Where do the Tallisker corporation’s demonic executives come from? Well…

You twelve scumbags are here because we believe each of you has the potential to become one of the biggest assholes in the world.

Make no mistake: the Tallisker Corporation is not looking for the best and the brightest. We want the worst. The most vile. The type to look Grandma right in her eyes and proudly say that yes, you’re leaving her old ass out in the middle of the woods in exchange for a promotion but the bears were your own idea, just for fun.

The real winners.

Why? Because if we don’t channel your inner psycopaths into something productive you’re gonna cause trouble of the sort that makes life harder than necessary for the rest of us. We’ve got a lot of skin in this game, boys and girls, and we’ve decided it’s better for our own situations if we bring you onboard. You’re welcome.

Thank me again and I will tear out your liver and eat it in front of you.

I know what some of you are thinking: “oh, I’m not that bad!” You’re wrong. We know you’re wrong because you’ve all ready proven you’re a piece of shit. What do you think your Tallisker internships were about? We were assessing you, getting a feel for what makes you tick. And when we found what we were looking for, we tested it.

Think back a week, maybe two. That’s right: you thought you’d gotten away with it, didn’t you? When you hurt someone. Badly. Seemed to good to be true in the moment, didn’t it? It was. We set you up. We have the tapes. And we approve.

So here’s the deal: you are here, in Tallisker’s secret, state-of-the-art facility, so that we can turn you all into kings and queens. You will be rich. You will be powerful. Nymphs will fear you, trolls will want to fight you, and elves will want to be you. And humans—your friends, your family, and everyone else—will know that you are the one percent that makes the world what it is and that there is nothing they can do to stop you. All you have to do is become your most horrible self.

Become a demon. Like me, and all our other executives.

Over the next twelve weeks, we will push you. We will find your line—that limit you dare not approach—and we will make you run straight up to it and leap wildly across. If you do not…you will be used as someone else’s line.

You will change. Physically, and then some. As the darkness twists your flesh it will grant you abilities you never dreamed of. You will not all become majestic gargoyles or beautiful succubi. Last quarter we had someone end up looking like a pile of mashed potatoes. We will give you the finest cloaking talisman money can buy, and as far as all the rubes out there are concerned you will a beautiful, genetically superior god. Don’t worry about it.

We will also teach you to control that darkness, to latch on to someone or something that can help you maintain a link to your lost humanity and keep you from doing anything that’ll make me regret the gifts I’m planning to give you. Typically, this means family. If you do not have one or something like it, we will find you a suitable substitute while we help you search for the real thing. With the salary we offer, this should not be difficult. Even mashed potatoes found himself a loving boyfriend.

If you have questions, that’s too bad. All will be answered in time, when we decide you’re ready. Welcome to Tallisker executive training, assholes. You’re the next generation of globetrotting, conspiracy weaving, bloodthirsty villains. Believe me: It’s fuckin’ rad, man.

Author commentary

I’ve never gotten too deep into the Tallisker corporation or the demons it employs. We’re talking about men and women who did and continue to do horrible things in exchange for physical, magical, social, and financial power. That’s dark.

I’ve always sort of had this pipeline idea in my head, where the company uses its internship program to identify the pieces of shit who’d best fit their corporate culture. And then once they’ve got them identified, they transform them into full-fledged demons using an organized process that’s been evaluated and analyzed to death. Which means that for the jerks guiding that process, it becomes routine. Rote. Business as usual.

So rather than write a dark, depressing story of an intern embracing his or her worst instincts, growing horns and talons, and climbing the corporate ladder, I decided it’d be more fun and just as informative to reveal this part of my setting through the point of view of a corporate trainer giving a welcome speech to the latest crop of Tallisker douche nozzles. I think that makes for palatable story, and perhaps one that hammers the point home better. Tallisker’s evil, but to their employees that evil is just another day at the office. Scary, right?