Author Topic: End of the Line Dynasty (4x4)  (Read 93239 times)

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 :).



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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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McHazy

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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!

Offline Rhoxi

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty - Those Endless Days of Childhood (17 May)
« Reply #400 on: May 17, 2014, 08:00:09 PM »

Ellie and her child's viewpoint are just plain adorable. It's no wonder Bobo said he didn't really need drying out that bad--being hung on a clothesline from your light bulb doesn't sound very pleasant.  ;) Hum, possible careers/skills for Ellie . . . Has anyone done science yet? She'd enjoy analyzing rocks. Or maybe the new Into the Future careers, although that involves traveling.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty - Those Endless Days of Childhood (17 May)
« Reply #401 on: May 18, 2014, 05:22:50 AM »
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!

Thank you :D

Ellie's lovely.  As with most of my Sims, her 'voice' comes from the way she looks and behaves in-game.

Ellie and her child's viewpoint are just plain adorable. It's no wonder Bobo said he didn't really need drying out that bad--being hung on a clothesline from your light bulb doesn't sound very pleasant.  ;) Hum, possible careers/skills for Ellie . . . Has anyone done science yet? She'd enjoy analyzing rocks. Or maybe the new Into the Future careers, although that involves traveling.

Thanks :).  The Bobo-on-the-clothesline part was inspired by the memory of a much-loved teddy being pegged up by the ears after her small owner was sick all over her and she had to have a bath (which her label didn't recommend at all).  It was kind of sad but funny seeing her hanging there.

Rob did the science skill challenges but the medical career; Susanna maxed the science career but that wouldn't invalidate it for heirs.  Ellie won't be doing an ITF career because I don't have the expansion.

I still haven't completely made my mind up about travelling.  I'd like Ellie to have a non-clone-faced husband for the sake of generation 16 but all three WA locations are bugged to varying extents.  No-one's been to uni yet so that would probably behave but it would introduce another set of world files (on top of China, Egypt, France and the three towns they lived in before Starlight Shores) and make the file bloat worse.  On the other hand, finding a partner at home might be hard - the town seems oddly deserted unless there's a show going on.

Offline Trip

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty - Those Endless Days of Childhood (17 May)
« Reply #402 on: May 18, 2014, 08:34:55 AM »
You could resurrect another ghost and just not have them get married, considering that you're pretty much stuck in the homeworld.
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Offline hazelnut

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty - Those Endless Days of Childhood (17 May)
« Reply #403 on: May 18, 2014, 03:43:36 PM »
I may do that, although I sort of feel you have copyright on the Starlight Shores ghosts :).

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Re: End of the Line Dynasty - Those Endless Days of Childhood (17 May)
« Reply #404 on: May 18, 2014, 03:48:43 PM »
I didn't dig up Shaun Pinkert, the old age ghost, so you have all rights to him. ;) You could also check the mausoleum to see who died and is worthy of revival.
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