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Started watching the new show Nightflyers and I'm hooked. I'm a bit confused at what the L1 are? Are they natural? Genetically modified?

Reading up about the show, I saw that it was an adaptation of George RR Martin's novella. I then did a bit of digging and found out that George wrote a few novellas in the 1980's and that all the stories are from the same universe.

Does he mention how the L1 are made? Mother nature or some lab experiment?

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L are psychics - telepaths and empaths.

They have the ability to read thoughts and emotions and project images directly into other people's mind. Unfortunately, those abilities are poorly controlled, which might cause a tragedy like in the case of the shuttle Luna 71, where a little girl, an L-1 (the strongest in the three levels category) accidentally started reading people's fear of flight, amplified it and sent back... which created a feedback loop, panic increased to the point when people started killing each other.

While their origins are unknown, it is most likely a natural phenomenon - the Luna 71 case looks like an honest accident, the existing Ls are hunted and isolated and finally, we know that

Dr. Agatha

is also a low level "L", that was able to live normally by chemically suppressing her abilities

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