air builders: Machinery used on Mars to convert complex mass into a breathable air mixture. Because of the high content of oxidized iron in the native soil, the cast off rock from tunnel construction was the primary fuel for air builders, though a great deal of man-made refuse was also used.

atmospeakers: A sound broadcasting system that uses the air itself to act as speakers.

attosecond: one quintillionth of a second.

1,000,000,000,000,000,000 attoseconds = 1 second.

au - Astronomical Unit. The mean distance of the Earth from the Sun. Our solar system (Sol) is roughly 80 au in diameter.

Equivalency Scale

1 au = 93,000,000± miles =

150,000,000± kilometers = 8± light minutes


ball chaser: A ship driven by a manmade singularity (black hole) just ahead of the bows. Maintained inside a subspace field that altered real space physics, the singularity could pull the ship over vast distances through the void of space. The image of a ship chasing after a solid black sphere was quite vivid and the phrase "chasing the ball" became part of the vernacular when first uttered by Mahlon Stewart, Chief Engineer of the Horizon, the first manned faster than light ship.

First and second generation ball chasers were capable of FTL speeds ranging from FTL 11.2 to FTL 200, with speeds between FTL 30-100 being safe cruising speeds. Further refinements in generating and controlling the singularity, including the blending of the subspace field and the McDonald phase technology, continued well into the 33rd century, and eventually ball chasers had top speeds exceeding FTL 106. (Though due to uncontrollable gravity feedback that warped time that had already occurred (see: Woldheim Effect), speeds greater than FTL 50,000 were for intergalactic travel only.)

Technology was being developed to mate singularities, creating worm holes, in the early 29th century, but was abandoned after extensive warnings by the puterverse being Efwon. (It was unfortunately an ignoring of this warning by Greerie Honwithal that ultimately cost the Earth its existence in the year 3353.)

With the invention of the compressed plane insertion drive in 3098, ball chasers became the perfect exploration/patrol ship, able to maneuver within systems and planet atmospheres as well as jump incredible distances across star systems and even galaxies. Since by definition a ball chaser could never enter the puterverse other than as inert mass, (the compression of dimensions by the singularity precluded its existence in a reality that already compressed three of the four primary dimensions onto a single axis) they could never perform instantaneous travel. But since an initial port was required to travel to a point in the puterverse, ball chasers remained an essential technology until the 35th century, when this by then venerable technology was replaced by neural mass folding.

Baileys Corner University (BCU): Earth’s premier astrophysical/navigational/engineering university, second in the system to only to Mars’ MCU. Located in New Jersey, BCU was founded in 2042, during the colonization boom of the mid 21st Century. After the invention of the singularity drive and because of its initials, the school is commonly known as Ball Chasers U.

The Bombala Mines Fast Draw: One of many Martian westerns written by the prolific Martian author, H. K. Devonshire (b.24/21/05 MD d.6/11/59 MD). This novel is the first in a long series that featured Roids Cavanaugh, a fictional, tough-as-nails hero that captured the hearts and imaginations of countless generations of readers with his exciting adventures as a Martian Territorial Ranger, out to tame the Martian badlands and mining towns of the late 21st Century.

Popular throughout the solar system, Devonshire published his novels on Earth under the pseudonym Peter W. Prellwitz.






Debra Kennedy Spaceport: Located in New York City, it was named for the famous hockey player, the first woman to play for the New York Rangers (2125-2146) and who, in 2131, scored an unprecedented 112 goals and 79 assists in a single season; a record that has never been matched by anyone in the PHL (Planetary Hockey League). Her 21 years of league play with the Rangers, 1229 career goals, 1983 assists and five streaks of 200 or more consecutive games played earned her a place on the coveted Gretsky tier in the PHL Hall of Fame.

The spaceport itself has a unique history in that it was named after members of the same family for over three centuries, dating back to the original John F. Kennedy airport of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Debra was the fourth Kennedy to be so honored as well as the last. The port was renamed a fifth and final time to Kennedy in the year 2350, and remained that way until the first Terran/Martian War, when The Rock obliterated it, the city, and over 125,000 square kilometers in 2373.

As an added note, Kennedy had been located beside the Gateway National Recreational Area, but the area from there to 12 kilometers south of Coney Island was filled in during the Great Land Reclamation Project of 2074 - 2121.

duranium: An extremely dense metal that is used in the place of planed energy to act as a shield.

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eledisc: Antigravity disc used as an elevator


"flat as an omega": A vulgar phrase used by many merchant marine to indicate the flatness of an object. Female omega pleasure ripes, the lowest and basest form of pleasure ripe - little more than wild animals - often had sleek builds and very small busts.

Freak: Frequency hunter missiles. Used most commonly by NATech prior to the 28th Century, they were small, tenacious and deadly. Zeroing in on puterverse access signals, they would relentlessly seek out and destroy the source of the signal. While their light weight and highly potent warhead made them an ideal single man weapon, without a signal to lock on, a freak became a very dicey proposition since it had no other guidance systems.

FTL: Faster Than Light

FTL ###: FTL speed of a ball-chaser. FTL 40, for example, is forty times the speed of light.

Hyperidor ships (2263- ) indicate speed by placing the velocity before the indicator (ex: 200 FTL). First through third generation hyperidor ships speed range was 30 FTL to 1000 FTL, with 35 FTL to 650 FTL being the norm. Fourth generation hyperidor ships, developed in the mid 28th century were the last of their breed and could reach speeds of 108 FTL. However, in the year 2981, Unlimited Mass Transgates (see UMT) were perfected, and the puterverse became the sole mode of transportation to established ports.


glassmac: the replacement of tarmac, this substance is composed almost entirely of glass melted by plasma and gives a dull sheen. Stronger than either tarmac or concrete, it is used on nearly all roads and paved surfaces in the world.

glowbs: A common light source used whenever portable illumination is needed. In it's most basic form, they are small spheres - normally between five and ten centimeters in diameter - that do nothing except radiate light. Created by the Pisces race for illuminating rooms only partially filled with water, today glowb variations are endless, including movement sensing, color judgment and even hovering. With the advent of Pentrinsic code and the creation of the Haven spell, which "magically" creates a similar light source, glowbs have fallen off in popularity, though they still remain ubiquitous throughout the galaxy, especially Earth, where Pentrinsic code is not possible.

Groundfather: The person who created/founded the Pisces race. 

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hoboken: slang Derived from the Hoboken Junkyard, it means "space debris" or "space junk". Although the term has obvious derogatory connotations, it can also be used as a friendly insult.

Hoboken Junkyard: A large area of space debris lying 330 au outside the orbit of Pluto. (RA: 14h30m-17h30m Dec: 15º to -30º). Filling over 27 million au (300au³), and growing, the Junkyard is the result of the implosion -explosion of the unmanned ball chaser Hoboken, in the year 2245. Without supervision, the onboard systems were unable to compensate when hit on the starboard flank by an errant asteroid while still in the solar system. When the Hoboken generated a ball, it was immediately sucked into the artificial black hole and destroyed. Still not at a self sustaining mass, the black hole disintegrated when the subspace field holding it together vanished, and the resulting explosion created the Junkyard.

As a result of the disaster, every ball chaser must maintain a crew. As of the 35th century, less than one ship per century has been destroyed by "catching the ball".

holosign: a sign made of charged air that created a 3D image within a powered field by bending light rays.

holosters:  holographic posters

holoized: replacement of the word "televised". Commercial, non puterverse broadcasts are holograms.

Homo magicus:  An offshoot of the human race which has the innate ability to use Pentrinsic code. (See Pentrinsic.) The code, which utilizes reality as its operating platform, is often referred to as magic, hence the designation. All homo Magicus people - called Marks, after their founder, Kerri Marks - live in both reality and ireality simultaneously, and are able to use Pentrinsic code almost from birth. All Marks people also have an inherent ability with mathematics. A six year old Marks child can easily perform mathematical calculations far beyond any of their human cousins.

Ostracized from human space for fear of their seemingly god-like powers, the homo Magicus race has retired to the distant Centaur System, some 6,500 light years from Earth. They are most reviled by Earth society, where pentrinsic code is impossible. Terrans refer to them as "Cheats". It is most unfortunate that mankind feels this way about the race, since as a race, they use their incredible abilities only for defense and the well-being of others. It is rumored that they are incapable of hostile coding, though their founder used her inborn magic with devastating effect during the Six Planets Wars (2965 - 3006 AD).

As racial traits, the Marks people are small; none are taller than one and a half meters. They have ultra-fine blonde which both genders wear long. Most notably, they have eyes that are completely black - obsidian even - and dotted with deep, brilliant blue flecks. Although physically they look similar to human adolescents, the race is extremely long lived. How long is unknown. As of this writing, no Marks has died of old age.

Homo marinas: Known without exception as Pisces, the Homo marinas people are an amphibious race who began as normal humans. An unknown organization created the race in the mid 21st century by altering the physiological makeup of a group of volunteers. The alterations were made at the DNA level and affected all cells in the body. The changes were therefore passed to their children, thus creating the Pisces race. (The Pisces never married outside their race for fear genetic incompatibilities would doom the children or grandchildren of such a mixed marriage *)

It is rumored the Pisces not only know the name of that organization, but the founder of their race as well, and refer to him as the Groundfather. This information has never been made public.

* That does not mean there weren’t exceptions, however. In the entire span of the Pisces viable existence (2047?? - 2373), there were only sixteen known offspring of a Pisces/Human union, and one grandchild - a girl by the name of Deborah Mariner. Her life is chronicled in the novel Grandfather’s Quest by Peter W. Prellwitz. Several of the other sixteen offspring are noted in various Shards Universe stories and novels.

hov (hovship): A hovercraft that floats on a field of antigravity and is propelled by ion engines. From their basic introduction in the late 21st Century, until the late 25th Century, industrial behemoth Harting Enterprises was the prime manufacturer of hovs.


i: (an italicized, lower case i) the square root of negative one. n its most basic formula then,

 i  x  i  =  -1

An imaginary number, i is nonetheless critical to prove physical laws and mathematical proofs as we understand them in today's perception of reality. The reciprocal of these proofs in turn prove the existence of this imaginary number.

It is the inherent ability to visualize i that makes a Marks person (see: Homo magicus) able to use pentrinsic code with little difficulty and to great effect.

ireality: A reality that resides within spectral reality that is accessible only by a member of the homo Magicus race. Little is known about this reality save that when brought into spectral reality by the use of pentrinsic code, spectral reality can be altered without regard to established physical laws.

ITA: 1.) Intraplanetary Transit Authority: Founded in 2030 in anticipation of increased space travel to Mars, the ITA agency was responsible for all spacecraft including military. The name was changed to Interplanetary Transit Authority in 2243, when it became responsible for Earth's first interstellar fleet: Twenty-four first generation ball chasers.

As Earth's space traffic grew, so did the power of ITA. Outside the scope of this glossary, ITA's activities included all aspects of mankind's exploration of the galaxy until its dissolution in 2685.

2.) Itinerant Teachers Association: Founded in 2771 on the planet of Coda, the ITA pooled the teaching resources of multiple planets into a loose association that sought to share ideas, knowledge and cultures by allowing member societies access to the thousands of teachers in the ITA. Using the puterverse and ITA, new colonies still had access to highly qualified instructors at every level of education. Remote planets could enjoy the closeness of a myriad of other cultures through the ITA. Eventually, the pattern set by the ITA became universal and still exists to this day.

izer:  A polarized fastener that replaced the zipper. When closed, the seam disappears completely. ized: (v) to close an izer.





kps: kilometers per second. The common speed measurement for fusion and ion drive engines. Though capable of reaching one-twentieth the speed of light (15,000 kps), fusion engines operated most efficiently under 5,000 kps. Due to heavy traffic between Mars and Earth, maximum legal speeds were severely curtailed. Alpha restricted lanes allowed non-wartime maximum speeds of 2,500 kps. Standard traffic lanes were limited to 750 kps. Hoboken lanes had a maximum of 250 kps. In many cases, the maximum speed was academic; the majority of ships, especially the older freighters, were incapable of attaining speeds above 500 kps.

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layered, reinforced iron: A process used in early orbital stations - most notably Mars' Bearden and Armstrong stations - that applied iron in layers for the purpose of radiation shielding. Between each micro thin layer is a honeycombed air pocket that reflects radiation from its normal path, deflecting it to an emitter array that can collect the radiation and use it as a power source. The solution was considered stop-gap even when first created, but somehow managed to faithfully serve both station's needs until their destruction in the Terran/Martian Wars.


Martian Iron Rush: The single most important event on Mars (besides its total destruction in 181 MD), the Martian Iron Rush pushed the Red Planet from minor colony status to that of near equal to the Earth.

The Rush is a 25 year boom period that extended from 6 - 31 MD (2060 - 2106 AD) and was started with the discovery of high grade iron ore along the northeast rim of the Hellas Impact Basin. In quick succession, other rich deposits of iron and titanium were discovered all over the planet. Mars’ colony, which to that point had consisted of one city - Enla (New Los Angeles) - and a handful of scientific outposts, boomed. The population of Mars in the year 5 (2058 AD) was 32,612. By the year 9 (2065 AD), the population exceeded a half million. Keeping the planetary government in Enla, the rougher element founded and settled the city of Vermilion (founded 6 MD [2060 AD]), located near the original mother load.

Threatening to taper off in 12 MD (2071 AD) the boom was re-ignited when a process to refine titanium so that it became transparent was developed by K. Arthur Heskel, a Martian, and aligned titanium was born. Attempts to recreate the process off Mars failed and the boom got its second wind, iron tagging along because of perceived superior qualities over Terran iron.

A third, smaller boom occurred in 27 MD (2099 AD) when Hollow Stump Industries announced and made good on a technique to flawlessly cut, seal and pressurize tunnels. While this newer, safer, method of creating living area on Mars again fueled the boom, it also doomed it. With the arrival of safe homes came the homesteaders, businesses and other amenities of civilization that allowed Mars’ society to take the next step forward and leave behind a raucous period of legend and history.

The impact of the Martian Iron Rush on human civilization has been much discussed and debated in the universities, homes and taverns around the galaxy for centuries. That the economic importance was major is not debated. Having a planet with such rich iron and titanium ore, yet such a low gravity relative to Earth, greatly accelerated space colonization. The cost of mining, refining and transporting finished product to space dock was so low as to be almost laughable.

More popular for debate, discussion and occasional fisticuffs is the social impact the Iron Rush had on humankind. The Martian society was so closely matched to that of the American West of the mid to late 1800’s as to seem almost eerie. So too was the romanticism attached to the period. It was a wild time of fortunes made and lost, killings that went unsolved due to indifference, of individual achievements of compelling heroics or profound infamy. A person’s word counted more than a signed document, and matters of justice were settled abruptly, with little option for appeal.

To be sure, the ultimate fate of Martian society also played a major role in the colonization of other star systems. Without the horror of the Terran/Martian Wars, it is quite likely that Earth would have remained an overpopulated planet, constantly repairing its internal workings instead of spreading outward to the stars. But while the Wars may have provided incentive for rapid colonization, it was the enshrined and gilded myths of the Martian Iron Rush - and the dream to recapture their spirit - that provided the zeal.

MCU: Martian Colonies University, located in Enla. Founded in 2057, it is a three year university, known for its engineering, astrophysical, and medical curriculums.





onedee: Derogatory term, short for "one dimensional". Onedee people stereotypically had prejudiced one-track minds that could not be changed.

Linguists have speculated that the term might be derived from the English word "undies", slang for underwear, because the definition - a prejudiced one-track mind that needs to be changed - is very applicable to the word. (There are further, more graphic analogies to the stench that each orifice exudes, but that discussion is a digression and outside the scope of this glossary.)

Regardless of origin, onedee is never taken as a compliment, nor is it ever used in idle insulting between friends. The island state of Iceland has made its utterance punishable by severe penalties up to and including death - Trevor McClelland being the last to suffer that fate in 2246* - but again, further pursuance of this tangent is irrelevant.

* Accounts vary as to whether McClelland’s death was an actual carrying out of public sentence or just a result of his involvement with Angie Foster Petersen on that fateful night. The tale’s dark humor makes it a subject of great interest, and there are over two hundred separate renderings of the night’s events. The most reliable (and vivid) account of the swindle - including little known details surrounding the pig itself - are given in the historical work, Hovercraft and Other Things: Petersen’s Porcine Pilot by Peter W. Prellwitz.

opposition: The point where a superior planet - a planet with an orbit outside the reference planet - is opposite the Sun relative to the surface of the an inferior conjunction, with Mars, the Earth and interior planet. This also marks the shortest distance between the two planets.

From a Martian viewpoint, this alignment would be called the Sun lined up, the Earth being between Mars and the Sun. (A superior conjunction would place the Sun between Earth and Mars, and mark the greatest distance between the two planets.) All space travel references within the Sol system are Terran-centric, however, so opposition is the correct term.

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Pentrinsic code: Otherwise known as "magic", pentrinsic code is a programming language that uses reality as its platform. Implementing zeros, ones, two, threes, and fives, pentrinsic code is powerful beyond understanding by Homo sapiens.

Although anyone can theoretically use (or "cast") pentrinsic code, it is the homo Magicus race that are its true users. According to their proofs, the code is used to bind not one but two realities together; Reality (called "Spectral Reality") and ireality (called :Imaginary reality"). Because no normal human can see, experience, or even comprehend ireality, the homo Magicus proofs are not universally accepted.

Pisces:  see homo Marinas.

"Phobos chasing Deimos": Martian slang; repetitive action that has an aura of reliability. Because Phobos whips around Mars at almost exactly four times the speed of Deimos,  the imagery is drawn that the two will be eternally playing tag, with Phobos always "it".

pleasure ripe: The most common persona to be implemented, a pleasure ripe is specifically programmed to provide sexual gratification, normally to a paying client. While the majority of pleasure ripes are female, male pleasure ripes are not uncommon. The original gender of the soulner was irrelevant during the riping process and a single soulner could be riped a dozen times over as their bodies wore out from use and abuse, usually within five years.

There were several classes of pleasure ripes, beginning with beta class and descending to omega class. A beta class pleasure ripe was nearly indistinguishable from a normal, unriped person, and was used to target the more discreet client. On the other end of the spectrum, an omega class was human in body but nearly animal in mind. The only class to be exclusively female, an omega was more an experience to be endured than savored.

An illegal class of pleasure ripes - known as Shiva - existed for a short time in the mid to late 25th century. Used as weapons of assassination, a Shiva class pleasure ripe was chemically and biologically altered to impress their desires and lusts on their owners, who were unaware of the ripe’s actual purpose. Within weeks of initial contact, the owner would soon be compelled to break the ripe’s spirit. Unable to tell the difference between pain or pleasure, a Shiva class pleasure ripe was unbreakable, which drove the owner into frustration and deeper acts of violence. Failure to break the pleasure ripe led the owner to destroy his or her life and ultimately to commit suicide. Although no records exist, it is generally thought that no owner of a Shiva class pleasure ripe ever survived the experience. (A vivid account of a Shiva class pleasure riped is woven into the novel Shards.)

Although pleasure ripes were sometimes owned by individuals, the vast majority were owned by prostitution agencies. The most well known of these agencies was Programmed Pleasure Unlimited (PPU). Founded in 2096, PPU operated profitably in the solar system until 2517, when its efforts to expand to Class-M planets outside the solar system failed miserably and the company folded. The sordid history of this powerful company - and the impact it had in retarding Earth’s society for several centuries - is exposed in Hardened Soul, a biographical novel of Walter Williams Drake, the Resistance Intelligence officer who is credited with crippling PPU’s influence and initiating the beginning of the end of the agency.

Psitech: a person highly trained in accessing the puterverse who has been physically altered to accept data input directly to the brain through a plug installed in their right temples. (see puterverse) Psitechs are normally cool and aloof, thinking themselves the next step in the evolution of man. Psitechs are capable of accessing to a normal high of level 12, with an emergency maximum of 20. (Levels 17 & 19 are not accessible for more than several minutes.)

puterverse: A reality that has passed through several definitions. Originally created by Chris Young in the mid-21st century, the puterverse was a virtual reality access to Earth’s computer network. To accommodate this new type of access, the world network was rewritten to resemble a cybernetic universe and was christened with the name Puterverse.

A century later, a real puterverse was discovered; a reality that consisted of only two dimensions: time on the first axis and the remaining three dimensions compressed into the second axis. Discovered by the Class of 2251, it used the Chris Young operating platform of data accessing and Earth’s puterverse was reborn. A person was able to project a presence into the puterverse. The presence is essentially an energy form, but a minute fraction of physical presence is also projected into the dimension during accessing, causing fatigue or worse as the user ascends the levels. Although there were originally thought to be only 32 levels, the number was later accepted to be 64, though no one could access higher than 30 without suffering immediate death. 99% of the worlds population access between Sublevel -4 and Level 9. The remaining 1% can access at up to Level 15. Psitechs (see psitech) are able to access at up to Level 20.

Later, in 2779, Abigail Wyeth discovered there were actually 67 levels, and is the only human able to access at unlimited. After 2780, a new type of accessing was made possible, and the definition of the puterverse changed a third time.

The last redefining of the puterverse occurred in 3353 and was necessitated by Earth’s destruction that same year. Timely intervention by the Homo Magicus race, who blended the ancient Unbound Trinary Code (see: UTC) of the puterverse to their own Pentrinsic language, saved the puterverse. The resulting code - called Septuagint Mercy and using 0, 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7- allowed for humans to not only move about in the puterverse without physical penalty but to actually live there.




regrav: A field of fully aligned power that is passed through a grid of fluctuating nanocircuits that alter gravity on the surface to which they are applied. The technology is used in everything from hovercraft to living areas to space ships. A large field of regrav, used to negate inertia when a ship is accelerating, is called a dampening field.

ripe: v. the process of wiping and rewriting the mind. Although previous personas are not actually erased, they are closed off forever, except during a sharding episode (see shard)

ripe: n. any false persona of a person who has been riped. The original persona is called the soulner by the false personas. (see soulner).


Septuagint Mercy: Regarded as the ultimate expression of programming available to any branch of human, Septuagint Mercy is the logical yet nearly incomprehensible next step to pentrinsic. Whereas binary is confined to a 2D interface, trinary to an alternate 2D, and pentrinsic to a 3D interface, the Mercy code used a 5D platform to execute upon. (editor's note: As proven by the First Corollary of Woldheim’s Spectral Reality Principle, a fourth dimension cannot exist in physical space. The linear chronological aspect of an artifact's existence - often mislabeled as the "fourth dimension" is, in fact, physical reality's fifth.)

The paradox of time travel states that the past cannot be changed because it has already happened. Nor can the future be changed because from the vantage point of an even more distant future, it is also the past. Even events thought to have been changed have not, for they occurred according to the way they should, when viewed by a superior chronological viewpoint. The linear aspect of time is a constant, regardless of any given viewpoint perspective.

Using the prime numbers of i, -i, 1, 2, 3, 12i and 23, Septuagint Mercy is used to alter that constant. Linear ascendancy and descendancy of  spectral reality are not only redrawn, previous versions of the timeline cease to exist while leaving time markers in place. In Homo sapiens terms, it is possible to not only change past, present and future events - achieved at a minor level using pentrinsic - Mercy can apply itself through time, replacing the normal "time line" of physical space, leaving only isolated "time points" that no longer fit on the "unchangeable" timeline of physical reality.

There exists one final step in  the evolution of expressing reality numerically, but it excludes Homo sapiens as entire race and is not discussed in this glossary. For further information on the Deific Proof code, please refer to the Core Library located on the Marks planet of Heart in the Centaur System.


shard: a condition that occurs when a riped mind is restored to the original persona but afterwards reverts back to its artificial personas. A degradation of the mind then begins as the barriers between the personas disintegrate, causing the mind to shift between personas at increasing rates in an effort to support the erected barriers. Ultimately, the mind can no longer support the barriers and they collapse, causing a horrid series of deaths. Each persona dies in turn with the final death the real, original persona. Though sharding can occur over several years, it is always fatal, and only one person is known to have survived. *

* The final sharding death was that of Juanita Alverez in 2901. The story of her lives - real and artificial - and the desperate efforts to save her is recorded in the novella A Piñata For Juanita by Peter W. Prellwitz.

Shard: A person who has reached the point of no return and will inevitably die of the degradation of persona barriers.

slug gun: a gun that fires projectiles and/or bullets. Although less powerful than an energy based weapon, it is more reliable and has a faster fire rate.

soulner: The original persona of a riped person. Although inaccessible, all past personas, including the original, remain in a ripe. All ripes capable of limited independent thought, seem to have an awareness that the soul and mind they have is owned by another persona, and refer to this persona as the soul owner, or soulner.

spectral reality: the term used by homo Magicus people when referring to the physical reality our universe resides in.

synchronometer: A time measuring device that is hooked to the ancient but accurate Greenwich atomic clock via the puterverse. Synchronometers have a maximum annual variance of eight picoseconds.

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tabinal: A computer terminal the shape and size of a tablet.

tenagers: Martian teenagers. Earth years 13 thru 19 convert to 7 to 11 in Martian years. The age of ten equates to 18 in Earth years and is used as a general term for that age group, with the upper number being used as an encouragement for the youth. Eleven (19.8 in Terran years) is legal age on Mars, though some legal rights - such as joining the Merchant Marine or Armed Forces - are granted as early as 8½.

Terran/Martian Wars

2373-2389 AD [173-181 MD]

The single most costly war of Earth’s existence, with 484 million dead, the Terran/Martian Wars is considered the most significant event in mankind’s history since the Crucifixion, with its impact reaching into the fourth millennium and stretching out countless light years throughout the galaxy. For a detailed study, refer to the four volume set: The Terran/Martian Wars. Many other works by the author give additional depth and insight into the war, its cost, its events, and its chilling cause and purpose.

Troid Piracy War

2227 -2233 AD [95-98 MD]

A six year period of piracy that nearly destroyed space commerce in the Sol system. At its height in 2231, it even threatened the existence of the Martian colonies.

Located on multiple bases in the asteroid belt, at least forty and possibly as many as sixty well armed and high speed ships preyed on both the freighters that made the Terran-Lunar-Martian run as well as those making the trip to the deeper space stations and micro-colonies located on Pluto and the moons of Jupiter. (Transports and freighters bound for or coming from Triton’s micro-colony were never attacked, a policy adopted by every pirate faction. Why Triton was granted this immunity remains a mystery.) Using skilled pilots, they would engage their target at dangerously close quarters and disable their fusion engines. Working quickly, before ITA could respond to the distress signal, they would strip the ship, crew and passengers of all valuables, then escape back into the asteroid belt at reckless speed.

ITA finally defeated them by adopting their enemy’s wild tactics. Building powerful yet maneuverable five man gunships, ITA forces chased the pirates into the belt and destroyed them one by one, taking no prisoners. While losses were initially high, ITA’s use of total warfare regardless of cost ultimately proved too much for the independent bands, and the Troid Piracy War ended in 2233 AD [98 MD]. ITA’s willingness to use such extreme, unrelenting violence had a lasting impact. Acts of piracy in the Sol system were nonexistent until the Boson Shiv Incidents (3008 - 3009 AD.)1; a span of nearly eight centuries.

Historians after the 24th century point to the Troid Piracy War as an ominous foreshadowing of the Terran/Martian Wars that occurred 140 years later. They stressed that the pirates demonstrated the value of the asteroid field as both a safe and powerful military base, and the Martian military was quick to capitalize on that advantage. (They even used several of the bases during the war, most notably the primary base on Ceres, where the asteroid’s high carbonaceous chondrite content provided fuel and missile payload.) More significantly, it was ITA’s brutally effective methods against the pirates that was the precursor to the final solution Earth used against Mars in the fourth Terran/Martian War (2387-2389 AD [180-181 MD])2. It wasn’t until the late 27th Century, after NATech’s hidden role in Earth society was fully revealed 3, that this theory was proven true.

For a complete history of the Troid Piracy War, refer to the novel Dead Man’s Chest by Peter W. Prellwitz.

1 as detailed in the novel A Higher Standard

2 an account given in the four Terran/Martian Wars novels

3 as detailed in the novel Shards

twelve seventy-five: For universal continuity, hours, minutes, and seconds are fixed periods of time, regardless of location. Days are adjusted to correspond with one planetary rotation.

Since a single rotation of Mars is 24 hours, thirty seven minutes long, they add the extra time to the midnight hour. Though not an hour in the strictest sense, this method of time keeping is Martian tradition, so day’s final "hour" runs from midnight to 12:97 a.m. before turning over to 1:00 a.m.


USNA: United States of North America. One of the few powers to resist a world government - Brazil, Australia, and Japan being the others - which was formed in 2209.

Comprised of the former countries of the USA, Mexico, and Canada, except for Quebec (with Cuba joining by default after the death of King Fidel the VI and the Cuban Monarchy Dissolution riots of 2290), the USNA remained a world power until the Terran/Martian Wars of 2373-2389, after which it and the other world powers voluntarily surrendered their nationalistic authority and identities to the now supreme world government.

UMT: Unlimited Mass Transgate

UTC: Unbound Trinary Code. The code which was first implemented by Abigail Marks (née Wyeth) to rewrite the puterverse in 2780.

Though known of since the 23rd century, UTC was considered to be akin to an honest politician; possible in theory but impossible in practice. A code consisting of 0, 1, and 2, UTC would be far more powerful than binary, yet require the merest fraction of resources to write and maintain. What made UTC so desirable was that it allowed for true judgment and emotion to be programmed into machine.

Considered an unreachable goal, however, programmers created an artificial trinary code, using massive matrices of binary coding. Dubbed Pseudo Trinary Code (PTC) is was unstable and bulky but it did allow for a weak approximation of judgment and emotion. It required unending attention to maintain, however, so only the most well funded agencies could assemble and use PTC.

Another form of trinary code - called Bound Trinary Code, or BTC - was discovered by accident in the 24th Century. When PTC code reached a critical mass, the matrices would collapse and reassemble, converting some binary routines into a language that used 0,1, and 2 in the program. BTC could never be relied on, though, since the critical mass could never be calculated and, once created, BTC could not be altered or maintained. The longest string of BTC to work properly was less than a megabyte in length and ceased functioning after only seventeen seconds.

The first appearance and consequent use of UTC was in 2776 and is detailed in the novel Shards by Peter W. Prellwitz.



VCU: Vermilion City University, located south of Vermilion in the campus town of Heinlein, which is itself located near the Mars’ Heinlein feature. Founded in 2100, the two year university is strongest in its liberal arts and philosophical colleges.


Woldheim Effect: A warping of space and time. Named for the inventor of time travel, 20th Century genius and eccentric, Karl Woldheim.

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wondaire: a fruity, carbonated beverage that reacts to the oxygen in the mouth and esophagus, causing it to cool by several degrees as it is swallowed.








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