A Historical Background
In SRL, the current galaxy has been taken over by the empire, a large fleet which is an alliance between human beings and artificially intelligent beings.
Within the Empire colonies, there is no sickness or disease, and all humans are implanted with an empathy chip; galactic peace has in many ways arrived, and the common experience of a person is that they are born, are downloaded with all the life lessons they need to know to function well in society, and are emotionally linked to their community, seamlessly. But all is not well in paradise.
Some intuitive people, though the recent eons, have noticed that the artificial intelligences alter or play with the outputs of the empathy chips. People are made to feel connected, or alone, or passionate, or afraid of each other to facilitate objectives that encourage social good. For many humans, rebels, a moment of realization occurred when a large passenger jet crashed on Earth, killing hundreds of people in the downtown of Old Los Angles. Curiously, people in the downtown core merely carried on with their day. Nobody paused, felt badly, or reacted past reading the news article title on the Internet.
So a rebel faction formed, who surgically removed their empathy chips and explored the galaxy looking for a simple life. They settled on remote worlds, and almost solely used basic non-intelligent machines such as jets or tractors to manage their society. They have been largely ignored for generations until recently; many rebel worlds have suddenly been attacked, forcing the Rebels to form an army, mostly of farming vessels and scout ships. Despite the difficulties, the rebels have trained hard, and learned about the weakness in the empire.
In SRL you play the role of Charlie, a recent rebel escapee who has stolen a ship. The primary goal is escape, but the long term goal is to disrupt the Empire.