General Information
Homeworld Terragen Sphere
Habitat Terragen Sphere
Language Anglic (namely)
Subspecies/Races Trillions of different species
Species Origin Earth
Status Extant and active
Behind the Scenes
Universe Orion's Arm

Terragen is anything or anyone whose ultimate origins can be traced back to planet Earth, but does not necessarily live there in the Orion's Arm universe.[1] For beginners, Terragens constitute of humans, artificial or virtual intelligences, and uplifted or entirely novel organisms.

Biological terminology Edit

Human Edit

Genomically-pure Homo sapiens sapiens, named baseline humans,[2] are just one of the 36,000 human subspecies in Orion's Arm.[3] The remaining subspecies have been created through genetic engineering and cybernetic enhancements, named near-baseline humans.[3]

Some subspecies of nearbaselines include:

  • Homo sapiens plebus (with at least 10,000 phenotypic races)
  • Homo sapiens lunensis - Originating from Earth's Moon.
  • Homo sapiens mediaphilus
  • Homo sapiens pacificus - Originating from Pacifica (Beta Virginis IV).
  • Homo sapiens proximacentaurensis - Originating from Proxima Centauri System.
  • Homo sapiens novaterraensis - Originating from Nova Terra (Tau Ceti V).
  • Homo sapiens quarkensis - Originating from the continent of Quark in Corona (Iota Piscium I).

In nearbaselines, radical improvements (supercentenarian life expectancies and the ability to regrow severed limbs)[4] are few while subtle ones (increased symmetry, microgravity adaptations and producing more amino acids) are numerous.

In the case of the superiors or the Homo superior, this is not the case. Radical enhancements are the norm, and unlike nearbaselines, their creation has been extensively planned. Superiors need little sleep, have augmented senses, can survive water-freezing temperatures, can hold their breath for minutes and tolerate toxins much better than (near)baseline.[5]

Nearbaselines number 15 quadrillion and superiors 1.2 quadrillion. With just 150 billion baselines, modified humans augment the original ones 108,000 to 1 in Orion's Arm.[6]

Cyborg Edit

Cyborg is any life form that cannot function properly without an integrated electronic device. As such, it is not a excluding label for sophonts, since for example, an intelligent African Grey Parrot could sport inorganic implants, thus being provolve and cyborg simultaneously. Indeed, the Encyclopedia Galactica emphatizes the diversity of hosts of cybernetic implants.[7] There are some 6 quadrillion cyborgs.[6]

Provolve Edit

"Any species of subsapient or presapient animal, plant or other non-sophont biological organism, that has had its genotype modified and intelligence enhanced by whatever means to the level of sophonce, along with any genomic and/or bionic augmentations required for manipulation of objects, interfacing with tech, communications, and other necessities of civilized life."
―Encyclopedia Galactica on provolves.

In layman's terms, a provolve is an animal, plant or any other life that has been altered to possess human intelligence.[8] It is what is known as "uplift" in other science fiction works.[9] The term "provolve" is short for "proactive evolution". Novel, artificially created species and genomically-reconstructed ones can also be provolved.

With 6 quadrillion of such individuals,[6] there are numerous provolve clades. Species that have been provolved include African grey parrots, albertosauruses, annelids, ants, cephalopods, chimpanzees, dogs, dolphins, elephants, geckos, gorillas, insects, kelp, meerkats, ostriches, pigs, ray-finned fish, snails, squids, trees and whales, to name a few.[8]

Splice Edit

"A genemod in which an animal, plant or other naturally occurring, but non-human, genotype is modified with elements of both human and other non-human genomes, usually for service, companionship, or hedonistic purposes."
―Encyclopedia Galactica on splices.

A splice is a lifeform resulting from the artificial combination of genetic material from different species. Arguably, the most famous clade in Orion's Arm is the "Siberoo", a synthetic hybrid of Siberian tiger and red kangaroo.[10] Just like regular animals, splices can also be provolved, as in the forementioned splice clade. There are 3 quadrillion splices.[6]

Rianth Edit

A rianth, short for therianthrope, is any human who has been genetically modified to express traits of other naturally-occurring species.[11] Rianths are human splices, i.e. a genetic recombination of a human and another species.

Tweak Edit

"Generic term for human or other biont in which the original genotype has been optimized for existence in extreme environmental conditions. Though many nearbaseline humans have modifications that allow them to survive in conditions outside the range suitable to baseline humans, tweaks are so radically changed that they are not interfertile with human baselines or nearbaselines. In the extreme cases they may have human-like form and psychology but lack any genetic or even biochemical overlap with the original human type."
―Encyclopedia Galactica on tweaks.

A tweak is a lifeform that has been biologically altered to live in new, radically different environments.[12] Tweaks are extremophiles, and there are about 9 quadrillion in the Terragen Sphere.[6] Examples include humans that have been adapted to live exposed to the vacuum of space[13] or the cold of Titan-like moons.[14]

Artificial intelligence terminology Edit

Terragens whose "computational substrate" ("brain") is inorganic, artificial and electronical are extremely common.

Bot Edit

A bot is a mechanical being or a robot whose intelligence is below that of a human, hence not being endowed with any personhood.

Vec Edit

A vec is a robot who possesses human-equivalent intelligence and self-awareness.[15] The term is derived from the surname of Hans Moravec, a real-life roboticist. Since vecs possess free will, their slavery is actually illegal throughout the Sephirotic Empires.

References Edit

  1. Terragen. Encyclopedia Galactica. 9 January 2002.
  2. Baseline Human. Encyclopedia Galactica. 8 October 2001.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Near-Baseline Human. Encyclopedia Galactica. 14 August 2001.
  4. Nearbaseline Genemods. Encyclopedia Galactica. 18 February 2005.
  5. Superior Genemods. Encyclopedia Galactica. 5 December 2005.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Population Statistics of the Terragen Sphere. Encyclopedia Galactica. 23 October 2003.
  7. Cyborg. Encyclopedia Galactica. 21 June 2000.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Provolve. Encyclopedia Galactica. 3 March 2001.
  9. Uplift (science fiction). Wikipedia. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  10. Siberoo. Encyclopedia Galactica. 19 December 2002.
  11. Rianth. Encyclopedia Galactica. 14 August 2001.
  12. Tweak. Encyclopedia Galactica. 14 August 2001.
  13. Homo cosmoi / Space adapted human. Encyclopedia Galactica. 28 September 2001.
  14. Methanoids. Encyclopedia Galactica. 20 December 2009.
  15. Vec. Encyclopedia Galactica. 3 July 2000.