Reflex (R, Rygas) is a crystalline matrix that resonates with psionic energy. The universe is filled with ambient psionic energy, which is especially concentrated in people and psionic currents called Shining Paths.

People can interact with Reflex both physically and psionically. Modern instrument panels incorporate Reflex controls and displays, affording a seamless interaction between mind and machine. Sophisticated machines and vehicles such as starships and harness make extensive use of Reflex, as do many weapons systems. Skills in operating Reflex technology are crucial for life in space, and talented individuals aggressively recruited by private corporations and governments.

A simple touch is all that is needed to activate a Reflex Matrix, for a person’s psionic aura extends even to the fingers. An active Reflex Matrix produces a psionic harmonic that can be felt by people, especially those who are psionically sensitive like Mthu’bo or Espers. The feeling is most often described as a “hum” or a low-frequency vibration. Each Reflex Matrix has its own unique signature, and Espers can track them like psionic bloodhounds.

Practical Applications

Reflex Matrices are used in the construction of starships, Harness, vehicles, and control systems. They can be fragile, and need to be protected or made redundant.

Reflex Furnaces are devices that produce energy, used to power ships, harness, and some weapons systems. Reflex Furnaces are extremely efficient and reliable, and have replaced most conventional forms of energy. Reflex Furnaces are powered by fuel cells which contain psionic energy. Ships can refuel at space stations, which is one of the main costs of operating a starship. Some ships are also equipped with with scoops to collect ambient psionic energy, reducing their fuel costs.

Reflex Cells are devices that store psionic imprints. These devices are a standard component in emergency kits, so that a person’s psionic being (i.e. their soul) can be captured and stored safely, for later transfer to a different Harness. Controversially, some governments or criminal organizations use Reflex Cells to keep criminals, indigents, or political prisoners “in the box”. Spacers call them “Genie Bottles”.

Incarnates are people who have left their mortal bodies and transferred their souls to a machine, housed in a Reflex Cell, also known as an “Incarnation”.

Harness are mobile suits of powered armor. Most Harness are built to be driven by Incarnates, with a slot to accept a Reflex Cell, but some have a compartment for an Organic driver.

Void Ships (Darkships) are space ships constructed with a Reflex Matrix interlaced along the entire hull, enabling the ship to Void Shift. Void Ships can either be short-ranged intra-system Lightships that utilize Void Blinks or long-ranged inter-system Darkships equipped with Void Sails for sailing the shining paths.

Reflex Sails (Silver Sails) are panels of Reflex Matrix that are used for propulsion, “surfing” off the ambient psionic energy. Void Sails are used by ships, aircraft, and reflex speeders for most sub-light movement, during which they glow silver and are called “Silver Sails”. Reflex Sails can propel vehicles at speeds equivalent to conventional propulsion (car engines, jet engines, ship turbines, etc) but with lighter weight and no power source. However, Reflex Sails panels are delicate, so ship designs attempt to protect them, and usually carry redundant panels that can be deployed manually (like a reserve parachute).

Void Sails (Dark Sails) are large Reflex Sails mounted on Void Ships (Darkship) that allow travel along Shining Paths at speeds far faster than light. Spacers call them “Dark Sails” due to their distinctive dark glow when operating. Void Sails are usually much larger than Reflex Sails, which makes them even more vulnerable.