[30th of December, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Inside Thedam Castle Library]
The air in the library was normal, yet when Gavin entered the room and saw Henry at the main table with several books spread out and open, he felt some slight hesitation at approaching Henry. Gavin could not describe it, but there was a distinct look to Henry compared to previous encounters. Of course, Gavin did not admit how he felt in public, but all the same he could only think about how distinguished Henry appeared before him. With an unwavering stance, Gavin stepped forward as Law did the same.
“Just so you know, bro, it’s okay to admit it,” Law said. “We’re going after a formidable organization that’s already got itself nestled atop both the Ameci and Iiayikohnian governments, so we’re not in any position to get away with making a single mistake.”
“I’m not worried about that,” Gavin said. “Henry, you got anything to show us or what?”
Henry closed the book he was reading. “I’m thinking we may need a slight change in plans,” he replied. “As it is, what we know about Harold Mars isn’t in any recorded documents. Remember, he was presumed dead years ago, so the fact that finding records is impossible shouldn’t come as a shock to either of you two.”
“Yet Isaac and him have been connected even after that,” Law said. “It must be some sort of loyalty pact that they agreed to that Isaac is willing to work with a dangerous man like him.”
“Isaac is willing to do whatever it takes to win,” Henry said. “That’s obvious by now.”
“What do you know about Harold Mars, anyway?” Gavin asked. “Besides what happened to him, I mean.”
“I only know what Kirk told me,” Henry replied. “What I’ve heard alone is enough to put Harold behind bars for life; but the question, I think, isn’t whether or not we can prove his guilt, but rather if we’ll be able to use what we find in order to bring him to justice.”
“Are you suggesting that we won’t be able to do that?” Gavin asked.
“Before I answer that, I’m going to tell you what we’re going to do,” Henry said. “Gavin, Law, I hope you two are ready for what’s next, because we’re going to head to Rezar.”
“Back to Dezine’s turf, huh,” Law said. “There’s a good reason as to why you want to go there of all places, right? Surely we aren’t about to head into some sort of awful trap. You wouldn’t do that, would you, Henry?”
“I wouldn’t have said it if I wasn’t confident about my decision,” Henry replied. “There’s a good reason as to why I want to head back there and I think you’ll understand once I explain it.”
“Then explain away,” Law said. “I’ll leave it all to you.”
“As long as he continues to operate within the Thekohnian Region, Isaac Kunigunde is our main problem,” Henry said. “I know it’s redundant to say, but it bears repeating because even if we bring down someone like Wilson Dezine, the fact is that Isaac Kunigunde will find someone else who’ll be willing to sell their soul to him in exchange for power.”
Henry stood up and turned towards the fireplace. Gavin wanted to say to Henry that he should continue on, but Henry turned back and breathed out a short sigh as he shook his head.
“It’s taken too long to see for myself how well that man can change others that I’m left to do this,” Henry said. “General Rohan Fercewend is a respected man across the world… Well, I would say that, but he seems more willing to let the likes of Isaac influence his decisions. Even now, I’m hesitant because of what it means to go up against him.”
“You’re still thinking about what happened between you and the general?” Gavin asked.
“Forget it,” Henry replied. “I’ll make it brief: I spoke with Johan Kuu a day ago and he mentioned off-hand where he believes Harold Mars resides.”
“You’re as reckless as hell if you’re trying to go after him,” Gavin said. “Shit, even thinking about it is reckless. Even if we organize a squad, that doesn’t mean much since we’ve heard about what he’s done already.”
“I’m not thinking about going after him,” Henry said. “What I am thinking of, however, is investigating in the town of Hurst for information.”
“Luckily for you two, that’s where I come in,” Law said. “If it’s information we’re after, then I’m up for the challenge.”
“You’re right, Gavin,” Henry said. “Going after Harold now without a good understanding of what he’s truly capable of is a foolish endeavor. But what we can do now is look for connections. Finding Harold’s hideout is our step closer to linking him and Isaac together.”
“And what will we do if we find what we’re after?” Gavin asked.
“You even said it would be difficult to put these men in prison,” Law said. “Then again, it’s not as if you said it would be impossible. It’s kind of like if I saw a beautiful lady at the bar, you know? Even if she says she isn’t sure if she’d like to hang out with me, that doesn’t mean she declined my offer.”
“That’s not really the same at all, Lawrence,” Gavin said.
“Is it?” Law asked. “Well, it doesn’t matter now. What really matters now is moving forward and taking Isaac down. If he falls, then the rest of that lot within Foundation goes down with him.”
“It seems we’ve reached a conclusion, then,” Henry said. “I’m glad that the two of you see it eye-to-eye. Start making notes now, because we’re going towards Iiayikohn first thing in the morning.”
“I assume you’ve got something in the way of transportation, then,” Gavin said. “Otherwise we would be moving out already, right?”
“Just trust me,” Henry replied.
“Ah, so you’re hiding a trick up your sleeve,” Law said. “Glad to know.”
“When the time comes, you’ll see for yourselves,” Henry said. “For now, it’s a good time to get ready, so I’ll see you two later.”
“You’re heading back to the hotel already?” Law asked.
“Well, I’ve got to let Tori and the boys know what’s going on,” Henry said. “I don’t want her to worry and I’m not about to make a sudden departure.”
“Probably a good idea,” Gavin said.
Henry walked towards the door. “Hopefully we won’t have to run into too much trouble going to Iiayikohn, but be prepared just in case,” he said. “We may not be the ones with the targets on our backs, but still, it’s worth having a way of fighting back should it come down to it.”
“I agree with you,” Gavin replied. “That’s why I’ve got everything I need in my gun.”
“Good to hear,” Henry said.
Without another word, Henry left the library. Gavin had confidence in his skills, but he knew all too well that that alone was not going to be enough. No matter what, Gavin continued to remain alert. Meanwhile, Law grinned as he followed suit and moved towards the door.
“Guess there’s no reason to stay here, then,” Law said. “You coming with, bro? Or are you just going to stand there?”
“I was just thinking, that’s all,” Gavin replied.
“About what?” Law asked.
“Just keep your head up,” Gavin said. “Our enemies aren’t fucking around, especially not now.”
“Well, of course they aren’t,” Law said. “Do you really think I’m taking this one lightly?”
Gavin sighed and pushed up his sunglasses. “What do you think? Actually, never mind. No, you’ve definitely got something going on up there, I can say with absolute certainty that you do.”
“Like you said, bro: Isaac isn’t fucking around,” Law replied. “He’s got his connections and will do everything he can to stop us. However, we’ve got our own connections as well. We’re all working like a team and at the end of the day, we have trust in each other.”
“Trust was never an issue with me,” Gavin said. “Come on, let’s get out of here. We don’t have a lot of time.”
It was obvious that Gavin knew he and Law were ready. He had no reason to doubt in his brother’s skills, nor could he doubt Henry’s expertise. The fact that the three could unite in this pursuit meant that they had a chance. And for Gavin, he also knew that Law was correct: they had trust in one another. Gavin could trust Henry, as did Henry towards him. Now that they were on the same side in this fight, Gavin had an understanding as to why Henry was regarded as one of Ameci’s best. It was now that Gavin knew he had no room for disappointment and error as he and Law left the library.
[30th of December, 2740 AD; New Prime Minister’s Office, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]
“You did your job, Rohan, so don’t be too upset,” Isaac said. “Besides, you’re supposed to report back to President Bradley your meeting, regardless of how it went down.”
Inside Dezine’s office, Isaac decided to make a call in Dezine’s chair as he awaited the prime minister’ return. He had wanted to see how Rohan Fercewend was doing after meeting the Queen of Thekohn and so placed a call to where the general was staying. Once the phone began to ring, Fercewend had picked up on the other side.
“I know this,” Fercewend said. “Still, I can’t help but feel that something is amiss.”
“What is bothering you?” Isaac asked. “Do you have doubts?”
Fercewend paused. “It’s nothing,” he said. “I was thinking of something else unrelated to the matter.”
“You’ve got little to worry about,” Isaac said. “Even if it comes down to the worst, you and I both know that our military will be able to win any battle.”
“It’s not winning I’m worried about,” Fercewend replied. “Listen, I’ll report to you everything I’ve gathered once we make it back to the embassy.”
Isaac smiled. “Good, good,” he said. “Don’t worry about coming back in a hurry; I think we’ll have plenty of time to prepare. I’ll hear from you later, Rohan, so don’t forget it.”
Isaac ended the brief conversation on that note and hung up the phone. It was then at that moment when Wilson Dezine returned to his office and found Isaac sitting in his chair. The mere presence of Isaac made Dezine step back and drop the folder in his hands, which caused multiple sheets of paper to spread all over the floor.
“Why are you here?” Dezine asked. “I thought that you weren’t going to be here until tomorrow!”
“There’s a slight change of plans,” Isaac said. “Remember when I said that you will be greatly compensated?”
“Yes, I remember,” Dezine replied. “Are you paying me now?”
“Oh, not yet,” Isaac said. “Not when this job is unfinished. The queen hasn’t given up yet as she and her allies are readying their charge on your regime. To be blunt: your legacy will ride on how you handle the oncoming resistance.”
“Resistance?” Dezine asked. “I knew there was always some sort of unrest bubbling underneath, but I never imagined that they would be led so easily by the Queen of Thekohn…”
“Relax, there is plenty of support on your side,” Isaac replied. “Even if she leads them personally, Queen Thedam stands no chance against what we have in counter-resistance.”
“How are you so sure that the kingdom is leading this charge against me?” Dezine wondered. “Am I to assume that you have advanced intel on them?”
“Use your brain,” Isaac said. “I have many valuable allies that have seen for themselves the kind of resolve that these people have. As long as you continue to cooperate, Rain Zano Thedam and her people will be finished in no time.”
“Of course,” Dezine said. “Once it’s over, then you’ll pay me, right?”
Isaac grinned as he got up out of the chair. “Keep your eyes focused ahead,” he said. “Now is not the time to make unnecessary mistakes.”
Just as he did with General Fercewend, Isaac ended his conversation with Dezine as he walked past the prime minister and left his office. No words were said as Dezine knelt down and began to pick up the sheets of paper strewn all over the floor.
To be continued…