501: Faust 2.0
Title text: The only blood these contracts are signed in is from me cutting my hand trying to open the goddamn CD case.
E.U.L.A. is short for End-user license agreement, a license that software makers often attach to their software but people do not usually read. Agreement to an E.U.L.A. is assumed when a user uses the software or service that the E.U.L.A. is attached to, which has led a case where users have unknowingly actually agreed to give away their immortal souls because of a clause in an E.U.L.A. However, in the European Union, all provisions of these agreements that aren't already codified in law actually are not legally enforceable, unless they could be read and agreed to before purchase and first use.
A Faustian deal is done by someone who sells his soul to the devil for something desired in this life, a textbook example of wanting instant gratification. The mortal will get the things he wanted, but when he dies, he will have to suffer eternal torment. As the span of a human lifetime is an eye-blink compared to eternity, this is a really stupid thing to do. It is named after the folkloric character Faust, whose story has been the subject of numerous adaptations.
In this comic, Cueball turns an E.U.L.A. around on Mephistopheles, the demon Faust sells his soul to in the stories, by posting a sign saying that anyone entering the room agrees to turn over their own immortal soul rather than negotiate with Cueball for his. It is unknown whether this clause applies only to demons or to everyone, which would be quite horrifying.
The title text makes reference to how easy it is to cut open one's own hand while trying to open a newly-bought CD case. Incidentally, a pen works just fine, though the blood is referencing how Satanic contracts are signed in blood. The only blood on the E.U.L.A. contracts that Randall "signs" by opening a CD is the blood coming from when he cuts himself like this.
A short time later, a similar demon was depicted in a similar fashion in 533: Laptop Hell, although with a trident and in Hell. Although not mentioned in the comic, he was also named Mephistopheles in the official transcript.
- [Over the left side of the main panel, below the middle, is a small panel partly outside the main one. The comic begins inside this panel where a devil drawn like Cueball, but with two small horns on his forehead, is shown from the waist up, raising one hand while moving into the main panel. In the caption below, we learn that the devil is Mephistopheles.]
- Mephistopheles: Mortal! I come offering a deal-
- [In the main panel, with all drawings right of the smaller one, we see the mortal, Cueball, sitting at his desk typing on his laptop. Mephistopheles, now drawn in full figure, has stopped before a sign on a stick in the floor reading it out loud while pointing at it with one hand and holding the other hand in front of his mouth. The text on the sign is visible but unreadable in itself.]
- Cueball: Read the sign.
- Mephistopheles: "By entering this room, you agree to forfeit your own soul rather than negotiate with the mortal residing therein..."
- Mephistopheles: Wait, you can't-
- Cueball: Too late.
- [Caption below the panel:]
- Mephistopheles encounters the E.U.L.A.
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