“Well, this is awkward…”
When Talmin’s new partner had received the message from the High General, demanding his presence, they were both rather worried, uncertain what to expect from this sudden summoning. As the two large, bulky Rethans made their way into the foyer of the grand palace, the building that had once been the centre of Rethan democracy, their worries grew immensely. Once inside, they checked in with the very calm and eerily quiet receptionist, who then called for two guards. The guards led them both into an office, where they sat there, waiting.
After what felt like an hour but in fact was only about fifteen minutes, the door behind them opened. Talmin watched with awe as the High General himself entered the room, followed by a red and gold Rethavok with chains around their neck and legs and, weirdly, a lack of armour on their forearms.
Immediately, Talmin’s partner began to panic, spewing out a river of words.
“You are alive! I thought you were dead! I was told you had been killed! Everyvok said you were dead. Called you a traitor. Claimed that you did not cooperate… I… I have… this… uh…”
“Hello, Gath…” the other Rethan sighed as High General Kenon dragged them to the table and sat them down opposite Talmin.
“Good day, gentlevok!” the High General smiled politely, sitting down himself. The guards around the room headed to the door, closing it behind them and giving the four Rethans some privacy. “General Gath, captain Talmin, we have a few things we need to discuss. You may speak freely.”
“Wow…” Talmin muttered under his breath. “I get to meet the High General AND he lets me speak freely?”
Kenon nodded, leaning back. “It is nice to meet such a fan. Unfortunately, this meeting is more about our friend here.”
“I am… so sorry…” Gath found himself spluttering. Talmin glanced at his partner, not really sure how to react. He had seen Gath upset before, but this was a different negative emotion. With a little smile, Talmin slipped his hand into Gath’s in an attempt to comfort him, but Gath shrugged him off.
“You do not need to apologize, Gath. It is not your fault.”
Talmin suddenly realized who this incredibly attractive Rethan was.
“You are… Retvik…” Talmin exclaimed. “Gath said you had been killed!”
“I was… told you were gone… That you had been killed… They came by, showed me pictures, asked me to identify you…” Gath was repeating himself. He sighed, then tried to explain. “You always told me to move on. You did not want me to mourn your death, you wanted me to live my life. Well I did not listen at first. I sucked up my tears while I worked and I sobbed myself to sleep. But I did as you asked and I moved on. That is what I am doing with Talmin.”
Talmin watched Retvik’s movements. Despite being smaller than both him and Gath, there was a powerful, almost vicious aura about him. He wasn’t sure whether this was because Retvik was no longer connected to the Secret or not, but part of Talmin was worried that this almost perfect beast would lash out at him. So when Retvik simply sighed and responded with almost understanding words, Talmin couldn’t help but be surprised.
“I do not blame either of you. You are both under the mind control of Kenon.”
Gath blinked in surprise. “You are not angry?”
“You are not yourself, Gath. Your mind has been altered…” Retvik tutted, obviously frustrated but unable to show as much. “You are perhaps not even the same Rethan I fell in love with. But you are now a loyal soldier to High General Kenon, while I am nothing more than a political prisoner. What else can I do but congratulate you on your new partner?”
“There is something else you can do…” Kenon suddenly interrupted. He lsmiled, waving his hand over the empty table. Two sheets of paper and two pens appeared, all with a golden trim. “You can file for divorce.”
Both Retvik and Gath leaned over, peering at the papers. Written in a scripted, swirling font were the terms and conditions of a standard divorce – the splitting of all personal belongings and the return of the right to date other beings at their choice. Except Retvik’s half of the “personal belongings” section stated that he must forfeit all belongings to the Rethan State, due to the fact he was a traitor to said state.
“You have… got to be… kidding me…” This time, it was Retvik who found it difficult to express words. “I will be blunt. I did not think our marriage would end like this.”
“It seems unfair…” Gath muttered.
“This is not unfair in any way what so ever!” Kenon beamed. “You love someone else, Gath. Talmin loves you dearly. You cannot love him and love this traitor at the same time.”
“He is not…” Gath paused mid-sentence. Retvik glanced up at Kenon, abruptly realizing what the High General was doing. In retaliation, Retvik smashed his hands on the table, making everyone else jump in shock.
“It is bad enough that you taunt and hurt me like this Kenon!” Retvik roared, staggering up from the table, pushing it backwards. “But how DARE you manipulate his mind like that!”
Gath shook his head, clearing his thoughts, but somehow unaware of Retvik’s sudden uproar. Talmin seemed the same way.
“I think it would be best if we write out own divorce papers…” Gath finally muttered.
“Very well…” Kenon smiled, standing up and handing Gath and Talmin a small card each. He then shepherded the two Rethans out of the room, pulling the door closed behind them. “Send me a message when you are ready, and we shall get it all sorted out…”