Helkan found himself trapped inside a small, metal cage. It was just large enough to stand up in, but he couldn’t really move around. It had dropped down on him, seemingly appearing from nowhere. He could have dug downwards, into the weird, pink sand, since there were no bard on the ground, but he couldn’t bend down to reach the ground even if he wanted to.
But Helkan wasn’t worried about himself. He was more worried about his Mistress, Syklia. She was nowhere to be seen.
Well, that was a lie. He’d seen Syklia wander off somewhere. She clearly had forgotten she’d brought Helkan with her. So she’d left him. Abandoned him to this cage. Worse, something was watching him.
“I mean no harm!” Helkan shouted, not expecting a reply.
“Who the fuck are you?”
The being drifted into view. They’d been a ghost, a flash of smoke before, drifting around Helkan’s cage. Now, it was standing exactly like Helkas, staring at him as if it was looking at something truly horrific. The weird thing was that it looked almost exactly like Helkan, except for the fact it was yellow.
“I… I am Helkan, the High Guardian. I serve my Lady Syklia and protect her Universe.” Helkan stuttered over his words. This creature was so eerily similar to him.
“Why do you look exactly like me but in red rather than yellow?” the being asked.
Helkan had no answer. The creature growled, then looked around.
“I swear, someone’s fucking with me. Probably one of the other Veth. They like to do that. Bad enough I already have multiple personality problems…”
“I don’t know why we look so similar,” Helkan finally answered as the other being continued to rant and grumble. “My duty is to protect Syklia. Why have you trapped me here?”
The creature sighed, then tore the bars of the cage open, freeing Helkan. No longer confined, he gave the creature a proper look up and down. They were so similar looking, it was eerie.
“Syklia is the Personification that just wandered in here, yes?” the creature tutted. “The Mistress told me to expect a strange visitor. Stuff like this, if there’s more than expected, I lock them all down. No one told me Syklia was bringing a friend. But we can’t be too careful, we had a Corruption here not too long ago…”
Helkan blinked. “Really? We did as well. It was not… It was bad. Very bad. Lots of dead Void Keepers. Syklia’s breeding more now.”
“You did? The damn corruption here got in and so nearly destroyed us. We had to throw everything we had on it…” The creature paused, swallowing. “Too many died. If only I’d known sooner…”
The being sighed then shook its head. After a long, awkward silence, the creature offered its hand to Helkan, smiling.
“Sorry about that. My name is Arkay. I am the Veth Prime around here and Kinisis’s favourite little test subject. Nice to meet you.”
“Kinisis!?!” Helkan exclaimed. “Holy fuck, KINISIS? She’s the Personification who gave Syklia her new Void Keeper blueprint! It all makes so much sense now?”
Arkay blinked. “Pardon?”
“She redesigned me, based on you!”
Arkay remained confused and blinking. “She… based you… on me..?”
“Yes. The Veth Prime’s form was used as a base for Syklia’s newest version of the Void Keepers,” Helkan explained. But Arkay was still incredibly confused.
“That’s… Why would anyone do that? I’m defective!” Arkay suddenly blurted out.
“Maybe we should speak to Syklia…” Helkan suggested as he looked around. “Um… Where did she go?”
“Oh. This way. Follow me!” Arkay waved as he ran off, towards a large, green dome on the horizon.