A Corporate Conspiracy Chapter 2.9 Shaking The Tree

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Chapter 2.9 of my Sims2 Legacy Story

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A Corporate Conspiracy Chapter 2.9 Shaking The Tree

  1. 1. Previously in A Corporate Conspiracy... Nervous learned some very unsettling truths about himself and his family. Kira and Brooke both turned down the opportunity to inherit the family home and growing fortune and Brooke began dealing with a serious bought of depression brought on by her breakup with sim self Chewy. Darwin and Cassidy welcomed a new daughter into the clan and Daniel and Mary Sue Pleasant were murdered leaving their twin daughters Lilith and Angela to fend for themselves and the community rocked to the core by the awful event. Now... “Hi and welcome back to Pleasant View by Night. I'm your host Dina Caliente. Tonight we have a very special guest. None other than our own mysterious Captain Hero! He and I will be talking about our fair city's future and the rampant increase in criminal acts being committed within our midst. It's sure to be fascinating, so stay tuned.”
  2. 2. “First of all Captain, welcome to the program and thank you for taking time out of what must be a very busy schedule for you right now to speak with the citizens of Pleasant View.” “Thank you for having me Nina.” “We have more than a few callers lined up with questions for you but before we get to those let me take some time to ask some questions of my own.” “Please.” “Now Captain, of course everyone is curious to know more about you and your secret identity is the stuff of lunch room gossip all over the city. Isn't there one tiny thing you can share with me and my viewers?”
  3. 3. “Well, I'm flattered of course that there are so many citizens who want to know more about me. I'm afraid however, that I can't divulge anything personal. It's extremely important that a superhero's alter ego remain a secret or my friends and family could be in danger. It's difficult to maintain that level of distance from my fans but a distinct necessity.”
  4. 4. “Let's move on to more serious issues then. Sometime ago Pleasant View was witness to it's first murder in decades. Remington Harris was brutally stabbed and killed in an alley for no apparent reason and much more recently Daniel and Mary Sue Pleasant were also killed in their very own home. So far the police have had no luck in tracking down the perpetrators of these heinous crimes. Some say that ever since the retirement of former Police Chief Goopy GilsCarbo, PVPD's success record in capturing criminals has taken a nose dive. Is there any truth to the rumors that these murders are the work of one individual and what do you think about our now ineffectual police force?”
  5. 5. “Ahh... Let me address the question about the police force first, if I may. Our men and women in blue have one of the most difficult jobs in the city. Every day this city grows in population while the staffing numbers of the police force have only been adjusted once since GilsCarbo left his post. The increased population adds to the work load of each officer who must look to the security of the law abiding citizens while at the same time seek out those who break the law. At this point in time, our police force is stretched almost to the breaking point while the criminals do not seem to be decreasing in numbers. Our over burdened legal system returns many of the individuals convicted of lesser crimes to the streets with minimal or no jail time because we do not have the funding to incarcerate them appropriately. This is not a problem only for Pleasant View. Major cities around the world are facing huge gaps in law enforcement budgeting and the citizenry is unwilling to adopt the tax levies needed to correct the situation.”
  6. 6. “Are you implying that the residents of Pleasant View are responsible for the deaths of three upstanding members of our community?” “No. Of course not. What I am saying is that our police force is in desperate need of increased funding and tax levies are needed to achieve that. If the citizens of the city are unhappy with police coverage then come the next elections, I hope they seriously consider the ramifications of not voting for those levies.” “I see. Hopefully the public will heed your suggestion. Now, on to the murders. Do you have any leads at all?”
  7. 7. “As you can imagine, these cases are a top priority for the police force. I can't go into specific details of the case as it might endanger the investigation but I can say this. These murders are definitely the work of one person.” “So we have a serial killer on our hands?” “Well, defining a serial killer is complicated and I will leave that to the psychologists. What we do have is some distinct similarities between cases that leads us to believe it is the work of one person, most likely a man.”
  8. 8. “Isn't it true that most serial killers are in fact men?” “Yes... Statistically that is true. But, as I said before, we are not yet labeling this as the work of a quote serial killer, unquote. We just don't have enough information about the perpetrator to make those judgments yet.” “And how many more sims have to die before you make that determination?”
  9. 9. “That is an unfair question, Dina.” “But still a legitimate one. Are you going to answer it?” “The combined efforts of local and national law enforcement agencies are working around the clock to catch and apprehend the suspect. The safety of the citizens of Pleasant View is our utmost concern and we will not rest until he is caught.” “Fair enough. Is there anything the public can do to aid in the investigation?”
  10. 10. “Absolutely. Everyone should be on the lookout for anyone acting strangely or that doesn't seem to belong. Keep your doors and windows locked at all times, even when you are home. If you have installed alarm systems, make sure they are functional and in use. Do not open your door to strangers, no matter what. And I encourage everyone to travel in groups and avoid dark streets and alleys. We will catch this man. It's only a matter of time. Until then, keep your family safe and pay attention to your surroundings.”
  11. 11. “Thank you Captain.” “Thank you.” “When we come back from commercial the Captain will be answering your questions right here live. So don't go away. If you have any questions on how to protect your family, the police department has set up a help hotline at 555-8954. And for reporting suspicious activities in your neighborhood please dial 911.”
  12. 12. Announcer's voice: “We'll be right back to Pleasant View by Night after these messages.”
  13. 13. Heidi clicked the off button on the remote. “Well that went about as well as expected.” “Please. The man is an idiot and a criminal. Don't think when this is all through that you won't be answering to your superiors for failing to turn him in. Theft of Super Serum is a crime you know.” “He's really being helpful Commander. I might have had to loose my cover story a long time ago if it wasn't for GilsCarbo.”
  14. 14. The voice from the computer continued, “You're way too soft on guys like him Heidi. You always have been. He's an elitist fop and you would serve yourself best if you stayed away from him all together.”
  15. 15. “I would very much like for you to keep your mind out of my personal life. Not that I have one due to this case.” She crossed the room to face the video camera. ”We need to find a judge that will give us those search warrants. I'm certain we could find all sorts of evidence against Grey if would could gain access to her personal files and her home.” “Despite our beliefs she still has the right to be free from illegal search and seizure. No judge is going to sign that warrant unless we are dead sure that we can put her in jail and keep her there. It would be political suicide for them if we did all that and she walked.” “Then we are out of options. G and I can't do more from the inside or we risk being caught and while we managed to locate her cloning lab, it isn't technically illegal. Doctor James signed away the families rights to Darwin's DNA samples years ago before we knew what was really going on.”
  16. 16. “This warlock... Jason Gross, has he given us anymore clues about this supposed invasion?” “No. In fact we haven't heard anything from him in a few weeks. I imagine if Melinda or Darwin heard anything valuable they would let us know.” She glanced at her watch. “Damn! I have to go Commander. I have a dress fitting in twenty minutes and if I miss it I won't be able to get another.” “All right. Keep you eyes and ears open at that party. All the cities influential citizens are going to be there and it's a great opportunity to mingle and pick up information.” “It's not my first fancy dress ball Commander. I can handle it.” The man shrugged, “Who knows, maybe we will get lucky and this Nervous character will turn himself in or something.” “Given our record, I kind of doubt that.”
  17. 17. Over at Sim State University... Brooke sank down into the hot water letting the bubbles climb up to her chin and closed her eyes. Somewhere in the dorm house she could here a lot of yelling and some very loud thumps and she tuned them out. It was rarer for the house to be quite than for Decker and Alicia to be smacking each other around. A quite knock at the door was followed by “Can I come in?” “Sure Brooke.”
  18. 18. “Is it okay if I brush my teeth? I can't get into the bathroom upstairs. I think Alicia is actually trying to give Fisher a swirly.” “It's Fisher this time, not Decker?” “Yeah, Decker is talking with his father about something that seems pretty serious.” Brooke Number Two open the medicine chest and pulled out a tube of toothpaste. “How are you feeling?” “Okay. My butt's a little sore.” “Why is that?,” BNT asked absently.
  19. 19. “Some guy in the park knocked me down and I fell right into the soppiest clump of grass I could find.” BNT paused, “He knocked you down?” “It was an accident. Neither one of us was watching where we were going and we slammed into each other.” Brooke felt around in the tub for her washcloth thinking about Avri. “Have you ever heard of a thing where people dress up in costumes and pretend it's the middle ages?” “Yeah, a Renaissance Fair is what I think they are called. Never been to one myself.” “He was wearing a suit of armor.”
  20. 20. “No mumber u fel don.” “What?” BNT removed the tooth brush from her mouth, “No wonder you fell down. Those suits of armor are supposed to be heavy.” She returned to brushing her teeth, then stopped again. “Was he cute?” Brooke ran the soapy cloth over her arm. “I suppose. He had long red hair and deep blue eyes and a scruffy beard.” “Sounds cute to me. Did you get his name?”
  21. 21. “Avri GilCarbo.” BNT nearly gagged on her tooth brush. “GilsCarbo? Like former police chief GilsCarbo?” “He said he was like a great nephew of Goopy. Why?” “And you think he's cute?” “He was cute. Other than the blue eyes he doesn't look anything like Goopy.” BNT smiled as she finished rinsing the tooth paste from her mouth and the sink. “Did you get his phone number?”
  22. 22. BNT grinned in the mirror checking to make sure she had done a good job. No one wants to kiss a girl with spinach in her teeth. “Well, that's the thing. I wasn't feeling very happy and my butt was all wet. He asked for my number but I told him no.” The grin disappeared and BNT turned to stare at Brooke. “You told him no? Are you crazy?” Brooke looked up at her sheepishly, “Maybe. I wasn't looking for a date and he was pretty forward. I just... don't want to get hurt again.” “Well, we have his name. I bet we could look his phone number up.” “Maybe I don't want to.” BNT glared at her, “Maybe I'm only giving you forty eight hours to do it yourself. Then, I'm gonna do it and set you up on a date. For your own good.”
  23. 23. Out in the study area of the house, Darwin was busy trying to explain to Decker why he had to become a warlock. “We have an obligation to Trista and her order. Your mother and I agreed that all of our children would join the Order of Good Witches in exchange for the Orders protection for all of you.” “It didn't occur to you that we might not want to become witches?” “It's not a really big deal.” “Not a big deal?! It changes everything Dad. I don't know if I want to do that. I mean, spell books and smelly components... I'm just not really feeling it.”
  24. 24. “It is something different. Did you know you can conjure food? I remember you telling me you wanted to be a chef. Imagine creating dishes out of thin air in your own restaurant” “That was when I was little Dad. I don't want to do that now.” “You don't? Well, what do you want to do now?” Decker fidgeted in his seat. “I... want to go on lots of dates.” Darwin paused, “Are you a Junior already?” “Yes Dad. Where does the time go?” It was sarcasm but Darwin ignored it. “Where it normally goes I suppose. All right, dates. There are spells that put people in good moods and make them more friendly towards you.”
  25. 25. “Really?” “Yep. But they are some of the more potent spells and you will have to dedicate some time to learning them. They wouldn't be something you got to use right away.” He considered the proposition. What would his friends think? What would his girlfriend Britney think? “I don't think so Dad.” “It's not really optional. I'm just telling you so that it won't come as a complete shock. If you refuse or if you recant later on, all the magic that protects you and your brother and sisters will vanish.” Decker scowled. “It's not fair! This is my life. I should get to make my own decisions.” He jumped up from the couch and walked away. Darwin frowned and shook his head.
  26. 26. Moving to a location where he had a good view of his eldest child, Darwin pulled out his wand. “Magus Mutatio!” The spell was released and at the other end of the house...
  27. 27. Decker found himself engulfed in sparkles. “What the ...” His words were cut short by the spell taking hold and infusing him with magical light. It kind of tickled and he sighed.
  28. 28. Once the transformation was finished and Decker found himself dressed in the traditional robe he turned around to face his father. The anger on his face quite apparent. “Ambush spells?”
  29. 29. “I did give you fair warning and like I said it's not optional. What is up to you is how much you use it. I would hope that you take the time to learn at least some spells but it's not mandatory. Okay?” “Okay. Since it helps protect Mom I'll agree. But it isn't fair that I don't get a choice.” “Yeah well, if life was fair I'd be living with your mother and snuggling your baby sister right now instead of sneaking around trying to avoid a crazy woman and her plans for world dominion or whatever. By the way, you should know now. This agreement applies to your children too.” Darwin spotted Chelsea coming down from upstairs and he turned to head for her. “Be good,” he muttered as he walked away leaving Decker stunned. Darwin left his older children at SSU after a short visit and headed for Cassidy's home and his youngest child. *Sorry to interrupt, but if you are eating or drinking anything right now, finish swallowing before clicking the page.
  30. 30. For Decker's youngest sister Selena, time was marching on. Her nights were filled with toys and bottles and midnight play time with her daddy. Her next birthday was fast approaching and she couldn't wait. She listened keenly to the sounds of her parents upstairs and waited patently for them to finish what ever it was that they were doing. * Me again. Sorry for the interruption but I didn't want anyone choking to death.
  31. 31. Darwin picked up the shy tot and looked her over critically. She looked pale. “Have you been eating enough sweet pea?” “Yes Daddy.” “Your mother told me you learned to speak really fast but that is really good grammar for a three year old.” “Thank you Daddy.” “Okay.” He held her out away from him for a minute and studied the spirits around her. There was one troublesome stasis spirit bobbing about behind her back trying desperately not to be seen. Darwin's face shifted to a look of surprise “Honey? What have you been feeding Selena?” “I'll be down in a minute,” Cassidy called down the stairs.
  32. 32. Darwin shifted Selena to his hip. “There's a naughty vampire spirit hanging around you Sweet Pea. I should probably chase him off.” “That's my friend Harry. He's funny.” “Harry?” Was it possible that his youngest daughter had the ability to see and speak to spirits at such a young age? “Did someone tell you his name or did Harry tell you himself?” “Harry told me. He likes to watch me play.” The little girl reached up and twined her fingers in the fur on his chest. “I see. Why don't you and Harry go play while I get dressed. Okay?” “Okay Daddy.”
  33. 33. Cassidy soon wandered down freshly showered and dressed and Darwin joined her to play a video game. “Doesn't Selena seem a little pale to you?” Cassidy executed a series of button mashes that sent Darwin's snowboarder into a drift. “Not so that I noticed. She's eating well and seems pretty happy to play with her toys. Do you think something is wrong with her?”
  34. 34. “She has a spirit friend that talks to her.” “Really?” “A spirit that is normally associated with vampires.” “Well, we are both vampires thanks to you. And I didn't get pregnant with her until after that happened. Maybe she has the altered version of the virus too.” Darwin considered this for some time. Was it even possible that a child could be a vampire? He wasn't certain but one thing was sure. His youngest daughter was most certainly not normal.
  35. 35. For Selena everything was as it should be. Daddy visited at night and that was when mommy was awake so that was normal. The only time she saw her mother during the light of day was when it was time for meals. In between Selena played with her toys and sang songs to herself and Harry. Today was a little different though as her siblings had come home from school to help her with her birthday.
  36. 36. Chelsea made sure she had a bottle after they arrived. Before heading off to SSU Chelsea had helped take care off her sister as a baby so it was natural for her to step in now and handle things while her mother could not. “Are you ready to grow today?” “Yes.” Selena paused and squinted as much as her huge eyes would allow. “Can Harry grow up with me too?” “Who's Harry?” “My friend. Daddy says he's a vampire spirit.” Chelsea hesitated, “Well, I suppose that if it's possible for Harry to get older then he will. Alright?” “Okay.”
  37. 37. Her siblings and her cousins gathered around for the big event.
  38. 38. Selena grew up well and spent the afternoon playing with her extended family. That night Cassidy fixed her hair so that it didn't glitch through her eyebrows and all was well.
  39. 39. Across town, just as the sun was coming up... Jason curled around Hannah's warm frame and she stirred some when his arm twitched as it lay across her hip. The pair of magic users had been very busy throughout the day studying their spells and participating in other more entertaining activities and they choose to retire early and get some extra sleep.
  40. 40. Jason's movements became more agitated and the rate of his breathing increased. He was dreaming. “No,” he muttered, “run! Run!” He eyes flew open and he sat up quickly.
  41. 41. It took him a few seconds to register that he was safe in bed before her closed his eyes tight and refocused on the dream. He had to remember every detail. Beside him Hannah had sensed his movements and awoke as well. “Jason?” He didn't respond and she watched him carefully, recognizing the trance for what it was.
  42. 42. Many minutes past before he opened his eyes again and Hannah pulled herself out of bed. “What did you see?” Jason sat in stunned silence. Not only had his visions finally returned to him but the first thing he witnessed was shocking and odd. “I know who Nervous is going to attack next,” he replied flatly.
  43. 43. She came around to his side on the bed. “That's a good thing. Isn't it?” “I... don't know.” His nearly sightless eyes wandered around the room looking for an answer to that question. “But if we can prevent the death and maybe capture him. That's a good thing.” “It's not that simple.” He moved to get dressed. “I need to go see Darwin.” “But it's morning.” “Then I'll wake him up. This can't wait.”
  44. 44. A few minutes later... “I'm sorry to wake you up but what I have to say can not wait.” Darwin grimaced, “What have I done now?” “It's not the past, but the future that concerns me this morning.”
  45. 45. “The future? You're visions have returned!” Jason only nodded. “That's awesome! Now we can stop Marie in her tracks.” “I haven't yet mastered control and my first vision will be difficult for you and your family to deal with.” “What is it?”
  46. 46. “I have witnessed the death of your niece, Kira.”
  47. 47. “What?!” “It all starts innocent enough except for the fact that while away at college, she has become familiar with Nervous Subject. It seems that Marie has set him to glean information from Kira about you.” Jason waved his hand a crystal ball appeared and floated a couple of feet off the floor.
  48. 48. Darwin stood and stared down into the glowing crystal.
  49. 49. “You want another beer?” Nervous pulled his knees up and rested his arms across them. Kira pushed her book aside. “No thanks. I've got a test tomorrow morning and I really don't need a hangover to help me fail.” “How much longer do you have before you graduate?” “Three weeks. It seems like an eternity.” “Then what are you going to do?”
  50. 50. “I don't know. I haven't really thought about it too much. Mom and Dad want me to move back home and stuff. I suppose they will want grand kids but I don't really think I'm up to having a bunch of parasites hanging around.” “So tell them no. You've got a sister that can do all that.” “Brooke is more suited to the happy homemaker thing more than I am for sure, but seeing as she can't even keep hold of the one boyfriend she's ever had, I don't know there will be any kids in her near future either.”
  51. 51. “You're not interested in settling down at all? No husband or a nice home?” “Nope. Not for me. Maybe a nice apartment with a swimming pool but I don't need or want a 'Father Knows Best' life.” He thought about how close of a relationship he had with Kira. They did just about everything together and he didn't really mind all the other men in her life. She didn't hang out with them on the weekends like she did with him. Still, deep in Nervous's heart he had always wanted a family. She will never really want me. At least not that way. The chittering ring of a cell phone escaped from Nervous' pocket.
  52. 52. “That's my phone.” He stood and pulled the phone out of his pocket without looking at the caller id. “Hello?” “I need you to do something special for me.” It was Marie's cold voice on the other end.
  53. 53. He turned away from Kira so she wouldn't see the surprised expression on his face, “What?” “The James girl you have been watching for me, I want her killed. The more brutal and outrageous the better.”
  54. 54. “You what?!” His heart leapt into his throat. “Why?” “You know better than to ask me questions like that. Just do it.” “When?” “The sooner the better. You can handle this, can't you Nervous? Do I need to send Theron after her?” “No! No, I can do this.” “Excellent. Remember, make it memorable.” She hung up. “Sure,” he replied despondently “Whatever you say.” His mind was racing. Kira's voice caused him to jump. “Everything okay?”
  55. 55. “I... My boss wants me to go to work.” He turned slowly to face her. “Oh? Well, I suppose it's getting a little late anyways. I really should go and study for that test.” She began to pack up the pillows and her book and he watched her for some time before speaking again. I can't do this to her. She's my friend. “Kira, I need to tell you something and you're not going to like it very much.”
  56. 56. “You're seeing someone else?” She smiled at him. She meant it as a joke. “No. My... work. I work for Marie Gray. Do you know who that is?” Kira shrugged, “Name's familiar. I think maybe I heard my mother mention the name but she runs the biggest newspaper in town. She knows practically everybody.”
  57. 57. “She's a very bad woman and... She wants me to kill you.” The smile ran off of her face, “That's not even remotely funny Ryan.” “It's not a joke and my name's not Ryan. It's Nervous.”
  58. 58. She wasn't sure what hit her first. The fact that she knew he was telling her the truth or that he had said he was going to kill her. Either way, it was like he had kicked her in the stomach. The bag slipped from her hand and she covered her mouth as she gasped. “You've heard of me?” “Yes. I... What do you want from me?” It was hard to speak. Her body wasn't letting the air come out of her lungs properly. “I'm supposed to kill you now,” he said slowly. “I don't know why. Probably to make some kind of point to your uncle. She's obsessed with him.” He held up his hands in front of him. “I'm not going to do it though. She wanted me to get close to you to learn things about your uncle and I've told her a lot. Spying is one thing, killing the only friend I've ever had is another.” There was sadness in his voice but at this point she was beyond caring about what he was feeling. “I'm supposed to believe you? Stay away from me!”
  59. 59. “I know you're frightened right now but I need you to listen to me. I love you and I don't want to see you get hurt. If I fail in doing this, Gray will just have her Elf assassin kill you and me too. I need to think.” “Think about what?! How you are going to do it? You killed the Pleasants and that man maid and... your parents. Oh! How could I be so stupid?!” No wonder he never wanted to talk about them. She turned to flee. There was a market close by full of lots of potential witnesses. “Wait! If you run away from me, we are both dead for sure!”
  60. 60. She stopped. There was some sense to what he said but for all she knew it was a trick to lure her closer to him. She drew a deep breath. “Why me?” “You were easier to get close to. Why she wants you dead now? I really don't know. She doesn't explain things unless it serves her purpose to do so. We need to find a way out of this.” “I have to be dead,” she said flatly. “I already said I wasn't going to hurt you.” “That doesn't change the fact that I have to be dead for us to be safe.” Her head was spinning. How did this happen? Now all of the sudden her life was coming to an abrupt halt and she was worried about him? What was wrong with her? Still, the theory was sound.
  61. 61. Nervous caught her meaning and nodded, “You have to disappear. I can make it look like you died but you have to leave Pleasant View. Go as far away as you can. Change your name and your appearance, everything.” “How are you going to make people believe I'm dead?” “Don't worry about that. I have an idea but it's best you don't know.” It was chilling to think that his skills with a knife were about to be helpful to someone. He reached down and picked up his wallet from the blanket and pulled out all the cash in it. “Here's some money. It isn't much but it should get you a good distance away. Don't talk to anyone. Not your family. Not your friends, not even me. Everyone has to believe you are dead.” “But, they will blame you for it for real! If they catch you...” “The stain of one more soul on my hands will not make a difference. Your staying safe will. Change your clothes and leave your swimsuit. I'm going to need it.”
  62. 62. “Go!” He watched her run off into the woods. “Now,” he said looking around. ”I just need a body.”
  63. 63. Darwin felt a chill travel down his spine as the images stopped and the ball glowed white. “This is the future?” “Today, I think.”
  64. 64. “We have to stop this.” “Didn't you pay attention? Nervous is going to try and save her. Granted, if we try to interfere we might stand a chance of catching him but I think we may benefit more from allowing this to play out as it will.” “Is this what will happen or what may happen?” “If things are not changed it is what will happen. Of course, I've been wrong before and your father payed dearly for that oversight.” Jason's shoulders sagged, “Then there's the issue of the woman who does die so that Nervous can leave a corpse. I fear that if we try to save her we will lose Kira in the end. Marie doesn't strike me as the type to just let something go. She wants you angry.”
  65. 65. “I am angry! Every fiber in my being is screaming at me to brave the sunlight and go rip that bitches throat out and feast on her blood!” Jason stared at him sympathetically. “And I'd be right there beside you. But, I'm betting that is exactly what she wants us to do. She will be prepared for that. On the other hand, if we do nothing she will most likely grow suspicious. I'm... actually at a loss for what to do. We're damned if we do and damned if we don't.” He sighed. “And I can't get the face of the innocent girl that Nervous will kill out of my mind. She is going to suffer horribly before he is done with her. Evan as a Dark Warlock I'm not sure I can just let that happen.” “Would we be able to resurrect her after the fact? We still have the resurrection phone that Mom used to bring my Dad back. Once things have settled down we will just call Grim up and ask for her back.” “As long as someone knows her well enough that will work but it won't undo the memory of the pain and fear associated with her dying.” Darwin's large black eyes narrowed, “I see that as Nervous' problem, not ours. He is a rabid dog and I do plan on putting him down soon.”
  66. 66. A puzzled look came over Jason's face. “What are you planning?” “If you don't already know, I'm not going to tell you. You'd just try to stop me.” “You're damn right I would! The Creator said that we shouldn't risk any sort of attack until we were better prepared.” “And who says we aren't? I'm tired of sitting up here in this room Jason. I want my life back! Now she attacks my own blood relations to draw me out?” Darwin shook his head, “I can't let it pass and one of the best ways to get at Marie is to catch the rabid dog. So that's what I'm going to do.” “I refuse to help you.” “I wasn't going to ask you to. I have other friends.” The pair stood for some time just starring at one another. Finally Jason spoke...
  67. 67. “You're going to get yourself killed or worse. And you're going to make me break a promise to your father, my friend.” “I'm not a little kid anymore and I love and respect you like a brother Jason. But, this is something I just have to do and I don't want you to get in my way.”
  68. 68. A bit later, in a chilly garage... Afternoons often came a little too early for Avri on some days. Working as a bartender meant long nights and the fact that his alarm clock read 1:56 PM wasn't too surprising. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and stretched. Brooke wouldn't give me her number. She seemed almost mad that I even asked. Whoever it was that dumped her deserves a good butt kicking. The growling in his stomach couldn't be ignored. “Food before romance, Avri.” He stood and got dressed.
  69. 69. Inside the small house, Avri found his friend Jay sitting naked in front of the computer. He smirked at the sight of the pale naked man sitting in an ornate oriental chair. He pulled open the fridge and found the fixings for a sandwich. “I'm making a sandwich. You want one?” Jay squinted at the screen, “No thanks. There's left over salmon in there if you want something more filling. Help yourself.” “I'm good. Thanks.” The fridge snapped shut, “I met my mystery girl again yesterday.” “Oh? She come in to Lucky's again?” “No. I was walking home from Pleasant Field after the event yesterday and I slammed right into her.” “Smooth.” “Her name is Brooke James.”
  70. 70. Avri couldn't see Jay's head pop up from the computer. “James?” “Yeah. Her boyfriend dumped her. She did all but burst into tears.” Jay minimized the financial site he was working on and opened a search engine. “James... James. Ah! Here it is. Stanley Thomas James, PhD. Former head scientist of SFO Corporation's Pleasant View Paranormal Research and Development lab. Deceased. Three, no four children. One alien. Eight grandchildren. Including one Brooke Rose.” Arvi listened to the information passively, “And?” Jay scowled at his back. “And, she is a member of one of Pleasant View's nouveau riche. They're rolling in money. Her mother runs the main newspaper in town and her father after being fired from SFO Corp. went on to work for himself designing robots and such. You've hit the jackpot!” Arvi finished constructing his sandwich and put the meat and cheese back into the fridge.
  71. 71. Jay continued his search, his fingers dancing over the keys. “She and her older sister Kira are attending SSU. Brooke is studying Philosophy.” “Philosophy?,” Avri sank into a chair. “That's interesting.” “Your priorities are all screwed up. I tell you the girl is rich and your more interested in her take on Socrates and Descartes. Besides philosophy is a default degree. Anyone who can't decide gets automatically put there after their junior year.” “There's more important things in the world than money.” He took a mindless bite of the sandwich. “Does that thing list her address and phone number.” Jay turned and smiled at him. “Does a naked man avoid blackberry bushes?”
  72. 72. After lunch and a friendly lecture on the value of marrying up in society, Avri returned to his easel and palette with a scribbled note listing Brooke's address shoved into his front pocket. Painting helped Avri think and he liked to think a lot. She's rich. I suppose that's a bonus. She's beautiful, definitely a bonus. She needs someone to help her get past her sadness. I could do that. He thought about how much cash he had in pocket. He was going to have to be creative on the cost of a date as the twenty three simoleons he had would have to last until the end of next week. “I need a plan...”
  73. 73. At that very same time in a small, quaint park... Nervous looked down at the prone body at his feet. Months ago he had noticed a girl on campus by the name of Starla who had hair very similar to Kira's. She would be a decent enough body double dressed in Kira's swimsuit, but the face... the face was a problem. No one would ever mistake Starla for Kira from the front so the face would have to go. He sighed. There was none of the normal emotions with this kill. He hadn't stalked her. He didn't even know her. He lips twisted into a snarl. If she thinks that I'm that easy to manipulate then what does that say about me? Nervous kept the image of Marie's face in his eyes so that each cut was a cut into the pale flesh of the devious woman who brought him to Pleasant View. One day Miss Gray, I'm going to do this to you too. Then they won't call me a monster. I'll be a hero. Later that evening...
  74. 74. There were few duties that Jim Wong hated more than making visits to the families of the victims of crimes. This one hit very close to home for him as his daughters were also attending SSU and his youngest had just called home today to say that she had become engaged to her boyfriend Fisher James. “Mister and Missus James, I'm umm... Very sorry to have to tell you this but, we believe your daughter Kira was killed this afternoon.”
  75. 75. Melinda felt her breath catch in her throat. “What?” “I'm very sorry Ma'am.” George reached up to caress his now sobbing wife's shoulder. “How? How did it happen?” Officer Wong pulled out his notebook. “It appears that she was murdered. Stabbed like the others that have died recently.” “Are you sure it's her?” “She was found with her personal effects and ID but, ahh...” “But what?!” George's face was becoming flushed.
  76. 76. “The killer disfigured her face and cut off her hands. We need you to come down to the morgue to make a final identification.” Melinda began to wail uncontrollably and George put his arms around her. “It can't be her. It's not possible,” he whispered into her hair. Then to the officer, “You must be mistaken. Our Kira would never have allowed someone to hurt her like that. She's... tough and resourceful.” “Yes Sir, and I hope you are right but we still have another murder on our hands and if you and your wife could help us by coming down to the morgue...”
  77. 77. Melinda finally found her voice. “It's her!,” she shouted between sobs. “She's done this to hurt us. To hurt Darwin!” “Now we don't know that for sure. It might not even be Kira.” “Which “her'” do you mean Ma'am?” Mel's face contorted angrily, “Marie Gray! That witch has been after our family since the day my father moved here after college. She's the one you need to arrest!” Jim nodded, “I can take your statement after we see if you can ID the victim.”
  78. 78. “You can't see this, can you?” “No. And I don't need to to know that it is awful.” “If this happened to your family, would you just sit around waiting to see what happens next?”
  79. 79. “No. But then, I'm not the one who is capable of leading an army of clones that could topple entire nations.” “You don't think I have any self control at all, do you?” “You're whole life you've been impulsive. You act on instinct. Without thought to consequence. You could destroy us all.” Darwin stared through the window at his big sister sobbing and his brother in law doing his absolute best to stay calm. They didn't deserve this. Kira didn't deserve to have her whole life turned upside down. The time for waiting was long past. “I'm gonna make her pay for this Jason and I need just two things from you and Hannah.” Jason sighed. Darwin was firm in his decision to act so there was no point in further discussion. “Name it.” “Find my niece and keep her safe. Keep and eye on Brooke and my kids as too. Given the chance, Marie may try and strike at them as well. And, old friend. Stay out of my way.”
  80. 80. Later that evening at SSU... “So she said yes. That's awesome Fisher. Congratulations.” Brooke Number Two shifted a pawn. “It's weird you know. I'm one of the youngest of all of us and I'm the first to take the plunge. I don't think I've even seen you go out on a date.” “I've been on a few dates you've just been too busy getting your butt kicked by Alicia to notice. Besides, I'm not all that sure that I want to settle down right away. There will be plenty of time for marriage and kids later.” BNT reflexively jumped when the phone on the wall behind her began to ring. “I'll get it!” Brooke Number One hollered from the kitchen. “Your move, Mister Grumpy.”
  81. 81. Fisher smiled. “There is nothing you can say that will make me upset today. Not even Alicia could piss me off.” He watched BNO walk past to the phone. “You do seem to be glowing. Move a pawn or something, will ya!”
  82. 82. BNO lifter the receiver, “Hello?” “Brooke Honey, it's your father.” “Oh! Hi Daddy.” “Honey... I have some bad news.” “Uncle Darwin didn't set the kitchen on fire again did he?” “No Baby. Your sister is dead, murdered.”
  83. 83. “What?! How? When? I talked to her before she left for class.” “We don't know all the details yet.” Brooke felt the room begin to spin. “I... “ “Brooke? Brooke Honey? Are you all right?!”
  84. 84. The phone clattered to the floor and George's distraught voice could be heard over the tiny speaker, “Hello?!”
  85. 85. Her cousin's rushed to her aid only to find that she had fainted. Decker scooped up the phone receiver that was yelling loudly for someone to tell the person on the other side what had happened. “Hello? Who is this?” “Decker? Is that you? What happened to Brooke?” “Uncle George? She passed out. What's going on?” Decker's face grew pale as his uncle explained the situation. George finished with, “Mel and I are on our way there. If you can't wake Brooke up, get her to the hospital right now!” The slamming of the phone on the other side was audible and Decker pressed the off button slowly. “What's happened?”
  86. 86. Decker swallowed hard before answering. “Kira was savagely murdered this afternoon.” BNT gasped, “She's dead?” “That's what I said.”
  87. 87. Alicia who had run down from upstairs heard the grim announcement. “Murdered by who?” she whispered. “The same person who has done all the others, they think.” Alicia looked down at the prone Brooke, then looked away hiding a tear that found it's way to the surface. “I'll get her an ice pack.” She turned an walked out of the room trying desperately to hide the tears. She and Kira had been more like sisters than cousins and the sudden loss was difficult.
  88. 88. “I can't believe this. Who could do such a thing.” Decker moved to lift Brooke's shoulders. “Get her feet Fisher.” Together the boys gently laid her on the loveseat. “If it's the work of the same person who killed the Pleasants then he's psychotic. I heard that he hates women because his mother abandoned him.” BNT brushed the hair out of Brooke's face and the unconscious girl moaned. “She's coming round. We should still call the ambulance. She could have a concussion from the fall.” Fisher nodded, “Then I'm calling Dad. He has to know what is going on.” While phone calls were made and ice packs applied, Brooke just laid there listening to it all.
  89. 89. The ambulance came and took her to the campus clinic. Her parents came and cried and hugged her. Alicia stood in a corner with a haunted look on her face, unwilling to share her pent up feelings with anyone. Decker, Fisher and Chelsea tried like mad to reach their father but his phone just kept going to voice mail and their mother had no idea where he was. The police came and asked dozens of questions and went through all of Kira's belongings looking for clues. Brooke felt like everything in the world was stuck on fast forward except her. Finally, all the random people left and she found herself sitting on the cold white tiles of the original downstairs bathroom. The tiles her grandfather had installed when he lived here. She noted that each one was perfect. No flaws in the glassy surface, no chipped edges. Each one a perfect rectangle of gleaming white porcelain. Stanley would have made sure that each and every one was flawless before the contractor placed them. That's how he was then. At least that was what she had been told. Flawless, and broken at the same time. She was far from flawless. Her mind was always filled with little nagging doubts, with worries that people might not like her, that she wasn't popular enough or pretty enough. Her sister was dead and she was broken. Brooke popped the top off the pill vial and looked at the pills within. “For pain,” the doctor had said.
  90. 90. She was in pain. Lots and lots of pain. Taking the pills was easy. Waiting was the hard part. Eventually someone knocked on the door and she yelled at them to go away. If they came back again she didn't hear them. All that was left was darkness...
  91. 91. “Help me! She's locked the door!” The door frame splinted as Decker kicked the door open. “She's taken almost all the pills! Call the ambulance! Brooke? Brooke can you hear me?!” Click ->
  92. 92. Here is where I would normally place a teaser picture for my next update but since I am planning another mini project and I liked ending with Brooke's suicide, there won't be one. There are still some comments and odd pictures to follow though...
  93. 93. “I see you.” Okay. Is anyone else creeped out by the eyes on this kid? I'm okay with my sims looking at me from time to time but this one just gives me the willies.
  94. 94. Some stats for Selena James Sagittarius (like so many of the James clan) 0/1/10/7/8- Yes, she was born with ZERO neat points. New Stanley strikes again! I still haven't discovered her hobby yet so it's probably something like science or tinkering.
  95. 95. Fisher James and Angela Wong = L.O.V.E These two are now engaged but since it doesn't figure into any of my plot I didn't show it. Fisher's siblings have also done me a favor and latched onto other playables at SSU (Brittney Upsnott and Castor Nova) and will be reducing the random ineligible sims for heir marriage for the future.
  96. 96. Despite what my story says, Kira did graduate with a 3.2 in History. She changed majors after her junior year re-roll made her a Fortune/Pleasure sim with the LTW of topping the law career. She also grew up into the absolutely most inappropriate clothes for her personality. You will be seeing Kira again. Her part in the story is not over.
  97. 97. Fights occur everyday in this college house. I have never had so many mean, angry sims in one place in all my years of playing the game. I've been trying to repair the relationships between Alicia, Decker and Fisher (yes that is Fisher wearing warlock robes) but it just won't take. I really think it is all coming from her. Decker and Fisher start their own fights with her too but she was the one who started it all. I think she wigged out after Decker gossiped about Stanley dying with Fisher in front of her their freshman year. Decker's fight with the llama started over a prank. He lost. He always loses.
  98. 98. This house is really too small for eight students and their visitors. I'm already building a new house that Fisher and Chelsea will move to after everyone else has graduated to make it less hectic. Grilled cheese is the food of preference as Alicia is a proper Grilled Cheese sim and Brooke Number One and Decker have it as secondary aspirations. The plate farting is there to remind you that yes, these really are Darwin's kids. Brooke Number Two who, if you remember is adopted into the family, threw me for a bit of a loop when she went from Fortune/Family to Romance/Fortune.
  99. 99. BNT is so darn pretty and while she does have a romantic interest, I'm not too impressed with the jock townie she has two bolts for. I'm going to do a bachelor challenge with her thanks to the donation of some lucky guys from some other people's stories. And in keeping with my storytelling streak it will be plot filled and odd. I just have to get everything set up and my contestants moved in.
  100. 100. “Bleh!” Stop that! I managed to get the anti-witch idle hack into my game so Darwin isn't whipping his wand out randomly and doing the creepy nice smile. This is a good warlock with zero nice points! The vampire idles irritate me less so I don't mess with those. Darwin is rushing forward toward some very big events. Hopefully, both of us will survive.
  101. 101. I love the exaggerated faces Avri makes. I'm so very happy that Brooke took a liking to him. If you haven't figured it out by now, Brooke will be the heir to the house and Avri the next heir's spouse. They should make for some very cute kids and hopefully I can breed the nose dent that George brought into the family out. Yes, Brooke survives her overdose.
  102. 102. My “Great Bohemian Artist” has almost no creative skill points. I'm just showing you this to say that I'm not fiddling with his skills until he moves into the main household. He is playable for the purpose of story only at this point.
  103. 103. Angela Pleasant and Beau Broke have been reunited in college. And as you can see they crushed and fell in love at the same time. It was sweet but no matter how I tweak them they only have one bolt for each other. And Beau has a very odd face. I've never grown those two up before. You will see more of Angela, Lilith, Beau and the Dreamer kid (his name escapes me at the moment) in the next update.
  104. 104. Ahh, my until now hidden, mysterious agency that Heidi works for is made up of... simselves? :) Don't read too much into that. I needed sims to fill up the set and give me someone to act as the voice Heidi speaks with and I thought to myself, “Self. You have lots of perfectly good playable sims that can fill in costumes and set the scene. Don't make anymore new sims that you will only use once or twice.” This is BlueBerryPie360 and Animei. BBP writes the Ugly As Pie Uglacy (which he needs to update soon- hint!) and the completed Bearly Alive Apocalype to name a few of his projects. Animei has written an OWBC which is titled A Godly OWBC (I think) and is currently working on a standard legacy The Quest For Peace. She includes a lot of Greek based mythology into both.
  105. 105. “Bomb? What bomb?” “Umm...” Jo (JoandSarah77) and Little Nemo seem to be working together on a little project. Jo writes The Mobacy and The Fair Dinkum Flamingos OWBC Little Nemo is writing Far Away From Eden. For some reason I couldn't boolprop Nemo or Lorin's extra weight away so you are looking a little out of shape here..
  106. 106. “Zeus's bolts! They're going to blow us all to Hades!” You look good in spandex Animei
  107. 107. “Houston we have a problem.” Lea (thls0) writes the Barsoom Legacy and is a Boolprop forum mod. DrSupremeNerd runs herd over the Vetinari Duelegacy and the much loved and mourned Spider Jerusalem.
  108. 108. It seems Nemo got as far away from Jo and the bomb as possible given that the room has no doors. Lorin stepped in to explain that the big gray metal thing on the table shaped like a bomb is actually a bomb. Lorin writes the Romancing The Apocalypse apocalypse.
  109. 109. I just liked this one. Your simsleves looked quite heroic and comic book worthy. A huge thanks to the creators of these and all my other simselves for letting me abuses them and the creators of all the custom content and game mods that make my game playable. And if you haven't read any of these author's stories, I highly recommend them. Thanks for reading! And if you feel like leaving a comment feel free to do so. They do make me very happy.

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