The world was supposed to have ended on September 3, 1996. Anywhere but those weirdos in the United States, that date reads 3/9/96. And if you divide three thousand, nine hundred and ninety-six by the all important number six? 666, of course.
Now, the only reason why all you guys on earth are still around is me. Well, me and an idiot from several thousand years ago on Earth named Job. Yes, that Job.
God was having a meeting of seraphim and other various angels when my pal Lucifer bursts in. (Don't get me wrong, Satan's a cool guy, etiquitte is just not his strong point.) Lucifer points out one of the most pious guys on Earth at that point, Job, and says the only reason Job's so damn godly is that he has a cushy life. God looked at the Devil for a little bit, paused, then asked the words I'll remember for the rest of my life...
"Do you want to bet on it?"
I've resided in Hell for a very long time, even by immortal standards, long before the whole thing with Job. It's just, if you don't find some way to spend your time in Hell, it can get really, really damn boring and you end up being an imp or an incubus or something shitheaded like that. That's the problem with eternity--it's so damn long.
What's a bookie to do with nothing to put on book? I tried setting up stuff, first dog races. Problem was, he cerebuses' heads argued about strategy in the middle of races, and chewed each other off. Then I tried horse races, but Famine kept throwing races and War threw hissy fits on Earth whenever he lost.
But let me tell ya, the second I heard the word "Bet" off those divine lips, I was there in a second, appearing so fast I singed the wings off a cherub. "That can be arranged," I said, taking a page out of the boss's book.
The problem was, neither side had anything the other really wanted, or that was fair, until I came up with the idea to wager the apocalypse. They bet a number of days, and if Lucifer won, Judgement Day got moved forward that amount of time, if God won, he pushed it back. I set up all the terms and schematics. They both signed, and the first God-Satan bet was underway.
(Of course, Job's soul was on the line too, but both sides can get one of those without thinking, so it wasn't like that was that big a deal.)
Needless to say, God won that one. Big time. Set the apocalypse years after the originally planned date there, mainly because Lucifer hadn't learned conservative betting. Not to say God's never lost big either--the Spanish Inquisition. BIG loss for the G-man there.
Anyway, since then I've always been the offical bookie of Hell. I do a lot of bets, but my big business has always been the stuff between God and Lucifer. I keep THE book. And, of course, I always get my cut. Name's Covenant Provenence.
Personality: The first time Lucifer came back after the Fall, he walked calmly past St. Peter, who let him through. That's a damn surprise, actually. As oh-so-many devils who have made a bet through (or with) me that they could sneak into heaven have found out, Peter's a bore, but he's one Hell of a bouncer.
Lucifer just sat down next to God...God seemed to know to be sitting at that point, I really don't know. "Can we talk for a moment?" Lucifer asked, in his voice that always seems to have a wickedly sarcastic tilt, even when he doesn't want one.
"Yes," God answered.
"I've fallen now, so I can't get back to heaven, right?"
"Right." (Even when he's simple, God's cryptic.)
"And...And I'm supposed to hate all that You created in Your image, right?" (Satan was kinda neurotic at first; I think the Fall gave him some much-needed confidence.)
"I believe so."
"But I was created in Your image...Well, I suppose that could be put in some angst Prince of Darkness self-loathing thing..."
"No, you weren't," said God.
Lucifer was surprised and at least a little relieved at that. "Really? Oh...I always thought I looked a little like you."
God shrugged His godly shoulders, "The artist always puts a little of itself in the art."
"Oh...well then..." Lucifer paused. "What I'm asking is...Does all that mean we can't still talk?"
"Oh, Hell no." God responded.
--That little anecdote of mine is about a hundred times more interesting than anything I could tell you about myself personally.
| Superior The pinnacle of human strength. |
Can bench press 1000 pounds.
|Superior This fighter can dodge, weave and move |
with the grace of an Olympic gymnast.
|Weak BELOW normal human endurance. |
Goes down easy and stays there.
|Superior Highly educated and ingenious. |
A smart cookie.
Life is Hell
To be honest, I really hate fallen angels. (With all due respect to the originals, as I said, I respect Lucifer greatly.) They seem to think just because they "betrayed" (or something) heaven, they deserve to be met with fanfare and celebration. They act dark and angry, which makes it harder for all the other devils, who are just trying to exist in peace.
- Power: Fire
I had to deal with one the other day who acted like he was the biggest thing to ever hit the afterlife because he swore up a storm in heaven and destroyed a few things. He was bragging over some nothing; I've seen worse in video games, and I don't even play the things. Let me tell you, the arrogant bastard made me want to shove my hand down his throat and liquify his insides.
So I did.
Before I start seeming like I just rant randomly, I suppose I shall return to the topic of my career.
The Book in Bookie
Obviously, I do not keep records for every bet in the underworld out of the goodness of my heart. I'm a demon, for crying out loud. That's why I put down any bet I hear in my trusting black book, signed in blood, of course. (Blood ballpoint pen, though) While I've seen bets go from just a rock to the aforementioned bets of the end of the world, I always take something that all my patrons have.
Y'see, my book was basically a "new job" present from Lucifer. And it's the same style and make as his trusty ledger, the one he uses to record all his legendary deals.
I'm not nearly as all-taking as the big guy, but I still take a bit. Makes me stronger, and makes them a little more likely to fall victim to addiction. Drums up repeat business.
Despite all the bets I arrange for the minor guys, God and Lucifer are still my number one customers, as they should be. They're both smart, tricky, and honorable, and they know enough to admit when they've lost.
The Devil his Due
The "Days nearer to/farther away from the apocalypse" system works well enough to always give them enough reason to bet. Naturally, God's in the lead, but Lucifer's been winning a lot recently. You guys really need to work on what you do...especially involving some certain unions...
Joan of Arc was a major win for God. The disciple Peter was a loss he never saw coming. God's kid actually was involved in many a bet, most of which Lucifer actually got the better of him in.
Almost every war out there was a win for Satan. Dante becoming a best-seller too. But Christian Rock? Lucifer was certain that would go out, and the bet's still making him pay for it. Hey, I just record the dumb bets, I don't tell him what to bet on.
Both are good friends of mine now, I would never take soul from them, so what I do is take a few of my own days for every bet I record. I'm not going to say if I make the end of days sooner or later, sometimes I just help whoever's on a losing streak.
Besides, I like watching mortals and their moronic goings-on up top. But I could use a bit more business down here...
Actually, I go up to the predeath realm on occasion. Bets for humans can be so much more interesting than bets for demons, especially if they don't realize what the nature of my game is.
The only annoying part of humans is their infinite ability to want to cheat. I despise cheating, and that's part of why I always keep my black book on me--to be continually aware of the status of the bets.
If one makes a deal with the Devil, one must be prepared for what will happen. And if one cheats me...I shall be very put out. I'll go up there just to exact revenge on a cheater. And I won't stop until the bet is settled.
The Motherlode Bet
Hmm, I suppose you want to know something secret, some big godly hush-hush deal that no mortal can even dream of. I mean, otherwise, you probably would have stopped reading around the second paragraph.
- Power: Damage Shield
- Area Effect This attack causes damage in a large area.
Okay, let's just say that there's going to be a BIG bet between Luci and God coming up. Big time. The way I hear it, this is going to blow those other bets out of the water.
If you don't want to be a part of the Motherlode Bet, just, see if you can get off the planet before, say, November. That would be pretty good. 'Course, it would probably extend out there too, but that's really beside the point. Look forward to it!