Monday, November 5, 2012

Overlord Legacy - Chapter Thirty-Five - This Time You'll Really Hurt

As she prepares to get the boys out of bed, Amaranth receives a rather delightful phone call. It's from Delia Felirae. Eva has recently become a teenager, which Delia can't believe. She laughs as she explains how Eva seems more of an adult than Delia's husband Phantom sometimes! Amaranth can't wait to see her. She's sure Eva's become a lovely young lady.

Then comes the real reason Delia called. She and Phantom are expecting again! Amaranth squeals with her and offers her congratulations. Delia says she can't wait to welcome another child. Phantom's so happy that Delia says he's been hugging random people all over town exclaiming that he's having another child. Amaranth laughs. That definitely sounds like Phantom.

As she hangs up, there's a slight twinge of jealousy. It's entirely appropriate for Phantom and Delia to be excited about having another child - they have each other and a wonderful family structure. Amaranth doesn't have a man living with her to help with the babies - not to mention her children have different fathers. But the twinge of jealousy is largely overridden by happiness. Uncle Phantom's always deserved this and Amaranth is so happy things are working out this way.

She gets the toddlers out of their cribs and gets them taken care of before getting on with some chores she has to do. Immediately Tobie waddles away from Severin and claims the doll house. And by golly, he's standing up for his rights this time! If Severin comes to take his dolls away from him, he'll fight back.
 Tobie: "My Sevwin, my dollies..."

Tobie has nothing to worry about however. Severin is already preoccupied with a toy of his own.
Severin: "Rocket go up. Up, up, up...then NAPALM!! Bye-bye, world! Ha ha ha! Now fly to moon...up, up, up...NAPALM! Bye-bye, moon! Now fly to Mars..."

Amaranth has decided she's staying home today rather than going out to investigate a case, so Soren decides it's time. It's time to know the truth and it's time to see if things will change.
Earlier this morning he'd seen Zack Durwood walk into the neighbor's house, holding hands with some lady (looks like a MacDuff, but there's about forty of them, so Soren's not sure what her name is). Running over to the house, Soren rings the doorbell and waits. The owner of the house politely lets him in, even though they've really never talked before. Hospitality is just heavily valued in this town.

Soren tries not to gag as he sees Zack and his squeeze getting cuddly.
Girl: "Awh Zack...I can't believe what everybody makes you out to be in the newspaper. You' of the greatest guys ever. You make me feel so special."
Zack: "Well, you are special. People just tear me down because they're jealous of our relationship."

Soren doesn't want to disturb the moment, but he really wants to talk to his father, so he taps Zack on the shoulder. The girl gives Zack one last smile, then heads to the kitchen to chat with someone else, leaving Zack with Soren. Zack's soft, warm expression that he had with his lover turns cold and upset at Soren.
Zack: "Who are you and what do you want?"
Soren: "It's me. Soren. ...You know, your son?"
Zack: "....Sigh. Look, I paid my child support last week. What do you want?"
Soren: "I'm...not here to ask for child support. I just have some questions. About you and my mom. I want to--"
Zack: "Oh, come off it. There's obviously nothing between me and your mom anymore, and I'd known all this was going to happen, there wouldn't have been anything between us in the first place."
Soren: "Just listen to me for a moment! I'm not looking for this big defense or who did what. I just want to know how you really felt about my mom, and about me. Why didn't you move in to help? She needed you, and she loved you. Didn't you love her?"
Zack: "No! I didn't! Okay, you want the truth, kid? She was a fling. She was delusional and obsessed and clingy, and if she'd taken better birth control, she wouldn't have had such a hard time."
Soren: "Excuse me?! That...that's not how my mom is at all. She loved you and you told her you loved her too! That's not 'obsessed' or 'delusional' to me!"
Zack: "Of course you're going to side with her. She's brainwashed you well enough, being an Overlord and all."
Soren: "She allows me to think for myself, thank you very much. I'm starting to wonder if everything she wrote about you was right."
Zack: "No, it's not right. Your mother's a vindictive vengeful b**ch and--"
Soren: "Shut up! Just....look, I don't care if you're my dad or not. Nobody talks about my mom that way! Do you know how much she's sacrificed, how selfless she's been, how hard-working she's been, all because YOU never took responsibility?! You don't even send child support every week! You've just made life harder! Did you EVER care about her at all? Did you EVER care about me? I'm your son, dad!"
Zack: "I would suggest you get that finger out of my face, boy. I'm a respected doctor around these parts--"
Soren: "Not anymore, you're not. Not while you keep acting like this. My respect for you drops more every second. I thought you might be different from mom's boyfriend, that maybe other circumstances forced you away or that maybe mom pushed you away. I wondered if there was any part of you that was a real man, that wanted to step up and do the right thing."
Zack: "I don't have time for you right now, you little twerp. I'm going to give you five seconds to get out of this house and perhaps try and talk some sense into your insane b**ch of a mother."
Soren: "DO NOT talk about my mother that way! The only insane b**ch here is you! I can't believe you. I can't believe everything my mom said about you wasn't just true, it was an under-exaggeration! You're even worse than her boyfriend!"
Zack: "One..."
Soren: "What, you're gonna kick me out of the house? This isn't even your house! You can't do that!"
Zack: "Two..."
Soren: "What are you gonna do? Huh? 'Respected doctor'?"

Zack doesn't give the next three counts. He rears back his hand and gives a nice clean blow to the teenager's cheekbone.

Soren flinches and stumbles backward. The actual punch wasn't very hard, not enough to truly damage anything. More like a warning punch. Yet Soren is stunned that this man - who's supposed to be his father - would ever do something like that. Zack even appears a little surprised at himself, as if he simply lost control in the moment. With a glare, Soren turns on his heel to leave.
Zack: "This exchange never happened, boy."
Soren: "Oh, it didn't? Sure hurt a lot for an exchange that never happened, 'respected doctor.'"
Zack: "If you tell your mother..."
Soren: "What, you'll hit me again?"
Zack: "...It'll hurt worse."
Soren: "...Whatever."


Soren gets home in time to see his mother getting some shoes on the boys. Apparently she's taking them for a trip to the consignment shop, to find some new toys for them.
Soren: "But mom, don't they have enough toys?"
Amaranth simply gives a sheepish grin and keeps tying their shoes. Soren laughs to himself. She's such a sucker for them.

Once they get to the consignment shop, however, Amaranth notices a light bruise on her son's cheek.
Amaranth: "Soren? Who did you go to see this morning?"
Soren: " was...just a friend."
Amaranth: "I know you're not telling me the truth, Soren. You're a terrible liar. Where did you get that bruise?"

As angry as Soren is with his worthless father, he's not sure he should tell his mother exactly what happened. She'd probably be extremely distraught and her whole day would be ruined. Then the toddlers, who'd been promised toys, would be taken home without them and their day would be ruined. Perhaps now is not the right time.

Amaranth realizes her son's not ready to share it yet. She just hopes he's not getting into a gang or fighting with an enemy from school or anything like that. That doesn't sound like her son. She hopes she knows him better than that.

Placing the boys down, Amaranth heads to the register to get some toys.
Cashier: "Why, yes, we've got a double dealy-boppers here for your kiddies. See, this one's real interesting, kids are fascinated with it."
Amaranth: "Sounds great, I'll take two."
Cashier: "Excellent. A pleasure doing business with--...uh...hey, lady, is that your little guy over there?"

Amaranth turns around and tries not to loudly groan.
Amaranth: "Severin, I've told you eight thousand times. STOP SCRATCHING FURNITURE. This isn't even our furniture and I don't want to buy this...uh, lovely chair."

Quickly Amaranth scoops up her son to get him away from the chair, hands him his new toy, and plops him down beside Tobie. Soren, meanwhile, asks his mom if he can go to Uncle Oliver's house. He feels as if he has to tell someone about what just happened with him, even if he can't tell his mom just yet. Hesitating for a moment, Amaranth decides to let him go. She can watch the toddlers by herself, she thinks.

Woman: "My Lord, whose baby is that?"
Amaranth: "Not sure. There ought to be a crazy werewolf somewhere around here..."
Severin: "Rrrgh rrrgh!"

As Amaranth tries to once again gather her scratch-happy son, Soren heads to Uncle Oliver's house. He's only seen him one other time as a kid, but he knows Oliver's easy to talk to and not prone to make rash decisions.
Oliver: "Ah! Soren. My goodness, I feel like the last time I saw you, you were only about yea high."
Soren: "Haha, yeah. I've grown a lot."
Oliver: "You're going to be a young adult soon. There's a lot of responsibilities that come with that."
Soren: "Yeah...I'm sure you know how that feels."
Oliver: "I've been waiting for my adulthood responsibilities for a long, long time now. You should be rather thankful you're a human, actually."
Soren: "Hmm..."
Oliver: "Anyway. You came here for something."
Soren: "How do you know I didn't just come here to hang out?"
Oliver: "I'm a vampire, Soren. I do have some mind-reading capabilities."

Soren feels a little bit silly. Oliver just seems so normal about his vampirism that Soren sometimes forgets. Soren doesn't know a lot of vampires, but the ones that he's seen have been elusive, rarely coming out except at night, never talking to anybody at school. They're quiet, mysterious, and rather intimidating. Oliver, though, has always been friendly and available, choosing to stay awake during the day and focus on his career rather than sleeping during sunlight hours and living life at night. He acts so human that most of his clients still aren't aware of his vampirism - and with those that do, most people don't believe them when they tell them.

Soren: "Can all vampires read minds?"
Oliver: "To a certain degree, yes. Some are better than others. I'm not particularly good at it."
Soren: " could tell I came here for a reason."
Oliver: "I could sense a reason. But a vampire with better mind-reading capabilities would be able to instantly know why you came. That I don't know, which is why I ask."

There's no use hiding it, of course. Soren came for the specific reason of telling him. So he spills it.
 Soren: "I...talked with my father this morning."
Oliver: "I'm assuming you mean your biological father Zack, and not your mom's boyfriend Gator."
Soren: "Please. I am never going to call Gator my father."
Oliver: "Don't like him much?"
Soren: "When he starts actually helping mom take care of the toddlers, I'll respect him more. As he keeps making excuses as to why he can't help, no, I'm not fond of him. After discovering today how duped my mom was by my dad, I think she's being duped again."
Oliver: "...Hmm. That's an interesting impression you have of Gator."
Soren: "You don't agree?"
Oliver: "I no longer live in the house, so my opinion is rather invalid. By the way, does your meeting with your father this morning have anything to do with the bruise on your cheek?"
Soren: "....Yeah. I'm too nervous to tell my mom. I'm afraid she'll have a nervous breakdown or something. Life's already been rough on her."
Oliver: "Your mother's a strong woman. But I understand your reasons for holding back at this moment. Did you fight back?"
Soren: "No. My dad's bigger and stronger than I am, Uncle Oliver."
Oliver: "Just Oliver, please."
Soren: "...Isn't that a little...I don't know, disrespectful not to call you uncle?"
Oliver: "Only if I felt disrespected if you didn't, which I don't. Anyhow, I'm glad you chose not to fight back. That wasn't your place and I don't think you would've won in any regard. Your father's pretty influential."
Soren: "But shouldn't something be done?"
Oliver: "Certainly. His behavior gets worse and worse and he'll learn there's a consequence to his actions."
Soren: "But every time my mom does something, like writes crappy-but-true stuff about him in the paper, he just seeks revenge even worse. I'm...I'm almost afraid of what he'll do to our family, now that I really know him."
Oliver: "Trust me, Soren, your family is safe."
Soren: "No, Oliver, I don't think you understand me. My father is--"
Oliver: "I understand you perfectly, Soren. Your concerns are genuine. But your family is safe. Just don't go trotting up, confronting your father."
Soren: "He's already shown he's capable of physical harm. What if he tries attack..."
Oliver: "For one thing, as much as you don't like your mother's boyfriend, he's fully capable of protecting her."
Soren: "Please, Oliver. I don't want to talk about Gator."
Oliver: "Secondly, now that I know he's getting physical with his anger, I know to keep an eye on him. When the time comes where he's passed the point of no return and needs to be taught his lesson, I can step in."
Soren: "...Can you do that? I mean...I'm sorry. I don't mean any offense by it. But...are you...strong enough? I mean, mom told me that you couldn't leave when you were living with Grandma Midnight."
Oliver: "There were...certain other factors that kept me from leaving. But if I really, truly wanted to, I could've escaped. I chose not to."

Soren is confused. His mother had told him stories about how Oliver, Grandpa Jakk, and Phantom were related to the family. It was part of their "contract" that they couldn't leave until Grandma Midnight let them go. Grandpa Jakk had fallen in love with Grandma Midnight so he didn't leave, and Phantom was content wherever he was. Soren had always assumed Oliver stayed because he didn't have the power to leave.

Soren: "Did you not want to escape? Why did you choose to stay?"
Oliver: "...I've spent years and years...and years...bringing my vampire abilities under control, Soren. I still have limitations, but for the most part, I've thoroughly trained myself to become a human. If I really choose to, I can tap back into my vampiric powers...but there's no middle ground. They're either completely controlled or completely chaotic. People can get...badly hurt. Innocent people. People I had no intent of attacking, but they happen to be close by and smell of blood."
Soren: "...Oh. Wow...I didn't know wait. If you're not a good there some other ability you're good at?"
Oliver: "Intimidation. I use this as a final resort before tapping into my vampire side. It's usually enough to control and scare most people."
Soren: "...Does it actually work? It...kind of looks silly to me."
Oliver: "It does until something like this happens."
Soren: "...whoa....what's going on?"
Oliver: "You'll be listening to me and doing whatever I want you to do now. I want you to say 'serendipity, you da boss, Oliver.'"
Soren: "Serendipity! You da boss, Oliver!"
Oliver: "Now I want you to change to your swimming trunks and stare off into the distance with your eyes crossed, and then say 'Oh Sim Deity, thank you for creating Oliver Portland, for he is a good man and a wonderful stylist and so much better than Edward Cullen.'"
Soren: "Oh Sim Deity, thank you for creating Oliver Portland, for he is a good man and a wonderful stylist and so much better than Edward Cullen."
Oliver: "Alright, I'm done. Shake yourself off."
Soren: "Whoa...I can't believe...holy cow, you can DO stuff like that?!"
Oliver: "Some vamps are good at mind-reading. I happen to excel in hypnotics. Trust me, Soren. Your family is safe."
Soren: "Oh, I believe you. I can see that now."


Phantom: "My goodness. You are such a little mischief maker. Now if only you were a Pixie instead of a werewolf..."
Amaranth: "Phantom! Don't encourage him!"
Severin: "You teach me tricks?"
Phantom: "Maybe later when your mom's not watching."
Amaranth: "Phantom!"
Girl: "Oh my word. I don't want THAT chair. What kind of worthless carpenter made that thing? There's scratches and stuff all over it."
Man: "It's even missing a leg."
Amaranth: "....?!? Alright, Severin, we're going home. Thank you for grabbing him, Phantom."
Soren: "...I take it Severin didn't want to leave just yet?"
Severin: "YOU RUIN MY LIFE, MOM!!!"
Amaranth: "I told you if you continued to scratch the furniture, we would be going home. You kept scratching the furniture and now we're home."
Soren: "You're just an awful mom, clearly."
Amaranth: "I know. Poor little thing, so tortured."
Severin: "DON'T MOCK ME!!!"

Amaranth decides Severin needs to go to bed a little early and places him and an also-tired Tobie into their cribs. Severin shrills and shrieks and screams bloody murder for close to ten whole minutes until it suddenly stops. Amaranth smiles. Just takes a little bit of time, but the little guy falls asleep eventually.

Soren's staying home for the evening, so Amaranth decides to head to the local tavern and relax a bit. How thrilled she is to find someone she knows. Immediately she zooms right up to him, closing in on his personal space.
Amaranth: "Sorry, Mr. Wolff. We don't accept your kind around these parts."
Gator: "Hmm. Perhaps you should write me up then and send it to the newspaper."

Amaranth smiles and starts to talk, but it's Gator's turn to surprise-attack her this time.
Amaranth: "Mm...I really should thank your mom. She popped out a really handsome young man for me."
Gator: "Heh. I'll send her your thanks."
Gator: "...I wonder whose dog that is."
Amaranth: "I'm pretty sure taverns aren't the best place for sleeping dogs to be, but I guess there's no laws about that. Or about children hanging out here. I saw Keri a little while ago."
Gator: "I know what you mean. In fact...hey, Keri."
Keri: "Get a room, you two. Or get married, or something."
Gator: "...We'll consider that, Keri. Thank you."
Keri: "I'm just going to go do my homework over here, so you can make out in peace."
Amaranth: "Ha! Cheeky, aren't you?"
Gator: "But really, Am...I have been talking to my mother. Extensively."
Amaranth: "...How's that been going?"
Gator: "Well...she freaked out at me at first. She still doesn't trust you. She's actually really concerned for me. And, I mean...she's going to turn to an elder tomorrow. I'm really the only one she has left and she's afraid she'll lose me for good."
Amaranth: "...I wish there was some way I could show her. I'm not against her and I'm not trying to--"
Gator: "I know. I've tried explaining it to her so many times. But...I think the shock is wearing off. She hasn't disowned me, but that's probably because she needs me around to help as much as I can. But I think she's thinking about it. In fact, I know she's thinking about it. She hasn't spoken much to me these last couple of days, but...I know she's thinking."

Thinking is good. Thinking means considering. And considering means there's a possibility, a chance that she might consent. Amaranth's heart beats a little faster. If Gator's mom consents, if Gator's mom could ever approve of her...that's one less obstacle in their way.

But there's yet one more.

Amaranth: "That's so encouraging, Gator, to know she's still considering it!"
Gator: "I know. It's the best news in a long time."
Amaranth: "...I just...I need to talk to Soren."
Gator: "...Soren doesn't like me, does he?"
Amaranth: "He's...told you?"
Gator: "No. He doesn't talk to me at all. But I know he doesn't like me. I'm not sure why. It's understandable, I guess - I'm not his dad or anything."
Amaranth: "No. But it's something he'll have to learn to accept sometime. I just hope he accepts it sooner rather than later, and at least give you a chance."
Gator: "...I feel like things are going to start working. Maybe I don't have enough proof of that now, but...I just have a feeling."
Amaranth: "I really hope so."

Amaranth gently kisses Gator's mouth, running her fingers down his ponytail. He smiles at her. They're so close, so close to getting everything they ever wanted. Gator's talking to his mom, Amaranth's talking to her son. If things just work out, it will be perfect...

...Unfortunately, their perfect moment is ruined rather quickly.
Zack: "Well. Looky here. The secret lovebirds. Shame you two aren't married by this point. It's too bad that...really isn't possible."

Amaranth can see the hair bristling on the back of Gator's neck, but he simply turns around and starts heading towards the Foosball table, beckoning, "Come on, Am. Bet I can beat you on this thing." Amaranth starts to follow, but stops when Zack mutters, "By the way, tell your kid to stay away from me. I really don't care to be reminded of him. Stop sending him on your little errands to bother me."
Amaranth: "I don't know what you're talking about. If Soren went to go see you, it was based on his own initiative. He didn't tell me anything. However, I DID notice a bruise on his face earlier and he was reluctant to tell me how he got it. And that suddenly makes sense now. Soren's a good boy. He wouldn't get into fights. Did you have something to do with that?"
Zack: "I told him to leave. He wouldn't."
Amaranth: "So you hit him? Because that's the answer to everything, isn't it? Because that's totally fair for a full-grown mature adult with a Ph.D. to strike a teenager in the face, isn't it? You're despicable, Zack."
Zack: "I find it funny that the one who calls me despicable is the one with 'Overlord' for a last name."
Gator: "Am, come on. I got it set up."
Amaranth: "My grandfather's ambitions were to take control of the town, attain world domination, and rule over scum like you. He was a noble man, and our last name carries a much higher respect than yours. You whimper and whine like people treat you so horribly, but you haven't gotten the tiniest fraction of what you deserve, because somehow we Overlords have a higher sense of mercy than you Durwoods."
Zack: "You're weak and intimidated by my family name. The world will always hate you. I can do what I want and the world will still always hate you, and they will always hate your offspring. Should the news get out that Soren Overlord got a knock in the face, the world will cheer and line up to have their turn."

Furious, Amaranth balls her hand into a fist and rears it back. Zack flinches - he's seen this scene before.
Amaranth: "The whole town knows you're a monster, Zack Durwood, and once I submit to the newspaper that not only are you mentally unstable but physically violent towards children, your reputation will be over."
Zack: "Do it. I dare you. Because this time you'll really hurt."
Amaranth: "You will not get away with anything you do to my family. You are wrong. The world may fear my last name, but they do not hate it. But they will hate yours. Oh, they'll hate yours."
Zack: "I would suggest you leave now, Amaranth. I don't care to have you interrupting my time here any longer."
Amaranth: "Last I checked, you didn't own this tavern. I have a right to be here if I want and there's nothing you can do about it."
Zack: "Oh, there's something."
Zack rears back his fist. Amaranth gasps and backs away as Zack takes a full swing towards her face. She can feel the wind against her nose as the fist barely misses. So startled, she falls backwards, hitting her head on the floor. Gleaming white appears around the edges of her vision as the world sways slightly. Her vision slowly focuses to see Zack towering above her, his face full of an equal mixture of pride and rage. She knows she needs to be tough and reestablish her power, but at the moment she is utterly terrified. Her hands don't respond when she tells them to block her face. Zack gets ready to send his fist flying towards her again, this time while she's on the ground. Amaranth screams.

No one hears the scream however. It is drowned out by an ear-splitting howl. Amaranth feels too woozy to even look around. She can only concentrate on Zack, who suddenly freezes and looks ahead. The pride in his face is immediately replaced by fear. Zack flinches away, but there's nothing he can do. The last thing Amaranth sees before the white closes over her vision is a long-haired werewolf pouncing on Zack, knocking him to the ground. A loud thud. The vicious growls from the werewolf. The shrieks of pain from Zack.

Amaranth finally allows herself to drift into unconsciousness. She's not sure what's really happening, but somehow she knows that she is now safe.

Author's notes: I didn't actually intend for this chapter to be this long, but it kind of turned out that way. And yes, Phantom and Delia are expecting another child. Hopefully daddy gets his Pixie!

Zack can only be a heartless jerk for so long before judgment is served. It felt good.

One question - do you know how to move Sims into different households with MC? Looking ahead to Severin's generation, I don't think I want to move the mothers in every time he has a kid, because I have plans in that area. I'd like to just move in the kids after they're born without the mothers.

Looking forward to your comments! :D


  1. To add a sim to a family: Click the family's household lot (so the overlord plot of land) -> MC -> Add sim -> Click the name(s) of the sim(s) you want and then click the check mark.

    Now for my comments...

    Did Zack die? Please tell me Zack died. : D Or at least gets mauled behind belief (I'm sure there's CC SOMEWHERE... and if not I'll find someone to make it for you.) Zack is just... UGH! I don't think I've ever hated someone so much! Okay, actually, I did hate Midnight but I didn't want her dead. I do want Zack dead.

    I'm so glad Gator went to Am's rescue, even if I'm quite sure it'll be trouble for him. He really does love her and Am is lucky to have him.

    1. No, Zack didn't die. He does get quite mauled but he survives. The worst of his fate is yet to come however. There are no screenshots, so this should be the last of Zack you ever get to see. But as a sneak preview - recall Soren's conversation with Oliver? Gator's attack isn't the last thing that happens to him.

      You hated Midnight? Haha I thought she made your inner Overlord self happy. XD

    2. I liked Oliver more than I liked her, so my dislike stemmed from the fact that she made him sad. *Huggles Oliver protectively*

      I notice that you hinted about what'll happen to Zack, and that Oliver has something to do with it, but fail to mention what happens to Gator. Please let him and Am have a happy ever after.

    3. All will be revealed in time, young grasshopper. Next chapter is pretty sweet, but it's Chapter Thirty-Seven that I'm very excited to write. You'll have to wait until Wednesday at the earliest for that one... :)

    4. I am thoroughly amused at how considering Zack's been acting in your legacy [although I'll confess to not knowing exactly how much is scripted. Not 100% would be my guess?] and finding out via the wiki that he has the good trait. :P

  2. I'm so glad Zack got his comeuppance and I hope worse is to come! How dare he hit Soren!

  3. About damn time. Finally, Gator is showing that he is not a weak momma's boy. I am pleased. Infinitely pleased.

  4. Sic him, Gator! Bite his pretty-boy face off!

  5. I thought I had replied to this chapter the other day when you wrote it, hmm. I must have been falling asleep. No that does not mean it was boring, haha! I tend to catch up on the blogs late at night from my netbook in bed and more than once have woken up with it smashed to my face. :P

    Gator's spawn is so freaking cute and will become an awesome Overlord, can't wait for his adventures!

    I was hoping Gator would do something to Zack too, yay! Well played Gator.

    And yes, I agree - I do hope Amaranth and Gator have a happy ending together since they've never gotten to be together all this time!