Tummy Issues

“There are lumps in my stomach and they are not going away…”

Retvik moaned as he stumbled across the living room and threw himself into the first comfy thing he could see. More moans could be heard from upstairs, where his partner Gath was desperately trying to sleep. Elksia sat on a stool in the kitchen opposite, her head resting on the side. She was in pain too, but nowhere near as badly as her Rethan friends.

“You tried throwing up?” Elksia asked as she glanced at a glass of water. She was thirsty, but her stomach pains were stopping her from considering putting anything in her mouth. “I tried earlier and spat out some undigested but chewed up meat. Helped a little…”

“I do not think I can…” Retvik muttered. “It is like… the meal I ate earlier is just sitting in my gut, not moving at all…”

A bang on the door interrupted Retvik’s moans. Elksia got up awkwardly and opened the door, revealing a rather ill-looking Tenuk and a completely fine-looking Psiksi.

“I suppose you all made the mistake of existing and eating things…” Tenuk grunted as he trudged inside. Psiksi followed, gently closing the door behind them.

“Yep, think so…” Elksia twitched with pain, then sat down back on the stool, her head on the counter. It was the only position she felt comfortable in.

Tenuk wandered around a bit, then decided to sit down next to Retvik. Retvik relented at first, wanting the sofa to himself, but quickly gave in.

“So everyone who’s eaten something lately feels sick?” Psiksi asked as he poured himself a glass of water. “What have you all eaten lately?”

For some reason, Psiksi was really chirpy. This quickly annoyed both Retvik and Elksia.

“Why the fuck is he so happy?” Retvik growled at Tenuk. “You look like piss, like the rest of us.”

Tenuk fidgeted in his seat. “I don’t fucking know. I went out to get some pancakes and ice cream and was going to do some writing, but this stomach ache is fucking awful.”

“I just had a slice of fried beef, a bag of peanuts and a chickpea salad for lunch…” Elksia grimaced, leaning over to one side, trying to find a more comfortable position. “Same thing I always have.”

“We had leftover stew,” Retvik grunted. “Nothing special. We all ate different things and all have stomach pains. And that little brat there has nothing!”

Psiksi shrugged. “I’ve been fasting today and just been drinking water. Part of my diet. I honestly don’t get how you three eat whatever you like and don’t get insanely fat.”

“I love how you act all big and impressive…” Retvik hissed, pain affecting his words. “… When I know you and your partner got absolutely piss-faced the day before last.”

Psiksi’s smile faded. “How…”

“You messaged me at midnight saying how much you and Kass liked me and invited me round to drink with you!” The grumpy Rethavok snapped. “And to throw you even further off your high tower, I have you know that this is affecting every vok who has eaten something in the last twelve hours!”

Tenuk and Elksia glanced at Retvik, then back at each other.

“Do not look at me like that!” Retvik grumbled. “I have been reading the news all day. Anything to distract me from this pain.” With that, Retvik climbed to his feet then dragged himself to his bedroom upstairs, slamming the door shut.

“And I thought I was taking this badly…” Tenuk muttered, before changing the subject. “Anyone heard anything from any officials or anything like that?”

“Nah,” Elksia smiled, just a little. “They’re all too busy reporting the fact that a bunch of vok didn’t die when they should have…”

Tenuk blinked. “What?”

“Yeah, Retvik was telling me. Told me it was probably more than some sort of miracle. In fact, he was going to ask you, maybe it was something to do with our buddy Arkay?”

Something buzzed, interrupting the conversation. It was Tenuk’s communicator. Tenuk looked awkwardly at his friends as he tried to work out who was calling, as very few people had his personal number. After a moment of uneasiness, Tenuk answered.


“Tenuk Diplastron, this is High General Elkay Theanon speaking. I need you to get in your ship and get in contact with the Lord of Death, immediately.”

“Uh, why?” Tenuk asked.

“Because it is clear as day something is wrong with the cycle of life and death. And I need you to help me fix it.”