“Your first act as heir-apparent should be to work with your sister on a list of all your friends who you want to join you in high school,” Katelynn d’Angers told her son, Dimenche II.
“But should we not leave some children in grade school to befriend our little sister?” Dim asked.
“You’re not friends with all the Worlds’ children, are you?” Katelynn asked.
“No. We probably only know about a half-dozen of them.”
“Well, just stick with the ones you know,” Katelynn said. “I’m sure there will be plenty left behind for Liv.
“After we age up your friends and their family members, we will go through the Not In World Directory and selectively age up a few more Sims and send some of the Elders off to the Gallery.”
“The Gallery?” Grim Reaper said. “Not the Community Gallery!”
“No. The Local Gallery,” Katelynn said. “Why do you care? Wanna make sure you get to ‘harvest’ them?”
“Well, that, and things haven’t gone terribly well for the last bunch of Elders Olivia dumped in the Community Gallery,” Grim said.
“She did what?” Katelynn asked.
“A little over a year ago, Olivia Spencer-Kim-Lewis dumped about three dozen Townies from her home World into the Community Gallery to make room for a bunch of off-World visitors.”
“What went wrong?” Katelynn asked.
“Well, nothing went wrong,” Grim said. “Most of them got downloaded into other Worlds, one even made her way back to Olivia’s home world, but ‘most all the Elders are still out there, spinning around some giant hard drive somewhere.”
“Well, that’s not happening this time,” Katelynn said. “Olivia said they’ve set up some sort of extended care facility for Elder Townies back on her home World. Bella’s daughter runs it. They’ll download any Elders we send to the Local Gallery.”
“That’s sick!” Dim protested.
“That’s wonderful!” Grim said.
“I should go home soon and sharpen my scythe,” he said. “No! I should go home now and order that sweet, black high-carbon 440C stainless steel tactical scythe I saw on styx.com!”
“Tactical scythe?” Katelynn asked. “For a bunch of Elders.”
“I know! It’s overkill, but it’s one wicked scythe, let me tell ya.”
“Great, Mom! You’ve made the Grim Reaper very, very happy,” Dim said, as Grim disappeared in a column of oily smoke.
“It’s part of the burden of command,” Katelynn said. “If you are to succeed your father as Duc de Willow Brook, you’ll need to make difficult decisions, for the future of our Legacy and the future of our World.”
“Mother, please! The future? The World!” Dimenche protested.
“I’m sorry, Dim; that is rather expansive language,” Katelynn said. “I think it will make more sense once we get to work on the details.”
“Why can’t we just turn aging on and let the game take care of it?” Dim asked.
“There’s a risk it will leave dead Sims in the character directory, crowding out everyone else,” Katelynn said, “but I really need to ask Olivia. We might have a mod that can eliminate that problem.”
“Hey! Will I get to Grow Up?” Lucas Munch asked as he joined them at the table.
“Did you want too?” Katelynn asked.
“You bet!” Lucas said. “I’m tired of Wolfgang picking on me. If I’m a Teen, I can fight back!”
“Who’s Wolfgang,” Dim asked.
“He’s a jerk,” Lucas said.
“His name,” Katelynn said. “Wolfgang who?”
“Munch!” Lucas said. “He’s my big brother. My Mean, Dastardly, Gloomy big brother.”
“Well, OK, we’ll age up your whole family,” Katelynn said.
“And you and me can Work Out together!” Dim said. “The next time Wolfgang picks on you, he’ll be in for a surprise.”
Katelynn and Lucas applauded Dim’s suggestion, until he went on.
“And I may want to pair you with Annette,” he said. “Right now, her best friend is some landless Townie boy. It would be nice to marry her into a landed family like yours, if I can’t marry her into another Legacy household somewhere.”
“Pair us? Eww!” Lucas said. “Girls are gross!”
“Well, you may feel different about girls very soon,” Katelynn said, “but ignore Dim for the moment, OK? There aren’t going to be any arranged marriages any time soon.”
Meanwhile, other story-progression negotiations were taking place deeper in the backyard.
“Watchya readin’?” the local Olivia Spencer-Kim-Lewis asked the d’Angers remaining Child, Liv.
“Nothin’, just bummin’ cuz all my friends are about to Grow Up and I’ll be stuck in grade school with a bunch of babies.”
“I’m not gonna Grow Up,” Olivia said.
Liv snapped her book closed.
“You’re not? Why not?”
“I don’t want to, Mom and Dad don’t want to but, most of all, Grandma and Grandpa are dead set against it,” Olivia said. “Grandpa’s coming over to take to your dad.”
Dennis Kim had come down the hill from Cypress Terrace, and had a word with Dimenche as he was dialing up the Travel … menu.
“Well, I’m glad we’re getting some input from our subjects before we get started,” Dimenche was telling his son as they sat at the computers at the front table of Willow Brook Archives.
“Hold on, Father,” Dim said, when he saw Luna Villareal looking his way. “I think we’re about to get some more input.”
“Hey, Dim,” she said as he approached. “Up for a game of chess?”
“Can’t,” Dim said. “My father is teaching me the family business. Maybe later tonight?”
“Oh, I can’t,” Luna said. “I have a … a thing.”
“You’ve got a thing, alright,” Dim teased. “What sort of thing?”
Luna leaned out of Dim’s grasp, laughing.
“It’s a social thing, Dim,” she said.
“A social thing?” Dim said. “Like another club gathering?”
“Well, you’re awful nosy,” Luna said, “but it’s definitely not a club gathering,”
“So what is it?”
“I’m just going for espresso with a … this one Teen,” Luna said.
“Uh, Wolfgang Munch.”
“Wolfgang Munch?” Dim asked. “So is this a Date or an Ask to Hangout …”
Luna stepped back.
“You really are nosy, aren’t you,” Luna said.
“Well, come on, Luna. I have it on good authority that Wolfgang is a dastardly plumhole.”
“I know, but I think I can convince him to be less Mean.” Luna said.
“It’s a Trait, Luna, not a Whim.” Dim said. “What are you going to do, convince him to channel his aggression into trolling teh Forums instead of picking on Paragons?”
“You’re … you’re jealous, aren’t you?” Luna asked.
“Jealous? Just jealous that you get to go have fun while I’m stuck in the library,” Dim said, giving Luna a Friendly…Hug. “I hope you a good time.”
“Well, OK,” Luna said. “You have fun with your family. I’ll see you at school tomorrow.”
Dim joined his parents and twin sister at the front library table.
“You ready to get to work now?” Katelynn asked.
“I certainly am,” Dim said. “I’ve prepared a list of classmates we want to come to high school with us.”
“Well, I am gratified to see you taking this responsibility seriously,” Dimenche said.
“I certainly am,” Dimenche said, squinting at his notes. “So, I have Lucas, Pelham, Elsa, Stephen, Santiago and Olivia Spencer-Kim-Lewis listed,” Dim said. “Is that everyone, dear sister?”
“That’s it,” Annette said.
“Well, we have to leave Olivia in grade school,” Dimenche said. “Her grandfather said they don’t want to age up this time around.”
“Wait!” Dim said. “So when we Age Up a Sim, we age up their whole families?”
“Why, yes,” Katelynn said. “We won’t advance all Sims every time, but we want to keep families in synch.”
“That’s one of the reasons we hesitate to Age Up families with Elders in them,” Dimenche said. “We’re not quite ready to start splitting up families to send their Elders to the Sim Life Advancement Center.”
“So we’ll be, say, aging up all the Munches but none of the Villareals?” Dim asked.
“Right,” Katelynn said.
“And none of the mods we use allow for Teen romances with older Sims?”
“Of course not!” Katelyn said. “Why would you even ask such a question?”
“Were you gonna asking Wolfgang Munch on a date?” Annette teased.
“No! I just thought it best I know these things,” Dim said. “Well, let’s get to work! If we hurry, we can be done before date.”
“I mean dinner.”