The Stars are Watching

Earl
Transporter of fine wines and liquors

Every planet in every system has a bar somewhere called Earth. Humans are a sentimental lot, and if there is one thing they are really sentimental about, it is Earth. Otherwise, they would have abandoned that shit hole of a planet a long time ago and we would just have bars named after it. I haven’t been back to the planet Earth in years, but I guess I’m a sentimental sort of guy because I always find myself looking for the Earth bar on whatever planet, moon, asteroid or space station I happen to be on.
The Earth bar on GL432 was packed, and the only other empty seat in the place was at my table. A starfarer with a young looking face but salt and pepper hair asked me if he could take the seat. I wouldn’t have complied if I knew he was going to try and talk my ear off.

“Hey mister, you mind if I sit here?”

“No, not my bar. I can’t really tell you where you can and cannot sit.”

“Thanks, gee sure is crowded in here isn’t it.”

“‘spose so.”

“You hear they found some more pre-colonization artifacts on GL418?”

“No.”

“How you suppose they got there? Humans are the only intelligent life in the universe but the colonists get there and there are already buildings and the like all over the place.”

“Don’t know, don’t care.”

“They’ve got me moving some of the smaller artifacts to Terraria 19. I heard there is even some sort of writing on it.”

“mmm…”

“That could be huge! There might have been life in the galaxy before humans got out there! Can you imagine!?”

“Nope.”

“It sure is something though. Extra terrestrials, I wonder what they would be like. Do you think they would be friendly?”

“Probably not.”

“You’re a starfarer, you move anything interesting lately?”
“I move fine wines and liquors so yes.”

This kid – I decided he was a kid despite the greying hair – drilled into me with his incessant questions and stories for what seemed like hours before I decided I had enough to drink and took my leave. He did buy me a drink at one point, so I guess he wasn’t all that bad. I would have returned the favor but for the fact that I hated him the moment he opened his mouth at me.

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Introduction

The year is 4091 and humanity has expanded into the stars. While humans still live on Earth, it’s own resources have been completely tapped out and a majority of humans live outside of their mother solar system. About a 3rd of the milky way galaxy has been populated by humans.

The Inner Sphere planets are those closest to earth. Humanity has existed there at this point for generations. Most of them scrape by existing largely on charity from planets in the still resource rich Outer Sphere. Those home worlds closest to earth have long been drained of any useful resources.

Wealth is easily sought though by expanding out into the universe. Humanity has a healthy middle class consisting mostly of starfarers. The extremely wealthy though tend to live in massive space stations made into paradises by controlling every aspect of their environment. These stations can exist anywhere in the universe and are themselves capable of faster than light travel but tend to reside in The Outer Sphere where those that live in them obtain their wealth.

Since the advent of faster than light travel, technology hasn’t really changed much. Most of what you would see in this distant future would still look much like what you would would find on earth today. Notable exceptions are robotic and cybernetic technology, better energy gathering and storage, and of course FLT. One of the major limitations in the universe is communication. Data cannot be sent faster than the speed of light on it’s own so it must be physically carried on star ships across the vast distances that span one planet to another.

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