Palaestra was the largest city on planet Portalia. It had originally been built by a combination of wyrvern-like Thraki and reptilian/humanoid Thanatian slaves, but ever since the Reth-Vrekan Union had been around, it had been deemed a neutral planet, free of slavery and open to any and all races.
The city was simple enough. Long, winding roads lined with either large, open, concrete homes with flat roofs, or even larger metal warehouses. In the centre of the city was a monument to the city’s heroes, the Dessaron, who had liberated the city in 1979, built on the ruins of several Kronospast slave-towers. Around it were governmental buildings, again built out of concrete but with far more glass, appearing more pleasant to visitors of the city.
The majority of tourists though were interested in something else. To the north were the Dessaron Battle Arenas, large stadiums that provided entertainment in the form of gladiatorial battles.
Even further north though was a single warehouse, redesigned and redecorated in both Rethan and Vrekan styles. This was the Dessaron HQ, the shared home of the four warriors who had done so much for this city. It had space outside for four vehicles, but one space was always empty.
Today, the three other spaces were all occupied.
“You do realise I am very busy, yes?” Retvik sighed as he sat down. “The Thraki are demanding a long list of insane demands and I have to figure out how to calm them down.” As always, he was wearing his ceremonial gold armour, the standard for members of the Rethan government. The gold contrasted nicely with his dark skin and red natural armour.
“Retvik!” Elksia squeaked. “Don’t be like that! We’ve always got time for Tenuk!” Elksia was rather skinny for a Vrekan, but her green and gunmetal plating made her stand out even more. “Tennypoo! Would you like some tea or something?”
“Yes please…” Tenuk sat awkwardly at the small kitchen table. “I’m sorry to drag you away from work, Retvik, but this is important. It’s about us. And Arkay…”
Retvik rolled his eyes, then got up and made himself a drink, despite the fact that Elksia was already in the kitchen. “Can we please leave the poor thing dead and buried?”
“That’s the thing…” Tenuk tried to think of a way to phase his next sentence nicely, but nothing came to mind. He decided just to say it. “Arkay wasn’t a Skyavok. When the Skyan government came to us and said that they had no records of his existence? They weren’t lying. Arkay wasn’t any known mortal race…”
In a single swift movement, Tenuk pulled out his electronic tablet, showing a series of photos.
“When I went to visit each of our deities, I got Dessi to take some pictures. Because I knew you wouldn’t believe me. Arkay was none other than the Lord of Death itself.”
Elksia glared at Tenuk, then snatched the tablet away, staring at it intently. Retvik went back to his seat, calmly drinking a glass of water. He didn’t seem particularly surprised.
“Well, that does explain a few things…” Retvik eventually muttered under his breath.
“Arkay was the Thantophor? How? Why?”
“It was apparently the only way he could stop the Kronospasts from destroying the universe. I assume he had tried other things…”
“He was there to keep us alive…” Retvik smiled between sips of his drink. “Everything Arkay did, it was defensive, to protect us. Think back to how he used to fight, always using blocks and shields, never going on the offensive. Arkay protected us so we could fulfil our duties.”
Elksia hesitated, thinking to herself. The more Retvik spoke, the more it made sense. “The God of Death was stopping us from dying?”
“I assume so… Is that what he said to you, Tenuk?”
Tenuk nodded. “Basically.”
Retvik smiled, then finished his drink and got up to leave. “That is good. I feel better now. Unfortunately, I really, really must get back to the office, I have a lot to do. But now that you have returned home safely, perhaps we should get together when we’re all free and have a drink to our old friend?”
“I’d like that!” Elksia beamed. “We can go somewhere close, so we can all get drunk.”
“Yeah, sure!” Tenuk seemed happy. “In the mean time, I should… probably get started writing out all these meetings with these gods. Maybe I’ll call it Meeting Deities or something…”
“Sounds good to me!” Retvik waved. “Have a nice day, you two.”