After the defeat and subsequent escape of the Celts at the hands of the Helromier almost 2000 years ago, the civilization on Earth turned away from magic offered by Animebona, reducing that to the realm of superstitions, and instead based their culture on the principles of Animenkna, the songs of Homer, and the teachings of Aristotle. Even those who still had some faith in the supernatural were tricked by missionaries like Bathrig into worshiping the Unknown God, but only by his name, Iaghvir.
Throughout the millennia, humans have used these principles to fuel scientific research, learning to draw energy from dead matter instead of their spirit. As their civilization advanced, the greatest influence drifted from state governments into the hands of multinational corporations such as DDT, and even the once prevalent religions started being regarded as nothing more than sects. The corporations' careless exploitation of Earth made it slowly sink into a catatonic state, reducing nature to a few remaining reserves and causing extinction of a great number of species.
In 2227, a group of scientists experimenting with unstable sub-atomic particles accidentally discovered the over-c drive. While the experiment turned disastrous for them, the data was recovered and opened the door to large-scale space exploration, and exploitation by the multinational corporations which were slowly becoming concerned about the depletion of Earth. In the first star system reached via over-c, humans discovered Gaia, home of the Hoika, which only increased their excitement from finding extraterrestrial intelligent life. As the planet also supported human life, many colonies were built there over time, eventually driving the former inhabitants to reservations.
After the initial enthusiasm, the corporations evaluated the costs of sending a ship large enough to be able to mine planets for minerals would be astronomical, as the limitations of over-c required it to first leave the planet's gravitational field via conventional propulsion. To economically justify such expeditions, they started sending probes to distant systems, searching for planets rich in minerals. Another planet that was discovered was Joshi, home to the Grik'tra species. It didn't permanently support human life, becoming targeted by mining multinational corporations instead. The mining operations eventually led to the extinction of the species, and therefore laws were established to protect intelligent life outside Earth. From then on, every corporate space ship had to host a government official onboard to monitor the ship's activities.
In 2229, a space probe sent by DDT allegedly returned information about a planet so rich in resources that it could solve all financial issues the company had. A year later, the space ship Toronto was dispatched to the planet, now aptly being called Nugget. But on September 8, the ship stopped responding to communication attempts, while still transmitting location signals.
Society and politics
While the multinational corporations hold much of the influence over many human lives from their youths, even supplanting their kindergartens and schools, national governments still exist and regulate them. These regulations are often ineffective however, and the profits of corporations increase at the expense of major cities, causing their degradation.
The most powerful countries are the United States of America, the European Union or United States of Europe, and the empire of Asia. Wars are only held via trade, where the numerous supranational corporations represent significant forces. Other international organizations include the International Court of Justice.
The technological advances are numerous, most notably the indi, an individual flying vehicle, the over-c drive capable of travelling at speeds seemingly faster than the speed of light, the gene-technology allowing for resurrection of extinct species, fast enough AI with its own consciousness since 2207, and space ships capable of self-expansion, e.g. the Toronto.
Culture and religion
A lot of human culture is centered around the corporations who create sheltered environment for their employees and their relatives, providing education and other services. There are also several environmentalist organizations, some of which have resorted to terrorism.
The former religions are now seen only as nothing more than sects and aren't taken seriously, with fanaticism being regarded as an addiction. Several religions have turned attention to doomsday predictions, usually targeting at young people with their brain-washing. The Vatican still exists as an independent country and has an increasing armaments industry.