Welcome back to another chapter of Random Paths! In the last chapter we found out that Wolfgang Rand took over as the guardian of Miranda and Eva after Brett fell into a deep depression. The girls had grown and both were off at college. During Eva’s second semester of her sophomore year, she attended a meeting of the Sims United Alliance with her best friend Owen Maguire. After attempting to bow out of the group as it was not her cup of tea, she was informed the only way to leave was to die. And now on with the story.
Sean called Eva’s phone again. It was an hour after their scheduled chat time and she had not called, texted, or e-mailed saying she was going to be late or going to miss it. And she wasn’t answering her phone. It went straight to voice mail without any ringing. And that was the part that worried Sean the most. It wasn’t like Eva to run her phone dead.
His phone vibrated and he looked at it hoping it was Eva, but it wasn’t. It was a text from his dad saying he had just arrived in Bridgeport for the meetings that week.
He dialed his father’s number and hoped his dad could answer.
“Hey, Sean. Isn’t this your usual chat time with Eva? I would have called otherwise,” Wolfgang answered.
“It is, that’s why I’m calling. She hasn’t gotten on and her phone’s going straight to voice mail. Something’s wrong,” Sean said.
“Shit. Do you know what she was up to tonight?”
“I think she mentioned something about attending a meeting with a guy named Owen but that she expected to be home before the time for our chat was.”
“Alright. I’ll be over as quickly as I can. And then we’ll start searching.”
It had taken a couple hours of searching before Eva was found gravely wounded and left to die in an alleyway just outside of campus.
Wolfgang had been slowly phasing out of active duty field work. He wasn’t as young as he used to be. But this extreme attack on his young cousin had made him feel young again. He was on the phone with the police and the SBI trying to track down who attacked his cousin. It was during a break in his phone calling when his phone went off, by then it was morning. He looked at it and smiled slightly. It was his wife calling because he forgot to call to say he had made it safely. “Hey, Lindy. Sorry about not calling. I had just gotten settled in and was about to call you when I got a call from Sean and I’ve been focused on that since. Eva’s been assaulted and is in critical condition.”
“I take it you haven’t called Brett or Miranda then?” Lindy asked, “And I’m sorry. Will she be ok?”
“No, I haven’t called yet. And they’re saying it could go either way. But if we hadn’t found her when we did she would have died. I wasn’t going to call Brett until I had a more definite live or die. Which they say will be coming in about fifteen minutes or so. And I was about to call Miranda, Caiden, and Brie when you called.”
“Sean already knows?”
“Sean called me saying something was wrong as she was way late for her weekly chat with him. I should head back inside. See what’s going on.”
“Alright. I’ll pack and come over in the morning. I’ll let Layla care for Gerard and Dayna since they won’t understand. Or I’ll find someone reliable if Layla is unable to.”
When Wolfgang reached where Sean was waiting, the doctor who was in charge of Eva’s care stepped out. “Good, you’re both here,” Doctor O’Brian said, “Signs are pointing to her making it. The internal bleeding is under control for the most part. She’s scheduled for another surgery in a few hours if she’s still stable to get the minor bleeding. We’ll send her sooner if she appears in any danger though.”
“Will she make a full recovery?” Sean asked.
“It’s a bit early to give you a definite answer on that one. It’s evident that some of the blows she received were directed at her head. Head injuries are impossible to tell long term effects on while the patient is unconscious. We’ll know more once she regains consciousness.” Doctor O’Brian then excused himself to go check on Eva and other patients.
“I’m sorry, Dad,” Sean said.
“This wasn’t your fault in any way, Sean. You have nothing to apologize for,” Wolfgang said and pulled his son into a hug. He just held Sean close as he cried.
“But you told me to watch out for Eva,” Sean said a few minutes later.
“And Aunt Kreia asked me to be there for her family. But none of this is our fault. Neither of us can be with her twenty-four seven. You fulfilled your promise to me when you called me when you realized something was wrong. You didn’t just brush it off as that rare time when she’s out of communication when she’s never done that before. I’m going to step back outside and make a few hard phone calls.”
Wolfgang took a deep breath and dialed Brett’s number. “Hey, Brett, it’s Wolfgang.”
“What’s got you calling so early?”
“Eva’s been assaulted. She’s in critical, but stable condition here at the Bridgeport Hospital.”
“Is… is she going to be… I can’t take losing her, Wolfgang.”
“Her doctor has said that there is a very high chance that she’ll live. Do you need me to come pick you up or do you think can handle driving yourself?”
“I’ll drive myself, I’ll get started in the morning. See you then, bye.”
Wolfgang said goodbye to Brett and then called and gave Miranda the bad news.
Wolfgang stood strong while he helped his family handle Eva’s assault. The hours turned into days.
Sean’s phone vibrated one afternoon while he was at class. He read it and it was from Owen. “Hey, Eva hasn’t been answering my texts, is everything ok?” was what the text read. Something seemed a bit odd so he waited to respond until he got to the hospital. “Dad, has Eva’s phone gotten any calls or texts since she was attacked?”
Wolfgang picked up Eva’s phone and stepped outside with Sean following. “Nope. No calls or texts, why?”
Sean handed his dad his phone after pulling up the text Owen had sent. “Why would he say he texted her when he hadn’t?” Sean asked, “Unless…”
“Unless he had something to do with this and the plan was to kill her and he hasn’t gotten notified that his so called best friend is dead,” Wolfgang said, “Do you know where he lives?”
“I do, but should you be doing the investigation? Isn’t this a conflict of interest? And shouldn’t you be here in case she wakes up? No offense to Uncle Brett, but you’re the one who raised her.”
Wolfgang sighed, “You’re right. Just don’t answer him or answer anyone’s texts for a while. Then just use the excuse that you’re in a hospital. Hopefully she wakes up this weekend. And don’t delete the texts. They’re evidence.”
Eva did wake up that weekend and the doctor gave a good prognosis. Wolfgang talked with his superiors and got permission to do the case, as long as he worked with a partner. He agreed. His partner was an officer fresh out of the academy. Though from talking to the youngster, the kid much preferred traveling the world and had already done some traveling during summer vacations.
“Agent Rand…” Agent Joshua DeLange said.
“Call me Wolfgang. We’re partners, Joshua.”
“Sorry. Wolfgang, the attack doesn’t seem national. Why are we investigating it?”
“Because Eva Wallis is my cousin and I can’t keep my hands out of it. You’ve been assigned to me to make sure I don’t go overboard.”
“Alright. Where do we start?”
“Interviewing my cousin if she’s up to it.”
Eva was laying in the hospital bed trying to process what had happened to her. Her best friend, scratch that, her ex-best friend, just let her be beaten and left for dead. She had assured Sean countless times that it wasn’t his fault. Magic had healed a lot of the wounds, but the doctor had left the non-life-threatening ones that would not ruin clothes to heal naturally. Eva was just glad she had a spare set of glasses.
She saw her cousin walk in along with another agent she supposed. The agent was hot. He also seemed young. But then again, her cousin got started on high priority cases when he was young.
“Eva, this is Agent Joshua DeLange. We’re going to have to hear what happened to you. As much as you can remember. If you’re feeling up to it,” Wolfgang said.
“I’m ready. Owen Maguire had invited me to a Sims United Alliance meeting a few nights ago now from what I’ve gathered from Sean and the doctors. I had told him that I was just going to check it out and I would join if I was interested in it after hearing a meeting. Owen was the speaker that night and he introduced me as a new member. He then went on to accuse occults of being a scourge on the planet. He also said that it wasn’t right that Alistair got to walk free without any punishment for his crimes that he committed, even though he freely admits to having a hand in the death of Darius’ immediate family. And that we as a people needed to do something since the government wasn’t going to. I kind of blanked out at that point because I was too pissed at Owen to pay attention,” Eva started.
“That’s understandable,” Wolfgang said, “What happened next?”
“Next thing I know the meeting is over and Owen brings the group’s leader over. Tammany was the last name. It stuck because it’s the same name as the political tank from the time of the Civil War. I forget his first name. He thanked me for joining. I said I didn’t join and had no intention of joining since the group had no interest to me. Owen then threw my mom’s murder in my face and said that I should. I then countered that I blamed Darius, not vampires or occults. They threatened me with drastic measures should I refuse. I turned to leave and find myself face to face with a man taller and much more muscular than myself. I don’t remember anything after he grabbed my arm and threw me down. At least not until waking up here in the hospital.”
Joshua listened to Eva’s story. He could tell that she had a fairly unique beauty to her from what he could tell. She was fairly bruised on her face, though there were no bandages on her head anymore. He hoped the attack didn’t leave any permanent marks on her. He too, shared the belief that Alistair should have been punished. When they had finished getting the details from Eva and had stepped out to the car to go confront Owen, Joshua said, “Why was Alistair let to be free without punishment?”
Wolfgang stopped in his tracks and Joshua wondered if he said something wrong. “How much have you heard about the Mathiasen-Myst situation?”
“Not much. Just that it was a vampire and werewolf one.”
“The situation was started due to Alistair having ordered the killing of Darius’ wife and kids. His wife and kids were in on the crimes that Darius orchestrated. They were not innocents in any way,” Wolfgang started, “Darius responded by having all of Alistair’s family kidnapped. Including young children. Innocent family members. And he killed them all in front of Alistair. And then let Alistair go. So Alistair has been punished. Just not by our courts. It took thirty years for Alistair to even begin to even think of forgiving himself for what happened and to truly move on. And let’s go. We’re going to go arrest Owen Maguire.”
“That’s a fast jump…”
“Not that fast. Owen sent a text to my son Sean asking if something was up as Eva hadn’t been answering his texts. He hadn’t sent any texts to Eva.”
“Oh. Caught in a lie.”
They got the approval for the arrest while on the way. When they got there they knocked on the door. Owen answered the door. “Oh my gosh, Quentin! Our prayer was answered. The one and only Agent Wolfgang Rand is here! I’m Owen Maguire. That over there is Quentin Tammany.”
“Nice to meet you, Owen Maguire,” Wolfgang said and grabbing a good look at Tammany before saying, “You’re under arrest for conspiracy to commit murder. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court.” He finished reading the kid the riot act before letting the kid have any chance to say anything.
“Murder? Who?” Owen said.
“Don’t play dumb. You conspired to have Eva Wallis murdered.”
“Eva’s been hurt?”
“You texted my son asking if she’s received any texts from you. DeLange, Tammany is in there, see if you can’t get him to voluntarily come in for questioning.”
“You’re related to that… that traitor?”
“Enough, Owen,” Joshua stepped in and grabbed him and pulled him towards the car, “Rand, you get Tammany in there in for questioning before you do anything you’ll regret to Maguire.”
They eventually were able to arrest who did the actual attack on Eva, through the use of cameras and talking with those who were in the area that evening. Eva had even identified him out of a line up and had also identified Quentin Tammany as the other who conspired in her attack.
Eva herself was attempting to get back into the swing of things. She had finally been discharged from the hospital and was given the go ahead to return to classes. It was the night before the first class since the attack and she was fretting in her room. She worried about people staring at her and worried about running into any other members of the Sims United Alliance. But the worst part of it was, she was going to have to face it without her best friend. Because her best friend had turned into her enemy.
She jumped when she heard a knock at her door. She wasn’t expecting anyone. “Eva, it’s Sean. Can I come in?”
Eva relaxed and let him in. “He was supposed to be my best friend,” Eva said and lost it.
“I know. But I’m here and I’m willing to fulfill my role as best friend and protective older brother,” Sean said, pulling Eva close and just letting her cry in his shoulder.
“You think of me as a sister?” Eva said.
“Well, we were both raised by the same people, that’s typically how siblings are raised. And as a child, I did literally think you were my sister. Miranda looked close enough to be my sister, you didn’t. It was asking Dad why you didn’t like Mom or him that I learned the truth. So yes, I think of you as a sister.”
“Are you ready for tomorrow? My boss is an occult and I explained what happened and she’s willing to let me take tomorrow off if you want moral support tomorrow.”
“But… but what if it’s a group from…”
“We’ll stay in the more public areas. We won’t give them the opportunity do hurt you without being noticed.”
“But my night lab class. It’s located in a more secluded part of campus. And Owen would know that. And… and he has to know by now that I’m not dead and managed to get word off…”
Sean was about to answer when there was a knock on the door. He saw Eva tense up and said, “Relax. We don’t know who it is, it’s likely just a neighbor welcoming you back.”
And that’s it for this chapter! Who is at the door? Will Eva be safe at college? Find out in chapters to come!
Agent Joshua DeLange is not my creation. He is the creation of LateKnightSimmer.
Someone’s talking to no one…
Wolfgang beating up on Owen for messing with his cousin…