|“||What is human? An ability to reason, to imagine, to love or grieve? If so, we are more human than any human ever will be.||”|
Sensates, or Homo sensoriums, are a species of humans that are telepathically connected to other people spread across the globe. A group of sensates constitutes a cluster, and members of a cluster can contact each other wherever they are in the world.
Before being reborn, an unborn sensate physically and anatomically resembles a human. Although an unborn sensate is essentially a human, not all humans have the potential to be reborn as a sensate. After the birthing, the sensate's psycellium gets activated and allow the potential sensates to now be telepathically and sympathetically connected to their cluster. This connection grant the sensates in the cluster three main abilities. These abilities are visiting, sharing, and their psychic link. As suggested by Angelica and Jonas, sensates also feel the purest form of emotions, sensations and feelings.
The members of a cluster, no matter the physical distance between them, are all born on the same day at the exact same moment. Sensates are reborn the same time as with their cluster by another sensate outside a cluster. A cluster's connection is activated during this second birth. At the beginning of a cluster’s birthing, the parent visits the sensates in the cluster then sensates experience a severe migraine for an extended period of time. The physics of the sensate connection involve a substance called psycellium, a psychic nervous system. This connection can be temporarily cut by ingesting blockers, disconnecting them from other sensates and turning sensates human again.
It is unknown if any sensate can give birth to a cluster or if a sensate requires something to give birth to a cluster. A sensate that is capable of birthing, can give birth to a cluster regardless of the parent’s gender and age. This is evidenced by Jonas and Angelica’s parent, an old Thai man, was surrounded by about 80 of “his children” as he pass away. The parent can also give birth to different clusters multiple times, like Angelica giving birth to her first cluster and the 8/8 cluster. The parent's memories and experience can also be transferred to the sensates in the cluster, like how biological parents transfer genes to their children.
From Yrsa's comments it can be presumed that children of a sensate can inherit the same sensate abilities as the parent. However, siblings of sensates have not been shown displaying these abilities, for example Daya Dandekar and Teagan Marks have not shown the same powers as their respective siblings. Ruth Al-Saadawi was also not a sensate, but her twin sister was. But it is possible for siblings to be both sensates, evidenced by twins that were shown as a part of the Archipelago.
Psychic Link Edit
"You will start to feel strange things... You will feel snow in the middle of the summer, rain when there isn't a cloud in the sky. You'll feel anger and joy and pain... pleasure, without any reason." - Jonas, in I Am Also A We
Sensates within a cluster are mentally and emotionally connected. At first, It starts out as sensory input, where one sensate hears or tastes (or uses any of the other five senses) something another sensate is hearing or tasting the same thing simultaneously. Gradually, their link strengthens to the point where they feel each other's thoughts and emotions (at times even memories).
Main Article: Visiting
"Visiting is not calling or texting someone. It's not something you make happen. It is something you let happen." - Jonas, in What's Going On?
Visiting happens when sensates mentally communicate with each other. Sensates are seemingly mentally transported to each others' locations.
Visiting is done instinctively with the other members of one's cluster, especially when they are in need of help. But visiting can also be done with other sensates outside of the cluster. This is only after physical firsthand, eye-to-eye contact has been made. For example, Jonas was only able to visit Will and Nomi after physically seeing the two and making eye contact, but Mr. Whispers was unable to visit Nomi despite seeing her through Niles Bolger's eyes.
Visiting often works hand-in-hand with a sensate's psychic link; utilizing both, sensates can access any of the five senses through a fellow sensate, allowing them to perceive the world around them through another sensate's eyes. This also includes physical contact, such as with one another. It is not possible to visit a sensate when they are heavily drugged or unconscious, but it appears visiting is possible when the sensate is asleep.
Main Article: Sharing
Sharing is when a sensate accesses the knowledge, language and skills of another sensate. Sharing is only done inside the cluster. In the case of skills, sharing allows a sensate to physically control a fellow sensate as they watch; this is seen when Wolfgang allowed Lito to lie for him, or when Will watched as Kala prepared an injection for Riley. Sharing can also be done by sensates outside of the cluster through unknown procedures by BPO.
- Riley Blue
- Kala Dandekar
- Wolfgang Bogdanow
- Lito Rodriguez
- Capheus Onyango
- Sun Bak
- Will Gorski
- Nomi Marks
- Jonas Maliki
- Angelica Turing
- Mr Whispers
- Niles Bolger
- Sara Patrell
- Todd McCarver
- Raoul Pasquale
- Lila Facchini
- Old Man of Hoy
- Carol Cumberland