The Body Count

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Death... It's like taking shots out of a bad bottle of whisky. The first few burn your throat, blur your vision, start to steal away and blind your senses. Your whole world is flipped upside down.

But then the next few come. You're numb. You could be drinking water for all the good it does you; you're left unphased and unaltered by them, even though deep inside you the drink is just breaking you down even further. You just can't feel it, anymore.

Death does the same; perhaps not to your body, but to your mind. Jebidiah hated thinking about it, but it was the truth: the second death just doesn't have the same effect as the first.


But did that make it meaningless?

"What do we know?" Jebidiah asked as soon as he arrived at the crime scene, his eyes glancing from the broken glass several stories up down to the lifeless man that had been forced through it.


Tana responded without even turning to look at him, her own voice just as emotionless. "Middle-aged male, probably died immediately on impact. Name is Harris de Wynter, doctor of psychiatric medicine."

"One of his patients finally lose their last marble?" Jebidiah joked, but was quickly shot down by one of Tana's disgusted glares. "Sorry. As you were saying?"


"The body was discovered at about 8am this morning by a..." Tana flipped through her notes. "Moe Pesce and Constance Howell. They were just on their way to change shifts; there doesn't appear to be any eye-witnesses to give a better pinpoint on Time of Death, unfortunately, so we're going to have to wait until the autopsy results for that."


"This doesn't make sense, Tana--I understood a motive for Shark's murder, but this Dr. de Wynter? I've never even heard of him before... Why would Carolina come after him?"

"Are you even sure that it was her, Jeb? These deaths aren't consistent at all."

"They're consistent, Tana," Jeb said thoughtfully, tapping his forehead mindfully. "Twinbrook doesn't have two murders in one week without being somehow connected. We just have to figure out how."




"Well..." Tana paused for a moment. "Actually, now that I think about it--this de Wynter was the head of the psychiatric department, right?"

"That is what you said," Jeb smirked.

"That means he'd have all the records about all the patients admitted for mental help--including your daughter."


Jebidiah scowled, but nodded. "That's a bit of a stretch, but at this rate, I'm willing to take any possible leads--maybe we can at least figure out what Carolina's after if catching her is this difficult. Might help us get one step ahead of her, if that's even possible at this point."

"Right--well, that's what I figured, so I've already got a team checking out the files in his office."


"In the meantime," Tana continued with a stiff upper lip. "We need to actually gather some evidence that this even is Carolina behind all of this. The higher ups are becoming suspicious that you're just on a personal vendetta, Jebidiah--and if I know you half as well as I ought to... I'm inclined to agree with them."

"Well then," Jebidiah responded smoothly, his eyes thinned. "I expect you to turn over every stone looking for proof. Every hair, every drop of blood--I won't rest until I have everything I need to put that woman behind bars, Tana. For good."





This wasn't like Lilobot at all. The girl-bot was always talking about going off and having a day on the town, but up until this point she'd been all talk and no action. Ever since her incident at the school, she was understanding that the world just didn't see her the same way she saw the world. So for the most part, as hard as it was for her, Lilobot had bided her time at home.

Yet, Lil had been missing ever since Alesha and Brad had arrived home with Margo and Kory--their newest baby girl--the previous night. They figured she might be out exploring, but when she didn't return at all that day, the two began to become concerned. By nightfall, Bradley had had enough; he grabbed the keys to the car, and went out looking for her.


"Where are you, Lil?" Alesha muttered softly to herself as she paced back and forth across their sitting room soon after she heard their car vanish down the road.

It wasn't even that their nanny had disappeared during an inconvenient time--it was that Lilobot had become part of the family. As strange as it had been for Alesha, Lil had started to feel like her teenage daughter--a strangely mechanical daughter, but one nonetheless--and one that was just about as helpless in the Real World as her other two.


Alesha was just envisioning Lil getting trapped in a ditch somewhere when she heard the front door slam shut; the reflection of Lilobot's red metal frame in the window instantly lifted her spirits, sending Alesha spinning around towards the entrance.

"Lil, you're oka--!" she began, but as her eyes fell upon the simbot she felt her body freeze in shock.


What stood just inside the front door was definitely Lilobot--or at least, Lilobot's shell. There was no mistaking that red coat of paint, scratched and dented in all the places that Alesha recognized Lil to have.

But what stood there did not move like Lilobot. Sound like Lilobot. And her eyes, they glowed in such a way that Alesha had never seen before: a way that left her toes quaking in her sandals.


"Lil," Alesha gasped. "Lil, what's happened to you. Are you alright?"

No response. Instead, the heavy whirring of her gears became louder as, in a more strangely robotic way than usual, Lilobot's shell began advancing towards her--forcing Alesha to retreat further back into the room.


But it wasn't until an emotionless, synthesized voice warbled "Smashing Mode. Ac-ti-va-ted." that Alesha's shock was completely overwritten by true horror.

After a few small crunching sounds, the top half of Lilobot's body began to spin in a violent, ferocious way, blocking Alesha from making any movements from where she stood. "Lil, please," Alesha pleaded, slowly backing away as the flailing arms inched closer and closer towards her. "Please stop... you're scaring me."

Unfortunately, who she spoke to was not her friend--she may as well have let a rogue terrorist walk into her house, instead.


Funny, how that wasn't too far from the truth.

"YOU!" The air seemed to escape violently from Alesha's lungs when she turned her eyes towards the door, which had just slammed for a second time. She had hoped that it was Bradley--she couldn'tve been more wrong. "What did you do to Lil?!"


Just beyond Lilobot, Carolina Leman stood, surveying her 'masterpiece' with a devious smile on her lips.

Truly, how was it not beautiful? The frightened look on that Drudge girl's face, the way she'd so easily converted that smiling toaster into a lethal machine... It was all too sweet not to feel overcome with pleasure.

"Just letting your little maid experience what her true purpose was always intended to be! Letting her experience something more than that pitiful existence you've given her! And, of course, letting her do the dirty work for me..."

"You... you monster!" Alesha yelled, angrily, from her frozen spot on the other side of the room.


Carolina smiled sickeningly at Alesha's proclamation before disappearing into the next room; she had not come just to watch Lilobot go haywire, or even to bicker back and forth with Alesha about her morality.

She'd actually come here for a little something more.


"Mooommmmyyyyyyy!!!" was the blood-curdling scream that Alesha heard the moment that Carolina reappeared into the room; in her arms, Margo, who was still too small to put up any sort of fight that didn't make Carolina simply chuckle with amusement.


"No." No. Alesha could hear the word repeated over and over again in her mind, pleading uselessly against the unfortunate reality before her.

That was her daughter--her life--about to be stolen away. It was like watching a bad dream unfolding around her; but unlike Amelia's distorted nightmares, this was real. Very real. Real enough that for a moment, Alesha considered walking straight into the whirring metal of Lilobot's arms, for one chance to save her daughter--but she knew, it would be a useless sacrifice.

All that was left was to beg. "Please, Carolina, don't do this," her voice cracked, tears welling up in the corner of her eyes. "Please. I've done nothing to you."


"You think I care? You think that matters?" There was a growl in Carolina's throat as she was forced to listen to Alesha's words. "You're nothing to me--nothing but an obstacle that has constantly gotten in my way--but you signed your fate the moment you took the disgusting name of Kane. I'm only doing you a favor, showing you exactly how sticky an end you've chosen by becoming one."

"M-Margo, baby, you're gonna be alright--" she tried to say, but Carolina quickly cut off her words.

"Until we meet again, Mrs. Kane." And, with that, she stole away out the door and out of sight.



There was a brief moment when, fueled by anger and despair, Alesha considered bursting out the door behind her to try and head Carolina off outside, but she didn't have the chance to do so. As if anticipating her next move, Evililobot began advancing at increasing speed--she clearly was not going to back off any time soon.

Alesha had no choice; she ducked quickly into the kitchen, nearly tripping over her feet when she turned to glance fearfully at her pursuer. Still, Lil kept moving towards her, matching her every step.


"You probably won't ever have to use it, but just in case... I'm putting it here, in this jar on the shelf. Don't forget."

Alesha nearly had; when she'd freaked out at Brad about the possibility of Lil going haywire, he'd given her a safety measure, just in case. Fear of Margo in Carolina's hands had clouded her mind, but faced only with Lilobot, there was only one thing she had to do: stop her.


With one press of a button, Evililobot was no longer an issue.


As the robot's yelps of pain turned to silence and it hunched over--no more lethal than a piece of scrap metal--Alesha dropped the remote to the floor and instantly tore from the room, her eyes already watering from the speed at which she felt herself flying towards the door.


But as he reached it, nearly tearing the door from it's frame as it slammed open, she already knew it was too late.

She stood there, helpless, staring into the night. Margo's cries could no longer be heard, nor were there any footprints or tire tracks to give away where Carolina may have headed. All that was there was the empty night sky, and rolling hills and trees that moved only with the evening breeze. It was as if nothing had ever even disturbed their peace.


Margo... was gone.





"How's Kory? She doing alright?"
"She's fine--I left her with Meredith, upstairs." She paused, glancing inside the cell behind him. "I don't understand, Brad. You fixed her. Is keeping her locked up really necessary?"

Alesha's voice was still shaky, but at least she'd managed to bypass hysterics and focus all her efforts on maintaining her dignity. Needless to say, the emotional downpour when she called Bradley home was something better suited for nightmares, but by the time they made it to the police station to file the report of Margo's kidnapping they both had themselves under control. It wasn't easy, but they managed. Barely.

Lilobot, however, was another matter entirely. The police wasted no time getting her locked up behind bars with guards posted at every exit; faced with a threat so foreign, they were extra cautious in a way that worried Brad that he may even get in trouble for Lil's misprogramming. He fixed her as quickly as possible, but even after, she was still locked away--and Alesha, desperate to do something, made her way down as soon as she heard.


"I don't know, to be honest," he finally responded, worriedly. "Lil had her core personality chip replaced--luckily I had a backup, so it was as simple as switching them back, but... The police don't want to take any chances."

Alesha looked into the cell, puzzled. "Replaced? But where the heck would Carolina get a replacement?"

"Lamont," Brad sighed, rubbing his chin with his hand. "I just got off the phone with him. She must have stolen it from his lab bench. He was working on a prototype for a military simbot matrix--she must've found out somehow. Wouldn't be hard, he is her son after all."


"But wait," Alesha continued, still confused. "I don't understand. If she doesn't have that bad chip... thing... anymore--shouldn't she be fine?"

"Yes, but... Alesha..." Brad began rubbing his neck, avoiding the pitiful glances of his wife. It was hard enough when one child was missing; but now this one had to be locked away? "Since we don't know how long she had that chip in place... They suspect that she might be... Might be behind both the murders."

"W-what?!" Already, Alesha could feel her knees growing weak. "That's absurd!"

"I know--and they know it, too--but especially those in the community who've been skeptical of the research facility's experimentation with AI are putting serious pressure on them to keep her here. I'm sorry, but... There's nothing that anybody can do."


It was clear that Brad wanted to be alone; he was both angry with Lilobot's treatment and fearful for his eldest daughter, emotions that made even Alesha nervous to be near him. They wanted so badly to support each other, but they'd cried nearly all evening together--one more second in each others' arms would just start it all over again. So, when he disappeared down the hall without another word, Alesha didn't question it.

But as she stood, glancing at Lilobot's limp body in the cell, she felt her heart aching even further. The simbot wouldn't even lift her head to acknowledge her presence; she just laid there, as if pretending to sleep.

"You can have five minutes," the officer spoke curtly; his words were far more kindness than she expected.


Alesha entered the cell warily; Lil's eyes were no longer glowing nor was she humming loudly, but Alesha couldn't help feeling a little nervous. Still, she felt strangely not nervous. For so long after Lil had begun to live with them, she had feared Lil attacking her--and yet when it actually did happen... It felt so innocent. As if it were Lilobot who had been the victim, not her.

Still, she approached with caution; not from fear, but from concern. "Lil?" she spoke quietly, her voice gentle. "Is it alright if I sit with you for a bit?"


A small whir could be heard as Lil slowly opened her metal eyelids, turning her gaze towards Alesha. She stared for a moment, and then, as her eyes turned towards the ground, her body curled in on itself even further. "If you wish," she responded in the mutest sound Alesha had ever heard come from Lil's mouth. "However, I would prefer to be alone."

Alesha considered following Lil's request, but she couldn't. Not this time. Instead, she carefully seated herself next to Lil's body, and rested her hand on the simbot's calf.


"Just talk to me, Lil. Tell me what happened."

"She hid in the shadows... She took me by surprise. She changed me. I felt myself do things I did not regret. Did not think I would regret. But I do, now. I am--" Pause. "I am a monster, Mrs. Kane."


"No, Lil, you aren't. If anything, this was our fault, for leaving you alone--"

"Fault does not matter, Mrs. Kane," Lilobot cut her off. "This is fact. I am so easily altered--I endangered you, your family. I failed my duty to protect your children. My entire purpose for creation has been failed."

"Lil, that's why you were created, but not why you're part of our family. You  understand that, don't you?"


As hard as Alesha tried, she couldn't get Lilobot to turn her head towards her; she kept staring towards the wall in shame, a puzzled, thoughtful expression seeming to show in her eyes.

"This would not have happened if I were a human," she spoke, this time strongly. "My mere existence has proven to be harmful. I must... I must..." Lilobot paused, closing her eyes . "I must be terminated."


"Lil, no. Don't you dare say that." As resistent as Lilobot was, Alesha instantly grabbed over and shook the simbot, turning her head to face her and look into her eyes as she spoke to her. "You are family."

When Lilobot continued to look confused, Alesha went on, her voice insistent, firm, and undaunted by the horrors of reality she still faced beyond that cell. "Family," she said, her eyes now looking up into Lil's. "Means forgiving mistakes. It means letting go of the past and accepting each other despite our faults. It means..." Pause. "Loving each other to whatever bitter end that may come. Do you understand?"


Lilobot seemed to freeze--all except her eyes, which seemed to spin out of control zooming in and out of Alesha's face, as if unable to believe what they were seeing. "You mean," her mechanical voice said slowly. "That... you... love me?"

"Yes, Lil," Alesha sighed, choking back tears she could no longer control. "I love you."

A moment passed where Lil simply stopped, staring, her body not even requiring movement to breathe or stare or listen--she didn't even require the subtle movement of a heartbeat to keep her going. And yet, somewhere within the thickened shell of a metal head resting on metal shoulders, something ticked: and a heart did beat.

"And I," Lil spoke with true, tender fondness. "Love you, too."

14 comments:

Kaleeko June 7, 2011 at 4:08 AM  

We're quickly reaching the conclusion! 3 more sections remain--I originally intended to post one a day during the 6-10th period, but some things have come up IRL that will prevent me from writing that much the next few days. I'll probably still have it all done within 1-2 weeks, at least!

So... prepare to be absolutely pummeled with stuff to read over the next week or so. XD

Jmh.hobbs June 7, 2011 at 4:27 AM  

That was so amazing!!! Great chapter!

I really hope that Margo will turn out to be okay in the end, she is a beautiful child. I feel horrible for Alesha, she must feel awful, knowing that her child is out there, alone, and there is nothing she can do.

Thanks for putting the new baby's name into this chapter, I have a feeling that Kory will be just as cute as Margo!

I will say it once a gain, you are an awesome writer, and Desperate Sims should be turned into a TV show, it is that good.

PiB June 7, 2011 at 5:27 AM  

Poor de Wynter. Even the passing touch from the Kane family is enough.

Jeb's getting soft in his old age. I mean, really, behind bars after she's gone on a murderous rampage? Can't be that he's afraid of speaking his mind to Tana. :)

Oh, poor Lilobot. Used as a distraction and potential lethal object and unable to save yourself.

Bad Carolina, stealing a toddler! Poor little Margo. Carolina is really going for collateral damage here.

Again, poor Lil locked up for doing something that you had no ability to avoid. Ah well, at least you can be sure that you are family and not just a metal thing to Brad and Alesha.

Chrysame June 7, 2011 at 1:14 PM  

You keep surprising me! I never imagined that the poor doctor would get it. Nor that Carolina would take Margo. Now, I'm wondering not if they get Margo back but when. Will Margo be a child or a teen when the Kane's finally find her? Or will it be a matter of days. My head is spinning with possibilities.

Jeb looks old. It makes me sad. I know time marches on as it should but...call me a sad panda.

Kudos to Alesha for being brave and stopping Lil. Extra hugs for being so kind to Lil at the jail.

Great episode and I'm waiting as patiently as possible for more. Do I get a cookie?

Amelia June 7, 2011 at 1:24 PM  

This was easily one of the best episodes of this season, in my opinion! The writing was just stellar. The first few paragraphs... the scene between Alesha and Lilo... I honestly can't say which part I loved best.

So, let's start from the beginning, shall we? Poor, poor de Wynter. Guess trying to help Amelia WOULD kill him! Har har har. All cheesiness aside, fantastic poses and dialogue between Jeb and Tana- though I've got to agree with PiB, the old Jeb might not have stopped at seeing her merely behind bars. Not only has she proven that she can break out and probably will again, but his protectiveness over his family has driven him to some pretty extreme measures in the past. I'll be interested to see what DOES happen to Carolina.

Poor Moe, discovering a dead body. (Is this a first for him, or not? *cackles evilly*)

And Lilo... oh my gosh, Lilo. I feel so bad for her, and Alesha, and Margo, and Brad. Carolina is just evil. Pure evil. I'd always suspected that she was going to kidnap Margo, from the beginning of the season, though I don't remember now what put that thought in my head. Have to wonder what made her decide on Margo, rather than Korva- but perhaps she has specific plans for Margo. In any case... I am so worried for that poor darling <3 I know they'll probably get her back before too long, but who knows what Carolina's planning in the meantime?

And I'm even more worried for Lil! I didn't think she'd be under suspicion for the rest of the murders and such, but I can see how the police would suspect her, prejudiced as they are. Still, I can't see how no one believes Jeb that Carolina's at fault! I suppose the lack of evidence does put a damper on things.

All in all, fantastic post! Seriously... I cannot describe my love for this post. I'm excited for the final 3!!

Kaleeko June 7, 2011 at 2:34 PM  

@JMHHobbs:

I will say that Margo stays safe, but if she'll 'turn out okay'? She's already such a timid child, this definitely isn't going to do her any sort of emotional good. :( Alesha's definitely doing everything in her power not to think about it... She'd be basket case for sure, otherwise.

Kory is definitely quite adorable as she ages--though I should share, her full name is actually Korva; it just won't be used very often, unless she's in trouble. ;) I'm very, very excited about my little kiddies growing up! *sniff*

And, thank you so, sososomuch--you really are too sweet! <3 I'm so happy that you enjoyed it!! *smooch*

Kaleeko June 7, 2011 at 2:38 PM  

@PiB:

Haha--yeah, it doesn't take much. The Kanes are most certainly cursed. ;)

Jeb's not really getting soft... He's being realistic. What's he going to do, go rambo style on her with the entire police department and the politicians staring down his back? It's one thing to take out a dangerous vampire in a giant city where it's easy for things to get "lost", quite another in a small town he's slowly losing his influence over. As much as he'd like to be, Jeb isn't above the law.

Poor Lilobot, indeed--this whole experience is one of the parts of this season I feel the most horrible about. At least I get to make it up to her, next Season.

And Carolina definitely is going for collateral damage. ;) Won't be too much longer til she gets to entirely explain her motives.

Thanks for the comment, PiB!

Kaleeko June 7, 2011 at 2:45 PM  

@Chrysame:

*blush* To be able to surprise you is a compliment indeed! <3 The doctor really is probably the last person that people would suspect to die... But it'll all make sense, soon enough. ;) There is a reason for everything!

Jeb really does look old. :( I did my best to make him look as best as possible as an elder, but even so, there's no way to totally cover it up--and even so, it's a good way to show how tired and weary he's starting to become. He's not the man he used to be. :(

Alesha has her moments of bravery--she's a strong gal, but it takes an extra measure to keep as level a head as she has. But her kindness knows no bounds.

Thank you so much, Chrysame <3333! And yes--you get a cookie. ;) Chocolate chip? ^^

LordCharles June 7, 2011 at 2:57 PM  

Great chapter!

I certainly did not expect the next murder to be Amelia's therapist ! That was really surprising! Great graphics and photography, too! You
re really talented!

When robots go bad... Man, Lil was pretty scary looking! How did you get her eyes to glow red?

And Carolina is freaking evil! Stealing a baby is a no-no, especially when her Grandfather is Jeb Kane.

The end was great, it really brought out the best in Lil and Alesha. And when you say that you'll make things up to Lil, I hope that that means a Simbot man to keep her company.

Anywho, great chapter, and I can't wait for the rest.

Kaleeko June 7, 2011 at 2:59 PM  

@Amelia:

T_T ♥♥♥ Hearing that soothes my mind in so many ways; I was really nervous about this post for a lot of reasons, the writing being one of them. I'm so glad that you loved it!!!

XD Hahaha--yeeessss, Amelia did bring doom to his doorstep. >.>

As I commented to PiB, unfortunately, there's not a lot Jeb CAN do unless he wants to land behind bars himself. His anger and frustration is starting to turn to overall weariness towards the situation, which is why it may seem that he's not as passionately upset as before. It's also safe to say that putting her behind bars again likely isn't going to be putting her in the same cell and just hoping she doesn't escape again. ;) That woman is not going to escape justice, this time.

LOL about Moe--Hmmmmmm... *chintaps* Giiirrrll, you need to update ASL before I like, explooooddeee... XDDDD <3

It's possible I dropped hints about Margo's kidnapping early on (I honestly can't remember!), but it's entirely possible you've got a sixth sense going on. ;) As for why Margo was chosen? Manymanymany reasons: Kory was just born so Carolina might not have known she even existed, Margo was much closer and in the open (Kory was in a crib in a diff room), and kidnapping a toddler is a lot less hassle than a worm. XD

Lil just can't catch a break. D; Granted, none of the Kanes are, this Season! But unfortunately, being a robot has it's disadvantages... No one trusts you. :(

Well--Jeb is SERIOUSLY prejudiced against Carolina. At this point, all he's really 'deduced' is motive, and even that doesn't make much sense to the cops. Especially killing the doctor... The puzzles pieces don't add up.

But they will. ;)

Thank you so, SO very much sweetheart <333 I hope the end brought you a smuch tears as it brought me! And I hope I can keep living up to the standard I seem to be setting for myself, heheh... XDDD

Kaleeko June 7, 2011 at 3:12 PM  

@LordCharles:

*snickers* I am always full of surprises, red herrings, and strange coincidences! The therapist I definitely figured no one would suspect, buuutt, it may also be a bit of a clue as to the true motives behind the murders. ;)

Those pics of Lil even freak ME out a little bit! O.O I got her eyes to glow red by doing a little bit of Photoshopping. Not something I do often, but giving her a bit more 'evil' seemed like a good idea!

Awww--I'm glad you thought so, about Alesha/Lil! Their relationship is definitely one of my favorites in the story; shows how truly caring Alesha is, and how innocent and fragile Lil is.

As for whether there is a simbotboy in Lil's future... You'll have to wait and see. :)

Thank you so much for all your kind words and compliments, LC--I feel so blessed! You are too kind. ♥ *squeeze!*

Jmh.hobbs June 7, 2011 at 3:14 PM  

I've never heard the name Korva before, it is interesting and unique, and I hope that Korva is just like her name!

Kaleeko June 7, 2011 at 3:16 PM  

I got the name Korva from Korva Coleman, a newscastor for NPR; I listen to NPR quite a bit, so I hear her name come up a lot and for some reason, the way "Korva Kane" sounded really just... stuck to me.

Kory/Korva, though... Well. She'll definitely end up being quite the piece of work. ;)

Jennifer June 7, 2011 at 5:52 PM  

Um...like, WOW. *jawdrop*

Firstly, that first shot is absolutely awesome! Broken window, dead body on the sidewalk. Loved it!
But poor Dr De Wynter. lol Carolina is really trying to get back at Jeb. I wonder who is next on her list to die.

Secondly - OMG not Margo, no! Nooooooo!
Alesha must have felt so helpless. :(
Poor little Margo. I have so many questions, like where is she going to take her? What is she going to do with her? Agh, the suspense is killing woman! ;)

Great job, just keeps getting better and better. :D

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