[2740; downtown Admorse – Wyse District]
The house that Henry grew up in still stood on the side of the street, the one story house that looked the same as it did when Henry left it ten years ago. He got out of the car and walked up to the front door. Henry took a deep breath and knocked on the door, waiting for who was going to open the door.
“Please, be there,” he said.
The doorknob turned as the door opened, creaking open as Henry saw through the crack. Henry jumped back as the door shut, and heard the door chain slide. He saw the door open again, the woman he had left before greeting him with a smile on her face.
“I never thought I would see the day,” she said. “You really changed… Henry.”
“You’re happy to see me, aren’t you Tori?”
“Why wouldn’t I be?” Tori asked. “I feel like I’m in a dream.”
“I wish someone would pinch me, then,” Henry replied.
“You haven’t changed at all since last time, have you?”
“Well, it’s been ten years,” Henry replied. “I guess that’s why I’m here. Even when I was fighting against myself, I still found my way back here.”
“How about we catch up?” Tori asked. “You know, you still haven’t had the chance to meet your children…”
Henry gasped. “W-what was that?”
“You remember what you said to me that night, don’t you?”
“Damn it, I think I do,” he replied. “I know you told me about it before I left for Iiayi, but I had no idea…”
“Twins,” she said. “Bradley and Henry…”
“Named after a couple of good men, no less.”
“I wish you could meet them,” Tori said, “But unfortunately they are at school right now. Oh, but you’ll stay, won’t you?”
Henry looked back at the car. “I’m sorry,” he said, “But I can’t. You know I can’t.”
Tori sighed and closed her eyes. “It’s been ten years,” she said. “Is there no way the military can hear you out?”
“It’s not a choice at this point,” Henry answered. “It’s my life on the line. The government will want my head, regardless of the truth.”
“Where are you going?” Tori asked.
“I have to get out of the country,” Henry replied. “Ameci has been relentless with their officers as of late.”
He explained to Tori about his encounter yesterday in Welsblaek. It had been a small, quiet town when Henry had arrived, but over the past month more officers had started occupying the town. Yesterday he knew that he could no longer stay and stowed away on the first vehicle he saw.
“Thankfully the guys that found me were nice enough to take me to Bollesburgh,” he said.
“I’m glad you’re alive,” Tori said, hugging Henry. “Are you sure you can’t stay the night, at least?”
“No,” he replied.
“Then let me go with you!” Tori exclaimed as she grasped Henry by his arms. Though she was petite and a foot shorter than him, Henry could not escape from Tori’s grip.
“If it’s about the kids, they can come too,” she said.
“Hell no!” Henry responded. “Please let me go already!”
“Then can you at least promise me that you’ll write me a letter?” Tori asked as she unleashed him. “When you get to where you need to go, that’s the least you can do.”
Henry nodded. “I’ll remember,” he said.
“I’ve finally found you!” Gavin shouted. “This time, you will submit!”
Henry and Tori looked to Gavin, standing over on the side of the street. Gavin stumbled his way to the car and leaned against it.
“Do you even know what I had to do for this car?” Gavin asked.
Henry looked to Tori, and looked back at Gavin. “You’re that boisterous fellow I met yesterday,” he said. “I assume that you’re in the military, are you not?”
Gavin laughed. “I will have you know, Mr. Randolph, that all of my peers and superiors sing the highest praise possible of me,” he said. “If you want proof of my unparalleled marksmanship, you only need to ask.”
“Is that so?” Henry asked.
“You have no idea,” Gavin replied. “Fercewend, Bradley, Kunigunde, they all were amazed!”
“I’m sure they were,” Henry said.
“It’s a shame,” Gavin said, “That I would love to show you my skill, but I must do my duty and arrest you both.”
“What?” Tori asked. “Why… why me?”
“Clearly, I would love to let you move on,” Gavin replied, “It’s not an option, though. I heard everything.”
“Please,” Henry said. “If you must arrest someone, let it be me.”
“How noble!” Gavin said.
“I’m the one you want,” Henry explained. “I’ve already wronged her once, I don’t wish to do so again by leaving her children without their mother!”
“Really?” Gavin asked. “Okay. No child deserves to have their parent taken from them, so you’re free to go.”
“Henry!” Tori said. “Please don’t do this!”
“I’m so sorry,” he replied. “Just promise me that you will continue to keep them safe.”
“Of course,” she said.
Henry responded by pulling her in close to him, their lips meeting for the first time in ten years. Gavin rolled his eyes and looked aside until they were both finished.
“Okay, okay,” Gavin said. “Wrap it up. This isn’t a love story, you two!”
“Fine, let’s get it over with,” Henry said. “Cuff me, or however you want to do it.”
“You wish, Mr. Randolph,” Gavin replied. “I’ve already informed the army; they’re already sending some of their officers here to this location!”
“So it’s just you, then?” Henry asked.
“Do you continue to doubt me?” Gavin asked.
“Not at all,” Henry said. “You said you were an expert marksman. Maybe you’d like to show me a trick before the other officers arrive?”
Gavin chuckled. “Just who do you think you are, Mr. Henry Randolph? I don’t do requests, and even if I did, I couldn’t.”
“It’s not my proudest moment, but I forgot to load my gun,” Gavin replied. “I promise you that I am not usually this foolhardy. Such an occurrence is rare.”
Henry walked up to Gavin. “That really is a shame,” he said. Before Gavin knew it, Henry threw a left hook at his face, sending him falling to the ground.
“Fuck!” Gavin howled. “What the fuck!? My face! You hit me in the fucking face!”
“Lesson one, officer: never answer your enemy’s questions,” Henry said. “Tori, I must go now. Please take care!”
“Okay,” she replied. “But what about him?”
“Oh, you have nothing to worry about,” Gavin said, standing up. “I only want him now!”
Before he could go on, Gavin was once again met with Henry’s fist. As he was sent reeling by the second left hook, Henry took that moment to escape. He sprinted away from his house, leaving Gavin behind as he tried to recover.
“Henry,” Tori said to herself, “I know that this won’t be the last time we meet.”
Gavin collected himself as he got upright, rubbing his face as he adjusted his sunglasses once more. The pain stung, but not as much as the hit his pride had taken. Hearing the sirens in the distance, Gavin raced into the driver’s seat of his car, starting it up and heading after Henry.
“Believe me, Mr. Randolph, I will never quit,” he said. “Be it day, night, blistering sunlight, or rain, you will face my wrath!”
To be continued…