Technological Parapsychics, covered by the umbrella term 'technopaths' are a small group of diverse parapsychics who's abilities manifest through the manipulation and control over machines and computers. Each technopath is different, as parapsychic ability is a massively personal expression of self compared to something like martial arts or even artistic expression like painting. No one can learn to be a parapsychic.
Technomancy and Technomancers
There are certain technopaths who have an innate ability to relate to computers and wireless electronic signals. These technomancers are able to interact with different machines and even connect and 'enter' the CogNet with nothing more than their parapsychic ability. People able to access computer systems without their own traceable computer or access device are the sort of thing that keep security programmers and admins awake at night.
Technomancers and Technomancy are a modified and specialized expression of electrokinesis.
Ghosts - ghost technomancers are the sort of hackers that hackers wish they could be. The Ghost can enter systems with ease, and many times the system doesn't even recognize that there is an unknown entity operating inside of it. This isn't just a cake walk for the Ghosts themselves as they have none of the protections offered by security programs, computer decks, and the other gear associated with hacking. The infamous hacker Prime01 described Ghosting as walking through a major transit hub full of hoverbikes, transit vehicles and loader mechs while being completely naked.
Glitches - Glitch technomancers are able to activate and use machines, effectively mind controlling the machine by sheer force of will. Electronic devices are theirs to play with, ranging from getting free Chrome from vending machines to popping electronic locks, to causing all sorts of havoc by turning parts on and off inside a machine. The more complex a machine, the easier it is to crash, but the harder it is to control.
Mechanomancers - The mechanomancer has an innate understanding of machinery and how it works, to the extent that they can remote control complex machines in a way that a Glitch cannot. A mechanomancer can seize control of robots, androids, or even the controls of a vehicle. Much like the Ghost can enter the CogNet, the Mechanomancer can 'enter' a machine and control it remotely, or they can be the most amazing mecha pilots because their consciousness literally has enveloped the electronics of the machine they are in. Riggers are specialized for controlling a vehicle they occupy. Droidekas are able to 'inhabit' and control androids and surrogate 'droids without a harness system and can hijack other machines from their operators. The most visible mechanomancers are the ones who are able to 'Puppy Dog' a group of machines so that the entire group of machines will follow the will of a single operator.
Technovoyance is a technology aspected form of clairvoyance and ESP.
Technovoyants - The Technovoyant is a voyeur of the first magnitude, able to push their senses through electronic devices and machines. This isn't just looking out through cameras or listening through microphones, it is a supernatural manifestation, and can be just as effective through a receptacle such as a power outlet, or other energized device such as a holovid set, S3 rig.
Technoprojectionist - New Age theory in the Petroleum Era toyed with astral projection, pushing the human consciousness into the astral plane along with a bunch of smoking herbs and crystal waving. The Technoprojectionist doesn't work in a theatre, but is able to project their mind and spirit into a technological device and explore the electronic space inside of it. In many aspects, the technoprojectionist is similar to a Ghost as they can both enter and experience the CogNet without a physical connection, but there is a major difference. The Ghost is accessing through the system, through it's programming and datastreaming, while the technoprojectionist is operating through the machinery and hardware of the system itself. They are unable to interact with the CogNet, but are able to operate through its supporting systems, such as transmitters, relays, and the associated power systems, buffers and all the other physical hardware that goes into projecting the invisible shell of the CogNet around the planet.
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? Responses (6)
Update: The big things I wanted out of this submission were the Ghosts and the Mechanomancers
So many stories flooding my mind right now thanks to your article. This affected me philosophically: my ways of knowing. Thank you.
I would love to see further work here in the becoming of one of these. How does one become able to Ghost for instance. Is it innate, trained, or a little of both? Could it be forced upon someone, an implant or such? Maybe an accident like spilling your double latte onto a high powered RAM port and being killed by the power then electrocuted back to life by the machine 'choosing' you.
There's also all the wondrous forms of mental illness of our times: perhaps some of these are actually explained by people having these natural talents or powers. You're not autistic, you just need to interact through Ghosting.
So many ways to go with this.
Parapsychic abilities are functionally 'mutant' powers that you are either born with and manifest through puberty or develop after being exposed to high levels of strange radiation emitted by arcanotechnology or cosmic contamination. Creating artificial parapsychic power is a major goal of the cosmic era world governments and has thus far met with failure or worse results.
It strikes me that all of these, save technovoyancy, are all aspects of the same underlying ability, differing only in perception and 'bandwidth'.
We think of the human body and mind as fully separate things. The validity of this assumption is, frankly, a religious debate. However, because of it, we tend to think of computers in terms of an extremely similar Cartesian duality of Hardware and Software, but software that is running on hardware is not some mystical soul of the machine, it is a literal physical state of the machine, dancing to precisely the same physical laws as a bolt of flame.
To interact and manipulate with software, then, requires highly focused perception and control of certain pieces of hardware; probably the same I/O ports that a traditional decker uses. The others are similar, just different levels of the technopath's perception.
This opens up experimentation to expand abilities that pre-exist; it strikes me that your Cosmic Era can turn that into a real horror show...
Some great concepts here that can be built off here - even for a Supers campaign or the like.