Tale – Asking a Politician

“You ever thankful for anything, Elkay-En?” Phovos asked as she waltzed into the private changing room, her clawed hands full of sheets of paper.

The Threan-type Rethan who was just about to change out of his armour rolled his eyes as he removed his helmet. He placed it neatly on the bench next to him, then rolled his eyes again. “Phovos, I am thankful for many things. For example, I am thankful for you giving me this job as one of your top house-fighters. I am also thankful for the many good things you have done for me and my family, and I wonder how I will repay you. What I am not thankful for is people calling me by that awful, dreaded name while in private. How about you?”

Phovos blinked, not sure why Elkay was so insulted by the extra syllable she’d put on his name. That WAS the name he was using in public, but she couldn’t understand why it made the Rethan almost visually upset. Not that she could tell, Rethan emotions didn’t seem too similar to Thanatian emotions. So cold and professional. All the time.

“Uh… I was just going to say I’m thankful for the ability to go from Thanatia 2 and back here in such a short amount of time…” Phovos shrugged. “But I’m so glad you brought up that repayment thing, because I was totally going to ask for some help from you.”

Elkay looked up as he took off his spiked graves and shoulder armour, again piling it up neatly on the bench. “You need my help?”

“Mhm!” Phovos nodded. “You been reading Thanatian news?”

Elkay’s expression seemed to change, his lips curled downwards. Phovos assumed the worst.

“I guess not.”

“I heard that your sister Mavri Thyra was planning on holding elections of some sort, but otherwise, I have not looked into it in detail.”

Again, Phovos nodded. She was glad one of her damn house-fighters had been paying some attention. “Yeah, that’s the gist of it. Mavri’s having insane ideas again. Wants to be more like you Rethans with your politics and stuff. But the problem is, we have no constitution or anything like that. Nothing at all. We don’t even know how many Thanatians are out there, or a good age to allow them to vote.”

Elkay rolled his eyes again. That seemed to be a thing that Rethans like Elkay did a lot. Maybe it was a status thing. He didn’t say anything at first, and instead put on his ‘casual’ armour, which was mostly just heavy, black pieces that obscured his grey skin and green natural body armour. He then took a large black wrap, and used it to tie his wings up close to his back.

“So, uh, any thoughts on the matter?” Phovos asked.

“Many, in fact,” Elkay tutted. “I assume you’re turning to me because you want help to make these elections a reality?”

“Yeah, pretty much.”

The former Rethan General seemed to smile, his mouth open slightly and several teeth sticking out. “Well, I’ll be very blunt with you, but doing an election now would be a complete disaster. Your best course of action if you want an election immediately is to do one within a governmental body, one which you have full knowledge of its members.”

“So, like, get the Army of the Sixteen to vote on it, since we know how many Thanatians are in that?”

Elkay nodded, but gently, not the harsh neck-bobbing Thanatians normally did. “Yes, that would sound reasonable. You would need to find several competent opponents though, and you would at the very least need a basic set of laws, so you don’t end up with another tyrant…”

Phovos paused, then snarled. “Did you just call my sister a tyrant?”

“She is unelected and has been the de-facto leader of the Thanatians for the last millennium, yes?”


Elkay continued to do his little smile. Phovos grunted, then changed the subject, feeling slightly stupid. “Okay, but we need a constitution, and we can’t just copy yours…”

This time, Elkay wasn’t smiling. “You do not want to copy our poor excuse of a constitution. We copied ours from the Threavok and threw in a bunch of racist laws which I’ve spent the last twenty five years trying to rectify. We don’t even have term limits.”

“Are term limits a good thing?”

“They stop the same being remaining in power for decades at a time.”

“Huh?” Phovos felt like she was missing something. “You were Vice General for twenty five years, or five elections though? And now you’re going to try and become High General and stay in power for another twenty five years?”

This time, Elkay paused. But only for a moment. His little smile came back. “Rethan laws are needlessly hard to change, and I admit I am not above keeping ill-advised laws in order to change bad laws. But I recommend not making the same mistakes us Rethans made. I advise that you speak with a true law-maker.”

“But you made laws all the time, Elkay!” Phovos exclaimed, clearly very confused.

“No, I recommended plans and ideas, then voted to turn them into laws. But someone else always wrote them, clarified them, tested them. For me, that person was Veeksiar, the Keeper of the Great Library, as he understands law and the twisting of words better than no other Rethan.”

“So I need to ask a laywer then…” The Thanatian drifted off in thought, before snapping back, once again changing the subject. “Okay, I have things to do… You don’t need anything right now, do you?”

Elkay shook his head. “Are our plans still in order for the 28th of Feb?”

“Yeah, no changes or anything.”

“Very well,” Elkay mused. “There is nothing I need.”

“Thanks for the talk, Rethan!” Phovos grinned as she rushed off, slamming the door behind her.