The Academy for the Education of Specially-Oriented Prodigy (AESOP) is a privately owned and run school on the outskirts of Hove in the south of England.
AESOP is wholly owned and run by Sentien Labs, a subsidiary of Pentex. On the surface, the school specialises in education of talented youth who have been failed by the standard education system. Behind that facade, it is a psyche-harvesting factory that siphons off the talents of its students gradually, fuelling a psychic research program that violates numerous laws of both land and nature.
The school's principal is Annette Jones, a shrewd and calculating person with a reputation for efficiency over empathy – perfect for AESOP's manifesto. She is assisted by vice-principal Joseph Dunton, known among the student body for a bitter streak a mile wide. Both are Stigmatic and have been psychosutured into the hivemind of the tamed spectres that wander the school, granting them command over the invisible watchers.
Professor Elliott Spaulding is a consultant in psychology at the school, ostensibly there to assist with the difficulties associated with educating gifted youth. He is suspicious of the school's motives and procedures, but the reports he has submitted to the Ministry of Education have largely been ignored. Another Ministry has taken notice.
Sentien's signature leashed spectres stalk the grounds and corridors of the school, intangibly monitoring students and staff. While very low-intelligence, these minor spectres are nonetheless able to trigger a local hivemind alert if anything is amiss.