[5th of September, 2740 AD; Iiayikohn High Security Prison, Aesker, Iiayikohn]
The cold, stiff bed only helped keep Victor Wihll up as sleep was impossible for him. He could only think about what would happen to the remaining True Thekohnians and his goal. To be honest, he had no idea what his goal was anymore. Wihll struggled to remember most of his past motivations, but there was one particular memory that stood out to him: Gavin Power. A man that had bested him in combat on what Wihll thought was a lucky shot, or at least that was what he thought.
He arrived at the prison severely injured, the only reason for his survival being the dedication of the doctors that operated on him. The pain of the shards of glass being removed from his body felt just as clear as they did back then. If only they allowed him to die, but no, they needed him to talk. The Iiayikohnian government needed Victor Wihll to tell them all that he knew about the True Thekohnians. It was laughable, he thought, because why would he want to talk to them about that? Even if they used excessive force, Wihll still would not talk. He was used to the pain by now.
Wihll stood up from his bed and looked in the mirror. The ray of moonlight was the only thing illuminating the cell as Wihll could only look upon the scars of his scruffy face. He was about to go back to bed when a strange, shadowy figure approached the bars.
“Victor Wihll, is it?”
Wihll turned to the person on the other side. His eyes were covered by a mask, while the rest of the man’s head was covered by a hood connecting to a long, green cloak. It took a lot for Wihll not to laugh, partly due to the pain but mostly due to how ridiculous it all seemed.
“I didn’t think I’d have any company,” Wihll said. “Especially not at this time of night.”
“You know how things are here,” the masked man said. “I only have a few minutes before the guards notice what’s going on.”
“Really?” Wihll asked. “Who the hell do you think you are?”
“I’m just an observer,” he replied. “I do come with a message, however. Do you care to hear it?”
“Ah, well, that’s too bad because I’m going to say it anyway,” the man replied, “Tell me, Victor, what is your game of choice?”
Wihll was caught off guard. “What are you talking about?”
“A lot of people love card games, like poker,” the man said. “I love a good game of poker, but I’m also an enthusiast of chess. There’s just something about that game that I really like.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Wihll said, “Because I didn’t have the privilege of growing up playing games.”
“That’s right,” the man said as he placed his hand above his mask, “You never lived a normal life after what happened to your town. Believe me when I say that I completely sympathize with you.”
Wihll laughed. “You can say whatever you want,” he said, “Because I think you’re full of shit.”
“Well, it doesn’t matter,” the man said. “This game has only just begun, after all. You just happen to be caught up in a very, how shall we say, touchy situation, you know?”
“Look at me,” Wihll said. “A man scarred and in shackles… Even I know my time on this earth is growing shorter by the day.”
“Is that so?”
“Once the government finds that I’m of no use to them, they’ll waste no time preparing the noose,” he said. “I bet that they’ll even use my death to set an example to all the rest.”
“Honestly, I don’t think that,” the man replied. “You have the potential to really make an impact in this game. As long as you can realize that potential, then I’m sure that hope exists for you yet.”
“You’re a fucking riot, you know that?”
“Am I, Victor? We both have goals we want to achieve very much,” the man said. “Of course, my goal is a vastly different from what yours is, but I think that our goals can coexist in this game.”
“Keep talking about your ‘games,’ Mr. Mask,” Wihll said. “I don’t intend to fall into your trap, whatever that may be.”
The masked man chuckled. “Mr. Mask… I kind of like that,” he said. “I will take your comments into consideration, though. After all, I may not be able to change your mind but I can get you moving in the right direction.”
“Thank you,” he replied. “Well, I guess should head off. There’s somewhere I need to be right now and I can’t afford to have things go awry this early on.”
“Wait a minute,” Wihll said.
“Then again, I’m sure even if things were to fuck up somehow, I’ll find a way to rebound.”
“Hold on a second,” Wihll repeated.
“Oh, you still want to talk? I guess I can take one more question.”
“Why did you come here?”
“I came only for you, Victor,” the man answered. “After all, your game isn’t over yet. You might be in check, but that doesn’t mean you’re in checkmate.”
With that, the man walked away from Wihll’s cell. After that conversation, Victor Wihll was just as confused as he was at the beginning. Who was this man that paid him a visit? Why him, of all people? And even if Wihll could do anything, how could he from his cell? There were too many questions and not enough answers, nor was there enough time to figure it all out. Wihll’s execution was not that far off once everything was done regarding interrogations. All he could do now was wait.
[5th of September, 2740 AD; New Prime Minister’s Office, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]
Members of the Iiayikohnian military rushed throughout the building as Ayanna walked down the hall. An important conference was to be held between multiple nations and she had to make sure that the prime minister, Alan Berry, was prepared. She opened the door to his office and found him hanging up the phone on his desk.
“Prime Minister, sir, are you ready?” Ayanna asked.
“Is this not the look of a man who was born ready?” Alan said. “Come now, Ayanna, you shouldn’t have to worry about me so much.”
“I know that, sir,” she said.
“Truthfully, it’s a lot on my plate,” he said, “But this is where I am expected to shine.”
“There’s no doubt about that,” Ayanna replied.
“Well, should you ever consider a career in politics, that is something you can remember for later,” Alan said. “Anyway, enough about me, let’s talk about what you should be doing today.”
“What is it?”
“There’s a special request from the nearby prison,” he replied. “It seems that one of the prisoners wants to talk with you.”
“I’m not sure if you’re joking, sir,” Ayanna said.
“They requested you by name specifically,” Alan said. “From what I’ve heard, they want to talk with you about the True Thekohnians.”
“I’ll go,” she replied. “There’s only one person that I know who probably wants to see me. She would be delighted to see me, anyway.”
“So it’s settled, then,” Alan said. “I should expect to see you back here soon, preferably before the end of the conference.”
Ayanna nodded. “This shouldn’t take long.”
“Good,” he said. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have quite a cast of characters that I need to meet.”
Alan stood up and walked past Ayanna, leaving her by herself in his office. With no other business being there, she left as well. She had to make a stop at the prison on the other side of the city, but first she had somebody she had to deal with: Mina. The moment Ayanna stepped outside of the building, Mina was there to greet her.
“There you are!” Mina exclaimed. “These guards aren’t listening to me at all!”
“This place is highly guarded for a reason,” Ayanna said. “That said, what are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be at work?”
“Nope. Today’s my day off, so I’ve decided to pay you a visit!”
“And just when they decided to leave, too,” Ayanna replied. “God, I’m going to be dealing with quite a handful today, aren’t I?”
Mina leaned in towards Ayanna. “What’s going on?”
“I suppose that it’s okay if you tag along,” she replied. “It’s just a brief visit to the prison, that’s all.”
“Wow, so you’ll be heading to the Iiayine Prison?” Mina asked. “That must be where the very worst villains reside, isn’t it?”
“Mina, it’s not… No, it’s fine,” Ayanna said. “Come on, I don’t want to waste any more time.”
Ayanna headed off for her vehicle with Mina following after her. There were questions that Ayanna had for this person who requested to see her and she assumed that they would have a lot of questions for her as well. As she drove past one of the buses coming from Ahnlikohn, Ayanna wondered how exactly her conversation with that friend of hers would go.
To be continued…