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CATS: The organization which collected the efforts of various scientific, military, and volunteer groups in order to stop the apocalypse and bring about Loki's Maximum. After the Snare, CATS has released most of its operatives to allow for reconstruction efforts to proceed, and now concerns itself primarily with maintaining Ground Minus One. Known CATS founders include the James Randi Educational Foundation, the Kiryu-Kai, the Queen's Own Aerial Hussars, SETI, and the UN Operations Group Echo.

Chaostropist: Someone who believes that "breaking physics" entirely will end Loki's Maximum.

Commonwealths: General alliances of interest that comprise more than one contiguous habitable territory -- what's left of national governments. The spirit of unity that allowed humanity to defeat the Almighty is still strong, and CATS (and the relative ease of grid travel) ensures that it will not abate any time soon, but something akin to nation-states have begun to reappear, usually along linguistic or climatic lines: there are five commonwealths, left over from the "ten kingdoms" during the Apocalypse.

Community Memory: A facility in which functioning computers of various types have been collected and networked together, with an ethernet feed. Often doubles as a library or an arcade, depending on what type of community this is. CM access is free or priced symbolically, allowing people to check their email. An effort is proceeding to type reference books and the like into text files, whenever possible.

Daemons: Persistent or semi-persistent constructs generated from narrative causality, that are used to animate objects or even simple machines. A particular SABRE gaming subculture calls them "machine spirits". They are generally not as good as physical automation, but considerably quicker to implement. Infotech professionals familiar with Unix systems find the term fitting. Scripting daemons requires a good deal of NC finesse, although not much raw power.

Day of Reckoning: The 11th day of September marks both the anniversary of the Rapture, the anniversary of the Snare, and the preferred time of the year for Things That Should Not Be to come out of dark zones and start attacking the living. Thus, it combines elements of somber remembrance, somber joy, and all-out kicking of ass. Not surprisingly, most people have no problem remembering the lost and celebrating the victory over the supernatural by applying liberal amounts of lead and steel to supernatural critters.

Deamonscripting: The art, or skill, of generating daemons. It can look like summoning a spirit, or like programming software, depending on the practictioner.

Desenrascanço: The skill of dealing with a problem without much in the way of advance planning. Shortened to Desenran by Japanophiles and Deez by Anglophones. Also known as gyvering when referring to mechanical problems.

Dinsencha: From the Gaelic Dindsenchas, lore-of-places. Local knowledge that isn't in the datalinks; local street wisdom, particularly of the NC variety (such as which superstitions apply to a locality and which do not, which crossroads to leave an offering at for a safe journey, and so on).

Dysprosian: A soldier in the Divine Army, belonging to the red team. After the Snarl, an occasional source of trouble to human communities. Less formally, a devil ("daemon" is reverting to the original Greek meaning). Dysprosians generally start operating in stealth, via seduction or plotting; ideally, they are exposed quickly, which sends them into a rage, and then taken down. They usually seek to free their master from Empyrean control. Unlike Empyreans, Dysprosians can be reformed (either that, or they're playing the long game; after some early excesses, even CATS is erring on the side of tolerance).

Empyrean: A soldier in the Divine Army, belonging to the blue team. After the Snarl, the primary source of problems for CATS. Less formally, an angel. Divine Will is perfect and timeless, so an Empyrean will always begin to fight as if it belonged to a large army -- if it is not taken down immediately during its initial rampage, it is able to go past its Lord's immutable strategy and adapt to its environment. Most choose infiltration or sabotage tactics.

Ethernet: Damage to the world infrastructure has made it so that little progress has happened in computer science between when the Apocalypse began in 1997 and today. Due to the inaccessibility of large portions of the world (never mind the fact that in a lot of place electrical cables flat out don't work) most international connectivity is done via radio links (hence the name), so bandwidth is limited. However, the fault-tolerant nature of the internet has made it fairly ubiquitous: most pubs and taverns will have a public terminal, and production of portable laptop terminals is restarting in a few blue zones. E-commerce is beginning to be a thing.

Grid: A stretched-out liminality that is unusual in that it has multiple accesses, reachable from all green zones and most yellow zones, with traversable areas roughly matching the positions of the remaining transcontinental data cables, active or non. This dimension is thought to be an artifact of an Empyrean or Infernal troop deployment system that interacted unexpectedly with existing human infrastructure. It is possible to enter the grid by crawstepping, or moving perpendicularly to all observable perpendicular planes while not being seen and while holding a particular state of mind. Carrying anything into the grid dimension is almost impossible, so major grid nodes exist near "take a shirt, leave a shirt" stations. Grid travel is in general faster than ground movement and can on some routes be faster than air travel. There are rumors of other Grids, including one that only covers locations in the Ligurian coast and is mostly used by cigarette smugglers, much to SABRE's annoyance.

Humanity: Narrative causality has forced the definition of "human" to expand considerably; at this point, a human is a sentient being that can function as a sentient being in P-zones. Opinion about whether those who have been Raptured still count as humans are deeply divided; on one hand, their souls are human; on the other, they have essentially betrayed the rest of the species. As far as human phenotypes go, children start with the default human shape, and experience their first change - if any - during puberty. Phenotype change is common enough that all commonwealths accommodate for it.

Ironback: An armored fighter, who sacrifices speed for strength and endurance. Armored wrestling is the method recommended by CATS to take down Empyreans, and all Academies offer at least a basic course.

Isotropist: Someone who believes that returning the observable world to isotropy (enforcing prime physics somehow) is the only way to end Loki's Maximum.

Kemi: Short from the Japanese "kemonomimi", indicates a phenotype that only varies from the Imago Dei in relatively small details such as ears, nose or tail. There are dozens of kemi categories, but if taken as a block, the kemi phenotype now covers a plurality (though not a majority) of humanity.

Liminality: A pocket dimension that can be access with the right combination of position, direction, and mental state. Generally only a few cubic kilometers across at best. Due to the difficulty of moving materiel in and out, they have limited stategic value, but can become important community spaces.

Loki's Maximum: The current era of the observable world, extending at least as far as the asteroid belt (connection with all space probes past Mars has been lost, with the exception of Voyager 1, which reports that the outside universe is either unaffected, or there's a P-zone where the probe is). Consensus is that the current situation is at best metastable, with pre-War isotropy representing a metastable state and whatever is at the end of the Apocalypse representing the ground state. A rather poor pun on "local maximum".

Mecha: A legged vehicle, usually bipedal or quadrupedal. Normally, they require some narrative control to operate properly (Blue zones tend to have good road infrastructure anyway, so wheeled vehicles are preferred). A popular choice in difficult terrain, they are used for construction and agricultural work where fuel is more plentiful than livestock. Most large mecha have backup wheels or tracks for moving on roads. Multilegged (spider) mecha are sometimes used for heavy construction in rugged terrain. The term is unashamedly derived from Japanese cartoons.

Monolith: A large obsidian stele built from the melted sand and rock of Petra crater, after the first attempt to destroy the Lamb of God by nuclear weapons failed. Above is etched the word EXPUGNAVIMUS, we overcame. The big monolith is part of the Ground Minus One visitor center. Smaller monoliths have been built inside most Abrahamic historical religious buildings that were spared. Rumor has it that CATS uses them as detectors, although nobody is sure of what.

Narrative Causality: Divine Will decrees that humanity is not a viable side in the Loki's Maximum War; however, divine will has been thwarted, throwing the cosmos into an unstable state. Narrative causality is the significantly weaker replacement for Divine Will as far as enforcing the laws of physics goes; things continue as they have, more or less, because despite examples to the contrary the majority of autonomous actors on the scene expect them to. Usually shortened to NC.

Narrative Control: Usually shortened to NC - ambiguity between Narrative Control and Causality is often intentional. In common use, NC has become synonymous with local breach of narrative causality due to willpower, belief, or a combination of both.

Neverland: Tenuous evidence points to the fact that the children who were raptured did not join the religious fundamentalists in Heaven, but went to a different holding place. Sightings of Peter Pan have certainly increased since the end of the War. Fairies are common in green zones and occupy a narrow niche between neighbor and pest, and don't seem to be related. One Above All: The Abrahamic God that began the Apocalypse. A side effect of the massive brainwashing that was applied by the Lord Almighty to keep the Apocalypse's timeline stable despite human resistance is that it takes a great effort of will to refer to the Supreme Being in derogatory terms, although this is superficial and El-Shaddai is pretty much universally hated.

Pan Narrans: The new classification of Homo Sapiens, voted by near-unanimity at the first postwar global archeology congress.

Prime Physics: The "default state" in which pre-War physics operate normally. For example, PP electronics is still taught in most universities. P-zones are parts of the world in which the War did not affect the working of daily life in a measurable manner. Notably, a number of technologies will operate reliably only in P-zones. On most maps, P-zones are marked in blue (pure) or green (hybrid).

Protagonist Syndrome: Due to the primary guiding force in the universe being Narrative Causality since the beginning of Loki's Maximum, a form of passive NC has begun to develop and express itself. Hosts of Protagonist Syndrome are often unaware of the change that has come over them, and mean no harm with their tendency to sweep others up into pursuit of their goals, whether these goals are of the like of changing global geopolitics, or simply "I really need to get to the store for some icecream." However, they are never without a goal, they are always eager to talk about it to anyone who shows the slightest interest. Unless one is capable of actively maintaining and defending one's own internal narrative constancy, upon hearing about their passionate goals, most individuals will immediately be eager to support the Protagonist Syndrome Sufferer, or oppose them. Do not confuse having been made part of their Opposition with the urge to smack them in the head and tell them to wake the fuck up and deal with life. The latter is normal. PS sufferers can often be identified by the fact that they are extremely uncomfortable when wearing anything but a single specific outfit that is extraordinarily gaudy by nearly any social standard, and that they can transport this outfit through the grid with them, without expending noticeable effort.

Reification: Difficult form of NC that involves spinning a physical object out of raw probability. Reified shapes tend to be very basic, but visual arts training can increase the detail. Reified shapes tend to be fragile (with exceptions) and disappear moments after they stop being thought about.

Scooter: Any one- or two- passenger vehicle, regardless of mode of locomotion. In the Canadian Arctic, a scooter may be a snowmobile, in the Italian Peninsula it will likely be a small motorcycle, in Peru it's likely to be a paratrike, and in the Amazon it will probably be a small mecha.

Storyteller: An important community figure that has replaced priests and chaplains in most settlements. Storytellers are rarely elected or appointed, and generally emerge; their role in society is to make sure that the immediate community has enough of a common memetic background to avoid fragmentation. Storytellers are presumed to have a role in preventing new deities to appear.

Teleiads: Nonhuman creatures that seem to have come out straight of mythology. Some may be reincarnated humans; others have been brought about by narrative causality. Teleiad is a generic terms for all manner of fairies, sprites, satyrs, dryads and the like. Teleiads live in liminalities and tend to stick to yellow zones when they get out; they weaken in green zones and taking one into a blue zone for more than a few minutes is likely to mean coma/hybernation or death. Empyreans and Dysprosians are distinct but similar to teleiads.

Tharn: Describes the act of a person or animal being frozen in terror, e.g. a deer caught in the headlights. Often the result of failed attempts at narrative control.

Thaumaturgical Physics: The umbrella terms defining the changed rules of reality brought about by the War. At minimum, T-physics require altering "universal constants" upon entering an affected area. T-zones are parts of the world in which T-physics differ significantly from P-physics. No two T-zones are alike in that sense, although they all share the characteristic of allowing for most NC with much greater ease. On most maps, T-zones are marked in yellow. TP jokes tend to peter out after freshman year in Academies.

The Final Countdown: One interpretation of Revelations is that there will be a second Final Battle 1000 years into the future - while this is debatable, so was the whole mess in the first place. Accordingly, the Monolith has a countdown timer.

The Other Side: Since no (or few) new souls are being made and no (or few) souls are heading to whatever afterlife there is, reincarnation is common and has been confirmed. People who meet their end in particularly unusual ways may simply be spit back out of a Red Zone due to random fluctuations. The fate of those who were Raptured is assumed to be bearable -- presumably there is a Heaven, although given Who is in charge of it, it probably looks like pre-War North Korea -- while the fate of the others is in the hand of CATS, who have been trying to breach into Hell since the reconstruction began. Another theory has it that His Eternal Glory created a secondary Earth in which the "saved" are experiencing the Millennial Kingdom; attempts to breach into this second world via the Grid are ongoing.

The Snare: The (so far) final event in the War. The brave sacrifice of thousands of volunteers at Petra allowed CATS leadership to determine where Jesus would appear next, and trap him into an airless containment chamber. The godling has been trapped in the Megiddo plain (since designated Ground Minus One), trying to speak doom on his enemies ever since. Ground Minus One is now a sprawling facility dedicated to keep the Wrathful Lamb contained be means if high vacuum, a laser containment grid, and the entirety of Earth's remaining nuclear weapons if all else fails. Work is in progress to eject the Glorious King into geostationary orbit.


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Page last modified on November 15, 2021, at 07:21 AM