In Need of a Dragon

“I want to make a dragon…” Death mused to herself as she sat in her deckchair, watching the waters of Kinigi flow by.

The beach was mostly empty apart from a handful of higher Veth, patrolling the pink sands and defending it from Deitics and anything else that might have threatened the cycle of life and death. The only thing they moved aside for was the appearance of the Veth Prime, elegantly climbing out of the water, bringing fresh souls to be recycled.

Unlike most days, Arkay had a smile on his face. His latest mission had claimed the lives of a hundred gang leaders on a distant world, which had brutally ruled with an iron fist. As he approached Kinisis, he threw a small pendant to her.

“It’s not so bad, this grim reaper lark,” the Veth Prime grinned. “At least, when I’m killing evildoers and all that. Not a fan of having to take the lives of innocents…”

“But everyone has to die!” Death beamed as she inspected the pendant, made of rose gold and studded with diamonds. The pendant sparkled then crumbled to dust in her hands, making Death’s smile disappear. “Everything has to die. Even gods. And inorganic things. They die too.”

Arkay shrugged. “I assume you’re talking about how everything eventually breaks down, and how sub-atomic particles are inherently unstable, instead just having incredibly long half-lives?”

Death growled. The remains of the pendant rose into the air, sharpened themselves into a spear and flew past Arkay, only just missing him. “WE DON’T TALK ABOUT THAT.”

“Fine, fine!” Arkay stepped to one side, not wanting to have to face Death’s wrath yet again, but realised that would probably just make Death angrier. He wandered over then sat himself down on the ground next to Death. The Veth patrolling the beaches had scattered because of her outburst.

Death’s mood though quickly changed back to normal. She was quite content, swishing her long, looping tail and muttering inaudibly to herself.

After a moment of quiet, Arkay decided to get up. He had a few bits and pieces he wanted to do, and he also wanted to check on Iatre, the Vethic Medic, who was doing various experiments that he wanted help with. As he climbed to his feet though, Death grabbed Arkay by the wrist.



“You’d make an amazing dragon.”

Arkay blinked. “A dragon? What, like a Thraki or something? But I’m a Ret- uh, a Veth.”

“Yeah but I could make you into an amazing dragon…” Death smiled. “The proper four legs and a pair of wings sort.”

“But I’m a Veth!” Arkay was utterly confused. “Why would I want to be a dragon when I’m already the perfect adapting machine?”

“It’d be cool…”

Arkay crossed his arms, tutting. “Surely you have better things to do?”

Death’s smile turned into a massive, somewhat aggressive grin. She reached underneath her deckchair and pulled out what looked like a map scribbled on the back of a priceless art paintingand shoved it in Arkay’s face.

“Nope. I got nothing better to do. At least, nothing better than showing you your next mission. In which it would be awesome if you completed it as a dragon.”

The Veth Prime took a better look at the map. It looked like an old medi-evil dark ages sort of thing, a theme Arkay was only vaguely familiar with. In the centre of the map was some sort of large, dark, ominous castle. There were smaller, just as ominous fortresses scattered across the rest of the map too.

“There’s a bunch of Deitics in there. All pretending to be actual gods. I want you to kill them and liberate the beings who are enslaved by them.”

Arkay scratched his head. “I’ll do that, no problem, but what has that got to do with Thraki?”

“Dragons!” Death snapped.

“What’s the difference?”

“Thraki are wyverns! Dragons are dragons! You know! Big, fire-breathing beasts with four legs and wings! Not stupid overgrown pterosaurs! Or snakes with antlers and wings, for that matter!”

Arkay was still confused, but decided to just let it slide. “Still, why is a dragon needed?”

“So you blend in.”

“Are the locals all dragons or something?”

Death roared as she grabbed Arkay by the neck and started shaking him around. “IT’S A MEDIEVAL-THEMED FANTASY HELLHOLE OF A WORLD. THESE PLACES ALWAYS HAVE DRAGONS. JUST DO AS I FUCKING SAY!”

After what seemed like an eternity of Death shouting, she finally calmed down and released her grip, letting Arkay tumble to the ground.

“Just go and kill those Deitics. As a large, flying monster.”

“Whatever you say, Death,” Arkay tutted as he got up and walked away. “Could have at least give me a reference picture or something…”