A minion of Hell who asked to remain nameless says, “Let’s talk about two of the most important battles of war. You don’t hear much about them but Dementivka – I think that’s Ukrainian for Demented Town – and Boron …
“Same thing day after day …”
“All this talk of endless repetitive torment made Him ” – he said nodding toward Hell – ” think. Its pretty tough in the creative department in Hell. The punishment has to fit the crime plus it has to work for Eternity. It has to have legs. For example there was this person for whom “Ray of Light” by Madonna was the most fitting punishment. Sure enough, after ten million listens he’s on the verge of madness. I come back one million listens later and he’s humming along and dancing with the demons who are supposed to be rending his flesh. Fortunately, He Who Shall Remain Nameless isn’t a Madonna fan, so no one checks up. And fingers crossed after another ten million listens he’ll be frothing at the mouth once again. Or at least his demon tormentors may be.”
“Why not change the punishment?”
“Its a workflow thing. You get cleared by Cerebus – pro-tip make sure you have coins on your eyes – and then you’re assigned a punishment. Any change in punishment and its to the back of the waitlist with you.”
“Hell has a wait-list?”
“Yeah. Its just a processing thing. He Who Shall Not Be Named is a bit cheap. Intake is under staffed.”
“Plus you have to admit you fucked up.”
“Yeah. You’ve got to cover your ass pretty good in hell. But the trade union provides pretty good protection.”
“Well there certainly couldn’t be Unions in Heaven, if you think about it, so it was either hell or limbo, and call centers got to limbo first …”
“Have you ever gone on strike?”
“Hah. Its not that kind of union. More like the Sindicato Vertical under Franco.”
“Back to the Donbas.”
“Right. So the thing is Putin’s strategy in the Donbas sucks militarily but as an eternal punishment for sinners its actually pretty good.”
“Could this portend a hostile takeover of the Red Army?”
“I can’t say.”
The informant coughs into his leathery wing, caws until fly larvae crawl out of the ground and then flies away like a stop-motion animation.
Though Hades has been tight lipped, the business model behind a takeover is clear: the Russian military is better suited to Hell than Earth. After a hostile take over, He Who Shall Not Be Named can strip Z of its assets and move its management talent straight to senior positions in Hell. It could be done in a weekend.
[… One of the little known facts about Hell is that Cerebus is a type of barrier troop. He doesn’t only keep people out, he keeps people in. ]
Putin’s military strategy better suited to hell than to the Donbas – eternal suffering with no prospect of victory. / What Satan is doing is a kind of reality arbitrage.