I know that there are those who would disagree with the idea of putting psychic abilities like telepathy, clairvoyance and all that in a hard science setting. Well, considering that I have an entire faction that heavily feature the presense of Super Mutants, such objections are out the window. Not only that, but the setting of the Crongus Wars is Hard Space Opera, not hard sci-fi. As if that weren't enough, if Robert A. Heinlein can have psychics in his novel Starship Troopers, why shouldn't I?
Okay, enough author note rambling, let's start this shall we?
Now then, in the Milky Way Galaxy almost every sapient species have had a psycho-mutate within their genetic pool population. The frequency of emergence and period to which they emerge and accepted by contemporary science as fact varies from species to species and is not always consistent. Some have emerged deep into antiquity, while others only emerged en mass during the period of interplanetary, if not interstellar exploration and colonization.
What is consistent, however, are the biological and anatomical factors that an overwhelming majority, if not all Psionic Individuals have as their base attributes. The central nervous system of a Psionic Individual is enlarged compared to a Psy-Mundane equivalent of the species. As a result, the skulls and vertebral column or rough biological equivalent are equally enlarged to accommodate the extra neural mass. However, such additional neural mass does not occur during pregnancy or equivalent due to limited nutritional intake during development. And since a mass majority are born through the same anatomical system of their Psy-Mundane brethren, such neural growth and development occur during the early years of childhood.
Though there is a greater intake of nutrition for such development, compared to the Psy-Mundane the Psionic Individual has a delayed growth in response to the reproductive method on which both share. Though the delayed mental processes of development varies from species to species, on average it is slowed by as much as seventy-five percent. Far longer than a Psy-Mundane with mental disabilities even under expert adolescent psychological care.
Still, even with delayed mental development, the Psionic Individual begins to manifest their abilities approximately around puberty. Mental maturity of both psychic abilities, social and emotional understanding, however occur later in life.
Finally, the Psionic have a handedness or dominant manipulator that is generally opposite of the mainstream population. In human societies, this is the equivalent of left-handedness or southpaw. Though not all these features automatically equate to a Psionic individual, but the chances are astronomically high for such potential.
Even then, the abilities of the Psionics are not as all powerful as portrayed in modern media. Nor is it universal since a vast majority of Psionic abilities are psychic resonance and must have the highest compatibility between the Psionic and Psy-Mundane. Since the central nervous systems of sapient species are so vastly different from one another on structure alone, a Psionic cannot access the mind of an alien Psy-Mundane or even an alien Psionic. Even within the same species, variations on the central nervous system make it all the more difficult for the Psionic to use their abilities upon others. The anatomical and biological gender along with the mental sex must be similar if not the same, speak the same language, and have a similar level of education. A poorly educated Psionic is unable to access the higher forms of intellectual thought of a well educated Psy-Mundane due to limited reference. The opposite is equally true of a well educated Psionic being unable to access equal forms of intellectual thought of a poorly educated Psy-Mundane. Additionally, similar levels of physical fitness must also be considered due to the nature of psychic resonance. If an athletic Psionic attempts such a resonance with an obese Psy-Mundane, the different heart rates would cause a biometric imbalance that would ultimately culminate in cardiac arrest and even death.
....Okay, maybe not like THAT. But we'll get to that later. Anyway, overuse of psionic abilities over too long a period of time does lead to increase frequency of migraines and an equivalent difficulty to alleviate them. So no nosebleeds are shown for use of high strain psionic abilities, or any form of psionic use for that matter. Generally, it means that they're about to go into cardiac arrest and need medical aid ASAP.
However, even if all variable have been isolated and mental compatibility is high, there is no guarantee that what the Psionic senses is as clear as seen in modern media. Nor is it as vivid as any dream sequence or drug hallucination in visual media. At least, not for low powered Psionics. Such Psionic Individuals are incredibly rare to have such potential and even then must have years of training and field experience to even have such clarity that an Atomic Magnetometer-based Mind Reader with the correct software and digital reference library is able to perform.
The only reason any government agency would expend such resources, even resort to decoded neurofeedback techniques to shorten the training period of such high powered Psionic Individuals is simple: Legality. In most interstellar governments, it is unlawful to perform such a Mind Reader upon an individual without a warrant and permission from the individual in question for the information to even be permissible in court. Often times, such permission is not given from the individual in question for a variety of reasons, though most often it is the unwillingness of cooperation.
A Psionic Individual, however, can give permission and even be allowed as a a witness in a court of law. Though often then not, such testimony is accompanied by data gathered by the Mind Reader computer. Generally, this comes in the form of whether a statement from said individual was factual or fictional and in what emotional state the individual was in due to how weak psionic abilities are compared to the other five senses nearly all sapient species possess. In short, a vast majority of telepathic Psionic Individuals are actually Empaths.
Due to such utilization, Psionic Individuals tend to develop a specific case of Haphephobia due to the method in which psionic abilities are generally made manifest: physical touch.
Unlike what is seen in contemporary media, Psionic Individuals don't "broadcast" their psychic abilities across a distance. Rather, there must be a physical connection not unlike an Ethernet connection on modern computer networks, and generally the hands and fingertips are placed upon the base of the skull or top of the neck for better reception. Though there is some data transfer through certain, thin fabrics of articles of clothing, bare flesh-to-flesh is best.
For those who worry about Psionic Individuals being able to rewire the mind of a Psy-Mundane, there's no need to fear. The natural Individuality Barrier, which also ensures that the Psionic Resonance doesn't leave any residual biometric abnormalities after the connection is broken, prevents such a thing from occurring. Think of them as an invisible AT Field-
.... Okay, maybe not like THAT, but the theory's about the same.
However, there is a psionic ability that even Psy-Mundane are able to access, though under limited and random circumstances: Precognition.
To be exact, due to the collective unconsciousness of a certain sapient species made manifest through a Morphogenetic Field, an individual is able to sense imminent danger from either oneself or loved ones such as offspring. Though this does not manifest in an acute sense of the future, but rather a sensation of foreboding that if things progress the way they are, death will occur.
Naturally, this variation of precognition heavily depends upon a density of other individuals involved and even then it does not occur immediately or reliably. Still, this is one of the few psionic abilities that could be broadcast. The other being Clairvoyance or ESP in which the Psionic Individual is able to utilize the collective unconsciousness to view and experience a remote location. Though the reliability of the information gathered from ESP depends upon the density of the population within the location, and even then it takes a Psionic Individual years of training in order to even consciously "visit" the desired location. Often times, such "Astral Projection" is random and seemingly hold little logic.
As for those who think that Clairvoyance/ESP can allow one to visit other planets or even other solar systems in "real time"? Forget it. The speed of light largely limits Clairvoyance/ESP to local planetary systems such as the Earth-Moon system. At least, when it comes to expedient results.
When it comes to psionic-based Psychokinesis, the sapient species of the Milky Way Galaxy simply cannot perform such incredible abilities due to the limited nature of their own Psionic Individuals in that they can't broadcast such psionic abilities across empty space. In fact, they can't perform such feats at all. The same can be said of Psionic Individuals being able to sense another or at least their use: they can't due to the nature of psychic abilities. Even Clairvoyance/ESP isn't so easily sensed since it's spread over a wide area and can't be pinpointed accurately, though then again due to the limited broadcast psychic ability it wouldn't help them at all.
However, there have been rumors and legends about the Psionic Individuals of Golden Age Earth that were able to perform such powerful psy-abilities that would have made them one-man armies. However the Third and Fourth Global Wars on Terror in addition to the Great Global War have caused these powerful bloodlines to become extinct. Still, rumors persist that there are precious few descendants who live in secret across the shadows of the galaxy, for fear that they will be used as weapons of war.
Are such tall tale of fancy true? Are there any truth to such myths? It is unknown, but also ill-relevant for there are other abilities that are far more powerful. But that's a topic for another time....
Anyway, discuss below and please, try to be civil in your responses. And speaking of responses, I would respond more easily if you display your screen name in your comments.
Get your Portable ID!