Seimeni expected the door to slam shut behind her. When it quietly closed, clicking into place, Seimeni grew suspicious. She knew that the Decay Lord in the room with her were angry, but it was that strange, calm anger that made her worried.
Seimeni did as she was asked. She knew Vikalos was furious with her, but both of them were trying to keep their cool.
“What’s wrong, boss?”
“You know exactly what is wrong, Seimeni. I would appreciate it if you put your Life Goddess tendencies aside for a moment.”
Vikalos was an imposing being at the best of times. A hulking brute, covered in armour. Mostly consisting of heavy plating, muscles and broad shoulders, with a short snout and too many teeth. His eyes glowed red, somehow being the only source of light in the room.
“I don’t know what you’re on about, boss!” Seimeni smiled, taking the ignorant route. She knew exactly why Vikalos had called her in. Seimeni had been using her Life Goddess powers rather than her Decay Lord abilities lately. The other Decay Lords did not approve, clearly.
Vikalos grunted, then reached for something unseen underneath the desk. He then placed the item, what looked like an audio recorder, in front of Seimeni, and pressed a button on its side. Immediately, the device lit up and sound began to play.
Voices. A conversation. Hushed whispers. Hints of fear and concern.
“I cannot take this any more.”
“Me neither. I no longer care, I just want the feelings to go away.”
“I hate it.”
“Are you willing to try the-”
“Yes. Just not here. Somewhere more private.”
“Your room then. What about him?”
“Leave him. He will sort himself out.”
“Alright. I will meet you there. I want some protection first.”
The recording ended with a beep. Seimani glanced up at Vikalos, who looked genuinely disgusted. After realising who the recording was about, Seimeni realised why Vikalos was so angry at her.
“You are emotionally manipulating our three Decaylings. To the point that their distress is being picked up by our early warning systems. Do you realise how serious this is?”
Seimeni simply shrugged. “I wanted them to be happy. The moment they made out, they were very, very happy. That’s what Life Goddesses do. They make people happy and make them fall in love.”
“You violated their free will and forced them to copulate with one another. You emotionally and sexually harassed the Decaylings on this ship.”
Seimeni watched Vikalos’s movements. He was eerily calm, despite how angry his words seemed.
“Seimeni, you are going to publicly apologise to the three Decaylings. Then we are going to put you on a drop pod and send you to the nearest Life Goddess oasis.”
The realisation hit Seimeni like a brick. She immediately stood up from her chair, begging Vikalos to change his mind.
“No! Please! Don’t send me back to them! I don’t want to be affiliated with them! I’ll do anything to not have to go back to the Life Goddesses! I escaped the cult, I don’t want to go back!”
“Yet you push those philosophies here, on unwilling victims. Itaviir, Galyn and I have decided that this is the fairest course of action.”
“I will do anything but that. I’d rather be crucified on the front of the ship and driven through a micro asteroid field than go back to the Life Goddesses!” Seimeni pleaded, getting up on the desk on her knees. “Please, I’ll do anything…”
Vikalos snarled, pushing Seimeni back off the desk. He then somewhat gently put the recorder away and pulled out something else.
“The only other option is the tooth-for-tooth doctrine. You put the Decaylings through emotional anguish, so you must be put through the same emotional anguish. However, what is anguish to them is pleasure for you. So Itaviir, Galyn and myself will have to come up with a fitting punishment. Until then, you are to be locked in your room, after you have made your apology to the Decaylings.”
Seimeni backed down, somewhat satisfied with Vikalos’s words. “Alright, fair. But… what if they get aggressive when I apologise to them? What if they attack me?”
“Then you deserve it…” Vikalos growled as he got up from his desk, grabbing Seimeni by the arm and dragging her with him. “Come along now. You have a confession and an apology to make.”