Stasis is observing everyone, but he is mostly watching me.
When he pulled the four of us away, he wasn’t interested in Elksia or Arkay at all. Even Retvik and his unborn kid seemed to do nothing to pique his curiosity. He measured every part of me. Was sizing me up. Stasis has something in mind for me.
But I’m not the only one. Galazin, one of the Tavrans, is being watched as well. The same precision used on me is also being used on him. Catherine, the Thrope in blue armour, also said to me how she feels she is being watched more closely than her comrades.
Apart from that though, everything has been rather quiet. We have sparred against one another. An interesting battle between Stefanotis, one of the Raptai, against Nikos of the Tavrans. An unfair fight between one of the Thropes and Elksia. A very hesitant fight between an Anarkex and one of the vicious Sangens. Stasis didn’t seem to mind the fact that Retvik refused to fight. Arkay was willing to fight twice, once against Kitrin and once against Louise, the Thrope. Tenacious bugger that he is, he soundly beat them both.
After all the sparring, Stasis has sent us back to our little living quarters. Elksia still seems unsure about what I think is going on, with Stasis studying us for some hidden plan of his. She does have a point though, we all willingly came here apart from Retvik. Not that it matters, she can’t deny how eerily familiar this is. There are not many reasons why a god would invite godkillers to his home.
A bell rings and we all jump up to see what’s going on. Food. It’s food. Randomly teleporting into our quarters. There’s a collective sigh of relief across the entirety of the site, as other vok realise that it’s nothing that will harm us.
I’m trying to work out what’s going on. My mind is so sidetracked that I don’t accept any of the food anyone offers me. I’m snapped back to reality when Arkay grabs my tail and waves a large leg of meat in my face.
“Tenuk, you haven’t eaten.”
“I don’t need to.”
“You should. Might be a good idea to pretend you’re mortal.”
I glance at Arkay, confused. “What do you mean?”
“What other reason is there? Stasis wants you.”
I take the leg of meat and start chewing on it, thanking Arkay. He has a point. But there is something different about Galazin too. I decide to speak to him. Maybe he knows.
Galazin is on his own. His ice blue horns would glisten if there was a sun there, but the ambient light makes them look dull. He spots me as I approach and quickly steps back, I am not sure why.
“I’m not here to harm you.” I try to be calm and non-threatening.
“Tell that to the Sangens. They attacked me. Hateful.”
“It’s my fault.” Galazin trails off and allows me to get closer to him. But not much closer. His eyes look past me, towards an empty, lonely platform, away from everyone else. “Come with me. Privately.”
I do as I’m told. As we reach the platform, I apologise for perhaps appearing theatening.
“Not your fault. As I said.”
Galazin looks up. I see a glimmer in his eyes. Just like my own. I realise why no one seems to like him. He’s a Deitic. But not a Deitic I know of.
“I was mortal. Now I am Deitic.”
“I was a Deitic and I gave that up to be mortal.”
“But not completely.”
“I could say the same about you.”
The powerful Tavran sighs. “I wanted to protect. Everyone dies eventually. But I will outlast. Protect the Tavrans until they too fade. The others will not live forever. I will.”
I understand Galazin’s thoughts. That is the reason why I never truly gave up all my Deitic power. The other Dessaron won’t always be around to protect the Rethans, or the other Maza races. Galazin steps towards me and rests one of his horns on my shoulder, an obvious sign of understanding.
“Why do you think Stasis wants us?” I ask.
Suddenly, the ground erupts around us. We’re swallowed up in some strange, black material, utterly trapped. We both struggle, but we find ourselves getting weaker and weaker, until we can move no more.
“You’re about to find out…” Stasis laughs as consciousness leaves me.