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Primer in Shifter Slang

Bury:
to force a host body's personality into the background, such that it can only observe and not interfere.
Cascade timelines:
a divergent timeline that breaks into a large number of variants, usually by dividing several times in succession.
Cleaner:
a Shifter with a reputation for indiscriminately wiping hosts.
Collapse:
the moment when a variant's entropy is lower than its surrounding variants, to such a degree that it ceases to continue. The state at which collapse occurs is known as the Mayron Condition.
Convergent timeline:
a variant that collapses into another variant.
Cripple:
a Shifter with a reputation for choosing fairly useless host bodies.
Deletion:
the incident which causes a Shifter to cease to exist because their stability is reduced to zero.
Deviant timeline:
any variant which has been altered from natural, and the natural timeline has collapsed into it.
Divergent timeline:
a variant that splits into two (or more) timelines.
Fet (singural):
a Shifter with a preference in host bodies. This preference can be for a particular sex, age or species or just about anything else, but the Shifter will always attempt to choose a host that fits the fet.
Focusing:
preparing for a task by drawing in stochastic potential, thus increasing the probability that the task will succeed.
Ghost:
a Shifter who is very close to deletion - or who has come back from being deleted.
Hosting:
linking a person's consciousness from their own body to a host body in a synched time line.
Hyped:
the state of being where someone is so good at their skill, or has stored so much stochastic potential, that they can do things not normally possible.
Lashing:
taking a moment of time back in order to live through it again. Only possible over short periods of time, lashing allows Shifters to attempt something multiple times until they get it right. A single lash is sometimes known as a lashback.
Lockout:
a psi effect which prevents anyone from leaving a timeline whilst the lockout is maintained.
Natural timeline:
any variant that leads to Nexus, either directly or by convergence.
Nexus:
a particular time and place in a particular variant where the Variant Corp. operate from. Nexus is highly improbable, and hence the main job of the Corp. is to strengthen timelines leading to Nexus and demolish timelines that don't. Whilst not advanced socially, they are highly advanced from a technical perspective, due to all the technology plundered from variants.
Nostic (singural):
an attachment to a particular possession such that the Shifter tends to always splice it in. Gaunts often get nostic with their favourite weapon.
Power:
a shifting ability that needs a shiftbox to be performed.
Punch out:
to leave a host body and just hang in the Matrix.
Quantum flow:
each moment in time in a particular universe has a parallel quantum state. The next quantum state occurs a moment later, and is slightly different. As time flows forward, a path is traced out among all the possible quantum states. This `flow' of quantum states is the quantum flow of the variant. Two different variants have different quantum flows, and changes to a timeline's events result in a change to the quantum flow.
Raider:
a rogue who is plundering variants for valuable artifacts.
RENO:
a biological computer, created by altering the composition of an organic cell slightly so that it can communicate electronically with its neighbours. The body is made to function as a techno-organic computer with exceptionally good processing rate and storage capacity. Because RENOs don't contain any non-biodegradable parts, they are comparatively easy to splice.
Rider:
a Shifter who has a reputation for not wiping hosts.
Rogue:
a Shifter who is no longer working for the good of Nexus. Since they don't usually have access to the facilities at Nexus, they generally move by splicing or by sliding.
Scroll:
to accelerate the rate of local time relative to a group of Shifters. Thus, Shifters can hang around for several years (or decades, or centuries...) while their host bodies carry on with their lives, looking for anything unusual or out of place. Often, when trying to discover the cause of variant disturbance, a team will enter early in a timeline and scroll forwards until they see some clue as to what caused the disturbance.
Shiftbox:
a device that amplifies or alters a Shifter's abilities, required for some shifting activities (see the sidebar on tech).
Shifter:
someone with the abilities required to do shifting.
Shifting:
inter-dimensional travel; travelling between variants. Used to describe a number of powers and abilities involved in variant travel (see Chapter 4).
Shuffle:
Shifter slang for Spontaneous Reorganisation of variants (SRV). Shuffle occurs when the entropy of a particular variant rises to a particular level above the `local' entropy in the Matrix (this level is known as the Draper Limit). Above this limit the variant either diverges into two lines or cascades. A cascade occurs where the divergent variants are still above the Draper Limit. Shuffle usually results in the collapse of a few `local' variants, as well as the creation of new ones.
Singural:
a property of Shifter slang which allows nouns to be applied to an abstract concept, and a person who displays that property.
For example, Nostic is a singural noun. A person who has a nostic for a particular object can be called nostic.
Singurality stems from many Shifters' inability to distinguish between the verb `to have' and the verb `to be'.
Sliding:
keeping the same when and where but changing the which, thus `travelling' through similar variants. Sliding creates Bridge variants, which usually collapse into natural timelines once the sliding reaches a new variant. Occasionally, sliding causes divergent or cascade effects. Sliding is not possible whilst hosting, but Shifters who have spliced themselves in may slide.
Splicing:
`cutting' an object out of one timeline and `pasting' it into a synched timeline. The more anachronistic the insertion, the more destabilising the splice.
Stochastic potential:
a technical term for luck. By drawing in stochastic potential, a Shifter is able to greater influence the way their actions effect the quantum flow the variant takes (that is, the result of the task is more likely to go the way they intend). Specialities represent a natural ability to draw in stochastic potential.
Synch hole:
point of entry into a variant.
Synching:
linking the flow of time in two timestreams, allowing movement or communication between them. Any timeline can be synched to any number of timelines, but only at one point in each.
For example, if a Shifter team have synched Nexus to a point in the Red Epoch of a certain timeline, no-one from Nexus can enter at another point in that timeline unless the synching is released.
Tacking:
psychic or RENO communications between synched timelines. Tack lines remain in place provided the timelines remain synched.
Talent:
a natural shifting ability, one that does not require a shiftbox to perform.
The Axe:
Shifter slang for the Adepts Council, the people who make decisions that control the actions of the Variant Corp. Because the Adepts have been involved in Nexus for a long time, their stability is intimately tied up with that of the Nexus timeline. The Adepts also act as Internal Affairs for the Corp., making sure all the Shifters stay in line.
The Bloody Big Bang:
the beginning of all variants.
The Rim:
the edge of the Matrix: an imaginary line joining all the Chronological Reference Co-ordinates which are the same as Nexus' current CRCs.
The Stack:
the collection of objects in Nexus, ready to be spliced in on demand.
The When:
Shifter slang for CRC - Chronological Reference Co-ordinates. They determine when in a timeline an object is.
The Where:
Shifter slang for SRC - Spacial Reference Co-ordinates. They determine where in the universe an object is, and its orientation.
The Which:
Shifter slang for QRC - Quantum Reference Co-ordinates. They determine which variant an object is in.
Timeline:
informal name for a Variant. In practice, the two are interchangeable.
Timequake:
massive breakdown in causality caused when a variant is collapsing. The whole of reality seems to go mad briefly.
VACS:
variant co-ordinate set. The chronological, spacial and quantum co-ordinates needed to specify a point in the Matrix.
Variant:
technical name for a timeline. In practice, the two are interchangeable.
Variant Corp.:
the organisation from which Nexus' Shifters operate.
Whip:
a Shifter with a reputation for having to lash back time repeatedly before they get it right.
Wipe:
to erase the personality (but not the skills or memory) of a host, so that it doesn't interfere.

RENO Programming

Because RENOs effectively use a person's body as a computer, RENO programmers can control the actions of someone with a RENO installed (provided they don't have any Shifter skill, or are willing). Enterprising Teknics can use this to their advantage by splicing a RENO into someone's body and programming them to do what they want. The Adepts will say that would be more efficient to host into them, but the Teknics claim RENOs are more fun.

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