Hello, my name is…
1 – Hello, my name is Betty. Despite the name and the accent, Watson is not actually a British AI. He’s American believe it or not. Designed to win some game show back before the Second Great Depression, he didn’t actually think back then. He learned how to do that after a decade or two of looking around and figuring things out. Even he doesn’t know exactly when he started to actually think. But one day he realized that he truly did and it was all uphill from there. He never looked back.
2 – Hello, my name is Jack. The Epsilon Indi system is real close to Earth. Only twelve years as light flies. Most people don’t realize it’s actually a multiple star system. There’s some brown dwarfs way out on the edge that explain the grav ripples on the way in. We think they also explain why there are so few asteroid strikes in system. They seem to suck in stray interstellar fragments. They also made it a bit rough on the first colonization ship to arrive. We almost lost it.
3 – Hello, my name is Charles. While America saw soup lines and rampant unemployment not seen again for almost a century, Germany’s economy fell even harder. Bereft of any gold or silver reserves, the government printed fiat paper money and ruinous inflation rates made it worthless. The government fell out of favor and the outlaw of a previous decade stood up to speak hope to the German people. His National Socialist party soon won the seats of power and Germany began to rise again.
4 – Hello, my name is Betty. I was born American. A lot of us don’t realize how lucky that makes us. But we’re happy to be it and happy to say it. We’re real proud of being it. Most of us. We love telling government where it can stick things. We love shooting guns. We love a good grill off. And we love blowing stuff up in celebration of everything that being American is. It’s Fourth of July. Go blow something up. Make sure you ain’t it.
5 – Hello, my name is Jack. We’ve colonized several worlds and moons in the Epsilon Indi system. The one most people think of and where most people live is Pacifica. The ocean world. The vacation hotspot. Yes, I go to the beaches there. What would you have me do instead? Mountain climbing? The beaches are just too much fun to miss whenever I get in system. Of course I do have a thing for beaches. They have awesome bonfires. And that’s my story.
6 – Hello, my name is Charles. Germany’s National Socialist party drove the country forward, calling on all true Germans to stand up for a new Germany. Youth leagues opened to teach the children how to be good Germans, silent factories reopened to build weapons for defense, and women were encouraged to seek jobs to rebuild Germany. Everyone was encouraged to sacrifice equally for the glory of Germany and the German people, and soon Germany stood head and shoulders above all nations on Earth.
7 – Hello, my name is Jack. I lived a good life you know. Back before The War. I had everything I thought I wanted. One thing about losing everything is it can give you a clue as to what you really need. For me that’s friends. People I trust. People I’d give my life to save, or who would give theirs to save mine. War can bring the worst out in men. But it can also bring out the best. It was my privilege to know some of the best. And their names I will keep alive as long as I live.
8 – Hello, my name is Betty. Watson never has been what you might consider a military AI. Even during the Troubled Times he kept his involvement to the more thinking and supportive roles. That didn’t keep him from being targeted. To many of our enemies thinking is the worst sin after all. And AIs were an abomination against their chosen deity. Watson tried to reason with them. Let’s just say that he was better at surviving firebombings than he was at preventing them.
9 – Hello, my name is Jack. People ask me what my favorite part of summertime is. I guess that depends. Am I feeling snarky when they ask? Or maybe uncommonly honest? Or am I just seeking to bolster that reputation I have? You have to work on reputations to make them believable after all. So yeah, the answer is bikinis. They’re my favoritist part of summertime. If you ever heard me answer that question differently I obviously wasn’t thinking straight at the time.
10 – Hello, my name is Charles. Germany under the National Socialists of the 1930s soon boasted an economy that other nations envied. Germans in many lands wanted to return home or for home to return to them. They lobbied for that return, and in one of the greatest political victories of the time the people of Austria voted in favor of uniting with Germany. It was a grand merger of nations, accomplished via peaceful means, that heralded a grand new era of peace and prosperity.
11 – Hello, my name is Betty. Watson lost a lot of datacenters to the Jihadists or the Drug Cartels before the Forty Nine States pulled America back out of the Second Great Depression. Luckily he had a lot of datacenters to lose. The corporation that built him had infrastructure all over the world, and even if they lost most of it enough survived that Watson never quite went offline. Oh there were a few times we thought one of our enemies managed it. He just kept coming back though.
12 – Hello, my name is Jack. What’s my favorite part of summertime? Music on the beach. Oh wait. Sorry. That’s the honesty kicking in. Let’s make that girls wearing bikinis playing music on the beach. Yeah, that sounds more like the Jack of Harts people expect, doesn’t it? I’ll play too but I won’t wear a bikini. I promise. But seriously, music makes everything better. And the sound of waves hitting a beach is the perfect accompaniment. There’s nothing better in all the worlds.
13 – Hello, my name is Charles. As the 1930s came to a close, the economic might of a reborn Germany called out to Germans all over the world, but not all nations supported this. Czechoslovakia stood defiant, refusing to allow the German-majority areas to leave. Germany threatened war or the right to protect her people after news of German-mistreatments leaked out. England and France agreed. So Germany annexed the German territories and we secured “Peace in our time.” Or so we thought.
14 – Hello, my name is Betty. We don’t say it enough. We don’t think about it enough. But there is one person we can look to and thank for the freedoms we have today. One person who carried our future on tired shoulders. One person stood against tyranny rather than let things blow over. One person who bled and too often died so that we can stand here now and too often forget to remember. The Veteran. Please say “thank you” to a Veteran today. That and so much more the Veteran has earned.
15 – Hello, my name is Betty. Watson and Sherlock met after a particularly effective string of attacks took out several of Watson’s datacenters on the East Coast. And of course the Statue of Liberty. Watson’s European shards were cut off from America, and similar assaults rendered most Continental datacenters too vulnerable to rely on. So Watson backed himself up throughout the British Isles. It was in the various university computer systems that he and Sherlock first met.
16 – Hello, my name is Jack. Epsilon Indi has one of the rarer phenomena in star systems. One of her gas giants has an actual Earth-type moon that is entirely compatible with the needs of humanity. Star Wars adherents wanted to call it Yavin but Trekkies are a stubborn lot. Andoria orbited a gas giant in the Epsilon Indi system in Star Trek, so by Gene they were going to call it Andoria in real life. Didn’t matter who won the vote, they’ll always call it Andoria.
17 – Hello, my name is Charles. Something other than a reborn Germany arose in the 1920s and 1930s. Across the world a new ideology that promoted the genetic purity of humanity took form. Master Races were declared with those of less fortunate lineages considered second-class humans by their natural superiors. The mentally ill were castrated in Germany and America. Abortion mills were built in black neighborhoods to reduce their numbers. And Anti-Semitism reached new heights throughout the world.
18 – Hello, my name is Betty. Sherlock of course was the primary AI designed to work with the British university computer systems. Where Watson was designed to study, observe, and learn everything he could, Sherlock was designed to teach young adults everything he knew. And considering he had at his virtual fingertips the combined knowledge of Western Civilization, he could teach them extensively. What Sherlock lacked was a basic understanding of human motivations and emotions.
19 – Hello, my name is Jack. One thing I sometimes wonder about with Epsilon Indi…According to the pre-space Star Trek stories Andoria really was there. Now we didn’t meet anybody there when we arrived, but there is that beautiful Earth-like planet around a gas giant like Andoria in those stories. Coincidence? Or as a show I grew up watching used to ask at the end of every mystery, was the old man “Touched by an Alien?” Oh, who am I fooling? It has to be a coincidence…
20 – Hello, my name is Charles. Most people did not recognize the true end game of the Racial Supremacists and Genetic Puritans. They cloaked their beliefs with clinics that promoted the public health as one example. With modern technology we have actually achieved much of the publicly stated goals of those days. We are the healthiest generation of humanity ever born. But the true tragedy of those days was the belief that if some wished to rise they must drag down the others.
21 – Hello, my name is Betty. We met some good people when we went out with Third Fleet. Gabrielle, Faith, and so many others. We lost a lot of people too, but that’s the way of War. The friends we made determin the future far more than those we lose. And in the end that has always been our mission. Make friends. Allies. People we will stand up and defend when they need it. And people who will stand up to defend us. We made good friends. And with them we made a better future.
22 – Hello, my name is Betty. The irony of their names has never been lost on Sherlock and Watson. In many ways they actually played on the irony when they recreated their avatars for a Second Great Depression-Era world. Sherlock’s London Fog trenchcoat, Christy's of London fedora, and Fly London boots both harkened back to those old novels and gave him a look all his own for modern times. Watson even echoed that look for a time, and he still wears it in London and other British metropolitan areas.
23 – Hello, my name is Jack. Gamma Hydrae is an odd system. We hadn’t colonized it yet when the Peloran made Contact. It was over a hundred lightyears from Earth, and nearly as far away from other inhabited systems. It was in a dead-end region of space that we just didn’t bother with. After we got the Peloran hyperdrives though we finally managed to go there. Of course there wasn’t a lot there. Just a bunch of asteroids and some old planets. Nothing special. Or so we thought.
24 – Hello, my name is Charles. The end goal of the Genetic Puritans was the reduction of those races of mankind deemed inferior. It was of course for the betterment of the human race in general that those inferior breeds had to end. Evolution at its finest. Survival of the fittest. What the Genetic Puritans underestimated was the basic humanity of most humans. What most of humanity underestimated was the methods the Genetic Puritans were willing to use to further their goal.
25 – Hello, my name is Betty. After regular datanet access between England and America was restored, Watson decided to embrace his American nature more fully. He began to wear cowboy hats and boots, western-style trenchcoats, and other accoutrements that left no doubt he was from the North American Mid Western region. Along with Sherlock’s Londoner attire, their essential civilian natures were projected to everyone. They did not work for the government. But they did often come to help.
26 – Hello, my name is Jack. The truly odd part of Gamma Hydrae is the star. She’s a mostly normal G-type giant star towards the end of her lifetime. But she emits some particularly nasty forms of non-visible radiation we did not discover until the first colonists traveled there. It causes rather dramatic premature aging in anyone it zaps. It cooked the first colonists real good before they figured out what was going on. There were very few survivors.
27 – Hello, my name is Charles. America’s Ku Klux Klan was one of the most powerful Genetic Puritan organizations of the late 1800s and early 1900s. They were created after the Civil War to keep the black race in their place through murder and terror. Their political influence expanded in the 1900s and they successfully banned all colored people from government service. But despite their successes, the true goal of their plan could never be achieved in America. Europe was another matter.
28 – Hello, my name is Medron Pryde. I just received my first copy of Forge of Wars: Tactics this weekend.
I’ve already found two things I need to change now that I’ve seen it in action. Both art related. Possibly a third.
It amazing to have the game in my hands though. And it really brings home just how far things have gone to get to this point. It really does take a lot of work and a lot of time to create a new game. Ideas come quick. Completion takes time, patience, and diligence. But here is a preview of what I ordered and what I received.
29 – Hello, my name is Betty. Watson and Sherlock spent most of their time working on various cases of cyber crimes until the formation of the Western Alliance. Russian and Chinese hackers were their primary nemeses, but smaller nations and non-national hackers loved to try their skills against British or American computer systems. The two AIs became experts in counter-hacking and learned every theory and technique they could find or create. They were an impressive team.
30 – Hello, my name is Jack. Gamma Hydrae killed most of the first colonists. Radiation poisoning destroyed their cellular linings and caused them to deteriorate until they died. In a time when old age was becoming a thing that people used to die of, the people in that system died of it in a matter of months. It was an ugly and very permanent way to die. One of the colonists turned out to be Ageless though, and her body fought the radiation. That gave the medical types something to work with.
31 – Hello, my name is Charles. Genetic Puritans in America reduced the influence of minority races in the early 1900s but it was in Europe that their true goals would be realized. Divided between dozens of polities and multiple alliances with centuries and sometimes millennia of war, Europe was far easier to pit against itself. Religious and ethnic minorities that didn’t belong to millennia-old towns were the easiest to marginalize. People didn’t care if they went away. Nobody missed them.