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Ammit knew her place and was content with it.

She was not revered, nor was she reviled. Like hunger, she simply was, for that was her nature when all pretenses were stripped away, hunger, endless hunger gifted with reason. All mortals feared her, yet that fear was not always enough to drive them towards good. That was what amazed her, that mortals, gifted with reason, just as she was, would so often make the choices that would bring their hearts to her jaws, weighed down and positively bursting with misdeeds, like fruit that had begun to rot on the vine.

They would plead and beg and justify in their own perverse version of the confessions, every way in which they wronged their fellows with the laughable notion of a victimless crime, or the claim that acts hurt no one because they were done in secret.

Anubis, tending the scales, entrusted with Ma’at’s feather, would listen impassive as they went through their litany. How he managed to endure it without laughing was beyond her. Over the millennia it all blended together into a single hilarious account, the same themes visited on endlessly, making her bellow and roar with laughter.

The humans would shake in fear, but they wouldn’t even spare her a sidelong glance.

And when they were done, when they had nothing left to say, no further justifications to make, they would stand proudly before the jackal headed god, never once daring to look at her, as though by not seeing her she would not be there, waiting patiently.

Perhaps that was how they made it through life, by pretending she wasn’t there, even as they made their devotions to the Pharaoh, the gods and goddesses. It must have been easier to pay lip service to a flesh and blood man and stone effigies that surrounded them.

Yet they knew her name and when Anubis picked up their heart, full of the sickly sweet poison they had put there, and didn’t hand it back to them they looked at her, their eyes full of fear.

So they knew of her, and knew their fate and still they went on as they did.

It was the paradox of humanity, one that she had discussed at length with Anubis, how what humans had to do was so simple, the way that at every single point in their lives they had the opportunity to turn around, step in a different direction and make the right choice, but instead they devoted their efforts to pressing forward, towards sin, towards her. Anubis rarely had anything to say on the matter, so mostly she talked at him, her growls understood by the god, for the gods had the ability to understand, even if the mortal soul in question didn’t. He had his own opinion on things, so high and full or learning, which left him biased in her opinion. Hers was a simple way of thinking, in touch with instinct rather than the flowery notions mortals and many of the gods liked to wrap things in, as though their notions were dead Pharos to be sanctified and preserved.

On occasion she would talk to Ma’at, presenting a proposal, that if is the misdeeds of humanity were ever such that Isfet was truly unleashed upon the world and all fell into evil and disorder, that she should not wait by the scales, but be allowed to roam the world freely, seeking out the sinners on their wicked paths and taking them then and there so that the restoration of order could be hastened.

It was not that she sought to roam the mortal world, for she was content to bask by the river of fire that flowed pleasantly by where she made her home. It was always warm and light there, while there were times where the world of mortals was cold and dark at times.

She would be doing a service, she explained, at inconvenience to herself, for the souls would come to her in the end, their hearts falling into her waiting maw, but if there was suffering inflicted, wasn’t she doing harm by waiting? Shouldn’t she act to protect the virtuous?

After all, and this was something she would admit to no one, the way the righteous stood proudly and declared all the misdeeds they had managed to avoid, all the righteous actions they had found abundant opportunity to take, it was a beautiful thing. No matter their background or upbringing, in her opinion they were as shiningly beautiful as any of the gods themselves, brilliant gems made all the more precious by their rarity.

Unlike those that fell to her believed, she did not hate humanity, rather she was in awe of it. So much potential and yet…

Soon there would be a time where she would walk the world of mortals. She could feel in in her bones and scales, taste it like the cloying sweetness of a liar’s heart.

Humanity may have forgotten to fear her, but her fangs and claws were no less sharp for it.