The Conscience of Monsters




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Warning: This document is classified MOST SECRET DREAMING MALIGNITY. If you do not have codeword clearance DREAMING MALIGNITY, you are enjoined to stop reading and report immediately, along with any instrumentalities representing, containing, storing, or processing this document, to Knowledge Control, under penalty of the most severe censure.

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Congratulations, agent fork, on your selection to OPERATION DREAMING MALIGNITY, alternatively designated the Operational Ethics Working Group.

DREAMING MALIGNITY serves as the conscience of the Fifth Directorate, as DREAMING SINISTER serves as that of the ISS in general. As the left hand of the Throne’s own left hand, we are permitted a certain degree of legal and ethical immunity in the execution of our duties, and for the good of the Empire. Or, since we are DREAMING MALIGNITY and it is our task to think clearly about such affairs: by the ethical standards it is our business to defend, we are monsters, albeit necessary monsters, damnable and damned.

It is the function of DREAMING MALIGNITY to compute, with mathematical exactitude, the precise degree of damnation which we may permit ourselves in the course of operations and potential catastrophe response contingencies. This is done in both the theoretical mode, in which we issue position and discussion papers on the calculus of ethical derogation and its practical application, and in the applied mode, in which we perform both forward-preemptive and backward-retrospective analyses on Fifth Directorate operations.

Your tour of duty with DREAMING MALIGNITY begins as of your reassignment date and will last no more than six years, during which period operational regulations specifically prohibit you from making use of memory redaction or a large number of other available noetic technologies. The function of DREAMING MALIGNITY is not to assess implementation capacity, success probability, utility, safety, or effectiveness. The Directorate is replete with computer models and ICE BLUESHIFT units more than adequate for that purpose.

The function of DREAMING MALIGNITY is to pass judgement on acceptable necessities, which requires a functioning ability to quantify the greater and lesser Darknesses of the universe and compare them, in order that by inflicting the latter the net total may be minimized. It also requires knowledge of those Darknesses, for which reason you have been granted a general MOST SECRET ULTRAVIOLET clearance by the discretion of the Executive, permitting access to the complete and unredacted data of ongoing Directorate operations. You have been selected for this duty by the current and outgoing members of DREAMING MALIGNITY in the belief that your primary possesses the mental capacity and, frankly, stability to perform it well. In an exception to normal Service practice, it is not permissible to decline the assignment.

You may consider this a compliment of sorts.

For security reasons, no communication with primary or other selves or any other party outside the simulation spaces allocated to DREAMING MALIGNITY, except as required by associated duties, is permitted during the six year tour of duty for agent forks assigned to DREAMING MALIGNITY. Additionally, after the tour of duty is complete, all participating forks have their run-time terminated and all mind-state and persona data associated with them wiped. This period has been selected since previous consensus of DREAMING MALIGNITY held unanimously that longer tours of duty constituted, in themselves, an unacceptable ethics violation, as demonstrated by high attrition rates. Cleared personal possessions and all arrears of pay are inherited by surviving primaries according to standard procedures.

Your sacrifice is appreciated.


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