Issue 11: The Psi-Corps and You

This strip was included in The Price of Peace graphic novel with the first four issues.

Written by Tim deHaas
Drawn by John Ridgway
DC Comics, December 1995

This is a comic produced by Psi Corps for children on Babylon 5 to learn about the Psi Corps, their operations and their ideals.  The "presenter", Diane Matthews, demonstrates some of her duties as the commercial telepath assigned to Babylon 5: sitting in on business dealings, and assisting security by scanning the mind of a mugging victim in MedLab for an identity of the assailant.  She explains that she won't be allowed to scan the suspect, and the information she gives is only intended as an aide for head of security, Mr Garibaldi.

Then Matthews gives a tour of the Psi Corps training rooms, and narrates a story about the founding of Psi Corps based on the heroic act of her great-grandfather, William Karges.  Karges discovered he had the ability to read minds from the age of 13, although he kept this talent hidden.  He joined Earthforce to learn how to discipline his body and mind, and due to his keen senses he quickly rose through the ranks to become a personal bodyguard to the Earth Alliance President.  When he finds a would-be assassin, and is shot in the back in the incident, he confides his secret to the President in his dying moments.  Some time later, President Robinson enacts a law that extends the purpose of the already-established telepath monitoring agency to become a place where telepaths can be accepted and trained for their special purpose in society.

Matthews explains that telepaths who don't wish to join Psi Corps can choose to have their powers suppressed with a safe drug injected weekly by Psi Corps doctors.  Others who can't take the drug are assigned to other, community projects by the Corps.

Another example of the advantages of telepaths is recounted in a little-known, recently declassified story regarding Sinclair's heroic assault on the Minbari at the Battle of the Line.  Lt Andrew Denmark of Psi Corps, part of Sinclair's squadron, used his powers to steady the nerves of the other pilots as the Minbari surrounded them.  He died in the battle, but it was due to his efforts that Sinclair was able to make his assault run on the Minbari war cruiser.

Psi Corps have helped with the troubles on Mars as well - distributing food where it was needed, and protecting the colonists from terrorist attacks.

Finally, to encourage children toward Psi Corps if they or their friends are suspected telepaths, Matthews recounts the story of ten-year-old Alfred Bester.  When it was discovered that he had telepathic abilities his friends encouraged him to go along to Psi Corps where he was taken in and today is one of their most valued members.

Remember: the Psi Corps are your friends!  You can come and talk to them at any time!  There is always one of them around.

Notes: Presumably this literature was produced prior to Confessions and Lamentations owing to the presence of a Markab trader.  This is the first story to give Bester his first name, Alfred, after the science fiction author of the same name.  Ivanova's mother was one of those who chose to take the telepathy suppressing drugs (Midnight on the Firing Line).

How much of this story is true and how much is a fabrication by Psi Corps?  Clearly there has never been a "Diane Matthews" as resident telepath aboard Babylon 5.  Was there really a telepath in Sinclair's squadron at the Battle of the line?  (Harriman Grey says in Eyes that, as a telepath, he was not allowed to fight in the war.)  How much of the Psi Corps history presented here is true?  Perhaps you should see Dark Genesis for a more reliable account (as well as Deadly Relations for the truth about the William Karges story).

Recurring Characters: Alfred Bester.