“Yes, I am a Pit Guard,” the grotesque, diminutive beast snarled irritably. “And you were born human. We each have our handicaps.”
Caught off-guard by his frank snarkiness, I chuckled. “You’re right. I didn’t mean to be rude, I was just a little surprised.”
“Right, well,” I said, remembering that I had other places I needed to be, “Let’s get down to business. Malkino, state your claim. Why do you deserve to be Director?”
“Because I was the highest ranking demon in the Department, second only to Vilnius,” he said simply, speaking with the bold, dramatic voice of an experienced orator. I was about to ask the same question of Zyzyfus when Malkino continued, “And let it be known, that under my watch and under my rule, this great department will get the respect it deserves!”
At this, many of the demons in his section of the mob began cheering and whooping. Malkino was a grandstanding politician at the Demonic National Convention. I did my best to quickly quell the noise. Turning to Zyzyfus, I asked him the same question. “State your claim,” I said. “Why do you deserve to be Director?”
Squirming uncomfortably, he mumbled, “Because Vilnius was my father. It’s my birthright.” His claim was greeted with a smattering of scattered support. It seemed clear to me that he was the least gutsy and the least politically potent of the three.
It was news to me, however, that Vilnius had a son. I wondered if Zyzyfus knew about the spell I’d used to force Vilnius to obey me. I wondered if Zyzyfus suspected that I’d had a hand in his father’s death.
I gestured toward Wakka. “State your claim,” I said. “Why do you deserve to be Director?”
Wakka looked me square in the eye and said, “Because, unlike these two fucktards, I actually know what I’m doing.”