“WHAT HAPPENED?” Rethais demanded as Kenon entered the Grand Palace. Kenon though ignored the angry Rethan, stomping past Rethais and wearily pulling himself up the stairs, making his way to the grand bedroom at the top of the flight of stairs.
With a grunt, Kenon pushed open the door, grunting as it flew back in his face, then shoved it with a little more force before letting himself in. To his annoyance though, the door didn’t close behind him.
“Kenon, I need answers!” Rethais continued to shout. “What happened? Why has our solar system changed? Where the hell is our sun? Why is the sky filled with a large cetian being? And what happened to Tuesday and Wednesday! They happened but no one remembers them!”
Kenon grunted some more. He eyed Rethais suspiciously, then sighed. “I chose you to lead, did I not? Why are you not leading?”
Rethais snarled in reply to Kenon’s question. “I am perfectly fine at leading when things are normal. Even during a crisis, I keep my cool. But whatever is going on right now? I cannot explain it! The vok demand answers! I cannot give them answers because I do not know what is going on either!”
The High General sighed, throwing himself on the nearest soft thing, which thankfully happened to be his bed. Not taking the hint that he should leave, Rethais stomped into the bedroom and stood at the end of the bed, scowling.
“Dear, I am tired. I-”
“I am not leaving until you explain what the fuck happened. The whole universe shifted. Everyone is panicking. I need SOMETHING to placate the masses.”
“I will tell you in the morning. When I have had some rest.”
“No, you will tell me now.”
Kenon sat up, still sighing.
“Little Rethais, I need you to understand that the universe as you and I understood it is no more. Its boundaries were destroyed in the fission explosion that killed the invading Voidborn army. The resulting explosion distorted distances and the accurate measure of time, causing rips in the space-time around different parts of what now remains of this universe. Your planet, alongside about a hundred of the most important and heavily populated planets in the entire universe, was graciously saved and placed inside a pocket dimension by Epani and Yisini, with whom I have just finished discussing my terms of remaining inside this dimension, after having just helped fight off a damn army. Now will you let me get some damned rest?”
Rethais grunted. Kenon could tell that most of what he had said had gone over Rethais’s head.
“So… let me get this straight… the universe is… gone?”
“And we are living in a pocket dimension, maintained by the Allbirther and the Panelix?”
“And you are still no longer a deity?”
Kenon frowned. “I am still a deity. But I am putting that to one side while I help the Rethavok and the many other races now trapped here rebuild and recover.”
“Did you know about all of this happening? Did you know in advance?”
Rethais’s new question puzzled Kenon.
“Compared to everyone else, we lost hardly anyone. Just those on offworld planets. About 50,000 vok, compared to the potential trillions the Vohra and Temthans just lost. You brought us all back here in advance. Did you know?”
“About the invasion? About Kinisis’s plan to destroy the borders? No. I wish I did. We could have been better prepared.”
Rethais didn’t respond at first. Kenon hoped that maybe his Vice General was satisfied with his answers. But he had one more question to ask.
“What happened to Retvik and Elkay? What happened to my brothers?”
“Kinisis took Elkay. He was considered the best of your species and she took him as part of her seeding project, to rebuild what was lost. As for Retvik? I… I do not know.”
“Oh…” Rethais seemed to back down, looking visibly deflated. “Thank you for answering my questions. After a rest, would you be able to make a live announcement of what is going on? I believe it will help calm everyone.”
Kenon nodded. “Of course. Let me have a few hours of rest and I will make a statement.”
Rethais tutted a thank you, then turned to leave. “Thank you, ser.”
“I am sorry, Rethais. About your brothers. If there is anything you need…”
Rethais glanced back at Kenon, clearly upset but trying to hide it. “No, ser. I Just need time to digest all of this…”