|Diary of a Young Alien|
|Name:||Diary of a Young Alien|
|Genre:||Drama, Adventure, Scifi|
|Created by:||The Tim Man|
|Original run:||17 April 2015 - ongoing|
Diary of a Young Alien is a fanon story written by a Simming author whose head is always being assaulted by new ideas. It stars a juvenile alien named Xandria Kliper, who finds herself thrown into the most fascinating and exhilarating of adventures.
Check out the behind the scenes Q&A here!
Follow Diary of a Young Alien to be notified of updates to the story!
Welcome to your Assignment JournalEdit
Congratulations, Xandria, and happy 10th birthday!
It is a great honour for you, as a student of the Sixamian Exploration Academy, to receive your first Assignment Journal. This means that for the first time you will be able to go off-planet on an official Assignment. Students only have the opportunity to receive their first Assignments this early if they show exceptional intelligence, bravery and strength.
For your first Assignment, you will be transported to the planet Novasol III. Your team will include Wrelis Khitomer, Rghenot Freigkolz and Zrala Maitolia, three more members of the select few chosen for their first assignment this year; they are roughly the same age as you. While you do not yet know who these people are, it will be a priority for you over the course of your six-month mission to get to know your fellow team-mates well, for you will conduct studies on the locals alongside them.
Use this journal to record any of your findings! They could be results of experiments that you conduct, or since you have significant artistic aptitude, why not use some of the pages to sketch some drawings, perhaps of some native subjects?
A few reminders:
- While galactic starcharts call this planet Novasol III, the natives of that planet call it "Earth", or sometimes "Terra". The population there is approximately 7.125 billion.
- The Novasolians, or "Sims", use a different dating system to us Sixamians. Instead of the Imperial calendar, they use the Gregorian calendar. This is a system with twelve-month years, thirty- or thirty-one-day months, and seven-day weeks. Keep in mind that a Novasolian day is approximately 24 of their hours long (35 Sixamian hours). The date at your arrival will be around the 1st April 2010, according to the Gregorian calendar. You can find more information about Novasol III's dating systems at the back of your journal.
- Also remember that throughout your assignment you must maintain total comm silence with Sixam. The Novasolians have technology that is just advanced enough that it could detect communications between you and us back on the homeworld. We wouldn't want that, would we? You can tell us all about it upon your return. There will be two pilots to guide you through your stay, should you feel desperate.
- If you really must set foot on Novasol III, and I seriously recommend you do not, please see the Armoury prior to your departure. They will create a disguise for you (to your liking, of course.)
- I suggest you pay special attention to a little town known as Sunset Valley. Its inhabitants could prove...interesting indeed.
- Also, make it a point to learn Simlish, the native language. Just in case.
Bon voyage, as the Sims say, and good luck!
Headmaster of the Sixamian Imperial Academy for Space Exploration.
Date: Clierteg, 42nd Brinzius, Xujjar 35
Clierteg, 42 Brinzius, Xujjar 35Edit
I'm so excited about this - my first assignment! What a great birthday present, haha! It's still late by two days, though. Oh well!
I can't wait till we leave for Earth (I think Earth sounds a lot better than Novasol III). But before we do I have to do a couple of things. One of them is getting the guys at the Armoury to make a disguise for me, because I'm so going to try walking amongst the Sims! I also definitely need to set aside time to learn Simlish. Shouldn't take too long.
Oh, and I should give you a name - just calling you "Journal" is so sad...I went searching around for Simlish names and I came up with the most adorable one. It's Alexis! So I'll call you Alexis from now on. It's definitely a major improvement from "First Assignment Journal", don't you think?
It's lights-out now, and the teachers are starting to prowl the dorm halls. Oops. Better get to bed.
See you tomorrow!
Roiferteg, 1 Maronslix, Xujjar 35Edit
Yeah, this morning I went to the Languages Department to learn Simlish. It didn't take too long, surprisingly - it's quite simple compared to other languages like Yallvus Talk and, of course, Sixamian. In fact, some of the words are even similar to our language.
I also went to the Armoury to get my disguise done.
"What a brave girl you are," said the Head Smith, "to want to walk amongst the locals!"
I grinned with pride at that. I followed the Head Smith into the Disguise Room. There was a computer and a holographic projector surrounded by Atomic Manipulation Modules. The Head Smith activated the computer and initiated the Creation Program.
"So, this is what an average female Sim your age looks like," the Head Smith said. He tapped on a few buttons on the touchscreen and a projection of an alien girl appeared before me.
So now I know what Sims look like!
"Alright, so now I'll adjust the projection to suit your facial and body structures," he said. He tapped on yet another few buttons, and dragging across some scales, periodically turning to look at me. The holographic projection morphed before my eyes until the girl standing in front of me look just like me! ...Well, almost. There were a few key differences, such as her nose, which was a bit bigger and longer than mine. Her ears weren't pointy, either. Her hair was also a lighter shade of brown than mine, and was tied back in a ponytail. Her eyes had white sclera and blue irises, unlike mine which were completely black (totally normal for a Sixamian). Her skin was also a rosy shade, characteristic of the species many other races like to affectionately call "pink-skins." She was wearing a shirt, hoodie and pair of shorts whereas I was clothed in my standard Academy jumpsuit.
"Okay, so is there anything you'd like to change?" the Head Smith asked. I had a long think about it.
"Make her skin a bit darker," I finally decided. "Maybe a tan shade? I wanna be a country girl."
Yes, I've been studying Earth culture.
"Very well," he replied. He tapped on another few buttons. The girl's skin tone instantly darkened to exactly my desired shade. Excellent! (I'm not trying to be racist or anything. Just so you know.)
"No, thanks," I answered. "She's perfect!"
"Are you sure?" he asked again.
"Yes!" I almost sounded frustrated.
"Alright." He tapped on a few buttons. The Atomic Manipulation Modules came to life. Robotic arms swerved and spun around the holographic pad. The projection faded out and was replaced by a standard schematic of a Sim. The Modules then began shooting lasers everywhere! You should've seen it! It was a light show!
After a few minutes, my disguise was finished, complete with the clothes I'd use for everyday wear. But when it was done, the boneless form of the girl crumpled into a heap like a pile of dirty clothes. That was seriously creepy.
"Try it on!" the Head Smith grinned. I stepped onto the pad and picked up my new disguise.
"Where's the changing room?" I asked. I could feel my cheeks turn red.
"Over there," he said, pointing to a door at the back of the room. It took a while getting myself into the costume, but I did it eventually. It was like one of those onesies I used to wear when I was little! I quickly put on my new clothes before anyone noticed I was...ahem..."naked".
I looked at the bench upon which I had my jumpsuit. Beside it was one more element of my disguise.
The head. A mask which would conceal my true identity. A barrier between myself and discovery.
I put it over my head. Then, I clipped all the loose ends shut. Instantly I felt...one with the disguise! I felt like I was the girl I designed! That is so cool!
I stepped out of the changing room.
"Goodness!" the Head Smith smiled. "You look like a real Sim!"
I looked around, examining my assumed form. I was now a Sim girl! I wish you could see how I looked!
Anyway, I had to take it off so that I could sleep. I'm surprised I never get hot in that get-up, though!
Wednesday, 31st March 2010 (Minerteg, 2 Maronslix, Xujjar 35)Edit
We leave tomorrow! I'm so excited! In homeroom, I talked to Mr Jurzecki about you! He was quite impressed that I was already starting to write in my journal. He suggested I should start dating with the Gregorian calendar so I can get used to it when I get to Earth. What a great idea!
I also met my teammates for the first time!
Wrelis Khitomer is really loud. He looks the type that'd be a drill sergeant in the Imperial Army one day. Hahaha! He's quite friendly, though. Rghenot Freigkolz is exactly the opposite of Wrelis in the voice department. Rghenot is really quiet. He wears glasses and looks like he's always brooding over something. Zrala Maitolia is really bubbly and is a very nice girl. In the first actual conversation I had with her this afternoon, we got to know each other. Turns out she's just as interested as I am to see what's on the surface! She has her own disguise. The guys don't seem as keen, and they didn't get disguises. Party poopers.
For the last night before departure, we slept together in the same room. Zrala and I were constantly talking about what we think would happen, and what we wanted to do when we got to Earth. Turns out Zrala had named her journal Caitlyn, another Simlish name. Great minds think alike!
Anyway, I'd better get some rest before the big day tomorrow. Until then!
Thursday, 1st April 2010Edit
We're finally in space, Alexis! Imagine that!
I've decided that I'm just going to use the Gregorian calendar. It's so much easier to remember! Haha!
Before we left, Mother and Father came to see me go.
"Stay safe, Xandria!" they said. I definitely will try, but I'm also planning to walk among the Sims, which is considered highly dangerous since we reckon the Sims are not ready for First Contact yet. Oh well, too bad.
After hugs and kisses and all that sort of thing, I hurried with my stuff onto the ship. I waved goodbye from the window. Zrala and I were smiling as we waved, and Wrelis seemed to be waving in resignation. Rghenot didn't wave goodbye at all. That is sad. I wonder what goes on in their heads.
The ship went to warp as soon as it cleared the atmosphere. During the five-hour journey to Earth, Zrala and I played a few board games. We tried out chess, a Sim game that's really popular among the intellectual elite. I beat her twice, and she beat me once. I'm surprised how similar we are to each other! Rghenot just stared out the window the whole time, and Wrelis was sleeping. Oh well, at least we got a break from his usually constant talking and hyperactivity.
When we arrived, an announcement came from the cockpit. "Kids, welcome to Earth!"Zrala and I looked out the window and saw a gleaming orb of green, blue, white, and turquoise. It looked absolutely amazing! When we entered orbit, I took a picture of it.
We get to work tomorrow. It's been a long day! I'm so happy.
Friday, 2nd April 2010Edit
Oh my gods, Alexis! I finally found you! It was so sudden...By the gods...
When we woke up, everything was running normally. We had breakfast, and then we were about to get to work on our first study.
Then the engines failed!
Alarms were ringing all over the ship. It was utterly terrifying!
"WARNING! WARNING! ENGINE FAILURE! ORBIT DECAYING!" a robotic voice screamed from over the loudspeaker.
Zrala and I were hugging each other in terror, not knowing at all what to do. Rghenot immediately sprang into action. He sat down on of the two remaining spare seats in the cockpit, helping the crew to restore power to the ship. Wrelis tried to comfort us. It was really surprising. I had a total change of heart for these boys.
"It's alright," Wrelis said quietly (very surprising, right?). "Everything's gonna be alright." He then sat down on the last seat.
Despite Wrelis' desperate efforts at calming us and Rghenot's equally frantic stabs at the buttons on the consoles in the cockpit, it became certain that we were going down.
The ship slammed into Earth's atmosphere, beginning our unstoppable descent to the surface.
"Fasten your safety belts!" Rghenot ordered. We did so immediately.
"Shields at seventy-three percent!" cried the co-pilot.
"Redirect power to the heat shields!" the captain said.
I must've blacked out from fright, because when I woke up again, I could see land. I screamed.
"1,800 metres!" Rghenot shouted.
"Extend the flaps!" the co-pilot shouted back. The ship shook violently.
"They won't extend!" Rghenot replied.
"Xandria!" the pilot screamed. "Go to the panel at the back and pull the lever that says 'Manual Flap Extension'."
I unclipped my safety belt and did as I was told. I inched my way towards the panel. I opened it and pulled the lever before rushing back to my seat.
"800 metres!" Rghenot said, ten minutes later.
"We're coming in too fast!" the pilot said. "I'm gonna lower the landing gear."
A metallic clanking sound erupted from beneath my feet as the wheels fell into place. It took another five minutes for Rghenot to say something else.
"600 metres!" Zrala shut her eyes tightly.
"400 metres!" The hull was now buckling extremely violently. I could see parts of the ship flying off the hull and trailing behind us.
"200 metres!" I shut my eyes as well. Was this the end?
"50, 40, 30, 20..." he counted down. The tail of the ship hit the ground. Hard. Then I felt the ship roll sideways. Then more crashing and sounds of screaming metal being torn to shreds. I blacked out again after that.
When I came to, it took me a while to remember where I was and what had happened. When I did, I immediately scrambled to my feet and searched for survivors. Where was Zrala? Rghenot? Wrelis? The pilots?
I found Zrala, unconscious, strapped to her seat beside a piece of burning wreckage. Somehow she'd ended up on the other side of the cabin. The cockpit was nowhere to be seen. I dragged her and her loose seat out of the crash site and then went back in to search.
I couldn't find anyone else. They and the cockpit vaporised completely. I couldn't believe it. In my daze I stumbled across my bag. My disguise! And you! I grabbed my bag, and then found Zrala's bag.
What a stroke of luck...no, I shouldn't be saying that. Anyway, I grabbed the two bags and sprinted out of the wreckage.
Turns out we'd been here for several hours. The middle of the night. It was freezing. I was surprised nobody had arrived at the site yet.
In a panic, I attempted to shake Zrala awake.
"Zrala? You there?"
No response. After a few more tries, I got more desperate, gave up, and checked for a pulse, and it was there. I was so relieved.
After putting on my disguise, I helped Zrala out of her seat and helped put hers on. Zrala's human form was red-haired, with a freckled complexion. I'm not sure what colour her eyes are because she isn't awake yet.
I slung her arm around my shoulder, grabbed both our bags, and staggered as fast as my legs could carry me out of the scene.
By the time I could see we were no longer in the middle of nowhere, it was daybreak. I looked at the road sign in front of me.
"WELCOME TO SIMAFORNIA. STOP-N-REST COTTAGE 2 MILES THAT-A-WAY." A huge white arrow pointed in the direction of the "Cottage."
At last, a rest stop. With renewed vigour, I dragged my heavy cargo through the depths of the Simafornian desert. It took us another hour to stumble to the Cottage, where we spotted a small, rickety inn.
We burst inside. There were several other hitchhikers in the room. Some were young, some old. Some men, some women.
At the bar was an old woman.
"Well, look who we have here!" she said. Her accent sounded rough. "Hello, missy! What brings ya 'ere to the Stop-n-Rest Cottage?"
I was in no real mood to talk, but I did anyway, trying as hard as I could not to lapse back into Sixamian (which, in that state, was very hard to do.) "My friend and I were…in an accident." That bit was true, at least. "There were…no other survivors. We're trying to find somewhere to rest."
"Ya mean this one?" asked one of the hitchhikers, pointing towards the television. I looked up.
"BREAKING NEWS!" the newsreader proclaimed. "The wreckage of a strange-looking aircraft was discovered last night by a local pilot flying overhead. Given the extreme isolation of the crash site, it wasn't until the following morning that emergency services were able to reach the wreckage. Unfortunately, no survivors were found. Some rumours are currently circulating that this plane is in fact an alien spacecraft, as the hull fragments recovered thus far carry no valid identification markings. The hull has been sent for scientific testing."
I stared at the screen in shock. Then I forced my mouth to close.
"Of course not, ya idiot!" another rough-looking man who appeared to be the first's friend hit him over the head playfully. He laughed. "How's that even possible? They're not aliens!"
I quietly sighed in relief.
"Is anyone here a doctor?" I asked. "My friend might be injured."
An awkward silence befell the room.
"I used to be a nurse," the owner said, almost reluctantly. "I suppose I can help."
After carrying Zrala to a two-bed room, the owner got her first-aid kit and started patching her up.
"I think she'll be fine," the lady said, smiling. She suddenly seemed a lot friendlier than before. "Stay here for as long as you need to. It's on the house."
"On the house?" I asked, cursing myself for not studying Simlish slang.
The woman looked unamused, donning her rough, gruff exterior. "It's free. Yer language processor fried or somethin'?"
"Uhh…no," I replied. "Thank you." She grinned for a brief moment and walked off, closing the door behind her.
I flattened my body against the wall, allowing myself to slide to the floor. I looked over at Zrala. Her long red hair fell over the side of the bed as she lay, bruised and battered.
Anyway, I don't have the strength to write anymore. I have to get some rest.
Saturday, 3rd April 2010Edit
I think we've screwed up our sleep cycles a bit, because when I woke up, it was close to midnight. Zrala was still completely out of it. I could hear shouting downstairs so I went down to check it out.
What I saw was a large group of men, mostly the same from this afternoon, staring at the television and screaming their hearts out. I turned to the screen to see what it was they were going absolutely insane over.
It was a sports match. So typical of men, even on Sixam. I remember when I was little and before I was sent off to the Academy, Father always watched the HoloVision when his favourite GravBall team (was it Xazberg United or GC Weyarn Nranich? I can't remember) was playing. And then there was Ryfall City banners all over Mr Xerantis' classroom back at the academy.
On the screen was a sport that looked really violent. There were really big burly-looking men running into each other, and each time the oval-shaped ball was carried over to one side of the pitch or the other, one half of the room would burst into cheering, while the other would boo and jeer. Again, very typical of the sports-crazy.
My ears started hurting, so I retreated back to our room. As soon as I entered, a flustered Zrala Maitolia appeared before me.
"Where am I? What's happened? AHHHHHH!" she screamed. "Who are you? Have I been captured? Where am I? WHERE AM I?!"
"Zrala!" I said, slapping my hands onto her shoulders, as if holding her down. "Calm down! CALM. DOWN." Her hazel eyes were wild with fear. "It's me. Xandria!"
The sound of my voice seemed to calm her. She took a deep breath. "It's you…Oh thank the gods."
I filled Zrala in on the details of the day so far. She burst into tears when she heard everyone else on the ship vaporised.
"We need to remain as calm as possible," I said. "We can't let anyone know that we're Sixamians."
"Is that why we're in our disguises?" she asked.
"And you…Ewwww!" she looked at me in disgust as she realised what it meant.
"Sorry!" I apologised. "It was necessary."
"We should get out of here as soon as dawn breaks," she whispered. "We have to go into hiding until they come and rescue us!"
"It won't be another six months, remember?" I said. "I don't want to stay in the shadows for six months."
"Then what do you suggest we do?"
"We live among the Sims."
The next morning, we packed our things and went to leave.
"Now, y'all take care out there," the old woman said. "It's a long hike to Sunset Valley."
"Thank you, miss," I said.
"Y'know, I never got yer names."
"I'm Alexandria," I said. I added the "Alex" part to the name to make it sound more Simlish. But I called you Alexis, and…er…tell you what? Why don't I call you Lexi from now on? (It's a shortened version). Yeah! Let's do that.
"I'm Sara," Zrala said with her winning smile.
"Y'all can call me Mrs O'Hara. I hope ya don't get hurt again, Sara," the woman grinned. "Wait here." Mrs O'Hara went into the kitchen and came back with a bag of food. "For yer journey. On the house, of course." She winked. "Come back soon, y'hear?"
"We will!" Zrala and I said together before walking out the door with our bags.
It took several hours of walking, punctuated by brief stops and swigs of water, until we finally got out of the Simafornian desert. We started seeing more trees, and grass.
I heard a rickety, rumbling sound emanating from the distance. I looked behind me, and I saw an old pickup truck emerging from the horizon. In my studies of Sim gestures, I learned that thumbing your way towards the direction you're going while hitchhiking might score you a ride. I decided to practise, and sure enough, the truck stopped beside us.
The driver lowered the window. "Where y'all headed?" He had the same, rough accent as Mrs O'Hara.
"Are you going to Sunset Valley?" I asked politely.
"As a matter o' fact, I am!" he laughed. "Goin' to market with my goods." He pointed to the back of his pickup, carrying crates of fruit and vegetables. "Wanna ride?"
"Thanks!" I said. Luckily the truck had enough room for both of us to squeeze in. I know, I know, stranger danger and all that stuff, but it's not like we had anything to lose at the moment, right?
It took about another hour to get to Sunset Valley, and when we did, it looked absolutely fantastic! The town is green and full of life, and what's more, it was near the sea! I'd always wanted to see the ocean. Sixam's oceans dried up a long time ago.
We stopped near a park. "Alright, girls. Welcome to Sunset Valley!"
"How can we repay you?" I asked.
"No, no, it's fine. I'm gonna earn my lot by selling the stuff back there anyway." He laughed loudly. "Now, off ya go."
"Thanks, sir!" Zrala and I said together before getting out of the truck. We waved as he drove away.
Zrala looked at me. "Now what do we do?"
"I guessed we'll have to spend the night outside."
She looked visibly displeased. "The bed back at the Cottage was more comfortable."
We walked around the park, not really doing anything. We found a chess table and played a few games, then got board and took a look at the playground. Then we had lunch before taking a walk around town. Before we knew it, night had fallen.
On our stroll, a black-and-white car stopped beside us. A uniformed man stepped out.
"Hey, what're you doing past curfew?" he said. He looked tough. "Let's take you home."
Great. A policeman. I tried putting on an act. It could help us actually get a home for the next few months.
"Please, sir," I cried, forcing myself to sob. "We don't have a home. We just got here after days of walking through nowhere and…" To make things extra dramatic, I pretended to break down. I never realised I was that good at acting!
The policeman knelt down to my height and softened his voice. "I'm sorry. Where are your parents?"
Zrala decided to join in. She stretched her arm out across my back then wrapped her hand around my arm, squeezing it, as if to comfort me. "They're dead. We were in a terrible accident."
"An accident?" the policeman looked at us in sympathy. "I'm so sorry. It's okay. Let's take you to the police station."
"Thank you sir," I wiped away my tears and looked the policeman in the eye, smiling like any ten-year-old would at a good officer's presence. He smiled back.
A few hours later, with our bags, we were sitting in the police station lobby. I decided to write the next entry to you while waiting.
Oops, the policeman's coming. Talk to you later.
Sunday, 4th April 2010Edit
We're now in an orphanage, with beds and everything! I'm so happy that we finally have somewhere to stay while we're stranded on Earth.
We somehow fooled the police, and then the social workers that came afterwards, into believing that we were twin sisters. I have no idea how, since we looked nothing like each other. Maybe fraternal? I don't know. We decided to share a modified version of my last name, 'Clipper'. Now, we're Alexandria and Sara Clipper! How cool is that?
Anyway, the social workers decided to take us into the Sunset Valley Orphanage, where we'd stay until someone decided to come and adopt us, upon which they would become our foster parents, if they were eligible. Sounds good to me. We get to share a room until then.
We got the whole morning to ourselves until lunch! We decided to take a break from being Sims for a while. I shut and locked the door and Zrala closed the curtains. Then we took turns changing out of our disguises and...er...not looking at the other as they changed into fresh clothing.
Now back to our old selves again, we went back to talking in Sixamian. Really quietly, of course. It feels good to speak in your own language after several days of speaking nothing but a foreign one. Your chops get to relax a bit.
"What shall we do?" Zrala asked. "We have an hour till lunch."
"I don't know," I replied. "Let's try to find a board game to play!"
We hunted through our room, but we couldn't find any Sim games that we were already familiar with. We could only find one called 'Scrabble.'
"Scrabble...that's new," I thought aloud. Zrala and I sat down on the floor and set the game up in the accordance to the instructions. It's a word game, where you have to form Simlish words, trying to accumulate as many points as you can. Fortunately, we were both fluent in written as well as spoken Simlish, so we didn't have too much trouble in that aspect. It was just how the game worked that took us a while to get.
As soon as I formed the winning word "extraterrestrial", the head nurse called up the stairs to all the kids. "Kids! Lunch is ready!"
After abandoning the game and rushing to get back into our disguises, Zrala and I ran downstairs for some food.
"Okay, kids, we have some new faces today," the head nurse announced as we all sat down for lunch. She gestured to the two of us. "These are Alexandria and Sara Clipper. Please make them feel welcome into our home!" Some of the children waved at us in greeting, others smiled at us before starting to eat. I took a look around and just realised how few children there were in the orphanage compared to those back on Sixam! While there would be hundreds of children in one huge facility, here there were only about one classroom of them! It's a good thing, though, that most Sim parents decide to keep their children or are there to take care of them.
"Hi!" a boy next to me introduced himself. He was wearing glasses and he wore a navy blue vest over his long-sleeved shirt. He shook my hand. "I'm Darryl Hemingway!"
"Alexandria Clipper," I replied. "That's Sara, my twin sister." Zrala waved.
"Really?" the boy looked visibly surprised. "You two look nothing alike!
"Fraternal twins," Zrala corrected me.
"Yeah, that's the word," I laughed, feigning previous ignorance.
"I'm new as well, arrived a few days before you did," Darryl said. "It took some getting used to, but now I'm happy here!"
"Who were your parents?"
"I'd…rather not talk about it," he looked really sad the moment I said the word 'parent'.
"I'm sorry," I apologised.
"No, it's alright," Darryl looked at me and smiled. "It was nice meeting you!"
After lunch the head nurse approached us with some papers.
"Hello Alexandria, Sara," she said. "I need you to take a look at the timetable."
I took a look at the schedule. Maths, Simlish, Science, Social Studies, Art, Music, French. Looks good to me. Tomorrow, Monday, Science is up first, followed by Art. I'm looking forward to it!
"Thanks, girls," the head nurse smiled. "Classes begin tomorrow morning."
Zrala and I went out to the playground to catch a bit of sun. It was so warm and comforting! Sixam's sun is old and is starting to expand. Luckily, Sixam is one of the outer planets, so it won't be consumed by it when it expands into a red giant, but some days it gets really, really hot.
Darryl caught sight of us and then ran up to us.
"Hey Sara!" he greeted Zrala, and then turned to me. "Hey Alex…is it okay if I use 'Alex'?"
Alex…hmm…it sounds good. Alright. A short form might make me look more Sim-like.
"Yeah, sure!" I said. So now I'm Alexandria Clipper - Alex for short! Great!
"How do you like the place so far?" Darryl asked.
"It's really nice!" Zrala said. "It's not too crowded or anything."
"I think this town is beautiful in general!" I said.
"Yeah, me too!" he said.
"What do you want to do?" Zrala asked, directing the question at both of us.
"Let's play…," Darryl said, pausing mid-sentence. He reached out to Zrala and tapped her on the shoulder before running off. "Tag! You're it!"
"Catch me if you can!" I cried as I sprinted away in the opposite direction.
"Aww come on!" she sounded frustrated that she'd just been tagged, just like that. I giggled. Then she turned to me and, like an angry bull, charged straight towards me. I screamed and ran off as she hurtled towards me.
I only got caught three times, which I am quite proud to say! (The others, on the other hand, got tagged quite a few times.) The other children gradually joined in until the whole orphanage was participating!
The tag game, along with a few others including high-and-seek (my personal favourite), passed the time extremely quickly, and before we knew it we were back inside for dinner!
After dinner, Zrala and I helped to clean up before stumbling back upstairs after a good first day. Definitely much better than the previous ones.
You know, Lexi, I still wonder where Wrelis and Rghenot are.
Monday, 5th April 2010Edit
Today was the first day of classes. I especially found social sciences, art and French the most interesting. Science was kind of boring, because a lot of the technology was quite primitive compared to Sixamian equipment. For example, they still use gas-powered open-flame burners to heat stuff up. Seriously.
Art was really awesome, because today we got to draw a portrait of a classmate! I decided to do mine on Zrala (I drew her in her disguise, of course). Darryl wanted to draw a portrait of me! I was flattered when he asked. Hee hee! Zrala in return drew Darryl's portrait! It's an art triangle! Haha!
After art we had music. Music seems to be Zrala's forte, because she picked up the instrument called a 'glockenspiel' pretty quickly! I was impressed, because music on Sixam is completely different from here on Earth! For example, on Sixam the only musical instruments we have are electronic and laser-based. However, here there are a whole range of instruments, ranging from stringed "violins" to wind instruments (you blow through pipes to make sounds) like the trumpet and then to "percussion" instruments like the glockenspiel (you hit them).
During the break we, as a class again, played more games on the playground. It was loads of fun!
Social Sciences was cool, because I got to learn all sorts of stuff about Earth's history that I didn't know before. Did you know that the French Revolution took place at almost exactly the same time as the Imperial Revolution? If you don't know what that is, it was when the dictator Xlirys was overthrown and the modern Empire established. If I recall, that's pretty much what happened in the French Revolution, except a republic was set up after King Louis XVI was deposed and executed. Ouch.
Social Sciences was the last class of the day, so after that we were set free to do our own thing like our homework if we were studious, or, if we didn't feel like that, go out to play. I naturally chose the former.
I finished all my work quite quickly then went to join my peers at the playground. We played pirates together this time!
I'm really enjoying my time here. But I hope Zrala and I get adopted soon, so that we can mingle with a more varied group at an actual school than be constantly seeing exactly the same people everyday.
Saturday, 8th May 2010Edit
Oh gosh, Lexi, it's been over a month since I last wrote! I'm sorry! I'd better fill you in on what's been happening:
The past month's been really busy, which is the reason I couldn't write to you. We've been preparing for the town festival! The orphanage participates in the Spring Festival every year. Just today we went out to Central Park, which is where the festival is. There we sold cakes and other food, and also helped out in arranging activities for the visitors. We also got to have a break every once in a while to enjoy the festival ourselves!
So yeah, that's pretty much all that's been happening.
Oh, and a couple came to the festival and they visited the stall Zrala and I were running. We were selling cookies that we made ourselves! Yum!
Anyway, they bought some of our cookies! In fact, they liked them so much, they bought a second bag of them! Talk about a good sale! Half of the money we raised, the nurses said, would go towards the orphanage's funds, and the other half is going to go to a charity to help other disadvantaged kids. How noble!
Argh, going off-topic again! The couple talked to us a bit. They said we were an 'adorable pair'!
Yep, 'adorable' was the word used, exactly. To the letter.
Anyway, I can't write much more. I have to rest. Goodnight!
Sunday, 9th May 2010Edit
I'm really excited, but nervous at the same time, Lexi! The nurses said that tomorrow some people will be coming to consider adopting some of us! I can hardly wait! We might finally be able to get out of here and into the bigger world! Zrala and I did our absolute best to clean up our room and make it look as impressive as possible. It was exhausting work, and it took all day! We also helped Darryl to clean his room, and a few others, too. Our good deed for the day! Hahaha!
The nurses outlined the protocol for tomorrow. There's going to be a smart-casual dress code for tomorrow. I didn't bring any Sim clothes other than the ones that usually go with my disguise. Oops. Luckily the nurses took us, along with anyone else who didn't have such clothing, to the shops today. How nice of them! I decided on a cute little dress that didn't look too overly formal, but still looked smart. Zrala chose a similar one to mine. The nurses were quite pleased with our choice.
"You're going to wear the same thing as your sister, Sara? How adorable!" one of the nurses laughed. That word again: 'adorable'. Zrala winked at me. I giggled in return.
After a day of shopping, our party returned to the orphanage to rest. I took some time to write to you. Now that the festival is over, I have more time. Phew!…I'll be right back. Dinner's ready!
At dinner tonight, the nurses congratulated us for our work and wished us all the best for tomorrow.
"We only allow for the most qualified potential foster parents to come and even take a look at you kids," the head nurse said. "Unfortunately, that is why we hardly have visitors. I have a sincere hope that ultimately each and every one of you will be adopted into a caring and loving family, but I also hope that we will remain another big, loving family for the rest of our lives." How touching.
"Hear, hear!" another nurse said. Some kids murmured in agreement.
Darryl stood and raised his glass of juice. "To the family!"
The rest of the people in the room stood up and raised their glasses too. I quickly realised that this was what Sims called a 'toast'. I stood up, beckoning Zrala to stand as well. I raised my glass.
"To the family!" the rest of us repeated Darryl before sitting back down and drinking a bit.
That was fun. We've only been here a month, but it seems like we really are family.
Monday, 10th May 2010Edit
Hooray, Lexi! Absolutely fantastic news! Zrala and I got adopted! Guess who came?
The couple from the festival was among those who wanted to adopt! Turns out they came to see us kids to choose someone to take in. They loved Zrala and I so much, they decided that they wanted us! Imagine that!
Zrala and I were in our dresses that we bought yesterday. Darryl came to our room to see us before the visitors arrived.
"Well, you two look splendid!" he smiled, as Sims so often do. "You really are the Clipper sisters!"
Hey, that rhymes! Zrala and I laughed.
"Kids! They're here!" the nurses started calling out all through the orphanage. Immediately, the three of us raced down the stairs to the lobby.
The head nurse was already there greeting them.
"Hello, welcome to the Sunset Valley Orphanage!" she said. "You are all here today through a rigorous screening process in which only the potential parents deemed the most suitable and caring for these children have been accepted. Today, you can meet the children themselves! All of them are bright, friendly and cheerful, ready to be taken into the loving care of foster parents. Spend as long as you like!"
We all lined up as the head nurse took the adults through the ranks.
It took a little while before they got to Zrala and I.
"These are Alexandria and Sara Clipper," the nurse started heaping praise upon us, as if she were advertising us to the world. "They may not look it, but they're a wonderful team of twin sisters! They're also the best of friends. Both are exceptionally bright. Alex is an artistic genius and Sara is a budding musician. The Clippers will make excellent daughters!" The festival couple smiled widely. The man winked at us before the group moved on to Darryl, who was standing next to us.
"Darryl Hemingway is also a very intelligent boy," the nurse continued. "He is astoundingly talented in the fields of science and mathematics. His genius never fails to amaze us! He is, in short, a boy genius!" They moved on.
After about fifteen minutes waiting for the nurse to get through everyone, we were led to a waiting room, where we awaited results.
"You think you're gonna get in?" Darryl asked me.
"No, I don't think so," I replied. I shrugged. "You?"
"Nah," he shook his head. He looked at Howard, another boy at the other end of the room. "He'll probably get adopted by someone."
My resignation was followed by absolute, complete shock when the nurse came into the room and called, "Alex and Sara?" My heart almost stopped!
Zrala and I stood up. Darryl looked at me and gave me the thumbs-up with one hand. He used the other to push up his glasses before doing a thumbs-up. I returned the gesture and smiled nervously. Zrala waved goodbye to Darryl as we reversed out of the room, keeping our eyes on him the whole time until we could see him no longer.
We went into the head nurse's office and found the festival couple sitting before her desk. I was surprised!
"Hello Alex, Sara," the head nurse said. She gestured to two empty chairs beside the couple, who were sitting on another two chairs beside each other. "Please, take a seat."
We sat down.
"Mr and Mrs Durnham here have requested to adopt you," the head nurse said. "They fulfil all the requirements, and have agreed to sign the paperwork. However, before we can turn you over to them, we have to have your permission. It is your future, after all."
Wasn't it obvious! I was filled to the brim with happiness. Zrala and I nodded eagerly.
"Alright. Before you come to a decision, I'll let you have a little chat with the Durnhams." The head nurse stood up and led all the other nurses out of the office, save one. They closed the door.
"Hello Alexandria. Hello Sara," Mrs Durnham smiled. "I'm Elizabeth. This is Gerald." She gestured to the man sitting beside him. "I've heard you're very bright girls! You must be very proud of yourselves!"
"Err, well…I'm flattered!" I felt speechless. I guess Zrala felt the same.
"We're very happy to take you into our little home," Gerald said. "We've always wanted children of our own. Unfortunately, Elizabeth is infertile."
"Yes…," Elizabeth frowned for a bit, but then brightened up again. "So every year, we come to the orphanage to see if there was anyone we'd like to adopt. Nobody really made the impression on us that you girls did."
"Gosh," It was Zrala's turn to feel tickled pink.
"I'm sure you'll be well-behaved little girls," Elizabeth grinned cheekily. "Won't you?"
We nodded with utmost urgency.
"If you say yes, we'll welcome you with open arms!" Gerald spread his arms wide to illustrate his meaning.
Zrala and I looked each other in the eye for a few moments. I could see a twinkle of delight in her hazel eyes. We nodded.
The nurse got the hint and brought in the other staff.
"So you've come to a decision?" the head nurse asked.
"We agree!" Zrala and I said together.
"Excellent!" the head nurse grinned warmly. "I'm so happy that you've found new parents that will take care of you well. I hope you form a great family together." She handed out a slip to the Durnhams. "Sign here, please." They did so.
The head nurse collected the papers and stacked them together before placing them in a manila folder and placing the folder in a filing cabinet. "So it's settled! Mr and Mrs Durnham, you may return tomorrow to collect your new daughters! Congratulations!" The Durnhams shook hands with the head nurse to seal the deal. Then Gerald and Elizabeth took turns hugging us.
"Welcome to the family, darlings," Elizabeth almost started sobbing with joy.
This is our last night in the orphanage. Tomorrow we say goodbye!
Tuesday, 11th May 2010Edit
This is it, Lexi!
After packing up all our stuff and saying our goodbyes, the time finally came to wait in the lobby to be picked up. With us were several other kids.
Another surprise: Darryl walked into the room with his bags!
"Hey!" he said. "Looks like I'll be seeing a lot more of you still!" He laughed jovially.
We were stunned to hear that he had been adopted by a certain Jamie Jolina, a single surgeon who lived on the same street as the Durnhams! While we weren't going to be living under the same roof anymore, we'd still be neighbours! What a coincidence!
Elizabeth and Gerald promptly walked through the front doors.
"Hello, Alex! Hello Sara!" they said, lovingly smothering us in hugs and kisses. The head nurse came to say goodbye.
"Good luck!" she said as we exited the building. "I'll miss your drawings, Alex. And your wonderful music, Sara."
"Bye!" Zrala and I said together. We smiled at her compliments.
"Thank you," Gerald said.
"See you around!" Darryl grinned.
The Durnhams' car is elegant and modern. It appears to be what the Sims call a 'station wagon.' I read the labels that I assumed was the car's name.
Wornado Triage. Interesting.
"Alright, let's get your stuff into the trunk," Gerald said, opening a door at the back of the car. The door flipped open on a hinge at the top. We placed our bags in the car before he slammed it shut. As I got into the car, I saw Darryl walking out of the building with a blonde-haired lady in glasses. That must be Miss Jolina.
I buckled my safety belt. Gerald inserted the ignition key and the engine came to life. A petroleum-based engine is not the most efficient, or the most environmentally friendly, but I liked the feel of the rumbling engine sending vibrations through the vehicle.
"So," Elizabeth declared jovially. "Let's go home!"
With that, the car pulled out of the parking lot of Sunset Valley Orphanage and set off towards our new life with the Durnhams.
It took us around ten minutes to get to the Durnhams' house. It has one floor and has a small lake at its front. It looks really colourful and pretty!
We got out of the car and pulled our bags out of the trunk. Another car pulled up to the driveway at the house opposite ours. Out of the car came Miss Jolina and Darryl. The four of us waved at our neighbours. They returned the gesture.
Zrala and I stepped inside and were led by Elizabeth to our room, while Gerald went into the kitchen. It's really big and has two beds either side of it. A window in the centre of the wall illuminates it by day and a modern-looking ceiling light does so by night, accompanied by two lamps - one on each end table. There are two study tables for us to use when we liked. The walls are light blue. What do you know - my favourite colour!
"This is your room!" Elizabeth announced. "We spent quite a while renovating this room. It used to be two rooms, but we got rid of the partition and put two beds in!"
"Why two?" I felt curious. "I thought you'd assume you were going to adopt one kid."
"Oh, we'd always wanted two," she laughed.
"Are you three ladies just going to stand there chatting or are we going to have lunch?" Gerald called.
"Whoops!" Elizabeth said. She started walking towards the dining room. "Come on, girls!"
"Luncheon is served," Gerald put on a posh-sounding accent as he put plates of food on the table. British, I believe. Zrala was amused, so she started giggling. I didn't see what was so funny about the accent, but laughter is contagious, so I started laughing too.
After all four of us were seated at the table, Gerald picked up his fork. "Let's eat!"
I wasn't entirely sure what it was, but I tried it anyway. It tasted absolutely delicious!
"It's good!" I said after swallowing. "What is it?"
"Why, it's fish and chips!" Gerald was surprised, almost shocked. "You've never had it before?"
I couldn't lie my way out of this, so I just shook my head.
"Wow." Fortunately, Gerald suspected nothing. "You seem to have little experience in food, dear!" He chuckled. "But not to worry, we'll change all that!" I looked at Zrala. She was laughing too. I silently cursed myself for my blunder.
After lunch, Elizabeth started washing up. Gerald stood up. "Come on, girls. Let's teach you how to fish."
I could see Zrala's eyes light up like a tree on Hra'Xastil Day.
Fishing, I've decided, is about the most boring sport. Ever. You go through convoluted steps to get bait on the hook, throw it into a body of water, and sit there and wait until something bites and hope it's not a piece of trash or whatever. Gerald took us to the lake at Central Park and I got two boots (not matching) and a beer bottle. So much for fishing.
Zrala, however, seemed to have a natural talent for it, and I didn't want to spoil her fun, so I kept going, unfortunately hating the darn thing more and more every minute.
Finally, when I thought the anger management part of my brain couldn't take it anymore and would just explode, sending me into some fatal fit of rage, Gerald decided that it was enough fishing for today. I don't know whether it was because he could see that I was getting really frustrated, or something else, but I welcomed his announcement of conclusion.
By the time we arrived home, it was already about 4.30 in the afternoon. Great. Three hours of my life wasted waiting for fish that never appeared. How efficient my use of time has been today.
Anyway, enough grumbling. Elizabeth said that she had enrolled us into the Sunset Valley Community School for the Gifted. Sounds pretty generic, but it's something, I suppose. I'm guessing the 'Gifted' bit should've been dropped long ago.
Argh! Why am I in such a bad mood? I should be happy we have somewhere nice to live for the remainder of our stay on Earth! It must be the fishing. It must be!
Remind me to never join Scouts.
Wednesday, 12th May 2010Edit
Today was our first day of school! Sunset Valley Community School for the Gifted isn't as bad as I thought. I'm not used to the entire school being squeezed into one building though, being more accustomed to the sprawling, labyrinthian complex that is the Academy back on Sixam. However, the Community School is a bit easier to negotiate, so I guess the difference is a good thing.
Darryl Hemingway seems to be following us everywhere. I'm sure it's just coincidence really, but he was also enrolled in the same class as us. I can't help but sense something fishy going on, but it's probably nothing.
There were three empty seats in a row, so we took them. I'm now sitting in between Zrala and Darryl.
"We have three new students with us today," the teacher announced. She is black-haired, and wears her hair in a sort of bob. "These are Alexandria and Sara Clipper, and Darryl Hemingway. Please introduce yourselves."
"Hi, I'm X--," I stopped myself, just, from saying 'Xandria'. Good save…phew! "I'm Alex. I'm quite fond of the sea, though I hate fishing." The class burst into laughter. Success!
"Hello, my name is Sara Clipper," Zrala said. "Though I don't look it, I'm Alex's twin sister!" The rest of the class looked really surprised. As expected, I suppose.
"Hey, everyone!" Darryl began cheerily. "I'm Darryl. I've been wondering my whole life if there is any intelligent life out there in the universe. If we're not alone. I'd like to find out one day." The class ooh-ed.
"Alright, everyone, introducing yourselves now," the teacher said.
"Hi, I'm Darlene," a girl at the front stood up. "In a game of Truth and Dare, I'll always choose Dare!"
"I'm Malcolm," the boy sitting next to Darlene was next. "I love reading books, and spend a lot of time doing so."
"I'm Forest," another boy stood up. He looked really energetic and cheerful. "My favourite subjects are art and music. Nice to meet you!" I smiled back, as I'm sure the others did.
Once we cycled through all nineteen other kids in the class, it was the teacher's turn. "I'm Miss Kensington. My favourite thing to do is to teach kids everything they need to know!" she turned to the rest of the class. "Now, let's all give a warm, 5B welcome to Alex, Sara and Darryl!" The class erupted into applause. As I walked down the aisle back to my desk, a few kids stuck their hands out in my path. Were they waiting for what they called 'high-fives'? I took a gamble and let my hands meet the first student's with a slap! It seemed to be what he was looking for, because he didn't get angry, so I continued. It felt pretty good!
"Welcome to 5B!" said Bella, the girl sitting at the desk in front of me.
"Thanks!" I smiled back in return as I sat down.
"Now," the teacher began. "Let's move on to the first lesson of the day. Geography!"
I could hear a few groans.
"Let's do a pop quiz," Miss Kensington said as she handed out sheets of paper, blank side up. "You're gonna have ten minutes to complete all the questions. Do not turn the page until I tell you to."
Once she returned to the front of the classroom, she started the clock. "You may begin. Good luck!" I turned the sheet and stared at the questions on the sheet. Fortunately, I'd already done quite a bit of Earth geography back at the orphanage.
1. Name the largest city in SimNation.
I had two options. I was told Bridgeport and SimCity were the two largest cities in the country, but I wasn't sure which one was the biggest. I decided on the former.
2. Out of the four figures below, which is the true estimated population of SimNation as of 2009?
- A: 306.8 million
- B: 209.5 million
- C: 375.2 million
- D: 505.6 million
I was surprised that people would expect others, especially children, to memorise a figure that chances are won't help them very much in life. Nevertheless, I chose A, the correct option (if I remembered correctly).
After the test, the teacher collected all the papers and moved on to explain the geography of Europe.
While we were ploughing through a worksheet on European countries, Miss Kensington marked our quiz papers. Upon her task's completion, she abruptly announced, "Alex got full marks, twenty out of twenty! She's at the top!" The rest of the class started clapping and whooping. I felt an immense sense of pride and grinned widely.
After Geography came Maths. It was pretty simple stuff, because, well…it seems that Sim 5th graders have trouble telling the difference between acute, obtuse and reflex angles. I have to admit, that was pretty sad. I finished the worksheets in five minutes, then I spent the rest of the time helping the other students.
A somewhat frustrating hour of maths was followed by Art. At long last! This time, instead of staying in 5B's homeroom, we were ferried through the hallways of the school to the art studio. The moment I stepped inside, I was in heaven.
The art studio is spacious, and the walls are covered in painting, portraits, photographs - you name it, it's there, as long as it's on a piece of paper. They look absolutely fabulous! Paintbrushes, pens, and paper are stacked neatly on the countertops located around the classroom. Canvases are also present in a pile at the far end of the classroom. Easels were abundant, and four large tables are centrepiece of the entire studio. Quite a few of the easels already had filled canvases on them.
Miss Kensington approached the art teacher, who was standing at an easel, painting. The two teachers talked for a while before they returned to the flock of kids standing at the doorway of the studio.
"Ah, you must be Alex, Sara and Darryl!" the art teacher immediately directed his attention to us. He momentarily turned to the other kids. "Come in, go and work on your portraits!" Then, as if someone had opened floodgates, nineteen ten-year-olds poured into the studio, rushing to the easels to resume painting.
"Once the bell rings, it'll be lunchtime," Miss Kensington informed us. "If you brought lunch with you, you can come back to the classroom to get your lunch, but don't eat in the room!"
"Yes, Miss!" we replied. She walked out of the room.
"Right," the art teacher said. "I'm Mr Koller. At the moment, we're all painting portraits of ourselves. I'll give you a canvas, a brush and some paint, assign you an easel, and see how you go. If you need any help, just give me a holler. Okay?"
It didn't take me long to get started. I began with some preliminary sketches, using a pencil to draw an outline of my head, my shoulders and my arms. Then I added some details, drew my face and then went over all the lines in pen. I ended up drawing myself (in my disguise) with my hair down as I usually do when I'm out of my disguise. Combos!
Mr Koller came around to look at my portrait thus far.
"Looks good," he said. "Now for some colour!" I nodded in agreement. I picked up my brush and my palette and I began to paint. I was so focused on my work that I failed to notice the growing crowd around my easel. The other students had their attention caught by my painting and had been drawn into a semicircle around me. But I noticed none of it. At that moment my entire world was reduced to me and my painting.
When I dabbed the final spot of paint on my self-portrait, completing an hour of devoted work, I stepped back to assess the image that had materialised on my canvas. And as I did so, I heard a clap. Then two claps, then three. Soon, the whole studio was full of applause. I turned around and I realised that the whole class had, for the past fifteen minutes, been watching my every stroke, every dab, every touch. Even Mr Koller was clapping wildly. I was rendered speechless and breathless by this show of approval. I felt touched.
"Well done, Alex," Mr Koller said. "Well done." The bell rang soon after.
As we walked towards the cafeteria a few students hit my back playfully. It seemed like a gesture of camaraderie, because they talked jovially to me afterwards, so I didn't take offence.
"That was awesome, man!" Forest said.
"Where'd you learn to do that?" asked Darlene.
Bella spoke next. "You really have talent there, Alex!"
"I think so too," said Mortimer, the boy who was walking next to Bella.
"Thanks!" I smiled.
"That painting was really cool!" Zrala said.
"I don't know how I did it!" I laughed.
"Never saw that at the orphanage!" Darryl declared confidently.
Word soon spread of my painting and soon the whole school knew about it. People were chattering in the cafeteria. I kept hearing my name. I could not believe my eyes or ears.
I could've sworn it was a dream. It isn't possible to become instantly well known across such a large group of people as a school!
But there I was, collecting my tray of lunch as other kids whispered words such as 'Alex', 'painting' and 'wow!'.
I don't mean to brag or anything, but I felt quite good about the whole thing!
I sat down with Zrala and Darryl at a table.
"Don't let all this praise go to your head," Zrala reminded me.
"I know," I said.
The last lesson of the day was sport. We changed into our gym gear and headed for the gymnasium.
I learned something new today: Dodgeball is awesome!
Dodgeball is a Sim sport where two teams scramble for a small collection of large rubber balls before attempting to force the other team out through eliminating every single member of the opposing team. This is done through attacking players with the balls. While I'm not that great at dodgeball yet (I got out in the first three minutes of the game), I really enjoy it, so I intend to try again at some point. Darryl's really good at it, and as a result, our team won!
At dinner tonight, Elizabeth made a really delicious Japanese food called 'sushi'. I loved it, and I couldn't get enough of the stuff! Hahaha! I told Gerald about what happened during art.
"So, you're a famous artist already!" he joked. We all laughed.
Today's been a long and fruitful day. I'd better get some rest. Goodnight!
Thursday, 13th May 2010Edit
Oh no, Alexis!
There was a news flash this morning about our ship!
"BREAKING NEWS!" the newsreader exclaimed. "Scientists at the Sim Aeronautics and Space Administration have confirmed that the hull fragments found at the site of the wreckage of a mysterious aircraft, that crashed in the middle of the desert of Arizona near the Simafornian border, are composed of materials previously unknown to Simkind. This could be evidence of the existence of extraterrestrials.
"SASA director Charles Bolden said in an official statement that the agency is now trying to revive the spaceship's main computer and use it to determine the origin of the spacecraft. He also said that this would be followed by an attempt to communicate with the planet of origin and possibly to initiate First Contact."
Oh no. Zrala was equally shocked. It is generally agreed by the galactic community that the Sims aren't ready to make contact with other species! If they were to find out that the ship comes from Sixam, then make contact with our people, the results could be devastating!
There was another bit of news that shocked me.
"At the initial site, the cockpit of the spacecraft was nowhere to be seen," the newsreader continued. "However, after several weeks of searching, it was revealed that the cockpit had separated from the spacecraft upon impact and, due to the high speed of the spacecraft, continued travelling for a further three miles to the northwest. The bodies of two pilots and one child were found in the wreckage. Their remains were unfortunately mutilated such that they could not be identified, nor could they be confirmed extraterrestrials. Scientists have said that their DNA has decayed at a significant rate, and as such it is impossible even through DNA testing to determine their species."
I breathed a sigh of relief. While it was really saddening that nobody else survived, we were able to maintain our cover for a little longer.
Then, I realised - they talked only about the pilots and one child!
Someone else survived! I could hardly restrain myself. Neither could Zrala.
"Someone survived!" I whispered.
"But who?" Zrala asked.
I wasn't sure. It was either Wrelis or Rghenot. But they didn't bring disguises! Neither of them would dare try to go to town or whatever.
At school, Darryl was extremely electrified, and even more energetic than usual. Probably because of the possible revelation of the existence of aliens.
"Oh my gosh!" he could hardly contain his excitement. "There could be aliens out there! If there are, I'll be so happy!" I was glad for him that he was happy, but I was also worried because we could be found out if they confirmed Sixam's existence. Even worse, our entire race could be endangered because of the Sims' tendency for fear of the unknown. They could have Zrala and I imprisoned in the infamous Area 51 or something terrifying like that.
Today's classes went by quite quickly, and nothing much happened, so I won't go too much into school today.
After school, Zrala, Darryl, Bella, Mortimer, Forest and I all decided to hang out together at Mortimer's place.
Goth Manor looks seriously gloomy. I reckon it could use a makeover. You know, modernise it a bit, spruce it up here and there. Surely the Goths could enjoy a more jovial look every now and then. Even if their name suggests the opposite. But who am I to say that? I have heard that the Goths founded this town after all.
Anyway, we entered the house. "I've brought some friends home, Mother!" Mortimer called as we walked through the front door.
"Welcome home, Mortimer!" a very Gothic-looking woman walked down the hallway. She hugged him. She turned to Bella and Forest. "Hello, Bella, Forest."
"Hi Mrs Goth!" they returned the greeting cheerfully. The woman turned to us.
"Some new faces, Mortimer?"
"These are Alex and Sara Clipper, and Darryl Hemingway," Mortimer introduced us to his mother. "They're new to the school."
"Well then," said Mrs Goth. "Welcome to our humble home! I'm Cornelia Goth."
"Nice to meet you, Mrs Goth," I replied, shaking her hand. Zrala and Darryl both copied me.
"Alex is a really good artist, Mother!" Mortimer said. His eyes lit up.
"Really, now?" Mrs Goth laughed. I could feel my face flush. I giggled in response.
"Yeah! We painted self-portraits in class, and hers looked awesome!" Mortimer continued to praise my work. My face was getting redder and redder. Like an Otatop fruit.
Mrs Goth smiled warmly. "Well then, do come in! I'm sure you all are hungry."
We walked into the kitchen and sat down. Mrs Goth gestured to the tens of flat...things. I can't remember what they're called... They're really popular with kids here...
Oh yes, that's right! Cookies!
"Help yourselves, children!" Mrs Goth grinned. Just as Forest bit into one, his eyes almost burst out of their sockets and he got teary eyed. He swallowed and started fanning his mouth with his hand. We laughed. Mrs Goth did too. "Be careful though - they're fresh from the oven!"
After finishing with the cookies, we all removed our books from our bags and started on our homework. We were supposed to quiz each other on the early history of SimNation.
"When was the Declaration of Independence signed?" I asked Mortimer.
He ransacked his memory trying to find the answer. When his brain finished cooking and was ready to serve, he replied. "July the Fourth, 1777!"
I could just contain my laughter. "Wrong year, Mortimer! Forest?"
"1776," came the swift reply.
"Off by one year!" Mortimer wailed. We laughed.
The afternoon went swiftly with all of us quizzing each other on history, doing math homework and playing in the backyard. The backyard was of particular interest. It was almost like a graveyard! There were tombstones everywhere. Creepy stuff! But I tried to ignore it and continued my search for my hiding opponents.
Suddenly, it was time to head for home!
"See you later, Mortimer! Thanks Mrs Goth!" we all shouted as we walked out of the Goth Manor.
"Goodbye!" Mortimer and Mrs Goth cried back. They stepped inside and closed the door. The sun was beginning to set, so we started to run. Forest eventually parted with us and ran down his street.
"See you at school!" he said as he sprinted away.
When we got home, it was nightfall. We just walked through the door when we were called to dinner. It was spaghetti this time! Yum! After dinner Gerald and Elizabeth took us to see what they called a 'movie'! It was an awesome experience. I loved it, and I hope I'll be able to see more before we go home to Sixam!
I think it was a pretty average day today. Hopefully tomorrow will be more eventful!
Friday, 14th May 2010Edit
I just remembered that today is the Fourth of Sranzor back on Sixam. We call it Sran-Csor colloquially. It's the 6th anniversary of Jyxalin. The Jyxalin Incident was a terrifying attack that shook the entire Empire. The Emperor called them Chaotica, a group of rebel insurgents that wished to destroy the Empire, and that such attacks within the Empire had been unheard of for several centuries.
It was in the morning, just after school and work started for the day. In the capital, Neiyelx City, several air-trains full of commuters were hijacked. They left their standard routes and then crashed into Jyxalin Tower. The tower took three hits from the trains, and it collapsed after a fourth collided into the thirtieth floor. It gave in and collapsed, killing everyone inside. More than five thousand died in the attacks, including several hundred from other worlds and nations — around a thousand of the casualties came from the trains. The aftermath was a galactic manhunt for the Chaotica group responsible, and they were reportedly captured four years later. There was a huge media frenzy about it. Everyone went crazy about the 'war on chaos.' Apparently something similar happened on Earth too, in a city called Bridgeport, but with a group called 'al Qaeda.' Wow. Earth and Sixam have a lot more in common than I first thought.
They probably would be having memorial ceremonies all over the Empire right now.
Anyway, it was a huge coincidence that I found Darryl today at school just sitting there looking really depressed. He didn't talk very much today.
During lunch, he sat alone at an empty table.
"What's up with Darryl?" Mortimer asked. "He was pretty cheery yesterday."
"I don't know," I replied. I stood up and walked up to Darryl. I sat down next to him.
"Darryl, what's wrong?" I asked.
"Go away," he muttered as he stared at his food. His eyes were shimmering. I could hear, almost feel the sorrow in his voice.
"You can talk to me," I whispered. "I won't tell anyone."
"You won't understand."
"Just…just leave me alone right now." I didn't want to hurt him further so I stood up and left. As I walked away, I could hear a whimpering noise. And then sobbing.
Darryl was crying.
Crying, it seems, for the dead.
"Well," Mortimer said. "What's up with him?"
"I have absolutely no clue."
"He might have lost someone somehow, like, a few years ago or something," Mortimer went on thoughtfully. "But don't worry, he'll cheer up. You'll see."
After lunch I just couldn't shake off the feeling that Darryl knew something. But that wasn't possible. I shrugged the feeling off. Never mind. It's just a coincidence. He's probably just…I've no idea what he's crying about, but I shouldn't be asking him about it. Whatever, let's just forget it. Jyxalin's a really sad thing to be talking about anyway. It makes me feel miserable even thinking about it.
Saturday, 15th May 2010Edit
Well, Lexi, it's Saturday! It's starting to get really hot around here, with summer just around the corner and all, so Elizabeth and Gerald suggested we go to the beach! They said they couldn't come because they had work to do, unfortunately. But Darryl joined us as well, so that's good!
First thing, we all sprinted into the sea. I got there first. It was so cold! I screamed as soon as my toe touched the water, and I instinctively jumped back. The others laughed. I, for one, was not amused. It seems that this planet is all about extremes.
"Hey, it was cold!" I tried to justify myself, but they started laughing even harder, so I pushed Zrala into the water.
"Hey!" she laughed. She splashed water at me. It was freezing! To exact my revenge I jumped into the water, spraying it onto both Zrala and Darryl.
"What was that for?" he shouted. Then he jumped in as well. We were splashing about for quite some time. We got used to the water though. Eventually, after many gruelling minutes of painful, freezing water droplets showering upon my body.
Anyway, afterwards we went back to shore for lunch. It was a feast! There were sandwiches, cookies, biscuits and lots of drinks. Swimming around certainly builds up an appetite, so I ate quite a bit, as did Zrala and Darryl.
And yes, we did some fishing as well. As usual, I didn't catch anything.
Later on, we were all running around the beach and waterfront, when, as she turned a corner, Zrala suddenly ran straight into an important-looking man carrying a briefcase. She fell to the ground, while he hardly budged. He just stopped, looking down at her, his stare drilling holes into her skull. He was…er…large, to say the least. His hair was greying, and he had a grimace on his face, as if his expression was permanently locked on scowl mode.
The silence lasted for about two milliseconds.
"Oi!" the man shouted. "Watch where ye goin', you li'l brat!"
Zrala started to pick herself up. "Sorry, sir, I couldn't see—"
"Bloody pleb!" he spat. He pushed her back down. Saliva flew onto Zrala's face as she collapsed back onto the concrete. "Ye got some nerve, attackin' an Alto. I'll call the bloody police!"
"But I wasn't attacking—"
"Oi, shut up!" More of the man's spit took off from his mouth. "When yer talkin' te an Alto, ye dinna speak 'less yer spoken to! Ye got that, pleb?"
"Y-y-yes, Mr Alto," Zrala trembled in terror. She was starting to tear up.
"Stop that at once, Alto!" a voice boomed from behind him. Mr Alto turned to look at the newcomer. The woman who had materialised before him was also important-looking, and very posh in appearance and speech.
"Ah, Mrs Landgraab!" Mr Alto suddenly sounded very weasel-like. "How may I be of service?"
"Do not 'Mrs Landgraab' me, Alto," she growled. With Mr Alto now distracted, Zrala stood up slowly, and stepped back. She tripped and fell onto her bottom again, and she started sobbing. We knelt down to help her.
"It's okay, Sara," Darryl said. "Don't cry."
"Oh, but then how am I supposed to address ye?" Mr Alto said.
"Do not change the subject," the woman stood her ground. "How dare you terrorise these children."
Zrala continued to sob.
"It's alright, Sara," I whispered gently. "This lady has saved you."
"Terrorise?" Mr Alto feigned shock. "I am a respectable gentleman, Landgraab! How dare ye accuse me of terrorising poor little children!"
"Really, Alto?" 'Mrs Landgraab' shot back. "I just saw you with my own eyes. So did fifty other people. I suggest you weasel off back to your little pink villa."
"Where's the evidence?" Mr Alto asked, unfazed.
"You only seem to understand vulgar language unfit for us properly posh, don't you?"
"Oh, Mrs Landgraab—"
"I SAID DON'T 'MRS LANDGRAAB' ME! PISS OFF, NOW!" she screamed, allowing her polite poshness to fade away. With a sneer, Mr Alto picked up his briefcase and, as if he had won a battle, marched his way out of the scene. By this time, a crowd had formed around us. Mr Alto pushed and shoved his way out of the crowd barrier. I could hear several "Make way for Nicholas Alto, plebs!"'s and "Out of the way, you lowly peasants"'s.
Zrala was still sobbing when the woman ran up to us and kneeled down. "Are you alright, sweetie?"
Zrala was in a fetal position, sitting on the pedestrian path, with her forehead on her knees. She looked up. Her face was darkened by trail marks and stains from her tears. She nodded slowly.
"It's alright," the woman said gently. "He's gone now."
"Thank you," Zrala whispered.
"Let's take you home."
The woman led us to her car. And it wasn't just a car.
It was a limousine.
The driver stepped before us and opened the door.
"Thank you, Boris," she replied. We all got into the limousine before the driver closed the door. Shortly after, the car started to move.
"Thank you for rescuing my sister," I decided to speak for Zrala.
"Oh, she's your sister?" she looked surprised. As usual. "I could not tell!"
"We're fraternal twins, you see."
There was some silence, before the woman spoke up again.
"Oh, where are my manners?" she scolded herself. "My name is Nancy Landgraab, Chief Executive Officer of Landgraab Industries."
"Alexandria Clipper," I returned the greeting. I shook hands with her. "My sister is Sara."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Alexandria."
"Same to you, Mrs Landgraab."
"I'm Darryl Hemingway," Darryl said. He shook Mrs Landgraab's hand as well.
"So, are you new to the neighbourhood?"
"We've been here in Sunset Valley for a while, actually," I explained. "We were adopted by Elizabeth and Gerald Durnham. Darryl was adopted by Jamie Jolina on the same day."
"I see. Well, allow me to formally welcome you to Sunset Valley!" she smiled.
The car pulled up on our street. All three of us alighted from the vehicle.
"Thanks for the ride, Mrs Landgraab!" we said.
"My pleasure, children!" Mrs Landgraab replied. "I hope we meet again soon!"
"I hope so too!" I called as I accompanied a silent Zrala to the front door. Darryl was on his way back to his house. The driver closed the car door and drove off.
I opened the door and walked with Zrala into the study. Gerald was writing something on his computer.
"Hello, Gerald!" I said.
"Hey girls, you're home early!" he replied jovially. His smile faded away when he saw Zrala's trembling figure. "Sara, what's wrong?"
"We met some guy called Nicholas Alto on the waterfront."
Soon enough we were in the living room. I told Elizabeth and Gerald the whole story while Zrala just sat beside me, silent and traumatised.
"Nick Alto." Gerald muttered the name as if it were a curse. "He and his family arrived in Sunset Valley around a year before you two came to town."
"They say he's 'new money'," Elizabeth said. "As soon as the Altos came they started taking over all the businesses."
"They have tough competition, though," Gerald continued. "The Landgraab family, who founded this town along with the Goths, is putting up one hell of a fight to free Sunset Valley from the megalomaniacal grips of Nick and Vita Alto."
What a disturbing story! I didn't know that kind of thing could happen on Earth.
I really need to sleep on this.
Monday, 17th May 2010Edit
Today, on our walk to school, I noticed it for the first time.
Up and away, in the distance, up the hill. Two large houses stood atop that hill. One, the building further away from me, looked respectable, the mansion of a great aristocratic family. Sitting opposite was a pink eyesore, its backside sticking out to the rest of the town like an uncouth teenager rudely exposing their bottom (believe me, I've seen my brother do that enough times at home when I was younger. Oh the nightmares). Then it hit me.
That was the same "pink little villa" that belonged to the Altos.
How fitting for such an uncivilised rabble.
Anyway, when we got to school, apparently word had spread of our little run-in with Mr Alto. Several kids rushed up to us as soon as we stepped onto the school grounds.
"Are you guys alright?" one asked.
"So how did it go, Clipper?" said another one.
"I'm sure it was ugly, eh?" another kid of spectacled East Asian appearance bounced up and down and shouted at the same time in a vain attempt to get an answer.
Then, as if on cue, an escort composed of Forest, Darryl, Mortimer, Bella and Malcolm materialised. They started pushing their way through the crowd like the bow of a ship against the sea.
"Stand aside, please," Mortimer said quite formally. "The Clippers would like to get to class." At the mere sight of the famed Goth kid and rich Landgraab, the crowd promptly disbanded.
"So, what's this?" Mortimer asked after we entered the school building. "I heard you ran into Nick Alto."
"Yeah," I replied. "Sara's still pretty shook up about it." I gestured to Zrala, who was still shaking a bit from yesterday.
That must have been a traumatising experience.
"Man," Mortimer was shaking his head. "I thought Mr Alto had a lot more maturity than that. Clearly I was wrong."
Zrala looked up.
"You know, I always thought Alto was a pot-bellied monkey clown from some dimension where courtesy wasn't a thing."
That made her smile a bit.
"Keep going," I whispered.
"I bet his wife is a snake-hyena hybrid from Pluto. Icy cold, that woman. How those two ended up having a monkey-snake-clown-hyena kid? No clue. But they seem to be the perfect match."
Zrala laughed. It worked!
"They have a kid?" she asked.
"Yup," he said. "Holly's one of the 9th graders. Never liked her much."
"Why not? Has she done anything against you?"
"No, but she's an Alto, so she's always been kinda shady to me. You never know what those monkey-snake-clown-hyenas from extra-dimensional outer space are up to. And I don't know why my parents don't mind them. Because I do. I see right through them."
It was clear that Mortimer held some kind of grudge against the Altos.
And rightfully so, I suppose.
Thursday 3rd June 2010Edit
Oh my, I've forgotten to write you for two weeks! I'm so sorry…I've been so caught up with schoolwork and all that I keep running out of time. I should probably fill you in on what's been happening over the past fortnight.
The day after I last wrote, Zrala got selected for the school's Instrumental Music Program for clarinet! How exciting! Zrala has been enlisted into the ranks of the school band. Every week I have to leave her behind while she does her band practice. She's been practising really hard, and she's getting very, very good at it! I'd love to hear her perform in the band one day.
Oh, and remember how I told you that I was never going to join Scouts?
Zrala and the others pushed me into joining Scouts. So now I spend my days fishing. Fantastic. On the plus, though, I get to earn shiny medals and light campfires. It's a sort of balancer, I suppose.
Anyway, Zrala and I started going to Scout meetings last week. The first lesson wasn't that exciting — we mostly spent our time tying random knots. Now I know how to tie my shoelaces in numerous convoluted methods of impossible entanglement. Woo. Fun. But once we got into momentum it became kind of fun. Except the fishing, of course.
The first time I lit a fire was super awesome. I felt like the entire universe was bowing down to me in deference (not to brag). It was such a powerful feeling. When the sparks started flying (quite literally), I stood back, and soon enough, whoosh went the flames!
Now, how in the name of the Gods did I get so much schoolwork? Answer: Miss Kensington. She's a nice teacher, very kind, but she sometimes dumps a whole heap of schoolwork on our backs to scuttle off home with. I don't find it very pleasant, personally.
It's getting even hotter now that it's June. I hear they call this time of year "summer." There's been this huge hype building up at school because of the approaching summer vacation. I wonder that's like. We never get such an extended period of leave from school back on Sixam. The most we get is the Tegkoland. We're going to be let off school next week. I can't wait for that! Gerald and Elizabeth have a business trip during vacation, so during then Mrs Landgraab has offered to take Malcolm, Mortimer, Bella, Zrala, Forest, Darryl and I to the hometown of her ancestors, Champs Les Sims in a place called France! That sounds really cool, though I wish Gerald and Elizabeth could've come with us. But they told us that since they really liked to travel, they already visited those places. Just for consolation, I guess. Oh well, too bad!
When we go to France, I plan to take my easel apart and bring it with me! There, I'll reassemble it and then I can paint all sorts of stuff, like the landscape! Wow, I'm so excited! I've also heard that there are ancient places to explore. I'm really looking forward to it, because that means I can learn more about Earth's past!
I'm getting so hyped up about this even as I write! I think it's stopping me from sleeping…I should probably stop so I can go to bed without getting high on writing.
See you tomorrow!
More to come...