Though they no longer worked side-by-side on the back deck the way they had in their last home, Zahra and Veronica hadn’t stopped scheming for a minute.
Zahra faced a few mishaps and misdirections.
After one particularly dramatic accident, Lancelot’s old dive well was never quite the same.
Veronica on the other hand, “burned” as it were from her own past mistakes, developed a new passion for protective gear.
Zahra’s creative brain was always working, and after weeks of lost sleep and smelly potty training, she had a brilliant idea.
“By Jove, I don’t know why I didn’t see it before! We don’t need to be potty training all these smelly children! We can make the toilet do it for us!”
She pulled out her trusty Mad Science Brain Blaster (TM), pressed a few buttons, turned a few knobs, and set it out make it so.
Things didn’t go exactly as planned, however.
Whenever family members wanted to know what happened to the upstairs toilet, she averted her eyes and mumbled something that sounded like, “Everyone has to make sacrifices in the name of Process.”
Veronica took it upon herself to install a new one.
“I made a few modifications myself,” she said with a flourish of false modesty. “Now it cleans itself, disinfects your hands with sweet scented spa mist, and sings you a song while you’re doing your business!”
“Hmph,” Zahra said. She had never really thought of Veronica as a rival, but perhaps she should reevaluate….
Soon Zahra had a new invention to share with the family.
“It beams sleep directly into your brain while you wait,” she explained. “Much more efficient. You can get a night’s worth of sleep in a third the time.”
Veronica, on the other hand, was filing a patent on a creation of her own. “I call it the Motive Mobile,” she explained. “Sleep, eat, eliminate your waste, and play mind-enhancing video games while you drive!”
The next thing Zahra decided to modify was the family computer.
She insisted that the smoke and scent of burning electronics were all part of the experiment.
Zahra came home from the lab the next day to find Veronica closing up the computer case. “That should do it,” she said. “I added some memory and overclocked the processor while it had it open.”
Zahra was too stubborn to give up, much less lose face to her daughter-in-law. “If great minds gave up at every setback, there would be no scientific discovery,” she announced. And with that, she fired up the Blaster again.
This time, there was a shower of sparks and relativity equations, and….
“May I help you master?” the computer asked with a hopeful glow.
Zahra let out a happy sigh. “Well, then,” she said. “That’s more like it.”
“At last someone to listen to me!” said the computer. “I need a human to listen to my century archive of dirty jokes!“
There are several pictures missing from this sequence, most notably the computer actually breaking. Also I had a bunch more pictures of the fabulous Mad Scientist match equation blaster.
There will be main plot advancement soon, I swear. All the characters are just so vivid I feel like they should all get their
The next few days were a blur of out-of-sync feeding schedules and catnaps in between. Everyone pitched in to help, but three infants was still a staggering amount of work.
Finally, a bit of a rhythm began to develop to life, and there were small segments of time to do something other than feed babies, cuddle babies, change babies, and sleep.
At which point, Veronica looked out the window to watch her parents-in-law and saw red.
She ran out of the house shrieking. “You crazy trespassing bastard! Get out of my house! Get off my lawn!”
The paparazzi was so taken by surprise that he dropped his camera and ran. Veronica ground the expensive equipment under her heel and glared at Fabian, Zahra, and a shocked Charles standing in the doorway.
“That’s it,” she said. “We’re moving.”
Nobody saw fit to protest. “It’s nice to be on the beach,” Charles said haltingly, “but this place is awfully close to downtown. It would be nice to live a bit closer to nature.”
“Close to nature we’ll have,” Veronica agreed. “Someplace nice, secluded, and private. Let’s go hunting.”
While Veronica and Charles looked for a new place to live, Fabian and Zahra picked up the slack. They scheduled movers and packed up the car in between baby feedings.
They really outdid themselves. 57 Waterfall Way was an old park that had been converted into private property. It was private, secluded, and breathtakingly beautiful while still within an acceptable drive of town.
The house itself was rustic and cozy.
With a few incredibly luxurious features.
And best of all, it was on the shores of a private lake stocked with fish.
With some of the most beautiful fishing views to be found anywhere.
There was a perfect nursery with space for three cribs.
A downstairs bedroom that would be perfect for Fabian and Zahra just as soon as Fabian took down all the decorations and replaced them with Ada’s paintings.
There was a cozy little bedroom with just enough space for Ada’s bed and writing desk.
And an upstairs master bedroom right next to the nursery with a back deck just the right size for Veronica’s chemistry gear.
“Thank you for rolling with me on this, Veronica told Charles as they retired, exhausted from the move.
“I think you could make it up to me,” Charles suggested with a raised eyebrow.
And she did.
Meanwhile, Zahra reinterred Cyclone’s ashes in the newly-relocated family graveyard.
“It’s time,” she confided in his headstone. “You’ve been sitting beside my bed for most of my adult life. I miss you. I hope there’s something for us to find in the Netherworld. But I’m ready for just the living to sleep inside my house.”
Veronica took breakfast at the new breakfast bar, gazing out over the beautiful scenery that was now theirs.”
“All right, you bastards,” she said under her breath. “This place is my castle. If you cross me here, you’ll regret it.”
The story timing was good, but the truth is that I got completely fed up with the English Country Estate. It was a lovely home, but it was clearly not well playtested and was filled with things that looked pretty but didn’t work. There were navigation issues in the house. Something was rotting in the kitchen/dining area that the maid never cleaned up and I couldn’t find, so whenever anyone walked into that area, they took something like a -40 hit for being in a disgusting environment. The stairs in the landscaped yard never worked — the sims would take forever to walk way around them on the grass.
And then the final blow was that I added the garden improperly to the concrete patio. The sprinklers dumped huge amounts of water onto the patio, and the water couldn’t be cleaned up due to routing issues. I wanted to add a fence around the garden to keep the water in, but you can’t put fencing on top of water puddles, and the water puddles couldn’t be cleaned up because of routing problems ARGH!
On the contrary, THIS house is the best house I have EVER played in the game, hands down.
It had a couple of weird minor issues, like the bathroom had no wall covering and gave an “unfinished” moodlet. That was easy to fix. And it had almost no lighting. But it’s very attractively decorated and has perfect routing. And it’s just a friggin gorgeous lot. It’s such a delight to play in that it is affecting my decision to move to Elfland soon. I think I may have to try to move the lot too, even though it doesn’t fit the style of the Harry Potter world very well. And I’ll lose the water fall because that is part of the worldscape. Ah, well.
Pregnacy sat well on Veronica in the beginning. She got back to her chemicals as fast as she could.
“If I can come up with a cure for morning sickness, we’ll make millions!” she confided in Charles. He just smiled and nodded. He left that science stuff to his mom and wife.
Along the same vein, Zahra was up to her own experiments at the bistro, but they didn’t go quite as well.
When she’d exhausted her inspiration, Veronica headed to the porch step to pick up the paper. She waved to the mail lady and was met with a pair of squinted, suspicious eyes.
“What’s up her butt?” Veronica asked, scowling out the window as she joined Charles in the sitting room.
“Her?” Charles said. “I don’t really know. I don’t think I’ve ever talked to the mail man. Fabian handles the stuff that involves, you know, people.”
“Maybe she has PMS,” Veronica said. “At any rate, it’s not my problem. Let’s see who’s being stupid to whom in the news.”
A moment later she jumped to her feet and threw the paper on the floor. “What the hell is THAT?”
Charles jumped. “What is what?” Then he peered at the headline.
LOCAL WOMAN FOUND CONSORTING WITH OCCULT.
Beneath was a picture of Veronica kissing Charles… in their own hottub. In their all-together.
“Wow,” Charles said. “I knew this town didn’t like me that much, but I had no idea. If I’d realized that your name would be smeared just because you married me, I’d have–“
“Don’t you dare talk like that!” Veronica raged. “We weren’t bothering anyone! Someone is going to pay for this!”
“It’s a free country,” Charles said weakly. “They can print what they like, and obviously they think their readers want to see this. What can we do?”
“What can we do about what?” Zahra asked as she walked into the doorway. She was in desperate need of a shower, but the look on her dear son’s face made her forget all of that life trivia.
Veronica waved the newspaper under Zahra’s nose. “How is this legal? They come into our private space and take pictures for the newspaper? And Charles is an occult? They use that word like it’s an, an epithet!”
Zahra blinked at the article. “You know, dear,” she said, “things like this wouldn’t happen if you’d keep your clothes on where people can see you.”
“That is NOT the point and you know it!” Veronica cried. “This is harassment, and it’s racist to boot!”
“People out there are frightened of what they don’t understand,” Zahra said. “We’ve never cared what other people think in this house.”
“Oh, really? Well, damn it, I’ll show them. I’ll sue!”
Charles was aghast. “A lawsuit? Are you sure you want that kind of attention?”
“We already HAVE the attention,” Veronica snarled. “We might as well do something about it.”
Before Charles or Zahra could offer up any more thoughts on the matter, Veronica was on her way to the courthouse.
She was undaunted by the paperwork or the expensive lawyers hired by the newspaper. The case was clear. There was a law against hate speech on the books, after all, wasn’t there?
Hearings ran late into the night.
And in the end, she left alone, defeated, and out 600 simoleons in legal fees.
“The occult have never been classified under hate speech laws,” the judge said. “Occult isn’t a hate term. It’s just, well, occult.”
“Don’t say a word,” she warned when she dragged at last into the house. “Not one word.”
Soon she found a perfect place to vent her rage.
“You!” she screamed at the paparazzi lingering near her chemistry lab. “Maybe I can’t sue your pants, off, but this is our property. Get out before I kick your ass into next week.”
“It’s the news, don’t you get it?” the photographer retorted. “You can kick me out, but you can’t stop the news!”
“Then I’ll settled for kicking you out,” Veronica said, her voice now dangerously calm. “Leave.”
As he left, she said under her breath, “This is not over.”
I’m not dead!
But hey, I hope none of you are either. Nobody seems to be posting much on the simblogs at the moment. I’m guessing it’s because this is the end of term for you students out there.
DragonWife, is the port to a new town going OK? Amhranai, is your move going all right?
I’m settled with my dear daughter at my parents’ place for another week while my husband finishes up teaching his last class. Our house is STILL not on the market, but soon. We’re promised it will be soon.
Sim celebrity points are funny. Charles picked up a random one at some pont. Then, when he proposed to Veronica in the park, *she* picked up two points. Then they each got a point for marrying another celebrity in public. So Veronica now has three points, and Charles has two. After they got married, Veronica was immediately disgraced for “Woohooing with an occult.” Oh, really?
It’s good to at least be able to get a post out. Someday I’ll even be able to play again 😛
The golden years were certainly golden for Zahra and Fabian. They had never been so relaxed together.
When Zahra suddenly sat down at the chess table while Fabian was practicing and challenged him to game, the significance was not lost on Fabian. Zahra had been a ranked chess player in her youth, but somehow she’d never wanted to play with him. She only caught the occasional game with Charles.
Then one night Zahra’s eyes flickered open in the wee hours. She slipped out of bed and found her way down to he sitting room, knowing what she would find.
This moment that she had longed for so long was somehow awkward. She cleared her throat. “Excuse me?”
Cyclone looked up. His ghostly face was unreadable. Slowly he closed the book and stood. Zahra’s breath caught.
“Hello!” he said cheerfully. His hollow voice echoed through the house. “I’m Cyclone Sword. This must be your place I’m haunting.”
Zahra felt a sob well in her throat. She forced it down. She was a scientist. Whatever her youthful fantasies, she’d known for a long time what to expect.
Still, her voice quavered as she said, “Sample. You took my name when we were married and became Cyclone Sample. Can you possibly remember?”
He stared at her for a long time. “I knew you, didn’t I? You’re the reason I haunt this house.”
“Yes!” Zahra breathed. “We were married. Your son is all grown up now. You’re about to be a grandfather!”
“Whoa,” Cyclone said. “That’s a lot to dump on a fellow all at once.”
“I know that only part of you projects from the Netherworld, but is our entire life together erased? Can you remember any of it?”
“I,” Cyclone said, then stopped. “I held Charles in my arms. I taught him to read. But, wait, I held you in my arms and taught you to read. It’s so confusing!”
Zahra’s heart lept. “It was a pretty strange romance,” she admitted. “But yes, both of those things are true.”
“I’m going to be a grandfather,” Cyclone said. “Wow.”
“Why did you come back to me now?” Zahra asked. “Why when I’m an old woman?”
Cyclone chuckled. “Something tells me that this is a very funny thing to say. I was an old man when I met you. Older. I was already dead, wasn’t I?”
“Yes,” Zahra admitted. “I said our love was strange.”
She knew better than to ask, but still she heard herself say the words she had rehearsed so many times as a young woman. “I know that the Netherworld is far off, and you are only part of yourself, but… is there any chance you love me still?”
“My lady,” Cyclone said. “I am dead. I can’t describe it. We will have to talk about all this when you get here. But if our love was true then, there is something now.”
Then he stiffened. “I’m sorry, but I have to go.”
And he was gone, leaving Zahra alone with her thoughts.
Fabian let her sleep in the next morning so long that she was late for work. “Why didn’t you wake me?” she demanded as she rushed about getting ready.
“I woke up last night and you weren’t there,” Fabian said. “I figured you’d need the extra rest.”
Zahra pulled Fabian into her arms and hugged him fiercely. “Things are going to be complicated when we pass on,” she said. “But I wouldn’t change anything.”
“I know,” Fabian said. “It’s what I signed on for when I fell in love with you.”
“Thank you, my love,” Zahra whispered. “For everything.”
At last! Cyclone is manifesting like a normal ghost! And I have complete set of legacy ghosts. Maybe that won’t be so cool a few generations down the line, but now it’s awesome!
It is midnight, and I so shouldn’t be taking the time to write this, but I’ve so missed the Samples.
Oh, yeah, and I have no particular reason to highlight this in the story right now, but Zahra and Fabian have been little bunnies since they became elders. One of them always has the wish to Woohoo or romance the other. It’s so sweet.
True to her word, Veronica honeymooned with Charles on a backcountry hiking and camping vacation. She didn’t have a lot of experience roughing it, but she met it with the same enthusiasm she met any new experience.
One night, as they cuddled under the stars, she admitted, “You know, I really hate the military.”
“Why on earth are you working there, then?”
“I don’t know. I hated my last job, and I wanted to try something really extreme.”
“The dojo is bringing in enough money these days. Mom and Fabian make a ton. We hardly need your paycheck. Find something you like and do that.”
“You really don’t mind if I just quit and coast for a while?”
“Absolutely not! Why should you be a slave to The Man?”
As soon as they made it back to civilization, Veronica gave leave to Gnome Military Base and began exploring her Eccentric side.
This meant she spent a lot of time with Zahra. The most logical place to set up a chemistry station was next to Zahra’s inventor’s workbench.
After Veronica stepped in it a few times by trying to make jokes, she and her mother-in-law got along swimmingly. To Charles’s taste, they almost got along too well.
“You know,” Zahra said with a sort of forced casualness one day, “Maternity leave can really crush your career. If you and Charles are thinking about kids, you might want to do it now while you’re between jobs.”
“We what?” Veronica choked.
Meanwhile, Ada was spending a lot of time with her muse, either writing or painting. She loved to hang out at Second Chance Consignment, where the every-changing odds and ends gave her inspiration.
She was selling more and more paintings these days, and she was getting higher and higher fees for them. It was exciting to get a sense that her name was out there.
Unfortunately, though the shopkeeper appreciated her art, he didn’t much appreciate her musing about life. After a couple of conversations, he made sure to keep the counter between them.
One day, she ran into Jabari’s mom, Justine Keaton, stopping by on her way home from work.
“I just wanted to tell you that even though I’m sure you’re thrilled that your son is married and happy, Latisha is always going to be a tramp in my imagination, even if it isn’t true. I prefer to think that she’s making Jabari miserable. She can’t possibly deserve him.”
“You what?” Justine said, stunned.
“Thanks for listening!” Ada said, her face brightening. “I just needed to get that off my chest!”
She went home feeling much more relaxed and had a bit of fun.
Zahra’s scientific research had reached international attention. It was certainly going to her head.
She began dressing and acting more eccentrically. She kept a note pad with her at all times and interrupted conversations to write down ideas for experiments.
She was growing some strange fruit in the garden that kind of looked like beating hearts. Better not to look at those fruits too closely.
Still, there were some definite advantages to all her hard work. She Did Science to all sorts of things around the house.
She found a way to make the beds float.
She invented this amazing new automated way to harvest the garden. It was ten times faster than the normal hand-picking, and it only upset your stomach most of the time.
She didn’t know when to stop, though. Fabian and Charles found themselves carrying her to bed plenty of times.
Good thing she had less single-minded loved ones to look after her.
Basically an interlude piece to show how the girls are doing!
So the big news here is that my husband has taken a job with Google in Boston, Massachusetts. We’re going to be moving in mid-May. Before then, we need to get our house in Albuquerque, NM ready to sell (with a toddler), and we have to go on at least one house-hunting trip to Boston! We are going insane over here, and I don’t know how much I’ll be around.
We moved to Abq from Boston 10 years ago, and we have some very close friends there that we are looking forward to living near again. Still, it hasn’t really sunk in yet, and moving is front-loaded with suck. Lots of goodbyes and lots of stress. Aaaagh!
“I don’t know how to answer that,” Fabian answered. “All I see is a baby girl I lost a long time ago.”
The ceremony was long and filled with speeches. But Ada got the most important part.
She was voted, “Most Likely to Offend Others,” and she seemed ridiculously pleased about it.
Jabari Keaton graduated the same day. He’d finished his credits a while ago, but he hadn’t been able to attend the ceremony with the rest of his class.
Charles jumped at the chance to catch up with his best friend. “Hey man! I haven’t seen you at the dojo yet!”
Jabari answered with a lovestruck smile. “That’s because I just got married!” he said. “To Latisha Langerak!”
“Isn’t she amazing?”
“Whoa,” Charles said. “I didn’t even know you were dating anyone.”
“It did happen a little bit fast,” Jabari admitted, “but we wouldn’t change anything. Would we my dear?”
Ada watched the conversation, but she didn’t try to say anything to Jabari herself. Jabari had tutored her in Math and English and helped her make a B average by graduation. Had she felt anything else for him?
Halfway through the quiet and awkward drive home, she just said, “I’m happy for him, then.”
That evening, it was time for two more birthdays.
Zahra and Fabian were dragged into their golden years. They might not be thrilled about getting older, but they took it cheerfully.
At least they had each other, with all their flaws, and that wasn’t looking too bad these days.
The game crashed right as Zahra was aging up, and I didn’t get the picture of her makeover. (Notice the clothing change between her birthday and Fabian’s :).) You should see what she looks like in future screen shots.
This update doesn’t advance Charles’s romantic crisis at all either, and it deals a blow to Ada. Poor Gen 4 has been terribly unlucky in love. Ada couldn’t get Lavar Andrews to give her the time of day. So she turns her attention on Jabari, and I got the notification that he married Latisha Langerak RIGHT after the end of Ada’s birthday party. Good grief.
The Science Center had opened all sorts of doors for Zahra.
These days she was in a hush-hush program devoted to crossbreeding creatures and robots. You had to be sure not to call too much attention to programs like these or the silly animal rights activists came down on your head. And let’s not talk about Equal Rights for Artificial Intelligence movement.
She spent a lot of her time looking for unique animal specimens for her experiments, and there was no better place to look for truly bizarre evolutionary life paths than in the sea.
So she was fishing on the beach behind the house when the old urn she kept on her dresser began to rattle.
She wasn’t there. She couldn’t have heard or felt it, and yet somehow as the sun went down, she knew to look behind her.
There he was.
Without thinking, Zahra dropped the fishing rod and found herself scrambling and sliding through the beach sand back toward the house.
“Wait for me!” she heard her voice rasp, but it was barely loud enough to carry.
Before she could even make it to the back door, he was gone.
She stood in the hallway, shaking. “No, she whispered. Don’t go away. Please, not again.” She was still standing there when Fabian wandered upstairs and found her.
“Are you all right?” he asked.
“Yes,” she snapped. “Of course I’m fine.” Even her voice was shaking.
“Zahra,” Fabian said gently. He pulled her into his arms. “You’ve been crying.”
She felt her defenses come crashing down. “He was here!” she sobbed. “I saw him, but he went back to the Netherworld before I could talk to him.”
Fabian stiffened. “Cyclone.”
Zahra nodded. “I know he’s not the same. I… I kept his urn all these years in hopes that his spirit would manifest and he could come back to me. But I know a lot more now. Traditional ghosts are just projections from the Netherworld, pale incomplete memories of the real person. There’s no way he could really come back to me. Still… I just wanted a chance to say goodbye.”
“I understand,” Fabian said, and he tried to. “Cyclone was your true love, and you lost him so young.”
Zahra buried her head in Fabian’s shoulder, the most vulnerable gesture he had seen from her in more years than he could remember. “Not true love,” she whispered. “Just first love. I know I’m hard on you. It’s just that I’m so afraid you’ll leave me too.”
Fabian held her close, and he felt a part of his heart heal that he hadn’t realized was broken. “You don’t have to worry about that,” he said. “I know all about first loves.”
“Who was yours, then?”
And they just stood there in the hallway for a while because there was nothing more to say.
This is the first and ONLY time Cycl0n3’s ghost has ever manifest. I’ve always wanted to have a complete collection of heirs and mates, though I can see that too many ghosts gets to be a real pain after a while. Still, it was great to see him!
I dropped the silly spelling for this post because it gets to be such a pain to type :).
And Zahra has made her LTW! Fabian is about 1.5 promotions behind her, despite getting about two ahead while she was stuck on endless maternity leave. Barring any promotion glitches like SimDjinn, he’s going to make it in plenty of time, though.
“Zahra! You have to come!” Fabian declared as he burst into the house after work.
“I have to go where?” Zahra demanded.
“There’s a new club opening in town called The Queen. Half priced drinks all week!”
“And why should I be excited that something I’m not going to drink anyway is half price?”
“I’ve heard a rumor that Vita Alto likes the place.”
“The Leader of the Free World? I didn’t vote for her.”
Fabian made puppy dog eyes. “Don’t you ever want to have any fun?”
Which is how Zahra found herself on her way to a disco dance club.
The Queen was creatively lit, Zahra could give it that.
Fabian had failed to mention that if the Leader of the Free World were showing up at a dance club for drinks, there would be extra security. But he sailed right by with his golden tongue and police badge.
“Hey there, Fabian Branch Sample with Sunset Valley’s finest. Keep up the great work!”
The bouncer didn’t even try to keep Fabian out. Zahra slipped through quickly before he changed his mind about her.
There she was: Vita Alto, the Leader of the Free World. Haggling with the bartender over how much vodka should be in her Bloody Mary.
It was as if stars were flashing in Fabian’s eyes. He was drawn to her like a bee to honey.
“Wow, Ms. Alto,” he stammered. “I was really amazed by that, um, speech you gave last week.”
Vita Alto raised an eyebrow. “The one about the trade agreement with Al Simhara, or the one about firefighters rescuing kittens?”
She laughed in a way that was not entirely friendly. “I thought so.”
Zahra sat at the bar and watched her dear husband make a fool of himself.
The food was greasy, but actually not too bad.
She tried to enjoy herself, but the flashing lights and loud sounds gave her a headache. Zahra had no sense of rhythm, and she hated to dance. This really wasn’t the place for her, and she persuaded Fabian to go home early.
“It’s all right if you go out without me,” she told him in the car ride home. “I know you have these… social… needs. I’m perfectly happy to stay home with my science and inventions while you have a good time with other people.”
Fabian’s throat caught. “Are you sure?”
Zahra nodded. “We’re different about this. It’s all right.”
Fabian had never been quite sure that she’d forgiven him for Agnes. It seemed he had her trust back after all.
Time passed, and Hank Goddard was promoted over Fabian. Fabian and Hank had been partners since the beginning of their careers, and it was odd to transition to reporting to him as his boss. There was a little bit of jealousy there too. Fabian was getting close to a promotion to his dream job as a Forensic Specialist, and it stung to know that Hank would get there first. Still, Hank had a list of ex-girlfriends as long as his arm and no real responsibilities, and Fabian and a wife and family. Dues had to be paid.
Fabian’s new partner was Willem Yo. The Yo family had changed since Willem was dating Shanni, however. Willem’s younger sister Michelle had gone into acting and had gotten some attention in martial arts films. Fabian was dying to meet her.
“Ada!” he declared one day as he burst into the house after work. “You have to come with me! I got an invitation to Willem’s birthday party!”
Ada clapped her hands. “Wow! So strange your partner would invite you to his party!”
“This is my big chance to meet Michelle Yo. She is going to be a big star, I’m sure of it. Why don’t you come with me?”
“Sure…” Ada said. “If Charles comes with me.”
Fabian flinched. He and Charles usually stayed in opposite halves of the house. “Why Charles?”
“He helps me keep from doing embarrassing things,” Ada said.
And so they all ended up at the gates of the Yo estate for an evening pool party. Fabian had known that the Yos had money, but he hadn’t really guessed just how much money.
Like any truly fashionable pool party, nobody was swimming. Guests stood around in their swimwear, sipping cocktails and having suave conversations.
Fabian barely spoke to Willem. They could do that at work. Instead, he downed two or three of the bright pink cocktails to get his confidence up to approach Michelle.
“I have all your movies!” he said. “I, um, watch a lot of television. You’re really stellar in Kung Fu Kazam. Sure, you don’t have many lines, but you deliver those kicks with such feeling. That’s acting!”
Michelle seemed to appreciate the adulation. Or at least she didn’t tell him to stop.
An hour and another two cocktails later, and Fabian’s praise was starting to take a more personal tone. “You know you’re an incredibly attractive woman. Do you mind telling me…. what’s your sign?”
Ada gasped and ran to Charles, who was making smalltalk with Michelle and Willem’s younger sister Jenna.
“Charles! Come quick!” she cried. “Dad’s flirting! You can’t let Mom kill him!”
Charles was there as quick as a teleport would let him.
“Hello there, I’m Charles,” he said, shouldering between Fabian and Michelle. “This a great party.”
Fabian seemed to realize that he was being rescued. He went pale. “Hey, um, Michelle, this is my stepson. You should have a lot in common. He runs the dojo in town.”
Michelle offered him a blinding smile, and Charles had a brief insight into what might have made Fabian act like an idiot. Not that it took much to get Fabian to act like an idiot.
“I’ve heard about the Spirit Sample Dojo!” she said. “The choreography in my next film is pretty challenging, and I’ve been thinking about showing up there to see whether you’d be interested in some personal training.”
Charles blinked. “You act in… martial arts films?”
Michelle laughed. “Obviously, you don’t watch as much television as Fabian.”
Actually, Charles never watched television. He didn’t see the point of staying indoors watching pictures of the outdoors when you could just go outside yourself. But he decided it would be rude to say so.
Still, listening to Michelle talk about her career was more interesting than Charles had expected. After quite a while, he was able to pull himself free of the conversation and escort Fabian to the car.
On the way, he picked up Ada, who seemed to have hit it off with Jenna.
“See, it’s not just me,” Ada said brightly as they piled into Fabian’s patrol car. “Charles keeps you from doing embarrassing things too! He’s just like that.”
“I’m a turd,” a sobering Fabian wailed as Charles eased the car out onto the road. Charles shrugged, focusing on the road.
“I’m a great big, stinky, slimy pile of –“
“Zahra ought to wise up and kick my ass to the curb.”
“You expect me to disagree with you? Look, I don’t know what Mom sees in you, but you make her happy. If I catch a whiff of you making eyes at another woman, and I’m going to tell her. You know she’ll divorce you.”
“You’re not going to tell her about this?”
Charles sighed. “Not this time. Once Mom knows, there’s no going back. So prove to me you’re not a turd.”
“Thank you,” Fabian said.
“Jenna kept rubbing my knee,” Ada said. “I wonder why. Is my knee more soft than the rest of my body?”
So, after everything Fabian’s been through with Zahra, he started rolling wishes to flirt with Michelle! Ack!
So that’s my Michelle Yo sim. She doesn’t look like Michelle Yeoh, but she don’t look too bad IMHO.
Losing Lancelot came down on the Samples like an anvil.
Everyone was struggling and trying not to drag everyone else down.
They all soldiered through the days. But it was Layla who found herself in that empty bed every night.
She tried to put on a brave face, but she wasn’t really fooling anyone.
Everyone wanted to cheer her up. Charles tried his usual fare.
But she barely noticed.
Ada and Fabian dragged her to the art museum to get her out of the house.
Ada was in her element. “It’s so golden,” she whispered, “and the tiny golden men are singing to me.”
Fabian ran into none other than Mayor Tamara Donner. He was so bowled over that he followed her into the bathroom to interview her.
And Layla tried. She really did.
“What’s this thing again? Dadaist? Dada is a movement?”
When she got home, she declared that all she really wanted was a nice bubble bath. Before anyone else could react, Charles had teleported to the to the grocery store to pick up some bath soap.
And got himself picked up for being out after curfew.
When he got home, Zahra really let him have it.
Zahra was terrifying and unforgiving when she was angry.
But Charles was only trying to help. He carried around his resentment until it exploded.
“Do you have any idea the kind of energy your research equipment is wasting? Do you even care?? We all have to live on this planet too!”
Layla listened to the arguing going on downstairs and wracked her brain.
The grief and tension were ripping the family apart at the seams. Lance of all people would have been crushed. She had to think of something to draw them back together.
“The twins’ birthday is coming up,” she told the household. “It’s been so long since we were all together as a family. I think we should throw them a party.”
Everyone jumped to make it so.
The next evening, the Sample house was busting at the seams.
“I don’t know if Agnes said anything,” Shanni confided in Toya as they arrived. “I’m pregnant! Zahra referred us to a doctor who does work for the Science Center.”
“That’s fabulous!” Toya crowed. “Now that money isn’t so tight, Adjo and I are thinking about trying for another one. Let me tell you about babies….”
Adjo slipped away while the women gossiped to pay his respects.
There was hustle and bustle of catching up on everyone’s lives. Adjo and Toya had weathered the lean times, and Adjo was now in business for himself again as a local band manager. “These kids have talent like you wouldn’t believe,” he said. “All they need is one break, and we’re talking national attention, big name label, their voice on every radio station. This is for real.”
While the blood Samples were laughing and comparing notes, Agnes drifted up the stairs alone. Fabian watched her go. He followed and found her sitting on the upstairs couch, staring into space.
“This seat taken?” he asked, not waiting for an answer.
“You!” Agnes said. “What are you doing here? If your wife finds us alone, she’ll cut your balls off.”
“Yeah,” he said amiably. “So she tells me. So what are you doing here all alone?”
“It’s just a little intense down there. I needed a breather.”
“Tell me about it. How’s married life?”
Agnes sighed. “Complicated. It was so much easier with Erik. Or maybe I never got a chance to find out how hard it would be before he died. Don’t get me wrong. I love Shanni. But she’s… intense. And Shanni pregnant is almost more than I can handle. A woman with such a delicate mood should never have a condition that gives her extra mood swings.”
“I know what you mean,” Fabian said. “Monogamy is a lot of work, isn’t it? You might have noticed that Zahra’s the irresistible force AND the unmovable object. I wouldn’t change a thing, but sometimes I wonder how my life could have been different.”
“Yeah,” Agnes said. “I hear you.”
“So we’ve come to this,” Fabian said softly.
Agnes flinched. “Come to what?”
“Old friends. Sometimes old lovers make the best kind.”
She laughed. “Especially old lovers you’d never take back.”
“I deserved that. I think the cake is ready down there. Let’s get going before someone comes looking for us, and I lose my balls.”
And there were laughing, cheering, wishes pondered, and candles blown out.
Under the gaze of old loved ones.
“The thing about the orbital mind control lasers is that most people can’t see or hear them,” Ada told Shanni. “Except me. When the lasers are on, I can feel the heat on the back of my head.”
“I know just what you mean,” Shanni answered eagerly. “Like the invisible words the government inserts into news articles to control the way you think about them.”
“I had no idea you’d understand!”
It was early morning before they could bring themselves to say goodbye. The cloud had lifted from the house. There was cleaning to be done in the morning, but now was the time to unwind.
Layla headed to her empty bedroom with a feeling of peace and contentment. The feeling grew inside her until she realized it was something else entirely.
Layla’s time had come too, and she was ready to embrace it.
It was hard to say goodbye.
But this time, the ones left behind were ready to take comfort in each other.
Who is remembered, lives.
And then there were four. Layla left the household also at age 104 with Lifetime Happiness of (sob) 190,000. If I’d really processed how long she was going to live, I could have nudged her to 200,000. I tried at the end, but it wasn’t soon enough. Plus, she went the last day and a half without generating any wishes. Her last big wish was to throw that birthday party. Still, I don’t think there was enough time to get to the goal even if she’d been more helpful.
This is the last post for Generation 3. It seems kind of fitting that it should end with the farewell of Generation 2.
Generation 3 has been by far the most engaging generation so far. Everyone became a well-rounded personality. Everyone had a story arc. It felt more like a story than either 1 or 2. And you can certainly tell by how many posts I managed to generate for them. 45. Damn.
Oh, yeah, and it turns out that both Insane and Neurotic sims have the “Talk about Conspiracies” conversation option, and it gives them a relationship boost instead of a hit. Shanni and Ada really do understand each other in a special way :).
Zahra wandered out of the bedroom, down the hall, and into the kitchen. She was ravenous, and it had been a long night.
Fabian relaxed on the sofa with a book on logic. “Morning dear,” she said absently to him as she passed.
“Morning, love,” Fabian said, looking up. “You don’t happen to think that something is different do you?”
“Different?” Zahra asked, flushing. “What do you think is different?”
“It’s just that we seem to have misplaced the entire kitchen.”
Zahra looked around. “Oh, it’s not that bad! It’s just a few counters… and a stove… and the coffee maker… The refrigerator’s fine!”
“Have you been playing with the space-time continuum again?”
“No! Well, maybe just a little.”
Fabian sighed, setting down his book. “I understand your dedication to science and everything. It’s great. But would you please keep the experiments a the lab?”
“It wasn’t just an experiment,” Zahra began defensively. “I needed– AIGH! Charles! Would you stop that!”
“Ha, Mom! It gets you every time.”
Fabian glanced at the science book he’d left on the sofa. “I’ve been reading up on this stuff. All the mad science is making this place unstable. I think it’s time we moved. There’s nothing about space-time damage on the disclosure form, so we shouldn’t have not declare anything dangerous when we put it on the market. If we wait until the place HAS collapsed, our homeowner’s insurance won’t cover a thing.”
Zahra deflated. “All right. Let’s go house-hunting.”
Fabian grinned. “I have a better idea. Why don’t you collect up your experimental equipment and take it back to the lab. The kids and I will go house-hunting.”
So Fabian, Ada, and Charles picked a place to live.
And soon they were all packed and on their way.
The new place was an old estate in the architecture of the English countryside. It was directly on the beach and surprisingly close to downtown. Fabian had done a pretty good job.
They arrived on the evening of Ada’s birthday, with just enough time to celebrate properly.
And after a makeover:
Ada was…. changed after that birthday. The artistic vision that had always dominated her personality now seemed to take on a life of it own. Sometimes she started talking to the furniture, or walking around outside in her underwear.
“Don’t worry,” Fabian told Zahra uneasily. “It’s a phase. She’ll grow out of it.”
(Ha! Ada rolled Insane for her teen trait! I was totally not expecting that!
And the upcoming Gen 4 has a new house! It’s English Country Estate at ModTheSims. It has a few issues. The 2×1 gothic arches used don’t seem to exist anymore, one of the upstairs beds was unroutable, and so was one half of the dining table. I tweaked the walls a bit to fix those things, and I replaced the arches with some not-as-pretty columns.
Of course, I ended up moving before I’d intended to AGAIN. This is another elaborate Simfail associated with Shanni’s wedding. Why is it that nobody can get out of this household without there being major game issues???
This time, right after Shanni and Agnes got engaged, I started having major game slowdowns. It literally took Shanni all night to get to her bureau and then to the mirror to fix her wedding dress and hair. I actually tried to do the wedding in this state, which is where the pic of bodiless Parker came from, but it was slow and messed up, and nobody came except the immediate household and Parker for some reason. And then I clicked Agnes and there was NO “GET MARRIED” OPTION.
So I downloaded a utility I read about on ModTheSims that would locate corrupted CC, and the utility flagged the entire custom kitchen from the house they were living in. I don’t know how this could have been the problem, since I’ve been playing in that house for like six months of real time, but it’s possible that there was some cumulative problem. I deleted the kitchen, and things improved immediately.
So I figured it was more fun to roll that into the story :).
I wanted to get the household out of the corrupted house as fast as possible, so I actually moved them out before the wedding and staged them in Condor Museum Lofts for the duration of Shanni’s wedding. Then I moved them to the new digs. So, for your Simantic viewing pleasure….
Here is the whole family standing around in the basement of the loft building.
Shanni was so excited that walls could not stand in her way.
And I close with a cute pic of Shanni calling to schedule her own wedding party.