Hooray, a smaller family! And not only will the Bruce family not be increasing in size this season, the household size will actually be decreasing!

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Left to right: Catriona, Andrea, Malvina, Dand, Mhairi

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Catriona wanted to get a logic point, so she went up to the roof to see if she could get a glimpse of her Other Mother.

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Malvina worked on earning her very last skill point for scholarships. That way she could have a few days to enjoy being a teen before she headed to college. Meanwhile, Andrea made sure the taxes were paid promptly.

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Dand was excited to get the spring plants going in the garden, so he started while it was still dark outside.

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Andrea’s editor had suggested that her next book should be more “up close and personal”, so she reluctantly struck up a conversation with Catriona.

“So, did you know that soccer is played with a ball, like this?”

Catriona frowned. “Are you feeling all right, Mother? Perhaps you should go back to bed.”

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“You see? I’m fine. Enjoy your pancakes.”

Mhairi sniffed appreciatively. “Wow, Andrea, those smell great.”

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Dand and Malvina joined them for a delicious Saturday brunch.

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“Mother? Will you play with me?”

Andrea pasted a smile on her face before turning around.

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But as playing with Catriona fulfilled a want, Andrea wondered. Perhaps it wasn’t just about the book; maybe she really did want to know her alien daughter.

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For the Knowledge Sim members of the family, naturally skilling was the order of the day.

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Liouba stopped by to say hi, and she and Malvina chatted about how excited they were to be starting college soon.

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Catriona had woken up early that morning, and dozed off while watching TV.

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Andrea and Dand headed down to the bookstore, which seemed to be populated mostly by college students.

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All of those college students buying books for their next semester got the store up to level 10!

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Dand and Andrea had a private celebration after the customers had left.

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As nice as it is to have a bookstore in town, the place makes basically zero money. So Dand and Andrea stopped at home to pick up Mhairi and headed to the electronics store, where they made $13,000.

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Andrea was about to put the money into her bank account, but then changed her mind. She wanted Catriona out of the house one day, right? Well, the alien would need money for college. She established an account for the little alien with $10,000.

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Funny, I didn’t see Liouba as the type to tell dirty jokes to her half sister.

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Dand felt himself getting all tingly…

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Oh, my.

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Dand felt much more like himself after changing his clothes and getting his hair back to its proper style.

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“Do you still love me now that I’m old and infirm?”

“Dand, I’m only a day behind you. We’ll be old and infirm together.”

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Mhairi invited Isaiah over for one last teen date. She was hoping maybe they could resume their relationship in college.

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“Do you know any Drama majors? I think I might want to be a Drama major,” Catriona said while chatting with her big brother Michael.

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Mhairi spent most of the night at the flower bench, earning a bronze badge.

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The Bruces still have three cats. And the other cats still hate Buttons (the gray cat).

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Sunday morning was spent in the usual pursuits: chatting with friends and skilling.

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Dand hadn’t lost his enthusiasm for his garden.

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Michael and Ramsay came home to visit for family Sunday, and everyone had a nice relaxing day.

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The boys were excited to get to have some home cooking, rather than the pizza they usually subsisted on.

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“Oh, yes. That’s a really interesting wall. I’ll just study it for a minute.”

Michael knew that Catriona was cheating, of course, but he let her get away with it. As a Fortune sim, he was well aware that sometimes cheating was necessary to get ahead.

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“Is it really true that I can go visit the aliens someday?”

“Sure, when you’re older. Mhairi can tell you all about it.”

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As 6 pm approached, Mhairi sat down and checked out her scholarships. She was quite pleased – she’d earned scholarships for grades, all 7 skills, her alien abduction, and a surprise with the Tsang Footwork Award.

Mhairi earned a total of $8750 in scholarships. With that and her $28,100 trust fund, she’s in good shape for the future.

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“Listen, Andrea. I don’t want to end things between us on a bad note. But I do want to make sure Catriona’s taken care of. Take it from another alien: she’s just a kid. What happened isn’t her fault, and she just wants to be loved like any other kid.”

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“Well, of course I’ll take good care of the little thing!” Andrea said, hoping she sounded convincing. She certainly didn’t intend any harm to Catriona, but she was far from falling in love with the alien child.

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Immediately after the conversation, Andrea felt sparkles erupting around her.

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She did make a rather decent looking elder, she supposed.

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As Mhairi headed for the cab, Catriona averted her face, trying to keep Mhairi from seeing the tear in her eye. “Bye, Mhairi. I’ll miss you.”

“Don’t worry, Catty. You can come visit me, and I’ll be done before you know it.”

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Mhairi got into the cab, willing herself not to glance back at the castle. She had to go to college, of course – couldn’t imagine not going – but she worried about whether Catriona would be all right without Mhairi there to protect her.

Well, Malvina was still there, so that was something.

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Andrea decided a full makeover was in order. Now that she was an old women, it surely wouldn’t be long before she started to realize her dream with the arrival of grandchildren, and she wanted to look the part.

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Her belly expanded while eating some leftovers. Well, that was fine, too; grandmothers were supposed to be soft.

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Catriona loved looking up at the stars for a few hours every evening before bed.

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Dand’s first love was still skilling. He hoped to maximize his skills before he passed on.

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Malvina was up late, and spent some time teaching Baby to Roll Over. Only one more skill and she would be able to get a job in the Pet Show Business career!

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“Well, the first rule for going to college is that you have to do really well in school,” Malvina told Catriona, when she asked about college over breakfast.

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Catriona wondered if Mother was still in the mood to be nice after her birthday, so she went to talk to her about her violin studies. Andrea was friendly enough, but Catriona still felt like she was holding back.

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After everyone else had left, Andrea headed out to drive into work, considering. She remembered when she’d first married Dand, when they’d lived in this little building that now served as a garage. How far they’d come…

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Dand had debated whether to go to work today or use a vacation day in preparation for retirement. He was glad he’d gone, because he’d earned a $50,000 bonus!

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Andrea used the money to buy a new business, but then as she was heading there she was struck by lightning!

Fortunately her needs had been in excellent shape in preparation for her outing, because she came awfully close to dying.

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The rest of the family kept busy while Andrea energized. Catriona practiced the violin, Malvina studied up on recipes and cooking techniques, and Dand got to know his work friend.

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Finally, Andrea made it to her new business, happy at the thought of all the money she would be making.

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It’s Lunch! was a food court, a place where hungry sims could stop in for a quick meal during a day of shopping in the Business District.

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Customers came, and they ate, but Andrea found that the place wasn’t quite as profitable as she had envisioned. The main reason was that the local chefs who ran the booths demanded a $30 an hour salary. Still, she persevered.

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She discovered that the customers would eat and eat and eat until they got fat. Well, she supposed they could go to the Gavigans’ gym if they wanted to get fit again.

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Back home, Andrea spent a night working on her novel. She was having a bit harder time than usual.

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“Will Mhairi live in a dorm at college?” Catriona asked over leftover grilled cheese on Tuesday morning.

“At first she will, anyway. The rules say she has to for the first year.”

“Oh. So you’re going to live in a dorm, then, too?”

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Dand spent the morning in the garden, as usual, and harvested the first fruit of the season.

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He had the day off, so Andrea spent the day at home with him. They were both trying to use up some of their vacation days, but neither one of them was ready to entirely quit working yet.

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Malvina was excited to maximize her cooking skill, and the 8,000 aspiration points certainly didn’t hurt.

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Catriona was a little more frustrated with her violin practice.

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Malvina had been so excited about learning the recipe for the ultimate dish, so she was crushed when she burned the Lobster Thermidor.

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She blamed the old, sad kitchen. Everything except the new food processor had been around since before she was born, back when Mom and Dad had lived in the garage!

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Everybody was really tactful about the burned lobster, though, even though they did seem understandably excited about dessert.

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Once midnight hit, it was Reno Day! Here’s the sad kitchen/dining room before, complete with cheap counters and stove.

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It’s looking better after an upgrade and some rearrangement. It’s still not where I’d like it to be, but then, my eventual plan for the Bruce castle is a huge, grand, ultra-upgraded monstrosity, so it will probably be a while.

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Malvina spent the last night of her teenhood in fine Willow Valley tradition, sneaking out with her girlfriend.

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The morning started off with a little jumping rope before everyone headed off to work and school.

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It was super duper friends day at the Bruce household!

(From top to bottom: David Ottomas came home with Malvina, Artur Pederson came home with Catriona, Makari Pederson came home with Dand, and Annika Richter came home with Andrea.)

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“I’m a scary alien, ooga-booga.”

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Malvina invited Denise over, and she brought Derrick as her friend.

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Catriona decided to have her birthday out on the lawn.

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She became a Popularity/Pleasure sim with a LTW to have 20 best friends. And that outfit really suits her.

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David Ottomas wasn’t impressed.

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Still, they had a bolt despite David’s Xs.

But Catriona has 2 bolts with Adam Carr. So there, David Ottomas.

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Love…ah, young love…

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Destined to end immediately with an automatic move-to-college breakup.

Malvina earned $6250 in scholarships – 7 skills and grades – and has a trust fund of $28,800, so I think she’s in pretty good shape.

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2 electrocutions in one rotation. Poor Andrea.

Fortunately, she was okay once again.

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Catriona’s first wish after becoming a teen was to earn the Alien Reparations scholarship. Makes sense to me, as she’s an alien, and she certainly deserves reparations.

That’s it for the Bruce family! Next is the Hamilton household.

Stats:

Family: Bruce

Businesses:

Wired, Rank 10

Bruce & Sons Booksellers, Rank 10

It’s Lunch!, Rank 3

General fund contribution: $16,500 (taxes $13,500, school fees $3000)

Playable sims: 114

Sim multiplier: 50

Population: 5700

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