The black door, with its gold frame, appeared in front of Vahlok. He had just finished killing a Whenvern High Priest and made it look like an accident, and now he had to report back to Stasis.
Two taps on the door. Then two more. After a fifth tap, the door creaked open, revealing a huge, black, void-like space. In the centre of it all was a large, gold platform, with multiple smaller, floating platforms leading up to it. Vahlok paused for a moment, dreading his first step. But the platforms remained firm, despite his weight. Once he was through, the door behind him slammed shut then faded away.
On the largest gold platform, Stasis was waiting. He was calmly sitting at a desk. Was he writing or reading? Vahlok couldn’t tell until he got closer, but it turned out that Stasis was doing both.
“You did well, Vahlok,” Stasis’s voice boomed, despite the fact he hadn’t looked up. “You always do well. In your short time serving me, you have been very good.”
Vahlok quietly nodded. “Thank you, my Lord. Do you… have something I can clean myself up with? Wild animal attacks are both common back there and rather messy…”
A small, gold pedestal appeared and hovered next to Vahlok as he approached the main platform. On it was a bowl of warm water and several black towels. He took one of them, dipped it in the water and started cleaning his claws. Once he was done, he dried himself with another towel. The pedestal then disappeared.
“No need to thank me.” Stasis still hadn’t looked up. He was busy with something, clearly.
“Still…” Vahlok muttered. He reached the large platform and stepped onto it. Behind him, the floating platforms all disappeared, fading away into the darkness. “Do you have another task for me, my Lord?”
Vahlok blinked. A gold stool appeared. Stasis clearly wanted him to sit down, so he did.
“Then what do you need?”
“A second opinion.”
Confusion filled Vahlok’s mind. The Lord of Nothingness, asking him for advice?
“You see, you are a wholly efficient killer. Very skilled at what you do. But lacking in true subterfuge.”
The Archwarrior shrugged. “Unfortunately, a powerful Varga such as myself does not blend in well, when the Whenvern’s followers are mostly Temthans…”
“Exactly…” Stasis fell silent. Vahlok peered over, trying to see what Stasis was reading. From the looks of it, he was studying a long list of obviously Thanatoforic beings, of various shapes and sizes.
“I do not follow. Do you need a second Archwarrior?”
“Yes. That is what I am looking into. What I originally wanted to do was grant you the ability to shapeshift, much like a Veth can, but my initial experiments proved that you would swiftly lose your mind, due to hormonal imbalances that always occur in mortal form-changers. Instead, I have found an answer elsewhere.”
Vahlok wasn’t sure what to say.
“I was recently brought intel that the bloody Time Dragon had brought in a second warrior to assist Tempo. An Aythra going by the name Rythma. A Panvok being, one that could much more easily sneak into our territories than Tempo can. I am not normally one to copy others, but his strategy is worth stealing.”
“And you want me to help you pick somevok out?”
“Indeed…” Stasis pushed the electric tablet towards Vahlok. He quickly scrolled through them, not sure what he was looking for at first. Then it occurred to him, he needed to pick someone who could slip in easily. Someone both plain yet capable of standing out. Someone who could be anyone.
Finally, Vahlok spotted one. A rather normal looking Temthan. Female. Potentially attractive. But otherwise easily missed. Probably why he missed her the first two times.
“This one…” Vahlok handed the device back and pointed at the Temthan. “She’s a little-known being. A traitor everyone has forgotten about. No one would miss her.”
Stasis smiled. “Wise pick, Vahlok. Once again, you prove yourself. Go rest. I will have a new task for you later. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.”
A black and gold door appeared next to Vahlok. The door creaked open, and Vahlok got up and walked through it, appearing in his normal living quarters. Behind him, the door slammed shut, leaving Vahlok alone.
With a sigh, Vahlok headed over to his bed.
“This will be interesting, I guess…”