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