[2740 AD; prime minister’s office – Deca District]
“So this is the prime minister’s office,” Gavin said.
The group stood in the front hall, greeted by a couple of Iiayikohnian guards. They were told to wait in this hall until the conference was over, but that didn’t stop Gavin from trying to get past the guards. His attempt failed as the guard did not budge from his position.
“Stop, Gavin,” Kirk said, “It’s no use. We’ll have to wait.”
“It doesn’t matter, anyway,” Eva said. “You’re not in Ameci now.”
“I know that,” Gavin said. “I have a different reason to meet General Fercewend, and none of you need to know about it!”
“That’s fine with us,” Kirk said.
“Is it about your brother?” Gale asked.
“I already told you all that you didn’t need to know about it,” Gavin replied. “Now leave me alone.”
Gavin walked off to the other side of the room, leaving the other six to themselves. Sorin then decided to talk to Gavin and walked up beside him.
“Go away,” Gavin said.
“I just want to know,” Sorin said.
“Why? You’re not my friend.”
“Would it hurt you to have a conversation?”
“No,” Gavin answered, “But if you keep pestering me, it will hurt you.”
Sorin rolled his eyes. “I understand,” he said.
Dejected, Sorin walked back to Eva. She eyed over at Kirk, to which Sorin looked over at him.
“You tried,” Kirk said.
“Is that all you have to say about that?” Sorin asked. “I would have expected you to say ‘it wasn’t that important’ or that I ‘have to focus on the mission,’ honestly.”
“No,” Kirk replied. “Making friends is never not important. Don’t forget about that.”
“Okay,” Sorin said. “Gale, um, can I speak with you? Alone, perhaps?”
“S-sure,” she replied.
They walked over to the lower part of the hall, far away from the rest of the group. Sorin looked at Gale, who was busy eyeing him up and down.
“Having that blade on your hip… It really makes you look important,” Gale said. “How does it feel?”
“Stressful,” Sorin replied. “I keep getting reminded of all the close calls with Eva. It’s a real good thing that she’s on our side.”
“At least you’ve found something you’re good at, right?”
“I guess,” he replied. “I feel a lot quicker, as if I can anticipate even the smallest movements…”
Sorin jerked his head in the direction of the doors as they squeaked open. In marched Isaac Kunigunde, who came in contact with Sorin and Gale. His eyes focused on Gale, the frigid stare leaving Gale unable to move. Isaac soon turned his head back, continuing on his way. Once he was gone out of their distance, Gale exhaled and adjusted her glasses.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
“Don’t be,” Sorin replied. “You’ve done nothing wrong.”
“It’s just… him, you know?”
“I know. You can’t let him get to you like that.”
“You’re right,” Gale said, “But there’s nothing I can do.”
“Hey, weren’t you saying something about my sword?” Sorin asked.
“Uh, just trying to change the topic…”
Gale smiled. “Well, I appreciate that,” she said. “So you said you feel a lot quicker? How fast is your draw?”
“Would you like to see?”
Gale backed up so she could watch Sorin draw his sword. He got into position, putting his right foot forward while his hand started to move. It was not even a second later as the blade was already out of the sheath, as Sorin pointed the sword at the doors.
Gale clapped. “Yay! That was so cool!”
“You should see her,” Sorin said. “Eva is like lightning compared to me.”
“Hey! What are you doing!? Put that away at once!”
Sorin looked over at the guard, who was staring him down. The guard pointed over at the sign with a long list of rules printed on it. It was at the top of the list: “NO OVERLY-DRAMATIC POSES IN THE FRONT HALL.”
“Sorry,” he said as he withdrew his sword.
“Anyway, you had something you wanted to talk to me about?” Gale asked.
“Yeah, I did, actually,” Sorin replied. “I was talking to Eva about you the other day.”
“She mentioned your dream to me,” he continued, “How you are an inventor and all that. I wanted to know what you’re working on.”
“Oh, well, I guess you could say I am an inventor,” she said. “Although I haven’t exactly made anything yet. I do have some ideas, though.”
“Well, it’s all in my head right now,” Gale replied, “But I have plans to make certain things much easier for people to do, like transportation.”
“Transportation?” Sorin asked. “Like cars and ships?”
“Yes, but I want to be able to help put forth another method,” she said. “Namely, by air.”
“You mean like flying!? But that’s…”
“A lot of people think it’s impossible, I know,” Gale said. “However, I read in a book about how the previous world used to fly all the time. Some of the descriptions were vivid and I want to be able to bring it to life.”
“I mean, I’ve heard the tales and everything,” Sorin said. “It’s just that I have trouble seeing it for myself.”
“Do you believe it’s impossible?” Gale asked. “They said it was impossible for the Thekohnian Region and Ameci to be at peace, but look at where we are. If we are capable of achieving peace, then we should be able to reach for the skies.”
“I… You have a point,” Sorin said. “That’s all that I really wanted to know, I guess.”
“I’m glad I could share that with you, then,” she said. “Can I ask you something?”
“Don’t see why you can’t.”
“What’s your dream?” Gale asked. “It’s only fair that you tell me, right?”
“I want to be an artist,” he answered. “I spend most nights drawing until I can’t stay awake.”
“If you’re already drawing, that would make you one already, right?”
“Maybe, but I want to be better,” Sorin replied. “I want to make something that will be remembered for a long time. Something that will be talked about even when I’m gone.”
“That’s nice,” she said.
On the other side of the hall, Kirk saw Isaac walking towards him. He turned as Isaac stopped right next to him. Both men looked at each other for what felt like a long time. Eva coughed, Gavin took a deep breath, Tori held her clenched hand close to her chest, and Henry leaned on the wall. Then there was a break in the silence.
“Mr. Kunigunde,” Kirk greeted.
“Kirk Wilk,” Isaac responded.
“It’s good to see that you’re dealing with your business,” Kirk said. “Of course, I wouldn’t understand why a businessman like you would occupy himself with political affairs, but what do I know?”
“Looks like you’re still hung up on the past,” Isaac said. “No matter; I’ve already moved on.”
“You tell yourself that,” Kirk said. “I suppose it’s a good motto for a sensible person to follow, if one finds apathy sensible.”
“Anyway, perhaps you would mind telling me what you are doing here?” Isaac asked. “This isn’t something that you can just bring a couple of kids along for the ride. These are serious matters being discussed!”
“Well, perhaps our youth deserves to have a seat at the table,” Kirk replied. “If it is as serious as you say, then our future is just as important if not more than the present, correct?”
“What would you know, Mr. Wilk? Last I checked, you’re not part of the ‘know.’ To think that you can speak to my face about what I should be doing is beyond ridiculous.”
“Maybe so,” Kirk said, “But I’m not blind. Eva and I have been trying to make this world a better place for the past few years.”
“Ah yes, the so-called Swords of Eight,” Isaac replied. “Even Alan could see the writing on the wall, you know. A useless attempt at trying to enact peace brought down by selfishness and pride.”
“You’re wrong!” Eva interjected. “Sure, the Swords of Eight may no longer exist, but all of us are still here. That is something that you can’t take away from us.”
“Excuse me,” Isaac said, “But I don’t think you have the right to be in this conversation.”
“No, you don’t have the right,” Eva said. “You’re the same as us. Why else would you be out here and not in there speaking with Alan and Rohan?”
Isaac’s eyebrows furrowed, and then he cracked a smile. “You only say that because you carry that dangerous weapon,” he said. “Try saying that again without it, if you will.”
“Is that a threat?” Eva asked.
“If anything, I am the one that is threatened,” Isaac replied. “Both you and Mr. Wilk here stand before me blabbering on and on. You should be honored that I have decided to even give you my presence!”
“That is enough, Isaac!”
Alan and Fercewend entered the hall after just finishing with their meeting, with Chancellor Harring behind them. Alan’s voice commanded the entire presence of the hall; even Gale and Sorin, who were further down the hall, noticed and soon rushed to join the rest of the group.
“Mr. Prime Minister!” Isaac said.
“We’ve just finished our meeting,” Fercewend said. “It has been decided: there will be a speech tomorrow about our next action regarding Maeitakohn.”
“Harring will be the first to speak,” Alan added. “Then the general, then myself.”
“The presses have already been informed,” Harring said. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must attend other matters.”
As Harring left, Fercewend noticed Henry standing in the corner with Tori. His interest led him to approach the two, both ready for him.
“It’s good to see you again, Tori,” Fercewend said. “Same to you, Henry.”
To be continued…