The Long Night
Aerostat: A habitat designed to ﬂoat like a balloon in a planet’s upper atmosphere.
AF: After the Fall (used for reference dating).
AGI: Artificial General Intelligence. An AI that has cognitive faculties comparable to that of a human or higher. Also known as “strong AI” (differentiating from more specialized “weak AI”). See also “seed AI.”
AI: Artificial Intelligence. Generally used to refer to weak AIs; i.e., AIs that do not encompass (or in some cases, are completely outside of) the full range of human cognitive abilities. AIs differ from AGIs in that they are usually specialized and/or intentionally crippled/limited.
Anarchist: Someone who believes government is unnecessary, that power corrupts, and that people should control their own lives through self-organized individual and collective action.
Arachnoid: A spider-like robotic synthmorph.
Argonauts: A faction of techno-progressive scientists that promote responsible and ethical use of technology.
AR: Augmented Reality. Information from the mesh (universal data network) that is overlaid on your real-world senses. AR data is usually entoptic (visual), but can also be audio, tactile, olfactory, kinesthetic (body awareness), emotional, or other types of input.
Async: A person with psi abilities.
AU: Astronomical unit. The distance between the Earth and the Sun, equal to 8.3 light minutes, or about 150 million kilometers.
Autonomists: The alliance of anarchists, Barsoomians, Extropians, scum, and Titanians.
Barsoomian: A rural Martian, typically resentful of hypercorp control.
Basilisk Hack: An image or other sensory input that affects the brain’s visual cortex and pattern recognition abilities in such a way as to cause a glitch and possibly exploit it and rewrite neural code.
Beehive: A microgravity habitat made from a tunneled-out asteroid or moon.
BF: Before the Fall (used for reference dating).
Bioconservative: An anti-technology movement that argues for strict regulation of nanofabrication, AI, uploading, forking, cognitive enhancements, and other disruptive technologies.
Biomorph: A biological body, whether a ﬂat, splicer, genetically engineered transhuman, or pod.
Body Bank: A service for leasing, selling, acquiring, or storing a morph. Aka dollhouse, morgue.
Bots: Robots. AI-piloted synthetic shells.
Bracewell Probe: A type of autonomous monitoring deep-space probe meant to make contact with alien civilizations.
Brinkers: Exiles who live on the fringes of the system, as well as other isolated and well-hidden nooks and crannies. Also called isolates, fringers, drifters.
Case: A cheap, common, mass-produced synthetic shell.
Chimeric: Transgenic, containing genetic traits from other species.
Circumjovian: Orbiting Jupiter.
Circumlunar: Orbiting the Moon.
Circumsolar: Orbiting the Sun.
Cislunar: Between the Earth and the Moon.
Clade: A species or group of organisms with common features. Used to refer to transhuman subspecies and morph types.
Cole Bubble: A habitat made from a hollowed-out asteroid or moon, spun for gravity.
Cornucopia Machine: A general-purpose nanofabricator.
Cortical Stack: An implanted memory cell used for ego backup. Located where the spine meets the skull; can be cut out.
Cyberbrain: An artificial brain, housing an ego. Used in both synthmorphs and pods.
Darkcast: Illegal and black market farcasting and egocasting services.
Domain Rules: The rules that govern the reality of a virtual reality simulspace.
Drone: A robot controlled through teleoperation (rather than directly via onboard AI).
Ecto: Personal mesh devices that are ﬂexible, stretchable, self-cleaning, translucent, and solar-powered. From ecto-link (external link).
Ego: The part of you that switches from body to body. Also known as ghost, soul, essence, spirit, persona.
Egocasting: Term for sending egos via farcasting.
Entoptics: Augmented-reality images that you “see” in your head. (“Entoptic” means “within the eye.”)
ETI: Extraterrestial intelligence. The term Firewall uses to refer to the god-like post-singularity alien intelligence theorized to be responsible for the Exsurgent virus.
Exalts: Genetically-enhanced humans (between geneﬁxed and transhumans). Aka genefreaks, the ascended, the elevated.
Exoplanet: A planet in another solar system.
Exsurgent: Someone infected by the Exsurgent virus.
Exsurgent Virus: The multi-vector virus created by an unknown ETI and seeded throughout the galaxy in Bracewell probes. The Exsurgent virus is self-morphing and can infect both computer systems and biological creatures.
Extrasolar: Outside the solar system.
Factors: The alien ambassadorial race that deals with transhumanity. Also called Brokers.
The Fall: The apocalypse; the singularity and wars that nearly brought about the downfall of transhumanity.
Farcasting: Intrasolar communication utilizing classical communication technologies (radio, laser, etc.) and quantum telecommunication.
Farhauler: Long distance space shipper.
Firewall: The secret cross-faction conspiracy that works to protect transhumanity from “existential threats” (risks to transhumanity’s continued existence).
Flatlander: Someone born or used to living on a planet or moon with gravity.
Flats: Baseline humans (not genetically modified). Also called norms.
Flexbot: A shape-changing synthmorph also capable of joining together with other ﬂexbots in a modular fashion to create larger shapes.
Forking: Copying an ego. Not all forks are full copies. AKA backups.
Fury: A transhuman combat morph.
Gatecrashers: Explorers who take their chances using a Pandora gate to go somewhere previously unexplored.
Genehacker: Someone who manipulates genetic code to create genetic modifications or even new life.
Ghost: A transhuman combat morph optimized for stealth and inﬁltration.
Ghost-riding: The act of carrying an infomorph in a special implant module inside your head.
Greeks: Trojan asteroids or moons that share the same orbit as a larger planet or moon, but are 60 degrees ahead in the orbit at the L4 Lagrange point. The term Greeks normally refers to the asteroids orbiting around Jupiter’s L4 point. See also “Trojans.”
Habtech: A habitat technician.
Heliopause: The point where pressure from the solar wind balances with the interstellar medium (about 100 AU out).
Hibernoid: A transhuman modified for hibernation, for extensive travel in space.
Iceteroid: An asteroid made from mostly ice rather than rock or metals.
Iktomi: The name given to the mysterious alien race whose relics have been found beyond the Pandora Gates.
Indentures: Indentured servants who have contracted their labor to a hypercorp or other authority, usually in exchange for a morph.
Infolife: Artificial general intelligences and seed AIs.
Infomorph: A digitized ego; a virtual body. Also known as datamorphs, uploads, backups.
Infugee: “Infomorph refugee,” or someone who left everything behind on Earth during the Fall—even their own body.
Isolates: Those who live in isolated communities far outside the system (in the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud); aka outsters, fringers
Jamming: The act of “becoming” a teleoperated drone thanks to XP technology. Also sometimes applied to accessing the real-time XP feed from lifeloggers and others.
Kuiper Belt: A region of space extending from Neptune’s orbit out to about 55 AU, lightly populated with asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets.
Lagrange Point: One of ﬁve areas in respect to a small planetary body orbiting a larger one in which the gravitational forces of those two bodies are neutralized. Lagrange points are considered stable and ideal locations for habitats.
Lifelog: A recording of one’s entire life experience, made possible due to near unlimited computer memory.
Lost Generation: In an effort to repopulate post-Fall, a generation of children were reared using forced-growth methods. The results were disastrous: many died or went insane, and the rest were stigmatized.
Main Belt: The main asteroid belt, a torus ring orbiting between Mars and Jupiter.
Meme: A viral idea.
Mentons: Transhumans optimized for mental and cognitive ability.
Mercurials: The non-human sentient elements of the transhuman “family,” including AGIs and uplifted animals.
Mesh: The omnipresent wireless mesh data network. Also used as a verb (to mesh) and adjective (meshed or unmeshed).
Mesh ID: The unique signature attached to one’s mesh activity.
Microgravity: Zero-g or near weightless environments.
Mist: The clouds of AR data that sometimes fog up your perception/displays.
Morph: A physical body. Aka suit, jacket, sleeve, shell, form.
Muse: Personal AI helper programs.
Nanobot: A nano-scale machine.
Nano-ecology: Pro-tech ecological movement.
Nanoswarm: A mass of tiny nanobots unleashed into an environment.
Neo-Avians: Uplifted ravens and gray parrots.
Neogenesis: The creation of new life forms via genetic manipulation and biotechnology.
Neo-Hominids: Uplifted chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans.
Neotenics: Transhumans modified to retain a child-like form.
Novacrab: A pod created from genetically-engineered spider crab stock.
Olympian: A transhuman biomorph modified for athleticism and endurance.
O’Neill Cylinder: A soda-can shaped habitat, spun for gravity.
Oort Cloud: The spherical “cloud” of comets that surrounds the solar system out to about one light-year from the sun.
PAN: Personal area network. The network created when you slave all of your minor personal electronics to your ecto or mesh inserts.
Pandora Gates: The wormhole gateways left behind by the TITANs.
Ping: To send positive feedback to one or more rep networks in reference to someone.
Pods: Mixed biological-synthetic morphs. Pod clones are force-grown and feature computer brains. Also known as bio-bots, skinjobs, replicants. From “pod people.”
Pong: To send negative feedback to one or more rep networks in reference to someone.
Posthuman: A human or transhuman individual or species that has been genetically or cognitively modified so extensively as to no longer be human (a step beyond transhuman). Aka parahuman.
Prometheans: A group of transhuman-friendly seed AIs that were created by the Lifeboat Project (precursors to the argonauts) years before the TITANs became self-aware and that (mostly) avoided Exsurgent infection. The Prometheans secretly back Firewall and work to defeat existential threats.
Proxies: Members of the Firewall internal structure.
Psi: Parapsychological powers acquired due to infection by the Watts-MacLeod strain of Exsurgent virus.
Reaper: A warbot synthmorph.
Reclaimers: A transhuman faction that seeks to lift the interdiction and reclaim Earth.
Redneck: A rural Martian. See Barsoomian. Aka Reds.
Reinstantiated: Refugees from Earth who escaped only as bodiless infomorphs, but who have since been resleeved.
Resleeving: Changing bodies, or being downloaded into a new one. Also called remorphing, reincarnation, shifting, rebirthing.
Rusters: Biomorphs optimized for life on Mars.
Scorching: Hostile programs that can damage or affect cyberbrains.
Scum: The nomadic faction of space punks/gypsies that travel from station to station in heavily-modiﬁed barges or swarms of ships. Notorious for being a roving black market.
Seed AI: An AGI that is capable of recursive self-improvement, allowing it to reach god-like levels of intelligence.
Sentinels: Agents of Firewall.
Shell: A synthetic physical morph. Aka synthmorph.
Simulmorph: The avatar you use in VR simulspace programs.
Simulspace: Full-immersion virtual reality environments.
Singularity: A point of rapid, exponential, and recursive technological progress, beyond which the future becomes impossible to predict. Often used to refer to the ascension of seed AI to god-like levels of intelligence.
Singularity Seeker: People who pursue relics and evidence of the TITANs or other possible avenues to super-intelligence, either to learn more about it or to become part of a super-intelligence themselves.
Skin: A biological physical morph. Aka meat, flesh.
Skinning: Changing your perceived environment via augmented reality programming.
Sleight: A psi power.
Slitheroid: A snake-like robotic synthmorph.
Smart Animals: Partially-uplifted animal species (including dogs, cats, rats, and pigs). Some other large smart animals (whales, elephants) are nearly extinct.
Spime: Meshed, self-aware, location-aware devices.
Splicers: Humans that are genetically modified to eliminate genetic diseases and some other traits. Also known as geneﬁxed, cleangenes, tweaks.
Swarmanoid: A synthetic morph composed from a swarm of tiny insect-sized robots.
Sylphs: Transhuman biomorphs with exotic good looks.
Synthmorph: Synthetic morphs. Robotic shells possessed by transhuman egos.
Synths: A speciﬁc type of synthmorph. Synths are standard androids/gynoids; robots that are designed to look humanoid, though they are usually noticeably not human.
Teleoperation: Remote control.
Titanian: Someone from Titan, a moon of Saturn.
TITANs: The human-created, recursively-improving, military seed AIs that underwent a hard-takeoff singularity and prompted the Fall. Original military designation was TITAN: Total Information Tactical Awareness Network.
Torus: A donut-shaped habitat, spun for gravity.
Transgenic: Containing genetic traits from other species.
Transhuman: An extensively modified human.
Trojans: Asteroids or moons that share the same orbit as a larger planet or moon, but follow about 60 degrees ahead or behind at the L4 and L5 Lagrange points. The term Trojans normally refers to the asteroids orbiting at Jupiter’s Lagrange points, but Mars, Saturn, Neptune, and other bodies also have Trojans. See also “Greeks.”
Uplifting: Genetically transforming an animal species to sapience.
Vacworker: Space laborer.
Vapor: A failed mind emulation or crippled fork/infomorph (from vaporware).
VPNs: Virtual private networks. Networks that operate within the mesh, usually encrypted for privacy/security.
VR: Virtual Reality. Imposing an artificially-constructed hyper-real reality over one’s physical senses.
X-Caster: Someone who transmits/sells XP recordings of their experiences.
Xenomorph: Alien life form.
Xer: As in “X-er”—someone who is addicted or obsessed with XP. Sometime used to refer to people making XP as well.
XP: Experience Playback. Experiencing someone else’s sensory input (in real-time or recorded). Also called experia, sim, simsense, playback.
X-Risk: Existential risk. Something that threatens the very existence of transhumanity.
Zeroes: People without wireless mesh access. Common with some indentures.