Tahvra glanced up from his game as Akah practically disappeared inside the beanbag chair. That particular beanbag was actually designed for a much heavier being, but Tahvra had noticed that Akah always chose to use it over the various other soft sofas and chairs scattered around the outpost.
“Is something wrong?”
It was hard to describe Akah. While the rest of them, even Phovos, had pretty similar body shapes, despite being different races, Akah was completely different. He had flat feet, too many fingers and a complete lack of tail. Unlike everyone else, Akah had no snout, no protruding jaws, no long tongue or claws. Instead, Akah had a rather straight, tall build, with an oddly high centre of gravity and some sort of strange flesh buried underneath all the heavy metal and plastic plating. Phovos called him “upright”, Tahnahos always seemed to describe Akah as “thropic”. Whatever that meant.
“Something seems wrong.”
Akah adjusted himself, trying to get comfortable. Tahvra could tell he was in a bit of pain.
“It’s nothing major. My back is just… a bit sore.”
Akah shrugged, sinking deeper into the beanbag. “No real reason. These things tend to happen because I am getting old.”
“How old are you?”
To Tahvra’s surprise, Akah shrugged again. He seemed rather uncertain.
“You don’t know how old you are?”
“No, not really. I would say I am about the same age as Tahnahos and Phovos, but I have no way of knowing. My memories are… untrustworthy, to say the least.”
Tahvra put his game down and shifted his chair towards Akah, both confused and curious. “How so?”
Akah frowned. His emotions were different to everyone else’s, he displayed them differently. More exaggerated, focused on both eyes and mouth. But a lot of that was hidden by his mechanical mask, complete with a telescopic scope covering one eye.
“Well, before I ended up here, working for the Allmaker, I was… I did a lot of different things. Very hard to explain, to be honest, but my duties featured a lot of memory wipes and things like that. None of it consistent either.”
Tahvra edged closer. “Were you, like, a superhero or something? Like, in comics and stuff?”
“Hah…” Akah let out a small laugh. “You could… say that… More of a hero for hire. Unwilling hire.”
“Oh! You were a mercenary!” Tahvra exclaimed.
“No… not really…” Akah grumbled, pulling himself out of the beanbag. “I am not sure whether Vohra… play with toys and dolls and stuff like that…”
“Like, action figures?” Tahvra was now both curious and slightly worried. “You were… an action figure?”
“I was basically used like one, yes. Part of a group of enslaved Lanex, used as toys in a grand arena by other Deiton races. My team and I were passed from person to person, forced to go on incredibly dangerous escapades and then wiped down, cleaned up, reset and passed on to someone else…” Akah let loose a weary sigh. “Because of all those resets, I have no idea what was… actually real. I was still considered a genuine hero, I still did a lot of those crazy stunts… but the order those events happened? Which events were set up and which were real? I will never know.”
Tahvra looked up at Akah, a sad expression on his face. “I’m sorry…”
However, Akah just dismissed the sympathy. “Don’t be sorry. It’s all in the past now. Plus, living out here, serving the Allmaker? It is basically heaven to me. Really, now you mention it, things couldn’t be better.”
“Well that’s good at least!” Tahvra beamed as he picked up his game again. “At least we’re happy!”
“Yes, we are…” Akah smiled back. “So, what game are you playing?”
“Oooh!” Tahvra’s smile grew more as he shifted back towards Akah. “Let me show you!”