Tenuk watched from the cockpit, waiting for the High General to finish what he was doing. He had been talking to a large circle of Rethans for quite a long time. While Tenuk wasn’t sure what exactly they were talking about, he could tell that none of it was good. Tenuk wanted to head outside and listen in, but there were two guards by the entrance, keeping an eye on him and helping him prepare the ship.
With a nod, the circle of Rethans began to back away. Behind hum, the guards had left the ship. Tenuk looked away, pretending that he wasn’t snooping, fiddling with a nearby console. Heavy, deliberate footsteps clomped up behind Tenuk, sitting down in the seat next to him.
“Are you ready?”
Tenuk glanced to his left, eyeing the High General. The High General eyed him back.
“Ready when you are, boss…” Tenuk tutted. “Care to inform me of, well, the details?”
“In a moment. Let us get the journey started, then I will explain.”
Sighing, Tenuk did as he was told. Once the coast was clear outside, he started the ship’s engines, and they steadily raised into the air. While Tenuk concentrated on getting them out of the atmosphere, he noticed how the High General was watching everything move, his eyes fixated on the Rethans below.
It wasn’t until they were in orbit that either of them said anything. Tenuk asked for the coordinates, the High General gave them to him, he input them into the console and the ship started to move. Not upwards, but at an angle, away from the planet. Following the nearest golden streak that had stained the dark space around them.
“So… what actually IS the plan?” Tenuk asked as the ship switched to auto-pilot. “Because I could see you chatting with those other Rethans out there and none of it looked particularly good.”
“The plan is to try and talk these other Voidborns into leaving peacefully. Before anyone gets hurt.”
“That sounds… like not a particularly good plan…” Tenuk muttered. “I mean, I don’t even know what we’re getting into here…” Tenuk paused, then glanced back at the High General. Normally he was used to seeing him with antlers. Something though was very different. “Uh, Kenon, is something… else going on? I suppose there’s a reason why I’m flying you, instead of you… teleporting yourself?”
Kenon grunted. “I apologise. I have not told anyone except those who need to know.”
“This is a mortal body. The coordinates I gave you are to where my godly form is currently located. We will need to stop by there before we can deal with these other Voidborns.”
“Why are they here?”
“I do not know.”
Tenuk snorted, cursing under his breath. None of this made any sense. “So you are telling me that you are fucking mortal right now? As long-lived as I am?”
“Technically less-lived than you. Rethavok tend not to live very long compared to you Kronospasts, you should know that already. I know you have an awful lot of questions, so I would recommend we get them out of the way now.”
“I want to know everything.”
Kenon turned his chair to properly face Tenuk, and leaned forward. “What do you mean by that?”
“Everything that has happened, it’s all such a massive mess. None of it makes any sense. Like, why did you take control of the Rethavok? What happened for you to end up in a mortal body? What the fuck is going on?”
The High General took a long, drawn out breath. “I simply wanted to have my own favoured race, the same way my fellow deities do. I did my research and decided that the Rethavok would be most accepting of me, so I worked to become their leader. My ways may have been harsh at first, but I like to think, mortal bodies and Voidborn invasions aside, I have done a good job so far.”
“But what about the mortal body?”
“It is temporary. Your friend, the Thantophor, can be incredibly… dangerous when he wants to be. I broke a promise I had made to him and he… delightfully reminded me why one should not break promises.”
Tenuk continued to eye Kenon nervously. “And… what about… this plan?”
“What about it?”
“You really think you can convince the Voidborn to leave?”
“It is unlikely. But I wish to take the peaceful route before I take the aggressive route.”
“And…” Tenuk paused, his tone sounding more and more worried. “What IS the aggressive route?”
Kenon grunted, crossing his arms. “We kill as many Voidborn as possible. Including, hopefully, their leader.”
“Just the two of us?”
“Oh no, do not be silly. We will have reinforcements.”
Tenuk gestured around, waving his hands wildly. “We are completely alone on this fricking ship!”
“I know. Which is why we will need to pick up my godly form first…”