“This is stupid, this is stupid, this is stupid,” Adam mumbled to himself as the elevator moved up to the top floor. The mid-30s college student paced within the empty elevator while he reminded himself of his stupidity. “I’m gonna say the thing and they’re going to call security on me.” Before he could reconsider any more, the elevator slowed, then dinged.
The doors slid open to an almost blinding white office. Adam stepped out onto a polished white floor and looked around. The walls were made of frosted glass with solid white lights glowing behind the glass. In the middle of the room, at a white desk, sat a dark-haired woman in a black suit. She looked up as soon as Adam walked in and she continued to stare at him as he closed the distance.
“Yes?” she asked.
“Uh,” Adam leaned over the desk. He dropped his voice to a whisper despite no one else being in the room. “Satan sent me to see Ms. Sharp?” he said without an ounce of confidence. The woman’s stern look bloomed into a friendly, warm smile.
“Adam Juárez?” He nodded, slightly surprised. “We’ve been expecting you.” The woman gestured at a wall behind her and Adam noticed the faint outline of a door. “Please go in,” she said.
“Thank you,” Adam nodded and approached the door; it opened wider as he got closer. He stepped through the door into another white room. This one was softer than the lobby he was just in. The floor consisted of lush white carpet, the walls were not glowing as much. The outer wall consisted of a large single window that looked out on the city. A white desk sat between Adam and the window; a woman in a white suit sat at the desk.
“Hello, Adam,” Ms. Sharp said. She gestured at a chair in front of her desk. “I’m very busy, so let’s try to make this quick,” she said. Adam’s head was swimming with questions, but he did not waste any time sitting down. Before he could ask his first question, the woman spoke up.
“You’re here because you want to be a hero, correct?” she asked.
“I’m here because the devil said you could make me a hero.” Adam shrugged. “But I don’t know why he couldn’t do it himself.”
“Contrary to popular belief, Satan is quite..,” the woman sighed and faintly rolled her eyes. “…amicable. He sent you to me because he knew I could give you what you want without him having to make a deal for your soul. So, what kind of hero would you like to be?” she asked.
“Wait a minute. You’re saying Satan: ruler of hell and suffering, is a nice guy?”
“People are not their jobs,” Ms. Sharp said. “Satan is required to bargain for your soul to give you anything. I don’t have any such requirements. And, I’m in a hurry, remember? What powers do you want? What kind of city do you want to protect?”
“You’re serious? You can really do it?” Adam asked. The woman sighed.
“You wouldn’t be here to waste my time if I couldn’t,” she said.
“Alright!” Adam hopped to his feet and pulled out a crumpled sheet from his jeans. “I kind of drew a sketch and wrote out the powers and stuff,” he presented the sheet to her. Ms. Sharp’s eyes glanced down at the ruined paper, but she did not accept it. Instead, she pulled a clipboard out from her desk drawer and gave it to Adam.
“Easy. Sign this, take your design and signature to Melody, my assistant,” Ms. Sharp gestured at the door Adam came in through.
“That’s it?!” Adam asked as he eagerly jotted his signature.
“That’s it,” Ms. Sharp nodded. “Good luck.” Adam took his crumpled paper and the clipboard and dashed out of the room.
“I did my part,” Ms. Sharp spoke to the empty room. A small red, winged imp appeared on Ms. Sharp’s desk in a puff of yellow smoke. It narrowed its obsidian eyes at her.
“You took his soul without telling him,” it hissed in a small, ragged voice.
“Satan sent him to me so that he didn’t have to claim his soul. He never said I couldn’t claim it for myself. Now for the payment,” Ms. Sharp said. The imp sighed, but nodded.
“Oren,” it said.
“What about him?”
“He’s Ballisea’s son. He’ll answer all your questions about her.” The imp disappeared.