Welcome back to another chapter of Random Branches. In the last chapter, the Rands got settled into Moonlight Falls quite nicely and Atton became a young adult. However, the Immortal Council decided to use the family as bait in order to deal with Darius and Rosalind once and for all. After some debate, the Rands agreed. And now, onto the story.
Alistair Mathiasen paced the study in his house. There was no way they could risk any of the townsfolk getting word of the plan. Did not need anyone tipping Darius off accidentally when he comes into town. But he couldn’t stop Darius alone. Not if he brought Rosalind with him and he likely would. He thought of who could possibly help when it finally came to him. While still in the criminal gang he had heard word of two vampires who were fairly big in Lucky Palms. The older one more in Darius’s line of work while the younger was more like Sinbad. And they were father and son. Destansi was the last name. He knew the family had lived in Bridgeport at one time, you don’t get high in the criminal field without researching the other families. He just had forgotten most of it in the years since he quit being a criminal.
The names of the two criminals alluded him, but the matriarch of the family he still remembered: Andria Destani. Daughter of Wogan and Morrigan Hemlock. Mean to the bone she was, yet she married a rising rock star. Chances are she was still alive and might know how to contact the two criminal Destansis. But he had to run that by Lucian first.
He too his phone out and called up Lucian. “Hey, I’ve got an idea to help my side stay alive. But it involves bringing in help that does not reside in Moonlight Falls.”
“Oh?” Lucian said, “Who?”
“I’m mostly looking to find the head honchos of the Lucky Palms mafia. However, I can only remember the name of one of their ancestors, Andria Destansi. The family are vampires and she’s still likely to be kicking. I know the Lucky Palms group has moles in Darius’s gang so it wouldn’t be out of the question for the Destansis to show up in town after the rumors get out.”
“No it wouldn’t and you could use the back up. Make sure you talk to the head honcho and make sure you can trust the guy. I don’t want to get in league with someone who is just going to murder you and hand them over on a platter to Darius.” Lucian said.
“Don’t worry, I plan to go to them and get a feel for them. You can’t really do that on the phone. Especially not with a criminal.”
He scoured the internet looking for Andria Destansi’s phone number. He dialed the only number he could find.
“Hi,” came a young voice. Alistair blinked.
“Hi, is your mother around?” Alistair asked.
“MOM! Phone’s for you,” the voice said.
“This is Ryanne, what can I do for you?” Ryanne said.
“I must have the wrong number, I’m looking for an Andria Destansi.” Alistair said and was about to hang up when Ryanne spoke up.
“Don’t hang up!” she quickly said, “Andria Destansi does live here. Multi-generational house here. Andria! for once the phone is for you.”
Alistair laughed, knowing Andria probably didn’t have many friends.
“Andria speaking and this better be important.”
“It is important. Do you remember Darius Myst by any chance?”
“Does anyone who grew up in Bridgeport not know him? Why?”
“Got a family here in Moonlight Falls who angered him and we think he might be livid enough to try for them if he gets wind of where they are in Moonlight Falls. We could use some protection for the family. I know you have two descendants who are in high up in the Lucky Palms mafia. It wouldn’t raise too many red flags if Darius got wind of the Lucky Palms mafia sticking their fingers into the issue.”
“You’ve hit the jackpot then,” Andra said, “Not only do I happen to know who you’re talking about. I happen to live with both of them. And one married into the family. Dorian married into the family and had Ian. I suppose you’re going to want to talk to them?”
“I did hit the jackpot. I am going to want to talk to them. Would it be possible to do it in person?”
“I’ll put Ian on the phone and you two can discuss it.”
“Alright.” Alistair paced the floor while waiting for Ian to answer it.
“Sorry about that. My oldest was afraid of some monsters under his bed,” Ian said, “Andria mentioned something about taking down Darius and you wanting to discuss it in person.”
“Correct. It’s a long discussion and there are innocents involved and I don’t exactly want to just trust anyone, much less a known criminal, blindly.”
“Understandable. How soon can you get here?”
“Tomorrow. I’ve got access to a private jet.”
“Then you must be a member of the Immortal Council. And considering you seem to know a fair amount about me, I’d say you’re Alistair Mathiasen.”
“Your good. And I am Alistair Mathiasen of the Immortal Council. See you tomorrow.”
Alistair arrived at the house after a limo drove him there. The limo had been waiting for him when he arrived. It puzzled Alistair a bit. Criminals didn’t tend to drive in flashy limos. He approached the lot and saw a bunch of what he would imagine were news reporters trying to get a story about Ian or Dorian. He knocked on the door and waited for a response.
He was shocked when actress Natalie Destansi answered the door. “You must be Alistair. My son said to expect you.”
“You’re Ian’s mother? How did you keep your husband and son out of the tabloids?”
Natalie laughed, “You’ve met my grandmother haven’t you? Andria Destansi.”
“That would explain it. And yes, I’m Alistair, may I come in?”
“Sure, he’s upstairs trying to get his youngest two to take their naps. I’ll go relieve him and see if I can’t find my husband.” Natalie said, stepping away.
Alistair looked around the house while he waited. He saw two males in the dining area talking over some plasma juice. They had spotted him but kept their distance. One looked a lot like Natalie while the other looked like he could be a family friend. He spotted a young kid, probably the one who had answered the phone initially, running around playing tag with an invisible person, most likely his invisible friend.
“Hello, Alistair, we meet in person. I’m Ian Destansi,” Ian said, “Why don’t we step into the study area for a semblance of privacy. I’d offer to go somewhere else, but the paparazzi come out in full force when we’re out and from what you’ve said, you need to keep this tight lipped. It’s why we sent the limo. We’ve put word out that you’re a upstart director from Moonlight Falls, trying to get Natalie to do a movie for you.”
“You’re good, I had forgotten that me coming out here might raise flags. Does Natalie often get visits like this?”
“Yea, I heard you retired and the circumstances around it. My condolences to your loss. I can’t begin to imagine how that must have felt,” Ian said, before looking over his shoulder and saying, “I can not! I’ve never even witnessed anyone dying so I can’t even mildly relate, Ebony.”
Alistair thanked Ian for the condolence and blinked a few times at him saying something to someone who wasn’t there. “Anyways, I’d like you and your father’s help. The Immortal Council has decided the time is right to take care of Darius and Rosalind for good. We need someone to help me protect the Rand family.”
“You’re wanting help protecting a family of a known criminal when you despise criminals and those who shelter them?” Ian asked.
“I’m doing it for his wife and kids who are innocent. Mostly. His daughter wants to follow in his footsteps even after all that’s happened to them.”
“Fair enough. But my father’s mostly retired now due to his age. He’s older than Darius and not immortal if you catch my meaning. But I can do you better than just me.”
“That’s a shame, your father was one of a kind. Who else?”
“I’m sure I can talk Andria into going. Her husband will want to follow. He’s Brice Destansi, the famous rock star, which could add to the fake story. You ended up hearing him play and decided to rope him into doing the sound track. My grandfather Zachary and my mother Natalie are well versed in the martial arts. My grandfather loves to travel. And we’re all vampires.”
Alistair thought for a few minutes. Bringing in two very well known celebrities was dangerous but the family was known for keeping major things out of the limelight. Like how they’re related to and live with two very well known criminals. And Ian had come up with a story that would allow for her and her grandfather to go to Moonlight Falls without raising eyebrows. “Works for me. We need to get there as soon as possible. We want to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible.”
Ian nodded and walked off to persuade his various family members to do the job.
Alistair waited for what seemed like ages before Ian returned. Behind him were four others.
“I’m Brice Destansi,” the one in the green shirt and black vest.
“Andria Destansi, Brice’s wife,” the lady with the short black hair with green stripes said.
“Zachary Destansi, Brice and Andria’s son,” said a male wearing a black apron.
“You’ve met me. I’m Zachary’s son and Ian’s mother,” Natalie said.
“How dangerous is it bound to be?” Brice asked.
“Depends on where Darius goes. The rest of the Immortal Council will be stationed at the residence of the family we’re protecting. Our leaked intelligence will put them at that house. If Darius doesn’t get wind of the little trap we’ve got planned for him, he should head there and I’ll have involved you guys for nothing. But if Darius does get wind of it, he’ll head for my place. And Darius is not a young vampire and you don’t get to be as powerful as he is without being able to do your own dirty work at times,” Alistair explained.
“Darius is not someone you mess with lightly and Alistair wouldn’t have risked asking us unless he was confident in the group’s abilities to finally take him down,” Andria said.
The group talked for several hours about the plan and how things were going to go. By late evening the five had agreed to plan and were packed to go to Moonlight Falls that night. They figured at night, they stood a better chance at ditching the paparazzi than during the day.
Soon the Rands, the five Destansis and Alistair were all living in the same house. It was a bit cramped, but everyone made do. They mostly got along together, but some of them were impossible to get along with. Sinbad and Andria just could not stand each other and if they both hadn’t realized that causing loud scenes inside of the house gives them away, they’d probably have had a fight or two by now.
Sinbad found himself on the porch one afternoon. Was his dream worth risking this all over again in the future? His dream was to be the head crime boss in all of Sim Nation. But crime bosses don’t take orders from other bosses that well. And he wasn’t opposed to Ian Destansi. The guy was risking his own family to help him out. And his dream would involve taking the Destansi family down.
“Penny for your thoughts,” Brice Destansi said sitting down next to Sinbad.
“You’re living your dream are you not?” Sinbad said.
“Yea. Though my wife in my dreams wasn’t as mean as Andria is, but I still love her.”
“What if your dream had meant taking down a friend? And if you didn’t take down your friend, you wouldn’t achieve your dream. What would you have done?”
Brice just looked at Sinbad for a while, having figured out what he meant. “Your dream involves completely controlling Sim Nation’s crime doesn’t it. Meaning you’d have to deal with Ian.” He waited for Sinbad to nod before continuing, “To answer your question I’ll counter with a question. Which means more to you, your friendship with Ian or your dream?” Brice then got up and walked back inside, knowing that the question was a question that only Sinbad needed to know the answer to.
Sinbad stayed outside on the porch until the sun started to go down. He went inside as that was the safest thing to do. Darius would wait for night to fall to attack and the intelligence was pointing to it being tonight. He prayed that Darius went to their house and not here. He didn’t want his family put in danger. He stepped into the family room as he had heard Atton playing the piano that Alistair owned.
The sound of a window breaking brought him back to the here and now. Darius saw through their plan and knew where they were. Sinbad ran upstairs and found Mira and hugged her.
“Move it! Upstairs Rands. Now!” Alistair said quietly, getting the Destansis to help herd them upstairs.
Alistair walked towards the window that broke and saw Darius. “You know very well I wouldn’t house a criminal or those who shelter them. Why in the world are you coming here first?”
Darius laughed, “They’re here alright. I have my sources. You can’t begin to tell me that just you will be able to stop me and my men from killing the Rands?”
“That’s where you’re wrong, Darius. Alistair isn’t here alone,” Andria said, smirking, “We’re here to give Alistair a hard time. We’re trying to take over Moonlight Falls’s crime area since we all know you can’t. The Rands whoever they are are not here. Run along before I decide to include you in my list of murder victims tonight.”
Darius roared and said, “I smell them you idiot! Humans are quite an appetizing smell! Attack!”
Alistair heard glass breaking across the house and mentally swore. Leave it to Darius to bring in vampiric back up.
He heard a female laugh and knew it was Rosalind. Vampire on vampire they stood a chance of surviving until the rest of the Immortal Council arrived. Rosalind and her magic was going to change that.
Alistair and Darius fought hard, their intense hatred of each other only fueling the fire. Neither was able to get an upper hand, however, Alistair soon hit some luck and knocked Darius out. He then went off in search of Rosalind. He needed to make sure she wasn’t causing any deaths.
She eventually found her by a hopefully unconscious Andria. She had made it upstairs. “Rosalind.”
“Ah, Alistair,” Rosalind said, “It’s not too late for us to spare you. Just tell me which door the Rands are behind.”
“Then you leave me with no choice.” Rosalind then began chanting in fae language. A strange light started forming over her hand.
Alistair was too caught up in the strange light to notice that one of the Rands had slipped out of their room without Rosalind noticing him. Just as Rosalind let it go, he felt himself get pushed off to the side. Alistair blinked a few times before he heard some rolling down the stairs. Atton Rand was unconscious at the bottom of the stairs.
“Damn boy. I only had enough magic to do that spell once tonight. It was meant for you, Alistair!” Rosalind said, landing on the ground, visibly exhausted.
Alistair took the initiative to knock Rosalind out. He then heard Darius’s voice again. Alistair sighed and ran downstairs, being careful to not harm Atton in the process. He was wary of moving the kid due to the tumble down the stairs. He didn’t want to make any injuries Atton might have worse. He knew what spell Rosalind was doing. An anti-werewolf spell that would have killed him. He bent down and felt for a pulse. He was relieved to feel a pulse, albeit a faint one.
Just as Alistair stood up, the front door unlocked and opened. Alistair froze but relaxed when he saw it was just the others from the council. “Good you’re here. Darius is somewhere downstairs. Rosalind is upstairs depleted and knocked out. She tried to use the anti-werewolf spell on me.”
“Tried?” Matias said, “She didn’t seem incompetent.”
“Atton pushed me aside and took the spell which sent him down the stairs. He’s alive, but only just.” Alistair said.
“Shit.” Lucian said after a few moments. “Let’s just get this over with. Iris, see what you can do for Atton and keep an eye for your sister waking back up.”
Iris nodded and attempted to stabilize the young man.
“Darius, we’ve let you live for far too long.” Lucian said, stepping in front of Zachary who had been fighting Darius.
“And you think you can kill me?” Darius said, “I’ll let the Rands go. They won’t even be hunted if I get wind they’re outside of Moonlight Falls. That’s what this fight is all about. ROSALIND! Come on, we’re leaving!”
“We can kill you,” Lucian said, “We only used them as bait. With their permission. This fight is about putting an end to you.”
Alistair saw a small light zoom out of the house behind Darius and muttered about Rosalind getting away. If the boy died, he would hunt her down.
Darius then turned and ran.
“Should we give chase?” Alistair said.
Lucian shook his head, “We need to recoup from this battle before we go after Darius and Rosalind. Let’s go see how Iris is doing with Atton.”
“Will he make it?” Alistair said quietly.
“I don’t know. We’re always told to make sure the anti-occult spells land on the proper occult. Or bad things will happen. This is the only case I know of of it landing on the wrong occult. And a mundane Sim at that. We need to take him to Mother Fae.”
“But Mother Fae is in the fae realm, not this realm. And she can’t come to this realm,” Nicholai said, “It’s risky taking another occult into the fae realms, will Atton be able to take it in his condition?”
“I don’t know, Nicholai,” Iris said, “All I know is whenever we asked what we should do if it happened was to bring them to Mother Fae. If the Fates want the Sim to live, they’ll survive the realm change.”
“I seem to recall Mother Fae despising mundanes,” Eleanor said, “And that any fae who brought one into the fae realm would be banished forever.”
“So I’m supposed to just let the boy die, Eleanor? Not try to save his life? I’m not powerful enough to reverse the effects of the spell Rosalind used. She always was the stronger in magic between the two of us. If only I had practiced my magic more. I’d be strong enough to not have to risk taking him into the Fae realm.”
Lucian pulled Iris up and gave her a hug before saying, “Don’t blame yourself for the actions of your twin. Her spell would have killed Alistair instantly. At least Atton’s actions give us a chance at no one we care about dying today. He took the spell to save another’s life. Tell Mother Fae that. He got injured doing something selfless. It might sway her to help him.”
“Someone should probably go fetch the rest of the Rands,” Ian said, “If Atton was upstairs when it happened, they probably heard it and are fearing the worst.”
“Right,” Matias said, “I’ll do it.” Matias then went upstairs and opened the door to the room the Rands were in. “Darius and Rosalind are gone. Atton’s alive, but only just. He took a spell meant for Alistair. It would have killed Alistair almost instantly. There is only one person who can save him. But she hates mundanes and the trip to her realm might kill Atton.”
“So there is a high chance that Atton will die?” Kreia said after a few minutes.
“Unfortunately, yes,” Matias said sadly, “Iris would probably like your permission to attempt it.”
Mira nodded and went downstairs. Sinbad, Carth, and Kreia were not far behind.
“Can he be saved in the realm you want to take him to?” Mira asked.
“If I can get Mother Fae to help him, then yes,” Iris said, “If I don’t try there’s a very high chance that he will die. His only chance is going to the Fae realm.”
“And why can’t Mother Fae come here? Since going to the Fae realm might kill him?” Sinbad asked.
“Mother Fae is old. It would exhaust her too much to cross realms,” Iris answered, “The sooner I go, the more of a chance he’ll have.”
“Go.” Sinbad said.
Iris gently picked Atton up with Lucian’s help and began chanting. Soon she and Atton were enveloped in a white light and disappeared.
Sinbad grabbed his wife and pulled her close, hoping that Atton would live.
And that’s it for this chapter! Will Iris be able to convince Mother Fae to heal Atton? Will Darius keep his word? Find out in chapters to come!
Progress towards objectives:
- Grow a garden with every plant from the store (She’s gotten everything from the store except what requires 7 or higher gardening skill and the apple tree)
- Master gardening skill (Still at level 6.)
- Get married (Accomplished Chapter 1.0 when Mira married Sinbad)
- No woohoo until married (Accomplished Chapter 1.0 as Mira never woohooed before marrying Sinbad)
- Have a boy and a girl (Accomplished Chapter 1.1 as they have 2 boys and 1 girl as of that chapter)
Progress towards LTW’s:
- Mira- Illustrious Author: Writing level 6, Painting level 2
- Sinbad- Master Thief: Bank Robber (Level 8, finally on the thief branch)