During Alpha's toddler days, Eliza was still doing most of the childcare. Added to the already-difficult job of taking care of her granddaughter's basic needs was the task of teaching her the basic life skills that every child needs to learn. Progress was slow, but steady.
Eliza: "Your father will leave his dirty dishes laying around. This is disgusting, and you should not tolerate it! Can you say 'clean up now,' sweetie?"
Alpha: "Eam ub ow!"
Eliza: "Close enough."
One day, he worked up the nerve to call his contact and ask when he'd be
able to do the work he'd signed up to do. Surprisingly, they agreed
with him, saying that he'd been on the fast track to that career for a
while now - could have fooled James. They were concerned, however, that
he lacked one specialized skill in particular. If he earned the right
to wear a martial arts green belt rank two, then they promised he would
be promoted again, this time out of the thieves' gang for sure. Eliza, predictably, was upset about James's sudden trip to Shang Simla. But he told her it was a special talent scouting excursion - she thought he worked as a talent scout for a music label - so she let him go without too much argument.
His first stop was the bookstore.
James: "Hello, shopkeeper!"
Zhan: "Welcome! My name is Zhan Su, how may I help you?
James: "Will I learn enough from the book to advance to rank two of the green belt level?"
Zhan: "Ah, no, the techniques you can learn from a book will only take you to the red belt level. There is an academy near here where you can continue to learn, but I recommend very highly that you read the book first!"
James: "Yes, that's fine, I'll buy your book."
James: "Where is this academy?"
Zhan: "It is called the Phoenix Martial Arts Academy, it is just north of here. Here's a map, I've circled it for you. Before you go, I must say that my fellow businessman, Liu Pei over at the general store, will sell you a training dummy for a very good price! So you can practice at home, you see."
James: "Yes, thank you, I will keep that in mind. You've been very helpful."
Zhan: "Have a good day!"
The book was a surprisingly informative read. While he'd had his doubts that a physical skill could be taught from reading, he soon found out that there was much more to martial arts than simply throwing punches. It required a certain state of mind, empty of all emotion, cold and heartless. He supposed that if you were going to use such advanced techniques to take a man down, you couldn't stop to think too hard about what you were doing, so it made sense.
Man: "I apologize for the delay. There has been a...change in management."
James: "So I take it I'm not getting that promotion, then?"
Man: "No, we have discussed the matter, and we will be honoring your agreement. Pull tonight's job off, and you'll be looking at a new position."
The job was routine. James would distract the jeweler while the team under his command liberated all the stock from the back room. But something went wrong. It was hard to say what, because the jeweler seemed as surprised as anyone when the cops showed up, but someone had snitched. As James was loaded into the back of the cruiser, he wondered how he was ever going to explain this to his mother.
~ * ~
Oh no, it's the cops! Ghost woman in that picture was unintentional, but feel free to supply your own epileptic tree explanations.
James's interpretation of the zen mindset is not how I perceive the martial arts powers actually working in the sims universe. I would actually be very surprised if he would be able to get any of the meditation stuff to work, due to a fundamental misunderstanding of the basics. However, the physical fighting(perhaps up through the blue belt level) is easily within his grasp, so the depth of his ignorance won't be revealed unless he tries to take it a step further.
I'm not sure if anyone ever looks at it, but I've been keeping the family tree(linked from the legacy information page) up to date with not only the in-household events but also news about immediate relatives. There's been some births that James didn't care about enough to spend chapter time on, so I wrote them in there! As an aside, is there any interest in me uploading sims from my legacy? I know people like to do that, but I'm not sure if anyone would want mine or if I would just be making work for myself. I do have everybody from the founders up saved to the sim bin, though.
I have a few outtakes for you guys. As usual, click on them to make them bigger. Today, we have Eliza's take on infant care, Greg creeping on Alpha's mother while Eliza and the evil gnome watch, creepysmile(doesn't look so bad in the screenshot, but she does it constantly!), and derpface(it's actually Talia, Crystal's first daughter, as a teen >_<).
I've also been experiencing an odd bug with the flower vases from Seasons, where they don't stand up - they just lay horizontal. It's really weird, I can't figure out what's causing it, and apparently I'm the only one seeing it happen. Strange.