“Before we enter the atmosphere, there are some lessons we need to review, Herman.”
“Aw, come on, dad! Let’s just go! The kids in school will never believe this!” Herman replied, positively giddy with anticipation.
“Son, you know that’s not how we do things. I am an explorer and an adventurer. I seek knowledge and I believe that what we learn, and what we learn from, can drastically impact our lives and our futures.”
With a wave of his arm, the afterburners of their jetpacks fired up and gently took them to the singular moon orbiting the Earth.
“Let’s stop here for a bit. After all, this moon is very important to the people of Earth – to our ancestors.”
Herman and his father touched down on the gray moon and began to relax and really take in the beauty that was the third planet from the sun. Herman was anxious to get to the planet proper, but he had to admit, he did enjoy learning and the history of the human race was one of his favorite subjects. Another few minutes waiting wouldn’t hurt him, and he knew that his father was brilliant and would supply delicious tidbits of information for his hungry young mind.
“Herman, humans came from this planet - the planet Earth. This is the only planet in the known universe where we can exist unaided. People here can breathe without the use of rebreathers, the atmosphere is essentially designed for our fragile shells, and the soil is capable of producing all of the food necessary to meet the needs of an ever expanding society. At least these things were true.” With a great sigh the father continued. “In the year 2214 the human race declared war upon themselves – again. This would mark the fifth world war. Not one nation – not one city even – escaped unscathed from the destruction. It was in the years following that manned space stations like the one we live on were truly popularized.”
“Five World Wars? I don’t understand – not even the Thri-lets war that much.”
“Heh. That’s true son, Thri-lets are barbarous but humans, by nature, are a greedy and selfish people. We rarely fight for honorable reasons. We fight for money and power and for sheer pleasure in some cases. Entire countries were wiped out - turned in to nuclear wastelands and all in the name of religion or politics. We are not, by far, the smartest known race in our universe, but from my experience, we are the most resilient. So, in 2226, our space station was launched and the operational staff had decided amongst themselves that things would be different this time. As you know, our station holds about three million citizens and every one of us has a profound desire for peace. We have learned from the mistakes our ancestors made and we refuse to let things go unchecked. We govern ourselves and we refuse to become members of the intergalactic senate or Earth. We are citizens of nowhere, but we are citizens amongst ourselves and it all stems from the unbalanced way our people lived for centuries.”
Herman stared up at his father in awe of the knowledge the man possessed. Adding to the beauty of his father
standing with the Earth behind him was an ancient flag; red and white stripes with a blue field in the corner containing white stars. The flag belonged to the United States of America he recalled from his history lessons in school.
Little did Herman Jackson know that this was just the beginning of his journey and of his lessons.