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Chivalry

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As the seasons pass, so do all things; opinions, appearances, vices and virtues, none of these are concrete, though one might venture to opine that these changes might not always be beneficial. Conventions of modern society change long-standing traditions and beliefs in ways that might not be appreciated by future generation, and, indeed, might be to the detriment of said society.

It was a fine Spring day; the birds were singing, the flowers were in bloom, and Chivalry was tied to a small wooden chair in a dark, cold room. Though she struggled, she could not escape her restraints (forged of machinery- gears, bolts, and a strange, heavy plastic), though she did manage to pull off her blindfold. The room was moderately sized, and held only herself, a drain in the center of the floor, a door, and the desiccated remains of something that she would rather not look to closely at (it appeared vaguely humanoid), though she though she knew what it was.

She knew why she was here.
Soon enough, the door opened, and in stepped six figures, all women. One woman was sleek and lithe, and wore a very small computer on her wrist and a gun at her hip, and another appeared middle aged, with her head held bent and a plain, wool dress, in modest black; the third beside her was very young with a rather revealing outfit, and a cellphone glued to her ear. The next two were the strangest of the bunch: one wore all black and wore a blindfold, and the other was her perfect twin but for the fact that the other wore all white and had a third eye in the center of her forehead. The final woman was a sorry sight indeed; she hunched over where she stood, stooped in her filthy rags, and her face was so thin as to be nearly unrecognizable as human. They were Chivalry's friends (or, at the very least, associates) and they had come here to kill her.

"Hail, and well met, fellows! To what do I owe this rather dubious honor?" Chivalry called to them, hoping against hope that she was wrong.

"We're here because you're totally, like, outdated and junk," muttered the young woman, (Humanity) who didn't even look up from her cellphone, " I mean, who needs you anyway, when we have, like, Dispassion? Its totally liberating, not to have to depend on others because they, um, think you're not as good as they are. You know?" Chivalry did not know.

"That is, in a way, why you are here. You've no place in this modern world, you see. We need to move forward, and all you do is hold us to the past." The sleek woman (Progress) laid a comforting hand on Chivalry's arm, but she shook it off.

"You've no idea the depth of the conceit that flows from your mouth! It is my duty and my honor to be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil. My influence is of the utmost importance, lest the world descent into impolite chaos!" Chivalry responded, polite, but heated, and Progress responded in kind.

"The only thing that you represent is a long-ago past filled with, fear, bohemian warfare, and roving knights who did little more than rescue helpless women. The only thing you do is prevent women from growing to their full potential--"

"How?" The woman with the third eye (Wisdom) interrupted coolly, eyeing both Chivalry and Progress, "I begin to doubt the sagacity of this endeavor. How is it, exactly, that Chivalry is holding us back?"

"Who cares?" Wisdom's twin, Ignorance, asked boorishly, "Chivalry's a nag, anyway. Its always, 'respect weaknesses', 'Don't lie', or 'Don't harm an unarmed man', with her. Just get it over with and pop her, so I can get back to Facebook." Chivalry squirmed uncomfortably on the hard, wooden seat, trying to uphold her virtue. Instinct won out over impulse.

"While that may be true, dearest Ignorance, I begin to wonder where this will end. There, in the corner," Chivalry indicated the general direction of the remains, "Lie the remains of our dear brother, Respect. I wonder why his remains lie here still, moldering slowly, instead of being buried with Honor and the rest of his family." The middle aged woman in black wool (Piety) looked to the place Chivalry indicated, and let out a small sound of horror.

"Progress! I was not informed of this! Perhaps, in lieu of this new information, we should adjourn and consult with God and our superiors. There is something wrong---"

"So what?" The last woman in the room, the one who sat crouched in shadows (both to hide her appearance, and because the light hurt her eyes), Poverty, interrupted Piety without remorse. "You've gone unheeded for too long, Chiv. All you really do is remind others how unfortunate they are. Don't you hate to cause others pain? Give it a rest."

"No. I shall fight. I shan't go down without proving to you how wrong this is. I cannot just lay down and die while you ruin the world with this policy of 'change for the sake of change'. Anyone could be next, do you not understand? You- God forbid- Piety! There are those who believe that there is no room for prayer and introspection in a 'Modern World'. Or you, Wisdom? What will happen when your Esteemed Twin grows stronger than you and destroys you? And my darling Poverty grows larger every day, and no one seems to want to give her her rest!"

"It doesn't matter, Chivalry. I am in charge here; the only reason that I brought anyone with me is because our bosses require 5 to bear witness to these events. I decide your fate. I am progress, and you are obsolete." Progress pulled her gun from a belt at her waist, and aimed it at the center of Chivalry's chest. Chiv did not move- could not, bound as she was. She just waited, mourning while she still could, for the world she could not fight for. Distantly, she heard Piety cry out, but as had happened more and more lately, no one listened. Humanity turned a blind eye to the proceedings, and, for the first time in her very, very long life, Chivalry wished that Humanity would pay attention and fight for herself. But Humanity got a text, squealed, and keyed a response as if she no longer saw the woman she'd once considered a friend, tied to a chair. The gun roared, and, above the reverberation of the sound was heard the distinct meaty sound of a bullet hitting flesh.

In the aftermath of the atrocity, as the body was untied and tossed to the side like a filthy, stinking piece of offal, a single plaintive voice was heard.

"A huge translation of hypocrisy, vilely compiled, profound simplicity; Chivalry is dead !"





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