Next slide, Gertrude.
Living buildings are surprisingly rare in this day and age, but there are some buildings that the uneducated consider 'alive'. These structures are, more likely, possessed by some thaumaturgical, demonic, or spiritual force.
How does one find a building that is truly alive? Next slide, Gertrude. Firstly, most living buildings, particularly houses, are very old, run down, and usually abandoned. Look for more modern neighborhoods- post-1950s especially- that have buildings in them that seem to date back to before 1900. If you see Beaver Cleaver's house next to the Addams Family's, there's a good chance the latter is alive.
Next, they are going to generate waste. That means that it is going to smell squalid. This is a picture of the basement of a specimen of Colonialis gigantis from Louisiana; as you can see, the dung resembles that of an elephant, but with- Gertrude, next slide-
But with inclusions of human bone and what we believe to be a small dog—
Oh, god dammit. There's a reason we provide the bags, you know. No matter, happens at least once a year. Next slide, Gertrude.
Post-Mortem Assurance Specialist
Your job isn't to kill them if they get back up. Your job is to make sure they can't get back up. You're a vital part of the medical culture of the Foundation, and nobody should tell you otherwise. Now, if you'll direct your attention to the screen…
After the preliminary exam but before the autopsy, the first course of action is to, naturally, remove the extremities. You start with the head; firstly, you drive the Collins Device- the "Spike" as the lab tecs term it- into the brain stem and remove it. Then, you remove the head. Unfortunately, the easiest way to do this is with a guillotine, as you'll see now.
Now, for the removal of the limbs. The hands and feet are removed individually, and stored separately from the forearms and upper arms, and the calves and thighs respectively. Yes, we are that thorough.
You there, in the orange shirt. Question? Yes, there have been cases where we have found that the cadaver was, in fact, still alive as he was being dismembered.
That's why we remove the head first.
Anomalous Game Tester
This is one of the riskiest jobs in the Foundation.
Don't laugh. I've had people have heart attacks from being sucked into a game and trying to figure out how to beat it and possibly neutralize the anomaly. Ever see someone die while playing a Galaga knockoff that won't let you stop playing until you've put in twenty dollars in change for continues? I have.
Arcade games are easily the most dangerous; back when they were popular, unscrupulous designers would do anything to get an extra buck. About 200 of the original Gauntlet cabinets were co-designed by Prometheus Labs and embedded with a cognitocompulsive message that made people withdraw half their bank accounts to beat it.
Hell, even some of the original Breakout cabinets have an inherent anomaly in them. There's a bar in England that was destroyed after the ball escaped from the cabinet's screen and bounced around the room, killing twenty people. The ball itself is currently somewhere in the Oort cloud.
And that's not even starting on the weird shit Nintendo got up to in the 1990s. Three words: living fucking Pokemon. Via link cable.
Containment Cell Maintenance Specialist
And that is what happens when the power grid isn't properly maintained, and why you should always be protected against electrical surges when you work at Site-44.
One of the most common problems we get in maintenance- especially in bio-sites- is flesh or other biomatter spreading into the air ducts. Thankfully, it's well-filtered enough that it doesn't spread to the rest of the site, but it means that air can't come in. That's a problem.
What you do is this. Take out your plasma torch, and burn the mother. It'll reek to high heaven, probably release some carcinogens, but in case it isn't clear, I'll say this again:
Wear protection, you idiots.
That's half this seminar right there. That. Wear protection. Don't snicker, you know what I mean.
Computer viruses spread much faster than a virus among humans. This is especially true of viruses that are anomalous, and it is very difficult to distinguish between an anomalous computer virus and a mundane one. Both of them give your computer the digital equivalent of herpes, but more often than not, an anomalous computer virus is usually just a Trojan that can interface with a human covertly. Your fingers on the keyboard are the agent of infection. I've seen entire companies have their databases destroyed by the spread of unchecked Organic Interface Viruses.
Some of the more famous computer incidents you know about were caused- or almost caused- by OIVs. The Y2K bug wasn't so much a 'bug' in the computer sense, but more of a 'bug' in the 'achoo' sense. Script kiddy in Iowa made it, and it's one of the earliest examples of an OIV. Harmless to humans, can make a computer commit sepukku. If anyone here is from Kansas or Iowa and your internet sucks, now you know why.
Do OIVs mutate to infect humans? They can, but rarely do. When they do… imagine the data structure of a computer trying to impose itself on a human brain. It's… not pretty. Imagine your brain, replaced with a can of Campbell's chunky soup. Now imagine that can being dumped into the Marianas Trench, and bursting under the pressure.
It's not at all like that. It's worse, because a soup can in your head will kill you. Most victims of mutated OIVs actually survive. But, that's why we have Computational Virologists. That seminar is in this room at 4:00, in case any of you want to stay and see that.
Contrary to popular belief, some demons do, in fact, have some remains that they leave behind once they've expired. Most of them amount to piles of ash with some teeth and horns, but in some cases- specifically if they're eliminated in extreme cold- they leave behind more intact specimens.
This one, for instance, is- yes, I know, it's mostly made up of phalluses. Quit laughing. This is what an incubus looks like without any glamour on it. We managed to dissect it, and found that its structure was not carbon-based, silicon-based, or even sulfur-based. This is an arsenic-based organism. You may have heard about the discovery of arsenic-based bacteria by Felisa Wolfe-Simon's team in 2010? Unfortunately, that was discredited, but this… this gave new light onto the shores of hell.
Incubi, of course, take on more attractive forms than this in order to seduce and damn innocent women. This one, when it was alive, took the form of a fifty-year-old man wearing a rather tatty wolf costume in the middle of a convention hall. Naturally, nobody would be alone with him, and he was booted out by the staff.
In case this point hasn't been made clear: the forces of hell are not the most intelligent. The Devil Inside is, honestly, the most accurate portrayal of demonic possession we've seen put to film.
This is a dream diary. It is the most useful tool in your arsenal. Despite the fact that we study dreams, we take this very seriously. There are entire imaginary countries in the dreamscape, social networks, an entire private internet only accessible in your sleep. But, dreams being dreams, it's almost impossible to remember them. Hence, the dream diary.
You all know about lucid dreaming, and that is an incredibly useful skill, one which keeping a dream diary will help you train. There is a second skill you need to learn, which is both difficult, and rewarding. The ability to fall asleep and wake up on command.
We'll go over that in the next bit, but for now, I'd like to give a practical demonstration. I will fall asleep, and record my dreams in my dream diary. It'll be a minute, at most.
"Is she okay?"
"In hindsight, she probably shouldn't have done that standing up."
Now, the Foundation runs, at any given time, about five-to-six-thousand shell companies that it uses to launder their money. I know that we've been trained to stop this kind of thing, but what would you rather have: a million dollars go missing from the profits of a tech firm in Kansas, or a nuclear warhead going off because the Foundation couldn't hire enough guards for the third quarter? That's what I thought.
Every now and then we get the IRS or another tax agency on our backs, and it's your job to shake them off. One of the easiest ways is to confound the paper trail. You can make an oroborous of shell companies, feeding off of each other. For instance, S & C Plastics is a shell company for Soy-Corn Produce, which in turn is a shell company for Samson and Cooper Pharmaceuticals, and that is a parent company of South Coast Publishing, which is a shell for Spicy Crust Pizzeria, which loops back to S & C Plastics. They're all legitimate businesses; we do actually deliver pizza, make pharmaceuticals, and produce plastics. They just all fund us, and we can't have ourselves discovered. Of course, failing this, there's destruction of the documents.
Excellent question! Shredding is an incredibly inefficient method, anyway. If a document needs to be lost, you burn it, and shred some decoys. There's an incinerator in literally every location you'll work. And if it's down, just ask someone in the morgue; they've got three for burning body parts per site, at least.
Good evening, ladies and gents, and welcome to—
Are you fucking kidding?
Three years. Three years in a row, and no audience. My department makes botany and occult studies look well funded.
There's not even a projectionist. Fucks' sake, I'm just talking to myself, aren't I? I could talk in gibberish for the next hour and still get paid.
…I wonder how much trouble I'd get in if I put Anomalisa on.