Tag Archive | cycl0n3

4.42 Set It Free

When Veronica was leaving for work one evening, she found Kirby Hawkins standing by the gate, grinning at her. “Care to comment on woohoo with a dead thing?”

Veronica stared him down coldly. “Ada told me you were harassing my sons at the park. Do it again, and I will call the cops.”


She watched him smirking at her as she drove away. He knew as well as she did that the thread had no teeth. The police hadn’t been helpful when they were living with one.

Veronica had to come up with some other way to retaliate. She couldn’t keep them out. She couldn’t reason with them. And the police couldn’t do much when her family wasn’t under physical threat.

“All right,” she said to herself. “I’ll give them something to write about.”


Not long after, Veronica received a summons to Sunset Valley City Hall. Long ago, Charmaine had put her in for an award for her ghost work, and apparently the city agreed with her.


She was received by city officials with intimidating pomp and circumstance. The kids were in school, but Charles was able to attend the ceremony with her.


She was presented with the Key to the City and a medal of honor. The ceremony was performed by Vice Mayor Tamara Donner because Toya was on maternity leave.


“I want to thank you again for your amazing work in protecting the city from paranormal threats,” Tamara Donner concluded. Her handshake was firm and professional.


“I see,” Veronica said. “Vice Mayor, I would like to show you something.” She pulled a canister out of her carrying bag and glanced over her shoulder.


Charles was waiting patiently. He had no idea what she had in mind.


“You see,” Veronica said, “we bring all variety of spirits back to our labs at the science center. We examine them and ask them some questions. Then most of them, we let go.”

She demonstrated.


The spirit uncoiled from the canister with a happy sigh. It seemed to wave at Veronica as it dissipated.

Tamara Donner shrieked. “What were you thinking! You let that thing out at City Hall!”


“And what do you think it’s going to do?” Veronica demanded. “What makes you think it’s a threat at all? Because you think it looks creepy?”


“I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I’ve collected a ghost that was causing anyone any trouble. Most of these spirits aren’t looking to bother anyone. Some of them want to protect a home or person they remember. Some don’t want to exist at all.

“They’re nothing like my husband Charles here. Most of them are memories of something that was once alive. But we can learn something from all of them. That’s what I’m trying to do.”


“These are memories of real people. They were someone’s parents and lovers and children. They didn’t ask to be caught between worlds, and you all are treating them like vermin. It’s the same way you treat the real, living ghost people who live in your cities and pay your taxes.

“I don’t need your medal for protecting the city from spirits. I should have one for protecting spirits from the city. Think about that.”


Charles’s eyes almost popped out of his head, but he couldn’t think of anything to say, so he didn’t say anything.

Veronica called over her shoulder. “Hey, paparazzi, did you get all that? I can help you spell if you need it. I’m looking forward to reading the paper!”

Charles and Veronica rode home in silence. Finally, as they were getting out of the Vaguester, Charles asked, “What was all that about?”

Veronica sighed. “If we can’t beat the media, I thought we could use it as a pulpit to do some good.”

“You could have warned me,” Charles pointed out.

Veronica nodded. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know what I was going to do until I did it. But if it helps, everything I said was true.”

“So you’re releasing the ghosts you capture?”

Veronica nodded. “Well, some of them are angry and potentially dangerous. But the rest we are just relocating to places where they can hopefully be happier.” She took his hand. “Come with me. I’ll show you.”

She took him to the balcony outside their bedroom and pulled out her canister again. “I thought maybe you’d like to release a few together.”

After she released the first one, a surprising face peered through the wall.


“I felt a spirit nexus somewhere around here,” the ghost of Cyclone Sword said in an echoing voice. “Did you see it?”

Charles laid eyes on his father’s face for the first time.


“You’re the ghost of my father,” Charles said haltingly. “My father was a ghost like me, not like you, but you’re still him.” It sounded even more confusing when he said it.

Cyclone gave him a blank smile. “So you’re my son? I think someone told me I had one. Pleased to meet you.”


It wasn’t exactly a tearful reunion, but they floated together with Veronica for hours, greeting spirits and wishing them well.


At last, Cyclone’s ghost said, “This has been lovely, but I’m starting to think that three’s a crowd.” And he drifted off the way he had come.


Maybe three WAS a crowd.

“You’re amazing,” Charles whispered. “I was only looking to marry a partner. I didn’t expect to find an advocate at well.”


“I know I’m amazing,” Veronica said with a laugh. “But I like to hear it just the same.”

“I have a better idea,” Charles said.



It annoys me that you don’t even get a moodlet for releasing captured ghosts.

Sorry that both of the main characters were oozing green stink for the whole scene at City Hall. Ha! I can’t remember why they had so badly neglected their hygiene.

4.17 Closure

The golden years were certainly golden for Zahra and Fabian. They had never been so relaxed together.


When Zahra suddenly sat down at the chess table while Fabian was practicing and challenged him to game, the significance was not lost on Fabian. Zahra had been a ranked chess player in her youth, but somehow she’d never wanted to play with him. She only caught the occasional game with Charles.

Then one night Zahra’s eyes flickered open in the wee hours. She slipped out of bed and found her way down to he sitting room, knowing what she would find.

This moment that she had longed for so long was somehow awkward. She cleared her throat. “Excuse me?”


Cyclone looked up. His ghostly face was unreadable. Slowly he closed the book and stood. Zahra’s breath caught.

“Hello!” he said cheerfully. His hollow voice echoed through the house. “I’m Cyclone Sword. This must be your place I’m haunting.”

Zahra felt a sob well in her throat. She forced it down. She was a scientist. Whatever her youthful fantasies, she’d known for a long time what to expect.

Still, her voice quavered as she said, “Sample. You took my name when we were married and became Cyclone Sample. Can you possibly remember?”

He stared at her for a long time. “I knew you, didn’t I? You’re the reason I haunt this house.”

“Yes!” Zahra breathed. “We were married. Your son is all grown up now. You’re about to be a grandfather!”

“Whoa,” Cyclone said. “That’s a lot to dump on a fellow all at once.”

“I know that only part of you projects from the Netherworld, but is our entire life together erased? Can you remember any of it?”

“I,” Cyclone said, then stopped. “I held Charles in my arms. I taught him to read. But, wait, I held you in my arms and taught you to read. It’s so confusing!”

Zahra’s heart lept. “It was a pretty strange romance,” she admitted. “But yes, both of those things are true.”

“I’m going to be a grandfather,” Cyclone said. “Wow.”

“Why did you come back to me now?” Zahra asked. “Why when I’m an old woman?”

Cyclone chuckled. “Something tells me that this is a very funny thing to say. I was an old man when I met you. Older. I was already dead, wasn’t I?”

“Yes,” Zahra admitted. “I said our love was strange.”

She knew better than to ask, but still she heard herself say the words she had rehearsed so many times as a young woman. “I know that the Netherworld is far off, and you are only part of yourself, but… is there any chance you love me still?”

“My lady,” Cyclone said. “I am dead. I can’t describe it. We will have to talk about all this when you get here. But if our love was true then, there is something now.”

Then he stiffened. “I’m sorry, but I have to go.”

And he was gone, leaving Zahra alone with her thoughts.

Fabian let her sleep in the next morning so long that she was late for work. “Why didn’t you wake me?” she demanded as she rushed about getting ready.

“I woke up last night and you weren’t there,” Fabian said. “I figured you’d need the extra rest.”

Zahra pulled Fabian into her arms and hugged him fiercely. “Things are going to be complicated when we pass on,” she said. “But I wouldn’t change anything.”

“I know,” Fabian said. “It’s what I signed on for when I fell in love with you.”

“Thank you, my love,” Zahra whispered. “For everything.”


At last! Cyclone is manifesting like a normal ghost! And I have complete set of legacy ghosts. Maybe that won’t be so cool a few generations down the line, but now it’s awesome!

It is midnight, and I so shouldn’t be taking the time to write this, but I’ve so missed the Samples.

Oh, yeah, and I have no particular reason to highlight this in the story right now, but Zahra and Fabian have been little bunnies since they became elders. One of them always has the wish to Woohoo or romance the other. It’s so sweet.

4.6 Divided Hearts

The Science Center had opened all sorts of doors for Zahra.

These days she was in a hush-hush program devoted to crossbreeding creatures and robots. You had to be sure not to call too much attention to programs like these or the silly animal rights activists came down on your head. And let’s not talk about Equal Rights for Artificial Intelligence movement.

She spent a lot of her time looking for unique animal specimens for her experiments, and there was no better place to look for truly bizarre evolutionary life paths than in the sea.

So she was fishing on the beach behind the house when the old urn she kept on her dresser began to rattle.

She wasn’t there. She couldn’t have heard or felt it, and yet somehow as the sun went down, she knew to look behind her.

There he was.

Without thinking, Zahra dropped the fishing rod and found herself scrambling and sliding through the beach sand back toward the house.

“Wait for me!” she heard her voice rasp, but it was barely loud enough to carry.

Before she could even make it to the back door, he was gone.

She stood in the hallway, shaking. “No, she whispered. Don’t go away. Please, not again.” She was still standing there when Fabian wandered upstairs and found her.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

“Yes,” she snapped. “Of course I’m fine.” Even her voice was shaking.

“Zahra,” Fabian said gently. He pulled her into his arms. “You’ve been crying.”

She felt her defenses come crashing down. “He was here!” she sobbed. “I saw him, but he went back to the Netherworld before I could talk to him.”

Fabian stiffened. “Cyclone.”

Zahra nodded. “I know he’s not the same. I… I kept his urn all these years in hopes that his spirit would manifest and he could come back to me. But I know a lot more now. Traditional ghosts are just projections from the Netherworld, pale incomplete memories of the real person. There’s no way he could really come back to me. Still… I just wanted a chance to say goodbye.”

“I understand,” Fabian said, and he tried to. “Cyclone was your true love, and you lost him so young.”

Zahra buried her head in Fabian’s shoulder, the most vulnerable gesture he had seen from her in more years than he could remember. “Not true love,” she whispered. “Just first love. I know I’m hard on you. It’s just that I’m so afraid you’ll leave me too.”

Fabian held her close, and he felt a part of his heart heal that he hadn’t realized was broken. “You don’t have to worry about that,” he said. “I know all about first loves.”

“Who was yours, then?”



And they just stood there in the hallway for a while because there was nothing more to say.


This is the first and ONLY time Cycl0n3’s ghost has ever manifest. I’ve always wanted to have a complete collection of heirs and mates, though I can see that too many ghosts gets to be a real pain after a while. Still, it was great to see him!

I dropped the silly spelling for this post because it gets to be such a pain to type :).

And Zahra has made her LTW! Fabian is about 1.5 promotions behind her, despite getting about two ahead while she was stuck on endless maternity leave. Barring any promotion glitches like SimDjinn, he’s going to make it in plenty of time, though.

3.21 While We’re Doing Introductions

I don’t think Zahra was ever introduced properly, and she’s the heiress. Smack me with a wet noodle. So, without further ado:

Zahra Sample
Traits: Brave, Can’t Stand Art, Genius, Good, No Sense of Humor
Likes: Chinese Music, Fish and Chips, Turquoise
Lifetime Wish: Become a Creature-Robot Crossbreeder

I wasn’t exaggerating when I described her as a geek with no social skills. Though I’m a bit grumpy about the Genius trait. I pushed her toward mad science because I thought Logic would be used there, but apparently it’s Fishing, Gardening, and Handiness. So I suppose if I used Midlife Crisis to tinker with her traits, I’d be breaking the rules of the legacy more than I am now.

And her husbands:

Cycl0n3 Sw0rd Sample
Traits: Absent Minded, Computer Whiz, Couch Potato, Inappropriate, Genius
Likes: Electronica Music, Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Black
Lifetime Wish: Chess Legend

Fabian Branch Sample
Traits: Computer Whiz, Excitable, Friendly, Genius, Hates the Outdoors
Likes: Latin Music, Autumn Salad, Pink
Lifetime Wish: Forensic Specialist: Dynamic DNA Profiler

See what I mean about Cycl0n3 and Fabian? Zahra’s taste in men is pretty clear. Fabian appears here in an outfit I didn’t keep very long. I think he’s adorable in his police uniform, but he’s a really difficult Sim to find any other flattering attire for.

And that pretty much covers Generation 3.

3.10 Going Home

It was Zahra’s day off, and she and Cycl0n3 took a much-needed morning together. They slept in luxuriously late. Adjo made sure that little Charles was taken care of before the twins headed off to school.

Romance was in the air. Lance jumped up at breakfast and asked Layla out on a date. She spent such long hours working at the bistro, and she never got a chance to experience the romantic atmosphere as a customer. He wanted to fix that.

The two of them looked sharp in their formals.

The afternoon was everything they’d hoped it would be.

Cycl0n3 and Zahra rolled out of bed and quickly fell into the usual topic of conversation: their son.

But this time Cycl0n3 called a halt to it. Zahra had been working her tail off at the science lab, then coming home to work her tail off tending to Charles. She needed to take some time to herself away from both work AND family.

He kicked her out of the house to spend the afternoon at the spa getting a massage. But not before he showed her is appreciation.

It turned out to be the last wish he would have a chance to fulfil.

Alone in the house, he headed downstairs to play with Charles.

They read together from a math-for-toddlers book. Charles’ eerie ghost voice piped up against his father’s. Cycl0n3 felt completely fulfilled.

And then a strange sensation came over him. It was as if the wind blew through him, and he was the wind, and it called to him from beyond the pale.

Alone on the back deck, Charles went on reading until Mommy came home.

Zahra returned, flushed with a good massage and feeling carefree, to find her ghostly son alone in the house. At first she was furious. “Where is your father?” she demanded of little Charles.

Charles looked up at her with penetrating inhuman eyes, and she realized for the first time that he truly was something different.

“Daddy went home,” he said.

Then her eyes fell on an urn sitting on the deck. She hadn’t noticed it in the pile of Charles’ toys. Suddenly she understood.

Nobody knew exactly what the science lab had done to Cycl0n3. Somehow, in her heart, she’d always just assumed he was immortal in his half-ghost, half-human form. Apparently not. The Netherworld had called him back.

She picked up the urn and placed it in her bedroom, hoping against hope that he’d rise again, in whatever ghostly form he was permitted. But even when the other family ghosts came out to play, the urn was silent.

Goodnight, Cycl0n3.

(It turns out that Cycl0n3 was “living” on borrowed time. I knew he had a lifespan of sorts, and that he’d be called back into his gravestone eventually. However, when he married Zahra and changed his name, his gravestone got borked. Apparently EA in its infinite wisdom was using character name to attach the ghost to the gravestone, and Cycl0n3 Sample couldn’t be using Cycl0n3 Sw0rd’s gravestone. This caused some other glitches I was struggling with, since the character was now duplicated — the version of him in his gravestone and the version I was playing. When I figured this out, I had to use some of Twallan’s mods to get him to terminate gracefully, but that also ended up destroying his gravestone. I’m terribly grumpy about this; I wanted the whole family to be in the graveyard. I’m still trying to see if I can export Cycl0n3 from a previous save file and get him properly stowed in a gravestone, but I may just call myself lucky for having a functioning game file and give up.)

(ETA: Fixed the last picture. Somehow the mood was lost when instead of Zahra sleeping alone, the last pic was of Shanni taking a bubble bath. Woot.)

3.6 It Takes a Village

So…. what is a ghost’s baby? A baby ghost. Zahra’s mystery was solved.

In any other family, this would have caused a stir. Well, all right, even here there was a bit of a stir. But these were the Samples. Samples are brave. Samples love nothing more than to sit down and have a fireside chat with the ghosts of their dead relatives.

When Zahra told her father that she had married Cycl0n3, he blinked and said, “You don’t think he’s a bit old for you? Seeing how he dated your grandmother, and he’s dead and all?” One she’d convinced him that she was truly happy, he shrugged and gave her his blessing. Before that moment, he hadn’t really thought of Cycl0n3 as any different than Susie or Connor. Ghosts have a right to be happy too, after all.

That’s just a bit of context to describe why the freakout at the Sample household wasn’t particularly freaked or out.

Lance was particularly delighted with his grandson. He’d have been delighted if Charles were green with tentacles.

Adjo couldn’t stop tickling and cuddling the new arrival.

All-in-all Zahra had plenty of help. Whenever Charles whimpered, someone was there with a bottle and a diaper, and for all that nobody really had to lose much sleep.

And of all of the Samples, Cycl0n3 was the most beside himself with pride and joy. Charles was his son. He’d made a new life, if a life was what this was, and if it wasn’t who cared anyway?

He’d longingly cared for Zahra, then Adjo and Shanni as babies, always figuring that his time was past. Now he had a wife and a new son. All was right with the world

3.5 Welcome Charles

The Sample house was aflutter about the arrival of a new grandbaby.

None were more aflutter than Cycl0n3.

Everyone tried to prepare as much as they could.

The big question that nobody was asking was exactly what Zahra was carrying. A ghost’s baby would be… what? Zahra alone seemed unbothered by this. If anything, she was more excited by the big unknown. Her pregnancy was part impending motherhood and part science experiment, and that suited her just fine. She would have been disappointed if the child turned out to be an ordinary baby.

What she wasn’t ready for was just how much maternity leave was going to drive her crazy. She was climbing the walls for tasks to do. She took over most of the gardening from Layla.

She taught herself how to upgrade her computer.

And she counted down the days until the blessed day. When it came, she was more than ready.

Cycl0n3 was less ready. Connor’s ghost even drifted by to watch the excitement.

Charles Babbage Sample was born at 3:15 AM, and he didn’t disappoint.

He was definitely an unusual baby.

(WOOT! Ghost baby!)

3.3 Into the Oven

Zahra wasted no time heading down to the science center to join her dream career.

Cycl0n3 found himself faced with yet another new start to his unlife. He was already a chess legend, so he got a hankering to try his hand at prose.

His journalism background made this an easy career to fall into. His lightly fictionalized account of his unlife, Ghosts Have Feelings Too became a bestseller.

He was so distracted that he picked up some of Layla’s fruit parfait, put it in his pocket, then pulled it out two days later and ate it.


Maybe this was some sort of sympathetic connection to Zahra. She didn’t feel the slightest bit sick, but one night the test was positive anyway.

3.1 The Ghost-Traveler’s Wife

Zahra was all grown up… and Cycl0n3 was in for a surprise.

Zahra and Cycl0n3 were both painfully awkward geeks, unlucky in friendship and unluckier in love. They had also known each other for all of Zahra’s life and almost all of Cycl0n3’s afterlife. In short, they understood each other, and neither of them was very used to being understood.

At least that was the case that Zahra made to him as she poured her feelings out in one great big torrent of words, peering at him with her too-serious green eyes. She wasn’t even afraid of rejection. The situation seemed so obvious to her that there was no way that he could *not* feel the same.

Cycl0n3, on the other hand, had literally changed Zahra’s diapers. When had everything changed while he was right there watching? Cycl0n3 never claimed to be an observant kind of guy. But he couldn’t deny their connection. It didn’t take Zahra long to bring him around.

It all moved so fast. Zahra so no reason to wait when she knew what she wanted.

She also had no need for approval from her family or any sort of fancy public display. Crowds made her nervous anyway.

“Till death do you part” seemed pretty meaningless here.

Just a few days ago, Cycl0n3 had completed what he thought was his greatest lifetime wish. Now he wondered if he might have been wishing for the wrong thing.

3.0 Passing the Torch to Zahra

In due time, Zahra’s birthday came around. Along with Adjo and Shanni’s, all together in one big pile of aging up.

Layla threw a huge joint party for her beloved brood. Three birthday cakes were arrayed on the back lawn.

First Zahra.

Meanwhile, on the back patio, Layla’s dear Antonio Bauer, who was a little late to the event, decided to cash it in.

While Shanni had her moment to blow out the candles, half the guests were distracted by the arrival of Death behind her.

Antonio had no regrets in life, though he’d have been glad for more time. The sly dog left behind a young wife and a toddler, for heaven’s sake.

Shanni aged up surrounded only by close family.

Almost certainly NOT the look she’s going to stick with.

Death, having done his duty, stuck around to cheer Adjo on and get a slice of cake.

Now that she was of age, Lancelot passed the deeds to the family investments over to Zahra as his designated heir. His own life ambitions complete, he made ready to step to the sidelines.

After a wardrobe change, here we have…



(The first was his final look, but this pic has a great expression :).)

And our inheritor of the Sample line, Zahra, who decided to get a haircut. I do say, it looks good on her.