To know the darkness, is to love the light
To welcome the dawn and fear the coming night.
– Dean Koontz, “Shawdowfires”
The last thing I wanted to do was work tonight. I spent nearly all day in Los Angeles trying to convince City Council to enact a policy that would increase petroleum consumption. This is always a tough sale in California—the government is literally filled with tree huggers anymore, and this is not good for business down under. I mean, can you imagine Zeus and his cronies figuring out how to profit from the sun, wind, and rain they created? And, then what would I do with all of this sticky dinosaur ooze then.
> Shudder <
I can’t even think about that. I’ll have to think of something though. No company can sustain the same business model for eternity without the occasional shake up. Oh well… that’s a thought for another day. Today, I may have not got the deal I wanted, but at least consumption worldwide is on the rise again.
Dismissing the day’s trials, I relish in the ability to have grabbed a Grande Toffee Mocha on the way back to the office. I took a long sip from my coffee ☕ as I settled into my plush, leather chair and propped my cap-toe Chukka boots on the desk.
Charos was nice enough to leave a new client’s manila file folder to review before our meeting. Despite all the modern advancements in the world, Charos has refused to upgrade to a digital database. Who am I to argue? He is quite efficient at his job and besides the feel of paper in your hand makes it feel all that much more personal.
As I reach for the folder, I realize there is a whole stack of folders. Quite unusual, the Fates are usually very efficient and effective at their jobs. An anomaly only occurs once in a century or so. What can possibly be happening here? I flipped open the cover and began to read the file.
Mortal ID: 0103-82-41243VA
Name: Victor Alvarez
Est. Terminus: 12 April 2043
Profession: Senior Barista & Café Specialist
Chaos Probability: Extremely Low
Quickly, I scan through the pertinent details of our new resident’s case file.
…premature terminus… apparent self-terminus… no evidence of chaos shift…
As I thumb through the remaining folders, there appears to be a common theme—a series of inconsequential premature deaths with no apparent cause. Puzzling, but I don’t have time to worry about these mortals.
I pull out my wooden ink stamp and mark all the documents with the logo for the Underworld Mining Consortium. You can never have too many miners. Residency documents… hmmm… always plenty of room in the Fields of Asphodel… Section FoA 3C-457.
Good enough. Taking a last sip of coffee ☕ goodness, I toss it in the waste basket, shut the light off to the office, and close the door behind me.
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