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Caveat
All tites on this website feature GLBT characters and situations. If you will be offended, please read no further. By further exploring this site, you agree that you are of age in your part of the world, and are fully aware of the content of books and art displayed here. All images on this site are copyright. Site contents © DreamCraft, 2011
HELLGATE is complete:








Volume One:
THE RABELAIS ALLIANCE




deep sky
Volume Two:
DEEP SKY
the Hellgate Page
On this page:
bulletAre you new to HELLGATE?
Catch up with THE BACKSTORY here
, or...
bulletSnag a quick overview of the novels. Then...
bulletTHE HELLGATE COMPANION is online now!
bulletReturning to Hellgate? read THE PRELUDE TO CRY LIBERTY!

bulletREADINGS FROM HELLGATE: Rabelais Alliance
bulletREADINGS FROM HELLGATE: Deep Sky
bulletREADINGS FROM CRY LIBERTY
bulletTHE HELLGATE GAZETEER (bare text version)
bulletRESALQ 101: DEVELOPING A LANGUAGE
bulletMEET THE CHARACTERS
bullet5-MINUTE Q&A WITH MEL ON HELLGATE
bulletNew free eBook: THE FUTURE ACCORDING TO MK .. get your copy now!
bulletTHE HELLGATE CD-Rom?


cry liberty
Volume Thee:
CRY LIBERTY




probe
Volume Four:
PROBE

With the publication of HELLGATE #4: PROBE, there's a lot of ongoing news regarding the series as a whole. Interest and enthusiasm in the whole HELLGATE concept remains tremendous, and we've been told it's high time we started looking, in-depth, at this universe, rather than 'skimming the surface' with the gorgeous-but-graphics-heavy WORLD OF HELLGATE. So here we are!





HELLGATE #2: DEEP SKY, HELLGATE #3: CRY LIBERTY, and HELLGATE #4: PROBE are available now. (MK is working on the final volume at the time of this writing.) #5: FLASHPOINT was published in September 2011, and #6; EVENT HORIZON, will be out as an ebook and paperback around Christmas 2013.


Browse THE RABELAIS ALLIANCE right now
Browse DEEP SKY right now
Browse CRY LIBERTY right now
Browse PROBE right now



With the release of PROBE, the series is marching along toward completion. We can reasonably expect HELLGATE to be complete in 2009 ... rather than 'string it out' MK has decided to take a deep breath and, to quote a certain ad campaign, 'just do it.' If you're subscribed to our mailing list, you'll be up to date with news as soon as it's available.

It's been a while since this page was updated (DreamCraft has been working full-throttle on several projects at once, in addition to the Mel Keegan books and webpages, and we're the first ones to admit, we got a little behind).

With CRY LIBERTY and PROBE, this HELLGATE 'universe' has really come of age. It's matured to the point where it feels like home when you return to it; and it's reached a level of complexity that gives it an almost eerie feeling of being *real.*

attention, readers The 'Gazeteer of the Hellgate Universe' has been expanded and extended to include all the realms and reams of material which appears, new, in DEEP SKY, and work is underway to bring it right up to date with all the listings for CRY LIBERTY and PROBE. In its current form, it's a FREE eBook in the PDF format, and the second expansion of this project (to include CRY LIBERTY and PROBE) will be out in mid-2006. It's also had a title change: it's now THE HELLGATE COMPANION, and it's fully illustrated in color!

As we amplify the project to include all seven HELLGATE volumes, the Companion will be *vastly* illustrated ... and eventually (to coincide with the launch of the last book) the whole thing will be animated, with videos and all, when we reach the WORLD OF HELLGATE CD-Rom.


    bulletBrowse CRY LIBERTY right now
    bulletBrowse PROBE right now
    bulletBrowse DEEP SKY right now?
    bulletBrowse THE RABELAIS ALLIANCE?



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WHAT HAPPENED TO THE HELLGATE CD-ROM?
In a way it's been revitalized through the need for Keegan-on-Disk to become a reality. POD publishing is not without its 'downside' ... it's all about the price of the goods, in a current market where luxury goods are being scratched off the shopping lists of many people in favor of (duh) the rent, groceries and the car payment. POD books are a lot more expensive than mass-produced books, and —

The short version is, we've been looking for a way to get fiction to readers at less than half the price. very soon, we'll be offering a whole new line. Keegan on Disk will be something very special. It's not the WORLD OF HELLGATE, which was planned as a major multimedia project; but it *is* on CD-Rom, and HELLGATE should be right back on the shopping list for many readers who must, by now, be feeling left out.

THE WORLD OF HELLGATE project was never actually canceled ... just shelved because reader-interest in this project was only modest, five years ago. Listening properly to feedback from readers is the only way to go, when planning new projects, and the news came through loud and clear: people, at the time, wanted books! However, books are a heck of a lot more expensive to make and to ship, and times have changed, both for us and for readers. For a start, books are vastly more costly to mail. HELLGATE, by now, costs about US$19 per book at the post office (and that doesn't include the cost of the book!) whereas a CD-Rom in a full-color DVD-case costs US$5, including insurance. Uh, you crunch the numbers. Something closer to US$30 for a paperback, shipped to your address; or US$12 for a disk, all up, post-paid. Think about it. Twelve bucks includes airmail and postal insurance.

But, what do readers want and need, on the disk? By 2008, the background situation hasn't changed very much: unless you have a laptop or one of the 'screen reader' devices, you can't curl up comfortably with a story that is suspended in C-space! There *is* a growing body of people who do indeed have laptops and palm-type devices, but in 2008 about 65% readers are still using desktops. We always knew we could make the books printer-ready on-disk, but we always considered the downsides to this proposition to be appalling. The whole book can (and almost certainly will be) 'hacked,' and will probably be instantly available to any mean-spirited individual who wanted to upload it. THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS was available for download before it even opened at the theaters, so any DreamCraft novel will almost certainly go the same route.

However, the time has come to take a different perspective on this situation. Every movie gets duplicated somewhere, sometime; every magazine lands on a photocopier; every celebrity pic gets scanned an uploaded; music is copied ad nauseam. No one can stop it happening; you have to learn to live with it. The band, photographer, writer, movie company, whatever, definitely loses some sales along the way due to bootlegging; but the vastly-increased breadth of the marketplace afforded by the cheaper electronic media means, in theory, that you make up for the losses in finding new readers. In other words, at the end of the day you still do okay. Translated into practical terms, MK gets some royalties and there's a few bucks in it for DreamCraft, for the investment of time, work and expertise.

There is no doubt in our minds that it's time to put this theory to the test, and we're doing it in 2007.

The other downside to making the books printer-ready on disk used to be that readers would be paying an arm and a leg for printing on their desktop. And here again, things have changed. Printing used to cost a fortune, but not anymore. Folks who fill their own ink cartridges pay about 2c per sheet. The whole question has come full circle, and both DreamCraft and Keegan are eager to get up and move with the times. In 2007, you can make a document printable on the user's desktop, and it won't be expensive to print it out. And as a publisher or writer, you live with the fact that bootleg copies will be out there, just as bands and directors live with the same knowledge. The wider marketplace balances out the whole equation. It's doable, where it wasn't, five years ago.

Which brings us to the point where we are right now! This year we'll be issuing THE WORLD OF HELLGATE, Volume One. It's so large a project, it'll wind up in at least two volumes (seven books, remember; three are still pending). Each disk will be stuffed to busting not only with the novels in several formats each but with a raft of multimedia goodies ... cross-platform, for PC and Mac.

The technology has raced ahead in the last five years, and we're not about to be left behind!

If you're on our mailing list, you'll know the moment these projects ho online. At this point, we're almost certain the disks will be manufactured by Lulu.com, but we'll leave open a 10% chance of that changing. Stay with us a while, and you'll be astonished at the disks. DreamCraft was a multimedia studio long before we stepped into the publishing arena...!






go back FIVE MINUTES WITH MEL, SUBJECT: HELLGATE
Q: Where in the world did you dream this one up, and how?
A: The original idea grew and grew. I did the first version of HELLGATE way back in something like 1988, and like a good few of my novels, it didn't start out life as a gay book. I'd had fantasies about establishing myself as a writer in the mass-market back in those days, so most of my pro writing was aimed at that area. In fact, HELLGATE and the NARC books were totally wasted as mass market novels (esp. Jarrat and Stone ... what a crass waste it would have been if the original version had gone into print). The first version of HELLGATE was substantially different, and much simpler. I don't think a writer sets out deliberately to construct something this intricate and complex: it happens in the re-re-rewriting. HELLGATE has been through about four different forms (two gay, two not), and every time it was rewritten, I'd see new avenues to explore.

Q: Yet again, you've got tremendously dynamic characters.
A: With a story like this, you have to have them. I don't think it would 'fly' if the characters were not a little outrageous! The character of Curtis Marin strongly reminds me of the agent played by Bruce Lee in ENTER THE DRAGON. Obviously, Marin doesn't have asian looks, but the physical, mental and emotional capacities of the 'Lee' character in the classic movie are striking. I think Marin's Dendra Shemiji 'magic' reminds me a bit of the Shaolin magic, but I'll be honest, I didn't even notice this till very recently!

Q: And your inspiration for Neil Travers?
A: Travers is almost your 'universal soldier.' He's close to an icon — notice I didn't say a 'stereotype.' To be a stereotype, he'd be soldier right through to the core, and Travers isn't. He's a natural born commander, but underneath all that, he's very much a human being, and he's been through something of a meat grinder. He reminds me of Dermot Channon, in FORTUNES OF WAR ... and here's something interesting/absurd. It's a decade since I wrote FORTUNES, and five or eight years ago I could have quoted you my inspirations for Channon. Now? I don't have the foggiest idea who or what inspired Dermot Channon, those memories are filed away in a place I can't get to anymore! But, through a second generation, Channon was one of the inspirational sources for Neil Travers.

Q: HELLGATE is a blizzard of technology...
A: Isn't it, though?! But I try to keep the high-tech this side of magic. I don't have any problem with the flights of fantasy we see on STAR TREK, and I have no doubt those levels of technology will come to pass eventually. But I don't think it's likely to happen in five or six centuries. Sure, if you look back at 1900 and compare it with 2000, there's been an explosion in science and technology, but look closer: it's all physical stuff. And we've taken physical stuff almost as far as we can. Nanotechnology and fusion energy will be the next major steps forward, but ST often seems to rely on forms of energy which would be terrific ... if we ever stumbled over them! Trouble is, if we don't hit that sheer serendipity, we're back to making the most of science we understand. Notice, if you will, in the NARC and HELLGATE books, humans go a long, long, looooong way into space before running into any other species of intelligent life. In NARC, it's just human colonies. In HELLGATE, the aliens are mostly us — we're re-engineered ourselves to the point where humans have become alien. The Zunshu are distant, unknown and unknowable, and the Resalq are still in hiding. Even if they hadn't been in hiding, humans would have had to journey out as far as Rabalais Space to meet up with another technological civilization which might be predisposed to gift us with some technology. In other words, in this 'universe' there's been no trade-offs with higher alien cultures, nothing we were given, or even stole. We got out there on our own devices. Nanotechnology and fusion energy will be our next steps, for real; after that ... tachyon communications are a maybe, and just possibly, the new research being done into the 'old' relativistic theory may bear fruit: faster than light travel might be out there for us in a century or so, if we can solve our problems on this weary old planet! I'd sure like to think so.



Got a question regarding the HELLGATE books? Just Email DreamCraft with a Question For Mel!



go back HELLGATE: Setting the scene
SETTING THE SCENE:
On the edge of a region of space so terrible it has long been known as 'Hellgate,' the super-carriers of Earth's DeepSky Fleet play an endless cat-and-mouse game with the starship wreckers, the privateers who, alone, can navigate the wilds of the Rabelais Drift.

The super-carriers are the most magnificent ships in space, but under the iron control of a corrupt officer corps, unanswerable to any authority, parsecs from the nearest center of civilian or military justice, these leviathans have become hellships where conscripts are used up and discarded. And in an era where enforced conscription is a way of life, anyone — everyone — will serve the DeepSky Fleet. Many will be assigned to carriers.

It is thirty years since the Confederacy instituted its 'strong Fleet policy,' first taxing the far-flung colonies to build the ships, then conscripting their young people to crew them. Decades ago, Earth's military scientists first became aware of a shadowy nemesis, a faceless enemy so powerful, humankind's closest companion in this region of space was obliterated.

The same fate awaits Mankind, with only the DeepSky Fleet holding defiance against the dimly perceived foe known simply as the Zunshu. But as the day grows ever-nearer for the DeepSky Fleet to fight this ultimate battle, its infrastructure is rotting at the core.

The super-carriers can barely keep pace with the wreckers — mere human foes — and their abused crews have no concept of the mission they were recruited and trained to fight.

Into this arena of misery step two unlikely players. Travers and Marin are from worlds so vastly different, they have only their conscripted military service in common — that, and the desire to survive, to see justice done, and to uncover the truths still hidden by Earth's distant government. Travers is still in the service, but his connections to the privateer fleet would be more than enough to execute him. His current assignment is the super-carrier Intrepid, his field of conflict, the Rabelais Drift ... Hellgate.

In an age of rampant injustice, often justice must be pursued on a personal level. This mission brings Curtis Marin aboard the carrier as the executor of a sanction purchased by a citizen whose son was murdered by a travesty of justice. Marin has come aboard as an assassin ... if he can stay alive long enough to complete his mission ... and if the carrier herself can survive the corruption of her officer corps, the endless battle with the privateers, and the insuperable forces of nature that churn across the ripped face of the void known as Hellgate.

rabelais alliance coverBOOK ONE: THE RABELAIS ALLIANCE:
The deep-space action of this volume is set aboard the super-carrier Intrepid. Under the command of an officer corps more interested in increasing their own personal wealth, the carrier has become another of Fleet's hell-ships. This is the arena where Curtis Marin and Neil Travers meet ... and the fight for survival of the entire crew takes place scant days later.

In this book, we meet Marin's uncommon friends, Mark Sherratt, Mark's son, Dario, and Dario's partner, Tor Sereccio. Mark Sherratt is the power behind the shadowy, mysterious Dendra Shemiji, an organization popularly characterized as a society of assassins; but Dendra Shemiji is much more than this. Dario Sherratt's vocation is "cryptocybernetics," and his work takes him to the crux of the real threat in the Deep Sky: the Zunshu.

And Neil Travers's friends will play a major role in the fortunes of the survivors of the Intrepid and Sherratt's group. Captain Richard Vaurien commands a crew of privateers, physically outside the law of the Confederacy, flying of "Freespace," with two goals in mind. They are dedicated to freeing the colonial DeepSky from the tyranny of the homeworlds ... and dedicated also to the conquest of Hellgate, Rabelais Space, of which come the Zunshu.

bulletMeet the characters from the Hellgate series...
bulletRead online, the novella-length opening to Hellgate #1!
bulletRead Mel Keegan's own HISTORY OF THE FUTURE


deep sky coverBOOK TWO: DEEP SKY:
Six centuries in the future, Mankind faces our darkest struggles for survival, and our only allies are the last, fugitive remnants of the race long believed extinct...

Amid worlds of ice and skies of fire, the war for the deep frontier has begun, and Neil Travers and Curtis Marin are back in the thick of the action, along with Vaurien's group, Sherrat's people, and the core-group assembled by Harrison Shapiro.

While the Confederacy tries to use the DeepSky Fleet to crush the breakaway colonies, a handful of rebels may be the only force standing between the new human homeworlds and the shadowy enemy which almost exterminated the last race to whom these far-flung stars were home. The Resalq have survived ... but the threat is greater than ever. On one hand, the Zunshu strike out of Rabelais Space, also known as Hellgate. On the other hand, the government of Earth is determined to bring the unruly colonies back into line. Between the two, the humans of the frontier worlds and the last of the Resalq fight to survive, and the odds are against them. Nothing is what it seems, with allies within the Fleet and enemies among the Freespacers. And when Travers and Marin are assigned to the super-carrier Kiev on the Omaru blockade, all bets are off, and it’s every man for himself. rule >>>New characters provide astonishing plot-twists, and new villains actually escape in this novel, leading our people toward the dens of city bottom, and the no-man's-land of Freespace, beyond the frontier. These stories will be told in HELLGATE #3: CRY LIBERTY, and future novels in this seven-volume series. VOLUME FIVE is due for Christmas 2007.

bulletMeet the characters from the HELLGATE books...
bulletRead online the novella-length gambit to DEEP SKY!
bulletRead Mel Keegan's own HISTORY OF THE FUTURE
bulletRead Mel Keegan's own RESALQ 101 (the building of a language)


cry liberty coverBOOK THREE: CRY LIBERTY:
The Colonial Wars have exploded across the face of Omaru ... the unknown, unknowable Zunshu have begun to devour the worlds beyond the storms of the Rabelais Drift ... the Confederacy can only try to tighten its grip on the Deep Sky ... the last of the Resalq fight a covert battle for the survival of all ... and Harrison Shapiro’s war — the desperate struggle for the liberty of the every soul on the ‘deep frontier’ — might die stillborn.

Curtis Marin and Neil Travers are at the spearhead of action which will take them from the heights of On’rabi to the deepest pits of city bottom, on a world under siege ... and the future of the new worlds of the Deep Sky will be found in the dark heart of Hellgate.

rule
bulletMeet the characters from the HELLGATE books...
bulletRead online the first three chapters of CRY LIBERTY
bulletRead Mel Keegan's own HISTORY OF THE FUTURE
bulletRead Mel Keegan's own RESALQ 101 (the building of a language)


probe coverBOOK FOUR: PROBE:
Recovering from the events of Cry Liberty, Neil Travers and Curtis Marin are pleased to be mere spectators for a time ... but the scenes at which they are on the sidelines are beyond their imagination.

The super-carrier Shanghai has driven into the Deep Sky, poised for the invasion of Ulrand ... on Kjorin, Dario Sherratt believes he has discovered the key to the Zunshu stasis chamber ... in the storms of the Rabelais Drift the Wastrel plays pool with cosmic forces ... in Marak ‘city bottom’ Vaurien and Jazinsky pit themselves against old enemies.

And Michael Vidal prepares to fly the mission of his life, into the dark heart of Hellgate, a place known to the Resalq as El’arne ... ‘The stormy side of the sky.’ Into this void, the explorer Ernst Rabelais vanished many years ago; and out of it, the Zunshu strike at the new human worlds as they once destroyed the Resalq.

For Travers and Marin these are strange, bittersweet days, filled with self-discovery yet shadowed by fear. They long for the so-called ‘Colonial Wars’ to be over, yet find themselves at the very crux of the danger, politics and intrigue as General Harrison Shapiro makes his gambit.

The stakes are the liberty and the survival of the Deep Sky.

rule
bulletMeet the characters from the HELLGATE books...
bulletRead online the first 20% of CRY LIBERTY ... Warning: plot-spoilers!! Because Crly Liberty and Probe are two halves of the same enormous story, we can't give you sample readings from PROBE itself. We tried to track down a chapter, any chapter, that could be provided as a sample, and anything we pulled out of the book would blow the plot wide open for you! So please take your sampling from CRY LIBERTY ... it's the proverbial humdinger!
bulletRead Mel Keegan's own HISTORY OF THE FUTURE
bulletRead Mel Keegan's own RESALQ 101 (the building of a language)




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go back the hellgate companion

THE HELLGATE COMPANION
Almost 60pp, a FREE-to-ALL eBook in the Adobe Acrobat format ... fully illustrated in full color; bookmarked and searchable, this is the perfect guide to THE RABELAIS ALLIANCE and DEEP SKY. There *are* 'plotspoilers' for those two books (so beware), but there are *no* plotspoilers for CRY LIBERTY and PROBE, so you've nothing to be concerned about, getting this item prior to reading the next books. You'll be downloading a PDF eBook, and best of all, it's FREE.

What's in the book? The entire HELLGATE A-Z GAZETEER ... *updated* to include DEEP SKY, and illustrated in full color! You can search on any term, and surf the whole book via the A-Z bookmarks. Best of all, it's FREE! Download now? File size is 637k.
page19 page34 page47




go back <THE PRELUDE TO CRY LIBERTY - almost 20,000 words ... a FREE-TO-ALL eBook in the Adobe Acrobat format ... The entire opening gambit to HELLGATE #3: Cry Liberty ... fully bookmarked, and available to all MK-OnLine readers.

What's in the book? MK is getting creative, and has written 'a story within a story' here. This whole segment is 'extra' to the body of CRY LIBERTY: a fast, furious, sensual narrative takes you under, or inside, the Omaru blockade. What's it like for people in the city of Hydralis, living within naked-eyesight of the Drift, and having a super-carrier parked overhead? How do you fight for you liberty, when you're up against the worst the DeepSky Fleet can throw at you, and you've been blockaded and raided ... you have little left to fight with? And what's the secret the colonial militia of Omaru have been hiding?

Readers will recall, the Resalq, Mark Sherrat, has *two* sons. We've met Dario and his partner, Tor. Now, in the tremendous novella-length prelude to CRY LIBERTY, you'll meet Mark's other kid — Leon — and the love of Leon's life, the drop-dead gorgeous Roy Arlott, plus some utterly unforgettable characters, all of whom play a large part in CRY LIBERTY itself, and whom you meet, in-depth, in this 'story within a story.'

WARNINGS: realistic violence, some coarse language, same-gender relationships, sexual references. Do not download if gay male relationships, frankly described, will offend.

Click to download







go left THE GAZETEER, IN PLAIN TEXT
A

Adelle Challenger disaster - one of several incidents involving the complete destruction of ships attempting Weimann Drive ignition. The Weimann technology was corrected and such incidents have been unknown for centuries. The Adelle Challenger was an industrial exploration vessel launched by the city of Chryse, Mars; her mission profile was the location and development of fuel element lodes. She was lost in a single explosion in orbit over the third moon of Rethan, in the mid Twenty-fourth Century.

aerospace combat wing - a battle group, based on a carrier or super-carrier.

Airborne - in the DeepSky Fleet, any of 312 units of cross-trained specialists flying support and top cover for field troops. The Airborne are pilot qualified, commando trained, and each is a specialist in one or several weapons systems. It is unusual for the Airborne to be deployed 'groundside,' where Army personnel are better assigned, but in regions like Rabelais Space, the necessity for rapid deployment and extraction of the squad frequently requires the Airborne to execute the entire assignment.

angel war - in the Twenty-fourth century, the first social crisis to test the integrity of the home colonies and the government of Earth. The paramilitary department NARC was founded to fight the so-called angel 'war,' a period of civil unrest which broke out into heavily armed street fighting and corporate war over the space of several decades.

anomaly prediction software - any of several software models used by military and civilian pilots to navigate Rabelais Space, where gravity events and temporo-spatial anomalies render the region so hazardous, it has been known as Hellgate since its discovery by Ernst Rabelais, who tried unsuccessfully to chart it.

Andover - one of the Regan de la Courte company's facilities on the south side of Mawson; also various Company vessels named for the facility.

Arago Technologies - civilian tech sector developer based in the Jagreth colony, best known for their repulsion generators. The small Arago field generators provide gravity-free 'lift' for Skytrucks while the company's main trade is in the heavy lift modules found in surface to space shuttles.

Ariel - a DeepSky Fleet tender serving in the Near Heavens.

Argos - a warship serving in the Deep Sky. It suffered a reactor scram and subsequent excursion. Many crewmembers were killed and injured. Curtis Marin was aboard.

Army - all associated military units, distinct from Airborne, Marines and DeepSky Fleet units. Usually recruited from the home colonies and almost exclusively assigned to 'police actions' in the colonies, providing close public contact and 'delicate' urban battlefield strategies.

AtransaBank - banking company from the Home Colonies; also active in the Deep Sky colonies. In the first century of human expansionism, during the era when the first colonies were settled by sleeper ship, AtransaBank was the financial entity most often reimbursed by the government of Earth in the celestial exploration initiative, where companies, cities and nations would have the civic debts underwritten, if they entered into exploration and settlement of the worlds of the Near Heavens.

Aurora Trans-Colonial - civilian passenger and light cargo carrier working between the home colonies and the Deep Sky

Avalon - the habitable moon of the gas giant Zeus. The capital is the densely populated spaceport city of Elysium. Avalon was one of the first worlds colonized in the decades when humans began to explore the Near Sky. See celestial exploration initiative and Equinox Industries.

B

Bevan Daku - a musician and composer of the early colonial period, from the colony of Velcastra. The unusual name derives from Daku's affiliation with the Daku sect, but the music of B'ran is a synthesis of contrapuntal, algorithmic patterns and harmonies. The human composer Bach sometimes used similar rhythm and development.

Borushek - center of political and military command in the Carina quadrant, where Hellgate lies. The DeepSky Fleet induction center is in the city of Sark, and Fleet maintains orbital docks. An Earthlike planet with a yellow star a little warmer than Sol. The climate is as variable as that of Earth and the gravity comparable. Because of Borushek's similarities with Earth, it was settled early and is heavily populated with 'natural' humans, who were not genetically redesigned prior to colonization.

Borushek Base - the military facility, the Fleet compound, near the city of Sark on Borushek.

Borushek Sector Control - the military administration of the Carina quadrant, reporting directly to the government of Earth. Situated in the city of Sark.

Bronowski Reef - an asteroid field in the Rabelais Drift, on the Omaru exit from Hellgate, where freighters are routinely wrecked, not by privateers but by the Drift.

Brook Boulevard - Elstrom City's main trade thoroughfare.

buoyancy field - gravity resist, also known as repulsion. Ground vehicles and aircraft, both civilian and military, ride such fields on landing and takeoff. See Arago Technologies.

C

Chalets Station - the construction yards for the biggest Fleet ships, and the Weimann assembly plant, in the Jupiter subsystem.

Capshaw Mall - thoroughfare in Vazyabinsk.

Car'am-anha - a Resalq term, literally 'the dying time,' referring to the century of their obliteration by the Zunshu.

carrier pilot - the master pilot responsible for 'flying' the carrier; a rank and position similar to specialist ship's pilot, ice pilot, harbor pilot, etc.

carrier tac-team - see tac-team.

carriers - a massive heavily armed and shielded military ship equipped with Weimann Drive engines, which enable hyperlight travel, and carrying aboard up to 100 other, smaller ships, including fighters, gunships and scouts. See super-carriers.

celestial exploration - in the first century after the development of starflight, companies, cities and nations were encouraged to undertake survey missions into the Near Heavens, and later, the Middle Sky, in return for which the government of Earth agreed to underwrite a large percentage of debts held by those companies and civic bodies. See Shackleton City Explorer.

certificate of civilian status - also called the 'ticket of leave,' this is the certificate received by the serviceman completing military service after conscription. Formally termed manumission.

Chevrolet - aerospace manufacturer from the PreSpace Era, Home Colonies.

Chicago- a DeepSky Fleet super-carrier patrolling the colonies of the Middle Sky. Neil Travers spent half of his five year hitch aboard.

Chiyoda - weapons systems manufacturer from the colony of Omaru, until the declaration of republicanism, on contract to supply light arms, such as machine pistols, and ordnance such as antipersonnel mines, to Fleet.

Cimarosa - industrial planet, robot-mined for over thirty years; popularly known as a 'place to be escaped from,' it is a rust-red desert world with an atmosphere too oxygen-poor to be breathed by un-engineered humans without breathmask support, and the climate is harsh. The regions of Cimarosa which are habitable at all by humans can be over 50ºC in the shade. The capital is Vazyabinsk, where virtually the whole population lives. Cimarosa was opened up thirty years ago, and the mining development has around fifty years to proceed before The Stevenage Company closes down its operation. Cimarosa had a day roughly 26 hours long.

City of Shackleton Explorer - the sleeper ship launched by Mars's Shackleton city. It explored the Middle Sky, a century after the development of the sleeper ship, and its name lives on in the Shackleton Void, where its crew discovered and surveyed the three habitable worlds, Velcastra, Mawson and Haagen.

Civil Registry - the complete civilian registration database, providing identification for every citizen of both the colonies and Earth; accessed by Fleet to structure the quarter's military service levy.

Civilair - the civilian airplane and spaceplane registration archive on Velcastra. clearway - rapid transit highway, banked like a racetrack, for high-speed groundcars. A minimum speed limit applies; there is no maximum speed limit.

clipper - see starclipper.

CNS - acronym for Colonial News Services. The major news carrier throughout the Middle Heavens and Near Sky, most remarkable for the colonial 'take' on news items, which often differs from Confederate viewpoint.

colonial architecture - building styles and trends springing up in the colonies, very different from the architecture of Earth. Early colonial architecture, in the sleeper ship era, was eccentric and often ugly, since the ship was cannibalized to build the first settlement, and the city growing up about the ship would be prefabricated. Later generations of colonial architects worked in an odd mix of synthetics and local materials, evolving styles showing little in common with Earth. Low gravity colonies in particular display eccentric architecture.

colonial insurrection, colonial wars -

colonial republicanism -

colonies - any of the worlds settled by humans during their age of expansionism or by the Resalq in the millennium prior to humans venturing past their solar system.

colonization - see human expansionism.

combug - an earplug datafeed with through-bone audio pickup; originally military equipment. Some users still find them uncomfortable and use the civil-traditional headset.

Comanche - any of several warheads manufactured by Shenyang Technic and Regan de la Courte, under contract to Fleet.

combat simulations - see simulation.

command corps - the small corps of senior officers aboard a super-carrier, who liaise with sector control, decide policy in the field and set routine and discipline aboard. See also Fleet command hierarchy.

Confederacy, Confederation - see Terran Confederation.

conscription - see military service levy.

corporate war - heavily armed hostilities between the security forces of major companies in the colonies. Beyond the effective reach of the security forces of the Confederacy, the massive industrial combines which flourished in the first centuries of human expansionism initially hired mercenary armies which, over decades, forged a paramilitary tradition which has endured till this day. In sheer firepower and strategic impact, the corporate armies soon rivaled the forces of the Confederacy, and in the midst of the angel-war of the Twenty-fifth Century the paramilitary force, NARC, frequently engaged in ship-to-ship actions no less punishing than those fought out by the then-Starfleet (now the DeepSky Fleet).

corporal punishment - physical punishment in the form of flogging, meted out as routine disciplinary action of conscripts in the DeepSky Fleet during conscripted military service. This form of discipline is so common, all conscripts have seen it, and most will suffer it, though routine discipline is light and medical aid is at hand. Flogging is intended as a deterrent, painful and humiliating, but not dangerous, so long as the sentence is executed properly. A conscript could indeed be killed during discipline; however, in this unlikely event, the death would be investigated as murder. See Karl David Liang. Fleet can also pass sentence of death on personnel arrested and tried within the service, and aboard a carrier in a war zone; execution is carried out by firing squad.

courier - any of several designs of light, fast ships serving the carriers and super-carriers in the field. In civilian hands, the Fleet couriers are often used as raceplanes; these ships are so fast, they often outrun tachyon band transmissions, and especially in the vicinity of the radio-blind of Hellgate the couriers are often a big ship's only way of communicating with sector command, on Borushek.

cryogen casket - the "freezer" unit in which passengers were transported between star systems in the era of human expansionism, when the first colonies were founded, prior to the development of the Weimann Drive. In later years, when sleeper ship technology was discarded, the cryogen casket became a convenient means for immobilizing a patient pending medical attention, and finally, for the return of the mortal remains for interment, or the post mortem examination required under the laws of certain colonies, such as Velcastra.

cryptocybernetics - the study of extinct computer systems, being the 'dead' or dormant electronics left by vanished civilizations or societies, such as the Resalq.

Cygnus Horizon - freighter which crashed on landing at Elstrom Field, causing the even widely known as the Horizon disaster,

Cygnus Logistics - the public service arm of Cygnus Heavy Transport

Cygnus Heavy Transport - an industrial heavy freight mover, contracted for the ore-rout and working between Cimarosa and Borushek.

D

Daku - a politico-religious sect which sprang up in the worlds of the Shackleton Void soon after colonization. Their origins are obscure, but it is widely believed the sect began with Armande de Courte, a separatist who forewarned of the taxation and conscription to come, and urged republicanism contuse before the era of colonial insurrection began. In the accent of the Void colonies, de Courte is pranced "day-koo." Calling themselves siblings, followers all take the name Daku. The sect has vanished now, and only the works of such composers as Bevan Daku survive to continue the tradition.

datacube - holographic memory storage module.

Darwin's World - one of the oldest of the Near Sky colonies, settled by sleeper ship in the first decades of the century of human expansionism. The capital is the spaceport city of Venice, where Fleet maintains a research and development facility built on the old simulation grounds operated by the 25th Century paramilitary department Narcotics and Riot Control. Darwin's is an extremely stable world with an Earthlike climate, old cities that had established their own traditions, and a society as rich as Earth's own. Neil Travers was born on Darwin's World.

datacube - holographic memory storage module.

Deep Sky - the region of charted and colonized space beyond the Middle Heavens.

Deep Sky colonies - the colonial worlds on the frontiers reached by human expansionism. Many of these worlds, such as Cimarosa, are no more than mines and staging bases for industry and Fleet, but others, like Velcastra, Omaru and Louverne have become wealthy and independent. All of the Deep Sky Colonies desire autonomy and resent both the military service levy and the taxation

DeepSky Fleet - the military space force, commanded from the Terran Confederacy. Service in Fleet is compulsory, through conscription. The colonies resent the military service levy, but for thirty years the Terran Confederation has maintained a 'strong starfleet policy,' following their perception of the threat from the Hellgate region. The current Fleet maintains over two thousand ships, ranging from couriers and tenders to the warships, the carriers and super-carriers. For many veterans, Fleet is a way of life, but for conscripts life aboard a carrier is harsh. Fleet discipline is notorious, and corporal punishment is commonplace.

DeepSky Fleet Intelligence - Fleet's 'secret service' bureau, intimately associated with, but distinct from both Internal Affairs and the Fleet Justice Division.

DeepSky Levy - see military service levy.

Dendra Shemiji - an ancient secret society originally founded by the Resalq, in the centuries prior to human expansionism. Most information about both the society and its founder people is known only from the archeological record, but in fact the society has survived into the present. Originally founded for the protection of the Resalq people, Dendra Shemiji has become an elite society of assassins, without political affiliation or interest in the human colonies. See Curtis Marin and Mark Sherratt. The Resalq term, 'dendra shemiji' means, in the ancestral language, 'knife-silence', which is best translated as 'the silence of knives'.

Deuel, Lin Ford - governor or Velcastra for twelve years, father of Sondra Mei-Ming Deuel, who was Robert Chandra Liang's third wife, and grandfather of Karl David Liang, whose murder, during conscripted military service, indirectly triggered the alliance between Dendra Shemiji and the DeepSky Fleet Intelligence.

Deuel, Sonja Mei-Ming - third wife of Robert Chandra Liang. She was the mother of Liang's only son, Karl David Liang.

dimensional anomaly navigator - specialist in, or using, anomaly prediction software to navigate the "riptides" of Rabelais Space.

Draft, the - see military service levy

Drift, the - a common term for Rabelais Space.

Durn Forest - a densely forested region of the Mawson colony.

E

e'quero - the ancestral Resalq term: 'parent'.

e-space - 'extra'-space, also known as both hyper- and subspace; the hyperflight envelope through which a ship equipped with Weimann Drive travels.

earrings - worn by both genders as a statement of affluence in the colony of Velcastra. Other colonies have developed different cosmetic trends

Elar'ne - the ancestral Resalq term for Hellgate: 'the place of storms,' or 'the stormy side of the sky'.

Elite General Services Committee - the official liaison office between Fleet and the government of the Confederation.

Elstrom City - the trade capital, though not the set at government, of the colony of Velcastra. The city was the first founded on Velcastra in the era of human expansionism, when this colony, like most others in the Shackleton Void, were settled by sleeper ship. See also StarCity.

Elstrom Field - the civilian spaceport servicing the trade capital of Velcastra. Scene of the 'Horizon disaster.'

Ely, Alessandro - xenobiologist aboard the City of Shackleton Explorer. His name is remembered in the civilian sector or Ely, in Elstrom City, Velcastra.

Elysium - the spaceport city, capital of the Avalon colony.

engine sled - an engine module, usually not equipped with Weimann Drive, assigned to tug duties, shunting shuttles or cargo within a system.

Equinox Industries - major industrial developer in the public sector; since 2543 a construction subcontractor to Fleet, building tenders, couriers and light warships in the yards over Avalon in the Zeus system.

Eureka Valley - an inhospitable lowland in the south hemisphere of Borushek, unsuitable for agriculture or routine settlement and given over to robotized industry. The city of Jackson was eventually built to accommodate human workers at the plant manufacturing fuel cells to Fleet.

evac pilot - pilot of any of several designs of fast, agile ship designed to insert personnel into a battlefield situation and extract them. Lightly armed and shielded, the evac spaceplanes depend on gunships for the protection on the way into a battle zone.

execution, military - see firing squad.

F

Falk, Lorenzo, Colonel - the officer commanding the super-carrier Kiev at the time of the 'Kiev Incident,' and subsequently given command of the Intrepid, and, three weeks later, the assignment to Hellgate.

FIA - Fleet Internal Affairs.

field promotion - in time of necessity, a Master Sergeant can be awarded the rank of lieutenant, though normally officers are conscription veterans who, upon re-enlistment, choose to exercise their veteran's right to enroll in military college.

firing squad - execution within the military is performed by a firing squad.

five year hitch - military service, following conscription. The five year tour in the DeepSky Fleet has been compulsory for thirty years, following the 'strong starfleet policy' statement from the Terran Confederation.

FJD - Fleet Justice Divition.

Fleet - common street-term for the DeepSky Fleet

Fleet Archive - the master archive, at Fleet Base on Borushek. The records of every serviceman are stored in the archive, and since military service is compulsory, the Fleet Archive is actually a database of virtually every citizen.

Fleet command hierarchy - the 'three R's,' the system of ranking, responsibility and reporting within the DeepSky Fleet. Each in-draft of conscripts is filled with unranked personnel. Following basic training individuals are identified by their specialty (weapons systems, demolition, pilot, etc: there are over forty areas of specialization, from Infirmary nurse to carrier pilot). With experience and aptitude comes promotion to Sergeant and Master Sergeant. Field promotions to lieutenant are unusual but not unknown. However, no further field promotions are permissible. With the completion of the five-hear-hitch of compulsory military service, all veterans are welcome to enroll in office training. A graduate leaves military college with the rank of lieutenant, and again, with experience and aptitude, service in the command corps of a carrier or super-carrier, comes promotion. Command corps ranks are three-tiered: Lieutenant, Major and Colonel, with the junior officers serving as department heads and the most senior officer recognized as the CO. Traditionally, commanding an aerospace combat wing, the colonel assigned as CO is addressed as Captain, but the DeepSky Fleet should not be confused with the Navy, which survives as a planet-bound service.

Fleet discipline - see DeepSky Fleet and corporal punishment

Fleet Inquiry Tribunal - part of Fleet's 'self-regulation' initiative, a formal investigation performed by Fleet Justice Department at the request of an individual in the service. So long as the request for the Inquiry is made formally, there can be no allegation of misconduct on the part of the individual; and if the Tribunal finds against the serviceman who called for it, reassignment is the rule, so that the serviceman is separated from an officer corps and peer group who may be hostile.

Fleet Justice Division - Fleet's legal body, comprised of veterans trained in law in the civilian environment after compulsory military service, and returned to Fleet with enrollment in military college. Fleet Justice is a career.

flight deck - on a carrier or supper-carrier, the deck housing the hangars, from which the big ship's compliment of gunships, fighters, tenders and tractors launch.

Freespace - the region directly beyond the frontier, outside the reach of Fleet and the colonial governments. Freespace is a refuge for privateers and mercenaries, and their mobile 'city' of Halfway has grown in the last half century, despite Fleet's attempts to eradicate their presence.

G

Gael, Tam Lin - cartographer aboard the City of Shackleton Explorer, commemorated in the name of the civilian sector of Gael, in Elstrom City, Velcastra.

gelemerald - synthetic emeralds, a common stone in the Resalq era and now known only from archaeological finds among Resalq ruins, rendering the synthetic more rare and valuable than genuine emeralds.

Gemini - a recreational club for workers and citizens in Vazyabinsk.

Geneva - capital city of the colony of Jagreth.

gravity event - a "riptide" in Rabelais space where time, space and gravity blur. When a ship is caught in such a "gravity storm," it is badly damaged or destroyed. Avoidance of such events requires anomaly prediction software, pioneered by Rabelais and Yamazake, and developed by Jazinsky.

gravity resist - a neutral gravity field, also known as a buoyancy field, and repulsion.

gyrobike - form of personal transportation popular in crowded inner cities. The single wheel is gyro-stabilized and the vehicle is computer guided.

genetic re-engineering - (see colonization)

genetically re-engineered human forms - The years-long travel time between the colonies necessitated the redesign of human forms to cope with difficult ecosystems with higher or lower gravity, thinner or thicker atmosphere with very much higher or lower mean temperatures and humidities , different UV levels, more or less atmospheric oxygen, and other challenges to 'normal' human forms.

gryphon - a designer drug, popular recreation in dance shops throughout the colonies.

gunship - any of the various designs of armed, armored tactical strike ships which fly close support for a carrier, and topcover for troops in the field. They are fast, maneuverable and heavily armed, but are not equipped with the Weimann Drive.

H

Haagen - one of three habitable worlds in the Shackleton Void, Haagen was badly contaminated in a nuclear disaster known commonly as the 'Yoruba event,' early in the colony's history, and abandoned by the civilian population. Only the Stevenage Company maintains operations there, mining the world without the concerns of heavy-element contamination, since Haagen is already a toxic no-man's-land.

Haldians - any of the genetically redesigned crews which tried unsuccessfully to colonize the Middle Heavens planet Haldis. The colony was abandoned after five generations, when its steadily warming climatic trend negated the wide-scale agriculture which was the colony's reason for establishment. The Haldians dispersed to other colonies and Haldis is remembered only in their redesigned genes.

handy - any of scores of handheld devices from book viewers and playboxes to navigation decks and e-space transmitters.

Halfway - space city in no-man's-land, in Freespace, beyond the frontier; the closest colony is Omaru. Halfway is a tacked-together assortment of derelict spacecraft and a minor planetoid which was honeycombed and fitted with the salvaged Weimann Drive unit from a deep space salvage tug. It is a base of operations for mercenaries and black marketeers because it lies in an essentially ungoverned region.

Haven - colony in the Middle Heavens, settled by a splinter group from Kushinbai, who found Haven's high gravity agreeable. The Kuchini group became extremely affluent, since Haven is a rich source of fuel elements. Many Haveners took their fortunes and returned to Earth, which was usually a mistake, since the tolerance for 'colonials' on the street, on Earth, is low. Numerous Kuchini became bankrupt, and further military service, or mercenary work, was their only escape from Earth's 'city bottom' ghettoes.

Hellgate - the common term for the Rabelais Drift.

h'ere-zar - a Resalq term: lovemaking.

Highroller - an executive yacht, Weimann Drive enabled, manufactured by the Kotaro-Fuente company.

holotheater - virtual reality entertainment, provided in recreation clubs.

home colonies - the star systems first colonized by the Terran Confederation in the early years of human expansionism. They lie close to Earth and suffer no threat from the Rabelais region.

homeworlds government - the government of the home colonies, seated on Earth.

Horizon disaster - the worst aerospace disaster in the history of Velcastra. The Cygnus Logistics freighter Cygnus Horizon 'hard-landed' following a reactor scram on landing approach. The Elstrom Field region was heavily contaminated, and disaster relief from the home colonies did not arrive for months, by which time Velcastra had coped alone. The colony's resentment of the military service levy and taxation by the Terran Confederation began with this event.

human expansionism - also known as the 'colonial period,' the three centuries preceding the development of the Weimann Drive, in which humans colonized the habitable worlds within their reach by sleeper ship. The years-long travel time between the colonies necessitated the redesign of human forms to cope with difficult ecosystems with higher or lower gravity, thinner or thicker atmosphere with very much higher or lower mean temperatures and humidities , different UV levels, more or less atmospheric oxygen, and other challenges to 'normal' human forms. Following the development of the Weimann Drive there was no necessity for genetically re-engineered human forms, but many redesigned humans, such as the Lushi, Pakrani and Kushini had already become "fixed," and the tradition of genetic redesign resulted in redesign for cosmetic purposes, a fashion indulged in only by the wealthy.

Hydralis - capital city and cultural center of the Omaru colony; population eight million.

hyperflight envelope - see e-space.

hyperspace - see e-space.

I

Infirmary - the hospital, including the surgical unit and ICU, morgue and pathology laboratory, aboard a carrier or super-carrier.

IntelScan - technology developer servicing the medical and aerospace sectors, IntelScan are based on Omaru, and much of their work is under contract to Fleet.

Intrepid - one of a fleet of six super-carriers, she is on assignment for three years to the Rabelais Drift and under the command of Colonel Lorenzo Falk at the end of her service life. Her previous captain was Colonel Miriam Wong.

J

Jackson - the industrial city on Borushek responsible for supplying most fuel cells to Fleet. It is situated in the Eureka Valley.

Jagreth - an earthlike world, colonized by sleeper ship in the early years of human expansionism. Jagreth is similar enough to Earth in terms of gravity and atmosphere that humans did not need to be re-engineered. Because the planet is as Earthlike as Omaru, Borushek and Velcastra, it is densely populated. It lies in the outer sectors of the Middle Sky, six days from Velcastra, and twenty days from Earth.

Jagreth Prime - the largest of Jagreth's three moons, heavily mined. The transit base was built there, rather than being a space platform.

Jazinsky, Barb - civilian sector software engineer working for Richard Vaurien, her major work has been in the field of anomaly prediction software, developing systems based on old Yamazake routines, which enable the wreckers to safely navigate regions of Hellgate where Fleet flies only at great risk. Jazinsky is a third-generation Pakrani, and at the urging of Vaurien, who protected her and nurtured her talent, she avoided the military service levy on her homeworld of Santorini.

jupiter spruce - a hardy, fast-growing evergreen tree similar to both pine and spruce; genetically engineered for survivability in various climates.

Jurgens, Francois, Colonel - the public relations liaison at Borushek Base.

K

Kathleen - a barren, inhospitable world in the Mawson system, mined by the colony for raw materials used by local industry. See Regan de la Courte. Mining processes have almost destroyed the planet, and Kathleen is a haze of rubble punctuated by mass drivers and orbital smelters. Most of the planet is a honeycomb of deep pit mines left by the massive robot mining machines, each miner the size of a small city.

Kathleen Station - the headquarters of the Regan de la Courte mining operation, on Kathleen. The planet's only permanent structure.

Kiev - one of a fleet of six super-carriers, she was under the command of Colonel Lorenzo Falk at the time of the 'Kiev Incident.'

Kiev Incident - disaster aboard the super-carrier which destroyed large parts of the mainframe and resulted in the deaths of sixteen crew and the injury of many others. FIA investigation produced insubstantial evidence and commanding officer Lorenzo Falk was reassigned.

Kotaro-Fuente - aerospace developer serving both the civilian and military sectors with Weimann Drive equipped vessels, from carrier tenders to starclippers. The Kotaro-Fuente construction yards are scattered through the colonies, from Jagreth in the Middle Heavens to Velcastra in the Deep Sky.

Kuchini - genetically re-engineered human form, designed to colonize the planet Kuchinbai; similar human form to the Pakrani. A splinter group from Kuchinbai subsequently founded the colony of Haven. Growing rich from the mining and processing of fuel elements there, some tried to return to Earth, with dire results. See Roy Austin Neville.

Kuchinbai - colony world with high gravity and oxygen-poor atmosphere. Colonists re-engineered to settle this world were redesigned for strength, stature and lung capacity.

L

Liang, Karl David - born August 14, 2624, conscripted for military service December 4, 2641; died early-2643, date uncertain. Only child of the Velcastran tycoon, Robert Chandra Liang and Sondra Mei-Ming Deuel, daughter of the colony's twelve-year governor, Lin Ford Deuel. His murder, during conscripted service in the DeepSky Fleet, indirectly triggered the alliance between DeepSky Fleet Intelligence and the ancient secret society, Dendra Shemiji. Karl David Liang was assigned to Delta Company of the 278th Marines, under the command and tutorship of Sergeant Instructor Roy Neville. Karl was a spoiled rich boy who took poorly to the service, discipline, responsibility and duress. He panicked in a combat simulation, which resulted in corporal punishment and, ultimately, his death at the hands of Neville.

Liang, Robert Chandra - enormously wealthy industrialist from the colony world of Velcastra. His son was Karl David Liang. Eight times married, Robert has connections with government, industry and military administration, giving him the ability to reach information otherwise unavailable to one who is, essentially, a civilian. Most of his personal fortune was derived from his import/export business, based on Velcastra. He speaks primarily the Velcastran dialect, which is a blend of English, Spanish, 'Chinglish' and Japanese, reflecting the origins of Velcastra's pioneer colonists. Though married eight times, Robert Chandra Liang produced only one child, born in Elstrom City when he was 31 years old.

Lithgow - a colony world in the Middle Heavens, settled soon after Avalon and Haven.

Louverne - a Deep Sky colony world with an oxygen-rich atmosphere and mineral-rich oceans. Little of the surface is dry land, but robot processing of the oceans provides a wealth of rare elements and minerals, and Louverne's tiny population swiftly became wealthy.

Lushi - genetically re-engineered human form, designed to colonize the planet Lushiar.

Lushiar - a Middle Heavens colony world with light gravity, higher temperatures and humidity, settled in the Twenty-fourth Century.

M

MacLean, James - Chief Medical Officer aboard the Intrepid at the end of her service life. MacLean is close to retirement. He is highly qualified and vastly experienced, with an excellent service record. He was aboard the Ariel and the Nanking.

manumission - the freedom to return to civilian status after completion of the five-year-hitch in the DeepSky Fleet, with begins with conscription.

Marin, Curtis Jean - a field agent for Dendra Shemiji, and probably their best operatives, Marin is 32 years old and was born in the city of Westminster, on the colony world of Jagreth. He left Fleet with the rank of lieutenant, and his specialty was weapons systems. Marin is pilot qualified and was assigned not to Airborne but to his carrier's tac-team. Following a traumatic incident on Lushiar, where his friend was murdered, Marin was contacted by Mark Sherratt and literally adopted. With his five-year military service complete, Marin joined Dendra Shemiji and undertook very different training. The Lushiar incident was not the only trauma in Marin's personal history. He was aboard the Argos at the time of the reactor scram at Radley Station. He spent the last six months of his military service on Borushek, working with Fleet's Research and Development division, while he recovered from injuries which, while perfectly healed, nonetheless left him enforcedly sterile. Curtis was an only child. During the years of his conscripted Fleet service his parents left Jagreth for the homeworlds, and Curtis did not choose to follow them or reestablish family liaisons.

Marines - in the tradition of the early years of human expansionism, an arm of the military service providing infantry and aviation capabilities to a carrier or, more recently, a super-carrier. The Marines tradition survived into the era of Weimann Drive starflight, and flourished in the years following the 'strong starfleet policy' statement. Curtis Marin served with Sierra Company, of the 245th Marines, off the carrier Outbound Pioneer.

Mawson - one of three habitable worlds in the Shackleton Void, colonized early and soon becoming a backwater, almost forgotten by the Terran Confederacy. The mainstay of its economy is the Regan de la Courte company, which develops weapons systems under contract to Fleet. The planet's capital city is Turin, in the temperate northern hemisphere. The arid, inhospitable southern hemisphere is given over to industry.

Mayhew, Jardine - President of the Terran Confederation from 2632 to 2640. Mayhew's triple-term was cut short by a fatal sportplane crash, and his troubled presidency is mainly marked by the 'strong starfleet policy' of 2634, structured as a response to the threat perceived from the Hellgate region of Rabelais Space. The 'strong starfleet' initiative caused widespread unrest in the Middle Heavens and particularly in the Deep Sky colonies, and was responsible for triggering the so-called Colonial Wars.

Mazjeet - genetically re-engineered human form, designed to colonize the plate Mazjene. The Mazjeet were designed to tolerate cool, dry climates and low gravity. They tend to be slender, tall, and do not thrive in warmer, more humid condition.

Mazjene - a difficult world to colonize, because its star is colder than Sol, and the system's only habitable body is situated relatively far out from its sun. Mazjene is kept warm by the world's intense geothermal activity, which maintains a fragile but desirable greenhouse environment, without which Mazjene would freeze. But the atmosphere is thin and dry, with high winds, and gravity is light. The genetically re-engineered humans of this world tend to be pale, and have a nictitating membrane to protect the eyes in these difficult conditions.

mercenaries - ex-military troops from Fleet or Army, contracting to colonial governments or civilian factions and instrumental in the rebellion against the Terran Confederacy in the early years of the colonial insurrection. Most mercenaries work out of the space city of Halfway.

merchant astra - the civilian space services, encompassing civil activities from freight logistics to passenger carriers, couriers and, though less frequent in recent years, exploration and science vessels.

Middle Sky - the region of space between the home colonies of the Near Heavens and the frontier worlds of the Deep Sky.

military service levy - general conscription for the DeepSky Fleet and the Army. All young people, without exception, are conscripted at the age of 18 and their obligatory military service tour is a five-year hitch. 'The Draft' was instituted thirty years ago, by the homeworlds government, following the realization of a threat from the region of Hellgate. Conscription and taxation from the Terran Confederation and the two underlying causes for colonial insurrection.

Mitsubishi - a civilian tech and aerospace developer which has been supplying hulls, flight systems, hard- and software to the military for seven centuries, since the hundred years immediately prior to the century of human expansionism. Still working out of Earth itself, the company is based on the partially artificial island structure of Yaku-Shima, where carrier and super-carrier hulls are built in modules and assembled in orbit.

Montefiore Park - recreation facility for workers and citizens of Vazyabinsk.

Montrose - Mining site on Cimarosa.

Murchison Aerotech - a military aerospace developer based in the home colonies of Darwin's World and Rethan, supplying intercept fighters for carrier close defense. The fastest and most maneuverable of their fighters is the Eclipse.

Musashi - carrier serving in the Middle Sky.

N

Naiobe - the black hole which drives the temporo-gravitic storms in the Hellgate region. Naiobe's orbit is eccentric; it is 'wobbling' through Rabelais Space in a 'danse macabre,' where its partners are a number of supergiant stars and the still-sizzling remnant of the supernova 2631C.

Nanking - a DeepSky Fleet tender serving in the Near Heavens.

Narcotics and Riot Control - government agency responsible for security and quarantine of controlled substances, such as drugs, toxins and certain medicinal chemicals. In the Twenty-fifth century NARC was a paramilitary force, operating independently from both the 'Starfleet' (now DeepSky Fleet) and Tactical, and for several decades they were in the front line of the 'angel war.' At the close of this period, when a paramilitary was no longer required, the department was stood down and given the assignment of security and quarantine of controlled substances.

navigation tank - a 3D holographic display of navigation fixtures and trajectories, used for navigation between bodies within a system, or between star systems. Can be as large as ten meters diameter in the operations room of a large ship. See also navdeck.

navdeck - short for navigation deck. A small version, for small ships and planes, of the navigation tank found in the operations room of a ship larger than a courier.

Near Heavens - the home colonies quadrant, centered on Earth. The regions closer to Earth than the Middle Sky, which were charted and colonized by sleeper ship in the centuries before the development of the Weimann Drive.

Neville, Roy Austin, Sergeant Instructor - a Master Sergeant aboard the super-carrier Intrepid at the time of her last assignment. He is 34 years old, born on Haven, of a Kuchini mother and an American father. From his genetically re-engineered mother he inherited height and girth, and lung capacity. His family had tried to make the transition fro Haven to Earth without success, and a career in Fleet was the young Neville's escape from a life of poverty. He was three times decorated for 'efficiency' during conscription, and re-enlisted at once. From the Ranger he was subsequently assigned to the Musashi, where his specialty was in weapons systems. Two years later he was transferred to the notorious super-carrier, the Kiev, and finally to the Intrepid.

newsvid - more than a news bulletin. A multi-channel datafeed with video, audio and multi-layered data channels carrying the story, the underlying research and weblinks.

Nova 2631C - the vast halo of gasses left from the third supernova of 2631 in the Carina quadrant. The supernova is only the latest of several such events taking place in or near Hellgate within the era of record. The remnants of 2631C are being ingested by the black hole, Naiobe, which lies to galactic north of Hellgate.

O

Olu Kailua - a band from Pakrenne, performing an odd synthesis of contrapuntal music with its melodic roots in Polynesia and its rhythms and harmonic processes rooted in the works of Vivaldi and Mozart.

Omaru - a colony on the near-fringe of the frontier, heavily taxed by the Terran Confederacy and troubled by the military service levy, and the first to erupt into colonial insurrection when the government in Hydralis City engaged the services of mercenaries and black marketeers, and declared itself an independent republic. Omaru is the most powerful and influential of the Deep Sky colonies, and one of the most densely populated. It is an earthlike world, where the pioneer humans needed no genetic redesign.

Omaru Prime - the largest moon of the Omaru system, orbiting Omaru itself.

Outbound Pioneer - a DeepSky Fleet carrier, home base of the 245th Marines, with whom Curtis Marin served during his five-year-hitch.

ops room, operations room. The computer bay controlling complex systems, from a warship to a mine or the Tactical security overview a city. A large ship, such as a carrier or super-carrier, is piloted from the operations room.

Outbound Pioneer - a DeepSky Fleet carrier, home base of the 245th Marines, with whom Curtis Marin served during his five-year-hitch.

P

Pakrani - genetically re-engineered human form, designed to colonize the planet Pakrenne. Similar human form to the Kuchini, the Pakrani are lage boned, tall and very strong.

Pakrenne - colony world with high gravity and oxygen-rich atmosphere, similar to Kuchinbai. Pakrenne is an inhospitable world, mountainous and nearly barren, with thick cloud layers and low light conditions, but its position on the near edge of the Shackleton Void made it an excellent supply base for exploring ships. Pakrenne remains affluent through this function.

Pakrenne Coaster - the Pakrani colony ship which was both the victim of, and the founding force for, the colony of Ulrand, on the edge of the Shackleton Void.

pilot - see carrier pilot and evac pilot.

plascrete - a compound used in prefabricated structures, neither plastic nor concrete, but a hybrid between the two, which weaves, or spins itself inside a force-generator mold, and can later be unwoven, reducing it to its 'molted' state.

playbox - a VR games player, usually a handy.

private subscriber tachyon band - public access subspace radio. See tachyon band communications.

Prometheus generators - colossal but 'dirty' nuclear generators used by Fleet and civilian industry to power miners, wreckers and terraforming machines on uninhabited planets and in lifeless environments where the fallout from the generators is inconsequential.

R

Rabelais, Ernst - Explorer and physicist of the 23rd Century, who laid down the sequence of beacons along which future spacefarers still navigate. He tried to chart the Drift, which was subsequently named 'Rabelais Space,' though Rabelais himself always called the region 'Hellgate.' At last, the region claimed the life of Rabelais, when his ship disappeared, and he was officially listed as dead though wreckage was never discovered. Rabelais was the first theoretical physicist to develop anomaly prediction software which allowed him to enter Hellgate, albeit at risk. His life was devoted to the exploration of Hellgate, which he discovered to be filled with the remnants of numerous starship wrecks, scattered throughout the orbits of Nova 2631C's outer planets, but at the end of his career, aged 84, Rabelais concluded that the region is temporally unstable because it is stitched-through with wormholes resulting from gravity tides between Naiobe and Hellgate's supergiant stars. Before Rabelais could exit the Drift, he disappeared. In latter centuries, brilliant pilots with the best anomaly prediction software transit Hellgate routinely, but the Drift claims many ships and many lives.

Rabelais Drift - a region of space aptly named Hellgate by explorers and navigators, where the forces of a black hole and several massive stars in close proximity cause anomalies in gravity, space and time, rendering the area impossible to chart and virtually impossible to navigate. Hellgate falls within the Borushek quadrant and DeepSky Fleet vessels transiting the region report to Borushek Sector Control. However, the Hellgate region is a communications blind, where the radiation flux surrounding the massive bodies disrupts both normal transmissions and those made on the tachyon band, and a ship serving in or near Hellgate communicates with sector control on Borushek by means of couriers. Hellgate lies to galactic west of the Nova 2631C. Hellgate is vast. A ship traveling at the velocity of a freighter transits the region in five days (saving fifteen days off the normal travel time between colonies). Following the perception of a military threat from the region, thirty years ago, Hellgate has been classified as a battle zone.

Rabelais Space - the official term for Hellgate.

Rabelais Track - the beacon sequence laid down by Ernst Rabelais in his last flight, prior to his disappearance in the Drift.

Rainbow Voyager - the civilian research vessel belonging to Mark Sherratt and used extensively by Barb Jazinsky to study specific zones within the Drift.

Randell, Ulverson Yves - the Pakrani explorer who first charted the colonial world of Ulrand, in the Twenty-third Century. He did not name the inhospitable world, but following the events surrounding the ill-fated Pakrenne Coaster, the planet became known as Ulrand, which is a corruption of his name.

Ranger - carrier serving in the Middle Sky.

recce - service abbreviation: reconnaissance.

Republicanism - the political leaning of the Deep Sky Colonies, who desire autonomy from the Terran Confederation, and following a long period of unrest due to conscription and taxation, entered into colonial insurrection -- rebellion, best characterized as civil war. The first colony to declare itself a republic was Omaru.

Regan de la Courte - aerospace developer supplying weapons systems under contract to Fleet. Their factories are on Mawson, in the Shackleton Void. The company is Mawson's only source of revenue and claim to notoriety, though a large percentage of the civilian population wish to sever their connections not only with Fleet, but with the Terran Confederacy too. If this were the case, and Mawson signed republican treaties with nearby Velcastra, and the powerful Deep Sky colony world of Omaru, Regan de la Courte would have to make a difficult decision: declare its loyalty to the government of Earth, or join the breakaway colonies -- which would mean supplying weapons systems to governments joining the colonial insurrection.

Resalq - the humanoid race to whom the regions of space currently known as the Middle Heavens and the Deep Sky were once their home. Their society was completely destroyed by the Zunshu, between eight hundred and one thousand years ago; they are widely believed extinct as a race, and are known mainly from the archaeological record. However, a small but growing number of the Resalq have survived and Dendra Shemiji is the umbrella under which they flourish. They live, now, among humans and as humans, after generations of genetic redesign to make the ancestral Resalq morphology close enough to the human for them to pass. However, their biology is very different from that of humans, and interbreeding is impossible. The Resalq are single-gender; each individual is capable of reproduction, though chromasome-sharing with another individual is needed for conception. Many differences between Resalq and the humans are invisible to the eye, but some are noticeable, especially in older Resalq, with generations' less redesign. The shape of the skull is slightly different; they have no natural body hair; and the ancestral Resalq possessed six fingers and toes. The Resalq lifespan is many times longer than the human; this, and their single-gender biology, has enabled the race to survive the Zunshu attempted genocide.

Rethan - one of the oldest of the Near Sky colonies, settled by sleeper ship in the first decades of the century of human expansionism. The capital is the spaceport city of Chell.

retraining - a difficult 'refresher course' undertaken by re-enlisters to Fleet. All recruits and re-enlisters are trained in simulation, where the battlefield exercises are so realistic, Fleet is allowed a twenty percent fatality rate before any investigation is necessitated.

S

sambari - whiskey, usually distilled from corn, common in Velcastra.

Sandokan Hotel - Elstrom City's six-star hotel, serving the spaceport through-traffic.

Sanmarco space city - once a defense platform in orbit over Jagreth; abandoned by the colonial military, it was bought at salvage and subsequently sold to a civilian agency. Refurbished, it was opened up for high-price domestic development.

Santorini - an Earthlike world with slightly higher gravity and mean temperature, settled by breakaway colonists from Pakrenne in the two centuries after the Pakrani humans were designed to colonize Pakrenne.

Saraine - A habitable and pleasant world on the fringe of the Deep Sky, temporarily inhabited by the Resalq. The world was abandoned immediately after the Zunshu threat became apparent, and consequently survived, while most of the Resalq homeworlds were obliterated. Saraine is fairly Earthlike, with the ruins of just one major Resalq settlement, currentl being studied by a team of archaeologists from the Lionel Shastri College, in the city of Sark on Borushek.

scud-bucket - colonial colloquialism: a spittoon.

Shackleton Mere - the marshes to the south of Elstrom City spaceport, like the Shackleton Void, it is named after the City of Shackleton, the first sleeper ship to explore the Void and survey its planets. The City of Shackleton was the fourth and final colony ship launched by the Martian city, which sought to answer its overpopulation difficulty, and repay its civic debt to AtransaBank, by means of celestial exploration and colonization.

Shackleton Void - an almost starless region of space between Valliente and Dayton, in which only three systems were found suitable for colonization, during the early years of human expansionism. In centuries to come, one of these worlds, Velcastra, became wealthy providing staging base facilities for Weimann Drive starships. Of the other two systems, Haagen was badly contaminated in the 'Yoruba event,' and abandoned by the civilian population when the colony's power generator (the sleeper ship's main reactor, installed 'groundside') suffered a meltdown. Only the Stevenage Company has operations there now, mining the world without concern about heavy-element pollution, since Haagen is already contaminated past hope of restoration. The last colony in the Shackleton Void is Mawson, a backwater almost forgotten by the Terran Confederation and the powerful Deep Sky colonies alike.

Schiskard, Dag - Executive Officer of the Shackleton City Explorer. His name is remembered in the civilian sector or Schiskard in Elstrom City, Velcastra.

service number - a conscript's file number in the Fleet Archive, typically seven digits and a letter supplying gender identification, for example, 9718694M/Liang-KD.

sherzaki - alcoholic beverage popular in the home colonies society. A blend of dry sherry and sake over crushed ice, with black olives.

Sherrat, Dario - third son of Mark Sherratt, a tenth-generation Resalq survivor. Dario is an archeologist whose specialty is cryptocybernetics.

Sherratt, Mark -one of the oldest surviving members of the Resalq race, he is "second generation", and, while his physical appearance has been engineered for him to pass among humans as human, he remains a Resalq in all ways. Mark was one of the first Resalq to organize his people in an attempt not merely to survive but to flourish in a part of space which is increasingly populated and controled by humans. His areas of academic achievement are vast, but his most important contribution to the Resalq subculture, where he has lived centuries in the twilight, and to the human culture in which he has traded and become wealthy, must be the society still known as Dendra Shemiji, which he founded and continues to govern. Mark Sherratt has several Resalq children, all of whom are more engineered than himself, and are therefore more human-seeming. Of them all, Dario Sherratt has followed in his single parent's footsteps (the Resalq as a species are mono-gender) as a scientist and idealist. Centuries old, Mark's experience spans the entire tenure of humans in the Deep Sky, and his memories range back to the years of the Resalq flight from their ravaged homeworlds.

shuttle - routine public transport flight between planets or star systems.

simulation - battlefield exercises for recruits and re-enlisters, taking place in the simulation tanks aboard carriers and super-carriers in the field. Combat exercises, which prepare a squad before the unit commits to action, are extremely dangerous and fatalities are routine. However, if the squad deployed unprepared, hundred percent casualties could easily be suffered.

simulation tank - an immense compartmeent aboard a carrier or super-carrier in which field deployments are performed in mock-up. Live ammunition is used and the simulation is equally as hazardous as the real mission, with the exception that observers can halt the simulation at any time. The object is to train operatives prior to assignment, thereby reducing overall casualties, though casualties in-sim are not questioned.

sky truck - civilian cargo carrier; some models are orbital but none have interplanetary capability.

sleeper ships - early colonization, in the era of human expansionism, was done by sleeper ship because starflight, though feasible, was still extremely slow. With the development of the Weimann Drive sleeper ships became obsolete.

Sogne - capital city of the fledgeling colony of Haagen, contaminated and abandoned in the 'Yoruba event.'

stasis vessel - a capsule, or chamber, known only from archaeological evidence. The technology appears to use the stoppage of time itself to create a complete stasis, to the molecular level, within the vessel. This technology remains in advance of humans and Resalq, though Resalq scientists have achieved an understanding of how the technology functions. The few stasis vessels unearthed in the Deep Sky colonies near Hellgate are, without exception, Zunshu in origin.

starclipper - any of several designs of civilian passenger vessels traveling between the home colonies and the Deep Sky. The long-range vessels carry between two and three hundred passengers, and all designs are equipped with Weimann Drive.

StarCity - the airborne city, floating at an altitude of fifteen thousand meters over Elstrom City, Velcastra. The kilometer wide platform rides on eight Arago field generators salvaged from heavy lifters, and the miniature city is a 'billionaires' ghetto', the ultimate 'folly' of the vastly wealthy.

Starfleet - see DeepSky Fleet.

Stevenage Company - industrial corporation mining Cimarosa and several other worlds, including Haagen in the Shackleton Void. Their development of Cimarosa involved the company founding a colony and building the city of Vazyabinsk.

strong starfleet policy - commencing in 2634, the Terran Confederation's policy of strengthening the DeepSky Fleet through warship construction and conscription in the colonies was formally announced by President Jardine Mayhew. The so-called 'strong starfleet' initiative was designed to answer the threat perceived from the Hellgate region following the loss of several colonial outposts, including Tarascon, to a nameless enemy which appeared without warning or explanation from Rabelais Space. See Zunshu.

subspace - see e-space.

super-carriers - ships four times more massive than the carriers usually serving with Fleet on the colonial patrol. Where carriers fly in convoy with other, smaller ships, super-carriers fly alone and carry onboard the equivalent of an entire battle group. Only six super-carriers were built, and all fall within the official classification of Pioneer Class warship. The ship carries five gunships and four squadrons of Murchison Eclipse fighters. The carrier itself is heavily armed and armored, with three hundred-megaton fusion reactors, multiple Arago generators and the Weimann Drive.

T

tac-team - tactical response unit, usually assigned to a carrier or super-carrier. The tac-team will be the first in space in a time of alert, providing probe, scout, intelligence and reconnaissance services.

tachyon band communications - hyperlight transmission, firing compressed signals through a subspace channel discovered long after Ernst Rabelais's disappearance.

Tactical Response, Tactical, or Tac - the civilian law enforcement body, funded by city taxes and reporting to local government.

taxation, colonial - exceptionally high taxation at all levels, levelled from colonial populations and used to support the homeworlds and inparticular, Earth. The tax levy is resented in the colonies, and in conjunction with the military service levy, taxation is one of the forces which provoked the Colonial Insurrecion.

Takahashi - a raceplane pilot, citizen of Velcastra, winner of many Grand Prix races, after whom various sports arenas, thoroughfares and recreation facilities are named.

Tarascon - a colony on the outermost fringe of the Deep Sky, close to Rabelais Space. The first colony to be lost to the unnamed threat from Hellgate; many more followed, but The Tarascon Event is recognized as the 'first strike.'

Tarascon Event - the 'first strike' event, in 2633, resulting in the complete destruction of the Tarason colony and, the following year, of Pesident Mayhew's 'strong starfleet' initiative.

temporo-spatial anomalies - an event in which time and space warp, or spasm. In such an incident, seemily stable locations and time references change without warning, wreaking havoc on ships and worlds caught in them.

tender - any of several designs of industrial ships serving with Fleet, providing backup and services to the carriers and super-carriers in the field. See also couriers. The tenders service reactors, perform hull repairs and routine maintenance, in addition to resupplying the big ship and rotating crewmembers.

Terran Confederation - political structure which welded together the home colonies in the early years of human expansionism. Today, the confederacy of words ties together 146 colony worlds through common government, based on Earth.

transit terminal - space platform servicing large ships which do not land

Travers, Neil - Master Sergeant aboard the super-carrier Intrepid at the time of her final assignment, under the command of Colonel Lorenzo Falk. He is 30 years old and was born on Darwin's World of an 'average family,' which would have condemned him to a life wasted in mediocrity. Understandably, he is a re-enlister following his conscripted service, and commands Bravo Company of the 176th Airborne. His specialty is in demolition, and like most personnel assigned to the Airborne, he is pilot qualified. After finishing his five-year-hitch, Travers worked briefly for Robert Chandra Liang, in the Velcastra colony, when Travers effectively marooned himself on Velcastra, needing work to move on. Travers installed a security system for Liang and was subsequently recommended by Liang for other work on Velcastra. Considering the planet an 'urban wilderness,' Travers re-enlisted and was assigned to the Intrepid. Liang reports an 'element of madness' in Travers, as in all professional soldiers who enlist in wartime, knowing they will be under fire. At the end of the Intrepid's service life, Travers is six years though a seven year re-enlistment. His first Fleet assignment, as a conscript, was the super-carrier Chicago; his parents were killed in a midair collision during those years. He has a sister and two bothers, all born when Travers himself was in his teens. Following the death of his parents the siblings scattered across the colonies, and Travers has no contact with them.

Turin - capital city, cultural center and spaceport of the Mawson colony in the Shackleton Void; population four million.

U

Ulkur - A shattered world in Rabelais Space, once earthline and probably inhabited, though little data survived the nova, which tore away Ulkur's atmosphere and denuded the deep stratae. Ibn the last millennium it was mined by the Resalq and, more recently, is used by the privateers.

Ulrand - Deep Sky colony world on the outward leg from the Shackleton Void, on the commercial traffic lane to Borushek. Most of the planet is dry, though the southern hemisphere is ringed with oceans, and the colony pads its slim economy with tourism and the casino trade. The world was originally charted by the explorer, Ulverson Yves Randell, and settled by Pakrani pioneer ships. The colony foundered and the colonial government of Pakrenne made the decision to withdraw, but separatists hijacked the Pakrenne Coaster, concealing it, holding the crew and colonists prisoner and destroying the subspace communications arrays. Almost one thousand colonists were abandoned, presumed dead, and for 140 years they survived in their own way, founding a culture very different from other worlds. When a Fleet survey vessel eventually cruised the system it was met with hostility, and a diplomatic body had for formally invite Ulrand to join the Confederation.

V

Vast, the - a Resalq term for Hellgate meaning, in the ancestral language, 'the stormy side of the sky'.

Vaurien, Richard - intellectually brilliant and both socially and politically nonconformist, Richard flaunted the law and the service. Before the age of twenty, he had deserted from the DeepSky Fleet on his first furlough after conscription, and was soon running a fleet of ships in and around Hellgate. His career as a smuggler and privateer has led to a vast fortune, and while a good deal of his time is spent in maintaining that wealth, Vaurien also trades in data, supplying intelligence to the DeepSky colonies, to assist their defiance of the Confederacy. Vaurien is known in the colonies as source of data and arms, and he has helped thousands of draftees avoid conscription. One of his oldest friends and allies is Neil Travers, with whom he shares a personal "history", but Vaurien's business partner is the brilliant Barb Jazinsky. Vaurien is, like Travers, from Darwin's World, but his business interests keep him out on the frontier, in the strife-torn Deep Sky colonies.

Vazyabinsk - capital city of the Cimarosa mining colony. An almost prefabricated, and certainly 'temporary' city, developed to accommodate the working population of Cimarosa for the approx. 80 years of the world's mining development. See Stevenage Company.

Vazyabinsk Trade Tower - the Stevenage industrial and trade conference center

Velcastra - formerly a frontier world, now a trade hub in the Middle Sky. Situated in the Shackleton Void, Velcastra developed as a staging base for the colony ships passing through to and back from the Deep Sky. As a consequence, the import-export trade flourished, and since Velcastra is very comparable to Earth in terms of gravity, atmosphere and climate, the colony was soon densely populated, and the new citizens were of 'normal' rather than genetically re-engineered human stock. Massive fortunes were made by individuals in trade and starship services, but since Velcastra was on the far fringe of the Shackleton Void, much closer to Rabelais Space than to the trade routes shared with Earth, the colony developed its own culture and was soon vilified by the Near Sky worlds for its 'rural' and even backward nature.

vidphone - more than a phone; data transfer point for public access

Volvo - aerospace developer with roots dating back to Earth's pre-space era.

Venice - capital city of Darwin's World, in the home colonies, where Fleet operates and research and development facility.

W

Wastrel - the civilian salvage vessel under the command of Richard Vaurien. The ship is Vaurien's home as well as his business, and has been massively converted and modified until it is an unlikely hybridization between tug, warship and luxury yacht.

Weiss - civil aerospace manufacturer serving the Deep Sky colonies. The main factory is in Hydralis city, the capital of the Omaru colony.

Weimann Drive - the hyperlight engines enabling human expansionism and starflight through the generation of the hyperflight envelope, which allows a vessel to transit e-space. The Weimann Drive opened up the Middle Heavens and the Deep Sky in the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Centuries, taking humans far beyond the home colonies which were the cradle of the Terran Confederation. However, the engine was not without design difficulties, and the first generation of the Weimann technology was blamed, in part, for the so-called Adelle Challenger disaster. Later generations of the engine were free of ignition problems, but the fallout from the drive remains so toxic, by law ignition is not enabled when a ship is within a quarter billion kilometers of any world with a viable environment.

Westminster - major population center on Jagreth. Curtis Marin was born there.

Winslow, Dianne - the science officer aboard the City of Shackleton Explorer. Her name is remembered in the civilian sector of Winslow, in Elstrom, in Velcastra.

Winslow-Mao Academy of Space Sciences - science and technology university with extensive laboratory facilities and campuses on Velcastra, Omaru and Borushek. Their specialty is the study of Rabelais Space and much of their work is performed on contract to the DeepSky Fleet. The Academy was founded by the grandchildren of Dianne Winslow, who was a founder member of the Velcastra colony.

Wong, Miriam, Colonel - officer commanding the Intrepid prior to the assignment of Colonel Lorenzo Falk to this position.

wreckers - civilian salvage operators working in Rabelais Space, where they pull hulks or cargoes out of the region where they were destroyed by temporo-spatial anomalies or gravity events. It is a popular misconception that the wreckers actually destroy most ships lost in Hellgate. In fact, the Drift accounts for the vast majority of wrecks, and the salvage operators take only a few.

Y

Yaku-Shima - the construction yard on Earth where carrier and super-carriers are constructed in modules prior to launch and assembly in orbit. See Mitsubishi.

Yamazake Industries - civilian aerospace developer based in the home colonies. Their specialty is race planes such as the Eclipse, and they have supplied couriers to the DeepSky Fleet (previously Starfleet) since the second century of human expansionism.

Yamazake, Inoshiro - retired military sector software engineer, currently chairman and president of Yamazake Industries and, in former years a race pilot, working under contract to the colonial government of Omaru, between 2604 and 2622. His chief work for the military was in the refinement of control systems for the Weimann Drive, and in civilian life Yamazake expanded on the initial work of Ernst Rabelais, developing the anomaly prediction software which allows Fleet to fly into Hellgate at all, albeit at grave risk of the temporo-spatial anomalies which claimed the life of Rabelais and his ship.

Yamazake navigation software - any of the sixty versions of the anomaly prediction software developed by Inoshiro Yamazake under contract to Fleet.

Yoruba event - the nuclear disaster on Haagen. The main reactors from the sleeper ship Yoruba were dismantled and installed as the power generators for the fledgeling city of Sogne. Twenty-two years after the foundation of the colony, the reactors melted down and the planet's atmosphere and waters were badly contaminated. Haagen was abandoned by the civilian population. In subsequent years the Stevenage Company treatied for mining rights.

Z

Zeus - the gas giant around which orbits the planet Avalon, one of two hospitable worlds in the Near Sky colony of Elysium. The system's economy is founded on industry, with Equinox Industries being the major player, with a Fleet construction contract.

Zunshu - the enemy of both humans and Resalq in the Deep Sky, the Zunshu have never been seen, but appear directly out of Rabelais Space, which was called 'the Vast' by the Resalq, and destroy whole colony worlds by unknown means. The unknown race behind the acts of destruction are called by the Resalq term, which means only 'enemy'. The purpose of the DeepSky Fleet is to counter the Zunshu threat, which was first realized three decades ago. Following the loss of several colonies (where whole planets vanish utterly, rather than the remains of cities being left), the Terran Confederation issued its now-famous 'strong starfleet policy,' resulting in the construction of the current, enormous Fleet, funded through colonial taxation, and manned by the military service levy. Ironically, the very means to defend itself against the Zunshu threat is igniting the colonial insurrection, which might tear the Deep Sky colonies out of the Confederation with the seemingly inevitable bloom of colonial republicanism. The Zunshu completely destroyed Resalq society, to the point where they are now known only from archaeological evidence and are widely thought to be extinct as a race. Humans face the same fate unless the government of Earth changes its tactics on the frontier, but the Confederation is less than likely to be so flexible.






go left Resalq 101
One of the most challenging things about the HELLGATE books is that we are confronted by a race of people with no cultural connections back to Earth, so their language is different in every detail ... from the words themselves to the grammar, dialect, context — everything !!

With the first book, I knew I was setting out to construct a piece of fiction which would, eventually, be around a million words long. I also knew that the 'reality' of this universe would be found in its details. I had to formulate a langauge for the Resalq which would hold together properly over a text-length double the compleat Lord of the Rings (!), while some sharp-eyed readers to whom languages are their forte would quickly pinpoint woolly-brainedness, if I'd just written a lot of weird-sounding stuff and called it Resalq!

So I approached the question of language like a puzzle. The Resalq as a people are artistic, long-lived, single-gendered, ultimately peaceful. It followed that their language would have no reference to gender (in contrast to, say, German, where even the nouns are masculine, feminine or eunuchs). It also followed that the language would be expressive and probably 'flowing,' because of the artistic temperament of these people. However, it would also be a spoken language which had been refined over many centuries, and culled down to minimal syllables to say something, rather than having patterns which ramble through many syllables ... because rambling languages are at a disadvantage when a society becomes intensely technologized! So I described the Resalq language as being 'slurred,' where whole syllables are swallowed, not spoken. In this way, the artistic element comes out in the speech, yet the language has been culled down by dropping unnecessary syllables ... the process is evident in English too. Consider this: aggravation became aggro, which soon became ag. Also, television swiftly shortened to telly in the UK, tv in the States, and I've actually heard teev ...!

A writer can always be clever, but there's a point you can't get beyond: there is no such thing as a single human language. Rather, we have hundreds of languages, and it'll come to a brawl when/if we ever have to decide which language will be used to represent the Earth.

So you just have to overlook this and accept the somewhat unlikely proposition that a complex race like the Resalq will have a single mother tongue. If you can set aside your disbelief, you can get on with the next step! Developing a single language ... and doing it to a believable, reproducable pattern.

It comes down to a number of questions: what does the infinitive form of a verb look like? How do you change it into the other tenses? What do you add, to form the plural? How is a word turned into the negative (lucky/unlucky, soul/soulless, sense/nonsense)? Is a verb conjugated in a way which (like Spanish) indicates who's speaking, so the personal pronoun isn't needed? Whereabouts in the sentence is the verb placed? Does this langage use the definite article or, like Russian, does it do without? And what are the pronouns?

Answering those questions gives a reasonably good foundation for the language! So the next step was to add some words.

The vocabulary began very simply in THE RABELAIS ALLIANCE, with a few terms. Zunshu simply means enemy; e'quero means parent. Elar'ne means 'the stormy side of the sky,' which re-translates as The Vast = Hellgate.

In DEEP SKY, we got to add in some brief phrases, because the language was taking shape as I took apart the terms and analysed them. Sem arnellan-shun means 'no time to waste.' Havre lustr'en means 'ambush.' Carellan Djerun means 'Rainbow Voyager.' Kjor'in means a 'malicious practical joke,' and Car'am anha means 'Dying Time.'

So far so good. Now, to take those to pieces. For example...

ELAR'NE ... the word is abbreviated in the middle, meaning one or more syllables is/are dropped. Figure ELAR means (the) storm. You can also derive a verb from this — to storm. Say, ELAR started life as ELAREN, and the 'en' was swallowed. In English, storm becomes stormy with the addition of a 'y' ... in Resalq, drop then 'en' to go from storm to stormy. Now, add in something to be the equivalent of 's' in English, the pluralizer. Say, 'am' pluralizes words in Resalq.

Now you have ELAREN for Storm; ELAR is stormy, when everyone drops the last syllable. ELARAM is the plural, storms. And to derive a verb from ELAR, assign a syllable to represent the extension to the verb-stem which forms the infinitive ... call it 'len' ... and you get ELARLEN, being the verb '(to) storm.'

The second segment in ELAR'NE is also abbreviated, from UNE, meaning sky. Add the pluralizer, and you have UNEAM, meaning skies.

Now, ZUNSHUAM would be 'enemies.' Add a syllable to indicate possession in the first person (my, mine) ... call it 'or' (same as the 's in English), and ZUNSHUOR = my enemy; ZUNSHUORAM translates out as 'my enemies.'

CARELLAN DJERUN is pretty simple: Rainbow + Voyager/Traveler. Carellanam gives you the plural, rainbows. Djerunam = travelers. You can also derive a verb from 'traveler.' We decided 'lal' is the infinitive extension added to the verb stem, so DJERLAL is the verb (to) travel. And you can also infer that the addition of 'un' to the verb stem turns the play into the player: travel to traveler (one who travels). So now you could also have ELARUN = one who storms (ie., blew through here in a fit of temper).

The analysis of the language took off from there. Using no more than what is on the printed page already in RABELAIS and DEEP SKY, you can infer a tremendous amount, and the Resalq language will build from here. Rather than being euphoneous gibberish, you can actually speak it (if you wanted to, though heaven knows why you would):

e'quero-or prelel djerlan Elar'ne ...
my parent chosen/was (to) travel [to] Hellgate
my parent was chosen to go to Hellgate.

...it wasn't easy, but it was interesting!


COPYRIGHT 1991, 2004 BY MEL KEEGAN. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.







Travers, Neil Andrew - Master Sergeant aboard the super-carrier Intrepid at the time of her final assignment, under the command of Colonel Lorenzo Falk. He is 30 years old and was born on Darwin's World of an 'average family,' which, save for his decision to pursue a military career, would have condemned him to a life wasted in mediocrity. Understandably, he is a re-enlister following his conscripted service, and commands Bravo Company of the 176th Airborne. His specialty is in demolition, and like most personnel assigned to the Airborne, he is pilot qualified. After finishing his five-year-hitch, Travers worked briefly for Robert Chandra Liang, in the Velcastra colony. Travers had effectively marooned himself on Velcastra, needing work to move on. He installed a security system for Liang and was subsequently recommended by Liang for other work on Velcastra. Considering the planet an 'urban wilderness,' Travers re-enlisted and was assigned to the Intrepid. Liang reports an 'element of madness' in Travers, as in all professional soldiers who enlist in wartime, knowing they will be under fire. At the end of the Intrepid's service life, Travers is six years though a seven year re-enlistment. His first Fleet assignment, as a conscript, was the super-carrier Chicago; his parents were killed in a midair collision during those years. He has a sister and two bothers, all born when Travers himself was in his teens. Following the death of his parents the siblings scattered across the colonies, and Travers has no contact with them, though the eldest is now of conscription age, and Travers wonders sometimes if he should trace them through Fleet records.
Marin, Curtis Jean - a field agent for Dendra Shemiji, and probably their best operative, Marin is 32 years old and was born in the city of Westminster on the colony world of Jagreth. His mother was a musician, his father an architect. In his early years he wanted to be a musician, but never pursued this. He left Fleet with the rank of lieutenant, and his specialty was weapons systems. Marin is pilot qualified and was assigned not to the Airborne but to his carrier's tac-team. Following a traumatic incident on Lushiar, where his friend was murdered, Marin was contacted by Mark Sherratt and literally adopted. With his five-year military service complete, Marin joined Dendra Shemiji and undertook very different training. The Lushiar incident was not the only trauma in Marin's personal history. He was aboard the Argos at the time of the reactor scram at Radley Station. He spent the last six months of his military service on Borushek, working with Fleet's Research and Development division, while he recovered from injuries which, while perfectly healed, nonetheless left him enforcedly sterile. Curtis was an only child. During the years of his conscripted Fleet service his parents left Jagreth for the homeworlds, and Curtis did not choose to follow them or reestablish family liaisons.
Sherratt, Mark - one of the oldest surviving members of the Resalq race, he is "second generation", and, while his physical appearance has been engineered for him to pass among humans as human, he remains a Resalq in all ways. Mark was one of the first Resalq to organize his people in an attempt not merely to survive but to flourish in a part of space which is increasingly populated and controled by humans. His areas of academic achievement are vast, but his most important contribution to the Resalq subculture, where he has lived centuries in the twilight, and to the human culture in which he has traded and become wealthy, must be the society still known as Dendra Shemiji, which he founded and continues to govern. Mark Sherratt has several Resalq children, all of whom are more engineered than himself, and are therefore more human-seeming. Of them all, Dario Sherratt has followed in his single parent's footsteps (the Resalq as a species are mono-gender) as a scientist and idealist. Centuries old, Mark's experience spans the entire tenure of humans in the Deep Sky, and his memories range back to the years of the Resalq flight from their ravaged homeworlds.
Vidal, Michael Wasim (Mick) - leader of the Delta Dragons, one element of the Close Defense Force of the super-carrier Kiev, under the command of Colonel Alexis Rusch, who is almost family. Vidal is the eldest son of one of Velcastra’s most influential families, and one of only three beneficiaries of the will of his very elderly, very wealthy father. The Vidals, the Deuels, the Liangs and Shackletons are all at the pinnacle of the social and political scene in Elstrom City, and like many Velcastrans Michael Vidal is an active member of the Daku society. He is very tall, and though he is dark he has the body morphology of the Pakrani, which reflects his mother's genestrand. She was an athlete in her day: "Elaine Osman, captain of the Pakrenne national aeroball team for the six years when they won everything ..." Ms. Osman subsequently left Vidal Snr., and she and Mick are not on the best terms. Osman is an ambitious social climber with her eyes set now on Jagreth's head of state. Meanwhile, Michael Vidal leads a double life, commanding Delta Company for Fleet, and at the same time acting as a 'spy' for Velcastra's Daku. On his chest he wears a tattoo of the Daku symbol, the open-headed ankh.
Vaurien, Richard - intellectually brillant and both socially and politically nonconformist, Richard flaunted the law and the service. Before the age of twenty, he had deserted from the DeepSky Fleet on his first furlough after conscription, and was soon running a fleet of ships in and around Hellgate. His career as a smuggler and privateer has led to a vast fortune, and while a good deal of his time is spent in maintaining that wealth, Vaurien also trades in data, supplying intelligence to the DeepSky colonies, to assist their defiance of the Confederacy. Vaurien is known in the colonies as source of data and arms, and he has helped thousands of draftees avoid conscription. One of his oldest friends and allies is Neil Travers, with whom he shares a personal "history", but Vaurien's business partner is the brilliant Barb Jazinsky. Vaurien is, like Travers, from Darwin's World, but his business interests keep him out on the frontier, in the strife-torn Deep Sky colonies.
Jazinsky, Barb - civilian sector software engineer working for Richard Vaurien, her major work has been in the field of anomaly prediction software, developing systems based on old Yamazake routines, which enable the wreckers to safely navigate regions of Hellgate where Fleet flies only at great risk. Jazinsky is a third-generation Pakrani, and at the urging of Vaurien, who protected her and nurtured her talent, she avoided the military service levy on her homeworld of Santorini. Vaurien "plucked her" out of college before the Service Levy could get hold of her, after Barb had already, in her early teens, shown the brilliance which would one day challenge Hellgate and open a window onto alien technologies. She is further set apart by her re-engineered Pakrani genes: her people are mesomorphic, with white-blond hair, and have a general physique suited to athletics and the trade of the professional soldier, though Barb Jazinsky has invested a great deal of her time in avoiding the Service Levy.
Ingersol, Tully - brilliant in his own right, Tully Ingersol has spent years as the senior Weimann specialist aboard Richard Vaurien's salvage tug, Wastrel. He has become Vaurien's firm friend, and though he enjoys an on-going professional rivalry with Barb Jazinsky, the two are, in fact, staunch allies. The same cannot be said of Ingersol's relationship with the brilliant but disagreeable Tonio Teniko, whose field not Weimann but hyper- Weimann physics. Ingerson and Teniko share an uneasy truce while Teniko is aboard the Wastrel, but are never at peace. Ingersol was born beyond the frontier -- born in space, aboard a Freespacer asteroid miner, and he never served in the DeepSky Fleet. His incomprarable experience of engine technology derives from a lifetime spent on on big ships which must fend for themselves, and he maintains that as an engineer, one learns more wheh the tech goes wrong than when it functions perfectly ... so the place to learn best and fastest is not on a Fleet vessel, working on billion-dollar machinery, but on the battered and patched-together vessels flying out of Freespace.
Teniko, Tonio - probably the most brilliant human scientist of his generation, Tonio Teniko was also one of the least fortunate. He was born of Lushi genetics, with small stature and arresting physical beauty, and his five- year conscription "hitch" in the DeepSky Fleet became a nightmare of sexual abuse from which he never psychologically recovered. Years later, Teniko is still unbalanced, seeing threat and insult in every glance. He has one ambition: to have himself genetically modified using cutting-edge Resalq technology. At the end of the process, he will be reborn as a Pakrani, sharing the genestocks of Jazinsky and van Donne. The process is perfectly doable; the downside is the time it takes and the physical agony involved in modifying a living, conscious human body -- and Teniko is already abusing several drugs which mar his performance as a scientist at the forefront of the new technologies on which the Deep Sky depends for victory and liberty. Jazinsky discovered Teniko on CityNet, and soon took him out of a mental institution on Velcastra. She believed him to be rehabilitated, but soon enough Teniko lapsed back into old ways. He remained aboard the Wastrel when Richard Vaurien became infatuated with him, but ignored every shred of advice Vaurien could give, and Richard's affections began to wear thin when he realized he would never get through Tonio's armored shell of self-interest, which was the result of the psychological disorder for which Teniko continually refused help.
van Donne, Sergei - cashiered out of the DeepSky Fleet at the time of the Kiev incident, Sergei van Donne headed for Freespace and for years has done business out of Halfway, Ulrand and the free colonies beyond the frontier. He is half Pakrani, half Kushini -- big, muscular, physically dangerous, and also highly intelligent. For too long, he "played both ends against the middle" while making a vast fortune, running the Omaru blockade. The most infamous of his triple-deals was a scam in which he cheated both the Reagan de la Court company on one side and the colonial militia on Omaru, to which he was running munitions. Billions of colonial dollars vanished in the underhand transaction. But there are points Sergei will not go beyond, and eventually he found himself the wronged party, hungry not only for vengeance, but for a fresh start for himself and the crew of his ship, the Mako. Sergei flies with Rafe Byrne and, lately, with Ramon, the pro shooter from the Marak City underground, and they all want justuce -- or vengeance.
Ramon - the newest of a new breed of professional gunfighter from the spaceport rink of Marak City on the freespacer world of Ulrand, Ramon has all the best connections in all the wrong places. He knows the best and worst of people from Omaru to Halfway, but what he really wants is to get himself a berth on the Mako, and a place in Sergei van Donne's life. very young, Ramon is of Lushi genestock and came up out of Marak's gutters by virtue of his skill with weapons, his keen reflexes, and an over-developed sense of ambition. For some time he flew with Fenando Wang on the Krait, but when his opportunity came to transfer to the Mako, he took it.
Sherrat, Dario - third son of Mark Sherratt, a tenth-generation Resalq survivor. Dario is an archeologist whose specialty is cryptocybernetics. His work has taken him into some of the most obscure backwaters of the DeepSky colonies, where he has spent several decades researching relics which may be Zunshu. Like all Resalq, Dario is extremely long-lived (in human terms, he is now around 80 years old; his life-partner, Tor Sereccio, is around 90; both seem to be round 30 years old, to human eyes), and individuals of his generation, though human-looking, are still mono-gender. Of all Mark's sons, Dario has followed in his parent's footsteps as a scientist.
Sherrat, Leon - first born son of Mark Sherratt, a tenth-generation Resalq survivor. Unlike his brother dario, Leon did not inherit Mark's gift for mathematics, and he soon chose to carve out a difference niche for himself. If Mark and Dario have the ability to reverse-engineer Zunshu relics that have been discovered in the most unlikely places, Leon has the ability to find them. His hunt for Zunshu tech took him to Omaru, where he met his life partner, the human linguist, Roy Arlott -- and the work landed him in lethal trouble, when he tracked a piece of Zunshu technology to the Universty of Omaru, Hydralis, and had literally to steal it, to get it out of amateur hands which could easily have created anout El Khouri Event by tampering with it. By human standards, Leon is quite old, at well past hs century, but his people are extremely long-lived. He is one of the "modern" Reasalq, from a generation which has been modified sifficiently to pass as human, among humans.
Shapiro, Harrison - Fleet Sector Commander, Borushek. The most senior DeepSky Fleet officer in the sector most distant from the Home Colonies. Shapiro is answerable largely to no one and entrusted with making a good deal of Fleet policy on the frontier. He dislikes having his authority questioned, especially when agents have been dispatched from the government of the Confederacy, apparently to investigate his methods or results in a difficult sector. Shapiro is much more aware than anyone back in the Home Colonies of the volatile nature of the frontier, and how tenuous is the Confederacy's grasp on the colonies. He is also aware of the impending Zunshu threat, though he has no greater understanding of what is on the way than has any other human. Shapiro has spent most of his service career on the frontier, and has both the mindset and the authority to make decisions which will certainly change the future. Shapiro was married to Lauren Russell-Shapiro, whom he met when both were serving in Fleet; and he is now widowed.
Liang, Robert Chandra - the most wealthy industrialist on Velcastra, and the nominal head of the Velcastran Daku movement, Robert Chandra Liang is at once an intensely spiritual man, and a reluctant politician, in whose hands rests the liberty of Velcastra. He has been married many times, but the most sigificant union was with Sonja Mei Ming Deuel, which produced the boy, Karl David, who was murdered on active service aboard the super-carrier Intrepid by Sergeant Roy Neville. That act of violence brought Neil Travers to Ellstrom StarCity, for a meeting which would prove to be one of the pivotal events of the Colonial War, for it directly brought about an alliance between the underground Colonial Republicans, the Resalq science community from Riga, Borushek, headed by Mark Sherratt, and General Harrison Shapiro himself. Chandra Liang is intimately connected with the Republican factions on the Deep Sky worlds where insurrection has been brewing for a long time. He had only one child, Karl David. His main home is the mansion on StarCity, where Neil Travers once jobbed as a security specialist, installing a new surveillance system, before re-enlisting in Fleet.









About the art on this page: all art is by Jade, who is DreamCraft's cover artist. She has been a Hellgate fan for 10 years, and when she recently got into the wonderful world of CG art, designing the Hellgate characters was top of the priorities list! Jade has a gallery page on-site here -- Click to view, and enjoy!
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