Trope-a-Day: Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique

Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Averted three times over.  Firstly, because of the ethical problems (the people who are very cautious and gentle about imprisoning the accused because they don’t own their people are hardly going to endorse torture).  Secondly, because it doesn’t work, assuming you have any reason to care about the accuracy of the data it produces and don’t just want a confession to something, anything.  And thirdly, because anything you might be able to do with torture, you can do better with proper use of psychochemistry and, later, subpoenaing a copy of their mind-state to subject to static analysis.

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.)

Painful Nuances

“I am an algetic composer. I am not a torturer.”

“Indeed, I can recite more detailed information about the selective stimulation of pain centers than most people. That doesn’t change the reality of what I do, you understand? I am not some damned savage dealing out pain for interrogation or punishment. I compose enhanced-realism algetic experiences. The authentic sense of fatigue as your stamina runs out, stabbings real enough to feel the knife, bullets with the proper sensation of impact, shock and pain when they hit… adjusted, of course, for the optimal extreme experience with limiters in the right places, unrealistically fast recovery, and so forth. In other words, art.”

“Yes, I create pain. But I don’t torture people, even if the self-righteous misconceptions of outworld preregressives occasionally make it bloody tempting.”

“I am a game designer.”

Trope-a-Day: And I Must Scream

And I Must Scream: The number of things that one could theoretically do that fall into this category, given the dark side of virtual reality (where torture can’t kill you, only make you wish you were dead) and the ability to pervert sophotechnology, is as infinite as the possibilities of malice.

There’s a reason why just about any mind-state storage device that might fall into enemy hands comes with very serious encryption, anti-tamper devices, and self-destruct.


I will find my death here in the Exclaves.

He – that outworlder – beat my friend to death.  Not for profit.  Not for a plan or a revenge or some twisted necessity.  Slowly, and for his pleasure, because ve was an alien, and he hated all that was wider than his narrow vision or better than his pathetic life.

And I could not just leave that up to the mighty Fourth Directorate to solve.  They would hunt the outworlder down, no doubt, and with all full ceremony and due process of law put him cleanly to death.  “There is no higher repayment; naught can requite more than existence.”

Can it not?

My data worm stole vis final memories from the forensic redactor who extracted them for the court.  And it turns out that there are many things you can do, when you have a cause.  By means my indictment goes into at some length, I found him before they did.  I perverted a cerebral bridge to implant those memories into him as his own.  And I applied memory stimulation and time dilation, and watched him convulse and shriek while a taste of his own hell shredded his mind.

I had him for seven minutes before they found us, but that was enough.

I did not –

No.  One in my position should be honest.  I did enjoy it.  It was horrific and it was sickening, but I did enjoy it.  Thoroughly.  But that is of no relevance.  It may have been vengeance, but it was right.  It was just.  It was balance.

The Directorate permitted me to observe when they executed the residue of him.  Guilt is guilt, they say, and the forms must be obeyed.

When I am finished making this statement, I will be taken before the court one final time.  I am not slated for execution, due to the status of the one I killed, and evidence, they say, of severe mental stress.  I am to be given the choice.

I may enter into meme rehab, to be edited into a version of me who would not have done those things that I have done; who is as capable of cold-mindedness as the men of the Directorate; who could find satisfaction in knowing that ver killer had been… erased.  Or I may decline, and in so doing submit myself to euthanasia.

My friend, reinstantiated, is appalled by my actions, but was still willing to speak with me.  Ve pleaded with me to undergo the meme rehab, but comes no more.  So be it.  Ve is a good friend, a good person, but ve does not understand mélith as we do… as we did, once.  I knew the price, and pay it willingly.

I do not wish to die.  But I will not regret this.  And so I cannot become.

– last testamentary statement of Reldith Calaris-ith-Calir
executed 4144, Versine Exclave