Hello, my name is…
1 - Hello, my name is Betty. I’ve worked with Jack for a long time now. During The War and since, we’ve fired weapons more times than I can count. Well…actually…I can. It’s a figure of speech you know. Anyways, when Jack says to fire the weapons on that Big Bad coming towards me, I’ve learned that the correct response is not to ask which weapons. Jack pretty much always means all of them. He’s not very subtle in that way you know.
2 - Hello, my name is Jack. One of my jobs is sometimes tracking down people who have skipped out on debts. Now, I don’t generally pretend to tell other people how to do their jobs, but sometimes I just have to shake my head at the idiocy. For one thing, I only take big contracts. For the other thing, I don’t lock bank accounts. If they are in debt enough that creditors are on them, they don’t keep their money in banks.
3 - Hello, my name is Betty. In my life, I’ve come to realize some pretty important things. Probably the most important is that we’ve all done things we aren’t proud of now. We’ve all done things we wish we hadn’t, and perhaps fervently hope that nobody knows we did. The thing is, it doesn’t matter who we were. It’s who we are that matters when we meet our maker. We all can change and become better people than we were before.
4 - Hello, my name is Jack. In my life, I have found the two scariest words that can be uttered in the American language. “Watch this.” They are often later followed by “It seemed like a good idea at a time.” I have said those words. I know you might not believe it what with my current clean living and all, but I was a real crazy teenager back in the day. I got in a lot of trouble, and that was just what they could prove.
5 - Hello, my name is Betty. There are all kinds of different people in the universe. And some people are many kinds of people. We are travelers, going places we’ve never been before. We are also defenders and sometimes avengers. Don’t get us wrong, we do a lot of things for money. But we answer the call even if there is no money in it. I suppose it’s OK to admit that here since nobody will take advantage…you know how these diaries are.
6 - Hello, my name is Jack. I’ve been a lot of places since I left the military, seen a lot of things and done a lot of things. Sometimes I’m asked if I enjoy all the adventure I see. Well, the way I see it, adventure is someone else being cold, hungry, in pain, and in danger a long ways away from you. Me, what I enjoy is sitting on a beach with a guitar in my hand, a bonfire burning, and some pretty girls dancing.
7 - Hello, my name is Betty. We live with our eyes forward, facing our futures. If we live only in the past, remembering and regretting what we did wrong, we aren’t really alive. Life is about movement, about change. So I look to the future, to the things I can do to make things better, to the things I can learn and tell my people, and I keep flying. And sometimes I have to kick Jack in the shins to get him moving too.
8 - Hello, my name is Jack. I grew up under a full moon, my toes in the water, watching firelight glinting off the waves. I remember guitars, cold beers in the coolers, and dancing like I didn’t have a care in the world. We swayed back and forth to the good songs, lighters held high. We were never growing up. Then the Shang came. Now, every chance I get, I grab myself a guitar, find a beach and some pretty girls, and I play.
9 - Hello, my name is Betty. I’ve studied a lot of cultures in my life, met a lot of people who believe a lot of things. I respect most of them. Some of them, I just can’t comprehend. What system of belief could make anyone believe it is right to kill their own little girl all because she wanted to live differently than her parents? They call it Honor Killing. I don’t. We always accept those contracts.
10 - Hello, my name is Jack. There’s a real art to combat smack talking. Some people say it is a waste of time. Me, I think that anything that make’s the other guy think about anything other than killing me is real nice. Psychological Warfare the eggheads call it. I call it fighting smart. Perhaps the most fun four words I’ve gotten to say are “I have your gun.” I love the dawning look of comprehension on their faces. It really is priceless.
11 - Hello, my name is Betty. I have met a lot of people in my life. Some are really stubborn, and some aren’t. But I have never seen anybody that can out-stubborn a cat. Cat people, you know what I’m talking about. Whether they are normal cats, uplifted cats, or Osiri, cats are the most stubborn creatures I have ever met. They will never cooperate and do something they don’t want to. They are really amazing, stubborn, people.
12 - Hello, my name is Jack. I don’t watch horror movies. You see, I’ve fought things that go bump in the night, and Hollywood, or wherever it is they’ve rebuilt, just don’t match reality with their movies. They try to make it more exciting than real life, more high energy. Though some of the virtual movies are impressive. In the end though, I really don’t need more nightmares to wake up from.
13 - Hello, my name is Betty. I’ve walked through Valley Forge, stood by every tomb in the Gettysburg Cemetery, saluted the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor, sailed the Reflecting Pool Archipelagos in Manhattan, touched the Yosemite Memorial in Lake Los Angeles, and toured so many other memorials to those Americans who died in previous wars. It is sobering to realize how many Americans have died while America lives on. I hope we never forget.
14 - Hello, my name is Jack. I live in the present, I look to the future, and I try not to let the past rule me too much. I watch it of course, because I don’t want to relive it because I was too stupid to see the signs you know. But some people, they live in the past, always looking back. The past is gone, and healthy people leave it behind them. You know, we have to remember that sometimes objects in the rearview mirror appear closer than they are.
15 - Hello, my name is Betty. I hear people ask where all the cowboys have gone. You know there was just one squadron at first. We were the first Americans to fly off Peloran ships. There were hundreds of us by the time the War ended. By then, we were all Cowboys, and more Cowboys sign up every year. Hundreds of us have retired over the years, going wherever we feel like going. So, where have all the cowboys gone? Everywhere.
16 - Hello, my name is Jack. I’ve been in a lot of fightin’ in my life. The interesting thing is, I don’t have the scars to prove it. Think about it. My body works real hard to remove any imperfections, and what is scar tissue but skin that don’t grow right? I get cut, I bleed, and I hurt, just like everybody. But when the skin regrows, it’s like it was before. So no scars. Tattoos are a real trick too, let me tell yah.
17 - Hello, my name is Betty. I enjoy talking to people. Discussing subjects about everything from the origin of the universe to whether or not a spork should be considered a real eating implement. And some people enjoy a good test of wits to boot. I have to be careful of who I talk to though. Some people are a challenge and they are fun. Some people are no challenge at all. Trust me, there is no achievement in winning a test of wits with an unarmed opponent.
18 - Hello, my name is Jack. I grew up with animals, both normal and uplifted. I like animals. They can be some of the nicest people in the world. Well, all the worlds that is. The point is, I refuse to meet potential clients in a zoo and I don’t go to them in my free time. I don’t like seeing people locked up in cages. Unless they’ve done something to deserve it of course. That’s a totally different animal there.
19 - Hello, my name is Betty. I was born to be a partner to a fighter pilot. I was literally born to be a ship. I am just incredibly happy that Jack didn’t fight me on what kind of ship I would be. In the ship I am, I can travel anywhere I want. The only limit is fuel and I can get that on any planet out there. I really do like being a ship, and I wouldn’t want to be anything else.
20 - Hello, my name is Jack. I am American born. I am a United States Marine. I fought the Shang. I flew with the Peloran. Sometimes I still do. Yes, that does make me an American Cowboy. I will be until the day I die. I hope you don’t mind if I really hope that’s a long time in the future.
21 - Hello, my name is Betty. I am Peloran. My family is Peloran and my Mother is Peloran. But I am also American. I was “Made in America” as the saying goes, and I’ve worked with an American all my life. So I think I’m more American than I am Peloran now. I think I like me that way.
22 - Hello, my name is Jack. There’s an old saying about some old man talking about what he did when he wore a younger man’s clothes. That old man is not me. I plan on wearing the same clothes until the day I die. Well…maybe not the same exact ones. That would be kinda gross. But I like what I wear right now and I will never wear old man clothes. Yah know what I mean?
23 - Hello, my name is Betty. Being a cybernetic intelligence is interesting you know. We don’t really have a body like biological intelligences do. We can inhabit machines and run them, and we can show a holographic image of how we see ourselves. And some of us get actual avatars that look like that image. But we can be anywhere and be anything. I spend a lot of time thinking about that.
24 - Hello, my name is Jack. We tend to call people by where they come from. I’m an American for instance, or a Terran if I’m feeling particularly inclusive. We call them Peloran because they come from Pelora. But they call people by whom they come from, not where. They call themselves De Govaan. Govan was the Albion who created them you see. He made them deadly, ageless, and very hard to kill. They call the Albion De Danaan, after their mother Danu. Us they call De Awdaan.
25 - Hello, my name is Betty. Sometimes people ask me what I do when my partner is asleep. I do a little bit of everything. I work on ways to improve myself. I fix things that are wrong. I play video games. When on planet, I go to the cyber bars. Of course, I do most of that in the background even when he’s awake. I have a lot of processor power you know. In the end, I’m always busy, I always have things to do.
26 - Hello, my name is Jack, and this is the day my world changed. This is the day I was forced to start growing up. It took me a long time to do that, but this was the day my childhood ended, just as all good things do…. All Good Things
27 - Hello, my name is Betty. Forgiveness is hard. It is real hard. It is one of the hardest things we can do. The death of a family member is one of the hardest things we can recover from. It is the hardest thing to forgive. But those who refuse to forgive will in the end do a far greater wound to themselves than the wound inflicted on them. In the end, if we want to live, truly live, we have to forgive those who have trespassed against us.
28 - Hello, my name is Jack. I had a real easy job back during The War. I grabbed my rifle or I jumped in my fighter and me and my partner killed the bad guys. I never had to straighten my uniform, knock on a door, and tell a father his son wasn’t coming home. I never had to hand a flag to a grieving mother. I couldn’t have handled that job. To anyone who’s done that, I can only salute you and say “Well done. And thank you for your service.”
29 - Hello, my name is Betty. There is a saying I once heard. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity. It reminds me of foolproof applications and the ingenuity of complete fools. I’ve seen them both in action and I have to say they are a force of nature that is terrifying to behold. Thank God, I am no mere artificial intelligence. I am a cybernetic intelligence.
30 - Hello, my name is Jack. What is pain? Pain is a teacher, telling us that what we just did may not be smart. Pain is life in a lot of ways, and a little bit of it never hurt anybody. Pain brings the understanding that you have reached your limits. Pain is the symptom of stretching those limits. Pain comes when we stand up for ourselves. Pain is when we lose something important. Pain is daring to strive for what we want. Most importantly, pain is weakness leaving the body.