Iatre was working hard in his lab again. So hard in fact that he didn’t hear Arkay come in and talk to him. He only noticed Arkay’s presence when he dropped a box of stuff on whatever Iatre was writing.
“Fuck off Arkay… Oh…” Iatre grumbled, before noticing the importance of the box.
“I said hello like three times and you were so preoccupied that this seemed like a good idea.”
The Vethic scientist pushed everything to one side, smiling. “I assume Heavy didn’t mind you going in and taking that stuff. Him and I, we went thr-”
“Wait!” Arkay suddenly interrupted, pushing even more stuff to one side and sitting on the desk in front of Iatre. “You said Heavy!”
“As in… Heavy Weapons Guy?”
“And he called you Doktor…”
Iatre grunted. “There is a reason why I’ve been pretending to not remember much about my past. If Kinisis really knew I was…”
“No fucking way!” Arkay was astonished. “No. Fucking. Way. Holy fuck this is… wrong… I… Gah!”
Arkay finally calmed down, at least enough to form coherent sentences. “There’s this… electronic game I used to play when I was alive. A computer game. Set in some semi-retro sci fi mixed up thing in the years 1960 to 1975. And there were characters called Medic and Heavy. I’m pretty sure it started off as a Thrope game. Never had the original, I just had a Cassid bootleg version of it… And here you are. The actual Medic.”
Iatre didn’t say anything. Instead he thought to himself. “Hm… Someone made a game about my life? That’s… interesting…”
“Yeah, a game I played the hell out of with my friends… And to think…”
“What?” There was a weird hesitation in Arkay’s voice that Iatre wanted to get to the bottom of.
“I… I slept with an electronic game character…” Arkay slumped down, then slid off the desk. He felt embarrassed. Iatre noticed that his eyes had welled up with tears.
“Nothing wrong with that,” Iatre grinned. “Many have slept with far worse things. And probably fucked far worse things too. After all, I was a very lonely man throughout my life, spending a lot of time with eight other men. I will not deny that things may have happened.”
Arkay sighed, then desperately changed the conversation. He was visibly uncomfortable. “So… what’s actually in that box?”
“Oh this?” Iatre grinned. “All my books. All my scientific research in paper form. Because I didn’t trust the world wide web. Engineer had problems with that sort of thing. Me, not so much. There was one thing I did though that I knew was in here. My work on trying to manipulate… actually, I shouldn’t tell you. Pretty dangerous stuff.”
“I don’t think Death would approve. But I’m hoping this stuff should help me work on this… never ending project…”
Arkay peered into the box. “There’s some other stuff in here though. Like this music player that fell out.”
“That’s just an old iPod Spy gave me years back. Good for concentration.”
Iatre watched as Arkay fiddled around with it.
“Can I have it?” Arkay finally asked.
“Sure, I don’t actually need it. But what I do need is for you to go away. Thank you for bringing me this stuff, but I have work to do.”
Arkay tutted. “Fine, fine. I’ve got stuff to do anyway. And some self-esteem to repair…”