Elkay: Thank the Light someone finally fucking picked up Rethais are you there?
Rethais: You are speaking a mile a minute, kid.
Elkay: I have been trying to call for help for ages. My ship went down and everyone is trying to kill me. I think I have the same insanity illness everyone else has. I called emergency services, I called Photeianos, I called everyone. I don’t know why I called you. I…
Rethais: Where are you?
Elkay: Um… Somewhere in the Rethan territories of Kolasi. Forgot this stupid fucking planet spins in the opposite direction. Thought I was heading East, ended up going West. Not sure of exact location but I am definitely, 100% in the Keepers Caverns. You know where we put the Ksa after the rebellion? There.
Rethais: Are you alone?
Elkay: No… You won’t believe this. The fucking K-Class found me and saved me. They’re all super aggressive except when I’m around. I was wearing a gas mask when I passed out but they removed it because apparently I wasn’t breathing when they found me.
Rethais: I assume all of you are infected with the Feralheart Plague.
Elkay: Is that what we are calling it? Whatever. You need to send someone here to pick me up. I need to get back before I get sick!
Rethais: You are probably already too ill to pick up. By the time we get someone to you, you may end up attacking them and killing them. You have your Ksa, you are better off where you are currently.
Elkay: Are you fucking kidding me? I CAN’T stay here! There are beings following me. I could end up dead! Plus I am barely off needing crutches.
Rethais: Your Ksa will protect you. Their programming still overrides the Feralheart Plague. We have examples here, it will apply to your Ksa.
Elkay: Is this… as widespread as I fear?
Rethais: Everywhere apart from the Cassid worlds. We are almost certain this is an attack against us. The Cassid government is assisting us but the source of this is theirs in origin. It’s an airborne virus, hard to stop. Kald is working full time on this.
Elkay: So what about everyone else? I have my Ksa to look after me, the common Rethan has nothing! If this is everywhere, we’re going to tear ourselves apart!
Rethais: Actually, about that… We’re running everything, everything we can at least, on auto-maintenance. The bare minimum. I’m using candle-light to save power. Important vok get gas masks. Everyone else gets sedated. The Vrekans had the idea, worked great for them. Working slowly for us though. Thankfully, deaths are low, but injuries are very high, with every single Rethan with medical training working overtime.
Elkay: By the Light…
Rethais: This is worse than the Soul Rupture.
Elkay: Fuck this year. Fuck all of it. Why can’t everything just go well for a change? Wh- GET OFF.
Rethais: Are you alright?
Elkay: Sorry… Enkay keeps on putting his hand on my shoulder to see if I am alright and it keeps on freaking me out. I am really, really jumpy. Can feel the illness setting in.
Rethais: Just try not to fall asleep.
Elkay: Is that what brings it on?
Rethais: Yes, from what I have seen.
Elkay: That… I…
Elkay: S-sorry. It has all been very hard lately. The Soul Rupture. The Rebellion, getting caught in an explosion… I try and make things better and life makes everything worse. The illness is making me feel very emotional and I’m probably saying things I don’t mean. I’m sure Photeianos is all fucking fine and dandy though, since his immortal, semi-Deitic backside seems to reflect everything, even harsh criticism from all sides…
Rethais: Yes, you are saying things you don’t mean. Listen, kid…
Elkay: I am your superior. Don’t fucking call me kid. I get enough of that shit from Photeianos. I know this is being recorded, we’re members of the Council. I don’t care. I fucking worked my way to the top, wasn’t handed to me. I work for this. All the time. He just gets off from winning one war a few hundred years ago.
Rethais: Elkay, it is good to get this all out, but-
Elkay: I’m sorry, am I distracting you from something?
Rethais: No. There is nothing I can do right now. Waiting for my brother to call me back.
Elkay: Is he…
Rethais: Retvik is, thankfully, fine. He is following my orders. The Thanatians must hate what we have done to their silly arena but it means we have kept the populated cities secure.
Elkay: He is a good kid.
Rethais: He’s older than you.
Elkay: Everyone is. Vice General at the age of 51. Since I was 25. Impressive, really. Maybe High General one day. Probably not. Photeianos is like a drug or something. We know he’s not great but we love him anyway. I just clear up his messes and pull the strings to make things work. You… You’re just letting me ramble so you can take me out of power.
Rethais: No! I am not! I swear to you!
Elkay: I’m sorry. This damn thing. My emotions are all messed up. One moment I want to cry. The next I am angry. Then I’m suddenly romantic. You’re married, aren’t you?
Elkay: Question. Is an incredibly large amount of sexual arousal common with this stupid illness?
Rethais: Yes. After aggression, it’s the second most common side effect. We are trying to get those who aren’t sedated yet into that effect so vok at least stop hurting each other.
Elkay: That… is both reassuring and not reassuring. I… I am getting very tired, very quickly…
Rethais: I am sorry.
Elkay: What for?
Rethais: When were you infected?
Elkay: I wish I knew.
Rethais: More than 24 hours?
Rethais: I am amazed you aren’t already completely feral. But every case we have seen, the patient falls asleep eventually. Even in those with sleep disorders. The plague does that.
Elkay: I don’t want to sleep. I don’t want to lose my mind.
Rethais: You don- I have to go.
Elkay: What is it?
Rethais: Important. I’ll call you back when I can.
Elkay: I will try stay awake.
Rethais: Stay safe.
Elkay: You too.