And I Must Scream

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He left my mind intact. I can dream, I can wonder, I can lament. Simply... he has taken his revenge. I have no mouth. And I must scream.

A character suffers from a extremely horrifying Fate Worse Than Death. Suicide is not an option: even death never comes to free him from it. He is immobilized or otherwise contained, unable to communicate with anyone, and unlikely to be removed from this situation—not even by death—anytime in the foreseeable future. This is often a variation on Taken for Granite in which the victim remains conscious, and the worst-case scenario for tropes such as Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere, Involuntary Transformation, Phantom Zone Picture, and Who Wants to Live Forever?.

Some other torture—eternal pain, seeing your worst fears forever, et cetera—may be layered on top of it, but simply being stuck like that forever can be more than enough.

Usually, when this arises, it is eternal unless he's freed by outside forces, but a "mere" years-long or centuries-long fate is possible. For instance, a robot with a 100-year battery life, buried underground. In fact, this is a very common sci-fi trope involving artificial intelligences who are potentially immortal due to being made of software.

Sometimes appears as a Backstory, if a Sealed Person In A Can was aware while sealed away. Can overlap with Go Mad From the Isolation if the character's separated from other people rather than among them but unable to interact.

Generally used two ways, either for horror, or as a way to defeat immortal villains.

Examples of And I Must Scream include: