Nine Threan-type Rethans sat at wooden, unfurnished desks, each with a small, wooden stool, in a hall made mostly of concrete. There was little decoration to the room, apart from a handful of weapon stands. Two of the seats in the room though were currently unoccupied. At the front of the hall, a wooden door crept open.
“Thitavee-En, Veekay, you are both late again!” Feyar boomed as the two Ksa quickly shuffled into the room and to their seats.
“Sorry, Feyar…” Veekay muttered. “The High General and the Vice General were busy and needed us. We don’t arrive late on purpose…”
There were several tuts among the leaders of the other Classes, but Feyar dismissed them. “Very well, Veekay. Thitavee-En, I am surprised that you are here. I heard that you had resigned.”
Thitavee sighed. “I tried to resign but it seems the High General wishes to keep me on. I’m not sure why but I’m not one to count the rings of a gifted tree. I cannot say no to the High General, no matter how hard I try.”
Feyar nodded, then stood up and raised his arms, openly. “Now you are here, I welcome you, Class Leaders, to our monthly meeting. As you can see, I arranged for us to have some desks brought in here, so you can all properly take notes. Firstly, I would like to know what your Classes have been doing the past two weeks.”
The leader of the U-Class Ksa, Kayu, sat up, as the leader of the R-Class sat down. He was the oldest Rethan there, but most of his Ksa were only around for show. “Thank you, Feyar. It has been a quiet week for us. Very little going on, although we will be having a Vrekan trade delegate arriving soon. All will go as planned, as always.”
Up next was Epsi, the leader of the Ψ-Class Ksa. “All is well with The Cloned. Little to no new news.”
“Hi! We’ve got nothing to report here!” Ksirkas, the leader of the four-Rethan Ξ-Class Ksa and the youngest Rethan present, smiled.
Omedee, of the D-Class Ksa, also had little to report. “No new active assignments for the last two weeks.”
“All systems normal.” Emvee and Aress both announced simultaneously.
“The only news we have is that a Cassid tourist got separated from his tour at the Great Library, but he was returned safely…” Nenth, leader of the Θ-Class Ksa, tutted. “Otherwise, same old, same old.”
The leader of the shrinking L-Class Ksa didn’t have much to offer. “You really think anything new has happened with us?” Ksiel snapped. “Of course not.”
“We had a slight hiccup between us and the N-Class Ksa…” Veekay reported. “But everything is otherwise normal with us. The issue has been rectified.”
“The N-Class are back to normal now…” Thitavee-En added. “The High General has returned to power after his brief illness.”
“And the Vice General has returned to his position…” Veekay sighed.
Feyar smiled at everyone. “Glad to hear that things are calm for now…” He glanced at Veekay, who clearly had something on his mind. “Is there something troubling you, K-Class?”
“How’s Arkay?” Nenth interrupted. Veekay had forgotten that Nenth and Arkay were always close friends. Something about them both being yellow and enjoying that horrible music.
“I… I don’t know. We have not been allowed to communicate with Arkay since he was moved to the KSA Hospital… Our last communication was not optimistic, to say the least.”
Ksiel nodded, understanding how Veekay felt. “Quite a few of my Class are in there. I haven’t heard from them either and have never been allowed to inquire on how they are doing. Feyar, you just lost one of your own to that damned place, yes?”
Feyar hesitated. “Y-yes. Deyar turned himself in after an incident a week ago. He has been deemed temporarily mentally ill and will be back with us in two years. Is there anything else any of you wish to discuss before we start with funding and requirements?”
The majority of the Ksa present nodded, but Thitavee and Veekay did not. They both glanced at each other. Feyar immediately noticed.
“No… Nothing…” Thitavee sighed.
“Actually…” Veekay looked up. “Last night, I had a discussion with the more senior members of my Class. To put it bluntly, they are not exactly happy with how Ksa in general are treated.”
“How do you think we are treated?” Feyar asked.
“Like slaves. Or at least servants. We don’t have the same rights as every other Rethan, yet we are expected to protect and serve the Rethans with our lives. It reeks of inequality, and I feel my brothers had a valid point bringing up that discussion. Thinking back to the Kalsa Warriors of Kolasi, they got their freedom, we did not.”
“Those are pretty traitorous words, Veekay!” Emvee warned. “Are you suggesting we rebel against those we have sworn to protect?”
“Not at all. I… I just wanted to bring it up. The Vice General has done a lot to make things easier for us. We aren’t forced to wait until we are 25 to share our love. We have more freedoms and can report when we’re mistreated. But it’s not equality. And General Elkay cannot help us gain our freedom if we don’t stand by his side.”
Aress tutted. “We are not supposed to get involved in anything political…”
“Normally, I would agree,” Thitavee interrupted. “But Veekay is right, and I’ve felt the same way for a long time. This is a problem we will always deal with unless we actually take interest and do something.”
“Not to mention the shitstorm that could unravel the progress we’ve had, if General Elkay doesn’t remain in power in the future!” Nenth warned. “Surely you older Ksa understand?”
Kayu grumbled to himself for a moment. “Hmph. No. I think you younger Ksa forget the struggle. Your lives are perfectly fine, your handful of overly biased votes will never swing an election, and you all know why we are not allowed to consume any mind-altering food or beverage.”
“Kayu has a point,” Omedee admitted. “You are right, Veekay, we are limited in some ways, but we are also very well-off in others. And to suggest that the Vice General isn’t doing enough…”
“I never said that!” Veekay exclaimed. “I said he can’t do more without our help!”
“Enough.” Feyar bashed his desk, pulling everyone’s attention back to him. “The Vice General has not needed our help so far. I doubt there is little more you could do to assist him, Veekay. We will put this issue away for now. Our lives are good for now and the foreseeable future, there is no reason to break our terms and make things worse. We will not discuss this further. Understood?”
The Ksa all nodded, some more willingly than others.
“Good. Now, as nothing has gone on lately, I will assume that there is no need to discuss funding and requirements. Am I correct?”
“Yes, Feyar…” Veekay sighed.
“Very well. We will meet again on October 4th. You are all dismissed.”
The Ksa silently got up to leave, exiting the room one by one. Veekay, feeling rather deflated, held back for a bit, sitting at his desk. After a moment of silence, his communicator buzzed. Confused, Veekay peered at the message.
ΝΘ0001Θ: You’re right, you know. Need to meet up and do something. Speak tomorrow?
The leader of the K-Class hesitated briefly, before typing a reply.
VK0020K: Sure. Speak tomorrow.