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This is a gameplay story blog for The Sims 3.

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10: Novak 2 – ‘At The Bottom’

Stefan Novak (Young Adult), Paula Novak (Young Adult)

“Hurry up, Paula,” Stefan grumbled as he watched his twin sister chatter away on her cell phone.  “We’re going to be late.”

Paula ignored his warning, as she usually did.  She was on the phone with their father.  Her charges had cleared and she wouldn’t be spending anymore time in jail, but she had a record now.  They would have to go through another bought of trials to get it expunged.

She clicked the cell phone off and sent her impatient brother a rueful look.  “You could talk to daddy sometimes, too, you know.”

Stefan rolled his eyes and moved towards the door.  “Not this again.  Come on, Paula.”

They stood in the elevator, silence falling between them.  They’d both be lying if they said they weren’t nervous.  A plane was waiting to take them to France where they would meet with a contact.  From there, they’d be scouring the wilderness of France, looking for a very specific item.  The client was the crime syndicate in charge of nearly all of Aperture.  Failing was not an option.

Stefan sent a sidelong glance at Paula, smirking.  “I’m proud of you Paula.  You actually found a shirt that fit.”

“You’re such a jerk.”

They arrived in France after an extremely long and boring flight.  The hotel room they reserved was pretty unremarkable.  Paula was more interested in the small town’s wineries than anything else.

“Man, this place is pretty drab,” Paula commented as she looked around.  “You think they’ve got any good clubs?”

“We’re here to work, Paula.”

“Yeah, well, we at least have to stop by the winery before we go.”

Stefan was only half-paying attention to her.  She could tell by the monotone of his voice.

“What are you doing?”

Stefan sighed.  “Freaking Gwen is going bananas and texting me.  Apparently ‘busy’ means ‘please harass me endlessly, you miserable harpy.'”

“You could call her.  We have time.”

“No.  We need to get started.  It’s probably something ridiculous, anyway.  You know how she gets sometimes.  Let Luis deal with it.”

Paula and Stefan headed out immediately, wanting to catch their contacts before dark.  It was strange to think that the crime boss had ties all the way out here.  They walked up to a pretty normal looking house.  Two men came out.

Stefan had never been very skilled with people.  One of the guys immediately started shouting at him and accusing him of being a “rat”.

This was already going swimmingly.

Thankfully, there was Paula.  Even with every part of her covered, Paula was hot and she was good with people.  She had the men, especially the more pleasant-minded one, in her thrall within an hour.  They’d all but forgotten about Stefan, who had taken to sneaking around their house.  He didn’t find anything of value, but he did find some pretty interesting files.

Unfortunately, Paula would have to get the rest of the details from them.

Paula didn’t see it as a job, really.  She’d tamed down quite a bit in the past year or so.  It was a bit of a thrill to start up something quick that would be gone in the morning.  Plus, she’d heard some rumors and wanted to see if they were true.

By morning, she had the information they needed and some phone numbers should they ever need assistance later on.

“This must be it,” Stefan said, staring at the unremarkable looking burial mound.  “Seems kind of…”

“…small, right?  I was hoping for a tomb.”

“It’s apparently an old, forgotten burial place of some sort.  I bet there’s money in there.  Rich people always build the weirdest places for their dead.”

The two of them unloaded their packs and got into the process of changing.

The sound of the pick cutting through the rock echoed off the narrow corridors.  Paula grunted with the effort of each swing, pausing only to glare at Stefan, who stood by idly.

“Why am I the one stuck doing this again?”

Stefan shielded his face from the remnants of rock that scattered into the air after another powerful swing.  “Because you’re the brawn and I’m the brains, that’s why.”

It was a true statement.  Paula had always been the muscle.  She was beautiful, but deadly.  She could take someone out before they had the chance to react.  Stefan had always been the sneakier of the two, more apt to sneak around foes and steal what he desired before they even knew he was there.  They made a good team.

Stefan proved his worth by opening the countless hidden doors and removing the traps that blocked their path.

As they moved deeper in, Paula couldn’t deny that she felt a little strange creeping into an old burial mound.  There were dead things in here, long forgotten.  There could be ghosts!

She said as much to Stefan, who simply laughed and urged her onward.  They had a schedule to keep, ghosts or not.

They needn’t have worried about ghosts.  The only bothersome thing in the tomb was the fact that Stefan still somehow got cell phone reception.  Gwendolyn was still blowing up his phone.

“Seriously, what could be that important?” Stefan grumbled, locking his phone and shoving it into his pocket.

“You could always tell her that we’re knee-deep in dead people.  Maybe that would get her to back off.”

Stefan snorted.  “Wild bulls couldn’t get her to back off.  C’mon.  It shouldn’t be far now.”

“Looks like we’ve found the main chamber,” Stefan began.  He strode into the room fearlessly, leaving Paula gaping in his wake.  “There should be a panel here somewhere with that stupid object they want.  Look around and tell me if you find it.”

Paula nodded dumbly, still trying to adjust to the fact that there were, in fact, dead people buried in this room.  Some of their ashes even lined the walls.  It was disconcerting.

Her fear was assuaged only when she found some wine left on a nearby stand.  It had had plenty of time to ferment and it would probably taste like the nectar of the gods if opened now.

“Are you seriously going to take their wine?”

“Why not?  They’re dead, it’s not like they can drink it.”

Stefan sighed and returned to his search for the hidden panel.

When Stefan found it, a great sigh of relief passed over him.  The object was there, on its stand, looking as bland and useless as it did in the pictures Morrigan had showed him.  Why they wanted it, he couldn’t know.  All that mattered was he got it and now they could leave.

This would be their foot in the door.

“Got it, Paula.  Let’s get the hell out of here.”

They emerged to the beginning of morning, the sun hidden just behind the distant hills and the moon disappearing opposite of it.  It was beautiful.  It was like the world responded to their accomplishment and gave them this sight to bask in.

Stefan remained quiet while Paula made small noises of wonder as they began the long walk back to their rental car.

“I believe this calls for a celebration!”  Paula chimed as she cracked open the ancient bottle of wine.  The smell of it hit her nose and delighted her senses.

“I can’t believe you’re opening the dead people’s wine.”  Stefan couldn’t hide his amusement.  Paula was quite the connoisseur of drinking.  She didn’t need a reason to celebrate.

“Aw, c’mon.  At least try it.”

“Fine, fine…”

They weren’t expecting any visitors.  In fact, no one was even supposed to know where they were.  So, when the door opened and a familiar voice filtered into the room, they were both understandably shocked.

“Enjoy that glass, Stefan.  It’s going to be your last.”

“L-Lola?” Paula stammered, putting down her empty glass.  She moved to meet her.  “What are you doing here?  What happened to you?”

Stefan gulped down the rest of the wine in his glass.  Something told him he was going to need it.

“I’ve been following you the entire time.  Looks like you got what you came for.”

“…Why are you here?”

Lola sighed.  She had forgotten how thick Paula could be at times.  “I’m here to arrest you, Paula.  Well, I’m supposed to… but I’ve got other plans.”

“W-What?” A nervous smile moved across Paula’s lips.  “You’re kidding, right?  This is all a big prank?”

“No, Paula.  I’ve been working undercover for a long time now, trying to get an opening into the syndicate.  I thought I was finished when the Steel family went down… but now it seems there are bigger fish to fry.”

“Stefan!” Paula cried, her mind spinning.  She glanced at him for support, hoping he’d say this was just a big scheme.  The look on his face said the opposite.

“She’s a damned agent.”  Stefan bit the words out, looking at Paula and then turning his gaze towards Lola.  “She’s the one who set you up at the warehouse.”

Lola’s dark eyes narrowed.  “You always were a bit too smart for your own good, Stefan.  Too bad your ego keeps you from seeing the obvious.”

“Don’t lecture me.  You’re just a slut for the government!  Do you think they give agents like you real jobs?”  He snorted and gave her a disapproving look.  “You’re cheap, Lola.  That’s why it didn’t work out.”

“Screw you!  You’re nothing but a two-bit criminal!”  Lola raged back, clearly incensed.  “You’ll be behind bars so fast your head’ll spin.  I’ll make sure you never see that preachy blonde tart again!”

Stefan laughed.  “And how does that help you take down the syndicate?  Obviously, you haven’t thought this plan through…”

“I said you’d be behind bars, you narcissistic twit!”  Lola shot back, quickly losing her cool.  Stefan had always excelled at pushing people’s buttons.

Still, the words cut through him.  He sent a glance towards Paula.  She looked terrified.

“It’s time to pay for your crimes, Stefan.  I hope you like the color orange, because it’s all you’ll be wearing for the next ten years!”

“And while you’re wasting away in jail, your darling little sister here will be getting in all cozy with the syndicate.  Their leader likes young ladies, I’ve heard.  Paula’s quite the piece.  I’m sure she won’t have any trouble getting through the ranks.”  Lola continued, a devious sneer on her lips.

“W-What?  You can’t do that!  Paula isn’t… she can’t–”

“You want me to what?” Paula cut in, not quite able to fathom what was happening.  “I can’t be a mole!”

“You can and you will,” Lola snapped back.  “And if you refuse, we’ll make sure your pretty brother here gets put with all the interesting prisoners…”

“You bitch,” Stefan snapped, moving towards her threateningly.

“Ah, ah,” Lola countered, taking a step back.  “Watch yourself.  I’ve got my people outside, right now, waiting to take you in.  We’ve got all the paperwork processed.  You’re leaving with me, Stefan.”  She turned her attention towards Paula.  “As long as you do as your told, Stefan will be fine.  The second you step out of line, well… I can’t really guarantee what happens to him in prison.  Accidents happen, you know?”

“Paula…”  Stefan began, only for her to cut him off.

“You can’t go with her!  There has to be something we can do…”

“Oh, get over it already.  You’re trapped–cornered completely.  There’s no way out of this one, Paula!  Just be glad it’s your brother and not you again.”

“No, please,” Paula said pleadingly.  “I’ll go to prison and Stefan can be the mole!  He’d be so much better at it.  I… I’m not good at that stuff, I can’t… I’m not good at tricking or lying to people!  You know me, Lola!  You know that… that I can’t do this…”

“I guess you’ll just have to learn,” Lola said stiffly.  Any pity she might have felt was stored deep down inside of her.  “Because your brother’s safety depends on it.”

Stefan gave her a reassuring squeeze on the shoulder before Lola ripped him away and cuffed him.  “It’ll be okay, Paula…”

“Stefan!”

Paula walked through the door, her eyes bloodshot and rimmed with dark circles.  The flight had been a miserable one.  An agent had sat beside her, dressed as commonly as anyone.  He’d slipped her some files she’d have to look over before she went to deliver the package to the syndicate.

Her heart stopped when she saw Gwendolyn waiting in the living room.  Her eyes were on Paula, boring through her.  She’d noticed that Stefan wasn’t there with her.

“Where is he?”

The words hung in the air and Paula realized suddenly that Gwendolyn looked different.  She couldn’t put her finger on it, but something was definitely off about her.  Had she been sick?  Was that why she’d endlessly texted and tried to call Stefan?  Her stomach churned as she tried to think of all the reasons.

She didn’t know where to begin or what to say.

“Damn it, Paula,” Gwendolyn said angrily, standing up and grabbing onto her arms.  “Answer me!”

Paula’s sorrow blossomed once more, bubbling to the surface as tears formed in her tired eyes.  “H-He… got arrested.  He’s… Stefan’s in jail.”

———————

Sorry for how EPICALLY LONG THIS WAS, guys!  I had way too much fun taking pictures of them in the tomb.  :P

Lola’s identity is revealed, finally.  For those curious, this was gameplay that happened a few rounds back.  Lola was originally in the criminal career, but I noticed that a few rounds later, she’d switched over to law enforcement.  Don’t ask me how or why.  I was puzzled as to why she was a criminal in the first place, given that she’s got none of the traits.  Anyway, I found out she was a triple agent and there you go.

Stefan getting busted and Paula being the mole was always one of a couple possibilities that I had lined up.  It just depended on which way the sims took it.  It ended up with Stefan going to jail.  So, he’ll be kind of ‘absent’ for now, making only small appearances while Paula bumbles through trying to keep him alive.  Depending on how things go, he could end up dead or freed from jail.  My crime ROS stuff is still really ‘shaky’, but I’m ironing out the kinks as I go.   And Gwendolyn, well… you’ll see.

I really love using the tombs/exploring for crime.  It just seems fitting, somehow.  As for what the syndicate is acquiring/building… time will tell.  :)

Also, how different does Lola look?  LOL!

Title is Brand New – ‘At the Bottom’.

5 comments to 10: Novak 2 – ‘At The Bottom’

  • Oh man, Gwen is going totally going to be knocked up with Stephan’s kid, your sims breed like bunnies! And wow I’m sad for Stephan to be locked up. Even when he can’t do anything, he still does his best to take care of Paula, and have her back. I’m concerned for her going into this as a mole without Stephan there to help her through it. I think she would have better success than Stephan would likely have though. Bummer that these two can’t stay out of trouble with the law! No one else seems to have their issues, maybe they should have grown up to fix computers, and work at the restaurants. Looking forward to seeing what happens next!

    • Mao

      She is! It’s been awhile, but she got hit with an ROS a round ago and got knocked up. ;)

      Paula without Stefan can be one of two things, a disaster or a good thing. Only time can tell. I’m a little afraid of what going deeper into crime is going to do to her, though. Sigh!

      These two are never going to be straight-laced citizens, it seems. Someone has to dip their toes into the corrupt waters, I guess. ;)

  • Damn you! I’m dying to know how Gwen looks “different”! All the way through, I was thinking “she’s pregnant” but you seemed to go out of your way at the end there to show her belly from the side. Hmmm. So I’m not sure any more!

    As for all the Stefan/Lola/Paula stuff, I kind of think this had to end with Stefan getting locked up too. I just didn’t see either Stefan or Paula ever becoming criminal masterminds. I always had the feeling that they were being set up for a fall. And now they we know that they were, literally.

    • LOL, just saw Maisie’s comment (I’ve had this entry open all day and only just got around to reading it). So Gwen IS pregnant! I could tell she hadn’t become a vampire or a fairy, so that makes more sense!

    • Mao

      LOL, Carla!! I figured no one remembered about the ROS, so I was purposely messing with you. Her belly had popped, but it was only a tiny bump. ;)

      Oh yes, someone was going to jail. Lola isn’t messing around. I’m interested to see where this all goes–there’s several ways for it to play out. I’m leaving it up to the sims to choose which path they end up taking…

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