It's so hard.

By Matthew Gerber


> Which Demon Prince do all of you think is /most/ likely to redeem, and
> why, other than Lilith? (Lilith being excluded just because her
> differences from the other Princes are so obvious that the "why" part
> of the question is likely to be too simple.)


It's so hard, you know.

It started out simple. Control the easiest means of mass information distribution. Ensure that everything that comes across it is pablum of one kind or another, spun or twisted or "written" to seem interesting and lively, to say good things and have good messages, but in fact meant to keep the monkeys in their place, fat and happy and docile.

But it started to go wrong from the very beginning. Television scripts are often called "teleplays", you know. There's a reason for that. The closest thing to movies and to television was the stage, so naturally, concepts traversed from the older to the newer. This was a problem for you. This was a very big problem. Plays were older than you. Plays had great traditions to draw from, things that made Humans ponder and laugh and weep and think, and when Humans think bad things start happening. Plays were his.

His. Don't think too much about that. Keep smiling.

You're dependent on Humans, you know. You're dependent on them to a degree Andrealphus, one of your closest partners, can never understand. Andre taps and corrupts one of the greatest, most primal drives; as long as Humanity exists and is Fallen to the slightest degree, his Word will endure.

You don't have that luxury. What you want from Humans, you have to take. There's nothing instinctual in the Human mind that makes them it and watch moving pictures. You have to cre--make the desire. You have to take from them. You have to convince them they should give you what you want.

It's so hard.

Because the problem is, and you learned this early on, peo--Humans won't just watch anything. It has to be new. Sure, for awhile Humans would sit around and watch test patterns, because that was new. But it got old. Then they'd sit around and watch the same jokes time after time, because they were new. But they got old. Now, to get them to watch, you've got to have the new gimmick. So you keep moving, constantly. Make it as superficial as possible so they don't have a lot to think about. Because when they think, bad things start happening. But you have to keep moving. Things have to be cre--innovative. Constantly.

It's so hard.

And you can't always keep the things that are coming through from being what they're not supposed to be. That part really scares you. They're making Humans think. And when they think, bad things start happening. And even some of the things you thought wouldn't make them think are, and you're sure you checked them. You're positive. Your best Demons were assigned to check them. And sometimes things you didn't want to get through still get through. Marc's become good at that, lately.

And it's worst when he does something. It's so hard when he does something.

He. Don't think about him too much. Keep smiling.

Don't.... think about him. Don't. Don't think about the fact that to get peo--Humans to stay tuned and pay attention, what you do must be new. In some way, even if it's silly, even if it's corrupted, even if it's perverted, it has to be new. Everything else fails, nothing can get you away from that one, solitary, blazing, damnable fact. It has to be new.

Don't think about where that puts you. Don't think about the fact that, if he wished, if he thought to wish, your Word would be his toy. Don't think about the fact that you thrive, you exist, solely because of how scattered and unfocused one of the oldest, strongest beings in all Cre--all the universe is. Don't think about how wide and deep the shadow you stand in is. Don't think about the fact that you can't step out of it, you can never step out of it, you have to walk the line constantly, because without the new, without him, Humans would stop watching. And if they stopped watching, you'd be dead.

It's so hard.

Really, really don't think about the fact that sometimes he seems to act. To come where you live. Directly. Don't think about those things that seemed to be perfectly innocuous. Don't think about the thousands upon thousands of books that are still published, that Humans still read every day, despite everything you've tried to do to the form and its content. Don't think about that covered wagon in space that helped inspire a generation to stand tall and shake the heavens, no matter what you managed to do to it after. Don't think about the fact that out of the thousands upon thousands of things you do that dull the mind and dim the spirit, the peo--Humans who want to dream still find the ones that make them dream.

It's so hard.

And most especially... most especially of all... don't think about the fact that you don't know why you fight it anymore.

If you thought, bad things would start happening.

Keep smiling.


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