Equoid: A Laundry novella: A Tor.Com Original (Laundry Files)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The "Laundry" is Britain's super-secret agency devoted to protecting the realm from the supernatural horrors that menace it. Now Bob Howard, Laundry agent, must travel to the quiet English countryside to deal with an outbreak of one of the worst horrors imaginable. For, as it turns out, unicorns are real. They're also ravenous killers from beyond spacetime...
looking around hesitantly, as if puzzled to find himself in his own office. “Who are you?” I take a gamble and hold up my warrant card: “Bob Howard. Who I am is unimportant. You don’t need to know. But—” I lean forward—”where did you get the EMOCUM Units from?” “I, I asked around.” He sounds vague and disoriented. “They were just there when I needed them.” His eyes roll back momentarily: “Sent by the Q-Queen,” he adds conversationally, in a tone that makes my skin crawl. He abruptly blinks back
school.” He taps his throat mike: “Alpha to all, flash, incoming hostile on horseback. Shoot the horse on contact, assume rider possessed. Over.” I’m on my phone to the DO again. “Howard here. Please can you double-check that Octavia Edgebaston is still doing her prep in her dorm? This is an emergency. If she’s missing we need to know immediately. Also: any reports of white horses with glowing blue eyes riding cross-country—” “Will do! Anything else I can help you with?” I sigh. “That’s all
more important. For another thing—hey, don’t worry, I’ve nearly finished reading my laundry list—I may not be a hero, but I’m not the fourteen-year-old H. P. Lovecraft either. Dealing with eldritch horrors is part of my day job. It’s not even as bad as the paperwork, for the most part. True, the “moments of mortal terror” shtick really sucks, but on the other hand there’s the rush I get from knowing that I’m saving the world. And finally? I’m more than a little bit angry. So I walk into the
for extracting oil from walnuts. “I believe you requested backup? For some sort of infestation?” “Yes! Yes indeed!” I remember my other hand and use it to make a grab for my warrant card, because I have not yet had an opportunity to authenticate him. “Seen one of these before?” I ask, flicking it open in front of him. The walnut-crusher shifts gear into a final grind-into-mush setting: “Capital Laundry Services? Oh yes indeedy! I was in the Rifles, you know. Back in my misspent childhood,
Howard was a sickly lad, but curious & keen, & took a most serious interest in matters astronomical & chymical. He was at heart an optimist, despite the death of his father from nervous exhaustion some years previously, & was gifted with the love of his mother & aunts & grandfather. Oh! The heart sickens with the dreadful knowledge of the horrid fate which came to blight my life & prospects thereafter. The death of my grandfather in that summer cast a pall across my life, for our circumstances