Chapter 6 – Part 5

[2740 AD; Interior of the Ameci Atlas]

 

The first day of training had taken Sorin by surprise. He went in expecting that training with Bellamy would be difficult, but he did not realize how strenuous it was for him. Of the many hours he had practiced sword fighting, Sorin had felt as if his body was engulfed in flames, each swing of his sword being met with an expert block. Eva had looked as if she was not even trying hard when she did, and when she struck back, Sorin had froze just moments before she stopped her blade from coming in contact with his head.

“If this were a real fight, you’d be dead right now,” she told him.

Sorin let out an anxious breath. “Do you think you could ease up?”

“This is easy for me,” she replied.

“Are you kidding me?”

“No.”

Their practice continued late into the day, training within the quarters they would be sleeping in that night. It was surprising that they were able to have such a space to train, although there were several times they had to stop due to other passengers knocking and wondering what was going on. Eva reassured them by saying it straightforward: they were training.

“Please, go along,” she said to a fellow passenger.

“Wait!” Sorin said. “Do you think we should take a break?”

“I never took breaks when I trained,” Eva said. “That was when I was half your age and your height. Let’s get back to it.”

The training continued. Sorin started to figure out how to wield his weapon, the blade being crafted in a similar style to his father’s. During one moment, he actually managed to knock away Eva’s sword to the side. Sorin was so surprised he did not notice Eva deliver a kick to his shin, causing him to drop his own sword and clutch his leg in pain.

“Ow! What the hell?”

“You can never expect your opponent to fight fairly,” Eva replied. “Why expect them to?”

“That doesn’t mean you can just kick me!” Sorin exclaimed.

“Of course it does,” she said. “Not all warriors fight with honor. Some fight because they enjoy it, and others fight because they have no other option.”

“The person who attacked you and Belkley… what kind of a fighter was he?” Sorin asked.

“Kirk asked something similar,” Eva replied, “And I will tell you what I told him: I think he was scared. I can’t explain why, but looking back on that encounter I felt like if Belkley was not there to stop me…”

“I see.”

“Pick up your sword,” Eva said. “We’re not finished yet.”

 

Meanwhile, up on the deck of the Atlas, Gale and Kirk spent the time discussing what would happen once they arrived in Iiayikohn. Gale wondered about what life was like in the country, to which Kirk answered any question that she had. He would explain to her about the capital, Rezar, and how it is the main connection between the Thekohnian Region and the Ameci Region.

“Ameci and Iiayikohn are good allies,” he said. “It’s been that way for many years now, ever since before the War of the Lands.”

“Has there ever been a time where it wasn’t?” Gale asked.

“Yes,” Kirk replied. “It was long before I was born, however.”

“That’s it?”

“I’m afraid so,” Kirk said. “Anyway, I’d like to move onto a different topic, if you don’t mind.”

“What would you like to talk about?”

“Well, you, to be honest,” Kirk replied. “I met you at a repair shop. What is the daughter of Isaac Kunigunde doing working a job?”

Gale looked away. “It’s something I really don’t like to talk about,” she said.

“I don’t want to talk about your father,” Kirk said. “I want to talk about you. He was someone I considered talking to, but I was more interested to speak with you.”

“Really? Why me?”

“Because I already know about Isaac,” Kirk replied. “He’d tell me what he thinks I want to hear. I want to hear from you about what you think.”

“About what, exactly?”

“The mission,” Kirk answered. “I want Sorin to understand why I’ve been fighting these past few years. Sorin wants to meet the brother he never knew. Do you know what your mission is, Gale?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “Everything has just drastically changed the past couple of days, I have no idea.”

“All people have a purpose in this world,” he said, “This is something I know. You will know your purpose soon.”

“Thanks,” Gale said. “I’m going to go check on Eva and Sorin. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Okay,” he said. “Please don’t forget.”

“I won’t.”

Gale ran off to the interior of the ship, while Kirk walked around to explore the deck of the ship. Night was already here as Kirk explored the deck, finding little to do besides watch the moonlit ocean for the next few hours. It might be time to go and see his son again anyway, he thought. That was when he bumped into Gavin once again.

“I knew I’d find you eventually!” Gavin said.

“Excuse me,” Kirk said.

“Hey, I’m talking to you!”

“I can see that,” Kirk replied. “Aren’t you the Ameci soldier I spoke to earlier?”

“It’s junior lieutenant Gavin Power,” he replied. “I believe I had business with you.”

“Well, you sure sound like you’re in charge,” Kirk said. “A bit odd coming from a junior lieutenant, I’d say.”

“What do you know about the Ameci military!?” Gavin asked. “You think you’d understand how things work, but you’d be dead fucking wrong!”

“That was quite rude.”

“Don’t just start leaving!” Gavin yelled. “Fine, I’m sorry! All I want is to have a normal conversation with you!”

“Okay, if you want to have a conversation with me, then you’re going to have to actually have something to talk to me about,” Kirk said.

“Right, I know that,” Gavin said. He rubbed his chin. “The man, the man I asked you about before. I’m sure you’d see some trace of him on this ship.”

“What was his name again?” Kirk asked. “I think I remember… Rudolph, was it?”

“No, no, no! That’s wrong!” Gavin stomped his foot. “Randolph! Henry Randolph! That name! Does it ring a bell to you?”

“I told you before, did I?”

“You did, but I think you’re lying,” Gavin replied.

“Hah! I didn’t realize I was lying,” Kirk said. “Let’s say that I do know him. What would you do then?”

“Well, I’m pretty sure I’d have to question you, at least,” Gavin answered. “That doesn’t matter, anyway! I’m only after Henry Randolph, not you!”

“Then I have nothing to add,” Kirk said, “And if we’re being technical, even if you did find him on this ship, you wouldn’t be able to arrest him.”

“Say what now?”

“You can’t arrest him,” Kirk replied. “One: we’re on international waters. At this point, we’re far enough from Ameci that the laws of that country don’t apply here.”

“That can’t be true, can it?”

“From what I know, it is,” Kirk said. “The second point, a point apparent to me when you introduced yourself, is that you’d be unable to arrest him because you lack the authority to.”

“And why should I believe you?” Gavin asked. “You’re not a secret agent, are you? Someone sent from the headquarters to watch me, making sure I don’t screw up?”

“No,” Kirk said. “I’m just familiar with the laws, which are something you apparently need to read up on.”

“I know you’re lying again,” Gavin said. “You think you can just keep that sword at your waist without me noticing? I know a member of the Ameci military when I see one, so don’t try to hide it!”

“This?” Kirk asked, drawing out his sword. “I’m just a random traveller. This sword’s just a gift given to me by an old friend.”

“I refuse to believe that,” Gavin said. “Nobody just carries a sword without a reason!”

“Well, then my reason is to make sure that nobody attacks my group,” Kirk said. “Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen, at least for now. I know you won’t do anything, so…”

“You can’t just say that!” Gavin said. “You can put away your sword and walk all you want, I’m going to find out exactly what your story is!”

“Then I guess we’ll meet again,” Kirk said. “It’s not like I can avoid you, anyway.”

Kirk walked away from Gavin, leaving him by himself. Kirk decided to check up on Sorin and see how he was doing, and after that he would probably eat and turn in for the night. It would be a couple more days until they would land at Iiayikohn, so there would be more time for Sorin to get better at using a sword. At least that was what Kirk thought; he would still have to make sure that everything would go as planned.

 

To be continued…

 

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Chapter 6 – Part 4

[2740 AD; Prime Minister’s Office – Deca District]

 

“I’m honored to be speaking with you again, President Hasker,” Alan said.

He sat at the desk, phone sitting atop as he held the receiver to his head. The sudden call to his office threw Alan off; he did not expect to be speaking with the Ameci president so soon after their last meeting over a month ago.

“Alan, you don’t need to be so formal,” Hasker said. “You’re free to call me Piere.”

“Very well, Piere,” Alan replied.

“I must also inform you that I am not alone here in my office,” Hasker added, “General Fercewend has decided to join us, as well as Isaac Kunigunde.”

“Fercewend I can understand,” Alan said, “But Kunigunde is not part of your office, is he?”

“He’s not,” Hasker replied. “It was at the general’s request that Kunigunde attend this call.”

“A strange request, Rohan,” Alan said. “Is there a reason for why someone not associated with the Ameci government is in on this call?”

There was a momentary pause, then Fercewend spoke up.

“If you speak with him… prime minister… you’ll find he has much to do with this call,” Fercewend said.

“Alan Berry, is it?” Isaac asked. “It is a pleasure to be speaking with you.”

“The same to you, Mr. Kunigunde,” Alan said.

“I wanted to speak about our meeting this week,” Hasker said. “I am afraid I am unable to make it to Iiayikohn for the conference. A family matter, you know.”

“I understand,” Alan said. “He was an amazing man. I am sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you, Alan,” Hasker replied. “This is a bit of an unprecedented move, but I’m sending the general in my place. He’s been briefed on all the details.”

“Very well,” Alan said.

“I am honored to work with you,” Fercewend said. “I am also hoping to meet with the Iiayi military as well.”

“You will meet them in due time, General,” Alan replied. “Should I assume that Mr. Kunigunde will be going with you as well?”

“As an observer, Prime Minister,” Isaac said. “As a businessman, I admire the hard work people like you do for your country.”

“You should know, General, that these conferences are private,” Alan said.

“I know, I know,” Fercewend replied.

“Do not worry,” Isaac said, “You can trust me with a secret.”

“General, I cannot say that I am on board with this,” Alan said. “Sharing private information amongst an outsider is not something I can easily condone.”

The air grew thick as Alan rested his hand on the desk. Tapping his fingers atop the wood, Alan waited for a response. He sighed and cleared his throat as Fercewend spoke once again.

“Isaac, I hope you understand,” Fercewend said. “I look forward to meeting with you this week, Mr. Prime Minister.”

“Just being here is good enough,” Isaac said. “It feels like I’ve learned something new just by being here.”

“It’s settled, then, Alan,” Hasker said. “It has been great talking with you. I’m sorry that I can’t be there, but I think you and Rohan will get along just fine.”

“Then I will speak with you later,” Alan said.

Alan made his goodbyes with Hasker, Fercewend, and Isaac, and then hung up the phone. Of course, it was not the first time he had spoken with Fercewend, nor was it with Isaac. It had been years ago when he met the both of them, the members of the esteemed Fercewend bloodline. Alan remembered Rohan’s fiery persona, a drastic contrast to the man he had just spoken with. Isaac, however, proved to be the same as he had been in the past.

“I don’t know what Isaac is doing,” Alan said, “Fercewend stated his importance, but I fail to see why…”

“Excuse me, Prime Minister?”

Victor Wihll walked into Alan’s office. He set his foot on the chair in front, resting his arm atop his knee. Alan placed the phone aside as he stood up, facing Wihll.

“Yes, what is it, Lieutenant Wihll?”

“I just wanted to warn you,” Wihll replied. “There’s been a threat placed upon you. I thought you should know.”

“Is that all, lieutenant?” Alan asked. “Perhaps you should inform me of something more important. A threat is nothing to me.”

“Well, I thought so too,” Wihll said, “But it has come from within, I’m afraid.”

“If what you are saying is true, then I suppose you have proof?”

“Sadly, I am without proof,” Wihll replied. “It is a shame, I know.”

“Major Ansa had similar concerns, it seems,” Alan said. “It’s quite coincidental, both of you bringing up to me traitors in this building.”

“I was afraid of that,” Wihll said. “If I might add, I believe that Ansa has decided to carry out an independent operation to attack whom she believes to be the True Thekohnians.”

“Is that so?”

“She informed me of her plans,” Wihll said. “I don’t know if I should say this, but I feel as if she might have an ulterior motive.”

“I’ve kept track of Ayanna since she joined the military,” Alan said. “If there was something out of the ordinary, I would have seen it.”

Wihll shrugged. “You could be right, sir,” he said. “Then again, I would still be wary. I do not wish to see you dead, which is why I’ve come to you.”

“An odd way to put it, lieutenant, but the thought is appreciated,” Alan replied. “You may go now. I have things I must attend to before the day is over.”

“Understood,” Wihll said.

Alan watched as Wihll left his office. Outside, Victor walked until he reached the exterior of the the building. He breathed in, releasing his breath into a laugh that filled the streets, causing a couple of people to take notice. They were not ignored as Wihll pointed his focus at them.

“What do you think you’re looking at!?” Wihll growled. “Keep moving!”

They looked at each other and decided to do just that, leaving Wihll by himself. Things were going to plan, he thought, even if the prime minister was once a member of the Swords of Eight. Wihll started to walk down the street as he decided to meet up with Ayanna later. Once he did, he felt that his plan would take into action.

“All I know now is that I cannot wait for tonight,” he said. “Everything will be going according to plan.”

 

To be continued…

 

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Chapter 6 – Part 3

[2740 AD; Prime Minister’s Office – Deca District]

 

Ayanna Ansa entered the office of the prime minister of Iiayikohn, well aware of why she was called in. She had requested the audience of Alan Berry the day before, something no one had done with him before. That was why it surprised her that he did manage to set up time with her. She took a seat in front of the desk, waiting for the prime minister to arrive.

“Ah, Ayanna, I’ve been expecting you,” Alan said. He took a seat, but not before lifting up his cape into the air so it could drape over the back of the chair. “The note you wrote me stood out quite well, but then again, I should expect that from someone who became major at only a year ago at 23.”

“Thank you, Prime Minister,” Ayanna said. “I was hoping to have this conversation for quite a while.”

“I understand,” he said.

“Let me begin by saying that I don’t have evidence to prove this,” she said, “Regardless, there are those within this building that are working with the True Thekohnians.”

“So I’ve heard,” Alan said. “You are aware that these claims carry a vast weight to them?”

“I know,” she replied. “It’s just that with them, it is a personal matter for me.”

“Do not get the wrong idea, Major Ansa,” Alan said, “I am all too familiar with betrayal. That said, the fact that you admit there is no evidence to what you claim is unfortunate.”

“Prime Minister, I…”

“I cannot advise you to go about on an infiltration mission,” he said. “I cannot personally do that.”

“I get it,” she said.

“Do not let this discourage you,” he said. “Just remember the evidence for the next time. That is all I ask.”

“Okay.”

Ayanna got up and left Alan’s office. It was unfortunate, like he said, but she could not let it go without a fight. It was something that Ayanna had to do. After all, that was why she joined the Iiayikohnian military, being the first in her family to do so.

“I know you’re upset, Major, but perhaps you can use this as a learning experience?”

Ayanna turned to see the grinning blond man next to her. “Lieutenant Victor Wihll,” she said. “Did you not have other business that you were attending to?”

“It’s a shame,” he said. “I admire the dedication you have for your work, but to see you hung up on your suspicions truly makes me laugh.”

“Excuse me?”

“Believe me, you are well accomplished,” Wihll replied, “However, I feel as if you’re going about these True Thekohnians the wrong way.”

“And how would you handle it?” Ayanna asked.

“There are quite a few sympathizers of the TT, I’m afraid,” Wihll said. “I would be on guard if I were in your boots.”

“You really don’t have to do that, lieutenant,” she said.

“Oh, I’m not in doubt of your ability to defend yourself, Major!” Wihll replied. “Just saying: this is an organization that has been in existence for over twenty years. I’ve heard many a tale about those losing loved ones to them. The thought really makes the blood boil, doesn’t it?”

“You don’t appear to be angry,” Ayanna said.

“Oh my, oh me!” Wihll exclaimed, throwing up his hands. “How accusatory! Next you’ll say that I am a True Thekohnian.”

“Please do not put words into my mouth.”

Wihll scoffed. “I did no such thing.”

“You still haven’t answered my question,” she said.

“Have I not?” Wihll asked. “There’s no real way to deal with such a dangerous group. Believe you me, Major, the stakes are always high with the True Thekohnians.”

“I assume it’s personal, then?”

“You tell me.”

“It’s a friend of mine,” she replied. “That is all I will say.”

“A friend, is it?” Wihll wondered. “Yes, a dirty trick befitting of any terrorist. Taking those close to you… Unforgivable!”

“You understand, then,” Ayanna said. “I cannot choose to give up; that’s not the Ansa way.”

“If you are this dedicated, then I will help you,” Wihll said.

“Not a moment ago, you laughed at my predicament,” Ayanna said. “What is the reason for this change of heart, lieutenant?”

“Let’s just say that I enjoy helping,” he replied. “Even someone like myself can lend a hand to those who need it.”

“Truly you are something else,” she said. “Very well, I suppose I can use your help. Walk with me.”

 

[2740 AD; Rezar – Rask Locksmith]

 

The bell on the door jingled as Law walked in. This had to be the place, he thought. He was lucky enough to get in on time, five minutes before closing for the night. The old man behind the counter saw Law and waved at him.

“Hello there!”

“Yo,” Law replied. “Is Mina here?”

“Oh, are you interested in her?” The old man looked to the back. “Mina’s in the storeroom right now.”

“I’m just an acquaintance,” Law replied. “But I am interested in knowing her.”

“Of course, of course,” the old man said. “I’m Drake, by the way. Drake Rask.”

“Glad to meet you,” Law said. “Law Power. You’re the uncle, right?”

“That’s right,” Drake replied. “Mina’s been working for me a while now. Quite enthusiastic, I’d say.”

“Sounds about right,” Law said. “So she’s a locksmith too?”

“Well, she likes keys,” Drake said. “Mina seems to be more interested in throwing down, though. Always looking to pick a fight, that girl.”

“Sounds dangerous.”

“Oh, she’s capable of handling herself,” he said. “That I don’t worry about.”

“Then what is it?” Law asked.

“Well, it’s… Actually, I think that’s a bit too personal,” Drake said. “You don’t have to worry. You’re just here to see her, right?”

“Yeah, that’s what I’m here for,” Law replied.

“You’re not going to do anything funny to her, are you?” Drake asked. “She’d put you flat on your face if you do.”

“Luckily for you and her, I’m a guy you can trust,” Law said.

“Oh, you’re the guy from before!” Mina said, entering the room. “Uncle Drake, you should have seen it! This was the guy I told you about!”

“The guy you said you ‘put into a suplex,’ Mina?” Drake asked.

“Aw, come on, you had to be there!” Mina replied. “You are a good fighter, though. You said you’re a soldier, right?”

“Used to be,” Law said.

“Hold up, Law,” Drake said, “You were a soldier? Which branch?”

“I’m not from here,” Law replied. “I’m Ameci. I got out of the army a while ago. It’s a long story.”

“An Ameci, huh?” Mina asked. “Now that’s interesting!”

Law’s face lit up. “Yes, perhaps I could tell you more,” he said. “Hope you don’t mind, Mr. Rask.”

“Go on ahead,” Drake said. “Just make sure you come to work on time tomorrow, Mina.”

Mina laughed, then stopped. “Okay, uncle Drake,” she said. “Don’t worry, I’ve got my eye on this guy!”

“Well, bye,” Law said. He left the shop with Mina right behind him. Drake closed his eyes and sighed.

“I can’t just tell her the truth, can I?” Drake asked as he shook his head.

 

To be continued…

 

Previous | Next Part

Chapter 6 – Part 2

[2740 AD; Rezar, Iiayikohn – coffee shop inside the shopping district]

 

He waltzed into the coffee shop, the bell ringing as he looked for the woman he made a promise to. With a quick scan of the floor, he spotted the redhead sitting at one of the tables. It was almost destiny. At least that was what he thought when he called her over to the coffee shop.

“Oh hey, Law!”

“Hey there,” Lawrence “Law” Power said. “Silvia, right?”

“That’s right,” she replied.

Law took the seat opposite of her as he flicked back his long hair. “Glad to see my memory’s still top notch,” he said. “Good looks can only take a man so far, you know?”

Silvia laughed. “It’s nice to have you here,” she said. “You’ve been really helpful the past week.”

“Guess that’s my cue,” Law said, “You’re welcome. I always like to help those who want it, especially gals like you.”

“You’re too kind.”

“No, please, I’m only doing what any good man would do,” he said. The bell rang again as a couple of men in black clothing entered, passing Law and Silvia by. Law started to recline in his chair as he yawned.

“Do you need some coffee?” Silvia asked.

“I’m good,” Law replied. He took out a small mirror from the pocket of his bomber jacket and looked into it, admiring his looks. “You know, I didn’t expect things would be heating up so soon.”

“What do you mean?”

“Oh, nothing,” he replied, putting the mirror away. “Anyway, you were going to tell me something the last time we met, were you not?”

“I can’t recall,” she said.

“If I manage to guess it correctly, will you give me a prize?” Law asked. “I know one thing you can give me.”

“Law, it might be too early for that,” Silvia said as she blushed. “I mean, it’s been only a week…”

Law chuckled. “Give me a little more credit than that,” he said. “I’m more than just a pretty face, Silvia! You know exactly what I’m talking about.”

“I… Law, please,” she said.

“The first day I laid eyes on you, I knew you were someone special,” Law said. “Why else would you bring a couple of your friends over to meet me?”

Silvia sat there, her eyes wide as Law picked up the fork sitting on the table. He eyed the sharp, pointed prongs at the end as the sunlight gleamed off of them.

“I know it looks unusual, but a little creativity can make even a fork like this a good weapon!”

Law turned around and threw the fork in the direction of the man behind him. It lodged itself into the back of his neck, the man screaming as he stood up. An immediate palm greeted his head as Law smashed his face into the table, knocking him out. The other man made a break for the exit, but Law was not about to let him go. He picked up a glass mug and pitched it, connected with the back of the man’s head. The other man fell to the floor, with Law standing over him.

“Too bad,” he said. “If you guys ever come to, you’ll be one step behind as usual.”

Law looked around. He knew that it would happen, but he had to catch up with Silvia before it was too late. Dashing out of the coffee shop, Law caught her running through the bustling town square. He smirked as he followed after her, but soon found himself face to face with three more of her “friends” in an alleyway.

“I guess this means I’m popular,” he said. “You guys wouldn’t happen to have seen a red haired woman passing by, would you?”

“The only red we’ve seen is the blood that’s going to spill from your head,” the supposed leader of the three said. He took out a revolver, as did the other two men.

“You guys know how to make this fight fair, don’t you?” Law asked. “Sadly for you, this was never going to be a fair fight.”

Law charged at the men, throwing them off their guards as he disarmed one of them and put him into a choke hold. He held the gun in his hand and pointed it at the other two. “I’d give up if I were you,” Law said. “Now, tell me where she went. You ‘True Thekohnians’ can at least tell me that.”

“Like hell we will!” The man to Law’s right aimed his gun, only to have Law to shoot it out of his hand.

“I’m sorry,” Law said, “But that was the wrong answer. Tell me again; otherwise, I’ll do more than just that fancy gun trick.”

“You-you… Who are you?” The man in Law’s hold asked him.

“Me?” Law asked. “You shouldn’t worry about me, my friend, because I think you worry about yourself first!”

Law released the man from his hold and shoved him into the wall. The other two men then decided to run after seeing how formidable Law really was. For Law, though, he was not about to call it a day as he chased after them. Once he was out of the alley, he did not find either of the two men nor could he find Silvia.

“Seems that I keep getting distracted,” Law said. He took a look into his mirror once more. “At least my record is still perfect.”

“Not so fast!”

Law sought out the source of that lovely voice. He focused his eyes on a woman with short black hair who was close to his height. She got into what appeared to be a fighting stance, her fists clenched.

“That’s an interesting way to introduce yourself,” Law said. “Of course, I can’t just meet a pretty girl without asking her name. So how about yourself?”

“My name is your worst nightmare,” she replied. “When I am finished with you, you will weep whenever you hear the name Themina!”

“Thay-meena?” Law asked.

“Do you not speak Theias? Then know the very name of the warrior who will defeat you: Mighty Mina!”

“May I ask why?” Law wondered. “I certainly would remember someone like yourself.”

“Don’t try and flatter me with your words, villain!” Mina said. “You and your like have terrorized the streets of Rezar for the last time! I am the hero to all of Thekohn!”

Law tried his best not to laugh, looking down at the ground and closing his eyes. “Consider me impressed,” he said. “Very well, show me what you’ve got.”
Mina advanced with haste towards Law and grabbed him into a headlock. He could feel her grip lock onto him as he was lifted off of the ground. With her free hand, Mina grabbed Law at his hip and bent backwards as she tried to subdue him. Law, though, prepared by setting his feet in order to land upright. As she dropped to the ground, Law towered over Mina.

“Ow! What the heck did you do?” Mina asked, rubbing her head. “I know that wasn’t supposed to happen!”

“I don’t know what they teach people over here,” Law said, “But that was not at all a very practical move!”

Mina jumped to her feet and threw a punch at Law. Before he got hit in the face, Law caught the punch. It was amazing, he thought, that he was able to stop her from hitting him. She knew how to throw a punch, that much Law could ascertain.

“I have to admit: you are quite strong,” Law said. “Can we stop this now? I think I get the idea.”

“Are you giving up?” Mina asked. “I… A real villain doesn’t just give up!”

“I don’t know what tales you’ve been told, but real life isn’t just a battle of heroes and villains,” Law said. “I do think you’re pretty strong, though.”

“Oh, um, thanks,” Mina said. She smiled as she tried to find the right words. “You really mean that?”

“I fought many people during my time as a soldier,” Law said, “None of them hold a candle to you. Who did you train under?”

“Train?” Mina asked. “I just started doing it. Fighting, I mean.”

Law laughed. “Seriously, strength like that has to come from somewhere,” he said. “It’s not like there’s a supernatural force out there giving you this; it’s got to come from somewhere!”

“Can’t say that I follow you,” Mina replied. “All I know is since I was a little girl, I was sparring with guys twice my size! Er, by that they were taller than me! They’d all tell you about it!”

“That’s certainly good to know,” Law said. “Surely fighting isn’t the only thing you’re good at? Maybe we can discuss over a drink?”

“Oh, well, thing is is that I’m actually supposed to be at work,” Mina said. “My uncle’s a locksmith, and this was supposed to be my lunch break. I just saw you fighting those guys and thought you were someone else… Haha…”

“Then how about I wait for you to get off of work?” Law asked. “I can’t imagine a lovely lady like you not spending time with a great guy like myself.”

Mina placed her hand over her mouth, trying not to laugh. “Perhaps if you defeat me, I’ll think about it,” she replied. “Until then, I guess this is… goodbye?”

Mina ran off as Law observed her form. Her dash down the sidewalk captivated him, something he could not take his eyes off of. Of course, for Law, he knew that he did not want to focus on just her. There was also the matter of Silvia, or rather, Silvia’s involvement with the True Thekohnians.

“Silvia, oh Silvia, you turned out to be quite the tricky one,” Law said. He clutched his hand; the pain was still there. “And that Mina! She is cute, but I’d best not get on her bad side.”

Law turned his focus back over to Silvia. He had a feeling she was involved with the True Thekohnians, a group that he was all too familiar with. His first encounter with them was when he was still in the Ameci army: he was serving alongside his elder brother Gavin. It was an espionage mission, Law’s speciality, when he came across the group. Today, though, his mission did not go as well as it did back then. It would have to come at another time, at least.

“I really need to regroup,” Law said. “Which locksmith did Mina say she worked at? Perhaps I should pay that uncle of hers a visit.”

 

To be continued…

 

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Chapter 6 – Part 1

[2740 AD; Admorse Shipyard – On the deck of the Ameci Atlas]

 

“Well, Sorin, I bet you’ve never been on a ship like this, have you?”

Kirk looked at Sorin, who was overlooking the entire deck of the ship. The group of four had just boarded, with Gale heading down to the passenger’s quarters. Eva took a look over the railings, seeing a long drop to the water below. They were ready to set off, as was the ship as the horn blared throughout the shipyard. It sounded once more as the ship began to move.

“And that means we’re off!” Kirk said. “No regrets, right?”

“I guess not,” Sorin replied.

“That’s what I like to hear,” Kirk said. “Now go see what Eva’s up to. I assume that she wants to get started as soon as possible.”

“Got it,” Sorin said. He walked over to Eva, who was still looking over the railing. “I was told that you wanted to see me.”

“You don’t sound very ready to me,” she said. “Where is your sword?”

“I don’t have it?” Sorin asked. He checked his person, but to no avail. “I guess Gale must have taken it.”

Eva sighed. “Get it from her, then.”

Sorin headed over to the passenger quarters, which was downstairs inside the depths of the ship. He checked down the entire hallway until he found Gale, who was just opening the door to the room that they were going to be staying in.

“Gale, wait!”

“Oh, Sorin,” Gale said. “What is it?”

“Did you happen to see a sword?” Sorin asked.

“Probably,” she replied. “You can go check. It’d have to be in one of the bags, I would guess.”

Sorin went into the room, spying the three bags that were sitting there in the middle. “Well, I guess I’ll have to find out,” he said.

 

Elsewhere on the ship, Henry strolled through the dining hall. He was the only one in the hall, save for a couple of the crew hanging out. It was going to take a few days until they reached Iiayikohn and Henry was not sure how he was going to go about navigating the country. Of course he was familiar with the area, but it had been ten years since he had last been in Iiayikohn. Still, Henry’s goal was clear at this point: make it across the ocean.

“If I can get there, at least,” Henry said. “That’s it! Alan would know what to do!”

“There you are!”

Henry turned and spotted Tori, who was standing by him. “Tori! What are you doing here?”

“I didn’t want you to be alone on this trip,” she replied.

“But… the kids…” Henry said. “This is dangerous!”

“I told them everything,” Tori said, “About us, about what I was going to do. It was difficult for all of us, your mother included.”

“You have no idea where I’m going! Hell, I don’t even know what I’m going to do once I get to Iiayikohn!”

“You’re going to see Alan,” she said. “Listen, Henry, I know that you are doubting yourself right now. That you might be filled with despair over the accusations…”

“Tori, please.”

“No! I refuse to believe you’ve given up!” Tori protested. “Do you remember what you said to me the day we met? To keep moving?”

Henry placed his hands on Tori’s. “Yes, I do,” he said. “Keep moving, no matter what the cost.”

“Henry, I still believe in you,” she said, “I think Rohan does as well.”

“If only it would be that easy.”

“At least you can try?”

Henry shook his head. “We can try,” he said. “It won’t be easy, but I do feel better now that you’re here.”

“Thank you,” Tori said as she reached up to embrace Henry.

 

It was an unsuccessful endeavor for Gavin in trying to find Henry on the ship. He looked around everywhere he could, but the result was the same as he was still a step behind the man he was trying to catch. Gavin resigned himself to the deck as he thought out his next plan when he ended up bumping into Kirk and Eva.

“Excuse me,” Gavin said. “Hold on…”

“Yes, what is it?” Kirk asked.

“You look familiar,” Gavin replied. “Have I not seen you before?”

“It might just be you,” he replied.

“It probably is,” Eva said.

“Hmph, perhaps I’ve gone mad?” Gavin asked aloud.

“That could be a possibility,” Kirk said.

“I was thinking out loud,” Gavin said, “A.K.A. none of your business!”

“Ah, of course,” Kirk said, “I’ve heard many going mad due to the sea. That might just be what you’re going through.”

“I told you it was none of your business!”

“I’m just making conversation,” Kirk said as he turned to Eva. “Isn’t that right?”

“Maybe he’s having a bad day,” she suggested.

“Then we can carry on,” Kirk said.

“Hey! Wait!” Gavin said.

“What now?” Eva asked.

“Now that I’m thinking about it, I am reminded of something,” Gavin said. “Does the name Henry Randolph sound familiar to you?”

Kirk raised his eyebrow. “Henry Randolph,” he said, “It does sound familiar to me, actually.”

“Finally, a lead!” Gavin exclaimed. “I mean, that’s good. Do you know anything about him?”

“Not personally, no,” Kirk replied. “I’m sorry, I guess that wasn’t a very good answer, was it?”

Gavin grumbled. “Do you even know who I’m talking about!?”

“I’ve met many a stranger in my life, sir,” Kirk said. “I’m sure I’ve met a man like that before. It just gets confusing after a while. Old age, you know?”

“You don’t look that old to me,” Gavin said. “What about you, miss?”

“I’ve only the one eye here,” Eva replied. “That’s to make sure he doesn’t run off doing whatever the hell he does.”

“Hey, I have to thank you for the compliment, though,” Kirk said. “Especially coming from someone in the military.”

“It’s… nothing,” Gavin said. “Please, go on. Forget that I even talked to you.”

“If you insist,” Kirk said. “Let’s go, Eva.”

They walked away from Gavin, who was left by himself to ponder about what just happened. He had the feeling those two looked familiar, but he just could not remember why. That was when it hit him.

“The swords!” Gavin said. “They had swords on them! How could I not see it?”

He had a lead now towards Henry Randolph. Gavin was not sure how this would help, but knowing that a couple of members of the defunct Swords of Eight were on board might help him. It was then that he realized that Kirk and Eva were nowhere to be found atop the deck of the ship.

“Damn it, I should really be on top of these things,” he said. “No matter! I know what I must do now!”

He laughed as he began to deduce where those two went. The most likely place, he felt, would be in the passenger’s quarters. Thus, Gavin went down into the ship to follow after the two.

 

To be continued…

 

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Chapter 5 – Solo

[2740 AD; Admorse Plaza – Smithy]

 

Henry stumbled into the blacksmith’s shop, slamming the door behind him shut. He was sure that he had shaken Gavin off of his trail, but waited an extra day outside of the city just to be safe. As he was thinking to himself, the owner of smithy walked in from the back.

“Didn’t expect to see you here, Henry!”

Continue reading

Chapter 4 – Part 2

[2730 AD; Iiayikohnian Armory]

 

Eva entered the armory with her sword at her side. It had been a week since the last meeting of the Swords of Eight. She headed for the storeroom and saw a young man, a tall, skinny man with unkempt brown hair. He saw her and greeted her with a large smile.

Continue reading

Chapter 4 – Part 1

[2730 AD; a hotel in Rezar, Iiayi]

 

Kirk collapsed into the chair by Eva, who had been sitting there for the past hour. Today the chase had resulted yet again in failure, as Kirk was no closer to finding his son Rysol. He clutched the handle of his sword as the majestic leader of the Swords of Eight, Alan Berry, walked up to him. With his long gray hair and cape, Alan had the look of a leader as well as the experience to show for it.

“I know it’s been hurting you,” Alan said. “I cannot begin to imagine the pain that is going on within your soul.”

“Thank you, Alan,” Kirk said.

“But you can’t keep doing this,” Alan continued. “At some point you will have to let him go. It’s painful, but it is the truth.”

“I can’t do that,” Kirk replied.

“Kirk, even you have to realize when it’s a lost cause,” Eva said. She brushed away the hair over her uncovered right eye.

“Not you too,” Kirk said. “Come on, Eva, you fought alongside me. I would think you of all people would know about fighting for someone.”

“I… I know that!” Eva replied.

“Enough,” Alan said. “What is important now is tonight’s meeting. This one is important, so I hope you two will join us.”

Alan left Kirk and Eva by themselves. Kirk sighed as reclined into the chair, wondering if perhaps it all has been for nothing. After his wife was killed eight years ago, Kirk joined the Swords in order to find those that did it and find Rysol. The killer had to have taken him with them, after all. The following war that ensued, though, repurposed the Swords of Eight into a movement for peace.

“Kirk, if it makes you feel better, I think he’s alive too,” Eva said.

“Thank you,” he said. “What do you think Alan wants to talk about in the meeting?”

“I’m not sure,” she replied. “The war’s over… I mean, all that’s left is to help all the people affected.”

“That’s true,” Kirk said as he got out of the chair. “I think I’m going to get some fresh air. Do you want to come?”

“I think I’ll stay,” Eva said. “Just don’t spend all night out there, okay?”

“I’m not going to be for too long,” he said.

He stepped outside of the hotel, the once busy street during the day slowing down to a quiet current in the evening. Kirk was wondering if it was worth it to go forward into the night after Rysol, but he knew he had no chance of finding him in the dark.

“I just can’t give up,” he said. “Not when I know he’s alive!”

 

Later that night, Kirk walked into the meeting room where the rest of the group was waiting. He took a seat next to Eva, where they looked over to Alan.

“It’s good that you decided to join us, Kirk,” Alan said. He cleared his throat and took a drink of water. “Anyway, I suppose that you all want to know why Lowell, Tre, and I called you here.”

“Yes, well, it’s a simple thing,” Lowell Page said. In comparison to Alan, Lowell was bald and was a couple of inches taller. “Namely, we are disbanding the group, effective immediately.”

“What!?” Kirk asked.

“Are you serious!?” Gamil Gomel exclaimed, slamming his fist down on the table. He had thick eyebrows and a goatee. “After all the work we’ve done?”

“I know how you’re feeling, Gamil,” Tre Hendricks said. His long, greying hair was even longer than Alan’s, and he had a woolly beard to match. “This is a decision that we have to make, though.”

“Tre is correct,” Alan said, “This disbandment is not because we can’t help people, but because of certain schisms going on within.”

“Are you talking about last meeting?” Rado Liffe asked. The burly swordsman with blond hair looked over at Gamil. “Never in life have I seen a debate go down to thrown punches.”

“It was only one,” Gamil said. “Sorry about that, Sos.”

“You don’t need to apologize,” Sosimo Hudde, the third youngest of the group, said. He flipped his wavy hair back. “It was nothing compared to what I faced back in the Iiayikohnian military.”

“No, no, Rado,” Alan said, “This has been something we three have been thinking about ever since the end of the war.”

“It’s simple: we cannot continue to move in this way,” Lowell said. “Given how things have come to an end, there is no real reason to continue.”

“I don’t believe that!” Kirk said. “Is this how things end for us?”

“Kirk, please, I would suggest you let me explain it,” Alan said, “We fight for peace. That peace has been achieved, or at least I would hope so.”

“I can understand your concern,” Tre said, “Believe you me, the forty years I’ve fought felt like they would never come to an end, but it’s been a year.”

“A full year, no conflict!” Rado said. “To think such a thing would happen used to be a dream!”

“I just think it’s reckless to assume things will remain like this,” Kirk said, “Unless we continue to work, this peace isn’t going to last.”

“I never said I’d quit,” Alan said.

“What are you going to do about it, then?” Kirk asked.

“My plan is to become prime minister of this country,” Alan replied. “I know I will be putting my storied past behind me, but I know that the world will be better off for it.”

“That sounds good to me!” Sosimo said with a grin. “You’ve always been the most diplomatic of us all. Sorry Kirk!”

“Is that it?” Kirk asked.

“Look, what more do you want!?” Lowell asked. “You see, this is why we keep fucking fighting. You never know when to stop asking questions!”

“As long as there are still concerns, I will still ask questions,” Kirk said. “That much is certain.”

“Gah… You always do this…”

“Lowell, please, I think he has every right to be concerned,” Alan said. “Just save it for another time.”

“There isn’t going to be another time!” Eva said as she stood up. “This is the last meeting, is it not? What good do we do if we are not a team?”

“Do not think that because we’re not a team anymore means you cannot keep working,” Tre said. “I know our time is coming to an end, but I think all of you have the potential to keep doing good.”

“That’s a good idea,” Alan said. “With that, I think this meeting is over. Best of luck to each and every one of you.”

Alan walked out of the room, with Lowell and Tre following behind him. Kirk looked over to Eva as both of them knew that there was no changing Alan’s mind. Gamil bolted up to his feet and walked over to Rado, grabbing him by the collar.

“What do you think you are doing?” Rado said. Despite being larger than Gamil, the other man was taken aback by how Gamil had him.

“You are willing to give up?” Gamil asked. “After what we’ve been through?”

“Gamil, bud, you should calm down,” Sosimo said.

“I’m not the only one who thinks this!” Gamil exclaimed. “To see Kirk there, fighting not for himself but for those who cannot! That is truly an amazing sight!”

“I didn’t think it was that amazing,” Kirk said, “I just spoke my mind.”

Gamil let Rado go. “You keep fighting,” Gamil said. “Keep fighting for the world. That’s all I ask of you.”

Kirk nodded. “Thank you,” he said. “I… I’m going to go now…”

Kirk left the room and went up to his hotel room. He fell onto the bed as he contemplated whether or not he should continue this fight he knew he could not win. He thought about both Rysol and Sorin and if he would really be able to reunite his two children again. It was a thought he’d have to continue later as Eva entered his room.

“Are you okay?” Eva asked.

“I am,” he replied. “I just have to refocus the goal.”

“Don’t wear yourself out,” she said. “Please just consider that.”

“I’ll try not to, Eva,” Kirk said. “And I hope that you do the same concerning Belkley.”

“You don’t have to worry about him,” she replied. “He can take care of himself at this point.”

“How is he doing?”

“He’s doing well,” Eva said. “He picked up a job at the local armory. They were really impressed with his aptitude for organization.”

“That’s good,” Kirk said. “I remember when he was just a little child. Seems like he’s really taken to you, hasn’t he?”

“After what happened to him, he deserves to feel good,” she said. “It’s the least I can offer him.”

“Yeah,” he said. “I wonder how Sorin is doing…”

“You said he was in good hands, correct?”

“I did, but I just wish I could go back.”

“You could,” she said.

Kirk looked outside of the window. Night had already arrived, and he knew that he’d have to sleep soon. “I know,” he said. “Part of me wonders if it’s worth continuing this chase. I mean, I haven’t seen Rysol in many years. Would he recognize me?”

“Kirk… I’m sure he’d recognize you,” Eva said, putting her hand on his shoulder.

“Maybe,” Kirk said. The last time Kirk had seen Rysol was when Rysol was six. Kirk had been working all day, and after work he had come home to find a massacre within his home. To see his wife April, the mother of their children, stabbed to death had him to his knees. He checked every room in the house, finding the year old Sorin hidden in the closet of his bedroom, but the same could not be said of his other son Rysol. He was nowhere to be found.

“It feels like failure every day,” Kirk said. “These boys carry on April and myself. I can’t just let it go.”

“I understand,” Eva said. She took a seat next to him. “I guess if something were to happen to Belkley, I’d feel the same way.”

“He has someone to look up to,” Kirk said. “I only want my sons feel the same way.”

“I know,” she said. “It’s getting late, isn’t it?”

“Are you leaving?”

“Actually, I was wondering if I could stay,” she said. “Just… I don’t want you to feel alone.”

“Y-you don’t?”

“Of course not!” Eva said. “Maybe you need to just… relax for tonight?”

“Eva…”

“I know… I know,” she said. “I’ve been alone, too. No one deserves that.”

“Then let’s share the loneliness.”

Kirk turned out the lights and slipped into the bed, Eva joining along with him. The night felt close as Kirk and Eva felt a little less lonely, which was a rare moment that neither wanted to end.

 

To be continued…

 

Previous | Next Part

Chapter 3 – Part 2

[2740 AD; Ameci Military HQ at Admorse]

 

After a fruitless attempt to capture Henry Randolph, Gavin Power arrived at the military headquarters. With a hand applying a pack of ice to his face, Gavin walked into the the general’s office. At the desk sat Rohan Fercewend, who was studying a chessboard by himself.

“General, sir,” Gavin said, taking a seat.

“You’re here,” Fercewend said. “Good. I was waiting for an opponent.”

“Excuse me?”

“You’re junior lieutenant Gavin Power, right?” Fercewend asked. “I don’t forget a name, and I definitely do not forget a man as vigorous as you.”

“Sir, if it’s about earlier…”

“Please,” Fercewend said, “I am merely asking you to a game of chess. Or would you rather discuss your failed attempt at catching a wanted criminal?”

“He… he is a crafty one!” Gavin exclaimed. “To think he could best me, the best of the best, the top soldier of the Ameci military… Henry Randolph is truly one with guile!”

“Believe me, I would know firsthand, lieutenant,” Fercewend replied. “I’m not here to talk about him, though.”

“But… but sir! Is it not a top priority to apprehend the nation’s most wanted criminal?”

“I am the one to decide what is and isn’t important for the military, Power,” Fercewend said. “What you do is follow those decisions.”

Gavin attempted to protest, but in the end he nodded to what Fercewend told him. “I understand, sir,” he said.

“I’m glad you understand, lieutenant,” Fercewend said. “If you have no other business here, I demand that you leave.”

“Understood,” Gavin said. He left the general’s office and headed out of the headquarters. Once he was outside, Gavin threw aside the ice pack and let out a roar.

“Damn it!” Gavin bellowed. “What the hell am I even doing here!?”

It was not the future that Gavin had envisioned when he joined the military at age 18. After he had dropped out of school ten years ago at 16, Gavin worked to provide for his depleted family, which was just his younger brother. Despite their differences, Gavin had always thought the best of Lawrence and Lawrence the same. It wasn’t until two years ago that Lawrence disappeared, driving Gavin to where he is now.

“I just want to know, Lawrence,” Gavin said, “I just want to know why you left. Why the hell did you leave!?”

He growled to himself as he entered his car. It had been a long day, Gavin thought, so he decided to head back home for the night.

 

As the night went on, Rohan was finishing up the last of his papers when a familiar face appeared before him. The man was in a black suit and had short black hair and a big moustache.

“I never would have thought that the ‘Fierce Wind of Ameci’ would be spending his time with his nose in the papers,” he said.

“Isaac,” Fercewend said, “It’s good to meet you. Do you want to take a seat?”

“Now, Rohan, you cannot obviously expect me to stay too long, can you?” Isaac Kunigunde asked with a smile. “You know why I’m here. Let’s get to business.”

“Very well, cousin,” Fercewend said. “I don’t predict that this conversation will change anything, but I’m always open to talking with you.”

Isaac laughed. “That’s the spirit,” he said, clasping his hands together. “This is a business meeting at the core, after all.”

“Believe me, I’ve heard a lot about your business endeavors,” Fercewend replied. “What are you going to try to tell me this time?”

“Hah, that’s a good one,” Isaac said. “You have been paying attention, haven’t you? The conflict in Maeitakohn?”

“I’m well aware,” Fercewend replied. “What of it?”

“I am concerned about what will happen there,” Isaac replied. “People are dying left and right. It is madness!”

“Are you truly concerned?” Fercewend said. “It seems to me that you are more worried about your personal image than you are about the world.”

“What makes you think that?”

“The fact that you are trying to influence the military is one,” Fercewend answered. “It concerns me that a businessman like yourself is trying to tie himself into these affairs, because it makes me wonder. Do not get me wrong, Isaac, but it’s a thought that lingers in the back of my head.”

“If that is your concern, then I will back off,” Isaac said. “I only want what is best for everyone.”

“I’m sure,” Fercewend said. “Moving on, I talked to Gale yesterday. It seems like she met an interesting person.”

“Rohan, you know how I feel about that,” Isaac said. “If you have nothing else to talk to me about, then I’m leaving.”

“Then go,” Fercewend said. “I’m still preoccupied with these documents.”

“Very well.”

Isaac got up and left. With Rohan by himself, he looked to complete his task for the night. He had a feeling that Isaac was up to something, but had nothing to back it up at the moment. Rohan tried not to think about it, considering all the good Isaac had done for him in the past. The rank of general, the good that was brought to Fercewend’s family, it was all because of Isaac. Because of that, Rohan wanted to believe in him. At least that was what he tried to tell himself overnight.

 

[2740 AD; Gale’s apartment in Admorse]

 

Sorin decided to spend the night at a nearby hotel with Kirk. The sunlight had greeted him the same way it did yesterday, as Sorin was not used to breaking his routine. Kirk greeted him and told him that they were going to head to Gale’s apartment so they can get going to meet Bellamy.

“I’m glad you’ve decided to come along,” Kirk said.

“I guess I should hear both of you out,” Sorin said.

They were standing at the entrance to the apartment building, a medium-sized place that looked to house four individual apartments. Kirk pulled out the map to Maeitakohn again and took a look at it.

“Oh, good, you guys are here already,” Gale said.

“Good to see you, Gale,” Kirk said. “I see you’ve packed generously.”

“I suppose it’s a lot, isn’t it?”

“I wouldn’t worry about it,” Sorin said. “Although I guess I didn’t expect to be pulled into this…”

“Don’t worry,” Kirk said. “Bellamy’s got everything covered.”

“Then we’re set, right?” Gale asked.

“Indeed,” Kirk replied. “Let’s go.”

 

As the three headed for Bellamy’s house via Kirk’s car, Sorin wondered about this friend of his father’s. Just who was he supposed to expect? Given all of the information that Kirk had divulged, this Bellamy had to be really exceptional.

“Almost there,” Kirk said.

“That’s the house right there, isn’t it?” Gale asked.

“Good eye,” Kirk replied.

Bellamy’s house was outside of Admorse, a small house made with bricks in the middle of nowhere. Kirk parked the car by the mailbox and stepped out, taking a breath of fresh air as he shut the door. Sorin and Gale got out, too, and joined Kirk as they went up to the front door.

“You didn’t tell us we’d be all the way out here,” Sorin said.

“Well, I didn’t want to ruin the surprise,” Kirk said, “And Bellamy likes solitude. I would have never asked for help unless the circumstances were this dire.”

The door opened and Bellamy appeared. What shocked Sorin the most was not the fact that Bellamy was a woman, nor was it the fact that she was not even Gale’s height. Rather, it was the eyepatch on her right eye that surprised Sorin.

“Well, Kirk,” Bellamy said, “You were serious after all.”

“As I had said before, Eva,” Kirk replied. “My intentions are true: I intend to help out in Maeitakohn. That’s why I’m asking for your help.”

“And this I would assume is your son?” Eva asked. “This guy’s really hit the lottery when it comes to size.”

“Excuse me?” Sorin asked. Eva pulled out her sword and pointed it at Sorin’s face. The sudden response froze Sorin in place; he had no idea how to respond.

“I’ve been enjoying a nice life these past few years, Kirk,” Eva said. “What do you possibly want out of me you can’t get out of Rado or Sosimo?”

“You know I haven’t talked to them,” Kirk said, “Not since after the War of the Lands. Do you not recall what we even said?”

“Don’t question my memory,” Eva said, “Of course I remember. It’s just that I know that we really can’t change anything. I tried. I watched you try. You know I just can’t, especially after what happened to me.”

“I understand your pain,” Kirk said, “But that’s why we need to do something now. I don’t want to keep fighting these fights. I want to end them and reclaim the life I’ve never had the chance to live! And I believe you want the same thing too!”

Eva crossed her arms and looked down. “Look at me,” she said, “Does this look like the spirited warrior you’ve come to know?”

“I think that fight is still in you,” Kirk replied. “Just like I know it is in both of them. My son and Gale here.”

Eva snickered. “Sure, your son looks the type, but I can tell he’s not ready,” she replied. “And that girl doesn’t really inspire much confidence either. Is this your idea of a revolution?”

“I know I don’t look like the type to fight,” Gale said, “But I do want to help Kirk out in any way I can.”

“Is that so?” Eva asked. “What about you, Sorin?”

“I-I think that I agree,” Sorin said. It was a difficult thought in his mind, but he could see how passionate his father was about his cause. Sorin knew that by saying that, there was little chance of turning back, but he didn’t care.

“You know that you’ll have to pull your weight,” Eva said. “These are real people we’re talking about.”

“I know that, ma’am,” Sorin replied. “I’ll do whatever I can to help.”

“Well then,” Eva said, “It looks like Kirk was right about you two.”

“You… you agree then?” Sorin asked.

“It reminds me of the same fire that was in me twenty years ago,” she said. “I suppose out here isn’t the place to discuss it. Come in.”

Sorin looked over to Kirk, who nodded. Gale was in agreement as the three of them went inside Eva’s house to talk more.

 

To be continued…

 

Previous | Next Chapter

Chapter 3 – Part 1

[2740 AD; Admorse Casino]

 

“It looks like you’ve decided to accept my invitation,” Kirk said to Gale. “Please, feel free to sit.”

Gale took a chair at the table, as she was taking in the interior of the casino. The lighting accentuated the flashy decor, rich paintings, and the many card tables throughout. Sorin and Kirk were already seated, both of them sitting opposite of the bespectacled Gale.

“I had been skeptical at first,” she said, “But when I read your letter, I knew.”

“Great,” Kirk said. “Also, before I forget, this is my son, Sorin.”

“It’s nice to meet you,” Gale said to Sorin.

“Same to you,” Sorin replied.

Kirk smiled. “Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can move onto business,” he said.

“You still haven’t explained anything to me,” Sorin said. “I ask you but you keep telling me ‘in due time.’ Just when is that time?”

“Sorin, that time is now,” Kirk said. “You are right. I left you and went off to fight my own battle for eighteen years.”

“What happened?” Sorin asked. “Does it have something to do with mother?”

“It’s a long story,” Kirk said. “To tell it all would take a night and a day. I will tell you this, though: you are not the only one that I have been wanting to see.”

“Does this have to do with the Swords of Eight?” Gale asked.

“The ‘Swords of Eight?’” Sorin wondered. “Why does that name sound familiar?”

“It’s because I am part of that group,” Kirk replied. “I am not kidding when I said it is a long story. Needless to say, I fought alongside these seven gifted warriors for many years.”

“Is it true that you all were once former military members?” Gale asked.

“Yes and no,” Kirk said. “I tried to join the military, but I failed to get in. My younger colleague Bellamy had the same experience, but for different reasons than mine.”

Kirk then reached into his pocket and pulled out a map. “I think you deserve to know what’s going on, my son,” Kirk said. “This is a map of Maeitakohn.”

“I’m familiar with the name,” Sorin said.

“You were there, weren’t you?” Gale asked.

Kirk nodded. “We fought there,” he replied. “For the best interests of everyone involved, we sided with the Ameci-Iiayi forces. Unfortunately, because war is a cruel hurricane, many countries were left impoverished.”

“The unrest in Maeitakohn,” Gale said. “I heard on the radio that there could be a civil war.”

“Yes, it concerns me greatly,” Kirk said. “Not only for all of the citizens of Maeita, but for me as well.”

“You? Why?” Sorin asked.

“This is the truth of the matter,” Kirk replied, “That I could not protect your mother was the biggest failure of my life. The ones that have done this evil deed, to stab my broken heart, they abducted your brother.”

“W-what!?” Sorin exclaimed as he slammed his hands on the table. “You can’t be serious!”

“I wish it was a lie,” Kirk said. “I wish I could have spent the last eighteen years with you, Rysol, and April, but this is the harsh reality we live in.”

“Then… then you came here to tell me,” Sorin said.

“Sorry I couldn’t tell you sooner,” Kirk said, “I had been caught up what with all that had been going on. I do believe I’ve found him, though.”

“Really?”

“Or at least I know for sure that he is in Maeitakohn,” Kirk said. “I can’t do this alone. Which is why I came to both of you.”

“Well, I can understand why Sorin may want to be involved, but why me?” Gale asked. “I’m not sure where I fit into this.”

“To be honest, I almost debated going to Isaac,” Kirk said. “Thankfully, I feel like I’ve made the right choice by going to you instead.”

“You think so?”

“I believe in your ability, Gale,” Kirk replied. “What Bellamy and I are trying to do is to prevent another war from happening. I think you’ll be very helpful to our cause.”

“If that is the case, then I would love to help,” Gale said. “I’ve always wanted to see the rest of the world, anyway.”

“That’s the spirit,” Kirk said. “So how about you, Sorin? I know this is a lot to take it all at once, but I could use your help.”

“Do you really think I can help?” Sorin asked. “Are you sure I wouldn’t be a burden to you?”

Kirk pounded his fist on the table. “I would never think that of you,” he said, “And I know that Ray would never think of you as a burden either. What you are is a fighter, someone who never gives up. What I see in you is not a burden, but a force knocking at the door ready to break it down!”

“You believe that much in me?”

“I tell no lies,” Kirk replied, “Both you and Rysol are my sons, no doubt about it. That’s why I need you now.”

“I know you say that, but I still don’t know,” Sorin said. “My life has been delivering wares, not fighting or saving the world or whatever it is you’ve been doing. I’m… I’m sorry.”

Sorin stood up and walked away from the table to leave the casino. Gale looked over at him, but Kirk shook his head.

“Are you sure that you want to let him go?” Gale asked.

“I think he needs to think this one out,” Kirk said. “I had the same feelings his age, too.”

 

Outside, Sorin looked up to the sky. It was a beautiful sunset, mixing together the warm sunlight with the impending nightfall that was soon to come. Sorin sighed as he leaned against the metal railing, turning his sights to the water below. He had been in the city of Admorse many times, but never really had a chance to admire the ports or the nearby ocean.

“Smith would really like this, I bet,” he said.

Sorin picked up a small stone at his feet and throw it at the water. Despite his wanting to see it skip, the stone made a big splash in the water and sank into the depths. He frowned and turned back to the casino, the exterior just as flashy as it is inside.

“Hey,” Gale said. She had just stepped out of the casino and walked up to Sorin.

“He’s still in there?” Sorin asked.

“Kirk had to make a call,” she replied. “I told him I would be out here, but I don’t know if he heard me.”

“Great,” he said. “Well, you’re welcome to look at the port with me.”

Gale blushed. “I guess that’s okay,” she said.

“Um, not like it was an invitation of anything,” Sorin said. He tried to laugh it off but turned back to the port.

“So you really haven’t met him?” Gale asked.

“My father, you mean?”

“I do wonder myself,” she said, “All these years gone and he comes to you now. I… can relate, somewhat.”

“You?”

“My mother died when I was born,” she replied. “As for my father, I mean, Isaac, we really have not been on the best terms.”

“I’m sorry to hear about that,” Sorin said.

“Thanks,” Gale said. “Isaac never really accepted me, which was why I was cast to the side and raised by my cousin instead. I don’t know if he hates me for what happened to mother, or if it’s due to something else. All I know is that I hate him, too.”

“I see,” Sorin said. “I can’t begin to imagine what that’s like.”

“On one hand, I would love to be able to call Isaac my father,” she said. “I look at you and Kirk, and I know that envy is a horrible thing to possess, but I can almost see the green.”

Sorin closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Well, I wish the best for you, if that helps,” he said.

“Thanks,” she said. “I guess… I guess I got too personal there, didn’t I? I mean, we’re strangers and I spilled my guts out to you!”

“It’s fine,” Sorin said. “You’d be surprised the things I hear as a delivery driver.”

“Really?”

“Although, I guess in comparison to your story, those stories might pale out,” he said, rubbing his chin.

“I suppose,” Gale said. “I’ve decided something.”

“What is that?”

“I’ve decided… that I really don’t like talking about Isaac,” Gale replied. “Let’s just forget I even brought him up, okay?”

“I agree,” Sorin said. “You and I would probably be better off, anyway.”

Gale smiled and chuckled. “Thank you,” she said. “You’re kind of cute like that, you know.”

“What do you mean?”

“Oh… um, n-no, just forget that was even said!” Gale looked around to see if anyone was around, but it was just her and Sorin. “Please, maybe talk to your father one more time? I’m sure he should be done with his phone call by now…”

“If you say so,” Sorin said. He walked away from the railing and into the casino while Gale waited outside. Once he was gone, Gale breathed a sigh of relief.

“I can’t help myself, can I?” Gale asked herself. “Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like he paid much attention to what I said.”

As the sun started to disappear into the ocean, Gale turned to look at the sky above.

“Rohan, I know you’d be proud of my decision,” Gale said. “I can only hope you’ll get Isaac to feel the same way, too.”

 

To be continued…

 

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