Exceptional Ability: Perception of alternate realities during lucid dreaming and deep meditation.
Character introduced in Book 1, Chapter 1.
Lauren Canella is a close friend of Brynn Harris and provides moral support and comfort to Brynn as Brynn struggles to cope with her power and the hardships she has to endure because of it.
Character introduced in Book 1, Chapter 3.
Later, Lauren meets Marnie Vega and they embark on a journey together to find their lost loved ones.
Exceptional Ability: Latent telepathy and, due to prolonged exposure to telepathic activity, she is aware when it’s being used on her.
Exceptional Ability: None. Much like Dr. Morris, he has been studying mental exceptionals — he refers to them as “Genuine Psychics” — for years, although his reason for studying them is to publish their stories in the Psychic Monthly Journal and on websites and in social media articles.
Character introduced in Book 1, Chapter 10.
Exceptional Ability: None, though he has been exposed to telepathic contact for many years. He has the ability to know when he is being telepathically observed, also known as telepathic sensitivity.
Character introduced in Book 1, Chapter 7.
Dr. Daniel Trent is a protege of Dr. Morris and has a background in the same medical fields as Dr. Morris (neuroscience and genetics).
The mother of Marnie Vega, Margaret is kidnapped causing Marnie to set off on a quest to find her.
Exceptional Ability: None, but the mix-up between her and her daughter leads to the dangerous situation in which she’s found herself.
Jeremy is an expatriate who left the U.S. to avoid the public humiliation he suffered when he introduced to the world, via a documentary, what he thought were genuine psychics — people with real psychic abilities, but later found out that they were frauds.
Character introduced in Book 1, Chapter 5.
Jeremy becomes Marnie Vega’s unwitting sidekick as she searches for her kidnapped mother. He also learns that he wasn’t completely incorrect about the psychics and he may yet be vindicated.
Exceptional Ability: Pre-telepathic and, due to prolonged exposure to telepathic activity, he is aware when it’s being used on him.
Exceptional Ability: Distal (long-range) telepathy. This is an observation rather than communication form of telepathy, which is why it may more accurately be called clairvoyance.
Character introduced in Book 1, Prologue.
When he was a child growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, Wilson believed he was destined to do great things. And his mother reinforced this belief by encouraging him to dream big. She doted on her only child. Unfortunately, Wilson never had a direction for his dreams or a clear goal. He usually knew what he didn’t want to do rather than what he wanted to do. He was always looking for the shortcut rather than setting a realistic goal then working toward it. He also had to fight against pervasive depression which was very prevalent in his family.
In high school, his life took a dramatic turn. He was socially awkward, as most high schoolers tend to be, and, again as many high schoolers do, attempted to join in with a group to try to fit in and find himself. He fell in with the school stoners. Already an average student, his grades fell as the quantity of drugs he used increased.
One night during his junior year in high school, while he was under the influence of a combination of marijuana, vicodin, and amphetamines, he had an unusual dream. He was suddenly “in the head of” a classmate — Angie, a girl with whom he was acquainted and attracted to. He could see what she was seeing and hear what she was saying. He woke up the next morning with a severe migraine-related headache and couldn’t get out of bed. He continued to experiment with drugs and lucid dreaming and found he could concentrate and choose to whom he could see through. Soon, he could view people without drugs, just by controlled dreaming. Wilson’s obsession with Angie in particular caused him to attempt to sleep often to follow her in his dreams, which caused him to have almost continuous migraines, which caused him to use pain relievers more often. Until he ran out.
The migraines, and the lack of sufficient medical care to address the symptoms, caused him to miss a great deal of school. His parents became concerned and he did not tell them what caused the migraines, only that they had just started and that they seemed to become more frequent. His parents took Wilson to a doctor, who referred him to specialists. After doing brain scans, they discovered a small tumor on the occipital lobe of his brain. They attempted to treat it with conventional methods — radiation in this case — without success. One of the specialists recognized this type of rare tumor as something that Dr. Morris had been working with, so referred Wilson to him.
Dr. Morris immediately began his consultation by asking Wilson if his migraines were associated with unusual visions. Wilson was surprised — he was not aware anyone would know about his ability or that anyone else might have this power. At first Wilson was not forthright about his power, but then relented when Dr. Morris told Wilson that he could sense something from Wilson. Wilson then told Dr. Morris everything he knew. Dr. Morris didn’t tell Wilson about his other patients with similar powers, only that other people who had these abilities did exist.
Wilson stayed at Dr. Morris’ facility for a few weeks so tests could be run on him and he could learn some ways to better control his ability. In that time, curiosity got the better of him and he decided to “watch” Dr. Morris. It was very eye-opening. Wilson saw other patients and their records — people with all sorts of odd abilities, including others like him. For the next few days, and with a seemingly endless supply of prescription pain-killers, Wilson began viewing others who had this strange power. More surprisingly, he could view people who the telepaths were viewing to create a kind of strange telepathic leap frog. He was enjoying this new sight and all the potential it held. And then he came across Kamal.
Although he was only linked to Kamal briefly, Wilson received an overwhelming rush of sights and attempts to contact his mind. He woke up a week later from a coma and the realization that his ability was lost. Unfortunately, he still had a tumor and migraine-related headaches to go along with it.
Wilson was released from Dr. Morris’ medical facility with plans to return annually to check on his tumor. Devastated by the loss of his ability, Wilson found little of interest at home and at school. At the beginning of his senior year and shortly after turning 18, Wilson dropped out of high school. Much to the dismay of his parents, who he never told about his ability and subsequent loss of it, Wilson left home to stay with friends.
In and out of low wage service jobs, Wilson supplemented his income with petty theft to help support his drug habit, which became an effective way for him to cope with losing his ability and losing any sense of uniqueness or goals he may have had. He began to experiment with stronger drugs and became hooked on and off of methamphetamines, pain-killers, you name it. He started dealing drugs and found he was pretty good at this.
Years went by this way. He grew apart from his family and lost touch with Dr. Morris. Depression set in. One day, he looked around himself, his dingy studio apartment, and realized he had nothing. A high school yearbook when he was a junior reminded him of his friends and the realization that they are no longer in his life. He had no friends now. Nobody would miss him if he was gone. So, he decided it would be a good day to take a larger dose than normal. He swallowed a bottle of pills and went to sleep. If it hadn’t been for a candle left burning that set off a smoke detector, causing the neighbors to complain to management, who entered his apartment, Wilson would be dead.
Wilson was standing below what appeared to be a building or a column. It was shimmering blue. The black ground was moving and shaking. The sky was dark around him and it was as though he was in a great rocky desert. It was just him and this thing, this column or whatever it was. And it seemed to be expanding and getting taller. It was going to crush him or, it was crazy he knew, but it was like it was trying to absorb him. Wilson began screaming and wakes up shaking and convulsing. He’s in a hospital bed. He has just been revived from an overdose and is being treated.
The doctors ask him about his medical history. He tells them he was a patient of Dr. Morris, who they cannot locate. Then he mentions Dr. Trent and they are able to talk with Dr. Trent. Dr. Trent calls Wilson and Wilson has some exciting news to share with him — his ability appears to have returned! Unfortunately, those nightmares seem to have come with it. They are recurring and very disturbing.
Patient E-M-017 (Wilson Childs) has concurrent, distal (long-range), occipital and temporal, delta wave-based telepathy. He can see and hear what other people are seeing and hearing in present time while he’s sleeping. Doing this causes him intense migraines, which he treats with both prescription and illegal drugs.
He has a Morris telepathic power rank value of medium.
Update by Dr. Trent: Wilson has been treated multiple times for drug use and once for attempted suicide. At one time, he appeared to lose his telepathic ability, but now suddenly it has resurfaced along with disturbing dreams.
Exceptional Ability: Much faster than average mental chronometry (reaction time).
Character introduced in Book 1, Chapter 29.
Raised on American action movies, especially Westerns, Behrokh Jarrah dreamed of becoming the fastest gun in the East, if not the world. By the age of 18, his considerable fast draw skill and nearly super-human reflexes took him to competitions away from his native Iran to places all over South Asia and the Middle East. While Persian gunslingers are somewhat rare, what he learned was even more rare was getting any meaningful (monetary) reward from his fast draw pursuits. After almost 10 years of this endeavor, he found that he could use a real income. During his soul searching about job searching, a contact from the Misra family approached him and told him about a way he could put his knowledge of guns and his fast reflexes to good use. It sounded reasonable.
Ten years after joining up with the Misra family, and 214 bodies later, he just keeps getting better at this job. What it lacks in fame, it makes up for in fortune, and Behrokh is a very rich, very skilled assassin. He also likes a good challenge, and since money isn’t as motivational anymore, a strong challenge can be very rewarding. Ok, money isn’t as motivational, but it’s still important.
He’s now in the United States. He likes “hunting” in the United States. He finds it’s easy to get quality guns in the U.S. and many of them — his guns are disposable. Once you shoot someone, it’s best to drop the gun and walk away. And to get guns in the U.S., all you need to be able to do is speak decent English and use the Internet. Knowledge of some Western film terminology is also helpful with the locals. And quality ammunition right over the counter at many stores? This must be what Native Americans referred to as the happy hunting ground!
A firm believer in the advantage chewing gum confers on him, he’s never without a stick when he’s working.
With Sandesh gone, his target is Rasada, one of Sandesh’s confidantes and someone the family believes may talk to Homeland Security. Next on the list is Brynne Vaness. She’s either going to be taking over for Sandesh or she’s going to be 216.
Measured results for reaction time consistently place Behrokh Jarrah’s in the 110ms to 130ms range which makes him the most consistent human being with regard to reaction time.
Though Dr. Morris did not study Behrokh, he was made aware of Behrokh’s case history by a colleague.
Michael is the significant other of Rachel LaTour.
Character introduced in Book 1, Chapter 11.
Exceptional Ability: None. He’s the boyfriend and co-worker of Rachel LaTour. He becomes drawn into the anxiety and issues Rachel has when she shares her experiences with telepathy.
Exceptional Ability: Neuromagnetoreception. This is the ability to detect the electromagnetic fields in people who generate strong brain waves — in other words, those who are mental exceptionals. In her sleep, Lex can locate mental exceptionals anywhere in the world.
Character introduced in Book 1, Chapter 37.
Exceptional Ability: no apparent trait currently. Eventually, she gains the ability to know when she is being telepathically observed, also known as telepathic sensitivity.
Character introduced in Book 1, Chapter 50.
All work and no play. A very serious woman who takes her job seriously and believes it is her role to stamp out any perceived threat to the United States. Far from being “evil” she is a key antagonist to Brynne due in large part to her single (narrow) mindedness. She simply does not believe that Brynne can see the future and believes other motives are at play. Her first name, Cathryn, is never referenced in the dialogue of Part 1, nor does anyone she knows call her that — it’s just “A.D. Grant”.
At work, her department was asked to complete the Myers-Briggs test. Her result was an ISTJ. She follows the rules, but she is able to formulate some solid inductive theories when analyzing evidence and witnessing a crime scene. She’s also very effective at surrounding herself with competent people.
A.D. Grant is a workaholic. Her most natural environment is behind a desk and specifically behind her laptop screen. She had one long-term relationship years ago, but she still can’t fathom what the problem was. So she works a lot — don’t men like it when women have something to do and somewhere to be? Ultimately, interpersonal relationships insert an unpredictable element into a very carefully controlled lifestyle. Why bother?
Originally assigned to the F.B.I., A.D. Grant was re-assigned by choice to Homeland Security, although retained the ability to chose and utilize trusted agents from the F.B.I. to fulfill her missions, not the least of which is hunting down the Misra family, particularly their enigmatic leader, Nandan. The clever capture of Mardav Misra was a major victory.
A.D. Grant is deeply loyal to her agency and especially her team. When her team is attacked in Episode 5, she strikes back in force, like a queen bee sending out its swarm of drones to destroy the threat.
After capturing and interrogating another associate of the Misra family, her world-view is shaken. Can there really be people out there who can read minds and see the future? She’s a rational person. She’s a skeptical person. It takes some convincing, but she finally begins to believe it.
She is very disturbed to learn that telepathy is real, but she eventually learns that she can sense when her mind is being telepathically contacted. This causes her to implement an ingenious plan to thwart Brynne’s power; ingenious, but life-altering. A.D. Grant will not be a pawn in this game of telepaths. She’s no ordinary federal employee of the U.S. government!
“The evidence suggests that the longer individuals are exposed to telepathic powers, their own telepathic ability, however latent, may well improve, if they are already genetically predisposed to this mental trait. Even if they have no genetic propensity, they may indeed begin to sense when their mind is being contacted or invaded by telepathy. I am now incontrovertibly able to sense telepathic power.” — Dr. Morris
Lei works with Erik von Trapp on research for the Chinese government. Their research subject: Telepathy.
Character introduced in Book 1, Chapter 42.
Her daughter is Regina Liu, also a telepath, who vanishes after a chance meeting with Dr. Jean Speerel.
Exceptional Ability: Proximal (short-range), observational telepathy, also commonly known as mind-reading. This is the most common and typical form of telepathy, however the strength exhibited by different individuals varies widely.
Her name was not originally Kate, but it is the name given to her by Radha Misra after Radha acquired Kate from her family in Myanmar. Radha paid a large sum of money and spent considerable Misra family resources to acquire this girl and traffic her out of Myanmar and into Thailand and, from there, to India. Considering Kate’s high level mental ability, Radha believes Kate was worth the investment.
Character introduced in Book 1, Chapter 62.
Exceptional Ability: Passive, proximal (short-range), suppressive telepathy.
We believe there are individuals who have passive, proximal (short-range), suppressive telepathy. They cannot read minds, however they constantly produce telepathic brain waves that cancel out telepathic activity. It is theorized that a person with passive cancellation might be able to do this in their sleep as well. This means that this type of suppressive telepathy can cancel out beta wave-based and delta wave-based telepathy. Perhaps they may even be able to cancel out gamma wave-based telepathy (which is telepathy that can affect emotions).
Born in Indonesia, her parents soon moved to the United States after her father found employment there and based on the advice of physicians who recognized their daughter needed specialized care that could only be found in the West. While playing with her younger brother when she was 6 years old, she discharged a static electrical shock into him that stopped his heart and resulted in his death. From that point on, her parents realized they had no alternative but to send her away.
Character introduced in Book 1, Chapter 96.
Inaccurately diagnosed with epilepsy as a small child, Jintana spent most of her life in the care of Dr. Morris’ team when all other medical options and diagnoses failed. When she turned 16, an Enfeld Bionomics employee visiting her at Dr. Morris’ facility was killed when he was working with her. While the findings did not prove guilt on her part, she was deemed a risk to herself and others.
Exceptional Ability: Extreme polarization of cell membranes causing her to generate a bioelectrical field (and even sparks) that must be externally depolarized (i.e., externally grounded).
At all times, Jintana carries with her a grounding pole that doubles as a cane to help her walk when she has difficulty. Jintana’s cells generate a significant hyperpolarized electrical potential which will discharge from her body to objects around her if she doesn’t take precautions to ground herself. Based on a brief consultation with medical staff from Enfeld Bionomics, she has learned that she has some control over the direction and intensity of charge flow in and from her body. Depending on her electrolyte levels at the time of hyperpolarization, were she to touch someone or they to touch her, the shock can be anywhere between mildly painful to life-threatening. Researchers and doctors working with her have often commented that they can feel a tingling sensation that emanates from a bioelectrical field that surrounds her from time to time.
Jintana has a fatalistic outlook on life which could be construed as very cynical or negative. Doctors she has seen have always been candid about the effects of her condition: neurodegeneration and damage to her nervous system. She is aware that her condition is life-threatening and her life-span probably short. She has grown physically more frail over time. Yet she is very concerned for the well-being of others and an extremely ethical, caring person. Her inability to have physical contact with other people has caused her to withdraw from most relationships. That is, until she meets Vivienne Hayley, and, while they immediately have personality conflicts, she and Vivienne learn that Vivienne may well be the one person on Earth who Jintana can touch without hurting.
Patient E-P-022 (Jintana Visalyaputra) has a rare if not unique condition of extreme hyperpolarization of her cell membranes and the necessity to externally depolarize herself to return to a cellular resting state. She must also take almost daily injections of electrolytes and copper supplements. The dosage of copper required to sustain her is often 100 to 500 times the normal human daily requirement and a dosage that would prove toxic to everyone else.
The patient was in our care from just after age 8 until age 20 when she was placed in her own home that was specially built to house her. Prior to determining the nature of her physiology (we discovered her unique metabolic condition at age 8), she spent the entirety of her youth having frequent seizures that were misdiagnosed as epilepsy, then Menkes disease. Between her seventh birthday until we stabilized her condition shortly after she turned 8, she suffered a prolonged, continuous seizure for over one year.
Exceptional Ability: Proximal (short-range), insinuative empathy. He can project his emotions rather than his thoughts. This is a one-way communication form of telepathy.
Exceptional Ability: Distal (long-range), communicative telepathy. This is a rare if not unique form of communication telepathy.
The patient, known only as Kamal, is a long-term resident of Graybriar Institute in New York state. He was named “Kamal” by medical staff and has likely origins in North Africa, though he is unable to answer questions or communicate and seems unaware of his surroundings. He will occasionally speak, though his sentences are often incoherent rambles. Medical staff have documented that he apparently knows at least 12 distinct languages, including English, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, German and many others they couldn’t identify. His age and place of birth remain a mystery.
He was located living in a cargo container on the South Coast of France and barely alive and didn’t appear capable of taking care of himself. From there he was taken to Switzerland, then later to the Graybriar Institute for Mental Care.
Kamal was originally diagnosed with schizophrenia and exhibits the classic symptoms of that disorder. But when exposed to telepathy, his power is clear. He is the only known long-range telepath who is capable of projecting and reading the thoughts of others at great distances while awake, and his power is of a sufficient rank and intensity that it can harm other telepaths. His power comes with a devastating side-effect: he is unable to filter out telepathic thoughts or contact and he hears the thoughts of other telepaths, all over the world, on an ongoing basis.
Kamal came to the attention of Dr. Donald Trent, a colleague of Dr. Morris, who had a former patient with telepathy who discussed Kamal with him. To learn more about Kamal, Dr. Trent brought with him a proximal, low rank, telepath. While observing and attempting to communicate with Kamal, the proximal telepath was struck unconscious and completely and permanently lost his telepathic ability. Although Kamal was brought to the attention of Dr. Morris, Dr. Morris believed it would be unsafe to relocate Kamal to his facility due to the effects he would have on other telepaths and that they might have on him as well.
Dr. Jean Speerel has been aware of Kamal for the past few months thanks to information provided by her new friend, Dr. Trent. She has been looking forward to learning all she can about who Kamal is in contact with, and if it’s at all possible to filter out the voices. She’s probably the only person in the world who may be able to assist given her telepathic prowess. She also cleverly considers the possibility that another telepath could be used to provide a buffer, but that has never been attempted.
On her first visit to Kamal, she learned two things: without assistance, she is not immune to his power, and it will take her quite some time to recover. Secondly, and most shockingly, she now shares a secret that only her and Kamal are aware of — there is a strong telepathic presence on Earth that is in contact with Kamal and is trying to communicate with him. And it isn’t human.
Though not studied directly by Dr. Morris, Kamal is believed to have concurrent, distal (long-range), occipital and temporal, alpha wave-based telepathy. He is the only known telepath with this specific combination of traits. To his detriment, Kamal is unable to control it or filter out the telepathic communication he receives and he apparently can hear the telepathic conversations of many if not all telepaths currently on Earth at the same time. It’s not a large number of people, but even if it’s around three hundred people, the maximum number of telepaths that Dr. Morris estimates there are, it’s an overwhelming chorus of competing voices in his head.
The intensity of Kamal’s projected thoughts is so great, that it will cause brain damage to other telepaths in his presence.
He is believed to have a Morris telepathic power rank value of high.
Exceptional Ability: no apparent trait, though he has been exposed to telepathic contact for many years. He has the ability to know when he is being telepathically observed, also known as telepathic sensitivity.
Out of an abundance of caution, Dr. Glenn Morris has done his best to remove all traces of his identity and whereabouts from public and private records. Even his close associate, Dr. Donald Trent, is no longer in contact with Dr. Morris. The last, best guess as to his whereabouts was Switzerland, but no attempt has yet been made to confirm this rumor.
Dr. Morris is a medical doctor with an interest in biomedical research, particularly of unusual and unique patients. He coined the term “Exceptionals” to describe individuals with unique physical or mental abilities. He worked with these subjects for most of his career. He has both studied Exceptionals and created terminology to label their abilities. For those who have telepathic ability, he created a ranking scale to indicate their level of power and how they rank in comparison to others with similar abilities.
His last patient, Kura Maruyama, is the reason he is now in hiding.
“Exceptionals can be extremely dangerous and precautions should be taken when dealing with them. The unethical ones who have harnessed their abilities and use those abilities without regard to the safety of others, or worse, when they attempt to use others with their abilities, pose a significant threat to the general public.” — Dr. Morris
“It seems strange, and I have no way of logically proving this, but all telepaths, and perhaps all Exceptionals with mental and physical abilities, eventually come together. It’s very likely that they are seeking answers about themselves and stumble upon others with similar abilities. Or perhaps there is some genetic drive, some evolutionary pull, that attracts them to each other.” — Dr. Morris
Exceptional Ability: Proximal (short-range), insinuative visual telepathy. He can project visions of whatshe’s seen into the minds of other people, including non-telepaths.
Character introduced in Book 1, Chapter 84.
Gauthier previously lived in the Walloon Region of Belgium with his family on their farm which resides south of the city of Namur. The Renne family did not allowed Gauthier to associate with anyone outside the family since he was a small child due to his telepathic ability, which had the effect of frightening others, both children and adults. He was home-schooled and worked on his family farm tending animals. Though he has the ability to speak in his native language, French, Gauthier has limited linguistic skills and prefers to communicate telepathically. His family has encouraged this, but only with family members since it’s a closely guarded secret. Though he is an adult, his emotional and psychological maturity is considerably younger.
With his parents aging and growing concerned for what happens to Gauthier when they pass away, the Renne family did allow a group of researchers from Dr. Morris’ team to visit the farm and study Gauthier to determine if there was some cure for him or a way to make him more normal. Unable to complete all the studies on the farm, the Renne family begrudgingly allowed Gauthier to visit Dr. Morris’ facility. It was eye-opening for both Gauthier and Dr. Morris who had, up to that point, never recorded or experienced insinuative telepathy of that magnitude. Gauthier also experienced something new there — he met another insinuative, an 18 year old Kenyan woman, Sabriyya Azzi, who could also project images into the minds of others. They spent days on and off together doing what, in telepathic circles, could be described as very intimate activity: they shared their memories with each other.
After studying Gauthier for several weeks, Dr. Morris’ team determined, while very telepathically powerful, Gauthier was otherwise normal. Gauthier’s parents were frustrated by that diagnosis, but accepted it. Gauthier went back to the Renne family farm and his usual life. He and Sabriyya promised to stay in touch, but without a common language or long-distance telepathy, this proved difficult.
Gauthier is traumatized when he sees his family killed and he is forcibly taken from his home by unknown assailants.
Patient E-M-028 (Gauthier Renne) has occipital and limbic, proximal, alpha wave-oriented telepathy which allows him to read the sight (not thoughts) of others including what other people are currently viewing. He can also read sight memory, in other words, Gauthier can read, from their memories, what people have seen in the past and remembered, particularly those sights that have left a strong impression. Additionally, he has insinuative, proximal (short-range), occipital telepathy, which is the ability to project what he has seen (or retrieved from others) into the minds of anyone else. This is both an observation and communication form of telepathy.
It is very unusual for a telepath to demonstrate two distinctly different abilities.
He has a Morris telepathic power rank value of high.
Exceptional Ability: Proximal (short-range), insinuative visual telepathy. She can project visions of what she’s seen into the minds of other people, including non-telepaths.
Being part of a Muslim family in the predominantly Christian Kenya wasn’t always easy. Sabriyya’s family navigated the cultural complications well, and her childhood was comfortable and her religion was paramount.
Her parents were aware of her ability when she was young. They believed it to be a “gift from God” and saw it as a miracle. They were concerned that if word spread of this gift, their daughter might be exposed to ideas and influences outside their religious teachings, so they kept this a secret. But a secret like this is hard to contain, especially by Sabriyya who was an extrovert and enjoyed meeting new people.
When she was 14, she shared the visions with a girl from her school, and the girl told her father who was a medical doctor and an instructor at a nearby university. He was skeptical, but asked Sabriyya to share visions with him while she was visiting one day. He was shocked and contacted her parents. They implored him to keep this secret. He agreed not to say who she was, but he began to research and ask around with his colleagues. Soon enough, he was referred to Dr. Morris, and a team of researchers came to visit and eventually they were able to persuade Sabriyya’s parent’s to allow her to speak with them.
Impressed with her ability and enthusiasm, they asked her parents if Sabriyya could come with them to visit Dr. Morris. Her parents forbade it. The researchers left and that seemed to be that. Sabriyya was very upset that she couldn’t learn more about her power, but she wasn’t deterred. For the next four years, she kept bringing up the idea to her parents until, when she was 18 years old, they finally relented. Not only did she have a mental ability, but she had a strong will, too!
Her mother went with her, and they both were amazed by what they saw and experienced at Dr. Morris’ facility. There were other people there with unusual abilities. And then Sabriyya met Gauthier Renne and she didn’t realize it at the time, she had no comparison, but she fell in love with him.
After she returned home, her life settled back into her routine. She helped the family, raised her cousins, but kept dreaming of Gauthier and the beautiful visions he shared with her. Time passed, but her feelings didn’t change. It wasn’t an option — he wasn’t an option. Her only option was to be wed to a Muslim man from her community. Her parents would have it no other way.
She got into the habit of going to the market on Wednesdays and picking up fresh fish and vegetables for her family on those days. She walks through a secluded alley — a shortcut — when a man she didn’t recognize approaches her. He has a rough look. She looks away and he starts to pass her then grabs her from behind and pulls her into a doorway.
It’s dark. She tries to scream but he covers her mouth. He squeezes her throat — she can’t breathe — she tries to scream again and can’t…
Patient E-M-026 (Sabriyya Aziz) has insinuative, proximal (short-range), occipital telepathy, which is the ability to project what she has seen into the minds of anyone else. This is a one-way communication form of telepathy.
She has a Morris telepathic power rank value of medium.
Exceptional Ability: Proximal (short-range), insinuative empathy. She can project her emotions rather than her thoughts. This is a one-way communication form of telepathy.
Mentioned in Book 1, Chapter 118. Character will be introduced in Book 2.
Ashley Fuller grew up in Luton, England. As a member of the Black British community, and coming from a single parent, low income household, her life was not as easy as some of her classmates. It was made more difficult as a result of her mental power. She and her family were unaware of her unusual ability, and perhaps her own ignorance of it played a significant role in the havoc it wreaked around her.
During primary school was the first “episode” she could recall — her anger at another student was transferred to that student and those around her causing a fight to break out and most students attacking her classmate, sending that classmate and another to the hospital in serious condition. These spontaneous outpourings of intense emotion in the people around her continued with disturbing regularity. In some cases, she’d find herself in mobs of over-joyous celebratory students, but at other times, fights ensued.
When she was 14 years old, her life completely changed. She suffered from undiagnosed depression. During a particularly dark mood, brought on by feelings of rejection from a boy, she contemplated suicide. Unfortunately, during this episode, her 15 year old sister attempted suicide, along with her mother who not only attempted suicide, but succeeded. It was at that time, Ashley realized she might be the cause, but had no way to explain this.
She and her sister were placed in foster homes following the death of her mother. Her mood worsened and the depression intensified. When she was 15, her sister ran away believing Ashley was indeed “bad luck”. Ashley was continually rejected from one foster home after another — she didn’t trust them and took an immediate dislike to them, and they, in turn, felt the same way about her. Not surprisingly, they always felt exactly how she felt. She attempted suicide during this period, too, and was sent to a mental institution for treatment.
A young doctor, Dr. Draper, at the mental institution that Ashley was sent to, noticed something very strange — when she would have counseling sessions with Ashley, she could definitely sense that her mood was affected by Ashley’s mood, particularly after Ashley had just taken antidepressant medication or when the medication was wearing off. It happened with such predictability that Dr. Draper knew it was no coincidence. Dr. Draper spoke to her colleagues about her observations, to which her colleagues reactions were predictable: Dr. Draper was being ridiculous. Dr. Draper, undeterred by their skepticism, began to research similar cases in medical journals, and came across an obscure and indirect reference to a patient in Switzerland who seemed to “project his emotional state on those around him as though it was some sort of chemical or biological transference”. The doctors who observed that patient came up with several far-fetched hypotheses, all of which they self-dismissed. Eventually, the patient, who was voluntarily admitted, was subsequently released since they had no grounds to continue holding him.
Dr. Draper saw that there were follow up notations and questions from an American team of doctors led by a medical researcher, Dr. Morris. These Americans seemed to have more information and were seeking some specifics about the Swiss case. Dr. Draper made inquiries and eventually was able to speak with Dr. Morris directly. Ashley was ultimately sent to Dr. Morris’ facility for specialized treatment.
Patient E-M-029 (Ashley Fuller) has proximal (short-range), frontal, limbic, gamma wave-based, insinuative empathy. The effect of her ability is that she can insinuate or project her emotional state into the minds of those around her. She is unable to direct or control her telepathy, and it usually occurs when she is tired, emotionally distraught, or not able or willing to actively control her emotions.
Because so many of the conflicts she’s been in have arisen because of strong negative emotions, that appears to be her outlook and orientation. Keeping her in positive spirits is a necessity if she is going to be living in the general population.
Dr. Morris made an unusual personal note about Ashley: “She lacks a sense of belonging that affects her attitude. It makes one wonder that if she was a more positive person, or perceived that she was viewed as a more attractive person by others, or if she was not a member of an economically depressed ethnic minority while growing up, would she have the same outlook.”
Exceptional Ability: Proximal (short-range), insinuative memory telepathy. She can implant ideas that seem like memories into the minds of others.
Character will be introduced in Book 2.
More than one producer, after hiring the mediocre actress, Maruyama Kura, to perform a lead role in their high budget project, asks themselves, “what was I thinking?” The answer: it’s what she was thinking.
As long as she can remember, Maruyama Kura, from Yokohama, Japan, has had the power to control the thoughts of people by implanting ideas into their memories. She can’t read minds like classic telepaths, but her power is perhaps more potent. She can make suggestions that most people, at least temporarily to one degree or another, will follow.
Spoiled is an understatement. Kura always got her way and she was the focus of her parents’ attention and adoration, much to the annoyance and frustration of her older siblings. When she was 8 years old, her mother became wise to this trick — apparently, she developed an immunity after prolonged exposure — and told Kura not to do it and warned her that if other people found out about it, she could get into serious trouble. So, this ability could stop functioning on a person if she used it too much? She would have to use it only when absolutely necessary, and it was necessary more frequently than you would imagine.
By the time she entered secondary school, she knew she wanted to be an actress. Given her special ability, it wasn’t so much a question of hard work or acting skill, but rather knowing who was the person who could make the casting decision. Before leaving secondary school, she started to appear in local advertisements then on local talk and game shows. Popularity, it seems, was less a function of quality, but rather quantity. The more she was seen, the more she would be seen. Kura was very difficult to work with. Everyone complained about her, both cast and crew, but people seemed to still bend over backward for her, which made those who weren’t willing to do things for her or who weren’t willing anymore to be either envious or critical. She was popular, but she was despised by many in the business. Of course, she perceived this as jealousy, and in some quarters this was accurate, but the issue of fairness or lack of it didn’t enter into her mind.
Kura eventually moved to Tokyo proper, and entered a fine arts college to pursue an acting degree, but was concerned that it would take so much time, which would be best spent on actually acting in movies. Her acting, specifically her performances, started out very poor, and when she did act in films that were reviewed, the reviews tended to be very critical of her. It didn’t matter, she’d still work, but it bothered her. She would make attempts at getting training through classes or workshops, but inevitably quit early. She would always fall back on her old, easy ways. To make herself feel better, she surrounded herself with people with especially weak wills who she could tell exactly what to do to please her. Followers came and went, but there were always more to use. The sheer amount of acting work she did and exposure to real actors did improve her own ability, but she was a Tokyo A-lister without A-lister skills.
On her 26th birthday, Kura was at a party in her honor, and she found herself getting bored with all the sycophants around her and she decided to go out to a club. By that time, she was very well known, and going anywhere usually caused her to get noticed and approached. She found a seat that the occupier graciously gave up to her, and after she sat, they began approaching — the fans and the curious others. Like ping-pong balls, they approached and she told them to wander away, and off they bounced. Except for one.
That night, a young man, maybe just about the minimum age to be in the club, approached her as she was sitting in the prime seat for being seen. She told him to go away. He didn’t. He thought she was joking. She looked at him and more forcefully implanted the idea — she didn’t have to speak to make it happen. He looked at her curiously. She got angry and told him to get her a drink. He said “no” forcefully back. “You’re rude!” he shot back at her and walked off. She got up and followed him. It was unheard of for someone to not at least partially fall under her spell. They never so forcefully refused her when the request was so minor. It should be noted that long before then, she determined that simple requests were harder to deny, particularly if the request didn’t violate some moral or ethical principle of the target. But this young man rejected the most basic of requests. He was worth further study.
Kura followed him out of the bar. He was definitely annoyed by her. She ran up to him and feigned sorrow. Still annoyed. Then she stopped and profusely apologized. It was her birthday, she explained, and she was having a terrible day. He listened and offered a “no problem.” She wondered if he wouldn’t mind joining her for a small gathering at her home. Shinichi, he offered his name, was surprised by the invitation, and he accepted. She immediately found a person to take them to her place. Shinichi observed how she found a stranger literally off the street to drive them and commented, “can you always talk people into doing anything for you?” She smiled and laughed with him. She was not amused.
When they arrived at her place, there were people there. They were her “Men and Women Who Wait”, particularly malleable sycophants who waited around her place for as long as she wanted and cleaned up and ran errands for her. The party started as she requested and people danced and enjoyed themselves. Shinichi sat quietly in a chair sipping a drink and watching. Kura sat with him and enjoyed a drink with him. Hers contained no alcohol. After a few drinks, she started in again. It was like a frustrating fencing match: she’d thrust in a suggestion and miss, thrust, miss… Usually, when someone was even a little drunk, they would break. She kept talking with him. People began to grow tired and lie down and fall asleep in every corner of the place. Shinichi was getting tired, and she tried again and again. It was utterly baffling. Tired and drunk, and yet he resisted. Then he said he had to go. “No, stay,” she said. “Really, I have to go.” “I must insist.” “No, really, I have work tomorrow.” She ordered one of her larger Men Who Wait to restrain him and take him into a bedroom. The big man quickly complied and she covered Shinichi’s mouth while the Man drug him into a back room. The Man held the frightened Shinichi down on the bed and put his hand over his mouth to shut him up. Shinichi writhed and screamed beneath the big hand. It still made quite a racket. She told the Man Who Waits to shut him up. The Man hit Shinichi in the stomach hard. Adrenaline started to flow. This was exciting — finally a birthday to remember!
Kura wasn’t finished. She wanted to see how far it could go. She ordered her Man Who Waits to keep hitting Shinichi. The Man paused. She insisted. He starting hitting Shinichi again, in the body then in the face several times. Shinichi eventually passed out. There was a lot of blood on his face. It was getting all over and staining the bed sheets. This could look very bad if someone found out about this. She told her Man Who Waits to wait there. She stepped out and returned quickly with a knife from the kitchen. She handed the knife to her Man. “Stab him.” The Man shook his head. She put her hand on his shoulder. “Do this for me.” The Man started to get scared. She gripped his shoulder firmly. “Do you want to disappoint me? After all I’ve given you.” He fell to his knees next to the bed crying. “Get up, you baby!” He rose. “Cut him!” He swung the knife at Shinichi’s leg and cut him deeply. Shinichi winced, but was still mostly incoherent. She focused and thrust her thoughts deep into her Man. He began to gasp, moan and wildly stab into Shinichi’s torso, again and again. Blood gushed out of Shinichi’s mouth and he gasped and writhed violently. Kura stepped away. The blood was getting everywhere. Was any of it on her? She looked at herself. Shinichi collapsed back on the bed and was silent. “Now look what you’ve done! You’re a murderer!” Her Man fell to his knees on the floor, blood all over him. He was screaming in sobs. “You have dishonored me,” she said. By that time, other party goers woke up and began to gather in the doorway. People shouted in terror at the scene. Kura feigned horror and backed off with them. She concentrated again. The confused and deeply upset Man lifted the knife and thrust it into his own stomach as far as it would go. By the time the ambulance arrived, he was dead, too. Both bodies were taken out of the apartment in full view of shocked party-goers, neighbors, reporters, and a not-so shocked Kura.
That birthday party was quite a tabloid sensation, and the speculation over why the men were fighting, which had to be over her affection, was titillating. It wasn’t the kind of publicity she wanted. Still though, she learned quite a bit about her power. She had a significant amount of wealth accumulated, so she decided to spend some time getting to know the extent of her power and getting to know if there were other people out there with the mental discipline of that young man. She needed to know how prevalent this threat was. But this time, she’d be discreet.
Over the next few years, she tested her ability on many different people. Her observations: people with money tend to be more disciplined, though not unattainable. Women are better at resisting than men, although this may be because she’s a woman. Younger people are more compliant than older people. People with superstitious beliefs held onto her suggestions longer. She traveled — she had picked up quite a bit of English in her acting work, and spent some more time learning it.
It was during her quest for knowledge, that Kura came across an American diplomat while she was in Moscow. He openly shared state secrets with her, and it amused her to get people to confess their darkest secrets. And it was usually about amusement, but there was one tidbit that caught her attention. He babbled on about the Chinese working on a telepathy device and wouldn’t that be amazing. No, it wouldn’t, she thought. That would be a disaster. But she had no intention of going to China either — they didn’t appreciate her acting at all. Then he talked about a man named Dr. Morris and representatives from the U.S. government were asking him a lot of questions.
Where was this Dr. Morris? — the American speaks at length about everything he knows.
It seems her hiatus will continue and Dr. Morris will have a famous, new “patient”. As the American diplomat looks on, he’s confused as Kura begins to laugh at the thought of having herself committed for study.
Dr. Morris met with Kura Maruyama once and was only able to jot down a few notes before he abruptly left his facility: “Duplicitous… dangerous.” Though he didn’t get a chance to do a thorough study, he surmised that her power is proximal, beta wave-based, insinuative telepathy originating in her Brocal region, but affecting the temporal and frontal lobes (and possibly the limbic lobes) of those she focuses on. Her telepathic “invasive assault” likely affects several regions of their brains at once.
At one time, Dr. Morris studied a woman with a very low level insinuative memory telepathy, but Kura’s is much stronger. She implants suggestions, even complex ideas, into short-term memory, but if she spends enough time with a person and implants the suggestion multiple times, those thoughts can enter long-term memory. Whether in short or long-term memory, complex suggestions are temporary because, after a night of deep sleep, the brains of individuals with the implanted memories seem to reject or unencode the foreign thoughts. The brain ultimately realizes that the thoughts are not probable or their brain is not able to connect the complex ideas to an existing thought schema, and those suggestions are ultimately considered false. It definitely requires a good night of sleep or several good nights of sleep to completely reject the most deeply or ubiquitously implanted suggestions.
Much like a juggler who can keep multiple balls in the air at one time, Kura seems to be able to keep multiple people under her control at once, which must take a great deal of mental concentration and effort.
She most likely has a Morris telepathic power rank value of high.
Dr. Forrest works in the top secret neuroscience research lab at Enfeld Bionomics. She learns Dr. Speerel will be her new boss.
Character introduced in Book 1, Chapter 127.