The Body changes; the Mind deranges. What if telepathy was a disease? What if the
vector was a parasite? What if an implanted Great Mind could awaken certain Urges
to alter your consciousness?
ESPERS are the things that people are afraid of when they mention 'mind-control
government' and 'strange people', those parts of the body of society that are
sick in both flesh and spirit. ESPERS are people, but not like us. They lead
misplaced lives, falling through the cracks of normal civilization because
of adaptation problems, anti-social activities or behavioural maladjustment.
And they can bend your mind into any shape imaginable.
ESPERS are people with special mental powers. Those powers are not the result
of training or magical ability but are borne of genetic mutation and parasitic
infection. Things have invaded the bodies of humans for two decades now but
only in individuals with a certain unique heritage have they caused such a
change in biochemistry that even the convoluted patterns of the brain have
been altered. The only problem is that these people then become very sick,
either emotionally or physically, and their condition is almost impossible
to detect. Young ESPERS almost always fail in conventional life, and many
are considered insane as they slowly percolate through the layers of society
until they end up in half-way houses or homeless shelters, not knowing what
was happening to them, but sure that it is a terrible curse. In a disease-ridden
world, scarcely anyone pays any attention to their problems; their eerie
behaviour usually being enough to dissuade any concerned social worker.
Espers tend to towards two types: blenders and bursters. Blenders seem to
an a tremendous (sub-conscious) ability to mask their formidable powers
even from themselves. Their abilities develop slowly over time and gradually
increase in strength without any training or concentration. In most cases
the Esper has repressed knowledge of these abilities and only uses them
in extreme cases of self-defence or physical trauma.
Bursters tend to exhibit spontaneous powers during times of stress or
physical/emotional trauma, followed by a rapid repression of these powers
and a (falsified) return to normalcy. Burster powers tend to be strong
but completely uncontrolled and unfocused, usually erupting under the
influence of primal desires such as lust, envy, hatred or safety. Bursters
require extensive training and concentration to achieve mastery over
the wild thoughts, and seem to be rare among Espers.
Esper abilities are mostly of the cerebral kind, with physical manifestation
of their powers being very rare. The dominant Esper ability is ESP, or
Extra-Sensory Perception, which is essentially a 'sixth sense' or 'second sight'.
This ability conveys an intuitive knowledge of imminent danger, the activities
of close ones, a deep perception of a locale, and a keen sense of empathy
when speaking to other people. ESP blends softly into Telepathy, an ability
which includes mind-reading, mindspeech, and