Involuntary Recruitment

Involuntary Recruitment has always been a major function of, and drain on, the Laundry. Sure, you get some promising individuals with interesting CVs and pertinent skills, but you also get semi-clueless individuals with dodgy CVs and worrisome skills as well as attitude problems that may bear serious watching. Bob Howard was an atypical “Invol” because he had a solid grounding in the abstruse subjects that eventually make a real sorcerer, but he hadn’t yet discovered the applications or, more importantly, developed his own agenda for the use of those powers. Most powerful (adept, practiced) sorcerers already have an agenda – it makes turning them into “company men” difficult, and if they’re brought inside the organisation without actually buying in to the Laundry’s ethos and goals, they’re now an Internal Security crisis waiting to happen.

Until now, the Laundry scooped up everyone who had seen too much, or been involved in too much. A small fraction of those people would, eventually, become truly useful to the organisation while the rest stayed on the org chart as filler – they spent their career in “the Mushroom Farm”, kept in the dark and fed shite. But now, as the Laundry strives to stay ahead of an accelerating crisis-curve, do they have the luxury of spending valuable institutional energy on long-term, low-yield personnel development plans? No, they don’t.

I expect that the growing threat of Case NIGHTMARE GREEN will cause the Laundry to rethink their normal involuntary recruitment practices. People with immediately useful powers will more likely be to be added to External Assets than to be brought in through the previous intake process. This means that a lot of experienced Operations officers will be re-tasked to manage these New Assets, leaving more junior Operations officers to deal with incidents and crises that would, only a few years ago, have been far, far above their pay-grade.

As you noted, CNG will likely also inspire a certain number of clueful volunteers to present themselves to the Laundry, and this sort of skilled, canny, dangerous individual would emphatically not be put into the normal intake process. It would be like trying to hitch a plow to a race-horse, or to a Bengal tiger. Those folks will go directly into External Assets, with extra minders seconded to EA from Internal Security and Counter-Subversion to keep them on the (relative) straight and narrow. Expect the Laundry to also develop a plan to deal with these Externals, should the eventuality occur.

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