Author Topic: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley  (Read 148500 times)

Offline oshizu

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #120 on: November 08, 2016, 04:58:02 PM »
I really love when Susan and Boyd talk science! Almost as much as when Boyd and Cycl0n3 talk gamer stuff!

You really bring both the Susan/Boyd and Blair/Cycl0n3 couples alive!
Everyone needs a friend like Emma.
And poor Stiles. I wonder what's gotten into him?
Great update!

Offline chetanhaobijam

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #121 on: November 09, 2016, 06:11:04 AM »
Yay. Great news indeed. Can't wait to see the nooboo aka new Wainwright. Liked ready all the Boyd and Susan's science experiment stuff. And poor Stiles. Hope all is well and he finds love again in someone. Looking forward for next update.
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Offline Cheezey

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Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 26
« Reply #122 on: November 13, 2016, 10:25:38 AM »
This update made my day.  I just love this story so much.  I wonder what happens if Number One is twins.  I imagine that Cycl0n3 might consider Data an appropriate name for twin two.  ::)  Also I like what you've done with Gunther's hair.  I've always disliked that hat and hair combo he sports. 

Thank you! :)

I hadn't thought about Cycl0n3 trying to name a second one if they have twins, and he might try to get clever and suggest something like that. 

While I was playing this save, I made over a lot of sims when they aged up. The random outfits that show up on elders can be pretty awful.  Glad you like how I dressed him.  I thought that hair style from the Supernatural expansion worked for him rather than the super-long hair without the hat that the game put him in on age-up.

I really love when Susan and Boyd talk science! Almost as much as when Boyd and Cycl0n3 talk gamer stuff!

You really bring both the Susan/Boyd and Blair/Cycl0n3 couples alive!
Everyone needs a friend like Emma.
And poor Stiles. I wonder what's gotten into him?Great update!

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I have so much fun with the fictional sims universe science.

As for Stiles, I was surprised by their breakup when it happened on story progression in the game this story is based on.  They were together a while and went from steady to engaged and it looked like they'd stick it out, and then they just broke up. When I checked their relationship, it was more than half red. I'm not sure what happened.  Neither had other romantic interests, so it wasn't cheating.  It happened around Stiles' YA to adult birthday, though, so maybe we can blame a mid-life crisis!

Yay. Great news indeed. Can't wait to see the nooboo aka new Wainwright. Liked ready all the Boyd and Susan's science experiment stuff. And poor Stiles. Hope all is well and he finds love again in someone. Looking forward for next update.

Thank you! Their little family is getting bigger.

I feel for Stiles, too. My story progression mod really put him through a tough time there!

Chapter 26

After they closed on their new home, it was time for Blair and Cycl0n3 to leave the lofts.  Their friends and soon to be former roommates were happy for them, but sad to see them go at the same time.  “We’re going to miss you guys.”  Tamara gave them each a hug on their way out.  “Even you and all your weirdness, Cycl0n3.”

“I’ll be sure to annoy you on SimBook so you don’t miss me too much.”

“You know you’re all welcome to stop by and visit, too,” said Blair.

“Sure,” Emma said.  “We’ve got to spoil that kid of yours when it comes, after all.”

Blair patted her tummy.  She could swear she was already showing a little, but that might have been because she was so thin to begin with that even a small bump was obvious.  “I’m sure he or she will love that.”

“You two take care of yourselves,” Stiles told them.

“Thanks.  We will.  I hope the new roommate works out for you guys, too.”  One of the new members of the SVPD, Parker Langerak, had mentioned wanting to move out of his parents’ home now that he was out of the academy.  Blair told him about the upcoming vacancy in the lofts.  He checked the place out and decided to go for it.

“When’s he moving in, again?” asked Cycl0n3.

“Next week.  Just in time.”  Tamara smiled.  “He’s cute, too.  Thanks for passing that one along to us, Blair.  If any more handsome guys on the force need a room, give them our number.”

“To save you the trouble of giving them yours, huh?”  Cycl0n3 gave her a knowing look, while Emma laughed.

“I’m going to miss that big mouth of yours, Cycl0n3.”  She hugged him, and then Blair.  “Good luck.”

With a smile, Blair and Cycl0n3 bid their friends a final farewell as their roommates, and headed off to their new home.

Blair pulled Cycl0n3 into an emotional hug before they went inside their new home for the first time.  “I can’t believe it’s really ours.  It’s so exciting.  I feel so, I don’t know, grown up!”

“We’re married with a kid on the way.  We’d better be grown up.”  Cycl0n3 laughed.  “Or as grown up as I’m going to get, anyway.  Don’t expect me to become a boring old dad who watches football and does yard work or anything.  I’ll be playing my video games until I die.”

“Oh, so you’re going to make me mow the lawn, huh?  Thanks a lot.”  Blair stuck her tongue out at him.  “I didn’t even do that at my parents’ house.”  She paused.  “To be honest, half the time they didn’t even do it.  They used to pay one of the Bunch kids to mow it for them, at least the last couple years I lived there.  Maybe we can, too.”

“Works for me,” Cycl0n3 said with a shrug.  “More time for TarzWar.  Speaking of which, let’s get unpacked and settle into this new place of ours.”

They set up the second bedroom as a nursery for their impending arrival.  Blair found the baby stuff adorable, so shopping for it was fun for her.  Her favorite piece was the doggie lamp.  She’d wanted to get a similar one for Patrick, but her mother seemed less than enthused when she pointed it out to her.  Now she had the perfect reason to buy one.  What little kid didn’t like puppies?

She also bought lots of toys.  The baby would enjoy them eventually, Patrick could play with them when he visited, and Blair never grew out of her own love of them.  Sometimes she would pick them up and play with them herself.  Some might have thought she was silly, but Blair was a big kid at heart, and didn’t care.

One thing that was a downgrade now was their diet.  Neither of them knew how to cook, and living with Emma had spoiled them.  When their aspiring gourmet chef roommate hadn’t made fresh meals, there were leftovers from previous cooking or extras that she brought home from work.  On their own, Blair and Cycl0n3 ate mostly convenience food, take out, and pizza. 

In a way, it felt like home.  Blair’s parents had never done much cooking, either, at least not until Patrick showed up.  Her mother had taken it up as a hobby during her maternity leave, but Blair had lived at the lofts by then.  It was Emma that had inspired her mom, too, and Blair had to admit that her mother had come a long way since her days of burning her childhood birthday cakes.  She was a bit jealous of her baby brother in that sense.  “Maybe one of us should learn to cook one of these days, too.  It’d probably be better for our kid not to grow up on pizza and frozen dinners.”

“Bah.  I grew up on that and I turned out just fine,” scoffed Cycl0n3.  “And I can cook a few things.  Hot dogs, and macaroni and cheese.  Waffles.  Hey, maybe I should get that Death Star waffle maker I saw online!”

Blair snorted with laughter.  “Yeah, that’s real health food there.  What we should do is ask Emma to come over sometime and give us some pointers.”

“Or we could just get rich and pay her to deliver us munchies nightly.  I like that plan even better.  I could hack us a few extra dollars.  What do you say?”

Blair raised an eyebrow.  “You are kidding, right?”

“Sure.  Does this look like the face of a criminal to you?” 

She gave him a knowing look.  “Uh-huh.  Nice try, but here’s a little tip from an SVPD insider: criminals look just like everyone else.”

“Fair enough, officer.”  Cycl0n3 finished his slice of pizza. 

Down the road, Susan found a package in the mailbox with Patrick’s name on it.  It was almost his birthday, so she wondered if it was a gift, but there was no name from a sender.  The return address was somewhere in Moonlight Falls.  “That’s odd.”  She did not know anyone in that area, and she had not ordered anything from there.

Inside the box was a playful-looking doll in a whimsical outfit.  It was cute, but not something she would have gotten.  It had a card with it. 

Dear Patrick,
Welcome to the family!  We hope you enjoy your new friend Buddy, made especially for you.

Susan was even more puzzled now.  As far as she knew, neither she nor Boyd had relatives in Moonlight Falls, not even distant ones.  She brought it into Patrick’s room, calling out to Boyd as she did.  “Hey, Boyd, did you order a doll for Patrick, for his birthday maybe?”

Boyd came over and looked at it.  “Wasn’t me.  If I was going to get him something like that, I’d have gotten one of those robot bears on the Toys ‘N Stuff site.”

“Heh.  Weird.”  She showed him the card.  “This makes it seem like it came from family.  Do you think it was Blair or Cycl0n3?”

“I don’t know.  Maybe.  It looks like something Blair might pick out, but wouldn’t she just have it sent to her so she could give it to him herself?  She likes to play with him.”  Boyd looked over the card and box.  “Is it a promotional gift or something from a toy club?  I updated his profile on one of the baby registries after he was born so we could use it for birthday ideas.  Is there a bill or invoice with it?”

Susan shook her head.  “Nope.  It’s definitely a gift.  I’ve just got no idea who sent it.  Guess we’ll just chalk it up to a fairy godmother if no one claims it at the party.”  She set the doll in Patrick’s crib.

When Patrick’s birthday arrived, Boyd and Susan threw him a party.  Blair and Cycl0n3 were there, of course, as were several of the Wainwrights’ friends.  Blair tooted a party horn for her baby brother, cheering “The Captain” on his big day.

Everyone remarked on how big Patrick had gotten.  He’d inherited his mother’s coloring, right down to the fiery red hair and inquisitive green eyes, but his facial structure and expressions were the miniature spitting image of his father’s. 

Susan caught Boyd licking frosting off of his plate by the sink.  “He makes a mess when he eats like you do, too.”

“Ah, what toddler doesn’t make a mess?” Jack Bunch said with a laugh.  “I haven’t seen one yet.  As long as you teach him right while he’s still young, he’ll grow out of it.”

“I think it’s cute.”  Blair leaned over the chair.  “You enjoy your birthday cake, Captain.  It’s yummy!”

“You might change your tune when you have to clean it.”  Susan wrinkled her nose.  “Boyd, would you mind letting him out and wiping that down before he gets it on the wall?”

“Sure.  Come on.”  Boyd hoisted Patrick out of the chair while Susan spoke to Blair’s belly. 

“So, are you taking notes from Uncle Patrick on what not to do with your first birthday cake?  I hope so.”

“I think Number One’s going to have lots of fun with Uncle Captain Patrick.”

“Uncle Captain, huh?”  Susan laughed.  “That’s quite the nickname.  Speaking of which, have you picked out any names yet?  Did you ask the doctor if you’re having a boy or a girl?”

“Nope, and I want to be surprised.  I think it’ll be fun, and Cycl0n3 doesn’t mind waiting to know.”

“You’re not giving the baby a screen name, are you?  I mean, you did say when that rumor went around…”

“No, Mom.  Besides, we pick out our own screen names.  Cycl0n3 agrees on that.  We’ve got a few names in mind.”  She gave her mother a reassuring look.  “And yes, they’re normal.”

“Normal normal, or normal like Sw0rd spelled in netspeak but sounds normal?”

Blair sighed.  “Mom, really?”

“Your husband’s name is Cycl0n3 with a zero for an o and a three for an e.  You can’t blame me for wondering.”

After he finished cleaning the high chair, Boyd came over.  “So, you’re talking baby names?  What did you have in mind?”

Blair gave her father a playful look.  “We considered following family tradition and picking something for a boy like, oh, I don’t know… George Lucas?”  She giggled.

“After what he did to the prequels?”  Susan almost sounded offended.

“Or worse, the special editions?  No.  Don’t do that to our grandchild.”  Boyd leaned over his daughter’s tummy.  “No matter what your mom names you, always remember this: Han shot first.”

“Dad, Mom… you do know you’re the world’s biggest geeks, right?”

As if on cue, Cycl0n3, who was playing Voidcritter Go! on his smartphone, cheered and announced that he caught a Suintor on the front lawn, and did a victory dance.

Susan turned to Blair.  “You sure about that, sweetie?  Really?”

Blair straightened.  “I reserve my right to remain silent on that, and change the subject.”

While Boyd and Susan chatted with Blair and the other guests, Patrick picked up Buddy.  He crawled into the kitchen holding onto him, and began to cuddle and coo at the doll.

“Oh, that’s so cute!”  Blair gushed at the sight of her baby brother playing with Buddy.  “Did you get him that for his birthday?”

“No.  Odd thing about that, it just showed up in the mail as a gift,” Susan explained.  “It came from somewhere in Moonlight Falls with a card telling him welcome to the family.”

“We were wondering if you sent it, actually,” Boyd added.

Blair shook her head.  “Wasn’t me.  It looks like he really likes it, though!”  Patrick giggled and tugged on Buddy’s arm.

“Too bad we don’t know gave it to him.  Weird.  Makes you wonder who’s keeping tabs on us and sending mystery gifts to our son.”

“Yeah, Dad, I’m sure it’s some nefarious plot,” Blair teased.  “Why are you worried about it?  It’s just a cute little doll.  Maybe one of our cousins in Riverview ordered it and had it sent here for his birthday.  Don’t you have some of them friended on SimBook?”

“You know, that’s probably it,” Susan said.  “I didn’t even think of them.  We haven’t seen them in years.  Not since your grandmother died.”

Boyd considered that possibility.  He had a cousin on his mother’s side who had liked the statuses about Patrick, even though he hadn’t seen him since Blair was a little girl.  “Maybe.”

The fall weather kicked into full gear after Patrick’s birthday.  One evening, while it was still warm enough to enjoy it, Boyd and Susan took him to the fall festival.  They invited Blair and Cycl0n3 to join them to make it a full Wainwright family outing, and they were glad to see their daughter so obviously happy.  Pregnancy agreed with her better than it had with Susan.  Blair was radiant and upbeat, and had far more energy than Susan did during either of her pregnancies.  “I think my workouts help a lot.  I want to stay in shape for when I go back to work.  I still jog when I can,” Blair said after her mother told her how lucky she was to feel so great.

“Not me.  My workout involves marathon typing sessions and that’s about it,” joked Cycl0n3.

“Same here,” agreed Boyd.  “If you see me jogging, check to make sure there are no zombies chasing me, because that’s the only reason I’d be doing it.”

“I get enough exercise keeping up with him.”  Susan bounced Patrick on her hip.  “Though he’s a little quieter than I remember you being at his age.  You liked to investigate and explore and pick up everything.  Patrick will just sit in his swing or cuddle up with us on the couch watching TV for hours if we let him.”  She kissed his forehead.  “We watch lots of fun stuff together, don’t we?”

They heard an announcement that a pie eating contest was starting, and Blair asked Cycl0n3 and her parents to join it with her.  Cycl0n3 and Boyd both agreed to, but Susan refused.  She remembered how sick she’d felt after the summer hot dog eating contest, and there was no way she was going to walk around the festival with a face full of sticky berry pie filling.  Besides, someone had to watch Patrick, so she sat by the sidelines with him while the rest of her family went on an undignified feeding frenzy for festival tickets.

Susan watched with amusement as her husband, daughter, and son-in-law attacked their pies like pigs at a trough.  Patrick was too young to understand what was going on, although he looked up from playing with Buddy a few times to giggle at Daddy, Big Sister, and Cycl0n3 with pie filling all over their faces.  He even chewed on Buddy’s antenna a time or two in an imitation of them.

Unfortunately, none of them won the contest.  That honor went to Simis Bachelor.  Boyd looked down at his unfinished pie while Cycl0n3 tried to finish what was in front of him even after the contest was over.  Susan approached Boyd, who now had berry pie filling all over his face, his shirt, smeared across his glasses, and even a bit in his hair.  “You look ridiculous,” she informed him.

Boyd shrugged; messes bothered Susan far more than they did him.  “Yeah, probably.  I wish I’d taken my glasses off first.  Didn’t think that one through.”

“Have fun cleaning that off in the park bathroom,” she teased.  “Patrick and I will be over at the pumpkin patch.”

“Pick us out some nice ones.  I know you’ll only get the best.”

“Naturally.”  Susan scooped Patrick into her arms.

It seemed that Blair’s unborn baby did not enjoy the berry pie as much as she did.  “Oh, my Watcher!”  She ran to the restroom to clean herself up, but she didn’t feel much better afterward.  “I’m never going to eat that much pie in one sitting ever again.  EVER.”

“You want to call it a night?” Cycl0n3 asked when he saw how miserable she was.

“I think so.  Sorry.”

Boyd gave her a sympathetic pat on the shoulder.  “Feel better soon, honey.”

“Go on home and relax and put your feet up.”  Susan held up Patrick.  “Say bye-bye to Blair.”

“Bub-bye,” her little brother babbled.

Blair smiled in spite of how bad she felt.  “Aww.  He’s learning to talk.”

“He’s getting there,” Susan said with a note of pride. 

“Working on walking and potty training, too.  He’s a quick learner, just like you were,” Boyd said.  “I bet Number One will be the same.”

Cycl0n3 put his arm around Blair, and she leaned on him. “With parents as smart as us?  Can’t see it going any other way.”  They waved to Boyd, Susan, and Patrick.  “See you later.” 

After Blair and Cycl0n3 left, Susan and Patrick went to the pumpkin patch while Boyd cleaned up.  When he met up with them, he mentioned that he wanted to walk through the haunted house. 

Susan laughed.  “Don’t you do that every time you visit Gunther?”

“The Goth mansion is only haunted by Gunther and Cornelia’s parents.  They weren’t scary when they were alive.  Just kind of old world.  Not exactly paranormal thriller material.”

“Fair enough.  Have fun.  I’ll stay out here with Patrick.  He’s too little for a trip in there, and I don’t want him having nightmares.”  She gave Boyd a coy look.  “You won’t be scared going alone, will you?”

“Nah.  But if you want to give me a kiss for good luck, I won’t turn it down.”

“All right.”  She gave him a smooch on the lips, and he headed into the haunted house.  The effects inside were good, and even though Boyd knew it was all fake, he got spooked anyway.  At least once someone or something grabbed him, and it left him with a chill going down his spine even as he came out.

Susan and Patrick were still in the pumpkin patch when Boyd returned.  She’d found some beautiful carving pumpkins, and she showed off her bounty.  “These will be perfect.  We should be able to save the seeds, too.”

“They look great.”  Boyd admired her harvest, and then picked up Patrick.  “Did you help?  Are you going to help me and Mom make,” he changed his voice to a spooky tone and made a clawing motion with his hands, “scary monster pumpkins?” 

Patrick giggled and tried to say “monster pumpkins,” but it came out as “moss-tuh puck-ins” instead.

When they got home, Patrick watched from his swing, or as it had come to be called, the “captain’s chair,” while his parents carved jack-o-lanterns out of their pumpkins.  Susan put a traditional face on hers, and Boyd carved a ghostly design on his.

The long day wore Patrick out.  Between the soothing rock in the swing and the soft music, he fell asleep before Boyd and Susan finished carving.

When they were done, they placed their pumpkins out on the front walk, and went over to their son in the swing.  Boyd yawned himself.  “I’m with you,” he said to Patrick affectionately, while Susan picked him up.

“Come on, sweetie.  Time for bed.”

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #123 on: November 13, 2016, 02:46:13 PM »
What a beautiful and heart-warming update.  I love the family interplay.  It's so real. 
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Offline chetanhaobijam

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #124 on: November 15, 2016, 11:03:45 PM »
Awesome update. Happy birthday, Patrick. He looks so cute as a toddler. Wish to cuddle him :). Aah, the fall season. Great to see all the family enjoying the season festival. Looking forward for next update.
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Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 27
« Reply #125 on: November 19, 2016, 01:28:29 PM »
What a beautiful and heart-warming update.  I love the family interplay.  It's so real. 

Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it!

Awesome update. Happy birthday, Patrick. He looks so cute as a toddler. Wish to cuddle him :). Aah, the fall season. Great to see all the family enjoying the season festival. Looking forward for next update.

Thank you! I find the toddlers adorable, and always end up taking tons of screenshots of them when families I play have them.

Chapter 27

For safety reasons, Blair got put on desk duty at work as soon as she told them she was pregnant.  She understood why, but it was so boring compared to patrols and investigations.  She was glad when it was time to go out on maternity leave.  If she couldn’t do what she loved, she’d rather be at home planning for the baby, reading her romance novels, or goofing around with Cycl0n3.

Owning a house was more expensive than living in the lofts, and her paid leave was just base pay without the overtime her job required.  Cycl0n3’s P.I. work gave him flexible hours, but he took all the jobs he could manage so they had the money they needed.  He hadn’t gotten any more silly cases like Bella Bachelor’s missing mouthwash, but they didn’t all resolve as easily, either.  One had him spying on the Goths for Gobias Koffi.  Blair found that awkward, knowing that one was a close friend to her parents and the other was their co-worker.  Of course, she couldn’t say anything to anyone about it, since Cycl0n3’s business depended upon confidentiality.  Technically, he shouldn’t have even told her, but Cycl0n3 knew he could trust Blair.  She was the most honest soul he’d ever met.

They were excited about the impending arrival of their baby.  Blair liked to call him over when the baby was active so he could feel and listen to her tummy.  At the moment, it was kicking up a storm.  Earlier, Blair had a craving for fried chicken, and Cycl0n3 got a double order of it from the diner.  They shared it, but afterward, Cycl0n3 endured the worst heartburn of his life.  “Don’t do that to me again, kid!  You might have an iron stomach, but your dad doesn’t.  Stick to craving stupid amounts of berry pie.  That I can handle!”

“Don’t listen to him,” Blair retorted.  “That was a craving I still regret.”

A little while later, it wasn’t a craving Blair felt, but strong contractions.  “Uh, Cycl0n3?  I think it’s time.”

“Time for… oh!”  He realized that Blair was telling him she was in labor.  “Time to go to the hospital?”

“Yeah.”  She winced in pain.  “Definitely time.”

Cycl0n3 went into panic mode.  “Okay.  Get to the car.”  He started for the door and realized he didn’t have his keys.  “Keys.  Keys.  Where are my keys?”

“Don’t tell me you lost your keys now!”

“I got ‘em, I got ‘em.”  He looked around wildly.  “They’re right… no, plumbob, they’re not.”  He searched the desk and rooted around in the drawer to no avail.  “Did I put them in the kitchen?”

“Cycl0n3…”  Blair’s voice took on a pained note.

“I’ll find them!”

Unfortunately, he didn’t find them in the kitchen, either on the counter or in any of the drawers he occasionally left them in.  “Come on, come on!”  He ran into the bedroom.

“You don’t keep them in the underwear drawer!”

“I know that!”  He was on his way out when he tripped… over his keys.  How had they wound up on the floor?  He frowned, but decided he’d ponder that later.  The important thing was that he had them.  “Come on.  Let’s go!”

They got to the hospital as fast as they could.  It was a good thing Blair was a cop, because Cycl0n3 ignored all speed limits getting to the hospital.  Blair was so out of it from labor pains that she didn’t even lecture him.  “We made it,” Cycl0n3 said, relieved.  “Let’s get this baby delivered.”

“You’re going to stay with me, right?”

“Of course!  We’ve got to watch little Wh1rlw1nd Sw0rd come into the world.”

“What?!”  Blair gave him a look that could best be described as “what the plumbob?”

“It’s a great name, isn’t it?  Wh1rlw1nd with ones for i’s?  At least if it’s a girl?  Maybe we’ll go with Typh00n with zeroes if it’s a boy.”

The look he got for that was even more withering, and he held up his hands.  “Kidding!  Sorry.  I was just trying to make you laugh.  I swear.”

“Not funny,” Blair groaned while they finished admitting her.

Blair’s labor lasted several hours.  Although her mother would point out later that it was not the sixteen hours she endured having her, it didn’t happen at Patrick’s warp-speed arrival, either.  For what felt like an eternity, Blair breathed hard, pushed harder, and eventually gave birth to a healthy baby boy with Cycl0n3 at her side.

“Whoa.”  Cycl0n3 was in awe as the nurse handed their newborn to them.  “It’s almost unreal.  This little guy is… ours.”  He watched the infant curl his tiny fingers around his pinky.  “And he’s cute.  Clearly from you.  I’m not that cute.”

“You’re not so bad,” a tired Blair teased back.  “I can see some of you in him.”

“What should we put for a name on the certificate?” asked the nurse.

Blair and Cycl0n3 exchanged looks.  “Chris,” Cycl0n3 said.  “That’s still the name you want for a boy, right?”

“Yes.  I always liked that name, even if you didn’t.  I think it suits him.”

“It’s not so much I don’t like it.  Just that I like other names better.”

“Like Cycl0n3 spelled with vowel numbers.”  Blair smiled at her husband.

“Yeah.  But Chris Sw0rd is a pretty cool name for our firstborn.”

The appropriate paperwork was filled out, and after a rest, Blair and Chris were declared healthy and discharged to go home.

It wasn’t until they were back in their driveway that Cycl0n3 remembered he’d driven to the hospital, and their car was still in the parking lot.

Susan and Boyd were thrilled when they got the news that they were officially grandparents.  “We can’t wait to meet him!” Susan exclaimed.  Cycl0n3 had texted them both pictures from the hospital, but of course they were eager to see and hold the baby.

“That’s right.  We’ve got a grandson to spoil, and an uncle who’s going to be the big kid in the family now.  The Captain finally has his Number One.”

“Num-by One!” Patrick echoed from his high chair.  He was learning more words all the time.

Both Susan and Boyd spent time teaching him.  They had their babysitter play educational shows on TV for him while they were at work, and in the evenings and on their days off, they sat with him to help him learn. 

He was a fast study and very bright, just like Blair had been.  Boyd and Susan felt a touch of guilt when they remembered Blair at Patrick’s age.  Her grandparents had taught her many of the skills they were now teaching Patrick, because they had been tired and overwhelmed as young parents.  They regretted not being there to hear those first words or see those first learning steps when they happened.  They wanted to make sure they didn’t miss them with Patrick, too.

The first chance they had, Susan and Boyd visited Blair, Chris, and Cycl0n3.  Patrick was still too young to grasp the concept of a new family member, but he was curious about the baby.  Susan and Boyd were proud of their grandchild and took turns holding him, while Blair carried around Patrick and played with him.

“You did a great job on his room,” Susan told Blair.  “It’s bright and cheery.  And I see you’re well stocked on toys.”

“Toys!”  Patrick perked up at the familiar word.

“Well, we all like toys, don’t we, Captain?”  Blair bounced her little brother.  “Yes we do!”

“I know you always did.”  Susan cuddled baby Chris.  “I bet your Mommy will still be playing with your toys even after you outgrow them.”

“Just be careful.  All these toys have safety warnings on them nowadays.  Manufacturers are pretty good about labeling, but you still get recall notices sometimes,” Boyd warned.  “And Chris seems a bit too curious for his own good.  When we got him from the crib, he was reaching through the bars.  I saw you’ve got everything a safe distance, though.”

“I know, Dad.  You don’t need to worry.  I promise.  I read all that stuff.  I even child-proofed the outlets in there.  Did you see the little doggy-face covers?”

“I did.  Cute.  We have spaceship ones in Patrick’s room.”

Their renewed focus on family at home did not take away from the Wainwrights’ focus on their project at work.  Their research was going well.  After so many years of marriage, working together was second nature to them.  The data coming in at each stage of their project supported their theories about the life fruit compounds, and gave them new leads to work with in creating a chemical formula that would give its benefits.

“The element in the tanzanite is what makes the alchemy formula glow, but what purpose that serves beyond it?”  Boyd shrugged at the science station.  “Still can’t figure that out.  No part of it reacts with any of the active compounds.”

“It seems silly that they’d add it just for aesthetics.  Kind of wasteful to use a gem just for that.”  Susan tweaked the formula she was working out on the white board.  “There must be something else it does.”

“Maybe if we knew more about alchemy itself, it’d make sense,” Boyd mused.

“If you want to study it, knock yourself out.  I wouldn’t have the patience to wade through all that mystical mumbo jumbo.” 

Boyd chortled.  “Now now, Cornelia’s cousin wouldn’t approve of your naysaying of her eye of newt and wing of bug standard operating procedure.”

“Well, if she can make a scientific justification for using expensive gems other than ‘oooh, it makes it sparkly,’ maybe I’ll take it more seriously.  Not that you could call alchemy science.”

“You could apply scientific principles to it.  The basic concept of mixing reagents could be compared to chemistry.  Kind of like cooking.  Actually, those alchemy books I thumbed through read a lot like cookbooks.  Weird, arcane cookbooks with unappetizing ingredients.”

“Half of the cookbooks out there aggravate me, too.  The imprecise ones that don’t give real measurements or define terms?  Terrible for someone learning.  I’ve managed, but you’ve seen my cooking notes.  How many times have I had to note actual temperatures and weights instead of what the recipe says?”

“You figured it out and became a great cook anyway,” Boyd pointed out.

“I was motivated.”

“Yes.  And because you wanted to learn it, you applied the science you know to it in order to understand it.”

Susan gave Boyd a curious look.  “Are you saying we should do that with alchemy?”

“I’m saying I wouldn’t rule it out if the usual methods don’t give us answers.”  The analyzer beeped.  “Although we might not need a trip to ye olde magical archives if we keep getting results like this.  Check this out.”  He motioned her over to the machine he was on.

“That’s… that’s incredible!”  Susan’s eyes lit up with excitement.  “Look at those numbers!”

“I know.  95.3% increase in cellular regeneration?  Incredible!  It’s only preliminary, but—”

“But still!  This is the best run yet.  How much more of the base formula do we have?”

“The LI-WX923?  Just this.”  Boyd held up a flask on the chemistry bench.  “It’s not the most shelf stable of our formulations, but that’s minor if it’s this good.”

“We need to run a more thorough sampling as soon as possible, and get a real statistical analysis on it.  What do you think?”

“I think we’re on to something amazing.”

After work, Boyd and Susan relaxed and watched a new episode of a favorite show.  It was over Patrick’s head, but he had fun sitting with them and playing with Buddy anyway.  They still had no idea who sent him the doll, but they were glad that whoever it was did, because it was now his favorite toy.  He loved Buddy and took him everywhere.

Afterward, they ate dinner.  Patrick was tired and cranky when he finished.  He wailed and kicked in his high chair.

“The babysitter said he didn’t nap today,” Boyd said with a sigh.

“And it shows.”  Susan picked him up out of the high chair.  “Come on.  Let’s get you to bed.”


“I’m glad you’ve mastered that word, but it’s not going to help.”  Her tone was quiet but firm.  “Say night-night.”

Patrick’s stubborn response was to shriek angrily, and Boyd chuckled in spite of it.  “Don’t think that’ll get you far with your mom.  Good night.”  He gave him a little wave as Susan carried him out of the room, ignoring the irate protest and flailing feet of her son. 

Boyd was about to put the dishes in the dishwasher when he saw a bright flash out of the corner of his eye, like lightning had just struck their back patio.  It was accompanied by a loud cracking noise, one with a strange mechanical hum unlike any thunder he’d ever heard.  “What the…?”   Startled, he set the plate down and went to investigate.

Whatever he expected to see when he looked out the sliding doors, it was not for the patio to have sprouted a strange alien-looking four-pronged metal device with a glowing disc in its base.  “What the plum?!”

Boyd threw open the doors and went outside.  Words failed him as a mixture of curiosity and panic fueled every weird and paranoid theory he’d ever had about such phenomena.  “It’s real…” First he touched it, and then gingerly, he stepped onto it.  It wasn’t some bizarre hallucination!  It was real!  As much as Boyd believed in such things and wanted to be proven right, he had never seen firsthand evidence of them before.

And there it was.  Hard, cold metal.  Humming, pulsing, alien metal.  “Holy llama…”

A sudden burst of energy and light knocked Boyd backwards and nearly off of his feet.  As he struggled to regain his bearings, he saw a figure coming through it.  “An alien portal?”

“You’re half right,” replied the nonchalant voice of the blue-haired man who came through the gateway.  “It’s a portal, but it’s not alien.  This is one hundred percent Earth tech.  Wellsian Time Portal, Build 6.0.  Most reliable to my date, larger-than-I’d-like standard model used by all time travelers like myself.”  He pulled out a device and checked its readout.  “And far more reliable than that pocket prototype, judging by this trip.”

“Time portal?” an incredulous Boyd repeated.  “Time traveler?!”

The man straightened and extended his hand.  “Emit Relevart, time traveler of Oasis Landing and… architect?  Yes, we’ll go with that.  That works.  Architect of this particular timeline project.”  Boyd shook his hand, stunned.  “And you should be Boyd Wainwright, resident of 53 Maywood Lane, Sunset Valley, and renowned scientist.  Correct?”

“I don’t know how renowned I am, but, yes, that’s me.”  He looked Emit over in wonder.  “You’re from the future?”

“I don’t look like I’m from the past, do I?  Yes.  I’m from the future.  354 years, 5 months, and 18 days, to be precise.”

“Wow.  354 years?”  Boyd was amazed, and wondered where Susan was.  Hadn’t she seen or heard anything?  He glanced over his shoulder.  “Wait, let me get my wife—”

“Your wife, Susan Wainwright.  Same age as you, also famously brilliant.  You’re scientists working at Landgraab Industries, and the parents of a son named Patrick, at least you should be by now, and a daughter named Blair, a police officer.”  Emit smirked.  “A real crusader for justice, that one.  Glad I didn’t end up on the wrong side of her cuffs.”

“Why do you know so much about us?  Have you met Blair?”

“Yes, about twelve hours ago.  She tried to arrest me when I popped into the wrong part of this town-time.”  He paused and considered.  “Though if my calculations are right, that was back before your son was born, so, longer for you.  Time travel perspective.  Gotta love it.”

“Blair never mentioned meeting a time traveler.”  But then Boyd did remember Blair telling him about a weird case on the Landgraab Estate a while back where a “crazy blue-haired guy” broke into their garage and disappeared in a flash.  “Wait.  Was it over at the Landgraabs’?”

“Yes.  The Landgraabs.  What a pain in the capacitors, that Nancy.  But enough about that.  I’m here to see you.  Actually, I was then, too, but my pocket portal had some issues and drifted way too early.”

“You were looking for me?”

“You and your wife.  You two did incredible things, you know.  Your research was, or rather, is, groundbreaking.”  Emit smiled.  “One of the perks of being a time traveler is the chance to meet your personal heroes.”

Boyd was flattered.  “Susan and I are personal heroes?”

“Sure are.  Don’t look so surprised. Don’t you have mentors and historical figures you look up to?”

“Well, yes.”

“So do I.  It’s a pleasure to meet you, and give you this.”  Emit handed Boyd a high-tech tablet-like device.  “This is a time almanac.  It keeps track of things in the timeline.  It can answer some of your questions, and it’ll be a useful resource for you if you choose to assist me on my project.”

“What project?”

“Fixing certain issues in the timeline.  That’s what I do, my responsibility as a dedicated time traveler.  I’ve taken on the task of managing it, overseeing it, and occasionally making tweaks to ensure a better future with the help of others who want to see the best for simkind.  Without creating world-destroying paradoxes or other messy mistakes in the process, of course.”

“That would be a real risk with time travel.”

“Indeed, and it’s not one I take lightly.  But I need assistance from someone in your time period, so I figured, who better to ask than great minds who made accomplishments in their own?  Or will, soon enough.  I imagine you already have an idea of what I’m talking about,” Emit said with a knowing look.  “I’d be honored if you and your wife would help me.  Is she inside?”

“Yes!  Of course!”  Boyd ran for the door, shouting for Susan.

When she came out into the living room, he began explaining in a rush.  Susan had just put Patrick to bed and barely understood what Boyd was saying because he was talking so fast.  She asked him to slow down, and he took her hand.  “Just come with me!”

They went out to the patio.  Confused and shocked, Susan listened as Boyd introduced her to Emit, and the time traveler explained the situation to her.  Like Boyd, she was first stunned, and then amazed and flattered that someone from so far in the future held her in high regard.  Susan had always wanted to be remembered for her scientific contributions, and hearing that it was definitely going to happen made her feel proud and excited.  “How can we help you?” she asked Emit.  “Surely technology like this,” she gestured to the portal, “is far beyond anything we’ve got now, in our time period.”

“It’s not so much the tech, but knowledge, and what you can do with it.”

“Knowledge we have, or knowledge you’re going to share with us?” asked Boyd.

“Some of Column A, and some of Column B.”

Boyd eyed him thoughtfully.  “But couldn’t Column B knowledge break the timeline?  If you let us see things that haven’t been invented, we could be influenced into creating them, or indirectly lead to their creation ourselves.  These things could then exist before their time and alter the course of history, or, just become the natural progression of events, necessitating you to always make this trip and give us this information for the timeline to go the way it should, which implies all sorts of—”

Susan groaned.  “This is why Janeway hated time travel.”

“Janeway?” Emit was puzzled.  “Is that one of your peers?  I don’t know that name.”

“No.  That’s just some, uh, lore from our time,” Boyd explained. 

“Never mind that.  Boyd has a point.  Isn’t it a concern?  Not to mention unethical, if we’re credited for something that was given to us?”  Susan frowned.  “Call me arrogant, but I don’t want to be remembered for anything I didn’t actually do.”

“Another reason I admire the two of you, and I promise, I’d never put you in that position,” Emit assured them.  “You’re right.  If I passed out future tech and knowledge to just anyone, it would be dangerous, and, great woolly llamas, would it wreak havoc in the timeline!  But what I’m talking about is at most, giving you a nudge along a path you’re already on, if even that.  I’ve done the calculations and run the simulations.  It won’t harm the timeline to have one of you come back with me.”

“One of us?  Not both?” asked Boyd. 

“As a rule, I don’t take more than one new traveler on an initial trip.  I’m sorry.  It’s frustrating, but necessary.”

“Why not?”

“Time travel can have unforeseen consequences.  Projections rule most of them out, but there’s always an element of chance that can’t be ignored.”

“It’s not safe, you mean,” said Susan.  “Something could go wrong, and happen to one of us.”

“I wouldn’t necessarily put it that way.  The portal is safe.  I can assure you of that.”

“But one of us could get waffled by a spaceship or something, die in the future, and never come back.  Is that what you mean?”

“Like I said, I don’t take too much of a chance with chance.  So, one of you.  Just for this first trip.  You can both come once I’ve gotten one of you there and back.”

“I see.”  Boyd was conflicted.  The promise of a trip to the future was amazing, but going without Susan, or staying behind while she went…

She made up her mind almost immediately.  “You should go,” she told Boyd.


“No.  I mean it.”  She smiled.  “Let’s be honest, this is the kind of thing you’ve dreamed for a chance to do your whole life.”

“And you haven’t?  Come on, I know better.  The chance to see the future, what lies ahead for the world, and experience things most of us can only imagine?”

“Of course I’d love to go!  But I don’t think it’d mean as much to me to be first as it would to you, if it can only be one of us.  As long as I get to go next, I’m okay with it.”  Susan took Boyd’s hand and gave it a squeeze.  “So I’ll stay.  It’s not like we could just leave Patrick alone here anyway.”

“No.  That’s true.  I’d never forgive myself if something happened to him.  Even if we planned to return back to this instant, I just… no, too risky.”  Boyd gave Susan a meaningful look.  “I won’t lie and say I don’t want to go, but I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t feel guilty going when you can’t.”

“Don’t.  Go, and have an amazing trip.  Then come home and tell me all about it, and don’t leave a single detail out when you do.”  She looked at the portal.  “Which wouldn’t even feel like that long, if you came back to now.  You can do that, right?”

“Shouldn’t feel any longer than a bathroom break on your end.”  Emit turned to Boyd.  “What do you say?  Ready to take a trip through time?”

“Sure!”  His enthusiasm was back with Susan’s reassurance.  “I’d love to go!  Just let me go inside and say goodbye to Patrick first.  I know it’ll only be for a few minutes for him, but still.”

“Of course.”  Emit and Susan followed Boyd inside.

Patrick hadn’t fallen asleep yet, and he sat up when his father came into the room.  “Just wanted to tell you good night.”  Boyd gave him a hug.  “You’re going to be good for your mom, right?” 

“Be good,” Patrick echoed, looking up at him with sleepy eyes.

“All right.  You sleep well.”  He kissed Patrick’s forehead and moved Buddy closer to him.  Patrick put his arm around the doll and closed his eyes.  Boyd watched him for a moment, and then pulled out his phone to send Blair a quick text.  He said nothing out of the ordinary, but it felt right to do it anyway. 

Before going back out, he embraced Susan.  “I’m going to miss you.  This is really exciting, but I wish you were coming with me.”

“Which is why you’ll bring me along when you get back.  I’ll call Blair and see if she’ll watch Patrick for a few hours, so we know he’s safe.  You might even be back before I’m done.”  Susan hugged Boyd a little tighter despite that.  “Be careful.  Don’t engage any Biffs in the future.”

“Not without a trusty DeLorean getaway car.”  He kissed her.  “See you soon.”

“I’ll see you sooner.  Love you.”

“Love you, too.”

Susan watched from the open sliding door as Boyd and Emit entered the portal.  “Do I need to do anything with that while you’re gone?”

“Just keep the toddler and any curious snoops away from it.  Other than that, it’s pretty indestructible.  This thing can even take a lightning hit and still work.”  He looked up at the sky.  “Which in this weather is a good thing.”

The time portal glowed and widened, and Boyd stepped in.  He waved to Susan, and she waved back, hoping to see him soon and wishing him luck.  Emit followed, and their silhouettes both disappeared.  There was a loud hum, a brighter flash, and a crack like thunder… and then they were gone.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #126 on: November 19, 2016, 03:31:44 PM »
I loved this update Cheezey.  Welcome to Chris Sword.  That name sounds far too normal for Cycl0n3's son.  I love your Trekkie and Back to the Future references.  I don't feel such a nerd when someone else makes them too.
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Offline chetanhaobijam

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #127 on: November 19, 2016, 11:29:57 PM »
Great update. Firstly, welcome to the world Chris Wainwright Sw0rd. Waiting to see you grow up into a cute toddler. And so excited about the future. Wondering what lies ahead. Nice to see Emit again. Good luck Boyd. Looking forward for next update.
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Offline Nimrod Mikkusu

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #128 on: November 20, 2016, 07:00:35 AM »
I loved this update Cheezey.  Welcome to Chris Sword.  That name sounds far too normal for Cycl0n3's son.  I love your Trekkie and Back to the Future references.  I don't feel such a nerd when someone else makes them too.

I tend to give Cycl0n3's children names such as T0rn4d0, Hurr1c4n3, and Typh00n. (If I install the game again, that is.)

Offline Cheezey

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Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 28 Part One
« Reply #129 on: November 26, 2016, 12:59:09 PM »
I loved this update Cheezey.  Welcome to Chris Sword.  That name sounds far too normal for Cycl0n3's son.  I love your Trekkie and Back to the Future references.  I don't feel such a nerd when someone else makes them too.

Thank you! I'm glad other people like the geeky references. I have a lot of fun with them.   As for Chris, he was named by NRaas story progression in the game. I just kept it. I figure it was just a name Blair liked and he didn't want to push the issue.

Great update. Firstly, welcome to the world Chris Wainwright Sw0rd. Waiting to see you grow up into a cute toddler. And so excited about the future. Wondering what lies ahead. Nice to see Emit again. Good luck Boyd. Looking forward for next update.

Thank you! We're in the future in this chapter!  It's a long one, but I wanted to get all of Boyd's trip there done in one shot. I hope you enjoy it. :)

Author's Note: This chapter is long, with 25 pictures and almost 6800 words. Unfortunately, that put it over the character limit for a single post on the forum.  I apologize for having to split it into two parts and double-post.  Normally I try to keep the chapters shorter, but it didn't flow right broken into two chapters. 

Chapter 28

Stepping through the time portal was disorienting.  Boyd was surrounded by nothing but light and energy, above, below, and all around, like he was floating inside lightning while protected from its shock.  Then the light parted, revealing the sky and a landscape, and firm ground.  He took a step, and it was like the portal itself thrust him out.  He fell forward into a new world, one three and a half centuries later: a future Sunset Valley now known as Oasis Landing.

“Here we are!”  Emit emerged from the portal beside him.  “Welcome to Oasis Landing, the future of where you call home.”

They were up on a rooftop, and Boyd looked around to take it all in.  He wasn’t sure what he expected, but this was not it.  The future was pleasant, with clean air, green grass, and trees.  The sun shined in the sky over the futuristic buildings that were all different than anything from Sunset Valley’s time.  But the more he looked, the more off it seemed.  “Are we in the same place?  Is this where my house… was?”  It was strange to talk about it like it was gone.

“No.  The portal allows for variation within a radius of the home location.  We’re still nearby.  This is closer to, hmm, I’d say the general area of your city square.  The large park.”

Boyd reoriented himself mentally, and looked around again.  It still did not seem right.  “I know 350 years is a lot to expect of any building or roadway, especially near a coast line, but even the orientation of the land is different.”  He looked where the mountains behind Sunset Valley should have been.  “The shape of the mountains is wrong.  Was there a lot of erosion or development?  Earthquakes?  Natural disasters?”

“Not exactly.”  Emit’s tone became sober. 

“What happened?”

“You mentioned the coast.  Look toward the ocean, and tell me what you see.”

Boyd imagined himself standing in the Sunset Valley park, and faced the direction of the beaches.  He saw buildings in the distance, a shimmer of water, and beyond it, a brownish haze below the sky.  “It’s kind of hard to make out from here, but the waterline looks…” He realized that was wrong, too.  “That’s not the ocean.  Is that an engineered bay or canal in front of it?”

“It’s all that’s left of it,” Emit replied.  “It’s what we built so we could have something like a waterfront, before the part of the ocean that used to be there was boiled off by radioactive heat and permanently lost to a radiation-soaked, uninhabitable wasteland a hundred years ago.”

Boyd was stunned.  “What could do that?  Some kind of super-weapon?  A meteor?”  He frowned.  “Though a meteor large enough to do that would’ve caused other catastrophic effects…”

“It wasn’t a meteor.  It was an alien ship that crashed.  When its power source exploded, that happened.”  Emit sighed.  “A ship one of us shot down.”

“We shot an alien ship down?”  Boyd realized only as an afterthought that Emit spoke of aliens like they were a given in everyday life.

“Just when we were starting to make progress with them, too.  After more than two and a half centuries of fear, animosity, spying, abductions, our governments betraying them, theirs betraying ours, and the experiments.  Did you know that was going on even back in your time?”

Boyd raised an eyebrow.  “In my time, if you talk about that kind of thing, you’re likely to get called a conspiracy theorist and laughed at.”

“Because contact hasn’t been acknowledged yet.  Regardless, relations with the aliens were never good.  We’re a big experiment to the people of Sixam.  Something they study.  Intelligent and advanced enough to fascinate them, but too primitive to effectively fight back.  At least, we were, but we made our advances over time.  Some from our governments selling out our people in exchange for tech, others with our own innovation.  There were talks, but Sixam never stopped the abductions despite saying they would.  Diplomats paid lip service saying they’d stop the ‘rogue elements’ doing it, but it never happened.  Some of our people had enough, and a radical group took action.  Using Landgraab technology, they created a weapon.  When more abductions happened, they used it to shoot down the next ship they saw.”

Emit was sad as he continued the tale.  “The devastation from the explosion was unimaginable.  What you see here is incredible when you consider what it came back from.  Two thirds of the population dead.  Buildings, land, the very ocean obliterated.  Radiation burned everything, and it still permeates the area to this day, especially in the wasteland.”  He looked at Boyd.  “Do you know what saved the ones who survived?” 


“An old Landgraab Industries formula.  The active ingredient in their most profitable product ever created: Age-Away.  A skin cream that could make someone over a hundred years old look perpetually in their twenties by constantly regenerating skin cells.  A formulation that not only gives the illusion of youth, but slows actual aging.  It made them an obscene fortune, in addition to the one they already had.”  He met Boyd’s eyes.  “It was created from a formula you and your wife discovered for them, called—”


“Yes.  That was what they called it pre-patent.”

It was a bit of a shock to hear that they’d succeeded, that he and Susan developed something that could regenerate tissue to its healthiest form, and instead of using it for medical advances, Landgraab Industries patented and sold it as wrinkle cream.

“One of the survivors worked for what used to be Landgraab Industries.  She knew there was a large stock of the active compound in Age-Away in their underground vaults.  She took it and passed it out to medics for the survivors to counteract their radiation poisoning.  It saved their lives.  Their children and grandchildren that live here today are alive because of your and Susan’s research.  Nothing else in our medical knowledge at the time could counteract and keep protecting against the radiation like that.”

“Wow.  I don’t know what to say.”  It made Boyd happy to know it had done good in the world, but at the same time, it was painful to imagine what everyone had gone through.  “I’m glad it saved them, but what a shame it had to be that way.”

Emit let out a dark chortle.  “It’s a shame that Damien Landgraab tried to have her arrested and tried for grand theft for it.  Anyway, I apologize for throwing that long miserable future history lesson at you first thing, when you were probably excited about seeing the advances here.  So, want to learn how to fly a jet pack?”

Boyd brightened.  “A jet pack?  That’s really a thing?”

“It sure is.”  Emit picked one up off of a nearby rack and handed it to him.  “Strap it on, switch it on, and give it a try.”  He showed Boyd where the controls were and how to use them, and stepped back while Boyd put it on. 

He started it and rose a little off the ground.  “Wow.  That’s pretty cool!”

“You can go higher than that.”

“Yeah…”  Boyd levitated higher, and took in the unobstructed view.  Oasis Landing was so different from Sunset Valley, but beautiful in a futuristic way.  Even the harshness of the wasteland, more visible from that height, had its own sort of eerie calm and beauty.

Emit shouted up to him.  “You’re getting the hang of it.  Try a maneuver or two.  Maybe a spin.”

Boyd veered to the right a little sharply, but caught himself.  Soon he got a sense of how to lean and position himself while flying.  “This is fun!”

“It never gets old for me,” Emit said with a grin.

Boyd flew around a little longer, and increased the speed.  Once he was comfortable with that, he went higher, and dipped lower.  Soon he was zipping all around the area, but then he started to feel a little dizzy.  “Okay.  Whoa.  Time to come down.”

“You remember how to do that, right?”

He changed speed and direction, but leaned too far forward as he made his descent.  He let out a panicked yelp as he came down hard, and slammed into the turf on top of the building. 

Emit came over, concerned.  “Are you okay?”

Boyd struggled to his feet, but a sharp pain in his back told him that he was too old to carelessly crash on a jet pack without consequences.  He rubbed his back.  “You got anything for back pain here in the future?”

“We can take care of that when you go to the medical spa,” Emit replied.  “It’s one of the errands I’m going to send you on to acquaint yourself with Oasis Landing.  But first, I need to tell you about plumbots.”

“What’s a plumbot?”

“Very advanced robots.”  Emit went on to explain how plumbots were robotic creations and companions with sophisticated artificial intelligence, customizable and programmable through chips that gave them various skills and functions.  Some were basic and helped around the household, while others were programmed for socializing or entertainment.  “So some plumbots can make you gourmet meals every night, others can clean your house and babysit your children, while others are made for social functions.  Some can work, some can schmooze.  With the right chips, they can do almost anything we can do.”

Boyd raised an eyebrow.  “Anything, huh?  Tell me, how long did it take for someone to invent the woohoo bot?”

Emit laughed.  “It was one of the first to hit the market.”

After Emit finished telling Boyd about plumbots, he suggested he take a look around the Oasis Landing Community Center and meet one for himself.  Plumbots were independent enough that they were found all over Oasis Landing, anywhere someone might be out and about.  It didn’t take long for him to find one.  When he went inside, there was a shiny yellow and black plumbot in the room.

“Uh, hi.”  Boyd waved to the plumbot.  “I’m Boyd.  I’m new here.  What’s your name?”

“I am called Delta,” a soft feminine robotic voice replied.  “I am pleased to meet you, Boyd.”

“Pleased to meet you, too.”  He was unable to hide his excitement seeing Delta’s advanced design up close.  Incredible!  I can’t wait for Susan to see these! He missed her already.  He would have to ask Emit when they could go back and get her.  “So, what do you do, Delta?  What are your functions?”

Delta beeped.  “Boyd, my primary functions are as follows: Office Drone, Efficient, Friendly Functions.  I am standing by and awaiting your instructions.”

“I, uh, I don’t have any right now.  I haven’t met any plumbots before you.”

“Oh!  I am pleased to be the first of my kind to socialize with you!”  She ran a scan over him.  Boyd did not feel anything from the beam of light, but he wondered what Delta just learned about him from it.  “Have you recently relocated to Oasis Landing from a remote area?”

“You could say that.  Emit Relevart brought me here.”

“Emit Relevart, the time traveler.  Did he acquire you from another time period?”

Boyd nodded.  “350 years ago, give or take.”

“We plumbots did not exist so long ago.  I hope I did not frighten or confuse you.”

“No.  We didn’t have anything like you.  I wish we did.  You’re really cool.”  Boyd spotted Emit down the hall.  “Thanks for talking to me.  It was nice to meet you.”

“It was nice to meet you as well, Boyd.  Have a pleasant day!”

He caught up with Emit.  “Aren’t plumbots great?  I knew you’d love them.  Now I’ve got something else for you to do.  It’ll let you get out of here and explore Oasis Landing a little.”

“Sure.  That’d be great.  But I was wondering, when we can go back and get Susan?  She’d be so excited for all of this.”

“Soon, but not quite yet.  I know it’s frustrating, but I need you to have a solid understanding of what you’re experiencing before I bring a second traveler.  Not everyone adjusts well to time travel, and I need to make sure you’re all right here before I bring someone else.  Besides, you need to go and get your radiation treatment before it starts affecting you.”

“Radiation treatment?  What do you mean?”

“The explosion that caused the wasteland bathed this whole area with long half-life residual radiation that someone who wasn’t born here can’t withstand for more than twenty four hours without showing ill effects.”

“What’s the treatment?”

“A subcutaneous injection of a tweaked version of LI-WX923.  It’ll give your body the means to shield and repair itself from the radiation, like all of us who were born from the survivors have.”

Boyd’s eyes went wide.  “Are you saying it attaches to DNA and passes on?”

“Markers of it are in all the children and grandchildren of the survivors, yes.  It’s why we can live here without getting sick.  Though we still can’t go out in the wasteland for long periods.  It’s so bad out there that it’s completely uninhabitable, and will be for at least another two hundred years.”

“Wow.  That’s incredible.  But wait, if I get an injection of it, won’t it affect me?”  He considered the implications.  “It’ll be a radiation shield here, but what about back in my own time?  With nothing to constantly repair, won’t it be like having a—a healing factor?”

“To an extent.  You’ll get a new lease on life, more energy.  It’ll be like having a version of Age-Away infused into your system, all in a neat inked design of your choice.  You’ll feel younger, and it’ll even slow your aging down for a while.  Years, probably.  But on the bright side, you and Susan get the comfort of knowing you’ll live very long lives together.”

“Can’t complain about that,” said Boyd.  “But what about the timeline?  Isn’t giving me a treatment from the future that’ll let me live longer than I would otherwise kind of dicey as far as that goes?”

“All I’ll say is that you and Susan had access to your own formula from the time you invented it.  If anyone should get its benefits, it’s you.  Especially considering you never got much profit or credit from it.  I can’t talk about your direct future for obvious reasons, but I’ll tell you this.  You and Susan died in obscurity with not even a percent of a percent of the wealth the Landgraabs made off of Age-Away.  I know there were disclosure agreements and intellectual property laws, but they didn’t even honor you with a recognition award or any kind of commission, and that’s pretty shameful.  When I said you were well-known, I meant that you were to scientists like me who know our science and history.  But to most of the world, your LI-WX923 is a Landgraab discovery and a Landgraab product.”  Emit put a hand on Boyd’s shoulder.  “But not anymore.  Because we’re going to fix a few things for you two while you’re here helping me.  Things I already worked out that won’t hurt the timeline, but will be much better for you.”

“Wow.”  It was a lot to process, knowing that he and Susan would create the kind of legacy they always wanted, but that years later, someone else would get all the credit for it.  But Emit promised to help fix that, so Boyd came away feeling optimistic and determined rather than upset.  “Well, thank you, Emit.  That’s amazing.” 

“You’re welcome.  Now, get to the medical spa.  To get there, you can try out another favorite transport method of mine: a windcarver.”

The windcarver, as it turned out, was a hover board not unlike those seen in a favorite time travel movie series of his youth.  When he hopped on it, Boyd felt like a kid again even before his LI-WX923 treatment.  At first he was unsteady, but like the jet pack, he got the hang of it before long.

When he got there, he was surprised that his treatment was administered in the form of a tattoo.  Emit had said it was a subcutaneous injection and mentioned an inked design, but it didn’t click until the technician sat Boyd down in a futuristic tattoo chair.  They explained that the medicated ink needed to bind to the skin, and from there the healing compound would spread through his body.  Boyd wondered what Susan would say, and thought of how she liked to tease him about buying his expensive snakeskin jacket on a whim when he hit middle age.

For the design, Boyd chose a molecular symbol in dark gray and red on his upper left arm.  It was easily concealed by clothing if he didn’t want to explain it, and it was a nod to his love of science.  Almost immediately, he had more energy.  He didn’t think he looked any younger, but the back ache from falling on the jet pack went away, and he felt healthy and good.

There was a plumbot street musician playing the drums when he came outside.  It performed well.  If he’d had any future currency on him, he’d have tipped it, but he doubted that money from his time would be worth anything in Oasis Landing.

He contacted Emit.  “I’m done with the treatment.”

“Excellent!  I bet you’re probably getting hungry.  Head on over to Sam’s Synth’d Staples and get something to eat.  Tell them it’s on my account.  It’s two blocks away, across the plaza.  By the time you’re done, I should be finished tracking down some descendants of yours.”

“My descendants!”  Boyd had wondered if he had any great-to-whatever-degree grandchildren, but hadn’t asked yet.  He wasn’t sure Emit would tell him, anyway.  Knowing what became of his family could affect his choices when he went back, and that could affect the timeline.  It also occurred to Boyd that right now, the timeline might reflect his family as if he never went back at all, like he had disappeared or died.  Unless his return was a fixed and predestined point in time, which would mean his trip to the future was, as well…

“Yes, I’ve tracked some down.”  Emit’s response brought Boyd out of his thoughts.  “I’ll get you the specifics as soon as I can.  Talk to you soon.”

Boyd went to the dining establishment, which was staffed entirely by plumbots.  One directed him to the bar, where there was a machine that synthesized drinks much like he’d seen on sci-fi shows.  He ordered one, and a fizzy pink concoction materialized on the machine right before his eyes.  He sipped it.  “Not bad.”

After checking the menu, he ordered a plate of fish and chips.  He didn’t get to see it synthesized, but it was tasty and if he hadn’t known, he’d have been hard-pressed to distinguish it from a traditionally cooked version.  The future had such amazing technology!  He wondered if this was how his own time would seem to someone from the mid-1600s, the same amount of time in the opposite direction.  What did Sunset Valley look like then, I wonder?  Would my time be just as unrecognizable to them as this is to me?

He got a call from Emit.  “We’re in luck!  I’ve found two of your direct descendants.  A Donovan Wainwright, and his teenage son Benjamin Trent, born to him and a woman named Leilani Trent.  They live way up on Precipice Parkway, but my tracking data says they’re out and about near you at the EP-XI Imports Gallery across the courtyard.  I’m sending the information to your time almanac.  If you hurry, you can find them.  Good luck!”

“Thanks.  I’ll go right away.”  I’m going to meet the future of the family! Boyd was excited, but once more, he wished Susan was with him.  These were her descendants, too, and he knew she would want to know about them just as much as he did.  He considered waiting, but then decided not to, just in case the opportunity did not arise again on their return trip.

As he made his way over, he figured that Donovan and Benjamin must be his descendants through Patrick, since Donovan still had the Wainwright name.  Blair had already taken Cycl0n3’s, and Chris’ was Sw0rd.  Boyd wondered if Chris had any descendants, or if there were descendants from other children Blair might have someday.  Emit hadn’t mentioned any.  Was it because they didn’t exist, or because they’d perished in the catastrophic explosion a century before?  Or was it just because they didn’t live in the area, or the surname changes over so many generations made it hard to find them?  He hoped that was it.  He supposed it was remarkable any of them were still named Wainwright after so much time, and if Benjamin Trent was Donovan Wainwright’s only child, this generation might be the last with the name.

Offline Cheezey

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Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 28 Part Two
« Reply #130 on: November 26, 2016, 01:00:32 PM »

Boyd’s musing came to an end when he entered the gallery.  The futuristic shop was like a boutique, with all sorts of electronics, housewares, and clothing on holographic displays.  He hadn’t felt so obviously out of place until that moment.  His clothes were from his time, and no one in Oasis Landing was dressed like him.  I probably look like someone dressed for their equivalent of the Ren Faire.  Nobody gave him more than an odd look, however.

The almanac showed pictures of his descendants, and he found Donovan looking at a holographic sphere on a display.  Up close, Boyd could still see a family resemblance in the facial structure of his descendant, although his hair color and physique obviously did not come from his or Susan’s genetics.  “Excuse me, are you Donovan Wainwright?”

He turned around and gave Boyd a puzzled look, probably because of his twenty first century attire.  “Yes?”

Boyd decided to go for the direct approach.  He hoped that Emit’s time travel work was well enough known that he wouldn’t come off like a random weirdo.  “Hi.  This is probably going to sound strange, but, uh, we’re family.”  He got out the time almanac.  “My name is Boyd Wainwright.  Emit Relevart brought me to Oasis Landing from the past, and—”

Donovan’s face lit up with shock and then amazement.  “You’re a time travel ancestor?  I’ve heard of that happening, but I never thought… Wow!”  He looked Boyd over from head to toe.  “I thought you looked like a re-enactor from the historical society.  And you’re related to me?  I’m not even anyone important or famous.”

“According to this, I am.”  Boyd showed him the entry and then pulled up specifics, where it showed the number of generations removed, and a basic outline with some names.  As he suspected, Patrick was listed as the generation after his in the lineage. 

“Incredible!”  Donovan pulled him into a hug, which surprised Boyd, although it did not put him off.  “Leilani!  Benjamin!  Come here!”

Donovan’s partner and son came over to join them, and he enthusiastically introduced them to Boyd.  Leilani was even more visibly excited to meet a time-traveling ancestor, even though she was not technically a relative of his.  “I never imagined that we’d be so lucky to have the time traveler bring someone from the past to us.  He doesn’t do that often.  Oh, you must be so important if he brought you.” 

Donovan let out a half-hearted laugh.  “I hope we’re not too disappointing.  What do you do?”

“Yeah, are you famous in your time?” asked Benjamin, a more slimly built youth whose eyes were just like Susan’s.  “Emit Relevart only brings people here from other times for important timeline work.  That’s so cool.  I’d love to do that someday.  I want to study time science.”

“You’re into science, huh?  I’m a scientist, too,” Boyd told him.

“What do you do?  What’s our family like?”  Donovan, Trent, and Leilani had a lot of questions.  Boyd did his best to answer them, although he could not tell them much other than about him and Susan.  Patrick was only a toddler with his whole life ahead of him, and Blair was far enough removed that her descendants and the three of them wouldn’t even be considered related in any meaningful sense.

Still, he learned a lot about them.  They were a family of modest means, and it was clear Donovan and Leilani were happy together, and good parents to Benjamin.  Donovan was easygoing and friendly, with a clever wit that made him easy to like.  He did not seem to be a terribly motivated individual, and was the type to relax and enjoy life.  Leilani struck him as the disciplinarian of the two, and it was apparent that she was someone who valued appearances and status.  More than once she remarked how she could not wait to tell everyone that Emit brought a time travel ancestor of theirs back, as if it was an achievement.  It was Benjamin that Boyd found the most common ground with.  He liked to tinker with things and had a strong mechanical aptitude.  Leilani proudly boasted of how he’d aced engineering classes and could fix almost anything.  Benjamin also gardened as a hobby, and Donovan told Boyd how Benjamin would go to the local parks to pick wild food so he could grow it at home.  Boyd told him about his flame fruit plant, and they had a nice conversation before they had to go.  It had gotten late, and the family needed to return home while Boyd had to get back to Emit.

“It was great meeting you,” Donovan said as they parted ways.  “I can’t wait to meet your wife when you come back.”

“Thanks.  Me, too. I’m sure she’ll love meeting you.” 

After Boyd checked in with Emit at the community center, he showed him to a room to stay in.  There was still more that had to be done, so he would spend at least another day in the future before returning to Susan.  The bed was not a bed, but a dream pod.  It could fit up to two, and had a comfortable mattress, but no covers.  Instead, it had a shield that covered and kept one warm while asleep.  The best part was that it had the ability to influence dreams!  The pods could read brain waves and transmit signals to trigger dream states for a particular outcome.

Before he turned in, however, Boyd found something else of interest.  It was a sphere like the one Donovan looked at in the gallery.  Boyd examined it, and realized that it was a futuristic computer!  Like a child on Snowflake Day, Boyd powered it on and tried it out.  Instead of a monitor and keyboard, it projected a hologram to interface with.  A natural with such things, Boyd figured out quickly how it worked, and before he knew it, hours had passed. 

He stretched and yawned, and climbed into the dream pod.  The menu had a few default choices, so he chose one of those rather than program it until he better understood how it worked.  One had to do with rushing water, and another mentioned working out, something he would rather not do while awake, let alone plan a dream about.  “Dream About Family” made him think of Susan and Patrick back at home, and Blair, Cycl0n3, and little Chris, as well as the descendants he’d just met.  He selected that, and drifted off to sleep. 

His dream started off with him at a family gathering, a Snowflake Day where he was wearing a garish holiday sweater.  He did not even own such a thing, but the dream improved when they sat down to dinner and he could eat all sorts of tempting things, like cookies and broccoli with a delicious rich cheese sauce that Blair asked for seconds on.  The dream took a strange turn.  He and Susan were in some other house, not his own or Blair’s, and Patrick kept saying that he wanted to go bike riding.  Boyd didn’t question that he was older in the dream.  A child he didn’t recognize in a hat and opaque glasses was there, and Cycl0n3 stood in the hall talking to the kid about getting a dog and going surfing, as if those two things even made sense. 

When he woke up, Boyd felt refreshed and well-rested, but wasn’t sure what to make of the dream.  He did miss his family, though.  He looked forward to seeing them again as much as whatever else Emit was going to show him before going back.

The previous night, Emit told him there were new clothes in the dresser so he’d have something clean to wear.  They were in Oasis Landing style, of course.  Boyd liked that.  He felt futuristic walking around in them.  He met Emit for breakfast and enjoyed a bowl of synthesized Fruti Bobs while they discussed what to do next.

“Tell me, how do you feel about a trip to the wasteland?”

“As a scientist?  Curious.  There are a hundred years of heavy radiation effects on the environment there.  In my time, with the technology and weapons we have, there’s nothing to compare it to that’s been around that long.  Not to mention that the source of it was an alien device.  Studying that area could be invaluable to science.”  He took a bite of his cereal.  “But you said the radiation was too dangerous even for the natives.”

“We can’t live there, but we can withstand a short exposure.  But I’m a special case.  Time travel gives the perception of stopping and starting time, but it never pauses for my body.  I can spend months here, days there, but it all adds up.  Cumulatively, I’m much older than you’d think.”

“That makes sense.  You don’t stop aging just because you’re jumping around in time.  Time is still passing for you.”

“Right.  And it takes its toll, even with LI-WX923 treatments and other life-extending supplements.  Too many trips to the wasteland, and it accelerates the processes I need to slow.  So I only go when I absolutely have to.  That’s why I hoped you might be up for some scouting and sample collecting for me at the crash site, where the radiation is highest.  You’ll be fine, I promise.  Your treatment is at its most potent, and you don’t live in Oasis Landing.”

Boyd considered Emit’s request.  “I’d like to see the wasteland, as long as it’s safe.  Especially the alien ship, if any of it’s still there.”

“There’s a shell.  Part of it was pushed underground by the force of the blast, and that part’s intact.  It’s sealed, and no one’s been inside it, as far as I know, ever.  It’s only in the last decade that it’s been safe enough to for us to explore for short periods.”

“So that’s your project?”

“It’s a part of it.  There’s more, but we can talk about that later, once Susan’s ready and on board, too.”  Emit stood up, finished with his breakfast.  “Ready to go exploring?”

At Emit’s recommendation, Boyd came into the wasteland from the west end, where the radiation was lowest.  Although his treatment protected him, it made sense to acclimate his system.  There was a run-down house on its edge that appeared to be inhabited, which made Boyd question how uninhabitable the area was, but perhaps those where lived there were just squatters or someone who had nowhere else to go.

Emit told him about the nanites that could be found in the area.  The insect-like robots were fascinating.  They had a hive mind sort of AI and self-replicated like an organic insect.  Emit said that they were used in plumbot building, and certain varieties were useful and valuable.  Boyd found some in his travels, and collected them for study.  According to Emit, it wouldn’t harm the timeline, so Boyd caught and kept quite a few.

Another thing that could survive in the wasteland was a plant called a crystal flower.  It had a crystalline structure in its root system, and flowers that changed color and held energy that directly reacted to one’s emotions.  Boyd theorized that the radiation was the cause of those mutations, but regardless, he wanted to study that as well.  He took samples of plants in different colors for study and analysis, and planned to try and grow one of his own once he was home.

Eventually, he made it to the crash site.  The alien ship certainly looked alien, and it fascinated Boyd.  He spent a good hour examining the hull, and collected shards and samples of the metal.  He knew the things from the wasteland had residual radiation on them, but he knew how to store such things safely, so that did not concern him.

The door had a complex locking mechanism, and between examinations of it and the notes Emit had made, Boyd got an idea of what to look for to build the missing part that would allow them to break the seal.  He amused himself with the thought that he could add “building alien lock-picks” to his curriculum vitae when he got home.

He scavenged around in the wreckage and found some pieces that looked promising.  It was getting late again, though, and now he was going on a second full day away from home.  Boyd got on his windcarver and rode back to the community center.

He reported in to Emit when he got back.  First he gave him the scavenged items, and then he told him about the samples he took and observations he made while in the area.

“Excellent!  I’ll examine these tonight.  You’ve been a big help.  Thank you.”  Emit smiled.  “I’m confident now that you’ve adjusted to time travel.  Tomorrow, we can send you back to get Susan.  I’d say tonight, but it’s already evening, and I think you should go out and do something fun before you head home.  After all, you wouldn’t want to tell her that Oasis Landing is all work and no play, right?”

“Then sleep and head home in the morning?  That works.  Any suggestions?”

“There are a few night life spots.  Loel’s Lounge is nice.  A laid back place with good food, games, and a relaxed atmosphere.  If you want something trendier, there’s the Erutuf up by city hall.  If you’re more into an old-style bar, I’d say head up to Precipice Parkway and check out The Mine.  You’ve been to Sam’s for a quick bite, and that’s by the HoloVenture Theater.  The planetarium might have a show uptown, too.”

“I’m a little hungry, so maybe I’ll check out that Loel’s place.”  Boyd got the address from Emit and headed there.  It was nice, and he enjoyed a plate of synthesized Goopy Carbonara and a conversation with a friendly plumbot while he ate.  Afterward, he played a tabletop arcade game with a local man.  Boyd was pleased that video games were still alive and thriving so far in the future, and that he was still pretty good at them.

The next morning, Emit showed Boyd the results of his analysis of the wasteland scrap.  “I think I can make a device to get that door open with what you brought me.  I’m going to get started on it right away.” 

“That’s great!  I can’t wait to see what’s in there.”  Boyd looked at Emit.  “We can do that when I come back with Susan, right?  All she’ll need first is the treatment?”

“I think so, yes.  You can show her how things like the jet packs and windcarvers work.  Are you ready to go home now?”

Boyd nodded.  “Yes.”

After Emit calibrated the portal for Boyd’s home and time, Boyd took a final look around Oasis Landing.  He’d seen and learned so much in the past two days.  He couldn’t wait to get home to tell Susan all about it, and then, bring her back and show her.  Excited, he stepped into the portal.

Back in Sunset Valley, Susan had just gotten off the phone with Blair when she saw a flash and heard the sound of the portal opening on the patio.  She looked over and saw her husband stumble out if it.

“Boyd?”  Susan ran outside and helped him to his feet, while the soft rain that had been falling all night started to pick up again.  “Come on.  Let’s get inside.”

They went in, and hugged each other tightly.  Boyd was glad to see Susan after days away, and although it had only been minutes on Susan’s end, she had the natural worry anyone would when their spouse of over twenty years left on an experimental adventure.  “I missed you,” Boyd said, holding her close. 

“You were only gone a few minutes,” Susan teased affectionately.  “But I’m glad you’re back safe.”  She looked him up and down.  “What are you wearing?  How long was it for you?”

“A couple of days.”  Boyd straightened and looked down at his outfit.  “And this is what they wear 350 years from now.  Oasis Landing fashion.”

“A third of a millennium in the future, and all I can think is ‘eighties music video,’” Susan said with a smirk.  It was then she noticed the tattoo on his arm.  “What’s that?  Don’t tell me that’s a permanent fashion statement?”

“Well… kind of.”  Boyd gave her as brief a description as he could about the wasteland, the radiation, and the treatment. 

“And you have to get a tattoo to survive there?  I’ll have to get one?”  She gave him a dubious look.

“You’ll look good with it.  If you get one like mine, we can match.”  He gave her a playful look.  “Though you don’t have to get it on your arm…”

Susan raised an eyebrow.  “Where are you suggesting I get it?”

“Anywhere you want.”

“Mmm-hmm.”  She lapsed into a more serious tone.  “So, what else did you see?  What was it like?”

Boyd told her everything he could think of.  Even in brief, it took him a while to summarize his trip.  He told her all about Oasis Landing, the plumbots, and the various technological advances, from smaller things like food synthesizers and dream pods to major things like the architecture and infrastructure.  He described the wasteland in detail, and told her about the nanites and crystal flowers. 

“It gave me a lot of ideas to try here, too.  For instance…”  Boyd retrieved his pocket analyzer from University, and updated the settings.  “It occurred to me if I do this, I can store full DNA samples, easily and painlessly.” 

He turned it on and pointed it at Susan, and she watched fascinated as a beam scanned her body.  It did not hurt, but she felt a sensation akin to being brushed with static electricity.

“And there we go.”  Boyd held up a vial.  “Raw genetic material that can be used in anything from medical treatments to, well, whatever else you might need it for.”

“Hey!  That’s my DNA.  No running weird experiments with it.”

“You know I’d never do that.  Someone as paranoid as me?”  Boyd smiled back at her.  “Samples of us are the kind of thing I wouldn’t let anyone else know existed.  They’ll be locked away for safe keeping.”

“Good.  So, when do we go?  I can’t wait to see all this stuff you’ve told me about.  I talked to Blair, and she said she’d watch Patrick so we could go out.”

“Where did you tell her we were going?”

“Out to dinner.  It was easier than explaining.”

“Good call.”

They went to Patrick’s room, and he was asleep.  He’d been so tired that he was out soundly, and picking him up didn’t even wake him.  Glad to see him again, Boyd gave him a little pat on the head.  He stayed behind while Susan took Patrick to Blair’s house, saving him the trouble of changing out of his Oasis Landing clothes only to have to change back when she returned.

She was back within a few minutes.  They locked up the house like they were leaving for an outing, and went out to the patio.  “So we just step into the portal?”

“Yup.  That’s all there is to it.  Emit has it calibrated for us on his end.”

Susan eyed the pulsing field cautiously.  “Does it shock or stun you or anything?”

“Nah.  Worst part is it’s little bumpy when you step out.  You’ll see.”

“All right.  After you, then.” 

Boyd stepped into the portal, and Susan followed.  The portal activated again, and in a flash, they were whisked away to Oasis Landing.

Author's Note: If you made it through my longest chapter yet, thank you!  Also, the part about the radiation in Oasis Landing outside of the wasteland?  It was indeed my in-story reason to explain that I exploited the bug that reset their ages to the beginning of the adult stage with a tattoo.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #131 on: November 26, 2016, 04:14:01 PM »
This is an awesome update Cheezey!  I like your explanation for the wastelands and that you made it sound so plausible.  It made me recall one of my favourite episodes of Stargate SG1. 

I also totally agree that intellectual property laws fail to adequately remunerate the inventors when they work in a lab.  Once again, I am in awe of your imagination.
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Offline chetanhaobijam

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #132 on: November 27, 2016, 12:06:16 AM »
Awesome updates. I like your concept on Oasis landing's wasteland and the tattoo bug. Waiting to see the couple's adventure in the future.
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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #133 on: November 27, 2016, 02:04:04 AM »
Amazing double-update! I appreciate how you made us feel that we too were there with Boyd, experiencing it all for the first time!

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #134 on: November 27, 2016, 10:57:13 AM »
I laughed so much at this: "long miserable future history lesson"... And if I'm think of the same SG1 episode Magz is thinking of then, yeah, this really did remind me a bit of it.

Geeks unite! That should be our new rallying call for this story! I love all the science and Trekkie and techie references. I also like Cycl0n3's "this is where horror movie teenagers go to die" crack lol you're just filling this with so many pop culture references and interesting Sim concepts, that I can't wait to see where the rest of this story takes us! I don't think it could ever get dull... Well, unless you purposely TRIED to make it so lol but, I think you're inner geek just wouldn't let you do that ;-D

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because... Math *Pippin The Most Tenacious Simmer*

Only 2 things are infinite... The universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe. *Albert Einstein*

Don't believe all the quotes that have been attributed to me. *Albert Einstein*

I can't ignore ALL of the voices in my head - Some of them actually make sense! *Blayzen*