Thursday, December 19, 2013

Chapter 68: A New Tomorrow

The dinner was magnificent, of course, exactly what one would expect from a 5 star restaurant, but neither of them had their minds on what they were eating. Too much was at stake tonight. After the plates are cleared, Jilly reaches her hand across the table, stroking Julian's cheek with a reassuring caress. His confidence is measurably bolstered by her gentle touch and her smile which promises that they will come out this night and see a new tomorrow. He nods slightly, questioning, and she presses her lips together, tilting her head slightly in assent.

He slips the ring out of his pocket and presents it to her. He wants to say the words, ask her to marry him as he'd rehearsed, but she reacts too quickly, drawing her hands to her mouth in mock surprise, and there's no point in him saying anything at all.

"Hands, Jilly," he whispers gently, "Your face needs to be completely visible."

Jilly blushes a little, pulling her hand down over her heart instead. "I'm sorry, I kind of got carried away."

"It's all right," he answers, smiling at her blush. He can hear the soft click of the camera coming from a table nearby. The plan is moving forward, "You're so beautiful," he murmurs, allowing himself a moment to just enjoy her. "Shall we dance?'

Julian takes her out on the dance floor, holding her in a close embrace as they join the dance. This time, it's his turn to be reassuring as she trembles, just a little, in his arms.

"It's going perfectly," he whispers in her ear, "We'll get through this, and by morning, we'll be free." Which is a slight exaggeration, he knows. Their freedom won't be assured for a few days at least, but Julian is more than confident that his plan will work. He has to be.

"It's just...Julian, you were never this devious before," she whispers, "It's not you..."

A sharp breath escapes his lips, understanding the question, accusation, maybe, behind her words. "Sometimes I don't even know who I mean when I say 'I'," he admits, "I've never stopped thinking of myself as Julian, but I have several lifetimes of Geoffrey's memories, his experiences, in my head. Even when we get free of MorcuCorp, I'm never going to be free of that. It's changed me, and it will probably continue to change me. My only fear is that the man I'm becoming won't be a man you can love."

"That won't happen," she whispers, moving in time with him, "I won't let that happen."

"Your confidence is what will see us through this, Jilly," he answers, believing, for the moment at least, that she can forge a happy ending for them with the strength of her will alone. 

"I still don't understand why we're doing this," she says, "Why not just let me call Fergus and tell him what we're doing? How can you even be sure he'll get the message from some internet article about our fake engagement?"

"You know Fergus," Julian explains, "He doesn't trust me at all. And he's naturally wary of whatever is presented to him, so he inspects everything carefully and looks for other angles to approach things. So, we're giving him what he wants, a puzzle to solve, a code to break. And the key to MorcuCorp's back door."

"And you're sure he'll get all that? From one article? What if he doesn't see it?"

"He'll see it. Tasha's a long time subscriber to this particular feed. Hack journalism, conspiracy theories.  MorcuCorp has been running it for decades, creating stories about itself. It's part of how they control their image. Geoffrey has kept himself out of the limelight as much as possible, to keep questions about his eternal, unchanging, presence at bay, so his sudden public appearance with a 'mystery girl' will spark their readers' interests, even if it is a bit of society fluff. And of course, your picture in the article will make sure Tasha shares this with Fergus. I have every confidence that he'll spot the cypher in the article immediately. I designed it for him. When he figures it out, he will act on it. His life depends on it."

Julian twirls her around, letting go of their plots and schemes long enough to enjoy their dance.

His phone buzzes in his pocket, the signal he was waiting for it. "The article is out," he tells Jilly as they swing to the music, "It's time for phase two. Are you ready?"

"Let's do this," she nods.

Timing is crucial now, but she's so beautiful, right now, in this moment, that Julian can't help but take his time, drawing her close to him for a long, passionate kiss.

"I love you, Jilly," he whispers, squeezing her one more time.

"I love you," she answers,"Now let's go."

The bodyguard, a MorcuCorp agent, is an inconvenience imposed on him by Tourmaline, one he could not refuse without arousing her suspicions even more.

"Your car, Mr. Landgraab," the bodyguard greet him.

Jilly giggles and teeters unsteadily in his arms as they approach, as though she was a little too buzzed to walk without support. Right on time, Julian's phone buzzes in his pocket.

"I've got a call," he says to the bodyguard, "Help my fiancee into the car, will you? She's had a bit too much champagne tonight." 

Jilly giggles as she stumbles toward the waiting bodyguard, who extends an arm to help her to the car. Julian takes his phone out of his pocket. "Tourmaline, what is it?" he answers in a clipped, harsh tone, as though annoyed by the interruption.

"Daedalus has been attacked," Tourmaline informs him, using the code name for the computer that controls the entire central cloning facility, where all the important DNA, like his own, is stored. "The self-destruct code has been entered."

Jillyan elbows the unsuspecting agent in the face, grabbing his arm and throwing him to the ground.

"Use your security override," Julian instructs Tourmaline in  clipped, angry tone, knowing that nothing Tourmaline does will stop this now. He saw to that.

"It's not working!" Tourmaline answers, agitated. She's always had the shortest temper, Julian muss to himself, which makes her easy to control. She'll be so involved in stopping the damage happening on the surface that she won't detect the real threat until too late. "Whoever is doing this not only got past our security, but locked us out! This can't be happening!"

Jillyan pins the bodyguard down securely beneath her.

"Handle it," Julian barks, just as Geoffrey would, "I'll be there as soon as I can."

"He'll be out until at least tomorrow evening," Julian says as he slips the needle into the guards neck. "Daedalus is down. All the DNA is destroyed. They'll never make another clone of me." He lets out a sigh, relived of  burden he was hardly aware he was carrying. "And Tourmaline will be too preoccupied with that emergency to start searching for us right away. That should give us enough time to disappear. The rest will be up to Fergus."

As the guard falls unconscious, drugged, Jilly takes the phone from his pocket, removes the chip and smashes it. Julian does the same with his own phone, now that its role in his plan is finished.

Quickly, they stow the unconscious guard out of the way beneath some bushes on the restaurant's grounds, where he'll be safe and unseen until he wakes, and they walk nonchalantly to their car, like a couple in love, enjoying the evening.


  1. Please please let him really be Julian and this not be an elaborate set up to get Fergus *fingers crossed*

    I loved the whole thing, especially Jilly taking down the security guard, but I just can't quite bring myself to trust Julian entirely!

    1. Thanks, Ali!
      I'm playing a lot with ideas of identity in this arc. We all have a sense of 'I', but who we are changes with time and experience. We are not constant, though we perceive ourselves as such. For Julian/Geoffrey, of course, there was an actual split between the personalities, and now they are being brought back together.

  2. Yes Julian! Fight Geoffrey! Fight Tourmaline and Morcucorp and the bodyguard! Come On Julian!

    Ok, Jilly's formal? Gorgeous. Your sims are so pretty.

    Oooh, a lot of this plan resolves on Fergus and Tasha responding as hoped. And very canny for Morcucorp to start their own conspiracy site with rumors they put out on their own. A really ingenious way to control public opinion.

    And now, will Fergus pull through? *bites nails

    1. Julian is fighting, for sure, to retain his sense of self, and for his freedom. But of course he has to use Geoffrey's knowledge and wiles to do it.
      Thanks! I loved dressing Jilly up for this chapter.
      The plan does rely a lot of Fergus responding as planned. I guess we'll see next chapter how Fergus responds.

  3. O.O :O
    Wow. That's a plan and a half!!
    I'm with Ali, though... I can't fully trust Julifry, and I'm afraid he may be more Geoffian... I hope that isn't the case... I really hope he's not taking Jilly for a ride and trying to get Fergus! What a heartbreaker that'd be!
    But then... Would he really take down Morcucorp and destroy his DNA for that?
    ...But did he really? Was that him and Tourmaline plotting against Jilly?

    Haha :P

    1. Ha, you know, that would be funny, if the whole thing were made up to play Jilly. I'm half tempted to do that. But, no, I have other plans and I'm sticking to them.
      Julian does have a lot of Geoffrey in him. He is being honest with Jill, he's not going to come out of this the same man as he was before, but he does still identify as Julian, and retains Julian's loyalties and feelings for Jill.
      LOL, I hope this helps with your confusion. =)

  4. I don't know about this...

    Part of me wants to think this is Julian trying to right the wrongs of the past...but I can't shake the notion that this is an elaborate, very clever scheme for Morcucorp to get both Fergus AND Jilly under their control. And do Jilly's parents know anything about this?

    I love how you always keep us guessing.

    1. That would be an elaborate scheme, and I wouldn't put it past Geoffrey to do something like this.
      Jack and Delaney don't know anything about what's going on. I haven't said this in story yet (I will when we get back to Fergus), but Jack and Delaney bought a boat after Jilly aged up and moved away, and they are sailing the world. Jack still doesn't even know how he was used by MorcuCorp. though Jill does now since Julian told her.

  5. All caught up. :)

    I'm clapping and yaying for what Julian and Jilly was able to accomplish but I'm still apprehensive as to what could happen or what could go so wrong. Their plan was beautifully executed though, bravo! I laughed at Tourmaline when she got upset about Daedalus. My eyes are squinting at Julian, I'm so suspicious like Fergus right now. Can't wait to find out what happens next!

    1. Thanks for catching up, Nicky!
      A lot could wrong, especially as the next part of the plan is relying on someone who isn't even in on it, but has to piece it together from clues left out for him.
      Tourmaline did get pretty upset there, which JUlian was counting on. It will take hera little bit to calm down and realize that attack could only come from the inside, from Julian/Geoffrey himself. By then, he hopes to be gone, and for Fergus to be moving in.
      But will Fergus do what's expected of him? That's a big if.

  6. Haha, and I thought you were joking about the dead body! :P (I saw it on tumblr but haven't responded yet.) Okay, so technically he wasn't dead, but he was stashed in the bushes!

    Very cloak and daggers like, hiding a message like that for Fergus to find. I'm sure Fergus will figure it out, but what he does with it is something else. There's still a small matter of a certain vengeful ghost declaring Fergus the true heir---so I'm really curious to see how this will all play out.

    And Go Jilly! =D

    1. Ha, I know. But yeah, not really a dead body, lol.
      You are right on, there's no doubt really that Fergus will figure it out, but what he does with the information might not be what Julian is expecting. Fergus identifying with his Landgraab side might play very heavily into what he does.

  7. Wow, what a plot. A lot hinges on other people intuitively knowing what's going on, but so far, so good. Very nerve wracking!

    1. Thanks, MIsty! It is a huge risk Julian is taking, expecting Fergus to respond as planned.

  8. That sixth shot is so pretty! It really shows just how pretty Jilly is.

    Honestly, I don't feel much suspicion towards Julian in this chapter. If he is Geoffrey, I can't really see why he would get rid of the DNA bank and all that, but I guess it could be just a part of another elaborate scheme, and that makes me worried about Fergus and his role in Julian's plan.

    And wow! That article got out rather quickly! But I guess that's only to be expected when it's MorcuCorp themselves that run the feed.

    1. Thanks! I was surprised by how pretty Jilly is all dressed up too.
      I guess there was a possibility the whole thing could have been a sham to rope Jilly and Fergus in, but no, the DNA is destroyed.
      I probably should have said this more explicitly, but the article was pre-written and just waiting on the picture, so it went out immediately after the staged engagement. The article itself is a cypher that will give Fergus some very crucial information. Th picture and fake engagement was just to get his attention to make sure he saw it.

  9. It's impossible to know what is right and what is left here. Who is he and who is he fooling? Do you even know yourself? XD

    1. LOL, sometimes I think I know. But then I don't. =P

  10. Finally caught up! I'm commenting on my Google account, my wordpress is the Slumpvis Legacy

    I refuse to believe that Julian is using Jilly to get to Fergus, I think it would break my heart. Geoffrey did so many terrible things he's one of those characters I love to hate but I also saw something in him that made me feel he was also a victim of Morcucorp. With Peridot it seemed like he so badly wanted true love and to beak the curse and when it didn't happen he must have felt really let down. He shut her out when she betrayed him and acted like a total dick but even if he hadn't I didn't feel she was the one. I also saw a shred of humanity when he let Rory take the tooth. Jilly knows the truth now and as she chose to stick by him I hope he uses this new lease on life to make things right. I am very interested to see what Fergus's purpose in the escape plan is and what the fam will think when they find out that Julian is really Geoffrey.

    I keep thinking back to Shadow's vision of Fergus being the head of Morcucorp one day. When Fergus was in the cave he was told to take back what is rightfully his, and to me it looks like that dream may actually come true. If Geoffrey does run away with Jilly the door is wide open for Fergus to take the helm, he is a Landgraab after all. In reality it may not be such a bad thing if Fergus were to do something good with it and I really don't see he wouldn't unless something happens to drastically change his personality.

    1. Yeah, I think that Julian is in many ways what Geoffrey was before he became the head of MorcuCorp. And he was to some extent a victim of his position, though not an unwilling one. But, yes, MorcuCorp did shape him into something that maybe he had started to not want to be. In some ways, retreating into Julian's persona was an escape for him. Not that he planned things to go this way intentionally, but I think there was a subconscious motivation for Geoffrey to lose himself and become someone else.

  11. I'm glad, from reading your responses, that there's a stronger likelihood that Julian/Geoffrey isn't trying to pull a fast one on Jilly. That's what I want.
    I can't wait to see how Fergus takes the helm.

    1. Julian is being honest here, though I know trust doesn't come easy when Landgraabs are involved. He is Julian, though as he admits, he'll never be quite the same as he was before Geoffrey's memories were unlocked. But his motivations and his self-image are Julian rather than Geoffrey, and I think that makes all the difference.

  12. Well I'm glad you've established that Julian isn't just playing Jilly. That's been worrying me ever since he disappeared. Those two are just so adorable together, I want everything to turn out well. :) They're going to make cute babies eventually.

    Fergus...he's going to turn EVIL! I just know it. The Landgraab heir turns good, the Brannon heir turns bad. I can't wait for the next chapter to see if my hunch is correct. (And just to let you know, I can't think of my Landgraabs in Sunset Valley in the same way any more lol. I just keep thinking about Geoffrey clones now!)

    1. It's al about cute babies in the end, lol.

      You might be right about Fergus, at least a little.

      I wouldn't clone SV Geoffrey, lol. But I've had a thing for the Langraabs since Sims 1, though there was never an actual Landgraab Sim back then, just the portrait of Admiral Landgraab and various mentions of the family in object descriptions. For me they are more iconic than even the Goths.

  13. I have faith in Julian :)
    It is scary that he seems to know exactly how Fergus will react, though.

    Jilly is so pretty all dressed up!

    The way she took that guard out was impressive! Keeping up with her simfu?

    1. Julian might not know as much about Fergus as he thinks. Geoffrey has had an eye on him since he was born, though, so Julian thinks he can predict his reactions pretty accurately.

      Jilly is keeping up with her SimFu. Her LTW is the one to max Martial Arts and Athletic. I haven't shown her practicing a whole lot, but in my main save, she does some SimFu everyday. Eventually he'll go back to China and compete in the SimFu tournaments, too.

  14. I am not trusting Julian so much. He seems to be on the good side, but, those Landgraabs are so sneaky and devious, I can't place my trust in him. I do hope that he is what he seems and he does what he says he will, but, I'm not holding my breath.