1 Chapter 1 - Death and Taxes (and IT)

Freya Dagny - Programmer, Dragon Lover, and Not Dead (although she was pretty close to it). Working at this company - with low wages that bordered on slavery, hours that also bordered on slavery, and, last but not least, a life that bordered on slavery - was torture - both mental and physical. She'd been working here for who knew how long, ever since the last backend developer had quit (or died, she wasn't very sure which was true and had heard both as rumors from her coworkers) from the stress of dealing with the conditions, the bosses, and also the insanely broken Eclipse IDE, and realized just why nobody else was willing to take the position: It just wasn't worth it.

She'd been on this sprint for close to 24 hours at this point - almost double her usual hours - but there was no chance of overtime pay. The company was stingy and almost always refused to pay out because a small error in the overtime pay request would always appear. At this point, she would rather be eaten by a dragon than continue, although she would prefer to be petting a dragon instead of being eaten by one.

'Why can't dragons be real?' She thought. 'If only...'

Her mind drifted into a void between consciousness and complete death, building, destroying, and rebuilding countless scenarios where she met a dragon. Suddenly, she realized her head was getting so, 𝘴𝘰 heavy - she even wanted to put it down and let it rest on the desk, in fact. Although she may have realized in her last moments that this was the beginning of her swift death from exhaustion, she allowed her head to fall - after all, what was the point of staying in this world when the next could allow her to meet dragons?

Perhaps hearing her wish and taking pity on her soul, a divine being appeared and scooped up Freya's soul, dropping her into a basket labeled "urgent IT tickets" and attaching a sticky note onto her soul that read, "Pls approve rebirth request asap into world of dragons."

Freya felt she was slowly going insane. Maybe this was the delirium from working too long in the office? There was no way she had died, right? It was just a dream; it had to be.

Despite her copious amounts of disbelief regarding what was happening, it was. She was promptly picked up, checked over, and heard a voice muttering something.

"Fu*king useless users, marking everything as urgent and expecting me to get to work on it immed- Yes, sir, I am still here. Please continue holding.- Well, this comes straight from the t-Yes, I'm still here. Be patient.- Straight from the top, so I'll just approve it.- Alright, now I can assist you with your technical issues with filing souls for damnation."

The divine being (apparently an IT helpdesk agent) then tossed Freya's soul into a basket, which she barely managed to make out the name of as "Iratir - Platinum Founder's edition" before her senses were gone again.

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Heaven and Hell Properties, Inc.

Hell Accounting Branch

A man with a quite dapper and perfect British accent was speaking in a room. "Do you know the tax implications of dropping a soul into the Platinum edition of a world starter pack?! We've got none of the documentation required for such an action, and you tell me you did it on ACCIDENT? How do you accidentally open a lid with 3 latches and a padlock? Do you know how much karma we could get fined by the Hellish Revenue Service? Effective immediately, you're on probation indefinitely. If you make another mistake, I'll see to it personally that you're sent to the fu*king deepest pits of Hell to suffer for eternity. And I don't give a flying sh*t that the order came from my brother Barachiel, he can also go to f*cking hell for all I care."

"I deeply apologize, Mr. Morningstar. Please have mercy!" The IT agent was frantically bowing in an attempt to reduce the wrath of Fallen Angel Lucifer to keep from getting killed.

Another person suddenly appeared in the room, and Fallen Angel Lucifer smirked.

"Well, speak of the 𝘮𝘦, my dear brother Barachiel has arrived."

"Lucifer, what the hell is this bullsh*t? I wake up and I've got 20 letters from the HRS saying that we owe fucking fines for not filing the requisite forms to drop a soul into a Platinum starter pack box for a world?! And 20 more from the Bureau for Memory Erasure about how you forgot to erase the memories of a mortal before sending them for reincarnation?! How is this place even still around?" Barachiel was fuming, evidently mad that his beauty sleep - or whatever else he might have been doing - had been interrupted.

"Well, dear brother, you should be asking the question of how long Heaven will still be around. Did you really think that your pretty little idyllic, boring landscape up there was going to last forever? Last I checked, you were in severe debt for not paying the karmic taxes to the HRS."

Barachiel sputtered, unable to find an answer to Lucifer's jabs. He spun around on his heel and disappeared from the room.

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Meanwhile, as an IT guy was frantically kowtowing so hard into the linoleum floors that they were cracking under his strength, Freya had just begun to wake up.

The light pierced into Freya's eyeballs as soon as she opened them, causing her to immediately scream in shock and pain from overexposure to light, after which she covered her eyes with her hands. She slowly adjusted to the light level and looked around her. She was sitting on an idyllic green plain, with sparsely dotted apple and pear trees, and the air was cleaner than any city she'd ever been to, with a light hint of mint. She looked next to her and saw an egg tall enough to reach her waist, as well as a couple items, such as a wand, a smartphone, some sort of fire-starter, and a bunch of other items. It also seemed that she had been imprinted with the basic knowledge of the world she was in - Iratir, meaning Divine Light. She also knew that the egg besides her - which was slightly warm to the touch and trembling just a little - was an egg of some rare species. How she ended up with it, she was unsure, but she knew that some spirit out there must have taken pity on her and allowed her to have it. Suddenly, as if activated by her touch previously, the egg began to wobble, then wobble even more, then started to crack on the top as tapping sounds came from the inside. Finally freeing itself from the egg that had confined it for who knew how long, a tiny head popped out from inside and mewled.

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This story continues on WattPad under the same title and author name.