The Outer Colonies are the true testament of our expansion into the stars.  Outside The Wall that contained us, they stretch out hundreds of lightyears to Antares, Canopus, Polaris, and the Pleiades.  Clusters of many colonies huddle together for mutual support, or lone stars host colonies that are rarely visited even by freighters.  They left Earth far behind, and their links to our homeworld are tenuous at best.  They are the future of the Terran race.