I was young then, not even a decade old. My birth clade cycled between social and asocial periods. Once I had reached maturity my family unit disbanded. I travelled a lot. I would join survey probes sent to uninhabited systems. They'd build me a body on arrival and so long as I didn't disturb their work or the environment too much, they would leave me be.
I had swum a small ocean to reach the polar continent. Arriving at the base of a jagged cliff I pulled myself inwards, wrapping my organs into a ball. Dozens of tentacles and sensory pseudopods sprouted from all over, my mind unpacked the networks needed to process the all-around vision. With molecular forests extruded from my limbs I easily scrambled up the cliff face. In mere seconds I reached the summit, a tangle of meaty ropes. It was deathly cold, as the snow began to burn my flesh I spun an aerogel layer in my epidermis. My body thus protected I set off rolling across the landscape.
In two days I arrived at the location that spurred my journey. The longest mountain range in the world towered before me, weaving for nine thousand kilometers across the crown of the globe. I planned to walk it, a personal homage to our ancestor progenitors. Those of single form and life who travelled the birth world despite its dangers. I would need to prepare further. This world was abiotic, some evidence suggested long dead thermal vents harboured the beginnings of life. But if they did it never took hold. This world's tectonic phase was nearly ended, its sun had dimmed too far to keep the oceans liquid for long. In another hundred thousand years it would all be ice. More pressing to me was the lack of easily available chemical fuels. I had explored the equatorial seas by occasionally basking on the surface, absorbing the meager solar rays. For my journey here I would not be able to rely on the sun for long. In a month the north pole would enter a three year long dark period, as this hemisphere turned through its long winter.
I could have returned to the water. Stuck myself to the cliff and grown gills to filter out trace fissile material. However to gather enough to make radiothermic bone would take all of this winter and the next. I chose to store as much sunlight as possible and rely on low temperature modifications to help ration my energy reserves. Upon the first mountain face I spread myself into a wide, thin woven mat of tendrils. My surface darkened to near perfect black so as to absorb almost every stray photon. I recycled some body mass into glands that secreted layers of superconductive crystal. Once a gland had finished a crystal hoop mycelia deposited carbon nanotube jacketing around them. Nervous cabling bound to the disks, first inflating them with power and preparing to later transport energy as needed to millions of converter organs. There waste products would be recycled into chemical fuel, formed via electron transport chains powered by the solenoid batteries.
By the time the sun sank beneath the horizon for the last time until spring I had made thirty three discs of similar size. I arranged them in a vertical row, linked by strong ligature, and pulled my body into a mass around this spine. From my thick torso emerged five stumps; two short bowed legs, two long arms, a fat sensory tower within which I concentrated into a centralised processor. My limbs grew five digits arranged around a flat plate. The front of my head spun two visual sensors, a flattened chemical sensor, and a wide orifice for gas exchange. Reflexes and instincts unpacked in my mind. I stretched the pliable tissue around my orifice to expose my ceramic disassemblers. As the metamorphosis completed thick fur blossomed on my surface. This body was as accurate as I could make it, in appearance it was identical to the progenitors. True my eyes saw far better in this darkness, my wet-phase nanomachines were optimal at 210 kelvin, and my fur was an insulating polymer weave rather than keratin. But in truth they would not survive here. Which is why I walk for them.
Synanotech; technology which is a synthesis between biotech and dry nanotech Synano only became possible when both 'wet' (organic) and 'dry' (mechanical, or inorganic) nano had been mastered. While a number of early forms were developed during the late Interplanetary Age, it was not until well into the First Federation in the Interstellar Era that synano and syntech really came into its own. Using the same chemical and metabolic pathways as organic life and bionano, but with the additional range of dry nanotech, synanotech became very popular, although it was some time before it was able to match the inexpensive and reliable bioassemblers. With the emergence of second singularity beings during the late First Federation period, new more robust forms of synano were developed as well, and there was a great deal of cross-breeding and mutation between synano and bionano, as well as between synano and organic biota. On its own, synano also, like bionano, readily developed into complex, beautiful, and sometimes dangerous nanecologies. Synano replicators also proved a potent goo, although dry nano still make more efficient disassemblers in a vacuum environment. Even so, most "wild" nano out on the periphery is synano rather than dry nano or bionano.
Despite its versatility and economical nature, the unpredictable quality of synano and the difficulties involved in creating new forms has caused many clades to favour biotech or dry nanotech as separate technologies.
- Autoevolution - Text by Anders Sandberg
Evolution directed by intelligent beings instead of natural selection.
Autoevolutionist: Someone who regards autoevolution as desirable; the opposite of a biological fundamentalist.
- Autofabricator - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; modified and expanded by Stephen Inniss, Todd Drashner and Ryan_B (2016)
Also known as a fab, nanofab, autofac, nanoforge, or nanofac. A nanotech fabrication unit for creating finished products from raw materials. This type of device is ubiquitous in the Terragen Sphere.
- Bicameral von Neumann Machine Architecture - Text by John Edds
Fundamental architecture for the design of self-replicating machines that are incapable of uncontrolled self-replication and operation.
- Binding - Text by Todd Drashner
The use of bionanotech to grow a control network inside a living being that allows the user to override the subject's nervous system and control their body and senses.
- Bioxox - Text by Steve Bowers
Biological copy of an original bioid, often created using engenerator technology
- Cerebral Siren - Text by John B
This device samples some 10,000 well-distributed neurons throughout the player's brainpan. It responds with a specific tone and texture when each neuron fires, producing a pseudo-rhythmic tonal surf effect. With significant biofeedback training and lucky placement of the neural sensors, a being can control anywhere from approximately 20% to the record 72.94% of the various textural tonal effects. This soundscape is usually quite calming and peaceful, unless there are unlucky placement of the filaments.
- Computronium - Text by Xaonon (original term by Eugene Leitl) with additions by Steve Bowers
Matter supporting computation, especially artificial substances suitable for high efficiency computation.
- Crest - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Symbiotic nanotech device that serves as a sign of one's station or rank within an organization or collective as well as conferring upon the owner privileges relating to that organization, such as file access, special protocols, restricted templates, hyperturing advice.
- Distributed Intelligence - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
An intelligent entity that is distributed over a large volume (or inside another system, like a virtual network) with no distinct center. This is the opposite of the strategy of Concentrated intelligences.
- Engenerator Technology - Text by Steve Bowers
Technology which allows uploaded personalities to be transferred into physical bodies, sometimes at interstellar distances.
- Envirosuit - Text by Stephen Inniss
Advanced 'living', form-fitting synanotech suits that allow the wearer to move freely and interact as if in er home environment in surroundings that might otherwise be uncomfortable or even fatal.
- Exoself - Text by Anders Sandberg; modified by Steve Bowers, Updated by Ryan B (2017)
Systems linked to the self in a cooperative way, extending the mind and the body. Especially used about the systems supporting an uploaded personality, providing information, virtual reality and monitoring.
- Extended Color Convention - Text by Omeganian
Colour vision outside the conventional visible spectrum
- Forge Integrated Technology (FIT) - Text by Todd Drashner
Systems that incorporate one or more nanoforges into their structure for the purpose of producing new or replacement components as circumstances may require.
- GELF - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
[Genetically Engineered Life Form] An old First Federation term, which every so often comes back into favour, for sophont custom-made lifeforms created through significant or total genetic engineering.
- Krek, Steaming Krek - Text by Stephen Inniss and Steve Bowers
A synano infestation which has become a common expletive in many parts of the Terragen Sphere.
- Mechanosynthesis - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Forcing combinations of atoms in order to create nanoscale devices from a coarser density scale.
- Mechmoss and Nanoalgae - Text by Stephen Inniss
Simple sessile photosynthetic nanotech or synano neumann-capable devices/organisms.
- Nanite - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; amended by Stephen Inniss and Ryan B
Generic term for a molecular or nanoscale device, whether bionano or hylonano; a cluster of reactive nanoparticles.
- Nanofab - Text by Stephen Inniss
An alternative name for an autofab.
- Nanofac - Text by Stephen Inniss
An alternative name for an autofab.
- Nanoforge - Text by Stephen Inniss
An alternative name for an autofab.
- Nanomachine - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Pran Mukherjee
Generic term for a microscopic or molecular mechanical (non-biotic) device, for example a hylonanite or nanobot. It is important to note that nanomachines (and indeed nanites in general) do not have to be nanoscale; they may simply be microscale machines that can manipulate nanoscale objects.
- Nanomedicine First Aid Kit (N-FAK) - Text by Ryan B
Automated nanomedicine kit.
- Nanorot - Text by Stephen Inniss
Synano disassembly swarm, often feral with high nuisance value.
- Nanosome - Text by Anders Sandberg, in Transhuman Terminology
Generic term for any nanodevices (whether hylo or bio) existing symbiotically inside biological cells, doing mechanosynthesis and disassembly for it and replicating with the cell.
- Omnimed - Text by Ryan B
Small white pills containing totipotent medibots
- Omnitool - Text by Ryan B
General class of hand-held technology capable of performing a variety of functions either on demand or after some internal reconfiguration.
- Pantropy - Text by Steve Bowers
The practice of adapting humans (and other bionts) to live comfortably in a planetary environment rather than attempting to change that environment to resemble the home world.
- Paste - Text by Steve Bowers
Swarm devices manufactured by a forge system, (such as a bioforge or nanoforge) so that the individual units do not carry the code for their own replication (human red blood cells are an example of this in biology).
- Personal Medical System - Capabilities - Text by Ryan B
Artificial medisystems have a number of standard capabilities.
- Personal Medical Systems (Medisystems) - Text by Ryan B
Artificial medical systems within the body of a biont.
- Plantbots - Text by Stephen Inniss and Steve Bowers
Dry nano or synano robots powered by light and capable of autonomous growth and reproduction; generally sessile or with limited movement. So named because they are equivalent in role to biological plants.
- Security Bush - Text by ROM 65536
Antipersonnel guard-plant and defence weapon.
- Sentient Cancer - Text by Anders Sandberg
Software/nanotech perversion of nanocytes or nanochondria of beings or objects with symbiotic nanosystems. While large-scale perversions gain the most publicity, small outbreaks of opportunistic or expansionist alife are far more common. One form of minor perversion that has recently emerged as a serious threat is sentient cancer.
- Skill Module - Text by Ryan B
A class of software augment that operates by interfacing with a sophont's central nervous system to provide and/or teach a specific set of skills.
- Synano - Text by Stephen Inniss
Nanotechnology that integrates hylonano ("dry", or inorganic nanotech) with bionano ("wet", or organic nanotech).
- Technotelepathy - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Steve Bowers
Use of commlinked technoetics to enable two (or more) entities to experience the same sensorium and stream of consciousness, sometimes without the knowledge of one (or more) parties.
- Vasculoid Circulatory Replacement System - Text by Steve Bowers and Ryan B