Welcome back to another chapter of Random Branches! In the last chapter life began to move on after Atton and Bailey divorced. Liliana aged to young adult and moved out and Sinbad learned of the Alliance between the criminals and the cops in order to take down Darius. He also learned that in order to help the goal of taking down Darius that the Alliance is going to stage Wolfgang’s family getting kidnapped in order to fool Darius. And now on with the story.
Sinbad had called a meeting while Atton was at work.
“Shouldn’t we wait for Dad to be home?” Leia asked.
“Not for what I have to say,” Sinbad said, “You all know of Darius and that Wolfgang is a cop so that he can better be able to take down Darius. Well, he’s managed to forge an alliance between criminals and cops in order to take Darius down since both criminals and cops want Darius dealt with. In order to fool Darius into thinking that there is no way there could be an alliance, the criminals are staging a kidnapping of Wolfgang’s family. In reality, the criminals have put them into their version of protective custody. We will be interviewed. We need to act as if they have been kidnapped.”
“That’s why Dad isn’t here,” Obi said, “He finds it hard to lie and he’d have to lie to keep Wolfgang and his family safe.”
“Right,” Sinbad said, he was about to continue when frantic knocking was heard.
Mira walked over and opened the door. She was shocked to see Canderous so upset. “Canderous, what’s wrong? Come in.”
Canderous walked in, saw his grandfather and started crying. He took a few minutes to get control of himself before saying, “Have… have you guys been watching the news?”
“I have. I don’t know about the others,” Obi said. The others shook their head.
“Sion and I landed in Evansdale County on Sunday,” Canderous said, looking straight at Obi.
Obi went pale and said, “The… the location of the… the reactor that blew on Sunday?”
Canderous nodded, “We were sent to the evacuation centers as they had some fast transportation, but limited seating. Sion was initially the last one allowed to go to the transport. But… but Sion traded places with me. I… I don’t know if he made it through the explosion, Grandpa.”
Sinbad hugged his distraught grandson, barely holding it in himself.
Canderous just cried for a while in his grandpa’s arms. Eventually, he had cried himself out again. “I’m going to go get some fresh air. I’ll be back when I’m back. I’ve got a key still, just felt like knocking earlier since you weren’t expecting me.”
He headed outside and began walking. He headed for the beach. It wasn’t fair. Sion had always been there for people and this is how the world thanks him? Who was Canderous going to travel with? When the six hour bus ride from Evansdale County to Bridgeport had finished, it marked the point when Canderous had not had contact with Sion for the longest time since he could remember.
Sion had always been a yell, a call, a text away. And now he wasn’t. And he could be dead. Canderous shook his head to banish that thought. He had to believe that Sion made it through. He just can’t be dead. He just can’t.
It didn’t take long after Canderous had left for Sinbad to lose it. He had been unsure when he first had had Sion about raising him. He didn’t even know he was pregnant and then had only a minute or so to decide if he wanted to keep him or not. But that first day, Sion proved his weight in gold. He put a smile on Atton’s face. A genuine smile.
And as the years had gone by, Sion had continued to be a valuable member of the family. He quickly became Canderous’s best friend. He stepped up and helped with his younger siblings when he aged to teenager. During the years that Atton and Bailey fought, he helped shield Obi and the twins from it as best he could. And Sinbad couldn’t help but smile when thinking to the ultimatum that Sion had given Bailey shortly before he and Canderous went off to college. He never hesitated to be there for his siblings, his nieces, his nephews, or even Bailey’s half-siblings.
And now, he could be dead.
Canderous stayed for a few days while the worst of the shock wore off. Obi had even called Nicholai up so that Canderous would hopefully just talk to someone about it. Someone who wouldn’t be as affected by the events. Which had helped Canderous a lot.
Nicholai even talked with Sinbad about it as he could see that Sinbad was needing to talk to someone about Sion.
Eventually Canderous had to leave. His time before boot camp was up. He promised to keep in touch and to be safe.
And like the other hits the family had taken, the Rands moved on their lives. They treaded carefully with the investigation in the “kidnapping” of Wolfgang’s wife and kids. They kept their eyes on the news for any reports of the deceased coming from Evansdale County.
Sinbad was constantly on the phone with Revan or Wolfgang trying to piece together a game plan for taking down Darius. Darius was unfortunately in a pretty good position at the moment power wise. Revan scared Sinbad. She was cold and ruthless. She could easily turn into another Darius. And she wasn’t even an occult. He hoped that taking down Darius would get rid of the problem of Revan as well or that Wolfgang would have enough evidence against Revan to get her sentenced to death.
Obi was the only teen of the family to begin a relationship with someone. He was dating a local teen named Mindy Foss. She had a good head on her shoulders and seemed determined to make it business. The two were going out on weekly dates it seemed like. Though which day of the week it was varied. Mindy was a fairly prominent babysitter in Moonlight Falls it appeared and she never really knew which days of the week would be free too far in advance.
Leia read and even voiced her desire to become a famous author like her mother. She coped with Sion’s disappearance by scouring the internet reading several articles. Trying to figure out what effects nuclear radiation would have on alien-Sim hybrids. Like Sion was. At least when she wasn’t reading her romance and mystery novels or plugging away at her own novels.
Mission continued to cause trouble and it seemed to escalate after the news of Sion was brought to the family’s attention. Eventually Atton called over Carth. She had turned to Carth as a kid to help her cope. Maybe Carth could get through where others had failed.
“Why? Why do you cause trouble, Mission?” Carth asked.
“It’s fun,” Mission said shrugging, “I love the thrill of trying to not get caught and I love hearing the reactions when others get caught by my pranks.”
“Why did you start?”
“It was the only way I could get attention from my parents, especially Mom,” Mission said, “I started when I was a kid. In the middle of the years my parents fought constantly. Grandma was glued to her computer, Grandpa had odd hours. And my siblings and all them had homework and their hobbies. Canderous got noticed he kept talking about leaving Moonlight Falls. That’s guaranteed to get attention from an adult given Darius. Sion got noticed because he helped out so much. Dominique as well. Wolfgang got noticed because he’s a genius. Obi people go to because he sees the connections that are hard for people to see. Liliana was a drama queen and she caused minor trouble to pull attention to her. Leia is a genius in her own right. Me, I’m average. In every respect. I work hard for my A and B average. Leia it comes easily. Yet she got praised for her straight A’s. I get nothing. Grandma, Grandpa, and Sion did notice at times, but not enough. Causing trouble got attention immediately from my parents.”
Carth frowned, the reason for starting was not going to be taken well by Atton. But Carth needed to get Mission to at least try to behave. “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“So you’re planning on going to college?”
“You do realize that colleges do look at your behavior records in high school. Your misbehaving at school might cost you your dream college. And when you get out of college, your misbehaving in general might not garner the right type of recommendation for a job.”
Mission looked at the floor. She had not thought of the future when causing mischief. She wouldn’t have done most of the mischief had she known it would negatively impact the future. “So I’m screwed?”
“Definitely not. Just shape up at school. Stop giving your parents a hard time at home. Just behave. You behaved at my house as a kid. You can behave here at home and at school. Now, I need to head off as I have things to do today.” Carth gave his niece a quick hug before telling his brother his inclination at whether or not Mission would start behaving as well as the root cause.
A few days after Carth’s heart to heart with Mission happened, tragedy struck.
The kids had gone off to school. Sinbad and Atton were looking up news on Evansdale County.
Mira had stepped in to say she was going to go get a nap as she suddenly felt exhausted after tending the garden.
Mira got to the doorway between the study and the family room when she suddenly went cold. Sinbad and Atton felt the room go cold and turned around. They turned around to see Mira pass away of old age.
And here is where the chapter ends. Will Mission be able to start behaving or did the heart to heart come too late? How will Sinbad take the loss of Mira? Find out in chapters to come!
Progress toward’s LTW’s
- Mira – Illustrious Author: Level 4 Painting, Level 8 Writing – Did Not Reach
- 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: Once I complete a generation’s goals, I will no longer post progress. LTW’s I will continue to post. LTW’s take up less room after all.
The death order in the story will reflect death order in the game. Mira did indeed die first.
I do have the next few chapters planned out. Just as a warning, they aren’t going to be very happy. But things will turn around. My plot and game events have picked a horrible time to collide. I did not plan for the plot to happen around the time of the game events, but the timing I wanted for the plot in Random Paths and the fact that I would need Wolfgang to be a YA for it pushed it to where it landed.
Sion. The Rands will get the information they are searching for eventually. In the mean time you guys get to hear about it first: Rebuilding Evansdale County. It is an apocalypse challenge. The chapter that is up for that story is the first chapter. Basically Sion’s point of view on what happened before the reactor blew.