Moore’s Law has persisted, more or less. Computing is so commonplace it is no longer even noticed. Personal computing devices are worn by all, often implanted for convenience. Biotechnology has come about that allows our bodies to absorb a piece of technology and power it like a muscle. Plus, you get to eat more, which is nice. Initially it was only simple things, like watches or augmetic contacts. Now, those are commonplace. A human is more likely to be modified in some way than they are not, many with whole limbs replaced and re-purposed. Modification is a goal among the deeply impoverished as it would provide them with access to a job. Augmet bulking for physical labor jobs, hand augmentations for computer manufacturing, and so on. The cheaper an augmet is the more likely it is to be obvious. Some are deliberately that way, for style, others have to be for function. The societal norm for beauty is still a rather normal, if idealized human. To afford to look natural, and not be, is the goal. This proliferation of technology was made doubly impressive by the boom in population. The only way our production was able to keep up was a standardization of education, making basic computer engineering and programming a part of elementary curriculum all over the planet. As well as allowing children to start work at age ten, provided it was not dangerous or heavy labor and only during school hours.

These massive technological advances are not reserved only for the planet-dwellers. Neural interfaces allow crack pilots to navigate and maneuver at the speed of thought, smelling and feeling the universe through their vehicle. People have gone to the edge of our galactic dish and looked out into that void, we have studied our galaxy’s anchoring black hole and there are many theories as to its purpose. Though we could theoretically FTL jump our way to the next galaxy, with our current level of technology we simply lack sufficient power. Previous attempts with drones and exploration equipment have yielded mixed results. Mining outposts in various asteroid and comet-rich areas have grown over the years, some even house thousands semi-permanently. The remoteness of some of these locations requires that no one worker stay longer than nine months, with a mandatory three off every year. There have been incidents in the past and this regulation is widely regarded as a good response. Some of these posts are lucky enough to be near the flicker-beacon network, a network of constantly jumping unmanned satellites. These devices flicker between established areas and outposts allowing for near-constant, if necessarily rhythmic communication. We cannot as yet broadcast a signal faster than we can put the information on a drive and bring it to you at the other end of the galaxy.

The last advances worth mentioning are in biological fields. Flora and Fauna from around the galaxy have been gathered for our minds to study. The end result has been a direct manipulation of natural processes, engineered evolution. Engevo has grown to be the second largest industry on the planet, behind only computers. Engevo is not strictly limited to food crops, though it is the only way we generate enough calories to keep our massive population above water. Engevo is also looking for profitability, ways to bio-engineer everyday items. Growing computers instead of assembling them, harvesting periodically instead of manufacturing. This has gone well, there are synthetic Engevo versions of most fabrics and hard construction materials which has significantly reduced our use of metal for the production of anything but ships and tools. When the Seals expand, as Chitroit did ten years ago to encompass Milwaukee, and it will again to take Cleveland when they reduce their emissions, they are not built. A skeleton of the connection is built and painted on with the Engevo sealant. Then you just wait and water it, the ceramics grow into place and you adjust them as you need to. The end result is a two foot thick hurricane-proof shelter with a less than 0.001% emission rating, that weighs one eighth that of steel. It only takes a month, assuming you cannot start it all at once. Sadly, this is of no use in space travel, as the rigors of The Traverse require much more specific and specialized tools and materials.

Sadly, we have yet to successfully manufacture meaningful artificial life. Very beautiful and very functional androids exist as prosthetics for the wealthy and aged, but none are fully autonomous yet. AI work has been limited primarily to navigation assistance and ship governance, as its need in the standard marketplace is still not profitable when compared to all the cheap labor around.

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