STARTLING APPLIANCE is the Laundry designator for a Class 2.61 exonomic entity with certain unique characteristics. An American hacker managed to summon the archetype of this being while attempting to invoke the Platonic ideal of an online pop-up advert. What he got was, apparently, a software actor with limited geasa abilities to affect users, sufficient glamour to circumvent most anti-virus systems, and limited independent volition. He thought it was a micro-emergent AI.

Fortunately for the Laundry, the individual in question was not operating in the United States. He was working for a pirate online gambling company in St. John, Antigua. After his software stole several million dollars from the company's owners2, he fled to Sweden, presuming on their supposed "neutrality" to keep him safe from both the mob and extradition. Officers of FRA-X (Section X of Försvarets Radioanstalt3) arrested this individual after STARLING APPLIANCE was detected tampering with Tullverket4 passport records to erase his entry into the country. As Section X is Laundry partner agency, this hacker was rendered to British custody. He is now serving in Operations.

The original SA entity has not been banished, since CompDem isn't entirely sure they can recreate the summoning, and, truth be told, they kind of like having a captive emergent AI. It's currently being kept in a completely warded and air-gapped mainframe in a secure location, and being fed sufficient quantities of Redditt and cat pictures to keep it quiescent. The uses to which such an entity could be put have been the subject of some interesting committee meetings. (See CRESCENDO)

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