The abilities of the characters tend to be subtle, although given the proper conditions can be very powerful. The more powerful an ability, the bigger the downside of that ability.
For example, Brynne Vaness has the ability to see the future, which is actually a form of temporal telepathy and it can be directed to a certain extent, but it’s intermittent (she can only see pieces of the future), it can only occur when she’s asleep and she gets intense migraine headaches when she uses the power. She has a brain tumor that’s actually a telepathic and tachyon receptor that causes this ability. It will eventually kill her.
All the powers must be based on physics or biology although these can be extreme versions of those. They have to be explainable through either extreme physics or extreme biology, so you may need to do your homework on related topics. If you are considering something in the science fiction realm, focus on Star Trek science fiction, rather than Star Wars pulp science fiction.
This is a list of abilities that will not be in this series:
- Any ability that violates the rules of physics, like personal flight, power bolts, or bio-morphing (changing into an animal, a brick wall or some such thing).
- Any ability that violates the rules of biology, like being able to heal someone else’s physical wounds.
- Any magic, divine or supernatural-based powers. All the powers should be rooted in science and genetics.
This is a list of abilities that will be in this series:
- Mental abilities are the most common form of exceptional ability, particularly telepathy (see below).
- High intelligence is another (see Tina Plantes and Erik von Trapp)
- Physical abilities such as physical excellence (see Rachel LaTour), regeneration (although within reason — see Vivienne Hayley), electrical conductivity (see Jintana Visalyaputra), and faster than normal reflexes (see Behrohk Jarrah)
- Things in the new-age, pseudo-science realm might work if they can be explained scientifically.
- Confusion between exceptional abilities that are mental or physical, but that may appear to be magical or divine will create interesting stories.
All telepaths either have proximal (short-range) or distal (long-range) telepathy, not both. Proximal is alpha, beta, or gamma wave-based. Distal is delta wave-based and only occurs during sleep.
Telepathic activity is generated from specific areas of the brain and will affect specific areas of the target person’s brain:
- Brocal is related to current thoughts
- Limbic is related to both emotions and memory
- Frontal is related to emotions and thought and probably short-term memory
- Occipital is related to sight and hallucinations
- Temporal is related to smells, sounds and complex stimuli like place or face recognition
Levels of Telepathic Power
Not telepathic – most of the population on Earth. However, if they are exposed to enough telepathic activity they may be able to sense when it’s occurring to them.
Pre-telepathic – these are people who are sensitive to telepathic activity and may be able to sense it is happening around them or to them, but are unaware what it is. They may have more immunity to telepathic ability used on them. These are also people who tend to suffer from migraine headaches and may have some genetic telepathic trait that can be passed to their descendants. Lauren and Jeremy are examples.
Latent or low level telepathy – these are people who are sensitive to telepathic activity, but may be unaware that they have it or exactly what it is. They are likely to experience rare or intermittent flashes of telepathic experiences, though they are usually unable to control this ability. There may be a genetic link and other family members may be telepathic as well. Dr. Morris believes there are about 250 people on Earth who fall into this category. Radha and Lex are examples.
Medium level telepathy – these are people who know they have telepathy of some sort or another, and they are able to use the ability to varying degrees of proficiency. Dr. Morris believes there are less than 30 people on Earth in this category. Brynne, Ashley, Derek and Abe are examples.
High level telepathy – these are people who know what their abilities are and are highly proficient at using their abilities. Dr. Morris believes there are less than 10 people on Earth in this category. Dr. Speerel, Gauthier and Maruyama Kura are examples.
Specific Types of Telepathy
These are the types of telepathy that are possessed by current characters in Exceptionals:
- Mind reading (proximal telepathy) – the ability to read the thoughts of others, but not transmit thoughts (although two people with this ability can communicate telepathically). It affects the Brocal region. The inability to filter out the thoughts of others is the key downside of this power. (see Villains – Dr. Jean Speerel)
- Clairvoyance (distal telepathy) – the ability to see through the eyes of someone else at a very great distance and to be aware of what they see, what they say and what they do. This ability occurs during sleep and is associated with migraine headaches due to abnormalities in the brain of the telepath. (see Recurring – Derek Wainwright)
- Precognitive and retrocognitive telepathy (distal telepathy) – the ability to see through the eyes of others or even yourself in other times, i.e., the past or the future. This is very much like clairvoyance (see above), but it is intermittent. It also deals with the concept in science and science fiction of tachyon particles as the mode of transmission. In this series, precognitive telepathy does not violate the principle of causality because the visions always come to pass and cannot be changed. As with most other forms of distal telepathy, this ability occurs during sleep. (see Heroes – Brynne Vaness)
- Insinuative telepathy – the ability to implant images, ideas or suggestions into another person’s mind – proximal, affects frontal and temporal regions (see Villains – Maruyama Kura) or occipital region (see Recurring – Gauthier Renne)
- Insinuative empathy – the ability to affect others with the empath’s current emotional state – proximal, affects frontal and limbic regions (see Recurring – Jim Martin, Ashley Fuller)
- Suppressive telepathy – the ability to cancel out other forms of telepathy. The suppressive telepath generates brainwaves that create a destructive interference to the brainwaves generated by most other telepaths, thereby cancelling out their power. (see Heroes – Abe Rotimi)
- Augmentative telepathy – the ability to enhance the telepathic ability of others. This is the opposite of suppressive telepathy — the augmentative telepath generates brainwaves that create constructive interference to the brainwaves generated by other telepaths, thereby amplifying their telepathy. (see Heroes – Marnie Vega)
- Telesthesia – the ability to sense individuals or objects at a distance. This is also known as remote viewing or remote sensing. This manifests in the ability of the telepath to sense people or objects at a distance and occurs during sleep. The most prominent example is with the Lex character and her ability to sense other mental Exceptionals at great distances. In other words, she can locate Exceptionals. (see Recurring – Lex)
Other types of telepathy will be created as the series moves forward, including types of telepathy that require more than one person to activate and control.