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!

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