Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chapter 34: Echoes of Another Time

"It's ridiculously unfair," Cassidy complains, "My sister gets pregnant, so now I'm not allowed to leave the house."

"Well, at least he's letting me come over to visit you," Jesse says, trying to cheer her up.

"Actually, you're here because he wants to have a talk with you."

"Oh, geat," Jesse says, "How mad is he?"

"Don't worry," Cassidy laughs, "He won't hurt you."

Just as Cassidy is being kept under guard now because of Delaney's actions, Jesse is facing the scrutiny from her father that Jack never had to deal with. Luckily for Jesse, he has a spotless record, good grades and a promising future to present as proof of his worthiness.

Elliot is satisfied he's done his due diligence as a father by vetting Cassidy's boyfriend, and feels better about getting to know the boy. That doesn't mean he's ready to let her out on unsupervised dates again, however, and he joins the young couple in the rec room for a game of foosball.

Aurora knows Ariel Hawksquill primarily as a close friend of her parents, and as Shadow's future father-in-law, but he also runs the local hospital, which means he holds the keys to the future she's chosen for herself. 

"I'll be graduating soon," she says, "And I've decided to pursue a career in medicine."

"Your father has told me how you excel in the sciences. You'll be a welcome addition to my staff, Aurora. I know you'll go far."

"Farrell, I found this old bottle of nectar in an old trunk," Aouregan says, placing the bottle on the counter for him to look at, "The label is addressed to a ''Beloved Farrell', and it appears to me written in my hand."

"You don't recognize it?" Farrell asks. He'd wrapped the bottle carefully after he'd retrieved it from that tomb in France. It had been a mystery then, one that lead him to find her in the past. But he hadn't thought about it in years.

"Recognize it?" she asks, bewildered, "Why would I recognize it?"

"When I first met Moth, here, in my time, he told me you had left something in the tomb for me, protected by magic. I found this bottle there, with my name on it. I didn't know it then, but it had to have come from you..."

"But I've never seen it before," Aouregan says.

They bring the bottle to Ariel and Noelle, hoping their friend can help solve the mystery.

"It's definitely my handwriting," Aouregan explains, "But I know I never wrote that note."

"I found it in a tomb in France," Farrell says, "The bottle is certainly old enough to have come from Aouregan's time."

Ariel reaches across the table to touch the bottle, to see if his ability to read the history of people, places and some objects might shed some light on the mystery.

"Well, that was...interesting," he muses as he sits back against the couch again.

"What did you see?" Farrell asks.

"What Noelle or my daughter, or you, Aouregan, describe as 'possible' futures, some of which come to pass and other which do not...I believe these visions aren't simply possibilities, but actual futures. Those that don't happen here do happen elsewhere, in alternate universes. I know you're more well versed in quantum physics than I am, Farrell, you must be familiar with the concept."

"Yes," Farrell agrees, "Multiple parallel universes, each a different version of the same reality, in which  different choices are made or events happen differently. But we're not considering the future of this bottle of nectar, we're looking for it's history."

"My gift is not so different from clairvoyance," Ariel explains, "I see the history of people, places or things mostly within our own time line. But sometimes, very rarely, but sometimes, I see echoes of the history of other time lines as well. They are usually weaker, so subtle and vague that I can barely see them at all, and they are always overshadowed by the very distinct and clear history of this time line. But this bottle...for the first time ever in my experience, or in the experience of my ancestors, I've encountered an object with no history in this time at all. All I'm getting are echoes of another time line."

"You're saying the bottle doesn't exist?" Farrell asks.

"Well, it obviously exists now," Ariel laughs, "But it has no history except for the echoes. I can see, vaguely, Aouregan writing the label. And I see her holding it as she lies down on some kind of altar. There's a blue fairy, she puts a spell on her. And Aouregan falls into an enchanted sleep, holding the bottle. After that, nothing."

"But that's not how it happened," Aouregan says, "I went with my brother to the Landgraab castle, and they imprisoned me. Evenfall, the blue fairy you most likely saw, did put me under an enchanted sleep, but I was not with her at that time; she performed the spell at a distance. And I most certainly didn't write the label on this bottle."

"Exactly," Ariel says, "The bottle never existed in this time line."

"Yet I managed to get hold of it in this time line," Farrell observes, "Unless, my own time travel changed the way the past would unfold. I created a new chain of events in which Aouregan would never leave this bottle for me."

"Wouldn't the bottle just cease to exist if that were true?" Noelle asks.

"Disappear in a puff of logic? No," Farrell laughs, "The bottle existed in my present before I traveled back in time, it wouldn't just disappear, would it?" he looks to Ariel for corroboration.

Ariel shrugs, "I'm a doctor, not a physicist. This is your field, my friend. If you can't figure it out, no one can."

Delaney wakes the next morning looking forward to big pancake breakfast. Her plans are changed when she goes into labor.

Elliot escorts his daughter to the hospital.

Cassidy texts Jesse, who texts his brother, and Jack rushes to the hospital to be with Delaney. He isn't allowed past reception, however, under Elliot's strict orders to keep the boy away from Delaney.

Delaney gives birth to a baby boy she names Jace. 

"Hey, Shadow," Delaney whispers over her shoulder as her cousin joins her in the nursery, once Kyle's bedroom, "Do you want to hold him? He's kind of sleepy."

"That's okay," Shadow says, "Let him sleep. I came to talk to you."

"By 'talk' you don't mean 'lecture', right?" Delaney says.

"Of course not, Laney," Shadow answers, "I just wanted to say, if you ever need anything, I'm always here to help."

"Aw, that's sweet, Shadow," Delaney says, hugging him gratefully. "There is actually one thing  you could do for me. I don't want to involve Cass, she's gotten in enough trouble due to me."

"How much trouble are we looking at?" Shadow asks warily.

"Oh, please, your parents let you get away with everything," Delaney rolls her eyes, "I just need someone to tell Jack to come by tomorrow night, late, after everyone is in bed. I'll let him in to see the baby. My Dad is being a real hard ass about that."

"Sure, Laney, I can do that," Shadow agrees.

"You've seen him? Tell me, what's he look like?" Jack asks.

"He's a baby?" Shadow answers with a vague shrug, "You can see him yourself tomorrow night. Delaney says to come late, and she'll let you in."

"Thanks, Shadow. I'm surprised anyone in your family would be cool with my sneaking in like that."

"I think you've gotten a raw deal, Jack,"Shadow says, "That's your baby, you have every right to see him."

"I've been thinking I should put off my wedding. Delaney needs me," Elliot tells his brother, "But I have no idea how I'm going to break it to Claire. She's been waiting for this for so long now."

"I know how hard it is, letting your kids go. Delaney's got some challenges ahead, but she needs to face them as an adult. She can't have her daddy watching over her every second."

"But what if she gets back together with that delinquent?" Eliot protests.

"You can't stop her," Farrell says, "And, honestly, you trying to stand in her way might just make her more determined. You and Claire have been looking forward to getting your own place. Don't give up on that."

Today was Jack's birthday, his eighteenth. Unlike other young men his age, he didn't celebrate his new status as a legal adult with a party, he just waited by himself until late into the night, to sneak into the Brannon house to finally see his son.

"He's beautiful, Laney," he whispers, holding the newborn gently, afraid he might break him.

"Listen, I've been getting some cash together. By the time you turn eighteen, I'll have a place for us. I'll be able to take care of you, I promise," Jack says, taking her in his arms.

Hearing noises in the nursery, Elliot comes in to investigate, and finds the one person he's forbidden to enter his house.

"You!" Elliot shouts, "I told you to stay away from my daughter!"

"I just wanted to see my son," Jack says, raising his arms defensively, "I'll go now, okay?"

"It's not okay! You have no business here!"

"You can't keep me away from her, or my son, forever, you know," Jack retorts.

Elliot growls as he lifts his fist, prepared to swing.

"Daddy, no! Don't hurt him!" Delaney shouts.

Elliot drops his arm, realizing that, as much as he wants to throw a good, hard punch into Jack's face, doing so would only make Delaney angry at him, and see Jack as the victim of his brutality. There has to be a better way to get this delinquent away from his daughter, and Elliot means to find it. "Go," he growls, "Go and don't come back."

"I can't believe you!" Delaney shouts as soon as Jack is gone, "Why are you doing this to me?"

"Delaney, I'm just trying to protect you," Elliot tries to explain.

"I don't need to be protected," she says, turning away and storming out of the nursery.


  1. I know Elliot's only being a good dad and protecting his little girl... but still. Argh! Poor Jack. He needs love.

    I am happy to see Shadow being understanding of Delaney and Jack.

    1. Thanks, Tsuki! I'm sure Jack would appreciate some love right about now.

  2. Dimension hopping MacGuffin. One of the best kinds!

    Ouch, Elliot really is being kind of mean, refusing to even have a talk with Jack.

    Now I'm very curious about the family structure you've rolled for generation 3.

    1. Yeah that bottle has had quite the interdimensional journey. Over the course of the whole time travel story arc, I made a lot of huge changes in direction, and that bottle got left hanging there. Maybe people forgot about it and I could have quietly swept under the rug, but it was bothering me, so I had to come up with something.

      Elliot has kind gone overboard in his over-protective mode.
      The family structure for gen 3 will be revealed soon enough, I'm almost there.

  3. His brother is correct, all Elliot is doing is pushing his daughter closer to Jack.

    1. Absolutely true, pinky, Elliot isn't really making anything better for anyone with his decisions.
      Thanks for reading!

  4. Oh, wow. Elliot's behaviour is just going to encourage Jack and Delaney to get more extreme. O.o

    1. Thanks, skylarkza!
      Elliot is pushing things in the exact opposite direction he wants them to go.

  5. Quick questions... wall pattern in the nursery. Where'd you get it? : D

    As for the story. I know Elliot is trying to do the right thing, but Shadow had a point about him not being able to stop Delaney from doing what she wants. I just hope that she doesn't wind up hurt worse, or hurting Jack in the process. Jack really is a good guy, he just has bad taste in girls.

    Shadow and Aurora make me smile every time I see them. Farrell and Auregon make great babies. : P Can't wait to see Shadow's babies, whenever he finally has some.

    1. That pattern is in the base game, actually. It's in the Themed section. The default colors for it as very garish, I toned them down to pastel. I also changed each preset color channel individually. That pattern can actually be quite nice when it's not searing your eyeballs.
      Jack is a good guy at heart, but he's made some bad choices. Maybe including his choice of girlfriends, but you know, the heart wants what it wants.
      And Elliot is definitely making some bad decisions too, trying to control Delney. It's not going to happen.

      Shadow will definitely be making plenty of babies, I promise. =D

  6. I didn't think it was possible to feel any more sorry for Jack, but you've managed it somehow! I genuinely get the impression he wants to do the right thing by the baby and Delaney. I hope Elliot eventually gives him a chance to prove himself.

    The stuff with the nectar bottle is very intriguing. I wonder if it's going to prove to be significant...

    1. I think Jack wants to do the right thing too, and he's trying. He's certainly not being given any chances from Elliot, but very soon Delaney will be a legal adult and she'll make her own decisions.

      The stuff with the nectar bottle was mostly about tying up some loose ends from like 20 chapters ago, but that's not saying it won't ever be significant again. I don't have any plans for it right now, but I do like to resurrect stuff like this, so who knows.

  7. I get the whole "daddy's little girl" thing (we called my brother that...) but the Delaney/Elliott relationship irks me, because, for whatever reason, I can't see it happening to Cassidy.

    1. Dude, now I feel bad for your brother, lol.
      It's true, Cassidy doesn't and would never have the same kind of relationship with her father as her sister. Cassidy is more mature, while Delaney uses the little girl thing to manipulate her father. But that also bites her in the ass, as Elliot is more prone to treat her like a little girl.

    2. It was character building for my brother, or whatever the standard excuse is :D

      I think Elliot/Delaney relationship gets on my nerve because I know a lot of females like that and I generally want to slap them... A lot.

      I'm kinda hoping it blows up in both of their faces somehow. A massive explosion.

  8. Elliot has made me angry in this chapter. I can see why he doesn't want Jack around his daughter, but not letting him see his own son is awful! Could he not even supervise? Loads of teen dads don't want anything to do with their babies, so the fact that he'd sneak in just to see Jace shows he's a good guy at heart. And punishing Cassidy and Jesse because of their siblings behaviour isn't fair either! They've earned his trust and they can't help what their siblings run off to do!

    The whole nectar bottle conversation was too much for my little brain to handle, Its midnight here, so I might try re-reading it in the morning, since I've been up since 4.30am so I might just be that I'm tired. Though it could also be that I'm fairly 'blonde' when it comes to things like this, and I need someone to explain it to me over several hours to understand haha.

    I really love Shadow, he's so understanding and easy going. I suppose he gets that from his father, and the style of parenting of Farrel and Aouregan.

    PS: All your sims are so beautiful, I can't wait to see how Jace turns out! :D

    1. Yeah, I hear what you're saying, but Elliot can't see past the juvenile delinquent that knocked up his little girl.

      My head nearly imploded a few times while I was writing the whole nectar bottle sequence, honestly. Time travel and parallel universes will do that to you.
      This might help:

      Shadow does have a lot of his father's easygoing nature. Aurora may have got the giant brain of Logic, but Shadow definitely got the attitude.
      I'm looking forward to seeing hoe Jace turns out too.

    2. 0_o I think if I hadn't watched TV shows like Fringe, that would have destroyed my brain!

      Thankyou, that helped a lot :)

    3. I love Fringe! Alternate dimensions are so fun.

  9. Loved the update :)
    The bottle of nectar best stay unopened. Maybe it will whisk the drinker away to sleep or cause a visionary type dream state. I don't think it would be good, especially if it's not found in the current reality. Is found, but not seen, or not supposed to be. heh
    I hope Jack does well and shows up Elliot a bit. I didn't think Elliot was really shallow minded, but, then, Jack did have a baby with Elliot's teenaged daughter. But then also, she was quite willing. ugh... I hope she stays calm and doesn't break off with her family in a tantrum.

    1. Thanks, Zhip!
      LOL, I almost had them crack that bottle open right there. But I figured an interdimensional bottle of nectar that might not really exist is too rare and special to just be drunk. Maybe in Gen 10 when the legacy is ending.
      I feel for Elliot's position, too. He hasn't given Jack a chance at all, and has just kind of shut his eyes and ears to anything but his concerns (and maybe he's blaming himself for not stopping this before it happened, so he's shifted into AlphaDad mode as a way to make himself feel like a better father.)
      But of course he's not really helping the situation.

  10. The explanation about the bottle of nectar was fascinating and I'd love for you to revisit it in some way at some point!

    As for Elliot, Delaney and Jack, Elliot's only making matters worse when Jack's actually being really good for a teen who's got his teenage girlfriend pregnant and Elliot has no right to prevent him from seeing his own son.

    1. Thanks, Ali!
      Elliot is making matters worse. And he won't be able to keep Jack away forever, because he does have legal rights, especially when the mother of the child is on his side. As soon as she becomes and adult, Elliot will have no say at. He will try to throw some roadblocks in Jack's way, I'm sure.

  11. Oh, Elliot. You're doing things all wrong. I'm glad Farrell is sensible about Delaney's situations - and that her cousins are willing to help her. If Elliot doesn't rethink how he's handling things, the only thing he'll succeed at doing is driving his daughter away.

    1. Yeah, I think Farrell gets the parenting prize. Which makes me laugh because he lets his kid blow things up. But those are supervised explosions....
      But Delaney is lucky to have some family on her side while Elliot is making things difficult.

  12. I was a little curious about what happened to the bottle---and now I know! :) I love Dimensional stories---it helps explain a lot of stuff! lol I understand what you mean when you mentioned that loose end bothered you---as I have a few of my own that need tying up! :P

    I have always liked Farrell's relationship with his brother, and how close they've always been. It is kind of neat that Farrell is able to give his older brother some advice---hopefully Elliot thinks on it, and then does the right thing.

    I adore Shadow---and I am thrilled at the idea that he'll have plenty of babies! :D

    1. Thanks, Nirar! I'm glad I was able to tie up the bottle issue. The hard thing about writing a serial is you can't go back and clean up threads you dropped as the story moved along, and I felt like I'd made too much of a bg deal about the bottle when Farrell found it to just leave that one behind.

      Farrell and Elliot do have a great relationship. It's nice having marital structure rolls that allow you to play two siblings as heirs.

      =D I adore Shadow as well. And he's definitely going to be a breeder.

  13. Ooh, quantum mechanics and parallel universes! Fun stuff! Have you read the Garden of the Forking Paths by Juan Luis Borges? It kind of reminds me of your story with the parallel universes thing.

    *hugs Jack* Elliot needs to let Delaney grow up and face her consequences. Kids have to make their own mistakes and frankly, the way things are going, Jack is the least of Delaney's problems.

    Shadow is such a good cousin, offering to help Delaney. What a sweetheart.

    1. Gosh, I have read so much Borges, and been so influenced by magic realism. And I think it really shows in my stories, sometimes.

      I know, poor Jack, taking the brunt of all this. Elliot is pretty blind to Delaney'ss faults, and he'll blame it all on Jack's influence.

  14. Whoa, Elliot. Tough situation, but that's not how to handle it. I don't know how myself either.

    1. Oh, and I'm not even going to attempt to make sense of all that quantum stuff...

    2. I love quantum mechanics. I mean, I'm no physicist, and a lot of it just blows my mind when I try to get my head around it, but I love reading about it.
      They have discovered things that blows Newtonian physics out of the water, and really forces you to completely throw out everything you were taught was true about reality.
      A great book that explains it in terms even a non-science type can understand is called Alice in Quantumland by Robert Gilmore.

      Elliot has been handling the situation pretty badly.

  15. Ahh.. The best laid plans and purest intentions...

    I hope he comes to accept him some day - not everybody's bred to be perfect ;P