It was close to midnight. The medics had finished tending to Elkay’s injuries. He was lucky to be alive. But he was in no position to be going anywhere. Two broken legs, a sprained wing and a dislocated shoulder all vied for attention from his drug-ridden brain.
Someone, he wasn’t sure who, said he should try and get as much sleep as possible, but there was no way that was happening. No way. Between the tingling numbness in his back, the pain in his tattered limbs and the beeping of the machinery keeping him alive and feeding him painkillers, it was simply too noisy to sleep. Perhaps Elkay was a fussy sleeper, but he could never sleep with flashing lights around. Or lights in general. It needed to be as dark as possible.
The private room was somewhat dark, not enough though. The light from the hallway shone across his bed, and a neon green sign pointing to where the exit obviously would occasionally flicker. Elkay hoped the light would go off completely, but it never did. There weren’t any windows though.
There was something in the only unlit corner of the room. Something alive.
Elkay had been aware of its presence every since the medics left him alone. He knew there were five bodyguards outside the room. Deep down though, Elkay knew that this figure wasn’t here to harm him or anything. It had an air of concern about it. It desperately wanted to talk to him.
“Is everything alright, Vice General?” a young soldier peered around the corner. They may have heard the shadowy figure too.
“Y-yes, could you close the door please? Too bright…” Elkay spat out a reply in very slurred words. The painkillers were getting to him, and he was still knocked out from the full anaesthetic from earlier.
“Of course, ser…” The soldier disappeared, taking the light with him. Elkay took a deep sigh of relief. The thing in the corner also seemed to be relieved.
After a few moments of blessed silence was rudely interrupted by the loud beep from one of the machines Elkay was attached to, the thing decided to speak.
“You are in danger.”
Elkay rolled his eyes. A blind, new-born kid could have told him that. “T-tell me something I d-don’t know…”
The creature pondered to itself, sighed a little and seemed to smile. “Something you don’t know? How about my identity?”
“S-sure, why not?”
“I am Psivee-En.”
“Huh…” Elkay didn’t really have much of a reply. Any reasonable Rethan would be panicking or threatening to kill him, but the drugs were telling him everything was fine. “You’re… t-technically my step-father or s-something.”
Elkay couldn’t quite comprehend what was going on. How was the Defiler free? He was pretty certain that his imprisonment was indefinite, except for two conditions; the end of the world or…
“Did Kayel f-forgive you?”
“Wow…” Elkay fell silent for a moment. “Kayel sent you to check on me.”
“He cares, more than you know. Why do you push him away?”
Elkay wondered why as well. There had originally been a reason. Everyvok told him Kayel was a bad influence, that he was dangerous and insane and all sorts of things. Being the young, inexperienced, newly elected Vice General he was back then, Elkay believed them.
“I-is he behind the Kalsa Warrior rebellion?”
He wanted to change the subject and be more in control. Elkay may have been stuck in bed for the next few weeks, but he could have still been of use, with information or something.
Elkay breathed a sigh of relief, but felt like he’d spoken too soon.
“But as of now, he IS assisting them. Like many of the other Ksa you wrongly imprisoned.”
That last sentence angered Elkay greatly. “Hang on! I am not behind that! I want the Ksa free to live their lives! That moronic idea belongs to the rest of the fucking Council, not me!”
Psivee-En raised a hand, suggesting that Elkay shut up before anyone heard him. Which was fair. Elkay lowered his voice, but continued his little speech.
“I have fought long and hard for Ksa to get treated properly. I’ve tried to help the Kalsa Warriors get some freedom here and there whenever it comes up at Maza meetings. I have always wanted equality for everyone and I hope that the Kalsa Warriors on Kolasi get what they want. But if Ksa get involved, some on the Council will not be amused. They’ve got to turn themselves in or they’ll be considered traitors. You have to tell Kayel that.”
“Kayel already considers himself a traitor. Years of others telling him that have twisted him. He has his own plans now that only I have access to.”
“Then why are you here?” Elkay asked, feeling very confused and perhaps louder than he’d meant.
Psivee-En sighed. “Because Kayel wanted to make sure you were safe. He wishes he could be here with you while you recover.”
Suddenly, someone knocked on the door, asking if everything was alright. Two guards burst in, only to find Elkay staring blankly at the wall ahead of them.
Elkay glanced at them, then turned back to the wall. “It was nothing. Just a dream…”
“Very well, ser. Rest well.”
“Thank you…” Elkay replied uneasily, as the light faded from the room once more.