Greed tries her hardest to rule on earth by using a human child to trick the devil.
|Chapter 1 - Avarice ~1~
Black Friday would be here soon. The people of my country didn't understand what that meant. Most people didn't know the original meaning of the day. Once people would wake at the crack of dawn to stand in horrid lines just to save a few coins on material things. It was the reason I chose to compete on this day. It was also the day I won my place on Earth almost a century ago. ~2~
In the past humanity had been about how much you could buy. If you couldn't buy the best then it became about who you could push out of the way. You would just take what they had. Greed resided in the hearts of man long before I came, and if I had any say it would always eat at them. I worked very hard over the last century to ensure it. ~3~
Black Friday was no longer about shopping. I took the opportunity to turn it into a tremendous bloodbath. The elders could barely remember the way things were. Those that could remember were slowly leaving this Earth. The young ones didn't know any better, so they never asked questions. I held high hope for the upcoming games because of the simplicity of humans. Their simplicity fed their desires. ~4~
When I won my place here it was by using those desires against the people. It had been easier than I expected. I gained my foothold by taking over the technology industry. I had them push newer and faster gadgets in limited supply. The fewer items we released the more the people fought. These fights were what led to my idea for the tournament. ~5~
With all of the fighting among the rich, it had been easy to buy my way up the political ladder. Now I held the title of Empress over my little world. I renamed each of the seven continents. Then I reestablished much of the empires of the past. Technology was heavily regulated, and only available to the rich. With the loss of communication and education, the divide between the wealthy and the poor was at its widest. ~6~
Staying in the shadows for so long had not been easy. I fed on the greedy cries that people sent out. They were what kept me young. It was a necessary task. Playing my hands too early would have ruined my plans. I needed greed to be at its peak when my century on Earth was at its end. When Luke was able to return he was going to be watching all of us. If I had any chance of retaining my position, he was the one to impress. ~7~
Some people questioned my rule. They called me harsh, but Luke was worse. I am immortal and had an eternity to witness some of the most painful times in human history. Most of the evil in the world was inspired by Luke or one of his generals, myself included. The atrocities that humans inflicted on each other could not compare to the tortures Luke inflicted on us. Immortality didn't mean we were immune to pain. I was still hiding scars from before my century here. ~8~
When Luke fell from Heaven, many of us fell with him. He was the most beautiful angel in the court of God, and the most charismatic. His fall was caused by his pride, mine was because I loved him. Unfortunately for me that love didn't save me. ~9~
Not long after our fall Luke changed. We were all sent to rot for eternity in a dark and lonesome pit, cut off from God and humans. He couldn't take it and went to God to make a deal. God allowed us to walk on Earth once every one hundred years, then all but one of us would return to Hell. Luke was to choose one of the fallen to remain on Earth. God said it was a chance to get our humanity back. Luke said it was to cause corruption. And so the Hellbound Games began. ~10~
My thoughts kept going back to each of the competitions. Every century was a bloodbath among the humans so the fallen could impress Luke. He was never allowed to be the one to stay, so those of us who lost suffered for it. We did everything we could to win. Eventually the majority of the others began to refuse to compete. They knew they would never win and they no longer found joy in tormenting humans. ~11~
At the last competition we were down to seven. Luke named each of us one of his most trusted generals. His charms caused us to be fiercely loyal, but they also made us fight all the harder to impress him. It was no longer about winning to gain our place back in Heaven. Now it was a matter of becoming the second most powerful angel in Hell. ~12~
I knew it was sheer luck that allowed me to win the last game. Now that I was ruling here on Earth I didn't want to return to Hell. Fifty years into my time here I began planning for this moment. Watching how the humans fought over the technology I released and how it caused a greater divide among the classes inspired me. Becoming Empress allowed me to start my own version of the games. ~13~
I ruled over seven vast continents, each one known for a different treasure. Ancul was known for producing fierce warriors and held my largest diamond supply. Ales gave me competitors who could survive in harsh arctic conditions. Arath had warriors who were small but quick and guarded my jade supply. Currently I resided in Easith. Here we housed some of the most beautiful works of art. The competitors were not the strongest, but they made up for it in intelligence. Ogish was once known for having one of the most powerful nations in the free world. Now it only housed my farmers. Kiwian was where I engineered some of the most deadly creatures imaginable. Finally, the jewel of my collection, Haiplux. I trained my personal guards in her jungles. They were known as the Haiplux Jungle Guard. ~14~
Every year for the last fifty years millions of people from every continent sent applications to try to compete. Class and status played no role in who applied. The rich thought they had an advantage and saw a chance to get richer. The poor saw a chance at survival. So I had my staff go through and find two from each continent, one rich and one poor. Days before the tournament I had thirteen willing participants. My final choice was an innocent, a poor girl who was entered by her family. She had no clue.