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This is a gameplay story blog for The Sims 3.

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12: Steel-Klein – ‘Careful’

Clark Klein (Vampire), Asha Steel (Vampire), Emma Steel (Teen), Julian Steel (Teen)
steel-12-1

Emma Steel knew something wasn’t right. It was there–hanging in the air, tangible only to her. She was standing there, teetering on the fearsome precipice of change.

She wasn’t a kid. She knew that things changed; it was the natural order of everything to mutate and evolve beyond its initial state of being. Still, it rankled her. It wasn’t a good change. The feeling was an ominous one.

For being a genius, Julian sure was daft. Any attempt to talk to him about it was met with blind indifference. He didn’t notice anything odd, aside from the fact that they lived with vampires. Julian was like that. Everything was black and white; it was cold, hard facts coupled with limited observation.

He was like a shallow pond of knowledge, his brain focusing only on mathematical equations and differentials, choosing to completely ignore the inner-workings of the people around him.

It was frustrating.

How could he not notice how weird their mother, Asha, was acting? She was barely even alive anymore. Ever since that incident with Morrigan, she’d walked around like a ghost, a husk of her former self. It was aggravating.

Emma tried to spur her into action, teasing Julian for his lack of physical prowess, but it was fruitless. Asha ignored them, sipping absentmindedly on her plasma juice cocktail.

Emma knew better than to assume that Asha had simply shut down. Asha was no frail creature. Emma owed her mother for all of her own mental strength. Whatever was happening, she didn’t want them involved. She was pulling away, disconnecting in an attempt to protect them… but from what?

Morrigan had been there only danger and she was gone.

Any attempt at broaching the subject was met with deflection. Her mother was a master of charisma, Emma would give her that. She used words like weapons and quickly maneuvered around Emma’s clumsy questions. All Asha would say was that change wasn’t always bad, especially when it was for the best.

Emma did not like the sound of that one bit.

It seemed as if the world was in sync with Emma’s inner turmoil. The summer was plagued by endless rain storms. Water moved down the streets in streams, turning the avenues into river rapids that not even the bravest motorist would dare to brave.

Emma often walked on the higher, safer parts of the streets. The rain helped her think.

Asha Steel-Klein hadn’t been raised to be weak. She’d been raised to be a fighter–to kick and scream and take. It wasn’t her inherent nature, but it was firmly implanted in her baser instincts. The threat against her children had been the final straw. She’d had enough.

It was time to stop playing the quiet victim.

It was time to embrace what she’d been born into.

Clark had always underestimated her. It was easy to do. Asha always acted weaker than she really was. It wasn’t always intentional. Sometimes, she believed it. She had allowed herself to fall into that hole for the past ten years. That time was over.

Asha would be damned if she’d let anything or anyone else pose a threat to her children. She’d been a fool to think that she was capable of protecting them like this.

“Asha?” Clark was confused, of course. The way she’d entered, the way she was dressed–it was all a departure for her. Her presence demanded authority and her intent was clear in her gleaming gaze.

As she drew nearer, Morrigan’s words filtered through her mind, distant and abstract: ‘He’ll get tired of you, eventually.  And then what?’ Her answer had been a false one. It had plagued her for years, her inability to respond.

Now, however, it came to her within seconds.

She wouldn’t give him the opportunity.

“You can’t be serious, Asha.” Clark tried to reason with her. It was a coward’s way out. His empire was on the verge of crumbling, spread much too far and too thin. The whole debacle with Lola had done more than simply shake the foundation. He’d taken on far too much. He was weak.

Asha was not. Not anymore.

“It’s over, Clark,” she began, palming the heavy stake in her hand, “I’m the one in control now.”

Asha sat down in his chair, feeling the weight of everything fall on her suddenly. It threatened to overwhelm her, but she pushed it down. That emotion was for old Asha. New Asha had no use for such silly notions.

She was strong, stronger than most, and much smarter than most, too.

And she wasn’t done. Not yet.

Lola had been shocked to see her, that much was certain. The double-agent had never seen her outside of her trampy outfits and silly haircuts. To Lola, Asha Steel was nothing more than a pretty face and pair of legs.

“What do you want?” Lola scoffed, indignant and annoyed. “I was expecting someone else.”

“I’m afraid we’re currently undergoing a management change…”

Before Lola could respond, Asha took hold of her and drug her into the nearby alley. She barely had a chance to scream before the stronger woman overtook her.

All loose ends were now tied off. It was time to disappear.

Asha wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice. If she was going to do this, she was going to go all in and she couldn’t put her children in that situation. She called Dominic.

“It’s time.”

‘Asha–‘

“Don’t argue with me, Dominic. Just do what I’m asking you to.”

She hung the phone up, cutting him off.

“Mom said dad is coming over to pick us up. We’re moving in with him.” Julian said it without preamble, never once looking up from his homework.

Emma nearly choked on her hotdog. First, the disappearance of their step-father and now this? When Emma had seen the boxes, she’d just assumed that they were moving, that something beyond them had happened. Her stomach dropped at his words. They were moving, just without their mother.

“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?!”

“…I was hoping it was a joke.”

“You’re late,” was all Asha said to him, guiding him quickly into the house.

“I was hoping you’d call me and say that you’d changed your mind–”

“No. I didn’t.”

He sighed heavily and followed her inside.

“What happened? Where are you even going?”

“It’s better if you don’t know.” Asha’s voice was low, sadness and warning battle for supremacy. “Just stop asking questions. I have to go. I don’t have a choice.”

“Asha–”

Stop, Dominic, okay? Just stop.”

The goodbyes between Asha and her children were riddled with tension. Julian refused to hug her outright, too confused and angry to grasp what was happening. He’d never been very tactful and perhaps he’d come to regret his rash reaction, but at that moment, he felt vindicated.

Emma had been a little less angry, surprisingly. She hugged her mother tightly, wishing desperately she could ask where she was going and if they’d see her again and get a straight answer. She knew better, however. It was clear when their eyes met–this was very likely goodbye.

They left, carrying their boxes, their father lingering behind them and casting glances at Asha, hoping against hope that she would blurt out that this was wrong and to stop. She didn’t. They left, the sound of the door closing behind them like a deafening echo in her mind.

For the first time in months, Asha broke down. It was her final act as a human and a mother.

From this day forward, she was neither.

She was a ghost.

————————–

Sorry it took me so long to get this up. I kind of struggled with playing through this because I knew what was coming. I knew it when I rolled the ROS at the beginning of the round. Clark rolled ‘Demoted’… and with my crime rules, there’s only one way that happens… death. Things between Asha and Clark hadn’t been good since the whole Morrigan debacle and even further back to when he turned her. I noticed when I loaded up the game, that Asha had the lowest relationship with him!

I also wanted to get the vampires out of the spotlight, too. So this works both ways. The kids move into Dominic’s house and Asha becomes a background character. She will no longer appear as a household, though she can certainly still pop up… but likely not for some time. She’s gone underground hardcore after her little murder spree.

 Emma goes to college at the end of this round, so she’ll never ‘technically’ live with her dad. Julian will be there until he heads off to college, so we’ll get to see him with Dominic next round!

Poor Asha autonomously did that last animation. It was so fitting. Poor girl.

For those curious, I haven’t bought Island Paradise yet. I had intended to when it went on sale, but I got distracted. I’ll get it at some point.

12 comments to 12: Steel-Klein – ‘Careful’

  • Snarkysims

    Wow, a little speechless. I didn’t see Clark’s or Lola’s demises coming like that, but it works. I like that picture of Asha breaking down at the end. She is a tragic character. The romantic in me always wanted things to work out with her and Dom. This was a great swan song for her, Mao!

  • V

    SWEET JESUS YOU LIVE I’M SO HAPPY!

    Also, I love Asha. Just sayin’.

  • Josh

    I’m so happy you’re back, but jeez, this update is heavy! I figured Asha and Clark would leave together, but that ROS clearly messed everything up. Poor Clark, and the kids! I feel bad for them.

    This update had beautiful writing, Mao. I loved it.

    • Mao

      I know! I felt so bad throwing this crazy update out there for my return, but I had to do it. Things should lighten up a bit after this.

      Thank you!

  • Wow, what a way to come back! I definitely didn’t see this coming either but I have to say…Asha is a badass. I am hoping this means she’s secured some semblance of safety for the kids. Asha being the bigwig in Crime isn’t nearly as frightening as Clark!

    I’m interested to see the kids settling in with Dominic (well, Julian settling in with Dominic) and how Dominic adjusts to that.

    • Mao

      Hahaha, Asha may seem less scary than Clark… but I’m curious to see how her former lifestyle and teachings of her family aids her. Should be golden for the kids, at least for awhile…

      Poor Dominic. I’m wondering how it will go, too!

  • I’m a little late but awesome comeback! I didn’t see any of this coming! I actually feel quite sorry for Asha.

  • Oh man, I did not see this coming, how tragic for Asha to be stuck as this immortal vampire without her children at her side. I’m very sad for her, and totally in shock over Lola and Clark’s deaths. Though totally in love with how Lola went. Poor Clark though, he never should have changed Asha, she wasn’t really equipped with the motivation to make this work for her. I could see that she was waning under the weight and withdrawing from him as soon as he changed her.

    Man this was great, loved the imagery and the words, the mystery was thick on this one, I felt for Emma. And man, do i have a TON of catching up to do!

    • Mao

      Asha made me so sad. I hated doing this to her, but I felt like it was necessary when the ROS forced my hand! I’m glad you noticed the subtle changes. I was kind of surprised by how the gameplay went along with it. I really hadn’t planned on this outcome at all!

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