I apologize for the random changing of verb tenses; my only defense was that I was ill when I wrote this.
Warnings: Drug use/abuse, some bad language, some sim-nudity (discreetly edited using cheap-o methods).
"Hey, it was nice to see you, but I gotta make arrangements for the funeral and all... y'know, quite a chore..."
Weather wants to move out and maybe get a job as a dancer. Or maybe a commando. However, it will be neither, as she has a fully owned house and scads of cash.
She even transitions into black and white, but it's not quite gauche enough.
Much better. Eagle-eyed readers will notice that the top doesn't quite cover up her excitement.
Weather spent her remaining teen years redoing the house in black and other dark color palettes. She also hires a butler. Maybe the previous Gauges couldn't afford hired help, but Weather isn't going to lift a finger cleaning, or worry about food, ever again.
She gets George, a very conscientious, silent and hardworking butler.
It's also time for her fated match Elmer to make his adult appearance. Weather decides to have a talk with him.
With a new wardrobe, Elmer goes out into the workforce as an exotic dancer. Weather hasn't married him yet, and she's not sharing the cash with anyone.
Plus it gets him out of the house so she can have some fun, even though she knows sooner or later...
...she'll have to marry him or some crap like that.
Elmer's noticed something about her top, too.
At least for a little while, Weather gives him the business.
And overall, Elmer's pretty happy with things. His job is OK, he's got a hot gothy chick who lets him live at her place free of charge - why should he argue?
"Look, I've been thinking about this whole matchmaker thing, Elmer. You like to get high and you're good in the sack, but do we really have to say 'I do' and all?"
"Hey, Weather-baby, I'm in no rush. All that matchmaker stuff is a load of hooey anyway."
Ah, but then the inevitable result of partying hard while under the influence: Weather has to admit that maybe her growing belly isn't the result of late-night Thai-food binges.
Then her grandfather Sheldon appears in ghostly form. He had tried hardest to raise her right, been her best friend, taught her everything, and she still turned out a bad seed, and now he's PO'd.
In fact, he's here to express his displeasure over her lifestyle.
"YOU! YOU WILL MARRY HIM! THE TWO OF YOU WILL RAISE THE CHILD, LIKE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO! OR I WILL HAUNT YOU UNTO ETERNITY!"
"GYAAAAH (**&&^%^!! Okay already, Gramps!"
Of course, she isn't going to do it immediately. She just said she'd marry Elmer. That's all. In the meantime, now that she has so much money, she wants to see who she'd've gotten if she'd paid the matchmaker the full five grand.
Three bolts and similar tastes = LUV. Weather figures, it's not like she can get more pregnant.
Alejandro leaves just as Elmer gets home from his shift at the Yellow Rose.
Alejandro is smitten after doing it with a pregnant chick, and now constantly invites Weather to get busy. Weather decides she'd better not risk too much, but takes a rain check.
The next little Gauge is born while Weather is half out of her mind on recreational drugs, which doesn't bode well for child-rearing in this generation. Since Weather is not thinking clearly, the child is named Stream Gauge.
The other ghosts begin to appear now, too, all of them disgruntled. Pressure roams the house and loots the fridge.
Elmer, at least, takes a passing interest in his offspring, even occasionally going so far as to feed and cuddle. This family would be one step ahead of the social worker if not for...
...good old George the butler, who cares for Stream as if he were the real father. It's lucky for all concerned that he's there most of the time, because otherwise this child would be even more ignored.
With the baby fat worked off, Weather finally proposes to Elmer, more to get her grandfather's ghost to leave her alone than for any other reason.
Elmer's surprised too. He thought she was tiring of him.
Weather has an excuse to dress up for the ceremony. She's actually more covered up than usual.
The few guests mostly seem to be men, who make a beeline for the hot tub immediately after the I Do's, and Elmer is a bit unhappy about it.
But at last it's over, even though nobody really wanted to do this. Now, Weather thinks, Grandpa's ghost should leave me alone.
Surprisingly, he does. Sheldon doesn't come out again for the rest of this installment.
Founder Twelve Gauge takes his place, though, and looks scary as crap with her Matrix glasses.
"So, you hear about that three-alarm fire that happened downtown? Not nearly as hot as I am." Weather is many things, and self-centered is one of them.
"I mean, I'm so hot I should be arrested for starting fires in men's hearts."
Is she coming on to me? On her wedding day? What the hell?
Now that the formalities are on the way, Weather begins spending more money on dates and "recreational materials".
She attracts an interesting bunch, that's for sure, including teachers and professors and other important people.
She also has no problem with showing off her taut, toned body on the first date.
"C'mon, Troy, it's warm as bathwater in here. And nobody takes a bath with their clothes on."
Weather never really wanted a baby (or a husband) so she ignores both of them a lot, though the baby gets the worst of it. She also harangues George the butler to keep the kid quiet and out of her way and keep the place from stinking like baby.
Poor little Stream Gauge, who looks a lot like grandpa Makoto, including the short hair because Weather doesn't want to spend time or money on hair past buzz cuts.
No one should be surprised that Stream bonds closest with George.
It sure isn't Weather.
"*snort* C'mon, it's not cheating if we only do it a little!"
Stream doesn't stay entirely unnoticed, however. Elmer in particular is very susceptible to big puppy-dog eyes and a quivering lower lip.
Weather stonily ignores the child she never wanted to have.
But when push comes to shove, George is the one who keeps Stream fed, bathed, and (when he's on duty) in the proper sleeping place.
"A love note? For me?"
Elmer should be suspicious about what's going on. Or maybe it's really for him, from work, perhaps.
"You need a change?"
While Weather really doesn't care about Elmer any more, and wonders if Grandpa Sheldon's ghost would reappear if she divorced, she has to admit he's handy when the butler isn't around and the brat won't shut up.
Some mornings, Stream would fall asleep by the front door, waiting for George to feed her...
...while Weather enjoyed water aerobics.
George worried about the unloved child in his care. Something needed to be done - but what?
More mornings than he liked to think, he'd arrive only to find Stream passed out in front of the refrigerator.
Or in worse places, waiting in vain for someone to help with other bodily functions.
~ ~ ~
Elmer was slowly moving his way up at the club, no longer performing but managing the staff. He began coming home at lunchtime now and then, without warning, to see if anything was happening. His wife might be in the hot tub, but she was clothed and nothing untoward was happening, even if she never seemed to have any girlfriends over.
Nobody noticed when Stream had her (yes, her) birthday. Not even her mother, who had a serious case of the munchies going on and had ordered pizza.
Stream looked a lot like her grandfather Makoto.
On the other hand, now she could sneak food from her parents' takeout and delivery menus.
"When I grow up, I'm gonna marry you, George!"
"But Miss Stream, no, that's not possible."
"Because I'm already married, and have a family. You're like one of my own children."
"But - but - "
"I'm sorry, Miss Stream, but you'll understand when you're older. You'll find someone you love, and you'll be happy."
"Why can't I be happy now? I hope the ghosts get Weather!" Stream had never called her mother "Mother" or "Mom" or anything similar; it was not encouraged.
"Miss, please! Don't talk like that!"
Despite her disappointment, Stream still thought of George as her best friend. He was always there to give her support, to praise her...
...to play with her, and give her love and companionship.
Sometimes Stream even slept out on the beach in summer, when the breezes were cool and she didn't want to listen to her parents arguing or laughing hysterically.
Stream attended school during the day, and Elmer went to work at night, leaving Weather with less chance to invite friends over for discreet "herbal instructions".
Plus there were the damn ghosts. Weather thought sometimes of smashing the urns, or moving them offsite.
But any time she went up there, a ghost was always stalking about, even in daytime it seemed. Weather might look the gothy part, but she knew ghosts could kill, and had no intention of risking her own life. Maybe she could get Elmer to do it one of these days...
~ ~ ~
"Right out here in the tub? Won't people see us?"
"What's wrong with an audience? Just thinking about someone seeing gets me all excited, Jason..."
However, the increased risk of the family catching her sets Weather thinking. Perhaps it would be better to take her friendly activities downtown. Besides, some of her friends don't cotton to going to her house now that they know there's a child in there. Prudes.
Then a new problem arises: Weather is friendly with more than one guy here, and there's a lot of guys here. At home, she was able to keep such relationships separate and ignorant of each other.
"You slut! I can't believe you! I'm going back to Vegas to meet up with Roy."
Weather tries to sweet-talk him (she doesn't need the word to get around town) to salvage the relationship.
Don appreciates the rose, but like its stem, his ardor for her has wilted.
But it's not like Weather hasn't gotten lots of presents from her friends, so as long as Don doesn't spread slander about her, she'll chalk it up as a learning experience.
For his part, Elmer is not ignorant of all the flowers and things arriving, but he hasn't been able to catch her in the act yet.
And oh, what an act he would catch her in, if his timing was better.
"Weather, I'm hungry."
"It's 'madame,' kid, you know that."
"I'm sorry for disturbing you, madame."
"That's better. Hey, sexy lifeguard! I should go talk to him about the motion of the ocean."
~ ~ ~
"Elmer, I want you to do something for me."
"Go upstairs to the attic and get the urns."
"No way, Eather-Way."
"Because there's ghosts up there.
"Bulls---. There's no ghosts."
"Bulls--- yourself. There's ghosts and they keep trying to kill me!"
"Reach down and find a pair, man!" Weather demonstrates.
"Yeaaaagh! Don't use your nails!"
"Now get up there and get those urns!"
Elmer still refuses. "They're your family, not mine! YOU get them!"
"Elmer, you know those ghosts might come after us."
"Yeah, whatever. We have to get those things out of here or the ghosts'll make sure we don't make it to social security age."
Elmer still won't do it. He knows all too well what those ghost are capable of, since they've almost gotten him a few times now. If he went up there and got them really mad at him, who knows what would happen?
~ ~ ~
Weather takes up underwear modeling as a hobby, and has no problems finding fellow hobbyists.
"Yes, this one really works. Third one today!"
Weather also notices her daughter's attachment to George the butler and fires him, replacing him with an older gentleman who's well paid to do what Madame says.
She also tells Elmer how the cow eats the cabbage. He signed a prenup (in his defense, he wasn't thinking clearly at the time) which means he gets an allowance to be determined by her, so after the club gets shut down in a police raid, he's dependent on Weather for living expenses.
Now that he's home all the time, he thinks, he needs to find a way to catch her doing what he suspects she's doing, so he can sue her for tons of cash.
Actually, although Elmer doesn't know it, there's not as much cash as there used to be. Several years of gifting, parties, recreational pharmaceuticals and the occasional payoff mean the Gauge inheritance money is starting to run low.
Perhaps worse, the ghosts are starting to come down from the attic again, causing no end of trouble. Gordon was looking forward to crazy hot-tub antics, not crazy spastic chick babbling about ghosts. He left right after Pressure's ghost appeared (unknown to him - he never saw her).
"G------, Elmer, why don't you get your ass into a new job already. Stop hanging around the house all g--d--- day. You think I'm gonna massage your ---- and let you eat pizza and get fat, you got another think coming."
"Weather, not in front of Stream."
Weather's reputation has gotten around town anyway - it really can't be helped, as active as she is - so it's not surprising when townsfolk express their displeasure at the Gauge family. And they used to be so nice, too, with that slut's mother being the Mayor and all.
Stream takes out her petty little revenge against all the things she can't control in this world, punching the old lady right in the mean bean machine, like she's seen her mother do. She gets a different reaction than her mother's men friends give.
~ ~ ~
Since nobody has ever celebrated any of Stream's birthdays, she isn't expecting anything for her sweet-fifteen, either. Much to her surprise, her old friend George has sent her a few things. "Even though I no longer work for your mother, I know you would want a celebration. Here are some chocolates, sparkling cider, and a cake. Your friend always, George."
And so Stream Gauge is old enough to start taking control of her destiny, in a house filled with vengeful ghosts, a drug-abusing promiscuous mother, a suspicious and jealous father (neither of which care about their daughter that much), and a quickly dropping bank account. What plans will she make? Will she be like her parents, or opposite to them? We'll find out!
~ ~ ~
Couple of outtakes.
The professor had just shown up and I was doing date actions and I accidentally clicked "end the date". I couldn't cancel it out and so she had a crappy date entirely from bad clicking. Meh! -_-;
The special "stink alarm" hidden in the portrait goes off! (See the sound effects?)
This generation was very hands-off. I kept waiting for Elmer to die, but he somehow stayed alive despite getting fired from his job, at night, when the ghosts were active. They almost killed him twice, and he almost starved once, but he keeps dodging death.
Elmer also kept getting promoted despite my hands-off policy. I didn't play him at all, but he somehow got some skill points from chance cards, and actually got halfway up the Criminal career track before getting fired. The household doesn't need the money, he had a job so Weather could party with "friends" while he was away. Elmer's actual LTW was top of Athletic career, but since I was doing hands-off, he ended up with the first career available.
George the butler rocked. He was very good to Stream, which was a good thing, since otherwise I'd've lost her to the social worker before she ever hit toddler. Sometimes Stream could talk Elmer into feeding or changing her, but Weather was stone-cold toward her offspring. (Fact: Weather felt okay toward Stream, but toward the end, Stream is dangerously close to I HATE YOU territory. Weather is oblivious, I guess.)
The ghosts were also all over the place, which made me worry up until Stream hit teenager; now her chances are better. This should get real exciting by end of the legacy.
Weather loved to get naked for the hot tub. The one time she wore a suit was the time Elmer came home from work early.
I know in this pic it looks like George is hammering on her head. XD
The old butler at the end was actually a one-shot fluke, but I said in the story that Weather fired George. What actually happened was that George became a good enough friend with Stream that he did the "now that I'm done with work, would you like to hang out?" dialog, and if the answer was yes, he'd go hang out in the hot tub until daybreak. So the old guy would show up to do the actual butlering.
Once it rained and George got zapped by lightning, but he did come out to check on Stream before going home to recover.
Readers of the Durrance Legacy will note that Don (this picture) is the same one that Royal Durrance is blowing hearts for. He does get around, doesn't he? Same name and everything!
What happened there was that he and Weather got the photobooth action rocking, then Weather flirted with Mr. Big, and Don got into a snit and there was much slapping. Since the whole group was on an outing, this drove the outing score through the basement. Weather had to do a ton of apologizing (she didn't want to, either) and work just to get the outing score back up to "okay". I was pretty mad about that, because usually I have terrible outing scores, and the photobooth woohoo was enough to bump this one up into the "great time" for once!
Just for fun, here's pictures of the remodeling that took place. I was trying to drain off cash from this household, and I think I'll need to drain off more.
I'm actually looking forward to Stream taking over/Weather dying, because then I can remodel it back to brighter colors.
And there we are! Will Elmer continue to dodge death? (He hasn't even dipped into the red yet!) What is Stream's aspiration/LTW? (She never got the usual suite of toddler skills and transitioned just barely green most times.) Will Weather get caught by the family doing things she shouldn't be doing? We'll find out!