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Subjective Interlock was the linking material of The Book of the Enemy, divided into four parts throughout the anthology.


Subjective Interlock Alpha[]

The main character, who has been told they have a hole in their memory, remembers falling asleep in a small house before waking up in a hospital ward. Screens surround their bed, broadcasting text, images and occasionally psychoactive stories.

Subjective Interlock Beta[]

The main character wonders about why their brother's wife resents him. She is one of three outsiders who came to the Homeworld from another culture to train before the War; the character describes her as a representative of the sisterhood.

The character realises that they were injured in a war between the Great Houses and some other power. However, the briefings are contradictory, so the character is uncertain about the other power's identity.

Subjective Interlock Gamma[]

The character has been informed that their youngest brother has been killed by the War, prompting them to reflect on the present circumstances. The screens sometimes show dramas or reconstructions, which the character speculates could be real footage filmed through optic nerve recorders, but feature artificial music and sound effects. The ward seems designed to be comfortably nondescript, with a different scent being put into the room each day: vanilla; lime; curocia; wintervine bitterberries; balsam or some other wood; rosemary, most frequently; and several others, even including blood. There is no discernible pattern in the smells.

Subjective Injection Omega[]

I am awake. I who was Agent A, who was Avus, who was Cousin Mace, and Sergeant Littlejohn's listeners. I who was Gideon and Jezebella. I who was and am a creature of Patchwork. I who am become Fay, and a buyer up of time in a cocktail dress. I who walked into the House of the Cult of the White Peacock. I who read leaflets pushed under doors. I who spied. I who was X-12. I who was a psychiatrist.Main character

The screens have all darkened, and the character can hears an indescribable sound from the other wards. They say that the Enemy was once merely real, but at some point became fear itself, an infection of the imagination, grown and distorted by the Houses' mapping of reality. "There will be dragons on the maps they make."

The briefings failed to prepare the character to face their memories, and as the character prompts the reader to find inoculation, the Enemy takes over the narrative, mutating the message into a warning to prepare to flee, fight, or join.


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  • Though the first three parts are entitled "Subjective Interlock", the final is called "Subjective Injection". The parts are lettered Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Omega.