While the many races of the Burning Suns galaxy have their own distinct cultures, there are also many aspects that have developed into a pan-galactic cultural framework through the years of both the Psyonic Empire and the Assembly.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Art remains one of the most diverse and idiosyncratic media in the galaxy.
If you can't pay in credits, maybe you can pay in liquor? Races might be diverse but alcohol is known to all.
- Nomian Rum (a rum made from a sugar tree only found on Nomius).
Drugs and Pharmaceuticals
Drugs come in many forms and shapes, some created to enhance performance during combat, long flights or stressful environments.
- Boost - an illegal variant of stims (see below), readily available in neutral space, consisting of high-dose stims cut with dextromethamphetamine. Low doses of Boost produce a marked rise in energy, concentration and alertness for periods of up to twelve hours. In higher doses it acts as an aphrodisiac and a euphoriant. It has a high addiction liability, and an acute withdrawal phase.
- Stims - as the name suggests, a stimulant designed to compensate for lost energy by almost instantly refueling your reserves and removing lactic acids from the muscles. Fondly referred to as popping candy by Marauder marines.
While food remains a highly diverse subject in the galaxy, some common denominations have been produced in order to feed the masses of many distant colonies.
- Processed protein - a cheap mass market food product that can be prepared to suit most races nutritional needs, but more generally infamous for its horrid taste.
- Ration packs - pre-prepared meals, processed and vacuum-packed or freeze-dried for long term storage. A staple provision for spacers and soldiers.
Crime rates within Assembly space are generally very low. The immense wealth of resources made available by territorial control that spans star systems, coupled with the sharing of infrastructure technology, has lead to a stable, prosperous society well able to care for even its most disadvantaged citizens. As such, crimes of poverty have to a large degree been eradicated, although disparities and dissatisfactions inevitably arise. Most criminal cases prosecuted pertain to vice, controlled substance abuse, and so-called crimes of passion, and the rates for these felonies are also stable, if rather higher than the Assembly would like.
Beyond Assembly space, however, the story is quite different. Free from the restrictions enforced by the Assembly's member states, the independent settlements and colonies in neutral space are often portrayed as a wild frontier, where survival of the fittest is the foremost law. In practice, crime rates vary widely from settlement to settlement: Lazarus Depth is everything the media imagines neutral space to be, while Asgard, controlled for the most part by organized crime cartels, is reasonably crime-free on a day-to-day-living basis for most of its citizens. Nevertheless, the galactic market located on Hel is the main hub for the drug, slave, and pleasure trades, as well as the galactic black market, and accrues much of its revenue from deals to supply clients in Assembly space.
Piracy is rife along the borders of Assembly space - while most pirates are not foolhardy enough to cross the crime bosses of Asgard and the Depth, they are happy enough to risk the wrath of the Assembly, secure in the knowledge they can vanish into the void whenever required and that the rule of law and a cryoprison sentence are far preferable to their crime-cartel equivalents. Notable pirate organisations, such as the Hellfires, do proliferate from time to time but invariably their success in reaching such a critical mass draws the military attention that ultimately leads to their demise.
While many pan-galactic transactions are made everywhere, these three locations have developed huge specialized markets for all pan-galactic and local business, with two of the markets directly linked with the Assembly.
It is estimated that around 30-35% of known system-to-system transactions go through the two hubs located within Assembly space (Bronwen and Ice Serpent). Nobody has a full view of the data on Asgard, as it is located outside of the Assembly's jurisdiction and not subject to any unified reporting or controlling.
The most well-known galaxy-wide language is called "Standard" and derives largely from the old language of the Guardians, with some influence from Templar communications. Many races have other kinds of secondary languages or communication forms.
Certain concepts are common to all races' understanding of galactic culture. These terms include:
- Organics: organic-based, naturally evolved life-forms
- Synthetics: Artificial life-forms of whatever construction
- Energetics: Energy-based, naturally evolved life-forms
Slang terms vary widely from race to race and faction to faction, as each culture has distinct shorthands for certain behaviours and activities. This list is by no means exhaustive, and skewed heavily toward Terran/Marauder vernacular, as the Terran race demonstrates a marked aptitude for colourful descriptive language.
Phrases and idioms
- Juice(ing) your afterburners: put some extra effort in to achieve a goal, be operating at optimum efficiency
- Cool your thrusters: calm down.
- (To have) solid credit: to have a good reputation.
- Speak standard: a request to make your meaning more clear.
- As much use as a cyborg's dick: Useless. In reference to the fact that cyborgs do not procreate sexually.
- In the Freezer/on ice: a custodial sentence in the cryoprisons of Lord's Assembly. Sentences are usually classified by the number of centuries, Cs, to be served.
- The Big Chill: The maximum custodial sentence levied by for the cryoprisons, 10C or one thousand years.
- Skinshift: specifically a Changeling expression, used to denote the shapeshift process.
- Keep your beak hidden: Changeling specific slang for staying out of sight; keeping a low profile.
- Morph: Changeling slang for the process of undergoing a sex change, as they do every two to three years.
- Junker: standard slang for an old, run down or decrepit ship.
- Tuck your beak in your armpit: Changeling expression, equivalent to "bury your head in the sand" - to ignore a clear and present danger or situation.
Insults and abusive terms
- Scrapyard: Derogatory nickname for Korxonthos, or the Synergy.
- Tin Man: Refers to Guardians or Ronins. Also Metal Mickey.
- Pack rat: Reavers or Cyborgs, for their propensity to scavenge and repurpose old technology.
Certain terms and phrases from older languages persist into modern usage. Examples include:
- Korxonthos: Guardian for "Beginning".
- Kiith Kohath: Guardian for "Bringer of Victory".