The local Thanatians seem uncertain of my presence. My very being here is scaring them, for reasons I do not understand. But my quest has been long in spite of my new powers. Thankfully, it is coming to an end.
“Where is Psivee-En?” I ask as calmly as possible. My voice lingers in the air as the Thanatians scuttle around and away. Their organization has always been poor. But Psivee-En is here. I can sense it.
The Thanatians all suddenly step to one side. Their leader, or at least a superior member of this small, jungle-based hospital, comes forward. I immediately recognise her.
“Kayel, what are you doing here?”
“Phovos, Phovos Tromou? May I ask the very same question myself?” I am surprised by her existence. I had heard, like many others, that she’d disappeared on some secret Thanatian mission or something.
Phovos smiles, fangs sticking out from her powerful yet feminine jaws. “You must have a lot of questions. Please, come with me.”
The Raptor disappears, running down a corridor ahead of us. Realising that I have been subconsciously making myself float the entire time, I land on my feet and chase after her. She’s incredibly fast, even for a Tsifan. We round a couple of corners, and we finally reach our destination.
In a bed of bleached fur pelts lies Psivee-En, fast asleep. He looks like he is sleeping comfortably. There are several tubes feeding blood and drugs into one of his arms, and small tubes running oxygen and nitrogen across his nostrils. There are no windows in the room, but a small fan is slowly rotating to keep him cool, protecting him from the hot, humid jungle air.
“Is he well?” I ask.
Phovos nods. “He’s very lucky that Lokmahro found him. Lokmah’s always been sensitive to sudden changes in power levels. Detected your battle from a long way away.”
I wander over to the bed and run a finger across Psivee-En’s snout. He’s not conscious, but he smiles anyway. I am not sure if he knows I am here, but the very feeling of Rethan skin seems to make him unconsciously feel better. I know that feeling myself.
“We had to heavily sedate him…” Phovos explains. “He was in shock. Screaming about you being dead. Lokmahro sent scouts to try and find you but came up with nothing. Luckily we have a small supply of Rethan blood here and could give him a transfusion. Thank the Cycle that you all have the same type of blood, if you were both Vrekans, he would have died…”
Phovos laughs awkwardly, before grabbing a stool and sitting down. I pull up a stool as well, sitting next to Psivee-En and gently stroking him.
“So, uh…” Phovos is hesitant. She knows of my past, and she knows who the Rethan lying next to me is. She’s also the first person to see us together, aside from the monster. “I thought you two were enemies?”
“Yes, we were.”
“So why are you here?”
I sigh. “It is a long story. One saved for a later, better time. But simply put, Psivee-En risked his life to protect mine.”
“I see…” Phovos falls silent for a moment. “And what about your new look and powers?”
I pause. “What do you mean?”
“You look more holy than usual. Never mind the fact you’re considered the Patron Saint of Rape Survivors among the Thanatians…”
“Pardon?” I interrupt. “What do you mean by THAT?”
Phovos smiles weakly. I don’t think she sees me as a threat, but she’s being cautious nonetheless. “A lot of Thanatians consider you to be somewhat holy. As I said, a patron saint. It’s a recent thing, bit silly in my opinion, especially with rape going down, but it makes victims feel stronger, so they worship you a little.”
I’m genuinely confused by Phovos’s words. I’d never considered myself to be someone worth praising. I apologise for my outburst and explain. Or at least try to. “I’ll be honest, I do not know. I battled Ayvee-En, left him to rot. I was torn apart and reborn.”
“Do you know the extent of this?”
I shake my head. “No. I have no idea.”
Phovos glances towards Psivee-En with a sad look on her long, scarred face. “He will need a long time to recover. Months. We will look after him. But you need to relearn who you are.”
“What do you recommend?”
“I think you need to return to Dovgokul…”