[2740 AD; Port Hotel – restaurant – Deca District]
It had only been a half of a day in Iiayikohn, but Sorin felt like he was overwhelmed by the city. He, Kirk, Eva, and Gale had stopped at the hotel near the prime minister’s office to secure a base of operations until they could go to Maeitakohn. After the talk that Kirk and Eva had with Isaac, the rest of the group wanted to get something to eat to take their minds off of what had happened. Once they were finished with dinner, they decided to stay for a few more minutes until they could go to their rooms for the night.
“It’s unfortunate that the prime minister didn’t see you guys,” Gale said.
“No, it’s perfectly understandable,” Kirk replied. “Alan’s a busy man. We’ll see him after the speech tomorrow.”
“You sound pretty sure about that,” Sorin said.
“We’ll be okay, Sorin,” Kirk said.
“He may be the prime minister of this country, but to us he’s like a father,” Eva explained. “We owe a lot to him for what’s he’s been able to do.”
“Then I guess we should be happy we can get to see him tomorrow,” Gale said. “I’ve never actually been to a speech like that before. It’ll be fun to to watch, I bet.”
“Thankfully Alan said he would secure us seats in the front row,” Eva said. “Now, as for you, Mr. Wilk…”
“Please don’t refer to me that way, Eva,” Kirk said.
“You can lighten up,” she said. “It was a good thing that Alan did arrive when he did, because if he didn’t… Ah, I’m sorry Gale.”
“It’s okay,” Gale replied.
“Anyway, that man is of no importance to the mission,” Eva said. “He’s just another pompous suit that thinks his opinion matters more just because he was born into a wealthy family. Again, no offense, Gale.”
“I told you it’s okay.”
“Well, well, well!”
A boisterous laugh echoed through the restaurant, causing everyone to turn their heads. In the doorway stood Gamil Gomel, the former member of the Swords of Eight. He stepped forward towards the table, with a surprising guest behind him. Eva waved at the man behind Gamil, and his face lit up.
“Miss Bellamy! I mean… Eva.”
“Belkley, please,” Eva stood up and greeted him with a hug. “It’s been too long, hasn’t it?”
“Long time no see, you two!” Gamil said. “What’s the occasion here? Are you two getting married or something? Or is it those two?”
“You tell a funny joke, Gamil,” Kirk said, “But no, there’s no wedding. At least not one that I know of.”
“Maybe I ought to get myself acquainted,” Gamil said. He turned to Sorin. “You, kid! How about you give me your name, and then the girl does too!”
“Sorin,” he replied.
Gamil laughed. “Ah, this is the boy, huh? Got to say he carries your looks well. Even managed to get himself a girlfriend, didn’t he?”
Gale’s face blushed as she turned her head to look down. Sorin did much of the same, but in a different direction.
“I’m just pulling your legs here!” Gamil said. “Anyway, Kirk, what’s up?”
“Do you want to sit down?” Kirk asked.
“Sure, me and Mr. Ghillard here have time to spare,” he replied. “We’re in town for a couple days until we have to set off again. Might as well.”
“Yeah, we’re more than happy to spend time with you guys,” Belkley said.
The two men took their seats at the table, glad to join in the conversation that was taking place. Kirk explained what he and the rest of the group were doing in Iiayikohn and what their goal was.
“It’s a good thing that you two haven’t given up,” Gamil said. “Perhaps it’s not too late for me to pick up my blade again…”
“I’d love to see your skills, Mr. Gomel,” Sorin said.
“Well, don’t get too happy,” Gamil said, “I was just joking. You see, being a fisherman has gotten me into some pretty interesting predicaments.”
“Oh yeah,” Belkley said, “Like the time you caught that shark and you almost went overboard?”
“My back’s just aching when you mention that, Belkley,” Gamil replied as he rubbed his back. “Needless to say I can’t just go out there just swinging blades and not expect to get my ass kicked by my own body.”
“It’s the thought that counts, Gamil,” Kirk said.
“I’d say that you got a good one in that son of yours,” Gamil responded. “He reminds me of you in your heyday, Kirk.”
“I’m not quite done yet,” Kirk replied.
Gamil guffawed as he slapped his knee. “That’s a good one, isn’t it? Now Eva, she’s someone I wouldn’t want to mess with.”
“What do you mean by that?” Eva asked.
“Oh, I heard it from Belkley,” Gamil replied. “I knew you had a fire in you, but I didn’t think you had the ability to pull the trigger like that!”
“You said you wouldn’t bring that up, Gamil,” Belkley said.
“It’s not something I feel too proud of,” Eva said.
“You’re quite a mysterious woman, aren’t you?” Gamil asked. “You never really talk much about your past much, do you?”
“It’s not like it’s relevant or anything,” she answered.
“Come on,” Gamil said, “We’re friends here. Maybe Kirk would like to add something since you two were always so close.”
“You don’t have to answer that,” Eva said to Kirk.
“I wasn’t going to say anything,” he said.
“Well if you two aren’t going to open up, then I won’t push it,” Gamil said. “You probably have your reasons. This Belkley kid doesn’t really tell me much about you either.”
“I’m sorry,” Belkley said. “I just can’t betray her like that.”
“Hey, I just wanted to know,” Gamil said. “I just know that none of you are going to tell me about it, so I won’t pursue it.”
“Thank you,” Eva said.
Gamil sighed. “Anyway, let’s move on,” he said. “How about you two? Sorin, Gale, perhaps you have something interesting you want to share?”
[2740 AD; prime minister’s office – Deca District]
Gavin decided to stay at the prime minister’s office due to the fact that Rohan was still around talking to both Tori and Henry. He had to wonder what they were talking about, if there was some way that Gavin could receive some sort of credit for his hard work. It was then that Ayanna approached him.
“What are you doing here?” Ayanna asked.
“That’s for me to know and for you to not find out,” Gavin replied.
“You do know that this is where I work, right?”
“I have respect for you, but there are even some things that I can’t just reveal,” Gavin said. “Especially when it comes to personal stuff.”
“I didn’t ask for your life story,” she said, “Just what you’re doing here.”
“And I already told you.”
Ayanna placed a hand upon her face and sighed. “Please just answer the question,” she said.
“Fine,” he said. “It seems like you’re not going to go away until I answer your question, so I might as well. I’m waiting to speak with General Fercewend.”
“I see,” Ayanna said. “You do look like an Ameci soldier, so it does make sense. What is your name?”
“I’m Gavin Power,” he replied, “Junior lieutenant and the best marksman in all of the military. You can ask the general himself.”
“Wait a minute,” she said, “Do you happen to have a brother?”
“Why would you ask me that!?” Gavin asked. “Nevermind, it probably doesn’t matter why. If you must know, yes, I do have one.”
“That’s interesting,” she said.
“Okay, so now what? Do you want to know my sign or something?”
“No, you told me all that I needed to know,” Ayanna replied. “You do deserve to know my name, though. Ayanna Ansa, major of the Iiayikohnian military.”
“Nice to meet you,” Gavin said.
“Do you mind waiting for just a bit longer?” Ayanna asked.
“Wait? I’ve got all day, major.”
“Very good,” Ayanna said. “I will be right back.”
Ayanna went upstairs, leaving Gavin by himself as he wondered what she was up to. He still had to wait for General Fercewend to return, too. Deciding to wait, Gavin decided to examine his gun and count the bullets inside.
Thirty minutes passed as Gavin waited for Ayanna to return. She had a smile on her face as she looked over at the front doors. The doors cracked open as Law and Mina entered the building. Gavin raised his eyebrow as he watched them both walk in.
“I have to hand it to you, Ayanna,” Law said. “How did you know I was seeing Mina at her job?”
“You’re not the only one who can connect the dots,” Ayanna replied.
“Hold on a second,” Law said. He had Gavin in his sights. “You gotta be kidding me! What brings you all the way here, bro?”
“Just this,” Gavin said.
He walked up to Law, as the older brother loomed over the younger. Mina started to back up and then jumped away as Gavin began to pummel Law to the ground. Ayanna’s jaw dropped as she watched Gavin assault Law. She soon rushed to break up the beat down, pulling Gavin away.
“What kind of a greeting is that!?” Law asked as he stood up and brushed himself off.
“Let go of me!” Gavin yelled. “I’m not done kicking his ass!”
“Calm down!” Ayanna demanded. “We can have a civil discussion, so put away your fists!”
Gavin grumbled. “I’ll break his legs! I’ll break his legs so he won’t run off again!”
“You could have sent a letter, bro,” Law said. “Then again, I only read love letters from ladies.”
“Law, please,” Ayanna said. “Perhaps you should do some explaining to your brother.”
“I don’t know, he seems unwilling to listen to reason,” Law replied. “I am willing to accept an apology, though.”
“Like hell I’ll apologize!” Gavin exclaimed. Ayanna tightened her grasp on his arms. “Ow! Fine… I’m sorry…”
“What was that?” Law asked.
“I’m fucking sorry, damn it!”
“That’s good,” Ayanna said. “Now, if I let you go, will you promise not to wail on your brother?”
“Okay! I won’t!” Gavin said.
“Very well,” she said.
She let Gavin go, leading him to reconcile with Law. The two hugged it out as Mina moved toward Ayanna.
“Wow, you’re pretty strong,” Mina said.
“It’s just years of training,” Ayanna said. “You’re the woman who was with Law the other night, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“You don’t need to remind me,” Ayanna cut her off. “If I recall, you proclaimed to be ‘every villain’s worst nightmare,’ did you not?”
“That’s what every hero does, right?” Mina asked. “Although I guess you could say I’m not quite there yet…”
“What do mean by that?”
“You know,” Mina began, “Every hero has to have a signature move. I was thinking up some names during work.”
“Really now?” Ayanna asked.
“Yes, like when I’m in a battle and I have my opponent cornered,” Mina said. “I was thinking that I could scream ‘Face Breaker’ as I slug them in the face!”
“That would be a fitting name, I suppose,” Ayanna said.
“I know, right?” Mina asked. “I’m currently trying to train hard so I could protect people. Maybe you could train me?”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t,” Ayanna said.
Ayanna paused for a moment. “Well… There’s nothing that I could teach you that you wouldn’t already know,” she replied. “To me, to be a hero involves hard work. Given your devotion, I think you already are a hero.”
Mina’s eyes lit up. “You really think so?”
“I’m glad I could help,” Ayanna said.
“Hey, what’s going on with you two?” Law asked.
“Oh, just two heroes having hero talk,” Mina replied.
“And you leave me out of it? I don’t know what to say,” Law said. “Am I not your hero, Mina?”
“I can’t really say you’re much of a hero, honestly,” Mina said. “Not really a villain, either. Actually, I don’t know what you’d be.”
“Ouch, that actually hurts,” Law responded.
“Well, all the real heroes have a motto,” Gavin said, “Like me: ‘Never let go.’”
Law smirked. “Seems simple enough for you.”
Gavin smacked him in the back of the head. “Get serious, Lawrence!”
“Anyway, I feel like my job is done here,” Ayanna said.
“Is that so?” Law asked. “Looks like I should get myself ready, then. We did have a date scheduled, didn’t we?”
“I don’t think I’ve ever agreed to anything like that,” Ayanna replied.
“What about now? Surely you could agree that this would be a good time to have a date,” Law said. “After all, Mina doesn’t think I’m her hero, but maybe I could be yours.”
“There you go again,” Gavin said. “I can’t even begin to comprehend what goes on in that head of yours.”
“That’s one of the many things you can’t comprehend, it seems,” Law said. Gavin smacked him in the back of the head again.
“Forget it,” Gavin said, “Do what you want. I’m going to go find the general.”
Gavin walked off, leaving Law, Ayanna, and Mina behind.
“Still as stuck up as ever,” Law said.
“Law, what exactly is your story?” Mina asked. “With your brother, I mean.”
“That’s a story I could tell you, but I won’t.”
“Law, you’re my friend,” Mina said. “Probably my first real friend, actually…”
“Huh, I thought someone like you would have tons of friends,” Law said.
“Being a hero is tough sometimes,” she said. “But I still had my uncle and now I have both you and Ayanna!”
“Well, then I guess I ought to tell you all I know,” Law replied. “Where are you going, Ayanna?”
“I’m going on break,” she answered. “Of course, you’re welcome to follow me if you so choose.”
“So is that a date, then?” Law asked.
“Make of it what you will,” Ayanna replied. “I don’t usually do this sort of thing, you know.”
To be continued…