Affectus

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My name is Joy. I have no "age" or substance as humans do, for the people of my domain find it best not to disturb one another with appearance. However, I don't mind, I can see the others just fine. Human terms are to simple and primitive to describe it, but somehow, all of us here can sense each other in ways not even the best scientists could ponder.

I'm headed for a meeting with the others, or, rather, a Confliction. It's what we are called upon at random intervals at a specific sun placement. There's a human word for it, but I'm no expert in humans, to tell you straight. Still, none of that bothers me. I walk around with a… What is it called? Smile? Yes, a smile on my face and a "spring" in my step. A good friend of mine, Profound, says I should get into the habit of keeping myself informed of everything and anything, so that's why I'm one of the best among us in forming words, these lines and shapes that mean things to humans. It's very silly!

"Joy," Stern "scolds". I look in on him and smile. "Why are you in the wrong sun placement?" He isn't happy like me much, but I manage. There's no reason to get "angry" as he calls it, though I can not fathom its meaning.

"I'm sorry," I say politely, "I was just tapped into human knowledge again."

Truth be told, I was with Envy again. She loves to look through me to observe the humans. She says she wants hair like them and feet and all the lovely things they have. I laugh with delight and tell her she already has those things. She's got green strings humans call hair on her head that go down to her mid "back" and pale skin. Envy hardly ever smiles; just like Stern. Her food obtainer (I forget what the humans call it) is always pursed with her "smell" obtainer wrinkled up in disgust. Her eyes are green as a little round ball the mouth obtains called a pea, but I still find her pleasurable.

Bored is in the corner next to his best friend Lazy. Both don't vibrate much and just want to sit around, but it's still nice to have them in my company now. He looks towards me, his brown "iris" focusing on my blue ones. "Joy… Do you have anything interesting to bare?" he sighs. I wonder if Tired will have to remove an invalid behavior from him.

Interests stirs slightly and looks at Board very "intently" as he calls it. It's rare she ever sees anything in him, but when she does, Interest is very… "Interested". This is how the others and I describe it, but we still cannot comprehend the word. It is against our behaviors.

The matter at the front of the room clears and Rage smashes the atoms and grabs for me. "Who do you think you are!?" He's a lot bigger than me, but I'm still very happy. Fearful once told me that I was like a… a… "child's" size with blonde hair tied in two tails on my head.

"I'm joy," I reply delighted by his presence. Rage throws me on the ground and Hurt separated the matter about me quickly and looks into me, putting his "hands" (Strange things with five "filangies" as I've herd Understanding say) on my chest. I feel him take a… a… "invalid behavior" out of me and into himself and I smile. His eyes are big and blue, always looking like they just had water in them and with his slits of hair above his eyes tweaked together. They are a sandy blonde colour.

"Thank you, Hurt." I am glad that he has taken my invalid behavior away from me or else I might have red marks on my skin like Hurt does, but I wouldn't mind that much. We don't cover our skin up like humans do. It's silly to us to hide our male and female parts. Although, it was Decision's job to do that.

I am happily awaiting his arrival. Decision isn't like the rest of us in that he has no invalid behavior. I think he is what the human would call our "leader", because he has the most mass of us and vibrates the most at Confliction.

"Awaiting Decision, Joy?" asks Curious. I have never heard anything besides a "question" come from his… lips. I nod happily.

"Yes!"

As if we called upon him, Decision breaks through the matter and comes in, bumping into Neutral. He doesn't mind and parts for him to come into sight easier for the rest of us. Rage is still very against him.

"Get out of here Decision! You've left us for to long! I think he must die!" His red hair stands up on ends and the lines in his "neck" begin to show through his skin.

Decision thinks this over and smiles. He is one of the only other ones of us who smiles like me. "I am sorry I hurt you Rage." Rage is one of the few of us with the capability of feeling fragments of another behavior not his own. In this case, it is Hurt.

There is a loud "sob" from Depression and everyone goes into sight of the blue hair that hides her "face" and completely black eyes.

"H-h-he's ri-i-ght," she chokes out and suddenly stops emanating salty matter in the form of a liquid from her eyes. She hugs her… knees? to her chest. It is rare that I must remove an invalid behavior from her, but I don't know why.

Decision looks at her in a way I cannot quite register… I think Sympathy calls it "sympathetically," but I am still unsure of it's meaning as it is not within the boundries of my behavior. He walks over to Depression and wraps his arms around her. She wraps her arms around him to and Love and I detect our behaviors from her. When Decision has finished, I begin to extract her invalid behavior into me along with Love, who might have needed Envy to remove from her if not for the fact that such crossing behaviors were aloud in her system. It is done in a way that human words cannot describe once again. Something along the lines of particle gain without the growth of one's self, which Understanding states is incoherent with the laws of Physics. I do not understand.

Soon after, Love comes to float over to Decision and desperately (He begins to rise for the invalid behavior removal that will take place in a sun phase or two) presses her lips against his. I think it's called a kick. Decision allows us to see into it, even though he knows Love will have to retract the invalid behavior afterwards. The kick is a delightful pressure on the lips that can start out soft then become harder and harder until the respiratory system must extract oxygen atoms to keep survival.

She's told me that she… "likes" Decision because he is the only one she can share her behavior with without having to retract it out afterwards. Love is one of the lucky ones, though. She's aloud to feel emotions I can never go near, even though they seem so delightful, like Rage, Hurt and Lonesome. Lonesome is in the corner of the room, playing with the matter by using a "stick" to draw in what the humans call sand.

After all the invalid behaviors have been removed, Decision tells us he has an announcement to give. Excitement is jumping out of his chair, his "highlighter" yellow hair on all ends and eyes "livid". Rage looks like his about to smash some more atoms.

"I have decided to bring a new company to your presence." Although we do not comprehend the word "decided", we know that he means to bring another one of us. "Her name is Hope and she will come with her counterpart, Despair." My counterpart is Depression.

He looks into all of us and continues. "These two are much like Love and Hate are," he grants us permission to look in on Love's pink and red hair and Hate's ebony "locks", their eyes both a… blo… blood red; each with a different "aura" about it. "They will have access to some of your other behaviors. Joy," I feel the others look in on me, "Hope will be allowed your behavior as she will be with Depression and Optimism's. Rage," he smashes some of the atoms and threatens Decision brutally with words humans define as "rude", "your behavior is shared with Despair, as is Depression's and Hurt's."

Our sound receptors do not detect vibrations for a while. "But… How can two counterparts share Depression? She can only go to one!" Interest bellows, making my sound receptors quiver.

Decision nods, Understanding noticing this well. "Yes, well that is why I had to call a Confliction. Because there will be problems-"

"Problems!?" Rage screams and smashes more atoms than I ever look in on.

"Do not interrupt, Rage. We are now going to have to bond."

There is another vibrationless pause. The sun has gone through many phases since Decision has entered us with his… "presance".

"We've never combined!" I say happily. Decision does not smile; he is deep in connections even our communications cannot amount to explaining.

He sighs loudly and with an unsettled vibration about him vibrates, "I don't think you understand-except for you Understanding-that this means that we must now become… human."

I detect all the lungs in the room intake air; except Decision's, of course. He rarely does this about us.

There is a loud disturbance of matter and I am not sure what to make of it. I watched as Optimism's orange hair began to fade into an emptiness I had never felt. I realized that all of the artificial substance of the others was now diminishing and the only thing left of all of us were their eyes. Even so, they soon disappeared into the darkness. All we had was the connection and I didn't like. For a moment, I was not happy. I was… scared. I wanted desperately to tell Fearful to remove the invalid behavior from me, but Decision soon looked through me.

"No Joy," his voice raged inside the connection line, "We must combine. You cannot resist it."

I tried hard to open myself, but the happiness inside of me did not seiz to persist in pulling me back into its grasps. This was my one chance to fell. My one chance to mingle and think for myself, but now, all I could do was trip back on instinctual behavior.

Depressions voice rang out at me next, and for a moment I saw her blue hair. My counter part was beautiful. "Joy!" she screamed in fear. She'd opened herself successfully. "You're the last of us! You need to get out of there before Despair can consume you!"

Sure enough, as I looked into him, there was the substance form of the most unhappy thing I had ever seen. He was a small child like myself with pupils as black as despair's, but with a hazed emptiness that sent shivers down my spine. Clearly, the only one strong enough to materialize with all of us was Fearful. His hair was a ghostly silver that covered most of his face, but my connection was faint and sight made less productive by the boy's white haze about him. He was as faint as ever.

"Joy," he called out to, making the happiness' pull become stronger. "You are so much like Hope…" his voice faded, still the glee in its persisted. "But you are easier," I felt like a hand was grabbing at me, succeeding in pressing me down to a matter not know to me before that moment. "We can be one. You can be my new counter and we may go against Decision."

"No!" I yelled. Rage had gotten to me and Courage was beginning to enter. I had been wondering about his absence. The vacancy grew and I was beginning to fall back on Decisions… choice? I word I now understood. The feeling of understanding washed over me. Decision and Understand had tapped into me as well. I could feel him.

"Joy! You have to transpire or it won't work! The child will die!"

My eyes grew wide, Shock now apparent in me. "Ch-ch… child?"

"He lies," Despair said to me, the hand again reaching. I retaliated as Courage grew stronger. I had to break away but the temptation (Curse him for getting here!) is so strong! "We could be a team, Joy! You and I might even be better than Hope and I were."

The swirling "clouds" and shapes of matter around us began to seiz as a brilliant substance came. Her hair was as white as a matter called snow and her eyes as blue as mine. "No, Despair. You cannot suppress me any longer. You must combine."

"Never!" Protest began to overtake him and I was certain this would not end well once Worriment overtook me. However, I had yet failed to notice that the happiness suppressing me just moments (What did this word even mean?!) before and would not for a while. "Nothing good comes out of you, Hope! You are the evil, not me."

Her vibrations were soft against my substance. "You must believe for me, Despair. I am not the evil here. The evil is perfection, which is what you stride for for yourself, but it is not the perfection a baby needs."

"Absolute equality is as good a perfection as there can ever be! It will get rid of emotions," Understanding could only explain the word to me so much, and the others in me quarreled to take over, "like you and Competative! Those feelings will just hurt you! It will do nothing more then leave you with nothing! We need to get rid of decision, of it all! Despair is the only form of purity in life! It does not give us varying emotion or illogical thoughts." Thoughts?

"No…" I felt myself vibrate as his own vibrations sunk into my sound reception. "No!" Hope began to fade, a soft smile on her angelic face. "Perfection is not achievable. Perfection is wrong! No one was perfect! Not even Decision!"

"Which is why we must get rid of him!"

His figure is falling to its pale ghostly form. "We need him! He is our breath without him there is this… Communism you speak of!" Before his vibrations could interject I "sounded" the words, "We need you despair!"

I felt his pulse stop. "What?"

"Despair is instrumental to all of us!" It was not my vibration speaking. Understanding was mattering through me.

"There must be an equal bond for the baby!" Decision spoke through me now.

"It will fail without all of us!" Depression.

"We cannot do it alone!" Lonesome.

"We need you!" The chorus of all the vibrations of everyone's vocal cords rang through my mouth.

"And I need you!"

The swirl of matter erupted and I felt myself whirling and spinning and tumbling and falling and flying all at once. A loud vibration broke through me and I felt a strong push all about me. It was a scream. A human's scream. We blacked out into the matter.


. . .


"We have to name it," the male said calmly.

"She," the female reprimanded.

Silence.

A young couple, the women with short, wavy blonde hair and the male with bright blue eyes and brown hair sat on a hospital bed somewhere I did not know existed. There were sheets strewn about her as the two forgot about the hustle and bustle of the doctors and nurses around them. The constant sounds and smells of blood and beeps from the hospital not disturbing their peace.

"I like the name Joy." They grinned and I knew why.

Understanding has taught me that everyone has this battle. We all fight with Despair at one time or another. Some call it the Devil, others call it the Under Lord, but everyone, including those without a religion, knows it as Despair. Some, like baby Joy, fight it early on and are always full of the emotion that overthrew it; in her case, Joy. Others don't fight it until an argument with their parents, or a drinking party at sixteen, or an offer to do the crime of a gang. But for those who let it win, they become nothing. They loose one of the most precious of us emotions. They loose their hope, their love, or even their decision. Some may even have to face him more than once.

I am Joy and I will never loose myself to him. Ever.





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