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Buku The Delirium Brief: A Laundry Files Novel by Stross Charles

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The Delirium Brief: A Laundry Files Novel by Stross Charles

Author:Stross, Charles [Stross, Charles]

Language: eng

Format: azw3

Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates

Published: 2017-07-10T16:00:00+00:00

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The Delirium Brief: A Laundry Files Novel by Stross Charles

SEVEN

AUDITION FOR APOCALYPSE

Now pay attention:

 

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The Delirium Brief: A Laundry Files Novel by Stross Charles

Author:Stross, Charles [Stross, Charles] , Date: June 14, 2019

,Views: 47

Author:Stross, Charles [Stross, Charles]

Language: eng

Format: azw3

Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates

Published: 2017-07-10T16:00:00+00:00
SEVEN

AUDITION FOR APOCALYPSE

Now pay attention:

As you will perforce be aware if you’ve read this far, the Laundry has been aware for a couple of years that our oath of office is subject to various workarounds and contains loopholes.

I gather that, historically, certain individuals in Mahogany Row were aware of these weaknesses but, for reasons now becoming evident, thought that the risk of third-party exploitation was outweighed by the benefits of being able to work around the outside of our normal constraints in event of an existential crisis.

The oath is a geas—a thaumaturgically enforced compulsion—that maintains security by compelling the sworn party to work in the best interests of the agency, as defined by its charter established by Royal Prerogative, et cetera. Note that Royal Prerogative bit: the geas in question draws its power from the sum over time of the entire loyal British population’s faith in the Crown since that charter was established over four centuries ago. Which adds up to something like ninety million person-centuries-worth of belief. Hence the, shall we say drastic, consequences of violating one’s oath.

Iris Carpenter got around it by convincing herself that with CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN imminent, the best way to maintain operational continuity was to adopt the methods of the other side. Call it the Edward VIII Approach if you like: if you’re convinced you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. (You might call it treason; I couldn’t possibly comment.)

There are other weaknesses, of course. The definition of the Crown is not constant over time: does it mean the Crown-in-Parliament, the absolute Monarchical Privilege of Elizabeth I, the whatever-the-hell-it-was exercised by the Lord Protector during the Commonwealth, or what? The twenty-first-century Crown as defined by the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act is not the same as the Crown as implied or assumed by the Treason Act (1800), which is not the same as the Treason Felony Act (1848), and so on. The oath works best on plain ordinary human brains. Those of us who are no longer entirely human are variably resistant to it. PHANGs are better than 50 percent likely to be immune to regular geasa, as we discovered the hard way thanks to Basil. I gather the V-parasite infestation confers resistance. Even the alfär invaders, who have a lot more experience at controlling PHANGs than we do, use other methods to ensure docility. And then there’s Angleton’s special case … which I have inherited.

But 95 percent of the time the oath of office is pretty good at binding us to obedience, and by the time you read this file it will have been superseded by something much better, so that’s water under the bridge, right?

Well, no. Because in addition to the lift-bridge itself having mechanical vulnerabilities, the foundations are deliberately weakened. Not enough to count in most circumstances, but with the right leverage …

… like Dr. Armstrong’s plan …

… the entire system can be destabilized.

During normal operations (before it was dissolved so abruptly) the agency operated as part of the Civil Service—a secret part, but nonetheless, staffed civil servants.

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