By 2106 the use of small artificial black holes as “cold sinks” permitted the first cities to be constructed on Venus, but the planet itself remained so hot the red glow of super-heated surface rocks was reflected by the cloud-layer.
A few degrees east of the terminator of Venus is a sweet spot well known to Terran Trade Authority task force commanders where smugglers skipping in from upsystem will frequently emerge into real space. The ones skippered by the more stupid Belters, anyway.
Vikor and Allosie orbit the Jovian planet Harel in the Epsilon Eridani system. Lingering bad feelings over a badly botched first contact have led the Vikorians to successfully delay Terran Trade Authority entrance to the Integrated Star Systems Alliance
When the Trax made a surprise attack on the Setasian stronghold in the disputed 54 Piscis system over a hundred Terran Trade Authority diplomats and military advisors either perished outright if they were lucky or they were taken captive if they were not.
In the stellar nursery of the Orion Nebula complex deep-space explorers of the Terran Trade Authority encountered a warship tentatively identified in Jane’s Fighting Starships as a Laodamian Phoenix class frigate, and, remarkably, they lived to tell of it.
When the dial read 3psi she removed her helmet, and invited Gene Cernan to do likewise. The spent-gunpowder smell of the lunar regolith assaulted her nose but she was used to it. And after two lunar EVAs so was Cernan.
At Jupiter the situation is reversed from that of aircraft on Terra: oxygen is carried on board and ambient hydrogen enters the intakes to be burned. Should the gravitic repulsers fail the wingless craft will find a permanent niche deep inside the planet.
At Delta Trianguli automated transports sidle up to drink SP-5 like piglets at a sow’s tit while invisible petrochemical workers lead desperate lives in hovels that grow on the side of the refinery like moss on a tree.
The artifacts discovered on Frimout in the Procyon system were abandoned and of unknown utility, but obviously built to endure. The Terran Trade Authority brought in fusion pods to repurpose them as dry docks for ship overhauls and called it a windfall.
After the catastrophic attack on Jossis, the twenty-three surviving independent floating balloon cities at Jupiter immediately scaled back their hydrogen liquefaction operations to effectively hand the General Materials Corporation a monopoly on propellant.