Aurora – Chapter 11 (Part 1)

[6th of December, 2740 AD; Randolph Household, Admorse, Ameci – Wyse District]

 

It had been a quiet day in the Randolph household as Henry looked over the plentiful stacks of paper that rested atop his desk. His campaign to become the mayor of Admorse had only just begun and his confidence continued to rise higher with each passing day that he ran. The citizens of Admorse had bountiful respect for Henry and all that he had done for Ameci, yet Henry felt like he still had much to give for his homeland and his city. He continued to pace around his office and thought about what he was going to do and where he was going to go next when the doorbell rang.

“Who could that be?” Henry asked.

At the moment, Henry was by himself. Tori had taken both sons out to the city and they were not going to be back for a while. His mother went along, as well, since Henry had plenty of paperwork that he needed to file. He had no other choice but to head to the front door and see who was waiting for him on the outside. As he peered through the eyehole, he saw his friend Rohan Fercewend on the other side. There was no doubt about it now as Henry opened the door and greeted the general.

“Ah, Rohan, it’s nice to see you,” Henry said. “What brings you here?”

“Just wanted to check on my good friend,” Fercewend replied. “That and I wanted to speak to you about something.”

Henry stepped aside and presented Fercewend the hallway. “Come in, then,” he said. “No reason for us to stand out here when we can talk on the inside, isn’t that right?”

Fercewend smiled. “Thank you.”

Henry invited Fercewend inside the house and led him into his office. Fercewend took a set by the table close to the door while Henry reached for a book atop the bookshelf. As he turned to Fercewend, Henry noticed his friend check out the closed chess case that sat on top of the table.

“You still have this all these years later,” Fercewend said, picking up the case. “What a sight to see, even now… You ever fancy yourself a quick game or are you just too busy?”

“No, I just don’t have anyone who’s interested,” Henry replied.

“If I wasn’t too pressed for time, I’d settle for a quick match,” Fercewend said. “Anyway, Henry, I came by because I need to share some important news with you.”

“What is it?” Henry asked.

“You’ve been hearing about summit, I assume? Well, I’m going to be there with Bradley and he told me that I can invite someone along,” Fercewend replied. “It’s not too much of a stretch to ask you to come, is it? Of course, you can bring Tori and your boys as well; in fact, I’d allow it myself!”

“I don’t know,” Henry said. “I have the campaign and I don’t want to get sidetracked too much…”

“It will only be for a few days,” Fercewend said. “It’ll be enough time for you and the family to see the sights as well as get some valuable experience. It is quite a privilege, after all.”

“Have to say that it’s hard to turn you down after all you’ve done for me, Rohan,” Henry said. “I suppose that it wouldn’t hurt to take some time off to see you at work and visit Glora again.”

“I’m glad to hear that Henry,” Fercewend said. “We’ll be heading off next week, so I hope that you and your family are ready by then.”

“I’ll let Tori know,” Henry said. “I’m sure that we could all use a vacation right now.”

“I have to admit I do get jealous of you,” Fercewend said. “You’re moving up quickly and it seems like only a matter of time before your career really takes off.”

“Well, mayor of Admorse is just a start,” Henry replied. “That and the child on the way… Tori’s hoping for a little girl herself, and honestly, I feel the same way.”

Fercewend laughed. “Yes, these kids can be a handful,” he said. “Just the other day, my oldest, Ari, said to me that she wants to have my job someday! Can you believe it?”

“And what did you say to her?” Henry asked.

“The same thing Atlas told me when I said that I wanted to be general of the Ameci military,” Fercewend replied, “That I should work hard and remain focused on my goals. Being general is no easy task, and Ari knows that well enough thanks to her mother and I.”

“With a supportive pair of parents, I’m sure she’ll be successful,” Henry said. “Got think about the future, after all.”

“Indeed,” Fercewend said. “Anyway, I must take my leave for now, Henry. I would say that I hope you’ll be ready for the road ahead, but I know you well enough to know that I needn’t worry about that.”

“And I don’t need to worry, either,” Henry said. “We should hope that Hasker makes a speedy recovery and that we’ll be able to achieve stability in the world.”

Fercewend stood up and put the chess case back down on the table. “That we should,” he replied. “It is of vast importance that we be able to maintain order not just in our homeland, but with our allies as well.”

Henry shook Fercewend’s hand and gave him a pat on the back. “Agreed, that is very important.”

“So, I shall see you when I see you,” Fercewend said.

“And I will say the same to you, Rohan.”

“Who knows?” Fercewend asked. “Maybe we’ll finally be able to match up against each other after all these years. It’s near a week-long trip across the Amthe Ocean, so why not see if we can arrange a makeshift boxing ring in the meantime?”

“If they’ll allow it,” Henry replied.

“Don’t worry, I’ll pull a few strings if I have to,” Fercewend said. “Hah, look at me talking like as if I’ve still got what it takes!”

“I’m sure you’re still as sharp as you were when we were both just recruits,” Henry said.

“I’d like to think so, too,” Fercewend said, “Though with each new group, I can see their potential shining through.”

He laughed and shook his head as he turned towards the doorway.

“Well, I don’t want to hold you up any longer than I have to,” Fercewend continued. “I’ll leave you to your work, Henry.”

“Thank you,” Henry said.

As Fercewend left Henry’s house, Henry looked outside the window. It was a clear day outside with no clouds in sight. He hoped it would be that way once he was traveling, but for now, Henry had preparations to make and news to tell his family. Getting out of town would be a good thing for them, Henry thought as he took a seat at his desk.

“It’ll be a good experience, all right,” he said.

 

*****

 

[6th of December, 2740 AD; interior of the Ameci Atlas – Amthe Ocean]

 

Down inside the Atlas, Gale rested in her room. She did not feel tired, but felt the need to lay down after what had happened prior to today. It would be a while before she arrived in Rezar and Gale did not want to spend most of her time worrying while she was on board. However, looking up at the ceiling brought very little in terms of comfort, so Gale decided to turn on her side and look out the porthole. She could see nothing but ocean outside.

“Have these beds always been this uncomfortable?” Gale asked, sitting up as she looked down at the bed she was lying on.

She wondered if Dia and Kirk were resting as well, or if they were taking their time to do something else instead. Taking the time to find out would be easy, but Gale did not want to intrude unless she had a good reason to talk to either one of them. Still, though, Gale began to feel uneasy as she lay flat on her back. It only took thirty seconds for her to get back up on her feet and get dressed as she decided to leave her room.

“Let’s see,” Gale said. “What room did Kirk say he was staying, again? It shouldn’t be too far down the hall…”

Gale walked a few steps from her room to the end of the hall and found Dia standing outside of a room. She had to have a reason for standing out there, so Gale decided to approach Dia.

“Are you okay?” Gale asked.

“Yes, I’m fine,” Dia replied. “I was just trying to see if Mr. Wilk was in his room, but it looks like the door is locked.”

“Maybe he’s out up on the deck,” Gale said.

“I thought so, too, so I looked,” Dia said. “He wasn’t up there, either, so I assume that maybe he’s just getting some sleep. That’s why I came back here to see if I could talk to him.”

“If that’s the case, maybe it’s better if we leave him alone,” Gale replied. “Why don’t we take a walk together, Dia?”

Gale attempted to go, but turned and saw Dia remaining persistent. Dia knocked at the door again, which made Gale wonder why she was still trying to see if Kirk was still inside. There was no response, even after the two women waited for over a minute.

“He’s not going to answer you, Dia,” Gale said. “Come on.”

“Wait a second,” Dia said. “He should answer eventually.”

She knocked on the door one more time. Gale had no idea how long she was going to have to wait, nor did she have any idea why Dia wanted to talk to Kirk so badly, but she waited regardless. After a few seconds, there was a response on the other side.

“Give me a moment, please,” Kirk replied.

“I told you,” Dia said to Gale.

“I guess we’ll wait a little longer, then,” Gale said. “I really don’t know why you couldn’t just wait since we’re going to be here for a few days…”

“What was that?” Dia asked.

Gale shook her head and sighed. “Nothing.”

A few more seconds passed and the door to Kirk’s room opened. He was fully dressed, though his hair remained a mess as he tried to straighten it out. Gale could see that he had some sweat running down his forehead, though she did not question it.

“You must’ve been in some deep sleep,” Dia said. “I was knocking for quite a while, you know.”

“Yes, I’m sorry about that,” Kirk said. “I was exercising, that’s all. So, what did you want?”

Gale was not sure if what Kirk said was true, but did not want to ask. “Well, it was Dia who wanted to ask you something,” she said. “We can talk about it along the way.”

Kirk nodded. “Very well.”

The three then took a walk through the halls of the ship. It was a quiet walk as no one else was around at the moment. Very few of the ship’s crew members were walking around when Gale led Kirk and Dia up the stairs towards the deck. Once they were out on top, they could see exactly how open everything was as Kirk walked over to the railings and looked out to the vast ocean.

“Well, Dia, I’m sure you’re just itching to ask me anything,” Kirk said. “Go ahead, tell me.”

“What is it that you’re really doing?” Dia asked.

“What am I doing? You’ll have to be more specific,” Kirk said. “There’s a lot that I’m doing and I can’t always remember everything at the right time.”

“Tell me what you’re going to do once you get to Iiayikohn,” Dia said. “There has to be a reason you decided to tag along with Gale here.”

“You want to know the reason?” Kirk asked.

“Yes,” Dia replied.

“There’s a woman I miss very much,” Kirk said. “She and I… well, she’s a good person, but I know that she’s in pain. So much so that she’s probably tried to push everyone away from her, I feel.”

Gale shifted her sights towards the ocean. “Eva…”

“I’ve been too neglectful of her problems,” Kirk said. “I left her to herself once before and I’ve done it again, but no more.”

“And you think you can help her?” Dia asked. “You think you have some sort of answer to whatever it is she’s dealing with?”

“I hope so,” Kirk replied. “No, scratch that… I know I do, because I know that I can do whatever I can to help her.”

“If that’s your only reason, then I wonder why you went out of your way to hide it,” Dia said. “But I guess that if you have to have a reason, then that would be an acceptable one.”

“Let me ask you, then,” Kirk said. “What do you think I should do?”

“What do I think you should do?” Dia asked.

“I know that she doesn’t like to talk about it much, but it’s very obvious to me when she’s hurting,” Kirk said. “Of course, she’s been through a lot, losing so many important people she was close to and I know that that’s why she pushed me away.”

“Well, you’ve got a good idea what to do,” Dia replied. “You’re going to be there for her because you don’t want to leave her alone.”

Gale adjusted her glasses. “Eva needs somebody,” she said. “Despite what might have happened, I can tell that she truly hates being alone.”

“I guess this is another reason why you wanted my help,” Dia said. “If that’s the case, then at least give me the chance to find my peace. Only then will I be able to help you.”

“Understood,” Kirk replied. “I don’t want to leave Eva again. Not now, not ever. Thank you, Dia.”

Dia turned away and walked towards the other side of the deck. “You’re very welcome.”

Kirk sighed as he leaned against the railing. As he did, Gale looked at him and was reminded of her own struggles. She did not want to bring it up because it was nowhere near the level of what the other two were dealing with, but Gale did miss Sorin more and more with each passing day. The fact that it would be only a few more days until she reached Rezar did little to cure that, which was why Gale had to remain preoccupied with her works. Now that there was no need to, though, she could feel that loneliness return. The same sort of feeling that Gale dealt with in her past that was hard to ignore but at least there was someone to return to now, she thought to herself.

 

To be continued…

 

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