It's the beginning of space colonization, when jumpdrives are very new (see Jump Drives, below). Because of the power required to jump between systems, communication between the colonies is slow at best. Many of them began to break away from Earth, seeking independence. Earth's nearest neighbor, Vega, has been causing a lot of trouble lately.
Terra formed the Space Defense Force in order to take care of pirates and police the system, and to protect themselves against attack. In response, Vega formed the Imperial Star Fleet. For the past 20 years they've been causing a lot of trouble.
You're stationed on the Valley Forge, a cruiser patrolling the outmost reaches of the solar system.
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