It had been a while since Arkay had last seen Iatre. Not since he’d gone and fetched all that stuff for him. Really, Arkay owed Iatre a thank you, since the music player he’d let Arkay use had helped him get through some rather nasty jobs that needed doing. But it turned out, hardly anyone else had seen Iatre either.
“Check his lab,” everyone had suggested. “He’s been there the whole time.”
So Arkay did the obvious thing and headed to Iatre’s lab, which was now situated down a set of stairs in a basement just outside Death’s massive green orb of a home.
Weirdly, the door wasn’t locked, but it was closed. Probably meant that Iatre didn’t want to be disturbed, but the fact that no one had seen him in ages worried Arkay more than Iatre’s potential annoyance at being disturbed. Amusingly, the door creaked and squeaked as it opened, revealing a dark room with no lights on.
Arkay considered turning the light on, but chose not to. It wouldn’t have mattered either way, as Arkay was the Veth Prime, a godlike, unkillable death machine capable of making people’s minds explode if he so desired. That wasn’t something Arkay had actually attempted yet, but he’d decided that today, brain-exploding was going to be his weapon of choice. Plus Arkay could see in the dark, which was helpful.
As the Veth Prime stepped forward, he realised the floor was incredibly sticky. His mind first thought that maybe Iatre and Death had had an over the top sex session, but considering the fact that Death was upstairs playing with feline kittens (and had been doing so for the last three hours, ever since Kairos gave them to her), this scenario was unlikely. Plus, everything had been turned off. Everyone knew that Death was very spontaneous in her romping sessions, and if she HAD suddenly grabbed Iatre, he wouldn’t have had time to turn off all the lights and equipment anyway.
Everything seemed to be in its right place. Well, everything apart from the massive ball of slime in the middle of the room which Arkay had ignored up until now. The massive ball of slime large enough to cover the entirety of Iatre. The massive ball of slime that was pulsing gently. Actually, the more Arkay looked at the sack of goo, the more it seemed to move around.
Suddenly, the ball of slime burst open, as some strange creature pulled itself out of the mess. It gurgled and moaned briefly, before looking directly at Arkay.
“Hello, Iatre. How you doing?”
Iatre looked at himself up and down, then smiled. His formerly rather Thrope-like features had been replaced with a body that was similar to Arkay’s, but bigger and stronger. His formerly slightly hairy body now had rings of armour plating, again like Arkay’s, but less solid, like a series of rings rather than one piece around his chest and crotch. He still looked somewhat humanoid, but Iatre had clearly gone around and picked out all the good parts of other Veth then turned himself into something similar.
“I think my experiment worked perfectly.”
“Which experiment?” Arkay couldn’t help but ask.
“Oh, just the one where I create the perfect Vethic form, to replace most previous versions of Veth!” Iatre mused as he picked himself up off the floor and looked around for a towel or something to clean himself up. “Should have expected this mess, honestly.”
“So you turned yourself into a better version of me?”
Iatre smiled again. “No. Not better. Around about the same. The main changes are that this Vethic form is based on my human anatomy, rather than using your bat shit insane Rethavok body parts. After all, you’re pretty perfect as you are…” Finally, Iatre found something to wipe himself down with. He rubbed goo off his arms and face, then gave up trying to clean himself further.
Arkay simply stood there, trying not to be too awkward.
“Do you need me to get a mop and bucket?”
“Oh no…” Iatre paused, then glanced downwards and grinned. “But you can help me… measure a few things…”