The Hush of Expansion
Finally, in the latter half of the 21st century, certain branches of research took a turn onto darker paths; a turn that those involved would come to regret, and to continue regretting long after the decisions were made. Chief among the discoveries, and the most closely guarded secret ever entrusted to humanity, was the beginnings of a process that unlocked abilities that hitherto had been but dreamt of by mankind – what would be commonly referred to as psychic powers.
Those who could undergo the treatment without dying or catastrophically losing all control over their abilities were vanishingly rare, even before mankind began fleeing to the stars, but those who survived found great power at their fingertips – and brought home the adage that while all power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Most who underwent the process went mad instantly, their minds being unable to cope with the strange new sensations that flooded in and simply snapping; those that survived, and appeared at first to be stabilising, would all later turn out to have simply turned the madness inwards, becoming sociopaths and deranged megalomaniacs who would brook no interference in their newly discovered desires to decimate their inferiors and to established an enlightened empire.
Needless to say the secret divisions and the unorthodox labs which partook in this research were strenuously denied by all involved – and if the psychics themselves had not slaughtered all those involved then the unethical and distant backers of these projects decided that dead men keep the best secrets and often culled their research staff.