TK’s ship seemed very nice, especially compared to the other ships Arkay had been on. Everything was clean and tidy and very well lit, with automatic doors and cute little robots that continuously cleaned the floor. The strange thing though was the lack of rooms. Actual rooms that weren’t just for storage. There was clearly a kitchen, a dining area, a bathroom, a relaxation room and a couple of cabins and that was it.
“Do you, uh, need me for something?” Arkay asked as the two Decay-Lords entered the dining area. Two glasses had already been prepared.
TK smiled, somewhat slyly. “Not at all. But Vikalos isn’t expecting to, well, see you again, so I thought we could just chill out here for a bit and get to know each other!”
“You want to get to know me?”
“I feel like we already know each other…” TK sat down at the dining table. It was a pretty small, square table, barely big enough for four, but it was enough for TK. Arkay sat down opposite him, where a glass had been placed. The glass was empty but had a strange, black button on the side. The glass seemed to fit perfectly in Arkay’s hand, the same way the plush stool seemed to perfectly accommodate Arkay’s buttocks and tail.
“Yeah, clearly…” The fact that everything seemed to be just right was somewhat freaking Arkay out. It all felt weird and unnatural. Arkay couldn’t take it any more, he had to say something. “Alright, why are you basically a crystal orange version of me and why am I a yellow and black version of you? Did we come from the same universe or something?”
TK nodded. “Basically, yes.”
“The stupid universe that we were mortals in?”
“The one ruled by that insane goddess of the Cycle who… ignored my pleas to stop corruption?”
“Kinisis, yes. A Life Goddess, goes and makes massive messes but always manages to create fucked up Decay-Lords like you and me…” TK’s smile faded slightly. “You stayed behind, didn’t you. You tried to save it all.”
Arkay grunted, slumping slightly. “I don’t really remember. All I remember was fighting corruption and… being stabbed… and trying to save Kairos…”
“It got him in the end?”
TK shrugged. “I’m surprised you… stayed. I don’t really remember much either, but I know I left because I needed to. I ran and I don’t regret it. I became a god myself. I helped create a universe. Then I killed it mercifully when it had no more to give. I assume the same happened to you?”
Arkay looked down at the glass in his hand. It had filled with a deep, red liquid. He shuddered, then sighed. “Sounds like you got to do all of that willingly.”
“Mostly, yes. You didn’t?”
“I had no choice. She made me into a death god and that was what I did.”
TK tilted his head to one side, then got up from the table, dragging his chair to sit next to Arkay. “That honestly doesn’t surprise me. You never got to do what you wanted back when I knew you. Seems like that trend continued.”
“I don’t even get to do what I want now I’m a Decayling or Decay-Lord or whatever I am!” Arkay hissed. “I just get pushed around and screwed over. I want to be free, you know? To make my own decisions! And even now… well, I don’t know what’s going on but I’m probably going to be put in a cell again!”
Arkay took a deep breath, then closed his eyes. He was confused and pretty sick of everything. To his surprise though, TK had placed a caring hand on his shoulder.
“You don’t have to go back, you know. Your corruption levels are normal and healthy, probably because you’re a Decay-Lord now. You could stay here with me, if you wanted to.”
“Really?” Arkay looked up. “I don’t have to deal with… well, all those politics?”
“Probably not!” TK smiled. “Plus, I’ve waited a bloody long time to meet someone like you. Someone stitched from the same cosmic cloth. I’d love to have some company.”
“Really?” Arkay’s eyes lit up with hints of joy. “You… you’ll accept me?”
“Say really again and I’ll punch you.”
Arkay nodded and grinned. “Thank you. But I should tell the others, right?”
“Yeah, you should,” TK shrugged. “But take your time. Feel free to relax here for a little bit. After all, I did set you on fire then fast freeze you…”