Well, it’s like this. During the 1970s there was a lot of psionic research that was being done by both the USSR and the USA; the Russians went in for mechanical and electronic methods that went nowhere, and the Americans went in for biological and genetic techniques that went nowhere. It turned out the problem was fundamentally that human brains are far too complex to successfully activate most psionic powers. Trying to do so ‘merely’ doesn’t work, at best — and fries the human cerebral cortex, at worst.
And it didn’t matter what kind of drugs or electrodes were used, either. Time and again, researchers would hit upon a technique that worked fine during the animal testing, only to have it fizzle out during human trials. They tried for thirty years to get around this, failing miserably that entire time. Not even the former Soviet program getting folded into the American one after the end of the Cold War helped any. At the end of it, all that the project had to show for its efforts was a varied collection of reliably psionic small mammals.
It took an embarrassingly long time before somebody simply realized to weaponize those.
The list below shows the current types of psionic abilities available, and their general power levels. Note that said power levels can vary wildly. And that using a power too often might kill the Critter, or else make it act rather… oddly. Many field operatives prefer the former to the latter. The former’s at least easier to explain after the fact.
- Mind Blast: Rabbits. Can knock out a person, maybe two; can stun a room full of foes for a few seconds.
- Persuasion: Gerbils. Can make one person per gerbil obey spoken commands; can make a room of people think that the person holding the gerbil is awesome.
- Psychic Healing: Chinchillas. Cures infections, diseases, closes wounds, reknits bones, doesn’t regenerate limbs.
- Psychokinesis: Mice. Can lift about 300 lbs for a minute or so; can shove considerably more off of a cliff.
- Teleportation: Guinea Pigs. Can teleport 200 lbs about 100 yards; can teleport half a ton about two feet.
Lastly, don’t let more Psionic Crittertech get loose in the wild. And, yes: the word ‘more’ means exactly what you think it means. People could get very sloppy with security protocols, back in the day.