[2740 AD; on the deck of the Ameci Atlas]
Henry looked onward as he could make out the country of Iiayikohn in the distance. It had been a long five days, but he was finally going to end up in Iiayikohn. His goal had become clear at this point, and to achieve it he would have to meet with Alan.
“Henry, are you okay?” Tori asked.
“You’ve been looking at the ocean the past two days,” Tori said. “You haven’t spoke or ate too much. I’m a little worried about you…”
“I can’t say I’ve held onto my creed this whole time,” Henry said. “I know what I said to you when we got on this ship, but still the nightmares haunt me.”
Tori hugged Henry from behind, resting her head on his back. “Henry…”
“Tori, I can’t keep you in the dark,” he said. “The truth is that I’ve hated myself these past ten years. How could someone like me ever come back to you?”
“You’re here with me, though.”
“I know that,” Henry said. “I can tell you’ll keep believing in me, and I appreciate that, but what about the kids? Do I deserve to be their father?”
“I want them to have better lives than we did,” Tori replied, “But I also want them to meet you, too.”
“Tori, please don’t,” Henry said. “I love you, but I’m not the same man you fell in love with.”
“I understand that!” Tori said.
“You don’t,” Henry replied. “I’ve had multiple days where I just wanted to end it all. Multiple days where I wanted to suffocate instead of breathe. Pick up a knife and… Damn it!”
Henry pounded the railing as Tori stepped back. He turned around to face her as tears filled his eyes.
“I’m not a hero,” he said, “I’m just a coward. A coward that’s afraid to stand up for himself.”
Tori looked up at him, almost ready to burst into tears herself. “How dare you say that,” she said. “You would rather just give in to doubt? That’s not Henry Randolph. At least, not the Henry I know.”
“What do you suppose I do?”
“I told you,” she said, “I can help you. If I ask Rohan, then I know he will help you too.”
“Do you have a plan?”
“I’m sure we can figure it out,” Tori replied. “And if you continue to doubt, then I will believe for both of us until you do too.”
“I-I really am grateful,” Henry said.
“I won’t,” he said. “Come here.”
As the two shared another moment together, Gavin had spotted the two. He looked away until they were finished, and started walking up to them again.
“Well, it looks like you win, Henry Randolph,” Gavin said.
“What are you doing here?” Henry asked.
“Regretting,” Gavin replied. “Everything I’ve done up to this point has been moot. Seems like you’re off the hook… For now.”
“Excuse me, but I don’t think I’ve ever learned your name,” Tori said.
“Oh, right,” Gavin said. “I’m Gavin Power, failure at life.”
“That’s a bit extreme,” Henry said.
“I would have added more, but clearly the effort isn’t worth it.”
“That’s not true,” Tori said. “After all, you are an expert marksman, right?”
“What good will that do me now?” Gavin asked. “I failed my mission of capturing him.”
“Surely you have something else you can do,” Tori answered.
“Not much I can do from here,” Gavin said. “Just get off at wherever this ship takes us and find a way back home.”
“Did you just hop on a ship without knowing where it went?” Henry asked. “That is quite… reckless.”
“I suppose this is a learning experience, then,” Gavin said.
“Hey, before you walk away,” Tori said, “Maybe you would like to hear Henry’s story. At least hear him out.”
“Why should I do that?” Gavin asked.
“Because perhaps you’d find something in common?”
“Now that is hilarious,” Gavin said. “Did you put her up to this, Henry Randolph?”
“No,” Henry said. “Can you stop calling me by my full name? It’s somewhat unnecessary.”
“I suppose it doesn’t matter, then,” Gavin replied. “Fine, Mr. Randolph, I would love to hear your side of the story, although we all know it won’t change my opinion of you.”
Henry and Tori walked with Gavin down to the dining hall. Henry told Gavin about what he had been doing over the past ten years, as well as what he was going to do now. Gavin had his hand across his face the entire time.
“What are you thinking about now, Gavin?” Tori asked.
“There’s no reason I should tell you,” Gavin replied.
“I’m sure,” Gavin said. “Your loyalty to this man is admirable, but that’s all I will say.”
“Is there nothing that can convince you? Perhaps whatever you’re dealing with we can help with.”
“Henry, maybe this can be your first step,” she said. “He’s an Ameci soldier; he’d probably be able to reach out to Rohan and help.”
“It’s fine,” Gavin said. “I suppose that I can share with you what’s been troubling me. Thing is, there’s someone I really care for.”
“Like someone you love?” Tori asked.
“Oh god, no,” Gavin replied. “I guess if by ‘love’ you mean ‘care for them because they’re family,’ then maybe you’d be right.”
“Okay,” Tori said. “What about them, then?”
“You wouldn’t want to know,” Gavin answered. “The fact is that I’ve been trying to find him, and when I do find him I’m going to kick his ass!”
Gavin walked into the dining hall as Tori and Henry both looked at each other in shock. Henry shook his head and opened the doors. He and Tori went inside the dining hall, looking for a place to sit. As they looked around, Henry had caught the attention of a certain person.
“Hey, haven’t we met before?” Sorin asked.
Henry sighed. “Yes, I do believe we have,” he replied. “Sorin, right?”
“Hold on,” Sorin said as he brought Kirk over. “This was who I was tell you about.”
“I see him, Sorin,” Kirk said. “Well, it’s nice to see you, Henry Randolph.”
“Nice to see you too,” Henry replied.
“It’s funny how you decided to be here,” Kirk said. “To be honest, I’m surprised that you even have the gall to face me after what you did.”
“Henry, do you know him?” Tori asked.
“Well, Henry, how about it?” Kirk asked. “Would you like to tell Tori about what happened?”
To be continued…