[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!?”
“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!”
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?”
“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…