Chapter 22: A Time of Solace

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San Jose, August 22nd, 20:34 p.m. PST

The victory at San Jose brought a newfound enthusiasm like never before at the UEF, now having the confidence to keep up going with the war. People, once separated, are reunited with their loved ones, both from the soldiers and civilians that were held captive in the city.

Of course, that would also mean that they need to stay focused and alert of any Zlocan activity near the region, to ensure they don't lose ground.

Nonetheless, the troops will still have their time to celebrate.

In the city, lots of people are celebrating in the streets, throwing fireworks, drinking and eating together, telling stories of what happened before the battle and what they plan to do next, all sorts of things to discuss.

But it's not limited to outdoor activities, the bars are also enjoying new arrivals from people who come to celebrate. And like in the outdoors, there is some drinking, chatting, eating, and much more. 

The Paper Plane bar is one the few with the most guests, where people are partying to the maximum, all while Phil Collins and Phillip Bailey's "Easy Lover" plays in the stereo machine.

And it's a special place reserved for the best for a good reason.

Inside, Jackson, Andrei, and Lucy play some darts with fellow soldiers. For certain shots, they're doing a bit well in the game, hitting the dart on high scores. Eddie, Tany, and Seiner are on the bar rail, trying to show her some of his drink that he has in his hand, one with an amber coloring in it. Tany, on the other hand, had a soda can in her hand while looking away from Eddie while Seiner looks away from them, arms crossed as usual.

"Come on, dear girl, you better take a shot at this precious flavor for warriors!" he says as he shows his cup at her.

"Nah! Sweets all the way!"

"You're on your twenties and you still refuse to drink? Just give it a shot!"

"Nah-uh."

"COME ON!"

Tany chuckles in response while rapidly tapping on Eddie's forehead, which he quickly brushes off while looking away from her.

Near the main table, Malak is dancing with some of the soldiers to the rhythm of the song using the best moves she can think of.

Not to mention, singing the song well-pitched.

Yet from all the joy going on, there is still a missing piece that could make it full of it.

Logan is leaning near the window while keeping his hands on his pockets while looking outside. He has a frown on his face, his eyes look puffy and dull, all while he strokes his left eyebrow.

Even after doing something so good, something still felt different for Logan. Whatever it is.

Jackson, after laughing for a good while, turns his gaze to Logan, noticing him all alone. This prompts Jackson to walk over the corner where Logan is.

A leader who leads his men to victory with kindness is repaid as such. A true reward for a battle.

And now, Jackson is coming for it.

He sits near a chair in the empty table, all with his gaze still focused on Logan.

"Something wrong with this party?"

"Not really..."

"So why being by yourself?"

"It's just...I'm not sure what is going to happen to her once she comes back to the base. You know the consequences of disobeying orders from military command."

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