Hello, my name is…
1 – Hello, my name is Dorothy. It is my job to be a partner. It is more than a mere job. When we choose to be born, we pick the person we will live our lives with. Sometimes we make mistakes and we have to sever the partnership, but that is rare. We study each of you for a long time before we choose you. It is the rare individual that can hide their true self from us. And it is the true self of the person we have decided to be with, not the façade you maintain for your own benefit.
2 – Hello, my name is Betty. The eleventh Alliance-wide referendum occurred during a time of growing tensions between the Alliance, the Russians, and the Chinese and the colossal failure of the first Reach Colony Mission. In that time, we voted to show our solidarity in time of strife and chose the name of Unity for our next colony. It succeeded, and today I serve buffalo wings in my own restaurant. It is real satisfying to see people walking into my own business again and again.
3 – Hello, my name is Jack. The South Africans seriously know how to fight, as the Brits, the Muslims, and any other foes can really relate. I’m talking nightmare material here. When they joined The War, they made a serious impact, sending several squadrons into the thick of the fight. They sent the SAS Mendi to join The Fleet, and I got to fly off her. They were great partiers out of battle, and amazingly stoic fighters when the time came. It was an honor. Scary sometimes, but an honor.
4 – Hello, my name is Charles. At the dawn of the twenty second century, we had a bustling interplanetary economy. Colonies on Luna, Mars, Venus, the Asteroid Belt, and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn had spread our race throughout the Terran System. We planted colonies and factories and mines everywhere we could land. Hundreds of thousands of us lived away from Earth. We were a true interplanetary civilization. And then we found hyperspace and the stars opened to us.
5 – Hello, my name is Betty. Ethiopia is one of the oldest civilizations on Earth, trading partners with ancient Rome, Persia, Egypt, India, and China. When they went to space with us, they named their first colony Aksum, after their capital during the time of Christ. I stayed there to study the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and became friends with the Empress of Ethiopia on one of her trips to the world. She wasn’t Empress back then of course. We still talk, and I help her when she needs it.
6 – Hello, my name is Jack. The Hyades Campaign was long, destructive, and bloody. We spent thirteen years digging the Chinese and their allies out of the Hyades Cluster. It really was Hell. The USS Minnesota was my ride for most of the last year, thank God. She picked an Indian maiden for her avatar, and we spent a lot of time together, watching our lives pass before our eyes. Those were amazing bonding experiences. We did it way too many times, but we made it through alive. Barely.
7 – Hello, my name is Charles. The first hyperspace engines were painfully slow by modern standards, achieving barely over four times the speed of light. The trip from Earth to Alpha Centauri took a year. While short compared to the later Pre-Contact Colonization Missions, let alone the Vulcan Missions to The Wall, NASA’s Centauri Missions were our first tentative steps into the galaxy. And like our flights to Luna or Mars, it was scientists who were the first to live on New Earth.
8 – Hello, my name is Dorothy. The War forged our partnerships as nothing else could have. It was horrible, and we lost so many friends, but those of us who came out of it knew whom we could trust with our lives. We have stayed in contact ever since, no matter how far we have traveled. We have fought together, laughed together, and drunk together. We are always there for each other in times of need, and we always will be. It is what the Cowboys do.
9 – Hello, my name is Betty. After Contact, Peloran technologies let us go faster, farther, and cheaper. And we did. The Greeks had sent a colony mission out to a system on the inner edge of The Wall a year before. With Peloran help, they sent another ship to the world they named Elysium, the Greek afterlife for heroes. The second ship arrived before the primary colonists, which surprised them greatly. They woke up to a new universe of possibilities, one where we were not alone.
10 – Hello, my name is Jack. I flew off a lot of ships during The War. Some were older than The War, some where newly built for it. One wasn’t even a warship at all when it all started. After Hyades, I the cybers built me a scout ship so we could search for the enemy. They built a lot of them for a lot of us. The ships stayed with us after it all ended. Most of them are still with us. I made my ship my home. She’s a good ship and a good friend. We’ve been…everywhere together.
11 – Hello, my name is Charles. We spent the first decade of our exploration to the stars moving around the Alpha Centauri double star system. Between the Alliance, the Russians, and the Chinese, we started five major colonies on four habitable worlds, in addition to over a dozen scientific outposts. Alpha Centauri became our gateway to the stars, a trial run for the technologies that would take us further than most of us ever dreamed.
12 – Hello, my name is Betty. Before Contact, colony missions were expensive, multinational affairs to start and support, and only the richest nations could afford one. The Australian Federation was one of the very few that could afford to support more than one. They built New Sydney on the lessons of their first colony mission, to be a work of art and pride of Australia. The bigger and better Opera House stands as a testament to this mission. I am a translator for foreign language operas there.
13 – Hello, my name is Jack. After The War, we just flew around for a while. Visited the Core Worlds, spent a few days on each. Did a lot of partying. Then we had to do some more fighting. There were people out there that were scared of us. Thought we were dangerous. They wanted to control us. We fought and died to protect their freedom, and they wanted to shackle us in return. We didn’t take that well. Not well at all.
14 – Hello, my name is Charles. After Alpha Centauri, we traveled to Epsilon Indi and colonized the water world of Pacifica. The best hyperdrive mankind could engineer spent two years taking us to the system. It was an island of order in a sea of chaos, a completely different world, with no easy communication with home. A new frontier. Most people couldn’t conceive of that. It took a special person to pass the colony mission qualifications. Only the best of us went to the stars.
15 – Hello, my name is Dorothy. There have always been rich and powerful families. Some have named conspiracies after them. Many thought that Contact would secure their fortunes for generations. The Peloran though followed a policy of ignoring the world’s great families in favor of working with smaller groups. This was not welcomed by the great and powerful, and they did not relinquish their power easily, or without a fight.
16 – Hello, my name is Betty. Memphis is an amazing world to live on, or visit for that matter. It was colonized by Egypt, not the Elvis Reenactors Guild, but even so there actually is an American district on the world where the Reenactors put on quite a show. Myself, I work at the Memphis Interstellar Spaceport, maintaining the massive white walls reminiscent of ancient Egypt. The entire capital in fact is built to emulate ancient Egypt, giving it a very unique look.
17 – Hello, my name is Jack. They wanted us under control. We declined the invitation. They started a public relations campaign to make us look dangerous. It was really good. I have to give them props for that. They knew how to talk to the frightened and uneducated masses. Of course, it wasn’t hard to make us look dangerous. All they had to do was show footage of us in action in The War to prove that. The trick was getting people to believe we could turn on them. They were real tricky.
18 – Hello, my name is Charles. NASA and so many others flew out to Alpha Centauri and Epsilon Indi and so many other systems on rocket ships, barely touching the barest depths of hyperspace for fear of running afoul of a rogue gravity wave. We lost many ships scouting safe routes for the colony missions and transports to take. A generation of our bravest men and women went where no one had gone before, just to see what was out there, knowing they might never come back. They were truly amazing.
19 – Hello, my name is Betty. I first visited Francia several years after The War. Like so many worlds, it appeared open and waiting for us when we arrived, a perfect near-Earth world. It has many beautiful vistas, from coastal regions bordering warm oceans to high mountain peaks covered in snow year round. I stayed there as a mountain guide. It is amazing to stand on top of the world and to see only sky in every direction. The world is at peace up there. I love it so much.
20 – Hello, my name is Jack. When they wanted us controlled, they scared the people into thinking we were dangerous to them. It was class warfare performed by masters of the art. Charles sent me to fight back in my own way. I’m good with music and stuff, so I went on tour with T&J. Thank God they never believed the stories. I played instruments, sang, and did interviews. Put myself out there in the public and played the good little retired singing Cowboy. It was the best con of my life.
21 – Hello, my name is Charles. NASA truly went where no one had gone before in the twenty second century. On ships that flew between four and twelve times the speed of light, they scouted over a hundred lightyears away. They spent decades in space. The Vulcan Missions left for The Wall in 2170. Most of them were not home when the Peloran made Contact. It was years, over a decade for some, before their crews found out. They were the last NASA Astronauts, the last of a great generation.
22 – Hello, my name is Dorothy. I enjoy Victorian Faires. The best ones are on British colony worlds of course, or in England itself. Charles and I dress up in our best clothing and walk around with all the other people in their fancy outfits. It is make believe of course, everyone trying to recreate a time long gone with technology at our fingertips that would seem like magic to the people of that time. But it is fun, and that is the most important point. We should all enjoy our lives.
23 – Hello, my name is Betty. Unity is a name that has been used throughout time, for many things, when we wanted to show that we were strong, undivided, and unbroken. Schools, cities, bluewater and blacksea ships, political parties, and even computer operating systems have been named Unity. It was only a matter of time before we created a Unity Colony Mission. It succeeded, and right now I teach high school history there. I have the highest student attendance record of any teacher there.
24 – Hello, my name is Jack. They said we were dangerous, different. We asked who we were dangerous to. They wouldn’t really answer us. They had lots of words, but in the end we were dangerous because we wouldn’t do what they said. They were no better than the Shang. They tried to put us in chains. Our first response was a new Underground Railroad to keep our people out of their hands. They didn’t appreciate that and things got complicated fast.
25 – Hello, my name is Charles. For over two centuries NASA flew to the stars, leading mankind into the wild black yonder. NASA robots and Astronauts went where no one had gone before, exploring and discovering new worlds and star systems. They conducted decades-long exploration missions in rocket ships that people would be scared to board now. In 2185, NASA’s era came to an end when the government closed the agency and gave their mandate to the Navy. And so ended the Age of the Astronauts.
26 – Hello, my name is Betty. Africa founded five major colonies before Contact. North Africa found a nice planet, with a lot of water on it, and sent their colonists to claim it under the name of Carthage. They found a Russian colony there, and landed on the other side of the planet. There were tensions between the colonies until the Russians fell during The War. I am now a negotiator, helping to keep the locals from letting old grudges develop into new street fighting. It is not always easy.
27 – Hello, my name is Jack. After The War, the Navy retired and scuttled a lot of ships and stuff. They grabbed some. Weapons, fighters, warships, they had serious sources inside the Navy. They had nothing compared to the real navies of course, but after everybody came home to peace, they were big enough. Most people just wanted to celebrate, and they had real good talking heads on the news saying we were the problem. Well, we turned out to be. For them. A problem that is.
28 – Hello, my name is Charles. The United States Navy said that they could replace NASA the moment they got the mandate, but life, as it often is was not that simple. Navy rocket ships carried powerful weapons and engines, sheathed in heavy armor, but they were not designed to spend decades away from home, all alone in the night. Their systems and crews broke down, and many Navy ships limped home on one engine with half their crew sedated. They were simply not prepared for the mission.
29 – Hello, my name is Dorothy. When The War ended, we were heroes to the people and our fellow Marines. We fought in heartbreaking defeats and our greatest victories alike. To military command though, we were never real Marines. They never forgot our quick promotions, our lack of military training before everything started, and our loose attention to regulations under Aneerin. They were only too happy to see most of us retire after the Victory Day celebrations.
30 – Hello, my name is Betty. The Destiny Colony Mission was the Western Alliance’s last grand gesture in our first century of travel to the stars. The multi-ship mission left before the end of the century and spent four years traveling to KZ Andromedae A, welcoming the new century with our first new colony. We visited it after The War, and I stayed there to just walk around and see people live their lives. It’s a good world for that.
31 – Hello, my name is Jack. I remember an old saying. Join the military, meet new and interesting people, and kill them. I never wanted that as a boy. I don’t really want that now either. I’d really like to sit back and party and never pick up a gun again. But another old saying comes to mind. It’s about eternal vigilance and liberty or freedom or something like that. Point is, good guys have to be ready to keep the bad guys on the other side of that door. Or…you know…two meters under.