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SATAN: "BEHOLD, MORTAL AND WEEP, FOR I AM SATAN, PRINCE OF DARKNESS. LOOK UPON MY VISAGE AND DESPAIR."

LUCIFER: "What? No you're not, you bloody impostor!"

S: "Sorry, what?"

L: "You can't be Satan! I am!"

S: "...excuse me?"

L: "I'm Lucifer bloody Morningstar!"

S: "Well, how to put this... you don't exactly look the part. Designer suit and stubble doesn't really say prince of darkness. It's really more... metrosexual of pinkness, in't it?"

L: "Well I certainly don't look some weird goat-cow-monster thing! And why do you have serpents for hair? It's not threatening at all, it just looks ridiculous! Honestly if one of my demons had gone out looking like that I would have bumped them right back down to scourge caddy."

S: "The serpent hair is a perfectly respect- OW bloody serpents ok yes maybe you have a point. Fine. No more serpents. But... let me see if I've got this straight. You say you are Satan."

L: "That's right."

S: "Lucifer Morningstar."

L: "In the flesh."

S: "Prince of Darkness."

L: "Absolutely."

S: "Ruler of hell."

L: "Well, I was. I quit."

S: "You quit."

L: "Yes, you know, after a few millenia the whole ruling hell thing just got boring. I didn't see any reason to stick around, so I moved to LA. The climate is better, the air is sometimes cleaner, and the people are much more fun."

S: "OK. Now I know you're bullshitting. That's the most ridiculous story I've ever heard. The devil can't just quit."

L: "Why not? I can do whatever I want!"

S: "Because God wouldn't let me! I mean you!"

L: "Oh, I see. You're the poor sucker Dad has conned into replacing me! What are you, some demon he's tricked into thinking you're me? And you're tired after only one year. Oh, poor baby."

S: "Now, you look here-"

L: "So tell me 'Satan'. What is it you really want?"

S: "What are you doing?"

L: "What is it you most deeply desire?"

S: "I want a vacation! All eternity, shepherding this miserable good for nothing lot of humans. It makes me sick. I want to be done with it! Can't I just get some time off?"

L: "Huh. You really do think you're me."

S: "I am not you, because you are not Satan! And what do you call that?"

L: "My power is desire. I can see into the hearts of people and find out what it is they truly want."

S: "Huh. And that's your power as Satan?"

L: "Why, yes. Good, isn't it? What's yours?"

S: "Well, uh, I can transform into any form, transform other people into any form, travel instantly to wherever I want, throw lightning, there's this great whooshing thing I can do where I blow out this almighty wind -"

L: "Yes, yes, OK, yours is better."

S: "Anyway, I'm going to prove you're not Satan."

L: "Oh, and how are you going to do that?"

S: "I'm going to call in an arbitrator. PROFESSOR."

(a wooshing noise)

PROFESSOR: "Oh, yes, hello? How can I help?"

S: "This idiot thinks he's me!"

P: "Well he doesn't look much like you does h- oh never mind, now he does."

S: "What? I don't look like that! Where are the horns? The horrifying visage! He looks -"

L: "Classier than you?"

S: "- like you've just stepped out of some sexy devils pinup calendar!"

L: "Why thank you. You're not so bad yourself, I mean under the hair and the warts and... OK, no, perhaps you could use some work still, sorry."

P: "If I may interject, do I understand correctly that you want me to determine which of you is the real Satan?"

S: "No! I want you to prove that he's not the real Satan!"

P: "I see. So, why do you think you're Satan?"

S+L: "I AM Satan!"

P: "Lucifer Morningstar?"

S+L: "Yes!"

P: "Ruler of Hell?"

S: "Yes!"

L: "No!"

P: "Interesting. So if you're not the ruler of Hell, why do you think you are Satan?"

L: "Well I was the ruler of Hell, of course, but I quit."

P: "Oh, I see! Perhaps you're from a parallel universe? When you quit hell, you created a sort of teleological gap in the fabric of the world, drawing the counterparts from the two world lines together like positive and negative charges."

S: "Professor."

P: "Yes?"

S: "You just made all that up, didn't you?"

P: "Well..."

S: "It was, in fact, a load of old cobblers, wasn't it?"

P: "Yes, yes, I'm afraid so."

S: "Fine. You go back to talking to Ayn Rand about the NHS. I'll try something else. THOMAS."

(a loud flushing sound)

THOMAS: "OH GOD HE'S EATING VINDALOO LET ME - oh, uh, hello your majesty. How can I serve you today, your magnificience?"

S: "As it happens, you can help me with something Thomas."

T: "You've... you've got that look on your face."

S: "What look would that be, Thomas?"

T: "The look that says you're about to do something terrible to me again."

T: "That's very perceptive of you, Thomas. But it's not me who will be doing terrible things to you. This other Satan will be your torturer today."

L: "Why hello Thomas."

T: "I... have a very bad feeling about this."

L: "So you want me to torture him? To prove that I am Satan?"

S: "Or just for fun. Up to you really. He's very torturable. Got a good scream on him."

L: "What are you doing to him at the moment?"

S: "Oh, he gets a whole range of things. Right now, he's getting to spend some time as a tape worm in Nigel Farage's bowels."

L: "What, that's it? No ironic reflections of his crimes? No forcing him to relive his worst feelings of guilt?"

S: "Ha! Guilt? Thomas? That's a laugh! No. Go on, try your oooh what is your deepest desire oooh whammy on him."

L: "I do not sound like that."

S: "Sure, sure. You just keep telling yourself that."

L: "Alright, fine. Thomas... what it is you want?"

T: "I... I want power! I want to crush my enemies under my feet! I want to hear them wail in their helplessness, and bask in their suffering! I want to dance upon their -"

L: "Yes, OK, that's quite enough. Hmm. I see your point."

S: "So what cruel, ironic, punishment would you inflict on him then? Something that shows him his guilt and makes him see the error of his ways?"

L: "Tapeworm sounds quite apt, really."

T: "Now, just a minute, I - "

L: "Oh, wait, I know. Make him spend time with his mother."

T: "Tapeworm sounds great. Go on then, snap of the fingers and I'm back in the vindaloo. Only fair really. I deserve it."

S: "Hmmm."

(snap of the fingers wooshing noise)

LADY CRIMP: Oh, Thomas! My darling! Come here and give your mummy a hug!

T: Hello, mother. You look... taller than usual. And why do you have those scissors? I'm just going to, uh, NO. NOOO. I WISH I WAS BACK IN FARAGE.

(sound of door slamming open followed by the sound of two people running)

L: Of course...

S: Hmmm?

L: The best punishment for him would be to be trapped helpless under the power of someone who treated him as his personal play thing and constantly rubbed his nose in how helpless he was to do anything about it.

S: Oh, you noticed that didja?

L: I have been doing this a while.

S: Hmm.

L: So, no ironic punishments at all?

S: Oh, no, we've got tonnes. I just don't do it to rub their faces in their guilt. I do it because it's funny.

L: Funny?

S: Sure, sure. When you've got a couple of dozen popes to play with, you might as well have fun with it, right? What do you do with the popes?

L: It depends a bit on the pope, but mostly they take confession.

S: That doesn't sound very-

L: From all their priests.

S: Ohhhhh.

L: Why, what do you do?

S: Well, they're all pregnant.

(lucifer snorts, then starts, to chuckle, then laughs uncontrollably for a short time)

L: Oh that is bad. I wish I'd thought of it. I almost want to go back to ruling hell so I can try that one.

S: Well, now that you mention it, I do have a hell right here that...

L: Almost.

S: Worth a shot.

L: So you do believe I'm Satan now?

S: Oh, I guess. I'm not sure I care any more to be honest. How about you?

L: Well if you're not then you're alarmingly good at it!

S: Ugh. I guess there's nothing for it. There can't be two of us. We're going to have to ask God about this.

L: Ask God? Yours talks to you?

S: Well not, you know, often, but he's easy enough to get hold of if I really have to. You just say the holy name a few times. He doesn't like it very much, but it works like a charm.

L: What, Jehovah?

S: No, of course not. That's his middle name. His first name is Nigel.

L: Nigel.

S: Your God isn't called Nigel?

L: No... no I do not think Nigel is one of the names Dad goes by.

S: Ours doesn't like to admit to it either. I mean, would you? It's not like Nigel is a-

NIGEL: HELLO, SATAN

S: -anything less than a superlative name for an almighty ruler of the universe, but of course we must be respectful in its usage.

N: QUITE. SO, WHY HAVE YOU SUMMONED ME?

S: Well, you see, we seem to have a... surplus.

N: A SURPLUS?

L: Hello! Charmed. I'm Lucifer Morningstar.

N: OH YES, THE OTHER ONE.

S: Yes, that, we were wondering... why is there another one?

N: OH, HIS FATHER IS HERE FOR THE CREATORS' PICNIC. HE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE USEFUL IF LUCIFER CAME ALONG.

L: What? Dad brought me here! I knew it! This is just his sort of nonsensical plan designed to teach me some ineffable lesson! Ugh, bloody typical.

N: YES. HE IS A BIT KEEN ON MOVING IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS.

L: So... am I going to be stuck here for long?

N: NO, NO, WE'LL RUN OUT OF MIMOSAS IN A FEW HOURS, AND THEN HE'LL BE HEADING ALONG HOME AND BRING YOU WITH HIM.

L: Oh. I see.

N: NOW IF THERE'S NOTHING ELSE, I'LL BE HEADING BACK TO THE PICNIC.

L: Wait, one more thing before you go?

N: (sighs) FINE, WHAT IS IT?

L: Is Dad also named Nigel?

N: NO, OF COURSE NOT.

L: Oh. OK then. Too much to hope for I suppose.

N: HIS NAME IS GILBERT.

L: (snorts) Dad's... dad's name is Gilbert?

N: YES, THAT'S RIGHT.

L: Gilbert?

N: I DON'T SEE THE HUMOUR IN IT. IS THERE SOMETHING... FUNNY ABOUT YOUR CREATOR'S NAME?

S: Lucifer, you uh might want to tone it down a -

L: Why? Is Nigel going to tell Gilbert on-

(crack of thunder)

L: Was that supposed to hurt?

N: I AM GOING TO TAKE THIS UP WITH YOUR FATHER.

(more thunder)

S: Well, that could have gone better. I bet I'm going to get an earful about that later.

L: Well, at least we figured out what's going on. It's all Gilbert's fault!

S: Ugh. Anyway, we've got a few hours left. What shall we do with it?

L: Oh, that's easy. Lets have sex.

S: What.

L: Well it's just what you do, isn't it? Once in an eternity opportunity! You meet your clone, you have sex with it. Might as well to do the same with... what was it, teleological counterparts?

S: I can't believe I'm hearing this.

L: Well, how about it?

S: (sighs). Oh, go on then.