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Grokites

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Created by: Robert Heinlein, with adjustments to Trek by Garry Stahl.

Appearance: None as of yet.

Number of Members: No more than 10,000

Nature of Members: Humans, and some few other races that have and can train psionic abilities.

Organization: Cell, often hiding behind the facade of religion which they use to recruit and filter applicants.

Game Role: Something for the PCs to encounter.

World Role: Yet another road to enlightenment.

Relative Influence: Minor. Grokites are mainly interested in living their lives in peace and teaching the few that can accept them to do likewise.

Public or Secret?: Secret

Publicly Stated Goal: They have no public goal

Relative Wealth: Wealthy, both individually and as a group.

Group advantages: Small size and large wealth. Being Grokite gives you access to the group wealth. Also being a Grokite and understanding your potential means you can readily add to the group wealth for the next generation.

Special Abilities: The Grokites claim access to advanced Human psionic abilities based in part on the language and philosophy of the natives of Omicron Ares 4. At the final stage of training a Grokite will have reached the full potential of Human psionic ability. This includes telepathy, an understanding and control of the biofeedback process, telekenitic, and extrasensory abilities are possible as well.

Group disadvantages: Grokites have been persecuted each and every time they have publicly surfaced. For some reason Humans seem incapable of accepting other Humans with abilities they do not have.

Those who favor them: Few and far between.

Those opposed to them: Nearly every "right thinking" person.

Area of Operation: Earth and Human colonies.

Headquarters Location: An estate in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania, the exact location is unknown.

Public Face: When they have one it will take the form of a "love and brotherhood" religion, an outreach effort to find more converts. Names such as "Fellowship of the True Baptism" are common.

Notable Members: Michael Valentine Smith: Smith known briefly as the "Man from Ares" in the press vanished for ten years only to surface in the middle of a religious firestorm. Some sources say he was murdered by rival religions, most pointing at the now defunct "Fosterites". Others contend he escaped with his followers back into obscurity. Still other sources claim he was kidnapped by Earth Alliance forces and forced to sign over the vast wealth he inherited. No one has any facts they can prove.

History of the Organization: In 2065 the Ares Venture departed for a known class M world around Omicron Ares. To date it was the largest privately funded exploration mission. The 16 men and women of the Ares Venture were a hand-picked dream team. To the best of anyone's knowledge the effort was a total disaster. The Ares Venture vanished into to deep space.

Thirty years later the Earth force vessel UES Triton orbited the world of Omicron Ares 4, the flagship of an anti-Qzin battle fleet . The desert world was not the green lush place promised by the astronomers. Its ancient and dying people lived on a dried up husk of a world. The wreck of the Ares Venture was found, and the expedition did have one survivor. One that had not set out on the voyage. The Aresians returned Michael Valentine Smith, as the doomed ships logs called him to his own people. The ancient people returned Smith, and bid the Earthmen withdraw. It didn't take a lot of convincing to get them to do so. To this day Omicron Ares 4 is under strict quarantine.

Smith was returned to Earth amid much fanfare as "The Man form Ares". It is believed that Earth Alliance attempted to convince the young, and very naive, man to sign over the vast wealth left to him under the condition of the Ares Venture's mutual adventurer's pact.

Much to the distress of his government handlers Smith got free of their control and into the hands of a stern old Libertarian named Robert Hardshaw. Hardshaw was too high profile to mess with, and too stubborn to bully. Under threat of exposing their shenanigans to the press Geneva smiled and made nice. With no further news coming forth, the press lost interest, and the matter might have ended there.

Ten years later Smith was once more in the news. Smith claiming to have learned the secret of unlocking the potential in every Human was offering the knowledge to any that would accept it. The more moralistic of the new religions on Earth calling for his head and that of his "immoral followers". The matter came to a head in LA. In a riot remembered well into the 24th century Smith and his main followers faced down a violent crowd of several thousands, unclothed and with welcoming arms. To this day it is uncertain what happened, but once the smoke and dust cleared, Smith and his followers were gone. It was claimed in some press reports that they were killed and the bodies torn apart. However, no forensic evidence for this outcome has ever been presented. Truthteller Kasilan, hired by the Grokites to observe reported; "They left, by a means I do not know." Attempts, some reported to be threats, by the Fosterites to get her to report them dead resulted in lawyers and money becoming freely available to everyone that wanted to sue the often violent and aggressive Fosterites. Within five years the Church of Foster was dead of hemorrhaging money and bad PR.

The Grokites, as the press dubbed them, have not raised their heads above ground level since. The organization is known to still exist, or at least its bank accounts do, but they are not public and have not made a public demonstration since. No one in public life has ever admitted to being a Grokite.

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