Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nick Andes - I'm taking the day off

[Originally posted at Slacktivist (page 2) and The Slacktiverse.]
[Previous stories about Nick Andes aren't on Stealing Commas yet. He's an Antichrist, he's following the checklist because if he doesn't God will improvise (a Tribulation is hard enough to prepare for when you know what's coming) and might stay out of reach, in which case there would be no chance of getting the children back. Anyway, this starts with a meeting about the state of New Babylon.]

“There's no commerce in the city, there's no city in the city. It's just our offices and nothing much else is functioning like a proper city. Everyone's just there. We're not on any trade routes, we don't produce anything, there's really no purpose for us being here. The entire thing is just a massive waste of resources, if we want to-”

“Fuck it,” Nick said.


“I never wanted to come here in the first place. If we had to set up camp in a dead city off the beaten path I was holding out hope for Machu Picchu. God wanted us here. We're here. We're holding up our end. If he wants the city to bustle let him do it his own damn self.

“I don't care if the city doesn't function as a city. I don't care if it sucks. It's the capital, we'll use it as a capital, leave everything else to the other side. If God wants this place better than we've built it have the fucking angels do it! Let them use their resources.

“I don't... I can't...” Nick opened and closed his mouth several times, but no words came out. Eventually he was able to speak again, “I'm taking the day off. I'm sorry, I just... it's been eighteen long months and... I just...” He put his head in his hands. Everyone in the room was silent. They had never seen their leader like this before. “I'll see you all later,” and with that the ruler of the earth left his advisers at the conference table. He retreated to his office, closed the blinds, and curled up in a ball on the carpet.

He didn't know how much time passed. He heard footsteps, he didn't look. He heard someone lower themselves to the ground behind him, and then felt a gentle embrace, the warmth of a body against his back, an arm laid across his side, a hand on his shoulder.

“You ok?” Lucifer asked.

“I can't take it,” he told her. “You should have gotten someone else to be Antichrist. I'm not...”

“You're doing fine. Everyone needs a break sometimes. I took off the entire seventh century, more or less. Everything finally got to me and I couldn't take it any more. Walked right out of Hell, left my responsibilities behind and did nothing for more than a hundred years. Spent it lying in a secluded room just like you are now. Except I wasn't breathing, because I don't need to and I didn't see the point.

“I learned two things from that.”

“What?” Nick asked.

“The first is that it gets better. When you're ready to face the world again, if you work at it, things get better. The second is that music helps.”

The sound system in the office started on its own.
I was walking down the street
In the town where I was born
I was moving to a beat
That I never felt before
So I opened up my eyes
And I took a look around
I saw it written cross the sky
The Revolution Starts Now.


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