An expensive apartment in an exclusive tower in Santa Monica, tastefully decorated in a sparse modern style without too much over encumbering art.

From the back bedroom comes harsh moans from two different voices, one male and one female, along with the obligatory panting and squeeking of bedsprings. For nearly an hour, the voices rise and fall, panting mixed in with giggles and speech and yells. And abruptly, the crecendo climbs and ends and two figures who were joined as one, part.

He props up on pillows and she nuzzles in his arm. "Mmmmmm..." she says into his chest in a bedroom voice, "now I remember why we keep you around."

"I was hoping it was for more then just that," he says, as he looks away and stares out the window across from the bed. His hands lazily play with her hair.

She closed her eyes and laid their, enjoying the afterglow. She didn't feel love for him, it was definitely more of a friendship mixed with an uninhibited animalistic lust. He was such a fantastic lover, knowing her needs at the slightest touch, fulfilling them without even a comment or an askance. Slow, painstakingly tender, she had never known anyone like him. She fully well knew there were others of his kind who were equally skilled, but she also knew that after just one session, she would be caught in such a web of desire and repayment she would never be able to escape. He never asked, he never traded favors with her.

She purred and cuddled up closer. "No, it is just for that. You're only good as my toy. Or else, we would have destroyed you years ago," she says in a mock threatening tone.

"Mmmmmmmm... I thought as much." He falls quiet, and a certain silence decends over the room. "Minnie, can I ask you something?"

"Mmm hmmm," she answered sleepily.

"Do you believe in God?"

A heavy silence blanketed the room, before she said, "What? What kind of question is that?"

"It's a valid question. I don't think I believe in God, Minnie. It just occured to me." He stopped playing with her hair.

She laughed. "That is the silliest thing anyone, especially you, have ever asked me. Of course I believe in God. It would be hard to be me, otherwise. What are you trying to become, Dai? The Demon of Silly Questions? You're doing well, since you've just pulled ahead of the competition." She grinned up at him. "So tell me, why don't you believe in God now."

"Well, for one, I've never seen him."

Daimon had been working himself into these sorts of moods ever since his last trip when he went Down Below, as she liked to think about it. Something had happened, but he wasn't talking about it. As far as anyone knew, he was still working for the Bad Guys, the status quo was maintained.

The entire concept of going to Hell voluntarily gave her the shivers, even if her twin did so regularly.

She grinned a knowing grin, figuring she would end this quickly. "Have you ever seen Lucifer?"

He looked down at her. "Once, when I was really young. I was in Andre's palace, sitting on the floor in the little room right outside the throne room. He walked in, all by himself. He patted me on the head, called me 'Little One', and gave me a piece of chocolate. It was weird, because I wasn't afraid of him. But man, did people scatter. Lucifer and Andre took off, went into some small room, and had some sort of chat. Andre went around beating the crap out of people for weeks afterwards. I was happy when I got sent off to training."

She propped herself up on an elbow. "Oh." She scrunches up her forehead, trying to think. She brushes some hair out of her eyes. "Well, I've never seen God. I'm sure my Superior has, though."

"Are you sure?" he asked. "I heard they have some sort of council Up There that runs the place. Heresay, I believe I heard from you, Minnie. Maybe your Superior never actually sees God. Maybe he just keeps going with it, trying to maintain the illusion that there is some superior being running the whole show, and there is some point to the War. Maybe your Superior doesn't even remember why we fight anymore. Especially your Superior."

"Well," she said, "there's still good and evil in the world. We're still here, we didn't go pfft or something." She pushes herself up, and the sheet falls back, revealing most of one breast. "I know. Why don't you let me take you to a Tether, and you can talk to the Seneschal about it. Heck, you could probably talk to the Superior there about it. Ask him if he's ever seen God."

He blinks. "Why does that strike me as something that does not promote my long term survival."

"Well.... because I was figuring that you would kind of go Bright at the same time, you know? End all this nonsense? You'd be less miserable all the time."

He frowns. "Oh, I don't think so. I want to be free, not beholden to another Celestial. I don't need my chain yanked somewhere where I can fry, as well."

She sighed. This was the beginning of a very familiar argument. She decided to let it drop. "Okay, so. If there's no God, how come we're all still here?"

"Well, I thought about that very same thing." He pushed some of the sheet off of his chest. "I think that God really did exist at some time-"

"Ah ha! See? You do believe."

"-but he's long since walked away from all that he Created. The squabbling got too much for him, and he decided to go elsewhere, maybe try it again. So the big All Mighty up in Heaven, the Big Puppetmaster, I don't believe that. I don't know if it ever existed. It was just some guy who couldn't handle it. Maybe even a human."

"Well, then why are we still here? Why are Angels and Demons still running around the Earth?"

"Because Lucifer," he said, gesturing a bit with a hand, "found this out, and discovered that if anyone else found it out, then we'd all be screwed. Humans need good and evil to be human, and if one side suddenly went away, they really wouldn't be human anymore. Our universe, as we know it here, on Earth, would sort of just go away. So he's been playing both sides of the fence, while looking for God.

"All the Superiors and the big Bosses," he continued, "maybe they all know. It comes in the packet of information you get on entering Demon Prince Training, or something. And they need to maintain the illusion that there is still a need for War, and we should continue to beat the crap out of each other."

She lay back on the pillows and laughed. She preferred to think that humans were basically good and corrupted by evil influences. "Now I know why your Prince keeps you around. You really are funny. You think up the goofiest things."

"The Boss tells me that I make a wonderful servant and a terrible demon."

"He's probably right." She stared at the ceiling for a moment, and silence decended over the room again. "You know, Terry sees a need for the War."

"Terry also thinks he's the biggest prick on the Western Seaboard. And, he probably is, but not in the way he would like."

"What is his Word again?"

"I don't know." He shifted a bit to get more comfortable. "Television Marketing or Game Show Hostesses or something like that. What ever it is, it means he has to be sleazy and put all that grease shit in his hair." He turned over on his side, making to fall asleep. "Minnie..."

"Yes?" She slid down to move into a spoons position behind him.

"I don't do it because I would lose too much." He sighs, and pauses for a moment. "Too many friends, too many associates, too many humans I know on Earth. There's nothing Up There but a life full of people doubting me and wondering if I'm going to suddenly change and stab them in the back. Especially if I don't believe in God."

"You're making excuses for being afraid. Well, maybe you'll change your mind, about both things. After all, I'll be there, and I bet Mickey isn't going to just walk away just because you gone and went good on her."

"Maybe." He turned over, and looked her right in the eyes. "Do me a favor, and leave me some breakfast on the way out. Okay?"

She knew his request for what it was, his repayment for someone listening to his ludicrious ideas. She would do something trivial, and she would have a right to ask for something more important later on. But what of importance would she ask? Probably money. She nodded, and said, "Okay," and felt the onus of geasa.

"Thanks." He turned over, and lay still, his chest starting to rise and fall at a steady rate.

After a few minutes, She curled up against him again, worried about her friend's self-destructive cycle, and worried that he was going to eventually get some unwanted attention, the kind that ends with his forces being redistributed evenly throughout the cosmos.

Eventually, she fell asleep too. In the morning, she left him a plate full of pancakes.

Flaming edge graphics from Our Domain Gallery of Graphics
The "In Nomine" and "flaming feather" graphics are
(C) 1997 Steve Jackson Games, Incorporated.
Used with fnord.