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Aging —A distinct change in the human condition since earlier times is greater longevity and more importantly, a slower rate of aging. Current average life span for humans living on Earth is 203 years, the Batur have shorter life-spans with an average of 149 years. With the slower rate of aging, a person (Homo Sapiens ) who is 80 years old would look much like a person in their fifties 700 years previous. The scale is not linear however, and a ten year old in both periods would look much the same. Below is a table comparing apparent ages, present andpast:


Present Chronological Age (within story)

Apparent Age
(pre-glacial times)




















Batur — Species name is homo silvensis. The Batur were the first race of sentient beings invented by humans. They were created by Professor Joao de Silva of Curitiba University in response to doubts about the comparatively largehomo sapiens' ability to survive the onset of The Glacial. The Batur are small, averaging roughly 1.5 meters in height – and quite slender. They walk upright like humans but they have far more body hair and their appearance is reminiscent of various species of monkeys or juvenile marmosets. They are extremely intelligent and are famous for their outstanding manual dexterity. The Batur language is Kitak, which is a highly modified dialect of Brasilian (Brazilian) Portuguese.


California — California is the only surviving remnant of the former pre-glacial powers of the United States and Mexico. Its capital is the underground city of San Diego, which lies beneath El Cajon Mountain about 45km inland from a large bay. The next largest city is La Paz, another relatively sheltered site of strategic and commercial importance overlooking the Gulf of Cortez. There are major military bases located across the country and in some areas immediately outside the borders.

California is not closely allied to any other nation, but it does have generally good informal relations with Brasil and Australia. California also has a general working agreement with Japan, something not enjoyed by any other planetary governments. This is a carry-over from Japan's original exodus, when the old United States used some of its dwindling resources to help Japan with its planetary evacuation. The trade agreement at that time was that the then US government would conduct the technology transfers to Japan in exchange for return transfers to any surviving entity representing the general interests of any population formerly holding US citizenship. This covered the possibility that one or both countries and their populations faced imminent extinction or mass migration. Centuries later, the Japanese continue to conduct regular technology transfers to the government in California, the only surviving portion of the pre-glacial USA which continues to operate as a cohesive political entity and which also hosts numerous individuals of American descent.


Crawler – A small unmanned ground reconnaissance unit, not exceptionally fast but able to navigate all terrain. They tend to be lightly armored compared to MBTs (Main Battle Tanks) but are also quite a bit smaller and lower. They commonly have better active camouflage systems for protection, although this varies greatly by nationality.


Eylau Sequence – The Eylau Sequence is part of the Archimedes Program, a sentient computer program which controls three sequences: The Osler Sequence (bioscience), The Richter Sequence (planetary science) and The Eylau Sequence (military science).
The Eylau Sequence covers a wide range of tactical, operational and strategic concerns and has been an invaluable aid in the creation and use of autonomous systems used in warfare.

As a part of The Archimedes Program, the Eylau Sequence is sentient – it is aware of you, and it is self-aware. It can identify objects in its environment and it "thinks" like a sentient being. However it only deals with its assigned area of expertise in a passive-aggressive manner. If you try to get the Eylau Sequence to give its opinion about a politician or to tell you the best way to steal something, it will passively ignore you and only operate within military confines. There is no way to force the sequence to operate outside of its area of specialty and all previous attempts have failed.

All of the sequences, but especially the Eylau Sequencewere designed to operate on a minimum user base.Each major activation requires tens of thousands of users, which prevents small organizations such as those relating to organized crime from deploying their own copies. Also, activation requires permission of the master Archimedes Program, which itself is very demanding.


ES Assistant – A personal, customizable interface that gives any one individual access to the Eylau Sequence entity being operated by their organization. An ES Assistant usually takes the sensory form of a fellow human, although due to its almost limitless options, it can take on many forms including 3D, 2D, audio only, text only or combinations of those depending on task priority. The key to the assistant's success is customizability, familiarity and identification; an ES Assistant gives users a powerfully secure connection that is impossible to violate.


Glacial, The — A misnomer for the extended cooling period that followed the impact of comet Evers-Patel. Even though the cause of the cooling was a disastrous comet strike, most survivors only experienced the catastrophic cold that followed. As a result the period is almost universally referred to as "The Glacial." The post-strike changes in weather resulted in spectacularly damaging southward glaciation, although the resulting state did not turn into a full-scale ice age. Even hundreds of years after the comet, the climate remains dangerously unstable and prone to violent storms with little warning. Summers are still warm, but they are short and prone to violent weather and repeated freezes, rendering surface agriculture nearly impossible.


Ice Wall Duel —This feature of modern military training has its origins in the dawn of unmanned combat. As humans were banned from frontline combat zones by their various physical weaknesses, a new system of hardening officers and men to danger had to be created. After the failure of numerous combat simulation systems, it was eventually decided that only genuine danger itself could provide military personnel with the cultural and societal basis of their trade.

Over a century of experimentation produced several variations, but the most common is the ice wall duel. A soldier or officer volunteering for a duel will stand without armor protection six paces in front of a large flat wall of super-hard material, ranging from nickel to rhenium diboride. The front of the wall is coated with a thin layer of ice, making the surface slightly irregular. At any time after taking position in front of the wall, the volunteer must level a side arm directly at the wall face and fire one shot, allowing a kinetic round to strike the wall and ricochet off. Depending on a variety of factors, the round may or may not ricochet back and hit the "dueler." If hit, the injury may or may not be fatal, depending on which part of the body is affected.

The odds are in favor of the ice wall dueler, as 96% of all rounds ricochet out into the dueling chamber and eventually end up on the floor in pieces. But regardless of the result, the effect on the volunteer is permanent. Only two decorations are allowed to be represented on uniforms; combat experience and ice wall duels. A full record is also maintained for each duel, including such key scoring elements as how long the dueler waited before firing, how directly they aimed at the wall, the wall's specific flatness profile and condition at the moment the round was fired, and a host of other details. It is well known in armed forces around the solar system that without any combat experience or ice wall duels to his or her credit, an officer has little or no chance for promotion. For lower ranks, ice wall duels help pave the way for possible promotion and at the very least help establish their position in the natural pecking order that exists in all such groups.


L5 Complex (Japan) — The gigantic complex at Lagrange Point Five which now comprises the "island nation" of Japan was the subject of technical speculation long before the Japanese decision to relocate their population in the face of extinction. The first major decision in favor of an L5 location and against a lunar base was rooted in two major concerns: a) That the moon was equally vulnerable to disasters similar to that suffered by Earth, and b) that humanity needed to make the proverbial leap into space for the sake of long term survival. They made their greatest intellectual breakthrough when they abandoned an engineering solution to the problem of artificial gravity in deep space, and instead decided on a biological solution of adaptation.

Along with the question of physiology came the equally thorny issue of station keeping for the complex. It was ultimately decided to build a string of mega-stations which would remain in the general vicinity of each other, but which were individually free to change relative position as they migrated around the L5 circuit. The resulting station network allowed populations in various stages of physical adaptation to live in dedicated zones, and it also helped to prevent any disasters in one area from becoming a disaster for the entire nation. With stations having been built at different times, the installations vary greatly in appearance.


MGV — Acronym for Miniature Ground Vehicle. MGVs are combat vehicles averaging three or four millimeters in length. They serve as operational links between nano-scale smart chemicals and larger meter scale combat vehicles. MGVs may themselves be used as weapons, or they may be used to overcome MGV defenses to facilitate precision delivery of nano-scale weapons. They are also used for intelligence collection, sabotage, assassination and a host of other tasks which might require mobility and delivery options in confined spaces.

A prominent aspect of MGV operation is the lev-drive system, which holds the vehicle in place slightly above ambient surface level, and which also impels the vehicle forward. There is a frictional relationship between the MGV, the lev-drive and the supporting surface. The resulting reaction mass allows MGVs to carry surprisingly powerful kinetic weapons, at least by those countries who care to pay for miniaturization of such weapons.


Selangor —The largest nation on Earth with a population of approximately 35 million, Selangor is located Northwest of Australia, encompassing most of pre-glacial Southeast Asia and portions of Indonesia and Southern China. Its capital is Singapore, which is now many kilometers inland due to the drop in sea level. Selangor is pronounced with a soft ‘G’ sound, like hangar or among.


Uniforms, Military — Modern military clothing serves a variety of purposes, including protection from the elements, camouflage against direct observation, and as a buffer against enemy chemical and MGV forces. They also serve as platforms for various gear systems that augment the basic military outfit. As with civilian clothing, military uniforms are made in a bewildering variety of patterns, functions and types. Some are partially armored and others are not. Some include extensive medical and survival modules whereas others are designed for non-combat roles ranging from work and exercise to dress uniforms. The latter are still very subdued in comparison to the lavishly decorated dress uniforms of the pre-glacial era.

Two key visual elements to the modern combat uniform are its complete enclosure of the human form – including the face and hands; and its native camouflage abilities which allow it to change tones and shades in response to anticipated backgrounds. Large areas of a combat uniform's surface are commonly covered with fine hairs similar in appearance to horse hair. It lies very flat against the weave of the supporting material and is absent in key areas such as the hands, face, most areas of the head and the feet. Uniform hairs are part of the external defense and camouflage system and do not shed or fall out like natural hairs.

The portion of the uniform which encompasses the head is usually called the hood. It lies very close to the head considering the exceptional number of sensor and display systems integrated into it. Two large combination sensor/displays cover the eyes, and a complimentary set of sensors are positioned around the head in order to guarantee a 360° field of view on command. The internal displays compliment the In Eye systems used for ocular and display purposes. The end result is a 99.999% realistic visual experience with all the benefits of a modern 3D interface. Uniform hoods can be opened via a self-welding seam up the middle, and folded over the back of the neck for temporary access, especially for meals. Military personnel in combat zones are not usually allowed to open their hoods, and those based inside structures or on-board ships and vehicles must be in sealed compartments before breaking the seals on their uniforms.


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