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***

 


No one ever said it was easy to be a god, responsible for billions of sapient lives, having to listen to their dreams, anguished cries, and carping criticism.

Try it for a while.

It can get to be a drag, just like any other job.

 

*

My new client wore the trim, effortlessly athletic figure of a neo-traditionalist human. Beneath a youthful-looking brow, minimal cranial implants made barely noticeable bulges, resembling the modest horns of some urbane Mephistopheles. Other features were stylishly androgynous, though broad shoulders and a swaggering stride made the male pronoun seem apropos.

House cross-checked our guest's credentials before ushering him along a glowing guide beam, past the Reality Lab to my private study.

I've always been proud of my inner sanctum; the sand garden, raked to fractal perfection by a robot programmed with my own esthetic migrams; the shimmering mist fountain; a grove of hybrid peach-almond trees, forever in bloom and fruiting.

My visitor gazed perfunctorily across the harmonious scene. Alas, it clearly did not stir his human heart.

Well, I thought, charitably. Each modern soul has many homes. Perhaps his true spirit resides outside the skull, in parts of him that are not protoplasm.

 

"We suspect that repugnant schemes are being planned by certain opponents of good order."

These were the dour fellow's first words, as he folded long legs to sit where I indicated, by a low wooden table, hand-crafted from a design of the Japanese Meiji Era.

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