[22nd of September, 2740 AD; Ameci Embassy, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]
Ayanna arrived at the embassy with Gale and Dierk as the three hurried to meet with General Fercewend. She had received a sudden request from the prime minister and needed to meet with the Ameci side to discuss what they needed to do. They looked around and found Rohan in the office talking with President Hasker and Isaac Kunigunde, as well as the vice president, Casper Bradley. With a tap on the door, Ayanna poked her head through the doorway.
“Ah yes, Miss Lieutenant General, welcome,” Hasker said. “Is Reiss not joining with us tonight?”
“He has other business to attend to,” Ayanna replied. “So instead, I have brought along my trusted subordinate, Arthur Dierk.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. President,” Dierk said.
“Anyway, I received this strange request from you and I have only one question,” Ayanna said. “This tip, where exactly did you hear it from?”
“Let me ask you a question,” Isaac said. “Why is it that she is here?”
Gale ignored her father and directed her attention towards Fercewend. “Maybe you can answer Miss Ansa’s question for us, Rohan?”
“We only just received the tip off a couple of hours ago,” Fercewend said, “But we have every reason to believe that what we’ve learned is absolutely one hundred percent true, right, President Hasker?”
Hasker nodded. “Correct,” he said. “Casper and I have been discussing this with the staff and we agreed that the best course of action is to go forth towards the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn.”
“The kingdom?” Dierk asked. “Are we not set on Ahnlikohn anymore, or am I remembering things wrong?”
“It has been the case,” Fercewend said, “However, we’ve learned that the real leader of the Neu Thekohnian Order resides in the kingdom.”
“That is to say, it is Queen Isla Zano Thedam,” Isaac added. “Never have I thought that someone who wields such grace would be the grand leader of a terrorist organization, but alas, it has come to this.”
“She played us all like fools,” Casper said. “That’s why we have to act with haste and begin moving on in the morning.”
Ayanna wanted to say something, but she did not know if it would be helpful to bring it up. She had a feeling that Gale felt the same way, which is why she did not speak either. Everything she had learned from the others suggested that it might come down to this, but Ayanna felt hesitant to speak up.
“I had no clue,” Dierk said. “There was much I’ve heard about, but to think that the queen has been leading this organization to do her bidding… All I can really say is that I can’t even begin to understand why.”
“It’s simple, really,” Isaac replied. “She believed that she was able to take advantage of Iiayikohn after its leader had been assassinated. Unfortunately for her and the Neu Thekohnian Order, we are not kind to those who seek to use us as tools for their own gain.”
“Casper and I have already spoken with Dezine earlier,” Hasker said. “The prime minister is in agreement with us.”
“Right now, our troops are in Helm,” Fercewend said. “They’re set to head off at my command. I expect that it will be a tough battle, but I know my soldiers well and they will emerge victorious.”
“So it seems,” Ayanna said. “Though you still have not answered my question as to who sent you this information about the Neu Thekohnian Order, General Fercewend.”
“I’m not at liberty to say, unfortunately,” Fercewend said.
“Yes, don’t you think it’s more important that our troops make a move on already?” Isaac asked. “I’m sure that you would understand what needs to be done here, lieutenant general.”
“If that’s the case, then I won’t bother raising further questions,” Ayanna replied. “I’ll be sure to inform General Reiss about what you said. Let’s go, you two.”
She motioned to Gale and Dierk and left the office with them. There was nothing that they could do to gain any more information, but Ayanna remained concerned with good reason to be as the focus shifted from one target to another. As for what could be done, Ayanna felt her options limited. In the main lobby of the embassy, she looked to Gale while Dierk checked his pocket watch.
“It’s not good, is it?” Gale asked.
“Well, I would feel a little better if I knew what exactly is going on,” Ayanna said. “It concerns me when Dezine doesn’t tell Reiss or I about the meetings he attends, especially when they actually involve our military.”
“I’m worried for Rohan,” Gale said. “It seems like he has become distant due to Isaac’s participation. I really don’t know how he’s been able to climb up the ranks so quickly…”
Dierk raised his hand. “If I may ask, this does concern the princess and the others as well, correct?”
“I haven’t heard from Sorin yet,” Gale replied. “I shouldn’t worry too much because he’s not the type to give up so easily, but he hasn’t called yet and all I can really do at this point is hope.”
“Well, if they are in Oelaans now, there’s only one place they would be,” Ayanna said. “If you want, we can make a call to the local hotel and see if they will respond.”
“That would be good,” Gale said. “We can tell them about what we’ve found out and see if they’ve learned anything on their end as well.”
“I guess it would do us best to get out of here first, then,” Dierk said. “But the lieutenant general likes to keep her door open to the late night, so it’s a good thing you have her on your side, you know.”
Gale agreed. “Now then, let’s get out of here.”
Back in Ayanna’s office, she handed the phone over to Gale. There was no telling if anyone on the other side would pick up, but they had to at least try. The phone started to ring on the other end as Gale clutched the receiver and held it close to her ear. Soon enough, the front desk picked up and asked who it was that was calling. Gale responded with her name.
“Can you tell me if Sorin Wilk available?” Gale asked.
“Let me check, miss,” the front desk clerk said. “I don’t see anyone by that name. I’m sorry.”
“Then what about Gavin Power?”
“One second,” the clerk replied. A few seconds silence followed. “He is staying here.”
“That’s great,” Gale said. “Do you think you could connect me to him? I’m a friend of his.”
“Very well, let me get you to Mr. Power right away. Hold on for one second, please.”
Gale then was put on hold as she waited once again for the other end to respond. She and Ayanna waited at the desk as the silence on the other end was broken by the immediate ringing on the other end of the line. At the very least, Gale knew that she could call back later if no one picked up now. However, she did not need to worry about that as the other end picked up.
“Who is this?” Gavin asked.
“Hey Gavin,” Gale said. “Is Sorin there?”
“Oh, Gale, I was wondering when you were going to call,” Gavin said. “As for Sorin, he should be around.”
“That’s great,” Gale replied. “Just go and tell him that I want to speak to him, that’s all.”
“Fine, I’ll go and see where he is,” he said.
“So are we not going to take this to speaker?” Dierk asked.
“Well, we can do that,” Ayanna said. “Gale, you don’t mind if we do that, do you?”
“No, go ahead,” she said. “I think it’ll be okay.”
Gale handed the receiver over to Ayanna, who then used it to set up the speaker. Again, they had to wait, but soon enough, Sorin came on.
“Hello,” Sorin said. “I’ve missed you.”
“Hi Sorin, I missed you too,” Gale replied. “I’m with Ayanna and Dierk right now, so it’s a bit crowded here.”
“Oh really?” Sorin asked. “Well, we’re set to enter the kingdom tomorrow if everything goes right.”
“That’s good,” Gale said. “Just tell me that you guys will look for each other. That’s all I’m asking you.”
“Of course,” Sorin said.
“Listen, Sorin, we’ve got something that we need to tell you about,” Ayanna said. “It pertains to both the Neu Thekohnian Order and the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn, so you might want to get the others with you.”
“I’ll go see if can get the others, then,” Sorin said. “Gavin, do you think you can help me out?”
Gale could hear Gavin in the background as more shuffling went about. She had no idea if Sorin would be able to gather everyone, but even if he could not, they would learn about the information later. A few more moments passed until Sorin picked up his end again.
“Okay, I think I’ve got everyone I can find,” Sorin said.
“Alright, let’s get to the main topic, then,” Ayanna replied. “We just came back from the Ameci Embassy, so there’s a lot that you must know.”
Ayanna explained to Sorin about what General Fercewend had said. She went into detail about what both the Ameci and Iiayikohnian militaries would do starting tomorrow. In addition, Ayanna also mentioned the fact that Fercewend and the other Ameci officials had found out about Queen Isla being the leader of the Neu Thekohnian Order. Rain, in the background, requested Sorin to give her the receiver, to which he handed it over.
“So they already know?” Rain asked.
“That’s correct,” Ayanna said. “I’m not sure what it means for you, but I know that it means a lot to you.”
“Then it’s as Kirk says,” Rain said. “It’s suspicious, but still, we have no real choice other than to keep moving forward.”
“If you are successful in getting her to step down, then both Ameci and Iiayikohn will pull back their troops,” Ayanna said. “At least, that’s my opinion on what would happen.”
“If it’s about taking down the Neu Thekohnian Order, then it would be beneficial for the princes to succeed in her mission, right?” Dierk asked. “We should let both the prime minister and the general know.”
“In due time, Dierk,” Ayanna replied. “Besides, I have the feeling that they are very much well aware of what Her Highness is doing.”
“It’s not a surprise,” Rain said. “We’ve already run into a couple of Ameci soldiers on the way here.”
“Then you should be aware of what could happen next,” Ayanna said. “We’re finally going to be dealing with the leader of this organization that was responsible for Alan’s assassination.”
“That is true,” Gale said, “Yet I can’t help but feel that this runs a lot deeper than just assassination and murder. We never even found out how they learned about Isla being the leader of the Neu Thekohnian Order, for example.”
“Well, we’ve got no other choice,” Dierk said. “Lieutenant general, what do you think?”
“Right now, our priority is overthrowing Queen Isla,” Ayanna answered. “We can worry about what happens next after we’re done with her.”
“I agree,” Rain said. “Once she is taken care of, I will do my best to handle relations between all the countries involved.”
“It is a tall task, though,” Ayanna said. “I trust you, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t have any concerns.”
“Don’t worry, we will find a way,” Rain replied. “There are advisors that will assist me should I need them. It’s just a matter of ascending to the throne, that is all.”
“Do you think we can talk to Sorin again?” Gale asked. “Actually, it’s something that I want to talk to him about alone.”
“Of… Of course,” Rain said. “I understand what you’re saying. Here you go.”
Ayanna motioned to Dierk. “We should step out as well.”
“Really?” Dierk asked. “Is there anything else we can do?”
“Don’t worry about it,” Ayanna said. “I’m sure you would understand once you find someone.”
“Oh, okay,” Dierk said.
“Come on, I can show you something interesting,” Ayanna said. “Let’s just leave Gale to herself; we can just come back in ten minutes.”
Ayanna got up and so did Dierk. The two left her office as Gale began to speak with Sorin once again. There was a lot that Ayanna had learned from her conversation with Rain, but still, she remained skeptical about the motivations of Ameci and their relation to Iiayikohn. But there was little that Ayanna could do at this moment, so all she could do was go forward with Rain’s plan.
To be continued…