He was getting reports about this place, and there were stirrings in his own office that lent those reports credibility. Something looming this large demanded his personal attention.
He donned a disguise for his task, making himself appear to be a white male of average height with dark hair and a Van Dyke beard.
It was late in the afternoon when he walked in the door. The office held all the charm of a medieval sanitarium, only with overhead fluorescent lighting and Lysol. He took a ticket from the dispenser and waited in the shortest line. It also was the slowest line. Just as he was about to become annoyed, he recalled having instituted that perversity himself. He reined in his attitude; he was supposed to be the author of annoyance, not a victim.
“Six six six,” a flat female voice called, and he stepped up to the counter.
“Last name,” the woman demanded in the same monotone.
She didn’t look up. “First name.”
“That is my only name.”
“The computer won’t accept that, sir. I need a full name.”
“Very well. Let’s make it Lucifer Satan.”
“I need to see your birth certificate, sir.” She still hadn’t looked up at him.
“I haven’t got one. I’ve been around longer than birth certificates.”
“I can’t issue you a driver’s license without a birth certificate, another picture form of identification, and a form of identification with your present address, sir.”
Interesting, he thought. The honorific is actually demeaning the way she uses it. Talented.
Satan made a small gesture and a birth certificate, a university identification card, and an electricity bill appeared in his hand.
“Ah, yes, I do have them.” He handed them over and she studied them briefly.
“I can’t use a B.C. birth year, sir.”
“I’m older than I look.”
“This is not acceptable, sir.”
Satan made another little gesture and the date changed to 1965.
“Falsifying a birth certificate or other official identification is a Class 1 misdemeanor, sir.”
“You’ve given me little choice.”
“Obtaining a driver’s license is a privilege, not a right, sir.” She put his documents in a manila folder at one side of her workstation. “These will be turned over to the state Department of Vital Records for investigation and you will be contacted by law enforcement agents. You will not be permitted to take the licensing test. Step aside, sir.”
“Now see here…” Satan began.
She finally looked up at him. Her eyes glinted with repressed mayhem and any soul she had was obviously kept under lock and key.
“Step … aside, sir.”
Satan regarded her uneasily for a moment.
“Then the reports are true,” he whispered. He was chilled to see the corners of her mouth lift fractionally. Keeping his dignity about him, he walked slowly to and out the door of the license bureau.
He kept walking until he came to a small park, where he sat down heavily on a bench where a younger man was waiting.
“It’s true,” Satan said. “They’re sharpening their skills in the Department of Motor Vehicles. And when their lives end and they come to us … they mean to take over.”
The younger man shivered. “What do we do, my prince?”
Satan looked out over the park and up at the sky.
“I think I can arrange a truce. It would seem He and I now have a common enemy.”