Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Horror on Hump Day Curveball

Today is a holiday for me. I had expected to write my usual blog early and have it ready to put up today, but alas no. To our horror, yours and mine, this is a fake blog. You may now scream. Go ahead. It's a scary thing. No one will think less of you if you cry either. Until next time, here is a bunch of stuff--very few will understand--to make this look the real blog that it isn't. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Praesent posuere, metus vel malesuada fermentum, est turpis sagittis urna, in lacinia tortor nisi eu magna. Maecenas ac tellus auctor elit lacinia fermentum. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Integer iaculis. Fusce nec libero. Donec auctor convallis neque. Proin est eros, mattis at, consequat vitae, pharetra vitae, velit.

Pellentesque sed orci. Nunc tincidunt nunc eget lacus. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Quisque faucibus nunc venenatis enim. Suspendisse vitae dolor. Vestibulum nulla. Aenean felis diam, scelerisque a, rutrum eu, ullamcorper nec, justo. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Ut nisl nunc, molestie pellentesque, porta eget, lobortis et, elit. Sed nisi velit, luctus at, pellentesque non, pulvinar id, mi. Curabitur sapien orci, lobortis vitae, euismod mollis, iaculis at, nisi. Etiam ante mauris, volutpat non, commodo gravida, tincidunt quis, dolor. Etiam eget dui nonummy dolor accumsan tincidunt. Sed id eros ac sapien gravida consequat. Mauris augue. Nam elit odio, pulvinar nec, suscipit sit amet, lobortis sit amet, enim. Nullam vel tellus. Phasellus lectus.

Integer auctor lectus nec massa. Aenean convallis. Phasellus luctus vestibulum enim. Vestibulum imperdiet leo id erat. Etiam venenatis diam a mi. Fusce mattis mattis orci. Cras lacus. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Nullam in tortor. Praesent id pede eget nisi ullamcorper luctus. Phasellus consequat feugiat mi. Phasellus risus elit, sollicitudin in, imperdiet at, fringilla non, lectus. Donec nec erat eu dolor gravida porttitor. Donec tellus. Donec dapibus sollicitudin elit. Duis enim arcu, malesuada quis, aliquam eget, vulputate eget, augue. Curabitur ut erat. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Maecenas orci. Sed porta. Ut ante sem, luctus tincidunt, malesuada et, dapibus in, velit.

Mood: festive.
Music Tail Gunner by Iron Maiden and Bad Boys (Of Rock 'n' Roll) by Twisted Sister.

Iron Maiden: No Prayer for the Dying
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Twisted Sister: Under the Blade

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Anatomy of a Horror Setting #5: Psychics Versus Technology

Back in part #3 it was mentioned about the discovery of evil plots, and predicting events, through analysis involving traditional data gathering and spy work. The information put together, looked over, and interpreted is more and more done by technological means. At the least it involves tools that are used in the legwork of the old school kind. Whether it be listening devices or parabolic microphones, or wiretaps and keystroke loggers, technology is the spy's best friend. That is until the psychics become involved. Need to know what is happening in a room? Thread in a fibre optic camera, or hide a bug in the room. Or get the remote viewers and astral projectors to do the work. It's all a matter of options at this point.

A number of psychic powers fall into the category of fantastic replacement for a piece of technology. As loaded a word as fantastic is in that sentence it covers things nicely. Not only will that power replace that piece of electronics but also it will do everything that the device does, and likely much more. For instance, take the lie detector as an example. The lie detector shows when a subject's answer is not truthful. A psychic interrogator will not only know when the answer to the question is false or misleading, but will also likely be able to read the real answer from the subjects mind. Alternatively, the psychic might be getting the answer from other sources than a direct answer out of the mind. Such sources can include the subject's emotions leading to answers more in line with the lie detector.

In a way there might be a couple advantages that the tech route has over the psychic one. The first is in quantity of information. The information that a spy is looking for may take only a couple of minutes to be passed along, a couple of minutes out of hours to days of surveillance. It could become worse yet with multiple subjects being surveilled at once. How about if there isn't a subject to be watched, such as when they monitor Internet or phone communications for keywords? There is however the possibility of the psychic finding out the information after the fact rather than at the time it's divulged. The second advantage that technology has comes into play when it is time to take the evidence of malfeasance to a court or other governing body. More about that in the next article.

Mood: thrilled.
Music: Train of Consequences by Megadeth and Loco by Coal Chamber.

Megadeth: Capitol Punishment
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Coal Chamber: Coal Chamber

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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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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Anatomy of a Horror Setting #3: Governmental Psychic Uses

Oh that I could be the first to touch upon this subject. The fact of the matter though is that military and espionage psychics go way back. I do not think that I would be surprised to find out that these esper (psychic) agents are rooted further back in "fact" than they are in fiction. I have neither the time, will, or government security level to try to determine the truth of this matter. In fact even trying to find out such a thing could cost a person life, limb, possibly their personality, or sanity. If you were to find out something, you might not even know it more than a few hours or a couple days, then you would no longer know it. It would be taken right from your mind as if it was never there. That's what they do.

Well, that is what they would do if they had people with the necessary powers. As it stands, while the governments of the world have tried to harness psychic powers to their advantage documents have been released abroad about how these tests have gone no where and produced no useful results really. Or so they'd like us to believe! Strangely enough the real US government project that looked into remote viewing was called the "Stargate Project". For those that don't know, remote viewing is the described ability of being able to see and hear things going on in a location that the psychic is not physically at, and in some cases has never been to in their life. Sometimes the person is given a picture to work from, and other times they are not, but either way they can be aware of what is at that location and events that happen there.

So in answer to last Anatomy's blog, what would governments do about psychics? They would put them to use. Besides using psychics to spy in almost conventional ways, working like cameras or recording devices, and stealing secrets from people's minds without them knowing it has happened, another great use would be to be to become aware of events before they have actually happened. Traditional data gathering and spy work yield discoveries about plots, and can even be helpful in predicting events. Now how much powerful could national and international security be if agents of the government could see the future and not only know that something will indeed happen, but also be able to detail how it happens, what unfolds step by step, and who is involved? Next time we'll look at esper versus esper.

Mood: tense.
Music: Wicked Young Man by Alice Cooper and In Mist She Was Standing by Opeth.

Alice Cooper: Brutal Planet/Dragontown (2CD)
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Opeth: Orchid

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