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Chapter 34 – Curses and ConspiraciesArr and avast, gentle readers all!It be Talk Like a Pirate Day tday, mates, and that m...
"Madame Deity, why are you communicating in such an archaic form? Far be it from me to decry the language of my scurrilous...
"Aye! Gi the lad a tot o rum! Tis Talk Like A Pirate Day, mate! And in honor o this special occasion, Ive asked ye here t ...
"I would be remiss if I did not first remark upon the circumstances that allow us to converse in this manner in this place...
"As you so eloquently put it," Jack agreed. "Which jogs my memory, incidentally. Before I take my leave, I must inform you...
"The entry of my pleasure-seeking younger nephew into the institute of higher learning favoured by our family, Academie Le...
"That requirement of heirship accomplished, Roche set about searching for a solution to the problem that had recently bese...
"With the help of his dearest compatriots, cousins Benjamin, Nala, and my own daughter April, Roche discovered the Necrono...
"This van Winkle-esque state persisted for eight months, during which Roche haggled with the Grim Reaper for the resurrect...
"At last, his wish was granted--but at a terrible cost. I do not envy him. I do not think I would have been capable of agr...
"Upon completion of his Philosophical degree, Roche returned to          "My apologies, Madame Deity. I did not intend neg...
"Presently, Roche was wedded to Marie. Their triple bolt compatibility had the familial group crossing our fingers that th...
"Lest we forget, Roches elder brother Bartholomew, or "Bart" in the vernacular, had a quest of his own during his pursuit ...
"This quest complete, Bart returned to his family sim roots and married a simself with the moniker of De Fireflower. In ti...
"The Buccaneer clan was overjoyed when it was determined the curse had been truly shaken. The eldest children of Roche and...
"Unfortunately, the true price Roche had negotiated with the Grim Reaper became evident when the cowled anthropomorphisati...
"Unbeknownst to the rest of the family," Jack continued smoothly, "Susanna was not, in fact, deceased. Instead, she was ad...
"While Roche and Maries marriage was troubled, it did not crumble immediately. Shortly after Susanna was taken, Marie was ...
"Roche and Maries marital state of bliss did not return, so Marie gave in to her Romance tendencies and embarked upon a se...
"Anthony was pretty set on getting revenge since his curse was         "That is the matter of which I wish to brief you at...
"Before long, Marie discovered that she was again in a family way. She and Roche had not ceased their... carnal activities...
"Youngest child Gertie joined the family when the time came and was immediately a favourite of her siblings and her father...
"Thus, when the surviving members of the primary lineage of the legacy family met to propose a fifth generation heir, Gert...
"I took some miniscule delight in despatching my most trusted minions to ensure Anthonys perpetual emigration."
"The remote island where he was abandoned was not as desolate as many were led to believe. Anthony endured a moderately fa...
"When Bartholomew was certain Anthony would no longer trouble his brother, he sat down with Roche and informed him of Mari...
"Soon afterwards, the pentagenerational cadre of Buccaneers enrolled at Academie Le Tour. Barts eldest filial offspring, M...
"Graces siblings also relocated to Paris for their post-secondary education at the start of the same semester, choosing to...
"Once all of the siblings entered their sophomore year, they transplanted themselves to Arravast House--this being the leg...
"In any case, there was soon a happy reunion between Susanna and her parents, though Marie was reportedly overwhelmed. It ...
"Meanwhile, Gertie grew up into a comely lass, much favored by the others of her generation. She did not get to enjoy her ...
"The night after her birthday, she was sent a thoroughly malicious email directing her attention towards her mothers inter...
"Unfortunately for Roche and Marie, Gertie left a note detailing her rationale for departure. Roche happened upon the note...
"My beloved sister Ivy having long since passed, Roche left the house in care of my dear comrade Pao while he began an exp...
"The four remaining siblings were understandably hurt, confused, and distraught upon these revelations. They sat down amon...
"Grace was, in fact, romantically invested in one of her professors, Lee Kimbrell. Her neglect in communicating this fact ...
"Roche was unaware of this development, however. His perambulations had taken him around the world, treading in the steps ...
"The reunion was all Roche had anticipated. He convinced Gertie to      mentally... deficient... if exposed to the Re-Nu-Y...
"In a serendipitious turn of events, Roche and Gertie were reunited prior to Graces university graduation. The celebratory...
"When Roche, Grace, Lee, Gertie, and Andrew returned to Pirate Island, they were astonished and pleased at the new manor P...
"Again, to display their evident affluence to the masses, Grace and Lee elected to celebrate the premier community lot wed...
"Grace and Lee then departed for an extended honeymoon on Twikki Island. While in residence, they purchased a beach bungal...
"It was a season of connubial bliss, in fact," Jack added with a fond smile. "Shortly after the heiress and her husband co...
"And what of prodigal daughter Susanna? She contrived a moderately reliable mutual reclining arrangement with one Gavin Bi...
"But then," Jack added happily, "offspring are somewhat expected in the seasons following a generational transition. The f...
"This was also a time of familial reparation. Maries children were the first to extend the olive branch of forgiveness to ...
"She and Roche also came to a peaceful understanding, of sorts. I have it on good authority that they resumed their, ah, c...
"All was proceeding extremely well for the Buccaneer tribe," Jack       times before I get the gist of what you mean and b...
"Displaced Roman siblings Septimus and Octavia Toyonaga determined that the influence of the Buccaneer family was waning. ...
"To accomplish this foul deed, they slew his father, Sejanus, and resurrected him as a mute, zombified corpse."
"This turn of events had a predictably traumatizing effect on young Justinian and his teacher, simself Professor Butters, ...
"She enlisted the aid of Ephemeral Toast and Robinoli, two simselves who had undergone the process of reverse maturation i...
"Meanwhile, the legacy family remained oblivious. They never would realize the extent of the crisis at hand, shielded as t...
"The children of the sixth generation were entering the teenaged phase of life," Jack said. "Coxinga, affectionately refer...
"Hugo Pseudo, son of Will and Orikes, was the next. He was devoted to family and envisioned raising at least three childre...
"He availed himself of the Gypsy Matchmaker and was paired with Lainey Barthelet, a native of Singapore. They maintained c...
"Toby was the third cousin to mature beyond childhood. He had two passions: automotives, and females. He pursued both with...
"My nephew Roche made arrangements to take all five of his grandchildren on vacation so that their parents could holiday a...
"Before the blessed event could occur, though, the scheduled vacations materialized. Roche and his five grandchildren had ...
"First, Ching Shih made the acquaintance of an island man named Jim Reeves. He was coordinator of the islands penpal excha...
"Some months after everyone returned from their respective voyages, Lee was delivered of twin alien boys. He and Grace chr...
"Though the legacy family was blissfully unaware of the Roman machinations occurring behind the scenes, the simselves had ...
"Ms. Robinoli was relegated to the role of party coordinator and host while Ms. Toast took it upon herself to act as perso...
"Also of note, the party marked the first time Coxinga Buccaneer and Shere Khan Thayer (a distant descendant of both mysel...
"As well, Hugos international prospective consort visited and seeded the roots of friendship with Hugos parents and younge...
"Fearing the appearance of impropriety, Hugos parents insisted that he repose within a construction of canvas in the back ...
"In the meantime, Coxinga and Shere Khan, being individuals of a more sedate and introspective nature, were awkwardly purs...
"Toby Biggs was pursuing a relationship with many females of his peer group. Though he primarily resided in Paris, he was ...
"Whatever you say," I shrugged. "In that case, shall I add that Ching Shih was the next kid from the main houses to grow u...
"Her girlish charm was not unappreciated by the lads of Pirate Island. Justinian, in the thrall of Septimus and Octavia, w...
"Ching Shih poured her heart out to her penpal of yore, Jim Reeves. As she aged, the nature of their relationship grew and...
"Justinian, meanwhile, chose this event to rebel against the control Septimus and Octavia were exercising over his family....
"It culminated in Justinian and Ms. Toasts imprisonment in the Toyonaga family home at the hands of the malevolent Roman c...
"He immediately notified Ms. Robinoli, who had already organized the remaining simselves to intervene when the moment was ...
"A crack team of simself commandos was led by my own trusted associate Ben, who I am informed also goes by the pseudonyms ...
"The strike was successful and Septimus and Octavia defeated. This was when I became aware of the situation, as Ben had no...
"I was not pleased," I said. "Not that I mind simselves meddling to a lesser degree. But the way my world works, there are...
"And that is the primary causation of the combusted appearance sported by the simself members of the community in the foll...
"Supernatural events abounded in the following weeks," Jack said, raising his voice so I could hear him through the door. ...
"Also of note, my beloved wife supplied the final customer appreciation star to Graces fifth business, a Used Car Emporium...
"Liv was the final of the elder five Buccaneer cousins to reach the teenaged segment of her lifespan. Shortly after she gr...
"Gertie finally entered a platinum lifestate after consuming two hundred grilled cheese sandwiches.""And thank goodness fo...
"The alien sons of Grace and Lee developed into striking-looking toddlers. Though very different, they were nearly insepar...
"Grace and Lee transitioned into their golden years. Neither was inclined to retire from their monetary pursuits, however....
"Shortly thereafter, the first simself on Pirate Island transitioned to elder, namely Orikes, spouse of Will. She entered ...
"Sarah, there is precious little of the ordinary about your legacy," Jack said, turning to me. "Not only do you write a co...
"Our journey picks up at university in Paris, where Coxinga and Shere Khan renewed their romantic relationship."
"As well, Ching Shih began moving towards embracing her Piratical heritage. She was often described as the most comely pir...
"Ching Shih was quite in love with her dear friend of many years, Jim Reeves. To that end, she determined that she would v...
"Of one thing she was certain--the affection she felt for her comrade was more than just a schoolgirl infatuation. There w...
"Id say thats not all she found stimulating," I cracked."You cheapen their relationship with such coarse comments," Jack c...
"Arent you going to mention the other important event that occurred while Shih was on her vacation?" I demanded."I would n...
"When studies resumed, Ching Shihs cousin Toby found himself embroiled in drama of the feminine sort. He was consorting wi...
"It was around that time that Toby met a fellow student named Ophelia Smith. My research indicates that she is an import f...
"It took some considerable length of time, but eventually Miss Smith succumbed to Tobys reputedly myriad charms. She was e...
"Lainey Barthelet had enrolled at Academie Le Tour at the same time       their actions under the influence of this modifi...
"Graduation loomed for the elder members of generation six and Liv prepared to begin her pursuit of higher education. As w...
"Mr. Reeves was a frequent visitor to Arravast House, where the family members now resided. Ching Shih advocated matrimony...
"Ching Shih, always an overachiever, then became the first heir of the family to reach a platinate state prior to her adul...
"At this point I find it necessary to make a digression. You will recall I mentioned that Shere Khan was eager to investig...
"His test subject was none other than my own son, Ash. Unfortunately, there proved to be unintended consequences: namely, ...
"Next we come to the period of connubial conjugation of sixth generation," Jack said. "The first members of the immediate ...
"To date they have had three children: Orlando, Sarah, and Cate. Hugo has recently expressed a wish to expand the family f...
"Coxinga and Shere Khan were next to be wedded," he added. "They had a small ceremony in accordance with Coxingas desire t...
"Very shortly thereafter, Coxinga entered confinement until their daughter Sterling was born. As is readily evident, Grace...
"Speaking of babies," I interrupted. "Chris and I were, ah, busy the other day when I suddenly realized I was perma-plat. ...
"In fact," I continued, "I even confronted Athena about it. Shes the most likely candidate because of her age and lack of ...
Jacks expression was pained. "I believe your daughter was not entirely truthful with you," he said after a long moment of ...
"Athena did indeed have a child," he continued."WHAT?!? With who?!?""With Toby.""Shes such an idiot," I said, shaking my h...
"Toby was not opposed to the idea of fatherhood," Jack said gently. "But your daughter was violently against motherhood. T...
"So what did she have?" I said faintly. "Boy? Girl? Alien?""Athena was delivered of a daughter," Jack said. "She immediate...
"Remarkably well, considering," Jack said. "Shortly after Persephone was born, she had a son named Laertes. Toby has seen ...
"Well enough," Jack responded. "I understand she attempts to buy Persephones affection with presents, and that she recentl...
"To return to the subject at hand," Jack said, attempting to divert my attention, "I am pleased to report that Liv has set...
"At latest report, Liv graduated and moved in with her uncles, where she has been alternating her time between spoiling he...
"Before we return to the legacy family, I must relate that Crassus Toyonaga was able to develop a cure for Sejanus zombiei...
"And now we return to the legacy family," Jack said at last. "You might be happy, Sarah. This tale is nearly complete.""Ye...
"However, the celebration was cut short before it could be consummated. The laws of Pirate Island had been changed at some...
"If this were not catastrophic enough, Ching Shih discovered she was with child. Extreme nausea, and then the delicacy of ...
"I conferenced with Ching Shih on a frequent basis and found msyelf   Pirate Island."appreciating her intelligence and wit...
"Unfortunately, inspiration did not strike and Ching Shihs son, Balthier, was a toddler before I realized a solution. In f...
"As I was an invited guest, I took the opportunity to recount what I had learned. A marital contract between Ching Shih an...
"Nows where you explain what youve been insinuating all evening," I said, narrowing my eyes at him. "You keep implying tha...
"There is a group in existence on Pirate Island whose sole purpose seems to be destruction of the Buccaneer family," Jack ...
Stay tuned for the first installment of Sim Spade and the Corsairs of the Lost Ship... coming to an Exchange near you soon...
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A Piratical Legacy Chapter 34 - Curses and Conspiracies

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Transcript of "A Piratical Legacy Chapter 34 - Curses and Conspiracies"

  1. 1. Chapter 34 – Curses and ConspiraciesArr and avast, gentle readers all!It be Talk Like a Pirate Day tday, mates, and that means tis time fer another Piratical recap. Savvy?Ye may wish t review th previous recap, mates--twas Chapter 16. But if ye feel like divin in over yer head, pull up a seat and listen to a salty taleo misery and woe.
  2. 2. "Madame Deity, why are you communicating in such an archaic form? Far be it from me to decry the language of my scurrilous antecedents, ofcourse, but speech such as that you are modeling is rarely used in our current age.""Jack... have you looked at the calendar lately?""It is the nineteenth day of the ninth month. Friday, in fact.""And whats so special about September nineteenth?""I must confess that I am unaware of any specific connotation to this square on the calendar. I suspect that it may have some connection to these...accoutrements... you have insisted I sport."
  3. 3. "Aye! Gi the lad a tot o rum! Tis Talk Like A Pirate Day, mate! And in honor o this special occasion, Ive asked ye here t dictate th history o yerfamily, from th time yer nephew Roche absconded t university.""Indeed. I believe I can prove beneficial in such a recounting. Shall we begin?""The floor be yers, mate."
  4. 4. "I would be remiss if I did not first remark upon the circumstances that allow us to converse in this manner in this place and time," Jack said,taking a sip of the glass of water my son Hades had thoughtfully provided."Didnt we mention it in the previous recap?" I blinked. "I was sure we had.""I was not a participant in that event," Jack said. "It was my illustrious foreplushie who cohosted previously.""Oh, right," I nodded. "Anyway, to get down to it: just prior to your sister Ivys birthday, I summoned you and your Aunt Celeste to my home andexplained that you were being given the task of watchers and caretakers of the family legacy. So that you could succeed in your task, you weregiven an unlimited supply of Elixir for yourselves and your spouses. Each generation, a spare of the direct family line would be added to the cadreof protectors."
  5. 5. "As you so eloquently put it," Jack agreed. "Which jogs my memory, incidentally. Before I take my leave, I must inform you of some information Ihave recently been made aware of. It is of some concern, but the matter is not urgent.""Im all ears," I said. "Now... to the narrative?""As my grandfather would say, All sheets to the wind!"
  6. 6. "The entry of my pleasure-seeking younger nephew into the institute of higher learning favoured by our family, Academie Le Tour, was fraughtwith misadventure. In the beginning, however, it did not appear as such. Young Roche was determined at all costs to meet his obligations asfavoured scion and he threw himself into pursuit of this at once."The first task he undertook was to find a suitable spouse with whom he could bring about the next generation of Buccaneers. Finding appropriatemembers of the feminine persuasion rather lacking, he instead turned to the Gypsy Matchmaker. Marie Mazza, a purveyor of flat, open-faced piesof Italian origin, was the result. Fiery particles flew furiously, and presently an engagement was announced."
  7. 7. "That requirement of heirship accomplished, Roche set about searching for a solution to the problem that had recently beset the family: that of thefamily curse. This malediction had been plaguing my kindred since Roches birth but the true consequences had only just been revealed. Unless theaffliction was excoriated, conception of the succeeding generation would be prevented."
  8. 8. "With the help of his dearest compatriots, cousins Benjamin, Nala, and my own daughter April, Roche discovered the Necronomicon anddetermined that to eradicate the bane upon his fecundity he would have to resurrect one Anthony Greaves, a former paramour of my sister Ivy. TheResurrect-o-Nomitron would be required. As the family was not in possession of this arcane device, Roche sought membership in the Academiesclandestine organization and appropriated theirs. Placing a call to the Reaper, he fell into a deep coma."
  9. 9. "This van Winkle-esque state persisted for eight months, during which Roche haggled with the Grim Reaper for the resurrection of Anthony."
  10. 10. "At last, his wish was granted--but at a terrible cost. I do not envy him. I do not think I would have been capable of agreeing to the same terms."
  11. 11. "Upon completion of his Philosophical degree, Roche returned to "My apologies, Madame Deity. I did not intend negligence of myPirate Island and the Buccaneer clan moved into their fourth home of duties as narrator."the legacy." "Jack," I said, exasperated. "How long have we known each other?"Its not my fault," I said defensively. "I kept pushing the limits of You can call me by my first name, you know."what my computer could handle. I switched from big house to smallhouse, big lot to small lot... an awful lot." "I did not wish to presume.""Perhaps your addiction to custom content was a factor?" "For the head of a criminal empire, youre awfully polite and stuffy.""Err," I blushed. "Just get on with the story. Youre entirely "I find it perplexes my rivals."neglecting Roches brother, and the spares do come into the story afair bit." "Get on with it!"
  12. 12. "Presently, Roche was wedded to Marie. Their triple bolt compatibility had the familial group crossing our fingers that they would have a long andfruitful marriage despite Maries ... proclivities."
  13. 13. "Lest we forget, Roches elder brother Bartholomew, or "Bart" in the vernacular, had a quest of his own during his pursuit of a higher education.Ivy had enjoyed a ... loose ... association with several men before entering into domestic bliss with my trusted minion, Pao. Thus, Bart was drivento seek enlightenment regarding his patrilineal ancestry. Just prior to his university graduation, and while Roche was still a freshman, Bart madethe acquaintance of his father, Cale Kosmokos."
  14. 14. "This quest complete, Bart returned to his family sim roots and married a simself with the moniker of De Fireflower. In time, they begat threeoffspring: Morgan, Pierce, and Rose."
  15. 15. "The Buccaneer clan was overjoyed when it was determined the curse had been truly shaken. The eldest children of Roche and Marie, twins due tomy sister Ivys culinary assistance, were Susanna and Grace Buccaneer."
  16. 16. "Unfortunately, the true price Roche had negotiated with the Grim Reaper became evident when the cowled anthropomorphisation of human fearsregarding the afterlife absconded with my great-niece, leaving only a cold gravestone behind. Roche attempted to communicate his displeasure tothe Reaper but it was made apparent that the clause was non-negotiable.""I wish hed been able to find another solution," I said wistfully. "It was so sad when the lost little Susanna.""In that you are correct, Sarah. It was also the principal causation of the unraveling of Roche and Maries matrimonial state."
  17. 17. "Unbeknownst to the rest of the family," Jack continued smoothly, "Susanna was not, in fact, deceased. Instead, she was adopted as agranddaughter and eventual heiress of the Grim Reaper himself. And, through the bond of twinship she shared with her sister Grace, the two sharedmany of their somnolent escapades. This bond would only intensify as the young ladies matured."
  18. 18. "While Roche and Maries marriage was troubled, it did not crumble immediately. Shortly after Susanna was taken, Marie was delivered of twinboys: Nicholas, on the left, and William, on the right. Although variously complected, they were otherwise identical. Once they grew somewhatolder they adopted similar sartorial and coiffurial mannerisms so that naught but proximity would serve to distinguish them."
  19. 19. "Roche and Maries marital state of bliss did not return, so Marie gave in to her Romance tendencies and embarked upon a sequence of affairs. Themost damaging of these was with the family nemesis, Anthony Greaves. Roche had not warned her of the villain, and so she did not realize thepotential evils the proximity of his machinations could inflict. Such as purposefully omitting the use of contraception.""Bart knew, though," I pointed out. "He caught them together. And he could have said something to Roche much earlier. It would have saved a lotof grief.""He has confessed to me his perceived guilt at not passing this intelligence to his youthful sibling on more than one occasion. However, the faultdoes not lay with him. It rests entirely at the podiatric appendages - so to speak - of the illicit inamorati."
  20. 20. "Anthony was pretty set on getting revenge since his curse was "That is the matter of which I wish to brief you at the close of thisthwarted," I agreed. "I think he would have wormed his way into recounting," Jack nodded. "Your deityship should be familiar withMaries... photobooth... at some point even if her marriage to Roche the virtue of patience, Sarah."wasnt already on the rocks." "Im not good at patient," I muttered."That is a reasonable hypothesis," Jack agreed. "Coincidentally,certain proximal revelations suggest that Anthonys moderately "This fact has not escaped my notice. The prevalence of artificiallyunjustified vendetta was encouraged by an outside group wishing to oxidized Simself population currently infesting the island iscause harm to the legacy family." testament to your lack of restraint.""WHAT?!?" I screeched. "Watch it, fella."
  21. 21. "Before long, Marie discovered that she was again in a family way. She and Roche had not ceased their... carnal activities... even though they hadgrown detached from one another, so my dear nephew had no reason to doubt the patrimony of the child. Marie, on the other hand, was very awarethat the infant could be Anthonys, and even recorded this potentiality in her weblog.""Not very smart of her," I observed. "Once you put something out on the internet, its there forever.""Indeed. I myself prefer to avoid the pernicious medium unless absolutely necessary.""Youre a smart man, Jack Thayer.""This information has also not escaped my notice."
  22. 22. "Youngest child Gertie joined the family when the time came and was immediately a favourite of her siblings and her father. Unlike the vastmajority of her generation, she was uncommonly kind and friendly. All who met her were enamoured of her charming smile and winsomedemeanor."
  23. 23. "Thus, when the surviving members of the primary lineage of the legacy family met to propose a fifth generation heir, Gertie was the naturalchoice. We were--and are--all fond of her."It was at this meeting when Bart approached me and asked me to expunge the... shall we say, physical evidence... of the most execrable of Mariesindiscretions."
  24. 24. "I took some miniscule delight in despatching my most trusted minions to ensure Anthonys perpetual emigration."
  25. 25. "The remote island where he was abandoned was not as desolate as many were led to believe. Anthony endured a moderately favorable existencethere, though he had only a haunted ursine soft toy to keep him company, and died in platinus res."My interference was not looked upon kindly by those who conspire against the family. I believe this incident is what caused them to exacerbatetheir efforts to harm us.""Stop teasing me with snippets of information, Jack.""It is a mark of affection, Sarah. And a method of retaining your attention, which is notoriously fickle.""Uh-huh. Just keep talking, mister. You have a lot of explaining to do."
  26. 26. "When Bartholomew was certain Anthony would no longer trouble his brother, he sat down with Roche and informed him of Maries cuckoldry.To his surprise, Roche was aware of the affairs. He was not entirely innocent himself, he confessed. But since Gerties birth, he and Marie bothdecided independently to put some work into renewing their matrimonial contract and Roche was willing to forgive the past. Bart was not entirelysatisfied, but left this to his brother."
  27. 27. "Soon afterwards, the pentagenerational cadre of Buccaneers enrolled at Academie Le Tour. Barts eldest filial offspring, Morgan, was assigned tothe same dormitory as her cousin Grace. Also domiciled in their conurbation was an oddly familiar maiden addressed as Anna."
  28. 28. "Graces siblings also relocated to Paris for their post-secondary education at the start of the same semester, choosing to habitate off-campus withtheir cousin Pierce."
  29. 29. "Once all of the siblings entered their sophomore year, they transplanted themselves to Arravast House--this being the legacy Hellenic house. Annaalso pledged the fraternity, and Morgan entered into a domestic agreement with her brother Pierce--namely, he would remove the detritus ofmealtime from the dining salon and she would scour the ablutionary chamber if they were to cohabitate."As you no doubt surmised, Annas legatine heritage was shortly discovered as the result of a slip of the felt by Captain Jack.""Slip of the felt, nothing," I insisted. "It was deliberate on his part. Hes often complained to me about the obtuseness of his family. Although Ithink hes proud of them nonetheless.""He enjoys my avaricious nature," Jack smiled. "He often waxes poetic about the similarity of the Syndicate to the crew of his illicitly employedtrading vessel.""He would. Although giving them too many shares was what got him here in the first place."
  30. 30. "In any case, there was soon a happy reunion between Susanna and her parents, though Marie was reportedly overwhelmed. It was someconsiderable time before she could look upon her estranged daughter without expressing her emotions in liquid form. Roche, however, feltconsiderably lightened by this knowledge. He had carried a burden of guilt ever since the supposed decease of his child. Having recently lost somechildren myself--" Jack stopped, his voice suspiciously hoarse.I put my hand on Jacks arm comfortingly."In recent days, immortality has seemed more a curse than a blessing," he said awkwardly.I turned away to give him a moment to regain his composure."Thank you," he said after some minutes. "As I was saying... while the festering wounds Roche bore were finally cleansed, Maries wereexacerbated for a time. Their marriage wavered again."
  31. 31. "Meanwhile, Gertie grew up into a comely lass, much favored by the others of her generation. She did not get to enjoy her teenaged years for long,however."
  32. 32. "The night after her birthday, she was sent a thoroughly malicious email directing her attention towards her mothers internet personal manifesto,and Gertie learned that she was not, in fact, her fathers daughter--and thus was ineligible for the heirship. Exceedingly distraught, she abscondedinto the night on a lengthy voyage of self-discovery.""Ive often wondered who sent that email. I always assumed it was you or Bart. Wasnt there a confession to that effect at some point?""For a supposedly omniscient being, you are remarkably uninformed of the goings-on in your demesne.""My second sight needs glasses, okay?"
  33. 33. "Unfortunately for Roche and Marie, Gertie left a note detailing her rationale for departure. Roche happened upon the note and finally succumbedto the anger he felt towards Marie for her myriad indiscretions. He dissolved their marriage upon the instant."
  34. 34. "My beloved sister Ivy having long since passed, Roche left the house in care of my dear comrade Pao while he began an expedition in search ofGertie. Though she was no scion of his blood, he cared for her as a true daughter and would not rest until they were reunited."
  35. 35. "The four remaining siblings were understandably hurt, confused, and distraught upon these revelations. They sat down amongst themselves anddetermined which of them should inherit. It proved a remarkably simple choice. Susanna, having lived outside the legacy household, wasineligible. Nicholas preferred the company of men, and at that time would have been unable to produce a biological child with a male partner. Aswell, he was betrothed to a playable. And Will was stepping out with Orikes, a simself, and intended to propose soon. Thus the only viable optionwas Grace."
  36. 36. "Grace was, in fact, romantically invested in one of her professors, Lee Kimbrell. Her neglect in communicating this fact to other than her siblingswas due to the jeopardy the knowledge could cause to Lees employment status. As both were fortune sims, this would be an undesirable turn ofevents. But once the line of succession was determined, they publicized their relationship."
  37. 37. "Roche was unaware of this development, however. His perambulations had taken him around the world, treading in the steps of Gertiesapprenticeships to the Witch Doctor of Twikki Island and the sage of Takemizu Village, culminating in the Three Lakes region of Canada. Therehe followed the directions of a decrepit geographic survey to the burrow of a sasquatch nominatively tagged as Andrew."Andrew had formed a friendly acquaintanceship with Gertie, partially due to the blatant abuse of supernatural artifice in the form of a Micklesdoll, and supplied Roche with directions to her cabin."
  38. 38. "The reunion was all Roche had anticipated. He convinced Gertie to mentally... deficient... if exposed to the Re-Nu-Yu Orb tooreturn to the familial domicile. Gertie, who had converted to the Way frequently. Gerties offer was a noble sacrifice for any member of theof Cheese during her travels, was happy to be able to contribute to family, for it also meant that she would give up hope of havingthe family legacy in this way. Now none of her sisters descendants children of her own."would be required to walk the lactose path." "She did have Andrew," I said."Do you disapprove of Grilled Cheese sims?" I asked. "Yes, and I believe that she regards the companionship of such as he,"Not entirely," Jack shrugged. "However, the affliction is and her niece and nephews, to be worth the price. Not all would shareextremely... single-minded, to the exclusion of more wholesome her contentment."familial concerns. And there is evidence that one may become
  39. 39. "In a serendipitious turn of events, Roche and Gertie were reunited prior to Graces university graduation. The celebratory gathering became areunion, as well, to the delight of all in attendance."
  40. 40. "When Roche, Grace, Lee, Gertie, and Andrew returned to Pirate Island, they were astonished and pleased at the new manor Pao had constructed intheir absence. To both Roche and Gertie, it served as reminder of their travels. To Grace and Lee, the homes exotic extravagance was a symbol ofthe familys wealth."
  41. 41. "Again, to display their evident affluence to the masses, Grace and Lee elected to celebrate the premier community lot wedding on Pirate Island.None had yet engaged in this extravagance. Nary a guest was stinted and a grand time was enjoyed by all in attendance, including my wifeMeadow and myself."
  42. 42. "Grace and Lee then departed for an extended honeymoon on Twikki Island. While in residence, they purchased a beach bungalow for futuregenerations of the family to enjoy."
  43. 43. "It was a season of connubial bliss, in fact," Jack added with a fond smile. "Shortly after the heiress and her husband contracted their nuptials,twins Nicholas and William became espoused to their respective affianced and entered into a roommate situation."
  44. 44. "And what of prodigal daughter Susanna? She contrived a moderately reliable mutual reclining arrangement with one Gavin Biggs of Paris,formerly Pirate Island. Gavin is, incidentally, the grandson of my late sister, Anne. Susannas status as Grim Reaper conferred some unexpectedresults."
  45. 45. "But then," Jack added happily, "offspring are somewhat expected in the seasons following a generational transition. The first child born into thesixth circle was Coxinga, eldest of Grace and Lee. He was followed shortly thereafter by his cousins: Hugo, scion of Orikes and Will; Toby,unnaturally birthed offspring of Gavin and Susanna; younger sister and future heiress Ching Shih; and eventually Liv, Hugos sibling."
  46. 46. "This was also a time of familial reparation. Maries children were the first to extend the olive branch of forgiveness to their wayward mother.Marie, who had suffered the estrangement with extreme distress, apologized profusely for her part in the catastrophic separation. She was eager tocommence her grandmotherly duties and grew extremely close to all five children."
  47. 47. "She and Roche also came to a peaceful understanding, of sorts. I have it on good authority that they resumed their, ah, carnal knowledge of eachother in their old age, though they never resumed a formal relationship. Marie did, however, provide my nephew with the final Dream Date herequired for platinite achievement."
  48. 48. "All was proceeding extremely well for the Buccaneer tribe," Jack times before I get the gist of what you mean and by then youre on tonodded. "It is unsurprising that the elements conspiring to usurp the the next topic. Youre as hard to understand as Shere Khanfamily from their admittedly principally ceremonial position of sometimes!"power were displeased." "At least my diction is carried out entirely in Simlish, my friend.""You mean the whole tragic story surrounding the Roman branch ofthe extended family was instigated?" I breathed. "By someone other "Oh hush. Get on with the story, please."than a pair of power-hungry siblings, I mean." "I was endeavoring to do so before you interrupted me.""I have insinuated such, have I not? Sometimes I wonder if you trulycogitate upon what I say, Sarah." "Its a good think youre cute," I complained. "Otherwise I would have zotzed you ages ago for your cheek.""Its the big words," I complained. "I have to think about them a few
  49. 49. "Displaced Roman siblings Septimus and Octavia Toyonaga determined that the influence of the Buccaneer family was waning. Feeling that theirlimb of the family tree was more suited for heirship, they conspired to bring Toyonaga family heir Justinian, then just a toddling infant in diapers,under their sway. They would indoctrinate him and rule the island as his regents."
  50. 50. "To accomplish this foul deed, they slew his father, Sejanus, and resurrected him as a mute, zombified corpse."
  51. 51. "This turn of events had a predictably traumatizing effect on young Justinian and his teacher, simself Professor Butters, realized that somethingnefarious was afoot."
  52. 52. "She enlisted the aid of Ephemeral Toast and Robinoli, two simselves who had undergone the process of reverse maturation in order to relive thefun of childhood. Ms. Toast was assigned to shadow Justinian while Ms. Robinoli befriended Crassus, the younger Toyonaga child."
  53. 53. "Meanwhile, the legacy family remained oblivious. They never would realize the extent of the crisis at hand, shielded as they were by theintervention of the simselves.""Im still annoyed by that," I muttered. "Shouldnt meddle in other peoples timestreams.""The punishment you enacted--but we are getting ahead of ourselves.""Right," I said. I stood up and stretched. "I could use a tot of rum. You?""I have occasionally indulged. The treat would not be amiss."I laughed and rummaged around under the couch for a few minutes before withdrawing a bottle of the beverage in question. "Now," I said once Idtaken a careful sip. "Where were we?"
  54. 54. "The children of the sixth generation were entering the teenaged phase of life," Jack said. "Coxinga, affectionately referred to as Zing by thoseclosest to him, was the first. He followed in the footsteps of his parents and determined a life of Piratical plunder was for him."
  55. 55. "Hugo Pseudo, son of Will and Orikes, was the next. He was devoted to family and envisioned raising at least three children of his own. First,however, he would have to find a spouse."
  56. 56. "He availed himself of the Gypsy Matchmaker and was paired with Lainey Barthelet, a native of Singapore. They maintained considerablecorrespondance after their initial encounter, which is why I mention it now.""They were meant to be, in the end," I sighed romantically."That remains to be seen," Jack said noncommitally. "Now, do you wish me to elucidate upon the familys events of note for you or would you liketo take over?""Youre doing fine," I shrugged. "Dont let me stop you.""Then cease your chattering tendencies or this will not be finished until the holiday you are so adamant about celebrating has passed."I stuck my tongue out at him but obediently stopped talking.
  57. 57. "Toby was the third cousin to mature beyond childhood. He had two passions: automotives, and females. He pursued both with considerableefficiency."
  58. 58. "My nephew Roche made arrangements to take all five of his grandchildren on vacation so that their parents could holiday as well, but before thiscould occur Lee was abducted by aliens whilst stargazing on the deck of the legacy manor. I must report, Sarah, that a voluble stream of curses washeard in the vicinity of this lodge when the event occurred.""It was not planned.""As I surmised. Lee and Grace were startled with the development but not averse to the idea of having another child."
  59. 59. "Before the blessed event could occur, though, the scheduled vacations materialized. Roche and his five grandchildren had the experience of alifetime on the white sands of Twikki Island. Two events of note occurred in the midst of their travels."
  60. 60. "First, Ching Shih made the acquaintance of an island man named Jim Reeves. He was coordinator of the islands penpal exchange program andthey entered into a correspondence that would become very dear to both of them. As well, Hugo encountered Lainey on their island and theirromance was rekindled."
  61. 61. "Some months after everyone returned from their respective voyages, Lee was delivered of twin alien boys. He and Grace christened them Borusaand Spandrell. Unlike other twin scions of the household, this pair was not identical. The primary visual distinguishing feature was Spandrellsprominent nose. Borusa was lacking this particular appendage."
  62. 62. "Though the legacy family was blissfully unaware of the Roman machinations occurring behind the scenes, the simselves had not neglected theirinvestigations. Once Ms. Toast and Ms. Robinoli reached their teenaged years again they determined to host a gala event so as to better acquaintthemselves with Justinian Toyonaga."
  63. 63. "Ms. Robinoli was relegated to the role of party coordinator and host while Ms. Toast took it upon herself to act as personal entertainer toJustinian. While their initial encounter was somewhat hostile, it was not long before teenaged hormones had led them into an unintendedrelationship."
  64. 64. "Also of note, the party marked the first time Coxinga Buccaneer and Shere Khan Thayer (a distant descendant of both myself and my brotherEdward) spent any meaningful time in company with each other. I must declare that the ultimate consequences of this event are moderatelydisconcerting, if not terribly unwelcome for persons of a family persuasion who previously lacked the propensity for direct lineal propagation - butonce more, I exceed the present scope of my discourse."
  65. 65. "As well, Hugos international prospective consort visited and seeded the roots of friendship with Hugos parents and younger sibling, Liv. I believethe juvenile Miss Pseudo was rather disgusted that someone would wish to engage in romantic activities with her brother, but otherwise she andLainey found each others company mutually satisfying."
  66. 66. "Fearing the appearance of impropriety, Hugos parents insisted that he repose within a construction of canvas in the back yard. I am given tounderstand this was a subject of intense amusement for the younglings of Pirate Island for a considerable period of time."
  67. 67. "In the meantime, Coxinga and Shere Khan, being individuals of a more sedate and introspective nature, were awkwardly pursuing a relationshipof their own."
  68. 68. "Toby Biggs was pursuing a relationship with many females of his peer group. Though he primarily resided in Paris, he was a frequent visitor toPirate Island and entered into as many entanglements here as he did in his native country. This particular one would prove particularly troublesomefor him in the future.""Dont I know it," I muttered. "Thenas been complaining about Toby since high school. Not that shes any better. I dont know why she holds himto standards she is unable to meet herself. It is a source of grief to me, Jack.""I can imagine," he said sympathetically. "I suspect her recent activities have not endeared you further, either.""Recent?""Ah, but we are coming to that," he said smoothly. "If you are unaware, the proper context will prove beneficial."
  69. 69. "Whatever you say," I shrugged. "In that case, shall I add that Ching Shih was the next kid from the main houses to grow up?""I would not use that sequence of denotative vocabulary--""Thats because all those words were one-syllable.""--but I accord you the right to dictate as you see fit."
  70. 70. "Her girlish charm was not unappreciated by the lads of Pirate Island. Justinian, in the thrall of Septimus and Octavia, was the first to act upon this,though it is only fair to indicate that he made the approach under dire threat from his unscrupulous relations. Their sole social outing wasinterrupted by the arrival of Justinians steady date, Ms. Toast. It is an understatement to mention that the event did not end happily for anyoneconcerned. Ching Shih swore off dating until she was older, and Ms. Toast did not accept Justinians apology for his inappropriate behaviour untilafter he explained that it was due to Septimus and Octavias insistence."
  71. 71. "Ching Shih poured her heart out to her penpal of yore, Jim Reeves. As she aged, the nature of their relationship grew and changed and by thetiming of this occurrence, they had evolved from mentor and mentee to nearly equals."
  72. 72. "Justinian, meanwhile, chose this event to rebel against the control Septimus and Octavia were exercising over his family. His erstwhile regentswere suitably unimpressed at this insurgency."
  73. 73. "It culminated in Justinian and Ms. Toasts imprisonment in the Toyonaga family home at the hands of the malevolent Roman conspirators.Fortunately, Justinians younger brother Crassus was able to escape in the confusion of incarceration."
  74. 74. "He immediately notified Ms. Robinoli, who had already organized the remaining simselves to intervene when the moment was right."
  75. 75. "A crack team of simself commandos was led by my own trusted associate Ben, who I am informed also goes by the pseudonyms Blite27 andnetsfn1427. Also participating was Toshiko Buccaneer, adopted granddaughter of my nephew Bart. She would prove invaluable in the extricationof the prisoners, though some time would pass before her involvement would come to my attention."
  76. 76. "The strike was successful and Septimus and Octavia defeated. This was when I became aware of the situation, as Ben had not seen fit to informme prior. While I was impressed with his initiative, I was not happy that I had been kept unenlightened for so long. Still, I offered transport of thenefarious duo to the same island where Anthony had been left. To the best of my knowledge, they preside there to this day."Ironically, this entire series of incidents had passed entirely unnoticed by both the legacy family and, as far as I can ascertain, your own deificawareness."I stiffened defensively. "I had other things on my mind," I muttered. "That was around when Chris and I both turned into plants and he turned intoa werewolf. We were a little busy.""Indubitably, that is the reason," Jack said easily. "Perhaps you could elucidate on your reaction to the intelligence when it reached you."
  77. 77. "I was not pleased," I said. "Not that I mind simselves meddling to a lesser degree. But the way my world works, there are consequences for gettinginvolved in the main timeline of the story. Specifically, it is a one-way street."
  78. 78. "And that is the primary causation of the combusted appearance sported by the simself members of the community in the following days?" Jackasked."Exactly," I said. "Once I became aware of it, the mortalization occurred instantaneously. I guess I could have stopped it, but Im a firm believer inactions and consequences. Especially when they make for funny pictures.""A trait that could prove interesting in days to come," Jack said vaguely. "Shall I continue my discourse? It is nearly midnight--we must hurry if weare to attain your goal for completion.""Go ahead and talk without me," I said. "Im gonna visit the potty.""Madam, that information was entirely unnecessary."
  79. 79. "Supernatural events abounded in the following weeks," Jack said, raising his voice so I could hear him through the door. "Sightings of apparitionsand the like. The only one with any bearing on our tale, however, is the abduction of Shere Khan Thayer. A scientifically minded feline-humanhybrid, he seized upon the possibility of genetic children for same-gendered couples and applied his considerable intellect to the task."
  80. 80. "Also of note, my beloved wife supplied the final customer appreciation star to Graces fifth business, a Used Car Emporium which she andCoxinga were running together. Upon achieving her goal, Grace gifted the business to her son."
  81. 81. "Liv was the final of the elder five Buccaneer cousins to reach the teenaged segment of her lifespan. Shortly after she grew up, the three eldestdeparted for university."
  82. 82. "Gertie finally entered a platinum lifestate after consuming two hundred grilled cheese sandwiches.""And thank goodness for the freetime perk," I mumbled, sitting back down beside my longtime friend. "That goal was killing me."
  83. 83. "The alien sons of Grace and Lee developed into striking-looking toddlers. Though very different, they were nearly inseparable."
  84. 84. "Grace and Lee transitioned into their golden years. Neither was inclined to retire from their monetary pursuits, however. As a fellow wealth-seeker, I can understand why they are not ready to relax. The pursuit of simoleans is relaxing."
  85. 85. "Shortly thereafter, the first simself on Pirate Island transitioned to elder, namely Orikes, spouse of Will. She entered the stage gracefully, althoughI believe she requested grandchildren rather vociferously.""It was just a pleasant request for pictures of grandbabies," I shrugged. "Not really out of the ordinary."
  86. 86. "Sarah, there is precious little of the ordinary about your legacy," Jack said, turning to me. "Not only do you write a convoluted tale of scurrilouswoe, you also engage in eccentric literary aspirations involving my good friend Sim.""Hes well-liked. We should probably mention him in the recap, shouldnt we.""His fate is not entwined with the primary legend of the family at this point, Sarah, and for the purposes of the islands history, he is consideredwhat I believe is termed non-canon in certain communities. While he does enter into the timeline at a later date, we are not there yet.""Well, lets get there," I said impatiently. "Im running out of time here!"
  87. 87. "Our journey picks up at university in Paris, where Coxinga and Shere Khan renewed their romantic relationship."
  88. 88. "As well, Ching Shih began moving towards embracing her Piratical heritage. She was often described as the most comely pirate lass yet producedby the family with her uniquely attractive features."
  89. 89. "Ching Shih was quite in love with her dear friend of many years, Jim Reeves. To that end, she determined that she would visit him over thesummer to discover if he shared her feelings."
  90. 90. "Of one thing she was certain--the affection she felt for her comrade was more than just a schoolgirl infatuation. There was a meeting of minds thatshe found incredibly stimulating."
  91. 91. "Id say thats not all she found stimulating," I cracked."You cheapen their relationship with such coarse comments," Jack chided me. "Suffice to say, the trip was a success and though no promise wasmade, Ching Shih returned to Paris secure in the knowledge that she would bring in the seventh generation of the family with Mr. Reeves."
  92. 92. "Arent you going to mention the other important event that occurred while Shih was on her vacation?" I demanded."I would not be so remiss," Jack sounded as hurt as Ive ever heard him. "My great-great-niece had a spectral encounter with a pirate captain on aship known as the Counterfeit Clam -- incidentally, I deny all prior knowledge of that label -- which she later learned was the sister ship to ourancestral vessel, the Black Pearl. When she mentioned this to our befurred progenitor, he suggested that she seek out the Pearl and return it to thefamily if at all possible. Ching Shih promised to look into the matter, though she doubted she would have time until after she started her family."
  93. 93. "When studies resumed, Ching Shihs cousin Toby found himself embroiled in drama of the feminine sort. He was consorting with several womenon campus, and unfortunately found himself caught between your daughter Athena and your granddaughter Diana. The resulting row wasspectacular, I am told.""I caught that one myself," I said. "I made popcorn. It was pretty entertaining.""Also somewhat predictive," Jack said."Whats that?""We are approaching the climax of this particular story," Jack nodded. "It is time to exercise that patience you find yourself lacking."
  94. 94. "It was around that time that Toby met a fellow student named Ophelia Smith. My research indicates that she is an import from Orikes Pseudolegacy, and a romance sim of the same degree as Toby himself.""I just wanted to see how well theyd get on," I said defensively.
  95. 95. "It took some considerable length of time, but eventually Miss Smith succumbed to Tobys reputedly myriad charms. She was especially reticentdue to Tobys supernatural heritage, having had negative experience with the weird in her own dimension. But, as I said, his persistence led to anunconventional understanding between them. I cannot say that I approve, exactly, though they were both satisfied by the arrangement.""As long as they were both up-front about their expectations," I said. "Thats really key to any relationship.""Indeed. You will find no argument from me on that point."
  96. 96. "Lainey Barthelet had enrolled at Academie Le Tour at the same time their actions under the influence of this modification to your systemas Hugo and the two started moving towards a more permanent parameters."engagement. There were a number of bumps and snags in theirpursuit of happiness, but they were betrothed before the start of their "Guilty conscience, Jack?"senior year of university." "I explicitly avoided that particular expression.""There were a lot of people unhappy at Laineys philandering ways,"I mused. "Still, she did repent and she and Hugo do mostly behave "Its what you arent saying that tells me so much."nowadays." "I would appreciate it if you would change the autonomy settings for"Ah, I believe any incidents may be traced to autonomous casual my household, Sarah. My behavior of late has been... embarrassing."romance," Jack said. Unaccountably, a blush crept over his darkfeatures. "It would be unseemly to hold an individual responsible for "Ill look into it," I promised.
  97. 97. "Graduation loomed for the elder members of generation six and Liv prepared to begin her pursuit of higher education. As well, she was chosen asthe heir to her Uncle Nick and his husband Greens house, which they in turn had inherited from Marie when she passed. Liv accepted the honourgraciously--she was easily the kindest member of her generation and never even considered turning down the responsibility. Indeed, she lookedforward to moving in with her elderly uncles."
  98. 98. "Mr. Reeves was a frequent visitor to Arravast House, where the family members now resided. Ching Shih advocated matrimony the instant itbecame apparent that Mr. Reeves was not opposed to the idea despite his Romance aspiration. He accepted."
  99. 99. "Ching Shih, always an overachiever, then became the first heir of the family to reach a platinate state prior to her adult years when she achievedmaximum prowess in all seven skills."
  100. 100. "At this point I find it necessary to make a digression. You will recall I mentioned that Shere Khan was eager to investigate the possibilities ofandrogenera following his extraterrestrial incident. While Ching Shih was acquainting herself with Mr. Reeves on Twikki Island several summersprior, Shere Khan perfected a retrovirus that would activate certain aspects of the genome latent in the DNA of every sim."
  101. 101. "His test subject was none other than my own son, Ash. Unfortunately, there proved to be unintended consequences: namely, the retrovirus becamecontagious as Ash was infected with a rhinovirus at the time of treatment. The first evidence that something untoward had happened was thepregnancy of his roommate Sawyer, who was affianced to a great-grandson of mine. By the time Shere Khan could identify the vector, it was toolate to reverse it. The majority of the islands population was infected, and the epidemic is now global. Shere Khan has unnaturally accelerated ourevolution." He sounded proud of this."Such are the possible consequences of genetic engineering," I said. "Its a fascinating topic. But not one we have time for. Its only still theninteenth in a few specific timezones. If we dont hurry, Im going to miss out!"
  102. 102. "Next we come to the period of connubial conjugation of sixth generation," Jack said. "The first members of the immediate family circle to getmarried were Hugo and Lainey. They had an extremely elaborate ceremony and reception, as befits a fortune-family pairing.""You and Meadow got married in the bathroom in your pajamas."Jack blushed again. "We did not wish to wait," he muttered. "In any case, we are not discussing my marriage."
  103. 103. "To date they have had three children: Orlando, Sarah, and Cate. Hugo has recently expressed a wish to expand the family further. I have not heardLaineys response to this sentiment."
  104. 104. "Coxinga and Shere Khan were next to be wedded," he added. "They had a small ceremony in accordance with Coxingas desire to keep costs to aminimum. It is said that the symbolic pastry confection was veritable.""Veritably what?""That was not an adverb."
  105. 105. "Very shortly thereafter, Coxinga entered confinement until their daughter Sterling was born. As is readily evident, Grace makes a very devotedgrandmother."
  106. 106. "Speaking of babies," I interrupted. "Chris and I were, ah, busy the other day when I suddenly realized I was perma-plat. I wanted six grandkids...and that meant that one of my kids had a baby. But as far as I knew none of them were pregnant or had pregnant partners.""About that," Jack began delicately.
  107. 107. "In fact," I continued, "I even confronted Athena about it. Shes the most likely candidate because of her age and lack of adult children. But shecompletely denied it."
  108. 108. Jacks expression was pained. "I believe your daughter was not entirely truthful with you," he said after a long moment of strained silence."Youre going to explain what you mean by that, of course." It was not a question."I would not purposely withhold information, Sarah. I was unaware of your... lack of knowledge."
  109. 109. "Athena did indeed have a child," he continued."WHAT?!? With who?!?""With Toby.""Shes such an idiot," I said, shaking my head in disbelief.
  110. 110. "Toby was not opposed to the idea of fatherhood," Jack said gently. "But your daughter was violently against motherhood. To complicate thesituation further, Ms. Smith also fell pregnant at roughly the same time.""Toby needs to keep his pants on," I said weakly."It would perhaps prove wise for him to heed that advice," Jack nodded.
  111. 111. "So what did she have?" I said faintly. "Boy? Girl? Alien?""Athena was delivered of a daughter," Jack said. "She immediately abrograted her parental rights and left Persephone with Toby. To my bestknowledge, he is doing an admirable job of raising her.""Well, thats something," I said, pouring myself another shot of rum and downing it in a single gulp. Then I recalled: "How did Ophelia take it?"
  112. 112. "Remarkably well, considering," Jack said. "Shortly after Persephone was born, she had a son named Laertes. Toby has seen to their every need.""Hes always had a sense of responsibility," I muttered. "It was just usually subservient to his hormones. How does Ophelia treat mygranddaughter?"
  113. 113. "Well enough," Jack responded. "I understand she attempts to buy Persephones affection with presents, and that she recently consented tocohabitate with Toby so they could both devote more time to the children. It is an odd family unit but the arrangement is satisfactory to allconcerned. As I have no news of spontaneous combustion originating from that household, I assume your granddaughter does not object to herstepmother.""We need to hurry up and finish here," I said quickly. "Ive gotta make plans to visit Paris, stat. I have a granddaughter to meet and a daughter topunish."Jack eyed me cautiously. "I would not care to be in the shoes of Athena at this time.""No," I said darkly. "No, you wouldnt."
  114. 114. "To return to the subject at hand," Jack said, attempting to divert my attention, "I am pleased to report that Liv has settled down at least temporarilywith one steady amour, as opposed to the married and affianced men she was carrying on with. His name is Count Randy Fuchs--""Really?" I giggled."Why are you laughing, Sarah?""Randy... Fuchs..." I doubled over.Jack stared at me for a long moment. "I fail to see what you consider so amusing," he said at last."Never mind."
  115. 115. "At latest report, Liv graduated and moved in with her uncles, where she has been alternating her time between spoiling her nephew and nieces andmothering her uncles. I hear she has recently departed on a quest to find my ursine ancestors cache of fermented sugarcane beverage."
  116. 116. "Before we return to the legacy family, I must relate that Crassus Toyonaga was able to develop a cure for Sejanus zombieism under thesupervision of Shere Khan. Sejanus and his wife Ellen recently celebrated their elder birthdays.""Yeah I heard about that," I said.
  117. 117. "And now we return to the legacy family," Jack said at last. "You might be happy, Sarah. This tale is nearly complete.""Yeah, but I dont like this part," I said, making a face. "Its not happy.""Mr. Reeves and Ching Shih were scheduled to exchange matrimonial vows on a fall day approximately two years ago," Jack continued, ignoringmy sentiment. "At first, it appeared all would go according to plan."
  118. 118. "However, the celebration was cut short before it could be consummated. The laws of Pirate Island had been changed at some point in the past andthe marriage of Mr. Reeves to Ching Shih made illegal. The groom was summarily deported."
  119. 119. "If this were not catastrophic enough, Ching Shih discovered she was with child. Extreme nausea, and then the delicacy of her pregnancy,prevented her from following Mr. Reeves immediately. I offered my services to research a resolution to the tragic dilemma, but my search wasfruitless for a long time.""Dont you have law-ninjas to do that stuff for you?""Alas, your televisual broadcasting organization has retained the services of the most promising stealth-legal minds indefinitely. My resources arelimited to third-year paralegal interns."
  120. 120. "I conferenced with Ching Shih on a frequent basis and found msyelf Pirate Island."appreciating her intelligence and wit more and more on eachoccasion. Due to the number of meetings occurring at my own "With bribes, you mean."manor, my wife Meadow took a motherly view towards my niece,and I confess I grew rather paternal. "I just said that, did I not?""I was extremely embarrassed when I learned that Ching Shihs "Go on."dilemma was partially my fault. The law concerning her betrothedsimmigration was linked to another law detrimental to my business, "Now that I knew the cause of the difficulty, I could research aand so I had buried it through my influence on the government of loophole."
  121. 121. "Unfortunately, inspiration did not strike and Ching Shihs son, Balthier, was a toddler before I realized a solution. In fact, Captain Jack himselfuttered the final piece of the puzzle on the morning of Balthiers birthday."
  122. 122. "As I was an invited guest, I took the opportunity to recount what I had learned. A marital contract between Ching Shih and Mr. Reeves wasprohibited by law--unless it took place aboard our family ship, the Black Pearl. To that end, I suggested that Ching Shih contact my friend, SimSpade. I am confident she has taken my advice.""Thats good to know," I said. "If anyone can find something, its Sim. Its not that hes bright, but he is...""Blessed with exceptional good fortune despite his protestations to the contrary," Jack finished. "They will be successful. But I fear that is notenough."
  123. 123. "Nows where you explain what youve been insinuating all evening," I said, narrowing my eyes at him. "You keep implying that someone has it infor the legacy family.""I first came across a hint of conspiracy when delving into the legal matters pertaining to immigration and then the history of the laws involved,"Jack said. "I am perhaps better at reading between the lines than many on this island. It is my intuition that is guiding my belief, you understand.""Just spill it, Jack," I said impatiently ."Youve been dancing around the idea all night. And its late and Im tired. I do not have the patience for this.Whats up?"
  124. 124. "There is a group in existence on Pirate Island whose sole purpose seems to be destruction of the Buccaneer family," Jack said at last. "I have noreal evidence. I am hesitant even to give voice to my concerns. But I am convinced that if nothing is done, the family will not last anothergeneration.""Thats pretty serious stuff," I said finally. "What do you intend to do about it?""This is difficult for me to admit," Jack said, "but I do not even know where to start..."
  125. 125. Stay tuned for the first installment of Sim Spade and the Corsairs of the Lost Ship... coming to an Exchange near you soon!AND ITS STILL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY IN HAWAII, FRAMMIT!!!!!
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