lj idol season nine | week 24 | 690 words
The Cupertino Effect
To: The Legion of Imps
From: Your Dark Overlord
Re: Business Metrics
Attention, all imps!
The third-quarter results are in, and there has been a sharp decline in the overall numbers for vexing, injustices, and thwarting. This cannot continue.
Our work is not limited to tempting the weak and tormenting the damned. We also have a larger duty, a calling, to bring widespread misery to the living. It is here that our statistics have suffered.
Consider this an incentive—or a warning—for this final quarter: each of you must double your last-quarter performance numbers, or you will re-experience the horror of what Hell can truly be.
Level One imps may wish to focus on smaller embarrassments such as the inappropriate respelling of words on electronic devices, memory-blanking during public speaking, locking keys inside cars, uncontrollable flatulence, et cetera, et cetera. Additional vexing, such as disappearing and reappearing parking meters, is always welcome.
The rest of you know the kind of work I expect of you. Think big! We had the entire world panicking over the Y2K bug. I want to see more of that kind of persistence and innovation.
The top fourth-quarter performers will receive a pass on the intermediate-level punishing of their choosing—or an invocation of it, should they prefer.
Get out there and make some trouble. Fear my unholy wrath!
To: The Legion of Imps
From: He Who Is All To You
Re: Mid-Quarter Summary
The half-term results are back, and there have been marked improvements over the previous quarter.
Thwarting and vexing are up sixty-percent, although bald injustice is below quota. I know you have it in you—small claims courts meet five days out of seven, and those things are a bonanza! There are also students waiting to flunk courses on technicalities, evidence files to be stolen, and qualified applicants to be overlooked. The opportunities are there for the taking.
We have already had several key success stories. You have infiltrated GPS units and caused people to become lost, and removed all traces of multiple employees from company databases right before payday. Excellent work!
One of the forge-floor imps glitched a travel company's software so that customers were sent to the wrong locations—the Paris in Texas, and the Moscow in Idaho. My assistant minion, Goatshanks (Top Employee for Hell-cycle 4377^29.64), is keeping track of the travelers who didn't spot the mistakes in time. Forgetting to read the fine print is exactly the kind of weakness we can exploit many times over.
Imps, the path to becoming a demon is a long one, and this is where it begins. Go forth and rain down destruction, or you will find yourselves demoted to wraiths and confined to the slime pits, possibly forever.
All hail Me, your liege and leader!
To: All Rotten, Cursed Imps
From: His Horned Majesty
Re: Grave Transgressions
Your mission for this quarter was to afflict humankind, and while many of you have succeeded, one of you has committed an unforgivable act.
These majestic horns, these cloven hooves, this gloriously spiked tail, and the fire that burns within me are manifestly NOT HUMAN. There can be no confusion as to this simple fact.
To the imp who replaced my throne with a milking stool and a whoopee cushion, do not imagine that you are unknown to me. I am the Supreme Ruler of Hell, and I see all that happens! Indeed, at this particular moment I see that you're beginning to grasp the trouble you are in, and are regretting not paying attention during orientation.
Pustule-gobbet The Lesser, you are hereby assigned to spend eternity as a dung-dwelling worm. You will be devoured daily by my Messenger Ravens, returning and beginning the process again each cycle. Be assured, it is most unpleasant.
As for the rest of you, let this be a lesson and not a distraction. There is more to be done as we close out the quarter, so sharpen your wits and expand your sense of mischief.
Revere and fear me, underlings of the Underworld, and know that I am watching all that you do.
Now, get back to work!
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