The Science of a Legacy: Chapter 36

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  • Uh...Not sure if my last comment showed up, but here goes again.

    I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IS THE LAST CHAPTER OF THE LEGACY! You need to write and play and such and finish it. Also, come back to the boolprop forums. I can only imagine what would happen with you there!

    You're a great writer and I love your legacy. Keep going with it!

    -Night
       Reply 
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The Science of a Legacy: Chapter 36

  1. 1. *wave de wave* Afternoon! Or possibly morning or evening.. But no matter, welcome to The Science of a Legacy, Chapter Thirty-Six! Last time the kids of Generation Seven grew up into way too gorgeous teenagers, complete with a newly vamped Grandfather Gadus attending their birthday party (much to Cadence‟s delight). Sid‟s hunt for the bone phone took a rather disappointing turn, and bizarrely Allozyme accepted a marriage proposal from a total stranger for the sole purpose of winding Gin up! But what happens next? Well, anyone I‟ve been talking to for more than five seconds lately will know that it‟s not just his own death that Gadus needs to worry about.. There are no longer arrows to click so er, just use whatever it is you do to go somehow!
  2. 2. “Morning Mommy! Can I have a hug?” “Um.. What is this?” “Hug? Mommy?” “Bog off.”
  3. 3. “Ah, Tempe.. Forgetting the number one rule are we?” “Huh?” The black haired girl looked over her shoulder at her twin sister who had just ambled down the stairs, and was now slowly padding across the room. “But I just wanted..” “NEVER hug Mom!” Nimue grinned. “Hugs are for losers and sissies.”
  4. 4. “Ah, I knew at least one of these pointless childrinions would one day speak a word of sense.” Evil Susan said proudly. “Oh yes Mom, you and Dad have taught us well indeed.” “Can I not even hug Granddad then?” Tempe piped up, “because he always lets me hug him! And so does Grandma..” “Well, taught one of us anyway.” sighed Nimue, narrowing her eyes. “Fine fine fine, now go away! Surely it must be time for school or something else that means you are not here?” Evil Susan started flapping her hands at her daughters and ushered them in the direction of the front door. “I‟ve got a visitor coming and I‟ve had enough of you. SHOO!”
  5. 5. Luckily it was indeed time for school, and ES‟s visitor was only Allozyme, so the girls left with time for a decaying high-five on the way out. “Sorry about that GrandZomb, I feel for you having to have them touch you.” she said briskly as the zombie dragged himself through the door. “Hm? Don‟t be silly Dear Susan, Nimue and Tempe are great girls. Surprising how much they take after you, actually.” “Whatever, just don‟t start any rumours about it – I would want anyone getting the wrong idea.” “Wouldn‟t dream of it. Now Susan, what was it you wanted to see me about?”
  6. 6. “Well let‟s put it this way GrandZomb, I‟ve been hearing some.. disturbing rumours.” “What, about Gin sitting on a bench outside Harold & Merkins at 3 in the morning singing some tripe about how hedgehogs can never be buggered at all? Because if so, I‟m afraid to say it is accurate, my Dear Susan.” “What? No! It‟s just, I‟ve been hearing some ridiculous things,” she laughed, in that kind of worried laugh you do when you really hopes what you‟re about to say will be denied by the other party involved. “Ridiculous things.. About you getting married again!”
  7. 7. The zombie closed his eyes. “It is true.” he sighed. “WHAT!?” “Susan, you must listen to me-” “NO I will bloody not! Engagement? Marriage? WEDDING?!”
  8. 8. “Wedding? Did I hear wedding?” Norris asked excitedly, emerging from the bathroom where he couldn‟t help but fail to overhear his daughter‟s shouts. “Urgh, unfortunately you did Dad..” she sighed. “Really? You‟ve finally decided to get married?” Norris grinned hopefully. “Dear Susan, you didn‟t tell me you‟ve finally decided to make an honest man out of your boy as well!” Allozyme beamed. “Flamin‟ fish tarts..” Evil Susan growled under he breath.
  9. 9. “No, now look here the both of you! I am most certainly not getting married – and neither should you GrandZomb! I‟m fine with just the way things are, okay I could do without those blasted childrinions hanging onto my leg at inappropriate moments, but I‟m fine with just being me, Evil Susan! Evil Susan can‟t get married, it just wouldn‟t be.. Evil enough.” she finished a bit lamely. “But that‟s not the point, we‟re talking about YOU here! And after what happened last time with that hag I think you‟re making a huge mistake.” With a final glare to bring down her point, Evil Susan spun on her heel and made to make a dramatic exit out of the room. However:
  10. 10. “What is this I hear about marriage?” “Oh arse badgers, not you too! I thought you were sensible.” “Doesn‟t stop me from wanting to have you as me Eeevil wife.” And as he did every day, Larch got down on one knee and once again attempted to propose. “So what do you say, ES?” “For Goat‟s sake NO!”
  11. 11. While Evil Susan was battling Larch‟s family tendencies, Norris slowly approached his father. “You‟re really getting married?” he asked quietly. Allo nodded. “But.. Why Dad? After everything that‟s happened, how can you possible think that it would be a good idea? I‟m just.. A little worried. After y‟know.” he shrugged. “Is this really for real?”
  12. 12. “I know it‟s a little out of the blue Norris, but this is nothing like when I married her.” “You sure?” “Yes. Things were all rather.. up in the air with you uncles and I when it happened, I was young and it seemed like a good idea at the time to just marry her. I hardly think you can accuse me of being young now!” Allo grinned at his son. “I know what I‟m doing this time, and Corin.. She‟s not the same as your Mother. Not by a long shot. And I‟m not going to lie, it‟s getting rather lonely in that apartment without having you and the girls around.” “You really love her then?” “No idea, but at least I don‟t loathe her so that‟s a good start eh?”
  13. 13. “True.” Norris smiled, “a step up already! I‟m still not entirely convinced by this, but if you promise me you know what you‟re doing Dad..” “Well, if I‟m not then my Best Man will always be there to step in and talk some sense into me, won‟t he?” “Hmm?” “Oh come on Norris! I‟m not doing this without you right up there with me. Deal?”
  14. 14. “Of course Dad, I would love to.” The two briefly embraced, each quietly content that the other seemed happy.
  15. 15. “And I was hoping that Dear Susan here might consent to being a bridesmaid?” “Do I have to wear a dress?” “We-ell..” Evil Susan grimaced. “Will it.. Make you happy?” she said through gritted teeth. “Ecstatic.” “FINE then! Fine..”
  16. 16. “Thank you.” the zombie said and gave her a quick kiss. “Don‟t mention it GrandZomb. Really – don‟t. Ever. To anyone.” Allozyme smiled. “It means the world that you‟ll all be there. Bring the twins, and make sure Ysabelle and her family know as well.” “But her husband is such a jerk! And her kids complete knicker weasels!” “Susan..” Norris growled warningly. “Did I say it means the world that you’ll all be there by any chance? Now be a good girl Susan, I‟ve got to go and meet Corin to tell her the good news and..” he shuddered. “Meet her Mother.” ----
  17. 17. Later that morning Allozyme dragged himself up to the address Corin had given him. “Here?” he groaned. “I‟ve got to actually sit in a place like this?!” Shaking his head, he stumbled inside.
  18. 18. “Oh hey, you made it!” Corin grinned, before quickly realising what she was doing and went back to scowling. “Why exactly do we have to meet your Mother in cute a disgustingly cute and twee cafe?” “Because she‟s is disgustingly cute and twee.” she replied as Allo took a seat at the table.
  19. 19. “Figures. Only someone that dim would try and force a girl like you into a marriage you didn‟t want.” “Exactly. How‟re you feeling about this whole thing anyway – still up for it?” “Can‟t see any reason not to.” he shrugged. “I told my family this morning and they‟re all rather excited actually. I think they‟d all quite like to see it, and Dear Susan especially when we see the look on a certain someone‟s face! I‟m actually quite looking forward to it. How about you, still feeling this is a good plan?”
  20. 20. Corin held out her hand and waggled her fingers, making her ring glint most pleasingly in the midday sun. “Worse things have happened. And besides, I‟m still rather in love with this shiny! It‟s my exact taste! Pretty lucky, actually. Funny how these things work out, isn‟t it?” “Sometimes.”
  21. 21. “So I‟m going to be your wife, right?” “Seems that way.” Allo nodded. “Okay then, what‟s with the whole blue peeling skin dead thing? It‟s not every day a zombie stumbles past and agrees to marry you. And you‟ve got a family?! I didn‟t thing zombies could, well, y‟know..” “Can‟t say I‟ve ever tried.” “But-”
  22. 22. “Come on Corin, does it really matter?” “Ha, I guess not!” she smiled. “The point is that whoever you are, you‟ve been just what I‟m looking for.” “To get at your Mother, you mean?” “Er, yes! Of course that!” she said quickly, “exactly what I need to get her back up. And speaking of..” Corin turned as the twee little shop bell gave a twee little jingle.
  23. 23. “Oh HERE she is! Jeez Mother, can‟t you ever be on time for anything?” Allozyme shut his eyes. It can’t be worse than last time.. He thought to himself. Whatever happens, it can’t be worse than last time..
  24. 24. “Sorry I‟m late guys! But it‟s okay now Corin, Mother‟s here, and we can start! Has anyone ordered scones?”
  25. 25. The Zombie groaned and kept his eyes screwed up tight. It was worse. “Please tell me that voice is not who I think it is..”
  26. 26. “Huh?” Corin swung round to look at him. “You‟re Gin‟s daughter..” he said, opening his eyes slowly. “Why did you never say you were Gin’s daughter?” “I.. You know my Mother?”
  27. 27. “Oh we‟re old friends!” the Simself grinned happily and plonked herself in the remaining chair. “This is not happening, this is not happening..” The Zombie chanted to himself, head in hands. “I am not engaged to Gin‟s daughter, I am not engaged to Gin‟s daughter..” “Oh yes you are, Allozyme Tegenaria – and I would quite like it if you looked a little happier about the situation! I put a lot of thought into this matching after all.” “Tegenaria?” Corin whispered under he breath. “Matching?!” Quite quickly, the quiet of the quaint little cafe was broken.
  28. 28. “YOU SET US UP!” “Of course she did!” yelled Allozyme, slamming his hand on the table in anger. “And I fell for it, I can‟t believe I FELL FOR IT.” “And what‟s WORSE!” Corin continued, as loud as she could manage. “You set me up with a TEGENARIA, one of your STUPID STUPID Legacy pets! You know I hate them, YOU KNOW THAT.” “Your DAUGHTER, of all the nerve Gin! I knew you were stupid but I didn‟t think you were THAT stupid to do this to me..”
  29. 29. “Gasp, oh no!” The Simself brought her hand to her face in feigned surprise, and tried her best not to laugh. “The mean little Family Sims are shouting at me, whatever will I do?! They couldn‟t possibly acting this way because they are in fact perfect for each other.” The shouting was replaced with two very icy stares. Eventually, Corin decided to break the silence.
  30. 30. “Don‟t worry Allo, she‟s just pissed because of the rumours.” she smiled wickedly. “The hedgehog ones?” “Oh no.. The ones about Dad and some Goodytwoshoes guy, and what exactly it is they get up to together in certain „verses – if you know what I mean.” she giggled. “CORIN!”
  31. 31. “Yes Mother?” the girl said innocently. The Simself narrowed her eyes. “You know full well I have expressly forbidden any and all mentions of that under my roof.” “Well we‟re not under your roof – we‟re in a cafe.” Corin retorted. “MY UNIVERSE, MY ROOFS. Oh, and one more thing..”
  32. 32. “You two do know you‟re holding hands?”
  33. 33. “WHAT?! Er-” “No we weren‟t! Don‟t be so stupid Mother! I would never hold hands with him.. That‟s so gross!” “Touching Gin‟s daughter.. I would never want to touch Gin‟s daughter! It‟s just wrong on so many levels.”
  34. 34. “Uhuh.. Ri-ight. Well I‟ve got to run kids. Allo – make sure you take my daughter home safely, and I don‟t want any of that pre-wedding hanky-panky thank you very much.” “But-” “GREAT! I‟ll see you both at the alter then! I‟ll bring cake.” “But..”
  35. 35. Outside the cafe, the Simself smiled to herself. “Well that went even better than I could have dared dream! My good ideas may be few and far between, but.. Hehe! There‟s only one thing to do in a situation like this!”
  36. 36. “I am so great! I am so great! LA LA LA LA LOOK AT ME I AM SO GREAT!”
  37. 37. “Well what the heck are we going to do now?!” asked Corin as soon as her Mother was out of the door. “Well I personally am going to get out of this place.” said the Zombie, and hastily pushed his chair back and limped towards the exit. “I‟ve had enough of this!”
  38. 38. “Hey you, WAIT!” The Zombie was quite surprised to hear the stomp of boots following him out of the door.
  39. 39. “Look Allozyme, I‟m sorry alright? I had no idea what was going on. If I had.. Well, I would have never come up with this stupid plan for sure. I didn‟t.. I couldn‟t..” Allo sighed, seeing the worried look on her face. “It‟s alright Corin.. I didn‟t know either, what‟s done is done.” “Urgh, I just can‟t believe she got us like that.. So. What happens next?”
  40. 40. “We get married of course.” “YEAH, we‟ll show her what for, we‟ll KICK HER ARSE, we‟ll- Huh? What did you just say?” “That we get married.” he replied matter-of-factly. “We are engaged after all.” “But.. We were tricked!” “So?”
  41. 41. Slowly, he took her hands. “I meant what I said. I‟m looking forward to it. And trust me, I know what a bad start to an engagement feels like and this is not it. This is.. It feels a lot more.. Right.”
  42. 42. “Really?” Allo nodded. “Yeah, I think so. Okay she did get us, but I‟m willing to admit that maybe, just this once, and never ever again, but – Gin might have got it right. Does this feel wrong to you?” “We-ell.. No.” she smiled nervously. “In fact I‟ve been wanting to ask you something. Allo you‟re not that intolerable, and I‟ve never, erm, well I haven‟t ever.. And I think that I..” “ Ohoho, look at the feisty girl getting all shy!”
  43. 43. “Shut up.” Corin snapped. “So what is it you were wanting?” “Never you mind!” “No - go on, do tell o fiancée of mine..” “It‟s just..”
  44. 44. “I think I kind of love you, Allozyme.” “I was hoping you would say that.” “Except I think that I might love you more if you stopped wearing that goat-awful lycra catsuit. It doesn‟t half smell.” “..Ah.” ----
  45. 45. “Hmm.. I‟m sure this used to be much easier when I was younger. I don‟t even know how to start!”
  46. 46. “OOOOOW, I‟m goin‟ ta win again!” screed Cadence excitedly, as she watched Gadus faff around with the llama sticks. “Don‟t be so hasty, I had plenty of practice in my teen years while my parents took Ara to her business, hang on..” Gingerly he placed his stick onto the llama‟s back, and Cadence looked on forlornly as the stack stayed still. “Ow well, you ain‟t gonna last anuvver round! In fact I‟m so roight good as this game, I am, that I fink I should well be crowned queen of-
  47. 47. ..Puddlebottoms.” “Oh dear, never mind love.” Gadus said kindly and the stack crashed all over the table.. “Let‟s go and do something else, shall we?” “Fine! I didn‟ loike this game anyways.” she agreed sulkily.
  48. 48. “You know, it‟s been so wonderful getting to spend these night with just the two of us, Cadence.” “Ooow, I know pumpin‟ toes! Innit jus‟?” “Exactly.” he smiled. “And I just wanted to say thank you for rescuing me back there, I don‟t know what I would have done if you hadn‟t thought of this!”
  49. 49. “We‟d „ave found a way, we would „ave. But ooow, this is roight pre‟ty this is! It does not smell loike the oven, but it is still very noice. I well loves you, I do!”
  50. 50. “So what shall wes do now?” “Oh, I can think of a few ideas..” “You is meanin‟..?” Cadence‟s face lit up in delight. Gadus nodded. “YAAAAAAY, I love playin‟ guess the cheese I do!”
  51. 51. Not long before dawn, Cadence found her husband looking rather mournful. “‟Ere, where „as you been poppet? The sun will be up soon and you ain‟t even in your jim- jams ready for bed!” he asked as she gave him a big cuddle. “Yous don‟ wanna be gettin‟ all toasted!” But rather than returning her toothy grin, Gadus sighed and pulled himself away.
  52. 52. “Cadence..” “Honeyshoes?” “You know I can‟t stay like this.” “Bu-” “We agreed, love. Just for the party. I‟ve already stayed this way for days longer than I intended. And don‟t look like that, you knew this was never going to be permanent. We decided this is the way things need to be.”
  53. 53. “I knows, bu‟... Ooow, pookie! Tha‟ don‟ mean I have ta loike it!” “Be brave.” he said solemnly, and brought out a bottle of Vamprocillin. “You promised me. And you know that I don‟t like this either, I would stay if I could. But I can‟t Cadence, I am an heir and that is just the way things are.” Slowly, Gadus drained the bottle.
  54. 54. The changes quickly started to take hold, and lifted his body into the air. “I can‟t watch this..” Cadence whispered, and turned to walk away.
  55. 55. “I knows I promised.. But I don‟ knows if I can lose anyone else.”
  56. 56. Once the last of the vampirism had drained away, Gadus clutched at his head in pain. “I don‟t remember it hurting that much before!” he gasped. “But then I‟d never let it stick for more than a few minutes in the past.. Oh, I hope I did this right thing! Cadence, I really am sorry.. Cadence? Where have you gone?”
  57. 57. He found her standing outside their bedroom door, looking more than a little worse for wear. “It‟s okay,” he said gently, “it‟s just me, I‟m back.” “You is all warm again..” “I know.” “I‟m sorry for gettin‟ all upset muffin, it was roight silly of me it was. It‟s jus‟..” “It‟s not silly, it‟s normal.” “Jus‟ I wish there was more toime to say goodbye to everyone, I wish there was. There‟s never enough toime.” she sighed.
  58. 58. “That‟s is!” said Gadus suddenly. “Wha‟s it?” “More time to say goodbye! All this skirting around it and pretending it‟s not happening is getting us all nowhere, other than sad before we need to be!” “I don‟ understan‟‟..” said a still dazed Cadence. “It‟s a Saturday, right? I‟ll get Little V and the kids, oh there‟s just so much to do! You‟re a genius Cadence!” he cried, kissing her on the head. “Now go to sleep, I‟ll come get you this evening.” ----
  59. 59. “Now this is more like it. You‟re doing wonderfully guys, keep it up! This place is looking brilliant.” he cried to his workers, busily scrabbling around the Strangetown Hall.
  60. 60. “It‟d better be!” Pipi called back from the stage, where she and Hallie were arranging banners and balloons. Vesper just wobbled a bit with her tray, trying desperately to keep this set of champagne flutes in one piece! ..Unlike the last six sets. But it wasn‟t her fault she thought, the gently clinking kept making her think about butterfly wings. “And how are my boys doing?” Gadus called to the side of the room.
  61. 61. “There‟s an awful lot of these, Dad..” Vox said warily, eyeing the piles in front of him. “Do you really need them all hung up?” “Oh, do be a-coming along Love-Father!” said Myotis happily, as he placed the first of the portraits on the wall. “There is lots to do and we cannot be a-wasting time just looking at things and a-waiting for them to hang themselves up.”
  62. 62. “TESTING! TESTING! 1-2-3!” shouted Hallie. “VOX IS AN IDIOT AND IS LETTING HIS CHILDREN OUTSHINE HIM IN PRODUCTIVENESS!!” “It appears that the P.A. is a-working, Grandfather!” But both girls‟ attentions were quickly drawn to the picture that Vox had just picked out of the pile. “Oh Love-Father!” Pipi gasped, “what have you found?”
  63. 63. “Is that really you, Granddad?” Vesper asked in awe as she watched her Father attempt to straighten the portrait. “I think it is Vesps. Terrifyingly it appears he actually was young once..” “But you don‟t have your scar or anything! You look like.. Our age!”
  64. 64. “Well I was once!” “Oh come on, no you weren‟t! You were never a teenager Granddad, you‟re way too old.” Vesper laughed as a rather put-out Gadus came to join them. “I‟m with her on this one I‟m afraid Dad.” Vox smiled. “Oh just.. Stop it you two!” Gadus shook his head as the pair dissolved into a pile giggles. “I was a fine teenager thank you very much..”
  65. 65. “Yes, alright, let us all just be accepting that Grandfather was a-indeed once like us and be a-getting back to work!” Pipi shouted from the stage. “Stop laughing Love-Father and Sister-Vesper, there is much more to be a-doing. And if we keep getting a-distracted then-”
  66. 66. “Look what I have a-found!” My called from across the room. “Night-Grandmother and Grandfather‟s wedding! It is most a-lovely actually, COME SEE.”
  67. 67. “Now this I have to see!” grinned Vox, and set off towards his son. “Coming Fairy Princess?” “Nah, I think Pipi‟s probably right, actually she always is. There‟s loads to do and I‟m still not sure if I‟ve got these tables arranged quite right..” said Vesper, who had snapped back into her own world of perfectly positioned posies. “Okay then sweetie, just try not to fall over any of the chairs again. I‟d rather you lost your train of thought than your leg, mmk?”
  68. 68. “Just be a-looking at it!” said My dramatically, waving his arms for full affect. “Why have I never seen this..” Vox mused quietly. “That‟s our old garden, and there‟s Grammy Meni and.. I‟ve never thought about this before actually. It looks sort of fun.” “Oh yeah, like you‟re thinking about marriage!” tutted Hallie as she came down to have a look. But before she had a chance she caught something out of the corner of her eye. “WHOA Dad! What on earth is THAT?!”
  69. 69. “What? It‟s my party! I can have a lifesized picture if I want one..” ----
  70. 70. That evening the residents of Strangetown, young and old, gathered at the now decorated hall for the festivities. Old friends exchanged pleasantries and reaffirmed long standing friendships.
  71. 71. While others greeted each other for the first time as new faces stood out from the crowd.
  72. 72. Gadus watched the buzzing atmosphere and smiled. “Ooow, you „ave done roight well you „ave mumpkin chops!” Cadence gave him a squeeze as she found him on the side of the room. “NOW I is seein‟ wot you was meanin‟.” “Thanks. They all look happy, don‟t they?” “Of course, oo couldn‟t be? Now come on, I fink we‟re about to start!”
  73. 73. A well timed glass chink sounded just as the couple took their seats, and the rest of the party did likewise and turned to the stage.
  74. 74. “Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, Shrews and Shrewettes. Welcome, welcome indeed.”
  75. 75. “My name is Root, and I shall be your Shrew-pare for the duration of the evening – so please, feel free to toss some caterpillars on cocktails sticks on the stage at any time! But as I‟m sure you all know we have Gadus to thank for putting tonight together so quickly, for which I am eternally grateful for – I don‟t know about you guys, but I couldn‟t bear to let things go without having one last Shrew-step with you all!” Cheers from the Turner tables seemed to heavily support this remark.
  76. 76. “So that is what we are all here for – one more time to be together as a family, and more importantly as friends, and celebrate the last.. Shrew, I don‟t even want to think how long it‟s been!”
  77. 77. “But to get things started, I would like to invite my big sister to the stage. Vole – if you please?”
  78. 78. A cheer echoed around the room as the elderly Shrewette strode towards the stage, her confidence shining just as brightly as it ever had.
  79. 79. “Thanks Root.” She grinned, and took a microphone. “Wow.. Just look how many of us there are now! I remember when we could have all fitted around just one of those tables, you know. But I don‟t want to sound oooold, it‟s awesome that our family has grown so! Who knew my cousins would be so fertile?”
  80. 80. “I still find it funny that we‟re so past it now guys, in my mind you‟re still that bunch of stubborn children I could never get to play nicely with each other! You were the worst Gadus, the way you moaned when I kept poking you to go and let Norris join in. Thankfully you all listened to reason in the end! I‟m still so proud of you all for that. How you all let me boss you around and then still opened your hearts to our lost little wolf.. I could have asked for better comrades in arms.”
  81. 81. “And I couldn‟t have asked for better dance partners!” Rutilus butted in, to laughs from the crowd. “Nah, she‟s right though. I still won‟t forget that look you used to give me when I was ever out of line Voley-o.. Not that I ever was!” he added hastily.
  82. 82. “Nah, of course you weren‟t.” Vole said kindly, and gave her brother a squeeze. “But of course if you ever were, you know I‟d be on you in a flash. No matter what life we‟re in, after or not!” And with that, she happily trotted down the steps and back into the welcoming smiles of her children and grandchild.
  83. 83. “Ahh, big sisters. Where would we be without them? Well, probably actually able to get into the bathroom for once! But speaking of these blessings in disguise – Ara! Ara, you‟re needed up here!”
  84. 84. To a round of applause, the eldest of the fifth generation Tegenaria rose from her seat and smiled. It was the same big grin she‟d grinned her whole life, and just because there wasn‟t much of it left did not mean she felt she had to stop now.
  85. 85. As she reached the centre of the platform, Root respectfully nodded and stepped back – clapping with the rest of the room. As Ara stepped forward, the room fell into a dignified silence.
  86. 86. “As many of you know, I have already lost my husband to the march of time but before I say anything else I would just like to point out that Goopy would have been thrilled with the dresses several of you are wearing – you are all looking beautiful.”
  87. 87. “It‟s been a funny old life, hasn‟t it?” she smiled. “Though I am more than thankful at how long it has been, and although I cannot remember anything about the day in question – Uncle Allo; thank you yet again and always for what you did. If it wasn‟t for you I wouldn‟t be here and I am still just as grateful as I ever was.”
  88. 88. “What did you do?” Corin hissed over the table. “You never told me you were a hero!” “I‟ll tell you about it sometime if you want.” He smiled. “But it‟s not important anymore. Now shh!”
  89. 89. “I guess I should also thank you all, yes all of you, for supporting my work. I‟m still amazed that the store my parents bought me when I was no older than my grandson is still going just as strong as it ever was! And that I was able to open my own crafts shop to sell my own work, and also my gallery. Being able to share my passions with you all has never stopped making me feel just as happy as it did when I first opened Ara‟s Aesthetics! So thank you, and just because I‟m gone doesn‟t mean you need to stop visiting!” she winked.
  90. 90. “Carrie; you scared the bejeebers out of me when Goopy first brought me to your home but joining The Watch is one of the best things I ever did, and I‟m really glad you did what you did! Not only have I had so many fantastic years being able to help our family stay safe – but without it I would never have met my wonderful husband and had my three beautiful boys. And little brother! Little brother, little brother.. Now what is that I can possibly say about you?”
  91. 91. “That‟s you‟re sorry you always used my mudpies as part of you pottery craze?” “Well that. Sorry I stole your piles of mud. And as I‟ve told you time and time again; you already know how proud I am of you, and how proud Mum and Dad and our Grandparents would be of you too if they could see how far you‟ve come and what you‟ve done for your family. So I‟ll say it again – well done my little brother the heir!”
  92. 92. “Well done for my big sister the artist and entrepreneur!” Gadus cried, and flung his arms around her as Ara came back down to the floor. “I love you..” he whispered in her ear. “Right back at you Gadus, always.”
  93. 93. “Now I think we should all go and buy one of Ara‟s nice big pots on the way home in return, alright everyone?” came a cry from the stage. “Fred, I didn‟t call you yet..” “So? Now go and be a good little Shrew and fetch me another drink. Hello-oo Strangetown!”
  94. 94. “I don‟t think I can say much more than what the girls have already said, other than- GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY DAUGHTER SIDNEYIA TEGENARIA! Don‟t think I can‟t see what you‟re doing from up here, young man. Really..”
  95. 95. “You guys have been the best friends I could ever ask for though, and you still make me laugh every day. And Wes; you‟re a funny little thing but I‟m so glad to see you haven‟t outgrown it! Oh, Pipistrelle? Well done sweetie, it‟s good to hear it‟s a green gal who‟ll be leading us onwards. And ever upwards!”
  96. 96. “GOODNIGHT!”
  97. 97. “Is your Mother okay?” Sid asked as Fred wobbled back to her seat with thunderous applause. “Oh yes, she just likes a good open bar.” Amy grinned.
  98. 98. “Um, okay.. Thanks for that Fred. Very inspiring. Our next guests to the stage are three very important people, to all of us. Without them life in Strangetown would be a far less Shrewtastic and safe place to live – but we owe them more than that. So please, put your tales in the air like you just don‟t care for my relatives and yours; Meloti, Arvicanthis and Allozyme!”
  99. 99. “Well that was a rather overzealous introduction..” “What? I think it was the most Shrewtastic thing I ever heard!” “You would.” “Next to the new recipe for snail stroganoff of course.” “Ahem.” “Oh, sorry..”
  100. 100. “Yes, thank you. So – it has come to us to say something about our children.” Meloti said, turning back to the crowd. “Well, what can one say in a situation like this? Time barely seems to have passed since Arvi and I sat on Gin‟s couch and made the decision to remain immortal and yet.. so much of it has. We knew what we were undertaking that day, but the realities seemed so far away. But now we have not only had to watch our little sister grow old and die, but witness time slip past our children also. While we remain young.”
  101. 101. “It was never going to be an easy day, but being able to watch everything you have done with your lives has been a gift and one which no sorrow will be able to erase. Ever. Even as we will inevitably watch our Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren succumb as well, nothing will ever take away the memories of your shining faces, and how proud we are of you – our children.”
  102. 102. “You‟re so totally Shrewtastic, and I love you both more than hazelnut and hedgehog hot- pot and always always will! Even if you have to go away.. You‟ll still always be my little Shrewlets.”
  103. 103. As his brothers returned to eagerly embrace their children, Allozyme took the floor. It was a while before he chose to say anything, instead just looked rather sadly towards one figure in particular.
  104. 104. Eventually, he began. “Unlike these two, I never intended to be here. Not that I am not glad, because if it were not for what happened I would never have been able to spend nearly as much of the time I have been since allowed with you, Norris.
  105. 105. As for what got us in this mess in the first place – I would like to apologise. To you, my son, for everything that you had to go through. If I had been there I swear to you I would have stopped it, and never let any harm come to you, but.. If things had not been, then I would never have had you at all. And for all the hell, I do not regret. Because I have you.”
  106. 106. The zombie quickly turned and smiled as he heard some footsteps beside him. “Neither do I.” nodded Norris.
  107. 107. “Knowing what I do now, it was worth it. All of it.” he continued. “And I would gladly take it all again, just so long as I‟d still have you as my Father at the end.”
  108. 108. “I would never have chosen my life,” he continued, turning to the crowd, “but I wouldn‟t change it. Not when it has meant that I have had the privilege of forming such close bonds with such wonderful friends through the pain. Not when suffering has led me to the love of my life, the mother of my children, and my best friend.”
  109. 109. “Not when it has all taught me to never take anything for granted.” Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes. “I have lived a life few would want, but it was mine and I am not going to stand up here and say I regret that. Because I don‟t. Because I have you. All of you. And that was always worth fighting for.”
  110. 110. “We feel the same about you.” “YEAH!”
  111. 111. Evil Susan exploded onto the stage. “You rock, Dad.” “I can‟t think of one of us who doesn‟t.” Norris beamed. And arm in arm the trio headed back to the throng below.
  112. 112. “Oh my shrewness, this is all getting a bit much!” Root said as Norris was being warmly greeted back as his table. “But don‟t worry good Shrews and Shrewettes, you need only hold out on your hankies for one more speaker. I would introduce him – but I think I really don‟t need to. So it is my pleasure to leave you in the capable hands of my best friend.” the Shrew beamed.
  113. 113. “Do I have to?” “Yes you bloody well do, chicken! We‟re all „ere because of yous anyway.” Cautiously, Gadus shuffled up to the stage.
  114. 114. “Hi everyone. I.. I‟ve never been a fan of speeches, but I really am so happy that you were able to join me tonight, on such short notice. It‟s really really great, so thank you. And er, I will make this quick because I can see that things are getting rather interesting on Fred and Billy‟s table - so thank you.”
  115. 115. “Not just for tonight but for everything that has happened over my lifetime. As I‟m sure Little V can confirm, being an heir is very much not a one person job – no matter who holds the title! And I‟m sure when she‟s older Pipi will agree to that as well, that we aren‟t anything without our wonderful friends and family.”
  116. 116. “Oh, and it‟s always quite handy to have a vampire bride there with you.” He winked.
  117. 117. “So that‟s it! I won‟t keep you any longer. Go! Drink, dance, eat some canapés. And I‟ll see you all later!”
  118. 118. The group didn‟t need to be told twice! Some took to the dance-floor, others to the bar, and a few just to each other.
  119. 119. Some turned their attention to the many portraits on the wall, and for the first time caught a glimpse of a life before they existed, or that they had almost forgotten. True that meant to results ranged from tears to guffaws, but there were plenty of tissues floating around so it was all alright in the end.
  120. 120. “I can‟t believe this is really it Dad.. You sure you can‟t make a deal with Grandfather or something?” Norris smiled and shook his head. “That would be down to your Mother, and trust us we‟re both ready for the next adventure as it were.” “Pfft, but no one asked me if I was! I‟m Evil Susan, and my opinion matters..” “Of course it does, but- oh hang on a minute, it‟s that time of night again..”
  121. 121. “HaHA! I still love it when you do that..”
  122. 122. Shaking off the transformation, Norris turned back to his daughter, not noticing the stomping figure behind him. “Now, where were we?” Unfortunately, the stomping figure wasn‟t noticing much either.
  123. 123. “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWW!” The howl echoed around the walls, and before he knew what he was doing Norris‟ wolfish instincts took over.
  124. 124. “Oh no! Oh Ivan, I am so sorry.. Don‟t worry, it‟s fixable, it‟s fixable..” he panicked and Norris saw the result of his over-hasty bite. “It was an accident, it was so near the change, I wasn‟t quite thinking straight yet.. Forgive me Ivan!”
  125. 125. But the teenager was already staring at his new skin and grinning to himself. “Hehehe... Bite.. You!”
  126. 126. “Sid I am so sorry..” Norris carried on apologising as Ivan‟s father came over to see what was going on. “Your son! Forgive me, it was a complete accident. Being a wolf, things sometime‟s get a bit..” But Sid was smiling. “You‟re not half as furious as I thought you would be, you know.” Norris said more confidently. “Well – does he look upset about it to you?” “Um..”
  127. 127. “If Ivan’s happy, I’m happy. And it is certainly a very interesting occurrence.. Norris, I wonder if you wouldn’t mind also..?” “No.” “Pity.”
  128. 128. “HEY!” A sudden cry made everyone tear their eyes of the newly wolfed Ivan and look around. “Don‟t we have a wedding to attend to?”
  129. 129. “Very true. Coming best man?” Allo smiled. “Wouldn‟t miss it.” Norris nodded, and took his father‟s arm.
  130. 130. It was impossible to get the entire Tegenaria clan seated, but those who were still paying attention once again took their seats and turned their eyes to the small party on the stage.
  131. 131. “See, this was a good idea after all.” “Alright – you were right. And Allo?” “Corin?” “Well done on the suit. Really. Makes a world of difference.”
  132. 132. The rest of the evening was spent in high spirits. There was never a shortage of hugs.. General merry making.. More hugs.. Really, have I mentioned the hugs? But as always, it couldn‟t last forever.
  133. 133. “That was one heck of a night Dad, well done!” “Indeed it a-was!” “Well done poppet, you „as made me right proud you „as!”
  134. 134. “Thanks guys, I‟m glad you enjoyed it much as I did. But now.” “Now we all carry on the dancin‟?” Hallie asked eagerly. “Not quite sweetie.” Gadus smiled sadly.
  135. 135. “I think there‟s someone here expecting me.”
  136. 136. “You waited.” “IT SEEMED ONLY FAIR.” “Thanks. I really appreciate that you know.” “I THOUGHT YOU WOULD. AND YOU AND YOURS HAVE DONE RATHER A LOT FOR ME, SO I THOUGHT I MAY AS WELL LET YOU HAVE YOUR FUN. BUT THAT IS OVER NOW. ARE YOU READY?”
  137. 137. “Yes. I am ready.” ----
  138. 138. The Reaper‟s scythe sounded many times over the next few nights in Strangetown.
  139. 139. But as the souls departed this world,
  140. 140. They did so with a certain smile about them.
  141. 141. Knowing that those left behind would be alright. For now.
  142. 142. “It isn‟t fair! All of them, all of them gone at the same time! I should have stopped it, I should have done something. I can‟t stand it. I CAN‟T STAND IT.”
  143. 143. “Be quiet.” “How can I be? They‟re dead, all of them DEEEEEEEEEAD!”
  144. 144. “I said BE QUIET.” The wailing abruptly stopped.
  145. 145. “I know you‟re sad, but this ridiculous noise has to stop. You did what you had to.” “No I didn‟t, I should have stopped it.. It‟s my JOB to stop it!” “No it‟s not! You‟re just being selfish with this crying and you need to pull yourself together.” “I‟m not, I‟m..” “Yes you are Gin.”
  146. 146. “Do you really think you are suffering most?” ----
  147. 147. This is the first time I‟ve lost a big group of Sims, previously it‟s just been the heir and spouse so this was a new, and albeit rather sad, experience for me. But it‟s all in the name of progress! Though I‟ve had these guys since January „08 so I really am feeling the hole, sniff.. So I thought they deserved a proper send off! So I‟ve popped down the traditional aww-you‟re-dead things here as they wouldn‟t have fitted earlier. I had to take new pictures as, because they‟ve been around so long, everyone‟s gone through numerous settings, defaults and even a computer change so things are looking a little squiffy. So everyone wave good bye to the my Generation Five, *waaaaaaves*
  148. 148. Gadus Tegenaria – Generation Five heir Lived 79 days Sagittarius – 2 3 9 8 5 Romance/Family – LTW: Become Hall of Famer DONE eventually.. Spouse: Contessa Cadence Vijayakar (aka The Lady Cecily Urswick) Children: Sidneyia, Vauxia, Marella, Hallucigenia Grandchildren: Pipistrelle, Myotis, Vesper, Ivan, Lacey, Adrastea, Callisto, Themisto Oh my sweet little darling, what do I say.. You were probably the most useless Romance Sim in the history of forever, until we sorted all that out with Cadence, but I was despairing for quite a while as I‟d chosen you for your aspiration.. But you totally proved in the end that I got it right! You were so accommodating with everything that I actually burst out into tears bonking you on the head, you really didn‟t deserve that! So er, sorry about that whole thing.. And the not letting you watch your older children grow up was um, rather mean too, but then Hallie came along and it was all okay! So thanks Gadus, for being an incredibly good and lovingly little patient heir 
  149. 149. Ara Tegenaria/Gilscarbo Lived 81 Days Sagittarius – 2 3 10 7 10 Fortune – LTW: Earn $100,00 DONE Spouse: Goopy Gilscarbo Children: Becks, J.D., Jura Grandchildren: Vegas Yay my little artist! I loved getting you explore all that with you – all the FT stuff and actually being able to successfully run some businesses. You made the most awesome faces, and I‟ll never forget the look on your face when Saeva died, oh my.. You represented Menidia‟s line brilliantly in The Watch, and oddly enough you were rather pivotal in Allo and Norris‟s lives without meaning it which was rather cool. So thanks for helping out with that! And just for being nice. So very nice.
  150. 150. Norris Tegenaira/Bauchman/Agelenidae/who knows Lived 80 days Pisces – 7 1 10 2 8 Popularity/Family – LTW: Become Mayor DONE Spouse: Nihm Agelenidae Children: Ysabelle, Evil Susan Grandchildren: Nimue, Tempe, Nicholas, Moses, Alonso I debated SO HARD whether to make you immortal or not, but in the end decided you‟d be much better off getting to die happy after everything that happened to you. I‟m so sorry! I didn‟t know how bad things were going to get with Lisa, I really didn‟t, but you were just so incredibly awesome and beat off everything because you‟re Norris and you‟re great and I can‟t really believe that you‟re gone now.. You brought Evil Susan into the world, something we‟re still not sure whether to curse or praise you for. But you got the happy ending with ALL of your family, just like you always deserved and I‟m so so glad you did. Saying I‟m going to miss you is WAY an understatement.
  151. 151. Nihm Agelenidae Lived 75 days Libra – 2 7 5 9 7 Popularity – LTW: Become Captain Hero DONE Spouse: Norris Tegenaria Children: Ysabelle, Evil Susan Grandchildren: Nimue, Tempe, Nicholas, Moses, Alonso Okay so you‟re technically Gen4, but so what! True you were born as a way to tie many things together and as someone for Norris to love, but I was surprised by just how quickly you became more than just that for me – you were super awesome fun to have around! Yes I should have spelt your name Nimh to make my chapter title truly work, but as a kid I‟d always pronounced it Neehm rather than Nim so ner! You also brought back Atrica‟s eyes into the gene pool which makes me way happy, and they now survive on to Gen7! Plus gave ES come cool lineage I can work with. And you made Norris happy. And me happy. And kicked ass along the way!
  152. 152. Vole Turner Lived 82 days Aries – 6 10 6 2 8 Family/Pleasure – LTW: Become Education Minister DONE Spouse: Darren Hanby, downtown DJ Children: Jimmy Shrew, Bracken, Bramble Grandchildren: Hedge-Berry My Family Crusader! You helped me out loads Vole, not only was it you who introduced Norris to everyone and dragged him screaming into the world of his family, but you also were the one to overthrow Lisa‟s hold on the education system of Strangetown for The Watch. Couldn‟t have done it without you! And you‟ve build up a nice little empire for the Shrews, even if you confused your Dad by not always snacking on slug sarnies. Hurray!
  153. 153. Rutilus “Root” Turner Lived 81 days Leo 8 10 4 4 9 Pleasure – LTW: Become Celebrity Chef DONE Spouse: Sandy Davidson, dormie Children: Sorex Grandchildren: Cinereus I no longer know what my life would be without my Pleasure Shrews. Probably very empty! Root you certainly lived up to your title and have continued to spread the Shrew‟s traditional love of music and dance down through the generations. Your teen antics with Gadus always made me laugh so much, and it was great to be able to see that you were still BFFFFFFFS right up until you died. You have made Arvi and me ever so proud *bows*
  154. 154. Winifred “Fred” Tegenaria Lived 82 days Gemini – 6 9 10 2 8 Popularity/Pleasure – LTW: Become Mayor DONE Spouse: Billy Vetinari Children: Metis, Amalthea Grandchildren: Io, Europa, Adrastea, Callisto, Themisto Fred! My first alien EVER! Gosh I like you.. The oldest of the Generation you were often the most outspoken, and because of that started the chain of events that led to Allo‟s reunion with his son. And thusly quickly decided the role of mayor was much better left to Norris, so you could spend much more time at home have rather odd dates with Billy.. You let me build you a giant green castle to live in which was awesome, and your family was one of my favourites to play in the rotation. Thank you for just being so darn FUN!
  155. 155. Wesley Tegenaria Lived 76 days Aquarius 5 8 6 8 8 Fortune: Earn $100,00 DONE Spouse: Kitty Leong, dormie Children: Quentin, Gwendolyne Grandchildren: Dru, Isla, Polgara Ah Wes, the often forgotten member of Gen5. Sorry about that, but you were just so happy being low key and plugging away at your LTW that you just wasn‟t as much of a socialite as your cousins. Even if I wasn‟t as connected with you as I was to them, your children and grandchildren have made your house my favourite non-main line household to play. So as interested as you were in your heritage, you‟ve really brought some great characters to your future.
  156. 156. And check out who got married! Allo has been bugging me for literally years to get remarried, and Corin‟s seemed a good fit for him for quite some time now – I just had to wait for the timing to be right. Some of you remembered who she is from my stint in the RR, and even if not that from her looks her parentage is quite obvious, hehe. But they‟re both very happy, much as they deny it. She even got him to GET DRESSED. Allozyme Tegenaria Gemini – 5 9 9 3 1 Family – LTW: Become Captain Hero Corin Tastic/Tegenaria Scorpio - 9 8 8 7 1 Family – LTW: Have six Grandchildren (um..) And that really is it now! This is Gin, who will always love her Fifth Generation and ALL her Sims! 

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