Author Topic: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley  (Read 144828 times)

Offline Cheezey

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Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 29
« Reply #135 on: November 30, 2016, 11:01:09 AM »
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.

Thank you! I will probably lose some geek credibility here, but Stargate is one of those series I never watched, so I'm not familiar with the episode you're talking about.  But thank you for the compliment! :)

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.

Thanks! They're there now. :)

Amazing double-update! I appreciate how you made us feel that we too were there with Boyd, experiencing it all for the first time!

Thank you! That was the feel I was going for, so I'm glad I was successful!

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

Thanks for all of your kind compliments! I'm glad you're enjoying the story. I have fun with all the references and it makes me happy that readers are getting a kick out of them.



Chapter 29



Boyd came through the portal first, and he reached for Susan’s hand to keep her from stumbling on entry like he had.  “Got to watch that first step.”

“I see what you mean.”  Susan blinked to recover from the bright light inside the portal.  She took a step forward and looked around, taking in the sight of Oasis Landing for the first time.  “So this is the future…”

“354 years from now,” Boyd said.  “Pretty amazing, huh?”

“It’s not how I would’ve imagined it.  I see what you mean about the landscape.  It doesn’t look like Sunset Valley.”

“According to Emit, where we are used to be the park.”

Susan scanned the skyline from the high vantage point.  She saw the futuristic buildings, the trees, the mountains, and the wasteland in the distance.  “So that’s where the alien ship crashed.  The wasteland.”

“Yup.  And soon, we’re going to go see it, and be the first of anyone, even here, to look inside that ship.”

“Incredible!”  She was brimming with excitement.  “Let’s go find Emit.”


 
A few minutes later, they found him in the community center.  “Well, look who made it!”

“I’m here!”  Susan couldn’t keep the enthusiasm out of her voice.  “I just want to say again what an honor it is to be here.  This is such an amazing opportunity.  Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.  It’s an honor having you two help me!  I assume Boyd told you about the ship, and the wasteland?”

Susan nodded.  “He told me everything.  Including the part about the anti-radiation tattoo.”

“An anti-radiation tattoo that has your life-sustaining compound in it, that’ll add years to your life as a bonus.”  Emit grinned.  “Don’t forget that part.”

She chuckled.  “No.  Definitely not.”

“Well, since you’re here, I’ll contact the medical spa and let them know you’re coming.  Boyd, go ahead and give her the tour and take her there.  Help yourself to another jet pack and windcarver for Susan.  I can have them replaced.  Oh, and I took the liberty of having a fashion plumbot send some clothes to your room here.”  He turned to Susan.  “There should be plenty to pick from, if you want to try a new Oasis Landing look before you head out.”


 
Susan looked through what was available and found some things in colors she liked and that fit.  In a way, it was not that different from what she normally wore, aside from the different type of fabric and the cuts of it.  The shoes were a little odd, but more comfortable than they looked.  “I don’t know.”  She looked over her new attire.  “I like it, but…”

“I think you look sexy,” Boyd said flirtatiously.

She giggled.  “Flatterer.  Tell me more.”


 
They found Susan a jet pack, and Boyd took her to the rooftop to show her how to use it.  She was a little more cautious than he had been, but she figured it out quickly enough.  Soon they were laughing and zipping around together in the sky above the community center.  “This is ridiculously fun!”  She and Boyd grabbed each other’s hand in mid-air, and spun around.

Her first landing wasn’t quite as rough as his had been, but it wasn’t smooth, either.  She landed on her rump hard, and brushed herself off, wincing.  “You weren’t kidding about the sensitive deceleration.”

“The windcarver’s a little more forgiving.  Come on, I’ll show you how to use it.”

“I still can’t believe I rode a jet pack, and now I’m going to ride a hover board.”  She stepped on it and got her balance.  “Oh, wow.  So cool!”  Susan tested the movements, learning back and forth, and how to turn.  Once she got more confident, she picked up speed.  “Whoo!  Why didn’t they invent this in our lifetimes?  If we had these at home, I might occasionally do some outdoor activity other than weeding the garden.”

Boyd laughed.  “Then Blair could stop nagging us about our sedentary lifestyles.  ‘Dad, you know you’d feel better if you got some exercise once in a while.’  Heh.  Matter of opinion.”

“I know.  ‘Mom, a little cardio would be good for you!  Want to come work out with me?’  Ugh, all that gym time for the SVPD has gone to her head.  She means well, though.”  Susan disembarked from the windcarver.

“Yeah.  I guess it’s payback for all the lectures we gave her growing up.” 

“We didn’t lecture.  We shared valuable wisdom,” Susan said with a wry smile.


 
Once Susan learned how to use the new transportation methods, she and Boyd headed to the medical spa so she could get her treatment.  She gave it some thought, and decided to get the same design Boyd did, in the same spot.  Not just because they were a couple that tended to do things together, but also because the LI-WX923 was their joint project, and it felt appropriate. 

Boyd admired the newly inked design on Susan’s arm when she came out.  “Looking good!”

“Thanks.  I’m still not sure what I think about it.  I never thought I’d get a tattoo.  It’s not my thing.  I guess I’ll get used to it.  It’s a neat design, at least.”

“And we match.  That’s kind of cool.”

“Tell me if you still agree when our friends back home mock us mercilessly for it.”

“Who?  Jack?  He’s got no room to talk.  Remember his story about the time he was partying with army buddies and came home with a freezer bunny tattoo he didn’t remember getting?”

Susan nodded.  “True.  He never did show us that tattoo.  Did he say where he got it?”

“No, come to think of it.”  Boyd smirked.  “Wonder where it is?”

She snickered.  “We probably don’t want to know.”


 
When her treatment was done, Susan was hungry, just like Boyd had been.  The body’s metabolic processes temporarily kicked into high gear while adjusting to the infusion of LI-WX923.  Boyd showed her to Sam’s Synth’d Staples to grab a bite to eat.  That time, they sat at the self-serve area, so they could watch the food synthesizing process.  Susan was amazed.  “I spent all this time learning to cook, and then they invent this.”  She took a bite.  “It’s good, too.”

“I’m sure there are still those who do it the old-fashioned way.  This is probably just the equivalent of future fast food.  Sure, it’s good, but nobody goes to McSims if they want gourmet.”

“This is much better than McSims.”  Susan tasted the sauce.  “Although if you want to vary your spices outside of simple option swaps, you probably have to do some programming in the settings.  Adding new recipes would mean someone has to come up with them to begin with.  I’m not sure how you’d try an experiment on it without using pre-existing recipes.”  She relaxed.  “You’re right.  The Emmas of the world would never be satisfied with something like this.  They might use it for some things, but nothing will completely replace the art.”  She sipped her synthesized drink.  “That said, I’d still love to have one.”

“We’ll have to ask Emit if we can sneak one through the portal,” Boyd replied, only half joking.


 
After they ate, the Wainwrights decided to check out the crash site.  It was already evening by the time they got out to the wasteland, but they were too excited to wait until the next day.  At the very least, they wanted to see if Emit’s contraption unlocked the sealed door.

“It’s hard to believe we’re going to be the first to step inside this thing,” Susan mused.  “Not just the first from our time, but this one, too.”

“I know.  It’s humbling, and cool.  I can only imagine what might be in there.”

“Probably nothing living, at least not after a hundred years crashed out here after an explosion.”

“Not unless they have really good stasis pods, and a century’s worth of life support in there,” Boyd agreed.

“Only one way to find out.  Let’s try that key.”


 
Taking a deep breath, Boyd took out Emit’s assembled fragments, and inserted them into the door.  It clicked into place, and he gave it a twist.  There was a spark, and then a metallic creak as the door began to move on its own.

“It’s working!”  They exchanged enthusiastic looks before returning their attention to the alien door, which whirred and hummed as an old mechanism inside of it came to life.  The previously sealed panels retracted, revealing an open doorway for them to pass through.

“Oh, my Watcher.”  Boyd gasped while Susan took his hand, just as transfixed on the sight.  Beyond the door was a shiny metal floor and metal walls.  It dim and hard to make out, but strangely, there was a little bit of light inside to see more than the ambient light should have allowed.  “You want to go in?  Let’s go in.”

“At least a few steps,” Susan agreed.  “Then we have to tell Emit.”


 
When they stepped inside, a light came on above them.  “Motion sensor?” Susan wondered aloud.

Both of them went still, listening for any sign of life in the derelict craft.  All they could hear was the dead breeze of the wasteland outside, and an ever so slight hum from whatever machinery was still working.  “Must be.”  Boyd contacted Emit.  “It worked!  It opened the doors.  We’re standing inside now.”

“Excellent!”  Emit was as enthusiastic as they were.  “I take it there’s nothing still alive?”

“No.  I don’t think so.  For that matter, we don’t even see anything dead here.  Maybe this was just a storage compartment, or the crew was in a part of the ship that blew up.”

“Well, if you think you can do it safely, go on and explore.  Take pictures and bring back anything interesting that you find.  Just be careful.”

“We will.  Thanks.”  Boyd ended the call and grinned at Susan.  “You heard him.  Let’s explore an alien ship!”


 
The chamber they entered was small, and there little of interest other than a stairwell inside it.  “I wonder if this was some kind of escape hatch?” guessed Susan.  “Maybe whoever was in this part when it went down got out.”

“Only to die out there?” Boyd mused.  “Not sure which would be worse.”

Another internal light came on as they descended the stairs and entered that chamber.  It was larger, and had doors leading down other halls.  Some of the alien equipment remained, although little of it seemed functional.  It was impossible to tell what any of it did, but it fascinated the Wainwrights nonetheless.  They tried the occasional switch or lever, but nothing other than the lights seemed to do anything.  The air inside was stale, although it was breathable enough to get around in.


 
Down the first hall, they found another chamber that ended in a room with a pedestal.  Upon it was a strange glowing pyramid.  “Whoa!  This is really making me wonder about all those Illsiminati stories…”  Boyd picked it up.

“What do you think it does?”  Susan examined it with him. 

“I have no idea.  It’s not attached to anything, but it looks like it interfaces with something.  Maybe Emit’s seen something like it before.”  They looked around the rest of the room.  Aside from a few panels that were non-functional, there was nothing else they could identify or take with them, so they moved on.


 
The opposite hall was laid out the same, with defunct consoles, panels, and other machines, as well as some pedestals with items on them.  Some appeared to be junk, or were broken.  “I think we were right that this part of the ship was storage, or at least not anything terribly important,” said Susan.  “I don’t see anything that looks like a bridge or navigational equipment, or science or research station.”

“Nothing that looks like an engineering bay, either, although that probably blew up with the power source.  Too bad.  Imagine what we could learn from something like that…”

“Hey, what’s this?”  Susan went to one of the pedestals, which had something like a tablet or reader on it.  When she picked it up, it lit up to look like a book.  “Is this alien reading material?”

“Wait, is that in our language?”

Susan nodded, equally puzzled.  “Yes.”

Boyd looked more closely.  “I saw other books like this when I first came to Oasis Landing.  It’s a way they make books here, a weird mix of an e-reader and a traditional book.  Emit said there was a big nostalgia trend for old-style books like 150 years back, people reminiscing about the good old days of holding a book and reading in a study or library with bookshelves.  Almost like how it used to be a status symbol centuries before our time, when books were a luxury for the educated and wealthy.  People wanted to build and show off libraries again, but without the paper media.  That doesn’t explain why it’s on an alien ship, though.”  He shuddered.  “Unless it was a trophy taken from some poor sap they abducted.”

“The title is Hard Copy of the Internet, Volume 882.”  Susan smirked.  “I wonder how many cat pictures it has.”


 
They picked up the book, and looked around some more before moving on.  The final room was different from the others.  It was large, much more open, and had a dark reddish glow to it from the wall panel that blazed to life with a holographic image when they entered.  It depicted an erupting volcano in a barren mountainous landscape.  Streams of lava ran over the rocky terrain while a night sky filled the background.

“Wow.  Where was that taken?  Do you think it could be Sixam?”

“I don’t know.”  Susan was as transfixed on the image as Boyd.  “It’s beautiful, in an unsettling way.”

They checked out the rest of the room, but there was not much else in there, other than a chair facing the screen.  “What do you think this is?” Boyd asked as he sat in it to test it out.  “It’s not the bridge, but it makes me think it’s got some kind of status or significance.”

“Maybe personal quarters for someone?”  Susan looked around.  “Though there’s not much else in here that makes me think ‘bedroom.’  No furniture or anything resembling personal items, if the aliens are like us.  There doesn’t even seem to be much equipment.  No extra consoles or panels or anything.”


 
“That wouldn’t make a bad movie screen.  Maybe it was like a theater, or they took communications or calls on screen in here?”

“And that’s their screen saver or something?”

“Maybe.”  Boyd shrugged.  “Whatever it is, it’s fascinating.”

“Yes.”  Susan took some pictures.  “I wonder what Emit will think.”

“I’m looking forward to hearing that, too.”


 
Unfortunately, there was nothing more in the ship to explore.  They had to assume that the rest of the ship had been destroyed, and the part they were in only survived because it had been blown away from the rest of it.  The way it was sealed off made them wonder if it had been jettisoned prior to the crash, and that was why it was partially buried underground before the explosion.  It fit in with their theory that it was used primarily as storage, perhaps expendable storage that could be removed in a crisis.

It had gotten late, and since there was nothing else to see, Boyd and Susan returned to the community center.  Emit was already asleep by the time they returned, so filling him in would have to wait until morning.  They went to their room.

“Too bad we missed Emit, but I’m a little sleepy anyway.  It was night when you came back for me, and I didn’t get to sleep through another whole day here.  I should be dead on my feet.  That treatment must’ve given me an energy boost.”  Susan looked at the dream pod.  “I’m looking forward to trying that, though.”

“It’s an experience.  It has a dual setting on it.  We can either program separate dreams, or try dreaming together, if you want.”


 
“We can dream together?  That sounds intriguing.”  She leaned toward him flirtatiously.  “What kind of dream did you have in mind?”

“Anything that looks fun.”  Boyd put his arms around Susan and caressed her back.  “Maybe we should lie down and come up with a little inspiration together.  You and me, here alone in a fantastic future full of new things to try out…”

She nuzzled against him and whispered in his ear.  “Like other things on that pod, perhaps?”

“Absolutely.”  They kissed, got into the pod together, and closed the cover.  They did not come out until morning.


 
First thing the next day, Susan and Boyd caught up with Emit and told him about their exploration of the ship.  He was excited, and studied their pictures and listened to their accounts with great interest.  He agreed that the room with the screen was likely used for communication, but said not enough was known about Sixam technology to say for certain whether or not what they were in was a detachable pod.  He did not recognize the odd pyramid device they brought back, but it reminded him of dream pod technology.  The book, he agreed, was definitely taken from Earth at some point.

“Thank you both for going out there and doing this.  I’m going to pass all of your findings to Mercury Stellar Observatory.  Now they might even assemble a team to go out there and do more in-depth study now that someone else took on the risk of opening it.”


 
“Was that the timeline help you needed from us here?” asked Boyd.

“We were wondering how us exploring that ship for you figures into the timeline,” Susan added.  “Is it because there was something we needed to see or do that’ll affect what we do when we go back?”

Emit nodded.  “More or less.  Obviously, the crash and subsequent explosion of that ship was a major event that shaped the timeline.  Sadly, it’s not one that can be changed.  One of the first projects I took on was seeing if I could create a future where that didn’t happen.  Unfortunately, it’s such a major event with so much else tied to it, that it can’t be reversed, or at the very least, it shouldn’t.  Every option where it doesn’t happen is worse, believe it or not.”

“Worse than that?  Wow.”  Boyd could only imagine what that entailed.


 
“Think interplanetary war.  All of us nearly extinct, all over the world, after massive alien strikes on population centers.  Letting this happen was the least terrible outcome.  The devastation of the explosion woke us up to what could happen if we antagonized Sixam.  If they had technology capable of doing that, what would their actual weapons do to us if they chose to use them?” Emit explained.  “It made everyone understand that we had to at least try and get along with Sixam.  And the truth is, they’re as diverse a people as we are.  There are good ones, and bad ones.  Our people were just as angry at the ones responsible for shooting that ship as they were at the aliens.  It sparked a crisis, and the governments of our world appealed to Sixam’s representatives, envoys here who genuinely cared for the people of Earth.  Those alien diplomats are the ones who convinced the rulers of Sixam not to retaliate.”

“Good won out over evil?  That’s a little uplifting, actually,” said Susan.

“It’s a delicate peace, and it’s uneasy.  All it’ll take is another loose cannon to lash out and ruin it.”  A dark look crossed Emit’s features.  “The more time that passes, the more people forget.  And it’s hard to get past centuries of ingrained anger and fear, especially when there are still reports of secret abductions and experiments that Sixam disavows.”

Boyd nodded.  “Especially if there’s any truth to the rumors.”

“So, what are my options, then, if I can’t change that point in time?  Change perspective of Sixam and its people.  Starting back in the early days when we first learned about them, before their existence was even known by everyone.”


 
Boyd and Susan exchanged looks.  “You mean through us.”

“Yes.  I think if there were early accounts of good relations with the people of Sixam, something that’d let historians see that they’re not so different from us, we might reach a point where fewer of us hate them enough to just as soon see them all dead.”  Emit eyed them each in turn.  “The two of you could do that.  Landgraab Industries, in your time, at the higher levels, has scientists who’ve analyzed and studied alien phenomena.  It’s all top secret, of course.  There’s cooperation with the military, and all of that’s strictly classified.  But you two will rise through the ranks.  You did.  And I have no doubt that the future versions of you saw some of it.  There’s no direct record, but then, remember who helped build the weapon that shot that ship down.”

“But if we don’t control Landgraab Industries, I’m not sure how we could stop them from hiding or covering up anything we say or do there.  Even if we quit our jobs and went public, we’d either be ignored, written off as crackpots, or maybe even have an untimely ‘accident’ to shut us up,” Boyd pointed out.

“What if we could control Landgraab Industries, though?” asked Susan.  “If we were the ones in charge…”

“We’d have to buy them out and clean house.  Which a part of me would love to do.”  Boyd thought about past boneheaded decisions the higher-ups at their workplace had made.  “But the amount of money we’d need for that?  We’d have to win the lottery or something.”

Emit smirked.  “It just so happens that we have lottery records for hundreds of years on file in city hall.  Did you know that?”


 
They stared at him in shock.  “Wait, are you telling us to check lottery records so we can go back and win it ourselves?”  Susan gave him an incredulous look.  “How is that not breaking the timeline?”

Emit raised an eyebrow.  “I’m not telling you to do anything.  Just sharing a bit of trivia.  How do you know you never won the lottery?”

“Are you saying if we check the records, it’ll show us as winners?”

“I’m simply saying that if you were to come into a large sum of money, it won’t change the overall timeline in a way that I’d be concerned about.”

Boyd gave Emit a curious look.  “Is this what you meant when you told me you were going to fix some things for the two of us as thanks for helping you?”

Emit put a hand on each of their shoulders.  “You’re welcome.  Now, go on out and have some fun while you’re still here in Oasis Landing.  Catch a bot competition or a planetarium show.  Go visit your descendants.  You must be looking forward to that, right, Susan?”

“Oh, yes!  Definitely.  But I have a question.  If Donovan and Benjamin are from Patrick’s line, what about Blair?  She has a son.  Don’t they have descendants?”

“Yes.  Her line continued.”

Susan and Boyd exchanged hopeful looks.  “Where are they?” she asked.  “Can we meet them, too?”

“That would be complicated,” Emit replied.

“Why?” asked Boyd.  “Are they still alive?  Or did they die in the wasteland explosion?”

Emit’s brow furrowed as he considered his answer.  “No.  Not all of them.  But I can’t go into it with you right now.  Just trust me when I say your daughter left a legacy to be proud of.  She was well-remembered by her future generations.”  He checked the time and changed the subject.  “On that note, I have a call to make to the Mercury Stellar Observatory.  You two go out and enjoy yourselves today, and tonight we’ll send you back home.  Thanks again for all your help, and I’ll see you tonight.”


 
Although his answer about Blair’s descendants left Boyd and Susan with more questions than answers, they supposed that Emit had his reasons for not telling them.  “Maybe it’s something that if we knew, it’d make us react in some way that would harm the timeline,” Susan theorized as they strolled through Legacy Park on their way to city hall.  The plaza had several statues in it that honored important figures in Oasis Landing’s history.

“Imagine being important enough to have one of these.”  Susan admired the one in front of them.  “‘The Renowned Philanthropist.  His generosity was the key to building a better future.’”

“Theoretically, that could be one of us.  If we won enough in that lottery, we’d have money to donate to building a better future.”

Susan studied the statue’s face.  “Think I’d look good immortalized in a statue?” 

“I know you would.  Being remembered as a generous genius visionary that was ahead of her time?  Suits you perfectly.”

“What about you?”

“Oh, I’d love to be remembered that way, too.  But it’d also be cool to be known for something like this.”  They stopped in front of another statue.  ‘The Pioneer of Plumbotics,’ who created the first sentient plumbot.”

“You, who said that one day he’d see cybernetics become a reality if he had anything to say about it?  Shocking,” Susan teased.  “It would be something if one day we both had statues here.”

“Emit never said we couldn’t.”  Another statue caught Boyd’s eye.  “And we’d be in good company.   Look at this one.”

It was a proud likeness of Emit Relevart himself, with a placard that honored him as “The Time Keeper.”


 
After they finished admiring the statues, they went to city hall.  “I feel like I’m exploiting a game mechanic to get rich,” Boyd said with a mischievous gleam in his eyes.

“Luckily for us, you’ve always said that kind of thing isn’t technically cheating.”

The lottery records were easy to find, but it took some time to go back as far as they had to.  Eventually, Susan found a multi-million simoleon jackpot drawing held just a day later than they left for Oasis Landing.  “Wow.  Look at this!”

“Someone’s going to win that much?”  Boyd looked at Susan.  “That could be us.”

Susan was already copying the numbers.  “It’s going to be.”


 
Gleeful from their trip to city hall, the Wainwrights rode out to the remote part of Oasis Landing where their descendants lived.  Susan was excited to finally meet Donovan, Benjamin, and Leilani, and both of them were curious about how they lived.  It turned out that their home was older, with mostly antiquated appliances in it.  It was a little run down, but it was comfortable, and their descendants seemed happy there.  Still, it depressed them, especially Susan, to see their descendants living so humbly.  She later whispered to Boyd that she hoped their good fortune when they returned home would mean a better life for their descendants down the line.

Leilani was a musician, and entertained them by playing a futuristic musical instrument called a Laser Rhythm-a-con.  It was a mix of a synthesizer and a stringed instrument where the strings were striking beams of laser light.  She played it well, and they enjoyed her performance.  Susan and Boyd visited with them for the rest of the afternoon while getting to know them better.  Before they left, they took pictures to remember them by in their time.  “We’re glad we got to meet you,” said Susan.

“It’s been great,” Boyd added.   

“I hope you’re proud of us,” Benjamin said, while Donovan gave them each a hug.

“It was such an honor having time travelers from our family’s past come here.  We’ll never forget you, and please, thank Emit Relevart for us.”

“We will,” Susan promised.

“Good luck to you,” said Boyd.

“You, too!”  Leilani waved to them along with Donovan and Benjamin.  Boyd and Susan waved back, and went to the nearest ZEPHYR stop.


 
The Wainwrights enjoyed dinner out, and then a planetarium show.  Not only was it spectacular, but it was educational as well.  Afterward, they rode their windcarvers back to the community center to say goodbye to Emit, and Oasis Landing.

“You two have been more help than you can imagine.  Thank you for that, and all that you’re going to do,” Emit told them sincerely.  “I know it’s been a lot to take in, but I hope it’s been worth it.”

“It’s been amazing,” Susan replied.

“Life changing,” added Boyd.

Susan nodded with him.  “Thank you for everything.  We won’t waste the opportunities you’ve given us.”

“Neither of us will ever forget what we’ve seen and learned here.”

Emit smiled.  “I have no doubt of that.  I’ll be in touch either through the almanac or another visit, though I can’t say just when yet.  But we’ll see each other again, I’m sure.  Good luck to you both.”

“You, too,” said Boyd.

“Take care.”

Emit activated the portal.  “The portal’s ready.”

The Wainwrights stepped onto the platform and bid Emit goodbye.  They took one final look at the skyline of Oasis Landing, and walked into the light that would take them home.

Offline oshizu

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #136 on: November 30, 2016, 12:57:02 PM »
Cheezey, you've done such a marvelous job with this chapter, too!
When I got to the end, I felt sad and dismayed about having to wait for a continuation... LOL!

I am so very eager to learn how Susan and Boyd shake things up on their return to The Present. Oh, the suspense!!!



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Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #137 on: November 30, 2016, 03:36:28 PM »
I'm with oshizu.  That was brilliant!  I wonder if Boyd could end up being the great philanthropist after all?  If they won really big on the lottery, they could either buy out Landgraab Industries or build their own lab where their intellectual endeavours became their own property.
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

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Offline chetanhaobijam

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #138 on: December 01, 2016, 01:56:52 AM »
Terrific update. Like the exploration part. I guess the Wainwright couple had a great time in Oasis landing. Now waiting to see them back in the present.
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Offline Magpie2012

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #139 on: December 03, 2016, 08:16:08 AM »
I'm wondering what the mystery is with Blair's descendents. Great chapter as always :-)

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Offline karlissa

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #140 on: December 05, 2016, 12:01:14 PM »
I wonder if the descendants will stay the same or if time-travelling will create new descendants.
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Offline Cheezey

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Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 30
« Reply #141 on: December 05, 2016, 05:42:23 PM »
Cheezey, you've done such a marvelous job with this chapter, too!
When I got to the end, I felt sad and dismayed about having to wait for a continuation... LOL!

I am so very eager to learn how Susan and Boyd shake things up on their return to The Present. Oh, the suspense!!!

Thank you!  Their life will take some different turns, that's for sure!

I'm with oshizu.  That was brilliant!  I wonder if Boyd could end up being the great philanthropist after all?  If they won really big on the lottery, they could either buy out Landgraab Industries or build their own lab where their intellectual endeavours became their own property.

Thank you! I think they would love being the owners at the lab, and being in charge.

Terrific update. Like the exploration part. I guess the Wainwright couple had a great time in Oasis landing. Now waiting to see them back in the present.

Thanks! Oasis Landing definitely left an impression on them. :)

I'm wondering what the mystery is with Blair's descendents. Great chapter as always :-)

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.  As for Blair's descendants, they're wondering that, too!

I wonder if the descendants will stay the same or if time-travelling will create new descendants.

Although I have not been back to the future yet in the save the story is based on, I'm fairly certain there will be major differences, based on what goes on in the next several chapters.



Chapter 30


 
None of the neighbors on Maywood Lane saw the bright flash of light behind the Wainwright house that returned them to Sunset Valley.  As soon as Boyd and Susan were safely on their patio, the portal deactivated, leaving only the metal shell there.  They knew they could not just leave it there, as it would raise too many questions that neither was comfortable answering.  Susan did not want to deal with the expected skepticism, disbelief, and mockery, and Boyd was just paranoid.  “We’ll have to get this inside.”

Luckily, the portal was not very heavy, just wide and awkward.  They managed to get it into a storage area in their new basement with some minor effort.  Susan brushed herself off.  “I’m going to change and pick up Patrick.  I’ll tell Blair we ate at the bistro if she asks.”

“All right.”


 
Susan was glad to see her daughter again.  Although she’d only seen Blair a little while ago as far as she knew, after the trip to Oasis Landing, it felt much longer.  “The Captain was very well behaved,” Blair told her.  “He crashed a little while after you brought him.  I’ll go get him so you can get him to bed.”

“Thanks.”  While Blair retrieved Patrick, Susan peeked in on Chris, and said hello to Cycl0n3, who was playing TarzWar on the computer.  Everything seemed normal and typical again, which made what she just experienced in Oasis Landing seem like an exciting futuristic dream.  She wished she could talk about it, but for now, she and Boyd decided that no one could know.  Not even Blair.

“Here you go.”  Blair ruffled her little brother’s hair gently before handing him to her mother.  “Good night, Mom.  I hope you and Dad had a nice time out.”

Susan hugged her with her free arm.  “We did.  Good night, sweetie.  Thanks for taking good care of Patrick.”  She nodded to Cycl0n3 on her way out, and went home.


 
Boyd and Susan both paid Patrick some extra attention when Susan returned.  Despite the exciting time they had in the future, they missed him.  He was sleepy, but he enjoyed being snuggled and talked to, and babbled out “Mommy” and “Daddy” before they put him back to bed.  He cuddled up to Buddy and fell asleep.  Susan and Boyd also called it a night.

In their bedroom, Susan stretched and yawned.  “I just realized we have work tomorrow.  It’s going to be so weird going in like nothing happened.”

“It will.  But now we know for sure that our formula works.”  Boyd glanced at a vein on his arm that was visible below the skin.  “We’ve even got metabolized blood samples to use in testing.”

“Except that we can’t use that in official documentation without answering questions we don’t want to.”

“No, but it’ll give us some insight into how it works, and we can tailor our experimental designs from there.”

“True.”  Susan let out a light laugh.  “We’re our own test subjects.  Watcher help us, we really are mad scientists.”

Boyd planted a quick kiss on her lips.  “Maybe.  But we’re mad scientists that’ll save the future.”




 
While the Wainwrights contemplated life after seeing the future, their daughter adjusted to life as a new mom.  She and Cycl0n3 took well to parenthood.  Both spent a lot of time with their son, and Blair had mixed feelings when it came time to return to work.  She looked forward to being active on the force again, but she’d miss the time away from playing with Chris and taking him for walks in the stroller on nice fall afternoons.


 
Her determination to stay in shape while pregnant paid off, and Blair got her pre-pregnancy physique back quickly.  The baby made it difficult to get to the gym as often, but it didn’t stop her from working out at home.  Every so often, Cycl0n3 made a quip about her stretching into funny positions or the noise she made with effort.   A retort informing him that some activity wouldn’t kill him generally sent him back to his computer, however.


 
Just like Patrick, Chris received a package in the mail with no sender name on it and a return address in Moonlight Falls.  The note was almost identical, welcoming Chris to the family, and gave no indication of who sent it.  Chris’ doll was even in a similar style to Buddy.  Blair thought it was cute, but it weirded Cycl0n3 out.  It didn’t help that when Cycl0n3 put it in the crib with Chris, he could swear the doll moved on its own after he turned his back to the crib for a moment.

He stared at Chris’ doll, and he felt like it stared right back at him.  “Nope.”  Cycl0n3 picked it up out of the crib.  “Creepy doll is a big pile of nope.”  He stuffed it back in its box and took it out to the garage.

“It’s just a doll,” Blair teased with a laugh.  “You’ve watched too many horror movies.”

Cycl0n3 shrugged, unfazed.  “Don’t care.  No Chucky in Chris’ room.  I’ll get him another bear or something.  But that doll?  Nuh-uh.”


 
The day before she went back to work, Blair met Tamara for lunch.  After Chris was born, Blair hadn’t had much time to go and hang out with any of her friends.  She looked forward to a chance to catch up. 

“So, how are things?” she asked.

“They’re going.”  Tamara gave Blair a halfhearted smile.  “I’m still not feeling very zen about my birthday.”  Tamara’s birthday had recently passed.  Blair and Cycl0n3 went to her party, but Tamara had a lot of friends and almost all of them were there, so they never got a chance to talk to her much.  “I feel so old.  It’s depressing.”


 
“Don’t think that way,” Blair encouraged her.  “You’re not old at all.  You look great!”

“Thanks.  You’re sweet.  But it’s not just the fear of wrinkles, you know?  I feel like my life isn’t getting anywhere.  Yeah, my job is good, and Vita promoted me last week, so I’m making more money, but then I look at you.  Happily married, a baby, a nice house.  I want that, too.  You’ve got it, Cycl0n3’s got it… but I don’t know if I ever will.  I wonder if I’m going to end up living single in the lofts forever.  Me and Stiles.”  She let out a cynical laugh.  “He’s still bitter about Ayesha and focused on the band.  And Parker, well, you know him.  He’s not the type to let grass grow under his feet.  Emma might move in with Iqbal, but hasn’t said for sure.  I wouldn’t be surprised if she does.  They’ve been together a while.”  She shrugged.  “Who thought that would last?  But they seem closer to taking the next step than Xander and I do.”

Blair refrained from sharing her thoughts on Xander.  She knew Tamara loved him, and they’d been involved for a while, but Blair never warmed up to him.  “Do you two ever talk about getting engaged?”


 
“Sometimes.  He says he wants to someday, but he’s always got some reason to wait.  He thinks we should be make more money first, we should save money, why would we rush, things like that.  But the truth is, Xander sucks at saving money even more than I do, and I’m not great at it.”  She sighed.  “And then I wonder if I really want to support him forever, because I think if we did move in together, I’d always be paying the bills and most of his would go to juice and fun stuff.  But I do love him, and I’ve known him forever.  I don’t really want to break up, but…”

“But?”

“I’ll be honest, I’ve wondered what other fish are in the sea.”  She smirked.  “And even though we’re just friends, I have to tell you, watching Parker flex and work out by the stereo in tank tops?  Doesn’t help matters.”

Blair thought that Parker was an improvement over Xander, but she left that unsaid.  “Have you been seeing anyone else?”

“No, not yet.”  She paused.  “But I haven’t deleted my online dating profile, if you get my drift.”

“I hope things work out for you,” Blair said sincerely.  “You deserve to be with someone who makes you happy.”

“Thanks.”  Tamara smiled.  “But enough about me.  How are you doing?  How’s the baby?”


 
“We’re great!  I’m starting back at work tomorrow, and Chris is getting so big.”

“I bet!  Has Cycl0n3 taught him to play TarzWar yet?” joked Tamara.

“Not quite, but I’m sure he will someday.  They’ll probably have duels against my dad and Patrick when they do.”  She giggled.  “For now, it’s just bottles and diapers, mostly.  Though he does pretend to sleep through the baby crying in the middle of the night so I’ll get up first.”

“Oh, I’d smack his butt and make him do it anyway.  Especially once you’re working again.  He sets his own hours.  You have to get up early.”

Blair grinned.  “Oh, don’t worry.  I will.”


 
They finished their lunch and hugged each other goodbye.  “We need to hang out more, Tam.  This was fun.”

“Definitely.  Take care.  Are you and Cycl0n3 doing anything fun for Spooky Day tonight?”

“Only handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.  How about you?”

“Vita’s throwing a costume party for us to schmooze with some investors and city officials.  So it’s a work-party, but at least the Altos throw a good bash.  And it’s not every day you get to see your co-workers in hot dog and cow plant outfits.” 

“True enough!  Well, I hope you have fun.”

“Thanks.  Tell Cycl0n3 I said hi.”  She then added with a smirk, “And that he’s still a huge dork.”

Blair laughed.  “Will do.”


 
Spooky Day was a playful holiday, and Blair loved it.  She put up spooky decorations outside, and lights and a ghostly candy bowl inside.  If she’d had more time, she would have worn a costume, but she never got the chance to put one on.  Cycl0n3 forgot to pick up pumpkins to carve, and Blair felt like it just wasn’t Spooky Day without a couple of jack-o-lanterns to light up the front yard.
Blair turned on the spooky music station, and they started carving as soon as he got back from the store.  “What are you putting on yours?”

“I’m going to do something eeeeeevil,” Cycl0n3 said with a cackle.

“You would.  Troublemaker.  You’d probably enjoy scaring little children,” she teased.

“Says the one who wanted to keep the creep-tastic doll we got in the mail.  Maybe we should put that thing out as a decoration.”  Cycl0n3 dug out some pumpkin guts and made a face as the slimy strings clung to his hands.  “Bleh.  And Emma saves this stuff to cook with it.”

“Well, her roasted pumpkin seeds are really good.”  Blair finished her jack-o-lantern, and it had a silly cross-eyed, surprised expression.  “Hey, I’m done.  What do you think?”

“It’s like the face I make every time I run into someone stupid on the internet.”  He did an exaggerated imitation of it.

“Good.  That’s what I was going for.”  Blair giggled, picked up her pumpkin, and proudly walked it outside.


 
They finished and lit their jack-o-lanterns just in time.  The first trick-or-treaters were the Bunch kids, aside from their youngest, Penny, who was still in diapers.  “Wow.  A pirate, two scuba divers, and a hot dog.”  Blair was surprised at how tall Arlo and Darlene had gotten since she’d last seen them.

“Arr, matey.  I be wantin’ some candy booty!”  Ethan held out his pumpkin pail.

“Pirate talk always wins points with me.”  Cycl0n3 gave him a generous handful from the bowl.

“Ooh, I really like these,” Darlene said as Blair put some candy in her pail.  “Thanks!” 

“So, do you come with relish and ketchup, or just mustard?” Cycl0n3 asked Arlo.

Darlene stuck her tongue out at her brother.  “Probably nothing, because he’s just a big weenie!”

“Oh, sit on your flippers!” Arlo retorted.

Lisa rolled her eyes and sighed the way only a snotty teenager could while Blair gave her some candy.  “You two are so immature.”


 
Down the road, Boyd and Susan also answered the door for trick-or-treaters, although they didn’t decorate like Blair had.  They lit the jack-o-lanterns they’d made after the festival and called it good.  Boyd put some candy in Sam Sekemoto’s bucket and complimented him on his Jimmy Sprocket costume.  After he left, he turned to Susan, who had her umbrella and keys in her hand.

“Remember when Blair used to dress up?” he said with a fond smile.  “I saw she had her house decked out.”

“She always loved Spooky Day.  I wonder if Patrick will get into it like she does.”

“I don’t know.”  Boyd gave her a curious look.  “Heading out for the big financial experiment?”

“Tonight’s the night if we want to win those numbers.”

“I know.  I wish I could go with you, but it being Spooky Day and all, I’d rather not have to scrape eggs off the windows from bitter kids who thought we cheaped out on giving them candy.”  He gave her a kiss.  “Good luck.”

“Thanks!”  Susan couldn’t hide her excitement.  “See you soon!”


 
As she waited in line at the store to buy her lottery ticket, Susan looked at the numbers again with a flutter in her stomach.  It would work.  There was no reason for it not to.  She’d seen the future, and those numbers listed as the winning ones for this jackpot.

“Can I help you?”  The clerk was a middle-aged man with a mullet, and a name tag that read “Gus.”

“One lottery ticket, please.  For the big jackpot.”

“Sure!  Random numbers, or you got some lucky ones of your own?”

“I want to use these.”  She showed him the list.

“All righty.  Good luck.”  Gus ran the ticket, and handed it to her.  “Just in time.  The drawing’s tonight.  Good luck!”

Susan’s heart pounded with excitement.  “I know.  Thanks.”


 
When she got home, she and Boyd sat in front of the television eagerly awaiting the drawing.  “I can’t believe this is actually happening.  We’re going to be rich!”

“I know.”  Boyd’s eyes were wide.  “I keep expecting something to go wrong.  Of course, logically, I know it shouldn’t, but still…”

Susan bounced in her seat.  “It’s coming on!”  She turned up the volume.

“All right!” a cheerful woman declared to the camera.  “We’re ready for tonight’s drawing of the Big Jackpot Mega-Millions!”  She went to the first machine. “The first number is 10.”

Susan and Boyd looked at the ticket.  10 it was.

“Second number is 24.”

24 was second in line on the ticket.

“Third number is 8.”

Susan’s pulse quickened with the confirmation of another number, while Boyd drew a sharp breath.

“The fourth number is… oh, wait, the ball’s being funny.”  The announcer tapped the machine where it had stuck, and it popped up. “33.”

“Four,” Boyd whispered.  Susan’s hand trembled with excitement.

“The fifth number is 27.”

Now they were five for five.  Even if the last number didn’t come up, five out of six was a five figure payout easily.  It was happening.  It was really happening!

“And the last number is… 16!”


 
There it was, in black and white, printed on the ticket.  All six numbers for the jackpot, all in a row.  The Wainwrights leapt to their feet and cheered.  “We won!”  Susan and Boyd threw their arms around each other in victorious elation, and then danced around the room.  “WE WON!”



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Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #142 on: December 05, 2016, 08:29:15 PM »
I laughed at Boyd and Susan, so anxious about the lottery.  The got the numbers from the future for heavens sake, it's not like the numbers were wrong, merely how many people they had to share it with.  It'd be too funny if there were hundreds of people with those exact numbers and they only got a few Simoleons.  :P
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Offline oshizu

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #143 on: December 05, 2016, 09:44:08 PM »
I cracked up at the thought of Boyd and Patrick teaming up to play TarzWar against Cycl0n3 and Chris.

I'm so excited for Susan and Boyd's lottery win!!! *squees
Looking forward to finding out how they decide to spend that moolah!

Offline chetanhaobijam

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #144 on: December 06, 2016, 01:46:23 AM »
Great to see Blair and her family back again. And so happy to see the Wainwrights winning the grand prize lottery. Now they have the money. Looking forward for next update.
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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #145 on: December 06, 2016, 01:57:31 AM »
I loled at Cycl0n3's reaction to the IF doll lol they are super creepy, but, it's so cute to watch the kids run around playing with them, especially when you're active sim isn't that child lol

Whoot. Congrats to Susan and Boyd! I hope the Landgrab's sell the lab to them asap!

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Offline Cheezey

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Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley - Chapter 31
« Reply #146 on: December 09, 2016, 03:05:15 PM »
I laughed at Boyd and Susan, so anxious about the lottery.  The got the numbers from the future for heavens sake, it's not like the numbers were wrong, merely how many people they had to share it with.  It'd be too funny if there were hundreds of people with those exact numbers and they only got a few Simoleons.  :P

Oh, that would be quite a turn of luck. LOL!  I think in Boyd's case at least, the neurotic trait makes him worry irrationally at times. So even if there's no real reason to think something will go wrong, a part of him always believes it will, just because of Murphy's Law.

I cracked up at the thought of Boyd and Patrick teaming up to play TarzWar against Cycl0n3 and Chris.

I'm so excited for Susan and Boyd's lottery win!!! *squees
Looking forward to finding out how they decide to spend that moolah!

They were very lucky! In this save, they actually won 1 million simoleons, and at the time I didn't realize that was a fairly rare outcome.

Great to see Blair and her family back again. And so happy to see the Wainwrights winning the grand prize lottery. Now they have the money. Looking forward for next update.

Yup, they are quite rich now! In the save this is based off of, they won the 1 million jackpot, so they had oodles of cash to have fun with in game.

I loled at Cycl0n3's reaction to the IF doll lol they are super creepy, but, it's so cute to watch the kids run around playing with them, especially when you're active sim isn't that child lol

Whoot. Congrats to Susan and Boyd! I hope the Landgrab's sell the lab to them asap!

Although the dolls are creepy, I think the imaginary friends' live versions habit of following your sim into the bathroom is even worse!  I don't blame Cycl0n3 for banishing the doll to the garage. I'd do that if I saw it move on its own, too!

I get a kick out of other sims' reactions when they see a kid reacting to the invisible friend.
 


Chapter 31


 
First thing the next day, Boyd and Susan headed to city hall to collect their lottery winnings.  They were not the only winners, but they only had to share the prize with one other party.  Even though they took the lump sum, the Wainwrights still came home with more simoleons than they ever imagined they’d have to their name.

“Millionaires!  Boyd, we’re millionaires!” 

“I know!  It’s almost unreal.  Everything we ever wanted, but couldn’t afford.  We can have it now.  We can do it.”

“The dream house we imagined building someday if we ever got rich,” Susan said happily.  “It can be a reality.  Won’t that be amazing?”

Boyd nodded.  “Think of the lab we could build!”

“And the entertainment.  We could make a whole theater in our house if we want.”  Susan closed her eyes and envisioned it.  “We should look into property to build that house.  Maybe on Summer Hill Court, like the Altos and Landgraabs.  That’s the kind of money we have now!”

“After we buy into Landgraab Industries.”

Susan grinned.  “Or even buy it out.  We could rename it.  Make it Wainwright Industries, or something!”

The thought made Boyd smile.  “I wonder if that would affect the timeline.  Emit didn’t say not to.  But if we never make and market Age-Away like Landgraab Industries did, or rather, will, what then?  It’s so wasteful to use something like LI-WX923 only as wrinkle cream, but Oasis Landing was saved because someone took what was used to make it after it already existed.”

Susan considered the situation.  “As long as the LI-WX923 exists, they could still get it.  Maybe it can be in another form.  Medical supplies, or some kind of healing serum.”  She thought some more.  “Or maybe we should make Age-Away in addition to the medical applications.  If we can do both, why not?”

“You have a point.”


 
Despite winning the lottery, Boyd and Susan still went to work that day.  Susan was not the type to impulsively call off, and they were both eager to make progress with their research.  During their lunch hour, they went to the administration office to start the process of purchasing a controlling share in the company.  A full buyout would require them to get in contact with a lawyer first, but in the meantime, they would at least be on the board.  The clerk congratulated them on their lottery win and wished them well. 

After lunch, Judy called them into a conference room.  “I’m sorry to pull you from your work.  I know you two have been burning the midnight oil to run analyses.  I hope it’s all going well?”

“Very well,” Boyd told her.  “Would you like to see some of the data?”

“I would.  I’ll try to take a look if I can, in the middle of tying up all the loose ends.”

“Loose ends?”  Susan exchanged a puzzled look with Boyd.

“As much as I enjoy my work here, I’ve decided the time has come to retire.”

“Wow!”

“Really?”  Susan and Boyd were both surprised.

“Jack and I are comfortable with our savings, and we can manage.  Without having to pay for childcare for Penny, it’ll save us quite a bit, and being able to stay at home with her is more fulfilling for me at this point.  I just wanted to tell you both personally, rather than let you hear it through the rumor mill.”

“Congratulations,” said Boyd.  “You’ve worked hard.  You deserve it.”

“Absolutely.  You’ll be missed around here, that’s for sure.”

“Thank you both.”  Judy smiled at them.  “Of course, we’re still neighbors, so I’m sure we’ll still see each other outside of this place.”

“Yes.”  Susan glanced at Boyd, and he nodded to her.  “Although we may not be neighbors long.  Boyd and I are planning to build a new home.”  She couldn’t hide her own smile.  “We won the lottery.”

Judy was shocked.  “What?  When?”  Boyd and Susan told her how they had bought a ticket on a whim the previous night, and won the jackpot.  The three of them talked a bit more, but then had to get back to work.  “Well, do keep in touch!  I’d love to see this fantastic house of yours when you build it, and I’m sure Jack would, too!  And the board here will do well with scientists like you on it.  Congratulations to the both of you.”

“You, too!  Enjoy your retirement.”

“Thank you.  You two enjoy your fortune!” 


 
After work, the Wainwrights met with a realtor who told them about some available property on Summer Hill Court, and gave them a recommendation for an architect.  Even though it was a rainy fall day, Susan insisted on going right away.  “It’s better to look at it in less than optimal weather, anyway.  The rain will let us know if there are marshy spots or flooding issues.”

When they got there, they were impressed.  The plot was large and ideal for building a spacious home, which was what they wanted.  It was between the estates owned by the Landgraabs and Altos, one on each side, and across from a lovely fishing park called Summer Hill Springs.  “I’ll be able to go across the road to fish,” Boyd said.  He had never been much of an outdoorsman, but he knew quite a bit about aquatic biology from work.  Sometimes he studied it by podcast or watching fishing shows, but occasionally he got the impulse to try and catch interesting specimens himself.

“I’ll stick to the hands-off approach, but it’s a nice park nonetheless.”  Susan had no interest in fishing other than the study of it that her work required.  Standing in the mud and getting bait and fish smells all over her hands did not appeal to her at all.  She looked around.  “It’s a lot of property, but we can hire landscapers to keep up with the yard work.”


 
Boyd shared her enthusiasm for the property.  “I say we go for it.”

“Me too!”  They made their way back to the car as the rain picked up.  “I’ll call the realtor right away.”


 
Susan contacted the realtor and arranged a meeting with the architect while Boyd drove home.  Later that evening, after they put Patrick to bed, they researched design concepts for their new home online.  An hour or so afterward, Susan got a text from the realtor.  Their offer on the property had been accepted!  All that remained was to sign the papers, and the luxury property on Summer Hill Court would be theirs.




 
Although Blair was not riding the high of a lottery win that her parents were, she was in good spirits.  She was back on the job, doing her part to keep the streets of Sunset Valley safe.  Around the time her mother and father were in a conference with Judy Bunch, Blair was on her way to the Ursine residence.  An anonymous tip the station got gave them probable cause for a warrant to search her property.  Blair picked it up and headed that way.

As she approached, she saw Claire on the porch with Jared Frio, her daughter’s father.  Blair remembered when she had to arrest Jared for not paying his child support, only to have Connor bail him out.  No more complaints about Jared not paying had been filed as far as she knew.  Blair hoped that meant Jared had stepped up to the plate and done the right thing, and not that Connor was still paying his bills.

 She parked the squad car, and both Claire and Jared gave her dirty looks.  Jared said something to Claire and went back across the street to his house, while Claire locked the door to her house.

“Excuse me.  I have a warrant to search this property for stolen goods.”  Blair handed her the paper.

“Yeah?  Well, that’s a load of llama manure if I ever heard it.”  Claire scowled at her.  “Who told you I stole something?”  She looked across the street.  “As if I couldn’t guess.”

“Here’s the warrant if you’d like to review it.”

Claire took the paper, disgusted, and let Blair inside. 


 
She searched the house, but she did not find anything other than Claire and her daughter’s personal items.  It was a nice home, and despite the rumors about Claire’s sticky fingers, Blair had to admit that it looked like she took good care of her daughter.  The house was clean and had a nice room for the child, with plenty of toys.  Everything indicated that the little girl was happy.  Even if her mother is a thief, she’s better off with her than her father, that’s for sure.

Claire showed her out when she was finished, but Blair stopped by the trash can.  “I’ll need to check this as well.”

“Why?  It’s garbage.”

“It’s procedure.”

Claire frowned as though she wanted to say something, but changed her mind.  “Whatever.  Have fun digging through rotten food and dirty diapers, officer.”

Blair went to the trash can and opened the lid.  Claire hadn’t been kidding—that was a rank smell!  Blair did not particularly want to go through it, but it was her duty.  Taking a deep breath, she held her nose and dug in.  It was an awful experience, and she almost gagged several times.  But then she spotted something: two open envelopes with Outstanding Citizens’ logo on it.  When she pulled them out, she saw they were invoices.

Why is Claire throwing out work invoices at home?

Nick Alto’s name was on one of them, for a shipment of something sent to Bridgeport with an extra charge for security.  Frowning, Blair put them in an evidence bag, even though one had a nasty diaper poop stain on it.

She did not find anything else in the trash can, and once she was satisfied she’d gone through all of it, she closed the lid and wished for a shower.


 
Back at the station, Justine told Blair to go ahead and clean up before logging the evidence.  She felt much better afterward.  The invoices were even more suspect when examined in the bright light of the police station.  Blair noticed what looked like a pen impression on one, and on a whim she put a paper over the back and ran a pencil over it to see if she could make anything out. 

“CHANGE ACCOUNT! ->” was what came up.  Blair figured that one point, there was a post-it on the invoice that was now gone.  Unfortunately, she hadn’t seen anything like that in Claire’s trash, which meant it had probably been removed at Outstanding before Claire took the envelopes elsewhere to discard them.  Blair told forensics what she saw and suspected, and went back to her computer to write the report.


 
For the last few hours of her shift, she was sent out on patrol.  She stopped at the java hut downtown to grab an organic midnight mud.  The barista knew Blair from her frequent patronage, and made it with extra whipped cream and sprinkles just the way she liked. 


 
On her way back to the patrol car, she passed by the laundromat in the same strip mall.  Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a couple kissing.  She glanced over, and was horrified when she recognized one of them.  It was Xander Clavell, kissing someone she did not recognize, and more importantly, someone who was not his girlfriend, Tamara.

Blair glared through the glass.  She knew she had not liked him, and now she had one more reason. Poor Tam.  Blair did not want to have to give her such bad news, but she deserved to know the truth.  I guess this’ll solve her dilemma about whether to break up with him. She took out her cell phone, snapped a picture of the two shameless lovebirds, and hopped in the squad car.  She would text the picture and an explanation to Tamara later, but not until she was off duty, so she could talk to her.


 
She had not been on the road five minutes when she got a call that the bookstore had a shoplifter in custody.  Blair hurried over, and when she arrived, it seemed like it would be routine.  The suspect was a middle-aged woman from out of town.  She’d been caught with two stolen hardcover books and a gourmet candy bar in her bag.  An employee saw her swipe the candy bar, and when security apprehended and searched her, they discovered the books.

Blair took down all the information, and when it was done, she read the suspect her rights.  The second Blair reached for her cuffs, the woman made a break for it and tried to run out the door.  It caught her off guard, but Blair was better trained than the part-time bookstore security help.  She tackled the thief on the sidewalk and cuffed her.  “We’ll add a resisting arrest charge to that, too.  Now settle down, and don’t make it worse for yourself.”

After she took the bookstore shoplifter to the station, Justine asked her if she’d mind working a little overtime to cover for another officer who called in sick.  His relief would not be in for a couple of hours.  Blair agreed since she and Cycl0n3 could use the extra cash, and he was home with Chris.  She hopped back in the squad car and went back out on patrol.


 
As she drove down the road, Blair noticed someone lurking in the bushes in front of one of the houses.  There were no lights on, but as she got closer, she saw it was a teenager with a spray can.  She pulled over and confronted him.  “Freeze!  What do you think you’re doing?”  There was already ugly graffiti on the home.

“It’s not what it looks like…”

“It looks like you’re vandalizing private property.  Put your hands up and get to the squad car.”

“Aw, c’mon.  It was just a joke.”

“I suspect the owners will think differently,” Blair replied as she patted him down.  When she was satisfied he was unarmed, she ordered him into the back of the squad car. 

The boy’s name was VJ Alvi.  He did not reside there, but lived over on Water Lily Lane.  He gave her some attitude, but answered her questions since he had no choice.  When she ran his record, a previous incident of vandalism came up.  The owners of the home she caught him at were not home, so the standard procedure was to bring the kid home with an explanation of what happened, and to warn his parents about the possibility of the homeowner pressing charges when they found out.


 
Blair drove up to the Alvi home and brought VJ onto the porch with her while she rang the bell.  It was only then that she recognized his father—Iqbal Alvi, Emma’s much-older boyfriend.

“Hello—the police?  VJ?  What is this?”  He looked from Blair to VJ with a frown.

“I’m sorry, sir.  I caught your son vandalizing a home with spray paint.  I had no choice but to pick him up.”

“Vandalizing?”  Iqbal’s voice rose in anger, and he glared at his son before turning back to Blair.  “I’m very sorry, officer.  Please, come in.”


 
Once inside, Blair explained the situation to Iqbal in detail.  VJ stood by, acting like it was no big deal and like he didn’t care, while his younger brother, Miraj, listened with disapproval.

“This is the second time you’ve been caught damaging someone else’s property.  The second time!” Iqbal yelled.  “Why did you do it?  Why would you graffiti someone’s house?”

“The stupid fat cow who lives there cut me off.  So I got even.”

“She cut you off?  That’s no excuse!  And where were you driving, anyway?  You know you’re only supposed to drive to school and back.  You’re still punished for that attitude you gave me last night.”


 
VJ made a sarcastic face.  “It was after school.”

Iqbal was not amused.  “And the spray paint, did you buy that after school?  It’s bad enough you were out while grounded, but now that the police brought you home?  I’ve had it.  You’re more than grounded.  You’re under house arrest except for school, even if I have to drive you there and pick you up myself!  And no phone or video games or computer!”  He shook his head in disgust.  “What’s the matter with you, VJ?  I didn’t raise you to be like this!”

“Maybe if you hadn’t run mom off, she’d have done a better job,” VJ snapped back at him.

“VJ!”  Miraj looked at his brother aghast, while Iqbal tried not to show how much the remark stung.

Blair felt awkward bearing witness to the family conflict.  She wondered if Emma dealt with this, being involved with Iqbal, and if VJ was as nasty to her as he seemed to be toward everyone else.  She waited until Iqbal turned away from his son to finish her business there.  “Since your son is safely home, I’ll leave him in your custody rather than bring him down to the station.  Unfortunately, the homeowner may want to press charges or sue for damage.  We’ll be in touch with you.”  Blair looked at VJ.  “You should listen to your father and stay out of trouble.  You don’t want a criminal record following you the rest of your life.  Take this time to think about your future.”

“Yeah, whatever!” VJ sneered, while Miraj shook his head and muttered under his breath.

“Rude.”

“Shut up!  Who asked you?”

“Don’t disrespect your brother!” Iqbal said before turning to Blair.  “I’m very sorry for the trouble he caused.  Thank you for your patience, officer.  I’ll make sure he takes responsibility for what he’s done.”

Blair nodded.  “No problem, sir.  Have a good night.”


 
When Blair got home, she found Cycl0n3 on the couch holding Chris and watching TV.  She wanted to relax with him, but there was one last thing to take care of.

“Hey.  Welcome back.”  Cycl0n3 noticed how tired Blair looked.  “Long day with that overtime?”

“Just one of those days.” 

“At least it’s over.  C’mon, sit down and watch Terror TV with us.”

“I’d like to, but first I have to give Tamara some bad news.”  Cycl0n3 gave her a curious look, so Blair brought up the picture on her phone.  “I saw Xander making out with this woman at the laundromat.  What a jerk!  Unless they broke up and I didn’t hear about it?  Maybe I should check SimBook first.”

Cycl0n3 shrugged.  “The most exciting thing I saw on SimBook today was all of the notifications on your mom’s post about winning the lottery.  So many likes and congratulations.  Probably hoping she and your dad will remember them come Snowflake Day.”  He snickered.  “But I didn’t see anything from Tam.  It wouldn’t shock me if that loser’s cheating on her.”

Blair nodded; she had seen her parents’ post, but they had called her after they won, so she and Cycl0n3 already knew.  Blair was happy for them.  Tamara, on the other hand, she felt awful for.  “Better get it over with.”  She typed up a message and sent it to her with the picture.


 
Tamara was not only hurt, she was furious.  She called Blair right away, ranting and venting about what a liar and creep Xander was.  “I get that he didn’t want to commit, but he lied to me!  I asked him about Molly a couple days ago, and he swore to me they were just friends.  Why did I believe a word out of his mouth?  Ugh!  I should’ve known better!  I’m so done with him, Blair.  Done!”

“I don’t blame you,” Blair said sympathetically.  “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry.  You did me a favor.  It’ll be rich seeing him try to explain this away,” she seethed.  “I’ll talk to you later, Blair.  I have a jerk to dump.”


 
After Tamara hung up, Blair changed out of her uniform.  “That was quick,” Cycl0n3 said when she came back.  “What did she say?”

“She’s mad.  Not that I blame her.  I sure wouldn’t want to be Xander right now.”

Cycl0n3 snickered.  “I wish I could watch that show.  Oh, well.  Guess I’ll have to settle for lizard monsters on the warpath instead.”  He turned up the volume on the TV.  “They’re only slightly less fierce than angry Tam.” 

Blair sat down with Cycl0n3 and Chris.  “I’m just glad I’ve got the two of you.” 




 
Blair and Cycl0n3 relaxed the rest of the evening, and down the road, Boyd and Susan did the same.  They stayed up later than usual discussing plans for the new house, but eventually Susan got tired and called it a night.  Boyd was tired, too, but he was also keyed up, which always meant he would have a hard time falling asleep.  He drifted off, but around 1:00 in the morning, he woke up with a start.  He could swear he heard a faint hum, somewhat like the time portal, but not quite.

Boyd sat up and glanced out the window, but there was nothing there.  Because the time portal’s in storage downstairs.  He wondered if he should check it.  Maybe Emit was trying to contact them?  He opened the drawer where he kept his time almanac, but it looked normal.  There were no messages or activations on it.  I’ll check the portal anyway, just to be sure.


 
Quietly, Boyd got out of bed without disturbing Susan, and went to the living room.  That was when he saw the lights out front.  Shimmering aquamarine and green hues filtered down from above in a strange borealis effect.  “What…?  He grabbed his glasses, a pair of pants, his shoes, and his jacket, and went outside into the cold fall night.

The light was brighter outside.  Boyd went down the walk until he was past the wall of the dining area, and looked up.  His eyes went wide.  That was no time portal or environmental effect!  There was something up there.  There was…


 
The light intensified and poured down in a beam that suddenly surrounded him.  Instinctively, Boyd panicked and backed up, but he couldn’t get away.  The light had become a high resistance force field.  It tugged on him, first on his hair and then on his entire body.  Even with a surge of terrified adrenaline, he couldn’t break free.  Instead, Boyd flailed helplessly as the beam lifted him off the ground and up into the air.  He screamed.


 
It made no difference.  No one could hear him, and even if they could, no one could help him.  Boyd realized too late that the very thing he’d wanted to prove existed for years, that Emit confirmed was real in the future, was now giving him that proof in the most terrifying way.  There was nothing Boyd could do but scream into the night as a craft from Sixam beamed him up and took him away.

Offline oshizu

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #147 on: December 09, 2016, 03:47:16 PM »
I enjoyed following Blair around at work for a day.
Poor Tamara, but it seems like everyone except Tam realized that Xander was bad news. I'm glad she's finally dumping that loser!

It will be so exciting to see how Susan and Boyd decide to spend their riches. I can't wait to see their house!
Will Blair & Co. be moving into some sort of "in-law unit"?
You are such an imaginative storyteller!


P.S. Your image of Blair rummaging through the trashcan (image 7a) isn't displaying in this update.

Offline Cheezey

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #148 on: December 09, 2016, 04:10:38 PM »
I enjoyed following Blair around at work for a day.
Poor Tamara, but it seems like everyone except Tam realized that Xander was bad news. I'm glad she's finally dumping that loser!

It will be so exciting to see how Susan and Boyd decide to spend their riches. I can't wait to see their house!
Will Blair & Co. be moving into some sort of "in-law unit"?
You are such an imaginative storyteller!


P.S. Your image of Blair rummaging through the trashcan (image 7a) isn't displaying in this update.

Weird!  It seems to be working on my end, but sometimes photobucket glitches. I deleted and re-uploaded it in case something went wonky on the upload, hopefully it should display all right now.

Also, thank you for the comments and compliment!  Their new house will be seen in future chapters. I had a lot of fun building a dream home for them. :)

Offline Magz from Oz

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Re: Brilliant Minds: The Wainwrights of Sunset Valley
« Reply #149 on: December 09, 2016, 04:20:13 PM »
Wow what an update Cheezey I love it.

Now I'm wondering at consequences of Boyd being abducted.   ;)

BTW:  All the images show up on my computer which has a lot of problems with many images in other stories.
Where there is love - there is life. -- Mahatma Gandhi

My Stories:
1. Duty Calls
2. Duty Calls Sequel: Islands of Sunset Valley
3. The Lady of the Lake
4. The Secret Time Traveler

 

anything