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.
But, we kinda don’t care.
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.
The tether that remains between us and our children may tighten. But our children are no longer children.
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.
Starting a family.
And having babies of their own.
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.
Even me, who still takes herself too seriously.
And it will hurt the ones we love the most.
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.
Reminding us that time has not ended.
There will be new things.
And whether requested or not, more peas.
And the tether will loosen. It is as it should be; everything is in order.
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.
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
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.)
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. >.<
(-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.
So, it’ll be Freesia who carries us forward to generation 6. 🙂 Posts will be collected here:
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! 🙂
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.
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.
Plead as he may, the well only offered trite platitudes.
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:
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:
“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.”
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.
Nor was it the brilliant Prince Fennel, whose particular gifts required frequent travel to the far corners of the kingdom.
“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.”
No, it was with the Queen’s youngest daughter that the hopes for the Kingdom’s future must surely lie: The beautiful Princess Freesia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stuart Bowser was restocking shelves in Bartertown, his retail business, having an animated chat with one of his regulars.
“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?”
“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.
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.
“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.”
“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!”
“Oh, you have not!” she said. “And what the heck are you smiling for!”
“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.
Things got real quiet and, before anyone knew to look away, he —
“Oh for plumsake, get a room!” groaned Freesia.
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.
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?”
. . .
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.
“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.
“Can I ask you something?” Freesia spoke again.
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.
“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.
“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.
“So I’m a Spike, right?” he asked, “I mean, if you had to pick one for me.”
Edelweiss Wolff and her mobile phone had a love-hate relationship.
Okay, it was mostly hate.
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.
“What’s so funny?” Freesia’s friend Ace wondered.
“Mom’s fighting with her phone again.”
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.”
“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+.
“He’s cute,” Forsythia commented.
“Do you want his number?” Freesia retorted.
“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.
“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.
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.
“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.
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.
“Dude. Is that my oatmeal??”
“I guess,” Fennel shrugged.
“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.
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.
“Don’t ever speak to me again — no, don’t even look at me.”
. . .
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.
“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.
Freesia Wolff and Ace Sloan had just finished one of their impromptu roleplay sessions at the local bakery.
“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.
“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.
“OW!” he yelped.
“I’m so sorry.” Freesia said pitifully. “Does it hurt?”
“GOTCHA!” he yelled. “Zombie beats smuggler!”
“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.“
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!”
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.
“And then you can claw your way back out and eat some brains?” she asked.
“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 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.
“I know you have to go now,” she said gently. “Just think about it, ok?”
[This is part of the #wheresfree collab – more info here.]
Ace Sloan hadn’t meant to leave Free-Jon alone at the park for so long, but his mom had some interesting news concerning the whereabouts of a certain Emelia Johnson. As soon as he finished the call, Ace collected his newly chicken-hatted friend and brought him back to his house for a long-overdue reunion.
“Em? Is it really you?”
“Free! Where have you been?! Are you okay?” Emelia asked, worried and relieved all at once.
“Em, something went really wrong! Why are we old??” he demanded to know.
“And why isn’t your hair grey like mine?” he added before she could answer.
Emelia shrugged. “I dunno. Good genes? But listen, we–”
“I was naked when we got here, too. Were you naked? That doesn’t make sense!”
“I wasn’t, but, I’m pretty sure the player of this world is a Geek; maybe she was trying to make a Terminator joke.”
Free-Jon didn’t get it.
“You know, The Terminator? Big scary robot-man travels through time naked to assassinate someone’s mom?”
“But then this other naked guy shows up, and he’s all ‘Come with me if you want to live!’ ” Emelia chuckled. “Don’t worry, Free. It’s just a movie.”
“Oh god,” Emelia realized, “She gave me Geek as my adult trait.”
“No matter,” Emelia continued, half to herself. “We’re going to have to use the Time/Space Thingy to get back. I do have it, which is kinda weird because Amina should have it – where is she, anyway? – And of course it’s broken, but Reagan says that her son can fix it for us.. I mean, I haven’t actually met him – he might be, like, eight or something.. You know, we should probably just hurry up before the writing gets any worse.”
But Free-Jon wasn’t hearing a darn thing she said anyway.
“Aw, Free – I’m sorry,” Emelia paused. “What’s on your mind?”
“I want to see my cousins.”
“About that. Free – while we’re stranded here, we should try not to draw attention to ourselves. You’ve only ever been a child, but I’ve been older before and I’ve traveled a lot, and I can tell you for sure that most adults don’t have the same, uh, flexibility of imagination that kids have. If you stray too far from local expectations, things can go very wrong. We’re gonna have to act somewhat normal, and we shouldn’t tell people who we really are – not here.”
“What is normal, anyway?” Free-Jon balked. “The one thing I haven’t wanted to be when I grow up!”
“Look,” Emelia sighed, “I know it isn’t fair, but we are grown up on the outside – and we need to try to play along. If you can do that just a little bit longer, I promise we’ll get you your cousin party before we leave.”
. . . .
Ace waited outside for a bit to give his guests time to get caught up. His tiny house could only hold so much enthusiasm before it became painfully obvious just how little square footage there actually was in there.
Better to give them a little privacy anyway, he thought.
“There he is,” said a female voice.
Ace sputtered for a moment. His friend Freesia just laughed.
“Dude, where were you today?” she asked. “I went to freakin’ school because I thought maybe you forgot how much it sucked and decided to show up.”
“I’m sorry,” he said. “Something came up. Something important.”
“Like you having an old-people convention in your kitchen slash living room?”
“Heh. Something like that.”
“You want me to go?” she asked seriously. “I can come ba–”
“Stay. It won’t take long.”
. . . .
Four hours later, and they were still at it.
“That’s why the Thingy doesn’t recognize me,” Emelia said.
“Right,” Ace said. “I mean, as a Sim your coding seems to be fairly intact – but all those experiences you’ve had since you started traveling must have added enough variables that the original Emelia got kind of.. spread out.”
“What about my coding?” Free Jon asked. “I mean, my outfits were all empty again this morning.”
“Huh,” said Emelia. “I wonder if that has to do with the lack of reference material on older forms of you.”
“Cas.fulleditmode glitch,” Ace said.
“Hey – there’s game awareness, and there’s immersion-breaking game awareness!” Emelia snort-laughed.
“Sorry,” said Ace, slightly embarrassed.
Emelia cleared her throat. “So, uh..”
Ace recovered. “You should be okay, Free-Jon. Once you two get back and synchronize with your local selves, the problem should resolve itself.”
“So everything is good again?? We can see my cousins now?”
“Well, I don’t know about that,” Emelia cautioned. “It’s not like we can just stroll into some community lot and host an ice cream social.”
Finally someone said something interesting, Freesia thought.
. . . .
With Reagan home from work, it was standing room only at the Sloans’. Conversation was boisterous and the lights were all on — if one were wandering the streets looking for signs of life, they’d certainly find her house difficult to miss.
Which was, perhaps, why it didn’t surprise her all that much when another visitor showed up.
Reagan got to the door before he could knock, and stepped outside to greet him.
“Wrong turn at Albuquerque?” she asked.
Geoffrey Landgraab snorted. “No. Well, perhaps. May I come in?”
“I was trying to remember where I was going, and I just followed the clearest path,” he apologized. “I’m not sure why it lead here.”
“It’s alright,” she smiled, “I’m getting used to it.”
. . . .
“Why is there a Geoffrey Landgraab here?” Emelia asked Ace in a whisper. “Your Landgraabs died out generations ago. You don’t think we opened some kind of wormhole between d’Angers and.. ”
“You didn’t,” said Ace quietly. “That’s been there for a while now. Our Player leaves the porch light on.”
“More like she won’t leave the poor guy alone,” added Freesia at full volume.
Emelia resisted temptation to join in as the others had a good chuckle at the local Player’s expense.
“Anyway, I don’t want to freak anyone out,” Emelia said gently, “but I do have some experience with this and if I didn’t know better, I’d say your player is losing interest in this Legacy. You should probably do something to guard against distractions.”
. . . .
At the perimeter of the room, Geoffrey Landgraab in the blue shirt hung back. His memories were still fuzzy, but comparing the state of things here to what he knew of the law of averages, the place he’d just come from couldn’t possibly have been more messed-up than this.
It’s like some kind of brainy Lord of the Flies over here, he marveled with a measure of dread.
This woman Reagan seemed ok, at least. She had offered Geoffrey some tea. There was a certain familiarity to her and she had a warm, calm presence that put him at ease.
“Shall we?” she asked, holding the screen door open.
“Might as well,” he said as he followed her out to the patio.
. . . .
“Consider this,” Emelia expanded on what she’d been saying before, “Free and I have been here less than 48 hours and already your Player has broken Pinstar’s 9th rule of gameplay just to accommodate us.”
“Oh, she does that all the time.” Freesia said. “But she never tampers with Legacy relationships or anything.”
“And how do you account for the huge gaps between updates?” Emelia asked. “I mean, Meggles, her contemporary, has already finished her Legacy and started an Amazon Challenge — and you guys are still stuck on generation 5.”
“Oh yeah!” said Freesia, “I read that one! Man, that part where she abandons her status and leaves her betrothed at swordpoint to go start her own clan? — Lady Suzu is badass!”
Emelia chuckled while Ace shot her a concerned look.
“Look,” Freesia addressed Emelia, “I know you wanna go, and I appreciate the heads-up about our Player or whatever. But somebody promised hat-boy here a party.”
Emelia sighed. She was right, plum it.
“One more day won’t kill anyone. And your identities will be safe,” Freesia insisted. “Me and Ace have done this a million times. It’ll be fun. And after that you two can go your merry way, and we’ll get back to being boring and Legacyish. Ok?”
Emelia didn’t say no.
“It’s settled then,” said Ace. “Now, let’s see that Time/Space Thingy.”
[This is part of the #wheresfree collab – more info here.]
Free-Jon had been looking forward to adulthood for much of his life. No school, no homework, no more of this “everybody telling you what to do just because they’re older than you” stuff – instead, a sim could be and do whatever he or she wanted, no matter how outlandish it sounded to others. Childhood was for trying on ideas and adulthood was for living them out, right?
He hadn’t decided yet, though, what he wanted to be when he grew up – he needed a little more play time in order to accomplish that, and it seemed that the adult world put a serious damper on play time.
What Free-Jon really needed, he decided, was a rewind button. He was gonna have to ask Ace about that once he got done talking on the phone.
“Like the one Sterling Rover has on that old cassette recorder of his,” Free remembered aloud. “I bet Ace could make me one of those!”
A familiar voice interrupted his thoughts.
At first he wasn’t sure if it was coming from inside his head or outside of it.
“Dad??” Free-Jon asked.
“Hey now – maybe I should be calling you that!” the man laughed good-naturedly, referring to their age difference.
This was, of course, not Free-Jon’s dad. This was the original Elder Wolff, many moons after he’d been saved to the Gallery to become the copy of Elder Wolff that would go on to be Free-Jon’s father. This Elder remained behind only so that his first family could remember him if they needed to. His parents, now long gone, wouldn’t. But his sisters Edelweiss and Easter Lily, though occupied with their own lives and children, sometimes did. And while that arrangement probably seemed sad to players and Simselves, Elder Wolff was perfectly content with it.
Free-Jon understood all this. But standing right here, looking right at him, Free-Jon still felt that this Elder Wolff was his dad. His eyes started to get watery; he couldn’t help it.
“You seem to be carrying a heavy load, friend,” Elder noticed.
Where to start? That he missed his mom and dad? That he was really far from home and didn’t know how to get back? That he had misplaced his best friend and felt lost without her?
“Ace thinks I should take off my hat,” Free-Jon blurted.
Well, that was specific. Elder stifled his chuckle, as he could tell the subject wasn’t so funny to the man. He thought for a moment before answering.
“And what do you think?” he asked.
“I like hats,” Free-Jon said. “They’re fun. I don’t wanna have to be serious just ’cause I’m old now.”
“That makes sense,” Elder nodded.
“But he says this one is dangerous.”
“Well, I could see that, too,” Elder agreed. “But only because it might make it real easy to forget to take breaks between exercise sometimes.”
Free-Jon considered that.
“They do make other animal hats, you know. Like my personal favorite..” Elder bent down for a second, and spun into his own animal hat.
Free-Jon snorted, “A chicken? No way! I gotta get one of those!”
Elder slapped his knee. “Well, it just so happens I’ve been looking for a home for this one.”
“Way!” said Elder. “I never wear it – might as well give it to someone who can appreciate it.”
“Thanks, Da– dude!”
“You got it.”
Free-Jon put on his new hat and immediately felt like a weight had been lifted. Ace probably would have said something lame like, “Because that -40 Comfort debuff finally wore off,” but Free-Jon knew better.
“Hey, we have the same shoes!” Free-Jon noticed.
“Well, look at that!” Elder laughed. “Great minds dress alike?”
“Hey, do you want my Owl hat?” Free-Jon asked. “I don’t need it now.”
Elder smiled. “Sure, why not?”
Free-Jon gulped and handed his old hat over.
Elder put it on.
“How do I look?” he modeled.
“You look like a plum.” Free-Jon chuckled.
“Excellent!” joked Elder. “Just the look I was going for.”
“Well, it’s been great meeting you,” Elder said, “and thanks for the hat! But I’ve gotta fly. Smell ya later, dude?”