Severance: The Lexington Letter, or simply The Lexington Letter, is a free companion e-book written by the creators of Severance. It was originally made available as a free download through Apple Books. While the events it describes are not confirmed to be concurrent with the events of the series, it does serve to flesh out the world of Severance and to provide more details on several elements of the show. It is considered canonical.
The book is written in the style of an epistolary novel, or a story told through a series of letters or other media instead of a traditional narrative. The book contains three different media sources: first, an email chain between Topeka Star reporter Daria Thorne and her editor, Jim Milchick; second, a letter written to Thorne by Margaret “Peg” Kincaid, a former Severed employee who's on the run after becoming a whistleblower; and third, a copy of The Macrodata Refiner’s Orientation Booklet, an official Lumon Industries training document. All are presented without context or comment, leaving the reader free to draw their own conclusions.
In an email dated November 12th, Daria Thorne of The Topeka Star corresponds with her editor, Jim Milchick. Thorne has received a very strange letter from Peg Kincaid, a former Severed employee, and wants to know Jim's opinion. She attaches a scanned copy of the letter, as well as something called The Macrodata Refiner's Orientation Booklet, which was also enclosed.
Jim replies to Daria on November 13th saying he doesn't think Peg's story is one worth pursuing. He gives a few reasons; the newspaper doesn't have the resources for this kind of story, and Jim contacted a “trusted source” at Lumon who confirmed that Peg is a disgruntled former employee who was fired after too many absences. Her story is most likely made up as an effort to discredit Lumon. Why doesn't Daria focus on the local high school basketball playoffs instead?
Daria tries to press the subject, explaining that she's willing to do both articles, and really wants to follow up on Peg's story. Jim then replies with Peg's obituary, which lists her day of death as November 11th, a full day before Daria even received her letter. There's no point in pursuing the matter further; now that Peg is dead, so is her story.
Peg's letter to Daria Thorne is dated November 10th, one day before she died. It's long and a bit rambling, backtracking several times to add important information and context. But it's also self-deprecating, funny, and insightful. It really gives you a sense of who Peg is: a kind, brave person who got in over her head, and is just trying to make things right.
Peg describes a little of her personal history–most importantly that she and her sister invented a symbol substitution language called “Puglish” when they were children–and the circumstances that led her to taking a Severed job at Lumon's Topeka branch. Peg works at Lumon in Macrodata Refinement for two years until she finds a note in her pocket written in Puglish from her Innie, Peggy K. Puglish is not recognized as language by the Code Detectors, so Peg and Peggy are able to communicate with each other for several weeks without arousing suspicion. Peg learns that Peggy completed a macrodata file called Lexington only two minutes before a truck bombing occurred in New York, and becomes convinced the two events are connected. She eventually escapes Lumon with the intention of becoming a whistleblower and releasing the information to the public.
Peg hides out in a hotel room, afraid to go home after finding her mail tampered with and being followed by suspicious black cars. She writes and mails her letter to Daria Thorne, also enclosing The Macrodata Refiner's Orientation Booklet that Peggy managed to smuggle out before they fled Lumon. Peg hopes Thorne will use the information to expose Lumon, but is killed on November 11th in an alleged car accident before she can provide more details.
The Macrodata Refiner’s Orientation Booklet is an official Lumon training document intended for newly-Severed employees. It is not intended for public distribution outside of Lumon. The booklet also features Sevy, a cartoon personification of the Severance chip, as a sort of mascot to help guide employees through the information.
The booklet describes the Severance procedure, an overview of Macrodata Refinement along with step-by-step instructions on how to refine a file, and incentives refiners can earn as they progress. It also explains Lumon's workplace policies on office dress code, expected hygiene practices, and rules for inter-department fraternization and communication between Innies and Outies. Finally, it lists the Core Principles that every Lumon employee should embody.