Sunday, August 31, 2014

2.17 - This is War

“So Elrich’s been following me around again. He says your words convinced him I’m the only girl for him. What the hell did you say?”

“I told him that he shouldn’t have played with your feelings like he did. That he was never going to find a better girl. And I wasn’t lying! Doesn’t mean I was encouraging him to go after you again!”

Leya sighs, smiling softly at her brother. “Do you think maybe I should give him another chance?

“Definitely not.” Isidore demands, causing Leya’s eyes to glow lightly for a second. “You should stomp on his heart and make sure he never bothers you again.”


“Daddy, no! I don’t want to see her ever again!”

“I know, love. But she’s still your mother. And it will only be for a month, I promise.”

“A month is forever! You’re not going to take her back, are you?”

“Never. But its tradition. She wants to be there for your 18th birthday, to show you the ways of our pack.”

“I’m not a part of that pack anymore.”

“You aren’t married to that pack-less boy yet, Amelia. For now, you are still a member of your mother’s pack. As am I.”


“Did you really think I was going to just take you back?”

“Come on, Leya. The baby isn’t a problem anymore. Take me back. We can be a family!”


“GO FUCK YOURSELF.”


“My dad promised we’ll only be gone a month.” 

“A month is forever!”

“That’s what I said!” She agrees. “But she said since we’re not married I’m still bound to my pack’s laws.”

“Then let’s tell your dad about our engagement. As soon as you get back!”


Amelia doesn’t look convinced, but her eyes glow and she nods obediently. “Of course.”


This is going to be the longest month of Isidore’s young life. He doesn’t know it yet.


Her mother told her to go for it. To follow her heart.


It backfires. It had to. Blaine’s seen this vision so many times. 


“No. Never. How could you, Wanda? I thought you were my best friend!”


Its time. 


“Rhonda?” The fair skinned red head seems surprised to see her neighbour out in the sun. She always acts surprised. “How lovely to see you! How’s Harold doing? Blaine is wondering if he’ll be well enough for Friday’s poker game.”


Harold, Rhonda’s brother isn’t even sick. But he has been Rhonda’s only source of nourishment, so she’s kept him locked up in the basement for a few weeks now. Was Kaia threatening her?


“Can we please talk inside? I have news about him.”


Inside, Kaia heads towards the fireplace, slowly pushing the papers back into the flames where they belonged. Rhonda notices a few personal letters mixed in with the various newspaper articles in the fire. But she can’t tell if the letters were addressed to or from the house she’s standing in. 


“What news do you have for me, Rhonda?”


She’d almost forgotten her reason for coming here. 

“They made the announcement today. Gem Sari is being invited back to Sunset Valley to proceed with the talks for the new Equality law. Should I begin the motions?” 

Kaia is silent for a moment, before nodding. “Get everyone into position. I’ll speak with our seer and learn the status of our martyr. We cannot move in until his death. It’s what gives us the momentum we will need to flourish.”


Rhonda nods. “Yes, my lady.”


War is coming. War is not coming. War is already here. War has not yet started. Kaia taught him to focus his energies on seeing the possibilities, not the definitive paths that must happen, but all he has seen has led to this.


This is happening. This is war.


She hates interrupting him, seeing the pain in his face as the visions invade him. She almost leaves him be before changing her mind. 


“My love. I need you to wake up, it’s-.”


“It’s time.” He interrupts, falling down onto the soft cushions below. 

She says nothing as he stretches and stands up on his own. At his age he should be grey and rigid, not young and full of energy. Her own magic is to blame for that, but his height and muscular build are all his. He has been  determined student under her, and for that she respects him; and his gift. 


“Have you begun the motions yet? We’ll need to move quickly if the announcement has already been made. It will take a week at least to return to Moonlight Falls.”


“I thought we decided you weren’t going back to Moonlight Falls. Seeing your sister after everything that you know…”


“That’s why I’m not the one going.” He says with a reassuring smile. 


The only door to the basement opens once again, and a seventeen year old boy with his mother’s cheekbones and father’s colouring enters. “You called for me, dad?”


“Evan will be going to collect the children in my stead.” Blaine announces, ignoring Kaia’s look of horror. “You wanted to keep him away from the fighting, and we need to bring you your hero as soon as possible.” 


“I’ll be fine, mom.” Evan promises, facing the redheaded woman. “Dad and I talked everything over already. He’ll send an old friend a letter with some instructions to take the kids to a safe place. I’ll be there waiting to bring them here.”

“And what if you get into trouble?” Kaia asks with real concern in her voice. “What then?”


“Then I use my enchantments.” Evan replies with a smirk. “I’m stronger than anything they can throw at me.” 


“You certainly have the raw talent.” Blaine agrees. “But many of the residents of my old town were very well trained. And my sister herself was one of the strongest witches I knew. Do not underestimate anyone.”


“I won’t!” Evan whines. “I know the rules. And I won’t take any unnecessary risks what so ever. In and out, no one will know I was there, and I’ll take good care of the kids. I love kids!” 

“You hate kids.”


“Not these ones! I’m related to these ones!”


While the boys spoke, Kaia wandered over to turn on the old radio in the corner. Her dear husband had it set to classical music, but she found the station she was looking for soon enough. 


“Ladies and gentlemen, tickets for representative Gem Sari’s talk on species equality this upcoming holiday will be sold online this Saturday. Log on early as we expect all tickets to sell out quickly. This will be a historic moment!”


“No news yet on if Representative Sari will be  traveling with his family or not as Mrs. Bayrose Sari, better known as pop sensation Baby Rose is due to be in concert the following morning. More news after these messages!”


With a scowl, Kaia admits defeat. “If you’re going to go, Evan, go now. I’ll send word for everyone to gather in Sunset Valley. Once the martyr falls, we make our move.”


---

Okay so I've had these photos done for weeks now, but I have been so busy with work that I hadn't even sat down to organize them until earlier today. But now its done.

I really wasn't sure how I wanted to bring Kaia's plan back into the story, but after experimenting with some music I decided that 30 seconds to Mars' anti-war song, This is War was the perfect background to the movement going on underground while Gem and Bayrose are playing house with their kids.

All the way back in Generation One, I mentioned how mixed occult kids often have extra abilities that neither of their full blooded parents might possess. Evan's "enchantments" will be further showcased in chapter 2.18 and Isidore's commands will be touched on next chapter and explained far more fully after he's actually experimented with them in Generation Three.

My god this story is taking forever.

Monday, August 4, 2014

2.16 - Stay With Me

Fall days are boring, with the constant rain making it almost impossible to go out to the parks or explore around town. Gem bought the kids a chest set to keep them occupied, but even Damon would have preferred something more childish. Like a doll house. Or dolls. 


“I got your knight!” Mira comments cheerfully as she knocks down his knight with a bit more force than necessary, sending it flying off the table. “I’m totally goanna win and there is nothing you can do about it, nerd!”


Actually, there’s a lot of things he can still do. But he lets her win the game before re-setting their pieces. By now he knows there’s no point in trying his best around her. As long as he lets her win half the games she’ll be happy. And to be honest, he’s distracted anyway. 


Much like her father, Mira doesn’t even notice. She just focuses harder on the board. He takes her queen only a few moves in. 

“Watcher. Now you’re just being a jerkwad.”


She learned that language from her older siblings. They don’t seem to realize she can hear them from her room. 


The weekend comes and Isidore tells his parents that he and Leya want to visit grandma and grandpa Sari. They think nothing of it. But of course Grandma Coral is a vampire, and she’s not fooled into thinking the kids just want to hang out.


She doesn’t even begin with any formalities or small talk. As soon as they’re seated, she gets to the point. “How badly did you fuck up and what can I do to help?”


Isidore is taken aback by Coral’s bluntness, but they already agreed that Leya was going to do all the talking. He was just here for morale support. 


“I need an abortion. I know what Grandpa does for a living, and I’m sure he knows someone who can help me.”


For a moment, Coral is silent. “That’s quite a request, sweetie. Illegal too. You’re sure this is what you want? There’s no coming back from it.” 


Leya nods. “Yes. I’ve given this a lot of thought, and while I know I want kids someday, I don’t want them now, and I don’t want my kids to have that asshole for a father.” She pauses for a second before continuing. “I’ve made a mistake, and while most girls would have to live with it, I don’t. So I’m here asking for Grandpa’s help. Please.”


Coral promises to see what she can do. She’ll call as soon as she knows. However she also instructs Leya to tell her father what’s going on; and soon. Isidore doesn’t bother telling Coral that that might be difficult. Gem’s rarely even home anymore. And when he is, he’s busy with the younger duo.


There are only a few months left before Moonlight Fall’s next election and Gem is really rallying for those last minute fund donations. Gator could be a good source of money, but after Bay’s confession, Gem pretends like his old friend was never born. 


He was about to ignore the man Gator entered with, before recognizing him as the father of Isidore’s new girl friend. Gem likes Amelia significantly more than that awful Riverhaven girl his step son was dating last year, so he decides to make an effort to get to know Amelia’s dad, Alphonse, and fill him in on the local politics of course. 


“In France, the police left us to our own devices. A pack brother was killed by our leader over food, and the police did nothing. That is why I fled with my daughter when my wife left me. I don’t know if our kind will ever achieve equality, but I will help your cause none the less. For my daughter’s sake.”


The latest poll results are in, and Gem is the clear favourite to continue on as Mayor, and with a term already under his belt, this will make his pro-equality stance all that much harder to ignore. 

Leya hears the good news at school. “Congrats Daddy!”


“Thanks, sweetheart. It’s been a long road, but we’re almost there! Maybe once this is all over we can have a big trip for just the family. Who knows, it might even double as your graduation gift!”


Leya was thinking of keeping her word to Grandma Coral and telling her dad what was going on, but his words change her mind. She’ll sort this problem out herself and her dad can focus on work. It’s her problem, no one elses.


Like clockwork, the clock hits 6 am and Mira is out of bed and dressed in the new outfit dad bought her. She likes it far more than that pink monstrosity mom made her wear. 


6.15 am on the dot, a surge of power warms the room and Damon appears in mid air. He’s been doing this for about a year now, but only when no one else is around. It’s really annoying.


“You know, the stairs really aren’t difficult to use. I mean, we’re not toddlers anymore, and you use them when mom and dad are awake. Why do you insist on freaking me out every morning with your dumb teleportation thing?”

He doesn’t answer. He never answers. He just smiles at her.


He’s so annoying!


They eat in silence for a bit before Mira remembers a word she heard her sister say last night. “Hey Damon, what’s abortion mean?”


He drops his spoon and stares right at her. He got that look from their dad. She stares right back at him and after a moment he shrugs, picks his spoon back up, and keeps eating.


One would think the teens in the house would be the first ones up, but they typically wake up around 7:30. Right before the bus shows up to take them to school. Normally, they’d be on the same bus as the kids, but today Mira and Damon are going on a field trip to the movie theatre, so Leya and Isi are free to leave whenever they want. 


Today’s the day. The doctor Grandpa Nico found is waiting inside the local hospital, everything has been set up, and Leya’s even called in to school sick. Her parents won’t be notified and after today this whole thing will be behind her.  

“I’ll be a phone call away if you need me, and I’ll be here to pick you up at lunch.” Isidore promises, kissing his little sister on the forehead. 


“I know.” She nods, not meeting his gaze. “I’ll be okay.”


She turns away from him, towards the hospital and walks forward confidently. He’s been beside her throughout everything, but she’s insisted that this final step is something she needs to do alone. 


He’d do anything to be in there with her, but he had to go. School’s starting any minute and Isidore needs to be there. Their parents can’t find out what’s going on. 


Amelia was home sick today as well, so Isidore certainly wasn’t expecting to see her waiting on his porch after school. He almost doesn’t want to interrupt her, seeing her so deep in thought, but she sees him soon enough.


“Is it true?” She asks him with a serious expression on. “Is your sister really pregnant?”


For a moment, Isidore feels anger, but he manages to hold it down. “Where the hel- uh, heck did you hear that?”

“Nico Sari came over a few nights ago and I overheard him speaking with Mr. Wolf about Mr. Sari’s granddaughter’s problem and how to get rid of her ex boyfriend. Since Leya is Mr. Sari’s only granddaughter even close enough in age to be pregnant I figured it might be her.”


Isidore had no idea Grandpa Nico had gotten his biological father involved. “What? I had no idea they were doing anything to Elrich. Leya wanted him left alone. She just wants to forget everything ever happened!”


“Don’t worry. They weren’t going to hurt him. Just scare him off!” She hesitates for a moment before reaching into her back pack and pulling out a wrapped box. “I don’t know if Leya will accept this or not, but my mother was our pack’s alchemist. She taught me what she knew, and I brewed up some fresh sleeping draughts this morning. They’ll help with the pain. Physical and mental.”


And that’s the moment Isidore decides he’s going to marry this girl. 


Finding himself with a rare evening off, Gem decides to spend some time with the kids. He’s noticed Damon being even quieter than usual, and asks him whats up. 


Damon hands him a piece of paper. It reads: “What does abortion mean?”


“Where did you hear that word?”


He should be angry. He’s aware of that much. Bayrose was furious when he figured everything out and told her. She wanted to cancel her upcoming concert so they could talk to Leya together, but he convinced her not to. It would be better for him to talk to Leya alone. Goodness knows he loves his wife, but she can be a bit rough around the edges when it comes to “talks”. 


Even so, he has no idea what he even wants to say to her. Does he give her a lecture? Discuss a punishment? It seems so ridiculous considering she managed to not only get pregnant, but have his own father organize an illegal abortion behind his back. She’s already gone through with it, his father was willing to say that much at least. She’s also perfectly healthy, which was Gem’s other fear. So what now? Where does he go from here?


The sleeping draughts Amelia gave her have been working like a charm. She’s able to sleep soundly every night, and wakes up refreshed and energetic, even when its just a short nap. 


Usually she wakes up to see Isidore sitting at the foot of her bed, checking to make sure she’s okay. She stops dead however when she realizes the figure in her chair isn’t her brother. “Dad? What are you doing here?”


“Were you never going to tell me?” He begins, not bothering to beat around the bush. “Were you going to keep everything to yourself and let us guess at what happened if you’d died? You’re my baby girl, Leya, you should have told me!”


“I didn’t want to worry you.” She mumbles, not meeting his gaze. “This was my problem, dad, not yours. I handled it on my own, and I had Isi around to morale support. You’ve been so busy with the election and everything, I just… I didn’t want to worry you. I didn’t want to worry anyone.”


To her surprise, her dad pulls her in for a hug. “Well next time, I want you to worry me. Do you understand?”


“Yes Daddy.” She smiles, relieved he still loves her. “I understand, and I promise.”


Next on the list is talking to Isidore about what he knew. And more importantly: “Why didn’t you tell me!”

“We handled it!” Isidore insists. “And Leya didn’t want you and mom to know. You guys would have just yelled at her. You’re hardly even around anyway, so why should we have told you?”


“Because you’re my children!” Gem insists. “If I’m not listening, then you make me listen!”


Gem’s never been cruel to Isidore, but Isidore always knew Gem wasn’t his father. He was just his step-dad, not his real dad. That asshole was his real dad. 

“But I’m not your son.”

Gem’s face falls. “Yes you are. I’ve been your dad since before you were born. And you’ve always been as much my son as Damon is. Don’t you ever break my heart like you two almost did again. Understood?”


Isidore can’t help but smile. “Understood!”


---

Song title: Stay With Me by Sam Smith

One thing that always bugs me with the sims is that it is so hard to keep this high initial toddler relationship scores with their parents to stay that high. By the time my siam hit their teens, their parents are basically strangers to them because I'm so focused on reaching those final career goals. I figured I'd at least try to touch on that here.

No surprise here. Isidore's secondary career is Alchemist. I don't particularly like that career, but it works for what I have planned. 

Next chapter might take a while to finish. I've got a lot of set building to do.