Sunday, 22 December 2013

Chapter 1.19 - Lectures

Evelyn waited for them when they finally returned home, her face blank and her arms crossed across her chest. The girls exchanged nervous glances, suspicious that Evelyn had found out about their little deception.
“So, did you enjoy the park?” Evelyn asked calmly. Chantia shifted her weight nervously, while Mia held her cool.

“We did, yes,” Mia replied, her voice just as calm as Evelyn’s. “It was very peaceful.”
For a minute Evelyn merely looked at them, apparently waiting for more info. When she realised nothing more was forthcoming, she addressed the girls again.
“Tell me, which park did you go to?” Evelyn tried again. Chantia glanced at Mia, now sure their deception had been found out.
“The one up in the hills, by the waterfall,” Chantia admitted, cracking under the pressure. Evelyn gave a small nod in satisfaction.

“I see,” she replied calmly. “And did Joy enjoy the park as much as you did?”
Neither girl answered, now completely positive their mother knew.

“I thought so,” Evelyn stated after a while of silence. “You can imagine how surprised I was two hours ago when I saw Joy walking in Central Park, talking to her boyfriend without either of you in sight,” Evelyn explained how she knew about the girls’ deception. “Joy is a very sweet girl, but she can’t hold a lie to save her life,” she informed her daughters.
The girls hung their heads in shame, apologizing guiltily. Evelyn sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose, trying to relieve the pressure of the headache building up.

“So, where were you really?” Evelyn asked calmly. The answer was unexpected.

“Visiting Charlotte.” “Visiting the ghosts.”
Evelyn opened her eyes again and looked levelly at the girls.
“Visiting the ghosts,” she repeated in a deadpan voice. The girls nodded.  

The only reason people think ghosts don’t exist is because nobody’s ever seen them, or nobody ever believe those who claim they have. I’m not saying you have to believe everything Chantia says; I’m just saying you should listen to her with an open mind.
Evelyn sighed explosively. “I’m getting too old for this,” she muttered under her breath, but decided to trust in Gustave’s words once again. “Okay, so you visited the ‘ghosts’,” she conceded. “What did you do?”

Again the girls looked at each other before answering.
“We were just talking,” Chantia replied with a shrug. “We wanted to know a bit more about…some things, so…she just answered our questions.”
“By ‘she’ I’m assuming you’re talking about Charlotte Ainsworth, the girl who died from polio?”
Chantia perked up at the new bit of information. “She died from polio?” she repeated curiously. “I didn’t know that.”
Evelyn rubbed her bridge again. “Your father found that out when we were visiting him,” she admitted before giving up with the conversation. She really was getting too old to deal with it.
“Fine, I’ll forgive you this once,” she relented reluctantly. “Now scram; do whatever you usually do. I have an important party to attend later tonight, so I’m trusting you girls not to break the house down.”
The girls grinned happily, glad that they got off so lightly before obeying Evelyn’s order. Evelyn kept an eye on them until they started with their usual activities (Mia experimenting at her chemical station and Chantia playing with her dog) before turning around and retreating to her room to finish getting ready for the party. Sometimes, she really didn’t know what to do with her girls. It was times like these that she wished Gustave lived with them, or maybe just that he was more available.
Later that evening, Evelyn left the house for her party. The girls both promised to remain in the house with such conviction that Evelyn believed them completely. She hugged them goodnight before leaving, knowing she would only return long after the girls went to bed.
The party was a great success and Evelyn enjoyed it a lot. The host provided good quality food and music and Evelyn spent most of the time socialising with the other guests and fighting off the advances of one persistent suitor who constantly dropped hints that they should get together. Evelyn fended him off good-naturedly, flattered that she was still considered as datable despite her age, but by the time the party was over she was glad to be rid of him.

Time passed and life in the Marquel household went on as normal. Evelyn continued working as the vice-principle of Sunset Valley Combined Community School and the girls continued growing older. Chantia continued visiting the ghosts’ house whenever she could, while Mia continued her research at her chemistry station. She invented numerous new potions, even one she claimed would be able to turn imaginary friends real. Chantia had no idea what to make of that. Mia just told her it was due to several discussions with Charlotte.  
At school, the girls continued to flourish as well. Mia researched the grocery store and wrote a review that was so well written, the shop decided to put it on their website. Chantia kept up with her Scouting Club, even taking part in a badging ceremony where she proudly received a badge.
She celebrated the rest of that evening playing with Luna, who had since grown into a proper adult dog.
Of course, as is the nature of the universe, life couldn’t remain peaceful forever, as the entire family found out one rainy night.
Nobody in the house noticed anything when the burglar stole Mia’s chemistry table…
…but they all certainly noticed when the burglar alarm went off. At first, Evelyn thought it was just a malfunction – because who ever heard of crime in this part of Sunset Valley? – but soon realised that no, it definitely wasn’t a malfunction.
Evelyn screamed. The burglar screamed in response. Luna started barking, a police officer burst through the door, and the entire time the alarm kept shrilling through the house.
Of course, just when Evelyn thought things couldn’t possibly get more chaotic, Mia came down the stairs, rubbing her eyes tiredly.
“Mom? What’s going on?"

Evelyn felt fear clench her heart. “No Mia! Go back! Go back up!” she implored the girl.
Mia ignored the woman, choosing to glare at the burglar instead. The noise was giving the girl a headache, and she was clever enough to know the blame rested on the burglar, who was looking exceedingly more harried as time went on and the noise didn’t stop.
To make matters even worse, the officer and burglar started fighting, Mia remained standing within striking distance of the two and Chantia also came down the stairs.
“Chantia! Mia! Get way from there!” Evelyn ordered again, but neither girl listened. Mia kept watching the fight with that neutral expression of hers, while Chantia kept staring at the fight in fascination.
Chantia cocked her head slightly, studying the fight.

“I think the burglar is winning,” she offered bemusedly. Mia pressed her lips and studied the fight from a different angle.
“No,” she disagreed, “the officer will win. The burglar isn’t flexible enough to escape that hold.”
Sure enough, the officer won and arrested the burglar. Mia’s chemistry table was returned and the family got a little bit of money for helping the police catch a wanted criminal. While the officer talked to Evelyn, thanking her for keeping the burglar busy until the officer arrived, the girls decided it was the perfect time for a midnight snack.
And all the while the alarm kept blaring.

_~…~_
And that is a perfect example of what happens when glitches, sim autonomy and route-failing meet. That entire scene with the burglar was completely autonomous. Throughout that whole sequence, I performed one action: I made Evelyn call the police when I heard the burglar music. Then I just sat back and enjoyed, only taking pictures the whole time, especially as time passed and the sequence grew more bizarre. I could not stop laughing. Evelyn kept screaming and jumping around while the two girls just stood there and stared. To make it even more bizarre, one of their neighbours noticed the burglar and jogged across the street to stand by the burglar’s side while he stole the chemistry table, jumping and screaming his head off the entire time.

This was definitely the funniest burglar scene I’ve ever experienced over my many years of simming.



Saturday, 7 December 2013

Chapter 1.18 - Answers and Explanations

The weekend Charlotte had promised to give them answers had finally arrived, but the two Marquel girls had a small problem to solve before they could meet with the ghost.
“She’s never going to let us go,” Chantia stated moodily. Mia hummed in agreement, not even bothering to grace her sister with a response.

“I mean,” Chantia continued, “it’s like she thinks the moment we set foot outside the house, something terrible will happen to us. She’s never even allowed me to visit any of my friends’ houses!”
Mia hummed again, tilting her head slightly. “That’s your own fault,” she pointed out. “If you didn’t have the habit to disappear at odd times – like, during the Full Moon – she would most likely have been more lenient,” Mia stated before giving Chantia a pointed glare. “With both of us.”

Chantia sighed heavily and pulled her leg closer to her chest with a scowl on her face.
“That was Charlotte’s fault,” Chantia argued. “She said she wanted to show me something and the next moment we were standing in front of her house.”
Mia stared levelly at Chantia, her eyebrow lifted almost imperceptibly, causing the older girl to fidget slightly.
“What? It’s true!” Chantia insisted, uncomfortable at the stare. “She really did that!”
“Of course,” Mia murmured, agreeing patronizingly with her sister.
Chantia scowled at Mia.
“Fine, don’t believe me,” Chantia dared the young genius, whose only response was to lift her other eyebrow as well.
“I don’t disbelieve you,” Mia disagreed. “I just don’t see how knowing that will get Mom to let us go. When it was just an afternoon she didn’t mind, but she won’t let us be gone the entire day. Not without adult supervision, in any case.”
Chantia pouted slightly, knowing the younger girl was right.
“We could just tell her we’re going to visit a friend,” she suggested. “There will be adults present, just not…living ones.”
“She’ll want names and numbers,” Mia pointed out.
“So we’ll give her some,” Chantia replied. “We can tell her we’re going to…say, Joy’s house.”
Mia shook her head. “Not going to work,” she disagreed. “She’ll most likely call Joy’s mother to confirm that we’re really there,” she pointed out. The girls fell into silence as they both thought about the problem.
“I’ve got an idea,” Chantia said slowly after a minute or two. “We can tell her we’re going to visit Joy. I’ll call Joy and ask her to cover us, so that if Mom calls them, Joy can tell her that we went to the park or something,” Chantia suggested. “Joy is already in high school, so I’m pretty sure Mom won’t have a problem with that.”
Mia hummed contemplatively, considering the idea. “It can work,” she agreed before climbing off the bed and straightening her PJ’s. “Call Joy; I’ll talk to Mom.”
Chantia flashed her sister a grin and watched the younger girl leave the room before she called her best friend.
“Hey Joy, it’s me, Chantia. Listen, I have a huge favour to ask…”
Downstairs, Mia found Evelyn in the kitchen, busy with her weekly cleaning routine. Evelyn gave Mia a warm smile and turned her full attention to the girl, leaving the counter she was cleaning alone.
“Good morning, Mia,” Evelyn greeted her charge warmly. “Did you sleep well?” Mia assured Evelyn that she had, thank you, but that there was actually something else she wanted to talk about.
“Oh,” Evelyn replied, slightly amused by Mia’s tone. “Well then, what is it?”
“Can Chantia and I go with Joy to the park? I’ve never officially met her, and Chantia’s complaining that they haven’t seen each other in forever and…” Mia shrugged slightly,” we’d really like to get out of here,” the girl confessed petulantly.
Evelyn bit her lip softly in thought. Joy was Teresa’s daughter and the girl was already in high school, so she couldn’t really see any harm in letting the girls go with the teen.
“Okay,” she consented. “Just make sure you’re back before dark and keep out of trouble. And don’t give Joy too much grief,” she ordered sternly. Mia gave Evelyn one of her rare moments of emotion, smiling and hugging the woman.
“Thank you!” With that, Mia broke the hug and bounded up the stairs again to the room she shared with Chantia. Evelyn just smiled after her, ignoring the part of her mind that provided all kinds of horrible situations the girls could get caught up in. Sunset Valley was safe. Her kids would be safe.
Minutes later, the girls were dressed and ready for their big adventure. They both hugged their mother goodbye before leaving the house all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
Of course, the girls had no intention of actually going to the park, so after some time of cycling, they finally arrived at the ghosts’ house. The house on the hill was just as creepily ominous as it had always been, but something felt different to Mia than the last time she had visited the house with Chantia.
A golden figure sitting demurely by the tree caught Mia’s eye, causing her to smile slightly. The girl humming so peacefully by the tree was golden and transparent, so she had to be a ghost. That meant that Mia’s theories had been correct. Her potion would allow her to interact with ghosts.
The ghost looked up at their approach, her eyes widening slightly.
“You’re here,” she stated with a slight hint of hesitation in her voice. Her voice was just as beautiful as Mia remembered.
“Yep,” Chantia agreed cheerfully. “You asked us to come today, remember?”
The ghost smiled at Chantia’s cheerful tone and relaxed slightly.
“I did, yes,” Charlotte agreed with a soft smile. “I promised to answer your questions. But, are you really sure you want to know? It’s a very long tale, and it might change the way you view the world forever.”
Charlotte fidgeted slightly with her hands, clearly uncomfortable with the topic. Mia smiled slightly, trying to comfort the ghost.
“You don’t have to tell us, you know,” she assured the ghost calmly. “We’d like answers, but if it makes you uncomfortable, you really don’t have to force yourself.”
The ghost looked at Mia in surprise, her eyes wide open in shock. “You can see me? How?” Charlotte asked incredulously. Mia smiled reassuringly at the ghost before she described the potion she had invented and the additional effects she believed the potion had. To her greatest surprise and joy, Charlotte was able to follow her without problem and even offered her own theories and suggestions.
“You’re really clever, you know,” Mia told the ghost. “You’re the only one who has managed to follow me without any problems.”
Charlotte smiled knowingly at the young genius. “I know and understand your frustration,” the ghost admitted. “When I was still alive, I was considered a genius as well. My family expected many great things from me, but, well, I didn’t quite get the chance to prove them right or wrong.”
A slightly uncomfortable silence fell around them as the conversation took a morbid turn.
Charlotte shook her head and smiled at the two living girls. “But that is in the past,” she declared. “You came here with questions, and I promised I’d provide answers. So come with me,” the ghost ordered and started walking towards the lake beside the ghosts’ house, the two girls following obediently. “It’s a very, very long story, so we might as well make ourselves comfortable.”
“So, what do you want to know?” Charlotte asked once they had arrived at the lake and settled down on the grass surrounding the lake.
Mia wasted no time to ask her questions. “What happens when a person dies?” Mia asked curiously. “Some of the theories I’ve read about state that people just cease to exist after they die. I know this is a lie, because you’re dead, but you still clearly exist. Other theories state that some kind of monster comes at the time of death to reap a person’s soul and send them off to an afterlife. So what is the truth?”
Charlotte hummed thoughtfully and picked at the grass in front of her. “That’s actually a very complex question,” she admitted. “Death and the afterlife aren’t quite as clear-cut as they are in the stories,” the ghost said and leaned back in thought, supporting her weight with her arms. “To really understand what happens, you have to know more about the way the entire universe works,” she explained.
Mia perked up at the admission. “You’re saying there’s a specific way the universe works? How is that possible? And why isn’t there more information available on it?”
Charlotte laughed, genuinely amused by Mia’s question. “Again, the answer is fairly complex,” she said with a smile. “But yes, there is a specific way the universe works. You won’t be able to understand any of my answers if I don’t explain the mechanics of the universe, so I think I’ll start with that,” the ghost decided and started with her story.
You see, our universe is based on balance. For every birth there must be a death and for every creation there must be a destruction. For every good act, there must be a sinister one and for every smile given there must be a tear shed. The principle of antithesis. But in reality, the universe is in a constant strive for chaos. That is simply an inherent part of the universe, since the universe is driven by the creatures inhabiting her, and they are driven by emotion.
Therefore, a being with the sole purpose of counteracting this chaos and keeping the universe in balance exists. The Keeper of Balance has to keep the world in balance. The only way it could manage to do so at the beginning was by creating different parallel worlds; each of them a reflection of another in at least one aspect.
“At least one aspect? What do you mean by that?” Chantia asked for clarification. Charlotte inclined her head in acknowledgement of the question before trying to clarify her statement.
For example, say a world exists where no humans live on, only animals. This world is also constantly in summer. Now, several reflection worlds could exist to counteract this world. A world could exist that only contains humans, and no animals. Or a world could exist that contains only animals, but is constantly in winter. Then another world could exist that is its direct reflection, meaning that only humans live on that world and the world is constantly in winter. So the worlds are all reflections of one another in one aspect – the type of creatures inhabiting it – or another – the season of the world. This is the principle all of the worlds work on; or at least, should work on.
In reality though, the universe hasn’t been in true balance for a very long time. While the principle of the reflected worlds is sound in theory, in practice it is not so. This is because the reflections caused an infinite amount of worlds to exist that are all connected and because they are all connected, exchange between them is possible. Usually this is not such a big problem, because the exchange that can happen is very limited and can therefore be prevented by the Keeper. But, on nights of the Full Moon, this exchange can be quite significant.
“Why?” Mia asked curiously. “What makes full moon so special? And exactly what is exchanged between the worlds?”
“I was getting to that,” Charlotte mildly reprimanded and continued her explanation.
When I’m talking about Full Moon, I don’t mean the physical celestial event. It is involved yes, but what I’m actually talking about is the exchange of magic that occurs during the celestial event. You see, in this universe, there exist magical worlds and their non-magical reflections. For reasons not truly understood, the magic surrounding magical worlds are stronger during the celestial event of full moon. On these nights, the magic is so strong that it creates bridges to their worlds’ non-magical reflections, causing the magic to enter the non-magical worlds. This event – this crossing over of magic – is what is known as Full Moon. When these bridges form, the magic is so strong that objects and even people can cross over to the different worlds.
Now, to come back to your question about death and the afterlife: our own world is a reflection of several others. One of the aspects of this world is that only the Living can live on it. So, naturally, a world exists that only the Dead can live on. Once a person has died, his or her soul will separate from the body and will need to cross over to the world of the Dead. On normal nights, there isn’t enough magic in the air to allow the Dead to cross over, so the Keeper usually collects those souls and send them off to the world of the Dead. On Full Moon nights though, there is enough magic, so the Keeper doesn’t come to collect the Dead, as it doesn’t have any need to. The Dead are able to cross over on their own.
Mia frowned slightly at Charlotte’s words.
You make it sound like crossing over is compulsory,” the younger girl confessed.
Charlotte tipped her head back, staring at the cloudless sky above her.

It is, actually. We don’t belong in this world anymore, so when we don’t cross over after a certain amount of time, we start tolose ourselves. We become mere shades of our previous selves, normally driven only by the emotion that caused us to linger in this world. These shades are what is known as the Damned. We all know this is a possibility of happening to anyone who doesn’t cross over immediately, but sometimes…

The long-dead girl shrugged.
…sometimes we just don’t care. We each have our own reasons for lingering, and to us, these reasons are more than enough to risk becoming one of the Damned.

Chantia swallowed slightly. Charlotte was one of her best friends, so the thought that the ghost might disappear was more than enough to cause a lump to appear in her throat.
“Do the Damned....ever regain themselves?” Chantia asked hesitantly. “I mean, if one of you guys were to ‘lose yourself’, would you ever…” She made a vague gesture with her hand, trying to convey what she was trying to say without actually speaking.

Charlotte shook her head with a sad smile on her face.
“No,” she confessed. “Once a person has become a Damned, that person cannot become whole again. Or at least, if there is a method, I do not know what it is.”
“Why do they ‘lose themselves’?” Mia interjected curiously. “Is there an actual reason?”
Charlotte shrugged again. “There are many theories,” she admitted, “but nobody really knows. Personally, I think it’s due to a combination of energies and magicks that aren’t compatible with each other. The world of the Dead is actually a magical world, so when we die we ourselves become magical. This world isn’t magical though, so the non-magical energy from this world tries to eradicate the magic, so…”
“So it’s the energy of this world that causes the change?” Mia asked and leaned forward eagerly. “But if that’s the case, won’t…” She launched into a highly technical conversation with Charlotte that went completely over Chantia’s head.
“Uhm, guys, can we get back on subject please?” Chantia interrupted the two genius’ conversation after several minutes. “You might have the answers you wanted, but I still haven’t,” she protested with a small pout.
Mia gave her a level stare, unimpressed by being interrupted, while Charlotte smiled apologetically at Chantia.
“Oh, sorry,” the ghost apologized. “What did you want to know?”
“How does the Song fit into all this?” Chantia asked, her brows furrowed in confusion. “You told me way back when that I was exposed to the Song when I was vulnerable, which is why I am able to see you guys. But I really can’t see how it fits in with the tale you just told us.”
Charlotte smiled at Chantia, clearly slightly amused.
I told you that exchange of magic is possible between the worlds, but that the magic is so weak on normal nights that the Keeper is able to prevent it from leaking over at all. The truth is though, the Keeper doesn’t prevent it. I don’t know why, but I guess the magic that leaks over into this world is so insignificant that the Keeper simply doesn’t see the need to prevent it from crossing over.
Anyway, what the Song actually is is the magic that crosses over to this world. You and Mia are denizens of a mundane, non-magical world, so the magic shouldn’t really affect you, but as we all know this isn’t the case with you two. You Chantia, was exposed to the magic when it was at its strongest and you at your most vulnerable, that is when you were born, with the result that the magic latched onto you and gave you the ability to use it to a very small extent, while Mia of course used her potion to obtain the same effect. But even though Mia can see us now, she will never be able to hear the Song like you do. Your brain is able to detect the magic surrounding you, but it doesn’t know what it is, so it translates the magic into sound. With Mia though, her brain isn’t able to detect the magic, so nothing is translated, with the result that she will never be able to hear the Song.  
Chantia frowned slightly. “That’s really a pity,” she admitted. “The Song is so beautiful.”
“It is very beautiful,” Charlotte agreed with a smile, “but even I haven’t heard it in a very long time. So you really have no idea how blessed you are to be able to hear it. Now, is there anything else you wanted to know?”
The two living girls shook their heads, satisfied by the answers. Charlotte smiled happily at their silence.
“In that case, let’s do about something else,” the ghost suggested. “Tell me, what do you think about…”
_~…~_
And cut! That took way too long to write. Sorry about the load of dialogue and information, but it really is important for the story to make sense. So, that is basically the way the world in my legacy works. I hope everything is clear, but if it isn’t, feel free to ask! I rewrote this a couple of times to have the info make more sense, but I’m not sure if I succeeded.
I must say though, I am hyped for the next generation to start. That is where this overflow of information is really going to play a role, so I really want it to start. But since dearest Chantia still has to finish school and get through puberty, I guess I’ll just have to wait >_<.
Oh yeah, another thing: you might’ve noticed that Mia refer to Evelyn as her mother and to Chantia as her sister, while in reality they’re actually her aunt and cousin. The reason for this is that Evelyn actually did adopt Mia, so Evelyn and Chantia are Mia’s mother and sister – adoptive, but family nonetheless.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Chapter 1.17 - Whispers and Promises


Time passed and summer turned into autumn again. Chantia and Mia grew closer to each other than Evelyn had ever been to any of her own siblings.
It wasn’t long before Chantia accidently let knowledge about her friendship with Charlotte slip. To Chantia’s greatest surprise, Mia didn’t scoff at the idea that Chantia could be friends with a ghost.
 
“Aren’t you going to say something?” Chantia questioned Mia when the younger girl didn’t respond to Chantia’s words. Mia just hummed before shrugging slightly.

“What should I say?” Mia asked rhetorically. “That having a ghost friend is impossible? I don’t think it is. There are some things in this world that cannot be explained by science, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true or doesn’t exist. It just means that it hasn’t been discovered yet and if you say you are friends with a ghost – that you can see ghosts – well, that just means there’s something more to research, doesn’t it?”

Chantia blinked in surprise at Mia’s words. “Wow,” she stated, “I think that’s the most I’ve ever heard you speak at once.” 
Mia rolled her eyes and placed her rake down to put her pile of leaves in the bigger pile, talking to Chantia while she did so.

“It’s your fault for talking about such an interesting concept,” Mia answered. “Information about what happens after death is very limited, you know,” Mia told Chantia. “It would be fascinating to talk somebody who knows,” she stated before dusting off her hands and walking towards Chantia. “I would’ve loved to talk to this ‘Charlotte’,” Mia admitted.
Chantia looked down at the leaves crunching beneath her feet. To be honest, she had never thought that there would be people who would’ve wanted to be able to talk to ghosts. After all, nobody had really ever believed her claims, so why would they want to talk to ‘non-existent’ beings? It was a big surprise to find out that her sister actually wanted to talk to Charlotte.

“You know…maybe you still can,” Chantia stated and toed the ground. “Meet with Charlotte, I mean,” she expanded on her statement. “I could introduce you to her and maybe you won’t be able to see her, but you’ll still be able to talk to her as long as I relay her answers to you,” Chantia suggested.
Mia leaned eagerly forward at Chantia’s suggestion, staring excitedly at her sister.

“Really? We can do that?” Mia asked with wide eyes. Chantia shrugged, suddenly uncomfortable with the suggestion.

“Yeah, sure, why not?” Chantia replied, her eyes fixed on the leaves beneath her feet. The next moment Mia crashed into her, her arms gripping Chantia tightly.

“Oh thank you! Thank you so much!” Mia thanked her sister profusely. Chantia patted the girl awkwardly on the back before trying to weasel out of Mia’s grip.
Later that day, the two girls gained permission from their mother to leave the house, on the condition that they returned before dark fell. There wasn’t a lot of daylight left, so the girls wasted no time hurrying to the house on the hill. Once there, Chantia immediately ran to the front door, Mia following sedately behind.

The girls didn’t have to wait long before one of the inhabitants of the house appeared. Mia couldn’t see the ghost, but she had no doubt that her sister could. People didn’t talk that animatedly to empty air and Mia thought that sometimes, maybe, just a little bit, she could almost hear a voice replying to Chantia’s chatters.
 “- and this is my sister, Mia. She wanted to talk to you guys,” Mia heard Chantia tell the unseen ghost. Mia cocked her head slightly as a soft, very soft, echoing whisper reached her ears, but she couldn’t make out any words.

Chantia gestured at Mia to join her at the front door. Hesitantly, Mia joined her sister and looked vaguely at the door, unsure where to fix her eyes.
“This is Charlotte,” Chantia introduced the invisible ghost to Mia. Mia nodded vaguely in the direction Chantia pointed before softly greeting the ghost.
“-anted…tal…e?”
Mia’s head shot up as she realised, to her greatest surprise, that she could actually make out some snatches of the ghost’s words. She gaped in awe at the empty air in front of her, unable to form a coherent thought. Yes, she had believed Chantia when her sister told her about the ghosts, but she hadn’t really believed until she was presented with the evidence.
 “Such a pretty voice,” Mia whispered in awe, and it was. The ghost had a very beautiful voice, reminding Mia of silver notes and gentle autumn breezes. Again, Mia could hear a whisper of the voice, but she was unable to make out any words. Still, she could guess what the ghost had said.

“I can’t really hear you,” she confessed. “Just…whispers; echoes. But you have a very pretty voice.” The notes sounded again and Chantia told her that Charlotte thanked her and wished to know what Mia wanted from her.
Mia straightened her back, wishing she could look the ghost in the eye. “Answers,” she stated in a strong voice. “I want answers. Answers about life, and death, and what comes after.”
Chantia gave a step forward. “I’d like to know as well,” she confessed, “and also about the Song, and the Damned. My dad told us a tale about the Wilds and the Damned, and a Keeper of Balance...and I want to know how it fits in with what you’ve told me before.”
The beautiful voice did not sound again for a long minute. When it finally did, Mia couldn’t help but relax slightly. She had been afraid that they had insulted and angered the ghost.
 Chantia listened to the ghost and nodded when the voice stopped. She told the ghost that they would listen to her request and without further ado, Chantia pulled Mia away and walked away from the eerie house. Mia hated not being able to hear the ghost; she couldn’t stand being unable to follow the conversation.

She decided then and there that she would find a way to hear and see the ghost.
“So…she won’t talk to us?” Mia ventured a guess. Chantia shook her head and Mia felt her heart plummet. She had really looked forward to hearing the answers.

“No, she wants us to come by this Sunday,” Chantia disagreed. “She said it’s a very, very long story and there isn’t enough time to tell it today.” She looked at Mia and smiled. “But she’ll give us our answers on Sunday.”
They arrived home just in time for their curfew. Mia immediately retreated to her books, anxious to get started on her research for a way to see ghosts.
 In the days leading up to the weekend, nobody could tear her away from her chemistry station. She worked relentlessly, trying combinations and combinations of chemicals and chemical solutions and in the end, her efforts paid off. She had created the ultimate potion.

She immediately tested its effects and the result left her confident that she would be able to hear and see ghosts from then on.
Unfortunately, she never warned Chantia about its effects, so Chantia was understandably upset when she saw Mia, but Mia managed to explain the potion’s method of function before Chantia grew too worried. The explanation went completely over Chantia’s head, but she got the gist of it. Somehow, Mia had managed to develop a potion that turned her into a ghost for three hours without physically dying. If that wasn’t considered as completely and utterly genius then Chantia had lost all faith in the world.
“If my theories are correct, this potion will allow me to interact with ghosts the way you do,” Mia explained. “By entering the state ghosts experience, the energy of the world should identify me as one of them. Energy cannot be destroyed, so once I’ve been ‘identified’ as one of them the energy will remain around me, allowing me to interact with ghosts.”
Chantia just stared at Mia, unable to completely follow the genius’ logic. She understood the gist of it, but the rest…
Mia sighed when she noticed her sister’s uncomprehending expression. “Of course, that was the very simplified explanation,” she clarified. “There are actually a lot more science involved, but I won’t bore you with the details,” Mia stated.
Chantia merely blinked at Mia’s clarification. “Okay,” she stated, “if you say so. As long as you’re sure you’re not permanently stuck as a ghost, I don’t really care about the explanation – it’s way too complex for me to follow. If it allows you to see ghosts; cool. If it doesn’t; well, nothing will be different, so it doesn’t matter anyway.”
Mia merely rolled her eyes, despairing at the answer. She loved her family, but sometimes she wished she could talk to someone a bit more enthusiastic about science.
“Of course it will be different,” Mia muttered. “Don’t you realise what potential this discovery holds? If I manage to perfect this, I’ll be able to find the answers to questions that have plagued the world for centuries!” Mia explained frantically.
“Uh-huh,” Chantia nodded, “whatever you say.”

Mia threw her hands in the air at Chantia’s lack of a response. “You wouldn’t understand in any way,” she pouted and walked away to sulk alone. Chantia merely stared at Mia drifting through the door with amusement on her face.
_~...~_

The more I play with Mia, the more I absolutely adore her. Originally, I wanted to develop her in a completely different way, but the way she acts in-game changed my mind. Chantia is the more carefree of the two, while Mia is the more serious one. Chantia actually has a rather expressive face, while Mia usually just has a blank expression, kind of like she’s thinking “Why are you wasting my time with such trivial matters?” >_< Honestly, I love her. She just writes herself.