Aurora – Epilogue

(Daybreak on a Peaceful World)


Peace came to both the Ameci Region and the Thekohnian Region for years to come. After the new treaty was signed, these lands oversaw a new era of peace and an opportunity for an even better future. Amos Ahnle, who had no intention of ever becoming king in the first place, adapted quickly and became a respected leader not only in Ahnlikohn, but throughout the region.

Over in the island nation of Kikuisha, the next-in-line empress Kiku Izumi began her training. After marrying Noa Mzade, Kiku then succeeded her mother and became the youngest empress in her country’s history. People regarded her as a benevolent and sociable leader, even seeing her at the park from time to time, though she still traveled alongside her guards Ayame Hayashi and Igor Kuznetsov, who married not long after. Noa, meanwhile, continued his work in the Kikuishan tourism industry, leading to a boom in tourists from all around the world.

Luna Del Bosque’s career as a singer found roaring success once she was discovered by an Ameci manager in Admorse. She traveled all over the lands, bringing her talent to many an audience and an eventual career in the theater. Luna later met a charming man around her age and eventually married him. The two continue to tour around the world as a duet.

Pekka Varjostaa left behind his past as an ex-convict and found a purpose working with Luna’s father as a construction director. He helped rebuild many abandoned buildings in Glora, leading to many businesses establishing inside the mountain city. Pekka never did forget about Johan, but did eventually hit it off with a fellow worker. Soon after, Pekka moved to Rezar with his husband and found jobs working with Gavin Power.

Law Power and Ayanna Ansa grew to have a stable marriage. Law proved himself to be a faithful and supportive husband to Ayanna, who kept her last name. He continued his career on the stage while she became a general of the highest regard. Some have even wondered if she would eventually decide to run for prime minister. The two have a son on the way with many more planned, at least according to Law. Ayanna still continues with her work in making Iiayikohn a better place.

Gavin Power remained a single man, though his love for cooking became known across the world. Many travel in order to experience the fine cuisine for themselves and give their regards to Gavin. He has to remind himself daily not to let the praise go to his head. Alongside his work as a chef, Gavin has begun selling coffee all over the world.

Eva Bellamy quickly returned to Ameci and proceeded to assist Henry in his mayoral duties. Though she misses the days when she was a nurse, Eva soon found herself working as an advisor in Henry’s campaign for senator. She then fell in love with a journalist and the two wed eleven months afterward. She still keeps her sword in her house, though she never uses it anymore. Eva still keeps up with the other members of the Swords of Eight, though they have lives of their own as well.

Henry and Tori Randolph welcomed their daughter into the world, though he soon returned to work. As mayor, Henry saw high approval from the citizens of Admorse. This led him to pursue higher office, which in turn helped him to become senator. But Henry did not stop there as he had aspirations of presidency and of helping Ameci and its people. His two sons followed in his footsteps, with one becoming an up-and-coming junior lieutenant and the other attending law school. Tori, meanwhile, still keeps up with Rohan Fercewend’s wife Laila and wonders when Fercewend will finish serving his time.

Rain Zano Thedam became regarded as a highly popular leader and well beloved by her citizens. She was able to lead effectively in organizing the treaty and has helped humanitarian efforts all throughout the Thekohnian Region. Her consort, Mina Rask, became the trainer for a newly formed Royal Guard, and her strength became well known to many across the region. The two live a happy life together and occasionally travel the countryside by themselves. Rain’s sister and Mina’s mother became quick friends, while Drake still continues his work as a locksmith in Rezar. Mina still visits him often.

No one ever saw Johan Kuu again, though some have said that the Moonlit Silence still continues their work behind the scenes. Whether or not Johan was able to see the results of his work was unknown. Sorin still wonders about him and surmises to himself that Johan is still out there somewhere. Whether or not that is true, however, is another case. But no one ever forgot about Johan, even as the years went by.

Sorin and Gale quickly got married after their trip and she took his name. Gale then proceeded to leave the Kunigunde name entirely behind and renamed her father’s company. As the owner and president of Wilk-Hudde, Gale turned the company around and it quickly became the number one name in travel, with plans of flight becoming a possibility. Off work, she and Sorin spend as much time as they can together.

Sorin Wilk, meanwhile, sought a career in art. He soon became well known for his paintings, but remained in Ameci so he could support his wife. His friends come to visit him time to time and he does much the same. Still, though, he chose to stay in Ameci with Gale and the two have a happy and healthy marriage. Sorin knows that none of this could have been possible without everyone’s support. Each night, Sorin looks up to the sky and wonders if his family can see him, but he knows that they would be happy with the man he has become. To this day, Sorin Wilk looks on Ameci with a beaming smile upon his face.


The End


Previous | END

Aurora – Chapter 50 (Part 2)

[5th of June, 2741 AD; Executive Hotel – Ballroom Number One, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


“To a new beginning!” Law exclaimed. “I really couldn’t have imagined we would be here, but I’m so glad that we are.”

“I’m so glad, too,” Ayanna replied. “To a new beginning!”

Ayanna and Law shared a kiss as everyone clapped. Once the wedding was over, everyone went over to the Executive Hotel for the reception. Law sat next to Sorin and slapped him on the back, laughing as he did. Ayanna, Gavin, and Gale watched as everyone celebrated.

“It’s really a shame you’ve got to head out so soon, man,” Law said to Sorin. “It’d be a hell of a lot of fun if we could have a couple of drinks, but I understand you and Gale got a lot to see.”

“I appreciate the thought,” Sorin replied.

“Just remember that you’re always welcome with us,” Law said. “It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, you can see us any time.”

“We’ll be sure to drop by,” Gale said. “So Gavin, how’s business working out for you?”

“It’s going well,” Gavin answered. “Right now it’s slow, but it’ll pick up once the summit happens.”

“Yes, it all seems to be coming together now,” Ayanna said. “In fact, I even had a wonderful discussion with Rain earlier today.”

“Where is she, by the way?” Gale asked.

“She should be around here somewhere,” Ayanna replied.

“Last I saw, she and Mina were talking to Kiku,” Law said. “Oh, and I guess Noa was there, too.”

“Well, we can talk with them later,” Gale said.

“Everyone’s busy, you know,” Law said. “But I would be lying to myself if I said that I didn’t miss the action.”

“You’d be the only one,” Gavin replied. “I’m glad the fight’s over.”

“So am I, but you gotta admit that we had some fun times together,” Law said. “All of us working together and all… But then again, I wouldn’t be able to have this moment with the love of my life here by my side.”

“I love you too, Law,” Ayanna replied, placing her hand on his.

“So how about it?” Law asked. “You don’t mind getting up on the floor and dancing with me, do you?”

“With you, of course,” Ayanna said.

They stood up together and began walking towards the open floor. As Sorin and Gale waved them off, they turned back to Gavin who took a drink of coffee. He sat the cup down and looked over to them.

“They just got up like that, huh,” Gavin said. “As for me, I’m fine where I’m sitting, though it looks like I’m gonna need another cup of coffee soon.”

“You don’t want to join them?” Sorin asked.

“It’s not that I don’t care,” Gavin replied. “Besides, you could use this time to see everybody else before you leave.”

“Maybe we’ll stay for a little longer,” Sorin said. “I imagine they’ll come and talk with us sooner or later.”

“I’m sure they will,” Gale said.

“Very well,” Gavin said. “May as well get a cup or two before you go.”

“Good idea,” Sorin said.

As Sorin and Gale joined Gavin for some coffee, they enjoyed the rest of the evening as the reception continued on. Like Sorin said, everyone came to talk to them while wishing Ayanna and Law well. It was a time for celebration and one where no one had to worry. It was a time where Sorin could spend time with his friends before he and Gale had to leave the next day. The journey may have been over, but Sorin knew that this was far from the last time he would ever see his friends again.




[6th of June, 2741 AD; Port of Iiayi, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Morning Shine]


The air felt warm on Sorin’s face as he gazed at the Great Iiayine with Gale. Eva went to see them off as everyone else had gone on with their lives, though Sorin and Gale did make sure to say goodbye to them before they left. As the ramp opened up, Sorin looked over to see that Eva was smiling at them both. It was a welcoming sight to see as Eva had gone through a lot during their journey together. She put back her hair and handed Gale a bouquet of flowers.

“I… Even now, I still don’t know what to say,” Eva said. “After all that’s happened, I don’t even know where to begin…”

“It’s fine, Eva,” Sorin replied. “Thank you for the flowers.”

“You look beautiful,” Gale said to Eva. “And thank you for coming to see us off.”

“You’re welcome,” Eva said. “I don’t want to keep you for too long, so you can go already if you want.”

“I want to thank you,” Sorin said. “For everything you’ve done, I want to thank you for helping me. If it weren’t for you, I don’t think any of this could’ve been possible.”

“You don’t need to… I mean, I should thank you, too,” Eva replied. “It was because of you and everyone else that I’m here now.”

“We all came this far together,” Sorin said. “And I know that you’ll always be there for us as we will for you.”

“I know,” Eva said, rubbing her eye.

“Is everything alright?” Gale asked.

“Of course everything’s alright,” Eva said. “I’m seeing off my friends and it won’t be long until we meet again.”

“That’s right,” Sorin replied. “Soon we’ll all meet again… You’ll be there too, right?”

“I wouldn’t dare miss it,” Eva said. “And I know Kirk wouldn’t want me to miss it, either.”

“I’m pretty sure he would say that if he were here,” Sorin said. “Wherever he is now, I know he’s proud of us all.”

“He would be,” Eva replied. “That’s why I’m happy now, because I still have much to do before I’m done.”

“I’m happy that you’re happy,” Sorin said.

“Thank you,” Eva said. “Anyway, you should go now, right? You don’t want to miss out on a good view.”

“We won’t,” Gale replied. “We’ll see you later, Eva.”

“Oh, I can’t just hold back,” Eva said. “Come here, Sorin.”

She reached out her arms and hugged Sorin. He returned the gesture while the ship’s horn rang out. Sorin knew that the respect between him and Eva was mutual as she then let herself off of him. Eva then reached out to Gale and gave her a hug in turn.

“You two have a safe trip,” Eva said.

“We will,” Gale said. “Sorin?”

“It’s okay,” Sorin said to Eva. “I guess this is truly goodbye for now…”

Sorin and Gale then said goodbye to Eva and proceeded to board the ship. As they made it onto the deck, Sorin went over to the railings to see Eva waving them goodbye. She kept waving to them, so Sorin and Gale returned by waving back at her. They continued on saying their goodbyes to Eva until the ship began to move, which at that point became a sign that a new journey began for Sorin and Gale as they set their sights on the vast world that awaited them.

“It’s finally nice to have some time for ourselves, isn’t it?” Gale asked. “We can finally see the rest of the world and what it has to offer.”

“Yep, I can’t wait to see it,” Sorin replied. “And I especially can’t wait to see it all with you.”

“It’s going to be fun,” Gale said, “Not just because of what’s ahead of us, but because we’ll always be able to cherish the memories together.”

“I know,” Sorin said as he held Gale’s hand. “I’m ready to see it all with you and go wherever this journey takes us.”

With the light breeze of ocean air flowing through, Sorin then shared a kiss with Gale. There was no telling what the future held for them, but Sorin knew he and Gale would take it on together. Everything that they had worked towards had finally been achieved. Now they walked a new path hand-in-hand with nothing but support from their friends. With everyone able to secure their own futures, Sorin was happy. And with Gale at his side, nothing could deter him from sharing that happiness with her.


Previous | Epilogue – Daybreak on a Peaceful World

Aurora – Chapter 50 (Part 1)

[15th of May, 2741 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Inside Thedam Castle Hall]


“Happy birthday, Gavin!” Mina exclaimed.

Gavin chuckled. “You honestly didn’t need to do all this,” he said, shaking his head. “A simple gathering would have sufficed.”

“Oh, Gavvy, come on and be happy,” Kiku said. “We’ve all gathered here to celebrate not just your birthday, but because you became a chef, too!”

“Is it really necessary?” Gavin asked. “It’s not as if all of you will have the time to come and see the restaurant.”

“We’re all just happy for you, bro,” Law said. “After all, you went out and made something of yourself!”

Everyone gathered at the castle to celebrate Gavin’s success in addition to it being his birthday. Sorin and Gale had arrived the day prior in order to meet with everyone and catch up on what they were doing. The next day, everyone planned out a surprise party for Gavin in the main hall of Thedam Castle, even though it looked as if Gavin was fully aware of what was going on. The smile on his face as Dustin and Gamel brought out the celebratory banner made it difficult for Sorin not to laugh out loud.

However, despite the abundance of people in the castle, there were a couple of people that did not make it. Henry was not able to attend, which Sorin understood because he wanted to be with Tori in order to witness the birth of his daughter. The other person that did not come to the castle, however, was Johan. In fact, Sorin still had not heard from Johan ever since he went to see Dia in her home. By the time he and Gale arrived, Dia stated that Johan had already left Ameci the day before. All Sorin could do at that point was to tell Dia to let him know when Johan returned, but as time began to pass, no message of any sort came about. 

“Wilkie, are you and Gigi just going to stand there?” Kiku asked.

Sorin snapped out of his thoughts. “Oh, what’s up?”

“We’re heading to the ballroom,” Kiku replied. “Come on and join us! It’s going to be a lot of fun if you do!”

“Let’s do that,” Gale said.

“Go on ahead,” Sorin said. “There’s something that I want to talk to Rain about.”

Kiku rushed up to Gale and grabbed her hand. “Seriously, Wilkie, there’s even going to be a band,” she said. “I think Gab’s going to make her big debut as a singer, too!”

“I don’t want to make you guys wait,” Sorin said.

“Let’s just go, Kiku,” Gale said. “We can save a seat for Sorin.”

“It seems you don’t mind if I take your girlfriend for a bit,” Kiku said. “Okay then, I’ll take care of her until you arrive.”

With that, Kiku whisked Gale away to the ballroom. Everyone else began to head towards there as well, leaving Sorin to seek out Rain. She had to be upstairs, so Sorin decided to go up and look for her. He found her standing on the balcony outside and greeted her, to which she waved back.

“Are you not interested in the party?” Rain asked.

“Of course I am,” Sorin replied. “But I thought that you were going to be there as well.”

“You wanted to talk to me,” Rain said.

“Just curious about everything regarding the summit,” Sorin said. “I heard that the talks are going well with Amos.”

“So far, we’ve set out some ideas,” Rain replied. “After all that’s happened, Amos understands what needs to be done. It hasn’t been completely easy, but our talks have been effective.”

“That’s good to hear,” Sorin said.

“In fact, I’ve even had some cooperation from President Hasker,” Rain said. “It came as quite a surprise to be honest.”

“Do you think it has to do with his relation to Foundation?” Sorin asked.

“He did express regret about what happened,” Rain said. “Hasker knew he was being used, but if he truly does feel sorry, then we shouldn’t have a problem in trying to reach an agreement.”

“I guess we’ll have to see, then,” Sorin said.

“I’d like to have faith in him,” Rain said. “The main problem has been taken care of, so all that’s left is what we can do to make sure something like that never happens again.”

Sorin agreed. “It’ll be a future to look forward to.”

“I truly can’t thank you enough,” Rain replied. “You’ve been an invaluable ally and friend, as has everybody else.”

“Shouldn’t I be the one thanking you?” Sorin asked. “You stood by my side even when the pressure mounted. If not for you and the kingdom, there would’ve been no place for me while Harold Mars conducted his business as usual.”

“What matters is that we came out of that with the chance to change our world for the better,” Rain said. “I already know that Gale’s going to contribute so much to help make people happy.”

“It’s surprising how much can change in a few months,” Sorin said. “I never would’ve guessed we’d be able to use that industry, much less use it for good.”

“I look forward to seeing what Gale will do with it,” Rain said.

“So am I,” Sorin replied.

“Since we’re on this topic, perhaps you can answer my question,” Rain said. “About you and Gale, I mean.”

“What is it?” Sorin asked.

“You and Gale are going on a long trip, right,” Rain said, “So what I want to know is—and this can just be between us—when is the wedding?”

“Oh, I don’t know exactly,” Sorin replied. “Neither of us do, really. We just had a certain goal in mind and based it off of that.”

“So it’ll be when you’re done traveling?” Rain asked.

“That’s basically it,” he said.

“Well, if you need a place to plan, you’ve always got here,” Rain said. “I know it just sounds like I’m just renting out the castle for all sorts of events, but you’re my friend and I want to make you feel welcome whenever you’re here. Just remember that.”

“I will,” Sorin said. “Whenever the time comes, I’ll be sure to let you know.”

Rain smiled. “That’s good.”

“Now I gotta ask you,” Sorin said. “It’s only fair, after all.”

“About Mina and I?” Rain asked. “Well, she and I have already picked out a date for that.”

“You have?”

“But I’ll let you and Gale know in due time,” Rain said. “That’s part of the deal, I’d say.”

“I guess that’s fair,” Sorin replied.

“I’m glad we agree,” Rain said. “Now let’s go and see what everyone’s up to. I don’t want to miss Gavin’s party, do you?”

“Let’s go,” Sorin said.

They went downstairs together and headed directly towards the ballroom. Inside, Sorin and Rainwatched the event unfold as everybody celebrated Gavin’s accomplishment. He sat at the table by the side with Law, Mina, Ayanna, and Gale as Sorin and Rain went over to join the group. At the table next to them sat Kiku and Noa, while Ayame and Igor were busy talking with Dustin and Gamal. Sorin took a seat next to Gale while Mina teased Gavin about his sunglasses.

“It’s not like I’m going to take them for too long,” Mina said. “I just want to know what I look like in them!”

“That’s not happening,” Gavin replied. “I don’t take these sunglasses off for anyone, not even you, Mina.”

“Aw come on,” Mina said.

“He’s pretty strict about his shades,” Law said. “Perhaps you shouldn’t be pressuring him.”

“So you’ve never taken them off?” Ayanna wondered. “Not even when you go to sleep?”

“What an asinine question,” Gavin said. “Of course I do!”

“Maybe you should just entertain Mina on her request,” Rain said. “It’s not as if it’ll be the end of the world if we saw you without your sunglasses.”

“Give me a break,” Gavin said. “I already told you I’m not going to.”

“It does seem a little silly to be so adamant about it,” Gale said. “There’s not that much sunlight in here, anyway.”

Gavin turned his head. “My answer remains the same,” he said. “I’m not taking them off.”

“It’s a shame,” Kiku said. “I bet you’d look really cool even without them.”

“What makes you think that?” Gavin asked.

Just as Gavin asked that question, Mina reached from behind and took off Gavin’s sunglasses. He turned around and found that she had already put them on and crossed her arms.

“Look at me, I’m Gavin!” Mina exclaimed, trying her best to imitate Gavin’s deep voice. “I never take my sunglasses off, not even when I shower!”

“Give them back!” Gavin said, covering his eyes.

Everyone had a small laugh as Mina took off the sunglasses and handed them back over to Gavin. Once he had his sunglasses back on, he breathed a sigh and looked over to Sorin.

“Stop smiling already,” Gavin said. “The ‘joke’ is already over, so why don’t we just move on?”

“I gotta admit it was pretty funny, though,” Law said. “This is your party, bro! Have a little fun!”

“You think I’m not?” Gavin asked.

“Well, sometimes, it’s hard to tell with you,” Gale said.

“Then I guess I’ll just have to show you how I have fun,” Gavin said. “Why don’t we get the band to play a tune, Rain?”

“That’s up to them,” Rain answered. “But I think Luna’s actually going to sing soon.”

“She is?” Law asked. “I guess Luna’s worked up the courage to take on the stage, after all.”

“It’ll be her first time in front of this many people,” Kiku said. “I talked with her just before the party started and she seemed so nervous, it was so cute!”

“God, having to do that in a place like this sounds awful,” Noa said. “I don’t envy her at all.”

“When you hear her sing, you might change your tune, Nona,” Kiku said. “Then again, I love you most when you’re so sweet and shy!”

She huddled together with Noa as the band stopped. Everyone watched as Luna made her way onto the stage in a purple dress. Sorin had heard her singing voice before, but did not know how her debut was going to go. Before she began singing, Pekka joined the group at the table and took a seat near Gavin.

“I can only assume she’s beyond terrified up there on stage,” Pekka said, “So let’s be supportive.”

“Got it,” Sorin said.

Luna stood behind the microphone and looked around. “Hello everybody… Um, my name’s Luna,” she said. “I… I wanted to greet you all because I wanted to sing for you…”

Everyone in the ballroom clapped as Luna smiled. Sorin watched as Luna waved back and set her sights on his group. She nodded her head and appeared to take a deep breath. Once she opened her eyes, Luna looked back at the band and then back to the rest of the room.

“But that’s not the only reason we’re here,” Luna said. “We’re here to help celebrate an important friend’s birthday. Gavin, am I doing okay?”

Gavin gave a thumbs up in response.

“And I don’t want to take any of this away from you, either, but there’s so many people I’ve gotta thank,” Luna said. “That can wait for later, though; you guys want to hear me, right?”

Everyone clapped again.

“Got ya,” Luna replied. “Well, Gavin, I hope you enjoy this one most of all. I don’t have a name for this song just yet as I wrote the lyrics just last night, but I hope you like it anyway because I really worked hard on it, so let’s begin!”

As the band broke into an upbeat, powerful tune, Sorin sat back with Gale as everyone else listened. Sorin was happy to see Luna get a handle on her nerves and sing with confidence as she captivated the entire ballroom with her singing. The party continued into the night with multiple celebrations and a reassurance that everything was good. Nothing could deter Sorin and his friends from the fun they had, temporary as it may be. It was a night no one wanted to see end.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Aurora – Chapter 49 (Part 2)

[3rd of February, 2741 AD; outside Kunigunde Warehouse, Bollesburgh, Ameci]


Henry parked his car by the sidewalk. Sorin looked out to see the large warehouse before him as the memories of his old job rushed back to him. He did not miss the work, but did miss spending time working with Smith. As he got out of the car with Gale, Sorin saw near the entrance the older man waving over to him. Sorin waved back while Henry joined up with them. They walked together and greeted Raymohnd Smith as he let out a hearty laugh.

“It’s been a long time, Sorin!” Smith said. “I heard that ya got yourself into quite the adventure!”

“Well, not anymore,” Sorin replied. “The adventures are over now. I just got here because I wanted to catch up with you.”

“Ya certainly couldn’t have picked a better time for that,” Smith said. “Just got done with my shift, in fact, so how about we all go and get some drinks?”

“That’d be nice,” Henry said. “I’ll even cover the tab.”

“Aw, ya don’t have to be so nice to me,” Smith replied. “If anything, I ought to pay you for what you’ve done.”

“That won’t be necessary, my friend,” Henry said.

“If ya say so,” Smith said. “So Sorin, ya haven’t introduced me to her yet. I gotta imagine she’s pretty important to you.”

Gale reached out her hand. “It’s Gale,” she said. “Gale Kunigunde.”

“Ah, so you’re the daughter that’s all set to take over the family business, I see,” Smith said, shaking Gale’s hand.

“Yes, that’s correct,” Gale replied.

“I gotta admit I never thought Isaac could pull off such a scheme, though,” Smith said. “Then again, you’ve seen some pretty powerful guys put up a front only for them to be brought down, haven’t you?”

“It’s not something I care to talk about,” Gale said. “He’s in the past now and I’m only looking forward to the future.”

“Got ya,” Smith replied. “So you’re Sorin’s girlfriend or what’s going on here? I gotta know!”

“We’ve been together for a few months now, yes,” Gale said.

“Yeah, we’re traveling together until we’ve got to go back to Iiayikohn for a friend’s wedding,” Sorin said. “We’re set to leave Ameci in a week, actually.”

“Shame ya can’t stay longer, but I understand,” Smith said. “Just know I’ll always be around should ya wanna come back.”

“I appreciate that, Raymohnd,” Sorin said.

“So how about we get going?” Smith asked. “We can continue our talk at the bar.”

“Good idea,” Henry said. “We’ll meet you there.”




[3rd of Febraury, 2741 AD; Seaside Bar, Bollesburgh, Ameci]


Outside on the deck next to the bar, Sorin, Gale, and Smith sat down at the table while Henry paid for the drinks. After they got served their beverages, the group chatted about anything that came across their minds. Sorin was glad to have the time to just relax and spend some time talking about old memories. He was especially happy to see Gale smiling and laughing. After all that they had gone through, this time of peace was well earned and much needed as Sorin could only kick back and laugh along while Smith told stories about his time on the job.

“And that’s how I ended up near the border of Elemci,” Smith said. “Who woulda thought that one little mistake would bring me down that path?”

“You always had a tendency to mix up directions,” Sorin replied. “I never thought I’d say this, but maybe I should come back and help you.”

“Nah, I don’t want ya to throw away your dreams for me,” Smith said. “I can manage myself good, even if there’s a hiccup or three.”

“Have you ever thought about moving up?” Henry asked. “You know, it’s never too late to ask.”

“Thanks, but I’m good,” Smith replied. “Maybe I’m missing out, but a guy like me’s pretty happy where I am now.”

“There’s nothing wrong with that,” Sorin said.

“Glad ya feel the same way,” Smith said. “So about this wedding ya told me about… ya got any plans with Gale there?”

Sorin almost spit out his drink. “Plans?”

“Yeah, it’s pretty obvious the signs I’m seeing,” Smith said. “Don’t tell me that ain’t crossed your mind this whole time!”

“Well, I can’t say it hasn’t for me,” Gale said.

“No need to pressure them,” Henry said. “Sometimes it takes time. I didn’t get married until a few months ago.”

“Yeah, but you were doing that whole running around thing, weren’t ya?” Smith asked. “I can tell by your face you’re thinking about it, too, Sorin!”

“Of course… Of course it’s been brought up before,” Sorin replied. “But for now, we’re still going around seeing the world.”

“Heh, ya still haven’t answered my question yet,” Smith said. “When do you plan on getting hitched?”

“We don’t know yet,” Sorin said. “I mean Gale’s still thinking about it, too, so it’s not as if we’ve got anything set.”

“How about in a year from now?” Gale asked. “Or, you know, once we’ve done our trip around the world.”

“Ah, she’s already got an idea,” Smith said. “Ya didn’t even hesitate to say it out loud.”

Sorin turned to Gale. “Do you think it’ll take an entire year for us to see the world?”

“Whichever one you’re comfortable with,” Gale replied. “It wouldn’t be right to take away all the attention from Ayanna and Law, so I figured we could have some time to plan our wedding out.”

“At least you’ll get the time to prepare,” Smith said.

“Then I’ve got no problem with that,” Sorin said. “As long as we can agree on it, that’s fine with me.”

“Okay, then we’ll start planning once we’ve finished our trip,” Gale said. “I’m so glad.”

“As am I,” Sorin said.

“Well, whenever you’re getting married, ya gotta let me know,” Smith said. “Ya know, since it’ll be nice to see you grow up and such.”

“I’ve already grown, though,” Sorin replied.

“Yeah, but not like this,” Smith said.

“I’m sure we’ll both be invited,” Henry said. “It’s too big of an event not to attend.”

“Right, right, we’ll both be getting front seats, I bet,” Smith said. “Hey, I bet Kirk’s looking at you from above and smiling right now with April.”

“I bet he is,” Sorin said.

Smith sighed. “I know nothing can bring him back, but you know what? He ain’t dead as long as you’re around.”

“You think so?” Sorin asked.

“Of course,” Smith replied. “He, April, and Rysol… Those three live on with you. You’re carrying on that wish for them and I know you’re making them proud of what you’ve become.”

“Thanks,” Sorin said.

“Not a problem,” Smith said. “It’s just something I think makes sense.”

“Truly I believe that as well,” Henry said.

“Glad ya see it, too,” Smith said. “Anyway, Henry, what about you? How’s the campaign coming along?”

“We’re doing well, actually,” Henry answered. “If everything goes well, it’ll be an easy road to mayor.”

“That’s great to hear,” Smith said.

“Yeah, he’s been out there,” Sorin said. “Speaking of which, you haven’t spoken to Dia, have you?”

“Oh, she’s been helping my campaign,” Henry said. “Why do you ask?”

“I’m just wondering about Johan,” Sorin replied. “I haven’t had the chance to talk to him in a while.”

“He really has been worried,” Gale said.

“Well, next time I get the chance, I’ll ask Dia about him,” Henry said. “I’ll admit that I’m curious about Johan as well.”

“He’s that important, huh?” Smith asked.

“We couldn’t have done a lot of what we’ve done without him,” Sorin said. “At the very least, I’d like to thank him.”

“I hear ya,” Smith said.

“I’m really sorry about that,” Sorin said to Henry. “I didn’t mean to bring it all off you.”

“I don’t mind too much,” Henry replied. “Anyway, was there anything else that you wanted to know, Raymohnd?”

“Yeah, how about Tori?” Smith asked. “Ya looking forward to having a daughter and whatnot?”

“Of course I am,” Henry said. “Another couple of months and she’ll be here, which we’re all pretty happy about.”

“Do you have a name picked out?” Gale asked.

“I’ve got one in mind,” Henry replied. “Though Tori’s got some ideas of her own as well. We’ll bounce them around, I’m sure.”

“Well, we’re all looking forward to when that time comes,” Smith said. “I’m sure it’ll all go well with ya there.”

“Thank you,” Henry said. “I do wonder about you, though, Raymohnd…”

“What’s that?” Smith asked.

“It impresses me that you’ve been able to hold up by yourself,” Henry said. “Not like there’s a problem with that, but all this time, I would’ve thought you’d be married by now.”

“It’s a surprise, ain’t it,” Smith said.

“Well, I didn’t mean to pry too deep,” Henry said. “I just wanted to know, that’s all.”

Smith guffawed. “Ya know I don’t mind! Come on, Henry, my guy, it’s all okay to ask questions like that!”

He slapped Henry on the back as he laughed again. It was just like the old times, Sorin thought. But even so, Sorin knew that he and Gale had to move on eventually. Smith would always be around in Ameci, but Sorin’s heart had now lied with Gale’s as they had a new journey ahead of them. Everyone else did as well, which was why Sorin was happy to have this experience, regardless of how brief it was. Before they knew it, another hour had passed with the conversation carrying on while the sun began to descend upon the ocean.

“Well, whenever you two are ready, we can get going,” Henry said to Sorin and Gale. “I’ve got a speech to make in a few hours, but I don’t want to pressure you both too much.”

“It’s okay,” Sorin said. “We’ll see you around, Raymohnd.”

“Don’t feel so bad cause you gotta go,” Smith said. “We’re all a little busy here, aren’t we?”

“Thanks,” Gale said.

The three got up and said their goodbyes to Smith. Sorin was glad to have spent some time with his old coworker and friend, even if only for a brief time. However, it was time to go. As he got into the car with Henry and Gale, Sorin was not certain if he would ever see Johan again. He wondered if it would be possible that they would meet once again before he left Ameci with Gale. Even though Henry reassured Sorin that it would be okay, the future surrounding him and Johan continued to remain uncertain.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Aurora – Chapter 49 (Part 1)

[3rd of February, 2741 AD; Admorse High Security Penitentiary – Visitor’s Center, outside Admorse, Ameci]


The case against Isaac Kunigunde proved to be a strong one as both Rohan Fercewend and Casper Bradley testified to their involvement with Isaac’s plans of using Foundation to further his own gains. It was a swift case, which came off as quite the surprise to Gale once she and Sorin heard the news from Henry. As they made it back to Ameci via the Atlas, visiting Isaac and Rohan in prison became top priority in order to tie up those loose ends. Sorin and Gale entered into the visitor’s center where they were greeted by the guard.

“Have a seat, please,” the guard said. “Mr. Kunigunde will be out with you shortly.”

“What about General Fercewend?” Sorin asked. “Is he not available?”

“Mr. Fercewend is currently being questioned,” the guard replied. “He has demanded that he testify further about the Blood Ravens.”

“I see,” Gale said. “Do you know when he’ll be finished?”

“I’ve no clue,” the guard said. “He might be in questioning the entire day for all I know.”

“That’s okay,” Gale replied. “We’ll just wait for Mr. Kunigunde.”

“Very well,” the guard said. “Once you hear the buzzer, that’s when he will come in. I must warn you, however, that Mr. Kunigunde is still very delicate after his injury.”

“Thanks, but I think we’ll be okay,” Gale said.

“Then I’ll just wait over there,” the guard said.

The guard walked over to the door as Gale turned towards the glass. Sorin could tell just from looking at Gale that she was still hesitant about meeting Isaac. This was not a pleasant place nor was Isaac a pleasant person. Still, he and Gale knew that they needed to do this before heading off to Kunigunde Industries in order to sign the papers necessary. Gale rested her hands upon her legs as Sorin placed his hand on her back.

“I really don’t know how he’ll react,” she said. “This will be the first time he sees me since that night… Will he be just like he was then?”

“Only one way to know,” Sorin said.

“That’s true,” Gale said. “He’s always hated me, though I can’t even begin to imagine how he’ll feel once he hears about what I plan to do.”

“Either way, it’s something that he’ll have to accept,” Sorin said. “We can just get over with and make everything quick.”

“We’ll see about that,” Gale said.

Total silence followed as they awaited Isaac. Sorin was not sure what to say if he had to speak up, but he was going to support Gale no matter what happened. He moved his hand down to hers and grasped it as the buzzer sounded. They both looked up as the door to the left opened and revealed Isaac being escorted in by a guard. Sorin could see that the events around what had happened had taken a toll on Isaac as he looked despondent in his wheelchair. Upon seeing Sorin and Gale, Isaac’s expression remained the same as he sat opposite of them behind the large pane of glass. The guard motioned to Sorin and Gale as they looked at the small, open area in the glass that served to help with communication.

“Remember, Gale, just say what you’re going to say,” she said to herself. “It will be alright: he’s here, too.”

Isaac sighed. “Have you come to rub my failures in my face?”

“I’m not here for that,” Gale replied. “I’m because of what’s going to happen with Kunigunde Industries.”

“Oh, that,” Isaac said. “That makes sense.”

“We’ve already discussed the deal with Mr. Randolph,” Gale said. “He says it will take some time, but in a few weeks, all the rights will shift over to me. I’m going to put an end to what little exists of your legacy and build something new out of it.”

“It may be difficult for you to accept, but there’s no need for war anymore,” Sorin said. “There’s no reason for any of this to happen, nor is there any reason to instigate countries into fighting each other.”

“Do as you wish, Gabrielle,” Isaac said. “You need only look at the situation I am in to see that I am too weak to lead. My reputation has been brought down to below even a common criminal because of this damned injury.”

“You’re wrong,” Gale replied. “The fact that you can never walk again does not make you weak… You were always weak.”

“Perhaps you’re right,” Isaac said. “I could have done more to save her, you know? Your mother, I mean.”

“I never knew her,” Gale said. “The least you could have done was tell me the kind of person she was, but you didn’t even do that.”

“It was my fault,” Isaac replied.

“Was that why you blamed Gale?” Sorin asked.

“See it as you want to,” Isaac said.

“It doesn’t matter,” Gale said. “He’s said enough for me to decide.”

“So is this all, then?” Isaac asked.

“I suppose it is,” Gale replied. “We weren’t planning on being here too long after we heard Rohan was still in questioning.”

“He’s as dedicated as ever, even if he’s not the general anymore,” Isaac said. “That’s what I’ve always liked about him, after all.”

“You used him as a pawn,” Gale said. “All this time, you still don’t realize how badly you’ve hurt him?”

“It’s not just him, either,” Sorin said. “His family is trying to pick up the pieces now that he’s in prison.”

“Yes, it’s all my fault,” Isaac said. “I can’t even imagine what little Ari thinks about her father now, or how Laila feels.”

“You’ve never cared for them,” Gale replied.

“Maybe we should go now,” Sorin said.

“Is this the last time you’ll come?” Isaac asked.

“For you, yes,” Gale answered. “But I still intend on seeing Rohan at least once before we leave Ameci.”

“I see,” Isaac said. “Then let me say at least one more thing before you go… I promise I will make it quick.”

“Just go ahead and say it,” Gale said.

“Of course,” Isaac said. “I know there’s nothing that I can do to make you ever forgive me for what I’ve done, that much I can accept.”

“Is that all you have to say?” Sorin asked.

“One more,” Isaac replied. “Gabrielle, I can only hope that sometime in the future that you and I can see eye-to-eye, even if you don’t forgive me now.”

“I’m sorry,” Gale said, “But I can’t do that.”

“You can’t?” Isaac asked.

“I don’t have any intention on seeing you again,” Gale replied. “Think of this as our last conversation.”

“Then I will,” Isaac said. “It was a foolish request, anyway.”

“Let’s go,” Gale said to Sorin. “We can try talking to Rohan tomorrow.”

Sorin got up with Gale and left the visitor’s center. The guard thanked them on the way out as they proceeded to exit the prison. That would indeed be the last time that Gale would see Isaac, but now Rohan remained the sole person that she wanted to speak with. Until then, however, Sorin knew that there was still so much for them to see. He wanted to go back to his old job and see how Smith was doing, as well as take a look at his old place of residence. With Isaac behind them, Sorin and Gale could look to the future.

“I’m glad that’s over,” Gale said. “We’ve still got a lot of time left in the day, too.”

“Henry did say he’d be waiting for us outside,” Sorin said. “I wonder where he is…”

They walked down the path until they reached the side of the street. Sorin looked around and saw Henry’s car several feet away.

“Over there,” Sorin said. “Hey, Henry!”

He waved over to Henry and got his attention. Henry moved the car up to where Sorin and Gale stood and stopped to let them inside. As the two got settled in, Henry started to drive. It would be a long drive from Admorse to Bollesburgh, which Sorin did not mind in the slightest.

“How did it go?” Henry asked.

“We weren’t able to talk to Rohan,” Gale replied.

“I had a feeling that that would be the case,” Henry said. “I gotta hand it to him, honestly: he’s doing good on his part.”

“He is,” Gale said. “But Isaac’s still a pain, even if he seems like he’s trying to accept reality.”

“But this should be the last time, right?” Sorin asked. “We don’t have to worry about him now.”

“I know,” Gale replied. “Perhaps I’m just trying to make meaning out of our last encounter.”

“Sometimes there just isn’t a meaning,” Henry said. “And that isn’t at all a bad thing, mind you. It just means that the best explanation for someone’s actions is sometimes the simplest.”

“I didn’t think there was much of a chance,” Gale said. “The damage had long existed before this and is going to remain there forever. I’m just going to go and move past it now.”

“No one would blame you,” Henry replied.

“I guess not,” Gale said. “So, how long is it until we reach Bollesburgh? I’m sorry, it’s been some time since I’ve had reason to go there.”

“Over an hour,” Henry said.

“That’s fine,” Sorin said. “I don’t mind seeing the scenery on the way back to my old place.”

“It’ll be good to get a look at the countryside,” Henry said. “I can almost feel the memories flooding back now.”

“Right, back when Smith and I saw you hiding out in the back of the truck,” Sorin said. “I wonder how he’s doing…”

“Fortunately I had the chance to reach out to him about a week ago,” Henry said. “Since you were coming, I decided to check on him. He almost didn’t even recognize me at first!”

“I’m not surprised,” Sorin said. “You looked a lot different when we first met you.”

“And sounded a lot different, too,” Gale said.

“Funny how things can just change like that,” Henry said. “Kind of feels like it was a few weeks ago, not a few months.”

“Well, Smith will be the most surprised once we see him,” Sorin said. “I can only imagine how he’ll react once he sees Gale.”

“Considering the work, he’ll be surprised for more than one reason,” she said. “And it will be nice to see the warehouse, too, I guess.”

Sorin agreed. He looked forward to catching up with Smith and seeing what else that he could do in Ameci with Gale. He also wanted to catch up with Henry as well, since they were traveling together. But that would have to wait as they had a long drive to Bollesburgh before them. Overall, though, Sorin was glad to be back even if it was only for a short time.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Aurora – Chapter 48 (Part 2)

[10th of January, 2741 AD; Drake Rask’s house, Rezar, Iiayikohn]


Sorin looked around outside. The large trees were a welcoming sight to him as Gale went over to join him. Just over a week had passed since they had taken down Harold Mars and Foundation. Afterwards, everyone met at the new prime minister’s office to discuss the next course of action. The next day, Reiss assumed the role of prime minister until the next election. But the biggest surprise to come out that morning shocked everyone save for Sorin, Eva, and Mina. The look that appeared on Gavin’s face Mina erupt into laughter while he struggled to find the right words in reaction to the fact that Law and Ayanna were to be wed in the summer. Finally, he had settled upon one.

Congratulations,” Gavin said as he pushed up against the bridge of his sunglasses. “I truly mean it when I say that.

Everybody else had given their own sort of congratulatory remarks to Law and Ayanna as they made it clear the exact date. It was a secret that Sorin kept for Mina’s sake and now it all came together. Still, there were plenty of questions that needed answering. The summit in Glora had been delayed but with the news of Amelia’s abdication, there were to be new talks in regards to when the summit would resume. Sorin could only wonder what Rain would do now that Amos was to succeed the throne in Ahnlikohn. Ever since that night, Sorin and Gale chose to remain in Rezar for the time being.

“It feels a lot different, doesn’t it?” Gale asked.

“Everyone’s resuming their lives back at their homes,” Sorin said. “This is the sort of peace we’ve been fighting for and now we have it.”

“Yeah, it’s a good thing,” Gale replied. “I do miss seeing the others, though. At least we can still see Gavin, Law, and Ayanna every day.”

“True, but Ayanna’s been busy ever since she became general,” Sorin said. “I don’t envy the workload, but this was something she’s been working for ever since we met her.”

“It must be a lot of work to prepare the wedding, too,” Gale said. “Law has really been taking it seriously, which is something I never could have imagined happening.”

“I can understand,” Sorin said.

“As can I,” Gale said. “We’ve all changed a bit, haven’t we?”

“You could say that again,” Sorin said. “But definitely we’ve helped to make this world better, I can feel it. I just wish they were here to see it.”

“I know,” Gale said as she reached her hand out to Sorin’s. “But even if they aren’t around anymore, you can live on for them.”

“Right, I’ve been given this chance because of my father and Rysol,” Sorin replied. “And I can use that chance to be a part of something better. I can help you achieve your dreams now.”

“That would be nice,” Gale said. “Since it looks like Kunigunde Industries is going to need new leadership, having you on my side will help.”

“You’re going through with it?” Sorin asked.

“There would have to be a lot of changes, right down to what the company is known for,” Gale replied. “But since there’s already so much at stake, it would make a lot of sense to repurpose what Kunigunde Industries stands for and what can be done for the future.”

“It would be for the best if that’s the case,” Sorin said. “There’s no reason to create weapons meant for war if we don’t have a reason to fight, so repurposing would make a lot of sense.”

“I’d still have to meet with him, though,” Gale said. “It’s not something I’d like to do, but it’s necessary for moving forward with the plan.”

“I’m sure it’ll be fine,” Sorin said. “From what Henry said, Isaac’s looking to serve a lifetime sentence.”

“We’ll have to see for ourselves,” Gale said. “I wonder if any of this will end up making him realize just how much harm he’s caused other people, but I doubt it will.”

“Guess we’ll find out when we see him,” Sorin said. “Say, do you want to go and walk with me to the city?”

“I’d love to,” Gale replied.

They continued to hold hands as they headed towards the city. Sorin was happy to walk alongside Gale now that everything had calmed down. It was the type of peace that Johan had strived for and one Sorin was happy to have. But even after the fact, Sorin did not have the proper chance to say goodbye to his friend before he left. According to Drake, Johan left in the early morning with Dia in order to return to Ameci. Sorin had to wonder what Johan would do now given all that had happened to him, especially Jelka’s death. He knew that Johan had held back his feelings for the sake of completing his mission, which was why Sorin had to believe it was a somber trip back home for him. It was a difficult fact to process in the wake of his own happiness, but Sorin knew that Johan would not have minded one bit.

“This path never gets old to me,” Gale said. “Even when we walk down each time, I can always appreciate the nature before me.”

Sorin looked up at the path to the city. “Drake really does have it nice,” he said. “I guess that’s why he can’t just leave for the kingdom with Mina and her mother just yet.”

“We’ll see them again soon,” Gale said. “I know we will.”

“We’d have to if we’re going to that wedding,” Sorin replied.

“Of course,” Gale said. “That wedding is important to both of our friends, isn’t it?”

“Why wouldn’t it be?” Sorin asked.

“Just asking a rhetorical question,” Gale replied. “So, is there anywhere else you’d like to go?”

“Besides back to Ameci, you mean,” Sorin said.

Gale nodded. “There’s still a lot of the world we haven’t seen yet,” she said. “It would be nice to have one long trip around the world before we come back… You know, just us two.”

“That would be great,” Sorin said.

“And after that, perhaps we can follow in the footsteps of our friends,” she said. “We’ve been together for quite a while, haven’t we?”

“It’s something to think about,” Sorin replied.

“Well, whenever we have the time, we can plan it all out,” Gale said. “Right now, maybe we should go and see what Gavin’s up to.”

Sorin smiled. “At the same place, right?”

“Where else would he be at?” Gale asked. “I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if we had a look for ourselves.”




It was a welcome return to the market as Sorin and Gale entered the small cooking school where Gavin trained. Upon entering inside, they spotted Gavin in a full chef’s uniform complete with hat and sunglasses. Gale did her best not to laugh as Sorin waved over to him. Gavin noticed the two and left his station in order to greet them.

“You two really got nothing better to do, do you,” Gavin said. “I’d expect it from Sorin, but I thought that at least Gale would be busy doing something more important than this.”

“Oh come on, Gavin, we just wanted to see you in action,” Gale replied. “I’d really like to see how you’re coming along in your training.”

Gavin took off his hat. “Well, it is the middle of a break,” he said. “I guess it wouldn’t hurt to have you try a little bit of what I’m cooking here.”

“You mean it?” Sorin asked.

“For you two, it would be an honor,” Gavin said. “Now don’t make me look like an asshole, okay? Just eat the food I’ve prepared and tell me how it tastes.”

“Thank you,” Gale said.

Sorin and Gale followed Gavin to his station and saw the completed work of art Gavin propped up. A cooked filet of salmon with a side of rice topped off with garnish to put a complete touch to the entire dish. Sorin decided to try a bite as did Gale, while Gavin put his hands together in wait for a response. To Sorin, it was the fish that caught his attention as the taste proved itself impeccable. He felt that Gale had much the same feeling judging from the delighted look upon her face. Once the taste test was done, Gavin retrieved the forks from the two and promptly discarded them into the nearby sink.

“Suppose I don’t even need to ask,” Gavin said. “Even I can read that you two liked it.”

“It’s really good,” Gale replied.

“So what are you going to do once you’re done with the training?” Sorin asked. “This is a good step, but are you thinking of something bigger?”

“That’s always an option,” Gavin said. “Truth is, I was thinking about how Reiss was planning to revitalize Gel Heights after what happened. He figures that he could turn that whole area of the city around.”

“That’s great to hear,” Sorin said.

“So you’re hoping to be a part of that revitalization?” Gale asked.

“If anything, it’ll be the kick that area needs,” Gavin replied. “I always felt as if I had nowhere to go after leaving the Ameci military, but once I put some thought into my options, this was the best step to take.”

“Well, I hope it all works out for you,” Gale said.

“Thanks, but I’m pretty confident about where I’ll end up,” Gavin said. “The instructor’s sang nothing but high praises for me. Once this whole course is done, there’s no end to where I’m going!”

“You and Law, certainly,” Sorin said.

Gavin shook his head and chuckled. “He might be getting married soon, but Lawrence is still the same man,” he said. “Not like that’s a problem.”

“You did seem to be reserved when you heard the news,” Gale said. “Aren’t you happy with him and Ayanna getting married?”

“Of course I am,” Gavin answered. “I’m all happy with what he’s doing, just that I don’t really care to talk about it until it actually happens.”

“And what about you?” Gale asked.

Gavin crossed his arms. “What about me? I think I’ve made it clear before, haven’t I?”

“I guess you have,” Gale said. “Seriously, I’m happy for you.”

“And I am, too,” Sorin said.

“Okay, alright, you’re flattering me way too much,” Gavin said. “I’m still only a trainee, so it’s still a ways away until I can consider myself a certified chef around these parts.”

“That and the certificate,” Gale said.

“Obviously,” Gavin replied. “So what’s the deal with you two? You guys got any plans or something?”

“Nothing right now,” Sorin answered. “But we are planning on traveling to Ameci soon.”

“Huh, so you’re both going together,” Gavin said. “It’s been a while for you, though, hasn’t it?”

“It has,” Sorin said. “This all started back in Ameci, didn’t it? You, Gale, and I all were in Ameci not even a year ago.”

“That we were,” Gavin said. “Hell, I think about what would’ve happened had I not got on that ship. Would all of this have gone differently?”

“Well, it’s not like we can ever know,” Gale replied. “But we are heading back because of some important business.”

She explained to Gavin what she was going to do once she and Sorin made it to Ameci. Gavin nodded along as Sorin thought about how this entire journey started because of his father. Had he not met him that fateful day, Sorin would have still been working as a driver with his father’s friend.

“I can’t imagine it will be a fond reunion,” Gavin said, “But I guess you’ve got to start somewhere if you’re going to make your ideas happen.”

“Thank you, I think I’ll be able to handle it,” Gale said.

“Anywhere else you’re going to go after that?” Gavin asked. “Lawrence’s wedding is going to happen in a few months from now, you know.”

“We know,” Sorin said. “I think outside of the whole thing with Kunigunde Industries, we’re probably going to just go and see some old friends of ours.”

“Speaking of which, Johan went back to Ameci, didn’t he,” Gavin said. “He really just jumped without telling us.”

“He hasn’t had the chance to talk with his mother in a while,” Gale said. “I think it’s good for him to catch up with her.”

“Well, I’m sure you two will see him once you get there,” Gavin said. “Even he has to find the time to have some fun, right?”

“Yeah, probably,” Sorin replied.

Sorin looked forward to heading back to Ameci once more. He and Gale were going to catch up on all that they had missed before Law and Ayanna’s big day. That included meeting with everybody else along the way and seeing how they were doing. It would be a trip that both Sorin and Gale deserved after all that they had gone through. Sorin could not wait for the new beginning.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Aurora – Chapter 48 (Part 1)

[2nd of January, 2740 AD; in the alleys of Gel Heights, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Nano District]


“You’re completely surrounded,” Mina said to Harold. “No matter what you try to do, we’re not going to let you get away! You’re going to pay for everything you’ve done!”

Sorin and the others had Harold surrounded. At either end of the alley, it was going to be a tough time for Harold to try to escape. But Sorin was not about to call it a victory just yet. Harold had thrived all this time by being out of grasp of the heroes and had the capability to flee once more should the opportunity arise. That was why Sorin kept his sword out and pointed it at Harold. No doubt could remain in Sorin’s mind any longer; he had to end this fight.

“So what’s it going to be?” Law asked. “You try and run again and we’ll just keep chasing you.”

“He’s got something, that’s for sure,” Johan said. “All this time you called the shots from within the shadows, but now that you’re out in the open, you’ve all but given yourself up.”

“You believe I’ve given up, then,” Harold replied. “Nonsense!”

Harold threw a punch at the wall to his left, creating another large gap. He ran into the hole as Sorin gave chase. Mina and Law followed after him, but Sorin had to focus on what was ahead. As Sorin made his way through the dark, damp, abandoned hallway, he heard the destructive sound of structures crumbling. He had to be getting close to Harold now, but that was when Sorin realized that it was not just Harold escaping.

“Damn it, we can’t just stay here,” Sorin said. “Mina! Law! Let’s hurry back before it’s too late!”

But as Sorin turned around, a large amount of debris fell from above and blocked his path out. He had to trust in Mina and Law to escape, but could not confirm their safety. After all, this was what Harold wanted and Sorin could only express anger that he did not see the trap sooner.

“Whether or not they leave is not my worry,” Harold said. “But now I’ve got a good chance to finally end you myself! Enjoy your burial!”

Sorin had one choice. It was the only one he could take if he were to get out of the collapsing building alive, but it carried a risk as well. Harold hid within the darkness once again, but to Sorin, what mattered most was his own life. He could not let everyone now, nor could he grant Harold the chance of escape. With all of the building beginning to crumble, Sorin ran forward.

“Yes, come closer,” Harold said. “No matter what you do, I’ll be right here to deliver your much needed silence!”

“Not going to happen!” Sorin replied.

Sorin’s chance revealed itself. Harold was in his line of sight now, and all Sorin had to do now was strike. The slight gleam of the moonlight helped Sorin to see his assailant standing before him, even with the shroud of darkness covering him. With momentum at his side, Sorin swung his sword. The clash of metal rang out as Harold defended himself. However, Sorin knew he was not about to settle for a mere standoff. He had to take the moment.

“If anyone falls here, it’ll be you,” Sorin said. “This is not just for me, but for everyone else! For my family, my friends, and all the people you’ve hurt, I’ll end this fight myself!”

“Do you truly believe you’ll break through?” Harold asked. “I’d like to see you try!”

Sorin needed not another word. He had this. With all of the strength put into his sword, Sorin turned it as Harold struggled to hold him off. Then, Harold broke away and backed off as he tried to catch his breath. Sorin needed just one more hit. He lifted up his leg and sent a roundhouse kick, hitting Harold with just enough strength to knock him to the ground. Then, Sorin looked to the window next to him and leapt through it.

“Not enough time for him to escape,” Sorin said.

He dashed as fast as he could away from the building. Sorin kept running until he made it onto the street several meters away. Everyone else waited there as well as they all observed the building collapsing to the ground. As it did, Gale was quick to greet Sorin with a hug. It was all over, Sorin thought.

“I’m so happy you made it,” Gale said.

“Believe me, I had to keep moving,” Sorin said. “But it seems like you guys are all here.”

“Yeah, once you shouted to us what was happening, we started to turn and run,” Law said. “I really wanted to head back in there, but I just knew you had it all in the bag.”

“We were both really ready to go and help you out,” Mina said. “It was Law who wanted to run, but I knew that I could trust you to make some sort of daring escape!”

Mina patted Sorin on the back while Law just shrugged. Sorin still could not believe that it really was over but with his friends surrounding him, he had to assume that the battle had been won. Even someone like Harold could not get out of the wreckage that he had created. Still, there was much to be done. Sorin saw Johan move closer to the site of the wreck as Gale looked to him.

“It’s probably nothing,” Gale said, separating herself from Sorin. “I’m sure he’s only taking a look, right Johan?”

Johan observed the wreckage and sighed. “Perhaps I’m imagining things,” he said. “This truly does seem to be the end, after all.”

“Come on, Johan, there’s no way that anyone could possibly survive having an entire building collapse on them,” Luna said. “Even a scary freak like that has to be dead!”

“You’re right,” Johan replied. “It was just a silly thought.”

“You’ve got quite the definition of that word there,” Pekka said.

“Guess we’re all still taking it in,” Dustin said. “Sorin especially, since he had one hell of a fight!”

“If only I could have seen it myself,” Gavin said. “You did real good, Sorin. I know that somewhere out there, Kirk and Rysol are proud of what you’ve become in such a short time.”

“I was going to say the same thing,” Eva said. “But now he can rest happy… It’s finally over.”

“So I guess we should head back and see how Ayanna’s holding up, right?” Law asked. “Since it appears we all agree that everything’s done here, we can just go.”

“Right, just because Harold’s finished doesn’t mean everything else is,” Gale said. “Which means we should inform Rain about what happened here as well as what we’re supposed to do next.”

“Oh, she’s got ideas,” Mina said. “After everything’s taken care of, we can go and have a huge victory party!”

“Yeah, I’m sure it’ll be nice,” Johan said. “I’m sure Jelka would have wanted me to go ahead and celebrate, too.”

“Well, what are we waiting for?” Dustin asked. “Let’s go on and get out of this place!”

Everyone agreed and headed in the direction of the Deca District. However, Sorin stopped as he noticed that Johan began to lag behind. Sorin turned to the others and informed them that he would catch up with them soon. Whatever it was that Johan was thinking about, Sorin knew that he had to ask. With just him and Johan by themselves, it was only a matter of time until Sorin needed to find out for himself. Johan went over to the motorcycle and looked over the wreck one more time as Sorin confronted him.

“What are you doing?” Sorin asked.

“Tell me something, buddy,” Johan said. “What do you plan to do now?”

“I’ll figure it out,” Sorin replied. “Why do you ask?”

“I wonder… If it’s all truly over, then why do I feel like I’m incomplete? Is it because of the fact that Foundation is no more? Or is it because this goal of mine is finally being realized?”

“Well, maybe because this goal is in reach is why you don’t know what to do next,” Sorin said. “But it doesn’t mean that you can stop. There’s plenty that you could do now that this is over.”

“I probably agree with that,” Johan said. He looked over to the wreck once again. “Did you hear that?”

Sorin shook his head. “Is something wrong?”

“Just listen,” Johan replied.

Sorin did what Johan said and kept an ear out while focusing on the wreck. He was not sure what to listen for, but he had a bad feeling about what was going to happen next. Then, a rustle caught Sorin’s attention. The light sound of objects moving around made Sorin nervous as he hovered his hand above the handle of his sword. Johan prepared himself, also, as the two men watched piece after piece fly up into the air as the sound grew louder. A loud roar erupted as a metal hand emerged from underneath, the voice familiar to Sorin’s ears.

“It’s not over!?” Sorin asked.

“Get ready,” Johan said. “I knew I wasn’t imagining it.”

Harold leapt out from under the wreckage with his sights set on Sorin and Johan. Sorin took out his sword while Johan stayed by his side. Everything that they had fought for still remained at stake as the battle with Harold proved itself unfinished. However, now Sorin truly did have to complete this fight with only Johan to support him.

“To think you’d call victory before it was over, Sorin Wilk,” Harold said. “I will make you regret your cocky words!”

Harold rushed at the two and screamed. Sorin had to fight. He knew that he had been exhausted, but the same had to hold true for Harold as well. Johan stepped in as he tried to shield Sorin from Harold’s attack. Harold, however, had only Sorin in his sights.

“Out of my way, you pathetic lowlife!” Harold exclaimed as he smacked Johan to the side and left him lying in a heap. “It’s him I’m after!”

Sorin checked to the side of the other building. “Johan!”

It was enough of a gap for Harold to have an opening. Sorin found himself unable to defend as Harold grabbed him by the neck with both hands and lifted him off the ground. As Sorin struggled to breathe, Harold laughed.

“This is the only end to this fight,” Harold said. “To make you suffer… I’m going to enjoy watching you fight for what little breath you’ve got left!”

“Better think again!” Gavin yelled.

Two shots rang out and struck Harold in the head. Blood spurted from his forehead as the sudden shock caused Harold to drop Sorin. With some of Harold’s blood on his clothes, Sorin regained his breathing as he checked up on Johan.

“Johan… Johan, answer me!” Sorin said, shoving him.

“Don’t worry about me,” Johan said. “Worry about them…”

Sorin turned around. Gavin and Eva had shown up ready to fight as Harold remained still. He twitched as more blood splashed onto the ground while Gavin continued to have his gun trained on him.

“To be honest with you, I’ve never killed someone before this,” Gavin said. “But there’s always a first, especially for a piece of shit like you.”

“He’s done,” Eva said.

Harold coughed up blood. “Sorin Wilk… What a delight,” he said. “Sorin, I don’t mind it one bit if you watch…”

“How can you still be alive?” Sorin asked.

“It doesn’t matter if I live or die anymore,” Harold replied. “Right now, I’m just going to make you suffer! I’ll carry you down to hell with me if I have to, but first I’ll make you feel complete and total despair!”

Harold faced Sorin, who was still on his knees. But what Harold had in mind was different as he lifted up the motorcycle next to Sorin and threw it at Eva and Gavin.

“Look out!” Sorin exclaimed.

On instinct, Gavin and Eva leapt out of the way. The motorcycle struck the ground and broke in half. However, Gavin slipped and fell to the ground while Eva tried to regain her composure. But Sorin could tell that Harold was far from done. Harold had an unrelenting force as he charged towards Eva. Sorin needed to get back up on his feet.

“You two made a grave mistake,” Harold said. “Now I’m going to end it all right here!”

“We’re not finished, Harold!” Sorin said as he stood up.

Harold stopped and turned around. “So you want me to hurry it up, don’t you? Well, I suppose I can give you friends a chance to run like the dogs they are while I kill you.”

“That’s what you want to think,” Eva said. “But we’re going to stay. We’re going to keep on fighting until you’re defeated.”

“And we’re sure as hell aren’t to lose to you,” Gavin said. “I’ll be damned if I let an asshole like you run away.”

“Do you understand?” Johan asked. “We’re not going to surrender here. Not to you.”

“So be it,” Harold said. “Right now, it’s just Sorin and I, but I’m going to give you hell afterwards.”

“Then face me,” Sorin said. “I won’t settle until I see you on the ground, so you better bring everything you’ve got!”

“Those cocky words again,” Harold replied. “Very well, if you want to skip the suffering, I’ll be glad to finish you off right here!”

Sorin just needed one strike. A single move would end the fight and put an end to Harold and his schemes. Everything rode on a single swing of Sorin’s blade as he readied himself. There was no excuse not to use all his efforts into this one move he had left. After all, Sorin did not expect Harold to hold back.

“Bring it,” Sorin said.

Without another thought, Sorin flew at Harold. Harold dashed at Sorin. The two came closer and closer until they were less than two feet apart. Sorin swung his sword and struck true. He delivered a deep hit to Harold’s chest. With the hit complete, Sorin moved out of the way and rolled over near Gavin. Harold stood still as Sorin watched.

“That should be it,” Sorin said.

However, Harold laughed.

“Idiot! I’ve yet to be done with you,” he replied. “I’m going to kill you where you stand!”

But Harold did not turn around. He remained in place as Sorin got up and sheathed his sword. Gavin stood up, too, as Sorin tried to process what would happen next. He had delivered the final blow as Harold was not moving, but he had to wonder what would happen now.

“Impossible,” Harold said. “I… I can’t move! My legs! My… My arms! I can’t move a single limb!”

Sorin then heard a small explosion. Smoke emanated out of Harold’s body as he continued to stand frozen in place. It could only have been the technology inside Harold’s body that had gone haywire, Sorin speculated. After a few more seconds, the smoke cleared as Harold fell face first into the ground with a loud, clanging thud.

“Is it finally over?” Gavin asked.

“It has to be,” Eva said.

Sorin had to know. He went over to Harold’s body and checked for a pulse. As he suspected, Harold did not have one. It was over. The battle had been won and Foundation was no more. Sorin put away his sword as he breathed a sigh of relief. For his father and Rysol, Sorin had avenged them. For everyone else, it was a relief that Sorin could help them make their dreams realized.

“That’s right,” Sorin said, a tear rolling down the side of his face. “It’s finally finished.”


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Aurora – Chapter 47 (Part 2)

[2nd of January, 2741 AD; up on the rooftops in Gel Heights, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Nano District]


Gavin pursued Harold Mars atop the building. He and Law looked around to find the ruthless man himself, but only found Eva and Mina in wait on top of the neighboring building. The fact that Harold could not be found baffled Gavin, but he remained on the trail. Harold had to be hiding somewhere amongst the rooftops and Gavin knew that he was going to find him sooner rather than later. Law stuck by as the two scoped out the immediate area.

“You two saw him, didn’t you?” Law asked Eva and Mina.

“I’m sorry to say that we did not,” Eva replied. “It’s unfortunate, but it looks as if Harold is just out of our reach.”

“We did hear that explosive noise, though,” Mina said. “Surely we can use that to find him!”

“Damn it, has this monster evaded us?” Gavin asked, tightening the grip on his gun. “We know you’re hiding somewhere, so it’s no use trying to evade us!”

“Getting loud may not be the best option,” Law said. “If we really want to find this guy, bro, then we’ve got to start looking.”

“Even someone like him has limits,” Eva said. “It doesn’t matter what he’s got, Harold will have to show himself soon enough.”

“Let’s start looking,” Mina said. “Nothing is impossible if we take a look around the area!”

Gavin traced his steps back to the door. That could only be the way up to the roof as no other route existed. As he tried to deduce Harold’s method, Gavin recalled the situation back in the room where he and Law joined up with Sorin and Johan. Two possible locations existed, yet it was unlikely Harold would try to descend to the streets.

“Come on, think,” Gavin said. “Where is he right now?”

It was then that Gavin realized a new possibility: Harold went through the hole in the floor, but did not go all the way downstairs. From that, there was one way Harold could go up, Gavin thought.

“Is it so?” Gavin asked himself.

“You look like you’re on to something,” Law said.

“Lawrence, keep yourself alert,” Gavin said. “That spreads to both of you, as well. There’s only one way for our enemy to hide right now!”

“So you figured it out too,” Law said. “Didn’t think a man his age would be able to pull it off, but I guess that’s what makes him so formidable.”

“But now that we know, we’ve got the upper hand,” Eva said. “Somewhere along the walls of these buildings, Harold is clinging on.”

It was the only explanation. Gavin tracked the edges of the building as he tried to find any trace of Harold. He would have to emerge sooner or later, Gavin thought as he continued to focus on Harold’s next move. It was then that Harold laughed, his deep cackle echoing in the alleys below.

“You’re not nearly as idiotic as you appear,” Harold said.

Gavin looked around to find him, but still could not find a single trace of Harold. At that moment, a loud, destructive crash broke out as Gavin turned to his left and aimed his gun forward. Law readied himself as well. Another crash rang out as Harold leapt over the edge of the building. His shirt had been torn in a couple of places, but overall he remained the same as before.

“Step back!” Gavin ordered Law.

Gavin wasted no time. He fired off three shots at Harold, all three hitting him in the chest. Harold stopped and clutched where he was shot as Gavin kept his line of sight trained on him. As Gavin continued to hold Harold at gunpoint, Harold laughed once more.

“It appears I was wrong,” Harold said. “You’re as every bit half witted as I thought!”

“I shot you three times, asshole!” Gavin exclaimed. “How the hell could you laugh at a time like this?”

Harold guffawed. “It’s hopeless to try and stop me,” he said, unbuttoning his shirt. “Your efforts are all for naught!”

Gavin could not believe what stood before him. Where he had shot Harold was in what appeared to be a metallic plate that covered the entirety of his chest. He saw the small bullets lodged within the metal, further proving what Harold said was true. However, Gavin knew that Harold was wrong about one thing in particular and he was going to show him that.

“All that means is that I’ve gotta change my target,” Gavin said. “Thanks for giving me the hint!”

“Unfortunately for you, you won’t have another chance!” Harold exclaimed as he charged at Gavin and Law.

“Look out!” Eva said.

Gavin cocked his gun again. “I just need one shot.”

Harold, however, threw down his fist at the ground. The explosive impact caused debris to fly up, distracting Gavin as he tried to get a good shot in. Law then decided to tackle Gavin to the floor, both men getting out of the way as Eva and Mina jumped in. As everything began to clear, the four surrounded Harold as he had nowhere to run.

“You really are so concerned, aren’t you Lawrence?” Gavin asked as he got up to his feet. “No matter. It looks like we’ve got this prick cornered.”

“Don’t underestimate him,” Eva said. “I’m sure we all would like to have a crack at this despicable excuse of a human, but he’s far from done.”

“You all think you’re ahead of me,” Harold said. “I’ve already shown you why it’s foolish to fight me.”

“Why don’t you just shove it, you fiend,” Mina replied. “You can’t run nor hide from us anymore! You can’t even attack!”

“I can’t attack?” Harold asked. “What a marvelously foolish remark! Dare to put that theory to the test?”

“You won’t get a chance,” Eva said.

“The moment you showed your pathetic face was the moment you lost, don’t forget that,” Gavin said. “Because once you make your move, I’m going right for the head!”

Harold did not respond and lowered his head.

“What’s the matter?” Law asked. “Are you already out of excuses to try and justify yourself?”

“I must thank you,” Harold replied. “You gave me just enough time.”

“Just enough time?” Mina asked. “There’s no time for you at all!”

A sudden realization hit Gavin. He remembered how Harold escaped to the roof, throwing down his fist at the ground much like he did moments ago. Gavin could only see smoke after that happened, which helped in Harold’s escape. The scene was the same as before, only under different circumstances. That sudden realization alerted Gavin to what Harold was going to do next. But Harold threw down his fist at the ground first.

“Everyone, look out!” Gavin exclaimed.

Smoke appeared from where Harold punched as everything clouded up for Gavin and the others. It was both Harold’s escape and method of attacking, Gavin thought. That was why it was important to remain on the defensive until the smoke cleared out.

“He can’t get away!” Mina said.

“Don’t worry,” Eva said, “I’m not going to let him do that.”

“So this is how he responds,” Law said. “Like a coward, he uses obscurity to try and attack us while we’re not looking!”

“Very perceptive,” Harold said. “It looks like you’re catching on and that’s exactly why I can’t let you live!”

Gavin had to take a chance. Out of him, Law, Mina, and Eva, there was only a one-in-four chance of guessing who Harold would attack first. There would be no room for error; however, Harold’s words gave Gavin a clue. Strong as they may be, Harold had one easy target. A target that Gavin was confident would be able to defend, but Gavin knew that he could not afford to give Harold any sort of chance at attacking.

“I’ve found you!” Gavin said.

He hurried over in the direction of Law’s voice and threw his fist out in a horizontal motion. Gavin could not risk it with a bullet, so he settled on his next best option. The strike proved to work as the smoke started to clear out as Gavin caught a glimpse of Harold. Gavin had landed a successful strike upon Harold’s face as the two were in a standoff with Law bearing witness to the scene.

“That’s the bro I know,” Law said. “Acting upon that instinct really did you some good, though it did much more for me in the end.”

“I-Impossible,” Harold said. “Just how? How were you able to see through the smoke?”

“I didn’t,” Gavin answered. “And it’s not as if I’m going to tell you. Besides, I’ve got you all figured out now.”

Harold uttered a parted chuckle. “That’s rich,” he said. “You figured me out like some sort of tactician? I’d laugh, but you’ve given me quite the pain.”

“Save it,” Gavin said. “You can’t attack us without trying to hide first. I’d wager that you can’t use your most devastating attack without the help of some obscurity, which was why you tried so hard to make it difficult for us to see but I managed to see through the ruse.”

“You can’t even fight fair,” Mina said. “But why should we expect you to when you’ve been hiding from us all this time?”

“Is that so?” Harold asked.

“There was no way Kirk would lose to you in a fair fight,” Eva said. “That can only mean you had to sneak up on him to kill him. I’ll never forgive you for such a cowardly act, nor will I forgive you for what you did to Kirk!”

No one said a word. What followed next was the faint sound of something rustling from below as Gavin stared Harold down. Then, Harold cracked a large smile as he looked back at Gavin.

“If it’s a fair fight you want, then it’s a fair fight you get!” Harold exclaimed.

In the span of what seemed to be less than a second, Gavin felt a sudden pain hit him in the abdomen. He dropped down to his knees as Harold withdrew his fist. Though it was nowhere near as powerful as Gavin saw before, the punch packed just enough to send pain into his body.

“Bad choice, man,” Law said. “Now it’s our turn!”

Gavin turned his head up to see Law run at Harold. On the other side, Eva and Mina helped Law in the fight. Harold kept his arms near his face and the back of his head while Gavin struggled to get up. Gavin had to get back up. It was his best bet now to look for an opening and take the next shot. However, with Law, Eva, and Mina fighting Harold, that shot would have to wait. Gavin decided to look at his gun and saw how many bullets he had left: two.

“Like I’ll need another shot,” Gavin said.

He placed his hand upon his right pocket and felt the bullets hiding within. Gavin came prepared but he also had faith in himself. The pain had all but faded by now as Gavin got up to his feet. It was just the right time, too, as Harold had pushed back against Law while keeping Eva and Mina at bay with his other hand. No room for error now, Gavin thought.

“All this strength and still you can’t get through,” Harold said. “It’s just as I expected… You stand no chance against me!”

But as Gavin lined up to take his shot, Mina leapt at Harold. She sent a kick flying towards Harold and hit him in the head as hard as she could. Mina’s kick caught Harold off guard as he went reeling back.

“Just shut up already,” Mina said, “We’re going to beat you no matter what it takes!”

“Wow, that was some kick,” Law said. “Even he’s got to feel that one.”

Everyone watched as Harold continued to stumble backwards. Gavin had him now. He refocused his shot on Harold and aimed for his head. One bullet was all that was needed.

“You’re all a bunch of idiots,” Harold said. “It seems that none of you can pay attention!”

“The fuck are you talking about?” Gavin asked.

“I’m talking about this,” Harold replied, backing up towards the edge of the building. “Now watch as I make my escape!”

Gavin realized what he meant and fired his shot without another word. But it was already too late as Harold proceeded to fall over the edge of the building down into the alleys below. Eva and Mina hurried over to where Harold fell over while Law went over to Gavin.

“How the hell can that bastard be so damn slippery?” Gavin asked. “He took a kick to the head from Mina for god’s sake! How in the fuck does he have the audacity to use that to plot his escape?”

“It’s just like that,” Law said. “He’s getting desperate, so he’s gotta use every possible path to his advantage even if it causes him harm.”

“We’re on the move,” Eva said. “Mina, you and Law continue the pursuit by following Harold. Gavin and I are going back downstairs.”

“Wait, how are we going to do that?” Mina asked.

“We use the same path he took,” Law said. “Surely there’s something that we can use to climb down. It wouldn’t make sense for a multi-story building to not have one, after all.”

“Then it’s settled,” Eva said. “Now move!”

Gavin could not be upset now. He needed to stay focused. He followed Eva as their chase continued. Harold had slipped out of their grasp, but Gavin was not about to give up just yet. He also hoped that the others would not give up, either, especially not Sorin.




[2nd of January, 2740 AD; in the alleys of Gel Heights, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Nano District]


Sorin continued on as he, Gale, and Johan kept on the lookout for Harold. Then he heard it for himself. A succession of loud collisions filled the alleyway as Sorin tried to locate the source. Harold had proclaimed his escape a few moments prior, so Sorin had to keep on his guard. He had to for the sake of both Gale and Johan, both of whom remained unarmed.

“You can’t run from me now, Sorin Wilk!” Harold exclaimed.

As Sorin turned around, he watched as Harold leapt from the windowsill above and landed in front of him. Johan kept his distance away from Harold as did Gale. There was no use in running now, Sorin thought. Harold stood in front of him with nowhere else to go.

“I wasn’t going to run away,” Sorin said. “You like to think that you’ve got an upper hand, but it’s you who’s at a disadvantage now.”

“That’s right,” Gale said. “You stand no chance against us when we’re all united together.”

“How stupid,” Harold replied. “Do you intend to take me on then?”

“I won’t, but he can,” Gale said, looking over at Sorin. “And so will they, because your time is up.”

Just as Gale said, Mina and Law descended down from the roof by way of the nearby pipe. They stood opposite of Sorin and surrounded Harold, who now had no possible escape. Sorin needed to fight with everything he had if they were going to win, because he knew that the fight was not over yet.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Aurora – Chapter 47 (Part 1)

[2nd of January, 2741 AD; Harold Mars’s Temporary Hideout, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Nano District]


“You are a fool to the very end,” Harold said. “I guess it’s no surprise since you take after Kirk so well.”

Sorin prepared himself. He kept his sword pointed up and in front of him while he remained vigilant. The fight would not be an easy one and Sorin had to give everything he had in order to win. Harold laughed once again as he balled his right hand into a fist.

“No one stood a chance against these hands of mine,” Harold said. “These hands can create and destroy and I’m going to destroy the both of you!”

“You really underestimate Johan and I,” Sorin replied. “We’ll make you pay for all of it.”

“The only one who will pay here is you,” Harold said. “And you’re going to pay with your life.”

“No more words,” Johan said.

Harold charged at the two. “I’ll show you!”

Fists flew fast as Sorin backed up and dodged. Harold’s barrage proved to be formidable, which led Sorin to defend himself. Johan jumped in and tried to help by creating an opening for Sorin. However, Harold caught on to Johan fast and defended himself with his left hand. Sorin swung his sword at Harold but found it difficult to get past Harold as he caught the blade with his hand.

“You forget that I’ve been given a gift,” Harold said to Sorin. “This gift of mine makes it easy to stop your pathetic attacks!”

He gripped harder on Sorin’s blade. Johan moved down and delivered a sweeping kick to Harold. The kick proved to be enough to catch Harold off as he let off of Sorin. With his sword free, Sorin stepped back and readied himself once more. Sorin had to get a decisive blow now. He looked over to Johan, who was standing at Harold’s left.

“Johan, quickly!” Sorin exclaimed.

Johan nodded. “I see.”

They rushed Harold from both ends. Sorin needed to have Johan throw Harold off guard, even for a moment. Johan moved in first as Harold turned towards him, leaving his back exposed to Sorin. But as Sorin began to close in on Harold, Johan stopped himself only a yard away from the menacing man.

“You don’t listen very well, do you?” Harold asked, looking back at Sorin. “Your worthless attacks mean little to me because I’ve got the gift!”

“Watch out,” Johan said.

Sorin halted himself, but Harold had already turned. He threw back his left arm at Sorin, who braced himself by using his arms to defend himself. However, it was too late as Harold struck Sorin and sent him flying into the wall. Sorin hit the wall hard while his sword fell to his side. Though it was not a fatal hit, the blow was strong enough to make Sorin reel as he tried to get up.

“I’ll deal with you later,” Harold said to Sorin. He then turned back over to Johan. “Right now, I’m going to make you suffer. I’ll do what that fool could not and end your life here!”

“I understand now,” Johan said. “How much power do you truly have? I’m willing to bet that you’re on a time limit, because there was no powerful sound behind that strike.”

Harold growled. “You are delusional if you think I’d tell you.”

“So Sorin is okay,” Johan replied. “Guess we’re about to find out how far you can go before it all comes to a stop.”

Meanwhile, Sorin struggled to get up. He got onto his knees, but found it painful to do so. He had no broken bones, yet felt an intense pain surging in his wrists. Sorin felt pain in his back and head as well, but was fortunate enough to not feel that pain in his legs. For all the threat Harold posed, what Johan said was true. Sorin knew now that Johan was trying to buy him some time as he tried to get up without Harold noticing, even if it was painful to do so.

“You can’t stop me,” Harold said to Johan. “Even if I had a limit, it would be long after I’d kill all of you!”

“Then why don’t we test it out?” Johan asked. “How far can you go before your power runs out?”

“I’ll be glad to show you!” Harold exclaimed. “Die, Johan!”

Sorin had to get up. He knew Johan could only hold off Harold for so long before he became too much to handle. One-on-one was not enough to deal with Harold and Sorin had to help. He did not care about how much it hurt to move, nor did he care about how sprained his wrists were. Sorin had to pick up his sword and fight. But before anything could happen, the door kicked in.

“Not so fast, asshole!” Gavin yelled.

Harold stopped and looked to the doorway. Sorin looked, too, as he saw Gavin and Law enter. Gavin had his gun ready and aimed at Harold, while Law was ready to fight as well.

“So this is the stain that killed Kirk and Rysol,” Law said. “What are you going to do now that you can’t hide from us anymore?”

“You may think you’ve got an advantage, but I’ll run through you all the same,” Harold said. “I’ll spill the blood from every last one of you!”

“The only blood that’s gonna spill here is from you,” Gavin replied. “Take another step and I’ll be glad to put one through your head.”

Harold clenched his fist. “So it would seem,” he said. “But did you really believe that you’d win so easily!?”

He threw his fist down at the ground. The explosive sound rang through Sorin’s ears as smoke began to fill the entire room. The sound of boards cracking followed as everyone coughed while trying to figure out where Harold was. Only after a few seconds did Sorin realize what had just happened.

“The smoke!” Sorin exclaimed. “Somebody let out the smoke!”

The smoke continued to fill the room as another loud explosion boomed throughout. Sorin was not sure where Harold was and had to keep his guard up in case he struck again. But as seconds began to pass, the smoke started to clear out of the room. Sorin got helped up to his feet as the smoke slowly dissipated from out of the room. Gavin stood in front of Sorin, but that was not the most important part.

“He… Harold’s gone!” Sorin exclaimed.

Pain surged again through Sorin as he tried to maintain his composure. Gavin helped by keeping him on his feet. As that happened, Sorin took a look around the room. In the middle a large hole had been made in the floor while in the wall opposite Sorin was another gap.

“That prick is on the run now,” Gavin said. “We’ve got to get going if we’re going to stop his ass.”

“I know,” Sorin said. “But where do we go now?”

“There’s two possibilities,” Johan replied. “Let’s get up to the roof first, then we’ll be able to figure things out.”

“Are you sure about that?” Law asked. “From what I see, Sorin’s looking a little bit hurt.”

“I’ll… I’ll be fine,” Sorin said. “We can’t let him escape.”

“Please,” Gavin replied. “Lawrence and I will go up top. We’ll rendezvous with Mina and Eva while taking a look around the area. You two go and meet up with the rest down by the entrance.”

“If you say you’ve got it, then I’ll trust you two,” Johan said. “Harold can’t be too far off if we have the immediate area locked down.”

“That just means we’ll have to keep a lookout on the ground,” Sorin said. “Okay then.”

Sorin proceeded to split up with Gavin and Law and went downstairs with Johan. They needed to move to the next position fast. Sorin had to hurry soon if he wanted to catch up to Harold. But first, he had to reunite with the others who were already in wait on the ground. Sorin and Johan descended down the flights of stairs and caught detail of the fact that the lower floors remained unchanged. That could only mean one thing, Sorin thought.

“He can’t get away now,” Johan said. “Harold’s strong, but he’s not reckless. I assume he’s going to try his best to wiggle out of this, but our friends aren’t the type to give up.”

Sorin hoped that Johan was correct. Harold posed a threat, but he was even more of a threat in hiding. If they were to let Harold escape, then there was no telling what he’d be able to do back in the darkness. Sorin had to continue to fight through the pain and stop Harold before that happened.

“We’re here,” Johan said.

They reached the ground floor and hurried outside the building. Gale and the others were quick to greet them by the motorcycle as Sorin turned back to the building and looked up. Wherever Harold ran to, Sorin knew that Gavin and Law along with Eva and Mina would be there to confront him. However, now Sorin had time to try and recover from his encounter with Harold. He rested himself against the wall while Gale went over to him.

“Are you okay?” Gale asked.

“It’s nothing too bad,” Sorin replied. “All it is is just a minor sprain… Well, two sprains to be honest.”

“Let me see,” Gale said as she took a hold of Sorin’s hand. “I had a feeling something like this would happen to you…”

Sorin winced. “It could’ve been worse,” he replied. “I had no choice but to defend myself the best I could. Ah, just be a little easier on my wrist, okay?”

“Surely there’s something we can do about this,” Gale said.

“That’s where I come in,” Dustin said. “Sprains are a kick in the ass, but I can help Sorin out.”

“You’re oddly prepared,” Pekka said. “What do you have?”

“Oh, it’s not much,” Dustin replied. “Just some bandages, but it’ll have to do for right now.”

“Are you sure about that?” Gale asked.

“Look, it’s the best I can do,” Dustin said. “Besides, Sorin’s not gonna just go down and keel because of a little sprain in the wrist. Guy’s got determination if he really can fight through it.”

“But it must be tough to hold your sword like that,” Luna said. “I mean, I’d have trouble holding a large blade like that myself, but for you it must be even more difficult with that pain.”

“If anyone can do it, it’s Sorin,” Gale said. “Please give the bandages to me, Dustin.”

“Well, now I can’t turn down that request,” Dustin said as he did what Gale asked him. “Hell, it’ll make you look all battle worn and ready, if you don’t mind me saying.”

Sorin watched as Gale wrapped the bandages around his hands and wrists. He was glad that she was there for him, even in the possible face of danger. As he stood there, Sorin waited as Gale put the finishing touches on his treatment.

“It looks good now,” Gale said. “Do you feel better?”

“I feel great,” Sorin replied. “Thank you.”

“So what’s our next move?” Pekka asked. “Johan, I know we’ve got a lot to deal with regarding Harold Mars, but we’ve still got to figure out how to cover the ground effectively.”

“The alleys,” Johan said. “Our key is in the alleys. Harold relies on hiding to do his dirty work, so it’s vital to us that we prevent him from using the alleys. We must keep a good eye out for that.”

“It’s always possible Harold could just drop in on us, too,” Dustin said. “So that means we’ve got to look out for that.”

“That’s true,” Johan replied. “We’ve got to commit to a good plan on that front. I want you, Pekka, and Luna to track the alleys while Sorin, Gale, and I keep an eye on what’s above.”

“Sounds like a good idea to me,” Dustin said. He looked over to Luna and Pekka. “Are you ready for this?”

“It’s not as if we’ve got much of a choice,” Pekka said. “There’s not that many possibilities out there for this man to escape, but we still can’t afford to underestimate him.”

“Yeah, even Sorin defended himself but was hurt,” Luna said. “You’re sure it’s fine, right Sorin?”

“I already said I’m okay,” Sorin replied.

“I’m just making sure,” Luna said. “It’s not as if I don’t believe what you’re saying; I’m just trying to be a good friend, that’s all I’m trying to do.”

“Thank you for that,” Sorin said. “But I’ll be okay. Johan and Gale will be with me.”

“If anything, having you makes me feel okay,” Johan said. “I feel like we’re almost at the end of this. Our goal is that much closer and there’s nothing Harold can do to stop us from achieving it.”

“Let’s just focus on stopping him first,” Gale said. “Then we can celebrate the victory.”

“Then let’s go,” Dustin said. “Keep those eyes peeled, everyone!”

As the two groups split up, Sorin had to keep an eye out for any possibility that Harold could descend from up above. No matter how little the chance, it was possible. Sorin had to wonder what exactly was going on up above and could only try to listen in on what happened. He believed in his friends, but the danger still remained as Harold continued to lurk around. What possible tricks Harold had left, Sorin was not sure about. What Sorin was sure about, however, was that he trusted that Gavin and the others would not let each other down. Together, they would finish this fight.


To be continued…


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Aurora – Chapter 46 (Part 1)

[2nd of January, 2741 AD; Harold Mars’s Temporary Hideout, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Nano District]


Upon entering the building, Sorin and Johan were greeted with a moonlit lobby. Several boards and glass decorated the almost barren entrance as Sorin took a step forward. Harold Mars hid within the depths of the darkness alongside Korbin, both of whom had to be anticipating this pursuit. Sorin had to keep his guard up just in case one of them showed up while Johan continued to walk forth in a casual manner.

“It’s no use hiding from us, you know,” Johan called out. “You can only run so far until you’ve nowhere else to hide.”

“He’s close, isn’t he,” Sorin said.

Faint footsteps echoed about the building, hurrying as Sorin readied his hand by the handle of his sword. He had to be ready for anything. The sound of the footsteps grew louder as Johan turned towards the stairs. Sorin looked over and saw Korbin standing at the top of the stairs with his sword drawn out and ready to strike. Johan took a deep breath and sighed as Korbin walked down the stairs, each step heavier than the last.

“Get out of the way,” Johan said. “If Harold is using you to try and buy some time for himself, it’s not going to work.”

“You… You’d say that, wouldn’t you!?” Korbin asked.

“It’s pointless to fight me,” Johan replied. “I know what you’re going to do before you even do it.”

“Shut up!” Korbin exclaimed. “Just shut your fucking mouth!”

“You’re going to try and kill me, but it won’t work,” Johan said. “You think by getting rid of me, you’ll be spared. But you’re just lying to yourself.”

Korbin began to hyperventilate between each step. “Goddamn you, Johan Kuu, I’m not some shitty stooge you can break with your words,” he said. “I’m going to kill you like I did that bitch back in Ahnlikohn!”

“True, you did kill Jelka, but she left an impression on you that you can’t shake away,” Johan replied. “It’s the first time you’ve felt fear, wasn’t it? You’re afraid now that Bradley is gone, aren’t you?”

“Who the hell do you think you are to judge me!?” Korbin yelled. “I fight because it thrills me, not because I’m some weak ass pussy that can’t think for himself! Just watch me, Johan Kuu, as I run this sword through your gut!”

“Stand back, Sorin,” Johan said. “I got this.”

Before he knew it, Sorin watched as Korbin leapt off the stairs and lunged towards Johan with his sword pointed forward. Sorin was ready to fight back, but it was just like Johan said. Korbin came to a complete stop and looked at Sorin in the face.

“Impossible… How the hell did that happen!” Korbin exclaimed.

Johan had already moved ahead and seized Korbin from behind, raising both of his arms in the process. The sword pointed upwards now that Johan had Korbin secured, while Sorin just stood in amazement at how fast Johan was able to see Korbin’s attack. Though it may have been that Korbin had hesitation, the fact that Johan had the chance to disarm him proved valuable.

“You’ve already lost,” Johan said. “This entire fight was decided when you tried to attack me.”

“Do you think I’m going to lose to you?” Korbin asked. “I could just stab us both if I really wanted to!”

“Go ahead,” Johan replied. “I’m not going to fight back but I will make sure that you will never hurt me or my friends ever again, that much I can say to you, Korbin.”

“Put down your sword, Korbin,” Sorin said. “We’re here to stop Harold, not to entertain your twisted desire.”

“That’s what this fucking is, huh,” Korbin said. “This whole thing is to stop my dad, is it? Well, like hell I care! I just want to see bloodshed!”

Korbin struggled in Johan’s grasp, but could not escape. He then tried to move his sword and make good on his word to stab both himself and Johan, but that proved difficult as well. Johan remained strong in restraining Korbin while Sorin walked closer to the two of them.

“You’ll get no such thing from either of us,” Sorin said. “Stop standing in our way already.”

Korbin laughed. “That’s how it is, isn’t it? I’m just an obstacle for you, is that it?”

“Right now, you’re the only thing between us and Harold,” Sorin replied. “But if you really want to drag this out, then Johan and I won’t have any trouble dealing with you.”

“You think I just get in the way, huh?” Korbin asked. “Is that what Bradley thought of me, too?”

“He cared only about himself,” Sorin replied.

“Like hell I’m going to believe that!” Korbin exclaimed.

He erupted into a loud cackle and shook himself even further against Johan as he tried to break free. However, Johan spun himself and Korbin around and flung him over towards the stairs, causing Korbin to stumble until he fell and hit his face against the bottom step. His sword dropped and clanged against the cold hardwood floor as he tried to stand up. Korbin propped himself against the edge of the bottom step as a small amount of blood began to stream down the side of his face.

“I’d run if I were you,” Johan said. “I’d run far away as I possibly could if I were in your situation.”

Johan approached Korbin at a slow pace. It was a silent approach as the only thing that stood between both men was the fact that Johan would remain good on his word about not fighting back. Korbin looked at Johan, then to his sword which was a few feet away. Sorin kept himself ready for whatever Korbin had next. The distance shrank between Johan and Korbin now as less than a foot separated the two men with Korbin leaning against the stairs. Just then, Harold called out to Korbin.

“Just as I thought,” Harold said. “It seems as if you could only hold them up for so long until you finally broke.”

“N-No! That’s not it at all!” Korbin exclaimed as he backed his way up the stairs. “They just… Johan Kuu and Sorin Wilk are just trying to fucking cheat me, these sons of bitches!”

Sorin scanned the area, but Harold was nowhere to be found. He had to be hiding upstairs, Sorin thought.

“Keep your head up, Sorin,” Johan said. “Right now, we’re not too far away from our enemy…”

“Heh, it really does delight me,” Harold said. “I can hear your cautiousness from where I’m standing, Johan Kuu.”

“I’m only cautious because I know how far you’re willing to go in order to fulfill your awful deeds,” Johan replied.

Harold cackled. “So it would appear,” he said. “Very well, if you and Sorin wish to die by my hands so badly, then I welcome you!”

“This… This isn’t fair!” Korbin said. “I won’t be ignored! I won’t!”

Korbin sprung up to his feet and sprinted upstairs. Sorin began to move a little closer to the stairs, but stopped when Johan put out his arm.

“He wants us to get closer,” Johan said. “Harold wouldn’t say that unless he had something prepared for us.”

“How could he prepare so quickly?” Sorin asked.

“I don’t know,” Johan answered. “What I do know is that we won’t find out if we just stand here. Get what I’m saying?”

“The only way we can stop him now is if we proceed,” Sorin said. “Even if it means we’re headed straight into danger.”

“We will defeat him,” Johan said. He took a deep breath and exhaled. “We’ll defeat him because we’ve got great friends on our side, and because you’re here to help me. This is our goal, Sorin; let’s accomplish it together.”

He reached out his hand to Sorin, who in turn extended his own hand and shared a handshake with Johan. No matter what Harold was going to do, Sorin believed in himself. He believed in Johan. Sorin believed in everyone that fought alongside him all this time because he knew that they were all on the same side to defeat Foundation. Now it was their turn to defeat Harold Mars.

“Let’s go,” Sorin said.

Though he could not see much upstairs due to the lack of light, Sorin went up the stairs after Johan. The two used caution as they climbed the stairs as they made it halfway between the first and second floors. Upon the two making it up midway, Sorin looked up towards the second floor to see Korbin looking from behind the wall. As Sorin spotted him, Korbin then hid behind and moved from his spot. They were getting closer, that much Sorin was aware of. There were a few more floors to the building, which made Sorin wonder where exactly in the building Harold was hiding.

“Where we see one, the other’s not far away,” Johan said. “It wouldn’t be a surprise to me if Harold was at the top floor.”

Harold’s voice echoed out. “You’re close,” he said. “Very close.”

“He wants us to hesitate,” Johan said to Sorin.

“I can’t let him get away with what he’s done,” Sorin said. “Do you hear me, Harold?”

“I hear you both loud and clear,” Harold replied. “I even hear that idiot son of mine scurrying away from you like the frightened coward he is. This truly is the fight you want with me, isn’t it, Sorin Wilk?”

Sorin did not feel the need to respond. He was set in stopping Harold and nothing would deter him from doing so. Upon setting foot on the second floor, it was there that Sorin and Johan saw Korbin on the next floor, which had a large gap with guardrails. Even in the dark, Sorin could make out some of the wear on the railing as Korbin looked down at him and Johan.

“This is not over,” Korbin said, “This is not over! It’s not over, do you two hear me or not!?”

“You want to keep fighting?” Johan asked. “Then why are you running from us? Why do you still continue to hold a grudge against Sorin and I?”

“Because… Because all I can do is fight!” Korbin responded. “I’ll fight and fight on because I don’t want to give up to you!”

“That’s enough, Korbin,” Harold said.

Korbin looked from side to side. “What? That can’t be it!”

The impactful sound blasted throughout the open area. An explosive noise unlike anything Sorin had ever heard before rang in his ears. What followed next was a disgusting crunch and the faint sound of liquid splattering onto the floor below. Sorin looked up to a glimpse of Harold’s face right behind Korbin, who was now coughing up blood. Sorin then saw the cause of the pain as Harold had plunged his fist through Korbin’s back and exited from beneath his chest. Johan gritted his teeth in silence as Harold chuckled.

“I’ve always held your life in my hands, Korbin,” Harold said. “As easy as it was to have you at my side, you’re no longer needed in my plans.”

“I’m… not needed anymore?” Korbin asked.

“You’ve been a hindrance for quite some time now,” Harold replied. “As a matter of fact, you’ve stopped being useful long ago.”

“N-No way,” Korbin replied.

“Did you truly believe that you were nothing more than a tool to me? Even a moron like you can’t be that delusional,” Harold said. “You’re as replaceable as Isaac Kunigunde and once I’m done with you, they’re next.”

Sorin could not speak up to the unspeakable sight before him. Even Johan, who had been calm throughout, was at a loss for words. However, they were not aghast at Harold’s heinous deed but rather Korbin’s eyes. Sorin could only watch as tears began to roll down Korbin’s face. Harold withdrew his arm from Korbin’s body as he then proceeded to shove Korbin over the railing. Korbin fell down and hit the floor with a loud thud, his body landing in the pool of blood below. While Sorin could only look on at Harold in horror, Johan moved forward.

“You still want to fight me, don’t you,” Harold said. “So be it. Come up to the top floor if you really wish to die so badly.”

Harold then disappeared into the shadows above. Sorin snapped out of his daze and joined Johan, who knelt near Korbin. They both saw the devastating wound Harold left Korbin, the massive blow an unpleasant reminder to Sorin that Harold meant business. As Johan placed his fist on the ground, Korbin coughed and looked over to him.

“Johan… you two saw it, right?” Korbin asked. “My father… Harold, he… he’s stronger than both of you now…”

“He betrayed you, just like he did everyone else who worked with him,” Johan said. “Yet you fought for him anyway…”

“You don’t get it, Johan Kuu,” Korbin replied. “I didn’t have a choice… This was all I had…”

“Tell us,” Sorin said. “I can’t imagine you’ve got much time left, so just tell us about Harold. Tell us everything about that bastard so we can stop him. You can do that, can’t you?”

“Even I… can’t answer that,” Korbin said. “We only just got here… after all. This… This was all his plan…”

“His strength lies in his technology,” Johan said. “It’s how he survived and how he’ll try to take us on. His work benefits only himself.”

“He… So it’s all for him,” Korbin replied. “Rysol… Harold killed him like it was nothing… because I…”

Korbin drifted off. Sorin closed his eyes as he remembered the pain Harold caused him. The pain that had gone on for years had now struck again and Sorin had to stop it. He and Johan could not back down now.

“Harold’s responsible for so much,” Sorin said to Korbin. “You, too, are to blame for that pain and yet I can’t shake this feeling I have. The pain you had to endure for so long… even if you became numb to it, it was still going on.”

Johan checked Korbin’s body. “He’s dead,” he replied as he stood up and dusted off his pants. “It’s useless now to wonder now about what Korbin must have felt.”

“I know that,” Sorin said. “But still…”

“There is indeed a part of me that wonders about what would’ve happened had things been different,” Johan said. “Korbin might’ve had a chance if it all had gone differently. There were plenty of catalysts in his life that caused him to take the path he took, but even with that, Korbin had other paths to take.”

“That’s true,” Sorin replied. “I guess I was just trying to find a reason for all of this.”

“I understand,” Johan said.

“So we know where we got to go,” Sorin said. “Harold said it himself. Are you ready?”

“I’ve been ready for a while now,” Johan replied. “Let’s not waste any more time here, buddy.”

Sorin agreed. They had to follow after Harold. Despite the fact that Harold was capable of such a devastating move, Sorin continued on with Johan. On the top floor, they would find Harold waiting for them. Sorin could not say he was not afraid, but he had to press on and remain courageous. He had to because he was well aware that Johan felt the same way and they were walking towards a new future, but first they had to finish what had been started so long ago.


To be continued…


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