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The Skubala Missives: Letter 2

To the Most Eminent Secretary Kugelpuss:

Your willingness to take counsel is commendable, although I concede it is not always easy to know the tone in which something is written.  Due to the great import of our cause, it is essential that we are all on board with the direction we are going, so I will suppress my doubts and carry on in good faith.

Of course I recall some of your earlier conquests, in particular your skillful engineering of the so-called ‘Cult of Reason’ during the French Revolution.  You really did not need to mention it.  Certainly, your deft touch at stoking the fires of white-hot carnage was critical to your assignment to the young Adolf.  Yet there is in that episode the kernel of that process which we have now turned into our modus operandi.  It is, therefore, a useful bridge for explaining our current approach.

You will recall that the bloodshed wrought by those who denounced God was answered by bloodshed wrought by those who did not denounce God.  It would be a wonderful thing if we could sustain such cycles of cacophony indefinitely, but eventually our prey tires of such cycles and, insofar as they are able to do something about it, put a stop to it.  Despite all of the vulnerabilities of our prey which we can exploit, we must not forget what they are and how they were made.  We can prod and stretch them but there always comes a point where they ‘snap’ back, much as a rubber band returns to form once tension is released.

It is certainly true that there is grotesque pleasure for us throughout that entire scheme.  The flavor of souls that have been steeped in the stress of imminent death for several decades is delectable.  The ‘snapping’ back itself usually entails chaos, which is ecstasy to us, because within chaos there are often massacres and other means of harvesting, but, unfortunately, those who are harvested tend to be those in the Enemy’s camp, rather than our own, who are carrying out the harvest.  Eventually, we reap our reward when the bloodthirsty miscreants succumb to death, and ripe morsels they are!  But in the meantime, the spasm of terror we have inflicted will itself have dissipated into some kind of pattern which the humans can themselves tolerate.

It is this state of affairs, which we might roughly call their ‘default’ state, that serves as a stark reminder to us that if left to their own devices, accounting of course for their own inherited slant towards depravity, they will return to the values that our Enemy enmeshed within their very being.  We are once again on His turf at that point, which is very dangerous territory, as you well know.  And that serves as yet another stark reminder that if our efforts do not end in stuffing our own coffers, rather than His, our work was ultimately in vain, despite whatever pleasures we obtained in the process.

Skipping ahead a bit in how we got from ‘there’ to ‘here,’ the point is that we have seen value in taking the opposite tact from what you are used to taking.  While it is true that we do not necessarily get to sip the decrepit remains of those whose lives are cut short with radical dispatch, on our present policy  we still get souls to sip.  In fact, the discovery was this:  our harvest is more secure when we lull our prey into a drunken stupor, setting before them various temptations that are veritable narcotics to their spirits.  Yes, there is vast joy for us by provoking them into rash outbursts of bloodletting, but there is eternal sustenance for us if they carry out their actions, as they perceive it, voluntarily.

To put it more bluntly, when it is more obvious that we are hard at work, our prey’s created defenses eventually kick in and our work becomes harder.  We find that we have to start over, over and over again.  When we let our prey believe they are merely about their own business, they will happily deposit themselves into our nets.  But here is the brilliance and innovation of our department’s stratagem: the trap remains set, even as it is sprung.  It falls to us merely to keep the mechanism going, by greasing the wheels and providing discrete nudges along the way.

It is not as flashy as the work you are used to doing, I will readily grant.  Nonetheless, the building of this Machine and its maintenance is our current policy.  The expansion of its reach is our prime directive.  The signature of our Master himself is on the bottom of the document putting it into force; I have seen it myself.

Here, then, is the rub:  Hell has marshaled its great resources towards soothing its prey into our clutches, while you appear to be hell-bent on arousing their passions–and hence their suspicions.

This is worthy behavior of the direct tempter, but you are an administrator, now.  As the newly appointed chair of the board that matches freshly trained devils with newly identified subjects, it is critical that you issue assignments that are consistent with our official doctrine.  Within that role, it falls upon you to discipline those who leap beyond the accepted parameters, making sure that all who are under you know of our guiding principles, and having stern words with the schools themselves if they continue to turn out candidates with a penchant for ‘slash and burn.’

As one of the champions of that approach, I can only imagine your reluctance to inflict the stern punishments that may be necessary.  You may even perceive that in punishing those who engage in such activities, you are actively repudiating your own line.  There is another way of looking at it:  by curbing the violent ambitious of your underlings, you secure for yourself a permanent place in our records as one of our greatest tempters, without concern that you may be ‘bumped off’ by one of them.

This raises an important point.  As with the vermin that we mercilessly chase, once someone has ascended into the administrative ranks, it is not usually the underlings you need concern yourself with.  Rather, in that rare air, you must watch yourself from those breathing air that is even rarer.

Yours quite sincerely,

Skubala

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