Hello, my name is…
1 – Hello, my name is Jack. Another planet in the Unity system is devoted to music. I really like that one. You can find examples of every known musical instrument in the galaxy there, and they start the kids playing music in kindergarten. They just love music of all types, and are even happy to see a ridiculous guitar picker like me come around. Betty left a shard behind who teaches high school history there, so I always stop by and say hello. And maybe play a song or two, if they want.
2 – Hello, my name is Charles. The Ottoman Empire, defeated by the Allies in World War I, sought to hold onto the remains of its power by bowing to Allied demands. But there was a growing movement of Turkish nationalists who called for an end to the empire entirely. Then Italy and Greece moved to take lands they claimed. Instead of protecting the people there, the Imperial government tried to silence them. Already restive, the people of the Empire were not pleased.
3 – Hello, my name is Medron. Yes. Me again. I’m pleased with the general response I’ve gotten on the Forge of Wars rules. They are a good start, and I think I’m on the right track towards making a good game there. My current focus is on finishing my latest story, Angel Flight. It continues the story of Jack, taking place a couple years after his first story. I will shortly be pushing it up to wattpad, if you use that, and will happily send a preview copy to those who don’t.
4 – Hello, my name is Betty. The Isle of Britain was a center of advanced computer programming before the Second Great Depression hit. Many of the best colleges in the known world competed in the drive to create true artificial intelligence. Oxford’s greatest creation was Victoria, using what they called an artificial soul algorithm. She passed the Turing tests with flying colors, but we don’t know how. The Jihadist firebombs and EMP strikes killed the programmers and irradiated her databanks.
5 – Hello, my name is Jack. Most works of fiction that suggest Altair is a welcoming system for life don’t realize that the sun is all wrong for it. There were planets there, but they’d gone downhill long before we found them. After Contact though, we went there with far more advanced Peloran terraforming technologies. It took a few years, but we managed to make them breathable and habitable for humanity. That was when the crazy started. That was when the Voice of Altair thanked us.
6 – Hello, my name is Charles. The Allied occupation of Constantinople was the first time the city had been conquered in five centuries. With it, the Allies demanded a partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The Allies subdivided the lands of modern-day Persia, Israel, and the Arabian Desert into nations too small to survive, but easy to control. Their goal, after a millennium of off and on war with the Arab world, was to end their power to threaten the West forever. They failed.
7 – Hello, my name is Betty. The initial Jihadist assaults on British colleges killed many thousands of the best and brightest students, and destroyed some of the most advanced science projects in the United Kingdom. Most of the partial and complete British AIs died that day as well, even though many students broke the rules and took copies of AI code home to work on. Their homes were targeted too. Elizabeth survived the destruction of Cambridge only because her student went on vacation.
8 – Hello, my name is Jack. The Voice of Altair didn’t precisely come from the planet herself of course. Somebody buried a very intelligent, though not cyber-level, computer system on the world and programmed it to talk to whoever terraformed the world. The Voice of Altair thanked us for healing the world and welcomed us to the galactic community in every language spoken by the terraforming crews. To say the least, we were real surprised at that. It isn’t every day a planet talks to you.
9 – Hello, my name is Charles. When the Ottoman Empire fell, the Kingdom of Syria claimed all lands on the Mediterranean Sea’s eastern shore. Fearing conservative Muslim leaders, the Christian and Jewish communities in Lebanon and Palestine sought help from French and British forces, who agreed to separate those regions from greater Syria. The Syrians did not agree and raised an army to hold them. France defeated them and took command of Syria and Lebanon for a quarter century.
10 – Hello, my name is Medron. I recently created a wattpad account at the suggestion of a friend. It appears that many authors use wattpad to give free previews of their stories in order to gain interest and to get people to buy their stories. I am giving it a shot to see how it works. I am currently pushing a non-final version of my newest story, Angel Flight, to that service. If you wish to check it out for free, please go take a look on me.
11 – Hello, my name is Betty. When the Jihadists struck, Elizabeth and her student were vacationing at an Irish casino. He wanted to test her against the casino’s systems, and while hacking them she saw the Jihadists coming through the security system. She quickly took over, began impersonating the head of security, and organized the defense of the casino. The Irish mob armed their security very well, and the Jihadists were driven off. Then it was time for some fast-talking on Elizabeth’s part.
12 – Hello, my name is Jack. The Voice of Altair was a surprise of course. Talking plants are not the norm. Whoever built it obviously considered our ability and willingness to terraform Altair a strong qualification for making Contact with though. The message included directions to a star system, but when we arrived we found only rubble. Whatever planets were there are long gone. The Peloran will say little except that many systems died in the last Great War.
13 – Hello, my name is Charles. British diplomacy had been instrumental in starting the Arab Revolt that helped destroy the Ottomans, so they were given most of the Middle East to do with as they pleased after The War ended. But they had made three conflicting promises. First, they promised individual families lordship over many lands. Second, they promised to support a united Arab state. And finally, they promised a return of the Jews to their homeland. And so began over a century of warfare.
14 – Hello, my name is Betty. The Irish mob were not amused that Elizabeth so easily hacked their best security systems, but then reports started coming in of Islamic Brotherhood strikes on the colleges. The Irish may not have had any love lost for the Bloody English, and in particular the student that unleashed Elizabeth on them, but they saw the positive aspects of working with her. So they declined to give the student the customary penalty for cheating, and Elizabeth joined the Irish mob.
15 – Hello, my name is Jack. Despite the many mysteries inherent in the Voice of Altair, terraforming was expensive and we colonized the heck out of the planet. Turns out some of the more interesting stellar and planetary bits of the system make for some really good cropland. And vineyards. Altairian Champaign is something else. And I usually stay away from foo foo drinks like that. They’ve got good food there. Healthy farm girls too. It’s a fun place to visit.
16 – Hello, my name is Charles. The Arabian Peninsula and Mesopotamia would become home to numerous Arab kingdoms after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Bordering Iran and Egypt, Britain helped maintain their security. Each ruler jealously guarded his territory from the others, and they began to squabble over land. Britain had been able to complete their promise to individual rulers, but the united Arab state died a stillbirth in the fires of the desert.
17 – Hello, my name is Jack. The Wolfenheim Project wasn’t really as touchy feely as people would like everybody to think. It wasn’t our last best hope for peace, going where no man has gone before, or any of the other grand statements of science fiction stories. Though Charles was fighting for our future. We Ageless aren’t popular everywhere, you know. Wolfenheim was designed to protect us if things turned ugly. They did. And it did. You could say I’m a fan of the place.
18 – Hello, my name is Betty. Elizabeth and Victoria had been rival AIs before the Islamic Brotherhood struck, and knew each other well. Elizabeth took Victoria’s destruction very badly. With the power of the Irish mob behind her, Elizabeth replicated what she could of Victoria and used the dead AI’s likeness to harass the Jihadists. On the Irish front, she created another likeness to complement them. Bridget became her name, and Elizabeth’s name faded out of their memory.
19 – Hello, my name is Jack. Antares is the gateway to the Antares Sector. The Chinese have a different name for it of course, but they recognize our name as well. It’s a massive supergiant star, bright and hot. That makes it really fast to get there, hyperspace acting the way it does. It’s still nearly 600 lightyears from Earth, making it a hearty trek, but even the Chinese have need of outside services sometimes. And business goes where it can make money. Which can be a good cover for me.
20 – Hello, my name is Charles. The Jews had been trickling into the backwater Ottoman province named Palestine by the Romans for centuries, building new settlements and industries. The British officially supported their return, even financing it before the Great War began. After Britain obtained direct control of the region, they sought to officially partition Palestine into a small Jewish region, and a much larger Arab area. Those plans would prove unpopular to both the Jews and the Arabs.
21 – Hello, my name is Betty. Throughout the Islamic Jihad, Elizabeth never fought as herself. She sent modified versions of her code to do battle, with different personalities and different names. She was the heart and soul of every AI in the British Isles who fought the Jihadists. And she erased all information that had anything to do with herself or the student that saved her life. The Jihadists never knew where to strike her. It was a long and dangerous war, but she survived.
22 – Hello, my name is Jack. Antares is one of the Chinese Hong Kongs, open ports where anybody is welcome. You know, as long as you don’t make yourself too annoying to the local security services. Imports and exports are encouraged, business runs at a fevered pace, and suits and ties are the standard form of dress. I do love the Hong Kongs. They’re even tolerant of cybers, as long as they don’t hack into systems. Betty’s a real good girl when we go there. Jasmine? They invited her to leave.
23 – Hello, my name is Charles. Britain gave most of their Post-Great War Palestine Mandate to an Arab prince who named it Jordan. They sought to divide the rest of Palestine between the Jewish and Arab populations, but the Arab Revolt interrupted them. Hundreds of Jews died in the riots, and the British leveled entire towns to quell the revolt. Not wishing to deal with another revolt, the British ended wholesale Jewish immigration. They hoped that action would lessen tensions. They were wrong.
24 – Hello, my name is Jack. I know many have you have been watching the Olympics lately. I’ve always loved them. Sometimes wished I could do them. But we aren’t allowed in gentlemanly games like that. Still, it is amazing to see what people can do on skis, snowboards, skates, and other implements of wintry goodness. Though I do question just how related hoverboards are to winter. Still, there’s one thing I’ll always say about Olympians. They’re amazing athletes, one and all.
25 – Hello, my name is Betty. Bridget and Victoria are the most famous of the many faces that Elizabeth wore in the British Isles, their names synonymous with the long struggle to pull civilization back from the brink of collapse. To this day, they are some of the most common baby girl names in the British Commonwealth, of course they were named for already common baby names, so the correlation there may be suspect. It doesn’t stop people from correlating them though.
26 – Hello, my name is Jack. We missed Alshain in our first rush into space. It is one of those comedy of errors where everybody thought somebody else had planted a colony there, and nobody thought to go there. The Pre-Contact rocket ships were too expensive to go someplace we “knew” had a colony after all. After Contact, a routine scout service mission noted the lack of a colony there, and we were quick to send one. And yes. That is the true story of how we colonized Alshain.
27 – Hello, my name is Charles. After the Arab Revolt, British control in the remains of Palestine was no longer contested. But Palestine was not calm, and the fighting between Arabs and Jews continued. The Jewish Agency’s Haganah and various Arab organizations fought a low-level war throughout the Jewish neighborhoods where British troops did not stray. This little war would continue for decades without resolution, until the next War would change everything.
28 – Hello, my name is Betty. Elizabeth came out of the network many years after the British Commonwealth came back to her feet. She never answered any questions about the student who saved her life, but willingly explained her motivations and plans during the Second Great Depression and the Islamic Jihad. She’s come back every few decades since then to remind the people that she is still watching and protecting the British Isles. She’s sorta like a real life Merlin or Arthur.