Glossary / Reference

Armor, clothing, high-tech accesories and the like

Apparel

Daycloak – A form of Martian outerwear that is worn during daytime hours when traveling through common areas inside the planet. In offices and private rooms, temperatures are usually comfortable, but in the passageways, larger chambers, etc. the temperatures are much cooler, around the temperature of a typical late fall or early winter day in someplace like Europe or North America. Most native Martians or long-term residents will wear these, instead of more traditional coats, as both a cultural tradition and a way of differentiating themselves from visitors and other offworlders. See also “nightcloak” below.

Demicoat – A short coat that typically extends no lower than the waist but often slightly higher. Some demicoats are designed for warmth in mildly cold weather, while others are designed more as accessory or formal attire.

Grounders – Also known as “heavyfeet,” these are weighted boots often worn by visitors to Mars from Earth who are thrown off by the lesser gravity (almost 90% Earth gravity during the day in areas using a-grav systems, and about 65% Earth normal at night in those same areas—and only 38% Earth normal in areas where a-grav systems are absent). The weight can be adjusted upward or downward by simply changing an insert in the sole.

Holoweave – A full-body suit of clothing that projects a holographic image immediately around the wearer’s body. It can either project a prerecorded image or one that is transmitted from afar. So, it can be used as form of disguise or to allow the wearer to mimic the actions of someone else far away. For the latter purpose, there are also actuators, pressure-pad and other devices to help coordinate the wearer’s movements properly to synch with the holography. It is very power-intensive and also highly uncomfortable to wear for long periods, so it’s not useful for any protracted kind of deception—not the mention the fact that if someone touched the person, the illusion would be ruined, also making long-term deceptions difficult.

Longcoat – What we would think of today as a trenchcoat or similarly elongated style of outerwear.

Nightcloak – Nightcloaks looks almost identical to daycloaks (see above) but are actually made of denser material, are somewhat thicker and have small weights attached throughout. They are worn during the nighttime hours both for additional warmth (as heating is turned down even more during nightcycles inside Mars) and also to counteract the fact that the a-grav systems are turned down slightly in common areas at night to conserve power.

Slickskein – An outfit, usually full-body, made of a thin, sturdy, slick material (also called slickskein) that is comparable in many ways to latex or thin, stretchable leather. Variations of slickskein outfits may be used for any number of functions, from aquasports to scuba activities, from spelunking to rockclimbing, from low-level security work to fetish sex, and more. It is often possible for some high-end slickskein outfits to be altered in color, texture or even shape, through the use of a small accessory device.

Trencher – A trencher extends as far down as a longcoat, but is open at the lower torso, and only zips closed from throat to waist. (See also “bounty coat” below)

Wraithskein – A very specialized slickskein outfit that can mimic the colors and textures of the immediate surrounding to camouflage the person wearing it, provided that he or she remains immobile. The highest-end wraithskeins can maintain camouflage even during very slow movement, providing for virtual invisibility, though this drains power at an alarming rate.

Armor

Bounty Coat – A form of trencher (see above) that has armor sandwiched between the more traditional material (leather, simhide, slickskein, etc.). Said armor can vary in thickness and composition, but because the idea of a bounty coat is typically for it to appear to be a normal coat, the armor will typically be thin ceramatin plates between layers of polymesh. Bounty coats often have hidden holsters, pockets and embedded devices. They are popular among many contract investigators, bond hunters and criminals.

Crisis Suit – A form of spacesuit that is intended to be worn only short-term in emergency situations. It provides for the bare minimum thermal and radiation protection, and a brief amount of breathable atmosphere (usually 30 minutes or less) so that, in a crisis, it can be put on quickly and allow the wearer to, ideally, get to a safe place or don a more advanced spacesuit.

Skeinsuit – A relatively thick polymesh weave, usually a full-body outfit, that provides substantial protection against bladed and blunt-force attacks and minimal protection against some projectile weapons. It generally fares poorly against energy weapons but can dull the effect of some.

Skeinvest – Same as a skeinsuit (see above), but protects only the torso.

Stoneskein – This is a rarely seen and very unique form of armor that changes density and texture upon impact. Under normal circumstances, it wears and feels much like a skeinsuit. But if someone strikes the wearer, the area where the impact occurs becomes rigid and dense. This makes the outfit more protective than a simple skeinsuit, but a stoneskein is far more expensive and requires a power cell to function at full effectiveness. It also is less flexible than a skeinsuit, and depending on where the wearer is hit, can limit mobility sharply for the moment it takes for the rigid area to return to normal flexibility.

Tacsuit – A tacsuit is a combination of a light, flexible outfit underneath (often slickskein or simhide) with thick armor over it, or a skeinsuit underneath with very light armor over it. Templar armor is a form of tacsuit but tends to be much more advanced than an average tacsuit. It is common for tacsuits to be equipped with devices and accessories for added functionality, such as communications equipment, head-up displays, respiratory protection, etc.

Accessories

Daysack – A soft dufflebag/satchel made out of a highly expandable material so that it can virtually double in capacity with minimal loss of strength. What really sets a daysack aside from a normal satchel, though, is the inclusion of devices like embedded geo-positional equipment, locator/tracking equipment, security devices, hot/cold pockets, and the like—perhaps even a stasis pocket in a very high-end model.

Linkpad – A linkpad is usually worn on the wrist, though they can also be worn on the bicep, around the neck, clipped to the inside of a coat, etc. It combines the functions of a datebook, clock, telephone, alarm/reminder system, music/audio player, video player and even more, depending on how high-end it is. It has both voice-activation functions and a holographic keyboard emitter.

Travelcase – Basically, a briefcase, suitcase or trunk, depending on size and/or situation. Almost always includes a tracking/locator device and a display screen for the inventory software. In higher-end models, a small a-grav system may be installed to make it easier to carry heavy contents or other features may be added, such as stasis pockets.

Vox – A small device inserted into the ear that can pick up audio media broadcasts, play prerecorded material, transmit incoming messages from a linkpad, etc. So, it functions as a combination of mp3 player, radio, earpiece and more. It can also transmit short-range for certain purposes. Despite its tiny size, it is easily configured and operated by activating a holographic keypad/control panel.


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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

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