Handsome as well as practical, an extensive collection of immortal souls is invariably impressive to everyone visiting your lair, whether in the capacity of guest or prisoner. Once exclusively the domain of galaxy-class evil geniuses, modern advances in the technology make this hobby within reach of nearly everyone. Whether they are personally hand-extracted or obtained on the soul market, a high-quality soul of impeccable virtue is an investment that can retain its value throughout eternity if you take a few basic measures as a collector.
- High-quality extraction device. Invest in a good soul-extraction apparatus, which can last you many lifetimes. Older analogue models using discrete solid-state boards or even vacuum tubes may require special care and can be finicky to operate, whereas the new ones with full hybrid metempsychotic circuit designs are much easier for the beginner to achieve success. When you buy your apparatus, ask about periodic maintenance agreements as well.
- Receptacles. Transparent crystal is the traditional favorite and always looks classy, but in recent years manufacturers have been experimenting with other materials, such as sardonyx, chrome, and beating human cardiac tissue. The opaque materials typically feature either a viewing port or some kind of video arrangement so one can still enjoy seeing the soul imprisoned inside. They come in different shapes and sizes, which is useful to know in cases where you are extracting from someone with an excess of soul (the saintly and groovy), which in past times usually meant that some of the overflow would simply be lost for all time.
- Display. Usually collectors will start out with just a tasteful arrangement on a set of wall-mounted shelves, later graduating to a dedicated soulvault with tags describing the circumstances of each acquisition. Large projection units which throw an image of the captive soul up on a theater-sized screen have been cropping up lately and provide a new dimension in sharing souls with your acquaintances or even with the victim's family.
Strokes of genius
- Variety vs. specialization. Some prefer a broad collection showing the range of human existence, while others concentrate their collection on one or two little quirks that catch their imagination. You can decide whether you want to develop a topical collection, trading or selling off your unneeded acquisitions if so.
- Brokers. There is a flourishing second-hand market in souls, though it is important to know how much to trust the agent you are dealing with. Moves to license and certify soul brokers are underway. Ask to see what kind of insurance your broker has, and find out whether they are open to having their merchandise authenticated by independent appraisers.
- Tricks you can teach. Usually the visual aspect of a soul imprisoned is what initially draws the attention of a collector. More and more, however, a whole sub-specialty devoted to training the souls to display certain behaviors has become quite popular, starting with standard moaning and wailing, progressing to geometric or representational visual displays. One easy application is to hook them up to your fortress security system, so you are actually making use of their psychic capabilities at the same time you can savor their esthetic appeal. Some have even conditioned their souls to perform along to music, awful, soul-torturing music as a rule.
- Care and handling. When you put in a security system, look into whether you can also have an automated soul-container cleaning and polishing integrated into the works. Most soul receptacles are intended to be picked up, though rough treatment and extreme temperatures may expose them to cosmetic damage. A dealer can refer you to specialists in refurbishing old units, or in transferring souls from one container to another.
Traps for mere fools
- Hidden damage. Spend a while getting to know a new soul to learn what weaknesses and defects it possesses. To the practiced eye, stupidity, vanity, greed, and all the ordinary vices are easy to spot. It is almost impossible to find souls free of flaws on the market, as these museum pieces command the highest of prices among fanciers, though it might be possible to obtain these on your own. Take care if you do find a sterling example of an unsullied soul not to lose some of that value by careless extraction or slipshod storage. READ THE MANUALS.
- Soul sickness. It can spread through a large collection like foxfire, wiping out many eons of work, but it is easily prevented. Never extract the soul of a being without redeeming qualities (use a commercially-available aurometer to determine this). Make sure you check out the pedigree and provenance of souls you purchase.
Precious and needful
- Silk gloves.
- Spare receptacles.
- Pentacle of protection. Rent or buy.
- Hot melt glue. For minor repairs, only.
- Soul music.
- Aurometer. Available in any price range.
- Insurance. Carrying the right kind of insurance on your hoard may help your own peace of mind as well, though experts caution against this being your only means of protection.
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- Image credit Charged Up Again by BG on Zooomr
- Image credit Luzes de Natal by Breno Peck
- Image credit Golden wine by Frederic-JG
Created by: GrinningSkull. Last Modification: Tuesday 29 of September, 2009 13:28:05 EDT by .