"This is a job interview?" Jorge said cautiously. "I don't think I understand."
I leaned forward across my desk. "Jorge," I said. "You know you're dead, right? This is Hell."
He swallowed nervously. "Okay, I'm prepared to accept that part, but the job interview thing is what's really throwing me for a loop here."
I shrugged. "Let me break it down for you as simply as I can," I began. I paused and gave him a sympathetic wince. "Even the short version seems kind of complicated, but here goes: Until recently, I was human like you, until the devil tricked me into taking his spot. So now I'm the Devil, but my rule has been under threat since the moment it began. I recently managed to defeat and imprison one of my opponents, who held a position of moderate power in Hell's infrastructure. I need to install someone in that position who I can rely on to be loyal to me, and I just plain don't trust demons, so I thought I'd try giving the job to a human."
Jorge was shaking his head with what seemed to be dumbfounded incredulity, but he was paying close attention nonetheless.
"So the bottom line is that I want to put you in charge of Hell's Department of Transportation, so that you could head an organization that mostly handles prisoner transfers from one area of the pit to another. This would be done to spare you the tortures of fire and brimstone, et cetera et cetera, that the overwhelming majority of humankind is subjected to down here. In return, I'd like your allegiance and your help when requested in the extremely likely chance that I'll need to defend myself against various demonic rebels, usurpers, revolutionaries and mutineers." I stood and moved around my desk to offer him a handshake.
He slumped in his chair and gazed up at me appraisingly. "It's a good deal," I prompted.
"I don't have to surrender my soul or anything?" he asked.
"No, no," I said quickly. "Your soul, your essence, your immortal spirit, whatever it is, you can keep all that crap. I don't want it. I just need a friend. A friend who knows how to run a business"--I paused to reconsider--"or a business-like thing that doesn't make any money but definitely could improve by being run by someone who knows how to run a business. And a friend who, because he's human, might naturally take the same sides of issues that I would."
He took my hand like he was putting his fingers into a mousetrap and shook slowly.
I smiled. "Great. Gus," I barked, "Will you help this fine young gentleman get set up in his new post?"
"Would you like me to call General Gavsot for an armed escort?" Gus asked dutifully.
"Legitimize Jorge's power?" I asked. "Great idea. Do it."
I felt like I was in charge. This was actually pretty awesome.