Seimeni smiled to herself as she watched Adis and Ostos squabble.
They had originally been playing card games, betting small, glowing tokens on whoever got the closest to a random number, before moving onto another game where they had to match pairs together. But that all ended when Ostos accused Adis of cheating and hiding cards underneath his cloak. Adis was adamant that he wasn’t cheating and that the Omega Two card Ostos was looking for must still be in the deck. What neither of them realised was that the card in question had fallen on the floor and neither of them had noticed. They were playing with an incomplete deck and now Seimeni was just waiting for them to start complaining about another missing card.
The squabbling though trailed off as Vikalos entered the room. He glared at the two skeletal beings, forcing them both to abruptly shut up.
“Is something going on, Vikalos?” Ostos asked, straightening up the antlers on his skull head.
“You are being very noisy.”
“Did we wake the little weird one?” Adis tutted. “I bet we did. Little bastard will probably spend ages asleep and then bitch and…” Adis realised he was rambling and stopped. “Sorry…”
Vikalos stared at Adis a bit more. Adis swore that he could feel hotter all of a sudden. He tried to look away and found he couldn’t, at least not until Vikalos turned his attention elsewhere.
“Seimeni, are you free, currently?”
The pale, ghost-like being smiled. “I am.”
“Good. Could you give Arkay a quick tour of the vessel then bring him up to the cockpit? I planned to do so myself but something has come up.”
“I will inform you when I am certain of the scenario myself.”
Vikalos stepped to one side, revealing Arkay. Seimeni smiled at the new guy and floated over, taking Arkay by the hand.
“Come along now, I shall show you around!”
“Thank you…” Arkay stuttered, looking somewhat nervous. He followed Seimeni out of the room and down the main corridor as she led him to the cargo area.
Adis rolled his non-existent eyes and clicked his teeth. He would have tutted but that would have required owning a functional tongue. “I don’t know what that thing is, but it bothers me.”
“He is called Arkay. I will not tolerate you antipersonifying him. He is an individual, a Decay-Lord like the rest of us!” Vikalos hissed.
Back down the corridor, Seimeni was rushing ahead, running around playfully and jumping around as she waited for Arkay to catch up. While most of the Decay-Lords here wore either cloth wraps or heavy armour, Arkay seemed to wear a bit of both. He had additional black and yellow armour on top of what looked like natural armour plating, but he also wore a small, black, fabric wrap around his stomach area. Compared to Seimeni’s long, flowing, semi-translucent robes, he looked underdressed.
With a grin, Seimeni slammed open the main door to the cargo hold. There wasn’t actually that much in there, just a few crates filled with weapons and supplies.
“This is where we put all our stuff that we don’t need, and it’s also where we throw junk like rubbish, trash and insubordinate crew members out into the endless space outside!”
Arkay glanced around the room but didn’t see much else as Seimeni pulled him away, slamming the door shut. She then opened the next two doors, about 5 meters away.
“These rooms are for storage. One frozen room. One hot room.”
With another door slam, she continued dragging Arkay onwards.
“These two rooms are medical bays for this end of the ship!”
“These are the two bathrooms. One is a sauna room the other is a shower and wash room.”
Arkay barely got to see inside before the doors slammed shut again.
“These two rooms connect and are basically our swimming pool.”
This time Arkay managed to glance inside. The doors led to ladders that dropped down into a pool area.
“Up next are the ten bedrooms! You know which one is yours! After that, we have two quiet study rooms. Then there’s two media rooms. Then one of the two game rooms which you just saw. Here we have our two kitchens where we make our food, plus two storage rooms for more food! Then we have the engine rooms! You don’t go in there, nor do you go into these two rooms, which are Vikalos’s offices…”
There were five rooms left. Arkay tried to hide how exhausted he was. He would have much preferred going at his pace rather than Seimeni’s.
“These two big rooms are our battle stations. From here, we can fire all the ship guns. The two after it are the observation rooms, so we can look out into that boring old void and see absolutely fuck all!”
Seimeni paused. She’d seen something outside. She assumed Arkay hadn’t noticed it, then led him into the last room, the cockpit.
“And THIS is where we fly the vessel!” Seimeni beamed. “Any questions? None? Good! Vikalos, he’s all yours!”
The cockpit was busier than everywhere else, because that was where everyone else was. There were eleven seats available, one obviously reserved for Vikalos, two at the front to pilot the ship and the rest meant for passengers. Currently five of the seats were occupied. Vikalos was standing in front of his own seat.
“Uh, what’s going on?” Arkay asked as Seimeni faded through the serpentine body of Thaed so she could see the consoles Saahro and Myyxa were looking at.
“Nothing that interesting, just something we gotta avoid!” Seimeni smiled a little less.
Arkay tried to look out of the main cockpit. Everyone else seemed to understand what was going on, but all Arkay could see was a strange, twisting blur.
“Yeah but what is it?” Arkay asked again.
“It is a conflict between a Voidborn and a Corruption…” Vikalos replied.
“They’re fighting each other! A timeless fight of millions of potential futures played out until one side gets tired!” Saahro explained a little better. There was a mixture of anxiousness and curiosity in his voice. “There is no clear winner yet. Might not ever be a winner…”
Vikalos grunted. “Normally we avoid these, but we have not been detected yet and I wish to attempt something. An experiment.” The hulking being looked down at Arkay. “May I have a shard of your natural armour, please?”
Myyxa hissed and gurgled. “He wants to see if you are Antifthor. The flesh of an Antifthor will irreparably damage a Corruption…”
“He does this with everyone!” Ostos tried to reassure Arkay. “Just let him have it.”
Arkay sighed, then nodded his head in consent. Vikalos immediately grabbed Arkay by the back of the neck then scrapped off some of his shoulder armour with an immensely sharp claw. Satisfied with the sample, he handed it to Myyxa, who tapped several buttons then placed the shard of Arkay into a small compartment that opened up.
“I assume we will be using the Past-Less Booster System, Vikalos?” Myyxas grumbled.
Myyxas pressed a few more buttons. Suddenly a small, faint line blasted from the front of the ship, directly into the blurry conflict ahead of them. A hideous sound echoed through the void and the conflict began to clarify. A ghostly gold and white being could be seen tearing a black, amorphous cloud into tiny pieces before disappearing into nothingness.
Vikalos closed his eyes, smiling ever so slightly. He turned back to Arkay and gently shook his hand.
“Congratulations, Arkay. You are an Antifthor.”