Thursday, July 28, 2016

Chapter 49: Unleash

Truly alive or not, Layla thinks Mech is super awesome and sciencey.

She has a while to go before she graduates from high school, but she is already plotting to go into a science career, like her father.

Reggie frets about his parenting skills. "Do you think it was wrong of me to place a toadification curse on our daughter?"

Perenna laughs. "Naw. I think it's hilarious."

"When do you think I should un-curse her?"

"Whenever you feel like she understands who the alphas in the house are."

Reggie shakes his head. Werewolf packs operate under very strange mentality. "Most children do not blindly accept that power equals authority."

"Most children don't sprout claws when they let themselves lose their temper, either."

After Reggie deigns to remove the curse, he teaches Lucida some meditative techniques, to focus her inner energies and whatnot.

He did not do this with Izalee because it reminded him too much of trying and failing so hard to help his little brother, Rohane. That feels like a long time ago, now.

Lucida thinks she's done a pretty good job remaining calm and zen, after that scare when she clawed up Edward GilsCarbo-Bianchi at school. She wishes her parents would recognize her efforts, instead of panic at every slip-up.

She finds far more peace in strenuous, distracting exercise than in sitting still and looking for her inner self.

Pump extreme iron!!!

Perenna allows Lucida to transform, under supervision.

Lucida's were form is a little more... monstrous, than her mother's, for whatever reason. She must be careful not to let anyone outside the household see it.

Mother and daughter do werewolf stuff together, such as show off their fangs... out aggression...

...howl at the moon...

...and hunt for interesting objects, using their paranormal senses.

Lucida wonders if they are Earth elementals of some kind, or something crazy like that. Why else would she be able to sniff out diamonds and emeralds?

Lucida has amassed quite a collection of gems.

Her other hobbies include cutting things up with chainsaws.

Lucida has been behaving, so she is granted permission to invite her boyfriend, Ben, to the Goldbeard house for the first time. He is impressed by the massive underground complex Reggie has built up underneath it.

"Those two are just my cousins from some far off boring town," Lucida has no idea how close to the truth it is, when she introduces Cayenne and Luis as distant family.

Introducing baby Ceth as Cayenne's daughter is a no-no, as that would raise too many questions, so Lucida claims the infant is "adopted".

Later that week, Lucida visits the Rossi place for the first time.

"Holy simoly," Lucida whistles. "Why did you think our basement was impressive, again?"

Ben's uncle Rafael and aunt Sera are swimming in the Rossi pool.

"Just ignore them," Ben advises.

The real attraction for Lucida is the tiny basketball setup the Rossis have.

So opulent! Best date ever, 10 out of 10.

Opulent lunch.

Later, Fun with dad.

Cousin Rain's synchronized yawning with dad.

After everyone is asleep, Luis picks up Scarlett's old guitar. There are so many memories left imprinted on it. So much travel, so many things learned about magic only to be lost...

Oh, and how to play. How to play a guitar is one of the more pleasant pieces of information Luis has unintentionally absorbed in his chaotic life.

Etc.: I did roll AWESOME! for gen 3, so that may involve a gemstone collection. I was skilling Lucida up in sculpting so she could get the special sculptor's egg cuts.

Aside from the unholy Lovecraftian monster that was the gigantic spire cut rainbow gem obtained in my Riverview legacy, the egg shape cuts are my favorites.

Look at that. I used to play with the walls down! Whoa.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Chapter 48: Breaking Curfew

Cayenne eventually has her baby. It's a horrifying ordeal, though not as horrible as it once was according to ancient, forbidden texts she's uncovered in her travels. At one point, cake didn't trigger an age-up, the dead left the bodies behind, and poverty was everywhere.

The world they live in is so manufactured and perfect. Luis insists there is something fake and sinister behind the perfection... but Cayenne cannot help feeling like she'd rather be normal, and enjoy it, instead of be cursed with this burden of ensuring it is one day torn down.

That's the goal, after all... make sure the cycle doesn't start again. But what is their world, without its lies? What happens when everyone is released from the curse?

As she settles the infant girl into Lucida's old crib, she feels a crack in her resolve to find her big sister. Cayenne misses Parsley, but she and Luis still don't know how to find her. It doesn't seem fair to drag this child onto the uncertain road ahead.

Cayenne begins to sob as she recalls her own childhood, filled with all the luxuries a film star's daughter could expect. The baby's father features prominently in those memories; Chervil was always there for her, until he wasn't.

He doesn't even know about the child.

Luis tries to comfort his sister.

She straightens up and stares at him, but does not seem to see him. She lived through the loss of her parents, her home, most of her siblings, and her boyfriend... she watched her twin suffer as his psychic abilities turned their world upside down and inside out... yet now she is more sad than she has ever been. She cannot hold the feelings of hopelessness at bay anymore. "I don't know if I can do this, Loki."

There's a saying: names have power. Her brother frowns at the sound of his real name, the one their well-intentioned but silly film star father gave him. She understands why he feels negative about being named after a mythological Norse trickster involved with the end times.

"She's going to be okay," he promises.

He is genuinely pleased to meet his niece. "Hello, Ceth."

"Seth is a boy's name," Cayenne protests meekly.

"No, it starts with a C, like your name." Luis is emphatic about this point. "I like it. I like the letters."

Ceth's father also had a C-name. Cayenne tries not to tear up all over again. She hadn't given much thought to naming their child. "Okay," she sighs. "Ceth it is, then."

"Ceth is what it has always been," he corrects.

Lucida is unaware of Ceth's distant blood relation to her. The protective instinct she feels towards this helpless, noisy fleshball has come from accepting Cayenne and Luis as part of her pack regardless of their origins.

"It took her seriously forever to have this baby," Lucida remarks. "What gives, Dad?"

"Cayenne's healing abilities must have been interfering with the whole... process," Reggie theorizes.

A new baby in the nursery means Lucida finally gets to move out of it and into her own bedroom. Hopefully she'll take that creepy-ass owl painting she likes so much with her.

Izalee is stumped on how to contribute to society. When she goes to the local farmer's market to sell her surplus tomatoes, however, she realizes there is something she's been overlooking.

She registers at city hall as a self-employed agriculturalist.

These aquatic creatures are alive, yet Mech is not. He ponders his existence as he cares for them.

In total, there are six seahorses in the tank. They're shy.

Lucida and Benino's second date is at Danza, same as the first.

The feel of the second date is much different from the first, however, since Danza has attracted a crowd tonight.

Taking advantage of the classy music, Ben tries to teach Lucida to waltz. This is far more high-brow than she is used to, but she goes along with it, flattered that someone of such prissy standards even wants to give her the time of day.

And hey look, Venessa is here.

Venessa's attempts to woo Fred Taylor here go completely ignored.

Even creepier, Fred is the newlywed husband of one of the Giordano clan (namely, her cousin Maria's daughter Emily). For shame, Venessa.

After leaving Reggie, Venessa was in a relationship with the far younger Gilberto GilsCarbo, but now that Gilberto has spawned children with Ambra Ferrari, Venessa has stepped out of the way.

WTF is happening at this bar?!

Alright, that's a little better I guess.

Lucida could do a lot worse than Benino Rossi for a first boyfriend, she decides, so she asks him to go steady before some other girl inevitably can.

Benino responds positively.

Lucida shows her happiness with action.

She must be like ten times stronger than him. Luckily Ben thinks this is hot.

Poor Fred is very popular tonight. Maybe he should not have left his new wife at home with the baby. She could have helped him fend off this cougar pack.

The teens round out their night with a couple of glasses of Starry Seas.

Lucida gets... slightly buzzed?

She saunters over to Marta and orders shrimp cocktails....

...only to quickly realize it was a bad idea.

Ewwwww. They don't even have deep fried breading around them.

How can Benino eat this???

 They go upstairs for a while to chill. Lucida has never played pool before, but wants to try a trick shot she saw on TV once. It involves a gnome.

"Gnomes are jerks, you know," she says.

After then it's time to go home, because curfew.

Ben makes it home on time, but Lucida does not. Her father threatens to turn her into a toad if she breaks curfew again.

"Yeah right, Dad. You can't turn people into toads."

Etc.: Reggie rolled a wish to turn someone into a toad. So.