Glossary

Ancestor, the: The first stable strain, from which all current strains are believed to be descended.

Augment: A discrete piece of cybernetic technology that can be added to a cybernetic being through an internal learning process. It is pronounced with stress on the first syllable, unlike the verb form (which means to add an Augment to one’s system).

Augmented: The formal term for cybernetic individuals. It can also be used adjectivally: “she’s Augmented”, synonymous with the old term “bionic”.

cyborg: A common term for cybernetic individuals. It is thought by some to be pejorative or vulgar and Augmented is preferred, though in many circles the terms are considered interchangeable without impropriety.

faction: An organization with a stated position regarding transhuman issues.

Fugue: A temporary loss of Synergy that disconnects host from strain. Because each needs the other, this results in disordered, even chaotic behavior that can have dire consequences for the Augmented and others.

integration: a. The process that takes place upon critical buildup of a nanotech strain in a host. b. The ongoing process of growth and change within the symbiotic relationship.

Interface: The symbiotic connection between host and strain. It originates from the term “mind-machine interface” or MMI, both of which are occasionally still used.

Other Self, the: An expression used by some to refer to the sensation in an Augmented individual that the symbiont is a separate entity. Some eschew this concept entirely while others embrace the dualism.

Serum: An essential symbiotic substance generated by the bodies of the Augmented. It can be expended to fuel Augments and to create other temporary benefits.

shutdown. The dampening or disruption of Augmented abilities; this can be cause by external forces or can be initiated willingly by a cyborg to avoid detection or protect her systems from harm.

strain: Any specific derivation or “type” of nanotech symbiote. Organisms that integrate with the same strain share traits, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages in common. Strains are almost always developed with certain broad purposes in mind, though others have developed spontaneously through mutation or other factors.

Synergy: The degree to which one of the Augmented has progressed along the path of integration – how well the mind and the symbiont have blended and improved one another.

VNE: Von Neumann Ecophage, the parasitic lifeform from which the Ancestor and all all modern nanotechnology developed. Unlike the Ancestor, it still exists in its pure form. It is considered one of the world’s foremost a biological and ecological hazards.

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