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The Laundry Files

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Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })A series of Cosmic Horror Story novels and novellas by author Charles Stross. According to Word Of God, the idea for the series originated from a realization that Lovecraftian horror and the Cold War are actually pretty darn similar, and if there really were elder, tentacled horrors lurking around the edges of reality, the government would get involved and the departments they'd set up to do so would look very much like Stale Beer flavored Spy Fiction.The main protagonist of the series calls himself Bob Howard (not his real name), a Desk Jockey who was forcibly recruited into "The Laundry" (Q-Division, SOE in official papers) after his graduate computer science work nearly summoned Nyarlathotep. Now he's charged with protecting Earth from incursions by the many-angled ones, who can be summoned all too easily with modern computer technology. Most of the job is attending meetings and filling out paperwork, but every so often there's a major incident that results in Laundry agents trying to fight off Cthulhu and his cronies with their Palm Pilotsnote Hey, the first novel was published in 2001 in serial form, before smartphones were big; later novels depict Bob suitably upgrading to an iPhone, Monkey's Paw wards, and the occasional briefcase nuke, while Bob has the misfortune to land right in the middle of it.Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_2'); })The series is thus far composed of the following novels and short stories (in chronological order): The Atrocity Archive "The Concrete Jungle" (published together with Archive as Archives, and available online) The Jennifer Morgue "Pimpf" (included in Morgue) "Down on the Farm" (available online) Equoid (winner of the 2014 Hugo Award for best novella; available online) The Fuller Memorandum "Overtime" (available online) The Apocalypse Codex The Rhesus Chart The Annihilation Score The Nightmare Stacks The Howard/O'Brien Relate Counseling Session Transcripts (cut section of Delirium Brief, removed due to Brexit, published as fanfiction) The Delirium Brief The Labyrinth IndexAccording to Word Of God (on his blog), the series was planned in advance to be 9 books long (plus assorted side stories), with Case Nightmare Green beginning around book five or so. However, books 5-7 represent a detour from the original story arc. So there may be more than 9 books eventually if the author, his publishers, and his readers don't lose interest first.A spinoff series is currently in the works by Stross, with the first book, Dead Lies Dreaming, being scheduled for release in 2020.Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_3'); }) The Laundry: A Tabletop RPG adaptation published by Cubicle 7, using the Basic Roleplaying game system - the very same system used by Call of Cthulhu and its own Lovecraftian spy setting, Delta Green.
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No Celebrities Were Harmed
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No Celebrities Were Harmed: The politicians that appear in The Apocalypse Codex, The Annihilation Score, and The Delirium Brief are very clearly based on real life counterparts: Jeremy Michaels, the upper-middle-class Prime Minister and MP for Witney, is David Cameron; Barry Jennings, the Justice Secretary and party elder is Ken Clarke; Jessica Greene, the Home Secretary and "pin-up girl for the hanging's-too-good-for-them crowd" is Theresa May; and the unnamed Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the junior party in coalition with Michaels is Nick Clegg. Boris Johnson (as a coiffured Mayor of London and frenemy to Michaels, who gets pantsed in Trafalgar Square) and Donald Trump (who takes a demotion to Ambassador to the UK) also make unnamed cameos.
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Supernatural Phone
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Supernatural Phone: Magic is advanced maths, and is therefore easier for computers to do than people. When Bob gets an iPhone, Brain gimmicks it to have the usual array of Laundry Agent spells as apps.
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 The Laundry Files / int_13727d3e
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You Cant Make An Omelette
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You Can't Make an Omelette...: Pinky and Brain try to prove this is in fact possible. Their results are somewhat dubious, but it proves to be a Chekhov's Gun when Bob uses their technique to disrupt the detonation of a nuclear device.
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 The Laundry Files / int_137f2d7
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Card-Carrying Villain
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Card-Carrying Villain: The Black Chamber actually includes operatives described as Nazgûl and called that. By other operatives. And signing on with them at all means "wearing the Dark Mark". And their Dark Mark is something Voldemort only wished he'd been able to create.
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 The Laundry Files / int_13eea985
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Arbitrary Skepticism
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Arbitrary Skepticism: Lots of this in Equoid. Bob is not pleased when sent to investigate a report of unicorns, especially when it requires him to read background material by that old fraud H. P. Lovecraft. Turns out, unicorns are a form of Eldritch Abomination and Lovecraft was not entirely full of it. But Bob assures us that "Old Bat-Wings" does not exist which turns out to be "true" in The Labyrinth Index, at least when it comes to Cthulhu's wings or tentacles. That's just Lovecraft's seafood phobia speaking. The real one is more exoskeleton, ovipositor, and mind-controlling maggots. The first line of The Rhesus Chart is: Which is then repeated by various characters throughout the book, because a vampire has geased the entire Laundry into becoming vampire skeptics. The Delirium Brief has an aversion; the Senior Auditor starts to say that werewolves don't exist, then realizes the most he can say with certainty is that he really hopes they don't.
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 The Laundry Files / int_14beeefd
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Darker and Edgier
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Darker and Edgier: The Fuller Memorandum is considerably darker in tone than previous stories in the series. Not to be taken as representing a trend—The Apocalypse Codex is rather less bleak. Equoid is outright disturbing and very dark, worse than Mo's description of CLUB ZERO in Fuller Memorandum or what Persephone stumbles over during her escape in The Apocalypse Codex; the Laundry series hints at many horrors, but almost never describes them outright or in detail, and Equoid serves as an example of why we should all be grateful for that; many commenters on the story called for Brain Bleach. Word Of God, also mentioned in the comment section, is that it was for a unicorn story anthology John Scalzi was trying to get going, and for which Stross volunteered. The Nightmare Stacks might be the darkest book yet, combining a horrifically-destructive Alien Invasion with an unprepared Laundry, ending with a Broken Masquerade and thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dead civilians, not all of whom were killed by the enemy. The Delirium Brief tops all so far. at Rev. Schiller's suggestion the Laundry is thoroughly disbanded by Parliament. He then proceeds to attempt a hostile takeover of the British government through particularly gruesome means, and is only thwarted by the remnants of Mahogany Row, who in turn sold their collective souls to Nyar-lath-Hotep, the Black Pharaoh, the only being with the capability to stop the half-awakened Sleeper in his tracks.
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Ritual Magic
 The Laundry Files / int_1599db45
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Ritual Magic: It's almost exactly opposed to the Laundry's branch of Computational Demonology, in that it requires innate talent, a lot of it, to use properly without frying your own brain. It's also hinted to be just as powerful, if not more, than its more mathematical counterpart. Persephone Hazard turns out to be a practitioner.
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 The Laundry Files / int_1869b4b1
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Unreliable Narrator
 The Laundry Files / int_1869b4b1
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Unreliable Narrator: For one thing, his name isn't "Bob Howard", for I Know Your True Name reasons. Also, the characters sound slightly different when he's narrating in first person compared to the independent/"reconstruction"/speculation third-person bits. Details of Bob's past, like what exact disaster he almost caused unwittingly before The Laundry found him, or the length of time he's worked for them also may vary. Lampshaded repeatedly during parts of the books Bob was not around for, despite apparently having dialogue-perfect accounts. Played with, in that since the books are (mostly) couched as Bob's organizational Memoirs he often annotates events as being the start of something nasty and/or labels things that happen or go wrong as being his fault. The fact that things would probably have been infinitely worse if not for Bob's actions is generally glossed over at best or ignored at worst.
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Religion of Evil
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Religion of Evil: Some of the bigger cults to various Things Which Should Not Be, including one masquerading as an evangelical megachurch in Apocalypse Codex, whose leader believes the Sleeper in the Pyramid to be Christ come again—and that it is his job to bring Him back via mass sacrifice.
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Accent Slip Up
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Accent Slip Up: Johnny's gruff Cockney accent is just an act. When he's really nervous he lapses back into his Scottish accent.
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Gone Horribly Right
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Gone Horribly Right: A mild version of it. Angleton, a.k.a. TEAPOT, was originally trained to be a weapon, an Eater of Souls under the command of the Laundry's predecessor. Unfortunately for J.F.C. Fuller and the rest, when it was trained/indoctrinated to pass for human, it absorbed the British ideals—fair play and honour and a very sharp sense of humor—more than its cynical human masters did, rendering it useless in its original purpose of a hungry ghost. Instead, the SOE assigned it to management, where it performs stellar service as Angleton.
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A Lighter Shade of Black
 The Laundry Files / int_19fc58a2
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A Lighter Shade of Black: This is at least the hope regarding the Black Pharoah - he likes human sacrifice, demands worship, and doesn't particularly care about any individual human lives or believe that people have any rights he should respect. At the same time, he does have a personal interest in making sure that at least some humans continue to survive, whereas many of his peers are just planning to kill everybody.
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 The Laundry Files / int_1b010521
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Diesel Punk
 The Laundry Files / int_1b010521
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Diesel Punk: The memex, a WWII-technology hypertext database that uses kilometers of microfilm, millions of wristwatch-precision cams and gears and a very effective (and nasty) magical defense system. Angleton isn't stupid, and there's a perfectly good reason why he uses a machine so outdated that it shouldn't exist: there's this procedure called Van Eck phreaking that you can use to eavesdrop in a CRT or LCD monitor and gain access to classified information. The memex uses microfiche readers, and is not vulnerable to this method. It also cleanly averts Everything Is Online and the myriad of Laundry network problems that Bob always complains about. Bob observes that Angleton's office is already TEMPEST shielded, so Van Eck attacks would be impractical if the attacker wasn't in the same room as the deeply scary sorcerer. The implication is that the memex is there to protect something else.
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The Virus
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The Virus: The Infovore of The Atrocity Archives, along with numerous other Lovecraftian beasties. Demons in the setting spread along electrical circuits, and skin is conductive...
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Reality Ensues
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Parts of Annihilation Score can be read as an attempt to deconstruct superhero tropes, as well as the presentation of superpowered individuals by media, via Reality Ensues. It does explore the varying (by country) social contracts involved in police and emergency services work and the role of questionably trained people in it, as well as the constraints involved in attempting to create a publicly credible "superteam" for national consumption. That said, the concept already conflicts enough with the cynical and nihilistic nature of the series' setting that its conclusions don't apply (well) to the main genre.
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Heterosexual Life-Partners
 The Laundry Files / int_1dfbbf31
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Heterosexual Life-Partners: Persephone and Johnny in Codex, despite both of them being attractive people and Johnny at least liking women. Despite their clear close friendship, there's basically no romantic interest between them at all.
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 The Laundry Files / int_1e7c47ab
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Stealth Pun
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Stealth Pun: Bob is eventually revealed to have the middle names Oliver Francis, at the same time as he is reluctantly given an apprentice; Peter-Fred Young. So that's BOFH and PFY... In The Fuller Memorandum, Bob refers to the Eater of Souls at one point as "the preta manger", in reference to the sandwich shop chain with a similar spelling. In The Rhesus Chart the only time a Vampire is mentioned to sparkle is when Bob blasts the Vampire that's infiltrated the Laundry with a Basilisk Gun and literally blows him apart. As Bob is writing all of the books and likely using code names (confirmed in The Apocalypse Codex), all of the acronyms may be 100% intentional.
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 The Laundry Files / int_1f799027
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Obstructive Bureaucrat
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Obstructive Bureaucrat: Bridget, Harriet, pretty much the entire Human Resources department. Some of them aren't above using ruthless methods to clear a spot on the promotion ladder either.
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Just Train Wrong
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Just Train Wrong: A number of statements are made about the British railway system which wouldn't be true of the real one — for example, that East Grinstead is on the London to Brighton line. This has led to fanon that in the Laundryverse, the railway builders had a lot of trouble with Dug Too Deep, causing lines to be rerouted.
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Wrong Genre Savvy
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Wrong Genre Savvy: When random civilians start to gain the ability to unconsciously use ritual magic, what do they do? Why, put on a cape and spandex, of course!
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Energy Beings
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Energy Beings: Many summoned beings don't have their own bodies, and so must take possession of an existing one to exist in our universe. If it's a living body, it's often a case of Demonic Possession; otherwise, some beings—like the Feeders in the Night—will take hold of corpses. Since they're electrical creatures piggybacking the physical nervous system of a real body, though, it does mean they're vulnerable to electrical energy, like Tasers.
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Crapsack World
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It's revealed in The Delirium Brief that not all American occult agencies buy completely into the Black Chamber's way of thinking, and The Labyrinth Index demonstrates that the President, the Comstock Office, a sizable portion of the military and many citizens at least try for type 1. Even if the setting makes it unlikely to work out well in the long run.
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Exploited Trope
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Exploited Trope: When ordinary people start getting superpowers, the government creates the expected 'superhero team' as a means of controlling events; those who with magical abilities can be recruited by the government and used to capture those who prefer to use their powers for mischievous or criminal purposes. The public is used to the idea from superhero movies, so everything appears under control as opposed to this being the harbinger for '''Case Nightmare Green'''.
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Good Is Not Nice
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Angleton. Not nice, but reasonable. He'll make fun of his subordinates if he feels they deserve it ("Go away, before I mock you," when Bob did something dumb in Archive) and does not suffer fools gladly (reference the fate of the late, unlamented Bridget), but if you're competent and make the effort he will back you all the way.
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I'm a Humanitarian
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I'm a Humanitarian: The cultists in The Fuller Memorandum. Nom nom nom!
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Captain Ersatz
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Captain Ersatz: Persephone Hazard and Johnny McTavish in The Apocalypse Codex are thinly disguised and slightly historically updated versions of Modesty Blaise and her sidekick Willie Garvin. Persephone's codename is even Bashful Incendiary...
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Hellish Horse
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Hellish Horse: The eponymous "equoids" in Equoid are large, bad-tempered, have sharp teeth, and eat meat (raw, and, for preference, alive). They're equipped with saddles that are pretty much cages, as much to protect the riders from their mounts as much as from whatever they might be riding toward.
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Outside-Genre Foe
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Outside-Genre Foe: Elves, to us. And us to elves. Both sides expected an enemy who fought the same way as they. Human militaries and cities are virtually defenseless against the magical firepower of an alfär army on the march, whose war paradigm is if you can be seen, you are dead. The alfär, meanwhile, were totally blindsided by modern technology; to them, our aircraft move at impossible speeds, and the projectiles our weapons shoot are unaccountably mindless, immune to mind-clouding magical defenses. And on a larger scale, the alfär war plan is to kill the Britannic sorcerer-queen and hijack her geasa network, granting them unquestioned control of the British empire. This is how things work in alfär warfare. It wouldn't have worked here for many, many reasons.
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More Dakka
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More Dakka: Laundry agents are discouraged from carrying guns around; they tend to be much more trouble than they're worth. On the other hand, when they do get authorization they get all kinds of fun toys. Like the Atchisson AA-12 that Harry the Horse offers Bob, who thinks it'd be great for clearing unwelcome visitors off their front step—and the sidewalk, and the street, and the neighbors across the street, and anyone in the neighbors' backyard as well...
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Narrative Profanity Filter
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Narrative Profanity Filter: gleefully subverted on one occasion.
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Deadly Euphemism
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Deadly Euphemism: Mo seems to enjoy coming up with creative ways to say "dead", such as "metabolically incompetent".
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Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
 The Laundry Files / int_30d2ae29
comment
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: When Dr. Kringle prophesies that there will be no Christmas party next year, everyone assumes that it's because the Laundry will be overrun by gibbering squamous horrors by then. When Bob asks if they couldn't avert that by just canceling the party themselves, Andy derides the idea as ridiculous. (The rest of Dr. Kringle's news was that they'd done the math wrong and the apocalypse was coming early — and in fact had already started to warm up. Bob's suggestion was that they delay the apocalypse indefinitely by canceling the Christmas party so it can't be disrupted.) Dr. Kringle's morbid pronouncement kills the appetite at the office party, resulting in leftover pies which allowed Bob to banish Santa Claus. Otherwise, the horror would have taken up residence in the Laundry building and eaten everybody, thus making this a rare case of a Self-Averting Prophecy.
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 The Laundry Files / int_31c5e7fb
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Starfish Aliens
 The Laundry Files / int_31c5e7fb
comment
Starfish Aliens: All of the aliens are patently bizarre, but Genoa Fractal, aka the Flying Polyps, are more akin to a sentient infection than a race: they develop as a "Stage-V metastasis" of cancer, where the tumor bursts out of the patient and starts floating around and killing people. Apparently a Mad Scientist has been making them via cloning; it's unclear how the ancient variety from Australia relates to them.
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The Laundry Files / int_31c5e7fb
 The Laundry Files / int_324e2fcf
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Power Levels
 The Laundry Files / int_324e2fcf
comment
Power Levels: The Laundry ranks supernatural entities and occult parasites on a logarithmic scale based on their power and potential threat. Basic demons and feeders are class one. Vampires start at class two, but can get much stronger over time. The Eater of Souls is at minimum a class four. Really scary entities like the Sleeper in the Pyramid, the Black Pharaoh and Cthulhu are class six. Out in the interstellar voids dwell the "Cold Ones" who are terrifying even to these cosmic horrors.
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The Laundry Files / int_324e2fcf
 The Laundry Files / int_3298415e
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Magic from Technology
 The Laundry Files / int_3298415e
comment
Magic from Technology: Forms the premise of the series' magical system. It is possible to cast magic without technology. Certain symbols and patterns of thought can summon entities from other dimensions or do minor magic. Otherworldly entities aren't that picky about exactly how well they're summoned or what they're called so long as the message is dinner (human souls) is ready. Computers can make these symbols precisely and certain mathematical theorems explain how symbols work, so computers and a good knowledge of computational science lets you reliably and efficiently cast spells.
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The Laundry Files / int_3298415e
 The Laundry Files / int_342f0ffa
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Discriminate and Switch
 The Laundry Files / int_342f0ffa
comment
Discriminate and Switch: When Alex shows up to family dinner in The Nightmare Stacks, his little sister Sarah has brought home her trans girlfriend, and his mother is crying...because Sarah also switched her major to history. Zig-zagged, however, in this his mother is implied to be just as upset about Sarah's coming out, more so because she expected that she wouldn't be.
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The Laundry Files / int_342f0ffa
 The Laundry Files / int_38d02d44
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Batman Gambit
 The Laundry Files / int_38d02d44
comment
Batman Gambit: In The Apocalypse Codex, the Big Bad's plan hinges on the Laundry sending an elder operative who can be used to help with the invocation. The Rhesus Chart as a whole. An ancient vampire who embedded himself in the Laundry used the Laundry itself as a tool to take down an even older vampire, by tempting the elder to create a "nest of baby vamps", then arranged for them to be snatched up by the Laundry and thereby blow away plausible deniability, then co-opting the elder vampire's pet vampire hunter, then manipulating the elder vampire to attack the Laundry personally. If the plan came of smoothly, the elder would be eliminated with prejudice by the Laundry, and even if it failed, both would be less one frustratingly effective government agency. Lampshaded and Invoked by Nyarlathothep, saying that since true clairvoyance is probability-based, the best way to get it to go your way is to rely on this trope. It's why he had Mhari do the job, because the combination of her Impostor syndrome and the ability to play Xanatos Speed Chess is best way to fight Scry vs. Scry between the OPA and the new SOE.
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 The Laundry Files / int_38f1a7ed
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Defector from Decadence
 The Laundry Files / int_38f1a7ed
comment
Defector from Decadence: Agent First of Spies and Liars in The Nightmare Stacks. Unfortunately, the geasa she is under force her to take a roundabout path to freedom.
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The Laundry Files / int_38f1a7ed
 The Laundry Files / int_394282f
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They Fight Crime!
 The Laundry Files / int_394282f
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They Fight Crime! : Almost word for word in The Annihilation Score as the Senior Auditor describes the team Mo is set up with. "Together, you will fight crime!"
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The Laundry Files / int_394282f
 The Laundry Files / int_396d046e
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Fun with Homophones
 The Laundry Files / int_396d046e
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Fun with Homophones: In Delirium Brief, Jeremy Paxman asks Bob where he got the nickname "Eater of Souls". He replies it's because early on in his career he couldn't stop putting his foot in his mouth and the name stuck. So, in other words, an Eater of Soles.
 The Laundry Files / int_396d046e
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The Laundry Files / int_396d046e
 The Laundry Files / int_3b5fcbb7
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Artifact of Doom
 The Laundry Files / int_3b5fcbb7
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Artifact of Doom: Mo's violin is clearly an evil device that, in any other story, would be the subject of a quest to destroy it. In this universe, however, it's a useful tool for the good guys. But it does seem to be able to override the will of its wielder. They'd like to make more like it, but then, "just owning the necessary supplies probably puts you in breach of the Human Tissues Act of 2004, not to mention a raft of other legislation." as Bob flippantly puts it. The truth turns out to be worse—much, much worse. The "necessary supplies" have to be harvested from more than a dozen victims while they are awake and screaming. In fact, Mo tries to go out of her way to prove to her superiors that Case Nightmare Green won't require the production of more violins. It gets worse in Annihilation Score. It turns out that Mo's violin is aware and its consciousness is a fragment or avatar of the King in Yellow. As of The Labyrinth Index, the New Management has apparently inquired about the construction of additional violins as well as some cellos and double basses along the same lines, but the National Transplant Service is currently balking on procuring the required materials.
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The Laundry Files / int_3b5fcbb7
 The Laundry Files / int_3c0a4666
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Noodle Incident
 The Laundry Files / int_3c0a4666
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Noodle Incident: Fairly frequent. Done to especially good effect by combination with the Classified Code Word naming scheme. Whatever Bob did the one time he succumbed to the urge to respond to a 419 Scam. All he'll say is that Laundry Internal Security waxed sarcastic at him for half an hour, and them made him give the scammers back their bank.
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Going Native
 The Laundry Files / int_3ebc57ac
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Going Native: The Fuller Memorandum reveals that this is Angleton's backstory. Bob suspects that he might be just siding with humanity because it gives him the best chances of survival during Case Nightmare Green, though.
 The Laundry Files / int_3ebc57ac
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The Laundry Files / int_3ebc57ac
 The Laundry Files / int_3f7a958b
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Secret Test of Character
 The Laundry Files / int_3f7a958b
comment
Secret Test of Character: Specifically invoked in The Apocalypse Codex when Bob is not told about his mission just to see how far his loyalty goes. It tends to surprise even his testers. (But not Angleton.)
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The Laundry Files / int_3f7a958b
 The Laundry Files / int_404caf13
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Unicorn
 The Laundry Files / int_404caf13
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Unicorn: It's not all My Little Pony except for the magic.
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The Laundry Files / int_404caf13
 The Laundry Files / int_407d3e6d
type
Morton's Fork
 The Laundry Files / int_407d3e6d
comment
Morton's Fork: Case Nightmare Green will be caused by the large number of people and computer processing cycles existing on Earth, which will grab the attention of various Lovecraftian horrors. Attempts to avoid Case Nightmare Green by killing off some of the population will cause a spike in local entropy, which will grab the attention of various Lovecraftian horrors. Attempts to avoid Case Nightmare Green by reducing technological complexity on Earth will unfortunately result in mass deaths due to reduction in agriculture, leading to a spike in local entropy, etc. In short, it's unavoidable.
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The Laundry Files / int_407d3e6d
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Alien Sky
 The Laundry Files / int_420081bf
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Alien Sky: In The Fuller Memorandum, the world on which the dead plateau is found has a galactic core or supercluster visible in the sky. The Host of Air and Darkness's homeworld has this, although the ring it has instead of a moon is only there because the Dead Gods (what they call the Great Old Ones) broke it when the cultists let them in.
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The Laundry Files / int_420081bf
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Becoming the Mask
 The Laundry Files / int_44606d14
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Becoming the Mask: Agent First of Spies and Liars after she becomes Cassie Brewer, although she was already quite nice for an elf.
 The Laundry Files / int_44606d14
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The Laundry Files / int_44606d14
 The Laundry Files / int_446c5792
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Villainous Rescue
 The Laundry Files / int_446c5792
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Villainous Rescue: In The Delirium Brief, Fabian Everyman aka The Mandate aka an avatar of Nyarlathotep gets one in the finale when he walked up to the avatar of the Sleeper and killed the latter with a finger snap.
 The Laundry Files / int_446c5792
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The Laundry Files / int_446c5792
 The Laundry Files / int_44880a8c
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Killed to Uphold the Masquerade
 The Laundry Files / int_44880a8c
comment
Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Deconstructed; the predecessors to the Laundry did this to Alan Turing. Since he was, you know, Alan Turing, this merely meant that they lost a potentially really useful resource when they could have achieved the same basic effect and made use of his skills and intelligence by simply drafting him into the service and making him sign the Official Secrets Act. After kicking themselves thoroughly, the Laundry went on to make averting this a matter of policy. An Enforced Trope with vampires, who kill off any other vampire they encounter, as even a small increase in the death rate in Britain would risk compromising them.
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The Laundry Files / int_44880a8c
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Manic Pixie Dream Girl
 The Laundry Files / int_46290b93
comment
Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Cassie is a deconstruction. Her antics during her second date with Alex are wholly inappropriate for the situation (read: disastrous family dinner) and only serve to alienate both further from Alex's parents and sister. It’s also worth noting that Cassie is a trained spy and infiltrator; when Bob meets her in Delirium Brief he thinks that she’s acting more ditzy than she really is so she comes off as less of a threat.
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The Laundry Files / int_46290b93
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Would Hurt a Child
 The Laundry Files / int_479d4e5a
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Would Hurt a Child: And quite possibly eat them afterwards. This even applies to our heroes; Bob and Mo refuse to have children on the basis that in a couple years, murder might be the best parenting decision they can make.
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Fish People
 The Laundry Files / int_47d56aac
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Blue Hades, the Deep Ones, can sink most coastal nations and islands, and are apt at both genetic engineering and sorcery. Technically we've signed the Benthic Treaty which prohibits them from attacking signatory nations without a good reason, but the wording is more along the lines of "unless they feel like it" than anything else. They're at war with Deep Seven.
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 The Laundry Files / int_48078a7
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Cool vs. Awesome
 The Laundry Files / int_48078a7
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Cool vs. Awesome: The Nightmare Stacks has a mid-air battle between dragons and Tornado fighters.
 The Laundry Files / int_48078a7
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CIA Evil, FBI Good
 The Laundry Files / int_48126ac0
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CIA Evil, FBI Good: The Black Chamber versus the Comstock Office.
 The Laundry Files / int_48126ac0
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 The Laundry Files / int_495bc028
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Magical Library
 The Laundry Files / int_495bc028
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Magical Library: Each occult organization has one of these: Laundry has the Stacks with its 50 kilometer of shelf space, the Black Chamber has considerably larger Orne Libary in Miskatonic University, and the Thirteenth Directorate has one that utterly dwarfed everyone else's, which help compensate for their general backwardness of their occult program.
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 The Laundry Files / int_4a3e547f
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Leaning on the Fourth Wall
 The Laundry Files / int_4a3e547f
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Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In The Delirium Brief, Mo has a brief conversation with a BBC showrunner whose physical description suggests he bears a strong resemblance to Stross himself. He says he's "part of the comic relief" at the party they're at, and claims that the network can't figure out whether they want to hire him to do a sitcom about government bureaucracy or a horror series.
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May Contain Evil
 The Laundry Files / int_4b52ff08
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May Contain Evil: Downplayed and played for laughs, then subverted. Apparently Apple puts mild glamours on its products to make people want to buy them. Early in The Fuller Memorandum, Bob ends up falling for the glamour and buying an iPhone. It ends up saving his life after Brains installs anti-monster apps on it without permission.
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Signed Up for the Dental
 The Laundry Files / int_4c083756
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Signed Up for the Dental: One of the Black Chamber's minions in The Apocalypse Codex explains to Johnny that he signed up with them because he had no other way to pay his wife's medical bills. It's Played for Drama; he's well aware of what the Black Chamber's work entails, and that joining them was a bad choice, but it was the only choice he had.
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 The Laundry Files / int_4dbd3706
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Clap Your Hands If You Believe
 The Laundry Files / int_4dbd3706
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Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Usually, demon-summoning requires a fair bit of effort. However, when the stars are right, just believing in something will be enough to call it forth from the vasty deeps. Worse yet, in about a decade there is supposed to be a period when just about anything can walk right in to our universe as long as people believe in it. Like, say, high-school witchcraft clubs. Worse worse yet, the latest novel suggests that this period has already begun. Overtime shows exactly how this sort of thing can and will happen. Belief in Santa Claus allows a monster that Bob snarkily names "The Bringer of Gifts" to enter the world at the focus of greatest belief in foreign-reality entities: The Laundry. Bob has to "complete the ritual" by mimicking the usual Santa Claus traditions; snack and milk in exchange for a gift and then leaving. If he failed to get the critter its snacks in time, the entity would be no longer bound to obey the ritual and can do as it pleases, which involves neither leaving the premises nor leaving Bob uneaten.
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What Would X Do?
 The Laundry Files / int_4e3f6d57
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What Would X Do?: In Codex, Persephone has a "WWLJD" bracelet. When she's trying to infiltrate Schiller's compound, everyone naturally assumes it stands for "What would Lord Jesus do?" Actually, it's "What would Leeroy Jenkins do?"
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Wham Line
 The Laundry Files / int_4e7c4536
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Wham Line: The very last line of The Apocalypse Codex. "Welcome to Mahogany Row, Mr. Howard. And may whichever god you choose to believe in have mercy on your soul." Earlier in the same book we have Persephone Hazard telling Bob: "I am not outside your agency, Mr. Howard, I am outside your organization chart", a sentence that fundamentally changes Bob's (and the readers') perception of the Laundry. And then Rhesus Chart, which has Bob's line: "Code Red." The Nightmare Stacks has Alex's laconic text message: "BUNKER GEO NODE COMPROMISED CODE RED Case Nightmare Red" The Delirium Brief: “—the Black Pharaoh?” “I said I made a deal with the devil, didn’t I?” The SA shrugs. “It was Him, or the Sleeper: who would you rather work for?”
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Early Installment Weirdness
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Early Installment Weirdness: Some aspects of The Atrocity Archives seem out of place compared with details from later in the series. For example, Bob says in AA that the reason he got drafted into the Laundry is because he almost summoned Nyarlathotep by accident. A couple books later, and this is basically stated to be impossible, at least not just by whipping up the right fractal algorithm. Also, in Down on the Farm, a few possible explanations for Krantzberg syndrome are posited, and the text states that there isn't a definitive answer as to what the true cause is. In every other work in the series, it's taken as read that K-syndrome is caused by performing mental magic. Maybe it's different degrees of them being summoned? After all, Black Pharaoh's avatar in form of People's Mandate has shown up by himself without any assistance, but it's only a fraction of Him.
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Higher-Tech Species
 The Laundry Files / int_4fafed32
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Higher-Tech Species: Most of the known nonhuman/alien species are significantly more advanced than humanity: Blue Hades, the Deep Ones, can sink most coastal nations and islands, and are apt at both genetic engineering and sorcery. Technically we've signed the Benthic Treaty which prohibits them from attacking signatory nations without a good reason, but the wording is more along the lines of "unless they feel like it" than anything else. They're at war with Deep Seven. AC:Deep Seven, also known as the Chthonians, can tectonically destabilize almost any land area on the planet, and a single one can lay waste to a whole city. It's unclear how much of it is technology and how much is their innate Fast Tunnelling. Anning Blue Skull, the Antarctic Crinoids or Elder Things, are pretty much everyone's Precursors, at least in terms of biology. The The Laundry RPG book describes them as either genetically engineered or evolved to a staggering degree of adaptability: in addition to their fabled resistance to everything from hard vacuum to crushing pressures, their manipulators have fingers that subdivide into bundles of five all the way down to the nanoscopic scale, allowing them to manipulate cells and DNA by hand. All of their surviving technology is impossibly advanced, with something as mundane as a heater making use of another universe for power. Moreover, their cities and ruins get into your head, dumping an understanding of their culture and society into the brain of everyone who spends a few hours exploring them. Pluto Kobold, otherwise known as the Fungi from Yuggoth or the Mi-Go, have apparently been running mining colonies all over the planet, in near-complete secrecy, for millions of years. Apart from their hobby of snatching up the brains of people and random sheep, not much known about them. The Laundry has the head of one as a captive, but its responses are just Mind Screwy enough that we don't know if it's real of a Black Chamber plant. Old Dreamer is the Great Race of Yith. Again, not much has been said about them so far, except for one account in the The Laundry RPG Rulebooks referring to a 19th-century bloke who got snatched away by them. The alfär is a Human Subspecies from an Alternate Universe and the root of all elf mythology; specifically, everything regarding The Fair Folk. They're evolutionarily adapted for magic use, which means that wards and tools that the Laundry considers specialist equipment are standard-issue for them (though on the other hand, their magic is wildly unoptimized and inefficient). They never got past the Iron Age, but their knights are so thaumaturgically beefy that each one fields the same destructive power as a main battle tank.
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 The Laundry Files / int_5009999d
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Painting the Medium
 The Laundry Files / int_5009999d
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Painting the Medium: Codex switches between first and third person narration, all written by Bob. His idiosyncratic narration bleeds over into the third-person sections, such as when the decidedly non-geeky Johnny makes an "all your base" reference during a phone conversation. Though admittedly, it is mentioned that Johnny plays WoW, so he might be more geeky than people give him credit for. Also in that book, a P90 is described variously as a machine pistol, a submachine gun, a "big gun", and a machine gun, all within a few pages. None of those are technically correct; it's a "Personal Defense Weapon", though SMG comes closest. Bob mentioned earlier - and shows during the sequence in question - that he's crap with guns. Hence his problem identifying it.
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Reincarnation
 The Laundry Files / int_50f5dabe
comment
Reincarnation: In Equoid the Mother of a Thousand Young encounters H. P. Lovecraft who manages to Kill It with Fire, but not before the dying creature tells him We Will Meet Again. When Bob Howard encounters the creature in contemporary times, it implies that he's the reincarnation of Lovecraft — ironic as Bob had earlier dismissed HPL as an unreliable hack writer with a bent for Purple Prose.
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The Laundry Files / int_50f5dabe
 The Laundry Files / int_50f66629
type
Crazy-Prepared
 The Laundry Files / int_50f66629
comment
Crazy-Prepared: No matter how outlandish the situation, no matter what earth-shattering crisis is imminent, there's a good chance The Laundry (and the British Army!) have a codeword-named contingency plan on file. Cultists about to open a portal to the Sleeper in the Pyramid? It was bound to happen eventually. Invaders from Mars? They may not be sure how, but they damn well know what to do. Apocalypse of St. John? It may not be very likely, but it won't hurt to be prepared! Invasion by the armies of Middle-Earth? Actually, this one happens. And it turns out the Laundry wasn't prepared enough.
 The Laundry Files / int_50f66629
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_50f66629
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_50f66629
 The Laundry Files / int_525fe89a
type
Extremophile Lifeforms
 The Laundry Files / int_525fe89a
comment
Extremophile Lifeforms: The Chthonians, codenamed DEEP SEVEN, live in the upper regions of Earth's mantle.
 The Laundry Files / int_525fe89a
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_525fe89a
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_525fe89a
 The Laundry Files / int_52d1f46e
type
Not What It Looks Like
 The Laundry Files / int_52d1f46e
comment
Not What It Looks Like: Bob has a serious Oh, Crap! moment when Mo comes home from assignment with her killer violin and finds Bob's ex-girlfriend Mhari in a stake of undress in their house. Bob successfully convinces his wife that Mhari is only there because she needs protection whereupon the violin tries to take control of Mo and force her to kill Mhari and then Bob when he intervenes. Fortunately Bob's newfound power is enough to restrain the violin. For now.
 The Laundry Files / int_52d1f46e
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_52d1f46e
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_52d1f46e
 The Laundry Files / int_537dd8fe
type
Affably Evil
 The Laundry Files / int_537dd8fe
comment
Affably Evil: If you manage to get on Angleton's bad side, the friendlier he is to you, the more doomed you are. If you catch him chuckling, you are already dead, or worse. While the Mandate is terrifying, when it gets down to business, he's unfailingly polite to the ones who do not oppose him or at least do it as a part of their legal job. He stays in his prison just because he wants to look law -abiding. When questioned about his plans, he even swears on his true name to protect Britain during star conjunction under his rule. At least, from threats other than him.
 The Laundry Files / int_537dd8fe
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_537dd8fe
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_537dd8fe
 The Laundry Files / int_539ae07a
type
Empowered Badass Normal
 The Laundry Files / int_539ae07a
comment
Empowered Badass Normal: Bob starts as an ordinary, albeit very competent, human, but gains the ability to among other things eat souls thanks to the events of The Fuller Memorandum. Persephone Hazard coaches him a little on it during The Apocalypse Codex. The Rhesus Chart has Bob upgraded into the Eater of Souls when Angleton dies, inheriting most of the powers (including the scary authority inherent in the position) and all the knowledge contained inside Angleton's memex.
 The Laundry Files / int_539ae07a
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_539ae07a
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_539ae07a
 The Laundry Files / int_55d919f7
type
Lovecraft Lite
 The Laundry Files / int_55d919f7
comment
Lovecraft Lite: For the most part, as long as Case Nightmare Green isn't involved.
 The Laundry Files / int_55d919f7
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_55d919f7
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_55d919f7
 The Laundry Files / int_56549b6d
type
Scotireland
 The Laundry Files / int_56549b6d
comment
Scotireland: When Bob first meets Mo he mistakes her Scottish accent for Irish.
 The Laundry Files / int_56549b6d
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_56549b6d
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_56549b6d
 The Laundry Files / int_5667d866
type
Critical Failure
 The Laundry Files / int_5667d866
comment
Critical Failure: During The Fuller Memorandom when Iris tries to summon the story's monster of the week into Bob while he casts a summon of his own — from inside his freaking head, even! — Bob leaves his body and is PULLED RIGHT BACK IN thanks to her summon. Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!.
 The Laundry Files / int_5667d866
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_5667d866
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_5667d866
 The Laundry Files / int_567beeb6
type
Theory of Narrative Causality
 The Laundry Files / int_567beeb6
comment
Theory of Narrative Causality: Powers Billington's Hero-trap geas. He casts himself as the villain in a James Bond plot, limiting his opposition to one hero archetype, and at the critical moment plans to destroy the geas, leaving himself ascendant and unopposed. Of course, that would only work if he captured the true Bond figure, instead of the designated love interest — at which time, the plot becomes one of the variations. He also failed to consider that Bond Villain Stupidity inflicted on him by the geas will also influence his attempts to shut down the geas. And that the last step of his plan while under the geas was 'turn off the geas at the right moment'... and the final step of Bond villain plans never succeed.
 The Laundry Files / int_567beeb6
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_567beeb6
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_567beeb6
 The Laundry Files / int_57df9056
type
Glamour
 The Laundry Files / int_57df9056
comment
Glamour: Both objects and people can be imbued with glamours of varying strength and purpose. Some examples: Most supernatural organisations use glamoured ID, which cuts out the middleman of actual credentials and directly convinces anyone interested that you're meant to be here, wherever 'here' is. Ramona Random, a Black Chamber agent introduced in The Jennifer Morgue, has a very powerful glamour that makes her supernaturally, irresistibly beautiful. Or, at least, that's the cover story. It turns out that she's exactly as beautiful without it, but far less human. The People's Mandate is introduced during the early days of CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN when ordinary people across the world are starting to randomly get access to serious magic. In his case, he ended up with the most powerful glamour on record, and decided to run for Prime Minister of the UK. Later, it turns out that the reason he's so powerful is that he's not human, but the Elder God Nyarlathotep, the Black Pharaoh. Ironically, this makes him a much more tempting prospect as prime minister for the powers that be in Britain.
 The Laundry Files / int_57df9056
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_57df9056
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_57df9056
 The Laundry Files / int_5874eb12
type
Organic Technology
 The Laundry Files / int_5874eb12
comment
Organic Technology: The various war machines of the Host of Air and Darkness are living creatures, stolen from amazingly lethal alternate Earths and tamed for alfär use. Dragon vs. fighter jet seems like a laughable matchup until Stross reveals that his dragons spit chlorine trifluoride.
 The Laundry Files / int_5874eb12
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_5874eb12
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_5874eb12
 The Laundry Files / int_58e43f17
type
Cats Are Mean
 The Laundry Files / int_58e43f17
comment
Cats Are Mean: Fluffy, a white Persian which is similar in appearance and attitude to Ernst Stavro Blofeld's and is a vessel for the mind of an ancient Chthonian war-god. Spooky, Bob's and/or Mo's cat as of The Delirium Brief, probably is too but hasn't received enough time ….
 The Laundry Files / int_58e43f17
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_58e43f17
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_58e43f17
 The Laundry Files / int_5989e3b6
type
Enemy Mine
 The Laundry Files / int_5989e3b6
comment
Enemy Mine: The Black Chamber is, as discussed above, downright evil. They're still responsible for keeping Eldritch Abominations from getting into the world (probably), though, so they have cooperated with The Laundry now and then. Implied with Angleton who turns out to be the kind of Eldritch Abomination the Laundry was created to fight. Given that there are worse beings out there, Angleton is suspected of having joined the side of humanity because it's his only option to survive. Subverted with Nyarl'ath'Hotep and Dread Cthulhu - they're technically allies against Cold Ones, but that doesn't hamper their Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
 The Laundry Files / int_5989e3b6
featureApplicability
-0.3
 The Laundry Files / int_5989e3b6
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_5989e3b6
 The Laundry Files / int_59d599ec
type
Unexpectedly Real Magic
 The Laundry Files / int_59d599ec
comment
Unexpectedly Real Magic: Supernatural events can happen to people who take H. P. Lovecraft too seriously. When '''Case Nightmare Green''' gets going, any kind of ritual could do this.
 The Laundry Files / int_59d599ec
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_59d599ec
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_59d599ec
 The Laundry Files / int_5a71be2d
type
Bad Santa
 The Laundry Files / int_5a71be2d
comment
Bad Santa: The Filler of Stockings; Lurker in Fireplaces, Bringer of Gifts, the King in Red (Pick your culture: prepare to die).
 The Laundry Files / int_5a71be2d
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_5a71be2d
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_5a71be2d
 The Laundry Files / int_5ab0da17
type
Punch-Packing Pistol
 The Laundry Files / int_5ab0da17
comment
Punch-Packing Pistol: 'Basilisk guns', the Weapon of Choice for the Laundry's nerdier operatives, are really digital cameras loaded with a very special software package that explosively petrifies anything in the viewfinder, but function in all regards like a particularly powerful and well-disguised version of this trope. If a Laundryman wants to take your photo, run. Later version miniaturized the system from a dedicated handheld camera with flashed firmware to an app for a smartphone with camera.
 The Laundry Files / int_5ab0da17
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_5ab0da17
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_5ab0da17
 The Laundry Files / int_5da3f522
type
Big Brother Is Watching
 The Laundry Files / int_5da3f522
comment
Big Brother Is Watching: The UK's omnipresent surveillance cameras, which are all accessible by Laundry management, are also part of the Scorpion Stare network, being equipped with re-programmable chipsets that can convert them from simple surveillance to being technological basilisks. So not only is Big Brother most likely watching you, if he can see you, he can kill you stone dead with the flick of a switch.
 The Laundry Files / int_5da3f522
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_5da3f522
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_5da3f522
 The Laundry Files / int_5db59a03
type
Brown Note
 The Laundry Files / int_5db59a03
comment
Brown Note: The music of Mo's violin.
 The Laundry Files / int_5db59a03
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_5db59a03
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_5db59a03
 The Laundry Files / int_5e4f1d48
type
But I Digress
 The Laundry Files / int_5e4f1d48
comment
"But I digress." for Bob. Also, the "crunchy and good with ketchup" stock phrase he seems to use once per story. Lampshaded in The Annihilation Score (in which the narrator is Mo): "But, as Bob would say, I digress."
 The Laundry Files / int_5e4f1d48
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_5e4f1d48
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_5e4f1d48
 The Laundry Files / int_5f146203
type
Dissonant Serenity
 The Laundry Files / int_5f146203
comment
Dissonant Serenity: Angleton in "The Concrete Jungle".
 The Laundry Files / int_5f146203
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_5f146203
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_5f146203
 The Laundry Files / int_5f1999a0
type
Building of Adventure
 The Laundry Files / int_5f1999a0
comment
Building of Adventure: the Laundry HQ often becomes this, due to the sheer amount of magical artifacts, powerful wizards and classified information present there and the cutthroat bureaucratic politics that surrounds them.
 The Laundry Files / int_5f1999a0
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_5f1999a0
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_5f1999a0
 The Laundry Files / int_5f611b7e
type
Good All Along
 The Laundry Files / int_5f611b7e
comment
Good All Along: As we learn in Delirium Brief, Iris Carpenter was a Reverse Mole and her entire involvement in the events of Fuller Memorandum was an inside job on order of the Senior Auditor.
 The Laundry Files / int_5f611b7e
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_5f611b7e
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_5f611b7e
 The Laundry Files / int_60414102
type
Zombie Apocalypse
 The Laundry Files / int_60414102
comment
The Fuller Memorandum has Bob, on the verge of being sacrificed by a cannibal cult to bring something very nasty into our universe, decide triggering a localized Zombie Apocalypse couldn't possibly make things worse.
 The Laundry Files / int_60414102
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_60414102
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_60414102
 The Laundry Files / int_60f40963
type
No Such Thing as Space Jesus
 The Laundry Files / int_60f40963
comment
No Such Thing as Space Jesus: There are various cults that identify Jesus with any one of a number of horrors, not realizing that calling him back would certainly not result in rapture (although the apocalypse is almost certain should they succeed). Most of the Laundry is skeptical about him; Johnny McTavish sums up the main issue with associating him with a soul-eating horror:
 The Laundry Files / int_60f40963
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_60f40963
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_60f40963
 The Laundry Files / int_6197e412
type
Succubus
 The Laundry Files / int_6197e412
comment
Succubus: The demon riding Ramona Random.
 The Laundry Files / int_6197e412
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_6197e412
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_6197e412
 The Laundry Files / int_630203e3
type
Shrunken Head
 The Laundry Files / int_630203e3
comment
Shrunken Head: At the end of short story "Pimpf", Bob's boss Angleton is seen playing with a Newton's cradle. Upon closer inspection the balls turn out to be the shrunken heads of the story's Big Bad Duumvirate, implied to be still alive and aware despite the treatment.
 The Laundry Files / int_630203e3
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_630203e3
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_630203e3
 The Laundry Files / int_64070096
type
Cowardly Lion
 The Laundry Files / int_64070096
comment
Cowardly Lion: Bob is quite up front about hating being put into dangerous situations and yet every time he is performs beyond expectations.
 The Laundry Files / int_64070096
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_64070096
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_64070096
 The Laundry Files / int_6411dac8
type
BadassNormal
 The Laundry Files / int_6411dac8
comment
Badass Normal: The entire OCCULUS team. The lone Spetsnaz soldier in The Fuller Memorandum who kills his way through a hell of a lot of zombies and cultists after the rest of his team is wiped out. The boys of the 21st Territorial SAS are ready to do any form of mission in any conditions. In the first book they run a recon mission into a parallel dimension, and the jobs they are asked to do just get weirder from there, but they deal with it with calm, savvy, discipline and overwhelming firepower.
 The Laundry Files / int_6411dac8
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_6411dac8
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_6411dac8
 The Laundry Files / int_641cf81d
type
Viewers Are Geniuses
 The Laundry Files / int_641cf81d
comment
Viewers Are Geniuses: Lots of references to Mandelbrot sets, P-complete and NP-complete equations, the Church-Turing thesis, etc. If you're not a geek, a lot of Shown Their Work will be lost on you; fortunately, the real meat of the story still scans if you just read it as "burble burble jargon burble".
 The Laundry Files / int_641cf81d
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_641cf81d
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_641cf81d
 The Laundry Files / int_655d406a
type
Instrument of Murder
 The Laundry Files / int_655d406a
comment
Instrument of Murder: Bob's girlfriend, Mo, carries a Zahn-model violin that she wields like a weapon. In an amusing Shout Out to Woody Guthrie, the violin has "THIS MACHINE KILLS DEMONS" written on it. The violin itself is a shout out to the Lovecraft short, "The Music of Erich Zahn".
 The Laundry Files / int_655d406a
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_655d406a
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_655d406a
 The Laundry Files / int_66c29032
type
No Such Agency
 The Laundry Files / int_66c29032
comment
No Such Agency: The Laundry and equivalents in other countries (Black Chamber, Thirteenth Directorate, and so on).
 The Laundry Files / int_66c29032
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_66c29032
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_66c29032
 The Laundry Files / int_672f15c6
type
Mad Lib Thriller Title
 The Laundry Files / int_672f15c6
comment
Mad Lib Thriller Title: Some of the novels.
 The Laundry Files / int_672f15c6
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_672f15c6
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_672f15c6
 The Laundry Files / int_68cac7e0
type
Animate Dead
 The Laundry Files / int_68cac7e0
comment
Animate Dead: The Laundry uses zombie security guards. Of former employees.
 The Laundry Files / int_68cac7e0
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_68cac7e0
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_68cac7e0
 The Laundry Files / int_6a1c2a6
type
Cosmic Horror Story
 The Laundry Files / int_6a1c2a6
comment
Cosmic Horror Story
 The Laundry Files / int_6a1c2a6
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_6a1c2a6
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_6a1c2a6
 The Laundry Files / int_6b42ea7e
type
Hijacking Cthulhu
 The Laundry Files / int_6b42ea7e
comment
Hijacking Cthulhu: Attempted in several books with varying degrees of success.
 The Laundry Files / int_6b42ea7e
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_6b42ea7e
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_6b42ea7e
 The Laundry Files / int_6b6556ee
type
Mentor Occupational Hazard
 The Laundry Files / int_6b6556ee
comment
Mentor Occupational Hazard: Angleton seems not to have made it out of The Rhesus Chart. On the one hand, they Never Found the Body; on the other, it wasn't originally his anyway...
 The Laundry Files / int_6b6556ee
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_6b6556ee
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_6b6556ee
 The Laundry Files / int_6c00ba30
type
Musical Assassin
 The Laundry Files / int_6c00ba30
comment
Musical Assassin: Dominique in The Jennifer Morgue and The Fuller Memorandum.
 The Laundry Files / int_6c00ba30
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_6c00ba30
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_6c00ba30
 The Laundry Files / int_6c275297
type
The Fettered
 The Laundry Files / int_6c275297
comment
The Fettered: Angleton. Looking at the The Laundry RPG, it's mentioned that whereas other PCs roll Sanity checks when confronted with danger, he rolls Etiquette. And when it reaches zero... it isn't good for anyone.
 The Laundry Files / int_6c275297
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_6c275297
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_6c275297
 The Laundry Files / int_6ca72c26
type
All Take and No Give
 The Laundry Files / int_6ca72c26
comment
All Take and No Give: Mhari and Bob's relationship. She sleeps around on him, hoping to trade up to a better boyfriend, and then comes sauntering back for a safe bet when that doesn't work out, and blows up at him when he gets mad about it. Of course, we only really get Bob's bitter word about it. When she shows up in The Rhesus Chart, it's clarified that she was alternately using him for sex and taking out her frustration at being trapped in a dead-end job in the Laundry on him, but now that she's got a job she likes and has grown up a bit, is actually a pretty okay person. Apart from being a vampire.
 The Laundry Files / int_6ca72c26
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_6ca72c26
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_6ca72c26
 The Laundry Files / int_6cc39b20
type
Puppeteer Parasite
 The Laundry Files / int_6cc39b20
comment
Puppeteer Parasite / Orifice Invasion: The tongue-eating cymothoans in The Apocalypse Codex. The alfär use psychic leeches to control their dragons in The Nightmare Stacks. And The Delirium Brief tops The Apocalypse Codex with a new variant that installs itself in their host's genitals
 The Laundry Files / int_6cc39b20
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_6cc39b20
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_6cc39b20
 The Laundry Files / int_6d332aea
type
Driven to Suicide
 The Laundry Files / int_6d332aea
comment
Driven to Suicide: There are very few vampires because most of them, upon realizing what they've become, kill themselves rather than survive via murder (it is impossible for a vampire not to kill their victims; drinking someone's blood allows the demonic entity that makes a person a vampire to feed on the victim's brain, which is always fatal).
 The Laundry Files / int_6d332aea
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_6d332aea
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_6d332aea
 The Laundry Files / int_6d7026fa
type
Punny Name
 The Laundry Files / int_6d7026fa
comment
Punny Name: Check the quote at the top of the page. Remember the "many-angled ones"? Think of what Angleton breaks down into.
 The Laundry Files / int_6d7026fa
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_6d7026fa
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_6d7026fa
 The Laundry Files / int_6d740dff
type
Enforced Trope
 The Laundry Files / int_6d740dff
comment
An Enforced Trope with vampires, who kill off any other vampire they encounter, as even a small increase in the death rate in Britain would risk compromising them.
 The Laundry Files / int_6d740dff
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_6d740dff
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_6d740dff
 The Laundry Files / int_70c73c20
type
TheUnseen
 The Laundry Files / int_70c73c20
comment
Within the Laundry, "Mahogany Row" is generally thought to be the offices of the Director and the senior staff (who are never seen). But the real power rests with "the Invisible College", the elite corps of highly secretive "wizards" who really run the Laundry.
 The Laundry Files / int_70c73c20
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_70c73c20
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_70c73c20
 The Laundry Files / int_71e8a5c5
type
Trauma Conga Line
 The Laundry Files / int_71e8a5c5
comment
Trauma Conga Line: The Fuller Memorandum, made clear from the onset (in the prologue). In order, Bob performs an exorcism that goes bad and ends up killing a civilian. The next day, Mo gets an even more traumatizing job and returns on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Then Bob gets attacked by a zombie, shot, attacked by Cthulhu cultists and narrowly escapes, his office is broken in, he gets an internal investigation set on him, gets suspended, attacked by the cultists again, kidnapped, gets part of his right arm carved up and eaten while he's fully conscious, and is very nearly possessed by the Eater of Souls. The latter ritual involving, among other things, the cultists killing a baby and making Bob drink its blood. Mind that the whole ordeal happens within a two-week period. At the end of it, Bob is a wreck both physically and psychically, as alluded to by both the prologue and epilogue. Though Overtime suggests that he does recover eventually. The Annihilation Score does the same for Mo. She already starts out on the verge of a nervous breakdown, comes home from a job to find a half-naked Mhari, tries to kill her and then her violin tries to kill Bob, who decides he has to move out. The same day, her cover gets blown on live television and she gets promoted to lead a new department that, it later turns out, is set up to fail by the Home Office. She is assigned Mhari and Ramona as executive assistants, not ideal given Mo's insecurities about growing older and her jealousy about Bob, and it turns out her "middle-aged invisibility" is pretty literal. There's crazy amounts of stress, the Home Office is breathing down her neck, several messy ops, patching up things with Bob backfires badly, it turns out the "good guy" liaison officer that she starts falling for is a honeypot, the Senior Auditor set her up as bait, and Mo, under geas, ends up killing several thousand people with her violin (or unable to prevent it at any rate) and then losing said violin. And after all of this, her request to quit is denied. She's not having a good time.
 The Laundry Files / int_71e8a5c5
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_71e8a5c5
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_71e8a5c5
 The Laundry Files / int_72856b70
type
Godzilla Threshold
 The Laundry Files / int_72856b70
comment
They're actually just DRM chips: the in-universe point of the DCMA is that any chip capable of functioning as compliant DRM has both the computational power to emulate the appropriate cluster of nerve cells and the capacity to have its firmware updated to do just that, usually over the Internet. Neither the Laundry nor Black Chamber - as a whole - are stupid enough to consider actually globally deploying Scorpon Stare until the Godzilla Threshold is passed.
 The Laundry Files / int_72856b70
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_72856b70
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_72856b70
 The Laundry Files / int_7360806f
type
In-Series Nickname
 The Laundry Files / int_7360806f
comment
In-Series Nickname: The Black Chamber's omnipresence and sinister air lead to them being called the Nazgûl by the British characters. They also refer to the binding on volunteers as "The Dark Mark".
 The Laundry Files / int_7360806f
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_7360806f
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_7360806f
 The Laundry Files / int_74150406
type
Depleted Phlebotinum Shells
 The Laundry Files / int_74150406
comment
Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Standard ammunition for the Laundry takes the form of "banishment rounds"—silver-plated bullets with spells engraved onto them in 90-nanometer scale. Takes care of certain nasties being Immune to Bullets very nicely, and it still works on other targets as well. Beginning in The Labyrinth Index, the Black Chamber deploys bullets enhanced with occult parasites - any wound from one will function just like a vampire bite.
 The Laundry Files / int_74150406
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_74150406
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_74150406
 The Laundry Files / int_7451e686
type
It Came from the Fridge
 The Laundry Files / int_7451e686
comment
It Came from the Fridge: the reason temporal multiplexers are no longer allowed in the Howard residence. Cricket bats are involved.
 The Laundry Files / int_7451e686
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_7451e686
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_7451e686
 The Laundry Files / int_7464705c
type
Arc Words
 The Laundry Files / int_7464705c
comment
Arc Words: The Rhesus Chart has "Everyone knows vampires don't exist."
 The Laundry Files / int_7464705c
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_7464705c
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_7464705c
 The Laundry Files / int_74b85afd
type
If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten
 The Laundry Files / int_74b85afd
comment
If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: If you're really a Humanoid Abomination, eat this baby. Bob manages to pass as an Eater of Souls. Rather, he's forced to drink the baby's blood as part of a binding ritual for the Eater, and his resistance is accepted by the cultists as the Eater not wanting to be bound. He does find the taste of blood worryingly delightful during this time, though.
 The Laundry Files / int_74b85afd
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_74b85afd
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_74b85afd
 The Laundry Files / int_754df088
type
Put on a Bus
 The Laundry Files / int_754df088
comment
Put on a Bus: As of The Nightmare Stacks, both Bob and Mo—in Japan and on medical leave, respectively.
 The Laundry Files / int_754df088
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_754df088
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_754df088
 The Laundry Files / int_7568eb84
type
Human Subspecies
 The Laundry Files / int_7568eb84
comment
The alfär is a Human Subspecies from an Alternate Universe and the root of all elf mythology; specifically, everything regarding The Fair Folk. They're evolutionarily adapted for magic use, which means that wards and tools that the Laundry considers specialist equipment are standard-issue for them (though on the other hand, their magic is wildly unoptimized and inefficient). They never got past the Iron Age, but their knights are so thaumaturgically beefy that each one fields the same destructive power as a main battle tank.
 The Laundry Files / int_7568eb84
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_7568eb84
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_7568eb84
 The Laundry Files / int_7570a10c
type
Bond Villain Stupidity
 The Laundry Files / int_7570a10c
comment
He also failed to consider that Bond Villain Stupidity inflicted on him by the geas will also influence his attempts to shut down the geas. And that the last step of his plan while under the geas was 'turn off the geas at the right moment'... and the final step of Bond villain plans never succeed.
 The Laundry Files / int_7570a10c
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_7570a10c
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_7570a10c
 The Laundry Files / int_75c952bf
type
Our Presidents Are Different
 The Laundry Files / int_75c952bf
comment
Our Presidents Are Different: In The Labyrinth Index, US President Arthur is a mix between President Personable and President Target, while the Black Chamber is targeting him in order to install their own President Evil, President Cthulhu. UK also has Prime Minister Nyarlathotep, who fits President Evil with a dash of President Lunatic, although more than many times he deliberately plays up the latter angle just to single out Yes-Man.
 The Laundry Files / int_75c952bf
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_75c952bf
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_75c952bf
 The Laundry Files / int_768c6ada
type
Nay-Theist
 The Laundry Files / int_768c6ada
comment
Naytheist: As of The Fuller Memorandum, Bob is absolutely certain that there is a God, which god is the true God, and that the true God is coming back. Bob will be waiting for Him with a shotgun. As noted in Jennifer Morgue, he did not believe in God, but he did believe in Hell.
 The Laundry Files / int_768c6ada
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_768c6ada
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_768c6ada
 The Laundry Files / int_76ecc890
type
Brave Scot
 The Laundry Files / int_76ecc890
comment
Brave Scot: Johnny McTavish from Codex, who grew up in an isolated Scottish fishing village with rather disturbing theological practices before running away and vowing never to return to that church.
 The Laundry Files / int_76ecc890
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_76ecc890
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_76ecc890
 The Laundry Files / int_7786a6f1
type
Zeroth Law Rebellion
 The Laundry Files / int_7786a6f1
comment
Zeroth Law Rebellion: Members of the Laundry are incapable of refusing orders from the Crown. As of The Delirium Brief, the senior members of the Laundry utilize ambiguity in what exactly that means in order to facilitate the Black Pharaoh's coup against the UK. Labyrinth Index indicates that they're doing this again, in the form of Long-Term Continuity Operations and the Resistance - whatever those stand for.
 The Laundry Files / int_7786a6f1
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_7786a6f1
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_7786a6f1
 The Laundry Files / int_77c9a628
type
Your Soul Is Mine
 The Laundry Files / int_77c9a628
comment
Your Soul Is Mine: Type 2/2B. Certain eldritch beasties, as well as machines designed for the role, can kill someone and then destroy their soul. Since many abominations feed by increasing entropy, the destruction of ordered data (like a soul) works well for summoning or feeding them.
 The Laundry Files / int_77c9a628
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_77c9a628
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_77c9a628
 The Laundry Files / int_7870735b
type
From Bad to Worse
 The Laundry Files / int_7870735b
comment
From Bad to Worse: The Fuller Memorandum has this in spades. It starts with an utterly bleak prologue, then lightens a bit in the first chapter, but things go rapidly downhill from there. (That said, the ending turns out to be not quite as bleak as the prologue implied.) The Apocalypse Codex starts with Case Nightmare Green officially underway and Bob barely recovered from the events of The Fuller Memorandum. This time, a different band of cultists is at it, and they succeed in waking the Sleeper in the Pyramid - although they do not manage to feed it the millions of souls it requires. The Rhesus Chart starts with a bad quarrel between Bob and Mo, and ends with the death of Angleton and several important side characters, and Bob separating from Mo. The Annihilation Score segues from the ending of The Rhesus Chart right into a series of escalating crises for Mo (both professional and personal). By the end, thousands are dead, the Erich Zahn violin is gone, Mo's cover is blown, her marriage is in dire straits and Mo herself has a full-on nervous breakdown. The Nightmare Stacks begins with a breather as Alex works on Pete's Magic Circle of Safety material while continuing to adapt to his vampiric condition and job at the Laundry. It ends with CASE NIGHTMARE RED, a full-on extradimensional invasion, tens of thousands dead, and the entire Laundry now exposed in the public eye. The Delerium Brief begins with the Laundry cleaning up the fallout of The Nightmare Stacks, now under the gaze of a hostile public and scheming politicians. A third of the way through, the Laundry is disbanded by Parliament, with no replacement organization or support for vital ongoing operations, and arrest warrants on almost all of the characters. By the end, the Sleeper in the Pyramid no longer has any influence in Britain, and the new Prime Minister will reinstate the Laundry... and all it cost was the Senior Auditor selling his soul to Nyar lat-Hotep itself, binding all the protagonists to service to the same, and Mo possibly having become the host to something extradimensional (the same way Bob is now the Eater of Souls).
 The Laundry Files / int_7870735b
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_7870735b
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_7870735b
 The Laundry Files / int_796bffea
type
Mistaken for Racist
 The Laundry Files / int_796bffea
comment
Mistaken for Racist: In The Labyrinth Index, Fabian Everyman was thought to be an anti-Semite by his subordinates when he said he want the Jewish problem to be dealt with. He then proceeds to list the problems he have with them: Good Samaritan, Sermon of the Mount, suicide bombing, can't eat bacon...turns out he actually has problem with all Abrahamic religions (which he considers to be all Jewish) because they're not worshipping him.
 The Laundry Files / int_796bffea
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_796bffea
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_796bffea
 The Laundry Files / int_79f9249
type
Horrifying the Horror
 The Laundry Files / int_79f9249
comment
Horrifying the Horror: whatever the Cold Ones are, even Dread Cthulhu and Black Pharaoh are afraid of them.
 The Laundry Files / int_79f9249
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_79f9249
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_79f9249
 The Laundry Files / int_7a265daa
type
Eagleland
 The Laundry Files / int_7a265daa
comment
Eagleland: Um... is there a type three? Because while the Laundry and their European counterparts aren't exactly that good, they're about as nice as an organization can be in a world where Lovecraft Was Right. The Laundry's American counterpart, the Black Chamber, on the other hand, is basically outright evil. Basically the Supreme Court in the land of the free has taken What Measure Is a Non-Human? to its most extreme conclusion, by declaring that the Constitution only applies to humans, and only pure humans at that. The Black Chamber, officially the Operational Phenomenology Agency and once memorably described by Bob as "not so much our sister agency as our psycho ex-girlfriend turned bunny boiler", loves taking the "human" out of "human intelligence", using lots of golems, zombies, Deep Ones, and the like, all of whom are said to have had no choice in becoming disposable tools for the organization. And the handlers of the various creatures are just brutal. Their handlers are human, but are apparently enchanted and geassed up to the eyeballs so hard that they don't have even the minor freedom that the nonhuman grunts have. The only difference is that the nonhuman grunts are conscripts, and the handlers are (implied to be) volunteers. As demonstrated in The Apocalypse Codex, even death doesn't end employment with the Black Chamber. And not in a Residual Human Resources sense either. Indeed, they're proud of this; their motto is "Death is no escape." Admittedly, the same scene demonstrates what happens to those who break their oath to The Laundry, and it's not pretty. The name, "the Black Chamber", originated as a sobriquet for the Cipher Bureau, which was the United States' first dedicated cryptanalysis bureau, and thus a spiritual, if not lineal, predecessor of the National Security Agency. The purely human Americans who show up are a Corrupt Corporate Executive and a crooked televangelist, who are greedy, short-sighted, more than willing to get rid of extraneous employees. Textbook type 2, in other words, at least once you get past the Body Horror. It's revealed in The Delirium Brief that not all American occult agencies buy completely into the Black Chamber's way of thinking, and The Labyrinth Index demonstrates that the President, the Comstock Office, a sizable portion of the military and many citizens at least try for type 1. Even if the setting makes it unlikely to work out well in the long run.
 The Laundry Files / int_7a265daa
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_7a265daa
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_7a265daa
 The Laundry Files / int_7abba202
type
The Faceless
 The Laundry Files / int_7abba202
comment
The Faceless: Due to the incredibly powerful glamour surrounding Fabian Everyman, it's impossible for anyone to describe what he looks like besides a vague, constantly shifting impression of generic handsomeness. Some of the text suggests that he may not actually have a face at all.
 The Laundry Files / int_7abba202
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_7abba202
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_7abba202
 The Laundry Files / int_7c48b272
type
Summon Bigger Fish
 The Laundry Files / int_7c48b272
comment
Summon Bigger Fish: In The Delirium Brief, when the Sleeper's primary agent is about to take over the British parliament using Puppeteer Parasites, the former Laundry operatives have only one card left to play: make a deal with Nyarlathotep
 The Laundry Files / int_7c48b272
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_7c48b272
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_7c48b272
 The Laundry Files / int_7c862b8a
type
Chronic Backstabbing Disorder
 The Laundry Files / int_7c862b8a
comment
Subverted with Nyarl'ath'Hotep and Dread Cthulhu - they're technically allies against Cold Ones, but that doesn't hamper their Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
 The Laundry Files / int_7c862b8a
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-0.3
 The Laundry Files / int_7c862b8a
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_7c862b8a
 The Laundry Files / int_7eb73553
type
Bullying a Dragon
 The Laundry Files / int_7eb73553
comment
Bullying a Dragon: An Iranian special forces officer makes the mistake of threatening Mo while she's holding her violin. She uses it to tear out his soul and apply it as a Band-Aid across a crack in reality.
 The Laundry Files / int_7eb73553
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_7eb73553
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_7eb73553
 The Laundry Files / int_7f152e56
type
Our Mermaids Are Different
 The Laundry Files / int_7f152e56
comment
Our Mermaids Are Different: The half-Deep Ones are aquatic lifeforms but not half-fish, avoiding the Mermaid Problem. It's explicitly mentioned that some Laundry employees "start spending too much time skinny-dipping with a snorkel". They actually look passably human as long as they don't spend too much time in salt water. Otherwise they eventually change into Deep Ones, Innsmouth-style. Ramona Random says that those like herself are intended to look good and associate with humans more, while the "bumpkin cousins" sporting the ugly half-transformed "Innsmouth look" are decidedly more common. It's also stated that most of the "Innsmouth" communities are isolated and pretty heavily inbred, and that most of them wouldn't look any less unsettling without the Deep One genes.
 The Laundry Files / int_7f152e56
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_7f152e56
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 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_7f152e56
 The Laundry Files / int_7fbb2a3
type
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!
 The Laundry Files / int_7fbb2a3
comment
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: See Hoist by His Own Petard example - Schiller instead becomes the Sleeper's host, setting off the events of The Delirium Brief
 The Laundry Files / int_7fbb2a3
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_7fbb2a3
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_7fbb2a3
 The Laundry Files / int_808cbaeb
type
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking
 The Laundry Files / int_808cbaeb
comment
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Iris is unhappy with Bob because he massacred her cult, prevented her from completing a summoning, and caused her to be imprisoned for six years. Also because he was consistently late turning in his time sheets.
 The Laundry Files / int_808cbaeb
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_808cbaeb
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_808cbaeb
 The Laundry Files / int_812f36e8
type
Nausea Fuel
 The Laundry Files / int_812f36e8
comment
And The Delirium Brief tops The Apocalypse Codex with a new variant that installs itself in their host's genitals
 The Laundry Files / int_812f36e8
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_812f36e8
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 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_812f36e8
 The Laundry Files / int_851dda8f
type
Humanoid Abomination
 The Laundry Files / int_851dda8f
comment
Humanoid Abomination: Angleton Bob after the events of The Fuller Memorandum The ending of The Delirium Brief implies that Mo may have become one as well Fabian Everyman, introduced in The Annihilation Score and revealed as an avatar of Nyarlathotep in The Delirium Brief.
 The Laundry Files / int_851dda8f
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_851dda8f
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_851dda8f
 The Laundry Files / int_863fa679
type
What Happened to the Mouse?
 The Laundry Files / int_863fa679
comment
What Happened to the Mouse?: Some plot elements in The Annihilation Score don't get properly resolved. It's never confirmed whether Officer Friendly's powers are giving him K syndrome or not — it's probable, but also possible that they aren't. Labyrinth Index confirms that they do. Stanwick and her subordinates are seemingly possessed by prolonged exposure to Lecter (having obtained the signature Glowing Eyes of Doom), but they act and speak completely normally. After an abrupt Time Skip thanks to Mo passing out, all we hear about them is that Stanwick is now an Ex-Assistant Commissioner.
 The Laundry Files / int_863fa679
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 The Laundry Files / int_863fa679
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 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_863fa679
 The Laundry Files / int_874c712f
type
Dug Too Deep
 The Laundry Files / int_874c712f
comment
Dug Too Deep: It is mentioned in passing that the British deep mining industry was shut down in the 1980s "ostensibly for economic reasons," but really to stop miners from finding relics of the ancient subterranean race Deep Seven.
 The Laundry Files / int_874c712f
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_874c712f
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_874c712f
 The Laundry Files / int_8767b1f3
type
Black-and-Gray Morality
 The Laundry Files / int_8767b1f3
comment
Black-and-Gray Morality: Set in a stale beer-flavored intelligence agency in a Lovecraftian Horror universe. It comes with the territory.
 The Laundry Files / int_8767b1f3
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_8767b1f3
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_8767b1f3
 The Laundry Files / int_8774fb47
type
Eldritch Abomination
 The Laundry Files / int_8774fb47
comment
Implied with Angleton who turns out to be the kind of Eldritch Abomination the Laundry was created to fight. Given that there are worse beings out there, Angleton is suspected of having joined the side of humanity because it's his only option to survive.
 The Laundry Files / int_8774fb47
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_8774fb47
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_8774fb47
 The Laundry Files / int_8839237d
type
No Such Thing as H.R.
 The Laundry Files / int_8839237d
comment
No Such Thing as H.R.: Averted. They're not particularly helpful, though. HR is often the cause of the problems that in Real Life they'd be expected to solve. This is partly just because of Rule of Funny, partly because of the spy setting, partly because no one chose to be there and so they may take it out on each other, also partly because of the Ultimate Job Security - they can't lose their job until they screw up big enough to get killed. And even then, that doesn't get one out of being Residual Human Resources.
 The Laundry Files / int_8839237d
featureApplicability
-1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_8839237d
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_8839237d
 The Laundry Files / int_88e1831d
type
Vast Bureaucracy
 The Laundry Files / int_88e1831d
comment
Vast Bureaucracy: The Laundry. The Laundry has a policy of offering everyone who knows too much a job (killing them is too conspicuous and messy). As a result, they're completely overstaffed by incompetent (or at least untrained) drones with Ultimate Job Security. All the bureaucracy is just a way of keeping them busy.
 The Laundry Files / int_88e1831d
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_88e1831d
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_88e1831d
 The Laundry Files / int_892c6fdc
type
Space Elves
 The Laundry Files / int_892c6fdc
comment
Completely gone by the end of The Nightmare Stacks; even The Laundry can't cover up an invasion of Space Elves and the resulting mass casualties in Leeds.
 The Laundry Files / int_892c6fdc
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_892c6fdc
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_892c6fdc
 The Laundry Files / int_8a295a46
type
Cool Car
 The Laundry Files / int_8a295a46
comment
Cool Car: While not exactly a car, the Kettenkrad is cool enough to be salvaged from a bleak, airless alternate dimension where Axis has won WWII (And promptly caused an apocalypse), and lovingly restored by Pinky and Brains to working condition. It finally sees use in The Nightmare Stacks, playing a key role in the climax with the help of a pintle-mounted Gatling gun.
 The Laundry Files / int_8a295a46
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_8a295a46
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_8a295a46
 The Laundry Files / int_8ae880f7
type
Deconstruction
 The Laundry Files / int_8ae880f7
comment
Deconstruction: Of various Spy Thriller tropes. Intelligence officers are desk jockeys on civil service salary, the Laundry aims to be the first fully ISO 9000 certified intelligence agency (with all the paperwork that implies), and even active field agents spend most of their time in briefings and committee meetings. Not to mention the permanent squabbling over the budget. All of which are more or less Truth in Television. Parts of Annihilation Score can be read as an attempt to deconstruct superhero tropes, as well as the presentation of superpowered individuals by media, via Reality Ensues. It does explore the varying (by country) social contracts involved in police and emergency services work and the role of questionably trained people in it, as well as the constraints involved in attempting to create a publicly credible "superteam" for national consumption. That said, the concept already conflicts enough with the cynical and nihilistic nature of the series' setting that its conclusions don't apply (well) to the main genre.
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Bullet Time
 The Laundry Files / int_8af25294
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Bullet Time: one of Persephone's powers, via Ritual Magic.
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There Is No Kill Like Overkill
 The Laundry Files / int_8b606a51
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There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Billington's first response to discovering the computer security on his warship-turned-yacht has been compromised? Sink the entire ship.
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The Magic Comes Back
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The Magic Comes Back: Case Nightmare Green.
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Our Zombies Are Different
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Our Zombies Are Different: They're demons bound into reanimated corpses. The garden-variety are not very clever, and are apparently programmable if you know the right language. However, there are many types of demons, and accidentally summoning the wrong kind gives rise to a possessed corpse that can steal souls by touch. Oh, and make all the Boom, Headshot!s you want. It won't help.
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 The Laundry Files / int_8c55e307
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Ultimate Job Security
 The Laundry Files / int_8c55e307
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Ultimate Job Security: Everyone in the Laundry has it. They can get themselves killed through treason, failed coups or their own innocent stupidity, but no one is ever fired. This is because Laundry policy is to made dangerous people safe by employing them. To keep people quiet, in most cases they are given jobs in the Laundry (and Mind Control to make them incapable of discussing it with people without the proper clearance.)
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The Laundry Files / int_8c55e307
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Soviet Superscience
 The Laundry Files / int_8c625f4c
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Soviet Superscience: Inverted: the USSR is consistently behind the West when it comes to magical development due to the combination of state atheism making them hard to accept ideas of Eldritch Abomination, and the suppression of their nascent IT industry (due to their view of computers being the tools of capitalists) means high grade computers for spellcasting isn't developed. The modern Russia is catching up, but the The Laundry RPG notes that their agency, Thirteenth Directorate, is still behind, due to them still largely utilizing old ways of spellcasting instead of modern computer-casting.
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 The Laundry Files / int_8c8bd091
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Fetus Terrible
 The Laundry Files / int_8c8bd091
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Fetus Terrible: Implied with Mo in Delirium Brief. Bob and Mo have sex, the condom breaks and later in the same book she survives a duel between the Mandate and the Sleeper taking direct control over a host, something In-Universe acknowledged to be non-survivable. So either the offspring of the Eater of Souls is this trope or her link with the King in Yellow wasn't as thoroughly broken as she thinks it was.
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No One Could Survive That!
 The Laundry Files / int_8c96ae78
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No One Could Survive That!: In The Apocalypse Codex, Schiller's fate at the end. In The Delirium Brief, Mo apparently survives being in immediate vicinity of two class six horrors duking it out - something that's in-universe acknowledged to be impossible.
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Canon Character All Along
 The Laundry Files / int_8d3349bb
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Canon Character All Along: Cthulhu Mythos-wise: The entity inside Mo's violin is a fragment of The King in Yellow. Mind-controlling supervillain Fabian Everyman aka the Mandate is also aka Nyarlathotep. The power behind the Black Chamber is Cthulu himself
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Wham Episode
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Wham Episode: The Rhesus Chart. Vampires exist and get recruited into the Laundry, including Bob's ex Mhari, there was one inside the Laundry all along, his feud with another old vampire gets dozens of people in the Laundry killed including Angleton (although they Never Found the Body), so Bob inherits Angleton's full powers, and he and Mo split up.
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The Laundry Files / int_8e20979
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Asshole Victim
 The Laundry Files / int_8ed5c6e4
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Asshole Victim: Harriet and Bridget, at the very least. If you wind up on Angleton's desk, chances are you deserved it.
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Demonic Possession
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Demonic Possession: A common plot element. In particular, a botched summoning at the climax of The Fuller Memorandum causes Bob to get possessed by himself.
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Laser-Guided Karma
 The Laundry Files / int_90e31482
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Laser-Guided Karma: In a rare occurrence for the series, Rev. Schiller gets his just deserts by the end of The Delirium Brief. This is explicitly facilitated by The Mandate leaving the keys in the Jaguar earlier.
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Apocalypse How
 The Laundry Files / int_91e894b4
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Apocalypse How: The Jotun Infovore is a high Class X-3, failing to enter Class X-4 only due to the difficulties inherent in consuming itself, and is actively gunning for a Class Z. Case Nightmare Rainbow is a series of different Apocalypse conditions. Case Nightmare Green is when the stars come right and magic becomes easy; could be anywhere between a high Class 1 and a Class X-4, depending on how nasty what comes through turns out to be. AC:Case Nightmare Red, is Alien Invasion from another universe, the subject of The Nightmare Stacks. (It doesn't come up in earlier books, but that might be because the Laundry's been so focused on Case Nightmare Green that they dropped the ball on Red...) Case Nightmare Yellow is a hard technical singularity when the toasters come alive and try to eat us. The Host of Air and Darkness are the last survivors of their own extremely nasty Apocalypse, which the Laundry would classify as Case Nightmare Green. Their only option is to open the "ghost roads" (some kind of interdimensional portal) and run here.
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Precursors
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Precursors: Anning Blue Skull, the Elder Things, created life on Earth before being wiped out by their creations, Anning Black (the Shoggoths). Everyone from the Nazis to the Black Chamber and Laundry is always eager to locate and study their technology (which is both deceptively simple and impossibly dangerous), because all evidence points to their having both encountered and survived a Case Nightmare Green-like scenario in their deep past. Since there's none of them left on Earth to ask, recent efforts have concentrated on the capture, containment and control/interrogation of Shoggoths.
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The Bus Came Back
 The Laundry Files / int_927b2f11
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The Bus Came Back: The Delirium Brief indeed brings back previously sidelined characters by the busload. Bob is back to a viewpoint character after being out of the spotlight for the previous two installments. Likewise, Mo has returned from her medical leave. Persephone Hazard and Johnny McTavish have their first substantial appearances since The Apocalypse Codex (although they've had blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameos in several of the in-between novels). And most significantly, as for villains of prior installments, Raymond Schiller from The Apocalypse Codex, Iris Carpenter from The Fuller Memorandum and Fabian Everyman aka The Mandate from The Annihilation Score are all back as well.
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 The Laundry Files / int_92cca75b
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Ret-Gone
 The Laundry Files / int_92cca75b
comment
Ret-Gone: The 'Forecasting Operations Department' is a bizarre variant. It's a department of the Laundry that tries to predict the future, passing on (highly obtuse) warnings to the rest of the organization when necessary... unless they predict that the department's own existence will lead to disaster, in which case it ceases to exist because they decided never to form it, only to pop up again once the threat is past, or something happening that's bad enough to force them to form again. Alex, at least, has no idea how this works.
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Geometric Magic
 The Laundry Files / int_94eb5311
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Geometric Magic: Various bits of magic in the series involves "Dho-Nha" curves, easily derived by proving Turing's last theorem. These curves amplify through space-time, tearing through reality and causing magic to happen. Bob's experimenting with unusual fractals comes dangerously close to generating a Dho-Nha function and summoning an Eldritch Abomination to destroy Wolverhampton.
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Tuckerization
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Tuckerization: Dr Mike Ford, the Laundry researcher with the implausible eyebrows who appears in The Fuller Memorandum, is a tuckerization of author and fan personality John M. Ford, to whom the novel is dedicated.
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Big Bad
 The Laundry Files / int_970c790a
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In The Apocalypse Codex, the Big Bad's plan hinges on the Laundry sending an elder operative who can be used to help with the invocation.
 The Laundry Files / int_970c790a
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In the Blood
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In the Blood: Johnny McTavish carries the bloodline of Lilith, which carries supernatural properties and is needed in a ritual. McTavish is an escaped member of one of the half-Deep One churches, knows exactly what the purpose entails, and has no intention of letting it come to pass. Whether Lilith existed or not is hard to say, but his ancestors presumably engaged in a little bit of hanky-panky with the Deep Ones so he isn't quite like a normal human.
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Vampire Hunter
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Vampire Hunter: Deconstructed; anyone willing to track down and kill vampires must by definition be insane — given that vampires are essentially serial killers with Super Strength, Mind Control and are (usually) powerful sorcerers. As vampire numbers must be kept low to maintain The Masquerade, the more cunning and long-lived vampires utilize these psychotics to kill off their rivals. In The Rhesus Chart, the vampire hunter is a woman with a 'fang fetish' who assassinates vampires by seducing them, breaking their neck, having sex with their paralyzed body, then leaving them next to an open window so they'll be burnt up come dawn. And you thought Spike and Buffy got up to some twisted shit.
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Oop North
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Oop North: The Nightmare Stacks is set in Stross's home town of Leeds, with the imposing government building of Quarry House (in real life, the headquarters for the NHS) being touted as a new HQ for the Laundry after Dansey House is permanently taken out of commission as a result of the events of The Rhesus Chart. The effective destruction of Leeds at the end of the novel was described by Stross on his blog as "revenge being best served cold".
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Immune to Bullets
 The Laundry Files / int_99db72ee
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Standard ammunition for the Laundry takes the form of "banishment rounds"—silver-plated bullets with spells engraved onto them in 90-nanometer scale. Takes care of certain nasties being Immune to Bullets very nicely, and it still works on other targets as well.
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Took a Level in Badass
 The Laundry Files / int_9bcd82c0
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Took a Level in Badass: Dominique, as a result of the Hero-trap geas. Bob himself steadily levels through the series, and is acknowledged as a good operative even in the first book. By book three, Mo herself has apparently kept the several levels of badass that she's taken, primarily due to her skills with the Erich Zahn-model violin, that the OCCULUS special forces team willingly accepts her presence on missions. She even warrants her own codename now, CANDID. Single-word codenames are exceptionally unusual, but whether this implies she is unusually important or not has not yet been revealed. Another such entity, TEAPOT, has a history dating back hundreds of years and the disappearance of its summoning ritual was enough to cause an international incident and be the cornerstone of a plan to usher in the end of the world ahead of schedule. Bob himself. As a result of having his soul ripped out, then being summoned in place of the Eater of Souls at the end of book three; in book four, he has gained, among others, the ability to consume souls, and command certain types of undead. Then in book five he fully becomes the Eater of Souls after Angleton died.
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Foreshadowing
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Foreshadowing: Early in Codex, Bob is sent off to a training course whose purpose is to identify talented administrators and managers from other government agencies, in case the Laundry needs to suddenly conscript them to fight Nightmare Green. By the end of the book, Bob himself has passed his "test" with flying colors, and is conscripted into the secret-beyond-secret core of sorcerers and administrators who actually run the Laundry: Mahogany Row. Also, the things beyond reality are referred to as "the many-angled ones", referencing Lovecraft. Bob's boss is named Angleton. Turns out he's one of 'em. He's named after a CIA counterintelligence head. In The Fuller Memorandum, the fact that the lead cultist is named Jonquil is a clue that "Mummy" is Iris. In The Delirium Brief The Laundry, as SOE, Q-Division was founded by Winston Churchill. But the Invisible College was founded by Royal Prerogative.
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Our Vampires Are Different
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Our Vampires Are Different: They're symbiotically fused with extra-dimensional entities. This makes them immune to the brain damage which can affect ritual magicians, and have centuries to hone their skills, making them potentially very powerful. However, the symbiotes feed on the information content in sentient brains, and always result in death - vampires are required to kill several people per year to avoid becoming food for the symbiotes themselves, even if they aren't using their powers. If they exert themselves, the symbiotes need more frequent feeding. Laundryverse vampires aren't susceptible to holy symbols, but will quickly burn to death in sunlight. These vampires cannot spread vampirism by any physical means, but an unlucky magician or mathematician can end up turning themselves into a vampire completely by accident just by thinking about the wrong sorts of things.
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Evil Is Not a Toy
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Evil Is Not a Toy: The Nazis learned this the hard way after summoning up something they couldn't put back down. So did Billington in The Jennifer Morgue. As did the alfär, triggering their attempt to invade Earth.
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Homage
 The Laundry Files / int_a1a1491e
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Homage: Archive for Len Deighton, Morgue for James Bond. Fuller sounds like a Quiller title, but Word of God is that it ended up more of a Anthony Price homage. The Apocalypse Codex is a Modesty Blaise homage. The upcoming Dead Lies Dreaming is stated to be one to Peter Pan.
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Revealing Cover-Up
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Revealing Cover-Up: Averted. The Laundry only uses assassination as an absolute last resort for this very reason. They find it much more useful to recruit people who find out instead. This also doubles as punishment, since the job tends to force people to retire early.
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Half-Human Hybrid
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Half-Human Hybrid: Ramona Random is half Deep One. Bob notes that there's quite a lot more interbreeding between Deep Ones (or BLUE HADES, as they're codenamed) and humans than you might reasonably expect - it turns out that if you don't have Lovecraft's phobia of marine life, some of them are actually very attractive.
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Invading Refugees
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Invading Refugees: The Earth of the alfär has undergone its own Case Nightmare Green, accelerated by some deranged cultists blowing up the moon. Civilization has been wiped out by a combination of lunar debris, the Many-Angled Ones overrunning the planet, and infrastructural collapse. The last survivors are a few thousand soldiers hibernating in a remote bunker, trying to sleep out the apocalypse, but supplies have run critically low. Their only hope is to invade and conquer an alternate Earth, thus jumpstarting the plot of The Nightmare Stacks. In the end, Cassie requests asylum and refugee status from the UN for all the surviving alfär. Surprisingly, elder gods are this - they're fleeing Cold Ones, from some indescribable facet of reality to Earth. And want to use it as a raw material in their war.
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IWantMyJetPack
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I Want My Jet Pack: It's explained in the books that some "future" concepts are possible but are suppressed due to supernatural consequences (certain forms of computing open portals to hell-dimensions, underwater human bases would really piss off Blue Hades, etc)
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Historical Character Confusion
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Historical Character Confusion: In "Pimpf," Peter-Fred Young thinking that Alan Turing worked for John Carmack. Which Bob lampshades.
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The Un-Smile
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The Un-Smile: Angleton's smile is traumatizing. Bob compares it to "seeing an atom bomb go off over your hometown and getting to watch all your pets and lovers and children die simultaneously." The Senior Auditor's smile is often noted to be exceptionally ambiguous and scary too.
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Beneath the Earth
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Beneath the Earth: Humanity shares the planet with at least two other sentient species. The Deep Ones, code-named Blue Hades, live just beneath the seafloor and could curb stomp humanity if ever they're pissed off. Luckily for humanity they seem to be fairly reasonable folks, and the occult agencies liaise with them a semiregular basis. The Deep Seven, creatures known in the Cthulhu Mythos as Chthonians, live deep beneath the upper crust in the polar regions. Very little is known about them, save that they are polymorphous, and that the Deep Ones are terrified of them. Humanity's saving grace, as always, is that it's not really important: Neither species feels threatened by us, and they don't want anything that we have, so there's no reason to leave their environments.
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Only Known by Their Nickname
 The Laundry Files / int_a7850fbf
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Only Known by Their Nickname: Used quite a bit, starting with the "Laundry" itself. They are only called this because their original headquarters was above a Chinese laundry. Technically, it's Q Division of the Special Operations Executive, which is part of the Ministry of Defense. Within the Laundry, "Mahogany Row" is generally thought to be the offices of the Director and the senior staff (who are never seen). But the real power rests with "the Invisible College", the elite corps of highly secretive "wizards" who really run the Laundry. "The Dustbin"; the Laundry's nickname for MI5. Probably because of envy, because they have a cool Home Base and the Laundry doesn't. The American equivalent, known as the "Black Chamber" or the "Nazgûl". They are known to rely heavily on nonhuman assets and employ extremely brutal tactics. Also within the US is the Comstock Office also known as the Occult Text Division of the United States Postal Inspectorate. The Russians are usually called the "Thirteenth Directorate" (not to be confused with the KGB). A weird example is in Annihilation Score, where Persephone Hazard is consistently referred to as Seph, a nickname absolutely nobody used during Apocalypse Codex, the book she first appeared in.
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 The Laundry Files / int_a8cbf649
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I Should Write a Book About This
 The Laundry Files / int_a8cbf649
comment
I Should Write a Book About This: At the start of The Apocalypse Codex, Bob mentions that he has been encouraged to document his experiences in the field to serve as a (highly classified) resource to assist in training new Laundry agents.
 The Laundry Files / int_a8cbf649
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The Laundry Files / int_a8cbf649
 The Laundry Files / int_aaff69d0
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Unexpected Successor
 The Laundry Files / int_aaff69d0
comment
Unexpected Successor: The All-Highest of the älfar only has that title because everyone in the empire who was higher-ranking than him already got killed in various flavors of apocalypse. At the end of the book, Alex engineers a further unexpected succession, with Agent First of Spies and Liars as the eventual beneficiary.
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The Laundry Files / int_aaff69d0
 The Laundry Files / int_ab27d196
type
Apocalypse Cult
 The Laundry Files / int_ab27d196
comment
Apocalypse Cult: A number of cults try to bring their Eldritch Abomination deities to Earth which would result in the deaths of millions and End of the World as We Know It. The Cult of the Black Pharaoh is among them. Golden Promise is an evangelical front for the cult of the Sleeper in the Pyramid. Black Chamber was taken over by servants of Lord of Sleep - Dread Cthulhu. And Laundry now works for Black Pharaoh. If Black Chamber's PowerPoint slide is accurate, the KGB is extensively infiltrated by Czernobog cultists.
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The Laundry Files / int_ab27d196
 The Laundry Files / int_acecb17d
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Chekhov's Skill
 The Laundry Files / int_acecb17d
comment
Chekhov's Skill: Bob's offhand comment about Mo playing her violin at all hours seems like a typical relationship gripe, until you realize she was training to use her Instrument of Murder. In The Apocalypse Codex, when we see Persephone practicing evasion and escape skills in the countryside, we know she'll be using them by the end of the book.
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 The Laundry Files / int_ad1db87c
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Oh, Crap!
 The Laundry Files / int_ad1db87c
comment
Oh, Crap!: Or as it's known in the trade, an Unscheduled Reality Excursion.
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 The Laundry Files / int_ad54954f
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Punk in the Trunk
 The Laundry Files / int_ad54954f
comment
Punk in the Trunk: Bob gets stuffed in the trunk of a car by cultists in The Fuller Memorandum. With a badly injured arm, so he's in tremendous pain the whole ride.
 The Laundry Files / int_ad54954f
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The Laundry Files / int_ad54954f
 The Laundry Files / int_ad66049e
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Inspiration Nod
 The Laundry Files / int_ad66049e
comment
Inspiration Nod: Persephone Hazard, the expy of Modesty Blaise, is referred to in the Laundry's internal files by the code name Bashful Incindeary.
 The Laundry Files / int_ad66049e
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The Laundry Files / int_ad66049e
 The Laundry Files / int_adfd3165
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For the Evulz
 The Laundry Files / int_adfd3165
comment
For the Evulz: Not all of the eldritch abominations in the series, are driven by simple Horror Hunger. And this will be really unfortunate for humanity if one of them breaks into our universe. Cultists of the Black Pharaoh have shades of this as well.
 The Laundry Files / int_adfd3165
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The Laundry Files / int_adfd3165
 The Laundry Files / int_ae6ddf1f
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Enslaved Tongue
 The Laundry Files / int_ae6ddf1f
comment
Enslaved Tongue: In The Apocalypse Codex, the Big Bad breeds supernatural Puppeteer Parasites that eat and replace their victim's tongues.
 The Laundry Files / int_ae6ddf1f
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The Laundry Files / int_ae6ddf1f
 The Laundry Files / int_af157b58
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First-Person Smartass
 The Laundry Files / int_af157b58
comment
First-Person Smartass: Bob throws a great deal of wry humor into his narration
 The Laundry Files / int_af157b58
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The Laundry Files / int_af157b58
 The Laundry Files / int_b01abe4f
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Catchphrase
 The Laundry Files / int_b01abe4f
comment
Catch Phrase "But I digress." for Bob. Also, the "crunchy and good with ketchup" stock phrase he seems to use once per story. Lampshaded in The Annihilation Score (in which the narrator is Mo): "But, as Bob would say, I digress." "I've always found loyalty to be a two-way street", apparently part of the Laundry initiation geas.
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The Laundry Files / int_b01abe4f
 The Laundry Files / int_b1346878
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Fate Worse than Death
 The Laundry Files / int_b1346878
comment
Fate Worse than Death: Extremely common throughout the series, including some quite creative ones. The consequence is that various characters quite willingly and casually risk their lives, since a violent death is seen as an unpleasant fate, but absolutely not as the worse thing that can happen. One of the reasons that Bob and Mo don't have children is because they know that if Case Nightmare Green comes to pass, slitting their own children's throats might be the best option to save them from an even worse fate.
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The Laundry Files / int_b1346878
 The Laundry Files / int_b1ed0e0c
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Rank Up
 The Laundry Files / int_b1ed0e0c
comment
Rank Up: Ever since The Atrocity Archives, Bob has been fast-tracked for promotion and is steadily rising through the ranks of the Laundry. The last lines of Codex: "welcome to Mahogany Row." Mo gets a rather sudden one in The Annihilation Score and is offered another at the end of the book.
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The Laundry Files / int_b1ed0e0c
 The Laundry Files / int_b3230549
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419 Scam
 The Laundry Files / int_b3230549
comment
Whatever Bob did the one time he succumbed to the urge to respond to a 419 Scam. All he'll say is that Laundry Internal Security waxed sarcastic at him for half an hour, and them made him give the scammers back their bank.
 The Laundry Files / int_b3230549
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The Laundry Files / int_b3230549
 The Laundry Files / int_b4233702
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Alliance with an Abomination
 The Laundry Files / int_b4233702
comment
Alliance with an Abomination An entity known as the Eater Of Souls was summoned into a human Meat Puppet to serve as a Living Weapon, but ended up in The Men in Black's management instead as Mr. Angleton. It turned out that Humanity Is Infectious and the Eater picked up more of a sense of honour and fair play than its handlers ever had. The Cthulhu Mythos entities Nyarl'ath'hotep and Dread Cthulhu itself pull an Enemy Mine with the Laundry against the Cold Ones, who are even higher on the Super Weight scale and utterly terrifying to them.
 The Laundry Files / int_b4233702
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 The Laundry Files / int_b486877f
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Squick
 The Laundry Files / int_b486877f
comment
They'd like to make more like it, but then, "just owning the necessary supplies probably puts you in breach of the Human Tissues Act of 2004, not to mention a raft of other legislation." as Bob flippantly puts it. The truth turns out to be worse—much, much worse. The "necessary supplies" have to be harvested from more than a dozen victims while they are awake and screaming. In fact, Mo tries to go out of her way to prove to her superiors that Case Nightmare Green won't require the production of more violins. It gets worse in Annihilation Score. It turns out that Mo's violin is aware and its consciousness is a fragment or avatar of the King in Yellow. As of The Labyrinth Index, the New Management has apparently inquired about the construction of additional violins as well as some cellos and double basses along the same lines, but the National Transplant Service is currently balking on procuring the required materials.
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The Laundry Files / int_b486877f
 The Laundry Files / int_b4fce1ab
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Obfuscating Insanity
 The Laundry Files / int_b4fce1ab
comment
Obfuscating Insanity: The residents of the Funny Farm's Secure Wing turns out to be a long-term research team sequestered within an asylum on the grounds that it's the most secure place for them. In The Rhesus Chart Basil appears to be a slightly senile archivist, always rambling on about the good old days of World War II. Turns out he's the ancient vampire sorcerer they're searching for.
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The Laundry Files / int_b4fce1ab
 The Laundry Files / int_b53077b3
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Take That!
 The Laundry Files / int_b53077b3
comment
Take That!: Donald Trump, as US Ambassador to Britain, was broken by Prime Minister Nyarlathotep after trying to personally lobby for tax break for his golf course. While he wasn't named in the book, Stross confirmed that it was him.
 The Laundry Files / int_b53077b3
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The Laundry Files / int_b53077b3
 The Laundry Files / int_b58b4e3c
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Too Dumb to Live
 The Laundry Files / int_b58b4e3c
comment
Too Dumb to Live: Fred the Accountant.
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The Laundry Files / int_b58b4e3c
 The Laundry Files / int_b77a6d82
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Evil Is Deathly Cold
 The Laundry Files / int_b77a6d82
comment
Evil Is Deathly Cold: The "Jotun" Infovore and many lesser abominations suck heat out of the environment. Spells can have the similar effect. In fact, unnatural cold often serves as the most obvious warning that something is horribly wrong. Specifically, following the mathematical rules of The 'Verse, especially powerful Eldritch Abominations will absorb information from existing systems. In macroscopic terms, this tends to cause things to get deathly cold, as a complete absorption of information would maximize entropy and cause all matter and energy to eventually reach a universal equilibrium where all matter and energy stops doing anything. This is why the Jotun Infovore was hoping to receive a nuclear explosion and therefore get a huge blast of fresh entropy to feed on, after having almost completely drained its entire universe.
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The Laundry Files / int_b77a6d82
 The Laundry Files / int_b85c06f2
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Glowing Eyes of Doom
 The Laundry Files / int_b85c06f2
comment
Stanwick and her subordinates are seemingly possessed by prolonged exposure to Lecter (having obtained the signature Glowing Eyes of Doom), but they act and speak completely normally. After an abrupt Time Skip thanks to Mo passing out, all we hear about them is that Stanwick is now an Ex-Assistant Commissioner.
 The Laundry Files / int_b85c06f2
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The Laundry Files / int_b85c06f2
 The Laundry Files / int_b983a56b
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Came Back Wrong
 The Laundry Files / int_b983a56b
comment
Came Back Wrong / Came Back Strong: Bob in the finale of The Fuller Memorandum
 The Laundry Files / int_b983a56b
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 The Laundry Files / int_b98a8902
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Soul Eating
 The Laundry Files / int_b98a8902
comment
Soul Eating: Surprisingly common; it's the reason most of the otherworldly threats even want to visit the Earth. On the Laundry's side, Angleton is able to do this. Following the events of The Fuller Memorandum, Bob gains this ability as well, and it becomes much stronger after Angleton is lost. It hasn't been established if Angleton and Bob actually need to eat souls or if they just can. Having one's soul eaten results in instant death.
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The Laundry Files / int_b98a8902
 The Laundry Files / int_bb5e187b
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Captured Super-Entity
 The Laundry Files / int_bb5e187b
comment
Captured Super-Entity: The Laundry has control of TEAPOT, also known as the Eater of Souls. Well, they think they have control of it. Turns out that it's here voluntarily. The Sleeper in the Pyramid on the Dead Plateau is a more straightforward example; it's an unspecified Eldritch Abomination that's being held inside a pyramid on a distant planet by observer effect magic. The structure is surrounded by a Wall Of Pain of impaled victims that are just barely alive enough to constantly observe it and collapse its wave function into a "captive in the pyramid and dormant" state. The RAF has a special wormhole airplane that does a flyby over the Plateau every once in a while, just in case. Further details are revealed in Codex: first, the Wall of Pain is set to come to undeath and chase down any interlopers who try to awaken the Sleeper. Second, waking the Sleeper isn't the hard part. It's feeding him enough souls to open the Outer Gates that's the difficult bit.
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The Laundry Files / int_bb5e187b
 The Laundry Files / int_bc00493f
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Precision F-Strike
 The Laundry Files / int_bc00493f
comment
Precision F-Strike: Bob is generally gleefully profane in his narration; on the other hand, when Angleton curses, you know things have really gone to shit. Whereas, when Angleton says "Oh dear", you know the situation has... gone significantly outside anticipated operational parameters.
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The Laundry Files / int_bc00493f
 The Laundry Files / int_bd445b6e
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Our Elves Are Better
 The Laundry Files / int_bd445b6e
comment
Our Elves Are Better: Well, they're certainly scarier. The alfär are a Human Subspecies from an Alternate Universe that have much greater command of magic than most humans. They're also the source of most legends of The Fair Folk around the world.
 The Laundry Files / int_bd445b6e
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The Laundry Files / int_bd445b6e
 The Laundry Files / int_be8416ea
type
Shrouded in Myth
 The Laundry Files / int_be8416ea
comment
Shrouded in Myth: Angleton, at first; we learn more about him in Memorandum. Persephone Hazard; the Laundry only has brief, tantalizing glimpses of her past lives—a war refugee from the Balkans, murdered adoptive parents followed by the sudden demise of some local cultists, suddenly-stellar university grades in various arcane subjects, et cetera. "Mahogany Row" qualifies in spades, as to "The Auditors". As of the latest book both have received at best glancing explanations beyond "do not mess with".
 The Laundry Files / int_be8416ea
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The Laundry Files / int_be8416ea
 The Laundry Files / int_bec0417c
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Happily Married
 The Laundry Files / int_bec0417c
comment
Happily Married: Following the events of Jennifer Morgue, Bob and Mo seem to have a healthy relationship, despite the looming specter of Case Nightmare Green. Things start deteriorating around The Fuller Memorandum; by The Annihilation Score, their marriage is on the ropes and they are living separated (although the separation is at least half because Bob's shiny new powers clash badly with Mo's violin).
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The Laundry Files / int_bec0417c
 The Laundry Files / int_c2299d6e
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Cutting the Knot
 The Laundry Files / int_c2299d6e
comment
Cutting the Knot: The problem Bob and Mo have where they can't sleep in the same bed post Rhesus Chart is unceremoniously solved by Mo asking Persephone to make her a ward to keep her soul safe from the Eater of Souls halfway through Delirium Brief.
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The Laundry Files / int_c2299d6e
 The Laundry Files / int_c25c7890
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Fun with Acronyms
 The Laundry Files / int_c25c7890
comment
Fun with Codewords: In The Rhesus Chart, Bob is annoyed when the DRESDEN RICE working group is assigned a name that is too apropos, but in fact there are several examples throughout the series of code word choices that allude to the contents: Basilisk guns are classified Scorpion Stare. In The Jennifer Morgue, Case Broccoli Goldeneye involves a wanna-be Bond villain. The Apocalypse Codex has investigations involving Christian sects coded 'God Game. In The Rhesus Chart, the aforementioned Dresden Rice working group dealing with vampires. Likewise, information about vampires is classified Opera Cape.
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 The Laundry Files / int_c32ff031
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Xanatos Gambit
 The Laundry Files / int_c32ff031
comment
Xanatos Gambit: It's revealed late in Codex that Schiller's security chief is an operative for the Black Chamber. Persephone figures it out in time: if Schiller succeeds, the Black Chamber could potentially grab control of a powerful supernatural entity, and if he fails, they would be rid of a dangerous madman. Whether the operative was running a officially sanctioned or a rogue operation is left worryingly unanswered. This is remarkably similar to the setup in Jennifer Morgue, with the reasoning behind their actions left equally unanswered. Likewise, in The Rhesus Chart: the master vampire within the Laundry manipulated another master into an all-out attack on the Laundry. Either the Laundry would kill the master and rid the planner of a rival, or the master would destroy the Laundry and remove an organization that was aware of vampires and capable of hunting them down.
 The Laundry Files / int_c32ff031
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The Laundry Files / int_c32ff031
 The Laundry Files / int_c3478f1d
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Badass Bookworm
 The Laundry Files / int_c3478f1d
comment
Badass Bookworm: Everyone in Laundry Active Ops, really. Bob himself is an excellent example; for all his insistence that he's not some sort of super-spy and his dislike of guns, he's very competent, as noted by several characters.
 The Laundry Files / int_c3478f1d
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The Laundry Files / int_c3478f1d
 The Laundry Files / int_c34a1799
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Kaiju
 The Laundry Files / int_c34a1799
comment
Kaiju: In The Delirium Brief, Bob mentioned that an 80-meter tall kaiju attacked Yokohama and fought against the JSDF as a result of his mission at Puroland. Even then the event isn't as headline-hitting as alfär incursion in Leeds.
 The Laundry Files / int_c34a1799
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The Laundry Files / int_c34a1799
 The Laundry Files / int_c378ba5f
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Sealed Evil in a Duel
 The Laundry Files / int_c378ba5f
comment
Sealed Evil in a Duel: In The Rhesus Chart'', a powerful vampire sorcerer attacks the Laundry and Angleton apparently performs a Heroic Sacrifice to stop him, but they Never Found the Body as they're sealed inside a dome-shaped protection ward too powerful to even approach. Earlier another vampire had demonstrated the use of such a ward to keep his victims alive so they can be fed upon.
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The Laundry Files / int_c378ba5f
 The Laundry Files / int_c4240537
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Moral Event Horizon
 The Laundry Files / int_c4240537
comment
The Nazis were implied to have been working on forcibly creating human basilisks as terror weapons. The Allies considered this to be crossing the Moral Event Horizon invoked and threatened use of chemical weapons on German cities if the project was not shut down.
 The Laundry Files / int_c4240537
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The Laundry Files / int_c4240537
 The Laundry Files / int_c5b47b36
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Offscreen Moment of Awesome
 The Laundry Files / int_c5b47b36
comment
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In The Rhesus Chart we have a two hundred year old vampire with extensive necromantic power fighting one of the Auditors and then going toe to toe with Angleton which appears to have ended in a mutual kill. And it's relayed to the reader after the fact because everyone who witnessed it is dead and Bob's writing up a committee's post-mortem of what happened.
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The Laundry Files / int_c5b47b36
 The Laundry Files / int_c5f0119c
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Insane Troll Logic
 The Laundry Files / int_c5f0119c
comment
Insane Troll Logic: The Laundry's response to a committee in The Seventies which suggested using the Mother of a Thousand Young as a Weapon of Mass Destruction — even to develop such a system would invite a preemptive strike from the Soviets or the destruction of mankind by Blue Hades. The Laundry recommended that all the members of this committee be forced into early retirement and "denied access to sharp objects."
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Bedlam House
 The Laundry Files / int_c6c5ce4
comment
Bedlam House: The Funny Farm in "Down On the Farm".
 The Laundry Files / int_c6c5ce4
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Shout-Out
 The Laundry Files / int_c75df49a
comment
Shout Out: Now has its own page.
 The Laundry Files / int_c75df49a
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 The Laundry Files / int_c82e751f
type
Unspoken Plan Guarantee
 The Laundry Files / int_c82e751f
comment
Unspoken Plan Guarantee: The Audit Committee has a plan called "Extended Continuity Operations", which may be intended to defeat the New Management or merely to survive it. As of Labyrinth Index no actual details of this plan have been disclosed - except that it's apparently the only thing that is keeping several characters from just killing themselves in despair.
 The Laundry Files / int_c82e751f
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_c82e751f
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_c82e751f
 The Laundry Files / int_c8bea4ec
type
My Species Doth Protest Too Much
 The Laundry Files / int_c8bea4ec
comment
My Species Doth Protest Too Much: By human standards, the alfär are callous sociopaths without any regard for others of their own kind or any other creatures. Cassie, on the other hand, possesses a much more human-like ability to empathize. This claim also conveniently happens to serve her personal interests.
 The Laundry Files / int_c8bea4ec
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_c8bea4ec
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_c8bea4ec
 The Laundry Files / int_c95d04f2
type
It Can Think
 The Laundry Files / int_c95d04f2
comment
It Can Think: In Equoid the Eldritch Abomination gains sentience towards the end of its life cycle, and can make defensive moves like arranging for the delivery of a ton of ammonium nitrate, enough to blow up anyone who tried to Kill It with Fire before it spawns. At first, Bob assumes this is due to it forming a Hive Mind with its young, but apparently it's due to reincarnation. Mo's violin has a mind and will of its own. She always knew; it took a serious eldritch upgrade and the violin trying to kill Mhari for Bob to realize.
 The Laundry Files / int_c95d04f2
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_c95d04f2
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_c95d04f2
 The Laundry Files / int_cbe687ab
type
Corrupt Corporate Executive
 The Laundry Files / int_cbe687ab
comment
The purely human Americans who show up are a Corrupt Corporate Executive and a crooked televangelist, who are greedy, short-sighted, more than willing to get rid of extraneous employees. Textbook type 2, in other words, at least once you get past the Body Horror.
 The Laundry Files / int_cbe687ab
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_cbe687ab
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_cbe687ab
 The Laundry Files / int_cc4d190a
type
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?
 The Laundry Files / int_cc4d190a
comment
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: done literally to (a proxy of) Cthulhu in The Labyrinth Index.
 The Laundry Files / int_cc4d190a
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_cc4d190a
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_cc4d190a
 The Laundry Files / int_cda501da
type
Killed Off for Real
 The Laundry Files / int_cda501da
comment
Killed Off for Real: By the end of The Rhesus Chart, OCCULUS trooper Steve Howe, Andy Newstrom, and Angleton, who have been around since the first book, are all killed or presumed dead.
 The Laundry Files / int_cda501da
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_cda501da
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_cda501da
 The Laundry Files / int_cdfe12c3
type
Nothing Is Scarier
 The Laundry Files / int_cdfe12c3
comment
Nothing Is Scarier: In universe, Bob considers his boss, Angleton, less scary upon learning he's a "hungry ghost" named the Eater of Souls bound to the body of a convicted murderer, because now he has something concrete to be scared of.
 The Laundry Files / int_cdfe12c3
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_cdfe12c3
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_cdfe12c3
 The Laundry Files / int_ce6555f0
type
Lighter and Softer
 The Laundry Files / int_ce6555f0
comment
Lighter and Softer: Compared to Stross's two earlier Cold War short cosmic horror stories "A Colder War" and "Missile Gap", in which humanity is brought to extinction by an all-out war and in one case, the remnants escape only to die of cold and starvation in an alternate dimension, the Laundryverse is downright optimistic about humanity's chances.
 The Laundry Files / int_ce6555f0
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_ce6555f0
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_ce6555f0
 The Laundry Files / int_cf41a26
type
Deadly Upgrade
 The Laundry Files / int_cf41a26
comment
Deadly Upgrade: The series' magic is a branch of mathematics, and can be executed essentially by solving math problems. This is easy and (relatively) safe if done by computer, but mathematically sophisticated sorcerers can do it mentally — at the risk of ending up with Krantzberg syndrome: summoning microscopic and hungry Eldritch Abominations into their own skulls, leading inevitably to a particularly nasty species of dementia. There is a risk of doing so accidentally.
 The Laundry Files / int_cf41a26
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_cf41a26
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_cf41a26
 The Laundry Files / int_cf7b362
type
Horror Hunger
 The Laundry Files / int_cf7b362
comment
Horror Hunger: Why most of the Eldritch Abominations appearing in the series are interested in humanity. Lots of them feed by increasing entropy (including the destruction of information), so killing intelligent beings and (for more powerful ones) sucking out their souls gives them excellent nutrition.
 The Laundry Files / int_cf7b362
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_cf7b362
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_cf7b362
 The Laundry Files / int_d03fc3f1
type
Good Shepherd
 The Laundry Files / int_d03fc3f1
comment
Good Shepherd: Pete Wilson, a local vicar and a friend of the Howards, shows up in Codex. Even though Bob claims to be an atheist (actually, closer to a Nay-Theist, but he couldn't well reveal the truth about betentacled Elder Gods and the like), he respects him for genuinely taking care of his flock's spiritual needs. Doubles as a Chekhov's Gunman when Bob needs a theological scholar to analyze the Apocalypse Codex of Saint Enoch, which Pete quickly deciphers as a guide to a ritual, not to mention deeply disturbing: Bob has to reassure him that, no, he hasn't gone batshit crazy and joined that particular church. Bob, naturally, feels really guilty about dragging him into it. Pete shows up in The Nightmare Stacks as a Badass Preacher; driving the Kettenkrad all over the place, saving Alex and Cassie, and generally helping to save the day. However, he got turned into Black Chamber vampire in The Labyrinth Index. While Mhari thinks she'll be able to override the vampire strain with hers instead of Black Chamber's, there's a good possibility that he'll end up committing suicide after that due to his Good Shepherd nature. At least, after he gets to say goodbye to his family.
 The Laundry Files / int_d03fc3f1
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_d03fc3f1
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_d03fc3f1
 The Laundry Files / int_d08049db
type
Taken for Granite
 The Laundry Files / int_d08049db
comment
Taken for Granite: The basilisk effect, which converts carbon to silicon via spooky observer-effect magic. Then blows it apart thanks to the wildly unstable molecular configurations that result. Originally formed by a particular kind of brain tumour, Scorpion Stare is the result of the Laundry producing a chip that can duplicate the effect with a camera, allowing its use as a weapon. Any camera with the chip can be activated through an Internet connection, and this includes just about every CCTV, webcam, and digital camera in Great Britain. And you know those DRM chips Hollywood wants installed in all new cameras? Guess what those are. They're actually just DRM chips: the in-universe point of the DCMA is that any chip capable of functioning as compliant DRM has both the computational power to emulate the appropriate cluster of nerve cells and the capacity to have its firmware updated to do just that, usually over the Internet. Neither the Laundry nor Black Chamber - as a whole - are stupid enough to consider actually globally deploying Scorpon Stare until the Godzilla Threshold is passed. The Nazis were implied to have been working on forcibly creating human basilisks as terror weapons. The Allies considered this to be crossing the Moral Event Horizon invoked and threatened use of chemical weapons on German cities if the project was not shut down.
 The Laundry Files / int_d08049db
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_d08049db
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_d08049db
 The Laundry Files / int_d29d5184
type
Meat Puppet
 The Laundry Files / int_d29d5184
comment
An entity known as the Eater Of Souls was summoned into a human Meat Puppet to serve as a Living Weapon, but ended up in The Men in Black's management instead as Mr. Angleton. It turned out that Humanity Is Infectious and the Eater picked up more of a sense of honour and fair play than its handlers ever had.
 The Laundry Files / int_d29d5184
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_d29d5184
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_d29d5184
 The Laundry Files / int_d397657d
type
Hoist by His Own Petard
 The Laundry Files / int_d397657d
comment
Hoist by His Own Petard: at the end of The Apocalypse Codex, Pastor Schiller is left in the Pyramid with the newly-awakened Sleeper, whom he awakened, and who is hungry for souls to eat. Too bad this ends up getting subverted when it's revealed that Schiller became the Sleeper's host in The Delirium Brief.
 The Laundry Files / int_d397657d
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-0.3
 The Laundry Files / int_d397657d
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_d397657d
 The Laundry Files / int_d3b02ffb
type
I Know Your True Name
 The Laundry Files / int_d3b02ffb
comment
I Know Your True Name: The alfär use true names to create their geasas, and as a consequence guard theirs very closely. Cassie's gobsmacked when Alex just gives her his. Inverted with Mo's violin. If you find out Lecter's real name, it gains influence over you.
 The Laundry Files / int_d3b02ffb
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_d3b02ffb
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_d3b02ffb
 The Laundry Files / int_d45c0b86
type
Refuge in Audacity
 The Laundry Files / int_d45c0b86
comment
Refuge in Audacity: Cassie, at a loss what to wear when meeting her boyfriends' parents for the first time, decides to go for broke and show up as... an Elven princess.
 The Laundry Files / int_d45c0b86
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_d45c0b86
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_d45c0b86
 The Laundry Files / int_d5d976dd
type
I Have Many Names
 The Laundry Files / int_d5d976dd
comment
I Have Many Names: James Jesus Angleton, a.k.a. TEAPOT, a.k.a. "The Eater of Souls".
 The Laundry Files / int_d5d976dd
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_d5d976dd
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_d5d976dd
 The Laundry Files / int_d6268c2e
type
Shoot Everything That Moves
 The Laundry Files / int_d6268c2e
comment
Shoot Everything That Moves: Scorpion Stare is activated to defend Quarry House from Case Nightmare Red. Unfortunately an invading army of elven warriors advances through the same area as a cosplay festival, and its target discrimination software fails to distinguish the Innocent Bystanders from the invading aliens.
 The Laundry Files / int_d6268c2e
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_d6268c2e
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_d6268c2e
 The Laundry Files / int_d71d51fd
type
The End of the World as We Know It
 The Laundry Files / int_d71d51fd
comment
The End of the World as We Know It: Case Nightmare Green. In essence, billions upon billions of humans doing what we do—thinking, imagining, calculating—is very bad for reality. Sufficient levels of belief in an entity, or calculations related to an entity, can summon it from one of the countless parallel (and... not so parallel...) universes where an iteration of it exists. In the best of times, the ability to do so is generally offset by the difficulty. However, a roughly 70-year period is coming very soon—and probably has already begun—during which... well, during which the stars are right. Case Nightmare Green is predicted to be bad enough that an all-out nuclear war was considered, in order to reduce the population and thus the chances of summoning something big and hungry. However, the sheer number of deaths would almost certainly attract equally unpleasant creatures—and that's assuming that nobody dedicates the deaths to their favorite gibbering horror. Now it's officially begun with various alien gods popping here and there. And they're afraid of the Cold Ones, who bring something even worse.
 The Laundry Files / int_d71d51fd
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_d71d51fd
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_d71d51fd
 The Laundry Files / int_d7472e4f
type
Kicked Upstairs
 The Laundry Files / int_d7472e4f
comment
The root of the matter is that they hire as an alternative to killing random civilians, and this is almost the only way anybody comes to work for them. Unlike a standard setup where people are Kicked Upstairs, all of the lowest-level jobs are sinecures.
 The Laundry Files / int_d7472e4f
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_d7472e4f
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_d7472e4f
 The Laundry Files / int_d7b34c31
type
Everyone Calls Him
 The Laundry Files / int_d7b34c31
comment
Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The alfär are all known by their job titles—All-Highest, Agent First of Spies and Liars (Cassie), and so on—because their true names are used in the mind-control geasa that are the foundation of their society.
 The Laundry Files / int_d7b34c31
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_d7b34c31
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_d7b34c31
 The Laundry Files / int_d99d9918
type
The Captain
 The Laundry Files / int_d99d9918
comment
The Captain: Captain Alan Barnes of the Artists' Rifles.
 The Laundry Files / int_d99d9918
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_d99d9918
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_d99d9918
 The Laundry Files / int_d9e946ae
type
Cute Monster Girl
 The Laundry Files / int_d9e946ae
comment
Ramona Random, a Black Chamber agent introduced in The Jennifer Morgue, has a very powerful glamour that makes her supernaturally, irresistibly beautiful. Or, at least, that's the cover story. It turns out that she's exactly as beautiful without it, but far less human.
 The Laundry Files / int_d9e946ae
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_d9e946ae
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_d9e946ae
 The Laundry Files / int_d9e9ad7e
type
The Cavalry
 The Laundry Files / int_d9e9ad7e
comment
The Cavalry: Four novels in, none of them came down to Bob finishing off the Big Bad all by himself. (The Fuller Memorandum came closest, but he still needed to be rescued afterwards.)
 The Laundry Files / int_d9e9ad7e
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_d9e9ad7e
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_d9e9ad7e
 The Laundry Files / int_da46a2c0
type
Hollywood Atheist
 The Laundry Files / int_da46a2c0
comment
Hollywood Atheist: Bob, who undergoes a unique form of Heel–Faith Turn in The Fuller Memorandum. As he puts it...
 The Laundry Files / int_da46a2c0
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_da46a2c0
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_da46a2c0
 The Laundry Files / int_dae5c997
type
Action Girl
 The Laundry Files / int_dae5c997
comment
Action Girl: Ramona Random in The Jennifer Morgue. The Apocalypse Codex has Persephone Hazard. White Mask aka Mhari Murphy in The Annihilation Score. Cassie in The Nightmare Stacks.
 The Laundry Files / int_dae5c997
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_dae5c997
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_dae5c997
 The Laundry Files / int_dc3b74bc
type
Pointy-Haired Boss
 The Laundry Files / int_dc3b74bc
comment
Pointy-Haired Boss: The woman from the Laundry's cover-organisation who doesn't have a clue what Bob actually does but, thanks to matrix-management, somehow has a say in how he does it. This is thanks to the fact that Bob basically has two jobs in the Laundry. The important one is as a field operative, which involves doing things that are very classified and even being in the Laundry doesn't get you the information without being cleared for it. His second job, during all the extended periods where he's not fending off colors out of space, is as a network technician keeping a section of the Laundry's computers running smoothly. The boss for his second job considers the entire field work division to be unimportant compared to the bureaucratic busywork, and constantly rode Bob's ass over it until Angleton dealt with her.
 The Laundry Files / int_dc3b74bc
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_dc3b74bc
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_dc3b74bc
 The Laundry Files / int_dca70c44
type
Reasonable Authority Figure
 The Laundry Files / int_dca70c44
comment
Reasonable Authority Figure: Angleton. Not nice, but reasonable. He'll make fun of his subordinates if he feels they deserve it ("Go away, before I mock you," when Bob did something dumb in Archive) and does not suffer fools gladly (reference the fate of the late, unlamented Bridget), but if you're competent and make the effort he will back you all the way. In The Fuller Memorandum, Iris. In contrast to his previous line managers Bob thinks she's the type who acquired her management skills shepherding a large, unruly family rather than in business school. Horrifyingly subverted when it turns out she's The Mole and head of a cult of Nyarlathotep. The Senior Auditor in The Apocalypse Codex. Chief Superintendent Jim Grey in The Annihilation Score.
 The Laundry Files / int_dca70c44
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 The Laundry Files / int_dca70c44
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_dca70c44
 The Laundry Files / int_de9047ac
type
Gambit Pileup
 The Laundry Files / int_de9047ac
comment
Gambit Pileup: The whole plot of The Rhesus Chart. It turns out that two very old vampires have been playing cat and mouse for centuries trying to get each other killed. One is inside the Laundry, one isn't. By the end of the book, one is definitely dead and one is presumed dead, and so are dozens of people inside the Laundry.
 The Laundry Files / int_de9047ac
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_de9047ac
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_de9047ac
 The Laundry Files / int_deca6032
type
Everything Sensor
 The Laundry Files / int_deca6032
comment
Everything Sensor: Bob's palmtop, progressively updated through the series.
 The Laundry Files / int_deca6032
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_deca6032
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_deca6032
 The Laundry Files / int_df4d868c
type
Battleaxe Nurse
 The Laundry Files / int_df4d868c
comment
Battleaxe Nurse: "Down On the Farm" has robot nurses, slaved to a 1960s minicomputer with a demonic intelligence system
 The Laundry Files / int_df4d868c
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_df4d868c
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_df4d868c
 The Laundry Files / int_e0207930
type
Humans Are Special
 The Laundry Files / int_e0207930
comment
Humans Are Special: Unfortunately, only in terms of danger the humanity unwittingly poses to itself, the Earth and the Universe. Other races don't seem to have quite the same potential for summoning malevolent soul-sucking Physical Gods by accident or stupidity, as evidenced by the world not being reduced to a toy of said gods yet.
 The Laundry Files / int_e0207930
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 The Laundry Files / int_e0207930
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_e0207930
 The Laundry Files / int_e070ebe6
type
Manchurian Agent
 The Laundry Files / int_e070ebe6
comment
Manchurian Agent: In The Labyrinth Index, Pete and Derek (who was infected by Pete) was turned into this when Pete was infected by Black Chamber's strain of vampire parasite, which were bred to be able to force the host to do anything the Black Chamber wants. Jim was too, but Mhari managed to override the vampire strain with hers. She also plans to fix Pete after mission (Derek was abandoned).
 The Laundry Files / int_e070ebe6
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_e070ebe6
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_e070ebe6
 The Laundry Files / int_e11027bb
type
Sex for Solace
 The Laundry Files / int_e11027bb
comment
Sex for Solace: Despite Mhari being portrayed as All Take and No Give, she turns up to comfort Bob after he has to kill a man after a bungled summoning. It's not so comforting when she offers sex at the end of The Rhesus Chart, as he's Happily Married by that point.
 The Laundry Files / int_e11027bb
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_e11027bb
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_e11027bb
 The Laundry Files / int_e294a0be
type
Our Souls Are Different
 The Laundry Files / int_e294a0be
comment
Our Souls Are Different: They're the informational echoes of a person's consciousness; although these echoes can occasionally haunt a spot as a ghost, souls are of more significance as food for various otherworldly abominations.
 The Laundry Files / int_e294a0be
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_e294a0be
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_e294a0be
 The Laundry Files / int_e2f7ab99
type
Assassin Outclassin'
 The Laundry Files / int_e2f7ab99
comment
Assassin Outclassin': The Black Pharaoh has thwarted at least two attempts on his life set up by the Black Chamber, in one case leaving the would-be assassin "skeletonized". After these conspicuous failures, no further credible killers are willing to accept this commission, even with an increase of several million dollars in the proposed fee.
 The Laundry Files / int_e2f7ab99
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_e2f7ab99
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Laundry Files / int_e2f7ab99
 The Laundry Files / int_e407c52e
type
Double Subversion
 The Laundry Files / int_e407c52e
comment
In The Fuller Memorandum, Iris Carpenter is a Double Subversion.
 The Laundry Files / int_e407c52e
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_e407c52e
featureConfidence
1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_e407c52e
 The Laundry Files / int_e4ba33fc
type
Disaster Dominoes
 The Laundry Files / int_e4ba33fc
comment
Disaster Dominoes: Bob notes early in Memorandum that no disaster is a single event; instead, they're the result of a whole chain of small missteps that all add up in a spectacularly wrong fashion. This comes back as a Brick Joke when Iris and the rest of the Brotherhood of the Black Pharaoh try to sacrifice him to summon up the Eater of Souls. Unfortunately for them, they've made a chain of missteps and misunderstandings: nothing disastrous individually, but in toto...
 The Laundry Files / int_e4ba33fc
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_e4ba33fc
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_e4ba33fc
 The Laundry Files / int_e4c95972
type
Innocent Bigot
 The Laundry Files / int_e4c95972
comment
Innocent Bigot: Since Cassie is from a society that basically forbids personal expression and regularly castrates its mages, she, unfortunately, assumes that Mack, a trans woman who is dating Alex's little sister, is a eunuch. Luckily, it's also pretty obvious she's just clueless, so Mack's feelings aren't that hurt.
 The Laundry Files / int_e4c95972
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1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_e4c95972
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_e4c95972
 The Laundry Files / int_e542b0f5
type
Geas
 The Laundry Files / int_e542b0f5
comment
Geas: Small ones to ensure secrecy are thrown around all the time. In the second book the protagonist is put under a geas that essentially turns him into James Bond. Too bad it's a trick by the Big Bad; a good thing at least one of the Big Bad's opponents figured out an exploit of it... TEAPOT, also known as Angleton, is controlled by one. It wore off decades ago. Alfär society runs entirely on these. Everybody is mind-controlled by somebody, except for All-Highest.
 The Laundry Files / int_e542b0f5
featureApplicability
1.0
 The Laundry Files / int_e542b0f5
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1.0
 The Laundry Files
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The Laundry Files / int_e542b0f5
 The Laundry Files / int_e5d8460d
type
Unexplained Recovery
 The Laundry Files / int_e5d8460d
comment
Unexplained Recovery: The last time we see Capt. Alan Barnes in The Atrocity Archive, he's on a hospital bed being treated for 500 rems of radiation poisoning. Then in The Jennifer Morgue, he shows up with The Cavalry, looking like a recovered radiation-therapy patient but otherwise fine. Bob lampshades it in the The Laundry RPG by wondering what the Laundry had to promise to whom to get this effect.
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The Mole
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In The Fuller Memorandum, Iris. In contrast to his previous line managers Bob thinks she's the type who acquired her management skills shepherding a large, unruly family rather than in business school. Horrifyingly subverted when it turns out she's The Mole and head of a cult of Nyarlathotep.
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Powered by a Forsaken Child
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Powered by a Forsaken Child: Pale Grace Skin Hydromax cream. Made from "100% natural ingredients". There are also various other rituals and artifacts requiring human sacrifices. The "Erich Zahn original" violin owned by the Laundry (and in the possession of Mo for much of the series) was made by a series of tortures performed on innocent prisoners. Its body is composed of human bones which were extracted while the victims were conscious - the remainder is so bad that no one will willingly discuss it.
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Brain Bleach
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Equoid is outright disturbing and very dark, worse than Mo's description of CLUB ZERO in Fuller Memorandum or what Persephone stumbles over during her escape in The Apocalypse Codex; the Laundry series hints at many horrors, but almost never describes them outright or in detail, and Equoid serves as an example of why we should all be grateful for that; many commenters on the story called for Brain Bleach. Word Of God, also mentioned in the comment section, is that it was for a unicorn story anthology John Scalzi was trying to get going, and for which Stross volunteered.
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Exact Words
 The Laundry Files / int_e9e35e8f
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Exact Words: The Rhesus Chart has a character get mind controlled by an ancient vampire and ordered to guard a door and kill anyone who steps through it. While the vampire meant for him to kill heroes trying to get in, it occurs to him that this also applies to a mind-controlled minion trying to get out.
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Big Damn Heroes
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Big Damn Heroes: In The Fuller Memorandum, they're set up for a repeat but arrive too late to do more than clean up after Bob's giant summoning. In The Rhesus Chart, Bob and OCCULUS in the climax, albeit later than intended. And then it turns out that while they successfully dispose of Big Bad 1, the whole thing doubled as a diversion so Big Bad 2 could hit the New Annex.
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The Unmasqued World
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The Unmasqued World: Partially gone as of The Annihilation Score. Because Nightmare Green is getting close roughly one person in every thousand is starting to develop some kind of power and about one in every million developing a major superpower, forcing the governments to react to this. However the real truth about what the world's facing is still kept under wraps. Completely gone by the end of The Nightmare Stacks; even The Laundry can't cover up an invasion of Space Elves and the resulting mass casualties in Leeds.
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Recursive Creators
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Recursive Creators: OPA/Black Chamber's Project Godwaker involves these to make invocation nodes in order to wake Cthulhu, because it needs so much raw materials it'll involve deconstructing the whole inner Solar System to make Matrioshka brain for the project, Accelerando-style.
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Beethoven Was an Alien Spy
 The Laundry Files / int_ec7da60a
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Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Alan Turing was also murdered by the Laundry. Their regret over having wasted such a peerless mind heavily informs their latter-day approach to dealing with people on the outside who have happened upon knowledge only permissible to people on the inside. And he's not the only famous person with skin in the game. Arthur Ransome (yes, that Arthur Ransome) and Ian Fleming were both close correspondents of the first head of the Laundry, and did a fair bit of occult field research for him. Roman von Ungern-Sternberg and the Bogd Khan had a hand in containing the Sleeper in the Pyramid, a potentially world-ending entity, through means best not dwelt upon. And yes, Lovecraft knew the truth, or at least enough of it to be dangerous, and his fiction is considered the occult equivalent of The Anarchist's Cookbook (more likely to produce results harmful for the reader). Anthony Comstock founded the Occult Books Division of the US Postal Inspectorate after seeing copies of the Necronomicon sent via the US mail.
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Decapitated Army
 The Laundry Files / int_ecf76ce6
comment
Decapitated Army: The älfar plan to conquer Earth by locating its current rulers, killing them, and assuming their places in the hierarchy. This plan has several flaws: in particular, Earth has no rulers of the sort they imagine, and even if it did they wouldn't be in Leeds. At the end of the book, Cassie and Alex end up doing exactly the same thing in reverse, defeating the invasion by killing the All-Highest and his current wife in order to make Cassie the new All-Highest.
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Glowing Eyelights of Undeath
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Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: If someone's eye sockets are full of glowing worms, that's a good sign to start running.
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One Steve Limit
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One Steve Limit: Broken quite a bit in more recent entries. Readers might get confused at the start of Delirium Brief, which starts with Bob being interviewed by someone named Jeremy, who is referred to as "the big guy". This is a bit awkward since the Prime Minister of the Laundryverse is also named Jeremy. Similarly, Derek the accountant from Atrocity Archive is most definitely not the same Derek as the Dungeons and Dragons-obsessed Duty Officer called Derek introduced in Nightmare Stacks. And the Alison who works for Pastor Schiller is hopefully not the same as the Alison who works in the Laundry's HR department.
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A Load of Bull
 The Laundry Files / int_f1b3104c
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A Load of Bull: One of the prospective superheroes Mo and Mhari interview in The Annihilation Score is a minotaur-like fellow who calls himself "The Human Cowboy". He's reasonably even-tempered, but unfortunately, he's also dumb as a bag of hammers and unsuitable for the team Mo's putting together.
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YouCanNeverLeave
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You Can Never Leave: You can leave the Laundry, just as long as you don't take a job in any area that might get you into trouble, like computing. Which rules out any job that Bob might be interested in. However by The Rhesus Chart this policy has changed due to the number of people who now know about The Masquerade; instead those who are useful to society are inducted, trained, then let back into the workplace as a reserve force to be drawn on in emergencies, as well as providing useful contacts throughout society. Officially their absence is explained by their working part-time for the Territorial Army (the UK's equivalent of the Army Reserve).
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Fast Tunnelling
 The Laundry Files / int_f38adaff
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AC:Deep Seven, also known as the Chthonians, can tectonically destabilize almost any land area on the planet, and a single one can lay waste to a whole city. It's unclear how much of it is technology and how much is their innate Fast Tunnelling.
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Chinese Launderer
 The Laundry Files / int_f3d7f7e8
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Chinese Launderer: The Laundry is so named because one of these once served as cover for its entrance.
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Broken Masquerade
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comment
Broken Masquerade: The way Case Nightmare Green works, in which magic becomes so easy that everyone does it and the Great Old Ones might get through, seems to imply that this is inevitable. As of The Annihilation Score, cracks are starting to show. By the time of The Nightmare Stacks, someone suggests blaming a supervillain to distract people from the extradimensional invasion. By the end of The Nightmare Stacks, the Laundry and everything it's been covering up has been blown out of the water in the worst possible way. The Delirium Brief starts with Bob on Newsnight due to the events of the previous novel dealing with the broken masquerade.
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Alien Invasion
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The Nightmare Stacks might be the darkest book yet, combining a horrifically-destructive Alien Invasion with an unprepared Laundry, ending with a Broken Masquerade and thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dead civilians, not all of whom were killed by the enemy.
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Incompetence, Inc.
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Incompetence, Inc.: The Laundry finds it easiest to deal with people who can't be let go by simply giving them a pointless paper-pushing job until they can retire with a pension. It's cheaper in some ways, and it avoids a lot of nasty legal and PR issues. The root of the matter is that they hire as an alternative to killing random civilians, and this is almost the only way anybody comes to work for them. Unlike a standard setup where people are Kicked Upstairs, all of the lowest-level jobs are sinecures.
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Cleanup Crew
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Clean Up Crew: The plumbers.
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Running Gag
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Running Gag: Whenever Bob gets annoyed at the Laundry's bureaucratic excesses, he brings up the regular paperclip audits. Then they crop up again in the middle of The Fuller Memorandum and it turns out there's a very good reason for them: a Chekhov's Gun set up 5 stories ago. Whew.
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I Call It
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I Call It "Vera": Pinky and Brains dub the Kettenkrad "Ilsa".
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Brick Joke
 The Laundry Files / int_fe0330fb
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Brick Joke: Bob keeps making references to "paperclip audits" through the series. It seems like a Running Gag, until we actually get to see the start of one. Shortly thereafter, we learn that if you have a paperclip from the same batch as a classified document, you can use it to track said document.
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 The Laundry Files / int_ff074ad4
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Cast from Lifespan
 The Laundry Files / int_ff074ad4
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Cast from Lifespan: Magic in this setting works by interfacing with other dimensions. This means performing magical calculations in your head opens microscopic portal inside your brain, letting in tiny demons that think human neural tissue makes a great brunch. The cumulative effect of too much spellcasting means irreversible brain damage that looks a lot like Mad Cow Disease. The only ways to avoid are to either use a computer to cast the actual spell, which is very limiting, or to bond with an extradimensional entity, which has its own drawbacks. Vampires cast from other people's lifespans via sympathetic link. A victim might last six months or so if the vampire isn't up to anything in particular, but a vampiric battle mage casting a bunch of flashy combat spells will go through a new victim hourly or even sooner. Some of Persephone's more exotic abilities have this drawback. Bob implies Mo's violin might also do the same, though whether it's a short-term drain she can recover from or siphoning off her long-term lifespan is unsaid. Though, as of The Annihilation Score and especially the end of The Delirium Brief, this may be a moot point.
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The Laundry Files

The following is a list of statements referring to the current page from other pages.

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A Load of Bull / int_bdc49dbe
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A True Story in My Universe / int_bdc49dbe
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Alliance with an Abomination / int_bdc49dbe
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Alternate History – Nazi Victory / int_bdc49dbe
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Ban on Magic / int_bdc49dbe
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Bob from Accounting / int_bdc49dbe
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Canon Character All Along / int_bdc49dbe
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Cast from Lifespan / int_bdc49dbe
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Chinese Launderer / int_bdc49dbe
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Differently Powered Individual / int_bdc49dbe
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Doing In the Wizard / int_bdc49dbe
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Dug Too Deep / int_bdc49dbe
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Eagleland / int_bdc49dbe
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Empowered Badass Normal / int_bdc49dbe
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Entropy and Chaos Magic / int_bdc49dbe
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Equal-Opportunity Evil / int_bdc49dbe
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Evil States of America / int_bdc49dbe
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Extradimensional Power Source / int_bdc49dbe
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Fictional Disability / int_bdc49dbe
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Fish People / int_bdc49dbe
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For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself / int_bdc49dbe
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Formulaic Magic / int_bdc49dbe
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419 Scam / int_bdc49dbe
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Geas / int_bdc49dbe
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Glamour / int_bdc49dbe
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Going Native / int_bdc49dbe
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Good Shepherd / int_bdc49dbe
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Hellish Horse / int_bdc49dbe
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Historical Character Confusion / int_bdc49dbe
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Human Resources / int_bdc49dbe
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Human Sacrifice / int_bdc49dbe
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Inhumanable Alien Rights / int_bdc49dbe
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Instrument of Murder / int_bdc49dbe
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Involuntary Suicide Mechanism / int_bdc49dbe
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Just Before the End / int_bdc49dbe
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Just the First Citizen / int_bdc49dbe
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Just Train Wrong / int_bdc49dbe
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Killed to Uphold the Masquerade / int_bdc49dbe
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Klingon Promotion / int_bdc49dbe
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Language of Magic / int_bdc49dbe
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Leaving Food for Santa / int_bdc49dbe
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Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard / int_bdc49dbe
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Logical Weakness / int_bdc49dbe
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Lovecraftian Superpower / int_bdc49dbe
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Mad Lib Thriller Title / int_bdc49dbe
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Magi Babble / int_bdc49dbe
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Magic from Technology / int_bdc49dbe
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Magic Music / int_bdc49dbe
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Magitek / int_bdc49dbe
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Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex / int_bdc49dbe
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Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot / int_bdc49dbe
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Muggles Do It Better / int_bdc49dbe
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Multiple Reference Pun / int_bdc49dbe
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Musical Assassin / int_bdc49dbe
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Night of the Living Mooks / int_bdc49dbe
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Number of the Beast / int_bdc49dbe
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Obstructive Bureaucrat / int_bdc49dbe
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Operation: [Blank] / int_bdc49dbe
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Our Giants Are Bigger / int_bdc49dbe
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Our Zombies Are Different / int_bdc49dbe
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Over-the-Top Secret / int_bdc49dbe
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Path of Inspiration / int_bdc49dbe
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Possessing a Dead Body / int_bdc49dbe
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Post-Modern Magik / int_bdc49dbe
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Powers as Programs / int_bdc49dbe
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Rescue Romance / int_bdc49dbe
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Revealing Cover-Up / int_bdc49dbe
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Room Full of Crazy / int_bdc49dbe
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Santabomination / int_bdc49dbe
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Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can / int_bdc49dbe
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Secret Government Warehouse / int_bdc49dbe
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Secret War / int_bdc49dbe
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Self-Deprecation / int_bdc49dbe
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Senseless Violins / int_bdc49dbe
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Shrunken Head / int_bdc49dbe
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Significant Monogram / int_bdc49dbe
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Silicon-Based Life / int_bdc49dbe
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Sorting Algorithm of Evil / int_bdc49dbe
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Straight Gay / int_bdc49dbe
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Suddenly Suitable Suitor / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
Supernatural Phone / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
Taser Tag Weakness / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
Techno Wizard / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The End of the World as We Know It / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Fair Folk / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Magic Comes Back / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Magocracy / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Spymaster / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Unmasqued World / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
The Virus / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
Tongue-Tied / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
Tracking Spell / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
Ultimate Job Security / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
Undead Laborers / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
Unexplained Accent / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
Unicorn / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
Vagina Dentata / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
Vast Bureaucracy / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
We Will Meet Again / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
Weaponized Camera / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
White Collar Worker / int_bdc49dbe
 The Laundry Files
hasFeature
All Girls Like Ponies / int_bdc49dbe