ESPers are those who possess what is called "ESP," alternatively known as "Extra-Sensory Perception" or "Extra-Sensory Potential." The basic requirement for ESP is for someone to be capable of performing extraordinary feats without the aid of artificial enhancement but simply with the power of their minds. There are many variations of ESP in the known sentient population; specific races or genetic sequences can permit a range of capabilities including telepathy, telekinesis, electrokinesis, and pyrokinesis.
A number of ESPers are independent agents. Some simply wish to live in peace as if they did not possess such capabilities. Others are drawn into organizations of ESPers that perform everything from mercenary services for the highest bidder to collective bargaining in providing service to a number of institutions. Some states draft all detected ESPers into government service, others persecute them, and yet others leave them alone. Religious institutions tend to either promote organizations for ESPers to live up to their religious creed or in some cases shun them. Finally, there are independent organizations of ESPers motivated more by ideals than money, who desire to make the universe a better place through application of their craft.
Types of ESPEdit
There are various forms of ESP capability. Some, like Empathy and Telepathy, are fairly common; others like Electrokinesis and Precognition are rarer.
The ability to send or receive emotional feelings.
The ability to send or receive sensory information (vision, hearing, touch, etc.), memories, and thoughts.
The ability to move or manipulate objects using the mind.
The ability to create or control fire with the mind.
The ability to create and control electrical charges and current with the mind.
Some ESPers train to use their mental abilities to improve their senses and physical capability. Agility, dexterity, strength, stamina, and the five normal senses are thus enhanced, turning an ESPer into an effective combatant, particularly in close-quarters situations.
The ability to acquire future information that cannot be deduced from presently available and normally acquired sense-based information.
Sense of PerceptionEdit
This is a catch-all term developed by the Institute for Neurological Research in the Altacaran Empire; the origins of the name are lost in the historical literature. It refers to a spectrum of closely related abilities that permit the ESPer to sense distributions of matter and energy around them, independent of the normal senses such as sight and touch.
Exact capabilities of ESPers with this gift vary in terms of distance, precision, and the range of phenomena that can be observed. The most common abilities classed under the "sense of perception" are the ability to identify the composition of materials, to find hollows or pockets of different materials buried inside a larger mass, or to discern the structure of otherwise invisible force fields. Some similarities to various forms of hyperwave deep-radar have been noted, but this may be coincidental.
The exact method by which the sense of perception functions is still not entirely clear; it is independent of light levels and can see through most normal matter easily. It does not, however, have any ability to penetrate anti-psi fields such as the Altacaran Null Field.
The ability to do one or more of the above through the use of rituals and/or verbal commands, such as song.
Many nations have attempted to quantify ESP power, but due to the fluctuating nature of ESP, most models only give rough outlines of ESP potential. The Anglian model has been adopted as an unofficial standard in several nations, though some powers utilize their own methods. Institutions in the United Solarian Sovereignty utilize the Aguero-Jabuzov Scale developed by the Foundation for Omega Point Experimentation.
ESP capabilities can be manipulated in various ways with certain technologies, most often to limit such capabilities, but sometimes also to enhance them for a variety of purposes.
Altacaran Null FieldEdit
Null fields are energy fields that dampen ESP abilities. Null field generators come in all shapes and sizes, but more powerful ones are typically larger and bulkier. More powerful ESPers can also overwhelm weaker null fields. Their purpose is to provide a means of limiting the abilities of ESPers against particular individuals or in certain locations, without making ESP abilities useless (hence the ability to overwhelm null fields).
Astropathics refer to the technological medium by which an esper's telepathy is boosted geometrically to allow for communications over vast distances, between planets and even across interstellar ranges and further, at the highest end even comparable to hyperwave and other similar methods of long distance FTL communications. In itself, astropathics presents no significant advantage over other methods of communication, indeed it has the disadvantages of not only requiring the mentallic gifts of select espers in order to actually function, but also the added complexity of interfacing the psychic mind with a machine designed to send and receive psionic messages across the vastness of the cosmos.
Moreover, unlike a normal FTL array that requires only power and energy to transmit over long-distances, the limits of the living beings incorporated into the astropathic apparatus also have to be taken into consideration - thus astropath operators are selected carefully, they are not just recruited from average telepaths (who themselves are already a rarity!). Also, as too much mental exertion can strain these astropaths, the messages they send are often deliberately decreased in psycho-resolution as the distances involved increase.
In Byzantium, astropathics was derived from Mechanicus research into linking parapsychic phenomena to the Immaterium, and vice versa. At first, it remained largely theoretical and experimental since conventional FTL communications already sufficed. But this changed with the Great Crusade, as the radically advanced technologies of the Tau Empire enabled them to intercept and decipher Byzantine communications with contemptuous ease. Byzantium desperately sought an edge in the conflict, and ultimately the God-Emperor decreed the utilization of astropathics to thwart the Tau's advantage. The aliens had minimal experience in parapsychic phenomena as they were incapable of such feats and in their conceit believed it to be beneath them, thus the development of astropathics came as a terrible surprise and greatly aided in the Byzantine war effort.
This led to the military and Administratum's common usage of astropathics in conjunction with conventional methods of communication. Conversely, when the Karlacks attacked Byzantium, psionically-interlinked bioforms were drawn to astropaths like moths to a flame, and the Aspects - themselves powerful psychics - were even able to intercept telepathic messages, which led to a number of stinging defeats at the claws of the Swarm. This caused a revision of astropathics, including the intensified mentallic encryption of telepathic messages, the esoteric phase shifting of transmissions to prevent interception and detection, and the mental protection of the astropaths. Modern astropathics are a long way from simple telepaths hooked to amplifiers, recent models are even able to transmute psionic signals to contact conventional communications systems.
Today, while astropathics are still rarely used by most nations due to the lack of any distinct advantage over conventional communications, its unorthodox nature still makes it favored by some, partly due to the difficulties in circumvention encountered by those inexperienced in psionics (as in the Tau), and also due to the paranoiac need to diversify communications technology and again to give any enemies a hard time in trying to crack a multitude of heavily encrypted signals ranging from hyperwaves to mindwaves.
A variety of methods have arisen in response to astropathics. Aside from Karlack augur organoids and hungry bioforms, Psycho-Kinetic Energy (PKE) meters can detect astropathic emissions and trace them to their sources. Macro-sized Blitzschlag Field Generators or Null Fields when focused and directed can also be used to jam astropathic apparatus when in close proximity. The Dominion and Shepistan have devised a variety of counters from their experiences with the Amplitur Choirs, and the Bragulans have supposedly done the same during the Running of the Apexai. Technomystic Sufis have also been rumored to listen in on the chants of Ork Wyrdboyz and the eldritch incantations of Servian dark elves echoing in the void of the far antispinward, and sometimes whisper dervish falsehoods into the litanies of these aliens to deceive them and make mischief.
Like other technologies, astropathics have their advantages, disadvantages, countermeasures and counters to those - though in the still uncertain field of ESP, the scientific and the fantastic may seem inseperable.
The product of CEID research into psionics, cerebroenergetic (CE) rigs, also known as CE Enhancers or Psi-Amps, are devices that boost the power of the mind beyond what the body can ordinarily tolerate, vastly increasing the power of a psion's metafaculties. CE rigs are almost universally very large devices: they usually include (amongst others) a dedicated dark energy generator, an armored full-spectrum life support sarcophagus (speculated to be based on stolen Adeptus Mechanicus designs), sophisticated spectrum transformers and crystal force-energy harmonizers manufactured by Selindil Iiirthuu Gesellschaft of Zedath-Kalesh, and a battery of computers hooked to the psion's man/machine interface to control the whole thing. These specialized devices enable even mediocre ESPers to generate impressive force-effects, and in the hands of the Directorate's trained psion operatives, the results can be truly astounding. Prolonged use of a CE Rig, however, is very dangerous and can burn out lesser minds in a matter of minutes. Pan-Empyrean Positronics manufactures CE Rigs exclusively for use by CEID and the military; because of their potentially dangerous and destructive effects, it is illegal for a civilian to possess or use one in much of the galaxy.
Centralist ESP Counter-CountermeasuresEdit
Given the great emphasis it places on ESPer ability in its intelligence services, the Centrality has gone to great lengths to research anti-anti-ESP technology in order to preserve the effectiveness of its ESPer agents.
A Null Disruptor surrounds the user with a shield that can disrupt the functioning of a null field. Depending on the model, it can protect the user for a few minutes or several hours. Disruptors used by the CIS are normally small, for purposes of concealment, and can only render a null field temporarily non-functional for a couple of minutes, meaning that an ESP operative will have to make best use of that time if he or she has to use ESP. Disruptors must recharge after use, which can take several seconds or a half-hour depending on the model; most CIS models usually take between five to ten minutes to recharge. Variants of the Null Disruptor include the Interrupter Disruptor, which was developed after a working interrupter field generator was stolen from the Humanist Union, and the Blitzschag Disruptor, which is a stronger verson that resists a Blitzschlag Field.
Nova Atlantean use of psi-jammers has led to the development of deflectors that can "deflect" the jamming from the user's mind. These devices are commonly used by psionic operatives.
A Psycho Hider covers the user with a field that renders psionics or PKEs unable to detect said user's psychic abilities, if only temporarily. Can be overwhelmed by a sufficiently advanced PKE or a powerful and determined psychic. Must recharge after use.
White Noise DampenerEdit
Soon after the discovery of Chamarran white noise generators, the CIS managed to capture a working model, which Centralist scientists studied intensely. The scientists designed what is commonly known among agents as the "White Noise Dampener" to protect "psykers" from its effects. While the protection given is not 100% effective, it allows telepaths to make better use of their abilities without being distracted too much by psionic "noise." This device is not as common as other ESP counter-countermeasures in the CIS inventory, given that white noise generators typically don't see as much use as null fields or Blitzschlag Fields.
Chamarran White Noise GeneratorEdit
A white noise generator broadcasts psionic "white noise" on most documented telepathic frequencies; only psykers are sensitive to this "noise," and the effect has been variously described as "bloody unpleasant" or "like a fire alarm going off next to you." The effect makes using psionic powers in general more problematic due to the interference. The white noise generator also provides an easy way of detecting even inactive psykers in the area of effect, as few psychic individuals are so steeled that they can show no reaction when under its influence.
The Nova Atlantean psi-jammer operates on a similar principle, though its mechanisms are quite different. In recent years, Nova Atlantean engineers have been working on new systems to circumvent attempts to counter attempts to shield psionic individuals from psi-jammers. A variety of psi-jammer variants have been employed, from small-scale thrown devices the size of grenades to large area-effect systems weighing dozens of tonnes.
If there are nullifiers, one would naturally expect that amplifiers would exist as well, and the Byzantine Imperium and the Centrality have both invested massive amounts of research into using technology to boost psionic abilities.
The fruit of the Centralists' efforts was the ESP Amplifier, a device that, as it name suggests, amplifies ESP. Models range in size and scale from personal devices to immense pieces of infrastructure, and there isn't a world in the Centrality that doesn't have an ESP Amplifier in it. The commoness of ESP Amplifiers in the Centrality has solidified the hold of the ESPer-dominated Centralist Party over the population, and aids in the detection and recruitment of ESPers. Contrary to some states, the Centrality actually is willing to export ESP Amplifiers, though many export models are in fact downgraded versions compared to those used by the Centralites.
Byzantine psychic amplifiers operate on the same general principles as Centralist ESP Amplifiers (though their actual mechanisms are considerably different) and are also available in different sizes and scales; the most powerful of these amplifiers are comparable to the Sovereignty's CE Rigs and the Centrality's largest ESP Amplifiers in terms of output. Unlike Centralist amplifiers, Byzantine amplifiers can also be made to operate in reverse, acting as a nullifying field for psychic powers as well. One would also naturally expect that such technology is closely guarded; the vast majority of amplifiers in use in the Imperium are controlled by the Imperial Inquisition.
ExtraSensory Perception Networks are not a specific technology per se, but a classification of the various methodologies used to psionically interlink and harmonize multiple minds, unifying them to exponentially improve both individual and collective efficiency. In military and combat terms, these can be used by the likes of squads of psychic soldiers fighting on the ground as well as esper starfighter pilots engaging in stellar dogfights, and all points in between. ESPN is an evolution of age old esper techniques like ancient Bendu group meditation katas, Dorei bonding-sacraments, and ritualistic Zigonian communal high-trances, though modern methods can range from the basic mentallic symbionization of a group of beings much like the aforementioned ancient techniques, up to technologically enhanced or amplified mindlinks to either boost signal strength, increase range or circumvent psionic countermeasures such as BFGs.
ESPN can range from the individual merely sensing the locations and mental states of his or her partners, to much more detailed extrasensory perceptions including seeing exactly what the other person sees and feeling what the other person feels. This can even extend to the point where blinded persons, or those operating in vehicles with damaged sensors, can rely on the ESPN and use the sensory feedback from other minds to compensate for their handicaps. The effectiveness of ESPN varies with the specific method used, the presence of enhancive technologies, the distances covered by the psychic links, if there are anti-psychic countermeasures active, the sensitivity and psycho-alacrity of the minds symbionized to the network, and a variety of other factors. It goes without saying that without large astropathic arrays ESPN cannot cover vast distances, and is in fact classified as a sub-astropathic tactical-séance by the Byzantine Imperium.
Additionally, high-tech psionite forces are known to use both ESPN and other existing post-conventional cogno-communicative systems - such as the non-psychic nanotech Sons of the Patriots system used by both Haruhiist SOS and Solarian USMC forces, and the cybercerebellar endoscrying organs of the Byzantine Astartes - in conjunction to provide a highly redundant multisystemic meta-synthetic aperature sensorium covering all spectrums of perception up to the high frequency bands of esoterica. Modifications of the aforementioned post-conventional cogno-communicative systems can allow non-psions to connect to ESPNs with varying degrees of detailedness in the psycho-resolution.
Aside from the ancient methods analogous to ESPN, races such as the Amplitur, the Apexai, and the Karlack Swarm have also used similar, but obviously much greater, psycho-mentallic methods to coordinate entire warfleets and navies in vast interstellar wars. In the case of the Swarm, practically all combat bioforms are psionically interlinked to the synapse-creatures overlording them, which are in turn connected to the Aspects.
In the United Solarian Sovereignty, ExtraSensory Perception Networking is termed as a metachoir by CEID and the Foundation for Omega Point Experimentation. The term originates from the favored pastime of Apexai children, involving the symbionization of thoughts and minds as a form of group play.
In the Centrality, tactical ESPN equipment are often used by specialist psychic units. The ESPN Mk. 8, nicknamed "The Ocho", is used by the Navy's esper starfighter aces to attune the pilots of a fighter squadron to each other. The increased levels of coordination allows for breathtaking maneuvers in aerospace shows and lethal attacks in combat.
An anti-ESPer technology developed in the Humanist Union, with effects, advantages, and disadvantages broadly similar to the more common null field generator. While interrupter field generators are not as powerful and somewhat more bulky than other anti-ESPer technologies, the interrupter field generator is rugged, fairly simple to maintain, and slightly less costly. Large examples of these devices are employed by the Union's civilian and military apparatus; government districts are totally covered by these defensive fields.
A Tianguo technology, this allows power input (typically electrical, but plasma and other types can be used) to be turned into mana, which can be directed by a Moshushi to a specific end (or used by a continuing spell for power).
Nova Atlantean CyberizationEdit
An unintentional byproduct of the Nova Atlantean cyberization process is that of psionic termination. All psionically inclined individuals who have undergone said process have had any and all psionic potential they might have had removed permanently as a result. At the same time, the minds of those who have upgraded to the Nova Atlantean standard of posthumanity are harder for the psionically inclined to read and detect. Reading the mind of a posthuman has been described as akin to a radio broadcast with a fair bit of static, although it is claimed that the effects that the machine components have on the mind make this comparison true only to a certain extent.
While not a "technology" per se, orichalcum—-an exotic alloy of chozium, trinium, rubiconium derivatives, and other exotic elements—-has a noticeable anti-psychic effect when shaped into certain forms. These orichalcum "wards" affect the fundamentals of space-time, in effect making a segment of the universe less permeable to psychic phenomena. This makes even the most basic of psychic acts beyond the abilities of most ESPers, essentially turning them into non-ESPers. Alternatively, an orichalcum ward may be used to protect the wearer against psychic effects originating from elsewhere, including metacognition and precognition. While a set of three wards, utilizing about 50 grams of pure orichalcum, is sufficient to protect the wearer from most psychic effects, more powerful ESPers may require more material to neutralize. Other wards may be used to block out the effects of anti-ESP measures like BFG fields (albeit at the price of nullifying the user’s own psychic abilities).
One of the more curiously designed psychic amplification technologies, psionic accelerators, colloquially known simply as psi-accelerators or Psi-Axes, are portable devices used by certain units of the SOS Imperial Marine Corps. What distinguishes the psi-accelerator from other amplification devices are the form that it takes and its method of operation: The standard psi-accelerator is modeled in the form of a guitar and, though it provides a measure of passive amplification simply by having the device in one's possession, it must be "played" exactly like a guitar in order to use it to its full potential. In any case, its unorthodox design does not detract one bit from its sheer effectiveness. Even a single ESPer of otherwise-middling abilities can produce impressive effects just by playing a simple riff on a Psi-Ax, while a team of ESPers with Psi-Axes working in concert with each other can generate truly complex and devastating psychic attacks. The Psi-Ax also comes equipped with a warp field generator in its body, allowing it to be used as a melee weapon; a modified M86 saber is also hidden in the neck of the device and can be pulled out at a moment's notice.
Developed by the Unconventional Warfare Corps in the 33rd century, the Rottpsiler is a genetically engineered strain of canine derived from Rottweiler stock that possesses psionic potential, hence the breed's name. Rottpsilers physically resemble considerably larger, more heavily-built versions of regular Rottweilers and typically weigh in at 150-200 kilograms. Rottpsilers have intelligence greater than most canines and can live up to fifty years, but are non-sapient. Contrary to what many would expect, Rottpsilers are generally passive by nature, although they are still quite loyal to their masters. Rottpsilers' psionic abilities are generally limited to empathy, telepathy (in praticular snooting out those who are lying, have hostile intentions and psionics who are hiding their abilities), telekinesis (typically used simply to shove or throw objects), and psionic defense, though occasional examples of other talents have been observed. Rottpsilers are most common within the Nova Atlantean Commonwealth, where they are used by law enforcement, certain units of the Commonwealth Army, and the UWC; the UWC in particular also utilizes cybernetically-enhanced Rottpsilers. Outside the Commonwealth, Rottpsilers are typically encountered either as working animals for particularly well-funded police forces or as pets belonging to the wealthy.
ESPer Policies Among Nations and RacesEdit
The Altacar Empire is extremely tolerant towards ESPers and the like. Only in matters of safety, privacy, and national security are there limits; for example, the Royal Family and both Houses of Parliament are protected by "null field" technology which negates ESP abilities within the area of effect.
Only a tiny minority amongst Argenti citizens possess ESP ability. Each citizen with proven ESP ability must be registered under the Department of Psionics (under the Interior Ministry) and wear bracelets that identify them as such. ESPers are constantly monitored by both the Department of Psionics and Section 8 of the Argenti Security Unit (responsible for dealing ESPers). Anyone refusing to submit to government regulations are declared rogue and stripped of their citizenship.
Most government buildings and corporate HQs are equipped with ESP-nullifiers to prevent any untoward incidents. Military installations and ships also feature nullifiers as standard equipment.
Bragulans are incapable of ESP and are psionically nonconductive, similar to Chamarrans and the Tau. Nevertheless, exposure to the likes of the Apexai, the Byzantines, the Solarians and even the Karlacks has made the Bragulan Star Empire extremely paranoid in regards to psionics. Thus the BSE has incorporated a comprehensive anti-esper system much like that used by Shepistan, although different in one crucial respect. Instead of omnipresent Blitzschlag Field Generators saturating areas with psyk-out emissions, the BSE instead utilizes Psychokinetic Energy (PKE) detectors integrated into its universal societal surveillance system and the anti-personnel defenses pervading its militarized society. The method is passive-aggressive, should any esper trespass Byzon's dominion, rather than reveal the true extent of Bragule's anti-psychic measures, the esper will remain unaware of these threats even when using his or her psionic powers, which will mark the unsuspecting esper out to the IBGV for processing - a euphemism for procedures ranging from continuous surveillance to outright summary combustion. This technique is not as easily detected as BFGs, and is thus harder to evade, making it far more insidious and in keeping with the doctrines of Bragskirovka.
These are the general psyker precautions in mainstream Bragulan society. Within the vital areas of military and governance, various passive-aggressive and active-aggressive psychic shielding and detection methods are utilized to protect things of import to Bragule from the mentallic clutches of its countless enemies.
The Imperium's policy towards any citizen that bears any form of psychic potential is simple: the citizen is immediately drafted from a young age into the Imperial Inquisition and is subject to intense training to ensure that they have the discipline and the ability to control their powers. Their psychic potential is heavily evaluated at every step of the way, and they are allocated tasks as per their abilities and knowledge. Some become field operatives in the Inquisition, or even soldiers or Space Marines, or even scientists specializing in psychic engineering. Rogue Psykers are hunted down by Inquisitorial forces, and are often either 're-educated' or simply executed if proven recalcitrant. Void shields and psychic amplifiers grant the Imperium the ability to shield against any rogue psyker attack, and psychic amplifiers allow the Imperium to amplify its own psychic attacks.
The Centralist government has been dominated by ESPers since the beginning, and thus are highly respected and feared by the citizenry. Potential ESPers are registered since birth, and are sent to special schools to develop their abilities. As they age they are sent to more specialized facilities to train for government service. After "graduation," ESPers are sent to a Center (analougous to a Department) which their training prepared them for. It goes without saying that the President has the right to choose his succesor from the ESPer population. The Centrality is home to a significant number of powerful ESPers, but presently there is no one Centralist ESPer capable of matching either Heraclius XX Komnenos or Haruhi Suzumiya, the two most powerful human ESPers that currently exist, as well as the Karlack OVERMIND. The Centrality has long planned to do something about this perceived power gap, but all attempts to create a so-called "Perfect ESPer" have been unsucessful. Despite these setbacks, however, the Centralists have never stopped trying. All inhabited Centralist planets have ESP Amplifiers, running the gamut from small local devices to large pieces of infrastructure. This gives Centralist ESPers a marked home-field advantage, and actually stimulates ESP development.
As they lack psionic potential, Chamarrans are distrustful of psychers, keeping close tabs on the activities of those living in Hierarchy space. To restrict the travel options of psychers and to maintain government security, most checkpoints, sensitive areas, and noble houses are screened by psionic activity sensors, psychic white noise generators, or both. Misuse of psionic powers is dealt with harshly in Hierarchy space due to the risk of espionage.
In theory, given that the Chamarran species is derived from human stock, the genetic potential for psychic abilities still exists, but is merely dormant. In practice, however, attempts at reawakening this potential through genetic manipulation have largely been unsuccessful.
There are three main types of Eoghan gifted above the mundane: Listeners, who are able to listen to the eldritch undercurrent of space; Whisperers, who have miniscule abliity to influence the local eldritch power; and Callers, who can bring forth eldritch constructs into real space. However, both Whisperers and Callers suffer from vastly decreased lifespans, so much so in the case of Callers that it is rare for one to make it far into their third decade. Listeners have reported that common anti-ESP devices usually quash the local currents and as such are usually seen as a respite from the crawling chaos that the Listeners live their lives with (although despite this, there is always reported to be some voices that leak through on the interstellar winds). Whisperers and Callers react more typically to such devices.
Various cults, of both the violent and respectable variety, make use of the gifted as more of a rule than the government.
Ascendant ESPers, unusually, are not carefully-harvested resources or the result of government programs. Indeed, largely as a result of the second Lady Ascendant's intense distrust of telepaths, ESPers are by-and-large excluded from government positions and are required to introduce themselves as ESPers before speaking to anyone acting in an official capacity. Most Ascendant cities, and all Ascendant Navy vessels, are equipped with ESP jammers built on the Altacaran pattern. Recently, Ascendant anti-ESPer regulations have been loosened considerably as a result of Lady Sikala II's campaign against historical artifacts.
ESPers are held in very high esteem within the Holy Empire; indeed, the Empress herself is one of the most powerful ESPers in all of known space, matched only by the likes of Heraclius XX Kommenos and the Karlack OVERMIND. All ESPers within the Holy Empire are required to enroll in special schools in order to develop their skills; as they age, they are sent to more specialized facilities in order to prepare them for some kind of government service (typically military, law enforcement, or espionage). ESPer immigrants from other countries are often encouraged to join the military or civil services in order to be placed on the fast track to citizenship, though they are free to live as civilians and earn their citizenship the "normal" way if they so choose.
While ESPers in the Holy Empire are obviously accorded the same rights as their non-psionic kin, they are still subject to various laws governing when and where they can use their powers. Psionic nullifiers, mostly variations on the standard Altacaran null field generator design, are employed heavily in major civilian and military installations.
The Karlack Swarm considers all ESPers as high-value targets which must be added to the Hive Mind; the OVERMIND finds them useful in the further evolution of the Karlack race. Although the Swarm will not deliberately attack ESPers of other nations unless in case of war, those unlucky enough to find themselves in Wild Space or somewhere without protection, whether by military forces or diplomatic means of their home nation, can expect to be pursued by agents of the Swarm. Once caught, all psychic individuals are infested and added to the swarm, thus serving the OVERMIND. Only the most powerful ESPers, such as Alyxia Komemnos, are turned into Aspects.
In New Anglia ESPers are accorded full rights and, once identified and with individual capabilities determined, are given classes on the use of their abilities. Education choices range widely from ESPer-specific classes in both public and private schools to special ESPer-only boarding schools. Membership in specific ESPer organizations can also lead to further education and even refinement of powers, while the Government actively courts ESPer recruits for the military and civil services. Among the alien races of the Empire are some divergent approaches; the Trill have special schools for ESPers and encourage civil service employment while the Dorei tend to see their ESPers go into religious Orders of various size and purpose such as the Order of the Deity's Chosen and the Order of the Silver Moon.
Nothing is known outside of the Kyrptonian Empire about the current status of ESPers inside of the empire, except for the fact that the limited genetic samples of material that have been obtained would indicate that all Kryptonians have a mild form of ESP. How this is manifested is not clear to the wider galactic population.
There are a few psionic individuals among the Commonwealth's population, and the military (in particular the Unconventional Warfare Corps) does make some use of psionics. Psionic individuals are kept under comparatively tight supervision; screening processes are carried out to identify psionic abilities among the population, and psionics must receive mandatory implants to keep tabs on them and to inhibit their abilities should they be used to nefarious ends. To control psionics, devices known as psi-jammers are used, which emit pulses of psionic "noise" which disorient psionic invididuals in a similar manner to how a flashbang grenade would affect normal people. The population of the Commonwealth is in general not actively hostile to psionics, but they do believe that psionics are ultimately an evolutionary dead end when compared to melding man and machine together. The process of full cyberization into posthumanity has the notable side effect of disabling all psionic abilities in the individual in question and making their thoughts garbled and hard to read by the psionically inclined (though they are still susceptible to the more physical manifestations of psionic abilities, such as telekinetics or electrokinesis).
ESPer treatment varied under Outlander laws, but they were generally tolerated with distrust and hostility. The Arayna, as a result of their exodus, possess a relatively limited genetic pool lacking in significant ESPer presence, and as such they are often openly hostile to foreign ESPers while extremely supportive of their own, who normally go on to serve in the Crescent Thought, a religious order. The Mechanicals evaluate each ESPer on their own merits and judge them accordingly - but any dishonest use of abilities is punished by death or lobotomy. The Mari, possessing a mild form of empathy as a basic species trait, do not consider many low-level ESPers to be abnormal but are hostile to those of high potency or prophetic bent. The Airaii despise all ESPers as "witches," a policy that has led to a great deal of conflict with the Mari, Angmarids, and Arayna; they themselves produce rare individuals capable of physical enhancement and mild telekinesis, the majority of whom are murdered while young. The Angmarids, finally, are in a distinctly unusual position; almost half of their "E" sub-species possess some manner of extremely mild to moderately pronounced psionic ability, but are unable to manipulate any species removed from the Angmarid brain structure (with some extremely rare exceptions), including the more wildly divergent "D" sub-species.
ESPers in the Pfhor Empire are tightly regulated, with them being required to either swear fealty to the Imperial College of Esoterica, or attach themselves to one of several private, Imperially Chartered organizations. ESPers who do not attach themselves soon after the discovery of their abilities quickly find themselves on the run from the law, often being experimented on if they are caught alive.
The Refuge has no ESPers, and thus has an official stance of observing and gathering information on the phenomenon before making a final decision. However, the usual response of Refugees towards ESP can be described simply as "sheer, unadulterated terror."
Known simply as Espers within the Shinra Republic, these gifted individuals are generally accepted by the Republic. While most find themselves in government or military service, such duty is not a requirement. Nevertheless, considerable effort is expended to monitor and police all Espers who are within Republic borders. The use of ESP-nullification technology is common around sensitive government and military facilities, as well as protecting Army and Fleet units from Esper attacks or other interference.
ESPers are required to be registered and have mandatory training to teach them to control their powers. An ESPer who has completed this program may continue civilian life unhindered, so long as they do not abuse their powers. However, in a relatively rare case of successful memetic engineering by the Sultan's government, continuing on to join the Klavostani Intelligence Service's ESPer branch is generally seen as the natural thing to do, to best use their powers to help their fellow citizens. Anti-ESPer equipment of various foreign and local manufactures are used to secure sensitive locations.
The Umerian gene pool is relatively ESPer-poor, and ESPers do not play a major role in Umerian government except incidentally (ESPers selected for reasons other than their abilities). The Foreign Intelligence Directorate cultivates large numbers of ESPers; almost any Umerian citizen with noticeable psychic ability is vetted for recruitment into ForInt, though only a minority are actually brought in. There are few laws governing use of telepathic power; common law precedents tend to pigeonhole legal issues arising from psionics into preexisting conventional legal categories.
Umeria makes extensive use of Altacaran null-field generators in major public buildings and has developed some minor variations of its own on the technology, mostly in the form of extremely miniaturized generators that work at low power and small scale.
One of the few subtypes of ESPer power in which the Technocracy is a leader is the "sense of perception"; the Ministry of Research has made an exhaustive study of how to harness this power, mostly for scientific research. Umeria also cultivates research into other forms of ESPer power with industrial or scientific applications, such as electrokinesis. The private Waterville Association is a leading authority on the discipline of metacognition, a method of boosting intuition and effective intelligence by use of precognition.
Moshushi are registered by the goverment, but generally have the same freedom of action as any other Tianguo national. This is in large part due to the need for a mana converter in order to create large scale effects. Moshushi who commit crimes are punished like any other individual, up to, and including, deletion of backups and death.
Practically all psions in the Sovereignty can trace their origin back to CEID's human-Apexai hybridization project, and due to carefully controlled conditioning the first two generations of hybrids were almost exclusively in the service of the Directorate. With the advent of the third generation, however, psions have begun to filter into the general population. These psions are free to go where they please and do as they like: the attitude of Solarian society towards espers, psykers and psions can be summarized as supreme insouciance. Indeed the law is more restrictive of psyk-out technology than it is of psions themselves: citizens are free to employ null field technology in their residences or businesses, but not outside it, and there is for example no such technology covering the Senate or the Presidential Palace. Blitzschlag fields and other potentially harmful anti-psi technologies, including null fields over a certain wattage treshold, are banned entirely.
The reason for the Sovereignty's relaxed attitude is part cultural, part organizational. The cultural aspect is that, for the most part, citizens just don't care all that much about their privacy and are by necessity hardened against basic memetic attacks by virtue of permanent exposure to corporate smartvertising, whilst genuinely sensitive data will be kept out of squishy heads to begin with. The thinking is that those who are potential targets of mental coercion will have protected themselves against such a thing, whilst those who haven't, aren't. The organizational angle meanwhile is that all hybrid psions are members of the Silver Shield, the psionic brotherhood-cum-trade union. The syndicate polices its own ranks, whilst CEID takes care of any external wannabe wrongdoers. This setup has ensured that the Sovereignty needs not rely on the often draconian anti-psi measures taken by some other polities.
- Center of Special Abilities (The Centrality)
- CEID (United Solarian Sovereignty)
- Central Intelligence Service/CIS (The Centrality)
- Commonwealth Unconventional Warfare Corps Division 5 (Nova Atlantean Commonwealth of Worlds)
- Central Security Bureau/CSB (The Centrality)
- Goujia Moshushi (Tianguo)
- Imperial College of Esoterica (The Pfhor Empire)
- Imperial Inquisition (Byzantine Imperium)
- Imperial Security and Intelligence Service (Holy Empire of Haruhi Suzumiya)
- Institute for Neurological Research (Altacar Empire)
- Party Oversight and Supervision Commitee/POSC (The Centrality)
- Special Force/Corps (The Centrality)
Mercenary Groups and OrdersEdit
- The Crescent Thought (former Outlander Commissions)
- Indigo Tribe
- The Order of Saint Michael the Archangel (Catholic Church)
- The Sisters of Saint Jean of Tessaly (Catholic Church)
- The Society of the Helpers of the Holy Children (Catholic Church)
- The Order of St. Mary Magdalene (Catholic Church)
- The Order of the Clerks Regular of Holy Providence (Catholic Church)
- Eclipse (Nonaligned)
- Order of the Black Star (The Centrality)
- Foundation for Omega Point Experimentation (United Solarian Sovereignty)
List of Prominent ESP-capable Individuals, Past and Present (by Nation and Race)Edit
- Heraclius XX Komnenos (Emperor of the Byzantine Imperium)
- Dovan Aybeem (Founder of the Centrality and the Centralist Party; deceased)
- Gabriel Enduvos (President of the Centralist Party and Dictator of the Centrality; assasinated 14 February 3400)
- Viso Fredon (General Secretary of the Central Party; member of the Triumvirate)
- Falko Tredell (Secretary of State of the Centrality; member of the Triumvirate)
- Tagdef Borlon (Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Centrality; member of the Triumvirate)
- Ravin Nostrum (Foreign Secretary of the Centrality)
- Dirad Kierger (President of the Centralist Party and Dictator of the Centrality from 8 January 3401; successor to Gabriel Enduvos)
- Lord Redav (Member of the Order of the Black Star)
- Ailill Faolán (Detective Magister of the EUC; Listener)
- Haruhi Suzumiya (Empress of the Holy Empire)
- Yuki Nagato (General Secretary)
- Itsuki Koizumi (Secretary of Home Affairs)
- Ryoko Asakura (Director of ISIS)
- Emiri Kimidori (Assistant Director of ISIS)
SOS Imperial Armed ForcesEdit
- Homura Akemi (Field Marshal, SOS Imperial Marine Corps)
- Madoka Kaname (Field Marshal, SOS Imperial Marine Corps)
- Sayaka Miki (Field Marshal, SOS Imperial Marine Corps)
- Mikoto Misaka (Major General, SOS Imperial Marine Corps)
- Kyoko Sakura (Field Marshal, SOS Imperial Marine Corps)
- Kuroko Shirai (Colonel, SOS Imperial Marine Corps)
- The Sisters (clones of Mikoto Misaka; various ranks [Captain and Major most common], SOS Imperial Marine Corps)
- Mami Tomoe (Field Marshal, SOS Imperial Marine Corps)
- Alyxia Komnenos (Aspect)
- Sasha "The Leader" (Dictator)
- Stephen "Sephiroth" Roth (Marshal General, Shinra Republic Army)
- Kevin "Kefka" Palazzo (Marshal, Shinra Republic Army)
- Dr. Susan Warren-Marshall (Second Technarch for Ecology)
- Gwen Hsu (King of Tianguo)
- Zheng Jiao (Commander, Goujia Moshushi)
- Charlotte Estaçãdo-D'ys-Vandemir (Regeneratrix of the Silver Shield)
- Abielle Magritte (Director of CEID)
- Agents Friday, April, June (senior field agents for CEID Zero)
- Sirocco Montague (Wild Geese mercenary)
- Hayate Yagami (Colonel, Imperial Belkan Ground Force, Belkan Empire)
- Signum (1st Lieutenant, Imperial Belkan Ground Force, Belkan Empire)
- Vita (2nd Lieutenant, Imperial Belkan Ground Force, Belkan Empire)
- Hilda I Alexandria Atlan (Queen of the Kingdom of Fynn)
- Reina II Carlota Schweizer (Grand Duchess of the Grand Duchy of Tyconia)
- Sarisa Marianne Schweizer (Crown Princess and Heiress-Presumptive of the Grand Duchy of Tyconia)