In GURPS Terms, the world is at Tech Level 9. Virtually any technology of that type is available. However, following crazes for mechanical or genetic augmentation in the mid 21st Century, such things as cyberware or genetic modifications have become somewhat unfashionable – except when it is to correct medical problems, or to serve a particular employment related purpose. There is no huge stigma attached to these things – a heavily augmented individual will attract attention similar to a heavily tattooed person of the early 21st century. Many people won’t care, but some will, and small modifications are much less likely to attract negative comment than large ones.

Approximately 100,000 people live at least semi-permanently in Earth orbit. A similar number can be found in the colonies on the Moon and Mars. Exploration of the Jupiter and Saturn systems are underway.

But here on earth, how much technology has affected everyday life is highly variable. Healthcare is wonderfully advanced and computers and robotics has removed many of the most boring tasks from everyday life. But the most common way to travel between continents is still on a Boeing 747, or an Airbus A380 – safer than ever before, flown by computers (but always with a human in command) and with greatly improved inflight entertainment (including the wonderful ‘White Noise Shutdown’ device that puts a person into deep sleep for a predetermined period up to the entire flight – but still cruising at subsonic speed. It is certainly possible to access faster travel – Melbourne to London Hypersonic Orbital Ballistic Shuttles depart every half hour for a sixty minute flight between the greatest cities of the Commonwealth – but it is considered very gauche to use such services unless there truly is an urgent need for speed.

The same is true of motor vehicles – within cities and suburbs, speed limits have changed very little and a car still looks like a car. But emissions are very small, fuel efficiency is very high, and while most people choose to drive themselves a computer is always ready to take over if asked, or in an emergency. And once on a freeway, especially those between cities, speeds of up to 400 kilometres an hour under computer control are commonplace.

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The Pluperfect Dreadnought