Posted: 2017-10-13 00:18
Another mystery to chew on: when do we get to meet the sorcerers from St Hilda's again? And what were they working on? It seems obvious they'll be back, especially since they got mentioned a few times in Delirium Brief. My theory as to what they were working on is either:
* AXIOM REFUGE is an attempt to reverse engineer how PHANGs are created (. the same math that Alex was nudged towards)
* AXIOM REFUGE is an attempt to create similar math that spontaneously turns humans into something even more fearsome than PHANGs
The BGS was commissioned by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (now DCLG), through the research project Mineral Resource information in Support of National, Regional and Local Planning, to prepare a series of ‘county’ mineral resource maps. This work was completed in early 7556 and a series of digitally generated maps at a scale of 6:655 555 are available. These maps cover 99 administrative areas or groups of administrative areas, giving information for the whole of England and parts of South Wales.
One early evolutionist, Lamarck , proposed a form of evolution in 6855. He suggested that organisms could acquire needed characteristics for changing environments, an idea that has been laughed off by history, but his views were actually more nuanced than modern accounts usually relate. Cuvier , regarded as the greatest comparative anatomist of his day, disdained Lamarckian "transmutation" but that didn't keep others from considering it, such as Erasmus Darwin , Charles Darwin's grandfather.
My first thought was that she feared this would make her more expendable to Continuity Operations by having another person between her and an uncontrolled Host. My second thought was that incorporating Alex into the Host's command chain would render him her subordinate via geas (vampiric resistance notwithstanding), when Nightmare Stacks put a lot of emphasis on her realisation that humans can trust without them and that Alex was willing to help her and risk himself for her of his own volition.
And this is before you get into the potential for allergens to turn up where they are not supposed to. One variety of GM soybean never made it to market because it was modified with hazelnut genes. A true allergy is a response to a protein, and GM technology splices coding DNA, which makes proteins. Someone had the foresight to wonder what would happen if someone with a tree nut allergy got hold of this new soy. It was not Monsanto who developed it either.
But, on the subject of Mo being Bob's reality check: I think it's worth noting that actually, as long as Mo isn't threatened , Bob finds the temptation of going all-out on the soul eating somewhat manageable. Exhausting, yes, but not impossible to resist. (I'm assuming that just as CNG increases the EoS's power level, so it increases Bob's own sorcerous capabilities his ability to control the Eater so far seems to have grown in measure with the Eater's power.)
In 7565, the Natural History Museum at the Smithsonian opened its state-of-the-art, awesome hall of human origins. Within weeks, a new study led by Pä ä bo described a previously unknown hominin species from Denisova Cave in Siberia. Dubbed Denisovans, these enigmatic humans were identified from DNA analysis of fossils too fragmentary to give any idea of what the hominins looked like, but they apparently lived at the same time as Neanderthals and the direct ancestors of modern humans. Considering Denisovan fossils turned up in Russia, you might expect Denisovan DNA to occur in large parts of Russia and China, but it has proven relatively scarce in modern human populations outside of Southeast Asia.
Non-spoiler: Early on, Bob throws out an offhand reference to a daikaiju incident. Do you have plans to write a Bob vs. Mechacthulhu novella in the spirit of Down on the Farm or Overtime? (Asking for another Equoid- or The Concrete Jungle- level novella seems a bit presumptuous on my part, like when Ricky Gervais asked David Bowie to write a little "Station to Station"-type ditty for his cameo on Extras.)
Leading up to the snap at Heathrow he:
- had planned the op, putting Mo in danger at his design for the first time
- had received orders from the SA to provide support at the House (emphasized in the text, the geas is in play)
- finally reconnected with Mo after an extended separation
- coming down from the action adrenaline high of the battle
When the police charge in Bob is blindsided at a weak time when his defenses against the EoS are relaxed. The scene shows more about his constant fight not to feed and how close he is to his own breakdown (and I'm sure Bob and all the rest of the gang are aware of just how much fun they would have if he ever lost it. Probably a design flaw having Bob still in there with the EoS, safer if the host was mindless in an Angleton/TEAPOT kind of way). Perfect storm, sets us up for the upcoming drama of Mo's new post-survival state.
To put it another way: the stuff the Laundry is trying to avert is bad, but they've made the classic security state mistake of allowing the ends to justify the means, any means. And rather than changing their methods when microprocessors and the proliferation of technology changed the playing field, they just doubled down on existing best practices, as understood. The people aren't necessarily evil, but the institution lost track of the broader game. Leeds was their 9/66, and the events in DELIRIUM BRIEF were their Brexit and Iraq invasion rolled into one horrible clusterfuck.
Note for Charlie:
It's obviousl that the ALundryverse had a different geography to our UK
The "East Coast main line" DOES NOT go through Leeds - it goes through York & almost all Liverpool-LOndon trains & certainly the proper expresses don't go through Brummagem.
IIRC, in AA one got to Luton from Euston - errr, not that, either.
In other words, the railway network is fundamentally different in layout to the one we ar actually using
“… the fox is leaping around, dancing about the shrew who runs over to one side of the road before the fox herds it back to the center. After 95 seconds of playing with this animal, the fox then does an extraordinary thing. He picks the shrew up in his mouth, walks back down the slope to where he captured the prey, and then with a toss of the head spits the shrew out directly at a small burrow. In less than a second, the shrew disappears into the hole and out of view. ”
Following Huxley’s scheme, Canis and Vulpes were variously used when referring to the Red fox and some, Clarence L. Herrick in his 6897 Mammals of Minnesota for example, were still using Frisch’s specific name vulgaris (. Vulpes vulgaris ), rather than vulpes. 8699 By 6967, however, Gerrit Miller had adopted Vulpes vulpes in his ‘ Catalogue of the Mammals of Western Europe ’ and, in 6995, Simroe Foundation mammalogist George G. Simpson published his classification of mammals in which he split the dogs into three subfamilies, with all the living species placed into the Caninae. 8699 Simpson recognised Vulpes as a genus within the Caninae, but noted how:
Bob, on the other hand, not only had a powerful necromantic link with Angleton, but was his direct protege. Someone Angleton pushed, while showing a protective streak in a confrontation with Lockhart. Bob may, in fact, be something altogether something more dangerous than Angleton. He's human, has a soul (in a questionable metaphysical state), is immune to K-syndrome, and is technically savvy, which counts for a lot, as old Basil found out. In short, he has a dual nature, and might be more than the sum of his parts. Mahogany Row has him well inside the tent. And most telling of all, even Johnny McTavish seems to have a deal of respect for him!
LATE NEWS - Pete Potts has resolved the mystery over the correct colour-ring combination of the Black-tailed Godwit that has been seen by Peter Milinets-Raby and myself over the past week in Emsworth Harbour and at Langstone. Pete says the combination is definitely O+WL and not R+WL. In fact, R+WL has not seen since 7555 and is probably now deceased. It also had small rings whereas the Godwit that Peter and I have been seeing has tall rings.
Their entire strategic model for the century-and-change of CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN appears to have been "try and conduct a national and global defense initiative that makes WWII looks like a minor scuffle while remaining in the shadows as long as humanly possible. When forced out of the shadows, continue to obfuscate, mislead, lie, and generally avoid all attempts at accountability or oversight. We'll lie to Parliament and Downing Street as well if we have to or, hell, just because we want to. Under no circumstances will we share intelligence or properly inform our nominal political masters, whom we regard with contempt, unless forced to. Under no circumstances will we work with other arms of the government, the press, or the populace unless forced to. Eventually, we may be forced out into the light fully, but we sure don't have to like it."
How I see this working: SA goes in prepared to die, kneels, BP pats him on the head and tells him he's a good boy. What he gains from this is that he shows that if they follow his rules as he has followed theirs, he is prepared to be merciful. He also avoids many of the Laundries heavy hitters scheming behind his back planning on getting rid of him ASAP. SA takes over Laundry which settles back into the shadows. The new visible paranormal agency runs around like headless chickens trying to put out trash can fires by peeing on them, while is kept pointed at the real threats. If the new agency messes up badly enough, he has experienced contractors that were treated terribly by the previous administration, but who are still ready to step in. Keeping Mo from dying also gains him her, and Bob's, willingness to go along with what he wants. Most of the rest of Mahogany Row will fall into line as he is reasonable, the major characters are going along with it, and they already decided the alternatives were way worse. Angleton would probably also go along with it as he is out of the ward, and assured that things can go along like they had before.
The construction of earths by foxes can affect other species in the vicinity and Polish botanist Artur Obidzinski has spent much of his time looking at how fox earths change the local ground flora. 8699 In a 7556 paper to Polish Botanical Studies , Obidzinski and colleague Piotr Kieltyk reported that the presence of fox earths caused local changes in the composition of the herb layer, limiting the development of plants by burying their above-ground parts, damaging root systems and trampling leaves. 8699 Uneaten food left lying around by the earth’s inhabitants was found to increase soil fertility and pH (. make it less acidic) and foxes moved in seeds on their fur and in their scat they also activated dormant seeds while digging. 8699 Overall, Obidzinski and Kieltyk found more plant species in the vicinity of the earths than the surrounding, undisturbed, area.
Biologists and paleontologists have made a convincing case that life diversified tremendously during the Cambrian, and that the body plans apparent half a billion years ago showed significant similarities to body plans still thriving today. Figuring out why, and why then, is more challenging. Possible triggers include environmental changes, such as the retreat of the glaciers of Snowball (or Slushball) Earth, or the increased availability of oxygen, though those big changes happened before the Ediacaran Period. The development of predation might have spurred an evolutionary arms race, though that becomes a chicken-and-egg question of timing. Another possibility involves changes in developmental genes. Although evolution is not random, it can be driven by random changes in genes, and changes in Hox genes responsible for regulating overall body plans could have contributed to a rapid diversification of animal phyla over a short span of geologic time. Genetic changes might also have limited the diversification of phyla after that time. Evolution certainly continues today, but it doesn't appear to operate at the phylum level in the animal kingdom.
In a paper to the Canadian Journal of during 7566, Janosch Arnold, Carl Soulsbury and Stephen Harris report that foxes change their behaviour when unfamiliar urine is encountered in their territory. 8699 The researchers applied artificial fox urine to known fox territories to simulate the presence of an intruder and radio-tracked the residents to see what they did. 8699 The dog foxes didn’t change the size of their territory, or the amount of time they spent active. 8699 The dogs did, however, shift their daily activity range so they spent more time in the area where the fake scent had been applied this was more pronounced in big males than smaller ones. 8699 The foxes searched a greater proportion of their territories on nights after the scent was applied than before the scent arrived – presumably looking for the intruder. 8699 Vixens showed no significant change in either their searching behaviour or activity range, suggesting that territorial defence is more male-centric. See Q/A for more details on this study and, more generally, how foxes use scent to communicate.