[4th of September, 2740 AD; Flame of the Gods Bar, Rezar, Iiayikohn]
Law Power sat at the card table as the other man arrived and took a seat. He was a much older man than Law and wore a brown, heavy coat. Law grinned as he pulled out a deck of cards.
“It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Wallase,” Law said. “You can take your jacket off, unless you prefer to sweat.”
“It’s fine,” Wallase replied. “Just deal the cards.”
“Okay,” Law said, “Seems you’re not much of a talker.”
Law shuffled the deck as his eyes darted briefly to the back of the room. Wallase tapped his fingers on the table as Law began to deal out the cards until both men had five cards in their hand.
“Usually I play against more than one person,” Law said, “And usually it’s with beautiful women. Of course, since you don’t fit that description, we’re just going to keep our clothes on.”
“So are you going to exchange any of your cards?” Wallase asked.
“No,” Law replied. “I think I’m happy with what I’ve got.”
Wallase looked at his cards. “Seems I’m the same,” he said. “Behold my hand!”
He laid down his cards on the table, revealing four “10” cards and a king of clubs. Law shook his head as he eyed his cards once more.
“That’s a pretty good hand, isn’t it?” Law asked. “What a shame…”
“Are you that childish of a loser? Show me your hand!”
“Well, since you asked so nicely…”
Law laid out his hand on the table for Wallase to see. Wallase’s eyes widened as he saw the cards: all diamonds going from “5” to “9.” Law relaxed his arm on the back of his chair and laughed.
“But I know you’re not here for a simple card game,” Law said. “That gun at your hip: it’s not yours at all, is it?”
Wallase shot up out of his chair and reached for his gun. He pulled it out and pointed at Law, who was still sitting in his chair.
“Tell me!” Wallase exclaimed “Who sent you!?”
“Perhaps you should worry about what’s behind you, first,” Law replied.
The blunt sound of footsteps filled the air. “Hey!”
Wallase turned around as the bearded Gavin Power swung a wooden bat into his face. The man fell to the floor as some blood spilled from his mouth. Gavin got on top of Wallase as he tried to escape and tied his hands together.
“Let me go!” Wallase demanded. “You have no idea who I am, do you?”
“Of course we do,” Gavin said, “A former True Thekohnian on the run from the Iiayi military.”
“You picked a good time to get captured,” Law said. “We aren’t the military, just a couple of guys looking for a bounty.”
Wallase growled. “Son of a bitch…”
Law got out of his chair and knelt next to Wallase. “I’d prefer you leave me and my bro’s dead mother out of this,” he said. “Besides, you’ve got a much bigger problem to worry about now, don’t you?”
“We should get going,” Gavin said. “Luckily we were able to catch this guy in time, but next time we may not be as fortunate.”
“Luckily, bro?” Law asked. “That’s so unlike you. What happened to hard work and pure skill?”
“I only said that because you spent most of your time here trying to philander with that bartender over there,” Gavin said. “If you took this job as seriously as you did that, then we would be much more efficient!”
“Aw come on, bro, you know I’m just trying to make a lovely lady’s day,” Law replied. “Besides, I’ve been with Ayanna for a while now; I wouldn’t want to break her heart like that.”
“You keep telling yourself that,” Gavin said. “Let’s just get this guy to the car.”
“Whatever,” Law said. “Too bad for you, though, Mr. Wallase.”
Wallase tried to move, but struggled in Gavin’s grasp.
“Let’s hope that pay is good, bro,” Law said. “I’d like to treat Mina and Ayanna to dinner tonight.”
“I’m not sure there will be enough money for all the food Mina will eat,” Gavin said.
“Don’t worry,” Law replied, “If it comes down to that, I’ll be the first one to wash some dishes.”
“You, washing dishes?” Gavin asked. “Did you suffer some sort of brain aneurysm during the past minute?”
Law laughed. “I’m kidding,” he said.
Gavin continued to escort Wallase to the nearby car. He helped Wallase into the back seat while Law took his seat in the front. Gavin got into the driver’s seat and started the car. As he begun to drive, Law turned back to Wallase.
“So we’ve got a few questions for you, buddy,” Law began, “First of all, who do you work for?”
“Like hell I’ll tell you that!” Wallase replied.
“I had a feeling you would say that,” Law said. “I’m trying to be nice here, because once we turn you over to the military, I’m sure they will be doing their best to squeeze some answers out of you.”
“That or they’ll stick you in solitary confinement,” Gavin added.
“Now that you know about that, maybe you’ll talk?” Law asked.
“Fuck you!” Wallase said.
“So that’s how it is, then,” Law said. “What a shame, because maybe we could have been friends. Then again, anybody who pulls a gun on someone because of a poker game is probably someone I don’t want to be friends with.”
“Then he’s the military’s problem,” Gavin said.
With their destination set, Gavin and Law made their way to the Iiayikohnian military headquarters. Wallase proved to be unhelpful in answering their questions, as Law wanted to find out whether or not the True Thekohnians were still an active group. Unfortunately, that would have to wait for another time.
[4th of September, 2740 AD; Drake Rask’s house, Rezar, Iiayikohn]
With the bounty collected, Gavin and Law went back to their residence at Drake Rask’s house. Currently they were still in search of their own housing, but because Mina’s uncle was so generous, the brothers decided to stay for a few more weeks. As Gavin stepped out of the car, Mina noticed the two and starting running towards them.
Gavin had only a split second to react as Mina tackled him to the ground. She wrapped her arms around him as Law could only smile at what she was doing.
“Mina, we haven’t been gone that long!” Gavin said. “Shit, have you gotten even stronger since then!?”
“You know I can’t just relax, Gavin,” she said. “You’ve been getting stronger, too, you know.”
“She is right, bro,” Law said. “You’ve been spending time off chopping down trees and making firewood, I’m surprised you haven’t decided to make a home for yourself in the mountains of Ahnlikohn already.”
“Knock it off, Lawrence!” Gavin said. “I was just caught off guard, that’s all. I could still win against Mina even with both of my arms tied behind my back!”
“If you’re that happy to have your butt kicked, then I can do it,” Mina said as she got up off of Gavin. “We can even go right now!”
Gavin stood up and dusted himself off. “I’m too tired,” he replied. “Besides, Lawrence and I were thinking of treating you and Ayanna to dinner tonight.”
“Wow, is that true?” Mina asked.
Law shrugged. “My idea.”
“You didn’t need to do that, Law!” Mina said as she wrapped her arms around Law.
“No, it’s okay,” he said. “Consider it a thank you for everything you guys have done for me and my bro.”
“It’s not exactly like a free gift, either,” Gavin said, “Because we’re going to go all out for you, especially, Mina. Nearly all of the pay for the last bounty is going to this little ‘feast’ of ours.”
“Come on,” Law said. “Mina’s just happy to see us, as I am happy to see her.”
“Of course,” Mina replied. “Though I would like to see what a bounty hunter does in person.”
“I’d love to bring you along,” Law said, “But Gavin’s not too keen on that idea.”
“Bringing you along is work enough,” he said. “I was doing just fine by myself while your leg was still healing, but now it feels like I’m sitting a child while I try to catch these criminals.”
“It just means you won’t admit that we make a pretty good team,” Law replied. “I talk them up while you smash them with that bat of yours.”
“Really?” Mina asked. “What about your gun, Gavin?”
“Unfortunately, I had to turn that in when I resigned,” he answered. “The Ameci military is pretty strict about their arsenal.”
“And the Iiayi military is just plain strict,” Law said. “Ayanna’s told me about how many hoops it takes now for people to enlist. The damn rulebook is like a doorstop!”
“But I’m not going to stop getting better,” Gavin said. “This is just a small stop before greatness.”
“Okay, well that’s enough about you,” Law said. “Mina, I have to tell you something: I’m quite envious of you these days.”
“That’s not surprising,” she said, “I’ve been kicking your butt so much that I’m beginning to feel that you actually enjoy having me beat you.”
Law chuckled and shook his head. “That’s not what I’m talking about,” he said. “Though I wouldn’t mind you pinning me down one of these days…”
“No,” Mina replied.
“Somehow I knew that was going to be your answer,” he said. “I won’t pursue it, then.”
“Just what are you talking about, then?” Mina asked.
“When we head to the city, I’ve noticed you’ve been gaining the attention of many a woman,” Law answered. “Normally, I wouldn’t mind, but it’s usually when I’m trying to talk to them that they gravitate towards you instead.”
“Oh, is that all?” Mina said. “Well, I guess that you’re right! It is pretty nice, isn’t it?”
“Mina, I like you,” Law replied, “That’s why I brought it up.”
“You’re with Ayanna, though,” Gavin said.
Mina smiled. “That’s true,” she said. “Maybe that’s why he really brought it up, because he’s worried she might go for me instead.”
“No I’m not!” Law exclaimed. “Not that I think Ayanna goes that way… A-Anyway, I just don’t want to end up having to go against you while I talk with other women!”
“You’re already my rival, though,” she said. “All heroes have their rivals, and you just happen to be mine.”
Law sighed. “Looks like you don’t get it.”
“Forget it, Mina,” Gavin said. “He’s just spouting off nonsense now. Are you ready to go out with us?”
“Of course I’m ready!” Mina answered. “I used the bathroom and showered before you came home!”
“Too much information, but good enough,” Gavin said. “Just let me call Ayanna and we can head out.”
“Don’t take too long,” Law said. “Otherwise, we might miss out on the happy hour.”
“Shut it,” Gavin replied.
He walked off to the house as Law looked over at Mina. She was busy stretching her arms and legs as he took the time to enjoy the forested land around him.
“How was your day?” Law asked.
“It was good!” Mina replied. “I went to the city and did some agility training like Gavin suggested.”
“If I’m going to defeat any villain that dares to attack us, then I need to keep getting stronger,” she said. “Besides, I… I really want to impress Gavin.”
Law scoffed. “Good luck with that,” he said. “My bro can be pretty tough to impress sometimes.”
“Then I’ll just work harder,” Mina said, “And if that doesn’t work, I’ll fight him head to head and win his approval that way!”
“Well, if there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s your pluck,” Law said. “Ah, it looks like he’s finally coming out. Ready, Mina?”
Mina nodded. “Let’s go already; I’m starving!”
To be continued…