Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Chapter 11: Work is Play

     Work is Play. That's both their company motto, and Junior's personal philosophy. And as Junior's direct underling in the creative department of his company, Kai quickly learns that a large portion of his workday is spent in the local arcade with his boss.

    Sometimes the 'work' aspect does seem to get lost in all the 'play', but they do take time to discuss their ideas with each other, hammering out the story arcs and character development of the RPG they want to create as their signature game, one that hopefully become a popular series.

     After a workday spent in the arcade, Kai invites Alex to take a break from writing his novel to join him for a few sets of bowling. But even away from his computer, Alex's head is still in his story.

     "Maybe you should focus more on your game," Kai suggests helpfully.

     "Or maybe I just need a better distraction than bowling?" Alex counters. "Why don't we go back to your place and see what we can come up with?"

     "Oh, hey, before I forget to mention it, my sister and her boyfriend are going to be visiting tomorrow. I was thinking that after work we could all hang out together somewhere?" Kai suggests, interrupting a long, intense kiss.

     "Dylan? And Luther?" Alex sighs, "I think I'm going to have to sit this one out."

     "She's just my sister," Kai says, "I was hoping we could have a double date."

     "I know she's your sister, and that you're close. But, she just makes me nervous. I'm sorry, Kai. I'm really not comfortable with this."

     "It's okay," Kai says, seeing Alex's hands tremble. If Dylan weren't his sister, her exuberance and very direct manner of speaking would very likely intimidate him, too. And while he's made himself get accustomed to Luther for Dylan's sake, if Kai is honest with himself, his sister's boyfriend makes him a little nervous, too. If only for being still unfamiliar. "I shouldn't have asked."

     "I'm glad you care enough to ask me," Alex says, his confidence returning once the danger of the invitation has passed, "And I'm even happier that you understand why I just can't do it."

          Dylan and Luther show up the next day while Kai is at work, and spend the morning by the pool followed by lunch on the patio.

     "It's been so long since I've seen trees like this," Jillyan enthuses, "It's like the town I grew up in. I can't wait to see snow again, too. It's been, like, forever."

     "You never talk about where you came from," Dylan observes.

     "Oh, well, yeah," Jillyan backpedals away from that subject. She and Julian had never told their children about how they came from a completely different universe. Because it would just be weird, and it isn't really something they need to know. "It was boring, and nothing to talk about."

     Dylan accepts the excuse easily and moves on to a new topic. If Kai had been here, his curious nature might have lead to more questions than their parents would have liked, but Dylan is not in the least bit bothered by her mother's reticence to discuss the past.

     "We're actually not going back to Isla Paradiso," Dylan announces, "I brought a box of your personal stuff from the house, but I wasn't sure what to do with the rest of it."

     "Where are you planning on going?" Julian asks.

     Dylan shrugs. "Anywhere. We're going to drift a bit, and then maybe settle down somewhere. A nice beach, somewhere tropical."

     "Isla Paradiso is a nice tropical beach," Julian points out, "What made you decide to leave?"

     Dylan lets out an aggravated sigh, "The tourist board keeps pressuring me to beat up a shark. Since you left, they can only entice tourists with the 'daughter of the woman that beat up a shark', and that's not good enough. So they want me to step up and be you."

     "You could take a shark, easy," Jill says.

     "Jilly, don't encourage our daughter to beat up the wildlife," Julian urges.

     "I probably could," Dylan agrees, "But, I don't really want to. And, anyway, we've seen everything and know everyone on our islands. So, we thought it was time to go check out other islands."

     Luther stays quiet through he conversation, letting Dylan speak for them both, keeping the real reasons for their hasty departure from her parents, as they had agreed before they set out.

     "You could always settle here, near us," Julian suggests, hoping to get both his children nearby.

     "I'm not ready to give up the eternal summers," Dylan laughs, "Enjoy your snow while I surf through winter."

     When Kai returns from work, Dylan heartily congratulates him on finding a career that suits him so well.

     "And how are you and Alex?" she asks, "Is he coming out with us tonight?"

     "He's great," Kai answers, "But he's got a lot of work to do on his novel, so he won't be joining us. I invited Junior to meet up with us, though. You'll like him, he's fun."

     "Oh, yeah? Is he cute?" Dylan gives him a knowing nudge.

     "He's very handsome actually. But he's married. He and his wife just had a baby. And, anyway, I'm happy with Alex," Kai says.

     Kai brought his sister and Luther out to Hullabaloo, the only dance club in Cape Garner, where they met up with Junior, taking the evening off from caring for his new daughter.

     Dylan, Luther and Junior get on well right from the start, chatting and laughing together like they'd all been friends since childhood. Kai is just glad he has the bubble machine's mouthpiece to use as an excuse for his long silences and sparse comments throughout the evening. The noise and strobing lights of the club, luckily empty for the most part, since it's midweek and Cape Garner is not a big partying kind of town, are almost too much for him to take, and as much as he'd love to have Alex with him, Kai is glad he turned down the invitation. 

     The foursome spent the evening giggling around the bubble machine until closing time.

     "I'll understand if you're a little late to the office tomorrow," Junior says to Kai as they prepare to leave, "That is, if I'm not already dead before dawn, myself. I promised Caryn I'd be home before midnight."

     Kai did get one souvenir of his sister's visit to the new family home from the photobooth in the nightclub.

     After Dylan's visit is over, Kai gets to work unpacking the box of mementos she brought with her from their old house in Isla Paradiso. Mostly his mother's collection of shells and treasures she'd found while scuba diving, along with the sea themed tchotchkes she'd picked up in the souvenir shop she used to sell her finds to.

     Kai meticulously cleans the dust off each piece before he places it on the shelf. Dylan had apparently just tossed everything into the box without even looking.


     If it's not obvious by now, Alex suffers from a rather more severe form of social anxiety that Kai. And, for what it's worth, SP has helped fuel this interpretation of Alex's Loner trait by putting him in the Writer self-employed career and having him constantly turn down invitations to go out because SP is pushing him to write his novels. 

    Hilariously enough, after Alex turned down the invite to join Kai and his guests in the nightclub, Kai called to invite Junior and Caryn. Who also said 'something had come up' and they weren't able to make it. Noy long after, though, Junior showed up, with the group thing rotating around his head. And I got a pop up that Junior was now the father of a new daughter. So, apparently, being at the hospital for his daughter's birth was less pressing than hanging out with Kai.

     Foreign guests are supposed to stay for 3 days, but Dylan and Luther always take off on the first night. I had to do 3 separate visits from them because stuff kept screwing up their visit and I got no pictures of any worth until the third visit. Ugh. But at least I finally got mostly what I wanted.

     Dylan and Luther will be moving from IP, probably to Sunlit Tides. I moved the Brannons to Cape Garner using Traveler to change homeworlds, leaving Dylan and Luther behind. I had thought I'd be able to return to IP and make a separate save there with Dylan and Luther carrying on with their lives, but when I tried going back, I was only able to access EDit own mode. It would not let me  choose a household to play, or to move in a new household. So, I'm locked out there. I do have a previous save in IP right before the move to Cape Garner. So, I'll be able to take Dylan, Luther and Biscuit from there and move them somewhere new. I want to ply the Lifeguard career, which Dylan is perfect for. I'll be posting stuff about her life on my Tumblr for the most part.

     I do use a mod that makes genie lamps one of the treasures that can be found in the chests in the dive spots. Jill has picked up a few of them. And since there are stories in The Arabian Nights of genie lamps being found by fisherman in the ocean, I thought it would be fitting to have genie lamps turn up in dive spots.

     In other news, I've also started writing Summerdream again, and recently published a new chapter:


  1. Oooh, a genie! I wonder what Kai will wish for? I have never read The Arabian Nights, but have always meant to, one of these days...

    I feel bad for Kai and Alex, that must really suck having all those social anxieties. Especially since most people (especially those who have never dealt with it) don't understand it all.

    It was great to see Dylan and Luther again---even if it did take you 3 trips to get the pics you wanted. I've heard of other people having troubles with Traveler and only getting Edit in Town too, so you are not the only one. Unfortunately I don't remember if it was fixable or not, if you wanted to pursue it, you could post on the NRaas website though. =)

    1. Arabian Nights is great, if you like fairy tales and such.

      Social anxieties are tough. I'm more on Kai's level. I really don't like socializing and I am a little nervous around new people, but it's not as crippling for me as it is for others. Alex is definitely a worse case. And it is very true, most people just do not understand at all why a person would be unable to do things that they find really simple and everyday.

      I just kept having so much trouble with Dylan and Luther. For one, they were obsessed with the pool, and the game eassigns random swomsuits to visitors, even if you gave them swimwear when you were in their world, and does not allow you to send them to CAS or Stylist. Luckily, every trip rerolls the swimwear so by the 3rd go, Dylan's swimsuit doesn't ruin the photos.
      Besides that, on the furst trip, Kai got invited to a party at Manisha's house and I thought, great, that will make nice pictures. Alex actually agreed to come along, and everything was grear. But, it was a Group situation and as soon as Kai and Alex did the simplest romantic interaction, Dylan and Luther bailed. And completely left town.

      I was sort of on the fence about staying in IP anyway. I did kind of want to see how some of the couples in this generation would breed, but the town itself has serious lag and routing issues with the houseboats. I do use ellacharm3d's routing fixes, too. Anyway, I figured it was being a hassle anyway, so I might as well take it as a sign to move on. I can always save families to the bin and watch them breed elsewhere.

  2. 'The real reasons'...?

    You can't leave me hanging like that. O.O

    1. Ah, yeah, sorry about that. I'm trying to create a little backstory for Dylan and Luther when I finally get around to playing them.

  3. Aw. Poor Alex. That's tough. At least that's something Kai can understand and is sympathetic to.

    Lol at Dylan's swimwear troubles. That had to suck. Not being able to use CAS or Stylist would probably make my head explode. Ha!

    Wow. I'm seriously impressed. How many tries did it take to get a funny photobooth photo without any repeated poses? That's pretty amazing!

    And Aaaaaaaah! The genie! That's quite clever. I can't wait to see Julian's reaction to his appearance. Or will Julian get to see him?

    1. It is tough for Alex, but having someone like Kai is a big help.
      Foreign visitors are such a nightmare! I'll probably still invite Dylan from time to time, but it's a pain.
      I only did one photobooth attempt. I even forgot to take the pics out of the inventory until Dylan and Luther had left town so I would have been stick with my one shot even if all the poses had been repeated.
      I got really lucky on that, the pics are all really cute.

      Julian will get to see the genie. He's already rolled a wish to acquire a sample of his DNA.

  4. Yay!! another new chapter :D and another cliffhanger :( What's going on with Dylan and Luther? Please tell me that you will reveal it in the story here. Will that genie be the 'Help'? or is he just passing through? Never mind, I'll read the story when it comes out. Great story.

    1. Thanks, Melissa!
      It's not too much of a cliffhanger, though.
      What I could do is make a little chapter here about Dylan and Luther where I can explain what is up with them. I will be primarily posting about them on my tumblr, but I can at least clear up any mystery I've created here on the blog.

      I was wondering if anyone noticed the 'with help' on the roll. That question will be answered soon.

  5. Ah, they're all so photogenic. I'm worried about IP locking you out though. That same thing happened to me with Al Simhara and now I can never visit. Anyway, I can't wait for Dylan and Luther's backstory! XD (Duther? Lulan?)

    1. I am locked out of IP in this save, so I can't ever visit there with the Brannons. I do have a previous save from before the move, so I can go back and retrieve Dylan and Luther (and Biscuit!) and anyone else I want to save.
      Ha, some couples just don't have very good ship names. Luthlan, maybe? Sounds like a mythological monster. awesome. Dylther. lol. Maybe a last name ship: Bralvarez. Alvanon. That's sounds kind of elvish. Too much fantasy, here.

  6. Aw, it felt kind of harsh to me that Alex didn't consider the idea of spending time with Dylan and Luther at all. Maybe with just Dylan would be better?

    Now I'm curious as to Dylan and Luther's true reasons for leaving IP.

    I haven't played with a genie before; this looks fun!.