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Of Vice and Virtue

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Blackest Night

High Priest of Sloanism
Apr 15, 2004
Depends upon the day and if there is free pizza.
This is actually old, but I feel like repossting it. It's too big to post at once, so I'll post the first three parts.

Of Vice and Virtue


“‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
You would think after the umpteenth time I heard that particular saying, I would have taken it to heart. Sadly, taking advice has never been my strong suit and because of that, I have to start my search over entirely. All of my work was for naught, all because of her.
Perhaps I should start from the beginning. You’re probably lost by now anyway. My name, oh I have had so many of them. I was once called Calypso, Cleopatra, Byron, Sade, and countless other titles that I have long since lost to the ravages of time. There is but one name that I always answer to, the name bestowed upon me at my creation and the name of that which I spread, “Lust.” I am but one member of the collective that is now commonly referred to as the Seven Deadly Sins.
I am sure you have at least heard the tale of Pandora’s Box and the lovely little secrets it held. A perfect woman of ivory skin and rose lips, Pandora was given gifts from all the gods. Athena gave her luxurious clothing; Hephaestus gave her a beautiful necklace. Hermes granted her cunning and charm, and Aphrodite’s gift was that of the utmost beauty. However, Zeus’ gift was not as pleasant. He had plagued Pandora with insatiable curiosity and a box, ordering her to never open it. She would have done well to follow such orders.
Yet, curiosity won out, as it always does. Pandora’s urge to open the box grew beyond her ability to control, and she committed a sin that would allow the evils to be set loose upon the earth. However, the evils let out by Pandora numbered far more than simply pining and slander. Hesiod must have taken some creative license in his particular retelling. The sins freed by Pandora are known as Envy, Greed, Pride, Wrath, Sloth, Gluttony, and, yours truly, Lust. In modern times, we are known as the Seven Deadly Sins. We live, according to that which created us, to spread our respective sins for as long as humanity exists. We’ve been given gifts to aid us in our efforts. Simply by being in close proximity to a Vice is enough to cause any sentient being to become infected. The presence of one Sin is enough to override normal human functioning. The presence of the entire collective drives humans to madness. I will leave it to the others to explain themselves to you. If anything, Pride would be overjoyed. Sloth, well, Sloth isn’t in too much of a hurry to do anything, for that matter.
The universe and those who live within it are not always seeing eye to eye. The universe requires balance in order to exist, and it will often reach equilibrium of its own accord. In response to the gods’ creation of Pandora, the universe assembled another being, one who would serve as Pandora’s opposite and equal. His name was Diasthys, and he truly was Pandora’s opposite. Where she was beautiful, he was hideous. Where she was charming, he was repulsive. Perhaps the only thing they had in common was that they both held a box. As Pandora’s yielded the Deadly Sins, Diasthys’ box held the Seven Heavenly Virtues. When Pandora set us loose upon the world, Diasthys opened his own box, setting free the souls of Humility, Kindness, Abstinence, Chastity, Patience, Justice, and Diligence. They exist for the same purpose as we do, though every action they make serves to lessen the effect of our own. Presumably, the relationship between Vices and Virtues are less than pleasant.
I’m sure all of this arduous explanation has gotten you beyond bored. Fortunately, we now approach the more interesting part of this story. It wouldn’t be very fair if you heard it only from me. The others undoubtedly have their own little snippets to add to this tale. I leave it to you to decide who the ‘bad guy’ of the story is, should there be one at all. I leave you now to listen to their accounts of the events that transpired between us all. Beware of Sloth, however. She can be exceptionally tiring. “

It’s been a pleasure.
~ Lust


“I remember Lust once telling me of his thoughts. During one of our innumerable attempts at overthrowing a king through lust and jealousy, I recall him proclaiming to both me and the empty air his boredom, his exhaustion. He had grown tired of his countless lives, weary of ageless existence. His passion for sins of the flesh fled from those sapphire eyes, replaced for little more than a brief moment with a pleading gaze I had never seen before and most likely shall never see again. Though my words were gentle, my emerald eyes soft, I took pleasure in his words. It was indeed the only time I can remember ever feeling as though I had something that Lust did not: satisfaction.
I’ve hardly introduced myself and yet, I am already delving into a tale. My name, or rather one of many, is Envy. As Lust has undoubtedly told you, I am not simply named after a bane upon humanity. I am personally responsible for every shred of jealousy you feel. That nagging feel of despair and inadequacy in the back of your mind, that burning shiver when you see him with her; all stem from me. Of course, I was granted, if you could call it that, a relatively weak influence. I serve as gateways to the other Vices, little more than a road to Lust, and a passage to Greed. It is a marvelous life, isn’t it?
Yet I digress. I have come here to tell you of the events that transpired among the Vices and Virtues, a tale I am sure you simply cannot wait to hear. The overthrowing of the king (Hans or Harold or Henry, I forget which) worked without flaw, and Lust and I went our separate ways. He never did tell me where he went off to after our silent victory. He most likely went back to her. I never understood what he saw in that vengeful cow… Yet again, I stray from the subject. It was the last time I saw Lust for centuries. Though our sins often crossed, I never did see him.
Pride was the only connection I had to Lust’s world during our centuries apart. As a paranoid defensive measure against some nonexistent threat posed by Lust, Pride kept a close watch on his fellow Vice. According to him, Lust was spending in an inordinate amount of time in libraries forgotten by the common populace. I had expected him to be knee-deep in harems, not books. However, Pride’s “infinite” knowledge of Lust’s activities failed to explain just why the passionate Vice spent his time in musty libraries to begin with, a fault Pride vehemently denied. Though the actual subject of Lust’s research remained a mystery, he seemed to be pursuing it with a fervent passion he had rarely, if ever, shown me or any other Vice.
I often wondered what Lust did in his seclusion, curious as to why he chose to spend it in solitude rather than with me. Surely, isolation could not compare to my company. He was meant for constant interaction, not perpetual dislocation from the world, was he not? So, I waited. Years went by, made innumerable and eternal by the constant passage of time. He was my obsession, an object of my endless envy. According to Pride, I simply waited because Lust had something I didn’t. Yet still, I waited.



“By now, that promiscuous piece of filth has already begun to fill your head with lies, am I right? Of course I am. I can scarcely remember a time when I wasn’t. You’d do well to forget anything he tells you. Lust spreads lies and deceit. It is, after all, his specialty. He’s such a coward to hide behind false truths. He is a liar, a deceiver, and a gutless coward. He is little more than a meek fool, a bumbling deceiver.
Yet most importantly, an introduction: I am Pride. I was Cesar, Augustus, and Alexander. I held the names of Narcissus, Napoleon, and even Lucifer himself. I am the swelling bloat that fills your chest, the urging confidence that wraps around your mind. It is I who give order to my fellow Vices, no matter how much those delinquents object. My word is law, my will unbreakable. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What Envy has undoubtedly shared with you is true. I kept my watchful eye on Lust throughout his odd library phase. Deviance from the Grand Design is hardly tolerated under my order. Lust was constructed and released for the sole and singular purpose of spreading his namesake. His apparent refusal to do so made him a threat to the entire collective. Though I am capable of easily “convincing” Lust to return to his duties, it was Sloth who convinced me that it was best to leave my fellow Vice alone for the time being. According to her, Lust’s inactivity would only result in the strengthening of his thirst. To deny an impulse only serves to magnify it. I conceded to allow Lust to continue his tiresome research in wretched old libraries, though my watching eye never faltered.
Despite my other far more important duties, a single question laid upon my mind. I could not understand why the fool was so interested in these libraries. I was positive that Lust enjoyed only two things: tempting, and pleasures of the flesh. What allure did decaying tomes and rotted books have for someone like Lust? What was so vastly important in those books that it would cause Lust to deny his very being, his very essence? Envy had to have known, though she vehemently denied having any knowledge of Lust’s motive. I labeled her a potential traitor in my mind and kept her under surveillance as well. As Vices, we function as a collective. If one goes down, those damned Virtues will get their sanctimonious fingers over everyone we’ve infected.
Near the end of Lust’s silly phase, I decided to take a closer look into his actions. I was merely curious, of course. Lust poses no threat to me. I entered some ancient Grecian library in which Lust had recently taken up residence. I had evidently startled him, for the moment he laid eyes upon me, he shot up from his seat in a hurried fervor. He moved to close the books he had been reading. My hand darted out, snatching one of the tomes away from him before he could close it. Though I was afraid the pages would crumble at the slightest touch, they stayed intact and my fingers traced over the words inscribed upon them. Lust had been reading up on the box from which he was spawned and the woman who carried it. After “restraining” Lust, I continued my search of his tomes. Every one of them dealt with the creation of the Vices, Pandora’s Box, or Pandora herself. My eyes glared at the other Vice, my gaze met with one unusually cold for Lust. Despite my newfound knowledge of Lust’s actions, the same question remained in my mind. Why?
Who else?

Lunar Rain

Good luck with getting critique. That's rare around here >.>
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