Anti-Corruption Cells

Thassalin gave up trying to break the walls of his glass cell. He had no idea where he was. He’d bumped into another universe, lost and confused, and they’d brought him in through the massive vault door behind them and stuck him in a cage. He could see two of this universe’s beings now, looking at him, working out what to do.

“You worked out what it is yet?” Yisini asked as Kenon wandered around, tapping on various panels of his tablet. “It looks cute.”

Kenon grunted. He pressed a button, and a small tube appeared in the creature’s cell, showering the creature in a special mixture of chemicals. The liquid was designed to melt away any potential corruption that might have stuck to the creature as it travelled between the space between spaces.

“I want to hug it!” Yisini suddenly exclaimed, distracting Kenon.

“Do you not have better places to be?” the Lord of Nothing growled. “I know you are pining because of Arkadin’s loss, but you cannot be hanging around Universal Entrances on the slim chance that he will come back.”

Yisini sniffed. “I know but… I dunno… I have to decide who I want to take the mantle of Entropy with mum, and she’s kinda upset too…”

“We all are. But I am busy. I have to inspect this being and possibly destroy it. You know what hostile entities can be like.”

Thassalin began to panic again. He bashed on the glass, trying to catch the beings’ attention. The last thing he wanted was to be murdered after having escaped his own murderous universe.

“Please! Not hostile! Mistake! Not corrupted!”

Kenon ignored the creature’s pleas and gave it another chemical bath. The acid stung but otherwise left Thassalin unharmed.

“I wonder if that was a deity?” Yisini asked. “It looks like the sort of thing that could escape a dead universe…”

“YES!” Thassalin shouted. “That is what happened! My universe is dead.”

“And you, not being an entropic or Voidborn deity, have been stripped of your powers, yes?” Kenon hissed. “You want refuge, rather than simply dying like the rest of your universe.”

“Corruption killed my home…” Thassalin sighed. “I have nowhere to go.”

Kenon snorted, then gave Thassalin another chemical bath, just to be on the safe side. Yisini stared at Kenon, getting more and more pissed off at how her father was treating this lost being. Kenon simply stared back. He knew what she was thinking. He did another test, to try and confirm the origin of this creature, swiftly revealing a match between it and the hole left in their universe’s side the other day.

“No. The answer is no.”

“Why not?” Yisini whined. “He’s, like, perfect! Big scary monster, pretty old, nice and powerful! That’s exactly what Kinisis wanted from a Death God!”

“This is a complete stranger from a universe killed by Corruption. A universe that also stole your brother. We cannot have this monster become a deity here!” Kenon didn’t raise his voice, but he certainly wasn’t calm any more. “I know you miss your brother, but this being cannot replace Arkadin.”

Thassalin watched the creatures argue, its eyes widening at the mention of something he recognised. “You know Arkadin?”

“I bloody well do!” Yisini scrambled over to the glass cell. “Did you steal my damn brother? You took my Death God! You took him to fix your damn universe!”

Kenon pulled Yisini away, but the Allbirther wriggled out of his reach and started bashing on the cell. Thassalin panicked and curled up into a ball in the corner, fearing not the serpent’s wrath but that of the scary antlered being behind her. Again, Kenon pulled Yisini away, holding her against a nearby wall.

“Stand down, child.”

“Arkadin is gone because of that thing.”

“I know, but…”

A faint knocking could be heard coming from behind them. Kenon let go of Yisini and inspected the vault door that separated this universe from the void. He then walked over to a console and pressed a button, revealing a screen, speakers and microphone.

“Kenon, are you there? Can you let me in and prepare an anti-corruption shower please?”

Yisini screeched as she pushed Kenon out of the way. “LITTLE BROTHER! YOU’RE ALIVE!”

“Of course I am…” Arkadin tutted. “I…”

“What happened to your HAND?”

Kenon nudged Yisini out of the way. At the press of several more buttons, a glass cage surrounded the vault door, which opened up and allowed Arkadin to come in. The glass cage surrounded Arkadin, blocking any potential contamination. He dropped his weapon then sat wearily on the glass floor, sighing to himself.

“Arkadin, are you well?” Kenon asked.

The Thantophor didn’t answer at first. He glanced up towards the other cell where Thassalin was slowly calming down.

Arkadin sighed, tutted, shook his head then grunted. Words didn’t seem to want to form in his mind at first. “I’m fine. Glad to see Thassalin made it. Didn’t enjoy having to kill his universe.”

“You… killed his universe?” Yisini gasped.

“Yeah…” Arkadin sighed again. “Get me decontaminated and we can talk…”