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Author Topic: Xenophobia: Pride & Prejudice - Chapter Twenty-four  (Read 146329 times)
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Sam the T-man
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« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2008, 06:05:54 pm »

Actually, erm... not to elaborate too much, but I did some experimenting too, after getting some very different story ideas - there's actually a better match to be had for her, all three bolts in fact! (Her and Johnny can get pushed up to two through turn-ons/offs.) So I wouldn't feel too guilty about it Wink If you're at all familiar with any of the Maxis hoods, you may notice that the game authors suck at match-making Wink

So glad you enjoyed the update - another's on its way, drifting a little into a sub-story with this one :angel:

PS: Ripp's so expressive! I love him to bits :love2:

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« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2008, 11:00:19 pm »

The group practiced relentlessly and passionately, and despite the small number it shone through in their rehearsal. Ripp and Johnny however, with their own emotions simmering away inside them during the day, allowed this time to let them go through their music. Ripp was exceptionally brutal in his playing, the action of attacking the skins with the sticks providing a much needed outlet for his pent up frustration. Meanwhile, Ophelia began to wonder if she could see smoke seeping from her boyfriend’s guitar. Being the singer, she wasn’t using her voice as much as they played, yet after a while she needed more sips from her bottle of water. Her throat was beginning to feel raw, and one look at her watch widened her eyes as she noted they’d gone well over their allotted time.
“Whoa!” she called out through her microphone, “I think that’s plenty for now, don’tcha think?”
Only after being brought back to reality did the pain begin to register in Johnny’s fingertips, causing him to wince as he set the guitar down.
“Ow,” he complained, studying with concern the darkened hue of the tips of his fingers, and sucking at one of them as she tucked away her microphone and came over.
“You want me to kiss them better?” she hinted with a playful grin.

Johnny sniggered at her offer, watching with a smile as she took hold of his wrist and planted a soft kiss on each of his stinging fingers.
Meanwhile, Ripp’s brow was creased in concentration as he worked to pull a splinter from his hand, gritting his teeth at the pain that accompanied his efforts. He tried to grapple with his teeth, but whatever he tried, there was no shifting it.
“Dammit,” he grumbled.
“Whassup?” Johnny asked as she released his left hand.
“I got a splinter,” he told them, before studying his nails, “Too bad I got nothin’ to work with.”
“Come ‘ere,” Johnny offered instinctively, flexing his right-hand fingers. “Ol’ guitarist nails come in handy,” he finished with a smile. Ripp returned it with one of his own as he went over, holding out his hand as directed.
“Be gentle,” he told him as Johnny took hold of it.
“I’m always gentle,” came the reassuring reply as he began to work.
Ripp didn’t so much as flinch while the slither of wood was tugged at, content merely for his hand to rest in his light grip. It was only his voice that pulled him back to earth as he spoke again.
“There we go,” Johnny announced, holding up the offending splinter clenched between his long nails.
“Thanks,” Ripp said as his hand slipped out of Johnny’s grasp.
“Come on guys,” Ophelia smiled as she took hold of Johnny’s hand, “We’d better get goin’.”
“Yeah,” Johnny agreed before checking his watch, and his eyes widened as he gave a little gasp. “Damn, I’m gonna be late!” he remarked, “Catch ya later!” So saying, he pecked his girlfriend’s lips before clutching Ripp’s hand in a friendly gesture, his other hand resting momentarily on his arm before he raced off.
“Have fun!” she called after him, before she and Ripp left. She couldn’t help but frown at the unusual turn of speed he displayed as they did so, however, and wondered if she should pick up on it next time they met.

“You’re late back,” Tank acknowledged as he caught sight of him.
“Practice ran over,” he explained briefly, before briskly climbing the stairs to his room.
Something in his manner troubled Tank, who watched his ascent from the foot of the stairs.

Tank’s concerned cries hung in the air like an intoxicating smoke, which Ripp easily closed the door on as he flopped onto his bed.

Safely away from any form of temptation or its consequences, he allowed his mind to wander as his treated hand rested in his right. His eyes screwed tightly shut as he tried to blot out the recurring images, but instead they intensified, and before he knew what he was doing, fingers stroked the back of his left hand.

“Ready for your last physical test?” the man quizzed with a smile.
Johnny peered inquisitively into the black pools of his eyes, which sparkled with knowledge and mystery.
Physical test?” he echoed with intrigue.
“Oh yes,” came the enigmatic reply, “There is much potential up here that everyone has, human or otherwise,” He tapped his temple as he spoke, before continuing, “but as our minds are more advanced, it’s considerably easier for us to unlock that.”
“So, after this…” Johnny began, leaving the sentence open for his tutor to finish.
“After this you’ll have earned your black belt,” came the reply, “No more physical training, but still much to learn should you wish to continue.”
A curious smile flickered upon the student’s face, before stretching into a wide grin as he spoke.
“You kiddin’?!” he replied, “’Course I wanna continue!”
“I expected nothing less,” the man smiled proudly. He retrieved two wooden staves from a corner of the room and tossed one to his student, who easily caught the weapon and gracefully twirled it into position, his body adopting a fighting stance as he did so.

Tank’s assault on his father’s punch-bag was relentless and brutal, as he unleashed all manner of destructive emotions on the equipment before him. Ignoring the growing protest from his knuckles, he stopped only when, for now at least, enough of those feelings had been spent for him to rest. When he did, he caught the bag as it swung towards him, embracing it as he felt another wave of emotion crash ashore. His eyes began to sting as he clutched the canvas pillow as though it was a close friend, his head resting against it as he felt himself begin to sob.
Tears are a sign of weakness…
He let the bag slip from his grasp as he rubbed at his eyes, struggling to regain his composure. When he looked back at the bag this time, he saw a familiar face.

The emotions stirred by the image took him completely by surprise. Swallowing them back into himself, his fists clenched so tightly they began to ache, and he pounded the bag as his conditioned mind regurgitated them outwards as rage.

His face damp with tears, Ripp eyed the fresh scrawl upon the pages with a heavy heart, dryly noting the watery splotches that partly obscured some of the words. Setting the book aside, he allowed himself to hunch up his knees and slump forwards onto them, as the tears bubbled over into soft sobs.

“Thank you so much!” he grinned, pulling his tutor into a very informal hug. “I couldn’t have done it without you.”
The man chuckled as he returned his embrace. “It had to be there to start with,” he reminded him as they broke away, turning the mood mysterious once again, “I knew it was there – that’s why I chose you.”
Johnny frowned as he eyed him, thoroughly confused.
“What do you mean?” he checked, his sheltered upbringing struggling with the theory now forming in his head.
The man didn’t answer, instead gazing at him expectantly as he sensed that he would find one himself. Sure enough, with a mildly nervous smile, the teenager hazarded a guess at what lay in store for him, given what he’d already been told.
“Wait a sec,” he began slowly, his smile becoming one of mounting excitement, “You can read minds? Is that what you’re hopin’ to teach me?”
The man silently confirmed his first guess, but vocally responded to the second.
“Close,” he replied, “That’s the last lesson.”
Johnny again frowned in puzzlement.
“So what…?” he started to ask, but trailed off as his jaw hung open at the sight now before him.

“Whoa…” he breathed, watching in wonder with a hand now clutched to his mouth.
“That, my boy, is the next lesson.”
An awestruck whistle escaped Johnny’s lips, before once again the fascination was replaced by gleeful anticipation. A grin spread across his face, stretching from ear to ear as he eyed his mentor, before it started to fade as his head bobbed in a meaningful nod.
“See you next week,” he promised in a hushed tone.
“I look forward to it,” the man agreed, “Remember to meditate regularly.”
“I never forget,” Johnny reassured him, now understanding why it had been deemed necessary.

So lost was Tank in his training that the sudden tugging at the bag took him by surprise. His searching eyes soon discovered the source as the bag settled into its default position.

“Thought it about time you did your homework,” Ripp prompted, waving Tank’s exercise book at him. “Don’t you?”
“I’m in the middle of trainin’,” he countered, his chest still heaving slightly from the exertion he’d already displayed.
“I know damn well what you’re doin’,” Ripp bit, “You can’t punch it outta you forever, y’know.”
“What’s that s’posed to mean?!”
Ripp grabbed one of his wrists, raising it to eye level as he studied his grazed knuckles.
“I mean this,” he explained, his voice raising in frustration as he indicated his brother’s hand, “Tears aren’t for the weak, Tank, they’re for everyone. Crying is a pain reliever, not a sign of weakness.”
Tank pulled his hand from his grasp and marched off a little, trying once again to control the rising sorrow that bubbled through his veins.
“Talk to me, please,” Ripp offered, despair and concern in his eyes as he approached and lay a hand on his shoulder. “Stop tryin’ to fight it, just let it go.”
The dam their father had placed to hold at bay the flow of tears was starting to crack. With his head turned away, Ripp couldn’t see the first droplets begin to seep through the chinks in the wall, but he could hear the choking sounds released from his throat. Growing in confidence that, perhaps at last he was breaking through, he put away his sledgehammer and brought out the wrecking ball as he gently moved to face him, laying his other hand on his free shoulder after casting the book aside.

He could see now the truth of his suppressed feelings as he raised a hand to wipe away a tear.
“You see now what happens when you keep it all inside?” he said gently, “It eats away at you ‘til there’s nothing left… is that what you want?” He nursed his shoulders as he continued. “Let it go, please, for everyone’s sake…”
The dam burst with a force that sent him collapsing into Ripp’s arms, weeping hysterically as he clung to him. Ripp was only too relieved to catch him, his arms pulling him near and allowing his fingers to roam his head, enjoying the closeness that he’d never before imagined he would experience with his own brother.
One down, he thought to himself, wondering how much harder it would be to reach their father.

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« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2008, 10:21:11 am »

Hooray! That's so cute that Ripp wants to be nice to Tank and make him feel better. I've decided that Johnny's mentor is the "big bad" by the way. Why would you teach someone how to make swirly things happen?! Anyway, most spiffy Sadie. Only thing left to sayis moar!! Smiley

"I am become Death, destroyer of worlds" Oppenheimer, taken from The Bhagavad Gita.
Sam the T-man
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« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2008, 12:01:46 pm »

Any and all speculation is allowed, of course Wink

Thanks, glad you liked it Smiley Ripp is a sweetheart, and so's Tank (at least in my game) - that halfway mark he has with five nice points gave too good a story chance to pass up (not to mention his lack of playful) Wink

Little trivia for you: When left on free will (and me not intervening), Tank and Ripp patched things up and got their relationship score into the +20s Cheesy

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« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2008, 02:19:47 am »

Whoa...whenever I leave Ripp and Tank to their own devices, they end up laying into one another.

Anyway, I like what I've read so far. I've always thought of Ripp as a sweetie myself, but Tank on the other hand certainly leaves a bit to be desired - well, in my game he does, anyway. It's nice to see them make amends in your story, though.

One thing I'm thinking about though, but then again it's because I have a filthy mind - will a "Brotherly Love" type scenario evolve between Ripp and Tank? Just a thought...:lol:

Sam the T-man
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« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2008, 07:29:29 am »

:laugh: Noooo, no no no... wrong forum for that! :laughing: Why, did you want it to? Wink

Glad you like the story, anyway Smiley It's really weird with my game, even the nastiest of sims (none to two nice points) turn into likable/lovable types - Buzz goes round trying to hug people, and Tank keeps kissing/hugging (or being kissed/hugged by) Ripp, and reads to Buck a lot too Cheesy

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« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2008, 10:09:12 am »

cool story!!!!!
LUV OPHELIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!;)
whens the next 1 coming:D
« Last Edit: February 19, 2008, 10:11:16 am by Mizba92 » Logged
Sam the T-man
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« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2008, 10:31:55 am »

Thanks Cheesy She has a good amount of nice points too ^_^

Next one? Erm... got most of the pics done, so shouldn't be too long Wink

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« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2008, 04:04:04 pm »

Geee Sadie u ain't sitting still around this story ^.^ Are the first 13 chapters written aswell Tongue (if u know wath I mean ^.^ Wink ). Anyway again a wonderfull update! Cheesy

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Sam the T-man
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« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2008, 04:13:45 pm »

Haha, yeah, I know what you mean Wink Not quite, I'm on chapter seven at the moment, doing some playing in the meantime. (Tank and Ripp are now best friends! :dance:)

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Sam the T-man
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« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2008, 09:12:27 pm »

“So, how did it go?” Jenny asked hopefully.
“Pretty well, thanks,” came the casual reply as he took a mouthful of food.
Peter gave a little chuckle as he eyed his wife. “He won’t say any more, you should know that by now.”
Johnny signalled a wish to speak as he finished chewing.
“He don’t want me talkin’ about it Mom,” he explained before swallowing his food, “Nothin’ personal.”
Jenny nodded, no less mellow than she was before.
“How’s it going with Ophelia?”
“Fine thanks,” Johnny replied, bewildered by the nature of her question. Of however frequently he’d been asked though, this time he’d had enough.
“Look Mom, what is it? Do you not like her or somethin’?”
It wasn’t just his mother, he noticed on glancing at Peter. His father looked equally troubled.
“Something you said about your first kiss with her,” he started.
“Again?!” he complained, but he hadn’t finished.
“It should feel right, Johnny,” he told him, “but going by what you’ve said…”
“Look, it’s fine, really,” he told them, cleaning his plate and already rising from the table.
“Where are you going?”
“To do my homework,” came the muffled reply as he continued to chew.

Another who had decided now a good time to write her homework, Ophelia had very different concerns to get down on paper. Knowing what she knew, at least about the Grunts, a wry smile played upon her face as her mind drifted back briefly to when the teacher assigned it. Write a non-fiction piece about an event or feelings in your life, she recalled, unsure what she was expecting when the books would be collected from her different classes. Ophelia was positive, however, that what with them, hers and whatever Johnny would come up with, the poor teacher would get more that she bargained for.

An eye opened sleepily to glance at the alarm clock. The hands displayed the approaching of six in the morning, the sound of movement already picked up by Ripp’s ears as he turned over in his bed. The door opened, the light-bulb blared into life to cast its harsh light onto the dozing teenager, his ears bracing themselves again for the assault that they had come to expect over the years.
“Wakey wakey Mister!”
“Morning Dad,” came the drowsy reply as he stirred, sitting up in bed.
“How many times…?” Buzz trailed off as he glanced around the boy’s room. “I thought I told you to get this tidy!?”
Ripp looked up disapprovingly at his father as he replied.
“Look, Dad, you want a nice an’ tidy room, fine. Don’t push it onto me, it’d drive me nuts after five minutes.”
“The idea of a tidy room, son, is so you know where everything is…”
“I know where everything is, thanks.”
“Listen Ripp,” Buzz told him, waving a threatening finger at him, “Either you tidy this room by tonight, or I do it for you.”
The very idea struck terror into his heart, his eyes widening as he sprang from the bed.
“Don’t you dare!” he challenged, but his father was already leaving.

Tank was up early as always, yet today he was subdued as he dutifully prepared breakfast, and was caught a little off-guard by the volume of his father’s voice.
“Morning soldier!”
“Morning Sir,” Tank replied, allowing a glimmer of a smile to tug at the corners of his mouth as he gave a salute, this time grateful that he didn’t need to turn to face him.
 Something in the youth’s manner bothered Buzz. He didn’t seem as responsive as usual, his reply strangely quiet and carrying an edge he couldn’t quite place.
“Everything alright Tank?” he checked, lowering the volume of his voice.
“Sure,” came the informal reply, although as he turned to serve breakfast, it soon became apparent that was not the case.

Buzz’s face dropped as he studied the battle scars upon his son’s face, now clearly visible through lack of camouflage colours.
“No paint this morning?” was the best he could offer as he sat down.
“Got sick o’ wearin’ it,” came the simple reply as he finished serving up, before setting the plate down to give his traditional whistle.
“Any particular reason?” he asked as Tank sat by him.
The younger man merely shrugged as he picked up his fork, and shortly afterwards Buck joined them at the table. Being a child, however, he was less subtle in his observations.
“What happened to your face?”
Tank stiffly finished chewing on his morsel of food, taking the time to ponder how best to answer before he swallowed.
“I took on more than I could handle couple o’ days back.”
Ripp wasn’t in the mood to whistle on his way to the table, so none of the others heard him approach as they were absorbed in their discussion. Not wishing to interrupt, and with his stomach only just beginning to complain, he decided against joining them for now, instead watching quietly from the sidelines.

“I dunno,” came the meek reply, before swallowing his pride in a bid to answer truthfully. “Because I was stupid…”
Ripp saw an opener to head for the table, sitting by him to lay a hand on his shoulder.
“Hey,” he soothed, “It’s okay.”
Buzz looked from one to the other, thoroughly confused. How did they get from constantly bickering one day to so close the next?
“Did I miss something?!” he finally asked, bewildered, “What happened here?”

“I finally knocked some sense into him,” Ripp explained, his tone hardening as he waved his fork at him. “An’ you’re next, Mister.”
Buzz’s expression also toughened as he indignantly loaded his fork.
“Last time I checked Ripp, I was in charge of this household.”
“Let’s get one thing straight here,” Ripp retaliated, still gesturing with his fork, “This is home, not work. You take your tough guy, hateful attitude to work an’ damn well keep it there where it belongs. Home is not the place for this crap!”
“Who’s the father here Ripp?! Me or you?!”
“Oh, now you remember you’re a father?!” Ripp snapped, “Sure ain’t felt that way from where I’ve been sitting…!”
“That’s enough!” Buzz yelled, slamming down his fork. “All I ever get from you is back-chat…”
“An’ you’ve never wondered why?!” Ripp challenged, unrelenting in his manner even with tears beginning to prick at his eyes. “Mom was the sensible one…”
“I said that’s enough!!”
“Heard you the first time,” came the angry reply as he once more bolted down his food.

The clouds were also gathering in Johnny’s mind, with the teenage boy not in a singing or whistling mood while he waited for his knocks to be answered. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t forget the conversation with his parents the night before, yet a voice in the back of his mind was telling him not to try, but to sit up and take notice, no matter how strange it all sounded.
Okay buddy, maybe it’s time to wonder why they’re saying all this?

Why would they say that though?
Because it’s true?
How can it be? I’m happy…
Are you really? Think about it for a moment…
 I’m getting a headache just trying to…
Okay, how about this? When she comes through that door…


The voice pulled him from the fog inside his mind, into the mist of reality. He could see her as she approached, but the mist obscured his perception of her, even when she took his hands.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” he lied, “I’m fine.” He went to kiss her, but although she responded, her expression as their lips parted was one of concern. Meanwhile, his parents’ words resonated through his mind with more force than ever as he felt his stomach turn over.
Oh man, what’s happening to me??
“Okay,” she began softly, looking about herself in a bid to ensure they were alone, “I need to ask you something; something I should’ve asked a while back.”
“Sure,” he uttered, swallowing hard as he braced himself for the question he was beginning now to ask himself.

“Sorry I weren’t much help in there,” Tank apologised.
“Ah, don’t worry about it,” Ripp smiled, tapping his arm, “Kinda felt sorry for you two having to listen to me pop off like that, but I couldn’t help it.”
Tank smiled sadly in reply, but remained quiet. Sensing blanketed misgivings, Ripp cocked his head at him quizzically.
“You can talk to me, you know,” he prompted.
“Kinda mirrored how I felt,” came the surprising reply, “Just didn’t know how to deal with it all…”
Ripp’s heart sank at his revelation. In moulding him into a replica of himself, their father had never stopped to think how he’d really be feeling at his actions. Outward appearance is deceiving, Ripp knew that. Just like the face paint his brother used to wear to cover up his folly with Johnny, without which the real damage was exposed.
“Come ‘ere,” he offered.

“I’ll get ‘im,” Ripp promised, “There’s a heart in there somewhere, I just gotta find it.”
“Good luck,” Tank mused as they broke away.
“Hey, I found yours didn’t I?” he grinned, before it faded. “Thought that was an impossible task, but I did it.”
Tank’s head dropped briefly at his remark, but Ripp hooked his fingers round his jaw, pulling his head up to look back into his eyes.
“Dad seems to equate being a man with being an asshole,” he said, “You can be a man and still be a nice guy y’know, you’ve already proved it once.”
“How d’ya mean?”
“It takes guts to admit you’re wrong,” came the answer, “You did it with family at home,” He nodded to the approaching bus as he continued, “but it’s far from over.”
Tank eyed the bus as it pulled up, a knowing smile on his face.
“Johnny,” he acknowledged simply.
“Yep,” Ripp agreed as he boarded, talking back to him as he did so. “This is your big chance bro, what you do with it is up to you.”

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« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2008, 03:19:19 am »

so good!!!! do more!!!:worship:


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« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2008, 10:58:07 am »

yay! once again most rocking sadie. love it!

"I am become Death, destroyer of worlds" Oppenheimer, taken from The Bhagavad Gita.
Sam the T-man
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« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2008, 11:04:41 am »

Thanks guys Cheesy Delving very much into the teen hormone-ravaged sub-story now, but setting the scene for future chapters and the main plot in the meantime Wink Glad you're enjoying it Smiley

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« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2008, 04:44:15 am »

I've just read all four parts at a go, and I must say that I loved every moment of it!  Your pictures are excellent, and I must say that your choice of custom content, particularly the default skins only enhance the experience more!

Very lovely interpretations of every character here, especially Ripp.  It's odd how different writers can interpret the same character so differently, yet with so much similarity at the same time. You've portrayed Ripp Grunt with much the same personality as I have, but with far more maturity!   The "Strangetown Conspiracy" Ripp, and the one in your series seem like the same character at different ages.   Keep up the good work!  This series is delightful!

To General Buzz Grunt, war is a way of life, but now the very lives of all who dwell in Strangetown are in danger. Will his sons crumble beneath his heavy hands? Watch the events play out in Strangetown Conspiracy A film series by Joe Mulcahy and Avatar Arkmage
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