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Liss
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Post Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 11:05 pm
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huh. I thought they could only play with the bunny. I guess I didn't leave enough room for the adult to get on the other side.

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Greg
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Post Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 11:15 pm
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Yup! The only hack I used to get that picture of Dallas playing with Aaron was the camera, which allowed me to frame the shot I wanted. All else was the sims doing their own thing!
smile

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 2:12 pm
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 223: Strategic Planning


That evening, Dallas stopped by to collect Barry and Gloria. They had dinner together and then the three of them walked together up Westview to The Houstonian.



"Is that your dad?"


Barry noticed that the bushes seemed to need some attention. "Hey, remind me to bring a pair of hedge clippers over here tomorrow," he said. "It looks like dad has been too busy to murder the green life forms, and the gardener can't keep up."

"Speaking of whom," Gloria said, "is that your dad taking off?"

Barry looked. Sure enough, he saw his father streak toward the sky.



Greg streaks toward the sky just minutes after he got home from working on the bridge.


'Hey dad! Didn't you just get home? Where ya goin'? Is it an emergency? A Captain Hero thing?'

'No, it's a blonde thing. Emergency, yes. I'll be right back! I just have to run an errand for your mother.'

'Something neat for dinner?' Barry thought. He suppressed mental images of the strange things his mother likes to eat when she's pregnant. 'Darn! We've already eaten!'

'Nope. A new crib. We only have two now and your mother is expecting a visit from the stork in the morning.'

'Hot dawug! My baby brother is coming--'

'Ahem.'

'Or sister!'

'That's better! Oh well. At least I know what color to buy!'

'Hey, isn't my old crib still up in the attic?'

'Nope. I thought I had the logistics all planned out, but I didn't count on Norman!'


Last edited by Greg on Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:58 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Nancy
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 8:30 pm
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That's a great picture, Greg!!!

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 8:44 pm
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I assume you don't mean the one where we're looking up Gloria's nose! Rolling on the Floor Laughing

There's a bit of Photoshoppery in that image of Greg taking off. The original image does show him flying away but I added the blurry streak and also edited in the ceiling of the entry to the house.

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 9:37 pm
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Greg wrote:
...edited in the ceiling of the entry to the house.

That's comforting! I was just wondering why I can never get away with shots that look upward like that. (It's because I'm too lazy to do the required Photoshopping.)

I wonder if in the next EP there'll be such a thing as a ceiling...
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:28 pm
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 224: Perambulus Interruptus


Greg soon disappeared beyond the rooftops of Happy Valley and the trio continued on into the house.



Barry, Gloria, and Dallas arrive at The Houstonian


"Mom! I'm home," Barry called.

"In here, sweetie!" his mother's voice called from the direction of the nursery.

When they got to the nursery, they found that Monica had stopped by after work and was busily teaching little Norman to walk.



Monica was teaching her son Norman to walk.


Barry felt pleased that Monica was taking time for her son even with the demands of her busy business life.

"Hi Barry!" Monica said. "Your mom's in the back bedroom with Hiram."

Ever since Giles Edward and Frieda had moved back to Manse Orleans, their room at The Houstonian had become a nursery and play room for the constant parade of children growing up in the Bennett household. Barry lead his two charges through the nursery into the presence of She Who Must Be Obeyed to discover that his youngest brother seemed to have a different opinion on the obeying part of that.



Hiram seemed more interested in playing than walking.


"Hi honey," She said. "We were trying to teach our babies to walk today. Norman is catching on but your brother seems no more interested in bipedal locomotion than you were!"

"I could help him along!" Barry said.

She glanced at Gloria and Dallas, worried.

"Oh, they both know about us," Barry said. "It's a long story, mom. That's what we came over to talk to you about."

'Now, that sounds like a fascinating story!' She thought. 'And welcome back! I'm glad you got home safely!'

Little Hiram looked up at the sound of Barry's voice. "Bawwy! Glowa!" he cried. "Play wif!"

She laughed. "Well, this isn't going to work today! Tell you what. Let me get him dressed and I'll meet you in the living room in a couple of minutes." 'And no, don't help him. We'll let Hiram learn at his own pace.'

'Oh. OK, mom!'


Last edited by Greg on Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:25 pm; edited 5 times in total

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:35 pm
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dmchess wrote:
Greg wrote:
...edited in the ceiling of the entry to the house.

That's comforting! I was just wondering why I can never get away with shots that look upward like that. (It's because I'm too lazy to do the required Photoshopping.)

I wonder if in the next EP there'll be such a thing as a ceiling...


In this case, painting in the ceiling was simple. It's just a solid color. I created a new layer and painted it in. There's still a mistake, though; at the left edge you can see the underside of the central second-floor balcony, but no floor there.

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 11:37 pm
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 225: The Verity of Woolgathering



In the living room
Left to right: Gloria, Barry, Hiram, Sheba, Dallas

A few minutes later in the living room, She said again, "Welcome back, Barry! I was getting a bit worried that I hadn't heard from you! You should channel your mother more often!"

Barry thought his mother's reaction to seeing Dallas with them hid more than Her surprise at an unexpected visitor. "And hi Dallas! " She said. The greeting seemed to be warmer than he would have expected for someone his mother only knew as a passing acquaintance. Mom was almost always friendly, but rarely effusive toward people outside the family. "Good to see you again! I don't think you've been here before, so welcome to my happy home!"

Dallas's return smile also seemed surprisingly warm, considering the circumstances.

"I'm sorry mom," Barry said. "I couldn't call because I was in a difference universe."

"So the TUCH worked?"

"After a fashion," Barry said. "Dad figured it all out. The TUCH showed me the path to an unknown place, but my ability to go there came from The Gift."

"Dad figured it all out?" She said. "That's odd. He didn't say a word to me about it."

"That makes sense," Dallas said. "Greg was in the other universe at the time, so here he probably just thought he day-dreamed about it."

Just then, Greg wandered in through the front door carrying a new crib. "I'll just put this in the library," he said. "Then you can tell me what I was day-dreaming about!"



"I'm having a blonde moment here."


"That's why we came to talk to You," Dallas said. "There are some mysteries about The Gift that we don't understand. These things seem to be very important."

'She's right, honey,' Greg thought. 'We need to talk.'

"Yikes! I'm having a blonde moment here!" She said. "Can we slow down and start at the beginning?"

"Yes," Dallas said. "Let's go back to the very beginning. Sheba, when did You first discover that You had The Gift?"

"I wasn't thinking of going that far back," She said, "but it was when I was teenager. It was just a feeling at first. I thought I could feel what Greg was feeling. I even noticed it the night of my teen birthday. Not ideas, not even words, but definitely a feeling. Then it grew. First just colors and random moving shapes. It all eventually coalesced into being able to exchange distinct images and sounds."

She laughed. "Of course, he would have none of it; said it was just that we knew each other so well that each of could anticipate what the other was thinking. That didn't keep me from reading his mind so I could beat him at chess!"

'You wouldn't!' Greg thought.

'I would and I did and I do!' She thought back. 'I told you that I'm devious!'

A mental chuckle. 'I think devious is a new one, but in this case, I'll take Your word for it!'

"So, tell me about that," Dallas said. "I think it's important. If we can understand how You acquired The Gift, we just might figure out how all this started! What were you doing when you first noticed it?"

Barry had rarely seen his mother blush. He was fascinated by the bright crimson that bloomed on Her cheeks.

She wrinkled her nose. "That's not something I'd really want to talk about in front of my son--"

"Hmm... maybe Dallas could take Hiram to the nursery?" Barry said.

"I'm talking about you, my boy," She said. "This is girl talk. No boys allowed! Barry, why don't you take Hiram. Get to know your baby brother better!"

"OK, mom."

"Just be careful what you teach him! Now, Dallas and Gloria and I will go up to the rec room. You guys take care of the babies. Greg, Norman is loaded up with his mother and wants some attention from his daddy. Besides, Monica needs a break." 'But link in. I have a feeling I'm going to need you! Barry, you tune out!'

'But, Mom--'

'This is your mother speaking, young man!'

'OK, mom.'

Another voice added to the concensus opinion. "Bawwy! Play wif!"


Last edited by Greg on Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:19 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 12:07 am
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 226: Burning Bright


As soon as he had lightened his mother's burden by the amount of exactly one toddler, Barry was again surprised when She seized the opportunity to warmly welcome Dallas to Her household.



Sheba warmly welcomed Dallas to Her household.


"Something very interesting is happening here," She said, "and you seem to be an important part of it Dallas. You know, I think of you often even though we rarely talk."

'Yes, I'd say I play a very important role here,' Dallas thought.

Even though he had tried to tune out, Barry heard that! His mother's big blue eyes went even wider. He had a feeling his father had responded but nothing intelligible came through. She glanced toward him and suddenly even Dallas's thoughts were blank to him.

For a moment he considered trying to eavesdrop through Gloria, but immediately rejected that idea. Better to be in the dark than to incur the wrath of both his mother and his wife! He could hear a distant murmur in his mind, nothing concrete. His mother and Dallas were discussing something, and even Gloria was interjecting comments.

Surprise came yet again when She suddenly said aloud, "Dallas! You're burning bright! I've never seen such concentrated power anywhere but my husband!"

"I've heard that before," Dallas said. She winked at Barry.

"Let's go upstairs," She said. Then, calling over Her shoulder toward the nursery, "Hey Monica! Lucy said she wants to clean your clock on the pool table when you're done with Norman!"


Last edited by Greg on Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:19 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 12:20 am
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 227: Boys' Club


The ladies headed up the stairs, leaving just the guys downstairs. Barry found that he was completely shut off from the background buzz of telepathic communication that was normally part of his life.



Barry focused his attention on Hiram while his father read to Norman.


That worried him. He wondered if the effect were permanent.

Perhaps his father noticed Barry's worry. He looked up from the story he was reading to Norman and said, "Don't fret. Your mother has you shielded. They want to have a private conversation. Believe me, son, you do not want to eavesdrop on girl talk!"

"Too right," Barry said. "I learned that while I was still in swaddling clothes!" The peace and quiet was a welcome respite, allowing him to focus in attention on his baby brother. Nevertheless, he couldn't help but wonder what the ladies were talking about and why it was so all-fired girly that his mom wouldn't talk about it in front of him!


Last edited by Greg on Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:28 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 1:07 am
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 228: Vectors


While the guys were playing downstairs, the ladies gathered in the recreation room. Monica and Lucy squared off in their on-going pool tourney while She, Gloria, and Dallas repaired to the comfort of the overstuffed leather sofas.



"I understand how I have The Gift, but how did You get it?"


She insisted that Gloria and Dallas bring Her up to date on Barry's adventures and why they were so interested in what She was doing when She acquired The Gift.

Gloria started the narrative of the morning that Barry first powered up the T.U.C.H. and Dallas picked up when Barry arrived at her house in Baumdoubt Valley. That brought them full circle to the moment when Dallas brought Barry back home.

"So, right now, at this very moment, you're living in two universe?" She said. "And you're married to my husband?"

"Yes, that's right."

"Well then, I should confess that you're often a character in our bedtime stories," She said. "Meadow, too. We tell lots of stories to each other, but the ones about you two have always been the most vivid."

'Honey, are you hearing this?'

'Yes, ma'am,' Greg thought back.

'Well...?'

'Can I plead the fifth amendment?'

'No.'

'Yes, what Dallas is telling you is true. In that other universe, I'm married to her and Meadow, and we live in Manse Orleans. Please don't be angry with me--'

'Angry? Are you kidding? I think it's great! Let's talk. Later.'

'OK, it's a date!'

"--so, somehow, both Greg and I were created in The Bomb," Dallas was saying. "There's something weird about us. We have these strange mental powers, what you call The Gift. That's how we got it, She, but what I don't understand is how You got it!"



"Even Monica has it!"


"I see," She said. "The mystery is wider than that. Others have it, too. Barry, obviously, but all my children seem to be latent carriers. It's especially strong in Cally. And Gloria!"

"Me?" Gloria said. "I mean, Barry has been trying to teach me to communicate--"

"I can see the power in you. You have a glow. Not bright, but it's there, much more noticeable since you took up with Barry. Even Monica has it, stronger now that she's had her baby."

"Oh! That's too weird! I can think of one thing we all have in common," Gloria said.

"Barry's father?" Dallas asked.

"Yup."

"But I can see it even in Lucy--"

Lucy looked up from her pool shot. "Well, um..."

"That's all right, Lucy," She said. "I remember the days when you were my parents' maid and I was just a little girl!"

"Now, wait a minute," Gloria said. "If it all came from Greg, that means The Gift is--"

"That's right," She said. "The Gift is a sexually transmitted disease!"


Last edited by Greg on Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:30 am
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 229: Primary Source


As chuckles about The Gift being an STD subsided, Gloria said, "Dallas and Barry both said it's a mental power, but if it can be transmitted there must be a physical vector."



"There must be a physical vector."


"Maybe," She said, "but physical intimacy involves very powerful mental activity, too. That could explain why my children have it, too. Family love is an even more powerful force."

"Family love would explain your children," Gloria said, "but it doesn't explain Smart Milk. Your milk works even for babies You have never met."

"I want to say that I love all babies," She said, "but you're right. Babies whom I haven't met are just an abstract concept in My mind. That would be too much of a stretch. Smart Milk would provide a physical vector."

"Family love doesn't explain my sisters, either," Dallas said. "I love them dearly. All of them have a tiny bit of it, which might explain why we get on so well even when we're so different, but I have loved them for years. If your husband--"

"Our husband!"

"Hmm... not in this universe," Dallas said. "At least not yet. That's something else we need to figure out. Later."

"Yes, later," She agreed. "So, what about him?"

'Yeah, what about me?'

'Hush!'

'Yes, ma'am!'

"If he is a primary source of the power, then I must be, too," Dallas said.

'Definitely.' Greg thought. 'Sorry. Had to butt in there.'

'Thanks, darling,' She thought. 'Kiss!'

'Kiss!'



"You must be a primary source, Dallas!"


"You must be a primary source, Dallas," She said. "You glow as brightly as he does, and you are the only other Sole Survivor."

'And in Baumdoubt Valley, Dallas's milk works like Yours does here. We never thought to market it, though.'

"That was my point," Dallas said. "I love my sisters more than life itself, but none of them has more than a faint, residual glow."

"And Ophelia!" She said. "She's as normal as normal can be, but he's in love with her."

'Am not!'

'Am, too! And Donna and Lorna, too! There's no use in denying it, boy! I know!'

'Hmm... You might be right. I'd lay down my life for any of them.'

'And if they weren't married, you'd be laying down more than your life! At least now I know that you were telling Me the truth about your relationship with them!'

'You doubted me?'

'No, not for a moment. Now that's reinforced with physical evidence. Or the lack of it.'

'So I'm vindicated even when I didn't need to be. That's a weird feeling!'

'Deal with it! The point is that you didn't and they don't glow even though you've been in love with them since before I was born. At the same time, with respect to Brenda's mother, you don't love her and she does glow!'

'Yeah, that worries me. Darn, I wish I hadn't--'

'Hush! It worries me, too, but it gave us Brenda so I'm glad you did! Besides, I like your kinky stories about Narcissa! What's really important here is that we need to figure out how this happens, for the sake of two universes!'


Last edited by Greg on Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:12 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 12:14 pm
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 230: More Blessed to Give


"Let's review the bidding," Dallas said. "Whatever it is, we know that The Gift first appeared after The Bomb, and that Greg and I are primary sources. We know that it can be passed on to our children through normal reproduction and we know that it can be transmitted with certain body fluids."



"We know that it can be passed on to our children..."


"Right! Milk and um..." Gloria said.

"Exactly. Um. So we have a strong indication that it's linked to our DNA."

'That doesn't explain the elves.'

"What elves?" Dallas asked.

"Elves in Bonnyview Shores," She said. "Both noble elves and drow are appearing there. And they have The Gift. I've certainly never laid an elf! So unless one of you have--"



"I've certainly never laid an elf..."


'Nope!'

"I've never even met an elf!" Dallas said. "Didn't know they existed!"

'Just because we are a primary source doesn't mean we are the only primary source.'

"Good point," Dallas said. "It's like trying to explain the existence of the universe with the Big Bang--"

She laughed. "So to speak!"

'Behave yourself!'

'Yes, sir! For now!'

"Well, it is!" Dallas said. "We can calculate the Big Bang mathematically from the available evidence, but that doesn't tell us why or how it happened. By those rules, the universe cannot exist! Even the basic forces involved are nothing more than mathematical abstractions of things we know absolutely nothing about."

'But if we can figure out where the elves came from, we might learn more about where we came from.'

"Exactly," She said. "But for now, we're back to knowing that it can be passed on by ingestion of certain body fluids, which provides a physical link."



"Do you... um..."


"I'm wondering about that," Dallas said, "the exact method of transmission. She, do You... um...?"

"Of course I um! That's one of the things I wanted to learn my first night! It started as a fun way to wake him up, but I soon learned it was the fastest way to make him glow. Then it gets really good!"

"So you noticed the glow the first night?"

"A little bit. As time went on, I could see it more clearly."

"That might explain how You became so powerful," Dallas said.

"Yeah, all those hero powers appeared the first day of My adult life. That's a fun job. It beats being a meter maid six ways to Sunday!"

"It looks like the power fades in others, but You just keep gaining in power," Dallas said. "So you must be refreshing it even now."

"Well, let's see..." She said. "At least once a day for about 120 years. That would be--"

"OK! I get the point!"

She looked at Gloria. "Now I'm curious. Gloria, back when he was a teenager, did you-- Are you OK, honey?"

Gloria was blushing furiously. "Yes," she squeaked. "And you have no idea how happy I was when Barry asked me to marry him! I missed it! A lot!"

"It might explain why Meadow is having difficulty with the power," Dallas said. "In Baumdoubt, I mean."

"How so? Aren't you two married to her?"

"Well, She," Dallas said, "it's because of what we do and how we do it. You see, You are not the only greedy bitch in the valley!"


Last edited by Greg on Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2006 12:35 pm
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Tales of Happy Valley
Chapter 231: Quest for Statistics



Monica looked over from her pool game. "Hey, if you randy blondes are collecting statistics, you might as well know that I did, too!"

"So I assumed!" She said. "Lucy?"

"Hey, what do You think? I was working as a maid in his parents' house when he became a teenager and got to be much more interesting!"



"I know who knows the rest of the data!"


"Well, that provides us with a statistic database," She said. "But I know who knows the rest of the data!"

'Sweetheart, do you know where that book on constitutional law might be? I need to study up on the Fifth Amendment.'

'Nice try, buddy! But it won't work! I want bedtime stories! All of them! In delightful detail! Then I can fill in the next column in the database by just running around town and observing who's got the glow and who doesn't. Besides, it will be fun!'

'Well, if you insist--'

'I insist! Prepare yourself for some serious reminiscing!'


Last edited by Greg on Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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