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Heroes 4/30/2007

So I can't help but think about this episode ("String Theory") without relating it to the B5 paperback story "Dark Genesis: The Birth of the Psi Corps". In both stories, people develop special powers (telepathy in B5, all kinds of special powers in Heroes) which make people very nervous. The concept is much more flushed out in the B5 book, wherein the fear of those with powers turns into paranoia. That paranoia fuels people to think that anyone who even ACTS different than anyone else for any reason must be a telepath and therefore dealt with.

In both stores, fear of what is different leads to criminalization. In the Babylon 5 universe, to protect the rights of those who actually do have powers, the Psi Corps was created. The ideals of the Psi Corps was to formalize any special training, such as making sure that the privacy of mundanes (non-telepaths) would be respected, in an effort to take the fear out of the general population about telepaths. They are regulated, and therefore not evil. Of course, as is human nature, these ideals would end up being corrupted and, well, that's a five year story for another time. In Heroes, to protect the "greater good", the same criminalization leads to the President's decision to kill those with powers, all in the name of "curing" the "disease".

Discrimination and fear. Man it makes for a good story. When holding up a mirror to society, it's always important to at least make it entertaining for the masses to hear...