This is a three-part series on the world-building behind Tom Kratman’s Carreraverse, presented with Kratman’s inimitable, deadpan style. Days of Burning, Days of Wrath is now out from Baen Books and chronicles a climactic storyline finale within Kratman’s best-selling Carrera military science fiction series.
It may not be as obvious as the techno-innovations, but there is a good deal of nation building going on in the series. Part of it is, yes, strictly military. Part is also political, as in the Timocratic system set up. A good deal of it, however, is much more personal. As much is infrastructure building. Still more is industrial. It is, in fact, a fairly holistic program to make a fine country out of one hovering between what we would call the first world and the third. The garment factories that provide clothing to the legions also make clothes for civilians and for export. The furniture factories that make furniture for the legions also impart the skills to make furniture for export. The solar chimneys that provide power to supplement hydroelectric also provide electricity to sell to neighbors.
More important, though, is this: We in the liberal west talk skills and spend vast sums, plow massive personal effort, into providing skill training to whoever will sign up for it. (Yes, it’s more complicated than that.) Maybe this is okay in a universe of unconstrained resources. In a universe of constrained resources, as Balboa has, the better question is, “Who can reliably be expected to make good use of the skill training? We’ll spend what we have on him and her. We’ll identify who they are through character testing . . . and use the military to do so.”
I’d suggest to you, dear reader, that even if we can afford the more hopeful and idealistic approach, we ought not indulge in it. Character first, and then skills, is a lot more likely to give you a useful product than skills and a groundless assumption of character.
J. Policies and procedures in the story:
1. The Law:
Yes, criminal justice is made deliberately brutal. It’s not, however, brutal for brutality’s own sake.
If you haven’t noticed so far, there is a presumption that people are almost impossible to change by anything one can deliberately do to change them. Thus, by and large, Balboa, being a fairly poor, albeit rising, country, doesn’t spend a lot on rehabilitation of criminals. There is also a presumption, arising from their common text, the translation of and English language book into Tropas del Espacio, written by an author whose full name was lost to time, but whose initials were preserved as “RAH,” that there are few or no natural rights. This would include no natural right to life. It is nowhere stated, but there is also a presumption that it is immoral to try to change a man. More practically, given the sheer unlikelihood of rehabilitating someone, our prisons have become universities in more effective and vicious criminal behavior.
If there is no natural right to life, then where does the right to life come from? It comes, if it does, from nowhere but the social contract. As a contractual matter, one can opt out of the social contract. This could be by word or by deed. If one did so, however, all rights that arise from the social contract would end.
Ordinarily, we would quite properly presume that someone is within the social contract, of course. But if he has committed a crime tantamount to withdrawal? We’d be fools to think he’s still within it.
Crimes that are tantamount to withdrawal include common law felonies (Murder, Rape, Mayhem (Malicious wounding, basically) Robbery, Sodomy, Larceny, Arson, Manslaughter, and Burglary.) One might add to that list public corruption, AKA Bernie Madoffism or perhaps Diane Feinstein-Richard Blumism, as well as treason, and remove, in exchange, sodomy.
So someone who has committed those crimes has voluntarily relinquished his right to life. That doesn’t mean you must kill him, but, given dangerousness, to society, families, and individuals, given a certain distaste for slavery, and having no money to spend keeping the wicked alive and comfortable, why keep them alive? Why keep them alive if you’re a poor country?
“Okay,” I hear someone say, “okay, Kratman; but why the grisly methods of doing away with them? Surely a bullet or a rope would be enough to solve the problem.”
That, however, is where we run into the sheep versus lamb problem. To put it in in more stark terms, why should a rapist leave his victim alive where she might be able to testify against him or at least give the police clues toward his apprehension? Why not just cut her throat and avoid the risk?
And that’s where the sheep v. lamb problem comes in. “Might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb” makes a good deal of sense, right up until the penalty for stealing a sheep rises dramatically from that for stealing a lamb. Thus, while, yes, the Balboan punishment for rape, impalement, is very harsh, it’s not as bad as crucifixion (oh, and if you kill the girl they drive a barbed stake up your ass before you’re nailed to the cross, for good measure), and, who knows, maybe if she’s alive the girl will be a forgiving mood and commute your sentence to hanging.
So the common law felons, the traitors, and the hugely corrupt are executed. They don’t go to prison to learn more vicious and effective criminal behavior, nor to teach it, they go to the morgue and Potters’ Field. The ones who commit lesser crimes go to jail and, since the jails don’t have those higher level professors in a different form of criminal procedure, one might actually have a chance to use what little you can spend on rehabilitation to so some good for those who might merit it and want it. The police, conversely, with most of the worst criminals put to death, can spend less time in court, less time in hunting for those they’ve already caught a dozen times, and more on their primary job, keeping civilization functioning. This means you can also fill your police force with those who are suited to be cops, men—they’re almost always men—who look like they can deal out violence, and will, if they must, but really prefer non-violent solutions where possible.
Think about that last as you contemplate the police forces in the United States with armored vehicles, heavy weapons, and an attitude of soldiers rather than constables of the peace.
2. Aiding and abetting the enemy
Is anyone dumb enough to really think that German Islamic, Susanne Osthof, or Italian Red, Giuliana Sgrena, did not actively offer themselves as hostages and contribute to their own staged kidnappings? Nor that the motive was to raise money for the enemy? Nor that that money went to bombs to kill not just our soldiers but countless innocent civilians?
Why, then, in the name of God and of justice, were these two not hunted down and killed?
K. Legionary Rank Equivalents
This appeared in the stories, I’ve repeated it here so the reader will have single source.
Dux, Duque: indefinite rank, depending on position it can indicate anything from a Major General to a Field Marshall. Duque usually indicates the senior commander on the field.
Legate III: Brigadier General or Major General. Per the contract between the Legion del Cid and the Federated States of Columbia, a Legate III, when his unit is in service to the Federated States, is entitled to the standing and courtesies of a Lieutenant General. Typically commands a deployed legion, when a separate legion is deployed, the air ala or the naval classis, or serves as an executive for a deployed corps.
Legate II: Colonel, typically commands a tercio or serves on staff if deployed.
Legate I: Lieutenant Colonel, typically commands a cohort or serves on staff.
Tribune III: Major, serves on staff or, sometimes, if permitted to continue in command, commands a maniple.
Tribune II: Captain, typically commands a maniple.
Tribune I: First Lieutenant, typically serves as second in command of a maniple, commands a specialty platoon within the cohort’s combat support maniple, or serves on staff.
Signifer: Second Lieutenant or Ensign, leads a platoon. Signifer is a temporary rank, and signifers are not considered part of the officer corps of the legions except as a matter of courtesy. When his or her tercio is satisfied with the signifer, they are promoted to Tribune I and become permanent officers.
Sergeant Major General: The original title meant second in command of a fortress. It became our Major General. There is only one in the series, MacNamara.
Sergeant Major: Sergeant Major with no necessary indication of level. It is a very rare rank in the legions.
First Centurion: Senior noncommissioned officer of a maniple.
Senior Centurion: Master Sergeant but almost always the senior man within a platoon.
Centurion, J.G.: Sergeant First Class, sometimes commands a platoon but is usually the second in command.
Optio: Staff Sergeant, typically the second in command of a platoon.
Sergeant: Sergeant, typically leads a squad.
Corporal: Corporal, typically leads a team or crew or serves as second in command of a squad.
Legionario, or Legionary, or Legionnaire: private through specialist.
It may be worth mentioning that, while officers are politically dangerous, being coup-prone, so get moved around a fair bit, centurions and sergeants major tend to stay with their cohorts and tercios.
Note that, in addition, under legion regulations adopted in the Anno Condita 471, a soldier may elect to take what is called “Triarius Status.” This locks the soldier into whatever rank he may be, but allows pay raises for longevity to continue. It is one way the legion has used to flatten the rank pyramid in the interests of reducing careerism. Thus, one may sometimes hear or read of a “Triarius Tribune III,” typically a major-equivalent who has decided, with legion accord, that his highest and best use is in a particular staff slot or commanding a particular maniple. Given that the legion—with fewer than three percent officers, including signifers—has the smallest officer corps of any significant military formation on Terra Nova, and a very flat promotion pyramid, the Triarius system seems, perhaps, overkill. Since adoption, regulations permit but do not require Triarius status legionaries to be promoted one rank upon retirement.
ACCS—Airborne Command and Control Ship. While deliberately made very similar to the weather of Old Earth, the weather of Terra Nova is somewhat milder, enough so that airships are less at risk than they are here. Hence they get a good deal of use for freight, luxury transport, command and control, and surveillance. The ACCS is a surveillance ship of the Federated States, in the book The Lotus Eaters, being used for drug interdiction.
ADAF; Anti-Decay Accelerating Factor-One of the few areas in which Old Earth is still ahead of Terra Nova is longevity, where it is far ahead. ADAF is a part of that technology.
Adios Patria—"Farewell Fatherland." These are troops of the Tercio Santa Cecilia, a regiment of the Legions, who are physically or mentally disqualified from service with any of the other tercios, but are still capable of understanding the oath, and doing some kind of service. Generally speaking they man fortifications from which they are not expected to be able to retreat. Name taken from Soviet and Russian anti-tank troops, who used to joke, “We have met the enemy; farewell Motherland.”
Adourgnac—A Gallic brandy, alleged to have considerable medicinal value, produced from ten different kinds of grapes, of which the four principal ones are Maurice Baco, Cubzadais, Canut, and Trebbiano. There is an illegal digestif produced from the brandy that includes a highly dilute extract from the fruit of the Tranzitree, (qv).
Aide de Camp, Also AdC-a junior assistant to a senior officer.
al Iskandaria-A news network on Terra Nova, to a considerable extent the propaganda arm of the Salafi Ikhwan.
Ala, Alae (p)—Latin for "wing," as in cavalry wing, but, since Carrera thinks all the traditional cavalry missions—reconnaissance, raid, guard, screen, and pursue—have moved mostly into the air, these are aviation formations.
ALTA, also Alta—the latter is a false name covering the existence of the former, the “Armada Legionario Transporte de Asalto,” the Legionary Fleet Assault Transport.
amid—Arabic rank for brigadier general.
Amnesty, Interplanetary—A Quasi-non Governmental Organization—or QUANGO—that is in fact a wholly and privately owned fief of the Marquisate of Amnesty, Earth).
Anno Condita—Latin for "the year of the founding." Abbreviated “AC.”
Antania, (pl) antaniae - Terra Novan name for a septic-mouthed, genetically engineered nocturnal flying lizard. They are also known as "moonbats," partly for their appearance, partly for their nocturnal lifestyle, and partly for their cry, “mnnbt . . .mnnbt . . .mnnbt. The name comes from the name for a manifestation of Hecate, “Antania, Enemy of Man.” There is some speculation that moonbat was the original name, given by colonists from the United States, taken from a nickname for leftists, since the antania, like leftism, generally, preys on the young, foolish, weak, and mentally deficient.
Archangel - Listening stations composed of Volgan surplus underwater microphones. Analogous to, but not as capable as, SOSUS of Cold War days, here on Earth.
ARE-12P—A Gallic Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
AT-111 Mirror—A Volgan antiarmor missile.
Aurochs - Artem-Mikhail 23-465 Aurochs jet fighters. In some versions called a Gaur. But also . . .
Aurochs - new Volgan 9mm submachine gun. These are made by an entirely different firm from the aircraft manufacturer.
AZIPOD drive—“Azimuthing electric Podded Drive.” These are steerable drive units which impart considerable maneuverability to a ship.
Bakanova, 6.5mm—These are the second general issue rifles adopted by the Legion, after the Samsonov and before the F26. They’re made in Volga.
Bangalore—also “bangalore torpedo.” These are thin-walled, connectable pipes, filled with explosive. They are useful for clearing mines and cutting paths through most wire obstacles. They are damned heavy, too. Interestingly, at one point in time the U.S. Army, having forgotten how to use bangalores, turned to the movie, The Big Red One, for a drill for them. I can’t say this was universal.
Barco del Legion—Also “BdL.” The designation of warships and most transports of Carrera’s Legions.
Basic training, also shortened to just Basic - Initial entry training for the legions. It is not, however, uniform for all ages and components, with the Tercio Amazona having a subjectively tougher version, the Tercio Santa Cecilia having an almost individual program, to account for their different disabilities, and the Tercio Socrates being geared to old men and women, with all the debilities that age brings.
BCQ-bachelor(ette) centurion quarters - Legion-provided quarters for centurions who are either single or separated from their families by the exigencies of the service. Typically, BCQs are provided to centurions attending service schools. They are adequate but by no means lavish.
Bellona—one of Terra Nova’s three moons.
BLS - balloon launch system. The condors, stealthy aerial platforms that are in some cases manned and in others unmanned cruise missiles, may be launched by any of three methods. One of these is to send them aloft attached to large balloons. The condors cut loose at a given altitude, fall briefly until the wings “bite,” and then glide or self-propel to their target.
Bluegum - A tree of Terra Nova. It is not known whether the bluegum is native to the planet, transported from Earth by the Noahs, and now extinct on Earth, or genengineered by them.
Bohio (Sp.) - Shed.
Boinas Azules Cruzan la Frontera—An old Scottish bagpipe march and song, "Blue Bonnets over the Border," adopted by several tercios of the legions.
Bolshiberry bush—A genengineered plant which bears a fruit poisonous to higher life forms though harmless to lesser ones.
Burka, also Burqa—Islamic covering for women. In fact, there’s not a word in the Quran to insist that women wear anything of the kind.
Buzkashi—a very rough Pashtian horseback game, involving moving a dead sheep or lamb across a field and into a goal, against opposition. Rules are few, casualties many, and the games can go on—and the blood flow—for days.
Caimen—A mostly small but highly aggressive crocodilian of both old Earth and Terra Nova. Do not, repeat, DO NOT go swimming where there are caimen present unless you wear chain mail underwear. Trust me on this; don’t do it.
Caltrop—A four pointed jack with sharp, barbed ends. Thirty-eight per meter of front create an obstacle roughly equivalent to triple standard concertina.
Caltrop projector—One of Carrera’s very secret projects, perhaps surprisingly so for such a simple device. A caltrop projector is a drum filled with caltrops, which has a linear shaped charge along the top, to cut the top off, and low explosive booster, to scatter caltrops over a wide area on command detonation.
Campbell Report—An assessment of the legions written by an Anglian officer, Jan Campbell, who spent some time with one cohort of Second Legion as an observer. Somewhere between 85 and 90% accurate, it painted a frightening picture of just how dangerous Carrera and his legions had become.
Carcharodon Megalodon—colloquially, “Meg.” A very large shark that is very aggressive and always hungry. Namesake for the Meg Class coastal defense submarines.
Casa—Spanish for house.
Cazador, Cazadores; Cazadoras—both specially selected and highly trained light infantry, specializing in patrolling, and a special school within the legions which is the sine qua non for promotion to either the officer corps or centurion corps, as well as for certain specialty jobs requiring grit, guts, and determination, but not leadership ability.
Centurion—1. Leaders and administrators of the legions, generally at lower levels, ranking between the lowest grade of officer and the highest grade of warrant officer. Centurions may be thought of as senior noncoms or very junior limited duty officers. 2. A civil office elected to perform certain functions in the civil centuries around which the assembly of the Timocratic Republic of Balboa is formed.
CCS-Centurion Candidate School. A very tough school for some graduates of Cazador School, to turn them into something between senior noncoms and junior limited duty officers.
Centurionate, the—1. The corps of all serving centurions. 2. The body of all civil centurions and the assembly of all civil centuries.
Cervesa del Cid—Beer made by and for the legions, but available for sale generally. Balboa is blessed with very good water, so it’s generally a good beer.
Chaff—AKA Window. Thin aluminum strips cut to specific lengths to interfere with radar.
Chariot—A Zioni tank, too expensive and also too heavy for legionary purposes.
Chorley—A plant yielding a grain edible by both man and beast. It is not known where chorley came from, native or imported by the Noahs.
Christian Action—An NGO set up by Carerra, expressly to provide cover for his guerillas operating east of the capital against the Zhong enclave. It is an affiliate of the Interplanetary Red Cross which is, like the Red Cross, no stranger to providing cover for guerillas and terrorists.
CI - Cazador Instructor.
Cienfuegan Revolution—A rebellion that had, some time in the past, introduced a variant to Tsarist Marxism to the island of Cienfuegos.
Class One-Highest of Earth's six castes. Other castes descend from there. The Class Ones are almost uniformly corrupt, weak, and decadent.
Classis—1) Latin for fleet. 2) The Balboan Fleet.
Coatimundi—A small but fearless relative of the raccoon.
Cohort—A roughly battalion-sized formation, though the peculiar tercio (third) system of the legions makes this an iffier concept. A maniple expands to a cohort on partial mobilization, via the call up of its reservists, but a cohort expands to a tercio, when required, via the call up of its militia.
Comisariata—Balboan term for commissary. Open to all serving, discharged or retired members of the legions, and their immediate families, the commissaries—grocery stores—are also untaxed, hence another way Carrera and Parilla undermined the civil government by depriving it of funding.
Condor—A stealthy legionary glider, often auxiliary propelled, used for combat, as a cruise missile for long range bombing, occasionally as a courier, and for some direct action. They are quite stealthy. See section above on technological innovation in the Carreraverse.
Conex—Metal shipping container, generally 8’ x 8’ x 20’ or x 40’ There are some longer and shorter models.
Consensus—When capitalized, the governing body on Old Earth, composed entirely of Class Ones.
Cordillera Central—The mountain range running from Balboa’s eastern border to where is disappears and sinks into the jungle of La Palma province. It is an extension of the mountain ranges running parallel to the eastern coasts of Southern Columbia and Colombia del Norte.
Corona Civilis—Latin: Civic Crown. One of approximately thirty-seven awards available in the legion for specific and noteworthy events. The Civic Crown is given for saving the life of a comrade on the battlefield at risk of one’s own.
Corvina-A savory Terra Nova fish, found also on Earth under the same name.
Cosmopolitan Criminal Court, also CCC—An international court set up by treaty with the aim of rendering modern military forces ineffective the better to advance the causes of Marxism and barbarism, to the limited extent those differ.
Cosmopolitan progressives, also known as “Kosmos”—a globalist progressive movement and the members thereof, indistinguishable from modern day Tranzis.
Council, the Security - The executive governing body on Old Earth, predecessor to the Consensus.
Cricket - A type of cheap, light short take-off and landing airplane of the legions. It fills most, but not all, of the roles of helicopters, reconnaissance, command and control, aerial medevac.
Cruz de Coraje, also Cross of Valor—The legionary award for courage. It comes in six grades, from lowest to highest: Steel, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Gold with Shield, Gold with Shield and Swords. It is a step system. In other words, one must earn the Cross in Steel before becoming eligible for the Cross in Bronze.
Cuartel—Spanish for barracks.
Cueco—Regional Spanish slang for a homosexual. “Queer.”
Cuñado, -a—Spanish for brother-in-law or sister-in-law.
Dai Uy - Cochinese equivalent of Tribune II.
David(s)—Self-propelled robotic bombs. Though employed once against a broken-down—hence stationary—tank, they’re more for obstacle breeching and bunker destruction.
Diadem—An ornamental headband, worn as a sign of hereditary royalty by Old Earth’s Class Ones.
Diana(s)—Largely an illustration of the foolishness of attempts to control arms by those who do not understand either war or arms. Before the Ottawa anti-personnel land mine treaty/ban, it was required that all mines must contain enough metal to be detected by metal detector. The Diana—named for the late Princess of Wales whose support of the Ottawa Treaty appears to have been important to its ratification—is either a flat, thin metal disk, to give a return to mine detectors using ground penetrating radar, or a small magnet, to give a return to magnetic metal detectors. Where scattered out or buried, the effect is to make every square meter of a mined area—or unmined area—indistinguishable from a meter or area actually containing a mine or mines. This makes clearance extremely difficult and completely destroys the supposed humanitarian benefit of making easily detectable mines.
Dishdasha—A long, usually white robe, worn by men in the middle east.
Drachma—A name for a unit of currency in both the Federated States of Columbia and, in the form of the “Legionary Drachma,” the Timocratic Republic of Balboa. In the Federated States, the drachma, the FSD, has long been mere fiat currency. In Balboa the legionary drachma is a hard currency, worth 4.2 to 4.3 grams of silver, as was the ancient Athenian drachma, but backed by gold. In 2020 terms, a legionary drachma is worth about two United States dollars.
Dragoon—An infantryman who rides to battle then dismounts to fight on foot. Modernly, mechanized infantry. The Gauls have one battalion of dragoons deployed to Balboa to guard the Transitway.
Druid—A religious leader or priest of the Druidic faith. These come in at least two varieties, Reformed and Orthodox. The Orthodox Druids are very orthodox, indeed, but weave remarkable baskets of greater than human size.
Duckhunters—Slang for air defense formations and air defense troops.
Dustoff—Medical evacuation, typically by air. In the Legions, most of this is done by Crickets, rather than by helicopters.
Dux and Duce (Latin) become Spanish Duque, and title vests in both Carrera and Parilla. The Duque is the highest commander on the field.
Eagle—besides the bird, the Eagles are symbols of formations cohort and higher. An accurate illustration of one, the 4th Legion’s, is shown on the cover of Carnifex. Note that the carving of the spiral-carved staff is somewhat exaggerated.
Earthpigs—A derogatory name, on Terra Nova, for the people of Old Earth.
Elder Gods—Generally speaking, the gods believed in in various parts of Europe, on Old Earth, before the advent of Christianity.
Enlightened Path to Perpetual Peace and Prosperity—The Zhong political credo, basically the Han version of Tsarist-Marxism.
Eris—One of the three moons of Terra Nova.
Escopeta—Spanish for Shotgun.
Estado Mayor—Spanish for General Staff and the building in which is does its work.
Estrella de Balboa—A newspaper of Balboa.
F-26—Jointly developed standard infantry assault rifle of both Zion (which calls it an “Arraijan”) and Balboa (which called it a "Zion"). A heavier version with somewhat different features is the M-26 (M for “mitralladora,” or machine gun). Both fire 6.5mm semi-combustible casing ammunition. A more complete description can be found in Carnifex.
Fallschirmjaeger—Sachsen for paratroopers.
FDC - Fire Direction Center, the group or team that takes raw data from a forward observer or other source, then converts that into usable firing data for an artillery piece or mortar. The guns and mortars take their commands from the FDC.
FMB - Five-Minute Bomb. Before detonation is announces itself and directs people to leave the area. As much a psychological and propaganda weapon as a destructive one. Generally delivered by Condor (qv).
FMB-I - Five-Minute Bomb-Incendiary.
FMTIB - Five-Minute Thermobaric and Incendiary Bomb.
FMTG or FMTGRB—This is the Foreign Military Training Group, sometimes referred to as the Foreign Military training Group, Republic of Balboa. These are foreign retired professional soldiers hired by Carrera to train the early legions.
FOD - Field Office of the Day. The FOD is a field grade officer generally responsible for maintaining good order and discipline at the major command or installation level.
Frogs—Disparaging term for French which carried over to the Gauls of Terra Nova, based on frogs’ legs being a celebrated part of the French diet. The French, conversely, called the English “roast beefs.”
FSD - Federated States drachma. The basic monetary unit of the Federated States of Columbia, once worth about 4.3 grams of silver, but now a fiat currency, much debased.
Gabriel—An improved Turbo-Finch, more expensive and limited in number.
Gaur—A variant of Artem-Mikhail- 23-465. An obsolescent jet fighter, though much updated.
Gendarms, gendarmerie—Field police.
Gertrude—An underwater communication system.
Globalnet - Terra Nova's version of the planetary internet.
GPR—Radar on frequencies that allow penetration of and return signals from objects underground. Potentially very dangerous to permanent fortification but, since only certain frequencies work for this purpose, chaff can be cut and scattered to the right lengths to interfere with it.
GraceCorps - A Kosmo humanitarian organization, fairly uncorrupt in comparison to most.
Great Global War—Terra Nova’s only truly global war, to date. It took place from 399-410 AC and was, in most respects, worse than Earth's First and Second World Wars, combined.
Green Monsoons—A series of annoying mobilization and deployment exercises intended to provoke the Balboans and provide an excuse for war.
Gringo—An English-speaking South Columbian.
Guanxi—A Zhong word meaning the system of social networks and influential relationships which facilitate business and other dealings. "Relationships are more important than rules."
Guayabera—A light, embroidered shirt that serves in lieu of suits in climates where wearing a suit is an exercise in courting heat stroke.
Hacienda—Spanish for both a large estate and the house sitting on it.
Halawa—A sweetened confection made of roasted and crushed sesame seeds, mixed with honey and sometimes nuts and other flavorings. The legions use it as a part of their combat rations because, at seven calories to the gram, it is almost as energy dense as pure fat. If it wasn’t obvious, Halawa is something the author thinks needs to be made part of U.S. combat rations.
Hammerskjold—An Earther epithet, derived from the name of an early Secretary General of the UN, Dag Hammerskjold.
HARM—a Homing Anti-Radiation Weapon.
Hecate—One of the three moons of Terra Nova.
Hectontar—A corruption of the Greek word, Hecatontarch, or commander of one hundred. A centurion, in other words. The term is used for leaders of the Pashtun Scouts.
Hieros—Another Greek word that made it to Pashtia, meaning "temple" or "shrine."
High Admiral—The UN, even today is addicted to the use of the word “High” to describe its functionaries: High Commissioner for Refugees, High Commissioner for Human Rights, etc. The author might not have seen this as a yearning to become a new aristocracy had it not been for Eduoard Saouma, who turned the Food and Agricultural Organization into a personal fief and insisted on being addressed as “Your Excellency.” No, I am not making that up.
Hijab—Headcovering or veil worn by Muslim and some other women. There is not a word in the Quran that mandates wear of the veil. That said, it isn’t just about either modesty or oppression, whatever western liberals and feminists may think. Just imagine the damage the desert sun will do to a woman’s skin and how quickly and prematurely it will age her unless she protects herself from it.
Hippolyta—The Tercio Amazona newsletter.
Holy Shit Peppers—A very hot pepper found on Terra Nova.
Huánuco paste—An intermediate step in the production of a cocaine-like drug on Terra Nova.
Ikhwan—Brotherhood, but more specifically the Salafi Ikhwan, a Fundamentalist Muslim group with a terrorist arm.
I—Roman number one. Chief Operations Officer, his office, and his staff section.
Ia—A subdivision of I. Operations officer dealing mostly with fire and maneuver, his office and his section. Equivalent to S- or G-3.
Ib—A subdivision of I. Logistics Officer, his office and his section. Equivalent to S- or G-4.
Ic—A subdivision of I. Intelligence Officer, his office and his section. Equivalent to S- or G-2.
II—The Adjutant, which is to say the Personnel Officer, his office and his section. Equivalent to S- or G-1.
IM-53B—Volgan-built Balboan attack helicopter.
IM-71—Volgan-built Balboan cargo helicopter.
Jaeger—German for “Hunter,” but also for light infantry, hence “Gebirgsjaeger” (mountain light infantry) or Fallschirmjaeger (parachute light infantry).
Jaguar—Volgan-built tank used by the legions.
Jaguar II—Product improved Volgan-built tank used by the legion.
Jizyah, also yizyah - A special tax imposed on Dhimmis.
Joan of Arc pepper—A really hot pepper found on Terra Nova. Hotter than Holy Shit Peppers.
Karez—Underground aqueducts found in Pashtia.
keffiyah—The Arabic male headdress whence comes all kinds of epithets for Arabs. Don’t worry about it; they have names for us, too.
Klick—Military slang for kilometer.
Kosmos—Cosmopolitan progressives, a philosophy and amorphous political movement on Terra Nova inspired by the frauds and myths of Old Earth.
Kurosawa - A high-end Terra Novan television, made in Yamato. In at least one particular case, a large, high end television with some special abilities.
Latifundia—From the Latin for a very large tract of land farmed with slave labor.
Leaping Maiden—A constellation visible from Terra Nova. It has, so far, not been of any use whatsoever in showing where the Terra Novan system is actually located.
Legio del Cid, Also known as the legion, LdC, and Legion del Cid - The initially personal and later national military force of Patricio Carrera and Balboa.
Legion Jan Sobieski - 16th Legion (formerly Tercio). The air force of the Legions.
Legionary drachma—A monetary unit equal in value to about two 2020 United States dollars. Sometimes present as a silver coin weighing about 4.2 to 4.3 grams, it also exists in the form of paper currency, fractionally backed with gold, and PMCs, or Precious Metal Certificates.
Ligurini—Tuscan mountain troopers. Very brave and capable soldiers.
Litvinov-68 - A Volgan-built heavy transport aircraft.
Liwa—Arabic for Major General.
lorica, loricae (plural)—From the Latin for torso armor, the silk and liquid metal vests used by the legion in lieu of heavier and more expensive forms.
LOTS—Logistics Over The Shore. This is a doctrine and set of techniques, supported by appropriate equipment, to support a military force without the use of a port. It is not as good as having a port, but still better than nothing.
LZ—Landing Zone, a place where helicopter drop off troops and equipment.
M-26—Light machine gun variant of the F-26 rifle (qv).
Madrassa - A school; college or university. In the Islamic world, these can be any kind of higher education, secular or religious. Outside the Islamic world they are exclusively, or almost exclusively, religious in nature.
Majlis—In the Islamic world, an assembly, or a combination of that and cocktail hour, sans cocktails.
Makkah al Jedidah—Arabic, New Mecca.
Mañana sera mejor—A Balboan politico-military song. “Tomorrow will be better.” Yes, there’s a little inside joke going on there.
Maniple—From the Latin; a company-sized formation. However, the peculiar tercio (third) system of the legions makes this an iffier concept. A maniple is created from a platoon on partial mobilization, via the call up of its reservists, but that maniple expands to a cohort, when required, via the call up of its militia.
Mariposa—Spanish slang for homosexual.
MB—Money Bomb. A device, delivered by Condor (qv) which deposits a mix of real and counterfeit money over large collections of people, especially sporting events. The carnage from the resulting riots is sometimes immense. It, too, is more of a propaganda weapon, one which undercuts the enemy’s morale by using his own people to show themselves as undisciplined, vicious, morally weak, and greedy.
Mosaic D—Also known as Artem-Mikhail 82. An early generation, hence primitive, Volgan-designed and -built jet fighter, substantially upgraded in legion service to be merely obsolescent rather than obsolete. As such, and flown by very select pilots, who know their terrain extremely well, and who could not define the word, “safety,” for a million drachma, extremely maneuverable and dangerous.
MRL—Multiple Rocket Launcher. There are several different kinds in Balboan service.
MTP—Member of the Tauran Parliament.
Mujahadin, mujahad - (also mujahedeen and mujahid, since Arabic vowels tend to shift a good deal). An Islamic holy warrior. We can fault them in many areas, but their courage, dedication, and sincerity are real and powerful.
Mukhabarat—Arabic; secret police. (Here, too, you can find other spellings, but that's most common.)
Mukkaddam—Arabic; lieutenant colonel. Equal to a Legate I in the legions. “Ana mukkaddam al mushayah fi geysh Amriki.”
Mullah—Islamic holy man. Sometimes holy, other times not so much.
Na’ib ’Dabit—Arabic for Sergeant Major.
Naik—Corporal in both some of the UN forces committed to suppressing rebellion on Terra Nova and in Carrera’s Pashtun Scouts.
Naquib—Arabic, captain. Equal to a Tribune II in legionary service.
Nazrani—Arabic for Christian.
NGO—Non-Governmental Organization. Largely humanitarian concerns, the leaders of which tend to do very well by doing good.
Noahs—The aliens who "seeded" Terra Nova eons ago, modifying its geography for the purpose. Little is known about them.
Ocelot—A Volgan-built infantry fighting vehicle, used for that purpose and as an assault gun in the legions.
OCS—Officer Candidate School, the sole source for commissions in the legions. Cazador School is a necessary but usually not sufficient prerequisite for OCS.
Optio—From the Latin, a senior noncom serving usually as second in command of a platoon and sometimes on staff.
Order of Saint Ilyich—Volgan Military Honor, dating to the time of the Red Tsar.
Paras—Anglian or Gallic Paratroopers.
Pax 2511—This is a secret personal file created by High Admiral Robinson for research on Terra Nova and possible solutions to the problems it represents to the Consensus of Old Earth.
PBM-100 - See Ocelot, above. The Volgan name for them.
Pentagram—A constellation visible from Terra Nova.
Petro War—An earlier war against Sumer on a much larger scale than the invasion in which the first form of the Legion del Cid took part.
Phaeton—A Terra Novan make of luxury automobile.
Phalange—A political party and militia that sprang up on the colonization ship, Cheng Ho.
Phorusrhacids—These are the giant terror birds of Colombia del Norte. They are almost extinct in the wild.
PMC—Precious Metal Certificate. High Denomination Legionary Investment Vehicle.
Pogue—Derogatory Army slang, similar to but less pungent than REMF.
Praporschik—A Volgan rank, more or less a warrant officer, sometimes in the U.S. form (technical specialists), sometimes in the British / Commonwealth form (senior noncoms).
Princeps Senatus—A Balboan political office, President of the Senate.
Progressivines—A genengineered plant of Terra Nova, bearing a fruit poisonous to higher life forms.
Project Sarissa—A secret project in Balboa to prepare to erect, and then erect, a massive number of barrage balloons to interfere with attacking aircraft. Some of these are capable of autonomous self-defense.
Proles—The lowest nominally free caste of Old Earth, just above the slaves.
Puma—The best tank in legionary service, expensive hence somewhat rare.
Push—As in “tactical push.” Radio frequency or frequency hopping sequence, so called, apparently, from the action of pushing the button that activates the transmitter.
PZ—Pickup Zone. A place where helicopters pick-up troops, equipment and supplies to move them somewhere else.
Qahwa—Arabic, an unsweetened coffee.
Raiid—An Arabic rank, Major.
Railgun—Electro-magnetic projectile launchers. The Federated States of Columbia maintain a dense umbrella of these to defend against another nuclear attack by the United Earth Peace Fleet.
Red Fang—An individual short range communication system, linked through the F-26 rifles and M-26 light machineguns.
RGL—Rocket Grenade Launcher, a light anti-armor weapon.
Rift, the—The wormhole via which ships can travel from the Solar System to the system containing Terra Nova.
Roland—the Gallic main battle tank.
Ro-Ro—A type of ship that allows cargo to self load and self unload, by allowing trucks and other vehicle to drive right on. One of these is heavily modified by the Cochinese, for the legions, to serve as an assault transport.
Saccharum spontaneum—A tall perennial grass common to many parts of Terra Nova.
Samsonov—A Volgan assault rifle. Not to be confused with the Volgan paratrooper colonel of the same name.
Sancocho—Balboan Cuisine, a kind of hearty stew.
Sarissa—See Project Sarissa, above.
Satan Triumphant—An even hotter pepper than Joan of Arc peppers. Used for food preservation, because no animal or bacterium will have anything to do with it, and refined into a blister agent for war purposes. Sometimes added to Shoug in infinitesimal percentages and still too hot for most.
Sayidi—Arabic form of respectful address, “Sir.”
SCIB—Shaped Charge Incendiary Bomb, also delivered by Condor (qv).
SEAD—Suppression of Enemy Air Defense, a joint mission to suppress air defense so that pilots can do their jobs.
Sergeyevich-83—Also known as Serg-83. A Volgan-designed, Zhong-built naval fighter, capable of vertical take-off and landing, and of carrying an ordnance load of about two tons.
SHEBSA—Servicio HElicoptores Balboenses, Sociedad Anonima. Balboan Helicopter Service, Incorporated, a hidden arm of the legions, as part of the hidden reserve.
Shiva class—An antishipping missile, surface or air launched.
Shoug—A pepper paste, a component of Zioni combat rations but also a part of both kosher and halal cuisine. Sometimes includes tiny percentages of Satan Triumphant peppers.
Silverwood—A tree of Terra Nova, much valued in furniture making for its iridescent silvery sheen.
Smilodon—1. A constellation visible from Terra Nova. 2. The actual large, predatory cat, transported by the Noahs, and still in existence on Terra Nova.
Sochaux S4—A Gallic four-wheel drive light truck.
SPATHA—Self-Propelled, Anti-Tank, Heavy Armor. A tank destroyer developed by Obras Zorilleras, heavily armored in front and mounting a cannon bored out to Sixteen centimeters, firing HEP, or High Explosive Plastic shells. All the Chobham Armor in the world will not help a tank’s crew when one hundred pounds of HEP goes off against the hull or turret. Yes, really.
SPLAD—Self-Propelled Laser Air Defense. A modification of the standard Volgan and legion self-propelled air defense system. With the SPLAD, the cannon are removed and lasers installed. Note that, while it is against the law of war to use lasers to blind, Balboa insists that the SPLAD is to kill by causing the pilot to crash, hence not forbidden by the law of war. “And if the pilot ejects and lives? That’s his problem.”
SPM-76 - Volgan manufactured space suits.
Stollen—Taken from the name for several very large concrete shelters prepared by the Germans as assembly areas for their attack on Verdun in 1916. They are so named from their resemblance to the Christmas cake. Taken up by the legions early on as a defensive technique to aid offensive operations.
Stone, the—The one stone of the Kaabah given by the Saudis to Abdul ibn Fisel to encourage him and his followers to emigrate off planet.
Subadar - A Pashtun scout rank; as used, roughly equivalent to a major, though in Earth history of varying stature.
Sura, or surah—A chapter in the Koran, of which there are 114.
T-38—A Volgan tank, in Legionary service known as a Jaguar.
TDP—Among the many environmentally conscious projects instituted by Carrera in Balboa, TDP, Thermal DePolymerization is used to create light sweet crude from just about any organic waste.
Tecumseh—A higher end brand of cigarette on Terra Nova. These are Carrera's favorite brand. Very strong, and costing about three Legionary Drachma per pack of twenty in Balboa, and about twelve to fifteen Federated States Drachma in the FSC.
Tercio—Spanish for Regiment but also for the structure cum mobilization system in Balboa.
Tourmente—A type of Gallic fighter-bomber.
Tranzitree—A genengineered species of tree on Terra Nova with fruit poisonous to humans. The fruit, itself, is green on the outside, red on the inside.
Trixie—One or another type of Archaeopteryx, transported to Terra Nova by the Noahs. Though alleged to be primitive, they are as fully functional as birds and highly intelligent, about as much so as an African Grey Parrot.
TU—Tauran Union, a supranational organization, largely and deliberately undemocratic, trying to turn itself into a federal nation.
Turbo-Finch—A heavily modified crop duster used for close air support by the legions. In a permissive environment, it is arguably the best CAS aircraft available, given its solidity, its slow speed, hence accuracy of identification and engagement of foes, its long loiter time, and the flying infantry attitude of its pilots.
TUSF-B—Tauran Union Security Force-Balboa.
TUSF-SJ—Tauran Union Security Force-Santa Josefina. Better known as “Task Force Jesuit.”
United Front for the Liberation of New Earth—The liberation movement that eventually drove the United Nations from control of the planet of Terra Nova, barring only their embassies and their base on the Island of Atlantis.
Urraca 2000—Balboa’s secret mobilization plan. Less than fifteen people even know the name.
Volcano—extremely large FAE—Fuel Air Explosive bombs placed at certain locations in Balboa, generally in conjunction with major building projects so that the latter can serve as a cover. They are left unfueled until the last minute. The detonation mechanism is a failsafe mix of timer and seismic.
White Eagle—A Volgan tank purchased by the legions and modified. A Jaguar II.
WOCS—Warrant Officer Candidate School. This is a basic course for pilot, medical, legal, academic, and chaplaincy candidates. Cazador School is a prerequisite only for those going into fields that require great toughness and determination, as well as daring.
Xamar pirates—A largely disorganized phenomenon, the Xamar pirates mostly operate by villages and clans until either obliterated or terrorized into passivity by the legions, working for Yamato.
Xuanduan—A form of Zhong formal dress.
YA-6 and YA-72—Volgan helicopters built by the Yakamov firm. The firm is notable for making contra-rotating dual main rotor helicopters that do not need a tail rotor or blowers to counteract the torque of a single main rotor.
Yizlah—See, Jizyah, above.
Zaibatsu—Major and minor (but not so minor as all that) Yamatan industrial and trading concerns.
Copyright © 2020 Tom Kratman
This is a three-part series on the world-building behind Tom Kratman’s Carreraverse, presented with Kratman’s inimitable, deadpan style. Days of Burning, Days of Wrath is now out from Baen Books and chronicles a climactic storyline finale within Kratman’s best-selling Carrera military science fiction series.