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World Detritus
Featured In Skyward, Defending Elysium[1]
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Technology is limited. Only the mind is infinite.

Varvax proverb[2]

Cytonics is a set of psionic abilities used by, among others, Jason Write, Spensa Nightshade, and Edmund.[2][3]. These abilities in humans have lasted centuries and have continued to pass genetically since (at least) the time of the Phone Company until the occupation of Detritus by the descendants of the Defiant.[4] Aliens with Cytonics have existed longer than humans.[2]

Cytonics, or Cytonic abilities (sometimes called the defect or the deviation) refers to several abilities powered by the living mind. Some of these abilities have been shown to be augmented by electronics, and shared to populations that don't possess them. Cytonic abilities include Sense, faster-than-light communication, mind blades, and faster-than-light travel. All alien races that have contacted mankind possess Cytonic abilities, and have, in fact, developed them before they developed advanced technology.


The precursor for Cytonics was originally developed as an attempt to create cybernetic-based telepathic linking, named Cyto. While the original attempts did not work as intended, they were sufficient to attract the attention of the alien Tenasi. Presumably, more advanced knowledge about what came to be named Cytonics was received from the aliens.[disputed]



The ability to "see" the world with supernatural senses. Jason Write uses it to perceive the light as vibrations, black being calm, white light being a roar in his mind. This allows him to get a clear picture of the world despite his blindness, though it takes a certain level of conscious effort.

FTL Communication

The original reason Cytonics was developed, the advanced FTL communication network that connects all mankind is powered by a single Phone Company operative with developed Cytonic abilities, and is mediated by cybernetic equipment. Cytonic users can communicate without help of the electronic equipment, but the range that they can communicate without technological support is unknown. Spensa observed that language makes no distinction in FTL communication, as she and her father used their ability to sense Krell Cytonic communication.[3] It is proven that certain technology or matter can block or interfere with it.[3]


As fast as the bullets were, however, Jason’s mind was faster. He whipped out, a dozen invisible mindblades slashing through the air. The force of his attack slapped the bullets backward as well as sliced each one in two.

—Defending Elysium[2]

Mindblades are pure force, formed by the mind of the user. They can be used to cut through any solid objects, but with practice, it can be Sensed and blocked by other mindblades. Notably, by using mindblades, Jason was able to reduce to dust a building made of Telanium, an extremely tough material that advanced weaponry could scarcely harm.

FTL Transport

Jason focused on himself. He didn’t raise any mindblades. Instead, he Sensed inward. He felt his own vibration in his Sense, a cool black-clothed creature. So different than the boy he had once been. The boy had been stupefied, made immobile, by his horror. Jason was no longer that boy. With a scream, he felt the mindblades descend around him, and he threw himself willingly into the darkness.

— Defending Elysium[2]

It is an ability possessed by all advanced alien races, and developed but kept secret by PC operatives. It involves Sensing inwards on yourself and removing yourself from normal space, moving through an timeless emptiness to reappear at a different point in normal space possibly light-years away in seconds. When reappearing, the performer pushes aside matters at the place to create the space for themselves. M-Bot has a Cytonic hyperdrive that requires a human to power it.

Mind Swap

Using advanced Cytonics, it is possible for a mind to swap bodies, as performed in Defending Elysium.

Cytonic Suppression

There is a type of Cytonic device that allows suppression of Cytonic abilities, for the purposes of keeping prisoners. Something about the planet detritus (presumably having to do with the debris field) limits Cytonic communication.

Advanced Processing

Some advanced processors also use Cytonic technology to work much faster than normally possible. M-Bot is an example of this.[clarification needed]

Cytonic Mind Hologram

People with Cytonic abilities are susceptible to having their vision overwritten by some process, technology or ability. This is what caused Chaser to turn on his allies during the Battle of Alta.[5][6]

Known Cytonics Users[edit]

Speculated Cytonics Users[edit]


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