Spacecraft & Spycraft
The Psi Corps was founded in a hysterical moment in human history when psi powers were first recognized. Psi powers were not designed into the human genome but appeared en masse in 2178. These powers do not appear to automatically follow normal genetic patterns and nobody has successfully identified the gene responsible for these powers. This is in large part because the mass hysteria about such powers prevents thorough well-funded research.
Psychic manipulation is forbidden in virtually every colony in human space and the punishments are quite severe, usually starting at the death penalty and becoming rapidly more draconian from there. Governments, corporations, and criminal organizations compete to recruit psionic talent and jealously guard the people they have. Rumors of psionic slaves are common and probably true.
The Psi Corps was founded in 2200 when a government agent who was not previously known to be psychic prevented the assassination of the president of the Earth Alliance.
The Corps was originally established to protect, nurture and train humans with psi abilities, and to protect the mundane population from possible abuse or criminal activities by psionically talented individuals. At some point the Corps realized that it could not be effectively monitored by any external authority, and has developed a reputation for going its own way and sometimes overstepping its boundaries.
Psionic people who are not in the Corps are offered a choice. They can either join the Corps or take powerful drugs that suppress their powers. The drugs are administered by the Psi Corp and have serious negative emotional effects. Suicide is common among those who take the drugs.
When presented with the choice, many people run away and are hunted by the Psi Corps with lethal force. Because untrained psionic people can be such a danger to themselves and the community around them, assisting these runaways is an Earth Alliance felony.
The Corps keeps the bulk of their members away from the rest of humanity for the benefit of both the Corps and the mundane population. Corps members are assigned separate quarters, go to separate schools, and have a separate healthcare system. Rumors suggest that the Corps intrudes on the lives of their members in both large and small ways, one commonly acknowledged function is arranging marriages to create children with stronger psionic powers. Rumors say nothing about what happens to mundane children born of psionic parents, which is probably a really, really bad thing.
There are two major exceptions to the separation rule. The first is the biggest. The Corps offers psionic monitoring during conferences between organizations to ensure that neither side is lying. They offer a level of confidentiality that matches that of lawyers, doctors, and clergy and have never been caught breaking it. This is important because they charge a substantial fee for the service.
The second exception is in the area of law enforcement. The Psi Corps is very helpful in getting information out of people’s heads and dealing with psionic manipulation. On rare occasion they are called in to examine people who have been accused of extraordinary crimes to ensure that the person committed the act before the harshest sentences can be invoked. Psi Corps members who deal exclusively in law enforcement are called Psi Cops and tend to have an unhealthy reputation.
All Psi Corps members are required to wear uniforms at all times when dealing with the mundane population (grey for commerical transactions, black for law enforcement).
Psi-Corps has 12 Bureaus dealing with everything from inducting new psychics (Bureau 1) to contract negotiations (Bureau 8) to the Psi-Cops (Bureau 12). The bureaus are organized in the approximate order in which civilians are expected to encounter them and are a general indication of power level of the members of the Bureau.
The Psi Corps operates through the Earth Alliance but is most active in the Sol system.
Members: Unknown, probably over 20,000
Contacts: Police skills-15, Business-12
Member Traits: Legal immunity (12-) (Psi Cops have automatic Legal Immunity)
All members of the Psi Corps possess some level of psionic talent. Commercial agents need at least level 4 in Telepathy, Law enforcement agents need at least level 10. Very few psi corps members are believed to have higher than level 12. Most psi corps members are telepaths with some telekinetics and clairvoyants. No Psi Corps members have the ability to see the future or to physically heal people despite rumors to the contrary.