Disclaimer; I clearly own nothing.
She had risen from the places of fear, obsession and hunger. The places where gangs slaughtered other gangs for food and resources and the fun of it.
Then the gangs got bigger, and they called her war.
A child with a silly name. Sharp eyed, but young and unformed. And she took her on with nothing but a toy sword, and told her no.
War raged. That child?! That nothing?! How dare she?! A child, just a child!
And then War look again, and the girl was a grown woman, taking the fight to those who oppressed women and cut down trees with papers in her hands and steel in her stare and she was glorious.
War was entranced, unable to look away, and before she knew it the humans had put aside nuclear weapons, and bombs and made peace in Africa and the Middle East.
War retired, and was replace by Women's Rights, who put the fear of God into men everywhere. And if she looked rather like Pepper, what did it matter?
Pollution was a hard worker, partly because it had been laziness that bit for Pestilence in the end, but mostly due to where he came from.
The humans to busy to worry the long term, too caught up in now to think about tomorrow, the ones who left on the lights, and left the car running and did everything they could to save time until it started to affect everything else, and then they called him Pollution.
The angel lived in squalor. All dust and mess and bits of fluff. But it didn't stick to him, didn't touch him. Why? Did angels have some sort of anti-dirt field? Did it work on a large scale? Soho had always seemed to clean to him, not enough exhaust fumes….
Angels could be a danger to him!
Pollution went on a rampage, throwing every sort of dirt and grime and gunk he could at the angel(1) until he finally found something that stuck(2), and then the turned back to the world at large.
The rainforests had spread by thousands of miles. CO2 emissions were down to almost nothing as fossil fuels were replaced by wind, wave and solar power. Japan was almost totally powered by its plentiful geothermal vents and Iceland was just a step behind.
Pollution vanished. He was replaced by Obsessive Cleaners, whose first action was to hunt down Pestilence, and drown the retired horseman in a huge vat of penicillin.
A horrible way to die, by anyone's standards.
(1)Which was an awful lot, thanks to humanities boundless creativity.
(2)Chewing gum, as it happened.
Famine was the second oldest of the horsemen, nothing pre-dated Death of course, but people had been starving since the Fall of Eden, and he'd been Around ever since
Starvation, shortages, droughts, it was all part of him. But he was the greater whole, and they called him Famine.
The demon was tall and slim and had that annoying, well nourished look that came from exercise and not dieting. Not that the demon had any need to diet, or exercise, or eat for that matte, though he seemed to like to.
Dinner at the Ritz, angel?
It displeased Famine. The demon was moderately gorgeous, and when the human s saw him eating out, normally a lot of delicious food with the angel, they got 'ideas'. Such as 'if he can eat well and stay slim so can I' and 'you clearly can be plump and have a hot lover, look at them!'
For some reason the idea of the demon and the angel being lovers made him twitch and seethe.
He watched the demon, saw him dance for Lust. Inspire more and more reality TV for Wrath, saw him dance through the world, sparking chaos that came to nothing and hurt no-one, saw him look at the horros humanity inflicted upon itself, and turn away in tears.
Famine kept watching, fascinated by this bizarre duality.
Feed the ducks and dunk them, vesting temptation on those close to damning themselves anyway, dancing till dawn and watching the sun rise through a haze of hallucinogenic's(1).
He got caught. The demon, half drunk and half naked, sauntered over to him in a nightclub, wrapped himself around him and hissed in his ear.
You've been following me for yearssss, gorgeoussssss. Whatssssss with that?
By the time Famine was no longer drunk, high or passed out on somebody's floor as a result of the other to humanity had learnt to manage their food supply efficiently, perfected certain GM crops and turned great swathes of the Gobi desert into farmland.
He shrugged, resigned and went to lunch with Crowley and the angel. He spent the next 70 years in countless parties, while Obesity(2) made her mark on the world.
(1)Famine tried it himself, and had to conclude that any phenomena of natural beauty was much more fun when the colours kept moving and there was a multi-coloured ostrich telling you jokes that were funny because they were just so awful.
(2)Who had been around for quite a while anyway.
Death had watched them rise. It seemed only right that he should see them fall as well.
War, who fell in love. Pollution, who became terrified of something pointless. Famine, whose curiosity ended with him addicted to heroin and living with a demon.
Death would continue. He was creations shadow, everywhere and anywhere, life would cease without him and so he lasted forever.
And sometimes he would see Adam, and the antichrist would give him a thoughtful look and a faint smile, and he could almost understand why the others had let it all go.
Um, yeah, so, I just sent three of the big four into retirement... Not really sure why.