Welcome back to another chapter of Random Paths! In the last chapter Eva and Thomas got a new control agent due to the war and it turned out to be their best friend Paul Reynolds. Shortly afterward, Eva gave birth to twins Elliot and Olivia. As they grew up, Elliot showed that he had his grandfather’s insanity and Olivia showed she had her great uncle’s musical talent. And now on with the story.
Elliot and Olivia had gone to school early. Or well, they were on school grounds early. Their home didn’t have a yard big enough for playground equipment and the principal said as long as they didn’t break anything, they could play on the school equipment. Their parents had to sign a waiver though for the after school use of it though.
“Hi,” a girl suddenly said, “Does your mom work here, too?”
“No. We just live across the street. I’m Elliot. That’s my twin sis Olivia. You are?”
“Caroline. Caroline DeLange. What’s your last name?”
“Riker,” Olivia said, “Why do you come in with your mom?”
“No one else at home. My dad’s off protecting the country. What about you guys? Any of your family off protecting the country?”
“No,” Elliot said.
“Oh,” Caroline said, kicking the ground.
“What grade are you in?” Elliot asked, changing the subject.
“Second,” Caroline said, “You guys?”
“Second. Teacher?” Elliot said.
“Same for me and Olivia. Let’s be friends!” Elliot said and held out his hand for Caroline to shake.
Caroline shook it.
“Caroline,” a voice said, “Time to head in. Buses are arriving. And you two, what are you doing here this early?”
“We have permission, Mrs. DeLange. Just ask Principal Tourakom. We live right across the street,” Elliot answered, “We’ll head in to class now, too.”
And from that day, the three were inseparable.
A few months later and it was the twins’ birthday. They decided to keep it to just Caroline due to the war effort being ramped up. Thomas has also managed to find a job during those few months. He was helping out the archaeologists who had artifacts in other countries get them to this country. He pretty much charged them a fee to do the trip plus they had to buy the items off of him. Eva hated when he went off, but knew they needed the money. Twins weren’t cheap.
Olivia spotted her present right away after coming home from school. A piano of her own. Elliot frowned. He didn’t see the thing he wanted.
“Elliot, go look in the garage,” Thomas said.
Elliot ran to the garage and saw it. His own inventor’s bench.
“The additional new room in the garage is a room with a shower for you to use should you catch yourself on fire,” Thomas said.
An hour later, Caroline showed up. But there was a sad look on her face.
“What’s wrong Caroline?” Elliot said.
“I don’t want to ruin your birthday,” Caroline said.
“Seeing you unhappy will do that on its own. What’s wrong?” Elliot asked again.
Caroline sighed. “Mom’s cousin’s kid got drafted. She already lost her sister to the war and now she might lose another relative to it. Not to mention her cousin is high up in the air force, though she said he’s very much older so she’s not worried that much about him. I don’t know the kid personally, I just don’t want to see Mom sad.”
“Your mother tell you that?” Eva asked.
“Nope. She thought I wasn’t paying attention when she was on the phone with one of her other cousins.”
“Alright. Enough with the war talk! It’s time to head out for dinner and then a movie,” Thomas said, checking his watch.
The rest of the birthday went smoothly and the days that followed had both Elliot and Olivia glued to their presents.
Elliot definitely felt more in control over his more scary voices now that he had something to focus on. Not that Darkness or Black ever really went away. They just got through a lot less often. It also helped that when they did his other voices were now strong enough to help overpower them. Especially Trini. But Light and Happy were also strong enough.
Olivia had finally managed to get her music teacher to help her find the scores to Atton Rand’s works and had begun trying to learn how to play them. Her teacher even got permission from Thomas and Eva to come over and help tutor Olivia on the piano.
A few years passed and the kids had just begun to enter puberty and that’s when the problems started.
Elliot’s voices picked up in intensity, especially Darkness and Black. It made Thomas really miss his father. And the better Olivia got, the harder it was on Eva.
It was one morning after the kids went off to school and Thomas said, “I wish I could get my father’s advice on Elliot.”
“You didn’t have to come into witness protection with me, you know.”
“Where did that come from, Aly?”
“You regret saying yes all those years ago. You’re not doing your dream job by any stretch of the imagination. I know for a fact that you refused the cure to keep me safe and not for your own happiness!”
Thomas sighed, “Eva. I don’t regret joining in witness protection with you. I really don’t!”
Thomas saw the tears in her eyes and took a calculated risk, “Let me guess, part of you regrets going into witness protection and just wants confirmation that you’re not the only one?”
“It’s just so hard, Thom… Mal. Especially with the fact that Olivia is a musical prodigy that rivals my uncle. And with him being her favorite composer.”
“It’s hard for me, too. Zachary, while being an amazing scientist, was also a wonderful inventor. Elliot’s got the same insanity as my father does. And I was just as close to my brothers as you were to your sister. And yes, there are times when I mentally wish I didn’t enter protection with you. But, those moments are far overshadowed by the joy I’ve had with you and the kids. The day you proposed in that unorthodox manner. Seeing Wolfgang walk you down the aisle. And of course marrying you. The day you told me you were pregnant. The birth of our twins. Those far overshadow any regrets that I have ever had and ever will have.”
Time went on and soon the war shifted tides. Thanks to a couple special ops teams. Soon word came out that Moonlight Falls was under attack. Eva knew this was the final battle of the war. This battle would determine who would in. Sim Nation or the SUA. The battle had been going on for a few days now. But Eva was brought out of her reverie by her son.
“Mom. Got a question for you,” Elliot asked.
“What’s the question?” Eva said.
“You haven’t met Caroline’s parents. They’re having a celebration since her father is finally home from the war for a good long while he says. They asked Caroline to ask us to ask you guys to join in. They already know Dad’s a vampire since Mrs. DeLange had asked where I got my vampirism from. And they don’t have a problem with vampires obviously.”
“When is this little get together?” Eva said.
“Friday night. So it’s not even a school night.”
Eva laughed, “I’ll talk with your father about it. But I do want to meet her parents so I’ll at least be going.”
“I want to meet her parents, too,” Thomas said entering the room, “I don’t ship out for my next assignment until Monday at the earliest since that’s when I get the paperwork on it. So I can do something Friday night.”
And Friday night was soon upon them. They got to the house and when Mrs. DeLange stepped out of the house to get the mail at the same time that the Rikers pulled up, Eva went pale.
“What’s wrong, Mom?” Elliot asked.
“I forgot to make a phone call for work. You guys go on in,” Eva said.
“I’ll stay out here with your mother,” Thomas said.
“Alright. Suit yourselves,” Elliot said and he and Olivia headed off.
“Shit,” Eva said.
“You’re shitting over seeing her? And it does smell like her.”
“I’m supposed to be dead to her, Malcolm.”
Thomas was about to respond when Eva’s phone went off.
And that’s it for this chapter! Who have they run into who is not supposed to know they are alive? Who is on the phone? Find out in chapters to come!