Sundown – Chapter 16 (Part 1)

[10th of September, 2740 AD; Ayanna Ansa’s house, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Tera Disctrict]

 

Ayanna opened the front door to her house and invited General Reiss inside. He took a seat over in the living room as Ayanna sat down in the chair across from him.

“Do you want anything to drink, sir?” Ayanna asked.

“You don’t need to get me anything, Ansa,” Reiss replied. “I only just came because I’ve received some important news.”

“About that,” Ayanna said, “I’ve gotten some news of my own to share as well. Actually, less news and more of a rumor that I’ve received.”

“Whatever it is, please tell me,” Reiss said. “If it proves to be helpful to our cause, then by all means say what it is you need to say.”

“Well, it’s what I’ve picked up from Lawrence Power,” she replied. Ayanna went into detail about what Law had discovered in his conversation with Prince Amile Ahnle and how the assassin had arrived from out of the country. “He says he plans to meet with the prince tomorrow at the Rieder Park.”

“And he feels that this prince will have valuable insight into this assassin?”

Ayanna nodded. “What he said to me was, and I quote: ‘Believe me when I say that the prince’s insight will be very noteworthy.’ At least that was what he said amidst all his bragging.”

“So he says,” Reiss replied. “I feel like there might be some use in sending some officers to the park.”

“I would consider it,” Ayanna said. “I’m not in any position to do anything, so it’s all up to you, sir.”

“Tell you what, Ansa,” Reiss said, “If he calls back soon, don’t hesitate to ask him for more details. That guy seems to rival our best and brightest flatfoots and I don’t wish for him to gain all of the glory so easily.”

“I’ll let him know you said you that, sir,” she said. “Perhaps that will motivate him even further, or perhaps it will just make him more vague about what he is going to do with Prince Ahnle.”

“That’s a bridge we’ll have to cross when we get to it, I suppose.”

“Indeed,” Ayanna said. “So what is it that you wish to share with me, sir?”

“Yes, about that,” Reiss said. “I received a note upon returning to my office. Well, maybe you’d like to look at it for yourself, Ansa.”

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper. Ayanna received it from him and unfolded it. As she began to read the note, her expression changed, her eyes closing in on each word as she had a frown on her face. Specifically, the note stated that whoever wrote it knew the whereabouts of Silvia Roeik and that they wouldn’t give her location up so easily. That is, unless the Iiayikohnian government were willing to cooperate.

“This isn’t a note, sir,” Ayanna said. “This reads more like a blackmail.”

“It’s a complicated matter, I’ll say,” Reiss replied. “She was last seen with the prime minister and after that… nobody knows where she ran off to.”

“She ran off?” Ayanna asked. “Perhaps it’s related to the assassination?”

“I doubt that she would have the ability to pull off the assassination.”

“That wasn’t what I was insinuating,” Ayanna said. “Maybe she knows who killed Alan and… No, I don’t want to believe it…”

“If she got killed, then why send the note?” Reiss asked. “Why go through all of this trouble to pass off this note if she is dead?”

“Y-You’re right,” Ayanna said. “Do you know where this note was sent from?”

“Unfortunately, there wasn’t a return sender on the envelope,” he answered. “Maybe you can relay this to Mr. Power and see what he thinks?”

“You want him to do that for you?” Ayanna asked. “Didn’t you just say you weren’t about let him have all of the glory to himself?”

“When it comes to bagging a criminal, it is a different story,” Reiss said, “However, if this note is true, then we cannot allow for this to happen. Especially not with Dezine in charge.”

“That is true,” she said. “I will inform him the next chance I get.”

“We truly can’t afford to sleep, can we?” Reiss asked. “Not only is the integrity of our country at stake, but our futures, too.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Glad to hear that, Ansa,” Reiss said. “I should get going now. My wife is probably beginning to wonder what I’m doing out and about at this hour.”

“Then we will meet again later,” Ayanna replied. “You have my reassurance that we will find the one responsible for this.”

“I look forward to hearing the result.”

With that, Reiss got up from the chair and thanked Ayanna. She led him out of the house and said her goodbye to him. There was a comforting feeling that there would be an answer to who killed Alan, but in the back of Ayanna’s mind, one question remained.

“Where could you have gone, Silvia?”

 

*****

 

[10th of September, 2740 AD; an abandoned house outside Rezar, Iiayikohn]

 

A dim light was all that lit up the empty room as Korbin entered. Waiting for him were his three fellow soldiers, who were all part of his independant troop called the Blood Ravens. There was to be a brief meeting between the four as Korbin took out his gun and unloaded it.

“Ah, you’ve made it back, Korbin. How’s it going?” Lance Keld, the youngest of the troop with red hair, asked.

Korbin laughed. “You even need to ask?”

“Oh, right, gotta ask Erik about that,” Lance said. “Should I yell for him?”

“You leave that to me,” Korbin replied.

“Right, you do that. I’ll wait here, just in case.”

As Lance headed to look out through the window, Korbin headed upstairs where the other two members of the group hung out. On the left side was Erik Ellis, the second youngest with black hair and a small scar by his right eye. To Korbin’s right stood Crawford Bradley, the second oldest and the tallest one with brown hair and a beard. They both stood at the entrance to a closed room.

“Look who decided to show up,” Bradley said. “That note really proved to be useful, didn’t it?”

“A bounty’s a bounty,” Erik said. “I reckon that we can catch a nice reward for our capture.”

“Gotta hand it to that spy,” Korbin replied. “He might be a meddler, but he did leave me with a very important piece of information. Glad you two were able to track down the target.”

“About that,” Bradley said. “She’s been saying that she had nothing to do with the assassination of the prime minister.”

“Yeah, going on with all of that ‘I didn’t do it’ and crap,” Erik added.

“But you’re sure that you’ve got the right person?” Korbin asked. “Because if not, then that spy’s gonna pay me one way or another.”

“The description fit perfectly,” Bradley replied. “Long red hair and wearing Iiayikohnian prison garb. If that’s not her, then I must be blind.”

Korbin grabbed the doorknob. “I’ll see for myself whether that’s true or not,” he said. “Shouldn’t take too long.”

Pushing the door open, he walked into the dark room and flipped the light switch. In the now illuminated closet sat one Silvia Roeik, tied up and gagged as Korbin walked up to her and knelt right in front of her.

“Hi, how are you?” Korbin asked.

There was no response from Silvia, save for her wide-eyed look that did not waver for even a moment. Her stare kept on Korbin, who broke into a smile.

“That look of fear on your eyes is comforting,” he said. “Those boys of mine got it right, looks like. You really did kill the prime minister, didn’t you?”

She shook her head.

“Even when you can’t talk, you’ve still got some nerve,” Korbin replied. “They said that there was one person that was last seen with the old man himself. One single, lost woman with little to lose.”

He stood up and turned around. Just then, Korbin pulled out his gun and pointed it at Silvia, who could only reply with muffled screams.

“Fear is the last thing a person feels before they die, I bet,” he said. “Ah, but I’m not going to kill you… yet. Yet I still need your worthless life for something much more. You ought to thank me for sparing your life.”

He put his gun away and knelt down again.

“Perhaps you’d like to explain yourself? Or rather, I’ve considered what your response would be,” Korbin said as he leaned closer towards Silvia. “And I already don’t give a shit about it. Let’s say you’re right about this; still doesn’t change the fact that you’re a True Thekohnian.”

He burst into laughter and stood up. Korbin placed his arm on the wall until he stopped and regained his composure.

“That’s right, you’re no better than a stray dog roaming the streets,” he said. “The kind of dogs that I would put out of their misery. If there wasn’t a bounty on your head, I would’ve just killed you by now.”

Silvia continued to gaze at Korbin, her heart pounding as he walked up to her again. This time, he slammed his foot right next to her, causing her to jump.

“It’s not as easy to snap a human’s neck compared to a dog’s, but I’d do it all the same,” he continued. “Then again, what’s a more satisfying way to kill a person than to put a bullet in their head? I guess if I had a knife with right now, I could slash your throat and be done with it.”

“Hey, so is she the assassin or not?” Erik asked.

“Maybe she is, maybe she isn’t,” Korbin answered. “All I know is that this is really fun. I’m not bored at all!”

He looked at Silvia again and placed his hands upon her face.

“I’ve got to go now,” he said, “But if you try to escape… I will hunt you down and fucking kill you myself!”

Korbin got up and left the closet, leaving Erik to turn off the light and close the door. He turned back over to Bradley, who was scratching his head.

“As much fun as that was, I’ve got to share with you something I found out,” Bradley said. “I heard that there was an escaped convict heading towards Ahnlikohn.”

Korbin tilted his head. “An escaped convict?”

“Said he was set to be executed the day he broke out,” Erik said. “Another one of those True Thekohnians that got arrested during that battle.”

“Why haven’t I heard about this?” Korbin asked. “Why the fuck haven’t I heard this!? I bet that Johan Kuu bastard knew and is laughing his ass off as he goes to catch my prey!”

“What do you want to do?” Bradley asked.

Korbin rubbed his chin as his lips formed to a smile. “I am a goddamn genius,” he said. “Bradley, I’m gonna need you to secure a truck. We’ve got a drive to make tomorrow morning.”

“Got it,” Bradley said.

“What are we gonna do about her?” Erik asked. “I don’t think we should just leave her alone.”

“That’s the fun part!” Korbin replied. “Gotta find a way to hold this over the Iiayikohnians’ heads, right? What better way than to drive up the bounty?”

“You wanna hold her over in another country?” Bradley asked.

“Of course, of course,” Korbin said. “Maybe we’ll send them another letter. Ooh, we can even send a little package along with it! Erik, you got a knife on you? Maybe a finger or two would send a good message, if not the whole hand!”

Korbin laughed to himself as Erik turned to Bradley.

“Unfortunately, I’ve got no such thing,” Erick said.

“That’s fine,” Bradley replied. “I think Korb’s got a good idea going on, though, and I don’t want to waste his greatness.”

“Ah, screw it,” Korbin said. “I’m just getting anxious thinking about this. I want to do it now! Tell Lance that we’re heading off right now!”

“Sure we can get a truck this time of night?” Bradley asked.

“Hey, that’s not my job to worry about,” Korbin replied. “Just bolt over to the embassy and get a truck. Any kind, really!”

Bradley hurried down the stairs as Korbin thought about the next action that he had to take.

 

To be continued…

 

Previous | Next Part