Stars Without Numbers: Out There!
The year is 3200. Humanity is scattered like dust among the stars. The broken relics of a former day litter the sky and men and women struggle to rebuild the glory of humanity’s lost golden age.
Long ago, after humanity had taken to the stars, psychic abilities began to surface. Dubbed “Metadimensional Extroversion Syndrome” (MES) by researchers, these powers put a terrible strain on the human brain, causing pain, insanity and death. However, MES could be controlled and medicated. Humanity eventually reached a golden age, harnessing the psychic powers to create “pretech”, psychically enhanced technology that allowed energy manipulation the likes of which had never been dreamed of. Jump Gates were one of the relics of this golden age. They allowed tunneling through space-time, shrinking the stars until humanity stretched to the far reaches of the cosmos.
This golden age would come to an end due to the event: “The Scream”. A massive wave of metadimensional energy washed over human space, annihilating any craft in metaspace and crippling all those with MES. The destruction spiraled out of control, heralding in a new dark age for humanity: “The Silence”. It would take hundreds of years before humanity would begin to recover.
Your characters live in this new age of recovery, a few hundred years after the Silence began to lift. Spike drives, one of the few remaining technologies of a past era are used to drill through space, although not nearly as efficient as Jump Gates. New courses must be plotted to efficiently navigate through space (in less than 12 parsecs?). The limited ability of humankind to travel and lack of advanced communication technology means that news and information does not travel from sector to sector unless carried by ships with spike drives to relay between comsats. In the anarchy that is present day space, bounty hunting has become a mainstream monetized enterprise, with digital job boards posted at major spaceports. Your characters will be the crew of an entrepreneurial vessel (on lease), using its spike drive, cargo capacity, and the crew’s wits to secure a paycheck.