The conclave began the moment he entered the throne room. Those around him, who were in motion, froze and dropped to the ground. Whispered conversations hushed and heads bowed. The air stilled.
He surveyed his realm, assessing all that he saw for the slightest indication of anarchy. Limbs shook and hearts hammered in dread of his disfavor, or anticipation of his reward. The quiver of his subjects gave him great pleasure; he is their lord and god. By right and deed granted to him by the trespass of the Low Ones, he ruled these spirits and they worshiped him.
His power and strength pulsated; his limbs radiated fierce energy as he held his power back. He commanded his general forward with a silent nod; the flare of his nostrils gave weight to the silent order.
The captain, well versed in throne room protocol, stepped forward and waited for permission to speak.
“Abaddon, what say the scrolls you hold?”
The giant general handed over the scroll and spoke,
“Master, you ordered your servants to draw plans to make the Low Ones seek and serve you.”
The master took the scroll, opened it briefly, and nodded to the captain who then turned to the minions behind him; with the curl of his index finger he bid them forth.
One by one, they gave their reports. First, Colonel Nebo, Head of Communications,
“To execute the plan we needed to make them believe that what they had was not enough. Through literature and the arts we made a fantasy world that nothing in their Low Lives could compare to. We spoke to them with dazzlingly colorful displays of goods that convinced them that the answer laid just around the bend of More.”
Colonel Nebo, stepped back; Major Molech assumed his position before the throne.
“Speak, Major of Greed!”
“Master, we know that the Low Ones have a great capacity for the Enemy’s Spirit. He puts a hunger…”
“Silence! There will be NO discussion of Him in my throne room!”
Major Molech fell low in abeyance; his forehead touching the ground,
Molech waited for instruction to continue. Their master glared in white hot anger; Molech could feel the scorch of its heat on his skin.
“Continue,” the master fumed.
“We placed in the minds of willing Low Ones the idea to design a Tool for us that they foolishly thought was from their own brilliant minds. First, the Tool simply made life easier for them. Over time, every part of their lives became connected to the Tool. Before long, they forgot how to navigate on their own, think on their own, or figure out solutions to daily tasks like making a meal, or balancing their accounts. Instead, they went to our Tool shed to find what they needed. Our task became very easy. Once we trained them, they trained the little ones who came after them.”
Molech retreated; Lieutenant Chemosh approached. Their master, now calmed by the successful report, ordered him forward with a wave of his hand,
“Your report, Chemosh the Subduer!”
“Yes, Master! It is with great excitement that I bring you this news! It is almost too easy. They look to our Tool for the meaning of their lives now and the answers for all of their questions, not just instructions for simple tasks. They ask the Tool to tell them who they are and what they should be. They ask for help with other difficult Low Ones and for ways to consciously uncouple from their spouses. They ask other Tool users to tell them how to fix their lives, their jobs, their mistakes but when it goes wrong they take great pleasure in sharing their rage and frustration from behind the screen of anonymity that the Tool gives them. They fester and brood in their isolation. They never think to look to the Book of which we may not speak.”
Chemosh stepped back as utter silence filled the throne room for about half an hour. The minions breathed tight and shallow as they awaited the master’s reply.
At last, the master stood and raised his thick arms. He held them there until he had the utmost attention of his subjects. Then, briefly lifting them higher like a conductor starting a haunting symphony, he orchestrated a cacophony of howls, groans, shrieks and maniacal laughter as they all anticipated their reward.
To their great misfortune, they - and their master - would indeed receive just compensation for their crafty deeds.
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