Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Chapter 50: How Objects Accumulate Memories

"Horner has been made," Peridot reports to Geoffrey, "We have to neutralize him."

"I saw the feed," Geoffrey answers, "Horner isn't a total loss yet. Shadows suspects something, but he doesn't know about the chip we implanted in him."

"But when he lets their local doctor run a scan..." Peridot says, not needing to finish the sentence.

"We'll get the chip removed before we send him back to Drake's Hollow," Geoffrey replies.

Peridot shifts slightly in her chair, her eyes resting on the large relic of book Geoffrey has on his desk. He hasn't mentioned it or told her what it is, and she won't ask. He doesn't tell her everything, she's noticed, and she wonders if that's a sign that he doesn't fully trust her. "I don't understand," she says hesitantly, "What use is Horner to us without the chip? Why go through the trouble of removing it and sending him back? He's become a liability; who knows what he could tell the Brannons about Bluewater? His contract with Bluewater would allow us to deploy him anywhere in the world, and quietly take him out. No one would be the wiser."

Geoffrey frowns sternly at her, "You put so little value on a man's life?" he asks. Her mouth opens as if to speak, and closes again as her brows furrow in confusion. "No, you are what I made you to be, aren't you?" he asks, a rhetorical question he doesn't expect her to answer, "You're an assassin, trained to put the needs of the company ahead of everything. Even your own life. I won't pretend to have clean hands, but I'm not ready to throw Horner away just yet. The chip has to be removed before we send him back, but I do want him to go back. There are still ways he can be useful to us. I've been working on less invasive ways to get a mole into their nest. Post hypnotic suggestion may even work against the Hawksquill's ability to read the past, if we go deep enough, repress real history with a false one. I've sent an agent in recently to test that theory. If it works, we may be able to do the same with Horner."

Shadow's shop manager, Charlie Glover, quit suddenly, giving no explanation, leaving Shadow in a bit of a bind to find a suitable replacement. Drake's Hollow is a small town and not many of its citizens have the interest or knowledge required to manage a shop dealing with magical potions and the like. But as luck would have it, an applicant with excellent qualifications arrived the same day Charlie failed to show up. Adan Smythe has a vast knowledge of the occult, and, a recent immigrant to Drake's Hollow, is in need of a job.

Iola can read the man's whole history just by shaking his hand. He seems sincere enough, and passes her test.

So far neither Ryan nor Fergus have shown signs of having precognitive visions, but they've both inherited the Hawksquill ability to read the past, so Iola spends time with them each evening, training them as her father trained her, to take in so much history at once without allowing it to overwhelm their consciousness.

Fergus has some difficulty paying attention to his mother, entranced by the painting over the desk he shares with his brother. He had shown a strong interest in art even as a toddler, so on his birthday, his grandfather Farrell let him choose any painting he wanted for his room. As soon as he saw this image of a man battling a dragon, he knew he had to have it, and spent many hours since gazing at it. 

His mother explains about how objects accumulate memories as they pass through time, pass through hands. "People invest emotion into objects, and that emotion remains within them for a very long time. The longer an object has existed, and the more people that have interacted with it in some meaningful way, the more history you will read from it when you take it in your own hands," she says.

The painting of the dragon slayer has no history, Fergus knows. It went from manufacturer to shop to his wall with little meaningful contact. The man who drew the original didn't even invest much emotion in the creation of it, it was simply his job to create a series of paintings based on fairy tale themes to decorate the childrens' rooms. But whenever Fergus looks at it, he's filled with the sense of history he gets from very old objects, but more, it's i history he feels as one who lived it, not something he sees played out like a movie in his mind. The weight of armor on his chest, the heft of a sword in his hand, the heat of the dragon's fiery breath, the exultation of taking it down, watching the life die in its eyes...

Farrell and Aouregan pay a visit to their daughter and her husband.

Their son, Dexter, is a toddler now, and hasn't inherited the magical ability of Aouregan's line, though he has her bright blue eyes.

Sometimes he's the dragon slayer, but sometimes, Fergus is the dragon. (No one has been able to convince him that this costume is a dinosaur and not a dragon.)

Fergus the dragon takes revenge on the human village for slaying one of his brothers.

"Witches are more powerful than dragons," Ryan challenges, "I could defeat you with a simple spell."

"Go ahead and try," Fergus taunts.

Fergus does not have fiery breath and his talons are soft and plush. Both boys have inherited their father's magic, but neither is old enough to cast a spell yet. So their duel must be resolved another way, with the pillows from their parents' bed.

"Sweetie, it works better if you scootch back a bit so you aren't sitting on the xylophone," Delaney advises, spending some time before her planned job for the night with her daughter.

She leaves Jilly to figure it out on her own, glancing back one more time before heading down the stairs, a bit reluctant to leave.

Jace passes her on the way down. She's never come out and told her family that she's a master thief, but it's hardly a secret, either. Jace grew up learning to never speak of it, or ask his mother questions about where she went at night.

"So, I had Dr. Hawksquill check me out," Jack says, meeting Shadow for a drink at the Toadstool, "No tumors or anything."

"That's good," Shadow says, in a voice that doesn't sound quite convinced.

"Well, yeah," Jack says, puzzled by Shadow's response, "Not having a tumor is pretty damn good."

"No, of course," Shadow says, mustering a smile, "I am happy for you. It's just, I wish I knew the source of the darkness I felt. It clings to you..."

"You think this darkness is worse than being sick?" Jack asks.

"I really don't know," Shadow says, "I've never seen or heard of anything like this. I wish I was just imagining it, but I don't just imagine things. Now that we've ruled out a medical condition, I'm going to continue my research into a more spiritual source for this darkness."

"Maybe it's just me," Jack says quietly, "I haven't been exactly the best kind of guy..."

"It's not you, Jack. You aren't a dark person by nature. And you are the best kind of people. I know you, I've known you since childhood. You were mischievous, and rebellious, but never really mean. You don't give yourself enough credit."

Farrell has taken a perfectly ordinary seed from his wife's garden.

And turned it into the perfect empanada.

For Science!

"Your father says Jack is okay," Shadow tells Iola.

"Well, that's good," she answers.

"I'm still worried about him."

"Of course you are," Iola says, "You want to solve everyone's problems and won't rest until you have."

Jace will be graduating soon, and has already started making plans for his future. "I'm going to propose to Kirsten right after we graduate," he says, "And then we'll have our first baby."

"Slow down there," Delaney laughs, "You're a little young to start thinking about being a parent."

"You were my age when you had me," Jace says, "I'm going to finish school first, but I want a family right away."

She's too young to have a midlife crisis. She also too young to have a son graduating high school and talking about making her a grandmother. Delaney looks at the pictures of her childhood, pictures with Cassidy when they were children and shared this room, a picture of herself and Jack as teens at the Autumn Festival, not long before she got pregnant with Jace, and a picture of the three of them right after she and Jack started getting back together again. Life has gone by so quickly, the son she had as a teen is now a teen himself, getting ready to become an adult. And here she is, still living n the same room she grew up in. She always liked it here, and never wanted it to change, never wanted Cass to leave her behind, but for all of them to stay young forever.

"A retirement party?" Jack laughs, "Babe, you haven't even got your first wrinkle."

"And I'm not going to get one any time soon. Cole has taken off and I haven't heard from him, and I'm tired of running his show. I was only in it for the thrill, and the thrill is gone," Delaney says, "So I'm throwing myself a big bash and quitting." And what better place to have getting out of the business party than the warehouse they use to stash their gods before they fence it?

Shadow and Iola come to dance the afternoon away.

Even Ian shows up with his cougar wife.

"What about Cole, Laney?" Jack asks, "He's probably going to come back sometime and want to know why his business went to shit."

Delaney shrugs, "I'm not afraid of him. And, I know more about him. He's not in this for money, either.  He left this in my hands when he took off, and I'm changing direction. I'm thinking of converting this place into a coffeeshop. It's already set up for it, pretty much."

"Let's take a picture," Delaney says, "I want to remember this day."


After installing UL, my game decided to shuffle around my shop cashiers, and the previous cashier in Shadow's shop, Charlie Glover, disappeared, replaced by new guy. So I decided to work that into the story.

I've been having an issue with the Crime career. When Delaney goes to work, she gets stuck on the 'Going to Work' thing, and never makes an job progress. I can get around it by using Master Controller's career>Go to Work, but it's kind of a pain in the ass to remember to always send her to work via MC rather than the normal way. So, ow that she's achieved her LTW of becoming a Master Thief, I'm so done with that, and letting her quit.
Her 'retirement party' is actually a party thrown by Jack, Ian and Cougar Wife, who still all  live in that warehouse together. For the story, Jack lives somewhere in the city most of the time while training for Bluewater, and 'lives' with the Brannons when he's in Drake's Hollow. Of course he's only spending the night when he's there, since Delaney has the single parent roll. But since in the story, both Jack and Ian have moved on from the crime career and are not supposed to be living there, I made the party be Delaney's.
It was actually pretty rockin' for an NPC party, though I didn't use any pictures of the guests, there were lots of them. And they all brought food, so it wasn't one of those lame affairs where everyone, including the host,  is going around complaining of starving.
I will be finding new homes for Jack, Ian & Cougar so I can re-convert the warehouse into a coffeeshop using the barista thing from UL.
This party also counted for Shadow's 'social bunny' goal. The book club idea is fun, but the venue I have is too small and  gives me a lot of routing failures. So, hopefully the new venue Delaney is buying will work better. It certainly has a larger space for roaming around in.

Out take:


  1. "The weight of armor on his chest, the heft of a sword in his hand, the heat of the dragon's fiery breath, the exultation of taking it down, watching the life die in its eyes..." Oh shit. RUN DELANEY!!!!!
    Lol, imagine? Uh... Maybe you have? Is Fergus going to kill Delaney? She's really grown on me since she grew up, and I'm so happy she's retiring from a life of crime.

    I nearly wet myself at Farrells 'For Science!' bit! LOL HIS FACE!!!!!

    What else happened? I've forgotton now, I started laughing again...
    Oh yeah!
    Uh, Peridot, little harsh, don't you think? I'm shocked that Geoffrey was more compassionate than her, considering she spent weeks chasing after Jacks trying to get in his (tight) pants! I suppose that's what happens when you're manufactured in a lab... Love her hair, though!

    Delaneys midlife crisis (yes, I've already sort of mentioned this, I'm bringing it up again) was sweet. It really shows how far she's come (even if she doesn't think so) from when she was an irresponsible teen and had Jace. Yes, she still lives in the room she grew up in, but she's proved how responsible she is by leaving her life of crime and wanting to open a coffee shop. Yes, it's a very random idea for her to have, almost like the possibility for 'real' coffeeshops only just came about...

    So, this shopkeeper... Is he the mole? I assumed he checked out ok because Geoffrey did his memory thing (which I didn't understand, btw) and fooled a Hawksquill like he mentioned about 2 lines before, but then you said that UL changed your shop assistants, so now I'm not sure...

    It was nice to finally see most of the kids! I swear someone was missing, but can't work out who...
    And Delaney telling Jilly to scootch back was hilarious. My toddlers do that too much, so I just don't take pictures. Never thought about them sitting on it! :)

    One more thing:
    "I'm thinking of converting this place into a coffeeshop. It's already set up for it, pretty much." - and then the next picture has a picture of a naked woman on the wall. Yes, Laney. Set up for it... :|

    Oh, actually, one more, one more thing:
    Jack and Laney will be making a guest appearance at a conferance early gen 4 :D I've been going round stealing sims for extras. Hehe.

    1. I had no plans for Fergus to kill Delaney. But now you're all giving me ideas...=P
      Fergus is definitely picking up on some ancestor's memories there. Poor kid.

      I had to include Farrell's bit, even though it's just stuck in there. Because his face really was too funny.

      Peridot is harsh, but, she was raised in a lab and trained to be an assassin. She's never had a real life and only thinks in terms of what is good for MorcuCorp. Geoffrey had a similar upbringing, but not quite as disciplined. And he's lived in the world longer. So he has more of human connection than she does. Peridot's hair is from the same site I sent you that link to for the writing poses.

      Delaney is finally growing up a little. The coffeeshop idea was kind of last minute for me, too. I was going to have retie anyway, and then that party happened. I had already been thinking about what I could do to fix the routing issues in the hangout venue where I was having Shadow's bookclub meeting, and it just hit me that I set up the warehouse where Jack lives to retain a community lot feel, with a bar and poll table and darts, so with a little work (like taking down the nudie posters) it would be a great coffeeshop.

      The shopkeeper is the mole. UL did change the cashiers, and that gave me the idea to have Geoffrey plant a mole as a test run before messing with Jack's head again. It's also going to work in with a plot I'm cooking up for Gen 4. I started it now so it's not coming out of nowhere later.

      I think all the kids got shown, but Weylin never got named. He's in the background of the pic of Delaney and Jillyan andf the xylophone. Which, I totally didn't notice she was sitting on the thing until I was sorting my pics. I was like, 'Fuck, I wanted to use these shots, but it looks stupid with her sitting on it.' Then I decided to use them anyway.

      Yay, I'm excited to see Jack and Delaney in your legacy!

  2. I adore Fergus, even if he's a wee bit scary when he starts talking like a certain Landgraab ancestor, lol. I loved how you used that pic and the costume to emphasize the dragon slayer *memories* or whatever it is that Fergus is having. Very clever!

    I have to say, a calm, cool, logical thinking Landgraab (Geoffrey) could prove to be quite dangerous. He would be less likely to make mistakes!

    Farrell, as always, is so adorable. I loved his little victory dance there, for Science! :D

    It's good to see that Laney is maturing. I have been curious what Cole has been up to this whole time, and why he disappeared--- Was that another picture to make it on her blog? Probably not as popular as the one with Jack and a certain part of his anatomy, lol :P

    I'm looking forward to the next chapter! =)

    1. Poor Fergus is just a kid, dealing with some long dead adult's memories.

      Geoffrey is a dangerous enemy, that is very true. And if Peridot is not turning out to be the 'true love' that was going to break his curse, he's likely to just fall back into his harder, less emotional and sensitive persona.

      I'm going to be so sad when Farrell dies. But for now, he's having a lot of fun with the Science skill.

      I will get into what Cole has been up to eventually. There are some issues I want to sort out before I do that.

      Delaney's blog, lol. No picture will ever be as popular as Jack's ass.

      Thanks, Nirar!

  3. Thanks to Peridot, now all I see is that book on Malcom's desk. That great big secretive, mysterious, ancient book. *twiddles thumbs. Yeah. The secrets of the universe are all solved and spelled out in that book aren't they? I'll dream of that book tonight, all the fun stuff inside of it. Like how to neutralize Peridot. How to take over the world without really trying. What to do now you've learned you're a clone and have all the time and money you want. Yeah.
    I'm so happy Jack no longer has a chip in him! Yay! But as Shadow said, he's still got a darkness clinging to him which makes me sad. And at this rate, I'm glad he's happy and thinks he's doing good things for the world and almost hope he never learns just how awful a company he works for nor how they've used him.
    lol at Jace's plan for after school and Delaney's reaction. I don't blame her. Ha!
    The perfect Empanada! lol. I love tooling around with the science station. There is so much you can do with it, and so much that can happen! Love it.
    Oh, Fergus! Listen to Mommy and repress those memories!

    1. The mysterious books of bid secrets, lol. Geoffrey has quite a collection of medieval deco items I usually only use on my Summerdream sets.
      He might just be researching ways to neutralize Peridot now, lol.

      Again, it's poor Jack. He's been de-chipped, but MorcuCorp still has claws in him.

      Jace actually did roll a wish to propose to his girlfriend. I never saw a teen get that before, maybe it's because of woohooer settings. And there he was talking about babies with hi, yeah, Jace has plans.
      I've only just begun messing with the Science thing. But Farrell hasn't much else to do all day. so he's attached to thing.

      Sadly for Fergus, his mother's lessons are about dealing with the memories that come from other people and things, not with memories coming from within himself.

  4. I've been having trouble with the criminal career in my legacy too. I send James to work, and he gets stuck on going to work unless I wait until midnight, get him out of the rabbithole, and send him back in. This happens every time after a promotion, and also after days he's had off for whatever reason(holidays, the random night off he got when Greg died, etc). It definitely made leveling his career more realisticly-paced, though, when he could only get half the hours he was otherwise entitled to.

    Omg Jack! At first I was like "nooooo!" and then I was like "oh whew" and then I was like "no :(" again. Why are you being so mean to Jack? :(

    I love Farrell and his science machine, especially the happy dance in the one picture!

    1. Delaney could never get past going to work, even making her leave and go back in didn't work. The only way to make it count was to send her to work via MC. Which isn't the worst workaround, but by this point I don't need her career for the story and certainly not for the cash, so I just had her quit, and am crossing Crime off my career list. It's too much of a pain in the ass for me. I had the same issue right after Pets, but I thought it might be the specific Appaloosa plains rabbithole. But now it's in Moonlight Falls.

      LOL, well, poor Jack. I guess he at least doesn't know what's being done to him.

      I had to include the happy dance pic, =D It was too funny.

  5. Great chapter! The conversation at the beginning didn't take me by surprise at all; I felt it was very in-character and telling.

    I'm kind of sad to see Jace growing up.

    And it's nice to see Aurora again.

    I like how Delaney misses Cass. D'aw. ;.;

    1. Thanks, Becky!
      Peridot just seemed to me to be the colder of the two, almost inhuman sometimes.

      It is sad to see Jace growing up, but I'm just excited at the thought of less than 10 Sims in the house again.
      I feel bad that I don't get more of Aurora in the story. She's around at all the birthdays, but I haven't used pics from the last 2 or3 birthday parties because it's just chaos. On Fergus cake day, I didn't even get a pic of him after age up, lol.
      She was also at 'Delaney's' party but none of the pics I used showed her.

      Delaney does miss her sister. She's maturing a bit, but I think she still clings to her childhood. Hopefully in a more healthy way.

    2. I like that you kept pics with Ian in them at least, lol.

  6. Sorry if I'm saying stuff others have said, I'm too lazy to read others' comments. :)

    Like Peridot, I too am curious about the relic of a book on Geoff's desk. I'm guessing that Adan Smythe is the dude that Geoff was talking about. How he fooled Iola I don't know, if he's the dude.

    Fergus. Holy crapola.
    Reinier, why won't you just let your spirit rest? Must you really bring the dragonslayer tradition into the present? 'he feels as one who lived it' That really creeps me out. A dragonslayer descended from a dragon himself? wtf, how does that work?

    Jilly and the xylophone cracks me up.

    I'm glad Delaney is retiring, even if it was because of a bug or something. Jack wants to make her a grandmother already. gee whiz!

    1. That is a really old book. Left behind by one of Geoff's medieval Landgraab ancestors.
      Adan Smythe is the guy Geoff was talking about. Geoff has been working on using hypnosis as a way of repressing memories and substituting them with false ones as a way of tricking the Hawksquill ability to read memories. If Iola had made a deep reading of the guy, she might have seen through him, but they weren't as suspicious as maybe they should have been, so she just did a simple check and didn't see past the fake memories.

      Fergus has both dragon slayer and dragon ancestry (all of Aouregan & Farrell's descendants do). But Fergus is more in touch with his ancestral memories than the others, (especially Reinier's) and it will cause him considerable conflict.

      I was telling Gem, I didn't notice Jilly was sitting on the xylophone until I was cropping the pics. But they were the picsI had, so I had to use them or drop the whole scene. Luckily it was not a total loss, I could use the comedy, lol.

      Yeah, I think for the story having Delaney retire works, even though it was the stupid glitch that made me do it.

      When Jace ages up and moves out, SP can do what it wants with him. But he' family-oriented and already has a wish to propose to his girlfriend, so I'm guessing Delaney will be a grandma sooner than she'd like.

  7. I always get so excited when I see that you put a new chapter out. I'm so excited about this web you're weaving with MorcuCorp. I'm very intrigued to see if this will work in their favor or if Iola and Shadow can manage to overthrow the new plant.

    1. Aw, thanks!
      MorcuCorp is weaving a sticky web, and I keep getting tangled up in it, lol.

  8. It was cute seeing Iola teaching the boys, and interesting that Fergus is so interested in the dragon painting. Funny too, Jilly sitting on the xylophone :D

    1. Fergus is definitely feeling his dragon and dragon slayer ancestry, there.

  9. I can't help but like the Landgraab style. :)

    When I saw Farrel's daughter, it took me a while to realize that it wasn't actually Aouregan!

    Fergus' obsession with dragons is cute.

    I'm glad that Delaney quit the criminal career and seems to be maturing a bit.

    1. Aurora does look a lot like Aouregan.
      Fergus actually spends a lot of time in costume as a prince or a 'dragon' and it is really cute.
      Delaney is finally growing up, just a little.

  10. I ran out!

    It was fun watching the comments over this generation go so quickly from "Ugh, Jack, he'll lead her astray," through "Ugh, Delaney, we hates her, precious," to "Yay, they're together again."

    I think this family needs to talk to each other a bit more :P I don't think anyone's told Delaney about MorcuCorp so her only knowledge is about being followed that one time. I don't think she's told anyone about dragon, just asked about the Drake's Hollow dragons, though Iola obviously would know, but does Shadow? Iola and Shadow's conversation about Morcucorp being after them for the witch part suggets not. And then Farrell could probably help some with the Jack problem and...

    That's a really fat book.

    1. Don't worry, there's always more coming.

      Jack and Delaney's arc has been interesting.

      It's true, everyone has been keeping their individual issues to themselves. If they talked more they'd be in a better position understand what's going on with MorcuCorp. Shadow does know he has dragon ancestry, but he doesn't connect that at all to why MorcuCorp had his mother prisoner. His more interested in his shamanic studies, and hasn't given much thought to the dragon issue at all.

      That is a really fat book. The TSM conversion deco items are oversized in general.

  11. Loved how Shadow spoke to Jack. I hope they found out what the "darkness" is before it's too late. I just want to go in your game and tell them. XD

    I also enjoyed Fergus remembering things from the painting and it makes me wonder if perhaps you are preparing for the next generation already? Fergus is turning knight?

    And I'm glad Laney decided to quit her job. Now she can devote more time to her kids and be safe.

  12. Stupid Geoffrey. What did he do with Shadow's real shop keeper? Ugh. :( (Litle glitch worked ok for the story, huh? :))

    Fergus remembers wearing armour, a sword in hand, watching something die and liking it. Oh no.

    I am glad Delaney has decided to leave a life of crime. Good for her. I really really want Shadow to get a clue and have Jack see Farrell. I am positive Farrell would look at it completely differently and probably find something.

    1. The fate on the original shopkeeper is an unsolved mystery. But that little glitch did work for the story.

      Fergus' ancestral memories are difficult for him.

      You are right, Farrell could provide some much needed insight if only Shadow would talk to him.