Friday, June 11, 2010

Ex Libris: Charles Stross' The Jennifer Morgue

Warning: Top Secret Document
For Your Eyes Only

File Code: 03-xx-CS-xxxx-411
Field Agent: Charles Stross

Summary: This pertains to Project Codename: The Jennifer Morgue, which is under the purview of Agent Charles Stross and is part of The Laundy series of operations. Stross' operative, one Bob Howard, is part of the British covert operations group The Laundry in Her Majesty's service which handles any supranatural threat against England and the world.

Howard's cover, a computer networks manager for a bureaucratic government office, is also his expertise given his specialty as computer specialist in occult matters. This pertains to noted mathematician Alan Turing coming up with a theorem on extra-dimensional summoning that later led to the founding of The Laundry agency. (See ref. 01-xx-CS-xxx-0111.)

Howard's expertise in the field had earlier been proven in prior operations, specifically Project Codename: The Atrocity Archives. (See ref. 01-xx-CS-xxx-0411.) For Project Codename: The Jennifer Morgue, Howard had been assigned to investigate the matter of The Jennifer Morgue, a top-secret operation involving the Deep Ones, a Soviet submarine that had sunk in the Caribbean, and a failed US blackops project to raise the submarine.

Howard's investigation later led to one software billionaire Ellis Billington who was planning to raise the said submarine. However, his ulterior motive was to actually plunder alien technology hidden with the submarine despite the risk of incurring the wrath of the Great Old Ones. It was only through the efforts of Howard and and the Laundry's US agency counterpart (The Black Chamber) that the possibility of war was averted.

Debriefing Assessment: Stross' handling of Project Codename: The Jennifer Morgue was effective. His earlier involvement in Project Codename: The Atrocity Archives was resolved using knowledge gleaned from archival projects done by agents John Le Carré and Robert Ludlum during the Cold War period. For Project Codename: The Jennifer Morgue, Stross was ably helped by the projects of the famous (or even notorious) agent Ian Fleming and his operative, one James Bond.

Though at times Stross took risks with the operation (i.e. Billington's use of a spell to limit the involvement of governmental agencies wherein only one operative could enact a successful operation1), Stross deftly maneuvered Howard through the obstacles without further harm to the operation. He also managed to turn the conventions of the said spell that resulted in the successful result of the operation.2

Likewise, Stross' technical knowledge in addressing the operation sometimes hampered the actual enactment of the operation though this was to a good cause. It did help that Howard's well-meaning personality smoothed the way without much friction among the parties. Likewise, Stross' sharp and humorous observations of bureaucratic processes that would hamper/ hinder covert operations to save the world are very astute.

Project Recommendations: Overall, Project Codename: The Jennifer Morgue was a well-executed operation that resulted in the successful resolution of the project. I advice that any further projects handled by agent Stross be kept under close scrutiny. We could all learn something with our man Stross.

Addendum: The Project Codename: The Jennifer Morgue also had the non-related internal matter re: "Pimpf" where the operative Howard addressed the issue of online gaming and the misuse of power by one of London bureaucracy's top executives. Here, Howard's technical expertise came in handy in dealing with the vagaries of the field of video games conducted on the Internet in relation to the supranatural.


1 See reference agent Dan Simmons re: "Vanni Fucci is alive and well and living in Hell" wherein global perception of a particular subject matter is enough to actively influence the metaphysics of the said subject matter. In this case, Fleming's projects had a telling influence in Project Codename: The Jennifer Morgue with a spell that utilized the Lone Secret Agent perception of the world in which only Howard could fit the requirements needed to resolve the operation.

2 See reference agent Neil Gaiman re: "A Study in Emerald" wherein requirements were overturned and expectations were subverted into a new form for the project.

Security rating: Three paws out of four

Signed: Banzai Cat, Administrative Officer, Security Level 2

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