Thursday, February 7, 2013
Overlord Legacy - Chapter Fifty-Nine - The Day of Decision
Katt: "Sigh...I get the feeling that by this time tomorrow, I'm going to miss you and be totally relieved that I don't have to put up with you at the same time, Ransom."
It's a dull and dreary morning in Moonlight Falls, with the onset of autumn (and autumn in Moonlight Falls automatically translates to non-stop rain). Katt looks out the window, wishing it would clear up. She's sure her mood would be much better. Tonight's the biggest night of her life. It's her birthday. Tomorrow she will move out on her own, start her own life, and do for herself what her father taught her growing up. In a way, she's excited. There's a whole life full of potential out there for her. But it sort of hurts to think about leaving her sisters, and her dad, and her grandpa.
Everyone else seems to be quiet this morning too. They know it's going to be a big couple of days. Katt's and Severin's birthdays are tonight; Banshee's, Requiem's, and Ransom's are tomorrow. There's a lot of big transitions to come, and Severin, the one still in charge, will be the one that deals with them the most.
Darth Furball: "I cannot believe I find myself thinking I will miss my master's oldest daughter when she leaves. It is a bit strange to lose someone, even if they are only going across town."
Gator scoops up Ransom and gets her away from the desk. He glances outside the window, then decides to go ahead and do it. It's only cloudy right now, not raining yet. Ransom could use the fresh air and Gator needs to pay someone a visit. He's reached the Day of Finality. He still feels pretty good today, but he knows it's a waiting game from here. He needs to make sure things are in place.
Gator: "To your great-great-great-uncle's house. He's only seen you and your sisters in passing at the playground a few days ago. Might as well spend some time with him while your sisters are at school."
Gator: "Yes. Uncle Oliver."
Gator pushes Ransom down the sidewalk, keeping his steady pace. Severin watches after him through the front window. His dad seems to be moving pretty well still. He may yet have several days to him. At this point, though, Severin realizes how much of a blessing his father has been. He's gotten him through the roughest times, taken care of his daughters when they were too little to take care of themselves. His dad's been there every step of the way. Now his time is coming and Severin knows it will be time to simply let him go.
The thought of the legacy sends a lurch through his stomach. All of his daughters have birthdays either tonight or tomorrow. He needs to decide quickly who he needs to train to be the heir. Only one can fulfill that position. He can't delay it any further. He needs to decide now.
Ransom: "Dis not castle!"
Gator: "We own the only castle in town, Ransom, and it didn't even start out that way."
As Gator figured, Oliver has no qualms about their visit. His other visitor is merely another stylist looking over some of his stuff. Gator gently sets Ransom on the floor, hoping she doesn't run off too quickly. Letting out a small groan from his aching joints, he slowly lowers himself into one of Oliver's comfy chairs.
Gator: "She's an adventure to take care of now. She reminds me much of her father when he was her age."
Oliver: "Who was much like you when you were her age."
Gator: "...You remember that?"
Oliver: "I've been here for quite some time."
Gator: "How long, exactly?"
Oliver glances slightly over his shoulder, indicating to Gator that the other stylist is still nearby. She's a fairy, the most gentle of supernaturals. Gator takes Oliver's gaze to mean that she doesn't know he's a vampire and he doesn't intend to reveal that quite yet. Gator realizes it's why Oliver's been speaking quietly. He follows suit and lowers his voice as well.
Oliver: "Are you more contented with the fact or anxious?"
Gator: "...Contented, I think. I feel as though I've done my duty here, that I've helped in every way that I could. Severin's strong now, strong enough to be the alpha wolf, strong enough to stand on his own. I do fear leaving him and my granddaughters grieving, but...I suppose that can't be helped."
Oliver: "Your satisfaction with your life will be a great comfort to them."
Gator: "I hope Severin is able to recover quickly. I...I haven't quite..."
Oliver: "You're still grieving Amaranth."
Gator: "I still love her with all that I am.
Oliver: "Continue to live your best here. You will be reunited with her before long."
Gator: "Yes. That fills me with great joy. ...I obeyed your letter, the one you sent after she passed. Severin hasn't seen the letter you wrote to him yet."
Oliver: "I know. Werewolves are the most faithful of life forms. I had no doubts."
Gator: "Mm...I wonder if you have werewolf blood in you then. You've been faithful to this family since Midnight."
Oliver: "Ha! Not werewolf blood. But part of my decisions will be explained to Severin in the letter."
Gator: "...I don't suppose you could inform me?"
Oliver: "You will know soon enough. Rufus has a bit of a traditional story he likes to tell. You'll get to hear it when you meet him."
SCRATCH SCRATCH SCRATCH SCRATCH.
Oliver: "I'm not worried about it. I can always buy another one."
Gator: "Does anything ever set you off?"
Oliver: "No kidding. You ever cut an onion before?"
Gator: "Yeah...you get a burning sensation in your eyes and you start crying and your sinuses start running."
Oliver: "Multiply that by about three and you understand the garlic allergies of my kind."
The afternoon flies by, filled with small talk and relaxation. Gator realizes the girls will be back from school by now, and Severin had wanted to eat dinner early. He gathers up Ransom and plops her in the stroller, then pauses before taking the journey back home.
Oliver: "Severin basically had me make that promise in his letter. I'll be around."
Gator: "I've only realized recently your role. You're...not to make this sound disrespectful or anything, but...you're the back-up plan. You're there to step in and help move the Overlords back on track should they falter. Oliver, this is an obligation for which there is no gain for you. You cannot be the heir, nor part of the legacy, but you offer your assistance when it is needed. Why would you continue to stay? Do you...do you know something that we don't?"
Oliver: "My own gain is not the reason I remain in this role for your family. I do have my reasons, but you will have to forgive me for choosing to keep them to myself at this time."
Gator: "So full of secrets. I wonder if anyone will ever know the truth about you."
Oliver: "Perhaps someday."
Strolling Ransom back home, Gator plays over the conversation in his mind. He's always had questions about Oliver, only a few of which have been barely touched by Oliver himself. Gator knows that soon Oliver will be forced to come clean about his vampiric nature, after the rest of the town ages and people finally begin to notice that he doesn't. But his entire background - where he came from, how he was turned, why he's here - remains a mystery.
More mysterious yet, he's bound himself to this family, for a reason still unknown. Perhaps Gator will never know. He can only accept with gratitude the gift of Oliver's presence and choose to be satisfied with only that.
Requiem: "I'm fine with school. I just hate health class. I can't believe the teacher doesn't even know everything."
Banshee: "I can't believe we got sent to the principal's office just for correcting him."
Severin: "What were you correcting in health class?"
Requiem: "The stupid teacher said that only women can get pregnant and have babies. That's obviously not true."
Banshee: "We told her that men can have babies too, but they're not as common and they don't need a partner to do it, they just randomly get pregnant sometimes. The teacher looked at us like we were crazy."
Requiem: "Then he sent us to the principal's office and we almost got detention for 'lying' because we said that you had a baby that way."
Banshee: "I hate it when teachers don't study their own subjects."
Severin: "...Well, once you have your birthdays tomorrow, I suppose I'll have to go over 'the talk' with you...about the birds, the bees, and the 'fertilitee' potions."
Gator arrives as the girls finish up their homework and begins to cook some goopy carbonara, something they don't get to eat everyday. He even chops some up really fine in the blender, puts some ice cubes in it to cool it down, and gives some to Ransom to eat.
Gator: "It is, actually. I'm kind of surprised at myself."
Requiem: "But grandpa, you always cook good food."
Ransom: "I eat it like dinosaur."
Severin: "You're eating it like a mess. I think more of it's on your face than in your stomach."
Katt: "Well...you ready for this, dad?"
Severin: "Ready for what? Nothing's happening tonight."
Katt: "Dad. You have to face it - I'm growing up tonight and you're getting just slightly older."
Ransom: "Daddy old fart!"
Ransom: "Don't be wude?"
Severin: "I don't think she knows any other mode of speaking. Rude is her only vocabulary."
Requiem: "That wasn't Ransom, dad. That was Darth Furball."
Darth Furball: "Excuse me."
Dinner ends on a high note, with Gator's cooking skills being thoroughly enjoyed. Banshee immediately starts to gather the dishes to wash them. Not to be outdone, especially with their father watching, Requiem begins to gather them as well.
Requiem: "Washing the dishes. What's it look like I'm doing?"
Banshee: "But I was going to wash the dishes."
Requiem: "I bet I can wash more dishes than you."
Before the kids can grab the other plates, Gator scoops them up. He gives them a knowing look, then proceeds to wash them himself.
It isn't long before the magical moment happens. Katt goes first. As Gator celebrates, the magic sparkles begin to swirl around her. Severin simply stares in awe. This is it. This is his first child reaching adulthood, reaching maturity, reaching full independence.
Katt: "Ha! It's alright, dad. I can handle my own."
The eldest of the Overlord princesses is finally at the age of independence. Severin smiles. She's going to make a man very happy one day. So caught up in his daughter, he almost doesn't notice the rainbow sparkles swishing around him as well.
Katt: "Come on, dad, it's not like you're turning old or anything."
Closing his eyes, Severin waits for the sparkles to stop. When he's sure it's over, he cautiously opens one eye and looks down at himself. He doesn't feel very much different, actually. He doesn't even feel that much more mature. Katt laughs at his overreaction and tells him to strike a pose. Awkwardly he does.
Severin: "Has my nose gotten bigger? I feel like it's my trademark feature."
Gator: "You got that from me, kid."
Severin: "Hey, I'm technically not a kid anymore."
Gator: "You'll always be a kid to me. But anyway, I'm proud of the man you've become. You're an excellent, responsible father, an honorable werewolf, and a great contributor to the legacy. You've made all your ancestors proud, I know it."
The kids are allowed to stay up a little later than normal to spend time with Katt, as it's her last night at the castle. When the family finally winds down, Severin finds himself having a hard time sleeping. Will she really be gone tomorrow? The precious little girl that's been around since he was a teenager...is she really all grown up now? What will the castle even feel like without her? And why is he making such a big deal out of this? He was supposed to be the aloof father that couldn't wait for his kids to get out of the house and be independent.
As much as he somewhat dreads the morning coming, morning does indeed come. He decides to make the best of it, practicing some soft songs on the guitar as the kids eat some leftovers for breakfast. He'd never admit it, but the instrumental songs he's playing were written about his daughters.
Katt: "Even though I didn't want to take on the legacy?"
Severin: "I wouldn't want to force you to do something you didn't want to do. You're still an Overlord in heart."
Katt: "Haha! I can't wait to see our legacy progress as I get older. I'll always remember how you contributed to it. I think you're the greatest Overlord, in my opinion."
Severin: "Well, we'll see about that when we get to meet our ancestors."
Katt next says goodbye to her grandfather, already trying to fight back tears from her goodbye with her father.
Gator: "You've always been a wonderful granddaughter, Katt. It was my joy and delight to be a part of your life."
Severin: "You can thank me for that, really."
Katt: "Were you really a teenager when I was born, dad?"
Severin: "Yep. Big reason why your grandparents stayed at the castle. Because I was a doofus and couldn't do it on my own."
Katt: "You're not a doofus, dad!"
Gator: "Well, he kind of was back then."
The next goodbye goes to the little rat in the family.
Katt: "Are you blowing your nose on my shoulder?"
Ransom: "Super snot."
Katt: "I think I'll just...put you down now..."
Only two left to say goodbye to. Katt tries to scrounge up the last of her emotions. She never thought it would be so draining on them to say so many goodbyes. She almost doesn't want to leave at this point, but she's made all the arrangements.
Katt: "I'm a young adult now, so yeah, I kind of have to go set out on my own now."
Requiem: "...I'll miss you."
Katt: "Aww, you little stinker."
Katt wraps Requiem in a hug, then proceeds to say her last goodbye to Banshee.
Katt: "Yes, ma'am."
Banshee: "And, Katt...I'm sorry for sometimes giving you a hard time. I'm going to miss having you around. Me and Requiem will be the oldest ones now and I'm a little bit scared."
Katt: "You and Requiem will be fine, as long as you learn to get along."
A few minutes later, Katt says goodbye to the whole family, gets into her car, and drives away to her new life. Everyone watches from the window as she goes, all of them a little misty-eyed. Even the Sim Deity gets misty-eyed, because she hates watching stuff like this.
It doesn't take much longer for things to start to get back to normal, starting with some of Ransom's usual antics. This time, though, Severin has had quite enough. She's almost entirely ruined a chair from her constant scratching of it.
Wondering how to teach her a lesson, Severin then notices she's holding a lollipop in her hand. Must be a present from grandpa - he has a knack for finding those candies around town to buy. Knowing that simply removing her from the object and telling her not to scratch it doesn't work, Severin tries another tactic.
Severin: "You keep scratching my expensive furniture, even when I tell you multiple times to stop doing that. So if you're not going to stop scratching the furniture, you can't have your lollipop."
Ransom: "But gampa give it to me!"
Severin: "I don't care. You don't get it back until you quit scratching the furniture."
Severin: "Enough of that."
Ransom grabs the bottle, sucks a few drops out of it, then maniacally laughs as she squirts some of it at her father's face to blind him, throwing it away and immediately charging back to her chair.
Severin: "...I greatly fear this creature I have produced out of my butt. I don't think the world is ready for her."
Sighing, Severin pulls his youngest daughter away from the chair and holds her firmly.
Shortly before evening - and thus birthday time - comes around, the Overlords get another Overlord visitor. One of Tobie's daughters has decided to spend some time at the castle with her cousins, her grandpa, and her uncle Severin. Despite Tobie not looking very much like Severin, she appears to have inherited a lot of Severin's looks.
Evening arrives. Severin's heart leaps into his throat as he waits for the sparkles to start coming. He knows the time is now. He needs to select an heir before tomorrow is over. He can't afford to delay any longer.
Mischievous little Ransom goes first.
Heading down the stairs, child-aged Ransom is able to witness her child-age sister Requiem face her sparkles and jump to her teenage years.
Finally it's Banshee's turn. She can't wait to see herself as a teenager.
He closes his eyes. Here he goes...
Author's notes: Several chapters ago, I promised a reader poll, since the first one went so well. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you get to pick the heir. It is entirely in your hands and I literally don't have a personal preference. The story potential for each possible heir is going to be fun. So it's in your hands now! Please vote on the reader poll over to the right - you can say who you want to be the heir in the comments, but that in itself does not count as a vote, so please be sure to choose in the actual poll.
I haven't played past this point yet (as of 2/7/13), but Gator's still around right now. Hopefully he stays for a while. Also hinting more at Oliver's story...I've got a lot of his in mind, revealing bit by bit.
Love hearing from you in the comments! Again, please vote, and I'm eager to see who you've selected to be the heir! :)