It is the year 2140, just a little more than a century after humans began off-world colonization, and civilization has spread to encompass the whole of the solar system. Expansion began with a brutal space race, and the first colony on Mars had it rough. They lacked the technology, resources, and experience to adapt to the rapid and destructive changes in gravity and radiation that caused their bones to crumble and their muscles to weaken. But while the first generation suffered, the second and third adapted faster than even the most optimistic 21st century elder could have ever predicted.
As soon as we found ways to exploit the natural resources available in space, we expanded our colonies to Earth’s own moon and the moons of Jupiter, then Venus and the larger asteroids. As genetic engineering advanced to the stage where we could take control of our evolution and proactively create bodies that were better adapted to the harsh environment of space and the physical challenges of interplanetary travel, humanity was not just surviving in space; we were thriving.
As the initial surge of colonization faded into decades of vicious trade wars, progress slowed, then stalled. This time became known as The Great Regrettion, tied to the lingering feeling of regret that we couldn’t quite articulate. Human expansion wouldn’t burst again until the next great “land rush” in the early 2090’s when a new line of gravity assist ships, known as "Orbiters", opened new trade routes to the outer worlds. Thanks to the Orbiter ships, the human frontier pushed further outward, all the way to the edge of the solar system. But that was as far as we could go.
Yet again, it seemed that another plateau was reached. We worried that a second Regrettion was imminent and that maybe we were just too fragile to expand past the barrier of our sun, which, after all, provides all the energy that sustains every form of life we know. Leaving our planet was the tiniest of steps compared with leaving our sun. Once again it seemed that there were no new worlds to explore and no new empires to build. That is no longer true today.
In just the last few decades, we’ve seen rapid improvements in Obiter technology, drastically reducing travel times between planets. This technology recently crossed a whole new threshold with the successful interstellar test of the Orbiter 8 spacecraft. We are no longer confined to our solar system, the whole of the galaxy now awaits our arrival. The first line of interstellar Orbiters are being assembled right now and will be on sale soon. Liberta Galactica!