A Glossary of Terms Both Real and Imagined
Acceleration of Gravity: The constant rate of increasing speed that an object experiences while falling towards the gravitational center of our planet, also known as (1g). The object increases that rate of acceleration each second until it is stopped by the Earth’s surface. Usually quite suddenly. The rate of acceleration toward the Earth’s center is 9.8 meters per second, each second (9.8m/s/s), (or 32 feet per second per second).
Airlock: A transition room between two extreme environments, in which a safe transition can be made for people moving from one to the other.
Arc-welding: The process of using the heat produced by an arc of high-current electricity from a welding rod to ground in order to melt two or more pieces of metal together into one solid whole.
Bionics: Having organs or limbs which are enhanced or replaced by electronically powered, artificial ones. Rainah’s legs were formed similarly, yet with more advanced materials.
Biosphere: A planet and its life: the whole area of the planet’s surface, atmosphere and sea that is inhabited by living things.
Centrifugal Force: Centrifugal ForceThe outward pull, caused by inertia, on anything that changes its direction of movement from a straight path, (ie: a weight at the end of a string experiences centrifugal force while being spun around). See Gravity Fractioner.
Chamber Of Everlasting: The large, subterranean room which holds the Royal Time-Tomb capsules. Its walls are etched with ancient drawings and symbols explaining to anyone arriving there what has happened to their world after the arrival of Planet X. Instructions about how to use the hibernation tombs are written there, as well as the eating of small, dried “Sleep-roots” which, with the addition of exotic sub-surface gases, induce a deep coma.
Deimos: One of the two moons of Mars with the outer-most orbit. It is also the smaller of the two and is the Homeworld of the Flies. The name, Deimos, is derived from the Greek word meaning ‘dread’, ‘fear’ or ‘terror’. See also, Phobos.
D.I.I.V.E. Drive: Pronounced, “Dive Drive”, it is described further in Book I.
Electro-Magnet: A magnetic metal which is wrapped in coils of conductive wire. The more layers (or windings) of coils, the stronger the potential magnetism it has. When an electric current is passed through the coils, a magnetic field is produced laterally around the wires and thus the metal object as well. The magnetic field collapses when the electric circuit is broken.
Endo-Nerve Ganglia: Artificial internal nerves of prosthetic, bionic limbs that attach themselves to the skin of an amputee. Intimate contact is made with the remaining nerves below the skin and through bio-feed-back, nerves impulses are picked up and amplified to initiate movement of the artificial limb.
Equilateral Triangle: A triangle that has sides which are all equal in length. The extremely sturdy dome of the Biosphere Vessel is constructed with a myriad of these geometric structures.
Aether-Glass: What we call a telescope. Because of Mars’ thinner atmosphere, there is less visual interference and so an Ether-Glass is able to bring stellar objects into sharper focus and clarity than Earth-bound telescopes can.
Exo-Nerve Ganglia: The more sinister version of these artificial nerve endings which are used by the Flies to take control of a victim’s central nervous system or to scan their brain for important information. They can also be used to connect to and transfer power to another Fly during battle or, just as dangerously, to shoot high-voltage static charges or be used like a whip in close-quarter fighting.
Falling Stars: Space rocks, meteors, which drift too close to the Earth’s gravity-well and fall through the atmosphere so fast that the friction heat produced by the air molecules burns up the rocks. When this occurs, the rocks become meteorites.
Geodesic Dome: A sturdy, self-supporting dome built with identical triangular shapes which are excellent load-bearing elements for the structure. It is within such a dome that Miss Vee’s artificial Martian Biosphere and garden was made.
Gravity Fractioner: Actually a weight ‘fractioner’ because the machine cannot really change the pull of Earth’s gravity. One of Alex’s more enjoyable inventions, it employs electro-magnets mounted on the ends of metal spokes that spin through swirling, tiny iron particles within an enclosed chamber. More details of Alex’s home-made invention can be found in Book I of the series.
H.I.V.E. Network: Hardened Interdependent (Command) Vectoring Ether-Wave Network. A constantly shifting virtual command structure employed by the Others which allows anyone of them to take over and direct the rest of the Flies (or troops), depending on where command direction is required at different times. The Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) that they use in the H.I.V.E. Network uses so-called “expert” software which has the accumulated knowledge of the greatest military leaders of ancient Mars. This network was used with great efficiency against their masters when the Others attacked Mars 10,000 years ago.
Luss: A Martian creation, it is essentially a benign, parasitic device fashioned from volcanic materials which is plastic in nature and vaguely “links” with the sympathetic nerves of its host user, thus creating a “bridge of needs” between them. Depending on the scale of needs of its host (ie: the person that the Luss links with) it transforms or “warps” from its inert state to its energetic state. This transformation can take the shape of a wide spectrum of solid, semi-solid (plastic) or plasma energy states. Defense and attack states during battle are constantly shifting from one to the other with breath-taking quickness, making an experienced combatant nearly unstoppable, even when out-numbered.
Luss Transform Strength/Power: The power output of the Luss which grows exponentially toward peak efficiency soon after a host experiences combat for the first time. Martian children of non-combat age were not usually permitted to handle a Luss until their eighth birthday (16 years Earth-age). The reasons are two-fold: 1) because they were not strong enough for battle anyway and 2), because a Luss derives its power from its host’s bio-electrical aura and therefore drains a person’s energy after prolonged use.
Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion:
1) An object which is at rest or that is in motion in a given direction, will remain at rest or will travel in that same direction if there is no force (including friction) acting on the object.
2) An object with a constant mass will accelerate in a different direction in direct proportion to the amount and direction from which a force is applied to it.
3) When an object is accelerated by a force in one direction, an equal and opposite amount of acceleration energy is given back as well.
Olympus Mons: The largest volcano in our solar system which is located on Mars. It is from around the crater of this king of all volcanoes that the rare elements needed to make a Luss are found.
Omni-Balanced-Matrix Molecular-Growth Plastics: These wonders of modern partially biological plastics utilize nano-bots at the molecular scale which replicate themselves in proper rhythm with the cellular growth of living tissue that they come in close proximity to. This process is called “bio-recognition”. The nano-bots pass on the growth information among themselves throughout the entire plastic form that they inhabit. This form is usually a cybernetic, prosthetic limb. The resulting “growth” or self-replication of these nano-bot molecules in the artificial limb exactly mirrors the growth and form that would take place in the same shaped arm or leg which its host is missing.
Parathagon Gas: The rare, “uncanny” gas whose properties are not totally understood but which acts as a catalyst and enables the creation of the Virtual Space-Time Imbalance Engine when the gas flows through the hollow and energized spirals of the State-Shift Coils. These hollow coils are formed from an exotic (and alien) glass material called: “Nethlin Glass”.
Phobos: The larger of two Martian moons which as an orbit that is closer to Mars than that of Deimos. It has a much more frequent (faster) orbital cycle and is expected to one day either break apart or crash into the surface of Mars. It is on this moon that the Spiders dwell and call their Homeworld. The name Phobos is derived from the Greek word meaning, ‘panic’. See also, Deimos.
State-Shift: The atomic change that a given substance or material experiences, either from the addition or the release of a quantity of energy which allows that change to occur. For example, ice shifts from solid to liquid and liquid to gas with the addition of heat energy.
State-Shift Coils: Hollow spiral shaped glass coils which, when energized by the introduction of Parathagon Gas, give rise to the “virtual” Space-Time Imbalance Engine. Further details of this exotic drive system are found in the first book of Alex The Inventor.
Super Spring: The code name given to the impending arrival of Planet X (and the long-term climatic changes it will cause on Mars) by Dr. John Faraway, Prof. T. M. Vasquez and the rest of their science team. The planet’s near-miss fly-by of Mars will “corrupt” its orbit enough to bring it into a less severe distance from the sun. Water will flow again in the more equatorial regions and long-dormant, frozen and dried seeds will begin to sprout with new growth. In time, the Martian atmosphere will also improve as the hardy plant-life gives off more and more oxygen.
Time-Fizz: The resulting manifestation of the slight “blurring” of the Time dimension, in which it loses a small amount of the “relevance” or “density” that it normally has when compared to 3-Dimensional space. This coincides with the activation of the Space-Time Imbalance Virtual Engine.
Time-Space Imbalance Virtual Engine: Also nick-named the D.I.I.V.E. Drive, more details can be found in Book I.
Torus: A geometric shape resembling an inflated rubber inner tube. The whirling torus of ionized plasma which encircles a starship with a Dimensional Imbalance Engine engaged is the direct result of the State-Shift Coils reaching optimum efficiency. Book I in the series contains more information about this process.
4-Dimensional Space-Time: This is 3-D Space with one more dimension, Time (T) added. It is now a well-known scientific fact that Time is an integral element of 3-Dimensional (visible) space. We are only aware of the passage of time though; it cannot be seen like the other dimensions are. The only exception to this rule is during the activation of the State-Shift Coils in the D.I.I.V.E. Drive of Doctor Faraway’s spaceship. This activation then gives rise to “dimensional imbalance” and the resulting Time-Fizz Cloud.
5-Dimensional Abbreviated Space-Time – (From Book II): This is the mind-bending realm of the Nethlins, the Glass Tunnels. Once one has crossed over into ‘abbreviated’ space-time, the elements of both Time and “normal” space become irrelevant because the observer sees once-solid objects rendered or reduced by 1 Degree from what they once were. For example, a normally 2-Dimensional flat floor would be reduced down to a 1-Dimensional point (.) thus allowing the person to see through and into the ground for an infinite distance. By the same principle, 3-D objects would also be rendered down to flattened 2-D figures – (a quite disturbing sight, especially when the object is a person.) Sound and voices would likewise make thinner or tinny reverberations with a higher pitch as well. Time will be the element most drastically affected in 5-D A.S.T. because, since the observer is cast above and sees the world in an over-arching and infinite fashion, so too the time that it takes them to travel from point to point in the universe (via the Glass Tunnels) is also reduced to nil. The paradox is that, for anyone except the Nethlins, they MUST still perceive in their minds a delay of sorts as they travel because they have lived rooted in ‘normal’ Space-Time their entire lives. The human intellect simply cannot grasp nil-Time. To try to do otherwise leads to madness…