Aurora – Chapter 49 (Part 1)

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Only one way to know,” Sorin said.

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

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

“We’ll see about that,” Gale said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It was my fault,” Isaac replied.

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

“See it as you want to,” Isaac said.

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

“So is this all, then?” Isaac asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Maybe we should go now,” Sorin said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You can’t?” Isaac asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How did it go?” Henry asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No one would blame you,” Henry replied.

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

“Over an hour,” Henry said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Aurora – Chapter 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 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 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…


Previous | Next Part

Aurora – Chapter 41 (Part 1)

[1st of January, 2741 AD; New Prime Minister’s Office, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


“Just what in the world is the meaning of this?” Isaac asked. “I want you to answer me now, Wilson, because I am at a loss for words about what you’ve just done here!”

Fercewend followed after Isaac stormed into Dezine’s office as the furious man slammed his hands upon the desk, which startled the prime minister. Isaac received the word of Dezine’s latest action less than an hour ago and decided to head over to meet with the man himself. It came as a complete surprise to Rohan, too, who remembered the conventions that prevented an action such as this. As Isaac stared Dezine down, the prime minister regained his composure and put on a large smile.

“I’m glad you noticed, Isaac,” Dezine said. “I think it’s about time that we went and took some action, don’t you agree?”

“Don’t try and take me for a fool,” Isaac said. “Reckless actions like this only serve to hinder our cause, if not outright hurt it. I want you to cease this border lockdown at once!”

“I get it,” Dezine replied. “You two are worried about your soldiers, are you not? Well, I may be willing to make an exception, only if you agree to let me run things as they should.”

“Prime minister, I must remind you that there are various repercussions for violating the Thekohnian conventions,” Fercewend said. “I know it’s none of my business as an Ameci, but it would be wise to recognize the breach where it is visible and stand back where necessary.”

“I’m flabbergasted that you would be so concerned, General Fercewend,” Dezine said. “Wasn’t it you who wanted to deal with the Ameci traitors? What better course of action than to stop them before they can even cross the border to Iiayikohn?”

“You’re acting like a fool,” Isaac said. “I don’t want to soil my own hands trying to stop the traitors myself. That’s why we have the military and that’s why you have your own special guard. Throwing all caution to the wind just to get ahead of the traitors will only burn your own hide, Wilson.”

“Is it my hide that’ll burn?” Dezine asked. “Or will you be the one to fall next? I hear that your vice president is currently incarcerated because you claim you’ve no use for him or his son anymore.”

“He’s being held for conspiracy,” Fercewend said. “Isaac had nothing to do with what Bradley did.”

“So you’re going to fall on the sword for Isaac’s behalf, aren’t you,” Dezine said. “Well, it’s not as if it’s my problem what happens to you, general.”

“It will be your problem soon enough, I promise you,” Isaac replied. “The walls will soon close in should you walk the path of recklessness.”

“Did you forget what you did to ensure that I would be prime minister?” Dezine asked. “That little piece of paper that keeps me safe… The ‘Prime Minister Protection Act,’ don’t you know?”

Isaac grumbled. “You’d be digging your own grave,” he said. “Even that law has a drawback.”

“People depend on travel between the lands, prime minister,” Fercewend said. “Doing this to stop the problem we have will only bring it into the light for all to see, which will only cause panic. Do you truly wish for that to happen to your people, sir?”

“I don’t think I asked for your opinion, general,” Dezine replied. “Why don’t you just be a good boy and let me do my job.”

“Don’t act as if I don’t have a say in the matter,” Fercewend said. “As both Hasker and Bradley are out, I’m the one in charge of all Ameci actions.”

“Are you now?” Dezine asked.

“That is correct,” Isaac said. “For now, Rohan is the acting president of Ameci, so you’d best take me seriously.”

“I see how it is now,” Dezine said. “Unfortunately for you, I do not need the help of Ameci in regards to dealing with the traitors. My soldiers are trained well and will shoot on sight.”

“That’s not what this is about!” Isaac exclaimed.

“If you’re going to raise your voice to me, then you leave me no choice,” Dezine responded. “I will not hesitate to invoke the law should I feel threatened, and I must say you two are imposing on me quite a bit…”

Dezine reached for the phone as Isaac lifted his hands off of the desk. He turned around and headed for the door as Fercewend did the same. It was clear now that Dezine did not want to talk any further, which left the general at a loss. But as he looked at Isaac, Fercewend could feel some reassurance.

“Then we will go,” Isaac said. “I do have one last word for you, however.”

“You really have nothing but your inflated ego, don’t you?” Dezine asked. “Very well, I’ll let you say your little spiel.”

“Oh, I’ll make it quick, Wilson Dezine,” Isaac replied. “I’ll make it quick as the fall you’re going to take: you’ve made a mistake.”

“The only mistake I’ve made was letting you in my office,” Dezine said. “I will win this fight with or without your help!”

“If that’s the case, then you’ve already lost,” Isaac said. “Not even god will help you out of the mess that you’ve created. Rohan, let’s go before I lose my head over this goddamn madman.”

Fercewend did as Isaac said and left Dezine’s office. The numbers were dwindling around Isaac, but Fercewend knew that he needed to remain strong in order for Ameci to succeed through an uncertain time. Even so, Fercewend felt as if the pressure was only going to get worse as time went on. He wondered about Isaac and if he felt the same way. Fercewend did not want to admit it, but he was starting to doubt Isaac as well. It was not as if he did not trust him, but in regard to the recent events, Fercewend wondered about Isaac’s motivations and if it was okay to question them.

“Let this be a lesson, Rohan,” Isaac said as he continued to walk down the hallway. “Trust only goes so far until the other side sees no use for you. Dezine is such a man that would place his own interests before anyone else… The nerve of that man to think he has authority only because I was willing to offer him my helping hand and write that law for him. It was my written word that protected him and this is how he repays the favor!?”

“What do you mean?” Fercewend asked as he kept up with Isaac.

“Nothing,” Isaac answered. “Forget about Dezine. He’s set on failing so bad, then let him fail. We still have a way to win, even without his help.”

“Forgive me if this is rude, but what is Ameci’s goal?” Fercewend asked. “I only ask because it seems as if these people we put our trust in seem to fail when adversity strikes at its hardest.”

“Our goal… Ameci’s goal is to be strong,” Isaac replied. “It has always been the goal. There are people who want to undermine us and take advantage of us, which is why being rigid in our approach is important.”

“I understand,” Fercewend said, “But what of Casper Bradley? Was he always trying to undermine us?”

“He had tried to take advantage of you, yes,” Isaac said. “But I had my eyes on him the moment he stood in Hasker’s place. Casper merely let the power go to his head, becoming delusional as a result and… well, you should already know the rest.”

“One must wonder why it is that this power drives men like Casper and Dezine to the brink,” Fercewend said.

“Look no further to the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn and you’ll see why,” Isaac said. “Rain Zano Thedam is an ever growing problem and there’s only so much time we have until she tries to challenge you head on.”

“You believe that it is so?” Fercewend asked.

“Rohan, right now, you’re needed more than ever,” Isaac replied. “You’re the rock that serves to stabilize Ameci. Your people need you now more than ever and you must be able to rise to the occasion.”

“I can do that,” Fercewend said. “But where do you fit in?”

“It’s simple,” Isaac said, “I’m the one who will support you. This will not be an easy job, but with my guidance, you will be useful. Do you understand?”

“Of course,” Fercewend replied. “Ameci has counted on me before and I’ll do my best to serve as its leader.”

“As it was before,” Isaac said. “Even back then, becoming general wasn’t a guarantee, but I made it possible. I made everything possible so that you could succeed as a leader. This chance belongs to you and you alone, Rohan.”

“I won’t disappoint,” Fercewend said.

“I know that you won’t,” Isaac said. “A dear friend of mine told me that as long as god is on our side, we will win. God is on our side, Rohan, and we will use that to our advantage.”

“Then let’s not let that advantage go to waste,” Fercewend said. “It doesn’t do us good to doubt as long as we have that.”

“Very good,” Isaac said. “You made a smart decision, Rohan, so you should be very proud of yourself and what you’ve become to me.”

With the resounding encouragement that Isaac had given him, Fercewend knew what he needed to do now. He could not afford to hesitate any further now that he had executive power and he could not waste the chance that had been given to him. Regardless of the past, Fercewend knew that now was the time for him to act. Now was the time to do what he believed was right for Ameci, even if he had to cross an old friend or two. For Rohan Fercewend, he was ready to act in what he deemed Ameci’s best interest and nothing was going to stop him.




[2nd of January, 2741 AD; Quiet Falcon Train Station, Helm, Ahnlikohn]


Wasting time was no longer an option for Sorin and the others. He knew that they had to get moving once they heard from Rain about what Dezine had done overnight. The path to Iiayikohn became tougher to navigate, though it did not deter Sorin because he knew that Johan was not deterred by the setback. As long as Johan was with them, there was hope. Hope that they could devise a plan that Johan could draw out. Still, there was some doubt as the group ended up at the train station where Iiayikohnian guards barricaded the entrance. The large crowd stood outside as the guards remained firm at the front door, neither man moving a single inch from their positions.

“This is the action the prime minister is willing to take, huh?” Dustin asked. “Is there no way we couldn’t just try to sneak in or something?”

“It’s unwise to be reckless right now,” Johan said. “Of course, there is a path forward, but it looks like traveling by train is no longer an option.”

“Does the prime minister know no end to his villainy?” Mina asked. “He must be really stupid if he thinks this will stop us!”

“I don’t think he’s stupid,” Pekka said. “However, Dezine has to know that this is going to backfire spectacularly should he continue to pursue this action if he’s trying to protect Isaac Kunigunde.”

“Do you think he’s doing it on purpose, then?” Luna asked. “You know, like if he’s trying to sabotage Isaac for his own reasons?”

“We don’t know,” Johan said.

“As far as whether or not Wilson Dezine is doing this on Isaac’s behalf or not, we can’t really assume,” Eva said. “However, as it stands right now, Dezine’s actions are impeding us from completing our task.”

“Johan, you’ve got to have some idea on what we’re supposed to do,” Luna said. “You’re usually coming up with all these amazing plans! You’ve gotta have an idea floating up there, I know it because you’re scratching your chin which usually means you’ve got something on your mind and I know I’m not wrong when I say that!”

Johan sighed as he removed his hand from his chin and sat himself down on a bench nearby. “I was just wondering if there was somewhere we could grab a bite,” he said. “Thinking about all this has made me quite famished if I’m being honest with you, Luna.”

“Why in the world would you be thinking of food at a time like this?” Gale asked. “Surely you must be joking.”

“I’m not joking, Gale,” Johan replied. “It’s almost time for lunch and we didn’t have that much of a breakfast since we had to get going early. You feel the same way, right, Sorin?”

Sorin looked at Johan. “You may be right,” he said. “There’s not much that we can do right now, so we might as well get something to eat and figure out what we can do from there.”

“The fact we can’t go ahead back to Iiayikohn frustrates me to no end,” Mina said as she placed her index finger on her forehead, “But I can’t just say no to getting something to eat! It’s been too long since we did, anyway, and I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to take a little break!”

Johan looked back over to Gale. “See? I don’t think it’s worth worrying too much since we know that we’ll find a way,” he said. “Our work isn’t done, but that shouldn’t mean we can’t take the time to enjoy the sights.”

“I thought you just wanted to get something to eat,” Gale said.

“I did say that,” Johan said. “I was just wondering if it would be possible to do a little more during our time here in Helm.”

“What’s with the sudden change in objective?” Dustin asked. “I thought that you wanted to go on and take down Isaac Kunigunde. I didn’t think you’d want to go and relax so soon after what happened up in Glora.”

“Mind you, this isn’t about relaxing,” Johan said. “We can’t rush towards an enemy without knowing what they’re capable of. I figure until we have some clue about what they can do, we’ll just wait until we hear it from our allies.”

“Rain did say that Ayanna is on her way towards Helm,” Sorin said. “Then again, I’ve got no clue when she’ll get here nor do I know whether or not she’s arriving with the soldiers.”

“I doubt the Rain wants to do that,” Eva said. “The last thing we want to do is to escalate this to a breaking point.”

“You’re very wise,” Johan said. “There will be plenty of time to discuss our next course of action, so why go through the trouble of thinking about it now? I think we have enough time at hand before we head off for Iiayikohn.”

Nobody else had anything to say to that. Johan was right and there was no reason to suggest otherwise. As long as Gavin, Law, and Henry were in Iiayikohn, there was no reason to worry. Even with the sudden turn of events, Sorin had a feeling that those three would be able to get Drake out of trouble. But for now, the only thing Sorin and the others could do now was wait for Ayanna to arrive.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Aurora – Chapter 39 (Part 1)

[1st of January, 2741 AD; nearby Ahnle River, outside North Glora, Ahnlikohn]


The calm, flowing river was all that spoke now. Mina looked over Bradley, who was on the ground in a heap. As she looked for a response, Mina decided on the fact that she would have to consult with Luna on how to deal with Bradley now that he was incapacitated. Now, though, Mina had to see if Pekka was doing better now that he was not under attack.

“Luna, how is he?” Mina asked.

“He’s breathing, so he’s doing well,” Luna replied. “I’ll see if I can get him to wake up…”

As Luna attempted to get Pekka to wake up, Mina had to wonder if Eva had found the others already. She had to imagine that Eva would be heading this way soon, given all of the commotion that had taken place. Defeating Bradley was one thing, but Mina could not stop there. Foundation in all of its entirety needed to be taken down if there was to be peace. 

“It looks like he’s waking up,” Luna said. “Pekka, do you hear me?”

Mina watched as Pekka opened his eyes, groaning as he placed his hand on his chest. He looked up at Mina and Luna, both relieved to see that he was well. It was all Mina needed to see that she had arrived at the right time. Pekka then sat up and pointed at Mina.

“Behind you!” Pekka said.

Mina and Luna turned to see that Bradley had gotten back up, unnoticed by anyone. He started to rush at the two, picking up the knife on the ground in the process as Mina readied herself.

“You’re a fool to think that you had it over with!” Bradley exclaimed. “Now I don’t even care what happens, so long as I kill you all!”

But before Bradley could reach the three, Eva sprinted onto the scene with her sword drawn out. One quick swing of Eva’s blade stopped Bradley and made him drop the knife. Blood splattered onto the snow as Bradley found it difficult to breathe. Mina saw for herself what Eva had done to Bradley: she had just slashed his throat. He uttered not another word and dropped to the ground again.

“I haven’t forgotten,” Eva said. “Now choke within the flames.”

She cleaned her sword of blood and sheathed it. Sorin arrived and became witness to what was now Bradley’s corpse. Mina then registered what happened as she hurried towards Eva.

“Eva! Looks like you made it just in time,” Mina exclaimed. “I can’t believe how much that guy didn’t want to give up.”

“It’s not your fault,” Eva said. “Had he accepted what had happened, then maybe he would have received a little mercy.”

“I wonder about that,” Luna said. “He seemed set in his beliefs, even as it cost him his life.”

“He was dangerous, that much we know,” Sorin said. “People like him have to be dealt with one way or another.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” Luna replied. “Somebody like him is a threat that we just can’t take lightly, you know?”

“He was done no matter what,” Pekka said, standing up. “Had Eva not come sooner, Mina would’ve been ready. Regardless, that’s one less piece of trash we’ll have to deal with now.”

“Speaking of which, maybe we should get moving,” Luna said. “The sight of him over there, even if he was horrible, is unsettling.”

“Of course,” Eva said. “I’m very sorry you had to see that.”

“It’s okay,” Luna said as she looked towards the forest. “Once we’re back on the path, then I think I’ll be fine.”

With Bradley taken care of, Mina went with the group on the way back to the main path. She felt that she and Eva made a great team, but now it was time for the group to get back together. One thing Mina noticed, though, was the fact that there were two unaccounted for: Johan Kuu and Jelka Arne. However, it was Luna who spoke up first.

“So, where are they?” Luna asked Sorin.

Sorin did not say.

“Johan is okay,” Eva said. “As for Jelka, it’s a different story…”

As Eva explained what happened to Jelka, everybody went silent. Neither Luna nor Pekka could respond to what they had heard. Eva’s words became the confirmation of what they were afraid of, as well as confirming Mina’s worries. Sorin continued to keep his head down while he walked. It was then that Mina realized that despite everyone’s efforts, it did little to change the reality that Jelka had died and Korbin Mars remained a threat. A few steps later, Luna proceeded to break the silence.

“If what you said is true, then Korbin should still be around,” Luna said. “He’s the one who killed her, right? Well, we should be going after him!”

“Korbin is long gone by now,” Eva said. “He knew that he would’ve stood no chance against us, which is why he took the extra measures he did.”

“He may have killed her, but she didn’t die without wounding him first,” Pekka said. “Korbin may have escaped, but Jelka dealt a serious blow to him. That is why he chose to flee.”

“At least we should find Johan,” Luna said. “He has to be taking it the worst, so we should be there to console him.”

“I think we should give him some time to himself,” Sorin said. “It wouldn’t do us any good to stay here any longer than we need to.”

“Aren’t you worried about him, though?” Luna asked. “He… He really did care a lot about Jelka, and that’s what worries me the most.”

“We don’t have to worry about him,” Eva said.

“I know that Johan doesn’t let his anger get the best of him,” Pekka said, “But all the same, maybe it would be best for us to go to him and see what we can do from there.”

“Yeah, there’s got to be something we can do,” Mina said. “Even if it means very little, I’m sure that Johan would appreciate our help!”

“It would be nice, but we all know that he wants this time alone,” Sorin said as he looked up. “The path is right over there; we’ll go and find Gale and Dustin. Besides, Johan knows where we’ll be staying, so it’s not like he’s going to be lost without us.”

“Are you sure?” Luna asked.

“Let Johan grieve by himself, Luna,” Eva replied. “After that, he’ll come and find us at the hotel.”

“If you’re okay with it then I guess I am, too,” Luna said. “Well? What are we all waiting for? Let’s go! We can’t just do nothing with this opportunity now, not when we’ve got a chance!”

Mina smiled and pumped her fist into the air. “We aren’t going to let this go to waste,” she said. “For Jelka and Kirk, as well as everybody else that’s lost their lives because of Foundation, we will put an end to these evildoers!”

Mina could see that everybody was devastated by what happened to Jelka, so she decided to remain positive. She had to if they were going to focus on the goal before them. Mina also wanted to do this because she did not want anyone to be forgotten, both living and not. It was Mina’s task to take and she did not mind at all. As long as she had some way of helping, then Mina knew that it would not be a waste of time.




[1st of January; 2741 AD; Ameci Embassy, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


It was a long and silent walk down the hallway as General Fercewend and Isaac Kunigunde entered the president’s office. With Casper nowhere to be found, Fercewend had to wonder what had happened to him. He felt uncertain as Isaac made his way over to the desk and pulled out the chair.

“To sit in this chair signifies that you’ve been bestowed a limitless amount of power,” Isaac said. “Since we’ve no idea where our friend is, perhaps you’d like to have a little taste of what’s to come in your future?”

Fercewend just shook his head. “Until we get a confirmation on President Bradley, I will have to decline,” he said. “Plus, Hasker should be here in a couple of days, so it’s his role to assume.”

“You still have faith in Casper, I see,” Isaac said. “I’d expect no less from you, Rohan.”

“I will admit that the uncertainty is making me think about it,” Fercewend said. “To serve the people of Ameci by becoming president would be the highest honor, yet still I wonder to myself would I be ready when the time comes. I know that you don’t really think about it that much, Isaac, but this is something that I’ve worked towards ever since I was a young lad.”

“I’m fully aware,” Isaac said. “You’ve been quite useful, and you ought to have hope that you will remain useful for years to come.”

“That’s what I wish for,” Fercewend said.

“Yes, you’ll be very useful indeed,” Isaac said, turning away to look out the window. “Quite useful, no matter what happens.”

“What do you mean by that?” Fercewend asked.

“Ah, what I mean is that no matter what, we’ll be victorious,” Isaac replied. “It’s always good to plan for anything, and I think you would agree.”

“Of course,” Fercewend said. “No matter what happens, we’ll be ready to face off against anything, even the unknown.”

Isaac turned back and smiled at Fercewend. “Seems to me that you’re well beyond ready to tackle the presidency, Rohan.”

“We’ll see when the time comes,” Fercewend said.

Fercewend heard the door swing open and turned around. Casper Bradley hurried into the room with his clothes covered in dirt and blood while his hair was unkempt. As Casper dropped to his knees, Fercewend went over to the man and reached out his hand.

“Thank you, general,” Casper said as he grabbed Fercewend’s hand and stood up. “My car had run out of fuel the moment I crossed the Iiayi borders. It took me a few hours, but I finally made it back just in time.”

“You’ve made it back just in time, indeed,” Isaac said. “Just in time for you to receive your retribution, in fact. General Rohan Fercewend, I want you to place this man under arrest.”

Fercewend’s eyes lit up as he looked over to Isaac. “What? What for?”

“I’m sorry for not disclosing this to you earlier, Rohan, but I’ve spoken to President Hasker this morning,” Isaac said. “After what Casper has done and has tried to do to us, it’s only fitting that he gets locked away for a long time.”

“Impossible,” Fercewend said. “What did he do?”

“He was using you, Rohan,” Isaac answered. “Casper was going to use you as a scapegoat for his illegal activities, but when I stepped in, he knew he couldn’t do that. That’s why he carried out an illegal mission on his own.”

“You must be playing a joke on me, cousin,” Fercewend replied. “Casper was going to stab us in the back?”

“It’s all bullshit!” Casper exclaimed. “Isaac is lying through his teeth!”

“How about you stay silent and let me talk, viper,” Isaac said. “Casper had a plan from the very beginning, acting on his own accord. Him becoming president in the wake of Hasker’s poisoning? It was all Casper’s plotting.”

Casper shook his fist. “Lies! You’re spouting nothing but lies!”

He charged at Isaac, but Fercewend restrained him before he could get any closer. Fercewend could not even begin to imagine what Casper had planned to do with him, but he had to guess that he was to take the fall should the news of Casper’s crime come to light.

“That’s enough, sir,” Fercewend said. “I think it would be for the best if you explained yourself, right now.”

“Well, those traitors are coming here,” Casper replied. “After I failed to stop them, I ran off. It was a cowardly move, but I had the traitors on my tail; I had no idea if they were coming after me, so I ran as fast as I could and ended up in the town of Helm.”

“A likely story,” Isaac said. “If it were the truth, that is.”

“It is the truth, Isaac,” Casper said. “Once I was there, I called my son and told him about what had happened. Crawford suggested that I lay low for a bit, which I did do, but only until I was sure I was in the clear!”

“What did happen, sir?” Fercewend asked.

“Oh, Rohan, it’s obvious that all he’s going to do is lie continuously until he thinks we’ll believe him,” Isaac said. “If you want proof, ask Piere. He’ll tell you all about it, from how Casper set up the poisoning all the way to how he would throw you underneath the wheel if he got caught.”

“You… You’re the one who suggested poisoning!” Casper replied. “It was you who told me to do it, damn it!”

“And where is your proof?” Isaac asked. “Unless you have something that’s written down in print, then it’ll be very hard to prove that I did anything.”

“I think it’s about time we take a precautionary measure,” Fercewend said, letting go of Casper. “I do not wish to believe that you would try and kill a fellow countryman, but I’m afraid until I’ve spoken to President Hasker, you will need to be placed in a holding cell.”

“This is ridiculous!” Casper exclaimed.

“Not as ridiculous as what you’ve been saying,” Isaac replied, as he then snapped his fingers. “Luckily, I’ve also been prepared for a while.”

Two guards entered the room and grabbed Casper by either arm. He tried to break free, but failed. Fercewend looked over to Isaac, and in that moment, he thought he saw Isaac crack a small grin on his face. However, Isaac had a scowl upon his face while Casper continued to struggle.

“You think you’ll get away with this?” Casper asked. “Crawford won’t let you get away with this once he hears it from me, I’ll have you know!”

“Oh, so now we’re devolving into threats,” Isaac said. “Did you think that you were invincible so long as you had Crawford?”

“What are you talking about?” Casper asked.

“President Hasker wasn’t the only person I spoke with this morning,” Isaac said. “After I finished talking to Piere, who else but Crawford would call me? Yes, your son went and told me a lot because he was quite concerned. It’s not easy to point the finger of accusation at someone you’ve known for all your life, but for Crawford, he was willing to tell me everything because he cared so much.”

“No, not Crawford,” Casper said. “There’s no way in hell that he’d turn his back on me!”

“Face it, Casper, no one is going to come and save you,” Isaac replied. “This is all the result of the truth surfacing to the top. You can kiss your wild dreams of power goodbye, my friend, because this is the end for you.”

The guards began to drag Casper out of the room, his struggling doing little to deter them. Isaac took a seat next to the desk while Fercewend sighed. There was a lot to take in, Fercewend thought. He still had trouble believing Casper was the one who attempted to kill Hasker, yet Isaac’s words made sense. Everything made sense, yet at the same time, they made no sense. Still, Casper had one last utterance while the guard escorted him out.

“Gloat while you still can, Isaac Kunigunde,” Casper said. “Because if you take me down, you’ll soon feel the same heat! Dezine knows!”

Fercewend watched as Casper left the room with the guards. The air was lighter now but the tension remained high. He had to wonder what Ameci would do now without Casper in charge and Hasker still a few days away from arriving. All Fercewend knew now was that it all stopped with him.

“Looks like it’s your turn,” Isaac said.

“My turn?” Fercewend asked.

“Don’t be nervous,” Isaac replied, as he gestured his hand over to the chair behind the desk. “This is exactly what you wanted, isn’t it? Go ahead and have a seat, Rohan; you’ve earned it.”


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Aurora – Chapter 35 (Part 2)

[31st of December, 2740 AD; on the road to Glora, Ahnlikohn, passage through Thekohn]


“It’s been a while since we fought together like this, hasn’t it?” Mina asked Eva. “Really takes me back…”

“Odd for you to feel nostalgic about that,” Eva said.

There was little Eva could do to forget about the short time she had fought with Mina and the others back when they were in Bel. The memories of that fight were surrounded by the bouts of uncertainty, stress, and loss. All Eva experienced back then did not go away, but she knew that she had to press on.

They took the bus out of the kingdom towards Oelaans, which made for a relaxing trip through the countryside. It was a comforting sight to behold as the land abound caught Eva’s eye. She remembered the last time she had seen such a peaceful sight, which was back in Ameci several months back. However, it was also a time in which Eva had shut herself off from a majority of the world.

“I didn’t bring anything bad up, did I?” Mina asked.

“No, of course not,” Eva replied.

“If you say so, then I won’t ask about it,” Mina said. “I just wanted to make sure that you’d be okay doing this.”

“It’s fine, Mina,” Eva said. “This trip is actually kind of refreshing if I’m to be completely honest with you.”

“Your way of handling when things get tough is so amazing,” Mina replied. “I’m sitting here wondering about my family back in Rezar and I can’t help but be nervous about them. Sometimes it’s hard to concentrate when I think about them and how they’re doing.”

“There’s reason for concern,” Eva said, “But there’s not a lot we can do right now. All we can do is move forward for the time being.”

“That’s true,” Mina said. “I mean, I don’t know for sure what’s happening in Iiayikohn right now, but I know that both my uncle and my mother are probably wondering how everything is going. Especially with that Dezine guy still around and making everything difficult for Ayanna and General Reiss!”

“Someone like Dezine who has that power will not hesitate to use it if he feels like he’s threatened,” Eva said. “That being said, it’ll be some time before we go heading back to Iiayikohn, I imagine.”

“We still have Amelia to talk to,” Mina replied. “Surely we’ll find a way to break through.”

“Johan’s got something planned,” Eva said. “The thing that I wonder about is whether or not we still have to worry about the Ameci military.”

“Do you think we’ll have to deal with them again?” Mina asked.

“I don’t know,” Eva replied. “This is one of those moments where all has gone silent, which makes it that much more difficult to figure out if the enemy’s got an attack planned.”

“I’m sure Rain realizes the possibility,” Mina said. “She and Ayanna and General Reiss have something ready just in case something happens.”

“I’m sure, too,” Eva said. “We can’t be careless, not even for a second. Even if it all seems clear, there’s still that chance and we have to be aware of Ameci’s attack when it comes.”

“Agreed!” Mina said.

Eva had to wonder, though, if Sorin and the others were ready in case that possibility arose. She had faith in them, yet all the same she had some concern in the fact that there was no way to be sure. All Eva could do was wish for the bus to arrive at the destination as soon as possible, because she knew that she and Mina could not wait to help out.




[31st of December, 2740 AD; Glora Bus Station, Glora, Ahnlikohn – Erithacus District]


“Does this bring back any memories for you guys, or is it just me?” Johan asked everybody. “Well, I guess that I shouldn’t ask that since I already know the answer to the question.”

Sorin watched as Johan looked around at the entire group. They had finally arrived in the city of Glora. What surprised Sorin the most when he arrived was the amount of attention that the group had received, or rather, the lack thereof. He anticipated an unpleasant welcome from Ahnlikohn’s very own military, but Sorin saw no such arrival waiting for him and the others.

“So I guess there’s no problem here,” Dustin said. “I would’ve thought that we’d be hustling a little more once we got here, but you look like you’re all about the good times today, Mr. Kuu.”

“As it’s been stated before, military presence from Ameci has been tapering off,” Jelka said. “In turn, that leads to Queen Ahnle and the Ahnlikohnian officials to reduce the amount of soldiers in the city.”

“Ultimately, the queen just wants everything to blow over,” Johan said. “It’s what she wants, though it’s not going to be that easy.”

“Hard for what happened here to just blow over,” Dustin said. “Although she may be the one who’s had to deal with so much in the past few months, that doesn’t mean it can all be ignored.”

“Ignoring the burning building doesn’t make that building go away,” Pekka said. “What does Queen Amelia think will happen if she continues to be stubborn like this?”

“I’m sure that that’s what Rain would like to know as well,” Sorin said. “She has to wonder, I imagine.”

“I too would like to know what Amelia hopes to gain from this,” Jelka said. “There are a lot of questions that I wish to ask her, in fact; but unfortunately, my status would make getting those answers quite problematic.”

“Right, so we gotta make due with the plans we have,” Dustin said. “Gale and Luna, I suppose you guys got a good idea of what you want to say when we reach the castle tomorrow.”

“Please don’t tell me you’ve already forgotten,” Gale said.

“Yeah, it was very important,” Luna said. “We were all going together, the three of us, and we were going to tell the queen that we needed to meet with her over the incidents that have taken place over the last few months. God, I feel so nervous I could just throw up but I can’t even do that because I don’t even feel sick or anything like that.”

“We get it, Luna,” Gale replied. “Anyway, Dustin, the two of us just need you to act as a representative of Rain’s. She obviously can’t make it here so you’ll have to do your share of talking as well.”

“Well, that I can do,” Dustin said. “I’d be happy to try and change the minds up in the castle, though I do wonder if they’ll even let us in.”

“I already said it, didn’t I?” Luna asked. “My father served as a soldier in the royal military. In fact, I’m going to call him and tell him that just in case we may need his help.”

“You sound very sure about this,” Pekka said. “I guess that means even in his retirement, Lino’s never truly finished as a soldier of the royal family.”

“It is like that, yes,” Jelka said. “I have no doubt in my mind that Luna will be able to gain access into the castle, though you will want to keep your guards up if something happens.”

“Do you think something will go wrong?” Gale asked.

Jelka looked to the side. “I’m not worried about Luna’s chances,” she said. “However, something has been eating away at me for a while.”

“This is new,” Johan said. “What’s bugging you?”

“It’s Amelia herself,” Jelka answered. “I can’t say for certain what it is, but I know for sure that even if we get what we want out of this, I still cannot trust her as a person. She was the one who appointed Harring in the first place. Is she too a member of Foundation?”

“We won’t know until we find out for ourselves,” Sorin said.

“Isaac has to be stopped,” Gale said. “This can’t go on any longer.”

“I know that we have to stop him,” Johan said, “But we can’t deviate from the plans we’ve already made. Remember that we all run together.”

Those words rang true, Sorin thought. In the end, he knew that no matter what happened, Sorin would be able to take on Isaac and Foundation as long as he and Johan worked together alongside the others. Even those who were not with the group could be relied on. But what concerned Sorin now was the fact that he and Jelka had to head to Harring’s mansion in order to find clues. He had no idea if they would be able to find anything, though Sorin had a feeling that there would be something of worth there.




[31st of December, 2740 AD; Ameci Embassy, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


At Isaac’s request, Fercewend invited him into the general’s office. There could be only one reason as to why Isaac wanted to pay him a visit, Fercewend imagined as he sat behind his desk. His concern for Casper Bradley continued to bog his mind as the conflicts piled up. That would change, however, once Isaac and Dezine walked through the door.

“Rohan, answer me this: when a man loses sight of the prize, what do you think happens to him?” Isaac asked.

“I would think he suffers a setback,” Fercewend replied. “When you forget what it is you’re fighting for, your path to victory becomes harder to realize and you’ll be forced to wander until you get back on track.”

Isaac chuckled. “An interesting response.”

“Why do you ask?” Fercewend wondered.

“It’s been some time since we’ve last heard from our dear friend Casper,” Isaac said. “He had his mind set on this very task of his and we’ve not heard at all about the results! Frankly, I’ve become a little concerned for him.”

“It’s easy to fear the worst in times of uncertainty,” Fercewend said.

“Yes, perhaps it’s unlike me to worry,” Isaac said. “I’m only asking because we know what will happen in the case that Casper is unable to perform his duties as president.”

Fercewend sighed. “I would give it some more time,” he replied. “Bradley is not one to be careless.”

“I do agree that Casper is no slouch, but still Ameci must be able to prepare for the worst case scenario,” Isaac said. “If something happens to him while we continue to await Hasker’s arrival, then it all falls onto you, Rohan.”

Fercewend’s eyes looked down at his desk. That power that the presidency possessed would be his to wield and Fercewend could not admit that the thought did not intrigue him. He had been Ameci’s general for a long time, but Fercewend knew that passing up a chance to sit as president would be foolish. Even if only for a mere moment, that power would be his. However, he had no doubt in his mind that he would be a favorite to be Ameci’s president in the future. Sighing, Fercewend looked up at Isaac and saw the small smile on his face.

“But as you’ve said, it may be wise to wait for Casper,” Isaac said. “It will be a while before Piere arrives, so we’ve got that moment of peace until then.”

“Either way, it will be fun to see,” Dezine said.

“So did you just come to tell me about this?” Fercewend asked. “There are other issues that I must tackle even as we’re awaiting the storm clouds.”

“Yes, actually, there was one thing,” Isaac said. “Well, it’s Wilson’s question more than mine, if I’m being honest.”

“That’s true,” Dezine said. “The Moonlit Silence continues to be unwavering and I am worried that it may affect morale in the Iiayikohnian military. General Reiss has been taken in by these scoundrels and I’ve only my select service to rely on at this time.”

“What do you wish to do?” Fercewend asked.

“I’m wondering if you can come rally up the troops,” Dezine said. “I know it may be a little unorthodox for the general of a country’s military to lead another country’s soldiers, but we don’t have a lot of options at this point.”

“If it’s my help you need, then I’d be glad to offer it,” Fercewend said. “But I must warn that I can only help out for a short time as I’ve got my own soldiers to worry about.”

“Speaking of which, have you heard from Crawford?” Isaac asked.

“I spoke with him yesterday,” Fercewend said. “He’s aware of the risk that his father is taking, but he remains calm along with Private Mars and the rest of his squad.”

“Good to hear,” Isaac said. “Well, I’ve got an important call to make. Let’s hope that we hear from Casper soon, shall we?”

As Isaac left, Fercewend had work to do. He was placed in another role by Isaac and could not refuse it. He wondered if there was more to what Isaac had said, but decided not to pursue it further. His job had come first.


To be continued…


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Aurora – Chapter 33 (Part 2)

[29th of December, 2740 AD; Ameci Embassy, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


Two days before Casper had left, Rohan entered alongside Isaac into the president’s quarters. Casper stood at the window and turned around once Rohan and Isaac approached him. He had his eyebrows furrowed and a scowl upon his face as Isaac burst into laughter.

“It’s not like you to be so upset, my friend,” Isaac said.

“Tell me, Isaac,” Casper replied, “What sort of legacy does a man leave on his family’s name when he realizes it could all go away at a very instant?”

“Are you concerned?” Isaac asked. “We’re here because there is a job we’ve yet to finish. You and I both know that.”

“Yes, indeed,” Fercewend said.

“And that’s why you’ll do your best to put an end to this entire thing,” Isaac said. “Though I don’t expect the queen to step back, I know that you can at least be able to deliver to her the warning should she continue to persist an audience with the Queen of Ahnlikohn.”

“Before you make that plan concrete, I have received a most important message,” Casper said. “It is a great concern to us, but I thought that you of all people should know before it is too late.”

“You have my attention,” Isaac said.

“It is about Hasker,” Casper replied. “I have just been informed that he has made a complete recovery. As of now, he is on his way here and my time as the president has come to an end.”

“So what?” Isaac asked. “You’ve already made your mark. In fact, this could prove to be beneficial.”

“Beneficial?” Fercewend asked. “Isn’t it in Ameci’s best interest for Hasker to be in good health?”

“When I say beneficial, I mean that no matter what happens, everything will work out in our favor,” Isaac said. “So you say that Piere’s on the mend. So what if he’s better? If problems befall Ameci, then it is he who receives blame. He’d be the one who would have to answer for any failures.”

“You say that like it’s absolute,” Fercewend said.

“Rohan, do you still have doubts?” Isaac wondered. He then slammed his fist on the top of the desk. “Both of you know it’s much too late to turn back the clock now. Our enemy is already on the move once more and all you want to do is sit around and doubt yourselves? If you’re talking about legacy, then perhaps it is best that we amp up our aggression! If we do not, then we will lack the rigidity that’s needed in order to win!”

Casper rested his hands on the windowsill as a smile formed on his face. “I see, I see,” he said. “Aggression, you say? I can play aggressive. Yes, that’s exactly what I’ll do…”

“Sounds to me as if you’ve already decided,” Isaac said. “Very well, then I’ll go and inform our friend.”

“Before you do, Isaac, there’s one thing I must say,” Casper said.

“And what may that be?” Isaac asked.

“I’m not about to lose my position, regardless of what Piere might say or do,” Casper replied. “I intend to retain this power and no one is going to take it from me.”

“What are you saying, sir?” Fercewend asked.

“It’s simple, general,” Casper said, “I will find the traitor myself and bring him back here, dead or alive.”

“You say that, but I would advise leaving it up to your son,” Isaac said. “He’s already on his way to Ahnlikohn, don’t you remember?”

“Do you think I don’t know?” Casper asked. “Of course I know full well of Crawford’s movements because we had a little talk last night. Yes, he’s aware now about what I intend to do and he’s one hundred percent behind my decision.”

“He is?” Isaac asked.

He placed his hand upon his chin and turned away from Casper, leaving Fercewend to wonder what either man will say next. Fercewend was unaware of Casper’s decision, which only made him more concerned for Crawford’s current whereabouts. If Casper had made the decision with his son and his son alone, it only served to fuel the growing concerns in Fercewend’s mind. That thought process would be broken, however, once Isaac turned to face Casper once again. A small smirk decorated Isaac’s face as he reached out his hand.

“What is this?” Casper asked.

“Consider it my apology,” Isaac said. “You are a far more superior leader than I thought.”

“So you had doubts of your own, then,” Casper said.

“I would not say that I doubted you, but that I wanted to test you,” Isaac replied. “This was that test. You came prepared. I like that.”

Casper’s eyes lit up, but soon he laughed. “Oh, yes, that’s right,” he replied. “Indeed, that was my intention all along. Never once did I doubt you for a second, Isaac. You can believe me when I say that!”

“Truly you are an exceptional man,” Isaac said. “That’s something that I know that Piere could never be, which is why I’m glad to see you take charge and go all out when it comes to our enemies.”

“And I knew you would trust me,” Casper said. “Remember what you said to me when this all started? I’m not going to let you down for even a second, you hear me? This will be only the beginning of what will be our eventual victory and that traitor will have no way of escaping once I cross him!”

“As I expected of you,” Isaac said, looking over at Fercewend. “This is quite the valuable lesson to all of us and I’m hoping you’ll be able to put in the same amount of effort when it’s your turn to shine, Rohan.”

Fercewend eyed away to the side for a moment. If it was the right decision for Ameci, then he would do his part without question. Above all else, Fercewend knew that he had to do it to ensure a successful future for him and his family. He could not let the past conflict him, yet still Fercewend realized that he would have to come to terms with the inevitable truth in his mind.

“It’s settled, then,” Casper said. “If you’ll excuse me, Isaac, I’ve got to make a few calls back to Ameci.”

“Very well,” Isaac replied. “Rohan and I won’t hold you back any longer.”

With that said, Isaac left the room with Fercewend following him. There was much more to do, but for now, Fercewend could sigh in relief. That moment of relief, however, did not last long as the door closed behind him while Isaac cleared his throat.

 “I’m sure he won’t hear us, but let’s keep walking,” Isaac said, going down the hall. “What are you doing, Rohan? Let’s keep going.”

“Of course,” Fercewend said.

“That fool wants to go and get himself killed, I think,” Isaac said. “Just as I thought: he’s trying to betray us.”

“How so?” Fercewend asked.

“Well, it’s not something you should worry about,” Isaac replied. “I will let you know that no matter what the outcome, glory will be in our hands. Casper bags the traitor, he comes out a hero and earns the trust of the Ameci people. He fails, we always have a back-up plan.”

“Pardon me if this sounds like a slight against you both,” Fercewend began, “But are you hoping that Vice President Bradley will fail?”

“Never in a million years would I root for another man’s failure unless he’s an enemy to us,” Isaac said. “I am just weighing the options. We should hope that he succeeds in capturing the traitor, but it’s always good to have something in the event of an emergency. Is that not the case with you, General?”

“Of course it is,” Fercewend said. “But sometimes, the best course of action is to not pick a foolish battle.”

“Do you believe that Casper’s decision is foolish?” Isaac asked.

Fercewend hesitated to respond. He proceeded to respond, but Isaac was quick to open his mouth again.

“No matter, we will see for ourselves if this decision is indeed a foolish one and from there, we’ll make our move,” Isaac said. “Of course, you’ve got a little plan of your own to try and talk the Queen of Thekohn out of her recklessness, so perhaps it’s best that you try not to worry too much.”

“Whatever you say, Isaac,” Fercewend said.

“Don’t forget, it’s I who helped get you this power,” Isaac said. “If it weren’t for my bright ideas, then you would never have had a chance of becoming the person you are today. Your position, your aspirations, your family… All of those things were possible because I made them so.”

“I know,” Fercewend said.

“To think that there are people who wish to see us fail,” Isaac said. “To wish for my failure would be to wish for Ameci’s failure! And we can’t have any of that happen to us, now would we? What would your wife and kids think?”

“I’ll do my best,” Fercewend replied.

“Good,” Isaac said. “Now don’t let us down.”

Isaac kept walking while Fercewend stopped. That was the end of the small conversation that carried a lot of weight on Fercewend’s shoulders. He realized what he had to do next and shook his head as he turned around and went in the opposite direction. He had his job to do and he knew that he could not let Isaac or Ameci down.




[31st of December, 2740 AD; outskirts of Helm, Ahnlikohn – the abandoned Mars factory]


“Damn it!”

Gavin pounded on the locked metal door. He had split up from both Henry and Law and was now trying to make his way into the building. That they were still being pursued by Casper and his guards meant that Gavin had to think of a way to stop them. Gavin knew that there was much to think about, but above all else, he had to find Henry and Law first. With no other options on the board, that meant Gavin had to make some noise.

“It’s just like what Mina said before,” Gavin said. “No way to move forward unless I do it myself!”

Taking a few steps back, Gavin eyed the locked door. He began to charge at his target and used his strength to slam into the door. However, his effort proved uneventful as the door did not budge.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Gavin said. “What the hell?”

As he tried to figure out what went wrong, Gavin heard a knock next to the door. He saw through the window Law standing there, who had already made it inside. Gavin tried his best not to not to act out in anger as the door opened from the other side with Law waiting to greet him.

“Looks like you got the worst entrance, bro,” Law said. “Are you glad I’m here to help you out?”

“Where’s Henry?” Gavin asked.

“I was kind of hoping you’d know,” Law replied. “I suppose that means he probably found his own way in somehow.”

Gavin closed the door behind him. “As long as we’re here, I think we have a chance against these guys,” he said. “I figure that the president will want to have us all captured if not killed, so we can’t play nice here.”

A stack of crates next to a steel ladder helped serve as a hiding spot for the two brothers as they tried to look around the immediate area. Gavin took out his pistol and scanned the scene to his left.

“It’s going to be tough trying to stop him,” Law said, looking the other way. “And I don’t say that because Bradley’s a tough guy or anything like that.”

“We’ll figure out what to do when we get there,” Gavin said. “All we need to know is that Casper Bradley is like another other soldier on the battlefield. There is a reason why he’s so highly regarded with General Fercewend, after all.”

“I know, I know,” Law replied. “It’s not going to do us much good standing here. We need to get a better view of the area fast!”

Law grabbed onto the ladder’s rung, while Gavin placed his free hand on his shoulder.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Gavin asked.

“Our view will be better once we get up into the upper levels,” Law said. “It will also help us have the heights in our favor.”

“This place has been abandoned for a while,” Gavin replied. “You think it’ll be easier for us to go around if we’re making noise from above for Bradley and his guards to hear?”

“You think it matters where we are?” Law asked.

“Guess there is no talking you out of this one,” Gavin said. “It may be easier to find out where Henry is from up on the walkways.”

With the two in agreement, Gavin and Law climbed up the ladder onto the metal walkways. From above, Gavin saw the unused, broken down machines as he and Law kept moving. It was then that they spotted Henry climbing up one of the ladders from the other end of the factory, with both of Casper’s guards after him. Gavin looked to Law, who then looked on ahead as the two hurried over to help Henry. With Casper lurking around, Gavin knew that he and Law had to assist Henry first.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Aurora – Chapter 31 (Part 2)

[30th of December, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Inside Thedam Castle Library]


The air in the library was normal, yet when Gavin entered the room and saw Henry at the main table with several books spread out and open, he felt some slight hesitation at approaching Henry. Gavin could not describe it, but there was a distinct look to Henry compared to previous encounters. Of course, Gavin did not admit how he felt in public, but all the same he could only think about how distinguished Henry appeared before him. With an unwavering stance, Gavin stepped forward as Law did the same.

“Just so you know, bro, it’s okay to admit it,” Law said. “We’re going after a formidable organization that’s already got itself nestled atop both the Ameci and Iiayikohnian governments, so we’re not in any position to get away with making a single mistake.”

“I’m not worried about that,” Gavin said. “Henry, you got anything to show us or what?”

Henry closed the book he was reading. “I’m thinking we may need a slight change in plans,” he replied. “As it is, what we know about Harold Mars isn’t in any recorded documents. Remember, he was presumed dead years ago, so the fact that finding records is impossible shouldn’t come as a shock to either of you two.”

“Yet Isaac and him have been connected even after that,” Law said. “It must be some sort of loyalty pact that they agreed to that Isaac is willing to work with a dangerous man like him.”

“Isaac is willing to do whatever it takes to win,” Henry said. “That’s obvious by now.”

“What do you know about Harold Mars, anyway?” Gavin asked. “Besides what happened to him, I mean.”

“I only know what Kirk told me,” Henry replied. “What I’ve heard alone is enough to put Harold behind bars for life; but the question, I think, isn’t whether or not we can prove his guilt, but rather if we’ll be able to use what we find in order to bring him to justice.”

“Are you suggesting that we won’t be able to do that?” Gavin asked.

“Before I answer that, I’m going to tell you what we’re going to do,” Henry said. “Gavin, Law, I hope you two are ready for what’s next, because we’re going to head to Rezar.”

“Back to Dezine’s turf, huh,” Law said. “There’s a good reason as to why you want to go there of all places, right? Surely we aren’t about to head into some sort of awful trap. You wouldn’t do that, would you, Henry?”

“I wouldn’t have said it if I wasn’t confident about my decision,” Henry replied. “There’s a good reason as to why I want to head back there and I think you’ll understand once I explain it.”

“Then explain away,” Law said. “I’ll leave it all to you.”

“As long as he continues to operate within the Thekohnian Region, Isaac Kunigunde is our main problem,” Henry said. “I know it’s redundant to say, but it bears repeating because even if we bring down someone like Wilson Dezine, the fact is that Isaac Kunigunde will find someone else who’ll be willing to sell their soul to him in exchange for power.”

Henry stood up and turned towards the fireplace. Gavin wanted to say to Henry that he should continue on, but Henry turned back and breathed out a short sigh as he shook his head.

“It’s taken too long to see for myself how well that man can change others that I’m left to do this,” Henry said. “General Rohan Fercewend is a respected man across the world… Well, I would say that, but he seems more willing to let the likes of Isaac influence his decisions. Even now, I’m hesitant because of what it means to go up against him.”

“You’re still thinking about what happened between you and the general?” Gavin asked.

“Forget it,” Henry replied. “I’ll make it brief: I spoke with Johan Kuu a day ago and he mentioned off-hand where he believes Harold Mars resides.”

“You’re as reckless as hell if you’re trying to go after him,” Gavin said. “Shit, even thinking about it is reckless. Even if we organize a squad, that doesn’t mean much since we’ve heard about what he’s done already.”

“I’m not thinking about going after him,” Henry said. “What I am thinking of, however, is investigating in the town of Hurst for information.”

“Luckily for you two, that’s where I come in,” Law said. “If it’s information we’re after, then I’m up for the challenge.”

“You’re right, Gavin,” Henry said. “Going after Harold now without a good understanding of what he’s truly capable of is a foolish endeavor. But what we can do now is look for connections. Finding Harold’s hideout is our step closer to linking him and Isaac together.”

“And what will we do if we find what we’re after?” Gavin asked.

“You even said it would be difficult to put these men in prison,” Law said. “Then again, it’s not as if you said it would be impossible. It’s kind of like if I saw a beautiful lady at the bar, you know? Even if she says she isn’t sure if she’d like to hang out with me, that doesn’t mean she declined my offer.”

“That’s not really the same at all, Lawrence,” Gavin said.

“Is it?” Law asked. “Well, it doesn’t matter now. What really matters now is moving forward and taking Isaac down. If he falls, then the rest of that lot within Foundation goes down with him.”

“It seems we’ve reached a conclusion, then,” Henry said. “I’m glad that the two of you see it eye-to-eye. Start making notes now, because we’re going towards Iiayikohn first thing in the morning.”

“I assume you’ve got something in the way of transportation, then,” Gavin said. “Otherwise we would be moving out already, right?”

“Just trust me,” Henry replied.

“Ah, so you’re hiding a trick up your sleeve,” Law said. “Glad to know.”

“When the time comes, you’ll see for yourselves,” Henry said. “For now, it’s a good time to get ready, so I’ll see you two later.”

“You’re heading back to the hotel already?” Law asked.

“Well, I’ve got to let Tori and the boys know what’s going on,” Henry said. “I don’t want her to worry and I’m not about to make a sudden departure.”

“Probably a good idea,” Gavin said.

Henry walked towards the door. “Hopefully we won’t have to run into too much trouble going to Iiayikohn, but be prepared just in case,” he said. “We may not be the ones with the targets on our backs, but still, it’s worth having a way of fighting back should it come down to it.”

“I agree with you,” Gavin replied. “That’s why I’ve got everything I need in my gun.”

“Good to hear,” Henry said.

Without another word, Henry left the library. Gavin had confidence in his skills, but he knew all too well that that alone was not going to be enough. No matter what, Gavin continued to remain alert. Meanwhile, Law grinned as he followed suit and moved towards the door.

“Guess there’s no reason to stay here, then,” Law said. “You coming with, bro? Or are you just going to stand there?”

“I was just thinking, that’s all,” Gavin replied.

“About what?” Law asked.

“Just keep your head up,” Gavin said. “Our enemies aren’t fucking around, especially not now.”

“Well, of course they aren’t,” Law said. “Do you really think I’m taking this one lightly?”

Gavin sighed and pushed up his sunglasses. “What do you think? Actually, never mind. No, you’ve definitely got something going on up there, I can say with absolute certainty that you do.”

“Like you said, bro: Isaac isn’t fucking around,” Law replied. “He’s got his connections and will do everything he can to stop us. However, we’ve got our own connections as well. We’re all working like a team and at the end of the day, we have trust in each other.”

“Trust was never an issue with me,” Gavin said. “Come on, let’s get out of here. We don’t have a lot of time.”

It was obvious that Gavin knew he and Law were ready. He had no reason to doubt in his brother’s skills, nor could he doubt Henry’s expertise. The fact that the three could unite in this pursuit meant that they had a chance. And for Gavin, he also knew that Law was correct: they had trust in one another. Gavin could trust Henry, as did Henry towards him. Now that they were on the same side in this fight, Gavin had an understanding as to why Henry was regarded as one of Ameci’s best. It was now that Gavin knew he had no room for disappointment and error as he and Law left the library.




[30th of December, 2740 AD; New Prime Minister’s Office, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


“You did your job, Rohan, so don’t be too upset,” Isaac said. “Besides, you’re supposed to report back to President Bradley your meeting, regardless of how it went down.”

Inside Dezine’s office, Isaac decided to make a call in Dezine’s chair as he awaited the prime minister’ return. He had wanted to see how Rohan Fercewend was doing after meeting the Queen of Thekohn and so placed a call to where the general was staying. Once the phone began to ring, Fercewend had picked up on the other side.

“I know this,” Fercewend said. “Still, I can’t help but feel that something is amiss.”

“What is bothering you?” Isaac asked. “Do you have doubts?”

Fercewend paused. “It’s nothing,” he said. “I was thinking of something else unrelated to the matter.”

“You’ve got little to worry about,” Isaac said. “Even if it comes down to the worst, you and I both know that our military will be able to win any battle.”

“It’s not winning I’m worried about,” Fercewend replied. “Listen, I’ll report to you everything I’ve gathered once we make it back to the embassy.”

Isaac smiled. “Good, good,” he said. “Don’t worry about coming back in a hurry; I think we’ll have plenty of time to prepare. I’ll hear from you later, Rohan, so don’t forget it.”

Isaac ended the brief conversation on that note and hung up the phone.  It was then at that moment when Wilson Dezine returned to his office and found Isaac sitting in his chair. The mere presence of Isaac made Dezine step back and drop the folder in his hands, which caused multiple sheets of paper to spread all over the floor.

“Why are you here?” Dezine asked. “I thought that you weren’t going to be here until tomorrow!”

“There’s a slight change of plans,” Isaac said. “Remember when I said that you will be greatly compensated?”

“Yes, I remember,” Dezine replied. “Are you paying me now?”

“Oh, not yet,” Isaac said. “Not when this job is unfinished. The queen hasn’t given up yet as she and her allies are readying their charge on your regime. To be blunt: your legacy will ride on how you handle the oncoming resistance.”

“Resistance?” Dezine asked. “I knew there was always some sort of unrest bubbling underneath, but I never imagined that they would be led so easily by the Queen of Thekohn…”

“Relax, there is plenty of support on your side,” Isaac replied. “Even if she leads them personally, Queen Thedam stands no chance against what we have in counter-resistance.”

“How are you so sure that the kingdom is leading this charge against me?” Dezine wondered. “Am I to assume that you have advanced intel on them?”

“Use your brain,” Isaac said. “I have many valuable allies that have seen for themselves the kind of resolve that these people have. As long as you continue to cooperate, Rain Zano Thedam and her people will be finished in no time.”

“Of course,” Dezine said. “Once it’s over, then you’ll pay me, right?”

Isaac grinned as he got up out of the chair. “Keep your eyes focused ahead,” he said. “Now is not the time to make unnecessary mistakes.”

Just as he did with General Fercewend, Isaac ended his conversation with Dezine as he walked past the prime minister and left his office. No words were said as Dezine knelt down and began to pick up the sheets of paper strewn all over the floor.


To be continued…


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Aurora – Chapter 29 (Part 2)

[26th of December, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Inside Thedam Castle Queen’s Office]


Anticipation. All Rain had right now was anticipation for the safe return of Sorin and the others. She had wanted to go with them but could not do so because of her other obligations. Rain was still waiting to hear from Queen Amelia about setting up another meeting, but with each passing minute into the night, Rain had no idea if Amelia or her cabinet would call tonight.

“She would have to call soon, wouldn’t she?” Luna asked. “I don’t see why she would make you a promise and then not fulfill it.”

“I know,” Rain said. “I’m starting to worry about what’s happening with the others in Habicht, though, and if that’s affecting anything here.”

“Speaking of which, Your Majesty, when do you suppose that we will hear back from them?” Gamal asked.

“A good question,” Rain replied. “I can only hope that Sorin and the others were able to see this through safely.”

“I wish we could have went with them,” Mina said. “Just sitting here makes me so anxious because we’re just doing nothing right now!”

Rain gazed outside the window. “As it does for us all,” she said. “It will do us no good to keep worrying, however.”

“You say that, but I feel like you must be the most nervous out of all of us,” Luna said. “Do you feel nervous? I can make some tea if you want me to… Or maybe I can rub your shoulders… Or I can sing a relaxing song!”

“No, but I appreciate the thought,” Rain replied. “I say we shouldn’t keep worrying because it will only lower our morale if we continue to ponder about what has and hasn’t happened yet. Once we get word back from Sorin’s group, we will know where we stand and what actions we will need to take.”

“It’s complicated,” Pekka said. “I’m sure that Foundation is depending on us being in disarray in order for them to succeed. It’s no wonder why they were able to get the results they wanted in Maeitakohn before Johan did his job.”

“And yet again that young man is at work,” Dustin said. “Mr. Kuu isn’t too afraid of getting his hands dirty, but as for his heart, I can say it’s squeaky clean to a point!”

“You say that, but it isn’t like he’s completely pure,” Luna said. “I guess it’s a good thing he’s on our side… Well, for the most part, I guess.”

“He has similar interests as us,” Rain said. “That’s why he is so willing to lend the kingdom his hand, as well as the fact that I wish to see peace throughout the Thekohnian Region also.”

“I wonder what he’ll do when it’s all over,” Dustin said.

“Yeah, I think I’m wondering that as well,” Luna said. “He’s really left all of us in the dark. I thought I knew him, but now I’m not entirely sure what he wants to do after all this.”

“That’s something you can talk to him about,” Rain said.

“Then it’s up to him,” Luna replied.

No one else said a word as the phone soon rang. Rain looked away from the window and to the phone that now had the attention of everyone in the room. It only took two more rings until Rain picked up the receiver. The others in the room gathered around and listened in closely as Rain began to speak.

“Who, may I ask, is calling?” Rain asked.

“I think you know well who this is by now… Your Majesty,” Isaac said. “It looks as if your little plot won’t be able to go through after tonight. How sad for you that despite—or rather, because of your best efforts, you’ll go down in history as the queen that divided the Thekohnian Region!”

“You and Harold Mars are working together,” Rain said. “He told Sorin as much himself. What do you serve to gain from working with such a dangerous and evil man?”

“Harold and I share a similar drive,” Isaac replied. “I am able to help him with what he wants and he is able to help me with what I want.”

“So you say,” Rain said. “So you know what’s happening in Habicht, right down to the very last detail…”

“I know a lot,” Isaac said. “After what Harold did to Kirk, I just had to find out about what he’d do to his son. Of course, I’m still waiting for the results, but I know that Harold doesn’t leave a job unfinished.”

“What did he do to Kirk!?” Mina asked as she took the receiver out of Rain’s hand. “Tell us now or you’re going to regret it!”

“He’ll tell us, don’t worry,” Rain said, taking back the receiver. “After all, he does like to gloat when he thinks he’s won.”

“What a loathsome person,” Pekka said.

“It doesn’t matter what you think of me, Your Majesty,” Isaac replied. “I’ve indeed won already and there’s little for you or anyone else to do about it. The deed is done and Ahnlikohn will burn bright in the moonlight before the turn of the new year!”

“Just what do you have planned?” Rain asked. “Hasn’t Ahnlikohn suffered enough thanks to you?”

“That’s funny, I don’t remember saying I’d be the one to light the match,” Isaac replied. “But I suppose your hatred for me blinds you to the reality of the situation you’ll find yourself in once it’s all over.”

“There’s no way I or the other leaders in the Thekohnian Region will ever let you get away with this,” Rain said. “The crimes that you’ve partaken in with Harold Mars and the Ameci military will not go unaccounted for!”

“How many times will you say such baffling nonsense before you realize what’s done is done?” Isaac asked. “By the way, I would be much more concerned about whether or not your allies make it out of Habicht alive. I would hope that you’d agree with me on that, at least.”

“Your empty threats are just that,” Rain replied. “Unless your intention is to confess to your crimes, never contact this line again!”

She placed the receiver back on the hook and turned away from the phone. It was a night that carried much uncertainty, but Isaac’s remarks raised that level as Rain walked out of the office. The others were quick to follow her as Rain went to the main hall of Thedam Castle and looked around the interior. She had much to prove now that the stakes rose once more and only so little time until the next time. If what Isaac said was true, then Ahnlikohn was at risk for what Foundation had planned and Rain knew that the Ameci military would be the participants in the impending actions that Isaac would orchestrate. However, that did not matter as much as what Sorin, Eva, and everyone else in Habicht were going through, as even though Rain had no way of finding out until later, she knew that there was much to what Isaac said that she could not disregard.

“Sir Dustin, Sir Gamal, I have an important task for you both,” Rain said. “It will take some time, but I am hoping that you two will be able to do this not only for me, but for the Thekohnian Region as well.”

“Of course,” Dustin said.

“Just tell us what it is, Your Majesty, and we will do it,” Gamal said.

“I want you both to do some reaching out towards the other countries in the region,” Rain told them. “With Isaac’s remarks, we have gone past the point of no return when it comes to dealing with Foundation. Now is the time for us to go and organize a strategy in which we deal with them head on.”

“What about Iiayikohn?” Gamal asked. “Are they not a part of this?”

“Unfortunately, that is the case,” Rain answered. “Dezine has aligned with Foundation for the time being and because of that, he is a potential threat to the region. As for Ahnlikohn, the fact that they are once again in the crosshairs of Foundation means that we must do our part to convince Queen Amelia.”

“Hey, I’d be happy to try and convince her people,” Dustin said. “It may take a good while, but I’m sure we can work something out.”

“Just one question, Your Majesty,” Gamal said.

“Go ahead,” Rain said.

“What will you be doing in the meantime?” Gamal asked.

“There is something I must do with regards to our current situation,” Rain replied. “I will meet with Rado, as well as both Ayanna and Roderick, in order to organize a defense against the current Ameci threat.”

“Very well,” Gamal said. “Then Sir Dustin and I will start making some calls as you requested.”

“Thank you,” Rain said. “Mina, Luna, Pekka, we mustn’t waste time. Let’s go and see what’s happening.”




[26th of December, 2740 AD; Lead Campground Park Trail, north of Habicht, Ahnlikohn]


With Harold, Korbin, Bradley, and the rest of the Ameci military chasing after them, Sorin knew that he could not waste any time with the escape. Jelka and Johan led the way as Sorin kept up his pace, though he was slightly exhausted due to the fighting earlier. However, he could not worry about that as the three ended up at a fork in the path: one way went straight ahead while the other path went towards the left. It was a decision that required no hesitation at all as Johan looked to Sorin.

“Let’s keep going,” Johan said. “We’ll be stuck if we take the left path. Let’s just keep going forward, Sorin.”

“Sure,” Sorin replied.

The three continued on the trail while the wind started to pick up. The light breeze rustled the branches of the trees and caused several leaves to fly off while Sorin could only think about where his father was right now. Henry had given him some hope to hold on to, but Sorin knew it was not enough. He needed to know for himself if his father was safe, and only after exiting the campground could he do that.

“Listen, there’s something I have to say to you,” Johan said. “It may be hard to hear, especially now, but Harold Mars isn’t one to pull his punches.”

“I know,” Sorin said.

“That’s why it may be difficult,” Johan said. “This morning, before Jelka and I came to Habicht, we received a call from Rysol.”

“You did?” Sorin asked. “What did he say to you?”

“That’s what I’m getting to, buddy,” Johan replied. “He escaped from Harold but judging from his tone, it seems that Rysol went through hell. Make no mistake about it, Sorin: we cannot overlook Harold Mars.”

“Indeed, he is a great threat to our goal,” Jelka said, “Perhaps even greater than Isaac Kunigunde is. You and Eva are lucky to escape after running into him, given what he has done over the years.”

“That’s why this next part is tough for me,” Johan said. “Sorin… I’m very sorry about what I’m about to say next.”

However, as the three made it up the higher path, they ended up coming across a wooden bridge being held up by rope. Sorin took one look at the bridge and saw the drop below. While not a deep drop like in Bel Forest, it was still a considerable fall into the river below.

“We don’t need to overthink this one,” Jelka said. “Cross the bridge and cut the ropes. We’re almost out of here.”

Sorin nodded and looked to Johan. “Tell me once we cross the bridge,” he said. “Our pursuers are still after us… I don’t even know how the others are, especially Eva.”

“I understand completely,” Johan said.

After they crossed the bridge, Jelka cut the ropes with her sword and let the bridge fall to the other side. With the Ameci military’s pursuit hindered, nothing stood in the way between Sorin and escape.

“We better hope that’s enough to hold them back,” Johan said.

“What was it you were going to say?” Sorin asked.

But Sorin knew that there was little point to asking that question. The only news Johan could have at this point was bad news. News that would confirm the suspicions and fears that Sorin had regarding his father. Despite all his attempts to disbelieve the truth, there was no running away from it once Johan opened his mouth. Nothing held Johan back from speaking as the three continued to walk down the path.

“Rysol did not escape from Harold unscathed,” Johan said. “In addition to his prosthetic arm, he also lost his right arm as well. It’ll be tough for him to fight on considering it was Harold who gifted him that arm. But that isn’t all, is it? I wish Rysol was lying, but I know that there’s no reason why he’d lie to Jelka or I about Kirk Wilk.”

“Johan, please, it’s not necessary,” Sorin replied. “No one knows where he is right now, but that doesn’t mean a thing. Rysol could just be mistaken.”

“There’s a powerful current sitting at the other end of Ahnle Peak,” Jelka said. “If what Rysol said is true, well—”

“No, we don’t know for sure,” Sorin said. “We’ve only got his account, that’s all. That’s all we have so far.”

“Just listen to me,” Jelka said. “What Rysol said lines up with the geography of Ahnle Peak. If one drops into that current, there is little for them to fight back against it… To be blunt, it is impossible for someone to survive.”

“That can’t be it,” Sorin replied. “I can’t believe it.”

“No one person is invulnerable, Sorin,” Jelka said. “Even someone like your father isn’t safe from death.”

“Perhaps it’s best we continue this later,” Johan said. “Looks like we’ve reached the end of the line.”

Johan pointed ahead as Sorin and Jelka looked to what he was pointing at. At the end of the path lay a large, barren tree that was in the way between the exit and Sorin, Johan, and Jelka. The three looked to one another as Sorin knew what they had to do next.

“I know what you’re thinking,” Johan said to Sorin. “What’s the big deal, right? We just climb over this tree and we’d be home free, so to speak. So why are we still waiting, then?”

“You don’t think they’re still after us, do you?” Sorin asked.

“You tell me,” Johan replied.

Jelka looked back. “It seems like the noise has died down,” she said. “If you want my opinion, I believe that the Ameci have already called off their pursuit. It should be safe to keep moving onward.”

“That seems likely and logical,” Johan said. “They’re not going to go for the other group, either. It’s you they’re after, Sorin, so they must have retreated long after we took out that bridge.”

“You’re right,” Sorin said.

“Then let’s not waste any more time here,” Johan said. “We’ve got a group to reunite with, after all. Let’s not keep them waiting any longer.”

Johan hurried and leapt over the fallen tree, with Sorin following after. He watched Jelka go over as well, the three joining up once more as Johan proceeded to go on ahead. Meanwhile, Sorin continued after him, but stopped to see Jelka on one knee clutching her upper leg.

“Jelka, are you okay?” Sorin asked.

Jelka winced as she pulled her coat inward. “It’s nothing,” she said. “Don’t go worrying about me.”

“Really? What happened?”

“I told you it’s nothing,” Jelka replied, standing up. “Just a minor sprain, that’s all you need to know.”

“You two are coming, aren’t you?” Johan asked. “What’s going on?”

“We’ll be right there,” Jelka said. “There’s nothing to worry about. Let’s go and leave already.”

Sorin was not sure what to make of Jelka covering up an apparent injury, but he could not question it. Not at this time. He had to complete his escape and reunite with the others waiting for him outside the campground. Only after that could Sorin figure out what to do next, as well as find out what really happened to his father. However, as Sorin left the forest to find Henry waving to him, one thing has remained true: Foundation was continuing to get tougher as Harold now became yet another threat to the Thekohnian Region.


To be continued…


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