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Nightmare Fuel / The Laundry Files

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  • The actual Atrocity Archive is a prime example; in general, anything which originated with the Nazis, and which is encountered in this context.
  • Club Zero. Amsterdam.
    • And those same people run the country by Labyrinth Index. Happy Joy!
  • The Erich Zahn violin is absolutely terrifying. We never get any concrete information, but the snippets from its appraisal make it pretty clear why the appraiser almost vomited when he saw it:
    The treatments that modify the material in this way are applied while its donor is still alive, and in excruciating pain.
    [...]
    The upper block appears to be carved from the body and lesser cornu of os hyoideum; the greater cornu is avulsed in a manner usually indicative of death by strangulation...
    • And if that wasn't bad enough, there's also Mo's nightmare early on in Codex, where a robed figure plays lullaby's to a baby in the Howard household on the Erich Zahn violin.
    Bob: Think it's jealous?
    • It gets worse. In The Rhesus Chart, it turns out that it's a second-order vampire, wide awake and hungry, capable of partially controlling the actions of Agent CANDID, and it's now extremely pissed off at Agent HOWARD.
      • It gets WORSE. It's a fragment of an elder god, specifically the King in Yellow and using it to play certain pieces of music can summon the King fully from Lost Carcosa. And while Mo's might be neutralised, it wasn't the only one and some of them are unaccounted for.
  • From The Apocrypha of The Golden Promise Ministries (and really, just the Golden Promise Ministries as a whole):
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    • "There's this stuff about binding converts... And stuff about making the unclean vine bear clean fruit whether it will or no."
    • The 'Ward of Nightmares' in the GPM compound too; not only are the women there permanently and completely paralysed, but they're forced to constantly produce children for the Ministry, unwittingly contributing to the end of the world.
  • The parasites of the Sleeper:
    • Apocalypse Codex introduces the tongue-eating variety. They bloodily eat the tongue of the victim and then attach themselves to what's left, slowly eating the soul of the victim in the process while leaving them with nothing but a feeling of being "saved". The book also mentions that they don't stop growing so the converts only have a limited shelf life as, at some point, their parasite is going to grow too big for its host and the host suffocates. But that's okay, since they would have been practically soul-dead at that point anyway.
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    • Even worse, these isopods are only the baby variety. The mothers are car tire-sized and are shrouded in a permanent glamour that can override Bob's defensive ward, so at least a class five. And since these parasites will eventually outgrow a human mouth, one has to wonder what being must have nurtured them that it allows them to grow to adulthood.
    • And then, in Delirium Brief it gets worse as it introduces the hypercastrating variant referenced back in Codex. These look like segmented lamprey eels that dig into the host's nether regions instead. Worse, the people hosting these parasites are NOT brainwashed. They are very much aware and part of a Hive Mind that functions terrifyingly well. It's a good thing Delirium Brief ended the way it did or Schiller's Assistant Anneka might have become an even bigger threat than him in the long run since she had all of his devotion with none of his scruples.
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    • And you know what? These parasites are created by the Sleeper but apparently Schiller helped design the second variant specifically to help with his plans. Meaning he deliberately created the most awful piece of Body Horror in the series, one that tops even the Equoids.
  • If you thought the Sleeper's parasites were bad, you definitely don't want to hear about Dread Cthulhu's. Dread Cthulhu, being hypothesized to be a hivemind of insectile creatures, communicates with its followers through its mouthpieces. Basically human-sized parasitic wasps that lay their eggs in humans. One of the larvae will eat its way to the human's brainstem, absorb their personality and then take over their body. The deterioration of the body is twofold here. On the one hand the body begins rotting and melting as the larva slowly grows into an adult wasp and on the other hand, the larva actively consumes the host's body, as we see the mouthpiece casually chowing down on one of its host body's fingers and seven of them already being gone. By the end the rest of the human body simply sloughs off the wasp, at which point the wasp will sting a new human to act as the next mouthpiece.
  • A bit of Paranoia Fuel combined with Fridge Horror. The Sleeper in the Pyramid seems terrifyingly adept at insinuating itself into belief systems. He manipulated Schiller and the Golden Promise Ministries into thinking he's Jesus so they'd stop at nothing to resurrect their Lord. But Delirium Brief also tells us that all this talk of the hierarchy of horrors was a lie as well. One does NOT need to wake the Sleeper to summon Nyarlathotep. In fact, the two despise each other. But the Sleeper managed to make even the Cult of the Black Pharaoh believe they needed to summon him instead of their actual master. Which begs the question: How many agencies and cults has he misled into inadvertantly helping him wake up?
    • And let's not forget Cassie's bombshell late into Delirium Brief: The Sleeper was the one who destroyed her home world. Pretty impressive for a being that's supposedly almost dead and incapable of acting.
  • In general, while the Laundry series offers no shortage of things 'from the bottom of the Mandelbrot set', most of the real nightmare fuel originates with humans. Sure, the many-angled ones will cheerfully suck your soul out through your ears and turn your hollowed-out carcass into a shambling zombie that does the same to anyone it touches — but that's just what they do. It takes humanity to aspire to true evil.
  • Equoid manages to make unicorns horrifying. Ia Shub-Niggurath ia!
  • A bit of Fridge Horror: Remember the half-dozen color-coded GOD GAME codewords from The Apocalypse Codex? The naming scheme implies that all color code words are just variations on one theme. So, the End of the World as We Know It is called CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN. Does that mean there are other predicted Apocalypses like CASE NIGHTMARE BLUE/RED/YELLOW on the way? How many kinds of screwed is humanity in this universe?
    • The world may soon find out; according to Word of God, The Nightmare Stacks is about what happens when the Laundry gets blindsided by CASE NIGHTMARE RED...
  • Speaking of the Alfär: Their cavalry is made up of unicorns. Now, since these unicorns can still move around, they are clearly not matured, but they need to get their stock of horses from somewhere...
  • Scorpion Stare, in ''The Nightmare Stacks', has Gone Horribly Wrong. Faced with a faerie invasion force heading to the heart of Leeds, and with the British Army reinforcements still on the way, the Laundry decides to activate the local Maginot Blue Stars CCTV network to slow them down. The network is fitted with an image-recognition algorithm that should, in theory, zap many-angled invaders into ashes while minimising accidental human casualties. Only it proves utterly useless against the heavily-warded invading army, and what's worse, fails to account for several hundred costumed anime convention-goers accidentally trespassing the zone of exclusion...
  • The sheer level of Person of Mass Destruction that Bob operates on in Delirium Brief. Before he gained Angleton's powers he was terrified of fights for fear of getting hurt. Now he's scared of fights for fear of accidentally killing everyone in a ten mile radius. And for good reason...
  • In The Delirium Brief, the Senior Auditor's gambit to save the British Isles from the Sleeper in the Pyramid - freeing Fabian Everyman, aka the Mandate, AKA the Living Avatar of the Black Pharaoh itself from prison and effectively handing over control of the entire United Kingdom to him.
  • The Black Chamber's plan deserves a mention, for its sheer audacity. They plan to awaken their master, Dread Cthulhu. Doing so will need a super computer. How super? They're co-opting the entirety of the US government, as well as Apple and dozens of other companies in order to hollow out all planets of our solar system, turn them all into Dyson Spheres to house said computer and eventually want to even hollow out the Earth. Although BLUE HADES and DEEP SEVEN may have some issues with that last part. And this solar system-spanning computer, along with roughly a hundred million human sacrifices, should suffice. And they want to be done with this plan in three years.
  • The wide-field amnesia geas in Labyrinth Index makes the one the Equoids can project look like a parlor trick. From one moment to the next they made the entirety of the United States forget the fact that they had a President. That is not the horrifying part. The horrifying part comes from how this geas is distributed, because their master is not called the Lord of Sleep for nothing. Every time you fall asleep, the compulsion is renewed. So even if you wake up one morning and remember, the next time you fall asleep, the memories are gone again. And if you do remember and tell other people about it, the cultists come to your house and kill you in minutes. Want to call the authorities? They're on the same side as the cultists. Now imagine this geas were used for some less innocuous purpose...

Alternative Title(s): The Laundry Series

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