Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Anatomy of a Horror Setting #12: Like Ogres, Onions, and Cakes

Though it need not be true, seeing as how psychics are using the power of their minds, albeit in fantastic ways, these psychic people might also be fairly intelligent. With this in mind (pun intended) any psychic worth their mental abilities is going to employ more than just power to achieving their goals. For the criminal, opportunistic, or morally ambiguous types an excellent tool in their arsenal is working their plots and goals in layers. A "good" psychic might also put some of these techniques to use, but it may leave them feeling dirty. These ideas put toward getting to a desired solution are not new, and certainly not exclusive to psychics. They are not limited, either, to criminal enterprise, and they apply to the physical world as well as the electronic world.

The key advantage to using layers in problem resolution is to create distance between the psychic and their target. This is traditionally done by using proxies or surrogates, both of which serve the same purpose. Each stands in for the original person; they are replacements. The difference is that a surrogate only takes the person's place in the endeavour; the proxy also acts as the voice of the original, or makes decisions on their behalf. In simpler terms the surrogate or proxy is a third party. This is how, according to television, smart criminals hire a hitman. The crook tells somebody who works for them to contact a hitman to place a contract to have someone killed. This is a smart plan because the crook never meets the hitman and the hitman never knows who placed the contract.

A psychic can make someone commit murder, steal something, leaving a door open, or not log out of a computer. This of course is only one layer. By adding more layers the overall plan becomes stronger, father reaching, and perhaps even more subtle. Using the murder for hire situation as an example, it becomes a murder by proxy in the hands of a controlling psychic. The murder isn't connected, by normal means, to the psychic. However it may be entirely out of character for the murderer, leaving some suspicious. To alleviate this the psychic can create a motive for the murder, by forcing an altercation between the murderer and the victim. Witnesses can be made to remember additional events. In this way layer upon layer can be added until it can never be traced back to the psychic.

Mood: down.
Music: Paper Sun by Def Leppard and The Longest Day by Iron Maiden.

Def Leppard: Euphoria
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Iron Maiden: A Matter of Life and Death

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