Not that it’s all about me. Although, in a way, it is. It doesn’t matter so much what I look like or where I come from, but two things about me matter a lot.
One is how I got here. You’ll find two distinct types of person personing remote outposts like this. It all comes down to preferred mode of travel. That might not seem all that important to people whose biggest concern is whether they drive to work in a BMW or take the bus. But when you talk about space travel, the rules are different.
Most of you understand enough galactic geography to get this at some level. But the flesh-and-bone reality of it eludes you. So here’s a little mini-lesson. The galaxy is roughly 100,000 light years in diameter. That means that if you were to travel at the speed of light in a vacuum, which is roughly 400,000 meters per second, you would have to travel for 100,000 years to get from one side to the other. Bring some magazines!
Here’s a joke for you. Why did the Consortium diplomat cross the galaxy? Because (s)he had nothing better to do. Not that funny, is it? But you can see that if you are going to travel from one world to another in this vast interstellar community of ours, you are going to have to choose your destinations carefully. It’s like having fifty cents in a store where most everything costs thousands of dollars. Think crackerjack ring in Tiffany’s. That was a good movie, by the way.
The point is that even if you choose a world only five light years away and go there and back again twice in your whole career, that’s twenty years of your life—and career—down the head. The point is that you have to choose carefully. The point is that I wouldn’t be here if this weren’t the most important thing in my life.