[2740 AD; President’s Palace – Outer Courtyard West]
Along the way back, Sorin, Henry, and Mina caught up with Gavin. One brief explanation later, they headed back to the President’s Palace back in the city. Once they were there, they met up with Ayanna who was signaling to some of the other soldiers.
“We’re back,” Gavin said. “Where are they?”
“They’re already waiting on the truck,” Ayanna replied. “I have to thank you once again, Gavin.”
“Don’t mention it,” Gavin replied. “I still have to wrap some things up here, so I’m going to let these three go on ahead.”
“What do you have to do?” Mina asked.
“You shouldn’t worry about it, Mina Rask,” Gavin said. “I’ll be back soon. Be sure to tell Lawrence about my accomplishment.”
“After how many times you told us on the way back, I think we’ll have no problem forgetting about it,” Henry said.
“You’re not off the hook, either, Henry Randolph!” Gavin said. “You and I will settle this someway, somehow!”
“Something tells me I shouldn’t hold my breath,” Henry replied.
Gavin rolled his eyes. “Whatever.”
“What about you?” Ayanna asked Sorin. “You look like you’ve been getting ready for a funeral.”
“Yeah, about that,” Henry said. “The person he’s been searching for… Well, it looks like that that person is no longer with us.”
“I’m so sorry, Sorin,” Ayanna said. “You don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to talk about it.”
“No, it’s okay, Major Ansa,” Sorin said. “It will be fine. I’m not sure how they will take it, though.”
“I wish you luck,” Ayanna said. “As for me, I have some other things I must attend to here. I’ll see you back in Rezar.”
With that, Ayanna sprinted off in the direction of another group of Iiayikohnian soldiers. Gavin scratched his head as he looked to the other three, and reached his hand out to Sorin.
“What is this?” Sorin asked.
“Consider it a sign,” Gavin replied, “A sign that you’ve gotten stronger.”
“I can’t really say that I am,” Sorin said. “After what had happened earlier…”
“Shut up!” Gavin said. “You were the one who decided to run after him, right? You did that even though you didn’t know where it would take you! Hell, you even came to this city knowing what was at stake! If that isn’t strength, then what the hell is it?”
“But what can I do now?” Sorin asked. “Rysol is dead. I saw it with my own eyes.”
Gavin sighed. “You want my advice?”
“I guess I don’t have another option,” Sorin said.
“You pick up that blade of yours and fight for him,” Gavin replied. “It’s what Lawrence and I did after my father perished. Well, without the whole having a sword part, but you get what I’m saying.”
“He’s right, surprisingly,” Henry said. “Whatever you choose to do from here… well, looks like you’ve got to figure that one out for yourself, I guess.”
“I don’t know,” Sorin said. “What can I even do from here? I’m not sure I can even go back to Ameci after this.”
“That’s for you to decide,” Gavin said. “As for me, I’m heading off.”
As Gavin left, it was just Sorin with Henry and Mina by his side. They walked to the truck nearby, ready to head inside when Mina stopped Sorin.
“If you want, you can stay over with me and my uncle for a while,” she said. “I’m sure there’ll be enough room for you and your friend Gale! You could even be my training buddy!”
Sorin managed a small smile. “Thanks Mina,” he said. “Maybe I’ll consider it sometime.”
They opened the doors to the back of the truck and found Kirk and Eva sitting inside. Both of them had been waiting for the return as Kirk looked at the driver.
“You can start up the truck now,” Kirk said.
Sorin stepped inside the truck and sat next to Kirk. Henry and Mina sat on the opposite side as the engine turned on. All that Sorin could do now was sigh and look down at the floor.
“I can guess it didn’t go well,” Kirk said. “It looks like you’re okay, though.”
Sorin pulled out Rysol’s arm. “Sorry,” he said, “I failed you. Rysol… I saw him fall down the cliff.”
“You only saw him fall, right?” Kirk asked.
“Seems like it would be hard to survive a drop like that,” Henry said. “I can only offer my condolences, Kirk.”
“That isn’t necessary, Henry,” Kirk said. “Rysol is still alive. I know in my heart he still is.”
Sorin looked up at Kirk. “But I watched with my own eyes,” he said.
“Even someone as strong as me would have trouble surviving that,” Mina said. “I could tell that Rysol was plenty strong just from my heroic intuition alone!”
“No son of mine would just die like that,” Kirk said. “He is a Wilk, after all. Hard for us to say yes to death, you know?”
“You’ve lost your mind,” Eva said.
“Hardly,” Kirk replied. “Just keep your head up, Sorin. Stay strong knowing that he is still out there, regardless of what happened.”
“I’ll consider it,” Sorin said. “Maybe you’re right…”
The truck moved onto the main road out of the city. Sorin had no idea if what Kirk said was true, but if he was, then there was at least a small possibility of Rysol being alive. He looked at Rysol’s arm once again and wondered if he would be able to see his brother again.
[2740 AD; Ameci-Iiayi-Ahnle Rendezvous – outside Bel, Maeitakohn]
Gavin stood at the phone as he contemplated picking the receiver up. It was a simple call he had to make, but how would he be able to say it? He was certain that General Fercewend would understand, but Gavin was not sure he could take that risk.
“Shit, what can I do?” Gavin asked.
“I take it you’re having some trouble?” Ayanna asked.
“Don’t just eavesdrop on my conversation!” Gavin said. “Sorry, I shouldn’t be yelling at you. It’s just personal business.”
“Understood,” Ayanna said. “Whatever you decide to do, you know that I will support it.”
“As expected,” Gavin said, “You are a worthy ally, Major Ansa.”
Ayanna smiled. “More than an ally,” she said. “I consider you and Law to be good friends, as I do Mina.”
“Then you’ve made a good friend,” Gavin replied. “It feels weird saying it, but I think of you as a friend, too.”
“Good,” Ayanna said. “I’ll leave you to yourself so you can make your call to General Fercewend.”
Gavin said his goodbye to Ayanna as she walked away. With that, he picked up the receiver and began to make a call to the Ameci embassy. After a couple of rings, the other side picked up.
“Hello, this is junior lieutenant Gavin Power,” he said.
“Power?” Fercewend asked. “What is it?”
“It’s something I need to tell you,” Gavin replied. “Something that is extremely important for me.”
“What are you saying, lieutenant?”
Gavin took a deep breath and exhaled. “Sir, I’m sorry to inform you of this but I must say it anyway,” he began, “As of right now, I am offering my resignation to you.”
“Lieutenant, you know that this is an option you can’t take back, right?” Fercewend asked.
“I’m fully aware of the consequences,” Gavin answered. “I know that the timing is far from ideal, but I have my reasons for doing so.”
A short silence followed. Gavin could hear some whispering on the other side, but could not make out what was being said. Then, Fercewend spoke up again.
“Talk to me when you get back to the embassy,” he said.
“Okay,” Gavin said. “I’ll be sure to do that, sir.”
He said his goodbyes to General Fercewend and hung up the phone. Gavin looked off in the direction to Iiayikohn and thought about Law. Sacrificing his career, his livelihood, was difficult to do, but he was certain that in the end he had made the right choice in his mind.
“I’m doing this for you, Lawrence,” he said. “Until we have your problem sorted out, I’m not going anywhere.”
To be continued…