Quondam - Jessica Liong


Once upon a time, an angel and a demon met in an office. They realized that they both played World of Warcraft, and hung out a lot more after that.


Akira Tenshin has one mission: kill Samantha Simmons.


She’s not too sure why. She had been spacing out during the briefing. Akira is bad with details.


Anyway, the act is easier said than done. There are a lot of people in the office. That, and human computer

games are surprisingly addicting.


Samantha Simmons always leaves the office by six o’clock sharp, but Akira is usually too engrossed in a game of solitaire to notice.




Blake Pinna is a guardian angel in training.


It’s a harder job than one might think.


Her final test before she becomes a full-fledged angel is to watch over Samantha Simmons for one year. If

Samantha Simmons comes out of the year unharmed, Blake gets her angel license.


Blake really wants her angel license. She also really hates working in an office.




Samantha Simmons works in human resources.


There isn’t really anything special about her. She is an average human being.


If one were to ask her what her current goal is, she would most likely respond that it is to receive her next paycheck.


Samantha Simmons just tries to get by.




Akira navigates her character through a dungeon and sees the blonde woman approaching Samantha Simmons from the reflection of her screen.


She wonders who the blonde woman is, and why she is always talking to Samantha Simmons.


The blonde woman never seems to work. Then again, it’s not as though Akira can say anything about that.


The office supervisor walks by, so Akira minimizes her World of Warcraft window, opens a random file, and proceeds to print out two hundred copies of it.




Samantha Simmons, though average, is an easy person to talk to.


Blake actually thinks that this is because Samantha Simmons is so average that conversation can come naturally to her.


In any case, it makes Blake’s job easier. A good guardian angel strives to be a consistent, positive force in her human’s life.


Distracting Samantha Simmons from her work may not be positive, but Blake talks to her anyway.




“Samantha, I accidentally printed out two hundred copies of something.”


Akira interrupts their conversation and holds up the pile of papers.


This is normal routine for Akira and Samantha Simmons. Akira usually makes mistakes in the office; Samantha Simmons usually has to fix them.


As a result, Samantha Simmons is quick to react. “Did they come out funny? Does the printer need reloading? Those look really heavy, do you want me to hold some for you?”


Blake is more skeptical. “Two hundred copies of what?” she demands.


Akira shrugs. “A thing.”




“A person, I guess.”


“Uh-huhh.” Blake is not convinced.


Akira shifts the papers in her arms, looking both content and uncomfortable at the same time.


Samantha Simmons stands up. “I’ll go check the printer. You can put those down on my desk, if you’d like,” she tells Akira before hurrying off.


Akira stays where she is. Blake crosses her arms against her chest in a condescending manner.


“You’re not from around here, are you?” Blake asks.


Akira thinks that the pretty blonde might be watching one too many TV dramas. Akira likes dramas too. She wonders if there are any dramas they might have both watched.


She responds, “Nah.”


“Don’t think I haven’t noticed you always watching Samantha from the corner of your eye,” Blake says accusingly. “What do you want with her?”


Akira shrugs, making a noise that vaguely sounds like “I don’t know.”


“If you want to hurt her,” Blake puffs out her chest a little, “you’ll have to get through me first.”


Blake has always wanted to say that line. She cheers inwardly.


Akira nods. “Okay.”


Then she gives Blake the papers and leaves.




Samantha Simmons doesn’t find anything wrong with the printer, but she puts in some more blank paper just in case.




Akira thinks that the blonde talks a lot.




Blake decides that she needs to do something about the sullen, dark-haired woman.




Akira finds herself cornered in the break room one day when she is trying to get juice.


“Just who are you?” Blake demands.


Akira answers, “My name is Akira Tenshin, I work in human resources.”


Akira loves saying this because she finds it ironic, especially considering that she is neither human nor particularly resourceful.


“No!” Blake clearly does not see the humor of it. “I mean, what are you? Who sent you? What do you want with Samantha Simmons?” She hisses the last part so as not to draw any unwanted attention.


Akira tilts her head slowly to one side. Blake glares at her. Akira’s eyes light up with realization.


“Oh, I see. You’re an angel.”


Blake splutters.


“No, not mature enough for an angel… A-I-T?” Akira guesses.


Samantha Simmons has to give Akira a spare hoodie to change into after the other woman somehow winds up with a carton of juice dumped over her head.




Satan tells Akira to ignore the angel.


“She’s not directly interfering with the mission,” he reasons, “so just keep doing what you’re doing.” He pauses. “You’re doing something, right?”


“My solitaire record is forty one seconds,” Akira reports.




Akira sighs as her character is sabotaged by a beast, shot by ten arrows, and spontaneously combusts.


ur 10000 lvls 2 erly 2b fightin me!! her ambusher graciously tells her.


Akira decides to stretch her legs and maybe at least pretend she’s being productive.


As she passes by the blonde’s cubicle, she sees its inhabitant hunched over a laptop screen, peering into a World of Warcraft window and cackling madly at her recent victory.




Blake stops by the vending machine one day to get a chocolate bar.


On her way back, she happens upon Akira, who is playing Fruit Ninja on Samantha Simmons’ iPhone. Samantha is filing what seems to be Akira’s share of work.


Samantha Simmons peeks at the screen. “Wow, you’re really good at this.” She sounds impressed.


Akira is dismissive. “It comes with the training.”


“You trained to be a ninja?”


“Something like that.”


Blake thinks that Akira needs to work on her subtlety.




“You’re a demon, aren’t you?” Blake growls. “What does the King of Hell want with Samantha Simmons?”


Akira replies honestly, “I’m not sure, I wasn’t really paying attention when he told me. By the way, do you want to team up in WoW sometime?”




Blake swears she only agreed because it allows her to keep a closer eye on the enemy.




As Samantha Simmons rushes to a meeting one day, she sees Akira and Blake sitting side-by-side clicking and typing furiously on their laptops.


Samantha Simmons thinks it’s great that they’re starting to get along and also get work done.


Akira and Blake are, in fact, clearing a dungeon through a kind of teamwork that leaves much to be desired.




Akira is making her character run around aimlessly during the final boss battle, and she winds up in front of Blake’s character just in time to unintentionally take a hit for her.


Blake calls her an idiot.


They team up a lot more after that.




Blake goes out for a coffee run, and Akira joins her.


“Coffee tastes better when you drink it in the shop,” Akira states as they are waiting in line. “I read that on the Internet.”


They decide to grab a table and split a croissant while they’re at it.


“Lay one hand on Samantha Simmons and I’ll kill you,” Blake asserts.


Akira blinks slowly. “Is that all you talk about?”




As they head back to the office, someone grabs Blake’s purse and runs off.


Akira follows, punches him through a wall, and returns the purse.


“Sorry, it got a little dirty.”


“It’s fine. Did you just punch him through a wall?”


“It wasn’t much.”




They enter another dungeon when they get back. Their teamwork seems to have improved considerably this time.


“This doesn’t make us friends.” Blake insists.




Akira likes being in the same party as Blake.


She thinks they have a better chance of winning when they’re together.




“It’s not that I’m not doing my mission,” Akira says when Blake asks her. “It’s just more complicated than it sounds. I’ll get to it eventually.”


“I’ll have to kill you when that happens,” Blake responds.


Akira just shrugs.


Blake feels she is being underestimated. “I could take you.”


“On a date?”


“In a fight.”


“Oh.” Akira looks decidedly less interested. “No.”




“You couldn’t. Sorry.” Akira returns to her solitaire game.


Blake frowns. “You’ve never seen me fight.”








Blake wonders if that’s a good enough reason to punch her.




In any case, Blake punches her.


Akira looks upset that her game was interrupted.




The supervisor has to break up their fight. He sends them home for the day.




God tells Blake not to worry about the demon.


“From what you’ve told me, she doesn’t seem to be a very large threat,” He decides, “so until she proves herself as such you don’t have to do anything.” He pauses. “How is Samantha Simmons?”


Blake says, “Samantha Simmons is doing fine.”




The next time Blake goes to the vending machine, it spits out two chocolate bars.


She gives one of them to Akira.


They enter another dungeon.




Like Blake said, Samantha Simmons is doing fine.


She got her paycheck and is now working steadily for her next one.