"Welcome to Deus International, you must be Tom." The woman behind the reception desk rose and offered him her hand. While beautiful, she wore a dove grey pencil skirt and pale blue blouse instead of some sort of flowing robes as he’d expected, and her heels clicked on the black marble floor. Nearby a white marble fountain babbled away, circulating water past blooming water lilies and lotuses.
"Uh, hi. Yeah. Tom Rangel. Um, my brother and his wife bought me this for my birthday, and I don't... I'm not sure what happens." He blushed, shaking her hand.
"I understand." She laughed, a low musical sound. "We get a fair amount of cases like yours. Other people in their lives want to give someone they love a little boost. And of course, you do not have to commit to the deity we choose for you. We merely match you to the deity we feel will do the most good for your situation." She gestured for him to precede her into a small office with a pleasant view into the courtyard outside the building.
A medium-sized mahogany desk with a chair on each side sat toward the window. A very sleek laptop sat on top of the desk.
"The survey is probably the longest part of the process. Some of the questions may seem very personal to you, and others may seem simply bizarre. While we will not object if you choose not to answer certain questions, every answer you do give us helps us find the right deity to help you." She smiled at him again. "Do you have any questions?"
"What happens after the survey?" Tom eyed the room, trying to decide which side of the desk he should sit on.
"While the computer works on your answer, one of our counselors will come and interview you regarding specific situations with which you may need help. They will ask about likes, dislikes and your general schedule and ability to accommodate worship requirements or suggestions, depending on which Deity we feel can help you." She smiled at him, friendly, yet professional. "I promise you, unless you are very specifically into that sort of thing, we will not pair you with a Deity who requires sacrifices of blood or pain."
"I... how long have you been doing this?" Tom looked away from the desk and back to her.
"Me, personally? Or Deus?"
"You, personally." Tom blinked.
"I've been with Deus for several years now, and before that I worked with several churches and human rights groups." She looked thoughtful. "If you are uncomfortable, we can refund your brother's money."
"I, no. I'm fine. I mean, I feel a little silly. But I cannot deny that since Liz put that shrine to Epona up in the garden, they've been doing great." Tom exhaled. "Where should I sit?"
"Wherever you want? Either chair. The floor." She shrugged, and smiled again. "And yes, where you sit tells us a lot about who you are, Tom. Go with your gut instinct."
"Uh, thanks." Tom took a deep breath, stepped into the office, and she closed the door behind him. He sat on the side of the desk where he could see out the windows, opened the laptop and started the survey.