Hello, my name is…
1 – Hello, my name is Jack. Eleven years into The War, we just called Aneerin’s cobbled together collection of ships The Fleet. Every nation and world had its own fleet of course, but to those of us who’d been there since the beginning, The Fleet was the only fleet that really mattered. The Italian Andrea Doria joined us after we stopped at Nuova Roma to deal with a Russian raid. I learned to really love the San Marcans there. They were good drinkers, great partiers, and awesome Marines.
2 – Hello, my name is Charles. In 2205, we had been worrying over the Fermi Paradox for nearly three centuries. Why were we alone? If we weren’t alone, why did we have no Contact with aliens? Many theorized that we either had not been in space long enough to find aliens. We had only been in the stars for a century. We had no real right to expect to be the ones who initiated Contact. The truly important question was whether we had been in existence long enough to be found.
3 – Hello, my name is Betty. I was born on Earth, and took my first steps into space on Luna. My first trip to the stars ended on New Earth, long before The War truly touched it. My first sight of New Washington though was in the immediate aftermath of the Shang bombardment. It was the first world I chose to stay at. They needed help to rebuild. I have never left. Now I’m a military trainer, helping to keep the New Washington militia very well regulated.
4 – Hello, my name is Jack. In the later years of The War, any world or nation that could build a paperclip became real important to the war effort. Even the Irish navy came out swinging, if a little drunk at times. I got assigned to the Banba, named after the old Irish goddess of war, and fertility. I liked that ship. And have I ever mentioned my thing for redheads? Well, let’s just say that was an amazing cruise. Even with all the running and screaming and fighting.
5 – Hello, my name is Charles. We found out one reason why we had never made Contact with aliens or discovered their existence. We couldn’t hear their signals. They were on the wrong frequencies, scrambled for security so we could not even detect them apart from the white noise of the universe. The Peloran were kind enough to transmit at our level when they made Contact. We never would have picked up a twitch with our equipment if they had stuck to their normal methods.
7 – Hello, my name is Betty. I live a lot of lives, having left shards of myself on almost every world I’ve been to. There are some that aren’t friendly to my kind, so I tend to stay away from those. New New York as it happens is a world that really likes us. Old New York may still have the greatest stock exchange on Earth, but New New York is an entire world devoted to running and investing in business. I’m a regulator there, and my job is to catch those who try to cheat the system.
8 – Hello, my name is Jack. The Spanish Armada used to be the scariest navy in the world. It certainly wasn’t anything like that when The War started, but when the greatest Alliance fleets failed to bring victory, the Armada was there. Their battleships held the line when all others failed. They even joined the Hyades campaign, sending the Santa Maria’s squadron to aid Aneerin’s fleet. I flew off her for several months. It wasn’t the most fun cruise I had, but I’d sail with them again anytime.
9 – Hello, my name is Charles. During the twentieth century, we used massive, brute force transmitters for our radio and television signals. We proclaimed our existence and our technological sophistication for anybody to see, without any encryption or security of any kind. We did not transmit at full power for long, but we believe the Peloran discovered us because their ships heard us. It simply took our signals and their ships centuries to meet.
10 – Hello, my name is Betty. When the Alliance established new colonies, they chose peaceful, optimistic names. Serenity is one example, and became one of the Core Worlds of the Western Alliance. And like many of the Core Worlds, it became a priority target during The War. Serenity Valley, the home of Serenity City, was the target of one of the bloodiest ground battles of the entire War. I’m a cyber security guard now for the beautiful Alliance Victory Gardens, built to commemorate our victory.
11 – Hello, my name is Jack. I’m three quarters Scandinavian, so when the Swedes sent a squadron to support Aneerin, I jumped at the chance to fly off their flagship. Her Swedish Majesty’s Ship Gustav Adolf is named after one of the greatest kings in Swedish history, the first modern general, and the man that made Sweden a great power in Europe. Her crew guaranteed that she lived up to the name, and I am proud to be able to say that I served on her for a time.
12 – Hello, my name is Charles. Before we even traveled into space, our radio signals had traveled over fifty lightyears away from Earth at the speed of light. Those signals are still traveling now, spreading out throughout the stars. Our own colonies outside The Wall are picking them up now, and in thousands of years they will reach Pelora, Asgard, and the other alien homeworlds. Perhaps one day we will see their early transmissions. They haven’t told us if we will.
14 – Hello, my name is Betty. The Western Alliance colonized the fifth joint system in 2155, naming it Haven due to roving interstellar dust clouds that made it difficult to approach unless following carefully charted routes. By the time I was born, hyperdrives could survive the clouds, but they did cause heavier wear and tear. Commercial factors continue to use the charted routes to this day to lower overhead, and I help keep them updated.
15 – Hello, my name is Jack. Just about every nation in the Western Alliance, and some outside, sent warships to fly with Aneerin’s fleet. The Greeks did their part too, sending a heavy cruiser squadron. I flew off one of them for a while, the Andromeda. She was a beautiful ship, let me tell you. Smart, sassy, and never a helpless maiden waiting for some other guy to come rescue her from the big bad monster. No, she shot the monsters herself and sent them running. I still love that ship.
16 – Hello, my name is Charles. The Fermi Paradox had many answers. One was that the twenty first century industrial societies used so many resources to maintain their lifestyle that the Earth, and in fact the entire Terran System, could not possibly support us. Many preached that resource exhaustion would lead to the end of civilization, and our ability to broadcast or travel to the stars. What they failed to understand is that our ingenuity keeps on developing new ways of finding resources.
17 – Hello, my name is Betty. Sanctuary was colonized with the mission of celebrating the unity of the Western Alliance, despite the infighting going on between the richest and poorest members of the Alliance in the mid-twenty second century. Instead it became a symbol of Alliance largess, protested against in dozens of nations that thought the money was better spent on Earth. It is a truly beautiful world though, with worlds-class architecture and gardens. I should know. I’m a gardener there.
18 – Hello, my name is Jack. I served on the HMAS Melbourne when her squadron joined The Fleet. Ten years into The War we were making a major push against the Chinese, and the Australians wanted in on it. I learned that all Australian sailors spend six months training on wet navy ships in the Pacific Ocean, patrolling the borders with China. They live and breathe the border. They know why they fight Comrade Wang. I think I learned more from them than they from me on that cruise.
19 – Hello, my name is Charles. One explanation for why we had not made Contact was actually a question of the future of the human condition. Many people theorized that as we, or anyone else, expanded our technology to the singularity point, we could leave our earthly bodies behind and enter into a new existence. The theory said that everyone else had gone beyond before we met them. Of course, we found it has not worked like that. But many still speculate that we are on the verge of that change.
21 – Hello, my name is Betty. Tranquility is the art of being free of stress or disturbances. We named the first place we set foot on Luna the Sea of Tranquility. And it was a top candidate name for the first six Alliance colony worlds. It finally won a majority vote for the seventh colony, and the first landing spot for the first colony ship is named Tranquility Base in honor of the Lunar Landing. I show visitors the replicas of Apollo Eleven and Tranquilitas One we maintain there.
22 – Hello, my name is Jack. The Nigerians were one of the Big Three African countries back in the day. They actually even had a navy that meant something when The War began. When Africa joined the fight, the Aradu came in with guns thundering. Well, guns don’t really thunder in space, but aradu means thunder so I was waxing a bit poetic. And she’s got a real thing for thunder and lightning in her speeches too. Nice lady. Bigger than life. A little crazy. I like a little crazy.
23 – Hello, my name is Charles. The Fermi Paradox asked why we had no Contact with aliens. Some suggested that alien was the operative word. There was no reason to assume that aliens were similar enough to us to want to talk. Perhaps they thought faster or slower, or maybe didn’t even talk at all. After all, what were the chances that life out there would be just like life here? Then they made Contact, and we found out that the odds truly were astronomical.
24 – Hello, my name is Betty. Utopia is an old Greek word that means “no place” at all. Of course, “good place” has the same pronunciation, resulting in an historic debate over whether there is or can be any Utopia at all, anywhere. When the Western Alliance named the eighth common colony, we tried to prove that it was possible. As always, the politicians over promised and under delivered. I joined the planning commission after The War to pick up the pieces and make it real.
25 – Hello, my name is Jack. I grew up thinking America was composed of sovereign States. I’ve since learned that most are States, but that many are Commonwealths, Republics, or even in one case a Star Kingdom. And yet, they are all American. That was a mind job. The Star Kingdom of Hawaii’s HHMS Kaimiloa joined The Fleet in 2320, and I got to show them the ropes. And they showed me the lei of the land. It was a fun ride, between all the screaming and fighting of course.
26 – Hello, my name is Charles. One of the more interesting theories I have heard from the days before Contact is that maybe we had not talked to anybody because they were too alien to talk to. Maybe they had a completely different style of technology than us, or no technology at all. A genetic organism capable of space flight for instance may have nothing like radio or radar for us to even recognize. It did not turn out that way, but many still speculate that they could be out there.
28 – Hello, my name is Betty. When the Republic of Texas secured the necessary infrastructure to colonize a world on their own, they chose a name as large as Texas itself to take their culture to the stars. Dallas. They didn’t need “New” tacked on. Just Dallas. During The War, I became a consultant to the factories of Dallas that supplied the American military after Yosemite and New Washington. After that, I became a cheerleader for Dallas’ Galactic Sports League teams. Yes. That squad.
29 – Hello, my name is Jack. The Icelandic light cruiser Þór joined The Fleet back in 2318. Named after Thor, the Norse god of thunder and lightning, she picked the name Sif for her avatar. You know, the blonde-haired goddess of earth and fertility. Let me tell you that she and Betty really hit it off. Especially when we stopped in port for repairs. Those two blondes were Trouble with a capital T when they started playing with the local boys.
30 – Hello, my name is Charles. The Fermi Paradox asked why, if life was normal, we had no Contact with aliens. Some speculated that we did have Contact, but that the information was being suppressed. Reports of flying saucers and alien abductions were common in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries for example, but the major Earth governments constantly ignored them or investigated and found them untrue. Was this suppression? Some believe that Contact in 2205 is simply when they went public.
31 – Hello, my name is Betty. In 2169, the first colony ships arrived at New Seattle, 200 years to the day after Apollo Eleven landed on Luna. Unlike New Washington and Dallas, corporations funded and planned it, with only minimal aid from any government, making it the first corporate colony world. Chosen for its high mineral and precious metals content, its founders built Gatesville to be the center of computer research in all the worlds. I may dabble a bit in that field myself.