Sunday, November 27, 2011

Chapter 37: Questionable Ethics

Sage and Jeremy have a son, Kieran.

"What do you mean you're going to China?" Jeremy demands, "What about your son?"

"Kieran will be fine with with my parents. And unless you change your mind about coming with me, you'll be here with him as well."

"Go with you? So I can sit by myself all waiting on you? I don't think so, Sage."

"Jeremy, this has always been my dream. I'm not giving that up."

"I don't want to fight with you, Sage," Jeremy backs down his anger, "Go if you have to. Just remember Kiern and I are waiting here for you."

At last, Sage has arrived in Shang Simla. Wane McMottder always wrote that China was his favorite travel destination, and Sage had longed to see it for herself.

"Look out for cubby holes in old temples," McMottder wrote in 'Traps and Triggers', "There are often secret levers to open hidden doors inside them. Sometimes, you'll find gems or other treasure."

"The worst that can happen is you'll stick your hand into a nest of insects."

Sage eschews the hostel, full off tourists, in favor of spending her nights camping outside under the stars.

After a few nights of camping, Sage decides to purchase a vacation home in the hills of Shang Simla.

Her visa expires shortly and she's barely scratched the surface of sites to explore here, so Sage is excited to have a home base she can return to on her next trip to China.

While Sage is out of town, Jeremy cares for his newborn son.

Kieran becomes a toddler.

"You bought a house in China?" Jeremy responds to Sage's news, "That means you're going back?"

Sage nods, "There's still a lot to discover there, and I wanted something more permanent that a tent at a campsite. But don't worry, I'm not rushing off again right away," she promises.

The couple try to forget the fight they had before she departed.

For awhile, everything seems perfect. Jeremy continues to put off starting his career so he can be around for Kieran's important moments.

Sage receives a letter in the mail from one of the antique dealer in Champs les Sims, Andre Lefebvre's contacts, saying how impressed he is with her work for the French curator, and requesting she come to Redwood Harbor for an important assignment. The letter compares her favorable to Wane McMottder, which seals the deal.

Jeremy is not pleased to hear his wife will be leaving town again so soon. "Are you going to spend any time at home with us?"

"It's just for two days," Sage yells.

"Two days to interview for this, and then what?" Jeremy asks, "Another long trip somewhere else?"

Sage can't answer, because Jeremy is probably right, and it's what she's hoping for.

"What kind of marriage is this?" Jeremy asks, more sad than angry, "You're home for a few days and then you're off again."

"You knew I wanted to travel before we married," Sage says.

"I knew you wanted to travel, I didn't know you wanted to live on the road," Jeremy sighs.

Sage arrives in Redwood Harbor and heads straight for the address in the letter.

"My name is Joffrey Lannister," the young man introduces himself. Sage had expected someone older. "I represent MorcuCorp."

"Do you live here?" she asks, taking in her surroundings. Everything seems so clean and new, like a real estate demo house.

Lannister shakes his head, "No one lives here. The house belongs to MorcuCorp, we use it for meetings like this one."

"And what's the important assignment you have for me?"

"MorcuCorp once had a strong interests in Al Simhra, but local resistance pushed us out. The situation has eased somewhat, and we feel like now is the time to get back on the ground. We need you to help smooth the way."

"I don't know what you heard, but I'm not a diplomat..."

"Of course not," Joffrey answers, "You're an adventurer. And MorcuCorp is interested in acquiring some relics lost in the Al Simharan desert. You will need to soften up some of the locals to get access to some of these relics. You may not be a diplomat, but you are exactly the kind of person we are looking for."

"And what kind of person is that?" Sage asks, trying not to get lost in his beautiful blue-green eyes. She heard a lot of strange things about MorcuCorp, and she wonders for a moment if he's been genetically engineered to be perfect.

"A person of questionable ethics?" Joffrey answers with a wicked smile.

"Excuse me? What are you accusing me of?" Sage asks.

Lannister laughs, "Of breaking into ancient tombs and making off with cultural treasures. Lefebvre suspects you even stole from the Museum while you were working for him." Sage frowns at his words, because they are all true. She had never given the ethics of her behavior a single thought. "Don't be ashamed," Joffrey continues, "You are the next Wane McMottder, I'm sure of it."

The offer was too good to resist and Sage took the job before Lannister could even tell her what he was paying. After they shook on it, Joffrey insisted she spend the night in the house rather than in a motel or campsite.

Sage has a few hours the next morning before her flight home leaves, so Joffrey insists on taking her to see some of the sights. "They call this park Lover's Landing," he explains, "It is very romantic, isn't it? Whenever I have to be here for work, I like to come to this park to paint."

For a moment, she allows his embrace, then pulls away, "I'm married," she says.

"Forgive me, I didn't know," Joffrey says, immediately dialing back to a neutral tone. Sage is almost disappointed that he drops the pursuit so easily.

When she gets home, she tells Jeremy about her planned trip to Al Simhara. Then she braces herself for argument.

But it doesn't come. Jeremy just turns his head away. "I figured," he answers.

Somehow his cold dispassion is worse than anger.

As soon as she arrives in Al Simhara, Sage meets with her contact, Inji Ameen, who sends her on a quest to recover some important MorcuCorp documents lost in a tomb.

It turned out to be an incredibly simple job.

Sage walks out of the tomb pleased with herself, thinking about how happy Joffrey Lannister will be with her first day's work.

Inji then sends her to her underling, Fahad Madbouli, who sends Sage out on a variety of unsavory jobs, bribing local merchants, supplying the local relics dealer with metal to make forgeries for the tourist trade, and spending time talking up MorcuCorp to the native residents, all of whom seem to have a strong distaste for the company and its representatives.

Finally, Madbouli sends her on a real job, to acquire some flame fruits from the Temple of the Burning Sands. When Sage pointed out the people back home grow these things in their gardens, Madboulu laughs and insists the ones in the temple are different, more powerful. He tells her MorcuCorp wants them to fuel a Post Atomic Propulsion Drive. Whatever they are for, Sage had to get past several dangerous traps to get to them, and she's never ben happier.

When she returns with the fruit, Madbouli confides in her that he's a double agent, and tries to recruit her to work for the resistance. Rather than risk losing her contact, she agrees to his plan.

Then she call Joffrey to tell him about the traitor in his organization. "He wants me to break into your secret headquarters to place a bribe," she explains.

"What have I done to inspire such loyal from you, I wonder?" Lannister asks.

Sage is dumbfounded, "I may have 'questionable ethics', but I'm not a traitor," she says.

"I knew you were the right one for this assignment," Joffrey says, and Sage can hear his smile over the phone. "I want you to do the job, and plant the bribe."

"You what?"

"Let Madbouli and his superiors think you've turned. Now that he's revealed himself to you, it wouldn't be safe for you to back away from them now. Do the job, and do it with zeal. MorcuCorp will crush this resistance before it gets started."

"You want me to be an informant?" Sage asks in breathy wonder.

"You'll be an excellent spy."

Lannister warned her that the secret headquarters was heavily trapped, and he sent her a map detailing the location of all the traps. Disarming them was up to her.

Once the bribe is planted, MorcuCorp sends a jet to pick Sage up, getting her out of Al Simhara before the resistance realizes she was still working for the corporation and not them.

When she gets home she doesn't even have time to change out of her travel clothes before Jeremy is breaking off their marriage.

"I can't be in a marriage where I only see my wife one day a week," he says, "I can't spend my life waiting on you to come home, only to have to say goodbye again the next day."

"Jeremy, please, give us another chance," Sage pleads.

"Another chance for what?" he asks, exasperated, "You aren't going to change what you're doing. And if you did, if you stopped traveling all the time, you'd be as unhappy as I am now. This isn't working, and it's not going to work any better just by drawing it out even longer."

"I'm sorry, Sage," he says, holding her while she cries, "I didn't want it to be this way, but I don't know what else to do."

Challenge Notes:
I haven't had a Sim divorce since Sims 2, and I only ever did that once. So, partner one is gone, next up will be partner 2. Poor Jeremy. But at least now he gets to pursue his career in Science (his LTW). My career roll for first partner was None.
My roll for the second partner is Artist.

So, the little flirtation with Joffrey Lannister was totally autonomous. I know there are no autonomous flower giving mods out there, but I keep forgetting to download it. So, while Sage and he were on a 'group outing' to the park, he popped out the flowers and turned it into a date. And he hugged her. But that was the only romantic interaction. But as soon as Sage met him, she rolled a want to kiss him, and that wish kind of colored the whole scene for me.

Joffrey is a clone of Harris Landgraab from Brooklyn Heights, the evil Governor who had himself cloned. There will be more about that to come in future chapters.
A cookie for anyone who recognizes where the name Joffrey Lannister comes from. =D

I've had a few issues with adventures. One is it takes a few days before metals and gems start spawning. And many quests have parts that require turning in metals and gems. I've had to resort to buying them from the relic merchant rather than wait round for days for stuff to spawn.
In Egypt I had issues with the quests that require you to hack a certain computer. When I got to the computer, no actions were available. I mean, no actions at all, but it glowed like a quest item. So I was unable to complete them. 
I'm still keeping up with the Adventurer career despite setbacks.

Oh, I keep meaning to mention, Wane McMottder is an anagram of Ewan McDermott, my adventurer from my McDermott legacy. I had serious game issues that firced me to move neighborhoods during his generation, and I couldn't carry on with his career. He then moved on to the Author career, and I had him write non-fiction books about adventuring, like 'Traps and Triggers'.
Then, Becky came up with the Wane McMottder name, mentioning his books in her Archers of Barnacle Bay legacy.


  1. Game of Thrones? Or A Song of Ice and Fire Series, whichever. Man, I hope I'm right or I'll look stupid. Also, because I love both... hugs of fandom go to you.

    Anyway, poor Jeremy. I'm excited to see who Sage ends up with next though.

  2. Cookie for Giga! From Song of Ice and Fire. We don't have HBO, so I haven't seen the show yet, But when it comes to DVD, I'm so getting it. Hugs of fandom back at ya!
    Have you seen the deco horse toy in Sims, called Arya's Pony? In the description, it say 'Winter is Coming'. So totally a Song of Ice and Fore reference.

  3. The divorce broke my heart but I think Jeremy's right. It's the best thing for them, and maybe its what Sage needs. I just hope Kieran grows up alright under his grandparents' care.

    I figured Wane had something to do with Ewan (Who was one of my fav gens of your McDermott legacy) so that made me happy. <3

  4. ;.; Poor Jeremy.

    I suppose, since he kept putting off his career to take care of his son while his wife was away, that he now won't have the money to raise the child on his own.

    No idea where the name Joffrey Lannister is from. D= But I'm excited that you're picking up on the cloned plot line, since you were forced to abandon it before.

    I love World Adventures and I love seeing people play the adventurer career, as silly as it is. <3 I miss travel.

    Is Kieran the heir?

  5. You should get it; it was seriously so good. Not as good as the books, mind you, but that is pretty much a given.

    And whaa? I didn't see that. :D I'm loving the references I've been seeing in the series so far.

  6. Haha, I laughed when I read Joffrey's name. I'm currently reading the 3rd book now - haven't seen NY of the show - but am LOVING the books!!

    Sad about Jeremy, but we knew this relationship was doomed. You played it well, with them just being too different.

    I, too, love seeing the other worlds and am looking forward to rolling adventurer someday!

  7. Kieran is probably not the heir. The second child won't be coming along for awhile, and I generally prefer not to have very young spares still around when the next heir takes over. But it's not decided yet.

    I'm really happy about tying in the dropped Landgraab clone story. With the heavy presence of MorcuCorp and the Landgraab family in WA adventures, I felt it was a great opportunity to bring back my Landgraabs.

    I'm hoping I don't have too many issues with WA. Not being able to hack the computers for two quests means I had to cut short a whole quest chain, the one that ends with a pretty big pyramid looting quest. I'll be able to buy the skeleton key from the special merchant so I should at least be able to loot the pyramid. But I hope I don't miss out on too many quests due to glitches like that.

  8. The divorce makes me sad, but that's real life I guess. They both seemed pretty amicable about the whole thing, at least more so than many real life divorced (-ing) couples I've seen. I'm glad it didn't turn ugly, especially with Kieran involved. Nice job.

    Also, yay for Joffrey/Harris/Harrison!!! I'm so happy you're reviving that story line! I can't wait to see where your plot goes from here.

  9. Okay, so I just have to say that you do such an amazing job of tying your rolls in. It seems so effortless. I've avoided Random Legacy Challenge because it just has so many rules, but you make it look so fun. *heaven is not a fan of authority