The Devil In The
A chauffer driven limousine
passed through the gatehouse security checks and
drove into the compound. It stopped in front of
an impressive glass and steel structure which had
the name of the corporation emblazoned in huge
letters above the entrance. Here was the
headquarters of one of the worlds largest
manufacturers of computer systems and mobile
The chauffer opened the car
door for Robert, and he stepped out to be greeted
by a tall man in his late forties.
Hello Mr Daniels,
said the man. Im Bart L. Zeebub,
public relations manager. You can call me Bart.
He shook Roberts hand. Please come
As Robert walked with Bart
into the building, he thought back over the
events that had brought him to this place. One
week ago, he had purchased a new tablet made by
this company. It possessed the usual capabilities
of Internet access, worldwide communication,
photography, the ability to play music, show
films and so forth. Robert had been very pleased
with its performance. Unfortunately, just over an
hour ago he had accidently dropped it on the
concrete path in his garden and its sealed
plastic casing had broken open.
Robert immediately feared
that the internal circuitry of the device would
be damaged, but when he picked it up and looked
inside the cracked housing, he could see that
this was not the case. It was obvious because
there was no circuitry inside.
He noticed also that the
screen had been smashed but, despite this, when
Robert touched the buttons on the control pad, an
image appeared, floating in space where the
screen had been. Stranger still, when he touched
this seemingly holographic image, the
capabilities of the device appeared unaffected.
He carried the tablet back
into the house with the screen image floating
Robert was still trying to
make sense of what he was seeing when his
doorbell rang. It was a man in the dress of a
Im sorry about
the damage to your new tablet, the man said.
Please come with me and the matter will be
Many years previously,
Robert had volunteered to assist a stage
hypnotist. During the act, Robert had been fully
aware of his own actions, but had complied with
the bizarre requests of the performer without
ever feeling the need to question them. In the
same way, as the chauffeur indicated the open
rear door of a waiting limousine, it seemed to
Robert to be the most natural thing in the world
to carry his broken tablet to the vehicle and get
Even as he walked with Bart
to a lift inside this building, it seemed no more
than a curiosity that the drive from his home in
Birmingham, England to the headquarters of this
computer giant a location he knew to be in
California, USA had taken less than an
As the lift descended,
however, his quasi-dream state began to fade and
Robert was confronted with full realisation of
the logical impossibilities that had recently
occurred. What the Hells going on,
he said in alarm.
said Bart, reassuringly. I realise that
this is a very odd situation for you, but please
bear with me for a few more minutes and then I
will explain everything.
Robert remained anxious but
reasoned that, in the absence of obvious
alternatives, he may as well await developments.
The lift doors opened and
Bart led the way along a corridor to an office.
The office was spacious and well-appointed with a
long, curved window along one wall which looked
out over a deep cavern. Robert could see the
shadows of flickering flames on the granite walls
of the cavern, as if many fires were burning in
Robert accepted the offer
of a coffee and they both sat down in leather
Let me come straight
to the point, said Bart. That tablet,
he indicated the casing that Robert was still
holding, should never have passed the
factory quality inspection.
It worked OK,
It didnt have
any electronics in it.
Robert paused, still
bewildered by that fact. How did it work
without any electronics?
Did it never occur to
you that the capabilities of modern computers,
phones and tablets are unbelievable?
I sometimes think how
clever they are, but theres so much of this
technology about that it somehow becomes
Thats what most
people think. If you had pondered on it for long
enough, however, you might have come to the
conclusion that its all impossible.
But it happens.
Not with electronics,
How do these devices
said Bart. The R and D teams of all the
major manufacturers have made pacts with the
You saw it for
yourself. We install fake electronic circuits in
the products to allay suspicion. You saw a tablet
working without any electronics. You were then
identified and collected immediately by a demon
who transported you four thousand miles within an
hour to meet me here.
Robert was stunned.
Why are you telling me this?
Did you not read the
small print in the contact that came with the
No one ever has. The
important bit is written in Sanskrit in the
section that deals with suppression of electrical
interference in accordance with FCC guidelines.
Essentially, purchase of electronic products,
such as that tablet, includes the pledge of the
buyers soul to the Devil. That happens
either at death or when a user discovers the
supernatural basis of the technology.
Whats going to
happen to me? said Robert in alarm.
said Bart, pointing to the window, torture
in the fires of Hell, down there, isnt done
any more. As a disciple of the Devil you must
undertake other tasks. For example, you might
work in a computer store or a mobile phone shop,
or an IT call centre there are many
locations where you can undertake the work of
Lucifer in gaining more souls for the Lord of
Robert was about to protest
but then began to feel very sleepy. He blinked
and instantly found himself sitting in a chair in
his own front room, an unbroken tablet on his lap.
His girlfriend had just come into the room,
having arrived home from work.
I just had the
weirdest dream, said Robert.
There wont be
time for you to sleep in the afternoons, in
future, said his girlfriend.
Ive got you a job in the computer
store where I work.
How did you manage
that? he asked. There were no jobs
available when I applied.
She gave him a strange
smile, and he noticed that her eyes seemed to be
pulsating with an iridescent, red glow. It
was easy, she said, now that you are
one of us.