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The PsyNet is a massive mental network, accessed by most of the Psy populace.

Vital Biofeedback[]

For the Psy race, the PsyNet is as essential as oxygen. Every Psy links to it from the moment of their birth. (unless they link to a smaller net)

Every single Psy in the Net needed the biofeedback provided by the vast mental network. Sever their Net link and those of his race died an excruciating death in minutes. (Tangle of Need (book))

A Cardinal has eyes that reflect the PsyNet: “Kaleb’s eyes, living pieces of the PsyNet, locked on Aden’s face.” (ToN)

Simple Summary[]

The PsyNet is the vast mental network that connects almost all Psy to one another. The psy can communicate with each other on the Net. The PsyNet resembles a million white stars on a field of black. Each star on the Net looks different and represents a unique individual mind. The Psy Council oversee the health of the PsyNet (very poorly), access it to attend mental meetings, and constantly source it for information.

When members of the psy race delve into the Net, they may be vulnerable to attack in the physical world, but they may also vulnerable to attacks on the psychic plane. Psy develop shields to protect their minds from other psy, to hide, and to deter recognition. Sascha Duncan is a Cardinal gradient psy with expertise in avoiding detection and creating impenetrable psychic shields.

While humans and changelings use the Internet, the PsyNet is the psy race’s ultimate source of information, their psychic Library of Congress. Cardinal Kaleb Krychek is an expert at finding information in the PsyNet, accessing decaying streams of data, unlocking psychic vaults, and querying the NetMind/DarkMind, an intelligence birthed in primordial psychic soup.

The eyes of a Cardinal are black with white stars, revealing a glimpse of the PsyNet.

Details[]

While you are not limited by your physical body when it comes to walking through the Net, it does influence your placement in the Net. The stars are mostly arranged by the physical location of the Psy itself. Since your own mind is the starting point every time you venture into the Net, it is your focal point. Since the star is your focal point, the minds you see around you link to your location on earth (e.g. Psy in San Francisco see other Psy minds in San Francisco first). Minds can also move. If a Psy is adopted into a family or a clan it sometimes moves closer to them. If a person geographically moves for longer than a business trip, the mind will move as well.

The PsyNet is kept stable by Anchors, Psy that help stabilize the net. They make it possible for Psy to move around and go places where other Psy minds are few and far between.

There is always a live stream of information, which you have to protect yourself from so you don't go insane from all the information. Any information a Psy learns is stored in the PsyNet, making it the biggest archive in the world. To control how much information is fed into your mind, most Psy have firewalls up at all times. Those who let the stream go in unfiltered are considered extreme, as it is not efficient.

No Psy is connected outside of the PsyNet, unless connected to a changeling pack network, like DarkRiver's Web of Stars, or the Forgotten network. It is a sea of black, filled with stars. Each star is a Psy mind. The brighter the star, the higher the Gradient. Cardinals blaze on the PsyNet. Certain Psy, like Arrows, have been trained to dim their minds or hide completely. Information is in the black space between stars.

Most Psy are not always active on the PsyNet, but when they are "offline," their stars are still visible on the PsyNet, anchored geographically. Other Psy can find a Psy and politely request contact, which will filter through to the offline Psy, who will step onto the PsyNet to meet, becoming active. Councilors always have a portion of their minds active on the PsyNet to keep up with the data. While on the PsyNet completely, the mind is disconnected from the body. This is dangerous only after a long period of time, where the body receives no signals from the mind and goes into a coma.[1] The darkest section of the PsyNet is highly restricted, and it is where the Council chambers are. There are checkpoints on the way to the chambers, and the chambers can "close" heavy doors, sealing the minds inside.

On the PsyNet, people have "voices," like hearing someone speak in person. The mind's thoughts are ordered by the person, and thus have a distinctive signature to them when transmitting thoughts. The PsyNet also has major communication lines through which information travels. These lines can be sabotaged like physical lines using psychic means.[2] When in disarray, things can become gridlocked.[3]

In the first milliseconds that a Psy sends out a part of their consciousness onto the Net, the mobile firewalls are not in place, leaving them vulnerable.[4] Every Psy is born with an innermost layer of shielding, like the changelings. Psy are taught to create more shields around this layer to protect them on the Net. Traps used on the PsyNet cannot access the link of the victim Psy to the PsyNet, as it is too deep and too instinctive.[5]

Little is known about the PsyNet in 2079 outside of the Psy. Lucas, and many others, believed that the Psy were in constant contact with one another, like a hive mind.

Every Psy requires a link to a mental network of other minds, because they require biofeedback. At birth, a Psy's mind connects to the PsyNet. Cut off from the biofeedback, they die within two minutes maximum.[6] From what has been revealed in the novels, it is likely the minimum number of minds for a network is five (as evidenced by the Laurens[7]). Changelings have a network between the alpha and the alpha's second-in-command. Recently, it has been suspected that humans have a near-negligible network unnoticed by ignorance of the Psy and the power gap between the Psy and the human levels of psychic abilities.

The PsyNet used to have humans in the network before Silence, and even changelings. It probably spanned multiple packs, as seen in Silver's bond stretching into a space unseen. Packs were also connected to each other, as seen with Mercy and Riley. It is likely the psychic space was full of interconnected networks, like cities linked by interstate roads. However, unless a Psy had "permission" to be in an outside network, he or she likely could not have seen what was outside the PsyNet. Humans, as it turns out, are a vital component to the PsyNet, and after a century without this biofeedback, along with the systematic deterioration of the Psy-A, the PsyNet is on the verge of collapse. However, the Psy have been particularly abusive to the humans, of whom only the lucky are born with natural shields. Any discovery or invention by a human was quickly stolen by a Psy and the human's memory wiped. Thus, humans are extremely wary of making bonds with the Psy, and many of the Psy do not realize why the PsyNet is collapsing.

Every mental network absorbs biofeedback from its users, and eventually develops a "sentience" of its own. The PsyNet would have an ancient one in comparison to others, except this sentience was ripped in two at the dawn of Silence, forming the NetMind and the DarkMind.

NetMind and DarkMind[]

“the NetMind and DarkMind, the twin entities that knew every corner of the vast psychic network that connected all Psy on the planet but for the renegades” Heart of Obsidian (book)


See also NetMind main article

The NetMind grew from the PsyNet. This neo-sentient amorphous being simply emerged, and everyone knows of it, but only a handful of psy can talk with it, including Faith NightStar and Kaleb Krychek. It is the true overseer and librarian of the PsyNet. The NetMind is aware of every single person in the Net.

During the century when the Silence Protocol was strictly enforced, and all emotion stifled, numerous sociopaths like Santano Enrique came to power. The NetMind split into the NetMind and the DarkMind. The DarkMind and the NetMind can be seen as one cell splitting in two, creating twins.

The NetMind can vaguely sense things from the DarkMind. For example, it picked up traces of certain pathological traits that peak during the time that Santano Enrique had a victim.[8] 

Structure[]

The psyNet looks like a vast — seemingly endless —- field of black with white stars. Hidden among them are some high security psychic vaults, some firewalls, etc. The Net cannot easily support empty space, so the neosentient NetMind will relocate stars/minds if the area is insufficiently populated.

Conduits of the Net:

Touching the NetMind and the DarkMind, the latter identity still stronger than the former, he asked them to tell him what they saw. His mind filled with an overlay of fine lines across the star-studded skies of the Net. Those were the “blood vessels” of the network, conduits for the rapid transfer of information. He disregarded them to focus on the finer red lines below -— psychic alerts someone had rigged in a section of the Net that appeared uninhabited. (Tangle of Need, Retrieval)

Anchors[]

Because the PsyNet is so big, it needs something to hold it in place. Beneath the surface layer is the foundation of the Net, held in place by psy of designation A, Anchors and Anchor hubs. The Net absolutely needs these anchors, so without them, everyone would die rapidly and painfully.

Other Pychic Nets, private[]

Smaller, private nets, but still with a neosentience

  • LaurenNet — defected Lauren Family and eventually the SnowDancers
  • Web of Stars — Sascha DuncanHunter, other defected Psy, and DarkRiver leopards
  • ShadowNet - The Forgotten
  • Defected Arrows living in Venice also have a small private Net because they left the PsyNet
  • there are probably other small private Nets

PsyNet Beacon[]

media, news outlet, probably published psychically as the Psy don’t regularly use the Internet

References[]

  1. Slave to Sensation, pg. 199.
  2. Slave to Sensation, pg. 288.
  3. Slave to Sensation, pg. 304.
  4. Slave to Sensation, pg. 308.
  5. Slave to Sensation, pg. 312.
  6. Slave to Sensation, pg. 145.
  7. Slave to Sensation.
  8. Slave to Sensation, pg. 201.
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