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Chapter 31, Part 1: The Will of a God is a Heck of a Thing

Baking By Death is back baby! And before we get into it, I just want to yell about EA skin tones for five seconds.

You’ve probably heard/read about this, but in the year our lord 2020, its bananas that this game lacks skin tone swatches for darker skin colors that don’t look straight up wild. Listen, the lovely and genius Xmiramira put out the Melanin pack and it adds like 50 swatches, but 1) it’s custom content when it should really be included in the game, and 2) she put the first one out in 2016.

Let that sink in.

And do not get me started on the make-up. I love having a diverse cast of characters in my story, but I’ve got a pretty narrow set of “lewks” to work with because the options for darker skin tones are frankly, atrocious. I know people complain about that MAC update, and a lot of the options are insane, but I was glad to at least have a “blush” option that didn’t look like clown make-up on brown skin.

I want to see myself reflected in a game I spend so much time (AND MONEY) on. I don’t think it’s too much to ask. I see the statement about Black Lives Matter, EA, but now I’m going to need to see some action.

Alright, rant over. Let’s get to the insane romantic and supernatural adventures of gods and monsters…

Britechester University

Alice

Vlad clenched and unclenched a few fingers, but otherwise did not move. “I thought I would begin surveying my internal injuries, but I find they are too great in number.”

Alice tried to shift onto her side but couldn’t quite do it. She draped her arm over Vlad’s shoulder. It hurt…everything hurt. She was desperate for water but the kitchen was so far away.

“Can you…?” she moaned, unable to finish. 

“Doubtful,” Caleb sighed from the other couch. He propped himself up on one elbow and heaved into a trash can. “Not doubtful. Impossible,” he croaked, bringing up a shaking hand to wipe his mouth.

Not only was his body still trying to purge the venom, his clothes were damp with basilisk viscera. The smell was atrocious.

Deacon made no comment. His head finally stitched back on, he commenced with snoring—a testament to his exhaustion since zombies generally did not require sleep.

Alice grimaced as she finally managed to turn onto her side. “You’re Fear itself,” she groaned. “I didn’t think anything could actually hurt you.”

Vlad sat up, gingerly touching his forehead. He leaned back, staring at his hand as if he half-expected it to be covered in plasma. “I heal,” he rasped, “That doesn’t mean I can’t get hurt. Particularly when god-like powers are involved.

“Clearly,” Alice replied, not bothering to keep the sarcasm out of her voice. 

“The next time you tell me that you have a plan, you’ll excuse me if I question you in more detail,” he snapped, and then frowned as if talking so forcefully hurt him.

The front door creaked open. William sauntered into the room and then froze. Alice felt a little flutter of hope. Maybe he could bring her some water, or painkillers…ice for the bruises?

His voice seemed loud. Too loud. The volume someone spoke when they had not just killed four basilisks. “Mother of llamas,” he gasped. “What the hell happened to all of you?” 


SIx Hours Earlier…

“Does no one in college wear black?” Vlad thundered, tearing a drawer out so hard he snapped the wood.

Alice stretched and rolled onto her stomach. Still completely blissed out from her hours of…what had he called it? 

Worship.

“What is your problem?” she yawned. “Who cares?”

“I care. I will suffer many indiginities but hunting basilisks wearing neon green is not one of them!” he ranted, tossing a brightly colored sweatshirt over his head. 

Alice swallowed a laugh. She knew Vlad’s relaxed attitude towards his clothing options was only going to last so long. It actually ended quicker than she thought. She owed William twenty simoleons.

“Try the bottom drawer with the workout clothes. I’m sure there’s something black in there…” she trailed off at Vlad’s disapproving look. “What?”

“Are you not planning to wear clothing on this particular adventure?”

Alice sat up. She hadn’t intended to go on this little adventure at all. She might be the God of Death…technically, but she was sporting a very mortal body. Vlad didn’t actually believe he could keep her from getting hurt in the middle of a supernatural fight. Right? 

“It sounds dangerous,” she hedged.

“That’s why you won’t be alone,” Vlad replied, raising an eyebrow.

Yep. He totally thought he could keep her from getting hurt. Hubris was a word they were going to need to have a talk about.

“This seems like a…you know…a you guys sort of thing,” she tried again.

“Who guys?”

You know, like vampire supernatural zombie fighter types,” Alice maintained. “I thought I’d…you know, focus on the baking…”

“Deacon had his head ripped off,” Vlad replied evenly, but there was an edge to his voice. 

“I mean yeah, but it wasn’t attached right to begin with!” Alice laughed and then snapped her mouth shut at his dark look.

She was slowly adjusting to a lot of things: no Ben, vampire/demigod lover…boyfriend (?), the existence of basilisks. She wanted The Owl because she wanted to live but as far as Alice was concerned, the jury was still out on the actual job of being a god.

But if she said that out loud, she’d have to talk about all her feelings and confusion to someone who had the last 600 years to get used to their identity. She doubted Vlad would be sympathetic. Heck, sometimes she struggled to be sympathetic with herself.

Sighing, Alice snatched her shorts and kitty cat sweater from the laundry pile. If she was going to go into some kind of supernatural battle, she at least wanted to feel like herself.

Britechester University, Pleasant House

Caleb

Caleb hung up the phone with a frustrated growl. Everything that could go wrong with their reconnaissance mission had gone wrong. Caleb blamed himself, he should have known that the basilisks had something living in their food storage, and a hungry zombie would be unable to resist the brains.

It was also Basilisks 101 that they lived in pods. Even if he had forgotten that fact, a simple count of the bedrooms as they cased the place should have reminded him. And to show up without weapons? What was he? Some kind of amateur?

He crept towards the door. Distracted was the more likely answer. Deacon did not know when to shut up and he persisted in asking Caleb questions about himself and his interests which was…Caleb thought the word terrible even as his mind replaced it with the word nice.

He opened the door and sped into the hall. He intended to rush into the room with Deacon’s head but the basilisk had other plans.

Time to improvise.

Springing up, he wrapped himself around the creature’s neck. Claws sharpening, he plunged them in and began to tear at its flesh, hoping to hit a major artery or take its head off completely.

He was almost there—the thing thrashing and whining, as it knocked into the walls. His arm punched through the other side of the basilisk’s neck just as it released its final attack: a spray of venom.

“Well, that’s just fantastic,” he grumbled, as he fell to the ground. “If I’m not eaten by the basilisks, the venom will kill me and I’ll still be eaten by the basilisks.” 

Scrambling to his feet, he shoved himself through the door, less than gracefully, where Deacon’s head greeted him atop a pile of books on the dresser. “Woof! You look pale dude.”

Insulted by a disembodied head? Double fantastic. 

“Well, we are outnumbered in a particularly difficult fight and you’re the idiot who can’t find your—” he looked at Deacon’s scrunched up face, “What are you doing?”

“Oh nothing, sorry dude, one of those snake things just sprayed me with venom. It felt funny.”

“You can still feel your body?” Caleb gasped, an idea already beginning to form in his mind. It was a bad idea, of course, but what was the 11th hour for if not bad ideas?

“Heck yeah! It’s awesome!” Deacon laughed, “I mean, I can’t actually see anything so you know, it’s hard to move around, but it smells like I’m in the basement…”

Caleb grunted as he climbed to his feet. He pressed a button and dropped a phone next to Deacon’s head. “Get yourself to the livingroom. I’ll be the eyes. You be the body.”

Magic HQ

L. Faba

L. Faba had already done three dramatic sweeps through the hallways of Magic HQ, sending acolyte witches and staff scattering. There was no reason for any more sweeps, the facts had been confirmed. Morgyn had betrayed them. 

Or it was more correct to say Morgyn had betrayed her. Simeon didn’t mean anything to anyone. A conduit through which they siphoned off the power of witches, a fake Sage who allowed her and Morgyn to achieve their stated dream—ruling in these forms without having to cycle out or share the title with someone unbearable. 

And despite the existence of Simeon—who L. Faba and Morgyn had already agreed to kill once they’d secured The Owl—the Sages of Untamed and Mischief Magic had mostly succeeded.

But then…

There was no word for it in the tongue of any supernatural creature. The closest approximation would be family—sibling. Morgyn was her sibling, the one L. Faba loved most, which made this particular betrayal so cutting.

Two acolyte witches crept into the room. “Tea?” the green-haired witch squeaked. “They said you requested it—”

L. Faba flicked her wrist, letting loose a bit of mischief magic. She watched in delight as a current hit the blonde witch so hard it lifted her off the ground and singed her skin.

Her companion lurched back and L. Faba watched as she swallowed down her bile at the smell of burning flesh.

Weakling.

It was a waste of magic, but it did improve her mood. “I don’t want tea anymore,” L. Faba advised, smoothing down her dress. “Tell Simeon I wish to see him. Now.”

Britechester University

Vlad

Wearing black allowed Vlad to keep to the shadows, which in turn allowed him to feel slightly more in control.

“Basilisks are frightful creatures but—” A drunk co-ed staggered past. Vlad paused to eye them suspiciously.

Something about this night felt familiar, like a threat he’d already faced, but he couldn’t remember the details and it was making him edgy. Not to mention Alice’s desire to separate herself from the supernatural. He growled, watching delightedly as the kid gave a terrified squeak and ran. 

“You are going to be the reason there’s a campus rumor about a serial killer. You understand that, right?” Alice accused. 

He shrugged. There was no shortage of stories about things going “bump in the night” thanks to Vladislaus Straud. 

“Okay, fine, you probably are the serial killer on campus,” she allowed, as if reading his mind, “But you could at least be chill. The worst thing that kid’s done is be a fuckboy and even though that sucks, it’s not a reason to eat him.”

He’d expected they would have challenges, but language was not one he’d considered. “What, in the name of all that is sensible, is a fuckboy?”

She blew out a breath, “Some days, I wonder if you live on this planet. Here, in the year our llama 2019 we use the word ‘fuckboy’ to mean an asshole obsessed with himself, who bones you and leaves,”—she smirked—“An emotional vampire.”

He lived in this world! Longer than she had. “Your choice of vocabulary makes modernity incredibly frustrating,” Vlad scowled. 

“Is it because you were a fuckboy in your past?”

He knew she was teasing but his mind immediately went to Princess Cordelia. Was he a fuckboy? “I am nearly six hundred years old! Would you like an accounting of all my past sins?” 

Alice waved him off. “Buddy, you don’t have the cajoles.”

Before he could answer, another slightly tipsy college student wandered past. The way she smiled and waved at Alice made him feel oddly possessive. Alice wasn’t like her. She wanted some normalcy, yes, but she was a god. She didn’t have time for so petty a mortal interest as college!

He flashed his fangs and the startled student nearly crashed into the fence trying to get away from them.

“You are going to give her a heart attack,” Alice sighed and Vlad found himself struggling to parse out whether the sigh was wistful or annoyed. 

“How did you know about that student’s past?” he asked instead, changing the subject. 

“I-I don’t know…honestly,” she answered, looking off into the distance. It was what she did when she was thinking about Ben and didn’t want to admit it. “I didn’t even know I could do it.”

“You’ve grown stronger. By the time we undo your mortality, you will be a force to be reckoned with,” he murmured, taking her hand and gently pressing a kiss against each one of her fingers. 

“Will I?”

Vlad tried to ignore how desolate she sounded. “We should lure the basilisks out in the open, use some of those students as prey. Then, when they’re distracted by finishing their meal, we can sweep in and cut off their heads.” 

It was a good plan: quiet, no mess, and no room for complication.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Alice objected, holding out her hands. “Students as prey? Chopping off heads? We did not talk about any of that!”

Britechester Univeristy, Pleasant House

CALEB

Caleb used his last burst of energy to zip outside. Now at the window, he could see Deacon’s headless body wander into the living room. “Can you hear me? If not, try rolling your head closer to the phone.”

“You’re all loud and clear here captain!” Deacon shouted.

“Do not call me that,” Caleb growled. The venom was already starting to make him dizzy but he willed himself to focus. “There are weapons on the wall behind you. A sword, hanging about five feet up.”

Deacon’s body lurched awkwardly towards the wall. He grabbed for it with both hands, missing it the first time but proved successful on the third. He didn’t move after that, just stood there waiting, shoulders slumped.

Wonderful. The zombie was the type to need encouragement in stressful situations.

“Serviceable effort,” Caleb said, “Now, the basilisk doesn’t realize you can’t be hurt by its venom. We can use that to our advantage. Make some noise and try to draw it out.”

“You got it, captain!” Deacon cried.

Caleb watched in despair as his headless body slammed directly into the wall.

Britechester University

ALICE

The way Alice saw it, there were two major problems. One was Vlad’s total and complete lack of regard for mortals, which was kind of bullshit because she was one. And number two was the fact that he had no idea how to keep a low profile. Seriously! How had supernaturals managed to remain hidden all this time when they were out on the streets growling at sims and murdering each other?

“Listen, these sims—”

Vlad gave her a cool look.

Alice groaned. “I’m not going to call them mortals because that’s weird. I’m mortal, if you didn’t forget. They are like me. You wouldn’t use me as bait for a pair of basilisks.”

“They are not,” Vlad bit out.

“What?”

“They are not like you,” he explained, a fervent look in his eye that Alice didn’t particularly like. “You are not like them. You are a god five times over. They will return to dust long before you reach your first century.”

Alice looked at him in disbelief. She was…technically a god but that didn’t mean she wasn’t a sim. Couldn’t she be both? “What is your malfunction, my dude? All I’m saying is that—”

“Do you want to go to college?” he demanded.

“I’m sorry…what?”

He folded his arms and gave her a haughty look. “It is a simple question. Do you wish to attend university?”

The sex had addled his brain. That was the only thing that made sense. “I literally have no idea what you’re talking about,” Alice began, “But whether I attend this university or not, we’re not going to murder a bunch of students in it!”

“The basilisks are students too!” Vlad retorted, “Are you telling me that we’re not going to kill them?”

Alice hadn’t completely given it a lot of thought, but now that he brought it up, it did feel wrong. She threatened to smite, and Ben often described gods as being vengeful, but she didn’t think she had that in her. Alice was more like a Negotiating God, A God Who Sometimes Lost Her Shit But Was Mostly Chill. God of Death and God of Getting Out Of Situations Without Having to Murder Everyone. 

“As a matter of fact, yes, I am telling you that. I don’t want my first experience at college to be murdering everyone!” she hissed before turning on her heel and marching towards the Pleasant house.

“So you admit you want to go to college!” Vlad called after her.

Alice smothered a scream. 

Britechester University, Pleasant House

CALEB

“Have you ever used a sword?” Caleb asked, listening as the basilisk slithered closer. He tried to keep his voice upbeat, belying how exhausted he already was.

“Nah…I play soccer, though. Used to be the goalie for the Mighty Llamas.”

Caleb laughed, a dry, mirthless sort of thing. Soccer. It would figure, the zombie was built for it, which Caleb knew because Deacon refused to wear a shirt. But for a few centuries, the two were the same age and had they met differently, might even have been friends. As it stood, Caleb did not have friends. It was such an expressly difficult topic that even his therapist didn’t push him on it.

“Uh…Cap—Caleb?” Deacon hesitated, “Are you still there?”

“Of course, stay focused. And just…just swing wildly when I tell you.” 

Caleb leaned his head against one of the window panes, praying for it to cool him down. He was sweating profusely—a sign his body was shutting down—and his tongue felt like it was stuck to the roof of his mouth.

“Now!” he commanded, once the basilisk got close enough to pin itself into a corner. The last thing he saw before he slid to the ground was Deacon’s headless body swinging in an arc, flinging himself at the giant snake with more grace and skill than Caleb thought possible.

Lying on the ground, Caleb snatched at scrambled thoughts and memories, watching his life flash before his eyes. It was, in summation, mostly disappointing.

There was no tunnel and no light to follow which Caleb felt was a fitting end for a creature like him. 

You are very pessimistic, his therapist once said. How will you live a life without hope? 

Britechester University, Near the Pleasant House

VLAD

He didn’t have to listen to her. He was choosing to, with scant detail, and she refused to give him an ounce of credit for it. His instincts said they were going about this all wrong. They hadn’t even laid eyes on Deacon or Caleb before launching this plan which, as far as he could tell, involved welcoming Alice’s would-be-killers with open arms.

“Just bring it to the lawn,” Alice instructed before hanging up the phone.

“Do you care to elaborate on the nature of your plan?” he asked, after setting down another chair. 

What was the appeal of a college campus? Vlad had obtained knowledge, most of it sinister and older than this world. Was that the problem? Would Alice always reject a supernatural life? Would she reject him?

“Hello! Earth to Vlad!” Alice poked him, interrupting his thoughts. “You know how I got away from the great and terrifying Contessa? I used my head. I talked to her. Sussed out what she wanted and gave her a favor that wasn’t even supernatural in nature.”

She shoved another chair into place. “We throw a raging party, lure the Pleasant twins outside, juice ’em up, give them some stupid favor—bingo bango bob’s your uncle. Everything does not have to be solved with a sword or razor wire.”

“Yes, well, obviously it cannot be because you vetoed the razor wire,” Vlad argued.

The sex had addled her brain, that was the only explanation that made sense. 

“We don’t need razor wire! Do you know what kind of sim that would make me?” she protested, “A bad one.”

“It’s not for entertainment!” …mostly, Vlad added silently. He would be lying if he said his prey sobbing in pain and bleeding on the ground was not appealing. “These things often have a way of going sideways.”

She looked doubtful. “Oh yeah? How often?”

“Always,” Vlad replied darkly. “And morality is for mortals. To be a god is to choose, to make one thing possible and not the other. Your choices will be big, enduring, and very rarely tied to a set of rules that change with every century like sage-forsaken weather. You can be fair, you can avoid being cruel, but you cannot be something so simple as bad or good.”

Alice rolled her eyes, but Vlad was undaunted. She needed to know. She needed to understand. “You may wish to pretend that you are but a mere mortal, but that is not the case. Supernaturals will not treat you as such and they do not play by mortal rules.”

Two students showed up carrying a giant juice kegger and a set of plastic cups. They smiled and gave her a thumbs up. “Do you need us to tap it?”

“Oh no, I got it!” she laughed, “Can you guys go see if you can plug in the stereo? That would be a huge help.”

They gave Vlad an uneasy look.

“Oh, he’s…uh…a history major,” Alice said by way of explanation.

The two nodded as if that provided some clarity. “Cool. Well, we’ve got some cords in the van. Oh yeah and make sure to tell your friends about Dial-A-Party. We’ve got some sick end of the semester discounts!”

The two sims wandered off and Vlad again found himself questioning her judgment. “Alice, this is not how—”

“I’m not pretending,” she insisted, cutting him off, “Just using other talents. God of Nectar, remember?”

She waved her hands and a stream of magic danced from her finger tips. It floated and settled over top of the keg before sinking in, beautiful and untamed, just like her.

Vlad was speechless and full of feelings, a distracting and terrifying state that he found uncomfortable. Unbearable. The prospect of losing her, of whatever he was not being enough—he felt it almost as a physical thing. 

If she noticed he was unsettled, she didn’t show it.


Credits

The Morning After Poses by Quiddity, Eslanes and JoanneBernice

New Pose Pack – Female/Bed 1 by Cassandra Grusel

Male Stand Pose 05 by Natalia-Auditore

Male Stand Pose 04 by Natalia-Auditore

Male Poses 03 by Natalia-Auditore

Male Poses 02 by Natalia-Auditore

Anime Fight Poses by Natalia-Auditore

Hogwarts Snake Statue by JPCopeSims

Headless Outfit by Natalia-Auditore

Facial Expressions by Leillai

Headless by Natalia-Auditore

Argument Poses No. 1 by Atashi77

Jane Austen Poses by Atashi77

Three Spooky Posepacks by Simblreen Official – mamalovesnuts

Dead on Objects by Natalia-Auditore

Emotions 4,6,7 by Simmerberlin

Sewed Corpse by Natalia-Auditore

Sword Master Fight 1 by Natalia-Auditore

Swords ACC by Natalia-Auditore

Mossy Lane Reno by Julie1112 on the Sims 4 Gallery

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