Friday, November 23, 2018

#FridayFlash - Paid Opposition

"Brenna, you look nice." Dietrich pulled out a chair and sat across from the woman in question. He wore jeans and leather, combat boots and a heavy wallet chain. Not the typical customer of such a swanky cafe.

"You look..." Brenna arched one thin brow disdainfully. "Like yourself. Couldn't you have at least tried?" She sipped her espresso, manicured nails bloody red against the ceramic cup. A raspberry score sat uneaten in front of her.

"I mean, yeah, I could have. But why should I? It's not like I'm trying to blend in with these wankers. They're someone else's paycheck. Mine like me just fine the way I am." He lounged back in his chair, eyeing one of the counter girls. "If you don't like it, you can always come to my side of town next time."

Brenna managed not to sneer only by dabbing her mouth with the cloth napkin. "If you agree to my proposal, that won't have to be your side of town very much longer."

Dietrich reached for her scone and pulled one corner off. Crumbs scattered as he popped it in his mouth. "You said something about a job offer. Since when are you high enough rank to pass out new assignments?"

"Keep your voice down," the woman said lowly. Her eyes darted around, looking for any who might be listening.

"Too damn suspicious. No one cares about us or what we do. Humans are stupid." Dietrich stole another bite.

Brenna slid the plate to his side of the table. "It's not them I'm worried about."

He laughed, pastry falling from his lips to his shirt. "Has anyone even seen an angel in the last two hundred years? Fuck them. Let them hear us."

Brenna sipped her espresso again. "You'll need to be more subtle if you join my team."

"Give me a good enough reason, I'll be as subtle as you need. But it has to be a pretty damn good reason." Dietrich finished the scone.

"My team have found a much easier way to tempt and rile up the humans. It's highly effective, it takes less effort on our part, and it is utterly pervasive." Brenna panned her gaze slowly around the room, pausing at each person staring at their phone.

Dietrich stared, waiting for her to continue.

"We have a captive audience. With a few words, maybe a picture, we can reach so many. We're forced to invest or time with just one human, working our plays on their weakness only to have it fail after months and even years."

He blinked quietly.

"My team work our ploys on the masses. Our time is put into many, and we don't even speak to them. Any of them can stumble upon our corruption at any time, can revisit it, can let it burrow into their psyche without our constant persuasion."

Dietrich licked his fingers and checked his non-existant watch.

Brenna's voice dropped in tone, her frustration peeking through her otherwise calm demeanor. "Our influence draws the weak to us, and they start echoing our words. They happily do it for us, punish those around them, bring in more victims."

Dietrich shrugged, picking crumbs off the table. "I'm waiting for that good reason."

She clenched her fists and jaw, eyes flashing red as she growled at him. "How the fuck do you not get it? I'm talking about the fucking internet. We spend our time fucking around with people, leaving fucked up messages and creating fucked up memes."

Dietrich smiled. Then laughed. And kept laughing. People began to stare, and he continued to guffaw. Brenna tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, then checked her make up. A barista approached, and only then did he regain control of himself.

"I'm not laughing at you, but that's pretty fucking funny. You're all serious, and put together, and acting like you've hit on some epic scheme to gather souls for Hell, and you're just a bunch of internet trolls."

Brenna narrowed her eyes, jaw tight. "We're not trolls. We're paid opposition."

"Call it whatever you want, but your team are a bunch of trolls." Dietrich laughed, wiping raspberry sauce off the plate, eyes sparkling with humor.

She drew her shoulders back and slowly released her pent up breath. "I thought this would be right up your alley. But it seems I was wrong. Thank you for your time. I'll keep you in mind if I hear about something involving knuckle-dragging and nut scratching."

Dietrich leaned closer, dropping his grin. "Fuck no. I want in on this. And I want in, like, yesterday. When do I begin?"

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