“I’m impressed. You got pretty far before anyone tracked you down.”
Elkay stopped what he was doing and stared at the green Ksithan blocking his only exit out of the room. He had been hauling bags of laundry around, shoving dirty fabric into a couple of industrial washing machines, then filling a single industrial tumble dryer and patiently waiting for everything to finish, spending his time polishing armour in the mean time. Due to the few hundred Rethavok who had fled to this small town, there hadn’t been much time to wash or clean anything, and Elkay had offered to help out.
“Maybe I did not want to be found, Phovos…” Elkay sighed. “Despite my altered appearance, I want to help my kin in any way I can.”
Phovos shrugged, remaining in the doorway, not wanting Elkay to leave again. She looked Elkay up and down, surprised at how well his body had changed almost perfectly into that of another species. If it wasn’t for Elkay’s slower speech patterns and the telltale extra spikes on his armour plating, most would just assume he was a bit of a weird yet handsomely tall Skyavok.
“You ran away from your job, walked to Hertany and asked Tenuk Diplastron for a job and you are in here washing clothes. Do I have to remind you that you are a former High General of the Rethavok?”
Elkay closed his eyes, sighing and leaning against the tumble dryer, which was rather warm and soothing in the cold, concrete room.
“General Elkay Theanon is dead. He died last year. Multiple times. He is as dead as all other previous High Generals, excluding, well, you know…”
“Well, that aside, you still ran away…” Phovos tutted. “Doesn’t look good on your resume. Then again, thanks to your Kiniseon powers, no one in Palaestra seems to remember you or that damn Banikan. Wasn’t until I asked Lokmah how you were doing that I realised you’d split.”
“You seem angry…” A small bing echoed through the room. Elkay went back to work, opening the tumble dryer and folding piles of warm clothes. The warmth made him feel a little better at least.
“I’m not angry. Just surprised. You’re not acting like yourself.”
“I am not acting like myself, am I?” Elkay suddenly snapped, accidentally knocking a pile of clean clothes onto the floor. He sighed, picked up the clothes then went through each piece, seeing whether he needed to wash it all again. Once he was done with that, Elkay turned his attention back to Phovos. “How am I supposed to act like myself when I am not myself any more! I am… I am not a Rethavok! I am not a Skyavok either! I am some horrible hybrid mess that cannot control himself…”
Elkay paused, leaning against the tumble dryer again, sighing loudly. Phovos stepped forward to comfort him, but Elkay pushed the Ksithan away.
“I somehow made Teekay forget who I was. He saw me as a normal Skyavok. And he got… upset when I said I did not want to be a normal Skyavok. He accused me of being backwards and selfish and hiding away from my commitments, I felt like I was deceiving him. So I left and came here, looking to help how I can.”
“I… didn’t realize you two had split up…”
“Yes, well… Teekay deserves someone who does not unintentionally interfere with his memories and can hold a stable form. Which I cannot seem to do any more.”
“Just because you’re having issues, doesn’t mean you should drop your entire life down the drain. We can fix that. You need to be less harsh on yourself.”
Elkay tutted. “I deserve it.”
Phovos shrugged. “You’re a good vok. But you’re taking it out on both yourself and others. Will you at least restart your lessons with me at least? Because running away won’t help your problems.”
“I… yes… you are right…” Elkay sighed, putting the pile of clothes down. “But this will not fix me feeling like I am neither a Rethavok nor a Skyavok.”
“It will. Over time…” Phovos smiled. “I suppose for now you can call yourself a Skyareth or something instead…”