‘The demons are restless. They want a slice of the world too and Jet is taking most of it.’ A voice rang through the great hall. Jet glared at the mahogany table. It was all there for show, as were their human glamours. It was all a pretence, for the sake of ease and convenience. Jet sighed, his chin resting on a balled up fist. Alice sat beside him, fretting about her son left on earth.
‘We never did set out who can have what. What did you expect?’ another voice piped up. This voice belonged to Jaska.
‘What would the point in that be? We would end up fighting among ourselves if we did that. Restrictions do that to a demon. Stupid idea.’ Jaska continued. Jet smiled to the table at his words. They were good friends; Jaska had taken him in and trained him. The older demon tended to compliment Jet, saying Jet could take a city more efficiently and inflict more suffering than any other demon he had come across, including himself.
‘Shut the fuck up, Jaska. You’re only on Jet’s side ‘cause you were his mentor. I think we should give it a try.’ The first voice said again. This voice was the elder demon. Aside from Lucifer, he was the most powerful demon of all the abominable creatures that dwelled in the underworld. Bastiaan was the name of this particular demon. ‘And you know how much I hate rules.’ The demon spat for emphasis and thumped the table, making the demons around it jump. ‘There are only five elder demons. Jaska, Jet, Yuuki, Xanthe and myself. It should be easy enough to divide the planet up. I know not all of you are especially interested. Yuuki nodded, declining a portion of the human world.
Bastiaan excused her from the gathering and she left wordlessly. Only the four of them remained.
‘The world can be defined easily into four continents: Afro-Eurasia, Oceania, America and Antarctica.’ He said.
‘No one is going to want to take the wasteland ice. Split it up some other way.’ Xanthe shouted, her rough voice indignant. Bastiaan scowled at her, but remained calm.
‘Africa, Eurasia, Oceania and the Americas. Better? Someone can take the Antarctic if they want. I don’t care. Argue among yourselves for a while.’ Bastiaan got up and wandered off, probably to raid some soul buffet or whatever it was they had going at that moment.
‘The Americas.’ Jet snapped before anyone else could draw breath to speak. Xanthe gave him a withering look, her dark locks framing her dangerously beautiful face.
‘Oceania, then.’ She stated, her voice ringing in the strange space around them.
‘Eurasia.’ Jaska announced and they nodded once together. Xanthe rose to find Bastiaan and tell him of their decisions.
‘Who’s gonna encroach on whose land first, eh?’ Jaska asked with a laugh.
‘No doubt it shall be you, onto my land. It always would be.’ Jet retorted. The older demon snorted.
‘Unlikely. I’d try my luck with Xanthe, but she is nearly as good as you, and not nearly so forgiving toward me.’ Jaska winked. Jet rolled his eyes and fell silent waiting for Bastiaan to dismiss them all. ‘Fucking meetings in the fucking underworld.’
‘Don’t let Bastiaan catch you thinking that,’ Alice piped up. She had been forgotten like a quiet pet during the negotiations, but now she spoke, tired of staying silent as Jet told her to. Jet glanced at her irritably and disregarded her words.
‘Think I’m an elder for no reason?’ Jet snapped, silencing the space around them. He looked around at the place. It wasn’t quite a room, but somehow the table was there and there was an exit, but even Jet was unsure of Bastiaan’s latest creation. The black “walls” shifted as souls passed them.
‘Who died?’ Jet asked. Jaska looked up.
‘Hmm. I think those must be Castor’s.’ Jaska replied, watching the tormented souls flying around. A nameless lesser demon gleefully snapped half of them up and carried on their way. ‘All the souls a demon collects during their life are freed into the underworld when they are killed.’ Jaska explained, noticing Alice’s look of confusion.
‘You can go, now.’ Bastiaan’s voice called. ‘Go near Africa and your collection of souls will join these ones.’ Jet stood and turned to see Bastiaan watching as Castor’s souls floated past hesitantly. They nodded to each other and Jet took Alice’s hand, preparing to leave.
‘See ya!’ Jaska shouted as the two figures vanished.
Jet brought them back to New York, the familiar office damp and puddles forming around the broken windows. He tutted and fixed the windows.
‘Why did you ignore me so blatantly just there, Jet?’ Alice fumed. The demon turned to see her angelic face twisting with the fury of a demon. He laughed.