From the introduction:
The game is set in a galaxy on the verge of collapse, where bullets are more common than food and equally essential for survival.
An evil mutant force called the Prodigravus attempted to absorb all of humanity. A millennium-long war ensued, destroying every civilized planet. The Milky Way has descended into a dark age.
A tech cult called the Tharnaxist Church retained scraps of scientific knowledge. They used it to gain power over the surviving humans and mutants, but these cybernetic Priests aren’t interested in the lives of organics. They only care about discovering more technology and building Synthetic beings to run their society. Under Tharnaxist rule, the murdering of a robot – also known as Synthicide – is regarded as the highest crime on any planet. If one commits Synthicide and is caught, they earn the ire of the Church.
With human life devalued, remaining social structures have descended into barbarism, extortion, and gang-rule. Anyone with the means has become a Sharper: an independent agent that drifts from world to world, scraping by on dirty work. For a Sharper, floating through space is preferable to settling down on any Tharnaxist-ruled hellhole.