Saturday, October 26, 2013

Chapter 2.41- Black Shadow

          “Wait a second,” Tibi’s voice shook as she suppressed her giggles. “Wait wait wait wait wait. Your Roger is older than mom’s Pilar? Like, as in Roger’s aunt is younger than he is?”
          Ottawa frowned at the little half-sister in front of him. It wasn’t that big of a deal to him, but it was almost as if Tib was making fun of their shared parent.

          “Hey, Mom was just a kid when I came along,” Ottawa’s voice held just a hint of a reproach. “She’s still got plenty of time ahead of her.”

          Tiburcia put on a blank face, surprised that her ‘big brother’ (she barely knew him- the blood bond was a mere formality) could gloss over Melly’s many shortcomings. Soon enough Tibi would be a young adult, legal and on her own. When that happy day occurred she would officially, finally, write her mother off. In her opinion, Ignacio was the one who raised her, (with the help of Abuela and Layla,) and was thus the only one who counted.

          Standing in the corner where he could see everything as well as he wanted, Ignacio watched his little girl attempting to talk to one of the siblings she barely knew. At least she had the opportunity to be around Mariah enough that she could say she knew at least one of them.
          And Mariah would be a lot easier to connect with after this. A child has far more attraction for a teenager than a toddler with a somewhat morbid view of life.
          Morbid… Speaking of morbid…

          Why wouldn’t Raul stand still? Act like nothing was going on? Instead he kept fidgeting, clearing his throat loudly, staring a hole in Ignacio’s head.
          The pair had already managed to attract Nalleli’s attention; they didn’t need any one else staring at them either.
          “I swear to PlumbBob,” Raul’s voice was taut. “I swear that you said you needed to talk to me. Now all you’re doing is staring at everyone else in the room. Iggy I’ve lived with you long enough to see you stare at people before, it’s nothing new. If you don’t start talking soon-”

          “Shut up!” Ignacio hissed throwing a sharp look over his shoulder. “Don’t you see Nalleli? She’ll go away faster if she thinks we’re just standing here.”
          “Oooooooh,” Raul sighed. “Yeah, I didn’t see her there.”
          “You’re missing a lot fidgeting and trying to see how hard you can stare at me,” said Ignacio.
          “Well, then maybe we can just slip away?”
          “No,” Ignacio whispered. “Layla would notice.”
          “Then tell me another time.”
          “No!” Ignacio winced, looking around furtively and sighed. Thankful his exclamation hadn’t attracted attention and that Nalleli had wandered off.

          “No, it needs to be now,” Ignacio continued over his shoulder. Why wouldn’t Raul stand next to him? It was weird talking over his shoulder like that.
          “Why now?”
          Sighing instead of answering, Ignacio just shook his head. He couldn’t give his real reasons to her brother, and it saddened him. But telling his brother that he wouldn’t be assisting with his smuggling any longer was best done in a room full of happy, talking, noisy, watching, people.

          “You’ve gained Mami’s attention,” Ignacio had spent weeks trying to come up with what to tell his brother, how to start it. He could hardly march up to him and quit. And what he wouldn’t give to be able to do just that. “And then Mami went and pulled Layla aside and blabbed to her.”
          Raul moved fractionally closer to hear better.
          “They don’t know anything do they?” asked Raul.

          Tiburcia looked through the milling crowd at her Daddy’s taut face. Something was up, but she was too far away to hear.
          “It’s not like they actually know what we’re doing,” Raul said. “I mean, Mami hasn’t touched any of us in ages.”
          “Tha’s not true,” responded Ignacio. “She touched me while Layla was gone and I don’t know what all she got. It was enough to scare my wife though.”

          “Scare your wife! It’s not like we’re doing something horrible…” Raul’s voice trailed away at the quelling look his brother gave him.
          “Quit lying to me,” Ignacio spat. “Mami could only get confirmation of what I know, everything else is guess work and matching the ends of the different paths we choose. But she is damn good with her guesses and her latest guess is tha’ whatever we used to be doing isn’ what you’re doing anymore.”
          Chest swelling slightly, Ignacio’s eyes were slits when his brother failed to contradict him immediately.
          “I want out.”

          “No, no,” Raul’s voice higher pitched than usual. “No, don’t quit. I’ll tell you- I… I got caught.”
          Stomach sinking to his toes it took everything in Ignacio to keep his mouth closed. This wasn’t what he’d been expecting to hear at all. Then the questions began forming and the implications of those three words finally sunk in.
          “I got caught by the Simgolean army one night.”

          Sighing, Raul continued. “They took me into custody right there, brought out a bunch of guys with rifles, said they were going to kill me but they had to wait for this one guy. So I just knelt there waiting figuring the guy was one of those twisted sicko’s who get their jollies watching others snuff it, but that wasn’t it. They’d been watching me and they were going to offer me a deal. But it’s kind of one of those ‘A deal you can’t refuse’ things, because if I’d refused to go along with it they would have killed me.”

          “They wanted me to start bringing in supplies for their army,” Raul continued. “Food to keep them going, blankets, medicine, really it was the same stuff we were already sending over there only the army was going to pay me a lot more for it.”
          “You should have said no,” Ignacio interrupted. “We weren’t doing it for the army we were doing it-”
          “-For the Lee’s.” Raul interrupted the interruption. The Lee’s were the family Raul had stayed with all those years ago. “They said they had the Lee’s in custody. And if I went along they’d take care of them using my supplies just like always, but they would kill them too if I refused. So the Lee’s are alright. And that’s why I can’t say no.”
          “The Lee’s are one family,” Ignacio said. “One. We were supposed to be helping the people, not their government. This isn’t a mercy mission anymore. And how do you know they haven’t already killed the Lee’s just to simplify matters?”

          “You’re not the only one with a brain brother,” Raul growled at Ignacio, his apologetic manner of only moments before vanishing. “I insisted on seeing them that night, and have on many other occasions. And not just one of them, but their entire family to make sure they are well fed and taken care of. I take care of my people.”
          “You haven’ taken care of me,” said Ignacio. “I’m donating fish to a foreign army for free. How does that take care of me or my family? You drive the nicest car in town! How is that taking care of starving people?”
          “You want a cut? Is that what this is about? I’ll give you a cut.”
          “It’s not about money.”

          “Of course not,” the sarcasm in Raul’s words made Ignacio cringe. “It’s never about money. No. What is it about then Ignacio? Because to me this is about life and death. They’ll kill me. They’ll kill the Lee’s. Is that really what you want on your conscience?”
          “It’s not about my conscience,” Ignacio sneered back. “It’s about yours.”

          As he walked away from his brother Ignacio felt like scum. Raul was right that that his life would be on Ignacio’s head now. But he’d already promised Layla he’d get out, and hearing that he was no longer helping innocents caught in a political battle made her right to want him out. Was the cost worth it in the end though? Or had his Mami not seen the correct sim lying dead?
          Behind him, he could still feel the black shadow his brother was. No matter how much he tried to focus on his baby girl and this joy that should be her birthday, the shadow was there. For him, it would always be there now.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

          With only a half understanding of what was going on, Mariah blew as hard as she possibly could at her candles as Layla watched anxiously. Somehow, this was supposed to trigger something magic according to Mommy. Mariah hoped it would make the cake explode.
          Tiburcia looked down at the cake and remembered her last one, how this tiny little mite had arrived on that day. She’d have another cake of her own soon leaving her small sister behind to keep their parents entertained. Or shocked depending on what new tales Mariah might come up with.

          Required Blackmail Shot to show future boyfriends.

          Oh, that hair is for sure going to have to be changed. The Clipping! The Clipping!!

          When her eyes didn’t automatically uncross as normal Mariah got a little flustered and had a mini- princess- tantrum until she could finally see straight enough to walk to her cake without tripping on the edge of the rug.

          Mariah quietly selected the largest slice of cake. The smile she first grew up with had disappeared, replaced by a prim look. Sweeping her gaze around the room, she smirked. There’s no way that cake would feed this many people. And she laughed to herself knowing she had hers, envisioning those remaining brawling to get a slice. It was good to be the queen.

          When Mariah found out there were adults who purposely skipped the cake, while others asked for only tiny tastes and no one had fought she was most disappointed. How rude of them not to think her cake worth fighting over!
          As her family prepared to leave, Sally stopped before Layla.
          “Come by tomorrow,” Sally said, smiling at her cousin. “Roger will be having his birthday and it’s time we caught up.”
          Despite her efforts to the contrary, a single tear snuck out of Layla’s eye. It had been too long since she caught up, really caught up, with those who matter most.
          “We’ll be there.”

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

          So there you go. I’m going to pretend it’s not painfully obvious what’s coming up and I’m sure you all will as well. ;) Nah. We all know what’s coming. I’ve been too distracted too really do good work on the smoke and mirrors I prefer to have going so I beg your forgiveness. But things seem to kind of actually be settling back into routine (after nearly 2 months of it) at last which gives me the time to work out some of the kinks a little better. There are bloopers for this one. A lot of them, lol. But with 28 sims in the house you know there had to be a few funny moments, and with Cyrus in there? How can I resist making fun of Cyrus? It’s just so easy sometimes. So go have a peek.
          And for the record- Tibi has 4 days until she moves out as a YA, just for the math freaks out there. ;)


  1. Love how we kept perspecitive changing to show that nobody really knew what was going on, just that they were talking. :D

    Uh, wow. Poor Raul! Poor, poor Raul... What a pickle. I think we all would have done what he did in that situation, as much as Iggy seems to think he'd have chosen his own death.... Nah. Sorry. Humans have a self-preservation instinct, and that's exactly what would kick in right then. Very sticky situation, and I hope he knows another fishersim or he's not gunna be around much longer.

    Black shadow - perfect! I know exactly that feeling!! Like there's something cold and dark watching you, and it'll never leave. A mark on your conscience. But, hmm... I dunno what I'd have done. I think I couldn't leave the business, no matter how dodgey, if it'd most likely cause my own siblings death. Layla would have taken some coming around, but I think once she (and Sabria) knew the whole story she'd see it was the best option.

    Wonder what'll happen there?! :|

    Aww!! Mariah is such a cute little girl!! LOL at the blackmail pic! Brilliant :D She seems to still have that morbid sense, but she's still pretty young (and the cake battle scenario would have been brilliant!), maybe she'll grow out of it yet? Or maybe she'll work in a graveyard or as a ghostbuster. Who knows?!

    Yay for back to routine! I've missed this story! Maybe I'll get back to routine soon too? *crosses fingers*

    1. Well, it was also to show that Layla had Cyrus over and is trying to make things up with him. ;)

      I think Ignacio panicked just a bit internally when he heard what was really going on and just struck out blindly by using the rote script he had stuck in his head. He regretted it almost instantly and we'll probably see just how much he regrets that soon.

      Not just his own sibling, but the death also of an unknown family. Not a single death but many possibly on his own head. A bond of blood possibly broken in blood. And Ah! If Sabria only knew the whole story what might she See? That might just be the money question right there. ;)

      We'll just have to see just what Mariah grows into, or up to. ;) She's got quite the roll to fulfill.

      Yeah for real hope your game settles down soon so we can see just what Krazy Kaity is up to next!

  2. It's a bit of a relief that Tibi isn't interested in her mother. And wow, that's quite a big party! Those are always fun to shoot ;)

    Raul is just making this more difficult than it needs to be, but that's not surprising. I'm loving reading their conversation, but seeing the party go on around them, though Tibi's onto them, and I'm sure they're being noticed more than they think. Glad to see Cyrus there, he and Layla seem happy to see each other.

    What a whammy. Now Iggy feels responsible for his brother's life, but at the same time knows that Layla's desire to have him out of the business was the right call.

    Mariah hoped it would make the cake explode ::facepalm:: She grew into a very pretty girl, but the prim demeanor is so strange with her destructive thoughts. Yikes.

    Aw. Sally. It's good to see Layla making strides in the important relationships in her life, but it's kind of scary to know what's going on around her--Iggy and Raul, and what Raul's really into. What Mariah could be growing into.

    I have a bad feeling that everything is about to explode.

    1. It was indeed a big party, but yes, it was really fun! Since I didn't have to pose anyone beyond Raul and Ignacio that made it pretty easy too.

      Oh yes. Beyond Nalleli and Tibi, Sabria was there as well and she was standing rather close by. And his feeling of responsibility should something happen now could even do damage on it's own.

      lol. Yeah, she's going to be a lot of fun. Very different too.

      Mmmhmm, Layla doesn't get those moments to just sit back and enjoy life. It's coming at her guns blazing whether she's ready for it or not.

      MWWWUUUUuahahahahahahaha! Then my work here is done!

    2. Guns blazing? A nice choice of words :D

  3. Well, that's quite a pickle that Raul finds himself in, and Ignacio as well. If those guys that Raul is supplying stuff too, mean business, it may not be quite so easy for Ignacio to get out. I sure hope Ignacio is able to get out though, without getting hurt, killed, or maimed!

    Mariah is such a cutie, and I already love her budding personality. What violence lurks behind that pretty face! lol She'll catch lots of people unawares, that's for sure!

    1. Exactly! What if these people just come after Ignacio himself?

      Lol! Yes she will! And that should be a lot of fun to see just what all gets her going.

  4. Yeah, Ignacio may not have been on what's going on, but that doesn't mean he can just walk away. I foresee trouble there. Big trouble.

    1. Walking away is never as easy as it sounds is it? And big trouble is exactly what he's walked into.

  5. What will SimNation do when/if they find out about Raul going against the embargo? I kept thinking THEY would be the ones to cause trouble. I didn't expect the country where the Lee's live to be the threatening bad guys, but I guess it makes sense. Raul really had some cojones asking to SEE the Lee family when they could've simply blown him away for demanding it. I guess he figured if the Lee's were already dead then it wasn't worth doing for anyone and to go ahead and blow him away.

    I guess I'm clueless because I can't catch the foreshadowing. Maybe I'm trying too hard; that would be typical. Pretty sure I'll be like, 'well, duh!' When the moment comes.

    I can't decide if Mariah cracks me up or makes me simply shake my head at her evil nature.

    1. Hmmmmm, I think SimNation would like to think they're a judicious sort of place that would only fine him and jail him for a little while. If he didn't get 'accidentally' killed in the raid. lol Raul's got balls for sure. Miles and miles of balls. Ha!

      *cackles! It's there. lol. The foreshadowing is always there. Hovering. Circling. A dark shadow!!! lololol. It'll be a 'well, duh!' moment for sure since it's the same stuff that's been going on. Nothing new. =D

      Ah! And Mariah's personality hasn't fully developed either, so she may surprise you yet with some new facet. ;)

  6. The house offers such an awesome space for parties now that all the crap - cough, excuse me, I mean the valuable collection - is gone XD It was great seeing all those sims in one big room together. Is that gray hair I spy on Sabria? She's rocking it though! And are Layla and Iggy still YAs? They still look so young.

    And wow, Mariah is so funny! A little evil princess :D

    1. My ages are set wonky is why Layla and Ignacio are still YAs. I can't stand the midlife crisis my sims get without fail, so the adult stage is set super short and YA super long. xD

      Mariah is a mess, isn't she? lol