The multiverse, a very curious place indeed. Not very much is known about it altogether. It is knownthat the multiverse consists of many universes – a potentially infinite amount. Each universe exists asits own unit, and it can be more or less connected to other universes.One interesting fact about the multiverse is that duplicates are entirely possible, even likely. Someuniverses closely resemble each other, and indeed go by the same name. For instance, it has beenfound that the multiverse contains an incredible amount of universes that go by the name”Pleasantview”. What is perhaps even more curious, is that in addition to universes, also theirinhabitants can exist more than once. Some characters indeed have multiple lives across differentparts of the multiverse, with different occupations, different lodgings, different families. It is suspectedthat new characters and new universes are brought into existence every second, merely by the powerof thought.Each universe lives by its own rules, which can differ vastly between universes. It also seems to bethe case that each universe has a Deity of some kind. (The names by which these Deities are calleddiffer from universe to universe: Creator, Simmer, Clicky-Person, Voice and Watcher are knownexamples. Some Deities seem to go by a unique name.) The Deities can be involved in their universe(or universes, as a single Deity may reign several universes) to different degrees, and for someDeities the extent of involvedness changes over time. It is suspected that what brings new universesand characters into life, is in fact, a thought of a Deity.
In fact, we know that this can happen. How do we know this? Well, it happens that one day, aparticular Sim Deity thought up a Seth Jaypalan.Please note the indefinite article: the Sim Deity thought up not the Seth Jaypalan, but a SethJaypalan. The Seth Jaypalan continued to exist in his original universe, Simfield, where he continuedto work as an actor and as a bodyguard to the current Mayor, and plot ways in which he could gaininfinite amounts of the elixir of life and remain eternally young.Now this Sim Deity in question perhaps should not have thought up a Seth Jaypalan. After all, it isrumored that the same Sim Deity, some years ago, thought up the Salahuddin Chamcha, whichincident has caused no small amount of trouble in a universe named Alphabetia.But, what was done was done, and a Seth Jaypalan existed.~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~Note to Sim Deities: The author of this story and the Sim Deity mentioned above would like to remindyou that any additional Seth Jaypalans or other potentially dangerous characters are the soleresponsibility of the Sim Deity who chooses to think them up. We accept no responsibility fordamage, real or imagined, to universes caused by dangerous characters.
It was perhaps fortunate that merely thinking up this particular Seth Jaypalan didnt cause him to existin a particular, established universe, it merely caused him to exist. If you will, he was caught up inbetween universes.What was somewhat less fortunate, was that this incarnation of Seth was bored.
Although this Seth Jaypalan was not currently part of any known (or unknown, for that matter)universe, he still had some capabilities. Such as, being able to summon certain objects at will, anduse them. He wanted a computer. Hey, if youre bored, the first option is surf the web, right?Seth was previously knowledgeable about Legacies, and to some degree, the multiverse. He wasaware that he was currently Nowhere, and that didnt exactly please him. So he got himself hookedup on the internet, and tried to find a solution to his problem.While doing that, he ended up reading some information – and some speculation – on the multiverse.He found it particularly interesting that there were some universes that were basically closed off fromthe rest of the multiverse, so that there were no characters shared between this universe and anyother universe. Well, more or less so. Seth briefly wondered why that was, but there didnt seem to bean answer available. So he set back to the task at hand: to get out of here.No one knows exactly what Seth managed to do, or rather, what he kind of, almost, somewhatmanaged to do, but he was eventually able to transport from Nowhere to Somewhere.And this is where our story begins.
It was a sunny and a perfectly ordinary day in a newly created universe that went by the nameStrangetown – a fairly common name in the multiverse for some reason. There, in the middle ofnowhere, stood a long abandoned warehouse. It had been empty for so long that no one alive evenremembered what it was that was stored there.On the outside, it seemed perfectly normal and no one could have possibly told that something ratherodd was currently going on inside.It all started with a rather loud...*CRACK*
Inside the warehouse, there were four sims, who had seemingly just appeared from thin air, at thesame time as the loud ”crack” was heard. They were laying on the floor in different slightly oddpositions, as if unconscious or possibly just knocked over.
Seth Jaypalan was the first to recover. He blinked and waited for the room to stop moving aroundhim, then pushed himself into a more upright position.”Ow, my head”, he muttered to himself, ”What WAS that?”
Seth was already on his feet when the three others only started to push themselves up from the floor.He immediately recognized one of them as a frequent companion of his, Rodney Jalowitz, the Mayorof Simfield. It was hard not to, given Rodneys favorite red sweater and his hair that he insisted tokeep shoulder length, despite his prestigious position.”What happened?” Rodney seemed to be muttering, rubbing his eyes.”Rodney, are you okay?” asked Seth.”Seth?” was all the reply he could get, so he took that as a yes. He looked at the other two sims, andwas surprised to find that although he hadnt met them in person, he in some sense knew both ofthem. There was a blond man in jeans and a black shirt, and a brunette lady in a slightly old-fashioned looking dress.
”Who the fucking dimwit thought INTERDIMENSIONAL TRANSFER would be a good idea?” askedthe blond man, hissing, as he pushed himself up fom the ground.Yep, that was definitely Cypress Vetinari, Seth thought to himself. Hed read about the man on theweb, and wasnt convinced he was happy to be in this place – wherever it was – with him. Sure, theguy was smart, but unfortunately also an extremely dangerous sociopath.Seth thought it smartest not to answer the question at this point, so he tried to look innocent anddirected his attention to the lady of the party instead.
”My goodness. Where am I? What am I wearing?”Yes, Seth was certain. The lady was no doubt Marielle Hutchins Legacy. And she had a point aboutthe clothes – Seth didnt know exactly where they were, but if her clothes, and those of all of theothers, were of any indication, it was somewhere modern.
”Seth?” Rodney asked again. ”Whatd you do?”Oh great, Rodney. So much for the plan of pretending he didnt have anything to do with thetransport. Thanks for your trust, thought Seth, half irritated, half amused.
”Im not sure”, replied Seth, quite truthfully actually. ”I remember being bored, sitting on the computer,and then... well, suddenly being here.”
By now all four sims had gathered themselves from the ground and looked at each other in slightdisbelief.”So, umm...” Seth started, but he was cut short by Cypress.
”Did I understand correctly”, he asked, ”that the reason for us being here is YOUR idiocy?” Hepointed his words at Seth.Seth pondered briefly on whether it would be wise to admit, then figured they, or he, would probablyfind out later anyway, so he might as well. He knew that knowingly angering someone like Cypresswouldnt be a smart move, but somehow he found that he wasnt afraid.”As I said, I cant be sure. I remember a brief period from before I was here, and I was looking for away to not be THERE, so it could have been me I suppose. I dont remember.””And who the hell are you anyway?” was the next question.
”Names Seth, Seth Jaypalan. And since I seem to be the only one who knows who everyone is”, heglanced at Cypress, couldnt help pointing that out, ”I suppose I should be the one to do theintroductions.”He paused. ”So yeah. Seth Jaypalan. Originally from Simfield. Actor, bodyguard.””Should that impress me?” asked Cypress to that.”Well if you were a normal person, maybe that would, but being you, maybe youll find the fact thatIve killed a bunch of simselves more interesting”, Seth snapped. He hadnt meant to say that, but hefound Cypress attitude more than a little irritating.”Ive done better but thats already better”, was the reply.
”This is Rodney, Rodney Jalowitz, also from Simfield. Hes the Mayor there. And if youre againinterested in some of his other achievements then...””Shut up, Seth”, said Rodney, irritated. ”Its enough that had to drag me along to whatever messyouve gotten into this time, I dont need you to convince some psycho guy Ive never seen in my lifethat Im evil enough for his taste or whatever.””Mayor, you say? Howd someone with that girly hair become Mayor?” mocked Cypress. Seth made amental note that this man apparently had some inborn ability to find weak spots.Rodney seemed to be steaming with fury, so before he could snap back, Seth answered for him:”Blackmail, actually, and some complicated plotting. And after youre Mayor, you can pretty much cutor not cut your hair any way you like, it seems. Anyway, the lady of the company...”
”Marielle Hutchins Legacy”, said the lady in question, making Seths intended introductionunnecessary, and confirming his recognition of her to be correct.”And what have you done, then?” asked Cypress from Marielle.”I beg you pardon?””Well surely if Im surrounded by two simself-killers and whatnot, and myself being as delightfully evilas I am, youve got to have some kind of interesting stuff on your account, come on!”Marielle gave Cypress a cold look. ”Excuse me sir, but certainly if you have committed heinouscrimes, that does not imply that I have done anything to deserve such foul company?”Seth looked at Cypress. ”Mistreated ex-husband and kids, was involved in a plot to kill said husbandsfather.””I see. Absolutely nothing, then. My apologies, miss”, Cypress smirked.
There was a moment of silence. Apparently everyone was still slightly confused from suddenly beingthrown into a strange warehouse. They couldnt but stare at each other, and Seth was reminded thathe and Rodney were the only ones who knew each other in advance. He briefly wondered how sucha crew could possibly have come together, but was cut short when Rodney broke the silence.”Okay, enough pleasantries”, he spat the word out, clearly remembering Cypress words about hishair, ”could someone now please explain what the hell is going on? What are we doing here? Whereis here anyway? And why on Earth”, he looked at Seth, ”did you do whatever you did, and why didyou have to drag us all along?”
”Okay okay, Ill try to explain what I can”, said Seth, resigned. ”I do think it was me, though I cant besure. Its like theres a memory thats been wiped off my head. What I can remember though, wasbeing in this weird place. It was white all around. There was nothing there, almost as if... as if theplace wasnt invented yet. That came to my mind somehow”, he shrugged at the others disbelief.”Well anyway, since I was alone there, and there wasnt exactly much to do there, I started wishing Iwas somewhere else. Somewhere a little more interesting. So, I wished I had a computer and aninternet connection. And then, I realized I did have those, although at first I had been sure the placewas empty, and...””Excuse me”, said Marielle, who had been wanting to speak for a moment. ”I do not wish to interrupt,but, I do not seem to understand. What is this computer you mention?””What kind of an idiot...” started Cypress, but Seth cut him short. ”Shut up, little mister sunshine, shecomes from the Victorian times.” To Marielle, he explained: ”Geez, I didnt even realize. From yourpoint of view, were now in the future, and lots of things that arent there in your home have beeninvented and are in common use. A computer is... a well, a device that can be used for a bunch ofstuff really, anyway I used it for finding some information.”Marielle looked like she was probably more rather than less confused, but Seth carried on.
”So yeah. I was looking for information on how to get out of there. I remember coming acrosssomething pretty interesting about how there are some universes that are basically closed off whilestill technically part of the multiverse. I thought itd be cool if I could get to one of those places, in asort of no-one-has-ever-done-this-before way. But I didnt find anything on that. Oddly enough”,continued, looking pensive, ”I do remember thinking about Rodney briefly, how it was odd that I wasin that place and he wasnt, and I did read a mention or two about you two”, he nodded towardsCypress and Marielle, ”in one context or another. Anyway, after that I dont really remember anything,I mean before ending up here obviously”, Seth finished.”And where exactly is here?” asked Rodney, not entirely satisfied with Seths account of the events.”Well, I dont really know”, Seth admitted. He glanced out of one of the windows. ”But seeing thatthere seems to be some desert outside, my best guess is that this could be some incarnation ofStrangetown.”
”What?!” yelled Cypress. ”You drag us from our respective universes to some place that might beStrangetown, dunno and this is all the explanation we get? I was bored so I thought maybe I shouldmess with different dimensions?”Seth wasnt surprised, and he supposed the rest of them werent exactly happy with him right now, sohe just let him rant.”And Strangetown, of all places, why the hell Strangetown? Some dried out, tiny place in the middleof the desert and a couple of aliens on top. What are we supposed to do here?””Well actually, Strangetown can be pretty interes...””Thats not the point!”
”Were stuck here, no, Im stuck here with some idiots from who knows where, especially some idiotwho thinks its a good idea to mess with time-space just because hes bored, where here turns outmaybe to be Strangetown where the only point of interest is whether Johnny Smith marries OpheliaNigmos this time or if her batshit crazy aunt manages to kill him first! This isnt even a Legacyneighborhood, dammit!”As he could finally get a word in edgewise, Seth started a bit impatiently.”Look, its not like I wouldve done this if Id know wed end up like this – not that I even rememberdoing anything”, he pointed out for the upteenth time he was sure, ”and if Id gotten to choose mycompany I surely wouldnt have chosen you. Now were not by any means keeping you, go aheadand go if thats...”But he was interrupted by, a little surprisingly, Rodney.
”Well actually”, Rodney started and pocketed a cell phone, which hed apparently been playing at,”Its of course true that if mr. Vetinari here”, he said in a bit of a cold tone, ”wants to leave, or reallyany of us, hes free to do so. I just checked in with the bank, and it seems the four of us are onehousehold, one that owns a quite substantial amount of money.””We... are wealthy?” asker Marielle, interested, and Rodney nodded.”We have no house to our name, but the money could easily buy us two. And seeing that if one of usmoves out, they only get the magical 20,000, I doubt anyone particularly wants to.”Seth was surprised, maybe even impressed. He hadnt expected that much practical sense fromRodney. Maybe his Mayor years had thought him something, after all. But Rodney wasnt done yet.”As for this place, whether its Strangetown or something else, not even being a Legacyneighborhood, how do you know that?” he asked. Cypress was about to say something, but Rodneywent on:”I know none of us can be the founder, I just told you we live together and also have all too muchmoney. But for all we know, someone else could be. Say, that guy over there”, he said and pointedbehind Marielle, towards one corner of the room.
They all turned to look towards the direction where Rodney had just pointed, and indeed, there wassomeone there, a man with black hair and clothes, somewhat younger-looking than them, possibly acollege student. Had he been there the whole time, or could he possibly have just appeared from thinair? Seth couldnt tell for sure.
”What? Legacy founder, who? That little geek with elf ears? Youve got to be kidding me.” Cypresswas back to his element. ”Since you like to show how you know everyone whether they have anymerit to be known by or not, then whos the kid?” he asked Seth, clearly expecting a shrug of theshoulders.”Interesting”, said Seth, staring at the younger man, who appeared to be unconscious. ”If Im notcompletely wrong, that seems to be Salahuddin Chamcha.”And before Cypress could manage with another snide remark, he continued:”Remember those closed off universes I mentioned earlier? Hes from one. Well there must be someconnection since hes been seen in a couple of universes, actually ours included. And I thinksomeone else from there has also been spotted, but his universe contains no one from the outside.””I take it hes not a very nice guy?” asked Rodney.”Whatever makes you think so?” asked Seth, feeling almost like himself, and continued: ”No, notexactly. Been trying to take down the local Legacy family for a pretty long time, currently in jail for akidnap and a couple of attempted murders and whatnot. The sentence could be longer, but there wasalso a lack of evidence.”
”I see”, said Cypress, ”Our party of three questionable gentlemen – and one lady”, he added,glancing mockingly at Marielle, ”has apparently gotten a new member.”He turned to look at Marielle. ”Well, woman, what are you waiting for? Go see whats the matter withthe guy! Maybe hes dead or something.”
”No I do not think I will”, was Marielles rather expected reply. ”Who do you think you are talking to? Iam the spouse to a well-respected and wealthy Legacy family, I will not be spoken to like that!””Well Im the spare of another one of those wealthy and whatever families of yours, so Im actuallyblood-related. So there. Go check on the guy.”Before this was developed into a full-blown argument, Seth stepped in.”Yeah yeah, we get it. Youre both too fancy to do anything practical apparently. By the way”, headded to Marielle, ”from what Ive heard, youre the ex-spouse of a Legacy family, and pretty muchexactly for that attitude of yours, and as for you”, he said to Cypress, ”there was a reason why youare a spare if I remember correctly. Now if youll excuse me Ill go see whats up with the new guy,and Rodney, if youll please search the warehouse and the yard in case you can say, find out forcertain where we are. And if you two could, I dunno, stand there and shut up and maybe, just maybestay out of each others throats for five minutes while we do the work then thatd be splendid.”
While Rodney went to inspect the premises, Seth bent over the unconscious man and shook himslightly.”Hey there, are you okay?””I... I think so... I must have hit my head...” the younger man mumbled and slowly tried to get up fromthe floor. ”What happened?” he asked.”We dont know exactly”, said Seth. ”We just ended up here somehow. Theres five of us, us”, hegestured towards Marielle and Cypress, ”and one guy who just went to check out where exactly weare.””I see.” The younger man slowly climbed up from the floor.
”So, Im Seth, Seth Jaypalan.””Salahuddin Chamcha”, said the younger man. ”Pleased to meet you.” Apparently Seth had againbeen correct in his assumption.”You too. Hey Salahuddin. Do you remember anything from... from before ending up here?”Salahuddin pondered for a while. ”No, I cannot say that I do.” He looked worried. ”I should remembersomething, should I not?”Seth furrowed his brow. ”You mean, you have no memories... at all?” This was surprising. Hed fullyexpected Salahuddin to say he had no idea how he ended up there with Seth, but now it seemed hemight have forgotten more.”No, I do not think so. I know that my name is Salahuddin Chamcha and that I am a student at thelocal college, but I am not even certain of how it is that I know these things. Should I be alarmed?”
”No, I dont think so. That sometimes happens when you transfer between universes.””Transfer between universes?” Salahuddin looked overwhelmed.”Yeah. We werent originally from here you know. None of us. You seriously dont rememberanything?”Salahuddin tried again to remind himself how he could possibly have ended up where he was, orindeed anything from before he did, but apparently he was unsuccesful.”No.””Oh. Well, maybe that isnt a bad thing. You can start a new life here, without any baggage.””I suppose so”, said Salahuddin, only now coming to think of it this way.
”Do you remember everything, then?” Salahuddin asked.”Our previous lives, yes, how we ended up here, no”, said Seth simply, not particularly wanting toelaborate on said previous lives. ”That part is a bit of a mystery.”Salahuddin nodded.”We were wondering”, started Seth before Salahuddin would come up with more questions, ”if youhappen to be some kind of a challenge sim? You know, a Legacy founder or something?”Salahuddins brow furrowed. ”Not that I am aware of anything such. Technically, I could be, is that notcorrect? I am, after all, the only member of my household and apparently a freshman in college. Is itpossible that I am involved in a challenge without being aware of it?””I suppose anythings possible”, Seth shrugged, ”but it doesnt feel very likely to me. I guess if youfeel like it, you could start a challenge, though.””I will have to think about that.”
Seth nodded. He figured that at this point, there wasnt much else to talk about, so he said: ”Okay,you do that. Hey listen, I think we oughta go. We dont have a place to be yet and dont want to spendmore time here than necessary, and I guess you should be heading to campus, too. Id offer you aride, but you know, we dont have a car, either.”Salahuddin nodded. ”Thank you, it is not necessary at all. I will be able to find a taxi”, he said.
Just as he was saying that, Rodney walked back in to the warehouse.”Well?” asked Cypress.Rodney gestured around him. ”This place is empty. Theres two more floors, one above and onebelow, and theres nothing in them except the same junk, a few boxes here and there. It doesnt seemthis place has been used for a long time.”
”And it seems Seth was correct, were in Strangetown. I went to check the situation out withbinoculars, and I could see the Smith house and in the distance something so odd that it couldntpossibly be anything else but the Curious brothers house. This place”, he gestured again, ”doesntbelong here but nothing else seems to be out of place.”
”Thanks, Rodney”, said Seth, turning to face the others. ”Now what was I saying?””You were saying that we are in the need of a house”, said Marielle, speaking for the first time for along time. Only now Seth realized Cypress hadnt been trying to interrupt, either. Maybe they foundthe kid interesting after all.”Yes, yes”, he said. ”The four of us do, anyway, I guess youll be given a dorm room”, he added toSalahuddin, and saw him nod by his side. ”We need a place, and I think we all agree this wont do. Aproper house.”
”I believe I could be of assistance in that”, stated Marielle.Cypress looked like he might have had something mean to say, but Seth prevented him by saying:”Great, lets see what we can do.” And he added to Salahuddin: ”Alright, first, lets get you a cab.”
What follows is a story based on the diaries of Salahuddin Chamcha, written while imprisoned forseveral crimes in Alphabetia. According to these diaries, these events occurred in a series of veryvivid dreams. Chamcha explains that it was as if the dream was always in his head only waiting tobegin, as every time he fell asleep, it continued from the point where he last woke up.
A complete account could not be written based solely on Chamchas diaries. A large amount ofdiaries was found in his cell, but its possible that he took part of the diaries with him upon leaving jail,and his writing is smudged in some parts. Therefore, this story is partly constructed based on thesediaries, and partly based on an interview with a Sim Deity who wishes to stay anonymous.The purpose of this story is to be an accurate account of Salahuddin Chamchas dream.
After his sudden appearence at the mysterious warehouse, Salahuddin Chamcha headed to LaFiesta Tech, and as the documents he had with him had said, he was indeed enrolled there as astudent. It was his first day as a freshman.Salahuddin found it somewhat odd that he did not remember having a past, or how he had come toStrangetown, but there wasnt really much he could do about that, so the best thing to do would be toenjoy college the best he could.Here Salahuddin Chamchas diary notes that the real Salahuddin, unlike the dream Salahuddin, hadno issues with his memory, he could remember his life perfectly well, and he had never been tocollege, La Fiesta Tech or otherwise. He notes that the feeling in his dream, of not having a past toworry about, was albeit odd, also strangely liberating. Perhaps it should have bothered him more thanit did, he writes.~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~Both the real Salahuddin and the dream Salahuddin are Aries (6/6/6/3/4) knowledge sims. The dreamSalahuddin wants to maximize seven skills.
The dream Salahuddin also found that he had indeed been assigned a dorm, called the CanyonCommons Dorms. As he stood outside the building, he couldnt but feel excited about his upcomingcollege years. There were so many things to learn, so many things he could achieve. And who knew,maybe he would enjoy spending time with his fellow students as well.
He was soon given his own room in the dorm. It wasnt much, just a bed, a desk and a computer – hewas told that he was quite lucky to have the computer – but it was his very own. At least for thecoming four years, of course.
Seeing that there was no class immediately, Salahuddin took some time to get to know hissurroundings. In one corner he found an easel and some painting equipment, and on a whim he triedpainting. Admittedly, he wasnt very good at it yet, but there was time to improve.
As he sat down at the chessboard, it wasnt long until he was joined by a girl who seemed to like pink,at least if you judged by her clothing.”Hi, you must be new here?” she started.”Yes, in fact I only moved in this morning”, Salahuddin admitted. ”Is it immediately obvious?””Well, not really, I just hadnt seen you before. Im Holly, by the way, Holly Ruscewiz. Who are you?””Salahuddin Chamcha”, Salahuddin introduced himself. ”It is a pleasure to meet you, Holly.””You too”, she smiled.
In the course of the next few hours, Salahuddin and Holly enjoyed a game of chess together andfound that they had some common interests. It was really nice to be here, where sims were openminded and willing to familiarize themselves with someone new. Salahuddin had a very goodimpression of the place so far.
After the chess game, Salahuddin decided to make a quick sandwich for lunch. He had heard thatthe cafeteria food was not perhaps the best quality; and besides, cooking himself was actually quitenice.
That very same day, Salahuddin also had his first lecture, alongside with Holly and a whole group ofothers. It was quite interesting, even though it was just general studies, since he and his fellowstudents hadnt yet declared a major.
That afternoon was spent getting to know some fellow students.
In the evening, Salahuddin decided to be brave and try the cafeteria food. And actually, even thatwasnt too bad, definitely not like the rumors said.
All in all, it was a rather pleasant first day on campus, Salahuddin concluded in the shower that night.It still felt somewhat confusing that he had no recollection of his earlier phases at all, but at least thisSeth, who seemed to know something about these things, said it was normal that this sometimeshappened. He had talked about something Salahuddin hadnt completely understood, somethingabout traveling between different dimensions. He wondered if Seth had been right, if he really hadcome from somewhere else entirely. He also wondered whether Seth actually knew something abouthis past or if it had been just a guess.Maybe he could try to find out all that at some later time, but as of right now, there was nothing hecould do except enjoy his current life the best he could.
Life quickly settled to its ways for Salahuddin. As he desired knowledge, it often meant groupresearch.
It also meant writing term papers. Plenty of Salahuddins fellow students found this part boring, butSalahuddin found he actually quite enjoyed it. Or in particular, he enjoyed finishing the paper.
Salahuddin decided that he should try to earn some money. He didnt have much to his name whenhe begun, but perhaps with a little effort he could make his life more comfortable. He had heard thatsomeone had quite successfully dug for treasure in Strangetown, so he decided to give it a try. So far,he had only found some rocks and bones, but to his surprise, he could earn a little bit of money alsowith those.
Often Salahuddin spent his free time at the chess board, and also quite often Holly would join him.”Oh, it is somewhat troublesome not to remember ones past”, he explained to his friend, ”but I havecome to the conclusion that the best thing that I can do, is to enjoy life as it comes. It is indeed verynice to have a peaceful life.”
Salahuddin was a young man with some goals, and quite soon he had determined what he wantedfrom college. He writes:I had decided to study mathematics as my major subject. It appealed to me as a topic, as it was bothchallenging and also seemed to be of great use in some quite interesting occupations, such asGaming, Architecture, Crime, Natural Science and Science. It was quite pleasant to have a directionin ones life.
One afternoon Salahuddin decided that he couldnt just spend all his college years locked in thedorm, and headed out to explore Strangetown a little bit. It would be good to know the town andmaybe some inhabitants, since he was going to live there after graduation. Salahuddin came acrossa community pool area, which seemed to be a nice and lively place.”Margaret, Margaret Howe”, a lady in a pink shirt introduced herself almost before he got there.”Salahuddin Chamcha, pleased to meet you.”
”... well, Ive been around here in Strangetown for a while, and I have to say this is one of the nicestplaces”, Margaret explained. They had been talking for quite some time, suddenly Salahuddin noticedit had gotten dark. ”Actually, you should also try the shops just around the block too, if you happen toneed anything.””Thank you, Margaret. I will keep that in mind.”
Salahuddin spent the whole evening at the community pool. He met many new sims, including a mannamed Johnson and an elegant lady who said her name was Bella.Apparently it wasnt just Margaret, but it rather seemed that the inhabitants of Strangetown weremostly rather friendly folk. Salahuddin was quite pleased by the thought of moving there after college.
Salahuddins first purchase with the feeble money he had been able to collect by selling the bonesand rocks he had dug up from the yard and the community pool area was a coffee machine. All thatstudying required caffeine if he was to keep up with it.
Occasionally hed tend to notice that not everyone on campus was as keen on studying as he was. Toeach their own, he supposed, although he couldnt really understand the pastimes of some students.
Salahuddin was indeed studying hard, both for college and otherwise. He took up many newpastimes, all of which tended to involve learning of some kind. For instance, he tried skipping rope, inthe hope that it would improve his physical skills. He was not terribly good at it at first, but perhapswith time he would improve.
”Hey, its okay if you want to work hard”, said Shelby Long, one of Salahuddins dorm-mates oneevening as they were having dinner, ”I totally get that, its the only chance at college that well everget. But you also have to remember that well, this is the only chance at college, the only chance atlife we get. I mean, you should also do some fun things, okay?”Salahuddin briefly considered whether Shelby was in fact correct about her statement on the onlychance of life they had, considering what he had heard from Seth – but after all, he still did notremember anything before finding himself in that warehouse, so perhaps she was right.”Yes, I see your purpose”, he said, ”Thank you for your kind concern, I think that I will follow youradvice.””Good”, said Shelby. ”You totally should.”
Salahuddin took Shelbys advice to heart, and after that, he could not only be seen studying, but alsomeeting new sims and anjoying his life.
He also remembered his discussion with Margaret, and went to visit the Strangetown shops she hadrecommended. He found that they had all kinds of products on offer, and in general the atmospherewas quite nice and cozy. He met several new someones, including Quinten McAuley, who quicklybecame a good friend. Salahuddin also found that he quite enjoyed a game called kicky bag, andwas quite talented in it, too.
Via his errands to the shops and his new interest in kicky bag, Salahuddin met many new sims. Hewas becoming quite friendly with some of them and found it relieving that he seemed to be fitting rightin to Strangetown. Perhaps he didnt have a past to remember, but his future certainly looked niceenough.
But despite his new activities, Salahuddin did not neglect to do his schoolwork, either, althoughperhaps he felt a little bit more relaxed about it now.And on such a positive note ended Salahuddins first semester in college. Salahuddin himself wascontent and perhaps slightly relieved to find himself on the Deans list; no one else in his dorm wasexactly surprised.
While Salahuddin was busy studying and enjoying his new life, there were other things going on inStrangetown proper. In particular, there was a rather impressive and apparently quite new mansionstanding on the outskirts of town, and currently there were four sims standing in front of it.
”I have to say, Marielle”, said Seth, eyeing what was about to become his new home, ”that youveoutdone yourself.””Yeah, this is impressive”, chimed in Rodney. It was even more of a compliment from him, seeing thatRodney had a rather expensive taste. Cypress was silent, apparently he didnt have anythingnegative to say, so he said nothing, thought Seth.”Why thank you”, said Marielle, ”I am quite pleased with it myself.””How did you find this?” asked Rodney, looking around him and clearly thinking of the fact that thehouse didnt exactly resamble the rest of Strangetown.”Well, I simply contacted the local office of a very competent real estate company named Lots andHouses Bin Ltd.* They have a rather amazing selection available, and very good service as well.Shall we go inside?”~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*This mansion is by a subcontractor named the Orikes Home Builders Association.
”... and this, I considered would be best utilized as my room”, Marielle continued the housetour.”Well no objections from me”, said Cypress, looking at the purple decor and the floral wallpaper. ”Ireally hope you picked something a little more masculine for me.””Not to worry, mr. Vetinari”, said Marrielle, and Seth could see that she was rolling her eyes whenCypress was behind her and didnt see her face, ”I have a very nice room for you.””But Im sure she doesnt mind if you want to borrow that lamp”, snickered Rodney, pointing towards apurple flower-shaped table lamp at the bedside.On one hand, Seth was glad Rodney was giving Cypress back what he deserved, on the other handhe wasnt sure whether that was wise.
”Well not too bad I guess”, was Cypress verdict on his own room. ”Thanks for not picking pinkbutterflies for the wallpaper or anything.”Marielle didnt say anything, probably a little weary of Cypress by now.
”Its pretty utilitarian, and theres space in case I need to have science equipment in here orsomething. Itll do.”That was probably the closest to a positive thing Cypress could have said, supposed Seth.
Finally they came to the last bedroom. Seth noted that it was the smallest of the three, andapparently he and Rodney would have to share.Rodney had apparently noticed the same. ”Hey, how come...””Its nice enough”, said Seth firmly. ”And its red. You like red, Rodney, dont you?”
Later on, when Marielle had retired to redo her hair, and Cypress had gone downstairs to see if therewere any walkbys to pester, Seth and Rodney were left alone in their new room.Rodney was relaxing on his bed. He glanced up at Seth and asked, slightly irritated: ”Whyd you letthat Cypress guy have the other room? I mean, hed fit here just fine, hes just one person, and if wehave to share then at least wed have more space.”
”You really dont know who he is, do you?” asked Seth in return.”Well obviously not, if hes from some other universe as you claim he is”, Rodney replied, stillsounding irritated.”Rodney look”, Seth sighed, ”I know it wouldve made sense to have the rooms the other wayaround, but... We might not be exactly nice guys ourselves, nor is Marielle really a delicate flower, butthat guy... We dont want to be on his bad side, trust me on this. Hes a murderous psycho, hasalready killed several members of his family and is planning on stopping the whole Legacy he wasonce part of by, well, killing the rest too, without as much as blinking an eye.””Howd you know that?””Well, as an actor, I have to keep up with the latest gossip and stuff. The internet. Thats how Ilearned about Legacies in the first place, remember?”Rodney nodded.
”So you say hes killed some family members?” asked Rodney.”Yeah, several. And used his reaper kid as a weapon of sorts.””Well to think of it, weve murdered a buildingful of simselves, plotted the death of your son and last Iremember from back home, we were keeping a guy unconscious to keep him pumping out elixir forus. So how exactly does this guy differ from us?””Yeah, sure, weve done our part”, said Seth. ”And Marielle has been involved in murder plots andwhatnot, Im not saying were innocent or anything like that. But there is one key difference.””Oh yeah?””Yeah. Wed at least blink.”
Salahuddins second semester in La Fiesta Tech started as studious as ever. As an added bonus, hewas now able to get a thinking cap, which sped the studying up considerably.
As he had heard that certain plants had interesting effects if they were nice enough quality,Salahuddin also started a garden in his spare time. Rumor had it that especially the eggplant wouldsuit his purposes.
His enthusiasm about kicky bag still drew him Downtown on occasion, and in fact what had started assmall one-on-one games had now started to evolve to almost tournaments of kicky bag.One of the strangers he had met in the warehouse, Seth Jaypalan, would sometimes be in theaudience and come talk to him after games. Salahuddin didnt exactly know very much about thisman, but they seemed to get along nicely.
Contrary to that, Salahuddin didnt terribly much like Avri Woodrow. He seemed to think that he wassomething special because he was rich and was supposedly good-looking. Well, there was alwaysone in every town, wasnt there?
On the home front, things were going nicely. Salahuddin had worked hard on his garden, and hadnow secured a bronze talent badge in gardening. He wasnt quite ready to grow his own eggplantsyet, but he was getting there.
For the most part, the semester was in fact rather uneventful, which Salahuddin didnt mind one bit.One morning he suddenly found himself at the breakfast table, realizing that it was the morning of hisfinal exam.”Are you nervous?” asked Melissa Trottier over her omelette.”Slightly”, admitted Salahuddin. ”But I am well prepared so I should not have considerable problems.”The girl snorted a little. She of course knew he would have no problems at all, if there was anyfairness in the world.
And naturally, Melissa was entirely right about that. For the second time, Salahuddin managed tomake the Deans list. He started to believe that perhaps he did have what this took, after all.
Meanwhile, Seth, Rodney, Marielle and Cypress had settled into their new, quite comfortable, housein Strangetown. Currently they were having a rather serious sounding discussion in the dining room.”... and things could be going all around just... wrong when we arent there. I mean, whos to say thatthe kid wont escape or something?” finished Rodney what seemed to have been a rather longspeech turn.”But Rodney”, said Seth, ”Ive told you before, we didnt really leave Simfield when we came here.Those versions of us are still there, plotting whatever it is that were currently plotting, its as ifnothings happened. I suppose from the point of view of Simfield, really nothing happened. I dontknow if according to the laws of the multiverse we could go back, but even if we could, wed justcause major confusion to ourselves. I mean, those versions of ourselves that are still there.”Rodney didnt look entirely convinced, but he stayed silent.
”Yeah, theres no point going back”, said Cypress to Seth. Seth assumed he liked having his ownroom to plot in, as he hadnt been as eager to argue as he was in the beginning. Which wasnt to saythat he didnt like to argue. But he wasnt finished yet:”But that doesnt mean Id want to stay here. This place is dead. No legacy sims to pester, or anyoneany of us know, for that matter. Stealing newspapers and kicking over trash cans is only fun for solong.”
”I sort of guessed that”, said Seth, glancing from Rodney to Cypress. ”This is maybe maybe not themost exciting place it could be, but hey, weve got money and a really nice house. And Im personallyalready making headway in the Entertainment career and meeting interesting, hot ladies, so I cantcomplain. But if you guys want to leave...” He paused.”What do you think, Marielle?”
Marielle wanted to remind Seth that it was ”miss Hutchins-Legacy”, but she wasnt exactly surewhether she should call herself ”miss” or ”mrs.” at the moment, and shed noticed that the futureseemed to be much less formal than the present, as she thought of it, so she let it go.”Well, I cannot deny that I enjoy certain benefits that come with the modern times”, she started,thinking fondly of the wonders of electric ovens and televisions, ”but at the same time, I wouldperhaps feel more at home somewhere less... futuristic.””Okay”, said Seth and shrugged. ”Rodney? I take it that you want to leave as well?””Well I dont really know anyone here, so if youre all leaving, Im not going to stick around by myself”,Rodney answered.
”Okay, so it seems that you guys all want to leave. Im not so sure about it myself, this place could stillhave some potential... You know, the kid didnt rule out the possibility of starting a challenge”, Sethpointed out to Cypress. ”But anyway, if anyone wants to leave, I guess wed better work on getting toknow how”, he shrugged.”Well Im bound to find out at work, theyve got plenty of material on multiverse-theory there”, saidCypress, who worked in Science.”Okay, cool”, said Seth. ”Then Im sure well have a solution soon. It wont hurt for the rest of us tokeep our eyes and ears open, though”, he said to Rodney and Marielle, who both nodded.
Salahuddins college years progressed as usual.I found that I had in fact become quite influential. Seeing that I had so many extracurricular activitiesto occupy my time, I pondered that perhaps I should arrange for something to help with my obligatorytasks.
Fortunately, Shelby was kind enough to help arranging my timetable that semester by taking care ofone or two tasks for me, Salahuddin writes.
Apparently, Salahuddin had also found the joys of the Energizer. Now that he was able to purchaseand use one, he could save even more time.
One evening, Salahuddin received a phone call. It was Seth. Salahuddin was rather surprised. Theyhad met a few times while he was on his errands in Strangetown, but they were not especially close.”Ah, Seth, yes, yes, I remember. It is very pleasant to hear from you. How have you been?”…”Oh, excellent, excellent. I have been concentrating on my studies, and they are going quite well,thank you.”…”I have not decided on the challenge issue as of yet. Founding a Legacy challenge, for instance,would likely be an interesting experience, And I have read some material on it, but I have not yet fullyweighed the different aspects of it. Why do you ask?”…”I see. All of you wish to leave, then?”
”I see. Yes, yes, I understand.”…”No, I do not currently see any need for that. I am quite happy with my current life here. Although, Ihave not yet had the chance to experience very much of it.”…”You are not aware of a way to accomplish it so far? You cannot remember what it was that you didthat caused you to appear here, at all?”…”I see. Please do inform me if you find such a way.” Seth promised to do so.
The very next evening, when Salahuddin came to have some dinner into the dorm dining room, hefound something quite surprising there. Several of his classmates seemed to be quite shocked, andSalahuddin was just idly wondering why that might be, he found the reason. This reason was abeautiful, red-headed girl whom he had never seen before, and of whom he was suddenly seeingmuch more than he had expected. The girl was completely naked.Salahuddin tried not to stare. ”Umm... Hello”, he started uncertainly. ”Can I help you? You seem tohave... misplaced your clothes.”The girl looked at him as if he was a little bit simple. Then she laughed. ”Oh, I didnt lose my clothes. Ileft them at home.”Salahuddin blinked. ”You did not get dressed when you left home?”She laughed again. ”No. Im the streaker for your dorm.” When Salahuddin was apparentlyspeechless, she extended her hand. ”My names Bim, Bim Weburg. Nice to meet you.”
I do not remember how, but somehow I managed to introduce myself to Bim, and even ask her to joinme for dinner. After all, that was the polite thing to do. We continued discussing over the macaroniand cheese, and apparently I was moment by moment paying less attention to her lack of clothing. Itwas, apparently, how she was.She asked me about my studies, and I told her about how I had mysteriously become a student in LaFiesta Tech. She found that quite intriguing. She, in turn, told me about her life as a streaker, andhow in fact, she would have wished to study instead. We seemed to have plenty in common.
It was an enjoyable evening for both of them. After dinner, they danced and talked the night away,just casually in the dormitory dining room. There was a connection that Salahuddin had neverexperienced before.It is extremely strange, he writes. I, of course, have my life, my experiences, my sad failures by myside constantly. But every time the dream continues, this all is sweetly washed away. It is not there.Bim, the imaginary Bim, is a very fresh and new experience to me. And it continues to be so,whenever I fall asleep.
At around the same time, Salahuddin had accumulated enough money to buy a guitar. It wasnaturally for practicing the creativity skill, but Salahuddin was quite pleased to see that it was also ofhelp in another manner. His roommate, Shelby, turned out to be an eager guitar player, and quitetalented at it, too.
Salahuddin did not complain about the entertainment, or the extra income the guitar brought. Allaround, it was quite good for household finances.
Salahuddin also managed to gather some money by playing the guitar himself.
But while Shelby was playing it, he could concentrate on his other studies. And on such a studiousnote, ended another semester at college, one that Salahuddin once again cleared with perfectgrades.
Meanwhile, it seemed that Seth Jaypalan had found something.”So thats how...” Maybe, just maybe, he now knew how theyd get out of the sleepy Strangetown.Sure, the plan seemed a bit risky, and the website a bit shady, but Seth hadnt really expectedanything else. The explanation looked like it could work.It was time to consult the resident scientist. After all, Seth was an actor, what did he know. Hed heardthe shower door open and close a while ago, so he called:”Hey, Cypress?”
In a few moments, the blond man was there. ”Well it seems interesting in the very least”, Cypress said finally. ”It seems a little shady but I”You interrupted my plotting. This had better be suppose a website like this is supposed to be likegood.” that. And the explanation seems credible from what I understand of multiverse theory.””Id say that its pretty much impossible not tointerrupt your plotting, seeing that you plot all the Seth had no choice but to believe what thetime”, noted Seth. ”Anyway, I think I may have scientist said. Hed read a bit but couldnt saysomething here. Come have a look at this that he understood the theory.website.” ”So... If what this says is true, then weve gotCypress leaned a bit closer, reading the text Seth some work ahead of us. But essentially what weshowed on the screen. need is... a sufficiently powerful explosion.””... open a pathway between dimensions... if thespeed is correct... generate a sufficientlypowerful explosion...” he mumbled.Seth waited. ”... well?”
”Exactly”, said Cypress. ”Now Ill be able to get some chemicals from work, and probably Marielle cando something too via her connections in the military... Not so terribly much to do for an actor and apolitician, though.”Seth didnt bother to remind Cypress that it was in fact him that persuaded Marielle to take theMilitary job in the first place. They could use the income and he was able to convince her that if shewas able to get a non-entry-level position, she would mostly be the one giving the commands. Which,in fact, turned out to be correct, and Marielle was quite enjoying her working life so far.He shrugged. ”Neither of us are idiots you know. We can help if you give instructions.” Seth didnt likethe idea of receiving instructions from Cypress, but if they wanted to get out of there, what choice didhe have?”You better”, said Cypress and walked out of the room. Seth heard him mumbling to himself.He could almost bet that he heard ”Explosions... I like that” before Cypress disappeared into the livingroom.
Meanwhile, in an unknown location.”... Explosions... I like that”, said the blond man on the screen, speaking to himself.”It seems that they bought it.””I said they would, its clever enough.””Well they havent done it yet.””No, but they will.””Well see. In any case, good work on planting the information, agent.”
Whatever mysterious may have been going on elsewhere, Salahuddin wasnt aware of it in the least.Instead, he was busy enjoying the one life he had. He had quite come to like that one place inStrangetown, the one with the beautiful, large pool and the jacuzzi. He kept going back on his freetime, and so he met yet more new sims.
Often in the evenings he could be seen playing kicky bag with a few friends or acquintances. It was agood and relaxing way to set off all the stufying.
In the mornings, he shared breakfast with his fellow students. That, too, was a nice break from thestudying.
Finally, Salahuddins gardening had started to produce real results. He was excited to find that nowhe was in fact ready to start growing eggplants, which were rumored to have interesting properties.
As everything was going so smoothly, Salahuddin decided to try out a new hobby: flower arranging. Itwas rather hard on ones back, but talent badges were always worth earning.
”Thank you for studying with me, Michelle. I appreciate it very much”, said Salahuddin one evening asthey were doing research together.”Dont mention it. We both need to study anyway, and its more fun... or well, I guess more tolerablewould be a better word, when done together. Besides, youre so busy these days that any way I canspend a little time with you, Ill do it.””I suppose that is a way to look at it”, noted Salahuddin. ”Did you understand the part about thesecond derivative?”
All through his semester, Salahuddin also kept in touch with his friends, especially Bim. They weregetting closer all the time; Salahuddin felt that perhaps it was becoming more than friendship, but hewasnt sure whether she felt the same way. He was nervous, but decided to wait and see.And suddenly, Salahuddin found himself a Junior. Time really flew by.
Everything continued as usual. Salahuddin continued his usual activities: studying, praticing his flowerarranging and tending his garden. He had even purchased a compost bin in order to gain some betterquality fertilizer, and was now fertilizing his plants with the autumn leaves and other compostabletrash.
Various friendly souls continued to be kind enough to help him with his schoolwork.
Salahuddin also kept spending his free time in Strangetown. That way he met several new sims,among them a Katelyn Goss.”Nice to meet you, Katelyn. My name is Salahuddin.””Nice to meet you too, Salahuddin”, replied Katelyn smiling. ”So what brings you to these parts ofStrangetown?”Salahuddin let out a small laugh. ”I suppose the short answer to that would be I do not knowexactly.””Oh. Thats interesting. Then I suppose theres also a long answer?” asked Katelyn.”Oh yes, yes in fact there is.”
”That is truly fascinating”, said Katelyn when Salahuddin finished. ”Ive never heard of anything likethat before.””I will have to admit that neither had I, before it happened to me”, replied Salahuddin.”So do you plan on staying here or trying to find out where you came from and maybe going back?””I do not know. I have liked it in La Fiesta Tech, and I remember nothing of my previous life. But Seth,whom I talked about, mentioned that they are looking for a way out, so perhaps that is possible too. Ifthey did find a solution, I do not know what I would do.”
Occasionally Salahuddin would meet Seth on these errands to Strangetown. He seemed to live lifemostly to enjoy bubbles, juice, woment and hot tubs, which was perhaps a little bit odd to Salahuddin,who was more of a ”hard work is its own reward, especially if it results in skillpoints” type of simhimself. But Seth always seemed friendly towards him, and in fact just about anyone. Despite theirdifferences, Salahuddin found that they came along nicely.
Perhaps the fellow students would have quite liked Seth, thought Salahuddin to himself. Many ofthem were quite into parties and dancing.
He had other ways to amuse himself. Not that he didnt enjoy a good party or anything, but he feltthat he was left somewhat behind in suddenly being dropped at the doors of college, and wanted tocatch up.
He still kept tending his garden faithfully, every day, and the eggplants started to look quite healthy.Occasionally he was also cheered on.
Toward the end of the semester Salahuddin realized that despite his busy life of studying, he wasalso getting quite popular. He had plenty of friends both on and off campus.
Meanwhile, the quartet over in Strangetown was keeping equally busy.”How do the calculations seem, mister Jalowitz?” asked Marielle, as Rodney was leaning over theblueprints of their mansion and calculating something on the side.He turned back to look. ”Oh, its you. Theyre okay. Would be going better if Seth and Cypress hadtold me to do it sooner”, he said, slightly irritated. ”But it looks like well be fine.””Are you sure?”
”Yeah, Im pretty sure. See here?” Rodney pointed at something on the blueprints, and Marielleleaned forward slightly to see better.”This here shows the strength of the walls. Theyre about three times as strong as in your averagehouse. Also the foundation materials are very strong.””Does this mean that we are safe?””Yeah. The roof could use a bit of work, just in case, and perhaps the windows could be replaced, tohave the most unbreakable ones there are, but for the most part, were all set.””Even if mister Vetinari is... mistaken?” asked Marielle. Rodney noted that she didnt seem to trustCypress very much, but then again, she was probably right not to.”Ive taken that into account. Even if the explosion were three times as powerful as he calculates...”
Slowly Salahuddin was becoming more and more confident with his studies, so he didnt need tospend as much time on them. Rather, he spent more time out on town. He met his old acquintance,Bella, again.
Bella was a nice lady, but perhaps not as well-mannered as one would think from her looks and outfit.
Occasionally there was time for small kicky bag tournaments, and Salahuddin enjoyed those greatly.Sometimes another old acquintance, Seth would join them. He apparently quite enjoyed kicky bag,too.
That didnt mean that Salahuddin neglected his studies. On the contrary, around that time hemanaged to maximize his cooking skill even.
He was also keen on making some money for his future in Strangetown – the more he thought aboutit, the more certain he became that this was where he wanted to stay – so he kept on digging fortreasure whenever he had the time. It was dirty and hard on the hands, but even the small things likerocks and bones were worth selling, and in fact, hed already found an actual treasure chest.Salahuddin almost didnt believe his eyes when he saw all the gold glistening, and even less would hebelieve his ears when he heard how much the chest was worth. Five thousand simoleons would dowonders for his budget after college.
After all the hard work with the shovel, Salahuddin really appreciated being able to relax in the hot tuband socialize with whoever happened to be there. At this point, it would often be a friend.
At this time, I gathered all my courage and decided that it was better to be disappointed in my hopesthan to live in uncertainty, Salahuddin writes. I was so in the charms of the amazing Bim that I simplyhad to try. I asked her whether she would go out on a date with me.To my surprise, she said yes.
And indeed, Salahuddin and Bim went on a date. It was perhaps backwards that this was the firsttime that he saw her fully clothed, but she explained that as she wanted to enjoy the date, she did notwant to risk mortifying the restaurant staff and being removed from the premises. Salahuddinsupposed this was a reasonable explanation.They came along brilliantly from the start.
”You are such a charming man, Salahuddin”, said Bim, both charmed and slightly amused at thesame time. Kissing the arm seemed kind of old-fashioned to her, but it was nice, she had to admit.Salahuddin just smiled and held her hand tightly. ”Shall we go inside?”
The restaurant was very nice and cosy, they soon found. While they were waiting for their food,friendly conversation bubbled easily.”Salahuddin, can I ask you something?””Yes, of course. What did you have in mind?””I was wondering... Your speech... Its sort of pretty formal. I cant quite tell where youre from. Is thatyour family background or something?””Ah”, said Salahuddin, taking a sip of his drink. ”To be honest, I do not know excactly. I have alwaysspoken like this, it feels natural to me. Whether it comes from my family or somewhere else, I do notknow. Because of the way I found myself in Strangetown, in fact still quite recently, I do not knowwhether I have a family somewhere.”And that quite naturally led to Salahuddin explaining all that there was to explain about his past,which wasnt very much. But Bim was an excellent listener, and the discussion continued throughtheir dinner.
When they were finishing dessert, Salahuddin had gotten to the end of his tale. Bim reached for hishand.”Thank you”, she said and squeezed the hand.”For what?” asked Salahuddin, surprised.”For trusting me enough to tell me all this. I really appreciate it. And for this wonderful eveningaltogether.””You are very welcome, Bim. I am having a very nice evening myself, thank you for that.”Bim smiled. ”Would you mind if I called you Sal?” she asked suddenly.For me in this small cell in Alphabetia jail, there is only one person who can call me by that name. Butfor the dream me in Strangetown, there was also only one person whom I could imagine naturallyusing that name. That person was Bim Weburg.”No, not at all. In fact, I think I would like that.”
”Thank you again”, said Bim as the evening was drawing to a close. ”I had a wonderful time today,and Id love to do this again.””As would I”, replied Salahuddin. He was at loss for words, but Bim reached for his hands, then pulledhim close to her.”Youre an incredibly nice guy, Sal.”
Salahuddin didnt have a reply to that, but perhaps he didnt need one.
Salahuddin had been content with his life all the time in Strangetown, but now that he was going outwith the intelligent, funny and friendly, not to mention gorgeous, Bim, he got back to his scholworkand extracurricular activities with a new enthusiasm. He wanted to maximize all his skills while still incollege, so that he could... well, he didnt exactly know what he would do when grown up, but in anycase, he could concentrate on doing something else worthwile then. Vague plans and ideas of havinga home together with Bim were forming in his head.
Soon afterwards came a time that Salahuddin had been waiting for long: his first eggplants werefinally ripe for picking. While he did so, he wondered whether they really had the properties they weresaid to have.
He purchased a juicemaking device and placed it in his room. He then placed the freshly pickedeggplants into the machine, followed the instructions and finally poured himself a glass of freshlypressed eggplant juice. Now was the moment of truth.
As he lifted the glass to his lips, Salahuddin was not disappointed: fresh eggplant juice really was amethod of gaining speed in skill building, and it worked exceedingly well. He was content. With thesupply that he had just harvested alongside with the part that was still growing in his garden, hewould plentifully achieve his goal of maximizing his skills before leaving college.
The increased speed in learning other skills also gave Salahuddin more time to work on his flowerarranging, and by the end of his semester, he was already getting quite good at it. In fact, goodenough to gain a silver talent badge.
”I thought Id told you that I dont want to be disturbed when I work on the prototype”, said Cypresswithout turning around when Seth entered his room. He was working with some large, mysteriousscience equipment.”Yeah, sorry”, said Seth. ”I just wanted to let you know that Marielle is supervising the constructionworkers. The roof should be strengthened properly yet today.””You could have told me after Im done with this.””I guess I could have”, said Seth and shrugged. ”Youve been in here for a long time, I got curious.”Seth knew it was best not to irritate Cypress, but he refused to become a doormat, either. Hewatched as Cypress followed odd patterns arranging and disarranging on the screen, then typedsomething.”So hows it going?”
”Oh, its working great alright. Of course it is, its me making it”, said Cypress, as if Seths questionhad been stupid.”Oh yeah? When will it be ready, then?””Itll take a bit more of time. Im missing a few more ingredients, but stealing those from workshouldnt be too much of a problem. Or rather, having someone stealing them for me so that theydont know theyre doing it.”Seth didnt say anything. For the first time, Cypress smiled. ”Its going to take a bit of time, but whenits done, its going to be awesome.”
”Good seeing you around, Salahuddin”, said Michelle while they were playing red hands one day.”It is good seeing you too, Michelle”, replied Salahuddin. ”I am sorry that I have been somewhatabsent for you and Holly. You do mean very much to me”, he added, slightly worried.”I know, dont worry about it. We still get to hang out every now and then. Besides, I heard a rumorthat you might be having someone who means very much to you?” she teased.Salahuddin blushed. ”Umm... Yes, that may be”, he said and smiled. ”How did you know?””Oh, Holly told me. She saw you and Bim at a restaurant together.””Ah, that explains it.”
Thankfully, Michelle was again kind enough to help Salahuddin with his schoolwork.
That was incredibly helpful, as Salahuddin had so many other things to concentrate on.
In fact, when it came to his studying, Salahuddin had come up with a clever new strategy. In everyarea where he had not yet maximized his skills, he now studied until he was on the verge of gaininghis next skillpoint.
Then, he would prepare himself a healthy dose of eggplant juice. He would drink it until he had all butone skillpoint in one area.
And then, he would maximize this skill the oldfashioned way. This way, he only needed to gain a tinyamount of skill in the final and most difficult skillpoint, and could save time. Soon enough, thisstrategy awarded him a maximized creativity skill.~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~Authors note: If you are wondering why I didnt just let him drink eggplant juice to max his skills,thatd be because I wanted him to gain the memories correctly, and Im not sure if eggplant juice doesthat.
And naturally, there was also Salahuddins social life to take care of. That took some time as well, buthe was happy to have kept the balance and not just have studied his life away.
Not to mention that there was his flower arranging. He was working hard, but the gold badge kepthim waiting still.
At that time, I had made up my mind. Or rather, my mind was made up a long time ago, but at thistime I decided to do as my heart told me. I had been seeing Bim regularly for a rather long time, and Ifinally wanted her to be mine.In my waking state, being enamored with another woman was the oddest thing I could ever imaginehappening, but in my dream, Bim was the most natural, indeed the only natural target of myaffections. This was the right time to act.
Salahuddin arranged for a nice date for himself and Bim. He selected a beautiful park downtown, andasked her there on a beautiful summer day.
When the time felt right, Salahuddin dropped down on one knee.”What is it, Sal?” asked Bim.”Bim, darling, I have a question for you”, said Salahuddin.”Y-yes?” asked Bim, who was beginning to realize the situation she was in.
”Its... its beautiful, Sal”, Bim said, her voice barely a whisper. She took the ring out of its box, lookedat it in awe.Salahuddins hands began to tremble. This moment seemed to take an eternity. Bim looked at him,and as she noticed how nervous he was, she smiled at him.
”Of course I will, silly!” she said and put the ring to her finger.
It was close to nightfall, and in order to celebrate their engagement, Salahuddin and Bim went to anice restaurant to have dinner. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was great, and the companywas of course the best it could be.
As long as the dream lasted, I was the happiest man on Earth. I was young, I was intelligent, I was inlove and about to start a life of my own with the most amazing woman one could ever think of.When I woke up, I realized that the best night of my life was one that never happened.
After his engagement, Salahuddin felt that time passed very quickly. In what seemed almost no timeat all, he gained his gold badge in in flower arrangement. This badge had kept him waiting for a verylong time, and suddenly he had it.
So now, he was able to make the famed snapdragon flowers. That was yet an additional way to earnsome money for the home he was now planning for himself and Bim, and in addition, maybe such amiraculous plant would be useful also in said home. After all, it was supposed to emit a scent thatwas healthy for whoever breathed it.
He of course needed to study, but there wasnt much left of that.
Salahuddins hard work with his skill points was starting to pay itself back, as he was maximizingthem at an increasing speed. Next in turn was his logic skill.
The remainder of Salahuddins final semester in college went by in a haze. He was so concentratedin doing what he did that he hardly noticed the time passing.
And suddenly, that was it. He had graduated, with an overall grade of Summa cum Laude. This waswhere life began. He was free.
The next morning, as he took a shower, Salahuddin pondered on the life that he was about to begin.He decided that he wouldnt leave campus straight away, as he still had some things to do, and hewasnt in any particular hurry. He wanted to earn yet more skill points, and collect some more moneyso he could offer Bim the beautiful home she deserved.So off to work it was.
Salahuddin started his project by maximizing his mechanical skill. This meant that he only hadcharisma and body left to maximize, and he knew that he would be able to manage both in hisremaining time on campus.
His charisma wasnt, in fact, far behind, and soon he had maximized it as well.
Since his studying was going so well, Salahuddin decided to reward himself with a break of oneevening, and headed to his favorite location in Strangetown, the public pool. There he came acrossBella, whom he hadnt seen for a long time.”Salahuddin, what a nice surprise”, she said, smiling. ”Long time no see. Whats going on with you,you havent been abducted by aliens have you?”Salahuddin smiled back. ”Oh no, no I have not. I am sorry that I have not kept in touch with you asmuch as I would have liked, I have been rather busy with my studies. But that is now a thing of thepast, as I have just graduated few days ago.””Oh, congratulations!” said Bella.The conversation went on for a while, but as Bella was talking about her work, Salahuddin felt a tugon his sleeve.
”Salahuddin, old pal!”Salahuddin felt himself being pulled into a hug. It was Seth.”Seth, what a pleasant surprise.””Oh, am I interrupting you?” asked Seth, looking to Salahuddin and Bella and back.”Oh no”, said Bella, ”Its fine, I suppose I should be going anyway. Salahuddin, well keep in touch?””Absolutely.””So”, said Seth as he watched Bella head for the changing booths. ”Whats going on with you?”
”Well, in fact I am doing quite well, thank you”, said Salahuddin. ”I have graduated with Summa CumLaude only a few days ago.””Already? I didnt realize time went by that fast”, said Seth, astonished.”Yes. I plan on staying on campus for a short while yet, before I move to Strangetown and have afamily with my fiancée.””I was just going to say that apparently youve gotten engaged”, said Seth, gesturing towardsSalahuddins ring. ”Congratulations!””Thank you. I am a lucky man indeed.”Seth smiled. ”So I take it that you havent changed your mind about staying in Strangetown, then?”
”No, I am afraid not. I have been quite happy here all the time since I came, and now that I amsettling down and having a family of my own, I do not think I could possibly consider leaving.””Thats what I thought.””How is it going, your plan to find a way out?” asked Salahuddin.”Well, Cypress says we arent really supposed to talk about it, but you know his style, I think he justsays so to boss us around and not for any real reason. Anyway, it seems were onto something,actually what were trying to do might succeed pretty soon.””It sounds like it is going quite well for you as well, then”, Salahuddin noted. ”I wish the best of luck foryour attempt.””Yeah, thanks. Umm... When were you planning to move to Strangetown again?” asked Seth.
”Oh, me and my fiancée have talked about two weeks. In that time both of us should be more thanready. Why do you ask?””No reason, no reason...” said Seth, looking pensive. ”Can I give you a small piece of advice,though?””Advice?” Salahuddin asked, confused.”Yeah... Look, Im not really supposed to say this but... If youre moving here in two weeks, then thenight before, Id recommend staying on campus, just in case.””Staying on campus?””Yeah”, said Seth. ”Look, I wasnt supposed to tell you even that, I really cant. But... For your ownsafety. You might warn your fiancée to stay inside, too.”With that, and a half a smile, Seth shook Salahuddins hand and was gone before he could askanything more.
After he had gone, Salahuddin spent a few hours digging for treasure by the community pool. Forone, he could use yet a little bit of money to give Bim the life she deserved, and secondly, he neededto think.From what Seth had said, it was rather obvious that something rather dangerous was going to behappening the night before he was planning to move. And he had not said so, but Salahuddin senseda connection between this danger and the plan which Seth had mentioned. So perhaps what Seth,Cypress, Marielle and Rodney were planning to do to break the barrier between dimensions wassomething hazardous?From what he had earlier heard from Seth, Salahuddin knew that Cypress was working as a scientist.So perhaps he had access to some machinery that could help them. And he supposed it was to beexpected that this kind of machinery would be dangerous. But he couldnt get any further than thatwith his ponderings.In any case, perhaps it was best to do as Seth had told him to do, and spend his last college night oncampus. Just in case.
The very next day was an important one for Salahuddin. After all his hard work, he was only one finalskill point away from his dream of maximizing all his skill. Right in the morning, he set to work on thatfinal body skill point, and before lunchtime, he had achieved his dream. The feeling was ratheramazing.~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~Salahuddin achieved his Lifetime Want of maximizing 7 skills shortly after his graduation. His newLifetime Want is to Become Mad Scientist.
With this achievement under his belt, it was good to get down to his remaining business, of which onewas earning money. One good way to do so was to make more snapdragon bouquets.
Also digging for treasure turned out to be lucrative as well, at least on occasion. Namely on such anoccasion where Salahuddin found an actual treasure.
When Salahuddin was not working on his monetary situation, he was working on his social relations,be it on campus, in Strangetown, or Downtown.
In fact, at some point he realized that he could also combine the two.
Fishing may not have been the most lucrative pastime there was, but nevertheless, it meant someincome, and surprisingly, it soon became a ridiculously popular one for the men in Strangetown.
And even if the catch was mostly old boots, one could sometimes get lucky.
What turned out to be much more lucrative pastime, however, was playing different instruments.Salahuddin was a very talented player, and he was generously tipped. It didnt hurt that he receivedthe collective tips of the whole band, apparently as a goodwill measure of some kind.
Naturally, Salahuddin and Bim also met regularly.”... and I saw this most beautiful house, three bedrooms and two baths, very nicely renovated, andnot very expensive. Maybe we should go look at it? I think it would be a very nice home for a youngcouple, and a bit of room for kids, too.”Salahuddin smiled. ”I would love that, darling.”
Both Salahuddin and Bim were in a cheerful mood. Salahuddin had graduated, and it wouldnt belong until they would start their life together.”To us, to our future!” suggested Salahuddin a toast, and Bim happily joined him: ”To the future!”
After the waiter had taken away their dinner ”I do not know what exactly it is that they aredishes, Salahuddin turned to Bim. planning, but apparently there is a risk of some kind. So, please, Bim, do stay inside that night.””Darling, I have a slightly... odd request for you.” Bims brow furrowed. ”That sounds suspicious.”Yes, Sal?” asked Bim, expectantly. Shouldnt we talk to the police or something?””Do you remember those sims I talked to you ”I considered that”, admitted Salahuddin. ”But Iearlier, those four I found myself with when I do not know what it is that they are planning tocame here?” do, or where, and what it is that might happen. And after all, I do not think that attempting to”I do. What about them?” leave Strangetown would be illegal in any way. Besides, I do not think that many sims know”It seems that they are planning to attempt to about the multiverse theory, or here at least. I doleave Strangetown, the night before my move not think we would be believed even if we talkedthere. Seth warned me that I should stay on to the police.”campus that night, just in case anything goeswrong I suppose. Bim didnt look entirely happy, but she nodded. ”I suppose youre right. Very well, I promise to stay home and be careful.”
When it was time to say goodbye, Salahuddin drew Bim near him and caressed her cheek. ”I loveyou, Bim.””I love you too, Sal.””Ill be seeing you soon. Remember, the day before we meet again...”Bim nodded. ”... stay inside. I will. You do the same.””I will.”As long as I live, I will never forget that moment, as much as it was merely a dream. That momentwas when I last saw her before... But I am getting ahead of myself.
But in fact, Salahuddin was not getting very far ahead. Of course, there were yet things to do, sims tomeet and money to earn, but the settled time for him to move to Strangetown was getting very, veryclose. And really, those last few days were a bit of a blur, he didnt remember very much of them.
He did remember that one of those last few days, he managed to dig up another real treasure. Thatwould go a long way for getting him and Bim the dream house they were talking about.The last times really were a lot about dreaming, anxiously awaiting the future.And then, suddenly, the future came.
”Well it seems someone is in a good mood today”, commented Seth as he watched Cypress strutforward with his suitcase. He, Rodney and Marielle were following Cypress as he walked into theempty warehouse theyd found themselves in all that time ago.”Of course Im in a good mood”, said Cypress, smiling a rather intimidating smile. ”Theres going tobe a massive explosion, one that should open the inter-dimensional gates for us. If it does, its allthanks to me. And even if it doesnt, theres still the massive explosion. I just cant lose. Even youcant ruin my day today.”
The four of them walked further inside, next to a large window, so that Cypress would have as muchlight as possible. They watched on as he put the suitcase down on a pile of cardboard boxes, openedit and checked some wires inside. Then he took a small device that looked like a simple clock, andwired it in, resting it on top of the suitcase.
Seth looked at the thing in front of them. It looked way too cliché to actually work, to actually bedangerous. But if Cypress could be trusted with one thing, it was making things dangerous. So hedecided to, unless proven wrong, believe that it was. Rodney and Marielle seemed to agree with that.
Cypress dusted off his hands, then adjusted a small knob on the timer.”Alright, were done here”, he said to the others, looking satisfied. No one else seemed to know whatto say. ”Weve got about... fifteen minutes before the timer ticks to zero. So unless anyone objects, Idsuggest lets get out of here.”
No one needed telling twice. The quartet spurted out of the warehouse, to make it to the safety oftheir home before... whatever it was that would happen, happened.
Those fifteen minutes passed. For four sims, they were the longest fifteen minutes in their entirelives. In the basement of their mansion they waited, and listened.For the rest of Strangetown, they were as any other fifteen minutes. Peaceful, uneventful minutesunder the hot summer sun.
The stereo sound echoed in the room, and there was laughter that sounded near hysterical.”Hahahaha, they did it, they did it, YES!””Could you FEEL that? I could totally feel that, it was AWESOME!””Come on, we couldnt possibly feel that, were no where near Strangetown.””I know, I know, but it was almost as if Id been there. That was awesome!””I know, right?””Agents, agents, lets contain ourselves okay? That was truly work well done, congratulations, all!Time to crack open the champagne! And after that, I think were going to need some popcorn.”
It was the afternoon of Salahuddins last day on campus. He had called Bim to reminded her to stayinside, and had been packing his possessions ever since. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, butSalahuddin felt inexplicably worried. What was it that was probably going on in Strangetown rightnow? Had he done the right thing by letting the others do whatever they were doing? And if not, whatcould he possibly have done to prevent it?He jumped when the phone rang.”Hello. Salahuddin Chamcha speaking.”…”Seth? I thought you were busy with your plan.”…”I am sorry, the line is very bad for some reason. What did you say, again?”
”What do you mean the plan failed?”…”Explosion, what explosion?”…”The line is bad again, what did you say about useful objects?”…”Seth, what have you done?”But before Salahuddin could get any answers, the line was dead.
There was nothing Salahuddin could do. He tried to call Seth back, and he tried to call Bim, but thephone was mysteriously not working. He looked out the window, and thought he might be seeingsomething odd in the horizon, about where he estimated Strangetown would be. He didnt know whatSeth had tried to tell him about useful objects, so he packed his diploma, a fresh thinking cap and asnapdragon bouquet.He started going to his friends to explain the mysterious phonecall and say his goodbyes.”Of course you have to go”, said Michelle and hugged Salahuddin tightly. ”I hope its nothing and thateveryone is safe.””Thank you, Michelle. Take care of yourself.” Never had Salahuddin meant those words as much ashe did now.”Well be fine, whatever it is”, she replied seriously. ”Its you Im worried about.”
Evening had come when Salahuddin found Holly in the kitchen.”Salahuddin! Michelle told my you were leaving”, Holly said as she grabbed him for a tight hug.”Yes, tonight”, Salahuddin replied. ”I am afraid that something is wrong in Strangetown, and I havenot been able to reach Bim. I would have left tomorrow morning in any case, but now I absolutelyhave to go. I have to know”, he said, worry apparent on his features.”Maybe its nothing, maybe its just some temporary problem with the phones or something”, Hollysaid, trying to reassure Salahuddin.”Yes, hopefully -” started Salahuddin, but was cut mid-sentence, as the electricity in the dorm cut off.Now Holly, too, was getting worried. ”Go”, she said quietly. ”Go make sure that your lady-friend issafe and take care of yourself.”Salahuddin nodded. ”Stay safe, Holly”, he said, hugged her one more time and with that, walked out.
The next morning, I had somehow managed the long trip from the university to Strangetown, and hadpartially found the truth about the situation. Apparently, there had been an explosion, somewhererather close to the warehouse where I had first found myself a few years earlier. The nuclear powerplant that supplied power to most of Strangetown had gone critical, and caused a second, evenbigger explosion. This I learned from sims who were hurrying to leave town, escaping mobs ofcriminals and goodness knows what. I would have escaped too, but I could not. Bim was still outthere.I will never forget that chilly morning when I finally arrived to Strangetown, or what was left of it, andfound a plot of land that no one had apparently claimed as their own, where I could build a shelter ofmy own. Cold, hungry, tired, worried, but miraculously alive, I stood there in the middle of the desert,about to start a life that was apparently going to become very different from what I had expected.Dream or not, this truly was the end of the world.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~Authors notes:As you will have guessed by now, Villains or Heroes? is my attempt at Pinstars ApocalypseChallenge. Ive felt like starting a side project for The Bookacy Family Alphabet Adventures for awhile, and as the idea struck me, I just had to give it a try. Im trying my best not to screw up, but thisis a very hard challenge and theres a non-trivial chance that I might actually fail, in which case Illconsider starting over. I definitely like the sims enough to keep going. Also, even though Villains orHeroes? is at least semi-plotty, as is my alphabetacy these days, its still a challenge story, and thischallenge tends to result in certain consequences in storytelling, such as ugliness in pictures andsuch. I hope you bear with me!Id like to thank Dicreasy, Docnerd and Mzyra (in alphabetical order!), for borrowing me theirwonderful characters, whom I have not portrayed and will not portray entirely accurately, at least allthe time. Apologies for any inconsistencies! Id also like to thank Orikes for the beautiful house wherethe abovementioned borrowed characters reside.Thats all folks! Thanks for reading, and until next time, happy simming!