Author Topic: The Luxton Po10 Dynasty - 001: The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life [19-Jan]  (Read 807 times)

Offline Sruixan

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Well, here goes nothing - welcome to my first ever dynasty! I recently got it into my head to attempt one in a bid to add some challenge to the game (and thus stop me from dropping every family I played midway through their second generation!), and this latest Power Of 10 dynasty looked like a fun and relatively uncomplicated introduction to the format, with a decent scope for storytelling too. Precisely how deep into the story side of things I'll be going remains to be seen - the founding generation will absolutely be slow and story-driven, since in an ideal world that's what I'd do throughout, but I can absolutely foresee me having to dial things back further down the line in an effort to actually finish the dynasty! Assuming I get anywhere near the end, that is...

I'd wanted to play the founding generation for a bit before committing my progress to a thread, mainly to ensure that things wouldn't end prematurely in a mess of my own creation... the trouble with that otherwise sensible strategy is that I've kept playing instead of writing! I've finally managed to polish off my overlong and honestly somewhat indulgent prologue though, and having amassed a decent backlog of screenshots that should help keep updates flowing I don't really have any excuse to not kick things off right now! Well, not quite right now - I'm going to take a moment to get some housekeeping out of the way first:

RESTRICTIONS: (nothing major, mostly just tightening the rules)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

SETUP:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Right, so that's that out of the way - I'll edit a chapter list into this post once I have actual chapters to list, so apart from the stats post I'm about to reserve, my next post here should be the start of this dynasty proper!

Offline Sruixan

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The Luxton Power of Ten Dynasty - Stats
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2019, 10:51:38 AM »
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Offline Sruixan

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The Luxton Power of Ten Dynasty - 000: Prologue
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2019, 10:54:39 AM »
000: Prologue












...uhh, Watcher?

Yes?




Wuh?

Um, hi?




Uh, whoops. Sorry. Yeah, the whole "disembodied voice suddenly coming out of nowhere" thing might be a touch frightening, I'll admit. In my defence, though, you did ask for me...




I... I didn't think that would work...

What, literally asking "Watcher"?

No, the, um, summoning process. The article I was reading on my phone described, uh, a subvocal mantra that was so obviously nonsense...

...and yet you tried it anyway?




...yeah...

Honestly, I just heard someone crying off in the distance and thought I'd best investigate...

...

...soooooo, wh-

It's all actually true then?

Hmm?




The Omiscan origin myths?

Uh...

Of watchers creating the world, shaping it from the chaos? Imbuing creation with fragments of themselves and shaping sims with the energy of the sun?

Oh, I wouldn't know about that. I only recently acquired the ability to visit Selvadora and, truth be told, just haven't had the time. Was all that guff in the article you mentioned?

...yyyyyyeeess?

Can I have a look? It sounds interesting!




*unpleasant divine revelation*

Look, never mind. I can tell you now that I had absolutely no part in the creation of this world whatsoever, and that's probably not a bad thing. I mean, yeah, it was created... and I guess the folks responsible are Watchers too, in a way? But yeah, they're on a level above me, so to speak.

*sudden theistical panic*

...hmmmmmm... okay, think of it like... (oh dear) ...like a computer game? As in, there were "developers" who made the world, and I'm a "player" running their software...

*intense existential crisis*

Urgh, I knew using that analogy was a bad idea - way too on the nose. Sorry. Can I start again?




...I guess?

Think of me like a genie. You know about genies, right? I've seen sims playing Genie's Curse...

I'm familiar with genies, yes, but are you about to tell me that everything I knew about them is wrong too?

...noooooo? Not exactly? I can do wishes! I just can't grant them freely - well, not in this universe, anyway.

And I don't remember buying a tarnished lamp from some questionable stall at a San Myshuno flea market...

*sigh* I knew I should have gone for a universe where sims knew a lot more about Watchers and the way things work...




You chose this universe?

In a sense, yes. Specifically, I have a basic set of powers, right, and then I chose a set of rules that constrain them, and it's those rules that shape the universe from a standard template - that's the bit the "devs" in my analogy made, and I suppose technically I didn't make the rules either so you know what that was a terrible analogy and I wish I hadn't brought it up again-

A "genie" wishing for something, eh?

...you're suddenly a lot more confident.

With all due respect, Watcher, it's become hard to take you seriously.

Hmph.

Now that the initial shock's worn off - I don't know, it's something about your demeanour. The article made Watchers sound more serious, gave them more gravitas...

...do you want me to be more serious?

Um, n-

Okay Mr. Wise Guy, let's move on to the more serious stuff, shall we? Let's have a look at your file...

...eeep...




Right, here we go. Seb Luxton, a good, vegetarian genius with the Renaissance Sim aspiration and thus the Quick Learner bonus trait...

Uh, "genius" would be an exaggeration...

...hmmm, not sure "modest" is a listable trait - though neither are "self-deprecating" or "smartypants", for that matter, so moving on... oh, you've just become a young adult. Happy Birthday, Seb...

Um, thanks?

...huh. No family, no friends, no skills, no job, no home lot, no money. Suddenly I think I understand why you were crying when I found you.

Uhhhhhh...

Oh, but you're eligible for a §20,000 grant under Oasis Springs' New Development Scheme - sponsored by the Landgraabs, of course. That could come in handy.

-wait, what?

But that's by-the-by. Tell me, Seb, how would you feel about having a kid?




*involuntary petrified gurgle*

Was that too serious a question?

...no, but the emotional whiplash was unsettling.

Ah. Sorry. I would quite like to know the answer though.

Well, I can't say I've given it much serious thought, but in light of, uh, recent developments... perhaps, sometime in the future, if my life has stabilised, I think I would like to adopt - assuming my hypothetical future partner is okay with it, of course. I'd hope I- we could be the parents someone in need deserves...

Ah. Yes. Of course.

...was that not an acceptable answer?

No, no, that was a great answer. Utterly perfect. Definitely an excellent answer to the question I was absolutely trying to ask, no doubt about it. I mean, that was precisely the answer I should have expected from a Good sim given my shoddy wording, and it was real sweet to boot. Totally fi-

Watcher?

...yes?




Are you going to try and found a dynasty with me?

Oh.

Only, with your talk of "rules" and children, the article-

This blasted article... it wasn't written by someone named Carl, was it?

...no?

Look, there's no need to worry. Yes, I'm in need of a dynasty founder, but said dynasty's really quite a gentle one; there's no need for immortality, you won't be competing against any rivals, all your friends and loved ones won't be turned into mindless zombies that you very occasionally get to control-

W-w-what?

-and there'll be absolutely no time travel whatsoever. Probably.

Okay, sure, but... um... you know everything about me, right?

Yeah? I have your file right here?

So you know I'm gay, right?

Yeah, and so am I. It doesn't matter.

Oh. Huh. Given the way dynasties were described, as vast, intergenerational challenges... I didn't automatically see how someone like me could fit into such a scheme.

...you've literally just described to me your dream of having a family...

...that's true. Wait, does this dynasty not require a continuous bloodline?

It does, but I have my ways.

Ah, surrogacy exists. That's not a route I'd thought of going down, but fair enough.

...




So, what does this dynasty entail then?

Oh, yes, I should probably explain. This dynasty binds a lot of my abilities into a resonance with the number ten. Each of the ten generations start out with just a plot of land and §10,000, and as well as finding a partner and producing an heir, they have to work towards ten goals of varying difficulties that, on the whole, simply require you to be a successful and well-rounded sim. Success-wise, you've got to reach the top of a career, master a skill of your choice and earn §10,000 all by yourself. In terms of being well-rounded, you'll need to make ten good friends (two non-human), throw ten parties and visit ten different places or festivals - in short, you'll have to socialise and get out of the house.

...that's six goals and you've already exhausted both your categories.

That's because the third bunch is not so much a category as a label - "tricky".

Uh.

So, you'll need to complete ten freelance or odd jobs; basically, it's a way of showing you can help others, even if it is for money. You also have to experience a wide range of emotions, supposedly as proof that you've actually lived your life. The ninth goal is kinda hard to explain? You've got to think of it in terms of bureaucracy, I guess. As a metric for your overall life satisfaction, us Watchers have this agreed-upon concept of "Satisfaction Points"...

Yep, that's bureaucracy alright.

Shush you. Anyway, a decent chunk of the genie-esque stuff I can do for you is locked behind a requirement for you to earn ten thousand of these points first, and that's, uh, a nontrivial amount to earn quickly, especially if you didn't have any guidance. Heck, I'm not sure many sims earn that many over the course of their entire lifetimes...

That does sound "tricky".

I reckon you and I could manage it in a bit over a week, depending on how fast you find someone to fall in love with.

Erm...

And finally, to cap things off, you'll need to amass a collection of ten items to commemorate your time at the helm of the dynasty. That one's a proper sliding scale of difficulty, depending on which collection you choose to pursue, but the details there can be hammered out at a later date. Once you've met all ten goals, the baton is passed on to the next generation the moment they reach their young adult birthday.

...

You get all that?

Yeah, but-

Look, I'm not going to force you to do this, and I know full well that it's a lot to take in, especially in such a short stretch of time. But, all things considered, I have to say I'm impressed with the general level of composure you've maintained since I met you, plus you've clearly got a good head on those shoulders - I reckon you'd be more than capable of doing this. Even if you do say no, and I'd totally understand it if you did, you seem like a decent fellow unduly down on his luck, so I'd at least like to help you out. I can get you that §20,000 grant easily, no finagling involved...

Watcher?

Yes?




You implied, but did not state, that each generation has to start from scratch.

...not exactly? I mean, yeah, the bulk of the requirements can only be achieved after moving out, but they'll still be able to prepare...

That's... not my issue. You said each generation starts with "just a plot of land and §10,000". That's an empty plot, yes?

...okay, yes, but pretty much the first thing we'll be doing with said §10,000 is sorting out shelter. Granted, it won't exactly be luxurious, and we may have to skimp on some things initially...

Like what for instance?

...uh, it'll definitely depend on individual circumstances. Sorry, that's a weaselly answer, I get it, but-

And what about possessions?

Erm, right, well, heirs can bring any of their career rewards that they can fit in their personal inventories... and nothing else... oh, but they can bring their pets!

...they can bring their pets to a lot with minimal shelter and only basic facilities with which to care for them, or will those be what gets "skimped on"?

...I'm not doing a good job of selling this, am I?

So, to summarise; the transition between generations forces an heir's parents to expel them from their house and onto an empty plot with a paltry predetermined sum and, practically speaking, no possessions. They'll be thrust empty-handed into a challenge they never signed up for, potentially suffering because of my decision, and you expect each generation to countenance this happening to the next - to their child?

Seb, please, stop. Your concern is admirable, and in places not unfounded, but you're on the verge of catastrophising. Yes, it won't be easy, and yes, heirs won't have much to their name when they move out, materially speaking. But they won't be starting from a blank slate; they'll still have their family to assist them, their friends to support them, and, um, me to protect them. All the skills and life lessons that they'll have learnt throughout their upbringing should allow them to thrive, even in less than ideal conditions... and like, remember how I said we could earn a lifetime's worth of satisfaction points in like a week or so? That'll be true for every generation! In fact, you'll have it the worst, since you've not been able to prepare; I'm gonna be nagging you to do apparently silly things almost constantly. But yeah, I'll be actively working towards giving everyone in your dynasty a good life, and though it'll require some struggle and hardship, I can guarantee it'll be compensated for - heck, rewarded even.

*patient contemplative silence*

And listen, I'm not heartless - if any of your heirs categorically refuses to participate in this dynasty further down the line, then I won't force them to. I wouldn't be able to anywa- well, no, technically I could, but urgh - just thinking about it's kinda uncomfortable. I'm all for autonomy, put it that way. But yeah, I don't think this dynasty is so rigid as to direct the lives of its participants - it simply provides a framework into which they can fit their own hopes and dreams, and even assists in achieving them! So, my point is... uhhhhhh... okay I'll be honest I've been talking for so long now that I've kinda lost track of what I'm saying. As for what I've already said? Who knows!

...you really care, don't you?

Gosh, I hope so.




Alright then.

...come again?

I accept.

...are you sure?

I have nothing else going for me right now. It'll give my life some purpose again, and despite my anxiety I can't say I don't relish a challenge. Your monologue was not exactly persuasive, but it was heartfelt, I think...

...are you really sure?

...I may have one condition.

Hmm?




Promise me... promise me that none of my hei- that none of my descenda- urgh, nothing sounds right.

Go for heirs, mate. It's what us watchers use.

Yes, you keep saying it, and I keep feeling uncomfortable.

Sorry, but you're gonna have to get used to it.

...promise me that none of my "heirs" will ever have to feel like... like I was feeling just now, before you arrived...

Terrified, alone, and low-key craving a burger?

...

...I should probably mention that, now that you've accepted me as your watcher, I can sort of read your mind? Well, no, it's not actually mind-reading - I just get a vague idea of your current emotional state and any whims that might be passing through your head...

...please don't make me regret my decision already.

Sorry, again. But seriously, I can promise I'll be there for everyone in your family, heir or not. They'll always have someone in their corner, and that someone will just so happen to have (admittedly limited) wish-granting powers. In my experience that tends to help.

I can imagine...




So, what happens now? I've "accepted you as my watcher", so presumably the dynasty starts right away?

Well, yes and no. It's established practice to kick dynasties off at 8am, and yes I know 10am would be more fitting for this particular ruleset but that's convention for you. So, given that you're presently penniless and that there's no way I'm letting you sleep on a bench, overnighting might be a touch tricky... unless...

...unless?

...okay, two options. First, you head into the lounge behind you - or the bar, take your pick - and charm your way into the bed of some complete stra-

Nope.

Yeah, I figured. The other choice is that I can just... make that time not happen to you? It's not so much fast-forwarding through it as completely skipping, but even that's a little simplistic - you'll still feel like you've been able to have a good night's sleep, for instance, so it's not like the time's been entirely wasted...

And that's sold it to me. It's unlikely I'd be able to sleep decently tonight after everything that's happened, so I'm tentatively on board with a scheme that could help me get some kind of rest.

Excellent, excellent... right, so in a few seconds you'll probably feel a *slight* temporal dislocation...

...and what does that feel like, exactly?

Eh, it's different every time. You can tell me all about it on the other side.

Alright then, I guess I'm reeeeeeaaaaaaaaa-



NOTES:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Offline ratchie

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Re: The Luxton Power of Ten Dynasty - 000: Prologue
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2019, 10:17:36 PM »
I'm already very invested in Seb and his watcher.

Rachel
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Offline Sruixan

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Thank you very much Rachel - it's a bit of an understatement to say that I'm invested in Seb too! I feel a little guilty about having left him in the lurch for so long: I started on the original version of this first chapter only a week or so after posting the prologue, and then proceeded to lose the blasted thing in a crash. I'm usually pretty vigilant when it comes to saving WIPs, but somehow I managed to get about two-thirds of the way through without saving anything more than the opening lines and the BBCode for all the images. Whoops! But of course, then the holiday season happened, so I didn't write much during that, and I bought the DLC for a lovely little game called Parkitect as a Christmas gift to myself... so, yeah. My commitment to this legacy faltered almost as soon as I'd officially started it! Now, however, I'm dying to get back to Seb's story; I've only booted up his save once in the interim, mainly because I promised myself I wouldn't keep getting further and further ahead, but now I've left things off at a juncture that I'm desperate to play through. So, naturally, because I said I wouldn't play until I'd written more, I immediately decided that the first chapter needed to include a ridiculous amount of inter-sim dialogue... all of which I've written twice, as mentioned earlier... ah well. Here it is, and with any luck I'll be able to rustle up another, considerably less wordy update some time in the next few days...



001: The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

Sunday, Spring Year 1

-aaaddddddyyyyyy?

Heh-hey, welcome back!

...



So come on, tell me, what'd it feel like?

It was as if you pulled the rug of reality out from under me...

I mean, yeah, scratch the similie; that's pretty much exactly what happened. Still, so long as it's not left you feeling nauseous...

...uh, should I be feeling nauseous?

Oh gosh no, not necessarily - it just happens sometimes is all. So please, don't think too hard about whether or not you're actually queasy, else you might jinx it... if I haven't already...

...in that case, let's move on:




Where the heck are we?

Still in Oasis Springs! We've gone a little bit east of the lake to a neighbourhood called Bedrock Strait, a low-key development lining the road out of town. It's not close enough to the lake for high-density zoning and it's not high enough up for rich folks to feel sufficiently superior, but that doesn't mean it's a dump! There are a bunch of easily accessible amenities and services on the other side of the river, Desert Bloom Park is a short walk in... *that* direction-

(I can't see you... pointing?)

-it's an even shorter walk to the nearest train station, and there's even a small community garden just up the road.

Hmm. This is sounding surprisingly positive.

Hush you. Anyway, this plot was called Pebble Burrow in the development's original brochure; there was a trailer here up until a few days ago when its owner moved out of town, but I took the liberty of polishing off the tidy-up while you were in stasis. Heck, I'd have got the building work done too if I hadn't had to wait on the paperwork... oh, yes, I should probably say: congratulations! You were awarded the full §20,000 grant from the New Development Scheme!

That's... twice as much as I'm supposed to have?

...well observed. And that's why I had to spend half of it on... uh, something else. Probably I best I don't explain what quite yet - let's just say it was an "investment" and leave it at that, shall we?

If I were to press you further, would you actually elaborate, or would you just igno-

Righty ho! It's building time!




Ta-da!

...

Now, before you say anything, there's a point I'd like to raise: I had, and I cannot stress this enough, 10,000 simoleons.

...it's a box.

As a matter of fact, it's two! There's another, smaller one hidden 'round the back that'll eventually be the bathroom.

..."eventually"?

10,000 simoleons, Seb. Seriously, you only got a chess table because you really wanted one - you're okay with playing standing up, right? And look at all the outdoor living space you've got; it's precisely what you need in this climate...

...where's the front door?

...ah. Whoopsie! Welp, uh, give me a second...




...I'm guessing I botched the all-important first impression, eh?

It would be unfair of me to make sweeping judgements based on exterior appearance alone.

...that's disarmingly generous.

Besides, the interior might redeem it.

...and that's the sass back again, I presume...




Well?

The flag's a nice touch; it even complements the mailbox.

Why thank you! See, it was cheaper than actual curtains, and it came with an environment bonus!

...I could unpack that, or I could point out how it's one of three things in this room, unless you want me to count each item on the bookcase individually.

What about the ceiling light? That would put you up to four...

...

10,000 simoleons!

...and there's no door to the bathroom?

Because there's nothing in there yet! Why would I waste perfectly good money on a door to nowhere?

...that's annoyingly sensible. Still, though I knew not to expect too much, I was hoping for... well, a bed, maybe?

Look, I can promise you that you'll have one by tonight, don't you worry. Right now... remember how I told you the first week or so was going to consist of me constantly nagging you to do things? Well, I ordered you a book about good cookery practices, 'cause I know how much you like learning new things. Or, to put it another way: you're not getting stove privileges until you've reached chapter nine. How's about you make a start on it while I sell everything else on the bookshelves?

...uh...

And before you ask, there's a bench across the road that'll be in the shade for a bit.

...




Hey, sorry to interrupt, but can I pick your brains for a second? I'm just setting you up a club so we can keep track of your spousal prospects, and I was wondering if you had any ideas for what to call it?

..."spousal prospects"?

Haha, yeah, I did consider just naming it that, heading down the ironic sincerity route and all, but I figured it was maybe a bit too much? Still, if you'd be happy with it...

...never mind, then. Something less overt would be preferable, but I'm unlikely to come up with anything on the spot. I'd rather continue reading - this is surprisingly engaging...

Fair enough. Carry on the- oh. Huh.

Hmm?

Oh, nothing. Just ran into a limitation on my powers that I hadn't expected.

Hmm-mm.

No worries - it's not a big deal, but there's something I would have like to have been able to do that I hadn't realised was non-standard...

Hmmmmmm.

...yeah okay I'll shut up now.




Er, nope, sorry, looks like I gotta bother you again - your arrival in the neighbourhood appears to have attracted a welcome wagon.

Oh, that's a thoughtful gesture. Looks like I'm not finishing this section...

Uh, you might well have a chance. I think they're currently stuck- err, stuck admiring your mailbox. Yep. That's totally a normal turn of phrase. People use it all the time. But yeah, that's somewhat convenient, truth be told - it means I can sort out some stuff for them to sit on... like, oh yes, let's set the bed up now, why not?

...I suppose it is something that can be sat on.

10,000 simoleons! Multi-purpose furniture is where it's at! Anyway, you ought to go socialise! In fact, I'm gonna get out your hair for the duration; I'll take a backseat, continue with the behind-the-scenes stuff, and generally let you focus on the conversation. If you need me, just holler, alright? I mean, don't literally holler - that would not ingratiate yourself with your new neighbours - but, like, in your head. If we keep all our correspondence in headspace, it saves you looking like you've totally lost it.

...have we not been doing that?

Bye-bye!




Guess who? Yeah, apologies, here's yet another intrusion... but hey, I take it it's going well?

I introduced myself, but beyond that we've said maybe six words to each oth-

Great, great, wonderful. But listen, I forgot something fairly crucial - make sure you get the fruitcake. Someone always brings fruitcake to these things, and even if it's badly-baked... well, it's free food! Can't say no to that!

...you thought that was vitally important enough to int-

10,000 simoleons!




?:  Are you sure we've not being a nuisance, Seb? It doesn't look like you've even finished unpacking yet!
Seb:  Uh, no, it's fine - um, see, most of my stuff isn't arriving until later?
?:  Okie dokie! So, I'm Dahlia, and the gorgeous lady beside you is my partner Keri!
Keri:  Dahlia.
Dahlia: Oh, darling, it's just the truth! And this is Johnny! He's a real sweetheart!
Johhny:  ...hi?
Dahlia:  And, last but not least, we have Julissa! She's like the neighbourhood gran, aren't you Julies?
Julissa:  Young man? I have here some of my grandmother's most marvellous fruitcake which I would like to offer to you as a welcoming present...
Seb:  Oh, thank you kindly - I'll, um, just put it down... on the bookcase... in this convenient gap...
            *innocent omnipresent whistling*
Dahlia:  Hey, Julies, sorry - would you like to sit on the bed instead? It's pretty soft and besides, I spy a chess table! I take it you play then, Seb?
Julissa:  Aw, how gracious of you!
Seb:  Uh, yes?
Dahlia:  Wonderful! Say, do you fancy a game right now? I'm always down to play - if no-one else minds, of course! We can still chit-chat at the same time!
Keri:  Go ahead.
Seb:  ...if you like?
Dahlia:  Yipee!
            *similarly gleeful squealing*




Dahlia:  So yeah, welcome to the neighbourhood! If you've anything you'd like to ask us then shoot! We don't bite! Well, Keri does sometimes, but only if folks say something nasty, don't you honey?
Keri:  Quite.
Seb:  Uhhh... how long have you all lived here?
Dahlia:  Oh, Keri and I have been here since last summer, so not super long! We'd been searching for somewhere bigger outside San Myshuno for what seemed like forever, and the moment we saw Agave Abode, well, we knew we just had to have it, didn't we Keri?
Keri:  It was cheap.
Dahlia: ...
Johnny: ...I've only been here a week.
Julissa:  And Charlie bought our house... gosh, such a long time ago now! Why, we were scarcely young adults...
Keri:  Her late husband.
Seb:  Ah. My condolences.
Julissa:  Oh bless you son, it's quite all right. I'm afraid he passed on a while back, in a tragic and terrible golfing accident... *sniff* he died doing what he loved, at least. You don't play golf do you, Seb?
Seb:  Uh, no? I've never understood it myself.
Julissa:  Good on you, lad. It's a heinous game - one of Beelzebub's fondest pastimes.
Seb:  ...I'll bear that in mind.
Julissa: Don't let any future husband of yours become enchanted with it, that's what I'd say.
Seb:  *panicky anxious spluttering*
Julissa:  I may be half-deaf, dearie, but I'm still blessed with my eyesight, and I can't pretend it's difficult to miss.
Seb:  ...
            ...mind you, if you can play this off with a joke right now, it'll be good for the bureaucracy thing!
Seb:  ...
            Only trying to help! In my own, special way...




Seb:  ...I guess I'm, uh, flagging it up, eh?
            ...I'll take it.
Keri:  Wow.
Dahlia:  Pffthahaha, good one! Watch out Johnny-boy - you might have some competition here!
Seb:  Hmm?
Dahlia:  Johnny's a proper stand-up comedian, aren't you love?
Johnny:  Hmph, I'm not "proper" yet, apparently. Not enough to get booked for anything better than open mic nights...
Julissa:  And I've explained it to you before: people preferred your first few shows because they were full of classic, wacky humour.
Johnny:  Urgh, that's a joke in itself. Audiences are always asking you to perform your "earlier, funnier stuff" - I want my material to reflect the present, not the past! And it's not like I don't still do the old "goofy Johnny" shtick - it's just my subject matter's got "too edgy" now. At least I'm not being offensive for the sake of laughs like some half-baked acts...
Seb:  (...uh...)
Johnny:  You're not looking to get in on the circuit are you, Seb? The last thing I need's another contender...
Seb:  Oh no, no, I don't think so...
Keri:  Think so?




Seb:  Uhhhhhh, no, I'm, uh, still looking for employment? I was only able to move here thanks to the, uh, New Development Scheme...
Johnny:  Well, shucks. I hope you find something soon.
Dahlia:  Oooh, if your chess skills are anything to go by, I bet you'd be in with a chance at the lab! They're always looking for new interns!
Keri:  Yes. Always.
Seb:  Hmm... this is a science lab, yes?
Dahlia:  Yep! They do all kinds of science there!
Julissa:  Astronomy, xenology, cryptozoology...
Dahlia:  ...science!
Seb:  That does sound interesting, and astronomy is one of my special interests... meck, by the way.
Dahlia:  What? No way! Oh, but not for long!
Seb:  Huh. I was hoping you wouldn't do that.
Dahlia:  Hehehe, sorry Seb! You can't pull the wool over my eyes that easily!
Johhny:  *bored, exasperated eye-rolling*

...

Keri:  Benny's left.
Dahlia:  Aww, already?
Seb:  Come again?
Dahlia: Our son! Oh, you must meet him sometime - he's just the most adorable little one! He was having a sleepover at a friend's house and it sounds like he's on his way home... Keri, dearest, you can go now if you want! I'll be along once I've crushed Seb here!
Seb:  Um.
Keri:  Sure. Julissa? May I?
Julissa:  Now now, you know I'm fiercely independent and would much rather walk myself home.
Keri:  Yes.
Julissa:  ...if you insist.
Johnny:  Uh, I probably oughta bounce too. I've got a gig tonight that I should be practising for...
Seb:  Oh?
Johnny:  ...do you want to come see it? It's a deep dive into my turbulent relationship with my family, using humour to pick apart how being disowned for wanting to be myself has negatively impacted my ability to achieve such, and exploring my debilitating inner conflicts through the medium of physical comedy.
Seb:  ...
Johnny:  And yes, at one point I slip on a banana skin, for old times' sake.
Seb:  ...can I be blunt?
Johnny:  Go for it.
Seb:  It sounds like it would hit so close to home that I'd be crying throughout.
Johnny:  Honestly? I do the same.

...

Seb:  A-ha! meckchate!
Dahlia:  Dang it! You play a mean game! Urgh, maybe we could squeeze another one in...




Seb:  Well, you've reclaimed your honour. Timewise, I presume best-of-three is out of the question?
Dahlia:  Yeah, I ought to dash! Thank you for playing with me, anyway - it sure beats having to tussle with random people in the park!
Seb:  Oh, it was my pleasure.
Dahlia:  Hang on, let me give you my number - for when we want to do this again some time!
Seb:  ...don't you live right next door? I could simply nip round-
Dahlia:  Yeeeeesssss, but also: juicy gossip texts?
Seb:  ...okay.
            Well, that was a resounding success! One good friend already, goodness me. Still, let's not rest on our laurels just yet - haul yourself down to the commercial district when you're done saying goodybe, would ya?




I'm glad I packed a variety of clothes now.

Including workout gear?

...sort of. But, um, before we star-

Yeah, I know, hence why we're hitting up a gym right now - free ~facilities~, if you catch my drift.




That's never not going to be weird.

Sorry, but it is my job to keep you happy and account for all your needs... well, until you get an actual bathroom at home, anyway.

...and I'm just now realising that I have to chang-

Please don't think about it too much. You'll get used to it, trust me.

...uh...

If it'll make you feel better, I can go boy-hunting while you get ready?

That would just make it a different kind of weird.

Fair enough.




Huh, I can't say I had you down as a basketball guy.

I played it in high school, albeit begrudgingly. It was worth it for the exercise, even if I was never particularly good...

Hmm... had I known, I'd have taken you to one of the courts in the city...

...and I would have embarrassed myself. Honestly, this is fine... and local...




Seb:  Um, hello there?
Marcus:  Hey.
Seb:  I understand that you're the trainer on duty at the moment?
Marcus:  Yeah dude - you need a hand?
Seb:  Uh, yes please. I'm out of practice, see - I haven't stepped foot in a gym since high school, so I could use both direction and encouragement...
            (which was what, four days ago? Tops?)
Marcus:  I hear ya. Give me a sec...




Marcus:  PUSH, MAN!
Seb:  Hgnrgle!
Marcus:  COME ON! YOU GOT THIS!
Seb:  Hmphffnggggunk!
Marcus:  FEEL THAT BURN!
Seb:  HhheukurkhhHHAAAAAA-




Makoa:  Oi, Marcus mate. You're not torturing the new guy are ya?
Seb:  Uh, no! I'm okay, really! But I am going to, um, hit the showers now...




Watcher?

Yes?

I'm not okay.

I mean, I'm not surprised. You just got coached by a guy whose surname is legitimately Flex.

...that can't be his actua-

It's what's in his file! Anyhow, I think it's time you got some food in you. You're supposed to eat after a workout, right?

I don't know, but I am hungry...

Great! I've just chucked some supplies down by that public grill over there! Should be enough to make a couple of meals' worth of veggie burgers...

...

10,000 simoleons!




...so, despite me not having earned "stove privileges" yet...

Yeah, I get it, buuuuut - if you do start a fire here, you're (a) only going to damage municipal property & (b) just a stone's throw from the lake.

...I'm not going to start a fire.

Good! You keep telling yourself that!

...can I at least eat back at the house? It's getting chilly now that the sun's almost down.




So?

It's food.

Good enough. Pop the plate on the floor when you're done, will ya?

...dare I ask why?

I want to show you why I gave you a stack of paper plates...

...okay?




Bam!

*mildly bemused silence*

And that's the genius of paper plates - I can pick them up for you and chuck them in the bin across the street! No need for you to clean them up in the sink you don't have yet-

(what?)

-before putting them away with the rest of your nonexistent crockery; I can simply telekines- uh, wait. What's the verb form of "telekinesis"? Telekinesise?

I don't believe it has a verb.

...well, that's a shame. Also, gonna be frank here - you're less impressed than I was expecting.

The moment I returned, you made a fridge appear spontaneously. By comparison, this is... unexciting, not to mention wasteful.

Awwwwww, but it's fun! And I totally put it in the recycling section! Honest!

Well, it's practical for now while I don't have a sink. I'll give you that. Regardless, is there anything else you want me to do today or can I turn in now?

Oh, no, I think that'll do. You're pretty tired, I can tell, and there'll be another busy day tomorrow...




...you know, I'm not sure you still watching over me while I try to drift off is entirely beneficial.

...gosh I can't wait until you get used to this...




PROGRESS MADE:

Satisfaction - 1095
Good Friends - Dahlia Mayes (chatting and chessing works wonders)
Whims - Happy: Tell a Joke & Playful: Flash Crazy Eyes at Someone (both at Dahlia during the Welcome Wagon)
Community Lots - Burners & Builders



NOTES:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)