Arkay did as he was told. The hulking beast that was Vikalos had somewhat forcefully taken Arkay from one ship to another. In this smaller, much more orange ship, a plain room had been prepared in the cargo bay, waiting for the two beings. As soon as Arkay had sat down, Vikalos tutted and stormed off, swiftly returning to his own ship and sealing the path behind him.
The new Decay-Lord sat on his own for a little bit, wondering what was going on. As far as he could tell, there was no one else around and almost nothing in the cargo room aside from the strange, white room. This room that had been erected seemed to have its own ventilation system. Clearly it was some sort of containment thing.
“Oh, did Vikalos already leave?”
A voice startled Arkay. Peering from behind the room was a being who looked… really, really familiar. They actually looked a lot like Arkay. That same weirdly armoured body, the same large eyes, the same rubbery skin. The only real difference was that this being had crystalline orange armour, than the dull, yellow and black plating Arkay wore.
“Yeah, he stomped off back to the ship!” Arkay smiled, doing his best to be polite. “Hi, I’m Arkay! Who are you?”
The being stared at Arkay, as if they were thinking the same things Arkay had been thinking. “Blimey, you look… really familiar… I mean, when I read your name, I thought that it couldn’t have been, but here you are…”
“So you do know me?” Arkay asked. “Or we at least… somehow know each other?”
“I’m not certain…” the being frowned as it approached, holding a pad and pen, as well as a few other tools Arkay didn’t recognise. “Either way, I have to deal with this messy business before we proceed any further. You can call me TK.”
“TK? Is it… short for anything?” Arkay was even more curious now. The name definitely sounded familiar. “I have a lot of questions, I’ll be honest.”
“Unfortunately you’ll have to answer my questions first.”
“Why? What is going on?”
TK frowned, putting down his pad. “You’re a Decay-Lord who was a Decayling, found within the rubble of the old Deathven. A lot of Voidborn and Corruption activity has gone through that place, so we need to make sure you’re clean and not some sort of trap.”
“It’s a… messy story. One that Vikalos hasn’t gotten over yet. We’ve found some nasty stuff in that rubble…” TK tutted, then turned to his sheet of paper. “Alright, first question. Please describe who /you were before you became a Decayling or Decay-Lord.”
“You mean, back when I was the Thantophor?”
“Yeah. I assume that was the name of you when you were a death god?”
TK sighed, eyeing the paper in front of him. “I’m going to be honest, mate, these questions are all pointless. A Voidborn or a Corruption playing as a Decay-Lord could so easily lie. I think I should just stick you in the chamber and see what happens. I should follow protocol but protocol is stupid.”
Arkay glanced at the white room, which TK was clearly referring to. “What will that chamber do?”
“It’ll incinerate you if you have too many traces of Voidborn or Corruption influence inside you.”
“Huh…” Arkay trailed off. “I… I kinda see why Vikalos might have been a bit… annoyed…”
The crystalline orange Decay-Lord rolled his eyes, then got up from his seat and opened a small hatch on the side of the white chamber. Inside was nothing but a small, plastic stool, secured to the ground.
“I hope this doesn’t kill you.”
“Yeah, I hope so too…” Arkay shivered. “I should probably say that… well, when I was a Decayling…”
“They put you in solitary. Because you had like a 3.1% corruption level. I know.”
Arkay did was TK asked. He sat down on the stool while TK sealed the door shut behind him. For a brief moment, everything was strangely silent, only to be loudly ruined by TK’s voice crackling through a panel behind him.
“Alright, I need you to stay calm. It’ll get rather warm in there. If you can feel your skin peeling off, then scream and I’ll, uh, try and save you before you get incinerated.”
Everything suddenly started glowing red. There was clearly something else going on in the room, but Arkay couldn’t tell because everything was red. And hot. It was uncomfortable, but Arkay didn’t feel too bad? His skin wasn’t peeling off, was it?
The heat did not last long though. Freezing cold gas abruptly blasted into the room, freezing Arkay in place. Everything was horribly cold, to the point that Arkay couldn’t even shiver to move. Gradually though, things began to warm up again, to the point that the ice started dripping off his body.
A door to Arkay’s side opened up. He couldn’t quite move, but he could tell he was alive.
“Congratulations, mate. You’re definitely a Decay-Lord. And your levels of corruption have dropped to nominal levels!”
TK waited for a reply, then realised that the young Decay-Lord was still somewhat frozen.
“Oh, let me get you out of there and fix you up!” TK smiled as he climbed inside the room and started pulling ice off Arkay’s body. “And once we’ve done that, we’ll work out how the heck we know each other…”