Vengeance is Mine

Friday, June 3, 2011

Three days had passed since Travis' "rendezvous" with that leggy blonde from the bar, but he still couldn't shake it from his mind. The coldness of his wife and the abrupt conclusion of things with Lolly both seemed like a pale afterthought in comparison, which left a rather sick feeling in his stomach; who was she, that she'd had this sort of effect on him?

It wasn't a good effect, either. Every step he took felt like he was shaking in his bones, just waiting for something to pop out over his shoulder. He felt, for the first time in his life, as if he were haunted.


The blonde--Lisa--had said she was writing an article. Travis wasn't sure if that was the truth or not, but every morning after their encounter he frantically flipped through each page in the newspaper, trying to find if this "Lisa Leman" had written anything about him--or if she was even a journalist for the Twinbrook Times at all.

And yet, there was nothing. It was odd for him, feeling this worried, but every moment felt as if she was breathing down his spine, leaving a little reminder that he'd taken his destructive habits one step too far. Just this feeling was punishment enough, he thought, but deep down he knew it wouldn't be this foreboding if he weren't 100% certain something was going to come of it. All he could do now, though, was wait.


"Has the mail come yet today?" he called across the room to his wife. She had barely acknowledged his existence since they'd woken up this morning--in fact, she'd only spoken to him when in front of the kids, the past few days--so he wasn't sure why he expected her to answer, but he desperately wanted her to; he'd never felt more lonely in his life.

Lucky for him, she did. "Should be here by now, yeah," Jade responded in a placid but cold voice, her back to him the whole time. "Would you grab it for me? I have to take this food to the girls."

"Sure, no problem," Travis muttered, glad that he didn't  have to explain why he had this sudden interest with the postal service he hadn't had the previous years they'd been married.

How long had it been? Travis didn't know time in the cold, precise way as the world beyond, but it was long enough to see their first son hit High School. Long enough to watch them drift apart in slow motion, like two waves headed for different shores; he knew it was only a matter of time before they separated entirely, but he suddenly realized, he wasn't ready for that yet. In the grand scheme of things... this family might be all he had left.


"Are you going or not?" Jade griped from the stove; it woke Travis from his thoughtful stupor, and sent him scuttling out the front door to the mailbox with a mouthful of muttered apologizes.

He checked behind him to make sure he wasn't followed. Silly, he knew, but he couldn't be too careful; there was something ominous about today, this 'three day' marker, that made him all the more certain he was expecting something to be inside.




Travis' instincts didn't lie.

It wasn't a half bad picture; Lisa may not have been a reporter, but she knew her way around a camera. Not that it would have mattered if the picture was bad; the contents would have been just as incriminating. This compromising position definitely wasn't faked.

He hesitated, but after a deep breath, he pulled the photo from the frame and flipped it over to read the back.


Lisa clearly was not a woman who needed a lot of words to get what she wanted.

Carolina Leman's criminal record gets erased, or the Twinbrook Times gets this photo and another dozen like them. Your call, sweet cheeks.
-- xoxo





"Take a deep breath, alright? In... Out. In--"
"Naomi, I'm fine. Really."


She didn't look fine. Naomi had been watching Amelia like a hawk the past three days, and it was like the Mia she knew had disappeared and left a pale ghost in her place; it was disconcerting, even to someone as rational as Naomi.

"Mia, you don't have to do this if you don't want to. Your mom can figure out something else to get her business booming again."

"No, I want to... I really do," Amelia sighed. "It's just that, you know... He died, like, 20 feet from where I'm performing."


"Oh, Miiaaaa..." Naomi instantly reached out her arms and squeezed her, weaving her fingers through her hair. "This is exactly what your mom is trying to convince people not to be freaked out about."

"I know, it's just--" Mia sighed, burying her face deeper into Naomi's neck. "It just brings back a lot of memories, is all. They... They haven't seen what I've seen, Naomi."

Naomi's lips frowned deeper, and her arms wrapped tighter. "You're right, honey--but you're strong enough to put it behind you. At least for tonight."


As Amelia drew away, a faint smile seemed to tug the corners of her mouth. "I don't know why you have so much faith in me, girl," she sighed, even half-rolling her eyes before planting a kiss lightly on her lover's mouth. "Just stay close by, alright?"

"I'll be your shadow, sweet pea," Naomi uttered with a light grin as Amelia took another deep breath, and took the plunge out the double doors.


Amelia wasn't sure what she was supposed to be prepared for--but for some reason, she didn't seem to be expecting this.


It was like Bridgeport all over again; the crowd cheered and whistled, and she heard her name bubbling through it like a deranged crowd surfer. It wasn't quite half the town, but it was enough that the small patio space looked a bit like a squashed sardine can of sims. It definitely would've given the Fusion a run for it's money.

Her mother had really outdone herself; it was hard to believe that only a few days ago, police cars had trashed this whole patio to shambles. Still, she must've made more than enough on ticket sales to cover the cost of the renovations; who'd have thought her mother was such a good entrepreneur?


Once she finally made it to the stage--not too difficult a feat, considering the way they all parted to let her through--she found everything set up for her just the way she'd rehearsed in her mind; her electric guitar, the speakers at her feet, the crowd standing before her in a giant, swaying mass... it wasn't all that complicated.

And she had been nervous about what again?


Though she quickly felt herself become immersed by her music--music she didn't even seem to control, it flowed from her so easily--occasionally, her eyes winked open to view the group of people standing at her feet. Some were new, bright, eager faces; others older, wiser, more familiar. Some looked to her, mesmerized by the sound, while others looked to their lovers, sharing their emotions through their eyes.

She loved that, about her job; it wasn't just about the music. It was the emotion, and the connection.


As time passed and the star patterns above slowly shifted, Amelia played through songs both new and old, so many that her fingers went numb and her eyelids began to grow tired. She began to feel her repetoire growing thin; at some point soon she was either going to have to start playing songs a second time, or make some up on the spot.

Or, of course, she could call it quits, but why stop now? Amelia could tell, people were enjoying themselves. Dancing, singing along; it didn't happen in Twinbrook often, so you had to grab the opportunity by the horns. No one here ever seemed to like letting their hair down and letting their feet loose--and after what had happened lately, it was about time people let go a little.


But as she played and the night became thicker... something started to change.

As Amelia's eyelids began to sag further and further and she felt her mind melding deeper and deeper with the sound from her voice and her guitar, the fog rising from the ground began to distort the world around her. The colors across her vision began to change. Something... something wasn't right.


In another blink of an eye, nothing was right.

"It's just a dream," Amelia wheezed, panicked. "Just a dream, just a dream--"


Their eyes. Their eyes. Amelia's heart began to race; what had happened to their eyes?!


And no longer were they dancing; instead, the crowd began to hobble about, scrabbling with each other, viciously turning their heads, grabbing for the stage with greedy, loose fingers...


... and their teeth; they wouldn't stop licking their teeth...

"This can't be happening," Amelia groaned, her heart beating almost as fast as her gaze flickered from one part of the crowd to the next.


But, each sight was as unbelievable as the one before; and no matter how hard she pinched herself, nothing seemed to change.


Nothing except what came next.

It was a man--or at least, it seemed to be a man. The shape of a man. No light escaped him; he was a walking shadow, around whom the crowd of vicious people simply flowed away, leaving a gap of darkness where he stood.


"No... no, it can't be," Amelia whispered, her voice barely able to escape her throat. "Not you. You're supposed to be dead... You're supposed to be dead!"


Her words did nothing but feed this shadow of her mind; it said nothing, but it's voice echoed through the foggy noises of her reality with the booming echoes of laughter. He laughed and he laughed, the sound of which seeming to further the spread of the darkening cloud that emanated from his body.

One by one, everything around him faded slowly into darkness--one person at a time, until all the world but her stage was enveloped in black.


"No... No... NOOOO!"


"What's--what's going on?! Is she okay?!"

Amelia's guitar slipped from her fingers to the ground; the speakers squealed and cracked violently from the noise of it's strings twanging against the stage, leaving most of the crowd clutching to their ears in shock. 'What the heck?!' could be heard murmured from those the furthest from the stage.


She felt herself falling backwards... backwards... heard the sound of Naomi's voice calling to her, but she couldn't make out any words... it all just faded away into nothing--into the darkness.


"Will you all stop standing around like a bunch of idiots?! Somebody call an ambulance!"





When the phone began to ring, Bradley tried to grab it away from his wife--he wasn't nearly quick enough, though. "I had a baby, not a throat transplant, dear... I can answer the phone," she playfully jabbed when she saw the grumpy look on his face.

Alesha's face began to fall into confusion when she saw the name on the caller ID. "It's Naomi--I thought Amelia was supposed to be performing tonight?"

"Just answer it already," Brad grumbled impatiently.


After several moments, Alesha's expression had gone from bad to worse; she listened so intently, she barely even registered how stiffly she was twirling her pigtail, or how curiously her husband was staring her down.

"I can't believe it--I thought the shrink had given her a clean bill of health--" Alesha gasped into the phone.


"What--what is it?!" Brad insisted.

"So she's okay? She just blacked out? Thank the maker--no, no, we'll definitely be coming. We'll be over to the hospital as soon as we can. Tell her we love her, alright? Yeah--thanks, Nammers."


Several minutes later, Lilobot came down the stairs only to find the rest of the family bustling out the door.

"Sir? What's happened?" Lil asked in a curious tone, obviously aware something was awry.

"My sister's had a bit of an... episode," Brad responded, unsure how else to put it. "She's fine, just really shaken up. We're heading over to the hospital, taking the girls with us--hopefully they'll help cheer her up some. I'm not sure when we'll be home--just consider it your night off, okay Lil?"

He disappeared out the door without even waiting to hear her response--the car pulled away only moments later.


Lilobot wasn't exactly sure what to do with herself: 'night off'? What was that supposed to mean? Clearly, time to recreate--but cleaning was just as recreating for her as video games or tinkering or human observational studies... She was left a bit dumbstruck--but, with a shrug, she headed off to the kitchen to take care of some of the evening's last chores.

But she wasn't the only one.


"H-hello?" There was nothing there, but Lilobot could have sworn her auditory receptors picked up a noise from that spot. For a moment, she froze; she'd never been left home alone, before, so this was a new sensation... But simbots were supposed to be incapable of 'hearing things'... weren't they?

Lil's mechanical knuckles rattled a little as she shifted her weight from side to side, peeking over her shoulders. "Anybody there?" Still, silence.


Believing that to be the end of that, Lil shrugged to herself and turned back towards the porch--but there was more waiting for her there than just stairs.

"No--I'm not--!" Lil squeaked, but it was too late; without any resistance, her metal frame was brought hurtling to the ground, where savvy fingers made short work of turning her power relays closed... dimming the lights and life in her eyes.


Several minutes later, with Lil's frigid frame re-erected, Carolina Leman went to work. It didn't take long to find the chip to replace; the old was cast to the ground, while the new, pulled from her pocket, was carefully inserted in its rightful place.

"Well, my little friend," she said with a stern expression, lips pursing together under her thoughts of vengeance. "I think it's time to have some real fun."

22 comments:

Chrysame June 3, 2011 at 2:44 PM  

Yikes!!

So much going on, oh boy! I feel a little bad for Travis even though he really set himself up for a fall. Dangit, woman, you give me such conflicting feelings about Travis. Yay!!

Carolina is truly evil. A toddler and a new baby live in that house, cared for in part by Lil. Does she care? Nope. That's yummy, too.

I had fun looking for familiar faces in the crowd at the BB. I spy a Wyatt Walker...

LordCharles June 3, 2011 at 3:30 PM  

Ohmygod my Simself was at the concert. :D

Anyways, poor Amelia!!! She still can't seem to catch a break.

Travis has really run himself into a rut this time... what's he to do?

And Lil!!!!! NOOO!!!! Why couldn't it be Travis? Darn you Carolina!!!

Great chapter!

Kaleeko June 3, 2011 at 3:43 PM  

@Chrysame:

Hehehe!! Well, I have to say I'm REALLY glad you feel that way about Travis--that's always been how he's supposed to be. He's always ridden this fine line in my book between being likable and thoroughly dislikable. XD It almost makes me like his character more.

Carolina's definitely quite the rotten egg, isn't she? >:D I've had so much fun being able to finally use her as the villain I always wanted to--I just hope Dee doesn't mind me taking some liberties with her evilness. ;D

As for those babies... Well, you'll have to see what Carolina's plans for Lil entail. >:D

There are tons and tons of recognizable faces at the concert; all the sims there were borrowed sims, outside of family members. I don't get many opportunities to group them all up together, so I took advantage of it--you can spy Marta and Sam in a couple of them, on top of the Pesces, Seymours, Walkers, Howells, and plethora of Kanes/Larsons. XD My computer about exploded, but it was worth it.

Thank you so much for your comment, Chrysame--you always seem to grasp just what I'm trying to convey, and it makes me feel so much more confident about my writing. You're truly a woman of insight! *glomp!* <3

Kaleeko June 3, 2011 at 3:48 PM  

@LordCharles:

Bwahahaha >:D Yep! I brought in all my new families in the hood, so he got to come along too--I'm glad I got some good shots of him! :D

Amelia is seriously in a downward spin at this point; I have to say, I feel pretty miserable for her. :(

Hahaha--well, there's things already a-foot with Travis; the Leman women are coming at the Kanes from all angles. ;) And to her, Lil's just a means to an ends... T_T Evil woman.

Thank you, dear! ~<3

PiB June 3, 2011 at 3:57 PM  

Poor Travis, how did he know that Lisa was up to no good? So sad that he realises now that the marriage may be in slow mo breakdown and he doesn't want to lose his family.

Man oh man, poor Mia. She was so nervous before she got on stage.

You gotta love Jeb's glow of evil. Nice crowd scene, I know they are a lot of hassle.

Love Mia suddenly seeing the entire crowd as vampires. Poor kid, her ultimate nightmare. And I wonder who is wrapped in shadow.

Mia, the one Kane that the evil Lemans don't need to touch.

---

Good of Brad and Alesha to go to the hospital and take the kids to cheer her up (which wouldn't work too well if Margo screams again...)

Poor Lil. Carolina is going to make you do things that will make your family unhappy. A baby, a toddler, Brad, Alesha - a world of possibilities for Carolina to make trouble.

Kaleeko June 3, 2011 at 4:15 PM  

@PiB:

Hehehe... Well, it all seemed entirely too convenient. ;) And a reporter that drags him to bed? Very shady. He's not super bright, but he's not thick enough to be oblivious. XD It is sad about his family, though--at this point, there's practically nothing he can do to salvage it either.

It's funny, that you mention that Mia is the one Kane the Leman's don't have to mess with--though it will come up in the story in a couple of posts... that's about Carolina's thoughts exactly. Why bring a wrecking ball to a building about to topple over? ;)

It honestly makes me really excited about reaching the point where Carolina's intentions reach the surface--she's twisting a very convulated web... All those years in prison must've done something to her mind. XD

Thanks, PiB! <3

Amelia June 3, 2011 at 7:33 PM  

Ah, Travis- that emotion's called guilt. Relatively new for you, isn't it? It's got to be difficult to waiting for the other shoe to drop, though. I hope he and Jade can work things out... but to some extent, there are just some relationships that can't be fixed. I hope they're not in that category- I've always liked them together.

But with that picture... I'm thinking not. How exactly is Travis supposed to do that? I'm thinking Auntie Tana might have to help. If she even CAN. Big hole you dug yourself, Travis... good luck!

And Amelia... poor thing. She's really not doing well, and having to perform there is not exactly going to help. They did a good job transforming the Bottega into a concert setting!

Jeb's evil glow would be awfully disconcerting for me, though, were I to perform ;)

It'd be a little too easy if something bad didn't happen- can't be going that well for Amelia... and lookie there, my suspicions were right. Even Shark! Man, that's rough. She is not okay, is she. :( *hugs her*

OH MAN LIL. LIL WHYYYY. I have a feeling she's going to be exhibiting some unusual behavior soon....

What a nail-biter! Can't wait to read the next one.

Kaleeko June 4, 2011 at 12:34 AM  

@Amelia:

Travis definitely hasn't felt much guilt in his life, has he? XD It's possible that things with Jade aren't entirely lost, but only time will tell if they can be salvaged; I honestly do have a very hard time seeing him with anyone else long-term, but it's also hard to see them together... Such a hard situation to write about--cuts me deep. :(

I had a lot of fun transforming the BB into having a stage; it did work out nicely, if laggy as all heck. XD I <3 Fog Machines so much. LOL about Jeb's glow--I swear, I'm tempted to permanently demote him just so it stops showing up all the time. XD

Mia is definitely not okay. :( In more ways than one. It's gonna take a LOT to get her back to who she used to be, that's for sure.

Unusual behavior coming indeed. ;) Lil's in for a bit of a rough ride...

I am so, so horribly cruel to my characters--aren't I. -_-

Hehehe, thanks, Amelia! <3333 *squeeeeze*

Jennifer June 4, 2011 at 3:42 AM  

Oh my gawsh, Travis what have you gotten yourself into this time?
I can't believe I didn't realize that it was THAT Lisa. Derr! *facepalm*

He's definitely feeling sorry for himself too, especially since Jade isn't really talking to him. I actually feel for him a bit. I know I shouldn't but I do. lol

Love the photo frame shots!

Poor poor Mia. :( Sweet shots of her and Naomi at the start. Aww, they are to cute together.
I laughed at seeing Will and Eliza in the crowd. Hee hee. That was a surprise. :D
OMG though! They were some scary looking vamps in the crowd, jeepers!! Travis in particular!
Meredith looked like a happy one though. lol

Alesha and Brad are acting like a sweet old couple aren't they. "I had a baby, not a throat transplant, dear...' Haha too funny.

Oh no to Lil! Oh no!! That Carolina Leman is really going to teach all the Kanes a lesson, isn't she. I'm afraid, very afraid of the chaos she is about to cause. What me wonder what is going to happen next. :/

Super update, I couldn't tear my eyes away the whole time! :)

Jmh.hobbs June 4, 2011 at 5:12 AM  

You are such an amazing writer! That was a great chapter, can't wait till the next!!!

Jmh.hobbs June 4, 2011 at 5:17 AM  

I've also realized that Carolina is actually sort of pretty, but I hate her, how could she do that to Lil? Travis really sucks, his life as a well-respected person is pretty much over. And that is a shame, I like Jade, but he ruined that as well. Alesha is probably the sweetest lady ever, but what did her and Brad name the baby?

Kaleeko June 4, 2011 at 12:59 PM  

@Jennifer:

Hahaha! Yep--it's 'that' Lisa. ;) Between her wearing glasses and Travis' blurry vision, I can see her not quite being immediately recognizable. ^^

Well, Travis isn't a horrible person--just human--so I'm glad everyone doesn't just outright despise him. He does deserve a LITTLE pity... Maybe. ;D

I really had some serious fun with the vampire scene--watching all the sims do vampire animations was just... hilarious. XD

LOL--I love that line of Alesha's too. They do seem like an old couple, don't they? ^^

What's funny is Carolina doesn't even care about how what she does may effect the other Kanes--she just cares about Jeb. Kinda sad, how she just sees them all as means to an ends.

Thank you so, so much Jen! ♥ *muah!*

Kaleeko June 4, 2011 at 1:06 PM  

@JMHHobbs:

Well hello there! ♥

Carolina definitely is a tough character to like, isn't she? ;) She is quite beautiful, though--especially when she's a younger sim. Dee did a very good job making that sim.

Travis is pretty lame, but he is just human. Jade hasn't been particularly fair either, sadly--but you're right. Any respect he may have earned is going to totally go down the toilet.

GAAAHH!! Oh man. XD I got so caught up in everything else I forgot to announce the baby's name! I've just edited my next chapter to include it. Whoops!

Also: thank you so much for your compliments, jmh--you are too kind <333. *squeeze!*

mmmcheezy225 June 4, 2011 at 4:35 PM  

Every time I start liking Travis, you give me a reason to hate him. Every time I start hating Travis, you give me a reason to like him. *applause*

Ooh, that Carolina! But since Lisa and Carolina share the same last name, and Lisa is doing her bidding I'm sort of wondering what relation they are to each other...

Poor Lil!! :( Dangit, did Bradley forget to reinstall her defense system?

Oooh, the concert scene was very nice. I understand how difficult that can be to photograph. Does anyone remember that creepy standing baby that would spawn when you used the boolprop cheat in TS2? I miss that baby. It made crowd scenes so much easier.

I can't wait for the next update. <3

mmmcheezy225 June 4, 2011 at 4:37 PM  

Oh, and poor Mia! I hope she'll be more honest with her shrink this time, if the hospital decides that she needs one. She's got a loooot of issues to wade through.

Christina June 4, 2011 at 4:41 PM  

OMGGGGG NOT LILOBOT!
D:!!!!!!

Oh em gee, I dont know how you do what you do. How you get so many people in one place and how theyre all vampires..T.T you're something else!

Poor Amelia..how scary that would be *o*

Kaleeko June 5, 2011 at 7:08 AM  

@Cheezy:

Bwahahaha--that's good to hear, about Travis! >:D He's... quite the character to try to write.

You're correct--Lisa is Carolina's daughter and Naomi's sister... And Lisa has definitely taken after her mum in more than just looks.

lol Yes--Brad never did get back to turning Lil's defense protocols back on. I think he'll think twice about that, next time!

Creepy standing baby? O.O Noo, I definitely don't remember that! I never did much in TS2 like this--kinda wish I had though, it would've made learning all of this a lot easier.

And about Mia--she might be honest with him... She might not. I guess you'll have to see? ;D

Thanks, Cheezy! <333 *uber-glomp*

Kaleeko June 5, 2011 at 7:14 AM  

@Christina:

I knooowww... DDDD; <3 Lil *seriously* just keeps getting the short end of the stick over and over again--her and Amelia both. T_T

Hehehe... Well, with cheats and mods, it's actually fairly easy to vampirize everyone, but collecting 30 sims, setting up all their animations, and then trying not to have my computer explode: entirely different story. XD

But: thanks! *blush* ^-^ ♥

LordCharles June 5, 2011 at 9:39 AM  

Hey, Kaleeko, I was just curious to see if maybe you could upload your version of Twinbrook to the Exchange. I'm not quite sure if you can do this, but if it's okay with you, that'd make me really happy.

Kaleeko June 5, 2011 at 9:59 AM  

@LordCharles:

Heyo! Hmmm--I'll try to look into how to do that, but I honestly haven't the faintest clue how atm; I'm pretty sure it involves CAW though and I'm horribly noobie when it comes to that.

Do you need the town as-is, or is it just the community lots you'd like? I can upload buildings/families no problem for you, if that's the case--after this Season's over I'll have some time to relax from writing, so I'll probably start up a page to organize links to download all the families I've made/lots I've built.

LordCharles June 5, 2011 at 10:05 AM  

Yeah, that's really what I need-- my town is so boring right now, and I'm crud at building. That sounds great!

Kaleeko June 5, 2011 at 10:08 AM  

Awesome! It'll pry take me until next week since I've got a ton of writing to do, but you'll know once they're up! :D <3

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