Welcome back to another chapter of Random Branches! In the last chapter Bailey and Atton made their plans to divorce public. The kids took it hard. And now on with the story!
Sinbad was on the phone with a high up criminal from Storybrook County. Called herself Revan. They were discussing the alliance to take down Darius when he got an incoming call. “Sorry, Revan, I need to take this. It’s my son and we just had some family shattering news that I’m afraid just reached my college aged son and grandson, the plan sounds good. Talk to you next week,” Sinbad said before taking the other call, “Afternoon, son. I hope you’re doing well with your studies.”
“Are finals…” Sinbad started to continue the conversation when Sion interrupted. Sinbad listened to what Sion said and said, “Yea, it’s true. Atton and Bailey are getting divorced. We were going to wait until we heard you two were done with finals before telling you, but the best laid plans of mice and men.” He finished the conversation up with Sion and hung up the phone.
Sinbad went and found Atton, “How are you holding up?”
Atton looked at his father and Sinbad could see tears in his eyes, “Not well, Dad. I hurt. I want to go bury my hurt in a bottle. Well, several bottles. But I have to say sober. I need to figure out what I’m going to tell Canderous.”
“Canderous and Sion know,” Sinbad said, “Leia mentioned it on her Simbook and Canderous spotted it on a study break. And you do not need to bury your hurt in a bottle, Atton Rand.”
“Damn, he didn’t need to find out that way, but I can’t punish Leia for venting,” Atton said, “And yes, Dad, I do. Just give me one night.”
Sinbad glared at his son, “At Alistair’s.”
“It’s a full moon.”
“Then not tonight. You can wait for the full moon to go away.” And maybe by then his desire to bury his hurt will go away, Sinbad thought.
“I’ll call up Pip. But I’m drinking tonight and burying my hurt in a bottle or several.”
“Then he picks you up here as I want to have a word with him before you leave.”
It didn’t take long for Pip to arrive. Sinbad ambushed him outside. “Which side do you fall on and be honest. Don’t give me this I’m neutral bullshit. We both know you’ve picked a side. And I’m all for staying neutral when it comes to interacting with them on a daily basis. But Atton’s borderline falling into another depression. If you end up getting drunk and say the wrong thing if you’re on her side then that could tip the balance and I am not going to let that happen.”
“Honestly, initially, I was on Bailey’s side. She deserved to have been told before the pair got too serious. But the number of times Atton would come to work with red eyes or tell me how worried he was that the fighting was going to negatively impact his children because Bailey couldn’t stop throwing it in his face puts me on Atton’s side for this. I tried to talk to her about it, but she would never give me a straight answer about it. Not to mention all of her drinking. How are the kids taking it?”
“Hard. It hit Wolfgang hard. He was the one who brought up Darius with his mother. He knows it’s not his fault they divorced. But he believes it’s his fault for the timing and for his mother’s drinking problems. He’s also away at the police academy so it’s hard to get a read on how he’s doing. Leia and Mission it hit them hard. They’re having a hard time wrapping their heads around their parents not wanting to be married anymore. Canderous from what I hear from Sion is taking it well. But he’s also the oldest and was basically an adult when the fighting started. Obi, I think realized things weren’t looking good and had mentally prepared himself for it.”
Pip nodded sadly and said, “Don’t worry, I won’t make things worse for Atton and then in turn worse for the kids. They don’t need both parents having drinking problems.”
Sinbad thanked Pip and told Atton that Pip had arrived.
Drinking with Pip became a weekly event. It served as a way for Atton to unwind while not being unhealthy. Which was a good thing. Because while Obi and Leia were behaving, Mission had taken to acting out. Worse than she had when Atton and Bailey were fighting.
The twins were teenagers now, which only increased Mission’s ability to create havoc. She was skipping classes and arguing with teachers. She broke curfew a number of times. No punishment or reward system seemed to work. After some discussion with her teachers they realized the skipping was because she couldn’t see the board even if she went to class. She said she would take the text book and use it and study the next lesson or so. And so Mission got taken to the eye doctors and was prescribed glasses. Which took care of the skipping classes problem.
One afternoon Pip showed up uninvited. Mission answered the door and said, “Yo, Pip. I take it you’re here to see my dad?”
“Afternoon, Mission. And yes, I am here to see Atton,” Pip said.
Mission wondered why Pip looked like he was going to explode and called for her father.
“Hey, Pip, what brings you by today? I thought you said your daughter had some news to share this morning?” Atton said.
“You and you’re odd dressing habits,” Pip said, laughing and pulled his best fried into the dining room, “Oh, Fawn had news alright. She’s pregnant.”
“Congrats, Granpa,” Atton said and smiled.
“Oh this won’t be my first, but she isn’t married so I asked who the father was. Your brother knocked up my daughter. They broke up before she found out she was pregnant, though.”
“Please tell me I won’t have to go to a funeral of my brother.”
“Fawn just found out so she hasn’t told him yet. I’m here to forewarn you. If he leaves her out to dry, you might just have to bury your brother.”
“What do you mean by leaving her out to dry?”
“Not supporting her. I do not by any means suggest they get back together simply for the sake of child.”
The two talked for a couple of hours about various things. But soon Pip had to leave.
Life went on at the Rand residence.
The teenagers worked on their homework. Or played video games.
Atton worked on compositions for upcoming feature films while at home. And learned to play compositions done by others in order to increase his knowledge of other styles in case a movie called for a change of style. He was still upset at the divorce but the worst of the depression had passed.
Mira worked on her garden while Bailey studied up on alchemy. Sinbad worked towards getting the various organized crime groups to band together more.
They had also heard from Wolfgang recently. Wolfgang had gotten married to a wonderful person and had two year old twin boys and his wife had just announced she was pregnant again. Wolfgang had graduated with honors from the Police Academy and had joined in with the Sim Bureau of Investigation. Sinbad was pissed at one thing though, he had gotten handed Revan’s case. Revan was a cold and ruthless criminal. She was just and did try to avoid innocents where it was possible. But an SBI agent wasn’t considered an innocent by Revan’s standards.
Soon Liliana became a young adult. She had taken an interest in politics. But she didn’t want to just be the typical politician. She wanted to be an honest one who could relate to the people. She had worked on her people skills while she was a teenager after being tired of making enemies with everyone as a child and she had become fairly charismatic.
She had saved up money from various summer jobs that she had done and used that money to rent a house with her best friend after finding a job helping a local politician.
Sinbad was in the process of sending an e-mail to Revan concerning some new equipment that Moonlight Falls’s mafia had obtained when his phone rang. He saw it was Wolfgang. “Hey, Wolfgang. How are you?”
“I’m good,” Wolfgang said, “I’m calling to let you know that the Alliance of criminals to defeat Darius and the SBI are teaming up to take down Darius. Basically we do as much as possible to make sure resources aren’t tied up during a perfect time to strike at Darius. And I’m also calling to let you know that in order to throw Darius off on the alliance, I have agreed to allow the criminals in Storybrook County to hold my family in protective custody. They will however make it look like a kidnapping. The SBI will take over the investigation. I will be calling Alistair when I get done talking to you. Due to Father’s inability to lie, I’m not sure if he should be told or not. He might not be able to pull off the emotions required for the lie to pass by Darius.”
He listened to what Wolfgang had to say. “You do realize that Darius is a hard man to fool, right?” Sinbad asked. He did understand why Wolfgang was trying. And knew that keeping this secret from Atton was going to cause Atton heartache. But Wolfgang was right. Atton would not be able to pull off the emotions required.
“I know, Grandpa, but what else can I do? When the SBI does protective custody, Darius still manages to get to them. If I feel it gets to dangerous, I’ll request a transfer to the Moonlight Falls mafia. Let their great-grandfather babysit them for a while,” Wolfgang said and Sinbad could tell his grandson was afraid of what was going to happen to his family.
Wolfgang said he had a couple more calls to make and had to go but wanted to give a heads up before they got surprised by the news.
And that’s it for this chapter! Will the Alliance between Cops and Criminals be effective? Can the criminals better protect a family from danger than the cops? Will Mission start behaving? Will Carth step up and support Fawn or will he leave her to dry? Find out in chapters to come!
Progress towards Atton’s goals: COMPLETED
- Master an instrument – Achieved Chapter 2.10 behind the scenes
- Get married – Achieved Chapter 2.6 when Atton married Bailey
- Join Music Career – Achieved Chapter 1.8 when Alistair got Atton a job
- Learn all songs – Achieved Chapter 2.15
- Become Hit Movie Composer – Achieved Chapter 2.14
- Know all co-workers – Achieved Chapter 1.8 when Alistair got Atton a job (a mod from Twallan)
- Befriend 1 co-worker – Achieved Chapter 2.0. Pip Goodfellow and Atton are already Best Friends
- Level 5 Logic – Achieved in the background of Chapter 2.11.
Progress toward’s Mira’s goals: COMPLETED
- Grow a garden with every plant from the store – Accomplished Chapter 2.15
- Master gardening skill – She mastered gardening behind the scenes of Chapter 2.8
- 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 toward’s LTW’s
- Mira – Illustrious Author: Level 4 Painting, Level 8 Writing
- Sinbad – Master Thief: Master Thief – Level 10 – MET Chapter 2.7
- Atton – Hit Movie Composer: Hit Movie Composer – Level 10 – MET Chapter 2.14
- Bailey – Alchemy Artisan – 4 potions thrown, Level 10 Alchemy
Author’s Note: I have now finished the goals for Generations 1 and 2. Which is quite an achievement if I do say so myself.
The final few chapters for generation 2 will have some overlap with Random Paths. Kreia’s story. I am duplicating any communications that will be critical for you all to understand what’s going on, so there is no need to read Random Paths.
And Carth really did knock up Fawn Goodfellow.
And Liliana Huber-Swain grew up to be a lot more gorgeous than I ever expected her to. Which considering she wants to be a politician, will be an advantage for her.