Sunday, December 10, 2017

1.16 Loki's Aside -C- Warmth

A part of him feels like he died, there on the pavement. The loss of warmth is the first feeling he noticed, after that there was nothing else that didn't blend together, stirring violently in his mind and in his veins. He couldn't place the feelings as if there was no name for them. They only resulted in confusion after all, and the inexplicable knowledge that time was passing without his consent or control.

The fact that he holds an awareness of the event that occurred in the alley should prove to him that he's not dead at the moment, but dreams don't often work like that.

And there is a part that remembers other things, moments where he wasn't in control of himself, and yet maddeningly, he was forced to watch as he rose to his feet on command, answered some questions he didn't recall later, and behaved in a manner completely unlike himself.

One thing he did know is that he had laid on the tiles in the alley for the better part of the night, his body unmoving as if comprised of lead. It was easy to imagine that he would lay there until summer, at which point the sun would melt him finally into a shiny puddle seeping into the nearby street. He was going to lay there forever.

It wasn't the sound of footfalls that caused him to stir, it was something like a command in his mind, telling him to get up get up get up....

“I was sure she'd find you.” The woman's voice echos into the fog of the morning, recognizable to him again. The woman from the shop. His eyes flicker to something of a silver, to the blue he was born with, and back to silver again. He knows this as if he's seen it happen before. His blood had continued to stream steadily from his wound in the night until it trickled under his collar and over his chest, and little rivers of red had risen to the surface of the creamed colored cotton blended shirt he wore. His face is shiny with dried sweat and cold, his lips are chapped, his hair is disheveled.

The knowledge of who is speaking brings no pleasure, he still feels no closer to being alive. He can summon no anger or disbelief, this is probably all a dream anyways, or it's the final throws of his exasperated mind as it dies, molecule by molecule on a cellular level.

He vaguely recalls rolling over the rest of the way and lifting himself over on his back in some sort of state of unquestioning obedience, his body protesting every movement or even the fluttering open of his eyes.

He strains, and falls backwards, lacking the strength to support his weight.

The glimpse he'd witnessed of the situation seemingly around him gave scant information, and the fact that he'd witnessed anything at all failed to convince him of his wellness. It could have easily been another vision, recalled as he neared the end. Both sisters seem to have gathered in the same place. The one with long purple hair sleeps, as docile as he'd found her, while the one in lime strides forward, still exuding impossible confidence and grace.

He knew there had been something wrong with her, the girl on the bench. But now he knows it's far too late, he's clearly at the mercy of these... beings.

What do you want? He tries to force the words, to rasp them out, anything, but his mouth is closed and his voice-box silent. Air is barely passing through his lungs.

The woman in green smiles sweetly, having heard what it is was he tried to say. Obscene. Naked. Indecent. He feels exposed, yet still so incredibly heavy, so incredibly and coldly non-alive.

Her eyes flair at the turn of his thoughts. “Nothing improper has happened here I assure you.” She says the words with a bite. “You see you've actually saved my sister's life, and I've come to thank you for that, or at least confirm for you that you are very much still alive.”

Bleeding, he thinks at her. I have nothing left.

He must feel dead because there is no blood left in his body. It's on his shirt, it's on the pavement, it's been consumed.

“It's not true that you have nothing left.” She says in a conversational tone. “You see, my sister, in her madness of thirst, still maintained her gentle nature and had the wherewithal to spare your life, taking far less than she actually needed. So now things may change, you may indeed die, but not if either she or I can save you. Do you understand this?”

I need a doctor. He thinks at her, absurdly, as he's still very much dreaming and can't be asking, or more correctly demanding anything. I need a doctor not your creepy smile or your sister's murderous 'help'. I do not need to understand you. I need to be far far away from you.

The woman in green smiles again, not unkindly but not indulgently either. “You misunderstand your needs.”


She commands him and he does, despite having no energy in his body to allow it. Then she ignores him, and the stream of incoherent and unkind things he is thinking at her to address the woman sleeping soundly on the bench.

“Moira. ((WAKE UP.))”

The feeling of power coming from her voice carries more than a suggestion, and Loki realizes that these creatures can exact their will even upon each other. Does it depend on strength of will, or is the green one merely stronger?

Loki could swear that even the mist clears from the form of 'Moira', the green one's sister, but that would also be... maybe he needs to stop using the word absurd to describe everything.

Again awakening far too quickly, the purple one rises, telling her sister to ((STOP IT)), and suddenly Loki feels his form falling once more the the ground. She steps over to him swiftly to catch him as he falls. He is draped helplessly in her arms. How... hilarious? Ironic? Useless- isn't he going to die here? Isn't he already DEAD?

“You aren't dead.” Moira whispers to him, before turning towards her sister as if her sister means them harm. “He's mine.” She says. “((LEAVE HIM ALONE.))”

But to Moira's apparent horror her sister laughs in peals that would echo off the stones in the alley if the morning weren't so damp and full of peacefully falling snow. She composes herself and resumes speaking, her pale eyes full of mirth. “Sister, you must know your magic has waned. You failed to conserve it properly again. Mind the Date, would you for once? You never parse it out to get through the new moon. I've told you so many times.”

“He is mine.” The woman holding Loki chokes out, almost as if it's a sob. She knows she cannot stand up to her sister like this, maybe not ever. “Lyra, he... he is mine and I won't give him to you!”

Lyra, the woman in green, responds to the declaration with a shrug. “I'm surprised. To think you intend to continue to feed, are you that lacking in nourishment, that you would kill for it?”

Loki feels the woman's arm tighten around his shoulder, protectively, he thinks with a shutter he can see but not feel. “N-no...”

“So you seek to protect him from me. We do have the same required type after all, O positive. I could smell it on everything he'd touched as soon as I entered his little shop. With no one else around, I still abstained, and sent him to you. So quit tempting me with it!” She snapped at the end. “We need to get off the street.”

Lyra sounded disgusted and impatient, and having the strongest will (and assumably magic) of the three Moira obeyed and let her control Loki enough have him walk by her sister's side.

It was a surreal march for Loki, who had long since sworn off of being in the presence of women, who had so confused and disturbed him over the course of his life. This new development had him convinced, despite his catatonic stupor, that his life was over anyways, despite the things he had overheard. Just as he knows he is still bleeding, and should be in a coma or dead, or in an operating room somewhere, he knows his life is truly over at this stage.

Moira, who walks possessively before him doesn't make any further comments or claims, it's almost as if she can't think of a single good thing to say. Can she hear the cacophony of his thoughts now too? Does she know the hopelessness that washes over him, even as he is alternatively feeling maddeningly numb, and cold waves of pain?

The town that had seemed so vibrant and alive despite it's gothic glamour holds nothing but confusion for him now. In the busy shopping district, at seven something in the morning, nobody challenges them or comes out from behind closed doors, or walks the streets. A part of him wonders if it is Lyra, the green one, keeping foot traffic away, but that would be ab- stupid.

Sometime during the march he blacks out again despite the external suggestion that he continue to walk and he knows nothing more for the remainder of the morning, if not the day.

He wishes he didn't dream during this period of time, but he does. Some version of himself, another possibility? Prowls the alley at night. Concern for his livelihood and his life's work gone, his only thought is of the delicate flesh of the festival-goers, the sweet sweet feeling that will ebb into him as he sucks the life out of each and every one.

Not from thirst so much as from revenge.

They are the ones who allowed this madness, for his life to be ruined, for his body to be more in control than his mind, for his life to be ruined.

It's easy to wait for them, as they leave the storefronts, presents in hand for their children, their families, the stupid people they love. It's easy to hate them for having everything that he never will.

It's easy to suggest that this the right way to go- this path into darkness that they've never needed to walk before. Why travel through a labyrinth of narrow passageways when the streets are filled with carolers, with song, and with merriment?

It's easy to lure them on a path that leads to him.

To plant the suggestion to be compliant, to give him not what he really needs but what will satisfy him to his very soul.

“Send your girlfriend this way, or your parents if I don't kill you in my... eagerness.” He mutters to the man-child that stands ineptly before him. “Send everyone. It's only right, things will be better this way.”

His voice sounds hoarse, he doesn't need to use it much anymore.

The nightmare persists, showing Loki a dream that disgusts him yet is all too real.

He can feel the boy's blood flowing into him, strengthening him, he feels his anger subside with it. A small victory over the betrayal of this town. He'd removed the mental hold he was keeping on the boy so he could savor the terrific realization in his victim's mind as he concluded, correctly, that he was dying.

Gluttonously, Loki takes far much more than he needs. He can stop himself, he can avoid killing, but there is nothing else now. He would probably have to empty his stomach after this, so he could find the boy's family and do the same.

He is reminded of every betrayal as he drains his victim. Of the betrayal of Moira, who didn't have the strength to starve herself, the betrayal of the people of Midnight Hollow who let creatures roam free in the night and could have saved him, the betrayal of the town of Twinbrook (they would be next) for having nothing of value to keep him rooted there, allowing degeneracy and lonliness. The betrayal of his parents, for dying without forcing him in a direction, and even the betrayal of the woman he had loved, for daring to lead him on for so long. Without the lies of Andrea he would have found someone. He wouldn't have had a need to run away. She would see him again, as would Jennika- the girl he rejected. He wouldn't need to kill Jennika, but he knew he'd need her to see what he had become.

The boy dies here, and Loki moves on, having gleaned the location of his victim's family from his rampantly running mind as it faded away into nothingness.

The most frightening part of this dream is how it all makes sense. It's an emotional necessity, in the moments he kills, but after he is left with his vaguely normal, dis-associative loneliness. He will never feel whole again. Never have the family that was so close to being in his reach, and with or without the revenge part of things, he knows he will live a life laced with the poison of regret.

In a stupor, hours or days later, he stumbles to the door of his tiny room, and the green woman stands in his way, her frame tiny but somehow insurmountable. He does not posses the strength to raise his head and glare at her, which he genuinely wishes he could do.

“When am I going to die?” He asks dizzily, leaning on the doorframe for support. His voice sounds foreign to him compared to the ones that cycle through the visions in his head. He hadn't killed anyone yet- maybe it could be prevented, maybe the green one would be willing to kill him. Blood trickes from his mouth where he's been biting it from the inside. The gash on his cheek is from earlier in the alley, one of the many times he fell from exhaustion.

She lets out an exasperated sigh. “Loki, right?” He's never been awake long enough to tell her his name. She gleaned it from his mind. He flinches as if struck. That would be a perfect end for a man named Loki. After rampaging as a murderer-

“Stop it, you can't think that way!” She cuts in.

She stomps her foot, losing her cool. It would probably be kind of cute if she were a normal woman, but she is something of a monster, and-

“That's enough, Loki. Stop worrying about things that you cannot control. Your life is very important to my sister and she's still sleeping so you cannot talk to her right now.”

Not to you, he thinks, hoping to goad some kind of passionate response. Hoping she'll end his suffering right now and prevent him from ever being able to-

“((GO BACK INSIDE))” She commands him impatiently.

Instantly he backs up into his room, tiny and claustrophobic as it is. He gains control of himself immediately after her command is complete. She didn't hold onto him.

He crouches, waiting for her to do something, eyes in and out of focus. Delerious, angry, on autopilot.
“Why am I still alive?” He asks bitterly as if it's a challenge.

“Don't be dramatic. You might not die from what you're facing, and I'm certainly not going to kill you when it matters to my sister. I don't care about your life, I also have no need to end it.”

He scowls. “I saw myself, as a monster, like you.” His voice is hollow and haunted. “Kill me.”

“((LAY DOWN AND GET SOME REST!))” She commands instead and shame washes over him as he feels his feet carry him to the bed, and his arms lay obediently at his sides.

His eyelids blink slowly, closing, he fights it and it does not matter. Kill me, he thinks, I don't want to be like you are.

“Don't let what you've seen in a fever dream convince that you're going to live out the dream, alright? Your mind is producing horrors because you're recovering from the shock. You could have died, your body and your mind knows this. But, you might not have to die, so let's not assume something so morbid, alright?” Her voice is soothing and gentle, but to him he fears that she has to be lying, there's no way what's coming for him is what he wants.

She continues on, ignoring the stream of his listless thoughts. “I know no other way, just so you understand. I was born with this ability and the accompanying affliction, and I can tell you that if you survive the transformation that is working it's way through your body now, you will become much greater than a mindless, useless beast.”

He feels himself drift off to sleep and it's sweet non-release and Lyra, the green woman rises slowly from the bed.

She hadn't seen many of his visions, and she hadn't really turned anyone before and so couldn't decide if they were typical or not. The reality was that this young man clearly harbored a lot of anger that would need to be dealt with in one way or the other, but that doesn't mean he was going to become something as a vampire that he never was as a human.

There was more in the depths of his mind than just the turmoil of the emotions he was failing to navigate, and she was really starting to wonder if it was worth starting some sort of recruitment mission to bring to her un-aging ranks the minds of men like his. The vampire community at large relied on the comfortable stagnancy of magical endeavors and rarely found the future worth any kind of pursuit or encouragement. A scientist, unorthodox or not, would probably give the elders something new to focus on instead of their own futile clinging to the ways of the past.

But that was not for her to decide.

For now she would save her sister's morsel for her, and that would be enough.


Right! So this if of course, some of the evil I was thinking back when Loki joined Meghan and Dustin in college and I said I was glad they had met and befriended him. Not only was he the only sim in Aurora Skies to voluntarily befriend them both and stay close, he also happened to be the only premade Sim in that town in TS3 that had also been in TS2. So of course once I looked him up out of curiosity I realized that I was somewhat familiar with his story in that game, and that coupled with the fact that The Sims 3 is something of a prequel to The Sims 2 meant that he was a child when I started playing Aurora Skies and I had no idea his severe bone structure and all that was the result of his destiny to live as a mad-minded inventor. That being said, he starts the game as family oriented, lucky and ambitious, which is not really how we remember him from TS2.

Here is a bonus image that made it into foreshadowing a few chapters ago but I will likely not need to story purposes because this is about the Sparrows, d*mmit!

There are premades for Olive Specter and her son-by-the-Grimm Nervous Subject in Midnight Hollow. They are a possible future for Loki that I will likely not be pursuing unless I feel like staging more of his life and less of the Sparrows (unlikely).

Noticeably missing from The Sims 3 completely are Loki's destined evil wife, her ex Vidcund Curious (although the Curious family is in town and I have theories that each town in TS3 begins at a separate point of time) and her lover Abhijeet Cho.
If you wanted to play out their family you'd need to pickup Loki from Aurora Skies, steal Nervous from his mother (and kill her why-not), live out possibly generations of Curious' in Twinbrook until one of them looks correct, and create Circe and Abhijeet after moving everyone to that whatever desert gambling world, uhm Al Simhara. No wait, Lucky... Palms? Sims is weird.

Oh, and can I talk about how dumbly proud I am of the pattern on Loki's shirt that looks like blood? It's a marble pattern that I painstakingly matched to the color of the original shirt.

The sister's personalities are;

Lyra (the green one);
Commitment Issues, Avant Guarde, Perfectionist, Animal Lover, Proper.
LTW: Drink from 20 Sims

Moira (the purple one);
Great Kisser, Shy, Good, Irresistible, Coward
LTW: Reach level 10 of the medical career

They are identical twins except for the hair color, and their favorite colors are the colors of each other's hair for, fun or something. We won't actually see too much of them so I plan to share them as soon as I can figure out how to share sims online. Any suggestions about that?

Midnight Hollow is so freaking fun to stage in!

1.15 Loki's Aside -B- Sharpness

Jeni Jones-Brown is leaving for deployment, so Loki and she say a few words to each other. Since her drunken shenanigans have plagued the town and she's racked up several misdemeanors for menacing people while sloshed and generally making a very public nuisance of herself, she was forced into court and reached a plea deal to avoid jail time which involves her serving the community by joining the army.

She seems to think nothing of Loki casually wishing her well as she does not reference nor seem to remember their first meeting.

She tells him cheerfully about how she'll be spending the last few days before her work with the army will begin. She intends to relax as much as possible.

Then her eyes widen and she hops stiffly a few feet away from him to throw up onto the snow-dusted steps of city hall.

Loki can't help but wonder if she's pregnant, it would be a great was to get out of harsh community service after all. He wonders who the unfortunate father could be. It's not really his business after all.

All he ever did was scream at the woman the night they met, and followed that up with a strict regimen of avoiding her ever since. It had worked out on his end.

He gets a call then and excuses himself, not noticing her brief flash of anger. She must be pissed at someone.

But he easily forgets the exchange when he hears the congratulatory greeting on the other end of the line.

This is a call he's been waiting for.

Two weeks later he's carrying his meager belongings into a cozy temporary space far from home. The rest of his goods will arrive in a day or so, just in time for the annual toy fair. Most toymakers opt to set up holiday shops and tables in places like Bridgeport or some other well-trafficked city, but Loki knows that this little sleepy town is the origination point of all great design, and day in or day out, the people of Midnight Hollow were creating toys and innovating new ideas that would influence the trade in the rest of the world. If he wanted his designs to be recognized by large manufacturers and popularized in many cities, his best bet was to host his showcase pieces here, where all the scouts would be looking for inspiration and sales partners. It had been no easy feat to gain space in town for his shop, this was the third year he had applied for it, and the first he had managed to gain acceptance.

There are local ordinances in the Hollow regarding Snowflake Day, and every home or shop owner is required to hang lights and keep them lit during the holiday month. It's non-negotiable, and the resulting effect is something like walking into a perfect model village that a tiny train set might run through in some sim's grandfather's basement. Only it's all real. Visiting a place like this feels very... surreal, magical even.

Despite his serious nature Loki is curious about the place. After spending a day or so wandering town and getting familiar with landmarks his carefully packaged stock items arrive and he is able to set up shop dowtown.

There are no restrictions on hours and very little recognizable daylight, so he is free to open or close as he sees fit, so long as he is open for at least 6 hours a day. Most shop owners also mingle in town after working or share stories of travel and ideas at local hangouts, but having spent an excessive amount of time sequestered on his marshy porch in Twinbrook, Loki is not keen to rejoin society any time soon.

The set up is to his liking and showcases simple and complex designs alike.

The sepia tone that saturates everything in Midnight Hollow make the holiday feel much less glamorous than usual, but ushers a silent respect into its place. Oddly, toys and inventions seem to fit right in, and he's convinced that he will be able to make this visit a lucrative yearly occurrence.

Notably absent from his displayed collection is the 'machine' he had invented. The visions it showed him had left him questioning some of his mental faculties, but that wasn't why he didn't think it was fitting to display. Ultimately it had been built from pieces of blueprints left behind by old master craftsmen that he'd discovered in the depths of the national library during a research visit made years ago. It may be worth noting that the machine did something, but the intent of the original creator was very much lost on Simnation and the community as a whole. Until he found some reason for it, Loki was going to put it's crazy notions out of his mind and try to focus on things that had a chance to sell.

Although he'd been plagued by some odd feelings of familiarity ever since he'd arrived in this town, and he couldn't shake his mind from the possibility that there was some legitimate foretelling of future encounters within that machine, but the fact alone that it was supposed to show only potential timelines for the person who stepped inside, and only directly into their own psyche in a conveniently unprovable manner didn't sit well with Loki's somewhat honest nature. If he couldn't account for or explain the visions, the machine was nowhere near ready to be exposed to the general public. Not that he minded being a guinea pig, but it was probably going to cost him a lifetime of study to uncover any legitimate secrets that lay within it's robust walls.

This afternoon had been a quiet one in the shop. Loki had taken to dusting and re-positioning items in impatience, and had been unable to sit still. He hadn't done poorly so far in regard to sales, but the initial excitement of visitors from seeing his inventions as new and novel had somewhat worn off in the last two weeks, and the traffic on this side of Simsigon Alley had dwindled to a fair trickle as people had moved on to parties and time spent with family.

The afternoon was also the slowest part of the day, which, assumably and without the presence of a bright strong sun above it was difficult to say, the time now was.

Loki would be lying to himself if he didn't admit that it was bittersweet, him working here and creating toys for children that he himself was never likely to have. True, he could find some bimbo and have an accident or two, but the feeling of family would be incomprehensibly vacant and he knew that he could well end lonelier afterwards than he was now. He wanted a family with the right person, whoever that was supposed to be.

He is still, lost in thought and has been for the better part of an hour without noticing that much time has passed.

Silently almost, a well-dressed woman wonders in and begins to admire a simple piece without addressing him. If it had not been for the sound of the building wind outside he wouldn't have heard the door opening and closing behind her soundless steps.

She too, radiates a aura of familiarity that makes Loki shift uncomfortably from one foot the other. He's sure he's never met her before, and he doesn't watch a whole lot of television back at home. Something about her resonates within him that she is significant.

He turns to watch her out of the corner of his eye. She seems entirely engrossed in the replica time-keeping device in front of her, and both are aware of each other's presence, but neither speak for a while. It's like they're taking in the atmosphere.

“This all feels very familiar.” She comments, and finally he turns, intrigued, to face her directly.

She's beautiful, which for some reason annoys him. The way she carries herself, the poise and confidence, the fact that she doesn't turn to truly acknowledge him even as her comment is the reason he's paying her any sort of attention now, all these things give the impression that she feels herself superior.
He doesn't find himself attracted to her in the conventional way, but merely by some sort of curiosity he begins a conversation. “It's a timekeeping device.” He offers a simple explanation. “The inner gears are exposed without being covered, and at the advent of the steam age machines were showcased mostly for being unusual before they became essential to society in different ways. So this type-”

“Yes, thank you. I understand it.” She cuts him off. Then, and he takes it as her effort to not seem rude, she bows lightly. “I do have a question for you, Sir.”

'Sir', he thinks, but raises his eyebrows. A moment later he realizes she was still waiting for him to speak. “Ah, yes please... go ahead?”

She turns enough in his direction that her lilac eyes stand out, peaking behind a curtain of elegantly curled hair.

“I am searching for... my sister.” The woman confesses, with what seems an absurd lack of worry in her polite voice. “Please pardon the fact that I don't seek to make a purchase in your pleasant little store.” She amends, and suddenly seems like less of a snob.

“Has she been missing long, or were you recently separated?” He asks, ignoring the apologetic part of what she said.

She shakes her head slowly, thoughtfully. “Not more than since the morning, I shouldn't think. And she is well able to care for herself, but if you see someone who looks very much like me, well,- would you give her a message on my behalf?”

Loki quirks an eyebrow but sees nothing wrong with this. “Sure. I can do that. What's your message?”

“Tell her, she needs to mind the date. Also, and say this exactly- 'I'm positive'.”

“You're positive that she needs you to mind the- uh, the date?” He repeats, confused a bit.

“Say it exactly as I told you. “Your sister has a message, she says you need to mind the date, and I'm positive.”

He tilts his head but gets no further explanation. “And saying that, will help your sister not to be lost?”

She smiles slightly. “It will.”

“And she looks like you.”


“But don't actually need help looking, are you sure?'

“Yes. Thank-you.” The cadence of her words follows a perfect pattern as if she would never string them together a different way.

“Does she, or you for that matter, have a name?” He asks, but finds that the evasive woman in a pale green evening dress is already crossing the threshold of his shop and stepping foot outside.

At least that woman was amusing, and he was no longer bored. Loki feels a small smile spread over his features. Not that the women of Midnight Hollow seemed like marriage material, or even slightly date-able, but they were, intellectually, superior to the loosely-moraled women of Twinbrook. He is seriously beginning to doubt that he'd ever find a woman worth his time.

That one probably had men falling all over her and yet, he felt nothing. Maybe this trip was good for something other than work, since it seems there will be some manner of self-discovery along the way.

The woman, for her part, didn't particularly care about the thoughts of the man she'd left standing in his shop. Men's thoughts were simple and all that really mattered to her is that he do what was asked of him, if he were given the chance.

But she sensed that he would be to her sister's liking and there was as strong likelihood that the two would meet under, somewhat favorable circumstances. Knowing her sister, Moira had to be wandering around in the middle of town somewhere in a muddle of her own self-loathing, hating everything that she was.

It was only a matter of time.

Which turns out to be entirely true.

Very late that evening (Loki had kept the shop open for more like ten hours today), he went to the alley to unpack more toys and prepare for tomorrow. The simple cradle toys had proven to be the most popular, so he is grateful that he thought to ship several dozen out here in advance of the trip.

The buildings here are ancient, and devoid of proper storage facilities because the people who built them centuries ago did not own many material possessions. There is also scant crime and a barely existent deviant population (mostly because the town council has managed to make it nearly impossible to immigrate here and the population is aging). This means that most storage is in the back alleyways behind the shops, in the twisting thoroughfare of sharp angles and dead ends and shortcuts that is either incredibly convenient or obnoxiously elaborate depending on where one is trying to go.

Loki knows the way well now and his crates are in an area designated for his shop, there's a system after all. The familiarity of the route does not diminish the feeling of unease that comes over him as it's a particularly chilly evening and mist clings to the ground as if he'd stepped onto the soft soil of a vacant graveyard, waiting with open arms for the coming of the newly dead.

Being a practical sim in all things, Loki ignores the prickling of the hairs on his arms and begins to extract another day's portion of toys from his shipment, until a noise catches his attention to the side.

Slowly he rises- that way is the street so it's easily the noise of passersby despite the lateness of the hour- and takes a step or two in the direction of the sound, leaving one of the toys behind him, forgotten.

When thinking about this moment later he would never be able to decide if turning towards the street was a decision he made on his own, or if another force had compelled him.

He doesn't have to go far to find something unusual, and again impossibly familiar.

Not thirty feet in front of where he stands, a woman lies on her side, her neck bent at an awkward angle, her skin the color of lifelessness.

His heart, despite the shock of the moment begins to hammer in his chest in an angry rhythm.

The machine showed him this. Not only this moment, but a combination of them. It was the green woman's sister, it had to be. He doesn't suspect this because he's gotten any closer to the body, but because he's seen it in the collective mind of the immediate future.

There was a vision shown him where the woman in green had known all along. She seemed to be standing guard, almost. As if her sister lying dead was not the end of anything, but merely as if both women were waiting.

There was a vision where he merely walked by, into the street, and to the nearest bar or establishment to call for help. Why this version of him did not simply extract his cell phone from his pocket was unclear, but some kind of knowledge or fear kept his legs, stiffly moving, away from the scene as if he could escape that he bore it witness.

This version, which he was just going to call reality, has a decision to make. For several moments nothing stirs outside despite the fact that the wind earlier in the night had been formidable, echoing in angry presence against the windows of the stores, and chasing people who had been out walking into warmer places for the evening's remainder.

Even though the somber and deathly mood of the alley was forcing the wintry chill through his sweater right now, he didn't want to leave the woman's body alone. She may have fainted from lack of sleep or sustenance, despite the angle of her neck it might not be broken. She may yet be alive. The thought sent a thrill down his spine and for some reason he found it rang true, though no evidence could prove it.

At the same token, dare he move her?

He does, and realizes that he has no idea what happens now.

After a careful examination of her neck and finding no injury, but feeling her skin was clammy to the touch as if she was in a state of shock, he lifted her carefully into his arms.

Her sister had given him a message, but the woman didn't seem to be in any state to hear it. He moves a few strands of dyed purple hair out of her face and feels her body shudder at his touch.

“How long have you... been here?” He asks her gently.

But there is no response.

“So will it matter if I say I've seen your sister? She needs you to 'mind the date', and 'I'm positive'? Does that mean anything to you, Miss?”

The woman's lips part as if to speak, but a hollow moan comes out. “Oh...” How appropriate for the chilly setting. He shivers, despite himself. There are no cars on the road, is he supposed to walk her like this, to the hospital?

“Oh.” She says, her eyes rolling slightly open. “Oh. Po-”

And then with a sigh she shuts her eyes, as if rescue has come at last.

“Positive.” She rasps, and lunges.

It happens quickly, in a flash of inhuman speed. She twists in his arms, grabs his wrist ferociously with a claw-like hand and pulls it away from him, he stumbles towards her, off balance as something slender and white shines briefly despite the lack of moonlight. It's a new moon, he thinks, ridiculously, there is nothing for her teeth to be reflected off of.

As he stumbles she is on the other side of him and the fangs he knows he saw and yet couldn't have seen are sinking, needle like, into his neck.

After the acute sharpness he feels a shock of that cold fear that he had failed to obey earlier in the alley crash over him in waves as she drinks, drinks from his neck.

The horror of the moment alone makes him nearly pass out and he drops her and falls forward at the same time.

She clings to his neck all the way down, still drinking and is only dislodged when his knees crack painfully against the clammy stones of the alley beneath them and the impact bucks her to the ground in front of him. There she lays on the pavement as if despite that great burst of energy that enabled her to assault him she has very little left, her chest rises and falls in great heaving breaths as if the moment was a struggle for her very survival.

Loki, by comparison, is feeling as if his life is fading, this is much more than a mere moment of dizziness as he might have experienced back when all he did was simply invent things, and nobody was there to remind him to have a bite to eat. This was a dizzying and painful reminder of his own mortality.

A part of him as his consciousness fades is forced to acknowledge that even if this is not the end, he will never be able to live his life in the same way again.

However, how absurd would it be if this were not the end?


It's not really a cliffhanger if I'm writing the next part right now, is it?

Yes, yes I totally went all over Midnight Hollow clicking on doors and hanging Christmas lights. It was worth it! :D That place is gothicly beautiful in the snow, and very well enhanced by the hanging of thousands of simulated little lights.

I also created a Christmas lot in the middle of the town,m but never used it despite hours of prep work. :/ Sounds like me alright!

I had Loki make everything that was on display in his shop- had to buydebug for some others like the flux capacitor which he didn't earn in my game. Also the time machine seems to have almost nothing to do with the rest of the inventor's creations, except possibly the simbot, but it's a real weird jump from children's toys to educational toys to a freaking time machine. Maybe if he was an artist and inventor? So it made more sense to me if he'd build onto someone else's research (all inventors do that) and create one so he could explore in it.

Lot of non-use! It has couches for pictures with Santa, and I don't have better pics I don't think;