Sidelines 22: Business Trip

‘Hey Penelope,” I said peaking into my daughter’s room. She was zipping up her bags for camp. “You all packed already?”

“Yes. I know I am not leaving until next week. But I was excited.”

These first pictures may be familiar since they were used in Penelope's "packing for camp" post. In this picture, Penelope looks up at her father. She is wearing her rabbit sleeping pajamas. He is wearing his white scientist uniform.

“No, that’s good.” I gave her a quick hug. “Actually it’s perfect. How do you feel about going a little early? Like tomorrow?”


“Yeah, I have to be in Newcrest for two weeks on business. Since your camp is there, I figured we could go together. Plus your aunts want a vacation as well. I checked with the camp, they said it was okay.”

Penelope assures Cocoa that it'll be okay. Scene is the same as before, Penelope's room is grey and there are stars on the floor.

Penelope thought for a few moment, her eyes closed. I wondered what she was thinking about. Were we going too fast? Would she panic? I knew she was nervous about making friend there since she’d not made any here. But I’d already told Nebula and Nova they could take off. They were excited about a new spa that was opening. If she didn’t want to go…

“I think it will be fine,” Penelope said at last smiling. “I think there are some very special people I will meet there.”

“You’re the greatest,” I told her and gave her another big hug. Holding her tight. I would miss her. “Sleep well. We’ll leave tomorrow morning.”

Cocoa gives Penelope a big hug.
I love you!

There were not problems at the camp. And any trace of fear Penelope might have shown the night before was gone. She could hardly wait. She barely said goodbye before she was running off. I caught Cathy Tea’s nod as she watched Penelope racing toward here. I knew Cathy Tea would take care of my baby. Nebula had the right idea, Penelope needed some time away from Oasis Springs and our busy schedules. I tried not to cry.

Cocoa enters the Niwa Hotel. It's a two story stone building. With a sign with two rabbits on it. (Hense Ni-wa) Wa is the Japanese counter for birds...and rabbits, because that makes sense.

I was to stay in the newly built Niwa Long Stay Hotel (everything in Newcrest was newly built) while I worked to help set up the local lab. It was the perfect place for work. The rooms were large and clean, each with their own kitchenette in case you felt like cooking instead of eating out every night. Although without Nebula to cook, I wasn’t too confident in my own abilities.

Cocoa sits in his living space. It's blue and tan. Blue walls, brown floor, tan cabinets, blue couch. He's drinking tea. Next to him is a desk for working. On the far wall is the door to the bedroom and bathroom.

During the day I worked, calibrating machines and hauling equipment. For that last bit I took a little serum I’d invented to help with the hauling. The muscles wouldn’t last, but they sure made moving easier.

Cocoa makes a serum in the lab. He's wearing his "black" uniform since he's a level 9 scientist here.
Pretty sure this is how the serum is made.

At night, I stayed at the hotel mostly. Relaxing and meeting my fellow travelers. There wasn’t much to Newcrest yet, but I wasn’t the only one staying there. First to arrive were two sisters: Raerei and Meadow. The sisters said they were there on a writing retreat. They spent their days working and planning a novel they were writing together. It was set in a fantasy world they’d been working on since high school.

Raerei trims the bonsai in to a "tree" which later angered Cocoa - never seen that before - while Meadow chats nearby.
Do you think the Pela do Bonsai?
No, it seem more of a Leshi thing, elemental magic and all that.

Then one night, just before the weekend we got our last arrival. He said his name was Elder and he was a traveler. Elder was super friendly and before long he had us all chatting and enjoying the night air.

Elder and Cocoa (Cocoa is much more muscular than normal) are chatting on the side of the pool, Raerei and Meadow are swimming. I wish I were there too.
This is a really nice place to relax after a long day of traveling.

I’m not sure what Elder did during the daytime, but at night, he spent most of his time at the hotel on the computer.

Elder, in his swimming trunks, grins as he "trolls teh forums" - I like to think he's on the Sims4 forum looking for clues.
Checking the forums. Looking for clues.

Saturday was my day off and I was looking forward to resting for a day and not doing anything. I found Elder on the deck painting.

Cocoa sits nearby Elder as he paints. Behind them you can see the "tree" shape Raerei made earlier.
Elder made three painting for the hotel while he was there. Thanks!

“So Elder,” I finally asked, “what brings you to Newcrest? Business or pleasure?”

“A bit of both actually,” he said with a smile and sat down next to me. “I’m looking for my son, and two of his friends, Emelia Johnson and Amina Wolff.” He handed me a flyer.

Cocoa and Elder sit down on the roof patio. Elder holds a flyer in one hand. You can't really read it.

He watched me, clearly waiting for a reaction. To the names? The names didn’t ring a bell. I looked down at the flyer. Two adorable kids and a teenager smiled back at me. The faces didn’t look familiar.

This is the flyer that Cathy Tea made. "Have you seen us?" Three pictures are below of "Freezer Bunny Wolff Tea (AKA Free-Jon)" "Emelia Johnson" and "Amina Wolff" Last seen: Animal Hat Summer Camp, Newcrest, Cathy Tea's Hard-drive. And then there is information for contacting Cathy if you see them.

“Your son is missing?” I asked somewhat alarmed. I imagined if Penelope were missing and could feel the panic starting.

“Well, not missing, we just aren’t sure where he is. And he doesn’t realize he’s been missed yet.”

Cocoa and Elder talk, the flyer is on the table.

Something was bothering me about his story. This Elder wasn’t your normal sim traveler. “Wait, that flyer.” I looked at it again. “Last seen at the Animal Hat Summer Camp?” I read panic starting to rise. “I just dropped my daughter, Penelope, off there a couple days ago.”

“Your daughter? Oh, the camp is quite safe. My son decided to go on a time traveling adventure and forgot that with aging off time travel doesn’t work. So I put myself on the gallery to see if anyone would download me so I could check out the different hard drives.”

I thought about that for a second. My mine boggled at the implications. He just put himself on the gallery…?

Yup, Cocoa and Elder are still talking. Well this time, Cocoa is talking. He's a bit concerned about the recklessness of putting yourself on the gallery for anyone to download.

“Isn’t that a little extreme? There’s what, billions of hard drives out there, not to mention multiple save games. There’s like five or six on this computer alone. It’s a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack.”

“Not at all. I can feel that my son isn’t that far away, he’s got to be on one of CT’s friend’s computers. She wouldn’t pair up with a stranger and send our child off somewhere we couldn’t find him.”

Elder reassures Cocoa that all is well. Cocoa has dark hair, a black tea with hearts on it and jeans. Elder has long blond hair, glasses, a brown sweater over a green button up, and wears shorts...weird huh?

“I guess that explains how you ended up here. Since we just opened the “door” so to speak by sending little Penelope off….You’re sure she’s safe?”

“Absolutely. I saw her just the other day. I’m just checking the forums and looking around to see if I can spot them. I’d like to tell them the time travel didn’t work so they know they’re being missed. Do…do you think they’re on another of the save games here?”

Cocoa counts the number of saves on this hard drive. There's at least 9 or 10 of them by now. I'm terrible at starting new games.

“I’m sure *someone* put you in all her games. And *she’s* got a few these days. Let’s see. ” I thought about the other games on this hard drive. “We’ll you’re probably not with Amelia, it would be pointless to add sims to that game. The Pigglewiggles are all evil right now, and it’s not like *she* can play anyone else in a legacy challenge. With Penelope gone, there’s little reason for your son to be in my game. The rest are like this world. Random saves for particular story-based projects, not proper games at all. I’m only here on business here to do some research for *her*. I don’t think you’ll have much luck around here.”

“Well, if I’m in those other games, I’ll ask around just to be sure, but I feel like you’re right. I do hope I’m on the right hard drive somewhere.”

“I’ll keep and eye out anyway, in case they start travelling. I’ve got a whole lab at my disposal. I’ll let you know if anything comes up.”

“Thank you.”

Cocoa watches Elder leave. I'm really glad his muscles aren't permanent.
I don’t think that’s the last I’ll see of him.

I watched him go. The next day he had checked out of the hotel and I felt a little sad he’d left. He was good company and a better cook than the rest of us.

Elder disappears inside. A smile on his face. Okay he's always smiling, but I think he's particular happy here.



This story is part of an ongoing collaboration between CathyTea and the Sims writing community. You can read all about Free Jon’s Time Travel adventures and Elder’s hunt for his son (in different saved games) on Cathy’s Tea’s blog.


  1. Poor Cocoa – I can imagine how hard it is for him to say goodbye to Penelope for the first time she’s leaving home! Whew those muscles! :O

    The hotel looks amazing. Well done! Also, hello to your Simself, Elder and Meadow! *waves*

    Liked by 3 people

    • *waving back from the wrong side of the screen*

      He’s a gloomy sim too, so sadness takes him from time to time. At least he’s not family oriented! Those sims seem to miss their family even when they’re talking to them.

      The muscles! I know. That’s what you get for blinding following the in-game prompts to do well at work. I didn’t stop to think about what the potion would do to him. Luckily as he said, it’ll be temporary, so he’ll be smaller again – although as as active sim, who knows how he’ll end up in the long run.

      Thanks, I had a ton of fun making the hotel. Now I need a more family friendly one (each room here has only a double bed), perhaps with a spa and kids play area? I think I enjoy making hotels for some reason. Then again in Sims2 I liked the apartment expansion.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Ah that explains it. I think the family-oriented thing is because they miss their family so much, it takes a while for them to feel better, even while talking to their family – and they have to have longer conversations to feel less lonely again. 🙂

        Ahaha it’s interesting to see how he might turn out in the long run if he builds his body up excessively.

        I love the idea of that! Maybe when I have time I’ll try my hand at building one. I love the apartments too! 🙂


  2. It is so amazing to me to see Elder in your story! He looks really happy! I am guessing that this copy of him will want to stay–as well as all the other copies in all the other games! I’ll be PMing you sometime today re. my latest thinking plot-wise and timey-wimey-wise about multiple instances and the multiplicity of existence and how that fits in with stories and games!

    I love this chapter–it’s so neat to see Cocoa and Elder talking, and it was fun to see rae and her sister, too! Glad that Elder was able to ease Cocoa’s worries about camp. And… let’s hope that Cocoa doesn’t find out about all the fires we had there in Session 2! Joel and CT are great counselors, but they’ve got a kind of liberal understanding of responsibility! LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Don’t they just! It was really fun to have him around. He didn’t like the other save I put him in at all he was “fine” – and that meant he wasn’t smiling. I was really concerned.

      Hopefully Cocoa also knows that without mods, kids can’t die in Sims. I was really happy with how this turned out and then started to get all excited about our next project. I’m dancing on the moon over that one and I love how it’ll fit right in with this chapter.

      As for Joel and CT, they’re really just kids themselves. And I think the kids appreciate not being “adulted” over for once. They’re perfect for camp.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I was so happy with what Joel said at our last meeting about how we can’t over-supervise them! It’s exactly how I feel, but now and then, I pick up on the idea that I’ve got to pretend to be an adult, which means supervision, and chores, and all that nonsense!

        I think it is so neat about Elder (and other Sims, too) how there are some saves they love, and some they just don’t feel right in. Sugar is super happy at Crazy Brady’s Bootcamp. Elder is always hugely smiley in Hippieville. (He and Young CT are always happy together.) Oh, and Penelope is so super happy at Animal Hat! I adore her! It’s just neat to see the way the Sims respond. I feel that they pick up on the feelings of the player.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s hard not to over-supervise, although since I’ve not got kids, it’s easier for me to remember that. But really they need the freedom to break their arms every now and again…I feel that I read that in a sims story recently…

          Elder didn’t want to be added to just a random save, he wanted to be added to one with a purpose I think. The previous save only had Cocoa and it just wasn’t right. Plus poor Elder was homeless there. He’d come jogging by, frowning, never stopping to say hi.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. It totally makes sense that Elder would be looking on the forums for clues… I’m looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with in the area of multiplicity.

    Your hotel ideas sound so cool, the one for families, with an area for the kids to play, and a spa.

    Liked by 1 person

Your two cents,

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s