Attendant: One of the smaller varieties of semi-autonomous eight limbed robots. The attendants range from three to nine centimeters in height. They are typically found in and around areas whether other robots congregate and can be seen making modifications and repairs. Observers have specialized attendants that seem to be members of a more robust service caste.
Assembler: A blanket term for any member of an auxon system that synthesizes microscopic structures from materials in its environment. Assemblers may synthesize materials for crystal formation, more advanced robots, or for inclusion in structures.
Auxon: A self-replicating system of robots. Initially created to perform work in environments rendered uninhabitable by humans, over time auxons began to evolve and branch out to fill niches that were no longer filled by organic life. Today, they are studied by physicists, mathematicians, and population biologists alike.
Collective: A group or colony of auxons. A collective generally engages in unified work toward a particular task or directive.
Collector: A midsize autonomous eight limbed robot. Collectors range from twelve to thirty centimeters in height. Collectors can be seen in a variety of ranges and activities at surface and sub-surface. Occasionally, several small collectors can be seen combining to form a single large collector capable of more advanced tasks; likewise, a large collector will sometimes break into several smaller collectors when a task requires more “hands” rather than intelligence.
Drifter: An auxon that has become isolated from its collective and engages in autonomous action. Some researchers have speculated that these drifters disengage from the collective by choice; others think that they have been forcibly removed. Experts generally agree that any parallels between human and auxon behavior can be disregarded as anthropomorphization.
Ferral: An individual auxon or lineage of auxons that has become isolated from its collective. They can be differentiated from Drifters for a tenacious drive toward self-preservation; while a drifter tends to meander without object or purpose, ferrals doggedly adapt to new niches or conditions within the environment.
Fold, the: a highly turbulent region that forms in the space between the three loci.
Idea-element: the primary form of communication between auxons. An idea-element is a self-contained argument or statement by which auxons communicate and store information. An argument can simple, or complex with each supporting statement or argument contained within a closed loop. A spoken sentence is the closest analogue to an idea element. The discovery of this means of communication has preoccupied linguists and cryptographers for decades.
Journeyman: Occasionally, a collective will be lost, due to changes in the environment or unexpected anomalies. A Journeyman is a member of a lost collective. Unlike a Drifter, a Journeyman will deliberately seek out new fledgling collectives, apparently to impart the data, tasks, and directives of the lost group. (Neoreligious scholars often refer to Journeymen as prophets—perhaps appropriately, as the teaching of a Journeyman is often ignored in favor of previously outlined directives and tasks.)
Locus: one of the macro structures of the fold and a defining characteristic of latter epochs. In a stable era the three loci perform a 2.53 million year circuit that constantly folds and unfolds the space within the anomaly. This activity stabilizes the anomaly and anchors it to normal-space.
Loyalist: a robot that is directly descended from the original attendants that entered the anomaly with the orb [AICIHCAE]. Due to chance or deliberate choice (a subject of tremendous debate in philosophical circles), they have not evolved. Instead of exploring new niches or developing new directives, they still attempt to complete the original calculations that were their primary directive millennia ago.
Observer: A tiny autonomous robot of between four and six limbs. Observers are relatively rare. They are of great interest to evolutionary biologists as they share features common with the chordate body plan including hands with opposable digits.
Omnelith: a physical structure that is created by assemblers. An omnelith is capable of absorbing energy from charged particles. Their precise function remains a mystery to research, although it has been well established that large clusters generate their own electromagnetic weather patterns.
Orb: A conglomeration of particle computers and assemblers capable of altering its structure to suit a task determined by an auxon collective. They are so named because they often take the form of a perfect sphere, although they can sometimes be seen in the so-called “twinned” form. It is speculated that orbs function as the supercomputers of auxon collectives. Most orbs have been named by the researchers that study them. An orb is considered synonymous with the identity of a collective.
Porter: One of the largest semi-autonomous robots. Most often found in four limbed varieties but specimens have been documented with as many as ten. The sole function of a porter appears to be to convey dense material between sites within a collective.
Stasis: If conditions become too hostile, an auxon can form a novel structure to protect itself. This is a state of extreme dormancy, similar to the formation of a spore by a bacterium.