Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Anatomy of a Horror Setting #7: Psychic Interrogation Techniques

Happy New Year, and welcome to the first Horror on Hump Day of 2008.

Back in part #5 the topic of a psychic as a lie detector came up. There is more to be said on this topic, but also there are other ways that psychic powers can be used in the interrogation of a subject. As with regular interrogating there are questions, and determining the truth from the lies, which carries on up to more questionable methods of information extraction like torture and the myriad forms that that can take, even by conventional methods. Since this is a horror setting it may be more pertinent to focus on the possible torturous applications of psychic abilities. Of course torture comes in two distinct and encompassing formats--physical and psychological. Each of these formats will require the use of different powers as well as a different mental skill set.

The mental skill set required for physical torture is fairly low for the psychic interrogator due to the limited array of applicable powers. The conventional torturer works with different instruments and styles of which money and imagination are the only obstacles. Likewise a psychic cannot design new drugs unless they possess that knowledge. A psychic can use pyrokinesis for the application of fire. A psychic can inflict pain directly or instead of cutting, beating, and pulling out things like teeth and fingernails or can do those via telekinesis. The best, most horrific tortures stem from permanent, unforgettable damages that are only a glance away for the rest of their lives. The downfall of physical torture though is that it affects the heart and can lead to accidental death.

A psychic with powers used for psychological torture techniques can require much more skill and imagination in their interrogations. The options available to such psychics are very open ended. Techniques can include phantom pain--less stressful on the heart--false memories of torments visited upon them, and being trapped in long drawn out nightmare scenarios. There are also subtle, gentler methods, which are not torture and may be just as successful. Beyond straight mind probing for answers there are dreams and hallucinations that make the subject think they are passing the information onto trusted comrades or people who need the data for good purposes. As with all torture and falsity there are moral implications, for those with morals, which leads us to next week's topic.

Mood: refreshed.
Music: Wildest Dreams by Iron Maiden and Prophet of the Last Eclipse by Luca Turilli.

Iron Maiden: Dance of Death
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Luca Turilli: Prophet of the Last Eclipse

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