Peer Review

Story by summerlong on SoFurry

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#11 of Undersourcing

Bit late, but it was a long couple of weeks. As always, enjoy.

Just in case it's worth saying, this is part of a series, so if you don't read it in order a lot of details will probably be lost on you.

Standard boiler plate: This is fantasy, not real. Simple rule of thumb, do not do things to people without their consent in real life. That is bad. No more to say there than that.


Milo blinked.

That was about the extent of his actions for the past... how long had it been? It had to have been days by now. Maybe weeks? He had no idea. Ever since the... unpleasantness... he found himself curled up in the fetal position in his old office, staring at the crayon-like lines forming the walls as they gently shifted around him.

In his head he had been replaying the events from the casino on an unending loop. What should have been a triumphant accomplishment for him was hijacked by the raccoon and corrupted into something of a catastrophe. Clear as day he could still see the couple, Avarice and Pride, dancing beautifully together.

The images jumped forward to the raccoon laughing maniacally and gloating over Pride's desiccated body before claiming her skull as a trophy.

Milo winced as he remembered the raccoon grinning directly at him, daring him to fight. He clutched his knees harder, hating himself more than anything else for freezing where he stood and letting it all happen.

Barely holding back tears, he next saw his friend, Dr. Crane, exploding into nothing while the goat stared, seething with rage.

His memories concluded with the terrified evacuation to his office, still hidden behind a tapestry in his bedroom. The first place he created, as poorly made as it was, was the only real hidden sanctuary he had down here. Once he entered the bright white, sketchy, and fluctuating room he trudged to the middle and dropped to the floor.

That's where he'd been ever since, slowly rocking back and forth on the ground as his memories reset, starting the whole traumatic event over from the beginning.

This whole situation was sadly nothing new to Milo. He had a history of responding to traumatic events by hiding, curling up in a ball, and going catatonic until necessity snapped him out of it. Most notably, after he won that court case on Conrad's behalf he shut down for almost a week. The difference between then and now was the absence of a job, bills, hunger, or any other kind of necessity to snap him out of it. He was free to wallow in his own misery well on to infinity if he so desired.

And that's what he was doing, reliving that nightmare while unbeknownst to him the world outside he struggled so hard to create was falling apart. A side effect of his condition seemed to be causing a nonstop rainfall exacerbating any number of other issues. Without Dr. Crane to help mitigate things it was looking more and more bleak.

No way out.

No hope.

The sound of knocking froze Milo once again, ceasing his rocking as he drew his knees in tighter out of raw fear. This was it, Chas was coming to strip him of his power and cast him into the void for being such a complete failure. The knocking ceased, replaced by the sound of himself hyperventilating despite remaining completely still. He watched as the door opened and a solemn goat stuck his head through. Milo's eyes widened as he gasped for air faster and faster with each passing second.

Had he been in the body he had before dying this would have been a guaranteed asthma attack, but silver linings, small graces and all that.

"Hello again, Milo. I think it is about time we talked about what happened." Chas didn't bother waiting for a response he knew wouldn't be coming. First off, please calm yourself down. I have had plenty of time to do so myself and... let off some steam after that night. You do not need to worry about any kind of reprisal or punishment. In fact..." As he trailed off he fully entered the room, revealing not only his own fully nude body complete with massive throbbing erection, but a large covered object of some sort he was dragging in behind him. Once he and the object were completely inside he cleared his throat and finished his thought. "In fact, I thought it might be a good idea to bring out a peace offering to show all was well between us."

As the goat finished speaking he pulled the tarp off with a flourish. Milo began to relax from his frozen state, sitting upright and rubbing his eyes, surprised at what had been hidden underneath.

What had been revealed appeared to be a metal framework, a rectangular box with no walls, but edges comprised of solid metal bars. Inside the framework was what Milo initially thought was a bound fur of indeterminate pedigree, but as his eyes focused he saw that there were two. Best he could tell they were a pair of similar looking brown and tan ferrets bound in a 69, each with a ring gag in their mouths attached to something like a leather thong around the other's pelvis. Milo couldn't see for certain, but he assumed the gags were locked onto chastity cages given the way things tended to work down here.

The of them two were bound tightly together, legs bent around the other's armpits and secured to remain that way. Each had their arms cuffed behind the other's back keeping them pressed together with no room to struggle, not that it stopped them from trying. Milo could see them squirming slightly, their lithe, fit bodies rubbing against each other in a vain attempt to get free. He was fixated on the brown splayed toes flexing uselessly on either end of the rectangle, finding the display to be quite beautiful.

However, what stood out most of all about the duo was the fact that despite being pressed together stomach to stomach, they both had their asses raised up in the air. Their long, flexible ferret bodies were utilized well here, twisting together in a slight spiral by a shackle on each ankle leading to a different corner at the top of the framework.

As a weasel, Milo knew that the odd position was nothing their slinky kind couldn't handle, but still, he cringed at the thought of being forced to hold it for an extended time. Cringing wasn't his only reaction, as despite his remaining nervousness he felt his cock stiffening at the sight. The taut, vulnerable ferret ass facing him was certainly getting his attention, not to mention the exposed pink tailhole showing due to the tail being bound to the top of the framework alongside the ankle shackles.

"This was one of my first permanent acquisitions. A pair of would-be world conquerors, their names, identities, and atrocities lost to time and all that. I like to use it as a way of coming together, both symbolically and literally." Chas stifled a small laugh before resuming his usual stoic disposition while Milo continued to listen silently. "I have not had cause to use them for that purpose in some time, though I do make sure to keep them broken in of course." At that statement, the goat pushed two fingers deep into the closer tailhole. Milo finally gave a small smile watching the ferret's toes splay wide once again and hearing a groan from his gagged mouth.

Milo slowly rose to his feet, still a bit nervous but starting to feel better. As he stood he realized how stiff his entire body had gotten, suddenly getting hit at once by the accumulated cramps. With a whimper he toppled over onto his side, earning a confused look from the goat. A sheepish smile crossed the weasel's face as he muttered, "...sorry... I think I cramped up a bit..."

"Do remember where, and who you are Milo. I understand it has been a while, but if you can go weeks without wanting food you should be able to handle not cramping. Shake it off, I do not have all day." Nodding vigorously, Milo closed his eyes and focused, quickly restoring his weakened body to full health. Once again he rose to his feet, this time finding himself able to stay standing. "Good, now, take your position on the other side of the framework."

Milo did as was requested, walking over to the side of the framework opposite the goat. As he approached he observed the intertwined ferrets, both fascinated by their bondage, and the most turned on he been since the whole mess started. The ferret's ass, at least the one on his side, was beautiful. Round but firm with a tight little hole just waiting to be filled.

Seeing that the weasel was already at his own full foot-long length from leering at the duo, Chas decided to jump right in. "Alright, Milo. Line yourself up and on the count of three we both go, understood?" Milo pressed his cock tip against the tailhole, smiling as it reflexively clenched at his touch. He then grabbed the top bar of the framework for support and gave the goat another nod. Seeing this confirmation from the weasel, Chas began the countdown. "3... 2... 1... Now!"

With tremendous force both goat and weasel drove themselves into their respective ferret, causing moaning in stereo from the suspended twosome. To Milo's surprise they both managed to hilt themselves in one shot. From the feel of the greasy rim he had to assume that the goat had taken the time to prepare them beforehand. Either way, he wanted to thank him, this was exactly what he needed after the shit he'd been through. He hadn't realized just how much he'd missed the feeling of a tight, hot ass wrapped around his shaft. The ferret was squeezing down on him like a vice too, clearly not happy about being used in this manner. No matter, Milo was loving it.

"Do what you will, Milo. I will match it." More than happy to comply, Milo withdrew from the tight hole until only his tip remained inside. He slowly pushed himself back inside, watching with rapt fascination as the hole stretched to accommodate his wide shaft. Once his hips pressed against the ferret's ass again he pulled back out, starting the cycle anew, increasing his speed each time.

With each thrust Milo's own heavy balls bumped into not only his ferret's smaller ones, but also the top of the other ferret's snout. As he picked up speed, his sack began striking the both of them harder and harder, filling his office with the sound of flesh slapping against flesh. Milo gripped the top metal bar almost hard enough to leave a pair of hand prints, biting his lip at the pure joy he was feeling, having completely forgotten all of his problems. Wanting a more comfortable position as he continued picking up speed, Milo let go of the bar, instead leaning against it with his chest. He reached down below and grabbed the ferret's feet, threading his fingers between the curled toes while minding the sharp claws, and holding on tight.

On the other side, true to his word, Chas was mimicking Milo's every move, matching him thrust for thrust, slamming in with the same rapidly increasing ferocity as the weasel. The two ferrets were forced ever closer by each thrust, grunting in pain as the spiral they formed was repeatedly compressed, stretching their backs to an almost impossible degree. Almost in unison, they both lost any focus they may have had, releasing their bladders and pissing directly into their counterpart's mouth. In the back of his mind Milo was aware of a small amount of warm liquid dripping on his foot but paid it no attention, instead focusing on his pounding.

It was clear to Milo that his climax was fast approaching as both he and Chas continued moving with lightning speed. He hilted himself one last time and cummed deep into his ferret's ass, almost crushing the feet clenched in his fists. As he remained still and rested against the bar, he looked up to see the goat was finishing as well, but it looked like his own cum flow was several times greater than what Milo produced. The goat's ferret was visibly bloating up as if there was a fire hose shoved up his ass and set on full. Chas was slightly twitching with a look of bliss as the ferret looked like his belly was about to absorb his partner, able to do little else but moan.

After a few more minutes of this, Chas looked at Milo with a polite smile. "So. Are you feeling better, then?"

Milo had his own dreamy smile as he recovered, responding with a simple "Much."

"Good. You are too important to stay in this funk. The world you created needs its master back. There are more than a few messes for you to clean up, as well as this." Chas reached over to Milo, a massive stack of papers materializing as he opened his hand. "Here is the contract I mentioned before. The one detailing the agreement made between my siblings and I. You remember, yes?"

"Oh. Oh! Right! Yes, I remember now." Milo took the packet and tucked it under his arm. "As soon as I get everything sorted out I'll take a look... On that note, actually... about Dr. Crane, the one you destroyed..."

"You want to know if I changed my mind about not letting you recreate him? I'm afraid that edict is immutable. Part of being a god is that your word, even when in anger, is law."

"Oh," Milo replied with a dejected sigh. "That's a... a disappointment, but... but I suppose nothing can be done..." As he trailed off grimly, the goat gave a grunt in agreement.

"Keep moving forward, Milo. Sometimes it is all you can do. The important thing now is finding if there's a way to bring down that insignificant speck of a mortal playing at godhood."

Milo was a bit unnerved by both the goat's phrasing and the way he almost spat out the words referring to Avarice. "You... don't care for my kind, do you? I mean, I don't want to be insulting, definitely not... I've just noticed the way you talk about him sometimes... It seems like you hate him more for being a mortal like me than for anything he's actually done."

A haughty smirk crossed the goat's face, further unsettling Milo as his afterglow completely faded. "That is both correct and incorrect I suppose. One of the chief reasons I hate him is that a mortal with that power is an affront to the natural order I represent. He is also an insufferable prick, so it is not the only reason. I hold no more innate animosity towards mortals than you would hold toward an ant."

"We're insects to you?"

"More or less. Do not take it the wrong way Milo. I do not look down on you, I do not consider mortals at all until they come to dwell with me. Another part of being a god is needing to take a macro perspective of all existence. Big picture versus individuals." Milo nodded, but realistically nothing he said made him feel any better. It's one thing to feel insignificant, but a whole different thing being told so directly by a cosmic being. "If it makes you feel any better, I have grown fond of you, Milo. Part of the usefulness of having a caretaker is giving me the ability to interact, and maybe bond with one of you every here again. One that hasn't been cast down for some evil act or another. Perhaps it keeps me grounded." A warmer, more friendly smile from the goat helped Milo accept what he'd heard.

"I won't lie, some of that was pretty unpleasant to hear... but thank you for being honest about it. And while we're being honest, aside from how terrifying you can be sometimes I've grown fond of you as well."

"Alright, well, if that is all, then you have work to do so we should get going, yes?" Milo had completely forgotten he was still waist deep inside a hot tailhole, though during their conversation he had gone completely soft. With a wet slurp both he and Chas pulled out leaving a pair of gaping holes, a flood of cum spewing from the bloated ferret while the other merely streamed out in a slow trickle. The goat grabbed the bars of framework and began dragging it out the door. Before disappearing he looked at Milo with a polite smile, leaving with a smug, "And make sure you clean up your office before you leave."

Milo chuckled, snapping his fingers so the twin spooge trails disappeared. He promptly followed the goat out the door, making sure he didn't forget the contract. That was likely going to be extremely important sooner than later.



That was the best word for it. Milo was appalled by what had happened to his realm during his absence. Apparently crying on the inside was something of a literal concept here. No matter, from what he could tell his people had managed to keep the castle running on their own thanks to Gregor's administrative ability. Good to know, he thought as he surveyed the damage. There was some water damage here and there, but it was nothing he couldn't fix with a simple wave of his hand.

To his regret, his return was met with joy and celebration from the workers as he passed. Milo wasn't exactly proud of the reason for his absence, and didn't feel he deserved any kind of respect just for finally getting his shit together, but if it made them happy so be it. He was more than willing to smile along with them.

Once he completed the major repairs to the castle, Milo made sure to stop by Gregor's office to let him know he returned and would be taking the reins. As it turned out, Gregor hadn't even noticed anything was amiss, never having left his office with the special desk, simply continuing to work through it all. He was almost disappointed by the fact that he was gone wasn't even registered by the mouse, but he felt it best not to question the occasional lucky turn. Just before he left Gregor remembered to tell him that Bridget, his assistant, had left to help out at the farm. Milo thanked him for the info then went on his way.

His next stop was going to be the R&D department, but he was stalled by the name plate on a door as he passed.

A. Crane.

Milo twitched as he read the name. Chas may have destroyed the egret, but his apartment was still here. His mode shifted from optimistic right back to one sadness as he figured he should take a quick look to say goodbye before locking it away forever.

The door opened automatically as he approached, wooshing open to allow his entry. He had never seen the egret's apartment before, and it didn't seem there was much to see. The carpet, the walls, the scant amount of furniture... all of it was pure white, giving an almost sterile, medical impression. Spartan was the single best word to describe it all.

While looking around, Milo sighed softly. Mental construct or no, the egret had been his friend. Even through his breakdown he never fully realized his loss, but now, seeing his home like this, it was finally sinking in. Well, as Chas said, there was no bringing him back. Best to just move on.

As he opened the door to his bedroom, Milo was surprised to see a big, muscular, pink ram sleeping peacefully, curled up on a large cushion at the foot of the bed. He remembered seeing the ram back at the casino with the doctor when he... never mind. The ram must have been instructed to come back here if he ever got separated from his owner, he mused. It was lucky for the ram's sake that he decided to look around at all, on that now. Anyway, now that his former master wasn't coming back, well, maybe as a way to honor his friend he should give his pet a new home.

Leaning over the sleeping ram, Milo gave his shoulder a push to wake him up. In return, he heard a snort as the ram rolled over and resumed his gentle snoring. Seeing the name 'Karl' written on the tag of a dog collar, he tried to wake him again, this time shouting his name with each shove. That seemed to do the trick as the ram's eyes flew open and he instantly shot to his hooves and stood at attention. The sudden change in position knocked Milo right onto his ass much to his chagrin.

The ram said nothing as Milo joined him in standing while curiously looking him over. He was wearing nothing but a collar, the top half of a maid uniform, a metallic chastity cage, and a thick coat of curly woolen fur. His horns, while large and intimidating, looked more cute than anything when paired with his pink-dyed fur, not to mention his huge, heavy, pent up balls.

Judging by the partial maid outfit, Milo assumed that Dr. Crane used the ram for housework around the apartment. It would certainly explain why the apartment was immaculately clean, no dust or debris, no rotting food or anything, despite being empty for weeks. Well, that and the obvious he thought, fixated on the needy crotch and perky rear capped by an adorable fluffy tail.

After a few more awkward moments of silently standing with the ram, waiting for him to say or do anything, Milo gave up and made the first move.

"Alright, so, Karl... you already know what happened to your master... I suppose you're now out of work..." The ram continued to stare forward without responding. "Oh. Uh, hm. Is there something, I don't know, wrong with you?"

"No, master."

"You can talk! Good, good, I was getting worried for a moment there." The ram said nothing else. "Is there a specific reason why you're so quiet?"

"Master Doctor Crane taught me to stay silent unless directly prompted to speak."

"Makes sense. Any other little pieces of trivia I should know about you?" he asked with a chuckle.

"Yes, master. I was altered to produce powerfully addictive pheromones that were frequently used to control unruly slaves. They only work on other slaves." Milo raised an eyebrow, not having expected a response quite like that. Still, a live in maid that also acted as walking mind control, that could certainly be useful. Not to mention he was more than a little attractive, a nice contrast of masculine and effeminate with a strange strawberry scent to boot. Before he realized it, Milo noticed his shaft became erect, poking through the fold in his robes.

"Hm. Well, here's the deal, Karl. Since you're now without a job I'd be more than happy to hire you for myself. How's that sound?"

"That'd be lovely, master."

"Excellent! In fact, I think I have an immediate job you can take care of," Milo said while pointing toward his exposed cock. Karl looked almost giddy before dropping to his knees, throwing the robes open, and deepthroating the foot long pillar of flesh in an instant. The speed with which he moved caused him to headbutt Milo in the stomach, but the feeling of the hot, moist maw wrapped around his member easily made him forget the pain. After his initial grunt from the wind being knocked out of him, he gave an extended moan from the feeling of the ram's hot maw.

For his part, Karl was sucking hard and swallowing lightly around the large cock while suppressing his gag reflex. He made sure to use his tongue as well, lapping at the weasel's danging balls. Between that and being able to see the outline of his shaft bulging through the ram's neck, Milo was starting to lose control. Grabbing the ram's horns to use as handles, he pulled everything but his tip out of his mouth, holding still for a moment, then driving himself back in hard.

He started slow, waiting between thrusts, but before long Milo was fully fucking the Karl's face, driving his nose into his crotch fur repeatedly. The ram seemed to be enjoying the act just as much, inhaling the weasel's musk while closing his eyes and slurping along the long cock with a wide grin. He held his hands behind his back, using one of them to finger his tailhole and allowing Milo to use his mouth, and whole body, however he wished. The fingering, aside from making his own cock swell inside its cage almost to the point of bursting, made him hum around the member pounding his throat amplifying Milo's pleasure.

Milo felt his climax rapidly approaching and pulled out at the last minute. He furiously jerked himself off, promptly shooting a heavy stream of cum all over the ram's face, some of it landing in his still open mouth. By the time he was finished he had given Karl a full spooge facial, which the ram gleefully scooped up to swallow with his free hand, the other still fingering under his own fluffy tail.

With a gasp of fulfilled joy Milo released his remaining grip from the horns and collapsed into a heap next to the cum drenched ram and whispered, "Mag... fucking magnificent..." He spent a minute watching Karl continue to groom himself before reaching over to massage the swollen nutsack dangling below his metal cage. The ram didn't stop either activity, but at the additional touch he humped at the air and moaned. His cage almost appeared to be throbbing. For a moment Milo was almost afraid it was going to explode, but to his relief it did its job and held together.

Even though it was only possible through the loss of his friend, Milo finally saw one bit of silver lining. He was going to enjoy having Karl around.

"Alright, since you look like you're about done, how about I take you to your new home?" Karl silently smiled, and the two of them stood and left Dr. Crane's apartment, locking the door as they went. A quiet thanks and goodbye was spoken by Milo as he left for the first and last time.


After dropping Karl off in his bedroom he tried not to let anything else distract him from completing his cleanup. He finally made his way to the R&D department, which thankfully didn't appear to be the bundled anarchy he expected. Marcus, Dr. Crane's chihuahua assistant, or second-in-command as he insisted, had taken over the egret's responsibilities as leader. While things weren't perfect, he was doing an admirable job holding things together. With nothing to handle there he moved on, but not before letting the dog know that he was going to be granted the same powers of creation that the egret was given. That way he could handle supplies, requisitions, etc. and wouldn't need to resort to jury rigging anything they needed.

That settled, Milo moved on to the farm. He passed by the lake on his way, grimacing at the fact that it seemed to have grown. Probably just because of the rain, he hoped.

Once he reached the farm, he was surprised not so much by the fact that it was completely empty, but more because it was completely empty AND underwater. He solved the latter problem with a wave of his hand, resetting the land to its previous undamaged state. Now, to figure out where they all went. He noticed the tracks leading up the road out of the main entrance in the direction of... oh. The stadium. That seemed like it'd be the most logical possible choice. It turned out he was correct, as once he arrived his overjoyed weasel assistant was waiting with a hug and a punch to his gut.

He laughed it off, but it turned out she could hit like a truck. His stomach felt like it'd be dead for weeks.

They chatted for a bit before she started the convoy back to the farm and left it in Alvin's capable hands. She left alongside Milo, and as they visited the other parts of his realm to perform any necessary repairs he filled her in on everything that had happened between him and the goat, going all the way back to that night at the casino. It was nice to have a sounding board for his problems, he thought as she nodded along. In life he was never really close enough to anyone for them to act as a confidant like this. It was nice. Maybe that was his problem. He was woken from his thoughts by Bridget's voice.

"Alright, sir, it looks like the only place left is the lake. Let's-" He cut her off before she could continue.

"You know what? I'll handle the last one. Go ahead and find Fred and Fiona and have them drop Connie off in my bedroom, would you? After that you can head over to the market and get your freebie. That sound good?"

"Yes, sir!"

"Didn't predict I'd say that, did you?" Milo asked with a grin.

"Well, yes, but you asked me not to steal your thunder, remember?" Milo's smile faded for a moment before he dismissed her with a chuckle. "Run along, now." His voice lowered to a whisper before adding, "I need to handle this last job on my own."


Sure enough as he made his way through the cold, misty, desolate shore of the lake, he spotted the raccoon sitting the in same place he was before. He was lying back on a lounge chair, sitting under a large rainbow colored umbrella planted in the ground. A long green robe was draped over his body, cinched up tight around his waist. One leg was crossed over the other and his head was resting comfortably on his hands. A glass with some sort of brown liquid was sitting on his chest with a bent straw stretching towards his mouth. As Milo approached he was idly trying to grab the straw with his mouth, giving up without success as Milo got closer.

"Took you long enough to get here. I was beginning to think you wouldn't show at all." Milo slapped the glass off him spilling the liquid onto the ground. Avarice looked unimpressed, adding, "You know, if you wanted an iced tea of your own you could have just asked."

"Get out. That isn't a request. Get. Out. I want nothing more to do with you."

"Sorry to break it to you... again, I mean, but you can't kick me out of my own realm."

Milo thrust his thumb to his chest and growled, "My realm. It's my realm, and I want you out."

With a snickering laugh the raccoon grabbed his hand, clasped it over his chest, and lovingly replied, "Aw, it's our realm." Milo quickly yanked his hand back and felt his anger coming to the surface.

"ENOUGH! You think after what you pulled I wouldn't do whatever it took to get rid of a cancer like you?"

"Heh. That's cute, thinking you have the moral high ground like that. I mean, I may have been the reason you built the casino in the first place, but the rest was just nature taking its course."

That last statement stopped Milo in his tracks. "Wh... What do you mean by that?"

The raccoon covered his mouth and gave a sarcastic, "Oops" before letting out another rasping laugh. "One of the nifty little tricks given to me by Envy was the ability to plant subliminal messages. I wasn't sure it'd actually work on you, and it did take a while to kick in, but I suppose you were just weak willed enough to let it through."

"No... what... when did you..."

"Remember when I showed you Greed and Envy's skulls the first time we spoke here? Do you remember hearing whispers? Well, there ya go. It wasn't them still alive and reaching out to you, nothing stupid like that. They're dead. Or at least I think they are, the metrics for dealing with all this god stuff are a bit amorphous. Hm. Anyway, don't worry, it only works if you don't know it's happening so I can't do it again."

"You... planted... you were the reason I built the casino?" Milo held his head in confusion and disbelief.

"Not exactly, I just planted the desire to build something like that. I was actually expecting something like a grand buffet that'd attract Gluttony and myself, though getting Pride out of the way instead wasn't unwelcome. I guess the suggestion eventually made its way to your Doctor friend and manifest itself. I had to wonder if the reason the goat made him go all..." He mimed an explosion with his hands while making a relevant sound effect. "...was that he sensed he may have been infected. Either way, mission accomplished."

"You unbelievable bastard."


"What did you really accomplish? They're all going to be on guard now after that, You still think you have any chance of succeeding?"

"Of course, nothing has changed. The only one that worries me is Lust, the others will fall in time. Wrath might be tricky, but I have an eternity to figure it out, you know? In any case, I figured watching one of his siblings die would be a good way to put him off balance, which seems like it worked splendidly."

"Maybe before, but he's fine now."

"So you think, little weasel. So you think."

Milo grit his teeth and snarled at the smug raccoon, who politely smiled back. "I think you're forgetting the important thing here, that you need to get out and never come back. If you don't I WILL let Chas know you've invaded."

Avarice laughed outright at his attempt at grandstanding. "You won't do that, Milo. You won't for the same reason you didn't tell him about my little vacation spot in the first place. The same reason that you didn't try to stop me from harvesting Pride. The same reason that I hate you to your very core, in fact."

"You... hate...."

"I hate you, yes."


Avarice let out a loud sigh while rolling his eyes. "Honestly, that fact that you had to ask is part of the reason, but mostly it's because you're a coward. A worthless, gutless, sniveling little piece of shit coward, and tormenting you while furthering my own goals brings me a sort of joy I can't begin to describe." He could see Milo was silently trying to process what he said, so he just chose to continue. "Now, I hate most everyone so you aren't exactly unique in that, but you definitely stand out from the crowd. See, every other caretaker he's ever chosen has been some kind of paragon of virtue or self control who chose never to hurt anyone despite whatever their natures commanded, but you?" The raccoon spat out the last word, sounding increasingly angry as he continued.

"You simply were too afraid to hurt anyone else. Not for their sake, but because you were afraid for yourself, getting caught, getting punished, what-have-you. Think about how quickly you jumped at the chance to torture others once there were no consequences. Is that the act of a virtuous person? But then, they all took the same deal, so maybe we all really are monsters. Don't worry, I include myself in that. The difference between me and everyone else is I accept that I'm a monster. Regardless, once a yellow-bellied wonder such as yourself showed up, I knew that was a rare opportunity, and boy, it worked out for me, didn't it?"

Silence was the only reply Milo could muster. Being confronted so bluntly with his flaws, on top of a god telling him he was personally hated, was somewhat difficult to process. As he stood still, shaking but speechless, the raccoon reclined in his chair having lost interest in their conversation.

"So, now that I've absorbed Pride I've been trying to think of a new name... what's indicative of greed, envy, and pride? Imperious... ness? Something like that but less conceited? But then, if I'm to embody pride, conceited is a good thing, right?"

"Y-you're going to f-fail..." stuttered Milo quietly.

With a toothy grin, Avarice responded, "You think so, do you?"

"If I can't stop you, I'll find some way for Chas to do it. I may be a coward, but I'll still stand against you."

"Are you really so willing to put your soul on the line for that fiend?"

"You're calling HIM a fiend? After everything you just admitted? After what you did to ME?" Milo angrily demanded, almost shaking with sudden rage.

The raccoon sighed again. "It's all about you, isn't it? Still so blind. But yes, all of the so called gods are at best fiends, and he's the worst of them all. It's fitting you found each other."

"And I suppose you can actually show me proof of your claim this time?"'

After taking a moment to stroke his chin, Avarice considered his reply. With another more threatening grin, he said "I'm not ready to tell you everything quite yet, but I'll say this. He gave you the whole 'time-of-sentence' speech, right? How everyone except in rare cases will only be here for a limited time?"

"Yes, on my first day."

"Well, you've been here for how long, months? A year maybe? With the multitudes of people down here, have you ever seen anyone leave?"

Milo was about to respond but stopped when he actually thought about it. The raccoon was right. For as long as he'd been here, he'd never seen anyone leave. How... how was that possible?

The grin on the raccoon's face had grown to the point where it almost reached his ears. It took everything he had to stifle the raw laughter he wanted to express from the weasel's misery, but he was best served playing this straight.

"I thought as much. It's been delightful, Milo, but I really should be on my way. Do give Lust my regards, yes?"

A mumble passed Milo's lips, but he wasn't really paying attention. Suddenly he found himself questioning all of the so called rules he just accepted at face value. He hoped maybe there was some explanation, but the doubt was enough to shake him to his core. Once the raccoon faded away with an ominous chuckle he was left alone in the mists to contemplate this new turn of events.

The Fox

Muriel wasn't sure what to think about the fox she was carrying. The tall, muscular hyena had never encountered anyone so quick to, well, give up before. Even the most weak willed people would put up some cursory resistance, weakly punching at her...

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The Wolfess

The sounds of muffled snarls and growls filled the halls as the ox carried the gagged, enraged gray wolfess to their destination. He had her slung over his shoulder as if she was nothing, letting her claw at his chest and back knowing that given their...

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The Wolf

A bright light struck Tomas's blurry eyes as he slowly regained consciousness. He groaned loudly from the ache in his head, having no idea what he must have been drinking the night before to feel like this. A cold draft from above made him shiver,...

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