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Isaac Atomic Solar System

5 May 2247

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The year is 2247. The solar system has long since been colonized with a total population of around 15 billion, but most people still live on earth, around 12 billion of them. Mars long ago separated from earth, and the gas giants have formed together into a rich and powerful coalition. They supply most of the fuel for the torch ships employed by all three powers, as well as all the smaller and civilian powers in the asteroid belt.
Overall, it is a state of tension. Theoretically, Earth could annihilate the other two by themselves, but they have an uneasy alliance. Ships constantly patrol the solar system as shows of force, and to provide services and favours for the smaller powers.
The torch drive is expensive to run, most ships simply boost twice at the beginning and end of a journey, but pirates and the military can afford to burn fuel for fast semi-brachistochrone trajectories. However, the widespread system of pushing lasers, strategically sprinkled around the system allows for cheap, if sometimes inconvenient, source of thrust for cargo and passengers.