Glossary / Reference
Miscellaneous Items and Terms, Non-tech Oriented
(Although some of the items in this glossary do have technological aspects, they are not particularly “high-tech” specifically)
Ceramatin – A composite material that is mostly an advanced ceramic material, which is then embedded with microdots of titanium, polymers and other materials throughout. The result is a fairly light, durable material, often used for a vehicle chassis, body armor, etc.
Plasz – This is a transparent material that superficially resembles a thicker version of plastic wrap. It is generally used much like plastic wrap is today for food products, or used for more technical purposes, such as evidence collection. It provides an air-tight seal around the enclosed material, and also has a preservative aspect to prevent decomposition for a long period of time.
Polyflex / Polymesh – These two terms are often used interchangeably, though the two are slightly different. In both cases, the material is composed of advanced polymers along with metals, silicon, carbonwire and/or crystalline lattices. Polyflex tends to utilize the non-polymer materials very sparingly, whereas polymesh will typically make much more liberal use of the non-polymer materials. The uses for these materials are many, from coats and boots to light armor and hulls for ultralight aircraft, and numerous applications in between.
Polysteel – The name can be misnomer, as titanium and other metals are sometimes used instead of steel as the base material. But in any case, this is a metal that is bonded with advanced polymers at a molecular level for more flexibility, corrosion resistance and other desired physical advantages over a metal alone.
Simhide – A synthetic leather. It comes in many textures, colors and degree of flexibility. Some people prefer real leather, but in all ways, simhide is superior in terms of strength, washability and more. It is even available with a leather scent if desired.
Skateglass – An advanced glass-like substance that is used instead of ice for things like skating or ice sports. Its physical properties mimic ice almost precisely (except for the cold), even to becoming grooved when someone skates on it, while also “healing” that damage and becoming smooth again in a matter of seconds.
Slickskein – In addition to being a kind of outfit, slickskein is a material that superficially resembles latex, flexible vinyl or a supple and thin leather, depending on the thickness and texture. It is stretchable, very form-fitting, and it is very durable. However, while being resistant to tears and scratches, it can be pierced easily by a direct thrust from something like a bladed weapon.
Transplast / Smartplast – Transplast is a material that is structurally and functionally similar to plastic, though more transparent (unless designed to be translucent, colored or opaque) and stronger. It is often used for windows, windshields, drinking glasses and the like. Smartplast is a specialized form of transplast that can project sound, display moving images and be manipulated in terms of color and transparency, all via computerized controls.
Wispsilk – A synthetic substance that is slightly lighter than even real silk and sturdier as well. It does have a marginally less silky feel, and as such real silk is still coveted by those who can afford it, but few notice or care about the difference.
Candlestand – One of two types of towers on the surface of Mars (see also “toadstool” below). With 70 such towers in total, candlestands are fewer in number than toadstools and far taller, each stretching almost a kilometer high. They are used for housing, entertainment operations, hotels, business offices, embassies, industrial operations and more. They generally offer larger housing units and more amenities than housing under the surface of the planet, and so the candlestands tend to attract wealthier people, as well as those who cannot tolerate the idea of living underground or who are short-term residents of Mars. Candlestands are so named because they have wide bases with a conical shape, a relatively narrow tower for most of their height, and then a broad, flatter conical top on which vessels can land. On average, a candlestand will house 5,000 residents (not counting people staying in hotel areas), though only about 15% of those are native Martians and another 55%, give or take, are full-time Martian residents who were born elsewhere. The rest are short-term residents or part-year residents.
Hoverlift – An elevator that uses pressor fields to rise and descend instead of cables. Roughly half of all elevators are hoverlifts, with the rest being older style elevators using cables, tractor pads or magnetic fields.
Inhalatory – Roughly comparable to a smoke shop of today. These shops sell tobacco and tobbaq products, as well as other smoked or inhaled recreational products. Inhalatories also sell some therapeutic inhalants, though this is definitely not the bulk of their business.
Lustworks – Most lustworks will provide the entire range of erotic entertainment, from flesh-and-blood sex to virtual sex using sensory suits or direct neural feeds, as well as erotic dancing, erotic vidshows, nude cabaret performances, etc. A comprehensive lustworks facility will employ humans and neo sapiens of both genders as well as use sexwork AIs. The AIs may engage in virtual sex acts, operate equipment in pleasure suites or even use a realistic sim-body that is mostly indistinguishable from a real person. Lustworks also offer less erotic fare, such as spa treatments, therapeutic massage and the like.
Med-store – What we would think of a drug store today. They tend to focus mostly on medical (over the counter or prescribed) needs and hygiene products, and rarely sell more general merchandise.
Mediaplex – An entertainment complex. It can either be a place for providing entertainment (live shows, programmed shows, tri-vids, concerts, etc.) to visitors, a place for producing and transmitting such entertainment to the solar system as a whole, or both.
Multi-suite – Any large apartment-style housing with many rooms (and many of them large). Generally owned and occupied by the privileged sorts.
Refresher – A bathroom or restroom.
Station-home – Any one of the many huge space stations that serve as the business hubs and living spaces for the bulk of the Shared People (the Ishmaeli and Isaacians). Station-homes can either be in orbit around a planet or other physical body or may float freely in open space. All are equipped with thrusters and distortion drives to move them when necessary.
Taproom – A bar, pub or tavern.
Toadstool – One of two types of towers on the surface of Mars (see “candlestand” above). There are 300 such towers. They are far shorter and squatter than the candlestands, and as one might guess from the name, they are roughly mushroom shaped. Most cargo vessels come into and go out from the toadstools, making them the chief points of commerce between the undersurface of Mars and the rest of the solar system, though the very high-end cargos more often go through the candlestands. Toadstools tend to be more business, merchant and industry oriented than candlestands, and sport a smaller percentage of residents compared to workers.
Travel Depot – What we would think of as a roadside rest-stop or highway oasis today, providing food, refreshers, supplies and servicer pods for ground vehicle travelers or overland cargo haulers.
Virtual Brothel – In contrast to a lustworks (see above), a virtual brothel traffics only in sexual encounters using sensory suits, neural interfaces or the use of sexwork AIs.
Doomhound – Used mostly in military operations by the majority of nations, though also in law enforcement by some (primarily in the Catholic Union and some of the less-savory nations of Earth for the latter purpose), as well as being popular with people on the fringe (smugglers, pirates, etc.). Doomhounds come in two types. The first are the older-style models that are completely robotic and second is the new generation that are a combination of organic and cybernetic parts. A doomhound is essentially dog-shaped, though many newer models have some feline design characteristics as well. They are very fast, are equipped with a variety of nasty offensive devices, and are well armored against attack. Fully robotic doomhounds are still produced for more cost-conscious customers, but are not as effective, reliable or as smart as the newer types.
Wyvern – A completely genetically engineered creature that is slightly larger than a grizzly and used in combat operations or as guard animals for very secure operations. The are slow to accelerate, but can achieve very fast speeds over long distances, and have tremendous endurance. Wyverns maneuver on two thick, muscular legs attached to a wide, bear-like lower torso that has sparse but stiff hairs that are blade-sharp. The upper torso is narrower and more scaly, and narrows to a thin neck and elongated head that is very crocodile-like, with double rows of teeth that are capable of gripping, crushing, tearing and piercing. Although they have no arms as such, five spines extend from each side of the upper torso, almost like huge long claws or membraneless wings curving outward, and these spines can move much like large fingers. The tips of these spines are sharp and can delivery a fast-acting (but short duration) paralytic toxin. Although they are flesh and blood organic creatures, wyverns are totally incapable of intercourse or breeding and can only be manufactured.
CAIN (contagious autoimmune nanoviral) syndrome – This disease, which is transmittable via bodily fluids (mostly via sexual intercourse, contact with blood or contact with saliva), is a nanotech-oriented disease and thus treatable both by drugs and by electromagnetic disruptive technologies, at least when caught in the earlier stages. In the late stages, there is no cure as yet. In terms of symptoms and course, the disease most resembles HIV/AIDS today.
Cardiocrys (cardiovascular crystallization disease) – A very rare non-communicable disease that is caused by a form of silicoid microorganism (usually inhaled into the lungs) which crystallizes blood cells. The result is that, over time, veins and arteries become both increasingly constricted and prone to rupture. Treatments to cure cardiocrys are very hit and miss, with about a 25% success rate for total cure, and about a 35% success rate for a remission period of one to five years. Without a cure or remission, death results within five months of initial infection.
Emophage – This virus, which is techno-organic in nature, infects the central nervous system and quickly begins to rob an infected individual of the ability to properly feel and generate emotional responses. By the time it has reached advanced stages, which often happens before the person thinks he or she has been infected (much less been diagnosed), the emotional leeching is so severe that the victim literally begins to lose the will to live and that is what ultimately causes death. There is currently no cure for the emophage virus and attempts to mitigate its effects have been mostly failures, though the use of certain drugs can prolong life and the use of sensorium arrays (similar to those used by the simons of a pope) can fend off death by allowing the wearer to tap into the emotions of willing volunteers equipped with neural sliptrans devices. However, the latter therapy, while it has long-term effectiveness, is rarely used both because of the high cost, the difficulty in finding volunteers to provide emotions transmissions, and the fact that the person wearing the sensorium array must have at least low-level latent empathic psi abilities. Fortuntely, emophage is not highly contagious nor easily transmittable compared to many other diseases.
Succubus – Only a direct and serious health problem for males but communicable to (and from) females. This bacterial disease chemically alters testosterone, increasing libido and overall energy drastically, but the act of sexual arousal and sexual release in particular then cannibalizes nutrients and some tissues in the body to support the organism’s life cycle, slowly killing the host as a result. The effect on women, in terms of arousal and physical damage, is far less because of the much lower levels of testosterone in their bodies, forcing the bacteria into a semi-dormant state.
Caff – A beverage with a synthetic form of caffeine that is slightly more potent than actual caffeine. In terms of flavor, straight caff falls somewhere in between coffee and black tea with a hint of basil, and is has a slightly thicker texture than either coffee or tea.
Calm-patch – A dermal patch that introduces a kind of sedative into the bloodstream. It is most effective and most rapid when applied to the neck. The drug within a calm-patch doesn’t render a person unconscious but does robs that person of any will to fight, resist or really do much of anything. However, while the person cannot motivate muscles to any kind of action, the ability to think is only mildly impaired, meaning the person knows what is happening and is aware of being helpless.
Crystaleen – A bubbly wine that resembles champagne and is produced on Mars by a company known as Halcyon Endeavors. It is usually medium-blue to dark-blue in color, though there are varieties that are aquamarine, pale green, violet and dark amber as well.
Eretine – Causes prolonged erection in males while also inhibiting the ability to achieve final orgasm. A popular drug among male pornographic entertainers and male prostitutes, but also used recreationally by members of the general populace. Illegal only in the Catholic Union.
Nicstick – A nicstick varies in size, color and shape but usually superficially resembles either a cigarette, a long cigarette holder, a cigar or a pipe. Nicsticks are usually used for smoking tobbaq (see below). Nicsticks are refillable and reusable, and can be ignited or de-ignited quickly. When a tobbaq cartridge or other inhalant cartridge is used up, it can be ejected from the nicstick into a waste receptacle.
NutriCleanse – An capsule or tablet additive that purifies a liquid (usually water) as well as adding useful minerals and vitamins to it.
Overhype – A drug that heightens reflexes, strength and sensory abilities. The effects are rapid and then gradually taper off over the course of a few hours. When the effects wear off, though, the user will enter a virtually comatose state for eight to 12 hours. The drug is completely non-addictive. Prolonged and frequent use, however, can induce permanent neurological damage.
RaptureX – An addictive drug that produces heightened sensory effects, a drastic increase in libido and a sharp reduction in inhibitions. Its use is regulated in many nations but it is only illegal in the Catholic Union and in Oceana.
Rec-pharm – A general term for any recreational drug, whether legal or illegal.
Shredd – An almost universally illegal inhaled drug that provides euphoria, heightens alertness and reduces the need for sleep, but which also boosts aggression and reduces sensations of pain. It is highly addictive and gradually turns users into violent sociopaths.
Silverstim – Illegal in about half of the populated solar system, this drug resembles mercury and is taken orally or injected. It is a stimulant drug that is roughly 50% more powerful than cocaine, with similar effects and symptoms. It does have the virtue of being slightly less addictive than cocaine, but is more physiologically harmful.
Stimpod – A kind of “smelling salt” to wake someone or prevent them from passing out. Usually comes in the form of a capsule that is broken and held to a person’s nostrils or mouth
Stimtab – An orally administered stimulant. Stimtabs come in various potencies. They can become addictive at higher doses and when used over a long period of time. Many nations regulate high-dose stimtabs and forbid their use beyond a certain dosage, but only a handful of nations (all of them small ones) actually consider stimtabs illegal altogether.
Strongtea – A kind of hyper-caffeinated synthetic tea, produced in a wide variety of flavors.
Tobbaq – A synthetic form of tobacco that is usually smoked via a nicstick (see above). Tobbaq is popular because it is less expensive to produce than tobacco and can be made into very dense, thin cartridges that last a long time; can be ingnited, de-ingited and reused; and produce minimal waste ash. Also, tobbaq can be easily combined with various flavors, scents or other recreational chemicals to create specialized nicstick cartridges. Connoisseurs of inhalants argue that tobacco provides a better flavor and experience but most of the inhalant market is dominated by tobbaq.
Callibra – A game of chance that resembles roulette but uses two wheels spun at once. You can bet on one wheel, which has squares in either red, black or white and the numbers 0 through 21, on the other wheel, which has a spectrum of 15 different colors with six different symbols on each square, or on the results of both wheels. Gamblers can also bet on the “nexus” which is where the two wheels touch at the same point, to guess at which two squares will land there. Some people refer to the two wheels as “church and state,” with the “church” wheel being the one in red, white and black (just like the three popes of the Vatican).
Deceiver – This card game largely resembles poker except that a deck has five suits (sword, heart, spade, diamond and hammer) and six face cards in each suit (king, queen, prince, princess, knight and fool).
Flashjack – Except for a few rules variations and a greater number of cards (same kind of deck as for deceiver, above), this game largely resembles blackjack.
Flipdisk – A full-contact field-based competitive sport that is sort of a combination of soccer and American football, using a heavy metal disk rather than a ball.
Hedron – A sort of combination of the dice game craps and the card game poker, using dice that are either eight-sided, ten-sided or twelve-sided. Variations of the game might use anywhere from two to four dice at a time, either of the same kind or a mix of two or three types.
Hookah – A traditional gathering of those in the Shared People (Ishmaeli and Isaacians) in which a group of friends, associates and/or family gather around a single large communal hookah pipe for conversation, intimacy and other interpersonal activities. A hookah is generally held once a week, and participants often vary on a weekly basis. In addition to sharing the smoke of the hookah (which is mildly narcotic), each participant places a small genetic sample into a special plate in the hookah. The act is purely symbolic, as the heat totally consumes the organic matter, but helps to reinforce the idea of community and attachment.
Kickrunner – A field sport very similar to soccer/football.
Overthrow – A variation on chess that can involve two to four players. The standard 8×8 chess board and chess pieces are here, but with four additional boards at each edge of the square, eight squares wide by three squares deep. Players begin on the smaller outer boards and work their way toward the center board to engage one another.
Rec Cycle – Any regular period of time away from the normal work week, independent of sick time, vacation time or holiday time. Rec cycles vary from nation to nation, company to company, industry to industry, etc. but are generally at least one day long, and more typically two or three days long.
Flay-dancing – A very energetic and wild form of dancing that involves full body contact, extreme gesticulations and even purposeful injury. Group flay-dancing in nightclub-style settings tends to be “subdued” in that bodily damage is limited to bruises, deep scratches and shallow cuts. But professional, performance-style flay-dancing resembles a combination of dancing, martial arts, S&M and performance art, and in those dances, cuts and blood are much more pronounced and even required. In fact, professional flay-dancers will often use switches, small blades and needles in the course of a routine. Professional flay-dancing involves at least two people and as many as seven, and can either be choreographed or freeform. In freeform mode, the dancing is often competitive in nature, with a single winner by the end.
Scatter Chess – A bizarre form of chess in which the pieces are placed in a random order by a computer instead of the standard configuration before the players begin. The board and the manner in which the pieces move remains unchanged, but special moves like “pawning” and “castling” are not allowed.
Bindercord – Used to restrain cargo or even people, bindercord is resilient but soft, meaning that it rarely causes damage to containers or objects or flesh that are held or bound by it, and it is fairly difficult to break.
Carbonwire – A flexible carbon-composite cord of varying thickness. Very thin carbonwire can be used to saw through metal or as a garrote around a victim’s neck. Thicker carbonwire can be used to drag or tie down cargo or bind a person. Carbonwire ropes provide more strength than bindercord (see above) but are not in any way soft or giving or even remotely comfortable.
Hot-canister – A cup or container taken “to go” from a food vendor, travel depot or other establishment. When the thermal tab is pulled, the contents are quickly heated and remain so for quite some time.
Quad-drums – A musical instrument that is known for being quite loud, quad-drums are worn on the torso, held by a harness, and feature four drumming surfaces, each with a very distinctive sound. They are often used in flay-dancing performances.
Scalpstick – Similar to a piercing, but it is an accoutrement that is actually driven into the skull so that it stick out of one’s head. Scalpsticks come in many sizes, shapes and materials.
Servicer Pod – What we might think of as a gas pump today, a servicer pod charges (or fuels) up a vehicle. Servicer pods can be found at travel depots along major roads, at servicer stations, and usually near the entrances to major thruways.
Wirebraiding – A form of artistic expression/personal aesthetics in which a portion of one’s hair, mustache or beard is braided along with metal or composite wire. The color(s) of the wire, the number of wires used and the patterns used can vary widely and they are often quite elaborate.
Wristlocks/Anklelocks – What we would call handcuffs and anklecuffs today. They are more high-tech than current cuffs, however, and far more difficult to get out of.
Baseline operative (a flunky or a minor subordinate in an organization)
Cock-squat (shit in terms of quality or concern, as in “I don’t give cock-squat about that”)
Capsule report (a summary)
Dry-humped (royally fucked)
Efemme (effeminate; often used as a mild taunt to suggest male homosexuality)
Feces-poor (piss-poor, low quality, ineffective)
Femme (a woman)
Get buddywise (act friendly, usually in an insincere fashion)
Headward/Tailward (equivalent of fore/aft for space vessels)
Homme (a man)
Hot-tag (set a device to monitor for certain types of info, transmissions, etc.)
Punji (slang for vagina)
Replay that (“come again?” or “repeat that”)
Shit-for-value (worthless, low-quality)
Smooth the grade (to sweet-talk or calm a person down)
Solarward/Starward (used instead of starboard/port on space vessels)
Stuntrod (slang for penis; somewhat a play on words related to “stunrod”)
Stylus-pusher (equivalent to a “pencil pusher” today)
Top-hat (big wig, VIP)
Trinity forbid (God forbid/Heaven forbid)
Tripslut (whore, slut, sycophant, sellout, etc.)
Twaddle (to engage in sexual intercourse; typically used in reference to a long, slow humping)
Twist off (depending on context, can mean “to greatly irritate” or “to strongly tease”)
Twitter (gossip or speak idly about)
Urb (Urbane person/urbanite – Since most people live in metro areas of some sort, but most of them in the outer portions, this generally means a person who lives in the bustling core of a city, particularly used for educated/professional people of that type.)
Weeping Jesus (Equivalent to saying Lord, Oh God, Geez, etc.)