Saturday, July 6, 2013

Dead Rite chapter 151.13

“You're welcome, master. I live to serve and all that.” Devious closed his mouth over the pancake-sausage and bit down with all three sets of teeth. Thankfully, he wasn't being suggestive in the least. An imp had to consume a great deal of food just to keep functioning. If tortured souls could become imps, it would be the obsessively thin. If they weren't dead already it would kill them to seat so much fried food just to stay upright.

A thought occurred to Harold. “Do you exist?” He swallowed the mouthful of fried bread and bacon he'd been chewing. “In a fundamental sense, I mean. If you weren't a denizen of Hell, would you be able to function anywhere else?”

Devious stared at him through hooded eyes. “Is this a trick question? Is this...” He put all the venom and loathing he could into his next word. “Philosophy?”

“No, I'm genuinely curious. I know you've been born so if Hell ceased to exist would you remain?”

“Obviously not. If Hell ceased to exist I'd have no home.”

“But I'd still exist if Laverstone disappeared.”

“Not if you were in it at the time.” Devious frowned. “I think this is a question best left to the Masters,” he said at last. “I'm essentially an independent being contracted to the Masters and subcontracted to sneaky buggers like yourself. Questions of whether I exist independently of those restrictions are best left unexplored, in my opinion, seeing as I might cease to exist if I find out otherwise.”

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