"Azazel, come in, sit! Some wine?"
"What's it been, a couple of decades? How's that project coming?"
"My special kids? We're in the final test phase now, Sam Winchester versus Jake Talley. It could go either way, honestly. Sam's a do-gooder, but he's got the background. Jake wants it, though—he just might pull it off. I'm anxious to see which of them comes out on top."
"What about you? I remember something about—"
"Ah yes, my own special children. The new crop's almost ready, sort of a mixed bag so far. Sam Oliver comes due soon—one of those earnest slacker-types with a heart so pure it almost makes you bleed. Though he did drop out of college, and that might be a cause for concern. It's a human construct, of course, but it shows a certain lack of follow-through. Pâté and crackers?"
"Yes, thank you."
"Still, he might respond to threats, and he'll be all kinds of fun to manipulate. Morgan, on the other hand, reminds me of myself: suave and charismatic, appreciates the finer things… But the boy has no initiative. He's lazy and dim, a pretty shell just like his mother. The opportunity for power might finally light a fire under him, but it's too soon to tell. I'd hate to have to wait for a new harvest again. I do have a few girls in the mix, of course, but I'm a traditionalist at heart."
"This chianti is a revelation."
"Bite your tongue, Azazel! Good, though, isn't it? I have a vintner here from Tuscany; poor bastard loved his grapes and his gold a little too much."
"Weren't there a few others in the running? A boy in South America and one in the Middle East?"
"Hmmm, yes. One became a priest of all things, very disappointing, and the other… died on the vine, so to speak."
"Ah. Fatal illness?"
"More a Son of Sam situation. Too far gone to reach anymore."
"So when's the showdown between your Sam and Jake?"
"Just a few more hours. I'm going to throw them at each other and see who survives. Sam's brother is still out there trying to throw a wrench into the works, but I doubt he'll make it in time."
"And his father's here, of course."
"Still holding out against Alistair?"
"The man's tough, Azazel. If only he were one of my own—think what I could accomplish with John Winchester to help run the show!"
"He certainly gave me a run for my money."
"Yes, I know. But back to your finale: why that particular spot in Wyoming? Not planning anything subversive there, are we? I like to keep the gates closed, keep the souls inside where they belong."
"No, no—just making it hard for Dean Winchester to find it, and anything else that might interfere."
"I see… Well, I look forward to your report on the whole situation. Send it through Jezebel, she turns things around fairly fast."
"Will do. Thanks for the refreshments."
"Going so soon? I've got music—Beethoven symphonies, Blue Öyster Cult, or the souls of the damned from Level Three."
"That's very gracious of you. Another time, perhaps—I need to prepare Sam and Jake."
"If you're certain. Good luck to you, Azazel."
"Thank you, sir."
"You're going to need it."
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