Author Topic: End of the Line Dynasty (4x4)  (Read 67915 times)

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Detective Fiction (27 December)
« Reply #200 on: December 27, 2013, 08:08:04 PM »

Great outtakes. Definitely lifts the mood after so much death. With the short lifespans, 4x4 Dynasties really seem to get a lot of those! I love Alex and his detective outfit! So cute! Well, I'm glad he finally got out of his room, but it's disappointing that the green didn't pop back up again. Jane is just freaking gorgeous, though! She's certainly got the green thing going in every possible way.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Detective Fiction (27 December)
« Reply #201 on: December 28, 2013, 04:13:07 AM »
As, no rainboo.  :(

Sadly, no.  I wasn't really expecting to get a rainboo heir this time around, with two normal-skinned parents.  Jane's still keeping the colourful genes going, though, so fingers crossed for generation eight...

Great outtakes. Definitely lifts the mood after so much death. With the short lifespans, 4x4 Dynasties really seem to get a lot of those! I love Alex and his detective outfit! So cute! Well, I'm glad he finally got out of his room, but it's disappointing that the green didn't pop back up again. Jane is just freaking gorgeous, though! She's certainly got the green thing going in every possible way.

If you have helpers and spares around, I suppose there are bound to be a lot of deaths.  It just gets kind of concentrated in a 4x4.  The  whole thing is very quick, even if you play as slowly as I tend to.  I went back to my Household Skills family the other day but couldn't take the change of pace (plus, it was disconcerting to see Monte Vista with really filthy weather).

I suppose Jane is pretty much pure clone but I can forgive her that for the all-green colouring - and she is very pretty :).



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Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #202 on: December 29, 2013, 10:51:06 AM »
Private Celebrations and Public Notoriety

Eunice took her newborn son straight to his first cake.  She was already in mid-adulthood; if she was going to see Robbie grow up, he’d better do it quickly, even though that would inevitably cut down on her candy-stealing opportunities.





Alex was also aware that they had no time to waste.  He borrowed the family Motive Mobile and took Eunice out for a night of high-speed romance.  It wasn’t exactly a conventional night on the town: he was too much of a loner to want to tour the hotspots.  The fishponds were more to his taste: deserted and a lot prettier than was strictly necessary for their function.  Positively romantic, really.  Especially when he produced flowers from behind his back…



…and followed up with a genie ring.



To his relief, Eunice said yes, she’d marry him and no, she wasn’t bothered about a fancy ceremony. 



After a two-hour engagement, they had a private wedding on the beach…



…concluding with a swim as the sun rose.





Back at home, Jane was looking after Robbie.



She’d always loved children and now realised that the thing she wanted most was to have a little one of her own.  The only problem was, she didn’t have a boyfriend.  Unlike Alex, she spent most of her life outdoors, helping her parents with the garden or adding to her insect collection, but, just like her cousin, she hadn’t done much socialising.  In fact, had she spoken to anyone outside the family since leaving school?  It was time to put that right.

One of the first people she met was Anderson Cwik.  She sensed an attraction but he seemed stand-offish at first.  It seemed that he was slightly famous and needed to be impressed before he’d even speak to her.  She wondered what he was famous for: she’d certainly never heard of him.  She talked about cooking, gardening and her family until he agreed that she was his equal.  Then they moved on to more romantic topics.



Dating a celebrity had somehow made Jane more famous than he was.  The paparazzi were fascinated by her unusual appearance and took to following her almost everywhere – especially after her waistline started to expand.



The rest of the family were still managing to retain their anonymity.  Jane wondered how it was that Alex hadn’t become a celebrity.  It must be because he was such a recluse: he just sat at his desk writing all day.  Unnoticed by the journalists, Robbie grew up from cute toddler to studious child…





…and, the same day, Eunice had her elder birthday.



Jane spent her pregnancy dodging photographers.  One had just found her in the otherwise empty gym when she went into labour and sent him into a screaming panic.  Served him right.



She cut it even finer than Eunice.  Susanna was born just inside the front door.



She had her first birthday cake before the paparazzi could catch up with them.



Jane wanted to dress Susie in the pretty new clothes she’d bought but her daughter preferred to wear any old thing and watch Robbie playing with his funny doll.  She was fascinated by it.



Then the post and newspapers arrived, bringing a doll of her very own for Susanna – and public disgrace for her mother.  BABY SHAME FOR GREENIE JANE, screamed the headlines.  Honestly, did anyone care any more about unmarried parents?  Apparently they did, at least in Monte Vista.  Jane wanted to marry but she hadn’t been in any hurry.  Although, come to think of it, Anderson wasn’t getting any younger.  Maybe it would be better all round if she sped things up a little.  She phoned and invited her over.

He’d also read the papers, it seemed.  Even though he was the father of her oh-so-shameful child, it took a while before she could convince him that she’d done nothing wrong.  Finally, he agreed that it was all completely out of proportion and she was able to get on with the next bit.



In an effort to escape the paparazzi, they married in the walled garden opposite the house.  It had always been one of Jane’s favourite places.  As a child, she’d loved wandering around the maze-like paths or leaning on a sun-warmed wall, reading a book.  No-one else ever seemed to go there.  It was the perfect location for a private wedding: a real secret garden.



Not secret enough, as it turned out.  The paparazzi found them just as they finished exchanging their vows.  Jane ignored them and took her new husband home to meet their beautiful daughter.


Next chapter



As you’ll have noticed, I had Late Night as a Christmas present.  The sharp-eyed will also have spotted content from Island Paradise.  So far, mermaids have been noticeable by their absence and I’ve turned vampires off.  I left celebrities on but can already see why other people switch them off.  Poor Jane.  (Although I did find it funny that she could ‘dispel rumours’ to the father of her child and he believed her!)

Susanna appeared to be another greenboo at first but that turned out to be an effect of the warm Monte Vistan light.  She’s actually more of a pale turquoise.



She inherited May’s eye colour, so, like Jane, she has matching eyes and skin.  I was almost tempted to dye her hair turquoise as well :).



And Riley's still sending IF dolls:


Offline LenaLJ

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Susanna is really the cutest!!
Nice going on getting the green back :)

Offline Rikki8528

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Welcome beautiful Susanna! Let us hope you make a beautiful wife!  :-X  ;)

Offline Rhoxi

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Aw, I love the swimming pictures. Such pretty scenery for the weddings. Monte Vista is just lovely. Glad to see you're enjoying your new Christmas presents.  ;D And is Susanna really a blue-boo? She looks green to me. The bright blue eyes on her are awesome. Now, are her and Robbie first cousins, or second? The 4x4s move so fast I'm having trouble remembering all the family ties.

Offline hazelnut

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Susanna is really the cutest!!
Nice going on getting the green back :)

Well, after Tansy and Mike insisted on having a second child, I thought I might as well go with it.  If Susanna hadn't turned out rainboo, I was planning for Jane to have more kids, although it would have meant a lot of fast ageing up and kicking out.  Whether the green will survive into the third town is anybody's guess...

Welcome beautiful Susanna! Let us hope you make a beautiful wife!  :-X  ;)

I couldn't possibly comment on her future marital status  ;).

Aw, I love the swimming pictures. Such pretty scenery for the weddings. Monte Vista is just lovely. Glad to see you're enjoying your new Christmas presents.  ;D And is Susanna really a blue-boo? She looks green to me. The bright blue eyes on her are awesome. Now, are her and Robbie first cousins, or second? The 4x4s move so fast I'm having trouble remembering all the family ties.

There were a lot of sharks near where Alex and Eunice were swimming.  With IP installed, I worried that they might go for the newlyweds but obviously they weren't feeling hungry (or do they only attack underwater?)

Susanna's exact colouring probably depends on your monitor.  On mine, she was definitely turquoise as a toddler, although she's looking more of a pale green as she gets older.  I wish the unusual skin colours were solid, rather than being a sort of overlay on a normal flesh tone.  A lot of my pastel Sims seem to look more unwell than colourful as adults  ???.

She and Rob are second cousins.  There's a family tree in the second post if it gets confusing :).



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Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #207 on: December 30, 2013, 04:46:21 PM »
Growing Up Famous
 
“Mummy, what’s a fusslander?”
“A fusslander?  What do you mean?”
“I don’t know.  That’s why I was asking.  Granddad said it.”
“When?”
“Last night.  To you.  He said, ‘Sue fusslander’.  So what’s a fusslander?”



“No, sweetheart.  What Granddad said was, ‘Sue for slander’.  Slander means saying nasty things about people that aren’t true.”
“Kind of like bullying, then?”
“Yes, I suppose so.  Yes, it’s a sort of bullying.”
“But I’m not a bully!  Why did Granddad say I was?”
“Granddad?  He wouldn’t…!  Oh!  He didn’t mean you.  It wasn’t a ‘Susanna’ Sue.  Sue’s a doing word as well as a name.  It means taking the bad people to court.  Making them own up to being nasty bullies.”
“Like telling a teacher?”
“Yes, sort of.  And then they get punished.  I hope.”

Jane sighed.  Her daughter wasn’t having the easiest start in life.  It was pretty tough on her, too.  It had been a shock to find out how old Anderson was.  She’d known he was considerably older, of course, but to discover that he was already sixty when they married…

He’d made the most of the time he had, taking an equal share in teaching Susie to walk and talk.

“Your mummy’s a great cook, Susie.  She makes nice food.  Can you say ‘food’?



“No?  Well, maybe we’d better stop for a bit.  I’m hungry and you probably want a bottle, too.”
“Hungry!”



Even discounting parental pride, it was obvious from the beginning that Susie was clever.  She picked up all of her toddler skills at top speed and was soon ready for another cake.





That same evening, tragedy struck.  In the space of an hour, Jane lost both her mother and her husband.



And now her darling daughter was worrying about the price of fame as well as grieving for the father she’d hardly known.

“Why would anyone do anything so horrid?  What did we do to them?”
“Nothing.  Nothing at all.  It’s just because we’re famous.”
“Are we?  Is that why I got that half-price fishing class?”
“Probably.”
“But I don’t want to be famous, Mummy!  I just want Daddy back!”



“So do I, Susie.  So do I.”

*   *   *   *   *

Time may not heal wounds, but it does make them easier to bear.  Jane won her court case and threw herself into raising her daughter.



Susie and Robbie caught Jane’s enthusiasm for hunting insects.  Both were fascinated by all things logical and scientific.

Then Rob had another birthday.





He asked for a Science Research Station as his main present.



A couple of days later, it was Susie’s turn.





Her present requests were more modest.  She’d always loved water: now she wanted a decent fishing rod and some snorkelling equipment.



Sue and Rob grew closer as teens.  They studied together for hours…





…but somehow both were too shy to take it further – at least, until the night of the afterschool club awards.  Rob should have looked handsome in his formal suit.  As it was, Sue thought he looked faintly ridiculous.  In which case, why was it that she found him so attractive?



As usual, the journalists were lurking.  They’d sort of got used to one or two hanging around the entrance during the school day but didn’t they ever go home?  Maybe that was why Rob made such a mess of things.  They were chatting in a friendly kind of way and then he tried to compliment Sue’s appearance.



It didn’t quite work.  Couldn’t he have chosen better words?  ‘You’re all green, like an alien – or a zombie’ wasn’t really the best way to a girl’s heart.  Then he asked her to Prom.  If the circumstances had been different, she’d have been only too happy to say yes.  As it was…

The paparazzi loved it.

Fortunately, Sue wasn’t as socially awkward as Rob.  When she saw how upset he was, she chatted for a while then drove him home in the Motive Mobile.  Once they were safely inside the house, she asked him to Prom.  He accepted.



The evening was a triumph.  His performance of the Chicken Dance totally won her over.  (OK, she was probably willing to be won.)  Neither of them put a foot wrong all night.  All their dance moves, however stupid, were eagerly taken up by the rest of the school.  Sometimes fame could be a good thing.



The following day was Rob’s birthday.  Sue pleaded and begged in a quite embarrassingly un-adult way until she was allowed to have a cake too.





And then they were grown up and ready to take on the world together.




Next chapter (interlude)
More outtakes
Next chapter of main story



Like Alex, Rob is named after two earlier Sims.  One was the eldest of the fourth generation of my legacy family.  Robert was a mad scientist.  A very, very mad scientist.  He was almost permanently stuffed, with garlic breath, until I got wise and started telling him to fertilise the garden with bell pepper instead.

Bob James was a professional author who specialised in satire.



His wife Suki was a Master of the Arts, who was primarily an artist.  Bob and Suki were my Ambitions testers and were also first reserves for this dynasty.  Susanna’s name is a vague nod to Suki but it was also the Name I Didn’t Quite Use in the Life States – Louisa was going to be Susanna until I changed my mind at the last minute.

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Growing Up Famous (30 December)
« Reply #208 on: December 30, 2013, 06:02:50 PM »

Oh good, they are second cousins! Yay! They shall make such pretty nooboos. I love Rob's nose, very handsome. She'll provide great colors, and he'll provide unique features (I hope!). Hm, yes. I don't think anyone is really impressed by the Chicken Dance, but I suppose it's as good of an excuse as any.  ;)

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Growing Up Famous (30 December)
« Reply #209 on: December 31, 2013, 01:33:20 AM »
Oh good, they are second cousins! Yay! They shall make such pretty nooboos. I love Rob's nose, very handsome. She'll provide great colors, and he'll provide unique features (I hope!).

I hope so, too.  Of course, it could go the other way - her generic features and his colouring  ;).  The really interesting features are dropping out anyway.  There haven't been any Goole eyes for a while, for example.  On the other hand, I'm not sorry to lose the huge ears.

Hm, yes. I don't think anyone is really impressed by the Chicken Dance, but I suppose it's as good of an excuse as any.  ;)

That's what the pop-up said.  Twice, in fact, so it must be true  :P.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #210 on: January 01, 2014, 03:56:38 PM »
In the Bleak Midwinter

It had been a mild autumn but the temperature plummeted in mid-December.  As the taxi pulled up outside the house on the morning of Christmas Eve, snow was starting to fall.



If she was really honest with herself, Macy was surprised that Lou and Tavares had accepted her invitation to come home for Christmas.  They hadn’t been back to Hidden Springs since Sam had left for that other world.  They’d even seemed reluctant to reply to her emails.

Lou still looked shockingly pale and even from a distance Macy could see the tension in Tavares’ body.  She forced herself to be calm, to treat the occasion as a normal family reunion.  She and Joe walked out to greet their guests and then hurried them inside for hot drinks by the fire.






*   *   *   *   *

It was a quiet family Christmas: just the four of them.  Or at least, it was to start with.  Once Juan and Lacy arrived with their kids on Christmas morning, everything became rather noisier and the living room started to disappear under a sea of presents and discarded wrapping paper.





Macy was glad they were there, though.  Awkward silences had been falling, despite her best efforts.  With young Mark and Ruby around, full of innocent enthusiasm, even Lou was seen to smile occasionally.

*   *   *   *   *

After dinner, while Lacy was vainly trying to settle Ruby down for a nap, Macy was helping Mark to build his new model boat and their husbands were washing up, Lou and Tavares went out for a walk.  Tavares had thought they were wandering down to look at the frozen lake but, after a while, it became clear that Lou had a particular destination in mind.



Why were they here?  It was just a deserted cabin.  Then he realised.



“Lou.  You do know Sam’s not here?”
“Yes, I know.  Of course I know.  It’s just that…  It’s still the same place, sort of.  Even though it’s a different world, it’s the same view.  This is what he...  I mean, his grave looks out on.  Somehow, I feel closer to him here.”



After a while…

“You’re right.  It does sort of help, doesn’t it?  I’m glad you brought me here.  Can we go up the mountain too?  I want to see where they lived.”

*   *   *   *   *



“This is the place, I think.”
“Wasn’t it about here that they got married?  It was by the fence somewhere.”



“It must have been.  Do you remember how Sophia told him off for getting his trousers dirty?”
“Yes.  She was quite a girl.  I wish I’d met her.”
“You know, Lou, even though I miss him terribly, I’m still glad that he found love in that other world.  He was happy.  He said so – and it was obvious anyway.  He may have had a short life, especially from our perspective, but it was a full one.”



“Yes, I suppose it was.  And I’m glad of that, too.  But still…”
“I know, love.  I know you’ll always miss him – at least, until we get him back again.”
“Do you really think we will?”
“You’ve not been watching much lately, have you?  Six generations finished.  That’s nearly halfway!”
“Three-eighths.”
“More if you count Sam and Sophia.  Lou, love, must the glass always be half-empty?  And, whatever happens, we still have the rest of our lives.  I do love you, you know.”






Next chapter

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Growing Up Famous (30 December)
« Reply #211 on: January 01, 2014, 05:02:48 PM »

 :'( Very sweet, but also sad. Loved the Christmas pictures, though, especially the one with all the toys laid out like they'd really just opened a bunch of presents. Is that toy motorcycle one of the new Midnight Hollow toys? I only bought the standard edition, even though a lot of the toys did look really cute. 

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #212 on: January 01, 2014, 06:14:28 PM »
:'( Very sweet, but also sad. Loved the Christmas pictures, though, especially the one with all the toys laid out like they'd really just opened a bunch of presents. Is that toy motorcycle one of the new Midnight Hollow toys? I only bought the standard edition, even though a lot of the toys did look really cute. 

Thanks.  I'm glad you liked it.  The Christmas presents took quite a lot of composing with moveobjects.  The motorbike's from the store: Simski Motorcycle Model.

The Christmassy chapters were supposed to go up starting on Christmas Eve but real-life Christmas and New Year got in the way  ;).  The others are happier than this one and will hopefully go up soon.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #213 on: January 03, 2014, 11:07:01 AM »
An Unexpected Christmas

The snow hit Riverview early on the 22nd.  Riverview never had white Christmasses.  It’d melt soon, everybody said.  Then the clouds gathered again.  Izzy began to wonder whether her pre-Christmas get-together would happen at all.

Georgina (and Cecily) arrived early that evening, while the roads were still open.





They were followed a few hours later by Brian and Deirdra.



Georgie and Brian hadn’t met in ages but slipped right back into their old relationship, while Deirdra enviously admired Izzy’s bump.

“When’s the baby due?  You look ready to pop right now!”
“A few days after New Year.  Come on inside.  It’s freezing out here.  How are the kids…?”

*   *   *   *   *

Overnight, the snow continued to fall.  By mid-morning, when Riley arrived, the roads had disappeared.



“You drove over… in this lot?”
“It’s four-wheel drive.   Ex-military.  It’s fine off-road.”
“Knowing you, I’m quite surprised you didn’t turn up in a tank.”
“They didn’t have any for sale…”
“Riley!  You made it!”



“What was that for?  It’s not the apocalypse… yet.  Thinking of which, have you been following the traffic news?”

They hadn’t.  They switched on the radio and Ben fired up his dodgy old desktop.  The news wasn’t good.  Drifts.  Fallen trees.  Power lines down.  Brian and Deirdra decided they’d better leave earlier than planned and walked to the station.  Given the state of the roads, it seemed sensible.  They needn’t have bothered.  By the time they arrived, all trains from Riverview had been cancelled.  The local airport had shut even earlier.  The motorway was blocked by drifts.  They were stuck.

At least they had electricity and the phones were working.  (“At the moment,” muttered Riley.  He added, not particularly reassuringly, that they could always hole up in his bunker if the worst came to the worst.  He had supplies for months.)

Frantic, Deirdra phoned Emily and her children.



“Em, I think the kids are going to have to stay with you a bit longer, probably over Christmas.  I’m sorry to impose on you like this but…”



“It’s fine.  Don’t worry.  We were expecting it: we saw the pictures on TV.  That much snow, in Riverview?!  Are you all OK there?  There’s not much space in that little house.”
“It’s a bit of a squash but we’ll manage – and we won’t let Izzy do too much.”
“Just have the best time you can.  Get out and enjoy the snow.  And your kids will be fine.  Plenty of room here.  We’ll hardly notice another three.  Do you want to have a word with them…?”



“Hi Mam!”



“Um, Siobhan.  I’m sorry but it looks as though Dad and I are stuck here.  You’ll have to stay with Aunt Emily for Christmas.  It’s horrible, I know but- “
“Mam, we’ll be OK.  There’s Donna and Darla and me to help Auntie Em and I promise I won’t let the boys do anything too awful…”

*   *   *   *   *

If you had to be snowed in, thought Izzy, having a genie as a companion was the right way to go about it.  She and Ben had been planning a quiet Christmas à deux.  Suddenly having to provide turkey and all the trimmings for a houseful was a nightmare.  Or at least, it would have been.  As it was, Deirdra just clapped her hands and dinner magically appeared.





It was as close to perfect as you could get when one of the party was keeping quiet about her strong Braxton-Hicks contractions, two were fretting about their children and one was privately convinced it was the beginning of a new Ice Age.





After dinner, Deirdra phoned the kids again.  They were singularly unconcerned.



“Happy Christmas, Paddy!  How are you all?”
“Hi Mam.  We’re fine.  I had three helpings of Christmas pud!  And I helped with the dinner.  I summoned cauliflower cheese.  I did it just like you showed me and it worked!”



“Really?  You summoned food?  I’m so proud of you! “



“…No, Mam, of course we didn’t stay up late waiting for Santa.



“We’re not babies, you know.”



*   *   *   *   *

Ben, Izzy and their guests sat around the fire late into the evening, chatting, reminiscing and telling ghost stories.  Some of them were rather good – after all, they had personal experience.  It was well after midnight when they settled into their improvised beds.  Deirdra made a note not to tell the children: you couldn’t have parents setting a bad example, after all.



Unsurprisingly, they had a late start to Boxing Day.  It was still snowing.  What should they do with the day?  Go for a walk?  Play board games?  Have a snowball fight?  Riley, surprisingly, wanted to try making an igloo.

“But you hate being outdoors!”
“Extra survival skills are always useful.”

As it turned out, they did none of those things. While they were still discussing their options,  Izzy groaned softly.  And then not so softly.  Panic ensued.



She’d had Joe and Tom at home but Ana had been around then, with all of her medical experience.  Riley had probably read about how to deliver a baby in one of his doom-and-gloom books but the reality was rather different.  In the end, though, he was the most helpful.  The snow was easing off a little and he reckoned his Army-surplus vehicle could get them to the hospital, if he drove carefully.

And so Izzy and Ben’s son was born at County Care General Hospital.  In honour of the season, they called him Noel…



…and his sister was named Natalie.



*   *   *   *   *



“Deirdra, how are you at summoning baby food?”

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #214 on: January 04, 2014, 12:16:27 PM »
Christmas and New Year at the Goole House



The ghost orphans were growing up.  Emily wondered whether this was the last Christmas they would all spend together.  Donna and Darla had just finished their first term at university.  Donna wanted to follow Emily into teaching when she’d finished her degree, while Darla, who had refused Ambrosia, was studying politics, determined to campaign for Ghost Rights after graduation.

Emily kept hoping that one of her relatives would discover another small orphan for her to mother but only Izzy had met any ghost children recently and the young Remingtons had a family.  Well, maybe she and Kid could fill up the house again…



For the moment, though, she had things to organise.  She hugged the returning students and settled them into their old room.  Now there were party games to plan and extra beds to make up.  The Google kids were staying for a couple of days while their parents were in Riverview and then there would be more visitors over Christmas and New Year…

*   *   *   *   *

Wearing fancy dress on Christmas Day had become one of their traditions.



Fortunately, there were spare costumes in the dressing-up box, so their unexpected extra guests could join in.



Patrick might have the least imaginative costume (if you discounted Marabel dressing as a pirate again) but he certainly knew how to make an entrance.  Emily couldn’t decide whether to be amused or exasperated by his showing off.



After breakfast, they were about to gather around the tree when the doorbell rang.  Emily, managing to keep her face straight, sent Opal to answer it.  It was Father Christmas himself!



Of course, the kids saw through his disguise almost at once but it was fun to pretend he was the real Santa anyway.



While Will ho-ho-hoed and Tina-Pat asked everyone whether they’d been good this year, Emily and Donna rearranged the living room, so that ‘Father Christmas’, grandly enthroned, could preside over the gift-giving.





*   *   *   *   *

The kids insisted on wearing their costumes again the following day, which at least gave Emily the chance to wash the Google twins’ other clothes.  From the weather forecast, it looked as though they might be staying for a while.  Surrounded by friends and new games, they seemed to be coping surprisingly well with the separation from their parents.



*   *   *   *   *



Emily had been hoping for a real family reunion at New Year.  Obviously Izzy and Ben wouldn’t be able to make it, with their baby due any day (or, as it turned out, because the babies had already arrived and Riverview was still snowbound).  Chris was in the Himalayas somewhere – some tall story about finding a baby Yeti and having to stay put until it was old enough to fend for itself.  Tom and his boyfriend were on holiday in Isla Paradiso and Fred, Liv and Kate all had families of their own.  No-one was quite sure where Lee was (“as usual,” said Will).  Since she’d started working for the French government, her location, like the exact nature of her job, was top secret.

While Hidden Springs was as snowy as Riverview, they were used to coping with wintry weather.  Twinbrook was still snow-free, much to the children’s disappointment, so Joe and Macy had a pretty straightforward journey back to their old home.



Surprisingly, Louisa and Tavares came with them.  Lou had initially been reluctant to visit but had changed her mind when she’d learnt that there was no chance of running into Deirdra.  Emily, ever the peacemaker, decided she would have to do something about that.



After her guests were settled in, Emily manoeuvred Lou into the study and shut the door firmly behind them.

“Lou, I know you’re still grieving for Sam.  We all miss him.  He was such a lovable scamp of a boy.  But why are you…?”
“Being so mean to Deirdra?  She deserves it.  She sent him there.  Because of her, I lost my son; my grandchildren were just characters on a reality TV show, instead of real kids I could love and spoil.  And now they’re long gone, too.  But you know the worst thing?”



“No.  What?”
“Lily.  That poor girl.  I wanted to write to her – tell her that we loved and supported her.  But Deirdra wouldn’t let me.  Said it wasn’t allowed: nothing could get through into their world.  But that’s rubbish, isn’t it?  Riley keeps sending those dolls, so it must be possible!”
“But none of us know how he’s doing it – or why, come to that.  Ask Izzy.  She’s known Riley all her life and says she still doesn’t understand him.  Neither does Brian.  Riley’s always been strange.  He’s sending those dolls for some reason of his own.  Deirdra isn’t ‘letting’ him do it, so please don’t blame her for that.
“And as for sending Sam into that world, you heard what he said.  He was happy there.  He and Sophia were made for each other.  Without Deirdra, they’d never have met.  Even though they had such a short time together, they thought it was worth it.  You need to face up to that – and move on.  Stop pushing everyone and everything away: Tavares, your family, your music.  Sam wouldn’t want you to be like this, would he?



“I’m sorry.  That came out harsher than I intended.  But please remember, Lou: we love you and we don’t want to lose you as well.”



*   *   *   *   *



As the last few hours of the old year ticked away, Lou thought about what Emily had said.



It was true.  She hadn’t been fair to Deirdra.  Nobody had ever been able to make Sam do anything he didn’t want to do.  In his own way, he was as stubborn as Grandpa Will.  The New Year was a good time to make a fresh start.  The next time she saw Deirdra, she wouldn’t storm off.



As twelve o’clock approached, Will sat down at the piano and started playing.



Joe picked up his guitar and joined in.

The clock struck midnight.  It was a new year.  Time for that fresh start.



Louisa still hadn’t played the guitar Tavares had given her for Christmas.  What better time than now?  As Will and Joe launched into Auld Lang Syne, she walked over to the windows and started playing.



Will segued straight into his piano transcription of Quartet for Ana.  Then Lou hesitantly picked out a tune.  Will looked briefly startled and then accompanied her as she reached the end of the intro and started singing.  It was Poison Boy.  Just as they finished, the doorbell rang.

“Probably first-footers,” said Emily, as she went to open the door.  But it wasn’t.  The two people who stood on the doorstep had had a long, hard journey – and it appeared that they had brought the snow with them.





Lou hung back as the travellers were welcomed inside and exclaimed over.  Then she screwed up her courage.  It was far too early to start breaking New Year’s resolutions.  She walked over to Deirdra and apologised.



Next interlude
Next story chapter

Offline Rhoxi

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Aw, it's all just so perfect and Christmas-y and New-Years-y! I'm glad that Lou is finally learning to get along with Deirdra again. Father Christmas and all the kids in costumes was adorable. Emily is just the sweetest. I hope she finds a new path now that the orphans are coming of age.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #216 on: January 10, 2014, 05:21:44 PM »
Aw, it's all just so perfect and Christmas-y and New-Years-y! I'm glad that Lou is finally learning to get along with Deirdra again. Father Christmas and all the kids in costumes was adorable. Emily is just the sweetest. I hope she finds a new path now that the orphans are coming of age.

Thanks.  It was fun to put together.  Without Seasons, the main game was never going to be all that Christmassy and I really wanted to play with Hidden Springs in the snow - and I've been meaning to get back to the orphanage and catch up with the Gooles.  Emily is a lovely Sim - all of the others adore her - so she had to be the one to sort out the misunderstandings and get Lou and Deirdra speaking to one another again.



Even More Outtakes

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #217 on: January 11, 2014, 12:18:24 PM »
Studying Bugs

As soon as they’d eaten their cake and sorted out their new looks, Rob and Sue headed over the road to Dr Simano’s Sanatorium.  He joined the medical career; she signed up as a scientist.

In his time at home (including the day off for their non-existent graduation), Rob continued to work on his science skill.



He was beginning to have some notable successes…







…but also some epic failures.



Radioactive bug bites are no fun – and he didn’t even get superpowers in compensation.  Still, he retained his childhood fascination with insects.  He also experimented on herbs and other plants but irradiating bugs was his favourite activity.

Life went on.  Rob and, to a lesser extent, Sue were progressing through their careers.  Alex aged up to elder.



There was a spate of deaths.  First was the paparazzo who had been following Jane since the day she met Anderson.



He wasn’t much missed.  Well, not at all, in fact.  The next death was rather more significant.  Rob, in response to an opportunity, had thrown a party for his colleagues.  Despite his discomfort in social situations (and having forgotten to change out of his scrubs), everything was going well.  Then his boss started to sparkle.



Then it was Eunice’s turn.  She’d barely reached the end of a normal lifespan – Richard was considerably older – but Grim selected her as his next victim anyway.



Shortly after his mother’s death, Rob reached level ten of the science skill.



He was disappointed not to get a certificate but the Group Science Project more than compensated.  He tried it out at once.  The Green Mind Melder sounded like fun.



And what do you do with your newfound, if temporary, increased brain power?  Blog about how cool it is, of course.

Over the next day or two, he tried out the other two modes.  Now, what if he tried all three together?  It was tricky, because the rest of the family were irresistibly drawn to the machine.  They’d stop whatever they were doing, wander over and get in his way.  Finally, he managed to synchronise red, green and blue.



Wow!  That was even more impressive than before!

After this, though, he decided that his old reliable research station was a better way to experiment – and less prone to interference from relatives.  He still had a long way to go before becoming an Experienced Experimentalist.

Rob and Susanna had another birthday.



So did Jane.



Rob’s career was continuing to go well, thanks to frequent on-call sessions  He enjoyed working as an Infectious Disease Researcher. This was proper medicine, he thought.  Fighting disease without all those awkward conversations with patients.  Bugs just sat there on their Petri dishes and grew at you.  Left to himself, he’d have stayed in the job forever but he knew that wasn’t allowed.  Not in his family.  He’d have to get to the top of the career – which meant talking to patients again.

“Never mind,” sad Sue.  “They’ll be immune to your foot-in-mouth disease if they’re unconscious in theatre.”
“Yes, but what about out-patients?”

Surgeons are allowed to be grumpy (the fictional examples are many and it never seemed to hold Goopy back either).  Apparently, social awkwardness is also acceptable.  A few days after his adult birthday, Rob was promoted to World Renowned Surgeon and achieved his lifetime wish.



Naturally, his immediate reaction was to ignore the car pool and run home.  Susanna was in the conservatory.  He flung himself to his knees in front of her and completely messed up a proposal.



It was just as well Sue had known him all her life.  She saw past the confused blather about surgeons, rings, genies, "I think I've bruised my knee" and “gosh, these tiles are cold”.

“Rob, dear.  Are you asking me to marry you?”
“Er, yes.  Of course.  Wasn’t it obvious?  I thought you were clever.”
“I am.  Believe me, I need to be a genius to work out what you mean half the time.  And yes.”




Next chapter



The title of this chapter doesn’t just refer to Rob’s love of beetles and bacteria.  It’s also a fair description of the gameplay recently.  I was puzzled for a ridiculously long time by the apparent absentmindedness of several of the Sims and occasional random resets of the whole family (and the computer crashing to the blue screen of death a couple of times).  It reminded me of the bugs that hit all of my games after the Late Night patch and so I wondered for a while whether Late Night was responsible again.  It wasn’t, of course.  I eventually worked out that it was starting with the gardeners and traced it back to bugged money trees.  It seems to have begun when they all picked up the science skill from playing with the Group Project.  I wish I’d left the thing in family inventory.  The problem is now sort-of under control.  A few more trees seem to get bugged every day but regular checking is minimising the disruption.

I’ve just noticed that Rob’s wearing the wrong work uniform in that final promotion picture.  I don’t mind – I always thought those mismatched green and pink scrubs for neurosurgeons were a bit odd.  The white coat looks much better.  Presumably that’s another small addition to the glitch list.

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Studying Bugs (11 January)
« Reply #218 on: January 11, 2014, 02:43:16 PM »

Gah! Such an adorable proposal. I love it! And I love that he just had to run home and propose as soon as he possibly could. That sounds like an odd bug--how on earth did the science project machine bug the money trees? Well, may you future game be bug free, or at least give you epic superhero powers of bug-fixing.

Offline saltpastillen

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Studying Bugs (11 January)
« Reply #219 on: January 11, 2014, 02:54:16 PM »
Best of luck with the new heir, and I hope this is enough of bugs for now ;)

I'm really looking forward to finding out if we get a rainboo this time...

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Studying Bugs (11 January)
« Reply #220 on: January 11, 2014, 04:04:55 PM »
Gah! Such an adorable proposal. I love it! And I love that he just had to run home and propose as soon as he possibly could. That sounds like an odd bug--how on earth did the science project machine bug the money trees? Well, may you future game be bug free, or at least give you epic superhero powers of bug-fixing.

It seems to be the gardening bug that appeared with the Supernatural patch - that thing of plants saying 'harvest' but not actually being harvestable and then the Sims glitching whe they try to do anything with them.  Although it mostly seems to be related to the Gatherer trait and/or collecting, I've seen one or two suggestions online that it may also be caused by the science skill.  That certainly seemed to be what happened here.  Jane and Sue had done quite a lot of collecting but had no gardening problems until relatively recently.  Richard hadn't done any collecting.  All three of them suddenly started suffering from the bug at about the time they learned science.  Of course, the sensible thing to do would be to delete all of the money trees and just give up on gardening for now - but I'm stubborn  ::).

Best of luck with the new heir, and I hope this is enough of bugs for now ;)

I'm really looking forward to finding out if we get a rainboo this time...

Thanks.  Generation eight has now arrived, so should appear in the story in a day or two...


Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #221 on: January 12, 2014, 05:28:13 AM »
Love and Science

Robert and Susanna Gold were married in a quiet, paparazzi-free ceremony at Etruscan Park.



With Rob’s tendency to make a fool of himself on the big occasion, it seemed safest to restrict the wedding party to the immediate family.  Even so, Sue was worried: a girl wanted to have happy memories of her wedding day.  Would Rob manage to get through it without incident?



“Do you, Susanna, take this social misfit to be your awful wedded husband?”

Then he grinned.

“Sue, you’ve been my best friend for as long as I can remember.  We’ve been through failure and success, happiness and sadness together.  Will you stay with me for the rest of my life?  I know I’m terrible at saying these things but I love you and never want to be without you.”



How could she resist?



As the family watched (and Jane texted her friends to tell them all about it), Sue made her own vows and slipped the ring on to his finger.



*   *   *   *   *

Like their ancestors Adam and Lily, they chose China for their honeymoon.

Susanna caught fish…



…and Rob analysed them.



In fact, he analysed everything: fish, plants, insects, rocks.  How did they differ from the stuff back home?

Rob made friends with some of the locals.  They both added to their collections.  All of which left plenty of time for more traditional honeymoon pursuits.



The paparazzi found them, of course, and Rob was accused of public WooHoo with an occult (for sleeping with his wife in the privacy of their own room at base camp  ::)).  He just shrugged and used his Moodlet Manager.  Life was good and so was being married.







*   *   *   *   *

Rob had now almost completed his requirements: he just needed to carry out more experiments.  He shut himself into his makeshift lab, emerging only to eat and sleep.



Left to her own devices, Susanna spent her time off work improving her skills, particularly gardening.  Rob had given her a present some time back, a seed he’d genetically modified.  She wondered what it would grow into, if it grew at all.  Well, there was only one way to find out…



Finally, Rob completed his hundredth experiment.



Now there was nothing to prevent them having the child they both wanted.  Well, nothing apart from work.  The carpool was about to arrive.  At least he wasn’t on call today and they’d be home at the same time.

As soon as they were inside the front door and away from the lurking photographers, Rob grabbed Sue and gave her the good news.  Baby time!





Despite a lack of chimes, it soon became clear that they’d succeeded.  The next heir was on the way.






Next chapter



Summary – Generation 7

Heir: Robert
Traits: good, heavy sleeper, genius, socially awkward, ambitious, workaholic (from nerd influence)
Lifetime wish: Scientific Specialist
Unique maxed career: Medicine
Two unique best friends:  Khalid Herring & Francis Abernathy*
Three unique skill challenges: Metal Collector**, Free Range Scientist, Experienced Experimentalist
Four unique opportunities:  Make-A-Wish, Equipment Needs, Bad Medical Cliques, Good Friends With the Government
Buildings bought this generation:  Dr Simano’s Sanatorium
Newly-upgraded*** properties:  The Bibliotech, Palacial Pools, Mucho Espresso Café
Vacations used: 2 out of 4

*Like Dora, Rob lost a best friend to old age during the pregnancy but he had several spares, despite his social awkwardness.
**I was planning for Rob to collect beetles for his non-science challenge, since it would fit in well with his collection, but plasma bugs don't seem to count and no spotted or trilobite beetles turned up in Monte Vista, so even with the assassin bugs from China he was still one species short.  (Ironically, he managed to find a rainbow beetle while still a child - it was something like the third insect he caught.)  Fortunately, although I'd intended to leave Metal Collector as a free challenge, only Nicholas and Lily had completed it, so it was still available.
***Well, not upgraded at all, in fact – all of those properties start at level 3.

And a single outtake to finish the post – this is the gestalt entity Robanna returning from its honeymoon.


Offline Snufflesxx

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Studying Bugs (11 January)
« Reply #222 on: January 12, 2014, 05:33:42 AM »
Rob and Sue are SO cute! I can't wait to see their nooboo. I bet they'll be really adorable  ;)

Edit: Woo, you got 10k views! Congratulations!  :D
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Offline Rhoxi

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Love and Science (12 January)
« Reply #223 on: January 12, 2014, 12:43:28 PM »

Hahaha, looks like they did a little too much merging during the honeymoon!  ::) I just love Rob's "awful" pun, and him, and how freakishly cute and awkward he is! *crosses fingers for greenboo/blueboo*

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty: Love and Science (12 January)
« Reply #224 on: January 13, 2014, 01:57:51 PM »
Rob and Sue are SO cute! I can't wait to see their nooboo. I bet they'll be really adorable  ;)

Edit: Woo, you got 10k views! Congratulations!  :D

Nooboo coming up very soon :).

Ooh, yes, so I have  :o  :D.  Thank you to everyone who's reading.

Hahaha, looks like they did a little too much merging during the honeymoon!  ::) I just love Rob's "awful" pun, and him, and how freakishly cute and awkward he is! *crosses fingers for greenboo/blueboo*

You can uncross them now  ;).   The next heir's about to make an appearance.


 

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