Author Topic: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 46 (4 March 2017)  (Read 10073 times)

Offline Whirligig

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 33 (15 Feb 2017)
« Reply #150 on: February 16, 2017, 03:35:13 AM »
(Psst, @oshizu , gimme a chance to post the next chapter, will ya? ;) ).

Chapter 34 - Can We Do It All Again?



"There, you did it again!" I exclaimed.

"Oh ho, Watcher, why are there sparkles?"

"Norman, why you do insist on doing whatever you can to annoy me? My first alien abduction pregnancy in the Sims 4 and…grr!"

"Pregnancy?"

"Yes, pregnancy, Norman. Well if this doesn't put a spanner in the works…"

"What will my wife say?"



"So ever since aliens of Sixam found us, they've been monitoring our activity, I'm sure of it. I'll get Edith out in the new telescope tonight to see if she can find anything suspicious, but you mark my words, Gerald, there is definitely something the aliens want from us."



"I still don't understand what any of this has to do with my father, Harley," sighed Gerald. "Or with the two of us taking over the world."

"We could harness alien powers if we could keep that baby," Harley continued.

"Baby?" asked Gerald.

"Yes," replied Harley, "your father's baby."



"My father doesn't have a baby. Edith's the youngest, and she became a teen a couple of days ago," said Gerald.

"No no, I'm pretty sure Edith's a human sim. The other baby. The one he hasn't had yet." Harley continued.

Finally, Gerald realised he was fighting a losing battle. So he just smiled and gave a little nod. "Sure, Harley," he said, "whatever you say."



But Gerald's nonchalance just annoyed Harley, so she went off to try to find someone who would listen. She decided to approach the family matriarchs - without so much as a 'how do you do?', she sat them both down in the lounge room and began explaining her concerns.

"Aliens from Sixam have been monitoring us," she began.

Rose blinked. "That's nice, dear."



"No, it's not nice! You don't understand!" she insisted. She turned her attention to Iris. "They want something from us. I think they're confused about human reproduction. They're trying to replicate it, but they think our males look more like their females. Or that our males are females. Or, well, something. They're confused, okay?"

"I've heard of that," Iris nodded thoughtfully. "But why are you telling all of this to us, dear?"

"Arrrgh, you people are so dense!" Harley nearly screamed.



"Um, Harley, sweetheart," Rose began.

"There's a limit!" Harley continued. "And we've reached it. And the Watcher knows it. And she doesn't want to but because of the stupid…oh, forget it."

But Iris just nodded. "I know about the limit. We're very close."

Harley paused. Was she actually getting through to them?

"Norman," she said. "They've done something to Norman."



"That's good," said Iris, "slow down and take some deep breaths. There we go. Now, you were saying?  The aliens of Sixam have done something to Norman. Do you think they've pollinated him?"

Harley eased. She scratched her head.

"I…think so. Yes," she said at last.

"And this is going to create a problem for us because we're very close to the limit."

"Yes," Harley repeated.

"Because the last space in the house is meant to be for your baby, not for Norman's," Iris concluded.

"Err, well," Harley squirmed, embarrassed now.



"See, Rose, just a little bit of patience goes a long way." said Iris.

Harley looked at Rose smugly.

But Rose only managed a weak smile. She wanted to pin this down to the ravings of a lunatic, but, well, could it be true? She doubted Norman would handle it well if it was.



Edith was still trying to (mostly) stay out of the way of the 'typical family drama'. But one thing she was grateful for was that the family had finally purchased a telescope. She positively jumped at the chance to be the first one to use it (for its intended purpose - she tried not to think of what Henry would do to this beautiful, delicate piece of scientific equipment if he ever got any of his girlfriends around to see it).

In all honesty, she doubted the stars would have anything to say about the now increasingly likely pollination as a result of her father's abduction, but she wasn't about to turn down an opportunity to find out.



Rose, for her part, went to track down her husband to find out what she could. When he greeted her with a poetry recital, she knew immediately that something was up.



Though it certainly didn't take long for her suspicions to be confirmed, either.

"Dear plumbob," she sighed, gazing upwards, "what in the name of all things Simlish are we going to do."



"I've been looking for you."

Henry looked up. He didn't really like Harley's tone - it sent a shiver down his spine.

"Oh, uh, hey Harley," he greeted her. "I've been meaning to talk to you actually."

"Oh, that's excellent," Harley replied, "but first. Here, take this." She extended her hand, as if to pass something to him.



BZZZZT.

"ACK!" shouted Henry in surprise.

Harley cracked up. "That was pretty good, wasn't it? See, that's why you should trust no one. Especially me."

"Right. Got it. Message received."



"So what was it you wanted to talk about, Henry?" Harley asked.

"Oh, I was just going to check-in in with you, find out how you were getting on, that sort of thing."

Harley suddenly became disinterested. "Oh," she said, "that's nice."



Henry squirmed. When he'd envisioned their having this conversation, this hadn't exactly been the time, nor the place, nor the attire, he'd pictured himself in. But, well, here they were.

"Can I ask you something, Harley?" he began.

"You're going to anyways," she replied.

Henry thought that was a yes, so he continued.

"Are you happy here?"



"I am not unhappy," Harley answered.

"But do you love Gerald?" Henry pressed. He needed to know if he had made the right choice.

"Do you think your parents were in love when your father moved in?" Harley asked.

Henry hesitated. He hadn't been anticipating that question, exactly. To be honest, he hadn't really thought about it before. Of course, his parents have always been madly in love…haven't they?



"They haven't always been the perfect couple, Henry. And it's about to get worse. I can do better, of course, but better isn't always best."

Henry's heart sank. What did she mean, his parents were about to get worse? And he had hoped to find the best for Gerald. Now, it seemed like it was too late to reconsider.

"I know what you're doing Henry," Harley said.

"So you keep telling people. You know? I wish I could say the same myself." Though he tried to be as calm as possible, there was an underlying bitterness in his tone.



Harley looked at him. The same piercing, analytical look she got sometimes; the one that gave Henry the creeps. She seemed to speak so cryptically all the time, and always in a way as if she knew better than everyone else. It was like living with a young, blond yoda some of the time - he half expected her to pick him up with her mind and hurtle him across the yard.

Finally, she turned to go back inside.

"All will be well, Henry," she said. "Thank you for bring us together, but there is no need to worry about us further."

There was a finality in her tone, and Henry knew the conversation was over.



The following morning, if anyone had any doubts about Norman's impending, er,  motherhood, they were more or less squashed.

"You really did it, huh?" mused Rose. "You really went and got yourself alien pregnant."

"Isn't this great?" Norman enthused. "I've missed having all the nooboos! Now we get another one!"

"Norman, we're close to being grandparents! You think I want us to do all that again ourselves?" Rose asked.

"Sure!" said Norman. "It'll be fun!"



Before Rose could stop him, Norman was downstairs at the breakfast table, getting ready to tell his other children.

"Oh yeah! I'm eating for two! Now the watcher can't possibly say no to my having seconds of lobster thermidor!"



"Oh ho, Edith, have I got some great news for you."

Edith smirked. As if it wasn't completely obvious what his great news would be.

"You know how you've always wanted a younger brother or sister?"

"No, Dad, pretty sure a screaming, wailing poop machine was never a thing I ever asked for," she replied dryly.

"God, Nana's cooking keeps getting better and better!" Gerald enthused, oblivious.



"Well, you're in luck, because I'm going to have a baby!"

Edith gave her father a quizzical look. "Aww, that's so cute Dad!" she said, finally, "they haven't told you yet!"

"Told me what?" asked Norman.



"Oh, nothing," Edith sighed, turning her attention back to her sandwich.

"You're right Gerald," she mumbled through a mouth full of food, "these are delicious."

"I know, right? This sandwich is lit!"

"Oh yeah," Norman muttered to no one in particular, "having another baby around is going to be so cool!"

Gerald paused, suddenly hearing the b-word for the first time. "Say Edith," he asked, "did Dad just say he was going to have a baby?"

Edith rolled her eyes. Men, amirite?



Rose, meanwhile, spent Monday morning frantically searching the simnet, for any possible solution to her predicament.

It seemed, however, that the rules were pretty clear.

Norman would either give up his alien child to be raised by his parents in another world, or delay the birth of the fourth generation heir, the only grandchild he would ever have the opportunity to spend any significant time with, until after his death.

She still wasn't quite sure which solution was preferable.

---

Writer's Note
So this is where I'm up to, guys. I am actually really, really torn between the two options. Suggestions? Advice? What should I do?

I could keep the baby, but as Rose said, there wouldn't be any room for the heir until after Norman dies (his age bar is bubbly because he's pregnant, but I think he's about halfway through adulthood? I might have a recent-ish backup somewhere so I can check). And then, there won't be any room for the spouse/next generation until after Henry or Harley dies. And dammit, Harley just moved in and Henry's still a teen (who I was thinking of giving the 'active' trait to because I love him so much!), I don't want to think about them dying. But on the other hand, I've run through the story-possibilities for taking Norman's baby and the social worker in me hears Norman saying 'Please don't take my baby!' and…I can't do it! Ugh, why game?

Goddammit, Norman!
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Offline oshizu

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 34 (16 Feb 2017)
« Reply #151 on: February 16, 2017, 07:25:55 AM »
Awww, darn household size limits!
Of course, Harley would be the first to know. And Iris would believe her while understanding what it means for the dynasty.
Norman is so adorably happy about sharing the "big news"!

Maybe you could stop and make a copy of your current save file? You could then play the copy file to enjoy Norman's pregnancy, the alien toddler, and everything.
Then you'd have to find some way to work part of that sequence back into the narrative of your legitimate save because, sadly, keeping Norman's baby would really strain your dynasty.
Or maybe you could write a separate short story of several chapters, using your copy file?

You have such a creative mind--I know you'll find some way to have your cake and eat it, too (or however that saying goes).

You did such a great job with dialogue in this chapter!



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Offline FrancescaFiori

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 34 (16 Feb 2017)
« Reply #152 on: February 16, 2017, 02:31:35 PM »
Uggggh. How heartbreaking! And Norman seems so excited, too! You can wait until the very last second to return the baby to Sixam, giving you a few days with the alien baby, but that might just make things harder. Then again, if you keep it Norman can always come back as a ghost to meet his grandchild. As can Harley, if you put off getting her pregnant for awhile.

I think I'd feel the same away about it that you do. Sending the baby back to its homeworld makes the most sense and is the most practical thing to do but, but, but . . . .ALIENBABY! If it was me, I'd probably keep it. You're not going for speed with this dynasty anyway, right?

Whatever you decide, I'm sure you'll work it into the plot beautifully.

I do love Gerald happily and obliviously praising the food. He's such a great contrast to Harley, who knows exactly what's going on before anyone else does. I really liked her interactions with the matriarchs and Iris's patience with her. :)

Offline Whirligig

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 34 (16 Feb 2017)
« Reply #153 on: February 17, 2017, 09:54:03 PM »
Thanks so much for your suggestions and support, @oshizu and @FrancescaFiori . I tried to explain the situation to my boyfriend to ask for advice, but he just kinda said "Sounds like you need to kill the baby." To which I was like 'but, but, but," to which he was like "I don't know what you want me to tell you." Grr.

Thanks goodness I moved Harley in sooner rather than later. At least I know Norman won't be having twins. Not that that makes this much easier.
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Offline Whirligig

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 35 (18 Feb 2017)
« Reply #154 on: February 17, 2017, 10:08:15 PM »
Chapter 35 - Application Rejected



So Gerald's adult birthday kind of got forgotten.

I moved Harley in. Norman got pregnant. I stopped playing the game for three months, and then forgot to check his age bar when I got back and so this happened. Things fell apart. Whoops. I'm so sorry, Gerald.

(I did take this opportunity to double-check Iris' age bar. But she's still sweet for, like, a few days at least, so that's cool).



"You'll pay for this, Watcher."

I said I was sorry! Geeze, I really should know better to invoke the wrath of Gerald Morven. This is probably going to bite me in the butt.



Moving in with the Morvens had given Harley another opportunity that she hadn't really considered before - the opportunity to get to know, and sort of even form a relationship with, well, with her father.

It went about as well as could be expected.

"You didn't really want to have fifteen children. I know that. But you forced to - enslaved, one might say, and from there you forced innocent women all over town to bear your children. All for the sake of ensuring the dynasty would have friends and family and spouses to choose from. What do you have to say for yourself?"

Sergio hesitated. "Well," he began, "for what it's worth, I really initially didn't want to have any part in it."



Harley pondered this response.

"Well," she said at last, "since Mom died I haven't really had anyone to look up to. Andrew's a wimp and Rosa thinks I'm weird. So I guess you'll do. Hug me."

"Oh, why the heck not?" muttered Sergio, and he embraced his 'daughter'.



Perhaps it was the newfound interest in developing a relationship with her active father that put a fire into Harley to not quite live up to the reputation of the 'lazy' trait she had possessed since childhood. With renewed determination, she decided to approach some of the milestones of the bodybuilder aspiration.

Her enthusiasm for personal exercise is contagious, apparently, and it wasn't long before the rest of the family started following her lead.



Some more successfully…



…and with far more enthusiasm…



…than others.



In all honesty, Rose was grateful for the opportunity to just think. Like fishing, exercise seemed to help her keep her mind clear.



And lately, her mind had been murkier than ever. Her husband's predicament, of course, being at its forefront. A week ago, perhaps, she might have said she was worried about Gerald's career choice, but she was now quite certain she'd taken care of that.

The family's main concern was, of course, for Norman. In Rose's mind, there was only one truly viable solution, but she knew this solution would not be well-received by her husband.



"I acquired a microscope," Edith had explained to her, and Harley, who had suggested it. "And attempted to analyse some samples of the grass around where Dad was abducted. I'm afraid the results of the analysis were inconclusive."

So they had, so far, learned nothing about the child's other parents. No way of knowing if was a descendant of good aliens or bad aliens, who would treat it well or treat it poorly when, when, Rose decided, they sent it back.



If Gerald was at all concerned with becoming a big brother again, he was doing a good job of hiding it. Perhaps it was his newfound adulthood that had proven too enticing a distraction to overlook.

This, after all, was what he'd been waiting his whole life to do. He had been waiting for the opportunity to wield real power, real influence, and take over the world.

"So I just browse to the job I want and click the 'apply' button?" Gerald asked? "Is that what you did?"



"That's right!" Harley called. "So, as I was saying, Henry, I know it's problematic that we've reached the limit, but as long as the two of us face the fact that we're going to die, I think in the meantime the demonspawn could prove a useful asset to our purposes. That is, if we can convince the matriarchs to permit us to raise the child as our own."

"I see," said Henry. "But I thought Mom said the only option was to return the child to its home world?"

"That's what she'd like us to think."



"Okay, I'm doing it. I'm submitting my application," Gerald announced grandly.

"That's great Honey," Harley replied. "If we return the child, we're just giving them what they want. I'm convinced that that's what they came here for - fertile male bodies who could produce the children that they are unable to produce themselves. Perhaps being part human means the aliens have special insight into the human psyche."

"You would know about the human psyche…" muttered Henry.

"Um, Harley?" asked Henry, "is it meant to send you one of those automatic response things?"

"Yes, Honey, it'll tell you what day and time they want you to start," Harley replied. "Now, where was I, Henry?"

"That's not what this one says," said Gerald. Henry and Harley both suddenly sensed the anger and frustration in his tone.



Dear Gerald Morven

We are writing to you regarding your application for the position of Agent Handler within our agency, Sims Intelligence Management Services, hereafter referred to as S.I.M.S..

We regret to inform you that your have failed to pass our initial psychological screening tests.

Powerful supervillains pose a significant threat to the safety and security of sims in our world. As a highly powerful and influential intelligence agency, our primary priority at S.I.M.S. is to protect the world and the government from such usurpations of power. Due to recent events, where it was alleged that such powerful supervillains had been rising to power within our organisation, we have now commenced a screening process for new applicants.

Your traits have made it clear to us that your motives are not for the protection of SimKind, and as such, your application for the position has been rejected. Please be advised that we have also recorded your fingerprints, your photo ID, and your full name to ensure that you would be blacklisted from ever applying for a position with us again.

Thank you again for your application.

Yours Sincerely

Isabel Baldwin
S.I.M.S. Recruitment Officer




"Application rejected? Psychological Screening? Recent events?" Gerald fumed. "What the hell is that supposed to mean? Is this even allowed? How is this even allowed?"

Harley stiffened.

"That's weird, Henry, isn't it?" she began. "You know, not even in the world of watched sims to job applications ever get rejected. It's entirely unheard of in the entirety of simanity! I knew you had enemies, Henry, but I had no idea you had enemies like this? Who do you suppose is behind it?" For once, not even Harley Bjergsen had any idea what could have been the cause of something like this.



"Mother," said Gerald.

"Mom?" asked Henry. "What's she got to do with..."

"She told me to join the Mafia! Then I was made to work on Handiness as one of my skills. Then...oh, they're behind this somehow."



"Hooookay, everybody calm down," said Henry. "Gerald, I seriously doubt this has anything to do with Mom and Nana."



"I mean, yeah, they're interested in the success of the dynasty, and part of that means you're gonna have to reach at least level 8 of a Criminal Career Track," Henry reasoned, "but, I mean, you could have done that, and then later joined the Secret Agent career to become the villain you've always wanted to be. But this? They've full on blocked you from ever joining this career. Denied. Shut down. Computer says 'no'. Forever. I don't think Mom and Nana could be behind that."

Gerald, of course, hadn't considered that being immortal, the plan Henry had just outlined would have made much, much more sense.

"This sounds to me like another villain came out of this agency, and now they're trying to cover their tracks by forbidding anyone with indications of antisocial behaviour, such as 'evil' or 'kleptomaniac' from ever joining. I wonder what led to that?" Henry mused.



"You two could find out for me," Gerald said suddenly.

Harley beamed proudly. Well of course she could find the information. Finding information was what she did best!



"Of course!" she said, "I'd be more than happy to-"

"You know heaps of people, Henry, and they'd trust you with this sort of information. You have to figure this out!"

"Well, actually," said Henry, "I was thinking. I'll be an adult myself in a couple of days. Maybe I could apply for this 'agent handler' position myself? With my traits, I'm a shoe-in for the Diamond agent branch. They won't suspect anything of me."



Gerald could've kissed his brother. "You'd do that for me?" He asked, shocked.

Henry shrugged. "Well, sure. You know I'd be completely faithful to you. And, I'd have access to the insider knowledge we need to find out just who's behind keeping from ever entering this career branch. Maybe I could even take them down..."

"You'd do that for me?" Gerald asked again.

"I'm your #1 sidekick, remember?" Henry asked with a wink. "Are you…are you crying, Gerald?"



"No, of course not. It's…liquid pride," Gerald managed.

"I'm still useful to you, too, right Gerald?" asked Harley, almost desperately.

"What? Oh, of course. Yeah. You wanna join the mafia with me, Harley?" asked Gerald.



"Well you're almost as dense as your mother," Harley muttered. "I'm already in the mafia. What did you think I meant when I said we'll need to have the right connections?"



But Gerald just laughed.

With Henry on his team and Harley by his side, things just couldn't get much better...

This was going to be perfect!
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Offline oshizu

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 35 (18 Feb 2017)
« Reply #155 on: February 17, 2017, 10:44:21 PM »
Sorry about your boyfriend's misread about the significance of a simmer's first male pregnancy by alien abduction. Non-simmers don't get it.
Whatever you decide will only enrich your story, I'm sure.

I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter! Happy adult birthday, Gerald!

Gerald is so very lucky to have such devoted sidekicks! I really love the way that both Henry and Harley accept Gerald for who he is and give him their full support.
And, anyway, the Criminal Boss and Oracle offer better career outfits than the Secret Agent Villain!
It will be fun watching the three of them rising through the ranks. Here's hoping their work schedules aren't too different!



Offline Whirligig

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 35 (18 Feb 2017)
« Reply #156 on: February 18, 2017, 11:57:27 PM »
Sorry about your boyfriend's misread about the significance of a simmer's first male pregnancy by alien abduction. Non-simmers don't get it.
Whatever you decide will only enrich your story, I'm sure.

I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter! Happy adult birthday, Gerald!

Gerald is so very lucky to have such devoted sidekicks! I really love the way that both Henry and Harley accept Gerald for who he is and give him their full support.
And, anyway, the Criminal Boss and Oracle offer better career outfits than the Secret Agent Villain!
It will be fun watching the three of them rising through the ranks. Here's hoping their work schedules aren't too different!
Yeah, non-simmers just don't understand, do they?

I felt really bad for missing his birthday - it would have been easy enough to at least have a cake, but oh well.

I think the three of them make an awesome trio - I've been really focused on Rose and Norman in my playing lately, I kind of haven't spent as much time on the three of them as I'd like. Hopefully I'll be able to rectify that soon.
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Offline Whirligig

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 35 (18 Feb 2017)
« Reply #157 on: February 19, 2017, 12:20:46 AM »
Chapter 36 - For the Good of the Dynasty



"Mind if I join you?" Iris asked.

Rose shrugged. "Sure, Mom. I know I maxed logic ages ago, but this is a good way to think."

Iris nodded. "You've been doing a lot of that lately, haven't you Rose?" she asked.

Rose nodded.



"You know we have to send the child back to its home world, right?" asked Iris, gently. "Keeping it would put too much of a strain on the dynasty. Not just for this generation, but the next and maybe even the one after."

"But is that the only viable option, Mom? Really, is it?" Rose pressed.



"Strategically speaking, yes, it is," Iris insisted.

"Strategically speaking? We're not pawns on a chess board, Mom. This isn't just some game to us - we're sims with lives, and Norman is already so attached to that child, I honestly don't think I could bear to be the one to tell him he has to send it back…there," she gestured at the space print Edith had hung on the wall, "when we don't even know where 'there' is."



"How do we know that being raised by 'them' isn't what's best for the child, though?" Iris responded. "Norman will barely live to see the child become a teen if we keep it."

"Mother, don't say that!" Rose choked.



"Rose, you need to come to terms with the mortality of those around you - including your husband," Iris said gently.

"I need to come to terms with- oh, that's rich. That's really rich coming from you of all people mother," Rose was nearly fuming.

Iris went quiet. She moved a pawn forward another space. Maybe it had been a long time since she'd won a chess match against her daughter, but she was determined to win this discussion. Her husband was gone, her friends were all gone. All that mattered to her now was seeing this dynasty through to the end.

"I think you know what needs to be done," Iris said quietly, after a long pause.



But Rose wasn't so sure.

She had devoted her life to this dynasty. Dedicated herself to its success. Her brain, and every single one of the ten logic points she possessed was telling her what needed to be done.

But her heart was telling her something else.

"Alright," she sighed at last. "I'll talk to Norman."

Iris smiled. "That's my girl," she said.



"You know, initially I was pretty upset about the whole 'application rejected' thing, but now I'm actually starting to feel good about this. I'll make an excellent mob boss, won't I, Harley?" asked Gerald. "Apparently the outfits are better, too!"

"It's still really suspicious, Gerald," Harley countered. "Someone out there is working against you, I can feel it. Sure we could work around this easily, but they need to found and they need to be stopped. Just like the aliens. And the vampires."

"Don't be ridiculous Harley," Gerald laughed, "there's no such thing as vampires."

"I wouldn't be so sure," Harley replied.



"Look, Harley," Gerald said, "I appreciate your enthusiasm, I do, but if someone is out there to try to thwart my plans, they're doing a pretty terrible job at the moment. I've got you, I've got Henry, I've got a great family."

"Your mother and grandmother are plotting to get rid of your father's baby," Harley interjected.

Gerald blinked.

"It makes no sense strategically, for the sake of the dynasty, to keep it. So they want to get rid of it. But it doesn't mean the end of the dynasty if we keep it, just that things will take a little bit longer. Besides, if we give it over to the aliens…"

"I think you've said all this already, Harley," Gerald interrupted.



"I've never really cared all that much about the whole dynasty thing. I mean sure, it'll be cool to live forever and all, but for me it's mostly just been a bunch of lame rules we all have to follow," Gerald explained. "And while I'm really, really into you, I'm really not sure how fatherhood would suit me. I just - I don't think I'm ready yet. Are you?"

"Well, no, not really," Harley mused.

"Right, so whatever happens, we'll have a kid when we're ready and not before. But whether my alien brother or sister gets to stay with us, or gets sent back to its home world, I just think that's for mother and Nana to sort out, okay?"

Harley still didn't look convinced.

Gerald sighed.

"Come here," he said.



"I've been waiting to do this for days."



Late that night, Rose found Norman with his nose in a book upstairs in their bedroom.

"Hey, sweetie," she asked, "how are you feeling?"



"Oh ho, I feel great Rose! Thanks for asking! I mean, it's a bit weird, putting all this weight on all of a sudden. And I need to pee a lot. And I'm like, constantly hungry, but I'm so excited," Norman replied.

"Yep," Rose agreed, "sounds familiar."

"I was just looking up some names! Did you know that 'Colette' is actually a dim… dimiut… related to the name 'Nicoletta'?"

"I hadn't really thought of it before," sighed Rose.



"Look Norman," Rose faltered. "I'm really…not…sure. About the baby. I really don't know if we can keep it."

Norman looked stunned.

"What do you mean, Rose? Of course we can keep it. It's my baby."

"Well, I'm just saying, Norman, that that's not the only, nor even the best option." Rose tried again.

Norman stared across the room, still not quite comprehending what his wife was telling him.



"Norman sweetie, we can only have eight sims in the house. You know that, those are universal laws of Sims. Even mother nature herself respects those laws, and Harley won't even be able to get pregnant with eight sims living here," Rose swallowed the lump rising in her throat.

"The dynasty laws are also very clear - once a sim joins the household, they cannot leave until the event of their natural death."



"The only exception to this rule," Rose said slowly and carefully, "is in the case of half-alien children such as yours. After it's born, we have the option of returning the child to its home world, to be raised by its other parents, so that the dynasty can continue on as usual. So that Gerald and Harley can have a child, so that their child can move in a spouse, so that they can have a child, and so on. Household limits are always of high priority for the dynasty planners, and unfortunately keeping this child will make negotiating such household limits rather…difficult, for quite possibly the rest of the dynasty."

"Rose?" asked Norman weakly. His voice trembled with emotion. "What are you saying?"



"I'm so sorry, Norman," Rose continued, "but Mom and I really think this is what's best for the dynasty."

Norman completely broke down - devastated was the only word for it. Rose looked on helplessly, feeling utterly impotent to do anything for her husband. She felt like her heart was breaking, too.



"Norman, I'm sorry," she managed.

But even she knew that sorry wasn't enough. For the first time since their wedding day, she was given the cold shoulder by the man she loved the most.

'He'll get over it,' she told herself. 'One day soon, he'll meet his grandchild, and he'll be happy. All of this will be forgotten. I'm sure of it.'



But as she watched her husband crawl beneath the bedsheets for a good long 'cry it out' session - well, she was even less certain than ever that this was the right choice. Maybe it would be better for the dynasty, but it wasn't exactly a good thing for her marriage, and it certainly wasn't the best thing for Norman.



Dazedly, Rose made her way into the bathroom. After a quick shower, she brushed her teeth, and  caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. She looked, and felt, like she'd aged years in only a matter of days. The decision was harrowing.



When she returned to her room, she discovered that Norman was no longer there. She panicked. He wouldn't leave, would he? He couldn't.



She began searching the house. Gerald and Harley were at work, it seemed. And everyone else was in bed.



The big house was eerily quiet this late at night.



Rose even tried searching the backyard for her husband.



Finally, in the small bedroom that Henry and Edith used to share (before Henry took over Antwan's room in the basement, and Edith Colette's), she found Norman.

He couldn't speak to her. He couldn't look at her. He couldn't even share a bed with her.

Now Rose was ready to cry herself to sleep, too.



Instead, she crawled wearily but dutifully into the other single bed opposite her husband, and flicked off the light.

"Oh Norman," she sighed. "I'm so, so sorry. What have I done?"
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Offline oshizu

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 35 (18 Feb 2017)
« Reply #158 on: February 19, 2017, 01:00:08 AM »
Oh no, what a terribly sad chapter!

Whiriligig, you did such a fantastic job of creating the perfect screenshots for each step of your narrative.
How do you do it? I was really amazed by Norman's changing facial expressions while Rose explained what was best for the dynasty.
The image of Norman in the children's bed with his back turned is pretty heart-breaking. Oh, poor Norman!!!

I also love how Gerald has really fallen for Harley!

Well, I'm very, very eager to find out what the family decides about Norman's baby.
Would you please share Norman's age right now so I might join you in biting my nails?

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 35 (18 Feb 2017)
« Reply #159 on: February 19, 2017, 01:10:51 AM »
@Oshizu Those screenshots were obtained in a dummy save. I used cheats to get the right moodlets for the facial expressions I wanted (sad, in this case). I also just use a lot of the usual socials, but out of context. Pretty sure Rose used "give fake bad news" a couple of times, for instance. I also made her tense at one point, so there's some shots from "complain about problems" in there, too.

Other things are flukes. Like when Rose and Iris looked like they were pointing at the space print? I have no idea what prompted them to do that.

When Norman gave birth I could finally check his age bar. He was three days from his elder birthday. I put in a pretty big play session yesterday so as usual, I have some catching up to do.

Gerald and Harley's relationship is funny. Their pink bars are always full, but when it comes to friendly socials? Gerald doesn't like Harley's conspiracy theories. And being evil, he actually insults her or pokes fun at her a lot before I can stop him. So I've yet to get them up to BFF status. Not sure how to reflect this in the story just yet.

Fun fact: if your romantically involved Sims have an argument, there's an "Apologize...With woohoo" option. I'd never seen that before these two.

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Offline FrancescaFiori

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 35 (18 Feb 2017)
« Reply #160 on: February 20, 2017, 02:58:20 PM »
Oh, the suspense! This is a real nail-biter! I'm not sure I totally understand Harley's plan (I'm not sure anyone does), but I'm sure it's brilliant and fool-proof! I'm continuing to adore Harley. I adore that she has all these crazy-sounding conspiracy theories (like alien abduction and vampires), but she's always actually right. She and Gerald are wonderful together. Yay for smooches!

My heart aches for Rose and Norman. Their marriage has not been an easy road, and now this!

I had to laugh about Gerald not liking Harley's conspiracy theories. I have a similar thing going on between Thaddeus and Akito. Akito's unflirty, and even though their relationship bars are both full he refuses to be hugged. Embraces? Sure! Makeouts on public benches? No problem! Friendly hugs, though? Back off, mister! You're moving too fast! The coding is very funny sometimes. :) I love the "Apologize . . . In bed." social, too!

Agh! I can't wait to find out what happens next! Norman's got to be about ready to pop!

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 35 (18 Feb 2017)
« Reply #161 on: February 21, 2017, 02:51:41 AM »
Oh, the suspense! This is a real nail-biter! I'm not sure I totally understand Harley's plan (I'm not sure anyone does), but I'm sure it's brilliant and fool-proof! I'm continuing to adore Harley. I adore that she has all these crazy-sounding conspiracy theories (like alien abduction and vampires), but she's always actually right. She and Gerald are wonderful together. Yay for smooches!

My heart aches for Rose and Norman. Their marriage has not been an easy road, and now this!

I had to laugh about Gerald not liking Harley's conspiracy theories. I have a similar thing going on between Thaddeus and Akito. Akito's unflirty, and even though their relationship bars are both full he refuses to be hugged. Embraces? Sure! Makeouts on public benches? No problem! Friendly hugs, though? Back off, mister! You're moving too fast! The coding is very funny sometimes. :) I love the "Apologize . . . In bed." social, too!

Agh! I can't wait to find out what happens next! Norman's got to be about ready to pop!
If Harley has an actual plan, she hasn't told me what it is! :) I just write her how I feel her, really. I mean, she has a small plan, but whether or not anything comes of it...

Yeah, Rose and Norman have kind of been...exceptionally imperfect as a couple. Sims usually find happiness so easy (like Iris and Joaquin who were awesome together) that it was almost refreshing to have something not quite perfect to write. This, of course, was a bit much. I guess you've had a similar journey with the last few Spiffendales - Thaddeus' story was especially heart-wrenching.
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Offline Whirligig

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 35 (18 Feb 2017)
« Reply #162 on: February 21, 2017, 03:41:33 AM »
Chapter 37 - Diminutive



By the time Norman went into labor, Rose felt as if their relationship had become more strained than ever before.

Norman had been avoiding her - and, in fact, most of the rest of the family as well.



Rose had tried her own ways of staying away from the problem and keeping her mind clear.



But when her husband finally went into labour, she showed just as much support as any spouse would under the circumstances.



"Are you comfortable, Norman? Can I get you anything? Maybe some tea? Oh goodness, Doctor, is my husband going to be okay?"

Of course, she'd birthed her three children in the privacy and comfort of her own home. But Norman's procedure being that much more…complicated - it seemed wisest to have the child here.



"Mrs. Morven, if you could calm down please, I promise I have everything under control," Doctor Casey Stone tried to reassure the panicked partner.



But to Norman, everything felt like a dream.

They had given him an epidural and now he had only to wait while the doctor performed the Caesarean. Then he would have the briefest of brief moments with his child before he would be forced to say goodbye forever.

He wasn't sure that he could do it.



"Hang in there, Norman," said Dr Stone, her voice soothing. "You're doing great. Just a little bit longer. Oh, this one is a little wiggler - I think he's eager to come out into the world to meet you!"



"Oh, Norman!" Rose gasped. "Norman, he's perfect!"



Dr Stone beamed. "That's right," she said, "a beautifully healthy baby boy. Easy does it, Norman. Don't overexert yourself. There's plenty of time to say hello."

Norman sighed. If only that were true. He had, maybe, until the baby's first birthday. And then he would be saying goodbye forever.



Rose watched.

She watched as her husband cradled his son with the same love and the same tenderness with which he cradled his other three children.

She watched him whisper in the baby's ear that he was beautiful. That he was precious. That he was safe with daddy for now. 

Tears welled in her eyes. Maybe this baby wasn't hers, but he was as much Norman's son as Gerald and Henry, and deserved just as many opportunities. He may have the surname Johnston, but as far as Rose was concerned, he was a Morven.



"Thank you doctor," Rose piped, as Dr Stone left the couple alone in the delivery room. Then, she turned to her husband.

"Come on," she smiled weakly. "Let's get the two of you home."



The arrival of the new baby in the house caused quite the stir, as three siblings each took their turn to greet their new brother.

"He kinda looks like a snake baby," Henry commented.



"What do you reckon, Dad? Do you think he has super-special alien powers? Maybe he'll go back to his planet, try to take over this one, and become my chief arch-nemesis until we recognise one another as brothers." said Gerald.

Rose shrugged. "Maybe he does have special powers. I guess no one will know until he's big enough."



"Eww, Dad, remember when I said I didn't want one of these," Edith whined. "I think he just pooped."

Norman jumped to change his diaper. He jumped at any opportunity to spend time with his son.

But of course, the three Morven siblings were happy to meet their little brother. It seemed, to Norman, that they were happy to keep him. There really was only one person he really needed to convince.



"Iris," he greeted his mother-in-law with a curt nod.

"Norman," she responded in like manner.

"Have you come to meet my son?" Norman asked.

Iris scoffed. "You know we can't keep him. Fine for a few days, but he gets sent back to home world before he becomes a toddler. You know that, right?"



Norman ignored this remark. Without comment, he bent towards the cradle and lifted the sleeping child from his bed.



"He's a bit upset at the moment," Norman said, "because we've woken him up. But look at him, Iris. Isn't he beautiful?"

Iris bit her lip thoughtfully. There was, of course, something somewhat compelling about the child. Like all babies, he commanded love and attention simply by measure of being.

"I've named him Chimo," Norman continued.

"Chimo?" Iris questioned. So different to the names of Norman's other children.



Norman nodded. "It's from Catalan. According to my research, it's a diminutive-" Norman emphasised every syllable of the word, almost as if he'd been practicing, "of 'Joaquin'."



------



"I mean, it's not the end of the dynasty if we keep little Chimo around," Iris was saying. "It makes things more difficult, sure, but not impossible. Someone else to help around the house, earn some money, raise the kids, maybe even pollinate a few townies. It's not all doom and gloom."

Rose didn't know whether to laugh or cry.



"Strategically, it's absolutely the wrong move," Iris continued, "and I know that. But I'm not completely heartless, Rose. Norman is as in love with that child as he is with his other three. You and I may get to live forever, but Norman only lives once. We'll survive just fine with Chimo around, but I'm not sure that Norman could survive without him."



Rose beamed, as a wave of emotion - happiness, relief and appreciation - washed over her. "I was hoping you'd say that. Because if you hadn't said it, I would have." She sighed, contentedly. "Oh Mom, I can't wait to tell Norman the good news!"



"Wait, Rose, not just yet." Iris turned to Gerald and Harley. "Are you kids are okay with this? I mean, the sooner you tie the knot the better, don't get the wrong idea on that, but you'll have to wait a while to start a family. Does that suit you?"

"Yes ma'am," Gerald replied, wholeheartedly. He was feeling somewhat relieved himself, if he was being quite honest. "It suits us just fine."

Harley nodded in agreement.



"Well, I suppose that's that, then," Iris smiled.



"Welcome to the family, Chimo Johnston."
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Offline oshizu

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 35 (18 Feb 2017)
« Reply #163 on: February 21, 2017, 04:37:27 AM »
Awww, what a absolutely satisfying response to the question of whether to keep Norman's baby or not.
After the baby was born, I got a hard lump in my throat as Rose watched and described Norman's first encounter and subsequent interactions with his son.

Oooh, brilliant move, Norman! Picking a name for your baby that Iris positively couldn't refuse!
Also, I think completing Bestselling Author has really suited Norman--now that he's up and walking around, we really get to see him! :D

Such a great chapter, Whirligig.  I could feel your own torment about whether or not to keep the baby through Norman's pain.
Hats off to you for another great chapter. I felt so moved! (and almost cried at the hospital...)

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 37 (21 Feb 2017)
« Reply #164 on: February 21, 2017, 02:13:12 PM »
Chimo! Oh, how marvelous! Oh, he's such a sweetie, too! Norman, you're a brilliant man, after all. High five!

The whole chapter was beautiful and touching, and I'm just so, so happy about the way it ended.

I did love Gerald's idea about them becoming arch-nemeses in an interplanetary power struggle, but I think this is better. Also loved that Gerald was eating lobster thermidor while having that conversation. Is he ever not eating? :)

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 37 (21 Feb 2017)
« Reply #165 on: February 21, 2017, 02:40:54 PM »
Aww -- I'm really glad the baby is staying. And I can't wait to see Chimo as a toddler! Gerald and Harley make a really cute couple, too.
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Offline Whirligig

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 37 (21 Feb 2017)
« Reply #166 on: February 22, 2017, 04:43:19 AM »
@oshizu I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I kept wondering if, after all the buildup, this ending was somewhat anticlimactic, but I'm glad you found it sufficiently satisfying. :)

This whole situation has done wonders for Norman. I mean, just the fact that he got himself pregnant was such a typically, irritatingly Norman thing to do, but he's handled the fall-out brilliantly. :) He didn't spend years working his way to the top of the journalism career for nothing!

Oh, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to make anyone cry! Now let's hope this happy ending for Norman and Chimo doesn't result in an unhappy ending to the Morven Dynasty. (I mean, I'm pretty sure it won't, but I'm wondering if/when I'll ever have room again for a pollinator who isn't related to the rest of the town).

@FrancescaFiori I'm glad you liked it. :) As I mentioned to Oshizu, I was a bit worried it would be anticlimatic after all the build up. But, I mean, really, I couldn't just not keep my first alien abduction baby in TS4. ;) Now, I can't believe I even considered it. :P And yep, Norman didn't become a top-notch journalist and Bestselling Author for nothing - he does have some brains after all. :)

Haha, good cooking is still most definitely Gerald's weak spot, lol. Actually he was just sitting down to breakfast when Norman and Rose got home from the hospital, and when I commanded everyone to 'go here' to meet Chimo, I didn't check what they were up to. Gerald of course turned up with his food. I was going to try to make him put it down, but then I decided to just roll with it. Maybe Harley should take up cooking?

The intergalactic struggle could have made for a fun plan B, but you're right, this solution is definitely better.

@MarianT I'm glad I convinced myself to keep it. I mean, it will make the dynasty take a little bit longer, but I really couldn't have ever brought myself to part with him. :) Now let's just hope I don't have to face any similar decisions later on in the Dynasty. Touch wood.
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Offline Whirligig

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 38 (22 Feb 2017)
« Reply #167 on: February 22, 2017, 05:34:42 AM »
Chapter 38 - Soulmates, After All



With Chimo's position in the family cemented, life in the Morven household resumed a sense of normalcy.

Norman knew better than anyone that his time with his son would be limited. Maybe not as limited as he had initially been led to believe - he appreciated how generous Iris and Rose and even the Watcher were being, allowing him to keep and raise his son for himself as best he could. It was a precious gift he had no intention of taking for granted. His elder birthday was fast approaching, and he intended to retire from his job as soon as the opportunity presented itself, so that he could spend as many hours home with Chimo as possible.



"So this is the new study," Gerald explained, "with all of Mother and Father's career rewards in here. Mom's hoping for all ten of her books to be Bestsellers so it has to be as inspiring as possible."

Harley tried to look impressed, but honestly? She couldn't care less about the new study.



Gerald also threw a birthday party for his brother. Since his own birthday had been forgotten (a sin for which he'd yet to forgive the Watcher), he decided to go for gold for Henry.



Unfortunately, it wasn't quite as happening as everyone had hoped. Gerald was the only one who'd managed to pull himself away from the other activities long enough to watch Henry blow out his candles. They had difficulty with some of the requirements, and in the end, the party was only a silver (if Norman could have pulled himself away from the baby a smidge sooner to give Henry the fourth heartfelt compliment he needed, it would have been gold. But the clock ticked down just a few sim-minutes too soon). Nonetheless, a pleasant time was had by all.



And honestly? Henry wasn't torn up about the silver birthday party. He was just grateful to finally be an adult so that he could finally get started on his real dynasty duties.



His mother needed four grandchildren. And with Gerald's ability to produce offspring officially in limbo until further notice, the responsibility for completing this requirement fell squarely on Henry's shoulders.



And he certainly wasn't about to disappoint his family in that regard.



Rose (read: the Watcher) had made a miscalculation. She had not, as of yet, maximised her third required skill for her ambrosia requirements. She still needed to become a top-notch fisherwoman. And she had, at one point, planned to finish the Angling Ace aspiration as an adult, in case Big Happy Family started to look difficult to complete. Now, it seemed Angling Ace would not only be unnecessary, but also more trouble than it's worth to rush to complete. It, like Musical Genius, would be a fine aspiration to work on at her leisure, in her retirement. After her Immortality was cemented.

Especially as Henry was doing such a fine job of filling the shoes of Antwan and Sergio before him.



She did, however, have a limited amount of time to finally complete the Soulmates aspiration she and Norman had begun working towards a long time ago. All that remained now was the final milestone.

And given the strain their relationship had been placed under since Norman's abduction, well, let's just say they needed the opportunity to actively devote some time to their relationship. Rose even suggested they get away from the house and actually go into town for their required dates.



It…was a bit awkward at first. Rose almost felt the need to make small talk.

"It's a nice evening, isn't it, Norman?" she began, tentatively.

"Oh ho, Rose," chuckled Norman. She supposed he felt it too.

"Listen, no hard feelings, okay?" he said, gently. "I know you only wanted to do what was best for your family. I know you didn't really want to send him back. Luckily I managed to convince Iris." Norman beamed proudly.

Rose had to agree, the naming thing was rather clever. She supposed Norman hadn't risen through the ranks of the Journalism career without learning a thing or two. She was actually pretty proud of him for coming up with it.



"Oh Norman," she sighed, "I'm so, so sorry about that. Dear Plumbob, I still feel awful just thinking about it." It was all pretty raw now, but Rose supposed one day she would laugh about how she had nearly sent Chimo back to his other parents on his home planet.

No, she corrected herself, back to his parents on their home planet. If Chimo was raised here, Earth would be his home.



But one thing was certain - with his son safe at home in his bassinet, his toddler birthday fast approaching, Norman wouldn't be one to hold a grudge over this. No harm, no foul, right?



And soon enough, the tension between the two of them eased rather significantly.

So much so that soon they were laughing and chatting down the street, hand-in-hand like newlyweds on their way to the park. A far cry from the quarrelling, aging couple they were. With four children between them and, Rose reminded herself with a jolt, several grandchildren on their way.

They may have entirely forgotten to order so much as a hot chocolate from the café.



"Thank you Norman," Rose told her husband. "For a wonderful evening, and for a wonderful lifetime."

"Oh ho, Rose," laughed Norman, playfully. "Neither are over just yet." He winked.



---



Norman approached Chimo's cradle with trepidation.

It wasn't too late. Not yet. Chimo could still be returned to his planet, still be sent to his other parents to be raised as an alien child. One miss-step, one miss-click, and away he'd go, never to be seen again. If Norman did that and made that call, it would devastate him, but it would make things easier for future generations. He wondered briefly if he could be that selfless?

He sighed deeply as he pondered the idea.



No, he decided, he couldn't. Chimo was his son, and he would be the one to raise him.

And so in a leap and a jump, Chimo's place in the Morven household was cemented.



Rose and Norman may have been experienced parents, but they had never raised a toddler before. All three of their previous children had leapt out of the cradle and into the world, and so they initially wondered if alien children went through an extra life stage when compared to their entirely human counterparts - one which required a lot more work and dedication.

Some investigative journalism on Norman's part, however, seemed to prove that this would in fact be the case for all sim children from here on in, as a result of…well, he hadn't quite figured that part out yet. But family-oriented Rose very nearly didn't even care. She jumped, eagerly and enthusiastically, at the new opportunities that this would present, not only for Chimo, but for every future child born into the household.



Henry couldn't help but wonder what sort of role he would be required to play in the lives of his children, though with so many of them running around, he guessed it would be physically impossible for him to be too involved.

Kori Patel had contacted him not too long ago, announcing that she had given birth to a little girl she had named Brynlee. Rose and Norman's first grandchild! Mere hours later, Brittany Rosa announced the birth of a son named Dwight. Unfortunately, they wouldn't be visiting any of them just yet - there was rather a lot happening here. Henry did try to explain to Chimo that he was an uncle now, so he'd better stop filling his diaper, smarten up, and fly straight.



But Chimo, it seemed, was more interested in cereal than in being an uncle.



And Edith didn't care all that much about being an Aunt, either. She was a Loner. She kept to herself, usually in the basement, focusing on her own pursuit of knowledge.



Norman's birthday rolled around the day after that of his youngest son, and so Gerald took this opportunity to, once again, try for a gold medal event. This time, the watcher wasn't quite so complacent when it came to fulfilling the party requirements, and so the birthday party was a roaring success. So successful, in fact, that getting a picture of the birthday boy had proven rather, er, challenging.



Norman wasn't exactly excited to become an elder. Chimo was still so young, and still had so much to learn. And while he trusted Rose with his everything to raise him right, as she had their other children, the fact remained that she wasn't his biological parent as he was.

The fact also remained that Gerald was a criminal, Henry a dead-beat baby daddy, and Edith a social recluse, so Norman hoped that Chimo would fare, well, better. But he wasn't about to vocalise these particular concerns - he knew what was good for him.



As planned, he retired from his job as soon as he could.



A move which freed him up to become a full-time daddy to his little Chimo. As he watched his son playfully chewing away at the dollhouse house, and babbling contentedly to all the doting family members around the house, Norman gave a contented sigh.

He was certain that retirement would suit him just fine.
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Offline oshizu

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 38 (22 Feb 2017)
« Reply #168 on: February 22, 2017, 01:49:15 PM »
Chimo is so super adorable! I've never seen an alien with this color of skintone!
What a precious, special toddler! I imagine Chimo must have been the reason that you started the Tips for Top-Notch Toddlers thread.

I'm glad that Norman immediately retired to spend more time with his son. I've rarely seen Norman so happy as he seems to be now.
Indeed, Norman got hugely rewarded for completing Bestselling Author and his Journalism career. Chimo exercised great timing!
And Norman having misgivings about Chimo being raised amidst his other children seems so realistic.
Hey, Norman! You're not entirely free from blame for how they've turned out, you know? Except for Harley, who is a force of nature.

In some screenshots, Chimo appears almost white. Is he a shade of very pale blue?
Chimo growing older will be bittersweet....

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 38 (22 Feb 2017)
« Reply #169 on: February 22, 2017, 01:59:02 PM »
What a sweet chapter! Norman and Rose rekindling their romance, and lots of alien toddler adorableness. My heart swells! Norman truly does look like he's enjoying himself.
I'm so excited for incoming Henry babies! I'm sure Rose is excited, too! That was a bit of a nail-biter of an aspiration for her, but it's finally all happening. Yay!
Loved Rose photobombing the birthday boy shot. She looks exhausted. Love Harley's blue lipstick in that shot, too!

Offline Whirligig

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 38 (22 Feb 2017)
« Reply #170 on: February 23, 2017, 07:07:46 AM »
@oshizu
Nah, I started the thread after Norman was abducted but before I knew he was pregnant. I did a test run with toddlers and, well, didn't fail miserably, but didn't do as well as I'd liked. It was in anticipation for the Gen 4 heir. I returned to the thread after nearly finishing with Chimo, because while I did better than the first time through, top-notch didn't quite happen.

Norman really has come into his own in his golden years, hasn't he? And yeah, he's definitely not innocent of how the other three turned out.

Well, Chimo is one of the first aliens I've played, but yes, he's veeeery pale blue so that he does look white in some light.

@FrancescaFiori I'm so loving the alien toddler adorableness, so I'm glad everyone else is, too. :) Toddlers are hard work this time around, but I'm so happy they're back in the game.

Yeah, I was initially worried about that aspiration, but I wanted to give it a shot. I'm so glad it's working out. Also, as part of doing it, I realised successful lineage is a useful free-for-all aspiration for Immortals to work on - Iris has nearly finished it - I'm hoping when Rose finishes Big Happy Family, Iris' 'have a child complete an aspiration' will finally trigger, too. (It didn't with Soulmates or Bestselling Novelist or Mansion Baron or Fabulously Wealthy but, well, fifth time's a charm?)

I can't remember why Rose was tired. She'd probably just done an all-nighter writing session or fishing session or something, and here I was forcing her to attend her husband's last birthday. Heartless of me, I know...
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Offline Whirligig

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 39 (23 Feb 2017)
« Reply #171 on: February 23, 2017, 07:19:43 AM »
Chapter 39 - No Great Loss



Gerald had encountered a problem when it came to progressing in his aspirations. Namely, the family didn't exactly get out enough for him to pick fights with people on the street. And it wasn't like they got many walk-bys, living on an island as they did.

But just as his father had started a club so he could interview people for his journal articles, and Henry had started a club so he could keep track of his girlfriends, Gerald decided starting a club for sims he didn't particularly like seemed like it could be a good idea.



And so "Gerald's Enemies" was founded. Club activities include: being mean to club members, being mischievous to club members, and fighting.

Fighting club members during club gatherings where fighting is a club activity, however, didn't do quite as much damage to his relationships with his club-mates as he'd hoped it would. He also thought he would be doing more of the fighting himself, not just cheering on Amaya and…whoever the other guy was…from the sidelines.



And when Edith returned home from school in the middle of "Gerald's Enemies'" first meeting, she was appropriately unimpressed.

"I get that you're dynastically required to be a massive jerk to just about everyone in town, Gerald, but do you have to do that right here?"

"Woo, I hope you both die!" shouted Gerald, oblivious.

Edith rolled her eyes and retreated inside to the familiar cover of the basement.

Okay, so the first meeting of Gerald's Enemies was a bit of a flop. The fights counted towards the fight requirements, but they didn't seem to even make a dent in Gerald's relationship bars. I feel like he accomplished the equivalent of poking a few people and throwing a few insults - he certainly didn't declare any enemies. Maybe next time?



I'm just hesitant to leave the lot with a toddler as I'm not sure how that will work. Will they actually sleep if I leave them set to 'care for self'? They seem to sleep a lot. I feel like I'd have a far better chance at getting top-notch-toddlers if they didn't need to sleep so much. But I can't 'rally the troops' their needs, and Rose even tried writing a book of life for him, but that didn't work either. Can they drink moodlet solvers?

I mean, whenever Chimo is awake, Norman is by his side with flash cards or toddler books or talking lessons, but he's so seldom awake. When he does wake up, I almost always get the 'feed your toddler before we take it away' message, so by the time we're done sleeping and eating and pooping there's not much time left before he needs to sleep again. Why so much sleep?



"Okay, Iris, that was your second warning from Grim. Care to put that away now, and head upstairs for some Ambrosia?" I asked.

"I'll just finish this sculpture, then I'll be right up," Iris replied.



"Could you hurry it up?" I asked, feeling a little antsy.

"Patience, Watcher," Iris chided. "You can't rush art."

"Ugh, fine, I'll go see what the others are up to. Let me know when you're done."



Hmm, I've never seen that whim before. Why not? Off you go, Gerald.

Gerald tried not to look too excited as he made his way into the backyard.

"Evening, Gerald," Rose greeted her eldest. She had just finished tidying up the books in the museum (much to the Watcher's annoyance), and was on her way inside to check on Chimo.

"Mother," Gerald nodded in reply, trying to look nonchalant. After the flop that was his first enemies club meeting, he was looking for another way to make some trouble.



With the game table just sitting in the backyard, it's not like it can do any real damage, right?



Right?

"Oh God, Gerald, the whole family's gone tense and is freaking out about the fire on the lot. They've ALL dropped their queues. Ugh, whyyyy did I let you do that?"

"Mwaa ha ha haaaa, I am truly evil!" Gerald cackled.

"Truly annoying is more like it. Go on, put it out!"



"Ugh, fine," Gerald mumbled.

Good boy. Now go work on your fitness or your handiness or do something useful, okay?



"Oh hey, Harley? Uh, what are you doing with Chimo? Isn't he meant to be skilling or something?"

"Fire!" Harley shouted. "There's a fire on the lot!"

"Um, not anymore there isn't," Gerald replied.

"The baby must be saved from the fire! I have saved him, he is safe now!"

"Pretty sure he was never really in danger, Harley," sighed Gerald.



"Never in danger? Never in DANGER! Hah, I'll show all this family that I'm fit to be a mother yet, won't I Chimo? You were in danger, weren't you? And I saved your life, didn't I? Yes, I did."

"Huh. Maybe I misjudged you, Harley," I mused. Still, it's not like I really could've given Chimo up. Now, note to self, never light 'don't wake the llama' on fire again. Where were we?



"Do I have to eat this?" groaned Iris.

"Oh come on, I know what you're doing. You're not complaining about the food, you're still complaining about the fire. That's out. Calm down. Isn't there a +3 décor moodlet in this room? Why hasn't that kicked in yet?"

But Iris just shook her head, sadly.



"Gerald's such a loose cannon, Watcher. I really don't know if he has what it takes," she sighed. "I know you thought it was harmless, but lighting that fire could have done some serious harm."

"Oh Iris, I'm sure it was all just in good fun," I try to reassure her. "He rolled the whim because of the mischief skill. Not because of his being evil. Being a goofball yourself, I'm sure you can appreciate that."

I was feeling pretty exasperated when Iris was still looking glum. "Seriously? Most boring goofball ever." I sigh.



Though sometimes I can't help but wonder myself if the family's concerns about Gerald are justified.



"I'm kicking you out of the club, Andrew, because you're a clod."

"Woah, wait, what? I just let you beat me at that fight, and now this?"

"Well I want to make you my enemy, but I seem to be struggling with getting you to not like me enough," Gerald explained.



"Aww, man," Andrew mumbled, trying to stifle a sob. "That's really upsetting. You're a terrible person, Gerald Morven. I can't believe my sister actually fell in love with you."

"Unlike you," Gerald replied, "your sister recognises awesomeness when she sees it."



"And don't you ever show your face at this house again, Andrew Bjergsen." Gerald repeated, as if making a point.

"Sweetie, why are you shouting at Andrew?" asked a small voice.

"Oh hey Harley. I was just telling this low-life loser to take a hike."



Harley nodded. "I see. You realise that that low life loser is my brother, don't you?"

"So is half the town, Harley. What's your point?" asked Gerald, only half-interested.

"But like, Andrew and I properly grew up together, because we're also cousins," was the explanation Harley provided.

Gerald was quite suddenly rather confused. "Wait, what?"

"Siblings on our Dad's side, cousins on our Moms' side," Harley explained. "Our moms were sisters, and we have the same Dad."

Gerald attempted to process this.



"What are you playing at," he finally exclaimed, his anger directed at Andrew, "trying to confuse me like this?"

But Harley just shrugged. "You should get used to it," she said, "happens all the time, wherever pollinators are involved."

"Dude, chill," gasped Andrew, "I had nothing to do with any of that! Not my fault your Nana's pal Sergio was such a dog. Ugh, you tick me off. See you 'round, Harley, if you're going to insist on hanging out with this maniac."

Way to make an enemy of your future brother-in-law, Gerald. How many more of those do you need? Two? Let's stick with will-probably-get-culled-soon-anyways townies from now on, mmkay?



Before anyone had really even realised it, Edith's adult birthday had rolled around. Since Gerald had no further need for birthday parties (and Edith, being a loner, really didn't care for parties anyways) her birthday was marked by Nana Iris baking a cake and singing a song for her while everyone else was doing other things.



Most likely other things involving her little brother.



Edith didn't exactly resent her little brother for getting a lot of attention. And she wasn't completely perturbed at suddenly being, well, not the baby anymore.



But as everyone else squeed and cooed and fawned over how 'cute' Chimo was, how 'simply adorable' his high pitched laugh made him, how much they just wanted to 'pinch his little cheeks', Edith well and truly didn’t see the appeal.

It was just as well she couldn't have any kids of her own, she decided.



Unlike her family-oriented mother, Edith, upon reaching adulthood, finally determined that she rather hated children. As a genius and a loner, the life of solitude she would lead, most likely hidden away in the basement working on experiments, would suit her just fine. Not having a family of her own would be of no great loss to her.
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Offline oshizu

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 39 (23 Feb 2017)
« Reply #172 on: February 23, 2017, 04:04:51 PM »
Haha, I loved your idea of the Fight Club (even though you shouldn't be talking about it, lol).
I giggled that making fighting a club activity didn't destroy relationships. Couldn't you just use the club to get members out of the Morven House?
What about making the Admission requirements "Insane" (for Gerald; did he have the Mean trait?) and "Good" for the others.
Then you'd have your pick of Good sims to fight with.

Wow, the relationship between Andrew and Harley is complicated!
Or could Gerald join then quit various clubs, just to meet more people? You don't want to make enemies of your future brother-in-law, man!
Who you gonna invite to all your gold-medal parties?
Oh Harley, how could not find Chimo utterly adorable!? He looks so cute listening to Norman's story and even cuter (if that's possible) in the bath!
As you know, a bubble bath will make him playful which speeds up Imagination gain (which I already wrote, I'm sure, but can't remember).
Also, doesn't a toddler tire less easily when Energized? Again, I'm so glad that Norman convinced Iris to keep Chimo! He's so precious!

Haha, Norman, you dawg! Way to get off angelfish duty!

Happy birthday, Edith!
Awww, poor Edith! A loner genius who hates children.... *feels sad
Well, that's one way to free up your focus to devote more time to Chimo and the current heir, hehe. I hope you'll buy her a big TV and a gaming console, at least!
If she had any friends or acquaintances, she could play online multiplayers game with them. Then I wouldn't feel so sad about her, lol.
Or she could be your scientist--she could make a cloning machine around Level 5 (think, moodlet solvers...)

Offline MarianT

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 39 (23 Feb 2017)
« Reply #173 on: February 23, 2017, 05:30:46 PM »
Aww! Now I want an alien toddler. I bet you were on tenterhooks with the fire and Iris dilly-dallying about eating her ambrosia.
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Offline FrancescaFiori

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Re: The Morven Family Dynasty - Chapter 39 (23 Feb 2017)
« Reply #174 on: February 23, 2017, 06:12:13 PM »
Oh, I love Edith's face as she walks past Gerald's Fight Club! So over it!
What a bummer that the club makes Gerald too likable! And the island location means too few sims walking by cruising for a bruising! Don't worry, Gerald. You'll make those enemies, yet. I believe in you!
I had a very similar experience with Otto and a whim to set the Don't Wake the Llama set on fire, though I was not smart enough to place it outside before I gave in to curiosity. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, that! I do love that the crisis caused Harley's maternal instincts to kick in.
That shot of Chimo in the bath is too adorable for words! How Edith can resist that face I have no idea!