2311 AD: Earth is a charred husk, rendered lifeless by the Terracide, a relativistic bombardment of unknown origin which sterilized its surface. Elsewhere in the Sol system, every inhabited world, moon, comet, or artificial habitat is shattered in the same attack. Those who try to return and look for survivors are never heard from again.
In the aftermath, panicked survivors from the Core Loop Colonies near Terra flee to the Frontier, causing a refugee crisis across Terran Space. A military junta takes control of the Core, and begins consolidating its rule over all of Terran Space, while a few stubborn hold-outs prepare to fight for their independence. The Colonial Reserve Fleet suffers from mass desertions, as its space crews become mercenaries or resort to outright piracy. And agitators looking for someone to blame for the Terracide threaten to wage wars against various powerful alien species – wars humanity cannot win.
Humanity’s home is now off-limits. Welcome to the rest of the Galaxy. It’s dark out there.