The straps were finally off. Arkay was finally free of his duty. A normal being once more. Mostly normal. Still a Veth but no longer chained to existence itself.
Above him, up the stairs, in the galaxy-laden room, Kinisis was waking up. A weight had been lifted from Arkay’s shoulders and handed back to the true ruler of this little universe.
“Go on, go outside. Enjoy yourself.”
Kinisis was happy. She was no longer tired. A few days asleep and she was refreshed. Arkay did not feel the same way. He was exhausted. He was not meant to do her duties. Kinisis would need a few hours in her room, folding and manipulating existence around her as she rebuilt and strengthened herself, before coming out whole once more. The whole little ritual was too dangerous for Arkay to see first hand.
Arkay did as he was told. He was in no mood to defy Kinisis, not over something so simple. But as he slinked outside, he felt something was missing. Like a piece of him had been left behind. He couldn’t work out what it was.
As Arkay looked down, he noticed that one of the chains he had been wearing was broken. There was a small loop on it, but the rest of the pendant that had been hanging on the chain had disappeared. Realising which chain it was, Arkay spun around and tried to get back inside.
But the doors had already slammed shut. The air was beginning to vibrate. A low hum, almost like chanting, could be heard. Inside, bright lights could be seen, tearing their way through tiny cracks in the walls of the building. The walls were warping. The windows had disappeared. The door was gone, having absorbed itself into the walls.
Arkay tried bashing on the walls, hoping that Kinisis could hear him. The commotion continued. Reality continued to warp and shift. Anything inside that room was being warped, altered, destroyed with it.
Arkay’s pendant was in there.
His favourite pendant.
The only one he cared about.
The one Retvik had made for him. They’d had one each. One for Retvik, one for Elksia, one for Tenuk and one for Arkay. Arkay’s pendant was silver with a purple gem in the middle. A cross and a circle overlapping each other. It was a simple design, but it was something that had been made for him and only him. It was unique. Arkay had worn that chain and pendant almost every single day, since the day he received it. He’d cherished it, to the point that it was the one item that had carried over when Arkay became the Veth Prime.
And now it was gone.
Arkay screamed, the realisation breaking through, crushing his hopes, burning his mind. His voice was tired and hollow. Cold, dead words limped from his mouth. His fists clenched, his stomach turned, a lump formed in his throat.
One of the few things that had made Arkay feel special was no more.
With desperation and exhaustion finally beating him down, Arkay fell to his knees. Bright, glowing tears, hot with pain and anger, streamed from his eyes, dripping down his face.
His pendant was gone.
And with it, so was his spirit.
As everything around the Veth Prime settled down, all he could do was whimper.