Sunday, August 31, 2014

Chapter 1: Tomorrow Never Knows

     It was a lot like the world they came from, this Isla Paradiso in an alternate universe. Back in their own world, they hadn't been on the island long enough to really get to know the inhabitants, but Jillyan recognized some of the family names in the local directory. Most important, though, was the absence of their own names in any of the addresses here, laying to rest Julian's fears of encountering their own doppelgangers in this universe that was so like their own.

     It was not home, but getting back to their real home might not be possible, not with so many universes linked through the undersea portals the merman Meri had shown them, allowing them to escape the mysterious island between worlds that they had become trapped on. It was not the home they'd come from, but at least it was familiar, a place they could fit in, so Julian and Jillyan rented a small beach bungalow to get them started in their new life.

     They easy wealth they had both been born to was gone, of course, and learning to live without being able to simply buy whatever they wanted was an adjustment. Back in their homeworld, Jillyan had spent countless hours under the water, exploring, simply for her own amusement. Now, it is not just sport, but her lifeblood, catching fish and finding shells to sell in the local markets.

     The transition was a little more difficult for Julian. This world did not require much in the way of personal documentation to allow the young couple to rent a house, and Jillyan found ready buyers for her fish and shells in an economy that depended on the bounty of the sea to feed their thriving tourism and provide souvenirs for those tourists to purchase. But all of Julian's education back in their home world meant nothing here, and he could not walk into the local scientific research facility and expect to be taken seriously. At best, he would be offered an internship, and that was not enough.

     With the money Jillyan was bringing in, they were able to purchase a small island that was of no use to anyone, and Julian was able to set up his own laboratory to engage in his independent research.

     Not wanting to let Jilly be the sole breadwinner in their family and the supporter of his rather expensive hobby, Julian contributed to their income by fabricating 'mood enhancing' potions that Jilly could sell along with her fish and shells.

     But the work in chemistry was a just a sideline to his real research. Julian spent hours collecting samples from around the island, the meteorites, the fish, the plant life, and analyzing them , comparing their molecular structures to those he had known in his own world, looking for the differences that might help him discover a path back to their own world.

     Meri had told them that the seaborn always knew how to find their homeworlds when traversing the portals and visiting other worlds, but he could not explain how they knew. Julian's theory was that their bodies were tuned to their homeworlds on the molecular level, that there were subtle differences in the atomic structures of each world, and if he could just create some kind of tuning device that would filter these differences out, he could take them home again.

     It was not for himself that Julian wanted to find their home so badly. He'd done some research into the history of this world, looking for traces of the life and the people they'd known. Here, the Landgraabs were still a wealthy and important family, leaders in industry, scientific research and invention, and even in politics, just as his own family had been. But in all his searching, Julian found no mention of MorcuCorp, no conspiracy theories linking the Landgraab name to any secretive shadow governments, and no traces of the invisible empire the Landgraabs had built. For that, Julian believes this might be the better world. But this world lacked the one thing Jillyan missed, her own family. Her parents, who she'd wanted to be at their wedding, her cousin Fergus, who she loved despite what he had become, and whole extended Brannon family. For her, Julian would go back, even if it meant being tied in servitude to MorcuCorp under Fergus' reign.

     "How was your day, baby?" Jilly greets him as she comes up behind him.

     As usual, the time had slipped by, and it was near sunset already. "The usual," he answers, getting up from his desk to wrap his arms around her. Whatever world he finds himself in, he's automatically the luckiest man in it, as long as he's with her. "Dis you catch anything good?"

     She nods, caressing his chest. "I got some octopus, they always sell really well. And abalone shells, the shops love those. I guess the tourist can't get enough of them. Malaya was asking about the potions."

     "Malaya?" Julian asks, unable to put a face on the name.

     "The bartender at the cantina on the boardwalk," Jilly reminds him, "She needs more potions for his drinks."

     "Right," Julian remembers. His mood enhancing potions have become a popular drink ingredient at the local watering holes, "I made another batch today. Do you want to deliver it now?"

     Jilly shakes her head slightly. "I want to clean up. And then we can go to the boradwalk together. It's a beautiful night tonight."

    "The sun hasn't set yet," Julian observes.

     "Well, it's going to soon. And I want us to be on the boardwalk together to watch it," Jilly answers, "That will make it beautiful."

     The setting sun had already painted the sky a deep purple by the time they got the potions delivered to the cantina, and as Jill had promised, the evening was beautiful. With their tight budget, the couple did not get to indulge in eating out very often, but tonight they make an exception and have dinner on the boardwalk.

     After they eat, Jill challenges him to an arcade hoops contest, which she easily wins.

     "You weren't even trying," she accuses with a pout.

     "I was," Julian laughs, "I'm just not as good as you are at this."

     "Julian, seriously, what is up with you?" Jillyan asks as they stand together by the shore.

     "Nothing," Julian answers, taken aback by her sudden concern.

     "It's not nothing, Julian. You're,'s like you aren't really here, you know? I talk to you, and you barely seem to hear. You're mind is somewhere else, and you won't even talk to me. I'm worried about you...worried that, you know, you might not be yourself."

     "I'm still me," he assures her, knowing what she fears, though he's long past worrying about losing his identity, reverting back to his original personality. Julian knew who he was now, and there was no chance of him ever losing that.

     "Then, tell me what's up with you," Jilly insists, "If you're still Julian, why are you so...distant? And cold."

     "I'm sorry, Jill. I don't mean to be distant. I just have a lot on my mind."

     "Like what?" she demands, her exasperation evident.

     "I didn't want to tell you, until I'd actually found something. I didn't want to get your hopes, in case I failed. But, I'm trying to find a way home, Jill. I'm trying to take you back to your family. But, you're right, I've let it consume me," he says, reflecting on their time. His dedication to his purpose he left him somewhat empty, "And because I didn't tell you what I was working on, I left you to worry. I'm sorry, Jill."

     Jilly lets out a sigh of relief. "You want to go back?"

     "I know you miss your family," Julian explains.

     "Julian, I miss YOU. Yes, I miss my family, but what we have here is pretty good. I'm happy here. Or I would be if you were back to yourself, you know? I don't want to be on a holding pattern, waiting to find a home we might never get to. I want to put down roots and make a home, with you. And to have a family. Our own family."

     "Really?" Julian asks. He'd been working so hard to find a way home, for her sake, "You don't want to go back?"

     Jilly shakes her head, "No. And you would have known that if you'd talked to me about what you were doing. Stop looking backwards, Julian. I need you to look ahead, to the future. With me. Here."



  1. That was sweet of Julian, to try for her despite his desire to stay in what he thinks is a better world. I can't imagine a world of yours though WITHOUT MorcuCorp! It must be rough on him though, feeling the burden of all that, along with losing his academic credentials. I actually feel a little miffed with Jilly for fussing at him for making her worry and not paying attention to her. It feels like she may not have attempted to put herself in his shoes.

    1. It is going to be difficult to write in a world without MorcuCorp. Well, different, at least. But I really felt it was time for me to put all that in the past.
      Julian is taking the adjustment a little harder than Jill. He's generally more introspective than she is. She is not introspective at all, and I don't think she's even capable of trying on another person's shoes. Not that it makes her a bad person, but, yeah, a bit selfish. I don't think I'd want to be married to her, but Julian does. Obviously, since he was trying so hard to get them back to her family.

  2. They are a very sweet couple. Communication is key though. When you assume you make an ass of you and me etc etc. I get why Julian would want to give up his clean break to take Jilly back to her family, but the argument could be made that she'd be ok to give everything up for him.

    Now they can have a stack of blonde babies.

    1. Yeah, exavtly, they do need to communicate better. And I guess I did bring that legacy over fro the previous legacy, Brannons not communicating with each other. I guess even more than shadow government illuminati and Landgraab clones, that is my theme, failure to communicate. Which probably is very revealing of my own family background, actually.

      Anyway, enough about me. Jilly would give up everything for him, and I think that is a big part of why she's pretty content to let go of her family. He's more important, and where they are now, he's free of MorcuCorp finally.

      The blonde babies will be coming. I am holding off a bit just to give them time to age a bit. But they both rolled Have Baby wishes like clockwork on the 7th day. That also happened with Martin and Leila in my Dreamer legacy.

  3. Aw. So sweet he's wanting to go back for her, knowing he most likely wouldn't be as happy. Take that internship Julian! Go ahead and settle in. It looks as if Jilly already has settled in a little bit. Now then. Go make pretty babies!

    1. Julian will feel freer to settle in now. There won't be an internship, I switched his career to Freelance Scientist. Against the rules, I might add (I noted this in my Rolls page for this generation).
      But he will be happy puttering around his secret lab on their private island.
      I'm quite sure their babies will be very pretty. They better be, lol.

  4. Julian is so sweet. I'm glad they're starting a new life without Morcucorp. It seemed so impossible for them to have a happy life in the old universe. I'm looking forward to a happy life full of many, many blonde children.

    1. Yeah, I think being forever under MorcuCorp's thumb was going to be a problem for them.
      I'm really having a lot more fun playing them without having to deal with so many alternate saves and staged scenes.

      And, oh gosh...the many, many blonde children is not really going to happen. I guess I should just reveal the roll already so expectations don't build up, lol. It's two kids this gen. So two blonde children, lol.

  5. Aw, Julian is really sweet with trying to get them back home. It must be hard for Jilly having all her family so far away. But, they can just have a new family themselves. I agree with what other people have already mentioned. They deserve a very happy and very blonde family. They're really cute together <3

    1. Julian did want to make Jilly happy, but I think she's adjusted pretty well to being away from her family.
      I'm happy they are finally getting to relax and just live their lives. And to have those blonde children, lol.

  6. That's sweet of Julian to try to find a way back for Jilly's sake. He should've thought about who she is, though. Not about the past, living in the now and the future. They can make their own little family, and it will be better for them all without MorcuCorp on their backs.

    1. I agree, I think they will be happier in their new life. =)

  7. Julian is so sweet, but he really should have actually spoken to Jilly about what she wanted rather than assume

    1. That is the flaw of many of my characters, assuming instead of asking. It's not something I do consciously, actually, but it's certainly part of my background and it's a habit I want to break as a writer.

  8. They really are an adorable couple! <3 I like how Julian was willing to do whatever it took to try and get them home because he thought Jilly would be happier. Jilly of course, lives in the moment, lol I wonder if she'll feel a pang or two for her mother once she starts having kids though?

    Clean slate, I bet you're breathing a huge sigh of relief, lol The trick is to keep it that way---not let it creep all back in! I'm curious---what does the Revolver point to/mean? I keep thinking gun, but I know that can't be it, lol

    1. I think Jilly will have a pang for her father, actually. Poor Jack, he missed out on raising his own kids and I think he would have looked forward to spending time with his grandchildren. Delaney loved her kids, but she was not sentimental at all, much like Jill.

      It will be hard not to let all the other elements creep into this legacy. Especially with the merfolk hanging around.

      Ah, Revolver, it's my favorite Beatles album. Well, I was trying to come up with a name for this legacy that wasn't just 'Brannon Legacy' and the idea 'Across the Universe' came to mind. That's one of my favorite Beatles tunes. But as fitting as it was, it gets used a lot as a title. So the way my mind works, I started looking at other Beatles songs for inspiration. I nearly went with Tomorrow Never Knows, another great Beatles song. But in the end I chose Revolver, because the word itself means to turn around. (The gun is named that because of the turning bullet chamber)

    2. Hmm, that's true, Delaney wasn't very sentimental, unlike Jack.

      Thanks for the explanation on Revolver, I never would have guessed the inspiration for it came from a Beatles song! =)