“You’d think, being suddenly immortal, everyone would calm down a bit…”
Arkay woke up with a shock. Was someone talking to him? Why was the floor made out of wood? Why did everything smell like alcohol? Where was he?
Something fluttered by. A broom. Kicking up dust.
“Huh, you awake now?”
They WERE talking to him. Arkay rolled onto his back and tried to work out what was going on. For some reason, he wasn’t his normal, Vethic self. He’d reverted back into… how he was before he died.
“Thought them proper Threavok went extinct a long time ago. Don’t you all call yourselves Rethavok now, regardless of species?”
The being with the broom stopped sweeping and was now staring at Arkay. Arkay couldn’t help but stare back. The being’s upper half looked like that of a Vohra, but their lower half had a very alogon-like look to it. As if someone had chopped a Vohra in half then glued the top to a cow’s neck.
“I’m sorry…” Arkay muttered as he shook his head. “Where am I?”
“How drunk must you be to not remember? You just teleported in here and collapsed on the floor.”
“I… I don’t drink…”
Nothing made any sense. Arkay rubbed his eyes then looked around. He had no idea where he could have been. The air tasted of ethanol, making it impossible to work out the composition of the atmosphere. Then again, he was a Veth, breathing didn’t matter.
“Well either way, you done goofed.”
The creature tutted then went back to sweeping. The bar looked like a tornado had recently passed through. That or there had been a very large brawl in there.
Arkay stood up, then reached round his back. Normally, there would be a black, inky sac there, covered in stars, that would act as his backpack, full of useful things like money, daggers, keys and travel visas. But it was empty.
“You ain’t got fuck all on you, kiddo,” the creature was tutting again. “Already checked. Was honestly considering seeing if you were minted or not. To pay for the damages. Granted the weird dancing lot did most of it, but there was a heck of a wind when you teleported in. Thankfully everyvok had buggered off.”
“I’m sorry for damaging your bar…” Arkay sighed as he looked around again. “I have no clue what’s going on. One minute I’m being held prisoner by the Whenvern, the next I’m here… Did that bastard really just dump me in the middle of nowhere?”
“Middle of nowhere?” the being laughed. “You’re on Harmonia, the most peaceful planet this side of the local galaxy system. Thanks to a buncha crystals. Ain’t no one able to be violent here. Least, that’s what I thought until this whole immortality thingy started. Everyvok’s going around like every day’s their last for some retarded reason! Ain’t like anyvok’s going anywhere. Authorities locked down all the starports and roads. At least you ended up in my bar, rather than down the road.”
Arkay tutted. “Really? So not only did that fucking Time Drake drop me billions of kilometers away from home, he left me with no money, no transport and a crystal that inhibits me from doing my job stabbed into my stomach… And I can’t even get out of here…”
The creature smiled at Arkay, leaning on his broom. “Yep, looks like you’re fucked, kiddo. But while you’re here, you want anything? The Harmony Island Bar has pretty much any drink any vok wants.”
Arkay reached for the first chair he could find and sat down. Everything was foggy. Everything felt wrong. Part of him wanted to curl up into a ball and cry, but he knew better than that. He had nowhere he could go, and apparently he couldn’t even get off this planet.
“Uh, kiddo, you alright?”
“Not really…” Arkay took a deep breath. “Just contemplating how utterly fucked I am.”
“You want a drink?”
“Not really… Probably more important that I find somewhere to stay for the next… couple of decades, if what the Whenvern said was true…”
The barkeeper shrugged, his hooves clomping on the floor. “Well, I ain’t sure about decades, but I got a spare room you can borrow, if you’re willing to work for it.”
“I’d be happy to work for you. Repay you for the damages I caused.” Arkay got off his seat and stood up straight, holding his hand out to the barkeeper. This was probably better than being out on the streets. At least until Arkay could work out what to do next. “My name’s Arkay.”
“You can call me Keith,” the barkeeper grinned as he shook Arkay’s hand. “Nice to meet you, kiddo.”