Andria had big news to greet Abby and Sawyer on their return from school. They were soon to be an aunt and uncle.
Dylan only recently learned the big news himself.
He was beside himself with joy.
When he wasn’t on photography shoots, you could find Dylan at the library, reading up on what to expect when your wife is expecting.
He did get to be a pretty good hand at massage.
There were more surprises too. While Sawyer and Abby were at school, Andria oversaw the redecoration of the Sample Estate.
Her requirements were simple: No modern technology in the living areas. Nothing more electronic than a table lamp.
All the electronics had been moved to the den. When she thought no one was listening, she referred to it as the “Devil’s Cave.”
Abby and Sawyer took Dylan aside to ask him what the problem was. He only shrugged and said, “Technology makes her uncomfortable.”
Dylan seemed pretty comfortable with limited access to electronics, but then he had never been one to spend too much time with technology.
Everyone was braced for Sawyer to throw an enormous tantrum, but he merely looked around the new living room and said, “I wanted more privacy anyway.”
He moved out of his bedroom and into the unused barn.
Or, better said, *beneath* the barn.
There he built a new lab.
The next day, he started work as a resident at Ygraine Memorial Hospital. Sawyer wasn’t the type to go into private practice. His goal was to get to place where he could focus on the body and not be bothered by the patients.
He immediately got off on the wrong foot with his coworkers.
Fortunately, it didn’t bother him as much as it did when he was younger. Sawyer already had authorship on major groundbreaking research. They could play pranks on him, then go home and weep at how much smarter he was than they were.
Also, these bullies didn’t use their fists.
Abby prepared for some general auditions and puttered nervously around the house. Rebuilding her acting career would take time. She hoped her fresh skills showed.
This gave allowed her to spend time with her mum, who was also hanging around the house, waiting for the launch date of her next space mission.
Sky wasn’t home much. She was more in demand that ever, and she was making a lot of personal appearances.
She saw Leah and her family a lot these days. Plum was even more eccentric these days, and she liked to send Leah Sing-O-Grams in the strangest places.
Leah and Plum even invited Sky, along with Dylan, to their daughter Devon’s birthday party.
Sky and Leah had built a strange relationship, but it worked.
Ghostwriter had made a comeback. Garry was managing their gigs, and their schedule was filled up far in advance.
They might be old, but they hadn’t faded yet.
Then Sky got an amazing phone call from her agent. She was going to be inducted into the Avalon musical hall of fame!
She ran out to the garden, where Xia was playing in the sprinkler.
“I knew you had that kind of talent,” Xia said. “Even when we were kids.”
“But you know this just means more burglars will try to break into our house to get your underwear?”
Meanwhile, Andria and Dylan were having some serious conversations about their child-to-be.
“You know this child will be fae, right?” Andria said.
“I hadn’t thought about it,” Dylan admitted, “but I shouldn’t be surprised. Does that mean he’ll be like you? Able to transform?”
“She might be like me,” Andria said. “Or maybe something else. We have to wait and see. I’m going to use some old tricks my father taught me to ensure this is a good child.”
Dylan gulped. “Old tricks? You mean magic? What do you mean ‘ensure this is a good child’?”
Andria gave him a wry smile. “Trust me. We don’t want a bad fae child.”
She spent a lot of time at the Alchemical Academy after that.
Dylan was in for another surprise.
Finally Gen 7 on its way! Can you believe it? I can because this kid is already a teenager in my game.
These posts aren’t my finest work, but what can you say? We’re moving the story along.
If you notice that Adam isn’t the drummer in that club gig of Ghostwriter, worry not. Adam’s still around. He just didn’t show up, so they invited some other guy to jam with them.
Dylan got more opportunity to connect with family when Aunt Eliana wanted to do a photo shoot of their, um, horse.
Dylan had barely seen Meteor when Hunter adopted him, so he was unprepared for the power of just being in the creature’s presence.
He barely remembered to take any photographs, and most of the ones he took were overexposed. Some creatures are not made to be caught on film.
At home, Riddle fended of yet another intruder.
This was getting to be so routine that nobody even commented as the police took the intruder away.
Dylan did make a connection for more freelance photography work, though.
It turned out that the police department needed someone to work with the news media on crime fighting publicity.
Dylan’s business was becoming more varied and more profitable. He loved his work more every day.
Sky loved her work too, but not every minute of it.
Sometimes she just had to pay her dues.
Sawyer spent all his time at school, doing homework, or at his at-home science station. He never talked to anyone outside of the family as far as any of them could tell.
Worse, Abby caught him covering up bruises when he got dressed. That spoke volumes. He hadn’t complained of being bullied at school in a long time. It just turned out that he’d learned not to talk about it.
“You have got to get out more,” Abby told him in concern.
“There’s nothing interesting to see when I’m ‘out,'” Sawyer retorted.
“Let me show you,” Abby said. She hustled him out to Honeyduke’s to show him some fun.
He wasn’t terribly enthusiastic.
“The trick is to relax,” Abby said. “Get something fun to eat. Play some games! Maybe even talk to someone.”
“I don’t see how you can relax with all these people making noise,” Sawyer said.
After breakfast one morning, Zahra began to feel strangely warm and light.
She’d been around long enough to know exactly what that meant.
I held off posting this because I couldn’t think of any words, so I decided to let the pictures speak for themselves.
I couldn’t really capture this in still shots, but what Zahra was doing with her fingers there was tracing numbers in the air like equations. I’ve never seen any other sim do that when they die. I wonder if it’s a Genius thing.
Rest in peace, Zahra. Better yet, work on that love life of yours.
Stories about the scene Veronica had made at City Hall were all over the papers the next day. Within a week, the science center phones were ringing off the hook. Some people just wanted to learn more about the program, but many had some kind of supernatural event going on in their house.
Business for Veronica was hopping.
Some customers got a lot more demanding. Genvieve Goth was the worst person Veronica had ever worked with. She spent the entire time Veronica was there screeching. “I called you here to do something about this thing! So do it! What are you waiting for!”
“Waiting for you to get out of the way, ma’am,” Veronica said with a smirk.
“I mean, I could have let you step into the beam, but that tends to send your individual atoms on separate vacations.”
Genvieve stopped talking then and went to pour herself a drink.
Her reception at the Ursine-Langerak residence was very different.
Charmaine was out, but Maya was home and watched everything Veronica did with reverent appreciation.
She treated Veronica like some kind of celebrity. “This is more like it,” Veronica said to herself.
“It’s finished!” Veronica announced.
“What’s that?” Charles asked.
“Why, the treehouse! The ultimate in scientific child entertainment.”
Charles looked the monstrosity up and down. “Usually people build treehouses with wood.”
“Wood isn’t very scientific!”
“I guess it’s more scientific if it has a lot of rivets.”
“Maybe we should be the first to play in it.”
The kids would never know.
Charles’s work was also hopping. His skills as a martial artist and as a teacher grew stronger every day.
One afternoon, a familiar face came walking onto the grounds of the dojo.
Charles couldn’t believe his eyes. “Sensei! It’s been a long time!”
“You invited me to visit your dojo a lot time ago,” Zahn Wu admitted, “but it’s a bit of a long trip.”
While Charles and Wu caught up on each other’s lives, Adjo and Toya arrived with baby Karina. “No time like the present to take up Sim Fu!” Toya announced. “Adjo’s going to give me some pointers.”
Charles looked at the new baby and wondered if that was such a great plan, but who was he to judge?
“So what do you think of teaching?” Wu asked.
“I never realized how much I would enjoy it. I learn more about martial arts every day just by helping people understand,” Charles said.
Wu nodded wisely. “Spoken like a true master,” he said.
They were interrupted by the sound of angry shrieking from the dojo. Adjo stalked outside and paced around the front lawn, fuming. “This better be baby hormones,” he growled. “That woman is making me crazy!”
“Uh, yeah,” Charles said. “Sorry about that.” Better to stay far away from Adjo and Toya’s relationship. Nobody understood it. Sometimes he wasn’t even sure they understood it.
“You sound like a true master of Sim Fu,” Wu continued. “I wonder if you fight like one.”
Charles grinned. “Let’s find out.”
Charles couldn’t remember ever being in a sparring match that intense.
They opened with a few attacks and feints to size each other up.
Then Charles threw his very best attack.
And Wu knocked him to the ground with a flick of his hand.
Wu then proceded to pummel him.
He was so fast Charles couldn’t even see the blows coming.
“Wow, sensei, I’m well and truly humbled,” Charles said. “I may talk like a master, but you fight like one.”
“You’re closer than you think. Work on your technique, and we should do this again soon.”
Charles got right to work that night.
The treehouse was a big hit, especially with Hunter.
He would declare it a space station, orbiting an alien world of energy beings, and he’d only let Sky and Forest up if they could tell him the airlock password.
It was the most assertive anyone in the family had ever seen him.
The other two triplets were quick to follow along.
Even Forest, who usually liked to be in control of everything.
“I was wondering,” Hunter said wistfully as he sat with Forest in the treehouse with Forest. “Do you believe in magic?”
“Hmmm,” Forest said with an unnerving gleam in his eye. “Magic.”
Zahra had a brilliant idea for enhancing the mysterious lawn gnome that made it back from Egypt with Charles. Charles didn’t remember picking it up, but it started appearing around the house right after he returned from his last trip there.
After Zahra blasted it with the experiment ray, she discovered the most unpleasant tasted of old fridge in the back of her throat.
The gnome started spending most of its time watching television.
This couldn’t have been what was supposed to happen.
“Let me check my notes,” Zahra said.
Man, Zahra’s experiments NEVER turned out right!
Maya Langerak kind of got hit with the ugly stick. I wish I knew who exactly her parents were.
This is the composite post, combining about three things that would have been their own posts. But since I didn’t have a lot of text in mind, this seems like it worked out pretty well as a montage of Sample life.
Zahra found herself driving Fabian’s old patrol car to work every day. It was familiar, and it reminded her of Fabian. And it moved more slowly than the other vehicles the Samples owned, which suited Zahra just fine. Her reaction time wasn’t what it used to be, not that she’d admit it to anyone.
One afternoon as she was leaving the lab, her phone rang. It was the emergency ringtone that she had set for threats to the city or all of mankind. Mad scientists had to make allowances for those sorts of things.
The voice on the other end of the line was the Leader of the Free World. “Zahra Sample! Thank goodness we reached you!”
“Just a moment,” Zahra said quickly. “Let me put this call on million bit encryption.” She flipped open the hidden compartment on her phone and flipped a switch. It beeped. “All right. Go ahead.”
“We have reason to believe that Sean Flynn, the Emperor of Evil, is building a doomsday device in his lair. He could activate it as early as tomorrow. Help us, Zahra Sample. Simworld has never needed you more.”
“I understand, ma’am,” Zahra said. “I won’t let you down.”
A doomsday device. Of all the bad timing. She was getting too old for this.
She spent the afternoon reminding herself of the most common varieties of doomsday devices and their hidden weaknesses.
She had to face it. Simworld needed her, but she was not as young as she used to be. She would have laughed at facing down the Emperor of Evil in her prime, but at this time in her life, she could be defeated. If she valued her life, she should refuse this assignment, but that would be cold comfort if Mr. Flynn’s dastardly plan succeeded.
After dinner, she sat under the stars and contemplated her options.
Sky broke her out of her reverie. “Would you read me a bedtime story, Grandma?” she asked innocently.
All right then. If this might be her last night on the mortal plane, what better way could she spend it than reading to her only granddaughter?
She let Sky drift to sleep in her bed and gave the little girl a gentle kiss on the cheek. Her family couldn’t know what she was up against tonight, so this would have to be her goodbye.
Now she was ready to face danger and save the world.
Perhaps a police car was not the most stealthy way to approach the hideouts of the Criminal Overlords, but the truth was that disguise offered her little protection where she was going. She preferred to have the comfort of Fabian’s memory.
She drove to the edge of town, as close to Flynn’s hideout as she dared.
She had all her equipment. There was no reason to delay.
One does not simply go into the Criminal Hideaway by the front door. Zahra knew the path to take on foot to the back of the apparently-abandoned warehouse.
The path took her to the back entrance of the Flynn’s lair. She took a moment to compose herself, used her pocket scrambler to break the code on the door, and walked inside.
They say the sounds of the epic battle between good and evil could be heard from Bridgeport to Moonlight Falls.
Unfortunately, Sean Flynn himself escaped to fight another day.
When the doomsday device was destroyed and she had scrambled their ability to build another, Zahra emerged from the lair and dusted herself off.
A new day dawned over the warehouse, a new day that the Simworld might not have seen if not for Zahra Sample’s bravery.
Now it was time to go home and take a nap.
OK, that was the most hilarious opportunity I’ve ever seen. What you see is pretty much exactly how it happened. The game was so lagged at this point that she arrived at the warehouse around 3am, so it was a happy coincidence that Sean Flynn happened to be leaving work at the time. The actual evil madman in the opportunity had a different name. Heh.
Then when Zahra completed it, she got a small amount of money and maybe a little bit of job performance (she was already level 10, but perhaps she could have gotten a raise). I guess saving the world really is a thankless job!
Since I haven’t played the criminal career yet, I’d never actually looked at the criminal hideout rabbithole. I’m glad I looked at it before we left Sunset Valley. I think it’s the most awesome-looking rabbithole in the whole town.
When the news about Fabian reached Ada, Alberto never left her side.
Well, he never left her HOUSE anyway.
Whether this was a comfort to Ada was between her and Alberto, I guess.
(That’s Ada’s bed Alberto is sleeping in.)
Alberto, Charles, and Zahra all suggested to Ada that she postpone the wedding while her grief for her father was still fresh. But she shook her head. “Dead people are parents too,” she explained.
The ceremony was, of course, to be held at the Sunset Institute of Modern Art. “They’re opening a gallery for me,” Ada said in passing.
“They’re what?” Charles asked in astonishment.
“Oh, a gallery dedicated to my work. They’re letting me use the room for the ceremony before it opens.”
She said it as if it were no big deal. Perhaps her muse always knew she would be that successful. Charles rolled through a dozen different responses and just settled with, “Convenient, that.”
He and Sky were among the first to arrive, which wasn’t terribly surprising.
Followed by Jeannette Crumplebottom.
Charmaine Ursine-Langerak and Starr Ursine-Sample Andrews were both on their honeymoons. Charmaine sent affectionate regards. Starr hadn’t said anything. The younger Ursine-Sample kids were there, though.
Toya’s half-sister and foster-daughter (of all the weird combinations) Valerie Ursine.
And Latrice Hodgins, who claimed to be somebody’s date, though she never specified whose.
Shanni and Adjo stood back and watched three generations of Sample clan running about.
“It’s been a wild ride,” Shanni murmured to her twin. “And it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.”
“Tell me about it!” Adjo agreed.
As if to make Adjo’s point, Toya waddled into the art museum.
“This baby’s going to pop out at any minute,” she said at the top of her lungs to be sure everyone could hear. “Can you believe it? At my age!”
Hunter cast about the rapidly-filling gallery. Something was definitely amiss. “Forest, where’s Grandma?”
“Huh?” Forest said. “I saw her before we left home.”
Indeed, Zahra had a flash of inventing inspiration as the family was loading up in the Motive Mobile, and she found herself unexpectedly delayed.
By the time she got herself together, she found that in all the confusion, the rest of the family had left without her.
Back at the art gallery…
All eyes turned to the couple as they walked into the room.
Alberto hadn’t dressed up as much as you might expect, but at least most of his body was covered.
And then there was Ada. The room went silent as her family gaped.
Shanni had spent hours on the look. She called it her masterpiece.
“You have to look just right for that all eyes on you moment!” Ada’s aunt advised, and who would know better than she?
Ada glided into the room as if she were walking on air. She looked down the aisle at her husband-to-be, and something in her face fell.
“I’m so sorry!” she cried to nobody in particular. “I just can’t do it!”
“Ada!” Charles exclaimed. He tried to get across the room and to be close to his sister.
Ada had just lost her father, and she had not yet let herself express her grief. She’d always marched to the beat of a different drummer, to put it mildly. There was no telling what she might do now.
With a wordless snarl, Ada threw up her skirts and disappeared for a moment in a cloud of white satin and lace. The sound of tearing fabric filled the air.
Then the wedding gown hit the far wall with a fluffy thud. The jeweled tiara followed right after.
“Oh!” Ada sighed. “I feel so free.”
She turned to Shanni with a chagrined smile. “I tried. I really did. But it just isn’t me. I can’t start a wedding with a lie.”
She turned to her assembled friends and family. “This is who I am. We — my muse and I — need to do this our way, or not at all.”
She dashed up the aisle to a bewildered-looking Alberto. “Will you still marry me, weird and weirder, till death do we part?”
Alberto laughed. “Are you kidding? If I wanted a normal girl, I wouldn’t be here.” He walked to the wedding arch and waved for her to follow.
“She’s always been like this,” Toya whispered to Jeannette. “I hope it’s not genetic.”
Zahra didn’t feel safe in Veronica’s souped-up sports car, so she found herself driving Fabian’s creaky old patrol jalopy as fast as it would go into Sunset Valley downtown.
Some folks dashed away from the road as she dashed by. She wondered what they had to hide. (That’s good old Arvid Voss there.)
Just as Ada opened her mouth to begin the ceremony, Zahra came crashing into the gallery, yelling, “I made it!”
“Mom!” Ada cried, dashing away from Alberto to give her mother a hug. “What happened?”
“It doesn’t matter,” Zahra panted. “The point is you’re going to get married with your parent here. Don’t let me slow you down.”
Ada giggled. “Here we go!”
And they became Ada Lovelace and Alberto Sample-Royale.
“The house isn’t going to be the same without her in it,” Zahra said wistfully.
“Yeah,” Charles said.
“By the way,” Zahra said to Adjo as they waited in line for cake. “After all these years, you have to know what goes where by now. You’re having another kid to keep Toya out of trouble, aren’t you?”
Shanni chuckled as she walked by, humming, Ask me no questions. I’ll tell you no lies….
Adjo smiled back blandly. “Toya and I love being parents,” he said. “It’s not my fault that my wife loves motherhood more than she loves taking over the world.”
The reception ran late, but reluctantly guests drifted away to go home and sleep it off. A party couldn’t last forever, not even this one.
Soon the art museum was empty and the lights out.
Except for a few people who couldn’t quite let go of the moment.
We’ll miss you, Ada.
So. Many. Pictures! I cannot believe I took so many pictures. I know I go progressively more nuts with each big extended family event, but I just can’t help it.
Up until I decked her out as a bride, I hadn’t realized just how beautiful Ada grew up to be.
Latrice Hodgins got glitched throwing confetti and was still tossing it when the whole household left and the lights went out….
I have to say that sim genetics were not kind to Latrice. I think the new lesson is, “Never make a baby with Xander Clavell.”
To my annoyance, it turns out that sims won’t sit on those sofas during the wedding routine.
I wish the portrait of Alberto had come out better. It would have made the last shot more poignant. Ah, well. Ada couldn’t get married immediately after returning from vacation because she’d wasted so much time getting a good portrait of Veronica (dude — the portrait generator does NOT handle dark skintones well) that she hadn’t quite finished up her writing skill. After Fabian died, Alberto became a “legitimate” member of the household, so I had Ada paint his portrait for the Pinstar point. It’ll only come into play if Ada and Alberto actually have kids, which — to my surprise — they haven’t done as of this writing.
Ada Lovelace Sample left the household with 130,000 lifetime happiness points. She completed the Illustrious Author Lifetime Wish.
It was Fabian’s day off, and he was up early to train at the dojo. He crept out carefully to be sure he didn’t disturb Zahra while she slept. Mad Science was taking more out of her these days, and she needed her beauty rest.
Fabian was going to test for his red belt, and he wanted Charles to be wowwed by his moves. He threw his all at the training dummy. But all of a sudden, something felt wrong.
Lisette Williams wouldn’t take her eyes off him. He wanted to believe that he was a hot stud muffing all sweaty and working out, but he was too old and wise for that fantasy. “What are you looking at?” he demanded. But the words came out strange and hollow….
Then he realized what was wrong.
The air grew cold, and he felt icy breath on the back of his head. He turned around to face the Grim Reaper.
Well, that kind of wrecked the mood. Fabian looked the dread apparition up and down. “Aren’t you a little young for a soul collector?”
“Hey,” the Reaper growled. His voice was the sound of breaking glass. “We have to start someplace.”
This was it. Fabian thought of Zahra. He’d left her sleeping sweetly in their bed. And Ada. She was getting married tomorrow, and it had never occurred to him that he wouldn’t be there to give her away. This was so sudden. It wasn’t fair. A moment ago, he felt more alive than ever in his life. And now it was over?
“Please!” he cried, falling to his knees. “Please let me have just a little more time! I want to be a better a better father and husband! You didn’t give me time to make my mistakes up to Zahra!”
The Reaper tapped his foot impatiently. He was probably rolling his invisible eyes. “If you haven’t made good on your life by now, it’s too late to start,” the Reaper said. “You done now? I have a schedule to keep.”
Thus Fabian Branch Sample was called to the Netherworld.
Zahra felt it immediately. Mad Science had raised her awareness of the invisible forces that surround us. Something cried out in the fabric of the universe and was suddenly silent.
The roaring emptiness nearly knocked her out of her chair.
“Your step-grandfather is gone,” Zahra told the triplets. He chest was so tight and aching that she could barely get the words out.
Charles also felt it. This was the first person close to him who had died since Granddad Lance when he was a teenager. This was different. He felt it like a like a burning flash across his connection to the Netherworld.
And how did he feel? Fabian hadn’t been a perfect father-figure, but he was the only father figure Charles could remember. The void he left in Charles’s life was large and aching.
The time that followed was rough. Fabian hadn’t been a perfect man, but he’d been enough. He’d touched the lives of his family.
Zahra pulled weeds until her hands were sore.
Charles tried to fill Fabian’s shoes. He was clumsy at best.
(Dude. Your spoon is *upside down*.)
After a while, the ache became a little less. Fabian had led a good life. He’d reached his career ambition. He’d managed not to destroy his marriage. He had a beautiful and talented daughter. He’d done all right with his life, really.
The Samples started letting themselves have a bit more fun again.
So long, Fabian. You have a complicated afterlife ahead of you.
[Missing picture of Cycl0n3 and Fabian’s gravestones, with a space between them for Zahra’s.]
OK, what’s with Grim going around town dressed up to graduate from high school???
Blast it, Fabian had just gotten a new belt. I was going to cancel his training so that he would show it off and pose for a picture. Then I played some of the rest of the household, and looked up to see his thumbnail had disappeared from the display. I’d’ve liked to get him with a belt other than white. Sim Fu really was his passion there at the end. His queue was filled with wishes to train and exercise.
It’s amusing how everyone in the household starts grieving instantly, no matter where they are.
Fabian died at the age of 93 with 160 happiness point.
Hunter liked food. Since his folks wouldn’t let him use the stove, he persuaded them to buy him an Easy Bake oven for his creations.
“You should try this one,” he told Forest in between bites of muffin. “I remembered the sugar this time, and it’s a lot less crunchy.”
“Um, thanks,” Forest said. “I think I’m going to have a can of soup.”
“I’ve been planning on what to do with my math homework,” Forest said while he slurped. “I tested out of arithmetic, but now I’m stuck in algebra, and they told me that nobody does Calculus until high school at least. So I was going to tell my teacher –“
He stood up suddenly, looking surprised. “I was supposed to do something wasn’t I?”
“Wow. I was thinking so hard that I didn’t even notice I had to go! I’ll make a note to check before dinner.”
“Yeah,” Hunter said, looking from the puddle to Forest’s bemused face and back again. “You do that. Go pee before dinner.”
Forest gave his brother a hard stare across the table. “This never happened. I mean it.”
Hunter shrank. “Right. Don’t know what you’re talking about. Why don’t I go run you a bath?”
But no sooner had Hunter turned on the bath water than the hot water knob came off in his hand. The fountaining leak got all over everything.
“This always happens,” Hunter said forlornly.
“Let your mom fix the tub when she gets home,” Zahra said. “I used to do that sort of thing, but now she’s the up and coming technician in this house. Why don’t you pick out a story, and I’ll read it to you.”
Hunter picked out the one about the dryad defending her forest from the builder who wanted to cut it down. It was his favorite story, and he never tired of listening to it. Listening was easier than reading it himself. He still had trouble with some of the words.
Veronica came home to find her quietest child curled around her pillow, smiling at some happy dream. She sighed. “Zahra could have used her own bed.”
Sky woke up in the middle of the night. “Daddy? Why are you sleeping in Hunter’s bed? Where’s Mom?”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Charles whispered back.
Stop the presses, Sara! I got February into the game. It turned out the alternate installer was throwing errors, but it was actually working after all. I even got February’s custom hair. So if you haven’t wasted a bunch of time making a new version for me, forget about it. If you have, well, sorry about that :-p
This is a bit disjoint. I’m trying to assemble some episodes from the pics I took of the kids. Some later events resolve themselves better.
It turns out that Sky is underrepresented in childhood. I think that’s going to remedy itself during teenagerhood, since she’s a Virtuoso who is *not allowed to play any instruments* while a child. Ugh. These people have clearly never heard of the Suzuki Method. Or, really, actually looked at a school music program. I started at age 11 with the viola, and that was kind of late.
Sigh. More peeing. There was a lot of peeing in the first few days of the triplets’ childhood. Yes, Forest is Absent Minded, and Hunter is Clumsy :).
Sim Fu brought Fabian something he’d never really had — peace of mind. It became a ritual; he’d meet Charles most evenings after work to work the kinks out of his body and mind.
Fabian had never been a man who saw a lot of point to the physical. The power of the human brain was astounding. Add to that the collection knowledge mankind had built up over the millennia of recorded history, and there was nothing you couldn’t do. He could sit at his computer and participate in the econopolitical upheaval in China. By comparison, pushing things around with your fists seemed sort of primitive — a throwback to our Neatherthal ancestors. Surely we’d moved past that sort of thing.
It turned out that Fabian had vastly underestimated the power of the primitive, especially inside himself. He had never felt so empowered, and by contrast, so at peace with himself.
And it didn’t hurt that he’d gotten pretty good at visualizing Malcolm Landgraab’s face on the training dummy.
Fabian stopped obsession over his promotion at work. The physical release actually helped his focus. He became a master at blocking out distractions, eliminating past and future, and letting the present become all that matters. When his resentment was nicely sealed in a box, 3D Crime Scene Modeling was pretty amazing work.
And, hell, if Malcolm wasn’t going to promote him anyway, there was no point in trying to court his favor. He stopped showering Landgraab with compliments and became his most outspoken critic in the department. After a while, he could see his boss stiffen as soon as he walked into a room, and it was perversely satisfying. Fabian was at the end of his career. What could Landgraab do to him? If he fought back, Fabian would just retire.
Then one day, the list of promotions went up in the break room, and Fabian’s name was on it.
He was a Dynamic DNA Profiler, the pinnacle of the forensics profession. By giving up his dreams, somehow he’d achieved them.
Fabian walked past Landgraab’s office as he walked out of the precinct, and his boss looked up to give him a silent, squint-eyed look. Fabian had no idea what it meant. It didn’t seem like a look of respect, but perhaps it was a sort of acknowledgement of a worthy opponent. Fabian could live with that.
That night was a night of celebration. Fabian took the whole family out for a fancy dinner on him. He drank a toast to Charles Sample, “The best sensei a geeky old wimp could find.”
Then he lured Zahra into their bedroom for some time alone.
“I want to apologize,” he said as he pulled her close.
Zahra raised her eyebrows. “Apologize?”
“I didn’t turn out to be the kind of husband I always thought I would be.”
Zahra thought about this. “That’s true,” she said. “Sometimes you’ve been kind of jerk.”
Fabian cringed. “I was kind of hoping you wouldn’t be so eager to agree.”
“What do you want me to say?” Zahra said. “I could point out that I’m not the easiest wife in the world. That’s true. But I never cheated on you. And I know about the ass you made of yourself to Michelle Yo at Willem’s birthday party.”
Fabian flushed a deep red. “How did you find out about that?” Charles had promised to never tell!
Zahra looked at him over her glasses. “Half my department was at that party, Fabian. They told me at the watercooler the very next day.”
“Oh,” Fabian said. He sighed. “I thought that if I won your heart, I’d never look at another woman. But the truth is I’ve never stopped looking. Being faithful has never come naturally, even after all these years. I hope that doesn’t make you want to leave me now.”
Zahra shook her head. “That’s not news, but thank you for telling me anyway.”
“You told me once that you were staying with me for Ada. I don’t think she needs me here anymore. I, uh, understand if you want me to leave.”
Zahra smiled a complex smile. “Thank you, but I never needed your permission. If I wanted you to leave, you’d already be gone.”
“Congratulations on your promotion,” she said. “I never thought I’d ever say this, but I think it’s time to stop talking.”
And so they did.
In the end, I just had to do it the hard way. I just had to get Fabian to his LTW the hard way — keep his mood high and make him Work Hard every day. So the story is sort of correct. He had to work off his stress moodlet after work, and he pretty much couldn’t do anything else other than work and soothe.
I was starting to worry that he wouldn’t live long enough, but he finally made it.
And in other news, Avalon is back on! Simsample ended up fixing it for me and giving me the files. It looks like there may be something weird with my system. I’m still experimenting. I’ll be pretty grumpy if it turns out I can’t use Create-A-World, but for now I have my Avalon, and I’ll probably move the families in tonight!
The triplets were growing like weeds. Every time Veronica and Charles turned around, they seemed to have learned a word or a new skill.
Three toddlers were a lot of work, and that means a LOT of work. There was barely time for anyone to follow their personal lives. Zahra and Charles’s beloved garden became overgrown with weeds. Charles cancelled his classes at the dojo as often as he taught them.
Fabian at least made it his personal mission to make sure everyone was fed.
He spent most of his spare time cooking. It was nice to at least not have to worry about food.
Especially since Fabian had the least patience of the family. And with the way things were going at work, he didn’t always treat the adventures of parenthood with good grace.
Then every once in a while, in the middle of all the hard work and exhaustion, there was a golden moment where everything was quiet…
but those moments seldom lasted long enough for anyone to do anything about them.
There were new ideas to teach the children.
And new physical skills too.
And then there was potty training.
And potty training.
And did we mention potty training?
The lifestyle was hardest on Veronica. She often came home from a long shift gathering ghost specimens to jump right into child care. She subsisted on catnaps and stubbornness.
Charles would ask her over and over again if she needed a break. She’d smile and say, “Of course not! I’m fine!” And then in a heartbeat she’d become a raving, sobbing lunatic. During those times, Charles banished her to her room to get some sleep.
But all the hard work, long nights, and lost sleep were paying off. Day by day, the triplets were becoming their own people.
Hunter’s first word was, “Pretty.”
Forest’s was, “Color,” but he seemed to mean more by it, like he wanted to color the world to his liking.
Sky’s was, simply, “Art!”
There were lots of fun times too. There’s nothing that warms your heart like a happy toddler.
And those unexpected moments of silliness.
One day, Charles realized how independent they were becoming. The workload was lifting. They were getting some of their own back.
Charles began to walk with a spring in his step. This parenthood thing was hard, but he was schooled in the arts of zen and endurance. He would win, and it would be worth it.
That’s when Fabian got the call. “Shanni? Is that you? I can barely hear you. Are you crying?”
Shanni was at Sacred Speen Memorial Hospital. Agnes was rushed there in the night, but it was too late. She had passed on.
Sorry to end on such a downer, but it had to happen sometime :(. I actually saw Agnes’s age on a Twallan menu, and she was 92.
I have a great picture of Fabian throwing a temper tantrum over being awakened by screaming kids, but I can’t find it. Not like it vanished, just that I didn’t get it into the right folder and haven’t been able to find it again in the mountains of pictures that I take. I may try once more tonight if I have some time :). EDIT: Found it!
I’ve really been blocking on this post too because I just dumped all the cute toddler pics into a big pile, but I couldn’t think of anything to say about them. So here were are — the toddler skilling redux. Dang, five adults pretty much did nothing but work, sleep, and skill toddlers, and Hunter still finishing potty training on the morning of his birthday!
Avalon Update: I am VERY close to moving the family over in current gameplay. I’ve downloaded all the families except the ones you let me know about in the last week-ish. Once I finish up playing in Sunset Valley, I’ll download the last, drop in the other sims I’m downloading and adding to round out the population, and to the final tweaks to the world. Then we cross our fingers and go.
I am about a bajillion posts behind, so the plan is that I’ll get my posting up to current while I’m finishing getting the world in order.
Yes to Simmentary, I love doing the town updates, and I hope they’re something fun and distinctive about this legacy. I definitely plan to do updates on the cross-pollination families. I think I will do a post with a quick introduction to the families so that you guys can follow along.