The day dawned bitter cold. But within the gates of Camelot, blood ran hot.
The air was filled with chanting voices against police corruption. Some dealings between the chief of police and the Emperor of Evil had leaked to the press, and the citizens of Avalon were having none of it. There would be protests day and night until Police Chief William Pierce resigned.
Besides…. hadn’t he been chief of police for a really long time? Nobody seemed to be able to remember when he was first elected.
Gamora held a sign and chanted for a while, but she was really here to people watch. People were really amusing when they were this angry.
She’d been protesting for less than an hour when she saw someone who made her forget her sign and let it drop to the snow.
Whiney Ursine-Sample, her father’s nemesis dating all the way back to high school.
Well, Gamora wasn’t sweet and passive like her father. Whitney had a lifetime of harassment to pay for, and she planned to start calling in payments.
“Well look at the smelly garbage someone dumped on the lawn!”
Whitney jumped back in surprise. “What’s with you, girl? I don’t even know you!”
“Gamora Sample ring any bells?” Gamora mocked. “Like the daughter of Sawyer Sample?”
“Sawyer Sample! You have got to be kidding me!”
“Look, my dad put up with way too much of your crap, but I’m not my dad.”
“I intend to make your life very uncomfortable, starting now.”
“Look, girl, I can tell you’re even weirder than your dad, but you can’t scare me with your little threats. You can’t do anything to me.”
Gamora suddenly smiled and stepped close. “Is that so?” she said in a sultry voice.
She reached up to caress the line of Whitney’s jaw. Whitney’s eyes locked with Gamora’s. He seemed rooted in place.
Then she leaned in.
“What did you do to me?!” Whitney shouted.
“I’m not sure,” Gamora crooned, “but I’m sure it will be unpleasant.”
“You little freak!” Whitney cried.
Then he kicked her ass.
In another corner of Camelot’s courtyard, the venerable Matt Doctor was catching up with his neice Emily. “What are you looking at?” he asked.
“Are you getting a load of this?” Emily said. “That’s my boyfriend’s daughter. I don’t know whether to be proud or ashamed. I think I’m going with proud. That kid knows how to make trouble.”
“Didn’t she just get her butt kicked by a man her father’s age?” Matt demanded. “Aren’t you going to help her?”
“Are you kidding?” Emily said. “It’s much more fun to watch.”
While Gamora was making a scene in Camelot, Andria was baking again, and we all know what that means.
Edmund practiced a bit of magic while he waited.
“Were you supposed to zap your foot?” Victoria asked.
“Not sure,” Edmund admitted, “But it felt pretty good.”
Outside, Gamora made it home and took her fury out on the lawn ornaments.
Then the pie was out of the oven, pumpkin at Edmund’s request.
It was time to celebrate.
Gamora entered just as Andria was serving. “Oh, was there something important about today?” she asked.
Edmund gave her a hard stare. She was just trying to provoke him, and he wasn’t going to take the bait. And he had to admit, birthdays were pretty frivolous. At least he’d been able to persuade his mother to keep this one an intimate family gathering.
Edmund’s family gathered around the table to taste Andria’s marvelous pie and talk about life.
“Have you given any thought to what you want to do with your life?” Dylan asked Winston.
“Not sure yet,” Winston said, “but I think I want to check out some of my roots from the Mai side of the family. Maybe learn some Asian cooking.”
Gamora deigned to hang out with them for a little while. It was never clear whether she was proud that she didn’t need to eat or if she resented it.
After the party, Dylan sought out his wife. He found her in the kitchen, cleaning up.
“I know there’s another birthday coming up soon,” he said.
“I’d rather not think about it,” Andria said.
“Here, let me,” he said, brushing her gently aside. “I can finish the cleaning.” He drew out a scrubbie with a flourish. Somehow, Dylan could always do the grungiest tasks with style.
Andria shrugged and set herself to seasoning the skillet.
“This is a big birthday of yours coming up,” Dylan said, ” and I thought perhaps we should herald it in a big way.”
“Oh?” Andria said. “What did you have in mind?”
“I thought I’d take you back to where it all began,” he said.
Andria raised her eyebrows. “High school gym class?”
He chuckled. “Well, I was thinking of Champs les Sims. A bit of a second honeymoon.”
Andria let the skillet clatter to the stove. “A second honeymoon! What a marvelous idea! You’re so romantic, my love.”
So it was decided. Dylan made the reservations.
Andria gave Victoria firm talking-to. She would be the woman of the house, and Andria needed to be able to trust her, or this romantic getaway wasn’t going to work.
Victoria was delighted that she was being offered this kind of responsibility. “I won’t let you down!” she insisted. “Have a good time and don’t worry about a thing!”
Andria was still a little worried that Victoria might have less responsible things in mind, but she decided to give her daughter a chance to prove herself.
Edmund was going with them, though he promised to make himself scarce. He had some unclear reason for wanting to travel to Champs les Sims that had to do with his magical research.
And, as it turned out, Sawyer would be attending a neuroscience conference. That wasn’t exactly a coincidence. It was his brother’s travel that gave Dylan the idea for a vacation.
Dylan felt years younger as he ran to catch the taxi. A romantic vacation! At his age!
Andria would be the first to tell him that you’re never too old to have fun.
Gamora is a lot of fun right now. First poisoned kiss! I’m not entirely sure what it does other than turn someone green (which is less impressive in Avalon). Maybe makes the target sim nauseated? I need to look it up.
Heh. Now that I’m using the blue City Hall rabbithole from Monte Vista, protests look pretty good. No more people standing with their heads through the wall.
I had a lot of fun with Edmund’s adult look.
Man, I wish they all could be heirs. I’m still fretting about who is going to have to leave the house to make way for Vickie’s family.
As you might guess, this is the “free vacation” opportunity to give the teens a chance to be heads of household. Dylan rolled a wish to travel with Andria way back at his Elder birthday, so I thought this would be the perfect time to fulfill it.