“Beware, dear sister!” Dimenche II warned when le d’Angers twins got home from school. “I have the distinct impression we were followed!”
“Uh, I was followed. Dimwit. I invited Stephen McKenzie to come over after school,” Annette said, spying her best friend ambling up the sidewalk.
“An excellent idea, Annette; we need to forge good relations with our subjects, as mother and father have done,” Dimenche II began as Annette wandered off to greet Stephen. “Just don’t get too involved; I plan to use you to forge dynastic alliances with Legacy Challenges families on other Worlds.
“Or perhaps I can marry you into one of the pre-made families in this World,” Dimenche II continued, unwittingly satisfying a Talk to Self Whim. “Alexander Goth would be a good match, but the Landgraabs could pay a generous bride price as well.”
“What’s your brother babbling on about?” Stephen asked as he and Annette settled in at the kitchen table.
“Oh, probably his plans to marry me off when he inherits dad’s title,” Annette said.
“But I thought you were firstborn,” Stephen said. “You should be planning to marry-off him.”
“Well, lineage is traditional patriarchy with Insane as Exemplary Trait, so Dim will inherit our, um, shed.”
“Ouch,” Stephen said. “So I guess you’re doomed to become an NPC someday.”
“Doomed? I kinda like the idea,” Annette said. “Don’t you like being an NPC?”
“It’s not too bad,” Stephen said. “I like being a Child, but it’s kinda weird being a Child forever, k’now?”
“You don’t have to be a Child forever,” Annette said. Mom and Dad plan to use the Household Management Interface to selective age-up NPCs as Dad ages up.”
“I wonder if they’d age me up when you turn Teen.” Stephen said. “We could go to high school together!”
“Oh, yeah! I’m going to bring all our friends with us as we grow up,” Annette said. “I figure Dim’ll kick me out about the time he starts Generation Three, so I can stop aging up as a Young Adult.”
“That would be sweet,” Stephen said. “This game is more a party simulator than a life simulator this time around; Young Adult is the perfect age to be stuck in.”
“Yeah,” Annette said, yawning. “Or, I don’t know, maybe I upload to a new World. Our steward and his daughter say some of our… old Townies moved to a rotation Saved Game … and …
“… maybe I can join them suhmm … ZZZ …”
“I guess that’s my cue,” Stephen said. “See you at school Monday.”
Annette slept through her father’s small birthday party that night, and deep into Saturday morning while the rest of the household gathered for breakfast in the back yard, and Bella Goth came jogging by.
She veered right when she saw them and jogged up to reintroduce herself.
“Well, look who’s back in this Saved Game,” Olivia Spencer-Kim-Lewis said when she saw Bella approaching.
“I’m so happy you jogged by, Bella! You’re the first person I’ve seen from home,” Olivia said as Bella circled around her. “How long have you been back?”
“We probably downloaded about a week or so ago,” Bella said. “I don’t know. I’m still shaking off Gallery-lag, I think.”
“I feel it too. Dad and I have only been here about a week, and we left weeks before you did,” Olivia said. “How long were we paused?”
“Paused? Well, probably about four-and-a-half weeks,” Bella said. “Play was supposed to resume here when Annette gets back.”
“Annette? She hasn’t gone anywhere; she’s still in bed,” Olivia said.
“Not that Annette,” Bella said. “Annette Thayer.”
“Annette Thayer is coming back here?” Dimenche asked.
“I assume Annette is here,” Bella said. “You’ve haven’t seen her?”
“No, but we technically don’t know her,” Olivia said. “She was deleted from Katelynn and Dimenche’s relationship panels when she moved to my home World, and she was deleted from mine when I moved here.”
“We usually ran into her at the park,” Dimenche said. “She’s Insane too; she shows up in the evenings to Nap on the benches.”
“Well, we were going to take the twins to the park today anyway,” Olivia said. “Maybe we can just make a day of it.”
“Or maybe we can stop at the library first,” Katelynn said. “I need to play video games for two hours if I’m going to get anywhere as a Tech Guru, and I imagine you and Eric have some pent up Write Whims. I’ll get the twins moving.”
Katelynn was having breakfast with the twins in their bedroom when she went into labor.
“Really?” Katelynn said. “My first day off all week? You couldn’t wait ‘til Monday?”
Katelynn decided not to go to the hospital this time, and gave birth by the bassinet that appeared in the back yard.
“Oh, my! She’s beautiful!” Olivia said. “Do you know what you’ll call her?”
“Well, I named our first girl ‘Annette’ after our best friend in those days,” Katelynn said.
“So this little one will be ‘Olivia’.”