Term Definition
Afterlifers Protesters against Resolution 653. Believe that being spun-up is unnatural and condemns your soul to hell. Typically a Neo-C. (see also Spirit Savers)
Amanglic The common language spoken by the majority of all the populous in addition to any native language they might have retained from their heritage.
Aerium, The System of mile high skyscrapers above the clouds of Bay City where the Meths reside.
AI Hotel Hotels run by Artificial Intelligence hosts who, due to their programming with a deep coded need to please their guests, became clingy and invasive thus running off their own clientele over the years. A business model that has died off over the years and are seldom used.
Array, The The virtual world where AI individuals can congregate.
Autocasters Pop-up holographic advertisements that are broadcast directly to ONIs. Can be blocked using a Broadcast Blocker.
Bay City Megalopolis center on the western coast of North America, once known as San Francisco. Home to tens of millions of people.
Brain Grease Drugs. (for examples see appendix 'Drugs')
Broadcast Blocker Add-on enhancer for stacks that prevents Autocasters in one's ONI.
Combat Sleeve A sleeve especially designed for fighting.
Cortical Stack A microcomputer containing a person’s digital consciousness, inserted into the base of the neck/spine at age one. Everyone, without exception, has a stack. (see also Stack)
Construct A virtual environment.
Contagion Bomb Old method of warfare that spreads plagues rapidly. Bay City still has a quarantined area containing descendants of those once infected. These carriers infect and kill any they are in direct contact with.
Cross-sleeving To be spun up into a sleeve that is something other than your birth gender.
C-TAC The Colonial Tactical Assault Corps is the military force of The Protectorate.
Data Brokerage The sales (often blackmarket) of memories/information stolen by Dippers.
Decanting The process of transferring the DHF into a new sleeve.
Digital Human Freight (DHF) The information contained on a stack. A mainframe back up (via satellite) copy of a stack is possible, so that even if the stack is Real Deathed, the consciousness can be preserved but is usually only affordable to Meths as it is prohibitively expensive.
Dipper A specialized hacker who can access needlecast transmissions, download fragments of people’s memories to potentially sell on black market, and insert new information.
Double-Sleeving When an individual’s stack is uploaded into more than one sleeve at a time. The practice is extremely illegal and punishable by real death. (see also Twinning)
Elders An extinct alien race.
Electron Destabilizer Device able to disrupt and disable/kill AI beings.
Envoy Special soldier able to needle-cast from planet to planet and sleeve to sleeve without degradation. Eventually rebelled against UN Protectorate over the unfair notion that immortality was only for the wealthy (those that could afford to be continually re-sleeved). Lead by Quellcrist Falconer (who trained the defectors further and bestowed them with even more deadly skills such as the ability to resist torture, bend VR and and practice heighten senses.) Despite a fierce battle, the Envoys lost the war several hundred years prior to current game time. No Envoys remain.
Grounders Derogatory term. Individuals who live on the lowest levels of the city as opposed to above the clouds like Meths. Typically do not have cars but rely on the use the public transport system, pedal bikes, pedicabs or walking. Because life is so dense, they rarely have need to travel far for daily essentials or even work.
Ground, The The lower tier (physically) of Bay City, encompassing the first 70,000 stories. Usually occupied by working class citizens, first responders and lower civil servants.
Holos Holographic images akin to billboard advertisements that are projected from emitters.
Merge Nine A pheromone based drug that allows empathic physical sensations. (Note: On The Stack MUSH Pheromone based biotech is not allowed and therefore, due to the nature of this drug, Merge Nine is not canon.)
Meth Derived from the word Methuselah, refers to the richest of the rich who can afford multiple sleeves, backed up stacks, and thus live forever by continually replacing their sleeves or stacks that have been Real Deathed.
Microwire Camera Spy device that records audio and visual data. Separate from a ONI. Must be surgically implanted in the occular cavity.
Needlecast A method of transferring DHF code between sleeves or to transmit code to a satellite (similar to the Cloud). Popular time-saving way to travel as you can travel to another world in the time it takes to download DHF data which is minutes if not seconds, but can cause sleeve sickness.
Neo-C (Neo-Catholic) A religion whose followers believe that being re-sleeved is wrong and that a person should only die once, naturally. Those with Neo-C Coding cannot be spun up by law, unless Resolution 653 passes.
Neurachem A chemical-­physical augmentation to the sleeve’s nervous system, often referred to as being ‘wired’ or ‘carved’. Neurachem accelerates reflexes, extends your eyesight, and increases overall speed and strength, as well as reducing sensitivity to pain. Activation can be triggered by an instinctive reaction to incoming threat or by conscious choice. Neurachem is visible on activation as a faint glow, spreading nearly instantaneously through the hair­like nerves across the human body.
On Ice To have your DHF in storage, usually until a sleeve can be afforded or as a punishment for crimes.
Optical Neural Interface (ONI) Ocular implant with accompanying bracelet control, replaces cell phones and basic computer functions (i.e. Google). Painless as putting on a contact lens.
Organic Damage Damage done to a sleeve (that does not result in Real Death), viewed like property damage, has its own division of the police force. Permits can be granted for an extreme organic damage event such as a fight to the death, making them legal.
Personality Frag Occurs when a stack is transferred too many times. Mental decay.
PIL Public transportation that operates using maglev technology. Operates throughout The Ground and The Twilight and is the number one mode of transportation for the everyman.
Poems and Other Prevarications A book of poetry written by Quellcrist Falconer.
Portable 3D Bio Organic Printer Device used to 'print' sleeves or clones. Prohibitively expensive thus used mostly by Meths.
Praetorians Soldiers of C-TAC.
Protectorate United Nations Intersteallar Protectorate (UNIP, IP) - The soverign interstellar colonial empire, ruling government.
Psychasec A company that produces top of the line sleeves and clones for the ultra-wealthy.
Psychosurgery A method of repairing DHF that has been damaged by emotional trauma. (see also Trauma Loop)
Quellcrist Falconer Leader of the Envoys in the uprising, rumored to have created stacks.
Rawling's Virus A virus that infects cortical stacks, and causes people to turn on one another. (see also Stack Pox)
Re-sleeved To have a stack installed in a body other than the original. Every time a stack is inserted into a new sleeve, it degrades it slightly, as the mind has trouble adapting to a new body, which is why most ordinary people in Altered Carbon only change their sleeves a few times if they can afford it. Meths avoid this by inserting their stacks into cloned sleeves.
Real Death To have one’s Stack (and thus their identity) destroyed. Permanent death, unable to be re-sleeved.
Reaper Betathanatine. A drug originally synthesized to study near death experiences. Can be used in small doses to lower body temperature and dampen emotion, or in high doses can turn the sleeve into a killing machine. Overdose leading to death is possible.
Resolution 653 A legal proposition that would change the law to allow murder victims to be “spun up” so they can testify against their killers, even Neo-C Coded individuals.
Simulspace Virtual reality.
Sleeve A body.
Sleeve Death Death where the sleeve is ruined but the stack survives.
Sleeve Sick The disorientation period following insertion into a new sleeve. If the previous sleeve the stack occupied died violently, the sleeve sickness may be particularly tumultuous.
Songspire Tree An alien tree with hanging blue ornaments – a relic of the Elders. To own one is a status symbol. Very rare, the only one on Earth known to be owned by the Bancrofts, a Meth family. Unknown properties.
Spin/Spun Up To revive a stack temporarily can be done in a virtual construct without a sleeve.
Spirit Savers Protesters against Resolution 653. Believe that being spun-up is unnaturally and condemns your soul to hell. Typically a Neo-C. (see also Afterlifers)
Stack A microcomputer containing a person’s digital consciousness, inserted into the base of the neck/spine at age one. Everyone, without exception, has a stack. (see also Cortical Stack)
Stack Pox Another term for Rawling's Virus that infects cortical stacks, and causes people to turn on one another. (see also Rawling's Virus)
Stallion Drug which is used to enhance sexual activity. Heightens base emotions and can induce extreme violence. Can be administered through dermal contact.
Synthetic Sleeve (Synth) A silicone-based body that looks perfectly human, but can be enhanced with different abilities such as shapeshifting. Not widely used as the technology has not been perfected such as taste and smell receptors and the nerve responses are only approximations of human sensation.
The Real Reality.
Trauma Loop When a sleeve dies in a particularly traumatic fashion that corrupts the stack and prevents it from being safely spun up without mental suffering. Can be treated with psychosurgery.
Trodes Electrodes placed on the surface of the temples and the back of the neck, used to access Virtual Reality Constructs.
Twilight, The Second tier of the city occupying the area of skyscrapers that are higher than 70,000 stories and lower than cloud level (The Aerium). Hover cars are slightly more common. Usually occupied by the higher middle class citizens such as doctors, lawyers, corporate and financial people.
Twinning When an individual’s stack is uploaded into more than one sleeve at a time. The practice is extremely illegal and punishable by real death. (see also Double-Sleeving)
VR Interrogation Interrogation that occurs entirely in Virtual Reality, allowing tactics such as torture that feel physically and mentally real. The stack and sleeve remain intact in The Real, so Real Death never occurs. May result in permanent mental damage in The Real.