The Foundation for Omega Point Experimentation is an academic institute in the United Solarian Sovereignty founded by Dr. Cesare P. Aguero, the father of the much-discussed Omega Point Theory, the Noosphere Theory, and the Law of Consciousness Complexity. To explain the emergence of psions on the galactic scale Dr. Aguero postulated the existence of a "noosphere", defined as the "sphere of sapient thought", which emerges through and is constituted by the interaction of sentient minds, and grows in step with the organization of the sapient mass in relation to itself as it populates the galaxy.
In the early 32nd century Aguero first postulated the Noosphere Theory; the idea that sapient thought, though aphysical in dimensions normally perceived by human beings, nonetheless has a vector in a higher dimensional pseudo-Platonic realm of information, the so-called Aguero spaces. As different beings organize themselves in more complex social networks, the noosphere - the 'mass of thought' as it were - increases the scalar invariant curvature of the Aguero space, eventually approaching a point where that curvature becomes infinite -- a psionic singularity, which Aguero called the 'Omega Point'.
The Omega Point
According to Dr. Aguero the 'Omega Point' is the supreme point of complexity and consciousness which can be described as a psionic singularity toward which all sapient life is contributing by simple virtue of existing in such teeming (and growing) abundance. Because of its higer-dimensional nature the Omega Point is according to Aguero transcendent and free from the traditional limitations of space (nonlocality) and time (atemporality), and is an aspect of the evolving universe dependent on all sapient life therein; fueled by the growing Noosphere.
The Foundation theorizes that the emergence of psions (psykers, espers) on a galactic scale is triggered by the bending of Aguero space beyond a point it calls the Jabuzov radius, where its has become sufficient that information from these spaces can be transferred back down to the dimensions inhabited by sapient beings. According to Omega Point Theory psions are pseudo-Platonic foci at the cusp of multi-dimensional cones of curved space-time that protrude into everyday reality like the tips of icebergs. It is this unique super-personalized nature, the Foundation reasons, that seemingly grants psions the ability to bend or break natural laws: however, far from actually breaking anything their metafaculties are merely a manifestation of a higher set of such laws.
Having formulated his theories and found them much contested (to say the least), Dr. Aguero together with his good friend and intellectual life-partner Beauchamps Jabuzov began the Foundation for Omega Point Experimentation, a small organization at first which has over the two centuries of its existence grown to such a significant size that it is now the premier civilian psionic research and development center in the Sovereignty. The Foundation employs tens of thousands of people and has campuses on almost every world of importance in the Sovereignty. It is also notable for being one of the few organizations in the Sovereignty to be given government grants without much in the way of scientific peer-review. The academic community remains notoriously sceptical of the Foundation's efforts to explain psionic activity, but even though the theories it expounds leave much to be desired in terms of supporting evidence they are undoubtedly a factor of importance when it comes to attracting young psions and training them in the proper use of their talents.
Psions according to Aguero and his followers represent a new subspecies of Man he calls Homo [sapiens] summus, the heralds of the psionic singularity. In the 33rd century the Foundation proposed (and eventually implemented) the use of selective breeding, surgical modification, mental training and technological enhancement to create many hundreds of humans with higher mental powers. Indeed there are rumours that Aguero and Jabuzov were deeply involved with the covert efforts by the CEID intelligence agency to create the first generations of human-Apexai hybrid psions, though these rumours have never been substantiated and the Foundation continues to deny the allegations.
The Foundation's ultimate goal is to allow Homo summus to develop mental abilities so prodiguous that psions no longer require a body, instead existing as pure thought without physical boundaries, in full transcendant communion with the Omega Point.
The Foundation for Omega Point Experimentation describes five categories of "metapsychic" powers (also known as "metafaculties") in its publications: creation, coercion, psychokinesis, farsensing and redaction. The five talents are loosely linked: Creators tend to be decent Psychokinetics, and Coercors usually make respectable Redactors even with minimal training. Only Farsensing doesn't appear linked to any of the other faculties.
Creativity is the ability to create illusions and manipulate matter and energy. In its strongest form, it can involve permanent changes of matter from one kind to another. Psions in the early stages of training will have difficulty creating and maintaining minor illusions, but powerful Creators can affect weather on a planetary scale or create other powerful area effects, such as mental lasers and other mental weapons.
Coercion is the ability of metapsychic mind control over other people. At a lesser level this allows psions to plant suggestions in a target's mind or influence emotions; a significant effort is required for total mental domination and this is generally considered extremely distasteful quite apart from the fact that unless used by a skilled operative it tends to leave the subject damaged. Coercor training by the Foundation calls for psions to act in a choir with at least one Redactor in order to minimize trauma and maximize subject cogency.
Psychokinesis (PK; also called "telekinesis") is the ability to move physical objects through space and time metapsychically. This is considered one of the most difficult metafaculties to train and develop to any degree of reliable potency; however Grand Master psychokinetics can accomplish remarkable feats such as the precise movement of unseen objects at very large distances, or the generation of windows into hyperspace.
Redaction provides the ability for mental healing. It can be used to greatly enhance the body's natural ability to heal or control other bodily processes. Redaction is in a very real way the ultimate manifestation of 'mind over matter': Grand Master Redactors can move at extreme speeds, control their bodies on a sub-cellular level and can even make the human body do things that seem unnatural, such as shapeshifting.
Farsensing is the ability to sense remotely via metapsychic means, much like clairvoyance, or remote viewing. The ability of farsensing (also called "ultrasensing") to locate hidden secrets at interstellar distances is of extreme galactopolitical importance. At its most impressive level farsensing allows a psion to catch glimpses of the past, and indeed of possible futures. This is the very rarest of abilities, possessed by perhaps one out of a hundred psions.
Latency vs Operancy
All five mental powers can be latent, meaning that, while present, they cannot be consciously used. On the other hand, operant powers are available for conscious, controlled use. Latent talents can be awakened through proper training, or can in the case of particularly powerful psions manifest themselves naturally, usually during puberty. Metafaculties can also be brute-forced into operancy by certain kinds of invasive mental activity. This is, however, is generally not advised as it tends to leave individuals mentally scarred -- and psychosis in combination with operant metafaculties is generally not a combination that is healthy for a psion, or for that matter his direct surroundings.
The Foundation has developed a classification system for operant metafaculties which rates the prowess of individual psions on a scale of one through thirteen. This scale does not solely measure cerebroenergetic throughput, as this tends to be variable and more than a little arbitrary (particularly when comparing the five metafaculties), but also mastery of one's abilities in terms of finesse, ability and competence.
The classification scheme starts with 0, meaning one is unable to generate any appreciable psionic effects. Levels 1-3 denote a meagre but growing development of ones abilities, with the 4th level demonstrating a level of sufficient mastery for these abilities to be of dependable, everyday use. The 4th through 7th levels indicate a growing level of mastery, until one hits Grand Master level at level 8, the ranks of which are dominated by supremely skilled individuals including CEID's senior psionic operatives. Grand Masters can still continue to hone their skills until the 12th level of mastery. Beyond even this exists the realm of Paramount Grand Masters -- psionic individuals considered so powerful they rate as strategic weapons, capable of tremendous feats of creation (or destruction), and effectively uncontainable by even the most powerful anti-psion measures.