The physician's highest calling, his only calling, is to make sick people healthy - to heal, as it is termed.

Samuel Hahnemann


The advent of nano-medicine slowly but surely led human science to produce cheap drugs and treatment methods for dealing with a whole host of mankind's most serious ailments, such as cancer, HIV and malaria. Stem cell research assisted greatly, and by the late 2060s it is possible, for the right price, to have missing limbs or organs grown. Gene therapy and embryonic selection processes ("designer babies") began to filter out birth defects and congenital diseases. By the 2080s, average human lifespan was around 150, with the oldest living well into the 200s.

As replacement limbs could be re-grown, and any ailment a mechanical component could fix could instead be cured with extensive medical therapy, interest in robotic limbs was not great, but exoskeletal enhancement saw significant funding. Augmented reality technology also saw large amounts of corporate development funding, in the forms of a real-life Heads-Up Display and multispectral vision. Some of the most expensive cybernetic upgrades, ones that were barely marketable, involved extensive neurological modification, granting the user with libraries of knowledge or perfect recollection, though neurobiology had not yet advanced far enough to mitigate the failure rates associated with these processes.


The ultimate expression of human medical science before departure was cryonic sleep, a means by which a person in a drug-induced slumber, chilled to sub-zero temperatures and maintained by nano-medicine to avoid the body damage associated with rapid freezing could essentially have its aging process halted. Though incapable of indefinitely extending life, it can easily add upwards of 300 years to a lifespan.

This made the ideas of extra-solar colonisation possible - as years of research into the conjectured possibilities of faster-than-light (FTL) travel surrendered no inclination of an answer. Even if they had, truly vast amounts of energy were required to bend reality sufficiently for even the smallest unmanned vessel. Scaling an already very fringe and very hypothetical solution up to the scale of an Axiom was quickly deemed impractical. Despite its obvious advantages over the utilisation of cryonic sleep, the latter proved the only practical answer in the end.