Learn all about the technology of the late 23rd century on this page.
A robot created to look as close to a human being as possible. Standard model androids perform menial work, freeing up humans to do more complex tasks.
Contrary to popular belief, most androids are not even as strong, agile, or fast as humans. However, expensive models can possess many times the
capabilities of a person and even hold human neural structure/consciousness.
An advanced type of syringe that injects medication or medites directly into the bloodstream without the use of a painful needle.
Bioware / Bioimplants
Technology embedded into a person's body that does everything from display information in a person's vision to strengthening muscles.
Bioware is the biological software run by biological implants. Nanotechnology (see below) makes bioimplants possible.
A boomerang/wing-shaped fighter craft opereated by extrasolar beings.
Shorthand for robot. Bots are typically autonomous machines programmed to perform a wide variety of tasks. Roving vending machines, repair & construction bots,
spherecams, delivery bots, and spider bots are a few examples.
Comm / Comm Net
Short for communications or communications network. In science fiction, the term "comm" is often used in place of the modern term "call."
In other words, when you contact someone in the future, you don't call them; you comm them.
A heavily-armed extrasolar warship.
Force Field / Rad Shield
A force field is an electrical sheet or wall of electricity and magnetism strong enough to repel physical objects and provide radiation shielding.
Shorthand for gravity gelatin. Star fighter cockpits fill with this clear, viscous, lightweight, and non-stick substance
in order to protect pilots from the force of extreme acceleration.
Scientists have known since the 20th century that water, and more generally liquids, can provide insulation from acceleration.
Early experiments showed that a piece of organic material immersed in water could survive roughly ten times the g-force as the same
material when unsubmerged. However, filling aircraft or spacecraft with water proved impractical because of the weight/mass.
Studies in this area continued until the late 22nd century, when a scientist invented a gelatinous substance that provided more than
ten times the protection of water but with a fraction of the mass. This substance became known as gravgel.
A nanite injected into the bloodstream to prevent muscle and bone atrophy due to prolonged exposure to microgravity. See "nanite" below for further details.
A swallowable pill containing a day's worth of nutrition and compressed water.
The PF-77 Hyperflare replaced the PF-5 Pulsar as the Interstellar Expeditionary Force's primary combat fighter.
A Hyperflare is a hybrid spacecraft and fighter plane--an aerospace craft--commonly referred to as a star fighter.
PF stands for Phase Fighter, and 77 is the vehicle model number. The term "phase" means the fighter is capable of
A Hyperflare is designed to function in both atmosphere and outer space. In the mid-to-late 21st century,
engineers finally achieved a vastly sought after holy grail: reusable, single stage to orbit (SSTO) spacecraft. In the 22nd century,
the design of flight vehicles branched into two categories, those for operation in atmosphere and others that functioned solely in space.
Vehicles of the latter type had spherical, cubic, or otherwise non-aerodynamic shapes since atmospheric drag isn't an issue in space. But by the 23rd
century, as humankind branched further out into the solar system, vehicle design came full circle. When a single skirmish could begin
in Saturn's atmosphere, move into orbit, continue on into Titan's atmosphere, down onto the surface of Titan, and back up into space again,
hybrid aerospace craft soon out-performed vehicles limited to only one mode of flight.
Each antimattered-powered Hyperflare features a phase drive with no recharge time (unlike the Pulsar, which had a 10-second charge time).
It also has afterburners, forward retrorockets, numerous tiny thrusters,
particle cannons, plasma cannons, lasers, and thousands of tiny seeker missiles. A Hyperflare's conventional top speed is in the range of thousands of kilometers
per second. Such speeds are achieved via thrust imparting hundreds of gees. Human occupants survive such extreme acceleration through gravgel immersion (see above).
The phase drive is capable of relative speeds close to 100c (one hundred times the speed of light).
An artificially-generated field of gravity distortion waves that suppress wormhole formation. The IEF uses hypofields to keep enemy ships from downshifting (appearing out
of hyperspace) and attacking without warning.
Interface for corneal information transfer and extrapolation. This technology allows data and images to display within a person's vision. To the onlooker,
information screens appear to float in midair out in front of him or her.
An AI (artificial intelligence) matrix is an advanced computer which functions on the premise of quantum computing.
Shorthand for mechanized armored (space) suit or powered exoskeleton.
A state-of-the-art toy that changes shape into objects like remote control cars, stuffed animals, or play swords.
Nanotechnology makes this true transformer possible.
A nanite injected into the bloodstream for medical applications. See "nanite" below for further details.
A microscopic robot or machine so small it's invisible to the naked eye. Nanites are used in everything from commercial products
to medical applications to military weapons.
Nanotech / Nanotechnology
Technology based on nanites such as bioware/bioimplants and other devices.
Shorthand for "neutrino radar." Conventional radar bounces radio waves off targets in order to determine their location.
Sonar bounces sound waves off targets in similar fashion. Neutrinos are subatomic particles with almost no mass that pass through
anything. Therefore, neudar is radar that bounces neutrinos off targets to determine location. And since nothing blocks
neutrinos, signals can be sent through the center of the Earth, the Sun, or any other celestial body without being blocked.
Back in the 21st century, this technology was only theoretical. Scientists struggled to make it work because they didn't know
how to capture a neutrino signal when neutrinos pass through everything like tiny little ghosts.
But by the late 22nd century, scientists figured it out.
Simply put, there is no hiding from neudar unless anti-neutrino jamming technology is employed. Many force fields include
The term "electronic" refers to devices which operate based on the flow of electricity through circuits.
Neurotronic devices, then, function through the flow of neural energy, allowing machines to be controlled by thought.
New Horizons (NH), designated as IEF-01, was humankind's first interstellar exploration vessel launched roughly
ten years ago. Maya served aboard Horizons as engineering and operations liaison during first assignment out of the IEF academy.
The phase drive is an engine capable of a phase shift, which is the act of opening a wormhole.
Phase shifting allows a spacecraft to pass through that hole in space-time and into hyperspace, and permits
that same craft to return to normal space in less time than it would take light to travel the same distance.
From a practical standpoint, phase drives allow faster-than-light travel even though the spacecraft itself never moves
faster than light.
Typical relative speeds of modern IEF ships approach 100c (one hundred times the speed of light).
That's 2.5 times as fast as the early model phase fighters (Pulsars) and starships (from book 2).
The space-time vessel Yesterday is not only quite a bit faster than that but primarily uses its phase drive to traverse large time periods rather than large distances.
A star fighter craft equipped with a phase drive and thus capable of faster-than-light travel. A phase fighter is more
maneuverable and more heavily armed than an SF-522A Starthroat (see the Starthroat section for further details).
A phase fighter's range is limited to intrasolar distances (it can reach Pluto or the Oort Cloud but not Proxima Centauri).
An interstellar phase portal. This wormhole "doorway" is a shortcut between two distant points in space across light years.
See "phase portal" below for details.
Analogous to a modern airport or space port, a phase port is the location where people enter and exit phase tunnels in order to
travel around the solar system. Generators in one port hold one end of a given tunnel open while generators in another port hold
the other end open.
Phase Portal / Phase Tunnel
A phase tunnel is an artificially-generated stable wormhole shortcut connecting two distant points in space. The phase ports (like spaceports or airports)
located throughout the Sol system allow commuters to travel between settled planets, moons, and asteroids as easily as stepping through a doorway.
Two generators, one at either end of the tunnel, are required to open and keep open a given tunnel.
Phase tunnels also require an immense amount of power to maintain. The energy required to establish them increases exponentially with increasing distance.
In the late twenty-third century, stanard phase tunnels connect colonies as far out from Earth as Kuiper Belt dwarf planets but cannot reach
other star systems. However, the prototype phase gate (interstellar portal) connects Mars with New Mars in the Alpha Centauri system across 4 light years.
Powered by antimatter and a newer power source, phase technology allows the opening of a wormhole, matter to pass through that hole into hyperspace,
and matter to return to normal space in less time than it would take light to travel the same distance.
From a practical standpoint, phase technology allows faster-than-light travel even though matter itself never moves
faster than light.
Unbeknownst to the general public, the phase drive also allows for time travel and has since its invention.
According to Einstein and Schwarzchild, if a ship can travel to a distant point in space through
a wormhole, a ship can also use a wormhole to travel to a distant point in time just as easily.
Every phase drive except for Yesterday'sdrive includes safeguards to prevent time travel.
The 23rd century equivalent of a light bulb.
Plasma is channeled through a thin strip of material not much thicker than a sheet of paper to produce light.
The strips function similar to technology found in a 21st century plasma screen television.
Supposedly, plasma strips are more energy efficient and will outlive most people.
More advanced than a holographic simulation, rends (short for renditions or renderings) have replaced holocubes in all
IEF facilities and starships as the primary means of visual display. Rends consist of nanites injected into the air
from tiny wormholes. These rendered nanites morph into the shapes of whatever visuals a rend needs to display. Rends
can take the form of tangible control systems (Maya grabs and reads rendered gauges in chapter 3), threat board
displays (the individual ships engaged in rendered battles), a person (the headshot of a loved one or superior office),
and much more. Essentially, rends are the futuristic version of a monitor or viewscreen but also so much more.
A saucer/disk-shaped spacecraft operated by extrasolar beings.
An automated, antimatter-powered warhead the size of an antique ballpoint pen.
The projectile is capable of accelerating to speeds near that of light in a matter of seconds.
Seekers are carried and fired by modern aerospace fighter craft such as the Hyperflare (see above).
Shorthand for simulation. In the 23rd century, all images and video are captured in holographic format.
Holograms are much truer representations of the original content than old-fashioned static images and video.
Thus, holographic images and video are more commonly referred to as sims or vidsims.
A sim or vidsim is also any interactive holographic program.
Someone in the 21st century watches soap operas whereas someone in the 23rd century experiences daytime sims or soap sims.
Medical sims are 3D holographic representations of internal organs.
Advanced sims, such as those generated by the system installed in the office of the U.N. Secretary-General, are capable
of producing lifelike environments similar to holodecks on Star Trek. However, the holograms in BC9 have no
Thus, the term "interactive" means a person can provide feedback in order to alter the sim, but a person cannot
pick up or touch a holographic object.
Sparks / Sparking
Sparks are a slang term for a type of nanorobotic narcotic known to enhance reflexes and cognitive abilities at the expense
of a person's health. In other words, sparks are an advanced drug. Brooke kicked her addiction and stopped sparking when she
adopted Maya, but now her drug use has come back to haunt her.
Shorthand for spherical floating camera. These softball-sized recording devices defy gravity based on the principle of magnetic
flux pinning (superconductivity).
Shorthand for the Solar Network, the 23rd century version of the Internet.
Short for video or visual simulation. See "sim" above for details.
A sub-light propulsion engine based on the mathematical calculations done by a scientist named Alcubierre in the late 20th century.
In a lot of science fiction (like Star Trek), the Alcubierre (warp) drive is used for faster-than-light travel.
This same principle can also be applied for sub-light travel. IEF engineers have done so with Yesterday's wave drive.
A handheld device capable of destabilizing or manipulating matter at the subatomic level through the use of electromagnetic, sonic, gravimetric, and other types of waves.
Practically speaking, a wave gun can lift or shatter a 100 metric ton stone block, set someone's clothes on fire, boil blood, and much more.
The space-time and Interstellar Expeditionary Force vessel IEF-224 Yesterday is the first starship built by humans capable of traversing significant time periods.
Drawing energy from its black hole generator, Yesterday can travel a total of 500,00 years before the black hole collapses. A trip of 200,000 thousand years through hyperspace lasts
for 6 months as far as the occupants of the ship experience. But since the ship is capable of traveling to any exact date and time within its range, the duration of the
trip is irrelevant to observers in real space.
Yesterday measures 300 meters long and is the rough equivalent in size to a real aircraft carrier. This is small compared to most other IEF starships but still pretty big.
The ship is comprised of a forward crew module (20 decks), an aft engineering and engine module, and two nacelle rings. The rings focus extreme amounts of energy and gravity on
space-time, bending it to either open a wormhole for phase (hyperspace) travel or for sub-light propulsion. The latter is driven by the ship's wave drive (see above).