Screwtape The Third: The Offer

“It’s victory, Master Screwtape!”

“Indeed, Wormsap? It looks like a pile of paper to me.”

“But it’s a really great pile, sir! It means that, finally, our little border war with the East Asia subregion is over. Printphubar renounces all of his bogus claims on our territory, and agrees, henceforth, to deal with his population pressures internally, and in accordance with the network of treaties among regions that form the founding documents of H.E.L.L. LLLC.”

“As if he or anyone else understands those treaties.”

“Well, sir …”

“It is H.E.L.L. Yes, yes. All this in return for what?

Nothing, Master. All he asks is that you present these documents personally to a meeting of the Board.”

“I .. see. It does appear to be a positively orcish offer, my dear Wormsap. But it’s curiously timed. You do know what season of the year it is, topside, do you not?”

Christmas, sir? Are you serious? How could I not? We get more investments in our properties during this season than any other. And getting the topsiders to actually celebrate this harvest of souls is rightly recognized with one of the darkest stars on the Walk of Goblinry. ‘Black Friday’. Heh.”

“And so this is Christmas. And what have we done? We’ve asked me to go before the Board, before Grandfather and the other directors, possibly including the CEO, Lucifer Himself, wave this pile of papers around and proclaim the prints of peace??”


The Adversary’s pit bull?!?


“You think they wouldn’t remember the last time that .. that .. entity was down here, and all the damage he did? I told you about that when we had that intruder a year ago. Didn’t I?”

“Y-yes, sir, you did.”

“And what about the clamor from all the investors whose personal demons are roasting them in their very own lava jacuzzis, huh? The ones that thought they could use a guilt trip to get everyone else to leave them and their greedyguts stuff alone, so they ran around topside with pictures of it and yelling ‘Peace, peace’? The breach of order would be intolerable! And the Board would not tolerate it. I’d be lucky to be assigned to the team fueling the volcanic furnace. As the fuel. And who would replace me? You?!?

“Ohnosir, uh-uh, noway!”

“Yeah right. You take this pile back to Printphubar and burn it in his presence. Tell him that if he doesn’t watch himself, I’ll take some of his turf. He thinks he’s got population problems now … Oh, and Wormsap?”


“Tell him I said ‘merry Christmas.'”

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