Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Office Complex

Gus led me down the hall, back through the waiting room in which I'd arrived, an into a confusing labyrinth of narrow, featureless corridors.  I caught myself thinking that this was the office building from hell...before I realized that it was an office building in Hell.

We wandered through hallways, down staircases, and all over the complicated structure.  Gus seemed to know the way, though, and he kept us moving at a brisk pace.

"So once I start working with Gavsot," I asked him, my breath short, "I'll be able to start taking control of things around here?"

"With a little luck," he said.  "With Vilnius under your control and Gavsot watching your back, you've got a snowball's chance of accomplishing something."

"That's a relief," I puffed.  "Because it seems like all I've been doing since I got here is defending my right to rule instead of doing any actual ruling."

"Fighting to maintain your authority is kind of half the job," Gus admitted.  "It's a pretty tenuous system we have down here, prone to mutinies, rebellions and usurpations of all kinds and from all sources."

"I guess I assumed that the devil was the supreme ruler and by virtue of being the devil he has power over everyone down here," I said.  If I hadn't already felt overwhelmed, I definitely felt it now.

Gus turned back to flash me a brief smile.  "Welcome to Hell," he said.  "Where everything's made up and the points don't matter."

I chuckled.  "It's interesting how, when you're alive, you focus on the basics of the afterlife--where's good, where's bad, and where you want to end up when you die.  But there's a lot more detail and complexity to this than I'd ever considered."

"That's how most things are," Gus replied.  "The theory is clean and polished, but the execution is usually an ugly, complicated mess.  I've heard Heaven isn't a whole lot better organized." 

He led me down one last flight of stairs.  At the bottom was a massive, almost entirely rusted metal door that looked like it could be about as thick as I was tall.

"We're here," he announced.

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