Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Late Night Radio (Blogophilia 7.11)

Hey, Heidy and Howdy, Ladies and Gents. Good Ol' Harry here and tonight's show on the Fart is special. We're calling it "Talking to the Moon." Or, howling might be more accurate. Midnight is we think of love and loss, and the best type of music for the theme is Tears in Your Beer country. Yep, all those Grand Ol' Opry stars talking about lost loves.

Speaking of lost loves, my competition and colleague, Delilah, is having a rough time in her life. She lost one a child recently and has been bereft (don'tcha love that word) about playing her sappy love songs. So the first dedication of the night is to her. Here's hoping she's..

When the full moon is out there, if we have a partner, we think about dancing with them. If we have lost a partner, we want one. Either way we know something is there following us.

And as we wander, the sadness of the missing grows.

Even when we are home, the sense of loneliness grows.

And the world becomes a George Jones song.

But it doesn't have to be this way. Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one. Reach out and call the missing loved one. While you still have the chance. 

Or live forever in regret.

Beer's in the fridge. Liquor's in the cabinet. Geritol is in the bathroom. 

Good night, you old Farts. 


Topic-Dahilia Ramone

Pic-Doris Emmet.

Pic guesses. Rest, Sweet Dreams, Long walk, Little Shepherd, Moonshadow (in blog).

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Pride of Lions (Blogophilia 6.11)

"OK, everyone." Marty taps on the mike. "Everybody get something to eat? Good. Let's settle back down."
Acknowledging a question from the back of the room, he nods.
"Yes, you in the back? How did we know you hated gefilte? We have data from everywhere, including from your Grandma." A laugh comes up from the class as the asker chokes down the last morsel of fish. With a click, an organization chart goes up on the screen.
"We are now in the final segment of your basic training. Here is a brief overview of what will happen when we get finished. First, you will be assigned to your groups. Most will start out in the Petty Grievance division. They handle most of the day to day tempting around the world. It's a great place to learn about sin combinations you may have heard about but never experienced. This is the division that got most of you down here. Don't expect to become an expert at any of them. We want generalists, not specialists. They are easier to control."
"A couple of you are destined for Special Projects due to outstanding deviations when you were topside. But even though you came with experience, it still is important to tie it with the overall structure of how DQ gets things done."
"After your probationary period, we'll run final termination codes on the useless and keep those who prove effective. Don't worry about what happens if termination is your final future. You won't be just lying in the fire."
The frame of the catacombs begin to glow as bright as his grin.
"You will always be the bricks and mortar of our operations...so to speak."
"Now, that is out of the way, it is my esteemed pleasure to introduce our final speaker. He really doesn't need any introduction, though. He is our Founder and Chief Demon Office, Mr. Lucious J. Beezlebub. Come on out, Luke!"
The short, red man bounds out with the energy of a young man. His solid red outfit unsinged from the thousands of years of wear.
"Thank you, Marty!" Beezelbub waves as Mammon exits stage left. "Mr. Marty Mammon, Ladies and Gentlemen."
With a snap of his fingers, a glass of good champagne appears and a picture of an opulent lair decorated in a gaudy mix of gold, sienna and red splashes into view. Heat shimmers off the surface. A lion skin rug appears on the floor in front of him, making a gentle purring noise.
"Good Day, everyone. And I truly mean it.”
“In the 5778 years since I founded Devil's Quill, I have been amazed at how our jobs have changed. It used to be all it took to corrupt someone was better food. As time has gone on, Maker Industries has taken our data and advice to improve the scripting of Mortals as they are made around the world. But funny thing, he's never turned off the curiosity switch at the center of the creature."
"The training you have received here has given you various tools that are time tested in turning them to our side. But we have left the best tool for last. You see, when I ran the Snake Script in my hometown of Eden all those years ago, I injected the most insidious bug into in the fruit, Pride. The thought and belief that Mortal knew how he was programmed."
The glass magically refills. After a sip, he strides away from the podium and continues.
"The tree of knowledge was mine, not Maker's. I kept telling him about the flaw, and he kept telling be to prove it." Pausing a beat. "And I did, for all time. He fired me for it, of course. Maker has written scripts to try to fix this error on his own. But he has needed me back time and time again keep you fools in check, since my script was self replicating."
"So, how does Pride work? At its core, it gives a skewed sense of well being, that you are better or more successful than others. A complete vanity and failure, but the average Mortal isn't aware of it. One of our recent additions to the staff here put it like this: 'We [Mortals] don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.'"
"Frankly, the statement was a revelation to us here at Devil's Quill. It crystallized everything the Snake Script has meant all these years. By putting in the Pride component deep in the operating system of Mortal, it keeps the curiosity programming loop open and available for use."
"You might ask, why don't we go to Pride first when we approach a project? You can, but it has been our firm's experience that starting too soon causes some of the Charity error codes, such as kindness and repentance to trigger. And while it is easy to work around this. It is more efficient to use a base sin, such as Lust, to start. Over time those sins subvert all the scripts into a much more lethal and effective turning force, making the target vulnerable."
"Think back on your own Topside experience. The Charity training some of you took made you aware that 'Pride goeth before a Fall' and so forth. Young Mortals that learn this are much better at picking up when they are being manipulated. The lesser, basic sins allow for those discernment scripts to be corrupted, making it easier to puff up the target for conversion."
A final picture of Father Paul goes up. It is at the end of his life. A long, chronic disease has taken its toll.
"Let's talk about Paul here. Just a note, he isn't a real Mortal. Just a composite of of cases we have dealt with since the days of Isaiah. Even so, he has proven to be helpful in conducting this training. As you have seen, he started being 100% on the side of Maker. But as the tests were run, the commitment to the Charity way was worn to a nub. And here he is ready to leave Topside, exhausted after a long and somewhat fruitless life. Maker still gets the first crack at his Soul, though. It is part of the contract we have. But if we Tempers have done our jobs, the prize is ours."
"But even when we have done our best, Maker accepts the 3.16 pass for Mortals. Yes, it is true. Part of the reason for the 3.16 project was to give Maker an out dealing with boderline cases. If he built one with instructions they could follow, maybe he'd get more for his side of the operation. He's always short of personnel."
Paul is shown in the call center for the Guardian Angels angency, DQ's main rival.
"Paul, of course, had taken the pass early on in his Charity training and held on to it until the end. Now he is working his penance off trying to keep people from us."
"You will find not everyone who says they have the pass does. And without looking at the records, I know some in the audience are in that group. Goats, rather than sheep as the passage goes. It's almost impossible to tell , but it is always to your benefit to assume an assigned case is a goat. If they turn out otherwsie, we won't hold it against you...much."
The champagne is finish in one last chug.
"In closing, let me wish you good fortune as you do your tasks. Your one hundred year probation starts now."
Topic-My Hometown-Michael Todd
Pic guesses-Pride of Lions (in blog), lying (in blog), Lion skin rug (in blog), in the jungle, wemoweh, lazy afternoon.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Grapes of Envy (Blogophilia 5.11)

As the Dude leaves, the DQ stewardess arrives with a beverage cart. Humming "Always Look at the Bright Side of Life", she hands out cups to the class. The sound of gagging and retching soon fills the room. From the back of the room, "Is this my fate?" is repeated over and over again. Marty grins and takes a slug out of his cup. Even he couldn't keep from wincing.
"Dang. The grapes are sour tonight. Sorry about that."
Putting the cup down, he continued.
"Sour grapes is the theme for the next segment. Envy is one my personal specialites. What you just had was the wormwood/gall cocktail 3.16 got at the end of his program. It was all the bitterness and jealousy built up over the 150 years of the project. He ended up drinking it at the end. It was really the only time he wavered. If it had run few more hours, we might have suceeded in a full break, but overall we deemed the project a success."
"So far in this training we have taken you through identifying a mortal's flaws, using them to your advantage to crack them open, and finally leaving them completely bereft. You are ready to work on the finishing and polishing. This is where Envy comes in. Envy is wax. It brings out flaws in shocking detail."
A picture of an ancient man standing over his dead rival appears on the screen.
"Maker himself uses Envy and Jealousy. He is 'A jealous and wrathful God' after all. Just after Beezelbub's Eden project, Abel and Cain had their little debacle. One coveted what the other had, wondering if it meant his termination. Maker was NOT prepared for the result. The iron (or skull) was struck. Envy had always been there, but it was used here to divide and conquer in a way never before seen. It is easy to see why Maker put the admonition against wanting stuff in place. While DQ wasn't involved in this in as far as I know, we immediately added the technique to our toolkit."
"You're thinking, 'Isn't this the same as a Gluttony and Greed?' Not really. While those sins are an integral part, they involve tangible things Mortals can touch or feel. Envy goes much deeper."
A picture of a busy mall flashes on the screen, shopper scurrying like rats among the stacked treasures.
"Mortals are set up to love status and they will shuffle through the stores like zombies to get it. It's a game of who has more stuff and Sour Grapes is the score. I have no idea why the 'I'm better than you' script was created. What's the point? What can money buy? But it sure has been a boon to our business."
"Some of Maker's projects happen when he is worried about Mortals getting too organized. Occasionally, he fixes the problem himself, like with Nimrod's tower. More often, DQ gets the order. It might be as simple as excluding Esau, or as complicated as using Uriah and Bathsheba in a Lust cluster. The process is the same. Set one against another in a covetous way. Disruption kills organization. The reason we got the 3.16 project was our ability to manage multiple divisions."
A new picture of the example priest comes up. He is standing at the head of a grave saying prayers.
"Let's go back to Father Paul. During this training, we've seen him rise and fall. Even though he no longer has flock to manage, there are still responsibilities to Maker for Charities Maintenance, like the occasional funeral. Paul is happy to do it, even though it was someone from the group who set him out on his ear. As a Tempter, you will appeal to Paul's Pride to influence the eulogy, turning it into a screed of Schadenfreude and retribution. The result is the mourners are insulted and the break in the social group is complete. You have divided and conquered.It the most extreme cases, fights will ensue and Souls end up making the transition to our control more quickly."
"A question in the back...What if Paul resists the temptation to defame the dead? Then you work with the mourners. It doesn't matter who died. There will always be Deriders. Next question...Could you take Paul resistence and make it work against. Absolutely! And we'll get into that next."
Marty lifts his cup in a toast.
"Sour grapes for sour souls. Take a break and we'll finish up."
Topic- Tyler Myrth
Pic guesses-Moon in hand. Moonlight madness, In his hands, Push, Golf ball.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Wrath (Blogophilia 4.11)

Van Winkle strolls off stage left. As he does, the strains of "The Barber of Seville" fill the room. The short, stout man creeps in to the room. Traces of white shaving cream drip off his balding brow on to his yellow hunting jacket. A leather razor hangs from his belt, speckled with red liquid matching the trapper hat.
"Be vewy, vewy quiet. I'm hunting Mortals."
With a quick turn he firers. Marty ducks as the indigo cloud hangs over his seat. Picking himself up, Marty shakes his hand.
"Hi Sandy! You can relax. No Mortals here."
"Owh, good. That wascal Bugs had me singing 'Summertime' again. I hate that song. Livin' ain't easy. I'm gonna bwast him good one day."
He puts down the gun.
"Hewwwooh. My name is Sandy."
He waves his hand across his face. The hunting clothes are replaced by a loose fitting green t-shirt with violet pajamas. The gun is now a White Russian and the cartoon voice is replaced by the scratchy voice of a surfer dude.
"Like, you know, Man. It's hard to be Elmer Fudd when you really want to be Jeff Lebowski."
The remark brings laughter from the crowd. Picking up the drink, he strolls up to the edge of the class.
"Yeah, being Wrath man isn't always California Dreaming. When I took on the form of Lebowski, I wanted a change. I'd been sent up many times for projects where I was the lead. I wanted to find out how it was on the receiving end. I also found out Don Henley was one of us. That's why I hate the Eagles and their orange surises. "
He takes a sip.
"These are so much beter. If you disagree, well that's your opinon, Man. "
Putting down the drink
"But all this isn't a waste of time. I'm setting up how Wrath, in both long and short term usage is often key to getting a Mortal to flip. Marty may have mentioned the Wisconsin Project, where I took a Mortal similar to Elmer and brought him to the extreme. I bore easily, pushing limits is not a issue for me. In that project, the artwork I left behind scared everyone senseless."
"Remember Father Paul?" pointing back up to the billboard "Wrath is a lever when dividing groups of Mortals. How does it work? All you need in most cases is the threat. Get one of the Deriders to imply their form of discipline is how it's going to be and the Cynics head for the hills. Or suggest someone might become a lampshade. Supporters will shrivel up like marigolds on a hot day."
"We used this method at the end of the 3.16 project by tricking the Sanhedrin into thinking the project was targeting them. The final termination code was a work of art. All it took was flipping a Zealot. What was surprising was the Supporters all caved. Maker himself was impressed with the outcome overall. But the perpetual war afterward didn't make him happy. You can’t win them all and it wasn't any different really than before."
"When you Tempters and Demons start singing for your supper, you will be assigned simple jealousy jobs. And while envy is covered in the next segment, what you learn here will apply. The step by step method Devil's Quill has built is designed to wreak havoc. First, find which of the first three Sins cause error messages in the target. Don't be afraid to use combinations. Even if they backfire, there will be interesting results, such as with the Wisconsin project."
"Second, make sure the target loses the ability to care about consequences. We know almost all of them will be joining our ranks at the end. Make them realize it isn't necessarily a bad outcome."
"Finally, use the tools of Envy and Wrath get them to completely abandon their base programming. We are a beta testing outfit and it is our job to break the product. Destruction at the end is the final goal."
Sandy chugs the last of the Russian.
"Anyway, I got to meet Sobchak at the alley. Were doing target practice on the pins. Good Luck."
Pic guesses: Singing for your supper (in blog), Busking, Street artist, Feed the kitty, Down on the corner, Strumming, Serenade.0

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sloth (Blogophilia 3.11)

"Okay, everyone. Let's get settled again."
Marty takes a sip from his cup.
"I have to give you folks credit on your stamina through all this. Usually at this point, everyone is kvetching like an Israelite in the desert." A gleam comes across his eye. "Of course, I'm a Demon and my lips are sealed. And that gets us to the next presentation.
A slightly disheveled man in a battered hat holding a jack o'lantern enters and stretches.
"Yaaawwwnnn" He pulls out a melted clock, brushes the horse manure off it and looks intently at the dripping face.
"Oh, crap. Am I late again?
Marty gives him the stink eye.
"Yes, Rip, you are."
The old man makes an obscene gesture.
"You said I had twenty years to rest and I took it."
With a wave, a small dragon replaces the pumpkin. The old man tosses it toward the back of the room. There is a thud and scream. No one turns around to see the result. The smell is enough.
"Hey, just because this is about Sloth, doesn't mean you get to sleep."
Seriouly annoyed now, Marty chucks the remote at the figure. He snatches it without looking.
"My name, if you haven't guessed, is Rip Van Winkle, world famous sleeper. You try to kill time and this is what you get. Teaching the number 2 of the number 2 of sins. It's enough to make someone not give a...whatever word... about it. And it is what is important in this discussion. I'm so lazy about prep, I stole Ichabod Crane's bit for my act."
A touch of the clicker brings up another picture of Father Paul. This one shows him in a ripped robe, dejected as the congregation points the way out the door.
"Picking up from Draper's blather earlier, we see Father Paul being ordered out of his position. We might not know the details, but rest assured DQ was involved. It may have been directly through him or one or more of the church members. It doesn't matter. We got this phase of the job done."
The next picture shows people mourning at a grave site. A group stand apart with their heads low, apparently speaking about the situation.
"The next phase is to remove care and passion about what happened. Rumors and bad data are important tools in this. By diverting their coping scripts, we inactivate a number of the support programs such as community and compassion Maker wrote into Mortal. This can have some interesting effects. As mentioned in the last class, The Supporters will follow the leader as the Deriders try to pick up the pieces. The message we at DQ give to both of the them is: 'The future is no more uncertain than the present.' Soon both groups lose energy and become Cynical. They know it can't be better. It is useless to try."
"The more cynical Mortals, the less work is done on behalf of Maker. We have found Mortals are much easier to control when divided. Let's go back to the Mortal 3.16 project. Granted, Maker had his own agenda when we started, something about giving them one last chance or such. Our job was to break the target. Ultimately, we weren't able to. But enough discord was generated to scatter future generations to the winds like weeds."
"And in this dispersion, we energized a lot of other parts of Maker's group against the the concept of Charity, while scared Cynics did nothing and watched as the weeds pulled from the garden by their own kind. Maker wasn't completely pleased with us, but we are set when the next project comes. And there will be fewer Supporters or Deriders who care when it does. This cycle of divide and conquer will continued forever"
"In conclusion, I want to remind you there is no finish line here and the next project probably won’t be the last. Maker is in it for the long haul and so are we."
"After all, where is he going to put us if he lays us off?"
“Thank you.”
Rip then lay down on the stage and caught fire.
Blog guesses: Melted face (in blog), Killing time (in blog), Dripping face (in blog), surreal, Dali, Slipping away, Icing, second hand.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Demon Training-Greed (Blogophilia 2.11)

Dan and Marty come back from the restroom. The dagger gleams just below Marty's collar. He reaches back and pulls it out as Dan taps the microphone.
"Ahem...O.K. everyone, Ides of March is over. Put down the yellow snocones and let's get down to business."
A high definition digital billboard slinks in place behind him. The image of a broken disco ball scatters light around the room, while the entwined skeletons of Andrea True and Easy-E lip-sync a gangster rap version of "More! More! More!". Holographic visions of steel rings and costumed bracelets dance in the air. The audience begins to nod in time with the noise, while grasping at the invisible bling. Draper smiles at the reaction. Suddenly, he shuts everything off, bringing moans of complaint from the students. With a serious look on his face, he faces the audience.
"Glad to see even in death, it works." A pause and a grin. "I evoked the Greed response in almost every one of you."
Gluttony is the over consumption of resources. Greed, on the other hand, is about the acquisition of those resources. It doesn't matter whether those resources are food, sex, or in the last example, entertainment. The design is to mindlessly suck them up. Cut the supply, a sub routine is triggered to prompt them acquire more. When Mortals are successful by whatever arbitrary reason in vogue at the time, just the threat of disruption is enough to drive the exploit. What I did just then was trigger the deprivation reponse in you."
Draper taps the clicker. A picture of a Priest in his late 40's appears.
"I'll start with Father Paul. A clergyman and supposedly in the direct employ of Maker Industries. In his mind, he believes he is destined to represent Maker's brand of Mortal Discipline. He trains in the Seven Charities (Maker's version of this training) and endeavors keep those under his care on their programming. He comes equipped with high speed empathy and organization loops to manage the assigment."
"This 'market leader' position, if you will, comes with talents and resources to maintain the group. The Charities program refers to it as 'tending the flock'. I like sheep references myself." A sly grin comes across his face. "Make the pasture green right up to the slaughterhouse."
"But, I digress. Maker's Charities message to Mortals is consistent, no matter which of the Sage, Prophet or Tradition firms used. It goes: 'Be humble and work together to the goal'. That is, have all His creations work in harmony. Our job as Demon Testers is to divide and divert everyone against themselves to prevent this. Good ol' Paul here is often the key."
Marty Mammon raises his bloody hand and Draper hands him the mike. The Billboard switches to a picture of Paul in uniform chatting with a young couple.
"You see, when a Mortal like Paul gets chosen he is looked on as a 'better' and is expected by everyone else to run his programs flawlessly. But he's still a Mortal and just as weak as the rest. When all of you Demons were topside, you heard about how this Parson or that Rabbi had been taken down by Lust. Give a Mortal a chance to sin, they will take it. But we have found Greed and Gluttony to be much more effective on clergy over time. Religious types can't help themselves, especially if the bait seems to further Charities' aims."
A picture of ham steak sizzling next to an omelet on the stove pops up.
"They get drawn further and further down the path, the sacrificial pig for Ham and Eggs. This is how the recall script for Mortal 3.16 worked, although we had to run it on several people at once to get the result we needed, since the main target was so stubborn. After it was done, The remaining chickens flailed around, telling stories of the death of Kings, ready for the rest the programs to take effect. "
Draper takes back the make. In his best announcer voice, he yells.
"But, Wait! There's more!
Draper touches the remote again. A picture of the aftermath of a battle is shown. Burned and broken bodies litter the ground as the air reeks of death.
"After the leader falls, the Mortal unit subdivides into three pieces Supporters, Deriders, and Cynical. It will be your job to pick a side and promote or deny acquisition and consumption. Every time the cycle repeats, tension grows between the factions. Soon you will be able to kick in Envy and Wrath, especially with the Deriders. They often will be looking for revenge on supporters of the bad egg."
"So, how much time does this take? There isn't a deadline most of the time, so take as long as you need. We will get an 11th hour request from Maker to work on somebody specific occasionally, like a Walter A'Becket or a Joan of Arc. And we can do those in a New York minute, if I can use a phrase from topside.
Suddenly, an alarm clock appears on the screen. The sound was a cross of Big Ben and a Fighter jet. Rotten eggs drop down from the ceiling, covering the class in sticky sulfur.
"I’ve wasted time, now time doth waste me, to coin a phrase."
Marty shakes Dan's hand and he turns stage right. A trap door opens just past the podium. Dan drops screaming to his office. An embarrassed look crosses Marty's face.
" We really need new elevators. Anyway, get some rest. Or don't. The next segment will put you to sleep anyway."
Topic (11th Hour) is Martien’s, he doesn’t count.
Prompt left over from last week:
Ides of March (back stabbin’)
11th Anniversay-Steel rings and bracelets
Shakespeare’s 11th (Richard II was the 11th performed by the Globe) “Tell sad stories of death of Kings” and I’ve wasted time, and now time doth waste me.”
EleventySeven-New York Minute
Pic guesses: Rotten Eggs (in blog), Bad Egg (in blog), Omelet (in blog), who farted, sulfur (in blog), Waiting for the dye job, Bunny rejects

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Demon Training-Gluttony (Blogophilia 1.11)

Before we continue our series, a word from our sponsor.
In this, the beginning of our eleventh season of Blogophilia, I need to take a moment to introduce myself the newer readers. My internet name is Another Government Employee and I have been infesting the internet for roughly 15 years and have been a part of Blogophilia since the beginning of season 2. As the name implies, I was a bureaucratic drone for about 25 years when I caused an allergic reaction to the government organism. I was expelled and now spend my time consulting on benefits issues and exploring my imagination.
The name itself originated on the old Neal Boortz radio program website, where I was an occasional contributor. There was already one guy called Government Employee, so I became another. You may find older posts with the tagline “6th house on the right, off 9-27, PDK Atlanta. Often my exchanges on the Boortz site involved aviation, and I really do live next to the airport and often post pictures from there.
Politically, I lean slightly conservative but have little use for the Tinpots infesting our current system. I delight in exposing hypocrisy, since that IS the human condition. I work mostly in prose and stories. There are very few subjects I won’t try. Martien Ecrits asked if I would contribute a favorite sample. Here you go: http://anothergovernmentemployee.blogspot.com/2012/05/sermon-gbe2-53.html.
The blog is the repository for most things A.G.E., so feel free to browse and comment.
And now, back to our story...
After the short break, Marty comes back to the podium.
"OK, everyone, Elevenses is over. Quit choking on the stale pastries and come to order. You in the back. Please leave the cups on the table. They are designed..."
A small explosion leaves the cup holder in a pile of ash. Silently, everyone steps around the smoking pile.
"...to self destruct if taken five feet away from the table. I guess I should have warned you." A huge look of glee comes across his face. "But that wouldn't have been any fun."
"And speaking of choking, it is my pleasure to introduce our next instructor. An expert at the practice of both Gluttony and Greed, he had quite a run as a Mortal, inventing some of the most diabolical consumption prompts ever used. Please welcome Mad Man Don Draper."
Polite applause as a clean cut Demon comes on stage,wearing a pink Armani suit with a clashing scarlet tie. The audience grimaces at the sight
"Hello and welcome to DQ, or Hell as we sometimes like to call it." A few snickers come up as he pauses to adjust the microphone. Yeah, I used to say that when I was Topside."
"So, Marty, this is a quickie, right?"
Marty nods sagely as the snorts grew louder. Draper clears his throat.
"No, this isn't a continuation of Rachael's talk, although she was...uh " a sly wink "...good to me around 11 last night, if you know what I mean." A pause for the hoots to die down. "I take that back, it really is. This talk is about is how you extend the hard wired condition of Lust and sex into a frenzy of over consumption."
"It always starts with a lie: 'you don't have enough'. Sometimes, it isn't a lie because of circumstance, but in most cases it is. Maker designed his architecture for the most efficient use of power. However, the distribution has dips and surges. One target doesn't have food and a second target doesn't have a mate, so you begin with the lie. The shortages balance, but program assures neither target is satisfied. The exploit keeps running until it is translates to 'nothing is enough.'"
He takes a sip of water and gags a bit at the warmth. Shooting an evil look at Marty, he continues.
"Even us Senior Demons are still lacking in comforts."
"In my case, the lie started when I tricked my Commanding Officer to take a bullet instead of me, allowing me to escape being poor. When I had nothing to lose, I had everything. When I stopped being who I am, I found myself. Switching dog tags with the corpse, I became successful topside with the fake identity. Gaining confidence over time, I became the master of lie and half-truth, even thriving when the magic was revealed.” Pausing for another sip of water. “They told me I paid my debt to society. Funny, I never got a check. But I digress"
"Over the next few years I tricked millions through mass media campaigns convincing them to by stuff they never wanted or were blatantly harmful. This hits at the heart of what Gluttony truly is. When you were topside, you were told it only involved too much food, like Porky and Petunia making bacon on Mars." Laughter erupts. "But it is so much more, a weakness in the Mortal condition so easily exploited, it is silly."
"The exploit was invented by Mr. Beezlebub himself when he overheard Maker tell the Mortal not to eat something. The original curiosity loop for Mortals was exposed and Old Luke found a willing snake to provide the cover. Variations developed as circumstances required and over time it became the first law of Advertising: 'Tell people they can't have a thing and they will want it.'"
"There is a flaw in the Gluttony exploit. Effectiveness wanes after each iteration. We came up with two ways around this. First, present it as being New and Improved to your target. If they haven't seen it before, the guards tend to come down. Second is the use of Nostalgia. In Greek, it translates to old pain. Remind them of Dear old Mom, or Grandpa and you will have them eating out of your hand. When you combine the new and old it completely overwhelms any other defenses the Mortal might possess and they consume even the stupidest of baubles."
"The excess created where Gluttony has done it's job make the storm tossed targets vulnerable to more complex schemes. While it was as fictional as me, it is the basis of an apocryphal story I had hand in topside, Ocean's Eleven. Casino gambling is based on a combination of Gluttony and Greed (which we will go into in more detail in the next lesson). The characters see the excess and want it so bad they gather explosives and build a plan large enough to break all ten of Maker's major program stops in twenty minutes. I only bring this up to show you how far you can take any of the tools in DQ's vast array."
"I see some eyes glazing over. Get used to it. One of the hallmarks of DQ is density of our lessons. But, I do need your attention for the next part, so take five and we'll move on to good old Greed."
Prompts used:
Coehlo quote: “When I had nothing to lose...”
Oceans Eleven Quote: “They told me I paid my debt...”
Casino heist: explosives
What I do at 11AM; Elevenses (second breakfast for you non Hobbit fans)
11PM? She was good to me
Looney Tunes making bacon.
Pic Owner-Dia Jie
Pic guesses: Storm tossed (in blog), Row, row, row your boat, Viking, Stroke, Wild sea, seasick, riding waves.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Demon Training-LUST!!

Marty Mammon enters the room and taps on the podium. The silence is immediate.
"Hello again, everyone. I have a treat for you. Let me introduce you to your next instructor, Rachel Jezebel."
A slender cheerleader bounds into the room. She is dressed in the traditional DQ red uniform of a red jacket and skirt over a white, wide collared blouse, which makes her look suspiciously like a flight attendant. The voice fills every crevice of the room.

"Hello, everyone. My name is Rachel and I will be your guide to the wonderful world of...LUST!!"
With a tug, the uniform comes off, leaving her in a Baywatch style one piece. All of her assets are outlined for all to see.

The room is silent
"What? No whistles? I must be slipping.” She smiles. “Oh, wait. The program is disabled. Demons can't care."
With a wave, the stewardess suit reappears. Snake like, she scans the young trainees.
"I use this demonstration for a couple of purposes. The obvious one is to draw men, specifically, to forget what they were doing and watch me. The second is to trigger other programming errors that Maker left in the original operating software."
"Replication Lust is code all Mortals have and it forms the basis of everything DQ does. One, Dante Allegheri, described it as being tossed by a never ending wind. It is desire, not superficially like Envy. But in the deep, visceral need to continue the Mortal species. And because it is hard wired, it can be exploited in more ways than the imagination can perceive. "
"I'll give another example:"

"This picture is similar to my swimsuit demo in the men start thinking: ‘Oooh, Biker Chick! Bet she doesn't play by the rules.’ The women on the other hand, either think ‘Wish that was me.’ an escape from a boring or hateful existence; or ‘What a slut!" referencing a threat to their long term replication hopes. This distinction between the genders is important to keep in mind as you go along. Men and women differ in base programming, so you have to treat each case accordingly.”
“When Lust is successful, the distraction from following Maker's protocols opens back doors to turning them over to our side. Each project will have their own goals, but the process is still the same. Distract, exploit, and turn.”
“One method is to pit Men and Women already in replications runs against each other by giving them the chance to swing with multiple partners. This is always at a cost to their souls. Most mortals don’t care, though, until each partner learns they aren’t the only one. To say no one is jumping for joy is when it is revealed is an understatement. It is a thing of beauty when the loops overheat, leading to all DQ’s assets coming into play.”
“From time to time, you will run into ones with enhanced error traps to catch the basic version of distraction. These traps recognize the mating function works better with long term partner parameters. The workarounds to this aren't difficult. Lust isn't always about mating. It is the unnatural attraction to anything. Gold and Food are substituted when sex alone doesn't do the trick. Resources attract mates and mates have sex, both good and bad.”
“As I said, the self-perpetuating protocol includes resource gathering as well as replication. If one isn't weak, the other usually is. When you go down the resource gathering route, you will find upgrading to the more complex sins like Greed and Envy will enhance the Lust component to spin your target into a hypocritical mess, completely unusable to Maker industries. Or, you can combine Greed and Wrath end up with a replication routine that destroys rather than creates. It doesn’t matter. In the end, you will have captured one or more souls to be put to work for Mr. Beezlebub.”
“It has been a pleasure, but my time is up. Let me leave you with this.”
“As every kiss begins with Kay, every DQ deception begins with Lust.”
“I wish you every success in your toils.”
[Rachael leaves in a puff of smoke. Marty waves and coughs a bit]
"OK. Let's take a short break, Easy Riders. Cold coffee is the back of the room."
OK Martien Ecrits here’s to another successful season.
Freewheeling Topic-LUST! (as if you didn’t guess)
Hard Prompt-Mention Dante’s Inferno
Easy Prompt-hypocritical
Pic guesses: Easy Rider (blog), Biker Chick (in blog), Slut (in blog), Hog, Panhead, relaxing, Soft Tail, Loud, Road trip
Pic Guesses: Escape (in blog), swing (in blog), up in the air, amusement park, breeze,
Pic Guesses: Jump for Joy (in blog), x games, Olympics, ski jump, hot dogging, cold comfort,