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When Melvin Cooke created the first large-scale quantum computers and the first true direct-brain interface, the invention nearly caused humanity’s extinction. Not because of the technology, but because of the unfortunate fact that only those with significant social-cognitive deficits can operate it.

Fortunately, the first thing your post-Revolution government did was place sufficient restrictions on these “Operators” to prevent such a thing from happening again. Today large-scale quantum computing is the foundation of all golden-age technology. It is also the technology requiring the most vigilance.

Operator – An individual who, due to an incurable genetic defect, is able to program a quantum computer.

Mem – Modern information-space. What the iNet became post-Revolution; the quantum version of the old telecommunications networks. Operators manipulate information and code in the Mem.

Navis – A removable, wearable quantum computer capable of direct-brain interface; uses AI-enabled nanothreads to enter the brain through the pores of the skull. Due to the properties of tzaddium, the nearly-noiseless material that makes large-scale quantum computing possible, a navis shows up as an iridescent pale blue shimmer beneath the skin of an Operator’s forehead. Non-defective individuals cannot use this device.

Idioglossia – A (typically synesthetic) language known only to one person; the underlying language of the Mem and why only Operators can program quantum computers. The only way to guarantee encryption is to use schemes too irrational for a turing machine–albeit an infinitely fast one–to solve.

Franca – A common language placed over the idioglossia of a program that others can understand; analogues to the “application level” of early computing.

K-syndrome – The genetic defect possessed by all Operators which causes them to have advanced visual-spatial abilities at the cost of verbal-sequential abilities. Symptoms include difficulty moving, processing sensory input, and communicating. The most severely affected Operators are unable to learn a common tongue and require the use of programing to convert their idioglossia into something others understand. K-syndrome has a 1% prevalence under today’s breeding programme.

Sponsorship – Operators are supported via corporate sponsorship by businesses requiring their services. Sponsors pay for all Operator overhead, including food, housing, support staff, and extra monitoring and data throttling. Sponsorship is typically decided by the sponsor, though some Operators with special abilities may be allowed to choose between several sponsors in their area of expertise.

Rone – An undocumented or escaped Operator. Rones are worth a dead-or-alive bounty on all inhabited worlds, with a slightly higher higher rate for alive. Punishment for rone status is execution or retirement to a Farm, depending on whether the individual is deemed of potential future use.

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