Slide 2: Circe knew something was up. For one thing, this meeting was called with almost no notice, so it had to be urgent. For another... Slide 3: …Why was that red-haired dude sitting in Payne's place? She decided to find out.
The gentleman turned and looked at the doctor with a bit of a leer. "She's been replaced,” he said.
"By whom?” Slide 4: "Me, obviously,” he replied, rolling his eyes dramatically. “Though I guess I'm not exactly a replacement so much as a guy who's here to shut you all down.” He paused for emphasis. “Payne's been sacked,” he continued. “And the entire SAMRIID is under investigation by the S.B.I." He pointed to himself, indicating that he was an S.B.I agent. "In short, those involved in the recent events of Metro City and Bluewater were acting outside of their mandate and without oversight on domestic soil. The Bluewater plague did not authorize the right to raid private citizens houses.” Slide 5: Circe was outraged. "Of course we're being shut down, right after I finish the freaking virus!“
Nobody paid her any mind, they were used to Circe's outbursts. Slide 6: The female Lieutenant across the table cleared her throat and asked, "So...we're done? What do we do now?” Slide 7: "You military people will receive orders elsewhere, nothing special."
"Shouldn't Buzz have been here for this?“
"The General is currently on leave. He will be informed when he returns.” Slide 8: "On leave? That slacker! I've been slaving away over a hot test tube forever and he's off chilling with his bitch ex-wife and lame kids in Takemizu!“
"Ah, no I believe they were headed to Twikki Island..."
"Like it matters!" Slide 9: Circe was up in a flash. She straightened her jacket, turned on her heel, and started toward the exit. "I'm out of here, I'm going to go work in a hospital or something where my work might be appreciated...” Slide 10: "A moment, Dr. Beaker.“
Half way to the door, Circe groaned and turned. “What?“
"The virus, you said it was complete…?”
“What’s it to you?”
“Although SAMRIID is shutting down for the time being, we at the S.B.I would be very interested in taking it out of your hands. Under the table and off the record, of course,” he said. His face turned into an arrogant smirk near the end. Slide 11: Circe considered this for a sixteenth of a second, and then grimaced. “Yeah, screw that idea. Bye." And she was gone. Slide 12: The agent sighed. "It was worth a shot, I guess."
The others sat in silence for a few moments, taking it all in, trying to decide what to do next. Master Sergeant Li knew exactly what to do… Slide 13: “Well...I'm gonna go play WOW," he said. "You joining me, Hull?“
The Captain shrugged. It wasn’t as if he had anything important to do, and he needed to level his Blood Elf anyway. "Yeah, sure,” he agreed. Slide 14: On a very, very hot day (it’s the desert, you see) Ed and Chloe decided to try and beat the odds of heat stroke and test out the shiny new Love Tub for the first time.
They liked it. A lot. Slide 15: …An hour or so later and they were out of the hot tub, both of them giggling.
“Chloe-Chloe, why didn’t you tell Ed that the sock hiding game could be played in watery-water TOO?!”
“I dunno, wetsuit boy…but I really like the tub, don’t you?”
“YES!” Slide 16: The next afternoon…
Lola looked up from the chessboard to see her twin standing there. “Hey, Chloe!”
There was no response. Said twin was not in a very good mood, it seemed.
“Edward,” Chloe snarled.
“Whatever-y it is, Ed did not do it!” said her lover, bowing his head. Slide 17: “Oh yes Ed did it!” Chloe said through gritted teeth.
Lola just smiled at Ed, trying to reassure him. Her sister was all bark and no bite.
Ed didn’t get the message. “Edward is sorry!” He whined, still not aware of what he had actually done. He tried to lighten her up. “Ummmm…Edward likes Chloe-Chloe’s new pretty dress! Wherey-where did Chloe-Chloe get it?”
“The maternity section.”
Lola’s and Edward’s jaws dropped in unison. Slide 18: Ed’s eyes zeroed in on Chloe’s swollen belly, and he practically flew out of his chair.
“Chloe-Chloe is having Edward’s spawnlet?!”
“YAY YAY YAY! Hi-i baby! Ooh, we’re going to have lots of cuddly-wuddly time! Edward-daddy can’t wait to meet-y you!”
Chloe sighed. Once she got past the fact that she was huge, she was actually pretty happy with the idea of a baby. She stroked her boyfriend’s spikey hair as he made cooing noises at their little one, and smiled. Slide 19: Outside, Erin and Ein were flirting as usual.
“It’s so great the Ed and Chlo are going have a baby, don’t you think, Ein?”
“I think maybe we could, you know…possibly…go try and not have a baby, or like…see how many times we can woohoo before I get knocked up again?”
Ein laughed at her messed up sentence.
“Shut up! We don’t have much time before the twins wake up from their naps. Come on, you know you want to!” Slide 20: He did. Slide 21: 24 hours later…
“Oof!” Erin had just felt the oddest sensation…and were her pants suddenly 4 sizes too small?
Chloe just gave her a knowing look and said, “You too, huh?” Slide 22: Chloe was OK with the idea of having a baby, in fact after a while she was actually thrilled. She was half family sim, and the hormones were starting to take over. She was OK with a baby, but she was not OK with…something.
Edward didn’t know what.
She had been screaming at Ed for 15 minutes, but still she hadn’t gotten to her point. First it was the trash can one of his ex-pseudo-girlfriends knocked over, but when he agreed to pick it up, she screamed, “That’s not the point!” After that it was the litter box for their cat, and how it should be purple and not blue. When he said he would buy a new one, she screamed again. “SO NOT THE POINT!”
Then Ed’s laughing started, and it only made things worse. Slide 23: He started to walk away, but of course Chloe would not have that.
“And just where do you think you are going, Ed?!”
“Into hiding,” he murmured.
“What was that?!”
Ed sighed. He really didn’t like being yelled at, no matter how happy-go-lucky he seemed. And he told her so. Slide 24: “Edward does not like being yelly-welled at, Chloe-Chloe!” He bellowed.
Chloe took a step back. She wasn’t used to Ed standing up to her, and she had certainly not seen him mad before. Of course…she’d never acted like such a raging, hormonal bitch before, either.
And that was when her sobbing started. Slide 25: Ed rushed to comfort her. “Chloe-Chloe, it’s OK! Ed didn’t mean to make you—please don’t cry, Chloe.”
“I’m sorry I yelled at you!” She managed to say through the tears. “I’m just..hormonal…and…I…want…”
“What do you want, Chloe-Chloe? Ed will get you anything!”
This time Ed took a step back. “But Chloe-Chloe, you’ve feared getting married ever since you met Edward!”
“I know! But…the hormones…! They make me all…maternal,” She sniffed, and tried to stop the tears. Another cry burst through her lips, which only made her cry harder because she was STILL crying. Slide 26: “Why did you wait so long to tell me?” Edward asked in a husky voice nobody had ever heard him use before.
“I…don’t know?” She replied, still marveling at how…hot he sounded when he talked like that.
“I love you, Chloe-Chloe…” Slide 27: “Will you marry Edward?”
“Chloe-Chloe, you sound like Ein-twin…” Slide 28: Chloe laughed at the absolute absurdity of that statement, and threw herself into Ed’s arms.
“Yes! Of course, yes!”
“Yay,” he said softly. Slide 29: Follow me into the great unknown
Where pink flamingos grow
Diet soda flows
And what you take magically regenerates
On supermarket shelves Slide 30: The ovens clean themselves
You don't pay the tab 'til the last drop
So we all ride for nothing
‘Cause this train never stops Slide 31: Da da da da da da da da da da...
Da da da da da da da da da da... Slide 32: We make a good team,
Me and you, we do
You could scratch my back
And I'll scratch my back too Slide 33: When everyone is welcome at the party, yeah
People more is more
Are we all but poor?
You don't pay the tab 'til the last drop
So we all ride for nothing
‘Cause this train never stops Slide 34: Da da da da da da da da da da...
Da da da da da da da da da da... You don't stop
You don't stop
You don't stop
You don't stop Slide 35: You don't pay the tab 'til the last drop
So we all ride for nothing
‘Cause this train never stops
It was a shotgun wedding by all means, and the choice in music was a little out of the ordinary, but Ed and Chloe were married, and that was all they needed. Slide 36: With the wedding behind them, the newlyweds went and enjoyed the fact that the risk of pregnancy was nonexistant for the moment. Slide 37: The next day was Paddy and Cara’s birthday. Ein and Erin chose to hold a small party for them in the early afternoon rather than the evening as was customary, because Dr. Doran had to work. Slide 38: Unfortunately, Ed also had to work, so Chloe and her half-brother Vidcund were the only guests. Chloe just made up for it by being extra loud, cheering for her niece and nephew.
“What’s that Chloe, I didn’t hear you,” Erin said sarcastically. “Ready to go, little one?” Slide 39: As Ein helped his son blow out his candles, Chloe suddenly got louder. Her “woo” had also turned into an—
“OW! Ugh…ouch…OW!” Slide 40: Even if Erin and Ein were preoccupied for the time being, Vidcund noticed his sister’s distress…in a way. “Good Plumbob! What the devil are you doing, Chloe? Is that…is that a baby?” Slide 41: “Affirmative, Bro Curious,” Chloe said with a roll of her black eyes. She turned to look at Ein and Erin’s shocked faces. “Oh, paying attention now?” she grumbled, but she took on a softer tone when she spoke to her son. “Why hello there, little man! Aren’t you special, stealing all the spotlight like this…” Slide 42: Cara, who had blossomed into a very cute young lady while nobody was looking, did not think it was special at all. This was her party, and that kid wasn’t invited! She didn’t want to share the cake. Slide 43: “Oh, Chlo he’s adorable!” Erin cooed when she was handed the blue infant. “What are you going to call him?”
Chloe’s proud smile turned into a grimace in an instant. “Um—ow—let me get back to you on—GAH!— that!”
“Chloe? What’s going—” Slide 44: “—Ooooh!” Erin exclaimed when there were suddenly two blue infants. “Aw, congrats! Twins!”
“Thanks…hello, little girl! Mommy loves you very much, but she is going to strangle your daddy for missing all this. Yes she is!”
In the kitchen Ein said nothing, choosing to load the dishwasher rather than be around Chloe when Ed finally made his appearance. He didn’t want to get strangled by mistake. Slide 45: Patrick watched the whole scene with confusion. Wasn’t this supposed to be about him and Cara? He caught his sisters eye under the table, and they sighed adorable toddler sighs together. They were never getting any cake, were they? Slide 46: Erin and Chloe took the babies to the nursery, and Chloe silently thanked Plumbob that somebody had had the good sense to decorate the room for two.
“Chloe, are you ever going to give them names? Or are they Thing 1 and Thing 2?”
“Actually, I like those,” Chloe said, earning a “be serious” look from Erin. “What? Thing 1 and Thing 2 Doran…it’s got a ring to it!” Erin rolled her eyes at her friend, and waited until the other woman came to her senses. Chloe giggled. “You’re no fun. Well, Ed and I decided on Lucan if it was a boy, and Molly if it was a girl…and now we have one of each, so I guess we’ll go with both. Oh, and by the way…you’ve got babysitting duty for the afternoon. I need a freaking nap before I kick my husband’s butt.” Slide 47: Erin had grumbled about it when Chloe forced it on her, but really she liked watching the kids. Especially now that Paddy and Cara were older and they did more interesting things than eating and pooping. Slide 48: It was just before sunset when Ed finally made it home from work. He was a little shocked to find two babies in the previously empty nursery, but he figured if they were there it meant he missed his wife’s labor. He knew he was in for it, so instead of saying hello to her, he took Lucan into the kitchen for a bottle. When Chloe found them there, well…the obvious happened.
“WHAT THE HELL, ED?!”
“Um…” Slide 49: Ed spun his son around in his arms and spoke in a very, very high pitched voice. “Chloe-Mommy, please do not be mad at Edward-daddy. Edward-daddy is so, so, so, sooooo sorry. Also, Chloe-Mommy should not hit Edward-Daddy because Lucan-spawnlet is in the way.” Ed peeked around Lucan’s bald head, and grinned angelically.
In spite of herself, Chloe doubled over laughing. “OK! You’re forgiven! Just…stop…you’re going to make me…wet my pants!” She managed to get out between peals of laughter.
Edward whispered into Luke’s ear, “Thank’s lots, Lucan-spawnlet. Good teamwork!” Slide 50: As night fell over the Doran house, Ed and Chloe made their way up to the roof. Chloe plopped down into the hot tub, and Ed went to his telescope.
“Maybe tonight the aliens will come see Edward, Chloe-Chloe!”
“Silly Ed,” Chloe called across the open space. “You should know better than to believe in aliens!” They both laughed. Slide 51: “One day they WILL come, Chloe-Chloe!” Edward said a minute later. He refused to be discouraged, even after years and years of looking.
“Sure they will, babe,” Chloe muttered through a yawn. “You know what, I’m pretty tired…I’m going to bed.” She said as began to get out of the tub. “You coming?” Slide 52: “No, no, no,” Ed sang. “I’m going to stay here a little longer. Nighty-night-night, Chloe-Chloe!”
“Goodnight, Ed,” Chloe yawned again, making her way down the spiral stairs.
Edward peered through the telescope for what seemed like hours with no change at all. After a while he went and put on one of Ein’s spare Thinking Caps, hoping that would do some good. Slide 53: It either did a whole lot of good, or it was just a gigantic coincidence, but Ed soon found himself being pulled by an unknown source into the sky.
“CHLOE-CHLOEEEEE!” Slide 54: His wife heard the yell, but by the time she raced back to the roof, he was gone. Slide 55: She stared up into the sky, grinning as she watched the spaceship disappear. “Say hi to my grandpa, baby.” Slide 56: Just before sunrise, the loudest, most obnoxious sound was heard. Erin, Ein, and Chloe dashed out to the front yard to see what it was. Slide 57: “CHLOE-CHLOEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” Slide 58: “WHAT, BABE? I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THE GIGANTIC FLYING SAUCER YOU’RE FALLING OUT OF!” Slide 59: “EDWARD IS HOME! WHEEE! Waity-wait , ground is too close and Ed is upside d—” Slide 60: —own. Owie! Chloe-Chloe, Edward’s head hurts!”
“Ed! Ed, are you OK?” Slide 61: He stood straight up. “That. Was. AWESOME!” Edward declared, much to everyone’s amusement. Slide 62: The following night, Edward’s shirt was suddenly very tight.
“Edward is fat?” He said in disbelief, considering the fact for a moment. “Ed doesn’t want to be fat!” Slide 63: “Chloe-Chloeeeeeeee! HELP! Edward Is fat!” He cried, dancing quickly toward his bedroom. Slide 64: Chloe gasped when he burst in. “Ed! You’re—”
“Fat,” he moaned, pouting.
His wife snorted, breaking into a wide grin. “No, you’re not fat…” Slide 65: “…you’re pregnant.”
“This is totally karma! This is awesome!”
“Ed does not think it is awesome!”
“Yeah, well…I got knocked up unexpectedly, so now it’s your turn, buddy. Come on, let’s get you into something that actually fits. Slide 66: “There you, go. The polo will do until the baby is born, right?”
Edward frowned. “The collar itches.”
“Yeah, well that’s the least of your problems right now,” Chloe said with a smirk. “Oh, wait…you know…this kid is probably like my second cousin once removed or something. That’s a little creepy.” Slide 67: Ed found himself sneaking past his twin when Ein arrived home that evening, trying to hide the fact that he was pregnant. He almost got to the bottom of the stairs when he heard a muted snicker from his brother.
“Shush, Ein-twin! It is not funny!”
Another quiet laugh from Ein was as good as him saying, “Oh, but it’s very funny.” Slide 68: In a house with this many children, another birthday was inevitable. This time it was Lucan and Molly, ready to turn into walking and talking drooling machines as opposed to sort-of-quiet-and-staying-in-one-spot drooling machines. Slide 69: Lucan went first, and once he was changed and his hair was semi-combed, it was obvious that he took after Ed quite a bit. He had the Doran nose, Ed’s cheekbones, and was very cute indeed…just like his dad. Slide 70: Not to be outdone, Molly grew up a minute later looking even more cute than her twin. She too had the Doran nose and Ed’s cheekbones, but it looked like she had a lot of her mother in her, as well. Slide 71: Of course, human babies weren’t the only ones growing up.
Ed and Chloe’s original “kitty-baby”, Planet, was already an adult by the time Cara and the others were toddlers. SO…their parents adopted a new little kitten, aptly named UFO. Unfortunately, the plan to have a kitten for the children to play with backfired, because UFO decided to grow up approximately 5 minutes after he arrived home. Cara did manage to fit one cuddle in, though. Slide 72: As the sun went down, the adults each took a kid and started the long process of teaching them their basic skills. While Chloe and Ed tried to explain the pros of using a potty and the cons of using a diaper to their twins, Ein helped Paddy take his first steps. It was adorable to watch. Slide 73: Erin would be the one to teach her kids to talk, obviously.
“Say ‘Momma’, Cara.”
“At least you’re saying something, I guess. Let’s try again, Cara. ‘Momma’”
The little girl just continued to ignore her mother and went on staring at the wooden horse. Slide 74: When Erin got up with a loud sigh, Cara thought she was in trouble. “Momma?” Said tentatively.
“Not now, baby—ow—Momma is…busy.” Slide 75: Cara shrugged, and picked up the toy.
Erin clenched her teeth and balled her hands into fists. The last thing she wanted to do was scare her daughter. Slide 76: But the pain was too much.
“EIN!!! BABY IS COMING!” She screamed, followed by a chain of obscenities she prayed to Plumbob that Cara would never repeat. Slide 77: Ein dashed into the nursery just in time to see Erin’s final huffs and puffs. He was so excited he could hardly stand it.
Erin wanted the baby out. Immediately.
Cara was pretending the horsey could fly. Slide 78: It wasn’t long before Erin was holding a red-haired, green-eyed beauty in her arms.
“It’s a girl!” She squealed with delight. Slide 79: Ein clapped his hands happily, and then crouched down to play peek-a-boo with his daughter.
“What should we call her?”
Ein shrugged, and hid behind his hands again.
“What about Imogen?”
Ein stared at his wife. He didn’t have anything against the Imogens of the world, but…
“Yeah, you’re right, that’s not a good one. Um…ooh! I know! We’ll call her Fiona.”
He liked that one. Ein beamed, and nodded happily. “Fiona,” he whispered. Slide 80: Just as Erin had been given babysitting duty once she was the only one on maternity leave, it was Ed’s turn to watch the kids. Erin had had it easier, at least only two of them could move around at the time.
Loki came over in the morning looking for Erin, but when Ed told him that everyone was at work, Loki stuck around to spend time with his niece and nephew. However, mostly he just sat around nitpicking Ed’s parenting skills. After twenty minutes, Edward and his hormones cheerfully kicked the mad scientist out. Slide 81: With Loki gone, Ed actually enjoyed his alone time with the kids.
For a while. Slide 82: By the afternoon, Ed was done.
“Edward has to go potty, his back is achey-brakey, and he needs a nap! Someone come and take care of Ed, now!” He whined.
Lucan patted his dad’s shoulder in comfort. Slide 83: Luckily, Ein came home not 10 minutes later. He got off work just in time, too, because for one thing Ed was about to pass out, but for another… Slide 84: …It was time for another birthday, albeit a slightly more green-and-fumey birthday than anyone was used to. Slide 85: The twins really were almost too adorable. Patrick was almost an exact copy of his mother, while Cara took after her dad. She was gorgeous, and her brother was sure to break some hearts one day. Slide 86: “Ed is going ‘splodey!!! OWIE!!!” Slide 87: The pain had woken up the expectant father, and his screaming had roused Chloe.
“Ed, calm down, you are not going to explode!”
“YES I AM!” Slide 88: “Oh!” He exclaimed. “Hi-i, female-spawnlet!”
“You have to name her, you know, Edward.”
“Edward knows! I have the perfect name for her.”
“She will be called Ainsley! Edward likes Ainey-wainey, yes he does!” He cooed, cuddling the adorable infant. Slide 89: Time flies when you’re having babies, and before anyone knew it, it was time for Fiona to grow up. Slide 90: And so she did, and she was truly lovely. Her coloring alone was dazzling, but her mother was marveling over something else.
“Why, look at you, Miss Fee! You look so much like your daddy, and you’re got his ears, too!” Slide 91: The ears. She’s got them, Ein thought. Damn it. He sighed.
“What is it, Ein?”
He raised a finger to his ear, and shook his head sadly.
“But they’re so cute, Ein…do you really think we should hide them?”
Ein nodded, though he hated that he had to. They really were cute. Slide 92: A quick haircut and a few braids later, and Fiona Doran could pass for a normal, human toddler. A very pretty human toddler, of course. Slide 93: On the other side of the desert in the early hours of the morning, “Lyla” was pacing her bathroom, waiting for her accomplice to answer the stinking phone. She finally did, and Liadán sighed.
"Saoirse, hey, it's me,” she said. “I've got a problem." Liadán was staring into the mirror, fretting over what to do with her hair today. She was trying to cover said problem.
"What is it?! Have you been found out?!" Saoirse screeched into her ear.
"No, no...but I definitely might. My ears are back.“
"No! Since when?!” Slide 94: "I just noticed it today. When I got out of the shower, everything was normal, but then…then I was really, really sick. Like, just a few minutes ago, and then I realized I could hear everything very clearly. Why is this happening? I thought—” Slide 95: Saoirse interrupted, "I don't know, but we need to fix it immediately." A pause. "Why were you sick?“
"I have no idea, maybe it's the human food? I don't think I could eat another hot dog even if I wanted to, but the boys love them."
While Saoirse explained how to concoct the proper potion to fix her up, Liadán continued to stare into the mirror. She was horrified with herself, but not exactly because of the ears. Slide 96: "Liadán!” Saoirse yelled after she had finished and the blonde had still not responded. “Did you get all that?“
"Yeah, yeah...rose hips and crap. I got it.“
“Are you certain? I could send you a—”
“No, really. I’m good, though I don’t know where I’m going to find…” She didn’t finish her sentence.
“Liadán?” Slide 97: "Mom...?"
The elf turned to see her "son" Ripp. He was staring at the very obvious point at the top of her ears.
"Mom, what's going on?“ he asked warily. Slide 98: "Um..." Liadán inconspicuously moved her thumb to cover the phone's speakers. She didn't need Saoirse to hear this. Slide 99: "What the HELL?!"
Ripp spun around to see his brother, Tank, shouting in the hallway. He knew what the yelling was about; Tank could see the ears, too.
“Mom, RUN!” Ripp screamed at the same time Tank bellowed, "ELF! EEELF!”
“Gah, Tank! She’s our mother!”
“Shut it, dumbass! She’s one of them! Aren't you?! I'm telling the General right n—” Slide 100: Lightning coursed through Tank’s body…and he collapsed. Slide 101: Tank Grunt was dead. Slide 102: Shocked beyond belief, Liadán dropped her phone. It fell to the floor and shattered into a hundred tiny pieces. Slide 103: In the North Forest, Saoirse hadn't heard anything. She did notice when the line went dead, though.
"What in the—? She hung up on me!” Slide 104: Ioan shrugged. "She's a brat, Seer, you know that. A very, very hot brat, but a brat all the same." Slide 105: "Whatever, she said she got the potion ingredients so we shouldn't have anything to worry about. Have you heard anything from the spy in Riverblossom...?" Slide 106: A loud beep sounded in the small room, and the television screen flickered to life. A boy was dead on the floor outside a bathroom. His brother stood in shock, and his mother wept. Slide 107: Loki stared at his invention. "Curious...I hadn't picked up on anyone noticing my sister's family, but you went off and zapped him, did you not, my precious?" He murmured, lovingly stroking the hard plastic next to him. He thought for a moment, and then grinned. "Oh well, nobody's going to miss one of the Grunts.” Slide 108: His wife could not believe her eyes, which made the situation all the more shocking; It took a lot to surprise Circe Beaker.
She stood across the small space with, staring at her husband as he petted the machine. “This thing…is set to kill anyone who finds elves?” she asked.
“Um, well a) that's really impressive science, but b) couldn't you have just made him mute, Loki?" Slide 109: The man scoffed at her and shook his head. "Pfft, nonsense, I'd have had to cut off his fingers and toes, in addition to plucking out his eyes, just so he couldn't have any way of getting the message to the general. No, no...this was far more tidy.“ He shuddered as a mental picture of what he’d just described came into his head. “Yeah, ew. Killing is a great deal more hygenic.” Slide 110: When General Grunt finally learned of his son's death that evening, he was beside himself. First, there was sadness, and Liadán was there for him. But why was she sharing in his grief? Slide 111: Second, there was anger. Anger so bad that Ripp shuffled Buck off to bed early just so they would be out of firing range.
"The SAMRIID may have been shut down, but that's not going to stop me! Those hybrids are at fault for this, I know it! We'll find them. Find them and KILL THEM.“ Slide 112: Liadán didn't know what to do. She'd made her potion and her disguise was intact, though she kept her hair down just in case. But why did she feel so worried? Also, why did it bother her that Tank had died at all? She'd never liked him much...had she?
She looked up at Buzz and suddenly it all clicked for her. She was in love with this family. She was in love with Buzz.
"Crap," she said aloud. Slide 113: "What?" Buzz asked her, momentarily forgetting his anger.
She took his hands in hers, and marveled at how right it felt to have them there.
"Nothing,” she said simply. “I love you, Buzz. Everything will be fine.” She wanted to reassure him, even if she didn’t believe it much herself. Slide 114: The General grabbed her for a tight hug. "You're right. Everything will be fine...as soon as I kill those half-elves.“
She grimaced, but nodded into his shoulder. Slide 115: Across the desert in a big yellow house, things were a lot more cheerful. It was time for another birthday. Slide 116: “Erin-person, why-y-why do you get to hold Lucan-kidlet?” Ed asked as he prepared to toss Ainsley into toddlerdom.
“Because you and your wife have too many kids, Ed.”
Behind them, Chloe snorted. “Whatever! Talk about hypocrisy. . . You’ve got the same number, Erin!”
“Yeah but at least I had the good sense to space them out a little,” she said with a grin. Slide 117: Paddy and Cara were thrilled with the prospect of slightly larger kids to play with.
“WOO, go LUCAAAAN!” Patrick shouted.
“Yay, Molly! Girls rule, boys droo-ool!” Cara sang.
“Do not!” her brother retorted.
Cara considered this and shrugged. “…Yeah, OK. Boys and girls rule, but girls are slightly better!”
“…Ugh.” Slide 118: “Whee!” Edward called as he flung his daughter into the air, narrowly missing the ceiling. “Whoopsie, that was aclose call, Ainey-wainey! Don’t wanna bumpy-wump your head!” Slide 119: Ed’s daughter was very much Ed’s daughter. She had her “mother’s” coloring, but the Doran nose (and pretty much everything else) shone through. Including a set of pointed ears, which her parents hastily hid with her shiny black hair. Slide 120: Once they blew out their candles, Lucan and Molly were set on the floor. They stood up, wobbled a bit… Slide 121: …And suddenly a pair of very adorable, slightly taller, blue twins appeared in their places. Slide 122: Their cousins wasted no time at all.
“Welcome to kid land, the place where we can do anything we want, no rules at all!” Cara declared proudly. Slide 123: “Awesome!” Molly said happily. “What do you want to do now?! Eat all the ice cream in the fridgerator, or—”
“Um, actually…” Cara muttered, scratching her head. “It’s almost bedtime.
“Oh. But I thought you said no rules?”
“I may have exaggerated a teeny bit,” the blonde girl said sheepishly.
“That’s OK! Race you to the bedroom?”
“You’re on!” Slide 124: It was a tie.
“Oh well. ‘Night, Cuz!” Cara mumbled, yawning.
“’Night! Hey,” Molly said softly, suddenly realizing the perils of sharing a bed. “You don’t wet the bed or anything, do you?”
“…” Slide 125: The next morning, Liadán found herself in the ER of Strangetown General Hospital. She'd somehow become even more sick overnight, and she had to find out why. Some random nurse had come in to draw blood, and so she was just waiting for a doctor to come talk to her about the results. Slide 126: When Ein rounded the corner, clip board in hand, Liadán knew him at once. It didn't matter that he wore that ridiculous contraption on his head. She could sense him. Not knowing what to do, she did nothing.
Ein looked at her like she was a little crazy, and she sort of got a hold of herself. "What's wrong with me, doctor?" Slide 127: Ein poked a line on his paperwork, showing it to the blonde.
She gasped. "I'm...pregnant?!"
"How is that even possible...crap, crap, crap!" Slide 128: Ein tapped the clip board again, this time at a different line.
The physician's notes on the paper read:
Along with the elevated HCG levels which indicate pregnancy, the lab results show that the patient, Ms. Lyla Vandermorgan-Grunt, is in fact a pureblood elf.
Ein Doran, M.D. Slide 129: Liadán panicked. No...no, no, no! She screamed in her head. I thought Saoirse's magic actually turned me into a human temporarily, what the hell...? Being pregnant was bad enough if I was human, but I'm carrying an elf hybrid?! The Elders are quite literally going to kill me! Slide 130: Her panicking was interrupted when she saw the doctor remove his headgear, revealing the pointed ears she already knew were there.
Ein, who is arguably the most silent doctor there ever was, cleared his throat. This was a matter of great importance, and so, very quietly, he whispered, “I’ll help you.” Slide 131: Erin was almost giddy. She was also slightly irritated. When Ein had come from work all he’d said was “It’s over” and then she was left to guess the rest.
Mrs. Doran was normally really good-natured about this sort of thing, but she was pretty much at her limit. At one point she guessed that the entire population of grilled cheese sandwiches had abandoned Strangetown, which caused Ein to laugh heartily. Her only response had been: “A clue would be awesome, you know Ein. Have you used up your maximum of 5 words a day already?!” Ein had smirked at this, still saying nothing to his wife’s great displeasure. Eventually she got it, and that was why she was so ecstatically annoyed.
“Seriously, that’s…that’s it? We’re safe? The Grunts are gone?!”
Ein nodded, smiling from ear to pointed ear. Slide 132: At the hospital, he and Liadán had somehow worked out a deal, though "I'll help you" was the first and last thing he said to her. Slide 133: The agreement was that she would tell the General it wasn't the Dorans who killed Tank, that it was the elves of the North Forest. (In truth, Ein didn’t know who had killed Tank, but it definitely wasn’t him.) She would convince him to request orders elsewhere, and they would be transferred out of Strangetown along with their sons and unborn child. Slide 134: That unborn child was the main reason for this. Liadán knew if the elves found out about the pregnancy, she and the baby would be killed. She would not, could not allow this to happen. Her new realization that she loved Buzz and the boys made her strong enough to lie to Saoirse. Slide 135: She told the Seer that they had found the Dorans, and were following them out of Strangetown. She had promised to stay in touch, but she'd do no such thing.
Saoirse had her suspicions, but with the strange block on Strangetown she could never be sure. She would have to trust that Liadán would not betray her people. Slide 136: The Grunts were now on the run as much as the Dorans were.
And yes, they were all Grunts now, for the General and Lyla had finally made it official. Again…and with the shortest engagement and following nuptials anyone in town had ever seen.
One day Liadán would tell them the truth. But not now. Slide 137: In return for all of this, Ein kept his silence (not that it was difficult for him) and told nobody of his patient's secret. He even destroyed the evidence and snuck out a bottle of prenatal vitamins for her.
As a very wise woman put it, "The Doran nice points, let me show you them." Slide 138: “So it’s rally, finally, actually, completely over, and our babies are safe?!“
Ein nodded again, grinning so wide his cheeks might hurt for hours. Slide 139: Erin tackled him with the most euphoric kiss anyone had ever given or received.
Much to their niece’s embarrassment, of course.
“Ew, Uncle Ein! Some people are trying to not puke here, you know.” Slide 140: “What’s this about puking?” Chloe asked as she and Ed strolled in.
Edward grimaced. “Is somebody pregnant? Ed pukied a lot, lot, lot when he was full of baby. Edward did not likey it, nope, nope!”
Erin laughed, and pried herself away from her husband. Slide 141: "You know what we need, babe?!“
"We need a party!” Slide 142: “Eeee, like a shower of babies?! Er, baby shower?! Edward knows lots and lots of gamey-games, and Bebop could make the cake—”
“No, Ed! Nobody’s pregnant, calm down. How about just a regular party. What do you think, guys? Chlo?” Slide 143: “It’s a great idea, and while we’re at it, we may as well make it a giant birthday bash for Fee and Ainsley. We haven’t been able to have a proper birthday party in….ever.”
Edward beamed. “And Bebop can do the cakey-wake, Chloe-Chloe?”
She rolled her eyes, and answered, “Sure, Ed. Whatever you want.”
“Yay, yay, yay!” Ed sang, and he ran off to discuss recipes with his cow plant. Slide 144: The End!
As you can see, Vidcund actually quite dislikes his sister and one of her twins. That or he thinks it was very bad form indeed to give birth at a birthday party. I thought it was funny.
I hope you enjoyed the chapter! Come back and see us next week when I wrap up this generation and pass the on the torch, and thank you all very much for reading. =)