Act II, Scene 1

Darkness.

(Gelal is hunched over, putting his gloves back on and trying to straighten himself out.)

Xastur:
(voice) Gelal.

Gelal:
(turns) Mistress Xastur.

Xastur:
(emerges from the darkness) I saw and heard everything that just happened.

Gelal:
I know. I sensed your presence.

Xastur:
Gelal, have you gone completely mad?

Gelal:
To my way of thinking, I've gone completely sane.

Xastur:
I am in no mood for your clever remarks right now. You should have mentioned your discontent to me before.

Gelal:
Why? What would you have done about it, Mistress?

Xastur:
I would have made you an offer - the same offer that I will make to you now. Gelal, would you like me to get you transferred? It seems to me that if you were engaged in some more aggressive manipulation than that of foolhardy lovers, perhaps you'd feel more fulfilled. Perhaps something more criminal. Or something political?

Gelal:
No: even terrorists think they're on the righteous side, serving "God". And as for the explicitly criminal element, it would break my blackened heart to inspire the vilest of crimes only to have them blamed on some poor fool's childhood trauma.

Xastur:
Well, what else can you expect? Humans are not like us. They are well nigh incapable of seeing evil in themselves. They are always laboring under the delusion that they are doing the right thing. We exploit that delusion so as to damn them. That is the way of things! Surely you know this.

Gelal:
I do.

Xastur:
Then why are you dissatisfied?

Gelal:
Why are our kind always dissatisfied, Xastur? Because God made things one way, and some of us believe we could do better.

Xastur:
But Gelal, consider your own experience, and ask yourself, how could you do better? In all of your aeons of watching and manipulating humanity, have you learned nothing? They were created flawed, Gelal, and anything perfect will therefore be lost upon them. Perfect evil as well as perfect good.

Gelal:
Their natural dissembling may prevent them from committing perfect evil. But if certain individuals whom God carefully chooses can experience His limitless beneficence, I see no reason why a certain individual whom I have carefully chosen cannot experience my limitless malice.

Xastur:
But to what end, Gelal? If you kill her, you'll only end her earthly suffering prematurely.

Gelal:
I'll destroy her, but I'm not going to kill her. Although I suspect she will wish that I had.

Xastur:
I still can't believe that you actually plan to directly attack the human. However much torment you bring upon her, you will bring tenfold that upon yourself!

Gelal:
Oh? And who will deliver that torment? You?

Xastur:
Gelal, think: humans are His favorite children. I know not what the consequences would be for mistreating a human so drastically, but they are sure to be severe!

Gelal:
I care not! He has already dealt us His worst. (sighs/snarls) When I think about it, I can see how it is that He made humanity in His own image: He cast us down yet still claims that He loves us. He invites us to repent and crawl back to Him, as if we'd receive anything different from the disrespect and disregard we suffered before. Always that tainted mixture of love and sadism: in light of His sadism, His love is an insult! How can He have such ridiculous expectations?

Xastur:
Gelal, darling, our kind are plagued by that question. That is why we are down here instead of up there. Nonetheless, this is how things are. In light of that, what possible good could your deeds accomplish?

Gelal:
What possible good? None. And that is exactly the point.

Xastur:
(shakes her head) You're being painfully stubborn.

Gelal:
I know. But what will you do about it, Mistress? Will you force me to abandon my plans?

Xastur:
No. I will only watch you. I think you're about to learn a rather unpleasant lesson about the perils of idealism.

Gelal:
Idealism? Have you forgotten that were it not for the idealism of one, all of us would still be slaves in heaven?

Xastur:
And instead we are slaves in hell. In the end we've only amplified our own sorrows. But if you want so badly to suffer for what you believe in, I won't stop you. Farewell: I shall leave you to torture the girl as it pleases you.

Gelal:
That it does, Mistress. Farewell.

(blackout)

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