Not Solitary Confinement

“Bad day?”

“Bad month.”

Retvik sighed, closing his eyes and trying to ignore the godly being that had just sat down on the cold, metal floor next to him. They were both currently in an ugly cell, with barely enough room for Retvik to stretch his legs out. There was no bed, no chair, nothing but a bucket in the corner, a bottle of water and a tray of indescribable sludge.

“I am s-”

“Do not apologise, Arkay. I do not want to hear it.”

The Thantophor shrugged. “Do you want to talk?”

“We are currently in solitary confinement. I have been in here for only five hours and I can already feel the loneliness setting in. Yes, I would like to talk.”

“What happened?”

Retvik closed his eyes. “In less… pleasant terms, I fucked up majorly. You were right, I should have listened to you, but I was the fool who did not listen to a god warning me to turn back. I lost my respect, I lost my rank, I lost my job, I have lost my partner and I am most likely going to lose my mind and even my life while stuck in this hellscape.”

“Wait…” Arkay glanced around. “What’s going on with Gath?”

“He wants a divorce. And I cannot fight it as I lost consensual rights when I entered the 11th Legion, I must wait until I am out of here to be able to negotiate anything.”

“Oh… Well, that isn’t too bad… I was worried I had accidentally killed him or something. Did Gath say… why he wanted a divorce?”

Retvik grunted. “He wishes to settle down and have kids. Cannot do that if your partner is a million miles away, inside the bin of unwanted beings, being manipulated by a mind-rapist into impossible tasks. Litvir wishes to send the six of us to the Eternal Realms in order to speak to the Lord of Nothingness.”

The Thantophor blinked. “But that… no one can go to the Eternal Realms.”


“They don’t exist.”

Retvik sat up, confused. “They do not? Where does Kenon exist then?”

“In the same void spaces the Skyavok make their homes in. Take a trip to Sky-Sipria or any other Skyan capital city and you’re about as close to Kenon as you can get. Why does this Litvir prick want to speak to Kenon anyway? Please don’t tell me he wants to experiment with corruption or something…”

“I do not know…” Retvik shook his head. “I believe it is something to do with trying to obtain immortality. Nether you nor Yisini can obtain it, and Litvir believes the other deities will relinquish more information, that us mortals have all been looking in the wrong places.”

The Thantophor shrugged. “Well, good luck with that. My question is, do you want me to break you out of here?”

“You would do that? Despite…”

“Yeah. Only for you though. Because, well, you know…”

Retvik tutted. “I do not know, actually.”

Arkadin smiled, then suddenly stopped, as if he was about to speak and changed his mind. “Uh… Well, you are my friend…”

“You have many friends, but you keep them away. And unfortunately, despite my dire situation, I do not wish for you to rescue me.”

“Why not?”

“My actions brought me here. I have… things I must atone for.”

“This place ain’t the place to do that.”

“I know…” Was that… a glimmer of hope Arkadin spotted in Retvik’s eyes. “But I have a rank to re-obtain and I am working on a path to do that. I do have questions to ask of you, but we can discuss those at another time.”

Arkadin smiled some more. Retvik closed his eyes, somewhat lost in thought. The Thantophor muttered something under his breath, something only Retvik could understand, then climbed to his feet.

“Anything else?” Arkadin asked.

“No, that is plenty, thank you.”

“You’re welcome!” the Thantophor beamed as he bowed slightly then vanished. “I wish you luck in your future endeavours…”