Let me explain the Talus. In short, it’s a loose alliance of the Milky Way’s starfaring races—or at least those who’ve built starbridges—formed to promote diplomacy, trade, and cultural exchange. Sort of a galactic club, so to speak, with humankind as the members who’ve only recently paid their dues.
I’ll explain starbridges, too. They’re a means of getting from one place in the galaxy to another, very fast, by using zero-point energy generators to create artificial wormholes within giant rings. You have to have one at your departure point, though, and another one at your destination, for you to get from here to there. A religious fanatic blew up the first one we humans built in the 47 Ursae Majoris system because he didn’t like aliens. Leave it to a nutjob to screw things up for everyone else.
The hjadd were the first extraterrestrials our people encountered, and also our primary sponsors in the Talus. They’re from a planet in the Rho Coronae Borealis system and look a little like giant tortoises, only standing upright and without shells. Nice folks, albeit a little persnickety. Oh, and they eat marijuana the way we eat oregano. Go figure.
Seriously. There isn’t. I know it’s a children’s book, and quite old at that, but if you haven’t yet read Green Eggs and Ham , stop reading this story right now and go find a copy. Come back when you’re done. You’ll thank me for it.
I’m told that the sorenta went to all the trouble to do this because they wanted their god to come down from the sky and pay them a visit. Which raises the obvious question: if their god had never visited them before, how did the sorenta know what it looked like? I cannot figure out religion . . .
And let me tell you: that’s a hell of a lot of banjos.
“Hot jupe”: hot Jupiter. An old-time name that spacers still use for jovians that are way too close to their suns. Not nice places to visit. And, yes, we are weird . . . but fun, once you get to know us.
Last footnote, I promise . . . but this is just one example of why war is nearly non-existent within the Talus. Some of the member races are just too damn powerful for anyone to screw around with.