Houses of Cards was the thirteenth story in The Book of the Enemy. It was based around the real life destruction of hitchBOT which occurred in Philadelphia in 2015.

The story was accompanied by two briefings attributed to The Book of Lies and the apocryphal Infancy Gospel of Grandfather Paradox, both written by Simon Bucher-Jones.


Pre-Narrative Briefing[]

Briefing N & O


Memory inherently tends towards corruption and recordings are accessible to the Great Houses. These facts are what guide the Compound's policies. The storing of information outside the mind is verboten, and groups of six are set up when venturing outside the Compound's compound so as to compensate for the failures of the others in the group, them coordinating on what the final memory will be. Outside the compound is an area, and in this area a planet, which has a city, Philadelphia.

Sanjae'ktin worried about Hitchbot, a robot, "cheering up the world one ride at a time" as something that could change quite a lot for this planet, a tipping point in the war. Sanjae'ktin and Sarahn'tzig as well as other members of the six capture Hitchbot, who won't stop talking, by picking it up in a minibus and explain to it that it must be sacrificed "to allow the disorderly incorrect timeline to proceed". Hitchbot, of course, did not understand this.

The robot's continued cheerfulness upset the members of the six such that they begin to vandalize its body and remove the hard-drive from the robot, the "brain". Wessynd'ona noticed a tractor trailer pulling parallel to them, with the words "Great Houses" written on it. The truck repeatedly uses its weight to slam them into the guardrail of the road, flattening them until it drives away.

Sanjae'ktin comes to being probed and prodded by Cousins Trna and Martayne of Faction Paradox. Sticking some wires into him, the monitor above displays a scene of Sanjae'ktin traveling to Liberty Place in Philadelphia, floor 14, a specific place therein, connecting back to the compound. Trna explains that alone these creatures are foolish as they can't compare memories to see they've been tricked, sent back to the compound alone so others can know where it is.

The information gathered the Faction plans to give to the Great Houses, the corpses to Godfather Stendec, and the implosion vortex in Hitchbot's brain, as the Faction created Hitchbot as a trap for them, will go back to the Compound as well.


  • Sanjae'ktin
  • Sarahn'tzig
  • Zhamir'ftar
  • Wessynd'ona
  • Cousin Trna
  • Cousin Martayne
  • Cab driver



  • Trna mentions Little Cousin Zeller as being responsible for Hitchbot's creation. In the real world, Frauke Zeller was one of hitchBOT's co-creators.