Meanwhile, In Tampa (Again)

Meanwhile, In Tampa:

“I told you, don’t ask that,” Samson said to the man. They stood there, awkwardly silent, for a moment as the man chewed his tongue and Samson watched him, hoping that the man would keep his silence, or at least mostly keep his silence. He gestured towards the aquariums. “Nice, huh?” he said, to try to distract the man. He knew the man could be distracted by things like that.

But the man didn’t look at the tanks set into the rock wall, with waterfalls and giant globes of water to look at. He kept mulling things over, very obviously doing so: he had his tongue between his teeth and was biting it, and he scratched his head, and he screwed up his face, and he had one hand on one meaty hip.

“Do you know where the souls go?” the man asked.

Samson nodded, then regretted it. “I do,” he said, slowly, “But we’ll talk about this later.”

The man looked upset.

“You told me…” he said.

Samson held up a hand.

“I know what I told you,” he whispered. A door opened not far away. “I know what I said and I didn’t lie to you. You do send those souls to Heaven. And you’re doing a good job of it.” He thought back to the Display, all those chips. A VERY good job. Samson himself was almost horrified at how prolific the man had been, and he had to remind himself, as he pictured the sheer number of women the man must have killed to have that many chips, that it was all for the greater good. They would have been dead, anyway, ultimately, he told himself. To the man he said “A very good job. But we cannot talk about this now. Not in front of God.”

“He knows, though, right? God knows everything.”

“Not this, he doesn’t. Not right now.” Samson suddenly stood and saluted as two heavily-armored and heavily-armed guards came into view. They wore military battle armor that was rarely used anymore outside of God, Inc, and only used inside of the corporation as a show of force. There were equally effective but less cumbersome ways of protecting soldiers, but the heavy battle armor was impressive and sometimes you wanted to impress people. A soldier carrying a giant Heater/Concussion Cannon, wearing bulky, spiky, shiny armor with heavy boots and GripGloves and a See-Ray visor does not need to fight as often as one would think; his very appearance intimidates many into not fighting.

The two soldiers stood at attention and a slim, middle-aged man walked into view, squinting a little in the sunlight. He wore a pair of khaki pants and some sandals and a button-up shirt with tiny golf clubs on it. He held up his hand and shaded his eyes as he looked at Samson saluting. The logo above the pocket of his shirt said God, Inc. and had a tiny halo above the “o” in God.

Samson continued saluting as God came over. The man, belatedly, saluted, too, as Samson looked at him pointedly. God laughed.

“Is this our week to be in charge?” he asked. “I can’t keep track of that. I suppose I should get an assistant or maybe one of those old-fashioned retro calendars. I could mark the days that we run the world and know when you’re supposed to be saluting and when we’re just another corporation.”

Samson still stood, and God said “Come on, Samson. Don’t salute. No formalities are necessary. I’ve told you that before.” Only then did Samson relax.

“It’s important for me, sir.” Samson wanted to remind the guards, the man, who they were dealing with. It was easy to forget that this was the man, the creature, the Being that had created all 73 dimensions, unless one observed the formalities.

“Well, fine, then, but at ease.” God sat down and motioned to the guards. “I don’t have a communicator. Would one of you radio to get some drinks?” God looked at the man and then at Samson. “Who is this?” he said, not unkindly.

“An associate,” Samson said. “He works for us. In Special Ops.”

“Oh.” God motioned to a chair. “Sit down.”

“How’s the weather been?” Samson asked.

“Very nice. I can’t complain. No rain, no wind, no storms. In fact, the weather’s been perfect for as long as I’ve been here,” God said.

“And business?” Samson asked as a drink was set in front of him. He sipped at it. Lemonade, and quite delicious. A tiny bit frosty and icy, just the way he liked it.

“Things are going well. Profits are up, costs are down, we’ve not had any trouble rotating in and out of power, and I myself have been out on the tennis courts five times in the past week because it’s all running so smoothly.”

Samson asked: “The battlefront?”

God frowned a little. “Still quiet, here. But there’s been an attack.”
“Hell.” God looked to the guards and then back at Samson. “And not by who you’d think. It’s not the Blockers.”

Behind God, a strange looking animal ambled into view. It was about the size of a dog but appeared to be more caterpillar than dog, if a caterpillar moved more quickly and had only two legs which is used to hop, kangaroo style.

God saw Samson looking at it and said “Do you like it?”
Samson wondered what to say. He didn’t, not entirely, but he’d also never seen something like it. Still, it was clear that God liked it. “I guess,” Samson said. “Which dimension is it from?”

“None,” God said. “I made it.”

Samson just looked at him. “You made it?” He said, finally.

“I discovered about two weeks ago that I can make things. Just right out of thin air. I couldn’t believe it. I made this thing, I was sitting around, and I suddenly had a thought about a kind of bird that I sort of half-pictured, a tall bird with hands instead of wings, only they were like wings, too,” God was getting excited, leaning in. The caterpillar-thing hopped over and he scratched it on the head.

“And I suddenly knew I could make it, and I just stood up and started sort of sketching in the air and pulling stuff out of the ether and picking up fuzz off the carpet and all, and suddenly there was this bird, that I’d just created, a giant fuzzy bird.”

Before Samson could say anything about that, three things happened.

A woman came outside and said “Jerry! Why didn’t you tell me we had guests?” and God spun around and looked a little surprised.

And the man stood up suddenly and said “Do the souls go to Hell?” and his chair fell over.

And there was an explosion right behind Samson that shattered the aquariums and the patio and sent them all flying.

No comments: