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QUADRANT FUNDAMENTALS: The following terms describe the main concepts and basic components of The Quadrant environment. Choose any link to take you to a description, or simply scroll down the page.

LINKS: The Quadrant, The System, Screen/z, Auto Upgrade/s, SysProg (System Programming), Nowtime, Out of Tech, Board/z, Doms.

The Quadrant: A Thousand years ago, travellers from a war ravaged and dying Earth, fearing extinction, sought out and built a temporary enclosed world called "The Quadrant" on Titan, the largest of Saturn's moons. From here they explored the stars of deep space, searching in vain for a habitable planet to colonize. After a few generations, the original mission was forgotten, and The Quadrant gradually devolved into a strange life of its own.

Physical description: 10,000 square kilometers of physical/geopolitical space bounded and covered by an enormous dome, goverened and/or controlled by The System (see description below), inside which approximately 5 million people live and work; also, a place in time and space, a closed artificial environmental system heated and lit by an advanced form of atomic power, and running on a 24 hour clock 360 "artificial" days (and nights) per year (see below for amplifications).

Enfranchised inhabitants (those connected to The System) know little of the "outside" and seem to have no curiosity about it. To them, there is nothing outside The Quadrant but darkness and death, or an environment so toxic that it would mean instant death. The Quadrant dome's physical design reinforces this insular view: climate control systems provide lumination during what is called "day," but the inner surface of the dome is opaqued so nothing on the outside is perceived. Lumination is dimmed at "night" and features a rudimentary artificial "starscape," reputed to be akin to something seen and enjoyed by The Quadrant's forbears over a thousand years ago. To: TOP of Page

The System: Generally, the political/social/communications structure governing and organizing social life in The Quadrant. Specifically, it is a permanently on-line electro-chemically interfaced telecommunications computer network connecting all enfranchised inhabitants of The Quadrant to Krania (see below) and to each other. The physical link used, simply called a Screen (see below), is a small audio/video communications device worn on the inside of the forearm and connected through the skin to key nerve groups (see "Screen/z, below, for amplifications). To: TOP of Page

Screen/z: Name for the 6X8 centimeter A/V communications unit worn by all enfranchised inhabitants of The Quadrant, which is fixed (strapped) to the inside of the forearm. The device houses two separate systems, (1) a video telecommunications unit with its own transmitter and receiver (the "screen" part), and (2) an electro-chemical interface receiver which is plugged into connectors implanted under the skin.

These small connectors are installed at birth and attached to a complex set of neural receptors in the body by means of an electro-chemical interface, providing a way for specific digital transmissions to be routed into the body through the interface connection to the neural system, and then on to the brain. The System uses the interface receiver to pick-up the constant series of signals it transmits to all enfranchised inhabitants. The signals are transformed by the interface into a kind of synthesized substance which stimulates neurotransmitters in the limbic system of the brain. The stimulation makes all activities more pleasurable and increases the problem solving powers of the brain. However, The System is not as much designed to improve brain capacities of people as it is geared to keeping them at a certain level of pleasurable alertness , i.e. addicted to The System.

The Screen's design incorporates a laser-cam lens and mini-light source (at the top of the device) for visual communications transmissions, such as televid calls between individual enfranchised inhabitants and/or between Krania and anyone connected to The System. The unit features a 4X6 centimeter video receiving screen, multi-use alphanumeric keypad, and a small speaker for audio. It has an A/V suppress mode which can be activated during downtime (sleep), but this can be overridden by Krania if it is deemed that A/V transmissions are necessary to communicate certain critical information.

Each Screen assembly carries an encoded personal screen I.D. number assigned to the person who wears and uses it (usually for life). Enforcerz systematically compare the I.D. numbers of Infractors' (law breakers) screenz against their educenter data records to check for irregularities or evidence of tampering. Willful alteration of a Screen or screen number (though seemingly an irrational act) is Anti-Korpus (a serious crime) and punishable by temporary disconnection from The System. Any person in possession of a screen with an I.D. number which fails to match the original screen number assigned to that person is immediately disconnected and exiled to Downshaft (see Reconnect/s, Disconnect/s, Sanctions, etc. below). To: TOP of Page

Auto Upgrade/s: Automatic changes in The System transmitted Audio/visually and/or electro-chemically through the computer telenetwork constantly to all enfranchised inhabitants of The Quadrant. Auto Upgrades introduce new options and new Regs (laws), enable new instrumentations and modes of communication, refine and adjust the constant "neurotransmitter-stimulus" of all in the Quadrant, and generally "enhance" the System, making all older forms of interface (and sometimes screen) communications technology obsolete. To: TOP of Page

SysProg (System Programming): All organized transmissions, including Auto-Upgrades, Quadrant wide surveillance monitoring, Quad Information and Virtual Entertainment transmissions, and all official announcements, originate from the master (and only) network communications broadcasting system (called "SysProg") located in Krania Tower in Krania (see the "Important Quadrant Locations" page). If the transmission is deemed important enough, SysProg will even override personal screen communications between enfranchised inhabitants of The Quadrant. To: TOP of Page

Nowtime: The state or condition of being "online," or connected to The System -- properly stimulated and with a fully operational interface and screen -- on the "Boardz" (including "downtime" or sleep). Also, the normal mode of an enfranchised inhabitant. To: TOP of Page

Out of Tech: The state or condition of being "offline," or disconnected from The System (no stimulation or screen communications capability). If temporary, the initial sensation is physically and psychologically traumatic and demoralizing, causing disorientation, confusion, often nausea, and in extreme cases, loss of the will to comply, or even physical death. When actually reconnected, a "Recon" undergoes a painful and maddeningly draining re-absorption process, requiring tremendous exertion of energy and will to learn new upgrades lost when deprived of Nowtime (connection to The Sytem).

If more than 72 hours elapses before a reconnection can take place (whatever the cause, including accidents), it is physically impossible to get back to fully upgraded status. In this circumstance, the subject either dies or suffers the ultimate indignity of "involuntary disconnection" (if an accident) or "voluntary disconnection" (if more than 5 infractions have been committed). Both result in expulsion from the System to an area of The Quadrant below or "off" the Boardz known as "Downshaft" (see below). To: TOP of Page

Board/z (also Inner and Outer Boardz): A series of six concentric circular areas, or rings, extending from the center, or "first Board," (7 Boardz in all) outward to the outer boundary of The Quadrant dome. These are the designated places in The Quadrant where enfranchised inhabitants -- those people connected to The System and who share "Nowtime" -- live and engage in activities to enhance, support, or sustain The System ("work").

The first innermost board, called Krania, is primarily the province of Conzecs, or Virgins (those who have never been disconnected from The System), and at its epicenter stands the monolithic "Krania Tower," where the top people (The Director, Praetorz, and their assistants) work managing Nowtime and The System. Many of the enfranchised inhabitants of The Quadrant work in the "City" but few of them (only Conzecs) live there. The second Board -- or the first concentric ring out -- is for Conzecs only, and is simply known as "Conzec Board" where all facilities and services are first class and where The Kolony, and other elite Conzec living areas, including The Reezort, are located. Many of these on the innermost edge of the ring, have extraordinary "City" views across a wide lake ( simply called "The Lake"), which, like a vast circular "moat," divides Conzec Board from Krania.

Moving outward from Conzec Board, the remaining 5 "Recon" Boardz stretch into the hazy distance with various "greenbelts" separating them. They house and service -- with substantially less luxury and more crowding as the distance from Krania increases -- the numerous "Recon" population of The Quadrant (law breakers who have been temporarily disconnected from, then re-connected to The System, suffering a consequent demotion of status). Recon 1 and 2, known as the "Inner Boardz," support approximately a million and a half people of The Quadrant. Though not luxurious by any means, living conditions on the "Inner Boardz" are adequate, facilities are clean, and services are reliable.

However, this is not the case on the "Outer Boardz" -- Recon 3, 4 and 5. Because the Outer Boardz must support over three million people, significant overcrowding puts a huge strain on all facilities, resulting in poor quality services, squalid conditions, and pervasive unrest among the population (see Quadstat, Standard Domestic Units, below, and entries on the "Important Quadrant Locations" Page). To: TOP of Page

Standard Domestic Units ("Domz," "Minis," or, "Stops"): These are houses or apartments (living units) available to enfranchised inhabitants of The Quadrant. In Krania there are a few extraordinarily large penthouses in the city and approximately 25 mansions located in Praetor Park, an exclusive area on the first Board. Most of these are purchased from former members of the Quadrant's top management elite who, when replaced or retired, move out of "The City" to Conzec Board. The houses or "Domz" available on Conzec Board may be purchased or rented (from other top managers or "Privates"). Domz on the inner circle, with unobstructed views of Krania across a wide lake, are exceptionally luxurious and expensively appointed, often boasting 30 rooms or more and fully equipped with one or more wall sized Screenz on every floor (see The Kolony).

Toward the outer circle of the largely forested Conzec Board, the Domz are smaller (10 to 20 rooms with one wall Screen), yet still very comfortable. At the outer edges of Conzec Board are the "domplexes," which look out over a wide, richly landscaped greenbelt, toward Recon 1 Board. These contain six 6 room mini-doms, or "Minis," each with a half-sized wall Screen per unit and central laundry facilities. They are usually rented, mostly by mid-level Quadrocrats, or by young assistant managers and junior designers, fresh out of the Inztitut.

Progressing outward from Conzec Board, almost all living units on the remaining Boardz are rented rather than purchased, and their quality and size diminishes as the distance increases from Krania. Recon 1's inner circle features a few Conzec style "domplexes," but most are eithier 12 or 24 unit 2 story buildings with four room "minis" per unit and only one central Screen per building. Recon 2 Board has a few 24's on its inner circle, but most are 3 story 48 unit buildings with 3 room "minis" and four centralized 4 shower bathroom facilities per floor (there is no common Screen room). Recon 3 Board predominantly features the "96ers," which are 6 story 96 unit buildings with 2 room "Minis" and two small single shower bathroom facilities per floor. The "96er" motif is largely repeated on Recon 4, but a good number of the 2 room "Minis" are converted to "Stops," or one room living units (putting greater pressure on sanitary facilities).

On Recon 5 (the most populous Board), a handful of the "96ers" exist, but only on the inner circle. The remainder of the Board features a large number of 8 story 200 unit "Stops," with one small bathroom per floor and one shower stall (at the other end of the hall from the bathroom). On the outer fringes of this last Board, the "grey giants" loom up out of the dark, swirling, gritty air (poorly maintained climate control equipment characterizes conditions on the outer boundaries of The Quadrant). These massive 20 story unpainted concrete structures house fully 800 Stops. Almost all are shared, and many (called "Semis") are divided in half in order to create extra income for those willing to sub-let the other half for a few extra "chips." There are 4 free standing chemtoilets per floor and and one shower stall every fourth floor, with 4 outside showers (sprinklers) on the ground floor. To: TOP of Page

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