Recently deceased friends Kate and Daniel have been promoted, and are now in charge of renewing the Earth for a New Age. However they haven't had a lot of training in their new jobs, they have several forces against them, and their own friendship is on the rocks as their attempts to work together makes things even worse.
There’s a point when you're so cold that you're not cold anymore. That’s usually the point where hypothermia is so bad that you just lie down in the warm snow and die. Unless you’re like those Buddhist monks who can meditate in the mountains and stay warm in nothing but thin white robes.
Or you’re a god and then it means that you've mastered some sort of mind over matter test. This is what Kate hoped anyway.
Kate sat meditating in a cave, out of the worst of the wind and snow. Since taking over, Kate had found heaven both efficiently organized and a nightmare of details. Although the power had been coming to her more easily as the time went on, she still felt as if she were the captain of a grand fleet but didn't know how to swim. She’d done some research on the Wastelands, and told Ganymede — to whom she’d given a job since he didn't know what to do after Zeus's death — to keep things in order for her, just for a little bit.
Mortals never realize their full potential. People stay locked into dead-end jobs, in loveless marriages, in cities they hate, and they never explore their passions or what they're capable of if they just change one little thing. This is why they say unemployment is a great thing to happen to some people, because it forces them to act and do something they wouldn't normally do.
Mortals actually have a great deal of power to touch the world around them, to drive their own lives; they just never do it. Kate was no different: she lived with her unrequited love for years and only really told him that she loved him when she was sure she could never be with him.
That would be Daniel, the current guardian of hell. At that moment, he was climbing the mountain Kate meditated on, coming to her with a problem. He shone like a beacon in her awareness.
But back to potential. Kate pondered the issue of potential as she'd been trying to get her brain wrapped around the concept of all this power. She no longer felt the cold. She could teleport. And this afternoon she created life — which she immediately regretted, since the kitten reacted immediately to the cold, shivering in her hands. Details like this she would have to remember: if she's going to make life, she should do it where it might actually have a chance of survival.
She sighed as she heard Daniel's feet at the mouth of the cave. Her heart quickened and she grumbled at it to slow down. Not opening her eyes from her meditation, she said, “You know, it would be a lot easier to get over you if you didn't visit me.”
With her eyes closed, Kate still knew everything about him, especially his exasperated scowl, which he wore as he surveyed her cave. “What the hell are you doing? All this godlike power and you’re freezing your ass off on a mountain?”
Kate opened her eyes. “Do I look cold?”
He shook the snow out of his hair and came inside the cave. “Whatever. I need to talk to you.”
Kate abandoned the petty attempts to keep him at arm's length and invited him to sit next to her, his goose down jacket poufing around him.
“We’re supposed to be rebuilding the world, or at least putting our own afterlives back in order. What are you doing up here?”
If she told him, he would demand a demonstration, so she just showed him. She concentrated briefly, and the cave shimmered and disappeared, its craggy walls becoming the dark green walls of the apartment they’d shared when they’d been alive. It was completed with the broken television in the corner and the Dresden Dolls poster with the torn corner hung over the couch. Kate had always begged Daniel to frame it, but he’d never got around to it. She settled back in the cushy green secondhand couch they bought that always smelled a little bit like Doritos. “I’ve been practicing. There’s not a lot I can do until I get the hang of this whole power thing.”
Daniel looked around and whistled. “I stand corrected.”
“So, what have you been working on?”
Daniel got very busy loosening his coat. “Look. My world is a little bit more chaotic, thanks very much. I haven’t had the luxury to study.”
He finally met her eyes, glaring. “Why are you riding me, Kate?”
Kate sighed and looked at the floor. “Because it's easier than jumping into your arms and begging you not to leave me again. Now, what you need?”
He was silent. Kate couldn’t tell if the flush in his face was left over from the cold, or something else. After a moment he cleared his throat. “It’s this weather — well, the weather you had before you brought us here.”
“It froze over?”