The following is an uncut transcript of the second of four interviews, after the Dessaron’s existence was made public. This transcript contains material that was not aired.
Cameravok: Recorder is hot. Intro is done. This is full interview only.
Cameravok: Ready to record. Counting down. Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six…
Kazix: Welcome, General Retvik Rethianos. It is a pleasure to speak to you.
Retvik: It is a pleasure to be here. Good to be somewhere within the realms of normality.
Kazix: Everyone has a lot of questions to ask of you, what happened, what did you do, what did you see? Who are you?
Retvik: I am a former General, but more importantly somevok who is happy to be alive. Happy to put the past behind us.
Kazix: What happened to you?
Retvik: We have been planning a document that will detail most everything that happened, but to be concise, what happened was a lot. We were captured, thrown back in time and both began and ended a war that gave us the freedom we often forget we have today.
Kazix: Would you like to explain that further? Although we have knowledge of the Deitic War, most traces of your existence had disappeared apart from a few slight blood samples. No one knows of your experiences.
Retvik: It was a war. I am a General and I acted on my duties as a soldier of the Stratos. I did dreadful things in the name of freedom and lefteria.
Kazix: It was war time though, so your actions are more understandable.
Retvik: What we did was understandable. Few now can understand though the tyranny that our ancestors went through.
Kazix: It wasn’t all tyranny, was it?
Retvik: No, but when we arrived, it had become tyranny. The Anexartitai wanted to control all.
Kazix: Anexartitai? Are they Deitics?
Retvik: There are many types of Deitics. They are not all evil, but the majority of Anexartitai are a threat to our continued existence. They may have signed a treaty with us, but they will soon find a way around it.
Kazix: Are you suggesting that, over a thousand years later, that they might still be a threat?
Retvik: Yes, they might be a threat.
Kazix: Are you aware of current threats, like the Zonta?
Retvik: I… guess? There is a lot I need to catch up on. While the Rethan political circle has not changed much, I feel a lot more has. I am genuinely surprised to hear rumours that the Deitic Lanex wish to join the Maza. That sounds insane. It is unfortunate that it coincides with our return.
Kazix: That must really concern you.
Retvik: Actually, no, it does not. The Lanex were the first to change their minds. Some fought alongside us during the war. Perhaps their intentions are noble. Of course there are always many reasons to worry when Deitics wish to interfere with us, but time will tell.
Kazix: When will you be releasing your reports on what happened?
Retvik: Soon. There is much to write up. Even with assistance, we have barely begun to scratch the surface. Parts of history are now known in ways that the beings before us could not even dream of understanding.
Kazix: What is it like coming back here?
Retvik: Conflicting. But I feel though that you want to know how we feel now, not about what happened then. Especially as we will be releasing everything soon.
Kazix: That is true, in a way. Do you find yourself lingering on those thoughts? Do you wish things had gone differently?
Retvik: One always lingers on death. I cannot deny it though, as horrible as my war-time crimes were… I was killing beings who saw us as nothing. I should not feel bad for what I did. There could have been better outcomes, and perhaps more peaceful and less painful ones, but we are free from their tyranny now. Our situation could be far worse.
Kazix: Do you ever wish someone else had taken your place?
Retvik: That… That is an interesting thought. But no. I would not wish my own fate on any other Rethan. Though it pains me to have made my partner carry the brunt of my disappearance, I would not have wanted him by my side. If anything? I would have preferred to have gone alone.
Retvik: You’ve spoken to all of us. Arkay is ruined inside. Elksia is torn apart inside. Tenuk is old enough to absorb the horrors that we saw, but even he has sleepless nights. Of course there were times where I wanted the pain to stop and to just go home and see Gath again. But if I could have spared them from what happened, I would have.
Kazix: [pause] That is incredibly… gracious of you.
Retvik: I spent 12 years of my life with them. They matured alongside me. They are essentially my family, the caring father I never had, the supportive brother I never had, the kid I never had.
Kazix: How does your partner feel about this?
Retvik: Gath is the best Rethan ever. I could not ever ask for a better vok to love me and care for me. Of course he has been worried sick for all these years, but he welcomed me with open arms and did not judge me for what I have done. Not only that, but he welcomed my fellow Dessaron with open arms too. Our love is never-ending. I could not have done anything if it wasn’t for the fact that Gath was waiting for me and it pains me to have made him wait alone, with no certainty of my return.
Kazix: You are a very lucky vok.
Retvik: I am. In so many ways. I may have been unlucky on that fateful day, but I am here now.
Kazix: Do you wish to put the past behind you?
Retvik: Very much so. It has happened. We have been debriefed. Though I will be unable to truly return to normal life, I am setting up anew here on Portalia. After a well-deserved holiday with Gath, of course.
Kazix: What do you plan to do?
Retvik: I owe Gath about a thousand meals out. We plan on spending the time in his little house on the outskirts of Palaestra mostly. Sleeping in.
Kazix: And after that?
Retvik: Ah, that is the interesting thing. As you know, Gath has a Dessaron team, Retha Squad One. We’re making… arrangements to work there. I feel that a less formal, less strict place to be will help all of us.
Kazix: The others don’t seem to feel the same.
Retvik: I wouldn’t expect them to. But Arkay in particular needs to find a place to settle down and put all that power of his to good use. The same applies to Tenuk, he has never been used to Rethan society and we all believe it would be a bad idea to force him into it. Plus, there is little chance that I could go back to my former occupation. Elksia is the only Rethan in such a position, and he doesn’t want to.
Kazix: So can we expect you to be fighting regularly in the Dessaron Arenas?
Retvik: Yes. Not yet though. We have a lot of… paper work to get though.
Kazix: What do you mean?
Retvik: We nearly destroyed a village, then resisted arrest. Not to mention how we were AWOL for 12 years. Then there’s the legal precedence of what to do with beings capable of killing Deitics. It is all very messy.
Kazix: That makes sense. It must feel good to be back though?
Retvik: Amazingly good.
Kazix: Are there any last words you have before we wrap this up?
Retvik: I could say a very large number of things. I could tell you all to respect and love each other, but that is obvious. I could warn you all about the dangers of the Deitics, but that too is obvious. I could tell you all what I have learned about life and death, but I fear that is a subject not fit to be thrust upon unwitting viewers. There is so much to say, but it is best kept for a later date. A proper moment, if you will.
Kazix: So this won’t be the last of you?
Retvik: Not at all. The future is bright, for everyone.
Kazix: Thank you very much, Retvik, for taking the time to speak to us.
Retvik: Thank you too. It has been a much needed pleasure.
Cameravok: Recorder is cold.
Kazix: That was a lot.
Retvik: Tell me about it. Question for you.
Retvik: Are you taken?
Retvik: I do not ask for myself. Tenuk needs someone who is not us that he can talk to. I know you’ve offered your psychiatrist services to all of us, but I know that you also search for more.
Kazix: I don’t follow.
Retvik: Never mind then. A conversation for another time. See you soon, Kazix.
Kazix: Um, you too, General…