Author Topic: End of the Line Dynasty (4x4)  (Read 67603 times)

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (updated 20 Apr; house post 22 Apr)
« Reply #375 on: April 25, 2014, 02:04:33 PM »
Thanks, everyone!

Wow, you did cut it close! Welcome to Justin. :) I watched The Little Mermaid close to every day as a kid, so I appreciate the chapter title.

Glad someone else appreciates it :).  While I’m very fond of The Little Mermaid, I’d been thinking it was a pretty dumb title for a chapter.

Goodness, one day before elderhood. Glad Pearl made it in time! Also, running to complete the op in her wedding dress was hilarious. Very run-away-bride. Mark has some gorgeous eyes; hopefully he'll pass those along.

Really, I never expected a ghost hunter with fishing skill as well as logic to be stuck for opportunities.

The Runaway Bride similarity struck me as well.

I suppose you’ll have to wait and see about the pretty eyes.  Smug, moi?  I hesitate to make promises about updates because real life tends to get in the way, but hopefully you won’t have to wait long to find out.

Glad that Pearl made it! I agree with you that mermaids are a pain, for the reasons you've listed.

They really are.  In my other current game, a relaxed one in Isla Paradiso, Salty Seaworth is part of the household and I don’t find his needs and food preferences a problem at all.  Dynasty games are a whole other kettle of kelp…

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #376 on: April 26, 2014, 02:19:22 PM »
Small Boys and Other Insects

Justin grew into an adorable toddler.  (Don’t they all?)  Other than his hair colour, inherited from Granny Abigail, he showed definite signs of taking after his daddy.



Pearl left the fish in peace for a few days while she taught her son those essential life skills.



Walking went smoothly.  Justin was eager to learn, giggling every time he tried too hard and sat down unexpectedly.  The dreaded potty-training went pretty well, too.  The real problem was talking.  Justin didn’t seem to see why he should bother: he always got what he wanted without words.  Crying worked brilliantly.

“Justin, you’ll be a big boy soon.  Big boys go to school.  You’ll do all sorts of things, like…”



Justin thought school sounded boring.  Maybe if he kept quiet, he wouldn’t have to go.

Pearl sighed.  Perhaps she should go for a different approach.  She stopped trying to get him to talk and told him about their family instead – about how special they were, about the tasks they’d been set.  She had a feeling most of it was too difficult for a toddler to understand but he seemed to be listening.

“So you’ll have to do something special, too.  We’ve got to win.”
“Win!”



“Wow!  Who’s mummy’s little star?”
“Star!”



“Yes, you’re a star.  Your grandpa was a rock star.  Maybe you’ll be like him when you grow up.  You’ll be famous and earn lots of money.”
“Money!”



“Yes, money.  We need it to buy things.  We have to buy lots of buildings.  Grandma and mummy bought some, like the coffee shop and restaurant.  They’re places where you eat nice food.”
“Nice food!”



After that, there was no stopping him.  As soon as he was awake the following morning, Pearl brought out the birthday table and a cake.  It was time for her baby boy to grow up a little.







Once Justin was a child, Mark took over the teaching duties.



Pearl was equally well qualified to tutor children, of course, but she wouldn’t be able to do much without invalidating one of her great-grandfather Ken’s challenges.  Besides, she was a little preoccupied.



Motherhood seemed a lot easier the second time around.  This time, she went through with the home birth.



Daniel aged up to a toddler and learned his skills at record speed.  Either he was benefiting from Pearl’s experience with his older brother or the kid was a genius.  Or both.

Justin developed an interest in insects and spent most of his free time charging around the neighbourhood in search of butterflies and beetles – or, best of all, fireflies.  They were the most beautiful things he’d seen.  It was a pity they came out so late – and after his bedtime, according to his parents.  There was a place just across the road where purple ones often gathered and he’d stand at his bedroom window long after he should have been asleep, watching them dancing.  He took to carrying a jam jar at all times, just in case they came out early one night.  The lid made a great tambourine, too.





Abi was a very old lady by now – she’d lived longer than anyone apart from Jane.  She was still painting, off and on, but was also frequently heard to mutter about wanting to try other things while she still had time.  She was likely to pop up unexpectedly in the garden, the kitchen or by a fishpond.  Or trying to discover what fascinated the rest of the family so much about standing peering into a metal tube for hours on end.

She never did find out.







Justin became a teenager and was able to devote slightly more time to the pursuit of fireflies.





He wished there was a keen entomologist on the local police force.  As it was, they totally failed to understand that he wasn’t deliberately breaking curfew.  It was just that fireflies weren’t out in the day.  His relationships with his parents and school performance began to suffer but it was worth it.  Now, if only he could capture the elusive white and blue ones…

Daniel, the neglected dynasty spare, became a child… and then a teen.



No! It’s hot pink, not that stupid dusky colour.  And what’s with the shirt and tie?  Was that sort of thing ever fashionable, even in the seventies?

No! That's not right either!  Looks like pyjamas.  Do I really have to go to school in this?


No wonder he was such a sulky teenager.



And then it was Justin’s young adult birthday.



“Yay!  Way to go, bro!  That’s a pathetic haircut.  And the Tshirt looks like it’s radioactive!”



Not that he was much more impressed by the look that Justin finallly settled on.

His big brother didn’t care.  He thought he looked cool – and it was perfect for his chosen profession.




Next chapter



Yes, Justin has had a collecting jar lid stuck to his left hand/wrist since childhood  ???.  I really must reset him and try to get rid of it.

Also, he really does look worryingly like the Bearded Lady...



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Offline ombradellarosa

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (Small Boys and Other Insects - 26 April 2014)
« Reply #377 on: April 26, 2014, 05:03:17 PM »
Well, I like his look. I'm going to guess rock star.
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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (Small Boys and Other Insects - 26 April 2014)
« Reply #378 on: April 26, 2014, 06:10:28 PM »
I'm leaning towards acrobat, unless someone already did that (in a dynasty of 14 heirs and counting, it's a little hard to keep track :P). Justin is so cute! I've always been fond of the Best family. Their genes live up to their name.

Good luck with the fireflies! I hear that challenge is buggy.
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Offline Deklitch

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (Small Boys and Other Insects - 26 April 2014)
« Reply #379 on: April 26, 2014, 06:25:04 PM »
From his clothes, I'm leaning towards acrobat like Trip.

However this line:

Quote
He wished there was a keen entomologist on the local police force.

Makes me think maybe law enforcement.

The talk of him becoming a star and so forth, not to mention his hair makes me wonder about him becoming an Actor.

Whatever Justin becomes, his hair is cool. I've enjoyed reading your story, Hazlenut.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (Small Boys and Other Insects - 26 April 2014)
« Reply #380 on: April 27, 2014, 10:18:21 AM »
Well, I like his look. I'm going to guess rock star.

Isaac (Abi's husband and Starlight Shores co-founder) was a rock star, so that's not available as a unique career.  Dude was also a rocker, although I think he only reached level 8 or 9.  It's quite likely that someone will go into music, at least temporarily for the opportunities, but I'm not planning on using it as a qualifying career - although the symphonic branch is still free.

I'm leaning towards acrobat, unless someone already did that (in a dynasty of 14 heirs and counting, it's a little hard to keep track :P).
From his clothes, I'm leaning towards acrobat like Trip.

Ten virtual housepoints each :)  Yes, he's an acrobat.  I haven't played any of the Showtime careers yet (at all, never mind in this game) and Starlight Shores seemed like the place to have a go.

It's not just you, Trip.  If it weren't for the spreadsheet I'd be getting confused myself :).

I've always been fond of the Best family. Their genes live up to their name.

Mark's sister Abigail grew up looking a bit odd (although the hat the game landed her with can't have helped) but I like the rest of them.  Mark has... um... generous ears, which he's passed on to Justin - but they're nothing compared with Mike's  :P.  The rest of the genes are great.

Good luck with the fireflies! I hear that challenge is buggy.

Yep, it seems to be.  When I was testing before I started this, I moved Burl, my Immortal Dynasty founder, to Starlight Shores and he managed to catch all eight varieties in a couple of nights.  (It probably helped that he had all of the base-game collecting challenges already.)  Firefly Collector registered as completed for him, although his journal said he'd only caught 50%.  Justin has now caught all of them and his journal says 100% but the challenge is still greyed out :(.  Oh well, they make pretty decorations for his room.  Maybe it'll mysteriously register after a while, as the consigning challenges often seem to do  - and butterfly and beetle collecting are still available if not.

However this line:

He wished there was a keen entomologist on the local police force.

Makes me think maybe law enforcement.


That line was just intended to be Justin hoping for a sympathetic officer who'd let him off when he was out after curfew - or at least let him finish collecting fireflies before driving him home in disgrace  ;).


The talk of him becoming a star and so forth, not to mention his hair makes me wonder about him becoming an Actor.

Whatever Justin becomes, his hair is cool. I've enjoyed reading your story, Hazlenut.

He has a very small chin, so needs a hairstyle with some height to balance it.  I was originally going to give him the dreadlocks from UL but they didn't suit his face at all.  The style he has seemed like one that would behave reasonably well while upside-down and inside-out in mid-contortion  :).

And thank you :D.

Offline Rikki8528

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (Small Boys and Other Insects - 26 April 2014)
« Reply #381 on: April 27, 2014, 01:25:05 PM »
I can't believe you are nearly finished! The time has raced by!



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Offline Rhoxi

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (Small Boys and Other Insects - 26 April 2014)
« Reply #382 on: April 27, 2014, 01:36:41 PM »

Aw, yay! Justin did get his daddy's pretty eyes. Man, he was a particularly adorable little toddler. He looks good grown up too.  ;)

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (Small Boys and Other Insects - 26 April 2014)
« Reply #383 on: April 28, 2014, 05:23:19 AM »
They sure grow up fast! Gorgeous eyes  :) I'm thinking Rock Star too ha ha ha.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (Small Boys and Other Insects - 26 April 2014)
« Reply #384 on: April 30, 2014, 01:50:07 PM »
I can't believe you are nearly finished! The time has raced by!

For you, maybe.  I originally had visions of doing this at the same sort of pace as the DecaDynasty - in which case, I'd have been finished around Christmas  ::)  :).  It does seem to be speeding up near the end, though.

Aw, yay! Justin did get his daddy's pretty eyes.

So pleased about that.  Both boys inherited them, in fact.

Man, he was a particularly adorable little toddler. He looks good grown up too.  ;)

He was and he does  ;).

They sure grow up fast!

Especially on this speed.  A short dynasty must be ridiculously hectic.

Gorgeous eyes  :) I'm thinking Rock Star too ha ha ha.

Aren't they? :)

Nope.  As I said above, that one's been taken, at least as a primary career.

Offline Rikki8528

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For you, maybe.  I originally had visions of doing this at the same sort of pace as the DecaDynasty - in which case, I'd have been finished around Christmas  ::)  :).  It does seem to be speeding up near the end, though.

Mm, it's probably harder to DO the requirements than reading them.  ;D

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #386 on: May 03, 2014, 03:23:11 AM »
Mm, it's probably harder to DO the requirements than reading them.  ;D

Just a bit  ;).



Juggling Requirements

Justin graduated with high honour and, like his grandmother, was voted Most Likely to Achieve His Lifetime Wish.



He changed out of his cap and gown as soon as the ceremony was over and hurried across the road to the park.  Good, the proprietor was there.  Justin went over, introduced himself and asked to be accepted as a trainee acrobat.



Wearing a mime’s outfit but just standing around in the park felt a bit silly.  It’d be more convincing if he tried out a few skills – and he might as well put out a jar, just in case anyone felt like leaving a tip.





Ouch!  This was harder than it looked.  It was probably just as well that the ‘audience’ were more interested in each other than in watching his performance.



Perhaps he’d do better if he worked out a little: holding those poses was hard work.  He headed over to the gym.



The treadmill was effective but boring.  He found he preferred jogging around the town, where the terrain was nicely varied for working on different aspects of fitness.  The hills were great for interval training and the sandy beaches provided a different sort of resistance.



Out on his favourite route one day, he stumbled, almost literally, over an unexpected find.  A large rock.  He was pretty sure, from listening to the rest of the family talking about their shared interest, that it was a meteorite.  Maybe he should take it home to show them.  And carrying something so big and heavy was bound to be good training – provided he didn’t put his back out picking it up.



The astronomers of the family were excited.  Dan had seen the meteor falling to the ground and had been about to go out and look for it himself.  They went back to their telescopes with greater enthusiasm than ever.

Well, all of them except Pearl.  She was still fascinated by the stars but they couldn’t compete with her new deathfish pond.



Justin was still obsessed with insects in general and fireflies in particular.  He finally tracked down the elusive F. caeruleus at the graveyard…





…and completed his collection, although the Simlish Entomological Society refused to recognise his achievement.

Fireflies weren’t the only colourful, glowing things to be found in the cemetery, of course.





Justin became quite friendly with Kimberley and Terry but he knew there were other ghosts he’d never even seen yet.  What were they like?  So he acquired another hobby – looking up the names on the headstones in the library’s archives and discovering as much as he could about the lives of those who were buried at Lidview.  With his athletic training, learning new acrobatic skills and his continuing quest to find new beetles and butterflies, his days were very full, even without the phone calls from the rest of the family.

“I’ve just seen another meteor.  Since you’re out and about anyway, could you jog over and have a look for debris?”

Some days it felt as though he was finding more space rocks than insects.

He was becoming a competent mime and juggler and had put together a stage set that reflected his interest in graveyards.  Gothic and gloomy – but effective, he hoped.  It was time to go public with his act: the upcoming SimFest at Verde Park would provide the ideal opportunity.

He arrived at the park just as a magician was finishing his performance, asked the proprietor whether he could join the contest and, almost before he was ready, he was being introduced to the crowd – if you could call them that.  On a weekday afternoon, the park was relatively empty.





The show went well, on the whole.  He dropped a couple of batons but managed to make it look like part of the routine.  At least, he thought the audience thought it was deliberate.  They certainly applauded rather than booed at the end, although he’d been hoping for a rather more rapturous reception.  Maybe he should stick around and watch the other acts – see what the competition was like.

The next performer was a singer.  Justin watched as he set up the stage and…

What?!



That was his stage set!  It was identical, down to the last effects pod and spooky doll.

He couldn’t watch this.  He jogged backwards and forwards across the park, hoping the exercise would help to cool his anger a little – although not too much.  He and the elderly singer would have to have words after the contest.  You couldn’t go around stealing other performers' props and expect to get away with it.  On the other hand, what could he do?  He couldn’t really beat up an old man but such behaviour deserved some sort of punishment.

The singer finished his final chorus, bowed and walked away from the stage.  Justin took a deep breath and started to follow, still trying to work out exactly what he was going to say.  But then…



That effectively finished the festival.  No-one else felt like competing.  Once the Grim Reaper had left, the proprietor waked up to the microphone and announced the winner:  Justin A. Knott.

He might have won but the SimFest had left a nasty taste.  Justin resolved to avoid them in future and to stick to normal gigs.  He auditioned absolutely everywhere.  Some proprietors turned him down, unsurprisingly for a relative unknown, but a few were prepared to give him a chance.

As he became better-known and his act became more spectacular, he moved on from the coffeehouse and park to bigger and better venues.





A successful performance at Los Sueńos Private Club left him very close to the top of his career.  After the show, he performed for tips in the lobby and was about to get that final promotion when the proprietor called time.



Well, in that case, he’d just carry on in the car park.



And, a couple of poses later, he achieved his lifetime wish of becoming a Master Acrobat.


Next chapter



That SimFest was just plain weird.  Maybe Grim has strong opinions on stealing, although the death penalty seems like, well, overkill.



Justin, like Phil back in generation two, is named after a female Sim.  Justina was the generation four spouse in my legacy and my longest-lived Sim.

She and her husband Matthew had three sets of conflicting traits, which didn’t seem to get in the way of their relationship at all.  In fact, their devotion became a little irritating at times.  Matt, who hated the outdoors, kept throwing increasingly large wishes to stay indoors for x hours but kept nullifying them by voluntarily going outside to ask Justina to play catch.  Goodness knows why – she had supermaxed athletic skill before she was a full adult and Matt had none at all, so she’d slam the ball at him and he’d drop it, going “Ouch!”  Not my idea of fun.  (Incidentally, what happened to the wishes to stay indoors?  They were part of the reason why I chose Izzy rather than Georgie as the generation five heir in the Life States but she never rolled any of them.  In fact, I’ve not seen them at all in the past two years or so.)

Matt and Justina had two sets of twins, one pair just after their wedding and the other after she’d become an astronaut.  With her one-day-a-week work schedule, she was on maternity leave well into elderhood.  Because she was about a week younger than her husband and he died at 90 days, poor Justina spent more than half of her life as a widow.  She outlived the older twins, got her wish to have ten grandchildren (three of them SimBots but still…) and met several of her great-grandchildren.  She stayed lively and energetic to the end: typically, she was dancing and flirting at a party when she finally keeled over, aged 146.

For the sake of the dynasty, I hope Justin doesn’t take after her in that respect.

Offline KRae

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (Juggling Requirements - 3 May)
« Reply #387 on: May 03, 2014, 09:49:24 AM »
Love the stage name. My daughter had a kid in her high school class named Justin Shorts. The things parents do to their children!

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (Juggling Requirements - 3 May)
« Reply #388 on: May 03, 2014, 01:43:11 PM »

146! Good lord!  :o You know, I really need to play the Showtime careers sometime. Justin's acrobatics look like a lot of fun. Plus, he looks great in that blue leotard.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (Juggling Requirements - 3 May)
« Reply #389 on: May 03, 2014, 03:26:44 PM »
Love the stage name. My daughter had a kid in her high school class named Justin Shorts. The things parents do to their children!

Poor kid!  That's awful.  And I thought my brother's friend Ashley Council was bad. (I always sneakily hoped that his middle name was Town.  Sadly/fortunately, it wasn't.)

146! Good lord!

Yep, Justina was pretty amazing all round.  None of my Sims since then has come close in longevity.  I'd started to feel she'd be around forever: it was a nasty surprise when I saw something unfamiliar in her action queue and then discovered it was 'expire' :(.  She was also one of those Sims who always wants to do stuff.   I wasn't really playing for big points at that stage (I'd only been Simming for two or three months) but she supermaxed athletics, handiness and cooking; maxed gardening, logic and charisma and also had several skill points in fishing, painting and scuplting.  Very late in lfe, she discovered Matt's guitar in her inventory and had got to something like level five or six when she died, entirely through her own efforts.

You know, I really need to play the Showtime careers sometime. Justin's acrobatics look like a lot of fun. Plus, he looks great in that blue leotard.

Blue is Justin's favourite colour and I have to say it's a good choice :).

This is the first time I've seriously played with Showtime.  I loved the contortions and the rest of the acrobat stuff is pretty good, too.  I'm quite looking forward to getting back to the Household Skills and really exploring all of the EPs: medium speed plus the dynasty requirements is slightly too hectic to really appreciate everything.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #390 on: May 07, 2014, 03:18:10 PM »
A Romantic Break

With his career maxed and lifetime wish achieved, Justin realised he’d better start preparing for the next generation, starting with acquiring said heir’s mother.

Planning to spend the rest of your life with someone you’d never met was a gamble, to say the least, but Justin liked what he’d found out about her – and, to be honest, he’d fallen heavily for her photo in a back-issue of the Starlight Times.  They’d produce amazing-looking  kids together.  OK, Kimberley said she was ‘a bit of a diva’ but then, he was pretty showbizzy himself.  It had to be worth a try.  And if they turned out to hate each other, well, he still had time to look elsewhere.  He went to the cemetery, took out the old lamp his mother had given him ‘in case it came in useful’ and gave it a good rub.



And there she was: pink, glowing and translucent…



…and then suddenly as solid as he was…



…and audibly hungry.  Well, he knew that she’d starved to death.  She must have years of eating to catch up on by now.  He was about to introduce himself and offer her an apple when he was rudely interrupted by an unexpected birthday.

Well, all right, it shouldn’t really have come as a surprise but he’d lost track of the days recently.





As the sparkles subsided, he ruefully acknowledged that a rumbling tummy wasn’t the worst embarrassment a body could cause you.



Still, the show must go on.  Manfully ignoring his sudden hair loss (and the intrusive paparazza in her nightie), he turned back to his beautiful blonde.

“Miss JoAnn Norman?  I am delighted to make your acquaintance at last.”

And so on and so (charmingly) on.





It was front-page news.  (Things were a little slow in Starlight Shores just then.)  Celebrities behaving oddly were always good value and the reporter got plenty of mileage out of the story of the town’s star acrobat reviving a ghost and then asking her to move in with his odd – but rich and famous – family.  Whatever next?

‘Next’ was, in fact, Justin taking JoAnn home to meet the folks, the new member of the household eating large quantities of Grace’s cooking and then everyone retiring respectably and separately to bed.  Not at all newsworthy.

And, fortunately, the reporters were all stranded outside the fence when Justin cornered JoAnn the following morning for some serious flirting in their underwear.



It would be good to get away from the press entirely, though.  What better than a romantic break in Al Simhara?  The prospect of catching some foreign insects was, of course, a useful bonus but entirely irrelevant.  Well, mostly irrelevant.



It appeared that the Starlight Times had an Egyptian correspondent.



Either that or she was a particularly nosy local.  In an attempt to evade her attentions, Justin chose an oddly remote spot to make his next move.



Remote but oh so romantic.  He was a showman, after all.



They couldn’t spend all of their time together.  Justin had a collection to complete (either butterflies or beetles; he wasn’t fussed).  JoAnn was OK with that.  They’d discovered a mysterious garden in an oasis: apparently abandoned, yet well irrigated and surprisingly weed-free.  Was it secretly tended at night by the Egyptian equivalent of brownies?  Green-fingered Jo was fascinated.  While Justin was chasing around the desert in search of insects, she stayed at the oasis, harvesting or simply communing with the plants.

And as the sun started to sink, he’d come back to her.





“How're you doin’?”



And she’d melt.

Then they’d talk about their days – and about how much they’d missed each other.





A cynic would say it was all terribly cheesy.  Fortunately, cynics were in short supply in the desert.

It was wonderful.

And nearby was the perfect location for a romantic night together.



Sadly, the palace itself was locked and they had to make do with a tent on the terrace.



They managed anyway.  They were in love – the tent was a palace (just as long as they didn’t think too much about comfort or space).

One night, on the spur of the moment, they got married in their secret garden.  Justin was vaguely aware that his family would be upset about missing out on the celebrations but at least the paparazzi were all in bed.



It was a wonderful, timeless time away, almost free from dynastic responsibilities, but inevitably the day came when they had to return home and settle back into normal, everyday life.

JoAnn registered as a self-employed gardener and took the kitchen garden firmly in hand.  The rest of the family had been neglecting the plants recently.  Grace tended to get distracted by cooking and fishing, while Dan found the objects he could see through his telescope far more fascinating than anything earthbound.

Justin, who was beginning to yearn for fame beyond that of a mere variety act, determined to put on one last, glorious show.



The tiny audience, who appeared to have followed him home from Al Simhara, seemed less than impressed…



…but the show was nevertheless acclaimed by the reporters (who must all have been lurking in a nearby bar).

While Justin was in his dressing room, towelling himself down after the show, his phone rang.  Would he go to the Brightmore and dance for a few hours pour encourager les autres?

He was tired after the show and desperately wanted to go to bed – but it was the last opportunity he needed.  Reluctantly, he turned away from home and towards the club.

He could see why they’d asked.  This place was dead.  He had a feeling it’d take more than Justin A. Knott cavorting in his skimpy stage outfit to bring in the crowds.



On the other hand, they were paying him.  He put in a few hours of unconvincing solo boogying then thankfully took the pay cheque, went home and passed out.

Tomorrow would be soon enough to try for generation fifteen.



As on a few previous occasions, I’m anticipating slightly here but this is essentially the end of Justin’s part of the story and nothing was to change over the next few days.

Summary – Generation 14

Heir: Justin
Traits: Athletic, Friendly, Ambitious, Natural Born Performer, Irresistible
Lifetime wish: Master Acrobat

Unique maxed career: Acrobat
Two unique best friends: Ife Toma, Monifa Hawass*
Three unique skill challenges: Marathon Runner, Fitness Nut, Beetle Collector**
Four unique opportunities: Showtime in the Park, No Sweat!, Talking Mimes, Tear Up the Dancefloor
Buildings bought this generation: none
Newly-upgraded properties: The Prosper Room
Vacations used: 1 out of 4

*Justin made several unique best friends in Egypt.  Oddly, half the women in Al Simhara seemed to be called Monifa.
**He had completed all three insect-collecting challenges by the end of the Egyptian trip but Beetle Collector was the first to register – Firefly Collector still hasn’t (even though he completed it long before any other challenge).

Justin and JoAnn’s wedding was a surprise, by the way.  I’d tried to get them married several times before but the ‘have private wedding’ cue kept cancelling.  I was beginning to think maybe I’d need to apply the opposite logic from Leo and Victoria and have the wedding at home since the proposal had happened on holiday.  The successful occasion was a half-hearted last-ditch attempt before they had to go home – which is why they’re wearing their everyday outfits and it’s rather darker than ideal for screenshots.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #391 on: May 11, 2014, 12:46:00 PM »
The Penultimate Heir

The following morning, with a gig-free day in prospect, Justin and JoAnn settled down to the not-so-onerous task of continuing the line.  It was almost disappointing when they heard chimes on the first try.  On the other hand, there was no harm in making sure…



Like Abi (but no-one else in the family), Jo had horrible morning sickness – and afternoon, evening and middle-of-the-night sickness.



She was still happy to have the pregnancy confirmed – after spending quite a few years dead, creating new life felt like a significant achievement.  She hurried off to give Justin the good news.



Despite everything, he seemed surprised and more than a little disconcerted.

Men!

Maybe he was contemplating the dirty nappies and broken nights to come.  Well, it was too late now.  He must have thought the same thing, because he wiped the worried look off his face and gave her a thumbs-up…



…and turned into an attentive father-to-be, always ready with a backrub or a hug when she needed one.  The time seemed to fly by and soon JoAnn was panting and groaning.



And then she was overtaken by the sparkles and was spinning around holding a little pink bundle.



Welcome to the world, Eleanor Gold.

Ellie had clearly inherited her father’s showmanship.  Now sooner was she born than she was looking round for the cameras.  And was that a smile?



As was traditional, Ellie had her first birthday as soon as her mother had recovered from the birth.





Pearl adored her granddaughter and took every opportunity to play with her – although little Eleanor seemed less than keen on some of their games.



Then Jo took over.

What?  You want me to stand up?  It’s scary up there.  I think I’ll just sit right here, thanks.

But Jo was gently insistent.



“Come on, Ellie.  You can do it.  Come to Mummy.”

With love and encouragement, she persuaded her daughter to stand, and then to walk…





…although Ellie still flung herself into Jo’s arms with great relief after each series of tottering steps.  It was pretty clear she wasn’t going to follow her father into acrobatics.

Pearl insisted that Jo should have a day of pampering at the spa, while she took care of the potty-training – and then managed to get most of the way through teaching Ellie to talk as well.  The little girl was quick to learn and seemed interested in the most surprising topics.

“Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Daniel like looking through telescopes.  We look at the sky and all the way into space.”
“Space!”



“Maybe you’ll join us when you’re older.  Or will you collect bugs like Daddy?”
“Nasty bugs!”



Apparently she wasn’t going to follow Justin in that either.

Then Pearl told Ellie about her own parents.  Abigail’s painting drew no particular response but then she started talking about Isaac’s music.

“Moosic!”



And Ellie beamed.

Justin and JoAnn thought it was slightly crazy to make any plans based on conversations with toddlers but Pearl insisted it had worked wonders with Justin.  They let her go ahead and buy Ellie a xylophone anyway.  It couldn’t do any harm and a new toy would keep her amused while the adults were busy.



She was puzzled by it to start with – why did the big lolly taste nasty?

Then she accidentally hit a key.



Ooh!  How did that happen?

It quickly became her favourite toy.



Justin took very little part in teaching his daughter her life skills.  He was mostly over at the studios these days.  After a cameo appearance, essentially playing himself, in a low-budget film that did surprisingly well at the box office, he’d been bitten by the acting bug.  He hadn’t actually appeared in another film as yet but seemed happy to spend his days behind the scenes, learning about all of the backstage trades – and the family was rich enough to indulge his foibles.  He’d given up performing but was still working out – he had to maintain a movie-star body, after all – and persuaded Grace to make him a plate of Ambrosia to preserve his good looks for a little longer.



If enthusiasm and hard work counted for anything, he’d be a star before long.

Meanwhile, Ellie was growing up.







She’d definitely inherited the Best eyes along with her mother’s colouring and lips.  And, after a visit to the dresser, it became clear that she had a taste in clothes more than a little reminiscent of great-grandma Abigail.




Next chapter



Because of a combination of bugs, travel, micro-management and assorted real-life stuff, the game’s going very, very slowly at the moment.  Ellie’s now been a child for two real-life weeks, which is quite an achievement on this speed :).

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (The Penultimate Heir - 11 May)
« Reply #392 on: May 11, 2014, 02:29:14 PM »

Oh gosh, Ellie is a blue eyed, unique looking cutie! No wonder you took so many toddler pics.  ;)

Offline Rikki8528

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (The Penultimate Heir - 11 May)
« Reply #393 on: May 12, 2014, 02:17:44 AM »
Oh, silly me. I thought Generation 14 was the last generation.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (The Penultimate Heir - 11 May)
« Reply #394 on: May 13, 2014, 12:08:08 PM »
Oh gosh, Ellie is a blue eyed, unique looking cutie! No wonder you took so many toddler pics.  ;)

Well, it was a combination of having another adorable toddler and the game going so darned slowly that I had to update about something:P

Oh, silly me. I thought Generation 14 was the last generation.

No.  4 x 4 = 16 :).  Ellie's child will be the last generation, assuming the wretched game holds together that long.

Offline Trip

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (The Penultimate Heir - 11 May)
« Reply #395 on: May 13, 2014, 12:22:28 PM »
It might seem tedious, but it is only one and a half generations to go. Ellie is so cute! I'm glad she got JoAnn's turquoise eyes.
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Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (The Penultimate Heir - 11 May)
« Reply #396 on: May 13, 2014, 02:17:51 PM »
It might seem tedious, but it is only one and a half generations to go.

Yes, I know - and thanks for the encouragement :).  The last one-and-a-half generations of the DecaDynasty nearly drove me scatty, too.  At least this one doesn't take as long to load after a crash.  (Well, not so far...)

I've probably finished with travelling now.  China's completely unreachable (or, at least, I spent a whole evening reading a book while it was stuck on the loading screen.  It might have got there eventually but I ran out of patience.)  There's a vague possibility that gen 16 will go to uni but I'll probably settle for starting his/her career at the bottom and saving on the file size and overall game time.

Ellie is so cute! I'm glad she got JoAnn's turquoise eyes.

The eye colour's lovely, isn't it?  I had JoAnn marked down as a likely spouse from the planning stage: the combination of those huge eyes and her good traits was irresistible.

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty (The Penultimate Heir - 11 May)
« Reply #397 on: May 17, 2014, 12:51:24 PM »
Congrats, Ellie is gorgeous. Not long to go, I hope your game behaves itself long enough for you to complete. Fingers and toes are crossed for you.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty
« Reply #398 on: May 17, 2014, 02:30:28 PM »
Congrats, Ellie is gorgeous. Not long to go, I hope your game behaves itself long enough for you to complete. Fingers and toes are crossed for you.

Thanks :).

Ellie is rapidly becoming one of my favourite family members.  She’s really sweet, as well as having good, non-cloney looks.



Those Endless Days of Childhood

Ellie’s childhood was blissfully happy.  The sun was always shining, the days were long and she didn’t even have to go to school for ages.  (Well, not until Monday, which was ages in kid-time.)  Granddad insisted on tutoring her anyway so she’d be near the top of her class when she did finally start.  He must have been a good teacher because it didn’t take long – and then she was free to do what she wanted.

She gathered together everyone’s abandoned dolls and had a tea party.  The poor things must've been terribly lonely since their people grew up.



Then she took her own special friend, Bobo, outside.  He didn’t like sitting under the sprinkler but Ellie did.  It was such a hot day.  Bobo said his stuffing was getting soggy.  She offered to put him through the tumble dryer or peg him to the clothesline by his lightbulb but he said it was all right, he wasn’t that wet really.  Silly Bobo.  Ellie sang to him to make him feel better.



Then she left him in the sun to dry and went in for a proper tea.  Dressing up and drinking juice was all very well but it didn't fill you up like Grauntie Grace’s cake.

The next day, she got out her new bike and rode into town.  Wow, this was fun!  Why did grown-ups drive around in smelly old cars when you could whizz down hills on a bike?



‘Course, she’d have to pedal back up again later but it was worth it.  She went to the playground and looked around for other kids.



There weren’t any, so she had a good go on everything by herself and then cycled off to look at the sea.  She’d've liked to play in the sand or splash in the waves but Mum had said she wasn’t allowed on the beach on her own.  There was a scary thing called The Undertow that had got one of her friends and she was worried about it getting Ellie as well.



The sea was all sparkly and calm and Ellie couldn’t see any monsters but she stayed on the cliff road anyway.  P’raps someone would take her down to the beach later.

Quite soon, maybe?  It looked as though the road was heading back inland, so maybe she could loop around and join their street higher up.  The hill didn’t look as steep here, which was good if you lived at the top and had forgotten to bring a drink with you and were getting all hot and sweaty and…

What was that?  She got off her bike and ran over to have a look.



It was just a rock – but such a shiny, interesting rock.  It had sort-of sparkly patterns and it was all knobbly.  She picked it up for a closer look.  Maybe one of the grown-ups would know what it was.  It was a bit tricky cycling home carrying it: she wobbled quite a lot and had to get off and push her bike up the hill but she managed it in the end.

Mum said it looked like a space rock and called Uncle Dan over.  Ellie knew he spent a lot of time looking at stars and stuff, so he’d probably know.  He was a bit grumpy about having to leave his telly-thing but he said yes, it was a meteorite.

“A meaty what?”

Mum said 'meteorite' was a fancy name for a rock that had fallen from space.  So it really was a special rock.  All the way from infinity and beyond.  Ellie decided she was going to keep it for ever and ever.

“Mum, can I be a rocker when I grow up?”  Ellie knew she had to do something special and different when she was older.

“A rocker?  Like your great-grandpa?  No, I’m sorry, Ellie.  He was a rock star, so you can’t be.  You could still be a composer, though – someone who writes music.”

Hmmm…  Ellie wasn’t sure about that.  She liked singing to Bobo but she wasn’t sure she could make up tunes.  And anyway…

“No, I meant someone who likes rocks and finds out about them.”

“That’d be a geologist.  I don’t know whether there are any jobs around here but you could certainly study geology and collect rocks as a hobby.  We’ve got a book about it somewhere.  Shall we go and see if we can find it?”



Ellie tried but the book was full of long words and didn’t have nearly enough pictures.  And anyway, it said geology meant studying the Earth.  She didn’t care about boring Earth rocks.  She put the book away carefully: she’d try reading it again when she was older.



Ellie’s childhood might have seemed endless to her but time was moving on for the rest of the family.  Mark was shocked when the sparkles hit and he grew old.



Not that he let a few grey hairs get in the way of living life as usual…



…whatever the rest of the family thought.



Justin, JoAnn and Dan took a trip to France.  Justin was in pursuit of the legendary glowy fly, while Dan and JoAnn found new plants to harvest, visited the tourist attractions and dabbled in archaeology.



Justin was worried about the effect the break might have on his acting career.  He stayed up late into the night, emoting to the mirror and calling his agent.



At least his fans didn’t seem to have forgotten him yet.



JoAnn, fed up with never seeing her husband, hid his phone and dragged him away for a tour of the sights: the nectary, the art gallery and the heritage railway line.



Then they hired a boat and spent a day alone together on the island in the river, reliving their Egyptian idyll.



Then it was back to the insect-hunting.  Justin managed to catch the elusive glowy – in fact, he collected five – but it seemed they’d gone out of fashion and were now worth less than the Cleopatras he’d found in Egypt.  The most prized butterfly these days was the rainbow, which he could have caught at home, at least in theory: he’d never actually seen one yet.  Over the next few days he managed to catch two around Champs les Sims but really the trip was beginning to feel like a waste of time.

JoAnn could tell that Justin was itching to get back to his career, so she rang around the travel agents and managed to book an early flight home.

Ellie was delighted to see them – and the presents they’d brought her from France.





She put them in pride of place in her bedroom and, as soon as she got home from school the next day, she rushed in to say hello to them.



She’d named the pretty pink butterfly Beauty, because, well, that's what she was.  She wasn’t much of a pet, though.  She just sat there slowly flapping her wings and waiting to be admired.  Ellie secretly preferred Rocky, her other gift. He didn’t do much either but then rocks weren’t expected to.  And he was such a big mete-whatever-it-was.  One day, she’d find out what he was made of, if she could do it without hurting the rock.

On the whole, though, her presents were nice to look at but not a whole lot of fun.



And so, after she’d done her homework, she went to find Bobo and sang to him instead.




Next chapter

Offline Littlesister

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty - Those Endless Days of Childhood (17 May)
« Reply #399 on: May 17, 2014, 05:28:26 PM »
I just have to say, I've been following this for a while and really enjoy your writing. Ellie is such a likeable character. Good luck for the rest!

 

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