“Good day, General Gath Tsoriou, how are you doing?” Rethais spoke calmly and slowly down the microphone of his communicator. He had been in the hospital all morning, mainly there as a sign of leadership and support to those injured in… recent events, but also to help facilitate in the removal of his brother to a new location. “You do not normally call me.”
The voice on the other end was deep and disgruntled. Far deeper and more disgruntled than usual. Rethais knew exactly why Gath was calling him. Gath was his sibling-by-partnership and was clearly calling about what was going on with Rethais’s brother.
“Where is Retvik?”
“He is recovering well, we are simply transferring him to a new facility where he can recover better.”
“I received a call ten minutes ago from the new general of the 270th Legion, what did you do?”
Rethais glanced around for a quieter place to talk. Several other Rethans, most notably his captains and a nearby General, were giving him funny looks. With a sigh, Rethais made his way to a small bathroom, made sure everything was sealed, then decided to start talking.
“I know this is upsetting for you, but Retvik has somehow obtained the ability to self-immolate and self-combust and he cannot control that ability. So I have had no choice but to have him delivered to the 11th Legion.”
A long, drawn out sigh echoed from the communicator’s earpiece. “What actually happened? Retvik said he would be helping General Mastakon and would be back in a week. Instead, Mastakon is under arrest and, as I just found out, my dear Retvik has been stripped of his title. Why am I finding all of this out second hand and when will I see Retvik again?”
Before Rethais could reply, there was a knock on the bathroom door. It was Rethais’s captain, a somewhat over-protective vok by the name of Prosar. Clearly one of his other captains had sent Prosar to get verbal confirmation that Rethais was well.
“Ser, is everything alright?”
“Everything is fine, Prosar. I am in the middle of a private conversation, can you give me some time?”
“Of course, Ser.”
Everything went quiet again. All things considered, Gath was being very patient with Rethais, but Rethais was not sure how long he could keep that going.
“Gath, listen to me. I cannot give you all-”
“Yes, you can.”
“You do not want to know the details. All I am saying is, Retvik agreed to help Mastakon, Mastakon used Retvik as a scapegoat to bother the gods and he is paying the price for that. Retvik’s body… well, I am not sure of what is going on myself, I am still waiting for an explanation myself. But Retvik is not as he was, and caused many injuries when he lost control and caused a small explosion. In order to protect both the Vok and my own brother, I decided the best course of action was to do what I did. After all, you may love Retvik dearly, but the population sees someone who went against the gods’ wills and did something to anger them.”
Again, Gath sighed. Rethais peered outside the bathroom, to check what was going on. General Litvir and his soldiers had arrived with the special equipment required to transport 11th Legion new recruits.
“So you are throwing Retvik into oncoming threats to save face?”
“No, Retvik did that to himself. We are all generals, Gath, we all know we can accept or decline tasks. Retvik accepted Mastakon’s offer and now he is paying the price for it. I am doing what I can to make sure Retvik does not end up imprisoned the same way Mastakon will be. Can you not understand that this is for the best?”
There was no response. Not at first. Rethais knew Gath was trying to work out what to say.
“Fine. Fine. You are right.”
Rethais blinked. He did not expect Gath to give in so easily.
“When can I see Retvik?”
“I cannot tell yo- HEY!”
With a rather cruel smile, General Litvir snatched Rethais’s communicator from his hands.
“Yes, hello, dear. Your partner will need one month minimum without familial contact, as well as two weeks in min-max therapy. We will inform you as soon as possible when you will be able to contact your partner.”
“At all. No communication what so ever. Until we give confirmation.”
Litvir immediately handed the communicator back to Rethais, still smiling. Rethais tried to speak, only to find that the line had been closed.
“Did you hang up on him?” Rethais snarled.
“Negative. Guess whoever that was closed the line themselves!” Litvir beamed. His smile faded though as he realised Rethais was not at all impressed. “Uh, Retvik has been sedated and packaged, ready for transfer to the 11th Legion Correction Facility, High General. Do you wish to see him before we leave?”
Rethais sighed, shaking his head. He didn’t want the last mental image of his brother for a month to be one of Retvik comatose and imprisoned.
“No, Litvir. I shall see him again properly in a month.”
Litvir bowed and turned to leave. As he did so, he felt a hand on his shoulder.
“One last thing though,” Rethais hissed. “If you ever even consider disrespecting me like that again, I will see to it that you end up in the same hole we placed Mastakon in. Understand?”
“Y-yes, ser…” Litvir muttered as he filed out of the room. “I understand, ser…”