“Siblings, get over here, we need to discuss something…” Veekay beckoned his fellow Ksa to join him. He watched as they gathered round him. Seven other K-Class Ksa, four Ξ-Class Ksa and one incredibly lucky Θ-Class Ksa. Technically, Arksi, Psiksi, Thitaksi and Eksi were now K-Class as well, since their groups were merged. Nenth was just happy to be with Arksi. They were supposed to be celebrating their two year marriage anniversary, yet there they were, all standing in a dark, wet cavern.
Veekay thought back to when there used to be twenty K-Class Ksa. Everyone always fondly remembered how the N-Class Ksa survived a long string of assassination attempts, but most forgot the fact that it cost the lives of most of the K-Class Ksa. Sacrificing oneself for one’s leader is what the K-Class have always done best.
“What is it?” Geekay asked. Veekay smiled weakly at his partner.
“The receiver Arksi built popped into life briefly while most of you were out…” Veekay glanced over to Arksi and Enkay, who both nodded, backing up his claim. “It was Kayel Theanon. The Rethan responsible for our escape.”
“I KNEW it was him!” Eksi blurted out, more loudly than even he expected. Everyone glanced at him and he apologised for his outburst. Veekay sighed then continued.
“We need to discuss what we’re going to do. As far as the Rethan Stratos is concerned, we’re traitors and runaways. Being caught and arrested would mean, at minimum, ten years of high-security community service each. Probably more for Nenth, Arksi and myself, being class leaders. We would also lose our our jobs, our status, everything really.”
Deekay rolled his eyes. “That isn’t really an option then, is it?”
“What are our other options?” Teekay asked.
“We have several…” Veekay explained. “The first isn’t very good. We can turn ourselves in, plea insanity and loss of control, maybe get off with a few years of community service, possibly get out with no punishment at all. Downside is that our reputation would be permanently damaged.”
“Again, that’s not really much of an option!” Deekay protested. “Do we have any ACTUAL options?” Both Arkay and Itakay nudged Deekay, telling him to shut up.
Veekay sighed again. “The actual options aren’t much better. The obvious one is to join Kayel and all the other Ksa who have joined in on the Kalsa Warrior rebellion. I have a feeling some of you are already considering that? Are you?”
Nenth and Arksi glanced at each other, then glanced towards Arkay and Teekay, who were thinking the same thing.
“Yes, we are…” Nenth hesitated. “I mean… I have my doubts, and I genuinely fear that we’d end up captured anyway, so we might as well get captured doing the right thing. Right, vok?”
Arkay and Arksi nodded. Teekay only half-nodded, not sure himself. Veekay though stepped in to burst their bubble.
“Well unfortunately for you, Kayel has forbidden his kids from joining up. Arkay and Arksi wouldn’t be allowed in anyway. Neither would Psiksi, Thitaksi, Eksi or myself. He doesn’t want us, and I quote, getting hurt in any way. I think that Kayel knows how all this will end. Why else would he deny thirteen able-bodied Ksa? If we get captured while siding with the Kalsa Warriors, we’re finished. We’ll be traitors, without a doubt.”
Those words were genuine, that was what Kayel had said to him. But Veekay also knew that Nenth was unwilling to leave his partner’s side, and his words only fuelled Teekay’s doubts. Nenth seemed deflated about that option, so Veekay moved on.
“Our only other option is exile. We exile ourselves. Go and live out on Kolasi or Portalia or something. The Rethan population in general may come to dislike us, but we would be able to easily get jobs with other races. Maybe Arkay could sort something out with the Dessaron Arena beings and we could work there or something. I don’t know…”
“Well why don’t we just stay here then?” Psiksi suggested.
Everyone turned to Psiksi, wondering what he was on about.
“We stay here. No one knows where we are. We can’t be accused of running away or joining the rebellion. We already have a stable food supply, clean water and fuel for warmth, there’s no point running away, risking capture and working unwanted, boring, badly paying jobs for the rest of our lives.”
“And signing up with the Dessaron Battle System kinda flies in the face of remaining hidden…” Arkay added.
The youngest Ksa had a point. His idea seemed appealing to a few of the other Ksa.
Veekay thought to himself for a moment. “Well… I think we should spend some time thinking about this!” he concluded. “We have to be careful with this. Last thing I want is to spend the next few years being punished.”
With that, Veekay dismissed everyone. The Rethans all wondered off back to their current tasks, wondering what they should do and how much they liked Psiksi’s idea.