Elkay tutted as he flicked through the magazine he’d bought earlier. The local Thanatian shops weren’t exactly well-stocked, but considering that they were on the border and that Elkay was supposed to be in hiding, he couldn’t just go to any old Rethan shop and buy a newspaper. He didn’t want to be recognised.
Of course, his Ksa had all suggested that he just read magazines online, but there was something about a paper magazine that he still enjoyed.
What Elkay enjoyed more was the silence. It had taken two hours of discussion, but he had finally convinced his expert team of bodyguards and protectors that he could be left alone for a while. Veekay had originally said for an hour, but Elkay managed to get them to agree to four hours, as long as he stayed in the house and they all went off somewhere.
The only person in the house apart from Elkay was Arksi, but he was upstairs hogging the olanet connection. He was video-chatting with his partner Nenth. Out of all Elkay’s protectors, their exile had hit Arksi the most. Despite being on leave when those… past events happened, he’d been kicked out just like everyone else.
Elkay heard a giggle upstairs and smiled to himself, before turning the page of his magazine.
The magazine wasn’t very interesting. It was a glitzy international magazine, full of pictures of Cassids and Vrekans, with the odd attractive Rethan televisual star in there as well. Quite a lot of Thanatians as well, almost all of them female with wide hips and large breasts. Really, it was the sort of magazine that Elkay normally despised, but, like everything else, it made a change.
Another giggle echoed from the upper rooms. Whatever Arksi was discussing, it must have been quite amusing.
After a little more flicking through the magazine, Elkay put it down and decided to make himself a cup of coffee. Most Rethans couldn’t actually drink coffee, the caffeine content was known to give them headaches, but Elkay never had that problem. He pinned it on the fact that he probably had some missing genes or something.
The water on the stove quickly boiled. Elkay put a teaspoon of powdered coffee in a heavy, porcelain cup, added the boiling water then topped it up with some stagones milk. Turns out aggelads weren’t particularly common around there, but stagones milk was just as nice, if a bit fatty.
Just as Elkay was about to sit down, the doorbell rang. Elkay wasn’t expecting it, especially as they’d only installed the doorbell that morning. But the fact that Elkay wasn’t expecting anyone made him incredibly nervous.
Hesitantly, Elkay headed to the front door.
“Who is it?”
“I have a package.”
Elkay peered through the key hole. Outside was some sort of Thanatian-based being. White, blue and black. Looked like it had wings.
“A package for whom?” Elkay asked.
“For Elkay-En Photeianos.”
Elkay panicked. Who the hell knew he was there?
“Can you please tell me who you are? No one here is expecting any packages.”
The creature outside growled. “I am Lokmah Wingbreaker. I work with the Raptor, Phovos Tromou. Is Elkay-En not present?”
Elkay sighed, then opened the door. The large Thraki grunted, then dropped a large, 10kg package on the ground. It clanged, there was clearly something metal inside of it.
“I did not know the Raptor knew I was here. Why has she sent this package?”
“The Raptor would like to invite you, to fight in the Dessaron Battle System. This package is… a temptation for you to accept her invite.”
Lokmah stretched his wings, then took off in a single, powerful stroke.
Elkay watched as the Thraki flew away, feeling very confused.