Future Zero: Encyclopedia Galactica, Common Edition

By Iktomi

This is a compilation of several terms you may be unfamiliar with. For my own interest, I shall present whatever I feel you are ready for, baseline. You require upgrading, so I'll start with your vocabulary. Pardon my arrogance, but I will try to keep this on your level.

-Baseline-That's you, moron. Basic homo sapiens. No implants or alterations. Only limited to a few Solarian preserves and a handful of regions in the Terran Sphere.

-Nearbaseline- The majority of Terran sapients (thinking beings) outside of the Sol System. Most are mentally and physically close to baselines. Superficially, they often are baselines, including some with 'add ons,' such as obvious cybernetics. A catch-all term for humans who have been modified with biotech, cybernetics, and/or nanotech. A nearbaseline can range from an "average" person with a nanotech implant or two, to a guy who put his brain into a robot.

-Terran Sphere- Space settled by Earth and Sol System efforts.

-Solarian Federation-Politicial entity comprising the Sol System and several remote star systems. Largely a Post-Singular civilization, dominated by archais. Most powerful group in Terran Sphere.

-Archai- The "smartest" entity int the known universe. An AI or uploaded mind with effectively exponential processing power, often equivalent to if the mass of an entire planet had been converted to computing material. Interaction between them and nearbaselines is effectively meaningless. The difference in sapience between an archai and an average nearbaseline is a billion times the difference of the mental power of a human and an amoeba.

-Singularity-A period of exponential technological growth. After Sol had sent out its colony ships in the Settlement Period, it experienced one. Since then, none of your civilizations have gotten the story right. (Note DO NOT confuse with 'singularity engine.')

-Singularity Engine- A Solarian invention. Most nearbaseline spacecraft use fusion. We use singularity drives, which harness tamed mini-black holes for power, matter, and energy. Hawking radiation is used to create matter and energy, and the remaining antiparticle feed back in. It may seem like perpetual motion, but actually falls under one area of GUT that's more a "gray area."

-GUT-Grand Unified Theory. The latest and greast advanced in physics. Sadly most nearbaselines cannot comprehend it fully without years of study. Most are content to use it without knowing it. There's still a few "gray areas" that have been exploited. Singularity engines and acausal computers are two such technologies.

-Settlement Period- The last notable action in recorded history before the Singularity (or at least, the Singularity kicked into overdrive). The nations on Earth shot off a bunch of colony ships full of gene banks, uploaded minds, and automated equipment for terraforming. Centuries later, all the nearbaseline civilizations of the Terran Sphere arose, and we Solarians had turned into something too strange for most of you.

-SOTA-Common slang for "State of the Art." Like Solarian technology.

-Alife-Artifical life consisting of von Neumann machines and self replicating robots. Sometimes, they can form 'ecologies' where biology does not, such as a case where self replicating mining probes formed an 'ecosystem' on a remote moon.

-Nanocolony-A type of alife consisting of someone made of nanobots. Can normally change shape easily.

-Cybrid-A nearbaseline consisting of both organic upgrades and mechanical implants.

-Weapons-The most common weapons are slugthrowers (chemical and magnetic) and lasers. The most common type of laser is an electrolaser, which ionizes the air and allows the beam to make contact. As any soldier knows, lasers are invisible to the organic eye since they're outside the baseline visible range. Most slugthrowers use 'smart ammo,' a blob of nanopaste that can change into several different ammo types based on user selections.

-Orbital Insertation-Landing forces from orbit.

-Thermoptic Camouflage- A type of active camo that projects the images scene behind it to create the illusion of transparency. Often combined with other forms of camo to ensure near-invisibility from infrared and other types of sensors.

-Nanopaste-A simple type of feedstock used for nanotech, often found in the field and grown into whatever's needed. Most people have a nanofabber in their homes, and download schematics for items they need. Most goods can be reduced to this for the ultimate in recycling.

-Nanofabber-A device that converts nanopaste into finished products. Can make anything from weapons to consumer goods to emergency rations. Self-explanatory.

-Picotech-The next step below nanotech, about a thousand times smaller. Too bad you haven't gotten here yet.

-Femtotech-A thousand times smaller than picotech. The best Solarians have done, and we're not done yet. Our next project is attotech, which is a thousand times smaller than that.

-Sub-brane-A mini-universe created by a specialized quantum computer connected to a singularity engine. Most archais move their actual 'processing parts' to a sub-brane. Think of it like a basement universe where all the gritty infrastructure for an archai is.

-U-fog-Also known as utility fog. A type of swarm of nanobots able to build and dissemble objects at will. If it goes 'feral' sometimes becomes known as 'FENs,' or Flesh Eating Nanobots (regardless if it actually eats flesh or not). Believed to be derived from a joke.

-Infomorph-An AI, archai, or uploaded mind. Generally something that exists as net-life rather than in a physical form. The proper pronouns are "ei" and "eir."

-Acausal Computing-A method of calculation involving EPR paradox and quantum computing. A particle receives instructions from itself several picoseconds in the future. While this is largely insignificant, it allows for very interesting computing structure. This is used to make wormholes, the preferred method of interstellar travel. It also allows instant communications across the Terran Sphere.

-Ensemble-A group of "lesser" minds used instead of a single supermind. The current dominant AI programming structure in the nearbaseline colonies.

-Extropic Nanosocialism-The current dominant economic model. Public nanoassemblers produce the basic goods and implants for all citizens, but few private assemblers exist. Individuals, however, are allowed to do whatever they desire, provided it does not harm another sapient (whether physical sapient or infomorph). Additional implants and enhancements normally cost money directly. A post-scarcity economic model.

-Mindkind-A term used to refer to all sapients, from organics to cyborgs to infomorphs.

-Provolve-An animal uplifted to sapience (often around baseline human level) by gengineering and splicing, and evolved along a theoretical path. The Saurians, for instance, are provolved "lizard-men" made by the Solarians. Common with primates and cetaceans.

-Archology-A self contained, self-sufficient city. Often placed on unterraformed worlds. The first were built partially underground to prevent strikes from meteors and space debris.

-Terraforming-Making a world into an Earthlike world. Takes a century or two often.

-Symbiote/Symbiont-A member of the Tau Ceti Symbiotry. A type of nearbaseline, combining a baseline human with neural implants and an AI of equivalent computing power. Each "Symbiote" is two minds in one body, thinking as one. In the Symbiotry, its extremely strange considering the "hu" and "ai" components separately.

-Daedalans-An ancient race that seemed to inhabit a few worlds in the Terran Sphere. Their artifacts suggest the presence of a post-singular civilization with some degree of acausal technologies.

-Centauri Republic-A corporate nearbaseline republic in Alpha Centauri, colonized by Europe, North America, and Pacific nations. Each citizen is born with a bit of company stock and is given the rights of a shareholder, and is free to acquire more value by working more, or selling it to leave. All shareholders are given basic necessities of life, due to the post-scarcity and nanotech based economy. The Centauri credit is the most widely spread currency in the Terran Sphere.

-Memetics-The science of identifying, crossing, and manipulating ideas. You won't know what anyone 'really thinks' if you can manipulate ideology and beliefs like clay. Often used in Centauri advertisements.

-Shenzhou Combine-A nearbaseline techno-meritocratic oligarchy. Colonized by the old Earth nations of China and Russia. They have the Security Bureau as their elite law enforcement and asymmetric warfare group.

-EASE-Environmental Assault-Survival-Evasion. The ancient and evolving system for close combat, evasion, and movement in dangerous situations. Developing this greatly improved baseline and nearbaseline combat tactics.

-Saurian Hegemony-A political entity born out of a Solarian genetic and social experiment. Mainly inhabited by nearbaselines of "reptilian" appearance.

-Holy Moabite Empire-An Abrahamic technotheocratic empire. Believed to be the result of a colonial ship having its database of uploaded minds infested with a radical religion (known as Reubenism) before launch. The state religion is a combination of the major Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and some other religious elements. Currently lead by High Priest Abraham VII. The bulk of the population is brainwashed into a religious-hive mind, while the priestly caste retains a certain amount of free will. Recently acquired advanced technology and weapons from an unknown source. Their use of memetics to infect converts is also worrisome.

-Order of Saint Bressian-An especially feared order of warrior-cyborgs under the banner of Moab. They dress in white robes and hoods, often preferring to brutally rape, kill, and cannibalize victims (in that order, if you're especially lucky). Often prefer random raids on "infidel" territory, which includes everyone else in the Terran Sphere (and anyone they'd find outside it).

-Wayland Republic-A small settlement on a system near the edge of the Moabite Empire. A secular republic settlement lead by a war-veteran President. Inhabited by several refugees from Moab, which often causes Moab to try invading. It is of note that Wayland has an excellent military for being such a small colony.