Last time in A Corporate Conspiracy… Legacy founder Stanley James acting on the recommendation of his lab assistant Jason Gross took the plunge and finally started to stargaze in the hopes of being abducted and impregnated. Success would have meant a comfortable life for all his descendants not just his heirs. However, Mother Nature had other plans and Stanley was struck by lightening on his first night at the telescope and killed. Catalina, his lovely wife, sacrificed almost everything they had to resurrect him but came up a little short and the Grim Reaper returned a somewhat damaged version of her husband. Now… “How did I miss that!”
Jason Gross was an odd and very likable man. He was an adventurer and yet also a dedicated scholar. Magic was a second calling for him after a rather unique adventure deep in the northern forests of Canada where he met a coven of witches who showed him how to use some particular hidden gifts he possessed. In particular, was the ability to divine events in the near future. Give him a clear reflective surface and a little knowledge of a subject and he could tell you what they were going to have for dessert on Friday evening after attending a boring movie with a weak plot and getting a piece of gum stuck to their shoe. He had never been wrong except when it came to last night when his boss Dr. Stanley James was struck and killed by lightening.
“ I’ve never missed such a major event.” He crossed the office and fed a little piece of ham to the pygmy cow plant on the shelf. It snapped up the morsel and settled back in its clay pot. “The Yeti attack in the Himalayas, the earthquake in Koror Palu, the outbreak of rabid cows in Texas. All perfectly seen in advance. How could I have gotten this one so very wrong?”
He stepped to the ornate mirror on the wall. “Why was I blind to this particular event? Stanley will be abducted, I’m sure of it. Something altered my sight to prevent me from seeing all of the truth. But what?” The mirror, cowplant and cauldron were all being quite mute on the subject. He sighed and stared at his reflection. “Maybe I should find someone with more experience in abnormal phenomena.” For now that would have wait. Stanley was being brought to the lab this morning to be evaluated. Jason removed his robes and donned his lab coat. “I sure hope he’s not mad at me.”
Out in the lab Stanley was a bit perplexed by all the concern. He knew he was different and he knew his memory was spotty in a few areas but he felt fine. Better that fine in fact. His long term allergies seemed to be completely gone and he felt stronger and more relaxed than ever. “Look folks, I’m sure that you all mean well but I’m fine. See?” He lifted his arms and wiggled his fingers. “No burns. I can move all my extremities and my heart and respiratory rates are normal for a man of my age.” “ No, you are not ‘fine’ Stanley.”
Catalina had ushered him down here just as quickly as she could once the girls were off to school. “You barely remember me or our children and your mannerisms have changed completely.” “ I was struck by lightening.” “ Right.” “ Seems to me that should cause some changes in anybody.” “ Actually Dr. James, it wasn’t the lightening that altered you. It was the way you were resurrected.” Lori’s voice pulled his attention away from the trio of ladies across the room.
Dr. Krug smiled at him. “The rates that the Grim Reaper charges are well documented. Had your wife been able to scrape together more money you would not have noticed much of any change in personality or memory. I suspect that you have been ‘flipped’” Stanley frowned, “Flipped? You mean like a pancake?”
“ More like a coin really. You were a ‘heads’ now you are a ‘tails’. Still the same coin, just two different faces. It can be fixed but the process is pretty radical.” Heidi narrowed her eyes, “how radical?” Jason turned toward the women behind him. “I don’t want to upset you Mrs. James. Heaven knows you have been through enough in the last 18 hours.” Cat motioned for him to continue and he turned back to Stanley. ”You need to be resurrected again.” Stanley snorted, “Doesn’t that mean I have to die again?” “ Yes.”
He didn’t like the sound of that. “You want to kill me? Again?” Lori spoke up. “It’s the only way to correct the situation. I can assure you that it would be done painlessly with a simple overdose of anesthetic drugs. You wouldn’t feel a thing.” Stanley looked back and forth between his two assistants. Both were brilliant minds in their own rights and here they were suggesting, very casually, that they were going to kill him. “No, I don’t want to do that.”
“ Stanley, you do understand that this means you will have to live with this psyche and everything that goes with it.” “ Yep. And before you all say anything else, I’m very comfortable with that.” He looked up at Cassandra. “Dr. Trueheart for the first time in two plus decades I’m not scared to death of every little thing. I rode in a cab to get here. A cab! A dirty, germ infested cab with a driver who seemed to think he was on a race track and I didn’t care. I ate my food this morning and didn’t smell it to check and see if it was spoiled. I don’t want to die again and I don’t want to go back to being a frightened little geek.”
“ Then I guess that’s settled. Still, we should run a few tests on your heart and nerve functions to rule out any underlying damage. Why don’t you go to get changed and we’ll put you on the EKG and the treadmill.” Stanley couldn’t argue with the validity of the medical tests.
While Lori ran her tests, Jason sat Catalina down to talk to her. “Mrs. James I can’t help but feel a little responsible for this. I was the one who encouraged him to go out and stargaze last night.”
“ I wouldn’t beat yourself up too much about that Dr. Gross…” “ Call me Jason. I don’t hold any degrees.” “ Oh? He was already considering doing it and the storm was a freak summer squall. So unless you conjured up the storm it’s not your fault.” He grimaced, “I don’t have the ability to conjure storms,” but I know who does , “I should have seen this coming and warned him. I hope that you and your family can accept my apology and my promise to get to the bottom of this.” Cat smiled. “He told me you were nice. Of course, that was before he started calling me ‘babe’…”
Stanley tripped and slid to the end of the treadmill. “Can I stop doing this now?” Lori frowned, “You have only been on there for ten minutes. You can’t be tired.” “ Actually, he was never one for working out much so he might be. That’s not really a change.” Cat giggled at him as he struggled to stand and slipped on the tread again. “ Well, your EKG and EEG traces seem normal. I guess we can stop but might I suggest Dr. James that you get some more exercise in the near future?”
Stanley caught up to Heidi who had a concerned look on her face. “Miss Swenson?” Are you all right?” “ I’m just worried about you Stanley. We’ve come so far… What I mean is…” He sensed she was having a hard time saying what she wanted. “You are wondering if I can finish the job setting up the lab and maybe get you that evidence of alien abduction after all this.” “ Not to be blunt but, yes. Both projects are so very important. And Mr. Gilscarbo will want to know right away if we should find a replacement.”
“ Don’t worry. I’ll get you your alien and if the lot of you get out of here, I will finish up the last of the paperwork to get the lab certified with the state. Tell your boss that Dr. James is still on the case and more motivated than ever.” “ Excellent! He will be so relieved to hear that. I’ve arranged for a ‘bonus’ for you that should cover the losses your family accrued in order to get you back. If you need anything else just call.” Stanley herded the extra people out of his lab and gave his wife a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll be here a little late. Don’t wait up.” Cat left with a worried smile on her lips and Stanley turned around and looked at his crew. “Alright people we got paperwork to complete and a quality control to run. Let’s get it done!”
That afternoon when the girls returned from school they took the opportunity to enjoy the warm sunshine and their new swing set. For Melinda anytime spent outdoors was the best. She loved the weather and the plants and the bugs and yes, even the wolves and other strays who wandered by. Kellie on the other hand loved books and movies and long bubble baths. Neither girl had any inkling of what had happened right behind them the night before. Cat knew it would be a mistake not to tell them but where exactly do you start that conversation? She had spent most of the day worrying over how the girls might respond.
Catalina came out to join them on the lawn once Laurel was settled in with her toys. “Girls, I need to tell you something very important and maybe a little scary.” “ Did Laurel get the blocks stuck in her mouth again? I tried to tell her not to eat them.” “ No. This is about your father. Last night…” boy this is hard . “Last night your father was struck by lightening and he died from his injuries.” The confused look on their faces didn’t help her at all. “ But he was eating breakfast at the table this morning when we left.”
“ I was able to get him back from the afterlife but he has been changed a little by his experience.” Mel leaned back and pulled a daisy from the grass, “is that why there was a huge puddle in the bathroom this morning? There was water everywhere.” Cat nodded, “he’s not going to act the same anymore but he is still your father. I know that he loves you but he may not remember everything. Some of his memories have vanished.” “ Will he get them back?” “ We just don’t know. Maybe, maybe not. What is really important right now is that we be supportive and help him with those things he has forgotten.”
“ Girls, we came very close to losing him permanently last night. And I need both of you to help me, help him remember.” “ We can do that.” “ Good. I knew you could and I’m glad you are taking this so well. He’s going to be home late so I will help you with your homework and then we will all cook dinner together.” “ Can we have spaghetti?” “ Sure.” The girls hurried inside to get started with their assignments and Cat lingered on the soft grass.
That went better than I thought. I just hope that they won’t be too traumatized when he can’t remember their names or what foods they like. She leaned back and took a deep breath. Somewhere along the line her life had changed focus so much that she really couldn’t remember what she wanted before she met Stanley. Losing him would have ripped away a large piece of herself. Now she had to somehow salvage a relationship with a man who barely remembered her.
The next morning Stanley awoke to the sounds of the girls running down the stairs on their way to the bus and found the bed beside him undisturbed. Last night had been very successful. The lab and all it’s equipment was up and running and all the required paperwork had been completed. That success left him with a happy contentment inside that was dampened by the un-rumpled bedding. “She didn’t come to bed last night”, he mumbled to himself. He found his way downstairs and discovered Cat asleep on the couch. Instinctively he went to pull the blanket over her but stopped himself.
“ This woman is my wife. Was my wife. She is the mother of my children and the one who saved my life. Yet, I hardly remember anything about her.” He glanced about the room and spotted the painting of her on the dining room wall. It made him smile. “She was pregnant with the twins when I started that.” He continued to wander the house looking at the little bits and bobs that make up a family's history stopping only to tickle Laurel as he passed through the nursery. Some things he recognized others where foreign. He finally came back to stand in front of the couch. He leaned down and whispered to her sleeping form, “I don’t remember everything beautiful but I promise to be a good husband and father from now on.” He pulled the coverlet over her and headed out the front door.
He wandered around the neighborhood for a bit looking for familiar things to help him remember something of his past. Unfortunately he found nothing even remotely helpful. Finally he found himself in front of a clothing boutique. He thought about the tired old sweater he had in the closet at home. “I need a new wardrobe and thanks to Cat I know about the girl’s upcoming birthdays. New clothes are needed all around.” Stanley picked out something for himself and the four ladies at home. Along the way he stopped at a barber shop as well.
When he returned home he found Catalina eating some leftovers. “Oh, I was hoping to get back in time to fix you lunch.” He sat next to her at the table. “I went and bought some new clothes for the family. I…bought you a nice summery dress.” He stopped and watched her quietly eat her meal. She barely seemed to notice his presence. “Baby?” “ Don’t call me that” she replied flatly. “ What?” “ You heard me. Don’t call baby or babe or babalicious.” “ Why not?”
“ For one, look at you. You cut your hair. Is that hair gel? And the old Stanley would never have worn such a bold shirt let alone jeans along with it. I’m not sure who you are anymore. Two, I find the term demeaning. You used to call me Kitty Cat. Don’t you remember?” She knew she was being hard on him but she just couldn’t help herself. “ I think I remember that. You almost froze to death in college. That was the day I asked you to marry me.” “ But now you’re not the man I married.” Stanley stared thoughtfully at the painting on the wall and nodded. “It seems this is going to be a whole lot harder on you than it is on me. I’m sorry.”
Cat struggled to keep back her tears. “Stanley you have nothing to be sorry for. I didn’t mean to snap at you. You obviously feel different inside and felt the need to make some changes. It’s logical.” She stopped and took a deep breath, “This is just all happening so fast. And I’m still trying to deal with losing you to begin with. Not to mention the fact that your missing memories and changed personality is all my fault.” “ No. It isn’t” “ Yes! It is. If I had waited to get you back, made a proper plan and scraped up some more money you would have been sent back normal.” The tears she had been struggling to hold back finally rolled down her cheeks.
“ You don’t know that for sure. Death is bound to change people no matter how they come back. You did what you did how you did it out of an instinctive need to protect your family. Nothing about this is your fault. I’m just glad you cared so much about me to make the effort.” He took her hand gently and held it. “Can we move past all this and just agree that things are going to be different?” “ Okay”, she wiped at her tears, “I really do like your hair.” He smiled, “I’m glad. How about I clean up these plates and you try on your new dress.” He didn’t wait for her answer but stood and collected the plate and silverware and headed for the kitchen. “We need to buy a dishwasher.” “ I’d rather have windows first.” She stood and found the shopping bags he had set on the couch.
A bit later Cat settled Laurel in for a quick bath. “Tomorrow is your birthday little girl. Are you ready to get to go to school and play outside?” “ I’m a big girl now. I wanna go outside.” “ Yes you are a big girl but tomorrow you will get even bigger and then you can go outside.” “ Wanna go outside with daddy!” Cat lifted the toddler from her bath a wrapped her in a soft towel. “I’m sure you do. I don’t think I want you out there right now sweetie.”
What Catalina wanted to protect Laurel from and what Jason had so rightfully predicted was that Stanley was being carried off for a little adventure with some new friends. As the tractor beam pulled him upward, he clung to the scope with all his might. “I changed my mind! Let me go! Help! Cat! Help me!”
Cat rushed outside in time to still see the lights from the spaceship as they sucked up her husband. He was still yelling for her as the doors closed and the ship sped away.
Strangely, she didn’t feel too upset over this particular event. It was well documented that the aliens would return him and that he would come back impregnated with a half alien baby. What she did worry about was Stanley’s fragile psyche.
Others in the house also noticed the event. Poor little Laurel it seemed, was the one child of the James family to witness her father die and be abducted. She sat there quietly this time and didn’t cry. You bring my daddy back bad space peoples. He’s my daddy not yours. Inside her head an image of her hitting a little green man with her teddy popped up.
Upstairs the twins had been awoken by the sounds of the ship as well. Mel watched her more energetic twin bounce up and down on her bed. “We are going to have a new baby brother or sister now.” “ How do you know?” “ That’s what Mrs. Gardner at school said. When boys get abducted they come back with a baby in their tummies.”
The news didn’t phase Kellie’s jumping one bit. “That’s really gross. How does it get out?” “ I don’t know. I want a little brother. We already have Laurel.” Kellie bounced onto her butt and landed gracefully on the floor. “Maybe he will explode and the baby comes out that way. Like in that ‘Aliens’ movie.” Mel frowned, “Mrs. Gardner didn’t say anything about exploding. That means Dad would die again. I don’t think Mommy would let him do it if that was what would happen.” “ I ‘supose”
A few hours later the family rushed outside to the noise of a space ship hovering over the street. The sound was deafening as a door opened and Stanley was thrown out of the ship and landed unceremoniously on the sidewalk.
“ Ow! Jerks!” He rubbed his back painfully. The ship’s hatch closed and the vessel sped away into the nighttime sky.
He was pleased that the first thing he set eyes on was his family. Cat ran over and hugged him. “Are you all right? Did you get to talk to them? What did they say?” She let go of him long enough to look him over for injuries and then pulled him back tightly into her arms. “I’m so glad you are okay.” He smiled at her exuberant greeting. “I’m a bit tired and very hungry.” “ I’ll make us some breakfast. Girls, go get cleaned up for school.” Cat led him back into the house by the hand and had him sit on the couch. “You rest while I make some omelets.”
As soon as he was alone Stanley covered his eyes and sighed. There was no turning back now and supposedly the worst of it was over. Soon he would begin experiencing the symptoms of pregnancy and the James family would have a sixth member. An alien half-breed member. The scientist in him kicked in and he mentally went over every aspect of the encounter. Cat asked him if they had spoke with him. They hadn’t. The whole event was like a cold, sterile scientific procedure. Almost assembly line like. There was no pain until he landed on his sidewalk this morning. They didn’t tell him why or even seem to really notice him. They talked among themselves like humans would do at any workplace. What was interesting was that he saw orbs just like the one in the weather machine in his lab that no one could figure out. “Maybe the machine was built by the aliens.”
Stanley ate his breakfast, showered and went upstairs to sleep. When he awoke he wandered downstairs in time to see Cat setting out a birthday cake for Laurel. She smiled at him, “Would you like to do the honors?” He wandered into the nursery and collected Laurel up from her nap. “It’s time for your birthday pumpkin. Are you ready?” Laurel yawned and hugged him tight. “Daddy don’t you go with bad space peoples anymore.” He smiled at her, “don’t worry. I won’t being doing that again. I promise.” He carried her out to the kitchen where the rest of the family was waiting.
Kellie was very excited that it was Laurel’s birthday. The two of them were very close considering the difference in their ages. “Woo! Blow out the candles little sis so we can go outside and play!”
“ Sweet! This is so cool. Daddy did you see? I got all sparkly and then pop I got bigger.” “ Yep I saw it. It was awesome.” She ran over and hugged him. “Go have some cake sweet cheeks.” Laurel grew up nicely and all the family dug into the cake. One member however, made a quick retreat to the bathroom as soon as he was finished eating.
Stanley felt like his stomach was trying to expel itself as he knelt in front of the toilet. Cat called to him through the door. “Are you all right Nerd?” “ Yeah”, he said as another wretch over took him, “I’m gonna be in here for a while though.” Catalina smiled to herself. At least there was a little karma still left in the universe. The ladies finished up their cake and had cleaned up the kitchen before Stanley reappeared in the living room.
She walked over to talk with him when suddenly he dropped to one knee in front of her. Thinking he had collapsed, she jumped forward to help him. “Are you okay? It’s normal to be dizzy.” He brushed her hands away and grinned. “I’m fine.” He looked at her from his position on the floor. “Kitty Cat do you still love me?” “ What a silly question. Of course I do. I just…well you know. So many things have changed.”
He smiled and pulled a box out of his pocket. “I know it’s the same engagement ring I gave you before but I hope that you will still like it.” Cat was touched by the romantic gesture. “Oh Nerd! It’s just as perfect as it was the first time around.” “ So you will marry me? Even though I’m a bit different than I was before.” “ Yes.” “ That’s good, considering that I’m pregnant. We don’t want the neighbors to talk.”
She jumped into his arms and giggled. “Someone has to make an honest man out of you. It might as well be me.” Stanley pulled her tightly to him. His world was right when Catalina was close by. Even if he remembered nothing else from before he knew that down to his marrow. Nothing was going to take her away from him.
Time passes quickly for young families and it seemed to Stanley and Catalina that their oldest daughters were just babies and now it’s time for them to become young ladies. Mel, being the oldest twin, blew her candles out first. “Hmm? I want to have…” Kellie interrupted her, “If you say it out loud it will never happen.” “ Oh yeah. I forgot.” She thought for a moment and puffed out the candles.
Kellie followed suit shortly after and the James twins found themselves off to a great start in their teen lives.
Both girls had a wonderful birthday and got new clothes along with a few other gifts to celebrate their transition to teen-hood. Mel was given the money to plant herself the start of a small garden…
And Kellie received a stereo. Both gifts that the family could enjoy but reflected each girls individual tastes. Stanley thanked Cat in private for making sure that each young lady got what they really wanted.
The next morning Stanley set to work to write down everything he could remember about his encounter with the aliens and their vessel. The board would be expecting a report on everything he saw and heard while there. It was hard to concentrate. Between the bouts of nausea and the sense of a squirming being developing inside his abdomen he found it hard to write. When his belly popped he winced, “Ugh! How on earth did you put up with this?” Cat simply smiled and continued painting. “Just be glad you are only doing it once.” Stanley’s newly swollen belly meant it was time for a house call from his doctor.
After a through exam including an ultrasound using a portable unit Dr. Krug determined that both baby and father were healthy and doing fine. “Do you want to know the sex of the child?”
“ Hmm…I don’t know. Part of the fun with the girls was the anticipation of what we were going to get.” Stanley turned his mind to more important matters. “We will need to get blood samples and buccal swabs from the baby as soon as it is born. Did you bring the supplies I will need?” Lori nodded, “along with a camera for photos.” “ Well good. How are things going down at the lab. I know that we had to put the cheesecake research on the back burner because of my maternity leave.”
“ We had to eat all the cake up before it spoiled. When you come back we will have to buy some more to run test on.” “ How well has Miss Scott been doing.” Jason grimaced, “she’s as angry as ever. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered someone who is just angry for the sake of being angry before. Her DNA tests were finished and showed no distinct alterations to the alleles and as we already suspected she doesn’t undergo any cellular division. I e-mailed the data to your home computer for you to review. Mostly she makes huge messes and then gets mad when they don’t get cleaned up right away.”
“ I thought we hired a janitorial service to come in and take care of those kinds of things.” Lori sneered and crossed her arms. Jason smiled at her. “We did but we had to fire the ‘man maid’ after a few days. He kept sneaking into the bathroom while Lori was in there and looking under the stall divider.” Stanley laughed. “ It’s not funny! It was disgusting!” She rolled her eyes. “ We still haven’t found a suitable replacement.”
“ Also, Dr. Trueheart has been wondering why you haven’t been coming in to see her. She was understanding at the start of your gestation but now she’s getting pretty pushy.”
“ Honestly, who does she think she is? I told her on the phone that I was fine and didn’t need any counseling.” Stanley’s angry outburst startled them both. Lori was the first to speak, “She’s just worried about you. We all are. From an emotional standpoint your have been through a great deal recently. It would be understandable if your were having some trouble adapting.” “ You can tell her and anyone else who asks that I am fine and that I don’t need any help. I’m tired of all these people trying to mollycoddle me.” He stopped and took a deep breath. “I’m sorry. I’m a little tired. Thanks for coming by to check up on me. I will call after the birth to let you know the details.”
Cat, who had been reading a story to Laurel, stopped when the door bell rang and answered the door. She welcomed Nemo and they went into the dining room to talk. Lori fretted a little, “We really are concerned about you. If you need to talk or anything…” She was interrupted by Stanley abruptly putting up his hand and hushing her.
In the dining room Nemo and Cat were exchanging pleasantries. He hadn’t been by in a while to visit at Cat’s request but while on his evening stroll decided he should check up on his best friend. “Wow! You look fantastic in a dress. How have you been doing.” Cat blushed at his comment. “Thank you. We have doing alright. I…” Her response was cut short by Stanley.
Stanley was livid, “How dare you come onto my wife in my house, in front of my friends and family!” Confused, Nemo stepped back. “What do you mean ‘come on’ to? All I did was compliment her on how she looks.” Cat stood nearby awe struck, “Stanley!” His face twisted into a scowl, Stanley stepped closer to the confused sim and hissed, “If you ever set foot in my house or come near my wife or my children again I will pull out your entrails and strangle you with them. Understand? Now get out!”
Nemo sensing it was just better to leave exited the house followed by Jason and Lori who had watched in concern and decided that it was best to step outside. “ How dare you treat my friend that way! He didn’t do anything wrong.”
“ Didn’t do anything wrong? Are you blind? I see the way he looks at you, the way he talks to you. He is trying to steal you away from me.”
Cat was confused. Nemo had never been directly inappropriate with her. Yes, there was an attraction but that was it. “Stanley nothing is going on between Nemo and I. You are seeing things where there is nothing to see.” “ Hmph! Did you invite him over?” “ No.” “ Then why was he here if not to try and convince you that he is a better sim for you? He wants you and will stop at nothing to take you away from me. I’m just protecting what is mine!”
“ I am not your property and you are confused!” “ I don’t want him around you or the girls! That’s final!” She rubbed the bridge of her nose, “You don’t get to make decisions for me Stanley Thomas James!” “ This is my house and I say who get to come into it!”
“ It may be ‘your’ house Stanley but let’s just see if I will be in it when the sun rises.” Somewhere deep inside Stanley part of his psyche was pounding on the sound proof glass the other half had erected. What are you doing you idiot! You will lose her for sure by yelling at her! Stop it! Stop! But the other, aggressive half of Stanley wasn’t listening right now.
Upstairs, Mel had heard it all. She got Laurel to bed and Kellie was still obliviously chatting on the phone to someone when the yelling started. Her parents never fought before. Her father was always calm and quiet and they discussed their problems logically. The man downstairs was not her father. She felt like crying and she wanted to go hug her mother and protect her from the onslaught but she just couldn’t bring herself to go down the stairs.
The baby made Stanley restless and hungry all the time so it was not unusual for him to be up at four in the morning cooking breakfast for himself and the family. Of course now Stanley left a trail of messy counters and unwashed plates everywhere he went. “ Maybe I was a little hard on Cat last night. She didn’t encourage that jerk’s behavior but I just don’t understand why she can’t see it for what it is. A nice breakfast should soften her up for an apology.” He was so engrossed with his thoughts that he accidentally spilled melted butter onto the burner and his omelets became a flambé. “Ahh! Crud!”
“ Help! Fire!” Because of Stanley’s former proclivity for safety it was completely impossible for this house to burn down as there is an alarm in every single room. The fire crew arrived quickly and only a few omelets were harmed in the accident.
The family came down stairs to observe him inhaling his second plate of crispy eggs and cheese. “ Stanley”, Cat shielded her eyes from the spray of food. “ Ummwhat?” “ Maybe you should chew your food before swallowing.” Stanley looked up and let out a long belch. “I’m hungry. Let a pregnant man eat.”
Melinda stifled the urge to vomit as the food continued to be shoved into her father’s mouth. “I think I’m going to be sick.” Mel hadn’t slept well after the incident last night and sitting at the table this morning watching this stranger shovel food into his mouth didn’t help her mood.
Stanley stopped to wipe away a speck of food that landed on his glasses and looked over at Mel. “What’s the matter honey? Too crispy for you? Sorry about that. Just think of it as Cajun style.” Mel, choosing to try and forget the yelling from last night, quickly picked up her fork. “It’s okay Dad. I’m sure that my system needs some charcoal every now and then.” After all, her mother didn’t seem to be angry. She was however, very quite this morning.
Stanley went back to eating just as quickly as he could and the conversation was veered to a more important subject by Laurel. “When is the little pod person going to come out?” Kellie looked up from her plate confused, “Pod person? I thought we were getting an alien not a plant sim.” Cat just sighed, “Your father is carrying an alien baby who will be your little brother or sister Laurel. We don’t call family mean names. It’s very rude.” “ I don’t want an icky green baby!” Laurel kicked the table leg, crossed her arms and pouted.
Cat just stared at her unable to think of what to say next. It was Stanley who fixed the problem. “Pumpkin, just because you are getting a new brother or sister it doesn’t mean that we love you or your sisters any less. Yes, he or she will have green skin but that isn’t something to be afraid of or embarrassed by.”
Not convinced Laurel continued her argument, “I still don’t want an it! Can’t we give it away?” Not wanting to hear the rest of the conversation, Mel quickly excused herself from the table and went out to tend her plants as the sun came up.
As she tugged at the weeds that had grown up over night she found herself wondering how things in her family could have changed so much so quickly. Her little sister was so possessive of their father that she wanted to give away the new baby. Her mother had become withdrawn and spent her free time painting instead of studying and her father… Well, what could she say about him that wasn’t inappropriate. The fresh air helped her clear her head a bit. Mom will fix this. She always finds a way to make things right. The bus arrived and carted away the children for a day at school and away from the chaos of their home.
That afternoon Cat was pulled away from her painting by Stanley’s cries of pain in the dining room. At least , she thought to herself, he won’t have the pregnancy hormones making him act crazy anymore . She watched him struggle with the process offering only the occasional suggestion or helpful hint.
At long last Stanley was able to deliver the tiny infant. “Funny, he didn’t feel this small.” “ It’s a boy then?” Cat had struggle to hide her excitement over the new addition to the family. “ Yep.” Stanley looked up at her sad face. “I think you should name him.” “ Why me? He’s your little monster.” “ True. But you are the one who keeps this place from falling apart.” He cuddled his son close. “I’m sorry about last night. It’s just that… I’m always afraid that you are going to find someone better than me and leave.”
Cat smiled at Stanley. She couldn't stop herself from being charmed by his needy nature. I was the one thing of old Stanley that still seemed to exist. She also could stop her exuberant out pouring over the birth of their only son. Okay Stanley, I accept your apology on two conditions. One, you never do something like that again and two, you go see Dr. Trueheart for your counseling sessions again.” “ Deal. Maybe we both should go.” Cat nodded in agreement. “Well, what do we call this little fellow?” “ How about Darwin Edward?” “ Hmm, a prominent scientist… and where is Edward from?” “ It was my grandfather’s name”
“ Then it’s the perfect name. Welcome to the James family Darwin. I just hope the rest of the family is ready for you.”
Across town in a newly opened night club called The Church of the Poisoned Mind… G sat quietly by himself at the end of the bar. Behind him the DJ played techno music and many residents of the city danced and laughed and in general enjoyed themselves. Lately the music just didn’t call to him. He would much rather sit in a corner and brood.
This is where Heidi found him, sitting by himself and drinking. She took the seat next to him.
“ So here you are. Again, apparently. You haven't been in to work all week sir. Things are starting to pile up.”
He finished the drink in his hand and slammed the glass down on the counter. “And? Yo! Bartender! One more time and something frilly for the lady.” She could hear the distinct slurring of his speech. “And things need your signature, plans need refined. You are the CEO of the Pleasant View division. Stuff doesn't move forward if you don’t approve it.” “ Maybe I’m tired of signing papers and sucking up to fat cat board members who can’t tell their ass from a hole in the ground.” “ Okay…” Where did that come from? “I wasn't aware that you were unhappy with your position.”
“ Do you know what my real job is?” “… CEO of a division of SFO Corporation?” “ No.” Looking down the bar he yelled, “Hey! Where’s my drink?” Turning back to Heidi, he continued.” Your job and mine is to baby-sit a pathetic loser who for some god awful reason has attracted the attention of the heads of a multi-national company. When I took this position, my understanding was that I would be making a difference in the world. Not… wiping a geek’s ass.”
“ I thought the company gave you free rein to do charity work in town in the company’s name. I mean the convention hall is being really well received and the playground. We opened another free medical clinic downtown. It seems to me that these are all good things.” “ I could have been the next Captain Hero.” “ It wouldn’t suit you.” “ How do you know? I might have been good at it.” “ It still wouldn’t suit you.”
The bartender arrived with their drinks, “here you are sir, madam.” “ Finally. What took you so long? It’s not like Crumplebottom is in here draining the place dry.” The bartender just shook his head and moved back to the center of the bar. Heidi played with the margarita that was set in front of her. She had never seen her boss like this and was uncertain what to say. “ Dr. James had his baby today. A boy. They named him Darwin.”
“ Absolutely freakin’ fantastic! Here’s to screwed up Stanley and his little alien spawn!” He tipped the glass back a drank nearly half the contents in one gulp. Heidi raised her glass as well and sipped a little. “Whoa! How much Tequila did he put in this?” “ That’s why I started coming here. They pour the drinks strong.” “ How many have you had sir?” “ Not nearly enough.” He leaned on the bar counter and sighed.
After a few awkward seconds of silence, “so, do you come here often beautiful?” She shook her head at him. “Flirting with me is not a good idea.” “ Why not? You’re here. I’m here. The whole freakin’ town is here. It’s a party. Take down that gorgeous hair of yours and live a little.”
“ No.” “ Why not?” “ Because it wouldn't be professional, I’m your assistant for heaven’s sake.” “ I could fire you.” “ Maybe we should get you home and into bed.” “ Now your talkin’!
She looked down the bar and got the bartender’s attention. “Would you call us a cab please?” She glanced over at G who winked at her. Downing the remainder of the margarita she got the bartender’s attention again. “How many has he had?” “ About eight.” G gulped down the remainder of his drink and slammed the glass upside down on the bar top causing the bartender to amend his statement, “nine.” “ Great.” Sighing she stepped off the barstool, “could you get someone to help me get him to the cab?” “ Yes ma’am.” Together she and the bouncer got Goopy out to the cab and into the backseat. Tomorrow , she thought to herself, I’m asking for a raise .
Next time in a Corporate Conspiracy… “ Buuurrrrpp!” “ Nice one little man! Needs a bit more bass though.”
Hi. I hoped you liked this chapter. I had a hard time writing it as I had to re-imagine Stanley’s personality and how the family responds to him. It’s been tough going and I’m not completely happy with my results. Still this update does have it’s moments of good drama. Just a little update on how the real legacy is progressing…
The primary structure of the house is finished as you can see. Eventually, as money allows, I will be adding a family room and a new nursery downstairs. What is currently the nursery (seen through the windows in the front) will become a study for the bookcase and desks. What is the main living room right now will be kind of a formal sitting room and the upstairs area that isn’t bedrooms will be a skill object room. Right now there are only two bedrooms and I will most likely add a third when the other additions are done as well.
Here is Stanley in his cult leader outfit complaining about the helicopter. His actual LTW was education minister but that didn’t fit the personality I had in mind. My little ‘mini-challenge’ for this generation was to top the paranormal career track to represent his founding of an R&D division of the company.
Stanley and Cat aren’t really having all the relationship problems I have been writing in my story. In fact their relationship is 100/100 and still two bolts. *Gasp* I know. The argument about Nemo was faked and I swear that no Nemos were harmed in the filming of that scene. Angry Stanley is important to the story and I’m sure some of you will not like him very much or like how Cat handles him and his issues. Remember, this is not a fairy tale. Not everyone gets to live happily ever after.
Melinda Elise, so far, is my favorite of the kids. Here are her stats again plus her LTW. (10/2/10/6/7) Virgo Aspiration: Family LTW: raise 20 pups or kittens (I’ve never done that one-but she has to reroll in college) She is turned on by high mechanical skill and blonde hair and is turned off by beards. Her hobby is sports. I have a firm sense of her future. It’s the other girls I’m having trouble with.
Kellie Michelle- I don’t have anything exciting to say about her yet. Here are her stats- (10/1/6/6/7) Virgo Aspiration: Pleasure LTW: Professional Party Guest Turns ons: high creativity and charisma. Turn off: blondes Hobby: Tinkering
Laurel Jane- we are still a ways from her teen birthday. My thoughts for her personality was to make her very possessive of her father and anything she considers to be hers. She was there for both Stanley’s death and his abduction. It seems logical for her to become quirky about her father. What do you guys think?
This has to be one of the most accident prone families I have ever played. So far they have racked up:
One near freezing
Two kitchen fires
A fire on the porch (lightening strike)
One death by lightening and incomplete resurrection- that also glitched the telescope and the bone phone
One alien abduction
What else could possibly happen?
The abduction- I know what you are thinking. How did a player who couldn’t get Joe Carr abducted in her OWBC during his entire lifetime get her founder abducted so quickly? Truth is it wasn’t quick. Because of his death and resurrection Stanley’s life meter reset to the beginning. If that hadn’t happened he would have become to old to be impregnated with in a week of his death. It took eight solid days of stargazing sunset to sunup to get it to happen. If it didn’t then I had an alternate storyline already planned out. Darwin is needed for story purposes as well as the black sheep points for the legacy.
Okay. That’s it for the legacy part. The rest of these slides just show the funny events that occurred in the tiny bathroom of the playground I built. It was amusing and I thought I would share. It all started when simself Chewy here got home from school and had a tanked fun meter. I sent him down to the playground thinking he might find a local teen or two to hang out with. But no. My Pleasant View seems to be devoid of teens and on this day he found two simselves and three legacy characters along with an odd assortment of adult townies. *Do you see Catalina’s arm in the background?
This odd occurrence involves this particular simself and her Scorpio nice points. Just in case you don’t know who she is, this is Professor Butters (on boolprop forums) who writes the amazing “Squeaky Clean Legacy” and is responsible for the yummylishish Cecil Goodytwoshoes- the ‘thinking man’s’ villain. If you haven’t read it yet you must read it soon! You see the Prof likes to fight with some sims in my hood and she has developed several enemies. *That’s me and Daniel Pleasant chatting behind them.
Including Ivy Cooper (I believe that is her name) here. I didn’t see what started the disagreement as I was too busy laughing at the faces Chewy was making at the woman who was cheating at chess. The Prof and Ivy did the slappy slappy a couple of times then…
They got to the main event. I’m a professional wrestling fan and all I could hear was Jerry ‘the King’ Lawler calling commentary as these two went after each other. “Puppies!” [If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I apologize.] I had to drop the walls to get this picture as I didn’t lay out the floor plan in this bathroom to accommodate fights. *rolls eyes*
The Prof lost the first bout but went right back for seconds and lost again. My evilfied simself just stood around watching the fun. She has zero nice points now but never seems to start any trouble.
After Ivy was finished with her Sandy Brunty tagged herself in for a little bit of the fun. These two have already done the slappy slappy at Tin’s Hair Salon previously.
Unfortunately for her, Professor Butters doesn’t have the body points to back up her attitude. She ended up on the floor at Dina Calleiente’s feet. She left quickly after this and I’m sure this won’t be the last we see of PB.
And so ends ‘Chewy’s weird day at the park’. Though Chewy, you may want to rethink who you sit down to play chess with in the future. Take it from me, that lady is not nice. You have been warned!
One more thing! I would like to thank Kcolhsika over at Garden of Shadows for posting the beautiful redo of the Crypt ‘O Night club. I renamed it The Church of the Poisoned Mind as the place now has a gothic church feel and I really like that song [Church of the Poisoned Mind by Culture Club]. It is now an awesome lot that I will be using a whole lot more. I still have the original one too- it always has been one of my favorites. If you do download this lot, be aware it comes with a fair amount of CC and you will have to remove the roses from the tables or the food plates will disappear which happens in the original lot as well outside. Thanks for reading!