After aeons of silence, after aeons of floating through an endless void, Arkay could hear music. A faint, melodic tune, accompanied by twisting blue, gold and white spidering veins of glistening energy. For so long, Arkay had seen nothing but endless darkness, heard nothing but whistling winds, felt nothing but hollow emptiness, so the appearance of something not horrifically black and empty was a… pleasant surprise.
Of course, Arkay was drawn to it. After all, it was something in nothing.
Weirdly though, Arkay couldn’t describe the music. It was relaxing. Charming even. Luring Arkay in. Arkay didn’t care though. It may have been a trap, it may have been a siren, it may have even been a fake distress call specifically designed to trick former deities like Arkay. It didn’t matter.
With a swish of his tail, a flap of his wings and a small amount of heat energy, Arkay propelled himself towards the source of the music. Because something had to be pumping out that music. Something big.
After very little searching, Arkay found the source. A shimmering golden tower, floating vertically, with no obvious base. White walls with a strange, fleshy scent, all trimmed with elegant yet slightly dull gold rims and metallic sculptures made in curious, amorphic shapes. At the very top was a beacon which was emitting the sounds on a large array of frequencies. As Arkay approached, he realised just how big the tower was. Hundreds of miles tall, about a mile round and hovering with no obvious source of power.
Luckily though, there was an obvious way in. At the base of the tower was a floating moat of electricity and plasma, with a single gold drawbridge. Arkay decided to approach cautiously. The plasma field probably wouldn’t harm him, but he didn’t fancy his first emotion in a long time to be pain.
The drawbridge was high enough to pass over the plasma. It led to a massive white gate with yet more gold trim. A blue energy glowed from the middle of it. As Arkay drew closer, the blue energy turned orange then switched back to blue before fading. The fading energy seemed to cause the door to split in two, both sides sliding back into the walls.
In the door’s place was a strange creature, a mixture of melting flesh and the familiar gold trim that lined the entire building. A strange, sun-shaped metal piece stuck out of its shoulder. The creature grunted, then turned around, suggesting Arkay follow.
As Arkay trailed behind the creature, he noticed a lot of humanoid beings. Half of them were armoured in an off-white gold and very round, somewhat organically shaped armour, their flesh having deteriorated from… something? The other half were much more boxy, wearing darker blue armour with off-white and gold trimmings and weird box-shaped helmets with slits to see through. Following them around were white and gold drones which matched the interior décor much better than the legions of armed guards.
Arkay seemed to follow the creature for a long time. Occasionally he would see other, similar creatures, minding their own business, but they mostly just seemed to walk through room after room of armed guards. The rooms themselves were elegantly decorated, as if designed for an array of kings and queens. But there seemed to be no royals here, just servants.
After about twenty elevator rides of various lengths, the creature stopped moving. They had reached a huge hall lined with tables, chairs, fountains, white glowing trees and absurd amounts of gold. At the end of the hall was a set of stairs that led up to four weird windows. Standing in front of the windows was…
Well, it looked exactly like Arkay.
The copy of Arkay laughed, then slid down the stair rails and leaped in front of the real Arkay. At this distance, Arkay noticed that they had dead, white eyes rather than Arkay’s glowing gold eyes.
The clone frowned. “Hey kiddo. You’re not what I expected.”
Suddenly, the clone’s shape began to change. They distorted themselves into a vaguely humanoid black and red shadow.
“What were you expecting?” Arkay asked. He didn’t question how he could understand the being. As far as Arkay was concerned, all deities, present and former, always somehow understood each other anyway.
“Children. My children.”
“Are they lost?”
“Yes. Led astray. But they’ll come back. I trust ‘em.”
Arkay glanced around. “Are those guards your children?”
The shadow being laughed. “What? Nah. They’re just mortals that tried to ruin my nice tower so I enslaved them. They made loads of shitty copies of my nice tower to live in, but I destroyed them all ages ago. Can only be one tower, am I right?”
Arkay shrugged. “Do you have a name?”
“I do, but I wanna know yours first.”
“I am Arkay.”
“You can call me Wally. I control this Void.”
“It is a very pretty void. Far nicer than all the ones I passed through.”
Wally nodded in agreement. “So what brought you here?”
Arkay hesitated. “I do not really know. I just… I heard the music. It is beautiful. It made me feel emotions I have not felt in aeons.”
More nods. “Ah yes. That music. I like it too. Brings all the kiddles back.”
“Why are you waiting for them to come back?”
“Because they should be bloody adults now, and I wanna see how much they’ve grown!” Wally explained. “I gave them a ton of universe-shaping powers and they all went off on their own paths. Dunno what they did, but I’m wondering if any of them will make it back.”
“I am… sorry to hear that…”
Wally perked up. “It’s fine! I kinda expected this. Coulda checked up on them more as well. So what are you, kiddo?”
Arkay looked down at himself. “I am just a drifter. Nothing special.”
“You have to be special to be drifting out there! You one of them Voidborns or something?”
“A Gifted Creator?”
“The opposite. Or at least, I used to be.”
Wally frowned, then shrugged again. “Well, we all have our flaws. And you seem alright enough. Sadly someone like you is probably scaring off the kiddos, so I can’t really let you stay. Is there anything you’d like before I kick you out?”
Arkay didn’t seem upset. This feeling was familiar to him, even if it had been a very long time since he had felt anything. “That is fine. Could I request a copy of your music? It is very lovely music.”
The shadowy being grinned. They waggled their fingers around, then handed Arkay a little white and gold box. He then led Arkay up the stairs, towards the windows. “Just press the button. Should last you a few billion years.”
Arkay looked at the device, then out of the windows. Amazingly, they were completely open, and the view from them was astonishing.
“Thank you very much, Wally. I hope you find your children.”
“No worries, kiddo, and thank you too. You stay safe out there.”
With a little smile and a wave, Arkay leaped from the window, drifting out into the glistening void. Before long, he had floated far away from the tower, and could only watch as it disappeared into the gold and white void wisps.
Arkay may have been alone again, but at least the box would keep him company. As he sailed off, Arkay pressed the little button on the box and closed his eyes, humming along to the music.