The time and place
Unknown time, presumably the future. The story takes place aboard various transport ships and on the planet Tau Ceti, a world colonized by the Humanoid Alliance. As per usual, the native people are second-class on their own land.
The suspension of disbelief
Humans have colonized space. They’ve also created cyborgs, biological constructs fused of human, machine frame, and nanomachines, as supersoldiers. They’re created as babies in vats, and then aged with acceleration so they grow to adulthood in only a few years.