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Karmatronic Influence

Even the most deterministically minded scientist in the galaxy is fully aware that there are exceptions to physical laws. Some say that it means that more laws are needed, just as flat space was found to be a special case of gravitationally curved space. Other sages take the approach that a galaxy populated by souled beings must have exceptions to its laws both in the courtroom and laboratory. Extranatural influence has many names across many cultures; quintessence, the fifth force, elan vital, lo sforzo, Anstrengung, and so on. All religions, even those who have no gods or regard gods as ephemeral or planetbound, consider it an attribute of living souls, or even living beings. Some modern interpretations of various faiths attest that it is the true differentiator between an AI and a robot. The most common understanding of it is known as Karmatronic Influence or KI or even just ki, and in that sense it is used to mean grits and force of will even by those who do not strictly speaking believe in it: a sapient being will have an influence on its environment that is more than the sum of the influence that the being's parts exercise by their mass and movement.

Some hone their KI by meditation, others by exercise, yet other by creativity - but there seems to be a marked inverse correlation between it and the repetitiveness of one's life; faiths such as Olympism explain this by noting that it is the magnitude of one's deeds, not their ethicality, that makes the difference. Some faiths, such as Devourism, consider it an absolute evil, a perversion of the natural order (Devourists in particular insist that the natural order is complete entropy, but they're weird like that), others a good to be striven for, yet others claim that there is an upside and a downside.

Cisnatural ki is the edge that passion or confidence or even love can give to someone's effort; transnatural ki (TKI) is rare, but can manifest in spectacular ways, such as delivering a great electric shock to an opponent after only a brief instant of rubbing one's shoes on the floor, or deadlifting a starfighter from a swamp despite one's slight build, or understanding someone's thoughts from across a room just from ho their heartbeat changes, or feeling another ship's gravitic distortion without a radar. Some TKI masters use a focus, be it a ring or a sword hilt or a tiara; these objects tend to have meaning to the user, either by virtue of a long shared history or by having been gifted by a mentor or ancestor.

In the mental realm, ki is much more capable: someone who has honed their ki through meditation or even prayer is very likely to be able to persuade, influence, command, inspire, or even depress another person just by exchanging a few words. An extraordinarily few people, such as the late Scourge Lord, took this to the point where they could knock the wind out of someone by diaphragm spasm with a glance and a word. Diluted, this effect is still measurable, which goes a long way to explain why democracy isn't a common political system in the galaxy unless safeguards against karmatronic manipulation of the electorate are very ingrained in the culture.

One type of ki that sees relatively common use, enough so that it's a common trope in stories (the TV series "The Littlest Electric Knight" is syndicated in twelve systems), is electrokinesis; a skilled ki user can operate a handheld thermal lance for half an hour rather than three minutes, and use a standard-issue stun prod to shoot lightning thirty feet away. The Scourge Lord was said to be able to dispense with the prod entirely, although many suspect that he was using a very small flashbulb mechanism built into his gloves.

ki powers

very difficult to be truly ki ambidexterous but most people develop a dominant side and a bit of the recessive side

has nothing to do with actual handedness, it's a convention that uses humanoid brain hemispehres

left side: finesse, control, cerebral. examples: reboot a computer or a robot by touching them; defibrillation; seeing someone past a nonmetal wall by sensing their bioelectric field; telling someone's HP or stats by the same token

right side: power, direct, emotional. examples: mantis shrimp punch; throw by pressure wave with thunderclap; giving someone an orgasm

powering plasma weapons is not either-"handed", they are usually designed with a sort of ki plug in the grip and just eat up bioelectricity.

1) yes, we know that brain hemispheres are swapped. ki handedness doesn't have anything to do with actual handedness. it's one of those idiomatics that exist irl too 2) "left handed" used to be associated with "evil" and there's a remnant of that culturally, mostly because the scourgelord DID brainwash people and supposedly it's a left handed skill

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