Not Such an Idle Threat...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The little 'chat' by the warehouse had Jebidiah's mind spinning in circles.

What Dallas asked Jebidiah to do was -- for pun's sake -- absolutely criminal. The way that heists are portrayed in the movies, as training montages that take mere minutes, was a running joke in the actual thief's business. Sure, there were jobs you could simply break a Sim's window, climb in, grab a valuable or two, and run off... but every Sim knows that once those pesky burglar alarms are installed, life for a criminal becomes an entirely different matter. Those cops have crazy fast reaction times!

And then, when you looked at the setup that the Strummer's had had installed for their prize jewel... Well, you just need time to prepare for a gig like that. And each member of the 'Strummer Home Project' had a specific task that they needed to execute perfectly... They needed practice, and now, they were rushed. They had a week to get it done... A week before the Leader would bestow his wrath on them.

Now, Jebidiah had no choice. As he looked at his eldest son, he remembered Dallas's threat: "Accidents happen all the time... You wouldn't want anything to happen to your son, would you?" He wasn't sure whether to take the man seriously or not, but no one crossed Mr. Shallow's path... No one. There was probably a good reason for that. What have I gotten myself into? he thought.

However, those thoughts were not allowed to taint Travis' birthday. He would be becoming a child, certainly the most changing day of his life --  Jeb was not going to let his boss ruin it. The very fact that he was coming to the party at all was slightly nerve-wrecking. His wife, his mother, his friends... They'd all be there, there in the same room with the most infamous kingpin in all the state of Simington. If only Meredith had known, maybe she would have neglected to invite him. No, don't joke about that, Jebidiah, he thought to himself again. The last thing I'd want to do is tell Meredith.

Everyone seemed to show up for the party at once. Farah and Simon headed to the patio to relax and talk about old times; Tana, Chandra, and Trista settled into the living room; Meredith got the kids settled and the food laid out... But when Dallas showed up, there was someone that recognized him... Someone that no one expected.

Yes -- Chandra knew who Dallas was. Had Jebidiah forgotten so soon that Skip, the retired Leader of the Crows, was her father? That she had seen behind the scenes of the criminal industry as a small girl, that she had watched the battle for power between Skip and Dallas firsthand? At least, being a Loser, she was more afraid of Dallas than anything...

See? What a big pansy.

As everyone began to dance -- what else do Sims do at parties?! -- Meredith went into the kitchen to prepare the cake and get Travis ready to blow out the candles. Dallas, however, had other ideas... It was time to meet the Lady of his Master Thief; he promptly introduced himself, and of course, was impressed with how lovely she was. Hey -- I think she's pretty cute!

And as Trista 'got down' with Simon, Chandra and Jebidiah tried to have a decent discussion over the noise of the music. It was mainly just about how much they both hated crowds, though -- Chandra was understanding, as usual, and did her best to comfort the agitated father... Even though she didn't know the real reason he was so agitated.

Simon and Dallas were able to pull Meredith away from being a busy host for a moment, as well, in order for some decent chitchat.

But finally, it was time for everyone to stop doing what they were doing -- but not everyone, you know how hard Sims are to get to pay attention to stuff like this! -- because Meredith was taking Travis to the cake. After several minutes of blowing kazoos, cheering, clapping, and laughing, Meredith finally helped Travis blow out the candles. Jebidiah was very proud... But no longer was he secretly wishing for Travis to become Evil, like him... No, that wish had not popped up in some time now. Perhaps recent events had caused a change in the father...

As everyone finished their cake, and Travis got into some cool duds for his new Athletic trait, Dallas tapped Jebidiah's shoulder, and prodded him to speak with him in private.

They walked outside and into the glasshouse that Meredith used as a painting studio. After shutting the door and making sure they weren't followed, Jebidiah began to talk.

"I did everything I could about the laptop," Jeb said with a cringe on his cheek. "I had a small device installed that will trigger the hard disk to fry when certain protocols are tripped... And I activated it remotely. But there's no way to know for certain if the laptop's actually been destroyed. For all I know, whoever took it knew where to look, and disabled it before I got a chance to blow it."

Dallas was not pleased to hear this.

"You mean to tell me," Dallas growled with a stern finger pointed at Jebidiah's chest. "That there's a chance that they know everything?"

"Not everything!" Jebidiah tried to explain. "I deleted almost everything Skip gave me as soon as it was transferred to the Company mainframe. The security codes and breaker points weren't on there... But there were dates. Some discussions between Project members about the plan... It's enough for the police to nail us, but not enough for someone else to pull off the job if they wanted."

"And that's supposed to make it better?" Dallas was on the point of rage.

"Please, Shallow, just let me take care of this. You know it took the top computer expert in the Company over a week to hack into a firewall I designed, that's more than enough time for us to get the job done. You gave me a week. We'll get you the jewel before anyone knows anything..." Jebidiah had gotten to the point of pleading. "And Tana hasn't heard a word about it at the department, so it's unlikely they have it."

"Just get it done, Kane," Dallas offered as his last words. "You'd better get it done."

As the party drew to a close, everyone gave their last hugs and congratulations before heading home. Chandra stayed to help tuck in Bradley...

And Travis headed up to his newly decorated room, ready to fall asleep at a moment's notice.

Chandra headed off home, and Jebidiah -- although still uneasy from his conversation with Dallas -- settled into bed with Meredith and tried to fall asleep.

Unfortunately, he couldn't. Tossing and turning, the wee hours came and went and still, sleep did not come. He had been glad to have this day off, especially on Travis' birthday, but without the exhaustion of work, he was almost sure he'd never fall asleep... Especially not with what was on his mind.

But around 2am, he heard a familiar sound... One that outraged him no less than the previous time he'd heard it.

He rushed down the stairs, but it still wasn't in time -- the burglar quickly began to take what she came for, cackling quietly as she did so.

But Jebidiah wouldn't let them get away this time! She hadn't gotten all that she came for, and completely surprised and caught unawares, they collided at the bottom of the stairs -- and there, they duked it out, while Meredith quickly called the police.

And this time, the police arrived in just the nick of time. And apparently, he really liked the music they had playing. I don't blame him. My Custom Music station rocks.

As he put the burglar in the back of his squad car, he returned to do a once over around the house. He stopped to chat with Meredith about movie tickets -- hopefully not asking her on a date -- before returning the stolen items to Jebidiah, and taking the thief to the station.

But when Jebidiah saw what the burglar had taken...

This was not a crime of desparation for money, or even for crime. Why in Pleasantview would someone steal pictures of his children?! He was so angry -- furious -- that he punched the air in distress. Either this was a joke, or a threat... And he wagered it was the latter.

Was Dallas trying to toy with him, and remind him of what he could do? Was someone trying to dissuade him from the job with threats of their own? Why would anyone, save a Desperate Sim, steal pictures of the ones he loves?

The next day, realizing that he could no longer trust the criminal minds to not break into his home, he had a security system installed. It was minor -- certainly not the setup like the Strummers, which he really was tempted to employ -- but it would do the trick against these petty thefts. He didn't have much of any other choice but to trust the cops... He at least relied on Tana, if anyone.

Now, it was no longer a game... This wasn't the fun times of bank robbery, the instant gratification of safe cracking, or the thrill of driving the getaway car. This was now a time of desperation, when his own Leader was threatening the lives of his children, so that he could get the prize he wanted... Where he'd have to dip to increasingly desperate measures to protect the woman and children he loves, even if those measures may hurt them, too.

All over a pretty, pink rock.


Jen July 26, 2010 at 7:29 PM  

And what a rock it is! None of my sims are gem collectors, I find it a little boring. lol

Thought I would top it off with an even chapter number. lol

Poor Jeb, he is really going to have to figure out something...and fast!
Taking photos of his children, who does that? That's sick. lol Could a kidnapping by in the works?
Maybe Farah is behind these robberies at Jeb's house. Could she be trying to stop Jeb from completing this big job and silently persuading/steering him to change his ways.

Unknown July 26, 2010 at 8:49 PM  

Hahaha! Lots of good speculations... Wish I could give you the answers, but that'd just spoil it. ^^

You're getting much closer to being done with this season though, at least! Thank you for leaving your comments, I've enjoyed all of em. :D I'm glad that you're enjoying the story so far!

Many <3's. :)

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