This was the second time Arkay had woken Iatre up. Last time he had a bit of an existential crisis. This time, he seemed to want sex. Which wasn’t too weird, after all, the last time they screwed, Iatre had enjoyed it, even if it had all been a setup so Death could watch them. But right now, they were resting on a large rock in the middle of a stupidly huge, open plain.
“Not really,” Iatre answered after some thought. He had been quite happy just sleeping. That was what he thought Arkay was happy doing too. “What happened to your spiel about sleeping forever?”
“Different part of me…” Arkay explained. He’d shape-shifted into what Iatre assumed was much closer to his original, mortal form and was sitting with his legs apart, dangling from his hammock. Thankfully, he didn’t have a massive stiffy. Or a female equivalent. “So many bits of my mind vying for attention. Better the horny part of me being in control than the suicidal or murderous parts of me. Not that I have much choice in the matter.”
Iatre shrugged, not really knowing how to answer. He didn’t want sex right now. “You tried asking Syklos or Continuity?”
Arkay laughed abruptly. “Hah! Continuity has a relationship with Istoria and Syklos won’t come close. A dominating vok, he claims to be, but whenever I, the Veth Prime of all things, offer, dominator or submissive, he refuses. Says I’m unclean. I’m almost certainly cleaner than that whore is…” Arkay paused. “Not that I think having lots of partners is bad. I mean he doesn’t wash his genitals enough.”
Iatre had no answer for that. “I’ll take your word for it.”
Arkay sighed then climbed down and sat next to Iatre. He clearly had a lot on his mind.
“Do you prefer giving or receiving?” Arkay suddenly asked.
“You know, giving it or taking it?”
Iatre blinked. “Do you mean giving or receiving a penis?”
Arkay nodded, then sighed. “Sorry. This is inappropriate. You already said you weren’t interested. I’ll change the subject.”
Iatre didn’t mind what they were talking about. But he was pretty sure he’d just seen, first hand, one of Arkay’s personality changes. He decided to ask a question, in an attempt to cause a second change.
“So do you have any idea what is actually going on?” Iatre asked.
“Not really,” Arkay grunted. His voice was noticeably deeper now. “I think, I THINK that Kinisis slowly goes insane over time and needs to be calmed down and reset, but the whole Corruption thing shifted things forward a few million years. She isn’t infalliable. She’s more mortal than we think. She has fears and madness same way we do.”
“You think she has PTSD?” Iatre suggested.
The two Veth fell silent.
“So… You think we’re going the right way?” Iatre finally asked.
“If your theory that we’re in a womb is true, no. But if we truly are travelling north and the shape of a womb is to be believed, eventually we’ll be heading south anyway.”
Again, they fell silent. As Arkay’s eyes wandered off, clearly lost in thought, Iatre examined his body. In this form, Arkay was actually quite feminine. Thin waist, curvy hips, narrow shoulders. He thought back to Arkay’s earlier musings and the question Iatre didn’t answer. What Iatre wondered was how Arkay would answer his own questions, and whether those answers would change depending on his personality.
With a shake of his head, Arkay snapped out of the trance he’d drifted into. This made Iatre jump.
“What if the Oothic is us trapped in my mind?” Arkay exclaimed. “Whenever I get angry or scared, something attacks us!”
Iatre smiled. “We’re not in your mind.”
“How do you know?”
“If we were, the Oothic would react to our other emotions too. You were horny just now, but we didn’t see any giant cocks or vaginas floating around. Plus, when that first thing attacked us, you weren’t scared until you saw it.”
Arkay calmed down. “I guess.”
“Maybe we should just go back to sleep,” Iatre suggested, still smiling. “If you want, you can snuggle up with me.”
“That’s a great idea…” Arkay yawned as he curled up next to Iatre and promptly fell asleep.