Affiliated is a simple term that means any colony, military or system that is within the Aelisha protectorate. Thus one could say that a system is ‘Affiliated’ which would mean that all Aelisha practices are enforced. These practices include AGEd processing for creating new life, a majority receiving Strives on their face, and are sent through a complete schooling which includes both Solarians history as well as Aelisha.
Being Affiliated has its pros and cons. The negatives are that a fraction of their production is necessarily taxed and utilized, and the populace is recruited as appropriately into jobs. The advantages are quite high as first and foremost they are protected by the Solarian Federation military as well as the Aelisha military. Given the violent universe and constant tension with both the Burn as well as the Daijin Stars, this alone is worth it. In practicality, it mostly has to do with crime and pirate attacks.
Simple called ‘Credits’, they are the major economic unit and stored digitally on cards (there is no physical credit, but it is backed up by gems, as well as military might) and is only usable in affiliated sectors. This is in contrast to gems which while the Credit is backed up by gems, are generally not used as it is crude, prone to rounding errors, and viewed as much more criminal.
Though the Rank system is on unaffiliated planets as well, the major difference is that on unaffilated planets the reward can only be paid in gems as credits are not taken. On affiliated planets, any criminals brought in are easily converted to credits and the good citizen can quickly go on their way.