By Blake Hutchins
The purpose of this document is to set forth a history of the Venusian colony in the Starsiege Universe, and to provide a brief description of the geography and other characteristics for purposes of laying out missions in the game.
A Brief Description of Venus
“The fires of hell. Hey, that’s in our neighborhood!”
“… a kind of planetary catastrophe.”
- Carl Sagan
“The atmosphere – don’t forget there’s sulfuric acid in it will crush you like a Herc stomping a pomegranate, so keep your hardsuit’s seals in top shape. That’s not all. It’s drier than any desert on Earth. During the day, it’s hot enough to melt lead or zinc. Even at night, you can ignite paper on the surface if there was enough oxygen for it to burn, that is. Doesn’t sound too bad yet? Well, the night here lasts about four months standard, my friend. Get used to it.”
-Sgt. Vanelessa Tikonov, Imperial Police, Ishtar Precinct
“Claustrophobic living conditions. Depression. Hard, dangerous work. A planet that’s hotter than Mercury. Acid rain. Eternal twilight. What’s not to like about living here?”
-Adrian Schaefer, Venusian miner
Gravity = 0.88 G
Escape Velocity (m/sec) = 10,300 (mph) = 23,042
Equatorial Diameter (miles) = 7,521
Average distance from Sun (AU) = 0.723
Rotation period (length of day in Earth days) = 243
Rotation period (length of day in hours) = 5,832.2
Revolution period (length of year in Earth days) = 224.7
Revolution period (length of year in Venusian sols) = 1.08
Highest point on surface = Maxwell Montes (about 17 km above mean planetary radius)
Atmosphere: Terraforming has changed the Venusian atmosphere slightly. The major component is still carbon dioxide, however.
Air pressure: In 2829, the base air pressure level is still equivalent to nearly 90 Terran atmospheres, enough to equal a depth of 3,000 meters below the surface of an Earth ocean.
Winds are about 350 kph at the cloud tops, but surface winds are very slow, only a few kph. Hence, aerospace transport on and off planet is challenging. Venusians refer to this windy layer as The Tempest.
Land area is over three times that of Earth, since although Venus is slightly smaller, the lack of oceans means the entire planet is land.
Hydrologic Cycle: Hah. Aside from an occasional light drizzle of sulfuric acid…nothing. There’s a sulfur cycle, perhaps, but a molecule might take up to two million years to complete it.
The Venusian solar day is called a “V-sol.” The Venusian year, for Starsiege purposes, is 225 Terran days. Venusians just sigh and use the Terran Standard calendar. They’re not terribly concerned about seasons (nightside, dayside, twilight, and that’s it). Neither do time zones make any sense, so they use the same time worldwide, based on (sigh) the Imperial standard for Nova Alexandria, the Imperial capital.
Geothermally, Venus was discovered to be volcanically active in many places, more so than ancient scientists had first theorized.
GEOGRAPHY of VENUS
• ALPHA REGIO: A highland plateau region, approximately 1,500 km (900 miles) across, located in the mid southern latitudes.
• APHRODITE TERRA: The second of the large highland areas, this region lies along the equator and is about the size of South America.
• ARTEMIS CHASMA: A chasma is a deep trough, often with a raised rim, and is found mostly in the equatorial regions. They are rifts formed as the crust pulled apart due to tectonic forces. Artemis is a chasma that curves through over 210 degrees of arc around Artemis Corona. It is huge.
• ARTEMIS CORONA: A corona is a circular region of elevated topography, and is often surrounded by a trench and fractures. It is often the site of volcanic activity. Coronas are unique to Venus. Artemis Corona is the largest on Venus. Artemis Chasma drops as much as 6 km around it from the top of the interior rise, enclosing a circle of about 2,100 km in diameter.
• ATLA REGIO: A volcanic rise located at the eastern end of Aphrodite Terra, it contains the second-highest point on Venus, the top of the volcano Maat Mons.
• FATUA CORONA: Small and isolated, near Alpha Regio, there is a detectable gravity anomaly here, and the Venusian rebels found the alien technology cache several kilometers under this location.
• HECATE CHASMA: Also a corona area.
• ISHTAR TERRA: The most spectacular and possibly the most important of the Venusian highlands. The Imperial capital is located here. The name Ishtar comes from an ancient Near Eastern goddess who was mother, warrior, judge and counselor, associated with love and war. Ishtar Terra is about the size of Australia. Most of Ishtar’s interior is a high plateau area called Lakshmi Planum. Surrounding Lakshmi are the highest mountains on Venus.
• MAXWELL MONTES: The highest mountain on Venus, about 17 km up. It is found in Ishtar.
• OVDA REGIO: The largest of the plateau highlands. Ovda was the name of a mythical Finnish ogre-witch.
• PHOEBE REGIO: The most subdued of the plateau highlands, it is named after a Greek moon-goddess who was said to drive the lunar chariot across the sky, pulled by white horses.
• PLANITIAS – ATALANTA, GUINEVERE, AND LAVINIA: These areas are broad depressions in the Venusian terrain. Most of Venus is gently rolling hills with little variation of interest.
• TELLUS REGIO: Another plateau highland in the northern mid latitudes, located north of Aphrodite Terra and Ovda Regio. Tellus is named after Tellus Mater, the Roman “Mother Earth” goddess.
The first expeditions went to Venus in the 25th century, but due to the planet’s incredibly hostile environment, no effort was made to establish a permanent on-ground facility until 2533, when a robot surveyor discovered rare mineral deposits in the Venusian crust. Unlike Mars, which was marked early on for extensive terraforming, the first ventures to Venus were purely commercial. Only when the enormous extent of the deposits became evident did the corporations begin to encourage colonization. The terraforming of Venus began with the construction of the sunshield in 2558, and the first of the microwave heat bleeders went up in 2559. By 2560, the battle was in full swing to diminish the runaway Venusian greenhouse effect.
Settlements were concentrated arcologies, designed with massive walls and multiple redundancies to address the incredibly hostile Venusian environment. At first, the miners lived on-planet as a population of swing workers. They’d work for a few years and then return to Earth. However, the Oberwind made shipping goods offworld expensive and hazardous. In the interests of economy, the corporate sponsors of Venus began to construct refineries on the surface of Venus. The workforce grew again, and the hazard pay actually began to make Venus a fairly attractive job market. The harshest discipline was enforced by the planet itself, and Venus became a haven for all sorts of independent souls who wished to construct a new society. The various arcologies developed different laws and customs. Many of the workers were displaced from the EuroAlliance following the EA’s expulsion from North Africa in 2575. The corporations paid little attention to enforcing laws, so long as the job got done and the profits remained high. By 2590, a surprising number of Venusian workers had elected to stay and pursue their vision of freedom.
The Fire changed these dreams. There weren’t a large number of Cybrids on Venus. The planet was simply too hostile, and the corporations weren’t interested in extending the war economy there. Thus, when Prometheus began to slaughter humanity, the Venusians initially had little problem. The few Cybrids on the planet were limited in mobility and were easily destroyed by the colonists. The real horror lay in that Venus was heavily dependent on trade with Earth for parts and food. The Venusian economy was not self-sustaining, and so as the years dragged on, the Venusians began to turn on one another. Arcologies fought each other in the bloody gloom for the prizes of food and parts. Many of these desperate conflicts ended in the deaths of everyone involved. Any mistake could cause disaster on this unforgiving world. Eventually, only three arcologies remained functional: Sa Thauri, Inferno, and Hollischstadt. These three fed off the carnage and never clashed directly with one another. The others were left as gutted husks slowly dissolving under the acid skies.
The Cybrids did come to Venus in 2618, but contented themselves with a few raids and bombardment from orbit. The arcology of Inferno was destroyed, but the other two escaped destruction and eradicated the Cybrid raiders. The Cybrids were unable to retrofit themselves to cope with the hostile environment. Venus itself became humanity’s most effective defense against the killing machines.
When the Empire came to Venus in 2666, the world was for all practical purposes a graveyard. Sa Thauri still had some survivors, but Hollischstadt had finally collapsed in 2641, victim of a particularly potent acidstorm. The lack of spare parts and food had weakened the colonists to the point of exhaustion. They had a progressively harder time maintaining their equipment and the tools needed to keep the seals in place. As on Mars, the lack of help from Earth in the years following the defeat of Prometheus on Luna embittered the Venusian survivors. Many had watched loved ones die during a time when it was technically possible for rescue forces from Earth to provide assistance. Venus had become a planet of ghosts.
The rebuilding phase was sobering, but Earth was in desperate need of raw material, and so Venus once again boomed. As the arcologies went up again, however, the veterans of The Fire made certain to stockpile parts, food, and weapons. As the Venusian population increased, newcomers were told about the tragedy of the Cybrid Wars, which the Venusians call The Long Wait or The Rat Wars. They, too, ended up contributing to the stockpiles.
Interestingly, the Long Wait had a positive side effect. The Venusians spent years by themselves, enduring behind tons of steel and metaplas bulkheads. They learned to stay busy, to entertain themselves. In particular, they turned to creating drama and poetry. After the Empire established Terran contact with Venus, the Venusians continued these traditions, and the arcologies became known for their theaters and eventually for their literary academies. Wealthy Venusian citizens sponsored salons, and the grim planet with its miners and deadly environment became known for its artists and philosophers.
One of the most famous Venusian social events is the light salon. Due to the eternal gloom and oppressive conditions of the planet, exposure to Terran daylight light frequencies is considered a necessary step in fighting what the Venusians sometimes call “heartcrash,” an acute depression that inevitably causes a number of suicides each year. The light salons combine light therapy with art and drama. They’re quite the rage among sunsiders, and Venusians compete with each other to put on the best plays and produce the most stimulating salons.
How can the best films come from Venus? Well, with virtual reality at a highly advanced state, anyone with a decent computer can produce some kind of cinematic story. The Venusian mindset seems to produce a startling number of inspired storytellers, which literary critics term “the Shelley effect,” in reference to the woman who created the gothic romance “Frankenstein” a thousand years earlier. With the rise of the salons and academies, artists from Earth come to learn, to taste something of Venus’s peculiar inspiration.
As the new Venus rose from the scorched remains of the old, Terran demand for the rich mineral deposits infused wealth into the planet and encouraged workers who also wished to take advantage of the childbearing subsidies. The population nevertheless stayed low until the end of the first decade of the 28th century. After 2810, the population on Venus began to surge under an influx of workers. The artistic reputation began to grow formidable by 2750, after Pietra Kolb’s release of The Warrens of Hell, a docudrama of The Long Wait that swept all major awards in 2748. In 2752, the music of Heinrich Salis captured the imagination of millions with its haunting sound sculptures laid over the acid hiss of the Venusian atmosphere on the ruins of Erste Landung. Hellfire Productions started releasing Venusian films and plays by 2760, and the well just seemed to deepen. Venus had become the paradox of hellish environment and artist’s heaven. Today, the Salis Music Academy is considered the pinnacle of musical education in the Empire. The pale deerns and kerls who drink strong coffee in the cramped Venusian cafés and talk about muses and ghosts have become the Empire’s epitome of cool. Most Terrans believe Venusians are insane. They may be right. But for now, that insanity pays nearly as well as the mining.
The mining conditions are difficult. Robotic workers break down frequently, and the pressure conditions are unforgiving. The atmosphere is actually dense enough to cause some light distortion, so visual sensors are sometimes unreliable. Workers go outside in massive hardsuits that look more like deep-sea diving rigs than spacesuits. These suits are called “scarabs,” and have exoskeletal boosters to assist the wearer’s movement. Joints are as hardened as anything else, and the hands are fully enclosed. A scarab has mechanical hands to manipulate its environment.
Hercs and tanks have to undergo special modifications before entering the Venusian environment, most notably a pressure-reinforcement, since far greater than one-atmosphere’s worth of stress will be focused on every square centimeter. In this environment, springing a leak means an ugly death. Vehicles also receive an alkaline varnish that helps counter the corrosive effects of the acid drizzle.
A subculture of wandering miners has grown in recent years, filling the demand for maintenance on distant robotic sites. These gypsies stay primarily in the lowland areas, forming caravans of heavy treaded vehicles as they move from site to site according to their contracts. Although difficult, their lives are lived according to their own desires, and that freedom appears worth the price for now. The pitted hulls of gypsy caravans are a fairly common sight. They periodically stay at arcologies to refit and mingle with the city-dwellers, but their lives remain a mystery even to most Venusians.
The Fortification Proclamation has hit Venus hard in the mining realm, as the artificially low prices have cut wages and reduced the funding to the arcologies. The Empire sent in a large group of BioDerms to pick up the slack when miners tried to strike, and serious unemployment has begun to make itself known over the last few years. Since no Venusian will be sent out to die, the burden on public assistance has risen, and the once-surging Venusian economy has faltered. The salons rustle with anger, and the Imperial Police have shut several down. Since prisons are rare here, the Police way of dealing with suspected rebels is to exile them by placing them on work crews and shipping them to remote mining sites. The other way is simply to administer summary justice, usually some kind of chemical incarceration. The Venusians have grown increasingly angry at such treatment, and the music coming out of Dante, Shelley, Faustus, and Byron becomes more strident with every year. The Imperial Police are currently cracking down on all musicians and artists. The Empire’s tolerance of Veen radicalism has reached an end.
Venusian arcology-cities consider themselves self-governing units. Although the Empire exerts final authority, a great deal of latitude has traditionally been given to the arcologies. Venusians consider themselves citizens of an arcology first, then of Venus, and eventually of the Empire. Most of them like the sound of Empire more than the reality, especially in recent years, especially after the treatment of Neuleuthen under the Proclamation.
THE TERRAFORMING of VENUS
Papers speculating on the requirements for terraforming Venus were first written in the last years of the 20th century. Some of these documents survived The Devastation. By the 29th century, the theoretical assumptions posted in those early papers were technically possible. Commercial fusion power was readily available, as were heavy-lift space vehicles and advanced genetic engineering.
The primary goal for Venus is to reduce the planet’s runaway greenhouse effect. The first tactic included seeding acid tolerant microorganisms into the Venusian clouds, which are 75% concentrated sulfuric acid. These organisms are intended to help capture the sulfur and to increase the oxygen and nitrogen content of the atmosphere. There are also similar microorganisms seeded on the surface. Microwave transmitters absorb the surface heat and beam it as microwave energy into space. Atmospheric converters pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it into carbonate rocks. Calcium and magnesium deposits from Mercury are brought in to help bind the carbon. Projections are that this method will eventually use perhaps up to five percent of Mercury’s mass.
The sunshield is a metaplas shade placed between Venus and the sun to prevent sunlight from reaching the Venusian surface. It has the ability to let light through somewhat selectively, so a degree of Terran day-night pattern can be maintained during the long day of Venus.
Scientists are still working on an appropriate cometary candidate to crash onto Venus to provide a substantial degree of water. The Fortification Proclamation mandates that any large water comets be converted to reaction mass reserves for the Terran Defense Force, however, so Venus may wait a long time for its water.
IMPERIAL PROVINCE NAMES
The Empire divided Venus into administrative provinces shortly after recontact.
DANTE: The Imperial capital. The heavy Imperial Police presence keeps the settlement fairly sewn up. Dante is also the site of the annual Venusian festival called Rhapsody, in which poets and actors gather to show off their latest work. The corridors of Dante are known for their murals of heaven, hell, and purgatory. Dante is one of the three best known artist havens on Venus.
SHELLEY: The famous Hellfire Productions makes its home in Shelley, producing the finest virtusims in the Empire. Shelley is also known for the Chaldior Vapor reserves in its region, a volatile substance unique to Venus that was recently discovered by a deep mining probe. Shelley’s chemical scientists are busily working to refine the gas into some form useful to Imperial industry. Rumors indicate that the Chaldior molecule closely resembles a petroleum structure, but the history of Venus is totally inconsistent with such a conclusion. Certainly life has never existed here…has it?
HOELLISCHSTADT: Literally “Hellish City,” this city is one of the largest on Venus due to very rich mineral deposits in the surrounding area. Despite its name, it is one of the more pleasant places to live on the planet, as it supports a thriving spaceport. The region’s volatile weather also gives Hoellischstadt one of the best locations for launching through lulls in the Oberwind.
ISHTAR CITY: Due to a high level of quake activity in the area, Ishtar City is entirely built on giant stilt-like supports. Like all Venusian arcologies, it draws its wealth primarily from mining and manufacturing, but Ishtar City has also focused more on providing services to other arcologies on Venus. Consequently, it has the prime scarab factory on the planet, as well as the best repair facilities for vehicles and modular structures. The artiste arcologies of Venus find Ishtarites comparatively dull, but no one can argue with the results of Ishtar City work.
NEW WURZBURG: This arcology houses the deepest mines on the planet. Located in a geologically stable region, New Wurzburg builds on an earlier installation that made use of an enormous lava tube called the Well for its mines. Over time, the arcology deepened its exploration off the Well in a quest to discover what resources wait in the deep planetary mantle. New Wurzburgians see themselves as explorers, but in recent years the project has been cut short in favor of cheaper surface mining. Imperial demands make the more hazardous, long-term investments far less attractive. Only independents plumb the depths of the Well these days, but they have to be well equipped. Atmospheric pressure is said to be almost double at the bottom of the main shaft. Rumors place the Venusian rebels using the Well for an operations base, but the Empire hasn’t taken such stories seriously. All sorts of stories float around about the Well, and Imperial Intelligence has other more serious leads to follow. Eventually, the Venusian rebels find their cache in a sealed chamber near the bottom of the Well.
REDEMPTION: Terrans who accompanied the rescue expeditions founded Redemption to atone for the Empire’s tardiness. Those who stayed were deeply affected by the horror they found in the ruined arcologies. Today, their descendants are the fiercest advocates of self-sufficiency and the fiercest opponents of the Fortification Proclamation. The Venusian rebellion initially sprang from the outrage of the citizens of Redemption.
BYRON: Another of the “artist havens,” Byron hosts the most radical of the poet salons and fringe bands. Byronians believe in pushing the envelope artistically, and have also carried this philosophy into everything they do. The arcology is also called the Snakepit, and rumor has it anything can be bought or sold here.
DIZANGA: Originally settled by the PacRim and resettled by a mixed group from PacRim and United Africa in 2669, Dizanga prides itself on holosculptures that capture the look of Terran savannahs and the jungles of Southeast Asia. Its inhabitants are also known for their ostentatious displays of martial dance, and Dizangan arenas are the best on Venus. As a side note, the gambling and bright panoply surrounding these tournaments constitute one of the few draws that shakes other Venusians out of Gothic self-involvement.
DRACHENSATEM: Dragon’s Breath is the meaning of this arcology’s name, and it is settled by people who prepare for the next Cybrid invasion, the next Long Wait. Drachensatem publicly supports the Empire more strongly than any other Venusian settlement, and in return has managed to secure a certain liberality in Imperial regulation. Drachensatemites have the largest militia of any arcology, and possibly the best-armed Scarab infantry on the planet. They are fond of military pageantry, and decorate their scarabs with depictions of skulls, lightning, black eagles, and (naturally) dragons. Their military scarabs even have larger shoulder reinforcements to mount the weapons they’ve configured for outdoor operations in the hostile atmosphere. Other Venusians find Drachensatem rather one-dimensional.
HAMMADI: Settled largely by workers from United Africa and the Middle East region, Hammadi is a workers’ city. The stolid miners are among the most diligent in stockpiling supplies against the next Cybrid invasion. As a city, it is the least fractious on Venus. The gypsy caravans are most at home here of all the arcologies, and as a result, Hammadi tends to have the best intelligence of any arcology about conditions at mines and workstations on Venus.
SA THAURI: As the surviving colony from the pre-Fire days, Sa Thauri has a legacy of horror. Its inhabitants faced the same slow decline that killed the other colonies. More than perhaps any place on Venus, this colony holds ghosts. Still, many of the survivors returned to rebuild, and although many of the old buildings have been replaced or rebuilt, the city leaders chose to keep a number of features and sites intact. These have become monuments to the dead, from small, acid-wormed statues in unexpected alcoves, or chambers in the market hall that retain the original graffiti left by survivors. For all the tragedy, Sa Thaurians are proud that they were “the toughest rathole on Venus,” and consider themselves the aristocrats of the world. The rebel movement has been most active in Sa Thauri, and the Empire is beginning to take notice.
FAUSTUS: One of the newer cities that was founded with fostering art in mind, Faustus has created a burgeoning literary academy that is one of the finest in human space, as well as one of the most raucous. Students come here to take in the “Venus experience,” to gather the planet’s dark dreams. There’s a sharp division here between the more stolid miner population and the wilding students who tear up the local bars. Still, for all the excesses of its students, Faustus produces many of the finest writers in the Empire.
CARSON: An unusual architecture marks Carson. Using water-filled compartments to brace its walls, Carson has achieved a less compact, roomier design that even manages to incorporate a small park in the central plaza of the arcology. Carson citizens have thrown themselves into creating a real “city,” not just another diving bell, or so they are fond of saying. Other Venusians call them dreamers, which is saying a lot. Nevertheless, the Carson park actually boasts a small lake with real fish. It’s the envy of Venus. Like Ishtar City, Carson has its mining population, but its special contribution is manufacture of tools and chemical compounds that are necessary to Venusian arcology maintenance. Its light industry is its real moneymaking enterprise. These days, the market has compacted, but Carson is still doing fairly well because no sunsider community will ever neglect its seals.
ERSTE LANDUNG: “First Landing.” This is a small settlement in 2829, maintained mostly for its historical value. A large arcology in its prime, it was particularly hard hit during the Rat War, and its extensive ruins still sizzle in the acid rain.
NEW DANZIG: – New Danzig is home to the ugliest, most dangerous mines on Venus, but also the most profitable ones. Having found a vein of rare metal deposits, New Danzig has managed to blunt the Imperial Proclamation by mining its find recklessly. The arcology has also built a massdriver, so it can boost refined metal into orbit without risking human pilots. The operation is so productive and efficient that the Imperial Governor modified the Proclamation arrangements to give New Danzig better profits dependent on continued high level, low-cost production. The arcology’s citizens work harder, but the demands of the TDF war machine are beginning to tax a people who had hoped to ride out a temporary situation. The Fortification shows no sign of faltering, and the citizens of New Danzig are wondering whether they really are better off by working themselves to death. Their mines have the highest casualty levels on the planet, and the Imperials are talking about sending in a BioDerm workforce to keep production up.
NEULEUTHEN: The site of a disastrous reactor accident in 2807, Neuleuthen is essentially a ghost town now. The Proclamation has stripped so much of the Venusian economic reserves that wholesale reconstruction of an entire arcology is simply too expensive. As Neuleuthen citizens relocated to other arcologies and moved in with relatives, the strain on other arcologies grew, as did resentment of the Empire. Rebels have been rumored to use Neuleuthen as a base. Aside from deteriorating seals and a high radiation level, the main body of the arcology is essentially intact. Some citizens still perform some maintenance there, and run a small airskimmer landing station for scouts and transports.
Microwave Transmitters: These are devices that absorb heat and broadcast it off planet in microwave form, part of the Venusian terraforming strategy to combat the planet’s runaway greenhouse effect.
Roads: These are confined to avenues between major settlements.
Bridges: These would be pretty common on Venus, particularly in the more rugged areas.
Sunshield: A metaplas structure imposed like a giant semi-opaque lens between the sun and Venus, so that the planetary surface is covered in shadow. The sunshield is part of the terraforming effort; the intent is to reduce the solar energy being trapped in the Venusian atmosphere.
Raised buildings are often the norm to avoid excessive placement on the hot surface.
Hardsuits (Scarabs): The indispensible suit to have. Moving around on Venus is like moving underwater. The hardsuits are more like full-fledged diving suits than spacesuits. They are hard-bodied, with hard spherical joints. They are massive to accommodate the enormous pressure without requiring their occupants to undergo depressurization when coming up the gravity well.
Corrosion: In 2829, the biggest day-to-day problems Venusians have is to keep checking their seals, since the atmospheric pressure is so unrelenting, and the acid drizzle continually eats away at anything exposed.
OTHER SITE NAMES (just in case we need ‘em)
I’ve written these as though they’d be town names, but if we want to use ‘em for hills, gullies, ridges, escarpments, etc., that’s cool. For example: “Sisyphus” could go to “Sisyphus Station” or “Sisyphus Hills.” The following name ideas are not in any particular order:
Gehenna Persephone Lilith
Barker Luftbrennen Scald Town
The Skillet Baak Pral
A VENUSIAN LEXICON
Venusian slang strives to be dramatic, due in part to the Venusian love of drama and poetry.
Aegis: The Venusian term for the sunshield.
Boots, bootboys: Imperial Police.
Crack: To damage something or to kill someone. With the enormous atmospheric pressures, Venusians watch for cracks very carefully.
Deern: Girl, chick.
Drown the liver: To drink heavily.
The Druck: The enormous atmospheric pressure.
Epic: Really cool, well done.
Gehenna: Venusian term for Venus.
Long Wait, The: Venusian term for the deadly civil conflict that erupted during The Fire.
Nectar: Strong drink.
Our Sentinels: Microwave transmitters.
Oberwind: The severe winds that blow high in the Venusian atmosphere.
Pastry: What a person becomes when her scarab cracks.
Rat: Salty Venusian term for themselves. Analogous to “Bastard.”
Rat War, The: See The Long Wait.
Riding the Tempest: Referring to the high winds that blow in the upper atmosphere, this term either means taking a chance, leaving things up to fate, or both.
Rosewords: Depending on context, this can mean “lies,” “flattery,” or “poetry.”
Scorch, scorched, scorching: All purpose swearword.
Stalwart: OK, good. Also a term for buddy.
Sunsider: Venusian term for themselves.
Teddy: Derogatory rebel term for Terran Defense Force.
Veen: Derogatory Terran term for Venusians.
Wastrel: Unemployed, hopeless, depressed.
Wilding (verb): Getting drunk, raising hell.