Log 6.2: I suck at everything.

I’ve been putting off writing this because I don’t even know where to start. So I’ll just say it plainly: Generation 6 has come to an early end.

It’s not that I’m hideously behind in writing (though I am). It’s that most everyone is dead.

6.z-graveyard

Yes – actually, prematurely dead. Keeled over. Kicked the bucket. Taking the great dirtnap.

First I killed off Freesia, our current heir.

6.z-last-living-photo
The last living photo I have of her, smelly and flirting with Ace while he tries to work.

It wasn’t intentional, but it was my fault. Carelessness. You see, in all my months and years of playing this dang family, I have never had a legacy sim die from anything but old age.  And it wasn’t for lack of trying. I admit there were times when I anxiously sat whilst some unloved spare swam beyond the point of exhaustion or unskilledly repaired an electrical appliance whilst standing in a puddle.  Even if a sim managed to get shocked, it was only a negative moodlet – not actual death. So it wasn’t pure folly to imagine that my 5-handiness Angry sim would manage to survive repairing a cheap radio whilst standing on a soft fluffy carpet.

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But nope. Zzot.

6.z-leave-a-good-looking-corpse

Tried to plead. Also nope.

6.z-dead-freesia

Ace of course was heartbroken. For a time his only solace was to go to those weird popup downtown events that I never got invited to in my other save.

He found karaoke a temporary but welcome distraction.

6.z-is-that-actually-singing
I’m not sure that counts as singing but if it makes you feel better, honey..

The kids would come along.

6.z-karaoke-therapy
Her yell-singing is the funniest thing ever.

They karaokeed, tried new vendor foods, talked to strangers and dumped paint all over the ground. It wasn’t perfect, but they seemed to feel better for a time.

6.z-sympathetic-pancakes
Sweet Eliza Pancakes always lent a comforting ear.

 

That brings us to how I killed most of the kids.

Ginger, who I hadn’t told yet was to become the next heir and aged up looking very like her grandmother Reagan, but Insane-r, was first.

6.3-like-reagan-but-nutser

She’d rolled the Master Chef LTW, had taken over many of the household cooking duties already and wanted to try cooking one of the new recipes she’d tasted downtown. It seemed like a natural progression. Of course I was going to let her. Did I know something bad could happen? Intellectually, somewhere in the back of my mind, sure. (I take these really long breaks and then have vague memories that I cannot confidently assign to a specific iteration of the Sims – was this thing in sims 3? 2??) But was I thinking of it at the time, or even paying attention to what she was making? Nope.

6.z-mad-chef
Cooking with gusto is the only way to cook!

So, with my inattentive blessing, she cooked up some Poor quality sushi, ate it, and died in her chair.

6.z-that-aint-a-nap
At first it looked like a rapid-onset nap..

And then her baby sister Greta, a beautifully dark, oddly thin Evil child who I hadn’t even introduced yet and was looking forward to getting to know, decided to join the club.

6.z-living-greta
Here she was as I remember her: alive and plotting.

 

Poor Greta. So young, and already witnessing her 2nd death-of-a-loved-one.

But that was not unusual in a legacy house. What was unusual was that she took a break from sobbing to pick up her sister’s fatally toxic plate from the floor and finish it off.

6.z-dont-eat-that

6.z-2-fer-1-special

She died immediately, while Grim was still processing big sis. I didn’t think that could even happen to a Child unless you somehow managed to ignite one (don’t ask).

6.z-dead-greta
For the love of Willwright, let me keep the little one at least!

 

Anyways, Grim was a stingy jerk as usual, and the living room was filled with urns, with only 2 of our 5 sims left to weep and moan.

So passes Generation 6. And most of 7. God I suck.

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Log 6.1: Don’t they know it’s the end of the world?

Wulp, it’s RL-day two and my sims are strangely not bothered by this whole take-off-and-nuke-the-site-from-orbit thing. And me, only oddly disjointed. I’m still feeling a bit rusty, so I’m just going to ramble-update you on how the restart is going.

6.1-the-fam
I don’t remember getting this Sim pregnant again, but we shan’t speak of it.

I suppose a re-intro of my Sims might be in order.  We have our gen 6 heir, Freesia Wolff – a Hot-Headed, Mean, Perfectionist who learned Social Giftedness from childhood and wants a Successful Lineage (barf!).  She didn’t retain her career on the trip, so she’s picked up Secret Agent again – the required skills and actions suit her and it pays pretty well.

6-Freesia
Brown hair, brown eyes, residual teeny eyes from previous pandemic.

 

Her soulmate, BFF, and husband Ace Sloan – a Romantic, Geeky Genius who wants to be a Best-Selling Author. He’s pretty much been a stay-at-home dad who writes while trying not to pass out from sleep deprivation, but, I’ve opted to disrespect that temporarily and make him enter the Writing career ’cause we need a computer ASAP (it’s only rank 2 – it’ll go quick!).

6-Ace
Black hair, brown eyes, great disposition – I love this dang sim.

 

And I just realized I’ve never introduced the kids! Well, first we had Gardener.

6-Gardener
Black hair, brown eyes. This kid definitely looks Wolffish.

He was a Happy Toddler (I dunno what that actually confers), because he was my first toddler and boy did I think toddlerhood was neat at first! And now he’s a Playful Scamp and has the Perfectionist trait.

Naturally, we needed a spare next. Enter Ginger, another Scamp. (I kinda gave up on her aspiration because she wasn’t getting credit for playful climbing no matter how climbey we played. But maybe I’ll try again in these new lands.)

6-Ginger
Black hair, brown eyes. I think she’s got more of her pop’s facial shape.

I guess Ginger wasn’t a Happy Toddler. Oops. I guess I gave up on that, too. (Sorry, kid!) I wasn’t a happy toddler-parent then either. Mainly because the highchair wouldn’t work, and I spent the days in panic over phoned threats from child protective services, hoping she would lower her standards and eat the rotting cheese sandwich off the floor before the cops came. Anyhow, she’s a Kleptomaniac now. Tsk, tsk.

6.1-the-sun-keeps-on-shinin
Fresh stolen cheese is way better than old floor cheese!

I should feel shame but it’s my first time with the trait and I’m kinda excited! 😀

She steals a lot of dirty plates from elementary school, which was annoying, until I found that having her ‘clean up’ the plates gives her a bit of Responsibility, which is nice. Once in a while she’ll nick a book, which is great ’cause we can’t afford any yet and Ace needs to read for his current job task.

She also steals this thing, which I’m pretty sure she really shouldn’t have access to –

6.1-debug-theft

She’s lifted 3 of them now. They don’t seem to function as a toy, but sell for $40 – I always get rid of them immediately, like they’re going to make my game explode. They could, y’know! But hopefully they don’t. Dang thief. Lol.

The new (to me) parenting mechanics seem kind of nifty. Since we don’t have any actual stuff to play with, the kids have been amusing themselves making messes.

6.1-more-mess
Remember when we were so poor, to have fun we had to sneak out at night n’spill paint in the road?
6.1-making-mess
And we couldn’t afford hot food, so we had to eat flour and ketchup off the lawn?

And then I make them clean it up! And they twinkle with Responsibility as though my incessant nagging might actually benefit them later in life! Ha!

.. As far as where they are, after hanging in indecision for a bit (and almost settling in a big empty Newcrest), I decided to bulldoze the Dresden House in Windenburg – my thoughts being that it would be preferable to start somewhere that already had neighbors and community lots. It’s a nice large lot, and I don’t know any of those townies/NPCs, and have barely been to any of their community lots, so it seemed like the sensible choice.

.. As for architectural concerns, I’m going to try not to build my usual conglomeration of legacy-house mess. I wind up really hating that and having a heck of a time fixing it. Rather, gonna aim for building when I can actually afford to add a whole, functionally-furnished room. Probably going to be modeling the style off some of the model rooms. (I like the look of the partly-brick loft style rooms – hopefully I’ll be able to grab some of those eventually.)

Thankfully, meanwhile there’s tents.

6.1-tents
Yay, tents!

Who needs a lawn bed when you can have camping? The fresh air! The sounds of nature! They’ll wake up feeling renewed, and ready to drink in the day!

6.1-mad-momma
Or ready to bite off the first head to poke itself out of the tent.

Eventually, of course, the lack of plumbing becomes an issue that affects all others. And then relationships begin to suffer.  So I broke down and used all but our last $87 to purchase a prefab bathroom, so that the pregnant woman would stop scaring everyone.

6.1-the-most-important-room
Clean and serene – not like your usual family bathroom at all! 😀

Not the best start for a house, but if ya ain’t got one, a bathroom’s the most important.

Anyway, I feel like I’m getting back into the swing of things. Now, off to the library — I don’t remember what day the bills come but I’m gonna have to write a book or two to make enough money to cover them!

Log 6.01: Inevitable Change of Address

6.1-Old-Estate
Such wealth! Such splendor!

Strange things happen when you remain in one place for too long – more specifically, in one save file. Since the game’s launch, the Wolff lot has been in play, and for the most part we’ve been able to weather the little quirks that happen in an old legacy file as the game evolves over time. The ones that deformed our faces, made our neighbors flee in fright from our tiny eyes and big chins, caused unhealthy obsessions with woodworking, absorbed all of our ghosts and kept new people from ever moving in, and dozens more – we eventually found ways around(ish).

But this latest thing has challenged my will to persevere, heartily.

Perhaps it was my fault — all those times I had to pause aging in order to assign townies jobs, move houses, and all the other little neighborhood maintenance things that used to be taken care of by the game itself, can’t have been good for The Algorithm.  And I’ll admit, I’ve been away a pretty long while, just installed expansions I’ve never played, probably should’ve at least poked around a little first — maybe there are better ways to manage this stuff now. But once I had finished scooting things around and turned aging-for-all back on this time, the Simgods wanted blood. We watched our relationship panel with curiosity and then horror as the little heads of our beloved friends and neighbors abruptly turned Elderly, replaced by a ghostly visage the very next morning, and nothingness soon after. Other players’ sims, whom I was entrusted with and going to work into the story someday, had their lifeforce sucked away like tasty iced tea. Even simfolk who were younger than us shuffled off this mortal coil like they had somewhere much more important to be. And then the children’s only friend disappeared – culled? And we, chained with the invisible baggage of population bloat, were doomed to remain alone in this big ass house (which, by the way, had become periodically load-jerky – and there seems to be a problem with the fridge, and there is a large invisible collision area in the center of the living room that I cannot demolish nor place objects into. And nobody uses their dang beds! Argh!), forever – or at least for another 4 generations.

I guess I could reload and try something that doesn’t mass-murder everyone in town..

No. No no. No more! I’m done with this save file. Done, I tell ya! Off to the gallery with these poor bastards. One last hurrah, away from this dang sinkhole.  It’ll be an adjustment, starting over from scratch, but they’ll have each other – everyone they knew is dead anyway.

6.0-lawl
(I like how Ace is shrugging supportively. “Wow, yeah. It’s um.. really green.”)

Ha – take that, game!

 

 

Log 6.0: Forward, Fast

Everything changes.

We get old, our bodies morph and cells degrade. Our buxom parts shrink and we start to sag and shine and pucker in unwelcome places.

6-0-ede-mug

6-0-malcolm-mug

But, we kinda don’t care.

6-0-grow-old-together

Because whatever edge we believe made us distinctive,  gave us our dangerous allure, softens too.

If we’re lucky, we’ll remember with intensity the flavor of a fresh-picked strawberry, still warm from the sun, and how much we used to love eating them as children, but not what the heck we were fighting about earlier this week.

6-0-still-friends

The tether that remains between us and our children may tighten. But our children are no longer children.

6-0-looking-in

Wait, that’s not right. They are still children. They are our babies, who can’t possibly be that old already, can they?

It will feel like it’s all too soon.

But there they will be, doing adult things. Delicious, terrible things.

Falling in love.

6-0-bashful

6-0-couple

6-0-there-goes-my-heart
6-0-as-you-wish

6-0-nice-hair

 

Starting a family.

6-0-proposal

6-0-wed

6-0-guess-what

And having babies of their own.

6-0-pat-the-bump

6-0-spawn

And just as we are all born, so too must we all die.

Yes, even you, mister important businessman still waiting for that last promotion.

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6-0-malcolm-d-2

6-0-malcolm-d-3

Even me, who still takes herself too seriously.

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6-0-ede-b-2

6-0-ede-b-3

And it will hurt the ones we love the most.

6-0-freesia-mourning

But before there’s been time to give up, life will be there again, poking its cold little nose and grubby, questioning fingers at us.

6-0-firstborn

Reminding us that time has not ended.

There will be new things.

More discovery.

6.0-kitty-love.jpg

More play.

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More laughter.

6-0-play-2

And whether requested or not, more peas.

6-0-more-peas

And the tether will loosen. It is as it should be; everything is in order.

6-0-deaths-ipad

6-0-goodbye-edelweiss

6-0-goodbye-malcolm
And we will finally go.

And the world will go on without us.

But perhaps somewhere out there, years from now, we’ll appear again. In the sunlight glinting off of hair that could well have been ours, in a familiar defiant gleam in eyes that are just our color or shape, or a certain posture or curve of hip that reminds the living that we were too, once.

 

6-0-farewell

 

Until then.

.

Gen 5 Score Card

5-99-goodbye-loves

Alrighty folks, as I ease back into playing after yet another hiatus and a bunch of boring lifey-type details, here’s my attempt to show where we’re at with the challenge. I think that this is the last of these “score card” posts I’ll be making – since it’s involving a lot of copy and paste now, I’m thinking it makes more sense to just have one score tracking page that I update from here on out. (I need to fiddle with that because the WordPress interface has changed since I was last active.)  Also need to go and review the challenge rules in light of all these new expansions and updates that have been added since I last played, too. That’s next on my to-do list, and I’ll put it in the sidebar thingy once I’ve actually made it.  Meanwhile, please forgive the slight teaser pic above. 🙂

 

** Important note: With this generation, I have indeed modified Living Will so that we do the power transition on the eve of the current heir’s Elder birthday, rather than at their death. Seems to work pretty nicely as there’s less time to manipulate the relationships, and depending on personalities I think it will make for an interesting power dynamic in the household.

 

Score-Like Details Up to Gen 5-6 Turnover

Generations: 6/10

Fortune: 

Lot Value:  $321,613 (That’s down about 40k from last time, as I sold off a bunch o’ crap in hopes of lowering the bills.)

Cash on hand: $58,004

Bills: $12k (about 5k less than this point last gen.)

 

Spouse Traits Collected:

Finn (Genius, Good, Family-Oriented)

Garrett (Geek, Childish, Music Lover)

Estrella (Loves Outdoors, Romantic, Materialistic)

Cooper (Evil, Perfectionist, Family-Oriented)

Malcolm (Cheerful, Outgoing, Creative)

 

Skills Mastered:

Creative (child): Clematis, Fennel

Mental (child): Delphinium

Motor (child): Easter Lily, Edelweiss

Social (child): Digitalis, Freesia

Charisma: Edelweiss

Cooking: Clematis, Edelweiss

Fishing: Buttercup, Estrella

Gardening: Estrella, Clematis

Gourmet Cooking: Edelweiss

Guitar: Anemone

Handiness: Buttercup

Logic: Buttercup, Burdock, Clematis

Painting: Garrett, Cyclamen

Rocket Science: Clematis

Writing: Dianthus

 

Aspirations Completed:

Artistic Prodigy (Child): Clematis, Fennel

Rambunctious Scamp (Child): Easter Lily, Edelweiss, Forsythia

Social Butterfly (Child): Freesia

Creative > Painter Extraordinaire: Cyclamen

Knowledge > Nerd Brain: Clematis

Nature > Angling Ace: Buttercup, Estrella

Nature > Curator: Buttercup

Nature > Green Thumb: Clematis

Wealth > Fabulously Wealthy: Malcolm

Wealth > Mansion Baron: Estrella

 

Careers Mastered:

Painter > Master of the Real: Cyclamen

Astronaut > Interstellar Smuggler: Clematis

 

Collections:

Sims collections completed: Elements, Space Rocks. (There’s something wonky going on with the game forgetting this, however – perhaps because I’ve had all family ghosts culled?  Will need to repair in the tracker for the coming gen.)

Deaths on lot: Elderly Demise (11)

Perfect Social Events: Date, Birthday, Wedding.. I totally have not been keeping track of how many. >.<

Penalties: None!

(-1 point for: power shutoff, plumbing shutoff, child/infant taken away)


 

Man, that Edelweiss! This sim was hard for me to play. Talk about unwanted self-reflection, haha.  Anyway, here’s a screencap of Ede’s household relationship panel at turnover.  Freesia’s relationship remained closest despite occasional mean interactions with her mom – between Fennel being a serious Loner and Forsythia’s crummy jokes and constant napping, nobody else could really gain ground on her.

 

ede-gen-6-rollover

So, it’ll be Freesia who carries us forward to generation 6. 🙂 Posts will be collected here:

6th Generation

As a side note, we are entering into uncharted territory. I have probably attempted Legacy challenges dozens of times over the years, in many iterations of the game, and not once have I surpassed generation 6. This was most often due to game corruption (fairies falling through the ground, a spewing font of waitresses clogging the CPU, the lot just plain not loading anymore, etc) but, so far, my save still runs, so it’s all on me now. The pressure’s on! 🙂

Log 5.44: Thy Kingdom Awaits

Aspiring writer Ace Sloan sat at the computer, composing his thoughts as he prepared to compose the next chapter of the current draft of his latest novel.

In the next room his childhood enemy, now BFF, worked on perfecting the coverup for their latest hooky adventure. They were old pros at subterfuge by now, but he figured it might take a while for his friend to get everything just so. So he opened his file and started typing.

. . . . .

As the months passed, good King Malcolm grew ever more weary of the rigors and demands of his post.

5.44-malcolm-1

The daily toils he endured without complaint, unwilling to burden his loving wife with his troubles. And when night fell, he would slip away to seek consolation at the magic well.

5.44-malcolm-3

Plead as he may, the well only offered trite platitudes.

5.44-malcolm-2
“Sucks to be yoooooooouu..”

Unable to find the strength within himself to make a change to better his situation, King Malcolm returned to his work away from the castle, leaving fair Queen Edelweiss to tend to kingdom business alone.

There was peace and prosperity in the Kingdom, but many subjects whispered rumors about the royal couple. They spoke of their love’s demise, calling Queen Edelweiss “the Loner Queen” behind her back. She paid them no mind. It was true that she had little need for company, and running the kingdom was a task which she was more than capable of.

But the wise Queen also saw that her husband had become a shadow of the man she once knew. She mourned for his happiness and feared what may come if the course remained unaltered. She consulted her most trusted adviser, Ser Minnow, who said the same thing he always does:

5.44-glub
“Let me guess.. ‘Glub, glub’?”

And she knew, as always, what must be done. So she called for her loyal Knight of the Octagon, and dictated to him a new amendment to the Laws of Succession: 

5.44-knight-octogone
“Brave Knight, your order has served my family silently for five generations. And now I must make a request of you.” 

“I hereby declare my intent as rightful ruler of the Kingdom and Steward of the Wolff Legacy that the following changes be made immediately: Instead of burdening the Kingdom’s heir until their final breath, from this day forth the transition of power will come on the eve of the heir’s Elder birthday, at which point the crown will be handed over to the new heir. The next generation will then begin its rule, and the Elders of the last will stay on as royal advisers.” The Queen smiled, and then added, “If they feel like it.”

5.44-queenly

With that decision the Queen’s spirits lifted almost immediately. The choice of successor, she imagined, would not be so difficult to make. Of the three heirs hopeful, only one seemed truly suited for the task that lie ahead.

It was not Princess Forsythia, who had never been close to her mother. Not for any reasons of ill will; her attention simply rested elsewhere.

5.44-forsy-1

5.44-lady-friday
“Heyyy, mom. So, like, I’m probably gonna go into the city and become a bard.”

 

5.44-maybe-a-jester
“Oh wait, I think I was supposed to say jester! Close enough, right?”

 

Nor was it the brilliant Prince Fennel, whose particular gifts required frequent travel to the far corners of the kingdom.

5.44-fennel-1

“I will wait until it is official, of course,” said the Prince, “But I believe we both agree that the needs of the kingdom are best suited with my departure to serve as royal Herbalist and Physician.”

5.44-fennel-2
“And if it please you, I will visit often, and bring back medicines and delicious foodstuffs from the farthest reaches of the land.”

 

No, it was with the Queen’s youngest daughter that the hopes for the Kingdom’s future must surely lie: The beautiful Princess Freesia.

5.44-fair-freesia-1

Well-versed in social mores from an early age and with an allure rivaled only by her mother, Princess Freesia was a true vision to behold.

5.44-fair-freesia-2

With cascades of chestnut locks gently framing a face that held innocence and grace in equal meas–

. . . . .

Ace was interrupted by cawing from the other room.

“Dude! Where did you put my freaking Simlish homework?? I only have like one assignment left to get my grade up!”

“Hang on!” he called over his shoulder. He highlighted that last section and hit delete, and started writing again.

. . . . .

No, for good or ill, the Kingdom’s fate was bound to rest in the hands of the Queen’s youngest daughter: The spirited Princess Freesia, who showed up late to these things or not at all.

5.44-fierce-freesia-1
“I’m here. Ya miss me?”

And, dare I pen this, though it’s true that her Social skills were somehow quite high, she was just as likely to stab a man as look at him.  And yet, she also had a certain undeniable charm — one might even call it magnetism — that was rivaled only by her mother the Queen. 

5.44-fierce-freesia-3a

With rich chestnut hair that fell loose and free, red lips curled up in a smirk, and fiery brown eyes that twinkled with mischief and danger, Princess Freesia possessed a wild, untamed beauty that could humble and silence even the boldest lothario.

Yes, this was the one to watch. And I–

. . . . .

“Hellooo?” his friend called to him, interrupting the story again.  “I found my homework. Did you keel over in there?”

“Was watching.” Ace accidentally spoke the words aloud.

Now she barged into the room. “Watching what?? Seriously, I’m about to give you a good whallo–” she stopped as her eye caught the screen.

“Don’t start!!” he protested in vain. But she’d already begun to register her disbelief.

“Gawd, you have to word-process now? Really?? Are you coming to my mom’s party or not?”

“I’m coming, Princess, I’m coming,” sighed Ace. He hit Save and grabbed his jacket as he watched the actual Freesia exit the room grumbling, the next part of his story already playing out in his mind.

5.44-fierce-freesia-3

5.44-fierce-freesia-2

5.44-fierce-freesia-4
“And what, praytell, are YOU looking at?”

“Gods help us,” he said.

Log 5.43: Geeks of a Feather

Stuart Bowser was restocking shelves in Bartertown, his retail business, having an animated chat with one of his regulars.

something
“If it ain’t the fluoride that gets us, it’ll be the chemtrails!”

“Chemtrails? Don’t get me started on chemtrails!” the male customer agreed emphatically.

“Yes, please don’t,” smirked his female companion, who’d been standing nearby.

He shot her a sharp look, which didn’t have the intended effect.

“Unless there’s a ‘Most Eccentric Customer’ discount,” she added with a grin.

“Oh, I’m eccentric!” he laughed. “Who’s the one who named our child after an homicidal ship AI?”

3-grave-insult

Homicidal?!” she gasped. “How about, practically saved the entire human race!”

“AIs are worse than drones,” Stuart offered unhelpfully. “But wait’ll they get their AIs to control them BigDogs – we’re all plummed, then!”

“Well,” the female customer sighed, exasperated, “those clunky things can be neutralized with tripwire and trenches.”

“Yeah, but –” Stuart protested.

“And this AI was perfectly worthy of trust,” she interrupted.

“Tell that to Frank Poole,” the male customer scoffed.

"Oh wait -- you can't, 'cuz he's dead!"
“Oh wait — you can’t, ‘cuz he’s dead!”

3-what-did

The woman’s freaky giant eyeballs bulged as she stood there, one eyelid twitching. The man seemed to take this a cue to launch into an actual Insane episode.

5.44-vertibird

“What’s that, your vertibird impression?” she asked, unimpressed.

“Verti– What? No! I’m having a legitimate outburst from a documented affliction!”

“Pfft!” she scoffed. “I don’t think they list ‘Meathead’ in the DSM V.”

5.44-in-sane
“Not meathead, Insane! It says so right down there in my character panel: Insane!

“Anyway, at least your vertibird impression is convincing,” she said. “Maybe you should take your boy Stuart here back to the wastes and join the Brotherhood of Steel. And then you can go out and hunt synths with your meathead pals, and –”

“And burp into our power armor!” he finished. “Thanks, I’ve been meaning to do that!”

3-nonchalant
“And I’ve been meaning to tell you, you always have the best ideas!”

 

“Oh, you have not!” she said. “And what the heck are you smiling for!”

3-savior-of-the-human-race
“And since when do you care about Frank freakin’ Poole!”

“Wait..” she realized finally, “you want me to get mad, don’t you?”

“I don’t know what would give you that idea,” he said with attempted innocence.

"I don't know what would give you that idea."
“It’s just that Dr. Poole and I went to medical school together and, regrettably, missed our chance to say goodbye.”
"You are so fulla shit, Monaghan."
“Oh you did, huh?”
3-srsly
“You are so fulla shit, Monaghan.”

 

Things got real quiet and, before anyone knew to look away, he —

 

5.43-get-a-room

“Oh for plumsake, get a room!” groaned Freesia.

5.43-in-a-store
“You’re in a freakin’ store, you know.”

 

The lady shopper split, and Stuart’s son Ace arrived at the scene just in time to negotiate a bloodless exit for the dude.

“Hey, Mr. Monaghan. Thanks again for helping my dad earlier. I didn’t think we’d be able to recover that bathtub.”

“Sure thing, kid.”  He said it a bit like Indiana Jones. Which was, of course, lost on Freesia.

5.43-heyy-mister-m
“‘sides, you get used to the fish pee smell after a while.”

 

Freesia continued to scowl at Ace as the last customer departed the shop. Ace knew by now not to take it personally.  And not to let her know he thought it was kinda cute.

“Hello, doll,” he cheesed at her. “Let’s split this groovy joint, hm?”

5.43-guess-i-wont-kill-this-one
Or I could just split your sk.. oh, forget it.

. . .

 

Our intrepid teenagers were both too tired to do anything fancy after a long day of work and school, so they just hung nearby and relaxed, watching the clouds roll by. Freesia wasn’t really much of a talker, but Ace didn’t mind – he found they didn’t really need to speak at times like this; just being together was enough.

5.43-clouds-1

Usually enough.

“So are you coming to the party tomorrow night?” Freesia asked.

“Wouldn’t miss it,” Ace answered.

A particularly fluffy cloudblob rolled by. Neither of them were really paying attention, though.

5.43-the-clouds-are-up-here-guys

“Can I ask you something?” Freesia spoke again.

“Of course.”

Freesia was nervous, but she knew that she could talk to him about anything without worrying what he might think of her. So she spit it out.

5.43-close
“So.. Geek question.”

“Buffy and Angel, or Buffy and Spike?” she asked.

“Oh,” Ace crossed his arms behind his head. “That’s easy.”

“Well?” she waited.

“Spike. No contest.”

Freesia rolled onto her belly, propping herself up on her elbows so she could see him better.

“Really? You don’t think Angel’s, like, better for her?”

“No. Besides that whole curse thing, Angel’s kind of patronizing. Too concerned with being Good to really be there for her. Spike goes to the low places and looks her in the eye; he understands her like no one else can.”

“Hm,” Freesia grunted in agreement, rolling back into cloudgazing position.

5.43-ace-expands

“I mean,” Ace continued, “I think Spike keeps her honest, you know? Like, it’s probably pretty easy for the slayer not to kill Angel, the ‘Good’ vampire; but Spike is like, a real vampire – he’s, openly, all kinds of messed-up. She’s gotta really look at that stuff. And at herself. Acknowledge that the separation between man and monster is not so distinct. When she decides not to kill that vampire, it’s huge.”

“Well, someone’s really thought about this a lot,” Freesia teased fondly.

“Hey,” he said confidently, “it’s what I do.”

 

“Besides,” he added,”Spike has way cooler hair.”

“Totally!” Freesia laughed.

 

They laid quiet again for a bit, losing themselves in thought. There was so much more Ace could say on the subject, but he didn’t want to push it with Freesia – it was unusual that they’d discussed anything at this length and he didn’t want to spoil the next one by taking too much now. Plus, there was a particularly pointy rock trying to burrow its way into his back.  But there was one last thing he was dying to know.

5.43-ace-cheesy-grin

“So I’m a Spike, right?” he asked, “I mean, if you had to pick one for me.”

“Huh? Oh.. no.”

“I’m not Angel!” he protested.

“Nope,” she said. “You’re Buffy.”

5.43-victor.jpg

.

Log 5.42: Namaste, Namago

5.42-wobble

“I fail to see how this is gonna help me,” Freesia complained, shakily holding her yoga pose.

“Let’s try a different one,” her brother Fennel suggested. “Come over to the mats.”

Freesia circled around behind her big brother and got into position for the next part of the yoga lesson.

5.42-so-srs

Fennel started the next pose from a sitting position. Freesia attempted to mirror his movements while she waited for an answer.

“It’s about 55% distraction, 45% tiring you out,” said Fennel as he effortlessly slid into a side plank.

5.42-yoga

“I’d rather work on strength training,” she said, her balance faltering a bit. “You know, something useful?”

“Your wrist strength will increase with practice,” he assured her.

“That’s great if you wanna wave someone to death,” she grumbled, getting up from the mat.

5.42-breakin

“Somehow I don’t think bulking up is the right answer for you,” he said. “You already hit harder than anyone else I know.”

“That’s not saying much,” she panted, “you’re a freakin’ Loner.”

“Point taken,” Fennel chuckled. “Still, you would benefit from mastery over your temper.”

In defiance of her brother’s little remark, Freesia deviated from his routine and started doing her own thing. But she was too busy trying not to fall on her face to hold a grudge.

“Consider this.” Fennel stretched, angling his body. “You have a hated trait – two now. Before you even act people will have put you in a little box, thinking they have you all figured out.”

5.42-yoga-3

“You will be judged, misunderstood, feared,” he said, placing his palms flat on the ground before his feet.

“Good!” she said, her arms wide. “There’s too many stupid people anyway. Better if they don’t bug me.”

“But they will bug you. Some will seek you out just for the fight.”

“Happy to oblige,” she snorted.

“But others will seek your help. When things get uncomfortable or scary, they’ll expect you to handle it because you’re at home in the shadows.”

5.42-cheese

“You see, dear sister,” he continued dramatically, “come nightfall, everyone dwells in darkness. But few can see in it.”

Freesia closed her eyes, surrendering to the present moment.

Her brother might have a point.

She might have to accept that someday.

5.42-serenity

Of course, she wouldn’t have to accept it.

“Well,” she said, resisting the aura of calm that threatened to envelop her, “Sucks to be them, ’cause I’m not going out of my way for some mouth–”

5.42-mouth

“– breathing–”

5.42-breathing

“– plumhole who’s too chicken to deal with their own crap!”

In one final burst of stubbornness, Freesia shoved hard and willed herself upright.

5.42-plumhole

5.42-upright

Shove that in your throat-chakra.
Stick that in your throat-chakra.
Color me impressed.
Color me impressed.

“Nice!” said her brother. “Now, can you go back down?”

Slowly, steadily, and with confidence, Freesia bent backwards again.

5.42-once-more

“Are we done with the life lesson yet?” she asked, her fingertips inches from the floor behind her.

“Yes,” Fennel said, wrapping up his own Yoga routine. “Unless you want to Talk About Woohoo.”

5.42-omg

And then she fell flat on her back.

“Dude!! You did that on purpose!”

“From a purely biological standpoint,” Fennel rambled quickly, “your friend Ace would be an ideal match for our genetics. He has broad shoulders and excellent musculature.”

“Shut up!” Freesia laughed, “So gross!”

“And black hair,” he added. “That’s new.”

“Maybe you should breed with him,” she offered.

“Alas,” he said sadly, “science is not yet that advanced.”

Freesia snorted. “I think you’re weirder than mom.”

Fennel gave his sister an exaggerated bow.

5.42-namaste

“Namaste,” he said solemnly.

“Nah,” Freesia countered, “I’m ‘onna go. Got stuff to do, y’know?”

"See ya later, grasshopper!"
“The killer within me says thxbye!”

Log 5.41: Love and Hate

Edelweiss Wolff and her mobile phone had a love-hate relationship.

“No, I typed ‘hee,’ you bitch. H – e – e .”

Okay, it was mostly hate.

“Maybe you would like to write my whole message for me!”

Edelweiss mashed the predictive text selection panel over and over again with her finger until the text window was good and full and hit Send, as though she were somehow winning by submitting the garbled message to transmission.

Her daughter Freesia’s phone vibrated at the other end of the house.

?
“Her I just find my keys and the best time of the day of your life is my appointment with the best morning drive me there my best friend my own emergency blanket.”

“What’s so funny?” Freesia’s friend Ace wondered.

“Mom’s fighting with her phone again.”

5.41-weird-texts

Freesia showed Ace the recent conversation history, which was full of much of the same with the occasional weird photo thrown in.

“Haha..” he laughed, “I like the accidental selfie.”

5.41-ede-selfie

“Hahaha! My mom is a freak!”

Freesia’s sister Forsythia joined their chat. With just a few days of high school left for the twins, the kids had been making a concerted last-ditch effort to bring their grades up. Forsythia had taken it upon herself to act as homework ringleader, if you will – rounding up nearby minors and whipping them into performing in her studious circus.

“Homework time, kids!” Forsythia announced. “Chop chop.”

“Ugh,” groaned Freesia.

Ace took the opportunity to excuse himself. “I’ve got to go check on my dad – I’ll come by later?”

“Sure, deserter – quit the field!” Freesia teased.

“Hey, I’m going to a damned bunker, Sarge!” he laughed.

. . .

Despite the grumbling, these group homework sessions were already having an impact. Fennel had a strong A grade, Forsythia had a B, and Freesia’d brought her own D- up to a C+.

5.41-forsy-homeworker

“He’s cute,” Forsythia commented.

“Do you want his number?” Freesia retorted.

5.41-forsy-1
“Are we gonna do this plummy assignment or what?”

“I’m just saying,” Forsythia went on, “if I weren’t so much older you’d have some serious competition on your hands.”

“Don’t be gross.” Freesia balked.

5.41-forsy
“He’s hardly gross. In fact, he’s quite well put-together.”
5.41-forsy-2
“I didn’t say he was gross. I said you are gross.”

“Oh – so you do like him!”

“Shut up. God.”

They finished the extra-credit assignment just in time for Forsythia to run off to work.

Freesia was feeling a bit peckish so she thought she’d make herself something to eat.  Not having much cooking skill to speak of, she went for her favorite easy-to-prepare meal: some fancy oatmeal.

"I don't care how lame it is, I love this stuff."
“I don’t care how lame it is, I love this stuff.”

The doorbell rang just as her food was ready.

Wow, she thought, he’s back already.

Freesia was expecting a friend at the door, but found an enemy: it was her brother’s sleazy buddy, Chester.

“Oh Lord,” she moaned. “Not you again.”

“Hello, Beautiful,” he grinned.

As was the norm with Chester, he showed up feeling Flirty. Following her into the kitchen, he lined up the unwanted advances and started lobbing them at Freesia, who deflected them with a certain natural flair.

5.41-orly-1
“I’ve got an idea. How ’bout you drop dead?”
5.41-chester
“Oh yeah? Oh yeah?! You don’t deserve to touch these guns!”
"Guns?!  Puh-lease."
Guns? Puh-lease.”
"Your teeny little spaghetti arms? Don't flatter yourself!"
“You mean your teeny little spaghetti arms? Don’t flatter yourself!”
"They're like itsy bitsy rubber bands."
“This is all muscle, baby – I work out every day!”

“That’s funny,” she scoffed, “’cause from here they look like itsy bitsy rubber bands, flapping in the wind that comes out of your mouth.”

Chester started ranting incoherently; it was how their conversations usually ended. Freesia got up from her chair and went back for her food. But the microwave was empty.

“Did you take my plumming oatmeal?!” she snarled at him.

5.41-chester-1
“What oatmeal?

Chester didn’t visibly have Freesia’s bowl of oatmeal, but she was sure he had something to do with its disappearance.

Until Fennel moseyed in from the table.

"Stop right there!"
*hisssss!*

“Dude. Is that my oatmeal??”

“I guess,” Fennel shrugged.

5.41-oatmeal-thief
“Unbelievable. My own freaking brother.”

“What’s the big deal?” Fennel asked. “Just make some more.”

It doesn’t take much to set off poor Hot-Headed Freesia. But being tired, hungry, and insulted was enough for her to become fully enraged.

Grrrrrr
“It’s ok.. you’re not gonna kill him, deep breaths..”
5.41-hangry
*hnnnggh!*

Fennel and Chester had the good sense to vacate the kitchen, but not until Freesia’d had a chance to fully express her disgust.

“I can’t believe you,” she said.

"You're both terrible, terrible Sims."
“You’re both terrible, terrible Sims.”

“Don’t ever speak to me again — no, don’t even look at me.”

"I said don't look!"
“I SAID DON’T LOOK!”
Man
“So.. hungry.”

. . .

Much later that evening, after the others had gone to bed, Ace finally made it back by. He found a strangely quiet Freesia waiting up for him.

They stood a while without a word.

5.41-staring

“Are you staring at my boobs?” Ace joked.

But there was no witty comeback from his fiery friend.

“Today sucked,” she said flatly.

“Aw, c’mere.” Ace offered himself up for a sacrificial hugging.

“I lay myself on your altar, Lady Freesia.”

She gratefully plunged the dagger in.

5.41-hug-1

“I hate everyone,” she mumbled into his shoulder.

“I know you do,” he smiled gently into her hair.

.

Log 5.40: Lumbering Along

Freesia Wolff and Ace Sloan had just finished one of their impromptu roleplay sessions at the local bakery.

“Dude. That was weak.”

“We just needed more time,” Ace said.

“For a zombie and a smuggler?” Freesia scoffed. “Like that’s ever gonna work – that fight’ll always be over quick.”

“It could work,” Ace protested. “And not everything needs to be a fight all the time.”

To illustrate, Ace tried to “eat” Freesia’s brain in a quizzical, friendly manner.

“.. braaains?”

“Not gonna happen, bub. I have lightning-fast smuggler reflexes and I need my brain to pilot the ship.”

Freesia jabbed playfully at Ace’s zombie face.

“Eyeballs!”

“OW!” he yelped.

5.40-weak-3
“Oh god! I didn’t mean to actually — “

5.40-weak-4

“I’m so sorry.” Freesia said pitifully. “Does it hurt?”

“GOTCHA!” he yelled. “Zombie beats smuggler!”

“RRRWAAAAHH..”

“You cheating undead ass!!”

. . .

To the pack of teens that lived in the Wolff house, it probably seemed like youth would last forever. But their father Malcolm was feeling his years.

“This is it,” he thought as he struggled to fill out his daily reports. “This is all there is. I’m just going to keep going to work every day until I come home one evening and keel over on the sidewalk.

5.40-reports-1

Since he quit his sweet gig as Ede’s Life Coach, Malcolm had been slowly working through a personal goal to earn 200,000 simoleons. He was at $93,877.

“Not even halfway,” he sighed. “There’s a depressing thought!”

5.40-reports

He’d joined the Business career and managed to work midway up the corporate ladder to Regional Manager. But promotions were few and far-between these days, and the tedium was driving him mad.

“Well, at least one of the kids will probably drag my corpse onto the lawn and bury me in the backyard,” he fantasized aloud as his wife Edelweiss walked in.

5.40-wtf

“And then you can claw your way back out and eat some brains?” she asked.

5.40-reports-2
“Heh.. How long have you been standing there?”

“Hey,” he said. “I’m sorry, it’s just.. This job. It seems to be going nowhere, but we need the money.”

Ede paused for a moment in hopes of collecting sufficient tact before opening her mouth. She hadn’t quite perfected that skill yet.

“I’m not sure how to say this right, so I’m just gonna say it.”

“I don’t mean to tell you what to do, my sweet,” she began, “but we don’t actually need the money. And if for some reason you do, there’s plenty that can be done with the estate to generate capital. You’re Creative – use it.”

“You think I should quit,” he observed.

“Well, you’re miserable, so yeah,” she said. “You don’t need to hang onto a lousy job to make money. We have resources – hell, we have enough crap in storage to build Newcrest ourselves.”

Malcolm seemed to be seriously considering what she said, but his face went from hopeful to despondent with the changing of the clock. It was time to leave for work – the narrow window for imagining possibilities had closed for the day.

Ede pulled her husband into an embrace before she lost him to corporate drudgery for another day.

5.40-cheek

“I know you have to go now,” she said gently. “Just think about it, ok?”

5.40-smile

“Thank you,” he said. “Really.”

5.40-doll

“Don’t,” she hushed. “It’ll go right to my head.”

.