyce's lover--a man, in truth, who confesses everything to Abraham before the company drummer reveals himself as well before he's killed by a hidden Rogers. The Ranger makes Joyce's lover, a resident of Setauket, his agent, while he charges Abraham with being his handler. They all agree to make the company drummer, now dead, the scapegoat, and Anna is off the hook for Joyce's murder. Abraham realizes that anyone leading a double life will inevitably be found out, and due to feelings he still has for her despite them both being married to other people, he asks her not to signal Caleb. He's afraid that something might happen to her because of her involvement.
Ben, Caleb and General Scott lead a convoy to Fort Lee, and while in New Jersey they come across Continental Army and civilian refugees. A terrified and injured Virginian soldier tells them that Fort Washington was taken and so was Fort Lee, and he begs them not to go that way, claiming that George Washington himself may have been captured as well. Scott takes some of his men, plus Simcoe in his wagon and Ben and Caleb to spend the weekend with a Patriot family while they reassess their situation. Ben pushes the issue of forming a proper spy ring but is strongly rebuked by Scott who again threatens court martial. Scott tells Ben that he ought to have been scouting ahead rather than torturing Simcoe, and perhaps his punishment will be less severe if he decides to follow orders from that point forward. Ben then turns and gives Caleb the order to "scout" as well--all the way back to Long Island. Caleb quietly dissents because Anna hasn't signaled and his boat is laid up, but Ben tells him strongly to use someone else's and turns away, ending any discussion on the matter. Meanwhile, Scott's soldiers believe that Caleb intends to desert rather than go scouting and they plan a mutiny for fear that the rebellion is nearing a favorable end for the British.
The soldiers' trap is laid during dinner with the farmer's wife, Scott, Ben and Simcoe while the farmer tends to a sick cow. Ben rebukes Simcoe for not thanking their hostess properly considering Simcoe would kill her without a second thought. Simcoe says he would only do so if ordered, and Scott advises him not to antagonize their hosts or his captors, to which Simcoe insincerely apologizes. One of the infantrymen enters, claiming that a Tory regiment has been spotted, much to the upset of almost everyone at the table. As Scott and Ben follow the soldier out, Simcoe smiles and softly hums the melody of the British Grenadiers while alone with the horrified hostess.
Outside, Scott and Ben face the soldiers' rifles and mutinous claims that they serve the colony of Pennsylvania and had been lured under false orders. Ben tries to talk them down but is promptly and verbally silenced. Unfortunately, the farmer saw what was happening and opens fire on the soldiers. In the ensuing chaos Scott is injured as was the farmer. Ben pulls Scott and himself back into the house. Having heard the mutineers' plan from the dining table, Simcoe promptly leaves his seat, thanks the hostess and his former captors for dinner, and leaps down the steps. He demands that the men fall under his command, but is knocked unconscious by the butt of one of the soldiers' rifles. By the door, Ben and Scott listen to the ultimatum: Be prisoners, or be dead.
Ben and the general don't give in despite the wife's dying husband, the general's injury, and being outnumbered. The mutineers tie Simcoe to a nearby tree. Ben tries to connect with the youngest of them, a boy nicknamed Newt, saying that the boy's town sounds like Ben's hometown of Setauket--a peaceful town until the British came and gutted the church, turning it into a stable for their horses, hanging anyone who objected. He goes on to say that will happen to Newt's town if they don't stand together and fight. Simcoe responds gleefully, saying that the truth is the boy and his brothers there will rot in unmarked graves while their fields are parsed out to a Continental general. Ben reminds Newt that the British are fighting for a king, but they are fighting for their freedom, their homes and lives, and he's in the middle of promising Newt immunity if he stands aside, but Newt's brother fires a bullet into the door frame near Ben's head and says there's been enough talking.
General Scott remarks to Ben, "This war will be a short one."
During all this, Abe has gone to (New) York City with his father to sell his father's hogs to Colonel Cook who runs the British Commissary. Abe is hoping to repair relations with his father and to earn more income for his wife (Mary Woodhull) and son (Thomas "Sprout" Woodhull). The business deal goes well, but Abe discovers that his father intends to sell Selah Strong's cauliflower. Back in their lodgings, Abe confronts his father for it and they have a fight, causing Abe to leave and wander the city restlessly in thought. He comes across King's College, his old alma mater, and has visions of a riot and blood underneath his feet. A patrolling redcoat snaps him out of his reverie, and he wanders toward the parade grounds a few yards away where he discovers Hessians around a fire making sauerkraut. Speaking with them, he finds out that they're headed toward Trenton, New Jersey. He immediately departs NYC for Setauket to meet with Anna in her barn under cover of darkness, where she's been hiding Caleb.
By morning some time after dawn, Ben and Scott agree to come out with their hands up, telling the brothers not to shoot. When they're close enough, Ben draws a pistol and shoots one of the brothers and disarms the other, to Simcoe's applause. Later when reinforcements have arrived, Scott executes one of the remaining brothers by pistol and orders Ben to execute Newt. Ben strenuously objects, saying that he gave his word and the boy deserves a trial. Scott orders him once more, saying that Ben has seen firsthand what happens when military order breaks down, and to shoot him or face court martial. While looking Scott in the eye, Ben says he'll take the court martial, and Scott executes Newt instead. (In Setauket, Anna distracts the dock sentries by giving them ale from the tavern while Caleb escapes by stealing a boat.)
Caleb makes it back to Ben with information on the Hessians. They bring it to General Scott... who burns the report on the basis that the information is from an unconfirmed source, much to Ben and Caleb's frustration. They both know the information is good and so Caleb devises a plan to pass the intelligence along to Washington. Through a series of trades via Caleb's expertise, they acquire a pair of boots for a man with frostbitten toes. He agrees to write them a falsified report within which the additional information would be hidden.
Ben and Caleb's plan is successful-- being that the report was from a confirmed source and what Scott wanted to hear, he agrees to pass the intelligence along.
(Meanwhile, Major Hewlett speaks to Abe's father, Richard Woodhull (the town magistrate), about fortifying the garrison at the church using the town's gravestones. It's a difficult, drawn out process and when the town finds out, they grow angry due to fear of damnation. Abe pleads in vain with his father not to go along with Hewlett's plan. In the end, Richard gives a speech to an angry mob about the biblical Abraham, God, and sacrifices, and begins to dig up the grave of his firstborn son, the original Thomas Woodhull, Mary's original betrothed.)
Christmas Eve, 1776: During holiday celebrations, a writ of attainder is drafted by Richard Woodhull and given to Hewlett to be posted on Anna Strong's door, citing the seizure of all her husband's property--his crops, his tavern, his home, and the freedom of his slaves.
Christmas Day, 1776, several things happen: Abraham asks his father for a pass into New York City to get past the military checkpoint and is denied, Anna pleads with Hewlett against the issue of sending Abigail, a slave but also Anna's childhood friend, to serve John Andre in New York, and late at night Ben is informed of a "secret mission" and is given orders for specific rations and where to go...
--It seems they're crossing the Delaware in the middle of the chilly night. Ben tells the men in his boat that while they're crossing, Caleb (the whaler) is in charge. At first they think little of the strange endeavor until they see dozens more boats with hundreds of troops quietly crossing the icy water.
They get close to the other shore relatively safely, but the men start tipping the boat and Ben stands upright to save the rifles from falling into the water, causing himself to fall and sink instead. They pull him out and Caleb stays behind with Ben while Ben fades in and out of consciousness until January 2nd, when he wakes by a fire under a lean-to and is greeted by a "happy New Year" from Caleb, and the news that not only are the soldiers' bounties up with the end of the year and many have probably left service, but they were headed for none other than Trenton, New Jersey.
(In Setauket, Mary takes an ailing Sprout to Richard's manor for the Feast of the Epiphany with the intention of staying there until the end of winter. Abe refuses, not having forgiven Richard for agreeing to go along with Hewlett's plans. The freed former slaves are divided and the men are conscripted into service of the Royal Army. Abigail will be taken to New York City, separated from her son, Cicero. Abigail admits to Anna that she knows what she's been doing with Abe and the petticoats, and she asks to help spy for her while in New York in exchange for Anna's protection over Cicero. Anna agrees.)
In Trenton, Jew Jersey, Ben and Caleb are issued a password challenge in the dark woods near an encampment of soldiers. "Victory" was the challenge, and Ben answers, "or death." They turn, and the soldiers who'd come upon them are none other than those they know. On their side of a large creek a thinned group of soldiers builds fires and makes a racket, knowing that on the other side the British are camped--Cornwallis himself is camped there due to the defeat of the Hessians. The Continentals are decoys while Washington marched the rest of his men off to Princeton causing the British to assume that all of Washington's troops were in front of them. By morning, the Continentals are gone when the British cross the creek.
Later, in Morristown, New Jersey at a Continental headquarters, George Washington enters to cheers and then leaves those behind as he slips into a meeting with a waiting Ben Tallmadge. He sits as Ben remains standing at attention and commands Ben to tell him about Abraham Woodhull. The scene cuts there, with Ben looking understandably tense and hesitant; he dare not disobey General Washington, but it will be at the cost of revealing Abraham's identity. It's implied later that he does explain the intelligence about the Hessians and how Abraham came upon it and passed it to the others, and Washington is intrigued by the idea of a proper network of spies.
Ben must deal with Scott and they're both given orders to figure out Ben's idea of a spy ring from Washington himself. The general introduces them to Nathaniel Sackett, a civilian well-versed in spycraft including, but not limited to, methods of encoding and enciphering. The three butted heads, not trusting one another, but they had their orders. Sackett quizzes Ben on his knowledge and Ben feels rebuked, and Scott storms out at the ideas the other two propose.
(During a prisoner exchange, Simcoe is returned to the British.)
After some deliberation, Ben addresses Scott, Sackett and Washington, lecturing them (all of them) on matters of trust. He says that none of them trust each other and therefore their plans will never work if they cannot concede to one another by some measure. This prompts Washington to promote Ben to Head of Intelligence and to the rank of Major, and to send Scott back into combat where Washington believes he will do more good. Privately, Washington tells Ben how he learned of the name Abraham Woodhull--through Nathan Hale, a friend of Ben's from Yale who had been hanged as a spy. Washington chooses the name "Culpeper" and Ben chooses "Samuel" for Abe's alias, after his older brother.
In New York, Robert Rogers finds Jordan (one of Selah's former slaves) and witnesses him fight one of the Rangers with staves. He eventually recruits Jordan--who reveals his real name to be Akinbode--into the Queen's Rangers officially. A Native American called Awasos, an associate of Rogers, tells him that Samuel Tallmadge, Ben's brother, is being held aboard the Jersey. They go to the prison ship Jersey and inquire about him, only then discovering that he'd died of dysentery. Rogers inquires after anyone he knew, and Selah Strong is brought above deck--Akinbode recognizes him. Rogers asks Selah if he'd like to go home.
Ben receives news that Samuel will be freed and Caleb offers to fetch him. In truth, Rogers had them switch places and hopes to lure Ben into the open. Caleb is baffled as to why Selah is being exchanged instead of Samuel, but he fetches him anyway as they've known each other their whole lives. Unfortunately, Rogers fires upon the exchange and eventually is torn a new one by the British Captain Blake for firing during a truce. (During all this, there's a lot of drama in Setauket but it's not really relevant; suffice to say that Abe and Anna are in sour spirits when traveling to New York, Anna to fetch Selah, and Abe to sell Selah's crops. YIKES)
A lot of things happen and it's yet another clusterfuck:
- Caleb escapes the exchange with Selah and tells a soldier to return to Ben with the code word "Genevieve" representing a secret meeting place.
Anna is told that Selah is dead, while Abe is invited to attend one of John Andre's parties by the officer he's doing business with, Cooke.
Abe refuses to allow Anna into the party, but she gets in anyway with Abigail's help.
During the party, Andre is told of Rogers' firing on the exchange, and to that news he gives the order to fetch Rogers and to kill him should he resist.
Ben hears the code word and rides off to find Caleb, joining the fray when he hears gunfire. He injures Awasos and during a momentary peace, he learns from Selah about Samuel's last days and of Rogers' intent, and Ben makes a vow to take Rogers' life.
Eventually Captain Blake arrives with reinforcements ordering them to ceasefire under authority of Major John Andre. Rogers tries to out Selah as a liar, but Ben vouches for him saying that he is in fact Captain Samuel Tallmadge. An unhappy Rogers is ordered to report back to Major Andre by Captain Blake.
Becoming increasingly erratic after a duel of pistols over Anna's honor between himself and Abe, Simcoe continues "investigating" the rebel threat that Hewlett has been worried over since Caleb first escaped the Setauket docks. Robeson, the man in Setauket Rogers was blackmailing, advises Simcoe to look for the petition for the New York convention. Major Hewlett remembers that Selah Strong had been a delegate to the Continental Congress, and he gives Simcoe license to continue his investigation.
By spring, Simcoe hasn't come up with any leads and is chastised by Hewlett. Like the piece of shit he is, Simcoe then refreshes Hewlett's paranoia by poisoning one of his beloved horses with an apple, claiming that Hewlett must have been the target and surely it was Lucas Brewster, Caleb's uncle, who had sold him the apples. Being the judge of the town, Richard Woodhull advises Simcoe on the matter and is shot by an unknown sniper while doing so, basically causing a chain of events that was easily preventable
The bullet is extracted from Richard, and Simcoe reveals that wadding for the rifle had been torn from Reverend Tallmadge's bible. Hewlett orders that the town surrender their firearms. In Strong Tavern, Tallmadge speaks out against them for taking so much from them and is arrested. Hewlett is finally given the petition by one of the townsfolk who hoped for mercy, but Hewlett has everyone on the list arrested and held at the church. In an attempt to save the guardians of his lifelong friends, Abe insists that he act as magistrate in place of his father during a trial in the church-turned-stables. He interrogates them harshly, trying to provoke sympathy from the townsfolk, and actually manages to prove that neither man could have done what had been claimed.
Ben finds decoded information on British troop movements, saying that they will go at Philadelphia from the south, rather than the north. Ben and Caleb are ordered to take troops to the north while the rest of the army heads south, but on their way sentries pick up a man fleeing Setauket. He tells them that many have been arrested including Ben's father and Caleb's uncle and he fears they will be hanged. Ben makes the decision to go home and rescue their fellow Patriots.
The Battle of Setauket is hardly a real battle. Negotiations are attempted between the Patriots and the British and some gunfire and cannonfire are exchanged, and the townspeople take refuge in Strong Tavern where Selah is reunited with his wife. A charge is attempted, but they retreat, seeing their family members in the windows of the church. Simcoe, angered by the suggestion to trade captured Redcoats for the arrested Patriots, drags Caleb's uncle out of the church and shoots him in the head. Ben has to stop Caleb from charging forward and Hewlett has his men arrest and gag a screaming Simcoe.
Eventually the plan is made to let the prisoners go in an exchange to prevent further bloodshed. Goodbyes are said, and Abe agrees to continue spying for the cause as Samuel Culper. The Patriots of the town and Ben's men are set to leave on boats--Anna and her husband are among them. The Loyalists watch from the shore and when Anna sees Abe, she cannot bear to leave and leaps from the boat into the water for the sake of the cause, and out of feelings for Abe.
It's clear through his actions that Benjamin Tallmadge is a strong, loyal soldier and a leader with honorable intentions... most of the time. He isn't afraid to bend rules when absolutely necessary, but can sometimes be led too far by his emotions and his own personal sense of justice. Duty and honor are extremely important to him, as are loyalty and trust; those things he places above all else. Underneath the pomp and dress though is a young man who can be hot-headed and stubborn, as we see with him and General Scott, and even with Caleb, and we certainly see it when he tries to negotiate with Abe during the Battle of Setauket. There are a lot of emotions pent up behind his officer's restraint, and all of those ideals and the burden of caring about so many things and so many people can really weigh on him--we see this in a deleted scene where he and Caleb deliberate over Abraham and Ben questions whether Caleb will just leave when his bounty is up.
Ben is an intelligent, decisive officer and gentleman who could arguably stand to lighten up a little more, but while he's fighting for America's freedom, we can't judge him too hard.
Abilities/Special Powers: Ben is a soldier and an officer of the Continental Army during the American Revolution against the British. He is a trained cavalryman and can operate various firearms of that era including rifles, muskets, and pistols. He also knows the use of a hatchet and sabre as both were standard equipment for mounted infantry. He's familiar with and understands the battlefield tactics of the day, and is becoming very familiar with encoding ciphers and methods of spy work as George Washington's Head of Intelligence. Ben graduated Yale and is educated in Classic literature, and can speak Greek, Latin and Hebrew fluently. He has no special superhuman powers, unless you count how he can function in such tight pants.
Never in Ben's life had he thought he'd be defending his own life against the walking dead.
The events--it seemed terribly understated yet somehow still appropriate to call them that--had already proved themselves to be deadly, but this one in particular would surely haunt Ben for as long as he had the strength to recall any memory. This one though, this event defied not just reality but Ben's sense of divinity as well when it summoned hordes of corpses, inciting them to rise and shamble on their grotesquely rotting limbs as they sought the flesh of the living. Yes, the word event was a good shorthand indeed, and would now carry a much heavier sense of dread than it had before now.
Ben crouched behind a corridor barricade, built sturdy and high enough to redirect the oncoming mass of once living bodies. He already learned that if one was bitten or scratched by one of these creatures, one would die a painful death only to be resurrected again as a mindless abomination devoid of humanity. Fortunately in previous events, he'd learned the usage of "modern" firearms--or future firearms, really, and had come to appreciate their relative ease of use. During a brief calm, he reflected on what it might be like to return home with such superior munitions, but his train of thought was broken by one of his companions taking another shot at an approaching corpse.
Ben's intention had been to take out as many of these figures as possible to try and thin their ranks (if one could call them that) but he'd underestimated the wiles of this event, and when the barricade began to weaken against the churning crowd pressing against it, he knew it was time for a hasty retreat to a much safer place and wait out the event's end.
"They're breaking through! Pull back, pull back!" he called out, hastening to gather up the rest of his supplies with the others, making certain everyone would make it to the tea room that served as their little headquarters safely.
He would be lying if he said he didn't find the familiar feeling of combat somewhat comforting, but as he shut the tea room door and helped bar it shut, the hallway barricade broke--and he knew, he knew he would rather fight the Redcoats than ever think of this abominable horde again.
[Ahh... several people have been kind enough to help teach Ben how to use these devices. He still finds the general experience of it to be unnerving, trifling though it feels as he turns it over in his hands. Instantaneous, mass communication by way of a small box was a concept that was originally met with much incredulity. And yet, after having spent some time in this fantastical place, he could no longer deny what his own senses were telling him. Usage of this device was not only possible but frequently done and considered a staple of survival here.
Ben glances at his surroundings--a room he'd chosen for himself, simple enough in its furnishings--and then back at the small box in his hands. He's already tested its functions and had a look at the messages on it, partly out of pure fascination but also to learn the social expectations required during its usage.
He breathes, and feels he may as well make the proverbial plunge, and notes how ridiculous it is to feel nervous over something so trivial after he's done things like taken lives and marched across battlefields.
Ben presses a few buttons and the video broadcast begins. He tries to hold the thing steady, unnerved at the thought of some "unseen" force simultaneously recording both his voice and his image.]
Hello, I am ... Benjamin Tallmadge. [He realizes belatedly that he isn't wearing a jacket, and perhaps he should have introduced himself with his rank. Oh no...]
I arrived recently and would like to thank those who offered me their assistance.
Additionally, I would like to inquire further into the resources we have here and how best to utilize them.
[...] Thank you.
[He ends the broadcast and breathes a sigh of relief. Perhaps he'll suffer through text next time instead.]