AFI, The: Armed Forces Instrumentality; the combined armies of the Commonality member worlds.
AU, Astronomical Unit: The distance between Old Earth and Sol, approximately 150 million km (93 million miles), commonly used as a unit of distance within star systems.
autotroph: Hominid genurgically modified to produce its own food.
avatar: A remote controlled usually humanoid physical body used by installation sentiences.
basic: A simple artificial intelligence governing basic equipment.
bioship: A genurgically engineered semi-organic planeship bred by Chembu Genurgy.
black chip: Mindscape implant with the “safeties” illegally deactivated. See Special Ops Chip.
bootstrapper: Rediscovered world inhabitant struggling through tech index rises.
brainjack: Human Venu starship pilot used instead of ship sentiences. Usually psychotic.
Chembu: Hominid species evolved through contact with the Planetary Intelligence. Genurgy specialists.
Chembu Genurgy: Principle genurgy specialist in the Commonality. Most employees are Chembu hominids; the Planetary Intelligence is rumoured to be CEO.
chronodisplacement: Mental shock caused when local Mindscape is out-of-date with your own memories.
Commonality, The: Advanced interstellar transhuman polity centred on Old Earth.
Commonality Space: Volume of space roughly 3000 light years across, centred on Old Earth.
corpus: Synthetic brain at the heart of an installation sentience.
CORESEC: Ruthless security and enforcement arm of the Core Worlds Pansectorate.
CORESPAN: The Core Worlds Pansectorate. Intimidating and oppressive administrative network of the Core Worlds.
Core Worlds: Volume of Commonality Space immediately around Old Earth which formed the slower-than-light First Commonality.
corporacy: Commonality-wide megacorporation with more power than most governments.
credit: See EECU.
cultural conflict: Geopolitical unrest occurring on lost colony worlds contacted by the powerful Commonality culture. A major social problem.
cultural contamination: Accidental cultural conflict occurring simply through contact between cultures. Affects the Commonality as much as the rediscovered world.
Culture World: Cultural “strong point” created by the Commonality to resist cultural conflict.
Custodian: One of the mysterious rulers of the Commonality.
Dezimeer: AKA “mother-metaboliser”; one half of the Hydragand-Dezimeer symbiotic pair; highly divergent hominid resembling a shapeless mound of flesh massing several tonnes.
direct perception feed: Process by which Commonality citizens upload continuous sensory data to the Mindscape.
dirigeant: Mindscape controller responsible for participant behaviour and access permissions.
dirt drive: Dangerously unstable version of the planing engine reverse-engineered by the Venu.
Dirty Mary: Highly radioactive Venu disruptor cannon reverse-engineered from Commonality tech.
discretionary interface, DI: The ability of Mindscape participants to switch between a variety of Mindscape interfaces on the fly and at will.
downtecher: Low tech inhabitant of a lost colony or rediscovered world, or possibly Core World.
drone: A servitor remote providing expert skill systems; usually a basic.
EECU, aka Expansionary Era Credit Unit: AKA “money”, unsophisticated exchange medium reinvented to cope with primitive conditions on the Commonality Fringe.
effector, aka finger field, fiddler: Energy field manipulator used for “techno-telekinesis”. See technopsi.
eidolon: Synthetic sentience with a personality derived from one or more thanograms.
Eidolon Compliances, The: Functional requirements for creation of a stable eidolon.
eidolon crisis: Mental damage suffered by an eidolon personality.
eidolon rig: Physical and virtual equipment required for eidolon creation.
embargo, The: Measure by which the Commonality prevents hypertech from falling into the hands of cultures unprepared for its use.
emulator: Form of Mindscape sentinel simulating your personality for remote communication.
Event Horizon Probes, The: Network of sentient probes exploring star systems beyond the Frontier.
exomemory: A memory engram uploaded to the Mindscape.
Expansion: Process by which the Commonality has been recontacting lost colony worlds and expanding its territory. See also Rediscovery.
Expansionary Era: AKA The Second Age of Space, the New Commonality Era. Period since invention of planing technology when the Commonality has been expanding to recontact lost colony worlds.
far gate: AKA 3-space gate. Method of travelling through 3-space.
Far Gate Project: Commonality endeavour to establish far gates at all sector capitals. Currently underway.
fictional: A Mindscape sentinel or pseudo-eidolon created from an entirely artificial thanogram.
First Age of Space: Period of slower-than-light colonisation by the Commonality beginning appx 10,000 years ago.
Fringe, The: Volume of Commonality Space integrated into the expanding Commonality since Rediscovery.
Fringe World: World outside the Core Worlds. May be a rediscovered or lost colony world, or a new Commonality world.
Frontier, The: Current extent of Expansion. The Frontier is being pushed outwards every year.
genotype: Genurgic grouping of sentient life forms; roughly corresponds to species.
genotype divergence: The amount by which a xenomorph diverges from its source animal stock towards the human.
genurgy: Programmed manipulation of the human genome and associated biomatrices to customise and enhance natural abilities.
gestalt controller: Individual responsible for the creation and manipulation of gestalt language.
gestalt language: Language of incrementally powerful and effective hyperwords and similar utterances; posthuman form of language.
gravity cannon: Beam weapon creating disruptive gravity wells causing explosions and structural integrity collapses.
gravity engines: Principle slower-than-light star drives used by the Commonality.
Great Diaspora: 5000 year period beginning 10,000 years ago when the Commonality sent out most of its slower-than-light colony expeditions.
halo: Virtual assembly of an individual’s enhancements powered by the Mindscape.
handshaking: Process of establishing direct Mindscape contact between individuals.
haze field: Low-powered force field. Personal and construct versions exist.
heliopause: AKA n/2 boundary. Edge of a star system where it’s safe to engage planing engines; closest safe point of emergence from 2-space.
HiTAT Assault Trooper: Special forces units deployed by the AFI.
hominid: Divergent genotype derived from human stock. Many rediscovered and lost colony world inhabitants are hominids.
Hooyow: AKA War Monsters; violent alien intelligence evolved in chlorine-based ecosystem. See Valhalla.
Hydragand: One half of the Hydragand-Dezimeer symbiotic pair; highly divergent hominid resembling a humanoid encased in a knobbly organic pressure suit.
hypertech: Advanced technology; generally refers to Commonality tech often subject to the embargo.
Human Space: Theoretical volume of space reached by humankind during the First Age of Space; a rough sphere some 20,000 light years in diameter, centred on Old Earth.
imposality: Virtuality in which DI is disengaged and the environment entirely controlled by the creator.
Installation: Large-scale synthetic sentience, usually in a construct such as a starship, building, metroplex, city, etc.
instrumentality: Administrative bodies constituting the executive branch of the Commonality government. Includes SCI Force, Space Force, the Armed Forces Instrumentality, etc.
ISI: Internal Security Instrumentality; the Commonality police.
Javawayn: Low-grav hominid species; originators of Javawayn Industries.
jump maximum: Maximum cumulative distance a planeship can travel through 2-space before requiring overhaul.
jump point: Point at which it’s safe to enter 2-space. Usually the heliopause.
lightjammer: Slower-than-light starship used by the alien Lowhigh.
lockout: AKA Mindscape exile; criminal barred from accessing the Mindscape.
lost colony: World settled by humankind during the Great Diaspora.
Lowhigh: AKA Listeners; spacefaring alien species communicating entirely via infrared.
makepoint: Mass-energy converter capable of synthesising food, elements, air, etc.
Manhome: Solar system of Old Earth.
manowar: Generic term for a Commonality warship.
Mechanical: Predominantly inorganic synthetic of roughly human scale.
mediator: Starship sentience specialising in coordinating fleet actions.
memetic engineer: Individual specialising in cultural manipulation.
memoplex, aka servitor gestalt: Exomemory aggregation providing common experiential background to specialist group.
mindburn: Mental attack using the Mindscape implant.
Mindjammer: Planeship dedicated to updating the Mindscape throughout the Commonality.
Mindjammer route: 2-space routes commonly used by the Mindjammer fleet; easy to travel for other planeships.
mindlink: Override of five primary senses by the Mindscape implant, allowing user to fully experience a virtuality or direct perception feed. A form of DI.
Mindscape: Virtual information storage and communications medium linking all Commonality citizens.
Mindscape ID: An individual’s unique Mindscape identifier.
Mindscape implant: Genurgic enhancement allowing an individual to neurally interface with the Mindscape.
Mindscape instance: Device containing a discrete instance / copy of the Mindscape, connected to via Mindscape implant. May be updated by Mindjammer; often portable.
monitor band: Carrier signal emitted by Mindscape implants.
monitor band cloak: Portable / wearable device suppressing the monitor band.
nanocells: Direct physical interface to equipment usually controlled by Mindscape.
neo-culture: Artificial culture world sponsored and created by the Commonality.
New Trader: Individual engaging in trade and commerce of dubious legality on the Fringe.
node: Major Mindscape instance, usually orbital or global.
n-space: Normal space, travelled through using gravity engines.
n/2 boundary: AKA jump point; distance from star at which it’s safe to enter or exit 2-space. Usually the heliopause.
null weapon: Weapon using coherent light. AKA laser.
octant: Unit of measurement of Commonality space; a cubic volume 100 light years a side.
organic: Strictly speaking a synthetic intelligence comprising mostly organic components; loosely, any organic life form.
Outer World: World currently beyond the Commonality Frontier.
Outremer: Region of the Rim Sector and one of the largest Successor States.
Pansectorate: Sector-level Commonality government comprising multiple ministries.
Planetary Intelligence: Transcendent alien intelligence emerging from the biosphere of the planet Chembu. The largest known single organism.
planeship: Starship capable of travelling through 2-space.
planing: Faster-than-light travel in 2-space.
planing engines: Starship drive capable of travelling through 2-space.
posthuman: Applied to divergent human-derived life forms which are exceeding human evolutionary limitations.
Predecessors: Mysterious alien species extant in Commonality Space c. 1 million years ago. Their fate is unknown.
privacy field: DI-related Mindscape lock which makes an individual uncontactable by Mindscape. It doesn’t cloak the monitor band.
province: Informal higher-level region of Commonality or Human Space; sector-sized or larger.
psionics: Natural field and quantum manipulation and communication abilities evinced by rare exofauna. Humankind appears incapable of psionics, even with genurgy.
psy-op: Clandestine cultural operation, usually undertaken as part of culture conflict or manipulation.
Pulse Dragon Phenomenon: Mysterious phenomenon causing destruction of any planeship dropping out of 2-space directly into the interstellar medium.
quarantine: Extreme form of the Commonality embargo, in which access to and from a world is forbidden or tightly controlled.
Quarantine Zone, aka Q-Zone: No Man’s Land between Commonality Space and the Venu Empire.
ray shielding: Basic shield for interplanetary craft protecting from cosmic rays and other radiation hazards. Provides little or no protection against attacks.
redaction: Advanced mental trauma therapy using the Mindscape implant to directly modify an individual’s memories and psychic configuration.
rediscovered world: Lost colony which has been recontacted by the Commonality.
Rediscovery: Process of recontacting lost colony worlds and integrating them into the Commonality civilisation.
SCI Force: Security and Cultural Integrity Instrumentality; part of Commonality government tasked with defending against culture conflict and contamination.
Second Age of Space: 200-year period of modern interstellar era dating from the beginning of Expansion.
sector: Large-scale measurement of Commonality and Human Space; a cubic volume 1000 light years a side.
sensorview: Using DI and Mindscape perception to view the actual world environment.
Sentient Alliance: Successor State of xenomorphs existing as a buffer with the Venu.
sentinel: Mindscape security routine protecting against intrusion, etc.
servitor gestalt: see memoplex.
skill chip: Mindscape enhancement augmenting an individual’s skills.
slowboat: aka slowship; a starship without planing engines travelling slower-than-light.
special operations chip: Modified Mindscape implant with the “safeties” taken off.
Stage Four Cultural Integrity: Cultural status quo of Commonality member worlds; actively policed by SCI Force for divergence.
Stage Three Acculturation: Modification of a world’s culture to be a culture world.
Stage Two Normalisation: Modification of a rediscovered world culture to bring it closer to the Commonality norm.
Stage One Contact: Initial contact with a lost colony world.
Stage Zero Interdiction and Manipulation: Evaluation and clandestine manipulation of a lost colony world.
star city: Extremely large space vessel travelling faster- or slower-than-light, often operated by Javawayn Industries.
starship: Spacefaring vessel.
starship therapy: Targeted form of redaction treating damaged starship sentiences.
stasis boat: starship life boat placing crewmembers in protective stasis.
subsector: Measurement unit of Commonality and Human Space; a cubic volume 200 light years a side.
Successor States: Buffer states between Commonality and Venu Space arising in the aftermath of the Venu War.
suspension matrix: Virtual disguise masking identity in the Mindscape.
synthetic: Artificial life form; see also installation, mechanical, organic.
tachyon distortion field, aka 2-space field: Protective torus which lifts a planeship from n-space into 2-space.
technopsi: Pseudo-psionic effects achievable via the Mindscape implant.
technurgy: Creation of virtual devices in the Mindscape.
Temple of Universal Mind: Basic Mindscape instance tailored for minimal culture shock on primitive rediscovered worlds.
Ten Thousand Worlds, The: Epithet for Commonality Space; in reality there are many more than 10,000 worlds.
Terragrond, The: Council of Custodians of Old Earth.
thanogram: Aggregation of exomemories thoughtcast by an individual, usually upon dying.
thanogram thoughtcast: Process of thoughtcasting a thanogram to the Mindscape.
thoughtcast: Process of uploading internally verbalised communications or memory engrams via Mindscape implant into the Mindscape.
3-space: Other-dimensional phenomenon permitting extremely rapid interstellar travel, covering 1 light year per 30 seconds, between fixed points at 3-space “far gates”.
tightbeam: Direct non-Mindscape communication using maser or other coherent beams; usually requires line of sight and limited by range.
torsion field projector: Cutting-edge Commonality starship weapon disrupting a target’s structural integrity.
transhuman: Divergent forms which humankind is evolving into as a result of genurgic enhancement, synthetic technologies, the Mindscape, and other augmentation.
Tsentair: Capital world of the Rim Sector.
2-space: Other-dimensional phenomenon allowing the warping of n-space to achieve faster-than-light speeds of approximately 3 light years per standard day.
Universal: AKA Unilingua or Galingua; language spoken by most citizens of the Commonality. Includes hyperlinguistic gestalt communication forms.
uplifter: Member of a culture artificially raised to a higher tech index by the Commonality.
variform: Capability of a genurgic or mechanical enhancement to dynamically reconfigure its physical form.
Venu, The: Human lost colony culture from the Orion cluster, deeply inimical to the Commonality.
Venu Empire: Xenophobic supremacist polity centred on the Venu homeworld of Psi Orionis.
Viri: Scholarly and logical hominid species native to the Rim Sector.
virtuality: Virtual Mindscape space; may be accessed by mindlink or other forms of DI.
virtual vision: Form of DI, enabling the Mindscape to be viewed as an “HUD overlay” over the user’s normal visual field.
xenomorph: Group of sentient species derived from uplifted terrestrial animals, initially for cheap labour. There are many xenomorph species, some more human-looking than others.
Xeno Wars, The: Conflicts between xenomorphs and non-xenomorphs on worlds of the nascent Successor States following the Stop-Start War.
zanthrium: Rare heavy transuranic element vital for the functioning of ZIP cells and planing engines.
ZIP cell: Zero-point energy cell, providing near-limitless power to equipment.
ZIP plant: Power plant for a large-scale construct such as a starship, space station, or city.
z-radiation: Radiation emitted by the torsion field in a ZIP cell; highly damaging to organic cells.