Kairos had just been flying by when he spotted Yisini and Epani, both sitting on a little, lifeless rock, sighing at each other. In the distance, he could see the source of their vague anger, the remains of a planet being engulfed in flames and dust, having been hit by a passing meteor.
“You two seen Arkadin?” the Whenvern asked as he flew closer. “I have been looking for him for ages.”
The planet creaked then began to explode. Yisini flinched, Epani rolled her eyes.
“I liked that one.”
“As did I.”
Kairos nodded in agreement. He had no idea what planet that was in particular, or even whether it was inhabited or not. He didn’t really care about those things, as long as he got to do his Time Duties and his followers continued to worship him. He didn’t want to admit that to either Epani or Yisini now.
“Is he pissed off again?” Kairos altered the subject.
“Yep!” Yisini hissed. “Mother pissed him off, embedded some anger in him then sent him out to terrorize the universe!”
The Whenvern sighed, then flapped his wings, lifting off and swooping down towards the planet’s remains.
Arkadin was currently in the form of a massive cloud of volcanic gas, desiccating the remains of the planet. Once he was done, nothing would grow here for a long time. As he did so, he was roaring and screaming in anger and self-loathing. Kairos knew this, but decided to approach anyway.
“Hey, little brother, can I speak to you for a second?”
Upon hearing Kairos’s voice, Arkadin immediately changed forms, into that of a dark, shadowy monster. The only colours on him were black and a hint of reddish gold.
“You can’t go on like this…” Kairos sighed again, opening his arms. “You really can’t.”
Arkadin stared at Kairos.
“You know that, right?”
“You know you’ve got to change, right?”
“Do I? It’s not-”
“It’s not what Kinisis wants. You can’t spend the next hundred billion years tearing everything apart, tearing yourself apart!”
The Thantophor blinked. There were tears in his eyes. He had already been crying. Kairos was making him cry more. “I know I am…”
“All these years, you’ve been hating yourself, and now it’s really hard to change now, isn’t it?”
Arkadin nodded. Kairos edged closer.
“I know how you feel. You know that dumb shit I did when I tried to hurt you and Yisini? Was the same thing. Me being so angry and defeated and hating myself. But when I lost, that was my tipping point, and I realised I needed to change…”
Arkadin’s lips trembled. “I… I can’t change…”
“Yeah you can. I believe in you.”
“I tried though… I always fail… I hate myself too much…”
Kairos shrugged, edging closer still. “I get that. And doing it just for you can be hard. Especially when you’re going alone. Which is why I don’t want you to go alone. I’m going to help you. I’ll be someone for you to lean on. And if you can’t do it just for yourself…” Kairos smiled and glanced over his shoulder. “Do it for all of us. Do it for Yisini.”
Arkadin rubbed his eyes and wiped away his tears. Again, Kairos edged closer, his arms wide open.
“You can do that, yes?”
“I can… I can try…”
“Don’t try. Do. You can do it.”
“You can do it.”
Arkadin glanced past Kairos, then leaped forward, hugging Kairos tightly and quietly sobbing to himself.
“I’m sorry…” Arkadin wept. “I’m so sorry…”
“Don’t be sorry, little brother. We can fix this…” Kairos smiled as he gently stroked Arkadin’s head. “We’ll fix it. Together…”