Retvik had been waiting for hours now, waiting for one of the 11th Legion captains to come and put him back into a coma, like they said they would. In his strange, drug-induced dreams, Retvik had slowly been learning to control his fiery powers. To Retvik’s surprise, some of that had translated to real life, when he had been abruptly woken up and used a tiny amount of his power to stop a rather angry incident.
Maybe that was why Retvik had been strapped to a chair and a table in front of him, rather than being tied down to a bed like before. Clearly they wanted to do something with Retvik before sending him back to sleep. Unlike last time though, despite the ambient temperature being close to zero, Retvik felt relatively warm. He had definitely learned a few things in his deep sleep.
With a heavy clunk, the cell door opened behind Retvik and some heavy yet… almost wet footsteps trailed into the room. A Rethan, skinnier than Retvik and much more lightly armoured, sat down opposite him. This Rethan had mostly black and grey skin with patches of blue, organic armour. Rather than wearing standard heavy plating, the Rethan seemed to have very specialized and lightweight smooth armour.
Retvik bowed his head. “Hello, captain. Are you here to put me back to sleep?”
“I am here to have a talk with you, then put you back into comatic learning. I have some questions that need answering.
Retvik nodded. “Of course. What is your name?”
“What is your name, SER!” the other Rethan hissed. “You need to know your place.”
“Apologies…” Retvik frowned. “What is your name, captain?”
The Rethan stared at Retvik for a bit before answering. “I am Captain Nisir Kolymbon. You are Retvik Rethianos. Potential photioforic carrier, potential zestanoforic carrier, potential plasmaforic carrier. Former general of the 270th Legion. Oft-claimed Leader of the Dessaron. Is this correct?”
Retvik shrugged. “I am Retvik Rethianos and the last two titles are correct, yes. Could you explain what the three mentions of ‘carrier’ are?”
“You have potential control and usage of fire, heat, plasma-like energies, created and carried inside you. You have not shown signs of exo-photiomanipulation yet but we cannot test for that yet. Next question. Did you or did you not deduce that you had supernatural powers when you caused an explo-”
Retvik rolled his eyes. “I was in traumatic shock! And no, that was NOT when I deduced I had powers! If anything, I have known my entire life that I was differ- oof…”
Retvik’s words came to an abrupt halt as several litres of water washed unexpectedly washed over him. In retaliation, Retvik concentrated hard on the surface temperature of his skin, causing it to rise and force the water to sizzle away.
“You have far more control than to be expected for someone who has slept for such little time. But you are talking back to your captain.”
“I apologise… ser…” Retvik hissed. “But you are putting inflamatory words past my tongue. I was in shock, I did not do any of that willingly. I did not intentionally harm anyone. And I became aware of my newfound powers as soon as I awoke from my injuries after being pulled from the satellite remains.”
Nisir responded with a brief grunt. “And what about the other incident? You used your abilities against another patient here.”
“I only did that in defense of your fellow captain, to diffuse the situation. I believed it would have been better than physically fighting my fellow patient. I do not wish to use my powers for offensive means.”
“Well, you may want to change your mind on that…” Nisir grunted, leaning back in his chair. “You see, most photioforic carriers… do not last long. A few days at most, before they self-immolate and, well, die. You will need an outlet for excess energy.”
Retvik blinked with confusion. “I do not follow. Are you not questioning me about what happened?”
“No. We know what happened. This is a low level stress test to see how you react and how you are coping with your early awakening.”
“Am I… not in any trouble?”
“Fire-based carriers never last long. You are the exception to the rule and we are trying to work out why…” Nisir paused.
Both Rethans had noticed the door quietly opening. Nisir climbed to his feet and bowed. Retvik lowered his head as he realised General Litvir had entered the room.
“At ease. Nisir, thank you, you may leave.”
Immediately, the captain did as he was told. Litvir remained standing behind Retvik, placing his hands on Retvik’s shoulders. Litvir’s skin was almost impossibly cold to the touch, as if he wasn’t even there.
“Nisir is a good vok. But he has a habit of dancing around topics. I need you to know something, Retvik.”
“Yes, general?” Retvik felt… uneasy. He had been fine moments ago. Was Litvir… in his head?
“I am in your head, Retvik. Because I want you to know that I intend to make the most out of you. You will be my perfect weapon.”
“But will you strip me of who I am?” Retvik snarled. He wanted to wriggle free but found himself unmoving. In fact, he was getting… very sleepy…
“Oh, no, not at all. I need you as you are. But you will have a lot of hard, dangerous work ahead of you…”
Consciousness left Retvik’s body as he collapsed on the table. With a smile, Litvir untied Retvik, then threw his limp body over his shoulders and carried Retvik out of the room.
“We have a lot of important work ahead of us, my newest elementalborn…”