So now you’ve sent your number one nemesis to perdition, yet you want to make sure that it doesn’t bring down your motivation to commit other, more lucrative evil acts which are so necessary to maintain your villainous profile. Too much closure can be a dangerous thing for an active, reckless spirit. If you are up to the level of commitment needed to staff and provision a regimen of eternal torture, you may find that it enhances the rest of your operations, simultaneously cowing your victims, diverting your antagonists, and energizing your minions. With a certain amount of organization, it does not have to monopolize too much of your busy schedule for time immemorial.
- Technicians. The administration of torture is a specialization that calls for its own best practices, its own jargon, and its own system of accreditation. Presumably the technical staff will be responsible for inflicting eternal punishment on several noncorporeal essences, not just one. Set up shifts, training programs, incentive plans, and oversight structures. If your plans include tongues of unquenchable fire, remember to train a crew of fire safety officers to keep the incidences of costly mishaps among your associates to a minimum.
- Dystopian setting. A coldly bureaucratic, dehumanizing tenor to the proceedings, in which the subject is addressed only by serial number. A list of charges, with an emphasis that any one of the major crimes would be sufficient to ensure damnation. A shadowy hierarchy inaccessible to view, with only the lowest functionaries in charge of the torment.
- Physical discomfort. Here’s where your investment in fire and brimstone, in pitchforks, lashes, and cauldrons will begin to pay off. Do not overlook the opportunities to increase the level of discomfort with loud and annoying music, a foul miasma wafting through the dank caverns, and perhaps a wild rampaging beast or two.
- Psychological measures. Simple physical torture techniques are effective but they have an effective maximum, after which point only psychological means of torment can make a significant impact. These commonly rely on the emotions of despair, shame, and abandonment. Also it is likely that the soul will become increasingly detached from physical realm its body (if any) inhabits no body at all, making physical torment problematical.
Strokes of genius
- Self-inflicted pain. Much of the overhead and many of the staffing needs can be alleviated by expedient of having the victim inflict the torment on him or herself. Even lifelong scoundrels have at least a vestigial conscience which the skilled demon can play upon to elicit the proper emotions of shame, self-disgust, and emptiness to form a basis for self-destructive recriminations which will then provide an easy entry into the realm of self-blame and all the rest. Once the chain reaction begins, the damned soul will pretty much be self-running.
- Religious pronouncements. Given that you and your victim will be dealing with an eternal afterlife (a metaphysical concept if ever there was one), it can be good to clear the decks with a frank discussion of what is and what is not a feature of this notion. Let there be no notion of a reprieve or pardon in store for the individual, nor of a heroic martyrdom being served by the sufferings endured. Instead focus on the absolute and unchanging fact of divine justice where the infinite affront leads to an infinite punishment to be doled out over eternity, in a strictly mathematical way.
- Plural captives. Keeping a single soul forever is tricky, keeping two or more in close proximity can be a real juggling act, particularly if they share different ideas as to the nature of the afterlife. When you can, isolate them in separate cells, so they no longer have the opportunity ether to bond or to dig to freedom. Otherwise, the most prudent course is often to play up the potential for conflict between the two, so that each one can assist in bedeviling the other.
- Outsourcing. Multiple organizations exist purely for the infliction of bodily and mental harm on damned souls, and may be amenable to an arrangement where they take over the day-to-day management of the individual you provide, in consideration for payment of some sort. Read the contract forms carefully to make sure the terms do not include any hidden clauses stripping you of power.
Traps for mere fools
- Boredom. On the part of the captors, not the captive. 90% of all escapes follow a lack of motivation and challenge experienced by the torture team. Mix up the routine when you can to keep your staff on their toes, and consider rotating the groups designated to receive the various treatments over the course of eons.
- Excessive chaos. A bit of random violence here and there is fine, but most experts in the eternal torture field agree that too much unstructured activity on the part of the agents in the field is detrimental to good security and long-term achievement of goals.
- Throwing away the key. If an immortal soul is tormented but nobody is able to witness its suffering, does it make a sound? Some evil beings take special precautions that their places of eternal punishment are neither soundproof nor rigidly compartmentalized, precisely to avoid this conundrum.
- Avenging angels. It is a real nuisance when do-gooders of either the mortal or celestial type decide that one of your charges is to be liberated from their everlasting punishment. Generally, however, the kind of individual singled out for that kind of treatment is not that attractive to the average hero, which is fortunate.
Precious and needful
- Annoying music.
- Reality TV celebrities. Producers are also useful in running the show.
- Calendars. Lots of them.
- How to extinguish all hope
- How to lie to someone's face
- How to make the voices of your victims stop
- How to plan a mass grave
- How to prank your adversaries
- How to betray your master
- How to sleep in peace
- How to run a virtual world
- How to swear a mighty oath
- How to worship an evil god
- How to oppress the meek
- How to work with vampires
- How to stop time
- How to clean a dungeon
- How to run a virtual world
- How to get the most from a bottomless pit
- How to sharpen a guillotine
- Image credit Standing at the Gates of Hell by country_boy_shane
- Image credit Hell by KomodorO // Paco LopeH
- Image credit Madrid - Torture by philosophy_rebel