A Different Path

“My fellow Kronospasts. Today we-”

A bright, white glow emanated from the middle of the golden table. Each of the Kronospasts sitting around it rolled their eyes. Suddenly, a red, silver and blue Kronospast appeared from the glowing light.

“No, dad, just no!”

Lord Avra rolled his eyes in disgust. The other Deitics, all wearing their best gold and silver jewellery and armour, lowered themselves, fearful of the Lord’s wrath.

“What are you doing here, Tahnahos?”

Tahnahos smiled. It was a rare sight to see him in his Kronospast form. Normally he was gallivanting around the galaxy in the shape of a stupidly tall Panvok critter, so clearly this was important.

“I’m here to stop you from fucking up yet again.”

“Really?” Lord Avra rolled his eyes then waved his hand, summoning a handful of guards. “I do not have the patience for this.”

“Clearly you do have the patience for yet another failure of a plan, but I wonder how the average Deitic feels about your rule?” Tahnahos grinned then leaped off the table, circling around Lord Avra. “I mean, what’s your plan, really? To try and invade the Anexartitai again and force them to work with us? To invade mortal races and try and turn them into slaves again, only for them to rise up once more? No, this is a time for a new plan. The new path to a brighter future!”

Lord Avra sneered and snapped his fingers. His patience was gone. Tahnahos disappeared in a puff of red smoke.

“That was rather rude!” one of the other Kronospasts grunted. “I wanted to hear what he had to say!”

“Me too!” a red, silver and blue Kronospast smiled as he pulled his chair closer to the table. “That Tahnahos guy seems rather charming! Maybe it’s worth considering what he has to say?”

The Kronospast leader glared at Tahnahos. Not only had his eldest son interrupted his meeting, but now he was mocking him.

“Maybe…” a white, silver and aqua Kronospast butted in. “Maybe, father, it’s worth listening to Tahnahos for a change?”

“No, Kohra, we will not be listening to this mortal-fucking scumbag!” Avra bellowed as he stood up, a blade pointed in Tahnahos’s direction. “Get out before I-”

“Before you finish that sentence…” Tahnahos was still smiling. “I should point out that our Lord Almighty Stasis of the Void slept with a mortal once and said mortal gave birth to a wonderful little kid. Heck, it’s almost tradition to sleep with mortals these days since a certain Kronospast leader basically forbid us from reproducing…”

Avra growled, then relented. The other Kronospasts all remained silent, knowing better not to say anything.

“Fine. Tahnahos, you have ten minutes. If you are not done by then, I will slice your head off.”

Tahnahos shrugged. “A bit unfair, but I’ll deal with it…”

With a snap of his fingers, Tahnahos started explaining.

“So I briefly visited Kinigi earlier today, and I noticed somethin-”

Already, Avra interrupted. “Kinisis is missing! We know, you retard. Which is why-”

“Which is why this…” Tahnahos continued, ignoring Avra’s interruption. “Which is why this is the perfect opportunity to reunite the Deitic races and create a semblance of harmony between us and the mortal races! Kinisis is missing, replaced by three other Avatars, two of which don’t instantly hate us!”

“Which…” Avra interrupted yet again, ignoring Kohra’s silent protests to let Tahnahos talk. “Which is exactly why we must strike now!”

Tahnahos tutted. “Seriously?”

“Yes. They are small and weak right now. We could gain a foothold in Kinigi and spread our power via… Why are you looking at me like that, Kohra?”

Kohra sighed. “Do you really want to go to war again?”

“Not at this very instant, no, child. But we must plan…”

“No, we can’t go to war! That’s what I’m trying to explain!” Tahnahos shouted. “If we go to war, then we WILL be destroyed! Yeah sure, the new Avatars of Life and Birth are nice and friendly, but do you know who the new Avatar of Death is? The Veth Prime. Our good friend the Blade of the Dessaron. Someone who genuinely does hate Deitics for what we did to him. He DOES hate us, and if we go to war, we give him the perfect opportunity to drive us to extinction!”

The other Kronospasts whispered to one another. Avra could feel their confusion and worry.

“That little thing wouldn’t dare…”

“Normally?” Tahnahos shifted in his head. “Normally, yeah, I’d agree. Arkay is a good being. But we’re not talking about Arkay. We’re talking about the Avatar of Death. Death doesn’t care. He’ll kill anything. Especially things that get in his way.”

“So what do you recommend instead?” Kohra asked.

“Peace and harmony!” Tahnahos smiled. “We actually started trying doing this with that dumb religion idea a while back, but we stopped doing it. Rather than turning people into mindless slaves, we make people like us by, you know, being good friends and helping them out! We have the power to do good, we should use it!”

Lord Avra closed his eyes. After a moment of thought, he snapped his fingers, teleporting all the Kronospasts away, apart from Kohra and Tahnahos.

“I assume you aren’t going to kill me?” Tahnahos whispered, not sure what was going on.

“No. Even though you embarrassed me and deserve to be executed for all the treason you have committed over all these years… You are technically correct. That being said, I still wish to punish you for your… crimes…”

Avra stepped out of his chair, drawing a long, golden sword. With a cruel growl, he slammed it on the table, cleanly slicing off Tahnahos’s right hand.

For a while, Tahnahos stared at his twitching limb. It slowly dissolved into a pile of red dust.

“Uh, you know that will regrow, right?” Tahnahos glanced up at his father.

“Yes, but it will bother you. You will remember this. Consider it a reminder and a warning. Next time, I will chop off another, more important body part.”

“But at least you’ll still be alive to do so…”

With a sigh, Tahnahos stood up and teleported away, leaving behind nothing but a faint, red cloud of smoke.