The Advanced Electrodynamic Suspension & Rapid Acceleration or AESRA is an advanced variation on electrodynamic suspension with leanings towards coil gun technology and is capable of extremely high acceleration and velocities. It has been widely adopted across The Extent enabling the automatic control of surface vehicles and cheap automated taxis, train networks, aircraft and sub-orbital vehicle launches and automated intra-system cargo shots. Excellent examples of its use are the PodNet transport systems like the extensive network built at Port McKinley. Perhaps the most significant use of AESRA technology is within the military where it is used to launch fighters and other small ships as well as the firing of kinetic weapons and other projectiles.
Artificial intelligences are non-human intelligences based on advanced organic silicon technologies. Despite being artificial, constructed by computers and other AIs, they are fully sentient beings capable of independent thought and decision making.
First generation military AIs were found to shy away from killing and a second generation, one more in line with military requirements, had to be developed. Once they have become used to the idea of AIs as fellow soldiers, military personnel have been seen to relate to them in very human fashion. It is also interesting to note that amongst both researchers and manufacturers the process of awakening an AI for the first time is referred to as "birth".
A development of powered military vehicle armour which can produce a spherical or shaped electromagnetic envelope around a ship to protect it from smaller asteroids. Combined with an ultrafast, automated laser defence system to deal with intermediate sized meteoroids it is an effective way of protecting a fast-moving ship.
Armed merchantmen are either converted freighters or built to look like them i.e. they look and act like freighters but are "enhanced", typically faster, more heavily armoured and carrying more firepower than a typical freighter. The armed merchantman is better against pirates than against a true military force and, prior to the development of the Corvette, served as disguised protection against wolf-packs attacking the convoys they shepherded.
Research, following concerns raised over the time munitions took to degrade, pollution and the cost of clean-up, led to the use of biodegradable ceramoplastics in various munitions. There was a push towards assessing the projectiles of different weapon systems to see if they could be made less harmful to the environment especially since a number of manufacturers had already marketed lead-free munitions.
The Assassins Guild adopted and adapted the technology to create munitions that degraded rapidly after impact leaving no easily detectable traces for forensic examination. It was, unfortunately and enthusiastically, adopted by the criminal elements in society.
In medical terms, cloning is the duplication of tissues, organs, limbs and even whole bodies for the purpose of repairing a body that has been damaged. In some cases, particularly when there is damage to complex organs such as the brain, only a part of the cloned organ is used to repair the damage.
Cruise-bombers or CBs are small, manoeuvrable, virtually undetectable military space craft that primarily fires torpedoes and often "hunt" in packs. Originally envisaged as an orbital bomber, CBs became the space-warfare equivalent of the submarine. Slightly smaller than light-cruiser, they are usually built around a single coil gun designed to accelerate medium-heavy kinetics with a high degree of accuracy at stationary, slow moving or relatively predictable targets. They were used to devastating effect by the Akatsu and Geist in the Simerian-Lacuna and Abyssal Void respectively and led to the development of the Corvette or HK... fast, well-armed and lightly armoured specialist anti-cruise-bomber vessels.
Flechettes are thin, razor-sharp projectiles typically fired from some kind of projectile weapon, more often than not, a rifle or handgun. They have been banned on most civilised worlds because of the horrific, disfiguring injuries they can cause and tend to be used by criminals and assassins.
Hyperspace is an alternate dimension through which it is possible to send objects. A group working under Nathan Alexander, assisted by Eiko Nakamura, at Greenwich University established the dimension's existence and, with financial support from LSAT (the League of Empires Science & Applied Technology Directorate), formed the Alternate Dimension project.
Despite the massively complex mathematics involved, Nakamura found that some mutants could intuitively supply the required coordinates and so allow the project to proceed. Unfortunately, mutants involved with hyperspace travel started to become seriously ill and report nightmares of pain and physical damage that would eventually be fatal.
Haltingly the project progressed and, with the launch of a new Discovery class of ships, a network of gates constructed to reunite the disparate colonies.
Immersaline is a light blue, organic fluid with a viscosity approximating that of human blood. In its "natural" state, it is incapable of supporting flame or allowing explosions to proceed but, under specific conditions, it can be made to carry other gasses and has a high affinity with oxygen. In use Immersaline fully immerses the subject, penetrates the body including the digestive tract and respiratory system. It is supportive and was designed to allow humans to crew ships accelerating at up to 30G as well as manoeuvre at high stress. It was developed by JARP (the Joint Acceleration Research Program) with the final product being released not long after the end of the Amaranthine War. Five years after its first tests, JARP was able to demonstrate a ship flown by fully immersed personnel that was able to accelerate at over thirty gravities and manoeuvre with stresses in the high twenties.