The snow was replaced with vibrant grass after a three-day-long protest from their new neighbors. Eric had led it, and Nikola felt betrayed. He had been made to install normal seasons in Purgatory.
It was one thing to ignore what the people wanted when they were somewhere else. Another to try to when they were chanting: We want grass! When is summer coming back? Where are our seas?
So, much to Sadik’s amusement, Nikola had caved. He had used the Google Maps from the internet he had to generate all the countries with all their cities, towns, and villages and decreed that the people of Purgatory will live there.
A three-day-long party had followed, and Nikola had found himself with the rest, singing and dancing. The denizens of Purgatory had been punished enough by dying and being in the whiteness for who knew how long. Nikola was happy to grant their wishes.
Then, one day, Harriell knocked on the house of the family of three. Looking bored out of his mind. Sadik let him in. The Leviathan having become a family friend by now.
“Can I speak with Niki?” Sadik nodded and led Harriell to the new office room Nikola had squeezed between their bedroom and Eric’s room. Sadik entered without knocking, and Nikola’s eyes snapped to him.
“Oh, Harry. Nice to see you,” Nikola thought that Harriell was too big of a mouthful, so, he had shortened the man’s name. And that had been Harry’s cue to shorten Nikola’s.
“We have to speak, Niki. There is nothing to do in this place,” Nikola blinked. He then pointed at his laptop.
“Don’t you have one of these?” Harriell nodded.
“Yes, but I have nothing but babysitting to look forward to when I wake up. And, Eric is a great kid, but I need something more meaningful. I require a job, Niki. So, what can I work as?” Nikola considered Harriell’s words. He couldn’t risk him typing in the main program. The one that Nikola used to add things to Purgatory and make sure that everyone was taken care of. But, maybe he could think of something else?
However, what? There was no need for social workers here. Everyone got what they wanted after they typed it in their laptops. Nikola had made the process automated. Then, he figured that he shouldn’t have.
“If I stop supplying everyone with everything, would they riot?” That was Nikola’s greatest fear. Most of his power was tied to maintaining Purgatory. He couldn’t fight against hordes upon hordes of supernatural beings. He was almost powerless, despite having taken everything back from Satan.
“Well, possibly ask the people if they want everything handed to them? I understand that your family’s safety is top priority, but, you need to understand where I am coming from. Last night, I tried to plant an apple. The tree sprouted within seconds,” Sadik chuckled. Yes, Purgatory had that effect on plants.
Nikola began typing something in his program. Then, he had an aha moment and turned back towards Harriell.
“It shouldn’t do that anymore, Harry,” they heard a ruckus from outside and Nikola opened the window.
“Boss, why are you messing with the nature again! I was just making heart shaped formations of trees! I have a date today, darn it,” Nikola smiled sheepishly, but Harriell went to the window.
“You are good for nothing, lazy ass! Trees are supposed to take years and love! Now, quit yapping!” And Harriell closed the window. They could still hear shouting from outside, though.
“Niki, you have to be stern. You can’t give us everything,” Nikola perked up at that.
“I can bring back the snow?” He asked, and both Sadik and Harriell shared a look.
“But you still have to listen to us,” said Sadik, and Nikola snickered. He had been just playing. Not really wanting the snow back. Sadik’s eyes softened.
“Ok, Sadik’s new job is as chief advisor. Harriell, what do you want to work as,” Harriell’s eyes narrowed.
“Things are done like that. There should be available jobs, and people should apply for the positions,” Nikola groaned. There was one flaw in all of that.
“Most of the people around here are not educated enough for something more than a dishwasher,” Nikola pointed out. It wasn’t their fault. They had just died centuries ago. Back when, the most someone would teach you if you were poor was how to write the first letter of your name. If even that.
“So, make schools,” said Sadik with a shrug. “Make them mandatory. With the people, who don’t want to go, being sent in the nothingness.”
Harriell send a glare at Sadik.
“You don’t know how it was back there. Or, you wouldn’t be joking,” Sadik thought that it couldn’t have been much more different from the month he spent alone with his family. But, maybe it was worse. Without a house, or family, or…yes, definitely worse.
“Sorry,” said Sadik, and he meant it.
“I will make schools for those who want them,” said Nikola, typing away. “And universities.”
“While Sadik said it as a joke, he was onto something. Make them mandatory. Make people chained to their chairs, too, if they don’t want to go. This place is not heaven. It should not be bliss,” Sadik grinned at that, imagining it. Nikola typed some more and a screen appeared before Sadik.
Time until classes: 1 hour.
Penalty for not going: 8 hours in the white emptiness.
“Niki, what?” Sadik groaned. Nikola stared at the screen and burst out laughing.
“The program must have scanned that you haven’t been to school in the past one hundred years and decided that you never went. Sorry, Sadik. This is a delicate algorithm. You will have to go,” Sadik send Nikola a dirty glare, but was heartened by the fact that Harriell also had a similar screen before him.
“I never went to school. What is it like?” Sadik himself had gone only to collage. And that had been out of curiosity. Private tutors were much better, in his opinion. He just shrugged. Nikola got a screen too.
Mandatory community service in: 30 minutes.
Duty for today: plant flowers in the park.
Penalty for not going: 8 hours in the white emptiness.
Sadik felt jealous, then. Nikola would be doing gardening while Sadik’s brain would be numbed for eight hours. Truly, it wasn’t fair.