Last time, there was a ton of fake science and discussions of matrimony. This time, Gen 2 goes to China, and there’s even more fake science.
Generally, I like my sims to be able to do whatever they want on vacation, but no sooner does Catherine arrive in China than her wish box starts filling up with adventure-related wishes.
You are not Indiana Jones!
Catherine: That’s what you think.
I see you’re as smooth as ever.
Catherine: Let me have this.
Catherine: Secret staircase, activate!
Catherine: Work, damn you!
Catherine: Ooh, this will look great in my photo album!
While the heiress goes through an adventuring emotional rollercoaster, her siblings set out to explore the foreign city.
Bedivere has been going through a huge amount of stress lately, and the zen meditations of martial arts seemed like a good way to unwind. Kicking the shit out of a wooden dummy works too, he guesses.
Bedivere: Stupid, *ugh* freak, *hurk* genetics!
El, meanwhile, beelines for the local market. She’s made a hobby out of collecting random crap, and she’ll be damned if she misses out on a prime opportunity for some random knick-knacks.
Ismael has been using this vacation to read up on all the scientific articles he normally misses out on, but he spares some time to cook dinner for his girlfriend’s family. This would be nicer if it wasn’t his first time cooking ever.
Catherine: Ismael, please tell me you at least have some idea what you’re doing.
Ismael: Not a clue!
Catherine: *sigh* Just, don’t put any weird chemicals in there, alright?
Ismael: Sure thing sweetheart!
Shang Simla is so beautiful: One of these days I need to get a computer with an actually decent graphics card so I can properly appreciate it. Until then, enjoy Bedivere’s postcard picture.
Happily, Shang Simla doesn’t have the same rigid curfew laws as SimNation, so Bedivere is free to pursue his fishing hobby at night. What with his lack of need to sleep, and the supply of dried food stashed in his pocket, he hardly ever needs to go back to the base camp.
El: Howdy, stranger. Get any good bites lately?
Bedivere: Mm, you could say that. Mostly koi and stuff though.
Bedivere: El, is that…brains?
El: Don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answers to, little bro.
El: Hey, buzz off with that sappy shit! Some of us are being forced to work through this vacation!
(It’s true, I did chain her to her laptop the entire time they were there. She left China with a nearly maxed-out Writing skill though, so I can’t feel too bad about it.)
Before they left, I bought Catherine the Lifetime Reward that lets you stay longer on vacations, so she actually gets quite a few beginner missions completed. Eventually, she gets contacted for the Dragon’s Cave questline.
Catherine: Just running up to an old, smoking cave in the middle of nowhere because some creepy mysterious guy asked me to explore it through a cryptic phonecall. No big deal.
Catherine: Hidden ancient palaces with somehow not-rotted wooden floors? Whatever.
Secret libraries behind hidden doors? I call that Tuesday.
Catherine: EWWWW OH MY GOD A BUG GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF
Catherine: Alright, keep it together girl, just one more room.
Once she’s done looting the place bare(because after all, that’s what archaeologists DO, right?), she heads back to her employer.
Catherine: Ma’am, the next time you want to know what’s in a tomb, you can check out the bug-infested hellhole yourself.
The first chance the sisters gets to catch up, and a random fellow-tourist decides to awkwardly join them. Typical.
Late one night, while everyone else is conked out from studying/writing/plundering tombs, Bedivere has another…episode. This one is much like the first, but he feels a bit more in control of himself.
Instead of laying pliantly back while a strange force pokes and prods at his mind, he reaches out, and, for lack of a better word, pokes back. Immediately, the force withdraws, leaving him with the unnerving feeling of having startled a large and dangerous creature.
The second Ismael is up, Bedivere goes to him for advice.
Bedivere: So, what do you think?
Ismael: Hmm. Well, the thought of a psychic link had occurred to me, but I want to test something first. You remember my stimulus response test?
Bedivere: You mean that thing where you throw something at me to see if I flinch? How could I ever forget.
Ismael: The sarcasm is unnecessary, Bedivere. Alright, 1, 2-
Bedivere flinches back automatically, of course, but instead of the rubber duck smacking into his face, he’s surprised to see it hovering in the air between them.
Ismael: Oh my. I didn’t really expect that to work, to be honest.
Ismael: It would appear that this force making contact with your mind is what powers your abilities, or at least that you are drawing power from it in some way. My working theory is that your genetic modifications were intended to allow it to oversee you, but judging by the reaction you described when you attempted to reciprocate, it was intended to be a one-way connection.
Bedivere: …Can you please, please simplify that.
Ismael: Ah, yes, my apologies. I got a little carried away there. Think of it like…a webcam.
Bedivere:…A webcam. Really?
Ismael: Bear with me. You set up this webcam to watch over someone inside a room. You expect that only you will be able to see the other person, since after all the webcam is a one-way device. Then you look up and realize that somehow, they can see you through the webcam as well, and moreover they are hijacking your wifi connection to surf SimGoogle.
Bedivere: So you’re saying that I’m being watched on a psychic camera.
Ismael: Not constantly, no. Most likely whatever it is is simply keeping an eye on you for now, monitoring your vitals and general emotional state to make sure you’re in good health. But if you are a – a science experiment, of some sort, it would make sense that whoever created you would want a way to observe their results. Of course, this is all just a theory.
Bedivere: Okay. Okay, okay, okay, okay. Let’s just, umm, assume that that theory is correct. Who would the “they” be? The government, or something?
Ismael: Bedivere, I am so sorry, but I honestly have no idea.
As they speak, Catherine’s body lies in her bed in Shang Simla, deep asleep. Her mind, however, is somewhere very, very different.
There is a crackling surge, like a static shock upped a few times, and in a flash of burning light Catherine finds herself astride the familiar form of a horse, breathing in the familiar sea-salt air of Sunset Valley.
Greetings Catherine, daughter of Brienne, of the house Gallant.
We need to talk.
Cliffhanger enough for you? I’m finally getting to the good stuff, good grief. I really hope I did a decent job explaining what’s going on with Bedivere, at least. *crosses fingers* And hey, Alia’s finally back!
Thank you for reading, leave a comment with what you think, if there’s anything that’s super-confusing to you, if you liked it, etc. This is my first time writing a plotline this involved and complicated, so I’m kind of expecting at least someone to be wondering “WTF is going on right now??” I’m ready to go back and edit the hell out of this chapter if I explained something poorly.