Tag Archive | fabian

4.39 Final Meditation

It was Fabian’s day off, and he was up early to train at the dojo. He crept out carefully to be sure he didn’t disturb Zahra while she slept. Mad Science was taking more out of her these days, and she needed her beauty rest.

Fabian was going to test for his red belt, and he wanted Charles to be wowwed by his moves. He threw his all at the training dummy. But all of a sudden, something felt wrong.


Lisette Williams wouldn’t take her eyes off him. He wanted to believe that he was a hot stud muffing all sweaty and working out, but he was too old and wise for that fantasy. “What are you looking at?” he demanded. But the words came out strange and hollow….


Then he realized what was wrong.

The air grew cold, and he felt icy breath on the back of his head. He turned around to face the Grim Reaper.


Well, that kind of wrecked the mood. Fabian looked the dread apparition up and down. “Aren’t you a little young for a soul collector?”


“Hey,” the Reaper growled. His voice was the sound of breaking glass. “We have to start someplace.”

This was it. Fabian thought of Zahra. He’d left her sleeping sweetly in their bed. And Ada. She was getting married tomorrow, and it had never occurred to him that he wouldn’t be there to give her away. This was so sudden. It wasn’t fair. A moment ago, he felt more alive than ever in his life. And now it was over?


“Please!” he cried, falling to his knees. “Please let me have just a little more time! I want to be a better a better father and husband! You didn’t give me time to make my mistakes up to Zahra!”


The Reaper tapped his foot impatiently. He was probably rolling his invisible eyes. “If you haven’t made good on your life by now, it’s too late to start,” the Reaper said. “You done now? I have a schedule to keep.”

Thus Fabian Branch Sample was called to the Netherworld.


Zahra felt it immediately. Mad Science had raised her awareness of the invisible forces that surround us. Something cried out in the fabric of the universe and was suddenly silent.

The roaring emptiness nearly knocked her out of her chair.


“Your step-grandfather is gone,” Zahra told the triplets. He chest was so tight and aching that she could barely get the words out.


Charles also felt it. This was the first person close to him who had died since Granddad Lance when he was a teenager. This was different. He felt it like a like a burning flash across his connection to the Netherworld.

And how did he feel? Fabian hadn’t been a perfect father-figure, but he was the only father figure Charles could remember. The void he left in Charles’s life was large and aching.


The time that followed was rough. Fabian hadn’t been a perfect man, but he’d been enough. He’d touched the lives of his family.


Zahra pulled weeds until her hands were sore.


Charles tried to fill Fabian’s shoes. He was clumsy at best.


(Dude. Your spoon is *upside down*.)

After a while, the ache became a little less. Fabian had led a good life. He’d reached his career ambition. He’d managed not to destroy his marriage. He had a beautiful and talented daughter. He’d done all right with his life, really.

The Samples started letting themselves have a bit more fun again.


So long, Fabian. You have a complicated afterlife ahead of you.

[Missing picture of Cycl0n3 and Fabian’s gravestones, with a space between them for Zahra’s.]


OK, what’s with Grim going around town dressed up to graduate from high school???

Blast it, Fabian had just gotten a new belt. I was going to cancel his training so that he would show it off and pose for a picture. Then I played some of the rest of the household, and looked up to see his thumbnail had disappeared from the display. I’d’ve liked to get him with a belt other than white. Sim Fu really was his passion there at the end. His queue was filled with wishes to train and exercise.

It’s amusing how everyone in the household starts grieving instantly, no matter where they are.

Fabian died at the age of 93 with 160 happiness point.

4.33 Starr’s Truly Spiritual Engagement

The instant Starr Ursine-Sample turned 18, she found a job and a place of her own. In the family gossip circle, the word was that she and her mother Toya got along like oil and water.

Not long after she got out on her own, Charles and family got an engagement announcement. Starr was going to marry her highschool sweetheart Felix Andrews.


And sure enough, she and Felix had a lovely little house with a white picket fence. They probably planned to have 2.5 kids together. Starr knew exactly what she wanted, and she wasn’t wasting any time.

Charles had to teach a late class that night, and that many people together gave Zahra a headache. But Fabian, Ada, and Veronica dressed up and headed into town to celebrate with Starr.

They arrived with Starr’s older sister Charmaine


and Charmaine’s girl-of-the-month, Adrienne Hatch (daughter of Emma Hatch and Christopher Steel, Mortimer’s step-daughter).


Charmaine was still living at home and working hard at the courthouse in a political career like her mother. Toya, who never did have a problem with a little nepotism, was tossing her some choice assignments here and there.

The groom-to-be, Felix, spent the party working in the lawn. This whole shindig seemed to be Starr’s thing, and he was being the dutiful fiance.


Toya and Adjo arrived late, straight from some sort of local government function. Through hard work, dedication, and a little bit of misappropriation of funds, Toya had recently been elected Mayor of Sunset Valley — despite her term in jail for embezzlement. The town loved her no matter what she did, but Starr apparently not so much. Toya lingered in the driveway for a long time, trying to work up the nerve to step in to her daughter’s house.


Adjo, ever the family peacemaker, gave his wife a kiss and made his way to his daughter’s front porch. “Lovely evening, isn’t it?” he said with a wise smile.

Adjo was showing his age these days, but don’t let that fool you. He was Charles’s most dedicated pupil, and he now held a brown belt in Sim Fu. The cane doubled as a fighting staff.


As they all gathered at the door to wish Starr well, Felix shouted from the yard, “Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat! What on earth is that!”


Ada started giggling. “I know if you don’t!” she said in a singsong.

“It looks like a class three free-roaming specter,” Veronica said. “Nothing dangerous, but let me handle it. Don’t worry. I’m a professional.”


Then she pulled out a massive gun from somewhere under her skirt and blasted it!


The party-goers stood around with their jaws gaping open while Veronica, looking smashing in her cocktail dress and stiletto heels, hauled around a Ghost Blaster 3000 to clear up the haunting in the yard.


“Can anybody tell me where she keeps that gun?” Fabian asked. Adjo and Starr stared at him. “I’m not supposed to ask that, huh? OK, I’ll shut up now.”

But one person couldn’t keep her eyes of Veronica.




When Veronica packed the gun away and declared the house free of paranormal manifestation, Charmaine dashed up breathlessly. “I want you to know how grateful I am for everything you’r doing for the city,” she cried. “You’re a true hero! I’m going to put you in for an award at City Hall!”

“Um, wow!” Veronica said. “Thank you!” Charmaine was such a playgirl that Veronica had been expecting a different and much more uncomfortable conversation. Funny how people surprise you sometimes.


Bwah! So the entire family gets an invitation to Starr Ursine-Sample’s engagement party, and I send Veronica to work on her first job for the night, and they end up in the same place! Then apparently the attire requirement for the party took over, and Veronica changed out of her work clothes and did the job in the formals. I’m not sure that the post is half as funny as it actually was to play.

And Charmaine “brightened” Veronica’s day! Which means she’s Good, and it sheds a whole new light on her going into politics after her Evil mother….

Move Update: At long last, the Samples have moved to their new home. After some pondering about how much of the now-extensive extended family to bring, I gave up and brought all of them. How that works into the story depends on where they show up.

For cross-pollination, I have:

– Bookabets (Bookabet alphabetacy)

– Jo Simself (and dogs!)

– Hodginses (SimDjinn’s wishacy)

– Sleeps (simself couple for Eppy Sleep)

– Bergs (Eppy Sleep’s Pinstar legacy)

– Meringues (Sweetest of Dreams wishacy)

– Mentarys (The Simmentary legacy)

– January Callender. (Callenders Legacy) Ahem. I cannot load February into my game. I had this happen once with a couple of sims of Amhranai’s. My current guess is that this involves stuff pack content that I don’t have — which would be all stuff packs, actually. It can’t possibly be expansions, since I have the all through Pets, and I’m sure that Showtime wasn’t out yet when February became an adult. If there’s any chance you could take another stab at posting a version of February that contains base game hair and clothes only, I’d love to try again. I may still try another alternate installer.

– Martin Luther and Tam Butterfield-Callender

Amhranai, I’d really like to have the current Vosses, but if you don’t want to post them, then with your permission I’ll pull Emma from the Exchange. She seems to be the most recent heir you uploaded.

Everyone is elfified — using the new pointed ear sliders that came with the Supernatural patch rather than the older (and quite nice) custom mod sliders. The effect is subtly different, and I think I like it better. I will say that when EA decides to do something themselves, they do a great job.

I’m also bringing along from Sunset Valley the Cagleys from the Cagley random legacy. Their stories weren’t yet done, and I keep hoping that Redhead will come back from hiatus and have a good laugh at what’s happened to her sims.

The rest of the town population consists of a bunch of families built out of stock simbin sims and celebrity simselves downloaded from ModtheSims. It seemed like good models of real faces would be a great way to get as varied a set of genetics as possible. All names have been changed to keep the game from becoming totally bizarre, but if you see a shockingly familiar face, you might be right. Feel free to guess :).

If you’re reading and would still like in on cross-pollination, please let me know! New sims can be added after gameplay starts.

This process has taken FOREVER. I decided to do it the hard way to begin with — downloading all the lots, laying out the town, and then populating it with downloaded sims that all had to be edited for ears and skintone. But even with that in mind, there have been more unexpected snafus than I can count. I’d love to write a long Simfail post about it, but fear I couldn’t make it entertaining enough. Cannot wait to actually play again.

4.32 Goals

Sim Fu brought Fabian something he’d never really had — peace of mind. It became a ritual; he’d meet Charles most evenings after work to work the kinks out of his body and mind.


Fabian had never been a man who saw a lot of point to the physical. The power of the human brain was astounding. Add to that the collection knowledge mankind had built up over the millennia of recorded history, and there was nothing you couldn’t do. He could sit at his computer and participate in the econopolitical upheaval in China. By comparison, pushing things around with your fists seemed sort of primitive — a throwback to our Neatherthal ancestors. Surely we’d moved past that sort of thing.

It turned out that Fabian had vastly underestimated the power of the primitive, especially inside himself. He had never felt so empowered, and by contrast, so at peace with himself.

And it didn’t hurt that he’d gotten pretty good at visualizing Malcolm Landgraab’s face on the training dummy.


Fabian stopped obsession over his promotion at work. The physical release actually helped his focus. He became a master at blocking out distractions, eliminating past and future, and letting the present become all that matters. When his resentment was nicely sealed in a box, 3D Crime Scene Modeling was pretty amazing work.

And, hell, if Malcolm wasn’t going to promote him anyway, there was no point in trying to court his favor. He stopped showering Landgraab with compliments and became his most outspoken critic in the department. After a while, he could see his boss stiffen as soon as he walked into a room, and it was perversely satisfying. Fabian was at the end of his career. What could Landgraab do to him? If he fought back, Fabian would just retire.

Then one day, the list of promotions went up in the break room, and Fabian’s name was on it.


He was a Dynamic DNA Profiler, the pinnacle of the forensics profession. By giving up his dreams, somehow he’d achieved them.

Fabian walked past Landgraab’s office as he walked out of the precinct, and his boss looked up to give him a silent, squint-eyed look. Fabian had no idea what it meant. It didn’t seem like a look of respect, but perhaps it was a sort of acknowledgement of a worthy opponent. Fabian could live with that.


That night was a night of celebration. Fabian took the whole family out for a fancy dinner on him. He drank a toast to Charles Sample, “The best sensei a geeky old wimp could find.”

Then he lured Zahra into their bedroom for some time alone.


“I want to apologize,” he said as he pulled her close.

Zahra raised her eyebrows. “Apologize?”

“I didn’t turn out to be the kind of husband I always thought I would be.”

Zahra thought about this. “That’s true,” she said. “Sometimes you’ve been kind of jerk.”


Fabian cringed. “I was kind of hoping you wouldn’t be so eager to agree.”

“What do you want me to say?” Zahra said. “I could point out that I’m not the easiest wife in the world. That’s true. But I never cheated on you. And I know about the ass you made of yourself to Michelle Yo at Willem’s birthday party.”

Fabian flushed a deep red. “How did you find out about that?” Charles had promised to never tell!

Zahra looked at him over her glasses. “Half my department was at that party, Fabian. They told me at the watercooler the very next day.”


“Oh,” Fabian said. He sighed. “I thought that if I won your heart, I’d never look at another woman. But the truth is I’ve never stopped looking. Being faithful has never come naturally, even after all these years. I hope that doesn’t make you want to leave me now.”

Zahra shook her head. “That’s not news, but thank you for telling me anyway.”

“You told me once that you were staying with me for Ada. I don’t think she needs me here anymore. I, uh, understand if you want me to leave.”

Zahra smiled a complex smile. “Thank you, but I never needed your permission. If I wanted you to leave, you’d already be gone.”


“Congratulations on your promotion,” she said. “I never thought I’d ever say this, but I think it’s time to stop talking.”


And so they did.



In the end, I just had to do it the hard way. I just had to get Fabian to his LTW the hard way — keep his mood high and make him Work Hard every day. So the story is sort of correct. He had to work off his stress moodlet after work, and he pretty much couldn’t do anything else other than work and soothe.

I was starting to worry that he wouldn’t live long enough, but he finally made it.

And in other news, Avalon is back on! Simsample ended up fixing it for me and giving me the files. It looks like there may be something weird with my system. I’m still experimenting. I’ll be pretty grumpy if it turns out I can’t use Create-A-World, but for now I have my Avalon, and I’ll probably move the families in tonight!

4.29 Third Shift

The triplets were growing like weeds. Every time Veronica and Charles turned around, they seemed to have learned a word or a new skill.


Three toddlers were a lot of work, and that means a LOT of work. There was barely time for anyone to follow their personal lives. Zahra and Charles’s beloved garden became overgrown with weeds. Charles cancelled his classes at the dojo as often as he taught them.


Fabian at least made it his personal mission to make sure everyone was fed.


He spent most of his spare time cooking. It was nice to at least not have to worry about food.


Especially since Fabian had the least patience of the family. And with the way things were going at work, he didn’t always treat the adventures of parenthood with good grace.


Then every once in a while, in the middle of all the hard work and exhaustion, there was a golden moment where everything was quiet…


but those moments seldom lasted long enough for anyone to do anything about them.


There were new ideas to teach the children.


And new physical skills too.


And then there was potty training.


And potty training.


And did we mention potty training?


The lifestyle was hardest on Veronica. She often came home from a long shift gathering ghost specimens to jump right into child care. She subsisted on catnaps and stubbornness.


Charles would ask her over and over again if she needed a break. She’d smile and say, “Of course not! I’m fine!” And then in a heartbeat she’d become a raving, sobbing lunatic. During those times, Charles banished her to her room to get some sleep.


But all the hard work, long nights, and lost sleep were paying off. Day by day, the triplets were becoming their own people.

Hunter’s first word was, “Pretty.”


Forest’s was, “Color,” but he seemed to mean more by it, like he wanted to color the world to his liking.


Sky’s was, simply, “Art!”


There were lots of fun times too. There’s nothing that warms your heart like a happy toddler.


And those unexpected moments of silliness.


One day, Charles realized how independent they were becoming. The workload was lifting. They were getting some of their own back.



Charles began to walk with a spring in his step. This parenthood thing was hard, but he was schooled in the arts of zen and endurance. He would win, and it would be worth it.


That’s when Fabian got the call. “Shanni? Is that you? I can barely hear you. Are you crying?”


Shanni was at Sacred Speen Memorial Hospital. Agnes was rushed there in the night, but it was too late. She had passed on.


Sorry to end on such a downer, but it had to happen sometime :(. I actually saw Agnes’s age on a Twallan menu, and she was 92.

I have a great picture of Fabian throwing a temper tantrum over being awakened by screaming kids, but I can’t find it. Not like it vanished, just that I didn’t get it into the right folder and haven’t been able to find it again in the mountains of pictures that I take. I may try once more tonight if I have some time :). EDIT: Found it!

I’ve really been blocking on this post too because I just dumped all the cute toddler pics into a big pile, but I couldn’t think of anything to say about them. So here were are — the toddler skilling redux. Dang, five adults pretty much did nothing but work, sleep, and skill toddlers, and Hunter still finishing potty training on the morning of his birthday!

Avalon Update: I am VERY close to moving the family over in current gameplay. I’ve downloaded all the families except the ones you let me know about in the last week-ish. Once I finish up playing in Sunset Valley, I’ll download the last, drop in the other sims I’m downloading and adding to round out the population, and to the final tweaks to the world. Then we cross our fingers and go.

I am about a bajillion posts behind, so the plan is that I’ll get my posting up to current while I’m finishing getting the world in order.

Yes to Simmentary, I love doing the town updates, and I hope they’re something fun and distinctive about this legacy. I definitely plan to do updates on the cross-pollination families. I think I will do a post with a quick introduction to the families so that you guys can follow along.

4.26 Real Men

More time passed with no promotion for Fabian. The harder he worked to model crime scenes in 3D, the more he might as well have been doing it in 2D. He felt himself tense up every time Malcolm Landgraab walked into the lab.


It just wasn’t fair.

Fabian wasn’t getting any younger. Plenty of men younger than he had retired to lives of leisure. Except Fabian didn’t know what he’d do with a life of leisure try to find more work.

The choice was quit so close to his goal or try something new.

“All right then,” he decided in one of his moments of quiet contemplation. “I’ll start acting the part of the hero.”

That’s how he found himself outside the Sample Spirit Dojo one evening after work.


Charles was outside, cooling off from a sparring match and looking at the stars. He looked up as Fabian approached, leaning on his glittery lama-head cane. “Fabian! What are you doing here?”

Fabian puffed up his chest. “It shouldn’t seem THAT strange that I would want to learn a thing or two about fighting,” he said. “Let’s go inside and see what you can teach me.”


“So this is the place,” Fabian said, looking around at the bamboo furnishings and artifacts from his stepson’s travel. “I’ve never been here before.”

Charles’s phone chirped, and he snatched it to put it on mute. “That’s right,” he said. “You haven’t.”


“It looks nice,” Fabian said. His voice sounded pathetic even to his own ears.

“So let me get this straight,” Charles said. “You want to learn how to fight?”

“What?” Fabian demanded. “You think I’m too old?”

Charles chuckled. “You wouldn’t be my oldest student. We get all kinds here. All right then, if you’re serious, let’s see what you can do.”


“What does that mean?” Fabian asked.

“This is a training dummy,” Charles said patiently. “Give it your best shot.”

Fabian took a deep breath. He’d never worked out more than Sunset Valley’s Finest required of him, and that had been when he was a beat cop half a lifetime away. He knew he was going to like an idiot. Backing down now would make him look even more like an idiot.

He dropped his cane and let it clatter on the polished floor. “Here goes!” he cried.


It was like opening up a cage and letting out Fabian the Animal. The dummy became Malcolm Landgraab, and he let the bastard have it!


Charles knew what he was doing, and Fabian found himself gently directed to strike in ways that hurt less and made the dummy make much more satisfying noises.

Finally, Fabian stopped and leaned on his knees. “I have to take a break,” he wheezed. Sweat dripped down his back and soaked into his shirt.

“That was a lot better than I expected,” Charles admitted. “You qualify for a white belt. Let me get you a gi.”

Fabian grinned. He qualified for a belt!


He was a one man martial arts machine, that’s what!



I was desperate for anything to get Fabian’s job performance up, and he got an Opportunity to learn Martial Arts. Then he turned out to love it!

Finally got something out. Hopefully I can continue rolling before I drown myself in backposts.

The poll is officially closed, and I think we all know what I’m doing!

4.22 Glass Ceiling

“I have had it!” Fabian announced to nobody in particular. “I’ve been busting my butt for this job my whole life, and what’s it done for me? Promotions came up again today, and was my name on the list? Of course not!”


“You’re a good Crime Scene Modeler,” Zahra pointed out. “The office wouldn’t know what to do without you.”

“Says this year’s Sunset Valley nominee for the Simbel Prize in Creative Genetics,” Fabian growled.

“Hey now. It’s not my fault that I’m more successful than you are.” Zahra tried to be sensitive. She really did. It just took so much work.

Fabian just looked at his wife and sighed. “My boss is my best friend,” he said. “I ought to at least know what’s going on.”


Fabian invited Hank Goddard over for drinks and gnubb. “I thought you’d never ask!” Hank crowed on the phone. He was there in a New York minute.

Fabian poured out his frustration to his former partner and old friend. Hank listened sympathetically.

“Thing is,” he said what Fabian’s sob story was over. “I’m not your boss anymore. Didn’t you get the memo? I’m retiring.”


“You’re leaving?” Fabian asked, stunned.

“Yeah. The party is on Friday. I think you even gave money to the gift pool.”

“I… Um, that was you?”


“Yeah, so I’d love to help. Really I would. But I think you’re going to have to take this up with your new boss.”

“Who’s that?”

“Would you believe Malcolm Landgraab?”

“You’re kidding. He’s almost young enough to be my kid!”

Hank chuckled. “Yeah, but then again, so’s my girlfriend. Have you met her? She has the most amazing… tracts of land.”


Time was passing Fabian by. Almost all his peers had were on their way out. And here he was, stuck within shouting distance of the pinnacle of his career. He had built his entire life around this career, and he wasn’t going to give up without one heck of a fight.

And so he found himself buzzing the bell at the Landgraab estate, hat in hand.


“Hey there!” Malcolm said. “I haven’t had a chance to talk to you one on one since I took over Hank’s job. Nice of you to drop by! And don’t mind Darwin. He just likes to play in traffic, you know?”

Fabian looked at the grubby toddler playing in the driveway in his diaper. “Yeah,” he said. “Kids will be kids.”


Malcolm was an unassuming sort of fellow, but the money and the house he’d inherited from his business tycoon parents certainly weren’t. “Let me show you around,” he said as he led Fabian into the cavernous entry hall. “Don’t mind the dust. Beatriz is remodeling the place now that we’re engaged. You did hear that we’re engaged, didn’t you?”

“Sure!” Fabian said. “Congratulations!” He knew more than he would ever let on. Malcolm’s dramatic relationship with his live-in baby mama was the best gossip at the police station.


“So, I was wondering about how the promotions are being handed out now that Hank is gone,” Fabian asked.

Malcolm’s smile became a little forced. “Oh, that? Everything comes across my desk. I know your name is up. It’s just that you don’t really fit the image I’m trying to build for Sunset Valley’s Finest.”

Fabian was stunned. “Image? How am I bad for our image?”

Malcolm’s eyes dropped toward Fabian’s stomach, which was all the larger in the comfortable knit cardigan he wore on his days off. “You don’t inspire a lot of confidence is all. You don’t do field work. You don’t fight bad guys.”

“I’m a forensic analyst!” Fabian cried. “We don’t fight bad guys!”

“Is that my problem?” Malcolm demanded.


More following Malcolm around the mansion and pleading produced no better results.

“I”m sorry you feel that way,” Fabian said despondently. “I brought you a bottle of wine as an engagement gift. Please take it anyway.”

Malcolm’s eyes flashed. “It’s against the rules to bribe your superior,” he said coldly. “You know that, don’t you?”

“No offense intended!” Fabian said quickly. What WAS up with Malcolm, anyway? What had Fabian ever done to him?

“Now would you please get out of here so I can use the bathroom?”

Malcolm held the door open as Fabian said his goodbyes. “By the way,” Malcolm said offhandedly, “I’m going out for drinks with Adjo tomorrow night. I’ll give him your regards. Oh, didn’t you cheat on his sister?”


“Yeah,” Fabian said. “Give him my love.” And he got out as fast as he could.


Zahra was quiet when he told her the story, which was a lot better than she could have been.

“It’s not fair!” he cried. And it wasn’t fair, right?


This bug/glitch/something that has made Fabian almost unable to write reports has really kicked his career in the butt. I thought that once he got this far in his career, he wouldn’t need to deal with them anymore, but no — reports are a job criterion all the way to the end, and it’s a great big red unhappy face while everything else is great. He’s not getting any younger, and I’ve been starting to get nervous that he might not live long enough to get his LTW.

I’ve never used the “Ask for Promotion” option when talking to your boss, but Fabian is a social wizard. He’s at a charism and reward level where he starts relationships with people as friends. So no problem, right? Well, I hadn’t noticed that Hank wasn’t his boss anymore, and then Malcolm just DID NOT LIKE him, no matter what I did.

Poor Fabian. The one place where he should have been able to cash in on his social skills, and nada.

Oh, and by the way, Darwin Landgraab apparently spent his entire toddlerhood in the driveway. Fabian came by a second time to try to sweet-talk Malcolm and watched him age up while he was waiting for Malcolm to let him in. Great parenting.

Now, I KNOW I took a picture of Darwin aging up on the driveway, and I don’t have it. I just started to put together an Ada post, and I’m missing pictures from that too. I’m not missing any numbers in the Screenshot file names, but pictures I know I took are not there. Stuff from more recent sessions seems to be fine…. I guess there may be a bit more descriptive text than usual in a few upcoming posts :-p.

4.20 Strategic Retreat

The next few days were a blur of out-of-sync feeding schedules and catnaps in between. Everyone pitched in to help, but three infants was still a staggering amount of work.

Finally, a bit of a rhythm began to develop to life, and there were small segments of time to do something other than feed babies, cuddle babies, change babies, and sleep.


At which point, Veronica looked out the window to watch her parents-in-law and saw red.


She ran out of the house shrieking. “You crazy trespassing bastard! Get out of my house! Get off my lawn!”

The paparazzi was so taken by surprise that he dropped his camera and ran. Veronica ground the expensive equipment under her heel and glared at Fabian, Zahra, and a shocked Charles standing in the doorway.

“That’s it,” she said. “We’re moving.”


Nobody saw fit to protest. “It’s nice to be on the beach,” Charles said haltingly, “but this place is awfully close to downtown. It would be nice to live a bit closer to nature.”

“Close to nature we’ll have,” Veronica agreed. “Someplace nice, secluded, and private. Let’s go hunting.”

While Veronica and Charles looked for a new place to live, Fabian and Zahra picked up the slack. They scheduled movers and packed up the car in between baby feedings.


They really outdid themselves. 57 Waterfall Way was an old park that had been converted into private property. It was private, secluded, and breathtakingly beautiful while still within an acceptable drive of town.


The house itself was rustic and cozy.


With a few incredibly luxurious features.


And best of all, it was on the shores of a private lake stocked with fish.

With some of the most beautiful fishing views to be found anywhere.


There was a perfect nursery with space for three cribs.


A downstairs bedroom that would be perfect for Fabian and Zahra just as soon as Fabian took down all the decorations and replaced them with Ada’s paintings.


There was a cozy little bedroom with just enough space for Ada’s bed and writing desk.


And an upstairs master bedroom right next to the nursery with a back deck just the right size for Veronica’s chemistry gear.


“Thank you for rolling with me on this, Veronica told Charles as they retired, exhausted from the move.

“I think you could make it up to me,” Charles suggested with a raised eyebrow.

And she did.


Meanwhile, Zahra reinterred Cyclone’s ashes in the newly-relocated family graveyard.


“It’s time,” she confided in his headstone. “You’ve been sitting beside my bed for most of my adult life. I miss you. I hope there’s something for us to find in the Netherworld. But I’m ready for just the living to sleep inside my house.”

Veronica took breakfast at the new breakfast bar, gazing out over the beautiful scenery that was now theirs.”


“All right, you bastards,” she said under her breath. “This place is my castle. If you cross me here, you’ll regret it.”


The story timing was good, but the truth is that I got completely fed up with the English Country Estate. It was a lovely home, but it was clearly not well playtested and was filled with things that looked pretty but didn’t work. There were navigation issues in the house. Something was rotting in the kitchen/dining area that the maid never cleaned up and I couldn’t find, so whenever anyone walked into that area, they took something like a -40 hit for being in a disgusting environment. The stairs in the landscaped yard never worked — the sims would take forever to walk way around them on the grass.

And then the final blow was that I added the garden improperly to the concrete patio. The sprinklers dumped huge amounts of water onto the patio, and the water couldn’t be cleaned up due to routing issues. I wanted to add a fence around the garden to keep the water in, but you can’t put fencing on top of water puddles, and the water puddles couldn’t be cleaned up because of routing problems ARGH!

On the contrary, THIS house is the best house I have EVER played in the game, hands down.

Waterfall Way Estate.

It had a couple of weird minor issues, like the bathroom had no wall covering and gave an “unfinished” moodlet. That was easy to fix. And it had almost no lighting. But it’s very attractively decorated and has perfect routing. And it’s just a friggin gorgeous lot. It’s such a delight to play in that it is affecting my decision to move to Elfland soon. I think I may have to try to move the lot too, even though it doesn’t fit the style of the Harry Potter world very well. And I’ll lose the water fall because that is part of the worldscape. Ah, well.

In best news of all, I have gotten to play!

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.

4.12 A Boy’s Last Night of Freedom

“So, I know this pub,” Fabian whispered to Charles behind his hand. “Meet me there as the sun goes down. Don’t let Veronica see you.”

Charles was affronted. “Don’t let Veronica see me?” he demanded. “Why should I be keeping secrets from my fiancee?”

“Charles,” Veronica singsonged from the kitchen. “Just say yes and meet him at the pub. And pretend I didn’t hear you.”

And so Charles found himself at Happy Sunset Pub at dusk before his wedding.

“Yahoo!” Fabian exclaimed as he walked in the door. “The man of the hour!”

“Well, I’m here,” Charles said, looking around. “What did you have in mind?”

“This here is your bona-fide bachelor party! It’s time to celebrate your last night of freedom!”

“OK, I understand that bachelor parties are a thing,” Charles said. “But don’t you think it’s kind of mysogynistic to equate marriage to slavery?”

“Awww,” Fabian wheedled. “Lighten up and have a good time. I didn’t get to do this when I got married, and I plan to have a great time no matter what you do. I even invited a surprise guest.”

“Sensei!” Charles exclaimed in delight.

Zhan Wu grinned as he strolled in. “One and the same! I told you I’d be in Sunset Valley eventually.”

“Now we’re rolling,” Fabian said, rolling his hands. “First we have to change you into something more appropriate.”

That set the tone, and things just rolled from there. Charles got a chance to catch up with Wu before guests started rolling in.

“It’s my lady-killing nephew!” Adjo exclaimed. “Congratulations in advance!” Adjo was looking pretty slick these days. He had abandoned management and gone back to making music. He was the front man for his own band, and he couldn’t look happier with his life.

When Jabari Keaton arrived, Charles pulled him aside quickly. “I know it’s kind of late, but I was wondering if you’d do me the honor of being my best man.”

“Ahah!” Jabari said. “I was hoping you’d ask me that. In fact, I was hoping so much that I prepared a little toast.”

“Oh dear,” Charles said. “You don’t have to say anything.”


“Come one come all!” Jabari exclaimed. “I want to raise a glass to Charles Sample. He might seem a little dead on the outside, but I hear he’s really alive on the inside, if you know what I mean!”

It’s a good thing Charles couldn’t blush.

Somebody invited a very hot chick named Cherri Pie.

“She’s not my type,” Charles murmured to Fabian.

“She doesn’t need to be your type,” Fabian pointed out. “All you get to do is look anyway.”

The as the evening wore on and the nectar kept flowing, things got sillier.

And sillier.

And even more silly than that.

And then all hell broke loose.

“Damn you for stealing my girl!” It was a very drunk Willem Yo.

“Who let him in here!” Fabian cried frantically.

“Why kind of Neanderthal are you anyway?” Charles demanded. “You think Veronica was some kind of property of yours for me to steal?? She can do what she likes, and she broke up with you anyway.”

“We were going to get back together!” Willem roared. “We always got back together!”

“Don’t do it, Charles!” Wu yelled. “Don’t kick his ass! Remember your training!”

And in short order, the pub proprietor had pushed the entire lot of remaining drunk partiers out onto the street. They stood outside as the sun began to rise and the birds chirp, scratching their heads.

“What were we doing again?” asked Malcom Landgraab.

“I don’t remember,” said Willem, “but I think I’m going to be sick.”

“Great party!” drooled Jabari. “You really know how to have a good time!”

“Eh, you’re all boring anyway,” said Sean Flynn. “I’m sure I can find somebody who sucks a little better.”

And they all went home to sleep it off. Charles was getting married on the morrow.

“It was a good time,” Charles said later to Fabian. “Thanks for throwing it for me.”

“I’ve got your back, Charles,” Fabian said. “Always have. Glad you finally noticed.”


My first bachelor party! I had a blast. This was actually my third attempt to figure out how the bachelor party works, and I’ll document that in a later Simfail post. It was cool that Wu was a vacationer in Sunset Valley while this was going on so I could invite him.

I really like the way the light reflects off Charles’s face in that first nectar-spraying shot. He really looks silver there.

Oh, yeah, and it’s been a long time since I threw a location party. In the past, I thought there was a clear in when people started to leave. Almost nobody left at this party. It ran until dawn and the pub kicked them out. Half of the group was starving and exhausted by that point. Charles got “horrible party” and “Groomzilla” moodlets, even though people seemed to be having a good time for most of it!

4.8 Commencing

With Ada’s birthday came her other big day.

“How do I look, Daddy?” she asked eagerly.

“I don’t know how to answer that,” Fabian answered. “All I see is a baby girl I lost a long time ago.”

The ceremony was long and filled with speeches. But Ada got the most important part.

She was voted, “Most Likely to Offend Others,” and she seemed ridiculously pleased about it.

Jabari Keaton graduated the same day. He’d finished his credits a while ago, but he hadn’t been able to attend the ceremony with the rest of his class.

Charles jumped at the chance to catch up with his best friend. “Hey man! I haven’t seen you at the dojo yet!”

Jabari answered with a lovestruck smile. “That’s because I just got married!” he said. “To Latisha Langerak!”

“Isn’t she amazing?”

“Whoa,” Charles said. “I didn’t even know you were dating anyone.”

“It did happen a little bit fast,” Jabari admitted, “but we wouldn’t change anything. Would we my dear?”

Ada watched the conversation, but she didn’t try to say anything to Jabari herself. Jabari had tutored her in Math and English and helped her make a B average by graduation. Had she felt anything else for him?

Halfway through the quiet and awkward drive home, she just said, “I’m happy for him, then.”

That evening, it was time for two more birthdays.

Zahra and Fabian were dragged into their golden years. They might not be thrilled about getting older, but they took it cheerfully.

At least they had each other, with all their flaws, and that wasn’t looking too bad these days.


The game crashed right as Zahra was aging up, and I didn’t get the picture of her makeover. (Notice the clothing change between her birthday and Fabian’s :).) You should see what she looks like in future screen shots.

This update doesn’t advance Charles’s romantic crisis at all either, and it deals a blow to Ada. Poor Gen 4 has been terribly unlucky in love. Ada couldn’t get Lavar Andrews to give her the time of day. So she turns her attention on Jabari, and I got the notification that he married Latisha Langerak RIGHT after the end of Ada’s birthday party. Good grief.

Rest assured. There will be progress :).