At the lab, she gets to do a lot of research for Dr. Midden's group. She's learning to do radiocarbon dating tests on bones to figure out their age. Chemistry comes easily to Isabel, and her consistent results as a student assistant are appreciated during daily routine testing.
|"Third test with stable Carbon 12 to 14 differential results. This sample is 5,000 years old!"|
Isabel's genius study habits and attention to detail make her a qualified candidate for an internship study grant the same as her Dad was offered in coming to Appaloosa Plains.
But unlike her Dad, she gets a much different offer.
|"This is strange, an email from Dr. Midden, but I don't recognize the address..."|
At first, she's super excited by the offer to travel abroad as an Archaeology Intern. But then it finally dawns on her where the unfamiliar email address came from - Morcucorp.
Isabel's done enough snooping through the Wolfson's archives to know that they've had a finger in just about every archaeological dig project known to sim-kind for the past 50 years or more. Hints found in some of the files even suggested foul play involved with the now closed down dinosaur dig site that was Isabel's favorite place to hang out and hide when skipping classes. This last bit had apparently not gone unnoticed by the facility staff.
Despite all the glowing recommendations, high test scores and exemplary work habits - there was one small bit that stood out from all the rest of the typical line and jargon in her offer letter:
"We understand you have had some attendance issues involving school records and would suggest keeping this offer private as contracts and details have yet to be signed. Your graduation could be negatively affected by any undo tampering with facility files. We look forward to working together as a team."
|"Uh oh. This could get sticky."|
Warning bells went off in Isabel's head and she began scrambling to figure out how they knew. She had been careful to always cover her tracks when skipping, and all of her teachers had been more than happy to overlook it, or so she thought.
She might have altered a few attendance records... but it wasn't like she had hacked into their system or anything - they were self-maintained work hours reported in her student personnel files!
After all, its not like all her skipping classes was just to be lazy! She actually spent the time out in the "field" ... you know - discovering things.
|"This is IT Cupid - we've nearly reached the edge of known civilization and from here its all uncharted territory! Adrenaline rush commencing!!"|
But seriously, there was also some real academic work happening out there.
|"According to the most recent studies, these fossilized prints are from the early Cretaceous period"|
Cupid's continued hunting efforts were Isabel's secret weapon. His nose was amazing at finding the best fossil specimens and even relics!
|"C'mon Cupid, go find us a meteor confirming carbon life from outer space. We'll be instant simoleonaires!"|
Isabel would have to tread much more cautiously after this recent warning. She made a mental note to only do her studies and emails at the library as she suspected they were monitoring her lab network account. She would also have to force herself to be present and accounted for every day. Her last remaining months at the Academy were going to suck.
Her exploration over the hills and valleys of Appaloosa Plains often led her down to the Steele ranch for a visit. This is where some of her after curfew delinquency was happening. Not purposely!
She managed to make it there in time to congratulate Andy on his graduation and give him a gift.
|"Hah thanks Isabel. I don't think anyone's given me a box of rocks for a gift before. I'll treasure them always."|
Silly boy, he has no idea just how valuable those "rocks" are - sigh.
This is the part she hasn't wanted to get through. The whole ... "hey we're both headed off in different directions for our new lives, lets just be friends" routine. It was awkward. She was still a "kid" in Andy's eyes, she knew it - but she kept a smile pasted on her face for his sake.
|"You mean a lot to me Isabel. I don't want to lose you as a friend."|
Like her, Andy's decided to leave Appaloosa Plains and head out into the wide world on his own advanture. He's got ideas of moving to the big city and busking for a living while learning some freelance computer programming. He's taking off the next day.
|Whispering in her ear as he hugs her, "You come look me up if your travels bring you to Bridgeport, promise?"|
And just like that, Andy was gone. Isabel's love life would have to go on hold until later.
Life at home was going along as normal as could be expected. Sarah's grieving had turned to depression over a midlife crisis (whatever that was). Isabel had tried to remain supportive for Dad's sake, but her patience with Sarah's constantly fragile emotions was wearing thin.
Especially when Sarah goes off on her for being out late.
|"You're in BIG trouble young lady! Did you forget we were supposed to go out tonight? Why didn't you call?!"|
Not to mention she was growing tired of spending so much time babysitting Nathan.
He was a cute little guy, but he demanded a lot of attention. Isabel now went to the campground every day after classes to tend to him while Sarah worked with various charity groups like teaching kids with disabilities to fish.
|Snarky teenage remark: "Yeah Nate, apparently kids in wheelchairs need to know how to fish in case there's an apocalypse preventing them from getting to the grocery store ..."|
Nate even learned to use the potty out at the campgrounds. An unconventional method, but going poop in a bucket seemed to work.
Even if Isabel found it really gross.
|"Your Mom has to empty that Nate. Yuck."|
Ever diligent as the family protector, Cupid did his part to help out with the baby too.
Apparently another one of those creepy dolls showed up.
|Cupid: "Just you wait Boinky ... the picnic's over for you - all that'll be left are bits of fluff when I'm done!"|
This time around, everyone managed to show up in time for Nate's birthday aging up at home. Isabel called everyone in when he crawled down out of her arms in the rocking chair and started to do his little sparkle-wiggle dance.
|"Yeah it tickles doesn't it Nate, hah!"|
Isabel got brains and clever wit as a kid ... while Nate unfortunately inherited Dady's neurotic tendencies and Mom's serious looks.
|Isabel thinking "Well this kid's going to end up either emo or nuts..."|
Nathan immediately began to whine about his missing Boinky.
|"He just vanished ... THEY took him, I know it!!"|
"Who took him sweetheart? What are you talking about?" Sarah seems ripe for more stress, always on the verge of another breakdown.
|"THE ALIENS FROM OUTER SPACE!!!"|
Nathan spent the rest of his birthday moon bouncing around the house in his astronaut suit, screaming about the government's plans to blow up the moon and the tides reversing, causing the seas to flush down a giant hole in the earth's crust like an enormous toilet bowl.
Yep. Isabel called it. Nuts.
But most of Nathan's neurotic tendencies ended up being complete bluff. Once he'd figured out it could tweak his Mom into babying him - he used it to his advantage. Isabel gave him credit for cleverness.
When he started school. Isabel gave him a big hug and whispered in his ear to watch out for the robotic bus driver and not get too close to her laser beam eyes.
|"Awww thanks sis, you're so awesome!"|
But Nate knew this was mostly how Isabel just messed with him for fun.
He had been born lucky - and somehow this trait often helped counteract his neurotic worrying.
|"I got this. No robotic bus drivers are going to keep me down!"|
Well. Most of the time.
|"Oh crap. Isabel's right. She never turns her head or blinks!!"|
Isabel now had more time to herself again. In preparation for her upcoming travels, she started doing some athletic training so she could handle the rigors of long hours adventuring and back breaking digging.
|"Time to build some muscle and endurance"|
A very rare early sim stone tablet arrived at the lab for analyzing and radiocarbon dating. Isabel got to be one of the first to view such a wondrous find. She knew her path would soon lead her to discover these sorts of treasures too. She had waited months for more word from her 'sponsors' at Morcucorp.
And the very next day, the call she had been waiting on finally came in.
A full travel field study grant from the Sim Nation Science Association, funded by a private interest group (Isabel already knew this was Morcucorp) to begin immediately upon graduation.
|"Yes sir, I'm ready to go. I have dreamed of this opportunity my whole life!"|
The final countdown of days seemed to pass at a snail's pace. But it was finally Isabel's birthday. The start of her new life was about to begin.
It was really annoying that Sarah and her Dad had planned yet another charity benefit to coincide with her birthday party. This meant the campground was full of old people.
Billy Lee, her old friend from the gifted program was doing his final internship with the senior citizen's home for geriatrics. He was also graduating and aging up early. Isabel totally missed the look of misery on his face when he overheard her get a call from Andy - he was in town for the weekend and wanted to celebrate her birthday with her!
|"So much for asking her out on a date ..."|
Isabel's Aging Up Song:
Distant flickering, greener scenery.
This weather's bringing it all back again.
Great adventures, faces and condensation.
I'm going outside to take it all in.
This weather's bringing it all back again.
Great adventures, faces and condensation.
I'm going outside to take it all in.
Andy arrived. Here was that awkward moment where Isabel realized she would just be saying good-bye to her best friend tomorrow and they would probably never be together the way he had hinted over the phone.
|"I'm sorry Andy, I'm leaving to become a traveling Archaeologist."|
Andy, ever the laid back guy, shrugged it off and said they'd enjoy the day together and just live for today.
And so they did.
|"One more victory, for old time's sake"|
Dr. Midden, now a Mad Scientist (and partnered with Morcucorp) arrived that evening for Isabel's send off party and to take her personally to the airport for her flight out that very night.
|Probably not the most appropriate formal wear for a coming-of-age party.|
The noise-making, clapping and cheering may have seemed only slightly forced on Isabel's part.
And just like that. Another sparkle explosion.
|You never quite get used to this feeling ...|
Some things end, and other things begin.
Isabel has grown beautiful, but gained the commitment issues trait.
|The girl keeps her heart in a headlock.|
She makes this new preference loud and clear when Chase asks if she's going to marry his brother.
|"There's no way I'm getting shackled with anybody. Ever!"|
Smooth move Isabel. Pretty sure both newly aged up Billy Lee and even Andy heard that way back there!
Dad gives her a practical birthday gift (of course). A complete camping gear set with lights, sleeping bag and tent.
|"I know this will be useful for those long nights of tomb exploration. Good Luck Isabel. I'm very proud of you."|
Dr. Midden (Kenji) said they had to take off soon. Isabel could have one more hour with her family and friends, then they were headed for the airport with her paperwork, passport and tickets.
Andy quickly took advantage of Isabel's last hour with some star gazing.
|They do make a cute couple.|
And at the last minute, Andy pulls her in for a kiss.
It would have been perfect if Dr. Midden hadn't been standing back there staring and tapping his foot impatiently waiting with the cab.
|"Have a great adventure. I'll be around if you want to come find me pretty girl..."|
Read on to the beginning of Generation 2 - "Intuition and Discovery" - HERE.
Generation 2 finally starts next chapter! I managed to wrap up my first generation in only 20 tidy chapters, ugh - haha!
Here's the roll, again, for anyone not sure what her generation entails:
Marital Structure: Single with Help
Number of Children: Two Children
Income (Primary): Adventurer
Generation Goal: Deadbeat Parents
Miscellaneous Fun: Live Your Trait
This includes two rolls I know some people prefer not to play - world adventures traveling and Deadbeat parents. I'm hoping WA remains bug-free for this - it would be frustrating if it keeps messing up Isabel's generation! (Thank goodness for twallan's mods that really help a lot with travel as well as alternate saves just before traveling)
I had a hard time resisting some last minute serious romance for Isabel. As soon as she aged up she wished for two things... to travel abroad, and to kiss Andy. Clearly she's got conflicted feelings too! <3