Monday, December 26, 2011

Chapter 49: Stupid and Slow

Kieran was a little nervous about starting high school right after returning from China. Being out of town for much of his childhood has made it difficult for him to make friends. But on his first day of school, Jasmine Hobble Parrot asks for his help with her French homework.

After homework is done, Kieran invites her to play with him, but she says she's not into games, and she'd rather watch. But she doesn't pay much attention to the game at all, instead talking to him about her family.

"I never had my dad around much either," she says, "And when he was around...well, my parents never got along well. I was surprised they kept trying to get back together, after breaking up so many times. You're lucky your parents' divorce was so friendly, and your step-dad seems really nice. And your mom is so cool, traveling al over the world like you do."

Kieran may be a genius, but it took him long enough to figure out that Jasmine might have had other reasons for coming home with him other than help with homework. He puts his controller down and sits next to her on the couch.

He makes a bold move, putting his arm around her shoulder. He would have been mortified if she rejected him, but she leans against him and smiles. High school isn't going to be so bad after all.

Aftr school on Friday, they have their first date at the arcade. This time, Jasmine actually plays instead of just watching.

Before the date is over, they share their first kiss, and Kieran asks her to go steady with him. Jasmine reminds him of their upcoming prom.

On Saturday, Kieran meets Jasmine's mother Deidra at the library. She's quite impressed with his plans to pursue a career in medicine when he graduates.

Kaiden becomes a child.

With their youngest now old enough to travel, Sage and Joffrey plan a trip to Al Simhara. While their vacation house there would be sufficient for all four of them, Sage decides she can afford something more grand.

For herself, Sage is perfectly fine with a sleeping bag on the floor of tomb for accommodations while she's out exploring.

But she wants her boys to have the best. They have a pool back in Appaloosa Plains, but nothing as magnificent as this pool.

Joffrey takes the boys out fishing while their mother is plundering the pyramids.

In the evenings, they have the game room.

Kieran is responsible enough to take care of his brother alone for a few days they decide, and Joffrey accompanies Sage to Abu Simbel.

"I'll find a way to get you in," Sage promises when a fire trap gets between them.

One dive well and a floor switch later, Sage has found a way for Joffrey to get in.

Abu Simbel hides some of the greatets treasures to be found in Al Simhara. And it protects its treasures with fire.

Her looting awakens the Red Priest's mummy.

According to Wane McMottder, mummies are notoriously stupid and slow, and Sage has no problems getting past this one. Although she had to struggle to reopen the hidden door that closed behind her when she entered this chamber, the mummy still doesn't get to her in time to attack. Joffrey even manages to get a few pictures of the shambling creature before the couple moves on to loot other poorly guarded chambers.

They return home late at night to find the boys safely asleep, so they take the opportunity to enjoy their hot tub undisturbed.

Back in Appaloosa Plains, Logan brings his son Terrence to visit Kelsey.

Logan has been very successful in his journalism career. He's also written several novels, which Sage almost feels bad about not reading.

Kieran drops by his father's house after school. While they were away in Egypt, Jeremy and his girlfriend Leigh Sutherland got married.

So Kieran finally gets to meet his new step-mother and and his youngest half-brother, Sean.

Jeremy helps his son with his homework. Kieran tells him of his plans to pursue a medical career, and Jeremy is very proud. Any steady career would have pleased him really, since he was so afraid his son would adopt his mother's more carefree attitude toward work.

Rowley passes on. This makes Scout very sad.

Family game night.

Kaiden plays at the public pool with Becky Hennessy-Massey.

After getting good and wet on the water slide, they play in the sand.

Jasmine waited for Kieran while his family was away. On Saturday afternoon, they engaged in a make out session on a public bench, ignoring the disapproving (or envious) stares of the elders sitting across from them.

Challenge Notes:
The traveling is really drawing out this generation. Sage and Joffrey are still YA, with something like 7 days until they turn Adult.
Sage has now completed every tomb in all 3 locations. I did have to cheat to gain access to Hatshepsut's tomb, because Sage was unable to deliver the required photo to continue that quest chain. I had to enter build mode on that lot and change the key shape from a named key to a generic crescent (Sage had a few spare crescent keys on her) to get in.
The weird thing about the Adventurer career is that it can only be pursued while traveling. So Sage has nothing to do while at home. I'm not worried about money. Although the bills are high, the family is quite rich, and if push came to shove we own three vacation homes that could be sold for cash.
The problem is I'm getting very bored with playing this generation. Joffrey paints when in AP (he's got his LTW to max painting and photography, and he's in level 9 of the Artist career), and I sometimes send Kelsey out to round up minor pets to sell, especially when she rolls a wish to catch something. Sage and Chayton are pretty much just unemployed, they've achieved their LTWs and have not much to do.
I love my vacation homes and would like to travel some more (Sage can reloot old tombs and dig at excavation sites), but I feel this generation has gone on long enough, and I'd like to just move on to the next. So, I don't know what I'm going to do.

When Rowley died, I had a small glitch with Grim. He didn't do the whole routine with Rowley. He appeared in the kitchen, then instead of going to pick up Rowley and do the ascension to kitty heaven they normally do, he just popped out of existence and left an urn behind. I think it might have been a routing issue. Anyway, not a huge deal, I'm just explaining why the only pic I have of the event is of Scout mourning for Rowley.

Jasmine Hobble-Parrot's father was Davis Bird, a son of Oriole Bird and Benjamin Schmidtt. Davis and Deidra Hobble-Parrot had an on again off again thing since they were teens. They even lived together briefly, and had two children together, Jasmine and her older brother Elvis, who seems to be following his father's pattern of dating everyone and fathering multiple kids on one woman he keeps dating and breaking up with. I secretly hoped he would marry into the Pressley family, because I would have loved having an Elvis Pressley in my town. This is why I keep all story notifications on my town, btw. I love knowing everything that goes on, so I know all the details of the Sims my own Sims get involved with.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chapter 48: Scammed

When frog's legs, her favorite food, induces nausea, Sage knows she's pregnant.

It's not long before she's showing.

She's broken into ancient tombs, she's been kidnapped by MorcuCorp and she's gone undercover to take down Cecilia Landgraab. Sage's life has offered much in the way of excitement, and right now nothing seems more appealing than just relaxing at home in her husband's arms.

Kelsey isn't fooled by this domestic tranquility, she knows her daughter takes after her father, and it won't be long before she's yearning to take to the road again.

Kieran spends his Saturday with his dad at the arcade.

He tells Jeremy all about his adventure in Champs les Sims.

"Does Joffrey have job?" Jeremy asks his son, wondering how he has the time to just take off for weeks like that.

"A what?" the boy asks, but doesn't give him time to respond, instead rattling on about his friend Theophile and their dress up games.

No one in the Bowman house is actually employed, and this worries Jeremy sometimes. They are wealthy enough, so it isn't money that concerns him, but the example they are setting for Kieran. The boy is growing up without a shred of a sense of responsibilty or stability. Jeremy tries to fill that void with his own example, but it seems to be too little, too late.

Going back to school after such a long vacation was hard, and Kieran doesn't have friends in his hometown like he has in France. His cousin Lydell, Jeremy's sister Sadie's son, tries to help him get re-acclimated.

Sage and Joffrey have a son, Kaiden.

And just as Kelsey suspected, Sage's desire to be traveling surges back. "Let's go back to Shang Simla," she suggests.

"So soon?" Joffrey responds, "W just had a baby. We can't just leave him here."

"My parents are here, he'll be fine," Sage answers.

Joffrey frowns, "I want to be here with our son, not off in some other country. Sage, China isn't going anywhere, it will be there next year, for many years to come. Kaiden isn't going to be a baby forever. Stay here with me, be a family. And when he's old enough, we can travel again, as a family."

Somewhat reluctantly, Sage agrees. She's been down this road before and won't lose another husband to it.

Kaiden becomes a toddler. For Joffrey, he's nothing short of a miracle. As a MorcuCorp clone, he was never supposed to do this, to mix his supposedly perfect genes with anyone else, to have a child of his own.

Joffrey is a very active parent, spending most of his time with his son, teaching him to talk, reading to him and preparing him for his future.

Sage spends the better part of her days training. Breaking boards does ease the tension, making the long wait until she can be on the road again more bearable. She does spend time with her son, playing and tickling him, but she's less inclined to worry about things like education and training.

"Zhan Min-Su called me," Sage informs her husband, "There's going to be a Grand Tournament at the Phoenix Academy next month. They only hold this event once a decade. I'd really like to participate, and I'd really like you to be there with me."

Kaiden isn't old enough to travel yet, but Joffrey agrees that leaving him in his grandparents' care for a short trip to China isn't so bad.

Sage is eager to show off the skills she been practicing. Her old Friend Bao Louie agrees to spar with her to get her in shape. Bao is the greatest martial artist in Shang Simla, and Sage is sure he'll be master of the tournament. But he doesn't even mention the upcoming event.

For the tournament, she's up against Ai Pei, who is really no match for her. She defeats him easily, and is named Master of the Tournament. There's something very fishy about this tournament, Sage thinks. Only one bout, with no judges and no audience. For a big event that only happens once a decade in a town whose culture is centered around the martial arts academy, this doesn't seem to be a big deal at all.

Sage confronts Zhan with her suspicions. "Yeah, I made the whole tournament up to get you to come back here. I even paid Ai Pei to go along with it. The relics trade has dried up since your last delivery. Shen and I have been resorting to making our own relics to sell to the tourists. We could really use once more. As it happens, I've come upon some information about a tomb hidden right underneath our feet; the treasure of the legendary Dong Huo is buried beneath this market. I'd retrieve the loot myself, but the traps are too much for me. But for you..."

"Right," Sage laughs, "Traps are my specialty." She should be angry at Zhan for scamming her, but Sage is too happy to be here.

Back at his cash register, Shen seems to have his own reasons to be happy to see Sage again.

So with the few days remaining on her trip, Sage explores the heavily trapped tomb beneath the market, and comes up with enough treasure to keep Zhan and Shen in business for a nice long time.

Joffrey and Kieran spend their time in China much like they spnt their tme in France, playing catch, fishing and hanging out.

They return to Appaloosa Plains in time for Kieran's birthday.

Kieran becomes a teen.

He spends the evening playing games with his father.

In the morning before school, Kieran tries out the new chemistry set Jeremy gave him as a birthday gift. His father has been not so subtly pushing him toward a career in science.

Challenge Notes:
Zhan is actually the 'special merchant' of Shang Simla, and he's also the main quest giver. Since he hangs out in the relics shop most of the time, I wrote him as business partners with Shen, who works the register. I made up the tournament scam because there was one quest that required Sage to become the 'tournament master;' or something like that, but she completed that step after just one successful ranked matched.
Sage does sell most of the relics she finds to the local relics dealer, though she does end up bringing some home to sell at the consignment shop.

So, the two required children are born. Kaiden will be the heir. His traits are Athletic and Brave.
The roll for Gen 7 is Second Chance, 3 kids, Primary career is Sports, and the two secondary careers are Busker and Inventor. The goal is Awesome and the Misc. Fun is Runs in the Family. Brave is the family trait, and both Kieran and Kaiden have that trait. (Kieran is also Good and Genius).

Joffrey has his third tattoo, but you don't see it in any of the pics, since he's kept his shirt on most of the time. He's mastered the painting skill (he paints while in AP, for his Artist career, but that really hasn't come up in the story much), and is level 9 of photography. His LTW is to master both.

Sage got her LTW ages ago, to explore 6 tombs in each location. Sage has cleared out all the tombs on France and China, and only has a few left in Egypt. Since she can't complete the quest lines that require hacking a computer or delivering a photo of a particular Sim, I may have to cheat to gain access to the tombs those quests would have opened.

Jeremy has not had much luck in the romance department after Sage. For awhile, he had a girlfriend, Leigh Sutherland. She broke up with  him and got pregnant by him in the same day. He lives with his two sisters, who are also both doing the unwed parent thing. Their elderly mother is also still alive and living with them.

For those who cared, Aimee Fox never married Rickie Bird. They had two kids together, and are still dating, and every once in awhile Aimee declares Rickie a nemesis. Their daughter Whitney has entered the Crime business like her mother.
Rory is an elder now, and has been happily married to his second wife. They have one daughter, Tameka, who is now a teen.