“So, we have food sorted, we have supplies sorted, we have clean water sorted and we’ve got defence sorted. Is there anything else you lot need?”
Tenuk was beaming with pride as he slapped the side of the old Vahyra throne, much to the amusement of the Vahla surrounding him. No one had sat in that throne for several weeks now, and the Vahla of Vohra Nest 3730 had believed that it would remain empty forever. If it hadn’t been for the Dessaron, they probably would have died out.
“There is just one thing, Dessaron Tenuk…” Talok, the current and temporary leader of the nest, sighed. “But it is not a thing you can provide. We need a Queen…”
“And a Vahrga to… look after her…” Korok, the deputy, muttered.
“Yes, a Vahrga too…”
The other three Dessaron appeared. Retvik had been assisting with the first of many food deliveries while Elksia and Psiksi had been working on the logistics of shipping out the many metal resources this Vohra nest used to produce. The plan had been quite simple, the Vohra were to now trade the ores and minerals produced and refined at this nest to other nearby races in exchange for whatever resources they needed, and the Dessaron had helped set up these connections.
Talok though looked glum, as depressed as a Vohra could look. The other Vahla had been treating him noticeably differently.
“Is there anything we can do to help with that?” Psiksi asked. “I know that you all have… a weird maturity cycle…”
“No. We will pick a Vahla to become a Vahyra…” Talok too a deep breath. He was suddenly trembling. “I will… have to bite the bullet and become a Vahrga…”
The other Vohra all nodded solemnly.
“Talok is the only male-gendered Vahla here who has not been neutered and can even become a Vahrga,” Lefak explained. “The rest of the male Vahla were castrated when they were all at the age of 20. We never thought we would need a Vahrga. And unfortunately for Talok, this does not bode well for him…”
“I am destined to become a horrific, mindless monster…” Talok looked away, swallowing lumps of guilt and sorrow. Korok put an arm around Talok in a vague attempt to comfort him.
“Actually!” Psiksi suddenly exclaimed, much louder than he’d intended. “Actually… I can’t believe that advanced xeno-biology class I took would come in handy but… I think I know how to make sure you don’t become a big scary feral Vahrga!”
The Vahla all blinked in disbelief.
“What?” Talok almost growled. “How do… How… Vahrga Aggression has been one of the biggest issues the Vohra have faced for centuries! And here you are, a very young Skyavok, knowing otherwise?”
“Vahrga only get angry because they evolved to need sex on a regular basis!” Psiksi quickly explained. “But most Vahrga never even get to fuck anything so they never get rid of the excess hormones so they get insanely aggressive and territorial!”
“So basically you just need to keep Talok sexually satisfied and he keeps his sanity!” Elksia joked. She grinned, then stopped when she realised that she was actually completely correct.
The Vahla all looked at each other, communicating telepathically. After a good five minutes, Talok turned to Psiksi, a solemn look on his face.
“Are you sure?”
Psiksi shrugged. “It’s kinda logic really. If Vahrga are highly aggressive today and two thousand years ago they weren’t and the only thing that’s changed is how often they mate with Vahyra, going from “a regular basis” to “almost never”, then there has to be SOMETHING there…”
Again, the Vahla started chatting telepathically. Finally, they broke away, returning to their duties. Talok remained where he was, waiting for everyone else to leave.
“Dessaron, I wish to thank you.”
“There’s no need to thank us!” Tenuk smiled awkwardly. “We just want to help.”
“And you have…” Talok approached Psiksi, then reached for his hand. Psiksi shrugged and held Talok’s hand, he was clearly uncomfortable. “All you have done for us… Most others would have left us to die. I feel bad asking for one final request…”
Psiksi patted Talok on the shoulder. “Sure, what is it?”
“I have no choice but to become a Vahrga. And I will mate with whoever we choose to become our new queen. While I do hope what you said is true, Dessaron Psiksi, I am doubtful I will remain sane for long…” Talok sighed. “I would like it if, after I become a Vahrga, you could visit me occasionally. I would appreciate the company…”
“Is that all?” Elksia jumped around, then grabbed Talok and hugged him. “Don’t be silly! Of course we’ll come by and visit! We kinda have to anyway, don’t we?”
Tenuk nodded. “Part of the agreement we made with the Rethavok you will be trading with involves monthly inspections. So we will definitely be coming back.”
Talok smiled weakly. “Thank you. Now please excuse me, I have to… prepare myself…”
Elksia hugged Talok one more time then let him go. “You’ll be fine.”
“I hope so…” Talok sighed as he wandered off. “I damn well hope so…”