Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chapter Twenty-Four: Adventure Time!

Sadie was optimistic the next morning as she ate a hearty breakfast of eggs and ham. She was glad she had made sure to acquire some extra money--the wine making class had been pricey, even with the discount, and she wouldn't have been able to afford to eat quite so well without it.

After breakfast she pedaled over to Berthe's house, certain that she'd be able to get everything squared away this morning.

"I really need to pick up the artifacts today, I'm leaving to go home tomorrow," Sadie insisted after she was invited inside.

"The truth is, I don't have them," Berthe finally admitted, unable to put off Sadie's request any longer.

"What do you mean you don't have them," Sadie asked dubiously.

"The curator of La Gallerie d'Art never gave them to me," she explained, sounding rather upset, "He was arranged to sell me the items, but at the last minute he cancelled the deal. He says now that he will not give anything unless I find someone who will help him with his problem. I tried all day yesterday to convince him, but he will not move."

"Are you saying that I traveled all the way to France for nothing?" Sadie could not believe what she was hearing.

"There it nothing I can do, I am sorry," Berthe seemed sincerely apologetic, "But... maybe you can see him. If you cannot change his mind, then you can always try to help him."

And so, a little while later, Sadie found herself at a small relic shop in the middle of town. At first she was amazed by the items on display, until she realized that they were mostly replicas and miniatures of originals being sold as souvenirs.

She approached the man at the cashier, "Hello, I'm looking for Gaston Dutiel."

"I am him. How may I help you, madame?" he replied, pleasantly.

"My name is Sadie Kapoor, I'm here about the artifacts you were going to sell to Berthe Girard."

Gaston's demeanor suddenly changed. He glanced furtively around the empty shop before silently beckoning for Sadie to come around the counter.

"I am glad she has finally found someone willing to help," he told her in a hushed voice, "I have had no luck with the locals, none of them want to get involved in anything that goes against the Landgraabs."

"The Langraabs?" Sadie had never heard the name before.

The shop owner nodded and, in whispered tones, told her a story. Gaston's father, Rémy Dutiel, had been the curator of La Gallerie d'Art in Champs Les Sims, as his father had before him, and his father before that. The family had built it up over generations, and when Gaston's father had recently passed away, it was passed down to him. Before Rémy died, however, he had been in negotiations with the wealthy Langraab family, who were interested in buying the museum from him. Rémy had refused, but the Langraabs were persistent and did whatever they could to make things difficult for the Dutiels and their business. Now that Rémy was gone, the Landgraabs had turned to his son, trying to get him to sell, but he was putting up just as stubborn of a fight.

"But it is not just that," Gaston continued, "I've seen them lurking around the museum, very suspiciously. There is nothing I can do, as it is public property, but I have a feeling that there is something about the museum that they know and I don't. My father fell ill and passed so suddenly, it could be that there was something that he would have told me if he could. I need someone to help me investigate the museum and see if there is anything there that can be found."

"You're saying you want me to search the museum for some secret your father might have kept from you?" Sadie wasn't sure if this man was entirely serious.

"Maybe you will notice something that to me is just normal since I have seen it all my life. You will help me, won't you?" he pleaded.

"Well, alright," she reluctantly agreed. It couldn't hurt to look, and if it was her only chance at not returning home empty handed, then it was worth a shot.

She hopped on her bike and rode out of town, wondering what exactly she was getting herself into.

At least I get to see the museum, she thought as she climbed the steps of the sprawling building. It had been on her list of places she had wanted to visit while she was here.

Sadie was enthralled by the displays inside. It dwarfed the Meadow Glen museum and she wondered if they would ever have anything half as nice as what was here.

It was on her second pass through the China exhibit that she noticed a strange opening in the wall. It was probably nothing, but she figured she might as well take a closer look. She felt around inside and hit something that felt like a switch. Much to her surprise, she heard a loud grating noise coming from the hall.

She rounded the corner to find that a portion of the wall had rotated to reveal a concealed entrance. Could Gaston have been right? Were there hidden secrets in this museum? Sadie suddenly felt giddy with excitement.

On the other side of the opening was a passageway that led to a set of stairs descending below the museum. Sadie paused at the top, her heart pounding. Whether in fear or excitement, she wasn't sure, but she knew she had to see what was at the bottom.

It turned out to be a dead end. The room was empty, other than a couple of old, but not very interesting, stone statues. Something didn't feel right to Sadie, though, so she walked slowly around the room.

There was something strange about the wall behind one of the statues so, huffing and puffing, she pushed it out of the way. I really need to start exercising more.

Sure enough, there was another hidden door. Sadie strode through triumphantly...

...into a room full of ancient relics.

She walked in awe amongst the artifacts, wondering how long they had been hidden down here. She recognized some of them as being from incredibly rare cultures and time periods, and realized that she must be surrounded by a fortune. This must be what the Landgraabs were interested in. She had to get back to Gaston and tell him what she'd found.

And so she did.

The curator was incredibly grateful, "I cannot give you any of the relics you have found today, they must be dated and cataloged before I make any decisions on what to do with them, but you can have the items I was to sell to Berthe. No charge, in fact, I will pay you in addition for the great help you have been to my family."

"That is very generous of you," Sadie thanked him, "Those relics were fascinating, though. I would love to hear what you find out about them. I wish I could stay and help you with their research, but I have my own work to get back to."

"I will of course keep you up to date," he promised, "and if I have any other artifacts to sell in the future, I will let you know first of all."

That evening, Sadie treated herself to a celebratory meal of frogs legs--she was ready to be adventurous.


I've tamed down the actual adventuring part of Sadie's travels quite a bit, as I don't really want her to be a tomb raider. Hopefully the story is still intriguing enough that it'll hold your interests, though. :)

As a side note, I've just signed up for Tumblr to try it out. I'll be using it as a simblr and posting about my legacy updates there, if you'd prefer to get notified about them that way. I'll also be posting other random pictures of my legacy there, so there will probably be fewer bonus pics at the ends of chapters, but more pictures in general there. I'm new to it, though, so we'll see how it goes (suggestions welcome)! Link: A Little Simlish.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chapter Twenty-Three: Cultural Differences

Sadie was elated to be in France. Pedaling through the warm Mediterranean summer morning, she even thought that being outdoors didn't seem so bad here.

Her first destination was the Champs Les Sims Nectary, which lay on the outskirts of the town of the same name, where she was staying.

She was here to pick up a bottle of wine to deliver to her contact later this afternoon, and as she walked through the doors she hoped that she could get the business part of her trip over quickly so that she could spend the rest of her time sight-seeing and exploring the town.

Sadie browsed the extensive racks, but didn't really know what she was looking for--she was only just old enough to legally drink back home and hadn't had a whole lot of experience with alcohol. She finally decided on a bottle with a pretty label and took her purchase with her to the address Mallory had given her.

Her contact, Berthe Girard, was just leaving the house when Sadie arrived, but waved her over as she approached.

"Ah! You must be from Mallory's museum," Berthe greeted her.

"Mallory said you had some pieces for our collection," Sadie got quickly to the point, after introducing herself and presenting her gift.

"Oh, yes, well... I was just heading out to lunch, why don't you join me and we can discuss business afterward, yes?" Berthe replied.

Not wanting to offend, Sadie agreed to accompany her to a small, local cafe. Berthe suggested that Sadie pour the wine while she placed their order inside.

Sadie decided to play it safe with a bowl of what seemed to be fish soup, not quite ready to try the local delicacy of frogs legs, which Berthe was enjoying. The food was pleasant, but as they chatted over their meal, Sadie noticed that whenever she tried to bring up the museum or the artifacts she was there to collect, her liason would quickly change the subject.

"I do not wish to be rude, but I must notice that you know very little about French wine," Berthe mentioned as they were finishing up, "I have many things to do this afternoon, but I have a coupon for a discount class on winemaking at the Nectary. Perhaps you would like to learn more while I am busy, and we can continue our business tomorrow, yes?"

Sadie sighed. This trip was turning into more of an ordeal than she had expected. She didn't feel like it would be a good idea to refuse, however, so after lunch she reluctantly returned to the Nectary.

It turned out that the winemaking class was quite thorough, and involved harvesting your own grapes to start from. The warmth of the morning had grown steadily, and now the late afternoon sun prickled the back Sadie's neck uncomfortably as she bent over in the garden. Swatting away some bugs that were trying to compete with her for the fruit, Sadie wondered how she ever thought that being outdoors could be pleasant.

She had to admit that the next part of the process was sort of fun, though, if a bit messy.

It was a long, involved process, and by the time she was ready to head back to the little bed and breakfast that Mallory had set her up in, the sun had sunk almost completely below the horizon.

She went straight into the tub when she arrived, eager to wash off the residual stickiness from smashing grapes with her bare feet. She soaked for a good long while, relaxing and thinking over everything that had happened that day.

When she got out of the bath, she picked up the phone to call Phoenix, as promised.

"Oh, did I wake you?" Sadie asked apologetically, hearing a stifled yawn on the other end, "Everything's fine, I'm sorry I didn't call earlier, I was exhausted after the flight, and then today I was so busy."

"Well, it's just Berthe Girard, the contact I'm supposed to be picking things up from is being really odd," Sadie confessed, "I get the feeling that there's something she's not telling me and I'm afraid that something's going to go wrong with the deal."

"Yeah, you're probably right," she replied, feeling a bit better after sharing her fears with her husband, "Goodnight, I love you."


I wasted a lot of time in France doing silly nectary oppotunities before I realized I could cancel them and look for better ones, so I figured I should work some of that into the story. Here's a bonus shot that didn't make it in, of Sadie jogging through the town (another opportunity):