ACCELERATED HEALING MODE: Under normal circumstances,
the body reacts against rapidly dividing cells. A Healer can temporarily
suppress this reaction, allowing healing to take place much faster than normal.
However, this state is not normal and can lead to cancer if not reversed within
a few days.
ANCHOR: Long-distance teleportation requires a very precise
set of coordinates and a great deal of work if one is going to a new location,
and the range covered is limited. If a fellow telepath is located near the
point aimed for, it is possible to arrange a "two-ended" teleport which greatly
reduces the energy needed. The telepath at the destination is referred to as an
anchor, and the process is called anchoring.
ARTIFICIAL CONSCIENCE: The R'il'nai literally share in the
emotions of others, which they referred to as empathy. Riyan society evolved
with the assumption that everyone had this trait. The rare children lacking
this ability were considered badly handicapped and treated while young to react
as if they felt the pain of others. In severe cases, this could lead to a
treated individual actually convulsing or collapsing if he or she caused pain to
another, but this was considered better than having one individual disrupt the
AUTOGROOMER: A robotic device that removes dust and mud from
a horse's coat, brushes it, and combs out the mane and tail. Horses must be
trained to accept it, and it does not work well on a really dirty horse, or on
a tangled mane or tail.
AUTOMATED FOOD DISPENSER: An automatic feeder for an animal
or a prisoner.
AVALANCHE SURFING: An individual sport, considered extreme even by Riyan standards. The athlete uses forcewebs on a snowboard setting, usually with some levitation, and rides atop a triggered avalanche. Don't try this at home, or on your local friendly mountain, unless you can levitate and teleport! BIG'UN: Nickname for the main Confederation computer.
BOOSTING: Interstellar teleportation or communication
takes more energy than most people can comfortably spare, and the amount of
energy needed tends to increase with the distance. Boosting means the person is
using an external source of energy. This may be direct or (more often) through
a computer link.
BOUNCEABOUT: The crew's nickname for the exploration ship XP-13.
BUTTERFLY CAT: A Riyan ambush predator, lion-sized but striped in
shades of green. Like most native Riyan wildlife it evolved from a
six-limbed ancestor, but the two foremost limbs have evolved into
killing claws near the mouth.
CALENDAR: The Confederation calendar has slightly more than
364 days a year, with 4 of those days and whatever leap years are needed being
considered outside the twelve 30-day months. "Day" and "year" are based on
Central's orbit and rotation rate, so the Confederation calendar does not quite
match that of any other member planet of the Confederation. Most member planets
have their own calendars, though year and day lengths are close enough to Central's
(and Earth's) that matching is possible over a few fivedays' time. The
Confederation calendar is used to synchronize time across the Confederation as
well as being the usual calendar on Central.
CENTRAL: The planet on which the Inner and Outer Councils of the Confederation meet and most of the R'il'noids live. Originally a R'il'nian planet, called Kentra, but by the time of Homecoming around 90 % of the free population is Human, and its internal politics are decided entirely by the Human population.
«EREN INDEX: A kind of DNA test that measures the fraction of genes active in an individual that are R'il'nian-derived. It has serious problems in that it gives no indication of what the genes code for, but it does provide an objective method of ranking crossbreds, something sorely needed at the time the test was developed.
CHECK-IN BUTTON: A device, usually a button to be pushed,
sending confirmation that a signal has been received by the person for whom it
is intended. Starships use them for individual check-ins after an emergency.
CHIP BALANCING: No information storage device is perfect,
and the spare chips for jump-ship control must periodically be checked against
the main chips to be sure the information is identical. This procedure is known
as "balancing" and must be performed regularly during a multi-jump journey.
CHIPS: a general term for information storage devices. They
may be used for anything from image storage to operating a spaceship's
CITRINE: The youngest tineral on the isolation satellite, a
soft orange female.
COMPUTER INTERFACE: An electronic device which allows direct
mental communication with a computer. In theory usable by non-telepaths, but
generally telepathic ability makes use of such an interface much easier. A good
telepath can communicate with a computer for light-duty tasks without an
CONDITIONAL PRECOGNITION: An esper talent that allows a
person to evaluate the probability of various things happening if the person
follows various courses of action. Very useful in some situations (e.g.,
identifying the probable effects of attempting weather modification or whether
a new species will be invasive.) Very little use if the person's actions have
little impact on the future.
CONFEDERATION, JARNIAN CONFEDERATION: A loose confederation of
Human-occupied planets. It's closer to the United Nations than to a
country, with much stronger powers than that body with regard to
peacekeeping between planets, but can only advise on the internal
affairs of any given system. Confederation law applies to R'il'noids
and affairs between planetary systems; planetary law applies to
individual Humans. Thus, for instance, the Confederation has no power
to regulate slavery, even on Central, beyond controlling the maximum in
R'il'nian genes allowed in a slave. The Confederation is ruled by the
R'il'nai with help from the R'il'noids; planetary systems are ruled by
CORRIDOR SYSTEM: A series of small rooms, generally attached to buildings, with mechanical teleports between them. To a non-esper, they simply look and feel like corridors, though the view through any windows is not continuous and ears may pop a bit. A trained esper can feel out and reset the jump-gates to go somewhere other than the default setting.
CROSSBREDS: a generic term for individuals who have at least one parent with obvious R'il'nian traits. All R'il'noids are crossbreds, but many crossbreds have «eren indices well below the 72 required for classification as R'il'noid.
COUNTERSHOCK: a medication that suppresses shock symptoms,
but by itself has no pain-relieving properties.
DECENCY: Virtually all Earth cultures have a common mindset
that if a part of the body is hidden, it is assumed not to exist (at least by
cultural standards.). Several Confederation planets, including Central, have
the mindset that hiding a part of the body for reasons other than protection or
warmth calls attention to that part of the body. Thus on Central a swimming
suit would be seen as indecent. (Wet suits or the modern racing suits which act
to reduce a swimmer's drag would fall under the warmth/protection/utility
EMERALD: One of the younger tinerals on the isolation
satellite, an emerald green male.
EMPATHIC TALENTS: A group of talents based more on emotion
than deliberate thought. The most important is the ability to experience the
emotions of others, or more often to be unable not to feel them without
training in shutting them out. Empathic talents also include the ability to
feel, see, hear, taste and smell what another is experiencing without going
through a language equivalent. Xenotelepathy and telepathic communication with
animals generally requires a blend of empathic and esper talents, as does
Humans, imagination-based: feeling what you think another must feel. In
R'il'nai, genuinely experiencing another's emotions unless deliberately
blocking them. Crossbreds can show either, both, or neither.
ENCLAVE: Originally, and still legally, the smaller southern continent that the dwindling R'il'nai kept when they ceded the rest of Central to Humans. Over time, however, the term has come to be applied to the relatively small region on the west coast where the few remaining R'il'nai (eventually just Lai) lived and the administration complex of the Confederation is located.
ESPER LINK: A mind-link between two telepaths, generally
used of an ongoing link.
ESPER SHOCK: Intensive use of esper talents can run blood sugar down to dangerously low levels. The resulting hypoglycemia is called esper shock. Any source of rapidly absorbed sugar will counter it, but honey is widely used. For lasting treatment, the carbohydrate is normally followed with protein. Virtually identical to insulin shock, with similar symptoms and treatment.
ESPER TALENTS: A general term for a group of mental talents
which do not necessarily involve feelings or sensory impressions. The most
important are telepathy, levitation, conditional precognition and
teleportation. Individuals can be expert at one or two talents while being
borderline on others, but on the whole these talents tend to be inherited
EXCHANGE TELEPORTS: Teleports in which energy and
momentum are balanced by exchanging two equal masses.
FEASTDAY: The intercalary day 182 days after
Yearday, approximating the date of the southward equinox. As aphelion is
near the southward equinox on Central, Feastday is generally within a
day or two of the equinox, and is a holiday on Central.
FEATHER TREE: A R'il'nian tree with finely-ridged foliage producing interference colors like a bird's feathers. Common on Central.
FIRSTDAY: First day of a fiveday. It is considered a holiday
at Tyndall, but different religions and occupations take various days of each
fiveday as being "special" in some way.
FIVEDAY: Five days, and may be considered the Confederation
equivalent of a week, though shorter. Six fivedays make up a month, which has
nothing to do with a moonóCentral, for instance, doesn't have a moon.
FLAGGING: Placing a FTL beacon at a jump point. Transportation
between flagged jump points is relatively easy and jumps of up to fifty light
years are not uncommon. Finding an unflagged jump point, necessary for
exploration, is a slow, difficult process.
FLOAT CHAIR: An invalid chair kept at a more or less fixed height by levitation. Unlike our wheelchairs, it can be used up and down stairs and over rough ground. A float chair can be controlled either by a brain-wave pickup or by physical controls. It may have a speed governor or have the height above ground set within narrow limits, but these features are generally adjustable and may even be controlled by the occupant.
FOCUS OF A MELD: The person who takes the lead in a
mind-meld. (See Meld.)
FOLLOW-ME: A person teleporting himself normally brings
along anything he is touching (such as clothing) unless deliberately leaving it
behind. (A person could, for instance, teleport into for out of an isolation
suit.) For massive objects, a "follow-me" circuit will link the object to a
small receiver carried by the teleporter, as well as providing the extra energy
needed for the teleport of the object.
FORCEWEBS: Force-field generators attached to the feet. They can be adjusted in a variety of ways to mimic snowshoes, sandshoes, skis, water skis, snowboards, or surfboards, among others. Some (e.g., those used for avalanche surfing) have levitation circuits to reduce the operator's effective density.
FROSTBERRIES: Sweet berries native to Riya that require
near-freezing nighttime temperatures to ripen properly.
FOREST: Nature tineral, feathers laced in
shades of green, who adopts Roi as his person.
GALACTICA (LANGUAGE): The common language of the
Confederation. Although individual planets have substantially different
accents, the written forms of the language are reasonably consistent, and two
speakers of Galactica can generally understand each other with a little
GARNET: Jewel tineral infant, the offspring of Ruby and an
amethyst male native to Windhome.
GENETIC LATENT: An individual who carries a substantial
number of R'il'nian genes which are not active, but which can be passed to that
person's children. Genetic latents are under the Genetics Board's control as far as reproduction is concerned, and cannot marry without the approval of the Genetics Board.
GENETICS BOARD: The group responsible for determining matings among R'il'noids and latents, and for insuring that any children of such matings are properly reared and socialized. If one or both parents want to raise the child this can generally be arranged, but the welfare of the child overrules any "rights" of the parents.
GOODNEWS CLUSTER: A group of three suns circled by five
habitable planets. (The suns are far enough apart that they do not disturb the
orbits of each other's planets.) The cluster was settled by a number of
different groups who wanted to practice their own beliefs without interference from
others, and joined the Confederation as a group. Needless to say, the various
groups have started to interfere with each other.
HARO TREE: A Riyan woody plant with limbs meeting in triangles and triangular, edible seeds called haro nuts.
HEALING: A rare talent, involving both empathic and esper
abilities. A Healer is capable of perceiving and correcting physical injuries
and many illnesses (Kharfun syndrome is a rare exception) though Healing cannot correct genetic errors.
A drug that blocks esper abilities. A small dose of the refined drug will wear
off in a few hours. An overdose of the raw drug will not wear off, and has to
be countered with the antidote. Since one use of the drug is to control
criminal use of esper talents, the antidote is a controlled substance.
INNER COUNCIL: A ruling body made up of those with
«eren indices of 120 (out of 144) or more. As of the start of Homecoming this
body numbers less than twenty. Although they vote on Confederation business and
handle most day-to-day decisions, Lai has the right to overrule them. Inner
Council members may be asked to undertake work off Central if a particularly
sticky situation comes up that requires their special talents.
INTERFACE LOUNGE: A lounge with a built-in mental computer
interface. They are designed to keep the body as comfortable as possible while
working with a computer, especially for long periods.
ISOLATION SATELLITE: A satellite designed for complete
biological isolation and used for study of potentially dangerous diseases. Part
of the Riyan medical system.
ISOLATION SUIT: A suit, rather like a space suit, designed
for complete biological isolation. Isolation suits are completely
self-contained, carrying their own air and temperature control systems. Even with
levitation circuits to take some of the weight, they are very uncomfortable to
JAGGA ROOT: A crisp Riyan root vegetable with a sweet-sour, slightly nutty flavor, usually eaten raw.
JEWELS (TINERAL VARIETY): Tinerals with solid-colored, usually brilliant feathers. They are the friendliest and most spectacular variety, but not the best singers. (All tinerals are good singers; the jewels and skies just aren't quite as good as the natures. See Tinerals.)
JIBETH: Originally a philosophical group based on bodily health and the obligation to help others attain that health. With time, it has become primarily a school of holistic medicine noted especially for its herb lore and the use of massage as an adjunct to other forms of healing.
JUMP GATE: A small region with a preset mechanical teleport
to another small region. Most commonly, they have the form of a door or
archway, but it is perfectly possible to have a jump-gate with no markers, or
with natural markers such as trees.
JUMP POINT: A point in space from (or to) which a properly
equipped spaceship can make a mechanical teleport.
KAVA PODS: A kind of high-protein Riyan vegetable, eaten while the pods are still green and the enclosed seeds are tender. It can be eaten raw, but is much easier to chew if cooked.
KHARFUN SYNDROME: A disease which in Humans is rather like flu, but which in R'il'nians and many R'il'noids is deadly. It destroys the motor nerves, working in from the periphery of the body and leaving paralysis, acute pain and uncontrolled muscle spasms. A vaccine and treatment were developed after the initial epidemic killed many of the R'il'nai and most of the R'il'noids descended from Jarn. Without treatment, eventual death is by suffocation as the repiratory muscles are paralyzed.
FRUIT: A Riyan tree fruit with an extremely high water content and a rather
bland flavor. It is triangular in shape and rose-pink in color when ripe.
Useful primarily as a thirst-quencher.
KOKO: Bay gelding owned by Derik and trained for obstacle
racing. Not as fast as Sundrop but handier and with more endurance.
LAND CORALS: Lai's name for a form of primitive life
on Riya.They are best thought of
as photosynthesizing colonial algae that secrete calcium carbonate, living in
the wave zone on land. The calcium carbonate towers can be up to a couple of
meters in height.
LATENT (ESPER): An individual who caries enough of the
R'il'nian genes associated with esper abilities to have some ability at
telepathic communication. Generally latents find it difficult to contact each
other, but communicate relatively easily with a full telepath, and have above
average shielding ability.
MAUNGS: Aliens adapted to higher gravity, higher temperatures and greater air pressure than Humans. They are peaceful but symbiotic in nature, and one of the symbionts is parasitic on Humans in its early, insect-like stage. R'il'noids are not affected, and are able to detect and remove the parasite from Humans if it is caught early enough.
MEADOW: One of the nature tinerals attached to Roi. Laced
feathers with bronze shafts shading out to copper, green and gold. All of Roi's
pet tinerals came from isolated islands on Riya, and are quite young.
MELD: A very tight mind-link, so tight that the various individuals are temporarily fused into a single identity.
MIND-LINK: A connection between two or more telepaths that allows them to communicate or to work together.
MIRROR: A planet on which life is just beginning to invade the land surface, and is still confined to the wave zone. Very warm. It is highly unusual in that life forms exist which utilize both left-handed and right-handed proteins. The atmosphere is denser than Earth's and has a much higher carbon dioxide content, but does not actually require space suits. MONITOR: Intense esper work can cause physical
problems, so it is customary to have another esper link up and watch the
physical condition of the one doing the actual work. This is generally known as
MONTH: A thirty-day period composed of six fivedays.
In the Confederation, it has nothing to do with a moon. (Central doesn't have
MURPHY: A planet on the outer fringes of the Confederation,
used as a base for
NATURES (TINERAL VARIETY): Tinerals with laced feathers
(i.e., feathers with edges differing in color from the feather shaft.) Although
somewhat coarser and more variable in appearance than the other two tineral
varieties, this is because they were bred for their voices rather than
appearance. See Tinerals.
NORTHDAY: The intercalary day 91 days after Yearday, approximating the date of the northern solstice. At the time of Homecoming perihelion is close to the northward equinox, so the actual solstice is a few days before Northday. Northday is a holiday on Central, and is also the end of the school year and the start of a month-long school vacation.
OBSTACLE RACING: An equestrian sport similar to a
combination of the cross country phase of a three-day event, a particularly
fiendish trail riding class, a steeplechase and dog agility.
OUTER COUNCIL: An advisory body made up of those with «eren
indices between 108 and 120. They are normally assigned off-planet, working as
part of the Outer Council when they are on Central. Since the «eren index is
normally distributed (bell curve) around the average of 72, there are far more
Outer than Inner Council members.
PALA FRUIT: A Riyan fruit with a sweet, spicy taste and just a hint of tartness. As picked, it is grayish and spiny, but when the outer covering is stripped off, a smooth-skinned, green-gold fruit is revealed. PALINOR: A member planet of the Confederation. At the time
Homecoming starts, a group of revolutionaries are fighting against the government.
Captured rebels are being enslaved and sold on the interstellar slave market.
PATTERN CHESS: An intellectual sport in which the players compete to move colored tiles into a designated pattern using mental powers alone. The simplest games involve a 2 x 2 grid of four tiles, but competition play normally utilizes an 8 x 8 grid with the starting pattern and the goal pattern for each player determined by a computer. There is also a non-esper version in which the players swap one pair of tiles at a time.
PEACEMINT: A plant originally grown by the Jibeth healers for the tranquilizing effect of its mint-citrus odor and of a tea brewed from its leaves. It also acts as a muscle relaxant when rubbed on the skin. The leaves are bright green, overlain with a sheen like gold dust.
PEACOCK PLANT: A plant grown on Central both for its decorative leaves and its fragrance. The leaves shade to turquoise along the veins, and are covered with purple hairs. When the hairs are brushed they release a spicy fragrance.
PLANETARY ASSEMBLY: The ruling body on Central. The members
are elected and are Humans («eren index less than 72), though a fifth of the
seats are occupied by Humans with detectible R'il'nian traits.
PLASMABALL: A physical team sport with balls and goals, played in artificial free fall, with the "ball" being essentially ball lightning, controlled by electronic "rackets" wielded by the players. As a school sport it is as safe as any sport of this type--the players are required to wear protective armor. Professional players can elect to wear full shielding--which slows them down--or take the risk of playing with lighter shielding. Deaths are not uncommon if players elect to play with minimal shieldingóball lightning is dangerous!
PREDATOR WARNOFF: A device that transmits a signal
interpreted by the brain as "I'm harmless, but I'll make you sick if you try to
eat me or otherwise attack me." Very useful against predators with a central
nervous system, and even helpful against biting insects if a high enough
intensity is used.
RAINDROP PLANT: A small Riyan succulent, the leaves of which are useful as a wound dressing.
R'GAL (LANGUAGE): A simplified form of R'il'nian used
by those crossbreds capable of learning it. Virtually all R'il'noids speak
R'Gal, as do some Humans with a high fraction of R'il'nian genes. Some concepts
virtually inexpressible in Galatica can be expressed in R'Gal.
R'IL'N: a planet sterilized by a nearby nova some two hundred thousand years ago. The human-like inhabitants, the R'il'nai, fled in several groups to other stellar systems, but the groups lost touch with each other.
R'IL'NAI: (group noun; singular is R'il'nian.) Alien beings, very human-like in appearance and capable of interbreeding with Humans. Non-aging past maturity but not immortal, with psychic powers and great empathy. Very low reproductive rate, with women ovulating about once a century. Women change from an androgynous appearance as ovulation approaches, but are sexually receptive throughout their cycle.
R'IL'NIAN (LANGUAGE): The inherited language of the R'il'nai. The R'il'nai could understand it and speak it as soon as neurological development had progressed to the point that they were capable of the concepts, usually shortly after birth for understanding. Non-R'il'nai are incapable of some of the sound discriminations needed.
R'IL'NOIDS: R'il'nian-Human hybrids with more than half of the active genome R'il'nian-derived. Most have esper abilities and are non-aging. Although some are sterile, others are fertile and can produce offspring with a wide variety of active R'il'nian genes.
RACEMIZATION:Not science fiction, but a perfectly valid scientific dating technique.
(Google it.) A simple explanation is that most living creatures produce amino
acids of only "left-handed" (L) orientation. After death, some of the L amino
acids revert to "right-handed" (D) form, and the tissue samples gradually
approach an even balance of L and D amino acids. Expressing the L/D ratio as an
age is complicated by the fact that the rate of racemization varies with the
amino acid, the temperature, the pH, the humidity, and other factors, most of
which may change over the history of a sample.The sample in Homecoming was close to idealódeath in an
anoxic submarine landslideóbut the best guess at date was "fairly recent."
RUBY: Marna's pet tineral. She is a bright red jewel,
just old enough that her wings will no longer support her. She is descended
from the four tinerals Marna initially took to the isolation satellite.
SCREAMER: an electronic device that emits a burst of
telepathic noise. It is possible to use esper abilities through a screamer, but
it is not easy, and it takes training.
SKIES (TINERAL VARIETY): Tinerals with feathers shaded from
white near the skin to shades of blue, gray, lavender-blue or blue-green at the
tips. They are somewhat smaller than the other two varieties, and often retain
their ability to fly well into adulthood. See Tinerals.
SIGIL: An empathic signature, generally involving all
physical senses, identifying a particular individual.
SOUTHDAY: The intercalary day 273 days after Yearday,
approximating the date of the southern solstice. At the time of Homecoming the
actual solstice is a few days after Southday. Southday is the end of the first
half-term at school, and the start of the month-long holiday vacation from
SPRING: Azure sky tineral, quite young, who adopts Lai. Her
feathers shade from white at the base to sky-blue at the tips and edges. She is
from one of the islands scattered across the Riyan oceans, as tinerals on the
mainland, with no defenses against predators, died out in the two centuries
following the plague, and those on Windhome and the isolation satellite were
SUNDROP: Chestnut mare owned by Derik and trained for
obstacle racing. Faster than KoKo, but less endurance.
SYNTHESIZER: A device that breaks down unwanted materials
and then uses the atoms to make needed products. These products may include
anything from food or clothing to furniture, but the atomic composition of the
products made must match that of the waste material used. (Surplus atoms can be
stored, but the input material must contain all the needed atoms.) Luckily most
organic materials have a composition overwhelmingly dominated by hydrogen,
carbon, oxygen and nitrogen, and it is relatively easy to add small amount of
any missing atoms.
TACK-HEALING: In Healing broken bones, the growth of
calcification tends to be much slower than aligning the bone fragments and
forcing rapid growth of cartilage. The most common way of Healing such injuries
is to use Healing to align the bone fragments and accelerate cartilage growth,
known as tack-healing because the bone, while "mended," has only a fraction of
normal strength. The patient is then instructed to avoid putting excessive
stress on the damaged bone while calcification is occurring.
TANALIS: A dish in which crustaceans and marine vegetables predominate, considered a delicacy on Central.
TASK-COMPLETE BUTTON: A button, usually set well away from the main
keyboard, that indicates a computer task is completed. Used to assure
that a computer is not shut down by accident in the middle of a
procedure, or that any other procedure interfering with the task is not
TELANA: A fine-leafed Riyan herb used to add a savory
flavor to vegetables.
TELEPATHY: One person reading another's thoughts, or putting his
thoughts into another's head. In general, used for sharing thoughts that
can be expressed in words (or the equivalent for other intelligent
species.) Telepathy can but need not involve any sharing of emotions; in
fact some very good telepaths are completely unaware of the other's
TELEPORTATION, ESPER: Traveling or moving an object between
two points without going through intermediate points using mind power alone or
boosted by a mental link to an external source of power.
TELEPORTATION, MECHANICAL: A mechanical "jump" from one
point to another. Mechanical teleports are generally carried out either in
jump-gates or applied to a vehicle of some sort, such as a jump-van, as being
teleported and realizing it is upsetting to most people not accustomed to the
TIKA BERRIES: Thumb-sized Riyan berries, almost black with a purple sheen when ripe, with a strong but pleasant flavor. The bushes are thorny, with star-shaped leaves, and come up readily from seed.
TINERAL: an animal widespread as a pet on Riya prior to the epidemic. They are born kitten-sized, but continue to grow throughout their life spans. Wonderful singers, with an instinctive sense of harmony and voices that resemble our instruments. They are feathered and resemble a winged monkey physically. Tinerals can fly as juveniles but are too heavy to fly as adults.
TYNDALL: An elite boarding school, primarily for R'il'noid
boys, though some exceptionally talented Humans also attend. Most students have
some esper talents, though there is wide variation in abilities. Subjects are
divided into two categories: Linear (mathematics and science, where students
learn at their own speed) and non-linear, (e.g., history and literature, where
students are normally kept together by age and all are taught the same
framework material, with more details being filled in for the
quicker-learning students.) Students are expected to arrive knowing how to read
WARNOFF: Generic term for any device that prevents a
potential enemy from approaching. Two examples are predator warnoffs and
WAVEBREAK: A Riyan island northeast of Windhome. A favorite spot for surfers before the epidemic..
WINDHOME: A subtropical vacation island on Riya. Like our Hawaiian Islands it is part of a hot spot volcanic archipelago, but the volcano that formed Windhome is long-extinct.
XENOTELEPATHY: Telepathic communication with a member of a
non-human intelligent species.
XIRA: The R'il'nian equivalent of mice.
YEARDAY: The first day of the year on Central, it is an intercalary day with no month assigned. Occurs on the day when the northward equinox occurs at the Confederation Administration complex. The year length on Central is slightly longer than 364 days, so an extra leap day is inserted as needed to keep Yearday on the equinox.