So. TS3. It has a lot of premades, doesn't it? There are the TS2 prequel Sims, the few that moved to Kulo Seeri (and, unfortunately, all died as a result of the zombie war), and... lots of random other ones. And, whatever kind of Sims game we're playing, don't we all have our favourites? In this seven-part(!) anniversary special, I'll be focusing on mine... and Zita zan-Ace's.
You see, before Zita became full-fledged shaman of Kulo Seeri, she spent time studying alchemy and other forms of magic in Moonlight Falls. Or, she was supposed to be studying. Although she may have shared some information with her apprentice, all anyone else in Kulo Seeri knows is that she came back refusing to talk about whatever had gone on there, and that she found out she was pregnant shortly after her initiation. The identity of little Caleb's father was anybody's guess.
Our story begins thirteen years later...
"Are you sure this is the place?" Caleb asked for what seemed like the hundredth time. "My father could have gone somewhere else by now... and I don't see why you had to drag me all this way if that's what happened. We're leaving Ganyalis of all Sims to protect our home against demons for this. Does it even matter?"
"Caleb..." Zita still couldn't find the words to explain why this move was for the best. "I want you to know your father. In my heart I never truly left him..." She paused for a moment as her son pulled a face, then continued. "I've been waiting until Ganyalis was ready to take over to come back here. We've come this far, and we're not turning back now."
But as she walked up to the front door, every doubt and fear that she'd been holding in ran through her mind. Thirteen years since she'd last seen him. Had he moved on? Probably. Would he accept their son? Maybe not. Would he still love her now, when she was no longer the semi-responsible twenty-year-old he remembered?
She hoped so.
Caleb had his own thoughts as he followed her. Behind the house, he saw what looked like plants with a little fence around them. So the southlanders really did keep nature in a box, and most likely didn't get in trouble for it! SimNation was weird.
He wondered what his unknown father would be like. His best guess was that the man had an accent like his uncle Asken, who'd grown up in Bridgeport. Maybe he also had one of those funny metal boxes with tiny Sims in them, like the ones his cousin Briar had told him about. He wasn't sure.
There was one thing about his long-lost father that he certainly wasn't expecting...
"My dad has bug wings?" Caleb asked in his best Simlish.
The bug-winged man looked even more surprised than he did. For a few moments there was an awkward silence, until the bug-man realised exactly who had just turned up on his doorstep. "Zita? Is that you?"
Zita was a little tearful, but she was smiling. "No, Branch, it's the tragic clown. Of course it's me! And I suppose you've already guessed who Caleb here is - I only found out he was on the way after I got home."
Branch. Now it was Caleb's turn to put two and two together. Grandmother S'Ahmisa had told him that Caleb was a SimNation name, and that it was probably also his father's name. Now he heard it as everyone back home had pronounced it, Kel-ip, which in Maltiazi meant branch-son. Of course no one had figured that out, even the other children who kept calling him "Twigboy".
There was only one thing still confusing him. "What is tragic clown?" Clearly he needed to work on his Simlish.
After a lot of time spent catching up on the events of the last thirteen years, Branch suggested the three of them went out to somewhere called The Toadstool. Caleb had never ridden one of the wheely-things his dad fetched for them to use, but soon he was racing ahead of his parents.
"Last one there's a bald zombie!" he called to them, before it hit him that actually he had no idea which way to go.
With their son the bald zombie distracted bashing gnome heads in the corner, Zita and Branch discussed a few things that hadn't come up in front of him.
"Why did you never tell me I had a son? You could have come back..."
"I had to go home, Branch, you know that. No one else had the knowledge to take over as shaman. It was my duty to protect my people... and you know what they think of growing crops, they say it's unnatural... I just wish I could have stayed. I did love you then, and I never stopped loving you after all this time."
After another few moments of awkward silence, Branch turned the conversation towards the weather and what the heat was doing to his garden. But even he was wondering what things would have been like if Zita had stayed, if their son had grown up with both of them in Moonlight Falls.
He asked Zita if she would have considered marrying him back then.
Of course she had, she replied. If she didn't have the responsibility to her tribe, she would have been quite happy to spend the rest of her life in Moonlight Falls - but she had to admit that the thought of being Zita Timbley still felt completely alien to her. Nuidya never changed their clan names when they married, it was one of those SimNation customs that everyone in Kulo Seeri called barbaric, but if that was what staying would have involved...
"You don't have to say any more," Branch cut in. "You two stay as long as you like."
A few hours, many snacks and one bicycle-versus-shrub brawl later, the family reunion eventually found its way back to Branch's house. Zita and Caleb hadn't brought much to unpack, so backpacks and shoes were dumped in the living room as Branch went to make a complete mess of the kitchen in the name of not starving.
Zita didn't remember there being a little fish in a bowl last time she was there. According to Branch, its name was Lemonade (that was a word Zita did remember; a sweetish, sourish drink that sort of buzzed like a bee, if memory served). The little tube next to the bowl was his food... Zita had never fed a fish, usually the fish fed her, but she had to admit the tiny orange one was quite adorable.
As she sprinkled a bit of the flaky stuff into the bowl, a thought came to her out of nowhere. "Hey Branch, does your old sidekick still sling his furs here? Because if he does..."
"Oh... yeah. Maybe I should have told him you were here." Branch put the salad bowl down and yelled up the stairs to his roommate.
Zita rolled her eyes. The father of her son was every bit as organised as she remembered. She headed upstairs with him to explain to... whatever the other guy was called. Dayvid something, that was it - Zita remembered liking him too, sort of.
"...and thanks for leaving it so long before you remembered I was here, both of you." Dayvid smiled at Zita and Branch, revealing teeth like some kind of animal. "I might have disappeared, you know, if I hadn't made Zita here think of me with my mystical vampire powers." Laughing, he wiggled his fingers in her direction and said "Wooooo!"
Both Sims' eyes flashed green for a moment, leaving Zita staring vacantly into space.
Dayvid facepalmed. "Aw, man. I did it again!"
A few minutes later, Zita snapped out of her trance and immediately turned to him. "Listen, you. Next time you want to impress a woman, use flowers, not mind control."
TO BE CONTINUED...
VT says: Yes, Branch and Dayvid are my favourite residents of Moonlight Falls. Don't ask me why, although it might be that they're both not-so-stereotypical representatives of their respective species, in a kind of goofy cute way... which is appealing to Zita in both cases, and that's all I'm saying for now.