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  • Psion population, a story element

    In the Aeon era, there are roughly 8 Billion humans and around 88 thousand psions (from the table on 133)
    We know that the Ministry, Norca and Upeo are under represented due to their strict recruitment policies (and latency requirements) and the legions are over-represented due to their "take almost everyone" stance, so we can probably boost that number up to around 100K. We can then likely safely double that number to represent the next generation which are currently too young to be activated, and call it a rough 200K.
    200K out of 8B is .0025%
    That is, one quarter of one hundredth of a percent.

    The proxies know what's up. They know about the Doyen, the potential psionic future of humanity, and I believe it's mentioned in the setting that at least one recognizes that the limitation to a single aptitude is artificial.

    What's the best long term way to help humanity reach its potential?
    Possibly, breeding programs.
    Get out your scale of ethics, and you could end up with the following...
    Otha uses his teams to make sure people end up in places/situations that are beneficial. ISRA could be playing matchmaker to guide couples together if they'd be more likely to have latent/psiad children.
    The Aesculapians could easily harvest vast quantities of genetic material (Before you go through the prometheus effect, would you be willing to donate one of your reproductive organs? We'll grow you a new one.) to create sperm/egg banks. Need help getting pregnant? Would you like your child to be a psion?
    Norca could do the same, or be modifying the genetics of the human population to increase latency rates. Do the people so affected know it's happening?
    The Ministry. It's China... make your own nightmare fuel.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Baladain View Post
    In the Aeon era, there are roughly 8 Billion humans and around 88 thousand psions (from the table on 133)
    We know that the Ministry, Norca and Upeo are under represented due to their strict recruitment policies (and latency requirements) and the legions are over-represented due to their "take almost everyone" stance, so we can probably boost that number up to around 100K. We can then likely safely double that number to represent the next generation which are currently too young to be activated, and call it a rough 200K.
    200K out of 8B is .0025%.
    I'm sure the numbers are higher than that since not everyone's genetic info is in some giant global database. The current number of Psions is based on a combination of bottlenecks involving people who've been identified as having the proper potential, background checks, and scheduling time in a Prometheus chamber. There could be a huge number of potential Psions who've simply never been genetically tested.

    That is actually one of my biggest issues with the Aeon timeline. Dr. Bhurano set off her device in 2104. The Doyen proceeded to notice the event, arrive on Earth to investigate, come up with a plan, contact the Proxies, and build Prometheus chambers attuned to the Proxies in particular and humans with psionic potential in general, including a Prometheus chamber for the never before known Aptitude of Quantakinesis. The Proxies then mastered their powers, created clandestine organizations meant to find, vet, recruit, and empower new Psions, and trained nearly 500 Psions in time to repel the Aberrant attack on Australia in 2106. Getting all that done in under three years seems WAY too fast.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Shepherdboi View Post
      The Proxies then mastered their powers, created clandestine organizations meant to find, vet, recruit, and empower new Psions, and trained nearly 500 Psions in time to repel the Aberrant attack on Australia in 2106. Getting all that done in under three years seems WAY too fast.
      One point of clarification. The proxies became instant masters in their powers. From the Aeon book, pg 359
      "Because the Prometheus Chambers cannot personalize the noetic surgery in the same way that the Doyen did for the proxies, psions produced in this fashion must gradually grow into their power"

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Baladain View Post
        One point of clarification. The proxies became instant masters in their powers. From the Aeon book, pg 359
        "Because the Prometheus Chambers cannot personalize the noetic surgery in the same way that the Doyen did for the proxies, psions produced in this fashion must gradually grow into their power"
        There is a difference between gaining 6 or 7 dots in a Mode and fundamentally understanding exactly what can be done with that Mode. It would take time for them to explore their new abilities, especially as they'd then have to teach others how to master their own abilities. An example of this is the Vitakinetic who discovered they could use their Aptitude to alter gender. They presumably wouldn't have needed to discover how to do it themselves if the Proxy had known it was possible and taught others the technique.

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        • #5
          And there is something else about psi and population. The population that is triggered tends to go for dangerous jobs (aka frontline), so they will have a higher lethality rate, and with that a lower birthrate. This a negative evolutionary pressure, and will tend to, long-term, lower the relative psi population.

          This could be a serious problem or could be corrected somehow. Psis could be promoted as more desirable prospects or, more blatantly, the state could give them birth incentives. Something like a lifelong pension for each child and/or a tax-break. But these are the low-tech, slow solutions.

          More high-tech solutions could involve:
          - Bioapps. With sufficiently advanced bioapps, a normal person could have a whole range of powers that could be emulated one at a time. Partial psiads could be empowered, and so on.
          - Gene-manipulation: Each bioengineered child is born with the newest and best aptitudes. The pressure for looking better than your neighbor is going to make everybody a psi soon!
          - Gene-editing: Or everybody could want it now and have gene therapy with CRISPR to become whatever the hell they wanted.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Shepherdboi View Post
            That is actually one of my biggest issues with the Aeon timeline. Dr. Bhurano set off her device in 2104. The Doyen proceeded to notice the event, arrive on Earth to investigate, come up with a plan, contact the Proxies, and build Prometheus chambers attuned to the Proxies in particular and humans with psionic potential in general, including a Prometheus chamber for the never before known Aptitude of Quantakinesis. The Proxies then mastered their powers, created clandestine organizations meant to find, vet, recruit, and empower new Psions, and trained nearly 500 Psions in time to repel the Aberrant attack on Australia in 2106. Getting all that done in under three years seems WAY too fast.
            I mean the Doyen noticing and investigating easily could have taken minutes. Then contacting the future proxies could’ve taken hours, and making the chambers might have taken days. After that, all that’s required would be locating and training 500 people.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jetstream View Post
              I mean the Doyen noticing and investigating easily could have taken minutes. Then contacting the future proxies could’ve taken hours, and making the chambers might have taken days. After that, all that’s required would be locating and training 500 people.
              Even if they reacted to Dr. Bhurano's noetic explosion the instant it happened, the investigation could not possibly have taken minutes since it takes them a minimum of 1-3 hours to teleport between solar systems.

              They then had to research nearly two centuries of recent Earth history, including the events of the Aberrant War and the existence of an emergent eighth Aptitude which only Dr. Bhurano knew anything about (and she barely knew anything about it herself). That seems like the sort of thing that'd take more than a few minutes.

              After that, they'd obviously consult with others of their kind before deciding to hand out a bunch of super science doohickeys capable of granting humans Psi traits equal to the Psi trait of their strongest members, especially since they love working subtly behind the scenes to minimize the threat to themselves.

              Even if they had a bunch of unformatted Prometheus chambers sitting around in a storage room as part of a generic "get a race to destroy themselves/others" plan, it would almost certainly take more than a few days to personalize the settings on one of them in order to unlock the previously unknown quantakinesis Aptitude.

              So I do find the idea that the Proxies were on board with the Doyen salesman shtick and had Prometheus chambers online and ready to go within days of the Bhurano blast highly implausible. That sounds like the sort of thing that'd take months or even years to happen, and it couldn't have been years since the Proxies had a small army after two to three years.

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              • #8
                The moral implications aside, we aren't exactly sure how true these traits breed, especially with whatever chicanery the Prometheus chambers get up into with the genetics of the individuals. It's been demonstrated in setting that there is more than just a genetic component to what goes on, as there is also an environmental component with ambient noetic/quantum activity factoring in.

                In the Æxpansion it talks about Latents, Psions, Psiads, and an unnamed fourth expression where users have psi abilities, but don't maintain enough stored noetic energy in their bodies to use them, and with theoretical bioapp psi batteries could learn to use them. Bioapps that help expand and promote the different psi abilities among users seems like the best bet, instead of maybe accidentally creating the human equivalent of Psi Corgis with guided breeding.


                Raksha are my fae-vorite.

                Reincarnation of magnificentmomo.

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                • #9
                  On the one hand, it seems like an interesting bad guy thing that the Doyen might plan for the future to boost their human slave shocktrooper production.

                  On the other hand, We Can't Have Nice Things. There were a handful of fans who were so obsessed with Dragon-Blooded breeding programs in Exalted as an objective good that they kinda made the entire topic of Dragon-Blooded uncomfortable for other people, to the extent that Exalted 3e kinda had to objectively say, "No, Dragon-Blooded lineage doesn't work like that anymore, please stop talking about your ideas for breeding camps now." I'd hate for something similar to happen with psions. Not saying anyone in this thread is doing that, but rather that it's a thing that could eventually happen.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Shepherdboi View Post
                    Even if they reacted to Dr. Bhurano's noetic explosion the instant it happened, the investigation could not possibly have taken minutes since it takes them a minimum of 1-3 hours to teleport between solar systems.

                    They then had to research nearly two centuries of recent Earth history, including the events of the Aberrant War and the existence of an emergent eighth Aptitude which only Dr. Bhurano knew anything about (and she barely knew anything about it herself). That seems like the sort of thing that'd take more than a few minutes.

                    After that, they'd obviously consult with others of their kind before deciding to hand out a bunch of super science doohickeys capable of granting humans Psi traits equal to the Psi trait of their strongest members, especially since they love working subtly behind the scenes to minimize the threat to themselves.

                    Even if they had a bunch of unformatted Prometheus chambers sitting around in a storage room as part of a generic "get a race to destroy themselves/others" plan, it would almost certainly take more than a few days to personalize the settings on one of them in order to unlock the previously unknown quantakinesis Aptitude.

                    So I do find the idea that the Proxies were on board with the Doyen salesman shtick and had Prometheus chambers online and ready to go within days of the Bhurano blast highly implausible. That sounds like the sort of thing that'd take months or even years to happen, and it couldn't have been years since the Proxies had a small army after two to three years.
                    The Doyen have been aware of Earth ever since rhe Hammersmith event in the 1920s. They specifically placed a Sub-quantum barrier around the planet to prevent (or at least limit) future Hammersmith events. That barrier was shattered when Divis Mal kickstarted the Quantum Age in 2018. The Doyen were aware of that, too and were also aware of the potentially lethal threat it posed to them. Given how overprepared/cowardly they seem to be, it seems likely that were putting together multiple plans to deal with the threat. Figure the point of the Prometheus Devices was to unlock (limited, focused human psionic potential) but figure as well that any human unlocked has likely been loaded up with all kinds of Doyen malware, back doors, etc. S. K. Bhurano wasn't possessed because she was weak. She was possessed because the Doyen put stuff in her noetic template to allow them to easily possess her. They've likely done the same things to all the proxies.

                    So, the Doyen knew or soon figured out that anyone who could erupt as a Nova could be transformed into a psion. They built the chamber and used Telepathy and Clairsentience to peer into the future and find the huckleberries they could turn into proxies. Recall that even the weakest Doyen is on the level of being a Tier III Psiad. Figure the tougher ones are at Tier IV by now.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by johntfs View Post
                      The Doyen have been aware of Earth ever since rhe Hammersmith event in the 1920s. They specifically placed a Sub-quantum barrier around the planet to prevent (or at least limit) future Hammersmith events. That barrier was shattered when Divis Mal kickstarted the Quantum Age in 2018. The Doyen were aware of that, too and were also aware of the potentially lethal threat it posed to them.
                      I know how long they've been aware of Earth, which is why I specified they only had to catch up on 200 years of Earth's history; it was nearly 200 years between the Hammersmith event and Dr. Bhurano's noetic event. I'm also fairly sure they were not aware of the 2018 quantum event, since that wouldn't certainly provoked an immediate response instead of nearly a century of inactivity. After all, the Doyen fear Quantum wielders more than anything, so if they were aware of the beginnings of the Nova age, they'd have been hurling civilization ending asteroids and murderous alien species at the Earth almost immediately rather than wait for roughly 2000 high powered Aberrants to abandon the planet and take to the stars, where they'd be much harder for the Doyen to track down and kill. In fact, if they were monitoring the Aberrant era, the instant the Chinese made their nuclear threat, a Doyen would've mind controlled a Chinese official into pressing the button and ending the world then and there. Since none of that happened, we can only assume that Divis Mal's quantum event affected Earth only, leaving the Doyen barrier intact until Dr. Bhurano broke it in 2104.
                      Originally posted by johntfs View Post
                      Recall that even the weakest Doyen is on the level of being a Tier III Psiad. Figure the tougher ones are at Tier IV by now.
                      Actually, the book specifies that they range from Psi 5 to Psi 7, and that they aren't progressing beyond this point.
                      Last edited by Shepherdboi; 11-26-2019, 01:33 AM.

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                      • #12
                        The Doyen were fully aware of the Quantum Event, and it broke the barrier for sure, otherwise the rise of novas would not be that fast and not world wide. I would say they may have tried to destroy earth multiple times during the Nova era, but the Novas then selves are too powerful, and their existence would harm any Doyen around.

                        The end of the Aberrant war is not a proof of the Doyen didn’t try it, They just didn’t plan the way it would happen or were unable to do that due to the presence of Novas and their powers. We must remember that they had no QK, and Nova Powers are basically the only thing that kill them, also Quantum Flux block much of the Psi capacities (far seeing, precog, teleporting, mind bending, etc).

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                        • #13
                          Perhaps there is some truth in the idea that those effects travel backward in time, as well as forward? This way, the doyen could be notified before the effect happened.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
                            The Doyen were fully aware of the Quantum Event, and it broke the barrier for sure, otherwise the rise of novas would not be that fast and not world wide. I would say they may have tried to destroy earth multiple times during the Nova era, but the Novas then selves are too powerful, and their existence would harm any Doyen around.

                            The end of the Aberrant war is not a proof of the Doyen didn’t try it, They just didn’t plan the way it would happen or were unable to do that due to the presence of Novas and their powers. We must remember that they had no QK, and Nova Powers are basically the only thing that kill them, also Quantum Flux block much of the Psi capacities (far seeing, precog, teleporting, mind bending, etc).
                            Given the length of this argument, I finally went to my PDF copy of the Aeon book and did a word search for Doyen. It looks like I was wrong on one thing, but right on my main point. Page 358:
                            Michael Donighal continued attempting to recreate a version of the Hammersmith event that specifically enhanced Quantum powers, and in 2018 he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, shattering the Doyen energy barrier and creating powerful novas all across the globe.
                            So Divis Mal's quantum explosion did indeed break the Doyen's barrier. OTOH, this did nothing to alert the Doyen:
                            Working alone and in secret, in early 2104 she set off a device that released a huge burst of noetic energy.
                            <snip>
                            These energies also traveled far beyond the solar system. They alerted the Doyen that humanity was becoming increasingly dangerous and also attracted the attention of the hideously powerful Aberrant known as the Colony, causing it to send dozens of allies and servants to reconquer humanity.
                            So the Doyen had no idea what was happening on Earth between the Hammersmith event and 2104. The next page goes on to state that in late 2104, the Doyen gathered the proxies on the moon, upgraded them, and gave them their Prometheus chambers. So less than 12 months from Dr. Bhurano's noetic explosion alerting them to problems on Earth, to enacting their plan to use upgraded humans as their agents versus the Aberrants. Not an unreasonable timescale, but that gives the emerging Psi Orders a maximum of two years to prep for the Sydney attack, provided the Australian attack happened very late in 2106.
                            Originally posted by Baladain View Post
                            In the Aeon era, there are roughly 8 Billion humans and around 88 thousand psions (from the table on 133)
                            We know that the Ministry, Norca and Upeo are under represented due to their strict recruitment policies (and latency requirements) and the legions are over-represented due to their "take almost everyone" stance, so we can probably boost that number up to around 100K. We can then likely safely double that number to represent the next generation which are currently too young to be activated, and call it a rough 200K.
                            Page 358 has some definitive numbers as well:
                            However, this noetic event also had effects that Dr. Bhurano never anticipated. It created many hundreds of new Talents and psiads, and transformed more than 300,000 people into latent psions.
                            Page 133 has relevant information regarding what people know regarding numbers:
                            There are currently roughly 90,000 psions, and rough estimates place the number of unidentified latents at between 200,000 and 250,000.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Shepherdboi View Post
                              Given the length of this argument, I finally went to my PDF copy of the Aeon book and did a word search for Doyen. It looks like I was wrong on one thing, but right on my main point. Page 358:

                              So Divis Mal's quantum explosion did indeed break the Doyen's barrier. OTOH, this did nothing to alert the Doyen:

                              So the Doyen had no idea what was happening on Earth between the Hammersmith event and 2104. The next page goes on to state that in late 2104, the Doyen gathered the proxies on the moon, upgraded them, and gave them their Prometheus chambers. So less than 12 months from Dr. Bhurano's noetic explosion alerting them to problems on Earth, to enacting their plan to use upgraded humans as their agents versus the Aberrants. Not an unreasonable timescale, but that gives the emerging Psi Orders a maximum of two years to prep for the Sydney attack, provided the Australian attack happened very late in 2106.

                              Page 358 has some definitive numbers as well:

                              Page 133 has relevant information regarding what people know regarding numbers:

                              Figure there's two things to consider. First, Doyen are super-psiads. They can all potentially use the aptitudes (QK aside) at psion/proxy levels. So... Ciarsentience and Telepathy and Attunement to sniff out the most powerful latents and give the new Proxies a bit of a nudge in finding them. Also, once the Doyen arrive, S. K. Bhurano exits stage possessed but the Doyen within her can still potentially help the other Proxies find people to dunk.

                              Sure it's a bit of a stretch, but figure part of it is that the Proxies weren't simply potent latents. They were highly influential members of fairly powerful organizations even before getting dunked.

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