“Arkay, I want you to listen to me. You’re tied down, you can’t move, but you can listen. You aren’t going to say or do anything. You’re just going to listen.
“Alright. Are you comfy? Silly me. You can’t answer. Well, I’m going to talk anyway.
“I’m angry at you, Arkay. You know that. You fucked up. Yes, you technically saved me and my universe but you still got five billion beings destroyed. My finger has grown back but there won’t be life in that part of the universe for a few billion years. You should have told someone, Arkay. You went off and did it and you hurt me.
“I thought I could forgive you after the bumpy beginnings, but you going off and doing that, I knew I had to punish you. Honestly, I was considering just having you destroyed. But that would have been a waste. And it would have given you what you wanted. You hate yourself and wish you didn’t exist. I’m going to make sure you exist forever.
“But I’m not going to just make you exist. I mean, I could sit around and torture you. I could torture you until things return to normal in the chunk of me you killed. I’d totally enjoy it. I’d bring out all my favourite toys, like that one that cuts off slices of your flesh, fries them up in butter then feeds them to you. I have a torture toy like that in the shed. I’m not kidding. It’s great. Although knowing you, you were trained to deal with painful torture. It’s the sexual abuse you don’t like. Again, that’s perfectly fine with me. I have an infinite number of ways to hurt you.
“There’s more though. I could chain you up to a rock and have vultures tear out your internal organs on a regular basis. Or throw you into the Endless River and have you picked apart by hagfish or whatever. There’s so much I could do to you.
“But that isn’t going to get us anywhere. Even after a billion years of torture, I’ll still hate you, you’ll still hate me and I’ll still have a useless Veth Prime who doesn’t do anything and I can’t make a new Veth Prime until I un-Veth Prime you.
“I want to put you to work, Arkay. I want you to be loyal and work for me, like all my other Veth. Really, it angers me that you are so disloyal. I mean, it’s totally my fault because I made you disloyal. I made you too good at adapting.
“But let’s face facts. You are part of me now. You always will be. Little Arkay Theanon, the little god-killer, the Dessaron, the Ksa, he’s dead. All you are is a part of me that I let out into the mortal plane then reclaimed. Even after all Iatre did to you, and I’m really bloody impressed with what Iatre did, you still fight me, you still fight the Cycle. But in the mean time, the Cycle goes on. And on. And on. AND ON. It doesn’t stop. Whether you fight against me or not. You can’t change things. You CANNOT CHANGE THIS.
“So I’m going to give you one last opportunity. One very last chance for you to prove that my time is better spent giving you things to do rather than torturing you or flat out destroying you.
“I want you to go down there and kill things. Brutally. I’ll give you a location and some targets, you kill them and bring them to Kinigi. They are going to die anyway, but since they’re what I consider unsavoury, I think a nice, brutal death is what they deserve. We’ll start at… let’s say about 500 for now. See how you get on with that.
“We both know you don’t want to be tortured forever. You do this, you become a normal Veth. Same rights as everyone else. No more torture. Do you understand?”
“Oh yes, I need to let you talk. So, kid, what do you think?”
“I think you are angry and upset with me, because you are upset and angry with yourself.”
“You… Oh for fuck’s sake…”
“I’m right and you know it.”
“Sigh… You are, Arkay. You’re absolutely right. But I’m trying to put this behind us. That’s not what I’m asking you right now. Do you accept my final offer? Will you bring people to the River? Will you finally do as I command?”
“Very well. It’s not like I have any other choice. I will do as you command, Kinisis.”
“Good boy. Now, let me release you from your prison and send you on your way!”