“Are you awake?”
A small, beady black eye appeared in the gap underneath the door. Whoever it was, they were peering into the room, acting as if they were not supposed to be there.
“I am…” Retvik grumbled, his neck and back sore from not being able to sleep for the last few days. Due to a few… unfortunate mistakes, Retvik had been locked in solitary confinement, inside a tiny room that was barely big enough for him to sit in, let alone lay down in. “Am I going to be let out soon, Kuta?”
The beady eye blinked. “Uh, no. Not yet. But I wanted to talk.”
“Well…” Something slumped against the door. Kuta had sat down and leaned against it. “I like you. I do not want either of us to die.”
Retvik hesitated, not sure what to say. No one had spoken to him in the last 24 hours, so he didn’t expect the first conversation he’d have to be about death.
“What do you mean by that?”
“The General does not like us, Retvik. The General tends to… kill those he does not like. Not intentionally. I was hoping he would make us into a cool, public team of magical warriors. I do not think he will do that now.”
“I… I do not follow. Is this about General Litvir’s exo-planetary plans?”
Kuta sighed, loudly. His voice broke slightly, as if he had been crying. “He will send us off to unknown worlds, asking for everything then leaving us behind if we fail him.”
“You know more about what he is planning than any of us?”
“I discovered everything…” Kuta shuddered. Retvik was pretty certain that Kuta had started crying again. “He… He really does think he can sacrifice us to the Void Lord… And he will, because no one will stop him… Last time it was a sacrifice to the Allbirther, which I was too young for. Before then, he sent damaged Rethans out on voyages they never returned from.”
“Do you know-”
“I do not know how many have died. I do not want to know. I just know that the General will kill us and there is nothing I can do to stop it because I am too weak and cannot control myself and the others… they are enthralled by him. We all are…”
Retvik got up and made his way to the door, ignoring the stiffness in his limbs. He slid his fingers under the tiny gap in a vague attempt to comfort Kuta.
“I will not let him kill us.”
“I do not believe you can stop him either. You are just as much enthralled as I am. Not as controlled as the other captains, but he has already tasted you. He will want more and more and… I am scared that he will do to you what he did to me.”
Kuta noticed Retvik’s fingers and grabbed on to them, holding them tightly.
“What did he do to you?”
“I… I cannot say…”
“Because…” Kuta suddenly let go of Retvik and stood up, backing away from the door. “I’ve said too much. I have to go…”
“I think he knows…” Kuta’s voice faded as he disappeared into the shadows. “I am sorry…”