The Quadrant Archive
STATUS AND LAW IN THE QUADRANT: The following terms describe and explain
the concepts of status and law in The Quadrant. Choose any link to take
you to a description, or simply scroll down the page.
LINKS: Consecutives ("Conszecs," or
"Virginz"), Reconnect/s ("Recon/z"),
Disconnect/s ("Discon/z," or "Anteeks"),
Quadstat, The Sweepz,
Onrecord (publish, or "pub"), Offrecord ("chat"), The
Korpus, Reg/z, Pregauth,
Infraction/z ("Trashing Reg"),
Consecutives ("Conzecs," or "Virginz"):
Those who have never broken any laws ("trashed
reg") and who have therefore never suffered temporary physical disconnection
from The System. These comprise the elite inhabitants of The Quadrant from
whose ranks the top managers of The Quadrant and The System are drawn (see
Reconnect/s and Disconnect/s, below). To TOP
Reconnect/s ("Recon/z"): Refers
to anyone who has "Trashed Reg" (broken any law or committed a
punishable infraction) and who has had to suffer the sanction of temporary
physical disconnection from The System for more than one hour but less than
72 hours before being "reconnected." Reconz comprise the majority
of enfranchised inhabitants of The Quadrant who share Nowtime and/or are
connected to The System. Their status and functions in The Quadrant depend
largely on how many times thay have Trashed Reg. A disconnection-reconnection
"delivery" (made by Security Enforcers) to any inhabitant is registered
and distributed, or "pubbed" via The System throughout The Quadrant,
resulting in the automatic downgrading of the "infractor's" status
from Conzec to Recon 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5.
Such downgrading requires a marginal decrease in interface neurotransmitter
stimulus, places significant limits on activities a Recon can perform to
enhance or sustain The System, and restricts where a Recon can live -- all
of which can produce unwelcome changes and great anxiety. As the number
of infractions increases, the limits also increase, until only the most
menial work and most basic living accomodations are allowable (living on
the darkened, wind-swept, outer edges of Recon 5 breeds neither happiness
nor confidence). No enfranchised inhabitant may be reconnected to The System
more than 5 times, because the sixth infraction brings with it the sanction
of permanent disconnection from The System as it operates on the Boardz
-- removal of screen privileges, revocation of the ability to vote in Telelections,
and exile from the "Boardz" to Downshaft. (see Disconnect/s, etc.
below). To TOP of Page
Disconnect/s ("Discon/z," or "Anteeks"):
Those who are disconnected from The System as
it operates on the "Boardz," and removed forever from Nowtime.
Such subjects no longer have normal enfranchised functions (ways of enhancing,
supporting, or sustaining The System) and must exist, with only minimal
interface stimulus "out of tech" in a place called "Downshaft"
below the Boardz. Disconz and Anteeks (those who have been "Downshaft"
for a longer period) comprise the labor force used by The Quadrant to grow
food on hydroponik farms and service the main power equipment located in
"Downshaft." It is "Anti-Korpus" (against the law) to
harbor or knowingly accede in the harboring of a Discon or Disconz on any
Boardz anywhere in The Quadrant. To TOP of Page
Quadstat: Status or "position"
in The Quadrant, ranging from the highest Conzec to the lowest Recon 5.
Status directly relates to the ability and freedom (from limitations) to
perform the two primary functions carried out in life by enfranchised inhabitants
-- to enhance and sustain The System, which by definition enhances and sustains
The Quadrant. Status is most severely affected by "Trashing Reg"
(breaking the law) which often results in temporary disconnection from The
System and a consequent automatic demotion to a lower and more limited status,
foreclosing forever the freedom to live in certain locations, and the ability
to enhance or sustain The System at higher levels.
Some important Quadrant "customs" should be understood in this
context: No one under the age of 6 can be temporarily disconnected from
The System for any infraction they knowingly or unknowingly commit, and
therefore, all young enfranchised inhabitants of The Quadrant start their
educations -- no matter where they are on the Boardz -- as Conzecs. But,
after the age of 6 and once fully connected to The System with Screenz (see
Educenter below) they may be punished with the full range of sanctions available
except Permanent Disconnection from The System, which can only be delivered
as a sanction to those who are 17 years of age or older (when majority is
reached in The Quadrant). Naturally, those coming from the Outer Boardz
tend to have less family support and much less discipline than those coming
from Conzec or even Recon 1 homes, and it is thus harder for them to avoid
committing infractions which can lead to serious demotions of status.
While still at Educenter (secondary school) the demotion from Conzec to
Recon 1-- as a result of the first infraction committed punishable by temporary
disconnection from The System -- means the loss of the chance ever to go
to The Inztitut, to gain any of the highest positions in The Quadrant, or
to live in Krania or on Conzec Board (however, living status is enforceable
only after a student has left Educenter). Demotion to Recon 2 automatically
places students in lower level classes geared to the lowest design and services
management jobs, removes them from much contact with Conzecs (or even Recon
1's), and forces them to graduate one year early with only a "second
rate" certification. Further demotions result in still more painful
limitations: Official removal or expulsion from Educenter and assignment
to apprenticeship in the maintenance trades, for example, makes it impossible
to work in any area or field but the most menial and meaningless.
Without doubt, the worst time to Trash Reg and suffer Quadstat demotion
is in adult life after a decent start has been made on a "Quadpattern"
(what one does, where one lives and works, etc.). Even Conzecs sometimes
fall, and this means relocation away from family and friends (though visits
are possible), and a more limited work situation with less pay, etc. For
all intents and purposes, unless the infractor is particularly brilliant
or talented, the former life is closed. To TOP
The Sweepz: The Security
Enforcement Division in Krania, in cooperation with local QSU Enforcement
offices throughout the Quadrant, organizes periodic electronic sweeps of
the Boardz, to identify status infractors (those who illegally live on "higher"
status Boardz). When any person undergoes a disconnection/re-connection
delivery and subsequent demotion in status, the Enforcement unit actually
"hardwires" the receiver frequency of that person's interface
to a predetermined frequency associated with the "new" (lower)
status level. Not only does the person get less neurotransmitter stimulation
than before, but is now identifiable, by interface receiver frequency, as
a lower status person.
All the Security Unit has to do is start an electronic sweep of a particular
area or Board and reference their database of frequencies to identify Reconz
in that specific area with a receiver frequency indicating a lower status
than is allowed. If they find enough people in one place, local authorities
are notified, and Enforcerz "raid and roust" the area. If any
are caught, they can be disconnected again and suffer even lower status.
This sends a general message to all in The Quadrant that "who you are
is where you live." To TOP of Page
Onrecord (publish, or "pub"): To
engage in recordable conversations or information exchanges in person or
by Screen. Essentially, "Onrecord" is the primary mode of communication
in The Quadrant, and simply means that conversations, comments, and statements
may be recorded by Security and subjected to "infractionalysis"
(see below). To TOP of Page
Offrecord ("chat"): To
engage in conversation or information exchange in person where, by mutual
agreement, both or all parties involved activate the A/V suppression mode
feature of their screenz (or use some sort of "signing" or hand
written notes) in order to minimize/avoid the recording -- and possible
subsequent "infractionalysis"-- of any part or all of their verbalizations
or communications. Significant numbers of A/V surveillance monitors continually
sweep all Boardz (see below) of The Quadrant to pick up potentially infractious
behavior. In this case, it could be the appearance of two or more subjects
engaging in "offrecord" communications. If it deems an infraction
is occurring, Security can crosscheck its observation by measuring the power
output of the suspect's A/V screens and confirm whether or not suppress
mode is activated. "Chatting" (going offrecord) is not in itself
an infraction, but can be a "dockable" offense (see "Infraction/s"
below) if confirmed. To TOP of Page
The Korpus: The entire body
of law, including all Regs and Sanctions evolving out of custom, created
and promulgated by the Director and Praetors ("Bigz"), and carried
out by Designers in the case of Auto Upgrades and Regs, and by Enforcerz
in the case of Sanctions (see below). Though it appears that the law, or
The Korpus, is what the Director and the Bigs say it is any moment in time,
many infractious or punishable offenses, are based on customary law. Murder,
screen tampering, and terrorism, for example, are considered to be seriously
"offpattern," and are all punishable by termination or permanent
disconnection from The System (see Sanctions, below). To TOP
Reg/z: Individual proscriptive
statutes, or rules, advocating or prohibiting (often in great detail) various
types of behavior considered to be pro or anti-Korpus. I.e., it is Anti-Korpus
to alter or in any way change one's Screen, or to carry to term a pregnancy
without QSU "Pregauth" (see below). Conversely, it is "Pro-korpus"
to report any "offpattern" behavior immediately to the closest
QSU Security Enforcement Office, or to encourage others to televote once
per year in the telelections to elect The Quadrant Director, etc.). To TOP of Page
Pregauth: Pregnancy authorization.
Because The Quadrant is limited to a finite space, it is also limited to
a finite number of enfranchised inhabitants it can have connected to The
System at any one time. Births cannot exceed deaths (and vice versa) in
order to keep The Quadrant in balance. Therefore, Screenz are confiscated
from "Disconz" (those permanently disconnected from The System)
and reclaimed from those who die from old age or accidents. They are sent
Downshaft to be re-manufactured -- sanitized and upgraded -- then exported
back to the Boardz where the QSU Division on Krania inventories and tracks
them Quadrant wide for purposes of determining the number of "Pregauths"
or births which can be authorized for any QSU on any Board.
The Healthanc (Health and Neural Care) Superintendant, appointed by the
QSU Manager, is the official who customarily grants authorization to a particular
set of prospective parents. The Pregauth process requires a couple to show
that they have the room, the "qaudits" (income), and the stability
to see a "Nube" through to Final Interface Insatallation (however,
the standards applied to the Outer Boardz are much less stringent than those
expected on Conzec or Recon 1 Board). If a Pregauth is not granted after
a formal application has been processed, the couple seeking the authorization
may appeal to the Manager of their QSU, and possibly beyond that to the
appropriate Assitant Praetor, or Praetor in Krania. Only once has a Pregauth
appeal gone all the way to The Director of The Quadrant, and in this case
The Director, in an unguarded moment, reportedly stated ". . . If they
want it that bad let 'em have the damn thing." To TOP
Infraction/z ("Trashing Reg"): Behavior,
actions, words, or thoughts which are seriously Anti-Korpus and for which
the punishment ("Sanction") prescribed is either temporary or
permanent disconnection from The System. Lesser,"Dockable" offenses,
or "Docs" are registered and automatically accumulated. When any
one enfranchised inhabitant accumulates more than 5 "docs," by
definition, an infraction is triggered and the appropriate "Sanction"
is delivered (see below). A person who commits an infraction is identified
as an "infractor." To TOP of Page
as the Enforcer's art. Essentially, it is a set of procedures used by Enforcement
Unit professionals to determine when various regz have been trashed (and
by whom) and what sanctions, if any, are applicable. Heavy reliance on electronic
monitoring and surveillance equipment, in addition to networks of agents
and spies, serves to provide the fundamental information needed for Enforcement
to make its judgements. To TOP of Page
Sanction/z: There are three
coercive actions (punishments) mandated by the Director and Praetors and
prescribed by them in The Korpus as penalties for various infractionz ("trashings")
of the law. The most severe sanction is (1) termination. Only slightly less
onerous is (2) permanent disconnection from The System (and exile to Downshaft),
and the most common is (3) temporary disconnection from (and subsequent
reconnection to) The System. In a few cases, probation is possible, but
it involves intensely concentrated continual surveillance of the "infractor"
for a substantial time period. When an infraction has been observed and
confirmed, and the infractor/z identified, the Enforcement Unit or Enforcer
in the area is notified and delivers to the infractor, at Enforcement's
convenience, the appropriate sanction prescribed.
An infractor may also opt to present him/herself to the nearest Enforcement
Station for delivery of sanction/z, and thereby qualify for leniency (possibly
a lesser sanction) because they have saved Enforcement time and expense.
Termination may also be delivered as a sanction in cases were extreme infractionz
have been committed. Interestingly, the above sanctions are simply reversed
for enforcement purposes Downshaft (though enforcement is not as important
or as pervasive as it is on the "Boardz"): Disconz cannot absorb
the upgrades that have already superceded their physical capabilities, so
temporary reconnection to The System ("Zapping" -- much like throwing
a former alcoholic into a tub of vodka) causes painful physical "shocks"
and extreme mental and emotional anguish, which, if not followed by timely
"disconnection" can result in death or termination. To TOP of Page
Offpattern: Unusual, anomolous,
rarely used, possibly infractious. Often used as a preface to a description
of a thing or practice which is out of the ordinary or sometimes Anti-Korpus;
e.g., the term "offpattern reconnect," refers to the practice
(by highly skilled, highly paid, and very elusive persons) of reconnecting
others to The System who were disconnected under accidental, "cloudy,"
or other extraordinary circumstances. Sometimes, "offpattern reconnects"
are used on those who might otherwise have been, had they not possessed
significant wealth, sent "Downshaft." Even in a few rare cases,
offpattern "Initial Interface Installations" have been done on
unauthorized "Nubes" (newborns), which is highly Anti-Korpus,
and punishable by termination, or at the very least, permanent disconnection
from The System. To TOP of Page