Here is a lowdown on what, where, who and how much in the universe of The Fourteenth Adjustment.

$mith (sic), Tom, Two-Dan

Head of SCT and universe hopping hero. Got his name from a job rejection letter produced by a temp from Musoketeba.

Aftershock, Olivia

Barista cum nurse at the Doctor Crippin Hospital.

Alchy Salsa

Galactic cure-all. It adapts to any particular ailment, reading the base information from the patient’s cell structure and restoring it to its optimum level. Even the manufacturers admit, though, that reanimating frozen corpses may be a little beyond its powers, except in the case of tax inspectors with headaches.

Arachne, Life of

Like the ‘Life of Reilly or Riley’ it was popularised by the music-hall song of the ‘Tarantula of Red Widow Twanky’: “The famous wild tarantula of Red Widow’s no more. After ‘living the life of Arachne’ for over a year, evading the fly-swats and spinning her rear, whose kitchens she cobwebbed in all corners four.”

Archangel, Arianne

A fugitive from the Temporal Conduct Authority, after borrowing a time machine when its previous owner's head accidentally came off in her hands.

Badloser, Ferdinand

Former head of SCT and total bastard, killed at least twice in previous adventures. Mothers keep their children in order by threatening to let him manage their pocket money.


Capital city of the planet, Out, the wettest and hilliest place in the galaxy. Basilopolis is the manufacturing centre of the magnetic wellington. The city was renamed after the 55th emperor of Out rebuilt it with iron filings embedded in all the road surfaces, greatly improving the local shopping experience.

Bereavement Notable

The moon-sized battleship the Skagans have built to claim back withheld tax on Vac’s book. This was the politically correct version of the original name, the 'Death to anyone who disagrees with us Supernova'.

Black Empress Kara’s Good Fortune

The definitive pirate vessel, originally built by SCT as a cruise ship, but once the Skagan engineers got on to it, drastically changed and now bristling with one massive doku-shunt.


Nomadic primitive tribe, originally called ‘The Gar’, but after the chance discovery of a CD player, and a few disks, they learned to speak, decided that modern life was rubbish, and being unable to see distinctly through all the rain, renamed themselves, and started a chain of opticians. Sadly, they were then mistaken for housebreakers by Basil II, the dyslexic Emperor of Out, who persecuted them relentlessly.
They are noted for their bare chests and the ability to make great pants out of stainless steel.


A country popular as a source of cheap security personnel, and the discovery of funds formerly belonging to despotic leaders. Their workers can be trusted implicitly, because each comes with a certificate of honesty, signed by the Bonigalia Head of Transportation.

Blurgar Slayer, Basil the Second

55th Emperor of Out. Dyslexic founder of the magnificent city of Basilopolis, and all-round cycle-path, which also has iron filings in the Tarmac to stop the bikes skidding in the wet.


A peaceful country on the far side of Glenforbis, famous for their tolerance of all races and beliefs, and having never invaded anyone, or even raised their voices.

Chips, Suzanne

Long, beautiful redhead, lush, and wife of Tom. Married as a trophy bride by his former self, and quickly turned bad. Despite being a new man, Tom still has feelings... mostly her fingers in his wallet. He has met her in each of the previous universes, where that version of her has been lovely or crazy or devious or terrified, but she always looks the same. Her species is able to process any amount of foodstuffs without putting on weight, and as such has been virtually wiped out by jealous lard-arses sitting on them in disgust.

Clarkson, Saint

Patron saint of Basilopolis and misplaced wheeled vehicles. Some reject the belief, owing to the fact that wheels are totally impractical in the mud-soaked environment of Out. His worshippers say that they believe regardless, and when they die, they will meet him on that great racetrack in the sky, where they will be able to watch his exploits eternally in repeats on the 'Jeremy' TV Channel, which they also believe in.

Coles, Amber

Faithful secretary and Director of Finance of SCT. Born in Newcastle, UK, and has no idea how she got into the Fourth Universe.

Consortium, The

A collection of strip-mining, property development and pollution distributers, defeated by the Skagans during Tom's first venture into the universes. Now reduced to collecting rocks, and apologising.


Complete Rip-off at Parking, the vehicle storage organisation run by May Welby.

Dearheat, Rannie

Dodgy dealer in innovative goods, and international woman of mystery. Former partner of the Magus.


Robot reporters for the Daily Outrage on Sapristi are all given letter designations. DO-A is obviously their prime reporter. ‘C’ covers medical developments, ‘G’ the animal interest stories and ‘X’ the seedy underworld.


A large, four-horned placid bovine creature, with the ability to translocate in a similar way to the Magus, only much further. They are usually found on the planet, Glenforbis, renowned for its fertiliser industry, lush pastures and bracing air.

Doku Shunt

This weapon can be loaded with any small sharp items. Favoured are mined slivers of diamond from wandering asteroids, and they prove very popular with the victims, who make a special point of collecting the remaining fragments as compensation for the destruction of their property.


It is a dangerous job being an emperor. Yes, there is all the glory, the nice robes, a harem to keep all your favourite concubines and all those sort of benefits, but fall out of favour, and you can find yourself in trouble. As Emperor, your life is sacred, but if you are hideous to look at, they reason, you cannot rule. Hence, working in the 'Deposed Emperors' Club' on Out is used as a low-level punishment for people considered too naughty to do community thieving.

Errorcode, Montague

Shifty weasel in charge of Change Management at SCT. He manages to keep his job for the only reason that he can't be sacked because his original contract was put together by his fellow countrymen, who happened to be in charge of SCT at the time..

Existentialism control

An emergency life-saver, put in by one of the under-graduates on a joint engineering/philosophy degree. He was studying the meaning of life, and after deciding that existence precedes essence, was caught with the daughter of the Principal, proving the theory. He developed the engine, based on how badly he needed to escape in future. The scale goes from ‘I don’t care about life’ to ‘save me, I have furry animals to support’. The Magus always liked to have it set round about 70%.

Fairway, Pietro

Head of the car parking organisation, PUSS. Joined with May Welby and Ferdinand Poordraw to form the biggest car-parking organisation the galaxy had ever seen.

FOAD button

Stands for ‘F*** Off And Die’. This was added by request to standard keyboards as a more extreme form of the ‘escape’ key. It overrides all the various warning prompts such as ‘Are you sure?’, “Are you really sure?” and “By pressing this key you confirm that all your personal data will be collected by the browser and search-engine, and left on a memory stick in a taxi of our choice.”


The Federation of Footwear Fitters—shoe-sellers to the rich and famous. Their motto: ‘Never knowingly under-priced’.

Fortune, the

See The Black Empress Kara’s Good Fortune.


Pronounced ‘Fook-Sarkey’, a strong Skagan spirit. You really don’t want to know how it’s made. (Actually, if you want to risk it, have a look at the reference in ‘The Fifth Correction’, but you really really really don't want to know.)


Sapristi is breaking away from everything for no apparent reason. Also known as Sapsit, but that doesn’t reflect the feelings of most of the locals.


The planet that supplies all the fertiliser for the galaxy from their extensive dung mines. Home of the doku and the working base of Magus Investigations. See below... Glenodure.


The capital of Glenforbis is one of the smelliest and unhealthy places in the galaxy, where diesel fumes lock into the reek from the dung deposits, and create a toxic smog that when compressed and mixed with iron filings can be used as road surface.


A Skagan pilot of extreme skill.


The Galactinet of Doobries. Everything is connected in to this omnipresent data-sharing network, which is tightly monitored by the security forces for signs of insurgency, and the criminals for signs that you have gone away on holiday.

Gong Farmers

Workers in the dung mines of Glenforbis.

Gottstein, Ludwig

A wealthy Charman businessman, and one of the Magus’ main clients. Particularly partial to a juicy doku-burger, and airliners with seats that have been strengthened and widened.


A Skagan pilot of little talent or understanding. Erstwhile mate of Spigot, another Skagan, with whom he has shared many a hair-raising experience.


The Time Cylinders work on thought waves. The pilot wears the apparatus and thinks of where he/she/it wants to be in time and location, and the Time circuits read their thoughts and do the rest. Much safer than the random relocations of a conventional time machine, where there is a high probability that it could materialise inside a planet, or worse still, Brussels.


The range of reasonably priced and popular vehicles from Musoketeba, renowned for their dreadful styling and limited aesthetics. The most popular small car is the Hynishota Featureless, and the range increases in size through the Pointless, the Pig-Ugly, the Disgusting, the Goddam Awful, and finishing the range with the amazing seven seater, the Hynishota Cashcow.


Secret criminal organisation on Musoketeba, roughly translated as ‘one-three-five’, a winning hand in Baccarat, at which they cheat shamelessly. Other players are advised to pretend not to notice.


See Tay, Kara


Any of the plant-eating mammals of the order Lagomorpha, having fully furred feet and two pairs of upper incisors—including rabbits, hares, and pikas. On Out, they have become carnivorous and subsequently have grown rather large.


A universal spray lubricant and preservative, one of only two vital maintenance items required for a toolkit, the other being duct tape. With these, you can repair absolutely anything. As Oilflig Phoist himself wisely said, “To get anything moving, use LARD42; to stop it moving, use duct tape.”

Luigi, Big Three-Fingered

Rannie Dearheat's henchman, part time hit-man and runs a polite extortion racket. Loves rabbits.

Magus, the

Private investigator, owner of a doku herd, and strange little man with alien physiology, odd powers, and a hat. Has developed the thirty, first rules of being a gumshoe, and is thinking about writing a book on sleuthing.

Maurice the Bastard

Usurper of the throne of Out. Acting as Grand Vizier until another Emperor can be found that is stupid enough to accept the post.

Maurice the Other Bastard

His devious twin brother. Head of the Out army, what there is of it that he hasn't already sold off .


Mental Unconscious Permanent Physical Ethereal Translocation—Auto-Telekinesis, as practised by the Magus and the doku herds.


The location of the Nishant Corporation—it could be a planet, a country or a star system. Nobody knows, or really cares. The outsourcing deals are cheap, and you've just got to outsource, haven't you?

Nishant Corporation

The ultimate outsourcing destination. Their prices are great, their people small and willing to work cheaply, three to an office chair, and all hold Mr Nishi in due reverence. Nishant have branched out into reasonably-priced automobiles, shoes, security, electronics, instruction manual translations, signwriting, and acronym generation. Their company culture is one of undercutting prices by transferring all quality assurance processes to their customers, and apologising.

Nishi, Joshi

Head of the Nishant Corporation. The workers see him as a god and would willingly lay down their lives and their daughters to get into his favour.


All Skagan gods are called Norbert, to make things easier for them to remember.

Out, the Planet

The wettest world in the universe. ‘We gotta get out of this place’, became simply, ‘Out’, once the water got into the CD player and it kept repeating the word. Originally, the headquarters location of the Temporal Conduct Authority.

P units

Small autonomous killer drones, built by the SCT workshops for STOP, with instructions to reclaim outstanding parking fines, or destroy the offending vehicles in the passing.

Personal Development Plan

PDP: an idea thought up by personnel departments and top management to keep their workers unsettled in their jobs. This results in the brightest, and therefore most troublesome, of their workers handing in notice, and subsequently saves the cost of redundancies when the whole operation is outsourced.

Phoist, Oilflig

The legendary founder of everything in all universes, wit, oracle and nemesis of most of the good guys. His name is also used as an exclamation of shock, surprise, and dismay at postal deliveries that consist of small cards telling you to go and get the parcel yourself.


In particle physics, a pion consists of a quark and an antiquark and is the lightest meson and of lowest power. In this case, a directed stream of pions is the equivalent of flag waving... and very secure for line-of-sight ship-to-ship transmissions. The ‘pionio’ is that transmitter and receiver device.

Poordraw, Ferguson

Head of TBP. May be related to Ferdinand Badloser. Assumed the leadership of STOP when the three main car-parking organisations merged.


Parking under Special Sircumstances (sic)—acronym developed by trained marketing people at Nishant, for the organisation run by Pietro Fairway.


Multi-legged crustaceans with a fascination for science and timepieces. They are employed mostly as scientists and floor polishers, and their ability to 'creep' people out..


Also known as ‘Fukeds’ by people who live there and disagree with the government... which is just about all of them.


The company Tom found himself in charge of in the Fourth Universe. Nobody could tell him what the initials stood for, or what the company actually did. After developing the doku-drive, and using the Hynishota range of reasonably priced transports as space vessels, It was rebranded ‘SCT’, as ‘Space Community Transport’, keeping the initials simply to save having to change the headed notepaper and shiny hats, and retrain the Skagan security teams.


There is a school of thought that suggests that terrorists and warmongers are only so because they don’t have enough sex. In a more liberated society, folks are more interested in rutting than blowing things up. Ask yourself, how many wars have been started by Bonobo apes, who spend all their time at it?


See Doku Shunt.

Singpurvitch, Mr

Representative from Nishant Engineering.

Six, Caryl

Refugee from a people farm, and newly discovered heiress to the galactic ‘Six’ empire. She spends her time tracking down her family, in the hope she can get some of the fortune for herself.


Stunning (in looks and effect), statuesque race of warmongering sex maniacs. After successive wars, they have been virtually wiped out, and the survivors are currently living in a small reservation at one end of an island owned by SCT. In order to keep them occupied, Tom has employed them as security personnel, where they are kept distracted by shiny uniforms, peaked hats and rumours of insurgents, as well as the occasional illegally parked vehicle.


Home planet of the Skagans, beautiful, peaceful and newly terra-formed, after an unpleasant strip-mining invasion by the Consortium. The Skagans dream of going back there, not the least because it is the official breeding ground. I mean, we all want to go back home eventually, don't we?

Skull Stitch

A variation on cross-stitch, where instead of a cross shape, each of the stitches resembles a skull with an axe imbedded in it. Also known as ‘mad psycho-stitch’.


A Skagan woman. Always wanted to be a poet, but very good with engines too. Partner of Groat.


Secure Terrain for Orderly Parking. Ferguson Poordraw is CEO, with May Welby and Pietro Fairway as co-directors.


A distant country of coldness and lakes, famed for the beauty and height of its few inhabitants, who grow tall and blond in an attempt to reach what little light there is. First discovered by Earnest Swedway, and quickly abandoned again when he also discovered the size of the mosquitos. Repopulated many years later, after the invention of anti-aircraft weapons. The women are known across the galaxy for their compliance, and willingness to move to any country where they can marry for a local passport, and their make-up doesn’t have to contain anti-freeze.

Swipes, Faye

Blurgar sister of Len Swipes. As with all the tribe, she is a fighter, but has also studied dermatology. After marriage to 'Basil the Second Time Around' of Out, changed her name to Faye the Blurgar Saver.

Swipes, Len

Leader of the Blurgar barbarian tribes and practising optometrist. Brother of Faye.


Skagan second in command; the milder face of Skagan intelligence, but still like shooting guns and destroying things.

Tay, Kara

Gynoid creation of one of Tom’s other persona. Hates Tom but can’t dispose of him because of her original failsafe programming.


Total Bastard Parking—owned by Ferguson Poordraw. Evolved into the combined organisation, STOP.

Temporal Conduct Authority

The TCA was set up to stop all these time travellers mucking about with history. Disbanded after its last leader, Ferdinand Badloser, lost messily at tennis.

Tuesday, Mrs

Tea lady, nouveau Director of the SCT Incorporated Catering Kitchen (SICK) and Duchess of Twatt. The person you speak to if you have any unsolvable problems, or want a cup of coffee that really tastes like the beans smell.

Tween Space

There are thought to be several types of space: External Space, in which all the normal conditions rule, Inner Space, where thoughts, emotions and satire comes from, Tween Space where you go if you get really lost, and Third Space, where there is no thought, no emotion, and little energy—much like the content of some road planners’ heads.


Inhabitants of ‘Tween’ Space, of limited intellect, but easy to please, and willing to be educated. Seem to be all male.


UNIX - Universal Network Information Exchange, a vintage operating system, famous for its transparency in using the default administrator password, which it is mandatory never to change, and the fact that its programmers have to learn a secret language, understood only by those over the age of 60.


Skagan chief and head of security for SCT.

Vermicelli, Mycroft

Spokesperson for the common employee. Trade Union leader.

Welby, May

Owner of CRAP and lesser member of the new STOP triumvirate.

WIMPS or wimps

Weakly interacting massive particles—dark matter. His on/off girlfriend, Rannie, is of the opinion that the Magus converts himself to this when he performs his MUPPET telekinesis. She is still trying to find a practical application for it, but has only so-far succeeded in relocating teaspoons and ballpoint pens.

Young, Pete

Pete Young is a talented engineer, working for SCT. He took over from Old Pete when that worthy was blown up in the tragic accident that took out the original SCT Plank of directors.

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© Copyright 2018 Robert Wingfield - Updated 26 February 2018
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