Friday, October 26, 2012

Chapter 20: True Love's Kiss

"Thank you for calling me, Ms. Bowman, and not the police," Elliot shakes the consignment store owner's hand.

"Well, your family is well known around these parts," Shannon Bowman answers, "I didn't want to get the law involved and drag your name through the mud unnecessarily.  I'm sure we can work this out between us."

"Of course," Elliot assures her, "I'll pay for anything she took."

Shelly gapes in her horror as her husband apologizes to the shopkeeper and hands over the amount she asks for without question. She'd expected her white knight to come in to her rescue, to stand up to her accuser, but instead he's actually taking the shopkeeper's side against her.

"That was incredibly humiliating, Shell," Elliot says when they are back at home, alone in their bedroom, the first words he's spoken to her since the shopkeeper called to tell him she caught his wife shoplifting in her store, "Why were you shoplifting, anyway? There's nothing, absolutely nothing, in that shop that we couldn't afford. You have no reason to be stealing anything from anyone."

"I know," Shelly sighs, trying to explain, "I didn't want to buy the stuff I took, I didn't even want it, I just had to take it."

"That makes no sense," Elliot says, "What do you mean you had to take it?"

Shelly can't explain the urge that comes over sometimes, the need to steal things just to steal them. Unable to defend her actions, she turns the argument around on Elliot. "I can't believe you took her side," she says, tossing her head indignantly, "I'm your wife, you should have stood up for me."

"Stood up for you?" Elliot asks, "Shell, you broke the law. We were lucky she didn't call the police or I'd be down at the station posting your bail."

"Still, you could have asked my side of the story or something," Shelly insists.

"Well, it's over now, let's just put this behind us," Elliot says, reaching over to hug her.

Shelly pushes him away before he can get his arms around her. "No," she says firmly, refusing to be placated by his affection, "Just leave me alone."

"Fine," Elliot grumbles, walking out of the room.

While he's working, Farrell receives a cryptic text from his mother, setting up a meeting time and place. 

"Auberon," she sighs, reaching for him, longing to feel his embrace. It's been such a long time, she thinks, since she felt his body against her, tasted his kiss, heard him whisper her name...her name, what is her name? How strange that she can't remember.

His arms clasp her shoulders, but not with the passion she was expecting. He shakes her, as though trying to rouse her from sleep. "These are not your memories, child," he says, "They belong to another. Remember yourself."

"I don't...I don't know who I am," she ays, tears of frustration welling up in her eyes, "I've been so many people, so many names, so many faces..."

"Your name is Aouregan," he tells her, "You are dreaming."

"Aouregan," she says, remembering now, "I need to wake up. My baby," she gasps, looking down at her flat stomach, and remembering giving birth in that dungeon, the room with the strange bed. And then nothing. After that, all she can remember is this long dream lived in other bodies, other lives. "Farrell, how will he find me here?"

"Calm yourself," Auberon says, guiding her to a seat beside him, "You cannot wake up, not on your own. Evenfall put a spell on you, for your protection, and you can only be awakened when the right condition is met."

"What condition?"

"True love's kiss," he answers with a slight smile, "Evenfall is truly her mother's daughter. She was worried, your sleep has gone on longer than she'd anticipated, and you are not our kind, despite your magic. She feared you might become lost in the dreaming, and she asked me to find you, watch over you."

"Farrell hasn't come for me," Aouregan says.

"He did," Auberon answers, "But he was too late. Evenfall tried to explain it to me, you mortals managed to change time, bend it," he shakes his head, "My daughter says that we fae are too enmeshed in the now to see anything beyond its borders, past or future, and that I don't spend enough time in the 'real' world to even grasp the present properly. Perhaps she is right. I can only tell you that you have been sleeping for a very long time, and that your true love searches for you, to awaken you."

One of Pearl's informants had tipped her off about a 'Project Sleeping Beauty', a woman held in a stasis that none of their scientists or doctors had been able to break. They were holding her in the underground labs beneath the Landgraab Water Treatment facility in Meadow Glen.

"The cells in the facility will be walled in the fae suppressant  material," Pearl had warned him. Farrell had had no success so far in creating a counter agent for the radioactive alloy, so he would not be able to call on his fairy allies for this rescue mission, but they will wait for him just outside the perimeter to facilitate their escape. 

"I don't like using you as a distraction," Farrell protests one more time before they carry out their plan, "I could use the ghost potion now, and slip past the guard unseen..."

"We've been through this; your ghost potion will only give you invisibility for a few moments, and you'll need that to get past the scientists when you are actually in the lab. Let me handle the guard."

"Mom..." Farrell says, and Pearl smiles indulgently at her son.

"I haven't been a real mother to you. That was just never possible. All I could give you was freedom. And if I have to give myself up to MorcuCorp to buy freedom for the mother of my grandchildren, then that's what I intend to do."

Before she sets off on her part of the mission, Pearl hugs her son for the first time.

Without the slightest fear or hesitation, she strides forward to present herself to the guard who stands watch over the secret lab's door.

Her disguise and even her MorcuCorp employee badge aren't going to get her very far, and she knows it. Her ruse about a security situation in the main building that requires his immediate attention is expected fail. Pearl is MorcuCorp, after all, she knows how they work. The guard is not going anywhere with her until he's confirmed her identity with a retina scan.

The retina scan of course reveals her for the wanted traitor she is, and the guard wastes no time in cuffing her and leading her into the main building to his superiors.

As soon as the coast is clear, Farrell rushes to the door and punches the code Pearl's informant gave them into the security lock.

The elevator leads him down into a long hallway lined with securely locked doors, each one a lab for a different project.

Only one door interests Farrell, the one his Aouregan is locked behind. He peers through the door's small window, sees the scientists inside. The labs are never left unattended, his mother had told him, even at he latest hours, you'll find someone working.

Farrell drops the vial of the ghost potion he'd created on the floor, and the rising vapor swirls around him, putting him in an immaterial state that will hide him from human sight, and allow him to pass through walls.

He hasn't had much time to field test it, but the scientist inside don't notice his entry.

Before the ghost vapor dissipates, Farrel quickly drops another vial onto the ground. The scientists react to the sound of glass shattering, but it's too late for them; the gas he released knocks them out instantaneously. His own immaterial state makes him immune to it, and will last slightly longer than than the noxious gas' rate of dissipation.

This lab has windows facing two separate cells, Farrell quickly notices. In one, a man, or something that looks like a man, anyway, sits on the floor so deep in meditation that he doesn't seem to notice that his captors have all fallen unconscious. Farrell can't be sure what he is, but he notices the panels on the walls of the cell, very like the panels that had covered the walls of Moth's cell in the dungeon of Landgraab castle.

The other cell houses a woman asleep on the single hospital bed. Aouregan, at last. He only has to awaken her, and then get her out of here.

His ghostly state vanishes as the vapor dissipates, so Farrell must enter her cell by unlocking the door manually.

Her sleep is no natural state, he can see that immediately. She lays too still, too perfectly unmoving, cocooned in a sparkling nimbus of light. She can only be awaked by true love's kiss, the fairy Evenfall had told him. He still wonders how that works, how the spell would be able to tell the kiss of true of love from any other kind of kiss, or how one would even define 'love' outside the vagueries of philosophy. But there isn't the time for musing about those sorts of things; either this works, or it doesn't. And if it doesn't, he'll carry her out of here and figure out another way. Farrell caresses her hair as he leans over her, brushes his lips against her cheek.

"Come back to me, Aouregan," he whispers before gently touching his lips to hers in a tender kiss.

She moans, the smallest of sounds, and her eyes flutter open. Farrell sink to the ground on his knees, overcome with relief.

"This is real?" she asks, taking his hand as she sits up on the bed. "I'm not dreaming?"

"This is real," he assures her, "We don't have much time, we're not safe here."

"So, sleeping beauty finally wakes up," a voice crackles over the intercom, followed by the snicking sound of the electronic lock on the cell door sealing them in. "Excellent work, Brannon, now we have you both."

It was a trap, Farrell realizes, Pearl's 'informant' fed them this information to get him here. And he just fell right into it.

"The Landgraab's assassin!" Aouregan gasps, recognizing her face immediately, "She's the one that took me captive."

"She' mother," Farrell says, recognizing her face just as clearly, "But, no, that's not possible. She's too  young. A clone, of course," he says, figuring it out as he speaks, "Pearl's DNA was crafted in a lab, of course they'd be able to make copies."

"Honestly, Teal, I would have thought a copy of me would at least know how to dress more practically for battle," Pearl says, coming up behind the geneticist-assassin.

"How did you...?" Teal starts to ask, but Pearl is on her too quickly, pressing her arm against her throat as she pushes her into the wall. Locked in their cell, Farrell and Aouregan can only watch, helpless.

But Teal is as well trained as the original, and breaks free from Pearl's grasp, punching her hard in the gut, knocking her back.

The captive in the other cell rises from his meditations to watch as the women fight outside his window.

Age hasn't slowed Pearl down, she's as fit as ever and has years of combat experience over her competition, giving her the edge she needs to reverse their situation and come back out on top.

Holding her throat, Pearl cuts Teal's air off until she loses consciousness, and then quickly unlocks the cell her son is locked in.

"We'll copy whatever data they have here, then scrub their system," Pearl says, "Move quickly, before they figure out I've escaped and come down to rescue you."

"What about him?" Farrell asks, gesturing toward the other prisoner, watching them impassively from his cell, "We can't just leave him here."

"We have no idea who, or what, he is," Pearl answers, "You can't just unleash him on the world like that."

"Whatever he is, he doesn't deserve to be experimented on by MorcuCorp. And letting them keep him can hardly be in the best interests of society," Farrell says, "If he's dangerous, that's more reason to get him out of MorcuCorp's hands."

Pearl shrugs, "Good point. Do it quickly then, we don't have a lot of time."

Farrell unlocks the cell and steps inside. The captive doesn't so much as look in his direction. "You're free to go," Farrell says, wondering if the man-creature-whatever even understands him, "But if you want to leave, do it soon. They'll be back, looking for us."

The newly freed captive does not respond, but follows them as they take the elevator up to the ground floor.

"What's your name?" Aouregan asks him gently, "Are you of the fair folk?"

"I am called Suchandra," he answers, breaking his silence, "I am of the gandharva."

Farrell, Pearl and Aouregan exchange glances; none of them have ever heard of a gandharva.

"Let's hope he's not bent on world destruction," Pearl grumbles.

"My power returns," Suchandra declares once they've stepped outside. He raises his hands and looks back over his shoulder at him. "Flee now, mortals, or die."

"Oh, crap," Pearl sighs as a swirl of magically energy surrounds the gandharva. "Run, now," he says one more time.

The sky above them crackles with unnatural light, and they do not need to be told again to run for their lives.


Extra special thanks to Zhippidy for making the 'true love's kiss' pose set for this chapter. I can't tell you how grateful I am for that, no other pose set quite fit the bill for that.


  1. So I'm a clone assassin/geneticist... I think I love you. Least Teal didn't die.

    I love the fantasy/sci-fi smoosh you have going on here. And I'm intrigued by Suchandra, although I know better than to expect a certain plot line.

    1. Teal is too awesome to die, lol.

      I have to admit, I love smooshing sci fi and fantasy, kind of peanut butter and chocolate. Nom nom nom.
      I'm glad Suchandra intrigues you. He'll be back.

  2. Cool! Can't wait to see what happens next.

    Was Aouregan out for centuries, or was she taken through the time machine and so only out for long enough for her children to become toddlers?

    1. Thanks, Becky!
      She was taken through the time machine, so only out long enough for her kids to become toddlers (well, to get halfway through toddlerdom, to be exact.)

    2. I should have been able to figure it out myself, since Farrell had to go find her in the present. *hits self with dunce stick*

      I guess the dreaming thing kind of tripped me up. She'd be stuck for a very very very long time, it felt like, when we saw her in the dream. But I guess long enough for your children to be halfway through toddler stage IS a long time, when a typical sleep is... well, they tell ya 8 hours.

      Sorry, I have my moments of brain failure. ^.^'

      Considering the roll, I didn't think Aouregan would be found until much later, so... *anxious*!!

    3. My original plan was to have her in the sleep for the thousands of years, and it was going to be voluntary on her part, because Farrell couldn't take her into the future by any other means. But MorcuCorp would steal her (in the present) before Farrell got to her. This plot has gone through a ton of changes while I've been writing it, and some vestiges of the original have crept in through the dream sequence, which I didn't want to scrap. I did wonder if the long sleep theme would still fly, and decided to go with it based on the fact that her kids at least got halfway through toddlerdom while she slept. So, don't blame your brain failure, lol, I can totally see how confusion would happen.

  3. I must admit, the build up to the True Love's kiss had be worried. I always expect it to not work, but I'm so glad it did. I would've been heartbroken : (

    I must admit, Suchandra destroying the laboratory was pretty friggin awesome. And is it just me or does he look a bit like Heath? Probably just me, but I wanted to point that out.

    1. True Love's Kiss always works! Do you not read fairy tales?

      Though in the earlier versions of the sleeping beauty tale, she isn't awakened by a kiss at all. The prince impregnates her while she sleeps, and she gives birth twins, one of whom sucks on her finger and draws out the enchanted thread that put her to sleep. But, true love's kiss is much nicer, lol.

      I did notice that Suchandra's lip shape looks kind of like Heath's, but he has a gigantic nose that's completely different, and his eyes as well. Suchandra is a gender reversed clone of Sundari McDermott, a spare from my first legacy (I bet only Becky remembers her, lol), with a change in coloring. I'm using analect's desaturated default replacements for the new fantasy skin colors, using the yellow slider. Without the replacement, he'd be Larkspur colored. Gandharva are often described as having 'golden' skin, and reddish eyes. I gave him red eyes at first, but he looked too much like a vampire and I didn't want to cause that much confusion, since I'm introducing a new supe not covered by EA here. Technically, a gandharva would be closer to fairy, being a nature spirit type, but I made him a genie, hoping he'd,have cool powers and shit. Sadly, he does not, but at least he doesn't have wings.

    2. She was the youngest of gen3, if I recall correctly? The one who later moved in with her father.

      The name turned up again in the Foster Enmity legacy, for Demond's first cop wife. Because you were renaming the Ramaswamis(?) as they were born. =)

    3. Becky, I dub thee head archivist of my legacies. You probably remember things I've forgotten.
      I did reuse the name Sundari for Demond's first cop wife, when I was renaming all the Ramaswamis. Though I guess I should come clean an admit Sundari may not actually be a real name. It means 'beautiful' an Sanskrit and I use it frequently as a name because I like it, but I'm not sure any real person was ever named Sundari. Most of my other Indian naming choices are real names, though. Including Suchandra, which is even a genuine gandharva name.

    4. Well... I really love the name Sundari anyway. =)

      And by modern tendencies, any word can be a name. There was a woman in one of my college classes named "Precious". >.>

  4. Awesome chapter! I loved it! Where do I start? lol :D

    I felt bad for Elliot. :(

    I loved the True Love's kiss; I am so glad that Farrell has found her and rescued her. And bonus scene with Auberon!

    I really liked Dr. Teal, and way to go Pearl!

    Suchandra is such an intriguing character. I can't wait to learn more about him!

    1. Thanks, Nirar!

      Elliot and Shell are having some difficulties, and Shelly is being a bit unreasonable.
      I'm really happy to have Farrell and Aouregan back together. He was really stressing out about that. And it was fun to bring Auberon into this story, even in just a dream.
      I especially loved the Teal vs. Pearl fight scene. Pearl is an elder, but she's still badass, lol.
      Suchandra will be back, I promise.

  5. Gah, I have a feeling it's not happily ever after for Aouregon's... at least not yet. I second Becky's anxiety about what happens next.

    Suchandra kicks ass, hoping to see more of him. ;)

    1. Thanks, Shar. I'll try to get the next chapter out soon so you don't have to be anxious.

      There will definitely be more of Suchandra.

  6. Dr Teal was fantastic and I'm so glad Farrell managed to save Aouregan. I'm just worried as to what will happen to them now. (Although you could keep your couple plus 1 by kicking Shelly out and changing who the couple are...)

    I'm also very intrigued by Suchandra, hope we get to find out lots more about him!

    1. Thanks, Ali! I loved the fight scene with Dr.Teal.
      And of course having Farrell find Aouregan and get her away from MorcuCorp. As for what happens next, you will see in the next few chapters. =D

  7. OH MY GOODNESS. I just read the past three chapters in a row and was so entranced I couldn't stop to comment. I'm hoping everything goes well. But I'm sure it won't. There is much fretting going on in this corner.

    1. Thanks, sparkle!
      Trouble certainly isn't over yet, but there is room for hope for Farrell andAouregan.

  8. I love that last picture, they are running along the building :) Excellent.
    You are a phenomenal story teller. Do you sit at the library and weave tales for the children?
    Well, tamed tales ^_^

    Loved it. And the introduction of Suchandra was great. He will be very intriguing I am sure. :)
    I really at first thought he might be a dragon.

    1. Oh duh me - Shelly - I can't believe she actually stole things. She is such a troubled lady when she really does have everything a person could wish for. She is very lucky and Elliott loves her like crazy to put up with what she does. I am glad he is able to try to get her to see the right and the wrong.

    2. Thanks, zhippidy. And thank you so much again for the True Love's Kiss pose. This whole story line hinged around that, and having the proper pose for it was so essential. =D
      LOL, I'm pretty sure parents would put a restraining order on me if I started telling their kids stories....

      I admit, I am constantly tempted to bring a dragon into the story. But I'm just as thrilled about introducing Suchandra as a totally new supe. Well, new for Sims.
      Shelly actually has the Klepto trait, and I've been wanting to use it for the story.

  9. Woa, i just read the entire legacy on one day. It so exciting and well written :D I haven't played The sims for a very long time but this really made me want to start again.
    I can't wait to see what happens to Farrell and Aouregan :)

    1. Thank you Joan, I'm so happy you enjoyed my story, and it's actually inspired you to play again. =D That's great.

  10. Whoa...that was AWESOME. I love the poses you use for this. Great chapter, as always. And hurray for finding Aouregan! Poor Shelly - her behaviour is a product of her curent emotional turmoil.

    1. Thanks, Ishi!
      You are right about Shelly's behavioral problems.
      Most of the poses used in this chapter (Shelly and Elliot's argument, Teal and Pearl's fight) are by my friend Aeon, his pose site is here:
      If there are any other poses you need help finding, let me know.

  11. Catching up again (I'm always the late one to the reading parties) ...

    Every time you introduce a new fantasy character, I think they can't get any cooler, but then - they do!

    The clone-pearl-teal is awesome - that assassin outfit is HOT!

    Suchandra's nose is only slightly bigger than his magical uber abilities in my book, hehe.

  12. Thanks, Envie!
    It will be interesting adding a gandharva to the fantasy mix. LOL, I like big noses, I cannot lie.

    I have wanted to use that outfit since forever, but have never had a reason to, until now. And as a comic book nerd, I like to dress up my supervillainess for her big battle scene, lol.

  13. Aw, I'm so glad Farrell and Aouregan are reunited! I love happy endings! Although I suspect it isn't quite the end. I did enjoy the appearance of Dr. Teal.

    Shelly has major issues lurking beneath the surface it seems. She's very lucky the shopkeeper didn't just call the cops.

    1. Shelly does have some serious issues.
      I was really happy about reuniting Farrell an Aouregan, too.

  14. Best fight scene ever!!

    Looks like another race has entered the scene! Nice!

    1. I have to give full credit to Aeon for the fight poses here, they really made this scene possible.
      And Teal's sexy villainess outfit really helps, too, lol.

  15. Okay, I will just say I love this story.

    1. Thank you so much! I loved doing this take on the sleeping beauty tale.

  16. Apparently this Suchandra is not very happy about his captivity... But better their escape is covered by this I suppose, though they couldn't have possibly known it would happen 0.o

    1. LOL, yeah, Suchandra didn't like being a prisoner.

  17. Yay for rescuing Aouregan! So glad it ended well, and I can't wait to see how she handles everything. Also, can I just say Pearl is a bad ass. It's amazing how much my attitude towards her has change. She went from "bank robber" to heroine! I'm curious as to what the deal with gandharvas are. Can't wait to learn more about them.

    1. Pearl really is a bad ass, even as an elder. I really grew to like her too, which pretty much shaped the way her character evolved.