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Red Tape Horror

Among the more insidious chains the Archons devised for their human poulation is bureaucracy. Originally, bureaucracy was meant to be a tool for the lictors to help control their human subjects and use it to keep track of their proceedings. The institution was overseen by Geburah's lictors. The dullness of observing all the manifold regulations of bureaucracy and its seemingly endless supply of different offices working together (but not communicating) and of forms to fill in to acquire yet more forms to fill in to achieve nothing in the end kept many a human from awakening. With a law to govern everything, with an office regulating everything, little was left to chance. The Illusion was densely woven with red tape, suffocating any potential of Awakening creativity in the Western hemisphere. Geburah's lictors increased their efforts at bureaucracy when the Demiurge disappeared - at least in the beginning. But when the war for breaking out of the Illusion grew hotter at other fronts, bureaucracy became neglected. Many laws were disregarded and an increasing leniency on the part of the human executive powers manifested.

Gradually, another entity took over control of bureaucracy: it became the domain of Nahemoth, the Defiled World. With the tool itself, many of its previous masters fell into the clutches of the Death Angel; not that he made any attempt to cling to it. Things that fall into Nahemoth's domain develop their own lethal, crawling dynamism. The Death Angel himself is no longer active in any recognizable state and is devolving rather than disappearing. He is becoming less of an intelligence and more of a natural law.

Under Nahemoth's influence, rules began to contradict each other; to need one another as prerequisite for anything; to disregard reality (if only that of the Illusion) totally and demand things not possible within the Illusion. Bureaucracy began to develop into its exact opposite: from a means of enslavement it became a means of freedom.

The former meaning of bureaucracy has not become obsolete; it is still sufficient to keep the average John Doe from Awakening. But if you immerse yourself in its rules, if you begin to see the pattern of insanity in its coils of red tape, you might just break through the walls of Illusion - usually to find yourself in the dusty corridors of Nahemoth's citadel in Inferno where flatly breathing Nepharites and Razides lie decomposing while they still somewhat live.

If bureaucracy had a body, it would be non-euclidic. Its shape would contain angles of impossible proportions and it would continually bend back on itself and eject waste from orifices just to vomit it back into adjacent mouths. In fact, this is just the body one would expect from a Nepharite in those parts of Inferno that border places in the Illusion which are the domain of bureaucracy; flesh stapled together, bodies leather-pressed into dusty heaps, and endless repetitive motions, branding screaming or whimpering flesh with red hot stamps and signing cryptic names with rusty, acid-ink quills.

People caught in the coils of red tape tend to eat themselves; either psychically of physically. This can lead to mindless husks (which was the original idea), but sometimes it suffices push people, who get a grip on themselves quickly enough, just outside society, close enough to the fringes to find a way out. People begin to long for Gaia or Metropolis and may thus be more inclined to find a gate leading there.

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