Everything was dark, yet warm. Machinery beeped away to itself. The bedsheets were crumpled yet comfortable. Whatever light dared enter the room was shooed away by the closing of old, dusty curtains. Everything was at rest, until it wasn’t.
Retvik jumped up in shock, ripping the coverings from his eyes as he did so. The last thing he remembered was being attacked, so Retvik was immediately on guard, scanning the room and looking for something to arm himself with. That was when he realised he was attached to a saline drip, not embedded in his wrist like normal, but inserted just underneath the armour plating of his upper arm. Retvik also noticed that he was essentially naked.
“Oh! Sorry!” a voice almost giggled from the darkest corner of the room. The corner glowed briefly, then quickly faded again as something… pulled itself through a cloud of shadows and smoke? Retvik wasn’t sure, but it looked rather scary. “I did not realise you were awake! I was supposed to be here to make sure you woke up calmly but you, uh, woke up when I went on my break.”
The thing, whatever it was, turned out to be a Rethavok. A rather small Rethavok with glowing red eyes. Had Retvik not known better, he would have assumed this Rethan was a Skyavok, that was how small they are.
“Who are you?” Retvik stammered. “What… what is going on?”
The Rethan sat on the edge of the bed. Everything about them was dark. Their skin was black. Their armour was black. Even their teeth were darker than most normal Rethans’ teeth. But they seemed friendly and… somewhat reminded Retvik of… something.
“I am Kuta! Captain Kuta Tieridos of the 11th Legion! You are Captain Retvik Rethianos of the 11th Legion and, I am sorry to say, you are in a bit of a mess!”
Kuta seemed incredibly perky.
“I… I do not follow…” Retvik rubbed his eyes, being careful not to knock out the drip embedded in his arm. “When did I get promoted to the rank of captain?”
“Well, uh…” Kuta shrugged. “I think it is because you managed to satisfy the General a little too much. He does not just feed like that off anyone.”
“Are you a vrykolak?”
Kuta’s eyes widened. “What? Nooooo! In fact, I find that… almost insulting! Can a Rethan not have strange, shadowy powers without being persecuted around here?”
Realising that this Kuta was clearly not a threat in any way, Retvik took several deep breaths, trying to calm himself down so he could properly assess the situation. His memories of the last few… weeks? Months? They were all rather shaky, almost impossible to focus on. But as Retvik tried to remember who he was, he found that information to be fleeting as well.
“What happened to me, Kuta? Where am I?”
Kuta smiled with strange black teeth as he reached down to a small table by Retvik’s bed. He picked up several sheets of paper and started reading through them.
“According to this, you were irradiated with CBR while you were in that fancy space shuttle in space, and on your way down, your body reached temperatures of about 400C, which should have killed you, but since you had pissed off a death god, they made sure you did not die from that absurd amount of fire and instead allowed you to suffer tremendously. You fell in and out of a coma, blew up a hospital and were stripped of your rank and given to General Litvir as a nice little present. Clearly the General loves you dearly since he fed off you and you are still conscious.”
“So why am I here?” Retvik was still confused.
“This is the hospital wing for captains. You’re a captain. You get the good stuff.”
“It is pitch black in here.”
“Helps with the memory loss.” Kuta wasn’t sure why he was being asked so many questions. Then again, he rarely got to interact with the other captains, he was just given the… eaten ones to deal with. “Were you not supposed to lose your memories and back thoughts or something?”
“You tell me…” Retvik grunted, swinging his legs out of bed. He was definitely confused but also slightly angry too. There was a lot missing from his mind and he didn’t like that. Unfortunately, it seemed Kuta could only give him so many answers. “Where is General Litvir?”
Kuta immediately started acting defensive. “I do not know. And I do not recommend you go looking for him. He sent you to me for a reason. Ooh! Maybe it is because he wants to make a new team of Elementals!” Kuta’s defensiveness melted away at this new train of thought. “That means little Kuta can get in on the action again!”
Retvik closed his eyes, sighing. “None of this makes any sense.”
“Yeah, I know, but if the General is planning what I think he is planning, we are going to have a ton of fun. Especially with a badass like you being our Fire Elemental!”
Kuta smiled some more. “You do not know what a team of Elementals is? You are the leader of the Dessaron. Same thing but more awesome!”
“I… I still do not understand…” Retvik had just about given up now.
“Do not worry about it!” Kuta beamed as he helped Retvik back into bed, then began to change the saline bag on the IV drip. “Just let yourself relax for now. It will all become clearer soon. I hope…”