Chapter 8: Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

“You ready for school, baby?  You look very pretty,” Han told Ripley as they sat down for breakfast.  They had a lot of leftovers from all the parties, plus all of the practice Ulrike had been doing.

“You bet, Dad!  I can’t wait!”

He grinned.  “That’s my girl.  Have a good day, Ripley.”  There was the sound of a honk.  “Oo, sounds like the bus.  Better get going!”

Ripley had already jumped up.  “Bye, Dad!”  She waved at him over her shoulder as she disappeared down the stairs.

Han sighed, looking down at the rest of his breakfast.

What’s wrong?

“She’s growing up so fast.”

That’s what children do, Han.  You did.

“Yeah, but-“  He sighed again.  “Maybe a workout will do me some good.”

Good idea.

 Ulrike was out in the sunroom already.  Han hopped on the treadmill, determined to work it off.

“You ok, Han?”

“Just feeling a little- melancholy.  Ripley’s off to school.”

Ulrike smiled softly.  “It’ll be ok, Han.  She’ll always be our little girl.”

“I know.  Just seems like just yesterday, she was small enough to fit in my arms.”

“I know, baby.  I know.”

The two lapsed into silence, the only sound was Han’s footfalls on the treadmill.


“How was school, lil thang?” Marcus asked Ripley as they sat at the dining table.

“It was great, Uncle Marcus!  Had a lot of fun!”

“Look at you, doin’ yer homework already!”

“Uh huh.  Need to make sure I get good grades.”

Marcus shook his head, grinning.  “You’re too good, kiddo.  Yer mama and papa are lucky.  I’ll see ya later, ok?”

“Sure, Uncle Marcus!”

Once her homework was finished, Ripley went to the couch to watch TV.  “H-hey Watcher?”

Yes, sweetie? 

 “I-I’m not feeling so good…”

Let’s get you some orange juice, then it’s bed time!

 “O-ok, Watcher.  But what about helping daddy with his parties?”

You don’t worry about it.  You need to feel better first.

 Ripley nodded and she trudged down to her bed.


Ok, Han, a slight change in plans.  Ripley’s gone to sleep.  Poor thing has come down with something.

“O-ok, Watcher.  She alright?”

Yes, just a little under the weather.  Just needs some rest.  Ok, so, first one is going to be a house party.  Places everyone!

“You made some lovely food, baby.  And you look just- magnificent,” Han told his wife.

“Han’s right, Ulrike!  Food’s great!” Marcus agreed.

Ulrike grinned, a spoonful of stew halfway to her mouth.  “Thanks guys.  I think I’m finally getting the hang of it.”

Hm, ok, great job so far guys!  That’s the house party and the dinner party, both gold!  You guys are doing wonderfully!

There was a few cheers, though most everyone was pretty tired.

You guys have all earned a bit of a break.  Plus, I have some things to do.  Come on then, to bed. 

Han pulled his wife close.  “Couldn’t have done this without you, Ulrike,” he murmured as he kissed her.

The Watcher went on a slight building spree, including constructing the all-important museum. **

** To see all the work on the house, go here: The Dynasty House, Version 2


“This is nice.  Nice night, just sitting in front of the fire,” Marcus murmured.

“Yeah, it is,” Han sighed softly, smiling.

“This is fun, huh, Daddy?” Ripley said with a giggle as she roasted a hot dog over the fire.

“Sure is, sweetie. Don’t know what the Watcher was talking about.  This Weenie Roast isn’t hard at all!”

“Uh… does someone smell burning plastic?” Ulrike asked after a moment.

“FIRE!”  Han leapt up, grabbing the extinguisher.  All he could think about was his little girl there.


“I-I don’t know if I can take another night like that!” Ulrike blurted out.  The fire had been taken care of, but everyone was tense and uncomfortable.  They knew it had been a close call.

“Oh sweetie, it’ll be alright.  The Watcher has already said no more of that, not until someone completes Freelance Botanist,” Jaimie soothed.  “So we won’t have to worry about a party like that for a while.”

“C’mon, baby.  Let’s go get some sleep, huh?” Han took her hand and led her into the bedroom.  Once inside, he stopped and he simply looked at her, as if memorizing every feature.  Then he brought a hand up to her cheek.  “I’m sorry, baby.  I-I know this isn’t easy on you.  Y-you didn’t realize what you were signing up for.”

“N-no, it isn’t that, Han.  Not really.  I knew what I was signing up for.  I-I was just hoping we wouldn’t run into all these problems, all at once.  A-and then the fire…”

“Shhh, I know, baby.”  Han spun her around and went to work on her back and shoulders, trying to help her relax.  As he did so, the door to their bedroom opened.

Ripley looked in.  “Mama?  Dad?”

“Hey baby, c’mon on in.  You ok?”

The little girl hopped up on her parent’s bed.  “Yeah, I’m alright.”

Han sat down beside her.  “What is it, baby?”

“I’m just wondering what this Dynasty thing is you guys keep talking about is.  Will you tell me?”

Han swallowed and looked at Ulrike.  She sat down on the other side of Ripley and shared a look with her husband.

“Well… it’s a little complicated.  But- I can try to explain it,” Han said slowly.  He looked at Ulrike.  She nodded and then Han told his daughter the truth about himself, where he had come from, and why he was there on Earth.   When he finished, Ripley wore a thoughtful look.

“Daddy?”

“Yeah, baby?”

“You believe in me right?  You think I can help you?”

Han had to swallow past the lump in his throat.  “Of course I do!”  He hugged her tight, looking at Ulrike over the top of his daughter’s head.  She smiled at him and the little family remained like that for a while.


 

Chapter 7: Never Tell Me the Odds!

Author’s Note:  Sorry for the slightly disjointed chapter.  Lot happening in game and screenshots was not a priority as I tried to deal with some bugs involving parties.  So again, apologies, but hope you enjoy!

Ulrike, a bit shaky after her brush with an incompetent doctor, slid off the table and went to pick up the small infant.  “Oh-oh look at you.  Y-you’re perfect.  Look at her, Watcher.  Isn’t she just-“

Perfect?  Yes, she’s a darling, Ulrike, truly.

Well, let’s get the both of you home.  I’ll uh, go retrieve, Han… I may have given him the wrong room number…  Otherwise poor little Ripley may have gotten to see a bit more of her daddy’s dark side than she really needs to.

The doctor shuffled nervously.  He was only too happy to see them all leave.


Back at home, the first one to the bassinet was Marcus, of all people.  “Hey little thang!  Aren’t you just the cutest!  Uncle Marcus could just eat you up!”

“Hey, there will be no eating of my daughter!” Han told his friend with a laugh, though there was a protective look in his eyes.  Sims didn’t eat children… did they?

Marcus grinned at him as he set Ripley back down.  “Don’t you worry none.  That lil angel will be well looked after!”

“I don’t doubt it.”  Han smiled at his friend.  Then it was his turn.  He looked down into the bassinet and his breathe caught.  He didn’t even have words.  So he simply reached down and gently picked her up, holding her to his chest.  He lost himself in looking into her eyes.  “Hello, darling.  I’m your Daddy,” he whispered to her.

“I love you very much.  You and your Mommy are my world.”  He had to swallow past the lump in his throat.  Had he really wanted to leave?  It was amazing that such a tiny creature could change- well, everything in such a short time.  Little Ripley made a soft noise and Han hoisted her up, holding her against his shoulder.  Ripley quieted, content in her father’s arms.  “I’ll always be here for you,” he promised her.


Having a baby in the house made things a little hectic for a while.  It seemed as soon as either Ulrike or Han lay down, Ripley needed something, whether it was a bottle or a diaper change, or just to be held.

“Here ya are, baby girl,” Han would murmur to his daughter.  He didn’t mind the sleepless nights, really.  Anything for his precious Ripley.

“Is someone hungry?  Yes she is.”  While Ulrike had decided she wanted to learn to cook in order to help Han meet the requirements of these Rules he had to follow, she loved spending time with her daughter too.  There was definitely something about that moment for mother and daughter.

Han didn’t even mind changing her diapers… well, at least not too much.  “Whoa, such a lot of stink for such a little thing!”  Ripley just smiled up at him from her bassinet.  “You just wait, you little stinker.  Wait till you have your own!”


But before anyone was ready, it was time for Ripley to age up! *

Author’s Note #2: *So… while Ripley was a wee babe, this was when the Watcher was trying to get a bunch of parties outta the way… but the timer bug hit and they were dismal failures, only reaching silver.  So yeah, I didn’t get as many shots as I wanted while Ripley was an infant.  All the adults in the house- when not doing things for parties—were always in the master bedroom, picking her up!

Ulrike did the honors.  “C’mon, baby girl.  Time to grow up!”  Her voice cracked a little, even as the bassinet shook.

There was a cry of “Woooo!  I’m free!  Whoa!  I need to chaaaange!” and then Ripley exploded out, a full-grown child.

Her first stop was definitely to change her clothes and to fix her hair.  She wasn’t a fan of poofy hair, not at all!  When she emerged, though, she grinned saucily.


And let’s not forget Marcus and Jaimie.  They both aged up to elder.  There was no party, since they were all pretty tired out, but they did have cake.

Ripley was given the other room downstairs and it was outfitted for a Princess.  But the only thing she cared about right away was the activity table that her parents had gotten for her.  She loved to draw.  She thought she wanted to do that when she was older, just like her mom, though she thought about writing too.  Maybe she’d do both!

“Mama, when I grow up, can I paint and write?”

Ulrike looked at Ripley.  “Of course, you can baby girl!  You can do anything you put your mind to.”

Ripley was certainly a precocious girl.  Han wasn’t quite sure he was ready for her growing up.  When she’d been a little bundle that could fit in his arms, it had been easy to keep track of her, to know what she needed and when.  Now, though, he was a bit adrift.  His little girl wasn’t so little now!  Then again, it was great to be able to sit at the counter with Ripley and talk about all sorts of things.

“Hey Dad, I get to go to school on Monday!”

“Mhm, you sure do.  Are you nervous?”

“No way!” she exclaimed.  “I can’t wait to sit down at my desk and crack open my books!  And the art room- oh, all those new paints and crayons!”

Han laughed.  “That’s my girl!”

Ripley hopped down off the stool.  “C’mon dad!  Hip bump!”

Han looked concerned at first.  “I don’t know, Ripley…”

His daughter laughed.  “Oh c’mon!  I’m a big girl!”

A short shaft of pain hit Han.  She was a big girl… and she was only going to grow older.  “You got it, baby girl,” he murmured.

“Ooof!  Easy on yer ol’ man!” Han complained, though he was grinning.  Ripley just laughed and ran off.  Han sighed a little, though he couldn’t help but grin.  She was a good kid.


Wow, gettin’ really good there, Ulrike!

“Check this out, Watcher!”

Nice trick!  Got some air on that.  Ready for your birthday?

Ulrike grimaced.  “Not so much.  But guess it’s gotta happen.”  Once the cake she was baking came out of the oven, she brought it out onto the counter and put the candles on it.  With her family watching, Ulrike leaned down to blow out the candles.

“Happy birthday, baby,” Han told his wife as the adults sat down at the table.

“Still lookin’ good as ever, though, huh?” Marcus commented with a grin.

“Oh you!” Ulrike laughed.

Jaimie shook her head, chuckling.  “Better watch it, Marcus.  Wouldn’t want Han to have to trounce your behind!”

“Nah, no way!”

The group laughed.  This was a long-standing joke among them.

“Pretty soon, we’ll be celebrating Ripley’s teen birthday!”

Han groaned.  “Don’t even go there!  I am sooo not ready for that!  She only just became a child!  Don’t make me think about her becoming a teen already!”

There was some snickering, but Jaimie pointed out, “You’ll have to come to terms with at some point.  Kids do grow.”

“Yeah, yeah… but I am going to ignore it until I absolutely have to!”


“If Han can’t even handle Ripley being a teen, what’s he gonna do when the first boys come around?” Jaimie asked Ulrike as the two women and Marcus enjoyed some peace out in the sunroom.

Ulrike grimaced.  “I have no idea… I don’t think it’s going to be pretty.  Ripley’s so good natured, but I have a feeling she’s as stubborn as her father, so it should be… interesting, to say the least.”

Marcus chuckled.  “Got that right.  Though, I don’t blame Han much.  Any boy hurts that little girl and I’ll help my buddy to hide the body.”

Ulrike rolled her eyes.  “Don’t you dare give him ideas!”

Now, now everyone.  The poor thing has a while to go before she’s a teen, so let’s worry about that when we get there.  For now, let her enjoy being a kid as much as she can.  She’ll have enough to worry about with the Dynasty huh?

“Hear hear, Watcher!”

Ripley would have enough to deal with was right…


 

Chapter 6: This is a New Day, a New Beginning

Ulrike ran out of the house, glowing.  She forgot her anger at Han- mostly even as she skidded to a stop next to his rocket.  “Han!”

He looked at her warily, wondering how much yelling she was going to do this time.  Not that he didn’t deserve it, but a man (of any species or race) could only take so much abuse from all fronts.  “Ul-ulrike… hi.”

“Hanhanhan!”

“What?  What is it?”  There was a sudden fear.  Was she alright?  She had been pretty ill…

“We’re gonna have a nooboo!”

Han could only stare at her for a moment, his mouth a big round ‘O’.  Then he pulled her to him, hugging her tightly before kissing her senseless.

After a moment, he put her at arm’s length.  “Ulrike… can you ever forgive me?  I-I… I had to try.  I-I thought maybe- maybe if I could talk to-to SOMEONE, maybe I could get my answers.  I-I didn’t want this- thing to hang over our heads.”

Ulrike smiled gently at him.  “I get it, Han.  I do.  I’m a Renegade, remember?  I-I know that when someone tells you not to do something, it’s the first thing you want to do- and that’s just a normal thing.  You- you lost your home.  But- you have a new home now.”  It was left unspoken that he had her- and now he would have a child as well.

“You’re right,” he whispered.  “You’re right.  Ulrike, I-I won’t do something so stupid again.  Y-you… you and the child you carry.  You’ll be my world now.”

“C’mon, let’s go inside.”  They went back into the house, hand in hand.


Han cringed.  “Is Ulrike in the bathroom again, Watcher?”

Afraid so.  The morning sickness hits hardest during the early trimesters.  And it’s hitting your poor wife pretty hard as it is.  I can’t believe how sick you guys have been getting lately!

“Are you feeling better, baby?” Han asked his wife as she emerged from their bedroom to join him at the table.

She nodded.  “Yeah, for now.  It comes and goes.”

Han leaned over. “Be nice to mommy, kiddo.”  Ulrike stood up and Han followed.  He grinned as he leaned down to place to his hands on his wife’s swelling abdomen.  “You’re gonna be the bestest wittle nooboo around!  Aren’t you, sweetie?”

Ulrike grinned.

Ugh, medicine for you pal, soon as you’re done.  Your wife doesn’t need to get sick again. 

He frowned.  “Yeah, need to do that.”


“Can’t believe it, man.  You gonna be a daddy!”

“I know… it-it’s so weird!  And yet- I can’t stop smiling about it, Marcus!”

Marcus gave a raucous laugh.  “Yeah, there’s just- something about it.”  He let out a deep breathe, still running.

Han concentrated on his reps for a moment, then asked tentatively, “You gotten to see any of your little ones lately?”

“Nah, not yet… I plan on making some rounds though.”

Han nodded.

How’s the painting coming along?

 “Well enough.  Helps take my mind off the backache… at least for a while,” Ulrike answered ruefully as she gave her painting a critical onceover.

Ulrike?  What would you think of becoming a full time painter?  You could quit your gallery job, spend your days here painting and still be around for when the nooboo arrives.  We don’t need the money as much and honestly, your paintings sell for more than enough on their own.

Ulrike tilted her head to the side, thinking.  “Actually… I think I’d like that.  I really would.  I only took the job at the gallery to get started, but you’re right.  I would have more time for my own work and be able to be home with our baby.”

I hear Han.  Why don’t you talk it over with him?  See what he thinks?

“There’s my beautiful wife.”  Han was beaming as he looked at Ulrike.  She responded with a flirtatious tilt of her head and a fluttering of her lashes at him.

“I love you,” she murmured.

“And I you,” he responded.  He had to lean down murmur to his wife’s belly.  “I love you too, baby.  I love you very much.  Mommy and daddy can’t wait to meet you.”

“Awww,” Ulrike sniffed.  “So cute!  You’re going to make a great daddy.”  She sighed and stretched, grimacing and letting out a groan as her back ached.

“Oh baby, why didn’t you say anything?  Here, let me see what I can do for ya.”  Han spun her around gently and then began to massage her back and shoulders.

“Uuuuhhhh, that feels so good!  Oh, thank you so much, baby!”  Once he was done, she turned around to wrap her arms around him, resting her head on his shoulder.

“Why don’t you get changed?  Get comfortable and we’ll spend the evening relaxing,” Han told her.

“That sounds lovely.”

They found themselves in the sunroom, relaxing as Marcus did his nightly run.  Han had gotten very comfortable, sitting in his skivvies with a glass of milk in hand.

“Hey hey!  Lookin’ good there, mama!” Marcus called out, waving at them both from the treadmill.

“Don’t you know it!” she replied.  Han just laughed.


“Hi, yes, I’m planning a birthday party.  It’s my own.  Turning into an adult.  Yeah, yeah, middle-aged my rear!  Yup, got what we needed.  Wife has made the cake already.  Yup, thanks!”

“Woo!  I’m an adult now!”

–sigh—Yes, but it only got to silver… this timer bug is going to be difficult to maneuver around.  That’s alright though.  We have time yet.

 “Yeah, I guess so.”

Ulrike, cake looks great, honey.

 “Thanks Watcher.”  Ulrike yawned.  “I’m beat.  I think I’m gonna call it a night.”

You do that.  You’ve earned it.  Anytime now and it’ll be time to meet your little one.

 Just as Ulrike went to climb into bed, she caught her breath and let out a sharp cry as something seemed to release inside of her.  “Oooooo!  W-watcher, I-I think it’s time!  M-my water just broke!”

Oh!  Alright, sweetie.  It’s ok.  Let’s get you to the hospital!  Han!  Get your butt moving!  It’s go time!


They arrived at the hospital, Han trying to remain calm, though his voice was about an octave higher than normal and he was talking much louder than necessary.  As Ulrike checked in, Han stood there, looking particularly menacing.  “If anything happens to her-“  He had been checking the computer on occasion and had stumbled upon Carl’s forums.  He’d seen some of the horror stories.  “I swear… I will hurt them like they’ve never been hurt!”

Yeah… I think you’re a bit too highly strung to be in there with her yet… C’mon, Han.  This way.  Don’t worry, Ulrike, I’m right here with you.

 “Th-thanks, Watcher.  This corridor is too darn long!”

I don’t know, sweetie.  Poor design maybe?  Almost there, though!

 Ulrike finally reached the room and changed into the gown provided for her.  She eased herself onto the cold steel table, a shiver running through her.

“Don’t worry Mrs. Galactus.  Everything will be alright,” the Doctor soothed.  He manned the controls, a thin sheen of sweat on his forehead.  He hadn’t quite gotten the hang of these new contraptions. He found the proper setting with a small sigh of relief and hit the button.  But as the machine whirred and the arm went through the slot, the EKG machine blared a warning and something that shouldn’t have been in the grip of the claws was!

“W-watch…er…”  Ulrike let out a gasp and her head lulled to the side.

Oh my God!  Do something you moron! 

Outside the door, there was an all-too familiar voice.  “Ulrike?  Ulrike!”

If you don’t fix this now, I can’t promise I can hold him back!  You are a dead Sim if he comes in and sees her like this!

Frantically, the doctor hit several buttons, his eyes wide in fear.  The orderly peeked outside the doors, putting his life into his own hands just in case Han was still out there.  The machines still blared their warning and Ulrike was still.

Doctor!

Finally, the machine responded to the doctor’s commands and a few moments later, the machine picked up a sinus rhythm.  Ulrike’s eyes opened.  “W-watcher?”

Oh thank the Forum!  You’re ok, Ulrike.  You’re fine, sweetie.  And guess what?  There’s someone here to see you.

A sharp cry split the air and Ulrike turned her head to look into the bassinet by the table.  A beautiful little blue baby stared back at her.

Welcome little Ripley Galactus, the heir to the Dynasty.


 

Chapter 5: With the First Link, the Chain is Forged

I hear you proposed to Ulrike yesterday.

Han looked up from where he was working on his rocket ship.  “Yes I did.  Why?  Is there a problem?”

No, not at all.  I’m happy to hear it in fact.  And it looks like you’re doing well with your little project there as well.

“Yeah, it’s coming along.”

Han… I don’t want to have to repeat myself.  You are not to try and return to Omega 4.  Once you leave this planet, I have no control over anything.

 “So you said before.  Look, I don’t have time for this.  I know what I’m doing, alright?”

Hm… we’ll see.


“How was work today, Han buddy?”

“It was actually pretty good, Marcus.  How was your day?”

Marcus winked at him.  “It was great man.  Thanks for inviting me into the house.  This job is great!”

Han’s brow furrowed.  “Job?  You mean gardening?”

Marcus laughed uproariously.  “No, this is a different kind of sowin’ if ya know what I mean!”

Han only looked bewildered.  “No… I don’t.”

“Wait… I thought you had finished readin’ the book,” Marcus said, realizing he wasn’t joking.

“Um, well… I skimmed some parts, I guess…”

Marcus’s eyes widened.  “Whoa, dude!  That’s- well, dangerous, isn’t it?”

“I read all the important parts!  I know what I have to do,” Han ground out, sounding defensive.  It was a good thing that the Watcher wasn’t around.  He could only imagine the earful he’d get.  “I’ll go back and reread it after the wedding.  Anyway, so tell me.  What’s your job?”

Marcus looked around quickly, then leaned in close.  “I make sure the town doesn’t die later on in the generations.  I uh, visit the eligible ladies and we-“  He winked at Han, “get busy with ‘pollinatin’.”

Han could only gap at him.  “Y-you… you procreate with a bunch of the females?”

“In a manner of speakin’, that’s exactly what I do.”

“Wait… that young woman that was here just yesterday… the pregnant one.  That-“

Marcus nodded.  “Yup, Candy’s carryin’ my baby.”

Han sat there for a moment, fuming.  He wasn’t mad at Marcus.  Not really.  He was angry with the Watcher.  Then again, he couldn’t say a word because then she’d know he hadn’t read the blerghing book!  Finally, he looked at Marcus.  “Does it- bother you?”

Marcus shrugged one shoulder.  “A little, maybe.  I mean, I’ve never been one fer the ol’ ball’n’chain myself, not like you pal.  Do I like going from one woman to another?  Not as much.  But hey, it helps you out later on, keeps people in the houses around town.  Can be hard to get new people in later on down the line.”

“I-I see…  Alright, well.  I do wish you luck.  And Marcus?  Don’t let the Watcher force you into anything you don’t wanna do.  If you wanna stop, tell her so.”

Marcus nodded.  “Got it.”  He grinned.  “Don’t you worry none.  I got this.  I’m gonna enjoy myself before I got old.”

Han gave an absent nod and went back to eating, lost in thought.


The day of their wedding dawned just like all the others, though Han would have said the sun was brighter, the air crisper, the birdsong louder.  He walked out of the house, taking a deep breath and letting out a sigh.

You’re in a better mood, at least, than you have been.

Not even the Watcher could ruin his mood.  “Yeah, well, I get to make Ulrike mine today.  We’ll be linked from this day forward.”

Yes, this is very true.  Perhaps she’ll be able to keep you in line better…

He glared up at the sky for a moment, then shook his head.  He wouldn’t fight with her, not today.  Then he heard a noise, a noise that took him back.  “What the-“

No!  On her wedding day!  Seriously!  Ooooo, when I get a hold of the High Council… she wasn’t even inoculated!

“Ulrike!!!”  Han sprinted across the lawn, watching the shape of the spaceship recede.  “No!  Ulrike!”

It’s ok, Han.  They’ll bring her back. 

“They?  Who was that?”

The High Council from Sixam sends a scouting party every so often to keep an eye on the Sims on this planet.  Some of them have even made their home here, somewhat like you, though for them, it’s by choice.  She’ll be alright.

 “She better be!” he growled.

Just wait for a little while.  She’ll be back.


You’re back!  Are you alright?

 “I-I feel a little light-headed,” Ulrike replied, “b-but I think I’m ok.  I didn’t miss the wedding did I!?”

No, you’re just in time.  Let me go tell, Han and then we can get things started!  Go change, alright?

She nodded and ran off.  She came back just in time to greet the first guests.  “Thank you so much for coming!”

Ulrike… wait a minute, sweetie, are you ok?  What- Oh, the High Council is sooo going to hear about this!  You poor thing!


“What?  What is it?  Ulrike?  Oh, my poor urdona!” Han had stepped out of the house after hearing his bride was back, safe and sound.

“It’s ok, Han.  I’m fine.”  Ulrike smiled brightly at him.  “I’ll be fine.  Let’s get married, ok?”

Though Han wanted nothing more than to wed Ulrike and make her his mate, he was worried for her.  But he couldn’t deny her so he nodded.  “You got it, my love.”

As the couple stood in front of the wedding arch at the edge of the property, Han could only swallow.  “Y-you are just- I don’t even have the words for how beautiful you are, Ulrike.”

“Oh, Han.  I-I’m so happy today!  I-I never imagined I’d have a wedding like this.”

“From this day forward, I promise to love you and cherish everything you are.  I swear that I will be your partner in all things and support you in everything you do,” Han vowed.

“From this day forward, I promise to you and cherish you, to give everything in me to see you succeed.  I will support you in any way you need and be your best friend now and forever.”  Ulrike leaned forward to softly kiss Han’s cheek.

As she stepped back, the world began to spin around her and she almost fell.  “Ulrike!” Han cried out.  “Ulrike, are you alright?  Let me get you to a doctor!”

“No!  No, I’m fine.  Please, Han.  I want to marry you.”

He swallowed.  “Alright, but as soon as we’re done, you need to go to bed!”

“Alright, love.  Alright.”

The two finished their vows and became husband and wife.

Rather than kiss his new wife, Han instead pulled Ulrike close for a gentle hug.  He was worried for her, but she seemed to so badly want to stay for the wedding.

She stayed for cake, though she had to sit down because she’d gotten dizzy yet again.

After Han and Ulrike had shared their first piece, Ulrike went to go lay down, sighing.  She felt bad.  Han went with her to tuck her in.  He had every intention of letting her rest, but as had already been proven, he had a very hard time denying her anything, so they both changed and celebrated their wedding night.


Where in the Simverse do you think you’re going, Han!?

“I have an appointment… I need to go home, Watcher!”

You just got MARRIED!?  You’re going to get yourself killed!  Don’t be a fool!

“I have to find out who set me up!” he snarled back.  He knew the Watcher couldn’t really stop him, so giving her his most obnoxious grin, he waved good bye as he climbed into his ship.

You idiot!  Han, don’t do this!  What about Ulrike?!

But he didn’t answer her.  The rockets fired and the ship was airborn.

Frantically, the Watcher monitored communications.  “-ship, you are not authorized.  Turn back or be shot down.”  The impersonal voice of the Omega 4’s planetary defense systems made the Watcher growl and utter a few expletives.  “Unknown ship, you have been warned!”

“Yeah, yeah.”  Han’s voice came out a little different over the radio frequency.  “I’m here on business.  This is Pr-  Whoa!  Hey, don’t fire!”

Ugh!  Get out of there!

The Watcher heard Han curse a bit in his native tongue, then the radio went dead, static echoing in the quiet.  N-no… Han!

Just as she had given up hope, she heard a horrific noise and zoomed back out.  The shape that was plummeting back to Earth was recognizable, but only barely.  Even as hope flared, the ship was coming in far too fast and it hit the ground with an ear-splitting, earth-rocking impact, pieces of ship and debris flying everywhere!

HAAAANNNNNNN!!!  The Watcher screamed his name again, but there was no response except for the crackling of the flames over the shattered hull…

Just as the Watcher was going to have to share the terrible news with Ulrike, there was a bit of a crash and coughing and a shape appeared amongst the wreckage.

“Ugh,” Han groaned as he struggled to pull himself from beneath the debris.

Han!  Oh Thank Carl and Metro and Pam!  You’re alive!  I can’t believe it!  Now I’m going to KILL you!  You stupid, idiotic-

 “Aww, I know you’re happy to see me, Watcher.”  He shook himself off and then stood there, looking far too pleased with himself.


You had better not be thinking of returning!  Did you learn NOTHING from your last try!?

 “Oh, so you’re speaking to me again?” he asked, still concentrating on tightening the rivet he was working on.

I wanted to know how your talk with Ulrike went. 

 “I’m sure you know very well how it went… she was mad enough that I almost wished the crash had finished me off…”  Han sighed.  “Look, I know I screwed up, ok?  I won’t be trying to go back.  We’ll do this your way…”

Good. Is Ulrike still mad at you?

“Yeah… she hasn’t spoken to me since I told her either…”

Ah… well, let me go see how she’s doing.


Ulrike?  How are you doing?

Ulrike sat on their bed and then hastily wiped tears away.  “I-I… Oh Watcher, what was he thinking?!  He-he almost died!”

I know, sweetie.  I know.  He was foolish.  But you know he loves you.  I think he’s been punished enough, don’t you?

“I- maybe… I, will you help me with something?  I- um… I’m well- late.  I was going to take a test.  Will you be with me when I take it?”

Of course, Ulrike!  You don’t even have to ask.  C’mon then.  Let’s see.

Ulrike went into the bathroom and grabbed the pregnancy test she’d bought.  There was a nervous silence as both she and the Watcher waited.  “Watcher, Watcher!  Look!  It’s positive!”


 

Chapter 4: Love Keeps Her in the Air

Ulrike looked up from the canvas she’d been working on.  Han had just come down the stairs.  “How are you doing, baby?”

Han sighed.  “Just- can’t believe he’s gone, ya know?”

“Oh I know.  I know.”

He took her hands in his.  “Ulrike… you’ve been- I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t been here.”

Han looked deep into her eyes.  “Y-you’ve helped keep me sane.  Thank you.”

“Han, you don’t need to thank me, truly.”

“Yes I do.”  He bit his lip and looked away for a moment.  It was uncharacteristic of him to seem so tongue-tied.

“Han?  What is it?”

“I uh… We’ve both been cooped up and you’ve been amazing.  I-I- Would you like to go to the park?  Just- get away for a little while?”

She smiled.  “I think I’d love that.”


Han sat down on the bench and Ulrike followed.  He let out a sigh.  “It really is nice here,” he murmured, unable to take his eyes off of her.

“Yeah, it is.”

“Though not as nice as the view right here,” he murmured.

That brought out a small blush.  “You’re too charming for your own good, ya know,” she murmured back.

“I don’t know, I like to think I’m just charming enough,” he retorted with a small grin.  Thought brought out a chuckle and she leaned against him.  He slipped his arms around her and let out a small sigh.

Ulrike began to fidget just a little bit.  Han looked at her.  “You ok?”

“Just a little stiff, I think.”

“Here, let me take care of that, then.”  Han waited for her to turn a bit and then he began do massage her shoulders, his fingers digging into her flesh.  She let out a small groan in bliss.

“Wow, that was great.  Thanks, baby.”

“You are more than welcome.”  Han stood up and he offered her his hand.  She took it, arching a brow at him as he helped her to her feet.  He pulled her close, his gaze intense on hers before he dipped her right over, kissing her fiercely.

When he righted her, Ulrike had to catch her breath.  “O-oh wow,” she managed.  “Th-that sure was something.”

Han grinned at her.  “Wanna go back home?”

She nodded.  But before they could go inside, Han took her hand and led her toward the edge of the property, to the river.  “I don’t wanna go inside quite yet,” he said.  They sat down on the bench together.  They sat in silence for a long moment, just letting the serenity of the gently flowing water and each other’s company soothe their hearts.

After a little while, Han took her hand in his.  She placed her hand over his.  “Ulrike… I-I love you.  I-I think I have since I first saw you.”

“I-I love you too,” she murmured, then gave a light laugh.  “I-it’s funny… I-I never thought this would happen to me.  I-I’m a rebel!  A- a Renegade.  And yet-“  She looked deeply into his eyes.  “I’ve never felt like this about anyone.”

Taking this as a sign, Han stood up.  He looked at the water for a moment, and then turned to her.  She had stood up, her brow furrowed, concerned.  “Han?”

Pulling in a deep breath, Han got down on one knee.  He had read up on Sim mating customs.  They weren’t that different from his own, but this whole ‘engagement’ business was a bit different than he was used to.  He hoped he didn’t screw it up.  He had to clear his throat as he took the little box from his pocket.  “Ulrike Faust, I-I know we haven’t known each other long, but I can’t imagine my life without you in it.  Th-that’s never happened before.  I know things are uncertain and this- task I have to do sounds insane.  Despite all that… will you take a chance and become my wife?”

She stared at him for a long moment, long enough that he began to feel his heart sink.  Then she let out a little squeal and a string of “Yesyesyesyesyes!”  She took the ring and he helped slip it onto her finger before she launched herself at him.  He caught her just in time, laughing.

Ulrike wrapped her arms around his neck and rested her forehead against his.  “Me, a wife,” she murmured, a sense of irony making her grin.

“You’ll make a beautiful bride and a wonderful wife, ya know,” he told her.  He gently let her down and drew her close, kissing her tenderly.

“We’ll have the wedding during the weekend.  I start the new job tomorrow.  But I have Saturday off.  Does that sound good to you?”

“That sounds wonderful.”  She laughed again.  “Me in a wedding dress…”

He grinned.  “You’ll look- breathtaking.  I know you will.”

The two walked back to the house, hand in hand.


“Hey Kade,” Han murmured, looking at the gravestone.  “I uh, wanted you to know, Ulrike and I will be getting married in another day or so.”

He smiled.  “She’s- a heck of a woman.  I know you only got to meet her just- well, just before.  But she’s already a part of the household, a part of the- family.  We miss ya, Kade.  We really do.”  He sighed, rubbing the back of his neck.  “But things are going well enough.  Aside from the wedding coming up, I have a job.  The garden is… well it’s beautiful.  Jaimie’s taken over that duty now too.  Marcus helps out… when he doesn’t disappear for days at a time.  The Watcher says he’s doin’ his job.  And he seems fairly happy, so I haven’t said much.  Oh!  The house is coming along.  The Watcher’s finally been able to finish things up.  There’s still a couple rooms that aren’t outfitted, but the majority are done.**”

“That’s all for now.  I’ll keep you updated, as we go.  We wouldn’t even have gotten this far, if not for you.  Thank you, my friend.  I’m sorry I didn’t say this to you when you were still with us.  That’s my biggest regret right now.  I know, I know.  I have a feeling you’d smack me upside the head right now, if you could, so I won’t say any more about that.  But I thought you should know what’s going on.  I’ll keep you updated, I promise.”  Han smiled a little and then turned to go back to the house, feeling a bit lighter than he had before.

**To check out more details about the house, go here:  Additions/Decorated Rooms