Veronica’s career was thriving in her new home.
In addition to her normal work collecting spirits, The Sufficiently Advanced Technology Center had her hosting seminars and giving lectures at Chivalric Preparatory School. Her name was starting to become a household world on the sleepy island.
Some Avalonians like Ariel Hodgins treated her like a local celebrity.
Ariel was full of questions about supernatural creatures that might be in the area. Most of them Veronica had never heard of, but she pretended to know what she was talking about.
Field work had never been more interesting. Current research indicated that Avalon Island lay on an undersea rift with the faery lands, leading to periodic magic eruptions and a higher level of ambient magic in general. That had affected the citizens in pretty eye-catching ways, though it didn’t appear to be dangerous.
Her home visits even took her out to the place where her ex-boyfriend Willem Yo was living with his new young fiance Faith Cagley. They’d apparently moved to Avalon for the climate.
Willem’s intentions were kind of creepy. The third time he asked her if she’d like to go out for drinks sometime, she pointed out that Faith was coming home, and he shut up.
Some relationships were better off dead dead dead.
Forest became even more of a loner than he had been before. It didn’t seem to bother him. He seemed to like it.
He headed out to the park a lot at dusk and never told anyone what he did there.
And then there were all those strange noises that came out of the basement in the middle of the night.
Sky’s eating habits were still disgusting, but she tried to keep them private most of the time.
Hunter’s troubles in elementary school compounded when he got to high school.
Charles and Forest spent a lot of time trying to tutor him, but it didn’t seem to help.
Veronica got really frustrated and yelled at him when his report card came home, which made the whole situation worse.
If so many people were working so hard to help him and his grades were still low, he figured he must be a real moron.
He was in that frame of mind when he had to visit the Sufficiently Advanced Tech Center (SATC) to finish a report for science class.
It happened to be Take Your Daughter to Work Day, and Sky was there with Veronica.
Veronica was called on an emergency house call just as the visit ended, so she left Sky and Hunter to find their own way home.
“Look,” Hunter said. “That’s a nice looking dog coming to visit!”
“Hunter!” Sky hissed! “That’s MacDuff Voss! Stay away from him!”
MacDuff belonged to Emma Voss, one of their new high school classmates. She had brought him to Avalon Island when she came to live with foster parents after her own parents died. MacDuff was the meanest, most dangerous dog on the island, and of course Emma and her foster parents would never believe how bad he was.
And here were Emma’s foster parents now: Tam and Martin-Luther Butterfield-Callender.
“He doesn’t look so bad,” Hunter said. “I think you just have to be extra gentle with him.”
“Hunter, don’t–!” Sky cried. But it was too late. Hunter reached his hand out for MacDuff to sniff. And MacDuff barked happily and nuzzled under Hunter’s hand for a scratch.
“How do you DO that?” Sky demanded.
“Do what?” Hunter asked.
“That,” Sky said in exasperation. “Make every nasty creature you meet into your friend.”
Hunter shrugged. “Animals aren’t that different from people. You just have to figure out how to talk to them.”
Sky sighed. “I don’t think you have any idea how talented you are.”
“I’m not talented,” Hunter said. “Besides, you make every musical instrument you meet into your friend. And Forest makes every math problem he meets into some kind of scientific advancement. I’ll never be like you guys.”
“Why would you need to be like us?” Sky asked.
“Because you guys are smart,” Hunter said scornfully. “I’ll tell you a secret. The only reason I’m not failing school is because I Forest lets me copy his homework. And even then I get it wrong half the time.”
Sky frowned. “I knew it was bad, but that’s even worse than I thought. Look, I know you’re not stupid. Mom says you’re just not applying yourself, but I’ve seen how hard you work. Have you ever thought that there might be something else making it extra hard?”
“What do you mean?” Hunter asked.
“I don’t know. But maybe you should at least talk to your guidance counselor. It’s their job to know things like why smart guys don’t do well in school.”
“Wow,” Hunter said. “I didn’t know you’d even noticed.”
“Of course I noticed,” Sky said. “You’re my brother. I love you.”
And lastly, Charles’s career also took off running. With all the sweat and love he poured into the old dojo building, he made a tidy profit from selling the Sample Spirit Dojo to a businessman from Japan. His business as a Sim Fu instructor was also turning a nice income, and he was able to fund the construction of an entirely new academy building at the top of Isolde Peak in Avalon.
There was no better atmosphere to train and meditate on the whole island.
Charles also officially received his black belt from a panel of Sim Fu masters assembled by Zhan Wu. He was well on his way to becoming a master of the art. And his reputation preceded him to the island. He had students signing up before the Charles Sample Sim Fu Academy opened its doors.
Not long after the academy officially opened, a familiar face turned up.
“I told you I’d make it out here to finish my training,” Adjo Ursine-Sample said with a grin.
Charles’s face lit up when he saw his uncle. “Did I ever say I doubted you?”
And so they got to sparring.
Adjo gave Charles a real run for his money. He’d more than earned his blue belt, and Charles was honored to grant it to him.
They hugged as they parted. Charles didn’t know it was the last time he’d see Uncle Adjo, but it was probably better that way.
Toya called not long after after Adjo returned home to report that her husband had died suddenly of a heart attack.
Adjo had lived a full life. He’d built a musical empire. He had the happy marriage and huge family he’d always dreamed off. Charmaine, Starr, Valerie, and Darrin were all grown and out of the house, and Brenna was about to graduate from high school, but their little late surprise daughter Karina was still a toddler. She’d never really know her father. Charles had lost his father Cyclone at about the same age. “You know I’m here if you need anything,” he told Toya, and he meant it.
“I know,” Toya said through tears on the phone. For an Evil politician, she’d always been a loving wife. “I’ll remember. Thank you.”
Well, it had to happen sometime. Shanni’s still alive, but she’s pretty old. I’ll miss both the twins. I kind of hope Shanni has a child with Jeanna, but no such luck so far.
Hunter followed Forest around for most of his childhood, but soon after everyone’s teen birthday, Sky and Hunter rolled simultaneous wishes to be each other’s BFF. Sky really has come out of her shell, and not just with music :).
I pulled a bunch of interesting pets out of the simbin and scattered them in the town with random traits. One of those dogs was Emma Voss’s dog MacDuff. I get more StoryProgression notifications from him than any other dog, and all of them are about him mauling some poor sim or pet.
Forest has rolled a crazy number of wishes to play hopscotch. I added a game to the park, but there’s never anyone there when he shows up to play with him. I guess he’d want to keep it a secret anyway.
I didn’t have NewSea’s Elizabeth installed when I first ran the game, and thought the hair that Ariel rolled kind of suited her, so I left it. I did give Sebastian back Charles’s hair :).
Willem Yo really did hit on Veronica when I left her on autonomy at the end of a job, pretty much in full view of Faith. If that’s the kind of dirty old man he’s become, I’m no longer sorry for treating him so badly in this legacy. Then again, maybe it was all those rejections that twisted his soul…. At any rate, sorry Redhead about Faith! At least Morand is very happy :).
Well, my memory is upgraded and the Windows 7 virtual machine is running like a charm. The performance is a massive improvement on what I was getting, as tested with the Wonderlands. However, I have been really nervous about loading up the Samples for fear that there was something more wrong with them that was causing the crash on load.
As of this writing, I have loaded the Samples and played for 15 minutes before I had to shut down because my daughter woke up from her nap. During that time, nothing crashed, and that’s much better than I was getting before. That’s not a REAL test, but it’s encouraging. I’ll suck it up and actually try to play a real session soon.
And I’d better because it turns out I’m WAY closer to caught up than I thought. I have laid out one more post after this, and I have parts for about three more, but I have to actually finish playing some current stuff before those can be done. So, wow. I’m not sure if I’ve been that close to caught up this year. It’s a bit unnerving.
One note: I did find one big performance issue that was affecting both the Wonderlands and the Samples. I downloaded some custom content