Hello, my name is…
1 – Hello, my name is Dawn. There are many different types of cybers. Fighter, ship, administrative, manufacturing, and many others. Every family specializes in certain jobs, or certain types of people. Some cybers are born to work with a single person, others to work with thousands. That difference requires radically different skillsets and mindsets. I was born an administrator, but I have taken on duties and friendships beyond that role. I have grown. I have changed. I have lived.
2 – Hello, my name is Betty. Sizzledale is half as far from Sunnydale as Earth is from our sun. She’s sizzling hot in almost every region and has very few resources, so has never been heavily populated. There are some people there of course, those who want to get away from it all in a place where few others want to crowd them. The Sizzlers as they call themselves are rough and independent minded, shunning most of the outside worlds. In general, they just don’t care what or who is out there.
3 – Hello, my name is Jack. After The War and Charles’ little family issues boiled over, we sorta just went out did stuff. We traded all over the place, flew everywhere we could reach, and did a lot of research and other stuff too. Even me. It’s nice to not be shooting everything that moves. We actually do come in peace now. We shoot to kill of course…well…maybe wound. Some planets get jumpy when we start filling their citizens with holes, no matter what they did to earn it. Inconsiderate.
4 – Hello, my name is Charles. My family in America did what we always do in every nation. We promoted local business, helped elect friendly politicians, and waved the Red, White, and Blue like everybody else. From New England to Dixie, we became pillars of our communities, absolutely loyal citizens of our States. And we promoted extravagant Independence Day celebrations, recognizing the Divine Providence that gave all of us this amazing nation to live in.
5 – Hello, my name is Betty. Pleasantdale is one of those ironic names given to worlds that are anything but. It’s a large, hot world with a thin, barely breathable atmosphere. And to top it off, it has horrible natural resources compared to other worlds in the system. Still, it was technically habitable without any need of terraforming to human norms when we discovered the system. Because of that, it actually has an impressive population. Not rich on a galactic scale, but, perhaps, pleasant.
6 – Hello, my name is Jack. All of our trading is a cover for what we really do. You see, we do a lot of research, looking for stuff that most people don’t know about. And even here, I really can’t talk about it. Charles has a lot of questions, the kinds of questions our governments don’t want answered. So we’re looking for evidence. And if we happen to be someplace where somebody needs help, well we get right neighborly and help them. Makes for real good press coverage for all us Cowboys.
7 – Hello, my name is Charles. America was growing powerful in the 1800s. It was no threat to the powers of Europe, but it had natural resources that never ran out. Sooner or later, it would eclipse Europe. The European branches of my family did not wish that to happen and concocted many schemes to stop it. There were many bullets in the guns aimed at America in those years. One of them was aimed at the Jeffersonian Republicans. That had many unintended consequences.
8 – Hello, my name is Dawn. In Western Alliance space, cybers are a common sight. We fly taxis, starships, and fighters. Or we answer phone calls. We’re secretaries and legal consultants. We excel at any job that needs a flexible mind. Of course, we collect paychecks just like anybody else. That’s why a lot of companies use AIs to cut down on overhead. You don’t have to pay a computer to do the job it is built to do. Though the AI Rights crowd would love to change that.
9 – Hello, my name is Betty. Frostydale, is more than merely a little frosty. She’s a frozen ice ball of a planet that even Eskimos and Siberians think is a bit too cold to be comfortable in most of its technically habitable areas. But she is host to a true motherlode of natural resources that makes her people rich enough to build environment domes wherever they want. Even individual families can build their private paradises under snow-filled skies. I like it.
10 – Hello, my name is Jack. Charles told us to always help people if we can. Jump into any situation we see developing. The shiny side of that is that we have all kinds of footage of us helping people, and that gets onto the nets through friendly news services. People see us as a whole big group of Good Samaritans, flying throughout the galaxy. Makes it so they smile when they see us Cowboys coming. Problem is, we can’t hold to a travel schedule to save our lives.
11 – Hello, my name is Charles. The Jeffersonian Republicans rose up to combat abuses of power by the Federalists, including the Whiskey Taxes and arresting journalists for treason. They were a coalition of political figures united in a belief in States Rights and a limited Federal government that had no meaningful domestic opposition. The European part of my family considered them a threat after America supported France in the War of 1812, and targeted them for destruction.
12 – Hello, my name is Betty. If you’ve been reading carefully, you may have caught onto the naming scheme some comedian decided to use for the worlds of Sunnydale. They were feeling particularly “humorous” when they named Cobbledale. It’s not even a world! It’s an asteroid belt. I guess they wanted to have fun with the term cobbles. Seriously, sometimes I feel like slapping the people that named these places. Silly puns. At least it lives up to the name.
13 – Hello, my name is Jack. Did you know that even some Chinese worlds are happy to see us? We fly in awful careful, let me tell you. But, sometimes they need something done that they just don’t have the resources to handle. And like us or not, who yah gonna call when electronic ghosts are haunting your computer systems? Sometimes, only a cyber can catch those little nasties. And we’ve done other stuff too. I’ll never forget rescuing the daughter of Huangshan’s governor. She’s a nice girl.
14 – Hello, my name is Charles. The fall of the Republican Party initiated a time of crisis in America. Andrew Jackson’s Democratic Party promoted Slavery and a strong Executive branch. John Adams’ National Republicans and the Anti-Masonic Party stood against Jackson, a very high level Mason, until falling apart. Then the Whigs fought a campaign to give Congress primacy over the Presidency. My family was divided between these views. Our dinner conversation was sometimes very lively.
15 – Hello, my name is Dawn. The American AI Rights League has been trying to outlaw AI labor since before The War. Even before Contact. They’ve been closely tied with the Human Labor Unions since the beginning. Didn’t like seeing their jobs taken by machines. So they’ve been trying to get AIs declared sentient to allow them to join the Labor Unions and then demand equal pay. Which will increase Union Dues so they can buy more politicians. Or so my cynical side says.
16 – Hello, my name is Betty. Torchdale is the single gas giant orbiting Sunnydale. Bright orange and red clouds gave it the name and it fits. Its atmosphere is amazingly rich in rare minerals, making it a very superior fleet base for our starships. There are always ships swimming in the upper atmosphere to absorb the materials they need to maintain or repair their systems. Makes for a great place to talk shop with all the friends we haven’t seen in a while.
17 – Hello, my name is Jack. I love visiting the Arnami worlds. Yeah, most of them got Winter Contingencied during The War, but those that survived are something else. Yes, they do live under water. No urban legend there. Heck, a bunch of them live in the Great Lakes, so I actually grew up with them. Most of their cities are pretty shallow, close enough to the surface anyone can see them. But they go pretty deep when they want to. They rarely live on land. Too dry, too bright.
18 – Hello, my name is Charles. The European branches of my family considered America a threat to their future. They saw an issue that could break it. Slavery. The North was opposed to the very idea of Slavery on religious and economic grounds. The South depended on Slavery to maintain their economic power, but the 3/5ths representation clause in the Constitution doomed their long-term political power. Only Southern expansion could reverse that trend. My family helped them.
19 – Hello, my name is Betty. Sunnydale is the name of the system, the star, and the primary colonized world. Well, technically they call the star Sunny, but that’s getting picky from an outside point of view. The world is a lovely place to live, with similar gravity, atmospheric pressure, and temperature ranges to that of Earth. She’s slightly larger, giving her much more land to live on. In general, she’s one of the most comfortable worlds humanity has colonized in our march to the stars.
20 – Hello, my name is Jack. The Arnami really do have a kazillion eyelids. Their amazingly light-sensitive eyes can see deep under the ocean surface. Normal surface light would blind them if it weren’t for the eyelids. And yes, all those eyelids closed against the light make their eyes look solid black. Real freaky the first time you see them. Or the hundredth. I’m real glad they wear shades when among other humans.
21 – Hello, my name is Charles. The South needed more political power to protect their way of life. For that they needed more people and more representatives in Washington. The Indians who lived east of the Mississippi River didn’t count for that. Previous presidents had maintained that the Indian Nations had a right to their territory. Andrew Jackson Indian Removal Act gave him the authority to “request” the Indians to move, thereby giving the South more land. More breathing room.
22 – Hello, my name is Malcolm. Life is about change. If we never change, we don’t really live. I’ve been through a lot of change in my life. Most of it has been painful in one way or another. But without that change, I would have died a long time ago. Or turned into the kind of guy I wouldn’t want to be at least. And that’s the real kicker. I want to wake up each morning, look in the mirror, and be happy with the man looking back at me. If I’m not, it’s time for a change.
23 – Hello, my name is Betty. Habitable planets are very common. Most stars of approximately the right temperature have them. Plants. Animals. Humans can eat them all. They have the right nutrients. We almost never need to resort to terraforming. It’s a mystery. Humanity expected a cold and alien universe, full of alien worlds. Instead we found a universe full of warm and comfortable worlds. It’s one of the more interesting mysteries of our time. Why?
24 – Hello, my name is Jack. The Arnami had thousands of worlds back before The War. Had. I’ve flown through their space. Lots of empty now. The Shang were real dedicated to finishing them off. I know some people say they’re dying now. I don’t know. Maybe. But it’s hard to kill off an entire race like that. I’m sure a lot of them have given up. Heck. I’ve seen it. But I’ve met a lot of them that just refuse to stop living. As long as they’re around, the Arnami will live on.
25 – Hello, my name is Charles. After removing the Indians from their land and sending them west of the Mississippi, the South began to look for further expansion opportunities. At the same time, Mexico had only recently become independent from European control, and much of her territory was sparsely populated after the many conflicts. My family helped facilitate an agreement whereby Southerners answered their call for new settlements in the Texas territory. Both nations benefited for a time.
26 – Hello, my name is Betty. The universe Earth found upon expanding to the stars was interesting. It was full of more habitable worlds than anyone had expected. But at the same time, many worlds suffered from titanic disasters of the distant past that left them in perpetual Ice Ages or with runaway Global Warming. Since they have the right minerals for humans to live, we colonized many of them. We have of course terraformed them to be more inviting to humanity’s march to the stars.
27 – Hello, my name is Jack. Some of my best friends are Arnami. I grew up with them, swimming in the Great Lakes and the Boundary Waters. Others I met after The War when I traveled out to their space. They’re pretty much like us in every way that matters. Sure they’ve got those freaky eyes. And gills. Pretty pale skinned too. They don’t tan very well. That goes with living most of their life underwater I guess. But through all those little differences, they’re just as human as any of us.
28 – Hello, my name is Charles. The Southerners that settled Texas brought their slaves with them. Mexican law required them to free the slaves, and years of legal wrangling followed. It wasn’t the only crisis Mexico had though. Between Indian raids in the north and south, Mexico’s military was hard pressed to maintain order. Then Santa Anna took power and suspended the Republic entirely. Rebellions erupted from the Yucatan to the Rio Grande, and Mexico was rent asunder.
29 – Hello, my name is Malcolm. Humanity is a diverse lot. We have many beliefs, many wishes and dreams. We fight each other, sometimes kill each other. Too often, we see only the differences and think they aren’t as good as us. But some days we rise above what separates us. Some days we stand united. There aren’t enough of them. But they are the best of days, no matter how fleeting.
30 – Hello, my name is Betty. There’s one thing that the galaxy has shown humanity. Life’s resilient. Individual life forms die, but life in all its myriad ways continues. No matter how harsh a world is, you will find life of some kind there. You see, it is the natural tendency of life to spread out, to grow. It adapts, it changes, and it survives, in even the harshest of all locations. Often it is simply hard to recognize.
31 – Hello, my name is Jack. The Arnami are like the Peloran in many ways. Of course, they were both created by the Albion so they should be. The Arnami don’t age for one. They heal from any wound that doesn’t kill them. They never get sick. And they have lightning reflexes. They’re genetically engineered super soldiers, though they were designed to fight underwater. And like the Peloran, they crave nothing but peace at a genetic level. They’re just plain nice people.