Aurora – Epilogue

(Daybreak on a Peaceful World)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The End


Previous | END

Aurora – Chapter 26 (Part 2)

[25th of December, 2740 AD; Rask Locksmith, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


“Well, looks like it’s time to open up,” Drake said.

Drake arrived at his shop in the morning as he was ready for another day of business. After saying his goodbyes to Wilma, all Drake wanted to do now was get to work. He hoped for a busy day with no interruptions, but as he placed his key inside the door’s lock, Dia spoke up. That was when a chord struck as he shook his head and chuckled.

“For the love of god, please tell me that you haven’t forgotten,” she said. “You did say that you were going to help me out, correct?”

“Ah, Dia, guess I just went and forgot,” Drake replied. “To be honest, I’m surprised that you’re still here.”

“For a locksmith, you can be pretty irresponsible,” Dia said. “Perhaps you should look into hiring someone. At least find someone who can run the shop while you help me out.”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m working on it,” Drake said. “Things haven’t been the same since Mina left and with all the commotion stirring about, it’s gonna be awhile ‘til I see her again, I imagine.”

He opened the door and walked in with Dia right behind him. Drake had taken Dia to visit Rieder Park during her stay, visiting the location where Voitto had proposed to her. Once a several minutes passed, Dia knew what she had to do next and turned to Drake for assistance.

“The two of us share that much,” Dia said, “And even though you and her don’t share the same bloodline, you care for her all the same.”

“That I do, ma’am,” Drake replied. “Mina’s out there paving her own path and I couldn’t be happier. No one can tell me otherwise.”

“Yes, you’re right,” Dia said. “Johan is as important to me as Mina is to you. I am happy to hear that he is alive and doing well, but even so, I remain worried about what will happen to him.”

“Eh, he can handle his own well enough,” Drake said. “Hell, I even heard he rivaled Mina one time at dinner!”

“That’s not a surprise,” Dia replied. “He was always an active boy growing up, which was why he was always so eager to eat once we got him down at the table. Of course, that was after we had to settle him down.”

Drake grinned. “That’s quite a thought.”

“You can laugh, but it wasn’t nearly as fun as it sounds,” she said. “After Voitto died, it was hard to put food on the table each night. I did my best, but my job’s pay rate was never nearly enough to cover all the expenses.”

“That does sound bad.”

“I learned the hard way how much Ameci truly cares about its people once they’re not of use,” Dia continued. “Voitto was a valuable asset to the military, but once he was killed, they paid little attention to Johan and I.”

“What a shame,” Drake said. “Not even a message?”

“Oh, we got a message,” Dia answered. “It was as impersonal and standard as it could get.”

“Sheesh, guess they weren’t too bothered to say much.”

“It’s fine now,” Dia said. “Whether my last name is Jorgenson or Kuu, I still care for Johan deeply. That’s why I want to do my own to help, no matter how insignificant it may be.”

“Well, that’s why I’m here,” Drake said. “Though I suppose I should ask why you need my help, of all people.”

“I wanted to ask Mr. Wilk, but he’s already left Rezar,” Dia said. “That’s why I had to turn to you instead.”

“Well, may as well lay it on me now,” Drake said. “Long as there aren’t any customers, I’m willing to do what I can.”




[25th of December, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Regal Ocean Hotel at the Plaza]


Sorin and Gavin stumbled upon the hotel during their search in the plaza as they tried to find out where Henry was staying. With the Regal Ocean Hotel being known as a reputable hotel for travelers, it made sense for someone like Henry to stay there. Despite passing by quite a few times, the hotel never caught Sorin’s attention until now. He could see why it was as well known as people said, as the hotel was the tallest building in the plaza, standing out with the kingdom’s flag waving on top. Sorin wanted to take in the sight for a moment longer, though it appeared as if Gavin was already thinking ahead.

“There’s no time to gawk,” Gavin said, motioning to the front doors. “Come on and hurry up already.”

“Got it,” Sorin replied.

The two men dashed into the lobby of the elegant hotel and took in the sights standing before them. A large fountain sat in the middle of the lobby, flowing with clear water as a small statue of the first King of Thekohn decorated the top. In addition to that, the soft, gentle sound of a piano playing caught Sorin’s attention as he tried to figure out where it came from. However, he found neither a piano or a musician. But what really stood out to both Sorin and Gavin were the decorations: bouquets of Thekohnian Tulips which adorned the golden walls. They moved along until they made it to the ballroom, where the two ended up crossing paths with Tori. She was not alone, however, as both her and Henry’s sons accompanied her.

“Gavin, Sorin, I didn’t expect to see you two here,” Tori said. “This is a rather nice surprise.”

“Sorry to interrupt, but we’ve got a bit of business with Henry,” Gavin said. “Can you tell us where he is?”

“Oh, of course,” Tori replied. “He’s should be in the hotel room. We can go with you if you want.”

“Well, that would be great,” Sorin said.

“I don’t know why you wouldn’t,” Gavin said. “You’ve got the key, after all. It wouldn’t make sense for us to go without a key anyway.”

“Yes, of course,” Tori said. “I was just waiting for Henry anyway. But with you two, we should get there right about when he’s done.”

“Thank you,” Sorin replied.

“I hope you don’t mind,” Tori said. “The boys were getting restless and I didn’t want to have them running around in such a small room.”

“It’s fine,” Sorin said. “I don’t know about him, though.”

Gavin glared at Sorin. “Are you saying I have a problem with kids? Is that what you’re trying to say?”

“No… No, not at all,” Sorin said.

“Whatever,” Gavin replied. “We’re ready to go, Tori.”

With Tori’s direction, Sorin and Gavin followed her and the boys to the elevator. Once they were on board, Tori pressed the button to the top floor and watched the doors close. During the ride, Sorin noticed the look that one of the boys gave him, staring without breaking any contact.

“Brad, it isn’t polite to stare,” Tori said. “If you have a question that you want to ask Mr. Wilk, I’m sure he’d answer it.”

“Is that a real sword?” Brad asked.

“It is,” Sorin said. “But it’s very dangerous. I don’t really use it unless I need to, and those times are rare.”

Brad pointed at the elevator doors. “Can you cut through those?”

“I don’t think so,” Sorin replied.

“That’s boring,” Brad said.

Meanwhile, the othe boy, Henry Jr., cowered behind Tori as he looked at Gavin. “Does that man… Does he have a real gun on him?”

“Relax,” Gavin replied. “It’s unloaded.”

“They’re not dangerous, boys,” Tori said. “Come on, you’ve seen your father hold weapons before, haven’t you?”

“Yeah, but not this close,” Henry Jr. said.

“Give me a break, kid,” Gavin replied. “If you want, I’ll show you that I’m not lying.”

“Don’t do that,” Sorin said. He looked over to Henry Jr. “Just take Gavin’s word for it.”

Soon enough, they arrived at the top floor and stepped off. Sorin and Gavin continued to follow Tori and the boys down the hall to the hotel room. Once they made it to the door, Tori took out the key, placing her free hand on the doorknob. Before she could insert the key, however, the doorknob turned. Tori removed her hand as the door opened and out walked Henry.

“You guys are back so soon,” Henry said. “What’s going on?”

“Well, they wanted to speak with you,” Tori said as she gestured to Sorin and Gavin. “At least, that’s what I presume they’re here for.”

Henry stepped out into the hallway. “Is that so?”

“That’s exactly why we’re here,” Gavin said. “The Queen of Thekohn needs your help, which is why we’re here.”

“She needs my help?” Henry asked. “Tori, do you mind taking the boys inside with you?”

“Are you going with them?” Tori asked.

“It won’t be long, I promise,” Henry replied.

Tori nodded. “I understand,” she said. “Let’s go, you two.”

She then went inside the hotel room with the two boys as Henry closed the door behind him. Sorin then explained all that had happened over the past night as Henry listened with intent. After Sorin finished, Henry turned to Gavin.

“So you two need my help in dealing with the Ameci military?” Henry asked.

“We’re not looking to start a war of any kind,” Sorin said. “Of course, you should know just what they’re up to, thanks to Foundation.”

“And Harold called you out to Habicht,” Henry said. “No doubt he’s luring you into a trap… But I think that that’s the trap itself.”

“What do you think?” Gavin asked.

“I’m still fighting,” Henry replied. “I’ve made my promise to Kirk that I’d keep moving onward, but even so, I know that if I do, I’d be putting Tori and my sons at risk.”

“That’s understandable,” Sorin said.

“Still, we can’t really sit back,” Gavin said.

“I know that,” Henry said. “I have reasons to fight as well. If I’m to make any sort of impact in Ameci, I’ll have to fight for what I believe is right. That starts with dealing with Isaac Kunigunde and Foundation.”

“So you’ll help, then,” Gavin said.

“I’ll do my best to help,” Henry replied.

“That’s good to hear,” Sorin said.

“But first, there’s that other matter you spoke of,” Henry said. “To do that, I want to meet with the queen herself.”

“Absolutely,” Sorin said. “We can definitely arrange that meeting.”

Henry smiled. “You know, you’ve got the same look in your eye,” he said. “If he were here right now, he’d agree with me.”

“What are you talking about?” Sorin asked. “Are you talking about my father?”

“Now, let’s get going,” Henry said. “Gavin, I’m glad that we’re working on the same page now.”

“Feels odd saying this, but I feel the same way,” Gavin replied. “Glad to have you on our side, Henry Randolph.”

Sorin watched as Gavin walked with Henry. Overall, he was glad to have Henry on his side. Still, what Henry said made Sorin think of his father once more. Normally he would not be concerned, but this time Sorin was beginning to feel anxious about Kirk. He heard nothing so far and was not sure if Kirk would call today, either. All Sorin could do was keep moving with the plan as he joined up with Gavin and Henry at the elevator.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Aurora – Chapter 14 (Part 2)

[20th of December, 2740 AD; Sparrow Hotel – Indoor Lounge, Glora, Ahnlikohn]


Henry leaned back in his seat as he wondered what to do next. He waited for Tori to return from the local shop as she went with the boys to pick up some snacks. But Henry was not hungry in the slightest. After what took place earlier, Henry found it difficult to stomach the course of actions that took place during his meeting with Rohan about the comments that were made the night before. It was something he had to do, which was why Henry brought Tori and the kids along to meet Fercewend. However, the general was busy meeting with Isaac, so Henry had to deal with both of them at the same time.

“That man continues to harbor hatred towards me,” Henry said. “And to say that in front of Tori and the boys… Does Isaac Kunigunde have no decency left in him?”

One statement was all that was needed for Henry to have caution against Isaac. The words that he had said to Henry left him chilled and worried not only for himself, but for his family as well. It was the type of fear that Henry had felt many times during his days as a soldier, but instead of coming from enemy forces, it was straight from a fellow compatriot of Ameci.




“At the end of the day, decisions are to be made by the president and the general,” Isaac said. “Consider yourself lucky that you get to enjoy your little free time like this, because I’m certain that it will be the last.”

“You… What is it with you and Henry?” Tori asked. “All he did was ask Rohan a single question, and you step in to shoot it down with such contempt.”

“I don’t recall anyone asking you to speak, woman,” Isaac said. “Anyway, I’m sure that you know now that you’re walking on a thin rope. It was only a few months ago that the charges of treason against you were lifted, yet all the same they can come back should any new ‘evidence’ pops up.”

“But Rohan has already said that the claims were unfounded,” Henry replied. “As far as the law is concerned, I am innocent.”

Isaac raised a finger. “Do you forget, Henry Randolph? It was our general here who decided that,” he said. “Now he is a man of high stature, but if push comes to shove… well, I’m sure your tiny brain is able to figure it out. Rohan! What are you standing there for?”

“Of course,” Fercewend said.

“Hold on a second,” Henry said. “You know damn well what happened last night, and what’s happening now, Rohan. Say something!”

“Henry, you should know that above all else, we must work together to preserve order,” Fercewend said. “We must continue to have order, otherwise, we will end up falling into disarray.”

“Come on,” Tori said. “It’s not about ‘order,’ Rohan. It’s about doing what’s right.”

“Listen here,” Isaac said to Henry and Tori. He walked up to the family as his eyebrows furrowed. “If I had it my way, I’d waste no time filling out the papers for your execution, Henry Randolph.”

He turned away from them and went back to Fercewend.

“Have a nice day,” Isaac said. “Shall we, Rohan?”




Henry slammed his fist down on the table. He hated to admit it, but he was scared. Fear that everything could all come crashing down on him again. There was no doubt in Henry’s mind now: Isaac Kunigunde was a much more menacing adversary than anyone he had ever faced during the War of the Lands.

“Whatever sort of grudge he has towards me, I’ll just have to face it head on,” Henry said. “It doesn’t matter who he is; Isaac Kunigunde is still just another man and I can deal with him.”

“Are you alright?” Kirk asked.

Henry looked up from the table and found that Kirk and Eva by his table. The two were by themselves as Henry got up and greeted them. He did not expect to meet them at the hotel, of all places, though it was a pleasant surprise.

Kirk took the seat across from Henry. “I guess you had quite a morning at the Glora Grand Hall.”

“It’s not like there was any kind of scuffle or anything,” Henry replied. “But it does make the rest of this trip a little problematic for the family and I…”

“Then you just slammed the table for nothing?” Eva asked, taking a seat next to Kirk.

“I didn’t think anyone saw,” Henry said.

“Don’t worry,” Kirk said, “I’m not too fond of the guy, either. I’ve never been that fond of him, in fact.”

“You shouldn’t be surprised,” Eva said to Henry. “That man’s whole career is built on looking down on others and screwing over the unfortunate.”

Henry looked up at the ceiling. “I’m not, if I have to be honest with you,” he replied, “But I’m not worried about myself this time.”

“You’re worried about them,” Eva said.

“I can’t even begin to think what I’d do if anything were to happen to Tori or the boys,” Henry said. “That’s why I’m so tense right now.”

Eva sighed as she tilted her head down. “It’s a pain you shouldn’t have to experience,” she replied. “Pain that you don’t deserve at all.”

“Right now, I guess there’s little I can do,” Henry said, “But that encounter only furthers my resolve. There’s nothing that he can do that will stop that.”

“Good for you, Henry,” Kirk said. “Well, I guess it would be fair to tell you what we know about Isaac, since it may prove relevant for you.”

Henry raised an eyebrow. “What do you know?”

“I never told you about it back at the kingdom, but the leader of the Neu Thekohnian Order wasn’t Isla,” Eva said. “Well, she was, technically, but there was another who was pulling the strings from afar.”

After a lengthy explanation about all that had happened within Thedam Castle, which Henry listened to with high intent, many things were beginning to make sense for him. Still, he had many questions as well, which only served to confuse him as he was not sure that Kirk or Eva would be able to answer any of the questions that he had. What was obvious was that Isaac Kunigunde crossed a line. It was a line that if someone like Henry had crossed, there would be no time wasted in processing his arrest.

“To think that he would be this duplicitous… I knew that there was more beneath his facade, but to think he’s playing the Ameci government while he’s rubbing their shoulders at the same time?” Henry asked. He clenched his fist as it began to shake. “He’s secretly influenced that dangerous group for his own gain… All of this tragedy and bloodshed just because he’s not satisfied with how much money he already has?”

“I was worried about whether or not to tell you back then,” Eva said. “But I should know that you’ve been a good ally to Kirk and I…”

“It’s okay,” Henry said. “Now that I know exactly what that man’s capable of, I will do my best to keep on moving forward and fight.”

“What will you do now?” Kirk asked.

“Well, we were going to enjoy our vacation a little more,” Henry replied, “But since it seems like there’s plenty to deal with, I’m not sure what Tori and I can do to help.”

“You should stay with them for the time being,” Kirk said. “Your family is important, after all.”

“There’s not much we can do right now, anyway,” Eva said.

“It sure seems like that’s the case,” Henry said. “Say, where’s Sorin, if you don’t mind me asking?”

Kirk shrugged. “I don’t really know myself,” he replied. “Of course, I’m sure he’s doing something out there.”




[20th of December, 2740 AD; The Robin’s Nest, Glora, Ahnlikohn – Erithacus District]


Sorin looked at the clock on the wall. It was now an hour from noon and the summit had already begun, according the what Rain had told him. Due to the high amount of traffic surrounding the Glora Grand Hall, Sorin and the others were not able to attend up close. Instead, he and Gale decided to meet them at the closest lounge they could find. There, they went with Gavin and Law as well as Luna and Pekka. Much to their surprise, or rather their lack thereof, the group found Kiku and her guards there, as well as Noa.

“Wow, Wilkie, it’s really nice to see you!” Kiku exclaimed.

She embraced Sorin as he could only muster a small laugh, but he was glad to see her regardless. Kiku then backed off and shook hands with everyone. Sorin sat down as the radio on the speaker continued to play out the speeches at the summit, with a quiet speech from Elemci’s president first.

“You’re not over there?” Gale asked. “I thought you’d be over there talking with everybody.”

“Oh no, not me,” Kiku replied. “I know Ray and Minnie are there, but I can’t stand the tension! Not while I’m still so full of energy and excitement!”

“Besides, I’m not sure where I would fit in,” Noa said. “I’m not really an official or a part of the military… and I know Kiku doesn’t really want me to go wandering around by myself too much.”

“Please, Nona, when have I ever said that?” Kiku asked. “I was just worried about you getting lonely because you won’t have me to talk to, silly.”

“Really?” Law asked. “Because I’d like to think he’d be going around the town, searching for some fine ladies to talk to…”

“Calm down, Lawrence,” Gavin said.

“How… How dare you say that!” Noa said to Law.

Kiku giggled as she held Noa’s hand. “Though Nona isn’t really the type of guy who can just strike up conversations with women, I still love him,” she said. “Besides, if I wanted to, I’d be happy to talk to any woman for him!”

“Isn’t that a little too much?” Luna asked.

“I’d never play with his heart like that, Gab,” Kiku replied. “Nona and I are inseparable! I’d give my heart to him and I know he’d do the same.”

“It’s… true,” Noa said.

“So is that that ‘death to us part’ thing I’ve heard about?” Igor asked. “Or is that something else I mixed up?”

“I guess it could be like that,” Kiku said.

“Well, I’m not looking to die any time soon,” Noa said. “Not now, not later, not ever, hopefully!”

“That’d be pretty impossible,” Law said. “We all have to go eventually. All that really matters is what you do before then. I plan on gracing this world with my presence, which is why I’m working as an actor!”

“How is that going along?” Luna asked. “I ask because I’ve heard so much about acting and singing and I think it was Kiku there who told me I had a good singing voice. I was nervous about it, but the other day, I sang in front of Pekka and he said it was really good, though I feel like I could have done a lot better all things considered. I mean… How do you like being an actor?”

Law clasped his hands together and grinned. “I’m the star of the show,” he replied. “They love me on the stage and I even have the attention of a beautiful young stagehand named Em.”

“He has a supporting role,” Gavin said.

“Oh, that must be quite nice,” Kiku said. “Those bright lights must put a lot of pressure on you, Lala, but I’m not surprised that you have a natural talent for the stage.”

“Thank you,” Law replied. “You know, there is one scene in this play that I do need a bit of practice on… Maybe you could help me out, Luna.”

Luna’s eyes lit up. “Who? Me?”

“Well, who else could I be talking to?” Law asked. “There’s only one person here that I can think of that would be perfect for practicing with.”

“You better tell us where this is going,” Gavin said.

“In time, bro,” Law said. “Tell me, Luna: have you ever kissed anyone before?”

Luna turned her head aside and covered her mouth. “What… What kind of question is that!?”

“Well, if we’re going to practice this scene, I need to know how experienced my co-star is,” Law answered.

“I guess it was time,” Gale said.

Gavin placed his hand on his forehead and over his sunglasses. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“Aren’t you already with that lieutenant general lady?” Noa asked. “Won’t she be upset?”

“He’s not going to do anything stupid like that,” Gale said. “All he cares about is getting a reaction out of Luna over there.”

“Hehe, it’s the perfect reaction for her, though,” Kiku said. “I’ve never seen quite a shade of red like that, so that’s a plus for you, Gab!”

“I think it’d be best you two leave the poor girl alone,” Ayame said. “Clearly, she is nervous being asked about such personal matters.”

“Oh, okay,” Kiku replied.

“I suppose that’s a no, then,” Law said. “Well, if that’s the word, then I’m not going to pursue it any further.”

Law stood up and started to head for the front of the room. Sorin, though, continued to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. There was no chance he was going to overlook Korbin and his Blood Ravens, nor was he going to sit back if they acted first. Still, when he glanced out to the street, Sorin could not find any of the Ameci soldiers strolling about.

“Not a trace, it seems,” Sorin said.

“What are you talking about, Wilkie?” Kiku asked.

Sorin shook his head. “I… I thought it was going to snow today,” he said. “Guess I was wrong.”

“We don’t get that much snow back home,” Kiku replied. “That said, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with winter. I like being able to cuddle when it gets too cold, but I don’t like having to wear such a thick coat! I wish it was warmer, you know?”

“Truly, it would be nicer if it were warmer,” Law said. “There’s something spectacular about the summer, if you catch my drift.”

“Oh, and what would that be?” Pekka asked.

At that moment, before Law could answer, there was a break in the radio broadcast. The static caused everyone to take notice, which was then followed by some piercing feedback that made everyone cover their ears. The noise quieted down, however, as the silence soon followed. Sorin knew now that it was time for the next phase.

“Sorry about that little noise,” the muffled voice said. “This kind of thing isn’t exactly my forte…”

Sorin was sure that the other patrons at the lounge, as well as some of his friends, were confused at what they were hearing. However, Sorin was happy to hear that Johan had finally established a signal for everyone in Glora to hear. He had to wonder how Johan pulled it off, but that would have to be a question for much later. Now it was time for Johan to reveal the truth.

“You may be asking yourself: who is this and why are they interrupting the summit? Well, that is simple,” Johan said, “I am the leader of the Moonlit Silence, the group that reaches into the depths of the dark and brings to light the truths that Foundation does not want you to see!”

“So this is his plan,” Pekka said.

“Huh? What plan?” Kiku asked. “That voice sounds familiar… Could it be who I think it is, Aya?”

“Let’s listen to what he has to say first,” Ayame replied.

“Before I reveal anything, I must tell you in advance that I have operated within the Neu Thekohnian Order for the purpose of obtaining these hidden documents,” Johan said. “The letters I am about to read to you detail important conversations between the leader of the Neu Thekohnian Order and their benefactor, Isaac Kunigunde.”

There was some chatter amongst the other patrons as Sorin continued to listen with intent. Naming Isaac made Johan a target, for sure, but Sorin knew he did not care about that.

“What I’m going to read to you today will not only unveil the crimes of Isaac Kunigunde, but those of Casper Bradley and Wilson Dezine as well,” Johan said. “Let this be known, Isaac: the moment I am done speaking, you will not be able to escape from your fate.”


To be continued…


Previous| Next Chapter

Aurora – Chapter 13 (Part 2)

[19th of December, 2740 AD; Falconet Open Air Patio, Glora, Ahnlikohn]


Dusk fast approached as Henry entered the restaurant with Tori and Fercewend. Henry entrusted the care of the two sons to Fercewend’s daughter back at the hotel, so Henry did not have to worry about them for the night. Now was the time for the three to socialize and meet with several other members of the Ameci government and military.

“Thank you for taking us here,” Henry said to Fercewend. “Tori and I really appreciate it.”

“It’s not at all a problem for me,” Fercewend replied. “I should be thanking you instead.”

“You know, Rohan, it must be tough,” Tori said. “Was there no way for your wife to come along?”

“Believe me, I wished she was here,” Fercewend replied. “I don’t say this out loud, but it can get tedious having to deal with the same people over and over, day after day. My lovely wife often consoles me during such times, but she too has her duties to fulfill for Ameci and can only attend with us in spirit.”

“Sometimes you have to make a sacrifice,” Henry said. “At least you were able to bring Ari along.”

“Yes, she’s been begging me to take her on my trips,” Fercewend said. “Fortunately for my daughter, her school is on break, though the studying doesn’t stop for her.”

“I guess work doesn’t stop for the Fercewends, does it?” Tori asked.

“Work hard for the sake of others,” Fercewend replied. “That’s the family motto; it’s been that way for many generations.”

He led Henry and Tori to a table that overlooked the outer limits of the city and into the forests. The view was nice, to be sure, yet Henry focused himself on the ongoing conversation with Fercewend. As he and Tori sat on the other side and faced the general, Henry picked up the small menu laying on the table and began to peruse it.

“Do you have anything in mind, Henry?” Tori asked.

Henry thumbed through the pages of the menu. “Well, I don’t want to drink anything too strong,” he said. “It would be very unbecoming of me if I ended the night much looser than when I entered.”

Fercewend laughed as he set down his menu. “It’s your vacation, Henry, so you can live a little,” he replied. “I am certain that it wouldn’t hurt for you to have at least one drink.”

“That’s easy for you to say, Rohan,” Henry said. “You don’t have to worry about getting drunk because you still have to work.”

“Perhaps it is,” Fercewend said. “I must say, though, that you do seem a bit more tense than you were earlier today. Is something the matter?”

“You’re just imagining things,” Henry replied.

“Now that you mention it, he has been a little off,” Tori said. “You aren’t too worried about the boys, are you?”

Henry shook his head and looked down into the menu again. “That’s not it all, my dear,” he said. “I’m not worried about them, nor am I worried about Ari’s ability to handle them.”

“She’s the president of her school’s student council,” Fercewend said. “Ari’s surely watching over your sons with ease!”

“See? They’ll be okay,” Tori said.

“I told you it’s not about them,” Henry said. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be,” Fercewend said. “Although, I think I know now what it is that’s concerning you. Yes, it’s clear now.”

He leaned in and stared at Tori, who was confused as she grabbed Henry’s arm. Henry was just as perplexed as she was as he wondered what his friend was going to say next.

“Well, it must be stressful having to travel overseas,” Fercewend said. “Especially when you’ve got a little one on the way to worry about. Indeed, that must be the reason why you’re so high strung, Henry. You’re worried about her and the baby!”

“Yes, it does get a little stressful,” Tori said.

“Fortunately, we should be able to get through it,” Henry said. “I’m sure that the baby will be healthy and whatnot.”

“I’m glad to hear you sound confident,” Fercewend replied. “Guess that’s all that I really needed to hear.”

Henry exhaled. “Guess so.”

The silence that followed proved to be unbreakable. Henry knew that there was no denying what just happened: the atmosphere in Ahnlikohn was different now and it was starting to affect Fercewend. There was no way to prove this, of course, but there was no mistake in Henry’s mind. However, it would have to be discussed later, as now everyone was ready to order. With nothing else to talk about, Henry decided to place his order and let the time pass for now.




The full course dinner was something to behold. Henry and Tori were treated to some of the finest dining that Glora had to offer, and to Henry, the food did not disappoint. From the prime cut of steak to the seared duck, it was a dinner to remember for certain. Henry sat back in his chair and looked over the balcony as Tori did the same.

“Looks like you’re in much higher spirits,” Fercewend said to Henry. “I am glad to see that.”

“It was a good meal,” Henry replied.

“Indeed, it certainly was,” Fercewend said. “It should be about time for us to ask for the check and head out, don’t you think?”

“That sounds good to me,” Tori said.

“I can pay for the whole thing,” Henry said. “You’ve been nothing but nice to us, Rohan, so I think I should return the favor.”

“Nonsense!” Fercewend replied. “What’s the harm in treating my friend and his wife to a fancy meal? I’ll pay for it.”

Henry chuckled and reached for his wallet. “Please, let me take of it, my friend,” he said. “There’s more important things for you to worry about than having to write this down in your pocketbook, right? Let me handle the check for you, I insist!”

“Put your wallet back right now, Henry Randolph,” Fercewend said. “There is no reason for you to burden yourself with such a hefty check, now is there? You don’t need to worry about me in the slightest, because I’ve got this whole thing covered!”

“Henry, maybe you should just let him pay,” Tori said. “After all, it’s not that big of a deal about who pays.”

“Maybe so,” Henry said, “But I’d feel much better if I took responsibility.”

A jovial voice filled the scene. “Gentlemen, gentlemen, what seems to be the issue?”

Henry, Tori, and Fercewend turned and saw Isaac Kunigunde approach the table. He was with Crawford and Casper Bradley, who were dressed up in their three-piece suits. Without hesitation, Henry and Tori stood up and greeted the acting president and his son, as well as Isaac. Fercewend followed up with the same greeting as he sat back down.

“I didn’t expect to see you here, sir,” Fercewend said to Casper. “I assume talks are going well?”

“Now why would you ask me about work off the clock?” Casper asked. “Me and my son just decided to have a nice dinner with a good friend. Guess you had the same idea in mind, general.”

“Oh yes, yes indeed,” Fercewend said.

Isaac grinned. “That much is true,” he said. “Never in a million years did I think that you would pull yourself out of the gutter, Mr. Randolph, but I guess even life provides a few surprises.”

“Wow, thanks,” Henry replied as he turned to Bradley. “You seem to be doing well for yourself, commander.”

Bradley smirked and giggled. “Yes, yes I do,” he said. “So, you and your wife, Mr. Randolph… I guess she’s coming along nicely, huh? She… she does it for you well, I wonder, when you two go at it? Geez, I think I’m seeing a little more than usual here… Woah, better put a lid on that one, Henry, because she could blow at any second!”

He broke out into laughter as he fell against Isaac, who wrapped his arms around him. Casper sighed and shook his head.

“That was completely uncalled for,” Tori said.

“Commander, I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I demand that you apologize to her and I right now,” Henry said. “Such comments are unbecoming for someone of your stature.”

“Excuse him, Mr. Randolph,” Isaac replied. “He’s a tad loose from all the fun he had with his pals earlier.”

Henry stood up. “Whatever he did earlier doesn’t excuse his remarks,” he said. “There are standards in the Ameci military and I know that General Fercewend would agree with what I’m saying.”

“Mr. Randolph, it’s not worth it,” Casper said. “We were just passing by and wanted to say hello. There’s no real reason for you to have a little spat with my son, isn’t that right, general?”

“That’s right, right?” Bradley asked. “I’m just… I’m just having a little fun out here, aren’t I? Why do you gotta make me the bad guy… Mr. Randolph? Why do ya?”

Fercewend looked over to the side and remained silent.

“Rohan, you know what to say,” Tori said.

“Don’t forget, General Fercewend,” Isaac said. “You remember what was said earlier in the week, do you not? We’ve still got a job to do, so I think you should dismiss your friends here and let us get down to business.”

A resigned sigh followed as Fercewend looked over to Henry. “I think it would be for the best if you and Tori left,” Fercewend said. “It seems as if my work isn’t finished.”

Henry stared at Fercewend, as it felt as if time had stopped. There was a complete loss of words on Henry’s part as he did not want to believe what had just happened. This, however, only served to confirm what Henry had feared as he found it harder to look Rohan in the eyes. With disbelief in his heart, Henry turned to Tori and motioned for her to leave with him. She got up and left with Henry as the two just wanted to leave the restaurant as fast as they could. Once outside, Henry took out his frustration on a nearby trash can. He was about to kick it over when Tori stopped him.

“Henry, I think it’s about time we headed back to the hotel,” Tori said. “It’s not that far of a walk.”

Henry regained his composure and faced Tori. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I was almost about to lose it back there… I still can’t believe what just happened.”


“Damn it, what is Rohan even thinking?” Henry asked.

“I know,” Tori replied. “But there’s not much that we can really do right now, is there?”

“I want to believe that Rohan was just stressed and that Bradley was just drunk, but that whole encounter really made me mad,” Henry said. “I couldn’t even begin to imagine what would happen if it continued for much longer…”

“Listen to me, Henry,” Tori said as she rested both of her hands on Henry’s arms. “Please get a hold of yourself!”

“You should be angry, Tori,” Henry replied. “I’ve heard many things about Crawford Bradley, but they were mostly second- and third-hand accounts. I’m an idiot for not seeing through him sooner!”

“I’m upset, too,” Tori said. “I’m upset at all of them, even Rohan, for not doing anything… But I don’t want you to lose your head over it. That’s not the Henry I know.”

“What the hell are we going to do, though?” Henry asked.

“Let’s go back for now,” Tori said. “Tomorrow we can go talk to Rohan.”

“You’re right,” Henry said. “I guess I did lose my cool a bit, didn’t I?”

“It’s fine,” Tori replied. “Besides, this is our vacation. We don’t have to stay here if we don’t want to. There’s a whole region to see.”

“If things sour here, then I guess I wouldn’t mind going with you and the boys to the Iiayi countryside,” Henry said.

Tori smiled. “Let’s make a note of it, then.”

Henry agreed and proceeded to walk with Tori back to the hotel where their sons were. Still, it was difficult for Henry to shake the reality of what had happened back at the restaurant. It felt more fitting of a bizarre dream that just made no sense, yet it all played out in front of Henry’s eyes. He and Tori were sure to speak with Fercewend tomorrow morning, though Henry was not sure if he would even be able to crack the seemingly impossible barrier that now existed between the two of them.


To be continued…


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Aurora – Chapter 12 (Part 2)

[19th of December, 2740 AD; the south road to Glora, Ahnlikohn]


Johan looked at the mountainous land before him as he stood outside the bus, however, he knew that there was no time for him to bask in the beautiful daylight. A more pressing matter existed and Johan could not afford to sit back. He had to make it to Glora. He had to meet with both Sorin and Jelka before the summit began. And he had to do it while going undetected by the Ameci military and Foundation. Still, Johan had the one trick up his sleeve that he knew would be of use to everyone and he kept it packed in the small bag by his side. If there was one thing that Johan was confident about moving forward, it was his secret weapon.

Nothing else could be said about the ascent to Glora, save for the fact that Johan and the other passengers were waiting for the driver to come back from his break. With little else to do at the rest stop, Johan could only wait; that and wonder where Jelka was at this moment. It had been a bit of time since the two worked together side-by-side in their efforts to stop Foundation. By now, Jelka had to have made it to Glora, Johan thought. But there was no more time for Johan to think about her. The bus driver came back and everyone followed him onto the bus as Johan did the same.

As he walked back to the bus, a fellow male passenger walked alongside Johan and took notice of the bag at his side.

“Just that bag, huh? You a drifter or something?”

“Who, me?” Johan asked. “No, this is purely for business.”

“Really? Well, suppose it’s not my business anyway,” the passenger replied. “Guess I’ll see you on the bus!”

The passenger hurried ahead of Johan as he could only shake his head. It was a harmless conversation, but Johan had to keep his secret weapon close to him. If he was going to expose Isaac Kunigunde, then there was no way he was about to let the contents inside his bag slip away from him.




[19th of December, 2740 AD; Glora Grand Hall – The Wings of the Albatross, Glora, Ahnlikohn]


“And that makes four-hundred,” Fercewend said. “Looks like everyone is accounted for, don’t you think?”

Henry let out a small chuckle. He and Fercewend stood in the hallway as they looked outside the large glass window. A vivid view of the city of Glora lay before Henry while he waited for the arrival of Tori and the kids.

“You’re the one who’s holding the list, my friend,” Henry said. “Still, are you sure about those numbers? I’m not sure why you’d need that many soldiers for a single summit.”

“You’re right about that,” Fercewend replied.

“Let me take a wild guess,” Henry said, “This has to do with that defector, doesn’t it?”

“It had only become news to me recently,” Fercewend said. “Needless to say that I was quite surprised to hear that he is still alive. As we speak, I am certain of the fact that he is actively plotting Ameci’s demise.”

“Plotting against us?” Henry asked. “How are you sure?”

“You are my friend, yet even so, there are things that I’m not at liberty to share with you,” Fercewend said. “What I will say is that I’ve already made my decision of how to handle this traitor going forward.”

Henry tried to come up with a response, but could not find the right words. True, a traitor to the Ameci military posed a major threat, especially on said to be plotting against his former military. However, Henry found himself in a difficult position, given that he too was once branded a traitor to Ameci. He knew after what had happened a few months ago, his label was lifted and he was able to go on with his life as he knew it. Henry did not know the traitor, at least not in a personal manner, though he wondered if there was a chance that he was being subject to similar circumstances.

“But I shouldn’t dwell on that right now,” Fercewend said. “After all, you didn’t come here to talk about my paperwork, right?”

“I suppose not,” Henry replied.

“You’re still waiting for Tori to get here, aren’t you?”

“That’s the idea,” Henry said. “She and the twins should’ve left the hotel by now, I think.”

Fercewend crossed his arms behind his back. “I assume you’ve got a lot planned, haven’t you?”

“We’ll see where things take us,” Henry said. “Tori was a little concerned given what happened here during the queen’s speech, but it seems to have quieted down quite a bit.”

“Yes, Ahnlikohn has gotten through the chaos,” Fercewend said. “Such a turnaround I would have never expected, but perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised when we’re dealing with the Queen of Thekohn to handle the summit.”

“We should hope it stays this way,” Henry replied.

“Right, which is why we’re going to make sure that no one interferes with the summit,” Fercewend said. “Come on, let’s walk downstairs, Henry.”

“Of course.”

Henry went with Fercewend down the stairs to the second floor. On the floor were several officials from the Iiayikohnian military, including General Roderick Reiss. He noticed Fercewend in an instant and began walking towards him.

“Ah, Rohan, looks like we’re in for a good day, aren’t we?” Reiss asked.

“Certainly looks like it,” Fercewend replied. “Just a bright day with nary a cloud in sight! As peaceful as it gets, I say.”

“You’ve got that right,” Reiss said. “I’m hoping that’s a sign of things to come, but we shall see.”

“Sounds good to me,” Henry said.

“Anyway, I suppose that we’ve yet to truly address the biggest problem that stands between us, Rohan,” Reiss said. “You’ve spoken with the commander who was responsible for the incident, have you not?”

Fercewend nodded. “I didn’t want to believe it to be true, which was I had to sit down with Bradley the other day,” he replied. “Based on the conversation, it appears that he expresses regret for the way he and his troops carried out their actions in Rezar the other night.”

“I would hope that you would implement a more disciplinary approach,” Reiss said. “You were informed of all the details, right?”

Henry had only the faintest idea of what had happened in Rezar, given he had only arrived a couple of days prior. There was no reason for him to have any sort of concern regarding the Ameci military, but Henry had concern regardless. He did not know Crawford Bradley on a personal level, but he had always been courteous whenever the two had crossed paths. Yet because of that, Henry felt that there was more to the man underneath the surface.

“I was,” Fercewend replied. “Listen, perhaps it is best that we move on. It’s in the past now, isn’t it?”

Reiss exhaled and shook his head. “I suppose you may be right,” he said. “Just make sure that a similar incident doesn’t happen again, for both of our sakes and for the sake of everyone around here.”

“Understood,” Fercewend said. “Let’s move on, Henry.”

He went down the next set of stairs. Henry followed Fercewend after giving a brief thanks to General Reiss. There was much he wondered about the current state of the Ameci military, especially after serving in it, but Henry was not sure if it was the right place to bring up such issues. He wanted to make sure Fercewend still held his head high, even with a hectic schedule like this, but Henry was not sure how he could even bring it up in the first place. As the two walked down a flight of stairs, Fercewend looked to Henry.

“Something on your mind?” Fercewend asked.

“I can’t help but wonder what just happened that night,” Henry replied. “You told me a bit about it before, but it seems that Reiss has issue with how you handled it.”

“You’re still thinking about Bradley’s troop, are you?”

“It’s not him I’m worried about,” Henry said.

“If it’s who I think you’re talking about, then don’t worry,” Fercewend replied. “Everyone that’s involved with Bradley will be stationed outside Glora, so there will be no cause for concern.”

“I want to believe you,” Henry said, “And I want to believe in Bradley and his troop.”

“You miss the role,” Fercewend said. “I understand. It’s only natural for a man to miss the fulfillment that being a soldier rewards.”

Henry shook his head. “If I’m being honest, I do miss being in the loop,” he replied, “But I don’t miss the stress involved with it. Besides, I’ve got my own path to carve out.”

“That you do,” Fercewend said. “Tell me something, Henry… You’re not just after Mayor of Admorse, are you?”

“What makes you say that?” Henry asked.

Fercewend cracked a smile. “I can tell just by looking at you,” he said. “You won’t stop at just mayor. I know that for a fact.”

“You got me,” Henry said.

“Well, if I know anything else, it’s that you’ll thrive well in the political realm,” Fercewend said. “You won’t back down from anything… Not as long as you’ve got Tori by your side!”

He laughed as the two made it to the bottom of the stairs and the first floor of the building. As if on cue, Tori was waiting near the front door with the twin boys next to her. Once she saw Henry and Fercewend walking from the stairs, she hurried over with the boys.

“There you are!” Tori said.

“Sorry I made you guys wait,” Henry replied as he greeted Tori with a kiss on the cheek. “Papa’s talk with Mr. Rohan just happened to take a little longer than expected, that’s all.”

The two boys ran up to Henry as he knelt down to embrace them. Tori smiled while Fercewend tried his best not to laugh.

“So we were thinking about getting something for lunch,” Tori said. “Surely you can come along, too, right Rohan?”

“Ah, I couldn’t possibly do it,” Fercewend replied. “This was all for you and Henry to experience… Besides, I’ve got an important meeting with the Ahnle Royal Family to attend in a few minutes.”

“Oh, that’s too bad,” Tori said.

“But if you want, I can treat you all to dinner,” Fercewend said. “It’s not much, but I assume that you’ll enjoy it anyway.”

“I don’t mind at all,” Tori said. “Do you?”

“Of course not,” Henry said, standing up. “As long as you’ve got a place in mind, we’ll see you there tonight.”

“What kind of man do you think I am if you think I don’t already have a restaurant in mind?” Fercewend asked. “Just kidding. I’ll be sure to let the people at ‘Gelden’s’ know about the party size.”

“Good to know,” Henry said. “Well, let’s not waste any more time. Let’s go, boys!”

Henry Jr. and Bradley celebrated as they hurried out of the Glora Grand Hall with Henry while Tori looked over to Fercewend. She thanked him and went on her way with Henry and the kids to the city. For Henry, though, he was still curious about the inner workings of the Ameci military, though there was little that he could do about it at the moment. All he could do was continue on with his campaign.




[19th of December, 2740 AD; Sparkling Gold Eagle Hotel – Bradley’s Room, Glora, Ahnlikohn]


Korbin gazed outside the open window. Little could be done to satisfy his boredom as Bradley and Erik entered the darkened room. If only there were a way for him to get out there on the streets and seek Johan out himself, he could. As a result, Korbin spent time staring at his sword and gun.

“Hey, Korbin, you don’t seem yourself lately,” Erik said. “You okay?”

“Just shut up,” Korbin exclaimed. “Just shut the fuck up!”

“I know you want to find him, but we’ve still got a job to do,” Bradley said. “Our job may not be fun, but we at least have to hold up this front before our plan goes into action.”

“Your plan, you mean,” Korbin said.

“Tch, I’ve told you, it’s all part of our benefit,” Bradley replied. “Besides, I’m sure that traitor will stick his neck out sooner or later.”

Korbin growled. It was then at that moment the door opened. In walked Isaac Kunigunde while two security guards stood outside. Both Bradley and Erik turned and bowed to the man while Korbin continued to stare out of the window. Nothing would faze him, he thought.

“Hope I’m not interrupting anything, fellows,” Isaac said.

“No, of course not, Mr. Kunigunde!” Erik said. “We’re completely honored you stopped by!”

“Yes, that’s exactly it,” Bradley said. “The rest of the troop isn’t here right now, but I can go get them if you want!”

“Crawford, you don’t need to worry,” Isaac replied. “I’ve already spoken with your father… He would be proud if he saw you right now.”

“He would?” Bradley asked.

“After all he’s done for me, it’s the least I can do,” Isaac said. “Which is why I will inform you of something vital. Korbin Mars, can you hear me? You should listen to what I have to say, too.”

It was then that Isaac unveiled a secret plan that came straight from Casper himself. As Isaac started to go into detail, Korbin turned his attention over to Isaac. His interest was piqued at the new mission given to him by Bradley’s father and it was all thanks to Isaac. Korbin had a desire to laugh, but chose not to do so at the moment. No, his laughter would be saved for much later. Whether or not Johan showed his face did not matter now, because Korbin was going to use this mission in order to draw him out.

“Well, did you get all of that?” Isaac asked. “Don’t let your fellow Ameci down, boys.”


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Sundown – Chapter 50 (Part 1)

[18th of November, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Outside Thedam Castle]


It did not take long for Rain and Mina to find Eva, who was standing near the front gate of the castle grounds. Eva faced the large tree by the gate as Rain and Mina came closer. Rain did not want to unsettle Eva, which was why she kept herself at a distance and called out to Eva.

“Are you okay?” Rain asked.

“I’m fine,” Eva replied. “You don’t need to worry yourself with me… I’m going to be just fine, okay? Please, go on about your day and forgot I ever said anything, Your Majesty…”

“Eva, please, I know you think you may be a burden, but I promise that you’re anything but,” Rain said. “You’ve been beyond helpful in training Dustin and Gamal, and I never made a big decision without first seeking your insight. You’re not useless at all.”

“I know you’re trying to be nice, Rain,” Eva said. “After all, that’s what you are. Being here clearly states that and has only reminded me of how lowly I am. I may as well not be here.”

“You aren’t lowly at all,” Mina said, “Because… Because that’s not who you are at all! You’re somebody who isn’t afraid to face her fears and doesn’t break at the first sign of danger; that’s not something that a ‘lowly’ person would do, is it, Eva?”

“Please just stop,” Eva replied. “I know that you two are trying your best, but please… please just leave me be.”

“At this point, I can’t turn away from you,” Rain said. “At least not until I know what’s troubling you.”

“I already told you,” Eva said, “It’s nothing. I’ll be okay.”

“I know that that’s not it,” Rain replied. “Mina and I can see from here that there’s something going on. If you truly don’t want us to know, then I won’t press any further and I’ll let you go.”

“You would do that?” Eva asked. “I… I don’t even know what I can say to that…”

Rain sighed. “I bet that if I ask everyone to describe you, they would say the same thing,” she said, “That you’re strong and they would be right. But what truly matters, though, is how you exhibit that strength.”

“I believe in you, Eva,” Mina said. “I know Sorin does, too, and so do Gavin and Law. Everybody does… even if you don’t!”

Eva looked down at the ground. “I appreciate your concern, but you two are just wasting your breaths,” she replied. “Someone like me doesn’t deserve to be called strong. In fact, it would probably be a lot better if I didn’t exist.”

“That’s wrong,” Mina replied, “Because I don’t think that that’s true!”

“Hold on, Mina,” Rain said. “Perhaps it’s better if we approached this a little differently.”

“If you think so, then I’ll let you go ahead,” Mina said.

“Very well,” Rain replied. “Eva… can I ask you something?”

“What is it?” Eva asked.

Rain took one step towards Eva. “Why do you believe that? Why do you that it would be better if you didn’t exist?”

“It doesn’t matter,” Eva said. “No matter what I do, nothing changes. Even when I try to sleep, the same thoughts repeat endlessly. I really don’t want you to keep worrying about me… because I’ll take care of it myself.”

“What does that mean?” Rain asked.

“It means that I’ll be fine,” Eva replied. “Goodbye.”

Eva did not speak another word as she headed out through the main gates. Mina attempted to follow after her, but Rain stopped her before she could. The two watched as Eva continued to hurry off into the city.

“Why aren’t we following after her?” Mina asked.

“I think she needs time alone,” Rain said. “I can imagine that the recent events have taken a toll on her and as much as I wish I could help, I don’t know what else I could really say?”

“But I’m afraid that Eva might do something,” Mina said. “I don’t know what, but it makes me worried.”

“I’m worried too, but I don’t think that she’s going to do anything drastic,” Rain said. “Just give her some time.”

“Okay,” Mina said. “If there’s nothing we can do, then I guess that you’re probably right.”

“I hope so,” Rain replied.

Nothing else could be said. Whatever was on Eva’s mind, it was clear that she did not want to talk about it and Rain acknowledged that. Rain hoped that in the future, Eva would be more willing to open up, but she had no clue if that would happen. All Rain could do now was go on with her life while everybody else went on with theirs. That was when she looked to Mina, who keep staring in the direction that Eva left, and held her hand.

“You know, it is getting close to lunch time,”Rain said. “Why don’t we just go back for now and eat? I could go for some food right now.”

Mina looked at Rain as a huge smile formed on her face. “Yeah, we can do that! I haven’t even eaten since breakfast!”

“I’m so glad to hear that you haven’t lost your appetite,” Rain said. “Well then, shall we go?”




[18th of November, 2740 AD; Eva Bellamy’s house, Admorse, Ameci]


Kirk looked around the empty house. He knew it had been some time since Eva decided to stay longer in the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn, but even so, Kirk felt the loneliness growing. He wondered to himself if she was feeling the same way. No, Kirk was certain that Eva was also feeling lonely and he only wished that he was there for her. Yet, he also knew that the reason she had decided to stay was not because she did not like him, but because she was afraid of growing attached to him in only a few months.

“I’m sorry, Kirk,” Eva told him, “I love you, but I’m afraid I can’t do this… It feels all too sudden.”

“Take as much time as you need,” he said. “Whenever you’re ready to come home, just let me know.”

That was what he said to her and since then, it felt like years since Kirk last heard Eva’s voice. He could only wonder how she was coping by herself, but still, he could not bring himself to contact her. Kirk walked into the empty bedroom where he and Eva slept, which only served to remind him of the happy moments he had with her and the moments that were not as happy as well. Kirk sighed as he sat on the edge of the bed.

“It’s really been some time, hasn’t it?” Kirk asked.

But he was not able to delve deeper into that train of thought as the doorbell rang off in the distance. Kirk jumped up to his feet and gazed down the hallway and began walking towards the front door. He had no idea who was on the other side, but Kirk opened the door anyway. Henry Randolph stood on the other side of the door with Tori.

“Henry? Tori? What brings you two here?” Kirk asked.

“Well, we’re just wondering how you’re doing by yourself,” Henry said. “How are you, Kirk?”

“I’m doing quite well, thank you,” Kirk said. “I assume it’s about the same for you and Tori?”

“Pretty much,” Henry replied. “I just got back from visiting Dia Kuu and now we’re going to go to city.”

“Oh, do you two have a lunch date or something?” Kirk wondered.

“No, that’s not it,” Tori said. “It concerns Henry’s campaign for Admorse. We’re busy getting signatures.”

Kirk tilted his head to the side. “Signatures?”

“If I’m going to run, then I’ll need about five hundred signatures,” Henry explained. “We’ve already got one hundred and fifty, but that’s not going to be enough when we get to the deadline.”

“And the deadline falls on the first day of the new year,” Kirk said. “If I know you, you’ll get there before the beginning of next month.”

“You really think so?” Tori asked. “I should have expected you would say that, Kirk. Oh, here, why don’t you sign as well?”

Tori reached into her bag and produced a board with a few sheets of paper attached. Kirk took it from her and looked through each sheet, already with so many signatures written down. He took the pen and signed on one of the blank lines and handed the board back to Tori, who smiled and put it back into her bag. Henry reached out to Kirk and shook his hand.

“Thank you,” Henry said. “You know, perhaps we can work together on this campaign. That’s if you want to, of course.”

“It sounds interesting,” Kirk replied. “I suppose there’s a way for both of us to help Ameci and this would be a good way to do it.”

“So you’ll do it, then?” Tori asked.

“Give me a day or so,” Kirk said. “I will definitely call you once I’ve made my decision.”

“Well, I can’t wait to hear it,” Henry said.

“I think this will work out well for you, either way,” Kirk said. “Anyway, Tori, how are you coming along?”

“We’re doing well,” Tori replied.

“Yes, it’s been almost three months,” Henry said. “The boys are pretty excited about it, too.”

“I’m glad to hear that,” Kirk said. “I hope that it all goes well for you.”

“Thank you,” Tori said.

“Yeah, thanks,” Henry said. “Well, I guess we shouldn’t hold you up for any longer and besides, we should be getting back on the road…”

“Go on, then,” Kirk said. “I don’t want to get in your way of becoming mayor, do I?”

“You’re not in the way at all,” Tori replied.

“I know,” Kirk said. “I’d wish you good luck but you don’t need it; you’re Henry Randolph, after all.”

Henry grinned. “Great to know you’re on my side,” he said. “Well, we’ll see you later, then! Don’t forget to let me know!”

Kirk nodded. “I won’t.”

He watched as Henry and Tori headed to their car and left for the city. For Kirk, however, he still felt as if he was not able to do much in his position. All Kirk could really do was support Henry from the sidelines and wait for Eva to come home soon. Kirk then got an idea. He remembered what Henry said and wondered if it was not too late to pay Dia a visit. Kirk had no clue if his idea would even work, but there was no way of knowing unless he tried.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Sundown – Chapter 16 (Part 2)

[10th of September, 2740 AD; on board the Ameci Wysert – Amthe Ocean]


As the sun began to submerge itself under the ocean, Kirk could only think about what he might have to say at Alan’s funeral. There were many things he could say about the man who gave him an opportunity when no one else could. Even when things had gotten tough, Kirk could depend on Alan to make the right choice that would benefit everyone. He also had to wonder if Eva had heard the news by now. No, he had a feeling that she would have found out on her own.

“If only I could be there with you,” he said to himself. “I know how much he meant to you, too.”

“Hey, Kirk, you just gonna stand there on the deck like that?” Tre asked.

“I’m sorry, I was just thinking aloud.”

Tre laughed. “I get you,” he said. “I’ve been trying to cope the best I can, but still it feels like a piece of me has been ripped out.”

“I can only imagine how the others feel,” Kirk replied. “Speaking of which, where’s Lowell?”

“Probably taking a rest or something,” Tre said. “Maybe we’ll get to see the others there, too. Wonder how our friend Gamil’s doing…”

“Last I heard, he’s still working as a fisherman,” Kirk said. “Though he did say he was dealing with his bad back. Perhaps I’ll ask him if he’s planning on a change of jobs.”

“Doesn’t hurt to ask him.”

“Suppose not.”

“So what are you going to do now?” Tre asked. “I’m thinking about getting to the banquet room before it gets too late.”

“Isn’t that place open all night?”

“Well, I always like to pace myself,” Tre answered. “Get some energy and get some exercise in after. The food’s just an added bonus!”

“I guess I’ll walk with you, then,” Kirk said. “I’m not hungry right now, but I guess I’ll go down to the hull and walk around until I get tired.”

“That’s great!” Tre said. “Let’s go.”

Kirk followed Tre down inside the hull of the ship, the two passing through the doors to the banquet room. The room was well lit and had fancy tables, each one decorated with fine tablecloth and candles atop the surface. With no other option, Kirk decided to sit at one of the tables while Tre went to get some food. Off the distance, though, Kirk saw Isaac Kunigunde speaking with President Hasker at a table that was only a few feet away from where he was sitting.

“What’s this?” Kirk asked.

He looked away, but still decided to listen in anyway.

“It will be a tough request, but I’ll try to do it,” Hasker said.

“That sort of effort is not appreciated by me,” Isaac replied. “Either you will do it or you won’t, and I don’t accept someone who doesn’t do what they are asked of me. You’d do best to remember that, Piere.”

“I understand.”

“I’m glad to hear that,” Isaac said. “That’s what sets you from all the others, after all.”

“If I could ask one thing, however,” Hasker said, “Are you sure that I have to speak with him directly? I only ask because I have other places I need to be.”

“It’s the only way,” Isaac answered. “He’s a valuable ally of mine in this world. There are only so few I can trust.”

“Right, because of your aspirations,” Hasker replied.

Isaac leaned forward. “When I want to drive my car and the engine won’t start, what do I think I do?”

Hasker shook his head.

“I find the part that doesn’t work and I replace it,” Isaac said. “I simply head to the store and buy the part I need. If the parts to my ‘car’ don’t work, then I merely need to get better ones.”

“Do you believe that you have the right parts?” Hasker asked.

“I do believe so, but it’s a shaky foundation,” Isaac replied. “Say your meeting with Ahga doesn’t work out and you’re back to square one.”

“You mean for the both of us.”

“Oh no, talking with him isn’t my job,” Isaac said, “It’s yours. You and you alone will head this meeting with several of your best people alongside you. Unless they don’t happen to be the best, in which case, I would suggest you start thinking of what you’ll be doing with some more free time on your hands.”

“Sorry about that,” Hasker said. “You’re right. I should be focusing on this meeting.”

“As you should,” Isaac replied.

Hasker adjusted the collar of his shirt. “Mind if I ask what it is you’ll be doing once we’re in Iiayikohn?”

“Well, once the funeral’s said and done, I’ve got some business of my own to conduct,” Isaac said. “There’s a certain general I have to meet, for instance.”

Kirk knew that Isaac was referring to General Fercewend, but he wondered for what purpose it would be. As he continued to listen in, Tre arrived at the table with a full plate and sat down across from Kirk.

“You really don’t want anything to eat?” Tre asked. “They’ve even got some of the finest pasta here.”

“No, I’m good,” Kirk said.

Tre eyed over to the table where Isaac and Hasker were sitting. “I see what it’s about,” he said. “So what’s going on over there?”

“I’m trying not to draw too much attention to myself,” Kirk replied. “What it does seem like is that there’s some sort of meeting that’s supposed to happen.”

“Seems like it,” Tre said. “Lowell was telling me there’s probably more than meets the eye when it comes to who killed Alan. This doesn’t happen without a reason, no sir.”

“That’s true.”

“Listen, Kirk, it’s going to be rough,” Tre continued. “Alan was the reason why Iiayikohn has achieved stability after the war. He knew how to lead, how to listen, and definitely knew when to put his foot down. Make no mistake; this was an action carried out with the purpose of throwing all of that to the wayside.”

“It sounds like you’re not optimistic,” Kirk said.

“I put my body on the line so our children wouldn’t have to fight another war,” Tre replied. “God only knows how long it’s going to take until we have another ‘dispute’ that’ll lead everyone to fight again.”

“I still have faith,” Kirk said. “There’s plenty of capable people all over this world, my sons included. I know for a fact that Sorin has some great friends by his side, and Rysol is still out there somewhere.”

“That’s good to hear from you,” Tre said. “Maybe you’re right. The younger ones are going to be the ones leading the way in the future, so maybe I oughta take your initiative and have some faith as well!”

Tre laughed as he began to eat. Because of that, Kirk turned his focus back over to Isaac and the president, who were just finishing up their conversation.

“So I expect that everything will go well, yes?” Isaac asked.

“Of course you can,” Hasker said.

“Good,” Isaac said. “It would quite a shame if things were to go awry because one man couldn’t do what he was asked of.”

“Please… you don’t have to worry,” Hasker replied.

“I know several people due to my work in the manufacturing industry,” Isaac said. “Some of them have created some very useful tools. Tools that can be used for combat, for instance.”

“I’m not sure I get what you’re saying,” Hasker said.

“I’m saying that if you fail, perhaps you and your family would like to see firsthand how these tools work,” Isaac replied. “Ah, but maybe I’m saying too much. Seems like those two over there have their time preoccupied while we talked. You have a good day, Piere.”

Isaac stood up. He walked over to the table where Kirk and Tre sat at and leered at the two. Kirk directed his view at Isaac, who appeared to tower over the two men.

“Can I help you?” Kirk asked.

“I wonder what it is that brings you to eavesdrop on my conversation,” Isaac said. “Perhaps it’s because you’ve got nothing better to do?”

“You were speaking in a public place,” Kirk said. “Anyone could’ve heard you talk from a mile away.”

“Please save the smart talk for later,” Isaac replied. “Where’s that pitiful bald coot you were with?”

“If you’re talking Lowell, he’s taking a nap,” Tre said. “I bet he would’ve loved to see you, though!”

“Do you intend on not taking me seriously?” Isaac asked. “Should remind you of what’s at stake once we arrive in Rezar?”

“You don’t need to worry about that,” Kirk replied. “I think it’s pretty obvious what’s going to happen once we get there.”

“Your overconfidence will only serve as your downfall, Mr. Wilk,” Isaac said. “I think that you should be more cognizant of your position in this whole thing, because if you do not then it will only make things worse for you.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Kirk said. “So what sort of business do you have with our friend General Fercewend?”

“That’s not for you to know,” Isaac replied. “If you really care, maybe you would ask him yourself, though I doubt that you would even be able to get an answer out of him on this trip.”

“Do you ever try being nice?” Tre asked.

Isaac turned away. “It seems that our conversation is over,” he said. “I expect that neither of you will be bothering me for the rest of this trip, otherwise I will be quite upset.”

He hurried back over to the other table and left Kirk and Tre to themselves. Tre appeared to be finished with his dish as Kirk got up from his chair. There seemed to be nothing else he could do right now, so Kirk decided that now was a good time for him to go lay down. The trip to Rezar would be over in a few more days, so there was not much that he could do for the moment. He had to wonder, though, what was going on now that Alan was gone.




[11th of September, 2740 AD; Ameci Embassy, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


In the late night, Henry Randolph headed to the main lobby of the embassy and gazed at the phone sitting on the table. He picked up the receiver and began to dial the number to his home in hopes that Tori would pick up. As the phone started to ring, Henry sat down and wondered what news she had for him this time. The next ring stopped midway as a voice familiar to Henry came through.

“Hello?” Tori asked.

“Hi, it’s me,” Henry said.

“Oh, you finally called!” Tori said. “I was getting nervous because it must be really late over there right now. I’m glad you didn’t forget.”

“I could never forget about you, you know.”

“I’m only kidding, Henry,” she replied. “You must have worked pretty hard today, didn’t you?”

“Well, we had a meeting earlier today,” Henry said. “Rohan wanted to discuss our next course of action now that one of our men has been rescued. Seems we have some business back over in Ahnlikohn.”

“And you were just there, right?”

“Looks like they’re having a summit,” Henry answered. “I wonder if they’re just waiting for President Hasker to show before they can start.”

“Whatever it is, I’m sure it’ll be okay,” Tori said.

“Yeah, I think so too.”

“Okay, well, anyway… I’ve got some news I want to share with you,” she said. “You remember the day before you left, right?”

“Yeah, I do,” Henry replied. “What about it?”

“You remember what I told you late that night, don’t you?”

“I recall that you were talking about the future of our sons,” he answered. “They look up to me quite a bit even though they’ve known me for so little.”

“That’s because you’re their father, of course!” Tori said. “And of course, a father would have to be a great role model for his children, including the one that hasn’t been born yet.”

Henry’s eyes widened. “You don’t mean what I think you mean, do you?”

“I do,” she replied. “I’ve been waiting to tell you for when you got back, but I just couldn’t hold it any longer.”

“That’s… that’s great!” Henry said.

“It really is,” Tori said. “If only you were here right now, though…”

“Don’t worry,” he said, “I’m not going to miss seeing the birth of my child, not this time. I don’t care what happens, you can rest assured that I’ll be there with you when that time comes.”

“Just hearing you say that makes me happy.”

“I know,” Henry said. “By the way, do Bradley and Junior know yet?”

“They’ve already been told,” Tori answered. “It just didn’t feel right not being able to tell you until you got back.”

“Well, now you did and now I can’t wait,” he said.

General Fercewend appeared from the hallway and entered the lobby. He eyed Henry in a way that told him that he needed to talk. Henry nodded and turned back to the phone so he could finish his call.

“I wish I could talk to you all night, but it looks like Rohan wants to talk with me,” Henry said. “I’ll call you as soon as I can, okay?”

“I understand,” Tori said. “Good luck.”

“Thank you.”

Henry exchanged his goodbyes with Tori and hung up. With nothing else to do, he got up and approached Fercewend. There was a concerned look upon Rohan’s face as Henry wondered what had happened.

“Is something the matter, Rohan?” Henry asked.

“I really hate to interrupt your conversation, but it’s important,” Fercewend said. “You wouldn’t have happened to have seen Mars, have you?”

Henry shook his head. “Not a trace,” he said. “I thought he was to report to you today.”

“Normally I wouldn’t make too much of a note of this, but it’s the third time he’s been tardy to my call,” Fercewend said. “That and the fact that he has been running off during the day when we need him during missions.”

“Right, but then again, it might be hard to punish him given who his father is,” Henry replied.

“No matter what happens, I’m not scared of Harold,” Fercewend said. “As the general of the Ameci military, I won’t be swayed by a man just because he has more money than I.”

“And that’s why people think so highly of you,” Henry said. “So what are you suggesting that I do about Korbin?”

Fercewend closed his eyes and thought to himself. “Next time you see him, just keep an extra eye on him,” he said. “Perhaps you should enlist the help of another soldier to see what exactly Mars is up to when he runs off.”

“I’ll try to do that, Rohan,” Henry said. “Pretty sure that I can find someone who can do this task for you.”

“I’d expect nothing less from you,” Fercewend replied. “Well, I leave this task in your capable hands. Good night, Henry.”

“Same to you.”

Fercewend departed as Henry turned away. There was a new task on the horizon for him, though Henry wondered if it was true that Rohan did not fear Harold Mars. That was something he would for another time, however, because now Henry had a lot to wonder about as well as a new addition to his family.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Sundown – Chapter 3 (Part 2)

[29th of August, 2740 AD; Red Rose Grille, Admorse, Ameci]


The still, early night set the stage as the four arrived at the restaurant. Henry and Tori walked together while Eva trailed behind Kirk. However, there appeared to be a long line coming out of the open doorway as Henry stopped and looked to see how long it was.

“Looks like we have an unexpected development,” Henry said.

“We could always go somewhere else,” Tori replied. “It doesn’t have to be here. All we’re doing is catching up with our friends, right?”

“No, I want to make this special,” he said. “It’s the least I could do for them.”

“It’s fine,” Eva said. “I want to go somewhere else, anyway.”

“Seriously, let us do this for you,” Henry replied. “When was the last time you dined at a fine establishment like this?”

He directed his attention towards the restaurant itself. According to Tori, it had only just opened two months ago but it was already one of the premier places to go in the city. As it was named after meaning of the city’s name, the Red Rose Grille was one of the places that everyone wanted to go to. Its red walls and bright lights made it stand out in a city that was known for standing out.

“You don’t need to do all of this,” Eva answered. “We could just eat hamburgers near the park or split a pizza or something like that. Where we eat honestly doesn’t matter.”

“What about you, Kirk?” Henry asked. “Surely you think this would be a nice place for us?”

“Don’t put me up to this,” Kirk said. “Like her, I honestly don’t care. We could eat here or not.”

Tori placed her hand on Henry’s arm. “I think we should respect their wishes,” she said. “I know you’re setting off tomorrow, but it’s not really about where we eat, is it?”

“You’re right,” he said. “Sorry about that.”

“Don’t be,” Kirk replied. “Anyway, what’s this about you leaving tomorrow?”

Henry explained, in the most basic terms possible, his trip overseas. Nothing mentioned about the search for Mr. Kuu, but instead attending the meeting with the general.

“That’s quite a task,” Kirk said, “But I’m happy to see that you’re acclimating to your position.”

“It is a tall task, but I’m sure I can handle it,” Henry said. “I’m interested to see how things are now in Rezar, ever since that day.”

“Knowing Alan, he’s already taken care of it,” Eva said. “There’s little to no doubt on his ability to lead, so that would have been easy for him.”

“What about you two?” Tori asked. “Are you doing anything interesting, Kirk?”

“I’m on a break right now,” he replied, “But I do have a plan for later… Ameci needs heroes of her own and I want to be a part of that group.”

“That’s great to hear!” Tori said. “What about you, Eva?”

“It’s something I have to think about,” she said. “I haven’t been part of a group like that in a long time…”

“So what have you been doing, then?” Tori wondered.

Eva looked off into the distance. “Most of the time I’ve been training in my backyard,” she replied. “No particular reason, just want to keep my skills sharp.”

“That’s great, Eva,” Tori said. “You always look like you’re so strong and I really admire that about you!”

Eva scoffed. “It’s… not really something to admire, personally…”

“I’m not sure what you mean by that,” Tori said.

“It means that you shouldn’t place your admirations in someone like me,” Eva replied. “To be blunt, I would rather you didn’t at all. I’m just nobody.”

There was a brief break of silence as Henry watched the line coming out of the restaurant gradually shrink. Kirk leaned in towards Eva and whispered into her ear.

“Eva, love, maybe you shouldn’t be so self-deprecating,” he said. “She’s just being nice, that’s all.”

“I’m sorry,” she said to Tori.

“Please, Eva, it’s fine if you don’t want to talk about it,” Tori said.

“No, I really do apologize,” Eva reiterated. “I apologize for giving you the impression that I was someone that I’m not.”


“Tori, you had no idea,” Eva said. “Let’s just drop it.”

Tori struggled, but responded. “O-Okay, then.”

She turned to Henry, who was already at the back of the now small line. Enough time appeared to have passed for the four to finally enter the restaurant, but waiting for a table would be a different story.

“I think we’re going to go somewhere else,” Tori said. “Come on, Henry, we’ll just go here another time.”

Henry sighed. “Looks like it’s going to be that way,” he said. “Very well, we’ll head off.”




After some time spent walking through in the Gardner district, the four settled on a small diner that served everyone’s needs well. Once everyone was finished with their meals, Eva decided to head outside for some fresh air. In reality, she needed time alone after what had happened. The night sky was clear as Eva sat on one of the benches in front of the restaurant. She wouldn’t be lonely for long, though, as Henry decided to join her on the bench.

“You don’t mind, do you?” Henry asked.

Eva shook her head. “I’m not going to stop you.”

“So it would seem,” Henry said. “Did you enjoy dinner?”

“Yes,” she replied. “Normally I don’t get to go out often, so this was a nice break from the norm.”

“Glad to hear it,” he said.

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Henry said. “Do you mind if I ask you a question?”

“Do I mind? Well… no,” Eva answered.

“I guess it’s not so much a question as much as it is me wondering,” he said. “What happened earlier between you and Tori… Is everything okay with Kirk?”

“Excuse me?”

“Sorry, I should rephrase that,” Henry said, “Are you doing okay?”

“Why are you asking me about that?” Eva asked.

“Because I care,” he replied. “Kirk is a friend of mine, as are you.”

“Even if you’re my friend, I don’t have to answer your question,” Eva said. “Don’t you have something more important to worry about?”

“I do have more important things to worry about,” he said, “But if something is wrong, I want to try and help you if I can.”

“You really want to help?” Eva asked. “Why is my well-being such a concern to you?”

“Not too long ago, I went through some dark times,” Henry replied. “I felt too cowardly to confront my problems head on. I even felt like giving up at times, but I ended up getting support from the people who care about me.”

“I’m happy to hear that,” she said, “But I can’t really say what I’m dealing with is similar to what you went through. It’s just complicated and I can’t explain it even if I tried to.”

“I know how much it can hurt,” Henry said. “Sometimes it feels like a never ending waterfall of despair and you keep getting drenched in it. Even if you don’t want my help, the least I can do is offer my sympathy.”

Eva could only look down at the ground. “Thanks,” she replied. “I want to tell you something.”

“What’s that?”

“Good luck on your trip,” she said.

“Thank you, Eva,” Henry said. “I think I’m going to need it.”


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Sundown – Chapter 3 (Part 1)

[28th of August, 2740 AD; Eva Bellamy’s house, Admorse, Ameci]


It was a warm morning as Eva yawned. She had just put on her eyepatch while Kirk lay by her side. Ever since the battle of Bel, her life had returned to normal. Only this time, she was not alone. That made her happy, she hoped.

“When you sit up like that with the light behind you,” Kirk said, “I can’t think of anything more beautiful than that.”

“You’re already going off on poetics, it looks like,” she said.

“There’s a lot more I could say,” he replied.

“I’m sure you can,” Eva said. “Your tongue is quite skilled…”

Kirk laughed as he placed his hand on Eva’s back. “That’s still going through your mind, isn’t it?”

“You know just how to press my buttons,” she replied. “It’s a double-edged sword, but when it’s good, I just lose it. You should hope that it stays that way.”

“Indeed,” he said. “Anyway, there was one thing I wanted to talk to you about.”

“What’s that?”

“When I was in the kitchen last night, I thought I heard you crying,” Kirk said. “Eva, I can’t read your mind, but are you still thinking about what happened six months ago?”

Eva turned away, her back facing him as she sighed.

“You don’t have to answer,” he said. “I care about you, that’s all.”

“No, it’s fine,” she replied. “It just hurts is all. I just hate feeling like I was too weak to stop what happened to him.”

“But you did stop it,” Kirk said. “At least you stopped his killer.”

She shook her head. “That wasn’t even me who did that, you know.”

“Maybe so, but you did deal with that man personally,” he replied. “I couldn’t have done that.”

“Of course you wouldn’t,” Eva said. “That’s just who you are: a strong, kind man who wouldn’t dare take a life.”

Kirk sat up and moved closer towards Eva. He reached from behind and wrapped his arms around her as she accepted his gesture.

“Part of me hates you because of that,” she continued. “No matter what I can do, I’m always going to be known simply as ‘Eva the killer’ and nothing more.”

“It’s just a stupid name.”

“That’s easy for you to say,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter what happened in the past,” Kirk said. “What matters is what happens going forward.”

“Yeah, well I’m sick of it,” she replied. “I wish I could be as optimistic as you, but I can’t. Barely anything phases me anymore.”


“Last night was the first time I cried in forever,” she said. “Belkley was one of the few bright spots in my life and when he was taken out, I could only feel intense fury. Fury that I carried out on the person responsible, and after that… nothing.”

“You know you’re not alone,” Kirk said. “That’s a pain I know all too well.”

“There’s still Sorin,” she replied. “You have him. Right now, all I have is you… If something happened to you, I don’t know if I would have the will to keep on living.”

“That’s not true,” Kirk said. “You have many people who care about you, Eva, myself included. My son thinks very highly of you, as I am sure the others do as well.”

She closed her eye as she rested the back of her head into his chest. “Are you really this stubborn?” Eva asked. “You probably think that you can solve everybody’s problems, don’t you?”

“I just want to see you be happy,” he replied.

“I do too,” she said. “I just wish I remembered how to do it.”

Eva placed her hands on his as he moved his other hand to her head. As she turned sideways, Kirk patted her head and stroked her hair.

“Until I can, please promise me you won’t fight again,” she said. “That’s all I ask of you, Kirk.”

“For you, I promise.”

“Okay,” she replied.

At that point, it was obvious to Eva that she wanted him to be close to her for much longer. The morning started to pass by, but for this instance she just had to be close to him. What had to be done later, though, was something that Kirk had to worry about.


[28th of August, 2740 AD; downtown Admorse – Gardner District]


Kirk strolled into the department store for some groceries. It was the first time he had done so in a while, given what he had been doing for the past few years. With the past behind him, though, Kirk wanted to make something for dinner for him and Eva. She had no desire at all to go with him, so he decided to go it alone. At least he was on his own until he bumped into Tori Randolph at the front of the store.

“Kirk, is that you?” Tori asked.

He chuckled. “You found me.”

“It’s been a while,” she said. “What are you doing here?”

“Oh, just doing the rounds,” Kirk replied. “You know, get food… make it… eat it.”

“Is Eva around? She’s usually by your side,” Tori said.

“She didn’t want to come,” he said. “Had to take care of the house.”

“Well, if you two aren’t busy, perhaps you can join us sometime,” Tori replied. “Henry and I would like to catch up with you two if that’s okay with you.”

Kirk smiled. “I would love to,” he said.

“Then how about tomorrow night?” Tori asked. “We were actually going to have plans with Rohan and his wife Umida, but he had a change of plans.”

“I don’t have anything coming up tomorrow, so why not? I’m sure I can convince Eva to come along.”

“Please do,” she said. “I want to know how you two are doing.”

“Okay, I’ll try.”

“Great!” Tori said. “Then we’ll see you tomorrow night.”

She then said goodbye to Kirk and went on her way while he continued his task of selecting the right ingredients for dinner. Kirk did wonder how Henry was doing now that he was re-enlisted with the Ameci military. Certainly there was a story in there somewhere, though Kirk would have to find out from Henry himself tomorrow.


[29th of August, 2740 AD; Ameci Military Headquarters, Admorse, Ameci]


It had been another day of rigorous training for Henry Randolph as he struck the punching bag with punch after punch. The sound of his bare fists hitting the black leather could be heard all across the gym as Henry proceeded to follow up by delivering a roundhouse kick to the bag. After he got the punching bag to move a decent amount, Henry saw it fit to take a brief intermission from his training and sat down on the wooden bench nearby.

Henry had only just been re-enlisted just over a month ago, thanks to his friend Rohan Fercewend being generous enough to find him a spot within the military as a junior lieutenant. There were some opposed to the motion, but many of the soldiers accepted Henry back into the ranks.

Right now, Henry could only think of what he wanted to do after his training was finished. That was when Rohan entered the gym.

“Randolph, I take it you’re faring well in your rounds?”  Fercewend asked.

“You know me well,” Henry said. “It’s been quite a long time, so I’ve had a lot of catching up to do.”

Fercewend laughed a deep laugh as he took a seat next to Henry. “That’s good to hear,” he said. “Some of these new recruits could learn a thing or two from you.”

“I’m flattered,” Henry said. “Sadly I’m not nearly as great a leader as you are, general.”

“Come now,” Fercewend replied, “Rank doesn’t matter between friends. Call me Rohan.”

“Very well,” Henry said. “What brings you here, Rohan? Is it something important?”

“You could say that,” he said. “There is a matter that the Ameci government must attend to in Iiayikohn, so I have been invited along.”

Henry could only guess that it had to do with what had happened in Maeitakohn back in April. Namely the matter of Rodik Mahrk, the new president that took over after the previous president, Rhodes, died.

“I know very little about this new president of Maeitakohn,” Fercewend said. “All I know was that he was the vice president for only a year.”

“So I assume that you will be meeting with him?” Henry asked.

“That’s the plan, it seems,” Fercewend replied. “Hasker stated that it was important for our militaries to cooperate with one another if another ‘incident’ were to happen again.”


“Apparently, the princess from the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn is supposed to attend as well,” Fercewend said. “It was a while since I last stepped foot into that country, but I am glad to see that they too are deciding to come forward.”

“The Thedam princess,” Henry said. “I thought that they didn’t involve themselves in prominent international affairs, though.”

“Looks like it’s different this time.”

“I can see that,” Henry replied.

“They say she’s quite a skilled orator, even at her age,” Fercewend said. “I look forward to hearing from her myself.”

“I wish you luck,” Henry said, “But I assume that this wasn’t why you wanted to me. So what is it that you want from me, then?”

“What I ask from you is to attend this meeting with me,” Fercewend answered. “You’re someone I can trust, so that is why I am asking you specifically to join my side. In addition, there is something else I must ask of you.”

“And that is?”

“An Ameci soldier has gone missing,” Fercewend said. “A young man by the name of Johan Kuu… For a time, he was an excellent spy, but no one has heard from him for a month now.”

“Do you know what happened to him?” Henry asked.

“Kuu was last seen when we were in Ahnlikohn,” he replied. “I don’t know where he has gone, but I am worried that there is more than meets the eye with his disappearance.”

“How so?”

“There has been a bit of a conflict between Hasker and Chancellor Harring,” Fercewend said. “I am hoping that what happened to Kuu doesn’t become something more between our two nations.

“The chancellor is an understanding man,” Henry said.

“That is true, Henry,” Fercewend replied. “What I’m worried about, however, is how this will go over should the royal family of Ahnlikohn get involved.”

“I’m sure that you and Hasker will handle it if that road is crossed.”

Fercewend smirked. “Oh, don’t worry about me,” he said. “Now, my mission for you is simple: I want you to lead a rescue operation into Ahnlikohn. I have no idea if he is still there, but your search for Johan Kuu begins there.”

“I assume that it’ll not be easy,” Henry said. “You chose quite a tough mission for someone who’s only just been re-enlisted.”

“If I didn’t believe in my men, what would would that say about my ability as general?” Fercewend asked. “Better yet: if I didn’t believe in you, how could I ever call myself your friend?”

Henry clenched his fist and grinned as he looked at Rohan. “I wouldn’t expect you to say anything else,” he replied. “Of course I will carry out this mission. I will find Mr. Kuu, that I promise you.”

“I’m glad to hear that, Henry.”

Fercewend stood up and turned towards the door. The sunlight was pouring through the glass as it slowly turned to the evening.

“Now, the ship leaves tomorrow,” he said. “You’ve proven yourself in this gym today, so I would suggest that you go home and get some rest.”

Rohan left the gym as Henry chuckled. It was true, he thought, because there was nothing more that he needed to prove against an opponent that could not move. No, Henry needed to prove his newfound worth out in the field. It was funny since only a few months ago, Henry felt hopeless about the future, but now everything was looking good for him. He found a place back where he once was, he married Tori and had a family to go home to each night. Perhaps it was luck favoring him, but also perhaps it was because Henry had good friends that had supported him when things were at their worst.

“I should get going,” he said. “I promised her that I’d only train for an hour…”


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Chapter 18 – Part 2 (BOOK ONE FINALE)

[2740 AD; Executive Hotel – Ballroom Number One]


The place was filled with many members of the Iiayikohnian military as Ayanna’s celebration kicked off. Along with the military, Ayanna’s family was there was well. Sorin and Gale entered the ballroom as they watched the two young twin Ansa brothers ran past them.

An older man yelled at the two children. “Get back here!”

He bumped into Sorin, who was distracted by the lights and music.

“Sorry,” Sorin said.

“Ah, you’ve got nothing to be sorry about,” the man said. “Wait, ain’t you that Ameci soldier Ayanna’s been talking about?”

“Who, me?” Sorin asked.

“Yeah,” the man replied. “That soldier… what did she say his name was? Kevin? I have to apologize, boy, my memory ain’t the best around.”

“No worries,” Sorin said. “Also, it’s Gavin, and no, I am not him.”

“Well, Ayanna did mention a couple of other young men,” the man said. “Are you Steven?”

“Sorin,” Gale said.

The old man laughed. “That’s some name,” he said. “In case you haven’t found out, I’m Ayanna’s papa: Thabo Ansa!”

Sorin shook Thabo’s hand, as did Gale. “Nice to meet you, sir,” Sorin said.

“Gale Kunigunde,” she said.

“So what’s got you coming here?” Thabo asked.

Gale explained to Thabo about how they were invited by Mina. “She was insistent about it,” Gale said, “And we kind of wanted to come, too.”

“So it was that Mina girl who invited you,” Thabo said. “That girl, I tell you… She can really put it away!”

He laughed as Sorin tried to join in. “Yeah, it really does seem that way,” Sorin said.

“A big surprise coming out of a girl like her,” Thabo said. “That Mina, she makes other ladies jealous by how fit she is!”

“I think we get it, Mr. Ansa,” Gale said. “Have you seen Ayanna, by the way? We’d like to congratulate her.”

“She’s just out on the balcony,” he replied. “Apparently some guy wearing a fancy hat and crutches just came up to her and started yakking to her.”

“Sounds like Law,” Sorin said. “Thank you, sir.”

“No problem, Sorin!” Thabo replied. “I’m about to head back to my lady Amira, so if you ever want to talk to me again, let me know!”

Gale nodded. “We’ll let you know,” she said. “Shall we, Sorin?”

“Okay,” he said.

They moved past the tables and towards the balcony where Ayanna was listening to one of Law’s tales. He had already taken a seat by the railing while Ayanna stood next to him. While Law wore a gray suit, Ayanna wore a green dress.

“Well, Ayanna, that’s how I ended up winning that game of chess,” Law concluded. “Of course, I managed to get punched in the face afterwards, but it was worth it.”

“I really don’t know what I expected,” Ayanna said. “As for myself, I think I’m going to head back inside…”

She then spotted Gale and Sorin standing by the door.

“It looks like Mina was able to convince you,” Ayanna said. “I’m glad. How are you two?”

“I’m doing well,” Sorin replied.

“Same here,” Gale said.

“Have you met Gavin already?” Ayanna asked.

“We haven’t,” Gale replied, “However, we did meet your father. He was pretty nice to us.”

“Oh, you have, have you?” Ayanna said. “I can only imagine how he managed to mangle your name.”

“I didn’t mind,” Sorin said.

Law chuckled. “That old man gave me a hell of a pat on the back,” he said. “I thought I was about to check into the hospital again! Ayanna, you should really tell your father not to rough me up, because I’m really delicate.”

“You were lucky enough,” Ayanna said. “I don’t think you had anything to worry about.”

“I suppose not,” Law said. “I should be nice to him, anyway, if you and I get married.”

“Out of the question,” Ayanna replied.

“That was a joke,” Law said.

“That really didn’t sound like a joke to me,” Sorin said. “You sounded quite serious.”

“That’s because you don’t have a sense of humor, Sonny,” Law said. “Maybe if you grow one, you’ll understand where I was going.”

“Where were you going with that, anyway?” Ayanna asked. “Really, I am quite curious what you meant by you and I getting married.”

Law grinned. “You know, where’s my bro, anyway? He only said he’d be gone for a minute.”

“Don’t change the subject,” Ayanna said.

“Seriously Sorin, Gale,” Law said, “Can you find him?”

“If you’re that serious, then I will go find him,” Ayanna said. “You two can stay here with him, right?”

Sorin and Gale nodded. Ayanna then went back into the ballroom as Law turned to Gale.

“So I think I might have seen your father,” Law said.

“I don’t really want to ask why,” Gale said.

“Ouch, is it that bad?” Law asked. “I guess I shouldn’t ask. Anyway, it seems like he’s already left the country.”

“He probably wants to go back home to his business,” Gale replied. “That wouldn’t be too surprising.”

“Maybe,” Law said. “What about you? Are you not going back?”

“No,” Gale answered. “I’m going to stay here for a while.”

“Is that so?” Law asked. “Maybe you should stay with me and my bro. I still can’t believe he did that, all just for me.”

“Wait, what did Gavin do?” Sorin asked.

“I guess he hasn’t told you,” Law said. “You see, he went and gave General Cue Ball his letter of resignation.”

“So what’s he going to do now?” Gale asked.

“If I knew, I’d tell you,” Law replied. “I’m sure he’ll find some work around here. That’s what he’s good at, anyway.”

“It’s much better than what you’re good at, anyway,” Gavin said. “Is this how you talk about me when I’m not around?”

Ayanna had re-entered the balcony with Gavin and Mina by her side. Gavin did not bother to wear anything special as he was still wearing his coat given to him by the Ameci military, while Mina wore a red dress with a skirt that reached down to her knees.

“Wow, Mina, I didn’t expect you to come in wearing something so nice,” Gale said. “I kind of wished that I would have done the same.”

“Hey, you see me over here dressed as I normally do and no one’s complaining,” Gavin said.

“Well, bro, that’s because you don’t realize what it means to look good,” Law said.

“Be quiet,” Gavin said.

“I told Mina that it was a special occasion,” Ayanna said, “These don’t come all the time, so she should celebrate while looking good as well. Right?”

“It’s not something I’m used to,” Mina replied, “But I don’t really mind too much… I mean, I do like it so thank you, Ayanna?”

“You’re very welcome,” Ayanna said. “So, Gavin, you’re really going to do this, then?”

“I don’t need to be in any military to prove my worth,” Gavin answered. “I’m sure there’s a calling for me out there.”

He laughed a joyous laugh.

“That’s the first time in forever that I’ve heard you laugh like that,” Law said.

“I’m starting to see what’s so great about this place,” Gavin said. “This is a new opportunity for me and you. Look out, rest of the world!”

Mina looked back at Sorin and Gale. “So, you two are coming to stay over with me, right?”

“You’ve already got a room set up for us?” Sorin asked.

“Of course!” Mina exclaimed. “My uncle has everything set up for you guys, and for Law and Gavin as well!”

“How the hell are you going to accommodate all of us?” Gavin asked.

“Don’t you know, bro?” Law asked. “You guys get your own rooms, and I get to share a bed with Mina.”

“Actually, you, Sorin, and Gavin will get a room while Gale and I can share mine,” Mina replied, “Until you find your own place, I guess!”

“I’ll pass,” Gavin said.

“For once I agree,” Law said. “Although perhaps it’s for the better. I would probably end up being too distracted by your abundant chest to even sleep, Mina.”

Gavin slapped Law on the back of his head. “You should wake up, damn it,” he said.

“Unbelievable,” Ayanna said.

“Sorry,” Law said. “I should really be thanking you guys, honestly. Especially you, bro.”

“I told you that there was no chance that Wihll stood a chance against me,” Gavin said.

“Anyway, I think we should be going,” Sorin said. “I told my father about the party and wanted to meet him here.”

“He was speaking with Henry Randolph earlier by the piano,” Gavin said.

“You saw him?” Gale asked.

“Well, he and that other woman, as well as Tori,” Gavin replied. “Maybe they’re still there.”

“Okay,” Gale said. “Thank you!”

“No problem,” Gavin said. “I assume that we’ll meet again, then.”

“That seems likely,” Sorin said.

Gavin smiled. “It’s far from over, Sorin Wilk,” he said. “If you really want to get stronger, then come see me.”

“Are you sure?” Sorin asked. “I thought that swords weren’t your specialty.”

“You know it takes a lot more than mastery of a blade to be strong!” Gavin said. “I swear, if you try playing smart with me during our training, I will kick your ass!”

“I think I’ll have to decline,” Sorin said. “Mina, maybe I’ll take you up on your offer.”

“Of course!” Mina said. “I don’t think you’ll regret it!”

“That’s interesting,” Law said, “Never thought you would be into that sort of thing, Sorin. Then again, I can see the appeal of having a lady dominate a man.”

“That’s not what I was talking about,” Sorin said.

Law snapped his fingers. “Just kidding!”

“Okay, I think we’re done here,” Gale said. “Thank you again, Ayanna!”

She and Sorin headed back inside the ballroom in hopes of finding Kirk and Eva. As Gavin said, they were talking with Henry and Tori by the piano. Kirk turned and noticed the two walking towards him.

“You two got here early, didn’t you?” Kirk asked.

“Not really,” Sorin said. “Things were already going on when we got here.”

“That sounds about right,” Henry said. “Anyway, how are you holding up, Sorin?”

“I’m feeling a lot better,” Sorin replied. “Actually, there was something I wanted to say to you.”

“What’s that?” Kirk asked.

“This place, Rezar, I want to stay here,” Sorin said. “At least until I can find Rysol. I mean, if you’re right…”

“Well, that is good to hear,” Kirk said. “It’s always good to have another set of eyes working alongside me.”

“Have you already forgotten?” Eva asked. “You’re getting older. Please just consider letting Sorin find him. Wasn’t that a plan of yours?”

“In the future,” Kirk said. “I just honestly didn’t expect it to come so soon. Most of my life was spent finding him, but to hand the baton to Sorin…”

“He can handle it,” Eva said. “He’s your son. Trust him.”

“I do trust you,” Kirk said to Sorin, “Never think that I don’t. Just promise me that you’ll be okay.”

“I will,” Sorin said. “After all, I’ve learned a lot from you on this journey.”

“That’s what I want to hear,” Kirk replied. “You had the potential, and now you’ve realized it. You’ve made me proud, Sorin.”

“Thanks,” Sorin said. “What are you going to do now?”

Kirk rubbed his chin. “Now? Go back to Ameci, I suppose,” he said. “After all, Ameci has its own problems. Me and Eva can try to make some change happen there, if possible.”

“And I would love to help, too,” Henry said. “Military or not, I want to help Ameci too.”

“So are you two leaving tomorrow as well?” Tori asked.

“Sounds like it,” Eva replied. “I have been yearning to sleep in my own bed again, but I guess that the next time I do it won’t be alone.”

“That boat leaves at noon,” Kirk said. “If we’re to get there early, we’d need to get some early sleep.”

“Sorry about that, you two,” Eva said to Sorin and Gale. “It looks like we’ll be heading off now. Perhaps we’ll see you in the morning?”

“We’ll be there,” Sorin said. “I want to see you one last time before you leave, obviously.”

“Then it’s settled,” Kirk said. “We’ll see you in the morning.”

Kirk and Eva then left the ballroom. Henry turned to Sorin and said his goodbye, as did Tori. Gale said goodbye to the two newlyweds as they left the ballroom as well. After that, Sorin looked at Gale and decided that they would spend a little more time at the party before going back to the Port Hotel.


[2740 AD; Port of Iiayi – Morning Shine]


It was a cloudless morning as the sun shined on the ocean. As the ramp to the ship opened, Kirk and Eva were with Sorin and Gale when Henry and Tori showed up. They had their bag ready as Kirk and Eva had their own as well.

“So this is where we part ways,” Kirk said.

“I wish it wasn’t like this,” Sorin said. “There’s still a lot that I want to know about you.”

“Well, if you ever feel that way, don’t be afraid to come back to Ameci,” Kirk replied. “To be honest, it’s funny how we’ve switched places, but I guess I should have seen it coming.”

“There there,” Eva said, “There will plenty of time to reflect once we’re on board.”

“And you two can come to our celebration,” Henry said.

“That would be nice,” Kirk said.

“Henry, I want to thank you,” Sorin said. “If you weren’t there with my father, I don’t know what would have happened.”

“I was just helping my friend,” Henry replied. “Even though we had our difficulties, we kept moving forward.”

“As we always do,” Kirk said. “No matter what happens, it is our nature to keep going. That’s how we’ve managed to survive.”

“Agreed,” Eva said. “I will continue to live for Belkley’s sake because I know that he’d want to see me be happy.”

“It’s too bad that he couldn’t be here to see you off,” Gale said.

“I know,” Eva replied, “Even with his killer dead, it still won’t bring Belkley back.”

“It’s like you said, though,” Kirk said, “You will continue to live for him, as I do for April. Though they’re no longer of this world, our memories of them will continue to live on.”

Eva sighed. “That is true,” she said. “I guess we’ll be heading onto the ship soon, though.”

The horn of the ship blared throughout the ports, as more people arrived to the port. As they started to board the ship, that was when Kirk turned to Sorin.

“I know that we’ll meet again,” Kirk said, “And I know that you’ll meet your brother once more. Just continue to be strong and always have hope.”

“Don’t worry,” Sorin replied, “Because I will do it.”

“Good,” Kirk said. “That’s all I wanted to say. Until next time, this is goodbye.”

Kirk headed off for the ramp as Eva turned to face Sorin and Gale.

“Seriously, thank you,” Eva said. “Even you, Henry and Tori.”

“Why us?” Tori asked.

Eva hesitated for a moment. “It’s… it’s because you were both there,” she said, “It’s always good to have people around just because.”

“Well, I’m glad that we were there for you,” Tori said.

“You’ve been so good for us, Eva,” Gale said, “We should be thanking you.”

“I know,” Eva replied. “I’m sorry, but I have to go. Bye.”

Eva rushed off onto the ramp and disappeared into the crowd with the bag in her hand.

“Your father is a good man,” Henry said to Sorin. “If that’s anything to go by, I know that you’ll be fine.”

“Gale, it was great spending time with you,” Tori said. “You too, Sorin. If you’re ever back in Ameci, you should come visit us!”

“We’ll be sure to,” Sorin said, “And thank you, Henry. I still remember when we first met. Funny how things turned out, haven’t they?”

Henry smiled. “Indeed,” he said, “But it looks like our time is up. We bid you adieu!”

Tori waved her hand to Sorin and Gale. “Goodbye!”

They climbed up the ramp to join Kirk and Eva on the ship. Sorin and Gale could only watch as more people kept boarding the ship until the last few people boarded. The port staff moved the ramp and the ship’s horn blared once more. With that, the ship began to move.

“I guess it really is goodbye,” Gale said. “Now it’s just us…”

“Yeah,” Sorin said. “My head feels like it’s in a thousand different place right now, like I’m still trying to process this.”

“Me too,” Gale said. “I… Well, I guess I only have one chance to really say this: I like you.”

“I like you, too, Gale.”

“You do?” Gale asked.

“Yes,” he replied.

“As in, you like me… more than a friend?”

Sorin took a deep breath and exhaled. “More than a friend,” he said. “Maybe it’s too early to say this, but I really do like you Gale.”

She responded by hugging him, which made him respond by doing the same. Gale had her eyes closed the entire time, but Sorin could only just look down at her.

“Are people looking at us again?” Gale asked.

“Some of them are,” Sorin answered, “But I don’t care.”

“Oh, Sorin, I feel so excited,” she said.

“I do, too,” he said. “This is more exciting, however.”

He reached down to her and grabbed the bottom of her chin. She looked up at him as he moved in to kiss her. Whatever eyes were on them, it did not matter. Sorin was happy, as was Gale. The sun continued to shine on them as neither two wanted the moment to end. It would have to end, though, as their lips separated from each other as they looked in each other’s eyes.

“I don’t even know how I did that,” Sorin said, “It felt like it came out of nowhere… What about you?”

“It was wonderful,” Gale replied. “I mean, it was my first, but it was wonderful.”

“Well, maybe we should do it again.”


“Yeah,” Sorin said, “But do you want to get something to eat first? I really haven’t had anything to eat today.”

Gale smiled. “Of course,” she replied. “What did you have in mind?”

“I don’t know,” Sorin answered, “But I’m sure that we can find something as long as we keep moving forward.”


The End… For Now.


Previous | END