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“The Concrete Jungle” is a 2004 science fiction novella by Charles Stross. It is about an agent who works for a secret British intelligence organization handling supernatural cases, and his discovery that someone has hacked into their deadly network.


Plot[]

Bob Howard, an agent for “The Laundry,” has just discovered that someone has hacked into his organization’s extremely deadly alien prevention network (SCORPION STARE). As he re-traces the intruder’s steps he comes across more and more wild information regarding Gorgonism, secret Nazi experiments, the true reason for DRM, a camera network that can kill instantly and an internal coup involving bizarre agents of the underworld. He takes it all in stride though, and consistently performs his duties – but will his loyalties hold up in the end when innocent police detectives and several of his co-workers are involved in a deadly political power play? Hmm… a very good question indeed.

“Ground zero, range twenty metres. Subject is bovine, down, clearly terminal. Length is roughly three metres, breed . . . unidentifiable. The grass around it is charred but there’s no sign of secondary combustion.” I dry-swallow. “Thermal bloom from abdomen.” There’s a huge rip in its belly where the boiling intestinal fluids exploded, and the contents are probably still glowing red-hot inside."

Link[]

You can read a free HTML version of this story archived from Golden Gryphon Press (Creative Commons license) at The Internet Archive.

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