Author Topic: Duty Calls Chapter 31: Vanquishing the Enemy (Completed)  (Read 14337 times)

Louise56

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Re: Duty Calls Chapter 28: Damage Control
« Reply #75 on: January 04, 2013, 02:54:52 AM »
Congrats to the happy couple! I hope they have a wonderful time in France! ;D
The wedding was beautiful.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Duty Calls Chapter 29: Finding the Enemy - Part I
« Reply #76 on: January 07, 2013, 05:30:44 AM »
Duty Calls Chapter 29: Finding the Enemy - Part I

Agnes and I left on separate planes, just in case we were being watched; I to Bridgeport and she to Moonlights Falls where we were supposed to be going.  We made sure our flights left at different times so we weren’t at the airport at the same time.  I had a lot of difficulty trying to fake a broken heart when, in reality, mine was singing crazy love songs.  So I read from Logic Vol III: 3.14159265 that dad had thoughtfully packed for me.

I did see an Egyptian tourist but just as I was about to strike up a conversation with him to see if he had been the tourist at the Claude Monet Artist Gardens, I saw another Egyptian tourist and then three more.  I hadn’t gotten a good look at the face of the tourist back at the gardens as he’d been too far away.  With the Egyptian tourists all dressing alike, I couldn’t be certain which one, if any of those at the airport, I had followed to City Hall, so I continued to read my book but covertly watched the tourists.  Only four of the Egyptian tourists came to the gate when the flight was called, the fifth was nowhere to be seen.

Because of our different destinations, unfortunately, Agnes and I also ended up on different flights to Champs Les Sims.  We were to meet at the little café in the main market place mum told us about.  I waited for ages and finally, Agnes arrived looking flustered and beautiful at the same time.  “The plane was late.  I hope you...,” she began and I smothered her apology with a welcoming kiss.

“You’re safely here and that’s all that matters.” I said as she kissed me back with a longing that made the wait irrelevant.



Before we got too carried away in public again, I asked her.  “Where do you want to go first, the Museum, the Nectary or browse around the market place?”

“None of the above, Mr Crumplebottom,” she whispered in my ear, “I want to go to bed!”

“I hope you’re not suggesting that because you’re tired?” I asked uncertainly.

“Really Brandon,” she scolded, “you’re not that naive!”

“Well, I would have suggested that too but I didn’t want to appear too focused on one thing?” I said wryly.  She grabbed me by the hand and pulled me out of the café.

“It’s our honeymoon, Brandon, so you’d better stay focused.  Besides,” she said with a wink, “don’t you know how hard it is to find privacy on community lots?  You just have to keep checking and hope to strike it lucky.”  We went back to the base camp but the private rooms were all taken and the dorm had only single beds vacant.  I don’t know who was the more disappointed, Agnes or I.



We returned to the market place and browsed for a while.  We bought some things at the general store and the bookstore.  We checked out the base camp again and struck out.  This time we went out to the Nectary to let off some pent up frustration by squishing grapes.  We each made a batch of nectar.



We read while we waited for the batches to process but they weren’t very good, so we ended up buying some nectar from the merchant.  Early afternoon, we returned to the base camp.  It was almost abandoned.  Third time lucky!

I took meticulous care to follow Agnes’s instructions and stay focused.



Agnes seemed particularly pleased with my efforts.  Finally something Dr Simgund said now made perfect sense to me.  Dr Simgund had said, “What we call happiness in the strictest sense comes from the, preferably sudden, satisfaction of needs which have been dammed up to a high degree.”  If that’s true I was the happiest Sim on the planet.



We would have eventually been driven from our room by hunger and thirst except we had purchased enough dried food and nectar to withstand a long siege.  Yuk!  That dried food is awful but the nectar’s okay. 

Agnes wasn’t even prepared to let me out of her sight to go to the bathroom.  Good thing I’ve had the Steel Bladder lifetime reward since I was a child.  All afternoon and evening, we relaxed, we talked, we cuddled and we got to know each other very... very... very…well.



Finally, just after midnight, we received the phone call we’d been waiting for.  Dad rang to say Chris had found Dave Ramsey and spoken to him about the photographs.  Chris gave dad, Cornelia and Gunther a full briefing of all the particulars. 



I put the phone on speaker so Agnes could hear everything.  Dave Ramsey swore he had been blackmailed into setting up the photographs.  Ramsey had been quite upset that Agnes had seen them.  Ramsey had co-operated fully with Chris and had given him as much detail as he could remember.

Apparently, Dave Ramsey had an unsavoury past which he hoped would stay buried.  But someone found out and threatened to tell his goody-two-shoes boss if he didn’t do as he was instructed.  Ramsey had just started to get ahead in the Journalism career and had been recently promoted to a Freelance Writer’s position.

Ramsey said he had been initially instructed to seduce Agnes but he wouldn’t.  Instead he agreed to pose for the photographs because he had been given an iron-clad guarantee that Agnes would never see the photos.  He had been told the target for the photos had been someone else.  Someone simply referred to as “that brainless little weasel”.

Erik Darling had indeed let Ramsey into Agnes’s house albeit unwittingly and Ramsey swore he was in and out of the house in less than two minutes.  Ramsey admitted he wasn’t certain who was behind it all, but the go-between and photographer had been a Middle Eastern or Indian teen who wore clothing usually worn by the Chinese tourists.  But Ramsey felt sure the teen was a local as he knew things about Sunset Valley that a tourist wouldn’t.  Ramsey described the go-between as a loathsome little toad who was rotten to the core.

Chris told everyone he believed that Ramsey spoke the truth throughout the interview and that Ramsey genuinely felt remorse for his part in the deception.  Chris had discovered that Ramsey was unflirty; a trait which would have made seducing a madly in love Agnes nearly impossible.

Dad said to us both, “just hang in there because Cornelia has an idea who the go-between is.  She and Gunther are going to lean on him ‘pretty heavily’ to get to the truth.”  I could almost hear the smile in dad’s voice at that idea.

“On a more personal note,” Dad said, “Chris said that your grandfather Arthur had joined Médecins Sans Frontières and was working alongside Jamie in Strangetown.  Apparently great-great-grandmother Annette had taken up with a dark wizard who had given her a Fountain of Youth Elixir and a Bottled Blessing of the Fae.  Great-great-grandmother Annette was now a young adult fairy.”  I gasped at what that could mean.  A long living vindictive fairy was not good news for our little family unit.

Dad continued, “It seems this was more than Arthur could tolerate and he left Simfield.  Chris said my father used his lifetime rewards points to get the Age Freeze potion.  It appears that Arthur doesn’t mind being an elder.  He rather enjoys the respect accorded to him as an elder statesman among the medical fraternity.  My father plans to stay with Médecins Sans Frontières well into the foreseeable future and I wrote to wish him well with that decision.”



“On a sadder note,” dad continued, “my grandfather Andrew had decided enough was enough and has given his deathflower to my father and gone off to join the dynasty founder, Anthony, in exploring the pyramids of Egypt.  If they survived that, they plan to end their days fishing in Lucky Palms where, it seems, Anthony had already found some new friends.

Dad paused and I heard him yawn before he continued, “the twins are growing fast and I hope you two can come home soon.”  I think dad finds the girls a bit of a handful at his age.



“Thanks for the book dad,” I responded, “I am just beginning level 9 in Logic and as soon as I return home, I will get to work on discovering that potion.  It must be really late there, so goodnight and give mum and the girls a kiss from both of us.”  Dad yawned again, bid us goodnight and ended the call.

While I was surprised and revolted about the news about great-great-grandmother Annette, I was insulted at being called a ‘brainless little weasel”.  Chris and I often called each other disparaging terms like ‘lame brain’, ‘silly galah’ or ‘drongo’ but none of it was ever malicious.  I particularly resented being called this because it seemed to imply, that the architect of this wicked act had other plans for me.

I had been right in one thing.  This person didn’t necessarily hate Agnes; the wedding had been the target.  This nasty piece of work was trying to manipulate me.  I had acquired another enemy.  I didn’t know who and I didn’t know why.  I felt dreadful.  “Oh Agnes,” I said uncertainly, “I don’t know what I have done to this person to make him or her do this to us”.

Agnes hugged me, “maybe you didn’t actually do something to offend this person.  Maybe they are just wicked.  Perhaps they saw the vulnerability that I find endearing about you, as a weakness to be exploited.  Maybe they just have evil plans and manipulating you is part of their scheme.  Whatever happens, we love each other, we believe in each other and nothing can tear us apart now.”

“I couldn’t bear it if they use me to hurt you.” I lamented.

“Well I feel the same about you.  And I’ve already been used!  I’m still angry about that.  So let’s make a pact now.”  Agnes said holding me.

“We will not leap to conclusions about anything someone else says that either of us has said or done.  We know photographs can be staged and faked.  I’m sure other evidence can be contrived in this digital age.  We will have a safe word so that if we need to text or email or phone each other, we must use this safe word.  Any message without the safe word is to be regarded as an SOS.”

“That’s an excellent idea.  What safe word do you have in mind?” I asked.  She whispered in my ear.  “How on earth can I use that word inconspicuously in a message?”

“You’re an amazingly versatile man.  You’ll think of something,” she grinned mischievously.  “Also, if we need to explain anything to the other, we’ll do so openly and honestly.  I trust you and I hope you trust me to do the right thing.”



“Don’t try and be altruistic,” she continued, “I won’t be better off without you and I know you won’t be happier away from me.  I’ve had that advice from the highest authority, your mother.  I’m the best thing that has happened to you and it’s the same for me.  Let Cornelia, Gunther and your parents deal with this villain and we’ll concentrate on cementing this relationship in foundations which will last a lifetime.”  Agnes then proceeded to demonstrate exactly how much I needed her.

That night, for the first time since I was a teen, I had a continuous series of nightmares.  Horrible images of falling endless through the air; dark images of Agnes in trouble with me running in slow motion trying to save her; and darker images of great-great-grandmother Annette playing fairy pranks on my new little sisters. 



Then Agnes rolled over in her sleep and cuddled into my back.  I couldn’t believe how fantastic and reassuring that felt.  With Agnes by my side, (and covering my back too, it would seem) and our two families working together, we can resolve this crisis.  Soon I fervently hoped, because I wanted Agnes and I to have a future I could never have dreamed possible only a short time ago.




Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler



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Louise56

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Re: Duty Calls Chapter 29: Finding the Enemy Part I
« Reply #77 on: January 07, 2013, 12:18:43 PM »
I can't wait to find out who the enemy is. Great update. :)

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Duty Calls Chapter 29: Finding the Enemy Part I
« Reply #78 on: January 07, 2013, 06:17:04 PM »
Oooh, the plot thickens. I am relatively certain of the identity of the "loathsome little toad" as a character with a rather...unique hair color? (though I may be wrong). Good that Erik was only an unwitting accomplice in this, though I am a little concerned about Annette...

An excellent, intriguing update. :)

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Duty Calls Chapter 30: Finding the Enemy Part II
« Reply #79 on: January 08, 2013, 04:20:53 AM »
Duty Calls Chapter 30: Finding the Enemy Part II

In the morning we were sitting on the bed reading when Agnes’s phone rang. 



Agnes saw that the call was from Cordelia, so put the phone on speaker.  “We have an update on how we’re going”, Cornelia said.   “Gunther and I believed the teen mentioned by Ramsey was VJ Alvi.  His father, Iqbal Alvi, is a low level Report Processor in Gunther’s business.”

Gunther took up the story, “Last night we went to visit the Alvi household but VJ wasn’t in.  We told Iqbal that his son might be involved in a blackmail attempt, and explained that the blackmailer had worn a disguise.  Without even having to go into any specifics of the disguise Iqbal obliged us and searched his son’s room.  He not only found the Chinese tourist disguise Ramsey mentioned, but some Egyptian tourist clothes similar to the ones you had described Brandon.”

Gunther continued, “I had a deep discussion with Iqbal during a long wait for VJ to come home.  It seems Iqbal despairs for his son and can’t control him.  Iqbal said his son was evil so he was not surprised at him being mixed up in a blackmail scheme.  Iqbal said he had hoped his son’s association with Vita Alto would steer him toward the political career path when he ages up, but it seems that Vita may have been just using him as a lackey.”

“When VJ finally came home, well after curfew, Iqbal questioned him about his involvement with Ramsey, but VJ denied everything.  Even when his father presented him with the evidence of the disguises, VJ remained closed-mouth about knowing anything about the photographs and who else was involved.  His father could not provoke him by threats or coercion to spill the beans and neither could we.” Gunther sighed.

“But never fear dear sister and brother-in-law,” Cornelia said, “Ramsey’s description of VJ has given me an idea on just how we might loosen that little toad’s tongue.”

Cornelia sighed heavily, “I do have some bad news though.  Unfortunately our plan to have the villain believe their scheme was working went too far.  While we’ve heard the gossip all around town that Brandon had stood up poor Agnes at the altar, someone has egged Sunny Point cottage last night, which was not part of our plans.  Audrey was deeply distressed over the prank so Alastair is staying home to be with her and the twins.  Gunther and I will pursue this nasty piece of work as we have more knowledge of the town and townies and hopefully this might give us the advantage to get to the bottom of things.”

Then Cornelia blindsided us by asking, “Are you two working on producing a cousin for Mortimer to play with?”  I was flabbergasted.

Agnes answered for us.  “I don’t think now is the time to bring a baby into this mess but we are... ‘practising’”, she said impishly.

Cornelia continued unabashed, “Well have a good time over there.  We really don’t believe you two are in any danger in Champs les Sims but now that the townies are taking sides here in Sunset Valley, Gunther and I are determined to solve this problem quickly for all our sakes.  I’ll call you again when we have more news.  In the meantime, forget about practising and get on with the main event.  None of us are getting any younger.” and she casually hung up.

While I was uncomfortable about the tone of the conversation, I’d clearly underestimated the depth of the relationship between the two sisters.  Since it was our honeymoon, I figured people weren’t just expecting us to hold hands all this time, but still... some things should be private.

I asked Agnes, “Do you want to go out and do all the traditional romantic honeymoon things; like stroll along beside the river, visit the museum, eat at the cafe, pick wildflowers, watch the stars, etc., now that everyone thinks it’s safe.”

Agnes floored my by replying, “Not really.  I have no wish to experience any of the romance Champs Les Sims has to offer if it means leaving this bedroom.  Despite what Cornelia thinks, it is the only place I feel totally safe.”

Well how could I be so boorish as to expose my darling Agnes to needless danger?  And to my mind, there wasn’t anything more beautiful out there, than what was in here with me.

So again we talked, we read books, we napped and we even found time to... um... practise.  Agnes scolded me a few times because my mind would endlessly drift back to the mystery and why all this was happening. 



When my phone rang mid morning, I was surprised because it was my new sister-in-law Jamie.  “Hi there you two,” she said, “I leave Sunset Valley for two seconds and you get yourselves into this mess!  In case you’re wondering, I’m back from Strangetown because Chris and I are expecting and hopefully my presence in the house will be enough to deter pranksters.”  So I did hear chimes on their wedding day.  I was glad she was at Sunny Point cottage as no smart Sim would want to get on her bad side.

“Just so you know, you don’t have to worry about the potion,” she said, “I listened to Chris’s MultiTab while I was away and have already reached level 10 in Logic.  I needed the skill to advance in my career and now I can concentrate on discovering the Young Again potion for Alastair.  So all you have to do is enjoy France and your honeymoon and with a little bit of luck, you can expect to hear from Cornelia and Gunther soon.”



Agnes and I congratulated Jamie on her pregnancy and said we hoped to be able to come home soon.  Then we wished her luck in discovering the potion for dad.

I turned to Agnes, “It’s nice that Jamie is back to help with the potion, but I feel strange now I’ve been made redundant.”

“Really,” she mocked, “come over here and let me show you just how much you’re needed.”  Agnes really had a way with… um... words.



Despite Agnes’s reassurance, I felt rather useless hiding in Champs les Sims. When I’m troubled I garden but there was no garden here for me to work in.  My other proven stress relief was cooking and since there was no way I was going to eat another bite of that awful dried food, I went downstairs to make us some decent food for lunch. 



Agnes agreed but we needed to eat fast as someone may snatch our room while we were away from it.  Even going to the bathroom ran the risk of someone taking our room.  After clearing away our lunch things, we returned to our room which thankfully, was still vacant.



We spent the afternoon much the same as the morning, reading, talking and really getting to know each other.  Just as we were thinking about dinner, I received yet another phone call.  This time it was Chris but he wasn’t calling from Strangetown.

“Hi you guys, I’m home and Brandon, you’re an uncle!”

“Congratulations!” Agnes and I said in unison.

“Give us the details!” I asked.

“Thanks, lucky for me I just arrived back in Sunset Valley and found Jamie just about to go to the hospital. 



I’m back because I got promoted to Flight Officer and sent home.  I scored a promotion in the field.  There was a large explosion on the Military Base in Strangetown while I was there for a debriefing.  I assisted in the evacuation of wounded and helped put out the fire.  I obviously impressed enough officers and got a promotion. 

“Jamie has called him Joshua.  He’s perfect.  All the usual number of fingers and toes,” Chris joked. 



“By the way, Jamie discovered the Young Again potion for dad just before she went into labour. 



But dad wants to wait until you two come home before he takes it.  Mum wants to have a reverse birthday party.”

“Speaking of which, you missed the twins’ birthday!  Lucy aged up before mum could get her to the cake but we got some nice pictures of dad helping Rosalie blow out the candles.”



“Mum is potty training them right now.  She figures if she gets that out of the way first, she and dad can manage the rest of their skills easily enough.”



“Look mate, there’s something else.”  Chris continued hesitantly, “I hope you don’t mind, but Jamie and I want to move out.  This house is just a bit crowded and um... well... Jamie and I would like to expand our family which we can’t do living here.  So Jamie and I want to buy the Loess house up on Redwood Parkway, the one we saw with mum way back when.”  I remember the house; it had a fish pond and a great view.

“Anyway, Dad has been looking after your garden since you’ve been gone and we figure if we sell just about all the produce in the fridge at the Al Fresco Market and then sell all that junk we’ve all been sent with the love letters, we’ll probably have enough without having to ask dad to sell his mother’s masterpieces.  Is that okay with you?” Chris asked.



“Yeah sure, I’m glad I planted so many of the Glow Orb mushrooms now.  It’ll be winter soon and when they go dormant, Agnes and I can make enough painting to get by easily.” I replied.

“Thanks Brandon!  Oh a word of caution, you and Agnes shouldn’t take too long in filling those cribs in the nursery or our mother will!” he advised.

“Thanks for the heads up.” I said weakly, wondering why the entire family was so interested in our most private personal business.

“If you want my advice,” Chris said. I didn’t but he gave it anyway.  “Go ahead and try for a baby.  By the time, he, she or they are born; all this will be in the past.  The Goths appear to have a good handle on who is behind all this.  You should expect to hear something soon, if not today, certainly tomorrow.  Stop wasting your time reading and make me an uncle!”  He hung up.

I looked at Agnes for moral support but she had that steely look in her eye which made me ever so slightly nervous.  “You know, my sister and your brother are right.  Babies aren’t made in a day.  We don’t have to wait.”  Then she grabbed me and kissed me.

“What about dinner?” I asked when she finally let me breathe.



“I’m not hungry for food,” she whispered in my ear.  “You do want a nooboo don’t you?”  Then she kissed me senseless.  If I was capable of coherent thought, I think I nodded.  I had rolled the wish to have a baby with Agnes on our wedding day and told her so.  She smiled as she whispered, “Me too.” She took me by the hand and we set about achieving our wishes.  We didn’t hear the chimes the first time but Agnes persisted until we did...



Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Duty Calls Chapter 30: Finding the Enemy Part II
« Reply #80 on: January 08, 2013, 10:50:07 AM »
Vita. I should have known she was involved when it was revealed that she overheard the conversation between Cornelia and Agnes. I am quite curious how Gunther and Cornelia plan to make VJ talk. This might be interesting.

I really like the way that you've fleshed out the Goth family personality-wise. Cornelia is a good sister and so protective of Agnes. It's a beautiful thing.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Duty Calls Chapter 31: Vanquishing the Enemy
« Reply #81 on: January 08, 2013, 10:50:18 PM »
Duty Calls Chapter 31: Vanquishing the Enemy

We were still sleeping soundly when Cornelia rang mid morning.



“Gunther and I have great news.  We’re all here at Sunny Point cottage so everyone can hear this.  The danger is over and the villains are defeated!”

“That’s fantastic news!” Agnes said putting the phone on speaker so I could hear too.  Cornelia and Gunther took turns at telling the story of how it all unravelled. 



Cornelia began, “I went to Aliester’s Elixirs and Sundries store to buy a vial of something to threaten to turn VJ into a toad.  But the clerk there said you need a level 4 Witch to cast the Toadification Curse to do that and it appears there are no witches of that skill level in Sunset Valley.  But I did find something better!  The store clerk said there was a level 10 Alchemist in Sunset Valley who had some Opposite Personality elixirs for sale on consignment so we bought two.

Gunther said, “Cornelia meant to use the elixir merely as a threat but when VJ sneered at her about Agnes, Cornelia lost it and threw the vial at VJ whose ‘Evil’ trait was replaced by its opposite, ‘Good’.”



Cornelia interrupted, “When we asked VJ again about the incident, he confessed his part in the photograph blackmail and, just as we all suspected, Vita Alto had been the mastermind.  Iqbal, who was initially undecided as to whether we should use the elixir even as a threat, wholeheartedly approves of the change in his unruly son because his inappropriate trait was changed to proper.”  Agnes chuckled at that.

“So buoyed by our success, Gunther and I immediately went to confront Vita Alto at her home.  Vita denied everything and again, without hesitation, I threw the final flask of Opposite Personality elixir at the most evil Sim in Sunset Valley.  As with VJ, the evil trait was replaced.



Vita then readily admitted that she planned to break Agnes and Brandon up so she could snare the ‘clueless and immature’ Brandon for a son-in-law.  Her words, Brandon,” Cornelia said, “so don’t take offense.”  I didn’t know Vita well enough to be offended by her low opinion of me but I felt Agnes bristle on my behalf which was very reassuring.

Gunther continued, “It appears that Holly Alto, who recently aged up to a young adult, had become smitten with Brandon and spent her days mooning about him and sending more and more extravagant gifts and long expressive love letters.”  I shrugged at Agnes’s raised eyebrows.  I had no idea of this, I met Holly a few times but she was still a teen then.  Also, I rarely get the mail.  Mum does that most days and like Jamie, she bins most of it.



Cornelia picked up the story, “The idea of an Alto-St Clair match pleased Vita who we all know is snobby and ambitious.  As a Simfield St Clair, Brandon was, in her eyes, a fitting husband for her daughter and father for the grandchildren Nick craves.  Also for herself, Vita wanted to use Brandon’s unique skills.  She has discovered the science of alchemy and needed a malleable drone to tend gardens and find insects, gems and fish.”



Gunther continued, “Now that Vita is a good Sim, she deeply regrets her part in the plan and has vowed to announce to all the townies that it was she alone who caused Agnes and Brandon to split; and she promised to go to Bridgeport to tell Brandon the truth.  Cornelia told her not to bother going to Bridgeport: the broken hearts had been a ruse.”

Cornelia interrupted him, “I told Vita that while Brandon may be immature and vulnerable, he wasn’t brainless, clueless or a weasel.”  Agnes smiled as Cornelia described how she defended me.  Cornelia continued, “I told her that it was Brandon who was the first to figure out that someone was trying to stop the wedding at the Claude Monet Artist Gardens.  So the two of you had a private wedding at Goth Manor instead and if she’d read her newspaper she’d know about it.”

Gunther continued, “I can’t think why you all forgot that all weddings, public and private get reported in the newspaper but it seems no one bothered to read it.  Anyway it’s all over.  It’s safe for you two to come home.  I have to say I’ve had more excitement with this little adventure than I’ve had in years.  I’ve been amazed by Cornelia’s ingenuity, tenacity and determination to play the big sister role and solve Agnes’s dilemma.  And, as ever, Cornelia wants the final word.”

You could almost hear the smirk in Cornelia’s voice as she said, “I have to confess this has been stimulating.  I was thinking about a career change to Private Investigator but this mission had been the catalyst in drawing Gunther and I back together.  So Agnes if you don’t hurry, I’m going to beat you to the maternity ward!”  We all clearly heard Gunther’s gasp over Cornelia’s chuckle then the line went dead.



Agnes and I just hugged.  Our ordeal was over and Cornelia and Gunther had not only solved the puzzle but neutralised our enemy.  As usual our hug turned into a kiss and before it lead anywhere else, my phone rang.  It was some local Champs les Sims townie wanting to know if I wanted to jog around the town for an hour.  He’s got to be kidding, I’m so exhausted I could scarcely raise a trot.  Does everyone think I’m superman!  I told him I’m wasn’t interested and hung up. 



I turned around to see Agnes on the phone and when she finished, she took my hand and said.  “Let’s go home.”

“Absolutely” was all I managed.  She took me by the hand and we walked out of that now claustrophobic bedroom for the last time. 



I slept in the plane all the way home.  We arrived back at Sunny Point cottage just as the sun set.  The house was ablaze with lights.  But I wanted a private moment to carry my lovely bride over the threshold.



Mum welcomed us into the hall and I couldn’t believe how much the twins had grown.  They were both walking and talking but I couldn’t tell if they were happy to see me because they remained engrossed in their blocks.

“Chris, Jamie and Joshua will be here shortly,” Mum said. And sure enough, they arrived, but without Joshua who was with a babysitter.



“Let’s not waste time, Agnes is nervous with all the people here and the girls will be hungry soon,” mum said, so dad stood to one side and drank the Young Again potion.



Without much fanfare he changed into a young adult.  He became younger than all of us, which was extraordinarily weird.



Mum, as usual, had the first word on dad’s appearance.  “You are so not wearing that!  Definitely new hairdo; and new clothes” which is exactly what dad had told her not too many days ago.  She dragged him off to the mirror and the dresser for a quick hairdo and change of clothes.



He came back wearing a Hawaiian style shirt which mum said was very suitable for where they were headed first - Sunlit Tides.

Mum hugged me and said, “Our work here is done.  We said we’d leave when you two boys were settled.  I want to have more children and we can’t all fit into this house.  Anyway after the egging prank, I’m not sure I like this town as much anymore so we’re off to see Sunlit Tides, then Monte Vista and we’ll check out whatever other places take our fancy.  Expect postcards from all over, so check the mailbox from time to time.  You know I’m not one for emails and such.”



“You’re leaving so soon!” I exclaimed.  “Agnes and I only just got back!  You’ve got a few days surely.  We hope to have some news really soon.”

Mum smiled and said, “Congratulations in advance.  We could always find excuses to stay but our staying will also restrict the number of people this house can hold.  I’m not stopping at Lucy and Rosalie.  I plan to have as many children as I can.  I bought this house for you boys.  Now Chris and Jamie have their own place but as I bought Sunny Point cottage specifically because of Brandon’s need for a fenced house with a garden, it’s yours.”  She gave me the keys.

Mum assured me, “Don’t you two worry about us!  We’ll have plenty to live on with Alastair’s sculpting and my painting.  Plus we have Alastair’s mother’s artworks as a fallback position.  We won’t want for anything.”



While Mum and Dad said their private goodbyes to Chris and Jamie, who was softly crying into Chris’s shoulder, I picked up my baby sisters one by one and snuggled them for probably the last time.



Next time I see them they will probably be children or God forbid, teens!  Agnes held me as tears rolled gently down her beautiful face.



Then dad came over to say goodbye, “Take care Brandon, I’m especially proud of you.  You’ve become a fine young man who’s been lucky enough to find the rarest treasure in the world, a strong woman who loves you unconditionally.  Call your mother from time to time or she’ll get anxious.  Don’t worry we’ll visit.  Despite what mum says, I like Sunset Valley and when your mother has got this travel bug out of her system, we may return for good some day.”

“By the way, I’ve left you a little surprise below stairs.  It’s something we may need to use if we have more problems like Vita Alto.  Remember we now have a spiteful fairy who is not known for her sunny personality.  Forewarned is forearmed.”  Then mum and dad picked up one of the girls each and left.



Agnes and Jamie hugged each other in a sob-fest.  Chris and I weren’t too far behind our wives. 



Chris choked out a goodnight and said to call him and we’ll get together on the weekend.  All I could manage in reply was a nod.  Then Chris took the still sobbing Jamie by the hand and they too left.



Agnes came over to me and held me as we stood alone in that now deserted cavernous hall and asked, “Are you going to check out what surprise your father left for you downstairs.”

“Okay, let’s do it,” I replied.

We went down to the first basement and it looked the same as usual.  I could see no gift.  Then we went down to the second basement and saw all the bugs that I’d collected as a teen displayed in nice cupboards.  Then exploring further I found an Alchemy station and gem cutter together with my treasure chest of gems rocks and metals. 



I guess dad means for me to study alchemy so I can learn to make elixirs to combat my great-great-grandmother Annette if she makes trouble.  “Well no time like the present,” I said reaching for the alchemy book. 

“No sweetheart, I have other plans for now,” she said as she reached for my hand and led me back upstairs, our footsteps echoing throughout the empty house.

“Well, my darling,” I asked.  “What are we going to do with this huge house?”



“Fill it up with love, laughter and lots of children.” she replied impishly.




THE END

Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler



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Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Duty Calls Completed: Acknowledgements and Credits
« Reply #82 on: January 08, 2013, 11:06:15 PM »
Acknowledgements and Credits

Duty Calls is a work of fiction.  The St Clair characters, Simfield and most in-game incidents are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

My thanks go to many people.  Firstly, all those Forum members who allowed me to use their patterns, houses, community lots and especially, Shipperke for the use of Dr Simgund and Judewright and Mrs Flynn for the use of their beautiful house Sunny Point Cottage.  I hope I did them justice.

I have very special thanks to Raiadraconis and Lousie56 without whose encouragement, I would have found it harder to complete the story.  I didn’t want to let you down by being tardy putting pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard).

My thanks also go to my IRL son who showed me how to post stuff and my IRL MrMagz who assisted me with editing.  The mistakes are all mine.

My thanks also to my Sims and especially my 6th dynasty heir Adam St Clair who rolled the opportunity to go to China and disappeared from the screen and corrupted everything.  You gave me the idea for the story.  And more importantly, you taught me never to install an EP in the middle of a dynasty.  I had fun playing you but you are all now in the bin.

Members of the Forum, I welcome your input into my first story.  With your help, maybe it won’t be my last.  Feel free to launch brickbats and/ or bouquets.  I can only learn from my mistakes if someone tells me what they are.

Margaret
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Duty Calls Chapter 31: Vanquishing the Enemy
« Reply #83 on: January 08, 2013, 11:46:10 PM »
Ah Vita, always scheming. Don't worry Holly, there are plenty of fish in the sea. :)

That was truly a remarkable ending! Love, family, and romance all around, and a hopeful new beginning for Agnes and Brandon. I especially loved that bit with Gunther and Cornelia and a possible new sibling for Morty. Very sweet and endearing, that.

Your story has been an inspiration and a joy to read from the very beginning. Thank you so much for sharing it, and bravo on a work completed!

Louise56

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Re: Duty Calls Chapter 31: Vanquishing the Enemy
« Reply #84 on: January 09, 2013, 06:01:14 AM »
I love the happy ending! Vita as a good sim! :P Congrats on a perfect ending. I hope you write another story. ;)

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Duty Calls Chapter 31: Vanquishing the Enemy (Completed)
« Reply #85 on: February 13, 2013, 06:11:23 AM »
If you enjoyed this story, you might want to read the sequel, "Islands of Sunset Valley" here.
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

Offline ombradellarosa

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Re: Duty Calls Chapter 31: Vanquishing the Enemy (Completed)
« Reply #86 on: March 03, 2013, 03:02:09 AM »
What a great story! I've been reading it for several days and just finished. So much suspense and excitement! I loved how the story never pretended its protagonists weren't Sims. They had all the unique aspects of Sims--inventory, moodlets, traits. And the perspective on Immortal Dynasties made me sad about doing one  :-\ But I think my Sims are happier than the St. Clairs were. Having Chris Steel really be Adam St. Clair makes all of the dynasties that use him seem kind of ironic.
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