Thursday, December 15, 2005

Shift Change at the Human Factory

Gloriel sat at her station, hands moving quickly over the keys, eyes darting between the various monitors before her. She had to get these souls uploaded before the Samech shift came in. She would have had this done ages ago, if not for Reincarnation screwing up the routing numbers. Half of them had almost ended up in Damnation, with a couple nearly being sent straight through to Nirvana. The angel snorted, rolling her eyes. Idiots.

Virtuel was going to mock her soundly for this. She'd have to hear about this next time they went gliding at the Elysium Fields.

Her machine beeped, indicating an old soul. She brought up the casefile. Old souls were candidates for Nirvana, so their angels had to program their life challenges and obstacles personally, rather than running them through the autolife. She considered the soul before her, reviewed its past lives.

"Hmm." A soldier, numerous times, a nurse during the 1918 flu pandemic, a Roman senator, burned as a witch, twice, as it turned out...

She coded an easy childhood, a turbulent adolescence and a choice into... she checked the gender of the proposed infant... her early adulthood. The choice made would determine the ease or challenge of her remaining years, and whether or not she achieved Nirvana at the end. Gloriel saved the casefile and tagged the soul for upload. The ones she'd run through autolife had all uploaded, and she waited while the old soul joined them in the spiritbank. They'd be downloaded to the newborns by the Cherubim as needed.

She logged out of her workstation just as Virtuel approached. They exchanged pleasantries, and she told him about the old soul. He complimented her on it, then teased her over cutting it so close to shift change. She stuck out her tongue and made ready to leave.

As Virtuel logged in, he looked over at Gloriel. "Gliding again this weekend?" he asked.

"No," she said with a smile. "I'm off to the Summerland for two weeks. I'm doing that thing where you get to fly with faeries."

"Oh, cool," he said. "I've been wanting to try that. You'll have to tell me how it is."

She nodded, smiling again as she left. "Will do. See you in a couple weeks."

"Have fun, Gloriel."

She walked out of the factory, passing a few other co-workers on the way. Once outside, she unfurled her wings and flew home, wondering whether or not to stop by the fields of milk and honey on the way, or just go straight home and pack.

9 comments:

Chris said...

This one is based on an idea Lisa suggested to me a while ago. :)

Teri said...

Chris...I love your writing. Congratulations on the "soon to be published." I am hoping to get the call soon. Side subject...we both have the bald frog question on our profiles...I love yours...did you by any chance check out my bald frog story?

Thanks again for your kind words and stopping by my place.

Stay in touch...

Teri

www.herestohappywomen.blogspot.com

purplesimon said...

Simple story, but with such depth at the same time. How do you do that?

Thanks for your own comments on my blog, Chris, it's always a pleasure to receive comments and emails from you.

Oh, and a Merry Kwizzzztmst to you, too!

purplesimon out...

Kat said...

That one was cute! You do manage to get a lot of depth into your characters with just a few words. It's amazing.

karma lennon said...

Sweet and simple. I liked it a lot. Thanks for all your comments on my blog. :) I'll definitely look you up when I move to NYC!

Raynwomaan said...

Out of this world! I'm completely hooked, you know, so I was thrilled to find this gem here today.

m said...

i was worried with the title, but it was not what i thought. (you know i'm not much for the zombies. simply lovely. write more about this, please!

Lisa said...

Oh you angel...

I.

Wow, I needed that. And I was just about to gush about how lovely it was and how it had been a little drop of sunny-shine for me today, when I glanced over and saw my name. Double whammy. :)

Kim said...

I want a job there. This story was strangely comforting Chris, thanks.