Saturday, September 10, 2016

Chapter 3 - Some women actually ARE from Venus

I probably wasn't as frightened as I should have been when I woke up the following morning, rolled over, and saw that my girlfriend wasn't exactly human. There's an old saying though, about men and women, Mars and Venus. I figure that sometimes women actually are from Venus, and there's not much point in getting upset over it. Harley thought differently, though. When she awoke, she smiled, reaching a hand out to touch mine. The smile lasted until the tips of her blue fingers entered her vision, then she leaped out of bed with a cry, frightened.

"Hey, wait!" I jumped to my own feet, reaching out to tell her it was alright, that I wasn't afraid, or upset, or anything. I mean, it explained a hell of a lot, what with that strange glow she occasionally seemed to give off. Better an alien than radioactive, especially for someone who I just spent the night with. She didn't wait for my explanation, though; she fled to the bathroom, locking the door behind her.

"It's okay!" I leaned close to the door as I spoke so that she could hear me, for once not caring about what passing neighbors might think about my choice of pajamas. "I don't mind, really. It's a little bit strange, but really, who isn't? Just come on out, so I can talk to you."
After a long stretch of silence, her reply finally came, her voice trembling. "I can't go out there, everyone will see me."
Couldn't fault her there. All that blue skin and the futuristic jumpsuit was way more damning than any pair of valentine's boxers. "Alright," I conceded, then moved to my counter-offer. "Open the door then, so I can come in?"

She didn't reply, but after a moment the latch clicked open and I opened the door just far enough to slip inside, joining her in the very-small bathroom. I opened my mouth to speak, but she spoke first. "You're not upset, that I didn't tell you?"
"No, of course not. I understand keeping secrets to preserve image, you know that. What I don't understand is why you thought that was the best way for me to find out, if you were afraid of how I'd react. You were asleep, I could have done anything." Not that I would have. I'd never hit a woman.

"You weren't supposed to find out that way. I would have told you, eventually, but not like that! The quint-sensory hologram must turn off when I go to sleep, but I never knew. I'm supposed to keep it a secret, by order of the Interplanetary Council. You don't think anyone saw, do you?" Her flood of words finally stopped for long enough for me to get a word in edgewise.
"I doubt it, nobody usually comes up here so early in the morning. Now come on, come out of the bathroom. It'll be alright." I smiled and, after a moment, she smiled in reply, with a small nod.
"I'll be out in a minute, I have to re-configure the hologram before I can activate it."

Her estimate was a little low - likely closer to five or six minutes - but eventually she emerged into the morning sun. "There's the confident Harley who took me out to get my first job," I encouraged her, earning another hesitant smile.
"That's not my real name, you know."

"Oh?" I asked, stepping closer. "What is your real name, then?"
She took my hands in her own and held them gently as she shook her head. "You can't pronounce it."
"Try me." She did, and she was right. There was no way I would ever be able to pronounce that.

"That's a pretty name. I'll just call you Harley for short, alright?"
"Sounds like a plan," she replied, returning my smirk. I reached up and stroked her cheek with the back of my fingers. Quint-sensory hologram, she'd said. That must mean it works on all five of my senses, fooling touch as much as it misled my eyes. That was some crazy tech. How much further advanced were these aliens than us, anyway?

"It's probably best if I go back to my place, now," she said as the last of my fingers passed down over the edge of her jaw.
"Forever? Or just until I get my bed indoors?"
"The latter." She smiled, reaching to pull me into a hug. "And don't think I won't visit."

"Of course," I said, returning the embrace. "I wouldn't expect anything less."


Things went on much as they had been. I worked, saving up money to pay for more construction, and Harley visited most days to tend the garden, top off my refrigerator, and deliver various curiosities she'd found around town.

Eventually, I'd earned enough to put up another set of walls, and she moved in for real.

Having a live-in girlfriend wasn't enough, though. I knew she wouldn't like it, but when I was out at the bar after work, and a cute girl flirted with me, it would just be rude not to flirt back. And then, if I didn't keep up with other things, I'd just be a tease, right? Nobody likes a tease. And besides, what she didn't know wouldn't hurt her.

Until she found out, that is. I came back late one night and bid my date of the evening a steamy goodbye, not knowing Harley was behind me. As she said my name my heart froze. I turned, fearing the worst.

But she was smiling. "Had a fun night?"
"Y-y-yes," I stammered in confusion.
"She's pretty." This had to be a trap. Was I supposed to disagree, or be honest? My confusion must have been obvious on my face, because she laughed quietly before speaking again. "There's no need to look so worried. I don't mind."
"You don't mind?" I echoed, not quite comprehending the conversation.
"Cultural differences, remember? Dating many individuals at once is perfectly normal for my species."
Holy hell. Did I hit the jackpot, or what?

We spoke for a long time that night. Her only concern was that I'd felt the need to keep my adventures hidden from her. As long as I was honest from now on, there wouldn't be an issue as long as I stopped if we ever made a true commitment to one another. I don't see myself getting married anytime soon - if ever - so that's easy enough. We concluded the discussion with a hug.

As we held each other, she whispered in my ear. "You don't even have to worry about any misunderstandings on her part, either."
"Why's that?" I replied.
"She's an alien, too."
Good god. Are all women from Venus?


And here comes the dialogue. Had to get the characters in my head a little before I could write them actually speaking. It's a thing.

Yes, that other sim lady was an alien, too. So many aliens in this neighborhood. I usually never run into them!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Chapter 2 - Found out

A few days later, I was in the middle of my morning ablutions - yes, it absolutely must take that long to style my hair, especially without a mirror! - when a knock came on my bathroom door. I yelled for them to go away, that I wasn't buying whatever they had to sell, but they just knocked again. So, I finished getting dressed and went outside to see who it was.

It was Harley. I instantly began damage control. I blamed the real estate agent. I blamed the political party currently in power. I blamed the other one too, for good measure, in case she'd voted the other way. I blamed Starling International, I blamed my father, I even blamed Vera the secretary; who, by the way, I'm still not sure would have actually sued us into bankruptcy had she been fired. My father can be hyperbolic at times.

Harley clearly wasn't buying any of it. When I finally ran out of excuses and had to admit that I was, essentially, penniless, she just smiled, without a trace of mockery, and said it was okay. That sometimes these things happen, even to hypothetical heirs to international corporations. That it was nothing to be ashamed of.

The way she said it was so full of confidence, and kindness, that I believed her. She truly wasn't judging me. She told me about her own first place she'd lived in on her own, the dirt and the bugs, and I shuddered along with her. It sounded horrible!

At least this plot of land had potential, she said. The only question was, would I have the ambition to see it reach that potential? Or would I simply sit here looking at my empty wallet and feeling sorry for myself? She asked if I had a job yet, in town. When I answered in the negative, she smiled again and beckoned for me to follow.

The first order of business was to secure a paycheck. After that, I'd be able to put up some walls, and I'd no longer have to live in fear of wandering neighbors laughing at my misfortune.


I wasn't used to working for a boss who actually expected me to, well, work. The job itself - an entry-level writing position - wasn't bad, but every day I returned home with my boss's endless list of demands echoing through my head.

I would have been completely overwhelmed, and given up, if Harley hadn't been there to support me, and teach me about getting by in Oasis Springs. A bit of an amateur gardener herself, she showed me the various plants that grew near my new home - sage, carrots and cherry trees, for the most part - and explained how they could be used to cook better food than the bottom-shelf cereal I'd been living off of.

She set up a little garden behind my "kitchen," with plants both local and from her own seed collection. It would take a while for the plants to grow, she said, but once they did they would more than pay for the cost of the planters, in addition to providing better produce than could be harvested from the wild.

She also explained other secrets of the land, how wealth was hidden inside rocks and clumps of dirt, just waiting to be uncovered. Even the old water pumps held secrets, she said, though she finds it way too yucky to go poking around in there. Watching her work, uncovering ores, crystals and fossils, it seemed to me that she was almost glowing with happiness.

She often invited herself to my house to prepare a yard-cooked meal, when I returned from work. One of the benefits of being friends with somebody who works at a restaurant, I suppose. Something more was going on here, though.

I asked her about it one night. Well, to be honest, it was a bit more of a confrontation. I said, why are you being so nice to me? You don't have to do any of this, show me these things, cook me food. So, why?

She just laughed, shook her head, and smiled that smile again. Any other woman, I'd say she was in love with me. I'd given up on that idea, though. No woman would fall in love with a man who doesn't even have walls for his house. There was no way.

But she firmly gripped the front of my shirt and placed a firm kiss on my lips before telling me that she didn't care, that she wanted to be with me. Staying here with me every night, not just during the day. In a yard-bed sort of way. Then, she asked me if I wanted that, too.

Well, of course. Her shout of joy could probably have been heard clear down the hill in town, and I swear she was glowing again. Must have been my eyes playing tricks on me. She practically dragged me to the bed, barely giving me a chance to undress before we were together, the covers our only privacy.

I've slept with a lot of women, and I do mean a lot. This time, though, it felt different.


I have to confess, the visit by Harley was contrived. I didn't have time to wait for her to decide to show up on her own, so I invited her over, hid in the outhouse, and pretended it was all her idea. Don't judge me.

I did not know she was an alien until I moved her in, though. That was a surprise. Damn you and your plot twists, Sims 4!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Chapter 1 - Spacious living quarters, with a great view!

My name is Andrea Starling, and I am the heir to the multi-billion corporation Starling International. In theory. My father suggested I find a place to stay out of town, while all the hubbub dies down back home. I must say, he had a fair point. The desert town of Oasis Springs seemed like a good enough place for an extended holiday. Pleasant climate, warm sun - no need for anyone to bundle up for the winter!

The architecture here is quite beautiful to look at, especially the wealthier areas of town. No heir to the Starling fortune would ever be caught slumming it, that's for sure. The real estate agent advertised the property I'd be staying in as spacious living quarters, with a great view. I imagined something a little bit like this:

Imagine my surprise when I found this:

That sonuvabitch. I have to admire him in a way. Takes a true artist to pull what he did without actually lying. Still, though, this wouldn't do. I hired a firm to at least put up some walls for privacy, and while I waited I explored the town. The library was nice, with an excellent selection of literature. Some of those titles put me right in the mood for some romance.

Speaking of, there are some true babes in this town.

The first one I hit it off with was a girl named Liberty. I had her pegged for a quiet nerd at first, but there's a fair bit more to her than that.

When our conversation got a little steamier, earning far more stern glances from the librarian than we really deserved, we took it to the park. Normally I take my dates to the bar, but I have to confess funds are a bit tight at the moment, with the unexpected construction work and all. Liberty's a good sport though, she didn't mind one bit.

On second thought, though, maybe it wasn't the best choice of location after all. Let me tell you, it's hard to flirt with little kids staring you down while they play on the monkey bars.

There was an unfortunate deal-breaker, though. I was just about to ask her if she wanted to try this again sometime, maybe somewhere more dimly lit with something to drink, when she leaped to her feet with a cry of "Ohhhh wow! It's a real emergency, this time! Comin' right through!"

I'll be damned if the girl didn't sprint right past me all the way to the bathroom. Now, that's no way to behave on a classy date out.

While she tended to took a moment to refresh myself in the mirror. Figure out how to let the girl down. She was nice and all, but a man of my reputation couldn't be seen in the company of a woman who acted that way in public. At least, not if I wanted to salvage what was left of it.

By the time she finished, I'd worked out what to do. I could surely keep things casual with her, as long as my public affairs were with another. A brilliant solution. We spoke for a few minutes more, and I even regaled her with a few tales from my time at the corporate offices.

We shared a brief farewell kiss, hidden from gossiping eyes by the privacy architecture surrounding the public bathrooms, and then I bid her farewell.

Once she'd left, I was free to continue to browse the highlights of what Oasis Springs had to offer. One lady in particular, Harley Proctor, caught my eye immediately. I complimented her on her taste in trousers, and she fell right into my arms.

Before we got to spend much time together, the sun was beginning to set, and it was time to return to my new home. Of course, I elicited a promise from her to meet again soon. It wouldn't do to let so fine a lady slip away. When I got home, I discovered a basic shack had been constructed surrounding the bathroom facilities. It wasn't much, but it would do.

My bed was still out under the stars. To be honest, I didn't mind it much, though I would surely need to move it under a proper roof before I invited anybody over to visit. At least the vacant lot across the street wouldn't judge me, however poor my accommodations.


Mid-date bathroom emergency was a true story. Nice going, Liberty.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Katran Random Legacy: Chapter 1 - Daddy, what's a vampire?

"Daddy, what's a vampire?"
Peter Katran froze, looking to his younger child.  His mind raced, trying to determine how to answer the difficult question, but his wife, Dahra, spoke first, her voice tense and cold.
"Where did you hear that word, Elijah?"
"A kid at school said it," the young boy said, a frown touching his lips as he shrugged.  "Is it bad?  Jake Dean said I was one."
Peter made sure to speak before his wife did this time.  No need to alarm the kid.  "Now, why would he call you a vampire?"
Elijah's eyes fell to his plate as he used his fork to push a bit of food around. "I dunno..."
Dahra opened her mouth to speak again - Peter didn't believe the denial for one second either - but it was their daughter Sabrina's turn to interject.  "It's 'cause he bit Alvaro Pangilinan!  I told him not to, but he did it anyway."
Peter rubbed his forehead, feeling the start of a headache developing over his right eye.  He hadn't signed up for this conversation when he'd decided to have children.  Surely he hadn't.  "Elijah, why would you do that?  You know we don't bite people."
Aware that he was in trouble, Elijah sat in silence, apart from the tap-tap-tap of his fork against the plate, but his older sister spoke for him again.  "Alvaro said we were weird, 'cause Mom works and you stay home, and he said that was backwards from how it was s'posed to be and we were gonna turn out funny.  I told Eli to just ignore it, but he got all worked up, and Alvaro just kept egging him on, and then..."  She shrugged, then continued on, a note of awe entering her voice.  "There was even a bit of blood, and that's when Jake said-"
"Enough."  Dahra's voice was like steel, and her expression was even more stern as she stood, her dinner abandoned on the table, and looked down to her son.  "We do not bite, we use our words.  And there is no such thing as vampires.  I don't want to hear you mention it again."
"But-"  Sabrina hushed as Dahra turned her piercing gaze towards her, quickly looking down at her hands in her lap.
"Da," Peter spoke his wife's nickname quietly, standing and placing a hand on her arm.  She looked for a moment as if she was going to pull away from him, but didn't.  "Can I speak to you?  In private?"
She nodded, and Peter glanced to the children as they exited the kitchen.
"We'll only be a minute, finish your dinner."

* * *

As the door to their mother's study banged shut - as it had been doing more and more lately - Sabrina looked over to her brother.  "I wonder what they're talking about."
"How much trouble I'm gonna be in," he replied, abandoning his fork.
"Well, I told you not to do it, but I don't think that's it, really."  She frowned thoughtfully, glancing towards the wall.  "Be quiet a minute, I'm gonna see if I can hear what they're talking about."
The walls in this house were thin, and their mother in particular tended to forget to speak quietly when she was arguing.  Sabrina crept through the living room and into the hall, making sure to stand far enough back that she wouldn't cast a shadow visible under the door.
"-not the point, Peter.  They're only children, they shouldn't be exposed to things like that."
"What should we do then, Da?  Raise them in a bubble?  They're going to find out sooner or later, whether from kids on the playground or in history class.  Wouldn't you rather them hear the truth, instead of something misunderstood by other children or twisted by politics?"
"They're too young.  Besides, it's best left forgotten."
"Forgotten so that they can repeat the same-" Peter's voice suddenly became louder - he was walking over to the door!
Sabrina quickly darted back down the hall, glad that she'd taken off her shoes when she'd gotten home that day, and slid back into her chair, wincing as the wooden legs bumped against the floor from her momentum.
"What're they saying?" Elijah whispered, leaning over towards his sister.  "Am I in trouble?"
"Don't think so," she replied.  "They're talking 'bout something they don't think we should know yet."
"Vampires?" Elijah's eyes widened as he looked to his sister, who nodded in reply.
"Yeah, I think so.  Guess all we can do is wait."

* * *

It was about ten more minutes before their father returned to the kitchen, but it felt like more than an hour to the two children.  They peeked behind him for any sign of their mother, but she must have remained in her study.
"If you're finished eating," he said, glancing to their faces - anxiety mixed with curiosity - as he spoke, "we can talk in the living room."  He turned and exited the kitchen, his two children trailing behind him.  Once they were seated on the sofa, he sighed, looking between them.  "It's a long story, and I don't expect you'll really understand it all, but it's important to know."
"Why?" Sabrina tilted her head as she asked the question."
"Well, there's a saying: those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  What do you think that means?"
"If you get a F on your report card you have to stay back a year?" Elijah piped up, seeming confused.
"Noooo Eli," Sabrina said, rolling her eyes.  "It's some kinda fancy saying from a long time ago, they didn't have report cards back then, silly."
Peter held up his hands between his two children to separate them before the conversation devolved into a squabble.  "That's enough.  Your sister's right, it was first said a long time ago.  It means that, if we don't study history and see what our ancestors did wrong, it's very likely that we will make the same mistakes in our future, and therefore history will repeat itself.  Now, you'll learn more about this in school, but I'm going to tell you just a little tonight.  That way, if any kids say anything else on the playground, you might understand them."
"Now," he continued, looking between them as he spoke to judge their reactions.  "You both know what a human is.  We're humans, and so's Mommy, and Jake and Alvaro from school, and everybody living all over the world.  But once, a long time ago, there were others that shared the world with us who were different."
"Different how?" Sabrina interrupted, a slight frown furrowing her brow.  "Did they have like blue skin or somethin'?"
"There were some things like that, yes.  What mostly set them apart, however, was that they had supernatural powers."  The kids both looked way too excited about that.  Peter cringed internally - this wasn't the lesson he was hoping to impart!  "Some used those powers for good, but others used them for great evil.  As a response to that evil, something terrible was released, which was meant to rid the world of all supernatural beings."
"Even the ones who were good?" Elijah's eyes were huge.  Maybe Dahra had been right, they might be too young for this story after all.  But there was no going back now.
"Even the ones that were good," Peter confirmed gravely.  "Humans, too, when they got caught in the crossfire.  This was a dark time, called the War of the Dead" - he hoped they wouldn't ask why - "and it lasted for more than a generation.  Humans weren't always on the good side in this war, during those times we created horrible killing machines and technology that never should have existed, never would have if the war had never begun.  In the end, peace was reached, though nobody knows exactly how.  After that, a race known as the Fairies took what remained of the supernatural races to another world, separate from our own, also using their magic to destroy the dangerous technologies that were left from the war.  Then, they closed the gateway between that world and our own, and that is how things have been for many years."
"Okay," Elijah said slowly, seeming to be working through the story in his mind.  "But what's a vampire?"
Oh, right.  That had been the initial question, hadn't it?  "Vampires were one of the supernatural races.  They were one of the evil ones, and would drink the blood of humans."
"But Eli isn't a vampire!  Er, right?" Sabrina's confidence faltered a bit as she spoke the question.
"Of course not.  There aren't any vampires anymore.  Only humans are left." He smiled reassuringly to his two children.  "You're both pure human, there's nothing to worry about.  And now, it's time for bed."


Welcome to the Katran Legacy!  If you didn't read my previous post, this is set in the same universe as the Woods Legacy, a few hundred years after the story left off.  I don't know if the stories will have much in common at all, I'm keeping my options open for now, and I'll wait and see what the rolls and sims 4 expansions throw my way.

I decided to start the story after the birth of generation 2, because it's frankly a more interesting place to start than the very beginning of generation 1.  Also, this way I get to use flashbacks to look back at the interesting(and story-relevant) parts of generation 1, while ignoring all the boring parts(oh, you found enough money to buy wallpaper, flooring and furniture for another room of your house, yay!).

First chapter is an introduction chapter, so it's pretty short, but hopefully it's interesting.  Also, as far as the photographs go, I'd like to apologize for the fact that I was thinking "awesome, pathing in this game is so great that I can make houses with realistic tiny rooms!" rather than "this room might be too small to use the camera well in" while I was building.  Whoops.
That's a picture of the legacy house as it stands now.  I still have to remodel the kitchen and living room when they get a bit more spare cash, but you get the idea.  Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, living room, study, and nursery/play room.  What you can't see in the living room is the half-complete wall of mounted fish.  My plan is to extend the bottom right(from this view) of the house a little bit more, and then place a second story that covers some(not all) of the L-footprint.  We'll see how it goes though, for all I know generation 3 could roll a change of scenery!