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Once before, Americans had come here, riding to another world on primitive reaction rockets and a burst of national determination to be first across the final frontier. They came, staying briefly, exploring tiny patches of territory, and seeking knowledge. Then national will faltered and sought frontiers closer to home, frontiers less expensive, less risky, and less demanding. The Americans left a last time and did not return, leaving behind few traces that humanity had ever broken the bonds of its home world.

As the great Cold War that had dominated the last half of the twentieth century ended with an unexpected whimper and as economies around the world imploded during the post-Millennium Crash, America found itself the last superpower, economically and militarily supreme. Its corporations, backed by the most technologically advanced military in the world, dominated the Earth as no empire ever had before.

The Earth's riches foreclosed, other nations looked elsewhere. Many years after the Americans had left, others came, from other nations and alliances, seeking the material and scientific wealth offered by Earth's consort. They built research labs, mines, refineries, low-G manufacturing plants, and colonies for their workers that soon became small towns. After great investment, the wealth began coming home and enriching the colonizers.

America finally raised its gaze once more, staring up at the Heavens and realizing they were now owned by others. So America resolved to return, and claim what she felt was hers.

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