Epani hissed and grumbled, only to hiss and grumble more as Arkadin entered her lab. They both knew things must have been serious, because Epani was in her ‘busy doing fiddly, finesse work’ form and because she’d summoned Arkadin in the first place. Normally the Panelix, the Creator of Space, had nothing to do with the Lord of Death.
“You rang?” Arkadin smiled, attempting to inject some light humour into the otherwise insanely tense room.
“Yes, I did summon you.”
“Why?” Clearly Epani was pissed off. Arkadin didn’t want to push things, so he decided to get to the point. “Is there a planet you want me to make live longer? A star going super nova that you want me to stop? Need some help with some black holes?”
“I want you to stop killing my life.”
Arkadin blinked. “You don’t make life?”
Epani growled, then nodded for the Death Lord to come closer. On the table was a small, plastic Petri dish with a strange, grey lump inside it.
“I am trying to create a species of my own. Mechanical creatures. Robots. Outside the scope of Yisini’s domain. But you keep on killing them.”
“Yeah…” Arkadin hesitated. There were several containers nearby, all filled with components. Epani had called them robots, but that wasn’t really what they are. They seemed like very basic Ais capable of replicating. At least in theory. After a moment of thought, he turned back to Epani. “Why are you trying to create life?”
“Because I am tired of making worlds that only Yisini can populate. I work for her these days. I wish to work for myself and try my hand at something new.”
“Like, uh, life? The thing Yisini puts on your creations?” Arkadin was still confused. “Why would you want to do that?”
“I would like to create more of my own things to put on my existing creations, rather than have Yisini do that. More control is good, yes?”
“I guess? Why won’t Yisini…”
Epani immediately snapped, throwing ruined experiments across the table. “Because she is a jealous whore and a bitch! She clings so desperately to her domain and does not share, although Kairos and myself share our domains with her so she can populate them! Why then can I not join in? Why can I not create life?”
Arkadin looked back at the experiments. “I don’t know, sister. I really don’t.”
“You should know! You are killing them!”
“Yeah, they’re dying, but they’re not actually dying as viable life. It’s more akin to things burning in a fire to actual life dying.”
Epani grunted. “So how do I make them alive?”
“I don’t know…” Arkadin admitted. “I’m not the right person to ask.”
“Should I ask Kinisis?”
Arkadin immediately stepped back. “No! No way! She’s like a Skyavok tooth. You wish for something, you get it but there’s a horrible curse attached to it!”
“But I want to make life.”
“Please, don’t ask Kinisis. Ask Yisini again, and if she says no, ask Kenon. Because Kinisis, despite being our mother, will happily screw you over while simultaneously giving you what you want.” Arkadin took a deep breath. “Promise me?”
“I promise…” Epani sighed, then looked at the mess she had made. “I have to clean this up.”
“Do you want help?” Arkadin asked.
“No. I would like to be left alone.”
“Alright then…” Arkadin smiled weakly as he faded away in a puff of black smoke. “See you round.”