America hummed to himself as he checked the messages on his PersoComm before daring to glance at the record of work that was just waiting for him to log on. At least it was no longer the pounds and piles of paper that threatened to collapse his desk under its weight. Technology was a beautiful thing. All he had to do was get through the list of work, typing in the oh so simple electronic signature to everything and he would be free to go sit and wait for his flight to Australia. What? Getting rid of paperwork in 50 years was good progress. They couldn't be expected to develop teleportation in that time, too. There were all kinds of issues with atoms and molecules and conversions and oh god that poor cat ended up spliced with a fish the last time they tried. Flying was just fine for him.

Still, he had the nagging feeling all morning that he was forgetting something. He couldn't quite place his finger on it. Maybe it was anxiety over his trip. Not that he hadn't been making it every other month for years now. Did he forget to pack his razor again? He'd have to double check.

He deleted the mass of spam messages, smiled as he watched a video that Australia had sent him, replied to Canada about their plans for a camping trip the following week, and then stopped on an email from England. "8 Simple Rules...what?" He clicked on the subject, leaning back in his seat as he scrolled down to the message.


If anyone were to ask me 50 years ago if I thought that you could actually manage to keep Australia interested in dating you for so long, I would have laughed in their faces. Even after all this time, I fail to see what he likes so much about you. I've tried to make a list of endearing qualities but all that came to mind was that you're a slob, pig headed, foolish, crass, selfish, and you don't appreciate what you have.

However, you're completely different when it comes to Australia, so perhaps I just don't have the privilege of seeing the sides of you that he does.

50 years ago, I gave you permission to date Australia for as long as he would have you. If the numerous hours I've spent on the phone with him, listening to him go on and on about how excited he is for your anniversary is indication, I believe that he is far from being done with you. And for that reason, I am sending you the 8 simple rules for marrying my colony.

If you do not comply with them, you will be nothing more than atoms floating in the breeze by the time I am through with you.

- United Kingdom of Great Britain

Attachment: 8 rules you better follow or 14kb

America paled as he finished reading. He forgot his anniversary! He needed to get to the store! Screw work! He shot up from his chair, rushing to the door.

It took a moment for him to stop and look at the message again. Marry my colony.

Oh God.