Chang Dynasty, Ep.1


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Chang Dynasty, Ep.1

  1. 1. The Chang Legacy Dynasty<br />The extremely engaging college years, Part I<br />
  2. 2. Hey there,<br />Okay, I know, I know. Not being a very good new legacy writer here. But in my defense it has been a really busy April. Between crying over my deleted original update (yes, I’ve remade this one almost from scratch), uploading the newest chapter for LOTI, finishing Crime and Punishment, and being dragged into family outings, I really am hard-pressed to post this one up. But, well, here it is, ta-dah, right?<br />In my original update I had a lot more of preface, but suddenly it occurred to me that the best thing to make amends is to get on with the story. So, yeah.<br />Cheers,<br />Seenodumdums23<br />
  3. 3. Last installment, we met our would-be founder, Hyacinth Lyn Chang, 7/6/6/0/6 Scorpio. Wanting to live her dreams (of true love, green living, artistry and cultural diversity, among others), she decided to strike out on her own and request for the financial aid of the big-shot company, Meridia Inc, owned by me a mentally unhinged and most grammatically incorrect Simself. And as dealings with mentally unhinged and grammatically incorrect Simselves always go, Hyacinth found out that, in exchange for the company’s assistance, which includes an all-expense-paid enrollment in Academie Le Tour and a free house and lot waiting for her afterwards to boot, she must say goodbye to beautiful Belladonna Cove, get stuck in rustic Driftwood (permanent population: 5), and raise a healthy brood – ten generations, to be exact – on primetime TV. <br />
  4. 4. And she sealed the deal.<br />Handicaps:<br />Middle of Nowhere<br />One Way Street<br />Noble Composure - Culture<br />True Love<br />Green Thumb - Environment<br />Modified Multi-Cultured: different skin and hair color, different aspiration preferred<br />
  5. 5. However, the Simself had placed a lot more importance and interest in Hyacinth’s well-being than even she could possibly think of. Unknown to her, Hyacinth is being closely supervised by a small group of the Officious Bureaucrat’s trusty agents, all standing by and ready in case something catastrophic happens. Of course, one can only wonder why Meridia Inc. should care so much for a singular individual... and you know what, even we wonder the same thing, too. Oh well.<br />Let’s proceed, shall we?<br />
  6. 6. “Académie Le Tour prides itself on its careful balance of old traditions and new ideas. With a spacious campus and world renowned professors in every classroom, what more could a Sim want?”<br />-The Sims 2<br />
  7. 7. Well, for starters, Hyacinth wanted a lot of things.<br />After being dropped by the company taxi into the quaint Romara Dormitory, Hyacinth at once began planning what to do. <br />“...Sign-up for a room... declare my major... wait, what’s my class schedule, again? Ah.”<br />
  8. 8. Of course, had Hyacinth been a lot less focused and serious, she might have appreciated just how charming a place quaint Romara Dormitory was.<br />
  9. 9. Located just opposite the Romara Coffee Shop, famed for its classic lines and brewed coffee, the dormitory exudes the same fashionable la vie boheme feel.<br />
  10. 10. The dorm boasts of two cozy common rooms: the Coffee and the Cream Parlours. Recalling somewhat the Victorian and Colonial tastes, the common rooms promise to be excellent hang-out spots for Sim students.<br />
  11. 11. There’s also a recreation area, complete with a poker table for those interested in having fun while earning (or losing) money...<br />
  12. 12. ...simply but comfortably furnished bedrooms...<br />
  13. 13. ...and a wide dining hall filled with inviting warm colors and... assignment notebooks?<br />
  14. 14. It turned out, as Hyacinth learned from the notice board, that she would have to share lodgings with eight other fellow students (the “Dormies”) and go to class every 2pm to 4pm. Also, the company had already declared her major for her (the board says, “Chang: Art”) and assigned her to her own room (R 102). And, as a master stroke, a note from the Boss was tacked to the notice board, saying in absurdly eye-catching letters:<br />Manufacturesome friends<br />
  15. 15. Seeing as she was free from then (10am) until 2pm, Hyacinth thought it best to follow the... Boss’s advice (she now understood Jasmine’s hesitation in using her employer’s full name) and ‘manufacture some friends’.<br />“Excuse me. May I join in?” she asked, drawing a seat right by the poker table.<br />“You’re the Legacy girl,” the woman in a suspicious black blazer said; it wasn’t a question. Hyacinth nodded.<br />“A freshie, huh?” the brightly-clad girl observed, dealing out cards. “Well, it’s a free campus. Hop in.”<br />
  16. 16. “So... welcome to the Academie?” <br />“Umm, thanks?”<br />“Really, now, Brandi,” the brightly-clothed one snapped, albeit playfully. Without looking up from her chips, she addressed Hyacinth, “ She’s Brandi and she’s being camera-shy at the moment – you’ll understand why soon enough, I guess. What’s your name? Oh, yeah. The notice board tells us of the ‘Legacy Girl,’ Hyacinth Lyn Chang. I’m Suzanne, in case you missed it. I’m a sophomore, but I still have to declare my major. So, how’s it going, huh? It’s going to be an exciting year. Though you might want to know the basics here first...”<br />
  17. 17. “...and house rules, Hyacinth,” Suzanne kept on saying; Hyacinth was studying the cards too closely. “For some reason, the Academie does not like us Dormies using the common rooms or the showers too much, so we just end up staying in our quarters all the time. Oh, and the others get stinky every now and then, too. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to have money – heck, that’s why I hang around here a lot – and having good grades is a must—”<br />
  18. 18. “Full house Jack!” Hyacinth declared abruptly, taking all her winnings with one sweep.<br />And Suzanne could not help but giggle a little.<br />
  19. 19. “Hey, hey, take it easy! It’s just a game!” Suzanne said, between giggles; Brandi, whom Suzanne had described as ‘camera-shy’, had left earlier, saying she had ‘homework’ to do. “Are you a Fortune Sim?”<br />Hyacinth shook her head. “Family, really. But as you said, having money wouldn’t hurt. Preparing for the future and all.”<br />“Oh, noes. One-track mind. Serious Sim. I should have known,” she sighed in jest.<br />
  20. 20. “Wait, did someone say ‘Serious Sim’? We gotta change that.”<br />For one wild moment Hyacinth thought she heard an approaching bipedal cow speak – a moment later, she realized that she had. “Back off, Cow,” Suzanne told the newcomer, reeling a little backward as the latter drew a seat. <br />The threat fell on empty ears, however. “Drink my udders dry, Suzanne,” the cow retorted. “I’m on a mission.”<br />“...Gross.”<br />
  21. 21. “Ugh. Cow mascots,” Suzanne went on talking to Hyacinth, not bothering to keep her voice down. “Stay away from them if you can. They’re obnoxious.”<br />“But... he... or she?...”<br />“Oh, he doesn’t mind us talking about him so cavalierly. Heck, they come all the way from the other University just so we can talk about their mad pranks. How do you manage to get into the Academie, anyway?” she asked the mascot, who was apparently busy stealing Suzanne’s hard-earned chips.<br />
  22. 22. “Fake IDs. And lots of water balloon distractions. And an occasional ventrilo-fart.”<br />“Figures.”<br />Hyacinth learned a lot about college life on that day.<br />
  23. 23. More importantly, however, Hyacinth also began to cultivate a circle of friends, starting with Suzanne, who was more or less her obsessively informative walkthrough guide in college. Undaunted by the cameras and all the publicity, the preppy Dormie helped Hyacinth get through her studies, kept her awake and alert enough during cow ambushes, and willingly lost a lot of poker games so that our founder (who had absolutely no idea of this) could earn a little more Simoleons.<br />
  24. 24. Others, like Brandi (whom Hyacinth never again saw sporting the suspicious black blazer), seemed nice enough, but were hesitant to keep themselves in the spotlight, and kept many of their words off the record. It was a little strange, come to think of it, and even though Hyacinth had asked Suzanne about this many times, the latter still would not divulge anything, and would instead say that ‘it’s not their business’.<br />
  25. 25. Still others, like Brittany, were just plain... kooky.<br />“And then I told them, ‘Hey, I’m going to do some shoplifting, if you don’t mind, okay?’ and guess what? They laughed. Just laughed! <br />Idiots.”<br />
  26. 26. And from then on, the poker table sort of became Hyacinth’s favorite hang-out spot.<br />
  27. 27. Things were not all fun and games, however.<br />Far from it.<br />
  28. 28. Only five days in college, and way past bedtime, Hyacinth was woken up by the ringing of the dormitory phone. Upon answering the call, she found out that it was the Boss himself, who at once made inquiries as to her ‘successful incorporation’.<br />Hyacinth found herself hard-pressed to keep a steady, much less polite, conversation.<br />“Yes, sir. I’ve adjusted well, thank you very much. ...Oh. Don’t worry. I’ll make sure I’ll get... er... ‘supremely premium’... grades. I promise.”<br />
  29. 29. The promise, however, was easier said than done.<br />“’...And in the early seventeenth century there was the NeoSimclassical period, as pioneered by SimDavid and Simgres... ...but that’s not your concern right now... the stick figure’s bar should preferably be raised to about the upper one third of the vertical line, AKA the ‘spine’...’<br />...Er, what?”<br />
  30. 30. Especially if, you know, you were the one doing your own assignments and term papers. Like most college students do.<br />Or so I think.<br />
  31. 31. And as if that weren’t enough, our founder also had to pay the bills. Since the company’s subsidy was still to come by the end of the semester (and the amount would depend on her grade), Hyacinth, for the meantime, had to hold the fort with her own initial savings.<br />Which gave way almost immediately.<br />
  32. 32. “...And I really need some money right now,” she confided to her friend, Suzanne, over their morning meal (a reasonably well-cooked omelette). “Who’d have thought the bills can be so pressing?”<br />“Er... Hyacinth bills are usually a very pressing matter, just so you know,” the brightly-dressed girl commented, giving the other a hard look. “I mean, would you want to get a visit from the Repoman?”<br />Hyacinth, who had never before experienced a financial crisis, was dumbfounded. “...Repoman?”<br />“Don’t tell me you haven’t heard of the repoman. Scary guy, big flashy gun, takes away the furniture...”<br />
  33. 33. “No idea. Hey, I wonder... would it be possible for me to give my necklace as payment instead? It’s genuine gold. I think.”<br />“The Collection Agency will not accept non-Simoleon payments and the nearest pawnshop’s in Belladonna Cove. ...You really have no clue on how to handle this matter, have you?”<br />“None whatsoever.”<br />
  34. 34. Suzanne was fond of her new friend, but by this point she was already exasperated. “Plumbbob, Hyacinth, did you grow up in an old Victorian manor or what?”<br />“Actually, I...”<br />“It’s a jibe. You don’t answer, you serious Sim you. Have you thought about getting a job?”<br />
  35. 35. “A job, of course! ...Wait, you can have jobs in college?”<br />“...And here I thought I would have to explain to you what a j-o-b means. yes, Hyacinth, you can, you know, do this wonderful ‘work’ thing and get paid hourly for it.”<br />
  36. 36. “Why not try working here, at the cafeteria? Plumbbob knows just how much the worker mumbles about ‘getting a replacement’ to cook for ‘these ungrateful stuck-up kids’.”<br />
  37. 37. The cafeteria worker agreed to let Hyacinth do his job for a minimal fee (and a free matching uniform), and even supervised her as she did her job just in case she set the stove on fire or something.<br />For some odd reason he had her dye her hair red, though.<br />
  38. 38. Thankfully, nothing bad happened while Hyacinth was on duty.<br />
  39. 39. In the end, though, all the studying and hard work paid off.<br />Hyacinth even learned how to deal with fires better.<br />
  40. 40. “Thank you, Mrs. Marqueteer,” Hyacinth said on the phone the afternoon after the final exam – she had passed the semester with full marks, and the newly-promoted President of the Belladonna Cove branch submitted her congratulations. “Meet where? Cafe Petite? Hm, best coffee in town, yes... Thanks for inviting me, I’ll come over soon.”<br />
  41. 41. The newly-opened Cafe Petite was located adjacent to Belladonna Cove’s park district. Smaller than most cafes, but cozier than most, the level-10 business was, of course, run by Meridia Inc. And so, even as she strolled her way towards the coffee shop, Hyacinth already had the notion that the invitation was the company’s means of keeping tabs on her.<br />Still, that Cafe Petite was a good place to meet people was undeniable.<br />
  42. 42. And, for that matter, Meridia Inc.’s gimmicks were ‘incredibly first-rate’, too.<br />“So, what do you think?” asked Jasmine as she caught Hyacinth inspecting the human statue. “All in all, not a bad meeting place, this cafe, isn’t it? Hello, Miss Chang,” she added.<br />“Hi.” Hyacinth nodded, acknowledging the other’s presence. “And, yes, the ambiance is très agréable. Congratulations on your promotion, by the way.”<br />
  43. 43. “Promotion? Ah. Thank you, Miss Chang. And, yes, that’s the phrase: trèsagréable. The... er... the Boss... well, he has very good concepts sometimes, I’ll give him that. But,” and here Jasmine smiled a trained ‘sales talk’ smile, “it’s the coffee you’d really want to look out for.”<br />Hyacinth decided to cut to the chase. “So... what are we meeting for? Weren’t my reports enough?” she asked.<br />
  44. 44. “Aha, we’re caught! Don’t worry, though,” Jasmine said, laughing a little as she led the way inside, motioning for Hyacinth to follow. “The company’s not out to get your blood or something. We’re just going to talk about a bit of this, a bit of that. That’s all.”<br />“And... nothing else?”<br />The President hesitated for a while before answering. “Oh, I can’t promise that (for even I don’t get the Boss sometimes),” she said at last, “but believe me when I say that, in my part at least, there is good will involved. You were one interesting applicant, after all. Now, hurry up, drinks on me.”<br />
  45. 45. A while later, the two had settled down in a corner of the cafe, drinking coffee in silence. The brew was good, as Hyacinth found out: definitely better than Simbucks or Simeattle’s, at any rate.<br />“It is good,” she said at last. “At least the company does realize its claims.”<br />Jasmine smiled. “Well...”<br />
  46. 46. “...We did say that Cafe Petite is smaller than the usual cafe, but cozier than most. It’s the Old World charm and the great pastries. A nice break from all the fast-paced ultra-urban animus of Belladonna Cove, isn’t it?<br />But didn’t you get my memo?”<br />Hyacinth did not know how to respond.<br />“You may laugh, Miss Chang. I’ve prepared that joking blurb for days.”<br />
  47. 47. Notwithstanding Hyacinth’s apparent lack of humor, Jasmine proceeded with the interview. “So you’ve made it into the Dean’s List. Congratulations,” she said, repeating the observation she had previously made on the phone. “We trust your lessons weren’t... well, not that we belittle art education or anything, far from it... but we hope it hasn’t been rocket science for you right now.”<br />
  48. 48. “Oh, no,” Hyacinth replied, shaking her head. “The course has been perfectly manageable as of now. In fact,” she continued with her rehearsed spiel, “modesty aside, I might be able to keep to the 4.0 GPA the company would like me to achieve. Everything’s going well so far, and for that I thank Meridia Inc.”<br />
  49. 49. “Hm. That’s good.<br />So – any first college kisses yet?”<br />Hyacinth was struck dumb for quite some time. “Er... what?” she gasped at length.<br />“Sorry, it was rather crass,” Jasmine apologized. “But you’re Family, right? You’re bound to have the Want to Fall in Love. Not that I ask with whom, but any successes there so far?”<br />
  50. 50. Hyacinth seemed aghast. “But shouldn’t I be focused on my classes...?”<br />“Oh, yes,” the President groaned. “I’ve forgotten than you’re dead Serious. <br />Just so you know, the company wouldn’t like you to be all work and no play, Miss Chang. Legacies don’t work that way: otherwise, our primetime ratings will be awfully low. And besides, I do guess you have the Want to Fall in Love locked there somewhere.”<br />
  51. 51. “But–”<br />“College not is not just class time, Hyacinth. You get what I’m saying? Live a little. Go out and drink some ‘juice’. Bask in the warm weather. And get a love interest.”<br />Hyacinth noted the casual and personal use of her first name.<br />
  52. 52. “In fact,” Jasmine went on, “I’d like to invite you to my daughter’s birthday celebration – only, it just happened three days ago.”<br />“I... thank you, Mrs. Marqueteer. Though, I don’t know...” Hyacinth went on to mumble something about her not wanting to ‘intrude upon family affairs.’<br />“Oh, please. It’s Jasmine. (Haven’t we just stopped with all the formality?) We’re all friends here. And friends invite themselves to their children’s parties, right?”<br />
  53. 53. “And besides, it was only a small family – my husband Artie’s family, mostly – affair. Nothing that’d tell you to keep out. I mean, Plumbbob knows just how much Artie wants to Meet Someone New. You should definitely come to Elanor’s next birthday celebration.”<br />
  54. 54. “I guess it was a blast of a party, this recent one,” Hyacinth said.<br />“In its own way, yes. My little Elanor did Grow Up rather Well. If I may say so, she’s a nice mix between Artie and I. But of course, parents’ pride and all that.”<br />
  55. 55. “I’m sure your daughter is a good child, Mrs. Mar– er... Jasmine.”<br />“In a sense, yes. She... well, Elanor knows to say the right things to the right people.”<br />“Awesome karaoke singing, Auntie Jean! You’re the best! Better and more awesome than best!”<br />“Hey, I like this kid already.”<br />
  56. 56. “Sometimes, though, the absence of nine Nice Points show.”<br />“Eowyn?”<br />“Hey, Elanor. What’s up?”<br />“You’re fat.”<br />
  57. 57. “Still,” Jasmine sighed, “Precious is as precious comes, and children will always be children. Again, parents’ pride, but Elanor is a very active, outgoing, talented girl. And whenever the Nice Point shines through, she’s absolutely charming.”<br />
  58. 58. “Now, Elanor. Calling your cousin Eowyn fat is neither truthful or nice.”<br />“Oops. Sorry, Mom.”<br />“And you know better than to start food fights in school, right? Too messy, too mean.”<br />“Though, I must admit, a little lecture here and there does not go amiss.”<br />
  59. 59. “But maybe I’m boring you with my silly little anecdote,” Jasmine concluded, standing up. Hyacinth did the same. “And anyway, I can’t keep you much longer. Sights to see, classes to attend, people to meet, and all.”<br />Hyacinth protested, declaring Jasmine wasn’t bothering her at the least. <br />“Really? Good, good. Well, until then, Miss Chang. The company’s watching out for you.”<br />“Thanks for the coffee and the invitation, Mrs. Marqueteer.”<br />
  60. 60. “It’s been a nice little chat. You’ll call, okay?”<br />“Sure, I will, Mrs. M–”<br />“Again, it’s just Jasmine. And don’t forget what I told you.”<br />
  61. 61. And so Hyacinth left Cafe Petite, leaving the president to submit her report to the Boss.<br />“Yes... sir... she’s doing well. Yes, everything’s going smoothly...”<br />to be continued...<br /><br />
  62. 62. Toddlers. How insanely cute they are.<br />
  63. 63. Yes. My simself is a crazy control freak in-game, too. He calls Hyacinth all the time. He just has to get everything firsthand.<br />
  64. 64. Ah, Serious Sims! A fresh break!<br />Seriously, I love all the pensive faces Hyacinth is giving me. :D Of course, I ought to have known better. In the LOTI, I should have made a much more serious founder. Because, well, saving the world is a serious business.<br />And look at the ‘I’m Thinking’ animations! I mean, I love tub pirating, but, well, all the Mercatorswere playful. All the antics get old after a while.<br />
  65. 65. Speaking of, the LOTI imports are thriving in BC, thanks very much. If you don’t know them, I’m sorry if they’re coming up at you out of the blue. This is because before this legacy was set up, AU versions of these guys have been inhabiting Belladonna Cove. And as I have far too many custom hoods already, I couldn’t bring myself to create a new one for Hyacinth. So there: Hyacinth finds herself rubbing elbows with these morons.<br />These other Legacy Sims are not much for the purpose of this legacy, but let me introduce you to them just so you wouldn’t be left out. Okay? Okay. (You may close the slideshow now if you don’t care about this crazy clan.)<br />
  66. 66. Here are the Montaignes, the family of the firstborn of LOTI’s Gen 2, known here as Jean (the Adult in left, down). Her husband’s Toby, her daughter’s Eowyn, and they all live in the nice tropical BV Estate in Driftwood. I think of them more as the laid back noveau riche enjoying a perma-vacation.<br />Oh, and Jean is a Knowledge Light Witch Sim, and also has a special (but non-Romantic, okay?) affinity with the Creator and his resident Simself. But don’t tell her I told you that.<br />
  67. 67. These are the Delmars, the family of the second-born, known here as Sabella (Adult Family Sim female in left, up). She has a husband, Sheldon, and a glamorously rebellious daughter, Aravis. They’re located in the big house with the helicopter pad found in the Hills District of Belladonna Cove, and are, more or less, an old rich family.<br />Aravis and Eowyn are best friends, and are usually inseparable. Aravis has her own car, though, which makes Eowynkinda jealous of her. <br />
  68. 68. This one, as you probably now know, is the Marqueteer Family, led by Artie (Gen 2 heir in LOTI, and always with ambitious job-related LTWs: Mayor, General, and now Captain Hero), and his enterprising wife Jasmine (who works on her badges and her dream of 5 Top Businesses). They have a little ‘princess’, the appallingly charming Elanor, and have residences both in Belladonna Cove and Driftwood (a downloaded house in MTS2 and a snatched Downtown house, respectively). <br />
  69. 69. And then there’s Artie’s twin, Orlando Valiant. He’s a Romance Sim. He’s handsome. And he’s a tramp. No, not that kind of tramp. He’s a bohemian vagrant with no permanent address. He currently acts as housekeeper for his brother, though.<br />So, got the extras in your head? Awesome.<br />
  70. 70. “What, the cow’s still here?”<br />“Face it, Suzy baby. I’m not going away anytime soon.”<br />“Hyacinth, please ask Meridia Inc. to install that head display thingie that drives cows away. Sanity is a scarce commodity these days.”<br />Well, that’s all for now. Stay tuned for Part II!<br />