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Author Topic: Xenophobia: Pride & Prejudice - Chapter Twenty-four  (Read 121493 times)
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joe_mulcahy
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« Reply #165 on: April 04, 2008, 05:24:00 am »

WOW!  You write very fast!  So short was the interval between the last chapter and this one, that I did not realize that you had finished it when you did!  I only wish I could make movies even half that fast!

Great great chapter!  It's funny how similar we think, as our Ripps, Tanks and General Buzz Grunts, share much of their personalities, and  faults.  I really love how you've added the self talk bit, which gives us even greater insight into their minds.  The self talk was an excellent sequence!

I'm so glad General Buzz Grunt is to receive treatment for his violent behaviours, as so many military men in real life beat their wives and children, only to have the same thing happen in the subquent generation and the one after that.  I always thought EAxis modelled General Buzz Grunt somewhat after the character Lt. Col. Wilbur "Bull" Meecham, from the novel "The Great Santini,"  for both men are strikingly similar; outstanding at their duties in the military, but have many shortcomings as fathers.  Bull's children are actually afraid of him. There is even a sequence where the character had a Jewish friend, which strikes me as rather similar to the conflict Ripp's befriending an alien(he and Johnny get on very well when the game begins), whilst his brother and father begin the game as enemies with  Johnny and Pollination Technician #9.  If you ever get the chance, read "The Great Santini" or at least watch the movie, as it can lend some great inspiration for depicting the Grunts.  I suspect the Grunts are really the Meechams at times!  Hmm, I think I'll read that book one more time, and substitute "General Buzz Grunt" every time "Lt. Col. Wilbur "Bull" Meecham" has a scene.  The sad thing about this, is that Lt. Col. "Bull" Meecham is really based on the author's real life father, who was every bit as heroic in wars as well as abusive to his family. The author still says he has nightmares about his treatment at the hands of his father even to this very day.

Excellent work!  I usually don't like romance, but adore the relationship between Ripp and Johnny.  Keep it the good writing!
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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
hotrod50s
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« Reply #166 on: April 04, 2008, 07:58:24 am »

thanks sadie that was dead on and i am watching for the next installment of this great story,lol for once i enjoy this family i usually don't like them
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Astral Faery
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« Reply #167 on: April 04, 2008, 10:00:39 am »

Quote from: Sadie79;1197816


...wow...:oogle:
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Sam the T-man
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« Reply #168 on: April 04, 2008, 10:34:10 am »

Grrrrrr... damn Photobucket! For some reason the connection's been awful lately and keeps freezing on me when trying to upload my pics - is anyone else having any trouble? (Yes, I'm still in the middle of an update... angry)

Thanks Joe! I've not read that book, but now I want to.. Wink Interesting though, how the characters seem similar. I know Ripp's not quite friends with Johnny at the start, although it'd just take one good interaction to push them to friends, but I do know he's also friends with Ophelia. I had a look at their bios actually - seems I got Tank nailed after all, although Buck's is pretty sad Sad About the romance.. haha, I couldn't help myself; I'm a big romantic, but then I tend to write "alternative" romance as you may have noticed Wink Not that there's all there is to this one - or any of my stuff, come to think. They make such a cute couple though, huh? :love2:

Thanks for your support guys, appreciated Smiley
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Astral Faery
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« Reply #169 on: April 04, 2008, 10:53:36 am »

Photobucket seems to work sporadically.  Yesterday it was great - but I have times where it's being a pill and only uploading 2 of 20 pictures at a time I'm trying to get up.  So then I wait, only to press the cancel button, and start over.  Very aggravating on a chapter with 75 pictures!  Hope it starts working better for ya!
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Sam the T-man
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« Reply #170 on: April 04, 2008, 04:25:27 pm »

Finally! Phew... never have I had so much trouble uploading a few damn pics... *headdesk*

A word of warning; I've heard it happens sometimes that sims in CAS look a little different to how they should.. I swear the sims I extracted don't look quite how I remember them... :oogle:



“Dad! Stop!!”
Tank’s cries echoed in the darkness, yet when Buzz’s mind’s eye opened, it viewed an entirely different scene. A woman was on the floor, and waves from a crimson ocean lapped gently against the grain of the wood, forming little streams along the slits in the floorboards. The light from the sun outside caught the reflective surface of a small metal object nearby, and there was a man by her side, his hands clutching his face.
His eyes blinked just once, yet the woman was now a young man – his battered son – while the man’s hands lowered to reveal his own face.



The man’s face turned sharply towards him, his eyes narrowing as deadly intent sparkled in his eyes.



“No!!”



The sound of his own voice was enough to pull him from the nightmare, frantically looking about himself as he sat up in his bed. He stayed there for a moment as he mopped beads of sweat from his upper lip and rubbed at his eyes. He rose from his bed, turning on the light bulb, and allowing a moment to grow used to  the fierce glow now illuminating the room, before making for the bathroom to splash some water onto his face. After dabbing a towel across his features, he straightened up as he gazed curiously into the mirror.



His eyes wandered down his body to study the old scar upon his left breastbone. Fingers ran along its length as he pondered, like he had done so many times before, how it had gotten there. A voice in the back of his head suggested a connection between the scar and the dream he had just suffered, and it also reminded him of the confrontation with Tank a good few hours before. He hadn’t meant to lash out at the boy, only doing so when he noticed the glint of a blade. An illusionary knife, no doubt… perhaps that was the object by the fallen body in his dream… was it the same blade that cut into the thin flesh at his chest? Who wielded the weapon? That was the biggest question of all, one he wished so badly that he could answer.



Jenny groaned as the alarm clock signalled the start of another working day. An arm swooped upon the device, swatting the button on its head to shut off the grating noise, as she pulled herself wearily from the cocoon warmth of the bedclothes, reluctantly allowing the aged green arm draped across her side to slither off her as she rose. Giving a sleepy yawn, she changed into her casual attire in the semi-darkness before leaving the bedroom, her eyes blinking as they met with the light beyond.

She frowned as she realised the light was already illuminating the lounge, and decided to follow the scuffling sounds emanating from the kitchen. She traced them to a familiar youthful, bulky form by the coffee machine, and watched with intrigue as he operated it – what reason did he have for waking so early?



“Morning!”
Tank jumped at the greeting, nearly spilling his steaming drink as her voice reached with an icy hand to touch his shoulder.
“Hi,” he uttered upon turning round.



“Wasn’t expecting you up so early,” she remarked.
Tank smiled awkwardly as he blew upon the surface of the liquid, before taking a sip from his mug.
“Bad night,” he mumbled.
“I can imagine,” she replied, “Wanna talk about it?”
Tank was taken aback by the offer, unsure now of what to say.
“Um,” he began, “Well… I never been asked that before… Well I have, back when I were tryin’ to punch it outta me instead o’ talkin’…”
Jenny smiled a sad, knowing smile as she studied him, briefly eyeing her watch. She always allowed herself plenty of time to get ready, so she could afford to give some where it was needed.
“Tell you what,” she proposed, “You go take a seat while I get a coffee, then we’ll have a chat, huh?”
Tank smiled as he made for the sofa, tears beginning to prick at his eyes. It was so long since there had been a remotely motherly figure in his life. The yearning for his mother panged at his heart without warning, as he realised that now he had no parents to speak of, at least not until his father got over himself and began to act like one.



“Only other time I had a talk like this was with Ripp, and that was only when I started to listen,” Tank explained as she sat by him.
“What about your mom?” she asked, “I gather from Ripp she left while you were still little?”
“Yeah,” he agreed, not fighting the sadness as it crept over him, “I was nine an’ he was eight. Was too young to understand all that was goin’ on at the time, but I remember there bein’ this big fight…”



“What’s happened to you, Buzz?” she demanded, “You’ve changed since we met, and what’s worse is, you’re changing Tank too! He was such a good boy before, him and Ripp used to get on so well…”
“Tank shows promise,” Buzz grinned, “He’ll make one hell of a soldier…”
“If that’s what he wants!” she reminded sharply, “You’re letting this new power get to your head – you’re turning this place into a boot-camp, and you’re taking him with you!”
“Is that all this is?” Buzz countered, “You’re scared of losing him?”
“I am losing him!!” she yelled, her patience now exhausted, “And I’m losing you too!”
“Oh yeah, and what of Ripp?!” he challenged, “What did you do to him?! There’s no strength in the boy, all he does lately is cry…”
“I didn’t do anything to him,” she snorted in reply, “Except maybe remind him someone still loves him… and how many times do I have to say this? Crying is not a sign of weakness! It’s a sign he’s unhappy; he’s lost a good brother! All Tank does these days is pick on him!”
“If he weren’t so damn lazy…”
“We all have our quirks,” she retaliated, “You’ve got one hell of a temper on you… what did that alien man ever do to you? Apart from put you in your place, that is…”
“What was that...?!” he challenged, his fists clenching.




Recognising the signs by now, Lyla didn’t push the issue. She had only narrowly escaped taking the place of his punch-bag before, and didn’t fancy that changing any time soon.
“Bag,” she commanded.
Buzz straightened up, indignantly folding his arms.
“Who are you to…?”
“Now!” she yelled, “Punch out whatever s***’s eatin’ at you this time if you won’t cry it out, and then maybe we can talk…”
“I give the orders around here!”
“At work, Buzz, at work! This is home! We’re your family, not soldiers! Ripp needs love, not ‘whipping into shape’…!”
“He’s not the only one, it would seem,” Buzz observed, his eyes narrowing.
Lyla’s face dropped as she backed away.
“Don’t even think about it,” she told him, trying to still her quavering voice.
“What’s happened around here?!” he asked no one in particular as he advanced, his tone cold, “Everyone’s dropping like flies!”
“Get to your f******’ bag!!” she screamed.




Dazed and hurt, Lyla was left nursing her throbbing eye as she gazed back at the man who resembled her husband. She slowly picked herself up from the floor, staring defiantly at him as she felt her blood simmering in her veins.
“Do that again,” she dared him quietly.
Buzz’s fist loosened as he realised what had happened. He swallowed hard as for a moment he saw a different face before him.



“Mom…” he whimpered, a hand clutching at his quivering jaw.
Lyla’s expression softened as it dawned on her there was more to their problems than she had first thought… but then, that’s what happens when the man doesn’t confide in his wife.
“Cry, Buzz,” she urged, “I can see you need to, please…”
“Don’t be so soft, Buzz!”
Buzz briskly shook his head as he found himself caught in the middle of his own war, between his emotions and his teachings.
“Get out of here,” he uttered.
Lyla straightened up in surprise at his remark.
“Buzz…”
“Go!!” he yelled, “Before it happens again!”
She watched in despair as he ran off to his punch-bag, not stopping to take note of anyone else who may have witnessed the scene. Lyla’s already crumbling heart lost another part as she was only too aware of their audience.[/I]



Her head lowered, all she could do was admit defeat. She peered helplessly down at the two pairs of immature blue eyes that stared back at her, the expressions upon their faces so different from one another. Tears trickled from her eyes as they played upon the seemingly emotionless features of her oldest son.
“Don’t be afraid to cry, Tank,” she pleaded, “Don’t let yourself change into the beast your father has become.”




The memories of that last conversation filtered through his mind, mixing with the vivid images of what had happened at their house earlier on, and the resulting concoction was the most agonising rush of emotion Tank had ever experienced. One thing he could never remember, was the last time he’d cried beyond the mere trickling of waters from his eyes, and now as the floodgates opened, it quickly became apparent why it was so necessary to one’s sanity. With every sob released from his body, more pain was flushed from his system, and with so much to purge from his heart he lost any control he may have once had.
Jenny’s heart broke as she watched him, pulling her chair closer so she could take him into her arms.
“Let it go,” she coaxed gently, mostly to reassure him it was safe for him to do so, “It’s okay.”
Her gaze wavered only a little as she noticed movement, realising that the light was changing outside. On recognising the approaching figure, her expression became one of significance.
“Oh, Tank,” Peter acknowledged in despair as he too went to his side.
Tank’s tears finally began to subside as Jenny caught sight of her watch.
“It’s okay, I got him,” Peter told her, “You get to work.” So saying, he took hold of his shoulder as she stroked his hair in a parting gesture.
“Better out than in, as they say,” Peter remarked as he took Jenny’s seat, “Feeling any better?”
Tank’s head slowly dipped as he started to nod.



“I know this much,” he replied, the mixture of past and present still jumbled in his tormented mind, “No way am I joinin’ the army.”
“Oh, I don’t know,” Peter remarked, “You’d make a better General than your father.”
“I don’t want anythin’ more to do with ‘im!” he snapped, “All ‘e ever wanted from me was to be just like ‘im… well I’ve had enough! I only asked what the damn bag was for, I didn’t ask ‘im to strip my personality from me!”
“Look,” Peter advised, “You’re finding your own way in life, that’s great. You need to follow your heart, don’t think that a certain path will make you like him, or anyone else.”
Tank scoffed silently at his remark and the muses that joined it.
“Follow my heart,” he echoed softly, “I used to think it led to the army.”
“It may still do,” Peter said, “Don’t think it’s just down to your father.”
Tank shook his head, however.
“I found a better outlet than the punch-bag,” he explained, “It’s not fightin’ I wanna do for a living… it’s writin’.”
“Really?” Peter grinned in admiration.
Tank nodded, beginning to smile. “Couldn’t sleep, so I turned on that computer upstairs and just started writing,” he explained, “The words just flowed, like a waterfall…”
“Wow, you’re even talking like one now,” Peter chuckled.
Tank’s smile broadened as he slipped into a different style of talking, his mind wandering as he spoke.
“The first victory has been won,” he reflected, “Picking myself up from the dusty ground, I nurse my wounds for a while as I gaze across at the paradise that beckons beyond this barren wilderness. A stream nearby glistens with the light of the morning sun, inviting me to take a sip of its cleansing waters and taste the new life that I have begun.”
His eyes then widened as he bolted from his seat, Peter watching in wonder as Tank made for the stairs with his parting cry hanging in the air.
“Where’s a notepad when you need one?!”



“Mornin’,” Johnny greeted dryly as he watched him tear into the spare room, slowly shaking his head with a smile as he continued to descend.
“Hey Dad,” he greeted, before glancing back at the stairs, “That guy got a rocket up his ass or what?”
Peter chuckled a little at his remark, before clearing away the cups and opening the fridge door.
“Don’t disturb the budding author,” he mused with a smile.
“Oooh, right!” Johnny acknowledged, “Fancies ‘imself as a writer now?”
“He certainly has it there,” Peter told him, “If what he’s working on is anything like this random statement he just came out with, I think he’ll do very well.”
Johnny arched an eyebrow as he poured himself a coffee.
“Wow,” he remarked simply, “That guy’s full o’ surprises.”
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AxelVal
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« Reply #171 on: April 04, 2008, 04:48:13 pm »

I don't think it's supposed to, but that picture of Tank crying made me giggle.  I don't like those tear-streaks much so it just makes sims look funny to me.

So much revealed...
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Astral Faery
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« Reply #172 on: April 04, 2008, 04:56:41 pm »

This is a great chapter, Sadie!  Smiley  First of all, thanks for having Tank in his skivvies through the whole chapter!

The flashback was well done, and gave us a glimpse into the past so we could answer some of those questions that have been burning.

Also, I love the way Tank is so surprised by the statement that flies out of his mouth, and then rushes up the stairs to get it down in writing before he forgets.  

Johnny's reaction cracked me up. Cheesy

Well done!
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steelguy
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« Reply #173 on: April 04, 2008, 05:16:40 pm »

So Tank's a poet now? LOL!
I like the sepia-toned flashbacks. Excellent effects there. And Lyla has some guts, standing up to Buzz like that. I like the gradually building backstory, and the nightmares are really adding to the whole family-in-trauma effect.

And I've finally twigged that your're using some kind of bodybuilder mesh for Tank and Buzz. *Facepalm* was thinking : "Hey, they're way bigger than in my game..."


Speaking of which, in my game this week: What happens when Free will is on. Tank noogies his girlfriend when she comes to visit, Johnny and Ophelia start checking Ripp out while they're all on an outing, and General Buzz gives Ripp a Family Kiss. And Ripp lets him. :smt120
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Sam the T-man
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« Reply #174 on: April 04, 2008, 05:40:44 pm »

@Axel: Well, they're the most effective ones I've come across, so giggle all you like :tongue3:

@Astral: :laughing: You're welcome Wink I guess Johnny's too scrawny to be so appealing in his shorts :lol: Oh yeah! Dunno if you've tried working with Blogger lately - is it just me having problems?

@steelguy: Haha, gotta love free will! Romance seems to suit your Ripp :lol: He's weird like that though, he'll let his dad kiss him, but in mine he keeps rejecting his attempts at a friendly hug :oogle: What's really weird is Buzz's obsession with hugging anyone! :brain: Heh, yeah, I decided Buzz and Tank were a little too small for guys maxed on active with a work-out bench in the house - they needed something to show for their efforts Wink

Thanks for your comments guys! Smiley
« Last Edit: April 04, 2008, 05:43:20 pm by Sadie79 » Logged

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Astral Faery
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« Reply #175 on: April 04, 2008, 07:03:32 pm »

Johnny is okay - he's not too scrawny.  But Tank is...well Tank...yeah.  Anyway, what kind of problems are you having?  I haven't been to blogger today, but lately there has been an issue with the 'add one more' pic.  Usually, you can open up five at a time, but it wasn't letting me do that.  It would only load one, but I was able to click the add more button after that one, and add one more.  I was able to do that five times, so five pictures could still upload at the same time.  Does that make sense?  Other than that I have spacing issues with the site - I put two spaces between text and pictures, it puts anywhere between none and eight.  Go figure.
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Sam the T-man
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« Reply #176 on: April 04, 2008, 07:28:05 pm »

:lol: Yeah, lucky Philly, eh? Wink Ahem - well, can you publish anything? Every time I try I get a "problem loading page" error angry The auto-save reports back with a problem too, saying "error trying to connect - saving and publishing may fail". No kidding... Someone doesn't want me updating it, I swear...
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Astral Faery
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« Reply #177 on: April 04, 2008, 10:43:24 pm »

Hmm...that's really odd.  I haven't tried publishing anything on blogger in a few days - let's hope it's only temproary.  Maybe they're having some downtime or something.
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joe_mulcahy
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« Reply #178 on: April 05, 2008, 06:11:11 am »

What a beautifully rendered chapter!  You nearly had me in tears, I guess that's you simply returning the favour, eh?  One would think we both have invested heavily in the facial tissue industry.

I love how you've shown that in striking Lyla, Buzz remembers his mother Missy Grunt with similar injuries. It is rather odd that Lyla would leave without her sons, isn't it?  I could never deduce why that might be, unless Buzz threw Lyla out of the house, and threatened to kill her if she took any of the children with her, as most battered wives would not dare leave their children in the hands of an abuser unless greater harm was threatened to them.  I wonder if Lyla heard of another military wife who ran from her husband with the kids, and the husband found them and killed them all or something?

I love how Jenny and Peter behave toward Tank, that is exactly what he needs at the moment.   And who would have thought?  Tank a talented poet?  Brilliant!

Oh yes, by all means read "The Great Santini!"  I have started to read it again, and see the Grunts even more clearly in those characters. You'll notice that Bull's eldest son Ben has both traits of Ripp and Tank.  It's almost as though EAxis split Ben in two and came up with Ripp and Tank, as Ben is very emotional and suffers badly from Bull's abuses(like Ripp), but at the same time, he tries his hardest to please his father, even going so far as beating other people because it pleases Bull that he does so (this might be why young Buzz Grunt beat up Loki, Pascal, Vidcund, and Lazlo).  If you can't find the book, watch the movie, it's great!

Keep up the good work!  I'm releasing another movie today.  Watch for it in my thread!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2008, 06:14:48 am by joe_mulcahy » Logged

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
Sam the T-man
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« Reply #179 on: April 05, 2008, 06:46:38 am »

Ooh, right! I'll keep an eye out Smiley Yeah, I thought it odd, but there is one theory I came up with that I'll explore in another chapter. Ah yes, about Tank, never thought it might have been him who wrote that jack-in-the-box piece? Wink

Thanks, glad you liked it! Haha, we're making each other cry now, are we? :lol:
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