Social Institutions P - R

Businesses, artificial structures, social or political organizations or events, named historical events, etc.

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Pack: A secret gang of Fohen males and females of about the same age. A pack is usually formed when the members are very young and may continue in existence even after the members become adults. They are led by a male or female "Chairman" selected by the group.

Paladin of the Year: An award given by the Mentecians to the soldier of fortune (not necessarily a Mentecian) who had survived the greatest adventure since the last Conjunction. The award consists of the title, a metallic trophy, and 5000 SEC unees.

Panjandrum Vocophone and Subspace: The company that provides vocophone service on Panjandrum (Someday My Prints Will Come)

Pegasus Express: In 2173, Cody Warren, president of Warren Oil in El Dorado, Arkansas, created a new subsidiary, The Warren Ark. The purpose of this company was to transport birds and animals from zoos and nature preserves of Earth to the planet Patience in preparation for its colonization by people leaving our doomed planet. This is described in my short story, The Last Acorn.

Pegasus ExpressThe Warren Ark was so successful that the business expanded, transporting terrestrial life forms to other colonial planets. As time went on, they also got into the business of transporting colonists and their household goods.

Since noncolonial planets were adjacent to the routes of the Warren Ark starships, businesses along those routes began to ship packages with them. When this business continued to grow, the company name was changed to Pegasus Express to reflect the more inclusive nature of their shipping activities. Eventually package transport and delivery became the main focus of the company. They moved packages from place to place on a planet (like FedEx and UPS on 21st century Earth), between planets in a solar system, and between planets of different star systems.

Few worlds in the Stellar Economic System are without regular arrivals and departures of Pegasus Express starships, an array of convenient pickup and delivery stations, and fleets of transport vehicles, all bearing the company's yellow and black paint and the stylized image of Pegasus. Their motto became "Across the Street...Across the Galaxy...With Discretion."

Perry Mason: A television program based on novels by Erle Stanley Gardner which ran from 1957-1966. The main character, Perry Mason, was a lawyer who won every case. Unlike real criminal cases, which may involve long periods between arrest and trial, trials in these shows occured very soon after the arrest.(Something not altogether that uncommon in TV shows.)

Planet Hunter: A) A type of treasure hunter, either an individual or group, that searches for undiscovered planets, or B) A small starship used by Planet Hunters. (Explorers)

Police nationale: One of the three national French police systems. The Police nationale is under the Interior Minister and polices urban areas. It was originally known as the Sûreté.

Prefecture: On some planets of the SEC, such as Panjandrum, a prefecture is equivalent to a nation or country. On Fohia, a prefecture is a union of counties, reminiscent of midwestern or southern American states.

Rain Maker: A rain maker is an individual who uses technology to make it rain at a time and place specified by a client. Rory Molle is a rain maker on the planet Carthusia. (Apprill Showers)

Ramunus Haikus: Rolling Haikus written by Aryla Fitvet regarding the Treasures of Ramunus: "The Elzbieta Bud" encoded the location of each treasure and how to use the bud vase as a key. (The Elzbieta Bud) "Airy Mountain" told the location of a treasure on Svajone. (Down the Rushy Glenn) "The Stronghold" told how to get to a treasure on Patience. (The Hiss)

Ranch, The: The property owned by The River of Horologists on Fohia in The Seaward Valley. It is not a "ranch," but the name is a left over from its use years ago, before it was acquired by The River. It has the residences of the Members and some other employees, the dining hall and kitchen, recreational facilities, laboratories and workshops, the home of the Horologist Superior, and The Tower. (And probably some other things that I've forgotten or haven't come up with yet.)

RFR Club: The Roo'Eft Floater Rescue Club. An organization in Roo'eft, similar to the AAA in the United States, that provides services to its members, including roadside assistance and others. (Scary Sheri Safari)

River of Horologists, The: The River of Horologists is a Society of male and female Members who live apart from the rest of the community at The Ranch in The Seaward Valley. "River" because their number increases or decreases like a river's level and because time flows like a river. The River is the oldest and most respected Society of Horologists. The Members of The River must have superior hearing because glass is unknown to the Fohen and so their "hourglasses," or horologes, are made of porcelain. Members must be able to hear the sand as it passes through the horologe. The purpose of the horologists is to learn about timekeeping, about the construction of porcelain hourglasses, to keep the surrounding people apprised of the correct time, to create porcelain horologes to sell to the people of other regions, and to assist those others in the maintenance of a synchronized system of time. A limited number from the surrounding community and beyond may be admitted each year as Novices to replace those from The River who have left.

At the Fall Equinox, the Member who creates the most accurate horologe is chosen to spend a year in the Tower as Timekeeper, using the horologe and a gong to keep the people of the Valley apprised of the time. The new Timekeeper replaces the previous, who returns to the group as a Master. All Masters must be married so the new Master is expected to choose a mate who will accompany him/her if chosen to leave the community.

At the Spring Equinox, members of the community who have applied to become Novices are tested at The Challenge. Depending on how many Members currently make up The River, new Novices are selected from among the applicants who can best hear a horologe's flow of sand.

Clay horologes, water clocks, and other rough timepieces were invented in the distant past and every community had its own horologists. However, The Seaward Valley had clays for creating porcelain and its porcelain horologes were superior to all others. Eventually The Seaward Valley and its River of Horologists became the planetary center for the production of accurate timepieces.

Royal Historical Consistory: A library in The City of Hope, The Kingdom of the Northlands, Adondus, which houses and makes available historical documents related to the history of the Adondi people. In a secret subbasement, it also houses the local offices of SECRIT.

Rules, The: The guide to how the Taupoians who came to Earth to warn us about Nemesis should behave in the presence of humans. Includes the prohibition of sex with each other. (Red Sky in Mourning)


Page updated: 04 January 2022
Page created: 19 January 2012