“That wasn’t there before…” Iatre muttered to himself as he exited his lab, blinking in the bright light. “I suppose that will teach me for spending most of my time working…”
The small, green dome had been crudely attached to the side of the much larger green and white dome that made up the majority of Kinisis’s home. Inside, Iatre was sure he could hear shouting and crying and various other negative sounds.
“Nope. Kinisis erected it this morning.”
Istoria’s sudden explanation scared Iatre. In fact, he was so badly caught unaware that he was unable to produce words, and instead a stream of weird sounds came out of his mouth. As if someone had just bashed their fingers on a keyboard.
“Sorry. You scared the life out of me. Even though I’m already dead. But somehow still doing things and capable of interacting with the living. I never understood the finer details of being a Veth…” Iatre rambled on a bit, then sighed. “Why has Death erected a small room on the side of her house and put something shouty in it?”
Istoria shrugged. She wasn’t sure herself. “Kinisis dragged the soul in earlier. After she built it.”
“Not Arkay then, what with his suddenly being a Grim Reaper again?”
“No. Although Arkay being a grim reaper, as you put it, is probably for the best!” Istoria shrugged some more. “It is better that our Veth Prime gets his ego inflated by death cults rather than those moronic mortal imbeciles directly worshipping Kinisis and making her head swell even more.”
“So Death herself brought someone here and shoved him or her into a dark room and left him to scream his lungs out?”
Istoria nodded. The look in her eyes suggested she had seen this scenario, or variations of this scenario, a million times before. The Rivers of the Afterlife were a strange place indeed, and Iatre was certain that he’d never truly understand any of this.
“So…” Iatre thought for a moment, not sure what to say. “Should we, er, go in there? And maybe see what is going on?”
“Why? Kinisis is probably just making another Veth. We lost quite a few of them last year.”
“But she said we didn’t need any more?” Iatre’s confusion was not going away. It was only recently that he learned that Veth, the guardians of Kinigi, and the cycle of life and death in general, were capable of dying.
“She probably changed her mind.” Istoria skipped off, towards the new miniature building. There was a small hatch on the side, which allowed her to enter. Iatre hesitated, then decided to follow her.
Inside, there was a frame with some sort of strange, dragon-like being attached to it. It was mostly purple and scaly, but some of its scales had a golden tint. It had a row of bright spines running down its back, as well as a glorious pair of wings, that unfortunately had hooks in them, tying the creature to the ceiling.
“CREATURES!” the being suddenly shouted. “HORRIBLE MONSTERS! I, KING VENAR OF THE GOLDEN DRAKES, DEMAND THAT I BE LET DOWN IMMEDIATELY!”
“I would,” Iatre tutted, “but I know for certain Death would kick the shit out of me if I let you down. Also…” Iatre turned to Istoria, confused once again. “How comes I understand what he’s saying?”
“We have special translator cells in our minds, so we can understand any language.”
“Thought as much.” Iatre turned back to Venar. “Sorry, my friend, but you are stuck there for a while. Also, you’re dead.”
“DEAD?” Venar shouted. “Dead?”
“Yep. Dead. Deceased. Lifeless. Breathless. Decaying. Doomed. You rolled a seven. You’re pushing up the daisies. You- ow!”
Istoria gave Iatre a quick slap, already tired of his synonyms for being dead.
“I… I see…” Venar seemed to have calmed down. “Maybe I should have taken that oracle more seriously…”
“Oh well!” Iatre smiled. “You’re here in Kinigi now. The afterlife. Heaven. Whatever you want to call it. And lucky you, you’ve been chosen to serve Death herself for all eternity!”
Something banged outside. The sound of angry, death-like claws being dragged through the dirt. Kinisis was outside.
“We should probably go…” Istoria whispered.
“Good idea…” Iatre sighed as he waved to Venar. “Good luck, mate. You’re gonna need it!”
Venar blinked as the two beings disappeared, and a larger, much scarier being entered the room…