Chapter 03: Connections

August 21st, 2007

"What good luck for them. Now they can turn in the pirate's body, collect the money from their contract and then ransom the other Taylor back to the pirate band."

"That's the same conclusion they came to."

"Idiots. They are being greedy. It is too dangerous."

"And that's the conclusion I came to."

"All right, I want you to— Wait a moment." Rann muttered something unintelligible under his breath. "The pirate's contract is up for bid again." The sound of clicking keys could once again be heard through the Alec's earpiece.

Alec's eyebrows rose in disbelief. "What?"

Then a string of obscenities, half of which he couldn't understand because they were spoken in archaic elvish, bombarded his ear.

"What's going on?"

There was a long pause. Rann's breath was ragged when he finally answered. "I put a bid in for the contract, but was underbid by the damn Wraith Warriors."

Alec's jaw tightened at the mention of the large mercenary corporation. It seemed that they were always outbidding Ravencrest's smaller company for contracts. "Shit! It would have been a perfect way to get Taylor back."

"Yes. But…"

Wondering what plan Rann's mind was devising, Alec began pacing again. Now it wasn't only the cold he was trying to keep at bay but lethargy as well. God, it would be wonderful to be back in his own bed tonight. But he had a hunch that he wouldn't be able to realize that pleasure until much later this evening if at all.

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24 Responses to “Chapter 03: Connections”

  1. Decorgal says:

    Yay! I'm glad it didn't take too long before this chapter. I think this chapter in particular is leaving me with more questions than answers but I won't ask them because I'm sure they await in the next chapter and more.

    Great photos and story as usual and I think what were particularly convincing were all the expressions you were able to capture of your characters- very telling of their personalities.

    Kara said: hehe Yeah, I'm afraid there are going to be many more questions raised, but some questions will be answered soon…hopefully!

    I had fun with getting just the right expressions. Although, as I'm sure you know all too well, it sure makes you notice how overly exaggerated many of the Sims' animations are. I had already realized that, but it was really rubbed in this time.

  2. WebbyMom says:

    Well, there's mystery literally dripping off this thing. Wonderful job yet again, I'm enjoying this unravelling immensely. :)

    Love this Ravencrest character – he seems to be, whoever he is, a very dedicated, serious, iron-grip sort of fellow, eh? And Alec – yes, he's a dream, for sure. I like him already. A lot. Too much. He's a Sim, after all. (LOL)

    I am definitely anxious to see what the heck happened to Brandee, but I actually also enjoy the waiting. Then when I'm not thinking about it, POP! there's an e-mail telling me I have a huge treat waiting for me as soon as I can go read! Very fun. Looking forward to the next chapter. :)

    Kara said: Thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying unraveling the mystery because I sure am having fun tangling it all up. ;) And, yes, Rann is quite the determined character. We haven't seen the last of him, that's for sure. As for Alec,I'd forgotten how much I liked him until I started work on this chapter, and taking pictures of him was the best part.

  3. BanSidhe says:

    Wow. Just, wow. I cannot remember a time when I have not been to your website, starting back with Panni's Image Design page. Then I came across the SWG film. I have it saved to my desktop and have seen it numerous times. And now you have started another addiction. Well, two. I am in love with your bjds and am about to start another side job to buy one of my own. Think you could post some more pictures of them?

    Kara said: "Wow" back at you! You really have been around a long time! I'm glad you're still here. Thank you so much for the compliment. :mrgreen: I'm currently working on putting a site together for my BJDs so that I can post as many pictures as I want. It feels wrong to post them here especially since some people who may be interested in my story might not want to be bothered by pictures of dolls. I'll make a post at this site though to let you know when the BJD site goes live. Do you know what doll you want to get first?

  4. Eva says:

    YAY! I know that Brandee is not going to die. I mean..come on, the whole point of the story is about her…I think. So I have a question? In the different realms, one is human and one is elvish? But that doesn't make sense because Brandee is only human. But maybe her contact with elves as a child gave her some sorta special characterstics. Alec looks mighty nice..better than I remember, but that's probably just because it has been so long. I wonder what I will think when I see Tahlvin…mmm. Rann is also very lovely. He looks mighty young to have had the girl that Alec loves to..urmm…. invite to his room. Anyway, can't wait for the next update.

    Kara said: Well, I don't want to give too much away as I'll be answering most of your questions in future chapters. But, I will say that Brandee isn't the only human in this world (for example, the other Brandee [the dead pirate], Jack and Alec). However, as Alec mentioned in this chapter, "if he lived in [the world that Brandee is from]—and most likely a version of him did somewhere—he wouldn't be working for Ravencrest. Hell, Ravencrest wouldn't even exist over there." For that matter, versions of Tahlvin and Hale wouldn't exist there either. Okay, enough of my hinting. I'll leave the rest for you to puzzle out yourself and/or discover in upcoming chapters.

    Oh, and Rann Ravencrest isn't really that young. He's actually the oldest character in this story, but as an immortal he ages very gracefully.

    hehe I love the way you delicately refer to Alec's…um…bedding of Mae. ;)

  5. Alicia says:

    Rann looks a bit like Tahlvin to me, except with different custom content–coincidence or my imagination? The image of Brandy's file on the computer is very creative, by the way. I adore the amount of detail you seem to have an eye for. Also, going by these last two chapters, I can appreciate the title "Worlds Apart" a bit more – it almost has double meaning, which is something I have a certain attraction to.
    Alec seems like he'd be fun to work with. ;) Thanks for the update and not giving up on the story, despite the hard times you have had with Simming! Amazing as always.

    Kara said: Rann is actually based on this guy. ;) However, Jack, the thug from the last chapter, is based on Tahlvin (I altered the facial structure a little), but you shouldn't read anything more into it than that—they aren't related or anything.

    And, thank you! I had fun adding the details and doing a mock-up of Pirate Brandee's web page and mug shot (you'll see a close-up of it in the next chapter). I'm also so pleased and excited that you caught on to the double meaning behind "Worlds Apart". I have fondness for such things as well.

  6. amalinaball says:

    I can't believe your attention to detail and how amazing you can make a simple office setting appear! It's like you have a knack for making things look really impressive – the Brandy webpage, the glass of wine, the moving fan in the background. I really like looking at your pictures. In fact I went back to look at them some more. :D

    I knew I had heard the name Wraith Warriors before, so I looked back at the tour of Mission Bay you posted ages ago and then it all made sense! Well, no it didn't actually. It made me wonder even more about these two big old organisations. So does this mean that Alec and Tahlvin are enemies? I wonder what those two big thugs wanted with Brandee? Heck, I wonder what Ravencrest wants with Brandee? Ahh, Alec. There was so much of him in this chapter that my keyboard is sparking from excessive exposure to my drool. No wonder Mae lurves him! ;) Now I'm all riled up and I can't wait for next chapter! This one was awesome!

    Kara said: Thanks so much! I love adding little details to make a scene seem more…well, life-like. And, yeah, it does sound like Alec might not be on the best of terms with the people at Wraith Warriors, hmm? :twisted:

    I do so love Alec. His personality is so much fun and, I must say, he's very easy on the eyes as well.

  7. Pandora Moon says:

    Hi. cool update. ok so this has raised more questions then answers but that's a good thing since it will keep me coming back for more. *grins*

    How do you get your pictures to look so good?. As mine usually look terrible compared to yours.

    Keep Simming!.

    See ya.

    Kara said: I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far in spite of the numerous questions. I promise to answer them eventually. ;)

    As for what I do to my pictures, maybe this will help answer your question. For the images in this chapter, the forest pictures were edited quite a bit more than the office pictures. I had to make the forest images brighter (they were pretty dark despite lighting on the set) and I changed their tone (the light in them had a yellowish cast and I wanted a blue tone to make it look like the moon was casting the light). I also desaturated the colors a little. I didn't too do much to the office pictures other than adjusting the levels (making them a tad brighter).

  8. Lisa says:

    *fan girl squeal* SQUEE!!!!

    Ok, seriously, your sets are fantastic! Superb! Very well done. I can't say enough good things about your attention to detail and your awesome photo skills.

    *drool* Alec is super HAWT! I can't wait to see Tahlvin. *drools some more*

    Kara said: hehe Thank you! I can appreciate the fan girl squeal as that is what I feel like doing since Tahlvin is going to be in the next chapter. Yay!

  9. Yicke says:

    Nice thing, waking up to a new update! It must take you ages to get all those shots, they are beautifully chosen, each one with the exact right facial expression! Not that the update gave me any more of a clue of what's going on, it's given me a ton of questions on top of the other ones that were allready waiting in my head. I'm hooked!

    Kara said: Oh, Yicke, it did take a few days to get all these pictures. Phew! But, the effort was worth it in the end. I truly don't know how the people that make Sim machinima (movies) do it. I have the luxury of picking an expression out of an animation that has absolutely nothing to do with the scene. While the machinima directors have to find a complete animation that will work for them. Ugh!

    And I'm glad you're hooked! Thank you!

  10. Strawberrie says:

    Great story, it's so nice to come to my dorm after Japanese 101 and read a great story that obeys the rules of grammar. I love the snapshots and how you set up the scenes. I just love the office, looks like I walk into a real one (well except some people's desk are a bit messy LOL). Keep up the great work, I can't wait for the next chapter to arrive.

    Kara said: Thank you! Well, Mae is a very neat person so her working area is alway impeccably organized. ;) My real-life desk, on the other hand, is quite messy at the moment. haha

  11. BanSidhe says:

    "I'm currently working on putting a site together for my BJDs so that I can post as many pictures as I want. It feels wrong to post them here especially since some people who may be interested in my story might not want to be bothered by pictures of dolls. I'll make a post at this site though to let you know when the BJD site goes live. Do you know what doll you want to get first?"

    Well, I have to admit that your Hound is impressive, but I am leaning towards the Dollzone 60cm Cherry. Ever have that feeling of instant attraction when you see something you want? I would put a link to her here, but is so slow I have given up.

    Kara said: I totally know what you mean about the feeling of instant attraction—it's what I felt when I saw both of my dolls. I like a lot of dolls that are out there, but I can't/don't want to own all of them. I have to feel that spark. I like Cherry too. Plus, she's also very reasonable (price-wise) as far as BJDs go.

  12. E. Black says:

    Another marvelous update, Kara! The plot is getting delightfully thick and delicious. *claps*

  13. Lucia says:

    I love this story! Well, actually, I love all of your stories having to do with Brandee, Alec, Saena, Tahlvin and all those other people. By the way, do you happen to make sims downloadable. Because if you do could you make Alec and Mae please! Or if not could you tell me where you got Mae's hair?

    Kara said: Thank you, Lucia! I'm very glad you're enjoying the story so far. I'm sorry to say though that I'm not offering any of my Sims for download at the moment. However, you can get the hair Mae is wearing from RoseSims2. It is in the "Donation" section, page 15. :)

  14. Anghard says:

    I can't say enough how much I am into this story. My only regret was not being able to get to it earlier than now. I've been missing out.

    Alec and Raan huh? I wonder what's going on there and Brandee seems to be the key point of it all.

    Excellent update!

  15. Beth says:

    Between laughing with delight and gasping at the shots….fantastic, wonderful dialogue!

    Pure 100 proof fantastic!

  16. Jan says:

    Kara! I really love your story and characters!! :up:
    I think that I'm developing an obssesion :) I've been browsing about and re-reading your stories everyday. I'm just really confused about something;

    Is this an alternate word thing, like the world in which Brandee comes from and the world in which Alec lives is different? If so what happened to the child!Brandee who got lost in the ruins…is she the Pirate!Brandee or the other girl?

    meh. Sorry if it sounds retarded! My brainz is ded because of Uni :(
    If it is an alternate world…then it strongly reminds me of the Spellbinder series hehe!

  17. Kara says:

    Thank you, Jan! And actually your observations are quite astute. 8) This is an alternate/parallel world. I guess you would say Brandee (who is also child!Brandee) comes from our world, while pirate!Brandee, Tahlvin, Alec live in the alternate/parallel world where elves, magic and other supernatural things exist.

    I haven't read the Spellbinder series (I don't think). Who writes it? I'm always on the lookout for new books to read.

  18. Jan says:

    ah! I see, I see!! I initially thought that it was only a one-world thing. I feel like asking more questions…but then I guess that you'll get to them in future chapters (I can't wait :P ).

    (but then…Child!Brandee was found by mum and dad, I suppose)

  19. Kara says:

    Well, I don't want to tell. You'll find out eventually. I won't spoil it for you. :P

  20. Jan says:

    8) hehe. I will wait then (no choice! lol)

    I also forgot (very sorry about that)! The Spellbinder series I mentioned are not books but an australian tv series. It was a long, long time ago and I was really small at the time. The plot was about a boy who got through a sort of veil and found himself in a medieval-y/fantasy place (later he went to another place resembling ancient china).

    The 'Veil' thing reminded me of Spellbinder :P

  21. Brie says:

    Is it just me, or did I notice a few similarities between some names in this story and Halo? Tehe. :)

  22. Kara says:

    I'm not familiar with Halo other than the machinima "Red vs. Blue" but I can't think of any similar names from that. But now I'm curious, which names did you mean?

  23. Sheryl says:

    *In awe*

    I have to stop reading here and leave a short note. I'm new to reading Sims-based stories, but I have to say so far yours tops them all! Your screenshots are amazing…the looks on their faces in this chapter fit perfectly with the dialogue.

    Of course, your writing is engaging even without the pictures, but the combination is flawless. I laughed my way through this part and am loving the story. Wonderful work!

  24. xtinabobina says:

    geez, im all sorts of confused, its difficult stopping between chapters and coming back to read. im tempted to just sit down & read all of the chapters haha. but, i have to force myself to wait; surprise is half the fun. anyhoot, your screenshots are amazing. i aim to be as talented as you!!!! i'll check out the next chapter tomorrow, cannot wait! ttys!


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