For a long time an idealistic one-world government allowed for widespread prosperity and peace. Technology and quality-of-life took enormous steps forward, and eventually permanent space station colonies were established, as well as settlements on neighboring moons and planets within the system.
It wasn’t without its opposition, however.
Resistance cells kept the world government on constant watch, and many remote areas became warzones. By the time the Droog showed up looking for asylum (and introducing their alien mutagens to an unsuspecting population) the world was on the verge of change. And change came quickly.
Chaos erupted from the moment the first human mutated. A terrified and angry population demanded the Droog be exiled from the planet, and they likely would have succeeded if the government hadn’t stepped in to protect the visitors. After all, there was technology that these creatures had that humans hadn’t come close to developing yet.
The resistance forces took the opportunity to strike hard at the government while it was busy dealing with the new crisis, and out of the chaos came a sort of compromise. The government would release control of a handful of locations–mostly underdeveloped or barren lands–to be ruled locally as the people saw fit. They became known as Free Cities, but freedom came at a price. Warlords claimed power over these settlements more often than not, and a lack of government aid left the rest at best dangerous and poverty-stricken. Soon after came a wave of mutations.
Sixty years of war, disease, and climate change forced a new landscape. The government gave way to private businesses and security forces. Pharmaceutical companies rose to power, curing both humans and Droog alike of their diseases and mutations–at least those that could afford it. Entire cities put up walls to protect their citizens from the terrors of the outlands. Soon they became nearly independent; civilized centers of commerce and technology amidst wild and decrepit wastelands. Governing bodies and laws varied from city to city, usually driven by Credits and a need for safety. Urban populations forgot about the Outlands. Space colonies were cut off. This was the new frontier.