Aurora – Chapter 18 (Part 1)

[22nd of December, 2740 AD; Glora Grand Hall – The Wings of the Albatross, Glora, Ahnlikohn]

 

There was a somber mood all throughout the Glora Grand Hall the next morning as Rain went upstairs in order to meet with Amelia. Rain had worked hard over the past few weeks in order to bring everyone together, but the summit was left up in the air due to yesterday’s attack. Rain worried about whether or not they would continue, climbing up the stairs with her advisors while Mina tried her best to keep everyone’s spirits up.

“We can’t let them get away with this,” Mina said. “You’re going to go talk with the queen of this country and make everything right, I just know it!”

“Thank you,” Rain said. “I want to share your optimism, so let’s all hope that we’ll be able to work everything out.”

“If anything, we gotta hope that Queen Amelia is ready to make sense of all that’s happened,” Dustin said. “I can’t blame her for wanting to find the guy who’s responsible for the chancellor’s death, but I’m sure you two can get a good start in clearing Sorin’s name.”

“That is the most important thing, Sir Dustin,” Rain said. She stopped and set her sights ahead. “It appears we don’t have to walk any further.”

Gamal looked over and spotted Amelia talking to General Fercewend. “And it looks like she’s already deep in conversation with our colleague.”

“Let’s go,” Rain said.

Rain led the three forward and met with both Queen Amelia and General Fercewend, the two turning to greet them. Though the two of them were kind to her, Rain felt the lack of effort that was given in Fercewend’s handshake. On the other side, Amelia did not bother to shake hands and only focused on the general. Regardless, Rain decided to start the conversation.

“Are you doing well?” Rain asked Amelia. “I can’t even begin to imagine the pain you and your son must be going through.”

“Yes, she has been going through a lot,” Fercewend said. “Though I wonder to myself if it is necessary for you to try and talk to her right now.”

“I only wish to help,” Rain replied. “You must feel the same way, General Fercewend, because why else would you come here?”

“It really seems to be a bad time, general,” Amelia said. “After all that’s been said and done, I want nothing to do with this entire charade.”

“Trust me, I am doing my best to find the ones responsible,” Fercewend said. “Even if there’s a possibility that they may be in this building, I will promise that if we work together, our military and yours can work together to put a stop to this malevolent organization.”

“You’ve been saying this, yet was it not your men who shot and killed so many yesterday?” Amelia asked.

Fercewend sighed. “It is a regret that I have, but I promise their intentions were for the greater good,” he replied. “They were supposed to find a defector in the midst but they were unsuccessful in doing so and for that, I apologize deeply for what happened.”

“I would like to think that they did not start the attack just because they were upset they didn’t find who they were looking for,” Amelia said.

“According to the commander of that troop, they were attacked by a couple of assailants sympathetic to the traitor,” Fercewend said. “It appeared to be quite a scuffle that got out of hand.”

Dustin shrugged and laughed. “Come on, General Fercewend, you can’t call yourself a proper general if you’re not on top of everything,” he said. “You gotta hold those fellows responsible for what they’ve done, accident or no.”

“Dustin, please,” Gamal said.

“No, he is allowed to have his opinion,” Fercewend said. “Even if I may not care too much for his tone, he’s allowed to air his grievances against the Ameci military.”

“Ah, I’m not airing any grievances at anyone but you, general,” Dustin said. “As a former sailor, we all made our share of mistakes, but the captain’s the one who speaks for them when a big fuckup happens. You, sir, have got a big fuckup that you need to speak for and I’m not that sure that Queen Amelia has enough patience to stand here for much longer.”

“Tell me, you are an Ameci, aren’t you?” Fercewend asked.

“Well yeah, sure,” Dustin replied.

“Then you would know that the general bears a lot of responsibilities in guarding the country and its order,” Fercewend said. “I do my absolute best to fulfill that duty by making sure that that order is maintained, as well as making sure that Ameci works alongside its allies.”

“Good for you,” Dustin said. “I would give you a gold star, but it appears I’m all out of stars.”

“Sir Dustin, I really don’t think that now’s the time,” Rain said. “After all, we came here for a different reason, didn’t we?”

“I’m sorry, Your Majesty, but that’s one order I’m going to have to ignore,” Dustin said. “So, general, you’re concerned more about order than you are doing the right thing, aren’t you?”

“I did not say that,” Fercewend replied. “All I said was that I had a duty to fulfill and I will fulfill it regardless of what you or anyone else may say. A general doesn’t worry himself about what’s right, he just does his job.”

“It seems like you’re deep in conversation with this individual,” Amelia said. “I suppose it’s time for me to head off and meet with my advisors, so I’ll see you and President Bradley soon.”

“You’re leaving already?” Rain asked.

“Again, it is a stressful time,” Amelia said. “I had a bad feeling about the timing of this summit before it started and it seems that my suspicions were correct. If I am to be honest with you, Queen Rain, then I blame you for leading forth with such negligence not only against Ahnlikohn, but the entire region of Thekohn. It is times like now in which I am left wondering if you have some sort of ulterior motive in mind.”

“I don’t understand why you would believe that,” Rain said. “Through the process, you and I have been complementary towards one another and I’ve even offered to help you restore trust with the people of this country. Why now, in a time of need, do you decide to reject that offer?”

“I’ve already told you,” Amelia replied. “Bringing forth so many people here to this city invited trouble, yet you had tricked me into believing that it would all be okay.”

“It was a great misstep on all our parts,” Fercewend said. “Though even if it was disastrous, the Ameci government and I are willing to work with you to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.”

“You are treading on the thinnest of ice here, general,” Amelia said. “It was an Ameci that assassinated the chancellor, so indeed it was a great misstep by you in letting him run wild.”

“Believe me, I had trouble believing it at first,” Fercewend said, “But after sleeping it over, I am certain that without a doubt that that man was the one who put an end to Gerhardt Harring’s life.”

“Are you certain, General Fercewend?” Rain asked. “Are you able to make that claim with no doubts in your mind?”

“With all that’s been provided to me, I have no doubts,” Fercewend replied. “That’s why I find it important to work with Queen Amelia here and capture this man before he has a chance to strike again.”

“If you are certain, then let us see the evidence,” Rain said. “There may be a possibility that this assassination was all set up.”

“I don’t think so,” Fercewend said.

“Why not?” Mina asked. “She’s offering to help you guys out!”

Fercewend looked at Amelia. “This is starting to become a rather difficult situation,” he said. “If you are willing to later, then I can talk with you further about everything, even Mr. Wilk’s organization.”

“I’ll give you ten minutes at maximum,” Amelia replied.

“Then let us go up to your office,” Fercewend said.

Neither Fercewend nor Amelia said goodbye to Rain or the others as they made their way upstairs. Other groups arrived, but they ignored Rain and headed for their meeting rooms. She turned to Mina and sighed.

“I suppose it was too early,” Rain said. “Maybe I was impulsive in trying to speak with her so soon.”

“No, Rain, you’re not the one who’s impulsive,” Mina replied. “It’s Amelia! Why did she change so suddenly? I thought she wanted your help!”

“I’ve got no idea,” Rain said.

“Aha, too bad, ‘Your Majesty,’ but it looks like Queen Amelia sees through your pathetic ruse!”

Rain turned around and saw Isaac. He glared right at her with an ecstatic smile as he began to walk towards her. Mina clenched her fists, though Rain put a hand on her shoulder. Dustin and Gamal walked forward to Rain’s side.

“I don’t think Her Majesty asked for your input,” Gamal said. “You would do best to turn around and walk the other way.”

“You’re Gamil’s son, aren’t you?” Isaac asked. “A former baseball player, am I correct?”

“That has nothing to do with what I said,” Gamal replied. “If you are here just to gloat, then you should turn the other way and walk.”

“Listen to me when I’m talking,” Isaac said. “You’re nothing more than a mere minor leaguer in my eyes, as is that woman there. It is only a matter of time until others begin to see how incompetently dangerous you truly are, Rain Zano Thedam, so I would suggest you that you learn your place.”

“Who has asked you?” Rain asked. “I think if anyone is dangerous, then you should look at your reflection.”

Isaac laughed and looked away. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he said. “Was it I who decided to hold a summit in a place already reeling from tragedy and was at its tipping point? Was it I who worked alongside one of the sympathizers of Ameci’s most dangerous traitor? Or was it I that knowingly did so regardless? You are but a foolish person to think that I could ever be caught doing anything like that.”

“You must not have listened, then,” Rain said. “Because I heard everything from the leader of the Neu Thekohnian Order herself. You may act as if you have nothing to lose, but deep down, I can tell that you are scared.”

“Don’t even bother, Your Majesty,” Dustin said. “I know a guy like him isn’t going to care. Even if he is scared, he’s not about to show it to us.”

“Yeah, he’s just a coward, that’s all,” Mina said.

“I guess we’ll have to see for ourselves, won’t we?” Isaac asked. “I will tell you this, though: all that you hold dear… well, I would suggest that you value their importance greatly.”

“You can’t threaten Her Majesty,” Gamal said. “I would sooner have you on the ground before you even try anything.”

Isaac smirked. “I dare you to try, Mr. Gomel,” he said. “Or do you not value Her Majesty’s sister? I hear she misses her brother greatly… Perhaps a reunion is in order for her?”

“That’s enough,” Rain said. “You’ve already done enough to bring harm to everyone and I will not allow you to bring forth any more.”

“Looks as if I’ve hit that nerve of yours,” Isaac replied. “But I am just a nice fellow that only wants what’s best for Ameci and the Thekohnian Region.”

“Go away,” Rain said.

“Well, it seems to me that I know when I’m not wanted,” Isaac said. “I can only hope you know when you’re not wanted, because it certainly does seem that Queen Amelia doesn’t want you here.”

Rain watched as Isaac turned around and left down the stairs to the first floor. She had remained calm all throughout her conversation with him, but after what had happened, she did not want anything more to do with him. Isaac only served to bring displeasure to her and her friends, and it was only amplified by the fact that he was the one behind all of the madness that had plagued the Thekohnian Region for the past few months.

“That villain!” Mina exclaimed. “I really wish I’d punched him! That way, he’d know what true justice looked like!”

“True, Isaac’s displayed a complete lack of remorse regarding the attack,” Gamal said. “If he’s trying to look innocent, then he’s not doing a very good job of showing it.”

“It’s because he wants to see me break,” Rain said. “All throughout our talk, Isaac sought to antagonize us by using death threats and cheap slights whenever he feels like it. I do have to admit that he got to me, if only for a moment, with what he said regarding Storm.”

Dustin stretched his arms upward. “Pardon my Theias, Your Majesty, but I must say that Isaac Kunigunde is a goddamned prick,” he said. “I swear to you I’ll help you and your pal Sorin find a way to take down this asshole, even if I have to do it alone.”

“You can’t be serious, Dustin,” Gamal said. “There’s too much risk if you go it alone! Where would you even start?”

“Besides, it’s not like we’ll get to see the top floor where the assassination took place,” Rain said. “Considering how Amelia feels about me, it may take some time before we begin to see some progress.”

“Then what about Sorin?” Mina asked. “We all know he didn’t assassinate the chancellor and we know it had to be Isaac somehow! There’s no way I’ll ever be content with letting a villain like him walk away like this!”

“We’ll just have to report back to him when we get the chance,” Rain said. “As for Sorin, he should be on the way to the kingdom as we speak.”

“So what’s next, Your Majesty?” Gamal asked. “I know you wanted to speak with Queen Amelia, but as you said, that doesn’t seem like a possibility now.”

“There is one other person I want to talk to,” Rain replied. “If I recall, he should be at the hotel.”

And so, Rain left downstairs with Mina and her advisors. With how hectic everything had become, Rain did have one person that she could confide in. She just needed to get there before Karim Khadir left.

 

To be continued…

 

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