Glossary and Terms
The Well- Slang for the gravity well, or the decreasing amount of gravity the higher up you go. The Well is where most orbital traffic takes place, and the top of the Well is where man made jewels like Citadel and Cathedral are anchored in stationary La Grange points.
Stitch Artist- aka 'stitchman', patch artist, etc. A stitch artist is a doctor or surgeon who freelances, a kind of medical ronin. The clinic is usually well hidden (sometimes in plain sight!), well protected and caters to only a select few, and then for absurd prices, but the work is generally in line with the price. Some stitch artists are not reliable, and some take sadistic pleasure in working on their patients. A stitch artist is any unlicensed or non-practicing person who performs medical services. Many are ex-military corpsmen who couldn't make it in the 'real' world and have hired their services out to the highest bidder, which usually consists of elements of the underworld.
Aug-Amp Job- (aka 'AAJ', "Job", "pretty boy", "pretty girl", etc.)- Street slang for any augmented or amplified person, someone with mental or physical abilities beyond normal. Corporate soldiers and retainers, wired out on pharmaceuticals and hardware surgically implanted within their bodies to make them more effective.
Designer Drugs- Custom made pharmaceuticals produced by chemistry majors and renegade corporate laboratory personnel. There is a lot of money in drugs, and what was popular last week maybe old news when a new batch of improved material hits the streets. In an age of wide spread legalization of drug use, the so called 'bad' or dangerous drugs have been replaced by computer designed, body tolerant chemicals that produce great pleasure with a minimum of risk or side effects. Available in powder, tablet, liquid, hypo, cream, or aerosol, there are more drugs out there now than can be listed. A lot of the drugs available on the street don't come with government approval or safety ratings. These are the basement drugs, cooked up by young pharmaceutical artists trying to buy their way into the larger market. Great risk is involved when unknown drugs are taken. The governments and corporations are among the chief suppliers of new drugs. Both use drugs for control of their employees, soldiers, etc. and both have experimented heavily into the field of creating super soldiers with carefully controlled 'super' drugs. Most of these projects have failed miserably, dumping their surviving test specimens out into the many global mercenary brush fire wars and the underworld where their unique abilities are appreciated.
Akihabara- Japan's discount electronics district. The streets and alleys are jammed with shops and Tekiya wishing to sell their wares. Items available in the Akihabara district are usually available up to a year in advance of the rest of the world.
Oshiya- "Pusher in", in traditional times, the Oshiya were employed to pack people into the trains and subways. This was at a time when people were falling out of the trains and subways, and had to be packed in or pushed in by the Oshiya before the doors to the train cars would close. In modern terms, a Oshiya is a slang term for a bully, or a gun for hire. Not to be confused with a ronin, a Oshyia is a common ruffian, not a professional. Oshiyas are cheap, and readily available on the street. They are not known for their loyalty or their effectiveness, but they are a renewable resource.
Jujin Hospital, Tokyo- The Jujin Hospital has ruthlessly pursued a goal of excellence with regard to plastic and corrective surgery. The surgical staff at Jujin is among the finest in the world and work done at Jujin Hospital is often signed on the cellular level, easily recognizable to others who might operate on a patient with Jujin work. Jujin technicians are among the brightest in their fields and command exorbitant fees. The Jujin Nanotech Unit is the most advanced in the world at this time, with molecular repair and even full cloning capacity.
Minamata- Slang for any type of industrial accident or corporate cover-up of a disaster involving big business. Stems from the Minamata case where ChissoCorporation continued to dump mercury into Minamata Bay. Birth defects and other maladies plagued those who lived and worked around the bay, so much so that Chisso Corporation is today still paying out damages resulting from the legal lawsuits brought against them.
Yoshiwara- Japan's red light district. Here every vice and pleasure is available, for a price, and if you know how to ask for it. The prostitutes in the Yoshiwara district have a tradition of wearing their kimonos backwards, or back to front, in order to indicate their profession.
Shibuya Station-(also Kyoto Train Yards, and Shinagawa Maintenance Yard)- Vital areas for the service and operation of the Shinkansen bullet train in Japan, located in and around Tokyo.
Shinkansen- Known to the Japanese as the 'New Trunk Line', the Shinkansen is a magnetic lev train capable of speeds of well in excess of three hundred kilometers an hour. Individual trains have poetic names like 'Echo' or 'Light'. The Shinkansen Dai Gaiden is the newest jewel in the Pacific Rim.
Sarariman- A Japanese corruption of the words "salary man", a commoner, a blue collar worker. A Sarariman puts the company ahead of personal life, he is loyal to the company, works without watching the clock, is agreeable to colleagues, respectful to elders and bosses, and takes few if any liberties.
Mnemonic Plastic/Mnemonic Crystal- Two forms of advanced materials belonging to the mnemonic structure family. Mnemonics (or memory) structures can be electronically controlled as to form and shape. Mnemonic structures can assume any shape capable within mass restrictions. Used in body armor and construction materials, as well as some hand weapons. Mnemonics have the ability to change shape and even to repair itself given time. Two pieces of Mnemonic structure that have been broken off or separated will merge together to form a single piece if the two pieces are placed near each other.
Recrystal- A convention of the term molecular recording crystal, shortened to recrystal. A crystal based medium used for recording data, music, etc. Recording crystal has replaced CD-ROM technology for the most part, though cheaper CD-ROM versions of data storage are still available. Ten times the storage capacity of a CD-ROM, and much more durable, Recrystal technology followed man into near orbit, shortly after the various military forces found out its effectiveness on the battlefield. Recrystal is immune to the effects of EMP and by its very nature, is more durable in the field.
Nogee- Also no gee, zero gee, oh gee, orbital term for zero gravity.
Logee- Also low gee, el gee, an orbital term for any space environment, or artificial environment in space with less than a full gee of weight.
One-Gee- (one G)- Earth side, on the planet surface. A term used by those in orbit when they must travel to the planet surface, either for a trip, a vacation, a business outing, or to retire.
Tsuji-Giri- the ancient Japanese samurai or ronin rite of ambushing an innocent passerby in order to test the quality of a newly purchased knife, blade or sword. Common term for any senseless violence carried out by a Samurai or Ronin, or for any 'example' which is left on the street for others to learn from.
Tekiya- Street peddlers, hucksters, dealers.
Gurentai- hoodlums, muscle, toughs, a level below Oshyia in importance and loyalty, and several levels below in respect and pay.
Yubitsume- Punishment for not completing a deal, delivering what was promised, etc. In payment for default on the pact or deal, one or more digits or fingers / toes may be required to be removed by the person in a ritual designed to right their wrong in the eyes of those who suffered in the transaction. The ritual stems from ancient Japan, where the shoguns delivered yubitsume as a form of punishment to those who stood against their rule. The shoguns wisely figured that a man who didn't have all of his fingers would not be able to use a sword as well as a man who had all of his fingers. And a man who couldn't use a sword well was of little threat to the shogun. Yubitsume has a different concept in the world of the Pacific Rim. If you are a keyboarder, and you screw up enough, pretty soon you wouldn't have enough fingers to make a living. A living using a keyboard that is.
Walking With Buddha- A euphemism for being dead.
Tattoo- The traditional Japanese method of tattooing is to use a hand carved tool formed from a bone, with a cluster of tiny needles on the end. Operation is a succession of quick jabs, and the process is very painful. To undergo tattooing is a test of strength. Technology has added various electronic and subdermal (beneath the layer of skin) tattoos which actually change colors, move, etc. Modern tattoos are actually pieces of artificial skin which bonds with the user's skin and carries the tattoo with it. Tattoos can be custom ordered, computer printed, and then owner installed in a matter of minutes. When a tattoo is no longer wanted, the wearer can simply apply a special chemical which removes the tattoo by destroying the layer of artificial skin. These have come to be called techtoos. The Yakuza still practices the ritual of all over body tattooing, and though it is done in the traditional manner, some Yakuza gurentai do have techtoos which are quite elaborate in nature.
Giri- Duty, loyalty, gratitude, or moral debt to another person.
Ninjo- Emotion, plays heavily along with giri in traditional Japanese honor.
Bosozoku- Hot rod or motorcycle gang, usually a prime Yakuza recruiting tool.
Shabu- Speed, the cult name of any popular amphetamine based drug. Crack, Cocaine, Pot, etc. are all known as Shabu.
Torakkuyaro- Long distance truck drivers. The Torakkuyaro have become folk legends in Japan. Their vehicles are huge multi-segment jobs powered by multiple fuel cells and capable of carrying over a hundred thousand kilos of cargo.
Boryokudan- Violence group, a gang, or mob. Usually composed of lower level Oshyias and Gurentais as well as those who have fallen from grace.
Kuromaku- A power broker, a behind the scenes fixer, maker of deals, usually in the back alleys, or on the black market. Information, black market items, gray market items, and other hard to obtain products can usually be handled from a Kuromaku. Kuromaku also function as the middle or third man in deals between corporations and individuals, for a percentage.
Sento- A public bath house, sauna, or spa. Usually located conveniently near a opium or designer drug parlor. Used to denote any popular social meeting place.
Sarakin- Salary man financiers, loan sharks, very mean, and utterly ruthless. Sarakins often surround themselves with Oshyias and Gurentais which act as the muscle for the business. If you default on your loan . . .
Yamaguchi-Gumi- Still the largest crime syndicate with over 235,000 members.
Johatsu- The evaporated or vanished people. Usually what happens to someone who defaults a Sarakin or Kuromaku. Often used to talk of ronins or samurai who have gone on to walk with Buddha. Used as a suffix, such as Aki Togonaki of the Johatsu, which means Aki Togonaki of the dead, or Aki Togonaki the dead.
Danchi- A living cubicle or flat, often stacked on top of one another in tiers. Four walls and a door, and not much else.
Samurai- Ancient Japanese term for a warrior with a master to serve. Used now to represent any hired gun or muscle under employment, also any corporate bodyguard or muscle. A ronin who is permanently hired by and answers to an employer becomes a Samurai.
Ronin- Ancient Japanese term for a Samurai without a master, used in a manner similar to samurai, but represents a freelance gun or muscle. A mercenary fighter or tough for hire on the street or by connections. A ronin is considered by many to be untrustworthy. Ronins are cheaper than Samurai, though, and more readily available. Aka gunslinger, freelancer, cowboy.
Soft Thief- An individual who makes their living running the web, breaking into databases and info pools, taking what they want and getting away before anyone can catch them. Soft thieves usually use a interface deck to run the web. Upon finding their victim, a soft thief uses their vast collection of custom and modified hacker programs to defeat electronic security and download information that others will pay dearly for. Information is power, and information sells for a premium to the right people, thus the soft thief is an electronic Tekiya, in a sense. Aka deck jockey, net runner, net player, deck player, player, and wizard.
Ombudsman- A corruption of the Swedish term for a lawyer, the Ombudsman is a lawyer, employed by a corporation. Ombudsmen (both male and female) dispense the corporation's law on those who would stand against their employer. Ombudsmen are not so much lawyers, as they are corporate mercenaries, representing their company in legal matters that never reach the courts.
Stapler- Slang term for a needler. A needler is a short, stubby weapon, designed for counter-terrorist work and clandestine operations. The weapon used a series of stepped electromagnets to energize a small magnetic field that propels a one millimeter needle to velocities in excess of fifteen hundred meters per second. There is no muzzle flash, but once the needle exceeds the speed of sound, there is a noticeable report, though the general direction of the report is hard to discern. Some staplers have a special dampening switch allows the firer to use the weapon at a lower power setting, which though reducing range and penetrating power, the needles never exceeded subsonic velocities. On low setting, the stapler makes less noise than a whisper when fired. Even on full automatic.
There was no recoil.
The spread of the needles under full automatic fire was less than the diameter of the bore, and an experienced user could get most of a full burst into the target, even at range. The needles are highly unstable and tumbled when they hit, usually fragmenting inside the target. The needles are so thin and sharp that normal open weave body armor (Kevlar, monofiber, Advancloth) offered little protection. The one millimeter needles are designed to spin viciously upon penetration. The needles will slash through skin, muscle, sinew, and even bone, and for added effect, a variety of toxins and drugs can be coated along the surface of the needles.
The technology allowed staplers to be built as small as derringers, with the same deadly effects. Staplers were a favorite of thugs and undercover security forces as well as corporate officials.
Omawari-San- 'Respected Mister Walking Around', the Japanese term for the police or security. Omawari-San is used generically to denote any form of organized security or authority.
Replicant- Also Ninja, artificial person, test tube baby, vat baby, etc. Term used to represent any of a number of artificially created, close tolerance, biologically enhanced super humans grown by the corporations or the governments to be far superior in every respect to that of a normal man or woman. Not to be confused with a Aug-Amp Job, which is simply a artificially enhanced 'normal' person. A replicant is scratch built, with stream-lined custom encoded DNA, and very expensive not only to create but to maintain as well. Corporations are the major users of Replicants, though some private firms have fielded units.
Artifint- Artificial Intelligence, or A.I., a sentient super computer fully capable of thought in a way that humans are capable of. Artifints have distinct personalities. Many corporations have their own artifints, which control their portion of the net. Artifints are fully self aware, being considered to be 'people' by some corporations and given full legal rights in matters. Artifints are very complex and protected by vast virtual fortresses of security.
Net- (Ether Net, the Ether, Nether (Net Ether), WORNET (World Net), GloNet (Global Net), etc. Aka 'digital space.') A world wide network of data transmission. The Net is accessible by any computer system, in almost any region. Satellites, ground lines, hard lines, cellular links, and other methods of links tie together the world network. The Net is represented as an iconistic (shape specific) virtual reality similar to a flow chart, projected in digital space.
Cybernetics- The marriage of machine and flesh, integrated by advanced microprocessors. Limbs, eyes, digits, vital organs and other body parts can be replaced by machinery. Most people feel that metal is better than flesh, that flesh is weaker but flesh is cheaper. Cybernetics are expensive, and not common. Some soldiers receive cybernetic enhancements but on the street, its cheaper to have a new arm cloned from your body's own cells rather than slap a mechanical reconstructed prosthetic arm on.
'Dorphs- Designer artificial endorphins, produced in a laboratory, available to military and other personnel. Endorphins are naturally occurring pain killers secreted by the body whenever it is hurt or wounded. Artificial endorphins are usually available in slap patches, resembling small round dots, that are peeled from a sheet and applied to the skin. Cost on the street is very high. Synthetic endorphins accelerate the natural rate of healing, block pain signals from damaged nerves to the brain, decreases fatigue, and provides a rush similar to a second wind.
'Ceuticals- Also pharmaceuticals, street slang for any drug, natural or designer, whether used for recreation or other purposes.
Neurope- With the rise of the Pacific Rim, there shortly followed the rise of the European Common Market (ECM or EuCoMar). Boundaries relaxed and old rivalries were forgotten in the wake of widespread trade and price fluctuations. Neurope rose out of the ashes of both Eastern and Western Europe, and today is a major economic power.
Handle- a nickname, a calling card, a name that is easily recognized. Usually related to the form of business that the person is in, thus a keyboarder might call himself '132 Keys', or a ronin, not wishing to use his real name, might call himself Joe Average.
Beanstalk- (AKA 'Thread of God', 'Buddha's Staff', Orbital Elevator)- A technological marvel, the beanstalk is a huge spire that reaches from the surface of the planet up into orbit. At the top of the beanstalk is a station where spacecraft dock to transfer/pickup supplies that are brought up from the surface of the planet in the elevator. Very expensive, with a very high cost to maintain, but still cheaper than either reusable or disposable rockets to throw material into space. The cost of the beanstalk is farmed out to the various nations who rely upon its facilities to service their space interests and the Beanstalk turns a nice profit.
The controversial theoretician/historian Allen Peter McCarthy has proposed that the Beanstalk is not man's first attempt at this monumental project, but rather that as history repeats itself, man once before produced a beanstalk. His study, entitled THE PRESENT PAST, points to evidence that man's first attempt at a beanstalk was the Tower of Babel in the Bible. McCarthy points out that in the Bible, it quotes that the whole world had one language, and that men moved eastward, establishing a great city on the plains of Babylon. There, they set out to create a tower that "reaches to the heavens so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the earth.". This, McCarthy points out, is the first attempt by man to leave his planet and reach for the stars. In the Bible, even God was impressed with this technological feat, and came down to earth to investigate this tower, saying "If as one people speaking the same language, they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible to them."
McCarthy theorizes that without computers, the beanstalk could never have been built, and that the 'same language' that God speaks of in the Bible must surely have been the global Ethernet, which today binds all peoples of the earth in one united virtual environment, one 'language'. The Lord confused the people, creating several pockets of people speaking different languages. McCarthy has theorized that God coming down from the heavens was actually the vision of a great war that not only destroyed the beanstalk (tower of Babel), but also the one 'language' or the ability of man to communicate beyond simple speech.
It is also mentioned that the ruined city became known as Babel, because that was the site that the Lord confused the language of the entire world. With extensive research, McCarthy has proposed that the Tower of Babel was known as the Etemenanki, or the Foundation House of Heaven and Earth, once thought of being only one of many great ziggurats built during the time of Nebuchadrezzar. The word Babel, or more properly, Babal, is connected with the Hebrew word Ba'lal, meaning to confuse where in reality, it is derived from the word Bab-ili, which means "Gate of God" in Babylonian. The Etemenanki has been described as the pedestal for God to walk down to Earth upon.