Chapter 5 – Solo

[2740 AD; Admorse Plaza – Smithy]

 

Henry stumbled into the blacksmith’s shop, slamming the door behind him shut. He was sure that he had shaken Gavin off of his trail, but waited an extra day outside of the city just to be safe. As he was thinking to himself, the owner of smithy walked in from the back.

“Didn’t expect to see you here, Henry!”

The old man walked up to Henry. He was a couple of inches shorter than Henry, and had a beard that was almost half a foot long. Henry bowed his head as he shook the man’s hand.

“Hey, I’m just a simple blacksmith, son,” the man said. “You don’t need to bow to me.”

“I’m sorry Tre,” Henry said. “Just wanted to make sure.”

Tre laughed. “Please, I should be the one bowing,” he said. “Although, I guess it wouldn’t make sense these days, would it?”

Henry shrugged and looked aside. “I suppose not.”

“Heh, they used to call you the Raging Storm of Ameci,” Tre said. “I guess when you separate the fierce wind from that storm, it quiets down.”

“I’d prefer not to talk about that.”

“I understand,” Tre replied, “But I know you didn’t come in here just to kick back and talk about the past.”

“I need your help,” Henry said.

“You need my help?” Tre asked. “Come on, Henry, I’m your elder. You gotta say ‘please’ first.”

Henry wasn’t sure if he was serious. “Please?”

Tre burst out laughing. “I’m messing with you! You’re practically my equal, of course I’ll help you!”

“Thanks,” Henry said.

“You don’t need to thank me,” Tre said. “My grandkids do that already. Now, let me guess… You need to get outta here, right?”

“That’s about the gist of it,” Henry replied.

“You know I don’t take trips, right?”

“I need something from you.”

“No one better to ask for a weapon than from someone who makes them for living, right?” Tre asked. “I already know what you want.”

“Okay,” Henry said.

Tre reached into one of the shelves and produced a pair of knives. “These are some of the best combat knives I’ve made,” he said. “They’ll help you in any close fight, or my name ain’t Daltre Hendricks!”

Henry grabbed the knives from Tre’s hand. They looked to be brand new, with no signs of use. “Pretty good work here,” he said.

“Didn’t I tell you?”

Henry nodded. “Of course.”

“That’s the spirit,” Tre said. “You know, there’s a nice place in the Kalreda Islands this time of year. Hell, I could quit tomorrow and head out there with Mira.”

“I’ve heard good things,” Henry said. “Anyway, I guess I should go.”

“You’re heading to see Lowell, right?”

“Yes.”

“I knew it,” Tre said. “Anyway, I want you to give him this.”

He handed Henry a sword that was wrapped up in a decorative paper. “Um, okay,” Henry said.

“Also, please tell him I said hello. It’s been a long time; he’d appreciate the greeting.”

“I won’t forget,” Henry replied. “I’m off.”

“See ya!”

 

[2740 AD; Admorse Shipyard]

 

Gavin Power arrived into the Admorse Shipyard with a new direction towards finding Henry Randolph. Despite a lack of concrete proof, Gavin had a feeling that Henry would try to flee Ameci to escape his punishment. He marched into the main office to speak with whoever was in charge.

“Excuse me!” Gavin said as and walked up to a worker’s desk. “I am junior lieutenant Gavin Power of the Ameci army! I am in pursuit of a dangerous criminal and I would like to speak with the person in charge!”

The worker that Gavin was talking to responded to him with a blank stare. “I’m not the one you want to talk to,” she said.

“Then get me the person I do want to talk to!”

“What’s going on here?”

Gavin turned to the direction where the booming voice came from. An old, bald man was standing at the entrance to the director’s office. He walked up to Gavin, matching him for height.

“Are you the one in charge?” Gavin asked.

“You want the one in charge? Well, you have him right here,” the old man said. “Lowell Page. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Gavin shaked Lowell’s hand. “Same to you, Mr. Page,” he said. “You have a minute, do you not?”

“What the hell kind of question is that?” Lowell asked. “I don’t have time for meaningless conversation. Either you have something good to say or you’re just wasting my time, boy.”

“I’m hardly a waste of time!” Gavin exclaimed. “I should let you know that I’m a junior lieutenant of the Ameci army!”

“So?”

“S-so you should listen to what I have to say, that’s what!”

Lowell scoffed. “If this is the military’s idea of a joke, I’m not really laughing,” he said.

“Are you not aware that the criminal Henry Randolph is strolling around?” Gavin asked. “I came here because I believe that he is trying to escape the country through one of your ships.”

“Okay, now you’re really fucking with me,” Lowell said. “I’ve not seen any trace of this Henry Randolph, nor have I spoken with him.”

“Are you sure?”

“Of course I’m sure!” Lowell replied. “You have a problem with that?”

“No, Mr. Page, but…”

Lowell stomped his foot down. “Do you have a problem with that!?”

“Gah! No, I don’t!” Gavin replied. “I’m going to go now. I… think I saw him running outside!”

Gavin turned around and exited the building. Lowell sighed and headed back into his office where Henry was waiting.

“These kids from the military, I tell you,” Lowell said.

“Thank you,” Henry said.

“It’s nothing,” Lowell replied. “Guy like him I woulda knocked flat on his ass back in my prime. Could have done it right there, too.”

“I’m glad it didn’t have to come to that.”

“Time changed a man like me,” Lowell said. “Ever since I ‘retired,’ I’ve calmed down a lot.”

“Well, you weren’t as hotheaded as some of the others back then,” Henry said. “Anyway, I guess you want to know why I’m here, don’t you?”

“I see those knives at your hip,” Lowell replied. “What the hell is going on? Weren’t you overseas the past few years?”

“Guess I had to come back for something,” Henry replied. “A personal thing, but I’m ready to leave again.”

“And you want to head out to Iiayikohn?”

“If you could,” Henry replied.

“You know you can’t keep running like this,” Lowell said. “Weren’t you and Fercewend friends? Surely he could do something about it.”

“I’m sure he thinks I did it,” Henry said. “He’s had ten years to think about that day.”

“Maybe so,” Lowell said, “Then again it’s not my business what you end up doing. You want to board the next ship? Be my guest!”

“That’s all I ask for,” Henry said. “Thank you for your help.”

“No problem,” Lowell replied. “Hope you figure it out.”

Henry reached for the door. “I’ll try.”

“Goodbye,” Lowell said.

Henry left the shipyard office and made his way to the ramp for the next ship that was set to depart. He thought about what Lowell said to him, and wondered what he’d have to do when he got to Iiayikohn. It was something he would have to consider as he walked up the ramp. He stepped on board the ship, which after talking to the captain, he would have to wait another half hour until it set off. Henry’s trip would not be by himself, however, as Gavin had spotted him from a remarkable distance.

“Looks like I was right to stay!” Gavin exclaimed. “Look out, Henry Randolph, because your ass is mine!”

Gavin hurried towards the ramp, dodging the other people as he climbed up the ramp. He saw Henry going into the depths of the ship as he stepped foot onto the deck, but ended up tripping over himself and falling flat on his face.

“Damn it!”

His unfortunate drop was enough for him to lose sight of Henry. Gavin got back up to his feet as he tried to follow after Henry once more. Of course, Gavin was not the only one following Henry, as Tori decided to join Henry on his adventure after leaving their children in the care of Henry’s mother.

“Henry, I had a feeling you would be here,” she said. “It looks like I was right. I hope you’ll be happy to meet me again.”

 

To be continued…

 

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