Monday, January 16, 2012


"Brandon, something's happened."

Jimmy walked quickly to me, his voice low. There were others nearby, but at the sight of him striding so purposefully towards me, they suddenly found things to do away from me.

It wasn't a good sign if Jimmy was seeking me out. The look on his face was enough to make me want to disappear. He looked angry, but not the kind of angry that contorted his face. Whatever had happened was something that made him have to keep a level head. That was a very bad sign.

"What is it?"

Jimmy paused in front of me, turning his head a bit, though he still was watching me, trying to figure out how to say what he had to say. I wished I could just read his mind, but as always, it was a frustratingly black hole. He took a breath and spit it out. "Frank and two other villagers were attacked on the way out."

I didn't know what it meant. Why did he feel a need to tell me? My stomach dropped even as my mind fought to keep up. There had to be a reason he was telling me this. "Are they okay? Why are you telling me?"

Jimmy ran a hand up his forehead and through his hair. "Frank's dead."

Pat. That's why he was telling me. I sat down on an old crate that wobbled beneath me. I didn't know what to say or even what he expected me to do. The last time I'd seen Frank he'd been very alive. He'd looked like a man who'd outlive me, just one of those people who won't let go.

"Didn't they have someone with them?"

"They did. They were surprised by a couple of younger scavengers. They shot at the cart and hit Frank, then they took off."

I rubbed at my face. I couldn't believe it. This was a nightmare. The scavengers were not usually confrontational. I'd run across them from time to time, and usually they tried to avoid us. There was a standard agreement-- we'd leave them alone if they left us alone. This would turn everything to shit. The younger ones coming of age were known to be volatile and hot tempered. In some ways I could understand their anger, but they didn't want to be a part of the tribe either. They wanted to be independent, and that wasn't possible for anyone, even the children of the Experiments.

"How're Pat and Rita?" The words came out slow. I wasn't sure I wanted to hear it.

"They're burying him tomorrow." Jimmy crossed his arms and left the obvious answer unsaid.

Pat had asked for space, and I'd given it to her. It'd been months since I'd seen her on purpose. All those times I's seem her on accident while going through the village didn't count.

"We should pay our respects." Jimmy said it quietly. It surprised me at first. He wasn't one for burials. There had only been one I could remember him being present for-- a small private ceremony that was just between the two of us on the plains between the city and the Southlands Village.

But there was something between Jimmy and Rita. I'd caught specks of memories from her of Jimmy as a young boy and flashes of my mother. Though I couldn't pick up emotions, the memories she had were so strong, the feelings about them colored the scenes. They made her sad and even a little wistful.

The other half of her memories were locked inside Jimmy's head and dealt with the time in his life before I'd come along. That time was off limits for me to ask about. It wasn't just a tribe thing, it was an understanding between the two of us. He didn't want to talk about it, and out of respect I didn't ask.

"Did you hear me? We should pay our respects."

I stood up and nodded. "Okay. Fine." My stomach folded in on itself. Would Pat want to see me at one of the worst moments in her life?

"You should know; I have people out there looking for the ones who did it."

I wouldn't have expected any less from him. "They might do it again."

Jimmy looked me dead in the eye. "I have a feeling that when you see her, you're going to want to do it yourself."

I found myself biting my lip. Maybe that was exactly what I was scared of.

Next Chapter -->


  1. I'm so glad to see this new chapter!

    So that is what happened to Frank. Poor Pat and Rita...while the death of a loved parent is hard under any circumstance, it has to be even harder for them. Being left to fend for themselves in the Southlands has to be terrifying. Not to mention the violence of it.

    I'm interested to see whether Brandon avenges Pat's father...but even more interested to see whether she asks him to do it.

    1. Thanks. I hope I can start on a schedule again now! I think I really just needed a longer break.

      Yes, it's true. While things are generally nicer in the village, it's still difficult. And the unexpectedness and violence of it is definitely something that will stick with them.

      I'm curious if she'll ask for it too. I haven't written that part yet, but I know they'll need to talk!

  2. Yay, a chapter! I was excited when I saw this in my Google reader yesterday. :D

    Oh, man, you can't leave it there, lol! I somehow knew you would though! I can't see Brandon turning Pat down, if she did ask him to go after the scavengers. Like Rachel though, I'm wondering if she will. She asked him to give her space and this would be letting him in again. I wonder if Frank's death has changed her mind about that or strengthened her resolve.

    Sidenote, but I thought the pictures were especially eye-catching this chapter. I'm not sure what it is about them. Maybe it's just that I'm not as used to seeing your characters in the sunlight! Whatever it is though, I liked them a lot.

    1. Don't worry, I'm already at work on the update for next week. Suddenly I got this burst of energy to finish Brandon's story! Like he suddenly decided that he'd spill his guts to me.

      Oh, this is why I love sharing. I love to hear all your thoughts. I can't wait to start posting the next parts!

      Thanks on the pictures. I'm glad to hear I haven't lost what little picture taking ability I had. It's true, I usually avoid the sunlight because TS3 sims look so weird (and generally fake) in the sunlight. Maybe the light is more appealing here because it's later afternoon and with the lighting mod, there's a colored tint to the light?

  3. That statement Jimmy made about Brandon wanting to do it himself was so telling. What a way to die, and what an impact this will have on Pat. I can't see her asking Brandon to avenge her father but then losing your father like that would be horrible. If the vengeance is going to happen anyway, and obviously it is, then perhaps she will. I don't know.

    I really like the format you're using for the pictures. It's very, very effective.

    1. Vengeance will happen either way. I do have to be quiet though, because I've written that part out and don't want to slip and say anything, haha.

      Thanks, SB. I was having some fun. The new layout of the post writer is pretty neat. One thing I'll say they've actually improved.

  4. I doubt Pat would actually want vengeance, but justice yes and in this rough reality the two are very much two sides of the same knife.

    I'm wondering how Pat and Brandon will react to seeing each other after that time apart, how she will show her grief and since he catches surface thoughts I think her strong emotions will be really hard for him to handle.

    I liked the beginning of this chapter when Brandon reacts to Jimmy's anger and that the fact he was keeping it under control was more worrying than if he'd been showing it. Also loved that the others suddenly found better things to do.

    The image of young Jimmy and Brandon together is so achingly sad, the look on Brandon's face is so filled with grief and if I pretend a little that gleam of white in Jimmy's eyes could be unshed tears.

    1. Hi, Willow Weeds. ^__^ So true. Justice and vengeance may end up very well being the same thing in this case.

      I'm shooting for an update tomorrow since the next one is actually pretty short, but it's still important and surprising in it's own way.

      Brandon surprises me with his observations. I can see why an angry-yet-in-control Jimmy would be a terrifying thing!

      Aw, your imagining of that scene is beautiful.

  5. I can't picture Pat asking for vengeance even if she wanted it. Regardless, I think it is a given there will be retribution. That shot of the younger Jimmy and Brandon - where they talked about burying Mary - was so poignant. I never really thought about Brandon picking up things from Rita about Jimmy's past before he was around but that is an interesting tidbit.

    1. It doesn't seem like something she would do, but grief can be something powerful. Though it's true, they can't exactly let this go.

      Thanks for the compliment on the picture! I was happy to pull that one off. As for Brandon picking things up from Rita, we'll delve more into that next time. (It came up again while I was writing that next part.)