Latent can have several meanings:
- A type of metapsychic practitioner is a being unable to directly access their metafunctions without any external assistance or device amplification (like a torc), but may have some involuntary circumstances where they can be used (high stress, survival instinct, or trauma). This state is opposed to operant where abilities have direct manifestation and are voluntarily controlled.
- Metapsychic powers which are blocked or buried and not directly accessible for use by a person.
Latency is a just the state of being latent.
Characteristics of persons
Metapsychic powers which, although present, cannot be consciously used by a person - because of a lack of training, inhibiting factors, trauma, or mental blocks of uncertain origin. In theory, all humans have some psychic abilities, even though they may be hopelessly latent or extremely meager. The Tanu and the vast majority of humans are latents, with most humans having extremely meager abilities. The Tanu use torcs to allow them to use their psychic powers.
In places May implies that individuals noted for possession of an extremely high level of a skill or an attribute are often latents who make unconscious use of their metapsychic powers. For example, Felice (an individual with extremely powerful latencies) has a natural ability to control animals, and many individuals with latent Creative powers are gifted artists or scientists, while those with latent Coercive ability may have substantial charisma - animal magnetism.
Characteristics of powers
While latent metafunctions are all roughly equal in that they can't be directly manifested in most cases, powerful latent powers may appear as some related non-metapsychic attribute like a exceptional artistry (creativity), forceful personality (coercion), precise body control (psychokinesis), intuition (farsense), or empathetic insight (redaction).