Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chapter 0.7: A Rising Star

At school, Ryder struggles to make friends. He's painfully shy around kids his own age, and during recess he prefers to hang out inside and work on extra homework. He finds that the teachers treat him much nicer than his classmates do.

At home, he spends most of his time with Joey, his stuffed bear. He likes to play pretend, and unlike the other children Joey doesn't give him strange looks.

"I, King Ryder the Magnanimous, command you, Joey the Abysmal, to fetch me some apple juice," Ryder proclaims, imitating an old English accent.

Jane MuMacker is by far the prettiest girl in school. Ryder fell in love with her the first time their eyes met across the cafeteria lunch line.

One day at the library, Ryder works up the courage to walk over and talk to her.

"Hi," he says, his voice shaking with nerves. "I'm-"

"I know who you are," she grimaces as she pulls away in disgust. "Please don't stand so close to me. I don't want any of your loser germs to infect me!"

Rejection stings. Ryder hangs his head sadly and wonders how someone so pretty on the outside could be so mean on the inside.

Ryder playing "pirate invasion" by himself at the local playground. (What the hell are you doing up there Ryder?!)

He tries to pretend that he's not sad playing by himself, but secretly he wishes he had someone besides Joey to hang out with.

He spots another boy on the playground and decides to introduce himself.

Okay, so they aren't exactly the same age, but whatever. A playmate is a playmate.

"Hi. I'm Ryder, and I want to be your friend," he blurts out quickly, the words tumbling out of his mouth.

"Yeah right kid. And I want that woman back there to show me the inside of her elevator. It's just not gonna happen..."

"Dude! I know where she lives! I can show you her elevator!" Ryder shouts excitedly.

"Not. What. I. Meant."


Ryder starts to walk away, his shoulders slumped sadly.

The teenager sighs and mutters something about being too nice for his own good. "Ryder. Wait," he calls after him.

Two hours later...

"....Then a giant dinosaur leaps out of the sea and bites off your head! And that, Ryder, is why I wear this shirt. To raise awareness about the deadly monsters in our drinking water."

So, Jedidiah is a bit insane, Ryder knows this. But still, he's more fun than that smelly old teddy bear.

Despite their age difference, Ryder and Jedidiah become fast friends. Whenever Ryder needs someone to talk to, he just heads to the children section at the local library where he is guaranteed to find Jedidiah playing video games on the old tube TV.

"Dude, you don't need a girlfriend. Ever. Women are just gonna break your heart."

"Jed, you haven't even met Jane. She's wonderful. And beautiful. And..."

"A total player. Dude, she will eat you for breakfast and spit you out before lunch."

Ryder glances over at Jedidiah. "And you speak from experience?" he asks skeptically.

Jedidiah never takes his eyes off the game. "Her name was Colleen. Colleen Parsons. She's your brother's wife's sister. I thought I loved her, I really did. But then that conniving bitch up and left me for another man. Claimed I scared her, that I was too "involved". As if! Just because she caught me hiding out in the bushes in front of her house. I was devoted, man. Devoted."

"Uh huh," Ryder says absently, not really listening. The score is close, and Ryder isn't about to let Jed beat him on this level.

Brian spends so much time at Beatrix's house that he practically lives there.

Bea loves that Brian (autonomously) gives her flowers. Even after all these years, they've still got that spark.

Family bonding time.

"So when are you guys going to get married anyway?" Ryder wants to know.

Beatrix and Brian sit in awkward silence. As a point of tension between the otherwise happy couple, they don't really know what to tell their son. Brian would like to move in and get married, like, yesterday, but Bea wants to wait a while. It's not cold feet. Really, it's not. She just likes things the way they are right now. Comfortable and casual. No pressure.

Ryder is anxious for his father to move in. He looks up to Brian, and he desperately wants him to become a permanent part of the family.

Beatrix pays Skylar a visit at his fancy penthouse apartment. He and Irma have been married for ages now, but still no grandkids. Although, if she's being completely honest, Bea is less than excited to become a grandmother. In her mind, she is far too young.

Ryder's birthday! Brian comes over to celebrate, but Beatrix unfortunately gets a last minute firefighting emergency and can't make it.

No doubt about it, Ryder is a nerd.

The reason Beatrix misses her son's birthday. She's busy saving lives.

After she extinguishes the fire, Bea scrambles to remove debris from atop an injured girl. She's had to save people before, but never a child. She works quickly, and after a few minutes she manages to clear the rubble and pull the girl safety.

It was a close call. Too close. Beatrix rushes home to find Brian waiting up for her.

"I love you Brian," she says as she pulls him in for a kiss. "And I do want to get married. As soon as possible. Life is just too short to waste time worrying about what-ifs."

Brian doesn't know why she's suddenly changed her mind, but he's not going to ask. He's just happy that they are finally going to make their union official.

That night, they set a date for their wedding and begin to plan the event.

It's Friday afternoon, and Ryder is about to board the bus home when he spots Jane standing silently by the school steps. Usually surrounded by a gang of giggling girlfriends, or worse, her jock boyfriend, Ryder is surprised to see her all alone. He decides to seize the opportunity and say hello.

"H-H-Hi Jane," Ryder stutters. His crush on her has just gotten worse now that they're teens, and simply being in her presence makes him nervous.

"Don't talk to me," she sneers. "As far as I'm concerned, you don't even exist."

"Oh. Okay." Ryder sounds crushed. He watches dejectedly as Jane strides away.

"She's such a bitch." Ryder turns around and sees Shanna Lively walking toward him.

"No she's not," Ryder replies defensively. "She's just having a bad day..."

Shanna snorts. "Every day is a bad day around her. Geez, did you hear that? And all you did was say hello."

"She's not that bad Shanna."

"Can I tell you a secret?" Shanna asks as she leans in.

Ryder nods.

"Jane's boyfriend dumped her. She's telling everyone that she broke up with him, but no. He dumped her. And now he's dating her best friend Kimberly."

Ryder's eyes widen. No wonder she was all by herself.

Even though Ryder's a teenager, not much changes between him and Jedidiah. They still hang out at the library and talk about girls.

Only now there's a third member of their gang. Ryder invited Shanna to join them, and she eagerly accepted.

"Quit whining and start playing," Shanna laughs. "You're making this far too easy."

"Dude," Jedidiah moans quietly. "Why'd you have to ask her to play?! She's gooood!"

Ryder grimaces, his eyes narrowed in focus. Shanna is really, really good.

After whooping their asses, Shanna excuses herself and leaves for work. Ashamed of getting beaten by a girl, Jed and Ryder decide they've had enough for the day.

"I think you should join drama club with me," Jed says casually.

Ryder busts out laughing as Jedidiah stares at him calmly. "Dude, I'm serious."

"You're... What?!" Ryder asks incredulously.

"Drama club. You and me and a stage full of hot chicks."

"Uh, yeah right Jed. I can barely talk to one person at a time. I don't think standing in front of a captive audience reciting lines from Shakespeare is really up my alley."

"That's just it Ryder! You don't have to act to be in drama club. We just need an understudy to help people memorize their lines."

Ryder frowns. "Why do you want me to do it?" he asks suspiciously.

Jedidiah rolls his eyes. "Cause, dude, Jane's gonna be there."

Ryder doesn't need to hear anymore. He's in.

Two weeks later...

"Ryder, you were AMAZING!" Jedidiah exclaims excitedly as they sit down to work on their homework.

Ryder feels his cheeks flush at the memory. "Yeah, I was pretty good, wasn't I?"

"I swear, every girl in school was madly in love with you by the time the curtain fell."

Ryder laughs at the thought. "Whatever Jed. You were pretty awesome too."

Jedidiah snorts. He had about two lines in the entire production, both of which he promptly forgot.

Tonight had been the premiere of the annual school play. As an understudy, Ryder spent the last few weeks diligently practicing lines with the real actors. He never thought he'd actually have to go on stage and perform, but when the male lead fell ill at the last minute it was Ryder's job to take his place.

And he rocked it. As soon as he put on that costume, Ryder's shyness disappeared. He nailed every single line and even brought the audience to tears at one point. He never imagined that he could be an actor, but he is a natural.

"Ryder! There's someone at the door for you!" Ryder hears his mom call out. He exchanges surprised looks with Jed before walking into the living room to see who it is.

"Jane?" Ryder sounds shocked. "Hi! Come in, come in!"

He leads her into the kitchen. "Ryder, babe, you were fab-u-lous!" Jane gushes. "Seriously, you just blew my mind!"

Ryder stares at her in wide-eyed amazement. "Uh, thanks. Jane, do you know Jedidiah?" he asks, trying to be polite.

"Hey Jane," Jed waves enthusiastically from the kitchen table.

"Um. Yeah. Whatever," she says without even glancing over. "Ryder, you are going to be a superstar. I never knew you could act!"

"Well, you never asked..." Ryder responds nonchalantly.

"Honey, darling, what are you doing tomorrow?" she asks quietly, stepping closer to Ryder.

"I, uh, I-"

"Excellent," she interrupts. "Meet me at the local salon after school." Lowering her tone seductively, she adds, "And don't bring him. I just want it to be us two..."

The following afternoon...

"Why do I need a makeover?" Ryder asks, confused.

Jane giggles. "Silly boy. If you are going to be my boyfriend, you need to look the part."

Ryder blushes. "Oh, right. Yes, okay," he stammers.

You clean up nicely Ryder.

"So, now can I be your boyfriend?" Ryder asks shyly.

Jane giggles again. "You have to kiss me first."

Ryder obligingly agrees.

"You and I are going to rule this school," Jane tells him. "Screw Kimberly. Who needs that loser boyfriend when I've got you on my arm."

Ryder smiles happily, her words bouncing right off of him. He's dating the most popular girl in school, the love of his life. Who cares that she can't stop talking about her ex?

Challenge Notes:

I absolutely love Jedidiah. He really does have the insane trait. And whenever he and Ryder are together, all they ever talk about are other teenage girls. And then Jed will flash the broken heart thought bubble. It makes me laugh so hard. <3 

And, I swear I'm not a narcisist. There really is a girl named Colleen Parson who Jed is totally obsessed with. He talks about her all the time. I think I'm in love with him. :)

Fun fact: The girl in the firefighting pictures under the pile of rubble is Shanna Lively as a child. She doesn't have a huge part in this chapter, but you will see more of her in the future. She's adorable.

When I first saw Ryder as a teenager, I freaked out a little bit. His eyes are HUGE. But actually they don't look so bad in the screenshots. Not that they are really that bad, they're just very feminine.


The woman making the creepy face in the background is Andrea Williams. She's the daughter of Donoph Williams (formerly Archer) from the Archer legacy. She stalked Beatrix and Brian throughout this whole date.

Another stalking photograph. Yes, she did just catch Beatrix and Brian woohooing in the elevator. ;)

She's SO pretty. Donny has really good genes.

Ryder has no romantic traits whatsoever, but still he insists on watching sappy romantic comedies on the television. Figures.

The Starr family portrait. Serenity Starr (from the Starr legacy) got knocked up by Lincoln within the first 24 Sim hours of moving to Anne Arbor. They had a shotgun wedding, and subsequently produced four children, all girls, all vampires.

Serenity's husband, Lincoln Starr. He was the only vampire in Anne Arbor
prior to his daughters.
Serenity Starr and her youngest daughter Sofia.
Sabrina Starr, the second youngest.
Selina Starr, the second oldest.
Sharla Starr, the oldest and my personal favorite. She's totally evil. <3

I have several other characters from the other legacies in my town, but I don't have screenshots of them. :( Sorry.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chapter 0.6: More Than Anything

Mesmerized by Ethan's transformation, Beatrix didn't notice Brian standing quietly in the corner, watching them in distress. As Ethan releases her from his kiss, she hears the angry crash of a door slamming closed, and turning just in time she catches a glimpse of Brian walking briskly out of the house.

"Brian?" she yells, running after him. "Brian!" she calls again, louder this time.

He keeps walking, his pace quickening, but Beatrix catches up to him before he reaches his car. 

"Brian, I-" she begins as he turns around to face her.

"What do you want Beatrix?!" he shouts, his voice shaking with anger. Bea's eyes widen, his furious words shocking her into silence. When she doesn't say anything, Brains shakes his head in frustration.

"I am such a fool. A complete and utter fool. I risked everything for you, spent years of my life trying to prove myself to you, only to find out that you don't love me. That you never loved me." He pauses, waiting for her to say something, anything.

When she doesn't, he continues. "There's something I need to know Bea," he says, his eyes locked on hers. "Did I ever have a chance? Did we ever have a chance? Or was I always just your puppet? Just an instrument in your plan to save Ethan?"

"No! Brian, please! It's not like that-"

"Really?" he interrupts. "Why do I not believe you? I guess you've taken advantage of me one too many times. Once a liar, always a liar."

As his anger begins to subside, he feels a cold emptiness in the pit of his stomach. "I wish you and Ethan all the best," he tells her bitterly. "And don't worry about me, not that you ever did. I'll be just fine." With those final words, he walks away, Beatrix watching as his silhouette grows smaller and smaller against the pale gray pavement.

And that's when it hits her, the realization smacking her so hard that it stings. She can live without Ethan; she has for so many years. But the thought of losing Brian, of never seeing him again, scares her shitless.

"Brian!" she screams, running after him. "Brian, I do love you!" she shouts, tears pouring down her cheeks.

Hearing her voice, he stops and turns around. "Brian," she pants as she approaches him. "I love you," she says, choking back sobs. "More than anything."

She watches anxiously as he stands silently in front of her, his expression unreadable. "Please, Brian. Please," she begs, her eyes filled with pain.

And just when she thinks she's lost him, that he's going to tell her to get lost, he reaches out and brushes a tear from her cheek. 

"Bea, you don't know how long I've dreamed of hearing you say that," he whispers softly.

"I love you Brian," she repeats, a faint small on her lips. "And I want to spend the rest of my life with you. And only you."

In response, Brian sweeps her into his arms and kisses her fiercely. She doesn't need any more of an answer than that.

Ethan watches them from a distance, his heart heavy with disappointment. He knows that he shouldn't be surprised, that their reunion was inevitable, but seeing Beatrix with him, wrapped in another man's arms, feels like a kick in the stomach. 

He leaves quietly, graciously accepting defeat. He will always love her, but he wants her to be happy. She deserves to be happy, and deep down he knows that Brian can give her things he'll never be able to.

As expected, the police show up at Beatrix's house early the next morning. She and Brian stayed up late last night preparing for their questions, so she knows exactly what to say.

They ask her about Ethan's disappearance. She explains to them that she hasn't seen Ethan since he was a teenager. They show her a picture of him, and she tries to look shocked.

"Why, he looks just like my cousin Etan!" Beatrix exclaims. "Only, Etan's a human, not a vampire."

"Etan?" the officer asks suspiciously.

"Yes," Beatrix responds calmly. "He just moved to town. You probably haven't met him yet as he's a bit of a recluse."

When the policemen express interest in interviewing "Etan", Brian offers to take them to him. After a quick DNA test, "Etan" the human is cleared of any involvement in the case. Meanwhile, the hunt for Ethan the vampire continues unabated. 

"I still don't understand," Beatrix says a few nights later when Brian comes over for a visit. "How is it that they don't know "Etan" is really Ethan?"

Brian laughs. "It's simple really. Vampires have fundamentally different DNA than humans, so by default "Etan" can't be Ethan. Besides," he adds with a smirk, "I was able to draw up some very convincing documentation to prove "Etan's" story."

Beatrix frowns. "But don't they realize that the vampirism potion is missing? Can't they put two and two together?"

Brian pretends to be insulted. "Don't you trust your fiancée?" he asks, his eyes twinkling. "When I stole that potion, I made sure to replace it with a decoy. And since they've frozen any further research until the politicians can quit bickering about it, I guarantee you it will be years before they realize the actual concoction is gone."

With all her fears assuaged, Beatrix finally relaxes, ready to enjoy the rest of her life with the man she loves.

Challenge Notes:

So that wraps up the story portion of generation 1. I'm still working on Beatrix's generation goal (Awesome), but other than that generation 1 is pretty much done. 

And I'm so excited to get into generation 2! I haven't thought about it in much detail yet, but the roll is for a couple with 2 kids. The primary income is movie star, the secondary income is rock star, and the miscellaneous fun is half-siblings. So it should definitely be pretty fun. I'm pumped.

In case you are wondering, Brian has not actually moved in with Beatrix, cause that would be against the rules. They will live apart until they get married, but I may cheat by a couple of days and let Brian move in while Ryder's still a teenager. Just for story cohesion purposes.