[2740 AD; Rezar, Iiayikohn – Ports of Iiayi]
“Gavin, are you sure you’re just going to head back?” Gale asked.
“It’s not like I have any other options,” Gavin said. “There’s going to be a long talk with the general, I’m sure. Trust me, you don’t want to see him when he gets mad.”
“I kind of already have,” she said. “But it’s been really nice talking to you, Gavin. Good luck with your mission.”
“And I hope you find your brother, too,” Sorin said. “I guess that’s something we have in common, isn’t it?”
“As far as I’m concerned, that’s where things end,” Gavin replied.
Gavin had ended up sitting with Sorin and Gale, which had livened up the table since neither Sorin and Gale were speaking to each other. Sorin had been far too focused in his training with Eva, while Gale had been planning how she was going to explore the Thekohnian region.
“You haven’t told us about your brother yet,” Gale said. “What is he like?”
“He’s full of himself,” Gavin replied. “Even when growing up, he was always focused on chasing skirts instead of his dreams.”
“Wow, I have no idea what to say,” she said.
“Well, I’m sure he’d have something to say to you,” Gavin said to Gale. “As for Sorin, my brother doesn’t have much to say towards other men. The same could be said of his attitude towards authority.”
“Do you believe that’s why he deserted the military?” Sorin asked.
“Lawrence has his reasons, I’m sure,” Gavin replied, “Which is why I want to ask him… After I kick his ass, of course!”
“I don’t know if that’s exactly necessary,” Gale said. “Wouldn’t you be glad he’s alive?”
“Guess you wouldn’t understand,” Gavin said. “Neither of you would, I assume. Anyway, I’ve spent too much time here, because it looks like we’ve made landfall.”
Sorin and Gale followed Gavin up to the deck of the ship, eyeing the city of Rezar for the first time. A large port awaited them, to which the city was just after. Building after building stood tall, the streets were bustling as cars drove down the road and the people were just as busy walking down the sidewalks. Sorin covered his eyes from the bright sunlight as the ship’s horn blared all throughout the port. Kirk and Eva were up there, waiting for Sorin and Gale to arrive.
“So, how are you liking Iiayikohn so far, son?” Kirk asked.
“It’s certainly something,” Sorin replied. “So what’s next?”
“Well, for starters, we’re going to have to find a place to stay,” Eva said. “After that, I suppose we’re going to have to see if we can have an audience with Alan.”
“That will probably be difficult,” Kirk said. “Especially knowing who else is trying to go…”
“You’ve never really explained it to me, have you?” Sorin asked. “What happened between you and Henry?”
“Funny, I asked him the same thing but he couldn’t answer me,” Kirk replied, “Or perhaps he didn’t want to answer me.”
“Could you at least tell me?” Sorin asked. “I feel like I deserve to know, you know.”
“Trust me, Sorin, some things are better left unsaid,” Kirk replied. “All I can say is that there are just some people that you can’t trust.”
Kirk turned around and headed for the exit ramp. Sorin looked to Gale, who shook her head, and then Eva, who was looking away.
“Eva,” Sorin said, “Do you… know what happened with them?”
“I can’t say that I have,” she replied. “I do know that they were once friends. Whatever it was had to be awful enough for Kirk to treat Henry with contempt.”
“All I know of Henry is this nice man,” Sorin said. “I don’t know what it is, but I feel like it might be a misunderstanding.”
“Good luck with that,” Eva said.
“What do you mean?” Gale asked.
“Kirk’s a stubborn man,” Eva said. “He’s set in his beliefs, for better or for worse. If you want the two to reconcile, then you’ll really have to try your hardest.”
“I know,” Sorin said. “That’s why I feel like I should help them.”
“Sorin, don’t get ahead of yourself,” Eva said. “You know why we’re here.”
“I’ll say this once,” Eva interrupted, “Move on.”
Sorin sighed. He felt like he was growing further apart from his father after this revelation, and Sorin wanted to prevent it from happening. However, he felt powerless. Useless. What could he have done at this point, he wondered. Maybe Eva was right, and was just trying to tell him in her own special way.
“Sorin, let’s go,” Gale said. “I’m sure we can figure out what to do later.”
Sorin nodded and went with Gale down the ramp. Eva followed them, but Sorin was determined to catch up to his father who had already made it out of the port. There was already a bit of commotion as they found the streets were occupied with Iiayikohnian and Ameci soldiers.
“There’s no doubt about it,” Kirk said, “We’ve stumbled into something big here.”
“Always such a spectacle,” Eva said. “Just how are we going to see Alan now?”
“It’s possible,” Kirk replied. “Let’s see if that gunslinger is still around.”
“Do you mean Gavin?” Gale asked. “Because he might still be on the ship.”
“Well, if that’s the case, he could be useful to us,” Kirk said. “Sorin, perhaps you could fetch that man for us?”
“I guess so,” Sorin answered.
He ran back onto the ship, looking for any sign of Gavin’s presence. Scanning the deck, he found Gavin alongside Henry and Tori.
“Gavin!” Sorin called out.
Gavin turned his head. “Oh, it’s you,” he said. “What do you want?”
“Hello Sorin,” Tori said.
“Hey,” Sorin said. “Gavin, maybe you don’t need to head back. It looks like the Ameci military is already here.”
Gavin’s eyebrows sprung up. “Seriously?”
“Just look,” Sorin said.
Peeking over the rail, Gavin saw the abundant amount of Ameci soldiers hanging around the capital.
“What the hell,” Gavin said. “I wasn’t informed of this!”
“It seems we’re both out of the loop,” Sorin said.
“A simpleton like you I could understand, but me!?” Gavin asked.
“Maybe they tried to reach you, but couldn’t?” Tori asked.
“Like hell they did!” Gavin shouted. “These things are planned in advance! Why the fuck did they not inform me!?”
Gavin raced down the exit ramp and down to the port. Sorin chased after him with Henry and Tori soon behind. They reunited with Kirk’s group, albeit a somewhat reluctant reunion.
“He’s here again,” Kirk said to Sorin. “May I ask why?”
“Look, I don’t really want to start something,” Henry said. “I just want to meet with Alan, but it seems like it would be problematic to do it right now…”
“Right, what with your whole treason,” Kirk said.
“He was accused!” Tori said.
“Maybe he was, Tori,” Kirk replied, “But I don’t care.”
“Listen, father, perhaps you should settle your differences with Henry for now,” Sorin said.
“Sorin’s right,” Gale said. “If we’re going to see the prime minister, then we need to cooperate. Right, Gavin?”
“You expect me to escort all of you?” Gavin asked. “I’m not some fucking servant you can boss around!”
“Please, Gavin?” Gale asked. “Maybe… Maybe your brother is here.”
Gavin scoffed. “Why would he be around here if there are soldiers strewn about? That’s goddamn preposterous!”
“Gavin, is it?” Kirk asked. “Perhaps you would best listen to the girl. She is, after all, the daughter of the esteemed Isaac Kunigunde.”
“W-what?” Gavin gasped. He turned to Gale. “You! Explain yourself! Why did you hold back this information!?”
“I don’t really want to talk about it,” Gale replied. “It is true, though.”
“Son of a gun,” Gavin said.
“Are you going to help us or not?” Eva asked.
Gavin gritted his teeth. “Fine,” he growled. “Looks like I have no other choice. Let’s go.”
“See?” Tori asked. “We can work together.”
“Don’t get too happy,” Gavin said. “Especially not you, Henry Randolph!”
“I wasn’t trying to,” Henry said.
“Then let’s move,” Gavin commanded. “Let’s see… Total headcount is seven. I’m sure he would have something to say about that…”
“What are you talking about?” Kirk asked.
“Nothing!” Gavin replied. “Come on!”
The seven of them headed forward to the prime minister’s office, opting to take the nearby bus. Due to both armies being present, the bus had taken an alternate, longer route to the building. Sorin wondered to himself what the prime minister was like, considering that the man was a friend of his father’s. Sorin sat next to Gavin, who had spent the time eyeing out of the window.
“Wait a second,” Gavin said. “That can’t be… Can it?”
The bus passed through the shopping district when Sorin noticed who Gavin was looking at. The man wore a bomber jacket as he walked up to the locksmith’s shop. Sorin had to ponder if perhaps that was, in fact, Gavin’s brother, but he had no desire to ask the man sitting next to him. All he wanted to do was wait until they would finally be at the prime minister’s office.
To be continued…