A kinetic isn’t just a person who can throw things. Without training a kinetic might just blow light-bulbs, fuses, watches, and other electronic devices all the time. [I can’t wear a watch because I’m always blowing them, after killing a g-shock in six months I decided not to bother with watches any more, but it is kind of nice to imagine that if I was in TSU this irritating feature of the weirdness of my body’s electricity, might just mean I’m actually a kinetic]. A kinetic is basically in tune with the structure of reality, specifically the distances and densities of the world around them, and the kinetic forces around them (which in TSU includes electrical forces). Only with training can most medium to low rated kinetics actually move things. Usually, those who will eventually be rated a three and below will not have active kinetic genes (as in moving things) as a child or without training. Those who would be rated above a three, particularly level fives usually can move things with their minds as early two or three years old, though usually only if they have a kinetic parent or adult in their environment to show them that it’s possible.

Again, for the Agency, Control is the most important rating. If a person cannot control their ability 75% of the time, they will remain low rated, or even restrained in some way if they’re very strong but without control (restraining can be done relatively safely with a high rated telepath). With kinetics, the primary focus is to train a person to use their ability on command and not just from a random emotional trigger (like fear or rage), which is one of the justifications for the desert training bases, where they’re surrounded in fear and frustration, but required to learn their ability regardless of how they’re feeling.

Range, is similar for kinetics. Level one is touch-only, where, say a person is instructed to move a bowl across a table and they can only accomplish this by placing their hands on the table or the object they wish to move. While more useful that touch only telepaths or empaths, as, say, stretchers for ambulance services, or rescue, still not very useful to the Agency. They want folks who can throw cars at enemies. Level two range, is the same as telepath and empath, “conversation distance”, or essentially in the same room as the person. Such as, making a number of books hover up into the air and fly an orbit around the person. Level three range is visual range. Level four range is half a kilometre but specifically being able to sense their target object within this range (so you can’t get a level four in range for a kinetic without the required sensitivity to target your goal). Level five range is essentially the ability to affect things (whether sensing the densities of everything, or moving them or screwing with the electricity) within a 1km radius.

Strength in the context of a kinetic rating, is entirely based on how much they can lift/throw. This is defined as the weight/mass of a thing lifted straight up in the air, and can be transferred with the right math to an amount of pushing force (but I don’t have those formulas, and this is just a general guide, shush you gorgeous mathletes, we’ll sort out the actual numbers at a later date). A level one strength is the person who screws with the electricity, or can move only small things like empty cups or pill bottles or nick-nacks (things less than a kg in weight). A level two strength is limited to the things a normal person can lift without too much effort, say a maximum of 15kgs. A level three is pretty much the things one can physically lift with lots of training, like 100kgs worth of life. Asha is a level three kinetic, and she can lift six-feet tall potted palm trees, and lift herself off the ground. So, essentially a level three has the strength to lift their own weight (but probably not actually themselves except as an aid to movement in combat – no flying, sorry). A level four can lift and throw a car, maybe a pick-up truck if they practise. A level five has the strength to lift a truck. Araian Cowdy is a level 8 kinetic, and she can literally juggle full tanker trucks with her mind.

Sensitivity, in the context of kinetic ability is directly to do with their spacial senses. Whether they can feel the distance between them and the object they’re trying to move. Advanced spacial senses produce abilities like a Talent for flying helicopters or planes, or driving cars, like a Dodge Talent for cars or planes/helicopters. You don’t crash and do death defying tricks in your vehicle, because you know exactly how much space you have with which to work. So a person with a high kinetic sensitivity, will be able to close their eyes and walk around a room while knowing where everything is, and having the ability to sense movement, even a person’s heartbeat and other bodily movement can be sensed. Level one sensitivity, will be touch-only. Such as being able to sense how big, the general shape and the density of a table that you’re touching. Touch a person and you’ll be able to feel their heart beat and watch their lungs inflate, or feel the flow of blood through their body. But stop touching them and they won’t sense anything. A level two is pretty much being able to sense the spaces of the room that you’re in, or perhaps a 3-4m radius around you if the room is big. So you’d be able to make your way through a house in the pitch black and not bang into anything. A level three could probably sense the insides of a house, or a radius of twenty metres around them outside (which is the minimum effectiveness for kinetic-assisted combat training). A level four will be able to sense within maybe three hundred metres, or at line of sight. Most kinetics can only sense as far as a wall, sensing beyond a wall, depending on its density or content of Psi suppressant insulation, is generally too hard. A level five sense, is very rare. I would be, being able to sense the spaces and densities of the world around you at about a half a kilometre radius. The sensory data alone is way too much.

Some kinetics are more spacial-oriented, others are more moving-things. The rare kind are good at both. The Agency, however, specifically trains people to be as strong as they can at moving things, because that’s a better weapon than a person who knows where everything is. So those who have graduated the Agency kinetic training, regardless of their innate talents in spacial senses, are less likely to know how to use it because they just didn’t get the adequate training.