In My Traveller Universe
It’s a big galaxy, billions of stars, possibly millions of solar systems with planets. No central government can possibly keep track of everything that is happening. Pick a time and place in the past, and you can probably find a planet that tries to run using those assumptions. Imagine any type of utopia, and there is probably a place trying to make it happen. There are some really bad places as well, that got that way for another very large set of reasons, some of which you really want to stay away from.
The Imperial government at Sylvan is Imperial Rome or France or Britain or USA or Japan at their zenith, except with fleets of dreadnoughts and legions of marines that try to keep the far flung parts of an interstellar empire from falling apart again. Fealty is the only way to hold something this vast together, and it mostly works, in most places, most of the time. The farther from the center you get the more exceptions you find. Those exceptions are what make things ‘interesting’.
Oh, and there are competitors around as well, both internal and external, and some of them are not exactly human or sometimes not even close. There are reasons for the myths of wolf-men, bat-men and centaurs, and possibly even some others.
- a. Interstellar ‘translations’ are possible using relatively large amounts of energy (see b).
- b. Nuclear fusion is a well defined source for the energy needs of a spaceship (and expensive).
- c. Antimatter power plants exist, but are generally seen as unnecessary (and REALLY EXPENSIVE).
- d. In general, batteries and capacitors have greatly improved (see i.).
- e. Partial nullification or amplification of the effects of gravity is the science of gravitics.
- f. Inertia can be partially reduced by gravitic generators, but not entirely.
- g. In general, medicine has improved.
- h. Genetics is still an issue in some places, but not in others (see i.).
- i. In some places nanotechnology is unimaginably good, and substitutes for everything or anything.
- j. Some improvements have been made in software (see k.).
- k. In some places Artificial Intelligences run the place.
- l. Psychics exist, and are running one large area of the galaxy.
OK, I follow Classic Traveller rules for the most part, but the biggest change I have made is the use of antimatter. I make the cost of antimatter at 5x refined fuel, so any ship that needs to run on it is EXPENSIVE to operate. The positive side is that antimatter containment vessels can hold ten times the equivalent energy, so a jump 1 only needs 1% of the volume of a ship.
I have my express couriers run on antimatter, and that eliminates the need for express courier stations every four parsecs, as an express courier can now go about sixty parsecs without refueling, but most of the time they go for four jumps, where I have the next express courier dock. This means that express courier docks need an antimatter processing plant, and those need to go someplace far away, like an uninhabited planetoid circling a gas giant. The Courier Service maintains one or two express courier tenders in each sector that travel to remote express courier docks and do the annual maintenance and major repairs to the express couriers stationed at that dock. The standard express courier dock will have three or four docking and maintenance bays displacing around 150 tons each for checking out and restocking the express couriers after a run, and usually one spare express courier.
The Imperial Dreadnought Fleet also runs on antimatter, which allows it to respond very quickly to emergencies, and for individual ships to jump into a system, and then jump out again without refueling. Running these ships is EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE, so the Imperial Dreadnought Fleet only gets activated if the problem cannot be solved at the Sector Navy level.
While the Borg of Startrek have lost their individual identities to the collective, personal augments exist to replace parts that fail to regenerate, and certain groups add augments on a regular basis. The Imperial Marines have an audio implant that detects vibration of the mastoid and sends audio input directly to the auditory nerve at the brainstem (think implanted bluetooth earbud). Similarly interfaces have been achieved on the visual cortex. External attached hardware is still very uncommon as subdurmal RF links allow information to flow without physical connections.
AT about TL-12 implants incorporate mitochondria that produce free protons which are recombined with oxygen to produce the energy required for operation. At the highest technology levels the small implants have nano fuel-cells that burn sugar or lipids and oxygen present in the bloodstream directly to produce energy, and deposit their waste streams back into the bloodstream.
For the sake of a story I have written I created a plot device called a Maker. It is a molecular assembler that can build small electronic, electogravitic or electromechanical devices using an ion beam to position individual atoms. It works best at the nano-scale, but it you have a lot of energy and time, it might be possible to assemble a spaceship one atom at a time.