[5th of December, 2740 AD; Drake Rask’s house, Rezar, Iiayikohn]
After time passed, Sorin, Gavin, and Law went to the train station with Ayanna in order to meet with Rain and Mina, as well as Rain’s advisors. Once they arrived, it was a brief but heartwarming reunion amongst the group. Sorin was the first to receive Mina’s greeting as she ran up to him and wrapped her arms around him. As he did his best to maintain his footing with her, the others did their best not to laugh as Sorin eventually fell to the ground with Mina on top of him.
“I still can’t believe how easy it is for me to bring you to the floor,” Mina said, getting up. “You should really improve on that, Sorin!”
“I think everyone’s looking at us,” Sorin replied as he sat up.
“Seems more like they’re astounded,” Mina said. “Here, I’ll help you!”
Mina lent out her hand, which Sorin reached for with his. As he got back up onto his feet, Rain walked up to him and greeted him as well.
“It’s nice to see you again, Sorin,” Rain said. “And to all of you, too, Mina and I have missed you so much.”
“And we’ve missed you,” Law replied. “Say, Rain, is it just me or is this the first time I’ve seen you wear such an extravagant dress?”
Rain looked down at her dark green dress, decorated with jewels in the shape of the kingdom’s flower. “Yes, this is a special dress that I’ve picked out for this occasion,” she said. “I expected to meet with the prime minister today, but it seems like that plan has changed.”
“I knew it,” Law said.
“I’m sorry about that,” Ayanna said.
“Don’t be sorry, lieutenant general,” Gamal replied. “We understand that the prime minister may simply be preoccupied with other matters at the moment and Her Majesty will be meeting with him tomorrow.”
“Gotta get that head start, don’t we?” Dustin asked. “Well, it’s nothing we can’t handle!”
He burst into laughter and slapped Gamal on the back while Gavin adjusted his sunglasses and turned to Rain.
“Let’s just take the time to catch up,” Gavin said. “Anything you have in mind, Rain?”
“Well, that’s entirely up to Mina,” Rain replied. “After all, she hasn’t been back here in a bit and probably wants to pick the place for us. Isn’t that right, my love?”
“I know just the place,” Mina said, “But we should go back to my uncle’s and see how he and my mother are doing!”
Rain smiled and nodded. “Of course,” she said. “I would also like to see how they’re doing as well.”
And at that, they proceeded to head back to Drake’s house. Once they were there, Mina saw Drake hanging out on the porch and rushed over to him. He noticed her in an instant and welcomed her with open arms, while Wilma walked out to see all of the commotion. Mina then saw her and then ran over, giving her mother the same embrace that she had given Drake.
“I’ve really missed you both!” Mina exclaimed.
“Yes, yes, Mina, I’ve missed you too,” Wilma replied. “You’ve really grown a lot since last I saw you, haven’t you?”
“Have I?” Mina asked.
“You’ve got this whole maturity about you,” Drake said. “Guess you’re taking a lot more after your mama than you realize, Mina!”
“Well, in some places, Mina takes even more than that,” Law said. “Rain would agree with me, right?”
Gavin stepped on Law’s foot. “Not another word.”
Law pulled back his foot in pain. “Ah come on, bro.”
“Really, Law, you’ve said enough,” Ayanna said. “I think Mina deserves a little more time with her mother and uncle.”
“Yes, I think we can spend a little more time here before we head back to the city,” Rain said. “Perhaps we can head inside and catch up for a bit?”
“I don’t see why not,” Drake replied.
“Sounds like a good idea to me,” Sorin said.
“Oh, but I gotta tell you something first,” Drake said
However, Sorin was in a hurry and walked past Drake towards the front door. Everybody else followed him inside, but Sorin was concerned about something else. He headed towards the first floor bathroom and arrived at the door. Sorin placed his hand on the doorknob and turned to head inside, but as he opened the door, he discovered an unexpected sight sitting right before him: Eva Bellamy.
Eva shrieked. “What the hell are you doing!?”
Sorin shut the door in that instant and tried to forget what he saw. He hoped that Eva would forget about it, too, but with her, Sorin had no idea. It was not something that he would have wanted to talk to her about, though he knew that he would have to confront her sooner rather than later. Mina walked up to Sorin, confused at his reaction.
“Are you okay?” Mina asked. “You look really pale!”
“Do I?” Sorin wondered. “I mean… Don’t go in there!”
Mina looked at the bathroom door. “In there? Why not? Oh, don’t tell me you didn’t, Sorin!”
“It’s not that, not at all,” he replied. “No, it’s just that I didn’t expect that to happen.”
“It’s even worse?” Mina asked. “Don’t tell me that you clogged the toilet! I can’t handle that!”
“What? No, I would never do that,” Sorin said. “I haven’t even stepped into the bathroom yet! That’s impossible!”
As he tried to defend himself, the door opened from behind Sorin. He backed away from the door as Eva stepped out and confronted him. He feared the worst as Eva glared at him with ferocious intent.
“I didn’t see anything!” Sorin said.
“Sorin… I’m not mad that you saw me with my pants down,” Eva replied. “I’m mad because you didn’t even knock! Haven’t you learned anything from Kirk!?”
Sorin braced himself for what was next, but Eva turned around and headed off towards the living room.
“Oh, so you just walked in on her while she was peeing,” Mina said. “I guess it wasn’t as bad as I thought!”
“Mina, please, watch what you’re saying!” Sorin exclaimed.
“Wait, that means Eva’s here, too,” Mina replied. “Wait up, Eva! I want to talk to you!”
Mina hurried after Eva into the living room, while Sorin was too shaken up by the turn of events to do much else. He soon came to his senses, however, and went after Mina and joined her in the living room with the rest of the group. It was in the past now, Sorin thought as he took a seat next to Gavin.
“What the hell was even going on back there?” Gavin asked.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Sorin replied.
Law chuckled. “Well, it seems like you saw something worthwhile,” he said. “Maybe you can tell us all about it, Eva…”
“Don’t waste your time,” Eva said. “Besides, it’s my fault for not informing you guys of my return.”
“I was just about to tell them,” Drake said. “You just dropped in all of a sudden and gave me quite the surprise!”
“I’ll say,” Rain said. “Eva, if it’s not too much to ask, how are you holding up?”
“I’m fine,” Eva said. “I just wanted to have a little change of scenery, that is all.”
She explained in brief manner her trip to Kikuisha and her encounter with Kiku and Noa.
“I’m glad to see you’re okay,” Rain replied. “I won’t lie when I say that I was worried about you when you left.”
“She seems to be good now,” Gavin said. “I think it might have been just as she said.”
“Yeah, bro, sometimes you gotta jump up and take the next ship,” Law said. “Though I am curious, Eva, about what you did with Kiku. Do you care to tell us more about that?”
“It’s not that important,” Eva replied. “I just bonded with her and Ayame for a bit, that is all.”
Law raised his eyebrow. “Bonded? Oh my…”
“Yes, which is why it isn’t that important,” Eva said. “I want to know what’s going on with you, since I’ve told you everything that you wanted to know.”
“If you say so, Eva, then we’ll not ask you any further,” Rain replied. “As for us, we were about to head back to the city for some fun, but we can share some of the details along the way.”
“That sounds like a good idea to me,” Ayanna said. “We’ll have plenty of time to catch up once we’re moving. I hope you don’t mind that, Eva.”
“Of course not,” Eva said.
“It’s settled, then,” Gavin said as he stood up. “Let’s go already!”
Everyone followed Gavin’s word and left the house, save for Drake and Wilma. Mina took time to say goodbye to the two, not sure of when she would be back, and went along with the others on the way to the city. Sorin, meanwhile, wondered about Eva’s return. He knew that there was more to her arrival but he chose not to say anything about it lest he bring up that unfortunate event from earlier. There was also Korbin, as Sorin knew that he was still around in Rezar somewhere. He hoped that their paths would not cross again, at least not for the rest of the day, though Sorin remained uncertain about that happening. All he could hope for was a relaxing night uninterrupted by trouble.
[5th of December, 2740 AD; Kunigunde Industries Headquarters, Admorse, Ameci – Atlas District]
Gale walked out of Kunigunde Industries with Dia and Lowell as all three survived the meeting, much to Gale’s relief. It proved tough in the beginning for Gale to present her ideas, but as time went on, she was able to secure herself against Isaac’s remarks. To her surprise, however, Isaac had remained subdued for most of the meeting as Casper and Fercewend were the ones who showed the most interest in her project.
“This could prove revolutionary,” Fercewend said. “Not only for our military, but for the world as well!”
“What do you think, Isaac?” Casper asked.
Isaac sighed. “It seems to be that way,” he said. “I suppose if the two of you approve…”
Though it felt like a relief, there was not much for Isaac to say besides what he had said on Gale’s project. That made it difficult for her to find anything regarding Foundation, which almost made it feel like a waste for her to even consider bringing along Lowell’s recording device. She wondered if he knew about it, but there was no way for Gale to even tell.
“Don’t feel too bad about it,” Lowell said. “After all, this meeting was for your benefit.”
“I know that,” Gale replied. “I just wish I was a little more helpful to Sorin. He and the others don’t have much in the way of incriminating Isaac and I thought that this would be my chance to do something.”
“He’s aware,” Dia said. “That is a man that is much too concerned with his own image. Of course he wouldn’t say anything if he felt like his words were going to be used against him.”
“That just means we’ll need a different approach,” Gale said. “I’m supposed to head back to Iiayikohn tomorrow, but maybe you can help me with something, Lowell.”
“You got another idea?” Lowell asked.
“Well, you, Tre, and Kirk can help me out on this one,” Gale replied. “The summit’s coming soon and I know that Isaac will be there in some way.”
“So you want us to find out about his movements,” Lowell said. “Fine, I’ll get in touch with Kirk and Tre and we’ll work something out.”
“I’m happy to hear that,” Gale said. “I’m sure the others will be ecstatic when they hear this, too.”
“Yeah, tell them ‘you’re welcome’ for me,” Lowell replied.
“I’ll be sure to,” Gale said. “What about you, Dia? It seems like you were able to get what you wanted to say off your chest, so what now?”
Dia’s comments, in particular, stood out to Gale. She had never seen such a calm display of anger before her until today. The impact of Dia’s response to both General Fercewend and President Bradley was not something that Gale was soon going to forget.
“You’re the mother of Johan Kuu, are you not?” Fercewend asked. “I will be the first to say that I apologize for the way things turned out.”
“If that was the case, you’d have prevented it a lot sooner,” Dia replied. “At the very least, you could have informed me of Johan’s actions.”
“I’m sorry, but we simply forgot,” Casper said.
“You forgot?” Dia asked. “Like you also forgot about Voitto?”
There was little that Fercewend and Bradley could say, and even less from Isaac. He had no interest whatsoever regarding that conversation and it showed as he looked off in the distance with contempt. Gale knew that he did not want to be in the meeting, but had to fulfill it for whatever reason he had today.
“Actually, there is one thing I want to do,” Dia said.
“What is it?” Gale asked.
“Voitto… well, there’s a specific place that he treasured,” Dia replied. “I was wondering if you’d take me there, Gale.”
“Of course,” Gale said. “Where is it?”
“It’s Rieder Park,” Dia answered. “It’s where we first met and I want to go there one last time.”
“I can take you there,” Gale replied. “I know where it is, so it should be easy to get there.”
“Thank you,” Dia said. “You said you were leaving tomorrow, right? Then I’ll see you over at the shipyard.”
Gale nodded. “I’ll see you in the morning, Dia.”
As Dia left, Gale was left with Lowell. She was sure that Lowell would not fail in his task, so she had to remain diligent with hers. At the minimum, Gale had accomplished what she set out to do, with the results bringing forth satisfaction as she went back to the hotel. She had a lot of fun spending time in Ameci; but soon enough, she would arrive in Rezar. Gale could not wait for the morning as she would be on her way back to the city she came to love.
To be continued…