“Hmmm,” Gamora said. “This is more dramatic than I was expecting on a first test.”
“I’m getting some kind of feedback,” Sawyer said. “We’re in some kind of tachyon loop.”
“I see something!” Gamora.
“Gamora!” Sawyer shouted. “Step away from the prototype!”
Gamora jumped back, just as something burst from the time field and dropped to the floor.
“Heeey….” the something said.
“Who are you?” Gamora demanded. “WHAT are you?”
“Me?” he asked. “I’m Emit Relevart, time traveler extraordinare!”
“How did you get into our time machine?” Gamora asked. “This was our first prototype test.”
“I was going to ask you the same thing,” Emit said. “But don’t bother. Time traveling is like that. You’d think that time loops would create some kind of paradox, but they actually happen all the time. This thing is probably your time machine and mine.”
“If you’re new to temporal travel, you should read up on the rules,” Emit said. “We try to help the newbies to the hobby avoid the worst mistakes.”
“Huh,” Gamora said. “I don’t know what to say. This isn’t the way I expected to discover time travel. I expected it would be more… pioneering.”
“I’ll let you in on a secret,” he continued, beckoning Gamora to lean close. “Everyone who ‘invents’ time travel thinks they’re the first one. Welcome to the club.”
“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to head out to some place less crowded with other travelers.”
He pulled out a device and pressed a few buttons. The time travel prototype shuddered and spiked in response. Then he was gone.
Sawyer and Gamora were left alone in the lab.
“Well, that was unsettling,” Sawyer said.
“I wondered whether I wanted to go to future or the past when we got this thing working,” Gamora mused. “Now I know where I’m going.”
Inside, romance was in the air.
“Hey, Cortney?” Winston said. “Dance class is out this week, and I was wondering if you’d like to–”
“Oh, sorry. Maybe some other time.”
Winston put his phone back in his pocket and stared at the floor for a while. There had been a time when Cortney Pierce-Hodgins had wanted to spend all her time with him. Now… what?
At almost the same time, Victoria was also fielding a phone call.
“Kain McWilliams? Of course I remember you from prom! A date? Uh, OK. When?”
Kain insisted that she pick a location. That’s how they ended up at the beach in the snow.
“Vickie!” Kain exclaimed. “It’s so good to see you. I have to say I’m kind of surprised by the venue, though. It’s it a little bit cold for the water?”
“It’s actually not that bad!” Victoria said. “The jetstream brings up a lot of warmer water from tropical seas. It’s just fine with a wetsuit.” At his horrified expression, she amended lamely, “I didn’t really think we’d swim. The view from the clubhouse is gorgeous.”
“I’ve never been inside the clubhouse,” Kain said, looking around appraisingly. “This is really nice. Thank you for showing it to me.”
“This is my favorite place in Avalon,” Victoria admitted, “even when it’s cold. You can still hear the waves and feel the ocean breeze.”
“It’s also deserted this time of year,” Kain said, “which is great for us. What a find!”
Victoria blanched. “And it has a great karyoke machine,” she said quickly. “Why don’t we play for a while?”
“Uh sure, if that’s what you like,” Kain said. “How do you set this thing up?”
Victoria was an old hat at the Morgana Beach karaoke machine. She and Judith had logged hours on it all through high school.
Kain wasn’t a bad singer, which was impressive, since Victoria knew the set list by heart, and he didn’t.
But Victoria had to admit that he was just weird about the whole thing. And there was something about the way he looked at her that made her uncomfortable.
What was he even doing with his head there?
At least the sound attracted in some other folks, so they weren’t alone. That helped Victoria relax a little bit.
After a few songs, Kain put his microphone away. He was watching her with that intensity that made her want to cringe away.
“That was a lot of fun,” he said. “What would you think about continuing our date someplace more private?”
“Uh….” Victoria said. “I think I really should go home now. My, uh, parents expect my home for dinner.”
Kain’s face fell. “I see. I guess if you want to go out again, you should give me a call.”
Victoria escaped as fast as she could, feeling horrible. She’d hurt his feelings, and she knew it. He’d been so nice to her at the prom. They’d danced and laughed together. But on their own, without the flashing lights and shouting over the music, all she felt around him was uncomfortable.
Would she ever learn to turn someone down gracefully?
I’ve played ahead at least eight posts worth of material, but I’ve been wrestling with writer’s block. Hopefully getting this out will help me power through it. In my game, Victoria has taken over the legacy, and I’m on the hunt for a spouse for her. (She, honestly, couldn’t care less so long as she can swim, sail, and build things.) It’s hard to figure out how to help her choose from her collection of admirers — being Irresistible, she doesn’t lack for romantic interests. Kain, the RI she picked up from prom, was easy to eliminate though.
Vickie gets a lot of wishes about that karaoke machine. You’re going to see it again.
[Author’s note: this is a novel. Sorry. It really should be two posts, but I just can’t wait any longer!]
“Hey, Dad, did you know it’s my birthday today?” Gamora said when she returned home from school.
Sawyer looked at her like a deer in the headlights. “I did not track that,” he admitted. “Is it now expected that I throw you a birthday party?”
“Don’t worry, Dad,” Gamora said. “I have everything handled. You just come with me. There’s someone I want you to meet.”
“Someone who lives here?” Sawyer asked. “This doesn’t seem like the kind of home that welcomes visitors.”
“Don’t worry,” Gamora said. “He’s expecting us.” She walked up confidently and rang the doorbell. Sawyer lingered back at the gate.
The door opened with a melodramatic creak.
“Ah!” Forest said. “I was wondering if you were going to come after all.”
Gamora shrugged. “Dad was slow.”
“Have you met my, ah, Flynn?” Forest asked with a unsettling smile. “He was just leaving.”
The deathly pale figure of Sean Flynn followed Forest out the door. He spared a single, uninterested glance for Gamora, then walked past them to the exotic sports car parked beside the house.
Forest Sample in the hall and beckoned Gamora and Sawyer inside. Sawyer tried not to look closely at the pile of dirty laundry Forest was standing in. Some things he just didn’t want to know.
“Happy birthday, Gamora!” Forest said.
That was really all the encouragement Gamora needed.
“Tea for everyone!” Gamora said. “I brought some of Aunt Andria’s interesting herbs to give it kick.”
Gamora made her way to the beverage machine like someone who knew her way around the house.
“If you don’t mind, I’ll serve myself something a bit more sustaining,” Forest said.
“Dad, this is Forest Sample,” Gamora told Sawyer eagerly. “He’s an ancestor of ours. He says he is the family’s personal undead guardian.”
“I actually know who he is,” Sawyer said. “He’s my uncle.”
“Uncle?” Gamora said in surprise. “You don’t mean great-great-uncle? Or ancient ancestor or something?”
“No,” Sawyer said. “He’s my mother’s sister. He lived in our house while I was growing up.”
Gamora’s face fell. “Wow.” she said. “Forest, you told me you were some kind of ancient undead creature!”
“I might have lied about my age,” Forest admitted. “Just a little bit. But not about the rest. The undead and the guardian parts are true.”
“Forest’s definition of ‘guardian’ might be a little different from yours or mine,” Sawyer said. He sat down with his tea and looked around the room. “This is quite a lair you have for yourself,” he told Forest.
Forest chuckled. “Thank you.”
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you,” Sawyer said.
“But not a long time since I saw you,” Forest said.
“I am not reassured,” Sawyer said.
“Really,” Forest said, “there’s no reason to be like that. I mean our family no harm. Quite the contrary.”
Lionel Flynn, ostensibly Sean Flynn’s husband, just sat back with his tea and silently watched everyone else. Everyone in this house was some kind of creepy.
“Well, this went a bit differently than I imagined,” Gamora said. “Let’s move on to the next part of the festivities.”
“You have more in mind?” Sawyer asked.
“Of course!” Gamora said. “Come on!” She hurried to the elevator in the front room.
The elevator took them to a dark humid subbasement.
Where a lovely hottub waited for them. At least the reason for the humidity was innocuous.
“Come on, Dad, Uncle Forest,” Gamora said. “The water’s fine.” There was nothing she liked better than a good, relaxing drink through her vegetable skin.
Sawyer struggled with the elevator door. “You make… this look… so easy.”
“Well, this is very nice,” Sawyer admitted when he finally sat down in the hot tub.
Sawyer tried. He really did. But when Forest came down to join them, he jumped back out of the water.
“I think it’s time for me to go,” he said. “I have to be up early in the morning for surgery.”
“Certainly,” Forest said. “Let me escort you to the surface.”
“I can find my way up,” Sawyer said. “You can stay down here with Gamora.”
“I insist,” Forest said.
“All right, then.”
When Gamora came home after midnight, Sawyer was up waiting for her.
“Happy birthday,” he said.
“Thanks, Dad.” She took a breath. “Could you help me with an equation in quantum physics?”
Sawyer immediately relaxed. He didn’t know what he’d expected to see from his new teenage girl, but Gamora was still the daughter he knew. “I’d be delighted,” he said and sat down beside her.
They said no more about the birthday party, and that was best for everyone.
And they said no more about it.
Gamora went to bed and wondered what high school would bring.
Edmund completed a new sculpture. He called it, “The Empty Dinner Table of the Soul.”
It suited him better than his most recent painting. The pictures never seemed to make it to canvass the way they were in his head.
Victoria finally learned enough in shop class to attempt to fix the stereo.
She felt like she had an audience for the whole thing.
She was so successful with the stereo that she moved on to the dreaded dishwasher. Family legend was that it was a dangerous device that had already killed someone.
Winston found a new use for the family’s magic.
“Enchanted apples!” he announced. “Let’s find out what kind of cobbler I can make with these!”
“Are you sure you’re all right down there?” Andria asked anxiously. “That thing is dangerous! You know what it did to your grandmother’s girlfriend.”
“I know, Mom,” Victoria said. “I’m fine. This is fun!”
“Please let me call a repairman.”
“No. It’s finished anyway. See?”
“I swear, the parents can be so overprotective!” Victoria complained as she sat down to dinner.
“They might relax if you were a little more true to yourself,” Winston said.
Victoria coughed. “What?”
“Since you got grounded, you’re still kind of pretending to be something you aren’t,” Winston said. “You’re not really someone who looks tough and talks tough. You’re a nice girl who loves the ocean.”
“Huh,” Victoria said. “I hadn’t really thought of it that way.”
As she got ready for bed that night, Victoria peered at herself in the mirror through her shaggy, ragged locks of hair. Winston was right. She did look like she was pretending to be someone else.
She brushed her hair back away from her face. There.
Winston congratulated himself for his advanced application of brotherly love.
“A good sensitive brother deserves a few pieces of Spooky Day candy. Don’t you think?”
Winter pressed on. The snow fell around Avalon and grew into drifts.
Most of Gamora’s mail these days was scientific in nature.
She and Sawyer were hitting the science and medical journals in their spare time.They were crafting their very first experiment together.
Sawyer booked some time on the RGB machine owned by the Sufficiently Advanced Technology Center.
He needed to cross the red pad thai and the blue magnetometer streams to test their hypothesis.
Then, when the the father-daughter genius duo were on the verge of completing their theory….
Winston nervously dialed the phone for the third time.
“Cortney? Hi! It’s Winston! Yeah, from gym class. I was wondering if you didn’t have anyone to go to prom with, and I don’t have anyone to go to prom with, maybe — oh, you already have a date. Sorry to bother you.”
Winston hid in his room for the rest of the evening.
Edmund, on the other hand, dithered about whether to ask Joy or Judith until it was too late to ask anyone.
Victoria upgraded the sink to be unbreakable. Then she remembered that she ought to buy a dress or something.
Gamora had no interest in slow dancing with some sappy kid in the gym, but she did have big plans for prom. She’d been assembling ideas from her Advanced Mayhem correspondence course for weeks.
Late the night before prom, she picked the lock to the school and slipped into the gym to rearrange the decorations. The new version was a bit more obscene than the original.
She also got into the ballot box and altered the votes for prom queen.
This was going to be fun.
The night arrived, and the limo pulled up in front of the Sample Estate.
“Are you going to be all right, Winston?” Victoria asked.
“I’ll be fine,” Winston said, though all he could think about was Cortney Pierce-Hodgins dancing with some other guy.
“You’re not fooling anyone,” Victoria said. “Don’t go if you’re going to be miserable. But I think prom is your thing more than mine. Heck, you can dance.”
Winston thought about dancing in front of all this classmates, and he had to smile in spite of himself. “Yeah,” he said. “I got this. Thanks, Vickie.”
Dylan came to see his children off.
“Victoria,” he said, “you’re my only daughter. I don’t ever want to see you hurt. Boys can be, well they can be deceitful and cruel to someone as beautiful as you are because they want, well, they want–“
“It’s all right, Dad,” Victoria said. “I think I’ll be all right. Do you really think I’m beautiful, or is that just Dad talk?”
“You are radiant,” Dylan said sincerely. “You even outshine your mother, but don’t tell her I said that.”
“Thank you, Daddy. I love you.”
“The limo won’t wait any longer!” Edmund announced. So they all piled in to be escorted to the dance.
Gamora didn’t wait for the limo. She was one of the first to arrive. She couldn’t wait to see this.
It went down in history as the most disastrous prom Chivalrous Preparatory had ever known.
The only one who was pleased about this was Gamora.
Winston spent the entire evening trying to attract Cortney Pierce-Hodgins’s attention and being snubbed. What went wrong?
He finally asked Paulette Mai to dance, and apparently he was too good at it. She followed him around for the rest of the night.
Victoria also picked up an admirer.
Gamora danced through the evening, sewing dissent and starting fights… usually in a way that couldn’t be traced to her.
Edmund was still the target of some nasty school bullies.
As far as Gamora was concerned, it was a perfect evening. She left
Andria was waiting for Edmund when he got home.
“The principal called. Were you in a fight?” she demanded.
“No!” Edmund said. “Well, yes, but it wasn’t my fault!”
Gamora grinned to herself. This could go on all night.
While Andria and Edmund were sorting through exactly what happened at prom, Gamora changed clothes and called Sawyer.
“Why are we doing this now?” Sawyer demanded. “It’s after midnight. I’m exhausted.”
“You don’t have to work tomorrow,” Gamora said. “I can’t wait.”
The two of them descended to Sawyer’s old lab underneath the barn.
Where they had been building their experimental device.
“Here it is,” Gamora purred. “This beauty is ready to run, come what may!”
“Shall we give it a whirr?” Gamora said.
“I am not nearly ready to do this,” Sawyer said, “but I don’t think you can be dissuaded.”
“Then it’s agreed. Here we go!”
Wow, that was long! I just couldn’t bear to wait another post before moving to the heir poll. I figure this post makes up for the fact that Gamora aged to a teen in this post — she got plenty of spotlight for you to get to know her.
I felt like I had to give you the Into the Future teaser to make it clear that Gamora would be doing something other than making mischief. Though I do like the cliffhanger :).
And here we are! Gamora’s fourth trait is Night Owl. It’s not as descriptive as some she might have gotten, but I’m sure I can do something with it. Her personality seems pretty well-formed at this point anyway.
I am beyond thrilled by her appearance. She’s just captivating.
OTOH, I hate the plantsim hair and clothes with a burning passion. I imagine her hair as leaves and vines, and I’m trying to find hairstyles that suit that look.
I wasn’t quite sure how to present the story context for the rather catastrophic prom. Gamora DID have a mood swing that day with all kinds of wicked wishes, only half of which I was able to grant between the time school let out and prom started. Really, for an Evil sim, a mood swing should include wishes to be nice to people….
WE’RE READY FOR THE HEIR POLL.
Now I just have to put it together, which I don’t think I can manage tonight. Tomorrow, then!
(Author’s note: I posted yesterday too. If you think you might have missed one, take a look.)
Andria was baking again, and we all know what that means.
This time, the birthday part was for Winston.
Andria tried a new recipe this time — angel food cake. Light, fluffy, and burning with its own personal flame.
“Victoria! You did your hair!” Abby called as she arrived. “By the way, do you know your stereo is broken?”
“I am a lean, mean, dancing machine,” Winston crowed.
Winston was the most social of the Sample kids. The invitation list for his party was long and filled with sims of all ages. Dylan and Andria had never even seen some of the guests — they were pretty sure at least one was a stranger who wandered in off the street.
“Happy birthday to you…!” everyone sang.
“Let’s eat cake!” Winston ordered.
“Let me serve,” Andria said. “I don’t want anyone to get burned.”
She laid out a flaming slice for everyone.
“The cake is on fire!” Mason James shouted. “I’ve got to get a picture of this!”
Guests crowded to the table
And spilled out into the living room.
Winston ended up giving his seat to someone else and eating in the middle of the action.
“Hi, Edmund,” Judith said.
“Urk,” Edmund answered.
Joy, standing right behind Judith, shouted, “I think the cake is burning a hole in the table!”
Andria dashed in to put out the flames, and Edmund sneaked away in the distraction.
Everyone partied until Dylan kicked them out so that he could sleep, and everyone was talking about the party the next day at school.
Winston couldn’t have been happier.
Sawyer was less impressed. The party was far too loud and rowdy for him to handle. As soon as the birthday singing was done, he escaped to the tech den and closed the door. Instead, he challenged Emily to a game of online chess.
And he won.
Then he wrapped up his slice of cake and slipped out the door to return home,
Where he ate it on the back deck in the falling snow.
Sometimes Sawyer didn’t even make sense to Sawyer.
Andria was experimenting with some magic not directly related to nature. She spent an entire afternoon turning random objects to gold.
Some of the less appropriate ones, she changed back later,
But she left a few as they were. The golden fire hydrant was an answer to the dream Connery never knew he had.
One evening, Andria had plans for Edmund. “You’ve taken the most interest in advanced magic,” she told him. “I wanted to show you more of the fae world.”
“There’s more?” Edmund asked.
“So much more,” Andria told him.
She took him along a path through the wilderness, past Castle Marmalade, and down a steep slope to a secluded beach.
“Where are we?”
“A haven for pureblood fae,” Andria said. “Those of us who never adapted to humans tend to live around here. It’s a powerful place.”
“There are other fae around here?” Edmund said. “I don’t see anyone.”
“The purebloods come out when they feel like it.”
She shifted to her natural form. “Here. I want to teach you something.”
“Wow! What are you doing?”
“Peeking into your future! Now hush.”
“Huh,” said Edmund. “I’ll keep an eye out.”
“Sometimes they’re more useful,” Andria admitted. “Now you try.”
“Sure. You’re more powerful than I am. I know you can do it.”
“OK. Here goes.”
“Whoa,” Andria said. “Set it down.”
“What did I do?” Edmund asked, panicked.
“I just saw something really embarrassing. Let’s try this another time.”
Connery still wandered back and forth across the street between his families.
I was a good life for an old dog.
Connery also loved music. He was delighted by the broken stereo. It was perfect to howl with.
This began a special bond with Winston, who thought Connery’s singing was fabulous.
Now that she was off the book, Victoria was a lot more relaxed.
She almost had her grades back to where they were before she skipped.
Winston was rocking his new high school style.
He was able to advance to private instruction in dance.
When he was home, it was hard to pull Winston out of the kitchen. Now he was tall enough to work with adult-sized appliances, and there was so much to explore.
He already kept the family in fantastic waffles, and his latest experiment with spices in the mac and cheese made a familiar old dish exotic and new.
Andria didn’t seem to mind sharing the kitchen spotlight. She had plenty of advanced baking to focus on.
This time it was for a landmark in Dylan’s life.
Dylan didn’t mind growing old. It had a certain dignity to it. But a family party just didn’t suit his mood. Instead he chose to ring in his Elderhood at a wine tasting at Avalon Nectary. Dylan’s friend Fawn Rockwell, the owner of the nectary, was only too happy to share the space with him. Andria’s friend Manu took time off from the Consignment Shop to join them.
Dylan had no regrets.
As he blew out the candles, he could feel only contentment and pride over the art he had created and the family he’d helped to build.
He was ready to step into the next stage of life.
Andria’s cake was a big hit with the wine and cheese crowd.
Conversation was warm and jolly.
“Don’t think I’m going to put up with excuses about how you’re too old and feeble to do the dishes,” Andria warned.
“I wouldn’t dream of it, my lady,” Dylan assured her.
Afterward, Andria had a nice conversation with Stanley Marmalade’s fiancé Jody, who was launching a new career as a magician.
Then came the moment Dylan had been waiting for.
“I call this Chatau Sample Mead,” Dylan said. “All indications are that it should be the best nectar I have ever produced.
“Here,” said the receptionist, “Let me get a picture before we taste it!”
“I just know it will be amazing!”
“I certainly hope so,” Andria said, trying to keep her voice positive.. Clearly this woman wasn’t familiar with Dylan’s previous nectar.
She took a deep breath and sipped.
At first, she couldn’t speak.
“Tell me what you think,” Dylan said anxiously. “Be honest. I mean really honest. I have to know so that I can improve the recipe.”
“This is amazing!” Andria exclaimed. “And I mean it!”
It was the first truly good bottle of nectar Dylan had never made. And it wasn’t just good, it was like liquid pleasure all the way down.
“You finally got it right,” Andria said.
Dylan smiled. “It’s about time.”
It was a nice treat for Dylan to serve some of his nectar and it NOT cause nauseated moodlets! Woot!
I’m so in love with all of Gen 7! I have loved previous generations of kids, but this batch as a whole is the shining star of the legacy so far. They all look different and interesting, and they all have fascinating personalities. I’d be delighted with any of them as heir. What I’m distraught about is that I don’t have enough household space for everyone to stick around to pursue LTWs. Somebody is going to have to leave shortly after adulthood. This makes me want to cry.
Annnd, Winston’s fourth trait totally rocks my concept for where his character is going. He rolled Natural Born Performer. It meshes perfectly with his personality. But I had intended to let his Natural Cook trait guide his career path and have him open a restaurant. With both Athletic and Natural Born Performer, though, he almost has to be an acrobat.
Sadly, Andria didn’t actually bake the angel food cake. That requires maxxed cooking, and she’s at level 9. It takes a LOT of cooking to get from level 9 to level 10, and despite the screen time it gets in this legacy, it’s not a LTW-grade skill of hers. Edmund got a chance card at The Round Table while he was on his date with Judith. Somebody spilled wine on his shirt, and he got an entire cake as compensation from the embarrassed waitstaff. I decided to use that instead of a birthday cake because, quite frankly, I am sick to death of the same two birthday cakes. I am SO happy Sims 4 make all cakes usable as birthday cakes.
Wow, the pic of Judith talking to Edmund in the kitchen doorway is captivating. I’m not sure I realized until this moment what an attractive sim she is. She’s a service sim — former newspaper girl who I moved into town as the foster daughter of the schoolteacher. I have NRaas set to breed my service and role sims by combining the genes of two randomly-selected sims from either the town or my sim bin; that seemed like the only way to avoid drowning in Face One. Her skintone and eyes tell me that one of her parents was a Marmalade from the Sweetest of Dreams Wishacy. Too bad that challenge seems to have died, and just when Hunter married the patroness and had two adorable toddlers. Ah well.
“Mom, please talk to Dad!” Victoria begged. “I’m really sorry I skipped school, and I’ll never do it again, but he just won’t let me off the hook!”
“Victoria, your father and I agreed on this punishment together,” Andria said. “You destroyed our trust in you, and we need some sign that you learned something.”
“Edmund was ground for like a day, and you helped him convince Dad to let him off the hook,” Victoria said with a scowl. “Why are you treating me so different.”
“Edmund lost track of time at the library,” Andria pointed out. “You skipped school, sneaked away, and scared us all day.”
Just then Edmund walked by to grab a snack.
“You don’t have to rub it in,” Victoria said.
“I didn’t say anything!” Edmund protested.
Victoria stalked off to her bedroom to sulk some more.
“You and Dad really are being kind of rough on Vickie,” Edmund said. “She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body.”
“You’re not an adult yet, kiddo,” Andria retorted. “Don’t push it.”
At the Sawyer Sample house, Sawyer appreciated his newfound silence. It was much easier to keep up with his medical journals.
Gamora had started some kind of correspondence course.
She told Sawyer that it was Advanced Quantum Physics, which she couldn’t get in Elementary School. But she seemed awfully eager to see the modules when they came in the mail. Even a bit…. sinister?
She went in and tucked the lesson module under her bed. The title read Making Mayhem, Advanced Course. Hmmmm.
When he wasn’t dancing, Winston spent a lot of time at Archimedes Books and Scrolls.
It was the best place to sell his cupcakes. He was starting to get a reputation.
Meanwhile, Victoria became a model child.
She cleaned the dishes, even the really gross ones.
She took out the garbage.
She tidied up the yard.
“The house looks great,” Dylan said when he found her outside. “Thanks you for all the cleaning.”
“Don’t you think I’ve been responsible these last few days,” Victoria asked. “Maybe even trustworthy?“
Dylan thought about it. “I don’t think I’d go so far as trustworthy,” he said. “Keep trying.”
“This stinks,” Victoria said under her breath and stormed back into the house.
Brendan Mai followed Gamora home from school one day. She couldn’t stand the kids in her class. They were so, well childish. But she knew she had to at least pretend to be friendly.
She came up with a good use for him: combat practice!
Edmund barely noticed the antics. He was deep in contemplation of winter as a metaphor for the chill of the modern soul.
In addition to being grounded, Victoria’s school-skipping stunt had dumped her grades in the toilet. She’d missed a pop quiz and an in-class essay, and she’d been docked extra points as punishment for truancy. Now her solid B average had turned into a D.
Her life was now going to school, coming home, and homework. She did all the extra credit she could wheedle out of the teachers.
Even without the punishment from her parents, the consequences for skipping school were worse than she had imagined.
The first snow fell, covering yards and sidewalks in a white blanket.
On his way home from school, Edmund got a call he wasn’t expecting.
“Judy? I think you have the wrong number. This is Edmund. I’m not sure Vickie is allowed to take personal phone calls right now, though.”
“Actually,” Judith said awkwardly, “I was calling for you. Would you be interested in maybe going to dinner sometime?”
“Uh, sure! I’d love to!”
Judith suggested The Round Table. She apparently liked very nice restaurants. So did Edmund.
It turned out they had a lot more than that in common. It seemed like their conversation covered the world.
Judith went on a rant about how nasty Edmund’s schoolmates were being toward him.
“They’re just afraid of you!” Judith said. “You and your family have a kind of power that nobody’s seen here in generations. So what do they do? They shut it down! It makes me crazy.”
“Wow. I didn’t realize you felt so strongly,” Edmund said, flustered.
“Sorry,” Judith said, blushing. “I got a little carried away there.”
“Would you like to go to dinner now?”
“I’d be delighted!”
They had a wonderful time. So wonderful that Edmund wondered guiltily… what about Joy?
That evening, Edmund was still feeling anxious. How did he end up with two nice, attractive girls interested in him?
He found himself complaining about all sorts of things as he picked at his dinner. “The problem with people these days is that they don’t clean up after themselves! The world is like a garbage dump.”
“Tell us what you really feel,” Victoria said. “Is there a girl you want to date or something?”
Edmund opened his mouth, let it hang for a moment, and closed it. Victoria could see right through him. But Judith was Victoria’s best friend. The last thing he wanted to do was say anything to his sister.
“Nothing,” he said glumly.
“Get a good night’s rest, and we can clean the house from top to bottom tomorrow,” Dylan said. His eyes were twinkling with anticipation. Suddenly, Edmund didn’t care so much if things were dirty.
Victoria rose with a weary sigh. “Don’t worry. I’ll clean the table.”
Everyone headed upstairs, and she forced herself to fill the dishwasher. Her whole life was work, and it seemed like nothing would get better.
In the morning, while she was getting ready for school, Dylan knocked on her door. “Vickie? Do you have a moment?”
“Hi Dad,” Victoria said. “Come on in. Can I do something for you?” She forced a smile.
“I know you’ve been trying very hard to prove yourself,” Dylan said. “Your mother and I have pushed you further than we intended to.”
Victoria felt tears well up in her eyes. “I know I betrayed your trust!” she said. “I didn’t think anyone would notice if I skipped out just once. Now I don’t know how to make it better!”
“You made a bad decision,” Dylan said. “I hope you understand how bad it was. Missing a day of school doesn’t matter so much in the long run, but it sets a precedent that can reflect on your character for your entire life.”
“I understand, Dad,” Victoria said. “I really do.”
“I believe you,” Dylan said. “You’re off the hook. Your grounding is over.”
Victoria’s eyes widened. “Do you mean it?” she squealed.
“I do,” Dylan said.
“Thank you so much, Daddy!” Victoria cried and threw herself into his arms. “You won’t regret it!”
Wow, the game was HARD on Victoria. Edmund got off the hook the first time he asked, and he didn’t do anything. I had Victoria do all kinds of chores, and still both her parents rejected her pleas to be let off the hook. I was about to give up and direct one of them to forgive her. Then Dylan got up in the morning and went and let her off the hook autonomously. It was so cute.
Judith called and asked Dylan out on a date! Now his romantic life gets complicated.
I have to say that Gamora’s Dislikes Children trait is kind of annoying at this stage. She gets a negative moodlet from being around children, but it doesn’t affect her behavior. She still talks and has fun with children autonomously. Not very well thought-out. I assume she’ll get more child-negative behavior once she stops BEING a child.
It just wasn’t Victoria’s day, and she could tell from the first thing in the morning.
She woke up to Winston’s dolls having an argument about skydiving.
“Do you mind?” she demanded. “This is my room, and I’m trying to sleep here.”
“I’m trying to manage my stress,” Winston retorted. “This is my big performance. You shouldn’t have so many toys in your room.”
Next door, Gamora shared a scheme she’d come up with to use software calculations to embezzle from the hospital.
Sawyer was horrified. “We’ll talk about this when you get home from school, young lady!”
“Sure, Dad,” Gamora said with a shrug. “You’ll have forgotten about it by then anyway.”
The school bus pulled up in front of Chivalrous Preparatory, and by that time Victoria was sure she was just not going to play the game today.
She stepped off the bus and turned in the opposite direction of the school.
“Wait. Victoria, where are you going?” Edmund asked.
“I’ll see you after school,” Victoria said. “And don’t you dare tell Mom and Dad, or you’ll regret it.
She took a bit of time to collect gear and ran to Morgana Beach.
It was a cold day in late Autumn. Winter was days away, and you could feel the first snow coming on the icy breeze. The beach was beautifully desolate.
Victoria locked eyes with a wild stallion who was wandering through the empty beach. He was so beautiful that she couldn’t move until he had moved on.
Then the sky opened up, and icy rain began to fall.
Victoria almost laughed out loud. Well, at least nobody else would be crazy enough to come to the seaside in this weather.
Or, well, that should have been true. She ran into townie Mickie Jameson, who was hiding out under the pavilion. She had no idea what he was doing there. He seemed to be dressed too well to be homeless.
“Hey! Girl!” he called out. “Aren’t you supposed to be at school?”
Victoria’s blood was pounding. She’d never done anything as wild as skipping school, and she was both terrified and exhilarated. “That’s none of your business!” she shouted back too loudly.
“You get away and leave me alone!”
“OK! OK!” he said. “Don’t be so crazy.”
“I’m not the one who’s crazy,” Victoria retorted.
She was more serious than she knew. He walked away from her, pulled on an overcoat, and began splashing in the cold surf.
She got as far away from him as she could.
Now was the time. She pulled out the wetsuit and snorkeling gear she’d brought with her and waded into the water herself.
The wetsuit kept the cold out even better than she’d hoped. The ocean was silent and peaceful.
The world under the water was like nothing she’d ever seen before. Without splashing kids, surfers, and waterskis, the usually empty water was filled with wildlife going about their normal everyday lives. It took Victoria’s breath away.
The rain stopped, and the sun came out. Victoria was surrounded by the colors and sounds of the sea.
I wish there were a better way to do this, she thought to herself longingly. It wasn’t like she could skip school all the time.
Back at school, Judith and Edmund were in art club together.
“Have you seen Vickie?” Judith asked.
Edmund tried to focus on his clay sculpture. “What? I usually don’t keep track of her.”
The sun began to sink behind Camelot.
This was Winston’s big moment. He cut out of homework club early so get in a last bit of practice.
He wanted everything to be just right.
Then it was time for Winston’s ballet recital.
Family and friends arrived at the school, chatting with each other about Winston’s dancing.
“Where is Victoria?” Andria asked, looking worried.
“Wait a minute,” Edmund said. “Where’s Dad? Didn’t he come with you?”
“The principal called me when you were absent by the start of second period,” Dylan said. “Did you really think nobody would notice when you didn’t show up to class?” His voice was perfectly level, calmer than Victoria had ever heard. She was terrified.
“I-I don’t know, Dad,” she stammered. “I was just having a bad day, and I thought….” she trailed off.
“You thought what?” Dylan prompted coldly.
“I don’t know,” Victoria said.
“I see,” Dylan said. “You didn’t think at all. I thought I was raising my daughter to be thoughtful and responsible. Apparently I failed on both counts.”
Dylan stared at her with icy expectancy.
Tears welled up in Victoria’s eyes. “I’m sorry,” she said.
“I hope you are sorry,” Dylan said. “You will have plenty of time to think about how sorry you are. You are grounded until your mother or I say otherwise. You may go to school and come straight home, and otherwise you are confined to the house.”
“Yes, Dad,” Victoria said meekly.
“Winston’s recital is starting now,” Dylan said. “Your punishment starts when we get home.” He turned and headed into the school. Victoria followed.
Winston began with some fast-paced modern dance.
“He’s like a little jitterbug!” Andria whispered to Edmund.
Then he moved on to some more classical selections.
“That’s my boy!” Andria cheered when he finished.
Afterward, there was a reception with featuring chocolate-chip cookies.
Then everyone headed home. Dylan quietly apprised Andria of the situation, and they kept a sharp eye on Victoria on the way.
Humiliated and ashamed, Victoria headed up to her room to sulk.
She looked a the cute, girl-next-door face in the mirror, and it suddenly felt alien. She grabbed a pair of scissors and viciously cut off her braids.
If her parents thought she was a bad girl, maybe she’d be one.
Three more to go!
After the last two posts took a lot of work, this one practically wrote itself.
I’m not sure if it’s possible to skip school without being caught. Vickie actually wasn’t grounded for skipping school. She was grounded for fighting in public — a mood swing wish I decided to fulfill that was so out-of-character that I didn’t even try to make it part of the story.
I guess if you fight in PRIVATE, you don’t get grounded?
Shannon Simsfan really inspired me to have more fun with my children. The store items also help :). There’s a rabbithole opportunity for a dance recital, so I decided to play it out for Winston.
Sawyer had just finished mooching dinner from Andria’s fridge when his phone ran. Emily was in the middle of a rant on the other end of the line. “Did you know? Did you tell them bad things about me?”
Sawyer didn’t even need to ask her what she was upset about. He’d seen the
“I don’t make personnel decisions, Emily,” he said. “I think everyone at the hospital knows that would be a bad idea.”
“How could they demote me! Me! I told you that they’re out to get me–“
“Let’s get together and talk this over,” Sawyer said quickly. He was getting concerned about what she might do if she didn’t calm down.
Emily picked the place. It was a secluded fishing beach behind the guard house at Tintagel Keep.
Emily insisted that she wanted to meet some place where their coworkers wouldn’t overhear them. She clearly was so upset she wasn’t thinking straight.
Sawyer let her yell for a while. She clearly needed to get it out of her system.
When she seemed to be winding down, he decided what he would say. “Look, I know you’re a medical genius. The other doctors are clearly jealous of your expertise. I support you if you want to leave St. James Simmetarium and go into private practice. We both know what it’s like to have jealous colleagues tear us down.”
Emily took a deep breath. “Thank you. I needed to hear that.”
Now she was eyeing him unnervingly. “What are you going to do now?” Sawyer asked.
“Something crazy and spontaneous to remind me of everything else there is in life.”
“This idea makes me nervous,” Sawyer said.
Emily grinned. “Come with me, then.”
She led him to the Sufficiently Advanced Tech Center Observatory.
Past the busy researchers who were getting their time on the group device after midnight.
Most of them didn’t look up.
“Gentlmen first,” Emily said.
“I think I’m getting an idea of what you have in mind,” Sawyer said. “This might not end well.”
“Who cares?” Emily asked. “Do you think it will damage our careers?”
Sawyer thought about it. “No,” he said.
She pulled him into a dark lab space and kissed him, and Sawyer stopped worrying.
He was right about how it would end, though.
But it turned out he didn’t care. In fact, he rather liked being caught. He pulled on his clothes in full view of local news and did a little parade for them.
“OK,” Emily said. “My power is proved. Let’s get out of here!”
The following day was a Saturday. Edmund was finally able to make good on his his promised date with Joy.
The day dawned rainy and dreary, which didn’t make outdoor activities very appealing. Edmund called Joy and suggested high tea at The Old Mill, a historic mill outside of town that had been converted into a bakery.
Joy was delighted with the idea.
Edmund hadn’t realized how complicated high tea was going to be. He should have studied.
“Would you like some sugar in your tea?” he asked Joy. “And maybe some…. cream?”
Joy chucked. “I think that’s clotted cream. It goes on scones, not in tea.”
“Oh. What about this one?”
At least the complicated tea assembly broke the ice.
“Mmmm. This is is pretty good,” Joy said. “What kind of tea is this?”
“I’m not sure,” Edmund admitted. “I picked the first one on the menu.”
They sipped their tea, nibbled their scones, and talked about art and literature.
“Hey, I hate to say it, but I have to go to work,” Edmund said at last.
“You work in the evening?” Joy asked.
“Yeah. At Avalon Memorial Gardens,” Edmund said.
“Wow,” Joy said. “You work at the cemetery? That’s, well, that’s pretty creepy.” But she seemed intrigued.
Meanwhile, Victoria’s best friend showed up at the Sample Estate, dressed to the nines and soaking wet.
Victoria ran out to pull her inside. “Judy! What are you doing out in the rain?”
Judith let Victoria lead her into the kitchen, where they both dried off from the downpour.
“What happened?” Victoria asked.
“That scumbag stood me up!” Judith yelled.
“Wow. Tell me about it!” Victoria said. Then she stood back and listened to Judith’s angry story of her fight and breakdup with her now ex-boyfriend. He’d left her standing in the rain outside of The Round Table, and she had to walk home.
“Wow! Leave him at the curb with the rest of the garbage! You can do so much better Judy.”
“Thanks for cheering me up, Judy.”
“Let’s do something to take your mind off of loser boys,” Victoria said. “A little mindless fun ought to do the trick.
So they went to the tech den and spent the rest of the afternoon beating levels of Skate or Expire.
Winston took a shower and made sure he looked his best, then he called his favorite person in the world.
“Hey Courtney! Are you doing anything today? Want to come over to my house?”
Courtney seemed dubious, but he convinced her they could have a good time. When he hung up, he could only hope had hadn’t promised more than he could deliver.
When she rang the doorbell, Dylan answered the door before Winston could get there. “Hi, Mr. Sample. I’m Courtney Pierce-Hodgins. I came over to see Winston.”
Dylan smiled indulgently. “Oh, so you’re Winston’s little friend? He told me he invited someone to play. Don’t get into any trouble!”
Cortney gave Winston a dangerous look. “Little friend, huh?”
“I didn’t say it!” Winston protested.
They hurried in out of the rain. “So here we are,” Cortney said. “I’m not sure how long I can stay. What did you have in mind?”
Winston beamed. All he really needed was a chance to get her undivided attention to let his natural charisma take hold.
“I was thinking about an epic pillow battle. En garde!”
Cortney’s face changed. She just couldn’t help but laugh. “Just you wait!” she said and ran to grab a pillow.
“You wouldn’t hit a kid with glasses, would you?”
“Owwf! I guess you would!”
Andrea made porcini risotto. Cortney and Judith were welcome to stay for dinner of course.
Afterward, Judith insisted on cleaning up.
Then Dylan shooed both of the visitors out the door to be sure they were home by curfew.
He returned from the door to find Andria in the tech den, watching a documentary on cowplants.
“What are you doing in here?” Dylan said. “I thought electronics were bad for you.”
“I was just curious, really,” Andria said. “After all these years, I wondered if they still affect me.”
She shrugged. “It’s a little bit better, I guess. They still make my skin crawl.”
“It really has been a long time now,” Dylan mused. “I can’t imagine spending my life with anyone else.”
“I wouldn’t change a day,” Andria said. “Big screen TV and all.” She grabbed his arm. “Come here.”
“Yes, my lady.”
In the Sawyer Sample household, Sawyer and Gamora spent most of their Saturday doing research, followed by a rousing game of Sim Metropolis.
They played rock-paper-scissors to decide who would clean up before bed. Sawyer lost, but Gamora did half the cleaning anyway. Sawyer just wasn’t very good at it.
Then it was time for their nightly calculus review.
Gamora answered all the questions right on the first try.
Sawyer was incredibly proud of her, and he made sure she knew it.
Then she drifted off to sleep.
“Good night,” he whispered. “Sleep tight. Don’t get your differential equations confused.”
Four more posts until heir poll! This one was fluffy, but I thought all the interactions were so cute.
The purple-haired sim working on the group science project at midnight on a full moon was Sam Pistachio. I just thought Sam might appreciate seeing her simself. 😉
It was that time of year again. Dylan was filling up the yard with jack-o-lanterns.
More on the way here
At Sawyer and Gamora’s house, it was just another day. If Sawyer even knew it was a holiday, he never mentioned it.
It was a day off school and work, though, and they had a very productive morning together.
Now that Sawyer and Gamora had moved out, all of Dylan and Andria’s kids could have their own room. Winston took over Abby’s old room, which Sawyer had been sleeping in before he left.
Spooky Day was a day for stuffing yourself with sweets, wasn’t it? Winston was prepared!
When she went outside to photosynthesize, Gamora got a call from Vickie, inviting her to join her cousins at the Autumn Fair. She decided to give it a try.
She told Sawyer about the invitation and invited him to join her. He grunted.
At the festival, Winston set up his bake sale.
Andria let Dylan’s half-brother Stephan pretend to tell her fortune. She didn’t have the heart to tell him that she knew some real divination.
Abby tried out some roller skates.
While Chaim was scared ghostly in the haunted house.
Gamora decided to try bobbing for apples.
It turned out to be a lot of fun.
She didn’t need to breathe the same as an ordinary human, so winning turned out to be easy.
Victoria bought a snack from the treat vendor.
Glazed doughnut. Yum.
After lunch, Gamora got a surprising call from her father.
“Did you know today is Spooky Day?” he demanded.
“I told you before I left,” Gamora said.
“Emily Doctor is throwing a costume party. I’ll be at her house.”
“Oh!” Gamora said. “The Autumn Festival is kind of childish. I’ll find a costume and join you.”
Sawyer didn’t have any idea for a costume, so he grabbed an old EMT uniform from the hospital.
He made a beeline to the back yard, where Emily was entertaining her guests.
Gamora found a very interesting fellow passed out on the porch.
He seemed to radiate a wicked glow. Gamora had never felt so drawn to someone in her life.
“Hello,” she said. “My name is Gamora Sample. Who are you?”
The figure chuckled, revealing viciously sharp canines. “Believe it or not, I know who you are,” he said.
“Really?” Gamora asked. “I know I’m a scientific phenomenon. Are you into stuff like that?”
“Actually, it’s much more personal than that,” said the menacing figure. “You see, my name is Forest Sample.”
She looked at him with widening eyes.
In the back yard, Sawyer and Emily were gazing helplessly into each other’s eyes.
“I thought you’d never get here,” Emily crooned.
“I came as fast as possible for an unaugmented human,” Sawyer said.
“Wait, I thought she was here with me!” Gerard Ursine-Sample and Corina Shepherd exclaimed together.
“I can’t bear to watch this. Can’t you two get a room?”
Forest and Gamora, already fast friends, commented on the drama from the safety of the porch.
“This is so much more fun than bobbing for apples,” Gamora confided.
Back at the Autumn Festival, the pies were out, and the contestants were in place.
“Ready!” shouted the ref.
“I already think I’m going to be sick,” Judith whispered to Victoria.
“Too late now!” Victoria chirped, grinning wickedly at her best friend.
“How did I let you talk me into this?” Judith groaned.
Sawyer worked up his nerve and stole a kiss.
Emily was delighted.
“I bet you a hundred simoleons that he asks her to be his girl,” Gamora said.
“No bet,” Forest said.
“Emily, I’ve never met anyone who makes me feel as comfortable as you do,” Sawyer said. “Would you consider a long-term commitment?”
“I would love to be your girlfriend!” Emily said.
Gamora couldn’t stop laughing.
Andria surfaced for air.
“I can’t see!” Dylan said.
“My face is stuck in this pie!” Victoria slurred.
“I surrender,” Andria said. “If I eat another bite, I am going to be sick.”
“And the winner is, Judith Culp!”
“Take that, Vickie,” Judith said triumphantly.
“I’m still stuck in this pie!” Victoria protested.
Andria and Dylan just groaned.
Afterward, they all cleaned up for their family picture. Well, almost everyone cleaned up.
After dusk, Forest became more comfortable leaving the porch. Gamora was much more comfortable around adults than childish children. Everyone appreciated her intellect.
She told a scary story she read once about the ghost of a vengeful pharaoh. All the adults were riveted.
Afterward, they couldn’t stop telling her how cute she was. It wasn’t the reaction she was going for, but she’d take it.
“Come here, sis!” Edmund said. “I’ve been practicing something, and I want to try it out!”
“Wait!” Victoria cried. “What are you –“
“That felt pretty good!”
“It ought to,” Edmund said. “It’s a good luck charm. You ought to study some magic yourself.”
Winston finally abandoned his bake sale — profit was reasonable, though not great — and bobbed for apples with Aunt Abby.
It was worth being outside for a little while to spend time with family, or so he told himself.
He turned out to be pretty good at apple-bobbing.
Everyone decided to head home about the same time. Sawyer knew what would be waiting for him at the Sample Estate.
Andria was cooking again. It was salmon, not the usual Feast Party fare, but who would be complaining?
Abby brought dessert.
The extended family crowded around the table to celebrate good company and good food.
Even Uncle Stanley, Abby’s half-brother
and Cousin Gina Sample-Baerwyn came.
The adults shared family stories. Bonehilda cleaned up.
The youth got ready for the most important part of the evening.
“How do I look?” Victoria asked.
“Way too nice for a Trick-or-Treat costume,” Edmund said. “Are you sure you’re not sneaking out for a date?”
“Of course not, silly. I’m going with Judy and Winston. Aren’t you coming?”
“No,” Edmund said. “Dressing up like a monster isn’t really my thing.” He didn’t want to admit that half of his class at school were already spreading rumors that he was a monster.
“Are you ready to go?” Winston demanded.
Judith met them outside.
While the kids were out, Dylan and Sawyer handled candy duty at home.
Some of the neighbors came to the door in costume. That was a costume, wasn’t it?
Whatever the case, William Pierce’s candy was very good.
By curfew, everyone was home and stuffed with too much sweets. That’s the way the day should go.
This was the first time I actually tried trick-or-treating. It was a great big glitch fest. The kids kept forgetting they were trick-or-treating, losing the the interactions on their menu, and switching back to their everyday outfits. This was the only successful trick-or-treat action they managed.
I strongly suspect that the NRaas mods are doing something here to screw up the flow of the EA stuff. I need to get around asking on the NRaas boards about it.
I love the Seasons holidays so much. I tried to do EVERYTHING for Spooky Day this time. It was fun, but SO MUCH STUFF.
Gamora and Forest are best friends. They were best friends before Emily’s costume party, and as far as I know, this is the first time they’ve ever met. I have no idea where that relationship came from. It makes sense, though. They’re both Evil Geniuses :). Actually, Gamora does not have the Genius trait, but most of her wishes have centered around the Logic skill. It makes sense, considering her upbringing.
I’m very pleased with the way Stanley’s face turned out. He’s Xia’s son that Plum kept a secret from her. He and Jody Ursine-Sample are making babies now. His genes will continue.
The last post before the heir poll should be 6.49. The countdown has begun.
Dylan was starting to feel limited by his own nectar-making equipment. Nectaring took a lot of time, and he could only work with one fruit combination at a time.
Eventually, he decided to approach Fawn Rockwell, the proprietress of the local nectary, to see if he could make use of some of their on-site equipment.
Fawn was a shrewd businesswoman, and she didn’t let him make use of her nectar makers for free. But she did quote him a more than fair price to use the things when they weren’t committed elsewhere.
Nectaring requires hours of work and patience. He and Fawn struck up conversation in the downtime. Their common interest in nectaring was a starting point, but it turned out they had a whole lot more to talk about.
Meanwhile, Andria was also letting the lines blur between her career and personal life.
Now that the cold weather had left most her garden dormant, she spent more time at the Curiosity Shop. It had a new proprietor, Manu, who quickly became a good friend.
Connery still went out hunting and brought back all sorts of strange things. The question of where he found the concrete fire hydrant was second only to how he managed to get it home.
Judith Culp was the first of Victoria’s school friends to have a birthday.
She held it at the beach clubhouse, despite the cold. Vickie couldn’t have been happier.
They spent the entire party hogging the karaoke machine until they drove everyone else away.
This was a new chapter in a beautiful friendship.
Gamora suddenly had a world of space to use for her own purposes. She had plenty of schemes to fill it.
Since her father had set up a lab on the third floor, she grabbed the second floor office next to her bedroom and took it as her own lab.
Her chemistry experiments looked promising.
Though every experiment had a certain chance of failure.
Fortunately, she had a great way to work off the tension.
And a father who helped her do it.
Actually, the video game system was one of the biggest sources of strife in their new household.
When he wasn’t working, Sawyer often wanted to kick her out of the living room so that he could play video games that he didn’t consider “child appropriate.”
Gamora thought that was absurd, and she didn’t keep it a secret.
To get private revenge, she downloaded pirated versions of her dad’s games to the office computer and beat them before he did.
Sometimes, on her way to bed, she’d find that Sawyer had gamed himself to sleep.
Being that there was no one else, it was her job to pull him off the sofa, dust him off, and send him to bed.
It wasn’t always clear who was the parent in this relationship.
Sawyer was feeling younger in more obvious ways.
That evening at the Faux Paw Dog Park started something intense with Dr. Emily Doctor. The two of them went out several times a week. Sawyer found himself visiting places in Avalon he had never known, or cared, existed before — like the bowling alley.
They met at the bowling alley one evening. It was Emily’s idea, of course.
They began the evening with a rousing game of Synesthesia. It was immediately clear why Emily wanted to come here. She was an old pro at this game, and she stomped Sawyer in no time.
“I’ve never met a woman with such amazing eye-hand coordination,” Sawyer said afterward.
Emily laughed. “You say the sweetest things.”
Abby was incredibly curious about Sawyer’s new gal. When he told her he was going to a date to the bowling alley, she just couldn’t resist making an excuse to be there herself.
She did her best to be inconspicuous. It wasn’t too hard, at least until the paparazzi invaded, and she had to leave.
After that, they tried their hand on a different kind of hand-eye coordination.
Sawyer was pretty disgusted by his performance.
But not half as disgusted as Emily.
“All right,” Emily said. “Let me show you how it’s done!”
Sawyer couldn’t stop laughing.
“All right. All right,” Emily conceded. “I deserved that.”
Under the black lights of the bowling alley, Emily looked into Sawyer’s eyes and reached out to take his hands. It was the first time they touched. Sawyer was suddenly terrified. He had to force himself not to pull away.
“Sawyer Sample,” Emily said. “Where have you been all my life?”
“Making some very big romantic mistakes, apparently,” Sawyer said.
Emily raised an eyebrow. “Do you think this is another mistake?” she asked.
“It feels great,” Sawyer said, “but I’m a very poor judge of character.”
“We can take it slow,” Emily said. She squeezed his hand.
Sawyer squeezed back and smiled nervously at her.
Judith Culp is a former papergirl. I turned off Homeless Management in NRaas StoryProgression, and I couldn’t be happier. Either EA fixed most of the bugs that generate extra homeless to stuff your town, or something else is keeping them from happening. I’m using settings on Register (I think) that generate service and role sims from genetics in the town and the sim bin, so they’re a nice source of extra genetics. When one of my actives develops a relationship with one, I usually move them into town. Judith is now the ward of Patrick Watchmaker, schoolteacher and formerly the Second Doctor. (See, I’m never going to use Doctor as a surname again ;-).)
I just love Emily’s face. She kind of looks like the Wicked Witch of the West, but in a good way. My hand-picked gene pool is producing some great faces. I highly recommend seeding the population with celebrity simselves — sims designed to look like an existing person have the most unusual genetics. All sims don’t have to look alike!
Connery loved his life. He had Dylan and Andria and the kids in the house he’d always known, and across the street he had a new home with Abby and Chaim. He belonged to everyone.
Prom night arrived. Edmund spent many an evening agonizing over who he might ask to be his date, and eventually he gave up. He kept to himself too much to have a sense of the girls in his class.
He couldn’t resist a chance to dress to the nines, however.
He began the evening in high spirits. The gym was decorated beautifully. He was proud of his formals. The music made him want to dance, which was a feat in itself.
The evening turned out to be more…. physical than he expected.
“Accidental” elbows to the gut as he tried to dance, “accidental” punch splashed on his suit.
Once, in a press of bodies on the dance floor, someone punched him. He never even knew who did it.
He was getting the distinct impression that he wasn’t welcome at his own prom.
He eventually found himself holding up a wall, brooding at the people dancing and having fun.
He began to notice he wasn’t the only one taking shelter away from the action. Another student took a place against the wall nearby.
“This sure is a lot of people,” Joy Reacher observed flatly.
“Yeah,” Edmund agreed. “And apparently most of them hate me.”
Joy looked at him in genuine surprise. “Why would anyone hate you?” she asked. “You’re one of the only interesting guys at this school.”
Edmund was shocked. “Really? You think I’m interesting?”
“Sure,” Joy said. “Most high school guys are so shallow, but you really see the dark depths of things.”
“Um,” Edmund said, really seeing Joy for the first time. “Would you mind, I mean would like it it I got you some punch?”
The second half of prom night was a lot more fun than the first half. Edmund and Joy gave up dancing, retreated to a corner with their punch and wiled away the time talking about existentialist philosophers. They had been sitting next to each other all term in math class, and he had no idea they had so much in common!
When it was time to leave, Edmund had Joy’s phone number and an entirely new attitude.
When someone tried to mess with him at the exit, he wasn’t above using his magical skills to give as good as he got.
(OK, let’s just assume a little artistic license on all those fights ;-). )
Victoria took her last ballet class. She tried. She really did. But she just couldn’t find the passion for it that Winston had. It was time to try something else.
She apologized to her teacher and enrolled in shop class instead.
The day Sawyer had been waiting for finally arrived.
His article “Neurophysiology of Plant-based Sentient Life Forms” was accepted to the Journal ofSimazing Science. It was the most prestigious scientific journal in the Simworld. He’d finally arrived. He was a World-Renowned Surgeon.
He didn’t go straight home to the Sample Estate. He had other plans. Those plans took him to Camelot.
His final offer was accepted. He left the castle that night with the deed to a new property.
The next morning, he found Victoria and Gamora in their room, discussing something to do with freshwater aquatic life. Or maybe it was life on a boat in a lake. He wasn’t really listening.
“Gamora, I’d like to speak with you alone for a moment,” he said.
Victoria was immediately worried. “What? Is there something wrong, Uncle Sawyer?”
Gamora shook her head. “Don’t worry, Vickie. When something’s wrong with Dad, he yells. This has to be a good thing.”
“Just get dressed, and we’ll talk,” Sawyer said.
“I have good news,” Sawyer said. “We’re moving today. I found us a suitable home.”
“What?” Gamora demanded. “I thought we had a suitable home! What’s wrong with the one we have?”
“We’ve lived in this chaotic household long enough,” Sawyer said. “There’s always something absurd going on. It’s inhibiting our intellectual advancement.”
“I think I can judge what’s good for my own intellect,” Gamora retorted. “Where do you think you’re moving us?”
Sawyer gave her the address.
“Wait,” Gamora said. “That’s the house next door.”
“Precisely,” Sawyer said. “I didn’t see a need for our private home to be on the other side of the island.”
Gamora’s expression changed immediately “Well, why didn’t you say so?” she said. “I want my own room!”
“That was a selection criterion,” Sawyer said, looking vaguely affronted. “I’ll take you on a tour of the home, and we can assign bedrooms.”
Compared to the primary Sample Estate, Sawyer and Gamora’s new home was a quaint little cottage.
Across the street, Chaim kept an eye on the house. His house was across the street from Dylan and Andria’s. Now the Sample clan owned the whole street. He had a special motivation to keep this area safe and crime-free.
But it had space for the important things in life:
A science lab, along with a separate office with a computer.
A master bedroom for Sawyer, and a smaller private bedroom for Gamora.
A living room with a home theater, and a kitchen/dining space.
“So this is it,” Gamora said, looking around at their new home.
“Apparently,” Sawyer said.
“What do we do now?” Gamora asked.
“I think I should make us a meal,” Sawyer said.
Gamora let him cook for her — macaroni and cheese from a box — without reminding him that she didn’t eat human food.
She even ate it. It wouldn’t provide any nourishment, but it wouldn’t do her any harm either. He was so proud of taking the role of providing father that she couldn’t bear to affront his ego.
Afterward, Sawyer showed her to her new room. It was simple, but comfortable. She’d do some redecorating in the morning. For now, she just reveled in having a space that need not ever be invaded by another child.
Sawyer sat up in his new bedroom, reading his new article in Simazing Science for the fourteenth time. He always felt proud of himself, but at this moment he felt content for what might be the first time in his life.
The next day, Sawyer also had plans after work. These took him someplace else entirely, someplace he would never go on his own.
Holy Grail Fitness Center.
Outside, Abby was waiting. She had already failed at traveling incognito.
Gamora arrived straight from school and shared some quips with Abby as they walked in together.
Then it was time to gather around the cake.
Victoria had to admit that she enjoyed being the center of attention.
(Photobomb above by Asriel Bookabet, who just keeps on living!)
While Joy Reacher collected her slice of cake –
Edmund was hiding in the lounge, trying to come up with something suave to say to her –
and Gamora was in the corner, watching his discomfort and cackling quietly.
“All right now!” Victoria shouted. “Pool time! Everyone get wet!”
There followed a lot of laughing and splashing.
Most of Victoria’s friends hadn’t had their birthday yet, so she felt a little bit like a grownup at a kid’s party, but there was swimming, so it it didn’t really matter.
Gamora got as far away from the rest of the kids as possible, which ironically was in the nursery room.
“Hi! Joy! I’m so glad you came!” Edmund said, the words coming out just a little too quickly.
“Hi!” Joy echoed. “This is such a nice party. It was so nice of Vickie to invite me!”
“Well, I kind of asked her if she would,” Edmund admitted.
Joy lit up the room with her smile. “Thank you for thinking of me.”
“Say, I was thinking,” Edmund said. “Do you think you’d be free this week to, I don’t know, go somewhere together? Maybe has a, uh date?”
He put on his best, suave, romantic face.
“I think that would be great!” Joy said. “What do you think about this weekend?”
Edmund was overcome by relief and excitement. He and Joy locked gazes, and suddenly he was pulling her into a tender hug.
“Hey, kids,” Dylan said. “You’re a long way from the pool, aren’t you? What are you up to?”
Edmund pushed Joy away like a hot potato. “Hi Dad,” he said.
Mason James shot to the top of the water.
“Ha!” Winston crowed. “I win!”
“So eat this!” Victoria cried.
Meanwhile, Sawyer caught up on his medical journals.
Holy crap. Vickie is gorgeous.
Of course she was going to throw a pool party. Too bad that it was too cold to go to the beach.
I was pretty pleased that I was able to click, “Go Here With” (I think a feature augmented by NRaas GoHere, but I’m not sure) and get all the inactive kids into the pool. Otherwise, they just weren’t going to go there.
I bought a second residential property for the Samples. Sawyer had a Midlife Crisis wish to move to a new house, and I could see where he might want to live on his own with Gamora. Gameplay-wise, it’s been a bit of a mixed bag. Gamora ended up sleeping in the primary house a lot because I can’t send her to her actual house after curfew, even if she goes with an adult. We’ll just handwave that for story purposes :).
Vickie rolled a really WTF trait, so I made an executive decision to give her the family trait of Brave and punt her final rolled trait to her YA birthday. Now I’m kind of regretting it. Whenever I second guess a random-rolled trait, I always find a way to work it into the character after a bit of time. But I don’t remember what the trait WAS that I didn’t like. Argh. So she’s going to be a bit of an unknown in the heir poll compared to the other three.
And, hey, Edmund picked up Joy Reacher (Shannon Simsfan’s simself daughter) as a romantic interest at a really tragic and destructive prom!
I should mention that Edmund has picked up a celebrity disgrace (false accusation). I thought that his fight-ridden prom might be related to nasty rumors being passed around about him at school.
Trying to keep this pace up so we can get to the heir poll! Two more teen birthdays to go!
The Sample children now spent more time in their natural form.
Andria encouraged it. She wanted her children to feel comfortable in their bodies and not be ashamed of being different.
Edmund spent hours staring into his own button eyes, trying to find meaning in their apparent emptiness.
Andria continued with her own experiments, now with some side projects on request by the Fae Council.
This looked promising.
One afternoon, she received a phone call that made her face light up.
“Are you kidding?” she exclaimed to the voice on the other end. “Of course I will! It will be special. Just you wait!”
She ran to the kitchen and began mixing.
It was the largest single cake she had ever baked, and a masterwork if she did say so herself.
Abby and Chaim picked a venue for their wedding to suit their own unique style — Steamshock, the local Steampunk-themed nightclub.
Abby, in typical celebrity form, wanted to do things a bit differently from everyone else.
Chaim just liked dressing up like an anachronistic lawman.
Victoria squealed when Abby made her entrance. “This is going to be so awesome!”
“I know, right!” Abby shot back.
The techno music crescendoed, and all eyes turned to the bride and groom as they stepped together under the lights.
“Chaim, my love, I was truly half a woman before you walked into my life. You helped me look past my ambition to find the happiness I had lost. I know that together, we can be even more than whole. I want to spend my life discovering what we can be together.”
“Abby, you lift me up to see things bigger than myself. With you, I’m a better person. I promise to walk by your side to the ends of the earth. I give you my love, support, and encouragement in your every endeavor.”
“From this day forward, and for the rest of our lives.”
With that kiss, they became Mr. and Mrs. Sample-Erickson.
The photographer got close enough to elbow the groom during the final kiss. Hopefully her pictures were worth it.
Then for the moment Andria that had Andria holding her breath.
The cutting of the cake.
“You really surprised me,” Abby’s best friend Aminali admitted, “but you did good. Chaim’s a catch.”
“I’m so glad you came,” Abby said.
“Are you kidding?” Aminali replied. “I would never miss a chance to see you tie yourself to a ball and chain.”
Abby didn’t see Aminali nearly as much as she wanted to. Aminali had taken a different path in life. She lived in a raucous blended household with the controversial police chief William Pierce, her son from her first marriage, his daughter with a previous girlfriend, and their daughter together. The whole clan was featured in the tabloids at least once a week. Aminali wouldn’t have it any other way. The free publicity kept her on the short list for choice movie parts.
“Tasty,” Aminali said to Sawyer as they ate their cake.
“Andria is a professionally skilled baker,” Sawyer said. “I have never tasted anything of hers that wasn’t delicious.”
“I didn’t mean the cake,” Aminali said.
Sawyer gave her a perplexed look but was interrupted by the chiming of a fork against a wine glass.
“Let’s raise a glass to my sister-in-law, Abby Sample-Erickson!” Andria said. “It was my privilege to live alongside her for most of my marriage. She is the most focused and talented woman I have ever met. I wasn’t sure she would ever surrender to the love of a man, but it turned out she just needed a very special kind of man. Here’s too a long happy life together!”
“To Abby and Chaim!” Dylan echoed.
“The nectar tasted amazing,” Abby whispered to Andria later. “Did Dylan make it?”
“Are you kidding?,” Andria hissed back. “I bought that stuff. Don’t tell him I said this, but Dylan’s nectar still tastes like watered-down grape juice — and that’s the good stuff.”
The music changed to a techno-waltz, and Chaim escorted Abby to the dance floor for their first dance as a married couple.
It turned out he had quite the moves.
Sawyer decided to try something else that he had never experienced before.
“I do seem to be feeling a bit light-headed,” he observed to himself.
Dylan threw a fit about the state of the bathrooms.
Winston managed to get the attention of Cortney Pierce-Hodgins, Aminali’s (sort-of) step-daughter. He’d been throwing paper planes at the back of her head during history class, but she would never even do him the favor of being offended.
He started out by bragging to her about his mad video game skillz, but that didn’t seem to go over very well.
Then he made jokes about the wedding, which bored her.
Then he got her talking about herself, and it was smooth sailing.
Andria grabbed Dylan’s hand. “Did you know that this venue has a hot tub,” she asked.
“I haven’t gone exploring,” Dylan said.
Andria giggled wickedly. “Neither has anyone else. Come on! We can have it to ourselves.”
“This room was decorated by someone with impeccable taste,” Dylan observed.
“Hush you,” Andria said. “Just feel the bubbles.”
“I can’t believe we actually did it!” Abby breathed.
“Doesn’t Aunt Abby look amazing?” Victoria said to Gamora. “I hope someday I fall in love like that.”
Gamora wasn’t even looking at Abby and Chaim. “Right,” she said coldly. “I bet you do.”
She immediately marched over to her father, grabbed his arm, and pulled him out of his seat. “Would you quit embarrassing me?” she hissed.
“How can I possibly be embarrassing you?” Sawyer demanded. “Who is the parent in this relationship?”
“You’re going to sit there puffing on the bubble blower until you pass out, and then I’m going to have to get you home,” Gamora said.
“If it bothers you that much,” Sawyer said, “I’ll do something else.” He cast about the room until his eyes fell on Aminali Ibari.
“Would you like to dance, Ms. Ibari?” he asked.
Aminali laughed. “Are you kidding? I thought you’d never ask.”
Gamora scowled at him, but Sawyer could remember when he’d last felt this relaxed. “All right then,” he said. “Show me how you dance, and I’ll copy your motions.”
“You tiger,” Aminali said.
And the music played late into the night.
Here is a good example of how Shannon Simsfan has changed my play style. I added Abby back to the household for this party. There was no other way to cut the cake. I left her on autonomy most of the time, though I did direct her to dance with Chaim.
I had Andria bake a cake and call a party as soon as I got the NRaas notification that Abby and Chaim had gotten married. As inactive sims go, it didn’t take them long! I intended this to just be the reception, but then the two lovers had that adorable, earnest conversation alone under the lights of the dance floor. (I believe Abby was actually asking Chaim to dance.) It looked so much like vows that I decided they would be :).
I had SO much fun following my sims around and watching what they did :). I just love parties like these. I was really pleased that I managed to throw the party while Abby and Chaim still had their, “Just Married” moodlets!
Sawyer hit the bubble blower all on his own. I’m not entirely clear what the moodlets from that thing are supposed to do. It’s a very entertaining animation, at least.
Winston has a crazy crush on Cortney Pierce-Hodgins. He has rolled a good four or five wishes to do things with her.
Sorry there’s no Edmund. He was there for about half the party. Then he had to go to work. I don’t seem to have a single screenshot of him.