“You called for me, All-Ksa?” Teekay asked as he entered the tent. For reasons Teekay could not explain, the All-Ksa, the leader of the Skyavok, was insisting on spending his time inside a tent on ground zero of a catastrophe, rather than letting the K-Class look after him.
“Of course I did, Teekay…” Kayel sighed. He was lying on a sleeping bag, staring at the roof of the tent.
“Why? Because I do have things I must do…”
“I know…” Slowly, Kayel sat up. As far as Skyavok society was concerned, Kayel was the bravest and luckiest Skyavok ever. He had literally stared Death in the face and lived to tell the tale. Everyone wanted to talk to him, but he hadn’t wanted to talk to anyone. He’d just calmly helped find survivors in the remains of the old Skyavok Temples and Governmental Towers. “You can spare twenty minutes though, right?”
Teekay glanced at his wristwatch. “Fifteen. I have a lot of things to do. A lot of… deceased to ID and send home. And some time for myself. I admit I have not slept yet.”
Kayel tutted. “You should sleep at some point. You will harm yourself.”
“Why did you call me here though?” Teekay asked, bringing them back on topic. “Why me in particular?”
The All-Ksa sat up straight. There were scratches on his arms and shoulders. Mostly healed up, but some of the wounds were weeping. “I asked you to come here Teekay, because you are one of the few Skyavok I know who can keep a secret.”
Teekay sat down next to Kayel, rolling his eyes. This had happened before. Many times. Skyavok leaders had a habit of getting overly emotional and wanting to share secrets whenever there was a massive catastrophe. Kayel at least had aired out his closet of skeletons before he became the All-Ksa, so he didn’t have much to hide. Still, this always worried Teekay.
“What is it?”
“I have a plan to avenge our lost Skyavok.”
“Really?” Teekay pointed outside. “You have a plan to bring the Lord of Death to justice? Is that what you told the Union?”
“Yes. But I didn’t tell them the plan.”
“You know they all think you are an idiot.”
Kayel smiled. “I do. And the only reason we are part of the Union again is because of you, my dear Teekay.”
“No…” Kayel hissed. “Please. Just let me talk. Listen. Please.”
Teekay relented. “Fine. Talk.”
“Thank you.” Kayel paused, closing his eyes. “My plan is not a traditional one. You won’t see me trying to kill the Thantophor in his sleep. You cannot kill Death. I know that. But the Thantophor is a being with a mind and emotions. A tattered mind. One that can be shattered even more so than it already is.”
“You saw into its mind?” Teekay blinked.
“Yes. Hunger and fury. That is what is breaking the Thantophor’s mind. But I want to change that. I want to make it so the Thantophor’s mind is broken by heart ache.”
Teekay took a long, laboured breath. “You want to get into a relationship with the Lord of Death, make it love you, then break its heart.”
Kayel smiled, just a little. “Yes. And when he wants me back, I will make him beg and plead. And I will give myself to him, in exchange for immortality for all Skyavok…”
The leader of the K-Class sighed then climbed to his feet. Kayel sat there, still smiling.
“You’re a fucking idiot, Kayel…” Teekay sighed as he walked out of the tent. “This will not fucking work…”
Kayel shrugged. “You don’t know until you try…”