Everyone sat round the battered, cracked table, not really sure what was going on. All six of the Rethans present had been lounging around for a while, avoiding eye contact with each other and definitely not staring at the insanely buff physic of the one Rethan who was mostly nude. The entire room was tense and annoyingly dark, illuminated by a single warm, yellow light bulb, dangling from the ceiling. When they had been told to meet here, they all knew something fishy was going on.
“Is it alright if I say it?” Kuta, the smallest and darkest of the Rethans, suddenly blurted out.
“Say what?” the dark-skinned but bright, white armoured Rethan growled. “What obvious knowledge do you have for us today, Kuta?”
Kuta smiled. “You are such a strict one, Isaar! All I was going to say was… can we all agree that Retvik is totally the most attractive Rethan here?”
Isaar rolled his eyes, as did the rather lean, bluish Rethan sitting opposite him.
“I agree…” the largest Rethan in the room grunted. Eomar was muscular and powerful, yes, but compared to Retvik, he looked somewhat flabby. It didn’t help that Eomar often wore mismatching armour pieces. “Retvik works out. I would love to join you in the gym one day.”
Retvik, the rather naked Rethan, with red-tinted skin and powerful red and gold natural plating, wasn’t too sure how to respond. “I… I appreciate the kind words…”
“Are you done yet?” Nisir, the blue Rethan, snapped. “Stop fawning over the spoiled brat.”
“Oh, please, Nisir!” Kuta beamed. “You know that Retvik earned his way up, like the rest of us did!”
“Please, do not argue over me!” Retvik interrupted. “There is no reason for us to be getting annoyed at any of this. Not when there are more pressing matters at hand.”
Nisir and Kuta both fell silent. Isaar rolled his eyes some more, while Eoman went back to glancing around the room for something interesting to look at. But the silence was quickly broken once again as the last Rethan, a rather simple Rethan with a combination of bright yellow and translucent blue armour, spoke abruptly.
“Eyes up, everyone!”
“The General is coming…”
The six beings all stood up as a tall, powerful Rethan entered, throwing the door open in a somewhat grand entrance.
“My favourite captains! What a pleasure to see you all together! At ease, all of you!”
Trismit bowed slightly as everyone sat back down. “Hello, General Litvir, why have you brought us together today?”
General Litvir smiled, a rather insidious grin growing across his toothy face. “I am so glad you asked! I have a mission for you all. A mission of cooperation.”
“With or without the nudist here?” Isaar grunted. “He has no armour, General.”
“That is because he keeps on setting his armour on fire…” Trismit muttered.
The General continued to smile. “Which is why you all need to work together…”
“As a new team of Elementals?” Kuta suddenly interrupted, visibly excited by the idea. “We get to go on secret missions again?” The other Rethans, the older ones at least, didn’t seem as pleased about the idea.
“No… Not quite yet. You six need to learn to work together first. Which is why Retvik will be joining you in your day to day duties so he can both assist you and learn from you. You will all also be given some… extra duties, which shall help in refining all of your abilities, not just Retvik’s.” The General glanced around the room, amused by how his captains were reacting. “There are definitely plans in motion, but none of you are ready yet.”
Isaar tutted at Nisir and Eoman, giving them a look of worry. The General noticed their disapproval but ignored them, instead shuffling several sheets of paper in his hands.
“I have set schedules for you all, complete with tasks I need doing. I will require daily reports, and some of these duties will require you all working together. If I discover that you are arguing with one another, your duties will be less fun. Are you all clear?”
Five of the six Rethans all nodded dutifully. But Retvik seemed unsure.
“What is it, little Flamebearer?”
Retvik sighed. “May I ask a question?”
“Could I have some armour, please?”
General Litvir clapped his hands together. “Oh my, I had completely forgotten! Do not fret, providing you with armour is among your list of tasks today. Chop, chop, everyone!”
With another clap of his hands and a flicker of light, Litvir placed the sheets of paper on the table, then left the room, leaving his captains feeling very confused.