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A Clip from a Psi Corps Children's Vid

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            A cartoon school of fish swam across the screen, over coral reefs, through tunnels, and right past hungry sharks. The animated Psi Cop at the bottom of the screen pointed upward.

            “As you have all learned in science class,” she said, “one reason fish swim in schools is to protect them from predators. When sharks see the school, they can’t see the individual tiny fish, only one giant fish! By swimming together in unison, the little fish are much more powerful than if they swam alone.”

            Every time the “big fish” swam by, the sharks retreated in fear.

            "Our families keep us safe. You have your cadre, your school, and the whole Corps!"

            But suddenly two of the little fish stopped, and began to fight over a piece of seaweed.

            “It’s mine!”

            “No, it’s mine! Give it back!”

            Seeing the argument, more fish stopped swimming in the school, and took a side in the conflict.

            “He had it first!”

            “No, she did!”

            The sharks heard the argument and turned around to see chaos – where once there had been a “big fish,” now there were many little fish, disorganized, fighting amongst themselves. And the little fish were so engrossed in their fight, they didn’t even notice the sharks.

            "Look!" said a shark. "That's no big fish - that's a whole lot of tiny, yummy fish! Supper!"

            Licking their lips, the predators dove in, and gobbled up as many little fish as they could, leaving the rest to scatter in terror.

            "If only we hadn't fought in public!" cried a little fish. "Look what we've done to ourselves!"

            “The moral of the story,” the Psi Cop told the children in the audience, “is that we are safe when we are together, and in danger when we are apart. The Corps is Mother and Father, but the Corps is also each and every one of us.

            “Together we are strong. Apart, we are weak. Telepaths sometimes disagree - that is natural. Sadly, some of us even behave badly, in ways that bring shame to the Corps. Some even try to leave our family. But we must never let them divide us. And we must never fight in public, like the fish in the vid, whose selfish arguing attracted enemies, and killed their whole school. We must always keep our disagreements private, in the family, no matter how big or small the disagreement. Normals must never see - or they will divide us, and attack us, and gobble us all up like sharks. The Corps is Mother and Father to all.”[1]

 

[1] Gregory Keyes, Deadly Relations, p. 11, when Bester is almost six years old, by telepath age reckoning. (““Looks like he won,” the normal [Johnston, then an EarthForce officer] remarked. “Better congratulate him.” Brett hesitated an instant. Al could tell that, if the normal weren’t around, they would all be shouting at him now. But no telepath was ever allowed to fight with another telepath around normals. Never.”) In the big picture, the Corps takes an East Asian attitude toward misconduct, that it should be handled within the family, and in a way that saves face to the outside world. This attitude also serves a practical role in protecting the telepath community from normal interference, and violence. See The Corps is Mother the Corps is Father, wherein a telepath in the Corps has committed murder, and fled to Babylon 5. (“Besides, this is an internal Psi Corps problem. That means we deal with it within the family. The mundanes leave us alone because we stay out of the press. It’s important they believe that nothing ever goes wrong inside these walls. It’s the only way to make sure they leave us alone, and don’t start poking around where they’re not wanted. So as Al said, it’s a family matter.”)