Back to: Scheduled downtime | Forward to: Cytological Utopia and the rapture of the eukaryotes

Competition Time!

The Nightmare Stacks

There are only 30 days to go until the UK release of The Nightmare Stacks, and to celebrate, my UK publisher Orbit are giving one lucky and inventive reader the chance to win a Laundry Files pack, including signed copies of The Nightmare Stacks, plus a Magic Circle of Safety mug and a Laundry Files tshirt. All you have to do is come up with your own Laundry Files gadget, app, or piece of tech - for good or evil. Give us a name, a classification and a brief explanation of how it works/what it does.

Five runners up will win a signed copy of The Nightmare Stacks.

Here are some examples of gadgets you might run into, or might run into you, if you work for the Laundry. (Terms and conditions apply: continued below the fold.)




Ofcut

Name: OFCUT (Occult Field Countermeasures Utility Toolkit)

Classification: Mobile application - counter magic class

Deployment: Usage recommended for field work by Laundry Agents for defence and offence against hostiles. Includes both preventative measures (Thaumometer: measuring magic in the area) and more extreme counter-measures (see ref: Scorpion stare)

Magic being a side effect of computation, Laundry IT services have been working on portable invocation and exorcism equipment since the late 1970s (see ref: Osborne-1). In the 21st century, modern smartphones have become as powerful as 1990s supercomputers and replace the laptops and briefcase-sized portable computers of earlier days as a platform agents can use to run the OFCUT software suite. OFCUT has tools for sensing magical flux (thaum field strength), identifying active intrusions using the smartphone's various antennae and positioning sensors, and a handy database of known ghostly manifestations and extradimensional horrors to assist the agent in working out how fast they should run away. It also includes a secure email and messaging client, a remote access tool to allow Head Office to activate and control the phone's features remotely, and a voice chat tool so that the agent's last words can be captured for posterity.

With additional bluetooth-controlled peripherals a proficient demonologist can use an OFCUT-equipped smartphone to summon and control the sort of things sane people prefer to avoid, and with an additional secondary camera module it can acquire SCORPION STARE capability.




Jesusphone

Name: Jesusphone

Classification: Irresistibly shiny slab of preciousssss created in high security bunkers by a secretive cult-like corporation based in Silicon Valley. Sold around the world to millions of people who can't resist its Class 4 glamour. Believed by some to be merely a smartphone.

Allegations that the sub-basement floor plan of JesusCorp's new billion-dollar donut-shaped headquarters in Cupertino is laid out as a vast summoning grid are under investigation, but JesusCorp's internal secrecy, enforced by the so-called Worldwide Loyalty Team, is harder to penetrate than the cold-war era KGB.

Deployment: It's nearly impossible to keep employees from buying their own JesusPhones, so IT services finally bowed to the inevitable and started handing them out as official work equipment. At which point, JesusCorp's paranoid approach to security becomes an asset: running a native version of OFCUT the JesusPhone becomes a secure, reliable Swiss Army chainsaw for tackling occult intrusions in the wild--and without attracting undue attention, because they're ubiquitous.




Scorpion Stare

Name: Scorpion Stare

Classification: Weapon: Medusa class

Deployment: Basilisks and Medusas have been known of since antiquity: an observer-mediated quantum tunnelling effect causes a tiny fraction of the nuclei of carbon atoms in the target of the basilisk's gaze to be replaced by those of silicon atoms from a parallel universe, causing a sudden release of gamma radiation and heat. More recently, special-purpose electronic hardware has been developed that allows two or more suitably-connected high definition CCTV cameras to produce this effect. If you wonder why stereo/3D digital cameras are scarce on the market, this would be why: they're deadlier than hand grenades.

The Laundry operates Scorpion Stare technology in various modes. On a national level, in time of emergency/invasion by Elder Gods, the national CCTV network can be turned into a look-to-kill grid. And at a personal level, an agent with a smartphone and a special secondary camera module is less conspicuous than an agent toting a sawn-off shotgun. But in practice relatively few problems can be solved satisfactorily by making heads literally explode, encouraging bored civil servants to run around thinking they're James Bond inevitably leads to tears before bed-time, and the failure modes are drastic and unforgiving (more than one employee has ended up the subject of a secret Coroner's Report after forgetting to remove their auxilliary camera module before taking a selfie in the bathroom mirror).

Effects: People (and objects containing any amount of carbon--trees, grass, painted surfaces, small yappy dogs) bursting into flames, leaving characteristic remains that resemble the original object reincarnated as a cinder block. Vampires have been observed to sparkle in daylight (very briefly).




HOG3

Name:* HOG-3 (Hand of Glory)

Classification: Unconventional weaponry level 2

Deployment: For centuries, it has been known among occult circles that the hand of a hanged felon, suitably pickled and inscribed, can be used for certain ritual purposes as a ghastly five-branched candle. While the fingers burn, according to legend, the bearer can be invisible, can enter any locked building, and can force their will upon others. Much of this is bunkum, but it is confirmed that someone holding such an artefact is very difficult to see.

Prior to 1965 the Laundry maintained a discreet supply arrangement with the Home Office, but after the abolition of capital punishment in the UK supplies became scarce. Finally, a 1980s research project identified a suitable and plentifully available substitute--which is why so many of the pigeons in London's Trafalgar Square appear to only have one foot. The newly miniaturized HOG-3 burns for a duration of up to 120 seconds, during which time a person or vehicle connected to it can move unseen. This is, however, an emergency tool.

Variant models:*

HOG-1: Most powerful version, but extremely rare as no more are being produced. (It is believed that less than ten remain in storage.) Attempts to obtain replacement supplies from overseas fell foul of human rights legislation banning support for capital punishment.

HOG-2: Made from an octopus. Unfortunate side-effects. Don't ask.

HOG-3: Standard issue since 1989; ultra-compact, short duration invisibility device, manufactured using feral pigeons. No longer issued routinely due to incidents of employee abuse resulting in prosecution for stalking. Stockpile diminishing and not being replenished following discussions with the RSPB.




Want to enter? Read the T&Cs, and if you're eligible, leave your entry in a comment below. (When the winners are announced I'll post an update blog entry telling the winners to get in touch so we know where to send the prizes.) Over to you!

ADDITION TO TERMS AND CONDITIONS

You can run variations on Scorpion Stare or basilisks all you like; they ain't gonna win.

Similarly, OFFOG, TASP, and other clear steals from other SF authors (such as Eric Frank Russell or Larry Niven, in those two cases) will be disqualified. Oh, and I am fully aware of the SCP Wiki, and that's off-limits too. (If you want to win, it needs to be All Your Own Work.)

And (you did read the terms and conditions, right?) this bears repeating: "anyone aged 16 or over in the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand except employees of Little Brown Book Group, their families, or anyone professionally connected to the competition either themselves or through their families." Non-UK/EU/Australasians are welcome to pitch in, but sorry, you're not eligible for the prizes.

299 Comments

1:

Name: Addison Leecoy
Classification: Urban Transport
Deployment: As CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN intensifies, laundry agents must be able to quickly reach outbreaks in urban areas, whilst avoiding threats that remain invisible to the general public.
Transport support was recently provided by police forces, however these services have been withdrawn following another round of austerity. The laundry have procured a fleet of second hand Ford Galaxies, in Addison Lee livery, complete with TFL stickers (in London). These allow laundry agents to quickly move around urban areas, swerve to avoid unseen targets, and park anywhere - all without raising suspicion.

2:

Codename: RIFT OF OCULUS (ROO)

Classification: Counter-Glamour/LTK weapon

Deployment: Geases, glamours and the growing prevalence of the "superpowered" represent a significant threat to the security of HM government and services. Of particular concern is the possibility of infiltration and corruption by enhanced individuals capable of charming organisation employees by altering their appearance and employee suggestability. The ROO system comprises of a full facial headset with front mounted camera and noise cancelling headphones. Security personnel issues with ROO are tasked with monitoring government premises, any unauthorised occult activity is overlaid in their visor and, where possible, neutered allowing true vision. Proprietary voice modulator technology embedded in the earphones minimises effectiveness of acoustic-based-dominance-geases.

In addition to providing detection and countermeasures to hostile agents/entities using such methods ROO also provides offensive Look-To-Kill capabilities through SCORPION SCARE software and the front mounted camera.

NOTE: Under no circumstances should an employee attempt to use a ROO for the purposes of VR Gaming. Accidental discharge of the LTK system can be seriously hazardous to nearby property and lives.

3:

NAME

SP - Submerged Playpen

PSP - Permanent Submerged Playpen

LCH - Large Continental Hole

CLASSIFICATION

Benthic Treaty / BLUE HADES / ELEMENTAL DANCE / OCCULUS

DEPLOYMENT

SP, PSP and LCH are summoning grids for confining ELEMENTAL DANCE to a small area of the south pacific seabed, near Pitt Island.

SP, PSP and LCH were constructed by OCCULUS on behalf of BLUE HADES under the Benthic treaty, to replace BLUE HADES own BERMUDA STAR installation, which had become a hazzard to international shipping and attracted unwanted public interest.

The cover story for these grids, an international particle physics research institute ("CERN") performing high energy physics experiments with underground particle accelerators, provides the necessary technical installations (lasers, cryogenics, vaccuum etc.) as well as a large population of scientists which LCH staff blend into.

The grid laser doubles as "Continuous laser ring geometry monitoring" for the particle accelerators, and have their own underground power supply and computing facilities.

SP, a classic steerable summoning grid of 50m radius, were completed in 1960, and was used to move ELEMENTAL DANCE from BERMUDA STAR to the new location over a period of five years.

Neither BLUE HADES nor OCCULUS had foreseen that the nutrition rich frigid waters in the southern oceans would cause a magnitude oELEMENTAL DANCE physical growth, stressing SP nearly to capacity, even with the gravity focusing assist of the final coordinates.

PSP, designed to solve this problem, was completed in 1975, a 1.1 km radius subterran laser-based summoning grid, located 40m below the french/swiss border, using gravitational lensing to get a convergent node in the target zone.

The other node of the grid is minimally focused and scans the heavens above, following the motion of the planet. Late in the SP period, as the power was turned up, it would occasionally impinge on the unexpected manned space exploration vehicles with deleterious effects (xref: MAJOR TOM INCIDENT).

Unfortunately PSP was almost completed in 1975 when this issue was finally diagnosed, and being designed with only 10% overrange relative to the treaty requirement, it could not be turned off for more than three minutes during these interactions, if ELEMENTAL DANCE were to be reliably recaptured.

To solve the problem once and for all, LCH was built with four times the treaty diameter so that ELEMENTAL DANCE can not escape outside the capture zone in less than 60 minutes, provided it is contained near the LCH center previous to the interruption.

LCH is currently configured to the Benthic Treatys 1km specification, scanning a safe hypotrochoid pattern on the pacific seabed over the course of a year.

Until BLUE HADES research determines if a larger containment would reignite ELEMENTAL DANCE growth, the tight focusing is maintained despite the unfortunate ground level side effects (xref: CHEESY SOCCER).

In case of maintenance work on LCH, PSP can be used as backup, provided the stearable beam of LCH is used to position ELEMENTAL DANCE in the PSP capture zone first.

In recent years the cover-story physics experiments caused increasingly large computer facilities to be built near the experiments where they distorted the grids. Thanks to OCCULUS political influence the latest experiment incarnation, HIGGUPS, switched to a distributed architecture where the individual computer clusters are below the Von Neuman Limit, and spaced at more than three Zuse diameters apart.

4:

Codename: Worm Obstruction Matrix (WOM)

Classification: Anti-possession program/experimental

Deployment: various ear-borne devices. Generations 1-6 were disguised as hear aids. Generation 7 was notionally a bluetooth enabled earpiece for a smartphone. Generation 8 is formatted as a pair of after-market Jesusphone earbuds. In each case, the device is designed to be the equivalent of a fly-trap for the extradimensional entities that cause K-syndrome. It consists of a high-end small computing device that virtually mimics neurons, encased within a non-virtual summoning grid. The idea is to lure these micro-entitites to attack the fake neurons, rather than the wearer's brain. When entities do so, they are trapped in a dedicated write-only memory chip and disposed of as ewaste.

To date, success has been mixed. Some of the entities are sentient enough to understand the nature of the trap and learn to avoid it, so new models need to be introduced at least annually, requiring a dedicated R&D staff. Moreover, trap units fill up quickly under active use, so they need to be switched out frequently. Also, agents wandering around with the devices continually stuck in their ears has caused negative attention from management and other services. Also, non-functional earbuds are considered problematic by those who prefer to use their phones for communications or entertainment.

Studies are ongoing, but currently, research indicates that agents who consistently use WOMs suffer less from K-syndrome to a statistically significant degree, but the small sample size (program staff plus their close friends, none of whom are field agents) makes extrapolation to the entire Laundry population problematic.

5:


Codename : Systeme Anwendungen Produkte
Classification : ERP (Enterprise Resource Psychic) Software
Security clearance : YELLOW NOMINAL AARDVARK

This is an suite of software modules that is mostly use used as both a conventional denial of service attack and to counter an computational demonology systems.

The software suite has to hosted on an at least a pair medium of HAP entangled server farms but can be accessed via a suitable equipped laptop, as all efforts to make a useable smart phone interface have failed. The software suite, once activated proceeds to use all available computation resources, even though it appears to achieve very little, after a local resources have been devoured and starts to seek out further resources, by use of quantum entangled bits, java vulnerabilities and cross dimensional scripting all computing devices with fifteen to twenty meters of the server farm or any authorised terminal will start to execute its code, rendering them unresponsive and useless. Extended exposure has also been know to cause mental instability, depression and suicidal despair in human subjects.

The software suite is well know in occult intelligence services but so far there have only been two successful deployments of it, both of which overran there budget by a factor of thirteen. Deployment requires its thirty seven barely compatible modules, which are written in a combination of Java and its own propriety demonic language, to be installed, all of which require further extensive configuration, patching and ritual sacrifice, following the mostly obscure and contradictory documentation, some of which is online, but the only accurate source of information on it is a series of documents written in calf's blood on stretched human skin, sometime during the 1970s, that are stored in a set of 3 right binders in a vault in Walldorf, Germany, only accessible to a select group of consultants and authorised and vetted students of the occult.


6:

CODE NAME
CATULUS TRISTUS

NAME
Structure and Interpretation of Esoteric Programs

SUMMARY
Introductory textbook for computational sorcery (Black Chamber)

BACKGROUND
Based on the well-known "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs" (SIEP), this introductory textbook is used by the Black Chamber for initial training of inductees into their Esoteric Software development group. Aside from the distinctive cover, it can easily be recognized by its cold and clammy cover and pages, no matter the ambient conditions.

More accessible than the suppressed Art of Computer Programming (volume 5), it generally begins by drawing parallels between the lambda calculus, generative L-systems, and dho-na curves. Subsequent chapters illustrate topics such as algorithmic summoning; the impossibility of dho-na software with immutable state; 3D-printing of esoteric artifacts; and (befitting the Black Chamber's origins) efficient integer factoring algorithms.

Higher order software of the kind described in SIEP is always executing, even when apparently fixed as data in a tangible medium like a book. This has several interesting consequences: the "cold and clammy" feeling when the book is handled, the fact that each individual book is slightly different in content, organization and layout (except, apparently, for the wizard on the cover and the integer factoring algorithm), and the actual impossibility of an e-book version (in that medium, its content rapidly evolves into a second fixed form, a self-published science fiction novel). This last factor, luckily, has limited the availability of the book; we believe that fewer than 25 copies presently exist, most of them in the Chamber's Nevada training and containment facility.

While no one can deny the effectiveness of the Black Chamber's software development program, and the comparatively long productive life of its programmers, the programming style taught in SIEP is correlated with an early-onset variant Krantzberg Syndrome characterized by retreat from normal social interactions, casual misogyny, and a preference for idealized fantasy worlds.

DEPLOYMENT: FORBIDDEN
While the Chamber may tolerate this fate of its programmers (in the intial statges, this K-syndrome variant appears to actually increase their productivity), The Laundry does not. Any agent coming in contact with SIEP is instructed not to read it; or if she has read it to report the incident and refrain from using any methods learned from it. In either case, the volume shall be turned in to your operations officer for secure destruction or as leverage in negotiations with the Black Chamber.

(besides which, the integer factoring algorithm is so vigoriously endothermic that executing it on a 40-digit number in a populated area would lead to mass casualties)

7:

NAME
MAD (Magnetic Advanced Degausser)

CLASSIFICATION
Tool for secure recycle of the hard drives, floppies and assorted magnetic media

DEPLOYMENT
According to the latest directives, all government offices must deploy cost savings procedures, which include, but is not limited to, a limitation of the destruction of storage support and equipment. This policy has the goal to reduce the e-waste disposal and promote reuse, but caused some security problems for the Laundry equipments.

MAD is the result of the ten-percenter project of one of the Laundry employees.

MAD is not a commercial hard disk degausser: it uses a dedicated summoning grid with custom Python scripts to disentangle the magnetics status of the ferromagnetic molecules from this continuum.

The result is not just a shuffle of the magnetic status of the molecules, but an obliteration at quantum level of the statuses from this continuum. The informations are not recoverable simply because are no longer in our continuum.

CAVEATS
Use only on magnetic supports. MAD is ineffective with other media such as microfilms, optical media, punchcards,

8:

Not an entry as such, but I've noted that most phones and tablets now do have two cameras on-board, meaning that basilisquerie doesn't need an extra camera so much as a clip-on mirror/periscope (and, possibly, rooting or gaol-breaking for simultaneous use of the two cameras).

9:

NAME: COSI (Cute-Overload Sequence Initiator)

CLASSIFICATION: End-stage crowd control measure.

DEPLOYMENT: Via the creation of a fourth-level glamour and subsequent Class 2 entity invocation, both powered by the decompression and rendering computations used by all modern web browsers (and embedded browser pages used in many smart-phone applications ['apps']), subjects viewing COSI-enabled images experience powerful positively fed-back emotions leading to disabling passive states ranging from fugue states lasting minutes to full-blown catatonic phases lasting from hours to weeks. (Earlier versions inevitably led to permanent catatonia, which at this time is considered neither desirable nor necessary, though this capability may be considered for the contingencies examined in ALTERNATIVE BLUNT BADGER.) Since subjects exhibit immediate reduction in cognitive processing, this is believed to represent a modality for quick-dampening thaumic field levels associated with imminent/immanent extra-universal incursions without the problematic loss of life and the enhanced radiation levels associated with (e.g.) widespread use of SCORPION STARE.

CAVEAT: The affective cluster denoted 'cuteness' targeted here is considered optimal, earlier equivalent applications employing pornographic imagery (LOSI) having proved to be both harder to control and more severe in effect, with sequelae ranging from the aforementioned permanent catatonia to (in one case) a severe exothermic release event.

10:

Succinct, however please explain how the SNO component will figure into this and which 'experiment' is to get which supplies as per your Supplies Requisition Request(PO#: 66631416).

As you explained previously, although SNO was mothballed shortly before agent McDonald picked up his door stopper in Stockholm, your department (Infernal Analytics) feels that this device's ability to pick up cross-dimensional fracture signals will gain us a few additional nanoseconds warning. Further, you also mentioned that SNO will also provide the small-scale 'picture' of any demonic trans-dimensional offensives. LIGO meanwhile will as per plan provide the N+1 dimension panoramic view.*

Admin


* A PPT/VB flowchart diagramming the components/experiments and their respective functions (dimensions,demons, etc.) would be helpful.

11:

ADMINISTRATIVE AFTERTHOUGHT

I know all about the SCP Foundation and anyone who cribs from it is going to not only be disqualified but mocked publicly.

So there.

(Anyone who hasn't heard of SCP and has a few weeks to lose is encouraged to go there and have a look around ...)

12:

However, current supply chain rumours point to the iPhone 7 Plus having dial rear-facing cameras. Leading me to wonder who Apple is planning to declare war on later this year ...

13:

[This entry is ineligible to win the prize; it's just for my own amusement.]

NAME: Cuppa Builder's

CLASSIFICATION: anti-fungal defence system

DEPLOYMENT: Following the events of CASE NIGHTMARE RED, new cases of meningitis have been contracted at an alarming rate. The cause is a commensal amalgam of two recently introduced fungal species, related to but not identical to known varieties of cryptococcus and blastomyces. These species are provisionally codenamed YUGGOTH. Meningitis resulting from YUGGOTH infection is most prevalent in low-level paranormal practitioners, suggesting an as-yet unproven link to the recent events.

Cuppa Builder's is to be deployed as widely as possible across the UK, with special attention to schools, office environments and other workplaces.

EFFECTS: Cuppa Builder's is housed in the floor of a glazed ceramic containment vessel with a capacity of 550+ mL. Sustaining glyphs are rendered in two kinds of conductive glaze around the circumference, and an additional glyph is placed on the handle. Water-based beverages poured into Cuppa Builder's before being consumed are rendered inhospitable to YUGGOTH spores and build immunity to the infection.

Campaigns with several civilian distributors have been successful so far, most notably "Sports Direct".

14:

Name: GARGOYLE

Classification: Aerial Surveillance/Anti-Personnel

GARGOYLE is a special-purpose, octo-rotor drone. It is built to hold a binocular camera rig and software to run SCORPION STARE. Due to the vulnerability of this platform to SCORPION STARE attacks, all carbon has been eliminated from the structure. As a result, the drone is heavier and slower than off-the-shelf octorotor drones. However, it cannot be brought down by SCORPION STARE, a basilisk or medusa, so it tasked with close, mobile urban surveillance and anti-personnel/anti-zombie missions under CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN.

15:

'NOTHER ADMIN NOTE: I am probably going to pass over ALL Scorpion Stare/basilisk related entries, unless they're exceptional.

(Hint: NIGHTMARE STACKS bends, spindles, and mutilates the trope. After NIGHTMARE STACKS it's going to be old hat.)

16:

Name DEATH STAR

Classification Weapon: Generalised Medusa Class

NOTE Briefing on DEATH STAR requires security clearance at Auditor level. If you are not cleared to Auditor level, do not open this folder, since if you do your Laundry geas will activate and your brain will explode.

Deployment DEATH STAR is a remotely operated portal which opens on to a parallel universe with a slightly larger strong interaction coupling constant, making 2He (the diproton) stable. Deployed in the core region of a main-sequence star, DEATH STAR will hugely accelerate hydrogen fusion, causing an enormous increase in stellar luminosity and—depending on the mass of the star in question—probably a pseudosupernova explosion.

DEATH STAR is likely to result in the extermination of all life in the solar system in which it is deployed. It is intended as a pre-emptive strike weapon to forestall potential invasion from hostile parallel universes, cf. The Atrocity Archive. Under no circumstances should DEATH STAR protocols be initiated in the datum universe; even in the event of CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN it is likely that the casualty rate will be worse under DEATH STAR. Deployment of DEATH STAR in a parallel universe requires personal clearance by the Senior Auditor.

17:

NAME: ORACLE - Occult Rig for Acausal Cracking with Limited Expenditure

Classification: Portable equipment - Network intrusion and disruptive demonology

Deployment: Connected to a system using any form of login system, encryption key or similar, the ORACLE is capable of correctly guessing the data you need to gain entry - or any other effect you can express to it - on the first attempt. At least, in the universe you're now living in.

Agents are warned not to use this for economic gain or against an opponent who may also possess similar technology: the consequences of ORACLE equipment being deployed on opposing sides of a conflict are extremely difficult to predict and may prove universe-destroying. Alas, we already have the capability and no doubt something will force us to use it sooner or later.

The system in our possession has no connection to one Larry Ellison. Agents are not to deploy ORACLE against Oracle or Ellison himself however - in the immediate term this should be considered to be covered under economic gain. However, not all relevant information is classified under ONE RICH ASSHOLE.

18:

Name: SSD
Classificatioin: SIEM (Secure, Intelligent, Effective Measure)
Deployment: Using a SOC Summoning Device (SSD) by plugging it into a standard mains socket (110V/50Hz, DO NOT ATTEMPT to use 230V) will attempt to summon enough suitable personnel to form a SOC (Secure Operations Cadre). A functioning SOC will at least cover the roles of Field Agent (Class II), note taker, reliable witness, auditor, PA (see appendix A if cleared for CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN) and supervisor.
Caution: If carefully overcharged it might be possible to combine personnel for two or more of the required roles. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES it should be plugged into a 230V socket, as this might then summon a Senior Auditor, who would be cleared for all roles and thus eliminate any need for the continued existence of the summoner - with extreme prejudice.
Note: In normal operation, the device will not draw more than approx. 0.5A of current, and take approx. 15 minutes to charge. It can be operated from a standard S-ATA (rev. 1.0) port, though care should be taken tp utilize all 3 power pins at a load of approx. 1.5A each.
Sticky note: From the only one (in-?)sane enough to have tried to use one of these: just don't try to power it via USB. Those meager 500mA @5V don't spin up the underlying computational matrix in a safe manner. What they don't tell you at pickup time is that I tried this, and why do you guess the Russians needed to invent stories of a meteor near Chelyabinsk in 2013?

APPENDIX A: Political Appointee

19:

Name: Revenant Stun Munition

Classification: General Issue, no specialist training, short briefing required.

Deployment: This variation on the G60 / M84 stun grenade tunes the emitted light spectrum into the ultraviolet; and includes haemoglobin analogues, silver, and allicin as additional payload. Offensive employment should disable a PHANG for the several seconds required for a tactical team to take further action; defensive employment should allow an Officer sufficient opportunity to break contact and withdraw.

Fuzing is available in both offensive mode (four-second delay detonation after lever release) and defensive mode (lever pressure must be eased and replaced every five seconds to prevent ejection from the casing and immediate detonation).

Briefings must stress the defensive mode limitations once the pin has been removed; and the need to hold the munition head pointed away from the body for the defensive-mode scenario where the Officer's will has been dominated to the extent that controlled movement is impossible.

20:

Name: CHUPACABRA

Description: CHUPACABRA is a program to get PHANG parasites to parasitize the brains of goats living on the Crown Prince's estates in South Wales. If PHANGs can successfully transition off human blood, their ethical and moral complexities of their condition can be substantially diminished, improving morale, work performance, and work/life balance.

Experiments with having PHANGs drink the blood of live goats have only been partially successful. Current trials involve changing the PHANG parasite to prefer goats to humans (under auditor supervision, since the esoteric equivalent of a vampire mad goat outbreak is to be avoided), engineering GMO goats with sufficiently human brains to be acceptable to wildtype PHANG parasites (ideal but challenging: although the goat genome is known, mapping the differences between human and caprine genome expression in the brain is proving a complex task), and finding acceptable human intermediate hosts to help transition PHANGS from human to caprine blood tolerance. In the last category, imprisoned soccer hooligans were suggested, but proved intolerable to PHANG parasites.

21:

Not an actual entry - T&Cs say 'mericans need not apply. Fooey. But need to get this out of my head now.

Code: MAGICAT

Official Designation: Residual Feline Resource

Description: Self fueling pest control. To be deployed in the sub-basement levels of the Archives to prevent rodent infestation of certain materiel. It has been found that ingesting of various items may transfer peculiar attributes to said rodents. This is considered to be undesirable.
Residual Feline Resource's have been acquired from the Dunwich pet cemetery and restored to serviceability by way of [REDACTED]. They are maintained by ingestion of the souls of their prey. Despite the small size of mice they provide just enough nourishment for the proper functioning of RFRs.
Warning: If one encounters an RFR it is recommended to leave the vicinity as soon as possible. Do not be tempted to pet said Resource, and ABSOLUTELY DO NOT let it sit on your lap, at peril of your immortal soul.

22:

Cheating a little, since I designed this for my RPG in the nineties...

Name: Carnacki Mk III Electric Pentacle (1903)
Description: A pentacle-shaped array of mercury discharge tubes with a lead-acid accumulator as power supply - unfortunately the DC voltage has to be stepped up to high AC voltages using an induction coil, which produces a loud humming noise and releases toxic ozone and enough UV light to be an automatic safety failure under modern regulations. The Mk III model added a charcoal filter to reduce ozone levels.
Deployment: A portable containment grid / protective shield that was (for its day) relatively easy to set up and use. The main drawback was the limited capacity of the accumulator, 2-3 hours of operation (less after repeated uses). Generally replaced by longer fluorescent tubes post WW1. Occasionally still useful if UV is actually wanted - phangs REALLY don't like it, for obvious reasons - and if the user wears protective goggles.


23:

Name: SUPERINJUNCTION QUICKSILVER

Classification: defensive structure, ritual origin

Ritual requirements: 128 gigaflops of calculation (available as app)

Deployment: When dealing with infovore incursions it is sometimes useful to create areas devoid of information to act as firebreaks. These can be created by performing the authorized ritual (see Warning) which flip-phases the ghost condensate of the nearest 10^36 Planck lengths. This forms a 5-orthoplex containing no information whatsoever, and appears to a 3-dimensional onlooker as a pointier buckyball with a perfect mirror surface. It is impenetrable, but also not destructible or movable, and therefore refrain from summoning in built-up areas where possible.

Warning: do not deviate from the ritual in an attempt to modify the shape or size of SUPERINJUCTION QUICKSILVER. We do not want a repeat of BAD DREAM QUICKSILVER.

24:

Name: Modified High Velocity Missile

Classification: Very Short-Range Air Defence against large saurian avians.

Deployment: Cleared for issue to special-brief sections of the Royal Artillery as an Urgent Operational Requirement for use against saurian avians ("Dragons"). A limited number of Starstreak HVM have had their fuzes reset to detonate on entry into soft tissue rather than hard airframe, and their limited HE payload replaced with a Phosphorous incendiary charge. Penetration of the primary flammable gas sac of a "Dragon" during its aggressive flight displays will result in immediate deflagration of the target.

Tactical Employment: A section of HVM is the minimum required to provide point defence to a static SOE field team; at least three sections are required to provide cover on the move, and it is vital that the SOE team leader coordinates closely with the RA Detachment Commander throughout any movement phase of an operation. SOE team leaders should also consider the range to the supporting mortar lines, regarding any need for Final Protective Fire tasks against ground-based saurians (mixed WP / HE recommended).

Lessons Learned notes have been promulgated by Director Combat Support based on recent operational experience of 265 Bty and 295 Bty RA.

25:

Name : ' Nek-L-Nip '

Classificatoin : Necromantic Suicide Kit

A rubber coated glass ampule of the standard type, but contains a highly concentrated death spell that when imbibed results in - final death. The user cannot be raised or reincarnated back to life or undeath in any way. Also the user cannot be contacted or communicated with by seance or any other agency.

26:

If the rodents' souls have been altered, couldn't a revenant cat—let's call it 'Maurice'—consuming them also be altered, resulting in more of a magic cat than one wanted?

Of course, then we send in the revenant coyotes....

27:

Hopefully zombie revenant cats are doing a good job and munching on the mice before they get into anything.

Time for a sing-along of "There was an old revenant woman who swallowed a cow"?

28:

Name: Shiny Unicorn Blossom

Classification: Morale Improvement Program. After auditors noted the marital difficulties encountered by two of our most valued operatives an organization-wide psychological study was undertaken. It was discovered that the oncoming CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN, plus the discoveries that our organization had been penetrated by both a terrorist organization and an ancient PHANG, plus the recent deaths of several high-level directors and operatives have resulted in the worst morale crisis encountered in any of Her Majesties intelligence operations since the aftermath of Kim Philby's penetration of MI5.

Deployment: Organization wide, regardless of classification. Shiny Unicorn Blossom is a motivational computer program for Jesusphone's, Androids, and Blackberries which involves social media and a cute, fantasy-style unicorn. Everyone in the organization, regardless of their classification level, can use Shiny Unicorn Blossom to record their “wins,” which are defined as "any successfully completed task or action, no matter how small, that advances the aims of the organization." A “win” might range from the completion of a simple task such as as the compilation of a section-wide list of employee addresses to the successful resolution of a difficult operation in enemy territory. The employee's “win” is then broadcast to all other employees of the appropriate classification, and then Blossom, the Shiny Unicorn, rewards the employee with a motivational text from an appropriate book of forgotten lore such as the Necronomicon, the G'harne Fragments, or the Pnakotic Manuscripts. Each time one employee “likes” another employee's “win” Blossom again rewards the winning employee with a motivational text.

Effects: We anticipate the complete resolution of our morale problem in record time!

29:

Name: Deus Ex Machina

Classification [redacted] [redacted] [redacted]

Description: The item consists of a perfect 1:2:4 metal box topped by a hollow crystal hemisphere, hinged on one side and easily opened. Inside the hemisphere is a large red button labeled "RESET" in high Enochian (rough translation).

This item is stored in [redacted] [redacted] [redacted] [redacted] [redacted] [redacted], under [redacted] [redacted], and [redacted] security. Knowledge of the location of this device is limited to [redacted] and [redacted].

The origin of the item is not known, nor its maker, nor its age, nor its function. Indirect thaumaturgic analysis has returned paradoxical results, and no one has wanted to perform the obvious experiment.

30:

Sorry, that should read "...Her Majesty's intelligence operations..."

31:

Name: TASP (Trans-Acting Sexual Pacifier)

Classification: Weapon – Medusa class – Non-lethal

Deployment: Non-lethal control of individuals or groups of humans when conventional, physical approaches have not or will not suffice.

Description: TASP is similar to SCORPION STARE in that field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are harnessed to simulate the neural architecture of a basilisk. TASP differs in that experimental evolution has been applied to the simulated neural net, resulting in a variant that tunnels minute quantities of electrons (instead of atomic nuclei) into the target during observation. While this amount of electricity is incredibly small compared to conventional sources, the tunneling is able to be pinpointed to very small volume. Researchers found that brain activity can be manipulated easily by this amount of current. Using sophisticated tracking and magnification algorithms, the sexual pleasure centers of the brain can be stimulated specifically, totally incapacitating the target for five to ten minutes as they experience, “the best orgasm of [their] life.”

Cautions: TASP is meant for short-term crowd control and should not be used for long durations. TASP is almost certainly addictive, as evidenced by rodent experiments. Prolonged TASP exposure could also lead to psychological and neurological disorders similar to excessive MDMA use. Laundry personnel are strictly forbidden from exposing themselves, their significant others, their coworkers, or their supervisors to TASP as a prank or as a “relationship enhancer.” Personnel exposed to TASP for any duration require psychological and neurological screening before returning to active duty.

32:

Gaaaaah I already see a typo. Should read, "...to very small volumes." That's what I get for submitting while sleepy!

35:

Dang. Been wondering why there are no (afaik) first person shooters with a tasp. Nicely done.

36:

That one also has weaponization potential, outwardly similar to (Vernor) Vingean Bobbles. (Cough frame of reference?) With a GPU one could create 10+ of these per second.


37:

Name: OFFOG

Classification: Unconventional weaponry level 3

Effects: The Occult Field Facade Of Glory was conceived as a logical extension of the HOG-3 personal defense system, enhancing the personal obfuscation effect to cover an entire vehicle. The impracticality of driving an invisible car through London traffic is obvious, so the program primarily focused on aircraft and water vehicles.

The only field test to date ran into two problems. Trivially speaking the test vehicle, a Royal Navy ship in for refitting, remained perfectly visible and apparent to everyone. Laundry personnel then discovered that they could no longer find the OFFOG apparatus; despite copious paperwork attesting that they had indeed installed it somewhere aboard, nobody was able to locate where the object actually was or recall anything about its physical appearance. The test went considerably over budget as Laundry and RN personnel spent five days examining the ship piece by piece attempting to locate the OFFOG.

This technology shows great promise for field work when the bugs have been worked out. In the meantime personnel are cautioned not to mention Philadelphia in this context on pain of surly stares from their coworkers.

Note: Ineligible due to Term 6: author on wrong continent. Posted for amusement only.

38:

I should note that I'm also on the wrong continent. I think that's well known, but I just as soon not cause any problems.

39:

Not an Entry, as I do not have storage for dead tree books.


Meta-Versal Internet Router Project: Frankly, this project was primarily intended to keep staff recruited as a security measure harmlessly occupied, up-to-date and engaged with any useful information retrieved a happy bonus.

By pointing sensitive cross dimensional detection apparatus at the logical places to run wires into very old buildings it is fairly trivial to eaves drop on the network traffic of other universes, and a number of recievers have been emplaced at the oldest universities in the country.
More recently, we have had some success in picking out wireless signals from elsewhere as well. Most such signals are, naturally, not encoded in anything recognizable as a tcp/ip protocol let alone any of the higher level protocols established on top of that so the only intel initially gathered was a baseline anthropic calibration of the annual likelyhood of the sudden demise of a networked civilization. See: Reports f825, 1987. h129 1995,
j492 2006.

Less morbidly, morale among surplus office staff tasked with decoding unfamiliar network protocols and shifting through whatever the users of those networks chose to download for things that are useful is remarkably high.

Problems: While several very useful insights have been gleaned, mostly from collections of text books pirated, bought or otherwise distributed electronically, an unfortunate tendency towards political radicalism and activism is observed in everyone involved. Often of completely unrecognizable flavors.

The Georgist Tax seal is understandable, since the economic data from universe 301 through 532 indicate that our current system of taxation is simply inferior, but if one more translator tries to tell me about Vannessa's Principle...

40:

Name: Defensive Underwater Kit mark I

Classification: Non-lethal self defence weapon. No secret technology, but issued to responsible personnel only.

Deployment: Diplomatic and non-combatant staff visiting BLUE HADES are at considerable risk of straying into secured areas due to unfamiliarity with local conventions and inability to perceive the equivalent of warning signs. The Defensive Underwater Kit mark I is a speech synthesiser chip capable of generating an Enochian word roughly translated as "Back off! (Water creature with harmful intent)", preserving the life of the bearer without damaging a BLUE HADES guardian carrying out their duties.

Conventional batteries and charging ports are impractical in the pressure and temperature of the underwater environment, so the chip is powered by a piezo-electric power source and thus activated by squeezing. The electronics are enclosed within a polymer rubber casing, colored bright yellow for visibility and shaped as a common toy for a degree of anonymity.

Effects: The D.U.K mark I has been observed to deter attack by sharks, piranha, moray and electric eels, and salt water crocodiles. A giant squid restrained the operator but did not employ lethal force.

Using this device against a member of BLUE HADES would be considered extremely offensive, unless both individuals were on very familiar terms.

41:

Name: BLUE FOREARM
Classification: General Purpose Computation Engine
Deployment: BLUE FOREARM (Released by unknown agency as 'Kali Linux' to the general population) is a modified FLAXEN COGWHEEL distribution with specialised software suites for demonic interdiction and penetration testing of magic circles. This would not normally be allowed distribution to the public, but a level 4 glamour embedded in the operating system makes it nearly impossible for the uninitiated to read the available options in the drop-down program menu.
By the time these... 'more advanced' programs were recognised by Laundry personnel, BLUE FOREARM was widely distributed and a great deal of public documentation existed, regarding using BLUE FOREARM in penetrating conventional computing assets.
As a stopgap measure, recent updates to GLIBC have embedded NP-HARD exhaustive state scanners that report back whenever someone's doing particularly tricky math. This has been sold as a security update, and very few copies of BLUE FOREARM are now unmonitored.
BLUE FOREARM can be used by field personnel in defensive or aggressive modes; please see the documentation for crypt(4), BLACK TARPIT and CRIMSON HELM for specific instruction.

42:

Not just that but the "jesusphone" & other obvious tropes on well-known products are highly amusing, but, um, err ...
Some of us have suspected Apple's involvement with the occult for some time, given the slavish subservience of many apple "users" - should than not be "used" ??

43:

Needs to be employed for Erdogan, as well, then, seeing as how much he "loves" goats!

44:

Name: Dead Sea Scroll

Classification: Unconventional Weaponry

Deployment: Equivalent to a level 3 glamour, originally inscribed on parchment found on the shores of a dead sea (nb: not the one in Israel/Jordan), will when read cause the reader to believe that what they are doing is Wrong, and will convince them to immediately desist. The target should be in the process of carrying out or significantly mentally involved in whatever Wrong activity is being countered. The effect lasts in the region of 1 to 2 hours. Repeated, frequent use on the same target is not advised due to cumulative, deleterious side effects (including, but not limited to: Krantzberg Syndrome).

Notes: The unique properties of the parchment and associated inscriptions were analysed and can now be replicated. Early reproduction of DSS was problematic as the concept of Wrong is arbitrary and applies only to what the reader is currently doing. The effect of the DSS can be mitigated by a sufficiently high level ward.

Recent developments have allowed DSS to be printed (on suitable paper) using standard office equipment (removing the need for a high level operative involvement), although equipment wear is increased significantly. A DSS may be folded for convenience of transportation and deployment.

Caution: Should not be read by Laundry staff without sufficient warding.

45:

Name: ETLA2

Classification: Laundry Admin staff only

Description:

ETLA2 (Replaces ETLA GENERATOR) is a utility for generating acceptable Laundry codenames. It can be requested to produce names amenable to grouping (eg CASE NIGHTMARE ZETTAELECTRONVOLT and CASE NIGHTMARE ATTOHERTZ), and will reliably produce a codename not already in use.

Purpose:
ETLA2 is a modernised version of ETLA GENERATOR which exists to avoid the inherent deleterious effect of a message saying, eg, You DO NOT have GIGADEATHS SEVEN clearance! Your project does not yet have a codename - do not leave your station until your project has a certified codename.

46:

Using a SOC Summoning Device (SSD) by plugging it into a standard mains socket (110V/50Hz, DO NOT ATTEMPT to use 230V)

You know the Laundry is a British government agency?

And the UK runs on 240 volta AC at 50Hz (lately watered down to 230 volts for compatability with the EU, chunks of which previously ran on 220 volts, so everyone's converging on the middle +/- 5% ground).

47:

Probably more of a plot device than an "actual" device:

OFCUT must have an installer, and a utility to update the database of threats. Many software companies have difficulty coordinating these two things.

Given that the end-user doesn't always know what threat is being responded to, and that incorrect responses may have different effects on the threat, there is scope for unintended reactions, without much comprehension on the user's part.

Also, if someone had obtained hostile access to the database updater, but not the installer, there might be some interesting "database patches" floating around.

48:

Sorry - small clarification - the tubes produce UV, not the power supply!

49:

Re HOG-3: There is no equivalent to the RSPB for rats. They are common (precisely how common, it can be hard to tell...), and almost everyone regards them as vermin. I'm sure there is an RHR or two permanently tasked with keeping them out of Dansey House.


50:

It's not even watered down. Before harmonization, EU countries were either 220V or 240V at 50 Hz, with 6% tolerance. Now, we're all 230V at 50Hz with 10% tolerance, national authorities allowed to tighten the tolerances. The eagle-eyed will spot that this allows everyone to run to the same tolerances as before, but requires kit makers to tolerate a wider range of voltages...

51:

The Osborne-1 it Laundry tech? I knew it! *hyperventilates*

52:

Yes, it is a purposeful homage to Niven. I thought it'd be fun to give Bob Howard and company such a toy, and the SCORPION STARE spinoff was a plausible way to generate induced current in neural tissue at a distance.

53:

I'm not certain an FPS could be released for mass consumption when a weapon in it causes foes to orgasm until their muscles cramp. At least in the US, it's much less vulgar to blow their heads off or cut them in half.

54:

(Wrong side of the pond for an actual entry, but this looks like fun)

Name: TIP (Thaumic Inspection Powder)

Note: Development notes and early field trials refer to this formulation as OCTRINE (Occult Current Tracer: Resonant Induction-based Nanopatricle Effuser). This name was dropped upon approval due to the 64 character limit on database name entries.

Classification: Field Equipment: Thamic Field Evaluation

Deployment: The evaluation of untried summoning grids is one of the most common dangers encountered by field agents, and a prime generator of Residual Human Resources. To mitigate this danger and relieve the paperwork burden associated with the attachment of Jesusphones to unauthorized extension devices, an expendable alternative was developed. TIP is an air-dispersible powder composed of molecular scale summoning grids based on P-Type Semiconductors. Laboratory testing has shown that is unlikely that entities of significance could make use of these grids; research is continuing regarding additive effects due to powder agglomeration. When released, TIP follows and aligns with ambient thaumic fields and fluoresces to allow observation and tracing of occult phenomenon from a remote distance.

Thaumic Inspection Powder is classified as hazardous under the Globally Harmonized System of hazard communication GHS. H373: May cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure, H888: May cause K Syndrome through prolonged or repeated exposure

55:

Name: Rapid Response Motorcycle

Classification: Laundry Motor Pool

It has been a continuing concern that the growth of electronics in vehicles could have undesired effects. This has already been a national concern, when the ECUs of several Toyota models were possessed by entities that attempted to drive the vehicles at high speed into walls. This was covered up by blaming a faulty accellerator sensor. See also Case LITTLE BLUE BASTARD, when an entity posessed a Virgin Pendolino train, manifesting as a talking face claiming to want to be a "Really Useful Engine"

To this end, the Laundry have begun their own motor pool, buying up and re-engineering older vehicles to provide reliable transport on occult duties.

To provide motorcycle support, a number of ex police BMW R100RTs, built between 1977-1980, have been completely rebuilt. They were chosen for their build quality, reliability, availability of parts and array of luggage add ons available.
Rebuild spec:

Numerous stainless steel components, hand made, to resist corrosion from hazardous occult substances

Fully rebuilt engine and drive train, retaining points ignition, with uprated alternator to power summoning grids and occult toolkits. Includes uprated engine parts to clean up emissions in line with government policy on air pollution.

Fully warding to Level 6, protecting the rider from both collision and extra dimensional entities. If a car pulls out on you, the car gets flattened.

Each vehicle is finished in blue, black or white, with an array of BMW owners club and holiday destination stickers. Riders are to be trained in the minutae of BMW boxer twin models, so they can pass as a genuine enthusiast and bore the pants off anyone who takes too close an interest in the bikes

(OK, I just want my current bike project to go in a book. I have considered building it as a full on Laundry themed special...)

56:

Now I'm wondering if they've done anything to Pete's Vespa?

57:

Not an entry (wrong continent) - just a bit of riffing/fun/support.

Re: BMW Refits

I am pleased to report that as per your request, the purchasing department has located budget to provide the requested additional jugs of holy water for storage in the boots of these refitted vehicles. Thank you for reminding us that this product (holy water mixed with blessed sacramental wine with added methanol) recently passed field tests as both a four-season windshield cleaner as well as a ward against hallucinatory spells, wards and level-2 glamors.

Nevertheless, Laundry staff are cautioned against excess usage as accidental over-spraying onto passing vehicles and/or bystanders has resulted in aforementioned victims coming to an abrupt stop, dropping everything in their hands/arms and running off screaming. The most extreme such incident occurred during field testing near the London Stock Exchange when REDACTED accidentally sprayed a guano/commodities trader. This trader was observed to drop his Jesusphone and run off screaming ‘I can see the light, I can touch the light! I have found my calling! Everything in my life was all bat-sh*t ‘til now.’


ADMIN

58:

Sigh. I know what you did there. Also, earlier, TASP.

The winner will have to do their own legwork; no stealing from Larry Niven, Eric Frank Russell, or other prior art.

59:

Not an official entry, as author is American.

Cryptonym: STRIATED LEATHER PEACOCK

Item: Diagnostic manual for esoteric mental disorders

This document, based on the DSM-IV manual of psychiatric disorders, attempts to classify and suggest treatments for the various and severe mental disorders that are associated with persistent exposure to the occult. Disorders have thus far been divided into three major categories:

- Unhealthy responses to occult experiences or traumas, aggravated by the inability to productively discuss such events with ordinary mental health practitioners. Generally these disorders have the best prognosis.

- Effects of mental contact with infovores (K-syndrome and its variants, PHANG syndrome, etc).

- Pathological forms of sanity resulting from a reasonably accurate understanding of how dire humanity's situation actually is (worst prognosis).

Note that some STRIATED LEATHER PEACOCK documents were marked with the unapproved cryptonym EVERYONE IS SCREWED immediately before Dr. Wood's retirement. Please correct such documents when encountered.

60:

Just a minor correction: US runs on 60 Hz.

61:

You are really going to enjoy Pete the Vicar's ride in "The Nightmare Stacks". That is all I shall say for now (it could be construed as a spoiler). Hint: not BMW but NSU, and somewhat older.

62:

It sounds like someone is trying to sneak Black Chamber equipment into the Laundry. I hope the Residual Human Resources are aware of that possibility.

63:

Name

MALCOINS (Malicious crypto-currencies)

Classification

A malicious subclass of blockchain-based crypto-currencies.

Deployment

Bitcoin, the first crypto-currency, introduced the concept of using huge amounts of basically useless computational work as the source of trust necessary for the currency to be accepted. This computational 'proof of work' is also used to generate new currency. While BitCoin in itself was, from an occult point of view, harmless, it can't come as a surprise that anything that uses processing power the way BitCoin does, draws unwanted attention. After BitCoin, many other crypto-currencies, collectively known as altcoins, were introduced. Most of these are copycats, minor variations, get-rich-quick schemes etcetera. However, in a few cases, most notably DogeCoin, the computational work performed isn't harmless at all. Introduced as a "joke currency" on 8 December 2013, DogeCoin is anything but that. The 'proof of work' processing cycles spent on its SCRYPT protocol are measurably weakening inter-dimensional barriers already. The nature of the entity responsible for introducing DogeCoin is unknown.

MALCOINS are to be considered a SPOT (serious persistent occult threat). While not an imminent threat, crypto-currency protocols virtually guarantee an ever-increasing amount of computational power being spent on them.

Laundry personnel is forbidden to use crypto-currencies without clearance, and only after the complete software stack involved has been audited. Use of the DogeCoin crypto-currency is, under no circumstance, allowed. Known DogeCoin-miners must be reported immediately. When interacting with the public, Laundry personnel is advised to spread fear, uncertainly and doubt regarding crypto-currencies in general.

64:

Name: The battleship, changed to undisturb Cthulhoids via armor mods.

Classification: Washington Treaty battleship.

Deployment: a battleship

From the Churchill WWI Files

65:

Name - Deeper Dreaming

Classification - Identification App

Deployment - All staff

Operation - Uses modified Deep Dreaming neural processing to identify the inner spirit of anyone or anything it pictures. Automatically compared to Laundry Threat Database.
Mandatory daily selfies for all Laundry employees. Failure to submit a daily selfie is a disciplinary offence.

66:

When is the U.S. release scheduled?

67:

The US publication date is June 28th, six days later than the UK release -- this is down to the day-of-month cycle the different publishers release books on: it's as close to simultaneous as they can make it. (I'm doing a reading/signing launch event at Powell's City of Books in Portland on Friday June 30th.)

68:

Thanks. I will be buying the book that day and I am really looking forward to it.

On the subject of Powell's, you've probably been told by now that Powell's is one of the largest bookstores in the world. This is not hype or exaggeration, so may I earnestly recommend that you allow at least a couple of hours to explore the place!

Will you be anyplace else on the West Coast of the US?

69:

This is not my first book launch at Powell's. (More like my third or fourth. Been going there for over 20 years.)

I'll also be hitting Borderlands in SF on the 10th of July; more news nearer the mini-tour.)

70:

No prob. I wasn't sure whether you knew or not. I'd simply hate to be an author who landed at Powell's for the first time and didn't leave time for browsing.

71:

"Laundry Motor Pool"
You do know the last 4-wheel motor vehicle with NO ELECTRONICS cased manufacture as recently as 19989?
Yes, you've guessed it: The Land-Rover Defender 300Tdi - both wheelbase options.

Oh & Charlie @ 61 - the Kettenkrad, I presume?

72:

Typo!
"1988/89" oops

73:

...no stealing from Eric Frank Russell...

Damn. So, no mention of survival kits? You're giving me the Willies... :)

74:

Name: Pipecleaner

Description: In light of recent events, with an attack on headquarters and discovery that the old building was the site of long-term thaumic contamination, there, medical staff have advised that all employees should try to lower their thaumic levels as much as possible.

To support this, purchasing staff in HR has been provided with small-scale thaum-meters (it not being seen as safe to give them Jesusphones with equivalent equipment), and instructed to source food and beverages with as low a thaumic reading as possible.

So far, a 10 ton stock of tea from 1942 (the year we bought all the tea outside the Japanese empire), found in the back of a Liverpool storehouse, has proved to have the lowest thaum reading recorded to date. It was deemed drinkable by HR and medical, and has been duly stocked throughout all departments, where it shall be used exclusively while supplies last. Medical advises that for best use, this tea should be steeped for at least three hours prior to consumption, in order to decontaminate the water.

Searches for comparably safe stocks of other foods are ongoing. With background contamination levels rising, it appears that food in long-term storage may prove to be the safest from thaumic contamination. HR encourages tips from all personnel.

75:

Name: BLACKBOOK BANKSY

Classification: Civilian protection equipment, supplement to CIRCLE OF SAFETY equipment

Deployment: In CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN HM Laundry will provide circle of safety protective wards. There will also be an offensive ward provided to the civilian population: We designed several stencils that allow even the inexperienced to quickly spray numerous wards on availabel surfaces. These wards are not very powerful, but should distract and irritate lower class infestations, thus buying civilians more time to enable their circle of safety posters.

Stencils pose challenges: The closed, oninterupted lines can not be drawn without the center falling out. T

Special care was taken to ensure two qualities: The ward must be functional even when the stenciled image is subject to drip or the stencil is damaged; also the stencil must be designed in such a way that typical drip on most surfaces will create an unbroken conductive line. To these ends, outside help from the street arts community was enlisted.

The stencils will be mass rpinted and distributed together witch a can of chrome and a handfull of fat caps.

76:

Name: Old school cadet

Classification: Infestation proof calculating equipment

Deployment: Computers can be infested, in CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN this will likely affect many. One possible preemptive measure will be removal of most computing equipment from hazardous areas, either directly or by rendering them harmless via EMP shock. Operators in counterattack or rescue operations however will need the ability to quickly conduct basic computations.

To this end 'Old school cadet' supplies nomograms and special purpose sliderules for al kinds of applications, from adminitering drugs to range finding for artillery to calcualting allowable expenses - HM Government's Civil Servants will. especially in CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN, conduct themselves with utmost proffesionalism.

Kurtas are only available on special request.

77:

Code: VAGILE[TM]

Official Designation: Rapid Thaumaturgical Systems Development Methodology

Description: Verifiable Arcanae Generate/Implement-Lambda Elucidation

This Exciting! New! methodology consigns all the baffling, frustrating, hesitant and
overly-cautious development cycles of yesteryear to the dustbin,
enabling a bright new start to your advanced cyber-thaumaturgical projects, rapidly and easily completing in mere days what used to take months of painstaking effort.

Just by identifying any first possible sub-goal, and having the development team assuming relevant Appropriate Postures [TM] *, our Eldritch Optimolver [TM] will produce a full set of geases to bind the souls of your lucky dev team to development goals bound to produce the desired outcome.

Your next sprint's goals will be visible from this new vantage-point, one step closer to Delivery !

That's the Magic of VAGILE[TM] !

* during a solar ascendant hour, standing within an appropriately energised containment structure

78:

Laundry pesonnel are to note that any restrictions re. MALCOIN apply even more so to the so called ethereum project, which in addition to the compuation needed to generate 'coin also tries to implement compuation on the blockchain itself! Anyone with a passing knowledge of infestation knows about the dangers 'contracts', more accurately known as weak geas, pose.

Current strategy is to send lots of crackpots the way of the ethereum project, this has worked in the past to derail dangerous open source projects.

79:

Name: Safe or Sorry?

Classification: Infestation proof PLC equipment

Deployment: When CASE NIGHTMARE GREN strikes, many of the PLC systems running our critical infrastructure are in danger of infestation. This severely endagners our water and energy infrastructure. To mitigate against this risk, the Laundry has prepared a suit of warded PLC units. Ths goal is surreptiously get all critical infrastructure plants to replace their PLC against warded ones. This works best under guise of increased reliability of the newer systems (the fact that current Siemens S7 systems feature a minor glamour doesnt hurt either).

Due to the more fractured nature of the SCADA market, this is not possible here - at least as long as the mandatory bidding processes remains the way the way they are. EA are working on it, but it is a tough nut.

80:

Thanks for giving us trans-ponders the month off, I might have felt obliged to develop a full promotional pitch for the Ronco Bot-B-Gon, indispensable to any agents relying on web info resources. My time will be better spent finishing book three of Liu Cixin's trilogy in the original untranslated, uncondensed version. At only ten pages a day before my attention wanders, and several sci-tech jargon words to look up per page, I hope to finish by early July so I can post tantalizing plot hints and spoilers before the autumn release of the English version. Judgement will be used since Liu and O.G.H. share the same publisher, wouldn't want to get banned from the blog or nothin'.

81:

Name: CARMINE QUICKLIME COLOSSUS

classification: Occult Software: Ward-Breaker

The Quantum Dho-Na Factorisation Engine is a partial implementation of the theoretical 'quantum supercomputer' factorisation engine, using quantum dots and newly-discovered Dho-Na transforms to factorise and 'crack' the occult paracryptographic entities that constitute a 'ward' or 'Geas'.

The CARMINE QUICKLIME COLOSSUS field unit is man-portable, but limited in its deployability by the need to keep it topped-up with liquid helium at all times.

Wards equivalent to class [REDACTED] can be deactivated in [REDACTED] minutes by the portable CARMINE QUICKLIME COLOSSUS unit.

Note that the decryption, while not instantaneous, will comprise a negligible part of the transform; the read-in of the ward by the handheld supercooled quantum interference detector takes several minutes, and the subsequent transcription and execution of the decryption result consumes a variable interval which cannot be predicted in advance, and may be zero or [REDACTED] time.

Higher-level wards require communication with the [REDACTED] resource at [REDACTED] and may require several days' transcriptional computation.

A limited number of known ward 'crack' codes have been precomputed and can be communicated to a field unit.

Note that deactivating any ward exceeding [REDACTED] requires managerial approval.

Operatives should give due consideration to the original purpose of the ward before attempting to deactivate it, with particular emphasis on containing or re-confining the entity or anomaly constrained by the ward.


WARNING: The D-N transform implementation is contained within a secure hardware module with anti-tamper protection that will [REDACTED] any attempt at reverse-engineering and [REDACTED] the surrounding area within a radius of [REDACTED].

WARNING: the secure hardware module contains a list of Official Wards that are or may be used by the Laundry. Do not attempt to crack an Official Ward without obtaining the ward-specific permission code from the Auditors. Failure to observe this restriction will result in [REDACTION].


NOTE: CARMINE QUICKLIME COLOSSUS will not be used against high-level wards having the effect of redacting a phenomenon from reality. These wards are themselves a paired 'crack' operation against the Dho-Na transforms collectively referred to as 'reality' and the recursive nature of a counterdecryption calculation would cause [REDACTED].

82:

Sigh. I know what you did there. Also, earlier, TASP.

I'd have been terribly disappointed if tasp and Offog weren't recognized here. But as in-jokes seem counterproductive to you we'll not make any more.

83:

Name: Turing Honey Trap (aka BuzzyBee, TuHoT)

Classification: Tunable passive defence, for field use.

Caveats and restrictions: For level 3 or higher combat demonologists' use only. Must be combined with active countermeasures and high density external storage. Requires regular updating with fresh problems. May generate excessive heat. May overload domestic electric circuits.

Overview and deployment: For the right kind of inquisitive entity, a sufficiently complex computation is irresistible. By simulating a search for instances of uncomputable problems of the appropriate Turing degree, a Trap holds the attention of hostile intruders long enough to deploy active terminal countermeasures. Current models are usually packaged in an amplifier case, for connection to field instruments for I/O, containing a highly parallel compute engine and 1TB RAM. Traps are often referred to as BuzzyBees, an allusion to Busy Beaver machines that were used as early Traps; these have now been too thoroughly investigated to be effective. Not to be confused with Turing Tar Pit.

Further caveats: If the computation is too simple, the target entity will quickly grasp it and move on. On the other hand, an overly complex problem will be ignored by a low level entity. On the third hand, since computers with bounded memory will ultimately fail on uncomputable problems, and a sufficiently advanced adversary will be able to determine this, a chain of external storage arrays must be connected as appropriate to shift the horizon of computability. A great deal of experience is therefore required to effectively deploy a Trap (hence the phrase "TuHoT to handle"), and the minimum level certification will under no circumstances be waived. (However, simpler parameterised versions have been packaged as pigments for drawing standard ritual shapes of confinement when connected to off the shelf computing devices, corresponding to computable languages in the polynomial and exponential hierarchies: refer to Ritual Circle, Ritual Pentagram.) Warning: problems over time become ineffective; an entity from a class that has been exposed to a specific problem and has not been neutralised quickly enough may pass on its experience to other members of that class, and over time the class effectively becomes immune to Traps of practical size tuned to those problems. It is therefore critical that fresh problems be used (requests to be directed to S. Barry Cooper, Acting Head of Weaponised Computability), and that Traps not be used frivolously.

84:

I'm doing a reading/signing launch event at Powell's City of Books in Portland on Friday June 30th.

June 30th seems to be a Thursday in 2016. Did you mean Thursday?

85:

Not an NSU Quickly? Or will it be one of the pre war race bikes?

BTW for some real life motorcycle espionage, look up Stealing Speed by Haynes. The tale of how Nazi V1 technology was repurposed in East Germany for bikes (by IFA/MZ, a contemporary of NSU), then stolen by the Japanese in a plot worthy of Bond.

(I'd be dead impressed if the Vespa meets it's end getting launched of Beachy Head)

86:

I figured the Laundry would prefer vehicles that are actually reliable...

Legend has it that the original blueprints for the BMW boxer twin engine were found in neolithic cave paintings in Bavaria. It took them til 77-80 to get them perfect, then they ruined them with electronics and overcomplexity.

87:

Name: CLICKBAIT ALEPH NULL

Classification: Recursive Distraction Engine coupled with a Class 4 Glamour.

Deployment: Appears to be an innocent web-link emailed to target subject under observation. When subject must be detained for extraction, but may attempt escape, send email with link to CLICKBAIT ALEPH NULL site, under the influence of the Glamour, subject will be unable to resist clicking on link. CLICKBAIT ALEPH NULL site generates a semi-random, near-infinite list of items aggregated from various 'Entertainment News' sites while maintaining the Glamour leaving subject unable to remove their focus from their monitor.
Care must be taken by retrieval team not to focus their own attention on the subjects monitor. To disengage CLICKBAIT ALEPH NULL, retrieval team member must perform a Hard Shutdown of subject's computer (i.e. pull the plug).
One early beta-deployment of CLICKBAIT ALEPH NULL resulted in nearly a dozen people from target subject's mailing list being spammed with CLICKBAIT ALEPH NULL. All but one victim of the spam message were located and disengaged within a day. However the twelfth was not located for a week, and was found to be in a near desiccated state, his right index finger continuously clicking on the Next Page button on the site. He is now a member of Residual Human Resources.

88:

Edited to include: After disastrous beta-deployment, CLICKBAIT ALEPH NULL link was modified to include detection and removal of spambots on target computers.

89:

Name: Narf box

Classification: None. Does not officially exist. Knowledge of the narf box restricted to need-to-know.

Description: Technical personnel with a need to know at the [redacted] technical facility may be introduced by Brains to the narf box, which is filled with whatever unusual or highly advanced technological items have come to hand but do not need special handling. Gadgets in the narf box may be brought out by authorized personnel as necessary to distract Pinky from getting too clever with the project they're actually supposed to be doing.

Management has no need to know on this subject. Pinkie has a specific need not to know. Clearance will be granted by Brains at his sole discretion.

Note: I'm still not eligible. This is posted only for fun. On the other hand, more than one couple has had arrangements like this...

90:

...until their muscles cramp.
Well, that all is certainly horrifying to those with a common mindset in the US and elsewhere.
The scientist in me sees a 1-d slider and wonders what happens if the slider is driven way past the stops, on either end. The pacifist in me would like to explore how far non-violence could be pushed in such a game. The reader in me would like to see OGH explore extreme non-violence in a quirky way in the Laundry series.


91:

Benefit Realisation Management: A Practical Guide to Achieving Benefits Through Change within UK Occult Intelligence Services, 8th Edition
Gerland Bradley
ISBN-17 978-1409400943FF#


Classification: RESTRICTED NO-EXTERNAL-4 NO-DISSEMINATE

Description: Operatives and administrators within the UK public service are entrusted with safeguarding the well-being of the state and its population. With the increasing likelyhood of CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN a number of departments are looking at how best to manage their budgetary needs against effective strategic project delivery.

"The best weapon against uncertainty is a fully realised organisational wide strategy"

Benefits realisation provides a framework with which to measure the effectiveness of projects against the medium and long term strategic objectives of an organisation by encompassing best practice from industry and defining a well understood terminology to describe commonalities observed across project teams, organisational units and phases of project implementation from conception to operational handover.

This framework will benefit any member of a PMO, as well as serving as a definitive reference for any BRM practitioner novice or experienced.

Contains practical advice on effective measurement across geographically distributed teams via non local invocations ("Remote viewing applied to project reporting at scale"), recommended standards for project reporting and defined measures for both monetary and non-monetary benefit realisation as it relates to applied demonology ("How can we effectively measure the value of a soul against project and department budgets?").

8th Edition contains updated practices on strategic risk management; and revised terminology (why it is no longer sensible to 'cross-pollinate' ideas across organisation units) with a special focus on K-Syndrome and succession planning amongst staff given the new learnings during the post incident retrospectives of BYBLIS GUEHOI.

92:

Name: The Invisible Mint

Classification: A smartphone app that prints money

Description: This app allows deployed field agents to generate anonymous cash on short notice in the form of cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin use proof-of-work systems to verify transactions via a shared public ledger, the "blockchain." These systems require the currency network in question to solve problems whose difficulty scales with the size of the network, but whose answers are easy to verify. These solutions are used to verify to the network that all transactions rolled into each new block are valid.

In the case of Bitcoin, this proof-of-work is to find a 32-bit number (the "nonce") which, when combined with the Bitcoin block header, hashes to a value below below a certain pre-defined size when run through the SHA256 hashing algorithm twice. The difficulty of this problem is scaled such that it should take around ten minutes for the entire network to discover a valid nonce using a brute-force attack. The network member, or "miner", who discovers this nonce is awarded 25 bitcoins worth approximately 7700 GBP on today's market.

The Invisible Mint app takes a short cut by first reducing the problem of mining the next block into an instance of Boolean Satisfiability (SAT), which can then be solved in polynomial time via a suitable implementation of the Turing-Lovecraft Theorem. The subsequently-awarded cryptocurrency can then be laundered into the local currency as needed.

Since the production of multiple solved blocks in rapid succession could not only threaten the stability of cryptocurrency markets but also hint toward the existance of the Turing-Lovecraft Theorem, each individual use of the Invisible Mint must be separated by a reasonable interval. Further, each individual use must be justified in writing using form AIM1 and submitted to Accounting. Cases of abuse will be referred to the Auditors, the Black Assizes, or both, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction.

94:

WOT? No Abacuses/Abaci allowed/in use/available?

95:

Err - "Kettenkrad" ( I think ) & were manufactured by the ex-MSU werke during WWII (IIRC)
Note all the qualifiers, there ...

96:

Name: FCG (Field Containment Grid) Mk 2

Description: A large sheet of canvas, with embedded conductive thread and flexible components. This piece of equipment comes with a dedicated carrying bag / water-proof cover and is suitable for bringing along on any field mission where a containment grid will be needed during the mission.

The FCG Mk 2 carrying bag also comes with both a battery pack and an adapter for the normal power grid.

Use of FCG Mk 2 is restricted to people who have passed the departmental training in computational demonology.

The carrying bag also contains a destruction pack.

Notes: While the power adapter chosen for the FCG Mk 2 is a standard USB C connector, it is very strongly recommended to ONLY use the provided battery pack or mains adapter. Do not, under any circumstances, connect the FCG Mk 2 to a normal laptop or phone, even if it is possible. This will cause the destruction of the plugged-in equipment and MAY cause failure of the FCG Mk 2.

The FCG Mk 2 is a single-use piece of equipment and once used SHOULD be taken back for maintenance. If it is, for some reason, impossible to bring it back, fold the FCG Mk 2 up, break open the provided destruction pack (labelled "Do Not Open Unless In Emergency" in black letters, on a yellow background), pour the thermite in the destruction pack over the top of the FCG Mk 2 bundle, then pull the activation tab inside the pack and place on top of the thermite. Within 3 seconds, this should ignite and destroy the FCG Mk 2.

97:

NAME:
The Metaphysical Turk

CLASSIFICATION:
Occult Analysis App/Web Service (level 3 special access under cooperation program with U.S. Black Chamber)

DEPLOYMENT:
An interesting side-effect of the growing incarceration rate among the population of our U.S. allies is that there has been a steep rise in the number of cases where convicts in their justice system are handed multiple life sentences to be served consecutively. Legally speaking these souls are not allowed to rest until their sentences have been completed. A secret Supreme Court case decided 6 to 3 that life-after-death is clearly another life and so these souls are effectively bound to do forced labor until the heat death of the universe or CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN, whichever happens first.

Due to bureaucratic oversight and administative inertia this valuable pool of free labor was wasted for years on end until an enterprising manager discovered its hidden potential and put these souls to work doing mindless administrative work initially. Since dead inmates tell no tales there was no issue with getting security clearance and soon afterwards they were providing all kinds of other services as well, typically too mind-numbingly boring or dangerous for living employees, for example brute-forcing the missing parts of partially recovered spells or transcribing intercepted communications between various whale species and BLUE HADES.

Field agents are now routinely equipped with the Metaphysical Turk app on their phones or tables in order to send text, images or video directly to the pool of Metaphysical Turks for analysis or evaluation. A web version is also available.

NOTE: due to the nature of the labor pool it is strongly advised against to use the Metaphysical Turk in any cases involving rape, virgin sacrifice or child pornography.

98:

Name: Snug Bug Rug
Classification: Cloaking and escape device
Cryptonym: WOOLY KAFKA
Synthesis: Each unit is individually hand-knitted by operative AUNTY NORMA
Mundane Cognate: Various, typically as fisherknit cardigan, sometimes as scarf or mittens
Deployment: In time of personal crisis, FASTEN ALL BUTTONS, triggering a bioesoteric warp and weft that transforms the agent into a harmless bug. No gibbering nightmare from beyond would ever attack a big juicy cockroach. A reverse-transition technology is yet to be perfected, but who's complaining? Until they work that out you can look forward to a happy retirement - you'll be the toast of every literary society's sugar bowl!

99:

Name: Local Etheric Temporary Holding Enchantment (LETHE)

Classification: Procedural enchantment - administrative reproduction

Deployment: Used by the Laundry's administrative staff in the process of duplicating dangerous documents. This protocol works to ensure staff who are involved in the process of hand-duplicating vital records are not also involved in the process of summoning strange creatures from Places Beyond The Ken of Mortal Humans (especially not into their own skulls - cf Krantzenberg Syndrome). This is particularly important as the Case Nightmare Rainbow situations continue - there are certain documents which must be reproduced on a regular basis, such as training and procedural manuals for field operatives, which contain detailed instructions on how to perform various procedures involved in techno-thaumaturgy. Allowing staff who are not trained in field operations to retain any knowledge of these processes would be risky to say the least, and possibly hazardous not only to life and limb, but also to the Defence of the Realm.

Essentially, LETHE is a low-level enchantment placed on particular documents which ensures any person who is not issued with the correct wards and counter-measures is unable to make sense of the document except as a string of unrelated characters. This allows staff members in administrative roles (rather than field roles) to reproduce the document with startling degrees of accuracy, but prevents them from retaining any sense of what the document actually means. The idea came from the observation that the majority of the scribes who produced illuminated manuscripts in the mediaeval period may well have been functionally illiterate - what was required for their job was the ability to reproduce what they saw, rather than the ability to comprehend it.

While opposition forces may well possess LETHE counter-measures, it is the opinion of the Management the risk of encountering such an operative is worth taking compared to the risks involved in treating widespread K-syndrome throughout the entire Laundry typing pool.

100:

Name: Extra-Dimensional low-Enthalpic Nirvana (a.k.a. EDEN, Happy Valley)
Classification: Installation - Secret; exposure to EDEN sites should be limited to high-value personnel, and then only when sufficient safeguards against dependence have been undertaken.
Deployment:

EDEN sites are one of the outcomes of the GRACE EPITOME projects aimed at trans-terrestrial exploration. Tweaks to a standard summoning grid, originally aimed at long-distance travel, invert the purpose of the grid; instead of summoning an extradimensional low-intelligence fast-thinking autonomous entity to our plane, it grants the activating individual access to a plane where the local inhabitants are slower, creation of complex systems is easier, and it's just...easier to be alive.

After some initial difficulties (a) getting test subjects to return and (b) not having local inhabitants treat our forays as hostile (it is suspected that they supply the Gates To Happy Valley with non-sentient animals for us to ride while we're there), we have developed protocols for safe use of EDEN sites for mental recuperation. (Reports that senior staff holiday at EDEN sites are greatly exaggerated, and misuse of the EDEN regime is an Auditable offence.) Subjects report feelings of well-being, a sensation of time passing more slowly, and experience a general increase in cognitive capacity and creative output. While the process of transfer and return are not without their side effects, the capacity of time in EDEN locations to ameliorate post-traumatic stress and to accelerate the development of other projects leads to a satisfactory cost-benefit ratio.

101:

Also add that Charlie has mentioned the Kettenkrad several times, and it's on the cover of the US edition.

102:

Realized this morning that perhaps this should be ALEPH ONE. The interwebs might not be quite infinite, but there is always something new. But I like the sound of aleph null better, and IANAMathematician

103:

I though I might go in a different direction - before magic was put on a 'solid theoretical grounding' and such. While haphazard and risky, it's clear that occult knowledge has always existed, and could manifest itself in subtle and surprising ways...

---

NAME: "Veritas Harvest"

CLASSIFICATION: Telepathic contagion and effective counter-measure to class 6 glamours.

DESCRIPTION: A 19th century vintage wine, prized by collectors for its rarity, rather than its occult properties, which are - in isolation - somewhat benign. Its history begins with a rather eccentric viticulturist in the Bordeaux region. A sizeable inheritance had freed the good Monsieur Laurent from putting volume before quality, allowing him to experiment with varieties of grape, soils, grafting, and harvest times.

It is not known how he came into possession of what became known simply as the 'veritas' method of viticulture. There is evidence to support the premise that he had access to fragments of the writing of Saint Vincent of Saragossa, being an upstanding supporter of the church, and a self-styled scholar of early Roman martyrs. While history holds that Vincent was tortured under the persecution of Christians by the emperor Diocletian, it is clear he was given many opportunities to 'repent', and perhaps to 'share' his esoteric knowledge. He remains a patron saint of wine-makers, and there is evidence to suggest that he may have been a devotee of a Dionysian mystery cult prior to his conversion.

Soil analysis by the SOE during the French resistance, and subsequent refinements by Q division, suggest a blood magic contagion used for at least fifteen consecutive years in Laurent's vineyards. There is no evidence of necromancy - simply the use of a single bovine source for each year's blood at the base of each vine. However, the few notes Laurent kept referred to the particular positions of stars and the positioning of stones at the time of the 'blessing', suggestive of a crude but effective application of geomancy.

Attention was drawn to the vintage when friends and acquaintances of Laurent noted a 'strange drunkenness'. Those who shared a bottle or two were convinced they could hear and speak to each other over distances for several days afterwards, and exert an 'excessive affection' in others that was most unbecoming, though not necessarily unwelcome.

DEPLOYMENT AND RECOMMENDATIONS: The use of Veritas Harvest is not recommended, given the effectiveness of modern wards and sympathetic devices for covert communication channels. It does however, remain a powerful occult resource. A standard glass from a sealed bottle (a spoiled cork or damaged seal render the contents worthless) establishes an effective, and even more comfortably, a voluntary telepathic link between those who share the bottle's contents. Modern researchers have described the wine in the modern vernacular as 'inverse beer-goggles' - a crude description of its ability to see past glamours of at least class 6, while the drinker will project a glamour of class 2 to 3 for several hours. It is surprisingly benign for an occult substance, with no reported ill effects, other than those due to alcohol, and the dissolution of the glamour - often followed by a predictable sense of disappointment to all involved

While seemingly benign, there are potential hazards that provide external assets with a brief to deal with known collections of Veritas. The political implications of heads of state sharing an innocently (or maliciously) donated bottle of Veritas are obvious. For example, it would be unacceptable for foreign agencies to make subconscious inquiries of the Prime Minister, or the previous Mayor of London, in the unfortunate PORCINE SUPPLICANT debacle. It is noted that an unsanctioned, though fortuitous, operation by BASHFUL INCENDIARY, incidentally 'monitored' by [REDACTED], exchanged a case of Veritas in the hands of a private collector for a forged, though excellent, Cabernet Sauvignon. A recently appointed Auditor and [REDACTED] were able to confirm the efficacy of the original vintage.

104:

Okay, I think WOOLY KAFKA is my favorite so far.

105:

Name: Large Area Destruction Botnet (LADBOT)

Classification: WAMD

Deployment:

Botnets are now a common occurrence, used by organized criminals to send spam or malware (usually with the objective of blackmail) to gullible or uneducated users.

While considered "risky" or "utterly suicidal" by earlier administrator, recent changes in leadership and the raising stakes have lead to the development of LADBOT. After a lucky takeover of a Russian Mafia botnet by the Secret Service and long consideration of the worst case scenario of CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN it was decided that humanity needs a last-resort weapon.

LADBOT is a slumbering botnet which we frequently update with knowledge about 0-day exploits to infest more machines. It is currently mostly running on outdated business desktops of which there are many. In case it is deemed necessary, it can be used to send distributed summoning grid (DSG) code to all infected machines, which will use their processing power to open local holes in reality.

As noted in FOLDER LAST STAND, we currently have a significant number of machines in the botnet. We expect that this would have a 99.75% coverage.

Variant: It is also possible to only activate the DSG for specific IP-ranges, giving us somewhat granular control.

Note: I would have preferred to put this into the hands of the Black Chamber, because they fit better, but I don't know their jargon, nor does it qualify.

106:

Ever since knitting became mechanised, and production of knitted hosiery ramped up accordingly, there has been introduced into the manufacture of such goods a small but significant possibility that ‘wild’ computational operations might spontaneously arise out of errors in the repeating patterns of stitches comprising the woven fabric. The proliferation of these errors has enabled the evolution of a class of hosiery items with inherent dimensional instability.

Thus, the commonplace discovery of a single un-paired sock after completion of the laundry (sic) cycle, its counterpart having suffered collapse of an intrinsic dimensional superposition and departed to alternative space.

Under certain circumstances the retained hose remains sufficiently entangled with its counterpart as to form a trans-dimensionally valent monosock which, if energised by a skilled occult technician, can be used to enclose, contain and carry items of greater mass and/or volume than would be normative within the user’s accustomed space/time reference frame - it is believed that the surplus mass is obtruded into the realm wherein the pair lies, presumably unregarded. Presumably.

Name: Poppins Sock.
Classification: Utility/Containment - infrequent use.
Cautionary: Not to be worn.

107:

Extra-Dimensional low-Enthalpic Nirvana (a.k.a. EDEN, Happy Valley)
Admiring this one. Might be my favorite so far. (Also, the idea is suggestive as a multi-meaning metaphor.)
Pretty sure that it would be used aggressively by the Laundry to accelerate "emergency" projects, which would shortly be nearly all projects deemed important by someone with authority to grant access.

108:

(Not eligible, entry purely for fun.)

Name: Godhood on Demand (a.k.a. GoD)
Classification: Malevolent Deity Incursion Response - Experimental procedure.
Clearance: Briefing limited to Auditors and personal that they select

GoD is a reliable recursive thaumic procedure, executed by a selected human, for bootstrapping themselves into short-duration minor deity with a half-life of approximately 24 hours. The resulting deity is an amplification of the abilities of the human subject to a selected level varying from 2^2 to 2^16 times baseline. The subject should therefor be carefully selected for suitability characteristics, notably including slowness to anger, and a total lack of interest in power. Due to [REDACTED] linkages to [REDACTED] structures in the frontal lobes of the subject, the procedure can only be re-executed by the subject when they revert to baseline.

The higher levels of amplification present a significant risk that the deity will suppress or eliminate the power decay function, and so should be reserved for responses to verified MDIs.

109:

Well I think I missed the deadline. But it's so rarely I comment anymore that I'll throw my tie in.

Name: Negating Extra/Kleinian Terrestrial Insipience Yoke (NE/K TIY)

Classification: Camouflaged Anti-possession & agent defection countermeasure, active enforcement of section 3.

Deployment: Utilised within non "hot" espionage that may encounter aggressive hostile agencies seeking to subvert and countermand thaumaturgic locks emplacement by section 3 geas.
The NE/K TIY operates with an entangled grid woven into the fabric of the neck piece (see files "GOLDEN FLEECE" and "PULLING RUG") to ensure the operator does not deviate from section 3 security procedures through involuntary mental manipulation or metaphysical coercion. The NE/K TIE will - on detection of oath breaking - enforce physical trauma, initially preventing speech and proceeding to termination of asset through asphyxia should possession/coercion attempts continue.
Attempts to remove NE/K TIY will initiate a low level class 2 glamour causing self asphyxia as the Teflon carbide binding knot is unintentionally tightened.
NE/K TIE devices may only be removed by direct management and utilising command words (default "It's Casual Friday").

Sub note - it has been reported though not verified that PowerPoint presentations over 15 minutes or in excess of 20 slides cause inexplicable activation of stage 2 of the NE/K TIE device. Whether this is a causal or merely correlative reaction required further studies.

110:

Yep. BMW got stupid with their bikes around the time they introduced electronics. I was short of cash in 2011 and my R80 needed a repair I couldn't afford, so I sold it and bought a K75 to tide me over. Worst bike I ever owned - top heavy, weighed 50kg more with slightly less power, you had to take out the engine control computer to get at the battery, and the electronics and instruments seemed to have a mind of their own. I ran it for about 6 months before the fuel tank started leaking (a common problem with the early K bikes, and more or less unrepairable short of replacing the tank), sold it at a loss, and eventually got another R80. It was like heaven after the K75.

I think you could make a good case for the K-series engine management computers and electronics as already under some sort of occult control, probably satanic.

111:

Name: MCS (Magic Circle of Safety) Printer Cartridge Mark 4

Classification: Safety Asset, Low grade

Description: As part of the general support work for MAGIC CIRCLE OF SAFETY, under PROTECT AND SURVIVE, information on creating basic protection and summoning circles is provided with working examples. However, the upgrade in background materials to the digital era has created a problem in demonstrating workable protection circles. Previous materials were created by a modified phototypesetting machine to print a continuous image. Since the last tps 6300 was mothballed in 1999 as part of the Y2K initiative, the department has lacked the ability to replace the Magic Circle of Safety printers.

Work with the Mark 1 proved the Inkjet printing is unsuitable after incident GIBBERY BITS due to the microgaps between the dots. Similar microgaps as well as issues with frame rates have also stalled the MCS projection app.

The Mark 2 was rejected for the silver content being too high, and creating a clustering ink unable to fix the problems of Inkjet printing.

The Mark 3 was rejected as HP printers were already infected with manifestations of class 2 entities.

The Mark 4 uses toner, and is suitable for use in laser-jet based printers.

The Mark 5 is currently stalled in development due to lack of approval from HR to purchase a Makerbot.

Deployment: Replace standard toner cartridge in approved printers with MCS Cartridge. Confirm drivers are installed correctly, and print. Please note if drivers were recently install, you should try turning it off and on again.

112:

The deadline in the T&Cs is 21 June, so there is plenty of time.

113:

Not sure if I made the deadline, but I don't got to blogs on weekends...

All of the above are absurd. None seem to consider fire *prevention* superior to fire *fighting*.

Identifier: Metaphysical Disruption Device (MDD)

Drawing from Isaac Bonewitz' definitive work, Real Magick (also his B.A thesis from US Berkeley (for real), part of foreseeing, as well as many other abilities require hypercognition. In addition, extra-ordinary concentration is required for any strong spell. Further, from the works of EE Smith, PhD, in his treatise on forces (aka the Skylark series) are drawn the basis for the development of the MDD. Easily disguised as a cell phone, broadcasts modulation on a broad band of metaphysical and, optionally, physical wavelengths, resulting in the disruption of the deployment of spells, open gates, etc.

Notes:
1. For the physical level, it is advised to the agent deploying the device to a) wear ear plugs, and b) have the cable (supplied with the kid) connecting the device plugged into a belt-mounted high-rated battery pack, as the heavy metal music draws significant power, and will run down the internal battery very quickly. It also, frequently, shatters glass.
2. As a last resort, if the MDD is connected to the battery pack, and the metaphysical power is cranked up to just below the red line, all, including the agent deploying the device, will become unconscious. Going beyond the red line will cause cardiac arrythmia, spasm, and there is a significant chance of death, though that is usually on the side away from the deployer.

mark

114:

(Not eligible, and late. Entry for fun.)

Name: Wide-Area Outcome Biaser (a.k.a. WAOB)
Classification: General Incursion Response - Unconventional Defense Level 3

WAOB blankets a large region, typically several square kilometers though other sizes are feasible, with a bias in outcomes perceived as "bad luck" by sentient (see [REDACTED]) beings within the region. WAOB reverses the bias for individuals positive identified as friendly through [REDACTED] [REDACTED] non-homomorphic [REDACTED] identifiers.
Experiments have demonstrated that in such a field, beings with applicable similarly-signed bias, that are engaged in hostile behavior with each other, will paradoxically both subjectively experience either bad or good luck depending on the sign the bias. Please also note that the large numbers of causality violations indirectly generated by this defense may attract unwanted attention; this defense should only be used during an emergency response to a widespread incursion.

115:

Heh - that's what I get for skim reading the T&C's. I thought it was odd to have a one day competition.

In which case - count me in! (Thanks András)

116:

Code: Name Reverb Misstep

Classification: Autonomous general purpose remote manipulator/sensor

Description:
A rare example of stable non-hostile level 6 entities bound to thermal and radiation resistant smart fibres which have been woven into an anthropomorphic if diminutive membrane to facilitate mobility and manipulation. Much more than animated knitware, Reverb Misstep, coloquially known to their handlers as Hooters, due to the sliding tonal sequences they employ as their comms transport layer, can carry out a wide range of recon and sample return missions in hostile environments from hard vacuum to near-surface DEEP HADES wormcasts.

Deployment and Use:
Reverb Misstep are best employed in small teams composed of entites derived from a single summoning . "Family Groups", according to one handler. They do not posses significant combat capability, but their stealth functions allow them to evade most direct threats.

Also see:
Chowder Puff , Mail Portal

117:

Metaphysical Disruption Device (MDD)
Dang, was starting to work on one of those (an AoE ("Area of Effect") suppressor), with a rather different mechanism-babble.
I do wonder how the physical-noise-based aspect of your's would generalize to non-human cognitive styles and sensory apparatuses.
Also, what sort of metaphysical noise or disruptive signal is most effective?

118:

Name: Spectral Luminol

Purpose: Investigation of suspected crime scenes involving extra-dimensional entities

Details: Employed similar to regular Luminol, but registers the body fluids, extoplasms, or other exudates typically found at crime scenes involving spectral beings from outside consensual reality. Has a limited capability to distinguish amongst and identify the various clades of the more common eldritch horrors, indirectly improving the survival chances of the crime scene investigators.

119:

Name: Holy Coffee (TM)

Description: Hyper-concentrated caffeine in a Holy Water suspension

Purpose: Primarily used in exorcisms and as a self-defense spray. Also has a secondary application as paint stripper. Particularly effective on revenants and spectres from pre-modern eras, who lack any previous exposure to caffeine.

120:

Correction:

For Holy Coffee, please read Holy Joe

121:

Caution: Variant known as iSock has been known to destructively interfere with jesusphones running OFCUT app causing micro black holes that only evaporate after consuming approx 80kg of mass from the vicinity. For further details see cases classified APPLE MASH, ORANGE SQUASH and STRAWBERRY JAM.

122:

I don't think unicorn anythings would be considered a good idea, shiny or otherwise (qv Equoid)?

123:

I was deliberately going for "old-school" Laundry, the dystopian bureaucracy from the first couple books before OGH explained the necessity for things like Paper-Clip Audits. So yes, the Unicorn was deliberately chosen for it's doubtless-poor morale effect on those in the know.

But explain something please: Was the Shiny Unicorn really more worrisome to you than random motivational quotes from the Necronomicon or the Revelations of Glaaki?

Congratulations, Eric, you've recorded a win! Here's your motivational quote: As a foulness shall ye know Them. Their hand is at your throats, yet ye see Them not; and Their habitation is even one with your guarded threshold. Yog-Sothoth is the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet. Man rules now where They ruled once; They shall soon rule where man rules now.

124:

(Not eligible; thought this one through for amusement during a long commute)

Name: Elder-Deity Nanotechnological Thaumic Field Augmentation/Suppression (EDNTFAS)
Classification: Elder Legacy Thaumic Tooling

EDNTFAS is believed to be a self-replicating Elder-Deity remnant technology, reverse-engineered from nanostructures found in the pallium of the Patagonian Toothfish. When injected into a central nervous system or analogue, the nanostructures automatically migrate to locations that support optimal augmentation or suppression (depending on mode) of Thaumic Fields generated by [REDACTED] in a broad range of terrestrial nervous systems.
The reverse-engineering of the self-replication protocol for the nanostructures was not tested, due to concerns about control over the self-replication process that normally occurs during the growth of the Patagonian Toothfish from an egg with a single associated nanostructure. For this reason, supplies are limited; nanoparticle implantation for a human-sized brain requires processing of 34 adult fish. ([REDACTED] is our liaison with the CCAMLR) No tests have been performed on human subjects; limited tests have been performed on Rattus and Feline models. (See [REDACTED].)

Initial experimentation was performed using a standard Cephalopod model, coerced into a Klein bottle mental topology, with arms linked to form a 8-stage thaumic amplifier. Suppression results were encouraging, however no data was recovered from the augmentation experiments; the atoll hosting the experimental station was de-instantiated by BLUE HADES 4.3 seconds after the start of the initial amplification experiment, and computers that received the experimental data stream were destroyed shortly thereafter.

125:

Since I'm not eligible anyway due to geographic criteria failure, I bent the rules a little (the following is not just a device). Also, my entry contains a minor puzzle- it shouldn't be hard to spot and solve:

Name: Retro Virtual

Classification: Digital to Analog Cross Dimensional Summoning Engine

Deployment: Via random personalized non-task development activities of a recreational nature, certain low level employees accidently discovered a portal to an alternate universe in which the "quantum" level of mass and energy is somewhat larger than ours (Project Pixel is exploring this aspect). The process for summoning inhabitants of this universe has been standardized using obsolete recreational devices. The majority of the inhabitants are believed to be friendly to humans, even helpful (they may be some variant of a servitor race). The following individual entities have been identified, and are available for summoning to cleared personnel:

STRUCTURAL DISSASSEMBLER ENTITY (SDE): Entity able to extrude extensions from own body to vigorously dissassemble physical objects, primarily structural in nature. Warning: There are, so far, no known limits to this entity's ability to dissassemble structural objects (the entity appears to violate the law of the conservation of energy, research is ongoing). Despite friendly proclivities, entity appears susceptible to causing unintentional yet extreme collateral damage. Summon with extreme caution.

STRUCTURAL ASSEMBLER ENTITY (SAE): A similar entity with the apparent ability to wield a device that re-assembles damaged structural objects. Should be summoned along with SDU as a precautionary measure.

DISTANCE-TIME DISPLACEMENT ENTITY (DTDE): Entity able to summon a transportation device that has the interesting ability to teleport short distances. No known offensive capabilities, but could possibly provide a useful escape vehicle, should a field agent require such. However, entity may possess an unnaturally enhanced emotional appeal to individuals with developed paternal and maternal instincts. Summon with caution.

LARGE VOLUME MILITARIZED ENTITY (LVME): Individual in possession of advanced energy type weaponry with unusual capabilities (for our universe anyway). Unnatural accuracy, esp. during high rate of fire engagements, and no known limit to number of times able to fire. Destructive capacity appears conventional, but the energy emissions of the weapon appear to travel in visibly moving "bursts" of an unknown nature. Individual appears to be the leader of a squad of similar entities. Summon only as needed.

The alternate universe in question contains many more similar entities, possibly thousands, each with exceptionally varied capabilities. Research is ongoing.

126:

Name: LOST WALLET
Classification: Rejected OFCUT application
Description: A theoretically trivial variation on the standard summoning grid can be used to reverse the effect and, rather than summoning an extradimensional entity, send the grid itself off into the realms beyond the known universe. While a very efficient way to lose expensive equipment it has few practical applications.

So far the 'sticky note banishment' scheme has failed on every attempt. So has the 'smartphone universe probe' plan, which would be very cost effective if the apparatus could be made to return to our own world. Technical personnel wishing to do experiments should get permission from their managers and a secured budget before attempting anything.

Field agents may be issued LOST WALLET if it is anticipated they may need to ensure their equipment cannot be recovered by hostile powers.

Note: Still ineligible to win anything, still just posted for fun.

127:

Name: GIBBERING HORROR
Classification: Offensive software
Description: Contrary to one's first assumption, GIBBERING HORROR is not a paranormal threat from another universe; rather, it is an adaptive chatbot designed to slow communication within large organizations by inserting itself invisibly into email systems. Everyone in government or large corporations is used to receiving petulant emails containing trivial complains or inhumanly complex revisions of the vacation time rules; without face to face discussion it can be very difficult to detect what was produced by a human and what came from a soulless automation.

Some readers may remember the accidental test of GIBBERING HORROR within the Laundry's intranet last February. Rest assured that those responsible for the error have had a good talking to. Also, the Cheese Day proposal was definitely from the renegade chatbot and no HR personnel should be held responsible, honestly.

How many policies, if any, are a result of GIBBERING HORROR output is restricted to need-to-know; this applies both within the Laundry and to the government in general. Human Resources is adamant that you do not need to know.

Note: Still ineligible to win anything, still just posted for fun.

128:

NAME:
TAUTOLOGICAL INTEGER KILLER (TIKBIT)

CLASSSIFICATION:
PARASITIC SYMBIONT SUMMONING GRID

DESCRIPTION:

Outwardly a variant of the wearable health tech from which it draws its affectionate nick-name, the TIKBIT is a class 1 summoning grid device that attracts, summons and binds a lessor sub-species of the recently classified vampire parasite demon (though some have conjectured this variation is just an early life cycle expression of the same parasite). It's basically a vampire flea that subsists on the feedback grid created from microscopic samples of the wearer's blood and the electrical impulses produced by the vessel's nervous and endocrine systems.

The minor chthonic entity, once bound, has a few beneficial side effects to the wearer of the TIKBIT the most impressive of which is a counter-gease and counter-glamour effect brought about by the parasite's basic assumptions that a host un-afflicted by false sensory inputs is more likely to continue to survive and therefore continue providing sustenance to the symbiont. Effectively, as long as the TIK is happily feeding on the blood samples and residual neuro-chemical EMF of the host subject, the wearer of the device is immune to most low level glamours and fiction based geases.

The device is also an effective lie detector as the parasite seems to have highly unpleasant reaction to falsehoods aimed at its host. Anti-nausea medication is recommended during the initial adjustment period to wearing the TIKBIT.

DEPLOYMENT

Experimental and under review. Long term effects of continued usage are still under study as it seems the parasite grows stronger the longer the symbiotic relationship is maintained, simultaneously increasing 1) The power of the counter agents 2) The class of the summoning grid itself and 3) The appetite and sophistication of the parasite.

It is not recommended the device be worn while sleeping as the lowered electrical output of the host can result in a dissolution of the grid.

NOTE:
Not sure if I can enter or if the contest is over. I'm a dual citizen of France and the USA currently residing in California. But fun to post anyway.

129:

It's probably ℵ0, as I suspect the number of documents on the Internet is countable.

130:

My understanding was that the "solution" to the problem of incompatible European mains voltages problem was just to draw the error bars in the spec widely enough that everyone fell inside them and push the cost onto device manufacturers.

131:

Name: COPRA

Classification:
Mobile defensive device, rejected.

Deployment:
The Circle Of Protection Rolling Apparatus was designed to offer small footprint mobile protection through areas with low level infractions while leaving the hands free or tools and weaponry.
Field test have however shown that the stabilizing gyroscopic electronics interfered in unforeseen ways with the protection matrix causing the apparatus to self-immolate after contact with lesser level 3 haunts.

The questionable decision to get the prototypes produced by the lowest bidder coupled with insufficient security oversight caused the plans to be copied by just about every far-east consumer goods manufacturer flooding the market with leisure mobility devices with far too much computing power built in
- the heralds of CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN will surely be riding hoverboards.

133:

I'm not witty enough to compete in the contest, and maybe not the best place for it, but I thought people might be interested in this.

Say this for "Chuck Tingle", they don't do things by half measures.

http://www.therabidpuppies.com/

Puppy domain expired, so "Chuck" snapped it up and is now using it to promote NK Jesmin, Zoe Quinn, and shirtless pictures of Channing Tatum while continuing to mock and taunt the puppies for their dragging them into their shit.

Shine on you crazy diamond.

134:

Name: MAJOR CTHON

Use: An uncontained Schroedinger apparatus, introduced into an energised Poppins Sock to add uncertainty to the counterpart in its host realm. This is necessary if the counterpart is to be ejected back into its reference frame of origin.

Note: Apparatus may require sedation prior to safe use.

135:

Name:
Electric Mandrake Pouch (EMP)

Classification:
Electromagnetic Weapon

Deployment:

Mandragora officinarum--the mandrake--has long been associated with magic and witchcraft. While tales of the lethality of the mandrake's cry are baseless, a research project exploring arcane folklore found an innovative application. The mandrake, when grown with hydroponics using a highly ferrous nutrient solution under a strong magnetic field, forms a natural super-capacitor. When removed from its solution, the mandrake root releases a powerful burst of electromagnetic radiation, disabling any nearby electrical devices.

The project stalled after several early attempts to harvest the mandrakes resulted in the destruction of a large amount of lab equipment. Eventually, the Electric Mandrake was successfully weaponized through the introduction of a carrier pouch in which the mandrakes are grown. When they have matured, the pouches are sealed, leaving the mandrake suspended in nutrient solution. Breaking the pouch drains the fluid, exposing the mandrake root to air and causing it to release its charge. Although the strength of the charge varies based on the size of the root, the typical EMP will disable all non-shielded electrical devices within a 5 meter radius. The EMP is a single-use weapon; after deployment, the root is inert. Users are reminded that, although a used Electric Mandrake root is indeed a good source of dietary iron, it still maintains its hallucinogenic properties and should not be consumed.

136:

The physical noise has been weaponized with large equipment - see the heavy metal assault of opera-loving Noriega in Panama when he was taking refuge in a church.

The metaphysical assault modulates the spectrum of which psi is merely one band (per EE. Smith's 6th-level forces). It would go in a range well beyond the band of human usage, thus preventing not only human usage, but also non-human usage to communicate with humans, or cause effects in the RW (real world). I envision the first version to be basically either white noise, or rhythmic noise that affects the recipients much as one of those songs that you CANNOT GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD.... Volume would also be modulated in the latter case, specifically to increase the frustration level of the recipient, which, of course, distracts them from the attention required for the spell.

mark
--
Modern computer programming *is* magick: if you know the True Name of an entity, you can instantiate it, and make it do what you want (unless it does what you told it to do, instead).

138:

Yeah, that's been making the rounds today. From here: http://faception.com/

We encode facial appearances in proprietary image descriptors and train state of the art machine learning algorithms to predict personal traits, capabilities and online behaviors.
So if there is anything to it (reserving judgement due to recent surprises in machine learning :-) , it's probably (cold guess without deeper investigation) related to the image descriptor encoding, probably related to this quy:
David Gavriel Chief Profiler, Co-Founder
Non verbal communication expert & Image Consultant with 14 years of exp. A senior lecturer throughout the world of facial and body features, body language, facial expressions, & voice recognition.
That is, a collection of high-quality features can be made to work wonders with machine learning techniques. The very reasonable fear would be that a high interestingness score would be considered actionable, and that perhaps in the near future the action would be performed by automation.

139:

These folks haven't heard of plastic surgery?

Having a tough time believing this and wonder how they drew their test sample of faces. Facial geometry varies across races, ethnicity, gender, age, disease, drugs, etc.

140:

Name : Normalised Occult Wardings (NOW) Armageddon Vol 1.
Classification : Propaganda / Class 1 wards (Civilian use)

Deployment : Occult MP3 recording.
Following the recent review of the Magic Circle of Safety program it was noted that significant modernisation of delivery methods was needed to protect the remnant civilian population during the forecast events of CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN and similar scenarios. Following extensive research with the instrument known as LECTER and the collection of similar damned instruments of lower power held in HM Governments Scottish archives, codenamed the SCARLET CANINE collection, it was determined that it was feasible to create low powered defensive wards via MP3 recordings. The hammond organ of Amun-Ra (SPIRAL BOON) has been found to be particularly effective for this purpose.
These recordings are deemed suitable for protecting non-practitioners against low grade threats such as unbound Residual Human Resources and Grade 1-2 Feeders in the Night. Accordingly sleeper Assets CHASTE PICKLE and NASTY WAISTHIGH were activated and tasked with producing the first set of recordings. In order to gain maximum acceptance across the surviving populace a wide range of demographically appropriate recordings were chosen and distributed via digital music stores.*

Track listing is as follows:

Don't fear the Sleeper - BLUE HADES Cult.
Theme from the Damnedbusters - 666 Squadron Band
Dho na Style - Psy
Rolling with the Deep Ones - Adele
If you dislike it (shoulda put a ring round it) - Beyond Say
Bad moon rising - Human Clearance Survival
In the year 2525 - Zombie and Eavens.
Good News Week - Headcroppers Anonymous.
Call Me, MAYDAY - Carly Rae Jepson
Sundown on the Empire - Rev Schiller and the unMakers
Calling OCCULUS - The Carpathians
The Artists Rifles - The JDAM

Bonus Video
Safety Dance (CNG remix) - Men without hearts

*Not on the jesusPhone store due to incompatibility with the DRM based entity currently infecting that store.

141:

Let's put it this way; if I were interested in investing money in them, I would be insisting on a lot of tests of my choosing. (Which would be fair.) Guessing that the secret sauce, if it exists (guessing again that it probably it does) consists of crafted high level novel features that can be reliably extracted somehow from images. (This would allow for a generated human-readable explanation.) Could be very wrong.

Toying with a version of this for the Laundry, with a different mechanism than Dirk's. I keep conflating Black Chamber style stuff with Laundry style, but the U.K. is pretty heavily into surveillance.

142:

Name: EARWORM

Classification: Trans-dimensional Parasite

Deployment: From all outward appearances EARWORM is in fact a worm which inhabits the ear of its victims. EARWORM is accidentally summoned by the constant listening to insipid pop-tunes by certain individuals with a predisposition to over-analysis of lyrics, and a tendency to the Mondegreening of said lyrics. Once EARWORM has been summoned it spontaneously appears within the ear canal of its victim, whereupon it crawls its way further inward until it reaches the cochlea. There it attaches its mandibles and begins to emit an incessant vibration which is interpreted as a humming of the tune to which the victim was mangling the lyrics. The effect of EARWORM is to drive its victim to distraction and cause an increased sense of agitation and paranoia. This often leads to the victim to attempt the cessation of the uncontrolled melody by the emplacement of a foreign object. Frequently the object found to be most handy is a screwdriver. This, of course, generally leads to the deceasement of the victim.

143:

(Not eligible, entry purely for fun.)

Name: Multi-Channel High Enochian Babble Generator (MCHEBG)
Classification: Specialized Defensive Tool. (Experimental)

Recent advances in RNN-based opaque language models [*] have offered increases in amount of generated sequential babble text needed for a intelligent being to recognize that the text is babble. The MCHEBG has been trained on the [REDACTED] large corpus of High Enochian. In the prototype implementation, the model is then sampled at random, and ad-hoc output filters are applied to remove dangerous babble. The resulting streams are converted to speech and output to multiple simultaneous audio streams (8 in the prototype, each with a different recognizable voice), with controllable volume, up to approximately 140 dB at 3 meters. A being subject to the audio stream and fluent in Enochian will find it difficult to concentrate.

Note (1): This device was the result of a Laundry employee's 10 percent project. (The employee is since deceased, apparently due to natural causes.) It should be considered experimental; the current output filters have been deemed inadequate!

Note (2): The creator also trained a cocktail-party language model, trained on a speech-to-text corpus derived from hundreds of hours of recordings captured at exclusive social events. It is considered safe, and can be used as an ambience-enhancer at social functions.

[*]Here, if you must. It's currently at the sort-of-amusing stage. :-)

144:

The creator also trained a cocktail-party language model...considered safe, and can be used as an ambience-enhancer at social functions.

The two hand-labeled CD-ROMs containing their output programming should not be confused. They are less interchangeable than they look.

145:

Name: SATOSHI'S CHOICE (unhelpful nickname “Bit Bucket”)
Classification: Restricted access data archive
Description: Given that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies use proof-of-work systems to demonstrate arbitrary work, naturally someone tried to cheat. [Redacted] used [redacted] quantum computing in nearby dimensions to solve the set of all Bitcoin hash values, returning to our reality an output of all possible Bitcoin hashes. Deployment is restricted not merely because Bitcoin users would quickly notice the new coins but because the Black Chamber is known to have performed the same operation and has their own copy of the archive, as do [redacted] in China. Interestingly, [redacted] detected an as yet unidentified party performing what seems to be this exact operation in 2007, before the formal introduction of Bitcoin.

See also the DIE IN A FIRE report available to authorized readers.

Note: Still ineligible to win anything, still just posted for fun. Also this is redundant after #63, which is a known hazard of thinking up gimmicks while away from the computer.

I'm contemplating a series of rejected OFCUT apps; would anyone be interested in that theme?

146:

(Not eligible, entry purely for fun. This one is a bit involved. Hopefully it's original.)

Name: Mycelium-Generated Perimeter Defense
Classification: Defensive

Background:
Laundry investigators (acting on an extremely obtuse hint from BLUE HADES) of Phanerochaete chrysosporium (a white rot fungus) found a rarely expressed genomic sequence that causes its hyphae to grow with a conductive carbon nanotube core. Further investigation by [REDACTED] found that stimulation of the hyphae with monochromatic light at precisely 873.6 nm (near IR), pulsed in a square wave at 8377 Hz, would cause the hyphae to grow into vast numbers of microscopic class 9 wards. No other control signals were found; [REDACTED] continues investigations.
It is believed by [REDACTED] that ancestors of this fungus were seeded on Earth at roughly 290 Ma, and irradiated by orbital control lasers to cause it to convert planetary stocks of lignin to a very large thaumic computing engine. The purpose of this (hypothetical) device is not known; one speculation is that it was used to control the early formation of carefully tailored universes.

Device description:
The Pc perimeter defense kit consists of a spore sprayer, a fiber optic irradiation line for controlling growth, and a control signal generator module. Deciduous wood chips from any source are laid down in a 20 cm layer 2 meters wide, and sprayed first with water then with spores. The cable is placed on top of the perimeter. The intensity of the control signal is not critical; only enough photons to form a recognizable square wave are required.
At 20 C and with plenty of moisture, the perimeter is roughly class 7 after 4 days and peaks at class 9 after roughly 23 days. The carbon nanostructures persist after the death of the fungus.

147:

I've been trying to work up an amusing Laundry-style crypto-using device that survives P = NP. Nothing yet. Does anyone have anything? (Perhaps using a custom hash function that involves a small amount of uhm "risk" to the computing device per execution?)


148:

(ineligible american, and second entry anyway. and in keeping with OGH's habit (or is it Bob Howard's?) of ascribing magical powers to non-magical coffee anyway)

NAME: CAFFEINATED BOOKWORM
CLASSIFICATION: ACCELERATED LEARNING REFRESHMENT DEVICE

DESCRIPTION: This device consists of a sheet-fed scanner connected to a standard commercial-grade espresso machine. A dedicated neural network ASIC processes the scanned materials and heats the steam. This process produces a beverage which in turn creates a Billington-type geas, causing the person who consumes the drink to conform to the archetype presented in the scanned materials. The geas drops in strength as the caffeine in the beverage is metabolized, with a half-life of about 5.7 hours in healthy adult humans.

For instructive materials, the result is initial intense interest in the subject; if this impulse is not resisted, one day of self-instruction with 3 to 5 shots of espresso can give long-lasting proficiency equivalent to a semester of classroom instruction or 80 hours of practical experience.

Use with fictional materials is forbidden by Laundry policy.
Further discussion of the consequences of such use are coded CHEKHOVS CUPPA.

DISCUSSION: Subject I— was a barista and doctorate candidate in english literature who exhibited an unconscious sigma-3 superpower that caused coffee shop patrons to spontaneously act out scenes from whatever book Subject I— had most recently been reading. Laundry agents detected and neutralized him, but not before several civilians, each believing themselves to be Ophelia, suffocated with lungs inexplicably full of water. (The Hamlets, Laerteses, and so forth were saved from their fate by the Laundry's timely intervention. Curiously, no Poloniouses had lost detectable amounts of blood) The neural network structure of CAFFEINATED BOOKWORM was reverse engineered based on cellular-level scans of Subject I—'s cerebral cortex, and use with instructional materials was found to be safe.

149:

Oh, forgot about a glimmer of a possible such crypto-based device noticed on the commute home; needs some filling of ignorance chasms first.

Really enjoying the "redacted" tag in this form, both reading and writing.

Mars is glowing brightly, a little over 4 light-minutes away (closest in about a week, May 30). (8 minute pings!)

150:

Name: Karelian Kantele

Classification: Occult instrument

Deployment: This instrument is probably related to the Erich Zahn violins, but seemingly predates them by a long margin. Only one example is known to exist, but others have been mentioned in legends. The instrument originates somewhere from the Karelian region in current Russia and Finland.

The Karelian Kantele is a plucked string instrument. It is constructed from the jawbone of a large unidentified fish. It stringed with very strong hair, and the strings have not been known to break. It is reported to have a variable number of strings and it might be that it can be re-stringed according to the user’s needs.

The powers of the Karelian Kantele are not fully known. It can be used to soothe and charm animals. This soothing effect seems to affect also nature as a greater concept and the instrument can also be used to command natural features by a powerful user. Some legends tell of bogs commanded to swallow opponents, but the Kantele can probably be used to command other natural features, too.

It is not known if more of such instruments can be constructed. Fish large enough to serve as the basis for the instrument are rare, especially pikes which are the legendary source for the instrument.

The whereabouts of the Karelian Kantele are not known. It has been used by the Finnish Occult forces in recent years, but an attempted invasion by worshippers of Norse powers is a possible reason for its disappearance. It is suspected that the owners have hidden the instrument and plan to use it agains the invaders.

151:

And those of us who don't put "music" (so-called on their phones, or only listen to Radio 3 if we do?

Maybe a remix of the "Good Friday" music from Parsifal would do the trick?
The overture to "the Flute" ? Sarastro's "In diesem heiligen Halle ..." from the same opera?
Other alternative slightly-altered "classical" themes welcomed.
HINT: Do NOT attempt to play "The Hut of Baba-Yaga" from Pictures at an Exhibition (!)

152:

Code Name: GIBSON PHYLACTORY

Classification: Employee Retention / Disaster Recovery System

Deployment: Field agents frequently engage in operations that endanger not only their physical wellbeing, but the health of their minds and souls. For reference see H&S report “Brain drain in the public sector: A statistical analysis”
Until recently this was accepted as an unavoidable risk, intrinsic to the nature of Laundry operations. However advance in two areas of technology have finally enabled a mitigation solution.
Combining the recent advances in neural/etheric scanning from an off site Laundry think tank, with the availability of cheap online data storage, GIBSON PHYLACTORY allows field agents to back up their souls to the cloud prior to high risk operations. In the event of irreversible soul loss and/or corruption, the agent’s soul can be restored from the most recent cloud backup.
A small scale pilot of GIBSON PHYLACTORY has been initiated. It is currently stalled at the procurement stage, due to the four year limit on cloud storage contracts procured by government departments via the crown commercial services purchasing framework agreements.
Suggestions that duplicated stored souls could be used as food/bribes for non cooperative interdimensional entities have been strongly rejected by the project management board. The initiator of these suggestions has been referred to HR for disciplinary action.

153:

Actually Greg there's a bit from the Safety Dance video just for you @ 1'37"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjPau5QYtYs

The whole video shows the breakdown of society after a CNG type event imo.


154:

(Not eligible, entry purely for fun. This one is Elder Techno-Druid style. Hopefully original.)
Name: Anisoptera Drone System (ADS)
Classification: Surveilance Device

Background:
Acting on cryptic hints emerging from the ongoing deep multipass gnostic scan of the corpus of DNA sequences collected so far by humans, the Laundry computational biology department investigated a collection of inescapably optimal biological characteristics (at multiple scales) conserved within large clades. The flight control system of the Anisoptera (dragonflies) was found to be both optimal and conserved across the suborder, involving common neural structures, the visual system, and conserved patterns (*) on the wings (pterostigma). It is presumed that this is a remnant biotechnology left behind by an Elder Deity.

A remote control system was discovered, involving targeting an individual dragonfly with a coded pulse sequence (common to the entire suborder) at approximately 340 nm (near UV; wavelength not critical) to initiate an entanglement protocol with a isomorphic Anisoptera nervous system analogue (in silicon) in the control unit. (A similar disentanglement initiation signal was found, that releases the insect from bondage after the surveillance job is complete.)

Description:
The ADS control unit consists of a targetable low-power UV laser with optical sights, the analogue nervous system, a heads-up display for remote viewing (compound eye visuals are mapped to the human visual schema), and controls which are mapped to directional suggestions in the analogue and thus to the dragonfly.

Note: this device has not been weaponized. Consider the Apis Swarm Controller if offensive capability is required.


(*) Metanote 1: not entirely sure that pterostigma are conserved; somebody needs to do a UV survey of all the species.
Metanote 2: the control system is cartoonish; could use some polishing.


155:

CODENAME: SAFETY SCRAMBLE

NAME: Emergency Anti-Summoning Prophylactic

DESCRIPTION:
An experimental fast-acting hallucinogen/deliriant resulting in long-term low-grade brain damage to the hippocampus and frontal lobe. Can be ingested orally, or taken intramuscularly or through the skin. Intended to be used on civilians who are deemed likely to simulate a neural summoning grid presently (applicable to pre-PHANGs).

Research suspended in 1971, related to supply chain breakdowns and efficiacy problems: a single dose may not reliably prevent or delay summoning, and the most common failure mode is instant K-syndrome.

156:

I misread the terms. I should note that I am ineligable.

157:

Metanote 2: the control system is cartoonish; could use some polishing.
Probably dont need the laser shenanigans if you go with pre-entangled dragonflys kept in a little stasis ward.

158:

CODENAME : POCKET SAVIOUR

NAME : SHORT TERM PERSONAL DEFENSE UNIT, MK II

DESCRIPTION : The POCKET SAVIOUR is a CLASS II OCCULT personal defensive unit and should only be issued to Laundry personnel with the relevant weapons certification.

With CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN imminent it is becoming apparent to senior management that it is increasingly likely that non field trained Laundry staff may be subject to personal attacks.

With that in mind, the helpful people at Q Division have created POCKET SAVIOUR. Resembling a late 1990's "Tamagotchi" the unit is able to be carried discreetly by any personnel and will function as a normal Tamagotchi if tested.

However, if all 3 buttons are pressed simultaneously the screen with alight with an active summoning glyph.One drop of blood must then be dropped onto this glyph along with the Enochian phrase **AWAKEN** being spoken. This will cause the unit to summon a corporeal class 3 entity which will defend the individual activating it for a time of no longer than 30 (thirty) seconds before being dispelled as the unit burns out.

Repeated testing has shown that the entity summoned in each case, although only 18" tall and resembling something like "A shaved cat with tentacles growing out of every orifice" (Agent CANDID), appears to be devoted absolutely to its summoner and is capable of going to quite remarkable lengths to defend them. "It's only a little bastard but it comes out spoiling for a fight" (Agent HOMESTEAD)

As a one shot defensive measure this has the advantage of giving personnel the chance to make a speedy exit from potentially threatening situations without actually engaging in combat themselves.

NOTE : UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should this device be activated while within an already active summoning grid as the resulting feedback caused [redacted] to [redacted] and the resulting overtime claim by janitorial staff must be offset against next year's budget allocation. Remember, someone always has to clean up the mess.

159:

[Ineligible, not my first try and just for funsies. Besides, I told enough bad musical jokes last time]

Name: BLUE MONDAY

Class: Unconventional weaponry/Crowd control

Deployment: BLUE MONDAY uses psychoacoustic techniques to manipulate the minds of anybody in the affected area - depending on the transponder, anywhere between a single individual and areas over a mile in radius. Mostly this results in emotional manipulation, which can be used to prevent riots or aid evacuation processes during a reality excursion.

BLUE MONDAY is the result of many generations of work on the part of those who came before us and lived out their vocations. A degree of care is needed in deployment, as carelessness can reduce it to, in one agent's final words, "a machine to make people dance".

Notes: We are still experimenting with effectiveness across generations, with some versions incorporating techniques classified under ROCKLIKE MAT. It should be noted that Japanese manufacturer YEEAAAHHHHH has long since ceased to be a strategic requirement here, though software-based replacements do carry some additional hazards.

160:

I noticed a number of other similar ideas on skimming through the list, so I don't claim this as entirely original, but what you might want is a "magic masking" app.

I've been thinking along the lines of using an InternetOfThings (or IN-OUT for INternet Of Unmentionable Things) which uses common household devices to mimic a magician performing magic, and then spits them out into a containment grid.

The interesting thing to consider is how do computers and biology differ? The neurons in a brain actually generate a clicking noise (like a geiger counter), whereas the silicon would be clicking much-much faster. Do we need to simulate the electrical activity of biology accurately, or just the compute-like behaviour?

Contemplating that a bit further, what is the ratio of machine intelligence to meat intelligence we expect in the universe? I'm wondering whether in fact we'll find biological intelligence is actually quite rare. If so, why is such slow moving thoughts so attractive to advanced unspeakable alien intelligences?

161:

stil not eligible, but anyway...

Name: PLASTIC JESUS*

Description: Bluetooth peripheral for Jesusphone providing localised weather disruption.

Deployment: PLASTIC JESUS rides on the dashboard of deployed agent's vehicle. Note: Do not glue to dashboard as this would hinder use of PLASTIC JESUS outside of vehicle.
It is recommended, when necessary, that the agent carry PLASTIC JESUS on their person when not in vehicle. To use PLASTIC JESUS one places it in an open space within range of Jesusphone's bluetooth. Using the PLASTIC JESUS app the agent can then summon a variety of cold weather phenomena; from Graupel (frozen rain) to a mild Fimbulwinter. Effectiveness of PLASTIC JESUS is dependent on atmospheric humidity levels, i.e. if the agent is near the coast, or a large body of water they will be able to summon up a larger amount of precipitation. It is not yet known how the rising of average global temperatures will affect the efficacy of PLASTIC JESUS. The localised weather disruption will remain until deactivated by the agent, or as long as the peripheral's battery maintains charge.
Note also: Use of PLASTIC JESUS indoors is not necessarily recommended, however it can be quite useful when dealing with enemy agents/manifestations in tight quarters, particularly when lightning has been invoked.
PLASTIC JESUS does not resemble a figurine of the supposed messiah, unless the agent issued with it is being clever.


*check out the Plastic Cthulhu lyrics on the link.

162:

Name:
FELIX RESOLVE

Classification:
Field deployable wave function collapse initiator for the resolution of uncertainty when dealing with quantum entangled entities (SHADOW MAUL YELLOW).

Deployment:
Box, cardboard, with embedded silver protection grid. Quantum IIOIIN (Is It Or Is It Not?) poison deployment device. Some assembly required. Operative to provide subject, mammalian (mouse or larger).
For use in the field to collapse the superposition of SHADOW MAUL YELLOW entities into one state (or another), thus rendering them vulnerable to standard rules devices.

163:

Name: GLITTER TATTLE
Classification: Defensive Anti-incursion Trigger System
Description: Abstractly, GLITTER TATTLE is a simplified detection system for occult energies; unlike more sophisticated devices it does not attempt to identify or analyze anything, it only detects their presence. When activated it scans continuously for paranormal activity (useful range ~3 meters for Class II entities), and when it senses them it sends an electrical signal to trigger an attached detonator. GLITTER TATTLE is compatible with many standard British Army devices. Personnel have found many hostile entities are satisfactorily incompatible with the combination of GLITTER TATTLE and explosives.

The unit physically resembles a walkie-talkie with a child's pinwheel on top and so has minimal stealth characteristics. Keep this in mind when engaging opponents clever enough to notice.

Personnel with excessive exposure to unconventional effects, which is to say most people working for the Laundry, may themselves be detected by GLITTER TATTLE. For safety purposes the unit has a 30 second timer allowing the user to retreat to a safe distance after activation. Should it not be expended in action a GLITTER TATTLE unit may be detonated in place, left to deactivate itself via timer or battery exhaustion, or disarmed by a convenient bystander or 5.56mm round. Note that these last two methods, while effective and demonstrated in the field, are not considered best practice.

Note: Still ineligible to win anything, still just posted for fun. Also this basic idea isn't original with me anyway. On the other hand, this is the sort of thing the Laundry's hands-on people would probably use.

164:

Name: WANDERING SALESMAN PROBLEM
Classification: Rejected OFCUT app, Class 4 Glamour
Description: Field operatives are frequently required to use their social engineering skills to accomplish mission goals; it is only reasonable to give them whatever support we can to better prepare them for the challenges they face. The WANDERING SALESMAN PROBLEM glamour is designed to make bystanders well disposed towards and compliant with the user; technically speaking it works perfectly. The hazards of attempting direct control over the thoughts and wills of humans and similar entities are well known and you need look no further than your warrant card to see a geas in action – or a ward against a geas. WANDERING SALESMAN PROBLEM evades all usual ward protections by not even attempting mind control; instead it covers awkward reality in a convincing and comforting illusion.

The user of WANDERING SALESMAN PROBLEM appears to be a plausible authority figure telling the observers things that sound reasonable. This perception is subjective to every observer; other observers and the user can only know what the subject sees and hears by their reactions. Happily, anyone using WANDERING SALESMAN PROBLEM finds other people agreeable and rarely hostile; on the other hand, since the user has no idea who the subject thinks they are or what the subject thinks they're saying, actually producing any useful behavior from others can be nearly impossible.

Note: Still ineligible to win anything, still just posted for fun. Also this basic idea isn't original with me anyway.

165:

John, your entry reminds me of a device we invented in our RPG sessions (ineligible entry etc)

Name: Exo-Pen
Classification: Anti-exonome autoinjector

Deployment:
This single-use injector, physically similar to the commercial EpiPen™, can be used by trained and untrained individuals in the event of exonome (demonic) possession. If used within the first 5 minutes after exposure, the survival rate is over 90% for possession by entities level 2 or lower, and over 75% for level 3 entities.

The Exo-Pen payload consists of artificial blood platelets inscribed with nanoscale banishment circuits, plus epinephrine to reduce the incidence of fatal cardiac arrest caused by the departing demon.

Special note:
Pursuant to PROTOCOL NIGHTMARE GREEN, the Exo-Pen shall be an element of the standard gear ("every day carry") for all Laundry staff regardless of official field clearance status during the continuing emergency. Use of banishment rounds to the hand or foot as a first response to apparent possession is now grounds for disciplinary action.

166:

Description: the word "Cat"

Classification: high level curse - for use only by civil service sorcerors at SEO grades and above (after appropriate training and probationary service)

Usage: if the Roman letters spelling "cat" are formed in a particular way, they equate to a curse of dismemberment in the Kuchean dialect of the Tocharian language

167:

Name: Norsass
Classification: Weapon / Computer Network.
Security Codename only: Codename PIPE RATTLER

Description:

The existence Norsass is not to be reveal to BLUE HADES asests under under circumstances.

The Norsass system is a clear violation of the Bethnic Treaty - or - would be if anyone knew of it. TEAPOT was the only last surviving member of the oversight team, the implementation team have all suffering K-syndrome events, it is unknown at this time if this was related to work in this project.

First some background; at the beginning of the Nineties and number of (otherwise Mundane) defence contractors where looking for alternative markets, and the offshore oil industry was a common target market. The curve of CPU power availability at the time made this a rich time, (or difficult if you are trying to control the salary budget) for laundry recruitment. Many of the influx came from technical staff of defensive companies who had already signed section 2. These personnel could be easily signed up to section 3, wand left in there current posts.

It became evident to the Laundry bureaucracy the amount of computing hardware that defence companies targetting the oil industry proposed to install on the bed of the North Sea. Nothing was done to stop it. Rather some additional Dho-Nha firmware payloads were added these devices, originally intending for seismic monitoring, monitoring of pipeline and the health of the support structures, they could as a result of this addition payload also [redacted] and [redacted].

Unfortunately due to the limitations of the technology at the time of deployment there is option for remote update of the firmware of these devices. As a result all personel must take utmost care not to trigger the BLUE SPARK or INDIGO JAIL functions.

168:

(Not eligible, entry purely for fun. Crypto is difficult if P = NP and extra-dimensional entities can attack the hardware !!! Really needs a few days more baking but here goes. Any too-close approximations of real-world mechanisms are unintended.)

Name: L4855M Secure Personal Role Radio (SPRR)
Classification: Secure Field Communications

Device description:
This device is a Laundry redesign of the H4855 Personal Role Radio (PRR), modified to cryptographically secure the spread spectrum communications; outwardly and functionally it strongly resembles the PRR. The tamper detection and response mechanisms are loosely based on the Black Chamber redesign of U.S. permissive action links; this design responds to both physical and metaphysical tampering, including tampering which alters device physics.

Detailed device description:
Three large one-time pads are written into the three warded solid state tamper-responding one-time pad stores of each of the linked SPRRs before the start of the mission. The three key streams are combined with the communication data-stream in a warded tamper-responding circuit. An additional warded tamper responding envelope surrounds these; this outer envelope detects and responds both to metaphysical attacks and to the usual suite of purely physical attacks.
The individual pad store wards are randomly chosen from (roughly) opposing corners of the ward space n-cube, and attacking entities should encounter difficulties breaking at least one of the wards. Each ward is "stressed" such that when and if it breaks, an electric current is generated, that activates the Laundry-designed Knowlege Zeroization [1] mechanism; in addition to initiating the usual irreversible chemical reaction destroying the pad store, it also releases from stasis a microscopic class 1 infovore hyper-parasite [2] that is limited in the amount of information that it can consume before self destructing in a burst of multi-spectrum noise. The parasite consumes the key pad while the pad is being physically destroyed by ZnO/Al thermite, and the parasite is then fed delicious noise until it too explodes. The tamper response for the outer package also actives these KZ subsystems if tampering is detected.


[1] Note: Laundry armament division crypto joke.
[2] Metanote: An info-mite on an info-tick on an invovore.
Metanote: I suspect that the spread-spectrum communications are subject to a (cough) temporal flow rate differentials denial of service attack. Not sure though. Other denial-of-service attacks are almost certainly possible.
Metanote: Woot! No [REDACTED] tags needed. (I hope.)

169:

Probably dont need the laser shenanigans if you go with pre-entangled dragonflys kept in a little stasis ward.
This is true, but I liked the hundreds of Ma backstory, and in that backstory, a Very Elder Techno Druid empathizes with all organisms so I figured it would go with a mechanism where it borrowed a dragonfly's mind (and sensory apparatus) only for the time it was needed. Sort of a wildlife manager, strictly non-interference except for occasionally noticing evolution on a ridge between two chasms and nudging it (hoping its fellow managers are not watching) into the one with the optimal bottom.

170:

Telepresence Zombie

RHR can be used in a variety of ways. Here's another one! Simply entangle yourself with the beasties running a RHR (with a few safeguards to stop you getting RHR'd yourself through the link) and Bob's your network engineer!

Slow-moving but quite hard to destroy, these remote zombies can be used in any situation where personal safety would be a consideration!

Known side effects include brain cravings, a tendency to moan randomly, and the feeling of writhing snakes in the eyeballs. These are harmless and might go away eventually.

171:

Oh, I forgot the codeword! How about ONE DIRECTION FAN?

172:

Name: Stanley's Knife

Classification: Occult Object

Place and Date of Origin: Glastonbury, Somerset; mid-late 1980s (estimated)

Description: 6" Retractable Utility Knife with a three-position retractable blade made of carbon alloy steel, interlocking nose to hold blade securely, and blade storage in precision die-cast zinc body. Cuts cleanly and precisely for a range of craft and hobby uses, including construction of wicker effigies and corn dollies. Used with care, can also cut to 0.5 mu depth through the epidermis of this reality, which can then be peeled back to create a concealed pocket for small objects; when resealed, visible only to those with magically-enhanced vision as a slightly bulge in the space-time fabric.

Laundry technical support suggests the theoretical possibility of cutting out a large enough flap to conceal larger objects or even a person, but strongly recommends Not Doing This. Ever. No, Not Even Then, due to the risks of cutting right through reality rather than just its outer surface. This is at least one of the possible explanations for the continuing disappearance of the knife's original owner, Mr Stanley Jevons of Pillbrook Farm, East Pennard.

Detailed examination of the knife has identified no charms or binding rituals that could explain its power. However, scanning at the quantum level reveals a striking fractal pattern along the blade, apparently caused by the evaporation of an as-yet unknown substance into which it had been dipped some time earlier.

173:

CODENAME: VISCERATE REALITY

CLASSIFICATION: JOLLY-SENSITIVE, Laundry eyes-only

BACKGROUND: Although RIFT OF OCCULUS [Ref 2] showed considerable early promise, the hand signals used by ROO lusers to interact via MS Kinect with entities in the virtual environment unfortunately resembled a set of hitherto unknown tentacle-gestures that apparently supplemented certain verbalisations in Old Enochian (including [REDACTED], [REDACTED] [REDACTED] and “**You and whose Army**?”). VR technology is therefore being temporarily withdrawn from field use until the Demonological Linguistics sign-language department has completed PROJECT HOVERCRAFT EELS and the BLUE HADES ambassador has accepted (again) that a Laundry trials team mis-gestured. The Auditors have also raised concerns about the problems of compartmentalising internal Laundry weapons research (notably the failure to communicate lessons identified following the similarly botched introduction of the D.U.K Mk 1 [ref 40]).

DEPLOYMENT: However, the basic concept VR continues to have merit. In particular, VR has the potential to attract new cadres of generation-Z field operatives, who, CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN notwithstanding, represent the future human resources of the Laundry. Training Dept are therefore pleased to announce the VISCERATE REALITY learning content management system. This innovative pedagogical technology will accelerate the acquisition of the required competences by millennial recruits, replacing the frankly archaic training process which is currently based on apprenticeship, patronage and long periods of CBT punctuated by multiple EXERCISE DEEP END on-the-job field education events. Appropriate use of synthetic thaumaturgy will better prepare recruits for the horrors of field operations and allow trainees to mission-rehearse high-risk tasks in a (relatively) benign environment.

Critics doggedly argue that no form of simulation can adequately recreate the ‘fog-of-sulphur’ that characterises the modern demonological battlespace. Following principles developed by SOE teams for conventional ops, VISCERATE REALITY training will therefore be used as part of a blended-learning progression culminating in one-off EXERCISE DEEP END certification events. This approach will ensure a reduced but continual stream of inputs into Residual Human Resources (one key outcome of the current trainee streaming process).

174:

[non-eligible 2nd entry]
Name : Magic Circle Line of Safety
Classification : Class 10 Defensive and Containment Ward

Deployment : Following the successful completion of the the ancillary works documented in the top secret annexe of the Crossrail PFI agreement classified NORTHERN JUBILEE, Laundry Occult Engineering teams have confirmed the MCLS is now fully operational.

Upon activation in its defensive configuration MCLS is expected to provide protection for the residents of Central London within a radius approximately equivalent to that of the old circular version of the Circle Line. It is expected to resist assaults from entities with a classification up to Weakly-Godlike. Speculation about the purpose of the containment configuration is strongly discouraged and limited to those with GOD GAME STOMP clearance.

The system is powered via sympathetic entanglement* with the Oyster Card system bleeding off the surge of resentment every commuter feels as they tap in and out. Signal cleansing is necessary for the bursts of joy that are picked up from school field trips and visits to grannies house.

An MCLS codenamed BULL RING is expected to be online in 2017 for the Midlands. Plans for additional MCLS installations for Edinburgh and Manchester have been abandoned after agents deployed class 5 geases but still failed to gain approval for useful topological configurations from local planning officers.

*Note unconsciously borrowed the power source from Good Omens, consciously decided it was too good to drop.

175:

Name: NIDHUG (Non-equilibrium Information Disruptor, Heisenberg Uncertainty Generator)

Classification: Defensive weapon (only to be used as second-last resort)

Background: All reality is structured information; information cannot be destroyed but it can be seriously buggered about with. NIDHUG comprises a tube of glass capped with a portal at either end, tapping into a flux of plasma moving at relativistic velocity.

Deployment: In its rest state, NIDHUG comprises a tube glowing with Cerenkov radiation - this by itself can be used as a light when all else fails (such as to find your torch) but owing to its propensity to attract thaumovores, it is generally advisable to keep it covered up in a NIDHUG sock. To activate it, however, it is necessary to run the embedded Information Kinetic Energy Analyser which solves the exact velocity of all enclosed particles - this results in a positional uncertainty which can be directed at the threat facing the Laundry agent. Hopefully this will disrupt or nullify the threat, (say, by turning it into a bowl of petunias) but, because of the inherent uncertainty, it could magnify the threat so should only be used in cases of great peril. In principle, the tube could be converted into a directed particle beam weapon by removing the exit portal but all experiments in this direction have resulted in the vapourisation of the user area as well as that of the threat, rendering it a technique of last resort.

176:

Name : F-Claymore
Classification : defensive counter measure
Background : as new technology develops constantly the average time spent as a current geek shortens and the length of time we each will spend as "old techies/fogeys" is increasing. Hence old techies are getting as common as superheroes and just as boring.
Deployment : On detecting an old techie, the agent / young whippersnapper triggers the f-claymore which inflates into an attractive young Lady geek who is happy to listen and keep the OT occupied whilst the agent coompletes his task.
The device is powered by entangling a minor compulsion entity with any article about Dr Who assistants.

177:

F-Claymore
That made me laugh, re the nym. (Perhaps unintended; old sci-fi trope.)

178:

My recently-deceased father had a knife strongly (superficially) resembling that one in his toolbox. Perhaps the toolbox should be carefully inspected; his mother's family was a bit ... mysterious.


179:

F-Claymore...

*snicker* Also, attempting to rig an F-Claymore with a GLITTER TATTLE trigger is grounds for a good talking to.

180:

...NIDHUG comprises a tube of glass capped with a portal at either end, tapping into a flux of plasma moving at relativistic velocity...

Yes, I've read Niven's Theory and Practice of Teleportation and I remember the description of how to make one of those. But how do you transport it? The axial orientation is firmly fixed...

181:

Not quite the Subtle Knife, but an interesting spin thereon.

182:

Oi! I represent that remark (thirty years at the codeface and counting). Mark well the motto of the mature: "Age and treachery will always triumph over youth and vigour"

Anyway, being a secure and confident middle-aged type, unlikely to indulge in any mid-life crises, I'm at the point of viewing all young ladies as potential daughters-in-law, nothing more.

...Granted, you could distract me by allowing me to riff on the delights of watching Star Trek on the BBC in the early 1970s, on televisions where you had to cross the room to change to one of the other two channels; or on watching Star Wars on its original cinema release (Han shot first, dammit)...

Or do I just harumph, and rustle my Daily Telegraph furiously?

183:

Haven't read "His Dark Materials" yet, but didn't Charlie's Vorpal Blade in "Glasshouse" cut through spacetime? Don't remember if there was any explanation of it. It made think of a segue in Bowie's "Outside" album, describing an artist with a machete "cutting a crisp, clean line in the fabric of time and space", or something like that. Except that Bowie didn't mean it literally.

184:

Implied Spaces, Walter Jon Williams (2008) also had a very magic sword.
(I don't recall the plot details fully though.)
(The wikipedia article is too full of spoilers to link.)

185:

I'm personally fond of Kaos' sword in The Thief of Time, but I don't think it can be ported successfully into the Laundryverse.

186:

Note: I'm still ineligible to win anything, still just posted for fun. Also this is humorous rather than field ready.

Name: PIGEON POST
Classification: Rejected OFCUT app: instant messaging program
Description: A harsh reality of the mundane modern world is that it is very hard to ensure secure communications, even between technically knowledgeable and modestly funded parties. Among the many answers to this problem is the PIGEON POST application.

With modern hardware it is perfectly possible to summon a Class I entity and bind it to obedience with a minor and short lived geas. Arbitrary extradimensional entities are called, bound, impressed with small messages (version 1.2 supports up to 166 bytes) and sent back – until they are called again by another phone running PIGEON POST.

Anticipated from the beginning was not merely the possibility but the certainty of man-in-the-middle attacks, some of them by things very unlike men indeed. To answer that, encryption is always employed and the software allows for upgrading the encryption code as necessary. Nevertheless, personnel are advised to use English or other ordinary languages whenever possible; Enochian is right out.

The testing phase revealed another challenging matter, which is that the messages received are not necessarily the ones that originated in this universe. This is believed to be an addressing problem which could be solved with further research; in the meantime users should watch for subtly incorrect messages which might be confusing. For example, “I'm on the noon zeppelin from Londinium” is obviously incorrect, while “I'll meet you at 6pm” is plausible even when our universe's colleague wishes to meet at seven.

Any similarities between the message capacity of PIGEON POST and a publicly available bird-themed messaging service is entirely coincidental.

187:

Name: CAR ALARM
Classification: Rejected OFCUT program module
Description: It is possible to write a recursive function that will search through nearby dimensions and return just enough arbitrary information to seed the next iteration of the loop. In the CAR ALARM code this is used to generate high quality random numbers; like an actual car alarm the code's behavior cannot be predicted by anything observable in this universe.

While random numbers are useful this algorithm's slow execution speed, not to mention high computational and paranormal overhead, limit its use outside the laboratory. In the field conventional pseudorandom algorithms have the advantage.

Note: Still ineligible to win anything, still just posted for fun, still silly.

188:

Alas, Scott, I fail to see the relevance of your comment. Having just reread the Niven work you cite, its connection to NIDHUG seems tenuous at best and I fear your memory may be at fault. But that's OK: all writing is, in a sense, derivative, and while I only included 4 or 5 conscious references (or meta-references) to other works, there may be many unconscious ones. Ultimately, there is a fine line (point?) to be drawn between homage, plagiarism and serendipity...

189:

Name: CARD Decks (Civilian Attack: Recovery & Denial)

Classification: CaaS/CCG: counter magic class

Deployment:

Triggered by the incident at the 1998 (and final) UK Comic Art Convention the 2001 International CaaS/CSG treaty forbids the use of Collectable Card Games (CCGs) to instantiate distributed summoning computations in the general public.

Unfortunately since several Turing Complete CCGs are still extant such "Civilians as a Service" attacks are still possible. While they are substantially slower than electronic or mechanically based computational engines, the high parallelism & distributed nature of classic CaaS/CCG attacks provide an unacceptably high attack surface if left unpatched.

To counteract this a variety of CARD packs targeted at the most popular CCGs have been created & distributed. These premium packs have class 2 glamours as part of their holographic foils — ensuring high acquisition and retention rates by collectors (the primary exit nodes for CaaS/CCG based attacks).

Each card in the pack has an embedded piezoelectric layer for power. Any live CaaS/CCG attack will sympathetically trigger a Dho-Nha curve embedded in the artwork. This will cause a brief, terminal, and (unless precautions were made) explosive connection to a modified Minkowski space.

While large scale testing has obviously not been possible estimated casualties from a successfully triggered CARD countermeasure event run between 0.5-1.5% of players of any particular CCG (e.g. countering an attack on the Magic the Gathering CCG will only cause 30-90k civilian deaths). Considering the alternative, more than acceptable.


Supplementary notes:

There is no direct evidence that Magic The Gathering's CaaS exploits were deliberately engineered by creator Richard Channing Garfield.

However, considering the long history of inter-generational indoctrination in colonial occult societies, the fact that he was both the great-great-grandson of known Black Chamber member President James A. Garfield and the great-nephew of the inventor of the paperclip is highly suspicious.

Further investigations into possible CaaS exploits in other CCGs by the same author are ongoing.

190:

[not an entry, got that in ages ago]

Codename: JOY DIVISION

Classification: Covert manipulation and assassination tool

Description: Employs a geas on two people with an intimate relationship, with variable strength resulting in anything from a disagreement to one or both parties' deaths by varying levels of violence.

Care must be taken about the social environment in which JOY DIVISION is employed. In the event that a greater number of people are caught by the geas, its strength grows. For a narrowly-averted near-worst-case scenario, see the series of events classified under BLOODY MUD, CORPSEFIELDS and DA HOOL. The perpetrator is thankfully now working for RHR with all equipment confiscated.

We are not the only ones with this tool. Agents interacting with US occult agencies are advised not to make reference to "the time the SEALs went clubbing and didn't come back".

191:

NAME: CUBICLE BLISS
CLASSIFICATION: Regulation enforcer / morale booster
DEPLOYMENT
When multiple algorithms researchers share close-quarters, work may be disrupted by neighboring experiments that are non-compliant with workplace regulations on maximal thaumaturgic radiation. CUBICLE BLISS detects incoming thaumaturgic signals and emits complementary-phase signals to exclude propagation from zones occupied by competent researchers engaging in experiments that should not be disrupted by a ritual magic "Hello World" (or worse, responses). While CUBICLE BLISS superficially resembles noise canceling headphones that have had the microphones and speakers replaced by thaumometers and oscillatory pentacles respectively, it is actually an advanced research prototype whose development is implicitly sanctioned under HR regulation H267.12(iii). CUBICLE BLISS 1.0 will eschew the exposed wire aesthetic of the current prototype and will incorporate a back-propagating geas to work on projects within one's skill level, such as making coffee. During ongoing development, all inquirers will be issued a complimentary sample of T-metal foil. T-metal conducts stray thaumaturgic radiation and in sufficient quantities could likely provide a high degree of shielding. The complementary sample is large enough to shape into a jaunty hat.

192:

NAME: CUBICLE BLISS
LOL
The nitty-gritty of office planning where noise other than acoustic [1] is a concern... A few things:

(1) I've noticed for a long time (Bose quiet comfort 1 vintage) that good acoustic noise cancelling headphones take the emotional edge off of overheard office conversations; they are more easily ignored. (This is personal experience though.) Perhaps a similar approach could be taken with thaumaturgic noise reduction technologies, to reduce disruptivness.
(2) Offices, and especially open plan offices and cube farms, do make some efforts to dampen audio noise pollution. One presumes that the Laundry uses shielding techniques to limit thaumaturgic noise pollution, even in mixed-use offices, where practitioners and non-practitioners mingle.
(3) Individuals need to be directly informed that they are generating thaumaturgic noise (or worse, being reckless), informally at first (e.g. by co-workers), and training/classes suggested/provided as needed. This is basic office procedure. In a mixed-use office, they might not even know or fully believe that they are generating disruptive noise, and may not have had the usual sensitivity training, e.g. due to overly-restrictive need-to-know rules.

[1] Another area where noise is a problem for offices is networking. Particularly in an office environment where reckless experimentation is the norm (familiar to anyone else?), office networks are often disrupted with noise of various sorts, often (or usually) by accident.

193:

Memo to IT Staff: Technical Debt Management Procedure

Summary: The TEDEUM system is to be standard procedure for IT development projects in __________ from ________.

Background: TEDEUM is a joint project of IT, Human Resources, Financials and Facilities Management. It is anticipated that implementation of TEDEUM will resolve many of our severe IT development problems and reduce project completion times.

TEDEUM is an adaptation of Financials' DORIAN debt escrow system. This system has been used successfully to displace and defer debt liabilities to less risky vehicles.

All new IT projects are now to include a TEDEUM phase before programming begins. Existing projects will be reviewed as to the suitability of implementing TEDEUM within them.

Full procedures are outlined in https://REDACTED. In brief:

At the commencement of an approved project, the programming team will attend a TEDEUM onboarding session. This will require full time attendance for three days of sitting during which the TEDEUM instruments are painted in oils.

Once the TEDEUM instruments are dry and otherwise prepared, they are stored securely at _______. No further access is permitted until the end of the project.

During development, TEDEUM automatically stores technical debt in the stored instruments. This should accelerate project completion with no degradation in programming quality - project improvement statistics estimates are given in detail in https://_____________.

As redeeming the TEDEUM instruments is very costly, following project delivery, the TEDEUM instruments remain under storage and are not to be viewed until project sunset. Refer to HR policies on Early Retirement and Disability for cases where TEDEUM instruments are accessed before maturity.

On project sunset, the TEDEUM instruments are to be destroyed.

Given their sensitivity, risk to the organisation, and newness, TEDEUM instruments are initially not to be traded. At a later time, this will be reviewed.

The Office is in talks with extending and implementing a civilianised version of TEDEUM for other government holders of large volumes of technical debt (notably Health Department payroll systems, public transport payment systems). Naturally this project will incur large technical debts and will require a considerable quantity of TEDEUM instruments.

WARNING: under no circumstances are TEDEUM instruments to be used for the storage of personal technical debts, financial debts or moral lapses. Penalties are outlined in the master policy document.

194:

[ineligible: amongst other reasons, not my first entry]

Codename: CLIPPY RELOADED

Classification: Security-critical Inventory Management

Usage: CLIPPY RELOADED is a smartphone application used to catalogue potential information leaks using the serial numbers introduced after the HR incident now classified as CHARLIE FOXTROT PAPERCLIP (not to be confused with Operation Paperclip). The user simply takes a photo of the item in question, which is then sent on to hard copy archives for proper accounting.

Under the present circumstances, we are unable to discuss the rumoured disposal functionality purportedly available to cleared agents.

All staff are reminded that use of CLIPPY RELOADED is strictly mandatory and anyone forgetting to do so will be subject to audit. Thankfully, CLIPPY RELOADED offers frequent user-friendly notifications that will be sure to make this an easy and pleasant experience.

195:

Alas, Scott, I fail to see the relevance of your comment. Having just reread the Niven work you cite, its connection to NIDHUG seems tenuous at best...

Fair enough. I was remembering Niven's thought experiment of a stacked teleportation gate system. He settled on iron filings as his medium, as they would be stable in a vacuum (potentially steerable without contact by magnetic fields, too). Positioning the cascade at one of the rotational poles does seem like the only practical site, for reasons given; it's potentially both a remarkable weapon and a silly yet plausible propulsion system.

No setting with FTL jump drives seems to use gravitational maneuvering much...

196:

All new IT projects are now to include a TEDEUM phase before programming begins.

That is my understanding, yes.

197:

(Not eligible, entry purely for fun. Another Very Elder Techno Druid/Superintelligence/Deity one. Needs a lot more baking, like a few thousand years. Also, it's a research project, not a device.)
Name: Project O'Keeffe
Classification: Research Program

Executive Summary
The goal of Project O'Keeffe is construction of computational models that will allow magic of some types that are normally performed by a mind hosted in a biological brain to be performed without subjecting the brain of a living organism to the risk of progressive K-syndrome degradation. [1]
Description:
Insect consciousness took an interesting turn with Entomophily (insect pollination) of early angiosperms at about 125 Ma, and the subsequent rapid co-evolution of insect-pollinated angiosperms and insects. Evolution explored a significant fraction of the space of possible simple configurations for focused attention by a mind. The project (in the Laundry computational biology department) is systematically compiling a map of the full space of focused attention in insects, including attention drawn by nectar guides, appealing shapes, appealing scents, and pheromones. A recent additional investigative agenda, spurred by significant performance improvements in neurosystem modeling, is starting similar work in Aves (bird) consciousness. The aim of the initial sub-project is the systematic modeling of hummingbird attraction to flowers. Validation of all results (for both insects and birds) is done using high-fidelity nervous system models; the goal is to operationalize these models in devices carried by field operatives.

Metanote: Motivated by too much staring at flowers in a hand lens this weekend, and imagining being an insect pollinator of very small mind.
[1]: Yes, the Laundry management considers simulated nervous systems to have certain ethical advantages over meat-based nervous systems. The primary argument is that backup can be done prior to any magical operation, then restore done if any K-Syndrome damage is detected.

198:

(Not eligible, entry purely for fun. Pure Laundry-style, this one is. The logic-talk is a bit babbelish; I've never studied such logics.)

Name: Mentat Worms
Classification: Temporary Intelligence Augmentation

Executive Summary
A simple K-Space feeder worm consumes illogical thoughts and excretes roughly isomorphic logical thoughts. Roughly, it feeds on stupidity and excretes intelligence. These entities have been operationalized, including on-demand summoning and dismissal.

Description:
These feeder worms, code named "Mentat Worms", excrete thoughts roughly representable in a particular doxastic logic of utility in K-Space, (unimaginatively) dubbed KS-Logic. See [REDACTED] for details. They can feed on any other sort of thought but have a particularly strong appetite for illogic, irrationality and generally for sloppy thinking. The worm's digestive system performs a best effort mapping of the sloppy thinking to correct thinking and excretes the result. When one or more of these worms shares a mind, sloppy thinking is quickly (over approximately 10 seconds for a single worm) converted to very logical and correct thinking; given roughly correct estimates of the correctness of inputs, the resulting thinking is of extremely high quality.
They can be bound to and unbound from a particular mind with a simple apparatus. Care should be taken in the selection of host beings; those with poorly ordered thought processes may suffer from a temporary loss of identity and motivation when occupied by Mentat Worms. Warning: operational orders and similar guidance should be formally expressed in KS-logic!

199:

Codename: PAPER SHIELD
Classification Infiltration/Defensive ward
Description and deployment
The device is constructed as an old fashioned clipboard, containing a ward circuit wired within the body and connected to the metal clip. A page with an incomplete activation diagram is prepared and clipped to the board.[Note: please ensure the top lines of the diagram are touching the clip]. To activate the user draws a line, historically using a lead (not graphite) pencil but now usually with metallic ink, between two marked spots thus completing the diagram circuit.

Once activated the device generates an extremely powerful, localised ward which does not render the user invisible but consciously unnoticeable to any human physically present. Thus onlookers will not react in any way to anything the user does, but will for example walk around the user and be unaware that they have done so.

There are a number of weaknesses to this device:

Once activated the user must maintain skin contact with the device: releasing it will terminate the ward (apparent from slight charring of the activation page under the clip) and a fresh activation page is required.

Physical degradation of the page with the activation diagram may also terminate the ward. It must therefore be protected with rain or fluids generally.

Only the person holding the device at the time it is activated can use the device, the ward does not extend to anyone e.g. holding onto the user. While it is theoretically possible for multiple persons to hold the device at activation, this is generally impractical, and any one person releasing the device will terminate the ward.

The user will be visible on remote video, but someone physically present will fail to see to user on a live screen or on immediate playback just as with the naked eye. Once the ward is deactivated or no longer present, there will be no impairment of ability to see the user on a recording. If someone outwith the area sees the user on video and communicates to someone within the area of effect, the listener will literally not comprehend what the unaffected person is saying about the user.

Finally even comparatively weak protective wards will protect from the effects of PAPER SHIELD and non-humans will be unaffected. This may in fact be used to advantage, as anyone reacting to the user is obviously warded or non-human. However some practitioners will be able to recognise the energy discharge from the device and feign not to notice the user, so this ploy does carry risks.

Availability: This device has been in use for over a century, and therefore is known to all OCCINT agencies as well as some practitioners. There is a ready supply of boards in Laundry inventory, and activation diagrams can be printed on demand avoiding the risks of error from drawing these by hand.

200:

Codename: PERTINENT SEGMENT

Classification: Employee risk surface minimization

Deployment:

The recent trend for activity tracking devices, constantly transmitting the location, physical motion and heart-rate of the wearer to cloud locations via pathways which are not always secure [1], should never have been permitted to spread among Laundry employees. This became evident during case IMPLAUSIBLE RHINOCEROS, when twenty-seven junior employees taking part in the [REDACTED] marathon were devoured by a rogue BLUE HADES agent equipped with subcutaneous Bluetooth sensors, believing itself to be exacting justified revenge for an eggmate's death on a joint exercise with armed Laundry employees. Said agent went unnoticed in the crowd of runners, its 4 metre height and extensive scaly tentacles being dismissed as exceptionally creative fancy dress considered likely to "feel like a serious mistake come mile 20". The agent was in fact neutralised at mile 19 by a joint assault team of Laundry and BLUE HADES agents, with the unfortunate further loss of three St John's Ambulance volunteers attempting to apply vaseline to its cadaver before it could be recovered.

Heads have already rolled among those with oversight for the employees concerned, that of [REDACTED] from Human Resources achieving a year's best of 4200 rpm. It was, however, noted that employee survival time after encounter was strongly correlated with recorded activity levels over the previous month, with the most active individual surviving a full fourteen seconds from initial encounter and reaching a speed of slightly over 12 mph. His wages have been retroactively docked for hours logged as "field training" actually spent running in circles around [REDACTED]. (Employees are reminded any such circles should be clockwise. Enough said). The only stronger correlation was with training in disguise and glamour perception; the rogue agent was halted thanks to an SOS message from an employee who noted the absence of either some 30 seconds before the end of her career.

Accordingly, the new PERTINENT SEGMENT tracker will in future be worn by all employees with regular field duties likely to involve non-vehicular evasion of third parties. Secure Blackfang technology will return data directly to Laundry servers at intervals for comparison with minimal standards to be set out in further communication. PERTINENT SEGMENT contains zero-heart-rate triggered sensors to assess transformation to zombie or vampire and [REDACTED] to ensure either continued loyalty of the undead employee to the Laundry or, in the worst case, terminal prevention of subornment. Employees are reminded to ensure the heart rate sensor is correctly placed to avoid accidental zero readings; one beta tester may still be telling inconvenient lies about falling asleep on the beach on a Caribbean holiday for months.

[1] http://www.informationweek.com/mobile/fitbit-other-fitness-trackers-leak-personal-data-study/a/d-id/1324165 though in fairness Garmin at least did tighten things up after this report came out.

201:

Ineligible, wrong continent. Just having fun.

NAME
Lanyard, Identification Badge Holding, Occult Attack Resistant

CLASSIFICATION
String

BACKGROUND
With the increasing ease of performing magic there is an ever increasing risk of security breaches due to entanglement/contagion of personal items, either deliberate or inadvertent. Lanyards from which identification badges are suspended, being mass-produced and mass-marketed items in intimate contact with a critical item, one's official identification token, are an obvious threat surface.

DEPLOYMENT
All personnel, mandatory, IMMEDIATELY upon receipt of their Lanyard, Identification Badge Holding, Occult Attack Resistant. Use of any other type of badge holder after having been issued a Lanyard, Identification Badge Holding, Occult Attack Resistant, is a disciplinary offense.

The Lanyard, Identification Badge Holding, Occult Attack Resistant, will be issued to personnel in descending order of security clearances held. They are being issued as quickly as they can be manufactured.

There is no initial charge for an employee's first Lanyard, Identification Badge Holding, Occult Attack Resistant, but the time and expense of the Lanyard, Identification Badge Holding, Occult Attack Resistant's manufacture [1] will be reflected in a replacement fee of £532.75 if it is lost or damaged [2].

[1] Manufacture of each Lanyard, Identification Badge Holding, Occult Attack Resistant requires, among other resources, the neck hair and ritual sacrifice of a yearling goat raised in isolation in an individual single-occupancy meadow. The sale of the byproducts of this operation as certified-organic free-range goat meat as part of the maintenance of the operation's cover does not not come close to covering the operation's costs.

[2] Note that
[2a] Washing the Lanyard, Identification Badge Holding, Occult Attack Resistant will adversely affect the Lanyard, Identification Badge Holding, Occult Attack Resistant's occult attack resistance. Fortunately doing so is unnecessary; beta testers report that within a few days of receiving their Lanyard, Identification Badge Holding, Occult Attack Resistant, they stopped noticing the smell.
[2b] In accordance with contemporary industrial safety standards, the
Lanyard, Identification Badge Holding, Occult Attack Resistant's cord has a maximum breaking force of 20 Newtons (approximately two kilogram weight equivalent.)

202:

Off topic, today is closest approach Mars to Earth until 2018, about 4.2 light minutes.
Wolfram Alpha Widget
or if that doesn't work, first google hit on query mars distance wolfram alpha
It is satisfyingly planet-like when viewed through even a modest telescope. Visually (as viewed from Earth :-) it is near Antares (Scorpio) and Saturn is to the east.

(The trope mentioned upthread is roughly (with other variations) that one or both Martian moons is a machine intelligence core surrounded by a moon-appearing skin, that moved in from the outer system (waiting for 4.5 billion years) when it became clear that hominids were evolving into something potentially interesting that might require more rapid reaction time. So Deimos == Very Old Tech. Always figured that the whole early Mars-is-bad-luck-to-probes thing was a deliberate red herring, but hey. :-)

203:

Oy. Is there a Laundry badge holder suitable for vegans?


204:

It's worse.

(I'll let someone else fill in the details.)

205:

Is there a Laundry badge holder suitable for vegans?

Personnel may also request the Geologic Origin Lanyard, Document Holder, Occult Attack Resistant Device. Fully vegan compatible and hypoallergenic, it is a chain. Due to a typo in the ordering process the current GOLDHOARD is spec'ed out to a breaking force of 20 kilonewtons, incidentally making it a bit heavy.

206:

Totally off-topic
It looks as though Hadil Benu / CD /ect... has shown up
on another forum entirely
Oh dear, or not, as the case may be ....
( Also known a 9M9H9E9 )

207:

Ineligible, south of the wrong continent.

Name: Regular Programming Disruption

Clasification: Glamour class seven

Background: This is one of the few invocations that uses a rectangular summoning grid. It was discovered in the field by members of the invisible collage and developed once live TV become ubiquitious. It uses 22 ritual practitioners inside a rectangular summoning grid to create a class seven glamour field. If the grid is broken it diminishes the power of the glamour.
It compells most of the population to watch the 90 minutes show, it also compells them to make the ones that are resistant to watch the damn game with a boring face and annoying questions.

Deployment: It is deployed in regularly scheduled incursions (you didn't see the huge tentacles over London during the last Wold Cup, did you?). Occult Inteligence Agencies compete between them to obtain the best practitioners using clubs as a front. The Black Chamber has been using different variations of this summoning rig since US population seems naturally resistant to the standard variation.


208:

Holy shit, Greg! That's worse than linking to TV Tropes, I'm seriously in danger of loosing my entire afternoon to this!

Initial analysis:

1) Certainly sounds like HB/CD/NN (obseession with time, alternate pasts and futures, conspiracies, Nazis, CIA and black ops, and the number three, all certainly point in that direction; style is much more readbale prose though -- kind of like someone took the dictionary away from Lovecraft before he went really purple, and considerably less confrontational/agressive).

2) Assuming the it is indeed our (much missed?) interlocutor from an altered-state, three possibilities:
a) It's the continuation of a pretty epic bit of performance art (which could also be interpreted as trolling).
b) The author(s) really believes what they're saying. (The LSD obsession and constant calims to self-experiementation, fracturing of the mind, etc, do seem to lend weight to this possibility.) In which case, roll your own tinfoil hat, or shrug and get on with your day.
c) They are genuinely off their meds (I'm inclined to dismiss this one -- the consistency and coherence of the whole thing is too good).

3) Don't click Greg's link unless you're intending to step into a fleshy rabbit hole. (Read the posts, get the reference.)


209:

That's some fine horror writing, oh my!
Dunno about identity (whatever that really means) - didn't spot any obvious similarities or anti-similarities in thought structures/rhythms or vocabulary after a quick skim just now of about 10% of it, but that's not particularly meaningful. Deeper analysis would be a bit rude - the work stands very well on its own.
I miss CD/HB/NN - one of the most interesting, mind-provoking personas on the net, and amusingly, with an objectively better predictive analysis track record on recent American politics than all the American pundits combined. (As an American, I despair at the low quality of political analysis in my country's media.)


210:

Look for the post with the title Title: Author self-post - "Hello Friends", lots of clues to identity (for given value of identity!), especially this:

I was quite convinced that the undeniable "truth" of this information would attract attention on its own accord. I was quite sure that somehow this grand truth would shine out as a beacon and resonate with receptive people and quickly become widespread. As I recall, my best month brought about 400 visitors and a total of four non-spam comments. 75% of these recommended psychiatric intervention.

Not conclusive, but interesting.

Also a couple of the initial posts under the HB identity were well written pieces of speculative fiction, under the blog article of how society would function without writing. Style very similar to these Reddit pieces.

In the end, I'm not concerned about who authored what, but the fluidity and realtionship of virtual identity to real identity fascinates me.

211:

I am pretty sure that if the text is strongly correlated with CD/HB/NN, that it's your 2a.
The whole "skins" thing has been driving me batty for the last month or two; I am frankly in awe and admiration of even the possibility of an ability to drive multiple coherent personality skins, assuming a single (or collective) mind is involved. (Can't do it, personally.)
How do the authors among us do it?

212:

I can do it with what (when I stop to analyse it) is quite terrifying ease, but I really don't know quite how I do it. To me, it's the same sort of question as: Where do the ideas come from. For as long as I can remember (that is: the earliest days of reading and writing fiction), I have been able to conjure personalities in my head and think in ways that the real me (whatever that might mean) doesn't.

The closest description I have every come across is the idea of "negative capability" that John Keats wrote of. I can't recall if he originated the term, but I've never read a better or more succinct description of the process, even though it doesn't do anything to explain where it comes from.

213:

Here's a short story by them on a different site.

214:

In the end, I'm not concerned about who authored what, but the fluidity and relationship of virtual identity to real identity fascinates me.
Likewise, very much so. It will be very interesting to see how these relationships develop over the next few decades, and to what extent anonymity can be preserved. (I am firmly in the option-of-anonymity-is-good camp.)
Personal current approach developed interacting with personalities on the internet over the last decade:
I'm blessed/cursed with strong intuition/guessing abilities, and sometimes virtual-virtual and virtual-real (and etc) identity correlations are immediately obvious (or obvious after a little time); to cover that, personally I have a near-absolute no-doxing rule, i.e. reveals are entirely the business of the creator of a virtual identity, unless malevolent or deliberately harmful behavior is involved. (This can require some irritating discipline, particularly if RL is involved, and sometimes results in some miscommunication. So it goes.)

Do other people here have similar rules?

215:

Name:The Presence Projector
Classification: Emergency communication equipment
Deployment: Laundry research staff has noticed people's fantastic ability to be mentally present somewhere quite different from the place where their body is. In meetings for example, people keep projecting their mind to Greek Islands, remote mountain tops or just their couch in front of the TV at home.

The researchers decided to take advantage of this ability and created the Presence Projector, which amplifies the presence of a person at the location they think about, to the point where they can be perceived by others, and communicate with them. The Presence Projector was intended as a way for employees to be present at meetings away from their office without travelling. The Presence Projector is much more difficult to intercept and listen in to than regular electronic virtual meeting technology.

Unfortunately, it also has certain disadvantages, which began to show themselves when testing started. While the Presence Projector is difficult to intercept, it requires a great deal of concentration to use. Imagine for example that a possible adversary is discussed in a meeting where some of the participants are present via Presence Projector. Unless they concentrate fiercely on the location of the meeting, they might unwittingly project their presence to the enemy camp and this way give away secret information for free.

At the start of the project, Human Resources were very interested in the Presence Projector as a way of verifying that employees were actually present at the workplace during work hours. One second thoughts, however, it was realized that this use might open the door to demands for overtime payment by highly stressed employees who cannot let go of work concerns when they leave the office, and the idea was dropped.

Currently, the Presence Projector is used as a last resort for sending messages in circumstances where other means of communication are unavailable. It has been found that most agents can keep the concentration long enough to send "All is known, fly at once!" to a colleague out of reach.

216:

I am unfortunately forced into the opinion that our obsession with privacy (at least within WEIRD culture) is going to be a short blip. I suspect that the only answer to a future where privacy is virtually unknown (as has been the case for much of human history) will be to produce ever more alternative personas loving their own highly-scrutinised lives; a kind of privacy-by-obfuscation, but in an unceasing arms race with ever more sophisticated data mining techniques.

That being said, I am very much in line with your thoughts on doxxing and an individual's right to be whoever they damn well like online.

Further thought on the Reddit fractured-novel: It does, I think, very much belong within the new-weird sub-genre, with a particular Jeff Noon-ish flavour.

217:

Codename: Wrist Attached Terror Classifier and Highlighter (WATCH)

Classification: Customizable Offensive/Defensive ward

Deployment: Whether fleeing or simply having obliviously stumbled into danger, there is not always time to pull out your Jesus phone and open OFCUT, fortunately with recent advances in consumer grade electronics it’s no longer necessary. Commercial smart watches are readily available and support custom apps allowing the development of Laundry spec tools. As the E-ink displays these devices use are conductive this allows for custom sigils to be run are dramatically lower power requirements than traditional TFT of OLED displays meaning that staff resources can be protected against a range of threats easily, cost effectively and without battery life concerns.

218:

You might want to check out the works of Ken Hite and/or Robert Anton Wilson. They go for the same sort of effect as HB, but IMHO did it much better.

219:

...a kind of privacy-by-obfuscation, but in an unceasing arms race with ever more sophisticated data mining techniques.
Pretty much my thoughts too, though I expect that obfuscatory automation will help maintain the anonymity of personas, by helping to eliminate unintended tells linking personas - the automation would have available all the communications from all of an owner-entities personas to perform these checks and suggest remediations, e.g. alt spellings, alt word choices, rhythm changes, whatever it takes to defeat whatever de-anonymization (so to speak) communication media analysis techniques are developed. (Curiously, embedded deliberate private tells and communications might still be possible.) And being an arms race, persona anonymity for archived material would be at risk as new de-anonymization techniques are developed. (Sigh.)

Still working on encryption technologies usable in the Laundryverse. (Where P == NP, ewww.)
Finally have something apparently workable (besides one-time pads) but it needs more baking.


220:

Gee, how to derail a perfectly ordinary competition...

CODENAME: Hot Banana

Classification: Web Bot Spammer

Details: This neural net churns out semi-intelligible, semi-hallucinatory, semi-paranoid, semi-conspiracy buff randomized text that is optimized to appear meaningful to the casual reader. It needs to be tended by a human, who will occasionally insert sections of normal text to make readers believe that a human is behind the feed.

Uses: As with the Black Chamber's nerd sniped, the purpose of Hot Banana is to make otherwise dangerous people waste their time. People who are interested in the output of Hot Banana are intelligent enough to work out the basics of Dho-Na curves on their own. Hot Banana distracts them from such dangerous pursuits by posing a tantalizing mystery that keeps them out of trouble for weeks on end. The neural net learns to please frequent consumers enough that they have trouble getting unhooked from Hot Banana even when the program is disconnected from a particular social network and deployed elsewhere.

221:

Arms race indeed!

I'm still reading through what has apparently been dubbed The Interface Series (fractured-novel on Reddit), and whoever is the author, they're either a talented amature or jobbing pro. The narrative is complex, but quite compelling, and cleverly structured and presented.

For more musings, there's an article on Gizmodo, with further links.

Info within the above article does seem to contradict assumptions that the author is our own favourite MIA consulting-theorist, but then again, fluid identity and all that.

For the numerologically minded: Author name: 9Mother9Horse9Eyes9 -- uses 9 instead of space characters (3x3 grid?); "mother" has 6 characters, "horse" has 5 characters, "eyes" has 4 characters; first letters of each word can be represented as 13, 8, 5, reversed order of numbers writhing Fibonacci sequence. Probability of coincidence: Your guess is as good as mine. Meaning: Unclear.

222:

I figured the derail was interesting enough to pursue, given that the thread was over 200 entries at this point. If the mods feel otherwise, the can of course wield the mighty Hammer of Deletion!

(Personally I always found CHN entertaining, even at their rantiest.)

223:

Particularly-aflicted consumers will find and follow supposed instances of Hot Banana in other social groups, even if the neural net hasn't been deployed there — thereby permanently removing themselves as a source of potential danger.

224:

ARGONNE OCTARINE MINSKY

NAME: Partial Epistemological Rubbish Launcher
CLASSIFICATION: Thaumaturgical area denial munition / Thaumaturgical Counter Measure

DEPLOYMENT:

The Perl utilises an O'Brien manifold to generate contradictory theorems to a pre-configured corpus of epistemological premises, which it matches through a lossy proof compression algorithm to a rainbow table of tautologies. When a match is found, the result is executed in a Frege-Wittgenstein Begriffsschrift processor, thereby conducting a denial-of-service attack on the epistemological infrastructure of enemy invocations.

The effects have been described as "Oh bother, said Yog, as he disappeared in a puff of logic" by agent DIFFIDENT SEDITIOUS. Effectively, the premises an invocation is based on appear to be locally (volume following an inverse-square law of the computational power expended) wrong for a duration of time (however long the batteries last, or until Thaumaturgical Counter-Counter Measures are deployed).

DRAWBACKS: The corpus has to be populated by a qualified combat epistemologist, so ad-hoc tactical deployment tends to be difficult. Perl can be highly effective, though, when the target of a strike is known before-hand. A library of common cultist frameworks is available in the OCCULUS data store.

Weaponisation: Field expedient M203, M79 ammunition. Larger, artillery or cruise missile delivery version currently under development by KinitiQ for deployment against CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN outbreaks.

225:

FIELD NOTE: Despite repeated anecdotes to the contrary, the quip "Eat flaming doubt!" has not been proven to enhance the Perl's effectiveness.

226:

Hot Banana = HB/CD/NN?

227:

Partial Epistemological Rubbish Launcher
That is nicely executed. Was hoping somebody would do a decent device for a combat epistemologist.


228:

(Not eligible due to wrong continent and multiple previous ineligible entries. Also, it might be a bit too evil for a UK government agency - not sure.)

Name: Batched Loyalty Test (BLT)
Classification: Human Resources Tooling
Clearance: Human Resources only, on need to know basis.

Description
Loyalty tests are a proven method of maintaining the reliability of personnel in an organization. However, loyalty tests are damaging to morale and thus to loyalty. The Laundry HR BLTs solve this problem by performing all loyalty tests in reality forks, entangled with the mainline realities only enough to ensure that a statistically significant result base is communicated back. The loyalty tests are batched to limit median moral damage to the multiverse [1]; multiple tests are performed in each BLT reality fork.
Note: important investigations may require multiple BLT reality forks.

[1] Never let it be said that HR does not care about such things!

Metanote: I feel that this could be made drastically more evil. Any HR cynics care to weigh in?

229:

That doesn't sound right.

My personal theory regarding CD/HB/NN is that there really is some sort of transhuman entity involved; one that has used a long series of female humans as a meat-puppet I/O devices Sometimes, when the meat-puppet has consumed sufficient alcohol, the link to the higher entity is degraded and a dim memory of individuality returns, and then it (almost "she" again) expresses rage in random places. This is the first such victim that can express itself on a worldwide communications medium, rather than in street corner ranting, or a handwritten journal of apparent gibberish, glanced at then discarded after its/her death.

230:

Oops, didn't mean that as a reply, and misspelled "morale" once.

231:

Name: Batched Loyalty Test (BLT)

I originally misread that as Botched Loyalty Test. I'm sure HR has run plenty of those too, though few intentionally...

232:

Name: Ward Astral Vibration Enhancer. (WAVE)
Classification: Mobile application - astral travel.

Deployment:
Place the phone against a ward to be strengthened. The low buzz from the phone vibrator generates physical vibrations. At the same time, the application detects the hum in the thaumic field. Calculations are made to set up micro resonances in a positive feedback loop to enhance existing physically bound thaumic fields.

Originally designed to strengthen the protection afforded by a ward, the micro resonances rapidly escalate. The ward increases its effectiveness well beyond the human astral body cohesion threshold. The body is protected from its own soul, effectively separating the two, allowing the astral body to roam away from the physical body until the application timer shuts off.

During normal operation, the vibration sounds like a synthesized voice repeatedly chanting 'om'.

Effects:
The physical body appears to be in a state of a brain dead coma, functions such as breathing, blood circulation, and bowel continue to operate.

Astral travel may be used for covert surveillance, entanglement, or inter-dimensional travel.

For example, if you're unable to establish mobile phone coverage, you could still transfer your consciousness to another willing host and be able to attend that important meeting. Forced possession has been somewhat effective for interrogation through shared body, consciousness, and memories.

Inter-dimensional travel, while possible is no longer permitted since Laundry Health and Safety declared the lost soul rate to be unacceptable.

Warning:
Do not use the WAVE app in combination with an item that is not an approved ward (refer case PALE ETTINS).

233:

Name: TURTLE SHELL

Classification: Personal Protective Equipment

Deployment: General issue to all. Intended for use by non-operational staff, and those untrained in offensive weaponry.

Most lethal incidents occur without warning, and without the opportunity to don specific defensive equipment. TURTLE SHELL is intended to offer protection as a matter of normal daily routine.

The Laundry-issued laptop backpack has been designed to offer Level III ballistic protection across much of the rear thorax and hence critical organs, Level IV when carrying the Laundry-issue laptop [1]. Accessing the warded zipped compartment in the shoulder strap reveals a trigger handle [2], which will release a screen of camouflaging material. This material is sufficient to drape over a crouched operative and offer Level I ballistic protection, a basic ward against detection, and a geas against attempting to touch or cross a deployed TURTLE SHELL [3].

An additional drape of material is available in the collar area; this provides additional Level I head and neck protection (Level II if used inside the deployed TURTLE SHELL), with an embedded set of goggles and earmuffs (basic eye and ear protection against noise, dust and fragments [4]). The hood and goggles offer an additional level of anonymity during any escape / evasion scenario in a public area; the earmuffs will operate as headphones for the issued mobile telephone.

[1] The requirement for the issue laptop to support ballistic protection and comply with damage-insensitivity requirements is the source of frequent complaint about their laptop's weight, appearance, and limited battery life. Personnel should be reminded that their issue laptop may one day save their life. Experience has noted that the additional weight is useful in encouraging staff to wear both shoulder straps of the bag, thus reducing the chance that the bag will be dislodged at the start of any incident.

[2] Triggering TURTLE SHELL will trigger an automated Contact Report (location and time of deployment) to the on-duty Operations Officer through the issued mobile telephone.

[3] Personnel should note that while the geas will render them invisible to most, the effect of the geas upon crowd movement is noticeable; TURTLE SHELL should where possible be used next to a physical obstacle such as a wall / bench / table.

[4] Clip-in lenses are available from Laundry-approved opticians for those personnel who wear prescription eyewear. Supervisors should verify that such lenses as required are fitted, and prescriptions kept updated, during annual equipment audits. Supervisors should also verify that the equipment is bluetooth-paired with the individual's issued mobile telephone.

234:

Assuming HR are really evil minions, possibly these are really ways of determining which operatives will taste better when the unspeakable horrors feel like a small snack?

235:

Name: INTERFERON TURING GREEN

Classification: Software containment/exorcism tool, field-portable, emergency use

Deployment: With the proliferation of increasingly powerful computers in the modern world, field agents may find themselves faced with situations where a computer must be not only isolated from the rest of the world, but also preserved for investigation, with time for action measured in seconds. INTERFERON TURING GREEN (ITG) is a forensic variation of the standard Laundry field-intrusion software suite, loaded into a write-once-read-many (WORM) flash memory module, housed in a standard Universal Serial Bus (USB) flash drive chassis along with a read-write flash partition and a series of capacitors designed to trigger a reboot in any computer into which the ITG unit is inserted.

An ITG-armed field agent who sees a computer in the process of initiating an invocation or software-based self-destruct may simply insert the ITG unit into any available Universal Serial Bus receptacle on the computer's chassis. On insertion, the ITG unit will discharge its capacitor, reboot the computer, and immediately load a containment-and-investigation kernel, disabling all network interfaces and enabling analysis of local storage in read-only mode with appropriate occult-safety filters.

The ITG unit must be recharged after each use. A standard 5-volt 1-amp USB-plug charger will bring the ITG unit to operational readiness in approximately 30 minutes (the blinking green LED will burn steadily when the ITG's charge is complete).

NOTE: The ITG software package is NOT compliant with the GNU GPL, and its source code is covered by the Official Secrets Act. Any proposals for modification of ITG software should be submitted to Laundry IT Services. Any unauthorized modification to the ITG software package will be referred to the head of Laundry IT services (offenders are advised to ensure that their emergency contacts and next-of-kin on file are current).

236:

NOTE: The ITG software package is NOT compliant with the GNU GPL,...
LOL.
Semi-serious question: how do various government security agencies (notably UK and US) deal with the GPL? Does anybody know for real and can talk about it? (Quick search finds lots of chatter over the past decade and a half, some related to SElinux.)


237:

I'd imagine they make it a crime to leak a copy such that anyone who's got enough to invoke GPL rights normally has obtained it by illegal means and the agency has no obligation to meet them.

238:

Ooooh ... a challenge. I accept. I’ve been wondering about possible industrial applications for a while. I doubt it’s exceptional, but I might as well run with it since it's all I could come up with.

Name: CHELONETHIDA BASELOAD

Classification: Power plant, experimental

Deployment: While Medusa class weaponry is the most obvious application of SCORPION STARE technology, its potential for running heat engines has been investigated for some time (see: STEPHENSON TEAKETTLE). CHELONETHIDA BASELOAD is a combined cycle power plant design that builds on previous work with jet engines (see: CHELONETHIDA BLOWTORCH) and marine propulsion (see: CHELONETHIDA CONCORDIA).

Laser induced CO2 fluorescence enables application of the medusa effect to gases. While CHELONETHIDA BLOWTORCH and early CHELONETHIDA CONCORDIA implementations rely on boosting a standard combustion process, CHELONETHIDA BASELOAD instead uses CO2 as a combined fuel and working fluid. The combustion chamber of an otherwise conventional gas turbine is fitted with multiple laser units, pairs of cameras and appropriate image processing apparatus to produce the medusa effect in the working fluid; heat causes the working fluid to expand, running the turbine, with waste heat captured by a heat exchanger to run steam turbines. Waste silicon is separated from the working fluid, which is then fed back through the system. Although quantum sequestration of carbon is in keeping with the UK's greenhouse gas reduction obligations, investigation into possible environmental impacts of large quantities of extradimensional silicon is ongoing.

The technology has been undergoing trials since April 2011 in unit-2 of the Peterhead power station.

The BOLTHOLE FOUR site has been identified as suitable for an open-loop CHELONETHIDA BASELOAD installation, with 74.6% CO2 at an average surface pressure of 87 kPa.

239:

I have yet to see a privacy-by-obfuscation scheme that isn't actually a "privacy by nobody caring enough to deanonymize you" scheme; those 33 bits of entropy can be startlingly easy to extract once you care enough to try. As you point out, they need to work forever - you can always retroactively come to people's notice.

A working privacy-by-obfuscation assistant would also be an absolute goldmine for anyone who is out to get you; everything you do in one place?

240:

A working privacy-by-obfuscation assistant would also be an absolute goldmine
Am assuming a secured system of some sort including whole-disk encryption and discipline (including no unattended suspend mode). Though it's startlingly hard to create a secure laptop; started toying with deep paranoia several weeks ago and am on my third SSD now. E.g. what distribution, and why should it be trusted? Also starting to freak out a bit about newish Lenovo vulnerabilities. Etc. Fun, and educational.


241:

Name: ZANI (Zombie Algorithmic and Numerical Implementation)

Classification: General Purpose

Deployment:
The ZANI tool set is used to harness idle zombies to implement a compute platform. Tools include a limited number of enforced commands, at least one abacus (for speeding up numerical calculations), and box with written notes (alternative is an infinitely long tape). The commands are used to implement algorithms to run calculations that would be normally be too dangerous to run on a computer or compute manually.
The demon infested zombie is isolated from the algorithm by the limited scope of the commands (add, subtract, store, load, etc), and cannot leverage it for its own use. Conversely, the distributed nature of the calculation reduces the danger of attracting undue attention from
other demons, and the nature of zombies (a trapped demon) is a useful "scare crow" tactic for keeping other demons away.

Note: Calculations are extremely slow.

242:

If you're operating with extreme paranoia, there's a pre-boot system run by Intel which typically has access to main memory and is under the OEM's control. Anything that can touch System Management Mode is really not your friend.

To put it another way, if you're operating with extreme paranoia you can't afford to work with anything fast enough to run solid crypto and mainstream networking protocols. You might do a bit better if you're not worried about state-level actors and are willing to switch machines often enough that smaller actors haven't found the current iteration of the backdoor and the means to target you specifically.

243:

Yeah, known SMM issues are what are freaking me out about my Lenovo test machine.
(State-level actors should always be a concern.)


244:

(Not eligible. Entry for fun. Not sure how original it is. Perhaps a little weak and derivative; the original concept involving cephalopods was deflated a bit when I noticed the HOG-2 in the OP.)

Name: FoDD (Finger of De-Deification)
Classification Malevolent Deity Incursion Response
Clearance Auditor and above. R&D staff involved now under NDG (non-disclosure geas).

Description
Continued exploratory research on variations on the cephalopod-based HOG-2 was discontinued promptly after existential-level threats from [REDACTED].
A successor project succeeded at reliably inducing additional polydactyly in the normally polydactyl Silkie chicken. The additional toes are used in an amplification configuration to produce a vastly more powerful variation on the HOG, dubbed the FoDD, that has been operationalized. A stockpile of 20 units is maintained. The invisibility that it provides extends [REDACTED] into the past and [REDACTED] into all possible futures from that point. The de-deification beam that it projects has never been tested on a full deity, though it has been successfully tested on lesser entities. It is believed that if directed at a deity, it will cause the deity to un-create its own powers, so that only a mortal non-supernatural being remains. The residue can then be destroyed by more conventional means if it does not commit suicide.


Metanote: Recently read "The Jehovah Contract" by Victor Koman (odd and amusing!), but this is not stolen from him.

245:

You might do a bit better if you're not worried about state-level actors and are willing to switch machines often enough...

When the paranoia mood strikes me I keep coming back to the same two points, running a write-only operating system (such as Knoppix on a DVD-ROM) and never connecting to the internet. And of course this might not be enough.

A few weeks ago my home internet service went down for a few hours; that was a trivial nuisance - but when my desktop machine lost connectivity via cat-5 cable it pondered briefly and offered me my choice of local wifi connections. I've had this Windows box for a few years now and that was the first time it had ever revealed that it even had a wifi capability. Maybe the computer has two wifi cards, one for me and one for Non-user Special Access. How would I know?

246:

FCVO "should". Reasonable assumption for many of us is that if they want us, they've got us - there comes a point where the sheer absence of anything interesting about you itself becomes interesting, after all. And being seen to act to frustrate them in advance in ways beyond paranoid key sizes etc is certainly interesting.

It's not that I'm not worried about the fash: it's that if it gets that far, I'm dead anyway.

247:

Or whether your keyboard's part of a mesh network.

It didn't take me too long to figure out a plausible means of extracting dangerous quantities of info from somewhere like the Graun offices given that and a few (for redundancy) Shivaplug-style devices preferably with parabolic antennae on the inside of the building and a middle stage that's probably a van parked safely outside with your choice of 4G or sneakernet exfil after that. Had a moderately fun conversation or two after the Panama Papers as well - have you worked out how much data you can safely swallow these days?

I did stop experiencing schadenfraude about the unpleasant ex in infosec eventually, honest!

248:

Or whether your keyboard's part of a mesh network.

Oh, great, there's another thing to worry about. Though I assume anyone worried about security would be using wired keyboards and, if possible, mice; there may be no way to ensure security but you don't actually have to throw confidential papers out the window into the street.

You make a good point, though; a hypothetical opponent of national scale is big enough to have the resources to defeat all reasonable precautions, most unreasonable ones, and to manufacture evidence of whatever it feels like thinking up if it can't find real facts.

250:

My local paranoid is currently experimenting with Whonix on Qubes - an OS that sandboxes everything, hosting a proxy that forces all network connections through TOR.

Defeating this kind of thing requires state-level interest in you specifically, rather than the idle curiosity about everyone shown by the NSA and etc's bulk collection projects. So some improvement?

251:

I always smile when people talk about absolute security. As usual, XKCD has the definitive answer...

If a state-level actor wants to know more about you, the only question is "how much effort are you worth"? If you're a known terrorist (e.g. on the PIRA Army Council) then I suggest you read James Rennie's "The Operators".

Meanwhile, back in reality as opposed to paranoid fantasy-land, you have to ask whether the few hundred actual analysts across GCHQ and the Security Service are really going to say "You know what? Let's forget contact tracing those thousands of people who are connected with Da'esh, RIRA / CIRA, and organised crime; and go read J. Random. Bloke's email and look at his kitten pictures, after all he's used encryption in his emails...".

252:

It didn't take me too long to figure out a plausible means of extracting dangerous quantities of info from somewhere like the Graun offices...

With a USB stick, having said to an employee-with-clearance: "Get me the data"? For given values of Money / Ideology / Coercion / Ego ? The biggest threat is the insider.

253:

For random reasons, I'm now wondering how the Laundry would implement a sarcasm detector...

254:
Meanwhile, back in reality as opposed to paranoid fantasy-land, you have to ask whether the few hundred actual analysts across GCHQ and the Security Service are really going to say "You know what? Let's forget contact tracing those thousands of people who are connected with Da'esh, RIRA / CIRA, and organised crime; and go read J. Random. Bloke's email and look at his kitten pictures, after all he's used encryption in his emails...".
The NSA is an absolute gift to refuting accusations of paranoia. If you talked to a specific lady in a bar in Maryland and were from outside the USA, then yes!

Bulk collection lowers the bar and ups the return for the idle curiosity of security service employees.

255:

That's commonly called Rubber-Hose Cryptanalysis, though I sort of recall first hearing the term as "Rubber Hose Cryptology" maybe in the late 1980s. Can anybody here place it further back in time?
Anyway, one should avoid being in a position where somebody might consider this technique.

256:

Sure - "how much data you can eat" came up in the context of the Panama Papers, though some places may well actually have a degree of internal compartmentalisation and surveillance in place and an employee may well not know how much they can get away with yoinking until they've done it. The Graun's only a useful hypothetical because of the whole Snowden/GCHQ making a show of destroying the computer situation, but it's worth noting that they certainly acted like they didn't trust a single chip. I'm slightly surprised they didn't make a show of melting the HDD just to make a point about basic physics.

I vaguely recall one of the Snowden leaks being that wired keyboards were being rigged to run a custom wireless mesh network for keylogging. After all, it's not hard to run your chosen length of antenna inside the insulation...

But yes, usually it's the easy things that get you. After my name was put out by Vox Day, ESR&co have made it clear I should be run out of FOSS: the biggest threat to my privacy is probably an ex-girlfriend.

257:

...one of the Snowden leaks being that wired keyboards were being rigged to run a custom wireless mesh network for keylogging...

Nothing really new in Van Eck phreaking. ISTR a story that if you had a pretty good clock-timer, the time it took for an IBM golf-ball typewriter from (start to move) to (strikes ribbon) told you which character had been struck... all you need now is a microphone close enough to the secretary's desk...

I've certainly counted "classified typewriter ribbons" in a security audit before now; because you can read the characters that have been struck as it advances, any typewriter ribbon used to type a classified document immediately takes on the same classification.

Then, there's TEMPEST, which has been around since at least the 1970s, if not earlier; Dad mentioned that their database access terminal was screened, with the encryption/decryption box inside the shielding, with a brightly-coloured cable that must be visible its entire length to the rubber-cup modem, which could only be connected by an outgoing call from the mainframe (i.e. "call me back on this recognised number, I need to log in").

And, for those younglings who have never actually seen a cathode-ray tube in anger, there's CRT phreaking as mentioned in "Cryptonomicon". Apparently when they did a security survey of our List X firm's site, there were so many terminals packed into the building (I had a nice VT240 at the time) that they couldn't pick out any individual screens from outside the fence... but I know, security by obscurity isn't really security...

I suspect that GCHQ are quite so paranoid about their own kit, not because an exploit exists, but because the possibility of an exploit is not provably zero. Who knows, maybe they will get around to an exploit involving some of the features they defend against, but meanwhile why take the chance that someone else hasn't managed it? After all, the history of the organisation (e.g. Enigma etc) screams "don't get overconfident".

258:

Yup. GCHQ do worry about state-level actors. I merely account for them, though I seem to've had fair instincts for how much to do so by.

I once got into an argument with a Simon Singh fan who hadn't clocked that if you control enough of the information base you could do... oh, right, exactly the same stuff the NSA was later caught having a program to give police forces a second route to discovering information. I am far from uncrackable, but I seem to have pretty good instincts for spotting what's scary-plausible and/or worth figuring out your hedge against, IYSWIM. Good thing I'm a lifer on welfare and thus not worth it to most organised crime, huh?

259:

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE

This is a Laundry Files competition, not comp.risks.

Please cut out the INFOSEC discussion, at least until the competition is closed (the 21st of June).

260:

Name: Fe-Lin
Classification: Short to medium range weapon.
Deployment:
Due to events involving CASE NIGHTMARE SPECTRUM, our universe has recently been subject to invasion by Hostile Irom-Sensitive Entities (HISE). These entities are believed to consist of at least one species which has invaded other universes before ours.

To be blunt, they have practised this, and become good at it. Worse, they have some combination of:
- better theory of magic than us
- higher mean magical strength than us
- better magical equipment than us, which has been battle tested and ruggedised
- numerical superiority in extreme magical strength individuals
- sufficient magical population to send a group consisting of mainly their strongest, whose mean magical strength significantly exceeds the mean for their species

They know of their iron sensitivity, and are equipped to survive normal attempts to take advantage of it. Normal firearms using standard NATO calibres (9, 5.56, 7.62, 12.7mm), for instance, can be ignored by a HISE wearing high strength personal wards.

Access to the 14nm lithography node has, fortunately, allowed the design and manufacture of projectiles which can not only cause a localised disruption in a high strength HISE ward for at least two microseconds, but which can serve as a protective nose cap to prevent catastrophic oxidation of the projectile before reaching its target.

The Fe-Lin device is a linear accelerator ("railgun" is an inaccurate term and should be discouraged) which sends a 0.25mm diameter by 2mm long projectile at a target with an initial velocity in excess of 2,500 metres per second. The projectile retains sufficient velocity to take advantage of the ward disruption to penetrate a high level HISE ward at up to approximately 100 metres.

Upon impact with HISE body armour, localised cracking/spalling takes place, with the iron payload, having melted from the aerodynamic heating, breaking up into a multitude of tiny molten droplets, of which at least one will normally ricochet through the cracks in the armour to render the HISE unfit for further combat.

The capacitors take approximately 600 milliseconds to recharge between shots, so this weapon is best used for aimed shots, and avoiding "spray and pray" methods as wasteful and ineffective.

261:

Name: Wire Brush Of Enlightenment
Classification: Educational tool
Deployment:

A worryingly high number of Laundry Operatives, when faced with the opportunity to engage in an occult activity, will act as if they believe that normal safety procedures do not apply to them, are unnecessary for those of their expertise, etc (See D-K Syndrome).

The WBOE, when properly administered, will stop the recipient in their tracks, and inflict horrific mental scarring install a useful mental barrier against future breaches of safety protocols.

Note: Hearing Protection should be worn when administering the WBOE, and hands should be thoroughly washed afterwards.

262:

Name: Norm-L
Classification: Non-Lethal Anti "Super" weapon
Deployment:
The rise of abnormal abilities in random individuals from the general population - so called "Supers" - has, unfortunately, put significant personal power in the possession of a small percentage of people who are not only self-centred, greedy, and uncaring of (or worse, actively enjoying) the harm they do to others, but who are outside the normal societal groupings where such behaviour is expected (executive suites, political parties, especially [REDACTED], the [REDACTED] School of Economics, [two entire paragraphs REDACTED])

So Laundry personnel are in need of a way to, for instance, free a group of people from an unnaturally persuasive lunatic on a street corner without causing excess alarm and spectacle.

Norm-L is automatically blocked by standard Laundry clothing wards, but the average Super is thaumaturgically ignorant, and is completely vulnerable to its effects.

Norm-L replaces the standard Bell-Curve of statistical outcomes in its target area with a linear approximation which, crucially, excludes the "tails" after three standard deviations.

This removes all access to superpowers (which rely on low probability events), thus allowing capture/arrest of offending individual, and freeing of affected members of the public.

Note: Care should be taken when using on the subset of Supers known as "Flying Bricks", as momentum is conserved, and the usual result of suddenly humanly weak and fragile flesh meeting solid objects involves spectacular fatality.

263:

Name: Special K Super-L
Classification: Lethal Anti-Super weapon
Deployment:
Some Supers will put the Laundry Operative in the unenviable situation of having to deal with a Super who is both a clear, present, and immediate danger to the public or society in general, and not susceptible to either Norm-L or ballistic decommissioning.

Super-L, like Norm-L adjusts probabilities in its target, but whereas Norm-L disrupts the powers of a Super, Super-L applies a massive enhancement to a specific probability: that of neural computations being both noticed and edible.

The effect is to induce runaway K-Syndrome in the target, with the brain going from the consistency of a gel to that of a sponge. Death is almost instant, with a reassuring lack of alarming external signs. "Massive Stroke" is what will appear on the coroner's report.

Note: Use of Super-L will trigger an automatic Audit of the circumstances of and justification for its use.

264:

Name: Cthulhu Denial Hastur Bypass Nyarlathotep Negation
Classification: Rate-Limited Challenge-Reponse Universal Authentication protocol
Deployment:
CDHBNN functions as a hyperspherically meta denial of service (1)(2) to those of a different universe. In effect, the entire universe is used as a one-time pad (3), denying access to those whose universe of origin differs from the entity who set up the protocol.

Attackers are assumed to be able to view the entire plaintext of the challenge & response, but are denied comprehension due to their differing one-time pad.

Challenges take the form of a mixture of texts seemingly designed to prevent steganographic analysis from converging on a ciphertext, much less a plaintext, sprinkled with apparently lucid texts whose purpose is to trick the attacker into wasting analytical effort on the rest of the challenge. This prevents the attacker from resorting to cruder but more damaging attacks on whatever the CDHBNN is protecting access to.

Entities from different universes differ on unknown but obviously personally important axes such that the challenge from one will infuriate another, but this does not commute: [REDACTED] hates [REDACTED], who is amused by this, but hates [REDACTED] instead.

Rate-Limiting is important, so that attackers from a universe with a sufficiently fast time flow cannot crack the authentication by spamming with the entire universal phase space.

(1) higher dimensionality and higher levels of meta are included but not mentioned for brevity.
(2) Zwicky, F: Astronomer Classification - Spherical Bastard, for the origin of this analogy
(3) Hillis, D: "Using The World as a one time pad" - quoted in Dennett, D: "Darwin's Dangerous Idea", 1995, Page 421

265:

I apologize for bringing up the GPL. My only excuse is that I thought it'd be an amusing thing for Laundry IT (i.e. Bob) to have to deal with.

266:

NB: the infosec stuff is interesting enough that once I think up a new angle, I'll throw up a blog post just for that discussion to continue on.

267:

Name:
Difference Engine No. 0.6

Classification:
Processing Unit. Steam-powered. Computational class.

Deployment:
The oldest man-made device capable of computational demonology. The official public record states that Charles Babbage received £1700 in 1823 to construct a working version of his proposed difference engine for her majesty's government. The government abandoned the project in 1842, after sinking £17,000 with no end in sight. During this process, one of the prototypes ended up in the Science Museum in London where it is still on display.

Another prototype, which can handle polynomials up to the 5th degree through the method of finite differences, was acquired by Ada Lovelace, around 1835. She added significant modifications of her own. Her father, Lord Byron, was an occultist and one of the first documented cases of K-Syndrome. Lovelace shared his interest in the otherworldly, and needed a method to do perform computations without the consequences of doing it in her head.

During the 1980s, two more difference engines where commissioned by museums and they share the specifications of the Laundry owned machine. They do not, however, share the custom-built mechanical summoning grid as added by Lovelace, that has the ability to iterate through 60 different summoning Sigils and print them within user-specified page margins. Lovelace's death is officially attributed to cancer at the age of 36, but it is the first mechanical infinite while-loop had a part in her demise. During this experiment her cat got caught in the workings of the gears and the additional life-blood provided more power to the while-loop than she had anticipated.

Her machine went unused for a century, until it made its way to the archives of what was to become the Laundry. It is maintained for historic purposes, and is the only example of steam-powered demonic invocation. A rare example of a processor impervious to an electro-magnetic pulse. Civilians can view a working version of a larger engine at the offices of Intellectual Ventures in Seattle.

268:

Note: I'm still ineligible to win anything and still just posted for fun.

Name: BRILLIANT BEDBUG WHISKER
Classification: Reconnaissance Unit, Residual Non-human Resource, Experimental
Description: Undead rats stealing office supplies.

The advantages of using residual human resources in tasks that do not involve independent thought, other than HR and middle management, have been obvious for years. Naturally other platforms have been tried, with mixed results. The BRILLIANT BEDBUG project has bound complexly instructed riders into small animals in the hopes that urban vermin can more easily get into lightly secured sites more easily and deniably than a human agent[1]. The most useful field variant is BRILLIANT BEDBUG WHISKER, based upon a slightly postmortem Rattus novegicus body; the combination of extradimensional intelligence and tiny paws allows a BRILLIANT BEDBUG WHISKER unit to infiltrate almost any office or residential environment, find poorly secured USB drives or SD cards, and return same for analysis. They are rather poor at returning their prizes to the original location but no tool is perfect. They are not good typists due to the large relative size of human keyboards, but as of 2015 are able to use many smartphones and tablets. Research is ongoing.

There are some minor quirks that have yet to be worked out. Current binding sigils are not as waterproof as could be hoped, meaning that users should minimize sewer travel when possible and examine their BRILLIANT BEDBUG WHISKER units at the start and end of deployments; authorized personnel should read the CROYDON MONARCH synopsis for an example of what may follow carelessness in this matter. More fundamentally, the power of the bound entity is rather great relative to the nervous system of Rattus norvegicus, meaning that any bodily disruption allows the possessing entity to depart with exothermic side effects. Units should not be employed where rats that explode when injured would pose a danger to bystanders. The obvious “kamikaze rat zombie” suggestion has not yet been cleared for field use.

[1] Laundry personnel came up with this idea before declassification of Project Acoustic Kitty and have the documentation to prove it. (Note: I hadn't spotted the similarity myself until actually entering this post.)

269:

...the combination of extradimensional intelligence and tiny paws...

Call them "Frankie Mouse" and "Benjie Mouse", and you'll be condemned to the intergalactic talk-show circuit. I tried to get a "Deep Thought + Philosophers" gag in at this point, but failed...

270:

Name: BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death)
Classification: Logistical weapon - Industrial, Informational and Motivational Sabotage
Deployment:
Laundry IT services have weaponized the inverse-Clarke law “Sufficiently shitty technology is never blamed on magic”. Useful for disrupting target projects without drawing attention to the Laundry, instead redirecting the target’s rage to a completely different distant shadowy organisation working to dominate the world’s computers for their own ends.
As well as erasing work the BSOD uses the strong sympathetic link between user and computer to enact virtual voodoo: destroying the data also destroys the user’s will to work on anything to do with that data -- or even look at the (literally) cursed machine again that day -- while furnishing them with a bright blue excuse to blame.

USAGE WARNING:
The sheer quantity of negative emotion absorbed by BSOD over time has corrupted its original rune-codes and given it the ability to spawn independently in the wild. As such Laundry IT now prefer the social interrupt program RAGE-FILLED AVIANS which halts work processes in the human instead of the hardware.

USAGE WARNING WARNING:
RAGE-FILLED AVIANS is NOT LITERAL, repeat NOT LITERAL. No-one needs another CODE HITCHCOCK.

271:

(non-eligible entry)

Name: SURPRISE SYMBOL WELCOME
Classification: Proposed CNG response strategy

Discussion:
While many CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN response strategies have focused on reactive defense (c.f. SCORPION STARE, EMOCUM, WALL PHASE PURPLE), SURPRISE SYMBOL WELCOME (like NO CHILD LEFT according to the leaked Black Chamber document) emphasizes removing the bulk civilian population from the area of conflict. Unlike NO CHILD LEFT, net civilian casualties in urban areas are estimated at under 1%.

In the aftermath of OGRE REALITY, Laundry estimates of the amount of power needed to open a Class 6 interdimensional gate were decreased by 5 orders of magnitude. This was later confirmed when satellite photos taken after the "failed" 2009 North Korean nuclear test indicated that a 25km2 area was cleared to a depth of over 100m (more at JUCHE BEACHHEAD).

SURPRISE SYMBOL consists of three phases: First, small advance parties passing through Class 3 gates scout accessible dimensions to locate survivable ones with no sapient inhabitants and abundant local edibles. Concurrently, thermonuclear devices in the 50kT range are pre-installed in all major city centers. Finally, at the onset of NIGHTMARE DAWN the devices are detonated. The physical energy of the explosion, plus the thaumic energy of those killed at ground zero, are expected to open a gate large enough to transport an entire metropolitan area through to the selected dimension. Since the majority of the yielded energy actually serves to open the gate, the local aftermath beyond ground zero is more like a radiological dirty bomb than a nuclear strike.

Each city transported in this manner will now lie in its own low-sapience region; even the approximate 14 million inhabitants of London's metropolitan area are too small to attract the worst of the horrors, which will prefer alternate earths where the full complement of 3-14 billion sophonts.

Depending on the the habitability of the primary Earth in the aftermath of CNG, city leaders are be directed to follow PROTOCOL NO SUNSET or PROTOCOL ONE-NIL.

Status:
Implementation phase. Current coverage: 85% by population.

272:

So we are transporting cities with gaping radioactive craters slap bang in their central infrastructure?

Maybe an approach where the bombs are placed in run down suburbs is better. Eg Feltham/Heathrow for London.

273:

Partly the setup of SURPRISE SYMBOL WELCOME is that it presents lots of opportunity for things to go terribly wrong. So requiring the bomb to be in the geographic center of a city is part of that.

Just how the SSW nuke gate works didn't end up coming through clearly in my submission. Let me expand on that part a bit:

The bomb sits within an inactive summoning grid. Detonation begins the process of grid activation, and also the explosion wavefront projects the grid outward on its surface.

Initially, the wavefront acts like a normal thermonuclear explosion, killing people in its path with a combination of blast force and thermal energy. The thaumic energy of these wrongly-killed souls is gathered into the summoning grid.

When a particular ratio of physical energy to thaumic energy is attained within the grid, it fires and opens an ellipsoidal gate centered on the origin of the explosion. Thus the placement of the bomb at a city center is required for two reasons: first, because this determines the gate placement; and second so that the number of ground zero casualties can be large enough within a small radius to open an appropriately-sized gate.

Opening the gate consumes substantially all initial energy from the explosion, leaving mostly residual radiation (fallout).

So when used as directed, the blast only outright destroys a few unlucky city blocks, and then drops a plume of radioactive fallout whichever way the wind was blowing. But that's all good, because now the city is out of the path of CNG and on a scale of 1 to 14 million hardly anybody died.

When not used as directed, well, yeah, absolutely an opportunity for mass casualties.

274:

Have to comment that SURPRISE SYMBOL WELCOMEh is one of the most appalling (and therefore interesting :-) entries, not least because the possible answers to the engineering questions it raises have potentially very different mass casualty rates. (e.g. what about prompt radiation, including neutron radiation?).
Then there's the question of where exactly to place the device within the city. In the US at least there's a progressive activism theme called "Environmental Justice" which is largely in practice about the siting of potentially harmful infrastructure. (Those words even made their way into Hillary Clinton's presidential platform.) An American (at least this one) is not equipped to imagine the closed-door conversations about placement that would occur in the UK, though we could do OK with the US, at least as a dark comedy in the style of Doctor Strangelove.

275:

NO CHILD LEFT

Description: Alleged Black Chamber CNG contingency plan

[REDACTED] public school programs [REDACTED] self esteem, while in homeschooling programs, [REDACTED] serves to sensitize under-19s. This will enable [REDACTED] preferentially chosen as vessels by [REDACTED]. It is our opinion that [REDACTED], and HPV vaccine are effective [REDACTED]. Individual ownership of firearms [REDACTED] response protocol with 85% effectiveness before the beginning of state and federal armed response [REDACTED] conditioning embedded in Hannibal, NCIS, and Game of Thrones. While the loss of substantially all under-19s will pose a substantial and multi-decade demographic burden post-[CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN], it is preferable to the alternatives.


Status:
Both Mahogany Row and the Predictive Department agree this is not an actual Black Chamber contingency plan; however, they disagree as to whether it is deliberate misinformation by the Chamber; or an attempt by another state-level occult agency to discredit the Chamber as a rogue actor for their own ends.

(note: was too lazy to go check if we know the Chamber's code word for CNG, hence the brackets there)

276:

Here's a few ideas I also noted down but didn't write due to the one entry restriction (feel free to use if you think one has potential):


  • actual microwave mind control
  • something based on an angels/angled ones pun
  • Residual Human Resources Resources: zombies that sit in HR and manage other zombies

So here we go:

Name: Grid Builder
Classification: Training software
Deployment: Inspired by the classic Bridge Builder, Grid Builder lets you construct toy summoning grids. It teaches important intuitions about summonings and (don't let HR hear about this) is also a lot of fun.
It uses a simplified version of the math that powers real world grids, both to cut down on CPU use and to not trigger any actual summonings. Although, while these issues were anticipated in the initial version, there was still a regrettable incident a few years ago that necessitated its immediate retirement and a rewrite. Version 2.0 is based on weaker math and includes improved compatibility with systems released after 1999.
Grid Builder is especially popular with staff whose machines are too slow[1] to run Quake satisfactorily.

[1]: do these still exist?

277:

[Ineligible, not my first]

Codename: MILTON KEYNES INFRA
Classification: Emergency Large-scale Crowd Management (Experimental, failure)
Description: Designed as an emergency system for deployment in circumstances such as CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN, MILTON KEYNES INFRA attempted to use the Law of Contagion to distribute a summoning and bind part of the population under Laundry control.

Unfortunately, while sneaking small particles tied into a grid by contagion into an area's water supplies was easy enough, it turned out we had one-upped the US's failures in this field - when in doubt, it's preferable for glowing objects and flashing colours to be a strictly internal phenomenon limited to the system's subjects rather than visible to those around them. Apparently this makes them less inclined to follow orders from those under our control. As such, MILTON KEYNES INFRA has been discontinued.

278:

Love this one (particularly as I played Bridge Builder with the kids)...

...but at the risk of encouraging the competition, I have to ask: what "one entry restriction"? (Having tried a couple of times now). Me no can see in T&Cs.

Vote early and often! (And I for one smiled at what else you were thinking of)

279:

SEACOW: Napier’s Bones - a moveable lattice multiplier to calculate ward frequencies

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Napier's_Bones.JPG

PURPOSE

Napier’s Bones (SEACOW), is a computational ward calculator, specific for a particular class of demons but, if calculated precisely enough, it is exceptionally effective for a specified individual demon. Computes 4th order harmonics of a demonic manifestation (by FOURIER TRANSMIGRATION). It is a moveable lattice multiplier – with bone rods made from Stellar’s sea-cow ribs - that increases calculation speeds compared to Fibonacci’s FIXED TABULAR method.

THEORY AND APPLICATION

It had long been known that minor demons could be dispelled by chanting but it was not until Pythagoras’ HARMONICS that this process was understood as a complementary waveform.

The better the match of the complementary waveform, the more complete and permanent the disruption of a demon. However, producing a complete waveform is still beyond our ability and projecting a major harmonic was quickly found to send an obvious signal of aggression. Unless you have serious firepower it is better to induce a vague sense of distaste with a minor harmonic (cf TOMJONES music played by MALLS to discourage OIKS). The 4th harmonic is an effective compromise.

A demonic waveform, obtained by resonance with a stringed instrument bonded to an in-/re- animated recorder, can be decompiled into its components. However, without SEACOW this is computationally laborious.

CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION

Stellar’s sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) rib bones are the densest known bone. (The bones are ballast to counteract the buoyancy of blubber). Harvest of bones from the last breeding population, transported to the BELLINGSHAUSEN ISLAND in the South Sandwich group in the late 19th century, is strictly regulated. The name for high point of the island’s crater rim, BASILISK PEAK, hints at the means of managing poaching.

Harmonic computations must be performed in hexadec. An nth order harmonic requires a lattice 2^n GRID squares long. Thus there are 16 bone rods in a square frame (with a raised rim). Bones have a pentagonal cross section and a silver longitudinal pivot-axis, with 16 squares scribed along each face in a single column. The bones have inlaid silver wires running horizontally (to define the grids) and diagonally (top right to bottom left) through each grid.

The edges of the frame, and grid-1 of each bone are numbered using Phoenician symbols from 1 (ALEP) to F (SAMEK). Moving down a bone, each grid contains the product of (row x column), written diagonally (e.g. the 6th square (waw) of bone 7 (zayin) of contains 2/A (bet/yod). A full SEACOW set includes three 1-F sets of bones (48 bones total). With the 5 faces to each bone this allows construction of FOURIER TRANSMIGRATION terms with between 8-12 repeats of a single digit. (Some bones have duplicate or triplicate enscribings. See UNDERKILL)

The demonic waveform is played at low intensity into the isolated SEACOW. The operator inserts and removes bones until a resonance is felt; thus computing the first term of the FOURIER TRANSMIGRATION. Bones are added to the base plate, and the process repeated to determine successive terms. As the last rod makes contact with the far edge of the frame, the completed 16x16 circuit-array generates a standing wave corresponding to the fourth harmonic. The CHECKSUM of the demon is obtained by adding diagonals.

RELATED

Napier (1550 – 1617), was also inventor of LOGARITHM and SLIDERULE. James VI based his Classification of Demons on the operating instructions for Napier’s Bones.

An attempt to combine SEACOW with a proto-JACQUARD-type card calculator was not successful. Research has been suppressed since an experimental facility under OLD ST PAULS in London was destroyed in September 1666.

280:

"7. Only one entry per person allowed. Second or subsequent entries will be disqualified. Entries will not be accepted via agents, third parties or in bulk."
I fear that's pretty clear.

281:

Curses, I hadn't realised that there was an embedded link to a formal set of T&Cs...

Now I'll be left wondering whether TURTLE SHELL and Anti-Dragon Missiles were a better bet than an anti-Vampire grenade... :)

282:

Ineligibility didn't stop a bunch of us Geographically Undesirables from making sometimes multiple ineligible entries, for fun. :-)
Anyway, liked your entries for their ordinance-y nature.


283:

Ordnance, please...

:) "Ordinances" is right up there with something being a "mute point", a firearm having a "breach", or (for y'all) having a "School Principle" :)

284:

Being eligible myself I'm rather regretting not thinking of CLIPPY RELOADED sufficiently closely to ORACLE - it didn't feel in the spirit of the thing to hoard ideas until the last moment, though!

285:

NOT AN ENTRY (since I've already done one), just for fun:

Codename: BAT SIGNAL
Classification: Summoning Ritual (failed)
Description: An attempt to summon entities powerful enough to change the fundamental constants of the universe and thus forestall all of the CASE NIGHTMARE eventualities. Named for Alien Space Bats, of course.

286:

Name: CODE GLITTER RAINBOW BOMB
Classification: Weapon System (Obsolete, replaced by SCORPION STARE)
Description: Before Basilisks weapons were sufficiently controllable as to be deployed, Britain discovered an Exonome (GLITTER RAINBOW) which uses our reality as a breeding cycle, draining all of the color and life out of a region until it all flakes away and is destroyed. Rather like a Tory or American Republican convention. GLITTER RAINBOW bombs are synthesized GLITTER RAINBOWs which were to be deployed throughout the Island and around the coast, on the assumption that any Exonome which has a physical form will have a color.

GLITTER RAINBOW is currently sealed for the following reasons: Cost of breeding Colors from Space was too high, the effects were too slow.

Sealed by order of HMG

287:

Name: MAGI (Magician-Augmenting Gesture Interface)

Classification: Wearable peripheral – heads-up display

Deployment: During an attempted infiltration of the Laundry’s Gibraltar facility (see file PHAROS ROCK) in October 2015, three highly modified V2 Explorer-model Google Glass units were recovered from the bodies of the attackers. One unit was damaged during the attack, and another was rendered unusable after insufficiently cautious access attempts resulted in the summoning of a class-four entity and the loss of seven OCCULUS personnel, two middle managers and 412 square feet of open-plan office.

The third unit was eventually cracked, and most of its internal storage was found to be taken up by the MAGI app suite. As well as providing real-time, heads-up AR overlay of the local thaum field, MAGI pairs a sophisticated motion-tracking and shape-recognition algorithm with a comprehensive database of pre-programmed invocations.

When bluetoothed to a (sufficiently warded) smartphone or other mobile processor slab, a MAGI-enabled Glass headset enables the quick, silent deployment of highly complex magical effects with little more than a Freemasonish finger-wriggle… and without the risk of K-syndrome that usually accompany such ad hoc invocations.

Note on operation: Successful use of MAGI system is dependent on the operator’s ability to deftly and precisely perform the requisite somatic components. At least one of the PHAROS ROCK attackers is believed to have accidentally self-immolated as the result of a ‘fat finger’ error.

Additional note: As of the end of the Google Glass beta test in January 2015, something in the region of two hundred V2 Explorer units remained unaccounted for.

288:

This one's ineligible (I already submitted SUPERINJUNCTION QUICKSILVER upthread) but I couldn't resist.

Name: SABRE PSYCHEDELIC (discontinued)
Description: Trepanning knife
Notes: For the love of Fenris, people, stop trying to use this. It doesn't work. Yes, it's upsetting when a friend or colleague gets possessed, seeing the tiny glowing worms swimming in their eyeballs. And yes, we've all read that passage in Dee's Commentary on Inventio Fortunata, where he exorcises a possessed boy by cutting a hole in his skull and letting the worms drain out of his head. But nobody's been able to make it work since Dee, and frankly I think Dee was on one of his fibbing days when he wrote this. It just makes you spend a lot of time hanging around a nameless horror's meatpuppet while it actively tries to kill you. And there's the cleanliness aspect; cutting a hole in someone's head is considerably bloodier than the woodcuts suggest.

Face it, people: there are no simple cures for possession. Have we forgotten the ice-cream scoop incident already?

Updated notes 5/7/05: Let me reiterate for the hard of thinking: THIS DOES NOT WORK. Not even if someone gets a clever idea of enticing the worms out of the head by offering fresh brains near the trepanning hole. Conference Room C is closed until we can decontaminate it, and [REDACTED] is getting reviewed for his improper use of new recruits.

289:

Note: not first entry - just for amusement

Designation: BUZZWORD SALAD
Purpose: Informavore defense
Deployment:

BUZZWORD SALAD relies on the metabolism of the informavore: it feeds on free energy (nucleons with non-maximal binding energy, strained nitrogen bonds, etc) and the life-energy of dying sapients - see NECROVORE (not NECROPHILE!).

By flooding the surroundings of the informavore with suitable material (policies of the [REDACTED] party, new age marketing, vendor promises etc) it is possible to force it to ingest an object with physical presence but a negative information content. This stalls its feeding, and allows for easy banishment.

Note: do NOT deploy BUZZWORD SALAD in the presence of a possessing entity - BUZZWORD SALAD lowers the protective barriers around a sentient brain to the point where contact is unnecessary to spread the possession - briefly exponential expansion of possession can result, with tragic results exemplified by the [REDACTED] party conference.

290:

Name: OUI-GA (Ontological Unscrambler / Interceptor - General Application)

Classification: Mobile signals intelligence: resonant transdimensional decryption

Deployment: Although the Turing-Lovecraft Theorem implies encryption schemes like RSA can be cracked easily under various summoning algebras, this has been difficult to achieve in practice: extradimensional super-human intelligences clever enough to factor inconceivably huge numbers enjoy escaping containment and filleting the souls off innocent bystanders a lot more than doing mathematical party tricks.

OUI-class devices sneak around this issue by letting other universes do the hard work. After a signal has been intercepted (usually by conventional means), OUIs use a Shannon entropic resonance cantrip to find near-parallel realities where the message (or one a bit like it) has already been successfully decrypted, or was never properly coded in the first place. The deciphered message is then imprinted on some pattern-bearing medium in our reality, such as TV static, tea leaves, or preferably human brain tissue. Indeed, early OUI models used the operator’s language centres as the readout, although standard OUI-GAs now go for flash drives. This is mainly to reduce errors in transcription, but it also helps limit the (worryingly high) risk of transmitting a possession attempt, summoning script, or other trans-dimensional Trojan.

Field-operational OUI-GAs consist of “black boxes” about the size of a power strip. These contain a small LED display, a processor, and an ambiguously labelled bank of connectors for Ethernet cables, radio antennae, mobiles, laser microphones and other signal pickups. Output is spelt out one character at a time to prevent malicious transmission of self-executing incantations; the complete decrypt can be read normally after screening by OFCUT or other security utilities.

Operators should be aware OUIs have a frustratingly low signal-to-noise ratio; they often pass messages that are corrupted, incomplete, or only loosely related to their “originals”. Common sense and skepticism are essential when interpreting OUI decrypts, and users are advised to forward intercepts to GCHQ for verification whenever time allows.

Variant models

OUI-RD (R&D): Research unit built to assess the odds of CASE NIGHTMARE RAINBOW events by estimating how many nearby universes support sentient life, or at least how many still bother to send encrypted messages. Although the statistics are good, it has so far been unable to distinguish between, say, an Elder God’s homecoming party and run-of-the-mill extinction events like global nuclear war or asteroid impact. Upgrades are planned to capture messages describing the end of the (parallel) world in more detail.

OUI-PE (Psychoclastic / Exorcising): Psychiatric model used as a last resort for difficult exorcisms. This variant weakens possessing entities by using a mind-linked OUI to rapidly overwrite parts of the victim’s brain with random decrypts. OUI-PEs have serious side effects: at best, subjects are left with symptoms resembling severe Krantzenberg Syndrome, and complete erasure of the patient’s personality (or its replacement by a new one) is a possibility. Use of OUI-PEs for non-medical applications is strictly prohibited.

291:

Name TURQOISE PILLBOX

Classification K-Syndrome Neoplasm Therapeutic regime

Deployment TURQUOISE PILLBOX is one of a number of spinoffs under the Australian CSIRO's Special Research Section's program TURQUOISE PLOUGHSARE.

TURQUOISE PLOUGHSHARE is a project to apply metaphysical, demonological and computational techniques to issues not directly connected to saving the world from the tentacled horrors from other dimensions.

TURQUOISE PILLBOX was originally developed as a protective measure against K-syndrome, for which it is only moderately successful, but has been expanded to provide an effective oncological treatment regime.

Biopsy-obtained samples of neoplasmic (cancerous) tissue are obtained from the patient, along with healthy cells. The healthy cells are rendered "unpalatable" to the entities responsible for K-syndrome, while the cancerous ones are tagged as "come and eat me" using techniques thought to originate from DEEP SEVEN. Standard similarity and contagion techniques are then used to make the whole patient's body have similar characteristics. The Class 1 entities prefer the cancerous ones and tend to leave most of the healthy ones alone, thereby not only producing remission of cancer, but providing some limited protection against K-syndrome.


TURQUISE PILLBOX has been deployed successfully to treat operatives in various organisations exposed to high levels of radiation, or at greater than normal risk of K-syndrome, extending their useful lifetime. Nulka Squadron SASR, UK Artists Rifles, and Occult Assault Unit USAF have TURQOISE PILLBOX in their inventories now.

Development continues, with preliminary results indicating possible future effectiveness against PHANG and other organisms.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES USE THIS ON BLUE HADES PATIENTS as it makes the whole of the patients' body vulnerable. It is surmised that this is a development of a DEEP SEVEN war agent.

292:

Remote Anti-Transcendental Field Generator (RATFiG)

This device is used to neutralize summoning grids and and other hazards whose curve geometry definitions rely on pi. RATFiG works by changing pi from a transcendental number to a rational one (i.e., it allows a circle or curves whose definition relies on pi to be defined with angles and straight lines). Any summoning grid relying on such curves will be disabled.

Device is implemented in hardware, not software, and is activated when energized. Upon activation, the device opens its own low-energy gate to a sterile universe where pi is non-transcendental. RATFiG is often mounted on a robot such as DRAGON RUNNER. Robotic mounts must be immobile at time of activation or they will suffer damage. The device has a range of up to approximately 5 meters and this can be set manually before deployment and activation.

The device has been experimentally implemented in software but not deployed to the field, because it tends to render many of the functions of OFCUT enabled devices useless while activated.

293:

Sorry, left out the classifications:

Classification: Remote device, counter-magic

294:

[Ineligible: Not my first]

NAME: GREEN GLASS

Classification: Environmentally-Friendly Recycling and Manufacturing

Description: GREEN GLASS employs SCORPION STARE with custom optics enabling it to see (and thus transform) carbon dioxide, providing a range of materials depending on the exact amount of heat produced many of which have useful applications. Used en masse the resulting heat can also power a turbine producing electricity.

Speculation about the relationship between GREEN GLASS and the LIZARD ENERGY program is discouraged.

295:

Name
Bokor's Pistol

Classification
Unconventional weaponry level 3: Samedi Class

Deployment
Should the need ever arise for the building or repair of a containment grid akin to the “Wall of Pain” (See CODICIL BLACK SKULL), The Bokor's Pistol will allow for the establishment of such a perimeter without the need for a trained sorcerer. A Bokor's Pistol is very similar in form and function to a Taser or stun gun. Aside from the standard components, it's body contains a small computer programmed to rapidly iterate the theorems of an obedience geas, while each ammunition cartridge holds an occult capacitor containing a single Feeder in the Night. Upon using The Bokor's Pistol to convert the local cultists into Residual Human Resources, all an agent need do is recite the proper Enochian command (all staff are required to memorize such before a weapon will be issued), and the RHR will take up position as a Watcher.

However, even after disregarding the legal and ethical concerns of murder and the hijacking of human remains, this project was discontinued when Q Division discovered that no sane agent would carry on their person a device holding a Feeder, regardless of how well contained it was. Currently, anyone attempting to requisition a Bokor's Pistol is forced to resit all Laundry Occult Health and Safety courses.

296:

REMINDER: COMPETITION ENDS IN SIX HOURS' TIME (and small-change minutes)

I'll be closing comments tomorrow morning, and come back with a list of winners (assuming they're eligible) at the weekend.

297:

[Please Note: this entry has pictures and having them open and looking at them while reading will make it a lot more fun]

Picture Evidence of Anomalies

NAME

Colloquially known in Occult circles as “The Twins”, although those who know about these artefacts are not usually allowed free roam. The left “twin” has a complex nomenclature due to its lengthy travels along trading routes and is usually referred to by the name of the culture it currently resides in. Most recently known as “Loki's Tooth” or “The Lambton Worm's Tooth[1]”.

The right twin has only ever had a single name: Aurora's Heart.

CLASSIFICATION

Yin/Yang pairing of negating powers. Extremely dangerous and now held by [REDACTED] to prevent misuse. Class IX objects, although upper limits are not known for either of them.

DEPLOYMENT

Loki's Tooth

This artefact has had a raft of sagas, poems, histories and irresponsibilities ascribed to its history. In folklore and magic a stone with a hole in it is considered lucky, and is worn around the neck. This stone has three and breaks causality with ease due to its paradoxical nature (although, traditionally, it has also been worn around the neck with the flat side to the chest by a silver chain).

While Schroedinger imagined two states, this little piece of canine enables a third.

In practical effects the artefact is linked to Loki for good reason: the effects scale toward causality breaking dependent on the mind that holds it. The limitations appear to be the subject's own boundaries of what is-or-is-not possible (probability is rendered useless by this artefact – it is “made rock” / certain, part of the Loki attribution) and their self-interest.

The first part of the effect is related to probability: it can make the 0.001% probability a certainty.

However, there are major drawbacks:

Selfish use tends towards the overtly Djinn in terms of results. e.g. in AD 1609 it was reported that a man wearing this bought some tulips and sought wealth. The result was the largest stock market bubble prior to the 20th century.

This hints towards the actual issue with this artefact: given any probability it will seek to make real that with the smallest chance.

Secondly, the Mind of the user effects the reality of the artefact if there are no other conscious minds within twenty to fifty miles of the subject who hold different opinions and warps the possibility of the artefact and the Universe.

This second effect is far more dangerous and has been used by authoritarian despots: notably in the CCCP when Stalin gained control of this artefact. The tell-tale-sign was giant pineapples.


WARNING: TOUCHING THIS ARTEFACT WITH BARE FLESH ATTUNES IT TO YOUR MIND UNTIL YOU DIE.

Tools are provided[2] to prevent this – note: they have to be at the very least silver.


Aurora's Heart

[REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED]

Not much is known about this artefact, apart from the legend surrounding it.

Aurora, daughter of Dawn, had her heart broken and [REDACTED].

The artefact is safe to handle, however using light sources near it (such as the flash on cameras) will show a world without any light at all, even in brightly lit rooms or outside areas where the Sun is still giving full visibility[2].

[2]NAME

Silver Pick or Holy Pick or Wary-man's Pick

CLASSIFICATION

Tool for handling Unholy / Magical objects which activate on contact with organic and/or conscious matter. Also used for turning pages of magical tomes. Notably, on one particular expedition to Egypt, used to kill an undead horror while being used as a hairpin by the indomitable Miss. Elsa Fotheringay, although she professed that it had had more usage fending off unwanted hands in the local Bazaar.

Silver. Sharp. Small.

Useful.

DEPLOYMENT

Made from one of the nails that shoe'd Richard I the Lionheart's warhorse from the battle of Arsuf. Metallurgical analysis shows that the core is iron plated with silver. The small “D” is understood to be either an intentional part of the creation of the tool (“Q(uoniam) D(eus)”, although the Q side has been disfigured over time) or a satirical slight in reference to the King's execution of prisoners at Acre. (“Q(uadantenus) D(eus)”).

Used to pick things up that if you touched them your flesh rots away, you end up cursed, the item would activate etc.

NAME

Buddha's Box or The Sun Cage

CLASSIFICATION

Artefact that references at least four mythologies in its creation. Clasp in Mayan style with Third Eye Buddhist reference. Main motif is a twelve sided star (c.f. Eight sided Chaos stars) with central Sun: either references twelve tribes / houses of Israel with G_D at the centre or other Sun worshipping cults. The twelve houses and thirteenth are also referenced but details of these are [REDACTED].

Made with an unknown lacquered wood or shell of a now extinct Chelonii. At some point modern Satanists / Crowley occultists got hold of it and lined it with cheap purple felt (no doubt in reference to the “royal” colour). This is not considered aesthetically pleasing, and their workmanship was lax, but has no effect on the Ward. Analysis shows that the cultists who lined it with felt also stored small amounts of cannabis in it; we assume their paranoia outweighed the actual chance that mundane police would scry for small amounts of pot.

DEPLOYMENT

You put things in it you want to stay hidden and unable to interact with the world. Its third eye on the clasp breaks attempts to scry or divinate the contents and the markings denote the dedication to the Light that created it. Class IX ward; the only draw-back being the small size.


[1]
But the worm got fat an' grewed an' grewed,
An' grewed an aaful size;
He'd greet big teeth, a greet big gob,
An greet big goggly eyes.
An' when at neets he craaled aboot
Te pick up bits o' news,
If he felt dry upon the road,
He'd milk a dozen coos.

[2]
THE ONES that disappeared are back,
The Phoebe and the Crow,
Precisely as in March is heard
The curtness of the Jay—
Be this an Autumn or a Spring?
My wisdom loses way,
One side of me the nuts are ripe—
The other side is May.

298:

[Ineligible: Not my first, failed to apply to its own entry]

Name: Temporal Adjustment Realigning Deadlines for Improved Service (TARDIS)
Classification: Cheating
Description: It can look like whatever the hell it wants, it's still not going to win, okay?

299:

THE COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.

Potential winners to be checked for eligibility in a couple of days. Thanks for participating!

Specials

Merchandise

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on May 21, 2016 2:07 PM.

Scheduled downtime was the previous entry in this blog.

Cytological Utopia and the rapture of the eukaryotes is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Search this blog

Propaganda