First of all, this chapter was a bitch to coordinate. I wanted a scene where three characters were in the same location seeing the same action from three different perspectives. White wine told me this was “totally doable” and would work out fine. White wine was wrong, it required a level of mental gymnastics that I was not prepared for.
Also, I was raising money for the Philadelphia Bail Fund but they are encouraging donations to orgs that fight long term systemic racism so I’m donating here instead: Black Lives Matter Philly
Also of note in my little area of the world: Academia is staging a Strike for Black Lives on June 10. The goal is “to hit pause, to give Black academics a break and to give others an opportunity to reflect on their own complicity in anti-Black racism in academia and their local and global communities.” The physicists are bringing it.
Magic made its own way. It was unformed and wild, raw and restless, until it built itself, molecule by molecule, into some kind of structure. Morgyn was not old or young, had not been born early or late, Morgyn had just always been.
In this way, the Sage of Untamed Magic wasn’t anything like the gods. Gods directed magic’s natural state at a scale well beyond the average supernatural. But Morgyn…Morgyn did not wield magic…
…Morgyn was magic.
When a Sage cast a spell, a little bit of their fundamental structure was spun out and broken down. Mostly, this was not a problem. Magic couldn’t die, it just returned to magic. There would be a cooling off period, of course, which was why there were always Sages, just not always an L. Faba or a Morgyn.
Crypto Magic scored a spot as Sage in 875. Morgyn blamed L. Faba and her experimental season as a llama. Sure, she got an entire society to worship the damn things, but Crypto Magic was unbearable. Morgyn burned out their form creating a planet just to escape him.
After that, the Sages of Untamed and Mischief Magic agreed: they would try to keep the position for as long as possible. Thus, Simeon, the Sage in name only—witches were excellent power sources when you were conserving magic.1
Activity on the street was beginning to pick up. Morgyn’s notebook confirmed that this was the right location. The Sage kept fastidious notes. There was no other way to remember what had happened in a time loop that had run 999 times, except to write it down.2
As a result, the Sage of Untamed Magic was quite clear on what chaos should unfold—and in the event that certain actors made different choices—what improvisation would be required to get the same result.
It was almost disappointing to know that it was all coming to an end. Time loops had been one of the Sage’s more grand adventures.
It did have to, though. End. Not that Morgyn wasn’t grateful to Miko. Without time loops, Morgyn would have never had the chance to fall in love with Aurelius.3 Time loops had sealed the emotion in like muscle memory and now there was nothing, up to and including the mortal realm itself, that the Sage wasn’t willing to sacrifice.
“With a perfectly articulated wish, we can keep these forms permanently, Morgyn, what do you think?” Morgyn sneered, imitating L. Faba’s voice.
Morgyn thought it was complete nonsense, which was why they encouraged her to do it. What she didn’t know—what no one knew—was that millennia ago, Morgyn was part of the untamed magic that formed The Owl…and just like Morgyn, it had secrets.
Arguing broke out right next to where they were standing. Sims began wrestling and punching each other. A bespectacled man who smelled of bread wove through tables and chairs, desperate to avoid the fight.
“Showtime!” Morgyn whispered with a gleeful clap. And then shoved the young man into the fray.
That job finished, the Sage of Untamed Magic strolled into the cafe and ordered an Americano and a latte. The barista looked so charming in her little black apron. Morgyn smiled as she handed over the drinks.
“I’m trying to choose a place to sit. Would you say the sunlight hits me better on my left side or on my right?”
The In Between Inn
Miko was lying about Alice—to Penny, to Mikel, to herself. Some time over the last few days, Alice had disappeared and Miko could not wind back time to stop it. For one, she had no idea when exactly it happened, she didn’t know what variables were involved, and she was terrified that if she started this loop over without understanding why it happened, she wouldn’t be able to prevent it from taking place again.
So she lied. Made up stories about passing Alice in the hall, or how Alice told her she’d be out late. She lied to cover up the panic, to keep the panic from happening, to buy herself time. The cracks were beginning to show. Sixteen hours from now when she was at her funeral, she didn’t even notice she’d made it on time.4
Why was everything falling apart? At its core, Miko’s plan was simple…well…not simple simple but simple enough. Vlad and Alice always fell in love, in fact that got easier each time. He always protected her but some enemies always got the jump on them and they always died which meant Miko never had a chance to tri—convince Alice to hand over The Owl. All she needed was one chance to whisper her perfectly articulated wish and she could undo every circumstance that led to this happening in the first place.
But not if Alice couldn’t be found.
“You okay? Want to grab—” Penny started.
“Absolutely great! So busy. Can’t talk. Headed out to meet Alice for breakfast…so…I gotta go!” Miko answered, hoping her voice only sounded panicked and loud in her head.
She headed to the shopping district in Windenburg Village, making a beeline for her favorite coffee shop. Her mind was so focused on bacon and cheese croissants that she didn’t even notice Akira until he was standing directly behind her.
“You’re a real difficult pixie,” he smirked, the curve of his mouth nearly bringing her to her knees.
He held a rose, which only gave a delicious contrast to his scar and he was wearing her favorite armor. A sharp pang of desire ran through her.
Damn it! I will not be distracted by sex when I’m trying to save the world! She turned away, reminding herself of his every betrayal as she summoned up the lesson on graceful exits Grandma Ojo had taught her three days from now thirteen years ago.
Straightening her spine, head held high, she turned on her heel. “Akira, might I suggest you take that rose and stick it where the sun don’t shine.”
William watched as Vlad brought Alice a cup of coffee that he’d made himself. Well, “made” was a strong word. He stood around the kitchen glaring at the coffee-maker until Caleb took pity on him. Still, it was progress. Kind of like the ease with which he adapted to losing all his clothes in a fire and being forced to wear the cast-offs of college students. William had geared up for a real fight but Vlad just gestured at Alice’s skirt and explained that not everything about these wardrobe restrictions was bad.
William knew he should be delighted, this was everything he’d worked for and yet, the feeling in the pit of his stomach was not delight. It felt like—
“They aren’t going to let you on set if you don’t fill out paperwork,” Alice warned.
“They will if they want to keep their hands,” Vlad replied darkly.
William bit back a smile. Alice was a firecracker, but she’d never seen Vlad be truly unreasonable. He had worked for this moment, yes, but William knew it wouldn’t come so easily. Maybe he’d need to stick around a little longer after Alice got The Owl.
“Alright Vladislaus, there’s no need to—”
“You know I could just smite you off the face of this planet, right?” Alice mused, taking another sip of coffee.
Instead of lashing out, Vlad pulled her close and wrapped his arms around her. “I know, I like it.”
“I am trying to threaten you,” Alice whispered, but there was a smile in her voice.
“Threats and smiting? Why, Alice Martin, are you trying to seduce me?”
And then, because William needed to feel even more like a third wheel, Vlad proceeded to kiss her.
He could do nothing but watch in awe as Fear itself whispered promises about cooperation and led Alice out the door.
“She’s gotten Vladislaus to agree to paperwork,” William said absently as Caleb and Deacon descended the stairs.
“Quit gloating,” Caleb chastised. “You were right, Vladislaus needed proper motivation. I remain unconvinced it will last but for now I’ll strike it as one less thing for me to worry about.”
William furrowed his brow. He didn’t feel triumphant or satisfied. He felt—
“Dude, those Pleasant sisters are smoking hot,” Deacon whistled. “Do you think they’d be into me? You know, even as a zombie? I plan to maintain my fitness routine,” he explained, flexing his muscles.
“Deacon, we have been over this,” Caleb snapped. “If you’re going to search their house you will need to stay focused. They are basilisks. Our enemy. We’re not going to date them, we’re going to kill them.”
Deacon bowed his head, but William was taken aback. No one had talked to him about this!
“You can’t have him sniffing around all the Pleasant girls’ things! I’m—“
“A vampire,” Caleb cut in, rolling his eyes. “They’ll track your scent in a second and the element of surprise will be lost.” He waved a hand dismissively, “Basilisks keep their prey rotting in storage under the house. Deacon won’t smell any different so he can easily slip in and out.”
William struggled to maintain his mask of calm and good nature. “I see, and what part do you have me playing in this plan?”
“None,” Caleb replied, looking down at his phone. “You’ve got your own information to track down. Or better yet, enjoy not babysitting Vladislaus and go out and get laid.”
Deacon gasped. “You haven’t been—”
”No. What? I’ve been plenty…I’m quite often…” William tried to think of the last time he’d taken a lover. Cars hadn’t been invented, which was a troubling sign.
“I don’t have a problem with any of that, thank you very much,” he finished primly.
Caleb snorted and motioned at Deacon who followed him out the door.
William hesitated. This whole morning had made him feel—
He wasn’t afraid of—
Of course he was ready to get back out there! He had his own life! Didn’t they see him flirting with Dylan the whole ride back to Windenburg?5
William was charming, he could get laid if he wanted! And he didn’t feel…at least he was trying not to feel unmoored. That’s why he was going to go and make his move right now.
“It’d be fuckin’ difficult but if that’s your wish,” Akira called out.
“Don’t you want to know why I’m here?” he asked, suddenly standing in front of her. Miko came skidding to a halt. She had forgotten how infuriatingly fast the fae were.
“I don’t give a good godsdamned why you’re here.”
“I think you do. This is not like Oasis Springs…I’m…I’m sober,” he confessed.
She had heard that one before.
“Well, bless your heart,” Miko replied with a tight smile. She tried to step around him.
“Okay, I know enough to know that was an insult. I’m not trying to piss you off. I’m trying to help. I know for a fact you’re in over your head.”
How could he know that?
…Not that there was anything to know, Miko was doing fine!
He was just being the same arrogant asshole he was 500 years ago.
“Can’t you just…leave?” she hissed, looking around for an easy exit. The front of the coffee shop was bustling and there was nowhere she could run that Akira couldn’t follow just as quickly.
He flashed a smile, loosening his shoulders and cracking his neck. Tossing aside the rose, he pulled out his sword and balanced it on his shoulder. “Nah,” he replied, “I think I’ll just wait and see if you give me the slip.”
Godsdamn it! He was calling her bluff. Also, pulling out that sword was playing dirty. He knew she…liked it.
He raised his eyebrows expectantly and began to whistle.
That motherfucker! Miko was a Thread of Fate. Time travel was her preferred method of defense but it was not her only method.
Pixies were special. They excelled at influencing emotions. Narrowing her eyes and raising her arm, Miko sent out a pulse of magic that enveloped the group of sims congregating in front of the cafe. Within seconds, violence broke out. Sims began arguing, pushing each other, and throwing punches.
Miko strolled calmly towards the ensuing chaos, barely wincing when one sim tossed another to the ground.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Akira cried, grabbing her arm to pull her back. “They’ll fucking throttle you!”
He was drunk on their wedding day. First thing in the morning, before the ceremony. A sad, painful sort of drunk as if he was trying to bury the whole experience. Titania delivered the news while Miko was being zipped into her dress. To this day, the sound of metal teeth clacking together on a piece of clothing made her feel sick.
“Better them than you!” Miko spat, shoving him back and flooding his emotions with fury and anger.
With a gasp he let go and jumped in front of her. Sword raised, he gave a wild yell and jumped into the fray.
William heard the commotion before he saw it. He spotted Dylan weaving his way in and out of tables, trying to avoid the fight. He thought about calling out but it was already strange enough that he knew Dylan’s favorite coffee spot.
Knew because he followed and watched him like a bloody stalker.
No, better to just pretend to run into him inside.
William ducked around the opposite side of the ruckus so Dylan wouldn’t see him.
He thought about getting involved but if he got involved in every supernatural altercation, he’d never have any time for himself. Besides, he wasn’t carrying a sword and given what he knew about the relationship between the fae floating above the crowd and the pixie running away, this was 100% none of his damn business.
He waited a few minutes, giving Dylan time to get situated and then stepped into the cafe.
Where was Dylan? Had he waited too long? William glanced around, half expecting to find the baker hiding in a corner.
“Yoo-hoo! Over here!”
That voice—William locked eyes with the Sage of Untamed Magic.
Shite. Well, option two was to work on his investigation. Maybe this visit wouldn’t be a complete waste and he could track down Dylan later.
He kept an affable look on his face as he approached. “I didn’t think the Sages ever came down from the Realm of Magic.”
“I was in town for business,” Morgyn shrugged. “Sit,” they gestured, “I’ve ordered you a drink. Americano, your favorite.”
William accepted the cup but gave it a surreptitious sniff before drinking. He didn’t ask how the Sage knew what he drank because the answer was likely magic.
“I wasn’t sure how much money you had after paying for the witch to enact that curse,” Morgyn continued.
William choked on his drink but managed to keep a straight face. “Well, that’s a startling accusation. Is that blue silk? A suit like that seems tailor made for cufflinks.”
Morgyn smiled and William pushed that smile, alluring as it was, to the back of his mind. “I know Sages do not prefer to rush anything but Morgyn, may I call you Morgyn?”
The Sage nodded.
“Morgyn, there was a fire at Straud Manor. Someone made a careless mistake and dropped a pair of cufflinks with your insignia. Seems to me that same someone wanted to send a message…” William let the implication of the statement hang in the air.
“Is it the way of Vladislaus to engage in such niceties before declaring war?” Morgyn skimmed the cream off the top of their coffee and William tracked the movement with a shiver. “Is that what you advise him on? Diplomacy?”
He advised Vladislaus as erosion advised a rock into sand: slowly, sometimes violently.
“Do the Sages wish for war over something so small as a summons?” William said instead. “Or is there something you want with The Owl and you think a war with Vladislaus is a path to get it?”
Morgyn laughed. “Everyone wants things, William. Do you think Vladislaus wants to be an imitation of his darker self? Do you think he would applaud your interference or see it as a betrayal? Did you consider that it would drive a wedge between you?”
Guilt crept down William’s spine and he could not contain his growl. This was a mistake. Trying to charm the Sage of Untamed Magic made him feel clumsy and unpracticed. He wanted to laugh when he should be annoyed, snarl when he should be patient. He needed to get his head on right before diving back in.
“I’d rather you stayed,” the Sage contended. “You don’t have questions for me? About my alliances? My plans? I am willing to let you conduct an interrogation…of course, not in so public a place.”
Will you walk into my parlor, said the spider to the fly? 6 William’s mother had read that poem and now, as he felt himself drawn to Morgyn, the words popped into his head.
Learn to play dead.
“It does not appear that an interrogation would yield any useful results,” William replied evenly.
“I’ll be at Morty’s Rooftop Garden. 8pm.”
“For an ambush?” William huffed.
Morgyn looked thoughtful and for a second. “I was thinking more like a date.” The Sage snapped their fingers and disappeared. When William looked down, the cufflinks were in his hand. Morgyn Ember was making a point: they did not make careless mistakes.
The In Between Inn
Miko flopped down on the couch with one of Mikel’s gingerbread cookies. She didn’t feel bad per se. Akira deserved it! She was protecting herself from his…influence. He always took up all the space in the room and she couldn’t afford any distractions.
“How was Alice?” Penny asked, perching on the arm of the couch.
“Oh, she’s great,” Miko chirped. “Really excited about today’s bake.”
Penny scrunched up her face. “That doesn’t sound like her.”
“What about the search, how goes it?” Miko asked brightly, changing the subject.
“Ugh, it fucking doesn’t,” Penny sighed, crawling over to take a seat next Miko. “Sometimes I feel like I’m searching for something that’s just in my imagination. Like it’s a pattern only I can see because I made it up.”
Miko nodded, stuffing the cookie in her mouth to keep from saying more. Penny wasn’t imagining things. But in every timeline where Penny made real progress on her investigation, it led to Alice not handing over The Owl. So Miko…
…so Miko did whatever she could to stop Penny from getting too far.
“I don’t give a shit about a coven, or what other witches think of me,” she said softly. “But I do give a shit that those witches are legitimately missing. And fuck Vladislaus Straud, but I don’t believe he’s got a batch of them stored in his basement. It’s just not his brand of torture.”
It was an astute observation but Miko gave a noncommittal shrug. She told herself that it was okay to lie. That she would make it up to Penny when she got The Owl and removed all the circumstances that led to Penny’s suffering.
“Could you try to look into the future and see if you could find some clues?” Penny asked.
“Uh yeah…I mean…you know sometimes its unpredictable…”
What would Penny say if she knew that Miko didn’t see the future but instead, manipulated time to make the future what she needed it to be?
Penny switched on the TV and turned to the Cooking Channel. “God, that Dylan guy looks awful. Is that a black eye?”
Miko winced. Dylan did look bad. Although, every time a sim dropped out of the contest, Alice was one step closer to The Owl. Deacon leaving on his own was a stroke of luck—
“I thought you said Alice was fine!” Penny cried, her tone accusatory.
“She is!” Miko insisted, irritated at being pulled out of her train of thought. Had she been thinking or sleeping? Sometimes it was hard to tell—
“Then what the fuck is she doing baking side by side with Vladislaus Straud?”
Miko’s stomach dropped all the way to the basement. In all 999 timelines, this had never happened before.
“Well, shit,” she whispered.
Parasol Poses Male Version by Natalia-Auditore
Fight Poses (Get Your Hands Off My Girl) by JoanneBernice
Angry and Drunk Bar Poses by JoanneBernice
Couple Walking and Talking by JoanneBernice
Wanna Grab Coffee by Sim_plyreality
Elf Ears V1 & V2 by sikoi
Hangout Poses by Radioactive
Random Vampire Power Posepack by Natalia-Auditore
Roses Poses by Natalia-Auditore
Sephiroth Pose Pack by Natalia-Auditore
Sephiroth Costume and ACC by Natalia-Auditore
Rejection Kiss Posepack by JoanneBernice
Coffee Time by Simmerberlin
Coffee cup by StorybookSimblr
Stand Male Poses by Natalia-Auditore
Snuggle Party by Something Wicked Sims
From the Sims 4 Gallery
Up & Up Inn by Kulthero777
Mossy Lane Reno by Julie1112