Yeah, Maybe Not That Short

Academician Sesca Galith stepped up behind the podium, and tapped it gently to begin. The audience quieted rapidly as she held up a wickedly-pointed poniard, of oddly-textured metal, with lights gleaming white and amber in its hilt, whose image was repeated on the displayed behind her.

“Presenting, gentlesophs, the latest in field interrogation technology from Eye-in-the-Flame’s cognitive weaponry division. This little tool is our ripknife, a guaranteed instrumentality for extracting information when it is both necessary and urgent. Using a nanitic burning-scan reader, when emplaced in the cerebral cavity of a target via some vulnerable aperture or thinness, the ripknife creates a high-resolution destructive scan of the neural network of their brain’s essential regions, then uploads it via your tactical mesh network to your battlespace command center. There, static mind-state analysis or fork interrogation using our patented NEUROLAUNDRY ™ software will lay your target’s secrets bare within minutes, and relay useful information back to you over the mesh. There is no better way to ensure field data acquisition proceeds rapidly enough to keep you inside the opposition’s command-and-control loop –”

A grizzled kaeth in the audience coughed. “Doc, we’re all just simple mercenaries here. Give us the short version?”

“Find someone knowledgeable on the other side, then stick it through the eye socket and wait until the light turns blue. Ignore the dripping. Then you know what they know. Knew.”


Trope-a-Day: Mind Rape

Mind Rape: See, in essence, And I Must Scream.  The penalties are commensurate.

(Note, though, that this doesn’t apply to the standard means of extracting information from unwilling minds among technological sophisticates (Mind Probe); namely, pulling a copy of the mind-state vector – which is about as painful as getting an MRI, because that’s essentially what it is, which is to say, not at all – and then extracting any data you need from it by static analysis.  Invasion of privacy, yes, but any side-effects are purely psychosomatic.

That this is possible, incidentally, tells you everything you need to know about the sadistic bastards who use perverted sophotech for regular-style torture-interrogations.)

Trope-a-Day: Mind Probe

Mind Probe: Available in a couple of forms; the alethiometer, a highly sophisticated lie detector which works by dynamic mind-state analysis, and the more advanced form, which is obtaining a static copy of the mind-state (via Brain Uploading, which fortunately is possible non-destructively these days) and dissecting it for whatever information you need.  Since this latter is being done on a separate non-running copy of the target’s mind, it has the advantage (for them) of not causing hallucinations, pain, or brain damage, but also the disadvantage (for them) of being entirely irresistible by anything they can do.