Getting Shots

“Did not know you were afraid of needles…”

Retvik ignored Litvir’s comment and kept his eyes focused on the steel tray, not daring to look away.

“You don’t seem so pleased yourself!” Arkay snorted as he got up from his seat. He had been helping Galyn by mixing various vials, then placing them inside a sterilized glass. Litvir wasn’t sure why Arkay had been entrusted to this job and not him nor Retvik, but after getting a closer look at what was in the vials, Litvir changed his mind. Retvik swore that something in them was moving.

“No, not really. Not since you have not said why we are here.”

Arkay placed the large, sterilized glass on the steel tray. By it were the things Retvik was still staring at: four syringes, sealed in translucent bags. Three of them seemed rather… normally sized. Large, with long needles hidden by a plastic barrier and little notches running up the sides. One of them however was capable of holding far more fluids than the others. Before Retvik and Litvir could ask what was going on, Galyn entered the room, holding a box of cotton wool buds and pushing a wheeled chair across the floor. He placed the chair in front of the large observatory window, then turned to the other Decay Lords.

“Retvik, could you have a seat here, please?” Galyn asked politely.

“No. Not until you tell us what is going on.”

Galyn growled, then turned to Arkay. “Did you not tell them they were getting their anti-phthoric vaccinations today?”

“It was on the group calendar!” Arkay protested. “Don’t blame me for them not looking at it!”

“They are both looking at us as we are crazy.”

Arkay shrugged. “I mean, what’s new? But yeah, kinda should have been more clear, need to get vaccinations against new strains of corruption. Which means mixing this weird stuff together, as per the instructions.”

“New… strains of… corruption?” Litvir blinked. “Are they like, viruses? Influenza perhaps?”

“Mhm!” Arkay’s mood was very perky. He seemed not at all bothered by the whole needles and injections thing. “There’s constantly new changes and evolutions and stuff and we need to keep on top of those horrible, highly infectious monstrosities.”

Retvik’s eyes were now glued to the glass. “If it is… a vaccination, does it work the way… normal vaccines do?”

Litvir put a reassuring hand on Retvik’s shoulder. “Oh, dear, do not fret. Most modern vaccines use hardly any traces of the actual bacteria or virus.”

Arkay nodded in agreement. “Yeah, these ones use simulated versions. No actual infectious stuff here. Too dangerous.”

Retvik sighed, taking a deep breath. Having calmed his nerves a little, he finally sat down in the chair next to Galyn. Arkay stood next to him, while Galyn disappeared out of sight and-


“Sorry. All done…” Galyn grunted, pressing a cotton wool bud to Retvik’s arm, before kicking him out of the chair. “Litvir, your turn.”

“Can I go last, please?”


Litvir sighed, the exact same way Retvik had. And, just like Retvik had noticed, it was over before Litvir could make any unsavoury comments.

Again, Galyn kicked Litvir out of the chair, but this time he sat down himself, handing a syringe to Arkay. Arkay very calmly injected one of the normal-sized doses into Galyn, patting the injection sight down with more cotton. He then collected all the used syringes and placed them inside a plastic pot, before turning his attention to the last, extra large dose.

“Hang on, I thought that one was for Galyn!” Litvir exclaimed.

“Nope, it’s for me!” Arkay’s smile faded a little. “Being a hybrid, I need a bigger dose.”

Without any qualms, Arkay filled up the syringe himself, set up his dose, and removed the sheath of the needle. He then jabbed the needle straight into his left arm, hardly even flinching.

“All done?” Galyn asked as he handed Arkay a cotton wool bud.

“All done!” Arkay’s little smile returned. “Well, at least for a couple of months.”

“Are there… any side effects?” Litvir suddenly interrupted. “You did not ask us if we had any allergies or anything.”

Arkay shook his head. “Your arm might be a bit sore, but that’s about it. But even the worst potential side effects are nothing compared to actually being infected with corruption…”