The Seventh

“Okay, literally a second ago the sky was black like death even though it was day time, and now the sky is beautifully clear and it’s night time?”

Psiksi was utterly confused. So were his five siblings.

“You all saw that all suddenly changing, right?”

Eksi nodded in agreement, since words refused to come out of his mouth.

“That… that was fucking unnatural!” Elkay nearly screamed, gripping his weapon so tightly he was leaving marks in the handle. He seemed actually rather terrified, which was unlike him. Then again, he was the only one completely out of his element, rather than only slightly out of his element like the other five Rethans. “Tell me I am not going insane. Tell me we’re… never mind…”

Something landed in front of them. A large lump of black nothingness, darker than the sky above them. It bubbled and boiled for what seemed like an eternity.

“Is… is no one going to shoot at it?” Elkay was actually screaming now. “What the fuck is all of this? What have you dragged me into?”

Thitaksi glanced down at his gunstaff. “Well, I would, but I can’t seem to. My staff’s jammed.”

“S-same…” Eksi stuttered.

The blob fizzled, suddenly expanded, then evaporated into nothing.

After an awkward silence, the six siblings all glanced at each other.

“Good thing that bastard’s dead…”

Again, the six siblings all looked at each other, not sure who spoke. They slowly turned around, realising that a seventh being was among them.

“… Arkay?” Elkay whispered. “Is that you?”

The creature smiled weakly. It looked like Arkay, but with black, tattered wings and long claws utterly caked in blood and goodness knows what else. But the armour, the bright yellow armour, that definitely belonged to Arkay.

“It has been a while, my dear siblings,” the Thantophor tutted. “Shame that our reunion consists of you six wanting to kill me.”

“We don’t want to kill you!” Psiksi immediately interrupted. “We want to talk! Convince you against your killing spree!”

“So why is Veekay holding a miniature black hole gun, and why is Arksi holding a krono-dagger, ready to freeze me in time?” Arkay rolled his eyes, still tutting. “I will make this brief, as I have… unfortunate duties to fulfil. Leave me alone, and I leave you alone.”

“But…” Psiksi didn’t understand. “What happened to you, Arkay? Why are you killing things? This isn’t you!”

The horrific creature shifted its weight, hopping from one blood-dripping claw to another. “How do you know that this isn’t me?” it asked. “After all, you’ve been asleep for a while. Things change. Things… need to die. No matter how much we don’t want them to. The suffering never goes away. The Cycle never ends.”

“But Arkay!” Psiksi kept on trying. “You’re not just doing Cycle things, you’re killing like, everything!”

“I know…” Arkay sighed. “Just gotta do what the Thantophor’s gotta do. But I really recommend you all leaving me alone. I promise I won’t hurt you or your loved ones if you leave me alone.”

“You know we can’t let you continue your rampage, brother…” Arksi warned, drawing his weapon. “We have to stop you.”

The Thantophor sighed, then crossed his arms. “I was afraid you’d say that. I really, really don’t want to have to hurt you all… I mean, you’re my immortal little brothers, for Her sake…”

Veekay and Arksi both started charging their weapons, only to find that they’d jammed.

Arkay sighed one last time, then disappeared in a puff of black smoke, his voice drifting off into the distance.

“I’m so sorry… I wish it didn’t have to be this way…”