|Poke. “Get up.” Poke, poke.|
Sloth groaned and ignored the interruption of his sleep.
“You’ve been napping for hours. You have another job to do. It’s your last one for the season. Come on.” Poke, poke.
“The next jab is going to be from the business end of this scythe rather than the handle,” said Harbinger angrily. “Now move it!”
Shortly there was another circle drawn in the air. Inside were the faces of Exalis, Lil, Sha’oori, Euridyses, Letheia, TabuMinstrel, Owlharp, Dixie, NyghtCaster and Shambalayogi. Sloth wiped his hand over the circle and drew their eyes to him. Their jaws slackened. Their eyelids grew heavy. Once again, the victims lost the will to bother filling their lungs with life-giving air. Their life essences flew from their bodies into Sloth’s amber vial.
“Thank you,” said Harbinger, taking the vial from Sloth. “You are free to go. I have a job for your brother.” He warped back to the mansion, where Greed paced restlessly.
“I want to go,” he insisted. “I want to go now. I want to kill more than just these, can I? Can’t I, please?” He waved the relatively short list in the air.
“No. Not yet, anyway. This is your current task.”
“I want to do them all! I can do it!” Greed said, wild-eyed.
“You know the assignment. Do it as performed. Remember our contract.” Harbinger was patient, as he was getting used to dealing with their extremes. He vanished and, as usual, observed silently as Greed closed in for the kill.
“I think this hot tub needs to be hotter,” noted Astraea from within the retired chancellors’ mansion.
“I think it needs to be bigger.” Nanaea mentally judged the amount of space and how many heroes could fit inside it with her.
“I think we need newer changing rooms,” Hebea said.
“I don’t think it matters, since we don’t use them much,” said Lady Pegasus. As Greed passed by her, she suddenly changed her mind. “Actually, it does matter. I’m just as retired as you guys. I get to say what we do with the hot tubs. I want my own hot tub and my own changing room.”
“If you get one, so do I!” Hebea insisted.
“Who’s going to pay for all that?” Nanaea demanded. “You can’t use my gold. It’s mine, mine, mine!”
“You don’t work for it,” Astraea protested. “That gold belongs to me more than you.”
“Liar!” Nanaea shrieked.
“We all need more gold. We shall tax the students!” Lady Pegasus said.
“Brilliant!” said Hebea. “I want my own mansion!”
Greed wove his way around each of them, and they became more frenzied with each passing moment. They concocted the most outrageous “needs,” from fur coats to private limousines. He materialized as it peaked, and stood before them as they nearly pulled out their hair in desperation for more. “You want more, do you?” They nodded. “You want everything!” he laughed. They said yes, everything, they wanted everything, and they begged him to make it so. “Sadly, my dears, when you want too much you often end up with nothing. And then you become nothing.” He snapped his fingers and they disintegrated instantly. He held out a royal purple crystal bottle and four lines of dust whirled into it before he stopped it up and carried it away.