Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Anatomy of a Horror Setting #4: Espers and the Psi-Cold War

The power of a single government with psychic agents would be destabilizing to the world's structure to say the least. By agents I mean spies, soldiers--not front line troops, that would be way outside the scope of a horror setting--and policing officers on up to currently non-existing branches of the courts and government itself. As to destabilisation, it would start with a mad scramble by other governments to try to somehow catch up--creating their own psychics, finding them within the general population, or stealing them--and if they couldn't do that then they would somehow do away with the espers of the government that had them. This in and of itself could be the form of a Psi-Cold War. Or it could just be the tip of the iceberg.

The Psi-Cold War would heat up very quickly if several powerful governments at odds with each other were to acquire psychic agents on the scale of which has been discussed. There is that necessity of groups at odds for any of these scenarios to work, though such odds might come about as a matter of the existence of the psychics in the first place. That it can be a conflict of groups is also important. It need not be governments at all; it can be smaller groups. The governmental scale is a nice choice because at that level there are the proper resources that can be put toward the effort, as well as resources needed to make up for any necessities not covered by the psychics' powers alone. This ties back to the types and degrees of powers that these psychics have at their disposal both individually and in groups.

A mix of groups with different amounts of finances and clout, and divergent and opposing agendas serves to make for a varied and textured landscape upon which to build plots. Parallel motives, cross-purposes, direct conflicts, consorting with the enemy, double-crosses, double and triple agents, manipulations, and conspiracies are all excellent elements in these kinds of stories. They are present in the regular non-psychic, non-horror undertakings of these types of narratives. They are just as much the bread and butter of the story lines when the additional elements are layered underneath, throughout, and on top. Next time will be the clash, and mash up of psychics and technology.

Mood: thrilled.
Music: I Love It Loud by Kiss and Louder Than Hell by Motley Crue.

Kiss: Creatures Of The Night
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Motley Crue: Theatre of Pain

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