Katelynn d’Angers caught their steward, Olivia Spencer-Kim-Lewis, staring vacantly into space Monday evening, a day after her father passed away on that very spot.
“Are you OK, honey?” she asked.
Olivia realized she had slipped into third-person again, and shook herself out of it.
“Yes, I’m fine under the circumstances,” Oliva said. “I was just trying to figure out what I should do next.”
“Do you want to talk about it?” Katelynn asked, sitting at the kitchen table.
“Yes, I do,” Olivia said, joining her. “I was only planning to stay while Daddy was here. Now that he’s gone, I … I suppose I should get moving.”
“Are you in some sort of hurry?” Katelynn asked.
“I guess not, but there’s all those Elders in the Local Gallery I need to download, and I did tell Mom I would come home when I was done here,” Olivia said.
“Well, you’re not done here!” Katelynn said. “Your father’s passed away, but you can still talk to his ghost.”
“So there is such thing as ghosts,” Olivia said.
“Yes. Dimenche and your dad saw some when they took the twins to Von Haunt Estate,” Katelynn said. “But I think you’re still grieving and I think you need to grieve here.”
“I guess there’s no real hurry; it’s not like Mom’s going to get her next turn in the rotation any time soon,” Olivia said.
“That’s right,” Katelynn said, “and besides, who would we get to replace you as steward on such short notice?”
“Actually, Dimenche already has someone in mind,” Olivia said.
“Who?” Katelynn asked warily.
“Your old friend Annette Thayer!”
Katelynn stood abruptly.
“You don’t seem very happy?” Olivia said. “Is that a problem?”
“Nooooo,” she said, turning away.
“I mean, she was Dimenche’s first crush, and he never got over her so much as she was never interested in him,” Katelynn said, pacing toward the serving bowl. “And I know he’s worried about producing another Insane male heir.”
“Oh, for Wright’s sake, Katelynn; it’s nothing like that!” Olivia chuckled as she opened the Household Management interface on her phone., “though Dimenche did ask that I give you the No Jealousy Perk before I move her in.”
“Very funny,” Katelynn said.
She paced back to the table.
“So? Are you going to do it now?” Katelynn asked.
“Only if you want me to,” Olivia said.
“I do,” Katelynn said. “She might be just what this household needs right now.”
“Well, she’s at work,” Olivia said, “so she won’t be here until 2 a.m. Ready to pull an all-nighter?”
“I doubt it, but I’m willing to try” Katelynn said, doing an about-face. “Let’s go see if we can talk to your dad!”
“OK! It didn’t work earlier today,” Olivia said. “Maybe it has to be fully dark out?”
“Or maybe it was just too soon?” Katelynn suggested as they dashed to a back corner of the lot.
And sat at the bench they’d installed at Oakenstead new burial plot.
“The bench was supposed to face the other way,” Olivia said peevishly. “I made sure the little green arrows were pointing toward Daddy’s headstone when I was in Build Mode!”
“I dunno, I kinda like it this way,” Katelynn said.
“This way, it will be spookier when the ghost appears … behind us! ‘Woo-oooooo!””
“Shut up, Katelynn, you’re scaring the ghosts away!” Olivia laughed, “and stop trying to cheer me up; I’ll cheer up when I’m ready.”
“If not sooner,” Katelynn said.
“Well, I don’t think he’s coming tonight,” Olivia said, getting up to head back toward the barracks they called home. “Maybe we should try again at midnight.”
“Where do you think you’re going, young lady?” asked a familiar voice behind her.
As she drew closer to the apparition, she felt that Sad buff that had tinged her father’s spirit blue.
“Don’t you slip into third-person when I’m trying to talk to you,” Eric said.
“Sorry, Dad; I was just feeling …
“… feeling a little overwhelmed, I guess,” Olivia said.
“I’ve only been gone a day,” Eric said.
“A day and a half,” Olivia said. “That’s like eighteen months to a Sim.”
“Well, now that I’m here, how can I help?”
“Daddy, I should be asking you that; you seem so Sad,” Olivia said. “What do you need?”
“What I need is not something I want,” Eric said, sagging into his daughter’s arms.
“Dad, I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what it is.”
“Well, this isn’t exactly a good place to try to Rest in Peace,” Eric said.
“Well, it’s not like we can move your headstone to a more tranquil lot,” Olivia said.
“No, but you could delete it.”
Olivia gently shook her father’s shoulders.
“Dad!” she laughed. “I am not deleting your tombstone!”
“Then release me to the Netherworld,” Eric said. “Just let me rest.”
“You can rest when I’m through with you,” Olivia said. “You’re my first in-game ghost, and there will be more, right?”
“Well, that’s inevitable in a Legacy Challenge game,” Eric said.
“Right, and your demise presents me an opportunity to playtest this Afterlife Stage before I have to play through the deaths of the d’Angers,” Olivia said. “Do you think you can put off your eternal slumber at least long enough to jot down a few notes?”
“Sort of like the lead field researcher?”
“I was thinking more like an unpaid intern.”
Eric winced at a sudden pain between his sixth chakra and his seventy reticulated spline.
“Ouch! From Player and co-author to unpaid intern.”
“Yeah!” Olivia laughed. “Oh, how the mighty have fallen!”
Eric managed not to laugh aloud, but changed from Sad blue to regular old death-by-old-age gray.
“Hey!” Olivia said jovially. “There you go! Feeling better?
“I’ve felt worse,” Eric said.
“Good! Because I already have a job for you,” Olivia said. “The rest of us need to refill our Fatigue meters, but a new steward is moving in early this morning. I need you to stay up and show her around when she gets here, understood?”
“Her?” Eric asked. “Who her?”
“Come on, Daddy; you wouldn’t want me to spoil the surprise, now would you?”
“Depends on the surprise.”