Harold logged into his computer. He'd left it idle for several days, ever since the trouble with Legion coming into his shop and was dismayed to find Armageddon II still running. He'd been playing the game for three months and had clawed his way to the top of the world league with Europe and much of the former Soviet Union under the control of his infernal forces. It would be just his luck to find himself wiped off the map after his absence.
He was surprised to find he was still there and as powerful as ever. More, even, since he didn't recall occupying Libya and the Sudan prior to his hiatus, though it looked like Jerusalem was still a pocket of player seven's angelic horde. It wasn't until he spotted the tell-tale cigarette ash that he realised who to thank for his continued in-game presence.
“Remind me to give John a raise, would you?”
“John? The imp? Whatever for?” Jasfoup appeared at the door to his office, a mug of Darjeeling held like a shield against intimacy. “I keep telling you Harold. Imps need a good kick up the backside, not praise whenever they manage to hold a pencil the right way round.”
Harold nodded to the screen. “He saved my bacon in the game.”
“You're still playing that? I thought you'd given up when it got hacked by Anonymous.”
“That was the previous version. Besides, I'm not even sure that was the hacker group. It looked suspicious when instead of stealing passwords they added a cheat to allow the Heaven player to create multiple copies of units.”
“That's called playing God.” Jasfoup slapped him on the shoulder. You'd need a whole army of immortal souls to beat God.” The demon frowned. “Wait a minute. That's exactly what we have going on.”
“Where?” Harold zoomed in across the game map. “Georgia? Player three has a base there I haven't been able to infiltrate.”
“Not in your stupid game, stupid. In real life. Manoach's building an army.”