Sundown – Chapter 23 (Part 2)

[14th of September, 2740 AD; New Prime Minister’s Office, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]

 

Ayanna arrived back at the prime minister’s office on the request of Wilson Dezine and found General Reiss waiting for her. The two of them were to be present before Dezine to talk about the recent events that had transpired over the past few days and what would happen going forward. What Ayanna knew for certain, though, was that she had to have her rank restored.

“I’d like to offer my condolences to you, Ayanna,” Reiss said. “I can tell that what happened to Silvia has affected you greatly.”

“Thank you, sir,” Ayanna replied. “I’ve decided that no matter what, I’m going to do what it takes to protect innocent people. I want to make sure no one else will have to suffer the pain that Silvia endured.”

“You’re going to ask for your suspension to be lifted, I take it?”

“That’s my goal,” Ayanna said. “While I was able to accomplish what I was able to accomplish, I belong here in Rezar.”

“A great thing to hear,” Reiss said. “Well, come on, let’s not leave the old man waiting.”

Ayanna followed Reiss upstairs and into Dezine’s office where the prime minister waited. With Dezine were General Fercewend and President Hasker as well as Isaac Kunigunde.

“It seems you two finally arrived,” Dezine said. “Sit down, both of you.”

“What is the occasion for this, prime minister?” Reiss asked.

“I was speaking with General Fercewend earlier and it seems a situation happened between you and an Ameci soldier, Ansa,” Dezine replied. “Care to go into detail, general?”

“A couple of days ago, I received a report from Junior Sergeant Crawford Bradley,” Fercewend said. “From this report, Private Korbin Mars states that you raised a gun at him in anger.”

“I have an explanation for that,” Ayanna replied.

“I’m all ears, lieutenant general,” Fercewend said. “I would like to believe that we can keep working together and move past this incident.”

“There was a major disagreement between Mars and I,” Ayanna said. She hesitated to say why due to the circumstances surrounding Silvia. “The reason why…”

“Ansa, you have to know why, right?” Reiss asked.

“I do know why,” she said. “It was all a miscommunication. I mistook Private Mars for a member of the Neu Thekohnian Order and that was why I drew a gun on him. Afterwards, I learned my mistake and I assure you that it won’t happen again.”

Fercewend nodded. “Understood,” he said. “Sometimes in the heat of the moment, you can confuse friend with foe. Fortunately we didn’t have to deal with any friendly fire this time.”

“Unfortunately, it seems as if we’ve been lead through yet another mishap,” Hasker said. “Trust has gone down with Chancellor Harring due to these recent events regarding Ahnlikohn’s royal family. Needless to say, it appears as if things do not look good at all towards future relations with their country.”

“Which is why we need to be more rigid with them moving forward,” Isaac said. “A lack of toughness is the reason why we’re in this mess and it would be a disservice to the previous prime minister if we didn’t do our best to uphold his wishes.”

“So I suppose this is where we discuss our plans,” Dezine said. “Let’s see if we can come up with any ideas.”

 

After a long and tedious meeting, Ayanna was the last to leave Dezine’s office and walked into the hallway by herself. From the meeting, Ayanna learned that she would return to her rank of lieutenant general immediately. That was only a minor detail, though, as the focus turned towards the rise of the Neu Thekohnian Order and their connection with the royal family of Ahnlikohn. She had suggested that there was something more than met the eye to it, though Dezine seemed to be focused on whatever Isaac Kunigunde had to say. He said that the royal family and government of Ahnlikohn were not to be trusted, to which Hasker did not respond. It seemed odd for Mr. Kunigunde to even be there in the first place, but apparently he was there as an advisor to Hasker. Still, Ayanna knew that this was only the beginning.

“Ah, Lieutenant General Ansa, it’s a pleasure to see you.”

Ayanna lifted her head and saw Henry Randolph arrive at the top of the stairs with Aron Arrington.

“Randolph, I’m surprised to see you here,” Ayanna said. “I thought that you were heading to the hotel.”

“I was here to see General Fercewend,” Henry replied. “He and I have a small personal matter to attend to and I didn’t want to run late.”

“So that’s why,” she said. “Well, I just got done meeting with the prime minister, which is why I feel so exhausted right now.”

“Rohan did mention that the meeting was little boring,” Henry said. “Oh, I do have something I wish to speak to about, however.”

Ayanna adjusted her hair. “What is it?”

“It’s about the incident involving Private Mars,” Henry replied. “I suppose you’ve already spoken with Rohan about it, though, so I only wish that we can try to move past this.”

“You’re free to do so as you please,” Ayanna said. “I, however, am still going to find it hard to move along so easily from this.”

“I feel as if I’m missing something,” Henry said.

“Suppose I can’t blame her, though,” Aron said.

“Well, he is a bit of a wild card, but it’s not much of a reason to get angry,” Henry said, “Though I guess you probably have your reasons, Ansa.”

“It’s not much to think about,” Ayanna replied. “We have disagreements here and there, which is why I don’t wish to burden myself with talking to that man.”

“Ah, so it’s true,” Korbin said, “I found you guys here after all!”

He walked up the stairs and joined with Henry and Aron. Ayanna glared at Korbin as he slapped Aron on the back.

“How’s my buddy Aron doing?” Korbin asked. “Did you miss me?”

“With a greeting like that, it’s pretty hard not to,” Aron said. “You really came at a bad time, though.”

“Oh, so now I’m the bearer of bad fortune, is it,” Korbin said. “I’m just seeing how you guys are doing, talking with such a well respected member of the Iiayikohnian army… How are you, Miss Ansa?”

“Just fine,” Ayanna replied.

Korbin laughed. “Great, great,” he said, “I for one am glad that we’re able to let go of the past and move on, right?”

“I suppose it’s simple for someone like you to say that given what has happened,” Ayanna said. “You’ve never had to deal with the loss of someone important to you before, I take it?”

“You really shouldn’t assume things about other people, you know,” Korbin said. “Besides, it’s not like you lost a friend of yours or something, have you?”

“That was incredibly uncalled for, Mars,” Henry said. “Alan Berry was a very important man in this country. It only makes sense that he would be very important to her.”

“Ah, how could I possibly forget,” Korbin said as he patted Aron on the back again.

“Just watch what you say the next time,” Henry said. “I’m sorry for his insensitivity, Lieutenant General Ansa.”

“You don’t need to apologize, Randolph,” Ayanna said. “If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take my leave. I have other business that I absolutely have to attend to right now.”

“Then I won’t keep you waiting,” Henry said.

“Thank you,” she replied. “If you’ll excuse me…”

Ayanna moved forward as Aron stepped aside. As she walked down the stairs, Ayanna could only think to herself about what she would do now. For now, though, she had to meet with Gavin and Law to see what they were going to do next.

“Miss Ansa, wait up!”

Ayanna reached the bottom of the stairs and headed for the door, but Korbin had followed her down. She took a look behind her and decided to keep walking instead.

“Talk to me,” Korbin said.

“Go away.”

“Hey, I don’t appreciate your rudeness,” he replied.

Ayanna grabbed the handle of the door and turned it. “Go away, now,” she said. “I’ve nothing to say to you.”

“You don’t have the guts to face me head on, do you?” Korbin asked. “A definite far cry from the woman who threatened to kill me only a few days ago. What’s happened?”

“A lot has happened,” Ayanna answered.

She pushed the door open and made her exit. There was no reason for her to interact with Korbin or even waste her breath talking to him. Not after what he had done. There were better problems to take care of instead of trying to enact her revenge on the man who had killed Silvia. No, Ayanna wanted to honor her name by making sure that no innocent person would ever have to go through what she had to ever again.

 

*****

 

[14th of September, 2740 AD; Lead Campground, north of Habicht, Ahnlikohn]

 

It was deep into the night as Johan exited the building alone. He had just been spared thanks to Lauren Ahga, and now Johan had built a new alliance with an unlikely ally. Pariton and Luna were waiting from behind the bushes as Johan noticed them hiding and walked up to them.

“We can go,” he said.

Luna popped up from the bushes. “Oh, we’re done already? I thought you were going to retrieve some secrets. You know, like real dirt?”

“I got what I needed,” Johan replied. “There’s somewhere we have to head to now.”

“Where’s that?” Pariton asked.

“It’s the town of Oelaans,” Johan said. “Our business is there within the kingdom, so says the letter I read.”

Pariton raised an eyebrow. “A letter? Do you have it?”

“Sadly, I couldn’t take it with me,” he replied. “There was a lot I could have taken, but there was no way that I was going to be able to snatch it all up with the security inside.”

“Not even one bit?” Luna asked. “Is this part of the job or something?”

“You could say that,” Johan said.

“What do you want to do about her?” Pariton asked. “If we’re going to Oelaans, then obviously we’d need to make that travel right now and I have no idea if she’d be willing to follow.”

“Are you serious, Pekka? I can’t believe you’d ask that,” Luna said. “I’d love to be an asset to the team, and it’s not because I’d get to follow around the boss either, so don’t get the wrong idea just because I said he was handsome, Pekka, and I know full well about your feelings regarding the boss, too–”

Pariton quickly placed his hand over her mouth, muffling her speech. “Okay, okay, if Mr. Johan doesn’t see a problem with it, then I don’t, either.”

“Looks like there’s nothing wrong, then,” Johan said. “Let’s hurry before they notice us.”

Luna lowered Pariton’s hand. “Great! Let’s get going and find a way to deal a blow to these scoundrels,” she said. “Oh, but maybe we should stop at my family’s house first, because perhaps you’d like to meet the people who helped raise me and also maybe have something to eat, too, because my mother’s a really good chef and you would like her food the instant it touched your lips!”

Johan chuckled as he walked with Luna and Pariton on their way out the campground. “Maybe we should take you up on your offer, then.”

The darkness had overtaken the campground as the three left the premises. Johan knew that survival was important, which was why he had taken the chance and joined Ahga and the Neu Thekohnian Order. He had decided not to tell either Pariton or Luna as he felt that there was an opportunity to be had for later, it all just had to come down to which piece moved first.

 

To be continued…

 

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