Well, I can participate in it, only it won’t do me any good: the prizes are for UK/EU/Australasians only. Which is cool. I imagine that there’s any number of American-based contests that are just for Americans, only I haven’t noticed because I’m an American so why would it register?
It’s still a fun idea, though. Basically, Charlie Stross’s British publisher (Orbit) is running a contest where people send in occult gear that’s suitable for the Laundry, which is of course the UK’s bureaucratic institution dedicated to fighting the Mythos and preparing England for CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN (a cosmic horror apocalypse coming soon to a reality near you!). Anyway: just because I can’t win it doesn’t mean that I can’t write something up anyway. If only because it amuses me to do so.
Name: Jermyn Germ
Classification: Temporary performance enhancer (thaumatological)
Deployment: Humanity is surprisingly cross-fertile with a number of species. BLUE HADES (colloquially known as ‘Deep Ones’) and Ghouls are the best-known examples, but there is at least one confirmed report of successful hybridization of human and so-called ‘super-simian’ DNA. The Laundry knows of rather more unconfirmed reports, and is in fact the reason why those reports are unconfirmed. While the Laundry largely treats people with Jermyn genetic markers as being in demonstrable need of long term, thaumaturgical-assisted gene therapy, the latter’s tainted DNA can still be of use as a source for a magically-induced performance drug. A strictly emergency performance drug.
Effects: Jermyn Germ is dispensed via a disposable syrette designed to look like a standard epi-pen. When injected into the bloodstream, Jermyn Germ measurably boosts the user’s strength and recuperative powers for about an hour. Side effects include poor impulse control, highly increased tendency towards violent behavior, and a subtly bestial appearance and demeanor. Note that Jermyn Germ does not affect the subject’s basic intelligence, or existing ability to perform sorcery.
Regular, long-term use of Jermyn Germ is contraindicated. Multiple uses of Jermyn Germ at once is contraindicated. Use of Jermyn Germ by individuals with a family history of substance abuse, depression, self-esteem issues, and/or homicidal tendencies is contraindicated.