An Overview to the State of the Solar System
Historians have said that the 22nd Century is an age of prosperity for mankind. Without a doubt, we owe that prosperity to the discovery of Peripherite at the edge of the Solar System. Peripherite, and the captured vast store of antimatter found within, allowed for what humanity had only considered to be science fiction even a hundred years ago. Within years of its discovery, mankind learned it had the means to harness long term forms of high energy output that could allow for extended habitation in space as well as a means for travel of stellar and even basic interstellar ranges. A decade after seizing antimatter, we figured out how to put it to good use with the advent of the 1g Constant Acceleration Drive. (Typically known as the 1g Drive)
The 1g Drive truly opened space up to the people of an overcrowded Earth. First, it allowed for travel across the Solar System to become fast and efficient. Where once it would take months and years to get across the system, now a trip could take only days or weeks. Second, the constant acceleration would provide for a semblance of natural gravity to be achieved that would stave off the decay humans are subjected to in low or no gravity situations.
Where the early efforts to colonize Luna and Mars had met with some success, Peripherite made the colonization of the outer Solar System an unprecedented opportunity. Where we once were uncertain of our ascension to the stars, it became clear that the billions of people on the overcrowded homeworld could find a new form of proper sanctuary in deep space.
In the 22nd century, the solar system exists under the guidance of the United Nations of Sol. Many of the Old Earth nations still exist, but they are joined by the City-State of Aries and the Jovian Union. However, for most, the old sense of nationalism is more an ideal of heritage than anything else.
Or at least, so the Solar Net will tell you. In actuality, much of the system is controlled by the Grand Ventures and the United Nations acts simply as mediators. They may put on a polite, unified face, but the Grand Ventures aren’t that different from the capitalistic vultures of the 21st century.
Advances in genetic science has all but eliminated most major disease and illness. You can still catch a cold in the 22nd century, but even those effects are quite mitigated by the bio-engineering processes of the modern era. The average life expectancy of those under the influence of gravity for most of their lives is 120 years, with spacers tending to live into their 80s. And with the rise of the synthbrid, synthetic organic hybrids, humanity may soon find itself nearly limitless in its existence.
Poverty is truly a thing of the past. Owing itself to the United Nations Primary Care Act of 2048, all citizens of the United Nations is provided a basic living allowance that provides for most basic needs. In addition, the UNEC is strong and stable, providing for benefits and advancements that bring about a higher quality of living.
Of course, the further you are away from Earth, the more lax that becomes. The Grand Corpor— er, Ventures, saw to it that certain liberties in the quality of living had to be paid to make deep space exploitation profitable. That also doesn’t take into account that both the Aries City-States and the Jovian Union utilize their own currency, as well as many other nations on Earth and beyond. They are just required to accept the UNEC as well. But the further you are from Earth, the more likely your UNEC and quality of living is quite questionable to the merchant who has the parts you need to keep your ship running.
This exists both as fluff and to accompany the fact that money and equipment are still a thing in this game. This isn’t Star Trek’s perfect utopia per se. But you thankfully don’t have to track basic living expenses such as food or even fuel until you get out past Saturn. Pluto and beyond, things get a little more dicey. Don’t worry though, tracking foreign currencies and such isn’t going to be a major thing in this game. It’s more for a narrative device than anything else. Unless you guys really want to play Space Truck Simulator 2130.
Telecommunication stretches across the solar system. Planetary Grid Systems provide high quality, immersive virtual services the sorts of which were only dreamed of in decades before, rivaling that of the Earth Grid easily. And across the Solar System, the Solar Net provides reliable connection through the system. While it lacks much of the virtual contextualization that planetary grids provide, it provides a quaint information sharing service that is reminiscent of the Internet of old.
More information will be provided in the Sciences section. Basically, the Grid acts more akin to the Cyberspace/Matrix analogies in cyberpunk settings. The Solar Net is akin to an Internet service, providing information and communication services across the Solar System. However, due to the speed of light limit and distances involved, it can take hours to nearly a day for information to transmit. Think of it like an email service/BBS in many ways.
And of course, when you’re ready for the big leagues, there is the Void Net. We provide the real information you need in this “enlightened” age.
All in all, it is an exciting time. Humanity’s first interstellar starship is returning from its first trip to Alpha Centauri with news of a new Earth-like world full of strange lifeforms and new biological breakthroughs. Humankind still studies the mysterious signal stars that hint at alien intelligences that lie just beyond our reach. And science continues to make new breakthroughs that could extend our reach further. Be it our lifespans, our capabilities, or the stars themselves.
Welcome to the 22nd Century. Good luck out there.