Thursday, April 28, 2011

Brook - Gen 6 Ch 7

We arrived at the estate in Champs Les Sims to lovely strains of a bass emanating from inside.
"So beautiful. Is that my mom?"
"It is, sweetheart. She's a wonderful musician, isn't she? Let's see if she'll answer the door."

Heather answered the door still dressed in the old outfit she had found, looking even more threadbare than before, if that was possible.
"Hello BrookandBrann.Who is that?" She pointed suspiciously at Cindy.
"Hi Heather. This is Hyacinth, your daughter. Remember I called and told you we would be bringing her?"

"Interesting. You remind me of Hyacinth." Heather was obviously off in another world. I exchanged glances with Brann. This wasn't going well.
"Um, I am Hyacinth?"
 Cindy was confused, but Heather was oblivious, and continued speaking to the air next to her.

Heather suddenly turned her gaze to me.
"Brook! Hyacinth wants to know about your machine. It's important. The anomaly must be repaired."
Cindy was more confused than ever. "Wait. wait. What machine?"
Heather rolled her eyes impatiently and snapped at me, "The time machine, of course. You've been using it."

Now it was Brann's turn to chime in on the chaos.
"What!? Have you really been traveling in that thing?"
"Um, well, yes. Just once. I didn't say anything because I didn't want you to worry. Bennie watched to make sure it went well."
"I can't believe you would take such a risk! You could have been stuck somewhere - or somewhen - forever."

At that moment, Mathilde made a fortuitous entrance onto the chaotic scene.
"Bon Jour everyone! Is everything alright?"

I pounced on the opportunity to ask her to take Cindy down to the hot tub while Brann and I finished up our conversation with Heather.

After seeing them to the door, I turned back to find Brann in a heated argument with Heather.
"You must be nuts if you think I am going to ever climb into that crazy machine."
"Hyacinth says it is necessary to repair the anomaly, " Heather repeated slowly, as if talking to a child.

I had long ago decided that Heather is not nearly as crazy as everyone thinks she is. I believe she knows things, sees things, that no one else can. 'The Gift', my ancestor Gustave had called it in his book.  If she thinks there is a temporal anomaly that needs to be repaired, most likely there is.

I managed to calm Brann down, and get a semi-coherent story from Heather. Her friend Hyacinth, who I assume is an ancient ghost, wants Brann and me to use the machine to travel back in time to see her. I'm not quite sure how to set the dial correctly for something so specific, but Heather says Hyacinth has that worked out. Now all I have to do is convince Brann. Yeah right.

I glanced over at Brann and could see that he was in no mood for discussing it any further today. I suggested a day at the art museum, to calm everyone down. It was first on Cindy's list of places to see, as she has been considering an art career.

We were pleased to find the museum almost empty. We wandered slowly through the top floor at our own pace. Cindy was especially fascinated by the Chinese exhibit.
"Look, Daddy! That looks just like yours!" She pointed to the obscure animal figure on the end.
I examined it closer.
"You're right. I still remember the day I pulled it up from the pond at the estate here. I never realized it might be valuable. Maybe I should have it appraised."

Alas, our quiet tour was not to last. Word had spread quickly that there was a famous actor at the museum, and soon the photographers showed up. 

"I got the photo! I can't believe it. Brannon Greenbow here in our museum. Did you get one, Mademoiselle?"
"No, I can get one any time I want. He's my father," I heard Cindy reply dryly.

"Many pardons, I did not mean to offend. Let me introduce myself. I am Maurice Durand."
I pretended to examine one of the exhibits while I kept my eye on Cindy and her new friend.

"Geez, can't I go anywhere without being followed by photographers? Let's get out of here."

"These pancakes are delicious. Thank you so much! Aunt Mathilde is taking me to the Nectary today. Would you like to come?"
Cindy was trying again to connect with her mom, but again was not making much headway.

"Thanks for taking me to the Nectary, Aunt Mathilde. My dads didn't want to go because of all the publicity involved. So uh, do you know a boy named Maurice?"
"I do. He is a nice boy. He comes from a good family. Why?"
"I met him at the museum yesterday. I think he's kind of cute."
"Ah, I see. Would you like me to set up a date for you?"
"Ohhhh! Would you? That would be amazing!"

Cindy seems to be picking up the French way of greeting quickly.
"What would you like to do today, Mademoiselle Cindy?"
"Could we see the ruins?"

"They are so adorable together, aren't they? Don't worry, they'll be fine. Maurice is a good boy." Mathilde had assured me Maurice would be a complete gentleman,but it was still hard for me to see Cindy going on her first date. I insisted she leave me an itinerary so I'd know where she was all day.

First up: exploring the Celtic Ruins.
"Don't worry, daddy, Maurice has a map, we won't get lost."

I've been down in those ruins, so I wasn't worried about the 'getting lost' part. More like the 'two kids alone in the dark' part. Hopefully Maurice is the gentleman Mathilde assured me he is.

Next up: Off to the cafe for dinner. I'm jealous. I love that cafe, but I won't show up to spoil her evening.

Cindy was walking on air when she arrived home that evening.
"Oh, daddy. He is so wonderful. I think I am in love.."

Leave it to Mathilde to find a way to bring Heather and Cindy together.
"You are both such amazing musicians. I would love to hear you play together."

"Goodbye mom, can I come back and play your piano sometime?"
"Of course. Take good care of BrookandBrann for me, will you?"

Friday, April 22, 2011

Brook - Gen 6 Ch 6

"What do you think of my new look? We started filming today finally!"
"It's.. uh... different..."
Brann had told me he was going to get his hair cut for his new series, 'The Simpranos', but I was not expecting such a difference. After many delays, the show he'd been working out for, and promoting endlessly, was finally getting off the ground.

He reached up and ran his fingers over the remains of his hair.
"It feels weird. I guess it'll take some getting used to. You don't like it, do you?"

Immediately I felt like kicking myself. Way to be supportive of Brann's first big break.
"I like it.. I do. Like you said, it'll just take a little getting used to, that's all."
'You're sure?"

"Eep! Papa Brann is that you?"
"It's me, sweetheart. Remember I told you I was going to get a haircut so I could pretend to be a bad guy on TV?"

"I remember now. Show me again how you're gonna pretend to get shot!"
"Haha, okay sweetie."
Cindy pointed her finger at Brann and pulled the 'trigger'.
"Bang bang! Take that, bad guy!"

"Daddy, you have to come watch! We're playing bad guys again! Bang bang!"
It was a scene the two had played out dozens of times, but neither one ever seemed to tire of it. I turned back to watch.
"Uuuuughhh. You got me!"

Brann clutched dramatically at his chest as he fell to the floor.
"Goodbye cruel world!"

"Yay! Again! Let's do it again!"

"Haha. Okay. One more time. Then I have to go take a shower."

While Brann was busy with his filming, I turned my attention once again to my grandmother's time machine. Bennie and I spent hours back behind the barn trying to fix it, and kept coming up short.

We finally narrowed the problem down to a broken keypad. Now to just loosen these screws, and take a good look at the wiring.

As I re-tightened the last screw, a flash of sparks sprang from the keypad, followed by a puff of white smoke. A strong smell of ozone filled the air. I groaned in defeat, thinking I had really wrecked things now.

I was amazed to see the keypad spring to life, red symbols dancing across the surface. Suddenly the door to the machine slid silently open, exposing the maelstrom of the time stream to view. Bennie only nodded matter-of-factly.
"I knew you could do it, Brook."

The unknown beckoned to me; I had to investigate. I glanced back at Bennie.
"Please don't tell Brann. He'll just make himself sick worrying. I'll be right back."
"Yes, Brook. I won't mention it."
"Okay then, here I go!"

My heart fluttered excitedly as I stepped through the door and was pulled into the distant past. I can't begin to explain all the adventures I had - that is a story for another day. Suffice it to say, it was everything I'd hoped it would be, and more.

My calculations must have been slightly off when I set my return time, as it was dark when I returned, and Bennie was nowhere it sight. Fortunately, it was still the same day as I had left, and Bennie was off making dinner for Cindy. I was relieved to discover that Brann had to work late, and was still at work, so my secret was safe for now.

"Here's the popcorn."
"I'll grab some sodas."
"Is it time?"
"Sit down, it's about to start!"
I flipped the remote over to the movie channel, and the three of us waited with bated breath through the opening credits. The long awaited first episode of the 'Simpranos' was about to start!

Brann and I had debated whether to let Cindy stay up to watch such an adult themed show, but she is almost 13 now, and mature for her age. Also, I think neither one of us were willing to withstand the howls of protest that would have ensued, if she not been allowed to watch her Papa Brann's first real performance on TV.

"Okay, here it comes. I'm gonna be on in just a few minutes."
It was about half way through the hour, and we still hadn't seen Brann. He had warned us he only had a small part in the first episode.
"Wait for it... there!"

"Eeehehehe! I see you on TV! This is so cool! That's why you had to have that funny haircut?" Cindy was about to burst with excitement.

We all loved the show, of course. But better than that, it received rave reviews. Even Brann got a mention for his 'realistic portrayal' of a gang member. It's a shame his character will be killed off in the a few more episodes, but all in all, it's been an amazing boost for his career.

"Okay, Cindy. Show's over. Time for bed."
"Daddy. There is something I want to ask you first. About my birthday present. I've been thinking...."
It was a week before her birthday, and we had asked her to think of what she might want for her birthday.
"Sure, sweetheart. Have you thought of something?"
"I want to go to France and meet my mom."

I sighed inwardly. I knew it was time to face the issue.
"I don't think she'll remember you, sweetie."
"I know, you've told me all that before. I still want to go and at least meet her. Pleeaaase?"
"Okay then. We'll go after your birthday. Just don't expect too much, alright sweetheart?"

The candles were barely cool on her cake when Cindy reminded me of my promise.
"When are we leaving? Ohhhh, I hope it's soon!"

"You didn't think I'd forget, did you? We leave tomorrow. You'd better get packed!"
"Eeeeee! I can hardly wait!"

"Oh, thank you. Thank you thankyou! This is the best birthday present ever!"
I sighed as I watched her run upstairs to pack. I just hope she won't be too disappointed. I know my sister, after all.