margaret_walsh: (nights like this)
I have returned to work early, having endured the kind of Christmas that is documented to produce agitated depression in grinches (with a characteristic bi-polar reversal in that subspecies.)

The period in confinement also appears to have had a deleterious effect on HST28. It appears to be finding anticipation more stressful than the testing procedures themselves and has gone into full moult. The beard-like projections now look extremely scruffy and the characteristic "laughing cry" is absent under most stimuli.

I have decided to design a series of tests based on the penultimate lecture last term to ascertain how much knowledge the students have retained.

I am also setting up a priority list of HSTs in a release and recapture experiment.


Dec. 26th, 2005 08:54 pm
margaret_walsh: (nights like this)
It has not been a pleasant Christmas. I could certainly have omitted myself from the duty rota, but there was a good deal to be done. It has been a disheartening month. Initially I was simply trying to obtain the talons and poison-sac from a Tyrlock demon. It should have been a fairly simple operation, but unfortunately Agents Murphy and Masterton seem to have underestimated the risk involved.

(Firewalled; perhaps it might be better to send out Ms Summers, next time. She seems to have an extraordinary success rate, and if she did fail - in effect, that could be a win-win situation.) As it was, Murphy and Masterton failed to obtain the material, expended one Tyrlock with a Magnum, reducing it to useless organic slurry. These HSTs usually travel in pairs, of course, but, incredibly, the Agents then claimed to have found the other Tyrlock dismembered, with the required material beyond salvage, under circumstances that make it seem probable that it was killed by HST 17, a "vampire" who escaped from custody some time ago after being successfully chipped.

They shot the HST with a tracer and pursued it for some distance before Masterton became too incapacitated. HST 17 evaded capture until a clear signal was picked up by Agent Gates as he was going off duty. He immediately called the relief officer. (Murphy again, unfortunately,)and they pursued HST 17 into the town.

They were working from the signal and state that they did not catch sight of the HST himself. This raises the question of exactly what did take place. The Agents lost the tracer for a short period, apparently due to radio interference. They then picked up a clear signal approaching them.

There was still no sighting of the HST and they realized that the signal must be coming from under the road. They entered the sewers themselves at a point near the Art Gallery and then pursued what they believed to be HST 17 for a considerable distance. Their "quarry" eventually paused - and they found the tracer, knotted firmly into two condoms, one over the other, with just enough air to make the thing buoyant! Gates is threatening plain and fancy murder if he ever lays hands on anyone involved in this. (/firewall.)

This is a remarkable discovery. I can imagine no reason for HST 17 to carry condoms and it seems more likely that he both had assistance and that this false trail was laid with the deliberate intent of putting my Agents at risk. Since the condoms were layered there does seem a possibility that some traces may be found. I have sent them to the laboritory for fingerprinting and any other investigations thought necessary. (Firewalled; even thought there the situation is frustrating the mental picture of Murphy pursuing a fleeing condom through the Sunnydale sewers might brighten my mood - but not tonight.)

Agent Masterton responded well to alkaline antidotes, at first. I believe that the medics really thought that there was a chance. However, it has proven to be correct that there is no long-term remedy for Tyrlock venom.

I cannot delegate the duty of writing to his parents. This is not a pleasant Christmas.
margaret_walsh: (Teacher)
LJ Truth or Dare

01. Reply with a comment and I'll tell you which one I want, either truth or a dare. Dares should pretty much stay within my LJ or LJ-verse, and not be anything that will get us reported to LJ Abuse. Also, try to keep it to something I can do within one day, absolute tops.

02. I either answer the truth or perform the dare.

03. In return, I get to ask you "Truth or dare?"
margaret_walsh: (Default)
The poisoned talons for 314 have proved to be too difficult to obtain, at present. Adam is the prototype, after all. Perhaps we can include them in later models. We had already depressed 314's rejection profile in anticipation of the transplants but the only source of the material, a pair of Tyrloch demons, were expended under unusual circumstances.

Classified and firewalled. Agent Murphy shot one of them, probably the male, with a magnum. It would be Murphy, of course. Given the problems with the exoskeleton there wasn't enough of the hands left to pick up with a suction device. (Masterton was expended as a result of this operation. His parents have been informed.)

That should have left the second Tyrlock as a potential donor. The females are much larger than their mates and are considerably more venomous, although a cross-gender transplant might cause problems with DNA integration. However, when the patrol set off after the second Tyrlock they found her almost at once. She had been quite brutally mishandled and her exoskeleton had given way. As Murphy graphically described it - a slimy, stinking mess. There were no parts that could usefully be salvaged.


HST 17 is now a matter of considerable interest. He was peace-chipped some time ago but then escaped before the rest of our behavior-modification techniques could be put into practice. He seems to have been attracted by Murphy's HST call, "Screaming Girl 2". By now HST 17 should have very little interest in such things. I might have assumed that he was subsisting on butchers blood, but some of the treated HSTs can still harm animals and demons; of course, it is those who are of interest to us.

The strange thing is that it seems very probable that HST 17 killed the Tyrlock! That is extraordinary. Why would he do such a thing? It is conceivable that some of the blood-sucking variety can tolerate demon blood, but I doubt if any mammal would consider Tyrlock demons edible.

I want to know why HST 17 fought a Tyrlock. I want to know a great deal more. The recapture of HST 17 is now a high priority. If captured I have ordered that he be placed under close arrest and treated with all due caution. He must not be allowed to escape again.
margaret_walsh: (Default)
Agents Masterton and Murphy reported in by cellphone while I was still examining the reports on the "Demon Lures" and making notes for improvements in quality and technique. One disc may be faulty. The recording of the car crash stuck on repeat; the machine was unfamiliar and I found the controls difficult. (Murphy might have been expected to use something non-regulation, of course.)

I had mentally tuned out the sound by the time my phone vibrated. Then I heard Masterton's voice shouting
"What the fu..? What's happening there? What the ... Murphy, it's coming through the pad! Base? Base??" I silenced the player by sweeping it off the desktop into a drawer before proceeding with the de-briefing.

{Firewall} Masterton sounded uncharacteristically hysterical and for a moment I hoped wondered if Murphy was a casualty. {/firewall} After some moments I was able to debrief the Agents.

They had taken down the smaller Tyrlock. They had seen the largest HST first, Masterton had drawn a bead on it with the trank gun - and the smaller HST had charged out from cover and attacked before the Agents were aware of it. The trank gun was slammed out of Masterton's hands. There was a struggle and Murphy had then shot the HST.

(He had, of course, used the Magnum. {F}Sometimes I feel very tired.(/f) It was clear that the required material is no longer in a usable state. The Agents may not have intended to use that gun but they clearly took little care not to do so. They must both have been wearing ear-plugs when it was discharged. If they thought ahead to that extent why didn't they think it through ?)

The larger Tyrlock had escaped unharmed. It is now the only source for the required teeth, mandible and sac. I can't remember whether it could be expected to seek revenge but the Patrol may have an easier job if it does. We must have that specimen, preferably undamaged. I ordered the Agents to take the magazine out of the Magnum, take the remaining Trank gun and arm themselves with the tracer rifles and to either bring in the Tyrlock or tag it for a larger Team to deal with.

Murphy immediately claimed to have seen Hostile 17 just outside the Cemetery. If my memory serves me, that was a blood-drinking HST; very distinctive appearance. It escaped some time ago but has been implanted with a C346 chip. These have been very successful in the laboratory. However, if HST 17 is hunting for screaming girls in the cemetery it raises questions.

I ordered the Agents to bring in HST 17 if possible but to give it a lower priority than the Tyrlock. They were clearly reluctant to pursue the Tyrlock but I reassured them that I am sending out more suitably armed reinforcements, at once.

{f} The danger of the mission may be almost immaterial, now. Both Masterton and Murphy reiterated that Murphy had saved Masterton by shooting the HST, but Masterton has a large bleeding wound on the upper arm. He and Murphy applied a pad soaked in that general purpose stuff. At this point much would normally depend on whether the wound was inflicted by the HST's talons or the poisoned teeth. However, he was very close when Murphy "Blew the HST away." There is a high probability that his wound is contaminated, although he should remain functional for the duration of this mission.(/F}

HST lures.

Nov. 9th, 2005 09:46 pm
margaret_walsh: (Default)
The patrol reports seemed to contain very little that was note-worthy until I discovered that Agent Murphy claims to have invented a lure for demons. I expected something complex and chemical, perhaps relying on hormones and pheromones, especially since he noted that it was more likely to attract the males.

In fact, his device is almost laughably simple. He has made three recordings of women screaming. He also has human males singing drunkenly, a recording of a couple quarreling and a car crash. These "lures" carry the promise of easy prey and he believed that they would attract the most dangerous HSTs. Agent Gates confirms that they do work, up to a point.

(Agent Murphy recorded most of the material from the TV. The playback mechanism may be too limited and the car crash does not attract the number of HSTs that the patrols hoped. That recording has been left here in the file. On playing it I noticed that it is quite distinctive. There is a squeal of brakes as a car skids, a solid thud mixed with the sound of breaking glass and then a small, tinkling thud. It might fool a HST, but not if it heard the same recording twice.

Sometimes the newer recruits seem to regard the patrols as analogous to hunting animals, however, HSTs do communicate and can warn each other. If these lures are worth long-term use we should replace the recordings after a set number of stake-outs. Recorded accidents would need more powerful playback equipment and should be replaced after one use. They are likely to prove uneconomic.

Agents note that the recording of the quarreling couple works very well under the right conditions. It attracted three of a carnivorous subspecies of HST when played in a closed car - possibly because muffling the voices disguised any flaws in the recording[? Test?] However, one recording of a drunken man singing has already attracted more HSTs than both the others. The Agents have been unable to determine whether Sylvan Demons are attracted to baritones or to "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen."

It is also noted that by far the most successful lure is a recording of a young girl screaming. Murphy and Masterton have taken it with them on a patrol through the largest cemetary. They are hoping to capture a pair of Tyrloch Demons who are rumored to be denning there and hunting in the surrounding streets.

So Murphy's patrol outline states. That is their putative objective and they have taken trank guns and a sharpshooter rifle that fires tracer bullets. If they can put one of those into a Tyrloch it might well lead them to the nest. However, they have also signed out a 44 Magnum and, while they may appreciate the stopping power, a direct hit could leave very little to examine.
margaret_walsh: (Default)
I attended a series of seminars at classified and returned late yesterday on the instructions of my superiors.

Somebody should tell the General the facts of life. (It won’t be me. It would be unrealistic to hope for that level of promotion until 314 and his “descendants” are completely functional, viable and accepted as a solution to the problems of sending personnel into environments which are not survivable for humans. )

I had considerable success in presenting my ideas and inviting input into the problems with the rejection syndrome. Dr Steinenfrenk felt that demon stem-cells might be the route to take and had invited me out to dinner and to see his projected developments.

However, the General intervened to order me to return to Sunnydale for Halloween. He stated that Sunnydale does have a reputation for demonic activity that would imply that my Agents should be under supervision during that holiday. On my pointing out that there is, historically, very little HST activity on that day he asked if I was claiming that Sunnydale becomes so dangerous on Halloween that the forces of evil are afraid to go out.

Sometimes I wonder if I really have the military mindset but one does not tell one’s superior officer that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit (and that, in his case, sarcasm is a substitute for wit) if one wishes to advance one’s career. (/end firewall.)

I am checking the patrol reports before turning in for the night.
margaret_walsh: (mommy issues - jess)
Some of the Agents have been having trouble with mosquitoes during patrols. I thought it was some kind of joke when the Medic told me. The men are equipped to take down almost any kind of HST, including most blood-sucking varieties. However, one cannot stake or tazer a gnat and Gates is now excused certain duties because of a number of infected mosquito bites on his right shoulder.

Insects never touch Agent Murphy. When I debriefed him on the subject he claimed that the very best mosquito repellent you can use is Avon Skin-So-Soft bath oil mixed about half and half with alcohol. After empirical testing it seems that he is correct; mosquitoes actively avoid skin smoothed with that mixture.

I really would like to know how he found out how effective it is. Why did he mix alcohol and bath oil in the first place? Does the perfume that he adds to the mixture really increase the effect? Why was he wearing Obsession, anyway?


Jun. 24th, 2005 12:40 pm
margaret_walsh: (Default)
Firewalled against undesirable readers. I have been away and unable to access the journal, recently. The conference was quite sucessful but in my views the plans do not go far enough. It is clear that ... but I should run a probabilirty assessment before writing more about this.

When I did come on-line I relaxed for a few moments before settling down to serious writing. There is a Meme going around so I thought it might be interesting to access it - in the interest of assessing the psychological effects of such beliefs in the modern age. The belief structure is almost completely outdated, of course.

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Sixth Level of Hell - The City of Dis!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful)Low
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very High
Level 7 (Violent)Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)High

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test

Although it carries a strong traditional Roman Catholic bias it may well reflect the opinions of the "Bible Belt" type. In any case, the methodology is faulty. Nobody could call me treacherous! While some of my methods might be disapproved if scrutinized I act for the best; most of the time I am simply obeying orders.

I half-expected to be assessed as a virtuous unbeliever. I really don't have time for gluttony or any kind of sin, my life is my work. I suppose that is why I would be considered a heretic in their terms. A womans life is kuche, kinder und kirk in most religious beliefs. My own mother would have

I think I'll delete this later. /Firewall.
margaret_walsh: (mommy issues - jess)
I suppose I should look forward to a reduction in my workload at this time of year, but at the moment the marking still requires too much of my attention. When ten students all make the same mistake I can find myself wondering whether my lecture technique is at fault.

Why would they all have decided that the super-ego is not re-programmable..? Even as a function of infantile amnesia the accessibility of... Oh, I think I held that seminar on the day when Hostile 26 succeeded in biting Agent Gary Stuart. I had to write to the family after he was expended - we said that he died heroically in the course of duty, of course. (Telling the family that their son was euthanized after being bitten in the Glutinus Maximus by a HST with venomous saliva would have been counter-productive.)

It was un-professional of me to have let it distract me - if I did. I think I should check through our recommended text-books. If the error lies with one of the set books I can spare us all trouble next year.
margaret_walsh: (mommy issues - jess)
Those green drinks seem to be stronger than I expected. I used to have excellent alcohol tolerance, but I was a social drinker as a student. I'm no longer used to it. I have come outside for a breath of fresh air, however, I am sitting in my car recording some notes.

*Firewalled* When did I become so socially isolated? It's since I qualified, of course. No, it's since my academic qualifications became a "cover identity" and I had to keep so many secrets. It's very difficult to have a cover identity and a life. The green alcohol appears to help in breaking down mental barriers and - I suppose those on the softer sides of my cover discipline would say that I was accessing my inner child.

That has never seemed appropriate to me, especially as I grew older. I never realized how much I look like my mother until I started to age. Now, I check my hair and her face is starting to look back at me from the mirror. (Memo, have the toilet on my floor redecorated. The chance arrangement of the lockers can give the illusion that a skull looks over the shoulder of anyone looking at their reflection.)

My mother always used to whine dwell on the fact that she only had daughters. No wonder Elizabeth left. Mother used to carp on that she should have had strong sons to care for her. Mother thought I was a failure because I was unmarried at 30 - well, maybe I am, Mother, by your standards - but I have very strong sons, and they will protect me. They will protect us all.

I seem to have to lost my train of thought. There was the most uncanny sound.
It was far in the distance. The wind is coming from that direction and sounds carry, at night. Possibly it was simply a siren or something. However, I think I should go back inside; I really do need a break from my normal life, and the party is helping me to unwind.

Memo to self. Alert patrol to check for canines, large canines. Armed patrol, of course.
margaret_walsh: (mommy issues - jess)
The Inn staff seem to be celebrating St Patrick's Day quite enthusiastically. There are large, unexpectedly fat shamrocks in every public room. I suspect that they were made by sticking green paper hearts together at the pointed ends.

However, the paint was dry and it looks quite acceptably festive. I was right. Despite the party atmosphere there is no sign of Agent Murphy and his friends and I was able to look around in peace. So far I haven't seen any of my students and, frankly, I feel the need for adult company.
margaret_walsh: (Default)
Apparently there has been a certain amount of curiousity about our sober, healthy students and asocial staff. We have received orders that Initiative Operatives should be more sociable. I do feel like celebrating some of my own small triumphs over the past month, and it might be interesting to see how matters are progressing in Sunnydale as a whole.

However, I do not really think it would be suitable for me to frequent the Vulgar Unicorn, especially since I have reason to believe that Agent Murphy will be there. I was tempted to keep him on duty this week, but it would probably be perceived as unjustified disciplinary action under the circumstances, and he did accuse Gates of anti-Irish racism over the incident of the green tie.

I really feel like a break from it all. I think I shall go to the Inn and watch Sunnydale at play.
margaret_walsh: (Default)
I was called to a conference and have been away for some time. The subject matter was classified, of course.

However, on my return I received a most unexpected compliment.

Image hosted by

Firewalled. I had no idea that this assessment was taking place until an Agent drew my attention to the Award page. I am both a psychology Professor and an army officer. I should not confess to feeling elated about this - so, I really do not know what to say.

(If the students realize that I am singing to myself it may impair discipline, but at the moment I feel ... well, I really don't have the words - but I do seem to have quite a broad, involuntary smile that I should control before my next lecture.

I am tempted to accidently include the banner in the regulation Initiative screen-saver for a short time, or perhaps in the Department's wall-paper. It is very well-designed, after all.

It might do no harm to let them know that I have a softer side.

I must curb my impulses while I consider matters.)


It may be better to expend HST46. It is not recovering from the immersion. I shall give it until the end of the week.


Mar. 3rd, 2005 07:16 pm
margaret_walsh: (knowledge - faith-slays)
I have been set a series of questions by a young woman who is either one of the students or her sibling.

1) Which do you prefer, a smart co-worker or a deferential one?

It depends on the context. A smart co-worker who is not a team-worker or who is emotionally committed to power-struggles is a problem.

However, it is not an either/or situation, or it shouldn't be. A co-worker can be deferential and an intellectual inferior, deferential and an intellectual equal, or deferential and an intellectual superior, (that last happens far more often than many people might think; consider those secretaries, sergeants or science officers who are indispensable for success in the undertaking at hand, while their "superiors" are not.) A smart co-worker could be an excellent team-worker. The ideal would be a smart and deferential co-worker, of course.

Let me put it this way. If I were a star-fleet captain I would prefer my first officer to be Mr Spock rather than Finnigan or Harry Mudd. (Although possibly that example dates me.)

2)Sushi or Tex-Mex?

Tex-Mex, Sushi can be problematic, in the Sunnydale area. Some of it used to talk.

3)If you had to teach another subject beside psychology, what would you

Now that is a facinating question. I would need further training, of course - Drama? The study of body-language could be invaluable to my career.

4)Are you comfortable speaking in public?

Yes. It is necessary in my profession.

5)Have you ever visited a karaoke bar?

Not yet, but I have heard of one with an interesting clientele and may visit that later.
margaret_walsh: (Default)



LJ friendsCollage.

Brought to you by [ profile] pratibha75 and [ profile] teemus.
margaret_walsh: (Default)
There have been some major difficulties at Base and at this point most of Sector Three is sealed and empty. The sickness - or possibly the allergic reaction - has continued to have a slow effect on the vulnerable. Interestingly, this includes both Agents and HSTs.

I have seconded Riley Finn and Jack Bronson out of Sunnydale, at present. *Firewalled.* Chemical therapy has proved effective in both cases. Of the three Agents who have what might be regarded as abnormal powers, I am keeping only Antony Wilson in the danger area. The other two can both act as controls and as proof that the therapy itself has no adverse affects, at this point. Agent Wilson has no family and there will be fewer problems if he is expended in the line of duty.

Agent Murphy appears to be relatively immune. I do not regret my decision not to approve him for chemical therapy. Not precisely; Murphy is an unusual psychological type - and, as the General said, Murphy may have been a thorn in the side of his commanding officers, but at least it keeps them awake. The General seems to have a close interest in Murphy's career.

I wonder if Buffy Summers is immune to the "Sector Sickness"? It might be instructive to find out. there must be some way to ... Investigations into the "Slayer Powers" will continue when there is less under-manning.

I have been tackling a heavy workload and feel that I am due for a break. Perhaps a meal at the Inn, or some kind of entertainment.
margaret_walsh: (Default)

The Great LiveJournal
Outage of 2005

During the outage I realized that other people do in fact utilise the faculties here - including the HSTs.

What did you do?

Brought to you by geek-foo


Dec. 24th, 2004 03:53 am
margaret_walsh: (ordinary - faith slays)
I was very unwell after the last public celebration up at the Inn. I find it difficult to believe that I told that story - if I did. (Memo to self; no more mulled wine. There was something very odd about the effects.)

I also find it difficult to believe that I was taken protectively back to base by a man who - I am a personal witness to the fact that he had two copies of "Dating For Dummies" on his back seat the first time I saw his car.

(Memo to self. Tell Agent Murphy not to park that vehicle on the street. It is an excellent vehicle for hunting Kithrop demons - and I suspect that it might work well against the wolf-creatures, although the problems in closing the hatch could prove dangerous to an operative.

However, it could draw unwanted attention. It is hardly the average student transportation. )
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