“My, my, how you have let Death affect you, little children…”
Every Deitic in the large, lush, palatial room froze. At the entrance of the Great Hall of the Anexartitai stood a towering monster, its face clad in a mask of gold, with tattered antlers growing out of its head.
The collection of Deitics, ranging from elderly Anexartans to young, flourishing Kronospasts and everything in between, had not expected Stasis to show up at this gathering. They’d been celebrating a Kronospast takeover of one of the smaller Temthan systems, two barren worlds and a world fit for normal life. In exchange for their assistance, the Kronospasts had awarded one of the planets to be split evenly among several other Deitic races.
“Celebrating such a small, minor victory…”
Stasis’s voice echoed across the room.
“Celebrating your little lives…”
One Kronospast stood out from the crowd, levitating himself to Stasis’s level.
“And how is that connected to those of the Cycle, may I ask?” Lord Avra growled. “You were the one who gave us the ability to live our lives, to compete with Death.”
A smile flashed underneath Stasis’s mask but none of the Deitics saw it. “Yes, I did. A failed plan of mine. Or was it? Intentionally diluting your strengths so you cannot all be destroyed at once. Creating your eternal, cycle-less lives. Yet you live like beings of the Cycle, sleeping, eating, drinking, celebrating as you are here.”
Lord Avra stood his ground. “At least the Kronospasts are doing something. We have an entire galaxy and a half under our rule, its innards kept pure, just as you wish. The Vohra and the Temthans may be holding us back, the servants of the Cycle that they are, but progress and nothingness are slow processes that take millennia. What have you done lately that is worthy of your name, Akinit?”
The Kronospast’s words angered Stasis. But rather than argue politely with his child, Stasis took the more abrupt root. With a swipe of his claw, he knocked Lord Avra out of the air, sending him flying across the great hall. Stasis left the Kronospast in a crumpled heap as he turned his attention to the rest of the Deitics, who had scattered to the edges of the room.
“Anyone else here dare challenge their Father?”
Most of the Deitics silently shook their heads, but one, a lone Allagon, stepped forward.
“I do not wish to challenge you, Overlord Stasis, but I have a question. Why are the actions of the Kronospasts NOT what you want us to do? Surely their quest to conquer means that when you do grow your wings and spread your silence across the universe, fewer beings will try and fight back?”
Stasis rolled his eyes underneath his golden mask. “How naïve. By the time the Kronospasts would manage to take over the universe, I could wait for the Loop and the Forward to fade, rendering their feat moot. No. That will not do. I have better plans.”
“Like what, inviting the Silverbloods of the universe into your home in an attempt to make a hybrid?”
A Deitic lifted herself into the air. It was Ignasion, the heir to the leadership of the Anexartitai. Her gold and blue body clattered with beads of power.
“Do you have an actual plan, or will it be thwarted by Death and her children, like every other time? Every attempt of yours to defeat her has ended in failure. She is not even your true target!”
Stasis raised one of his claws, daring Ignasion to confront him.
“I agree, little one, which is why this time, I intend to strike the Whenvern directly. I’ll ignore dear little Death. She won’t be of any concern to us. After all, she requires the Whenvern to function so she too can work correctly.”
“And then Death will send her minions against you once again!” Ignasion protested.
Stasis smiled. “She won’t be able to, little one.” With another flick of his claws, Ignasion joined Avra on the ground.
No sound came from the Deitics gathered in the hall.
“Good. Now, come with me, if you wish to see this plan come to fruition…”