Saturday, November 1, 2008

Chapter 27: Jack Is Offered The Wheel

Tues, November 10, 2074 7:10 pm: Finnegan's Wake Bar and Pub- Sleighton, Pleasantview


Addison London was talking rather spiritedly about falling numbers and proposed monopoly legislation but Jack's attention was diverted elsewhere. A man had just stepped into the bar, hitting his shoes against the doorframe to rid them of excess mud and brushing wet snow from his hair. He was gaunt and sallow as a corpse but it wasn't just the look of him that drew Jack's ever-watchful stare.

There was something about this man that put Jack's nerves on edge. Even from ten feet away, Jack could feel the man's energy and it did not radiate in the way that most people's did. It crackled and shot sparks like the wick on a stick of dynamite. Unstable was the best word that Jack could think of to describe it.

Jack was unarmed but London wasn't. If this man was a threat, Jack would have to reach for London's weapon (which was in its self a dangerous pursuit) rather than use his magic in a bar full of people.


"...cracking down on Townie businessmen but I've got more than a few lobbyists in my pocket so that isn't really my concern. Now the rising cost of commercial liability insurance, on the other hand- Kid, have you been listening to a goddamned thing I just said?" Jack's focus slowly turned back to London.

"No, sir. I'm sorry." London shrugged.

"At least you're honest. What's your malfunction anyway? This isn't like you." London followed Jack's gaze over his shoulder. The man locked eyes with London and an oily smile slithered across his face. "Ah, Mr. Kivetz, nice of you to drop in," London beckoned. The man glided over to the bar.


"Always a pleasure," he said. His voice was raspy and abrasive like a wire brush scraping rusted metal. He looked Jack up and down.

"Jack, this is Raul Kivetz. He works in the special services division." That explained the man's fractured energy. He was a hired gun and it had been Jack's experience that murder is almost always the work of an irreparably damaged soul. Jack was well aware that not all of London's business ventures were exactly legal but he was still in the dark about what London was involved in that necessitated the employment of men like Raul Kivetz. "Jack, Raul. Raul, Jack. Now you're old buddies," London said, taking a sip of his drink. Raul's eyes glistened.

this is the boy wonder. I've heard so much about you, Mr. Dalton," Raul said. He offered Jack his hand to shake but Jack did not take it.


"I wish I could say the same," Jack said coolly. Raul withdrew his hand.

"Play nice now, Jackie," London cautioned. Raul turned back to his employer.

"I've just stopped by to tell you that I may be absent for the next couple of days. I have work elsewhere," Raul said. Jack raised an eyebrow.
Work elsewhere? London seemed unperturbed. Apparently, he trusted Raul better than he should have.

"Whatever floats your boat. Just so long as you keep an eye on that situation we discussed," London said.

"Believe me," Raul muttered. "I'll be keeping both eyes on that situation."


"Yo, Pretty Boy," a man shouted from across the bar. Raul looked up.

"What," he shouted back.

"You coming over to watch the fight Friday night?"

"Friday? Hell no. I'm going to be too busy banging your sister," Raul said. He then nodded at London and Jack. "Gentleman," he murmured, excusing himself to continue his conversation with the man across the room. London turned to Jack.

"You ever been to Veronaville, Mr. Dalton?" The question seemed to come completely out of left field. Jack smirked despite himself.

"No, I can't say that I have." London leaned in.


"Well, all of that's about to change. Couple of weeks from now, I'm going to need someone to hand deliver a message to Veronaville's Secretary of State. Think you can handle that?" Jack looked at London quizzically. What did he think Jack was? The postman?

"Why me," Jack asked.



"Why me? You could get anyone to do that." London narrowed his eyes shrewdly.

"Do you think that this job is beneath you, Mr. Dalton?"

"I- No of course not."

"Good. I'll have Mindy book your flight tomorrow morning." Across the room, the jukebox started playing
Strychnine and the people on the dance floor shouted their approval. London glanced down the bar at the unfortunately juvenile hooker seated by the door.


"What's your name again, sweetheart," he called out. Jack cringed. That girl wasn't a day over fourteen.

"Candice," she said with a light fluttering of her eyelashes. London turned to the bartender.

"Rudy, why don't you ask Miss Candice here for a dance," London said. It wasn't a request.

"Certainly sir," the bartender replied solemnly. Jack was merely relieved that London hadn't been hitting on the girl. Once the bartender and the prostitute were safely out of earshot, London bent in close to Jack.


"What do you think about our friend Mr. Kivetz," London asked, alternately swirling his drink and staring through Jack like a wizened crow. Jack shook his head.

"He is not to be trusted. But I didn't want to mention it without concrete proof."

"So give me your not-so-concrete proof." Jack fixed his eyes on London's, silently communicating the need for seriousness.

"Call it a gut feeling," he said. London shrugged off Jack's foreboding.

"Raul has his advantages. As long as I keep him where I can see him, I should be fine."

"You call letting him run off for several unaccounted for days 'keeping him where you can see him'?" London smirked.

"You aren't the only pair of eyes that I have at the back of my head," London said. And then, after a moment of consideration, "but you are the most important. How old are you now, Jack?"


"Eighteen in December."

"Interesting. You know, when I was your age, I was in your exact same position. I spent my childhood in and out of group homes until an old friend of my father's took me under his wing. I think it's about time I let you in on a few things Jackie. I want you to take over when I croak. That's no secret. But exactly what I want you to take over- Now there's where the intrigue starts."

"The businesses?"

"Yeah, sure. The businesses, if you want. But they're all just smoke and mirrors anyway. They keep the authorities distracted from what I'm really doing."


"You see," London continued. "Before he died, Mortimer Goth was researching the medicinal properties of Arbormoor Merlot, a wine produced by Fiorello Vineyards during the later half of the last century. What Dr. Goth found caused him to believe that immortality is a scientific possibility. As far as we know, he never proved his hypothesis. My job, as entrusted to me by that friend of my father's that I mentioned, is to make sure that no one ever proves that hypothesis. This is what I am offering you. And don't worry, you will be well prepared by the time its your turn to take the wheel. Better prepared than I was, anyway." Jack cleared his throat.

"That sounds completely insane," he said. London sighed.

"Well, Jack, you'll see by and by that the proof is everywhere. And even if it weren't, you're bound to have first hand experience. I mean for starters, do you think that Bella Goth's disappearance was an accident? Wife of the most powerful man in the world. They never even found her body."

"I... I don't know. I wasn't born when all of that happened. I never thought about it much."


London appeared to consider Jack for a moment, perhaps not believing that there was something that he had never thought about, particularly something on the scale of Bella Goth's death.

"See that you never do," London replied.

"Yes, sir." London stood, patting Jack on the shoulder.

"I'm going home. Have fun in Veronaville. We might not see each other again before you get back. Oh and by the way- I left you a little present around here somewhere. Keep an eye out for it."


"Goodnight, Mr. London." Jack watched as London disappeared behind the barroom doors. So this was it. This was his life. The man who had taken Jack out of Pleasantview's nightmarish foster system, gained him Resident status by having him accepted to the Boarding House and paid his way through private school was totally out of his mind. Jack was the protégé of a crackpot.

Still, if anyone knew that the impossible was sometimes possible, it was Jack. As if to illustrate the point, he picked up London's empty glass and folded the soppy napkin underneath into a crane without touching either glass or napkin. The record changed again and someone upped the volume.


Jack glanced over at the table by the window where two women were chatting animatedly. One of them looked up at him and smiled. Jack felt himself withdrawing back into his shell. She was pretty and Jack did not have a way with girls. He then began to worry that she had seen his trick with the paper crane.


The girl stood and Jack stood as well. He thought that he might out-run her but he found his legs glued to the spot.

"I'm Piper," she announced, coming within inches of what Jack considered to be his personal space.

"I'm Jack," he responded. Piper giggled girlishly.

"I know who you are. Wanna dance?" Jack groaned. So this was the little present London had left him. The girl continued to giggle and took Jack by the arm. "Come on now. Don't be shy. My time's already paid for." After London's mad rant, Jack really was not in the mood for this.

"Then how about we don't and say that we did," he suggested.

"Alright but on one condition," Piper said. Jack was disappointed that she had acquiesced so quickly.

"What?" Piper leaned over and whispered in his ear.

"I wanna know how you made that bird," she said, pointing to the counter. Jack pulled away from her.

"You know what? Sure. Why not? Let's dance." As he took her hand and turned to face the dance floor, he caught the stagnant glare of Raul Kivetz. His eyes were a shade of green that Jack had only ever seen before on the banks of fetid swamps. It was the color of damp and decay. Jack shivered with a knowledge that was beyond knowing.


  1. I hope everyone remembers Jack Dalton and Addison London from the prologue...

  2. Okay, I can't help myself! LOL! I see that you have an update and I HAVE to read it before I finish the other chapter thus confusing myself but...I can't resist! LOL!

    LOVE your description of Raul! Very creepy! I can almost feel the malice and coldness oozing off of him.

    And I loved how Jackie suddenly changed his mind and decided to dance after all! LOL! So realistic!

    *goes back to play catch up* :P

  3. Yeah I just wish that I had made Raul's sim creepier. But I think I'll be able to accomplish that with make-up for the next time he comes by to spook the bejesus out of people.

    And who knows? The story might end up making more sense by reading the more recent chapters first because then the little details from the older chapters will be fresher in your mind. :)

  4. Mortimer's certainly interesting. Will we get to see Alexander soon? Maybe he knows something about all his father's research and connections?

    Jack is awesome.

  5. Interesting that you should mention that. Alexander is actually the only one of Mortimer's children that knows nothing about his research.

    We'll probably see Alexander once the Lothario cocktail party is under way (currently scheduled as chapters 33-37) but he won't get a lot of air time. We'll be mostly following around the younger set (Ian, Laurie, Enoch, Adelaide, Sabina and Enoch's fiance, Madeline).

    Jack is indeed awesome. :D

  6. I actually can't wait to see your Alexander. When I was playing Pleasantview, he's the only character of mine that really deviated from the maxis storyline without any effort on my part, so I'm interested to see how he turned out for you.

    I checked his family tree--I laughed so hard when I found out he's a gynecologist :)

  7. hehehe

    In my first Pleasantview (the Pleasantview of Dragging Blue Lake is my second, begun after a short period of not playing the Sims) Alex ran away from home because he felt neglected and no one stopped him. I think he was living with some weird CAS sim I made before he ODed on heroine. And such was the life of Alexander Goth.

    Uhhhh yeah, the Alexander Goth of this story is not nearly so rock and roll. He is a gynecologist. He likes turkey sandwiches with egg and extra mayo. He watches bass fishing on TV. He is married to a woman that he used to love and has three bratty kids that he doesn't understand. He is also borderline stalking his daughter-in-law (Lydia, Siren and Jean-Luc's daughter) who he sees as a sort of beautiful free spirit, very different from his witch of a wife.
    He's a pretty minor character in my plans thus far but I've been thinking this whole time that he has so much potential! But there's a lot going on in the story right now that has little to do with that sad, sorry man.

  8. There's a poll up on the sidebar. I just realized that I will soon be due for a new banner but I haven't actually made one yet. Vote for the characters that will appear on the next banner (and you can choose more than one)!

  9. I think Raul was fairly creepy. I mean, he's green in that first picture. :-O And speaking of Alexander, I hope he had a nice birthday the other day.

  10. Alex had a fairly uneventful birthday. *Tear drop* But Dina is going to make up for it. Her cocktail party on the 14th is in celebration of Alex and Lydia's birthdays (Lydia's b-day is on the 14th).

    And I'm so glad you pointed that out to me because it made me look at the family tree where I saw that Alex's birth year was wrong. He was born in '37, not '39. Alex is 37 and Lydia will be 20. Also, Horace was born in '56 not '55. *grumbles* Eh well. It's fixed now.

  11. Yes! He has magic too!!!

    Dumb thing to do with the crane, though. Even if it did totally prove his awesomeness.

  12. Silly boy, he thought that no one was looking.

    And the fact that someone had seen is going to end very, very badly.

  13. OK I don't know what happened to my indentations in this chapter but Blogger took them away and won't give them back. Sorry if it makes the chapter difficult to read!

  14. Awesome thing with the crane. Hurray for magic! But your comment saying it is going to end really badly has definitely worried me.

  15. *gulp* Yeah, it's not looking good.

  16. Is Jack's magic real or just sleigh of hand? And if real, what made him so special?

  17. At this point, Jack doesn't know what makes him so special and neither does anyone else.

    In fact, it doesn't start to become clear until Chapter 50 (which is as yet unposted). If all goes as expected, I'll have 48 up late tonight.