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(Flash fiction) A message from the Laundry public relations office

We have verified that the Queen is not, in fact, a Reptoid. Neither is Prince Philip.

Reptoids cannot interbreed with humans. The idea that the Royal Family are Reptoids is alarmist nonsense.

However ...

Reptoids can, under unusual circumstances, masquerade as human beings and on occasion have been known to infiltrate human governments and government agencies. (The best defense against Reptoid infiltration is to keep a close eye on your colleagues for unusual behaviour — swiveling eye turrets, snatching insects out of the air with a quick flick of the tongue, a cold-blooded focus on achieving total world domination.)

Reptoids did on one occasion, come close to the seat of power in the British government: Lord Louis Mountbatten was kidnapped, eaten, and replaced by a Reptoid infiltrator in 1968. The substitution was only discovered four months after the event and remained a major embarrassment for some time. The situation was finally resolved to everybody's satisfaction in August 1979, by deniable MI5 assets embedded in the Provisional IRA.

It is believed that fear of Reptoid infiltration may have been the root cause of the CIA-sponsored assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy. Certainly the affinity of Reptoids for the west coast of Ireland is noteworthy ....

64 Comments

1:

How can we know that the person(s) issuing this press release is not a reptoid themselves? After all, the "Laundry public relations office" is an obvious inconsistency to anyone with even a remote knowledge of the matter...

2:

I'm just wondering how much you had to do with the Laundry Files RPG supplements.

Mainly because this reminds me of the write up of serpent men, or DANUBE CROSSING as the supplement calls them, in one of them.

3:

I get to read them ahead of publication and flag anything that's going to outright contradict the novels. (Also, Cubicle 7 get to see my material in advance of publication. It works both ways.)

4:

Has this blog been hijacked by David Ichor?

5:

Bah, this nonsense, is well, nonsense. It's the sort of nonsense you'd expect from an agent for the lizards in fact. Next you'll be saying that the NSA isn't reading my emails to the others in my reading group, and that the CIA hasn't got a satellite in space that can read people's thoughts (not mine, I wear my lead foil* hat tight).

* You'll read about people saying that tin or aluminium foil is sufficient to prevent the mind reading beams. That's crazy. The metal has to be dense! I've read that gold would be even better than lead, but I can't afford it, what with having to stock up on ammo. I'm also sceptical, because, lead is denser than gold. It might be one of these attempts to undermine my security. Which reminds me, I must go through the neighbours trash again tonight, I think they're spying on me...

6:

"Certainly the affinity of Reptoids for the west coast of Ireland is noteworthy ...."

Just when I think I've got out, Charlie sucks me back in.

You will of course be aware that Lord Lucan, of 1970s coup rumours and nanny murder fame was from the Irish west. . .

7:

keep a close eye on your colleagues for unusual behaviour — swiveling eye turrets, snatching insects out of the air with a quick flick of the tongue

Know your enemy:
True Facts About the Chameleon
(which happens to have some James Bond references in the narration, for extra unintentional Laundry relevance)

8:

Please note your diary for this afternoon has been cleared and all appointments replaced by an extended interview with The Auditors regarding your knowledge of an unauthorised investigation into the most senior echelons of government in contravention of standing orders regarding Number 10 and Buckingham Palace.

Yrs

HR

9:

You will of course be aware that Lord Lucan, of 1970s coup rumours and nanny murder fame was from the Irish west

I don't think John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan ever went near the west of Ireland in the whole of his useless life.

10:

No, but his old family lands were in that part of the world. His father served in Attlee's cabinet, and that's Clement Attlee liked to holiday at a place called Old Head, about a dozen miles down the coast from Westport.

Mayo folklore is that every second Earl of Lucan would be a nasty piece of work. . .

The son of the guy who did the disappearing act came back in the 90s looking for ground rents he felt he was owed. He was politely but firmly told to get lost.

11:

Protection against mindcontrol rays are the reason that monarchs wear crowns, after all. You don't want your own secret police staging a coup. This is also why modern militaries are replacing their metal combat helmets -- in the case of a coup, the military can be controlled.

12:

What, you think it's a coincidence that tin foil has largely been replaced by aluminium foil? Research has shown that aluminium foil hats can actually amplify commonly used frequencies produced by the orbital mind control lasers:

http://web.archive.org/web/20130228182846/http://berkeley.intel-research.net/arahimi/helmet/

(Note that like is from archive.org. The original site has vanished. They don't want you to know this.)

13:

I imagine Laundry PR consists of all the journalists that have discovered the Laundry and/or the truth of the world over the years. They spend their days crafting carefully-worded press releases that shall never be read by anyone.

14:

Clearly the current US Speaker of the House of Reps is a Reptoid. Presumably a color-blind chamaleon. How else to explain his unnatural skin tone, constant sour expression, and emotional outbursts at inappropriate times? He clearly did not pay attention to the briefings on how to appear Human.

von.hitchofen@4:
I thought it was David Icky.

15:

Icky
Never mind. Knew I should have looked it up first.

16:

dagnabbit! Never mind the never mind. Didn't look far enough, and got my crazy Davids mixed up, Irving & Icky.

17:

The Pope.....ithsss not.... A Repthoid.

The prethvioussss Pope....

18:

In other news, sadly.
Fred Pohl has just died - see newspaper Obits .....

19:

I don't know where this idea that reptoids are hell bent on world domination comes from. Have you ever seen herds of iguanas sunning themselves on rocks? These things are more slothful than those darn sloths!

20:

He died at the beginning of September.

you must be a Grauniad reader, Greg - they print the obits of war heroes and SF writers six weeks to 2 months after they've snuffed it...

22:

I thought it was David Icky.

right first time

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=icky

fourth definition down

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2ypYcZ7qfw

Icke in action

Ichor is the blood of the gods, or the stuff that drips from gaping maws of squamous and rugose eldritch abominations

23:

Ichor is the blood of the gods, or the stuff that drips from gaping maws of squamous and rugose eldritch abominations

Sounds Icky; third definition, the more familiar one to me (originally from the US East Coast).
Video won't play on ipad, but I'm familiar enough with both Davids to guess the content.

24:

Gold is 19.3g per cubic centimetre. Lead is 11.3 (at S.T.P.)

Osmium, OTOH, is 22.59 g/cm3 if you want the best ;-)

25:

Ah, the crazy Davids. One is convinced of reptiles, the other is one.

We took the boys to Longleat Safari Park last summer - and walking back from giraffe viewing platform to car park, saw Mr. Icke...

...I was surprised. Are Giraffes now regarded as suspect? Has the most recent XKCD cartoon come true? Or was he trying to spread the Good Gnus?

26:

I'm pretty sure it's amphiboids that have infiltrated the US Congress, as my understanding is that reptilians are not slimy.

27:

But what frequency of radiation are they using for the mind control rays? It must surely be able to penetrate someone's skull.
Or if it's neutrons, make your hat out of boron.

28:

"Certainly the affinity of Reptoids for the west coast of Ireland is noteworthy ...."

You've got cause and effect backwards. Galway is known as the graveyard of ambition, not somewhere those with hell-bent on world domination would willingly visit.

Its probably something to do with the weather. Hibernia's cold gaze is not very conducive for anything reptilian; we didn't even need dodgy saints to drive away snakes. Reptoids true nature would be easily spotted in the West of Ireland.

Trust me, I've lived here for years and never seen a reptoid.

29:

I for one welcome the presence of our Reptoid overlords, and wish that they'd get on with taking over the world.

They'd have to do a better job than most of the current governments...

30:

My information is that Mountbatten was replaced after the sinking of the HMS Kelly. This explains the subsequent events at Dieppe and during partition.

31:

The worrying thing is that Icke's delusional theories about ubiquitous surveillence have stopped being delusional. Maybe there is something in the whole lizard people thing after all ...


... nah ..?

32:

From desultory observation, most conspiracy theorists are right about one thing, then build a huge baroque structure including it.

Icke's had his one thing.

33:

Huh. Maybe that's why people say gold is better than lead. I just assumed that because lead had a higher atomic weight than gold it must be denser. Shows what I know... (I promise I did do well in science in high school! I may have forgotten some of it though.)

Now then, if I could just workout how to get some cheap gold without reducing my ammo stocking...

34:

If anyone is over in North America we have a fine selection of politicians whose behavior warrants a brisk cloacal probing.

(Some of them might even be Reptoids.)

36:

The sinking of HMS Kelly is an obvious opportunity for a substitution by an underwater-dwelling culture, and the substitute may be vulnerable to a later Reptoid operation.

Conspiracies may, in general, think they are subtle. The results may not be quite what they expected. Mountbatten, as long-term professional head of the Royal Navy and then all the British Armed Forces, would be in the same agent-in-place category as Peter Wright alleged for his boss.

So we have the original Mountbatten-1, a reasonably competent junior Naval Officer, known for his technical ability and a bit of an inventor, who seemed somewhat reckless with Kelly; Mountbatten-2 who ended up as First Sea Lord; and the Mountbatten-3 who might have been a move in relation to the 1974 Coup Plot. Were the Reptoids acting for or against the Coup?

It it possible that the Coup Plotters were the human fall-guys in a long-term Reptoid plan that was aimed at BLUE HADES, and which was cancelled for political reasons as CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN became more certainly predicable? So Mountbatten-3 was put in place to execute this plan, and then received instructions to halt it. But it triggered a counter-intel case.

This is silly. It's too complicated. Besides, the Reptoids would be more interested in Egypt than in Galway.

37:
Now then, if I could just workout how to get some cheap gold without reducing my ammo stocking...

Try tungsten. Same density, much lower price.

38:

My thought exactly. The history is supposed to be that Tony Abbott was born in London, but west of Ireland is more believable, in so many ways.

Mad Monk, or Reptoid - is there much difference?

39:

Bah! Reptoids get a bad rep. Most of the ones I know are just ordinary guys who like a few beers on a Friday night down the pub with a few mates (if it's warm enough), or just vegging on the sofa under their UV basking lamps watching strictly come dancing.

World domination is just too much effort. Sitting on a hot rock, with a head of lettuce to munch and a couple of bottles of hobgoblin is much more attractive to them.

40:

I've often thought the perennially neck-ruffed Queen Elizabeth I bore an eerie resemblance to a frilled lizard, come to that. A time-traveling agent for the dinosaurs...?

41:

In fact the situation is worse!The Lizards are behind the anti-fluoridation movement, and encourage dentistry so that radio receivers can be embedded in ones teeth, constantly receiving brainwashing broadcasts. Would Lucille Ball lie? Commie pinko subversives who want fluoridation are saving us from ourselves.

42:

The lack of mention of other members of the Royal Family or denial that this was the reason for the (un)fortunate demise of Princess Diana does seem ... strange.

43:

Possibly, in the Laundryverse, the Daily Mail didn't murder Princess Diana in a car crash in a Paris tunnel.


It's a joke! Don't sue Charlie!

44:

Gold is a little less dense than lead, but it's a far better conductor, resulting in a more complete Faraday cage. If you're uncertain though, you could pair up your lead hat with one lined with copper wire mesh underneath for a similar effect

45:

Gold is a little less dense than lead

No it's not. It's coming on for twice as dense as lead. Why are you people coming up with this grossly incorrect information?

46:

The numbers:

Gold 19.3 g/cm^3

Lead 11.3 g/cm^3

47:

If the Reptoids are BLUE HADES, then they'd really be neither reptiles nor amphibians, but the clade of some alien tree of evolution, with unknown characteristics. They just happen to look like Terran reptiles.

48:

Curiously, gold and tungsten have very similar (3 decimal places) density. Gold counterfeiting using tungsten cores has started to happen at a significant level recently.
(The comments for that zerohedge article are simultaneously amusing and scary.)

49:

Happy Birthday, Charlie! (It's still October 18th where I am).

Many happy returns.

50:

Happy Birthday, Charlie! (It's still October 18th where I am).

Likewise, meaning it's also my sister's birthday. Hope you had some good beers with good friends, Charlie.

51:

No BLUE HADES are fish men/ deep ones.
Reptoids are Children of Yig/ Sand dwellers/ Serpent people

That's like mistaking Sea Devils for Silurians....

53:

That gold story is over a year old.

At the time, gold was about $1700 per ounce, and the current price is $400 lower. And the story refers to a 10-oz bar. There's a scattering of other stories. There are tests that can spot the fakes, using such things as ultrasound.

What's interesting is that gold started a slow rise with the American land wars in Asia, but the rate of increase roughly doubled when Barack Obama was elected for the first term. There were some big swings in 2011 and 2012, and a really big drop after Barack Obama was elected for a second term.

I expect the Conspiracy theorists are coming up with a few ideas to explain that, and fake bullion bars will be part of it.

54:

Here's your non-conspiracy theory:

Gold is popular in different cultures for different reasons. In the US, it's largely popular among older, less well educated people who have difficulty handling abstractions, and one of the abstractions they find hard to swallow is the idea of paper money as a viable medium of exchange. To be fair, there were huge currency issues in the US prior to the stabilization of the current system -- notably before, during and immediately after the Slaveowners' Treasonous Rebellion -- but that's under control and the post-1945 situation with the dollar as de facto global reserve currency is unrecognizably different. However, there's an entire industry built around pandering to these people's fear of "fiat currency" by trying to sell them gold at an ever-inflating price.

Barack Obama is the first non-white president of the United States. As such, to the aging white racist contingent he might as well be a sign of the apocalypse. They're deeply disturbed by what he symbolizes: a young multiethnic America where the old racial (or racist) rules don't apply. To the sort of people whose instinctive response to trouble on the horizon is to shuffle their savings into gold, ammunition, and canned goods, he's a deeply disturbing phenomenon. And to the parasites who feed on the elderly or insular, insecure racists he's a marketing god-send. Run a Barack Hussein (Secret Muslim) Obama sock-puppet up the flag-pole, make with the booga-booga scare spiel, and then offer to sell them gold bullion and guns. It's been a profitable side-line for more than one of the right wing talk radio hosts, and it sent the price of gold (in the US) through the roof. A major banking crisis and a couple of wars didn't hurt, either.

But Obama isn't the anti-Christ, and he's in his second term, meaning he'll be out of the oval office within a few years. The wars are being ramped down, too. The banking crisis has been papered over. The incentives to buy gold are dwindling, for now, and meanwhile it spiked to an all-time high: the only obvious way for it to go is down.

At least, until Hilary Rodham Clinton makes her run on the White House.

55:

Of course it doesn't actually take a conspiracy theory, just the conspiracy theorists, particularly those that were convinced Barack Obama wasn't actually an American-born citizen thanks to what seemed to a lot of the outside world old-fashioned racism on their parts.

Add to that a fair degree of even fairly level-headed people not trusting the banks, hedge funds and the like around then and you've got a pretty case for a volatile gold market without getting into mad conspiracies.

I'm sure that won't stop the conspiracy theorists though.

56:

But who would trust the banks? I trust the banks up to around a million dollars (if only I had that...) because the government has promised to make sure that if the banks collapse, they (that is the govt.) will make it up to me. Of course, the fact that I don't have anywhere near a million dollars means that I keep most of my money in the bank (and, actually, it's in a credit union).

And what did the banks do to get me to trust them anyway? Charge me ridiculous fees, change the fees every fee months, hit me with new fees... (Actually, my bank is OK, mostly, otherwise I would have gone already. But the stories I've heard about the bigger banks...)

The only reason I've still got a bank account (and haven't pushed all my money into credit unions or similar), is that it's much more convenient at the moment (and they aren't so bad). When I'm actually in a position to think straight on the issue for a couple of months, I'll probably move.

57:

I guess it depends on what you mean by the banks. My interactions with banks and their ilk are for sums much lower than a million dollars, mostly lower than $10,000. I'd rather use them than stash the cash under my mattress which seems to be my other choice. I'm willing to pay something for the peace of mind of not being a target for burglars, not that I'm rich, but I'm also not particularly mobile, so I might be a better target than I'd like to be. I'm willing to be charged a bit for the convenience of paying by EPOS, and formerly by cheque and the like, rather than carrying relatively large amounts of cash around and being a potential target that way.

I'm not sure $1,000,000 is the right dividing line - I'm not sure it's the wrong one mind - where banks stop being about providing a service of facilitating transactions that ordinary folk might recognise (although they do that too, when the need arises I'm sure, if celeb A buys celeb B a fancy gold and diamond encrusted toy, or celeb C buys a luxury yacht or whatever) and seem to do their own things that are basically akin to financial black arts. And suddenly you're getting into risk-reward scenarios in a way that EPOS transactions for $250 max really don't. Is it really a surprise that they all fell over? On any given day, sure, but sometime..?

58:

Given ubiquitous computing/surveillance and intensive personalisation, how will we reliably diagnose paranoia and 'ideas of reference'?

59:

A good general rule to remember about psychiatry is that the diagnostic symptoms are extreme instances of what they describe. We might all show paranoid behaviour, but it's not anywhere near breaking us.

A new dystopian novel in the classic mode takes the form of a dictionary of madness is a bit of a snark on the subject, but does have some relevance to the perceptions of how diagnosis works.

60:

That does make a lot of sense, Charlie.

But it raises the question of just how the gold market works. How have the swivel-eyed-loons been able to buy enough to shift the markets by so much? Gold has uses in industry, and I suspect a big chunk of the cause might be that. Mobile phones are reputedly a richer source of gold than the ore from South African mines.

If, for instance, the US market doesn't encourage recycling of defunct electronics, does that push gold prices up?

61:

The world's highest consumption of gold is in India. They're importing about 1000 tonnes a year, and you can be pretty sure that it's not going into industry — otherwise, China would be way ahead.

62:

Dang, for a moment I thought you were going to announce news of a brand new Merchant Princes book :(

63:

he's still writing. As I understand it, he's done the first draft of the next volume, but it takes a long time from that through the editing, copy editing, &c &c. Don't expect it for a while.

But you do have The Rhesus Chart to come a bit sooner - hey, it's got cover art now.

64:

Of course the Queen is not a reptoid. According to Neil Gaiman's historical document Study in Emerald, she's an immortal alien tentacle monster.

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