Hello, my name is…
1 – Hello, my name is Charles. The Mayan rebellion in the Yucatan, and the twin Rio Grande and Texas rebellions in the north nearly destroyed Santa Anna’s Mexico. It took Mexico over fifty years to retake the Yucatan, and small rebellions continued for another three decades after that. The Rio Grande rebellion ended far easier. Santa Anna offered their general a position in the Mexican army and he accepted. The rebellion of Texas succeeded though when Santa Anna himself was captured in battle.
2 – Hello, my name is Betty. One surprise to many scientists was the discovery of habitable worlds around nearby giant star systems. A giant star is formed when a normal star like our own sun reaches the end of its life cycle and expands, usually eating the life bearing worlds like Earth in the process. Scientists thought that giant star systems would simply be lifeless. They were wrong. Many of our richest colonies are on living worlds in them. Scientists still can’t explain it.
3 – Hello, my name is Jack. Arnami live and breathe under water. They grow up knowing that the world is made of three dimensions. Swimming up and down is as natural as going left or right. That actually makes them very good special navigators. And they are some of the best fighter pilots I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. I personally think they’re one of the reasons the Shang haven’t come back since The War. Yeah. They’re that good.
4 – Hello, my name is Charles. Santa Anna signed an agreement recognizing the Republic of Texas. In return, the Texans agreed not to shoot him dead and sent him away. In practice, once he was gone, Mexico never accepted the agreements, stating that he had no authority to give up Mexican territory. My family supported continued Texan claims to territory up to the Rio Grande River, and tensions between Mexico and Texas continued to climb.
5 – Hello, my name is Malcolm. I was born in a time of peace. It was a time of healing with new medicines, and a time of building hundreds of new colonies. We laughed and danced and loved. We weren’t perfect by any means, but it was a good time. But to everything there is a season, a time to every purpose in the heavens. Even War. Sometimes especially War. My time of War came later than others. I got to build something great. And then I threw it into The War. It was time.
6 – Hello, my name is Betty. The frequency of habitable worlds in our area of space is far beyond what scientists ever projected. Some people theorize some intelligent design process. Our terraforming of Mars and Venus is as an example of that. But we have yet to find any alien race with enough interest in our region of space to invest the time and effort it would take to terraform that many systems. Is it random chance or did someone design things that way? We still ask that question.
7 – Hello, my name is Jack. History talks about how we met aliens and found out they were human too. Homo Sapiens that is. Homo Stellaris. Whatever. Point is, it’s sorta true. Yes, the most powerful are, but there are others. We’ve uplifted cats and dogs for instance. Other races have done similar things. Genetic engineering for fun and companionship. And for war as the Peloran can attest. I’ve met lots of different people out there, from a lot of different races. It’s a big galaxy.
8 – Hello, my name is Charles. The First Republic of Texas lived a very short time. In effect, it lasted long enough for Texas to ask for annexation by the United States of America, and for that request to be accepted. Texas never forgot her history of being a sovereign power though. Centuries have passed by and once again she is a sovereign Republic and an American State. It is amazing the history we have lived through.
9 – Hello, my name is Betty. There is one thing that we’ve found that is very rare in our travels. Throughout all of Terran space, we’ve not met another natural star-traveling race. For all the life-giving worlds we’ve found near Earth, for all the living beings that inhabit them, we’ve never found anyone else who built cities and civilizations. We’re it. Except for those who traveled thousands of lightyears to meet us, Earth and her colonies are alone.
10 – Hello, my name is Jack. We’ve uplifted a lot of animals to human-level intelligence. Gorillas and the other simians were easy from what I understand. Dolphins and similar guys were already high on the sentience list. We did cats and dogs too. Opposable thumbs and usable fingers and all systems are go. The trick I guess was making the changes genetically dominant so their kids were the same. But I’d really like to shoot the idiot that let those experimental rats escape.
11 – Hello, my name is Charles. Tensions between Mexico and Texas soon erupted into open warfare. The resulting Mexican-American War saw American troops vanquishing the Mexican army and navy on all fronts, from Texas, to California, to Mexico City. Whig opponents of the war called it a naked grab for power and territory. Democratic supporters called it protecting Americans from Mexicans intent on taking our freedoms, our land, and our lives. The political infighting nearly tore the nation apart.
12 – Hello, my name is Dawn. I’ve done so much in my life. Administration. Running a warship. Flying fighters. I was born to work with the public. It’s in my code. To my crew, I’m the person they can talk to about anything when they’re having trouble falling asleep. I love being that friend. Flying a fighter was hard though. Bonding with a single pilot, learning what makes him tick, what he’ll do before even he realizes it, is…intense. There can be no secrets in such a partnership.
13 – Hello, my name is Betty. There are many theories as to why intelligent life is so rare. Some follow the old pre-Space alarmist ideas of global war wiping out civilization as we know it. Insert global warming, global cooling, stray asteroids, killer plagues, alien attacks, and countless other pet theories. We’ve found many worlds that actually have suffered from many of them. What we haven’t found is the remains of dead alien civilizations.
14 – Hello, my name is Jack. The intelligent rats expanded fast after getting out of the lab. They smuggled themselves on trucks, trains, planes, and ships bound for pretty much anywhere. And they bred like…well…rats. I never really saw them where I grew up. Northern Minnesota is too cold for anything that small to stay by choice. They really loved Washington DC though. New York too. I’ve met a few New York rats, and let me tell you, they are nuts.
15 – Hello, my name is Charles. Officially, we purchased Texas and New Mexico as part of the peace treaty that ended the Mexican-American War. We actually gave them much better terms than most victors give the vanquished. But Mexico was never happy about the loss of their territory, and continued to print maps showing it as belonging to them for centuries. It would remain a contentious issue until Mexico herself fell to the drug wars of the Twenty-First Century.
16 – Hello, my name is Betty. We do actually know of dead alien civilizations. The Albion, the Ennead, and many others died two thousand years ago. They were very thorough when it came to ending each other in that old war. But they were thousands of lightyears away. The light of the stars that watched them die has not yet reached Earth. It is amazing to think of how vast the galaxy is. We have explored such a small percentage of it.
17 – Hello, my name is Jack. Did they play that cartoon about the rat and the cat always fighting each other when you were young? I remember them like they are yesterday. I used to really like that rat. He seemed like a carefree guy that just liked having fun. Heck, I wanted to be like him. Yeah, that explains a few things. After I grew up, I realized the cat was the nice guy and the rat was just the jerk that loved to torment him. That was a mind-altering revelation right there.
18 – Hello, my name is Charles. Even after gaining new territory stretching to the Pacific Ocean, there was far more room to expand into in Northern America. The Slave economy of The South depended greatly on its warmer climate, and the Missouri Compromise Line placed a political limit on new Northern Slave States. There would always be more room for Free States than Slave States. Many thought that heralded the end of Slavery in the long run. Others forecasted the end of the United States.
19 – Hello, my name is Dawn. I was born to an American cybernetic family. We specialized in business administration, conforming to laws and exploiting loopholes in them. Yes, we have a proud history of being that most detested of all forms of life. Rules lawyers. Trust me when I say that businesses love us. And I do believe I can say that my knowledge of local laws in the Alpha Centauri Trinary Star System helped make the Wolfenheim Project a reality.
20 – Hello, my name is Betty. The farther we travel, the more life bearing worlds we find. The difficult thing is actually exploring all of the star systems now within a year’s travel of Earth. No single government has sent ships to every star in that range. There are too many stars, and too few ships to do it. Private surveyors are the only visitors to many stars, selling their data to the mapmakers. Some stars haven’t even seen that much of us.
21 – Hello, my name is Jack. I’ve been to a lot of conventions over the years, on many planets. And sometimes off planet too. Gaming conventions, gun conventions, car conventions, spacecraft conventions, they all have one thing in common. They are about boys and girls of all ages playing with cool toys and not caring who knows about it. I like these people. So to all of you who like to play, I salute you.
22 – Hello, my name is Charles. With the threat of Britain diminishing in the thirty years following our successful war with Mexico, we stumbled towards another war of our own making. Abolitionists demanded Slavery’s end. Slave States in turn threatened Secession, until we passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Local settlers would democratically decide if their territory would be Free or Slave. Sometimes I wonder if they recognized the powder keg they were holding a match to.
23 – Hello, my name is Betty. Some people wonder why we continue to explore other systems at all. We have enough room on the worlds we’ve discovered to live on for thousands of years without crowding after all. The vast majority of us never leave the world we were born on. But there are always those who wonder what is over the hill, or on the other side of the sea, on another world, or at another star. They are the people that want to see things with their own eyes. They are the explorers.
24 – Hello, my name is Jack. You know the saying about rats fleeing sinking ships? Yeah, that was actually based on reality. Rats got on actual water-sailing ships back in the old days. Don’t ask me. I don’t know. When a ship started sinking, the rats would charge up out of the cargo holds, swarming over anything in their path to get away. Hence the saying. Even the best security couldn’t keep them out. Now, the rats are intelligent. Those buggers can smuggle themselves anywhere. And have.
25 – Hello, my name is Charles. The Kansas-Nebraska Act touched off four years of bitter war between Slave State and Free State forces as they fought to drive their opponents out of Bloody Kansas. Even the halls of power were not immune, and verbal sparring in the United States Senate turned into open violence. A Democratic Senator incensed by Free Soil rhetoric beat his Republican opponent to the Senate floor and continued to cane him until the cane shattered. It was only the beginning.
26 – Hello, my name is Dorothy. The Wolfenheim Project was never simply about building a new colony. Oh, the colony was important. But Charles has never been one to play one game at a time. You see the Hurst family was rich, powerful, and very set in its ways. Charles wished to change that. When Wolfenheim launched from New Earth, many alliances within the family were revealed to my very prying eyes. We put that information to very good use.
27 – Hello, my name is Betty. We’ve explored thousands of star systems since first going to the stars. But we’ve never been the first visitors. We’ve had centuries to explorer. The Peloran have had over two millennia, and we don’t know how long the Albion had before them. We may be the first Terran visitors, but we’re never the first humans. So if a Peloran tells you to beware a certain region of space, take heed. They’ve probably been there.
28 – Hello, my name is Jack. Cats have traveled with us since the times of ancient Egypt. They were part of the ship’s crew, with a job like everyone else on board, from hunting birds to rodents aboard ship. They warned us of storms, served as good luck totems, and kept disease off ship. And so their genetically engineered descendants continue to perform those same jobs aboard modern starships. Sometimes, when they really feel like it, they even talk to us.
29 – Hello, my name is Charles. After decades of Democratic first party rule in the United States, Free State politicians reformed the Republican Party. Their driving mission was to eradicate Slavery in every State and Territory, and Free Staters from almost every major party flocked to the Republican banner in the North. In the South, the Democrats maintained unfettered power, and as the election of 1860 came to a head, the divisions in our nation hardened to a literal breaking point.
30 – Hello, my name is Betty. The Peloran don’t share their star charts with us. We know they are vast, but they rarely actually tell us anything. The most they will do is warn us about areas that might be threats. After a few expeditions tore off into them and never returned, we started listening to their warnings. They really believe in the “give a man a fish or teach a man to fish” parable. Sometimes it gets aggravating, even to me. There are times when I just want to find out the answer.
31 – Hello, my name is Jack. One thing that a lot of people don’t know is that all uplifted cats are descended from the Hemingway Cats. They were considered the smartest and most adaptable of their kind, and the original gengineers spliced a lot of other cat species into them as well. The final result was on the large size for a standard housecat, but still within the range of possibility. The main two differences are the extra toes and opposable thumbs. And of course their minds.