The devices and techniques classed under PATELLA FLEXION are products of ISS research designed to assist field agents in social engineering, making use of hierarchy-based and submission instincts present in many sophont species. Rather than direct coercion or deception, the cerebroergetic and memetic technologies in this class function by projecting a comforting illusion of authority, designed to make its targets both well-disposed to and compliant with their user.

While effective (in proportion to the prevalence of said instincts; see relevant IES reports) in the former goal, they are of minimal use in the latter. Since PATELLA FLEXION leads the target to perceive the user as an authority figure communicating reasonable ideas – both observer-dependent – it can render actual communication (and thus persuasion of the target to do anything that they do not conceive their preferred authority-concept asking for from them) almost impossible. Worse, in some cases in which the target is hyperoneiric, it can trigger serious behavior excursions, often prejudicial to mission success.

Jini Raqelintios, Our Cabinet of Curiosities, ISS internal publication

6 thoughts on “PATELLA FLEXION

  1. If I’m reading this right, it boils down to “the more trusted someone is, the more jarring it would be for them to suddenly act “out of character” Like the old joke about undercover moles infiltrating the government: if a mole managed to become President of the United States, s/he would have no other option than to faithfully serve as president.

    • Oh, it can get worse than that. The tech guarantees that they’ll perceive you as a trusted authority issuing reasonable orders, but the rest is filtered through their minds, which will happily rationalize the perception around what they know-for-certain is true.

      Which means if you try this on people without guessing right as to who they perceive as a trusted authority and shaping the orders you try to give appropriately – assuming that’s even possible – things can go wahoonie-shaped very quickly.

      (For example, try deploying this tech on a bunch of stressed conscripts in Vietnam. Unless you’re very careful, whatever you try to get them to do has a good chance of being distorted into something completely else, and at that point, you’re flipping the coin on whether you’re perceived as Sergeant Father-to-his-Men organizing an orderly retreat, or CIA agent Killcrazy demanding that they do the whole fucking village, belike.

      And given the potential effects on hyperoneirics, never try this at Comic-Con.)

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