Chapter 8: Release

By the time we got to Mars we were all aware that Busby was on his way to Mars. It was a curious move on his part: it took him almost three times as long to get to Mars as we did. If he had waited for the next window, he would have been able to get to Mars only three months later–or something, figuring out the transport distances was never my strong suit, and it’s been so long since those times were of any real importance to me. Quinn had problems getting word to the ship we were on–it took her a few weeks to get a safe–but the Morgans knew almost immediately. At the time, I remember the lag times being much more frustrating and important-seeming, but those details have all faded considerably.

Knowing that Busby was coming, I think changed all of our outlooks. Our occasional discussions on the theory of telepathy, and of Martian Colonization became much more focused on ”what we would do about Busby,” which I think we must have thought of as comforting, but it so rarely was. Thankfully knowing that there we would have more than a year on Mars to develop ties with the government, to get our people settled in, and to work on whatever project Taban and Kalian thought needed our attention: maybe just knowing was comforting.

I think the realization that Mars wasn’t the perfect safe-haven that Taban and Kalian–but really all of us–initially thought it was, pushed the Morgans to work more earnestly on getting their book ready for publication. Publication which would, and did, inform all of human culture about the existence of natural–that is to say, biological–telepathic humans. Taban and Kalian had long held that, there wasn’t a rush to get this book published: most telepaths–we thought–were already some how connected to the community, and there didn’t seem to be any great reason to rush. We always expected the revelation to cause a stir amongst the general population: the news that, possibly, anyone could read your mind–despite the fact that they wouldn’t and probably didn’t want to–was understandably startling news.

There was never an official announcement on Mars about Telepathy, but our numbers were large enough in proportion to the non-telepath population that it was all accomplished, pretty quietly. When I arrived with with Kyp and everyone else, there was a meeting where Taban and Kalian explained that we should probably see if we could turn Mars into a free-space for telepaths before news was sent to Earth and other outpost. The government was informed when it became clear how big our convoy was, and the citizenry was told in small encounters that stressed the importance of keeping this information from Earth. It’s surprising how fast such simple considerations can keep information secure.

It also didn’t hurt that Kyp had been working on a packet-filtering program that would keep Mars colonists from sending back news of telepaths to earth, that he installed as soon as we hit Mars orbit. Once we got to the surface, everything was lost in a haze: there was so much to do and Busby’s impending arrival, though distant, added a sense of urgency.

We had always expected that I would be on Earth when the news got out, and so I guess I was always expecting to be in the middle of a planet-wide riot, which I don’t think was ever particularly realistic; Earth rioted for sure and the revelation of telepaths is something that has unquestionably changed the course of human history, but they even teach kids that in schools these days.

Before we get any further, I think a more complete account of Taban and Kalian’s book–commonly called the Morgan Manual or the Telepath Bible–is important, even though it is among the most cited reference on telepathy, and one of the most enduring classics of our age. The book follows a lot of the theoretical and empirical work that Taban and Kalian did in the early days. It presents several theories of the emergence of telepathy, it discusses the practical strengths and limitations of the experience of telepathy, and it builds from both of their experiences, from the experience of their friends and students in the community. Perhaps most importantly, it contained an extensive section on training and expanding telepathic abilities.

This pedagogical section,1 caused the biggest uproar, which I don’t think we quite expected. In truth the Morgan methods worked to teach telepaths to be able to filter out unwanted thoughts more effectively, to be less sensitive to casual physical touch, and to be able to telepathically “stretch” more. In most cases these lessons increased a telepaths ability to function in society and communities and didn’t, as many feared on Earth, lead to the development of urtelepaths, with skills like, at will scanning, or even remote thought manipulation, but this is patently false.

Ironically, it’s come to light in the ten years that some early Earth based research programs were looking for ways of accelerating telepathic development using methods derived from the Morgan method. These programs are probably the source of these rumors, but importantly these programs were not connected to the Morgan’s program, or to the telepath community on Mars. It’s worth noting that within five years of the publication of Morgan’s first book, 90% of human telepaths–accounting for 99% of the psionic ability of our species–lived on Mars.

The lessons of the Morgan book are clearly still prevalent today, and it remains a useful reference. Almost before the Morgans published their book, they begin working on a second volume that would address what they felt were the shortcomings of their book. The second volume had more empirical data–collected from all of the new telepath immigrants to Mars and from what Gus and Irena had managed to collect on Earth–and where the first book addressed “where telepathy came from,” the second book was to address “how telepathy is used,” in the real world, which are questions that I think our societies–telepath and otherwise–are still very much trying to work out.

It was, without question, a most fascinating time to be alive.

Matthew Connor, MD
Mars Colony, 2596

Mars Colony, 2544

“Is there anything else that we need to do before we send this off?” Kalian asked. They had done everything: packaged the files and uploaded them to a remote computer on Earth, developed a distribution program that could get the material out on earth, without a lag, and could deal with traffic. They’d used Busby’s contact database to get the book to all the telepaths that were still on Earth–when they scheduled the distribution. And they’d sent a note to the Colony Authorities, saying that the announcement would be coming out at some point during the day.

“Just hit the button,” Taban said, walking into the other room. The command had been entered: all that was left was was the execution and worrying. “Matt! Kyp! You guys do it,” he said, after a moment had passed and he knew that Kalian hadn’t executed the command.

“Maybe we could just let it go through on the next cycle,” Kalian said, as Matt and Kyp wandered into the room. The execution of the distribution script had been tied to a software deadman’s switch for a couple of weeks, at Matt’s suggestion: or maybe it was a dare. Not because Matt thought that they were in any real danger–though you could never be to safe–but because he thought it would help them get past the final compulsive stages of the editing and production.

Everyone, save Kalian Morgan, in the apartment cried “No!” in unison. Taban was of the opinion that the release of the book needed to an active act, not a passive one; but mostly after all the struggle, everyone just wanted to let the book go, and the sooner the better.

”I’ll do it,” Matt volunteered.

“I guess, thanks,” Kalian said, sort of surprised that the solution to this quandary was so simple. “Ok.”

“Actually,” Kyp said, ”I’d kind of like to do it if you won’t mind. Be kind of cool to press the button that changed history.”

“Really? That would be great,” Kalian said, smiling.

“Bah!” Taban cried from the next room

“Whatever, if you care so much you do it,” Kyp said.

“I think that it was probably enough for Taban to just write the book that changed history,” Matt said, grinning.

I heard that,” Taban quipped.

“Don’t get ballsy there,” Matt chided. Kalian and Kyp looked up, confused for a moment, and then they all realized that Taban had “spoken” telepathically. On cue:

“Sorry,” Taban said. This time he used conventional means.

“Well it’s my book too, and I think Kyp should begin the distribution.”

“Ok,” Kyp said.

“Ok,” Matt said. There was another round of “Okays,” from everyone, as Kyp slid past Kalian so that he could get to the terminal’s controls.

“Here goes,” Kyp said, and pushed the button. It seemed almost rushed, but Kyp figured that if he lingered over it for any length of time, he’d get stuck like Kalian.

There was silence.

“Everyone ok?” Taban asked, appearing in the doorway to the office.

“Fine. It’s done,” Kalian said.

“Wow,” Taban said, looking somewhat winded.

“World still out there?” Kyp asked.

“Looks it. I think we have forty minutes of peace before any news will get back here. Lets, sit down for a while and enjoy it while it lasts,” Matt said.

“That’s the best suggestion I’ve heard all day,” Kalian said and they all filed out of the office.

New Langley, America Consortia, 2544

“Quinn, I just wanted to drop you a quick note,” Matt Connor’s voice said, emanating from her computer. She was sitting in a more comfortable chair next to her desk reading a pile of case notes and it was a startling experience. Strictly speaking it shouldn’t have been possible given her security systems, she’d have to remember to ask him about that.

“Taban and Kalian are probably going to release the book later today, finally. I’m sure you’ve been ready for this moment for the last few months, but I wanted to give you a heads up on the matter.

“I had a meeting with the Colonial Authority Leadership yesterday, and they’ve agreed to release a statement in support of Taban and Kalian and the rest of the community a couple hours after our announcement, which I think will be helpful. In the long run. I’m also somewhat anxious to see how far Busby’s tendrils run in ISA, in the reaction.

”I’m still haven’t heard any communication from ISA regarding my departure, but I don’t suspect I will, interestingly the colony has been more in need of another a general practitioner than a forensics agent, so I’ve done some real doctoring here, and I’m pretty pleased with how this is going.

”I’ll let you go, but be well, and if you hear from Busby in the aftermath of this, I’d be very glad to learn what you know. And sorry about the method of my intrusion, Kyp was looking a little bored. Anyway, be well,” Matt concluded and the message blinked out.

“Well, there goes my afternoon,” Quinn said. She set her reading aside and stood up to stand next to her computer where she opened the input and activated the ENN news feed. “Now all I have to do is wait for the world to change,” she muttered.

Earth News Network Editorial, 2544

Report from the ENN following the release of Taban and Kalian Morgan’s Manual of Telepath Experience on Earth.

Under normal circumstances ENN tries to avoid editorializing the news; however, given the gravity of the recent “telepath” announcement that most of you have by now heard about, we think that disclosing as much information about this news as possible is the most responsible act we can make at this point in time.

ENN editors received word this morning that two individuals writing from Mars as Taban Morgan and Kalian Morgan have published a Manual on Telepathy and Psionic ability which, claims the existence of naturally occurring, biologically based psionics among the general population. Although ENN has been unable to secure an interview for publication with one of these telepaths at this early date, all of the executive editors in the network had a discussion with a press contact (information included in the release packet provided by the Morgan team.) that has made us comfortable in supporting the validity of this news; though we would not want to discourage healthy skepticism. Furthermore, in the interests of full disclosure, ENN has received a do not publish request from ISA, which we have chosen to ignore in this situation.

The Morgan document claims that most telepathy isn’t classically “useful” as the terms telepathy and psionics have historically suggested. Though some individuals apparently display extraordinary ability, many telepaths experience psionics as heightened sensitivity of conventional perception with experiences not unlike sensory-integration issues. One of the primary goals of the Morgan book is to provide a basis for developing telepathic skills so that they are more manageable in context of mainstream society. These claims cannot be verified at this time, but we will continue to provide details as they appear.

The response to this announcement has been mostly calm. Although there are reports of isolated disturbances in some of the more densely populated areas across the planet, there have been no major riot related casualties, and no municipal law enforcement agency has requested support from external sources. Other than the ISA request there has been no official comment from any governmental organization or institution on Earth. The Mars Colonial Authority has affirmed it’s support for it’s telepath community, shortly after the announcement was made. It appears that several thousand telepaths from Earth, who were able to secure transportation to Mars during the last cycle, arrived on Mars about six months ago. It’s unclear if this move will further strain the already tenuous position of the Colonial Authority in the months and years to come.

It’s the opinion of the ENN editorial staff that it is still to early to make any conclusive judgments on the ultimate validity or strength of the Morgan’s arguments, or the arguments that telepathy presents a formidable challenge to freedom and liberty in contemporary society. At the same time, it’s clear that the concerns about privacy, and what some early critics are calling “mental independence” are serious concerns that the emergent telepathic community needs to address explicitly.

ENN will continue to cover this story, as we learn more. We encourage you to remain calm and wait until we all know more before you make any lasting decisions based on these recent developments.

Executive Editorial Board, Earth News Network, 2544

Mars-Earth Transport Brahe, 2544

“God Damn! Look at this,” Adrian Rathe said to Thom Busby in their cabin aboard the much too small (and too old!) Mars-Earth transport Brahe. Adrian sent a copy of a news service article from his portable to Busby’s. The piece discussed the publication of Taban and Kalian Morgan’ book earlier that day.

“Do you think it’s a joke?” Busby asked. He scrolled through the article from beginning to end again, looking for some sort of hint that it might be a ruse.

“I don’t think so, sorry, I didn’t send the text of the manual that was appended to the article. It’s not the whole thing of course, but it’s a start.”

“Well, it makes sense I suppose,” Busby said thinking, “do we have any commentary from Headquarters or Anyone else on Earth yet?”

Adrian looked at the publication time and then at his watch, and then back up at Busby, “Ah, Uhm 20 or 30 minutes at the earliest.”

“Damn!” Busby said. He put the portable down, and it hit the side table with a little more force than he had intended.

“What do we do? I mean, this is pretty damn weird, I’ll give you that, but it doesn’t change very much of what they’ve done, right?”

”I’m not sure that’s true at all. All that crazy shit that they could do on-net, they can really just do in your head. The wires were a diversion it seems, for all the crazy things they’ve been doing in our heads,” Busby yelled.

“It doesn’t sound from this that they can do that kind of thing, I mean, who knows right? But, it really doesn’t sound like that’s how they’re saying it works,” Rathe countered. He’d read a bit of the material a little more calmly than Busby, and while he hadn’t ever heard about this “telepath,” thing, it made a certain measure of sense when he thought of some of the old hackers he knew from way back. Adrian shuddered when he thought that all of his old teachers and mentors might have been telepaths.

“If you had the ability to make mincemeat of my brain without looking at me, do you think you’d just up and announce it? Hell no. I wouldn’t. If anything they’re smarter than us, and they’ve read our minds, and they know that we’d filet them alive. God!”

“I see what you’re saying,” Adrian said. He seemed to be having an easier time coping with this news than Busby. “The only things that are comforting here, are the things they have every incentive to lie about–”


”–well, I mean we can’t exactly turn around now, so how does this change our plans?”

“Run! You think we should run?”

“I like my brain un-mincemeated?”

“As does most of humanity, I suspect. But we’re ISA agents and we have to do what we have to do,” Busby said, he moved his hand to get back to his portable but Adrian could see that it was still shaking=.

Adrian stood to leave but said, “Ok” over his shoulder before the door closed.

  1. Taban and Kalian, often joked that they wrote the perfect academic monograph, because of the way their work covered all the theoretical, empirical, and pedagogical hotspots, without the support or connect of any academic body. Though it was of course minor, I think they enjoyed this act of resistance.

tycho garen

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