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Inhuman Resources

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"What are you, then?" asks their new boss. He sounds eager, like he's unwrapping a present.

Roa draws himself up.

"Cow," says Martel, deadpan.

"Cow," confirms Dorchet, heartless.

"Cow," mouths Bido theatrically, jerking a thumb at him.

"Ox!" says Roa. "How many times do I gotta say it?"

Dorchet says, "Think I'll start calling myself a wolf."

"It's a shame," says Martel, with a sinuous wiggle, "that you didn't get something more badass. Still, the horns are kinda cute."

"Ox, fuck, how many times."

Roa does the only thing he could possibly do to recover his dignity.

Greed calmly cranes his neck up as Roa transforms. A sharky grin spreads all the way across his face. "The horns are cute. Thank you for your resumes, gentlemen. Lady. Now before I send you off to Personnel for induction - and by Personnel I mean "the bar" and by "induction" I mean "bourbon" - I should show you my own curriculum vitae."

With that, he stretches, and then he's a living statue, muscled slate for skin. His teeth are bared like a skull's, his eyes are angry slashes. He seems a little embarrassed.

"You're not human," says Martel flatly.

"What are we?" asks Roa.

The slate mask retracts. Greed smiles sheepishly. "I'm an artificial human," he says. "A fake."

Roa recognises, surprised, the hint of nervous challenge: and fuck you if you don't like it.

"Eh, whatever," says Roa.

"Long as you're paying us," says Dorchet.

Greed hooks them with a smile, and leads them in.