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Q. What is the back story for the Galactic Trader universe?
A. The following history will enable you to better understand the present Galactopolitical situation.

    AD 2010        Schwartzschild Hyperdrive becomes practicable.  The
                   first Starship jump to Alpha Centuri is a success and is
                   completed in the previously unthinkable time of 2 weeks.

    AD 2100-2400    Massive colonialization begins.  Wave after wave
                    of humanity flee from overpopulated and hopelessly
                    polluted Terra.

    AD 2405        Alien Life (up till now seriously doubted to exist)
                   becomes a certainty.  The initial contact is hostile,
                   with several colonizing vessels being vaporized.

    AD 2409        Faced with an external threat, the previously
                   isolationist colonies band together.  The Galactic
                   Federation is established, with Posea, a planet
                   located towards the Galactic center being chosen as
                   ruling capital.

    AD 2410-2415   Colony after colony falls to the aliens, who have
                   become known as 'Thargoids.'  Attempt to establish
                   dialogue with these beings fails - it appears that
                   they will not stop at defending what they consider
                   rightfully theirs but will try and eradicate humanity
                   whom they perceive as a hostile.

    AD 2416        The Federation Navy, perceiving a need for drastic
                   action, usurps power from the civilian Federation.
                   A coup occurs on Posea, the Federation becomes a
                   military dictatorship ruled by an 'Emperor.'  The
                   Federation Navy undergoes a name change and becomes
                   'The Imperial Fleet.'  A civilian puppet governor
                   is placed in charge of the Federation and endless
                   laws are passed to control interplanetary trade and
                   commerce.  All transports and trade ships are
                   commandeered by the Imperial Fleet.  The flourishing
                   trade between planets grinds to a halt.

    AD 2417-       While the Imperial Navy struggles with the Thargoids
                   (and faces charges of corruption and mis-management),
                   colonists face rationing and food shortages.  This
                   opens up opportunities galore for pirates, profiteers,
                   and smugglers who run their illegally obtained
                   vessel's past the under-manned Federation Police
                   force.  The Federation decides, that since it cannot
                   eliminate profiteering, it will regulate (and tax) it
                   by granting a resticted number of Trading Licenses.