Saturday, December 3, 2016

Hiatus

I just wanted to let everyone know that the Van Hofwegen legacy is on an indefinite hiatus. I've been trying for months to get my game to cooperate but I think I broke it when I tried to move the entire family to a new town. Totally my fault. I don't have any saves left from before the move and have reached the point of total frustration and disappointment. I haven't enjoyed a play session in months because of the freezing, crashing and pervasive save errors.

With that said, I'm putting this legacy on the back burner. I'm not sure if I will be back to it or if I will even attempt a new legacy.

I want to thank every reader that has followed this legacy from its birth. I appreciate your interest and support. I apologize for quitting on you.

Thank you all again!

Kary

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Chapter 2.19: Impact

It comes out of nowhere, appearing in the sky as soon as Jolie steps into range. She gasps and her stomach tightens. What is it?


Jolie yelps when a light beam surrounds her and her skin starts to tingle. This is not the heartwarming and cuddly reunion she envisioned.

"What's happening?" she cries. "Daddy!"


She wakes up surrounded by giant boulders and utterly alone. She only remembers desperately wanting her family the second she was hit by an unfamiliar beam of light. Jolie shivers as rain droplets trickle down her arms.

She thinks, what am I supposed to do? and I want to go home. She sobs openly while sitting on the wet grass surrounded by cold stone.

"Daddy," she calls out hoarsely. "Mom! Anyone!"


It doesn't take long for Michael and Amira to notice that their youngest is missing. A call to Jolie's phone leads them to the kitchen. Her phone is laying on the floor but Jolie is not there. Uncertainty gives way to panic almost immediately. They tear the house apart. pull all the furniture out of the moving truck, search the Pick 'n Pull next door.

Amira finally puts in the call to the police department. Her skin crawls when she dials but her hate of authority and her pride aren't important right now.


"I should have insisted," Varinia cries into her hands.

"You couldn't have known," Claude soothes. "We still don't know that this has anything to do with. . . with her kind."

"Don't be naive. First Amira gets attacked and now Jolie is missing, this has Draconian written all over it. I could have stopped it but I didn't want to rock the boat."

"We'll get her back," Claude insists. "We'll get her back and we'll take off. We'll go to Storybrook and live in peace. I promise, Varinia, all is not lost." 


The police department sends Salvatore.

"They thought it would ease relations," he says.

"Well, they're not wrong," Amira sighs. "What are we going to do?"

"We'll figure this out. Walk me through what happened last night."

"She's just. . .just. GONE." Michael croaks out. His voice is shaky and his throat raw.

"Sssshhh." Amira warps her arms around Michael and continues, "We found her phone in the dining room but no sign of her. We searched the house, the van and cars, the yard and the Pick 'n Pull. No signs of her anywhere."


They are joined by Rickey.

"We're going to find her," he says. "I should have listened to grandma when she came to see me the other day."

"We can't worry about that now. Let's get some search parties together," Salvatore says.


"Do you think that's her plate?" Norman asks.

"Why would that matter?" Kenisha counters. "Our little cousin is missing and your worried about a plate?"

"I was just wondering," he mumbles.

"Why can't we help with the search?" Jermey asks. "We're old enough. We're not going to get lost. I've been in scouts since elementary school. I know this town like the back of my hand."

"I'm sure our parents feel better knowing that we're all together and safe," Alonzo chips in. "They won't be distracted worrying about us."

Jermey crosses his arms and huffs, "I think we could be more useful if we were allowed to do anything instead of just sitting around this table staring at the walls."

"You want to be helpful?" Kenisha asks. "Why not help them finish packing up so that we can all get out of here as soon as Jolie is found?"


How long has it been? A day? Two days? Have they forgotten about me?


Jolie tries in vain to escape her prison. She tries to push. She tries to pull. She tries to climb. She beats the ground until her little fists are covered in mud and blood. There is no relief.


Day has turned into night and still no sign of Jolie.


"I know a lot of you have spent a good part of the day searching but we can't give up now,:" Salvatore yells over the din of the crowd. "I'm giving out new assignments and we will continue to search through the night. Anyone that needs a break is welcome to take it just let an organizer know."


"I want to search," Michael says. "I can't sit around waiting anymore."

"Are you sure?" Salvatore asks.

"She needs me. She needs all of us right now."


The search continues.


Amira and Michael are on high alert when they reach the outskirts of town and a thick fog rolls in.

"What is this?" Amira asks. "It's like a horror movie."

Michael scoffs, "It's too real to be a movie."


Michael's throat burns with every yell but he screams as loud as he can.

"Jolie! JOLIE!"


"Ssshhhh I think I hear something."

Amira and Michael listen intently to the sounds of the woods around them and then, a faint hum that can't be natural at all.



"I'm not all alone. I am not all by myself," Jolie tries to comfort herself through another rainy night alone.


Bruce is frozen in place when he hears the hum of the saucer behind him. He's not sure if he should run and try to hide or turn and fight and probably die in the process. No one really knows what these aliens are capable of.


Just as he is preparing to run a blinding light envelopes the area.


Amira and Michael can see a light bursting out of the nothingness.


Bruce runs away from the light. Amira and Michael run towards it.


That's when they see the meteor. They make futile attempts to brace for impact. This is what Draconians are capable of, Bruce realizes.


Impact.



Everyone in the area hears the crash of rock meeting world. They appear from all directions.

"Help me!" Jolie screams. "They're coming for me!" She sobs, "Please!"

"Jolie is here," Sally cries. "We need rope. Does anyone have rope?"


They work together to toss the rope over the large boulders. Jolie's shaky, mud caked hands grasp desperately for her lifeline.

"Where's my daddy?" she cries when she's finally free.

"They'll be so sunshine," Laila says. "So sunshine! We need to go now before the others come. Come children."

Sally calls Salvatore to call everyone home. "She's safe. We found her. We are coming back."


The reunion is short lived. They're met five Draconians standing on the lawn.

You think you'll take her?

None of them speak but the words are projected with searing clarity. No one in the vicinity can ignore them.

She will come with us or you will burn.


A meteor hurtles from the sky to punctuate the threat.


"I need you to be strong," Amira says. "Take the girls and my mother and RUN."

"But you and your father. . . you'll be. . .," Michael can't finish his thought. The lump in his throat is too painful and too raw.

"We will find you. We have to hold them off long enough for the rest of you to get away."


"Ducentia protego." Claude murmurs the words quickly. The glyphs fly out of his wand and float in the sky. "Go now!"

The cars and moving trucks pull off the lawn and speed down the road. He only hopes he's given them enough protection to drop off the radar. He hopes they glide into the night unnoticed.


How dare you!

The shriek is mind numbing and Claude drops his wand.

Where have they gone?

"Where you can't follow," Claude yells into the night sky.


Amira joins her father and casts more spells.

"Glaciem in momento scutum," they chant in unison. "Perturbatio dispersio."

"Too many fires." Amira gasps. "We need to leave."

"One more confusion spell. We need to make sure they can't follow."

Amira nods and wipes the sweat from her forehead. They hold hands and start another spell.



FOOLS!

The voices are weaker now. Faint even. Amira holds back tears as she watches her home go up in flames. Neighbors rush to the scene of multiple explosions.

"We need to go," Amira urges as she tugs on her father's arm.

"Tenebris pallium," Claude says.

Glyphs surround them.

"Let's go find our family," Claude sighs. "Let's go start over." 


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
There it is. I didn't want to draw this out so I smashed it all into one post. Sorry.

Claude is the MVP of this entire legacy so far.


Saturday, August 6, 2016

Chapter 2.18: Birthday Spam Pt. 2

"Where did I come from?"

The question catches Michael completely off guard and he sputter incomprehensibly at the computer screen.

"Wherfshdisht?"

"Where did I come from?" Jolie repeats. "I think it's obvious I'm not like you or Vera or Dahlia. I'm green. . ."

"Vera and Grandpa Claude are green. So are a bunch of your cousins."

"My eyes are completely black," she continues. "My face is different. Just look at me! I'm not a little kid anymore. I want to know who my mother is."

Michael takes several deep breaths and says, "Amira is your mother."

"She's not my real mother and you know it!" Jolie insists. Her voice is rising and quivering with uncertainty. "Daddy please."

Michael turns to her and shakes his head.

"I don't know where you came from," he admits. "I don't remember how or what happened. I suffered lost time and a few days later you materialized in my arms. I don't know how to answer your question because I don't have the answer. I wish I did."

Jolie inhales a soft sob.


She wonders if her mother is dead or if she just abandoned Jolie to be raised by these sims. She wonders if her dad is telling her the truth though she feels like he is.

"Okay," she says finally. She struggles to keep her tears from falling and her voice from shaking. "I believe you."

"I'm so sorry, Jolie," Michael says into her hair. "I really am."


Varinia has had the same question churning in her brain for a while now. She can't place Jolie's species. All that she knows is that Jolie is not any kind of alien she has encountered before. Varinia has to go digging into her old belongings, all the things she tucked away when she took on her new life in Twinbrook, to find her Oculo Holo-computer. The information she is seeking has to be somewhere in here if only she could remember how to turn it on. It's been so long.


As soon as she gets it going she is flooded with memories of using it as a teen. She remember exactly how to get the files she needs. She sorts through them with rapid accuracy, searching for characteristics that will bring her closer to finding the truth.


 It takes all of her will power to keep from panicking. She came straight to Michael with her findings and her stomach is in knots.

"She's Draconian," Varinia hisses. "These are not forces that we are equipped to deal with, Michael. This is dangerous. Jolie is dangerous. They will come for her and when they do, there won't be anything left of us to stop them."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Jolie is mine. No one is coming to take her."

"You are not listening to me," Varinia says, exasperated. "This is what her kind does. They incubate their offspring in sims in order to grow their numbers rapidly. Then they come back and collect their children and wipe out anyone that stands in their way. They want to take over and colonize but they don't have the numbers. I learned about them as a child but they were never a threat to Simtopia. They were near extinction. It looks like that has changed."

Michael's head is spinning.

"What if your wrong?"

"What if I'm right?" Varinia counters. "We cannot stay here. We cannot risk it."

"And we can't just pick up and leave just because you think you've linked my child to some mysterious, possibly extinct, group of psychopaths."



Jolie hears none of this from the foyer. She plays with her toy car and imagines what life is like among the stars.


She senses something but she can't place the feeling, just a brief fluttering in her chest.


Varinia goes to the military base as a last resort. Rickey has a job here and he entertains his grandmother's ramblings for over half an hour.

"Granma, we have no records of this."

Varinia sighs, "Of course you don't, Rickey. The records are from my timeline."

"You're not making a lot of sense." Worry lines crease his eyebrows and he continues, "I'm going to call aunt Amira to come get you."

Varinia leaves before Rickey can make the call.


Just down the road Claude and Jolie wait for Varinia.

"Where are you from?" Jolie asks between jumps.

"Oh, I am from far away," Claude says. "A place on the other side of Simtopia. It was called Storybrook County."

"Why did you leave?"

"I wanted to see the rest of the world. I ended up here and I met your grandma."

"I wish I knew where I came from."

Claude feels a pang of guilt about keeping the truth from the child. He believes Varinia  without a doubt and he knows they need to figure out their next move before they can tell her anything.


Amira can't remember what she was doing. Was she going to tend to her garden? Why else would she be out here? She starts to feel dizzy and wobbly. She hears the grass crunching behind her and tries to turn around  but the world spins around her.

"Michael? Is that you? I think I'm getting sick."


"Not. Michael. Sleep."

The voice echos and seems to surround Amira. The simlish is halting and obviously not the speaker's first language. Amira's senses are dull and her eyes feel heavy. She fights the feeling with everything she has.


Finally able to turn, Amira comes face to face with the speaker. An alien, much like Jolie.

"Who. . ."

Amira isn't able to finish her sentence as the alien pulls out a device and aims it at her.

"Sleep!" the voice booms in Amira's head.


Amira cannot resist this time and she crumples unceremoniously onto the lawn.


Michael returns from work to find no one at home. Rickey has left him several voice mails looking for Amira and Varinia.


Michael dials Amira's phone and hears a faint ring. He wanders around the house seeking out the sound and wondering why Amira isn't answering.

Finally he realizes the ringing is outside. She must be in the garden, he thinks.

She's not in the garden.


Michael lets out a haunting cry.

"Amira? Amira! Wake up. What happened?"

Michael's hair sticks to his face where his tears have begun to fall.


 He sobs as he cradles her head.

"Amira, please!" he pleads. "Wake up, wake up."


Amira comes to in a haze.

"Wha? Mykal?' she mumbles. "Head. Pain."

"It's me. It's me. What happened?"

"I. I. Dunno. Green lady. Metal thing."

He helps her up gingerly and he half carries her back inside the house.


Michael calls everyone home. Amira curls up in her bed.

"I was attacked," she says, her voice hoarse. "I'm okay though."

"What happened?" Varinia asks.

"I'm so sorry, mom!" Dahlia says through her tears.

"It wasn't anyone I recognized. An alien I think. It's so fuzzy."

Claude hangs his head. This is what they were afraid of and now it's beginning.


Jolie crumbles to the floor.

"This is my fault," she shrieks. "I'm so sorry momma!"

Vera does her best to comfort Jolie. In that moment Jolie regrets ever wondering about her alien heritage.

"It's not your fault. There's no way it could have been your fault," Vera insists. "You didn't make someone come and attack mom. It's not your fault."

"If it's anyone's fault, it's mine," Michael adds. "I didn't want to believe this was a possibility. Varinia warned me about it several days ago."

"Mom?" Amira asks weakly.

Varinia nods, "We've been trying to figure out what to do now. I don't think we can stay here."


The whole family comes together the following night for Vera's birthday. They're going to announce their move tonight. 

It's bittersweet. Vera doesn't want to leave her extended family behind. She never made many friends but her cousins have always been there for her. Who will she turn to when she doesn't have them anymore?


The transition happens quickly, thankfully.



Young adult.


Jess gets emotional when he finds out that Vera and her family are leaving Twinbrook.


"I'm not staying behind," Leila says finally. "You can't leave me. They'll come for us. They will."

"There's no reason for them to come for you."

"To find out where you've taken her. Fire blazing, probes ready, they'll come. I'm not staying."

"Guard your thoughts!" Leila yells. "They're probably listening."

She flaps her hands above her head and hums. Amira realizes that at least part of what Leila has said could be true.

"I won't demand it," Amira announces, "but if you want to come with us, any one of you, you are welcome to."

Surprisingly, her sisters all agree it would be for the better. Marques takes some convincing but finally relents. He wants his children safe.

Vera is allowed to graduate and start fresh wherever they end up.

It feels odd to take part in this ceremony when they will all be gone this time tomorrow.


City Hall is packed with people on graduation day. Most of their family is there watching their eligible teens graduate.

They all know that if they plan to leave they need to be at the Van Hofwegen house four hours after graduation.


They have a final brunch at their house after graduation.

"What's left to pack?" Claude asks.

"There's only a few items left in the kitchen and the living room, this table and Dahlia is finishing with her room now."

While all the adults are trying to pack up the last knickknacks and the big furniture, Jolie gets a call. She can only make out a few words.

"My. Child. Outside."

"Momma?" Jolie asks hesitantly. "Is that you?"

She grabs her umbrella and runs out the door without a second thought.




























~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Sorry to throw all this at you guys in one chapter. It was rough. Hopefully it doesn't come off as a rush job. I wanted to resolve Jolie's parentage and move my family to a new town since my Twinbrook has no space for some buildings I need to add to town.

Vera Van Hofwegen
Brave
Genius
Bookworm
Childish 
Charismatic

Gen 2 is still in effect since I have not completed the generational goal. Gen 3 will begin in the new town. Yay!