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At one of the top level of the Archyramid, the Apex was looking at the innergy balance sheet with a intensely miffed expression.
His minions were looking at him in awe and terror, while the two hellhounds at his feet were sleeping lightly, ready to pounce at the slightest irritation of their master.

It would be difficult to describe the scene in very accurate terms, as under the false cosmic light, illusions and deception were child’s play, and appearances easily manipulated. The trick to appear beautiful and enlightened was mostly to sustain a certain belief not unlike seduction upon the viewer and the reality you wanted to project would endure. Think of it as botox on a very wrinkled face.

The Apex and his minions had a certain warm and fuzzy halo around them, bathed by the fervor and prayers and devotion of their millions of believers. They had to work hard, and divide even harder to get to that. To the believer, they would appear quite saintly, even godlike. But only the belief would sustain the illusion.
All of them were disillusioned many many eons ago, and could see each other rather plainly, without the false make-up. The Apex was a truly awesome, fearful presence.

His voice was soft though, enveloping, soothing and with a hypnotic taste to it, luring you to a sense of false security.

“So, are you telling me there is no growth? I’ve tolerated this little experiment with Medlik and the other fools of the Order of Ascension, this was all very good business and all, but now you’re telling me this little investment was for NOTHING!”

One of the minions, Minux, also known as Tetatron of the Galactic Federation in certain circles dared come one step further, bowing down and raising his voice:
“My dear Lord Apex, we grieve as you do, but this is our painful reality. Competition is fierce, and the sheeple are not as gullible as they used to.”
Lord Apex smiled derisively. “I’ve been in this game for quite some time Minux, so I’m quite certain of something. The sheeple have an infinite streak of gullibility. I just think you’ve all been lazy.”

The two hellhounds woke up and snarled menacingly. They would have easily passed for cute puppies under the mask.

“Dear Lord Apex, as usual you are quite correct. The main problem is that we underestimated their capacity to get bored so quickly. We have to constantly update the light constructs to introduce new bizarre concepts and ideas, so they can continue generate innergy for us.”

“Well, you know how this story ends, Minux, we can’t have slackers among us, and those results are not nearly good enough to get us there. Our Lord R’eye will only give keys to the kingdom to the ones who deserve it. Based on your poor results, I suggest a few of the old tricks: divide and conquer, or throw in a good shitstorm and rally the troops. That should get us through the next quarter.”

“Of course, my Lord. And I suppose… about the blissdom alarity increase for the Ascended Order?”

“You suppose well Minux, you suppose well…”