CODE NAME: CATULUS TRISTUS
NAMEStructure and Interpretation of Esoteric Programs
SUMMARYIntroductory textbook for computational sorcery (Black Chamber)
DESCRIPTIONRelated to the well-known "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs" (SICP), 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.
Additionally, 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.
DEPLOYMENT FORBIDDENWhile 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. (Predictive department adds: Agent M—, this means you) 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.
CODE NAME: CAFFEINATED BOOKWORM
SUMMARYAccelerated Learning Refreshment Device
DESCRIPTIONThis 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.
DISCUSSIONSubject 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.
CODE NAME: EXO-PEN
DESCRIPTIONThis 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.
DEPLOYMENTPursuant 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.
CODE NAME: SURPRISE SYMBOL WELCOME
SUMMARYProposed CNG response strategy
DESCRIPTIONWhile 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 (city-sized) 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.
Each bomb sits within an inactive summoning grid. Detonation begins the process of grid activation, and 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 onto 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).
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.
SITING OF SURPRISE SYMBOL GATES
Laundry personnel shall liase with local authorities and follow all applicable laws and regulations when choosing appropriate sites for SURPRISE SYMBOL gates. Site selection critieria include but are not limited to
- not near critical infrastructure
- low economic impact resulting from destroyed infrastructure and civilian collateral damage
- official activities in area provide plausible cover for 24/7 site guard
- prevailing winds avoid sensitive ecologicial sites
- steady population 24/7 for optimum gate size control
- near geographic centers of population to decrease total number of gates required for target 99% population coverage
STATUSImplementation phase. Current coverage: 85% by population.
CODE NAME: NO CHILD LEFT
SUMMARYAlleged Black Chamber CNG contingency plan
DESCRIPTION████ ██ ███████ NO CHILD LEFT ████ ████████ ██████ ████████ ██ ███ ██ ███ ("STEM") █████████ ████ █████████ ███████████. ███ ████████ public school programs ███████ ██ █████ ███ ██████ ██████ ███ █████ ██ ███ ██ ██ █████ ███████ █ ███████████ ████████ self esteem, while in homeschooling programs, ███ █████ ███████ ███ ████████ ███████ ██ ███ ███████████ █████████ ██ serves to sensitize under-19s. This will enable ███ █████ ███████ ███ ████████ ███████ ██ ███ ███████████ █████████ ██ preferentially chosen as vessels by ███████ ███ ███████████. It is our opinion that █████████ ███████ ████████████ ████ ███████ ███ ████████ ██ █████ ███████ ██ █████, and HPV vaccine are effective ███████ █████████ ████████████ ██████████ ██ ████████. Individual ownership of firearms ████ ███████████ ████ █████████ ████ response protocol with 85% effectiveness before the beginning of state and federal armed response ███████████ ███████ ███████████████ ██████ █████ ████ ████ █████ ███ ████ ███████ █████████ ████████████ ██████████ ██ ████████ ███ █████ ████ ████ ██ ███ ████████ 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-█████ ██ ██████ ████████████, it is preferable to the alternatives.
StatusBoth 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.
CODE NAME: DAGUERRE WAS WRONG
SUMMARYField-expedient counterpossession device
DESCRIPTIONThis device consists of a standard disposable film camera with flash, centimeter-scale containment grid, and a droplet of blood.
Begin by inscribing a standard containment pentacle on the collimating lens of the camera's flash with any sharp instrument. Activate with a droplet of blood. Take a picture of the zombie or other possessing exonome.
Effective for up to 27 exposures, depending on the camera.
- Do not attempt to use DAGUERRE WAS WRONG with a digital camera.
- Do not defeat the camera's automatic advance mechanism to perform additional exposures. Once a frame of film contains an exonome, re-exposing it is dangerous.
- Do not aim a DAGUERRE WAS WRONG camera at unpossessed humans, animals, or architecture. The process of restoring souls stolen in this fashion is expensive and does not have a high success rate
- Always safely dispose of the resulting film. Do not under any circumstances develop or print the film.
CODE NAME: CLOTTED PEARL
SUMMARYThe damned printer is out of paper again — Bob
No it's not. Just re-send the print job — Brains
DESCRIPTIONPrepare the affinity curve on standard adhesive-backed paper, then stick to the interior of the paper tray. Insert a few sheets of new paper, then install in printer according to manufacturer instructions. After the affinity curve accepts the imprint of the paper, it will find similar paper in similar paper trays and move it to this paper tray when needed.
TROUBLESHOOTINGSymptom: Papers are already marked on one side
Cause: affinity curve has linked to a printer used by a recycling freak
Remedy: Move printer at least 6" in any direction and repeat affinity-linking process.
Caution: Burn the affected paper. Do not under any circumstances read it.
Symptom: Page image cut off on right side or bottom
Cause: affinity curve has linked to a tray with letter paper and you have selected A4, or vice versa.
Remedy: Repeatedly change document margins until you don't care any longer.
Remedy: Move printer at least 6" in any direction and repeat affinity-linking process.
Symptom: Printer is out of ink/toner
Cause: Printer is out of ink/toner
Remedy: Buy ink/toner. To date, no one has disclosed the invention of an affinity curve that works for ink or toner.
CODE NAME: PLURAL NORTH PIPE
SUMMARYContinuous testing infrastructure for Capital Laundry software development, including OFCUT.
DESCRIPTIONEarly detection of software defects pays remarkable dividends in the total cost of system development and maintainance. Capital Laundry Services software development branch (re-integrated since the failures at QnetiQ) follows recognized best practices in software development, including MARITIME BLEACHING (the static analysis package for software written in CORAL-07) and PLURAL NORTH PIPE, a continuous integration service.
This service consists of sixteen bunkers on lease from the British Armed Forces. Each bunker has been divided into three suites. Each suite:
- has been fitted with a tamperproof farady cage
- is powered by twin diesel generators in redundant configuration
- contains a fiber optic internet connection to receive testing versions of OFCUT software
- contains a damned soul (formerly a living Laundry employee), doomed to repeat the events leading up to their deaths (destiny loop), with loop times from 3 minutes to 17 hours, median 18 minutes
Each time a proposed change is submitted to the continuous integration server, the test build is transmitted to 5 suites across at least 3 different bunkers and installed in the suite's OFCUT terminal. Any variation in the details of the ensuing death compared to baseline are summarized and reported, allowing the integration engineer to make an informed decision whether to accept or reject the proposed change.
CAUTIONDo not attempt to make a change to OFCUT that allows the doomed soul to survive its destiny loop. Replacing a soul consumed in this way is expensive, and you may be deemed a volunteer for the position.
CODE NAME: PURPLE PURPLE DANUBE
DESCRIPTIONOriginally misidentified as a mundane viral infection, DANUBE is a possessor that exhiibits a low-exponent polynomial growth rate, rather than the exponential/sigmoid growth rate of garden-variety exonomes.
Within a DANUBE infection cluster, the infection of Patient Zero is without apparent cause. Initial symptoms include fever, joint pains, rash, and general fatigue. At this point, DANUBE is diffuse in the patient's whole body, but is not infectious. This phase can last 1 week to 1 month.
In the second phase, DANUBE migrates into the nervous system, specifically into the myelin sheath, and continues to replicate. Here, it begins to manipulate the host body's nervous system. Symptoms include migraines, flashes of mathematical insight, muscle tremors, religious visions, xenoglossy, and minor miracles. This phase can last indefinitely, but generally at least for a year.
In the third phase, DANUBE has reached steady state population in Patient Zero, and the patient enters the infections stage of infestation. The patient begins to articulate a specific vision of community. The vision can be religious or secular; logical or nonsensical; practical or frivolous. It is unclear whether DANUBE merely gives Patient Zero uncommon persuasive power (for instance, by internally modelling a prospective convert's mental states and then molding Patient Zero's behavior), or is able to influence nervous systems remotely. In any case, Patient Zero may amass from a few dozen to a few thousand converts with a short period of time, all of whom will become DANUBE hosts.
In the final phase, DANUBE has become a colony-of-colonies organism. At this point, DANUBE performs large-scale miracles such as extremely low-probability metorological events.
At some point, these miracles cease and DANUBE can no longer be detected in patients' central nervous systems. (In some older and more dubious accounts, Patient Zero themselves disappears when DANUBE does, but that has not been confirmed in any 20th or 21st century cases)
In some cases, after DANUBE departs, the created community is durable on the scale of at least decades; in other cases, the community quickly splinters; in a few unfortunate cases, community members engage in mass suicide.
It is hypothesized that in the late stage, DANUBE gathers enough energy from
its hosts to project parts of itself through a huge number of small gates into
new hosts, most likely in other dimensions. However, this theory does not seem
to be falsifiable, as the required gates are individually too small and
low-energy to be detected against background thaumic activity.
Entry first conceived on 9 June 2016, 15:43 UTC, last modified on 16 June 2016, 3:14 UTC
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