Politics and Recent Advancements
Politically, the inner system belongs primarily to the Planetary Consortium, a corporate-created state, similar to Shadowrun. Most of the transhuman population ended up here, and most of them arrived too poor to do anything but auction off their freedom in exchange for survival (or wait in cold storage to even be given the choice). The distances in space are truly vast, so further out it becomes difficult to support empires. Transhumanity has taken the opportunity to branch into a thousand different clades; families based on mutual trust and sharing, technosocialism, oligarchies, black research labs, exploration vessels, massive carnival ships all thrive in the outer system. Many of the truly rich and powerful of Earth migrated to Jupiter orbit, where they built high walls against the dangers of robots, AIs, nanotech, and uncontrolled genetic manipulation. These people believe (with good cause) that the technologies which destroyed billions just a decade ago are still a threat, and should be abandoned. Unfortunately, they also hold imperialistic inclinations, and have not been kind to their citizens or their neighbors.
A few significant finds have been made since the Fall. A number of jump gates (called Pandora Gates) connecting the solar system to other sites across the galaxy have been discovered and are now used for economic and scientific advancement. An alien species, the Factors, have contacted transhumanity and entered into a number of economic arrangements, although their motives are still unclear.
Ultimately, transhumanity stands on the knife’s edge; nanofabrication and advances in power generation promise to provide everything man needs to live comfortably. Technology, philosophy, art and culture are blossoming again to fill the vacuum. People are rebuilding. But these same tools which promise to deliver a second golden age still carry the potential to destroy it. In addition, there are the exsurgent viruses, of unknown source, which linger around the edges of civilization; extremely contagious, practically unstoppable, they transform the victims into monsters, into typhoid Marys, or into TITAN puppets. The TITANs have disappeared, but no one is sure for how long, or what will happen when they return. Nor can people say what the Factors want. The galaxy is littered with the remains of intelligent civilizations which have disappeared, for unknown causes. Perhaps what struck them down still waits for transhumanity.