Frequently portrayed as the gruff but good hearted ne'er-do-wells of the star lanes, starmercs have an informal sense of brotherhood.
- As subcultures often do, they have begun to evolve their own slang.
- And as is generally the case with respected elites, they are finding their argot being adopted by other individuals who make their living in space.
A-Walls: Starmercs who began their careers by deserting one of the faction navies, usually Lucan's. Derived from 'absent without leave' (AWOL).
Balloon Room: The chamber the onboard atmosphere is pumped into when a ship has made contact with another vessel of possibly hostile intent.
Biofreight: The standard crew complement that has no skills pertinent to the running of a spacecraft. The old Solomani equivalent is a person referred to as being nothing more than 'excess baggage.' This term is frequently used to refer to the ship's troops.
Body Swap: The process of swapping hostages prior to customs checks or other procedures requiring an intership connection to be made.
Buddy System: The practice of having a crewmember accompany customs inspectors as they conduct their inspection. This procedure keeps a “false” inspector from stealing or from planting demolition charges which might cripple the ship and make it vulnerable to hostile boarding attempts.
Closet: To be condemned to death by exposure to vacuum. Derived from the use of small, closet like airlocks to carry out the sentence.
Deadman's Tumble: An apparently stricken ship in a three axis tumble has uncontrolled pitch, yaw and roll elements in its aggregate vector.The name derives from the fact that vessels with this awkward collection of vectors are very difficult and time consuming to rescue. Consequently, anybody on board the ship is a 'dead man.'
Pirates are known to imitate this tumble in order to lure would be rescuers, so many ship's captains are reluctant to assist any ship with this kind of motion.
Diceless: A person or thing that is invaluable, priceless. This term is often used to refer to a ship's captain and its pilot since these are the only two people who are not eligible for use in a body swap. They have no need of lucky dice and are, therefore, called Diceless.
Dry System: A stellar system without gas giants, or any planets with ice or water. Jump capable ships can often be stranded in such systems.
H-: A hostile.
Hot Spot: An area or object with dangerously high radiation levels. The term is derived from the reference to the part of a ship's outer hull that has been irradiated by externally mounted nuclear warhead storage boxes. Keeping nuclear weapons stored in boxes on the ship's outer hull is a common practice when starmerc captains have a lot of warheads available but not enough room to keep all the necessary lead boxes on the ship. The hull sections where these boxes are mounted remain detectably radioactive for quite some time and must be avoided at ail costs.
Kickback: Being in jumpspace. Derived from the fact that watchfulness for pirates, raiders, etc., can be relaxed after entry into jumpspace. Therefore, the personnel can kickback (or relax). Another analysis suggests the term derives from the jolt given off by old drive coils when engaging the jump drive.
KK: The spaceside term for 1000 kilometers. Differentiated from the dirt-side expression "kiloklick."
Lead Head: A missile with a nuclear warhead. Derives from the fact that on ships without damper boxes, warheads are stored in massive lead boxes.
Luckydice: A good luck charm or spot of good fortune.Derived from the dice used to determine which crewmember is offered as the hostage during a body swap. "Hang on to your luckydice' is an expression which means you aren't safe yet (you might still have to roll the dice). This term is the equivalent of the old Solomani expression ‘Don't count your chickens until they hatch.'
Shmuu: A crewmember who interacts with passengers for the surreptitious purpose of attempting to determine if any of them are potential hijackers. The derivation is uncertain. One school of thought suggests connections to the Vilani term 'shamuusa,' meaning comfortable or easy. More etymologists lean toward the Old Solomani Yiddish term Schmooser-a person who interacts congenially with others in order to generate goodwill for some upcoming purpose.
Sling Jockey: The pilot of a pre-gravitic era spacecraft. Spacecraft propelled by fusion rockets are generally not included in this definition. Derived from the slingshot-trajectories (gravity assists) utilized by the pilots of such craft in order to conserve fuel and shorten transit times.
Sneak: Any decoy or deception used to facilitate an ambush, or a ship (or object) suspected of being such. Similar to the old Solomani concept of the Trojan horse.
Suit-and-tie: Travelling in normal space. Derived from the fact that when traveling in normal space during Hard Times, vacc suits are worn, and the helmet is usually slung over the back or tied to a harness by a lanyard.
Suitless:A safe area or situation. Derived from the fact that upon entering Safe systems, crews are usually allowed to conduct space normal operations without their vacc suits on because raiders avoid the well-protected Safe systems.
Tumbly: A person without skill in Zero-G, or a hopelessly naive person or behavior. Derived from the tumbling efforts of individuals trying to operate in Zero-G without appropriate training, a classic dirtsider trait.
History & Background (Dossier)
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