Alien commercial telepaths?


Hi all,

First, an introduction: I've been a B5 fan since 1997 or so, but have only (very) lightly dabbled in RPGs. I recently picked up the core B5 book, and am trying to get a campaign up and running with a couple of friends.

My question is this: is there any established protocol for the use of alien telepaths in business deals? I'd expect it to be illegal, but things like that can be tricky with aliens, i.e. the station's non-interference policy regarding cultural practices. Maybe it's only illegal when two different races are involved? What sort of punishments might be involved?

I'm curious to read your input - please let me know if this is covered in any supplements, or perhaps a novel. As best as I can recall, it never came up in the show.

I suspect that local laws apply in all cases.

On Babylon 5, the telepath will have to be registered with the station, and sanctioned to operate in that commercial environment. Of course Psi Corps will just make it awkward enough that the only sensible way to get something done would be to use Human teeps...

However, we have seen that at the very least, Centauri telepaths operate on the station and are willing to undertake "dubious" work. I'll have to watch "Passing Through Gethsemene" (SP?) and see what legal sanction came down on him... Oh wait - it was Lyta wasn't it ;)

That's more or less my line of thought, too.

Of course, anyone using an alien teep instead of someone from Psi Corps in a negotiation probably has something to hide, and is probably using the teep to scan secretly, from a distance. So I'm most interested in what happens if they get caught! :D
Hiring unliscensed teeps does have some insurance hazards as is discovered by Lyta in S5 when no buisness would hire her for fear of insurance related reprisals. This does make sense from a buisness standpoint. I suppose the same would apply to alien telepaths who would obviously not belong to the Corps.
Mongoose Gar said:
I'd guess it varies from culture to culture, but human insurance would only cover Corps-approved teeps.


Although I would hope that by the time of Crusade, what with the Alliance and all, it would cover some others.

On the other side, you could probably get the telepath insurance from the Brakiri for your business and be covered...
Kyu Kage Although I would hope that by the time of Crusade said:
Well during the time of Crusade the Corps is gone so all bets are off. Still, one would assume that big businesses would prefer insured and bondable employees to the opposite.

Now if we are talking inusurance firms from other races..well that is a whole different thing. Certainly during the xenophobic Clark administration they would be unwelcome. Before or after that is an entirely different matter.
In business, there is a thing called "Due Diligence". If a company was diligent in attempting to find out all the facts in a business deal and the deal turned out to be bad for that company, the company is not held liable for that contract. That is the whole justification for using Telepaths in the first place.

By allowing surface scans (for details), or just True or False, a business is able to state that they provided due diligence as to their business dealings for a specific contract.

If a company does not have contracts with Psi Corps, they should be able to contract any Telepath they desire for mediation of a business dealing.

I am sure that the Psi Corps offered discounts for signing exclusive contracts. Depending on the volume of dealings, that could save a bunch of money.
KaosDevice said:
Well during the time of Crusade the Corps is gone so all bets are off. Still, one would assume that big businesses would prefer insured and bondable employees to the opposite.

Well the Corps as per B5 era was gone, but there are still rules restricting telepaths activities as are referred to by the teep XO who's name escapes me right now.

According to the Crusade era book , in the chapter on the new Bureau of Thelephatic Integration , commercial teeps continue to operate under the same rules that were in use under the psiCorps .
In fact , most of the old rules have not changed a lot , except for the most extreme and militant classes/ocupations of the previous PsiCorp , like the military/black ops specialists , Psicops , Bloodhounds and the like .
I suppose that the new Interstellar Alliance would also regulate (at least minimally) the activities of telepaths when interacting with other races/societies other than their own .
Well I guess alien teeps are licensed to operate by their governments, I'd imagine negotiations between a Centauri company and an Earth company would have one teep from each race, there's no reason why Earth vs Earth negotiations wouldn't have 2 Human registered teeps, would you necessarily trust a teep hired by the other side?

Well the Narn don't have any Teeps....

Minbari Teeps are revered and looked after...

Centari Teeps are revered and looked after....

I always got the feeling that the only people who had the base ideas of using Teeps for buisness deals were the humans.
Uhh... If I am not mistaken , Minbari Teeps are respected and looked after because they live by a code of honorable service to Minbari society and their fellow Minbari (which very conveniently puts them outside of the political power structure al any level) .

And Centauri teeps are not exactly revered and looked after . More exactly they are exploited and looked after by their respective Noble Houses , to whom they are only a valuable resource and little else .

However , both the Psi Corp and the Bureau of telepathic integration are willing to give some degree of fredom to those telepaths that wish to employ their abilities to earn a living , so they are a little more flexible , although I suspect that some Worker caste telepaths or some low level centauti teeps belonging to merchant houses also can act as commercial teeps .
Just my 0.02 Euro .
Well, I would expect the legal case to be one of local laws and liability problems.

A centauri teep on B5 would not, could not, be illegal (after all, he/she/it'd be an honest alien doing honest business - that would have to be the basic assumption after all).
But while on station (or any other EA-controlled area) he'd have to obey human teep laws (like, "no gambling"; "no unlicensed scanning"; etc.), or the human teep-authorities (=Security, and likely Psi Corps or later BTI if he makes troubles) would come after him... and then it becomes a diplomatic tangle dependent on how much or little influence he can bring to bear on the centauri ambassador to act on his behalf. Most likely the offending centauri teep would get deported, maybe fined, and get a ban on entering EA-controlled space for some time.

Now, and EA citizen could hire the centauri teep for whatever teepy he wanted done... but he'd have problems if something didn't go right. Human teeps can be sued if they lie to their employer I would expect; EA insurence companies sell insurance against damage done by dishonest teeps - all that would be moot if the teep was an alien who might operate under completely different laws and regulations. And that is why none of the honest EA companies would hire an alien teep (or an unlicensed human teep for that matter) for their jobs. And I suppose most alien governments would likewise prefer to trust their own teeps over other races (with the Narn being the big exception of course - I wonder why Lyta didn't think of doing business with G'kar in 2261 when Bester came badgering her... of course, if a teep does work for the Narn they might want more then the teep would like to give, namely DNA to revitalize their own teep program...).

However, to return to the legal matters... if a EA citizen wanted something teepy done that is against human regunations, going to an alien teep would be a possibility. Of course, if whatever he wanted done was allowed in the aliens laws the human would be entering dangerous waters - blackmail becomes a easy possibility there (after all, the alien wouldn't have to fear more then deportation for violating EA law, while the human would get punished in full).
Note to non law abiding PC's (in B5-era time): use a blip. He has more to loose then you in those circumstances... of course, then you'd have better make sure Psi Corps doesn't get him, or they will get you too!
Of course, some alien teeps would be great... Minbari teeps for instance would never think of something sneaky like that - IF you could convince them to work for you, and IF they would take whatever job (after all, they would probably refuse the more dishonest jobs - they work to serve, but likely not to help people harm other people). And many Centauri teeps would have a carefully preserved reputation of "staying bought" - they'd have to, or they wouldn't survive doing their jobs in centauri space; so you could trust them to keep their end of the bargain - under usual circumstances...