Psi Corps Series #1: Dark Genesis: The Birth of the Psi Corps
|Written by J. Gregory Keyes
Based on an original outline by J. Michael Straczynski
|DelRey, October 1998|
This novel spans the years 2115 to 2189.
2115: Publication of the article Investigations into Biochemical Sensory Transmission in the New England Journal of Medicine appears to prove that telepathy is a real and identifiable human ability. Senator Lee Crawford joins the Technology and Privacy Committee to help spearhead measures to control and regulate telepaths when movements of hatred and distrust form and telepaths, real or suspected, are attacked or victimized. Crawford learns that the sudden appearance of telepaths may have been the result of genetic manipulation - possibly by aliens.
2116: A young child and his mother, both telepaths, flee their pursuers before the mother dies and passes onto the child a gift of the Shalako, revered angel-like figures of their beliefs. Blood (Desa Alexander), Monkey (Jack O'Hannlon), Mercy, Teal and Smoke - telepaths who have been using their powers to gain a cult following - are forced to flee their temple when normals come to hunt them down.
2117: Crawford becomes head of a new department, the Metasensory Regulation Authority (MRA), which requires that all telepaths be registered. Monkey objects when the others wish to strike a deal with Crawford to be granted positions of power within the MRA, and he leaves the group, taking the young child they had taken into protective custody with him - also unaware that Blood is carrying his child.
2132: Desa Alexander, now a major MRA enforcer right-hand to Senator Crawford, hunts down a fleeing telepath family in Prague where a normal and a rogue are killed. Kevin Vacit is appointed assistant to Senator Crawford.
2133: Hearings against Desa Alexander regarding corruption in the MRA are dismissed by the accuser, Senator Phillip Lai, when Desa is killed saving his life from Monkey and one of his underground telepath agents trying to frame the MRA for the Senator's murder. Lai changes his opinion of telepaths and the role of the MRA, and Crawford appoints him to the Authority.
2148: Kevin Vacit and telepath Ninon Davion travel to San Diego to investigate the murder of a commercial telepath working for Interplanetary Expeditions. They discover that artefacts found on the surface of Mars are of an alien organic technology; Vacit himself gets strong sensory feelings from them. He strikes a deal with IPX to overlook the death if they work solely with the MRA on researching the artefacts. Vacit and Davion become intimate.
2156: The Centauri make contact with Earth, leading Earth to become more unified under one planetary government. Suspicion also grows when telepaths are suspected of being alien spies or the result of alien interference in the development of humanity.
2161: President Elizabeth Robinson appoints Senator Crawford head of the Psi Corps, a new body formed from the MRA to assist in the regulation and development of facilities to help telepaths. Senator Crawford requests a meeting with the new Centauri Ambassador, having always wished to meet with an alien, but an explosion staged by Monkey kills him en route. Kevin Vacit is the child Monkey raised, having kept his telepathic abilities secret in order to gain his position - with Crawford's death, Vacit is now head of Psi Corps. He asks Monkey to raise his and his now deceased wife Davion's child, Fiona, away safe from Psi Corps.
2180: Monkey is killed evading Psi Corps and Fiona is captured, taken to an internment camp where she makes contact with another prisoner, Matthew Dexter. Vacit sends an agent, Stephen Walters, into the camp posing as a prisoner to break Fiona out; he does so, taking Matthew with them. Stephen infiltrates the Telepath Resistance when Fiona and Matthew are appointed its leaders. Natasha Alexander begins working with Vacit after she discovers that telepaths suddenly appeared among humanity amidst angel/astronaut cultists in the early 2060's. They travel to the Yucatan where a remaining cult priest shows them an artefact similar to the ones found on Mars.
2182: Vacit and Natasha visit Antarctica where telepath ancestors were found to have "disappeared" for a few days. In a cavern in the ice, Vacit feels the presence of the Shalako - where one of them appeared to have died suddenly and violently.
2185: A colleague of Stephen's comes to tell him that his mission is over and he can return home. Stephen decides otherwise: in his time with the Resistance he has come to respect them and admires Fiona Dexter, now Matthew's wife. Stephen admits everything to them and remains with them.
2189: Vacit and Natasha travel to Venus where similar anomalies than those observed over Antarctica long ago have been found. They make contact with an alien ship, where Vacit learns that his people's mythic Shalako are responsible for introducing the telepath gene to humans as part of a weapon to be used in an upcoming war against a powerful enemy. The enemy had found the alien base in Antarctica and killed one of their number, its life essence being passed through Vacit's family and ending up in him. The aliens also plant a seed in Natasha Alexander's mind that will draw either her, or if the war comes later, one of her descendants to the alien homeworld to finish the work began in her. The alien ship, its task complete, disappears.
Vacit decides that his tolerance for the Resistance is at an end: if telepaths are to be shaped as a weapon of war, it needs a strong organization like Psi Corps to train them and not a "survival of the fittest" struggle as with the rogues. He learns from a rogue captive, Jenny Winters, of the location of the Resistance base. He also learns that he has a grandchild. He orders the base be shut down but insists that the child be saved in order to be educated by Psi Corps. Matthew and Fiona entrust their baby to Stephen, but he leaves the child with another girl to make an attempt to save the Dexters' lives. He fails; they blow themselves up to evade capture, and Stephen returns to discover that the girl and the baby have disappeared, taken by Psi Corps.
Kevin Vacit visits his grandson in the Psi Corps nursery, pleased that the infant will grow up to truly discover that the Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father. He names him after his favourite science fiction writer, Alfred Bester...
Notes: It was stated in The Illusion of Truth that Psi Corps was founded on 12 April 2161, which coincides with the time given in this book. The MRA existed beforehand as a monitoring agency only, which compliments the decree made by President Robinson in the comic The Psi Corps and You!; William Karges' efforts of saving her life is also recalled here (but see also Deadly Relations). The alien "Shalako" are, of course, the Vorlons.
Recurring Characters: We learn of the lineage and discover the circumstances of the birth and adoption into Psi Corps by Alfred Bester. Ancestors of some of the series characters are shown here: the Alexander family (Desa Alexander, her daughter Brenna, Brenna's daughter Michelle, and Michelle's daughter Natasha; Natasha's contact with the Vorlons prefiguring Lyta's desire to travel to their homeworld (Divided Loyalties) and her subsequent "alterations" (Secrets of the Soul)). There's also an appearance by an Ironheart (see Mind War) and a Winters (see Talia).