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 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…


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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…


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Aurora – Chapter 45 (Part 1)

[2nd of January, 2741 AD; Helmut Hospital – Patient Ward, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Giga District]

Sorin watched Isaac open his eyes. He stood near the entrance to the room while the others looked on as Fercewend took a seat next to the hospital bed. The entire room was silent, save for Johan. He cleared his throat as he walked over to the bed and stared down Isaac. The injured man could only groan as Johan took a deep breath. Sorin felt as if everyone except for Fercewend had been waiting for this moment to come, with Johan ready to start.

“Johan Kuu,” Fercewend said. “So you’ve decided to show your face. Have you come to gloat in our faces?”

“I’m here for one reason, general,” Johan replied. “Isaac Kunigunde knows a lot about Harold Mars and I intend to draw the truth out of him.”

Isaac looked up at Johan. “You… Do you expect me to cooperate with you? A traitor that thinks of himself before his own country?”

“Funny that you’d accuse me of your wrongdoings,” Johan said. “After all, you were the one who tried to get Piere Hasker out of the way. A man that cares more for his own status before his country… That would certainly describe you, Isaac Kunigunde.”

Isaac laughed, which then broke with a cough. “Do you forget the position you’re in? Rohan, waste no time in arresting this treasonous vermin.”

“I can’t do that,” Fercewend said.

“This is an order,” Isaac said. “Don’t think that you can deny my requests just because I’m injured!”

“I’m saying I can’t do that because the moment President Hasker arrives in Rezar, I will no longer be general,” Fercewend said. “I intend to tell him all about what I know and I will make sure that Casper Bradley testifies as well.”

“You’re going to betray me, too?” Isaac asked. “You’d betray Ameci?”

“This is not betrayal,” Fercewend said. “This is for the good of everyone, even if it comes at the cost of my reputation.”

“It’s no use, Isaac,” Henry said. “Your Foundation is falling apart, so I would suggest that you start talking.”

“Why would I listen to you of all people?” Isaac asked. “You were never fit to be general of the Ameci military, much less share the same glory as Rohan and I. That’s why I made sure you never had a chance.”

“That’s interesting,” Johan said. “Henry, perhaps you like to ask him about what he means?”

“I think I already have an idea,” Henry said.

“Isaac, what did you do?” Fercewend asked.

“Any threat to you is a threat to me,” Isaac said. “That’s why I had to make sure that Henry Randolph could never become general. Connections are pretty easy to make, which was how I got the rumors to float around in the first place. Ameci’s officials needed a nudge and I gave it to them by way of having Henry accused of treason, but that was all I did!”

“With how you’re confessing now, you’re trying to take the easy way out,” Johan said. “Of course you’d admit to such a crime because you would effectively walk away with nothing more than a mere reprimand.”

“Bullshit,” Gavin said. “With what he just said, this asshole deserves to be locked away for the rest of his life!”

“And yet, without proof, we stand with no ground beneath our feet,” Johan said. “Sorin, you didn’t forget, did you?”

Sorin reached into his pocket. “I’ve got what you need right here,” he said as he pulled out the two documents. “I don’t know how you’re going to use these, but I’ll let you have them.”

He went over to Johan and handed the papers over to him. Isaac tried to lift up his arms, but lacked the strength to do so as Johan began to read out loud. The whole room was silent except for Johan, his soft-spoken commentary describing in detail the connection between Isaac and Harring.

“That’s everything on here,” Johan said, stuffing the folded up papers in his pants pocket. “I’m sure there’s a lot more we can access with General Fercewend’s assistance, but for now we can talk about your connection with Harold Mars.”

Isaac groaned a light chuckle. “So you’ve got a piece of paper with some ink on it. So what? That signature doesn’t belong to me!”

“I’m sure if we ask Rohan, he’d tell us,” Gale replied.

“I don’t need to see the papers to know that it came from Isaac,” Fercewend said. “Please, for my sake, it would be better if you talked.”

“Yeah, otherwise, who knows what will happen next?” Law asked.

“All of you are traitors,” Isaac said. “Every last one of you… I suggest that all of you begin praying, because I will inform Hasker about all of this! Even you, Rohan, will be dealt with for trying to stab me in the back!”

“Guess you’re going to fight us to the end, then,” Law said. “Well, then you shouldn’t blame anyone but yourself when Harold finds out you’re still alive and kicking.”

“Harold?” Isaac asked. “He’s here?”

“Oh, well, none of us know that,” Law replied. “We just know that he’s still roaming around the city and once he learns about you, I’m sure he’ll want to pay you a visit.”

“He would come and finish me off, would he?” Isaac said. “That he would go against our contract… The man is beyond comprehension! Why would he go and put trust in his son over me now, of all times!?”

“I don’t think he really trusts Korbin,” Johan said. “If you really want to know what I think, it’s that Harold deems Korbin much more useful than you ever could be.”

“That is immensely ludicrous,” Isaac scoffed. “Harold is the one who should know his place in the world, not me!”

“What makes you say that?” Johan asked. “Remember, Harold left you for dead not too long ago.”

“I was the one who saved him from his watery demise,” Isaac said. He set his sights over to Sorin. “When your father mercilessly decided to chase after him on that boat, I knew that I could not afford to lose a man like him.”

“My family is dead because of that man,” Sorin said. “All of this pain is due to Harold Mars and you want to say that my father is the bloodthirsty one?”

“I don’t care what you think,” Isaac replied. “Men like Kirk only got in the way of my goals and I needed a way to deal with him. If it weren’t for Harold’s own ruthlessness, Kirk would’ve been the one to die in his house!”

“Tell me, then,” Sorin said. “Why did you want my father dead? What was the reason? Answer me!”

“I didn’t want the war to end,” Isaac replied. “The Swords of Eight worked hard to make sure that the Ameci and Thekohnian regions operated in peace, but for me, it was akin to an incoming drought. After all, there’s a lot of money to be made when militaries need firepower.”

“Was that why you had Alan killed as well?” Henry asked.

“I think you should already know that answer,” Johan said. “Isaac sees each person as expendable. He did not care at all whether or not they fell so long as he continued to remain untouched. If it came to the worst, Isaac would have had no trouble begging for help so long as it benefitted him.”

“So it seems,” Fercewend said.

“And so what if that’s the case?” Isaac asked. “I… I’m not about to lose to a nobody like you!”

“Yet you’re telling us nearly everything that you know,” Gale said. “I don’t know if you’ve realized or not, but you’ve already lost.”

“I-Impossible,” Isaac replied. “To have you tell me that… To be shown up by my daughter, an idiotic woman with absolutely no life experience of her own… You’re the one that’s making a fool of me?”

“It’s over, Isaac,” Henry said.

“I’m going to ask you one important question and you’re going to answer me,” Johan said to Isaac. “What is Harold’s plan? What does he want now that he has you out of the way?”

“His plan?” Fercewend asked. “Was his plan not to betray Isaac?”

“That is one part of it, yes,” Johan replied. “However, I’m asking about his ambitions outside of that. Harold Mars has a lot of secrets he’d rather not be out in the open, which is why he’s been mostly operating behind the scenes.”

“I’m surprised he didn’t betray you sooner,” Sorin said to Isaac.

“You speak as if you know the man yourself,” Isaac said.

“Well, I think I know enough to realize how much of a threat he truly is,” Sorin said. “That’s why Johan is asking you. Harold’s plan… does it involve profiteering from the tragedies of war as well?”

Isaac turned his head away, facing Fercewend. “There is a reason why we were in a contract,” he said. “Foundation was built as a way to rule this world without needlessly getting our hands dirty. Only when it was necessary would we go out and take care of things ourselves.”

“That’s why you killed Harring, then?” Sorin asked. “Because you couldn’t trust anybody to do it yourself?”

“What a fool you are, Sorin Wilk,” Isaac replied. “I only killed him because I wanted to, of course.”

“He could have had anyone do it, really,” Johan said. “But he wanted to see for himself what it was like to kill another man.”

“All this time, he was the one who took the chancellor’s life,” Fercewend said. “And for what? You wanted even more money?”

“That’s exactly why I did it,” Isaac said.

“You’ve lost me, then,” Fercewend said. “That blood will remain on your hands forever.”

“Even if I had regrets, it would change nothing,” Isaac said. “Harring was as much in this as Dezine and Bradley. It just so happened that he got the shortest stick of them all.”

“Which means you would’ve killed one of them, too, if you wanted to,” Gale said. “Because your only reason was because you felt like it.”

“It does seem that way,” Law said. “It’s a frightening thought for sure, not knowing if you’re the next one with a target on your back just because Isaac felt like he needed a fix.”

“But if you were so desperate to have a war so bad, why did you not go after Rain?” Henry asked. “She was the one who organized the summit, so would it not be logical for you to target her instead?”

“It would’ve been obvious,” Johan said. “If it had gone differently, it would have been bad for Isaac. That’s why Harring had to die, in Isaac’s mind.”

“So we know that Isaac had to have Ahnlikohn’s chancellor killed,” Gavin said. “What about Harold’s plan, damn it?”

“Yes, I do believe we’re getting off track,” Johan said. “I’m sure Isaac is all but willing to let this tangent go on further, but it’s time to start answering the real question.”

“That means right now,” Fercewend said. “No more excuses, no more of you trying to divert away from Harold. As long as he’s around, then we cannot afford to ignore him.”

“Like I said, I was using Foundation to rule this world,” Isaac said. “Harold and his ambitions—his plan—involved using his immense ruthlessness in order to help me accomplish that goal. By thrusting these regions into war, it would’ve been easy to have everyone working to our benefit.”

“And by having you out of the way, Harold wants to claim it all to himself,” Henry said. “Is this what you’re suggesting?”

“Make of it what you want,” Isaac said. “I’ve no desire to continue further down this path with you.”

“Then it’s a shame,” Johan said. “If you’re so sworn to spewing venom until the very end, then you shouldn’t be surprised when you rot away in prison all by yourself.”

Isaac chuckled. “If I had any regrets, I know none of you would buy it,” he replied. “I lost this battle, plain and simple.”

“This battle?” Gavin asked. “You’re going to lose a lot more than that, you know. Just give it the fuck up already.”

“Giving up is a loser’s move,” Isaac said. “Even if I am sent away to prison for life, I wouldn’t even begin to think about giving you all the satisfaction of my surrender.”

“Bro, he’s known the situation ever since he got here,” Law said. “That he would continue to act all high and mighty is only a show. Not that it’s a very good one to begin with, but it is a show meant only to boost his damaged ego.”

“I already know that, Lawrence,” Gavin replied.

“He’s already told us what we need to know,” Gale said. “Isaac put his trust in someone he thought he could control, but it ended up backfiring on him.”

“When you deal with a man known as ‘The Ruthless,’ it shouldn’t be any surprise if he sets his sights on you,” Henry said to Isaac. “Even Kirk was well aware of the risks of going up against him, but he was a lot more courageous than you would ever hope to be.”

Isaac had no response, only a scowl upon his face.

“Of course, Harold was more than happy to do your dirty work as long as it benefitted him,” Henry said. “As long as it meant he got to deliver his own wicked brand of pain, Mr. Mars was happy to work alongside you.”

Henry walked away from the hospital bed and headed for the door. Isaac continued to lay as he had no way of getting out on his own power.

“But even someone as tactical as you should’ve seen it coming,” Henry said. “This day had been coming because Harold’s ruthlessness doesn’t hold itself back against men like you. If someone like Harring could fall, then so could you.”

“And that’s why Harold wants to rule all by himself,” Johan said. “With you out of the way, he wants to create that sort of world where he sits at the top.”

“That’s the goal of Foundation,” Sorin said. “It just so happened that Harold was the one in charge the whole time.”

“Indeed,” Johan replied. “But I think we’ve got all we needed from Isaac, so I don’t see the point in remaining here for much longer. General, I take it that you will be the one to watch over him for the time being?”

“That’s my intention, yes,” Fercewend answered.

“Are you truly going to listen to him?” Isaac asked. “This man has tried time and time again to undermine us and you want to listen to him?”

“I believe that there is truth to what he says,” Fercewend said. “Mr. Kuu, if you are really going after Harold Mars… If that’s what you’re going to do now, the only thing I will suggest is for you to be careful.”

“I already know what the risk is,” Johan said. “Besides, I’ve got a good idea where to find Harold. Let’s get moving.”

With that said, everyone except Fercewend and Isaac left the room. Sorin felt the urgency rising with each step he took down the hall. Meanwhile, Johan led the way out to the lobby where everyone reconvened with what they were going to do next. If Johan knew where Harold was hiding, then the best time to say it was right now.

“Tell us where you think Harold is,” Gavin said to Johan.

“Before I do that, I think it’d be good to let everyone know what’s going on,” Johan said. “We should hurry up and meet the others at the new prime minister’s office as we don’t have much time.”

“You mean Harold won’t stay in Rezar for too long,” Gale said. “I’m not sure what he’s going to do now, but do you believe he’s really going to come back so he can kill Isaac?”

“I don’t know about that,” Johan answered. “What I know is that Harold is going to be on the move soon. He’s not going to stay here for too long, which is why we’re gonna have to think fast.”

“It’s a frightening thought,” Sorin said. “He could be just around the corner, waiting for us. He’s going to want us all dead, that’s for sure.”

“He’s only one man,” Henry said. “Even with his son, that is only two while we have a larger count. Besides, it’s not as if he can keep running away.”

“That’s true,” Gavin said. “I’m sure that with Ayanna and Reiss’ help, we’ll be able to track down those two before they can even think about fleeing.”

“I’m not so sure about that,” Johan said.

“What do you mean?” Gavin asked. “Wouldn’t it be easier for us if we had the Iiayikohnian military on our side?”

“If we had that many people after him, Harold would know easily,” Johan replied. “His recent operation had to involve just him and Korbin, so I’m not so sure that he would have any lackeys available to help him.”

“The Blood Ravens, you mean,” Sorin said.

“I’m sure Harold would have no trouble recruiting some goons to fight for him,” Henry said. “But I believe that Johan is correct: we cannot pursue Harold with a great number of soldiers roaming the streets of Rezar.”

“Which is why we need a plan in place,” Johan said. “Gale, I’m going to go and put my trust in you to speak with Ayanna and Reiss about that matter.”

“Okay,” Gale replied. “Wait, does that mean you’re going to find him all by yourself? That’s dangerous!”

“You’re exactly right,” Johan said. “Sorin, buddy, this is going to be our final job together. You ready?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be,” Sorin said.

“You guys are really going together, huh,” Law said. “You really do want all the glory for yourself, don’t you?”

Johan grinned. “I’m not afraid to share, if you want.”

“If I go, then bro’s gonna want to come, too,” Law replied. “And if he comes, then I’m sure that Mina would like to go with, then Eva would go and then who knows what will happen next? The number would only go up and up from there, so it would be better if you two led first.”

“If we can’t get him ourselves, then it’s up to you guys,” Sorin said.

“Just run if it gets tough,” Gale said. “I don’t want you to die.”

“We’re not going to plan on dying any time soon,” Johan said. “Not as long as I’m around.”

“We’ll be fine,” Sorin said to Gale.

“I hope so,” she said.

“I promise you that if things look bad, I’ll run,” Sorin said. “I’ll run as fast as I can, Gale.”

“He’d have to, anyway,” Law said. “You don’t want to be stationary when you’re going up against an oncoming truck, do you?”

“What the hell does that have to do with anything?” Gavin asked.

“I’m saying that Harold’s the truck,” Law replied. “Did you not get that one, bro?”

“I got it,” Gavin said.

“Good, then we’ve got no time to waste,” Law said. “To the prime minister’s office we go.”

“Well, if that’s the case, then I’m going to see Rohan,” Henry said.

“You are?” Gale asked.

“There’s one thing I forgot to ask him about,” Henry said. “It’ll only be for a minute at most.”

Henry turned around and headed back into the patient ward. Sorin and the others, though, began to head outside the hospital. Once outside, everyone saw an old green motorcycle parked over by the curb. Sorin watched as Johan walked to the motorcycle and started it up.

“Is that your entrance?” Gavin asked. “Just where in the hell did you get that ride?”

“Oh, well, it actually belongs to one of my allies,” Johan replied. “I know it looks a little beat up, but it actually carried me to and from Hurst.”

“Hurst?” Law asked. “You were there?”

“Only for a moment,” Johan replied. “I had something I needed to do, that’s all, really.”

“Of course,” Gavin said. “I’m not going to question it.”

“If you won’t, then I guess I won’t, either,” Law said. “So you’re going to use that to find Harold?”

“We’ll cover a lot more ground this way,” Johan said as he hopped onto the motorcycle’s seat. “I’m sorry, Sorin, but it looks as if you’re going to have to sit behind me for the time being.”

“I’ve got no problem with that,” Sorin replied.

“That doesn’t surprise me,” Law said. “Surely you must be a little jealous of this, Gale.”

“You shouldn’t assume things,” Gale replied. “Just get going. I’ll catch up with you two soon once Henry gets back.”

Law shrugged. “Let’s do what she says, bro.”

Gavin and Law went off in the direction of the prime minister’s office as Sorin turned to Gale. He looked in her eyes as she did the same. He knew he was going to come back to her, but Sorin could not help but feel like this was as good a time as any to show his affection for her. As he closed in on her, Sorin knew that Gale felt the same as he did. The two met as they shared a brief kiss. It was only for a few seconds, but Sorin felt like it went on for much longer than that. When they were done, Gale pushed up her glasses as Sorin stood and waited for her to respond.

“You’ll be back soon,” she said. “I know you will.”

“And I’ll make sure that you’re the first to know,” Sorin said. “I… I love you, Gale.”

“I love you, too,” Gale said. “Please take care of him, Johan.”

It was then that Sorin went over and joined Johan on the back. He placed himself behind Johan, making sure that he stayed secure on the motorcycle as Johan revved up the engine. Finally, the two began to move as the motorcycle took them down the streets of Rezar. The pursuit for Harold was on and Sorin was ready to confront him. He was going to make sure that this time, neither Harold nor Korbin could get away with what they had done.

To be continued…

Previous | Next Part

Aurora – Chapter 44 (Part 2)

[2nd of January, 2741 AD; Helmut Hospital – Reception Room, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Giga District]


After arriving at the hospital, Gale tried to see Isaac, but was denied. Sorin had a feeling that this would be the case, so he waited with her while they tried to figure out what to do next. Meanwhile, Gavin took a look through a newspaper as Law and Henry discussed what Isaac’s condition would mean now. For all that Isaac had done, Sorin had to wonder if he had any remorse now that it was clear Harold and Korbin betrayed him. Sorin wondered if there was a possibility that Isaac would have a change of heart, though Sorin had a feeling it probably meant nothing now. Isaac had done his crimes and no turnabout would undo that fact.

“He’s still responsible,” Gale said. “No matter what happens here tonight, it will be Isaac’s turn to pay for what he’s done.”

“I wonder what General Fercewend is thinking right now,” Sorin said. “Is he really set on siding with Isaac to the very end? Even after all that’s happened tonight?”

“Whatever Isaac has over him, Rohan has to know,” Gale replied. “He has to know what’s going to happen once everything comes to light.”

“There’s little we can do at the moment,” Henry said. “If we’re going to find out anything from Rohan, we’ll have to wait a little longer.”

“Yeah, it’s going to be a while until we see Isaac ourselves,” Law said. “He’s holding on for life with all he’s got. That bastard doesn’t know when to admit his defeat, even when the final call is coming in.”

“Truly this has been an ongoing battle,” Henry said, “But it’ll be over soon enough. Isaac Kunigunde can no longer keep running from the consequences of his actions.”

“Let’s hope so,” Sorin said.

“Excuse me, is there a Mr. Law Power? I’ve got a very important call for him if he’s available.”

Everyone looked over towards the reception desk. Law set his sights on the receptionist behind the desk as she held up the phone. He headed to the desk and picked up the phone. Sorin could only guess that Rain called and wanted to speak with someone, as she had to have gotten the news of Wilson Dezine’s ousting by now. After all, this was important towards Rain’s goal and Sorin wanted to hear what the next step was going to be now.

“Ah, yes, it seems like you’ve picked a good time to call, Your Majesty,” Law said. “I guess the good news reached you rather quickly, didn’t it?”

Gavin stood up and walked over to Sorin, Gale, and Henry. “He’s trying his best to play up this situation, it seems,” he said. “But I suppose we’ll learn soon what Rain plans to do now. I wonder what she plans to do now.”

“She will make the right decision,” Henry said. “The only question now is whether or not Rohan will accept it.”

“If you believe in him, then I suppose I should, too,” Gale said. “All of this happened because of Isaac’s greed. Rohan has to understand that; he just has to.”

The doors to the emergency ward then opened as Fercewend walked out. He took a deep breath and sighed as everyone, save for Law, faced him. Rohan was the only one who could answer their questions and Sorin knew that this was their best chance. Sorin could not afford to let it go to waste. Before he could ask the general anything, Fercewend raised his head.

“If you’re wondering about Isaac, he’s fine,” Fercewend said as he closed his eyes and clenched his fist. “He is doing much better now, though I cannot say the same for his self-esteem.”

“Tell me, Rohan,” Henry said. “We deserve to know.”

Fercewend opened his eyes. “You’re right,” he said. “What happened in the embassy was because of Isaac’s own actions. He has much to answer for as do I; what I can say is that I am aware of what’s going to happen next and once Hasker arrives in Rezar, I will sign my resignation posthaste.”

“You intend on sinking with Isaac all the way?” Gale asked. “Even though he was using you this whole time?”

“I let Isaac get to me,” Fercewend said. “Perhaps I was too naive to think that Isaac would go so far… No, that’s not it.”

“Then what is it?” Gavin asked.

“I let it happen,” Fercewend said. “All this time, I had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind. At first, I thought it was just intrusive thoughts, so I tuned it out. But it was instinct and I should’ve acted.”

“You couldn’t have possibly known,” Henry said. “Hell, I only learned about Isaac’s acts rather recently.”

“That may be the case, but I am one of the most powerful men in Ameci,” Fercewend replied. “People look to me for example and once news breaks out, I am certain that they will no longer hold the military in high regard. How could I possibly show my face in public after this?”

It was a question that Sorin felt no one had an answer to. Henry, though, looked Fercewend directly in the eyes.

“There’s only one thing you can do,” Henry said. “Of course, it’s all up to you, Rohan.”

“And what do you suggest?” Fercewend asked.

“You learn from your mistakes,” Henry replied. “You do that and make sure that the next general is held up to the standard that you held yourself up to. That’s what you can do in the future, my friend.”

“I understand completely,” Fercewend said. “But I can’t walk away from the truth. I’m sure you realize that, Henry.”

“Whatever it takes, I’ll help you,” Henry said. “I’m sure it would be much appreciated by everyone if we all work together to make sure someone like Isaac never has that much influence in our government again.”

“That would be for the best,” Fercewend said, reaching out his hand to Henry. “As much as it will be painful, it is a necessary step if we’re to move Ameci towards the future.”

Henry then went and shook Fercewend’s hand. “Indeed, it would be great for all of us.”

“So, what’s the other news?” Sorin asked Fercewend. “You know, what of Isaac and his self-esteem?”

“Ah, yes, that too must be important to you, Sorin,” Fercewend said, pulling his hand back. “Though Isaac is alive and well, the injury to his spinal cord was enough to render him paralyzed below the waist.”

Gale looked away from Fercewend. “Knowing him, he’d rather have died from that gunshot,” she said. “But instead, he’ll have to answer for what he did and he can’t get out of it now.”

“Any information from him would be valuable,” Henry said. “Even the smallest thing would help us get closer to stopping Harold Mars.”

“It all circles back to that asshole, doesn’t it,” Gavin said. “Sorin, this may be a bad time to disclose this, but I think you should know the truth.”

“Are you sure about this?” Henry asked Gavin.

“I already said I was going to be the one to tell him,” Gavin replied. “And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

“What do you have to tell me?” Sorin asked.

“It’s about Rysol,” Gavin said. “More importantly, it’s about where we found his body.”

Sorin had a bad feeling about what Gavin was going to say next. “His… His body? What do you mean?”

“We don’t know everything about what happened, but I can say for certain that Rysol is dead,” Gavin said, placing his hand on the bridge of his sunglasses. “I can only assume that he died because he was getting close to the truth.”

“I see,” Sorin said.

He wished that Gavin was wrong but knew that he would have no reason to lie to him about Rysol. Despite the fact that Gavin had no way of confirming it himself, Sorin had to believe what was being said. And the person responsible for Rysol’s death had to be Harold. Sorin just knew it.

“I’m very sorry,” Henry said. “But what we do know is that when we found out about Rysol, he was already underneath what I can only assume was Harold’s hideout.”

“Where was this?” Fercewend asked. “Perhaps there is a chance yet that we can corner this man and seize him before it’s too late.”

“Unfortunately, that isn’t possible,” Henry replied.

Henry explained to Fercewend about the condition of Harold’s hideout and where they went. He also explained what he knew about Harold and the actions he took, as well as what he did to Kirk. Sorin could only listen, his words escaping him as Henry continued to go over what had already taken place. Fercewend just nodded on until Henry finished. Then, at that moment, Law rejoined the group. With Henry done, Gale then went over everything that had happened in Glora, from meeting with Queen Amelia to the encounter with Crawford Bradley. As Gale finished, Fercewend sighed as he looked over at Sorin.

“I must apologize,” Fercewend said. “You were innocent the entire time and I was wrong to treat you unfairly when we last met. I suppose that there was a bit of truth to what Casper said, after all…”

“What Casper said?” Henry asked.

“Isaac had a plan,” Fercewend said. “From what Casper said, it seems as if he and Isaac plotted to poison President Hasker.”

“I knew it,” Gale said. “It was his plan all along… Isaac wanted power and needed someone to take the fall if it were to come up.”

“In the end, though, it looks as if Isaac fell the hardest,” Law said. “A sad, sad tale of a man who wanted it all but in the end gets nothing for his efforts. Well, it would be sad if Isaac weren’t such a vile sack of crap.”

“You may say that, but perhaps in some way, he can learn from his crimes,” Fercewend said. “Even if it were only a margin of minuscule proportions, I want to believe.”

“Even after all this, you still believe in him?” Gale asked. “Even though you know what Isaac has done?”

“I didn’t say it was absolute,” Fercewend replied. “But if there is a chance, then maybe there is a chance he sees the error of his ways.”

Law delivered a small laugh. “The chance that happens is next to little, cue ball,” he said. “Isaac  went down his path with the intention of leaving everybody else out to dry. Did you think you’d be exempt?”

“It’s something I’m going to have to ask him,” Fercewend said.

“Guess that’s not going to change your mind,” Law said. “Fine then, there’s no point in asking you anything if it’s not going to yield results.”

“General Rohan Fercewend? Can you come with me?”

Fercewend turned around and looked at the entrance to the patient ward. A nurse was standing by the doors as Fercewend hurried over to her and went through to the patient ward. Law shrugged as he faced the others.

“I guess we’re about to find out for ourselves if we’re going to see Isaac,” Law said. “I’m not going to lie to you, Gale: it’s going to be a bit cathartic to stand over that bastard while he lies in bed. Actually, what I meant to say was that I’m going to enjoy this a lot.”

“Go ahead,” Gale said. “Isaac could stand to be humbled at this point.”

“Well, I’m glad we agree on something,” Law said. “It’s only a matter of time now until the clock strikes zero for him, anyway.”

“So, what did Rain say?” Gavin asked.

“Oh, I’m happy you brought that up,” Law replied. “I was worried for a second that we were just going to let that whole point go to waste.”

“I wasn’t going to forget, dumbass,” Gavin said. “Now what did she say?”

“Right, well, she learned the news about Isaac and now she’s ready for the next step,” Law said. “She was rather happy about it, too. Mina’s gonna be pretty excited to go back to Her Majesty after this is all over, I bet.”

“The next step,” Henry said. “Hasker’s going to have a lot to deal with. I’m not at all jealous of him, to be honest.”

“Someone has to clean the mess,” Sorin said.

“And it’s crucial for Hasker, too,” Henry said. “Well, whatever happens for Ameci now is going to fall on him, like it or not.”

“You still have your plans of running for office, don’t you?” Gavin asked. “Is there anything you could do?”

Henry shook his head. “It’s only for mayor of Admorse,” he replied. “Though it could be helpful in the long run…”

“Whatever you decide to do, I can only hope you hold those ideals as time goes on,” Gavin said. “The world needs people like you to believe in, and this is a good time to start doing the right thing.”

“I’ll do my best,” Henry said.

“Anyway, we’ve still got the matter of what needs to be done here,” Law said. “Rain says she’s going to leave it up to General Reiss to decide who will be the next prime minister, but part of me thinks that he may want to take the job for himself.”

“You really believe that Reiss wants to be prime minister of Iiayikohn?” Sorin asked.

“It’s only a hunch, but Ayanna was thinking the same thing,” Law replied. “If she believes he can be a good leader, then hell, I can certainly believe in the man. He was pretty helpful to us, after all.”

“If that’s to be believed, then I for one welcome it,” Henry said. “I cannot think of a better person to lead this country than him.”

“Well, we’ll have to find out for ourselves,” Gale said. “But for now, let’s go and see if we can speak to Isaac.”

Everyone agreed as they turned towards the entrance to the ward. Sorin followed after the group, but as he did, the front doors to the hospital opened up. He looked back and saw Johan entering. The others stopped as Johan rushed to the group.

“I knew I would find you guys here,” Johan said. “I guess that makes me pretty lucky, doesn’t it?”

“Johan, what is it now?” Sorin asked.

“You should be the one to explain to me, buddy,” Johan replied. “Though I gotta guess there’s a good reason you’re here right now.”

“Leave it to the genius to figure it out,” Gavin said. “I guess you’ve already figured out what happened, haven’t you?”

“Gavin, Gavin, please, I’m just one guy,” Johan said. “A lot’s happened in the span of a couple of hours and I’m just trying to piece things together. That’s the most logical way to go about it, I say.”

“Let’s just get to the point,” Sorin said.

He explained to Johan about what happened to Isaac and what his current condition was at the moment.

“Just as I thought,” Johan said.

“You got anything you want to add, or what?” Gavin asked. “We don’t have that much time, I imagine.”

“You’d be right about that,” Johan replied. “Harold’s the one that’s behind everything, even Isaac. It would help us immensely if we shook our adversary for some clues about Harold.”

“That’s why we’re here,” Gale said.

“This must bring you some joy, I bet,” Law said. “The two guys that’ve been after your head have been taken down and now you’re ready to waltz in there like you just kicked their asses.”

“The only thing that’s going to bring me joy now is to stop Harold Mars,” Johan replied. “He’s close by, but we’ve still got a lot to learn about him. Isaac’s going to help us fill in the blanks whether he wants to or not.”


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Aurora – Chapter 44 (Part 1)

[2nd of January, 2741 AD; outside of the Ameci Embassy, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


Sorin and Gale arrived outside the Ameci Embassy and caught a glimpse of the commotion inside. It had taken them several minutes to get there from where they started at, but still Sorin did not expect it to be any different. He had many questions that only Isaac Kunigunde could answer for and only so little time for him to answer. So when he and Gale entered the main hall, Sorin was met with a great surprise as several soldiers and General Fercewend crowded together in a huddle. Fercewend was barking orders at the soldiers as they then began running around the embassy with haste.

“Call an ambulance,” Fercewend said, “We’re not going to have a casualty in this embassy. Not here, not now!”

He then knelt down as Sorin proceeded to get a better look. He could not believe what he saw as Isaac Kunigunde lay on the ground in what appeared to be a puddle of his own blood. Gale hurried towards Fercewend as he looked over at her and reacted with great surprise.

“Gale?” Fercewend asked. “What in the world are you doing here?”

“We’re here because we wanted to confront Isaac,” Gale said. “But I can see that that’s not important right now. Is he doing well?”

“He’s still conscious,” Fercewend replied. “It’s a miracle, really.”

Sorin walked up to Isaac and looked down at him. “Who did this?”

“I… I’m not going to answer you,” Isaac said. “I’d rather die than surrender to you…”

“We’re not going to allow you the satisfaction of escaping with your crimes, Isaac,” Gale said. “Once we’re at the hospital, you’re going to confess to all of what you’ve done from the True Thekohnians to the Neu Thekohnian Order, as well as Foundation itself.”

“You… You would stab me?” Isaac asked. “After what I’ve done, you’d still stab me in the back?”

“It’s always been about you, hasn’t it,” Gale said. “Even now, you’re lying on the floor because your selfish ways caught up to you and yet you still think about no one but yourself.”

“Gale, please,” Fercewend said. “Isaac… he’s the victim of an unfortunate encounter with a rogue soldier. I’ll make sure the one responsible is caught and punished severely for his crime.”

“He’s not a victim at all,” Gale replied. “Can’t you see that, Rohan? Isaac is only using you. He’s been using you all this time!”

Fercewend sighed. “I can’t afford to go back now,” he said. “If I must face the consequences, then I will do so, but I’m not going to allow any disruption to the order. Not as long as I’m general.”

“That’s absurd,” Sorin said. “After all that’s happened, you still want to side with him?”

“It’s not as if I’ve got a choice,” Fercewend said. “If you want to say Isaac is guilty, then so be it. But it would also mean that I, too, am complicit.”

“That’s… That’s right,” Isaac said. “No matter what happens next, Rohan will remain loyal to me…”

“So you intend on dragging him down with you to the very end,” Gale said. “Even if that means you’ll go to jail for the rest of your life, you don’t want to be the one to suffer alone.”

“I… I’m not going to suffer,” Isaac replied. “I… My body… I will remain… on top…”

Isaac lifted up his arm, which dropped to the floor the next second. Gale held back a gasp as Fercewend checked his pulse. The sound of sirens began to grow louder as Sorin glanced out the window.

“He’s alive,” Fercewend said, “Though we’re going to need a lot of hope now.”

“Please tell me, Rohan,” Gale said. “If Isaac won’t admit it, then you’ll have to do it instead. You saw what happened to him, right?”

Fercewend stood up with his fist clenched. “That I did,” he replied. “If only I weren’t so hesitant, then maybe Isaac wouldn’t be so wounded right now. Damn my foolishness!”

Gale looked over at Isaac once again. “Who was it that shot him? You did say it was a soldier, after all.”

Before Fercewend could respond, Sorin spoke up.

“I think we already know,” Sorin said. “There’s only one person with a deep connection to Isaac, and he has the exact method to do it.”

“I know,” Gale said. “But Rohan doesn’t want to admit it.”

“It isn’t that I can’t admit it,” Fercewend said. “I don’t want to believe what I saw earlier, but that man with Private Mars… He truly walks again?”

“There’s more to Isaac’s relationship with Harold,” Gale said. “A lot that I believe he never let you in on.”

“I can’t believe it,” Fercewend said. “After all that happened to his family, I could not even begin to imagine that Private Mars would be working alongside his father all this time.”

“Korbin was never in it for Ameci, or anyone, for that matter,” Sorin said. “He only has his own desires to fulfill and I’m sure that some of them relate to what Harold wants as well.”

“And Isaac, I assume, never suspected a thing,” Gale said.

“None of us could,” Fercewend said. “Though it does make me wonder…”

“What is it?” Gale asked.

“It’s nothing,” Fercewend replied. “It appears as if the ambulance is here. Let’s go.”

“Go ahead,” Gale said. “We’ll catch up with you later.”

Fercewend nodded. “Very well.”

Sorin left with Gale as they wondered what to do next. As they stepped onto the sidewalk, they were met with Gavin, Henry, and Law who made it all the way from the new prime minister’s office. As the three looked over towards the ambulance, Sorin and Gale went over to greet them.

“There’s a lot to explain,” Sorin said.

“You’re telling me,” Gavin said. “We’ve got news for you, too.”

“Yeah, some pretty good news, in fact,” Law said. “Gale, are you ready to be wowed by what I’ve got to say?”

“Just say it already,” Gale replied.

“Geez, fine,” Law said. “I was really going to talk up Mina, but I suppose we can only really account everything after the fact.”

Law explained to Sorin and Gale about Dezine’s ousting and what Mina did to insure his removal. With Wilson Dezine gone, another member of Foundation was defeated and Isaac’s power diminished because of it. Still, Sorin felt as if that was not the only news Law had.

“What about Reiss?” Sorin asked.

“What of him?” Law asked. “He’ll be here soon enough, don’t worry.”

“I guess,” Sorin replied.

“You don’t really seem that enthusiastic,” Law said. “Man, we really came at a bad time, didn’t we?”

Everyone turned as the doors to the nearby ambulance opened up. Two paramedics rushed into the embassy with a stretcher as Sorin looked back over to the other three. Gavin, Law, and Henry remained focused as they caught sight of who was being carried out of the embassy, with Fercewend following after the paramedics as he went into the ambulance with them and Isaac.

“He isn’t actually dead, is he?” Henry asked.

Sorin shook his head. “Still stable,” he replied. “Though we’ve still got a lot we want to talk to him about.”

“As well as a lot he has to answer to,” Gale said. “And I’m sure that Queen Amelia wants to let the people know exactly what happened between her and Foundation.”

“I can’t help but feel it’d be better if he actually did die,” Gavin said. “I’m sorry, I’m still pissed off after what happened.”

“This should be good news,” Henry said. “As long as Isaac’s still alive, we’ll be able to hold him accountable for what he’s done.”

“I wonder about that,” Sorin said.

He then explained to the others about how Korbin, directed by Harold, shot Isaac. Sorin surmised that Isaac was supposed to die but Korbin messed up the shot and left with Harold in an instant before they could confirm whether or not Isaac died.

“If I had to guess, it was pressure,” Henry said. “Having that man breathing down your neck can’t be good for you, even for someone like Korbin.”

“He has been acting a lot more paranoid,” Sorin said. “It’s pretty difficult to believe that Korbin could even act that way, but it makes sense.”

“Harold’s ramping up the pressure, that’s why,” Law said. “Whatever that guy wants, no one was offering enough to him. That’s why he saw it fit to have his son attack Isaac.”

“Either way, we’d have to hurry to the hospital,” Henry said. “As long as both Rohan and Isaac are together, Isaac will continue to use him. I’m not about to let him keep doing that.”

“Rohan is set on falling with Isaac no matter what,” Gale said. “Even if he knows that Isaac’s a criminal, I can’t convince Rohan to stop what he’s doing and denounce Isaac.”

“It doesn’t mean we can’t keep trying,” Henry replied. “I’m going to keep believing in my friend even if he can no longer do so, because I know he has done the same for me. Because I know how it feels when everything seems lost.”

“Looks like we should move on, then,” Law said. “I’ll be sure to let Ayanna know where we are.”

Everyone agreed and headed in the direction of Helmut Hospital. Still, the fact that Harold and Korbin were roaming around the city remained prevalent in Sorin’s mind while he walked with his friends. The rule of Foundation seemed to be all but over, but still the lurking terror in the darkness worried Sorin. He had to wonder if Johan was getting any closer to the truth, and if it would be enough to take down the last remaining leg of Foundation.




[2nd of January, 2741 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Inside Thedam Castle Hall]


“Wilson Dezine’s reign is finally over,” Rain said. “I am beyond glad to hear that from you, Mina.”

It had been a long day in the castle as Rain spent most of her time speaking to the other leaders about what to do in Iiayikohn. With the news of Dezine’s fall, however, Rain was ready to turn that discussion towards one of productivity. It all began when Amelia called her earlier in the day. Ahnlikohn’s queen wanted to come forward with everything she knew about Foundation, even if it came at the cost of her own status. Rain agreed, the two settling on the next day for Amelia to inform the citizens of her country about all that had happened and what she had to do next. Still, Rain knew that this was only the first step of many and could not call it a day, not when there was much to resolve with Ameci.

“So I guess we’re just waiting for Reiss, aren’t we?” Mina asked.

“Has he not arrived? I was hoping to speak with him,” Rain said. “Tell him this when he gets to your location: it’s up to him whether or not he wants the task of leading Iiayikohn. Other than that, tell him ‘thank you’ for everything.”

“I’ll be sure to let him know,” Mina replied. “Hope to see you soon!”

“Me too, Mina, me too,” Rain said. “I’ll see you soon.”

She said her goodbyes to Mina and hung up the phone. The empty room was an odd, but welcome, sight. Everyone had gone to take a break from all of the talks, but Rain still remained inside because she was awaiting the call from Rezar. Now that the call was over, however, Rain saw little need to stay in the war room and headed out into the main hall. There, she found Kiku and Noa talking with Khadir, who started to laugh aloud. Gamal was also there, as was Rado, the two speaking with each other as Rain approached them.

“Good news, isn’t it?” Rado asked.

“That’s what we’re hoping for,” Rain said. “It’s all going well, but still we’ve got one last matter of business to take care of before we can truly move forward and bring peace across the region.”

“Indeed, we’ve got Mr. Kunigunde to worry about,” Gamal said. “I wonder what he’s thinking right now with one of his closest allies ousted from power. To be honest with you, I don’t believe he sees it as much of a scratch.”

“He’d drop Dezine in an instant,” Rado said. “Then he’d claim that Dezine was never strong at all. Not worthy.”

“So, Your Majesty, what will be the next course of action?” Gamal asked. “I would think that our priority now is to go forth and confront Ameci’s officials on their actions regarding Mr. Kunigunde, but it’s all up to you.”

“We don’t have much of a clue about Casper Bradley’s whereabouts,” Rain said. “Hasker will also be difficult to reach as he’s still crossing the sea. I believe it would be best if we let the others take care of Mr. Kunigunde right now, because if we don’t, he’ll find a way to escape.”

“She is right,” Rado said.

“Then I hope we’ll find out soon,” Gamal said. “For now, I’ll keep waiting until we hear more from Rezar. I will inform you if anything interesting comes up, Your Majesty.”

“Very well,” Rain said.

“Your Majesty, are you going to just stand there and not pay some mind to our guests of the hour?” Khadir asked.

Rain looked over as Khadir cracked a smile. Kiku and Noa noticed, too, as Kiku motioned to Rain to come over. Rain decided that it was a good time to see for herself what was going on and went over to the three who were still deep in conversation.

“I was just saying to Noa here that he should really think about coming back to Maeitakohn,” Khadir said. “Not forever, obviously, but at least to see all of the sights he’s probably missing.”

“And I was saying to Khaddy that it would be a wonderful idea,” Kiku said. “But I don’t want it to be just us, you know, right Ray?”

“I suppose I do,” Rain replied.

“When this is all over, you and Minnie could join us,” Kiku said. “It’ll be just like a whole trip and everything. We’ll see all the sights in Maeitakohn and have a lot of fun! You could really use it, too!”

“I’ll certainly think about it,” Rain said.

“It would be fun,” Noa said. “Then again, what’s this whole region going to look like after this is all over? I really don’t know…”

“That’s for all of us to figure out,” Rain replied. “We’re here because we’re trying to put an end to the problems at hand. We’re closer now, but questions do remain in regards to what we’re going to do once this is all over.”

“True,” Khadir said. “This is merely the starting point once again. I’m sure with Kunigunde and Foundation both taken down, though, we’ll be able to work together towards peace once more”

“I know that we will,” Rain said. “As long as we have hope, then none of this is impossible.”

Just then, Rado approached the group and interrupted the conversation. Gamal followed behind him as Rain turned towards the two as she wondered to herself what happened now.

“You have a moment, Your Majesty,” Rado said.

“What’s going on now?” Rain asked. “Has something happened in Rezar?”

“Could say that,” Rado replied.

“We just got a call from Ayanna Ansa,” Gamal said. “She wanted to tell you that Mr. Kunigunde is in the hospital right now.”

“Does Ayanna know why he’s in there?” Rain asked.

“That I don’t know yet,” Gamal replied. “According to Miss Ansa, she heard it from Law. Seems like whatever happened to Mr. Kunigunde may turn out to be serious, though.”

“So we don’t know for sure,” Rain said.

“Isaac is a coward,” Rado said. “Whatever is the reason, he must be trying to draw sympathy.”

“Perhaps, but we should gather all the details we can first,” Rain said. “I’ll see if I can reach the hospital.”

“That’d be a good idea,” Gamal said. “Mr. Power should be there as should his brother, according to Miss Ansa.”

“If that’s the case, then I want to know, too,” Khadir said. “Hell, we might even learn a thing or two about what this son of a gun’s going to do now.”

“I feel like I ought to know as well,” Kiku said. “Since I’m next in line to lead Kikuisha, it’d be important to learn this sort of stuff so we can never have to deal with problems like this ever again. Wouldn’t you agree, Nona?”

“If it means no more wars, then I’m all for it,” Noa said.

“Come along, then,” Rain said.

Rain knew that there was much that she wanted to ask but getting answers out of Isaac himself would be a difficult task, even in his fragile state. Still, Rain could not give up. Not when Foundation’s end was nigh. The kingdom depended on Rain and her leadership, and she was not about to let an opportunity like this slip away from her. This was her chance and she had to take it.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Aurora – Chapter 43 (Part 2)

[2nd of January, 2741 AD; New Prime Minister’s Office, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


Mina led the group down the halls of the new prime minister’s office as they hurried their way towards Wilson Dezine’s office. Upon reaching the bottom of the stairs, they saw five guards arrive from the second floor. Each one was armed and ready to fight, but Mina knew that she and the others could not afford to waste any time fighting with them. The lead guard cocked his gun with the other four following in succession.

“You’re not going to pass through us,” the guard said.

“Unfortunately for you, we’re in a hurry,” Pekka said. “This defensive hold isn’t going to hold up.”

The front guard aimed at Pekka. “You wish to try me?”

But Pekka had already moved forth and thrust his fist into the guard’s gut, sending him to the floor as he struggled to aim. The other guards tried to follow, but were met with quick action from both Mina and Eva. Pekka and Luna joined in, too, as all four of them knocked out the guards with ease. Mina then went up the stairs, but stopped as Pekka looked over the guns on the ground.

“To think they believed they would stand a chance against us,” Pekka said as he took the time to empty the chamber of each gun. “Even someone like me can see they’re all inexperienced with their guns. Let’s get going.”

As Pekka pocketed the bullets, Mina rushed up the stairs. Dezine’s office was nearby now and only two more guards stood at the top floor. However, Mina knew that this could not be the only security that Dezine had left. She took a look down the hall once more, then over to Eva.

“So far, it’s been too easy,” Mina said.

“You’re suspicious,” Eva replied. “I have to admit that I am suspicious as well. We should continue on with caution.”

“We shouldn’t have to worry, right?” Luna asked. “Ayanna said that she and the others are going to come bursting in at any moment, so that should be really good for us.”

“Don’t speak so loud,” Eva said.

“Oh, um, sorry,” Luna replied.

“Anyway, we should act as if they’ll take a while longer to get here,” Eva said. “This is something we have to take care of right now before Dezine has any chance to retaliate properly. Got that?”

“I do,” Mina said. “We’re going to show him that his corruption is going to come to an end tonight.”

“Then let’s finish this,” Eva said.

Eva jumped ahead with Mina right after her. Luna went next with Pekka in back as the four charged at the two guards by Dezine’s door. As the guards had no time to react, Mina, Eva, Luna, and Pekka made quick work of them and knocked the two guards out cold. Pekka bent down and checked the weapons while Mina placed her hand upon the doorknob. She leaned up against the wall next to the door as Eva readied her sword.

“So far, we’ve managed to not spill any blood,” Eva said. “I’ve held back as much as I could, but beyond that door, I may need to show the sharp edge of my blade to Dezine and his men.”

“I’m just happy to fight alongside you,” Mina replied. “Just being here is an honor and to take down one of the vilest of villains is something I never thought I would have the chance to do. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Eva said.

Pekka stood up with a gun in his hand. “Let’s not dwell too long here,” he said. “Our enemy is on the other side and he knows we’re here by now. If we’re going to bring him down once and for all and free Iiayikohn from Foundation’s grasp, we’ve got to do it now.”

“Of course we have to,” Luna said.

“Then let’s not waste another second!” Mina said.

Mina turned the knob and opened the door. Beyond the barrier, they saw Dezine sitting at his desk with several soldiers at either side. The entire room was crowded with soldiers as they all readied their guns at the group.

“I knew that there was something suspect about this uprising,” Dezine said. “You’re the girl that’s been tagging along with Thedam, aren’t you?”

“So what?” Mina asked. “You’re the one that’s in trouble here!”

“I wonder about that,” Dezine replied. “To think that the queen would go so far as to stage a coup against me is unbearable. I think that the people outside the building should know who exactly is leading this operation, because it sure isn’t in the interests of Iiayikohn’s people for me to step down!”

“Save your words for when you stand trial, you lowly scum,” Eva said. “You had a hand in Alan Berry’s assassination all so you could rise up the ranks.”

“Don’t make me laugh,” Dezine said. “I can tell these guys to fire any time I want; do you think you matter if I care about such a weak man?”

“Alan was far from weak,” Eva said. “He was a much better leader than you and a much better person! The only reason he died was because Isaac Kunigunde needed someone to help fuel his greedy desires for war!”

“Yeah, that’s right,” Luna said.

“I’ve got no interest in that man or what he has to say now,” Dezine said. “I would rather die of thirst than drink the poisoned water he sells.”

“Are you trying to deny your connection to him?” Eva asked. “There’s proof that you and him have been working together for months now, so you’d be wise not to act as if Isaac never contacted you.”

“Oh, I assure you that what I say is true,” Dezine replied. “Isaac Kunigunde is nothing more than a footnote in my legacy. I’m the leader of this country and I will lead by disposing of the trash that infests it! Ready your weapons!”

The soldiers did so and pointed their guns at the four. But before Dezine could give the word, Pekka raised his gun and cocked it.

“You’re nothing more than a failure,” Pekka said. “These soldiers only serve you only because you promised them something in return.”

“Preposterous!” Dezine exclaimed. “Do you expect me to believe such a foul lie such as that?”

“I don’t expect you to believe me,” Pekka replied. “After all, I’m nothing but a criminal in your eyes. However, there’s a much more captivating voice willing to convince these soldiers by your side that they’re nothing more than pawns for your selfish deeds.”

“These men serve under me because they are loyal to Iiayikohn,” Dezine said. “I’ve made no such claim and there’s no way that you can prove it!”

“Maybe we can’t prove it,” Mina said. “Maybe you’re right because there’s no way someone like you would ever dare have their methods questioned.”

“There is no question about it,” Dezine replied. “I am an effective leader!”

“Yet there’s enough to see from your men alone,” Mina said. She took a look around the room at each soldier, then back to Dezine. “Everyone! This villain isn’t fighting for you! He’s only using you!”

There were murmurs within the group of soldiers, each one looking at each other as their weapons began to lower. Dezine observed his soldiers and went in a panic, standing up in the process.

“Don’t… Don’t listen to this idiotic woman,” Dezine said, “She’s only trying to fool you with falsities! Take her out already!”

“They may have carried out your villainous deed, but only because you told them a lie,” Mina said. “I’ve got no idea what, but it has to be something really good if they were willing to work with you!”

“Most likely, it was money,” Eva said. “They may have been hired because they thought they were going to receive some sort of payment for their work.”

“Let’s just ask them,” Pekka said. “How about it, Mina?”

“I’ll ask them,” Mina said.

“No, don’t!” Dezine exclaimed. “Why are you god damn fools so hesitant to shoot? I’ll continue to withhold all of your pay if you don’t!”

“So that’s it,” Mina said. “You’re keeping the money away from them!”

“To think he’d just admit it like it was nothing,” Luna said. “Are any of you really okay with working for a man like this?”

Dezine pounded his desk. “Take your guns and shoot them! Kill them all before I lose my fucking mind! Aim and fire!”

“You lost because a villain like you can never understand what it’s like for regular people,” Mina said. “They’ll never follow your orders now!”

The soldiers then lifted up their guns and aimed at Mina, Eva, Luna, and Pekka. Dezine smirked as Mina stood still. Then, the soldiers turned their aim at Dezine, who began to shake.

“What the hell is this?” Dezine asked. “What in the world are you doing!?”

The tallest soldier stepped forward and poked the barrel of this gun in Dezine’s chest. “I was only in this for the money,” he said. “Just what are you trying to gain from withholding my pay?”

Dezine gulped. “I… I can explain!”

Another soldier poked his gun in Dezine’s back. “Start talking!”

“Well… I thought that I would manage to make the money in time, but it seems like I made an error,” Dezine said. “That mansion had to be completed soon, you know…”

“That’s not good enough,” the tall soldier said. “Do you think a mercenary like me does some damn charity work for some bastard I couldn’t care any less about?”

Dezine whimpered. “N-No… I was going to pay you soon, I promise!”

The back soldier prodded further with his weapon. “That’s a lie if I’ve ever heard one!”

“You better explain what’s going on,” Eva said. “Otherwise this will not end well for you.”

“Just confess, you villain,” Mina said. “And release my uncle from prison, too, while you’re at it!”

“Damn you… Damn you all!” Dezine exclaimed. “Did you believe… I was going to take this like a little bitch? I’ll… I’ll kill you myself if you have to! That’s what I’m going to do!”

Against all the odds, Dezine broke free from the pincer attack and leapt over his desk. He made a quick charge at Mina, who stepped out of the way as Ayanna and Gavin showed up to knock Dezine onto the ground. Dierk arrived as well and handcuffed the prime minister behind his back. Henry and Law were the last to arrive as they got a quick look at the mercenaries in the room.

“We managed to get here just in time,” Henry said.

“You’re all going to hell, all of you!” Dezine exclaimed. “You’ll burn in hell before I ever even set foot in court!”

“Shut the fuck up,” Gavin said. “You pissed us off long enough, and by the looks of it, you managed to piss off those that served only you as well.”

“And if what he said is true, he made an enemy of Isaac as well,” Eva said. “He crumbled before he even had a chance to start his empire.”

“So either way, Isaac’s going to sleep soundly tonight,” Law said. “What an absolute pain.”

“We’ll have to see about that,” Ayanna said. “Sorin and Gale are going after him as we speak.”

“Guess there’s enough time, then,” Law said. “I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to tie up the loose ends. Are you going to be okay here?”

“I think I’ll be fine,” Ayanna said. “We’ve got some back-up coming soon, as well as the fact that the news is traveling fast.”

“Those guards outside will know soon enough,” Henry said as he turned to Mina. “Maybe you ought to give the good word and let the people of Rezar know straight from their hero’s mouth!”

Mina smiled. “It would be a pleasure.”

“Very good,” Henry said. “What of the soldiers there?”

“All hired by Dezine,” Eva replied. “Obviously, they were all in it for the money but never received a single pound.”

“And that’s what brought this jerk down,” Luna said, looking at Dezine. “He was trying to play them all like a bunch of fools but they wised up once they found out the truth!”

“This… This isn’t over!” Dezine said.

“Can you just shut him up already?” Gavin asked Dierk.

“Unfortunately, I can’t,” Dierk replied. “It’s not as if he’ll get anywhere, though, so we’ve got nothing to worry about.”

“This really is a pain, isn’t it,” Gavin said. “Well, I wish you good luck, since it seems like he’s just going to be an asshole the entire way.”

“We’ve still got unfinished business,” Henry said. “We’ve got to catch up to Sorin and Gale and let them know about what happened in Hurst.”

“I guess that’s our cue, then,” Law said. “I expect things to sort out here as we head off. Let General Reiss know I said hello, okay?”

“I’ll let him know,” Ayanna replied.

As Ayanna and Dierk apprehended Dezine, all the mercenaries exited out of the prime minister’s room. There would be an abundance of questions for each one, but Mina knew that Ayanna, Dierk, and Reiss would be able to handle them. What was on Mina’s mind now, though, was letting everyone in Rezar hear of the good news. As she opened the window, Mina let the word of Dezine’s arrest ring through the streets of the city, much to the celebration of the citizens below while the guards at the front lowered their weapons. It was the beginning of a new day in Rezar and Mina was enthusiastic to shout the good word.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Aurora – Chapter 43 (Part 1)

[2nd of January, 2741 AD; outside of the New Prime Minister’s Office, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


As the night rolled in, a quiet silence surrounded the exterior of the new prime minister’s office. Not a single person could be seen or heard when Ayanna arrived with Dierk and a communicator in tow. Ayanna began to grow suspicious of what was happening, but she knew now that she and the others were closer to taking down Dezine than they ever were before. At least, that was what she had thought. With Johan’s help, Ayanna was able to organize a large group of people ready to lead the charge against the current prime minister. It astounded her how well Johan was able to get these people to protest considering the fact that he did not go with the others to Rezar. Elsewhere, Ayanna had to count on Sorin, Mina, and the others to lead their way into the building. As for her, there was something else that Ayanna had to do, but first she had to confirm something with Dierk.

“Everything went well with Reiss, I assume?” Ayanna asked.

“Affirmative,” Dierk replied. “The general seemed pretty upbeat about our chances, though we still may have to worry about what to do next after we deal with Dezine.”

“That’s something we can talk about once we’re finished,” Ayanna said. “As far as we’re concerned, our main priority remains taking on the prime minister. Never in my life did I think that I would have to utter those words, but we’ve got no choice and no way to turn back now.”

“It is tough,” Dierk said. “Even if we oust him overnight, how Dezine rose to power will remain a stain on this country’s history.”

“Not as if Iiayikohn was clean before then,” Ayanna said. “If only Alan were still around, then we wouldn’t be here right now participating in the coup.”

“He kept things in order, for sure,” Dierk replied.

“Which is why I can never forgive Dezine,” Ayanna said. “He and Isaac are the reason why Alan is no longer around. To think that a single member of the Iiayi government would willingly plot the assassination of the prime minister is beyond reprehensible.”

“Certainly, he will have to pay for what he’s done,” Dierk said.

Ayanna looked back at the building on the other side of the street and continued to wait for the next move. Soon enough, she and Dierk could hear the sounds of people chanting. As they both looked down the street, a large group of people walked down the street towards the prime minister’s office. Within that group were a couple of faces that Ayanna recognized: Law, Gavin, and Henry. At just the right time, those three had returned from Hurst in order to help lead the charge against Wilson Dezine.

“Over here!” Ayanna said as she waved over to Law.

Law hurried over while both Gavin and Henry followed.

“The people are rising up, it seems,” Law said. “I suppose I’ve to hand it to Joahn… Getting this many people organized had to be quite a task in such a short amount of time.”

“He does have that group,” Henry said. “The Moonlit Silence is always working even if we’re not a witness to their methods.”

“Guess there is some merit to Johan keeping his big plans a secret,” Gavin said. “Say, Ayanna, are we about ready to lead this charge or what?”

Ayanna looked down at the communicator. “We’re waiting for the guards to show up,” she said. “Once we’ve got the attention of Dezine’s guards, I’ll go and give the word to Sorin and Mina.”

“Good,” Henry said. “I can already hear the people calling for Dezine. A lot of calls for him to surrender himself, sounds like.”

“I wonder if that’s gonna make him use his protection powers,” Law said. “This many people going up against the big man himself? Well, he’s going to have plenty to deal with, but we know that the good people of Rezar aren’t going to go down without a fight.”

The chants grew louder, with each person facing the front doors of the new prime minister’s office calling out Dezine by name. As the streetlights lit up, the doors to the office opened up as several soldiers spilled out onto the streets. The group of protestors, however, did not stop.

“That’s our cue,” Henry said.

Ayanna picked up the receiver. “I’m going to contact Sorin now,” she said. “Hopefully this is enough to help them get inside.”




On the other end of the building, Mina, Eva, Pekka, and Luna all waited outside on the opposite side of the street. Dustin looked at the communicator that was given to them by Ayanna as it chirped on and picked it up. He eyed the back doors as he placed the receiver close to his mouth.

“Dustin here,” he said. “Are we ready to storm the castle?”

“Yes, yes we are,” Ayanna said. “But I thought that Sorin would be the one to answer. Do you mind putting him on?”

“Yeah, about that,” Dustin said.

“Hold on,” Mina said, grabbing the receiver out of Dustin’s hand. “Ayanna, it’s me. We’re out here, ready to go when you are!”

“What about Sorin?” Ayanna asked.

“Oh right, I guess we should have contacted you about that,” Mina replied. “Sorin and Gale aren’t here.”

“Sorry about that!” Dustin said.

“She can’t hear you,” Eva said. “Mina, just tell her already.”

Mina nodded. “Okay, well, you know how Johan said that he wanted to do his own thing?”

“Of course I know,” Ayanna said. “Don’t tell me Sorin decided to go with him…”

“Well, not exactly,” Mina replied. “He said that he wanted to go after Isaac himself, and I guess Gale decided to go along with him.”

“That doesn’t make sense,” Ayanna said.

“You’re telling me,” Dustin said. “Guy was all about doing this together and now he’s off on the trail of the mastermind of this whole operation?”

“They were talking to themselves on the way here,” Luna said. “Sorin and Gale talking with each other, saying to us that it was nothing, yet now they’re the ones all after Isaac now. We don’t even know what to expect now!”

“It means Sorin has an idea and he doesn’t want to go and put us at risk,” Pekka said. “Though that doesn’t explain why Gale wanted to go with him. It’ll be dangerous either way and she’s not a fighter at all.”

“You should have some faith in them,” Eva said.

“Mina, where exactly are Sorin and Gale right now?” Ayanna asked.

“There’s really only one place I can think of off the top of my head,” Mina said, “And that’s the Ameci Embassy.”

“I see,” Ayanna replied. “Thank you.”

“What are you going to do now?” Mina asked.

“I’m helping lead the charge, of course,” Ayanna said. “Johan managed to help stir up a group of people just outside the door… It’s impressive.”

“I knew we could count on him,” Mina said. “I knew that Johan had a pure, heroic heart all this time!”

“So there’s a lot of commotion, then,” Pekka said. “Guess we made Dezine turn his head just enough for us to waltz in.”

“Good luck, guys,” Dustin said. “I’ll stay back here just in case… Don’t want to push things further, you know.”

“Well, if we need help, then you better be ready to come rushing in,” Eva said. “Let’s get going already, Mina.”

“Of course,” Mina replied. “We’ll see you on the inside, Ayanna!”

“We will see you in a moment,” Ayanna said.

With that, Mina shut off the communicator and handed it to Dustin. There was only one goal on Mina’s mind right now and that was to take down Wilson Dezine. Once that was taken care of, Mina was sure to hurry over to the Iiayine Prison and rescue her uncle. With the back entrance to the office unguarded, the group hurried their way inside as no one could stop them now.




[2nd of January, 2741 AD; Ameci Embassy, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


Rohan Fercewend looked down the hall as people in the embassy bustled about. A lot had changed in such a short amount of time and staff members were trying their best to keep up. Even Fercewend himself felt it all come to a sudden shock once Casper Bradley confessed. All it took was hearing the news of his son’s death and Casper broke down. Still, it felt odd to Fercewend that all of this had taken place in the same amount of time that Dezine turned his back on Ameci. It was something that Fercewend wanted to know more about. What could possibly be gained from such a move? Fercewend felt as if he had only Isaac to believe in during this turbulent time and little time outside of work to actually speak to him now that Casper had been removed from his position.

“Ah, Rohan, what’s got you thinking at a time like this?” Isaac asked.

Almost like it was on cue, Fercewend turned and saw Isaac at the top of the stairs. The reassurance that everything would work out returned. Now that Isaac was here, Fercewend knew that he could focus.

“It’s nothing,” Fercewend replied. “I’m just merely thinking about all that has happened within the past couple of days.”

“It has been quite a wild turn of events,” Isaac said. “Men looking to bite the hand that feeds them just because they feel as if their bellies have yet to be full, only to get punished in the end! Truly this is an interesting time for Mr. Dezine over at the prime minister’s office.”

“What do you mean?” Fercewend asked.

“Have you been so lost in thought that you’ve lost course of the direction of the wind? Go and take a look outside,” Isaac said.

Fercewend did as Isaac suggested and went over to the nearest window. He then saw out on the street a group of people outside marching towards the new prime minister’s office, chanting for Dezine’s removal.

“They’re protestors?” Fercewend asked.

“Dezine wanted action,” Isaac said. “Well, he’s about to get what he wants, though I can’t say he doesn’t deserve it.”

“It’s… unheard of,” Fercewend said. “I know that there has been unrest in the region before, but I didn’t think that it would arrive here.”

“Come now, you said it yourself,” Isaac replied. “Dezine betrayed the order and now he’s going to pay for it dearly.”

“Then he’s already fallen?”

“God has abandoned him,” Isaac said. “That dear friend of mine… heh, I’m amazed at the things he told me.”

“I wonder what happens next,” Fercewend said.

“Someone will clean the mess Dezine created,” Isaac said. “That much I can assure you.”

“You assure me of that?” Fercewend asked.

“Believe in the process, Rohan,” Isaac said. “It’s not that we failed Dezine, but rather he failed himself. Iiayikohn’s next prime minister will not be as big a fool, you can bet on that.”

“You sound sure of it,” Fercewend said. “Then I am inclined to believe in what you say.”

“As you should,” Isaac replied. “A good president listens to his most trusted advisor, after all.”

Fercewend turned away from the window. “May I ask you something?”

“What’s on your mind now?” Isaac asked.

“When President Hasker arrives, I will resume my position as the general, correct?”

“With things as they stand, that will be the case,” Isaac replied. “Obviously, we should be grateful for his awaited return to power.”

“Of course,” Fercewend replied. “I’m just wondering if there was a way I could assist him further. I want to help Ameci in any way I can, because I know that that’s what’s expected of me.”

“Don’t worry too much about that,” Isaac said. “As of now, Piere is Ameci’s president, though he is not acting. That would be you.”

“I know.”

“But this is the important part,” Isaac continued, “Hasker’s term is set to end in a year. Given all that has happened, I’m sure that the good people of our country would want a new face at the top.”

“So that’s where I would come in,” Fercewend said.

“You’re getting it, and quite well, I may add,” Isaac said. “Yes, if all goes as planned, we’ll be able to have you run for the highest position of power in Ameci should Hasker not be up to task.”

“That sounds good.”

“You just have to believe in me and let the process sort everything out,” Isaac said. “As long as you do that, then there’s absolutely nothing that cannot be accomplished under your name, Rohan!”

Isaac’s encouragement convinced Fercewend that he too would be able to accomplish anything. With an ally like him, there was little that Fercewend could not do and a lot that he could. Even the power of president would be in his grasp as long as Isaac was there to guide him along the way. But as those thoughts went to his head, Fercewend heard the creaking of a door in the now silent embassy. He looked around and down the stairs, but no one was there.

“Wait right here,” Isaac said.

“What’s going on?” Fercewend asked.

“It’s nothing important,” Isaac replied. “Please, go on with what you were doing before, Rohan; I’ll be back in a moment.”

Fercewend could not help but watch as Isaac went down the stairs. The curiosity behind the sudden silence and immediate change caused Fercewend to follow Isaac down the steps a few feet away. As he got closer to the bottom of the stairs, however, Fercewend caught a glimpse of an unbelievable sight. At the entrance stood Korbin Mars pointing a gun at Isaac.

“What… What in the world are you doing!?” Isaac asked.

A deep laughter echoed across the hall as Harold entered the embassy. The mere sight of the man caused Fercewend to hesitate. He knew the face looked too familiar, but could not believe what he was seeing.

“The curtain’s closing, Isaac Kunigunde,” Harold said. “Your assistance is no longer needed.”

“I-Impossible!” Isaac exclaimed. “We still have plenty of time for our plan to work! You yourself told me that just yesterday, Harold!”

“How peculiar,” Harold said. “I don’t believe that I ever said something like that to you.”

“It doesn’t mean shit now,” Korbin said, his aim shaking. “Once I’m done… Once I’m done with you here, I’m gonna make sure that everything goes just like my dad planned!”

Isaac took a step back. “You wouldn’t dare!”

“God was never on your side,” Harold said. “In fact, you were just a mere tool to be used. To think that you would be so delusional to believe that you’d make it with spilling your own blood is laughable at best.”

“Give me a break,” Isaac replied. “This… This is a violation of our trust and you know it!”

“Just like with you and Casper, or with you and Dezine,” Harold said. “Or were you planning to go against god, too? I’m not afraid of the extreme, I’ll have you know.”

Harold headed for the door as Korbin kept his focus on Isaac. Fercewend wanted to jump in to save Isaac, but with Harold’s threatening presence, he did not want to jeopardize his one chance. That was, until Harold looked over to the stairs and spotted Fercewend.

“Do it,” Harold said to Korbin. “Let Mr. Kunigunde feel the despair grow as he dies knowing his own family betrayed him.”

Fercewend took that chance to move. He hurried over to Isaac’s side in order to protect him, but by then, the shot had already rang out. Everything had stopped as Fercewend watched Isaac drop to the ground. Time seemed to freeze while Fercewend could only blame himself for not acting sooner. He looked over to the entrance once again, but saw that both Harold and Korbin had made their exit. As he clenched his fist, Fercewend heard a weak cough coming from Isaac and checked in on him once more. The general tended to Isaac as he continued to bleed from out of the wound in his abdomen and onto the floor.


To be continued…


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Aurora – Chapter 42 (Part 2)

[2nd of January, 2741 AD; Open Area Shopping District, Helm, Ahnlikohn]


After a fulfilling lunch, Sorin and the others decided to take a stroll through the nearby shopping district. However, their stroll was short-lived once they saw Ayanna arrive with Dierk. Sorin had to wonder how long lunch went, but given both Johan and Mina’s appetites, it had to have lasted longer than he thought. He waved to both Ayanna and Dierk as the two went over to the group.

“I was wondering where you were,” Ayanna said.

“How long were you here?” Sorin asked.

Dierk looked at his pocket watch. “I’d say about close to an hour,” he said. “Fifty-seven minutes, to be exact.”

“We didn’t realize that you guys were waiting for so long!” Mina said. “If that was the case, then we should’ve found you two first so we could’ve had lunch together.”

“Thank you, but we already ate before arriving here,” Ayanna replied. “So it seems you’re still at a loss, aren’t you?”

“That’s what it looks like,” Sorin said. “We were too busy eating to even think about how we were going to enter Iiayikohn.”

“Just because we weren’t talking about the mission doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about our next move,” Johan said.

“If you have something to say, then say it,” Pekka said. “Don’t leave us in the dark, Johan.”

“I wouldn’t leave you in the dark without giving you a source of light first,” Johan replied. “That is to say that I think I have an idea about how we can get into Iiayikohn without much hassle.”

“I’d prefer no hassle at all, but I’m interested in hearing what you’ve got to say,” Ayanna said.

“Right now, our current headcount is ten altogether,” Johan said. “That is to say that I’m including the two of you into our group.”

“So we’ve got a good amount of people,” Mina said. “Ten heroes is a good, even number that no villain can stop!”

“Indeed, having the numerical advantage is optimal,” Ayanna said, “But we aren’t dealing with just one person.”

“It’s just as I thought,” Johan said. “Sometimes the best answer usually is the easiest. Thank you, Ayanna.”

“You’re welcome, though I didn’t say much beyond the fact that we’re going up against multiple people in this organization,” Ayanna replied. “Are you trying to suggest that we’re better if we split up?”

“I’m not necessarily saying that,” Johan said.

“Then what are you trying to suggest?” Eva asked.

“If we just go after Wilson Dezine, Isaac Kunigunde will try to run away from his failure,” Johan said. “We can’t just lock down a single target without first trying to make sure the other target doesn’t evade us. That was what let Isaac get away with what he’s done up to this point.”

“It still sounds to me as if you want us to split up,” Ayanna said.

“Well, if you want to consider it that way, then yes,” Johan said. “Right now, the goal is to defeat Isaac Kunigunde. He’s the one that carries the most influence and the one with the most to lose should everything fail for him.”

“What’s the angle here?” Pekka asked.

“You want an easier way to get into Iiayikohn, don’t you?” Johan asked. “I think there is much to be said if a wanted man like myself makes his presence known to the entirety of an Ameci-occupied country and enters alone.”

Sorin looked over to Johan. “Are you saying what I think you’re saying, Johan?”

“An entire group of us will draw attention, sure, but to the Ameci military, I’m the one that they want,” Johan said. “To Isaac, all I am is nothing more but an existential threat to what he’s trying to do. He’ll obviously try to use his power to try and direct the general into capturing me, if not worse.”

“That’s… That’s beyond insanity!” Luna said. “I don’t want you to do this, not after we just lost Jelka! I don’t want this at all!”

“Surely this is some sort of bluff to try and get us to come up with a better idea,” Sorin said. “That’s gotta be what you’re saying, right?”

“I don’t think he’s trying to bluff us,” Eva said.

“You don’t?” Dustin asked. “Because even as a bluff, it’s quite a reckless one to make… You do know what will happen once Ameci’s sending its soldiers after you, you know that, don’t you?”

“I’ve already said that,” Johan replied. “I’m not going to stop in pursuing my goal, even if it brings me pain and misfortune. I already know what it’s like to come close to death itself, so I’ve got no reason to fear the Ameci military.”

“But what about Jelka?” Sorin asked. “After what she did to save us, you’d just risk it all?”

“I never said I was going to die, nor did I imply I’m afraid of it,” Johan said. “All I’m saying is that I’m willing to suffer in order to accomplish my goals. There is no way I can back down.”

He began to walk away from the group, only to turn back and shrug. Sorin could not stop Johan now, though he wanted to try. If there was any way to stop Johan from risking his own life, Sorin knew that it was right now that he had to do it.

“I’m not going to let you do this alone,” Sorin said. “If you insist on drawing Isaac Kunigunde’s attention, then I want to help you out at the very least.”

“Not you too, Sorin,” Gale said. “It won’t do us any good if you both throw yourselves at Isaac so recklessly.”

“She’s right,” Johan said. “This is something I’ve got to do on my own. If it gets out of hand, then we’d both be screwed.”

“It’s better than going by yourself,” Sorin replied. “Besides, if it’s going to get rough, then you’re going to need someone to fight alongside you.”

“Maybe it’s just me, but I think you’re trying to talk me out of this,” Johan said as he tried to hold back a chuckle. “You wouldn’t suggest coming along with me if I hadn’t said anything first.”

“Please, there has to be another way,” Sorin said. “I know you can think of something that doesn’t involve you risking yourself. Just… for all of our sakes, I want you to reconsider.”

“Regardless of what we do, there will always be a risk when we’re dealing with Foundation,” Johan replied. “Be it Korbin or be it the Ameci military, we’re going into battle against an enemy that has us in their crosshairs.”

“Perhaps it’s time we begin drawing up our plan,” Ayanna said. “Talking will only get us so far and this is not the place to plan our next move.”

“So it seems,” Johan said. “Very well, then we’ll go and find a place where we can straighten out our plan of attack.”

“That sounds like a good idea to me,” Mina said. “But we’d better hurry up, though!”

“Given what’s at stake, I’m sure we’ll come up with a plan that everyone can agree with,” Johan said. “You think so too, don’t you, Sorin?”

Sorin had to agree. He had to if they wanted to move forward. With the uncertainty surrounding the Iiayikohnian border, there was only so much time that they could spend. With Ayanna and Dierk, though, Sorin was sure that they could help devise a pathway back into Iiayikohn. But what still concerned Sorin was the fact that Johan did not bend in his will to go it on his own and draw out Isaac by himself. Whatever Isaac had lying in wait next, Sorin was certain that it would prove to be devastating, especially if it happened to involve Korbin and Harold Mars.




[2nd of January, 2741 AD; Burning Light Lane, Hurst, Iiayikohn]


Gavin had no idea what to expect when he arrived in Hurst with Law and Henry, but he did not expect to see a mass of officers occupy the area on Burning Light Lane. Once he got a look at the scene, however, Gavin understood. A crowd of people began to form, which had to be most of the citizens of the small town as they all appeared to wonder what just struck them.

“This is quite a shocking turn of events,” Henry said.

“You’re telling me,” Gavin said. “What happened here?”

“Well, why don’t we ask someone with a little more knowledge than us,” Law said. “With this many people in the area, we’d at least get a little rundown about what happened before we got here.”

As Law proceeded to ask around, Gavin tried to get a better look between the gaps in the crowd. The officers surrounded the block with their vehicles while they kept the crowd at bay, but Gavin could tell that something major had taken place. There was only one reason why officers of the Iiayikohnian military would show up in Hurst, which meant that it had to do with Harold somehow.

“Have you got a good view yet?” Henry asked.

“I think we’re too late,” Gavin said. “If you ask me, Harold definitely had a hand in what happened here.”

“I wonder if he was aware of the fact that we were after him,” Henry said. “If that’s the case, then it’s likely he brought down his own hideout in order to get away from us.”

“It doesn’t make sense, though,” Gavin said. “Why would he do such a thing when it would mean that he’d draw attention to himself.”

“True, that’s the contradiction with my theory,” Henry replied. “However, what if he had no choice?”

“I think I understand what you’re asking,” Gavin said. “Sorin’s brother… If he was here, then it’s possible.”

But Gavin knew there was nothing conclusive to the idea, at least not yet. As he wondered what exactly transpired, Law returned to the two as he tried to get Gavin’s attention.

“Yo, it seems like we’ve got trouble on our hands,” Law said.

“I can tell that just by looking,” Gavin replied. “Did you manage to gather anything important?”

“Well, it looks like that entire block was decimated with explosives,” Law answered. “Though from what I’ve gathered from the people here, all of those buildings seemed to be abandoned long ago.”

“Abandoned, you say?” Henry asked.

“That’s what I got from the people I spoke with,” Law said. “You do know what that means, don’t you?”

“We were a step too late,” Gavin said.

“There was no way we had a clue,” Henry said. “All it means is that Harold is on the run now. He knows we’re getting closer to the truth.”

“You sound pretty confident about it,” Gavin said. “But now I want to know how in the hell he blew up the whole place.”

“Maybe it’d do us good if we asked one of the officers,” Henry said.

“Sure about that?” Law asked. “The ones in Rezar weren’t so nice to us over in the prison.”

“Just let me ask the questions,” Henry said. “I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to ask that officer over there a simple question.”

He walked over to the officer closest to the crowd and whistled to get his attention. The officer turned to his direction and waved over at him. Gavin and Law followed him as they confronted the officer in front.

“Do you mind if I ask you a question, sir?” Henry asked.

“If this is for some sort of press, then I can’t take a question,” the officer replied. “Even we’re trying to figure out exactly what’s going on.”

“We’re not with any press, we just want a basic idea about what happened here,” Henry said. “Just from looking at it, it’s pretty obvious something nefarious took place here.”

“If you ask me, none of it makes any sense,” the officer said.

“Well, what about the buildings?” Gavin asked. “They were all abandoned from what we’ve heard. Do you think it was planned?”

“I don’t believe that it was a planned thing, no,” the officer answered. “No one in this town has indicated that there were any plans for a demolition of those buildings.”

“I see,” Gavin said.

“I’ve one more question for you, officer,” Henry said. “Did anyone happen to live in those buildings, and if so, are they here?”

The officer shook his head. “I doubt it.”

“Why do you doubt it?” Henry asked. “Even if those buildings were all abandoned, that doesn’t mean no one was there.”

“We’d have to find out for ourselves, then,” the officer said.

Almost as if on cue, another officer called out to the man. Gavin, Law, and Henry all looked to see the second officer arrive with something in her hand. It took Gavin one look to see for himself and realize what it was the female officer was holding.

“That… That sword,” Gavin said. “That sword looks familiar.”

The other officer turned to Gavin with the broken sword in her hand clear in view. “Do you know something about it?”

“Henry, you recognize that, don’t you?” Gavin asked. He looked back to the officer. “Where did you find it?”

“It was underneath some of the rubble,” the female officer said. “We’re still uncovering, but what we do know is that there is someone underneath.”

“Someone underneath the rubble?” Henry asked. “Who is it?”

“We haven’t identified him yet,” she replied, “But what I can say for certain is that this man is dead.”

Henry took a deep breath and sighed. “Thank you, both of you,” he said, turning back to Gavin and Law as he began to walk away. “I was wondering what happened to him, and it seems like we’ve got our answer.”

“What are you doing?” Gavin asked, catching up with Henry. “Are you just going to walk away like that without any other question?”

“Do you think we’ve got any other thing to do here?” Henry asked. “This is as far as we can go here if you ask me.”

“But the sword!” Gavin exclaimed. “That’s Rysol’s sword, damn it!”

“It is,” Henry said. “There’s nothing we can do right now and to stay here any longer would be detrimental.”

“So we’re just going to head back, then,” Gavin said. “Are we not even going to tell Sorin about what happened here?”

“We’ll let him know soon enough,” Henry replied. “But Rysol is a different case from Kirk, and I don’t need to tell you why that is.”

Law placed his hand on the side of his forehead. “It may sound cold, bro, but we’ve got no choice,” he said. “We have to leave Rysol here even though we know very little about why he was here or how he died.”

“Fine,” Gavin replied. “But I’m going to be the one to tell Sorin, got it? He needs to know what happened here… He needs to know that Rysol came here because he pursued the truth.”

“Of course,” Henry said. “I’ll leave it all up to you.”

The three continued to walk away from the scene of the destruction and headed for the car. But even though Gavin had promised that he would be the one to inform Sorin about Rysol’s death, Gavin knew that the news would not be any easier to bear as yet another loss came by the hands of Harold Mars. The ever growing threat that man posed was becoming more and more apparent with each passing moment and Gavin knew that it was only a matter of time before he tried to strike again.


To be continued…


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Aurora – Chapter 41 (Part 2)

[2nd of January, 2741 AD; Iiayine Prison, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Giga District]


After what was a restless night back at Drake’s house, Gavin hurried back over to the prison with Law and Henry. They had been given a release late last night after talking with the guards, but only because Henry had suggested that they would let Drake stay the night in a holding cell. None of them had wanted to leave Drake by himself overnight, but it was the only offer Henry received. That was why Gavin found it difficult to sleep. However, he had to remain alert now that they were returning to the hostile environment that they had been escorted to last night. Once they made it through the security, Gavin, Law, and Henry went straight to the visitor’s center to meet with Drake, who was still wearing the same clothes he went in with.

“Sorry about leaving you here,” Gavin said.

“You don’t have to apologize to me,” Drake replied. “I know you’re trying to do your best with these guys going around acting like their rear ends don’t smell funny, so I appreciate you three taking the time to see me.”

“Are you doing well, Drake?” Henry asked. “I can’t imagine what it must be like to sit in a cell for no reason…”

“They could’ve done much worse,” Drake said. “I got a thick skin, so I’ve not budged a bit the whole time!”

“Well, it has only been for a night,” Henry said. “They didn’t arrest you due to a crime; they arrested you because Dezine wanted to send a message.”

“A message only a coward like him can send,” Law said. “When you can’t hurt the other side directly, you take it out on those related any way you can. I’m sure that was what that old man was thinking when he sent his soldiers to your house.”

“It’s going to be a pain in the ass,” Gavin said. “Dezine has already acted. Now it’s our turn.”

“What do you have in mind, Gavin?” Drake asked.

“Charging after him head on isn’t a good move,” Gavin replied. “Our best bet leans on Rain and the other leaders to step in.”

“You think we’ve got the time to do that, bro?” Law asked. “No offense, but I don’t think we have the time.”

“That doesn’t mean we should sit by and do nothing,” Gavin said. “Henry, when are we going to Hurst?”

“I figure we could go soon,” Henry replied. “Our main course of action is to head to where the smoke is coming from and once we go there, we try to find the fire that’s been burning.”

“Quite a way to talk about Harold Mars, isn’t it,” Law said. “I think what we can do now, though, is see if we can get a lead.”

“Where do we even start?” Gavin asked.

“I think we’ve got a good lead here,” Law said, turning to Drake. “You’ve been to Hurst, haven’t you?”

“A few times,” Drake replied. “Not much happens there, which is nice for a quiet little town like that.”

“And perfect for someone like Harold to hide out at,” Henry said. “A perfect place to operate without much trouble.”

“So this guy’s been hiding there all this time?” Drake asked.

“As you said, it’s a quiet little town,” Henry replied. “I don’t think that he’d bring himself out into the open, not after what he’s done.”

Gavin knew the truth, as did Law. After asking Henry on the way to Rezar, he told the brothers about the crime Harold had committed. He told them all he had heard from Kirk before he died, as well as what Henry believed happened after their encounter on the Ameci Wyse. There was only one explanation that led to Harold Mars surviving his supposed death, which led Henry to believe that Isaac rescued him in some way. Still, there were many more questions that had to be asked and many more answers to those questions.

“And you reckon he’s related to all of this,” Drake said. “This Harold fellow has to have a lot of influence if you’re so set on going after him.”

“The only thing we don’t know is how deep this goes,” Gavin said. “For all we know, we’re looking at a puddle when it could be much more than that.”

“I think it’s already past that if you ask me,” Law said.

“Which is why we’ve got to find out for ourselves,” Gavin replied.

“Isaac’s the one at the center of all this, but Harold is an interesting person all on his own,” Henry said. “Granted, I only knew a little about him before Kirk told me all about his encounter, but we should be aware that this is only a scratch upon the surface of who Harold Mars is.”

“I wonder about that,” Law said. “None of us here have seen Harold for ourselves, though Sorin and Eva have. If only they were here, then maybe we would learn something.”

“They’d likely know only little more than us, I’m sure of it,” Gavin said. “We’ve only got so much of a lead from Johan, but I’m willing to place my trust in him because he’s good at gathering this kind of information.”

“He certainly was the reason why we went this far,” Law said. “It’s kinda like you said before, bro: Johan’s playing us like chess pieces.”

“It’s a good thing we’re on the same side,” Gavin replied. “At least, as much as we can possibly be.”

“I take it that you’re not too fond of him,” Henry said.

“I can tolerate him, but I’m not entirely crazy about having him lead us around,” Gavin said. “Even if he doesn’t admit it himself, we are setting off in that direction because of what he told you about Harold.”

“Something about him never seemed right to me, either,” Law said. “But I’m not going to go and concern myself about what he does.”

“Neither am I,” Gavin said. “It’s just that I don’t know what he’s going to do once this is all over. None of us do.”

“Well, it’s none of our concern,” Henry said, “At least not for the moment. For now, however, we’ve got a trip to make.”

“You’re heading off?” Drake asked.

“I promise we’ll be back as soon as possible,” Henry replied. “I don’t know how we’ll work this out, but I’m not going to give up just because I don’t have an answer yet. I’m just going to do as I always do and keep moving forward.”

“You’re a good man, Mr. Randolph,” Drake said. “I promise that I won’t let a little setback like this deter me. Hell, I even bet Mina and the others will be here soon to let me out if they’re fast enough!”

“Got a lot of hope there, looks like,” Gavin said as he stood up. “We’ll make sure that we find a way to get you out of here. Dezine may have the upper hand, but he’s pushing a line that’ll get him in trouble if he moves further.”

“That’s right,” Law said. “I bet Mina would like to charge through here by herself if she had to and I know she’d win if it meant having to save her dear uncle in the process.”

Drake laughed. “I’m looking forward to it.”

“We’ll be back, don’t worry,” Henry said. “Goodbye.”

As Henry got up and headed for the door, Gavin and Law followed him. It was now their time to move and now they had their destination close at hand as nothing stood between them and Hurst. Wherever Harold Mars was, he was sure to be hiding there. The only Gavin worried about, though, was if they would find anything new regarding the mysterious man and, if so, would they be able to do anything about him. But Gavin had to have faith like Henry and Law did, so he put his trust in them as they went to the car.




[2nd of January, 2741 AD; location unknown, Hurst, Iiayikohn]


“Get up,” Harold said to Korbin. “There’s only so much time we have until our next move.”

Korbin sat up on the frigid bed as Harold exited the room without another word. He had arrived in Iiayikohn last night after leaving Glora, still wounded from his fight with Jelka. With Harold’s help, Korbin was able to leave the city without much of a notice. Korbin could not help but feel emptiness, however, as he left without coming up victorious against Sorin Wilk, nor was he able to go up against Johan Kuu. Even as his anger began to rise, Korbin had to be reminded by Harold about what was going to happen next.

“You’d better prepare yourself,” Harold said. “This the final chance to take hold of your fate, so I’d advise you not to waste the precious opportunity that has been given to you.”

“Who cares about that?” Korbin asked. “I just want to finish what I started, damn it! Why the fuck do I have to wait!?”

“Come on,” Harold replied. “I know you lack a good brain, but I know for a fact that you’re not that you’re not this amazingly daft. Pick up your feet and go to the back room.”

Korbin did as Harold said and went on his way to the back room. He had no way to deny what his father demanded of him, nor did he want to. After all, that was how Korbin always saw everything with Harold, at least as long as he could remember things being that way. But there were moments within Korbin’s memory that he could not recall, however he did not care since it was not in his best interest to remember any missing events.

“That shit doesn’t matter to me, anyway,” Korbin said. “What the fuck do you want me to do now, anyway?”

Korbin looked around the dim room for any trace of his father, but he was nowhere to be found. It was the room that had served to reawaken Rysol, where Korbin went head-to-head against the man himself. That was the fight that made Korbin realize how much of a force Rysol could be, which only served to remind him about much more of an established fighter Harold was. With that known, there was no doubt in Korbin’s mind that he would be okay.

“Now you know why I brought you here,” Harold said through the speaker on the wall. “I want to realize how much I need you, Korbin. You’re going to serve well in making this plan of mine a reality.”

“What do you need from me?” Korbin asked.

“It is your strength I need,” Harold answered. “Rysol failed because he was too weak to cut his ties. You, however, don’t have such ties that hinder you. Not now, anyway.”

Korbin looked away. He had received the news of Bradley’s death straight from Harold as they were leaving Ahnlikohn. It was because of Sorin and his friends that Bradley had died and that Korbin knew he had to forget about it, but it was difficult to do as Bradley was the only person Korbin considered to be a friend. He knew that his father was right, though, since he would not try to lie to him, especially not when everything was on the line.

“The moment you let those ties become a hindrance, you die,” Harold said. “That was what cost Kirk Wilk his life and what would have cost his son if not for that interfering woman. But luckily you managed to deal with one of the few pains in my side and for that, I must give you the little credit that you deserve. Enjoy it while you can, Korbin.”

Harold’s gratitude was rare, which was why Korbin had no idea how to react. He did not know if he should be thankful for the credit, or if he should just keep going. What Korbin did know, however, was that he had to be stronger. He knew that he needed to, especially now that his rivals were heading for Iiayikohn at this moment. But as Korbin continued to think, a loud crash rang out through the halls of Harold’s hideout.

“What the hell was that!?” Korbin asked.

“Do not move a single inch,” Harold said. “You just wait in that room until I come back.”

But Korbin wanted to know. He had to know. Waiting in an empty room for his father to speak to him again bored him. Korbin needed to find out for himself what caused that loud noise and why Harold wanted him to wait. He knew that he had to hurry, so he rushed out of the room without so much a second thought. Korbin ran down the hallway headfirst towards the entrance. Something had happened and there was only one way to confirm it.

“I’m not going to fucking wait just because you told me to,” Korbin said. “I gotta know what the hell is going on before we do anything!”

Harold did not respond, though Korbin did not care. There was only one thing on Korbin’s mind and that was getting to the bottom of this mystery. Once he made it towards the entrance, however, Korbin saw for himself the source of that destructive noise. The one man who stood superior to Korbin was standing in front of his father, though with both of his arms missing. Harold crossed his arms as Rysol inched closer to him.

“So the insect comes back,” Harold said. “After what I did to your father, I would’ve expected you to run away with what little pride you had left, but it seems as if you’ve got a death wish to fulfill.”

Rysol did not say a word. He had his broken sword held in his mouth while Harold laughed. Korbin could see the wounds on Rysol’s body and wondered how he was still able to stand. There was no time to answer that question, though, as Rysol charged at Harold with everything he had.

“If you’re that desperate to reunite with your father, then I’ll do you your favor,” Harold replied. “I was saving this for a special occasion, but I see no need to delay it any further!”

Harold uncrossed his arms and got into a fighting stance. Rysol stopped in his tracks and stared Harold down. The abrupt pause stood only for a second as Harold led with his fist and threw a punch at Rysol. However, Rysol defended himself from the attack as he ducked underneath the punch. He moved out of the way, but was caught by Harold by his left hand.

“You’ve still got fire, I’ll give you that much,” Harold said. “But you’re just a weakling now… I’ve got no use for you anymore!”

Korbin watched as Harold lifted Rysol up by his neck. He tried to see what was going to happen next, but Harold’s body blocked him from seeing Rysol, and there was no way Korbin could move another inch.

“I know what you’re thinking,” Harold said.

“Huh?” Korbin asked.

“You think this man has something to do with you, don’t you,” Harold said. “Let me assure you, fool, that this man is nothing to the likes of me. Not when I can so easily end his life like this!”

A familiar sound boomed into Korbin’s ears. There was no mistaking what he just heard. There was, however, the sudden sound of Rysol’s groans. Korbin watched as Rysol dropped the handle of his blade out of his mouth, letting it drop onto the puddle of blood on the floor. Rysol coughed once more as Harold began to chuckle. Indeed, Korbin could not mistake what had happened.

“Did you think you even had a chance?” Harold asked Rysol. “Even in your most ridiculous of dreams, you had to realize there was no hope for you. No such hope exists for someone like you, not as long as I’m around.”

“I wasn’t… hoping,” Rysol replied. “I’m… going to kill you…”

“Save your last breaths for something more meaningful,” Harold said. “I’m not going to wait around for you to spout off these last insignificant little bits of nonsense you’ve left.”

With a quick motion, Harold pulled back his left hand. Not a second later, he let go of Rysol, dropping him to the ground. Rysol continued to bleed out as Harold turned around and faced Korbin. There was nothing that could be said, not after what had happened. The one person that Korbin feared was now dying before him, all because his father took Rysol’s life with no struggle. But before the two men could go back, Rysol started to laugh.

“Did you think… that I didn’t expect this?” Rysol asked.

Harold scowled and turned around. “You’re still alive,” he said. “Looks like I need to finish the job.”

“Go ahead… and kill me,” Rysol said. “But I’m not… going to leave you two alive…”

“Son of bitch,” Harold said. “You can’t be serious!”

“What does he mean?” Korbin asked. “What does he fucking mean?”

“I didn’t come here… thinking I was going to leave with my life,” Rysol said as he rolled over. “Before I die here… I’m going to take you down to the depths of hell, Harold Mars!”

“You would do this just to make me suffer,” Harold said. “How petty can you be to the only man who understood your pain?”

“Like you gave a shit,” Rysol said, looking over to Korbin. “Why don’t you… tell me all about what happened to your mother and brother, little Korbin? Tell me all about how this despicable waste of a man killed them… This man, Harold Mars… tell me everything.”


To be continued…


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