[2740 AD; the roads of East Villa]
“Let’s get a move on, Sorin!” Smith said. He lifted the last crate into the truck as Sorin got into the passenger seat. Henry sat in the back where he watched Smith take the driver’s seat, starting the car and pulling out of the designated parking space.
“Hey, gotta thank ya for that interesting tale earlier, Henry!” Smith exclaimed. Henry chuckled under his breath, lowering his head. Despite the fact that he attempted to distance himself from it, the days of his time as a soldier were not something Henry could put away and be done with. At the end of the day, regardless of what the roles were, Henry was responsible for so many lives saved and lost.
“I should be thanking you two,” he said. “If not for your generosity, I don’t know what would have happened.”
“If I had known ya’d fought in the battle of Bel Dale, I woulda bought you a drink,” Smith replied. “I have nothing but the highest respect for you, Henry!”
“Thanks,” Henry said. “Sadly, I’d have to decline that offer.”
“Don’t fancy yourself some alcohol?” Smith asked. “That’s fine. Just know ya have my thanks!”
“I think he said that only because he saw how much you were drinking earlier,” Sorin said. “If you want, I can take over.”
“That’s nonsense, Sorin!” Smith laughed as he patted Sorin on the back. “I had two drinks tops! It’d take a lot more than that to bring me down!”
“Well, if we get pulled over, it’s your fault,” Sorin said.
“You can trust me,” he said. “Let’s head out! Back to Bollesburgh!”
With their truck leaving the East Villa factory, a pair of binoculars from atop a distant hill was fixed upon it as it got onto the main road. Behind the binoculars was a man of good stature, topped off by his black hair standing straight atop his head.
“Looks like you’ve finally shown yourself, Randolph,” he said, trading his binoculars for a pair of sunglasses. “Looks like the time to shine for junior lieutenant Gavin Power has come now!”
He stood up and dusted off his long, gray coat. Gavin headed back to his car, where he would plan his attack. With a grin on his face, Gavin started the car and followed after the delivery truck. This was the moment, he thought, he could capture Henry Randolph and receive a handsome reward for his work. If that happened, Gavin would be able to find out about his brother.
“I’ll find you, Lawrence,” he said. “I will find you and find out why the hell you left!”
The drive to Bollesburgh had been straightforward, with very little to deter Smith from staying on the road. Sorin had frequently reminded Smith, his concerns responded with a large guffaw each time. Henry had remained low key the entire trip, refraining from speaking up unless he was spoken to.
“You got a place to go to?” Sorin asked.
“I have a friend,” Henry replied. “I intend on asking them for help.”
“What’s yer plan?” Smith asked, making a right turn.
Henry hesitated. What was his plan? He had spent the past year in the town of Welsblaek after being overseas since being accused of treason. It was his intention to change his identity and be free of his past.
“I’m taking a vacation,” he answered.
“A vacation, ain’t it,” Smith said. “Sounds real nice.”
“That friend of yours is really helpful, aren’t they?” Sorin asked. He focused on Henry, staring at him until Henry turned away.
Henry rested against the side window. “Yes,” he replied. “That’s as much as I can say about it.”
“Well, I ain’t gonna pry into it if you don’t want me to,” Smith said.
The rest of the drive was quiet after that, with little conversation taking place besides the usual directions given by Sorin to Smith. As they arrived at the city limits of Bollesburgh, the three spotted a large warehouse.
“That’s the main place,” Smith said. “You’re lucky, Henry. You came aboard during our last delivery for today!”
“This is it, isn’t it?” Henry asked. He knew that he was heading into the main warehouse for Kunigunde Industries, one of the biggest distributors in the world.
“I know what you’re thinkin’, Henry,” Smith said, “But it’s not such a bad place. Mr. Kunigunde’s a real businessman, ya know.”
“So I’ve heard,” Henry said. “Isaac was always an ambitious man.”
“You know him?” Sorin asked.
“Only through other people,” Henry replied. “Anyway, you said this was your last delivery for today?”
“Yup, just got to pull in and collect our pay for the day!” Smith said. He parked the truck and got out. Sorin followed as well as Henry.
“I suppose this is where we split, isn’t it?” Henry asked. “Thanks for the ride, fellows.”
“Hey, if ya want to, you can come back any time!” Smith offered. “I’m always at the local bar ‘round here in case you ever want to talk!”
“I don’t think he’s really interested in that,” Sorin said.
“Aw, you’re still a kid, Sorin,” Smith said.
“Heh, gotta start drinking sometime!” Smith exclaimed.
“I think I’ll pass,” Sorin said.
“Your pops was the same way,” he said. “That Kirk, boy. Could wield a sword like no one’s business, but was always such a stick. Ah well, he’s still a good frienda mine!”
“Yeah… well, thanks again,” Henry said.
“Well, see ya,” Smith said.
“Bye,” Sorin said.
Henry departed from the entrance to the warehouse and set off in the opposite direction. As he was about to leave the parking lot, he was greeted by Gavin’s car. He stopped as Gavin pulled up in front of him. Henry eyed him as he got out of the car and could tell by his coat that he was in the military.
“I’ve finally met you,” Gavin said. “The wanted man himself: Henry Randolph!”
“Who are you?” Henry asked.
“Who am I, you ask?” Gavin asked him. “Well, that’s a very good question! My name is Gavin Power. Some may call me the ‘Tall Terror,’ while others call me ‘Gavin the Great.’ You, however, may call me your worst nightmare, because I’m taking you in!”
“Are you doubting my skills?” Gavin asked. He flexed his right arm while adjusting his sunglasses. “I will let you know that I was the top recruit! Even General Fercewend was in awe of my ability, and I will tell you that that man is not easily impressed!”
He laughed, turning away from Henry as he looked up to the sky. “It’s a shame, if we’re being honest,” Gavin said, “If it were a different circumstance, I’m sure you would be a worthy adversary of mine. Unfortunately, as you are but a criminal now, I have no choice but to arrest you!”
Gavin looked back to Henry but discovered that not only was Henry not there, he had taken Gavin’s car as well. Gavin stomped the ground and clenched his teeth before screaming as loud as he could.
“Damn you, Henry Randolph!” Gavin exclaimed. “I swear on my parents’ graves that I will get you!”
With Henry at the wheel, after stealing Gavin’s car while he was busy boasting, he had a plan. He wasn’t sure of how he would be able to achieve it, but Henry had a plan to escape Ameci. All he had to do was make it to Admorse, first.
“Tori, I wonder if you’ll even recognize me now,” he said. “Would you even want to talk to me even after what I did to you?”