Chapter 13 – Part 3

[2740 AD; on the roads through the outskirts of Bel, Maeitakohn]


The rain proved to be a challenge early on for Sorin, but he soon got the hang of the roads as he drove down with little to worry about. It came across as peculiar for him that there was not at least a few cars driving out of the city, but for the rest of the group it did not matter.

“You’ve been getting the hang of this so far, haven’t you?” Gavin asked.

Sorin angled his head to the back seat. “How far do you think we are from Bel now, Eva?”

“The last sign said about ten kilometers,” she replied. “I think that was about five minutes ago…”

“That close, then?” Mina asked. “Wow, Sorin, you’re a really good driver! You didn’t even crash once!”

“What are you saying by that?” Sorin asked. “Did you expect me to drive off the road or something!?”

“No, it’s just that I’ve never been on a trip this long before,” Mina replied. “I… I was kind of scared that something bad might have happened.”

Sorin blinked. “What?”

“That doesn’t sound very heroic, but it’s true,” she said. “I’ve never really admitted my fears to anyone, mostly because any villain could use those things I fear against me.”

“Your secret is safe with us,” Eva said.

“Thanks, Eva,” Mina said. “Hey, Sorin, are you slowing down?”

“You’re asking me?” Sorin asked.

He checked the meter and saw that the car was almost out of fuel. The car decelerated as the rain kept pouring harder. Sorin was left at a loss as he couldn’t keep the car going, and pulled to the side.

“Are you serious?” Sorin asked. “They didn’t give us a full tank?”

Gavin pounded the dashboard and turned his head to Sorin. “You didn’t even fucking notice we were low on fuel!?”

“I’m sorry.”

“Sorry isn’t enough, asshole!” Gavin shouted. “I’m going to kick your ass right now! Let’s go!”

“Calm down, Gavin,” Eva said. “Otherwise I will make you do it myself.”

“Like hell I will!”

Eva glared at him. Her stare was enough to signal to Gavin that she was serious. Defeated, Gavin kept quiet and reclined in his seat.

“It looks like we’ll have to walk the rest of the way, then,” Eva said. “I was hoping we could avoid this, but we’ll have to brave it in the elements.”

“Oh, that’s fine with me,” Mina said. “I used to play out and even fight in the rain all the time when I was younger! You guys aren’t scared of it, are you?”

“Well, you told us you were scared of crashing earlier,” Sorin said.

Mina punched Sorin’s shoulder. “That’s a secret,” she said, “So please don’t bring it up again! Please!”

“Ow, sorry,” he replied. “That really does hurt, though…”

“That wasn’t even a hard punch,” Mina said.

Sorin turned to her. “It wasn’t!?”

She shook her head. “You’ve never fought hand to hand before, have you? Maybe I should show you sometime how hard I can really punch!”

“I’ll just take your word for it,” Sorin said as he rubbed his shoulder. “That does smart, though…”

“Are we going to get out or not?” Gavin asked.

“We have to,” Eva replied. “Luckily for us, we’re not that far.”

Sorin smiled. “Maybe it’s your brother’s luck that’s rubbing off on us, Gavin,” he said.

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” Gavin said. “Let’s just go already.”

The four got out of the car, doing their best not to get caught in the rain and they began dashing towards the entrance to the city. Eva was quick enough to get in front and led the way, with Gavin close behind. In third, Sorin trailed behind while Mina brought up the rear. The rain kept falling, but it was not nearly as hard as it was when Sorin was driving.
“Come on!” Eva commanded. “Don’t lag behind me now!”

Soaked from head to toe, Sorin took a deep breath and put his head down. He started to pick up speed, catching up to Gavin. Gavin looked aside as Sorin kept moving, his legs carrying him as he went ahead. Mina took a look at what Sorin did and proceeded to do the same, running as hard as she could until she caught up with Gavin as well.

“Oh hell no,” Gavin said, “I am not about to have you two surpass me right here! Watch your ass, Sorin Wilk!”

Gavin proceeded to run harder, moving from left to right as he ended up in between Sorin and Mina. Despite their competition, it was still Eva in the front as no one seemed to out run her.

“Neither of you are going to leave me in the dust!” Mina said. She reached out her arm to Sorin, who had at this point been running a steady beat against Gavin.

Sorin looked on at her arm in bewilderment. “Mina, what are you doing?”

“Getting ahead of you!”

Mina thrust her hand into Sorin’s chest, pushing him back as she propelled herself forward. Feeling the force of her hand, Sorin stumbled and started to slow down while Gavin went ahead of him. Through parted breaths, Sorin gritted his teeth and started running after them.

“Give it up, Sorin!” Gavin yelled.

“I’m not going to give up,” Sorin replied. “Not as long as I still have a job to do! Watch this!”

He resumed running, trying to catch up with Gavin. If Sorin could not get ahead of Mina, the very least he could do would be to outrun Gavin, he thought. The gate to the city was getting close as Sorin ran hard enough to come back head to head with Gavin once more.

“This is it, Gavin,” Sorin said, “This is the moment where I’ll pass you!”

“Bring it!”

As the two raced each other to Bel, Mina was coming closer to Eva. She never expected that she’d be able to outrun Gavin, but Eva was a big surprise. It would probably be a question that Mina would have to ask later, but she just wanted to be first.

“Eva!” Mina exclaimed. “I’m going to win! You’ll see! I’m going to win! I’m going to win…”

It was no use, as Eva ran past the open gate and entered the city. She had clearly won the “race,” turning around to see Mina bent over trying to catch her breath. Sorin and Gavin were next as they both entered at the same time.

“I win,” Gavin said, “So suck it!”

“You didn’t win,” Sorin said. “We were both running at the same time.”

Sorin then dropped to his knees, realizing that he had used most of his energy to keep up with Gavin. Gavin tried to speak up, but he had little energy to do so. Eva sighed.

“This wasn’t a race,” she said. “Have you all forgotten what we’re doing here? Please tell me you at least remember that.”

“I can take a break to show a fool like Sorin Wilk who’s the boss,” Gavin said. “As for Victor Wihll, he’s a fool I’m going to break.”

“How are you not tired?” Mina asked Eva. “You were running so fast; I had no way of passing you!”

“I’m just naturally quick,” Eva replied. “Let’s go find some shelter for now so you three can catch your breaths.”


Under the roof of the smithy close by, Sorin looked out of the door to see that the rain was still falling. He had just finished drying his face off with a towel, and was busy letting his hair dry. Gavin approached him, sighing as he gave Sorin a pat on the back.

“You gave me a good scare,” he said. “There might be some hope for you after all.”

“Thanks,” Sorin said.

“Always have to take humble, don’t you?” Gavin asked. “Just what is this all about for you, Sorin Wilk?”

“I told you, didn’t I?”

“I suppose you did,” Gavin replied. “If your intuition tells you that he’s here, then he is here.”

“Here’s hoping that you’re right, Gavin,” Sorin said.

“Are you two ready?” Eva asked. “It looks like the rain is starting to calm down now.”

“It is?” Mina asked. “I kind of like having it rain outside… It’s as if we’re setting up for an epic battle!”

“Try to stay focused, Mina,” Eva said. “I know you’re excited to get back out there and start kicking ass, but that’s no reason to lose sight of why we’re here!”

“I know!” Mina replied. “That’s why I’m so excited! I feel like busting down a wall!”

“Just try not to do it here,” Sorin said, “Because I don’t think the owner would be really happy.”

“I’m not actually going to break a wall down,” Mina said, “I was just using an expression! Now let’s go! Go!”

With her enthusiastic command, the four left the shop and headed back out onto the streets. Eva stepped foot onto the slick sidewalk, looking around as she led Sorin, Gavin, and Mina to the east. They ran through the rain, trying not to stumble across the wet path.

“Where are we going?” Sorin asked.

“There’s a plaza on the way to the palace,” Eva replied. “If my hunch is correct, Kirk and Henry should be there.”

Sorin kept his head up. “Why?”

“Because,” Eva said, “I’m almost certain that the True Thekohnians’s next attack will be at the palace.”

“It’s gonna be hard for them to follow up their last trick,” Gavin said. “What exactly is their plan of attack here?”

“I don’t know,” Eva said, “But we have to help stop it.”

“Please hold on,” Sorin muttered.

“Did you say something, Sorin?” Mina asked.

“Nothing,” Sorin said. “We need to keep moving.”


At the Rhodes Plaza, Eva was the first to arrive, with the other three stopping right behind her. A single member of the True Thekohnians was standing in the rain. Victor Wihll. He was completely drenched, his hair messed up from what the rain did to it.

“Someone has arrived, haven’t they?” Wihll asked.

He turned around, a scowl upon his face as his eyes widened. Gavin took out his pistol and aimed it at Wihll. With a gun trained on him, Wihll’s scowl turned to a frightening smile. He started to laugh as Gavin kept his aim on him.

“Please,” Wihll said, “If you were as hard as you looked, you would’ve shot me by now.”

“Answer me this, Wihll,” Gavin said, “Why did you try to kill my brother?”

“Your brother?”

“Don’t fucking play with me!” Gavin exclaimed.

“Yeah,” Mina said, “Answer his question! Why did you hurt Law!?”

“Ah yes, that annoying man,” Wihll said. “I take it he survived? I guess I’m losing my touch.”

Gavin tightened the grip on his gun.

“Are you going to shoot me or not?” Wihll asked.

“Not until you answer my question,” Gavin answered.

“Persistent, aren’t you?” Wihll asked. “That’s a good trait to have. Unfortunately, it’s also why I wanted him dead. That, and he was in my way.”

“In your way?” Mina asked. “You’re nothing but a coward! All this talk about trying to end destruction was a lie! Eva told us about that Lokke guy!”

Wihll raised his eyebrow. “Lokke? Don’t make me laugh, little girl. I couldn’t care less about what happens to that greedy piece of shit. The only reason I worked with him was to let his guard down.”

“What for?” Sorin asked.

“What for? For my people,” Wihll replied. “This is my home country. Are you aware of what happened twelve years ago?”

“Fully aware,” Eva replied.

“It still doesn’t excuse the things you’ve done!” Gavin said.

Wihll turned around. He embraced the rain as he set his eyes on a distant building.

“The president’s palace,” Wihll said, “It’s where it all going to go to down. I suppose Lokke’s already there by now chasing after a couple of pests.”

Eva clenched her fist. “Kirk and Henry…”

“Looks like you aren’t going to shoot,” Wihll said. “If you really want to stop us, then meet me at the palace. We’ll give you a warm welcome!”

Wihll ran off and jumped up over the railing, falling onto the platform below. He made his way for the president’s palace, leaving Gavin at a loss for words. Gavin withdrew his gun and growled, throwing his fists into the air and rain as Sorin tried to calm him down.

“Get the fuck away from me!” Gavin yelled. “I had him, damn it!”

“Don’t beat yourself up, Gavin,” Eva said. “He did tell us where Lokke is, and that’s important. Still, it’s going to be tough getting in there.”

“The president’s palace would have to be heavily guarded, wouldn’t it?” Sorin asked.

“We’ll see,” Eva said. “If what Wihll said is true, then the True Thekohnians are already at the palace.”

“Do you even think they’ve already taken over it?” Mina asked.

“It’s doubtful,” Eva replied. “They don’t have nearly enough power to do something like that.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Gavin said, “Because the next time we meet Wihll, I will beat him! No hesitation!”

“We’ve heard where he’s going,” Sorin said. “So, we’re going to go then, Eva?”

“Yes,” she replied.

“Then let’s do it!” Mina said.

“As long as we take caution,” Eva said.

With the destination set, the four made their way off deeper into the city where the president’s palace sat. Sorin looked on, determined to meet with his father again once more. Perhaps even Rysol was there as well, but Sorin just had to make it there first and help make sure that chaos would not happen.


To be continued…


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Chapter 12 – Part 3

[2740 AD; on the roads – Maeitakohn]


The long, narrow road went on, sitting between acres of green land. Kirk drove his car down the road and sitting next to him in the passenger’s seat was Henry, who looked onward out the window.

“I want to make something very clear,” Kirk said, “Just because we both want to stop him doesn’t mean that I’m ready to forgive you.”

Henry sighed. “I know,” he said. “I’m not exactly sure if this was the right thing to do. Tori must be worried sick…”

“After the ten years you were absent, I doubt it,” Kirk replied.

“Excuse me?”

“At least she’s still alive, right?” Kirk asked. “You should be happy.”

“I don’t understand,” Henry said, “Why would you bring that up?”

“Because, Henry, true pain never goes away,” he answered. “No matter how much I tell myself otherwise, I can never get over what Lokke’s men did to April.”

“Perhaps I can’t relate, but I’ve been hurt, too,” Henry said.

“Then tell me why,” Kirk said, “Why did you led your fellow soldiers into a trap? Why did you, of all people, insist upon driving through Bel Dale?”

“It was a mistake.”

“I feel as if that has been the excuse for years now,” Kirk replied.

“It is the truth,” Henry said. “Rohan agrees, too.”

“Then perhaps the general is the one who made the mistake,” Kirk said. “A serious mistake in trusting you. Do you know how many people died because they never received their weapons?”

“You don’t have to remind me,” Henry said.

“It was that mistake that made it harder for the rest of us to make peace with the Maeitakohnian government,” Kirk said. “If you had taken the longer route, then we would not be having this conversation. We would not even be dealing with the True Thekohnians right now!”

“I agree.”

“If that is the case, perhaps you would do me a favor?”

“What favor, Kirk?”

“You will kill him,” Kirk replied. “To strike back at the True Thekohnians, you will kill Lokke.”

“I can’t,” Henry said. “I promised to Tori before we were to get married that I would never kill again. Silly, I know.”

“It’s noble,” Kirk said, “If it were anybody else. But this is you. You have fallen far from grace.”

“And you won’t do it?” Henry asked. “You always talked about how if you were to kill someone who committed atrocities, it would make you no better than them. Now you want me to do something you can’t? Do you even know what the fuck you’re saying!?”

“I never claimed to be perfect,” Kirk said. “I have my own reasons for sparing the guilty, too.”

“I’m just not going to do your dirty work.”

“We’ll see,” Kirk replied. “We’ll see what kind of man you are when we come face to face with Lokke himself. Will you let him walk, or will you break your promise?”

“Is there not another way?” Henry asked. “This is unlike you. By now, you would have had some solution to this dilemma.”

“If you have a solution, then you’re free to offer it,” Kirk said. “Of course, that would require some critical thinking on your part.”

Henry didn’t respond.

The two men didn’t talk for the rest of the drive, opting to look out the window instead as the city limits of Bel approached. Henry was thinking about what was going on in Rezar, especially with Tori. She had to have been worried, perhaps even figured things out by now. He assumed it was the same for Kirk, too, although there was no way Kirk was ever going to tell him. With a sigh, Henry watched as the car slowed down to a gentle halt.

“We’re stopping now?” Henry asked. “We’re not even in the city yet!”

“It would be stupid to drive into the city,” Kirk replied. “Pick up your knives, because we’re walking now.”

Henry followed after Kirk, who tried to maintain a steady pace over him. They were less than a mile away from the city as they heard gunshots.

“As bad as I thought,” Kirk said. “We need to keep ourselves to a low profile if we don’t want to attract any attention to ourselves.”

Kirk walked with his hand by his hip as he was ready to draw his sword at any moment. Henry was ready, too, with both knives hanging at either side of his waist. They strolled into the entrance to the city, going through the large, open gate and into the empty street before them. Looking around, Kirk kept his hand ready as he could hear footsteps coming closer. He turned around, almost ready to go as he saw it was just a small child looking up at him.

“I’m sorry, kid,” Kirk said. “Please get out here right now. Your parents must be worried.”

The child said nothing as she ran off. Kirk continued to look as Henry stepped forward.

“It’s too quiet,” Henry said.

“We must continue to be alert,” Kirk replied. “If he is here, then…”

Kirk shook his head. He began to walk again as another gunshot resonated through the air. It was much closer than the previous ones. Henry looked around, wondering where it came from. That was when he and Kirk saw them. A small group stood, with a familiar man to both of them leading the way.

“You’ve finally stepped in it, haven’t you Kirk?” Lokke asked.

Kirk drew his sword. “Who was it!?”

Lokke’s attention turned to Henry. “Is that who I think it is? You look like you’ve been through hell, Henry Randolph,” he said. “Perhaps I should do you a favor and put you out of your misery.”

“How are you still here?” Henry asked.

“It seems you’ve forgotten about a friend of ours,” Lokke replied. “Do you not remember the great prime minister of Iiayikohn, Iean Sergs?”

“I’m well familiar,” Kirk answered. “The day he left office was the day that Iiayikohn’s people saw his reign of terror come to a satisfying end.”

“It’s unfortunate that he left,” Lokke said, “But understandable. If only that delusional Alan Berry didn’t become prime minister, Sergs could still be in power! After all, it was he who gave the True Thekohnians life!”

“We both know you don’t care about the True Thekohnians,” Kirk said. “You only care about one person: yourself. It’s always been about you.”

“Everything you’ve done was for your benefit,” Henry said. “As long as you made a profit, it didn’t matter who died and who lived.”

“From a man who’s taken lives, that’s rich,” Lokke said. “Sure, I might have influenced people to kill, but could you even say that I bloodied my own hands?”

“What I did doesn’t matter,” Henry said.

“Then perhaps you should tell that to your friend,” Lokke replied. “Of course, you have no chance to prove I even did anything wrong.”

Kirk’s grip tightened. “Just tell us one thing,” he said. “Sergs, where is he? Why did he need you now?”

“I’m afraid you won’t be finding Iean around here anytime soon,” Lokke answered. “As for why he needed me, well, you can see that for yourself, can’t you?”

“I see,” Kirk said. “The attack wasn’t meant as a warning from the True Thekohnians… It was meant to start a war.”

“Then, you’ve yet again caused the deaths of many,” Henry said. “All because of your greed.”

“Oh please,” Lokke said. “You go on and on about my ‘greed,’ but we keep fighting for many different reasons. Why should I be the only one chastised for what everyone is guilty of?”

“You really don’t get it,” Kirk said. “Fine. We will not hesitate to defeat you once again.”

“Let me see,” Lokke said. “It’s the two of you versus five of my men, plus the fact that many more are around here as well. Do you really think that you’ll stop me before the war starts?”

“I’ve been through worse,” Kirk replied. “Henry, now is as good a time as any. You will do it, correct?”

Henry took out his knives and turned to Lokke. “You’ve caused pain for so many,” he said. “I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t want to drive these knives into your skull. However, I’ve made a promise.”

Kirk looked over at Henry. “Henry… I swear to god…”

“I’m not going to give you the satisfaction of killing you, Lokke,” Henry said. “Even if it is a detriment to everyone involved, I just can’t break that promise.”

“I suppose it can’t be helped,” Lokke said. “Looks like you’ve failed, Mr. Wilk. All this talk about wanting to bring peace? It’s laughable.”

“You’re forgetting one thing, Lokke,” Henry said.

Lokke scoffed. “What is that?”

“I never said I wasn’t going to hurt you.”

Henry dashed forward, flipping the knife in his left hand as he drove the handle end into Lokke’s forehead. The force of the blow was enough to knock Lokke to the ground as the other five men tried to take out their weapons. Henry turned to the nearest one and did the same move with his right hand, thrusting the handle into the side of the man’s head.

“You really do surprise, don’t you?” Kirk asked.

“Look out!” Henry exclaimed.

Kirk saw one of the other men run up to him, charging at him with a sword. For Kirk, he dodged the attack and used his free hand to strike the man on the back of his head. With the man dropping to the ground, Kirk turned back to Henry.

“We can’t all of them, Henry,” he said. “Let’s run!”

“Very well,” Henry replied.

Kirk and Henry ran to the left, going further into the city of Bel as Lokke sat up and rubbed his forehead. He was helped up by one of his henchmen as he pointed towards the direction that Kirk and Henry left.

“What the hell are you doing?” Lokke asked. “Follow after them!”


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Chapter 9 – Part 3

[2740 AD; Macro Plaza in front of Iiayine Castle – Deca District]


The morning sun shined as security was lined up from side to side, citizens gathering in the plaza to watch the speeches that would be given today. Kirk’s group arrived early, running into Gavin, Law, and Mina who were already there.

“Why are you out here?” Sorin asked Gavin. “Shouldn’t you be with the Ameci army?”

“I suppose you of all people wouldn’t understand,” Gavin replied. “I do things my way. Besides, being here would be advantageous.”

Law tilted his head towards Sorin. “All these soldiers, you honestly don’t think that there’ll be at least one assassination attempt?”

“I’m sorry,” Gavin said. “None of you had the chance to meet. As much as it pains me to say it, that’s my brother.”

“You’re Lawrence?” Gale asked.

“Well, last time I checked,” Law replied. He gazed into Gale’s eyes for a split second. “It’s nice to meet you, but I would suggest waiting a couple more years before we can do anything serious.”

Gavin raised his hand and brought it down, slapping the back of Law’s head. “Show some restraint for once!”

“I am, bro,” Law said. “I was letting this girl down gently.”

“It’s Gale,” she said. “And I’m 18…”

“18, huh?” Law asked. “If we’re doing the math, one and eight make nine. Nine flipped over is six, which happens to be my lucky number. Do you want to know why, Gale?”

“Don’t answer that, Gale,” Gavin said. “You will only want to hit him afterwards.”

“Okay,” she said.

Law shook his head. “You really know how to piss on my fun, don’t you?”

“Anyway, perhaps it’s my turn,” Sorin said. He put on a smile and his hand forward. “I’m Sorin… That’s my father Kirk and his friend Eva.”

“Sonny and Kurt, is it?” Law asked. “Well, it doesn’t matter. I want to know her story.”

Eva pointed at herself. “Me?”

“You seem so elegant, even though you don’t dress that way,” Law said. “And there is certainly a story behind that eyepatch. Maybe after the speech you can tell me while we walk in the park.”

Eva looked over at Kirk, as Kirk just scratched his head. “Sorry to disappoint you, young man, but no,” she said.

“If it’s Kurt there, I can take him,” he replied.

“Can you hit him again, Gavin?” Kirk asked. “At least until he starts calling me by my name.”

Gavin cracked his knuckles. “My pleasure.”

“Bro, wait!” Law said. Gavin’s hand hung in the air as Law started to laugh.

“They certainly are brothers, aren’t they, Sorin?” Gale asked.

“It really seems like it,” Sorin said.

Gale then frowned and sighed. “I just got what Lawrence meant by his lucky number,” she said.

“What did he mean?” Sorin asked.

“You don’t know?” Gale asked.

“I’m not really a numbers guy,” he replied.

“Maybe I’ll show you later,” she said, and then muttered to herself, “Although I guess I’d be learning, too.”

“You two!” Gavin said. “Are you going to just have a conversation to yourselves?”

“Why not?” Gale asked.

“Maybe because I’m not done introducing people yet,” he answered. He turned to Mina.

Mina smiled. “You didn’t forget me!”

“Unlike loverboy over there, I actually try to remember people,” Gavin said. “Go on, introduce yourself!”

“Okay! Hi, my name’s Mina,” she said with a giggle. “I’m this city’s hero and every villain’s worst nightmare!”

Sorin shook her hand and was surprised by how much force she had put into her handshake. “N-nice meeting you, Mina,” he said. “Go easy with Gale, okay?”

Gale waved her hand at Mina. “Hello,” she said. “You actually fight bad guys?”

“Of course!” Mina replied, fists clenched. “I even beat Law here!”

“How many times do I have to say it? That was a draw,” Law said. “And you even said it yourself: I’m not a villain!”

“Then maybe you would like to have a rematch?” Mina asked.

“Oh no, I can’t possibly do that,” Law said.

“Are you scared?” Mina asked. “I thought that you were fearless because you believed in luck.”

Law scoffed. “I can’t just make my luck work like it’s an on/off switch,” he said. “Certainly not when it comes to the ladies.”

“Wow, that’s the first thing you’ve said all day that’s made sense,” Kirk remarked.

“Are you speaking to me, Kurt?” Law asked. “I didn’t expect you to be the one dropping the dry wit.”

“Oh no, I was just giving you a compliment,” Kirk insisted.

“That’s too bad for you, then,” Law said. “If Eva there had said what you said, I would already be on one knee.”

“And I would tell you ‘no’ yet again,” Eva said. “Learn to take a rejection when you see it.”

“Oof, clipping the wings before the bird gets fly,” Law said.

“Drop it,” Gavin demanded.

“Fine,” Law said. “I guess I’ll shut up.”

Law wandered off to the side, leaving Gavin to turn back to the rest of the group. Many more people arrived into the plaza as the Ahnlikohnian soldiers made their way to the stage.

“Looks like things are about to go underway,” Gavin said.

“Maybe I can talk to Alan,” Kirk said.

“Good luck with that,” Gavin said. “I spoke with major Ansa before you got here and she said that he’s under maximum security right now.”

“I’m certain that he’d be okay if I talked to him before the speech,” Kirk replied. He moved up into the crowd, excusing his way through the groups of people that were forming.

“What are you doing!?” Eva asked. “You can’t be serious!”

It was too late, though, as Kirk soon was closing in on the stage.

“You stubborn man,” she growled. “Sometimes it’s like you just want me to be angry at you.”

“Is he going to be okay?” Sorin asked.

“They’ll probably just kick him out,” Gavin replied.

“Why would he go by himself, though?” Gale asked. “I thought that we were all in this together…”

Before anyone could answer, the sound of microphone feedback filled the air. It was time. The Chancellor of Ahnlikohn had taken the stage, making his way up to the podium. The big moment was about to begin.


Up on stage the chancellor spoke with a calm, reassuring tone to the people of Iiayikohn. Fercewend and Alan watched with Henry and Tori as the chancellor began to wind down his speech.

“Harring knows how to put people at ease, doesn’t he,” Fercewend said.

“It works with his people,” Alan said. “Why not go with what works?”

Fercewend chuckled. “I have to admit that I am shaking,” he said. “I’ve spoken before my men many times, but I’ve never had to address an entire country before.”

“Consider it a learning experience, Rohan,” Alan replied. “I have no doubt that you’d make a good leader some day.”

“To hear you say that is an honor,” Fercewend said. “Though perhaps you are just trying to reassure me.”

“Rohan, you know I would never tell a lie,” he said. “I know that Henry can attest to that.”

Henry nodded. “I’m surprised to even be here,” he said. “It takes a lot of leadership to do that.”

“I agree,” Tori said.

“Well, I guess if you’re all saying it, it must be true,” Fercewend said as a roaring applause broke out. “Looks like I’m up next.”

“Good luck,” Henry said.

“Thanks, Henry.”

Fercewend approached the podium, grabbing both sides as he looked at the mass of people standing before him. They applauded him as he thanked them for being there. As the applause began to die down, Fercewend cleared his throat and began to speak.

“A great man once said to me: ‘In the times of darkness, that is when the sun burns the hardest.’ That man happened to be my mentor, Albert Atlas,” he said. “Currently, we are in a similar moment with Maeitakohn…”


Wihll placed the last bomb at the base of the interior, wiping his forehead as he watched outside the window. Fercewend’s speech appeared to be coming to a close as cheers were muffled by the glass.

“Our glory will be realized soon enough,” he said. “Silvia, what the hell do you think you’re doing!?”

Silvia looked out of the window. “We’re doing the right thing…”

“Are you listening to me?” Wihll asked, grabbing her by the wrist.

“Let me go!”

“I know a traitor when I see one,” he said. “Do you know what happened to the last person to betray me?”

“I… don’t know,” she answered.

“I put a knife in his back!” Wihll exclaimed. “That is, if I see him again, but you’re welcome to be his replacement if you want…”

“No, don’t,” she uttered. “I’ll do what you say.”

“Do you think I buy that bullshit? I know you’re going to try something funny, so I’m not going to let you go.”

Silvia walked with Wihll as they proceeded to leave the building, the bombs ready to go off. What was going to happen next, Wihll was sure that no one was going to forget it.


“People of Iiayikohn,” Alan began, “I speak to you today because as the prime minister, I am the extension of yourselves. You all are the reason why I stand here right now, speaking to you.”

Henry clapped his hands as he spotted Kirk moving through the crowd. He appeared to be in a chase, so Henry scanned the crowd as he saw the person that was being chased. It was then that Henry realized who the gray and brown haired man was and leaned forward, ready to leap out of his seat.

“The path to Maeitakohn and it’s prosperity is a tough one,” Alan said, “But as a united front, all of us, be it Iiayikohnian, Ameci, Ahnlikohnian, Maeitakohnian, or any of the other countries in the Thekohnian Region, will stand together regardless of who is threatening us!”

Cheers erupted as flashes of light filled the air. Glass began to break as explosions boomed throughout. The cheers soon turned to awe, and then to screams as people began to realize what was happening.

“The prime minister!” Ayanna exclaimed.

She rushed to the stage and met with Alan. A couple of other Iiayikohnian soldiers were there, too, and helped escort him, Fercewend and Harring out of the area. Tori started to look around, but Henry was nowhere to be seen. Gunshots rang out as Gavin tried to direct the people away from the scene. Eva yelled to Sorin and Gale, while Law and Mina moved along with Gavin. Despite everyone’s efforts, however, it was clear that the damage was already done. Chaos filled the streets as the True Thekohnians got what they wanted.


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Chapter 8 – Part 3

[2740 AD; True Thekohnians hideout – Nano District]


“Open up!” Wihll demanded. “It’s Wihll!”

The wooden door creaked open as Wihll walked into the dim room. At the table, Silvia sat reading through a book. He crept up to the table, towering over her as he threw down his fist, the loud thud resonating throughout the room.

“Victor!” Silvia blurted.

“Are you deaf, woman?” Wihll asked. “Your friend was so eager to let me in, the very least you could do is say hello to me.”


“That’s more like it,” he said. “You’ve got some explaining to do, Miss Roeik.”

“I do?” Silvia asked. “What could it be?”

Wihll uttered a deep chuckle. “Do you happen to know an Ayanna Ansa?”

“Why-why would you ask that?”

“You don’t need to answer,” he said, “It seems I already know about the sin you’ve committed. You truly are a marvelous woman.”

“I don’t know what you mean…”

“Tell me,” Wihll said, “Why did you decide to join the True Thekohnians?”

“Because I couldn’t stand to watch people getting hurt,” she replied.

“Yes, that’s right,” he said. “Too many of our brothers and sisters have gotten hurt because of the selfishness of the elites. Do you know where I’m going with this?”

“Where?” Silvia asked.

“If you really are devoted to this cause, then you must cut ties with those who pledge allegiance to the elites,” Wihll said. “If we want bloodshed to end, we must first take down the ones responsible.”

“I heard about what happened,” she said. “You… You’ve hurt some people, too.”

“There’s a lot you have yet to learn, Silvia,” Wihll replied. “When you’ve seen the things I have, maybe then you’ll understand why such extreme methods are necessary.”

“If that’s what you believe, then I want out.”

Wihll grinned. He started to laugh again, pounding the table as he did. Once he was finished, he opened his eyes again and brandished his knife.

“Do you fail to understand?” Wihll asked. “You don’t just ‘get out’ of the True Thekohnians. Look at this!”

He opened his coat, revealing the bullet wound he had received from Ayanna a couple of nights ago.

“This is the burden I carry,” he continued. “This is the wound that will stay with me until my death!”

“You mean… the bullet is still inside you?”

“You really are a stupid woman,” Wihll said, closing up his coat. “Why you even were accepted into this group is beyond me. Of course it’s still inside of me!”

Silvia’s hands shook as she tried to reach for a nearby weapon. She spotted a small bottle and picked it up, throwing it at Wihll’s head.

“Was that your attempt to kill me?”

“I just wanted you to be quiet,” she replied.

“You claim to oppose violence, but have no problem with throwing a bottle at me,” Wihll said. “The hypocrisy is rich! You’re as bad as the Iiayikohnians!”

“Just what do you even want!?”

“I just wanted to know if you knew Major Ansa,” Wihll replied.

“Yes I do,” she said. “Are you happy?”

“I’m glowing as bright as a fierce sun,” he answered.

“Please spare her,” Silvia said.

“That is entirely out of the question,” Wihll said. “Our leader has requested that the takedown of the Iiayikohnians must include any and all involved. I would say I’m sorry, but I’m no liar.”

“You are a liar, though!”

“No, I am a hero,” he said. “Though I will admit I do play dirty sometimes. That’s what you have to be when playing a rigged game, Miss Roeik.”

Wihll moved the knife closer to Silvia’s neck, the sharp side being only an inch away from her. Her eyes looked down as he pushed the blade of the knife onto her neck.

“I’m not afraid to cut down anyone in my way,” he said. “If you value your life, you would do your very best to stay out of my way.”

Wihll withdrew his knife, letting Silvia sigh in relief. The door creaked once again as an short, older man with gray and brown hair walked in.

“Victor Wihll! What are you doing?”

“I’m just having a chat with Miss Roeik,” Wihll replied. “What are you doing down here, Mr. Lokke?”

“Have you been paying attention to what’s going on?” Walton Lokke asked.

“Of course I have,” Wihll replied. “You can’t go anywhere with these inferior goons waltzing around!”

“Well, they’re already discussing Maeitakohn,” Lokke said. “Seems like they’re forcing us to play our hand.”

“If that’s the game they want to play, then perhaps we should play it,” Wihll said. “Don’t you think so, Silvia?”

“I… do whatever you want,” she said.

“That’s a vote in my favor,” Wihll said, “So how about it?”

“What do you suggest, then?” Lokke asked.

“If we want to get the head start of Maeitakohn, then we need to hit these assholes where it hurts the most,” Wihll replied.

“Ah, I know what you mean,” Lokke said. “Operation Ablaze.”

“What’s Operation Ablaze?” Silvia asked.

“The grand finale,” Wihll answered. “The be all, end all of the True Thekohnians mission.”

“Clearly put,” Lokke added, “When this plan is enacted, Iiayikohn, and in turn the rest of the Thekohnian Region, will never be the same again.”

“Then I will begin the first course of action,” Wihll said. “It really looks like things are moving much faster than we expected them to.”

“Where are you going?” Lokke asked. “You know that they’ll be looking for you, right?”

“Don’t worry,” Wihll replied. “A couple of soldiers won’t keep me down. I am combat perfected!”

Lokke shook his head. “Whatever,” he said. “Just do what you have to do, and don’t get caught.”

“Believe me,” Wihll said, “Once phase one goes into effect, they will be too busy running around with their heads cut off to try and catch me.”

“Then I will see you later,” Lokke said. “To our leader.”

“To our leader, indeed,” Wihll said.

Wihll left the room, leaving just Silvia and Lokke behind. There was just one place that he had to go to now, and Wihll wanted to get there before the night fell. There would almost certainly be security, but it was a job that Wihll believed he was sent out to accomplish.


To be continued…


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Chapter 7 – Part 3

[2740 AD; on the deck of the Ameci Atlas]


Henry looked onward as he could make out the country of Iiayikohn in the distance. It had been a long five days, but he was finally going to end up in Iiayikohn. His goal had become clear at this point, and to achieve it he would have to meet with Alan.

“Henry, are you okay?” Tori asked.

“I’m okay.”

“You’ve been looking at the ocean the past two days,” Tori said. “You haven’t spoke or ate too much. I’m a little worried about you…”

“I can’t say I’ve held onto my creed this whole time,” Henry said. “I know what I said to you when we got on this ship, but still the nightmares haunt me.”

Tori hugged Henry from behind, resting her head on his back. “Henry…”

“Tori, I can’t keep you in the dark,” he said. “The truth is that I’ve hated myself these past ten years. How could someone like me ever come back to you?”

“You’re here with me, though.”

“I know that,” Henry said. “I can tell you’ll keep believing in me, and I appreciate that, but what about the kids? Do I deserve to be their father?”

“I want them to have better lives than we did,” Tori replied, “But I also want them to meet you, too.”

“Tori, please don’t,” Henry said. “I love you, but I’m not the same man you fell in love with.”

“I understand that!” Tori said.

“You don’t,” Henry replied. “I’ve had multiple days where I just wanted to end it all. Multiple days where I wanted to suffocate instead of breathe. Pick up a knife and… Damn it!”

Henry pounded the railing as Tori stepped back. He turned around to face her as tears filled his eyes.

“I’m not a hero,” he said, “I’m just a coward. A coward that’s afraid to stand up for himself.”

Tori looked up at him, almost ready to burst into tears herself. “How dare you say that,” she said. “You would rather just give in to doubt? That’s not Henry Randolph. At least, not the Henry I know.”

“What do you suppose I do?”

“I told you,” she said, “I can help you. If I ask Rohan, then I know he will help you too.”

“Do you have a plan?”

“I’m sure we can figure it out,” Tori replied. “And if you continue to doubt, then I will believe for both of us until you do too.”

“I-I really am grateful,” Henry said.

“Don’t  forget.”

“I won’t,” he said. “Come here.”

As the two shared another moment together, Gavin had spotted the two. He looked away until they were finished, and started walking up to them again.

“Well, it looks like you win, Henry Randolph,” Gavin said.

“What are you doing here?” Henry asked.

“Regretting,” Gavin replied. “Everything I’ve done up to this point has been moot. Seems like you’re off the hook… For now.”

“Excuse me, but I don’t think I’ve ever learned your name,” Tori said.

“Oh, right,” Gavin said. “I’m Gavin Power, failure at life.”

“That’s a bit extreme,” Henry said.

“I would have added more, but clearly the effort isn’t worth it.”

“That’s not true,” Tori said. “After all, you are an expert marksman, right?”

“What good will that do me now?” Gavin asked. “I failed my mission of capturing him.”

“Surely you have something else you can do,” Tori answered.

“Not much I can do from here,” Gavin said. “Just get off at wherever this ship takes us and find a way back home.”

“Did you just hop on a ship without knowing where it went?” Henry asked. “That is quite… reckless.”

“I suppose this is a learning experience, then,” Gavin said.

“Hey, before you walk away,” Tori said, “Maybe you would like to hear Henry’s story. At least hear him out.”

“Why should I do that?” Gavin asked.

“Because perhaps you’d find something in common?”

“Now that is hilarious,” Gavin said. “Did you put her up to this, Henry Randolph?”

“No,” Henry said. “Can you stop calling me by my full name? It’s somewhat unnecessary.”

“I suppose it doesn’t matter, then,” Gavin replied. “Fine, Mr. Randolph, I would love to hear your side of the story, although we all know it won’t change my opinion of you.”

Henry and Tori walked with Gavin down to the dining hall. Henry told Gavin about what he had been doing over the past ten years, as well as what he was going to do now. Gavin had his hand across his face the entire time.

“What are you thinking about now, Gavin?” Tori asked.

“There’s no reason I should tell you,” Gavin replied.

“You sure?”

“I’m sure,” Gavin said. “Your loyalty to this man is admirable, but that’s all I will say.”

“Is there nothing that can convince you? Perhaps whatever you’re dealing with we can help with.”


“Henry, maybe this can be your first step,” she said. “He’s an Ameci soldier; he’d probably be able to reach out to Rohan and help.”

“It’s fine,” Gavin said. “I suppose that I can share with you what’s been troubling me. Thing is, there’s someone I really care for.”

“Like someone you love?” Tori asked.

“Oh god, no,” Gavin replied. “I guess if by ‘love’ you mean ‘care for them because they’re family,’ then maybe you’d be right.”

“Okay,” Tori said. “What about them, then?”

“You wouldn’t want to know,” Gavin answered. “The fact is that I’ve been trying to find him, and when I do find him I’m going to kick his ass!”

Gavin walked into the dining hall as Tori and Henry both looked at each other in shock. Henry shook his head and opened the doors. He and Tori went inside the dining hall, looking for a place to sit. As they looked around, Henry had caught the attention of a certain person.

“Hey, haven’t we met before?” Sorin asked.

Henry sighed. “Yes, I do believe we have,” he replied. “Sorin, right?”

“Hold on,” Sorin said as he brought Kirk over. “This was who I was tell you about.”

“I see him, Sorin,” Kirk said. “Well, it’s nice to see you, Henry Randolph.”

“Nice to see you too,” Henry replied.

“It’s funny how you decided to be here,” Kirk said. “To be honest, I’m surprised that you even have the gall to face me after what you did.”

“Henry, do you know him?” Tori asked.

“Well, Henry, how about it?” Kirk asked. “Would you like to tell Tori about what happened?”


To be continued…


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Chapter 6 – Part 3

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


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

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

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

“I understand,” he said.

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

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

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

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

“Prime Minister, I…”

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

“I get it,” she said.

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


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

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

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

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

“Excuse me?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Please do not put words into my mouth.”

Wihll scoffed. “I did no such thing.”

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

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

“I assume it’s personal, then?”

“You tell me.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


[2740 AD; Rezar – Rask Locksmith]


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

“Hello there!”

“Yo,” Law replied. “Is Mina here?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sounds dangerous.”

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

“Then what is it?” Law asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Used to be,” Law said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Chapter 1 – Part 3

[2740 AD; the roads of East Villa]


“Let’s get a move on, Sorin!” Smith said. He lifted the last crate into the truck as Sorin got into the passenger seat. Henry sat in the back where he watched Smith take the driver’s seat, starting the car and pulling out of the designated parking space.

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