Archives

Simantics: Falling in the deep end of the time pool

Sigh. The Samples have really been living in this town for too long.

I looked at their family tree, and Aunt is a bit of a stretch, but they do have a connection a couple of generations back. We’re going to forget we ever saw this.

I will say that the game DOES have incest checking, and it didn’t think they were closely enough related to avoid heart-farts.

This is definitely the best way to hate each other. I’m pretty sure there’s porn for the way Gamora and Jonah feel about each other. Lots of it.

Jonah went off to look at horses and came back by way of a LLAMA. The results were tragic.

Fortunately, Edmund was around to fix things up. I just now noticed Gamora playing on the computer behind them. Ha.

Also Vickie far behind, cooking. She took that up as a passionate new hobby when Jonah moved in, but you better look at it now because I later discovered that her ability to cook was borked. I I thought this might have been related to my Kelp Recipes, which I loaded into my game somwhere around then, and I was terrified that there was something weird about them that borked people’s sims. But, no, I have multiple reports that the recipes work fine for other people. Vickie just now takes about 4x times the time to cook a recipe as she’s supposed to. Like, literally most of a day to cook one dish. Each animation repeats over and over again. I have no idea.

I tried removing the Cooking skill using MasterController, but that doesn’t seem to reset a sim to the state of not having learned a skill. It just removes a pointer to something. When she learned to cook again, the problem resumed.

So she’s going to take up painting, I think, and Jonah can cook his own damn kelp.

At any rate, Jonah is ready for anything this weird landwalker magician might throw at him.

But it turned out all right.

Gamora discovers that she can’t avoid her high school graduation, even by jumping into a time machine and zapping herself hundreds of years into the future.

Graduation will always come for you.

Emit had to take a break from his important moment with Gamora.

OK, the special philanthropist’s money-donating animation is just completely bonkers. Can we just look at this again?

Oh, and after she gives the check, they both are showered in glitter.

Since I wanted to tie up this little loose end of Gamora’s life, I saved JC Sample’s family to the bin and placed him back in Utopia Oasis Landing. After all, nothing Gamora did should have affected the romantic choices of her immediate family, right? Right?

What I didn’t realize is that Dystopian and Utopian sims keep their timeline-related behaviors in a hidden trait. JC’s family immediately turned their lovely utopian home into a trash pile.

Emmett hugs himself. A lot of the Wonderland/Utopian sim idles are adorable, but the walk style is AWFUL. It’s the same as the Imaginary Friend walk, and it must DIE BY FIRE. I had to take the Wonderland trait off Emmett so that he could walk across the room in less than four hours. If there’s a way to just destroy the walk style and keep the rest of the cute stuff from that moodlet, please let me know.

Ah, the romances of our time are just part of a loop that repeats itself over and over through time.

Or maybe ITF doesn’t try very hard when it generates descendants….

7.36 Everything’s coming up rainbows

The Time Machine lit up with an incoming signal…

…and dumped Gamora out onto the roof of the Oasis Landing time traveler’s center.

She was just never going to get that landing right.

She stepped to the edge of the roof and looked out over Oasis Landing.

Not bad, if she did say so herself.

She headed down the stairs and out into the town to explore.

No piles of trash? Check.

Crisp clean air? Check.

Happy residents? Probably check, but she didn’t really want to learn enough about anyone’s life to find out.

The rainbows absolutely everywhere were a bit much, but she wasn’t going to complain.

The wind smelled sweet. Her skin drank it in like nectar.

Gamora tried out a kite she had built a long time ago with her dad.

All right then. There was one person she needed to see. It wasn’t difficult to look up the Sample family’s address. It didn’t look like they was doing badly in this reality. Then again, she didn’t know how successful they’d been in the other one.

She was wandering around the grounds of the expansive house when JC Sample conveniently arrived.

“Hello, who are you?” he said. “If you’re from the Orphaned Flowers Association, I gave at the office.”

Gamora blinked. She’d been rather hoping that their time together at the time traveler’s center would have preserved his memory of her in his new time stream. Well, there was no help for it. “Nothing like that,” she said and reached out to take his hand. “I’m here as a representative of Simshare’s Clearinghouse Lottery.”

“A lottery?” JC said. “I don’t know why you’d be here to talk to me. I never buy lottery tickets.”

“We’re the lottery of the next generation,” Gamora said. “You don’t need to buy tickets to win. We can look into the future to see what tickets you will buy.”

“Are you saying I won something?” JC asked, “In a lottery I never entered?”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying,” Gamora told him. “I’m here to present you with a check for one million simoleons.”

“What!” JC cried. “Is this real?”

“Completely real,” Gamora said. “Don’t spend it all in one place.”

“I don’t know what to say!” JC cried. “This is what lottery? I’ve never heard of Simshare’s Clearinghouse. What’s your name?”

Instead of answering, Gamora blew him a pollen-laced kiss.

His hand flew to his face, and he stared at her. “Who are you?”

“It’s not important,” Gamora said. “Have a nice life. Oh, and actually don’t to worry too much about buying a lottery ticket.”

Then she jumped on her hoverboard and sped away.

Back at the time travel center, she set about tracking down Emit Relevart.

As usual, he wasn’t hard to find.

“So, that problem with the timestream,” she said. “Fixed it for you.”

Emit stared at her for a second. She couldn’t see his eyes behind the visor, but she got the impression his look was positive. “You did,” he said slowly. “Impressive.”

“I can’t say that I approve of using future knowledge to cheat on a lottery,” he said, “but seeing that you used the seed money to found nonprofit dedicated to the protection of the planet, I think we can let that part slide. You may be reckless, but you’re incredibly intelligent, and you care about doing the right thing. I admire that about you.”

“Thank you,” Gamora said. “I think we’ve found a lot to admire in each other.”

Emit frowned. “I’m not sure I know how to take that.”

Gamora rolled her eyes. “We’ve been dancing around each other through three time streams now. You’ve been sneaking into my dream capsule at night. That’s not creepy at all, by the way.”

It seemed impossible for Emit Relevart’s skin to get any paler, and yet the color drained out of his face. “Ms. Gamora,” he stammered. “I’m sorry if there’s been a misunderstanding, but ah… I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but…”

Gamora just waited for him to finish a sentence.

At last he sighed, and his body looked ten years older. “I am the Custodian of the Time Stream,” he said. “I live outside of causality. I keep time travelers from destroying reality. In exchange, I cannot… engage in any romantic relationships of any kind.”

“You’re lonely,” Gamora said bluntly.

He nodded. “It’s a lonely job.”

“And your vow of celibacy exists why….?”

“Children born outside the time stream are a problem. Let’s leave it at that.”

“That’s convenient,” Gamora said. “I can’t get pregnant.”

Emit shook his head. “You’re right. I like your company. But that’s as far as I can let it go.”

Gamora sighed. “I’m sorry too. I guessed you would say that, but I had to try.”

“Thank you,” Emit said. “It’s good to know you are thinking of me. You are lonely too.”

Gamora nodded. “I’m very lonely. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how to fix that.”

Then she started to laugh. “I think I figured it out. I might be a good time stream guardian, but I had to break the rules somewhere.”

She walked past Emit into the corridor where two time tourists were flirting, and she held up a glass orb in her hand. Her eyes glinted wickedly.

The male tourist’s eyes went wide, and he jumped in front of his date. “What are you doing?”

“Don’t worry,” Gamora said. “It’s not about you.” And he threw the glass onto the ground and watched it shatter.

Where the glass fell, a new person seemed to coalesce out of of the air.

Emit stared at the new sim, who stared back at him.

“Whoa,” said the time tourists, “You could be brothers!”

“He’s you,” Gamora said, “or at least as close as my dad and I could get with cutting edge timestream cloning. I gathered the DNA sample from you a couple of time-shifts ago. You might not remember.”

“You shouldn’t be able to do that,” Emit said.

“I know,” Gamora said.

“Hi,” Emit Relevart’s clone said. “This is a lot to take in. You’re the person who created me? I hope it was for a good reason?”

“I hope it’s a great reason,” Gamora admitted. “But you’ll have to be the one to tell me.”

“Whoa!” the clone exclaimed, his voice muffled against her skin.

Gamora stepped back. “Entirely up to you,” she said. “No pressure. You have a lot of options.”

“Actually, why don’t we do that gain while I figure out what I want?”

“I think this is going to take a lot of research.”

Gamora relaxed for the first time in days and gazed into his face. “I didn’t know you’d feel that way, but I was hoping,” she admitted.

“You have a lot to explain to me,” he said.

“We have all the time we need,” Gamora said. “And if we don’t, we can make some.”

“It’s crowded out here, don’t you think?” Emit’s clone said. “What do you think about getting a room?”

Emit Relevart watched for a while in silence.

Then he moved on.

He had important things to do. Important time things. Somewhere else.

“We could start with a name,” Gamora said. “Do you have any thoughts on what you’d like to be called?”

“I’d like to hear some suggestions,” Emit’s clone said.

“I did have something in mind,” Gamora admitted. “How do you feel about Emmett?”

“Ok, I see what you did there,” Emmett said. “That’s not bad.”

“I’m dying to see your eyes underneath that visor,” Gamora said.

“As you wish,” Emmett said.


The exact moment of Emmett’s creation got messed up, so I did the best I could. It was actually a clone drone potion brewed by Andria, though Gamora did (or should have) collected that DNA sample much earlier in the storyline.

My plan was to clone Emit, but it turns out you can’t clone him either. Can’t woohoo him OR clone him. Good grief. I have no idea why that guy is so locked down. Don’t want him to make babies? No problem. But making a sim you can’t woohoo just seems against the whole philosophy of The Sims.

So she used the potion on the random guy in the room, and I transferred Emit’s genetics over using NRaas Mastercontroller.

7.35 New Frontiers

Jonah set himself to exploring the ocean around the island.  The bays and sea caves around Avalon were fascinating and very different from the scenery he was used to.

The land was beautiful too. There were so many colors and types of plants — grass, flowers, bushes, and trees. Mountains above the sea could reach up to the sky and even have snow on the top. The air changed temperature much more than the sea as well. It could swing from cold to hot and back to cold in the span of a day.

And then there were horses.

Avalon was home to a small herd of wild horses. The first time Jonah saw them, they took his breath away. They were huge and majestic. Calling the sea-critters seahorses was just a joke.

He slowly worked his way on land to try to get close to them. His first attempts were an instant failure.

Jonah was a thoughtful and determined merman, and he couldn’t get them out of his mind. He watched the horses for hours and approached them much more gradually.

That attempt was ultimately a failure too.

Winston had developed a fan base. A little fan club had even sprung up on the Internet. He lurked there every once in a while just for the ego boost.

He started seeing familiar faces show up at his performances.

One name started showing up over and over again on the fan club forum — Emilie Weaver. Eventually Winston got a chance to meet her face-to-face.

“I can’t believe we’re finally talking!” she enthused. “You look amazing on the stage, but you’re even more attractive up close.”

“I’m not sure what to say to that,” Winston said. “Thanks?”

“I enjoy watching your show, but I’m not a mindless fangirl,” Emilie said. “Well, not just a mindless fangirl.” She laughed.

The longer Winston talked to Emilie, the longer he wanted to. The chemistry between them was hard to deny. Were there rules about dating fans? Were there rules about having fans? This was new territory. A huge was probably all right.

But his mind was on other things.

Gamora activated the time machine. It was ready for one more whirl through the continuum. This was the moment where she learned whether all her carefully laid groundwork was built on the correct assumptions about the time stream.

There was no way to know without going there to see. And if it didn’t work, well… she’d just have to come up with a new plan. Everything was fixable with time?

She took a deep breath and jumped.

7.34 Causality

Victoria and Jonah had a lifetime to catch up on. They spent almost all their time together. It helped that Vickie’s income came from selling her diving discoveries and had no particular schedule.

Indeed, diving was one thing they could do together. They shared a passion for the sea, and that did a lot to bridge the chasm of their life experience. Vickie was conscious that this was much more time than Jonah had ever spent out of the water. She tried not to keep him away so long that it became painful for him.

After plenty of landwalker woohoo, Jonah was eager to show Vickie the pleasures of aquatic life.

Vickie found the idea exciting.

Woohoo and the sea, two of her favorite things together? What could be better?

Jonah was certainly thrilled.

It was certainly fun, but Vickie had to admit that her dive equipment made everything a bit awkward.

In the end, they found a compromise.

It worked pretty well for them.

Edmund called.

He and Joy had found a perfect cottage. They were just starting to unpack, but he hoped to invite the family for a housewarming gathering as soon as possible.

Edmund had just had a birthday, so this would be a chance to celebrate two parts of his new life at the same time.

At around the same time, Gamora got a very different call from her father.

It was about her stepmother.

Gamora hung and immediately went go find her father. He wasn’t exactly a people person, and he wouldn’t expect to talk to anyone about Emily’s loss. Gamora knew Sawyer well enough to know he’d be wrong.

When his shift ended at the hospital, Gamora was waiting for him. “Hey Dad,” she said. “I thought tonight would be a good time to take you to dinner.”

Sawyer scowled at her. “You don’t eat,” he said. “We’ve been over that before.”

“I’ll watch you eat,” Gamora said. “That’s entertaining enough.”

The fact that he didn’t argue further was a sign of how bleak he was feeling.

Sawyer focused on his food and said very little. Gamora told him about her progress at the astronomy center. Their current focus was clearing space debris which, combined with environmentalist initiatives she was also funding, promised to keep the planet healthy for hundreds of years to come.

“You’re making good use of all that money you cheated from the future,” Sawyer said. “I hope there isn’t some causality loop that unravels all your planning.”

“I specialize in time causality, Dad,” Gamora said. “Give me a little credit here.”

Sawyer finished his meal, sat back, and looked at her. He was lost in thought, and a half smile tugged at his mouth.

Gamora smiled back and waited for him to say something.

He exploded.

“We did everything!” he cried. “Cardiac enhancement drugs. Reinforcement surgery. Experimental treatments. She had the best that medical science could offer, and her heart still failed. I couldn’t do anything because I’m a neuroscientist, not a cardiologist. The cardiologist was an idiot!”

“Dad, I think–” Gamora began.

“I could have saved her life,” Sawyer said. “I’m a world-famous neurosurgeon. I’ve saved hundreds of lives, but I didn’t get to save my own wife!”

“Dad, you did all you could,” Gamora said. “You haven’t saved everyone who came to you either. It doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault.”

“She died in the operating room,” Sawyer said. “I couldn’t do anything. I hate being helpless. I shouldn’t ever be helpless.”

“Emily was my lead nurse and research associate,” he said. “She worked with me on all my recent research. How can I got back without her?”

Gamora didn’t say anything. She just hugged him. He broke down and cried on her shoulder, and she held him tight. Then she took him home and stayed there so he wouldn’t be alone.

After some long talks with his daughter, Sawyer decided to retire. He purchased a new, nicer house. The two of them set to upgrading the interior with bits of technology Gamora had gleaned from the future. Sawyer didn’t seem nearly as bothered by tangling the timeline when the result cooked and cleaned for him.

Gamora wondered where all this compassion came from. Since when was she the kind of person to hold someone, even her dad, while he cried?

Maybe she was now.

Simantics: Advanced lessons in burglar fail

Another reason you didn’t see much of Edmund and Joy’s fancy dinner.

Here’s a waitress we’re totally comfortable with handling our food.

This is quite seriously the nicest I have been able to make that blow-kiss animation. I hate it. All of the Irresistible animations are pretty awful.

I wonder, now that I think about it, if one could replace this animation with the flower kiss one, which I could swear was better.

Jonah is also horrified by the skeezy faces his lover makes.

(Actually, him too. He’s also Irresistible, as it turns out. That’s one of the reasons I decided there were such fireworks between them.)

You flee under the ocean to get away from technology, and then…

And here we have a different burglar for once! Maybe the werewolf chick was at her day job.

Randal here sneaked through the dining room while the family was standing around. I should’ve gotten a better picture of it. But, you know, he was just passing through, not stealing anything.

As he left the dining room and stepped on to the porch, he suddenly realized he was supposed to steal stuff.

At this point, Jonah dashed out to panic.

And Vickie took him down.

Take that! All those finely honed scuba diving muscles must be good for something.

Vampire policeman: Never fear! I’m here to save you from this miscreant.

Vickie: You’re seriously not going to fight him now. I already handled this.

Vampire policeman: Halt, foul thief!

Jonah: I guess we’re really doing this.

Andria: Fantastic! I hate to miss a good fight.

Andria: Except one of you stinks.

Vampire policeman: Here, let me cuff you nice and tight.

And now be a good boy and walk by yourself to my patrol car while I hang out with these nice folks.

Edmund: You’re exhausted. I can handle this!

Edmund: Hmm. Let me check my notes.

 

7.33 Wild waves

Time passed in a blur.

When Jonah touched her, Vickie found it hard to think.

All she could feel was the need for more.

Jonah himself spoke mostly with his eyes. He was self-conscious about his air voice, but also he just seemed to be awkward about words. She could feel his fingers tremble against her skin, see the longing in his eyes. Whatever the energy was between them, he was just as consumed by it.

She never saw him slip out of bed as she slept and watch her anxiously.

Eventually, she just had to escape to clear her head. She slipped out while Jonah was sleeping and headed downstairs to find something to eat.

A huge old ball of fluff met her in the kitchen. He was so happy to see her that his body wiggled all over. His joints were stiff enough these days that it took a lot of energy to get that excited. “Connery!” Vickie cried. “Just the pup I need to see!”

“There’s nothing like doggy love,” she said. “Want a smoochie?”

“Hey,” Winston said, coming up behind her. “Are you ok?”

“Um, sure I’m ok?” Vickie’s voice sounded even shakier than she felt. “I think so?”

Winston looked awkward. “I know you’re a big girl and all, Vickie, but you’re my sister. I’ve never seen you bring a guy home and lock yourself in the room with him all day. Do you even know him? I’m pretty sure that’s not Rodney.”

“He’s new,” Vickie admitted. She couldn’t bring herself to say that she’d only just met him, or that they’d only exchanged a handful of words. “Gosh,” she breathed, “this really isn’t something I do.”

“I was kinda thinking that too,” Winston said.

Here, with time to think half a house away from Jonah, Vickie could see how out-of-character her behavior was. It chilled her. Could she be under a spell? She knew there were romance spells, though she’d never learned to cast one. Could… oh dear… a drug do this? Not that Jonah had given anything to eat or drink… that she remembered… And of course he acted a bit strange. He was a merman without a lot of contact with landwalkers. Why was he here again?

Vickie too a deep breath and pulled out her phone. “I think I’m going to call a friend and see if I can get some advice,” she said.

Winston’s face softened. “Look, I don’t want to freak you out. I’m your brother. I have to worry about you. But there’s no harm in giving the guy some space, right?”

She thought she was going to dial Judith, but somehow that didn’t seem like the right kind of advice. She only knew one person who might give her some insight on mermen, but they’d only exchanged some sporadic texts since they met in Isla Paradiso.

“Maya? Hi, it’s Victoria Sample.” She paused. “Yeah, it’s me! It’s great to hear your voice too! ….Yeah, we never talk voice. We should fix that …Well, yeah, I did have a reason for calling. There’s a guy, and he’s a merman, and thought you might give me some advice about mermen…”

“You can stop squealing now, Maya! I get the point!” Vickie flushed. “Yeah, maybe I deserved that.”

To Vickie’s surprise, Maya insisted on meeting in person, and she was quick with the airline reservations. She found a flight that arrived in the afternoon, and they rendezvoused at the Old Mill teahouse.

“Wow, it’s been so long! You look great!” they chorused when they laid eyes on each other.

“I had no idea you could come visit this quickly,” Vickie said. “Why didn’t we do this sooner?”

“I can’t  always travel on such short notice,” Maya said, “but you lucked out this time. I had other reasons to spend some time in Avalon.”

“I hope you were going to look me up,” Vickie said.

“Sure I would,” Maya said, though Vickie thought there was a guilty edge to her voice.

“Let’s sit down and have a drink then,” Vickie said. “The Old Mill is such a peaceful place, and I never make time to come here.”

“I want to hear about this merman,” Maya said.

“You listen, and I’ll pour,” Vickie said.

Winston wandered into the kitchen in the afternoon and found Vickie’s guest sitting at the dining table, eating what Winston thought uneasily might be raw fish.

He grabbed a slice of Andria’s flaming angle food cake from the fridge and sat down beside the merman. “Hey,” he said. “I’m Vickie’s brother. My name’s Winston.”

The merman paused and gave Winston a long look. At last, he said, “I am Jonah of the Waves clan. Thank you for your hospitality.”

“It sounds like you’ve been showing my sister a good time,” Winston said. “Good for you. Just a piece of advice, man to man — Vickie lives with two brothers and her mom. You might want to be careful about loud noises.”

“Waves clan, really?” Maya said with raised eyebrows. “Those finfolk are wild.”

“Wild how?” Vickie asked, feeling her stomach tighten.

“Wild like a lot of them have never used their legs at all,” Maya said. “They live out in the deep ocean. I’ve only met a few. I get the impression that they don’t think much of shore mermaids like me.”

“If his clan doesn’t like the land,” Vickie said, “why did Jonah come here?”

Maya snickered. “For you, obviously.”

Vickie thought about that for a while. “You don’t know if Waves clan merfolk have any unusual abilities compared to shore merfolk?”

Maya frowned. “Not that I know of… What are you getting at?”

Vickie felt her face heating up. She tried to keep her voice casual. “Maybe any mermaid can do it? Affect how a human thinks about you?”

Maya frowned. She caught Vickie’s eyes from across the table until Vickie felt uncomfortable and looked away.

“Vickie,” she said. “Have you ever been with someone who really drove you crazy? Like you can’t get enough of them feel most comfortable when you’re with them?”

“I…” Vickie began. She’d had some good woohoo for sure, but she had to be honest with herself — the relationship part had always been awkward. Roderick had been good for a while, but even he had always looked at her with this devotion she couldn’t share. It made her feel guilty every time.

“I guess not,” she finished.

“You know what I think?” Maya said. “I think that you’ve got serious chemistry with a guy for the first time in your life, and it’s freaking you out.”

“You know, Maya,” Vickie said. “I think maybe you’ve got it exactly right.” She leaned forward to pour herself a little more tea.

They let the conversation drift to other things. “It’s been amazing to talk like this,” Vickie said. “I wish you were closer so we could do this all time.”

Maya gave a secretive smile. “That could happen someday,” she said. “Don’t give up hope.” She winked.

“Tell your fishy boyfriend hello for me,” Maya said. “Next time, we double-date or something, okay?”

“Absolutely,” Vickie said. “Thank you so much.”

It was dusk when she returned, and Jonah was waiting for her.

“You were gone when I woke up,” he said. His eyes looked large and mournful. “You’re unhappy. We have gone too fast. If you wish, I will return to the sea.”

“I’m sorry,” Vickie said. “I just needed to get away to think. I want you to stay. Please stay, Jonah.”

His face lit up, and he pulled her close.


I had real writer’s block with this one, but it finally came together.

7.32 Milestone

Vickie wrenched herself away from him. “What? What are you doing?” she demanded. “Who are you?”

“I’m called Jonah, of the Waves clan in the South Simsian Sea,” the merman said in a thick voice.

“So you do speak Simlish,” Vickie said.

Jonah looked embarrassed. “I understand very well,” he said. “I just don’t often speak.. with air.”

“Oh!” Vickie said. “You’ve been following me. Why? Why do you stare at me like that?”

The merman dropped his eyes. “I did not mean to upset you,” he said. “I just felt… this. I assumed you felt it too.”

“Felt what?” Vickie asked, trying to mask the trembling in her voice.

He frowned, thinking, then reached out and brushed his hand over her skin. “I don’t know the name for it,” he said. “The call of the sea?”

She opened her mouth to reply, but nothing came.

Instead, she took him by the hand and wordlessly led him back to the house.

They stayed in her bedroom a long time.

 

Downstairs, Edmund was also thinking romantic thoughts, but of a much more chaste and proper manner.

“Joy? Would you grant me the pleasure of your company at Ventinari’s Restaurant this afternoon? Perhaps on the early side? 6pm? Yes, that would be delightful!”

He arrived early. If Joy appreciated punctuality, he wanted to be punctual. Even if she didn’t, it was unlikely she’d be happier if he were late.

“I wanted to celebrate a milestone with you,” he told her, “both for me and, I hope, for Avalon. We are free of all but the oldest, most powerful vampires.”

“Really? That’s amazing,” Joy said. “You did this all on your own?”

“With the weight of a thousand years of fae knowledge behind me,” Edmund agreed. “The strange thing is that most of them wanted to be free. They thanked me for returning them to mortality.”

Joy shook her head. “I guess I’ll never really understand it all.”

“To celebrate, would you join me for dinner?” Edmund asked.

Joy smiled. “But of course!”

“Vetinari’s is the nicest restaurant in town,” Joy said. “I’ve never been here. I’m looking forward to finding out if it lives up to the hype.”

“My mother makes several things on this menu,” Edmund said. “I wonder how a restaurant compares.”

“Your mother is a gourmet cook?” Joy asked.

“In her spare time,” Edmund agreed.

“While we’re waiting, would you join me in a toast?” Edmund asked. “This is some of my father’s prized nectar, which he put down before he died.”

“How can I say no to that?” Joy said.

“Is it supposed to burn?” she asked.

“Perfect quality flame fruit nectar,” Edmund said. “I have heard that flame fruit nectar is memorable, but I’ll be honest — I have no idea how this tastes. It might be an expensive disaster.”

“All right then, I’ve been warned,” Joy said. “I’m ready for the adventure.” She raised a flaming goblet to her lips.

“Oh, my. This is amazing. I’ve never tasted anything like this!”

“Wonderful! This is ideal for a celebration, then. I think Dad would approve.” Edmund sipped his own.

The nectar danced over his tongue and warmed him from the inside out.

“I think this is going to my head!” he said. They both laughed.

Edmund looked up and met Joy’s eyes over their wine glasses. “I am embarking on a new chapter of my life. I have been searching for a small place of my own, and I’m ready to move away from my family estate. Would you consider joining me there?”

Joy froze, then took another sip. “I don’t think I’m ready to talk about marriage,” she said slowly.

“However you wish to define our relationship, I am at your disposal,” Edmund said. He tried to hide the splash of wine as his hand trembled.

Then Joy’s face relaxed, and she beamed at Edmund. “All right then,” she said. “I would love to move in with you. I know I couldn’t have handled your entire family, but just the two of us, with books and magic, that sounds divine.”

The counter stood between Edmund and Joy, so he couldn’t take her into his arms. Perhaps this wasn’t the most wise place to start an important conversation. He settled instead for a soulful gaze across the distance. “Joy, my love,” he said. “With you, I am the happiest man alive in this moment.”

He was pleased to see her blush.

 


I had the hardest time with this scene, but here we are — Edmund has completed his Lifetime Wish and is moving out of the house with his girlfriend! He really should have proposed to her, considering that he is a Proper sim, but it didn’t happen in the flow of the moment. Joy is Unflirty and pretty cautious about commitments anyway.

7.31 Out of the blue

A few days later, Vickie did return to explore the shipwreck. It was a brilliant day, with sun dappling down through the waves to illuminate the depths.

Vickie’s eyes kept being drawn away to little brightly-colored wonders of the sea.

Which was why she was so surprised to see him when she looked up.

Don’t hold your breath, she reminded herself. Holding your breath while diving was a quick trip to the hospital with compression damage.

It wasn’t as if she’d never met a mermaid before. She drew close and waved her hand in a universal underwater greeting. He just stared at her before swimming away.

Winston was invited to perform under the tent at the Wings Over Camelot Fun Faire. If that weren’t prestigious enough, he drew his largest crowd ever.

When he wrapped up his set, the audience went on cheering until the MC pushed him off the stage.

“You should have seen me, Ma!” he crowed when he finally made it home. “I was amazing! The pub offered me a regular gig on Fridays. They like me. They really like me!”

“I always knew you’d be a star,” Andria said. “That’s my boy.”

Edmund was cleaning the town of vampires, and it was getting easier.

He was out almost every night, prowling for the creatures of the night.

“Well, that was unexpected. What am I supposed to do now?”

“What’s that?? Don’t stake me!”

“Hey this feels pretty good!”

Before sunset, Victoria took a long walk on the beach behind the house. The rolling waves and the smell of salt in the air brought her peace in the way nothing else could.

A splashing sound caught her attention. What was that? A giant tuna?

No. It was something else entirely.

The merman transformed and stepped out of the water. His wild eyes bored into her.

Vickie took a step backward. “Hello?” she said in a wavering voice. “Are you new to this ocean? Welcome to Avalon. I-I’m Victoria Sample, and I live nearby.”

He stepped closer, raised a hand to brush against her cheek. His skin was smooth and cool.

In a low voice, he said slowly, “Victoria.”


Sorry for the blurry backgrounds. I was experimenting with my graphics settings, and the world lot looked terrible for a little while.

7.30 Time to move on

Andria was sleeping better these days. The bed was big and empty, but it was comfortable and familiar.

She also rediscovered her old passions.

There were still alchemy

And even more fun, new cooking techniques!

Old Connery spent most of his time sleeping, but he slept like a king.

And Winston practiced… and performed… and practiced performing.

At home, in private, while he was nursing sore muscles, he might call his mentor Tyrone Biggs a slave driver, but he made sure that never happened where the acrobatics guru could hear him.

How many mentors forced their apprentices to balance on a wet, slippery ball on a chill rainy day? If I catch my death of cold, it will be all his fault, Winston stewed as his hand slipped yet again and he barely avoided falling on his head. Or a cracked skull. He’s going to give me traumatic brain injury, that’s what.

Biggs, however, was finally starting to be impressed by what he saw.

As the rain cleared and the sun began to set, Winston was still thinking murderous thoughts as he juggled, but Biggs was wreathed in smiles.

“I think I’ve seen enough,” Tyrone said.

Winston broke his concentration and let the batons fall around him to the stage. “You mean I can stop?” he asked. “Finally?” Every part of his body ached.

“Yeah, come down,” Tyrone said.

Winston gathered up has equipment and sloshed soggily to his mentor. He could already guess the mistakes that Biggs was going to point out, but he had no energy to try again today.

He was taken completely by surprise, then, when Biggs grabbed his hand and shook it. “Bravo,” he said. “You were amazing.”

Winston blinked. “I was what?”

“I think you are officially better than I was at my peak,” Tyrone continued. “I have nothing more to teach you. From here on out, I can no longer be your mentor. Consider us peers.”

“Wow!” Vickie said when he had told her the story. “Congratulations! You’re in the big time now!”

“I don’t know,” Winston said slowly. “Now it’s just me. I don’t have anyone to help me improve. What if I can’t go any further without Bigg’s guidance?”

“That’s nonsense,” Vickie said firmly. “I’ve seen you up there. You’re great. You can push yourself just as hard and Biggs ever did.”

Winston let himself relax. “Yeah, thanks sis.”

“That’s what I’m here for,” she said. “Now you go take a shower and get out of those soggy clothes before you catch your death of cold.”

Winston grinned. “Glad to know you still think I can take care of myself.”

On a bright, sunny morning, Vickie answered the call of the sea. The wreck of the Mango Marauder still held some secrets, and she planned to spend the afternoon investigating.

Once she slipped into the water, however, her plans changed.

Something… someone… surfaced nearby.

Mermaids in Avalon? Vickie thought of them as creatures who preferred to live in tropical climates.

“H- hello?” she said. “Are you new here? Welcome to Avalon?”

The mermaid held her gaze for another long moment. He was almost close enough to touch.

Then he dove, brushing lightly against her as he swam swiftly away.

Vickie watched as he dropped out of sight below the water. “Wow,” she said. “That was weird.”


Avalon Gossip column:

Rod’s rebound relationship with cougar Claire James ended in a shouting match like almost every relationship Claire has dated for three generations.

After which, she finally said the last goodbye to the neighborhood. She didn’t slow down to the very end. I assume she got what she wanted and enjoyed kicking guys to the curb. She sure didn’t like them clingy.

I will miss the reports of her exploits.

 

Simantics: The tale of the stupid burglar

So, there once was a time when a wizard visited an old friend. It was a small house, lit up, with people clearly having fun inside….

Which was the perfect time for a burglar!

Burglar: I think I’ll just walk in through the front door while they’re partying.

Hey! That wizard is really hot.

Marisela: Wow, that’s rather a loud noise.

Edmund: I think you have a visiting burglar.

Edmund and Burglar: Hello there! Have a nice evening!

Marisela: Oh dear! A burglar! Don’t let her hurt us!

Burglar: Oh no! Is there a burglar! Save us!

Edmund: Hello, police! I need to report that I am surrounded by idiots.

Cop: I’ll need you to cuff yourself and exit the building.

Burglar: Take me away! There’s a dangerous burglar in there!