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Familiar Faces Chapter Twenty Four


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Familiar Faces Chapter Twenty Four

  1. 1. Welcome Back to Familiar Faces! Chapter Twenty-Four - Don't Fear The Reaper - Part Two
  2. 2. The changing of semesters and the graduations that occurred with that change meant that some dorms now had vacancies available. The current residents of those dorms wandered the halls hoping to appear disinterested and busy, but in reality they were waiting for a chance to make attempts at contact with any fresh meat that might happen to appear.
  3. 3. In one such dorm Almeric Davis was trying out his surefire dormie girl pickup line on the freshest meat he'd seen in a while. "Are you free tonight or will it cost me?" "What in the world?" "Ah crap you aren't a dormie are you?"
  4. 4. "No I'm Gvaudoin Tricou, and you are a worm." "Hey look I'm sorry see I thought you were a dormie and well let's just say most dormies are easier than two plus two." "And that gives you the right to talk to them like that?"
  5. 5. "What do you mean he's not there, Delilah? Where is he?" "He went home, already? Did he say anything . . . he said he'd see you later. Yeah okay did he say anything about me? About us? " "Get your mind away from your aspiration for a moment 'Lilah. I didn't mean that and why would he tell you anyway, you're his sister don't you think that's at all weird? . . . What do you mean he told you everything else? . . . He told YOU about THAT? Oh my gawd did he tell everyone? . . . Well yeah it was pretty exciting, there's the whole risk of being interrupted thing but ewww!" "Yeah okay I'll c'ya tomorrow if I don't die of embarrassment between now and then that is."
  6. 6. "So is there anything you want to know about my woohoo life? Apparently other brothers and sisters discuss these things all the time and we've been missing out on a whole slew of educational conversations over the years. Or how bout we talk about yours? Is there anything special that Deanna does that you find particularly pleasing and that you think I might benefit from knowing about?" "Uh really Elle, I try very hard to never think about you and woohoo in the same context. Thank you for setting my mind to exploding yet again." "See right there that's what I expected. Maybe it's a good thing that Dov and I are over; I don't know if I could handle constantly wondering what he's discussing with people."
  7. 7. "Wait back up, what do you mean you and Dov are over, when did that happen?" "I don't know when it happened, but he left campus this morning and just moved on home." "You were over at the dorm last night for his graduation party; didn't you say he was going to be moving home this week? I don't understand isn't he doing exactly what you said he was going to do? Did you two have a fight or something?"
  8. 8. "It's not what he did; it's what he didn't do. Elliot he left without giving me my ring, the only people that leave campus without getting engaged are the ones that don't plan on getting married." "Did he ever indicate that he didn't want to get married or that he didn't want to marry you? You talked about the future right you made plans?" "We've talked about it tons, I thought he wanted to get married; he gave off all the right signals." "What signals?" "You know using couple speak when discussing the future. Our home, our kids you know that type of thing." "So did you ask ever him why he hadn't proposed? Maybe he has a reason."
  9. 9. "Of course not, what was I supposed to say 'how come you haven't giving me a ring yet?" "Why not? Deanna asked me, and then we talked about it. I didn't want to give her a ring until we'd made the decision over where we would be living once we get married. So we figured it out and then I gave her the ring." Elliot shrugged "You have a year before you graduate I don't see why there's a deadline." "If he was serious about our relationship wouldn't he want to make a commitment?" "A commitment comes from the heart not from a box. When you see Dov this weekend talk to him about what you feel. How's a guy supposed to know that there's a problem if you don't us what it is? We don't read minds Elle."
  10. 10. There were two things in this world that Dov Familiar was serious about: Elle and video games. He wanted to marry Elle and design video games. The catch was that he knew Elle was way more serious about a lot more things than he. She had definite plans for her future, and she'd told him about them repeatedly. She wanted to marry a successful guy and live in a nice house. He had the house, okay so maybe it was his parents' house but he figured it was nice. Now he just needed to prove that he could be successful enough for her.
  11. 11. Bo's wedding day dawned bright and clear just as ordered. Everyone one was saying a little prayer hoping that the weather would stick through the multiple parties that were to be held throughout the day. Bo was a bundle of nerves, she'd been planning this for months, years actually but finally it was here and all she had to do was get through the day. "Elliot I don't see Emma didn't she come with you? Please don't tell me she's missing my wedding." "Yeah she's here don't worry Bo she wouldn't let you down today. She's over there with your Dad see? Bo just relax, today's your day you need to enjoy it don't worry about other people." "Easier said than done but I'll try."
  12. 12. "Hey there Sunshine, My but don't you make that dress look good?" "I wasn't sure you were going to show up here today." "Why wouldn't I show up? Your sister's wedding has been in the works for months, it's important to you, where else would I be?" "I don't know maybe the same place you've been since graduation, at your parents' house not answering the phone." "Sorry about that, it's just that I've been really busy since graduation. I didn't even realize that my cell phone battery was dead until about an hour ago."
  13. 13. Dov was acting as if everything was fine, but there was something going on here. Elle couldn't imagine what would be keeping him so busy that he wouldn't notice the phone. Dov was almost as outgoing as she was, and normally spent hours every day yacking to various people. Had he really just been busy? Or had he been getting busy? Elle looked at Dov speculatively, blinked a few times and then smiled. "You got a job didn't you? Is that what's been keeping you so busy?"
  14. 14. "Not just a job babe, I got the job! I sent my resume off to a game development corporation along with my portfolio and they accepted me, my first game is starting development. It's gonna be a lot work at first but we should be fairly well past crunch time by the time you graduate next year, and by then I should have more time for us to spend together." "Why didn't you tell me about it before you left? I always knew you'd make it big, I just didn't expect it to happen so soon." "Well I had to prove to my girl that I could be successful enough for her didn't I that's a pretty big incentive. So did it work?" "As the wedding march started playing in the back yard, Elle rolled her eyes at her boyfriend. "You never had to prove that to me I already knew it. I guess Elliot was right, go figure. We're going to need to have a talk; soon, but not now we can't miss Bo's entrance."
  15. 15. When Bo was sixteen she'd written in her diary about what her wedding to Alexander Goth was going be like. She practiced writing her name Bottom Goth, Bo Summerdream-Goth, Mrs. Alexander Goth. By the time she was eighteen she had her dress picked out. When the time came that she actually had an engagement ring on her finger she was already planning the menu for the reception. The guest list had been finalized six months previously and the gardeners had worked overtime so that the setting would be picture perfect.
  16. 16. "Where are Mom and David? I can't get married without my Mom being here." No matter how well prepared the bride may think she is, there's always going to be something that goes wrong.
  17. 17. Some things are apparently more important to Titania than watching her eldest daughter get married. You guys might want to hurry it up; she's only been planning this thing half her life.
  18. 18. In the years to come Bottom wouldn't remember that her mother had barely made it to her seat in time to stand and applaud, nor would she recall that the arch had needed an adjustment at the last moment. The dog that had wandered in and drug away half the turkey would be but a passing memory, though her brother's chasing the dog trying to get it back could still be cause for laughter. In the years to come if you asked Bottom what she remembered about her wedding she'd just smile and say that 'It was perfect'.
  19. 19. "I would like everyone to join me in wishing Bottom and Alex a life of good health, happiness and prosperity. The two of you deserve the best and I know you will find it together. My friend Alex is a very lucky guy and Bottom is a beautiful woman. Bo, Alex, I hope that the two of you have very long lives together that are full joy, laughter and love. I hope that in the years to come we are all invited to share in at least some of those moments with you. I also hope that a year from now that the two of you will be toasting to Elle and I on our wedding day. That is of course if she'll have me, what do you say Elle will you marry me?"
  20. 20. Elle whispered "Bout darn time." Elle is as I've described in the past a very determined and particular young lady. When she became teen she filled out her turn ons and turn offs in a way that could only be termed decisive; she wanted a man that was charismatic and hardworking (lvl 6+ job) and was turned off by those that were unemployed. We could have changed her toto's to match well with any number of men she'd met but when Dov appeared at the top of her two bolt list as an unemployed college student we all figured it was destiny. She kept her turn ons as they originally were and recognized his potential. Since his graduation and subsequent entry into the career field of his choice, they've garnered a very high three bolts.
  21. 21. The party moved from one house directly to another house. At Puck and Dorme's the guest list contained many of the same names, plus a few vampires. Thus was the need for a night time ceremony. Dorme being Bob and Sierra's great-grand daughter couldn't have had a daytime party. So even though Puck was the eldest he got to be married second. That was fine with Puck he was nervous enough as it was if he'd been first up to bat he might just have fainted. If Dorme was nervous it wasn't about the actual wedding. Any nerves she felt were based on the question of if her mother Kitty would manage to remain clothed until the party was over. Coop had promised his daughter that he'd keep an eye on his wife.
  22. 22. Sometimes I feel sad and sometimes I feel blue but whenever I see you, I'm as happy as can be for you bring a smile upon my face and a feeling of joy within my heart you're like my sunshine in the morning and my stars that glow at night you're like the waves in the ocean the cool breeze in the wind like the call of the birds in the morning dew like the sounds of beauty in the night
  23. 23. you see all of these things are of beauty and love that's how I feel whenever you are near for it was the passion and desire from both of us that opened up the world for our eyes to see for our love of each other will grow and grow and our needs and desires will be more everyday for a friend you once were and will always be has turned into love as it should have been so I want you to know as a friend and lover that in my heart and arms you'll always stay for our love for each other will never fade. - Joe Vieira
  24. 24. Ladies and Gentlemen Mr. and Mrs. Summerdream! Puck and Dorme are an absolutely adorable couple and they pretty much make me want to squeal every time I see them. I am extremely happy that they found each other.
  25. 25. By the time Puck and Dorme's wedding party was in full swing, Emma was settling into a true funk. Everywhere she looked there were couples flirting with each other, making out together or trying to unobtrusively sneak off for some 'alone' time. She missed the closeness of being part of a 'couple' the looks, the absent minded touches, the shared smiles, the little things that you take for granted until you no longer have them. If Aldric had been there she figured that they would have been sneaking off together. It wasn't that Emma resented all the couplings going on around her or the celebratory excitement that had been going along with the most recent round of graduations and weddings. She was happy for everyone else that was happy, it was just depressing.
  26. 26. Then too was the look of worry that crossed most people's faces when they looked at her. If one more person asked how she was holding up while gently patting her arm she just might scream, give them something to really worry about. She knew she wasn't looking her best; she didn't need the constant reminders from everyone. Maybe she did need to eat more; she just hadn't been hungry lately nothing tasted good. And she hadn't been sleeping all that much either. Ever since that girl, Meadow had attacked her she'd been spending most nights tossing and turning thinking about what she'd said and letting the doubts take control.
  27. 27. Had Aldric really called her a stuck up spoiled princess? And if he'd really felt that way about her why had he proposed? Was she only his escape from eternal dormie status? He'd said he loved her was that a lie? Wouldn't she know, wouldn't she have gotten the same vibe from him that she'd gotten from other guys, the ones that heard the name Familiar and instantly turned on the charm? The guys like Almeric? How could identical twins seem so different from one another, were they really as different as she'd believed? Thankfully there was a bubble blower available; bubbles were always good for wiping away doubts and cares.
  28. 28. "Okay so who do we have lined up? Bob of course, then there's DJ but should we call her and Kiernan to the stand ourselves or should we let the Foundation line them up as witnesses and then devastate them with the cross examination? Misty and Dan said they'd testify but they don't believe their testimony would carry much weight. I'm still not sure why they think that. We could call the Counts and the Countessas but the whole thing with Uncle Dwight worries me; we're already a bit weak when it comes to immortality as a form of 'punishment'. I'd like Denise to talk with the one that turned him though. From what Bob has told us, vampires don't turn others as punishment, so it's possible that she had a different view of the situation than Dwight."
  29. 29. "I'll hunt her down and talk to her myself; I'd love the chance to get to know her." Elliot "No way bud, if you make friends with a vampire I'm going to be hearing about Deanna's constant want for you to get cured and your constant fear of the same thing for the rest of our lives. Once this is over you can do what you want, your funeral but I'm not going to share the blame." "Yeah sure spoil sport let's see, for zombie creators the best we've got is Boris. Dad and I are both willing to take the stand but Elle wants to avoid calling immediate family members as it weakens the case, hate to say it but I agree."
  30. 30. "I couldn't help overhearing your conversation, and I apologize for butting in but you're going about this the wrong way." "What are you saying? Look I don't know who you are but you have no idea what we are even talking about." "You're discussing your fast approaching court date with Grim. Many things hang in the balance here but to you Emma the most important is your fiances life." "And who are you to know that?" "Me? I'm your secret weapon, one that won't even need to be pulled out in court. I'm Gvaudoin Tricou and I'll be your placeholder this generation. Before that I'm your spy, DJ's orders." "Tricou? As in Kiernan Tricou?"
  31. 31. "The one and only. Look you're on the right track when it comes to compiling information about the immortal lifestyle and benefits of such. But you need practical examples. The thing is you need to be specific to zombies and well in Familiarity you don't have many positive choices to pull from. My Dad and Step-Mom are really all you've got here. Using other immortal races won't cut it, Grim doesn't care about any immortals but zombies they are his special pets. Bob and Sierra are wonderful sources of information and shinning examples of immortal life being put to good use but Grim dislikes vampires on principle. When a sim becomes a vampire they step outside Grim's laws for life and death. Use Bob, but use him as the source of information on the UA and on the reasons behind the creation of zombies. Don't try to use him or any of the other vampires for examples of altered lifestyle."
  32. 32. "But if we can't use Bob, or the other vampires for that? Who can we use? Like you said your Dad and DJ are our only real zombie success so far, I think we can use some of the campus zombies but we're going to have to be picky about who and what we ask." "You need documented stories of real life zombies that are doing well with their fates. I've been observing the campus zombies and I'm pretty sure that you can make most of them admit that life isn't as bad for them as they'd like you to believe. I'll bring you my reports on them as you get closer to crunch time. But other than that you need to step outside the time stream." "Wait time stream? No we aren't going to mess with the time stream. It would be bad" Elliot studied time streams in his physics classes. "It's only potentially bad if you cross the streams Elliot, and I'm not suggesting that you do that. You should however use them to your advantage." "I'm lost here, explain this time stream thing to the non geek please?" Emma was confused
  33. 33. "Do you think you're alone in this world? Do you think that your family, your town is all there is? You already know that's impossible, where did your ancestors come from? How did they get here? The streams were combined to form this world. You know that your mother was originally from Verona Ville correct?" Emma nodded of course she knew that, Titania had talked about the quaint little town and her life there plenty of times. "What you may not know is that here she's married to your father. But in another time stream she's still in Verona Ville married to Oberon. In yet another she's already lived a full life, when she died there she left many children and grandchildren to mourn. Or maybe they didn't mourn maybe they were glad the old witch died." "Don't call my mother a witch she's wonderful, she's . . ." "Of course she is, here. Do the research and find out."
  34. 34. "Hey Denise, what we are we doing here? This is the ritzy boutique mini mall, not your normal style huh?" Denise had only told Dane that they were going shopping but not where or for what. "We're here so that you can buy me an engagement ring. If you want me to help you pick it out I will but if you'd rather surprise me I'll wait for you." "Why would I need to buy you an engagement ring?" Denise sighed sometimes being in love with Dane was frustrating.
  35. 35. "I've already got a ring. Denise, I might not be the smartest guy in the world, but I am smart enough to know that I love you and that I want to marry you. I've been carrying this around for weeks waiting for the right time to ask. I guess I waited too long, huh? I was pretty sure you wanted me to ask, but you never told me to and normally when you want me to do something you tell me. So then maybe I thought you didn't want to marry me and what I was going to do with this ring? I wondered if well maybe I'd give it to my Mom cause you know she really likes jewelry but then I didn't know if that would mean that I was engaged to my Mom and that would be gross so." "YES!" "What? Oh whew that's great!"
  36. 36. I figure that Denise is smart enough for both of them, though I do worry for the children. Thankfully they'll be living with Demi and Chay so there will be fewer chances that Dane will set a baby down someplace and forget where he put it.
  37. 37. It was time for a grilled cheese and strategy luncheon. As far as Emma could figure they had almost everything they needed for their court appearance. But they needed to be prepared for any eventuality. This whole crossing the time streams theory that Gvaudion had presented was interesting and might just be the final key they needed. "Okay spill Eli, explain this whole time stream theory and why we can't cross the streams." "Cause it would be bad." Elliot thought that was simple enough "I'm fuzzy on the whole good bad thing, define 'bad'."
  38. 38. "Okay look, in the various time streams you've got people that are basically exactly the same as each other. Maybe they're twins maybe their clones we don't know how it all works, personally I go for the clone theory. Each of these individuals has the same basic history; some are more developed than others but each group of clones begins the same way. As the stream develops further they separate into individual beings and develop their own personalities and memories. If you remove or further clone a developed individual and attempt to move them between streams they will partially revert back to their original status they might keep their name and any appearance changes that made them individuals in their original stream but they loose their relationships and their memories. For the most part moving the original clones from one stream to another isn't a problem though if they run into another clone there does seem to be chances for confusion and mayhem to occur."
  39. 39. Elliot continued "Where you really start to have problems though is when you clone or move someone that was actually born in one time stream into another. It's bad enough if a clone meets itself but imagine a clone meeting one of their ancestors." "That actually sounds kinda cool I'd like to meet Chloe wouldn't you?" "Well yeah but in this time stream if you met Chloe you'd know who she was. If you met her in another time not only wouldn't you know who she was but you'd have no idea that you share her genetics. There have been cases of first cousins inadvertently being married to each other and having children. We all know that that's not supposed to happen. It happens and the time stream doesn't collapse or anything it's just creepy and bad. There are things that can be done to avoid improper mixing but if the crossings are done often enough it begins to get confusing as to who's related to whom."
  40. 40. "Okay whoa this is pretty dang cool. Come look at this Em. That boolprop website that you Gvaudoin told you about has tons of documented life stories. And just doing a few quick peeks there's going to be plenty of zombie possibilities to choose from. I also found a few discussions regarding the documenters opinions on alternative species it's a shame but it sounds like a large portion of documenters find alternative species to be kinda creepy." "We can't use that information it would only back up what the council is going to try and prove." "Yeah but even so it looks like maybe ten percent of the documenters focus on a zombie at one time or another. The good thing about it is that once a zombie is part of the documentation they get plenty of mention. One of the advantages of zombies is long life, the longer the life the more possibility to get 'face time'."
  41. 41. "We should be able to get plenty of examples of positive zombie lifestyles from the family histories. You should be able to pull together a few of them for a real show stopper in the finale." "Me? No you need to do the talking here Elle, talking is your thing, not mine." "Yeah but it's your future we're dealing with not mine." "I think it's more than that Elle, even if it was just my future I'd trust you with it. But Elle don't you get the vibe from some of the people we've talked to that there's more to it than that?"
  42. 42. "Yeah I guess I do, anytime I talk to Bob it's like he's biting his tongue. He falls over himself giving us information but I still think he's holding something back. I've tried to push him but when I do he gets extremely vague and then he gets frustrated. It's almost as if he would say more but he can't." "Exactly, and it scares me Elle. Look right now I figure my future can't get much worse; I'm already kinda adjusting to life with out Aldric. I'm not done loving him, wanting him, or missing him but I'm adjusting. The rest of you though . . ." Emma didn't want to say what she was thinking.
  43. 43. "Hey Em, I think Suzi has a crush on Elliot. She keeps walking by here trying to spy on us. At first we thought she was just really bad at the whole seek information from the shadows bit but then I started to notice that she only walks by when he's here and every time she catches a glimpse of him her tongue practically falls out of her mouth." "Talk about your unattainable goals, even if Suzi wasn't trying to destroy our family, Elliot's completely oblivious to any girl but Deanna."
  44. 44. It wasn't just Suzi that was stalking the members of the Greek House. Almeric had started to come around as well. No one could ever remember inviting him into the house; he would just show up and stare at Emma. Emma no longer attempted to see the possible good in her future brother in law, and tried to ignore his presence when possible. It was creepy the way Almeric would stare at her, he rarely tried to talk to her and never made any advances towards her he'd just stand there. If she asked him what he wanted he'd just tilt his head and smile then say "nothing".
  45. 45. Almeric didn't get the message very easily though, on the day that Gvaudoin brought her final reconnaissance report to them they found him hanging out with a couple of mascots at the bubble blower. "Elliot, take care of the trash out here okay? The stink is getting to me." "Yeah I'm on it, sorry Em I didn't even notice he was here."
  46. 46. "That guy out there the one you called trash? What's his story?" Gvaudoin wondered if Almeric was a friend or what "He's my fiances twin brother. He's been hanging around uninvited for the last few weeks, he won't say why and mostly all he ever does is stare at me. It's creepy." "You know he lives in my dorm, when I first met him he seemed like such a slime ball and I still get that vibe but he's been acting weird, I dunno different." "Different how? You're right he is a slime it never ceases to amaze me that he and Aldric are twins. They are almost complete opposites." "I don't think I know him well enough to really judge how much he's changed but okay see the first time I talked to him he made this wildly absurd pass at me. And he acted all cocky; I mean if the pass hadn't been so scum filled I would have almost admired his self confidence. The last time I talked to him though it was like his ego had dropped to the bottom of the bucket he was almost self-effacing."
  47. 47. "If I hadn't already experienced his slime factor I might have thought he was cute, in a lost puppy dog kinda way. He's not bad looking either, did his brother look like him? If so I can see why you fell for him." "Yeah Aldric and Almeric are identical in everything except attitude, and eyesight. So what do you have on the zombie population?" Emma really hated when people referred to Aldric in past tense, to her it was a sign that the person had no faith in her abilities to bring him back. What she needed now was confidence from others and in herself. If Gvaudion had known that that was how Emma would feel about what she'd said she never would have said it in that way. It wasn't that she didn't have faith in Emma and her housemates, over the past few months that she'd gotten to know them she figured that if anyone would be able to pull off what needed to be done it was this group.
  48. 48. "Okay well I'm just going to brief outline there's a bunch more details on the disc I gave you but for now generalities. As you know there are currently five zombies living on campus in the various dorms: Nikki Zarubin, Tammy Bruenig, Suzi Philippine, Cole Thayer and Christa Bear." Emma picked up a game controller and as she and Gvaudion battled down the slopes she listened heard more juicy gossip about the university zombies than she'd ever want to know. "Any questions?" "Wow that was great stuff! You weren't lying when you billed yourself as a secret weapon. I'll make sure everyone reads your report, and I'll IM you tonight if we need clarification." "So do I get the placeholder job? Frankly living in the dorms sucks majorly."
  49. 49. With T-24 or less Bob had made arrangements to make one last contact with the Greek House kids before their trial began. The excuse behind the gathering was his son Blade's birthday party. As Bob brought Blade to the cake he looked around the room and hoped that he wasn't seeing any of the people that were there for the last time. It was obvious to him now that he had made a grave error in his past, he could justify it but that didn't make it right.
  50. 50. Looking at Blade he could almost believe that it had been worth it. The kid was a sheer miracle. Blade had been born at the point in time when his parents were just starting to come to terms with what immortality means. Bob and Sierra's eldest son Benjamin hadn't lived to met his brother, and Boris was still here only through perversity. Boris was living on borrowed time but had thankfully held on long enough to be a part of the court. Bob knew that Boris' testimony would be key and he needed to relate that to the kids.
  51. 51. "I don't want to worry you more than you already are, but you need to be prepared for the eventualities. Grim doesn't like to let anyone leave his realm once they are there." "What are you saying Bob?" "I'm saying that there could be more at stake on the outcome of this court date than just one life. Aldric and Emma's futures may not be the only ones devastated by this. There are things I can't tell you here, but that I will be able to tell you if you ask me the right questions on the court." "What things? We need to know what we to expect we don't have much lea way for surprises in there. Bob we know that you're holding something back from us, if you want to help now is the time to do so."
  52. 52. "I'm bound by promises that I can't afford to break, Elliot I wish I could tell you more here but I can't. When Boris is called be sure that he is questioned about UA formation, press him for the whys in all cases. After you've done that I hope you'll understand, don't call me to the stand until you know the questions that need to be asked. It sounds trite but please believe me that if I'd known then, we wouldn't be where we are now." "Now you're just scaring me." "You have reason to be scared, and I'm sorrier for that than you can understand. The advice that I can give is this; Grim can't lie, nor can he be lied to. He can and will be generous if approached in the proper manner so always show him respect. Many of the things he does he does out of sheer boredom, keep him entertained and interested. Now you need to get going, Grim won't wait for daylight to get started."
  53. 53. "Why were you in such a rush to get us out of there Elliot? What did Bob tell you?" "I don't know really, but guys Bob is scared and that is scaring me. He indicated that we might all be in danger while this thing is going on. That seems contradictory to many of the views we've heard and read about Grim. I've always believed that he wasn't evil I still don't think he is but if Bob is scared then there has to be a reason right? What would a vampire have to be scared of?" "Vampires are scared of the same things that we are, but they are most scared of death."
  54. 54. "But why would he think? Surely that can't be it wouldn't he have told us before now?" Denise was confused. "Not if he didn't want us to panic, if we were scared then we might not have been able to find out as much as we have we needed to be able to prepare while rational." It was something that Emma had thought about, and she hadn't shared her fears for the same reasons that Bob hadn't. "Well I'm panicking now okay?" Elle had not signed up for this.
  55. 55. "You want me to make the call now boss? Is it time to roll the dice?" Grim's newest assistant Zaranye; would be acting as the bailiff and referee for the court. She was just an intern so she still wasn't sure of her duties, but working with Grim was super exciting. Nothing like that burger joint she'd worked in before. "Yes my pet place the call, we roll the dice." Grim was looking forward to the evenings entertainment. So rarely did he allow himself the pleasure of a new game. Morrigan had been around longer but not long enough to see a game played out. She was going to do her best to make a recording of the night's events. Grim was specific that everything be recorded correctly. He knew he would soon be bored again and so he wanted a record to re- read in the future.
  56. 56. Zaranye placed a single call, but with that call the first eight players arrived on the court. It would be an even match four to a side. Let the games begin!
  57. 57. "Welcome to my realm. I am the Grim Reaper, death is my game and this is my game court. I am the game master. You are here at my will and for my pleasure. Games are meant to be enjoyable, yes? "We come here to seek justice not to play a game!" "Suzi my pet, you say you seek justice? No you do not seek justice, you seek vengeance and that is an entirely different matter. But you came to me seeking a boon and as you are one of my pets I must grant that boon. That is a rule of the game. There are many rules to the game. You may learn some of them as we go along. For now all you need to know is that you all are now in my realm. You will be my guests and under my protection while here until such time as I choose to let you depart. Before we begin each team's captain can ask me questions and to make a statement. After that each team may tag in their witnesses. The witnesses can be anyone from your realm, only from your realm. Choose Wisely for you only have three"
  58. 58. "It looks like they are going to have Heath Toyonaga do the talking, total sleaze romancer. He's got a lot of charisma but not all that many brains to back it up so someone's pulling his strings. Probably Suzi, we already know her weakness. The other zombie is Tammy Bruenig; she's one we want on the stand. I don't know the other guy; he doesn't look like he wants to be here. Looks like a pretty boy, probably just along for the ride cause he's scared of loosing his looks if he becomes a zombie." Emma was looking over their opponents and trying to match faces to the names in her records. "That's Trent Tan and you're probably right about why he's here." Denise had been the unenviable target of many of Trent's leers while visiting Dane at his dorm.
  59. 59. "Okay so it's a game. How do we win?" Elle wanted to know the rules "By convincing me that you should win; by outwitting your opponents and proving that you deserve to win." "So it's still like a law court? Cool we can do this." Elle nodded at her 'team' they were well prepared for this, Bob had hinted repeatedly that Grim's court wouldn't be exactly what they expected. "Alright then before I start my opening remarks I'd like to ask you a few questions if that would be acceptable?" Grim inclined his hood towards Elle he liked her so far she had the proper attitude.
  60. 60. "Will this be our last chance to question you?" "No you may ask me questions at any time during this proceeding." "What happens if we lose?" Elle wanted to know what they were facing. "You remain with me, for good." They'd already discussed that possibility, but from the gasp Elle heard behind her she figured that the plaintiffs hadn't yet realized that what the penalty for loosing in death court would be. "And if we win?" "You will return to your realm with all restrictions lifted. Your slate is wiped clean in this matter."
  61. 61. "That's it? Isn't there a prize for winning?" "Games are meant to be played for the enjoyment of playing; what you win is the knowledge that you played well." "Will you offer a boon to the winners?" "Ms Familiar, are you attempting to bargain with ME?" "No I am asking for that which you could freely give." "Very well a boon it is."
  62. 62. "Wait a second, are you saying that if we lose this game we're going to die? Nobody told us that." Heath seemed to have woken up to that fact a bit late. "Did you ask?" this young man would not be as enjoyable to discourse with as Elle was. "Can we choose to quit the game?" It was a slim chance but Elle could hope "If you quit you forfeit and you lose." "I have one last question and then I'll defer my opening in lieu of a closing statement and grant Mr. Toyonaga the floor."
  63. 63. "Very well" "Will those that are called as witnesses be granted protection? Will they be allowed to leave once their testimony is completed?" Elle wanted to ensure the safety of those that had promised to assist them, it was bad enough already there was no need to risk others. "They will be protected and they will be allowed to leave when they wish." "Thank you."
  64. 64. "Hello Your err Deadliness" Heath Toyonaga cleared his throat and tried to remember what he'd prepared to say. He'd always done well in mock trials and he firmly believed that his stellar good looks and smooth manner would win over any jury but Grim wasn't part of a handpicked jury that would be susceptible to his charm. From the moment he'd realized what was on the line he'd begun cursing Suzi for convincing him that this would be the ultimate in resume experience. As I was saying Your Deadliness my name is Heath Toyonaga and I represent the Familiarity Foundation's council of superiority in the matter of the Foundation versus the Familiar family. Six generations ago the Familiar family claimed this time stream as their own and since that time all of us that predated the claim have felt the weight of their authority. In the second generation the family sent its first two members to university and those young men were suitably impressed by the honor of being received into our secret society."
  65. 65. "By the time the third generation arrived they no longer felt impressed but they were still in the minority, and during that time we were as the foundation, able to assist the family with access to your direct line when foolishly a member of the family succumbed to death while amongst us. Not only were they grateful they assisted us in the retrieval of one of our own who had the met the same fate. But times change and with the arrival of the fourth generation it was obvious that the Familiar family was not only now ungrateful but indeed they were spiteful. As if by magic the Foundation's cow plant Aubrey suddenly gained its freedom and began luring unsuspecting members to their doom."
  66. 66. "We were still in the population majority; the family seemed willing and eager to add our venerable genetics to their bloodline. What was the loss of a few in comparison to the gain of all? But to our shock the Familiar family was not content to let the dead remain dead and with no regret for what was done soon resurrected not just one but two of our dead as zombies. Those zombies were horrible half dead creatures that had the ability to lower the environment of our establishment with their presence. We were shocked, we were confused and we angry. But we were also patient and so we watched to see what intent was behind the transformation. We saw that unlike us the Familiar family were not put off by their creations but instead intrigued, we watched as they accepted on of those creations into their Greek House and put her in a place of authority as placeholder. Perhaps this was not as bad as we had feared."
  67. 67. "When generation five arrived on campus we were able to confirm rumors that family had created yet another zombie in home hood, again it was a townie that had been turned not a member of the family - it's never a member of the family. That one was different there seemed to be malice and hatred involved in his creation. During the reign of the fifth generation three more members of our establishment were turned. Once again the new creations mingled with the family, friendships were formed romances engaged. And yet again one of the zombies was placed into the role of placeholder."
  68. 68. "The insult came when upon the arrival of the current sixth generation when an upstart townie with no lineage declared that the placeholder who had done her job admirably for the generation was not going to be allowed to stay with the family for the duration would not be allowed to ease into the main community but instead was kicked to the curb and told never return. We wondered at the change in the attitude of the family until a campus census was performed and we were advised that no longer did the 'dormie' population exceed that of the Familiar family but that the family had ballooned in size to a degree of overwhelming odds. And while in the past there had been members of the dorm population married into the family it was obvious that this new generation was being encouraged to intermarry with their own relatives and to strengthen their own lines while weakening our contributions."
  69. 69. "When the deaths and subsequent zombie creations began yet again we felt that we had no choice but to act against the Familiar family and their obvious intent to disband the foundation. To abuse our trust and our companionship until all members of the foundation are either dead or zombies." Denise whispered to Elliot "Is this guy for real?" "A member of our own council Suzi Philippine risked your obvious displeasure and the further malice of the Familiar family in order to use your hotline and plead our cause. We thank you Your Deadliness for the ability to be heard and justified."
  70. 70. "Thank you Mr. Toyonaga that was very . . . educational. Are you ready to proceed or would you like to take up more of our time grandstanding?" "We'd like to call our first witness Ms. DJ Verse, the first member of the Familiarity Foundation to be turned into a zombie against her will." "Very well Mrs. Tricou may be called" Grim nodded towards Zaranye and moments later DJ appeared sitting in the witness 'hot seat' "Whoa that was freaky." DJ blinked "Uh sorry" "Will the witness be sworn in?" Heath asked of Grim "There is no need, I can see through lies and untruths." "Oh." Heath swallowed audibly
  71. 71. The first rule of witness examination is to endear yourself to the witness; to make them feel welcome, appreciated, and honored to assist you. "Oh yeah I remember you DJ back before you became a creepy dead chick we rocked the hot tub all the time." "In your dreams maybe?" DJ was amused; she shook her head, romance sims. "But of course and my dreams are wonderful places to be, you should try them sometime." "I don't think my husband would approve of my staring in someone elses dreams but thank you."
  72. 72. "Whoa whoa whoa you got married? When did that happen? We didn't have that information." Heath shot a deadly look at Suzi; the key to success in court was preparation. "Kiernan and I were married about six months ago, now that all of Kiernan's children are grown we are looking into the possibility of adopting and we felt that being married would add weight to our application." "Well congratulations to you and to your husband, I wish you success on your adoption." Any social worker that put the life of a human child into the trust of a zombie was deranged. "So you married only in order to have more luck at adopting?" "No we married because we love each other." Heath then questioned her on the zombie lifestyle, the personality adjustments, and the odor. From there he tried to lead DJ into a discussion on zombie acceptance, the difficulty of getting jobs, of making friends Heath won very few points during the discussion.
  73. 73. "DJ you were the first zombie created by the Familiar family is that correct? As the first zombie with no others to turn to after your creation what support did the Familiar family and the UA offer you?" "The family was interested and concerned regarding the zombie transformation process, I spent time with both Bailey and Benjamin having tests run on my DNA and my medical status they wanted to make sure that there were no lingering effects as well as documenting the process for future study and comparison. Various members of the family also offered their friendship which was most welcome as people can be cruel of those that are different from themselves. The various members of the UA met me on equal terms respected my opinions and assisted me in founding a campus zombie support group which is still in effect today."
  74. 74. "What was your initial reaction to your turning?" "At first I was just happy to be alive, and then I was upset and confused over the transformation. Since I was the first one made the first one in the community and there weren't any other zombies to turn to for guidance or advice. The UA and the Familiar family helped me to overcome my confusion." "Were you angry at Boris for turning you into a zombie? Are you angry at him now?" "Eh at Boris no not really, as I told Heath better a zombie than dead. Angry at the fates? Initially yeah kinda, the whole why me feeling. But now no, if I hadn't been a zombie I most likely would never have met Kiernan and I now know my fate is with him." "And did Boris explain to you why you were created, what the reason was for creating zombies?" "Boris told me that the family needed zombies. That zombies would somehow protect the family if they were threatened. As for why me in particular I don't think that mattered to him."
  75. 75. The next witness that was called was a member of the council's team, Tammy Bruenig. Heath asked Tammy relatively the same questions that he had asked DJ. She had been turned against her will; she would have preferred not to, her initial reaction to her alternative lifestyle was confusion and anger. The Greek team had decided that rather than have a single member of the team question everyone that each of them would question those that they'd decided they understood best and so Emma handled Tammy's cross examination. "Did you want to be here today Tammy?" "I was recruited by the council to join the team, as a member of the council and a zombie they felt that my presence would add weight to the case." Tammy wasn't comfortable with being on the stand she couldn't lie but the consequences of losing were too great. Emma asked Tammy about being a member of the UA about the other zombies on campus; were they friends did they get together for help and support? Tammy reluctantly stated that they were.
  76. 76. "How does your boyfriend, feel about your being a zombie? You've been involved with Ratna since generation two was on campus correct?" "He's adjusted to my being a zombie." Tammy admitted "He's a knowledge sim isn't he? Has he ever mentioned a want to join you in your alternative lifestyle?" The want trees of a knowledge sim are quite predictable so Emma felt safe in asking the question. "Well maybe he's had fleeting thoughts in that direction." "You live in the same dorm as the London girls do don't you? Would you consider yourself friends with any of them? Or have they refused your friendship based on your being a zombie?" "I'm friends with several of my dorm mates, a few of them are from the London family. They don't seem to notice I'm a zombie."
  77. 77. Kiernan Tricou was the next to be called to the stand, while walking Kiernan through his death and rebirth Heath was able to score points. Kiernan had been disliked by members of the Familiar family and subsequently after his death had been created as a zombie. Kiernan had held anger for the family, had disliked his creation process and had sworn revenge. Heath avoided questioning Kiernan on anything more recent, what Kiernan felt now bore no weight for the prosecution.
  78. 78. Kiernan's present was what mattered most to Elle though. "How many children did you have Kiernan?" "I had three children total; Gvaudion Tricou, Clint Familiar and Cher Familiar-Smith. Gvaudion is now a university student, Clint and Cher are both deceased." Speaking of Clint and Cher filled Kiernan with regret. "And how many grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren do you have." "I have two grandchildren, Christopher Familiar and Celeste Smith-London. Through Chris I have two great grandchildren, Dannon and Darlene and through Celeste there are three, Dolcelatte, Dimsi and Devon. Dannon and his wife Della recently became parents of my first great-great grandchild Elani and Dolcelatte is due with the next any day." At the mention of Elani, Kiernan positively beamed with pride he'd been by to see her just the day before and had been enchanted.
  79. 79. "What would you say your current relationship with your descendants is?" "I'm on very good terms with all of my living family members. I consider them all to be good friends and I trust that they consider me the same as well." "How has your relationship with family members changed since becoming a zombie?" "Well when I was human my son couldn't stomach being in the same room as I and I rarely spoke to either of my daughters. Since becoming a zombie I've found the comfort and love that family can bring. I'd say my relationships have only gotten better." "Do you regret being a zombie now?" "Not at all, it's the best thing that ever happened to me." Kiernan honestly believed that it was.
  80. 80. The defense called Boris Familiar. They'd worried that he might be too feeble to be here but his jaunty walk as he entered the court belayed any effect that age had put on his joints or his mind. "You're coming for me soon aren't you Grim?" "Yes Boris, your time is nearing an end." "You know you could take me now and let these kids go, I wouldn't mind." "If only it was that simple Boris." "Yeah well I had to try. Can you let Ellen know I miss her and that I'll be with her soon?" "I can do that for you."
  81. 81. "General Boris I need you to take us through the steps and the thought process behind the formation of the UA particularly the zombie division." "Well Dad became a vampire while he was at University, it wasn't really part of his plan it just happened to work out that way. Once he was back in the main hood he started making contact with the other unnatural members of the community and found out that there wasn't any real organization or communication between the various species everyone pretty much kept separate. He didn't think that was a particularly good idea and he set about forming a loose network. All the time we were growing up he was particularly interested in zombies or more so the lack of zombies in Familiarity. You could say it almost drove him. He was constantly doing research trying to find out more information." "Why zombies? We still don't have any werewolves in town either is he as driven about them?"
  82. 82. "No not really, werewolves interest him and both he and mother are always on the lookout for the pack leaders but it was zombies that he wanted." "Did he give you a reason?" "He just said that it was imperative to our future. He said that the creation of zombies would offer us the protection that we needed. He sometimes would be specific and say that there needed to be at least three 'one for each'. But when either Ben or I asked him what that meant he said it wasn't important, that he couldn't explain it." "Would you say that he ordered you to create zombies?" "Not ordered, Dad wasn't military he doesn't give orders he reasons you into doing what he thinks you should."
  83. 83. "So your Daddy told you to create a zombie and you just did it?" "No my father helped me to believe that it was important that the zombie species be added to the Familiarity community." "But wasn't he already planning for Kiernan Tricou to be zombified? Why did he need more?" "Kiernan wasn't my father's deal, which was a combination of things. Cary was the main one that wanted to make Kiernan into a zombie. Dad didn't much like Kiernan but Cary hated him."
  84. 84. "So your cousin planned the murder of Kiernan Tricou and then devised the plan around which Kiernan would become a zombie all by himself? That's not the Cary Familiar I remember, the Cary Familiar I remember was too busy wanting to be a rock star and chasing after his first cousin once removed to have time to plot long term revenge like that. Didn't your father have influence on Cary growing up just like he did on you?" "Dad may have talked to Cary about zombies; I wouldn't know I wasn't privy to all of their conversations. The first time that I heard zombie in connection to Kiernan though was from Cary." "But didn't Kiernan mysteriously die while visiting your home, the home you shared with your parents?" "Kiernan was at our home as an invited guest. While walking in the garden he chose to attempt to grab a slice of cake from our cow plant Vlad and consequently died, there was nothing mysterious about it."
  85. 85. "Okay Bob, I think I'm getting a good picture of how things happened but I don't understand why they happened. Do you think you can help me out?" "I'll try my hardest to do just that Elliot." "Good, your son General Boris testified that you seemed driven by the notion that Familiarity needed to have zombies added to the population. Why was that?" "My belief was based on personal experience and research." "What personal experience led you to believe that the creation of zombies would offer protection why were they imperative to the future?" Bob looked over his shoulder and stared at Grim "Was that direct enough for you mon ami? Does it fall within the rules?" "You may answer the question I won't challenge it." For the first time in months Bob felt the weight lifting off his heart.
  86. 86. "I don't know really where to begin Elliot this isn't something that I've ever shared with anyone but Sierra. I became a vampire during my college years, my sister Betty was the original vampire but she passed the gift to me instead. The thing that you need to remember is that even now I view it as a gift, both the giving and the receiving of Vampirism should be considered the ultimate gift; it's the gift of immortality after all. Since my turning I've come to realize that not everyone that wants to receive the gift should be given it, a vampire needs to make careful consideration of their potential protege before making the offer it should never be done in haste. The vampire that gifted Betty well, he didn't do it in the proper manner as far as I'm concerned, he didn't take the time to share information with her or to ask if she wanted it. Because of that she didn't have any information to pass along to me and I graduated from University without knowing even the most basic methods of survival."
  87. 87. "The early years were touch and go, but I learned quickly what my weaknesses were and set about to overcome them. In addition I started to seek out others that were like me and that was how I first met the Core UA team: Bud, Misty and Dan. They were also interested in Vampirism, but they'd gone farther and were looking at other alternate species as well. With them I began to seek out others like us to pass information and help when needed. During that same time period I married my wife Sierra, I'd known and loved her since my University days. I was reluctant to marry her originally because I felt my condition would make things difficult on her and it did. She often worked all day and came home tired only to find me wide awake and wanting company. Sierra is my perfect mate and she would have joined me in my Vampirism from the beginning but after discussing it many times we decided to put off her transformation until after we'd had children. We didn't realize then just how adaptable children can be."
  88. 88. "When we found out that Sierra was pregnant we were ecstatic and like most parents we started planning the future. The pregnancy was particularly hard for Sierra. If she'd been a vampire it might have been different I don't know? Every pregnancy is different. She was constantly ill during her first trimester, and while that corrected itself by the second trimester she never regained her full strength. I was working days at the time and that's always difficult for a vampire but we needed the money and it was a good job. It just had bad hours, I had to both leave and return from work during the daylight. My timing needed to be exact. One day during her second trimester I came home and found that she had collapsed in the kitchen. She was starving but too weak to eat, I needed to get to my coffin but I was paralyzed in my fear for her. My wife was dieing before my eyes and I could see Grim appearing beside her. The sunlight had weakened me too much and I didn't even have the strength to fully plead"
  89. 89. "I awoke here, well not here precisely but in this realm. I looked around for my wife but I didn't see her, one side of me was thrilled because I assumed that my plea had somehow worked. The other part of me was devastated because I knew that meant we would be separated." "Wouldn't someone in the family have attempted to bring you back?" "They would have tried but they would have failed. I learned many things that day; the first was that while Grim may have a weakness for true love he plays hard ball with vampires. Grim doesn't like it when anyone attempts to place him outside the loop as far as death and immortality is concerned. Death is the game he plays with us all and he takes his games very seriously.
  90. 90. "There's the word game again, what is this game? Can you explain it to me?" Bob smiled that was the opening he needed. "Grim spoke to me after my arrival and when I asked about my wife he told me that he had spared her temporarily, I could save her but I would have to play his game. If we played and I won, Sierra would live and my son would be born. I of course would remain here. If I lost Sierra and my unborn son would join me but in addition no other vampires in Familiarity would survive either. While I was willing to do almost anything to save my wife and child I didn't think that it was fair to put a curse over the other vampires as well so I got bold."
  91. 91. "I told him that I wouldn't risk the lives of so many just to make my wife a widow. At that point we got into a rather lengthy morals discussion most of which is irrelevant, but that it was during the discussion that the two of us began to bargain; to play our game. I didn't know at the time that it was game or that we'd begun something that couldn't be stopped. We discussed various things including various time streams. I asked him if there was anything present in other time streams that weren't in this one but that he wished were. He told me that he missed having his pets, the zombies. I asked what he would give me for bringing zombies to this stream"
  92. 92. "And that's where the bargaining really began. We agreed that I would be returned to life along with my wife and child and that in return I would see to it that if the chance arrived for the creation of zombies to occur that they would. He and I agreed that to make it fair only those sims that died during the prime of their life could become zombies; so only adults or college students, no teens or elders. I asked him how many he wanted, and he replied one for each life returned. My fault was in not clarifying that statement." "Why was that a fault?" "Because I believed that what he wanted was three zombies, one each for me, Sierra and the baby. It was years before I knew differently. I figured three zombies, what would be the harm accidental deaths occur all the time at the foundation house. It would be an easy place to gather what he wanted and the community could absorb them."
  93. 93. "After Kiernan had been turned I thought it was over. There were three zombies, DJ, Kiernan and Nikki. I knew that your father was interested in zombies, so I made a point to get to know him and to bring him into UA discussions we talked about how the zombie population needed to be contained, how there shouldn't be rampant creations done and we agreed that only those deaths that occurred while a member of the Greek House was present would qualify. I expected to hear from him later that he was disappointed to have missed his chance, but I knew he would get over it. But instead he told me how they had added three more to the ranks. Three more how could that be? I called Grim and we began the game again. Grim said that he reckoned we were at six out of eight! How did we get from three to eight? I had grandsons didn't I? I knew Grim a bit better then than I had when first time we'd spoken. He wouldn't back down from the number eight but we eventually made an agreement that eight would be enough"
  94. 94. "And what did you give him for that agreement from what you've said Grim seems to be a hard bargainer." "I gave up mine and Sierra's right to create further vampires; I agreed that my wife and I would outlive our children and our grandchildren, everyone. I guaranteed that we would have to experience the grief and the devastation as we watched each of those that we loved go on before us, that we wouldn't prolong their lives through Vampirism That even if they begged us to give them the gift that we would refuse." "Hold on hold on, the sob stories really touching and all but I've got a few questions for this witness." Suzi had finally decided to speak.
  95. 95. "So is what you're saying is that the number eight for zombie creations was a firm number? And there are what seven zombies as of right now?" "Yes Christa was number seven." "So if Aldric Davis was made into a zombie as per the stipulation in the UA rules allowed then he would have been the eighth and final zombie created." "Yes, the eighth and final zombie was to be created this generation. But it wouldn't have been Aldric Davis." "I'll get back to that statement in a moment. The essential thing here is that this whole court thing is bogus that even if we hadn't sued for the zombie creation to stop it would have." "Uh huh, you've endangered the lives of at least eight people including yourself for absolutely no reason at all."
  96. 96. "So we've won?" Suzi looked at Grim "Right? We had this in the bag before it even started?" Grim and Bob both yelled "No!" at the same time. "Why not?" Suzi was sincerely confused. "You began a new game when you asked Grim for vengeance. Once the game begins it has to be continued to the final."
  97. 97. "They're going to try and include Aldric as a zombie into the bargain. Does that fit the rules of the game? Can they specify terms into the original game or only the expansions? And if it's not Aldric who will it be?" "Remember the boon." "There are four people sitting over there that are a part of this game with us, if we win they die can the boon be used for five? And if we ask does that start the game again? I want you to let me do the closing; I need to ask Grim a question. Something Bob said is clicking together with a few things that Gvaudoin reported." "What are you going to do Em?" "I'm going to save us, all of us."
  98. 98. "Sir, I realize that we are running out of time here, but before I present our closing statement I'd like to ask you three things, if I may?" "On the evening that Aldric Davis succumbed to the temptation of Aubrey's cake, was he the sim that your records had shown was going to be brought to you?" "No, there was another whose time had run out who was to join me instead." "Then how did he come to be a part of your realm?"
  99. 99. "There was an agent of manipulation involved in his death." "Is Aldric the eighth part of the bargain?" "No he is not." Emma took a deep breath of relief. "Thank you."
  100. 100. "Grim, the case that has been presented to you tonight by the plaintiffs has been one of gloom and doom for zombies. They've painted a picture that would make clown cry. They've claimed that zombies are shunned, that they lack respect, and that they are unloved, unwanted, and mistreated. Even among their own team members they've been unable to prove their stated truths. For the large part they've based their case around supposition, fears and rumors. Around their own prejudices."
  101. 101. "We on the other hand have presented a case full of possibilities. Rather than fears of zombies we've shown an atmosphere of interest and acceptance in Familiarity. When presented with these facts they've claimed that any acceptance of their lifestyle is limited by favoritism. I think however that we've shown how the doors are open to any that choose to walk through them. The Familiar family has always shown an interest and acceptance in other species, I'd like to take a moment to remind everyone here that our family was co-founded by an alien. When Fred Familiar went looking for a bride his requirements were simple, he wanted a woman that he could love and that would love him in return and when he met Chloe Singles he knew that she fit those requirements better than any other woman that he had met. It didn't matter to old Fred that she had green skin or black eyes. They loved each other and that love was the rock that they founded their family upon, this town on."
  102. 102. "The plaintiffs have stated that Zombies are unable to find love. Are the Tricou's less in love simply because they are Zombies? I believe that they have found love, and that their love for one another is as strong as the love that Fred and Chloe Familiar had. Their love has helped Kiernan to overcome defects in his personality. The defects I am referring to aren't there because he is a zombie, but the path past them have been eased greatly since becoming a zombie and since finding his wife."
  103. 103. "The plaintiffs have stated that zombies are unable to gain admiration or respect from their peers. I believe that the legion of Don Uglacy Fan girls would protest that statement. I offer to the court documentation of Mr. Uglacy's life that has been chronicled for decades and has followed him through many time streams. Even in those streams where he is not incorporeal his name is known. Don is just one zombie whose life has been documented extensively by his biggest fan one Candi020765 I'll leave copies of the Uglacy and Prettacy families for the courts review."
  104. 104. "The plaintiffs have stated that zombies are unable to form families. Is Heather Walton's family less of a family simply due to the genetics that her children possess? Is Annie Pole less loved by hers because she is a zombie? Would Booger Apocalypso have a more normal childhood if his mother was human? Again their cases have been documented extensively and I will gladly leave copies of Orikes360's Puesdo Legacy, Milkteeth82's Pole Legacy and The Apocalypse A-Go- Go/Ugothlacy documented by EphemeralToast for the court. I could continue your honor, there are hundreds of examples of successful zombie lives available from their chroniclers. Given time the zombies of Familiarity should have no reason to doubt that their stories couldn't be amongst the others."
  105. 105. "Your honor, it doesn't matter how or why the zombies are among us. It would be easy to point fingers, to cast blame at the individual creators that were curious enough to make the actual transformations possible, to blame Bob for agreeing to bring them into this stream to begin with, to blame you for desiring their presence or to lay their fate at their own feet for not being able to overcome the temptation of the cake despite knowing what could and might well happen to them. When something that we perceive to be bad occurs it is easy to cast blame. It's harder to find acceptance. The zombies of Familiarity have found acceptance, they have the acceptance of the community, of my family, of the majority of the college population and largely they have found acceptance with themselves."
  106. 106. "We bare the zombies no ill will your honor. Nor do we bare ill will against the opposing team, they were misguided and confused and we are sorry that explanations could not have been offered previously, most of us did not know what the explanations were and those that did could not speak them. In order to show that we bear no ill will I would like to state that if we do walk from this court victorious that we would like our prize boon to be granted so that the opposing team may exit with us with clean slates as well. Thank You."
  107. 107. "I wish to thank you all for participating in my game tonight. Seldom do I allow myself such enjoyment. It was a well fought battle, with points won and lost throughout the match for both teams. I do hope that my pets have learned much in this court. The rules of the game which bound Bob Familiar from discussing his bargain I now see prevented him from offering the assurances that you seem to have needed. It was never my desire to see you suffer. Know that you have my protection and my favor such as it is for all time. Once again I have been struck by the intelligence and compassion of humans. It is good to confirm that the Familiar family will continue to be strong and to follow the path that was originally created for them in this stream. I look forward to seeing you all again, and to having long discussions. But not today, not now that will time will come and as always I will be patient."
  108. 108. " Your boon is granted Ms Familiar. You are all free to leave. I expect that I will be speaking to you shortly in regards to the other matter."
  109. 109. There was a crack and a boom as quick burst of lightening filled the court blinding those inside it. When Emma and her room mates could see they found that they were no longer in Grim's court but that they had been dumped unceremoniously outside their own home. It hadn't been the softest of landings but a quick check of their appendages found no major damage had been done. As they rose Emma said "I've got to get to the foundation house, I need to resurrect Aldric." "I'll come with you." Was the chorus she heard in reply. Then behind her she heard another voice "Emma?"
  110. 110. Turning around towards the front of the house she saw a figure sitting on the front steps. She couldn't seem to move, for the past six months she'd despaired, dreamed, planned, hoped and prayed to see him again and there he was. "Aldric?" The figure on the steps grinned. "Aldric!" "Come on guys lets go make some phone calls and leave them alone." Denise nodded towards the back of the house.
  111. 111. "But how did you get here? I thought I was going to have to go to the foundation house and bring you back." "Does it really matter how? I'm here."
  112. 112. Of course it didn't matter, Grim probably did it as a favor right? He'd just saved her a trip. Grim had a soft spot for true love after all didn't he? "Aren't you glad to see me Emma? Do you know how much I've missed you?" There was just a hint of hesitation in his voice. So like the Aldric she had first met, unsure and awkward.
  113. 113. "I've missed you too, oh Wright but I've missed you Aldric." Emma relaxed into his embrace and let her feelings overwhelm her. She hadn't seen him in six months wasn't it normal to be a bit nervous? If she felt confused and a bit uncomfortable it was only that her memories and her dreams were colliding with reality. She'd expected to dissolve at his touch but as his lips brushed hers first in hesitant kiss and then got bolder she felt herself stiffen instead. This wasn't right. This wasn't Aldric.
  114. 114. "Stop it!" "Emma what's wrong babe?" The lilt in his voice was wrong there was a hardness there that she'd never heard from Aldric. Suddenly a dawning overcame her. "Don't touch me you cretin, you're not Aldric you're Almeric!" The face in front of her hardened.
  115. 115. "Aldric is dead why couldn't you accept that? Why couldn't you just let it be, why did you have to want him back so much? You should have been mine, you should have wanted me! You want Aldric? I'm Aldric now!" He'd hoped that he wouldn't have to use the doll again he had some pride after all. But she should have just accepted that he was his brother and been grateful. He pulled out the Mr. Mickles and Emma began to scream as her mind was assaulted. As Emma collapsed onto the ground the front door slammed open and two people ran outside.
  116. 116. "What's going on what's wrong with Emma, Aldric what's wrong with my sister?" Almeric hastily stuffed the voodoo doll back into his pocket and as he did so the pin connecting to Emma's sanity was tilted and she began to wail. "Elliot that's not Aldric. I've been trying to tell you, that's Almeric. I saw him leave the dorm tonight dressed like that and I followed him over here." "Who are you? I've never seen you before?" Almeric/Aldric turned toward Gvaudoin "Elliot who is this? Emma will be okay, she just in shock. The surprise of seeing me safe, the relief that everything is going to be okay, she's been under a lot of stress lately. Let me just take care of her."
  117. 117. "He's lying!" Gvaudion made a jump for Almeric and punched him in the jaw. Elliot didn't know what to think, he was confused. He'd let them fight it out, for now he just wanted to get his sister inside. Denise and Elle rushed out the door as Elliot carried Emma inside. As Gvaudoin was trying to restrain the man she was fighting; a car pulled up in front of the house. David, Titania, Bob and Sierra hopped out of the car. They'd thought their timing would be pretty good, it was a relief to see the girls safe but what was going on with the other two here?
  118. 118. "Somebody catch him, he's going to get away!" Bob and Denise took off after Almeric but they lost sight of him as he ran off the Greek lot and into the field across the street.
  119. 119. "Emma baby? What's wrong sweetie can't you tell me?" "Elliot what's going on here? Who was that outside and why is Emma upset, I thought you won your case." "We won Dad, we're here right we won. We got back here and we were going to go resurrect Aldric but we didn't have to because he was already here. Emma went to greet him while the rest of us came inside. Gvaudoin was here and she started making accusations against Almeric saying he was outside and that he was acting strange and didn't look like himself. What did we care what Almeric was doing? Then Emma screamed, I don't know what's going on."
  120. 120. "We ran outside and found Emma on the ground and Gvaudoin started yelling that it wasn't Aldric but Almeric and Emma started crying and I don't know Dad." Elliot threw up his hands he'd been through more emotional drama in the past day; he didn't know what was going on any longer. Gvaudoin walked into the room tossing the voodoo doll in the air. "Mr. Mickles!" Cried Elliot, "He's mine! He's been missing for months where did you find him?" "I pulled it out of Almeric's pocket while we were fighting; I'd hoped to find his wallet so that I could prove he was who I thought he was but maybe if you use this on her she'll do it for me?"
  121. 121. Elliot looked at the doll and slowly pulled the extra pin out of its head. As he did a soft glow surrounded Emma, she stopped crying and she straightened up. Rubbing her forehead Emma looked at her brother, "Thanks Eli, that was . . . where's Almeric?" "So Gvaudoin was right it was Almeric, not Aldric? Almeric ran off, don't worry we'll find him eventually. I guess that means that we need to go to the Foundation now and get Aldric right?"
  122. 122. "No need to go anywhere, I brought along one of my spare phones just in case. Go ahead and make the call Em. Grim's expecting your call and he doesn't like to be kept waiting." Bob knew that there would be time to talk over what had happened later. Bob had infinite amounts of time.
  123. 123. Emma slowly walked to the phone and picked up the handset, was it the right thing to do? It was the primary thing she'd thought about for the past six months but after tonight's experience with Almeric she no longer knew what to expect. Would she still love Aldric? Would he still love her? "How may I help you Ms Familiar? I believe that I know, but you must make the request." "I . . . I want my fiance Aldric Davis returned to me fully and completely. He will be the same won't he sir?" "He will be as you remember him to be. It is done. Good day Ms Familiar."
  124. 124. "Emma?" With one word Aldric wiped away most of Emma's doubts. The feeling and emotion that she heard in his voice as he said her name answered her most pressing questions. She knew that voice, she loved that voice. Once again she was crying but they were the cleansing tears of happiness and relief rather than tears of sorrow and pain.
  125. 125. Kissing Aldric was the best medicine in the world. There was no hesitation in the kiss no confusion in his arms. She was home. Emma just wanted to hold him and to be held; she never wanted to let him out of her sight again.
  126. 126. Aldric reluctantly pulled himself away from Emma. "Hold on, there's something that I need to do, something I've waited and waited to give you." He started patting his pockets; he hoped it was still there. It was. He pulled the box out of his pocket and got down on one knee, "I asked you once before if you would marry me. You said yes. I wasn't able to give you this ring then. I hope that you still want it now, that you still want me. I want you to know that being separated from you did not weaken my love for you, my desire for you, or my wish to be with you fully and for all time. I know that you have questions, so do I. The first question I have is this. Emma Familiar will you marry me?"
  127. 127. They had both been through their own ordeals. They would have to deal with the fall out from those ordeals eventually. There were questions still to be answered. There were things that needed to be discussed. There were problems to solve, namely a missing twin brother to find. But those things weren't important at the moment. All that was important to Aldric and Emma was the confirmation that they did indeed love each other, that this was right, that this was where they wanted to remain.
  128. 128. Before all those questions could be answered, before the problems of the world could be solved, there remained a few tasks that needed to be completed. Final exams had to be aced and there had to be a Party! For the first time in more than six months the seams of the Greek House bulged. Music blared from all corners. Elliot and Emma were graduating and the family was celebrating.
  129. 129. Emma and Aldric would like to invite you all to help them celebrate yet again when we gather together the next time for their wedding. Until then, Thank you for reading, and Happy Simming! ___________________ I'd like to offer a general shout out to all the wonderful creators in the Sims2 community for helping to make my sims and their houses look so good. Thank you for sharing your talents with us!