[21st of December, 2740 AD; East Marsh Street – Lower Plaza, Glora, Ahnlikohn]
Sorin and Gavin met up at the main path to the Royal Songbird Park, the passersby continuing to walk. Last night, Sorin and Gale went back to the hotel and found a note underneath the door to their room. Gavin had wanted to meet with Sorin alone, so Sorin decided to fulfill his request and waited by the park entrance where people gathered to listen to Rain’s speech coming from the Glora Grand Hall. Sorin did not know what Rain was going to say, but he had a good idea of what she was going to talk about given the circumstances.
“I’m sure she’s weighing her options about yesterday’s little incident,” Gavin said. “Just so you know, I’m not upset with you.”
“You’re not?” Sorin asked.
“If it were me, I’d probably hesitate as well,” Gavin replied. “Korbin Mars is an unrelenting man; had he known that Johan was still alive, he would’ve come after us a lot sooner than he did.”
“I was worried about keeping everyone safe,” Sorin said. “So were Johan and Jelka.”
“But let me tell you this,” Gavin began, “That doesn’t mean I’ve changed my mind about Johan. I still don’t trust him.”
Sorin drifted his sight to the side as he gripped his scarf. “I understand,” he replied. “Guess a lot of people feel that way about him.”
“I can still trust you, though, and that’s what matters,” Gavin said. “You had everyone’s safety when it came to that decision and I get that.”
“But what will we do about Luna and Pekka?” Sorin wondered. “Pekka just stormed out and Luna went after him. Have you talked to them?”
Gavin shook his head. “Not a clue,” he said. “Those two were very involved with Johan, though, so I imagine they’re still upset over how he used them. Again, I get that.”
“I suppose I’ll have to talk to them myself,” Sorin said. “By the way, where’s Law?”
“He actually was supposed to come with me, but he apparently has other plans,” Gavin replied. “Fuck if I know where he is right now. Probably up to his usual philandering, if I had to guess.”
“I suppose Gale’s caught up in something, too,” Gavin said. “Otherwise she would be here with you, right?”
“You could say that,” Sorin said.
He and Gale intended to go together, but they ended up running into Eva and Kirk right as they were about to leave the hotel. It appeared that Kirk wanted to talk with Gale about something important. Sorin was curious about what they were going to talk about, but she told him to go right away. Sorin understood that to mean that Gale would meet up with him later, but thirty minutes had already passed between then and now and there was no sight of Gale anywhere.
“It must be important,” Gavin said.
“Sounded like it,” Sorin replied.
Silence followed as Sorin turned his attention to the stairs. Up top was the park entrance, but Sorin knew that people were beginning to crowd the place and there would be no chance for him or Gavin to leave in a quick manner. Besides, he was sure that the speakers would be loud enough to hear Rain’s speech despite not being in the park.
“Hey, I want to ask you something,” Gavin said.
“What is it?” Sorin asked.
“Have you found anything new about Rysol yet?”
“No,” Sorin said. “But I don’t think I’ve said much about him to you.”
“Well, it’s pretty obvious,” Gavin replied. “He’s working alongside Johan Kuu, isn’t he?”
Sorin wanted to ask him how he knew, but did not because he knew it did not matter. He confirmed Gavin’s inquiry and told him about what happened to Rysol. Sorin told him about what Johan and Jelka were doing to rescue him as well as where he might be at the moment.
“Korbin’s father, huh,” Gavin said.
“You don’t know about him, do you?” Sorin asked.
“Like hell I’d know,” Gavin said. “All I know that asshole is that he moved away from Ameci about thirteen years ago.”
“I wonder why,” Sorin said.
“If Korbin is anything to go off of, then I imagine his father must have done something utterly reprehensible,” Gavin replied. “Something he’s kept secret for so many years, that he’d move out of Ameci in order to conceal it further.”
Sorin did not want to believe it himself; however, given Korbin’s penchant for causing havoc and suffering, it made sense.
“We really don’t know a damn thing about him, though,” Gavin continued. “All I can say for sure is that he poses an unknown danger to us. Anyone with that amount of mystery surrounding them is sure to have a sordid past and an even worse demeanor.”
“Whoever he is, he has Rysol captive,” Sorin said. “As long as I know that, I can’t sleep comfortably at night.”
“That’s a tough one,” Gavin said.
It was indeed a tough thought for Sorin to think about. He had searched for Rysol ever since he came over from Ameci, yet now he was just as far away from his brother as when he began his journey. So much had come and gone in the past few months, it felt like almost three times as long for Sorin. Still, he needed to remain diligent in his goal. He had to find Rysol again. If only there were a way to find him, find where he was being held, then Sorin would go in an instant. But he could not. Not when danger seemed to loom over the summit and the bright city of Glora.
[21st of December, 2740 AD; West Marsh Street – Marketplace, Glora, Ahnlikohn]
Korbin stood near one of the fruit vendors as a few of the other soldiers in his group talked amongst themselves. He was without the usual banter of Bradley and Erik, who were over at the Glora Grand Hall watching the speech. Everything was supposed to go well according to Bradley, so Korbin knew that he was going to do well today. As soon as the queen’s speech began, Korbin would be ready for the next step. He took a bite out of the apple gripped in his hand, chewing for a moment before spitting it onto the ground. Korbin spun around and threw the apple at the merchant.
“What the fuck are you trying to give me here, asshole?” Korbin asked. “Are you trying to fucking poison me?”
The older man held the partially eaten apple with both hands. “Not at all, sir,” he said. “It may just be a bad one, that’s all!”
Korbin looked at the rest of the apples in the basket. “This is all you’ve got going this time of year? What a piss poor shame!”
He picked up the basket of apples and looked it over. The merchant tried to rush him, but Korbin was quick to deal a swift backhand to his jaw. With little that the merchant could do to stop him, Korbin threw the basket out onto the street. It almost hit a small group of citizens, who moved away just at the right moment before the basket hit the ground.
“You are not a nice person,” the merchant said, rubbing his jaw with his left hand.
Korbin stomped his foot on the merchant’s free hand resting on the ground and pressed hard into it. “I don’t give a shit what you think,” he exclaimed over the merchant’s screams, “I’m an Ameci soldier and a Blood Raven, and I can do whatever the fuck I want around here! Isn’t that right, boys?”
The other soldiers cheered Korbin on as he glared down at the fearful merchant. He raised his hand straight up in the air, but stopped once he noticed a small wallet by the merchant’s side.
“What’s this?” Korbin asked, reaching down to pick up the wallet. “You got a lot of money in here?”
“It’s only… a few pounds…”
Korbin scowled and threw the wallet at the man’s face. “Motherfucker! You don’t fucking tell me what I already saw!”
He stormed off as the merchant collected his wallet. Korbin felt restless as he waited for the speech to begin. He wanted to have his fun and draw out Johan, but with little to do before then, Korbin was left having to deal with a simple and useless merchant. Just then, an idea crossed his mind. Something that was sure to brighten his day and thus the others in his troop. Korbin turned back to the man sitting on the ground and pulled out his gun.
“You think you can fool me, you piece of shit?” Korbin asked. “You’ve got a weapon on you, don’t you!?”
The merchant began to shake. “N-No, don’t be foolish!”
Korbin smirked. “You must be lying,” he replied. “Boys, you saw it, didn’t you? That slight shine of silver gleaming by his belt has to be a knife! The son of a bitch was planning on shanking me in the back, but I knew better!”
He pointed his pistol at the man’s forehead, who could only look at Korbin and plead for his life. The cries went over Korbin’s head as he aimed between the man’s eyes. A second later, Korbin attempted to pull the trigger, but pulled back at the last moment. That led to the merchant running away as Korbin looked over to the other soldiers.
“Aw fuck, he’s getting away!” Korbin exclaimed. “He’s gonna get away if we don’t chase after him!”
The soldiers behind him took out their guns and loaded them. Korbin began to laugh now that there was finally some fun to be had. Then, the speakers turned on and a voice began to speak. Rain’s voice echoed through the park and out onto the streets of Glora as Korbin stopped laughing.
“People of the Thekohnian Region, I am glad to speak with you today,” Rain said. “It is now more than ever that we must work together in order to solve our problems.”
“Hey, you heard the queen, right?” Korbin asked his men. “We gotta work together! Let’s go and fuck shit up!”
Sorin turned to the entrance of the park. Rain’s speech had begun and people gathered around in order to listen to her. It had already become crowded, Sorin thought, but he knew that having this many people listening was good. He knew that Rain had the ability to bring forth her message of hope and unity to the people while also working with him and the others to stop Isaac and Foundation. With each point Rain made, people applauded.
“There’s no doubt she’s got the people’s trust,” Gavin said. “It helps having that passion, though.”
“True,” Sorin said.
“I have to think that we’ll hear from Isaac’s buddies soon,” Gavin said. “I can only imagine what kind of message the president and Dezine are going to lead with following Rain.”
“Whatever they have planned, we have to keep on our toes for,” Sorin replied. “We just need to continue to do that.”
Gavin crossed his arms. “Well, as long as we know what we’re up against, we should be fine.”
They continued to listen to Rain’s speech, but soon screams began to break out as people began to run. The sound of gunshots followed afterward as Sorin and Gavin looked around the area. Wherever those shots came from, they were close, but not close enough to where Sorin could see them. Gavin reached for his pistol and looked to Sorin. He could tell from Gavin’s expression that trouble was abound and they had to move. Whatever it was, Sorin had a terrible feeling about who was behind the shots.
To be continued…