Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chapter 25: Outlaw

For her birthday, Tearney bought herself a motorcycle. Not particularly eager to tell her mother about her new petroleum burning ride, she decides to take it for a long ride.

Inside, her dragon's blood burns, desperate to take wing; driving fast with the wind blowing through her hair helps satiate the demands of her inner dragon.

She rides for hours, leaving Brooklyn Heights behind, until she finds herself stopping at seedy dive bar next to cheap motel off the highway just a few miles outside Sunset Valley. Tearney walks into the mostly empty room, only to find a familiar head of hair seated at the bar.

"Hey, beautiful," she says, coming up behind him, "Can I buy you a drink?"

"You can do a lot more than that, sweetheart," Amit answers, not missing a beat.  He gets up from his seat to give her a friendly hug. "What the hell are you doing out here?"

"I bought a motorcycle today, I was just taking it out for a ride," she answers, "What are you doing here?"

"Working," he answers.

Their families have always been close, and Tearney knows that Amit has followed his father Tobin's footsteps and is walking the path of the professional criminal. She leans in close to him and whispers, "Are you going to rob this place?"

"This place?" Amit laughs, and then leans in to whisper in her ear, and nuzzling her neck a little while he's there, "No, I'm just killing time here until after midnight. Then I'm heading in to Sunset Valley to pick something up."

"Happy birthday, by the way," he adds, reaching a hand out to stroke her cheek. Tearney grabs his hand and pulls it away.

"You don't want to do that," she warns.

"Of course I do," Amit smiles, "You're the one always pushing me away. Why is that, Tea?"

"Because you flirt with everyone, and I don't want to just be another notch on your belt," Tearney answers, knowing that's only partially true.

"You're not like all the others, Tea," Amit says, "You're a dragon, for one. Let me taste your fire."

He's just being playful, she knows, but she struggles with her inner dragon constantly, and having it made light of outrages her. "You want to taste my fire?" she snarls, "You have no idea what it's like, to carry this around inside me. I burn, all the time, and the only thing that puts that fire out is pain. I'm constantly fighting back the urge to hit people, to get into brawls where I can bite and scratch. I don't want to be celibate, Amit, but I can't see any other way around it. I don't think I could control myself."

Amit takes her anger in stride. "I've got a room at the motel," he says, taking her arm gently, "You can bite and scratch me all night."

"That's not funny," she says, twisting her arm away from him.

"I'm not joking, Tea," he answers, "I want to help you."

They barely get into his room before she's ripped his shirt off him. "Are you sure about this, Amit?" she asks, giving him one last chance to escape.

"Oh, I'm sure," he answers, pulling her hair.

Tearney wrestles him into the bed, and gives him a taste of her fire.

It was rough, and it was painful, and it sated the dragon. Amit lay quiet beneath her, Tearney nestled under his arm, listening to his heart beat.

"Amit?" she spoke his name softly.

"Mmm?" His fingers were drawing lazy circles on her back.

"Are you okay?"

"Never better," he smiles, "I'm - oh, crap, it's time." A low buzz was coming from his pants, crumpled on the floor.

"Why don't you come with me?" he asks once they're dressed.

"What? To a robbery?" Tearney laughs, "I'm not criminal."

"Criminal is such an ugly word," Amit says, "I prefer outlaw. It's so much sexier, don't you think. Anyway, this job is  piece of cake. Just follow my lead and you'll be fine."

Tearney has to admit the idea of sneaking into a place late at night to steal something excites her. "What are you stealing?" she asks, as though it matters.

Amit flashes a wicked smile, "It's a surprise. You'll love it."

So Tearney follows him as he breaks into Sunst Valley's art museum. The galleries are filled with priceless treasures, but he doesn't pause to look at any of them, leading her directly to the hall of antiquities.

"Oooh," she breathed when he showed her the golden cobra statuette from Egypt. "Can I take it?"

Amit smiles and takes her into his arms, "Of course, sweetheart, it's your birthday gift. I was going to bring it to you, but it's so much sweeter to have you here with me."

Tearney looks him in the eyes. He's a skilled liar, but she can usually see through him, and he seems to be telling the truth. He really did come out here to steal this ancient, priceless cobra just for her. "I can't believe you'd do this for me," she says.

"I'd do a lot more, Tea. Just give me a chance," he says, his lips brushing against her throat, "Let's make love, right here," he whispers, moving her toward the viewing bench.

"Are you crazy?" Tearney gasps, pushing away his groping hands, "Shouldn't we just finish the job and head back home?"

They should have done exactly that. Amit allowed himself to get distracted, and did a clumsy job of breaking in, and must have tripped a silent alarm.

"You!" the intruding cops yells at him, "On the floor, now!"

Tearney had thought she'd lulled the dragon to sleep, but nothing rouses her fire more than authority figures. Without thinking, she springs onto the officer.

"Tea, don't!" Amit shouts to no avail.

Amit has no idea what to do here, he's a burglar, not a fighter.

Tearney had her rage, but the cop was better trained, and cuffs them both and takes them in, charging them both with attempted burglary, and Tearney with assault on a police officer.

Tearney sits on the cell's hard cot. "Happy birthday to me," she sighs, wondering how she's going to get out of this mess.

Just as she's settling back into the pillows, Amit appears in a beam of light.

Tearney leaps up from the bunk, "How...?"

"Elfin magic," Amit explains, "My mom was always pushing my Dad to reconnect with his elfin heritage, and with her help, he learned a few spells that helped him in his trade. It's why he's never been caught."

"Maybe you should have done something before we got caught," Tearney observes.

"This is all my fault," Amit says, "I was distracted, I didn't sense the cop's approach. Once she saw us, it was too late. We can't use the teleportation spell in front of outsiders, it would ruin everything. But now we're alone, I'm going to get us out of here."

On impulse, Tearney grabs him and kisses him.

"Stay close to me," he says, lifting his arm dramatically.

His hand swoops toward the ground, and a cloud of magic dust rises around them.

"You did it!" Tearney gasps when the dist clous clears and she finds herself in Amit's family home.

"Titania?" Amit notices the ancient fairy over Tearney's shoulder.

Sunset Valley PD had already called the Archers and the Romans, informing them of the arrests. Amit explains the situation to his father, knowing he screwed up. "You know you shouldn't have brought her with you, Son," Tobin chides, "Never mix business and pleasure."

"Lesson learned," Amit answers, "I'll keep it professional from now on."

"You know you haven't completely escaped," Tobin says, "They know who you are, and where you're from. As soon as they notice you're gone, they will be here, looking for you. You can't stay here, either of you, you'll have to go into hiding."


"I have some...connections...out west. I've already made some calls for you, got you a place to hide out."

Titania then explained her presence in the house. "I can put a glamour on the two of you, so you can get out of town without be noticed or stopped. But it won't last long, you'll need to get out tonight."

Amit goes up to the nursery and wakes his sleeping daughter, Tennyson. Life on the run isn't going to be easy, but he won't leave her behind.

"Dad, I'm so sorry," Tearney says when Aymeri meets her at the door. She insisted they make one last stop before leaving town, so she could say goodbye to her parents and siblings, "Where's Mom? I want to see her before I go."

"Everyone's asleep," Aymeri says, "Your mother is a terrible liar. When the police come around here, asking questions about you, it's better that she not know that you came back here. They'll have the truth out of her in an instant."

Tearney nods sadly, knowing it's true. "I'm sorry," she apologizes again, "You must be so ashamed of me."

"I'm not ashamed, little dragon," Aymeri smiles, hugging her, "You have a lot to contend with, and you've held yourself so much better than I ever did. I had thousands of years to mature, you have but one human lifespan. I'm proud of you, daughter, I always will be."

Challenge Notes:
Most of this chapter takes place in an alternate save in Sunset Valley. I made a copy of the REd Rendezvous in Twinbrook, made it a residential lot and moved copies of Amit and Tearney into it, along with some random Sims to be the bartender and customers.
The hotel room was set up in the 2nd floor of the bar. And the Sunset Valley museum was really the SV museum, I just changed the displays. And, yes, I know I did a sad curatorial job there, mixing Chinese, Greek and Egyptian pieces all in the same gallery. But, it's Sims, lol.
So, because it was an alt save, I'm not counting Tearney's fight with the cop as one of her weekly fights for the Fighter requirement.
Her generation will truly begin once we've made the move to Appaloosa Plains.
I'm currently working on that town, fiddling with the community lots, making over the residents and their houses, and building a house for Tea and Amit.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chapter 24: Snake

Seirian becomes a teen. Unlike her older sisters, she takes after her mother.

Seirian is a genius, and finishes her homework quickly while her sisters struggle.

Younger brother Bryce is also a genius, and knows who to turn to for homework help.

Ryanne becomes an adult.

She graduates as valedictorian.

And freaks out at the realization that she has to move out on her own and get a job.

Tearney gives her sort-of cousin Amit Archer a congratulatory hug.

"Creep!" she hisses, pushing him away when his hand strays a little too far down her back. He laughs and she slaps him playfully on the arm. It's a ritual they've performed many times in the hallways of their school. The school he's now free from.

"So..." Tearney starts, and pauses.

"You aren't going to ask about Caren," Amit sighs.

"Everyone's talking about it," Tearney answers. "What are you going to do?"

"She's a sophmore, she can't be raising a kid. Her parents threatened to kick her out. So, when it's born, I'm taking it in. Which means I'm stuck living with my mother if I don't want to be a 24/7 babysitter."

"Are you going to get back together with Caren?"

Amit laughs, "She hates me. And even if she didn't, I'd make her hate me. Why all the questions, you've never been friends with Caren."

Tearney isn't really friends with anyone besides Maricela, the only person crazy enough to put up with Tearney's intense mood swings. "I just worry about you, Amit," she answers, "You're going to get yourself in trouble someday."

Amit demonstrates his maturity. "I'll be fine, silly," he promises.

Bryce is next to grow up into a teen.

He's both a genius and a virtuoso.

With Ryanne out of the house, Tearney replaces her sister's bed with a snake terrarium. She found a Scarlet King snake and took him for a pet.

"I'd hate to live in cage," Aymeri admonishes gently, "A wild creature should be free."

"He loves me," Tearney insists.

Seirian has been working on this formula for a long time. Finally, she's got it.

The only thing Tearney has ever expressed any fear of is ghosts. And now with her ghost formula, Seirian can finally get revenge for every nerd and geek her sister has ever picked on.

For Science!

Tearney was truly terrified for a moment, but quickly gathers herself and mocks her nerd sister for the geek she is.

Tearney becomes an adult. She had a difficult adolescence, with her dragon blood vying with her hormones for domination. She had hoped physical maturity might help quell her inner fire, but only stoked it. Now she burns with new, more pressing passions.

Challenge Notes:
Anyone following the challenge discussion thread at MTS knows that I've been having problems playing in Brooklyn Heights. Some of the problems pre-date Pets, like NPCs getting stuck in inaccessible areas in high rises, routing issues and lack of adequate housing for families. Pets then added freezing and lag that have made this neighborhood largely unplayable. It's been freezing up every few minutes. So, I'm going to have to move the legacy.
Rather than move the whole family, I decided for story reasons to just move the heir (Tearney) when she came of age. It was a difficult few Sim days of playing, dealing withh the freezes. I mostly played from a Sims 1 isometric type view, not zooming in, because I noticed the less I fiddled with the camera, the smoother the gameplay. So, that's why this chapter is a bit lean. I wasn't taking a lot of pictures.
I had intended to make Tearney's teen days more rebellious with pranks and fights, but with the lags and freezes, I really just wanted to get through every day without adding more activity.

I did break the Gen 3 Living Green rule by purchasing the snake terrarium. But, new EP, new stuff. I really wanted a snake for Tearney.

Tearney's traits are : Artistic, Brave, Rebellious, Hot Headed, Eccentric.

Reminder of Gen 4 roll: Step Children, 4 children. Primary career Ghost Hunter, secondary Crime- Evil. Generation goal is Party to Remember and Misc. Fun is Fighter.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chapter 23: Tastes Like Despair

Allyriane ran a clean campaign. Despite the urgings of her advisors to counter Landgraab's attack ads with attacks of her own, Allyriane kept her ads positive, focusing only on what she wanted to do for the state, not on her opponent, or on the mud he hurled at her. She was mocked by comedians, portrayed as naive and loonie, but she ignored it all. And she lost.

The defeat wouldn't have been so bad if it were just about herself, but what she lost was so much more than a position. "I wanted to make a difference," she sighed as Aymeri comforted her with his embrace, "But they just wanted business as usual." In her brief career in politics, she hadn't been able to make any real changes in policy. After every victory came another election cycle, all her time was spent campaigning, fundraising, and precious little ever got done. Now that she'd lost one, Allyriane decides not to jump back into the fray; she could do more as a private citizen than as a politician.

Governor Harris Landgraab...he likes the way it sounds. He never had any doubts about his victory, his opponent was weak, an idealist who didn't know how to play the game. And it didn't hurt that Landgraab Industries secretly finances the company that makes the electronic voting machines.

His advisors tell him he should marry, that the voters will be more comfortable with a a family man in the governor's mansion. Harris isn't entirely adverse to the idea, and has been vetting candidates from the upper echelons of Brooklyn Heights for his future Mrs. Landgraab. He will of course choose the best of all possible brides, but even the best would be no match for his own perfection, and any child he produced naturally would be diminished. Marry he might, and even father children, but his heir must be as perfect as he is.

Landgraab Industries have always funded scientific research in every field, have always been on the cutting edge of technology. So it's no wonder Landgraab Industries are the first to produce a human clone, Harrison Landgraab. Harris Landgraab has ensured the next generation of his line will be as perfect as he is.

Ryanne becomes a teen.

A lover of the outdoors, Ryanne likes nothing better than helping her father in the garden, and fishing in the local parks. Despite her mother's antagonistic relationship with Harris Landgraab, Ryanne is very likely to work for the Landgraab Marine Sciences facility when she grows up.

Seirian becomes a child.

An inquisitive genius who enjoys playing with her chemistry set and conversing with ghosts, Seirian would seem like a likely candidate for a future scientist. But the field of scientific research leans heavily toward the biological, and Seirian will probably find herself more fulfilled working in the forensics branch of law enforcement someday.

Bryce and Tearney shared a birthday. Bryce went first, becoming a child in time to celebrate his sister's transition into the teen stage.

Not the easiest of transitions. The flood of hormones of a human teenager don't mix well with the natural fire of a young dragon.

"I feel like I'm going to explode," Tearney confesses to her father, "What's wrong with me?"

"When I was your age, I burned down several human villages in one night," Aymeri confesses in return, "You will have a much more difficult time of it than I did, but I know you have the strength to get through this. When the rages come on, you must find an outlet, a way to release it that doesn't hurt you or anyone else."

Tearney would prefer the burning down villages option, but she sees her father's point.

Tearney wakes on her first day of high school with a burning desire to do...something. She isn't sure what.

She's not sure if booby trapping the shower is what her father meant by finding a harmless outlet, and she doesn't really care.

Ryanne nearly misses the bus because she had to wash the dye out of her hair.

Tearney misses the bus on purpose. The small prank did nothing to alleviate her raging hormones, but being near the sea does. So Tearney skips school to spend the day painting at the beach.

Aymeri has taken to mixing new drinks with the juices of the many fruits he's grown in his garden.

"Tastes like despair," Thierry comments, trying his latest concoction.

"Really? It should taste like cherry and flame fruit," Aymeri answers.

The school calls and Tearney is confronted by her mother when she comes home in the afternoon.

"I'm going to have to ground you for this," Allyriane says, unable to raise her voice.

"I hate you! You are ruining my life!" Tearney rages.

"Your daughter skipped school today," Allyriane sighs wearily, "You need to have a talk with her."

Last he checked, Aymeri had three daughters, but he doesn't need to ask which one was misbehaving, and why she's suddenly 'his' more than 'theirs'.

"You're so much better at this than I am," Allyriane says with a gentle kiss, leaving him to the difficult task of parenting.

"I wasn't doing anything wrong, I just spent the day painting," Tearney explains, "School is stupid anyway, and I'm going to be an artist, so I don't even need it."

Truth be told, Aymeri has never understood the public education system himself, and he has a hard time defending it's merits. "You have to go. It's the law." Law and duty are concepts he can get his head around.

"Well, it's a bullshit law! I'm just wasting my time there!" Tearney explodes in sudden anger.

"Temper, dragonling," Aymeri chides gently, "You haven't even spent one day in high school yet, so how can you be sure it is waste of time?"

"Why are you such a goody good?" Tearney unleashes her anger on Ryanne later that evening, "You never get in trouble."

"Tea, life is easier when you have a smile on your face," Ryanne advises, "If you act happy, you'll find that you become happy."

"Blah blah blah," Tearney yawns.

Thierry wakes late that night, feeling oddly light.

Aymeri is the first to sense Grim's presence in their house.

It's strange, Allyriane thinks, that her husband should be so much more affected by her father's death thn she is. But Aymeri and Thierry were war buddies, she remembers, for a hundred years in the fae they fought together, while she grew up seeing her father only rarely.

Tearney and Ryanne forget their quarrel of the day before to console each other over the loss of their grandfather.

After spending a day in school, Tearney can say for a fact that it's  stupid waste of time. But at least she's got a friend to complain about it with.

More importantly, Maricela enjoys a good pillow fight. For Tearney, nothing is a better release of her fiery rage than pounding on someone.

On Friday night, the girls decide to go dancing at the Moonlight Lounge. Tearney looks askance at her friend's choice of attire.

"It's a nightclub," Maricela says, "So...pyjamas. Right?" Maricela is a little insane.

Tearney buys a drink the bartender promises has mind-bending properties. She's not sure how much more bent Maricela's mind can get, but for her own part, Tearney feels nothing unusual after she guzzles down the rainbow beverage.

Ryanne's prom occurred before she had a chance to get to know anyone well enough to go to it with, so she had gone alone. While she was there, she danced with Reynaldo Foreman. Tonight is there first actual date, and first kiss. Before the evening is over, they are going steady.

She's underage, so she shouldn't be here. But Tearney manages to talk the tattoo artist into giving her a tattoo anyway.

"Oh, you didn't," Ryanne says, noticing the new ink on her sister's hip.

Tearney rather expected to be scolded for it, but, while everyone obviously notices the tattoo, no one even mentions it.

Her mother is even supportive, saying how important it is to express yourself and be your own person.

She's a pushover, Tearney thinks, realizing she can get away with almost anything.

Challenge Notes:
When I started this generation, I intended to let Allyriane rise to the top of her career like Sims always do. I did try slowing the pace, not having her hold too many fundraising parties or getting too many donations, so that she was getting promoted only every 3 days instead of every day.
But when it came to running for governor against Harris Landgraab, I decided she had to lose. And in Sims, the only way to lose is to quit. Well, I could have just dropped her down a career level with MC, but then she'd just get promoted again. So I made her drop out of politics.
And that leaves me with no employed Sims. Well, Aymeri has the job hopper gig. He did the Freelance Scientist week, going out collecting space rocks and insects in the afternoon, not enough to really mean anything. The next week was 'none', so no income. After that will be a week of mixology. So he's been practicing at home. But I may not actually have him do the job at all, it depends on how much of a pain in the ass it will be to get him down to a club during the evening.
Even without income, the family has 75k in funds, so I'm not worried.

I haven't announced every new tattoo of Aymeri's, but he gets a new one every week, and they do get shown in some screenshots.

Yes, I pretty much forget the younger kids exist, so I don't even have a good childhood pic of Bryce. Shame on me.

Since SP wasn't doing anything for Harris Landgraab in the romance dept., I decided to insure the continuation of the line by cloning him. After I did this, SP decided to have him impregnate Cecilia Tricou (daughter of Anais Tricou, who was the daughter of Nylissit Tricou, so not a Tricou from Laramie's house.) Harris and Cecilia are now 'partnered' but still don't live together. Perhaps when Cecilia's younger sister ages up to YA, I might move Cecilia into the Landgraab house. But right now I want to preserve the Landgraab estate and the Tricous, so I'd prefer they live apart until the next Tricou is old enough to take the house. Cecilia Tricou is also Evil, so they make a nice pair.