A peculiar form of torture – Part 1

Watching the perverse presentation was thoughtless by now.

Dr. Gregoras lay back in his plush leather seat, confounded by the pointlessness of his coworkers’ desire. The futility of the human lives projected in the dome beneath him, constantly bantering and pretending to be sheep going their own way bored him silly.

Without question, then, the demon sat forward in his Hellish black suit, elbows on the table, and with a snap of his fingers the word “Approved” blazed across the contract before him in a tiny spit of flame.

The document he had just passed was another petition for some bizarre spirituo-scientific experiment that the Tormentor department was doing. They were really just a grassroots organization, and didn’t necessarily have the proper permissions to do what they were doing, but Gregoras had little patience for bureaucracy these days and decided to let the matter slide until his higher-ups discovered it.

The contract stated that yet another lowly human was to be put through a more miserable life than was intended. This would be in the form of a new type of demonic intervention that the Tormentor scientists dubbed “Partial Achievement.” This form of torture would cause the individual to always be attempting to succeed and always believing that he was, only to realize that he only ever got halfway and would never actually be able to unlock his potential.

The Tormentor department had always worked around the clock to implement their new forms of torture, but never before had he seen them work to their current extent, using all sorts of lesser demons and pixies and imps along with a projected plan and life blueprint to ensure that the individual had just the right amount of emotional ups and downs and turmoil that he would always be hopeful and repeatedly working hard and trying to deny his failures, but secretly always be absolutely miserable.

Gregoras sneered, but silently deferred. Torture was torture, and it had to be done by someone, somewhere. He just wished that the science team didn’t waste so much of his time.

“Dr. Gregoras, don’t you wish to review the Fire and Brimstone Amendment Subsection Exception 4C that we have included in this latest experiment?”

Smoke began to curl out of his nostrils. “No. Get out of my office. Or you’re fired.”

“But, Dr.,” pleaded the female team member, backing up her male colleague, “it is absolutely necessary that the Fringe Clauses are not disregar—“

“ENOUGH!” bellowed Gregoras, launching over the table and instantly transforming into his hulking, terrifyingly beautiful Arch-Demon form, his great naked body trembling and pectorals rippling, seemingly twice as terrifying as before, a tongue of fire snaking its way out of his mouth and around his throat. A moment passed where his colleagues were rendered petrified before his form slowly shrunk back, giving way once more to his normal, professional and clothed appearance.

“It is time for you to all leave. Now.” The scientists stared, but left without another word. They did not wish to be punished by an Arch-Demon today.

Leaning back in his seat, puffing the smoke out of his lungs and rubbing his meaty red forearms, he wondered when everything had all gone to Hell.

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