Tale: A Challenge at the End of Time

Stasis stared at each individual Veth as he walked by, judging them by their appearance. Many of them were terrifying, with mouths full of teeth and claws as long as Stasis’s forearms. They’d formed two lines either side of the personification of Nothingness, directing him towards the large, organic dome that was Death’s home. For a joke, he snarled at one of them, only for the Veth to roar back.

As he reached Death’s home, the Veth began to back away, allowing him to step inside a large hole that had appeared in the dome’s side.

“You are late again!” the Whenvern growled as he fidgeted in his seat. For Kairos, it was physically impossible for him to sit still. After all, he was the personification of the forward flow of time, in Stasis’s eyes, doomed to always move forward, never able to look back. “To your own meeting as well!”

“You know I have little respect for you, Kairos,” Stasis tutted. “Especially these days as we enter the last trillion or so years of this universe. Where’s Kinisis?”

Kairos shrugged. “Doing what she does. Addressing her Veth, tending to her wounds. You know what Death is like now that she feels your pull. Why do you beckon us here?”

A smile crept across Stasis’s face. “I thought of something that might cheer her up a little. After all, I don’t want her to be in a horrible mood for eternity while you go off chasing new Cycles…”

“You make it sound so bad.”

“That’s because it is bad. For her at least. We’ll both be fine.”

Kairos fell silent, before changing the conversation. “Why do you invite me here?”

Stasis paused, trying to get over his hatred of the fact that the Whenvern always spoke in the present tense, no matter what. “Oh, yes. A silly idea. Do you remember all those silly ‘teams’ Death has made over the millennia? You know, ones designed to stop whatever plot my children had in mind?”

“You mean my Dessaron?” Death growled as she stamped down a set of stairs that tidily disappeared behind her. “What the fuck do you want with them? You want something new to torture and ruin? You want me to have to create more of them to stop you mind-controlling a solar system or freezing time or destroying evolutionary lines?” Her voice dripped with malice. Over the centuries, she’d had to put up with many a mass extinction, most of them caused by either Stasis or Kairos’s meddling.

Stasis stepped back, feeling ever so slightly threatened by Death’s anger. “I… was going to suggest that we all play a game…”

“What sort of game?” Kairos asked. “I am not invited to games. I also remember that I have my own little teams in the past. Very useful.”

“Just a little something to amuse Death, I think. My idea was that we make, I don’t know, a team of four each, with our best Dessarons ever.”

“It’s always Dessaron, never Dessarons, idiot…” Death muttered under her breath. “And anyway, how is this supposed to make me feel better? You know there was a meteor impact on some stupid anthropic world and I’ve had seven hundred billion beings I’ve had to ferry down the River? I barely have time to play with my Veth, let alone play any games!”

Stasis sighed. Death was clearly angry at him but this time it wasn’t his fault. Kairos was the one who had accidentally caused that meteor impact. But with how she had been acting for the last twenty millennia, Stasis was beginning to realise that both he and Kairos needed to calm Death down. After all, she was the only being who could hurt either of them, and in a few tens of trillion years time, Stasis would be spending the rest of eternity with her.

“Can I tell you my idea please?” Stasis groaned.

“Fine.” Death crossed her arms angrily and did her best to listen and not think about punching Stasis and Kairos in their dumb faces. “Spit it out.”

“My idea was that we spend a few centuries building a team of four each. Our ultimate Dessaron. Then we make them fight each other and do various other activities for our own amusement. Perhaps we could even place bets on it?”

“I do not often get to make things. This is fun!” Kairos clapped with glee.

“Well, I suppose it’s something different to do…” Death shrugged. “Any rules on what we can actually create?”

Stasis shook his head. “I don’t think we need any rules. Just make it so our little creations are of similar sizes. Something like many of your original Dessaron teams, Death. As long as we are… reasonable with our creations…”

Death hummed to herself. “Hm… Okay. That sounds like a pleasant change.”

“You agree, Kinisis?” Kairos asked.

“I do.”

Stasis and Kairos both grinned.

“Very well. We have a century to build our teams!” Stasis announced. “Ready?”



Death rolled her eyes as both Stasis and Kairos disappeared into thin air. She then casually walked into the kitchen, where her favourite Veth was waiting with a pot full of tea.

“This will be interesting…” Death smiled as she poured herself a drink.