Psionics in the Empire
Imperials live a very long time (2000+ years). In order to survive such long lives they have developed a very large mental capacity. Physically, their brains can’t hold enough memories to last more than a century. To counter this, each imperial’s brain can access an "external" memory unique to each individual. The exact nature of this eternal memory bank is unknown, however since the discovery of hyperspace, it has been determined that each individual’s memory bank is actually located in its own separate dimension somewhere between normal space and hyperspace. There are an infinite number of possible dimensions and no two individuals share the same external memory location. All phenomena referred to as psionics involves manipulation of this trans-dimensional brain.
Every imperial has at least some rudimentary telepathic abilities in order to access their memory.1 Some have greater skill than others. All telepathic abilities (mindspeak, mind control, possession, etc.) are channeled through a person’s trans-dimensional mind. This is the reason telepathic communication is instantaneous, signals are not transmitted through actual space but through another dimension. Often certain people are more susceptible each other’s telepathic abilities than normal. This is because their external minds are very close to each other and thus require a smaller dimensional leap to connect.
Most imperials have very limited telepathic ability. They live out their lives as many other species do, without telepathic contact to anyone except their own memories. These are the average latent citizens, only able to mindspeak with the help of a more powerful telepath. If a person develops the ability to reach beyond their own external mind, they are referred to as an operant. About 2.4% of the empire is at least partially operant, able to communicate with family members and close friends, those with minds on the same quantum or with strong, established links. About 0.0001% of the populace are fully operant, able to communicate with any other telepath, whether operant or latent.
It is theorized the an individual’s psionic capacity is related to how close their trans-dimensional mind is to hyperspace. Latents’ minds are very close to normal space because they don’t have the strength or ability to bridge the gap to higher quanta. Operants are able to reach higher dimensional quanta, allowing them the greater flexibility and power available as one approaches hyperspace. As an operant develops in mental power, their mind may shift closer to hyperspace. This is all conjecture, as there is no way yet to test these theories. The field of trans-dimensional physics has not progressed far enough to predict what would happen if someone’s mind reaches hyperspace, neither do we know what exists at higher quanta than hyperspace. Most TD physicists believe that hyperspace is the highest dimensional quantum available.
Very few imperials (less than 0.1% of the fully operant) possess the ability to psycho-kinetically manipulate mater on the material plane.2 These are referred to as Psychokinetics or PKs. PK abilities range from simple telekinesis, to force screens and teleportation. Most techniques are self taught, however, some can be learned. One such learned technique, the Trakem Ror, enhances the Imperials’ natural cellular regeneration enough to heal injuries in a matter of hours instead of weeks.
1There are a few individuals born with defects preventing telecommunication, they are either coached along into operancy by skilled psydocs or die before reaching two centuries age.
2The Dimensional Quantum Theory of Psionics states that operant PKs’ abilities stem through the manipulation of hyperspace which would explain why PK abilities function similar to technologies developed as a result of the discovery of hyperspace.