Chapter 2. The first murder

The next morning

In a hospital room

"Hey mom here's breakfast." Tara said, walking in with a tray.

"Why was there a meeting last night?" Arias said from her chair.

"There's definitely no hiding anything from you." Tara chuckled, setting the tray on her mother's lap.

"Answer my question child." Arias raised an eyebrow.

"Up in the northern cities child have been disappearing mysteriously in the night. Authorities from Whitehorse to Seaside have absolutely no clue what's going on and have no leads or clues to go on. Tina and Ming think it's Arias tribe shenanigans." Tara explained.

"Nice, what does Mimi think?" Arias inquired.

"She told us about the tribal wars." Tara shrugged.

"And?"

"And she suspects that another one is brewing." Tara said.

"So are you going on the mission?" Arias said.

"No, I'll stay here with you." Tara reassured.

"You don't have to." Arias pointed out.

"I'm never leaving you again. Too many things have separated us in the past. I refuse to let that happen again." Tara said solemnly. She hugged her mother.

"Everything will be fine honey." Responded Arias hugging back.

A week later

In the lobby of the hospital.

"Here's a map of the area. Good luck." Ming smiled, walking a man and his son out of the hospital.

Ally sat at her desk reading another book.

Terence swept the floor.

Tara walked from the break room with a tray of food heading for the hospital rooms.

In the break room Lee and Layo played chess.

In one of the hospital rooms Tara sat down to have lunch with her recovering mother.

Upstairs was silent only Mimi was up there cleaning a hospital room.

The hospital was silent. Then Amy ran into the hospital lobby from outside. She almost trampled Ming on her way in. "GUYS!" She hollered rushing into the room.

Ally looked over her book with a scowl. Terence dropped his broom and turned to face Amy. He cocked his head at her. You could hear a folding table collapse in the break room. Layo was laughing and Lee was cursing. Ming walked back in and faced Amy.

"What is wrong with you child?"

"Where is everyone?" Amy said rapidly.

"Tara is with her mother, Mimi is upstairs and Terence is wondering what your problem is." Ming answered.

"Where are the girls?" Amy repeated.

"At the bakery on their lunch breaks." Terence shrugged.

"What's the scoop now?" Tara teased, walking in while pushing her mother in a wheelchair.

"The mayor of Oceanside was murdered last night." Amy replied.

"Wow. So either Mimi's wrong or there just slaughtering people for the fun of it." Terence drawled.

"Or Mimi's right and she's going to kick your butt!" Mimi scowled, appearing in the hallway doorway with her mop.

"Forgot you have hearing like a bat." Terence groaned.

"Don't forget it." Mimi snapped. She pointed the mop at him like it was a great threat.

"Back to work!" Ming announced.

Later that night

"So what are we going to do about the Arias tribe? We can't let them slaughter whoever they want." Ming replied.

They were having a meeting in the hospital lobby so Arias's could join.

"Well we still don't know why they're doing what they're doing." Tara reminded.

"Okay can I suggest a solution?" Sara suggested.

"Make it good." Ming said, sitting down with the group.

"Why don't we escape to an island out in the ocean like the tribes in Mimi's story?" Sara suggested.

"And she's run out of good ideas." May sighed.

"Nice try." Ming chuckled.

"Can I suggest one?" Terence said.

"Go ahead, we get all the bad ideas out so we can come up with some good one." Tina teased.

"Shut it." Terence snapped, scowling at his sister.

"My suggestion is we divide and conquer. We separate into groups. One goes to Arias tribe to see what's going on. One goes to Wilshire, and another goes to the capital, Seaside." Terence explained.

"But if we're divided we weaker." Sara argued.

"Would you like to follow my plan or let more innocent people die because your too afraid." Terence snapped.

Sara looked at him stunned. No one could think the last time Sara was speechless.

"Oh I'm sorry did I make you speechless? Did I offered you? Are you going to run home to your mommy now?" He spat his words at her like venom.

Sara looked stunned. Tears formed in the corners of her eyes. No one could remember the last time Sara cried. She was toughest person in the group. Instead of crying she attacked whoever offered her. She stood up slowly.

"I don't have to listen to this." Sara mumbled.

Her voice didn't sound at all like it was supposed to. It was quiet and soft. Maybe because she was trying not to cry. She slowly walked out of the room. We saw through the window that the minute she was outside she was running down the road.

"What is wrong with you?" Amy demanded. She looked worried.

"You made her cry! Do you know how hard it is to make her cry? It's nearly impossible! You pushed her too far!" May exclaimed.

"She needed to hear it!" Terence hollered..

"You don't know how bad it is to make Sara cry!" Amy snapped.

"The last time she cried was when she was 5 and their house burned down." May sighed.

"She needs to know the consequences of her actions." Terence scowled.

"Fine then you can act out your plan without us!" May demanded, storming out of the room. Amy followed her out. The room fell silent.

"Sorry to add to the argument but the three of them are very close. They grew up together in the same place. If you hurt one you hurt them all." Tara meekly said.

"She needs to decide if she's with us or against us." Terence growled, crossing his arms across his chest and scowling at Tara.

"If you're going to continue acting like that count me out." Tara huffed, standing up.

"Fine then! We don't need cowards!" Terence sneered.

"Your being a real pain." Tara said, wheeling her mother out of the room.

"Good job Terry, anybody else you want to kick out?" Tina scolded.

"Don't you start as well." Terence groaned.

"Just a fact, you can't do this alone." Tina huffed, walking out with Dina.

"Can you believe them Ming?" Terence scoffed, looking at Ming.

"I can't believe you right now." Ming glared.

"Are you going leave too?" Terence growled.

"I don't have time or patience to deal with your out of control testosterone." Ming said coolly. She walked out of the room.

"And all that's left is Mimi who is useless." Terence sighed, burying his face in his hands. .

Mimi huffed. "Fine then." She stood up and left.

The next morning.

Hospital lobby.

"Where's Terence?" Tina said, walking in.

"At his apartment?" Ally guessed.

"Already checked. Where are the others?" Tina said.

"Check the break room." Ally replied.

Tina walked towards the break room.

Inside.

"Guys!" Tina Hollered, walking in.

"What the!" Layo exclaimed, falling off the couch.

"Sorry." Tina replied.

"What's up?" Layo asked, pulling himself back onto the couch.

"Looking for my brother. Do you know where he is?"

"Haven't seen him since last night. We were on shift together last night."

Layo explained.

"Where's everyone else?" Tina pressed.

"I have no clue." Layo yawned, stretching out on the couch.

"Thanks anyway." Tina said walking out.

In the lobby.

"Can't find him?" Ally looked up.

"No." Tina huffed.

"Check upstairs. Maybe he fell asleep last night." Ally suggested.

"Thanks for the suggestion." Tina said, walking towards the hallway.

In the hallway.

"What's up?" Tara inquired, wheeling her mother out of one of the hospital rooms.

"Looking for my butt headed brother." Tina sighed.

"Haven't seen him since last night." Tara shrugged.

"What are you and your mom doing?"

"Taking her for her morning push." Tara smirked.

"Remember I'm right here." Arias laughed.

"Have fun." Tina replied, continuing upstairs.

Upstairs.

"Terry! Are you up here!" Tina Hollered, standing at the top of the stairwell.

A baby's cry came from the nursery.

"Could you be little louder?" Dina sighed, standing in the doorway of the first hallway. She had a baby in one arm and a bottle in the other.

"Sorry, have you seen Terence?" Tina furrowed her brows.

"Nope, been spending the morning with this little cutie." Dina replied, smiling at the baby in her one arm.

"Okay."

Dina walked back into the nursery.

Downstairs

"Still can't find him?"

"Obviously." Tina snapped, storming out of the hospital.

Outside.

"What's the rush tiny?" Lee teased.

Tina stormed past him. She walked into the bakery.

Inside

Inside the bakery was green walls decorated with pictures. Hardwood floors were throughout. Tables and chairs filled the room. One single counter with a display ran along the back wall.

"Need something Tina?" a girl in a blue sundress and white apron inquired. She was cleaning a table.

"Yeah, Siena, have you seen my brother?" Tina inquired.

"He came in early this morning to get about 2 weeks' worth of bread. I told him I could only give him one week's worth. He looked ready to kill me and said fine. He stormed out with a week's worth of bread." Siena explained.

"What time?"

"If I could estimate right at sunrise. I was just opening up shop. 6 a.m. maybe. I thought you guys were headed on another journey to the Arias tribe. I heard his horse outside." Siena shrugged.

"Thanks." Tina nodded, heading for the door.

"You got a clue what he was doing this morning?" Siena said.

"Yes, and it worries me now." Responded Tina walking back out. The next shop on the road was the butcher.

Inside the butcher.

"Ey Maya, your pa around 'ere somew'ere?" Tina called, walking in.

A little girl about 4 years old laid on the floor drawing. She was wearing a red dress. She had short black hair.

"E wet 'unting tis morning. But Taya, Stan, and Susie are somew'ere around 'ere." Maya said, looking up.

A tall skinny girl with olive colored skin walked in carrying a bag. She had a pink shirt and long yellow skirt. Her brown hair was up in a messy bun. Her sea blue eyes looked at Maya and Tina.

"Ey Tina, wha' ya nee'?" the girl asked, in a heavy accent.

"'Ave you seen my broter?" Tina asked, letting her accent slip out.

"I ain't seen 'm the 'ole mornin." the girl shrugged.

"Wa' we talkin bout?" a tall, lean boy with black hair and olive colored skin said. He had sky blue eyes. He was wearing a yellow tunic with a red belt.

"'Ave ya seen er bro?" the girl inquired, turning to face him.

"Ya, righ' before pa and Etan left to go 'untin." the boy nodded.

"Why?" Tina pressed.

"'Ame to get meat." the boy shrugged.

"Early tis morning?" Tina inquired.

"Yessum ma'am." the boy nodded.

"Thanks." Tina said, walking out. He best not have done what she thinks he's done.

In the salon.

Inside was hard wood flooring. The walls were pink. Two big Windows were at the front of the building. A couch and a desk were at the entrance. Chairs and mirrors ran along one side and sinks and chairs ran along the other wall. A woman with a green sundress and white belt stood sweeping the ground. She had a blonde braid that swung back and forth as she moved.

"Hey Madera, have you seen my brother?" Tina inquired.

"Nope. Have you seen Sean and Lily? There suppose to be around here. Now that I think about it. Your brother had an appointment at 8:00 a.m. Completely missed it." Madera furrowed her brows, looking at Tina.

"Thanks for the intel." Tina smiled, walking out.

Next was Silva's boutique.

"Ey Silva, aur ou ere?" Tina Hollered, walking in.

The shop was painted purple. Racks of clothing were throughout the shop. In the back came a noise of things falling over. Silva appeared from the back room. Her brown hair in a ponytail. Her red maxi dress was covered in dust. She sneezed. She smiled and waved.

"Avs ou see Terence?" Tina asked.

Silva shook her head up and down.

"Wej?"

Silva dusted herself off and walked towards the door. Tina followed her outside. Silva rarely spoke or understood English she spoke aria instead when she didn't speak aria her body motions got her point across. She stood on the path and pointed to the sun. Then she pointed to the mountains in the east.

"A suries?" Tina inquired.

Silva nodded excitedly. She then pretended to be unlocking the door to her boutique.

"You were just getting here." Tina guessed.

Silva cocked her head confused.

"Ou ere ust ettin er." Tina translated.

Silva grinned excitedly. Silva then ran down the path and pretended to be riding a horse.

"Ey asa riign ay ossee." Tina guessed.

Silva continued and then pointed to the mountains in the north.

"Ey effet." Tina winced.

Silva shook her head up and down excitedly.

"Hankasa Silva." Tina sighed taking off towards the apartments.

Upstairs.

Tina ran into the second apartment.

Inside May was cooking at the stove singing. Sara was reading a book on the couch. Amy was on the floor sewing a quilt.

"What's up Tina?" Amy inquired, looking up from her quilt.

"May! If you don't stop singing you're going to be served for lunch!" Sara threatened from the couch.

"Your jealous." May smirked from the stove.

"Have any of you seen my brother?" Tina said.

"Nope." Sara replied.

"Negative." Amy added, continuing to sew her quilt.

"Not since last night." May shrugged, turning to face Tina.

"Great." Tina let out a pained sigh.

"What's wrong?" May asked, putting a lid on her pot.

"He's missing. The only people that saw him were Siena and Stan saw him earlier this morning. Silva told me she saw him ride his horse out of the town heading north." Tina explained.

"And your thoughts?" Sara asked.

"That he has done something incredibly stupid and took off for the Arias tribe on his own." Tina sighed