In the Hyperstorm Universe the cultures of the Consortium have found new mental capabilities through genetic manipulation and nanotechnological symbiosis. Commonly these powers are called psionics.
During the history of the Consortium humans have made the most progress in developing or studying psionics, but some other species have also developed or adapted similar abilities and technologies, some species even have natural psionic abilities. Most of these powers have been around now for hundreds of years – even longer in some cultures – and there are many different traditions and schools for the development and preservation of psionic abilities. In the Consortium there are a few official organizations devoted to the cultivation of these special gifts, but there are many other organizations operating underground hiding from the scrutiny of the Consortium officials. Psionic organizations have an important role in regulating and monitoring the use of these powers, but certain organizations also play an important social role in some of the cultures.
Psionics are divided into two very different types: psychics and nanetics. People gifted with psychic talents are commonly known as voyants and the people whose central nervous system is attuned and modified to control highly advanced nano-swarms with their thought and instinct alone are known as nanokinetics.
Also: Psychics, Seers, Espers, Witches
Voyants practice various psychic disciplines that can manifest as clairvoyance, prescience, telepathy and biokinetics. Humans have always had the potential in their genes, but it was only after the third enigma was deciphered when the first human voyants were born. Nibirans and louhos have their own voaynts, but they follow very different traditions than humans do.
The most well-known voyant organization in the Consortium is Ordo Verugenus, also known as the Verugenite Sisterhood. Ordo Verugenus is a matriarchal society that uses eugenic methods to breed more potent voyants. Other notable organizations include:
- Vala Templars – The valorous warrior-monks of the Louhos.
- The Silent Covenant – The mysterious and respected oracles of the Nibirans.
- The Cabal – The dreaded shape-changers who have devoted their psychic abilities to espionage and assassinations.
- Mentacore – Consortium’s secretive intelligence service and the highest authority in enforcing the psionic regulations in Consortium worlds.
In addition to the formal organizations and schools there are other traditions that usually operate either hidden or away from the reach of the Consortium’s tight monitoring. For example nomads have their bioshamans and some metacorporations employ “wild” freelance voyants to take care of their sensitive matters or psychic counter-measures.
Also: Cynaptics, NKs, Nics, Veilers
Nanokinetics are human fractals or Qu’ari who have formed a symbiosis with an intelligent nano-swarm and undergone an extensive nervous system augmentation that allows them to use nanetics to manipulate nano-swarms called nano-veils with high precision and speed. Other species can have nano-controller implants to control regular nano-swarms, but their nervous system just is not advanced enough to control the nano-veils.
Nano-veils consist of countless of microscopic nanomachines that can join and communicate together. Nano-veils are practically invisible when on stand-by, but when they are activated they form a kind of mist or veil around their controller. A nano-veil can manipulate matter on molecular level and change its own shape and state from gaseous form to a solid tendril or layer in matter of seconds or even milliseconds. As an example, a nano-veil can be used to create an optical camouflage, form a protective energy shield, shoot kinetic bolts or make solid appendages or clouds capable of manipulating objects. This gives nanokinetics almost magic-like powers and abilities similar to psychokinetics, but it has its price.
Nano-veils are singularity level AI technology and prohibited by the Consortium laws. Basically this means that any nanokinetic in Consortium space without Consortium’s mandate is considered an outlaw running around with potentially dangerous technology. How the player characters got their nano-veil is a story of its own and very good potential for some very interesting story hooks.
Another drawback to using nanetics is the physical strain the nano-veils can cause to their host or surroundings in extreme situations. Usually nano-veils will draw energy and matter from their surroundings without causing any harm, but in emergency the host can sacrifice their own body heat and biomass to replicate more nanomachines when necessary. When taken to the extremes this can be dangerous to the host’s health.