Roderick was finishing film school and just starting out as grip in a movie crew. His eye was on directing. He knew almost every film Vickie had ever heard of and could dissect its cinematography, acting, and art style. And there were certain movies that he idolized that he was eager to share. Vickie found herself sitting in front of a screen more than she could ever recall doing before. When Rod talked about them, movies seemed like so much more than a mindless distraction.
He also pulled her into other intellectual hobbies. Vickie had always been a creature of action. She was happiest outside with salty ocean breeze blowing in her face. But she had to admit that there was something differently stimulating to staying in one place and *thinking* about things really hard.
When she tried to get Roderick out on the water, he begged off. “I get really seasick,” he admitted sheepishly.
That was all right. When the sea called her, Vickie wasn’t sure she wanted company anyway.
With a bit of cajoling, she did get Rod to join her in other active, outdoor fun.
Gamora got some welcome news. It wasn’t *good* news to anyone but her.
The asteroid strike had leveled half of Manisha and Ash Sample-Baerwyn’s house. Nobody had been killed, but their home insurance was balking at the wildly implausible event of an asteroid falling on someone’s house without damaging anything outside their property. There were lawsuits and assets held in dispute, and it was going to take years for everything to be sorted. Meanwhile, Manisha and Ash seemed to be staying separate hotel rooms for the moment.
Gamora took the afternoon to bask by the pool in the glow of victory and schadenfreude.
Manisha Kapoor Sample-Baerwyn chose not to be Gamora’s mother.
Now payback time had finally arrived.
Edmund finally earned permission to bring a few mystic tomes home to study on his own time. He delved deeper into the nature of life, death, and the anchoring of the soul.
He felt he was getting close to the revelation he needed.
That, however, was not it.
And we close with the couple who never lost that lovin’ feeling.
There’s no Winston! Also, none in the next post, so don’t hold your breath :(. Stuff will happen for him eventually?
It took me a while to figure out why Gamora spends most of her idle time in the pool. Hydration, duh.
Roderick called Vickie the morning after their movie to invite her out for bowling. Vickie had never been bowling, but how hard could it be?
“You know who is a naturally born bowler? This girl!”
“All right,” Rod said with a raised eyebrow, “Show me.”
“Grace in action. Watch this.”
“My foot slipped! What kind of floor is this??”
Roderick choked through his laughter, “You know you’re supposed to use special shoes for this right?”
“OK, Mr. Pro Bowler, show me how it’s done.”
“Yeah! That’s how it’s done!”
Vickie gaped at the score. “You hit like three pins! If that gets you excited, you can’t be much better at this than I am!”
Winston hadn’t given up on his teppanyaki performance.
This was his dream skill — performance cooking. All his practice was paying off.
It also kept the household in a backlog of food that they could barely eat before it went bad.
“You know,” Winston mused over his teppanyaki breakfast, “I bet I could work this into my act. A bit more knife-throwing, maybe, and a treat to hand out to the audience at the end. I wonder…”
Manisha and Ash Sample-Baerwyn moved into a new house. Gamora knew where it was as soon as they set foot inside.
There was talk of adopting a child. Manisha hadn’t been interested in the child she HAD — the weird leafy one — but she’d consider becoming a mother to a normal kid.
She gathered fallen stardust. This would improve double the strength of the cosmic magnet.
If Gamora had any qualms, learning about the kid resolved them.
She was ready.
Manisha’s new husband Ash wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box. He didn’t know what she looked like, so she didn’t need much disguise to be sure Manisha wouldn’t guess who she was from anything he said.
The most important part was to be sure her leafiest bits were well covered.
Earning his trust was child’s play.
Across the courtyard of Percival’s Provisions, Gamora’s sort-of mentor watched. His eyes were hidding, as always, but a sardonic, approving smile crossed his lips.
Then she gasped in almost-authentic terror. “Look at that! In the sky!” she cried.
“What!” Ash echoed. “What is it!”
She pointed to some gray-shadowed, lumpy clouds in the distance. “You see those! They’re headed straight for us! The sky is falling!”
Ash’s eyes widened as he looked where she pointed. “I’ve never seen anything like that! You think we’re in danger?”
“I don’t know how much longer we have left before it hits,” Gamora hissed. “Get your family to safety.”
She MIGHT have used just a little bit of psychedelic pollen to help convince him.
On the other side of Avalon, Winston had upgraded to an audience of two.
“If you think this is good now, just wait until you see me slice vegetables while juggling!”
Late that night, Gamora crept back to the Sample-Baerwyn house. She could hear Ash and Gamora arguing through the closed window. She couldn’t make out the words, but she could guess what they were arguing about.
From the cover of the hydrangeas, she lifted the cosmic magnet and pointed it to the night sky.
It was time to prove Ash’s fears correct.
Gamora’s revenge on her mother finally starts coming to fruition. It’s been fun to working that in with her objectives for her LTW.
I fired up my game for the first time in years. I am determined to finish this legacy!
Restlessness descended on the Sample household. Perhaps it was inevitable for a well-to-do family where nobody had a steady job.
It was late in the morning, and two young adults without steady jobs were engaged in a vicious table tennis championship.
Dear old Connery’s food bowl was almost empty, and he wanted everyone to know.
Victoria came downstairs after loosing to Winston in 3 games out of 5 and launched into a snippy conversation with Edmund about the noise he made casting spells at night while she was trying to sleep.
In the middle of all of the drama, Dylan brought in the newspaper
and found the only quiet spot to read it.
At noon, and still in her nightgown, Victoria was struck by inspiration.
“I know just the thing we need!” she declared. “A vacation! Tickets to Sunlit Tides are on sale. We should jump on it while they’re still cheap.”
“Another tropical vacation?” Edmund said. “There are other places we could visit, you know.”
“If you have a better idea, you can make the travel arrangements yourself,” Victoria said.
“Hmmm,” Edmund said, “I think there might actually be some research I could do in Sunlit Tides.”
“You don’t mind if we sit this out?” Dylan asked his daughter. “These old bones just don’t enjoy airline travel as much as they used to.”
“Sure, Daddy,” Victoria said. “You take care of yourself!”
Once they were gone, Dylan and Andria let on their real plans. “The whole house to ourselves!” Dylan said.
Andria gave him a sultry look. “Whatever will we do with ourselves all alone?”
Victoria’s discount vacation package was good for a suite at the Holiday Village Resort.
“Quirky,” Winston said as he surveyed the outside.
“What’s wrong with quirky?” Victoria demanded.
“I didn’t say there was anything wrong, did I?” Winston said.
There certainly wasn’t anything wrong for Winston. The receptionist walked into the room to check them in, and it was clear she liked what she saw.
“Room for three!” Victoria said. “Under Sample.”
“Sample,” the receptionist said, looking over Victoria’s shoulder at her brothers standing behind. “You’re siblings, right? Not a romantic getaway? Just asking so we… give you the right experience. Right.”
Victoria got the room key and eagerly headed upstairs to see their suite.
Winston, on the other hand, was caught with the sudden need to show off his physique.
After all, now he had an audience.
In the morning, Winston was still flirting.
And his audience was almost too appreciative.
Edmund spent his time at the buffet, trying to pretend that he and Winston were not related.
Winston wasn’t the only one who turned heads, though. He was just the only one who was excited by it.
“What are we going to do with our first day?” Victoria said, trying to ignore the stares from the tourist who had sat down, uninvited, at their breakfast table.
To her relief, he finally took the hint.
“So guess, what?” Winston said, “There’s a culinary school here that specializes in Asian and Polynesian cuisine. I’m going to take a cooking class!”
Victoria’s face lit up.
“You know, Winston, that gives me a great idea!”
“Both of you have fun,” Edmund said. “I have some books to read.”
Winston rolled his eyes. “You know how to have a good time, brother.”
Edmund was indeed off to read books. The Fae Council had turned him on to an archive of the arcane arts hidden in Sunlit Tides. Such things were always hidden unless you were taught to look for them.
He had to plead with the proprietor to convince him that he was qualified to access the collection. The names of the Fae Council of Avalon didn’t hold much power out here. But Edmund was persistent.
He wasn’t disappointed.
There was information here on vampires that he’d never guessed at.
But he also found himself… lonely. It was an unfamiliar feeling. He wondered what Joy thought of him, if she thought anything at all.
The sky opened up in a tropical downpour, but Victoria was undaunted.
She enrolled in a sailing class at the marina.
She hoped it wasn’t too touristy.
She wanted to learn some serious sailing.
She wasn’t too disappointed in the class, but she had exceeded all they could teach her by the time it was half over. She was a natural.
It was just her, the ocean, and the wind. It was like a dream come true.
But the best part was the unlimited boat rental that came with the class.
Now she could go anywhere on the island, not just the parts reserved for tourists.
True to his word, Winston enrolled in a Teppanyaki class.
It was like someone had designed a culinary tradition with Winston in mind.
And plenty of excuse to relax with a resort massage.
All three returned, exhausted, to their suite at night.
Tired or not, Winston had plenty of time to spend texting his admirer before bed.
While Winston was absorbed in his phone, Victoria and Edmund drifted out to the balcony to look out at the ocean.
After a while, Victoria turned to watch Edmund watching her. “You want to ask me an uncomfortable question about talking to people, don’t you?” she said.
“Not this time, really,” Edmund said. “I’m try to ask myself instead.”
Victoria smiled at him. “You’ll do better that way. You can’t get that girl out of your head, huh? The one you want to help?”
“Actually,” Edmund admitted. “I was thinking of someone else.”
Victoria raised her eyebrows. “Wow, two girls in your life. You’re turning into a social butterfly.”
Edmund chuckled. “What about you? Whenever I see you in public, you have at least one man following you. Why is it you haven’t found true love by now?”
Victoria sighed. “That’s just the problem, isn’t it? I don’t even know what they like so much about me.”
“That’s because you can’t see yourself,” Edmund said.
In the morning, when his brother and sister headed down to breakfast, Edmund found a private room to write.
He wasn’t sure how to express to Joy the way he felt about her, but he hoped that if practiced writing them out, he could get better at it.
Victoria made good use of her freedom of the sea.
To find the treasures hidden under the surface.
Sunlit Tides was home to some awe-inspiring aquatic antiquities sites off the beaten path.
And in the dark depths of old ruins,
she was sure she saw someone watching her intently.
She tried to wave, but the figure swam away.
Winston discovered his admirer worked evenings at the resort bar.
So he took a sudden interest in exotic drinks.
“I’ve never had a drink that smoked before!”
“Wow, it’s pretty good!”
“I was sure you wouldn’t lead me wrong!”
At that, even his captive audience had to roll her eyes.
“Ok, sorry, that was laying it on a little think, even for me.”
She had to laugh at that.
One evening, Victoria came down to see what the fuss was about.
“How are you doing, brother dear? I wanted to know where you’ve been disappearing to all this time.”
“Enjoying some great drinks! Try something. I didn’t know you could do such crazy things with juice!”
“OK, I do have to try. Make me something.”
“Do you have a favorite drink?” the bartender asked.
“Not really. Surprise me.”
She was surprised all right.
She sneaked off to pour the rest of the drink in a planter and headed to bed.
Winston didn’t come up to the room until after Victoria and Edmund were sound asleep. He seemed to be doing just fine with his vacation romance.
They spent their last day together, lounging at the boardwalk.
Enjoying each other’s company.
And playing in the ocean.
Winston even tested out some new moves.
Which went over very well.
After the afternoon on the boardwalk, they took in dinner and a show at a tiki bar near the resort.
The performer turned out a be an acrobat, which Winston seemed to find complicated — he wasn’t sure if he felt threatened or wanted to take this as an educational opportunity.
But someone unexpected caught the acrobat’s eye, even as she performed on the stage.
Edmund couldn’t have been more surprised.
The show was popular, and the waitstaff seated a solo guest at the table with the Sample trio. That turned out to be unfortunate.
Victoria wasn’t quite sure what she’d said wrong, but apparently her smalltalk wasn’t up to snuff.
The stranger was incredibly insulted.
“Hey, I didn’t mean it,” Victoria said awkwardly. “No harm no foul?
“You can stop kicking me under the table any time now.”
“Get your hand out of my face!”
The whole thing could have been a whole lot more fun if it had been just the three of them.
After the show, Winston went over to introduce himself to the performer. It was always good to network in his profession. Plus, she was cute, and Winston always noticed cute.
“It’s so nice to meet you!” she said. “But isn’t that your sister in a fistfight over there?”
As a matter-of-fact, it was.
“Get her, Vickie!” Edmund shouted. “Don’t let her push you around!”
He never knew he had it in him.
Vickie didn’t start the fight, but she knew how to finish it.
And she couldn’t resist the parting shot.
“Eeek! What did you do to me??”
“Just a little cold shoulder,” Victoria said.
“Come on guys. I’m tired. Let’s go home.”
Ha! This one was hard to write. I took WAY too many pictures of a vacation that wasn’t terribly plotty to begin with, and then they ended up all mixed up and hard to sort out. I didn’t bother to track the names of the walk-on characters, and I’m afraid I’ll never publish this if I make myself go back to look.
On the first night, I saw a Showtime performance at one of the venues I’d dropped in Sunlit Tides, but then I had the class problem of no performer on the stage. So then I went back to NRaas and figured out to get some performers so that it would work properly. It’s a mod interaction with something in the NRaas suite such that there are no Showtime performers assigned. It annoys me that this is default behavior. Sure, Showtime recruits way too many performers, but I do like a few!
This doesn’t advance much in the way of plot, but Vickie has a dive-based LTW, and I can’t bring myself to have her do all her diving in the one dive lot I’ve managed to plant on Avalon. So, more vacations in store! I did love some of the autonomous adventures the characters got themselves into. The fight on the final day was classic.
Also, Edmund has it bad for Joy. He rolled a wish to send her a love letter :).
OK, last posting spree lasted two posts, but I’m at it again!
Winston’s first performance in the park gained him an audience of one.
Since she was the only person yet to put anything in his tip jar, he had no room to complain.
“Hello, sailor,” she said with a wink as he finished up. “Are you doing anything tonight?”
Winston had committed his entire evening to training with Tyrone.
Somehow, what came out of his mouth was, “Nothing much. Ever been to Steamshock? It’s a club not far from here with some great dancing.”
“Are you asking me out on a date?” she demanded.
“Well, yes, I thought that’s where this conversation was going.”
“Absolutely! Let’s go!”
Meanwhile, Gamora tested out her invention in other locations around town. She tried to make sure they weren’t very populated.
Afterward, she stopped by the nearby pub for a drink. She couldn’t appreciate the food of the flesh-folk, but she could drink juice and nectar, and it turned out she really liked them.
But then she looked up at the clock and realized she’d lost track of time. It looked like she’d missed an important appointment…
Emit Relevart wandered out of Gamora’s lab, wondering why she had missed their rendezvous.
“Ah!” he said to himself, “The perfect specimen of a 21-century raspberry! I must record its genome!”
Then he looked up to find something even more interesting. Dylan and Andria had sneaked out for some time alone.
“Excuse me!” Emit said. “I hate to interrupt, but I just have to know. How do two sims of such advanced age manage to keep such amazing drama in your relationship?”
“Who are you?” Andria asked, “and what are you doing in my greenhouse?”
Now that Edmund had persuaded the Fae Council to help him, at least a little bit, in his research to save Marisela, he had so much more research to do. That evening, he arrived at Monmouth Archive to consult the secret texts of the fae.
As he descended to the stacks, where the hidden entrance to the fae library was hidden,
he was unaware that someone else had decided to spend the evening reading old historical texts of a nonmagical variety.
“Hello, Edmund!” Joy said she descended the stairs into the stacks, “I didn’t expect to see you here!”
Edmund jumped. “Oh! Usually there’s nobody down here.”
“I’m working on a historical treatise on Medieval Avalon,” Joy said. “You know, the stuff most folks think is boring. I’m just fascinated.”
“Do you come down here a lot?” Edmund asked, feeling suddenly self-conscious.
“All the time,” Joy said. “Usually there’s nobody in the stacks. I love being down here, all alone, with just books for company.”
“Me too,” Edmund said. “I’m surprised we haven’t run into each other before now.”
Her eyes were such a luminescent aqua. It spoke of generations in her ancestry born on the magical soil of Avalon. Edmund couldn’t help feeling drawn closer…
He yanked his eyes away. He was sure he was being creepy.
“What are you researching?” Joy asked.
“Me, ah, just some esoteric details of the undead,” he said uneasily. “You probably wouldn’t find it very interesting.”
Joy sensed something in his voice and stiffened. “Don’t let me get in your way,” she said. “I’m sure you’re busy.”
“No,” Edmund said helplessly. I don’t mean –!”
At that moment, Edmund’s fire dragon flew to his arm and squawked for attention.
“What IS that?” Joy exclaimed.
“This is Kalai. She’s a fire dragonling,” Edmund said. “They’re supposed to be extinct, but I was able to track down an egg while my family was vacationing in France.”
“She’s amazing,” Joy breathed. “May I touch her?”
“I– I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Edmund said, drawing back. “She spits fire when she’s nervous.”
“Oh,” Joy said, clearly disappointed.
Kalai, annoyed at Edmund’s sudden movement, fluttered back into the air. Joy watched her circle around and land on the chandelier, watching them.
Edmund felt like he wasn’t striking the right tone in the conversation. “It’s really remarkable that we ran into each other like this. “Perhaps we can arrange to be in the stacks at the same time… more often?”
Joy smiled, and Edmund relaxed a little. “This place has so many secrets,” she said. “There are stories of supernatural events around Monmouth archive going back generations. I’d love to learn more about it.”
Edmund thought of the fae archive just beyond the secret door in the bookcase that Joy was standing. Should he tell her about it? His mother had laid so much groundwork to bring the fae out into the open, but would he jeopardize their help in his research?
How had he managed to move so close to her? Or had she moved close to him?
Edmund’s head was swimming. The next thing he knew, he was falling toward her, his mouth desperately seeking hers.
Joy jerked her head back. “Edmund? What are you doing??”
His throat clogged with humiliation. “I’m so sorry!” he gasped. “I didn’t mean to take liberties! I don’t know what came over me.”
“It’s all right,” Joy said. “You just… you just took me by surprise.”
Edmund looked to the floor. “I’m sorry,” he said again.
“Really,” she said, “it’s fine. But I — I think I have to go home now.”
Joy turned and hurried up the stairs out of the stacks.
Edmund found himself alone in the stacks again.
Now, suddenly, the isolation he normally enjoyed felt oppressive. Lonely.
He’d come for a reason, hadn’t he? His hand found the latch in the secret door, and he stepped into the fae archives.
Research, that was it. He wanted to do research.
Generation 7 spares and their romantic encounters.
After that bizarre date, where Joy happily traded romantic socials with Edmund and then rejected his first kiss, not once but actually twice, this is what the game had to say:
Edmund’s not a very romantic person. He has attraction notifications for both Joy and Marisela, and I was curious to see if any of them would turn into romances. He has now rolled a wish for a first kiss with Joy. And Joy appears to like him just fine, but she rejects his advances.
I believe she’s Unflirty, which means Edmund is probably going to have to be dedicated to win her heart.
Half of the interaction was autonomous, during which time Edmund brought out his dragon to show her. It was kind of a nonsequitur, but I thought I’d include it anyway :).
Winston’s date won’t go anywhere. She’s some service sim who showed up and flirted with him. He took her out on a date that lasted about two minutes before she got tired and went home. I didn’t bother to look up her name. She looks to be the first of many in Winston’s life….
Dylan rose early, dressed in his tuxedo, and cleaned the house. He had to do something with all his proud energy. It was a very special day.
Edmund had to be called home from the fae caravan, where he spent most of his time these days, brooding on the magnitude of the magic he still needed to learn for his project.
Victoria, on the other hand, was eager to be distracted.
Her online dating options looked truly terrible. She wondered if she would ever find love or if she really cared to.
It was time to set aside all those distractions. It was graduation day!
Winston received his diploma from his cooking magnet school.
His talent for cooking more than made up for his lack of interest in most academic subjects.
Gamora was much less interested in the proceedings.
A diploma was only a scrap of paper, after all. The most important thing was that she was free to pursue her own projects.
After the ceremony, Andria and Dylan took a nice long bike ride home together. Sure, they weren’t exactly dressed for it, but they were too old to care much about appearances anyway.
Edmund stayed behind, engrossed in a book his fae mentors had loaned him.
He was so animated while he read that he attracted quite an audience.
Winston knew exactly what he wanted to do, and he wasted no time. He didn’t even bother going home to change.
“You’re Tyrone Batts, the premier acrobat in Avalon,” Winston said.
“Retired,” Tyrone said.
“I want to be your apprentice,” Winston finished.
“I wasn’t planning on taking on any more students,” Tyrone said thoughtfully.
“Please please please!” Winston said. “I’ll be the model student.”
“Perhaps on a probationary basis,” Tyrone said.
“Anything,” Winston pled.
“All right, you’ll start with mime,” Tyrone said.
“Great!” Winston exclaimed. “You won’t regret this. When should I –”
“First lesson is right now,” Tyrone said. “We begin with mime.”
“We have a lot to work on,” Tyrone said.
“Ooof,” Winston said.
Gamora, on the other hand, celebrated her graduation at the seaside, alone. In the rain.
She had a new invention to test out.
Here’s another one! Let’s see how long I can make it go!
A bit of the two characters who have gotten less attention recently. I’m trying to get all the spares to their LTWs, so you’ll need to hear more from them. Then again, I’ve never fully decided what Winston’s LTW should be. Cooking or acrobatics? Argh.
I should have notes for a Gossip Column someplace. I’ll see what I can do.
Edmund wrote his mother’s directions down on a scrap of paper. He didn’t much hold with fancy smartphones. It was something he and Andria had in common.
She could tell him the way to the gypsy caravan without a moment’s thought, though she hadn’t been there in years herself.
“Always be reverent,” she warned him. “No matter how rude and condescending they are. They talk down to us because they are powerful enough to do whatever they like, and they know it. But they’re not entirely capricious. They’ll listen to you, and they might help.”
Edmund rehearsed what he was going to say many times before he knocked at the door. If he was lucky, the fae — his mother’s people — would recognize him as their own. If he wasn’t, what did he have to lose? Did he have anything to lose?
“You have much to learn, and clearly your mother is not going to teach you,” they said. “We will answer your questions, but we will do it in our own time. Until then, you will learn what we want to teach you.”
Edmund could not have wished for more.
“It’s sweet of you to make me hot cocoa!” Victoria told him that evening. “You’re not usually the most domestic kind of guy.”
“I’m very good and putting mugs in the new hot beverage machine and pushing the ‘cocoa’ button,” Edmund said.
“I’m not sure, but it seems like you might want to talk about something,” Victoria said.
“You’re right,” Edmund said. “You’re a lot better with people than I am.”
Vickie raised her eyebrows. “I think you might be the first person who actually thinks I’m good with people.”
“I want to help someone, but I don’t know if she wants my help,” Edmund said. “I’m nervous about asking her, but at this point I need her to work with me.”
Victoria took a long sip of cocoa. “I’m really not that good with people,” she said.
“Maybe it’s just that I’m so very bad at it,” Edmund said darkly.
“I can listen, though,” Victoria said. “I mean, if you want to work through your ideas for how to talk to her.”
“That’s a brilliant idea,” Edmund said.
The following evening, he knocked nervously on the door of a Victorian bungalow.
He had spent many long nights of research simply tracking down where she lived. He had no idea how she would react when she saw him.
Marisela Flynn was in front of his eyes so fast that Edmund wasn’t sure whether had blinked too long or she bewitched him.
“We seem to keep finding each other,” she said, eyeing him. “But this doesn’t seem to be happenstance.”
Edmund swallowed. “I want to help you,” he said.
“You think I need help?” she asked, raising an arched eyebrow.
Edmund forced himself to look her straight in her sinister, luminescent eyes. “Can you tell me you don’t?”
Her lips twitched. “Touché. What, exactly, makes you think you have some way to help me?”
“I don’t know, but I think I might,” he said. “Can you trust me?”
“Trust,” she said slowly. “I haven’t thought about that in a long time. I’ll follow where you lead and won’t hurt you, for now, if that’s the assurance you need.”
He led her back the way he’d come that morning, but as they drew closer to the fae caravan, Marisela slowed down.
“The fae are the enemy of my kind. Do you want to get me killed?” she demanded.
“You have my protection,” Edmund said with more confidence than he felt.
Marisela chucked darkly. “Well, that settles all my worries.”
“Please sit down,” Edmund said, gesturing at an ornate table that held a huge crystal ball.
“Are you going to tell my fortune,” Marisela asked.
“No,” Edmund retorted, “but I might learn something to help your future. Please let me concentrate.”
Then he fumbled his first burst of magic and nearly dropped the priceless magical artifact on the ground. Keep it together, he warned himself silently. Please keep it together.
Marisela was abruptly riveted by the orb. “I can see my father!” she whispered.
“He’s your sire,” Edmund said. “It’s because of him that you are a vampire.”
“He wanted an enforcer for his battle with his ancient nemesis,” Marisela said bitterly. “My father has been at war with another vampire for control of the underworld for generations. I wouldn’t help him. Now I’m alone.”
“Think about him,” Edmund instructed, growing more confident. “He’s your tie to the undead. I have to learn about that connection.”
“That’s not hard,” Marisela said darkly. “I spend most of my time thinking about him.”
They stared at the orb in silence for a long time. Mists swirled within it. Sparks flew around it.
At last he let it fall back to its cradle and stood up. His dragon flew down to rest on his arm, squawking fondly. He stroked her scaly head thoughtfully.
“Are we done here?” Marisela asked. “Did you learn what you need to know?”
“I’ve learned all I can,” Edmund said.
“Do you still think you can help me?” Marisela asked, her voice carefully neutral.
“Maybe,” Edmund admitted. “But we won’t know until I try. Do you want me to try?”
Marisela didn’t hesitate. “Yes.”
So, it’s been a long time. I hope it won’t be so long until the next post. I know at least one person is still reading!
It’s been a really difficult year. It seems like life has been one drama after another, and there hasn’t been emotional energy for anything creative. It feels good to want to do something. I miss my Sims.
“Yeah, this afternoon!” Winston said. “Of course there will be cake!”
“Just so long as you don’t expect me to eat any of that disgusting stuff this time,” Gamora said.
“This coming from some who thinks fertilizer is a delicacy,” Winston said. He made a face.
“I think this is the time for an important decision,” Victoria told him. “Which will you be, a good witch or a bad witch?”
“I’m always good, sis,” Winston said with a wink. “You should know that by now.”
“You certainly have a good ego, brother dear,” Vickie said. She let out a squeak as he scooped her up in a hug.
“Hey there, bro!” Kain McWilliams said as he strolled through the door. “I thought I’d brink cake!”
Winston looked at him sidelong. “I did say we were providing cake.”
“You invited Kain??” Victoria hissed. Looking at him still made her skin crawl.
“Not me!” Winston protested. “Maybe it was Gamora!”
The next guest was Aunt Abby. “I wasn’t sure what to bring, so I had the chef whip up some nut-crusted tilapia. That goes with birthday cake, doesn’t it?”
“Judy!” Andrea exclaimed. “I’m so glad you could make it.”
“Hey,” Judith said. “It’s my best friend’s baby brother. Mason and I couldn’t stay away!”
“You two are joined at the hip these days, aren’t you?” Andrea asked.
Judith cast a glance to where her boyfriend was talking a few feet away. “Maybe it’s better said we’re on a short leash.”
As soon as the crowd arrived, but before Winston could do anything, Gamora seized her chance. “Happy birthday to me!” she sang.
“Wait,” Judith whispered to Andria. “Wasn’t this Winston’s birthday?”
“I have no clue what goes on with Gamora these days,” Andria admitted. “I didn’t think her birthday was near, but if she says this is it, I guess I’ll roll with it.”
“All right,” Gamora said to Winston. “It’s your turn now.”
“Let me take a picture of the birthday boy before he blows out the candles,” Cortney Pierce-Hodgins said with a sly wink.
“Here, let me pose!” Winston said. “How’s that look?”
In the corner, Paulette Mai tried to hide her sadness. Whenever Cortney was in the room, Winston was drawn to her like a moth to flame. There was no sign that Cortney had ever taken Winston seriously, but Paulette was forever trapped in her shadow.
“All right. Bring on the cake!”
“All together now! ‘Happy birthday to you…!”
“Blow it out in one breath, or your wish won’t come true!”
Paulette gaped. Adulthood looked very good on Winston.
Winston stood up, and Judith immediately took his place. “All right, girls,” Abby said with a conspiratorial wink, “let’s talk about men.”
Judith laughed. “So long as Mason is on the other side of the room!”
“Hey cuz, guess we’re both grown up now!” Winston exclaimed.
“One of us is grown up anyway,” Gamora said.
“Hey,” Winston said. “What are you doing these days. I haven’t seen you in ages. Maybe we could hang out.”
Cortney laughed lightly. “In groups, maybe. My boyfriend would get jealous if we spent too much time alone!”
Victoria found Paulette watching the party from the sidelines. “My brother is kind of dense, you know,” she said.
“Sometimes I just want to shake him!” Paulette admitted.
“Maybe that would get his attention, but I’m not sure!” Victoria said. “I’m rooting for you.”
Paulette smiled for the first time since she’d arrived.
“Hey Kain,” Gamora said. “Glad you could make it.”
“You sent me the most intriguing invitation,” Kain said. His eyes were hungry.
“I hope you’ve been thinking about me,” Gamora said. “Here’s some more incentive.” She kissed the tips of her fingers and breathed on them.
“What is that?” Kain demanded.
“They look like… rose petals?”
As the petals touched his skin, they disappeared. Kain’s pupils widened. “Wow…. that was… groovy. Do it again, whatever it was. Please!”
Gamora smirked. “Since you asked so sweetly…”
“That’s quite enough,” Sawyer said.
“What kind of conduct is that?” Sawyer demanded. “You’re making a disgusting spectacle of yourself.”
“The experiment was working!” Gamora protested. “I’m grown up now, Dad. You can’t keep treating me like a child.”
“You won’t use mind-altering pollen to dazzle other sims while you live under my roof.”
Gamora sighed. “You can design my next experiment.”
Sawyer paused thoughtfully. “I want to see your control group.”
Wow… it’s been a long time since I posted. But I got some energy to read other Sims blogs, and Shannon Simsfan gave me the boost I needed. I have a huge backlog, since life stress (mostly work) has just sapped all my creative energy. If I can keep rolling, there are a lot more posts where this one come from. We shall see.
Moving on…. Gen 7 is all grown up now!
I somehow thought that travel Into the Future would freeze aging, but it didn’t, so Gamora is now the same age as Winston and will become older than he is the next time she travels.
Gamora rolled a wish to use the flower kiss on Kain McWilliams some time ago, and I’d been idly trying to get them into the same place. The joint birthday party seemed like the right place. As soon as she queued up romantic interactions with him, Sawyer autonomously decided to pick a fight with her. He stood there in her face, waiting for her queued actions to complete, then jumped between her and Kain to argue with her. It was so hilariously appropriate. Sawyer is hard to love, and that’s the truth. He and Gamora deserve each other. (Story-wise, she still lives with him. In reality, she’s in the active family. She gets most of her rest photosynthesizing and doesn’t need a bed.
I thought I liked the look Winston aged up into, but I quickly changed my mind. There will be a makeover next time you see him.
Winston still wishes for Cortney and can’t manage more than about one social with her, while Paulette shoots glances at him from afar. Love triangle, sims style.
I HATE all the Plantsim outfits. WTF. Some CC-maker created some fabulous leafy outfits for Sims 2 Plantsims, but nobody seems to have been interested in creating for Sims 3 ones. Ah well. If you see anything, drop me a line.
Andria was surprisingly protective of her greenhouse. This was the fewest plants she’d had growing anywhere she’d ever lived, so each one received a larger fraction of her love.
Still, Gamora was able to persuade her to relinquish enough space for her to plant the crystal flower seeds she’d brought back from the Tourist Trap of the Future.
They seemed to respond to care like any other plant, but it helped that Gamora’s lab was beneath the greenhouse. When she took a break from her bot research, she could come upstairs to chat with them.
Dylan was so captivated by the setting that he began to paint it.
He sometimes lost so much track of time that Andria found him on the upper deck with his canvas at dawn.
“I should be annoyed with you,” she told him, “but the truth is that I find your artistic dedication sexy.”
Dylan could only blush — even after all these years.
Victoria had a room to herself, and it wasn’t a child’s room any longer. She decorated it to her nautical heart’s content.
It was even sound insulated so that she could make all the noise she wanted.
Connery had unlimited food and plenty of space to laze around. At his age, that was all he could ask for.
When Gamora saw the wedding announcement in the newspaper, she knew it was past time to strike.
She jumped on her hoverboard after school.
It didn’t take her long to find her way to the home her mother shared with her current provider.
She didn’t even try to disguise her handwriting. Manisha would never recognize it, but she’d know who it was anyway.
She slipped the note into the doorframe and rang the doorbell.
Then she was gone from sight with a soft woosh.
She still had a lot to learn about how to fly a hoverboard. Fortunately, she was out of sight behind the house before she lost control.
She couldn’t help herself. She had to watch from out of sight.
To her disappointment, Manisha’s new husband, Ash Sample-Baerwyn, was the one who came to the door. He walked out with his new puppy and looked around the house. “Damn kids,” he grumbled.
As he turned back to the house, he saw the paper that had fallen onto the welcome mat. Written in read, it said simply, “I hope you didn’t think I’d forgotten about you.”
Ash stared at the paper. “What the hell is this?” he said aloud — a little too loud. He was rattled. And he’d tell his wife about it. That would be almost as good as her finding it herself.
That same afternoon, Victoria arrived at Coffee Under the Sea, where a Simfest had already started.
Frederick was waiting for her. “Vickie! I wasn’t sure if you were going to come! It’s so good to see you!”
She grinned at him. “Sure! This is your first Simfest performance! I want to see it!”
They’d been out for coffee a few times since their dinner date. He was good company. When he looked at her, he had that hungry look in his eyes that told her he wanted so much more, and yet she hesitated. She didn’t mean to lead him on…
“Oh, look!” Frederick said. “It’s Shannon Reacher the acrobat! She can’t possibly plan to perform at a Simfest!”
“She’s someone important?” Victoria asked.
“The best in the business,” Frederick agreed.
“Maybe I can get her autograph!”
Victoria started in the direction of the coffee house when her eyes fell on an old friend.
“Danial! It’s been a while. How are you? Are you going to sing?”
“Hi Vickie. No, not this time. I’m mostly here for professional research. I think I’m going to wait a bit longer to make my big move. You here to watch your boyfriend sing?”
“Frederick? He’s not my boyfriend. But I did come to show him some moral support. This is his first Simfest as a performer.”
“Hey bozo! Learn to sing!” Jody Ursine-Sample shouted at the stage.
“What about Sasha? Is your wife with you?”
Danial flinched and then tried to shrug nonchalantly. “Sasha’s not feeling well.”
“What is it with you and Sasha?” Victoria asked. “Do you do anything at all together? I don’t think I’ve seen her since high school.” She wasn’t sure if she was joking or serious. What was it about Danial that always seemed so… off?
“It’s starting to hail!” Shannon Reacher shouted. “Run for cover!”
“Show me you love meeee….” The performer wailed from the stage.
“Yike!” Victoria said. “I thought I felt a drop, but this is crazy!”
“This Simfest is a bust,” Danial said. “Let’s get out of here and go see Sasha.”
“But what about Frederick?” Victoria asked. But as she looked around, she saw he was already running for his car. “OK, I guess I’m free after all.”
“This way!” Danial said.
“That’s your car?” Victoria demanded. “Where’s the rest of your family?”
“Just get in and get out of the rain,” Danial said.
“Well, it’s certainly comfortable,” Victoria said. “Where are we headed? I didn’t think you lived this way.”
“We’re not going to my house,” Danial said.
When they pulled up in front of Ygraine Memorial, the rain was like a river pouring from the sky.
“You’ll have to run for it,” Danial said.
“We’re at the hospital,” Victoria said blankly.
“Yeah,” Danial said. “Hurry, or we’ll get soaked.”
While they were inside, the rain slowed at last.
And the Simfest officially ended.
“Why didn’t you tell anyone?” Victoria asked at last, “after all this time?”
“Sasha was diagnosed with cancer shortly after we got back from our honeymoon,” Danial said. “She that that if our friends knew, they’d be different around her. I guess, it got to feeling like the only way to feel normal was to pretend for everyone else that we were normal.”
“Is there any hope?” Victoria asked.
Danial’s jovial mask finally fell. The face behind was bitter and tired. “It depends on what you mean by hope,” he said. “There’s hope she’ll wake up one more time. I stay by her bed every day because I’d hate myself if she woke up and I didn’t get those last moments with her.”
Suddenly Victoria realized why Danial’s music career had been advancing so slowly. A lot of things made sense.
Impulsively, she threw her arms around him. “You’re not alone,” she said fiercely.
Danial hugged her back. “Thanks,” was all he said.
So this is Danial Ibari’s big reveal.
This is my story justification for one of those absurd May-December romances that StoryProgression always comes up with. Sasha Saunders Ibari is the daughter of Beatrice Saunders (a.k.a. Buffy Summers simalike). She’s older than Dylan and could literally die any day now. When Danial emerged as a player in Vickie’s story, I tried to figure out what to do with that, and this is what I came up with.
I’m so friggin’ far behind on all my reading, but I’m trying to catch up. I really am
“For you, Mama, I add a little something special.”
Andria chuckled. “That’s quite a performance for dash of extra cinnamon.”
Winston scrunched his nose at her. “This would be more fun if you knew less about cooking.”
When breakfast was finished, the family dressed up and got ready for the big event.
Everyone was gathering at the Old Mill Cafe.
Sawyer’s sister Rosie Winter was home with a cold, but she sent her two daughters, Angelina Winter
and Shalonda Winter.
Roderick was also not there, which was just as well because Victoria wasn’t quite finished being annoyed at him for messing with her date.
Sawyer’s close colleague, Sam Pistachio.
Sawyer and Dylan’s cousin, Gina Sample-Baerwyn, was on her honeymoon with her new busband Bryant Wu. But, to everyone’s surprise, her daughter Leona came. Leona was Great Uncle Hunter’s granddaughter and Victoria’s second cousin. She looked so much like her grandmother Eliana.
Or perhaps she was just there to fish, and the family gathering was a coincidence.
Victoria tried on several outfits and decided on what she hoped was classy casual.
Gamora powered through the guests on her hoverboard. “Make way!” she shouted proudly. “Make way for the bride and groom!”
Afterward came the guests of honor:
and Emily Sample-Doctor.
Emily chose to be married in the form that best suited her personal identity.
The couple was married at City Hall, but Abby insisted there be some sort of a wedding reception. Brunch at the Old Mill Cafe was the compromise.
“Hooray!” everyone cried. “Congratulations!”
It was a while before Sawyer and Emily were ready to see anyone but each other.
Abby and Chaim couldn’t help but be inspired.
“Please, join me for a spot of tea,” Edmund said to Sam.
“Oh! Samantha!” Emily exclaimed. “I’m so glad you came. I wanted you to see how amazing I look!”
“You’re just how I imagined you’d be,” Sam said without meeting her eyes. “Nice to see you in, ah, human form.”
Sam had been a rival for Sawyer’s affection back in the day. Emily didn’t want her to forget how that turned out.
“Let’s all have a croissant,” Sawyer suggested, giving Emily a hard look.
“That’s a wonderful idea!” Angelina Winter said. Sam got away from Emily and slipped into the seat beside Angelina.
“How could you have sunk so low as to play that role in Jupiter Resembling?” Gamora shouted at Abby. “Do you know how bad the science was in that movie?”
“You take a few acting classes, and then we can talk,” Abby retorted.
“And then you ask the patient to throw paint at the wall,” Sawyer explained to Victoria. “It’s very therapeutic.”
Tea concluded with a cutthroat game of shuffleboard between the three siblings.
And Sawyer rejecting the advances of an intern at the hospital who seemed to have had too much mind-altering herbal tea.
She was going to have a bad day at work when they saw each other next.
Victoria and her family returned home for a lazy afternoon, though Edmund did stomp her at a practice duel.
Edmund showed off with a bit of fancy spellcasting.
And shot himself in the foot. Literally. Fortunately, the spells wasn’t harmful.
“I don’t understand my brother at all,” Dylan admitted, “but I wish him the greatest of happiness.”
“If he and Emily are half as good together as we are,” Andria said. “He’ll do fine.”
As the family headed to bed, Victoria sat up and thought about love.
You just knew, didn’t you? It just happened?
So, Sawyer and Emily were released into Story Progression for about two days before I got a notification that they were engaged. I thought it would be fun for Abby to throw him a bachelor party. While I was getting set up to throw that party, I got a notification that they were married! Thus the party became a wedding reception instead. Somehow I thought that Sawyer and Emily wouldn’t bother with the whole legal marriage thing, but they proved me wrong.
Emily wanted to spend the entire party in her robot costume. I forced her to switch to her formalwear. She switched back. I gave up.
It’s nice to see Sawyer’s story end in nerdy bliss :).