---------------------- Late Night Show
Death reeked everywhere in the Forest of the Lost. Ever since the start of the Eternal Divide, it was the home of the people who found untimely ends as numerous scourges laid waste to their homes. It was home to a hundred more in the recent nights. But tonight it had room for one more. Slender legs squirmed and furiously kicked in the air. The silent foliage was occupied with a quiet voice and ragged attempts for a gasp of air. The binds continued grow tighter and tighter with every struggle...
A young woman thought she had a chance. It was the only one she had to fulfill her painful obligations. Go into the forest they said, it will be fine they said. It was one in a billion chance to pay off her debts. She knew from the rumors people don't come out in the middle of the night. But they were supposed to be rumors. Turned out they spoke of truth more than they were led on to believe. There was someone watching all of this. The red tell-tale light that kept blinking saw it all as life ebbed away and the horror and despair was etched on their face. Behind the LCD screen, someone watched in the comfort of their own bedroom.
But the ringing of a phone broke his attention from the screen. Disgruntled, he checked the screen. It read, Avaritia
. The District Head swiped left to answer the phone before holding up to his ear.
His greeting was bored and nonchalant. He didn't seem to mind the District Head at all, at least initially. He still wanted to get back to his private livestream than having to waste more time. But he already had an idea of what the woman was going to start this conversation with. After all, something really interesting just happened a couple of minutes ago. He was just laughing the entire time as that broadcast went on, half out of incredulity and amusement. "Have you seen what happened with our dear Superbia? I couldn't help, but sympathize with her plight. Such a shame it all came down to this. If only I could have tried harder to help her...""She was a stuck-up bitch who got full of herself, just like her title. Don't drown me in your crocodile tears, Avaritia,"
Acedia snorted as he rolled his eyes. He never truly adored Superbia. Sure she had an important job, but what District Head didn't? They all worked together like clockwork as an entire part of a machine. Though he had to concede that Superbia had one of the more important jobs out of all of them. But that didn't matter, she failed at even that. All the District Heads who watched that broadcast knew she was a dead woman the moment it began. "I suppose so. Still, such a shame. I wanted to know how you were faring in the light of such tragedy. These are hard times, after all."
She sighed while ignoring the sound of Acedia's skepticism through the line. Two district heads down and five left to go, six if you included him
. It was certainly a cause for concern. It was one thing for one and two district heads taken down. It was another thing if they hijacked a government broadcast and challenged the government in such a brazen manner. "You're not my mom. I can take care of myself."
Can you, really? Is a question Avaritia was tempted to ask. Even as Superbia made herself scarce to the public, Acedia was the worst offender. She once stopped by his office and all she saw was endless messy clutter of magazines, DVDs, electronics, and what have you. He was an utter shut-in, a hikikomori as her people in Japan would disapprovingly label him. And yet, he had the gall to own it, disgustingly so. True, he seemed to be handling Sunlake Palms well enough, but their work was quite interconnected in a similar way Invidia and Superbia were. It was more than enough for a pleasant Avaritia to begin voicing her concerns. "That's very heartening to hear, my dear Acedia. But could you entertain me in hearing a proposal from me? I am sure it will be very much worth your time. After all, we're friends, aren't we?"
He furrowed his brow at the word 'proposal'. He knew like every District Head that she was a greedy one. if she wanted something, she will get it one way or the other. But at the same time, she cared little on who suffered in her path to grab what was rightfully hers. For a moment there, he hesitated with his eyes glued on the muted screen of the woman being strangled. There was a lot to gain and so much to lose when it came to her. Acedia hoped he didn't have to be the one to make that decision, but here he was now. But yet, there was a kind of curiosity...
He turned off the screen and replied. "Shoot."