[2740 AD; Macro Plaza in front of Iiayine Castle – Deca District]
The morning sun shined as security was lined up from side to side, citizens gathering in the plaza to watch the speeches that would be given today. Kirk’s group arrived early, running into Gavin, Law, and Mina who were already there.
“Why are you out here?” Sorin asked Gavin. “Shouldn’t you be with the Ameci army?”
“I suppose you of all people wouldn’t understand,” Gavin replied. “I do things my way. Besides, being here would be advantageous.”
Law tilted his head towards Sorin. “All these soldiers, you honestly don’t think that there’ll be at least one assassination attempt?”
“I’m sorry,” Gavin said. “None of you had the chance to meet. As much as it pains me to say it, that’s my brother.”
“You’re Lawrence?” Gale asked.
“Well, last time I checked,” Law replied. He gazed into Gale’s eyes for a split second. “It’s nice to meet you, but I would suggest waiting a couple more years before we can do anything serious.”
Gavin raised his hand and brought it down, slapping the back of Law’s head. “Show some restraint for once!”
“I am, bro,” Law said. “I was letting this girl down gently.”
“It’s Gale,” she said. “And I’m 18…”
“18, huh?” Law asked. “If we’re doing the math, one and eight make nine. Nine flipped over is six, which happens to be my lucky number. Do you want to know why, Gale?”
“Don’t answer that, Gale,” Gavin said. “You will only want to hit him afterwards.”
“Okay,” she said.
Law shook his head. “You really know how to piss on my fun, don’t you?”
“Anyway, perhaps it’s my turn,” Sorin said. He put on a smile and his hand forward. “I’m Sorin… That’s my father Kirk and his friend Eva.”
“Sonny and Kurt, is it?” Law asked. “Well, it doesn’t matter. I want to know her story.”
Eva pointed at herself. “Me?”
“You seem so elegant, even though you don’t dress that way,” Law said. “And there is certainly a story behind that eyepatch. Maybe after the speech you can tell me while we walk in the park.”
Eva looked over at Kirk, as Kirk just scratched his head. “Sorry to disappoint you, young man, but no,” she said.
“If it’s Kurt there, I can take him,” he replied.
“Can you hit him again, Gavin?” Kirk asked. “At least until he starts calling me by my name.”
Gavin cracked his knuckles. “My pleasure.”
“Bro, wait!” Law said. Gavin’s hand hung in the air as Law started to laugh.
“They certainly are brothers, aren’t they, Sorin?” Gale asked.
“It really seems like it,” Sorin said.
Gale then frowned and sighed. “I just got what Lawrence meant by his lucky number,” she said.
“What did he mean?” Sorin asked.
“You don’t know?” Gale asked.
“I’m not really a numbers guy,” he replied.
“Maybe I’ll show you later,” she said, and then muttered to herself, “Although I guess I’d be learning, too.”
“You two!” Gavin said. “Are you going to just have a conversation to yourselves?”
“Why not?” Gale asked.
“Maybe because I’m not done introducing people yet,” he answered. He turned to Mina.
Mina smiled. “You didn’t forget me!”
“Unlike loverboy over there, I actually try to remember people,” Gavin said. “Go on, introduce yourself!”
“Okay! Hi, my name’s Mina,” she said with a giggle. “I’m this city’s hero and every villain’s worst nightmare!”
Sorin shook her hand and was surprised by how much force she had put into her handshake. “N-nice meeting you, Mina,” he said. “Go easy with Gale, okay?”
Gale waved her hand at Mina. “Hello,” she said. “You actually fight bad guys?”
“Of course!” Mina replied, fists clenched. “I even beat Law here!”
“How many times do I have to say it? That was a draw,” Law said. “And you even said it yourself: I’m not a villain!”
“Then maybe you would like to have a rematch?” Mina asked.
“Oh no, I can’t possibly do that,” Law said.
“Are you scared?” Mina asked. “I thought that you were fearless because you believed in luck.”
Law scoffed. “I can’t just make my luck work like it’s an on/off switch,” he said. “Certainly not when it comes to the ladies.”
“Wow, that’s the first thing you’ve said all day that’s made sense,” Kirk remarked.
“Are you speaking to me, Kurt?” Law asked. “I didn’t expect you to be the one dropping the dry wit.”
“Oh no, I was just giving you a compliment,” Kirk insisted.
“That’s too bad for you, then,” Law said. “If Eva there had said what you said, I would already be on one knee.”
“And I would tell you ‘no’ yet again,” Eva said. “Learn to take a rejection when you see it.”
“Oof, clipping the wings before the bird gets fly,” Law said.
“Drop it,” Gavin demanded.
“Fine,” Law said. “I guess I’ll shut up.”
Law wandered off to the side, leaving Gavin to turn back to the rest of the group. Many more people arrived into the plaza as the Ahnlikohnian soldiers made their way to the stage.
“Looks like things are about to go underway,” Gavin said.
“Maybe I can talk to Alan,” Kirk said.
“Good luck with that,” Gavin said. “I spoke with major Ansa before you got here and she said that he’s under maximum security right now.”
“I’m certain that he’d be okay if I talked to him before the speech,” Kirk replied. He moved up into the crowd, excusing his way through the groups of people that were forming.
“What are you doing!?” Eva asked. “You can’t be serious!”
It was too late, though, as Kirk soon was closing in on the stage.
“You stubborn man,” she growled. “Sometimes it’s like you just want me to be angry at you.”
“Is he going to be okay?” Sorin asked.
“They’ll probably just kick him out,” Gavin replied.
“Why would he go by himself, though?” Gale asked. “I thought that we were all in this together…”
Before anyone could answer, the sound of microphone feedback filled the air. It was time. The Chancellor of Ahnlikohn had taken the stage, making his way up to the podium. The big moment was about to begin.
Up on stage the chancellor spoke with a calm, reassuring tone to the people of Iiayikohn. Fercewend and Alan watched with Henry and Tori as the chancellor began to wind down his speech.
“Harring knows how to put people at ease, doesn’t he,” Fercewend said.
“It works with his people,” Alan said. “Why not go with what works?”
Fercewend chuckled. “I have to admit that I am shaking,” he said. “I’ve spoken before my men many times, but I’ve never had to address an entire country before.”
“Consider it a learning experience, Rohan,” Alan replied. “I have no doubt that you’d make a good leader some day.”
“To hear you say that is an honor,” Fercewend said. “Though perhaps you are just trying to reassure me.”
“Rohan, you know I would never tell a lie,” he said. “I know that Henry can attest to that.”
Henry nodded. “I’m surprised to even be here,” he said. “It takes a lot of leadership to do that.”
“I agree,” Tori said.
“Well, I guess if you’re all saying it, it must be true,” Fercewend said as a roaring applause broke out. “Looks like I’m up next.”
“Good luck,” Henry said.
Fercewend approached the podium, grabbing both sides as he looked at the mass of people standing before him. They applauded him as he thanked them for being there. As the applause began to die down, Fercewend cleared his throat and began to speak.
“A great man once said to me: ‘In the times of darkness, that is when the sun burns the hardest.’ That man happened to be my mentor, Albert Atlas,” he said. “Currently, we are in a similar moment with Maeitakohn…”
Wihll placed the last bomb at the base of the interior, wiping his forehead as he watched outside the window. Fercewend’s speech appeared to be coming to a close as cheers were muffled by the glass.
“Our glory will be realized soon enough,” he said. “Silvia, what the hell do you think you’re doing!?”
Silvia looked out of the window. “We’re doing the right thing…”
“Are you listening to me?” Wihll asked, grabbing her by the wrist.
“Let me go!”
“I know a traitor when I see one,” he said. “Do you know what happened to the last person to betray me?”
“I… don’t know,” she answered.
“I put a knife in his back!” Wihll exclaimed. “That is, if I see him again, but you’re welcome to be his replacement if you want…”
“No, don’t,” she uttered. “I’ll do what you say.”
“Do you think I buy that bullshit? I know you’re going to try something funny, so I’m not going to let you go.”
Silvia walked with Wihll as they proceeded to leave the building, the bombs ready to go off. What was going to happen next, Wihll was sure that no one was going to forget it.
“People of Iiayikohn,” Alan began, “I speak to you today because as the prime minister, I am the extension of yourselves. You all are the reason why I stand here right now, speaking to you.”
Henry clapped his hands as he spotted Kirk moving through the crowd. He appeared to be in a chase, so Henry scanned the crowd as he saw the person that was being chased. It was then that Henry realized who the gray and brown haired man was and leaned forward, ready to leap out of his seat.
“The path to Maeitakohn and it’s prosperity is a tough one,” Alan said, “But as a united front, all of us, be it Iiayikohnian, Ameci, Ahnlikohnian, Maeitakohnian, or any of the other countries in the Thekohnian Region, will stand together regardless of who is threatening us!”
Cheers erupted as flashes of light filled the air. Glass began to break as explosions boomed throughout. The cheers soon turned to awe, and then to screams as people began to realize what was happening.
“The prime minister!” Ayanna exclaimed.
She rushed to the stage and met with Alan. A couple of other Iiayikohnian soldiers were there, too, and helped escort him, Fercewend and Harring out of the area. Tori started to look around, but Henry was nowhere to be seen. Gunshots rang out as Gavin tried to direct the people away from the scene. Eva yelled to Sorin and Gale, while Law and Mina moved along with Gavin. Despite everyone’s efforts, however, it was clear that the damage was already done. Chaos filled the streets as the True Thekohnians got what they wanted.