(With due apologies to the author of GURPS Lensman, whose work I am shamelessly imitating and which put this thing in my head in the first place…)
“Oblong shape and squared-off prow,
Writ with words from stern to bow.
Drive the mass and make a hole –
That’s a Gallie slave patrol!”
“One of the chief problems with some cultures’ attitude towards professionalism is that it prevents their courts from issuing opinions such as – to quote Mandatory Benevolence Association vs. Suld – ‘This court must affirm that the defendant possesses an unalienable derived right to be, if he so wishes, a bigoted sack of contaminated crap.'”
– Presiding Justice Madrasi Koiric, Court of the Beyond
“There was a pond below the window! We’re not monsters, after all.”
– First Quill Seïn Ejava, Scrupulous Company of Learned Scriveners,
at the Defenestration of the Descriptivists
“If we’re being scrupulous, it was a settling pond. For night soil.”
– Sorel Haranye, former Learned Scrivener, two hours later,
at the “Deodorizing of the Descriptivists”
The defining feature of Lintis (Banners), to most visitors, is that the entire planet smells strongly of peppermint. (A characteristic attributable to the local grass-analog – there’s always a grass-analog – which is heavily loaded with menthols.) Natives and long-term residents, of course, have all long stopped smelling anything, but the casual visitor always ends up leaving before their nose burns in. Or burns out.
– Leyness’s Worlds: Guide to the Core Worlds
“Among the torang, when crisis strikes, it is safer to be among your enemies than among your friends. A friendly torangta may expect you to sacrifice yourself in the name of the friend-group; an enemy will keep you alive as an assertion of superiority.”
– To See The Outer Worlds And Live!, Peregrine Press, 7930
“The Venerable and Veritable Autocrator of Chengál Rock, may his reign last forever, will be accepting petitions from all within the Rock during the first shift for the megapulse following the Rock’s apoapsis, as custom dictates. Please note that immediately following shift-end, all vacuum-qualified citizens of the Rock are required to report to Docks and Locks for mandatory civil labor. All non-vacuum-qualified citizens are required to report to Central Recycling, likewise.”
– system announcement on Chengál Rock public notifications channel
“For new citizens and visitors to the Rock, the ‘mandatory civil labor’ is required because the V. and V. Autocrator has a policy of throwing anyone who demands that he have a policy out of his personal airlock, and traffic control start complaining if no-one cleans up after Petition Fortnight. Be advised.
“And may his reign last forever.”
– anonymous classified advertisement immediately following the above