This is a bit of something from the main character's future. It came to me and I thought I'd write it out. It might need to be rewritten before its formally incorporated.
Aurora laid back in the Jeffersonian grass. It wasn't really grass, more like long thin hairs sprouting from some unruly moptop. The 'grass' was purple, not green, not like on what she heard about earth. As she lay there, on terra firma, she wasn't even on terra firma. She guessed it would be jefferson firma. She liked it better as terra firma. Even if it wasn't quite right.
She lay there and stared at the stars. She could have queried through her implant to her booster to see which star was Sol, birthplace of humanity. She took pride in being able to find that one yellow star as it swam into view. She took pride in knowing about her heritage. She took pride in being human. She took pride in being American. She took pride in being a Jeffersonian.
As she lay there though, she was acutely aware she'd never been nor was likely to ever see Earth. She was highly unlikely to travel the 163 light years back and walk New York or Washington DC. She was likely to live, love and die on Jefferson. A whole world, a world of which she was of the first generation of the native born.
Oh, perhaps, had she been born on Caerus, Nuwa, Nakshaktra or Othrys, she could have traveled back. Those were 40 light years or less. No more than a handful of jumps from Earth. Jefferson was, with the new jump drives and ships, still a good eight months away.
She stared at Sol and wondered. What was life like? What would it be like to have mosquitoes instead of taxitos? What would it be like to live on a world of eleven billion instead of fifty thousand. Single neighborhoods in New York City had more people than her entire world. Would she feel exhilarated to constantly be seeing new faces? Or stifled with the crush of so much humanity?
Would she be happier with so much choice of what to do at the moment? or would she be lost in frivolous pursuits, pure pleasure and sensation, strutting and fretting her way down the street and, in the end, signifying nothing.
Here on Jefferson, she had a whole world to see and experience and to be a First. There she could see and experience everything that was the newest, the best. Here she was was faced with challenges no human had ever encountered, not even on other worlds. There she would be faced with challenges no human had ever solved.
One giant moon, instead of four dancing smaller ones. Many nations instead of being a purely American world. Such a riot of peoples. Such a variation of life that was related. America had four worlds exclusive to its own and shared four others, one American led, but not exclusively hers. India had five. China had four. Europe had three. Nigeria had two. Indonesia and Brazil had one each.
She daydreamed, just for a moment, of a grand tour. Reaching across the stars and touring all the worlds of humanity. The American, the Chinese, the Indian, European, Nigerian and all the rest. Well, she skipped Escheria. Only the brave and foolish went there given its ecology...but Escheria was a part of the American mythos, as much as the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Civil War, Civil Rights movement or all the rest...
She'd end her tour on earth. What would it be like?
She lay there and stared. She lay there and wondered. She lay there and reached out to Tom, her first boyfriend and held his hand in silence.