“I told you not to go in the bathroom!” Victoria called back. “I’m fixing it, I swear!”
“And now Connery needs a bath too! I don’t even want to know what he’s rolling in.”
“Oh, Dylan, you’re being so… Dylan,” Andria said. “Give the kid a break.”
“My apologies,” Dylan said. “A big mess like this makes me a little unhinged.”
“You’re cute when you’re unhinged,” Andria said.
“Mom! Dad! Could you go somewhere else!” Victoria said. “I need to fix the bathtub.”
After she fixed the bathtub for the second time, Victoria return to work on the stereo, which was staunchly refusing to be repaired.
That went about as expected.
Dylan was still cleaning the floor in the bathroom,
so Victoria had to clean off upstairs.
She was really starting to hate that stereo.
The Samples extended clan decided to do something different for Snowflake Day this year — a family reunion at the festival park.
The day dawned bleakly overcast and snowing heavily, with the potential of a serious storm later. After a quick conference by telephone tree (because Dylan had never been comfortable with email), everyone decided to head to Little Cottage Park and hope for the best.
Victoria pulled Edmund onto the skating rink.
With mixed results.
For both of them.
Winston expressed his feelings about the weather in a more passive-aggressive way.
Gamora, on the other hand, wasn’t terribly interested in family reunions. She had different plans for Snowflake Day.
She’d found a chemical compound that she could use to treat raw eggs that made them bond with the surface they touched.
Her victim would have to have his door sanded and repainted to get them out.
Even better, her victim turned out to be home. She’d like to claim that the egg that hit him in the face was intentional, but he just managed to open the door at just the right time….
She did manage to throw a couple of eggs into his foyer. That was a bonus.
“What can I do to get you to leave me alone!!” Whitney shouted.
“Oh, you can’t do anything,” Gamora said. “I’ll stop when I’m done with you. Don’t hold your breath.”
Whitney called the cops, of course, but Gamora was safe at home by then.
When she returned home from her mischief, Sawyer was happy to see her. “I hope you’ve had a nice Snowflake Day,” he said. “Social custom dictates that we spend the day bonding.”
Sawyer would probably appreciate her project to punish sims who had hurt him, but Gamora deemed it prudent not to let him know when she broke the law. So she just smiled. “Sure, Dad. What did you have in mind?”
“Have you ever tried a mind meld?” Sawyer asked. “I haven’t tried one in years.”
“Never heard of it,” Gamora said, “but I’m willing to try.”
“I have been really lax with your television education,” Sawyer said. “Remind me to remedy that.”
“Huh,” Gamora said. “I don’t get it.”
“It used to work better than that,” Sawyer admitted with a scowl.
So they played chess instead. That was something they could both appreciate.
The Sample extended family arrived at Little Cottage, starting with Dylan’s cousin Gina Sample-Baerwyn.
She brought her little daughter Leona, who she was raising alone after her boyfriend’s sudden death. She wasn’t interested in talking about the tragedies of her life, but she was delighted with her daughter.
Uncle Stanley Marmalade, Aunt Abby’s half-brother, was also there. He technically didn’t share any blood with Dylan’s family due to Grandma Sky’s messed-up relationships, but nobody really cared.
Stanley was there alone. He was full of stories about his sons and bleary-eyed from new baby sleep. Andria found him sitting outside in the snow and had to pull him inside.
His partner Jody was home with their school-aged son Chauncey and new baby boy Sidney.
“I know what we all need!” Winston declared. “Hot cocoa! I brought my own cocoa beans. I want to try out a new recipe.”
While Winston was preparing his concoction and nobody was watching, Edmund made snow angles outside.
“Wow!” Victoria said. “I never knew hot cocoa could taste so good!”
“Thanks!” Winston said. “I think I’ll add more cinnamon next time.”
“This really is amazing,” Dylan said. “It’s good to get us all together. I wish Abby and Chaim could have made it”
“I married into an amazing family,” Andria said with a smile.
“Of course you did,” Dylan said with a twinkle in his eye. “You married me!”
And the race is on to finish Gen 6 before the end of the year. One more post to go! Can I do it??
“And then she just walked away!” Edmund ranted at breakfast. “I just don’t understand women.”
“It’s probably not much comfort, son,” Dylan said, “but I’ve come to believe that if you’ve with a woman you don’t understand, you’re with the wrong woman.”
Edmund went on to take out his anxiety with a new spell.
That didn’t turn out well at all.
He set the magic aside after that and spent some time focusing on art with his father. That was still the language they could communicate in best.
He did produce a landscape he was particularly proud of.
Sawyer lined up some personal meetings with other neuroscience experts.
He had so much expertise to share with the smaller, less important researchers.
If only they would be a little more grateful.
Dylan and Andria had one more box to check off of their list of things to do on their second honeymoon.
The nectarer had clearly sampled a bit too much of his own wares.
Andria made the first selection.
“That tasted like a dead horse,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve ever really figured out this nectar stuff.”
“Let me pick one,” Dylan said soothingly.
“You go first,” Andria said.
“Mmmm,” Dylan said. “Fruity with a hint of floral.”
“All right,” Andria said. “If you think this one is good, I’ll give it a shot.”
“Hmmm,” she said, rolling the nectar over her tongue.
“No, I’m sorry, it’s still terrible.”
Dylan laughed and took her hands. “That’s what I love about you,” he said.
“That I can’t stand nectar?”
“Well, maybe in spite of that,” Dylan said.
“Ooop!” she squeaked as he knocked her off her feet.
“What are you doing?”
“Is it that hard to guess?”
“We need to go back to the tower,” Andria said huskily when she came up for breath.
“No,” Dylan said. “Absolutely not.”
“You know you want to try again,” she teased.
“I do not — all right, but whatever happens is your fault.”
“Last chance to chicken out,” Andria said.
“Nope,” Dylan retorted. “Too late.”
He took her by the hand, and they took the elevator to the top.
This time, they picked a better hiding place, and nobody found them.
“I guess I haven’t lost it after all!” Dylan chortled as they left.
“Remember,” Andria said. “I get full credit. You already said so. No takebacks!”
Before they left, Dylan found a perfect place to photograph a landscape to remember it by.
Back at the hotel, Edmund had started acting very strange.
“What in the simworld are you doing?” Dylan asked.
“It’s a spell I’ve been working on,” Edmund said. “It’s intended to coax a dragon hatching out of its shell.”
“Ah, right,” Dylan said. “I’ll just, ah, leave you to it.”
While Edmund made strange gestures and muttered to the egg, Dylan busied himself tidying up. They were headed home tonight, and it would be improper to leave the place a mess.
“Wait!” a guest cried. “What’s wrong with that rock?!”
The shards of the egg fell apart and dissolved into sparkling dust.
The creature inside immediately jumped off the ground and flew to Edmund’s outstretched arm.
“I’ll call you Kalai,” he said.
“Is that really a lizard on your shoulder?” another guest demanded. “Is that sanitary? Should that be in a bedroom?”
Edmund scowled. “Nobody here appreciates magic.”
The return flight left that evening. “There’s no time for me to cool a fancy dinner,” Andria said. “I think I’ll just grill something at the fire pit.”
“OK, new plan. We’re going out to eat.”
Back home, Victoria and Winston set about erasing the traces of their party.
Victoria tried to repair the shorted out stereo.
Which required a bath.
Which required another repair.
Winston, meanwhile, kept his promise to Victoria about the den. After the party, you almost couldn’t tell that it had been cleaned beforehand.
Gamora had no more interest in the aftermath of the party than she did in the party itself. She ignored what her cousins did and focused on scheming.
First she perfected her formula.
Whitney Ursine-Sample had just been practice. Now she had her sights set on her mother, Manisha Kapoor-Yo.
Her chemical formula, when ignited, would make their house stink for days.
The best part was, while her father, aunt, and uncle were away, she was untouchable. A neighbor saw her lurking around the Kapoor-Yo residence and called the cops. They escorted her home, but there was no adult for them to report to.
Freedom, sweet freedom.
Eventually, though, it all had to come to an end.
Dylan, Andria, Sawyer, and Edmund returned to a home that was just as they left it… only more so.
“I can’t believe it!” Dylan declared. “This place is even cleaner than I remember! I never thought you children would be so responsible.”
“Just don’t go into the bathroom,” Victoria said weakly.
Then Vickie caught sight of the shape on her older brother’s shoulder.
“What is THAT!” she exclaimed.
Edmund puffed up his chest. He didn’t need more explanation of what Victoria meant.
“This is Kalai,” he said. “She’s a rare dragon hatchling, thoroughly enchanted.”
“If you’re interested, I could show you the spells I designed to help her hatch.”
“Uh, sure,” Victoria said. “Maybe some other time.”
“Come one come all!” Andria exclaimed. “It’s time for the main event!”
Surrounded by family, Andria was finally ready to step into her next stage of life.
“I am ready to rock this old lady gig!”
Even Gamora decided to have some cake, just for family solidarity.
“Family,” Andria said. “That’s what it’s about. Also cake.”
Dang, I let this post get LONG. I just really wanted to get through the vacation and back on track for Vickie’s birthday. It was so much fun to PLAY, but sheesh — time for the next generation to take over!
As a tribute to Andria, I think this is the first time that everyone has sat at the table without route-failing out of one of the end seats. Woot. I may have moved the table somewhat to accomplish that.
I was really excited to find the accessory shoulder dragon I’m using with Edmund. The baby dragon will sit on your shoulder for a while, but as soon as the sim does any action other than walking, it disappears into inventory. I’d like to see Edmund walk around with that dragon on his shoulder most of the time. UNFORTUNATELY, it took quite a while for me to realize that the accessory dragon doesn’t actually look like the real dragon. I’d love to learn enough CC skills to create a proper accessory dragon. Eventually I’ll find a forum to ask about that.
I thought it would be fun to have Dylan and Andria try woohooing in the Eiffel Tower again. This time they didn’t get caught! But the object STILL didn’t show any hearts or woohoo animation, which was a bummer. I’m not sure what’s up with that.
While I’m free associating in the notes, I’m experimenting with posting this stuff to Tumblr. I really like the Sims community there, but the lack of comments makes it very non-interactive. I’m not sure I’ll stick with it.
I am posting hair conversions over there, though: http://echoweaver.tumblr.com/
“Hmm,” Winston said to himself. “I think the sauce is just about perfect.”
He was experimenting with ethnic dishes at the moment. Today the treat was authentic Egyptian shwarma.
“Lunch is on!” he called out the window to Victoria. “Come get it while it’s hot!”
“This is really tasty,” Victoria observed after a taste. “Much better than the last thing you tried. This one doesn’t burn out the inside of my mouth.”
“You’re kind of a lightweight when it comes to spices,” Winston said.
“I just don’t think eating should be an endurance test,” Victoria retorted.
“I was thinking I could cook something like this, and we could serve it at the dance party we’re throwing tonight.”
Victoria nearly spit out out her meat. “Dance party? You’ve got to be crazy!”
Winston pulled her aside conspiratorially, though there was no one else in the house. “Come on, you know we can do it without Mom and Dad knowing.”
“Have you seen the mess that’s still in the den?” Victoria demanded. “We’re already going to get our butt kicked when Mom and Dad come home if we can’t clean it up.”
“I’ll clean it!” Winston insisted. “And I’ll make sure that everything is perfect when the party is over. Come on, everyone does this when their parents are out. If we play this with our noses down the whole time, we’ll never get another chance.”
“We already nearly burned the house down,” Victoria said. “Isn’t that enough for one vacation?”
“I swear you won’t be able to tell when I’m done with it,” Winston pleaded. “You know you want to do this too.”
Victoria thought about it. “All right, but only if you make good on your promise to clean the den.”
So Winston cleaned.
Then he called everyone he knew, plus a few people he didn’t know.
Afterward, Victoria helped him move the furniture in the living room to make space for dancing.
Gamora was supposed to be staying with her cousins while Sawyer was gone, but she’d barely been home since the adults went away. When she was not at school, she was usually at the dojo.
She was getting very good if she did say so herself.
The teens started arriving at the Sample Estate at sundown.
Crowds of them.
Winston was delighted. The first thing he did was make sure everyone was fed.
Then he stole some time to flirt with Paulette Callender, his date from prom.
Victoria was nervous, but she was committed now, so she tried to relax and have fun.
Unfortunately, one of the first sims she talked to was Kain McWilliams, who wanted to complain about Connery.
“Doesn’t that dog of yours ever stop barking?”
“Not when the music’s loud,” Victoria said. “Think of it as a bass beat. Now if you’ll excuse me…”
Once she made it to the dance floor, though, things really started to get rolling.
But it was hard to concentrate on dancing. Victoria couldn’t stop staring at Judith, who only had eyes for Mason James.
Her face was alight with a glow Victoria had never seen.
Could Judith be in love?
Gamora found Whitney Ursine-Sample at the local salon and spa, Tinkerbell’s Beautique.
She didn’t waste any time. She crept up behind him while he was looking away from her
And tackled him.
“That’s what you get for messing with Gamora Sample!” she announced as he picked himself up off the ground.
“You are insane, girl!” he shouted.
“No, but you sure are if you mess with me or my dad!”
Cortney Pierce-Hodgins showed up late.
Winston’s head snapped around so fast he nearly fell over.
His body language was so powerful, some of his classmates noticed and snickered.
He tried to pretend that it was no big deal that Cortney was at his party. He tried to look anywhere but at her.
Cortney circulated through the room, catching up with her friends from school. She hadn’t even said hello to Winston yet.
“Roderick!” Victoria said. “I didn’t see you there! Are you having a good time?”
“This party is fantastic!” Roderick Winter said. “You’re really lucky that your folks trust you with the house like that.”
“Yeah… ” Victoria said. “We’re lucky, I guess. I just hope we don’t screw it up.”
“I’ve been trying to get your attention all night,” Roderick admitted.
“Really? I haven’t been avoiding you or anything. It’s just easy to get lost in this crowd. What can I do for you?”
“I, ah, wanted to know if you would like to dance.”
He looked into her eyes with such intensity. Victoria could feel herself blushing. She’d grown up with Roderick. When did he become so attractive?
“I’d love to dance,” she said, hoping her voice didn’t waver.
Winston saw Paulette dancing alone and looking out of place. He jumped at the chance to focus his attention on someone other than Cortney.
“Hey, Paulette,” Winston said. “I haven’t seen you dancing much. Are you having a good time? Would you like to dance?”
Paulette was such a nice girl, and she really liked him. He’d been chasing after Cortney since grade school. He knew he needed to stop mooning over her. Paulette was a lot of fun, and she didn’t make him feel like she was doing him a favor to hang out with him.
“It’s been great,” Paulette said. “But it is kind of loud in here. I think I might have to go someplace quieter for a bit.”
Cortney definitely noticed Paulette making eyes at Winston. She looked straight at Paulette and then shouted over them. “I’m getting a headache from the lights! Anyone have a painkiller?”
Winston flushed with embarrassment. “I’ll check upstairs,” he said to Cortney.
While he was sifting through the medicine cabinet, Paulette drifted into the den, where she watched the winter simlympics with Kain McWilliams.
The quiet space away from the crowd calmed her down, and it turned out that Kain wasn’t bad company either.
Winston didn’t see her again for the rest of the evening.
Gamora drifted in and surveyed the party crowd.
“Wow, you guys really are the typical teens,” she said. “I hope you don’t expect me to clean up this mess.”
“You don’t have to do anything,” Winston snapped.
Gamora shrugged. “OK. I’m heading up to bed.”
Winston noticed that she climbed the stairs with a bit of a limp, but who ever knew what was going on with Gamora?
Winston wasn’t even sure exactly when his parents were getting home, so he started nudging everyone out the door after midnight.
Victoria caught her best friend before she left. “So what’s with Mason?” she demanded.
“I don’t know, but he was so amazing!” Judith exclaimed. “Do you think he likes me? Do you think I acted all right around him?”
“You have no idea how attractive you are,” Victoria said.
Cortney was the last one dancing when Winston finally turned off the stereo.
“Hi, um, Cortney. I just wanted to say that everyone kind of has to leave now.” Winston could kick himself.
“Winston, I was hoping to get some time to talk to you alone,” Cortney said.
“What?” Winston said. “I mean, you were?”
“Look, I’m sorry I haven’t been returning your phone calls,” she said. “I’ve been a real jerk to you, and you didn’t do anything to deserve it. It’s just that things have been kind of crazy at home. Dad had to resign as chief of police, and I didn’t know how to talk to anyone.”
“Wow,” Winston said. “I didn’t know things were so rough. You can always talk to me about it. I want to be there for you.”
“I know,” Cortney said. “You’ve been my best friend since grade school. I want to be a better friend to you again.”
Winston felt his blood run to his face as she gazed into his eyes. She was so beautiful. “Maybe we could hang out sometime soon?” he asked hopefully. “Maybe this weekend?”
“That’s a great idea!” Cortney said. “I’m going to turn a new page in our friendship. Maybe we could go on a double-date! Me, my boyfriend, and are you seeing anyone?”
“No,” was all Winston managed to say. Then he managed to say goodbye, and she was on her way.
It had been such a wonderful party, but now all Winston wanted to do was crawl under his beadspread and cry.
Woo! Time for a teen party! So much awesome stuff happened! I even got some of the teens to actually dance! And Victoria has another romantic prospect! Roderick is really cute.
Paulette Callender is (I think) the granddaughter of a Matt Smith simalike, and wow his features do not look good on her. It’s too bad, but it’s nice that not all the sims are beautiful. BUT she’s also descended from February Callender, and it’s awesome to see her hair still around! Her parents are Justin Mai, the obnoxious woman-and-man-izing actor Abby dated, and Dion Callender. The game gave her the last name Mai, but since Dion actually gave birth, it should have been Callender by my mother’s-surname naming rule in StoryProgression, so I changed it. I have way too many Mais in my game.
My game crashed near the end of the party, and I had to play it again. The second time through, Mason James took up with Cortney instead of Judith. Cortney having a boyfriend makes sense, since Winston just can’t get anywhere with her despite the fact that they have a maxed relationship bar, and he finds her attractive. But those shots of Mason dancing with Judith were so sweet that I may use MasterController to stick those two back together.
I think the crash-and-reload caused the game to forget that there was a teen party going on AND that the adults were on vacation. I had to use MasterController to reset the lot and get the adults home. That meant there was no chance for the parents to come home early, which would have been fun.
Oh, and I’ve learned that the Consider Attraction interaction is from Woohooer, and it’s broken. It only gives 1 or 10. I need to use Scan Room to get proper comparative attraction scores. I’ll be doing that from now on, though it doesn’t give such a cute message.
As the plane descended into Champs les Sims, Dylan couldn’t help but snap photographs. It had been a long time since he’d engaged in serious photography. I wasn’t prepared for how wonderful it felt to have a camera in his hands again.
The family settled into their hotel.
Andria had plans for the day, and they started with a picturesque spot to fish.
And some study.
And the purchase of a few choice ingredients.
Sawyer was left to his own devices. He had no plans until the beginning of the conference, so he was immediately bored.
His boredom didn’t last long, however. It turned out that the lush countryside was the perfect inspiration for new avenues of genetic research.
Dylan found Edmund unpacking his suitcase. “There is one place in Champs les Sims that you would never forgive yourself for missing,” he said.
Edmund raised his eyebrows. “And that would be?”
“The Musee d’Arte of course! You must accompany me for the afternoon.
Edmund couldn’t possibly refuse. Art was the one passion he could always share with his father.
They took the scenic route so that Dylan could find the perfect place for a photograph.
Edmund was completely unprepared for how magical the museum was. The art was gathered from all over the simworld, past and present. He could lose himself here for years.
“Wow, Dad. Thank you. I had no idea .”
Dylan smiled. “Your father still knows a few things that matter,” he said.
“What is the policy about photography?” Edmund asked. “Some pictures here could turn into some very valuable prints.”
Dylan smirked a little bit. “I already did that, son. There are a few hanging in the house. You should take a closer look.”
“Oh, really?” Edmund said. “Wait.”
“Wait what?” Dylan asked.
“Wait. Who is she?”
Dylan nudged his son. “Go find out. I know when I’m superfluous.”
Dylan drifted over to the woman as if pulled by an invisible string. “Hi, um, I’m Edmund Sample. I hope it isn’t too forward to ask for your name?” He really wasn’t very good at talking to strangers.
Her name was Belle Girard. Though he’d never know it, her grandmother had almost married his great-grandfather Charles. It turned out that the attraction passed down through the generations.
When he had to leave for lunch, He had Belle’s phone number, and they both looked forward to meeting again.
Sawyer’s conference began in the afternoon with a keynote speech, given of course by Sawyer himself. Sawyer was the best known neurosurgeon in the simworld, and he considered it his due.
Of course, a neuroscience conference in the land of love wasn’t quite what Sawyer was used to. The attendees behaved in rather inappropriate ways.
The room was nearly empty when he began his opening remarks. He would have considered that an insult, but the attendees rushed to hear him a few minutes later.
And was the best speech he had ever given, if he did say so himself.
Though the sound system left a lot to be desired.
Sawyer had to admit that the next presentation was almost as interesting as his.
At least, Sawyer found it interesting. Some people at this conference just didn’t seem to have neuroscience on the mind at all.
The men returned home to find Andria hard at work.
“Here you are!” she declared as they wandered in through the door. “Dinner is served!”
Sawyer stared dubiously at the elegantly plated meal. “What form of nourishment is this?”
“Frog legs, of course,” Andria said. “I’ve been longing to learn how to make it, but they’re best with fresh-caught frogs from France.” She gave Sawyer a warning look. “Everyone will be tasting this fine french delicacy, even you.”
Sawyer, huffed and sat down.
Even he had to admit that the frog’s legs were delicious.
As they finished their meal, another pair of tourists pounced on them. “Are you real Avalonians? We’ve never seen any before! We must have a picture.”
“What did you think?” Andria asked Dylan as they cleaned up.
“Magnificent, just like the chef,” he said with a suave smile, pulling her to him.
“Perhaps we should continue this in privacy,” Dylan suggested and led her upstairs.
“You remember?” Andria said. “I think the first night of our honeymoon was in this very room. Our first time.”
“Well, not the first,” Dylan said. “The second time. I remember these things.”
“We’re not done making memories,” Andria said.
So, Belle Girard is, of course, Berthe Girard, the homeless premade French firefighter who was such a good rival for Veronica that I created a mate poll for Charles. Since I long since deleted all my travel files, she was regenerated. I really like her and her genes. She’s a Clumsy, Brave firefighter, which is such an entertaining combination.
Edmund picks up romantic interests wherever he goes :).
Grump. So far, I haven’t been able to make the smaller, bordered images I was using for Dylan’s photographs to work. I guess the images that I ported over from Blogspot probably look wrong too. Sigh.
The Sample teens first day of freedom was a Sunday. It began quietly and responsibly.
That morning, Winston took a gourmet cooking class at The Round Table that he’d been trying to get into for years.
He was convinced that he could enhance the flavor of his creations with a bit of magic. It was just a question of what kind.
Gamora had no intention of getting her butt kicked ever again, especially not by the likes of Whitney Ursine-Sample.
She also spent the morning in a class — this one Introduction to Sim Fu.
“Is that your real skin?” Kari Bookabet-Royale giggled as Gamora showed of her first belt. “Are you a member of some kind of tree-hugging gang?”
Gamora looked her straight in the eyes. “Come a little closer and say that,” she said softly. Kari shut up and backed away.
Victoria also had big plans for her free day.
She planned to spend it alone at Persephone Hot Springs.
The hot springs were warm year-round, so it wasn’t that extreme an idea to go swimming.
Honestly, the 7mil wetsuit was more than she needed. The ocean was colder when she skipped school to go snorkeling in the fall.
It felt so good to get into the water. Since the first snow, she’d been feeling trapped on land. And the floor of the springs were full of beautiful freshwater aquatic life. It was peaceful and more beautiful than she’d expected.
On the other hand, it wasn’t nearly as isolated as she’d been planning either.
Victoria had no idea the hot springs were such a popular place for playing in the snow.
Eventually, it was just too crowded. She couldn’t focus on the beautiful springs with all the laughing and snowball fights. Someone even throw a snowball in the water at her. It was cold! But mercifully only for a few minutes.
So, after a couple of hours snorkeling, she dried off and headed home.
Something was very wrong. She could tell from the end of the block that the smoke rising from her house wasn’t coming from a chimney.
She burst into the house to this:
“Winston! Where are you?” she screamed. She ran to the kitchen to grab the fire extinguisher under the sink.
“How do you use this thing??”
She wasn’t sure that her fire extinguisher was powerful enough to make a dent in the roaring flames.
So she grabbed her phone.
“Hello? Avalon fire department?” she shouted into the phone. “We’re ON FIRE!!”
Fortunely, the Avalon Knights of the Flame were well-trained in talking to panicked people. Victoria could hear the wail of the fire engine almost before she hung up the phone. That was one big advantage to living on a small island.
“Oh, thank the Watcher!” she cried when firemen came running into the house.
But as she walked out of the den, she found the living room had also caught fire.
“Look out!” she cried. She aimed the fire extinguisher at the flames.
“Please back off, miss!” the fireman yelled.
“Let us do our jobs!”
“I’m so sorry,” Victoria wailed.
“I was only trying to help!”
“I get it,” the fireman said. “Well, the fires are out. Now you can get all the help you need in fireplace safety.”
“Victoria!” Winston said as he burst through the door. “What happened? Are you all right?”
“Did you leave fires burning in the fireplaces when you left?” Victoria asked.
“Well, yes, but Mom and Dad leave them burning all the time,” Winston said defensively. “I didn’t think it would be any big deal.”
“Apparently it is a big deal,” Victoria said. “We almost literally burned the house down on our first day on our own!”
“OK, look,” Winston said earnestly. “I can make this right. Let me make a few phone calls. I bet we can get a quick insurance settlement.”
“You do what you feel you have to,” Victoria said. “I’m going to start cleaning up.”
Annnnd I gave Victoria Fireproof Homestead. Dylan had it, but apparently the effects went away as soon as he went on vacation.
The day dawned bitter cold. But within the gates of Camelot, blood ran hot.
The air was filled with chanting voices against police corruption. Some dealings between the chief of police and the Emperor of Evil had leaked to the press, and the citizens of Avalon were having none of it. There would be protests day and night until Police Chief William Pierce resigned.
Besides…. hadn’t he been chief of police for a really long time? Nobody seemed to be able to remember when he was first elected.
Gamora held a sign and chanted for a while, but she was really here to people watch. People were really amusing when they were this angry.
She’d been protesting for less than an hour when she saw someone who made her forget her sign and let it drop to the snow.
Whiney Ursine-Sample, her father’s nemesis dating all the way back to high school.
Well, Gamora wasn’t sweet and passive like her father. Whitney had a lifetime of harassment to pay for, and she planned to start calling in payments.
“Well look at the smelly garbage someone dumped on the lawn!”
Whitney jumped back in surprise. “What’s with you, girl? I don’t even know you!”
“Gamora Sample ring any bells?” Gamora mocked. “Like the daughter of Sawyer Sample?”
“Sawyer Sample! You have got to be kidding me!”
“Look, my dad put up with way too much of your crap, but I’m not my dad.”
“I intend to make your life very uncomfortable, starting now.”
“Look, girl, I can tell you’re even weirder than your dad, but you can’t scare me with your little threats. You can’t do anything to me.”
Gamora suddenly smiled and stepped close. “Is that so?” she said in a sultry voice.
She reached up to caress the line of Whitney’s jaw. Whitney’s eyes locked with Gamora’s. He seemed rooted in place.
Then she leaned in.
“What did you do to me?!” Whitney shouted.
“I’m not sure,” Gamora crooned, “but I’m sure it will be unpleasant.”
“You little freak!” Whitney cried.
Then he kicked her ass.
In another corner of Camelot’s courtyard, the venerable Matt Doctor was catching up with his neice Emily. “What are you looking at?” he asked.
“Are you getting a load of this?” Emily said. “That’s my boyfriend’s daughter. I don’t know whether to be proud or ashamed. I think I’m going with proud. That kid knows how to make trouble.”
“Didn’t she just get her butt kicked by a man her father’s age?” Matt demanded. “Aren’t you going to help her?”
“Are you kidding?” Emily said. “It’s much more fun to watch.”
While Gamora was making a scene in Camelot, Andria was baking again, and we all know what that means.
Edmund practiced a bit of magic while he waited.
“Were you supposed to zap your foot?” Victoria asked.
“Not sure,” Edmund admitted, “But it felt pretty good.”
Outside, Gamora made it home and took her fury out on the lawn ornaments.
Then the pie was out of the oven, pumpkin at Edmund’s request.
It was time to celebrate.
Gamora entered just as Andria was serving. “Oh, was there something important about today?” she asked.
Edmund gave her a hard stare. She was just trying to provoke him, and he wasn’t going to take the bait. And he had to admit, birthdays were pretty frivolous. At least he’d been able to persuade his mother to keep this one an intimate family gathering.
Edmund’s family gathered around the table to taste Andria’s marvelous pie and talk about life.
“Have you given any thought to what you want to do with your life?” Dylan asked Winston.
“Not sure yet,” Winston said, “but I think I want to check out some of my roots from the Mai side of the family. Maybe learn some Asian cooking.”
Gamora deigned to hang out with them for a little while. It was never clear whether she was proud that she didn’t need to eat or if she resented it.
After the party, Dylan sought out his wife. He found her in the kitchen, cleaning up.
“I know there’s another birthday coming up soon,” he said.
“I’d rather not think about it,” Andria said.
“Here, let me,” he said, brushing her gently aside. “I can finish the cleaning.” He drew out a scrubbie with a flourish. Somehow, Dylan could always do the grungiest tasks with style.
Andria shrugged and set herself to seasoning the skillet.
“This is a big birthday of yours coming up,” Dylan said, ” and I thought perhaps we should herald it in a big way.”
“Oh?” Andria said. “What did you have in mind?”
“I thought I’d take you back to where it all began,” he said.
Andria raised her eyebrows. “High school gym class?”
He chuckled. “Well, I was thinking of Champs les Sims. A bit of a second honeymoon.”
Andria let the skillet clatter to the stove. “A second honeymoon! What a marvelous idea! You’re so romantic, my love.”
So it was decided. Dylan made the reservations.
Andria gave Victoria firm talking-to. She would be the woman of the house, and Andria needed to be able to trust her, or this romantic getaway wasn’t going to work.
Victoria was delighted that she was being offered this kind of responsibility. “I won’t let you down!” she insisted. “Have a good time and don’t worry about a thing!”
Andria was still a little worried that Victoria might have less responsible things in mind, but she decided to give her daughter a chance to prove herself.
Edmund was going with them, though he promised to make himself scarce. He had some unclear reason for wanting to travel to Champs les Sims that had to do with his magical research.
And, as it turned out, Sawyer would be attending a neuroscience conference. That wasn’t exactly a coincidence. It was his brother’s travel that gave Dylan the idea for a vacation.
Dylan felt years younger as he ran to catch the taxi. A romantic vacation! At his age!
Andria would be the first to tell him that you’re never too old to have fun.
Gamora is a lot of fun right now. First poisoned kiss! I’m not entirely sure what it does other than turn someone green (which is less impressive in Avalon). Maybe makes the target sim nauseated? I need to look it up.
Heh. Now that I’m using the blue City Hall rabbithole from Monte Vista, protests look pretty good. No more people standing with their heads through the wall.
I had a lot of fun with Edmund’s adult look.
Man, I wish they all could be heirs. I’m still fretting about who is going to have to leave the house to make way for Vickie’s family.
As you might guess, this is the “free vacation” opportunity to give the teens a chance to be heads of household. Dylan rolled a wish to travel with Andria way back at his Elder birthday, so I thought this would be the perfect time to fulfill it.
“Hmmm,” Gamora said. “This is more dramatic than I was expecting on a first test.”
“I’m getting some kind of feedback,” Sawyer said. “We’re in some kind of tachyon loop.”
“I see something!” Gamora.
“Gamora!” Sawyer shouted. “Step away from the prototype!”
Gamora jumped back, just as something burst from the time field and dropped to the floor.
“Heeey….” the something said.
“Who are you?” Gamora demanded. “WHAT are you?”
“Me?” he asked. “I’m Emit Relevart, time traveler extraordinare!”
“How did you get into our time machine?” Gamora asked. “This was our first prototype test.”
“I was going to ask you the same thing,” Emit said. “But don’t bother. Time traveling is like that. You’d think that time loops would create some kind of paradox, but they actually happen all the time. This thing is probably your time machine and mine.”
“If you’re new to temporal travel, you should read up on the rules,” Emit said. “We try to help the newbies to the hobby avoid the worst mistakes.”
“Huh,” Gamora said. “I don’t know what to say. This isn’t the way I expected to discover time travel. I expected it would be more… pioneering.”
“I’ll let you in on a secret,” he continued, beckoning Gamora to lean close. “Everyone who ‘invents’ time travel thinks they’re the first one. Welcome to the club.”
“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to head out to some place less crowded with other travelers.”
He pulled out a device and pressed a few buttons. The time travel prototype shuddered and spiked in response. Then he was gone.
Sawyer and Gamora were left alone in the lab.
“Well, that was unsettling,” Sawyer said.
“I wondered whether I wanted to go to future or the past when we got this thing working,” Gamora mused. “Now I know where I’m going.”
Inside, romance was in the air.
“Hey, Cortney?” Winston said. “Dance class is out this week, and I was wondering if you’d like to–”
“Oh, sorry. Maybe some other time.”
Winston put his phone back in his pocket and stared at the floor for a while. There had been a time when Cortney Pierce-Hodgins had wanted to spend all her time with him. Now… what?
At almost the same time, Victoria was also fielding a phone call.
“Kain McWilliams? Of course I remember you from prom! A date? Uh, OK. When?”
Kain insisted that she pick a location. That’s how they ended up at the beach in the snow.
“Vickie!” Kain exclaimed. “It’s so good to see you. I have to say I’m kind of surprised by the venue, though. It’s it a little bit cold for the water?”
“It’s actually not that bad!” Victoria said. “The jetstream brings up a lot of warmer water from tropical seas. It’s just fine with a wetsuit.” At his horrified expression, she amended lamely, “I didn’t really think we’d swim. The view from the clubhouse is gorgeous.”
“I’ve never been inside the clubhouse,” Kain said, looking around appraisingly. “This is really nice. Thank you for showing it to me.”
“This is my favorite place in Avalon,” Victoria admitted, “even when it’s cold. You can still hear the waves and feel the ocean breeze.”
“It’s also deserted this time of year,” Kain said, “which is great for us. What a find!”
Victoria blanched. “And it has a great karyoke machine,” she said quickly. “Why don’t we play for a while?”
“Uh sure, if that’s what you like,” Kain said. “How do you set this thing up?”
Victoria was an old hat at the Morgana Beach karaoke machine. She and Judith had logged hours on it all through high school.
Kain wasn’t a bad singer, which was impressive, since Victoria knew the set list by heart, and he didn’t.
But Victoria had to admit that he was just weird about the whole thing. And there was something about the way he looked at her that made her uncomfortable.
What was he even doing with his head there?
At least the sound attracted in some other folks, so they weren’t alone. That helped Victoria relax a little bit.
After a few songs, Kain put his microphone away. He was watching her with that intensity that made her want to cringe away.
“That was a lot of fun,” he said. “What would you think about continuing our date someplace more private?”
“Uh….” Victoria said. “I think I really should go home now. My, uh, parents expect my home for dinner.”
Kain’s face fell. “I see. I guess if you want to go out again, you should give me a call.”
Victoria escaped as fast as she could, feeling horrible. She’d hurt his feelings, and she knew it. He’d been so nice to her at the prom. They’d danced and laughed together. But on their own, without the flashing lights and shouting over the music, all she felt around him was uncomfortable.
Would she ever learn to turn someone down gracefully?
I’ve played ahead at least eight posts worth of material, but I’ve been wrestling with writer’s block. Hopefully getting this out will help me power through it. In my game, Victoria has taken over the legacy, and I’m on the hunt for a spouse for her. (She, honestly, couldn’t care less so long as she can swim, sail, and build things.) It’s hard to figure out how to help her choose from her collection of admirers — being Irresistible, she doesn’t lack for romantic interests. Kain, the RI she picked up from prom, was easy to eliminate though.
Vickie gets a lot of wishes about that karaoke machine. You’re going to see it again.
[Author’s note: this is a novel. Sorry. It really should be two posts, but I just can’t wait any longer!]
“Hey, Dad, did you know it’s my birthday today?” Gamora said when she returned home from school.
Sawyer looked at her like a deer in the headlights. “I did not track that,” he admitted. “Is it now expected that I throw you a birthday party?”
“Don’t worry, Dad,” Gamora said. “I have everything handled. You just come with me. There’s someone I want you to meet.”
“Someone who lives here?” Sawyer asked. “This doesn’t seem like the kind of home that welcomes visitors.”
“Don’t worry,” Gamora said. “He’s expecting us.” She walked up confidently and rang the doorbell. Sawyer lingered back at the gate.
The door opened with a melodramatic creak.
“Ah!” Forest said. “I was wondering if you were going to come after all.”
Gamora shrugged. “Dad was slow.”
“Have you met my, ah, Flynn?” Forest asked with a unsettling smile. “He was just leaving.”
The deathly pale figure of Sean Flynn followed Forest out the door. He spared a single, uninterested glance for Gamora, then walked past them to the exotic sports car parked beside the house.
Forest Sample in the hall and beckoned Gamora and Sawyer inside. Sawyer tried not to look closely at the pile of dirty laundry Forest was standing in. Some things he just didn’t want to know.
“Happy birthday, Gamora!” Forest said.
That was really all the encouragement Gamora needed.
“Tea for everyone!” Gamora said. “I brought some of Aunt Andria’s interesting herbs to give it kick.”
Gamora made her way to the beverage machine like someone who knew her way around the house.
“If you don’t mind, I’ll serve myself something a bit more sustaining,” Forest said.
“Dad, this is Forest Sample,” Gamora told Sawyer eagerly. “He’s an ancestor of ours. He says he is the family’s personal undead guardian.”
“I actually know who he is,” Sawyer said. “He’s my uncle.”
“Uncle?” Gamora said in surprise. “You don’t mean great-great-uncle? Or ancient ancestor or something?”
“No,” Sawyer said. “He’s my mother’s sister. He lived in our house while I was growing up.”
Gamora’s face fell. “Wow.” she said. “Forest, you told me you were some kind of ancient undead creature!”
“I might have lied about my age,” Forest admitted. “Just a little bit. But not about the rest. The undead and the guardian parts are true.”
“Forest’s definition of ‘guardian’ might be a little different from yours or mine,” Sawyer said. He sat down with his tea and looked around the room. “This is quite a lair you have for yourself,” he told Forest.
Forest chuckled. “Thank you.”
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you,” Sawyer said.
“But not a long time since I saw you,” Forest said.
“I am not reassured,” Sawyer said.
“Really,” Forest said, “there’s no reason to be like that. I mean our family no harm. Quite the contrary.”
Lionel Flynn, ostensibly Sean Flynn’s husband, just sat back with his tea and silently watched everyone else. Everyone in this house was some kind of creepy.
“Well, this went a bit differently than I imagined,” Gamora said. “Let’s move on to the next part of the festivities.”
“You have more in mind?” Sawyer asked.
“Of course!” Gamora said. “Come on!” She hurried to the elevator in the front room.
The elevator took them to a dark humid subbasement.
Where a lovely hottub waited for them. At least the reason for the humidity was innocuous.
“Come on, Dad, Uncle Forest,” Gamora said. “The water’s fine.” There was nothing she liked better than a good, relaxing drink through her vegetable skin.
Sawyer struggled with the elevator door. “You make… this look… so easy.”
“Well, this is very nice,” Sawyer admitted when he finally sat down in the hot tub.
Sawyer tried. He really did. But when Forest came down to join them, he jumped back out of the water.
“I think it’s time for me to go,” he said. “I have to be up early in the morning for surgery.”
“Certainly,” Forest said. “Let me escort you to the surface.”
“I can find my way up,” Sawyer said. “You can stay down here with Gamora.”
“I insist,” Forest said.
“All right, then.”
When Gamora came home after midnight, Sawyer was up waiting for her.
“Happy birthday,” he said.
“Thanks, Dad.” She took a breath. “Could you help me with an equation in quantum physics?”
Sawyer immediately relaxed. He didn’t know what he’d expected to see from his new teenage girl, but Gamora was still the daughter he knew. “I’d be delighted,” he said and sat down beside her.
They said no more about the birthday party, and that was best for everyone.
And they said no more about it.
Gamora went to bed and wondered what high school would bring.
Edmund completed a new sculpture. He called it, “The Empty Dinner Table of the Soul.”
It suited him better than his most recent painting. The pictures never seemed to make it to canvass the way they were in his head.
Victoria finally learned enough in shop class to attempt to fix the stereo.
She felt like she had an audience for the whole thing.
She was so successful with the stereo that she moved on to the dreaded dishwasher. Family legend was that it was a dangerous device that had already killed someone.
Winston found a new use for the family’s magic.
“Enchanted apples!” he announced. “Let’s find out what kind of cobbler I can make with these!”
“Are you sure you’re all right down there?” Andria asked anxiously. “That thing is dangerous! You know what it did to your grandmother’s girlfriend.”
“I know, Mom,” Victoria said. “I’m fine. This is fun!”
“Please let me call a repairman.”
“No. It’s finished anyway. See?”
“I swear, the parents can be so overprotective!” Victoria complained as she sat down to dinner.
“They might relax if you were a little more true to yourself,” Winston said.
Victoria coughed. “What?”
“Since you got grounded, you’re still kind of pretending to be something you aren’t,” Winston said. “You’re not really someone who looks tough and talks tough. You’re a nice girl who loves the ocean.”
“Huh,” Victoria said. “I hadn’t really thought of it that way.”
As she got ready for bed that night, Victoria peered at herself in the mirror through her shaggy, ragged locks of hair. Winston was right. She did look like she was pretending to be someone else.
She brushed her hair back away from her face. There.
Winston congratulated himself for his advanced application of brotherly love.
“A good sensitive brother deserves a few pieces of Spooky Day candy. Don’t you think?”
Winter pressed on. The snow fell around Avalon and grew into drifts.
Most of Gamora’s mail these days was scientific in nature.
She and Sawyer were hitting the science and medical journals in their spare time.They were crafting their very first experiment together.
Sawyer booked some time on the RGB machine owned by the Sufficiently Advanced Technology Center.
He needed to cross the red pad thai and the blue magnetometer streams to test their hypothesis.
Then, when the the father-daughter genius duo were on the verge of completing their theory….
Winston nervously dialed the phone for the third time.
“Cortney? Hi! It’s Winston! Yeah, from gym class. I was wondering if you didn’t have anyone to go to prom with, and I don’t have anyone to go to prom with, maybe — oh, you already have a date. Sorry to bother you.”
Winston hid in his room for the rest of the evening.
Edmund, on the other hand, dithered about whether to ask Joy or Judith until it was too late to ask anyone.
Victoria upgraded the sink to be unbreakable. Then she remembered that she ought to buy a dress or something.
Gamora had no interest in slow dancing with some sappy kid in the gym, but she did have big plans for prom. She’d been assembling ideas from her Advanced Mayhem correspondence course for weeks.
Late the night before prom, she picked the lock to the school and slipped into the gym to rearrange the decorations. The new version was a bit more obscene than the original.
She also got into the ballot box and altered the votes for prom queen.
This was going to be fun.
The night arrived, and the limo pulled up in front of the Sample Estate.
“Are you going to be all right, Winston?” Victoria asked.
“I’ll be fine,” Winston said, though all he could think about was Cortney Pierce-Hodgins dancing with some other guy.
“You’re not fooling anyone,” Victoria said. “Don’t go if you’re going to be miserable. But I think prom is your thing more than mine. Heck, you can dance.”
Winston thought about dancing in front of all this classmates, and he had to smile in spite of himself. “Yeah,” he said. “I got this. Thanks, Vickie.”
Dylan came to see his children off.
“Victoria,” he said, “you’re my only daughter. I don’t ever want to see you hurt. Boys can be, well they can be deceitful and cruel to someone as beautiful as you are because they want, well, they want–“
“It’s all right, Dad,” Victoria said. “I think I’ll be all right. Do you really think I’m beautiful, or is that just Dad talk?”
“You are radiant,” Dylan said sincerely. “You even outshine your mother, but don’t tell her I said that.”
“Thank you, Daddy. I love you.”
“The limo won’t wait any longer!” Edmund announced. So they all piled in to be escorted to the dance.
Gamora didn’t wait for the limo. She was one of the first to arrive. She couldn’t wait to see this.
It went down in history as the most disastrous prom Chivalrous Preparatory had ever known.
The only one who was pleased about this was Gamora.
Winston spent the entire evening trying to attract Cortney Pierce-Hodgins’s attention and being snubbed. What went wrong?
He finally asked Paulette Mai to dance, and apparently he was too good at it. She followed him around for the rest of the night.
Victoria also picked up an admirer.
Gamora danced through the evening, sewing dissent and starting fights… usually in a way that couldn’t be traced to her.
Edmund was still the target of some nasty school bullies.
As far as Gamora was concerned, it was a perfect evening. She left
Andria was waiting for Edmund when he got home.
“The principal called. Were you in a fight?” she demanded.
“No!” Edmund said. “Well, yes, but it wasn’t my fault!”
Gamora grinned to herself. This could go on all night.
While Andria and Edmund were sorting through exactly what happened at prom, Gamora changed clothes and called Sawyer.
“Why are we doing this now?” Sawyer demanded. “It’s after midnight. I’m exhausted.”
“You don’t have to work tomorrow,” Gamora said. “I can’t wait.”
The two of them descended to Sawyer’s old lab underneath the barn.
Where they had been building their experimental device.
“Here it is,” Gamora purred. “This beauty is ready to run, come what may!”
“Shall we give it a whirr?” Gamora said.
“I am not nearly ready to do this,” Sawyer said, “but I don’t think you can be dissuaded.”
“Then it’s agreed. Here we go!”
Wow, that was long! I just couldn’t bear to wait another post before moving to the heir poll. I figure this post makes up for the fact that Gamora aged to a teen in this post — she got plenty of spotlight for you to get to know her.
I felt like I had to give you the Into the Future teaser to make it clear that Gamora would be doing something other than making mischief. Though I do like the cliffhanger :).
And here we are! Gamora’s fourth trait is Night Owl. It’s not as descriptive as some she might have gotten, but I’m sure I can do something with it. Her personality seems pretty well-formed at this point anyway.
I am beyond thrilled by her appearance. She’s just captivating.
OTOH, I hate the plantsim hair and clothes with a burning passion. I imagine her hair as leaves and vines, and I’m trying to find hairstyles that suit that look.
I wasn’t quite sure how to present the story context for the rather catastrophic prom. Gamora DID have a mood swing that day with all kinds of wicked wishes, only half of which I was able to grant between the time school let out and prom started. Really, for an Evil sim, a mood swing should include wishes to be nice to people….
WE’RE READY FOR THE HEIR POLL.
Now I just have to put it together, which I don’t think I can manage tonight. Tomorrow, then!
(Author’s note: I posted yesterday too. If you think you might have missed one, take a look.)
Andria was baking again, and we all know what that means.
This time, the birthday part was for Winston.
Andria tried a new recipe this time — angel food cake. Light, fluffy, and burning with its own personal flame.
“Victoria! You did your hair!” Abby called as she arrived. “By the way, do you know your stereo is broken?”
“I am a lean, mean, dancing machine,” Winston crowed.
Winston was the most social of the Sample kids. The invitation list for his party was long and filled with sims of all ages. Dylan and Andria had never even seen some of the guests — they were pretty sure at least one was a stranger who wandered in off the street.
“Happy birthday to you…!” everyone sang.
“Let’s eat cake!” Winston ordered.
“Let me serve,” Andria said. “I don’t want anyone to get burned.”
She laid out a flaming slice for everyone.
“The cake is on fire!” Mason James shouted. “I’ve got to get a picture of this!”
Guests crowded to the table
And spilled out into the living room.
Winston ended up giving his seat to someone else and eating in the middle of the action.
“Hi, Edmund,” Judith said.
“Urk,” Edmund answered.
Joy, standing right behind Judith, shouted, “I think the cake is burning a hole in the table!”
Andria dashed in to put out the flames, and Edmund sneaked away in the distraction.
Everyone partied until Dylan kicked them out so that he could sleep, and everyone was talking about the party the next day at school.
Winston couldn’t have been happier.
Sawyer was less impressed. The party was far too loud and rowdy for him to handle. As soon as the birthday singing was done, he escaped to the tech den and closed the door. Instead, he challenged Emily to a game of online chess.
And he won.
Then he wrapped up his slice of cake and slipped out the door to return home,
Where he ate it on the back deck in the falling snow.
Sometimes Sawyer didn’t even make sense to Sawyer.
Andria was experimenting with some magic not directly related to nature. She spent an entire afternoon turning random objects to gold.
Some of the less appropriate ones, she changed back later,
But she left a few as they were. The golden fire hydrant was an answer to the dream Connery never knew he had.
One evening, Andria had plans for Edmund. “You’ve taken the most interest in advanced magic,” she told him. “I wanted to show you more of the fae world.”
“There’s more?” Edmund asked.
“So much more,” Andria told him.
She took him along a path through the wilderness, past Castle Marmalade, and down a steep slope to a secluded beach.
“Where are we?”
“A haven for pureblood fae,” Andria said. “Those of us who never adapted to humans tend to live around here. It’s a powerful place.”
“There are other fae around here?” Edmund said. “I don’t see anyone.”
“The purebloods come out when they feel like it.”
She shifted to her natural form. “Here. I want to teach you something.”
“Wow! What are you doing?”
“Peeking into your future! Now hush.”
“Huh,” said Edmund. “I’ll keep an eye out.”
“Sometimes they’re more useful,” Andria admitted. “Now you try.”
“Sure. You’re more powerful than I am. I know you can do it.”
“OK. Here goes.”
“Whoa,” Andria said. “Set it down.”
“What did I do?” Edmund asked, panicked.
“I just saw something really embarrassing. Let’s try this another time.”
Connery still wandered back and forth across the street between his families.
I was a good life for an old dog.
Connery also loved music. He was delighted by the broken stereo. It was perfect to howl with.
This began a special bond with Winston, who thought Connery’s singing was fabulous.
Now that she was off the book, Victoria was a lot more relaxed.
She almost had her grades back to where they were before she skipped.
Winston was rocking his new high school style.
He was able to advance to private instruction in dance.
When he was home, it was hard to pull Winston out of the kitchen. Now he was tall enough to work with adult-sized appliances, and there was so much to explore.
He already kept the family in fantastic waffles, and his latest experiment with spices in the mac and cheese made a familiar old dish exotic and new.
Andria didn’t seem to mind sharing the kitchen spotlight. She had plenty of advanced baking to focus on.
This time it was for a landmark in Dylan’s life.
Dylan didn’t mind growing old. It had a certain dignity to it. But a family party just didn’t suit his mood. Instead he chose to ring in his Elderhood at a wine tasting at Avalon Nectary. Dylan’s friend Fawn Rockwell, the owner of the nectary, was only too happy to share the space with him. Andria’s friend Manu took time off from the Consignment Shop to join them.
Dylan had no regrets.
As he blew out the candles, he could feel only contentment and pride over the art he had created and the family he’d helped to build.
He was ready to step into the next stage of life.
Andria’s cake was a big hit with the wine and cheese crowd.
Conversation was warm and jolly.
“Don’t think I’m going to put up with excuses about how you’re too old and feeble to do the dishes,” Andria warned.
“I wouldn’t dream of it, my lady,” Dylan assured her.
Afterward, Andria had a nice conversation with Stanley Marmalade’s fiancé Jody, who was launching a new career as a magician.
Then came the moment Dylan had been waiting for.
“I call this Chatau Sample Mead,” Dylan said. “All indications are that it should be the best nectar I have ever produced.
“Here,” said the receptionist, “Let me get a picture before we taste it!”
“I just know it will be amazing!”
“I certainly hope so,” Andria said, trying to keep her voice positive.. Clearly this woman wasn’t familiar with Dylan’s previous nectar.
She took a deep breath and sipped.
At first, she couldn’t speak.
“Tell me what you think,” Dylan said anxiously. “Be honest. I mean really honest. I have to know so that I can improve the recipe.”
“This is amazing!” Andria exclaimed. “And I mean it!”
It was the first truly good bottle of nectar Dylan had never made. And it wasn’t just good, it was like liquid pleasure all the way down.
“You finally got it right,” Andria said.
Dylan smiled. “It’s about time.”
It was a nice treat for Dylan to serve some of his nectar and it NOT cause nauseated moodlets! Woot!
I’m so in love with all of Gen 7! I have loved previous generations of kids, but this batch as a whole is the shining star of the legacy so far. They all look different and interesting, and they all have fascinating personalities. I’d be delighted with any of them as heir. What I’m distraught about is that I don’t have enough household space for everyone to stick around to pursue LTWs. Somebody is going to have to leave shortly after adulthood. This makes me want to cry.
Annnd, Winston’s fourth trait totally rocks my concept for where his character is going. He rolled Natural Born Performer. It meshes perfectly with his personality. But I had intended to let his Natural Cook trait guide his career path and have him open a restaurant. With both Athletic and Natural Born Performer, though, he almost has to be an acrobat.
Sadly, Andria didn’t actually bake the angel food cake. That requires maxxed cooking, and she’s at level 9. It takes a LOT of cooking to get from level 9 to level 10, and despite the screen time it gets in this legacy, it’s not a LTW-grade skill of hers. Edmund got a chance card at The Round Table while he was on his date with Judith. Somebody spilled wine on his shirt, and he got an entire cake as compensation from the embarrassed waitstaff. I decided to use that instead of a birthday cake because, quite frankly, I am sick to death of the same two birthday cakes. I am SO happy Sims 4 make all cakes usable as birthday cakes.
Wow, the pic of Judith talking to Edmund in the kitchen doorway is captivating. I’m not sure I realized until this moment what an attractive sim she is. She’s a service sim — former newspaper girl who I moved into town as the foster daughter of the schoolteacher. I have NRaas set to breed my service and role sims by combining the genes of two randomly-selected sims from either the town or my sim bin; that seemed like the only way to avoid drowning in Face One. Her skintone and eyes tell me that one of her parents was a Marmalade from the Sweetest of Dreams Wishacy. Too bad that challenge seems to have died, and just when Hunter married the patroness and had two adorable toddlers. Ah well.
“Mom, please talk to Dad!” Victoria begged. “I’m really sorry I skipped school, and I’ll never do it again, but he just won’t let me off the hook!”
“Victoria, your father and I agreed on this punishment together,” Andria said. “You destroyed our trust in you, and we need some sign that you learned something.”
“Edmund was ground for like a day, and you helped him convince Dad to let him off the hook,” Victoria said with a scowl. “Why are you treating me so different.”
“Edmund lost track of time at the library,” Andria pointed out. “You skipped school, sneaked away, and scared us all day.”
Just then Edmund walked by to grab a snack.
“You don’t have to rub it in,” Victoria said.
“I didn’t say anything!” Edmund protested.
Victoria stalked off to her bedroom to sulk some more.
“You and Dad really are being kind of rough on Vickie,” Edmund said. “She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body.”
“You’re not an adult yet, kiddo,” Andria retorted. “Don’t push it.”
At the Sawyer Sample house, Sawyer appreciated his newfound silence. It was much easier to keep up with his medical journals.
Gamora had started some kind of correspondence course.
She told Sawyer that it was Advanced Quantum Physics, which she couldn’t get in Elementary School. But she seemed awfully eager to see the modules when they came in the mail. Even a bit…. sinister?
She went in and tucked the lesson module under her bed. The title read Making Mayhem, Advanced Course. Hmmmm.
When he wasn’t dancing, Winston spent a lot of time at Archimedes Books and Scrolls.
It was the best place to sell his cupcakes. He was starting to get a reputation.
Meanwhile, Victoria became a model child.
She cleaned the dishes, even the really gross ones.
She took out the garbage.
She tidied up the yard.
“The house looks great,” Dylan said when he found her outside. “Thanks you for all the cleaning.”
“Don’t you think I’ve been responsible these last few days,” Victoria asked. “Maybe even trustworthy?“
Dylan thought about it. “I don’t think I’d go so far as trustworthy,” he said. “Keep trying.”
“This stinks,” Victoria said under her breath and stormed back into the house.
Brendan Mai followed Gamora home from school one day. She couldn’t stand the kids in her class. They were so, well childish. But she knew she had to at least pretend to be friendly.
She came up with a good use for him: combat practice!
Edmund barely noticed the antics. He was deep in contemplation of winter as a metaphor for the chill of the modern soul.
In addition to being grounded, Victoria’s school-skipping stunt had dumped her grades in the toilet. She’d missed a pop quiz and an in-class essay, and she’d been docked extra points as punishment for truancy. Now her solid B average had turned into a D.
Her life was now going to school, coming home, and homework. She did all the extra credit she could wheedle out of the teachers.
Even without the punishment from her parents, the consequences for skipping school were worse than she had imagined.
The first snow fell, covering yards and sidewalks in a white blanket.
On his way home from school, Edmund got a call he wasn’t expecting.
“Judy? I think you have the wrong number. This is Edmund. I’m not sure Vickie is allowed to take personal phone calls right now, though.”
“Actually,” Judith said awkwardly, “I was calling for you. Would you be interested in maybe going to dinner sometime?”
“Uh, sure! I’d love to!”
Judith suggested The Round Table. She apparently liked very nice restaurants. So did Edmund.
It turned out they had a lot more than that in common. It seemed like their conversation covered the world.
Judith went on a rant about how nasty Edmund’s schoolmates were being toward him.
“They’re just afraid of you!” Judith said. “You and your family have a kind of power that nobody’s seen here in generations. So what do they do? They shut it down! It makes me crazy.”
“Wow. I didn’t realize you felt so strongly,” Edmund said, flustered.
“Sorry,” Judith said, blushing. “I got a little carried away there.”
“Would you like to go to dinner now?”
“I’d be delighted!”
They had a wonderful time. So wonderful that Edmund wondered guiltily… what about Joy?
That evening, Edmund was still feeling anxious. How did he end up with two nice, attractive girls interested in him?
He found himself complaining about all sorts of things as he picked at his dinner. “The problem with people these days is that they don’t clean up after themselves! The world is like a garbage dump.”
“Tell us what you really feel,” Victoria said. “Is there a girl you want to date or something?”
Edmund opened his mouth, let it hang for a moment, and closed it. Victoria could see right through him. But Judith was Victoria’s best friend. The last thing he wanted to do was say anything to his sister.
“Nothing,” he said glumly.
“Get a good night’s rest, and we can clean the house from top to bottom tomorrow,” Dylan said. His eyes were twinkling with anticipation. Suddenly, Edmund didn’t care so much if things were dirty.
Victoria rose with a weary sigh. “Don’t worry. I’ll clean the table.”
Everyone headed upstairs, and she forced herself to fill the dishwasher. Her whole life was work, and it seemed like nothing would get better.
In the morning, while she was getting ready for school, Dylan knocked on her door. “Vickie? Do you have a moment?”
“Hi Dad,” Victoria said. “Come on in. Can I do something for you?” She forced a smile.
“I know you’ve been trying very hard to prove yourself,” Dylan said. “Your mother and I have pushed you further than we intended to.”
Victoria felt tears well up in her eyes. “I know I betrayed your trust!” she said. “I didn’t think anyone would notice if I skipped out just once. Now I don’t know how to make it better!”
“You made a bad decision,” Dylan said. “I hope you understand how bad it was. Missing a day of school doesn’t matter so much in the long run, but it sets a precedent that can reflect on your character for your entire life.”
“I understand, Dad,” Victoria said. “I really do.”
“I believe you,” Dylan said. “You’re off the hook. Your grounding is over.”
Victoria’s eyes widened. “Do you mean it?” she squealed.
“I do,” Dylan said.
“Thank you so much, Daddy!” Victoria cried and threw herself into his arms. “You won’t regret it!”
Wow, the game was HARD on Victoria. Edmund got off the hook the first time he asked, and he didn’t do anything. I had Victoria do all kinds of chores, and still both her parents rejected her pleas to be let off the hook. I was about to give up and direct one of them to forgive her. Then Dylan got up in the morning and went and let her off the hook autonomously. It was so cute.
Judith called and asked Dylan out on a date! Now his romantic life gets complicated.
I have to say that Gamora’s Dislikes Children trait is kind of annoying at this stage. She gets a negative moodlet from being around children, but it doesn’t affect her behavior. She still talks and has fun with children autonomously. Not very well thought-out. I assume she’ll get more child-negative behavior once she stops BEING a child.