Author Topic: Wrangler in Space: The Wrangler Immortal Dynasty, Take 2  (Read 2104 times)

Offline Sarabi

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Re: Wrangler in Space: The Wrangler Immortal Dynasty, Take 2
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2017, 02:08:47 PM »
Thanks, Dek.  I think the immediate issues are solved, at least for now.

10.  Adam Checks In

Adam pulled out his comm device, and began entering his report:

Starlog W6D7

I guess it's been awhile since I've reported in.  A lot has happened, a lot has changed, including our Sim bodies.  Mine has changed, Agnes's has changed, and so has Brenda's along with a lot of other Sims I've gotten to know here.  I guess I knew this would happen, that knowledge was downloaded to me when I first arrived here.  But still, I wasn't really prepared for the way everything has happened.

Although I sometimes make my own choices, I still feel manipulated from afar, as if my will is not my own.  This is going to be a short report, because I really feel like I need to talk with you like we did in the past.


… transmitting... transmission complete.

Moments later, the Watcher opened a direct communication link to Adam's mind.

Watcher:  Hello, Adam.  You wanted to talk with me?

Adam:  Yes.  I think I've done what you asked of me.

Watcher:  Well, you're certainly off to a good start.  You'll need to continue what you're doing for several more generations.  Congratulations, by the way.

Adam:  So this is it, then?  This is my life for all eternity?

Watcher:  No, not forever, but for a very long time.

Adam:  But I've little left to do.  I go through the same routine every day.  Eat, garden, shower, eat, sleep.  Eat, garden, shower, eat, sleep.  I'm not allowed to do much else.

Watcher:  You left out your near-daily sprinkler play.

Adam:  Well, yeah, there's that, too.

Watcher:  Plus occasional birthday parties, socializing with others, watching your family grow up?

Adam:  But there's nothing else for me to achieve, nothing to strive toward, not much to wish for.

Watcher:  That's because you've achieved success.  Since you're no longer focused on your own need to realize your potential, your own quest for self-actualization, you are uniquely positioned to be a better observer of others.  And that is what we really need from you now.   Collect a great wealth of experience, learn all that you can about sim life.

Adam:  I see.  And do what with this information?

Watcher:  You and all of your descendants will be de-briefed when this project is complete.

Adam:  Okey-doke.  Oh, and I think I figured out what Wrangler means.  I still don't know how it applies to me.

Watcher:  Well, I suppose you do some wrangling, at least in the sense of persuading and caretaking.  You've wrangled a fairly complex set of requirements to completion, a family along with some other sims, and some plants.  It was you, after all, who chose to use that moniker.

Adam:  I suppose I did.  I guess the word can apply to other stuff.

Watcher:  Also, a brand of clothing, vehicle model, and other things.  Anything else?

Adam:  I'm good, I guess.  Thanks.

And with that, the connection was dropped.

Next up... a visit from Grim.

Offline Sarabi

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Re: Wrangler in Space: The Wrangler Immortal Dynasty, Take 2
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2017, 12:07:52 PM »
11.  Grim Takes Two

While she continued to grow ever more self-reliant as she matured, Brenda remained very close to the mother who had done so very much for the family.  Even as a teenager, Brenda recognized that Agnes would not always be there for her, and wanted to make memories sharing quality time with her mum.

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She sometimes challenged Agnes to play a game of chess with her

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and other times invited Agnes outside for some Gnubb.

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Adam also jumped aboard the Agnes appreciation bandwagon

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with a few special moves of his own.

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Feeling a bit of pressure from the parents about her complete lack of dating, Brenda invited a school friend named Kendall Solis to visit on a sunny Sunday afternoon.  Always a concerned and protective father, Adam greeted him at the door and began to assess whether he might be a suitable suitor for his daughter.

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The family decided to visit the park across the street with their guest.  Upon arrival Brenda, of course, proceeded to do her typical Brenda thing...

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… while Adam befriended the young man.  Upon learning that he had no home or family, Adam invited Kendall to move in with them, and he gratefully accepted.

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(Ed. Note: Kendall had been Brenda's friend in grade school, and a paper carrier.  He did not age up to high school when Brenda did, but a few days later.  When he arrived for the visit at Brenda's invitation, he was a YA.  He's a little on the thin side, but overall not a bad looking fellow.  He has a rather odd mixture of traits, which we'll discuss later.)

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The following day, the Wrangler residence had other visitors, this time uninvited.  It's more than a little disconcerting when Mr. Grim takes an active interest in one of your immortal-to-be heirs.

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But let's not get ahead of ourselves.  Hearing the wailing of deep pain and unrelenting sorrow on their front deck, Agnes went outside to find Judy Bunch grieving the loss of beloved husband Jack.  Hoping to provide some companionship that might help to ease her suffering, Agnes kindly invited her to come inside.

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But Mr. Grim had not yet finished his work on this day; there was another Sim to harvest, another elderly life that would come to a close, and right here on the Wrangler homestead.

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Judy Bunch's grieving was summarily ended when she was taken to join Jack in Sim afterlife.  Over the next couple of days, the Wranglers found other members of the Bunch family grieving on and around their homestead, and did their best to offer comfort to their friends.

Next up: Brenda's confusion.



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Offline Sarabi

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Re: Wrangler in Space: The Wrangler Immortal Dynasty, Take 2
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2017, 10:21:11 AM »
12.  Brenda's Confusion

“Dear, dear, dear, dear diary,” Brenda muttered under her breath as she cast out her line for the umpteenth time today.  “So many young men out there, all with different personalities and qualities.  I just don't know.”

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She reeled in her latest nibble, giggling out loud at the absurd situation before her, marveling at the direct parallel between tossing a lure out there to catch fish and tossing herself out there to lure a husband.  Or at the very least, someone to father the child who would satisfy her growing maternal instincts.

For quite some time now, Brenda had been aware of certain expectations.  She was expected to wed Kendall Solis, the young man her father had invited to move in with them some time ago.  She also knew, on some level, that she was expected to produce a child – a desire that came very naturally to her as a family-oriented sim.  Both of her parents wanted to see her marry.  Of course, they also both wanted to see her enter the Science career field, which probably wasn't going to happen.

She genuinely liked Kendall.  Like a lot.  Great big gobs of liking him, and being with him was so comfortable he felt like family, like he was already a part of her.  Indeed, he was already a part of her household.  She was able to tolerate his grumpiness, having been raised by a mother who shares that trait.  Though Kendall had his own personal goals and wishes, he'd been so willing to do whatever the family requested of him, so willing to sublimate himself in service to the Wranglers.

Kendall had much to offer, yet there seemed to be something...   “There's just something missing,” Brenda blurted aloud, still pondering her dilemma.  “He's comfortable like an old shoe – not the sort of thing that gets a girls' heart racing.”  There was also the fact that Kendall had no family in the area, which would deprive any child they might have of paternal relatives.  Family was so very important to Brenda; she had certainly enjoyed her relationships with extended family growing up, and wanted that for her offspring.  And really, how would he adapt to being a father, to being part of a family, with so very little knowledge or experience of such?  Brows furrowed, Brenda chewed her lower lip considering the implications of building a life and family with Kendall.  Although she was not completely sure what she was supposed to feel toward a life partner, she was confident that her feelings toward Kendall were not it.

But perhaps we should back up a bit.

The Wranglers had thrown a big party to celebrate Brenda's birthday, that magical moment when she left adolescence to enter adulthood and take on its privileges and responsibilities.  A bevy of boys attended – teenagers as well as adults – and Brenda made an effort to talk with every one of them.

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Hosting a party – and making the rounds to make sure everyone in attendance is enjoying themselves – comes very easily and naturally to Brenda.  Her affable nature makes her quite popular, and everyone around her is happy to step up and line up to celebrate with her.

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And she worked the crowd, worked her way through the crowd.  All were friendly, cordial, and welcoming, but there just wasn't any particular sparkage.

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Her parents did all they could to set the mood, going so far as to fumble around on the fretboard to try to provide some romance-inducing background music.

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But there still wasn't much in the way of romance happening for our Brenda.  And then she met Javier Hopper.

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In his presence, she felt all warm and fluttery, weak-in-the-knees.  There was chemistry and the flirting came so easily and so naturally.  The other guests filed out one by one, but Javier stayed... and stayed... and stayed.  Is he the one?

But even Javier had to leave eventually, and Agnes called Brenda to pose for a new set of portraits, birthday portraits being a time-honored tradition in the Wrangler household.

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Returning to the daily business of fishing, Brenda continued to mull over the decisions before her.  As present experiences are processed into memories of the past, Brenda found her interest in Javier fading, and wondered if that was because she was trying to turn what was a brief, spontaneous emotional encounter into something her mind could fully embrace.  Different spheres of influence, the head and the heart, and Brenda was having great difficulty wrangling hers into alignment with one another.

Seeing no obvious way to resolve her uncertainty, Brenda felt that a change of scenery might shake something loose and offer her a different perspective.  Besides, she'd been an honor student throughout her school career and had already achieved much success in her young life.  She deserved a trip to France, bought herself a prepared traveler award, and made her travel plans.

Next Up:  The French Connection

Offline Sarabi

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Re: Wrangler in Space: The Wrangler Immortal Dynasty, Take 2
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2017, 12:33:55 PM »
13.  The French Connection

Brenda arrived in Champs Les Sims eager to explore and immerse herself in the local color, flavor, and especially the great outdoors.  Her first order of business was, of course, to check out the local waterways to see what new types of aquatic life she could coax out of them.
 
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While touring the countryside, she spotted a small island in the river which appeared at first glance to be inaccessible.  Her very protective father had insisted she learned some basic self-defense very young, and she had developed her meditative skills to the point where she was actually able to teleport herself across some distance.  Her efforts to get to the island bore fruit in the form of some new plant varieties she knew would be of great interest to her father.  She also dug up some relics and found a few more prime fishing spots around the island.

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Although Brenda could never tire of fishing or simply being in the great outdoors – not really – after a time, she reminded herself that there was much more to experience, and resolved to get on with it.  A quick check of the bulletin board posted outside the inn where she was staying revealed some adventures she could take on, and she chose to do exactly that.

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She stopped by the local shops to purchase gear and supplies for her adventures and meet some locals.

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Brenda was very aware that France was considered the home of haute couture, a magnet for those with a passion for fashion, a place where she'd expect to find those with exquisitely refined tastes.  Imagine her surprise, then, when she met a local shopkeeper wearing a hairstyle that she could only describe as “mom hair.”

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Maybe her mother had better taste than she'd ever given her credit for?  Brenda didn't spend too much time pondering the question, since she herself always preferred simple pragmatism and function over form in her own clothing and style selections.  Fishing vests and hip waders suited her just fine.

Brenda was also very surprised when, just a few days into her trip, who would she find at the base camp but her parents?

Yep – they, too, wanted to experience France and made the decision to spend the rest of her trip there with her.  One of Brenda's favorite new toys was the Kenspa scooter that would allow her to feel the sun and wind on her face as she buzzed around the countryside.  Brenda purchased a couple more of them, so her parents could also get around easier.

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Adam and Agnes enjoyed their visit to the local museum.

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Agnes enjoyed the ambiance of the Nectary – in fact, it inspired some of her writing – a lifelong avocation that she finally had time to develop.

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Adam also enjoyed the Nectary, but engaged in his usual pursuits while there.

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For the most part, the elderly couple spent their French holiday hanging around the base camp, where Adam kept the place tidy...

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… and Agnes continued the writing she'd waited most of her life to be able to pursue.

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Brenda's French adventures took her into some places she'd otherwise never have been able to see.  Some of the environments were perilous, but Brenda persisted and trudged on.  One place in particular that she found unforgettable was Chateau du Landgraab – the rich materials and textures, overall size and scale, and arrangement of uniquely adorned spaces made her long for such a place to call home, or at least visit frequently.  Her family was certainly wealthy, but their home was so... average.  So nondescript.  So boring.

Continuing her exploration of this elegant wonderland, she walked right into a trap.

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Fortunately, there was first aid nearby where she could patch herself up and regain her composure to continue.

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Through her adventures, Brenda earned visa points bit-by-bit, and eventually made visa level 3.  This made it possible for her to purchase a vacation home in France, and she was thrilled to obtain a massive castle she believed would be on par with Chateau du Landgraab.  She could barely wait to share the good news with her parents.

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The family members settled in to their usual activities.  Agnes continued with her writing in the castle's office space.

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After planting a small garden on the estate, Adam proceeded to... um, yeah

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Brenda's joy with the acquisition was short-lived.  Touring the place revealed that it was indeed huge, but very sparsely furnished – and large, empty indoor spaces weren't especially inviting or interesting to Brenda.  She'd rather be outside, after all.  Just as Chateau du Landgraab had drawn her admiration only to zap her with traps, the stark reality of the castle she'd purchased was utterly disappointing.  How could she have been so deluded?

Because she didn't look past the surface, she realized, and allowed herself to be fooled by initial, first impressions.  Kind of like her brief chemistry with Javier Hopper.  Fascinating, even compelling at first blush, but not much else there to discover.

And there it was – the understanding she needed to forge ahead with eyes wide open and heart wide open to romance with Kendall.  He was always there for her and her family, stable, secure, known and understood.  The two already enjoyed a strong foundation of not only friendship, but familial bonds – and that is exactly what Brenda needed in a life partner.

Offline Sarabi

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Re: Wrangler in Space: The Wrangler Immortal Dynasty, Take 2
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2018, 04:36:41 PM »
14.  A House Overview

I thought it might be about time to show what the Wrangler homestead looks like overall at this point.  Like every other sim house I've ever built, it's pretty much an uninspired box.

First, some exterior shots.

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It's a full two-story, except that the second floor has a small deck (veranda ?).  The whole thing is built upon and surrounded by a wrap-around deck, with stairs to the ground on each side, and 2 sets of stairs in the back.

The first floor layout looks like this:

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With loads of interior space wasted by hallways.  I have this tendency to try to leave at least 2 squares around any high-traffic object (like the dining room table) and make hallways at least 2 wide.  I don't know how much it actually helps, because I still seem to have sims doing the I-can't-get-there stompy dance while abandoning plates of food because they run into routing conflicts with other sims.

I usually put dining areas close to the front door, since eating breakfast is typically the last thing they do before they leave for work or school.  There's a study in the lower left corner, and a living room in the lower right.

The middle (horizontal) stripe includes the staircase, laundry room, food prep kitchen, and a bathroom at either end.  Only the current cook has access to the food prep kitchen.  I leave only the fancy fridge and a dishwasher in the dining area.  Most meals prepared by the current cook (typically a mortal spouse) are slid into the fridge and consumed as leftovers.

There are 4 bedrooms across the rear of the first floor.  From left to right, the current occupants are Adam & Agnes, Brenda, Kendall, and empty.  Kendall's room is locked to him only and includes a bookcase with the skill books that are off-limits to the immortals.

The second floor layout looks like this:

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It's mostly unfinished/unfurnished at this point.  There are some bathroom fixtures tucked up there for future use – they've been upgraded.  Most of the space has been hacked into 4 bedrooms plus 4 studios for generations to come.  There's also an extra fridge tucked up there for now – I plan to put a small dining table and chairs and a dishwasher along the wall that separates the interior space from the deck/veranda, once some of the upstairs bedrooms are occupied.

Kendall was working on an ice sculpture when I took this screenshot.  I briefly entertained notions of adding sculptures to the immortal museum, but then decided to stick with portraits only for this run.

The museum pieces are currently being stored in an unfinished basement that has no entrance as of yet.  More building to do at a later date.

Way too much wasted space, but it functions well enough.

Offline Sarabi

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Re: Wrangler in Space: The Wrangler Immortal Dynasty, Take 2
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2018, 05:00:04 PM »
15.  So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish

Upon returning from France, Brenda wasted no time in re-connecting with Kendall, desperate to know whether she could truly generate the feelings she'd wanted to share with a potential mate.  The results of her interactions with him were just right for both of them.  It would work, though she wasn't quite ready to fully take the plunge just yet.

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But the Wranglers hadn't quite fully scratched the itch left by the travel bug bite, and made their way to Shang Simla, China, posthaste.

Brenda was fascinated by the variety and abundance of koi species, and spent the bulk of her time in China catching them.

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Even though fishing remained her primary interest and motivation in life, it was not without its downsides and unpleasantries.  Her recognition that the sweetest roses come with thorns helped her to further process and embrace her decision to move forward with building a life with the oft out-of-sorts Kendall.

Adam was eager to strike out adventuring, and found himself a number of ancient awe-inspiring dungeons and crypts, replete with secret passageways, traps, and other perils.

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Along the way, he collected a variety of treasures – ancient coins, valuable relics, and the like.  Eventually, his bravery and persistence led him to one of the greatest treasures of all – Pangu's Axe.

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His successful adventuring (hugely enhanced by the Opportunistic LTR) made it possible for Adam to purchase a vacation property in China.  As he'd done in France, he planted a small garden to provide fresh, high-quality produce for any other family members who may visit the location in the future.

Meanwhile, Agnes visited the local attractions, continued to write children's books, and wrangled the plumbing fixtures as needed.

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They returned from their vacation in the usual way...

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… feeling a sense of family togetherness, closeness, and unity unlike anything they'd ever experienced.

 The timing of this last blast as a family could not have been more fitting.  Upon their return, they each went back to their separate activities – Brenda fishing, Adam in the garden, Agnes writing.  What was different about this day was that Agnes finished the last children's book she would ever write.

While she was preparing yet another meal for her family late that afternoon, he returned – and this time it was for Agnes.

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Noone else was in their home at the time, and it was probably just as well.  They didn't have to watch her plead with Mr. Grim for an extension of the life in which she'd found such joy and meaning.

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But he was not to be dissuaded from completing his mission to take her from them, and thus ended a life very well-lived.  She was 98 days old.

Her obituary would include this list of contributions and accomplishments for Agnes (nee Crumplebottom) Wrangler:

  • Mastered 5 skills including fishing, cooking, painting, handiness, and writing.  Also had a few points in charisma.
  • Painted all 3 of Adam's portraits as well as Brenda's through Young Adult.
  • Completed the culinary career track, obtaining a super fancy fridge that would serve her family for generations to come.
  • She left that fancy fridge filled with a lot of meals to feed them well into the future.
  • Caught the deathfish required for Ambrosia, and stocked the pond across the street with deathfish.
  • Upgraded every appliance and plumbing fixture in their home and kept them in repair.
  • Upgraded 3 food replicators and filled them with Ambrosia.
  • Achieved a LTW of Swimming in Cash.  In the end, she could also have fulfilled her original LTW of Illustrious Author.
  • Wrote 32 books (mostly children's) including 21 best-sellers and 10 hits.

The promises that the Watcher had made to Agnes so long ago were kept.  She'd been an integral part, a key co-founder of a dynasty that would outlast her by several generations.

So long, Agnes.  And thanks for all the fish.

Offline Sarabi

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Re: Wrangler in Space: The Wrangler Immortal Dynasty, Take 2
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2018, 06:34:34 PM »
16.  And Two Shall Become... Three?

In the days following Agnes' passing, her survivors adjusted to her absence bit-by-bit.  Adam quit shaving

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while Kendall assumed some of the home maintenance chores.

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Brenda continued her near-daily trips to the consignment store where she often spoke of her family while conducting business.  She purchased a new harvester there to help ease Adam's gardening burden.

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But using it always seemed to make him feel sick and dizzy.  Brenda also placed some newly acquired hygienators in the garden for Adam's amusement, but they too had a tendency to leave him making a mad dash for the bathroom.

Brenda purchased the property across the street, where she spent so much time fishing, and fully upgraded it.

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She even included a small family cemetery which would become her mother's final resting place – complete with one of her favorite titles.

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Having managed to adapt to life without Agnes – while knowing they would always miss her – Brenda felt that the time had come for her to take the next step in building the family.  She invited Kendall on a very late date, which he readily accepted.  She took him across the road, to her favorite fishing pond, where they danced beneath the light of a pale moon.

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Eager for a nooboo, Brenda revealed her family orientation to Kendall, and asked for his assistance in the creation of a new life.  He readily agreed.

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Brenda wasn't feeling so good the next day.

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Kendall was ecstatic to learn of his impending fatherhood.

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But he wanted to be more than a father.  He also wanted to be a husband, asked Brenda to join him in marriage, and they became engaged.

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The couple made their preparations for the baby's arrival by learning all that they could about what to expect.

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Brenda then explained everything to her father, who wasn't too pleased about it at first.

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But once she got him to understand that everything was working out exactly as she wanted – and that he would soon have a grandchild – he expressed his congratulations and happiness for his daughter.

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And here we have the infamous pregnant walk, only this time with pirate boots clipping through the  pants.  I've been using those boots as makeshift hip-waders for her everyday going-fishing outfit, and of course you can't really adjust what they're given to wear while pregnant.

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What may be worse, though, is the hairstyle they'd given her with the “career” outfit.  I don't usually bother to adjust those, since I don't use them – but since the game uses them anyway, perhaps I ought to pay more attention when I'm planning outfits.

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Yep, that's a watermelon she's eating in that shot.  It was a tough call – in my original file, both Brenda and her husband (Chadwick last time) had wanted a boy, so the 3rd gen was a boy in that game.  In this game, Brenda wanted a girl, Kendall didn't specify, so... watermelon it is.

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The baby is coming!  The ever independent, always self-reliant Brenda gave birth at home all by herself.  Welcome, Claire.

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With Claire safely tucked into her crib, the new parents switched gears and clothes and went outside to exchange vows in a very private ceremony.

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And with that, a new family was born.

Brenda was a bit sad that her mother wasn't there to see her married or meet her grandchild, but also a bit relieved that she didn't have to fend off her efforts to make a major social event out of it.  That it had all come about in the no-muss, no-fuss Brenda sort of way suited her just fine.



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Offline Sarabi

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Re: Wrangler in Space: The Wrangler Immortal Dynasty, Take 2
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2018, 01:07:46 PM »
17.  The Ties That Bind

In spite of his humble background, Kendall proved to be highly motivated, and eager to learn a variety of skills.  He also developed a keen interest in celestial bodies, and enjoyed searching the heavens for undiscovered bodies.  As he was doing so one evening, he entered adulthood, with that same passion for knowledge that had sustained him through much skill-building since he joined the Wrangler household.

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He also proved himself to be quite a dedicated husband and father, quickly allaying Brenda's fears about how he might take to those roles.  Where Claire was concerned he took everything in stride, putting her well-being above any minor indignities he might suffer -- even when his inherent grumpiness had him feeling out-of-sorts.

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One thing in particular that was difficult for Kendall to manage was running simple errands.  You'd think that a vehicle enthusiast would especially enjoy car trips, but the eco-friendly Kendall often returned feeling sad about not sharing the ride.  To help him mediate these opposing traits, Brenda gifted him with something she felt would satisfy both – and he was delighted to receive such a thoughtful gift from his beloved wife.

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It seemed the husband-father-family man thing was going to work out for Kendall, after all.

While Kendall balanced his time between Claire care and skill development, Brenda split hers between motherhood and career.  To grow her income from fishing, Brenda built an impressive reputation at the Consignment store and invested in the Suave Seller LTR.

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Of course, she always enjoyed meeting new people and telling them about her family.  When she went to pick up her service award for reaching level 9 of her self-employed angler career, she found a crowd of protesters letting the local government know how they felt about the recent rainbow clown menace.   She'd been so busy with her family and career, she'd not noticed the threat posed by rainbow clowns, and asked Ethan Bunch to explain.  Once enlightened, Brenda was especially glad that her father was brave, that both she and him had taken some self-defense training, and that Kendall was such an involved, protective father.  With all of that going for them, rainbow clowns would never pose any danger to the Wrangler family.

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Claire's baby days were filled with regular feeding, snuggling, cuddling, and... other forms of attention from every member of her household.

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Those baby days flew by in a haze of odd sleeping patterns and interrupted activities for the rest of the household, and Claire's toddler-hood arrived with a typical Wrangler-style epic party.

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As a toddler, Claire continued to cling to a particular well-worn baby blanket her parents had used for her in infancy.  They never quite understood the appeal – it was something that Brenda had picked up at the consignment shop, handmade from a custom-designed fabric.  They sometimes wondered if the appeal had to do with the fact that its colors were very similar to the colors Kendall wore, but were otherwise stymied by her attachment to it.  As a toddler, Claire's world was supposed to expand, yet her apparent need for proximity to the blanket that they could take away to launder only when she was sound asleep seemed to confine her.  To ease that problem, Brenda tracked down the artisan who had made it, and commissioned an entire bolt of that custom-dyed cloth that she could use to make clothing for Claire.  It worked.

Kendall got started with Claire's toddler portraits, one of which turned out to be a side-eye shot.  I'm going to have fun with that one.

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Virtuoso Daddy loved nothing better than conducting young Claire in xylophone sessions.  Claire really responded to those sessions, and naturally slipped into the making-music-with-daddy zone.

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Their easygoing rapport over the xylophone was representative of a deeper level of communication they shared, which made it very easy for Kendall to help Claire learn to talk.

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Not to be outdone, Mom also devoted plenty of time to helping Claire master the skills that would serve her throughout her life.

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Grandpa found ways to help, too.

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(Check out the side-eye portrait)

Given the benevolence of a Daddy who knew how to cook and a Grandma who'd left behind many delightful meals, Claire was able to enjoy some mighty fine cuisine even at a very young age.

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During those rare moments of independent play, Claire really dug into the toddler art books her parents had left for her to read at will.

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If Brenda ever had a lick of doubt or remorse over her decision to make her family with Kendall, you'd  never have known it.  She was completely immersed in her family life, and her admiration for Kendall continued to grow.  Like him, she quietly aged up to Adult late one night, on her own.

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In keeping with tradition, her dear husband started on her new portraits straightaway.

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Claire's birthday the following day did not pass without fanfare, but was celebrated by her family.

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As her father lined up the easels to start her new set of portraits, Claire stepped right up and started a painting of her own.

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On her second day of school, the very friendly Claire was invited to go home with new chum Meghan Wilkerson, and gladly accepted.  Arriving at their home, she found that Meghan had not one, but two toddler brothers named Cecil and Shea.  In days to come, Claire would be a frequent guest at the Wilkerson's home, with a front row seat into the lives and growth of those two young fellas.  Hmm...

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Offline Sarabi

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Re: Wrangler in Space: The Wrangler Immortal Dynasty, Take 2
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2018, 11:29:08 AM »
18.  Wilkerson Friendships and Other Acquisitions

Kendall continued to make home repairs as objects became broken.

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Brenda bought a Teleportation Pad, and found that attempts to teleport sometimes ended in unexpected ways.  To allay that, Kendall modified the unit to provide perfect teleportation.

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She also bought herself a Margaret Vaguester for speedy transport when the teleporter was inconvenient.  It proved to be especially handy during those times when she was racing the clock to get to the consignment store in time to make the day's sales.  Kendall wasn't sure what to make of his wife's new purchase – the vehicle enthusiast in him had great admiration for its engineering while his eco-friendly nature railed against the excesses.  Kendall also found it odd that his wife insisted on being the family's representative to the consignment store since he was a Born Salesman – but Brenda had purchased the Suave Seller LTR, and that was that. 

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Kendall was also not quite sure what to make of another one of his wife's new habits.  Brenda had never cared much about clothes, but she'd gotten to a point where she really didn't care about clothes.  Like at all.

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Adam purchased a fourth food replicator, which Kendall upgraded.  He then cooked up a perfect batch of French Toast, and Brenda stored it in the replicator.

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Wanting to further expand their real estate portfolio, Brenda purchased the EverFresh Delights Supermarket, which, along with the consignment store, had served as an important outlet for Adam's produce and Brenda's fish.  The family certainly enjoyed Brenda's previous purchase and upgrade of Summer Hill Springs (also known as the pond across the road, or simply “the pond”).  They sometimes had impromptu family outings there.

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Brenda even cooked hot dogs once, which were shared with a friend also visiting the pond that day.

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Other times, Claire would sneak out to the garden to join Grandpa in his favorite pasttime.

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Of course, life wasn't always pure fun and games.  There was always homework to be done, and usually help available for the asking.

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As for Adam, he continued to spend a vast amount of time alone in the garden, but lately it was... different.  He'd always talked to his plants, but their conversations were becoming more and more profound, more dramatic, more an expression of some deeply held fear or frustration, apparently involving Brenda.

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As for the Wilkersons, the entire family made themselves awfully easy to befriend.

Deon, the family's patriarch, showed up in the Wrangler's front yard one day.  Brenda befriended him, and invited him in to share in the organic spaghetti feast that Kendall had prepared.

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Wilkerson matriarch Melonie stopped by to chat with Adam in the garden, and she was invited to share in the fresh organic sushi Kendall had prepared from Brenda's best catch of the day.

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Meanwhile, Claire continued to be a frequent invited guest at the Wilkerson's.  Meghan had quickly become her very first best friend, but Claire was also interested in getting to know her younger brothers.

It wasn't long before the li'l guys started to grow up, which gave Claire an opportunity to get to know them better.  Her Observant LTR allowed Claire to discover that Cecil is a couch potato, easily impressed, and a light sleeper while Shea is artistic, unlucky, and hates the outdoors.  Double hmm...

Offline Sarabi

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Re: Wrangler in Space: The Wrangler Immortal Dynasty, Take 2
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2018, 04:06:32 PM »
19.  Claire with a Flair

If you asked Claire, anytime was easel time.  Though she always kept up with her homework and spent quite a bit of time with the Wilkersons, she still found plenty of opportunities to use the easel her parents had placed in her room.  She loved the rich odor of the paints as she squirted them out of the tubes and onto her palette, and came to recognize the different colors by smell as well as sight.

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Claire's father, a master painter himself, fully supported her endeavors and frequently shared different ideas and perspectives with her.  Of course, he was also quite busy making changes to appliances and fixtures around the house.  Since the already neat Brenda had purchased the Speedy Cleaner LTR, they did not particularly need self-cleaning fixtures.  Avoiding future breakdowns by making them unbreakable became a better choice at this phase in their family life.

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Although the Wranglers did not organize a full-blown birthday party for Claire's entry to adolescence, Cecil Wilkerson happened to stop by and share in the event.

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Claire's unique tastes would no longer be thwarted.  Unlike her mum, who had a penchant for sturdy boots, hip-waders, fishing vests, and other outdoorsy gear, young Claire was a rather girly-girl, with a flair for fashion of her own design.  She could hardly wait to start wearing jewelry and would rather be barefoot or in sandals than enclose her feet in the heavy footwear her mother would choose.  It was always a struggle to get Claire to wear protective footwear, and by the time she reached her teen years, her parents flat gave up.  They also quit trying to tone down her style choices, and allowed her to fully express her own self in her own way.

Claire really wanted to try her hand at portraiture, and saw her father as the perfect candidate.

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Accompanying her growing independence was a growing need for personal space and privacy.  To accommodate her, the Wranglers furnished some Claire space upstairs, complete with a bedroom decorated to her tastes, an art studio, and her own dining facilities.

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(Ed. Note - I stuck a hamper close to the top of the stairs.  I drag clothes piles into it, so the laundry sim doesn't have to go around to collect them all.)

Painting was not the only interest she had in common with her father.  Claire was also quite gifted musically, and the toddler time she'd spent at the xylophone with him really paid off when she took up the guitar.

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Speaking of Kendall, the Wranglers could not allow his elder birthday to pass unmarked, so Brenda organized a major bash to honor him.  Among the attendees was Shea Wilkerson, the young man that Claire had first met as a toddler, now a teen.  Claire and Shea found that they had much in common, including their love of art.  In addition to his previously revealed traits (artistic, unlucky, hates the outdoors), Shea is now a computer whiz.

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Several guests brought food to share, so there was plenty to go around.  Brenda even made a little more effort than usual to dress up a bit as her way of supporting Kendall's special day.

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Given his particular interest in art, Shea took the opportunity to talk with Kendall about it and learn whatever he could from Kendall.

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This became quite a regular thing, as Kendall would welcome Shea for ongoing tutoring sessions covering a variety of skills.

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Claire would sometimes feel a tinge of jealousy about this arrangement, though she wasn't able to discern at whom it was directed.  Her father had certainly always been there for her, always willing to teach her whatever she was willing to learn from him.  Perhaps she was feeling a bit jealous of her father for the time he got to spend with Shea?  She did take advantage of his presence in their home, and continued to build a strong bond with Shea.

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While her Dad was frequently occupied with teaching Shea, Claire still had help available to keep up with her homework.  Mom, too, was always there for Claire.

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Meanwhile, Adam became increasingly despondent to the point where he'd spend time in the garden without even bothering to actually care for the plants.  It was as if it had become a shrine of sorts, a place where he would cry out to some invisible deity for help and support that never came.

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What could be troubling Adam so?

 

anything