Author Topic: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley  (Read 144876 times)

Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 17
« Reply #75 on: November 24, 2015, 01:08:16 PM »
Lol sorry, I forget not everyone here is familiar with some of the slang terms I take as second nature. I basically just meant that Cycl0n3 was being a bit dumb to not have figured out that Blair's dad and his buddy in the game were/are the same person.
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*

Offline Cheezey

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Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 18
« Reply #76 on: April 17, 2016, 01:18:03 PM »
Whew!  It's been a while since I last updated this, but it's still going. This chapter is one of my longer ones, since I didn't really want to split up the pattern of following both story arcs in my chapters.  And I just made it under that 25 picture limit with 24 images.  ;D

Just a few quick responses to comments first:

So the secret is out.  I hope that Susan has a pleasant pregnancy.  Boyd and Blair are taking it well.  Although I don't think I'd employ Cycl0n3 for a PI if he can't put two and two together and figure out that Space Invader is indeed Boyd.

I'm so enjoying this story Cheezey!  It deserves a million smiley faces.  :D

Thank you, Magz! The praise means a lot. I'm glad you like it so much! 

I admit, I'm looking forward to writing Cycl0n3's reaction to finding out the about his online buddy. He's on the right track, at least...

You just had to tease us with the possibility of Cycl0n3 figuring out Boyd's online identity, I got quite a few chuckles out of this chapter :D.

Glad it amused! I'm having fun with this little internet game they have going.

Have I ever commented here? Hmm, if I have it's been ages! I am loving where this is going, all the normal day-to-day stuff just makes me love your sims more! Cycl0n3 really needs to get with it and think like a PI lol I mean really, what are the odds that your girlfriend's dad plays Tarz warz and his wife is pregnant AND your squad/team mate on Tarz warz, who just happens to be an older man with a grown daughter, finds out his middle aged wife is knocked up?!?

Thank you! I enjoy writing the slice of life stuff, so I'm glad others enjoy it too.

Funny story, though I question why Cycl0n3 went into PI if he's Absent-Minded and can't figure out such a thing. Emma's comments were interesting to note; makes me wonder where Stiles and Tamara were at that moment.

In the game this was based off of, I was playing Boyd and Susan's household, and Cycl0n3 ended up assigned to that career through my story progression mod. It's not something I've seen often, and all I can guess is it had something to do with his genius trait and logic based lifetime wish, and how I had my settings.  I thought it was a fun twist so I went with it in the write-up.  As for Tamara and Stiles, when I took those screen shots, he was at work and she was just somewhere else in the house.



Chapter 18


 
One nice change from Cycl0n3’s corporate journalism job to that of a self-employed private investigator was being able to set his own hours and do whatever he wanted on the computer while technically on the clock.  He was technically working, but while he was waiting for a call back from someone about a case and there was nothing else going on, he wasn’t going to chastise himself for getting in a little time on TarzWar.

It was the perfect time for some solo play, since not many of his guild mates logged on before evening due to their work and school schedules.  Only Smack Pod was likely to be on at any random time, and that was because he built and sold stuff from home for a living.  That day he wasn’t on, but to Cycl0n3’s surprise, Space Invader was.  He was collecting scrap components for a ship upgrade in a remote corner of the game’s galaxy when Cycl0n3 messaged him.

Cycl0n3 Sw0rd: Didn’t expect to see you on. Are you on stealth at work?
Space Invader: Nope. I get Wednesdays off now. Perk of a promotion I got recently.
Cycl0n3 Sw0rd: Promoted to do less work? I didn’t know you had a government job. :P
Space Invader: Ha! Never. You don’t even want to know what kind of shady stuff goes on in government labs.



 
Space’s offhand mention of a lab reminded Cycl0n3 of how he had things in common with Blair’s father.  He’d known for ages that Space worked in some scientific lab job, since he made a reference to it every now and again, but Cycl0n3 hadn’t ever thought about it in that context before.  That was one more coincidence, considering how Blair’s parents both worked at Landgraab Industries as biologists.  But if he’s Space, there’s no way he wouldn’t realize I was me, Cycl0n3 rationalized.  If he had, why wouldn’t he have said anything?  He and Space had always had a friendly rapport online, and aside from that time Boyd had made the facetious (he hoped) threat to feed him to a cow plant, he never felt like Blair’s parents disliked or disapproved of him.  Besides, TarzWar was a massively popular MMO with many different servers, and his guild was just a handful of players on one.  The odds that one of his guild mates would even be from his town, let alone turn out to be his girlfriend’s father…

Space hasn’t ever said where he lives, Cycl0n3 realized as he thought about it.  From past in-game chatting he knew that Smack Pod, BlizzEgo, and Warz Lordz were from the Twinbrook area, and that Girbits was a high school kid that lived in Starlight Shores.  There were a few others he had an idea about, and a couple he had no clue on.  Space was in the latter group.  But there was one way to find out, he decided.  Just ask a few questions.

Cycl0n3 navigated his ship to a zone that gave easy solo experience. 

Cycl0n3 Sw0rd: Where do you work, anyway?
Cycl0n3 Sw0rd: You know, in case this whole entrepreneurial PI thing doesn’t work out? I might like a job where I can get promoted to extra days off.
Space Invader: A local science and research facility.


Cycl0n3 frowned at the vague answer that neither proved nor disproved his theory.  Could ‘local’ be Sunset Valley local, or had Space meant it was just ‘local’ to wherever it was that he lived?


 
Cycl0n3 was halfway through typing up a follow-up question when his phone rang.  “Cycl0n3 Sw0rd, Investigator,” he answered in a professional tone.  “How can I help you?”

“Hello, Mr. Sw0rd,” a young-sounding female voice spoke on the other end.  “I got your message for calling me back after I called you about my stuff that got stolen.  You said you could take my case?”

“Yeah.”  Cycl0n3 felt a mixture of optimism and confusion.  Back when he got the message, he’d thought the caller sounded young.  Now that he was talking to her live, she did not just sound young.  She sounded like a child.  This better not be a prank call.  “What can I help you with?”

“Someone in my house stole from me, and it’s really important I get it back,” the girl said insistently.  “I need your help because you’re a detective and I know you can find it.”

“Right.” Cycl0n3 tried to ignore the feeling that he was about to have his time wasted on a colossal level.  “I’ll need your name and the address that needs to be investigated.”

“Bella Bachelor.  My house is at 12 Sim Lane, Sunset Valley.”

Bella Bachelor?  The caller shared the last name of the department head, his former boss’ boss, at his old job at Doo Peas.  Cycl0n3 had never interacted with Simis Bachelor more than superficially, but he had never seemed particularly approachable or easygoing.  In fact, he remembered Victoria complaining that he was “cheap” with the budget and how she could never predict what kind of reaction she’d get out of him when something came up.  Great.  I wonder how it’ll go over when I tell the guy his kid called to say someone in the house stole something.

“All right,” he answered Bella.  “Are you at home?  We can do a preliminary interview there and work out the details.”

“Yup!  I’ll see you soon!” she said cheerfully, and hung up.

“I—I guess I’ll be right over,” Cycl0n3 said to the empty space, shaking his head.  He hoped the Bachelors had a sense of humor, and that he would still get a paycheck.


 
When Cycl0n3 arrived at the Bachelor residence, it was Simis that answered.  “Cycl0n3 Sw0rd?”  There was a puzzled look on his face as he greeted him.

“Hi,” Cycl0n3 said, mustering the best please-take-me-seriously smile he could.  “How’s it going, Mr. Bachelor?  Things going well over at the newsroom?”

“Well enough,” Simis said, still looking at him oddly.  “What can I do for you?”

“Well, I…” His voice trailed off as he tried to think of the best way to explain, and then he decided to just go for broke.  “I’m working as a private investigator now, as you might’ve heard, and I got called for a case by a Bella Bachelor that lives at this address.  She wants me to investigate something that’s gone missing that she thinks was stolen.”

Simis’ dubious expression intensified.  “My daughter is eleven years old.”

Eleven?  Are you freaking kidding me?!  Oh, plumbob, I’m not going to see a single simoleon for this, am I?  “Really.  Well, she’s… apparently quite determined for her age.  Anyway, she left me this message soliciting my services, and when I got back to her, she asked me over to discuss the specifics.”  He played the message for Simis, who sighed and shook his head. 

“Come on in.”  He motioned him inside.  “Bella!  Your, uh, investigator is here to see you?”

A girl with long dark hair wearing a red dress came down the stairs and greeted Cycl0n3 with a sweet and polite demeanor.  “Thank you, Daddy.  Hello, Mr. Sw0rd.  Thank you for coming.”

“No problem.” 

Simis gave Bella a stern look.  “Now please tell us what this is all about.”

“Can I talk to Mr. Sw0rd alone, please?”  She gave her father a pointed, if not suspicious, look, and Simis let out a sigh. 

“Very well.  I’ll be in the kitchen.”


 
Cycl0n3 gave the girl a humoring smile.  “All right, Miss Bachelor, how about you tell me what’s going on?”

“It’s terrible,” Bella said with a frustrated look.  “Someone here stole my mouthwash, and no one will admit who did it!  It’s minty bubble gum flavor, and I think they did it just to be mean because they know it’s my favorite!  Michael’s is the icky green stuff my mom likes, and my dad uses the listy-rene smelly stuff that tastes like medicine.  I think someone took it ‘cause I ate their ham sandwich in the fridge, but nobody said I couldn’t have it, so I did.  I know Michael wanted the sandwich, so I bet he stole my mouthwash to get even.  I don’t think my mom did it, even if she did say I couldn’t call the police to arrest him for stealing it.  But she didn’t think of calling a detective to prove it like I did!”  She folded her arms proudly.

Cycl0n3 was not sure whether to laugh or bang his head against the wall.  He knew that private investigators could get stupid cases, but his one had to take the cake.  The only thing that kept him there was the fact that the kid was adorably sincere, and looking around, he guessed the Bachelors could afford to pay him for his time, if for no other reason than to keep the embarrassment of calling a PI over something so ridiculous a secret.  “I see.”  Cycl0n3 pulled out his notepad.  He played along and asked her for a description of the sandwich and the time and place she ate it, and then for her to describe the missing mouthwash bottle and its last known whereabouts.  Bella gave him a detailed account, and he told her he would look into it and interrogate the rest of the family for her.


 
He started with her father.  “So, here’s the deal.  Your daughter ate someone’s ‘very yummy ham sandwich with extra mayo on sourdough’ out of the fridge without asking, and she’s convinced someone stole her ‘Minty Bubbilicious Burst’ mouthwash bottle from the bathroom out of revenge.  She suspects it might be because they could detect the ham sandwich on her breath, even after a vigorous tooth brushing.  She first approached your wife, one Mrs. Jocasta Bachelor, with a report of the crime naming her brother, Mr. Michael Bachelor, as the prime suspect.  Mrs. Bachelor informed her that she was not to call the cops and report this theft, so your daughter took it upon herself to call me to solve the crime.  She claims she’s searched her brother’s room to no avail, but since they’re both minors, I feel it’s appropriate to first ask your permission to search the premises for the missing property.”

Simis chortled.  “Bella called you over the mouthwash she lost yesterday?  And you took this job?”

“A case is a case.”  Cycl0n3 frowned.  “Although she never mentioned it was mouthwash, or that she was eleven.”

“I can tell you what happened to the mouthwash, Cycl0n3.  I took it.  I found out she was gargling through it three to four times a day because she likes the taste of it, and while it’s great to fight tooth decay, it’s also one of the most expensive brands out there, ounce for ounce.  I asked her to cut it to just once a day, and to use the generic any other time she needed it, but she didn’t listen to me.  When I saw half the bottle was already gone so soon after I’d just bought it, that was enough.  I locked it in my bathroom.  I was going to tell her after a little while, to give her some time to get used to the new brand, and hopefully get over it without making a big deal about it.”

“Suffice it to say, she didn’t get over it.”

“So I see,” Simis said irritably.  “I’m sorry she wasted your time.  I’ll see to it that such nonsense doesn’t happen again.”

“No harm done.  So, I guess that’s that.  I’ll let her know the case is solved, I’ll write up the bill, and we can just move on.”

Simis raised an eyebrow.  “Your bill?”

“I am on the clock, and your daughter retained my services.  Don’t worry, though.  It’s only a couple of billable hours.”  Cycl0n3 quoted to him what he thought was a reasonable figure.

“She’s eleven,” Simis argued.  “Your detective work amounted to asking me about what my daughter said about some missing mouthwash.”

Cycl0n3 shrugged.  “Some cases are easier to solve than others.  But I did invest time, energy, and gas into this.”

“You seriously want to bill me for this.”

Cycl0n3 smiled.  “Yup.”

“And if I don’t pay?”


 
“I don’t think you want to do that.  While I wouldn’t bother to take you to court over something so petty… remember, I do still have friends in the newsroom.”

“And what is that supposed to mean?”

“Victoria and Fiona sure love a good gab session at the water cooler.  I wonder what they’d think of this?  I’m sure Connor would fill them in.  I know!  I’ll text him and find out…”  He picked up his phone.

Simis pulled out his checkbook.  “Point made.  I’ll pay.”

Cycl0n3 took the check and shook his hand.  “Thank you.  It was a pleasure doing business with you, Mr. Bachelor.  Should you or your family find yourselves in need of my services again, call anytime!”


 
Cycl0n3 was watching TV with Tamara and Stiles when Blair came in.  She had gotten off work at her usual time, but stopped at the gym with Justine afterward.  She sat down with Cycl0n3, and a grinning Tamara spoke up before Cycl0n3 could say anything.  “So, Cycl0n3, going to tell Blair about your epic PI case today?”

“Epic PI case?”

“We’re calling it the case of the Bad Breath Bandit,” Tamara teased.

Blair sat down beside Cycl0n3.  “Bad Breath Bandit, huh?”

“I’m partial to the Listerine Looter myself,” said Stiles.

“You know that case I told you I got a call about?” Cycl0n3 asked Blair, who nodded.  “Well, she got back in touch with me.  It was an eleven year old girl who called to help me find her missing mouthwash.  Except she didn’t really say that on the phone, and I found out all the dental details when I got to her house and talked to her dad.  Her dad who just happens to be my former boss’ boss over at Doo Peas.”

Blair broke down into giggles.  “A little girl called you to help find her mouthwash?”

“You don’t understand, Blair.  This was a very serious case of halitosis!  It required the expertise of Cycl0n3 Sw0rd, part time PI, part time plaque fighter!” Emma said as she checked the oven.

“Oh, bite me,” Cycl0n3 groused.

“Not unless you provide dental insurance.”


 
“So what did you do?  Did you find the poor girl’s mouthwash?”

“Yeah.”  Cycl0n3 shook his head.  “She thought her older brother had it, but it turned out it was her dad.  He’s a cheapskate and thought she was wasting too much of it, so he hid it.  Never mind the waste of my time that could’ve been spent doing something that wouldn’t make me the butt of dental hygiene jokes for the foreseeable future.”  He shrugged.  “I did convince him to pay me, though, so it’s something.”

“Well, look at it this way.  You closed your first case.  You got paid for it right before Leisure Day weekend.  It’s the perfect time to do something fun.”  Blair gave his leg an affectionate pat.  “And I promise not to pick on you with any mouthwash jokes.”

“That’s real sweet of you, Blair.”  Stiles flashed a grin at Cycl0n3.  “This case has taken a real bite out of his ego.”

Cycl0n3 just sighed.  Leisure Day and distraction couldn’t come fast enough.




 
While Cycl0n3 was eager to enjoy a Leisure Day with Blair free of ribbing about mouthwash mysteries, Blair’s parents were getting ready for a Leisure Day full of sun at the Goth manor.  Although the Bunches had invited them to their backyard barbecue, it was a bit of a tradition that they went to Boyd’s friend Gunther’s place on Leisure Day.  He threw a party every year, and even though Susan thought the gloomy Goth home was the last place anyone would associate with summer fun, they did have a nice pool overlooking their backyard cemetery, and to the best of her knowledge, none of the Goths or Crumplebottoms resting there had drowned in it.

“You about ready?” Boyd called into bathroom, where Susan was examining her belly before changing.  Her pregnancy was only starting to show a little bit, but she still wondered if it would be obvious in a swimsuit.

“I wish I didn’t have to wear a suit.  I think I just look fat.  Not pregnant.”  Susan was irritated because her regular shirts had all gotten tight already, and she was wearing maternity clothing for comfort’s sake.  “I hope I can still fit in my one piece.”


 
“See?  I told you there was nothing to worry about.  You look great,” Boyd said as he and Susan sat down to enjoy some refreshments at Gunther’s party. 

“It still feels tight to me.”  She picked at her food and looked down self-consciously.

“Only a little up top, maybe.”  Boyd gave her an appreciative look.  “But I wouldn’t call that a bad thing.”


 
After bringing out some stuff from the kitchen, Gunther caught up with Boyd and Susan.  “Glad you two could make it.  Hope you’ve been having a good time.”

“Always do.  Thanks.”

“Oh, you’re going to love the fireworks we got this year.  They had a fantastic deal going this week, so I went all out on the deluxe ones.”

Cornelia joined them.  “Let’s just hope those fireworks stay the main attraction, and the unintended ones from the guest list don’t overshadow it.”

Boyd and Susan exchanged curious looks.  “What do you mean?” asked Susan.

Gunther waved away Cornelia’s concern.  “It’s because I invited the Landgraabs, after she already invited the Altos.”  That surprised both of the Wainwrights.  The Landgraab/Alto rivalry was well known throughout Sunset Valley and went way back.  Although it had not started with Nancy Landgraab, her father, Chester, had publicly and vocally made enemies of the Alto family as far back as almost thirty years ago, back when they were still in Bridgeport and only had business dealings in Sunset Valley.  When Nick and Vita moved in years later, it only ratcheted up.  Even though Chester Landgraab had been dead for some time, there was still no love lost between the two families, and both Nancy Landgraab and Nick Alto worked directly for Gunther at Doo Peas.  Gunther got along fine with both, however.  “I say, we’re all adults here, and if Nancy and Nick can be professional at work, they can happily not socialize with each other here.  It’s not like there’s no one else to talk to, and Mortimer and Malcolm are having a great time over there in the pool.”

Cornelia was not convinced.  “Well, we’ll see.”


 
Gunther grabbed a couple of drinks from the cooler, handed one to Boyd, and sat down with him.  “So, how are things?  I’ve got to say, I was surprised to hear you and Susan have a baby on the way.”

Boyd chortled.  “So was I.” 

“I had a feeling that was the case,” Gunter remarked wryly.  “That’s a challenge, having a kid that close to retirement.  Sometimes I feel like Cornelia and I cut it too close with Mortimer, and you’re already a couple years past where we had him.”  He paused.  “If it had happened just a few years earlier, our kids might’ve grown up together like we did.”

“Morty’s a good kid.  In a few years, I’d be happy to have him babysit.  Back in the day, I remember you were stuck watching me a couple of times when our parents all went out somewhere.  Plus, at that age, extra cash is always nice.” 

“Let’s be honest.  Is there an age where extra cash isn’t always nice?” 

“Beyond toddlerhood?” Boyd replied.  “Nope.” 


 
While Boyd and Gunther chatted, Susan went to grab another hot dog.  To her disgust, she found them overcooked and burnt.  “Wow.  Are these hot dogs or oddly shaped charcoal briquettes?”

Vita Alto, who overheard her remark, let out a light laugh.  “I love Cornelia dearly, but someone needs to tell her to stay away from that grill and leave it to Gunther.  I’ve seen the Sunset Valley Fire Department called out for less.”  When Susan snickered, Vita extended her hand.  “Vita Alto.  Pleasure to meet you.”

“Susan Wainwright,” she introduced herself.  “You’re on the town council, right?”

“Yes,” Vita said with a charming smile.  “And throwing my hat in for that mayor’s seat opening next election season, too.”  She set her plate down.  “So, are you another friend of Cornelia and Gunther’s?  I don’t recognize you from any of the Doo Peas picnics Nick and I have gone to.”

“Oh, I don’t work with Gunther, no.  My husband’s known him since they were kids.  Actually, we’re both scientists.”  She stopped just in time to avoid saying “at Landgraab Industries” in case it was a sore subject.

“Scientists?  That’s great.  Innovative minds are what drives progress.  I’ve always admired our scientific community.  What field?”

Susan relaxed.  “Biology.  I’m heading some groundbreaking research in aquatics and marine ecosystems.  Or rather, I was until I was put on medical leave.”

“Medical leave?”  Vita gave her a contrite look.  “Oh.  I’m sorry, I had no idea you were ill.”

“Not ill.  Pregnant.  Somewhat risky with complications, enough that they don’t want me working.  Which is a little frustrating, since I love my work, and the idea of others tinkering with it while I’m gone, not so much.”


 
“Oh!  In that case, congratulations.  As for your frustrations, I completely understand,” Vita said.  “There’s nothing more aggravating than having a vision for something, or a project you’ve put work into, only for someone who doesn’t get it to come along and muck it up.”

“Exactly!” Susan agreed.  “I guess that’s universal, no matter what field you’re in.  Probably worse in politics.  At least science is science.  You can only change so much with hard facts and data.  The problems start when decisions get made on subjective interpretation, or budgets.”  She made a face.  “Some of the worst calls come from accountants and corporate morons who’ve never been in a lab.”

Vita laughed, for she had already guessed that Susan worked for either Landgraab Industries or at the hospital, both of which had heavy funding and corporate influences from her rivals.  “I can imagine.  I’ve always been of the mindset that we should encourage and support our scientific community.  You’re our brightest and smartest, the ones who’ll come up with the technologies and discoveries that’ll revolutionize the world.  Too many decisions get made only on the simoleon, without looking at the big picture.  Sometimes, you not only should take a calculated risk, you need to.”

“Absolutely.”  As the breeze died, Susan started to feel the heat of the day, and fanned the air in front of her.

“Well, between you, me, and those burnt hot dogs,” Vita said, leaning closer, “I can promise that if I do get that mayor’s seat, you’ll have someone in this town who understands that.  I believe in rewarding innovation.”  She straightened.  “I’m roasting out here, and it looks like you are, too.  I’m going to get a drink.  Would you like me to get you one?”

“Thanks.  That’d be great,” Susan replied as she settled into a chair.


 
Susan and Vita continued their conversation, and after it was over, Susan came away with a very different impression of Vita than she’d had going in.  Vita was a politician, to be sure, but she did not strike her as evil, as some described her, or dangerous.  Even when they talked politics, Susan did not find any of Vita’s views particularly objectionable.  Of course, she knew the rumors about the Alto family, but gossip did not necessarily mean truth.

Afterward, Susan joined Boyd, who was chatting with Cornelia.  “It’s weird.”  He stared at the golden glow on his skin after a day in the sun.  “I don’t… I mean, I hardly ever tan.  Usually I go from pale to boiled lobster with no in-between.”

“Maybe something in your sunscreen did it?” Cornelia guessed.  “But at least it’s not a burn.  I’m going to have to put some more on myself if I don’t want one.”

“So, what happened to Gunther?”  Susan noticed the bottles on the table.  “And how many of those did you two knock back?”

“He’s getting out the fireworks.  As for these,” he picked up an empty bottle, “just a few.  Not that many.”

A smirk crossed Cornelia’s face.  “Well, I wouldn’t worry about you handling it anyway, considering your experience with a keg.”

Boyd groaned.  “Oh, come on.  That was how long ago now?”

“Told you it’d be a while before you lived it down.”  Susan patted Boyd on the shoulder.


 
Once the fireworks were out, Gunther set out a few noise-making rockets to start.  Unfortunately, he found himself thwarted by the child safety feature on the lighter, and ended up cursing at it after a few unsuccessful attempts to light it.

“Just let me do it,” an exasperated Cornelia said.

“I know how to use a lighter,” Gunther groused.

She raised an eyebrow.  “Clearly, you don’t.”

“Give it to me,” Boyd offered.  “I’ve been used to this kind for years.”

“He got the child-proof type because he was afraid Blair would play with it and burn the house down,” Susan told them.

“Even smart kids start fires by accident,” Boyd said as he took the lighter from Gunther.  “And the phrase ‘too smart for your own good’ has definitely applied to our daughter at times.”

Susan folded her arms.  “Would this be a bad time to bring up a certain camping trip where someone set his arm on fire the first time he tried to light the camp fire?”

“I seem to recall you experiencing some backdraft too, honey,” Boyd retorted, lighting the fuse.


 
“Oooh.  That one had some flash.”  Susan was impressed.  “I didn’t think it was dark enough to see them that well yet.”

“Gunther’s got a whole box there.  Let’s grab some more.”

Gunther passed some to Boyd.  “Have at it.”

Nick Alto joined them.  “Yeah, let’s get this nice and loud, huh?”


 
“I learned a couple tricks for this back in Bridgeport,” Nick said.  “Check this out.”  He took some smaller fireworks, and tied them to the rocket.  “Kids, don’t try this at home!” he announced with a laugh, and then lit all the fuses.  He waved everyone to back away, and a few moments later an ear-shattering boom exploded above them.  “Now that’s how it’s done,” he said triumphantly, and set up a second one.

“If he means shattering eardrums, then yeah, he’s got that down pat,” Geoffrey Landgraab quipped.


 
That lit Nick’s fuse, and without even waiting to admire his handiwork on the second one, he got in Geoffrey’s face.  “Oh, you’ve got a problem with this?  Your sensitive ears can’t take it?”  He let out a snort of derisive laughter.  “And everyone says you’re the Landgraab that doesn’t have a stick up his—”

BOOM!

“Ridiculously dangerous or not, that explosion was pretty cool,” Boyd said, although only Susan heard his enthusiasm. 

“Much better than that one.”  Susan glanced over at Nick and Geoffrey.  Cornelia stepped between them to defuse the situation, while shooting Gunther I-told-you-so looks.  Vita and Nancy were there as well, playing the I’m-superior-and-taking-the-high-road card to each other, declaring how they were above the pettiness, and telling their husbands to ignore the other, obviously wrong, party.


 
Aggravated, Gunther picked up some plates and took them inside.

“Well, I think that’s the end of this party.”  Susan gathered some dishes for the cleanup effort.  “At least Gunther can say it went out with a bang, and the fireworks were indeed unforgettable.”

Noting the way Gunther stomped up the stairs, Boyd both chuckled and cringed as he pushed in a chair.  “Yeah, just don’t tell him that right now.”


 
After they left the Goths’ party, Boyd and Susan spent the rest of their Leisure Day relaxing at home.  They watched one of their favorite movies, and then went online.  On a bathroom break, Susan noticed fireworks being set off downtown as she passed by the window.  They headed up to their rooftop patio to watch the show from there.

“We’ve got a pretty good view,” Boyd remarked.  “Sure beats fighting for prime seating in the crowd at the park, doesn’t it?”

“Mmm-hmm.  And we don’t have to deal with the nasty public bathrooms, either.”


 
The fireworks went on for a good hour before the finale.  Once it was over, the Wainwrights were about to head back into the house when they saw another flash of light in the distance, followed by a rumble.  Strangely, it was not near the park, but way up by the Summer Hill Court area of town.

Susan was surprised.  “Was that lightning?  But it’s so clear out.”

“It doesn’t feel humid enough for a thunderstorm,” mused Boyd.  “Weird.  I wonder what caused it.”

“Some geothermal or electromagnetic phenomenon reacting to atmospheric conditions?”

Boyd stared off in the distance.  “Maybe it wasn’t lightning.”

“What do you think it was, then?”  Susan gave him an amused look.  “And don’t say aliens.”

“Of course it’s not aliens.  There’s no UFO.  Maybe it was a secret military weapons test, or top secret government project?  Or maybe even an inter-dimensional rift.”

“Hmmm, I think I’ll stick with the mundane lightning theory myself.  It could easily be more humid that close to the beach, and it is up on a hill.”

Boyd chuckled.  “You just have to go Scully on the fun possibilities, don’t you?” 

“Sorry.  I look dreadful in tin foil,” she teased as they headed down the stairs.




 
Across town, on a vacant lot on Summer Hill Court, a strangely dressed man groaned as he rolled over in the grass where he had seemingly just appeared.  “Oh… ow.  That was rough.  Test pocket portal needs work.”

Emit Relevart regained his bearings and got to his feet.  “A lot of work,” he muttered, looking around.  “I don’t think I’m when I think I am.”



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Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 18
« Reply #77 on: April 17, 2016, 04:35:59 PM »
O_o Time traveler o_O and the plot thickens! I wonder where Emit was supposed to be?!?

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 18
« Reply #78 on: April 17, 2016, 07:14:52 PM »
I am so glad to see this story continue, Cheezey.  It's fantastic!  I can't wait to see what how the Wainwrights interact with Emit.
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Offline mpart

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 18
« Reply #79 on: April 18, 2016, 07:56:48 PM »
I can't wait to see it!  ;D

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 18
« Reply #80 on: April 21, 2016, 11:34:40 AM »
Awesome update. Can't wait to see the new baby. And the investigation part of the chapter was hilarious and interesting. Good work, Cyclon3. Hoping he find another interesting case to investigate. And what is Emit up to? Curious. Looking forward for next update.
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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 18
« Reply #81 on: July 12, 2016, 11:43:06 PM »
Are there plans to finish out the story? You've done a fantastic job writing it so far :)



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Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 19
« Reply #82 on: September 24, 2016, 02:32:22 PM »
Author's Note: Wow. It's been months again! I'm so sorry about that! For those of you still reading, thank you for bearing with my slow updates. I'm hoping to pick up the pace, as I'm feeling pretty inspired, and even though it's been a couple of years since I started, I'm still attached to this story and these characters. 

Also, I put chapter links up in the first post, to make it easier to navigate.  Thank you to everyone who's commented and given feedback.  I really appreciate it and it's very motivating! :)

O_o Time traveler o_O and the plot thickens! I wonder where Emit was supposed to be?!?

The right place in the wrong time, which I imagine happens to time travelers more often than they'd like. ;)

I am so glad to see this story continue, Cheezey.  It's fantastic!  I can't wait to see what how the Wainwrights interact with Emit.

Thank you! I'm glad you're still following it. Without spoiling this chapter, I can say what you see of Emit here is only the last of him for now.  But luckily for him, he has all the time in the world!

I can't wait to see it!  ;D

Thank you!

Awesome update. Can't wait to see the new baby. And the investigation part of the chapter was hilarious and interesting. Good work, Cyclon3. Hoping he find another interesting case to investigate. And what is Emit up to? Curious. Looking forward for next update.

I had so much fun writing Cycl0n3's investigation scene. I'm sure all of us who've played the career have gotten the silly mouthwash scenario, so I couldn't pass up the chance to write up a sim reacting to it.

Are there plans to finish out the story? You've done a fantastic job writing it so far :)

Thank you! I'm glad you've enjoyed it so far.  I haven't abandoned the story, and have a new chapter today! :)



Chapter 19


 
Emit sighed after taking a long look at his surroundings.  “This isn’t right.  None of this is right.  It’s supposed to be here.  I know this is the right spot.”  He looked out over the vista, toward the ocean, and then up at the sky.  “That all looks right.  So it must be the time, not the coordinates.”

He pulled out a data pad.  “Wait a minute…”  He tapped at it furiously, and then made a frustrated noise.


 
“Well, that explains it.  Crud on a synthesized cracker!  There’s acceptable margin of drift, and then there’s this.”  He checked the time readout telling him what year it was.  “Almost five years.  I don’t believe it.”  Emit paced in the grass.  “I didn’t think the portal prototype sacrificed that much accuracy for portability.  Heh.  Back to the drawing board with that when I get back.”  He looked toward the horizon.  “I wonder if I can I even salvage this time trip?”

He input some more information on the data pad, and frowned.  “Nope.  Too risky, too early.  Too many variables that could go plumbob-shaped in the timeline if I make a wrong move.  I need to be at least a year later than now for anything.”

Emit tried not to let his disappointment get the better of him.  “Guess I’d better head back before I’m seen.”  He pulled another device out of his pocket, a metal orb that expanded with glowing poles when he switched it on.  It made a humming static noise that only got louder when he pressed another button.  “Oh, that’s just perfect.  Fried relays?  And I’ve got to fix this here, now, in the middle of an empty field?”


 
He looked around.  “With a few tools, even from this time period, I think I could manage.  Let’s see, who are the neighbors?”  Emit checked the data pad again.  “Landgraab and Alto.  Well, I know which of those has been a tech industry giant for generations.  Here’s hoping their ancestors have something in their garage that’ll work.”

Emit headed to the Landgraab estate, careful to avoid their security measures.  Their detached garage was locked, but the current era lock mechanism was no obstacle for someone with future tech knowledge.  In his own time, Emit would not have been so blasé about breaking and entering, but in a past timeline he didn’t plan to stay in, desperate times called for desperate measures.  Besides, it wasn’t like he was going to rob Sunset Valley’s wealthiest family.


 
Once inside, Emit spotted a workbench and some tools.  There was nothing fancy, mostly things for the yard and minor repairs, but he supposed that was to be expected.  A family like the Landgraabs would hire landscapers and repairmen for their home projects, unless one of them dabbled at such things as a hobby.  But fortunately, they had what he needed, so he breathed a sigh of relief and began repairing the portal prototype.

Unfortunately, it took longer than he expected.  Without a window in the garage to warn him that dawn had come, Emit had no idea that it took him the rest of the night to fix his portal.  He also had no idea that Nancy Landgraab was about to leave for work.


 
When she approached the garage and heard someone inside, she panicked.  Geoffrey and Malcolm were still in the house, so it had to be an intruder.  She called the police. 

Blair was the officer dispatched to the scene.  SVPD had her on an early patrol shift, and she was the closest to Summer Hill Court.  Nancy paced anxiously by the sidewalk as Blair pulled up.

“Thank the Watcher!”  Nancy greeted her at the car.  “They’re in the garage!  I haven’t seen them, but they’re rummaging around, doing who knows what.  Probably trashing the place or trying to figure out how to get our cars—”

“Relax, ma’am.  Stay out here where it’s safe, and I’ll check it out for you.”  She radioed headquarters with a status update and carefully opened the door, calling a warning to the intruder.  “SVPD!  Nobody move!”

Inside, Blair saw a lone man with wild blue hair and strange clothes standing by the workbench.  He gasped with surprise and stepped back, knocking some tools off the bench. 


 
“Freeze!  Hands up where I can see them!”

Emit obeyed, thinking fast for a way out of his predicament that would not muck up the timeline, or get him arrested in the past.  Which, he supposed, also qualified as that.  “Officer.  Uh, hello.  I know how this must look, but—”

“It looks like you’re breaking into my garage.”  Nancy glowered at him.  “Thought you could steal one of our cars?”

“No!  I’m not after a car.”  I’m not sure I even know how to drive a twenty-first century vehicle, Emit thought.  “Just let me explain.”

“Oh, this ought to be rich,” huffed Nancy.

Blair was not swayed, either.  “You’re trespassing on private property.  You’re looking at a breaking and entering charge, and worse if we find any of the Landgraabs’ stuff on you.  What’s your name?”

“Emit Relevart.”  There was no harm giving his real name, considering how many generations he was away from even being born.  “But I wasn’t stealing.  Technically I did break in, though, so I apologize for that.”  He gave Nancy a contrite look.  “I just needed to fix something.  It was an emergency.  I promise wasn’t going to take anything, and I was going to leave as soon as I was done.”

“And you didn’t go to Sim Depot because…?”

“Because it was the middle of the night, officer!  I meant to be long gone by now.  My repairs took much longer than I thought.”

Nancy regarded Emit with disgust.  “What a pathetic story.  You expect us to believe you broke into my garage to borrow tools to fix your cell phone or whatever, and not because wanted to steal a car?  You must think we’re idiots.  Officer Wainwright, arrest this man.  I want to press charges and make an example of anyone foolish enough to think they can get away with trying to rob the Landgraabs.”

Officer Wainwright? Emit cursed his luck; that was a name he knew he had to be careful interacting with.  “I assure you, nothing’s been stolen.  Everything’s right where you left it.”  He glanced over his shoulder at the minor mess on the bench.  “More or less.”

Blair stepped forward, cuffs in hand, while Nancy watched with superior satisfaction.  “You’re under arrest for breaking and entering.  You have the right to remain silent—”


 
Emit knew he had to act fast, whether the portal was properly fixed or not.  He could not risk being arrested and having it confiscated.  When Blair stepped toward him, he grabbed the portal off of the bench.  Thinking it was a weapon, Blair went for hers while Nancy shouted in panic.

There was a bright flash of light as Emit activated the portal, and he hoped he’d wind up at the default setting, which was his own time.  The light and force of the activation was so intense that both Blair and Nancy reeled backwards.  When they regained their bearings, Emit was gone.


 
“What… what was that?  Where is he?” Nancy shouted hysterically.

Blair was still blinking, looking around for any sign of the now-gone Emit.  “Must’ve used some kind of flash bomb.  Stay here.”  She went outside, but Emit was not there, either, and she saw no trace or suggestion of where he might’ve run.

Nancy followed her out.  “Where did he go?” she demanded.

“I—I don’t know,” Blair admitted.

“Isn’t that your job?”

“Yes, ma’am.”  Blair was both frustrated and ashamed.  Not only had the bad guy gotten away, but it happened right in front of one of the most influential people in town.  “Go back inside your house while I secure the area, Mrs. Landgraab.  I’m going to call for backup so we can track this guy down.”  I just hope I can explain this to headquarters without sounding like I’m nuts or totally incompetent.


 
Blair’s day did not get any better after calling for backup.  Despite a complete search of the Landgraab property from top to bottom, inside and out, nobody found a sign of the strange intruder anywhere.  A broader sweep of the neighborhood with additional officers proved equally fruitless, and to say Nancy Landgraab was displeased was an understatement.  Blair tried not to take it personally as Nancy called her and her fellow officers worthless, ineffective, and useless, bemoaning how her tax dollars and generous donations to the SVPD had obviously been wasted.

When Blair got back to the station, Justine called her into the office.  She had a serious, but not unkind look.  “I just got a call from the chief, who got a call from Nancy Landgraab.”

Blair nodded, feeling even worse.

“I’m not going to lie.  He’s pretty steamed.  The Landgraabs donate a lot to our funding, in addition to the tax revenue their business holdings bring in for Sunset Valley.  While it’s not exactly his job to appease the feelings of everyone with a beef on how we do our jobs… well, I don’t need to explain how politics work when it comes to big name donors.”  She sighed.  “That said, the Landgraabs don’t call the shots around here, as much as they wish they did.  I know you’re a reliable officer, so I’d like to hear straight from you what happened, rather than a second hand account from some hysterical lady claiming you let a perp with a bright light get away.”

“Thanks.”  Blair felt better knowing Justine was in her corner.  She explained the crazy scenario, and even as she described it, Blair thought she sounded nuts.  She wondered for a moment if anyone but her conspiracy-theory loving father would believe the truth when it was all said and done.  Much as it galled her to admit, Nancy’s accusation of incompetence sounded much more realistic.

“Wow,” Justine said after Blair finished.  “That’s… that’s something else.”

“Yeah.  I know how it sounds.”

“Me too, but I also know you.”  Justine gave her an encouraging look.  “You’re one of the most honest sim scout types around here.  I mean, you bought bagels for the whole bagel club you’re not a member of after you grabbed one for breakfast that day you ran late.  You’re not the type to make up some crazy BS story to cover a mistake.  If you say that’s how it happened, I believe you.  It’s strange, but weird stuff happens.  You’re not the first.  We’ve got a pile of unsolved cases and more than one report of implausible things in our archives.  So just write it up, give the best description you can of this weirdo to the sketch artists, tell the lab guys whatever you remember about that flashing device, and we’ll call it done.  The Landgraabs will get over it.  Nothing was stolen, and nothing was damaged.  We’ll send a few extra patrols up that way for a while to make sure this guy doesn’t come back, and it’ll blow over.”

“Thanks.  I appreciate you believing me.”

“No problem, Wainwright.  Now get back out there, and I’ll go smooth some ruffled feathers.”




 
Although that was the last she heard about it for a while, both of Blair’s parents had better luck as far as things going their way went.  Susan still wasn’t thrilled about her mandatory medical leave from work, but she used her time off to accomplish other things.  At least twice a week, she set up a ranked chess match.  She was not championship material yet, but her practice and persistence, as well as the experience she’d gotten in the early ranks at University, paid off.  She won many victories in the Sunset Valley circle, and even defeated a local champion, Victoria Andrews, to gain a new rank.


 
She also found herself craving different foods from her usual diet of takeout fare.  Back when she was pregnant with Blair, her cravings had usually been satisfied by raiding the fridge.  They lived with Boyd’s parents back then, and his mother had been the type who made family dinners and kept a full pantry.  Nowadays, Boyd and Susan’s refrigerator tended to only contain condiments and a smattering of convenience food. 

Sometimes she tuned into the cooking channel, and between that and the food videos on her SimBook feed (after friending Emma, those popped up often!) Susan was inspired to get over her previous failures in the kitchen, and try to make some things herself.  She started out with simple things like pastas with store bought sauce, but like with most things she put her mind to, she improved quickly.  Soon Susan was making things like fresh veggie rolls from scratch, and one night she even surprised Boyd with a homemade plate of his favorite fish and chips.  It was Emma’s recipe, but it didn’t come out burnt or soggy, and he wolfed it down with a grin, lots of compliments, and a request for seconds.


 
The Wainwrights also finished their basement addition.  Although it was more crowded than they originally planned, from having to clear out Blair’s old room for a nursery, it still made a nice laundry room and work area.  The chemistry set and work bench were squeezed in, and Boyd had to put his plans of installing a full science station on hold, but the second bathroom was great to have, especially since poor pregnant Susan needed one so frequently.


 
At work, Boyd ran an independent experiment based on a theory he’d extrapolated from his cow plant data, and it paid off.  The data suggested that controlled radiation exposure, in combination with a compound found in life fruit, might activate certain genetic markers in a living system.  However, whether that would work in a purely animal system, as opposed to the unique organism that was the Laganaphyllis simnovorii, remained to be seen. 

Boyd used a cockroach for his test subject.  After several semi-successful runs where the life fruit treated bug withstood radioactive bursts with no observable ill effects, a final high dose induced an amazing transformation where it became a glowing plasma bug.  Although further research was required, Boyd was lauded for his efforts and given the green light to work on further genetic research with the life fruit compound.  His plasma bug was given a terrarium, a place of honor in his lab, and the debatably original nickname “Glowy” by Gobias and Madison.


 
They took a night to celebrate their recent accomplishments with a dinner for two at the bistro.  Susan ordered them a gourmet quality bottle of non-alcoholic nectar to enjoy while they waited on their food, and Boyd filled her in on all the latest at work.  He missed having her there with him.  Even though they did not work directly with one another, they rode in and took their lunch and afternoon coffee breaks together, and when time and scheduling permitted, they would pop in and see how the other was doing during the day.  With Susan out, Boyd now either took those breaks alone, or tagged along with Gobias, Christopher, and Madison, but either way, it just wasn’t the same.

“So, my 24-month marine study got approved for the next phase?”  Susan sounded wistful.  She had gone out on leave only weeks before its final data was collected.

“Yup.  Gobias said it got through without a hitch.  Your numbers were great.”

“Glad to hear it.  Although phase two will have Gobias as the primary now.  And if it goes well… well, I guess it won’t be considered my study anymore.”

“If you’re worried he’s going to hog the credit—”

“No, I know he’s not like that.”  Susan sighed.  “But management might look at it like, ‘Oh, what do we need her for?  He did it so well with her gone.’  What if they think he’s better than me at my own work?”

“It was still your theory, your design, and your oversight for the vast majority of it.  You worry too much.”  Boyd set his nectar down.  “And how often do I get to be the one to say that to you instead of the other way around?”

“Maybe you’re right.  But I still hate being out of the loop.”


 
Their conversation was interrupted when a familiar face approached.  “Susan!  Good to see you,” Dr. Geoffrey Landgraab said as he passed by their table.  “You too, Boyd.  Feeling well, I hope?”  He looked at Susan. 

“I’m doing fine,” she replied.  “I went in yesterday for that testing you referred me for, but they haven’t called me back with any results yet.”

“Ah, yes.  Those hit my desk late this afternoon just before I had to go in on an emergency with another patient, and the office was closed when I got done.  They’ll get back to you tomorrow, most likely.  Short version, I didn’t see anything to worry about, so keep up the good work staying healthy and rested.”   

“Glad to hear that,” Boyd said.

Geoffrey looked at Susan.  “Did you want to know if you’re having a boy or girl, or would you prefer to be surprised?”

“This baby was enough of a surprise just showing up.  If you don’t mind the spoiler, Boyd, I’d like to know.”

“Spoiler away.  I want to know, too.”

“All right.  You’re having a boy.  Congratulations,” Geoffrey told them.  “Nice seeing you.  Enjoy the rest of your evening out.”


 
“A boy.  Well, so much for how mothers are supposed to have intuition and know without being told.  I had no hunch, no clue one way or the other.  Seems I’m just not the sensitive maternal type.”

“Never would’ve guessed,” Boyd said wryly.

Susan’s expression changed as she felt the baby kicking.  “Wow.  I think he heard us.”  She put a hand on her belly.

“Oh?”

“Yeah.  I bet you can feel it.”

Boyd put his hand beside hers.  “Yup.”  He bent down to listen.  He wasn’t sure he heard anything other than the rustling of her clothes, but he felt a distinct tap against his cheek.  “How about that?  He’s pretty active in there.”

Susan chortled.  “I hope we’ll be able to keep up with him.”  They returned to their seats.  “So, now that we know it’s a boy, we can narrow down the name choices.”

“Back when we were thinking of names for Blair, we were going to go with Michael if she was a boy.  I still like that name.  How about you?”

“I still like it, too,” she said, although she hesitated a bit.

“Got something else in mind?”


 
“I was just thinking, what about a family name?  I know when we had Blair, we picked names that specifically weren’t, but… the two of us and Blair are pretty much all that’s left of either of our families.”

Susan’s suggestion caught Boyd by surprise.  Neither of them were particularly sentimental about such things, and for Susan, the subject of her family was a touchy one.  She had lost her family young; her parents in a car wreck before Boyd had even met her, and her older brother a few years after that.  She dealt with those losses the same way she dealt with everything else, pragmatism and logic.  For her, that meant leaving painful memories in the past.  As a result, Susan rarely talked about her family, and if the subject came up, more often than not, it soon became apparent that she would rather not.

 “True.”  Boyd gave her a curious look.  “What names were you thinking?  Recent, like our dads?  Or your brother?  Or farther back?”

A dark look that came with an unwanted pang of emotion flashed across her face.  “Not Jonathan.  I don’t… nothing against the name, but no.”  She fidgeted in her seat, but forced a smile.  “Besides, Blair already reminds me of him at times.  It wouldn’t be fair.”


 
Boyd nodded.  He’d had the same thought back when Blair joined the SVPD.  Her uncle had been in the same line of work, and went into it with similar motivations, although Boyd prayed it would never turn out as tragically for her as it had for his brother-in-law.  “So, our fathers then?”  He shrugged.  “Not sure about Stuart.  My son having the exact same name as my dad feels a little, I don’t know, awkward.  And your father… Patrick?”  He considered.  “Patrick Wainwright doesn’t sound bad.”

“We could use Stuart as a middle name,” Susan suggested. 

“Patrick Stuart?”  Boyd’s eyes lit up with amusement. 

“Oh.”  Susan mirrored his mirth.  “But technically, that’s not the right spelling.”

“Still,” he grinned, “make it so.”

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #83 on: September 24, 2016, 04:25:19 PM »
Thank you so much Cheezey for giving us such a wonderful update.  It was a delight from start to finish.  I love it that Boyd's such a a geek to want to name his son Patrick Stuart.  If Patrick was born in Oz, he'd be named 'Paddy' before he's walking.  If he's born with Susan's hair, he'd get 'Bluey'.  ;D
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Offline Nimrod Mikkusu

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #84 on: September 25, 2016, 02:10:31 PM »
Hiya Cheezey! Long time no see. Well, actually I read this on your Wordpress earlier.

And if you see what she posted in children of original townies thread, I think she might've gone with Michael instead, but there's nothing to say he can't be Patrick\Paddy\Bluey here! He might've even go by a stage\screen name.  ::) He could even turn out to be Emit Relevart  :o but it's likely that is'nt the thing you will be hanging to.  ::) Let them be separate sims, but I guess they're indeed connected!

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #85 on: September 26, 2016, 01:51:53 AM »
Great update. Fully worth the wait. Excited to see the Time Traveler Emit Relevart. Glad he didn't got caught and he chose to time travel before the moment. Feels bad for Blair. Hope she will understand. And can't wait to see the new Wainwright in the house, Patrick Stewart. 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 #86 on: September 26, 2016, 01:13:29 PM »
I hope that Blair will get to meet Emit again and clear up the misunderstanding.

And I too hope to see Patrick Stewart Wainwright, and whatever shenanigans he will end up in! Maybe he'll have an Imaginary Friend turned real, as well as an alien and plantsim half-siblings?  :o

Offline Cheezey

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Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 20
« Reply #87 on: September 30, 2016, 03:18:07 PM »
Thank you so much Cheezey for giving us such a wonderful update.  It was a delight from start to finish.  I love it that Boyd's such a a geek to want to name his son Patrick Stuart.  If Patrick was born in Oz, he'd be named 'Paddy' before he's walking.  If he's born with Susan's hair, he'd get 'Bluey'.  ;D

Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.  I couldn't resist the Star Trek reference. :D

Hiya Cheezey! Long time no see. Well, actually I read this on your Wordpress earlier.

And if you see what she posted in children of original townies thread, I think she might've gone with Michael instead, but there's nothing to say he can't be Patrick\Paddy\Bluey here! He might've even go by a stage\screen name.  ::) He could even turn out to be Emit Relevart  :o but it's likely that is'nt the thing you will be hanging to.  ::) Let them be separate sims, but I guess they're indeed connected!

Their baby definitely isn't Emit.  In this story, Emit is many generations away from being born, and I envision Oasis Landing as being several hundred years in the future.  Emit time travels, but in my head at least, Oasis Landing is his natural timeline, or at least close to it. 

Great update. Fully worth the wait. Excited to see the Time Traveler Emit Relevart. Glad he didn't got caught and he chose to time travel before the moment. Feels bad for Blair. Hope she will understand. And can't wait to see the new Wainwright in the house, Patrick Stewart. Looking forward for next update.

Thank you! Emit will be back again eventually. He's fun to write.

I hope that Blair will get to meet Emit again and clear up the misunderstanding.

And I too hope to see Patrick Stewart Wainwright, and whatever shenanigans he will end up in! Maybe he'll have an Imaginary Friend turned real, as well as an alien and plantsim half-siblings?  :o

With two sims learning logic and a telescope on the roof, there's no avoiding alien abductions, at the very least, for the Wainwright household.  Just one more thing for neurotic Boyd to be paranoid about. ;)



Chapter 20


 
After her morning shower, Blair was about to get dressed for work when she found Cycl0n3 in her bedroom, searching through the top drawer of her dresser.

“Cycl0n3?  What are you doing?”


 
He turned around, startled.  “Oh, hi.”

“Hi.  Why are you poking around in my drawers?”

He waggled his eyebrows suggestively.  “I thought we’ve been at that stage of things for a while now.”

“That’s not what I meant.  What are you looking for?”

Cycl0n3 shifted as she approached.  “I… well, I lost my car keys.”

“And you thought they were with my underwear?” she said incredulously.

“They’re not in my room, and I couldn’t find them, so I thought maybe when we were getting, you know, romantic last night, maybe they fell on the floor or something and you might’ve scooped them up with whatever and put them away.”


 
She gave him an odd look.  “First of all, I put my dirty clothes in the hamper, not my dresser.  Second, I’m pretty sure they’re not there, but go ahead and look if you want.  Third, did you check the pants you were wearing yesterday?  Or the kitchen?  Usually, you just throw your keys on the counter.  Stiles complains about it all the time.  He might’ve put them in the junk drawer.  Did you look there or ask him?”


 
“Oh yeah.  You’re right.  I totally forgot about that.  I should, uh, go check there right now.  Thanks.”

“No problem… Master Detective,” she finished on a teasing note.

Cycl0n3 left, leaving Blair shaking her head.  She loved him, but he could be so weird sometimes.  She chalked it up to his quirkiness, got dressed, and headed downstairs.


 
Blair sat with Tamara and Emma for breakfast before work.  Emma was up early and had made a fresh platter of pancakes for everyone, which was a nice treat compared to the cereal or yogurt Blair usually grabbed.  “Oh, hey, Blair,” Tamara greeted her.  “Emma and I were talking, and we thought it’d be fun to throw a party here tonight.  Is that okay with you?  Stiles already said he didn’t mind, and Cycl0n3 doesn’t care.  Knowing him, he’ll just wander off and play TarzWar anyway.”

The idea of a party hardly thrilled Blair, but her roommates were pretty considerate of her introversion, and she saw reason to say no when they obviously wanted to.  “That’s fine.”

“Awesome.  It’ll be a blast,” Tamara enthused.  “You can invite Hank if you want.  He always likes a good time.”

“You’d know,” teased Emma.

“It was one date.  We’re just friends.  And please don’t make that joke around Xander.  We kind of have a thing.”

Emma smirked.  “I know.  Though you seem to be a good influence on him.  I heard he even moved out of Mom and Dad’s basement.”

“Yeah, he had it out with his dad and now he’s renting a house over on Wright Way.”

“Glad it’s working out.”  Even as nice as Blair was, she still had a hard time warming up to Xander.

“Me too, actually.  It’s weird because we dated ages ago, and then were just friends because I totally couldn’t see it going anywhere. But now that he’s getting his act together, he’s surprised me.” Tamara looked at Blair.  “Kind of like you and Cycl0n3, in a way.  Things seem pretty good between the two of you.  You’ve even broken his habit of walking around in his underwear.”

“For which we all thank you, greatly,” quipped Emma.


 
Blair giggled.  “No problem.  Although that reminds me, did he ever find his keys?  He was looking for them in my underwear drawer this morning and it was kind of—”

“Weird?” Emma finished for her.

“That’s one way to put it,” Tamara said.  “You’re more patient than me, Blair.  I’d have gone off if I caught my boyfriend snooping through my stuff.”

“I don’t think he was snooping.  He wouldn’t do that, would he?”

Emma shook her head.  “Nah.  I don’t think so.  Probably more like he thought he was being smooth and subtle to find out your size so he could buy you skimpy underwear or something, and failed.”

“He’s never done anything like that.”  Blair’s cheeks turned a rosy shade of pink, while Tamara laughed.

“Oh my gosh, I would pay to see Cycl0n3 shopping in Bella’s Secret.”

“Just as long as he doesn’t model it,” Emma said with a snicker.  “Though it would be an upgrade from those ratty old boxers.”

“What if he gets you a Chewbacca thong or something?”

Blair turned even redder, and was relieved when she heard her carpool’s horn outside.  “Well, I’ve got to go.  See you later.”


 
After a morning of routine patrols, Blair and Hank returned to the station only to have Justine order Hank to stay and finish some overdue reports.  Blair was sent back out to talk the Outstanding Citizens warehouse employees about some questionable shipments.  Claire Ursine was only as forthcoming as she had to be, but she grudgingly provided some logs for review.  Blair couldn’t help but remember the case she and Hank had a while back where the Langeraks reported a stolen tablet.  Forensics had not given them enough to make an ID, but Claire had been brought in for questioning.  She was later released due to a lack of evidence and an alibi that was corroborated by another Outstanding Citizens employee.  Parker Langerak’s tablet was never found.

While Claire showed Blair the security cameras, reminding her that a warrant was necessary for review of any footage, she recognized a well-dressed man emerging from the building that she did not expect to see.  One of Doo Peas’ higher level executives and the would-be mayor’s husband—Nick Alto.

He gave them a scrutinizing look as he approached.  “The police?  Is there trouble here?” 

“No, Mr. Alto.  The SVPD’s just reviewing our shipping records and procedures.  Someone called in a bogus report about last night’s delivery.”

Blair turned toward Nick.  “Do you work here as well, sir?”

Nick cleared his throat.  “No.  Just here for a meeting.  Real estate inquiry.  I’ve heard this property was looking for investors, and I’m always interested in a potential deal.”  He smiled, but something about him made Blair uneasy.  “I do hope there’s nothing going on that would make for a bad investment.”  His eyes lingered on Claire.

“Absolutely not.  Like I said, bogus.  You saw yourself, officer, the paperwork checked out.  Now there are the cameras you asked me about,” she pointed upward, “but I told you, policy is we don’t compromise the privacy of our clients without a warrant.  So if that’s all, I’d like to get out of the rain and back to work.”

“All right.  Thank you for your cooperation.”  What little of it there was.

“And you have a nice day, officer.”  Nick eyed Blair while she photographed the area, and Claire went back inside.  “Don’t linger out here too long.  One could catch their death if they’re not careful… in this awful weather.”  He then got into his expensive car and drove off.


 
After her work day was over, Blair felt apprehensive about the party at home, so she decided to ask Cycl0n3 if he wanted to go out for dinner or a movie.  Unfortunately, when she arrived, he was on his way out. 

“Oh!  Hey, hi.”  Cycl0n3 smiled at her, although it seemed like he was anxious or in a rush.  “There’s a full house up there.  Have fun.”

“Where are you off to?”

“Just, uh, just some stuff I’ve got to take care of.”

“Oh.  I was hoping maybe we could go out.  You know me.  Not exactly the party type.”

“Oh.  Sorry.”

“It’s okay.”  Blair tried to hide her disappointment.  “Is it one of your cases?”

He glanced at the door and then back at her.  “Yeah.  Just got a call a little while ago.”

“Hey, I could tag along and help,” she suggested.  “I mean, it’d just take me a minute to change out of my uniform.”

“I—I don’t think that’d be a good idea.  I mean, I appreciate it, really do, but I think I should handle this solo.  I didn’t say anyone else was coming, and the client wants it all confidential and stuff.  You know.  But thanks anyway.”

“I guess I’ll see you later, then?”

“Sure.  Bye!”

“Bye.”  She headed upstairs.     


 
It was way more crowded than Blair was comfortable with when she walked in.  There were a lot of guests, some she knew and several she didn’t, and two she didn’t like—Xander Clavell and Jared Frio.  She had expected Xander, but Jared was an unwelcome surprise.  Connor was also there, and he looked almost as out of his element as she felt.  Blair quietly made her way upstairs to change, and debated locking herself in her room, but there wasn’t much to do there, other than maybe go on her laptop.  With all the party music and chatter, though, it was still too loud to concentrate, even with the door closed. 


 
After getting out of uniform, she went downstairs and grabbed something to eat, and sat by herself at the kitchen bar.  She was not alone for long, though.  Tamara, who had obviously had a juice or two already, came by to chat.

“Hey!  Glad you finally made it home from work.  Hank got here a little while ago.  He said he got out earlier than you since he was stuck doing boring desk stuff while you got all the action.”

Blair wasn’t sure she’d have described her afternoon at Outstanding Citizens that way.  “I guess.  Just some field work.”

“Well, you can kick back and relax now!  Hope you have a good time.  Stiles is even out here partying it up, and I totally didn’t expect to see that.”

That surprised Blair, too.  Stiles hated crowds almost as much as she did.  She glanced over and saw him chatting closely with Emma’s friend Ayesha.  “I thought he was working tonight.”

“He said practice got called off on account of a band member being sick.  But I also think he didn’t want to miss a chance to spend some time with his new honey bunch,” Tamara finished with a knowing grin.

“Wait, you mean him and Ayesha…?”

“You didn’t know?”  Tamara giggled in a way that was exaggerated by the juice she’d had.  “Oh yeah.  From what I heard, they hit it off one afternoon when she came by to see Emma and he was playing the guitar.  Guess she likes a guy who can strum a tune.  Never would’ve guessed those two would hook up in a million years.  It’s almost as crazy as Miss I-Don’t-Date Emma hooking up with that online dating guy.  And he’s old.  Like older than your parents, with two kids.  Whatever she’s into, I guess!”

“Heh.  I didn’t know about that, either.  Guess I’ve been preoccupied.”  Blair thought about Cycl0n3.  “Hey, did Cycl0n3 say anything about the case he just took?  He ran out of here like he was in a hurry, and was acting a little, I don’t know, weird.”

“Weirder than normal?”  Tamara shrugged.  “Sorry.  I don’t know.  He just said he had stuff to do.”

“Oh.” 


 
Their conversation was interrupted when another guest came over.  “Tamara!  Thanks so much for the invite.  I haven’t seen you guys in ages,” she gushed.

“Hey, Madison.  How’s it going?”

“Great!”  She looked at Blair.  “Oh, you’re the roommate I never met yet!  I haven’t been over here in, like, forever, but I see Emma all the time since she’s always stopping in at our place.  Anyway, I’m Madison.  Madison VanWatson.  I live next door with Monika, Tori, and Ayesha.”

“Blair Wainwright,” she replied with a friendly smile.

“Wait, Wainwright?  Hmm, by any chance are you related to Boyd Wainwright?”

The mention of her father surprised her.  “Yeah, that’s my dad.  You know him?”

“Oh, my Watcher!”  Madison started giggling.  “He’s my boss.  I work over at Landgraab Industries.”  She looked past Blair and motioned wildly.  “Christopher!  Come over here!”

A brown-haired guy around Blair’s age approached them.  “What’s up?”

“Guess who this is?  Boyd’s daughter.  Small world, huh?”

Christopher gave Blair a friendly smile.  “Oh, hi.  Yeah, we work with your dad.”  He extended his hand.  “Christopher Steel.”

“Nice to meet you.  I hope he doesn’t give you a hard time or anything.”

“Nah.  He’s fine, at least when he’s not freaking out about deadlines.  We get along great.  Your mom’s nice, too.  I haven’t worked with her much, but Christopher used to help out in her lab.”

“Yeah, how’s she doing, by the way?” he asked.  “The baby’s got to be due any day now, right?”

Blair relaxed a little despite her shyness.  Even though she didn’t know Madison and Christopher, they seemed nice.  “Yup.  Little Patrick Stuart should arrive soon.”

“That’s so adorkable that they’re naming him after Star Trek,” giggled Madison.

“It’s technically a family name,” Blair said, although it was obvious that even she didn’t buy that the geeky reference wasn’t intentional.  “I’m kind of glad they went traditional with me.  But at least he’s got a normal name.”

Tamara sipped at a cup of juice.  “I wouldn’t think the girl dating Cycl0n3 Sw0rd cared about that kind of thing.”

“I don’t.  It’s his name, so he can call himself whatever he wants.  But he’s not naming our kids,” Blair finished with a smile.




 
Baby Patrick Stuart Wainwright was indeed due to arrive any day now, and Boyd and Susan were doing their best to get ready for it.  Once their basement addition was finished, they remodeled Blair’s old room into a nursery.  Susan picked out a traditional pale blue color, and Boyd put in new carpeting and moved in the furniture.  Out of shape as he was, it wasn’t the most pleasant of tasks, but he was handy enough to get the job done and save the simoleons of hiring more contractors.

Their friends gifted them with nice baby furniture and toys listed on the registry Susan had set up, but her favorite new piece came from their daughter.  Blair bought a cushy modern rocking chair that fit perfectly in the corner of the baby’s room.  “I made sure I got it in your favorite color!” she said cheerfully while Boyd set it up.


 
“I think we’re all set.”  Susan admired the room with satisfaction.  “We’ve got this.”

“I hope so.”  Boyd glanced around anxiously.  “It’s been so long since Blair was little.  It occurs to me, we’re used to being able to talk to and reason with a kid, and it’ll be a while before we can do that with him.  How long has it been since I held a baby?  I think it was when Gunther and Cornelia had Mortimer.  At that Snowflake Day party they had the year he was born.”

“Oh, I remember that.  They put him in that dreadfully gloomy black onesie with the Santa hat,” Susan chortled. 

“I thought that was kind of cute,” Boyd said with a shrug.  “In a weird way.”

“You always did have an odd affection for Gunther and his quirks.”

Boyd eyed her over his glasses.  “You have an odd affection for the Bunches.  I think that makes us even.”

“Penny will be in the same grade as Patrick, you know,” Susan said, referring to Jack and Judy’s new baby, who had recently been born.  “They might even be friends, being neighbors and all.”

“That’s fine, as long as she’s not as rowdy as Arlo and Darlene.  Those two are like little typhoons with feet.  They leave mass destruction in their wake everywhere they go.”

“Typhoons, huh?  Would you prefer a Cycl0n3 instead?”

He raised his eyebrows.  “Really?  That was terrible, Susan, but… yes, actually.”


 
“I should’ve known, with all that buddy time you two have playing TarzWar.”  She shook her head.  “I still can’t believe Master P.I. Sw0rd hasn’t figured out you’re his pal Space Invader.”

“It’s not like I give out much identifying information online.  I never did even before I knew who Cycl0n3 was.  You never know who you’re talking to, and this whole thing kind of proves my point about the importance of anonymity,” Boyd pointed out.  “Though he does know about the baby, and he knows about how old I am.  He may figure it out someday.”

“Thinking about cluing him in?”

“I might, but… nah.  Not yet.”  There was a mischievous gleam in Boyd’s eyes.  “Smack Pod said something about visiting Sunset Valley in the near future, so maybe I’ll out myself then if Cycl0n3 wants to meet him, too.  Or maybe he’ll piece it together before then.  We’ll see.”

“You’re such a troll,” teased Susan.

He gave her a knowing look.  “Like you don’t find it funny.”

“I never said that.”


 
Her expression changed a moment later, and Boyd eyed her with concern.  “Are you all right?”

Susan put a hand on her belly.  “Yeah, I—it’s just a contraction.”

Boyd’s eyes went wide.  “A contraction?”

“Just Braxton Hicks, I think.  I’ve been having them on and off all day.  It didn’t even really hurt.”

“It didn’t really hurt?  Does that mean it did hurt?  Are you in labor?”  Boyd’s voice rose and took on a note of panic when Susan cringed and leaned forward.  “Susan?!”

She caught her breath, still wincing.  “Okay, that one was a little… intense.”

“Oh, my Watcher!  Do I need to take you to the hospital?”

“Blair took sixteen hours.  I don’t think we need to jump the gun.”  She walked to the rocking chair.  “They said I should time them and wait until they’re even and consistent.”

“But didn’t Baby Incoming say every time is different?  What if this one’s faster?  I can get my keys and we can go right now.”

“I’ll be fine.”  Susan settled into the rocking chair.

“All right, but I’m going to start timing.”


 
Boyd left to get his tablet, and he was still loading up the timer in it when Susan came out of the baby’s room.  “You can go ahead and reset.  That was another one.” 

“Susan, I checked the ‘It’s Go Time’ chapter in the e-book, and I think we should play it safe and get over to Sacred Spleen.”

“But I was in labor so long with Blair, and that hurt more than this.”  She winced as the unpleasant contraction started again.  “Don’t you remember?  I sure remember.  It was miserable!  Like there was a plumbob being shoved through my—AAAH!”  Susan doubled over again, panting heavily.

Boyd got up, grabbed his keys, and took Susan’s hand.  “Patrick is trying to come at warp speed, honey, and as much as you know I love you, I don’t think either of us want me trying to deliver him.  Get in the car.  I’m calling Dr. Landgraab and taking you to the hospital.”

“All right.”


 
A short while later, Susan was safely at the hospital.  They admitted her right away and got her to a bed.

“You know what I said about it not hurting as much as last time?”  Susan murmured from the bed.  “It’s caught up.”

“The nurse said she’d get you something soon,” Boyd assured her.  “It’ll be all right.”


 
Unfortunately, while her labor was fast, it wasn’t without complications.  Shortly after Susan moved to the birthing suite, they informed her that surgical intervention would be necessary to ensure a safe delivery.  She took the news in stride, at least as much as she could in her distracted state, but Boyd began hyper-ventilating.  Although the pregnancy books had warned them of that possibility, seeing the surgical table wheeled into the room made it a little too real.  Boyd stepped out to calm himself down, and called Blair to let her know her little brother was on the way.


 
Boyd returned to the suite after talking to Blair, and he tried not to let the sight of the surgical team working on Susan get to him.  It wasn't the blood or even the procedure; he had done plenty of dissections and handled numerous tissue samples in his years as a scientist.  But it was entirely different watching it happen to his wife and child.  Blair's birth, all those years ago, had not involved scalpels or blood other than what came out with her.  The only complication had been how long it took, and how miserable and exhausted Susan had been.

Fortunately, the surgery went smoothly, and before long, they welcomed little Patrick Stuart Wainwright into the world.



Quick Note: Tamara's reference to a Bella's Secret store was borrowed from EddieSims, whose excellent legacy story I saw the name in.

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #88 on: October 01, 2016, 05:28:07 AM »
Welcome Patrick Stuart Wainwright.  He is so cute.  But then I have no problem with nooboos wrapped up to look like bugs. 

Nice update Cheezey.  I do wonder what Cycl0n3 is up to though.  Peaking in your girlfriend's unmentionables drawer is way too weird, even for him.
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Offline chetanhaobijam

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #89 on: October 01, 2016, 10:27:14 PM »
Welcome little Patrick Stewart. Waiting to see him in toddler age. And wondering what is Cyclon up to. Looking forward for next update.

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