The Stratocracy is a post-scarcity civilization, due to their mastery over matter-reorientation and subatomic manipulation science. To put it simply, any industry and infrastructure of the Stratocracy’s active citizens (anyone who takes and active part in its operations, they have protectorates and colonial vassals who follow their orders in emergencies and such, but largely they leave to be free to their devices as long as said protectorates or vassals are not going against their laws and sensibilities. The Stratocracy is a very pragmatic civilization due to having a history of building interspecies alliances to defend against larger threats (back in their ancient history when they were constantly in the shadow of the Forerunners) will be provided and maintained by matter and energy conversion technologies. Visually, this is similar to holographic tech in Star Trek, being advanced enough to reorient molecules to have the properties of anything and making things “out of thin air” using only law of mass and energy conservation and the fact that energy and mass can be transformed into each other. These advanced devices which build and shape the matter and energy into desired forms are rather ubiquitous, and are possessed of a sentience which ensures that they are always helpful to the citizens they are meant to serve, and will resist any attempts to be used against their intended owners. Literally, these devices will allow citizens or registered users to make anything their imaginations and needs require so long as there is raw resources to make it, And raw resources there shall be, because for power systems, the Stratocracy normally use either Dark Energy or Multiversal energy to power their technology, and to provide energy to convert to matter to make stuff with, The significance of Dark Energy is that it is a crucial component in the expansion of the universe, and as the universe goes on, the more it will pull apart everything away from anything and everything else. Given enough uncountable eons, this means that not only galaxies are too far to see, but every particle itself will be ripped apart. Being a civilization with the goal of lasting forever, and one who likes to keep its territories organized, this chain of cosmic events is something the Stratocracy does not agree with in the slightest. The redshift of galaxies will mean that each and every one will be more-isolated from one-another and that will be hard to keep cohesive as a united culture. Thus, they generously abuse Dark Energy for construction and energy purposes whenever they can, to at least slow the redshift in the areas they do live in until they can find out a more-permanent solution to everything being pushed apart.
That is the modern Stratocracy, where existence itself is the foundation of artifice and time is slaved for utility and convenience. For a more-interesting, and less-“one-size-fits-all” explanation, we need to go to the earlier eras of the Stratocracy. Specifically, the time of the firing of the Halo Array. During this era, things were more-grounded and consistent with known scientific concepts related to construction rather than those of cosmic and atomic physics.
During this more simple era, here are some of the techs and systems that the early Stratocracy used to survive out in the intergalactic void. First of all would be housing, since you can’t explore and conquer and gather intelligence or whatever if you are exposed to the void. However, “civilian” is a bit of a misnomer in the Stratocracy, as during the era where the AHE fought the Forerunners, they were pushed so desperately that by the end of the war, every person with any kind of practical skill whatsoever was serving the war effort in some way. In Silentium, after Charum Hakkor was taken, the Librarian looked through the captured Humans and noticed how they had hardened child soldiers due to casualties suffered against the Forerunners. With this in mind, the techs below will be more “peacetime” than “civilian”.
Habitation: The Stratocracy originated from the massive numbers of scattered fleets left behind from the old AHE’s shattered territories during the end of the Last Human-Forerunner War. Shortly before the final battle where Charum Hakkor fell, Forthencho knew that he would lose to the Didact on that day, if not the next. So in preparation ,and to ensure that Human culture had at least a possibility of surviving on, he initiated what would be the equivalent of a presidential Executive Order, this being Contingency Order 11-02: codename “Snow Forest Oni”. This order was relayed to all of the galaxy, with the simple phase on the open comms being “engage Operation Snow Forest Oni” to ensure that the Forerunners had no idea what he was talking about and thus prevent effective counterattack. What this order entailed was that all available AHE and loyal San Shyuum forces left in the galaxy were to cram in as many people and essential supplies and tech on as many ships and Slipspace-capable objects as possible, and run the hell away from the known galaxy in the opposite direction of the Forerunner Ecumene with all due haste. What resources they could not bring with them were to be boobytrapped and burned, denying them to the enemy. The order was given due to how theForerunners attacked the AHE. The Didact had used a stratagem of Star-hopping, meaning that he would attack only the most-important AHE strongholds or strategic points in as quick an order as possible, and use the Ecumene’s superior Slipspace knowledge to jam Human FTL so the Forerunners would only have to fight a small fraction of Human forces while rendering all the ones they didn’t attack combat-ineffective until they were to deal with them later. This mean that there were a lot of AHE and San Shyuum forces not initially attacked in the war, to be slated to be picked off one by one later. Before that could happen, these scattered forces and populations were ordered to s[read themselves outside the galaxy in a “they can’t kill us all” gambit before the Forerunners notice. The fleets did just that, and given the lessons that Humanity learned while fighting the Flood and Forerunners, they knew to make everything as self-sufficient as possible. Therefore, this meant that each and every capital ship or inhabited installation would be able to get its own resources and manage its own pops.
The AHE remnant fleets would be the home of the refugees until they found new systems and asteroids outside the galaxy to colonize. The majority of inhabited spaces in this era consisted of various starships, both military and civilian, and space installations like trade stations, defense platforms, orbital cylinders, living stations, mining rigs and even penal facilities. Everything was meant to support more people, so the fleets were kind of like the one in Battlestar Galactica, but with more warships. One of the most-popular non-ship inhabited places that people lived in were orbital habitats, usually O’neill cylinders modified to house a lot of decks with less space between them or flat-out voidborne arcologies. These were, from an engineering perspective, very simple to build and maintain and didn’t cost nearly as much as a similar amount of material’s worth of warships. They had sizable support functions like vertical farms and medical decks and other civilian amenities. Another, similar form of home for many people were colony ships of various sorts. The AHE were a very-expansionist and intrepid empire, so they would have a lot of colony ships to spread their borders, and since the war with the Flood, these were already considerably up-armed and up-armored.
Water and its various byproducts used in various other utilities was gathered by collecting and filtering Hydrogen from space (via the same intakes that ships would use to replenish their mass reserves for antimatter fusion fuel) and combined with oxygen gathered from ice particles or worlds. Another source was to separate the oxygen from CO2 in the air filters and use the carbon for materials repair & upkeep. Any ice that they found on asteroids, comets, rogue planets and the like would be used for water, too.
Food was supplied mainly by massive, cramped vertical farms, which are layers of trays that hold solid and crops gene-engineered aggressively for optimal growth speed, nutritional yield, and environmental hardiness. Each tray had a set of UV lights built into the bottom, so they could illuminate the crops on the tray below it. This allowed areas to be crammed full of these trays in massive stacks as to maximize the amount of food that could be given to people. The food was given as priority to civilians and non-augmented personnel fiest, as by the closing stages of the war, it was standard practice for the active service members of the AHE (which meant every able-bodied person they could spare the resources to equip) to genetically and cybernetically alter themselves so that they do not need conventional food (or sleep) to survive. Genetic engineering was more readily-available to civilians than the cybernetics due to all resources going into the war effort. Thus, with people trying to get themselves to a point where they don’t need to eat, it leaves more for the people who do. ------ As time went on and the resources could be spared to shift to such a system, the fleets would make it so that food, and other materials, could be synthesized from the rearrangement of molecules collected from mined raw resources.
Power was supplied mainly through antimatter fusion reactors, with dark energy reactors being used on the more-advanced military ships. Forerunner-style Vacuum Energy systems were also used,but despite their unlimited energy potential, they were usually too expensive on resources to maintain. Antimatter fusion tech was used ubiquitously since it produced no waste in the reaction and could be fueled by literally anything, though stuff like Hydrogen isotopes were preferred. Micro-singularity reactors were also sometimes used, but the fuel requirements for the antimatter tech was less.
Medical tech consisted mostly of bioengineering and nanites. The early Stratocracy could flash-print replacement tissue and organs by teleporting in the molecules making it up in the right order, (kind of like Star Trek holographics) and overall could easily heal wounds and diseases. They could target unwanted matter in a body on a precise atomic level to get rid of it and harm nothing around it (It had trouble against the Flood due to how fast the Flood infection rate was. You needed to teleport the Flood biomatter off of a body within seconds or it won’t be fast enough to save them). Bioengineering of people also made it so that they naturally healed a lot faster, and were resistant to many more hazards, such as heat, radiation, toxins, low air, etc. Nanotechnology was used to supplement this, with nanites being either technological or made from organic materials to better fit with the hosts. Nanites were integrated into the body, nervous system and blood vessels to add layers of safety against external threats. These nanites, along with the gene-altered immune cells, would violently attack anything analyzed to be a contagion, with a small AI system in the body-s internal implants to regulate stuff so no auto-immune disorders or anything of the like happens.
Communication tech was used primarily through Slipspace wave arrays and Quantum Entanglement for more-fixed locations. Slipspace wave comms were very flexible and reliable, and could communicate with everyone and anyone with the tech to communicate, no matter what the location or origin of it has the right clearance codes. The Slipspace comms were liable to be jammed by the Forerunners, who had a better grasp of Slipspace physics then the AHE and Stratocracy before they retook the galaxy after the Halo Array fired. Quantum Entanglement comms are less-flexible, but more-accurate than Slipspace comms, The main advantage is that there is ZERO lag or uncertainty whatsoever in communications, and it could not be jammed or hacked. However, since entanglement works by causing particles to exist in 2 places at once, each QEC needs to be calibrated to work with every other QEC, so they can’t just talk to new systems like Slipspace comms can.
Resource-extraction technology mainly consisted of surgical translocation emitters triangulating and determining the exact position of raw resources, and then teleporting specifically the matter of those raw resources and nothing else from the extraction zone. This means that ore and other materials do not need to be worked and purified to separate the impurities from the desired materials, and that by teleporting specific matter into place, they could build new ships, structures and machines in this manner. This means that early Stratocracy ships have no indications on their hull of building connection points, seams, etc. They are constructed as a whole all at once, giving them far greater structural integrity. However, a lot of the time, the designers like to make their ships and structures modular, so connection areas would exist, however these are also bonded on an atomic level for integrity. If a desired material cannot be simply teleported out of the natural formation it is embedded in, then the mining vehicles would use acute gravity field manipulation to remove material as carefully and precisely as possible, and smartmatter would be sent to remove all the impurities from the extracted material.
In terms of economics, there are 2 types of currency, official legal notes (usually not physical but tamper-proof CC holonotes which are catalogued in an individual’s account) and barter trade. When bartering, a regulation system (can be a drone, terminal, etc) will scan both items and read their performance, and scan the infonet to gauge the most-objective value as a guideline, but ultimately usually leaves the bartering outcome of what is valued as what else to the parties involved, as people in the fleets are expected to always be reasonable. Physical material resources measured by standard weights are primarily used to trade and purchase things from alien civilizations. On the larger colony ships and habitat structures and specialized vessels, there are virtual open marketplaces (their version of Amazon and Ebay) where people can buy and sell stuff, too.
In terms of the entertainment industry, full-immersion augmented reality is common and can provide for the needs and desires of everyone personally without needing to spend resources on the real things, since the hardlight holoroom stuff feels and functions exactly like the real thing. People can link up using a specialized helmet visor based off of declassified old military HUD and training sim tech and communicate and interact with people in virtual worlds. The option to trap people in virtual worlds can be used, but only for apprehending criminals, who are rare to begin with since every fleet is constantly aware that threats could emerge from any corner. The infonet also is filled not only with cultural information from the AHE and San Shyuum, but also from any alien species they met and either studied or allied with in the past, and those they randomly encounter. Virtual meeting places are also used to liven up the interiors of ships and habitats, since it would be criminally insane to empty out 80% of habitable apartment blocks in a habitat to make room for bigger gardens, parks and areas to party and show fireworks and stuff.
Transportation of people is used most-efficiently by Slipspace teleportation, but also all manners of personal and public transport system vehicles. Hovertrains are pretty popular, and all vehicles have the capability to ride on a solid surface, fly in air, in space, and underwater. Luxury craft are rare and what ones there are are simply maintained from before the War, new ones are not built due to the ergonomic concerns of the fleet.