[2nd of January, 2741 AD; New Prime Minister’s Office, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]
“And that’s why Her Majesty has left the choice up to me?” Reiss asked. “Interesting.”
Everyone gathered in the prime minister’s room as Reiss stood by the filing cabinet. A group of people had gathered out on the streets to celebrate Dezine’s removal from power, yet it was only the beginning of what was to be a new era in Iiayikohn. Mina knew that everything had rested on Reiss to make the choice and she, as well as Eva, Luna, and Pekka, watched the general speak with Ayanna and Dierk.
“What are your thoughts about it, sir?” Dierk asked.
The general gazed at the empty desk. “I’d planned myself for retirement in the next couple of years, but right now Iiayikohn needs a leader,” he said. “This may not be so sudden to you, Ayanna, but I am wondering if you’d be willing to lend me a hand.”
“Of course I would,” Ayanna replied.
“Obviously, I will only act as prime minister until we’ve elected someone to take the reins,” Reiss said. “That time comes soon, you know.”
“If I recall, Iiayikohn’s election is less than two years from now,” Eva said. “I’m sure that this will be a great test for you, but if anyone can do what Alan did, then that person is you.”
“Alan did always strive towards fulfilling the needs of the people,” Reiss said. “However, I am not Alan. I cannot assure that I can ever hope to accomplish what he has, but I will do my damnedest to try.”
“I think that’s all we’re asking for,” Mina said. “Alan Berry was a great hero and I know it’s hard to do what he did, but everyone here believes in you!”
“That is true,” Ayanna said. “You got to where you are because of the fact that people trusted and believed in your ability as a leader. I’ve no doubt in my mind that you could use some of that leadership to do what Alan did.”
“I’ve no hesitations in taking this job,” Reiss replied. “Once I’ve filed in all of the necessary paperwork and spoken with the board, I’ll be sworn in as the next prime minister.”
“Sounds like a long night,” Pekka said.
“Given that we’ve gone through this not long ago, I’m sure the transition will be much more swift,” Reiss said. “That reminds me: Ayanna, have you and Dierk informed the soldiers?”
“We did,” Ayanna replied.
“I’m hoping we’ll be able to organize quickly,” Dierk said. “If what Mr. Kuu said is true, then we’ll have to keep our heads up.”
“Let’s worry about what we can do here,” Reiss said.
“Then what about Isaac Kunigunde?” Luna asked. “Though I guess we still have to hear from the others about that, don’t we?”
“I think our time here is done,” Eva said. “Ayanna, I assume that you and Dierk are going to handle everything with Reiss.”
“That would be correct,” Ayanna replied.
“Then we should go and see if we can’t catch up with the others,” Eva said. “Mina, I think we know where we should start.”
“Of course!” Mina said, pumping her fist. “But you should lead the way so we can get there faster.”
“So you’re telling me that you don’t know, Mina,” Eva replied. “That’s fine, then.”
Mina followed Eva as they hurried downstairs. Luna and Pekka followed them down until they made it to the front doors. Where they were going to next, Mina was not sure, but she knew that they had to run into the others. But as Mina and the others exited the building, they saw an interesting sight.
“Over there!” Mina exclaimed. “Is that Sorin?”
She looked over at the nearby intersection as a motorcycle passed through. The engine’s roar was recognizable as the sound left an remarkable impression upon everyone. However, the motorcycle flew by too fast for Mina to get a clear view, but she was certain that she saw Sorin and Johan on the vehicle. Eva looked to where Mina was, but by that time the two had already left the scene.
“It seems like they’ve got a good idea where to start looking,” Eva said.
“So they’re on the chase,” Pekka said. “Where are they headed?”
“It looked as if they were headed towards the Nano District,” Mina replied. “I’m not exactly sure how far they’ll go, so maybe we should follow after them!”
“We’ll get tired if we go by foot,” Luna said. “Is there any other way?”
“I don’t think that will be needed,” Eva answered. “There’s only one reason why they’re headed towards that district: to take on Harold Mars.”
“By themselves?” Luna asked. “That’s dangerous, though!”
“It is,” Eva said. “But Sorin and Johan must know that as well.”
“Johan has an idea,” Pekka said. “He wouldn’t pursue Harold unless he had something planned.”
“I think he’s depending on all of us,” Mina said. “That’s got to be the reason why he and Sorin would go it alone! This is all to have us join in at just the right time so we can finally defeat this evil man once and for all!”
“Which is to say we’re working at Johan’s whim again,” Law said.
Mina turned over to the direction of Law’s voice and saw him at the other end of the sidewalk along with Gavin and Gale. It was a surprise how quick they were to arrive, but Mina was enthused to see them all the same.
“That was quick,” Eva said.
“We had to get moving,” Law replied. “We do have to go after the bastard responsible for a lot of this mess, don’t we?”
“Where’s Henry?” Eva asked.
“He’s got a thing or two to sort out with the general,” Law answered. “Guess there’s just one thing Henry needed to find out, though I’m not exactly sure how it will help us.”
“We can take anything at this point,” Pekka said.
“So you managed to see both Sorin and Johan before they left, didn’t you?” Mina asked.
“That guy thinks he can just show us all up, doesn’t he,” Gavin said. “Well, I know that we can’t truly corner Harold unless we’ve got the whole place covered. We’ve got to get moving!”
“Calm yourself, bro,” Law said. “We did just run all the way here from the hospital, after all.”
“So it seems,” Eva said. “But we just saw them and we know where we’re going to go next.”
“You do?” Gale asked.
“The only question is where exactly Harold’s hiding,” Eva replied. “Finding that out will give us a good idea how to go forward with a strategy.”
“But we’ve already got a good idea,” Mina said. “We gotta get going towards the Nano District!”
She proceeded to run off in the direction she saw Sorin and Johan head off. It was not a question of if she could catch up to them, but rather if she would be able to help in any way she could. Mina was well aware of how dangerous a person Harold was, but with her friends, she knew that they would have to come up victorious. And with Ayanna on their side, Mina knew that there was an even better chance that they would have the advantage no matter what Harold had ready for them.
[2nd of January, 2741 AD; on the streets of Gel Heights, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Nano District]
Wind blew into Sorin’s face, but that did not deter him from facing forward as Johan drove through the empty streets. Gel Heights remained empty as ever, though Sorin knew that this had to be the place where Harold was hiding. Sorin could feel that they were getting closer, even as the location continued to elude the two. The abandoned buildings made perfect sense for someone like Harold, as they provided a viable hideout like the one in Hurst.
“There’s one thing I’ve got to tell you,” Johan said. “It was only recently that I learned this news, but I think you should know before we confront Harold. It concerns our old friend Korbin.”
“Really?” Sorin asked.
“Yes, it should shed some light on a lot of things,” Johan replied. “As it turns out, Harold is way beyond the point of no return. A man who would kill his own wife and child deserves no pity.”
“What do you plan to do?” Sorin asked. “It’s obvious we’ll have to confront Korbin at some point, but are you saying that there’s much more to him than we thought?”
“Don’t get me wrong, buddy,” Johan said. “Korbin already passed that point a while ago, but he never got to choose for himself. Harold had an entire network that saw to it that Korbin would be willing to do anything that Crawford Bradley told him to do.”
“So is that why you believe he’s acting differently?” Sorin asked. “Because Bradley is dead?”
“That could be the reason,” Johan said. “But whatever the case may be, he’s just as dangerous as he was before. Perhaps even more so now that Harold’s got him underneath his thumb. That threat that he could suffer the same fate as his twin brother probably drives Korbin to fight more than you think.”
“How… How in the world was all of this possible?” Sorin asked. “Wouldn’t we have found out about Harold’s crimes a long time ago?”
“You’re underestimating Isaac’s willingness to protect Harold,” Johan said. “Of course, this lines up with the time where your father confronted him on that ship. Perhaps Kirk knew about it, but didn’t know enough to confirm whether or not it was true…”
As Sorin speculated about Harold’s crimes and how he was able to get away with murder for so long, Johan began to slow the motorcycle down. Soon, the two arrived at a complete stop in front of a large office building, empty as it could be as Johan got off of the motorcycle. Sorin wanted answers, but he knew that they were getting close enough that it did not matter. Now was the time for them to find Harold and stop him before he could slip away once more.
“Our problem lies in front of us,” Johan said.
“You believe they’re hiding in there?” Sorin asked.
He took another look at the building. The broken windows caught Sorin’s eye as well as the large, wooden doors with paint peeling off of them. If Harold was in there along with Korbin, then it would be easy for Sorin and Johan to try and corner them. However, Sorin was certain that Harold would have a trick or two ready for them.
“He’s not going to run,” Johan said. “Not yet, anyway.”
“Then we need to give it our all,” Sorin said. “No more running away… We will make sure that this is the end for Harold Mars.”
To be continued…