The oldest living soul on Shénnóng knows little more than stories of the Terran Federation. They say back then, you’d look up and see a sky filled with the lights of travelling starships, bringing the wonders of a thousand planets in their bellies: dew-wine, star jellies, mangoes, kroviks, ichigo, froth… Now the skies are dark, and ships only trickle in from the nearby worlds, evading a swarm of pirates and marauders to feed Shénnóng’s endless city sprawl.
You could stay outside all day without getting sick. There were no greendomes. Nobody saved up for a power filter. Nobody had to decide between water rations and medicine.
The stories say that everybody had a chance to really be somebody. You could work hard and get more than a pod barely large enough to lie down in. You didn't spend so much time thinking about escape.
I still don't know what I'm calling this setting, but I want to get at something that strikes me as important to the style of play. Anyone who's played CT knows: your character can die before you're done with character creation. The original set of career options were all perilous af. You weren't an accountant or a graphic designer. You went out into space and risked getting vaporized or disemboweled or eaten. A 4-term character with no DM bonuses to survival has about a 50:50 chance of making it. That's even odds of living past 30. A 4-term scout with the DM bonus has a little better than 2:1 odds, not great.
WTF? Why would anyone risk that? And equally important: why, after you survived all that crazy shit, didn't you settle back down with your modest retirement cashout?
Hopefully, with a setting description like the above, a would-be player will understand the desperation involved. You risk death, because it's the better option. And what's there to go back to?