The Ministry

Overview

The amoral, obsessively secretive Ministry telepath is a Western media creation. The Ministry isn’t a society of cold-blooded “inquisitors” or “agents in black” like you often see on vidcasts. Proxy Rebecca Bue Li set out to gather her order from the upper levels of the Philippine intelligentsia. She soon discovered that the Chinese secret service was attempting to infiltrate the new group, so Bue’s telepaths studied the nonpsionic espionage agents in their midst. In time, infiltrators learned of the discovery; concluding that it was impossible to work against telepaths in a covert manner, the Chinese State Council offered Bue and her group full access to the resources of China if they would join forces with Beijing. As a gesture of good faith, the Philippines were adopted as a full partner in the Chinese space program. For her part, Bue realized that the resources and diplomatic leverage of China would offer her almost unlimited opportunity to seek out latent telepaths on Earth, and aberrants throughout the solar system.

Name and Function

The Ministry of Noetic Affairs is a cabinet-level division of the Chinese government with a variety of branches unto itself. As Psi Minister, Rebecca Bue sits on the Beijing State Council and has access to tremendous financial resources, equipment, information, political leverage and personnel. Individual Ministry agents work within the Chinese federal budget and are required to justify unusual expenses to their superiors.

The Ministry’s administrative headquarters is in Beijing, with adjunct academic facilities concentrated at the Shanghai Noetics Institute. However, many of the telepaths’ training facilities and research staging areas (including the noetics institute at Quezon) are located in the Philippines, out of the main political arena. Peripheral administrative centers exist on Mars (dedicated to studying the effects of colony life) and Luna (the center of the Ministry’s high-level diplomatic functions, including researching the qin).

Ministry offices are located throughout the Chinese sphere of influence. Order agents are scattered through the rest of human space, acting as diplomats, mediators and impartial observers. Every orbital ship that leaves a Chinese launch site carries at least one psi officer. The Ministry’s official function in the Chinese government is to ensure the smooth flow of information and authority within and among the various state bureaus and departments. Many operatives have specialized roles, acting as messengers, translators, coordinators and information gatherers. It’s been said that a good telepath is hard to find. That doesn’t just apply to the active ones. Telepathy isn’t as common as you might expect. The Ministry has not disclosed the exact number of telepaths at present, I can tell you that we are about as common as clairsentient.

Form and Content

The Ministry is divided into separate divisions and offices, each of which performs specialized functions with and for the Chinese government and people.

THE MANDARINS (OFFICE OF SEMIOTICS)

Senior Director John Bue Kar-Wai, a.k.a “Kestrel”

Devoted to the exploitation of telepathy’s social benefits, the Office of Semiotics spearheads important advances in international relations, foreign diplomacy and domestic affairs. Although OS operatives attend high-level conferences and business negotiations as advisors and moderators, this office’s most important function is as an impartial forum for the mediation of international disputes. The recent peace in the Middle East is due in large part to the OS’ diplomatic successes and surveillance of global stress points. The office translates documents and programs from all cultures into the universal language of thought. Nearly all foreign materials arriving in China pass through the OS for translation and correction before being distributed to the Chinese people. The OS also studies alien races. As the unpleasant encounter with the Coalition shows, first contact situations can be inconclusive without telepathic assistance. The Ministry uses telepathy to achieve a comprehensive understanding of aliens.

THE NOETICS INSTITUTES

Director Andrei Tarkovsky, a.k.a “Thrush”

We are famous for having the best training and recruiting branches of all the orders. I offer our noetics institutes as the reasons why. Operating from high-tech campuses outside Shanghai and Quezon City, the Ministry searches for latent and nonaffiliated psi-active telepaths from across human space. Individuals are offered full access to the Ministry’s training facilities and financial resources, including instruction in all recognized aptitudes by psions from every order. The institutes have the best noetic research facilities in settled space. Experimental programs at the Shanghai Institute study the alien races and attempt to isolate and eliminate the root causes of Aberrant Syndrome. Research at Quezon focuses on “pure psi” experimentation, with laboratory teams attempting to unlock the genetic factors that determine aptitude and even create new, artificial aptitudes.

THE AVIARY (OFFICE OF NOETIC SECURITY)

Senior Director J.L.G., a.k.a “Kingfisher”

The most clandestine of the Ministry divisions and the one that contributes most to our undeservedly bad reputation is the Office of Noetic Security. ONS is China’s early warning system and psionic police force. We call this division “the Aviary,” where Madame Bue’s “birds of the mind” go to roost. ONS psi officers have a thankless job: moving secretly among the people and monitoring surface thoughts for criminal and seditious urges and signs of Aberrant activity. Once wrongdoers are identified, the Aviary is empowered to bring them to court or to see that they receive psychiatric care. ONS also serves as the ethics committee for telepaths, monitoring our own people for abuses of power and other violations.

Diplomacy and Translation

As representatives of the Chinese government, Ministry agents are empowered to demand full cooperation from all Chinese citizens and institutions. In practice, the extent of cooperation varies depending on the political ramifications of the situation and the personal agendas involved.

Outside China, psi officers often find their national affiliation a mixed blessing. Ministry agents who want to operate effectively in a foreign country must exploit that country’s relationship with China. Those nations that are not friendly with China (notably India, Brazil and the FSA) aren’t very cooperative, often refusing to allow Chinese telepaths to operate freely within their borders. It is entertaining to see that when such bans are imposed in holodramas, Ministry agents perform covert operations, literally becoming invisible to everyone but other telepaths. In the real world, most goals can be accomplished just as well — if not better — through
diplomatic means.