“I’m glad you came here to meet me, little Kronospast!” Death span round in her particularly evil chair. She was wearing nothing but a shadowy mass of tentacles that just about covered her private parts. “Last time, the first time you saw me was just after that nasty thing with Stasis. Have you found your little friend yet? Because I know exactly where he is. Ah, I’m rambling on. Come here, Tenuk!”
Tenuk hesitated. He’d opened the front door to his little temporary apartment, and instead of walking through into his living room, he’d walked into… something else. A large, empty white space with an annoyingly sticky floor. Whatever the stickiness was, it wasn’t pleasant and it definitely wasn’t something Tenuk wanted to think about.
“Um… where am I?”
Death got up from her chair and pranced over to Tenuk. He was still carrying a bag of shopping, which Death was suddenly quite interested in. “Hm… instant soup, bodin stew for one, chicken pie for one, some sort of curry for one, all individual things. You still single?”
“Yes… Where am I?” Tenuk repeated. “This isn’t Kinigi, or part of it, is it?”
Death snapped out of her fascination with Tenuk’s groceries and finally answered. “Oh this? This is the Immortal Playground. The second one. The first one I finished billions of years ago. But this is a new one I’m building. What do you think so far?”
Tenuk shrugged. “Um, I don’t know. It’s a bit… empty?”
“That’s because it’s not finished!” Death grinned. “But when it’s done, it’ll be the perfect place for my Veth to properly train and get better at tracking, hunting and killing Deitics!”
“Deitics like me?”
“Well, not you personally. But yes, Deitics like you. Some Deitics are pretty good fighters.”
Death spun around again, digging her claws into the sticky sand. As she did so, a line of small, flowering pink plants appeared.
“So why are you telling me about this?” Tenuk asked. “Surely you don’t want the Kronospasts, Stasis or Deitics in general to know about this?”
“Of course I do!” Death grinned. “I want them to all know that messing with me and messing with Kinigi is a really stupid idea and that my Veth are perfectly trained to tear you all apart! Fear is good, right?”
“I guess…” Tenuk hesitated. “I… I don’t get why you don’t just train Veth in Kinigi properly. Kinigi is huge.”
“Yeah but there is no constant supply of Deitics for every Veth to hunt down. Most Veth only see an intruder once every 4 days, and only get to hunt one once every week and a half. I want them to have somewhere where they can practice for ages, and the old Immortal Playground is getting old and ugly. Change is all part of the cycle. Plus I got more ideas now than I did when I was little.”
“So… what are you planning for this?”
Death suddenly exploded with enthusiasm. “Oh so much stuff! Adaptive landscapes! Changing terrain! Tons of enemies you can spawn and despawn! Clones of your enemies that you can kill! A big bunch of weapons to choose from! A spectator area and ten star hotel! And all the tea you can drink!”
Tenuk smiled slightly. “Sounds ambitious.”
“Nah. Piece of piss. Just needs some time for me to put it all together.”
“So is there a reason for me to be here?” Tenuk asked.
Death bounced around happily. “Yes, actually! I’m gonna need some… mortal testers of the Playground. To test the Immortality part of the Playground, as well as to test some other bits and pieces like the “repeatedly stab your arch nemesis in the genitalia” area. I was wondering, when you and your little buddies are all back together, do you fancy helping me test it?”
Tenuk sighed. “I don’t know when Arkay will be back, if he ever will be.”
“He’ll be back soon. Temthans are fucking idiots. Completely and utterly retarded. I hate them. But they stupidly worship me and keep the ‘Spast empire in check so eh, whatever. You in?”
“I guess… Sounds like fun. Do we get to test the ten star hotel as well?”
“For you, dear, anything!” Death laughed. “Anyway, I gotta get started! See you soon!”
With a flick of her claws, Death did her strange magic, and Tenuk was back in his living room once more.