As some of you may have seen I posted a small and pictureless apology for the lack of updates here in the lead-up to the CCSF. I have a long weekend right now though, so I'm going to squish in a couple of posts here and there if I can! :D
With the passing of Riding in generation 3 at the tender age of around six hours and twenty something minutes, generation 4 is going to have a different approach.
This is the largest generation so far even though it's only the fourth. With seven boys and seven girls, I was at a loose end as to how to manage them all. It would have been nice to simply place everyone in the world together and let them share but Albia has an import limit and sturdily reinforced it's small population rule by refusing to allow too many Norns in at once. What a meanie. :T
Now, the plan is to import a few mares and a few stallions and let them live out their lives to the end. I am presuming that some will die of old age, though I could be wrong so the back-up plan is to export those who reach a good long age, (around 12 or 13 hours should be enough). As Norns pass on into Silicon heaven or the export folder, the others waiting on the hard drive will be imported.
This generation could end up being a long one! I hope that's okay. Maybe I won't make it to generation 100 if I take things this slowly but my Norns would get to live longer lives. If it doesn't work out then it's back to plan A (export them after they've lived long enough to grow into adults, explore, have some adventures and breed). Either way, it's for the good of the Norns. Tally ho, and all that!
Floating around Albia to see what everyone was up to, I came upon Stilts, who still hasn't grown into his lovely long legs. He appeared to be trying out a new act called 'I just laid a lemon!'. Actually, there was something perfectly sensible causing this silly picture.
Stilts let out a little "brr-rrr!" along with a shiver and that's when I realised he was cold! So far, in all the time of playing through the generations, none of my Norns had done this. Stilts was the first to show how he felt without words...yet he spoke of his predicament shortly after. A quick trip up the lift into the sunshine sorted him out once I manged to distract him from the lift buttons with a toy.
With Stilts warming himself in the sun, I went to spend time with another Norn named Twinkie. You may remember him as being the Norn whose egg was laid near the Twinkie vendor. :3
Like many of my C1 Norns, he wasn't the best at sleeping or resting when he needed to - in fact, he was one of the worst. Being tired myself, I decided to spend some one on one time testing whether it is possible to teach Norns good sleep habits. I injected the bed COB, (called a 'mover', oddly enough) and persuaded my sleep deprived horsie to push it a few times.
The unsuspecting Twinkie pushed the 'mover' of course, expecting it to take him somewhere (not off to dreamy land). It sort of worked...and sort of didn't. Twinkie would fall asleep in the bed for a few seconds after he pushed it but would then wake up seconds later and hop right back out again. It was almost as though he was waking himself up because he didn't want a sleep.
His need for sleep dropped a minimal amount each time. However, I observed Twinkie fall asleep a few times outside of the bed COB after he used it.
I told him to 'push mover' again and he pushed the nearest one, which happened to be the actual teleporter in the garden. I played with Twinkie and got his boredom down, got him to eat so he was full, then gave the whole thing another try:
Voila! A beautifully sleeping Twinkie! He stayed like this for a long time and woke up refreshed. Since this, his sleeping habits have been a little bit better, though I'm not sure if it's made that much of a difference. It could have been because he had no one to distract him. Has anyone else had these problems with this COB, or is it my Norns who have a problem?
Stilt's brother, Clause, surprisingly ended up on the island in the exact same place where his brother had been. He showed that a smile can make friends with anyone as he shared his lemon with his newfound friend. With it's mouth stitched up like that it's a mystery how the cute yet creepy dolly would eat it. I guess it's the thought that counts.
The only difference between the two brothers is that Clause has a slighly redder hue to his fur so I originally thought this was Stilts. Luckily, their sister Harper is easier to tell apart.
Clause was not alone in his lemony cave. Biscuit and Strider were on the island as well. Biscuit is the lighter one going after the seahorse, while Strider is the dark coloured one. Strider lives up to his name in that he loves to explore all of Albia and never stay in one place for too long. He is, however, one of the worst eaters. Biscuit is a great eater though, so I'm hoping his habits will brush off onto Strider.
What a scenic picture! Here we have Goku, whose the much lighter one on the right, and Twinkie, who has finished his nap long ago. They seem to be in some kind of staring competition, or perhaps they're sizing each other up. Hopefully it won't end in a scuffle.
The way the scenery is in the background and with the high rope bridge they are on, it almost reminds me of a scene from games like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. This isn't that kind of story, you two!
Alright, I have to end it here for now. Keep your eyes peeled for more added to this later on!
I'm finished watching Men in Black III and more episodes of D.N. Angel with my brother and sister for now, so let's see if I can finish this update:
Continue? 3...2...1...Ok! :D
Alright, it shouldn't be too hard to guess which one of these handsome boys is Boots and which one is Stilts. That's right, the one with the pretty red stockings is Mister Stilts! I know I keep saying it but he's slowly growing into his height. Continuing the theme of fighting, there was a bit of a tiff over this lift about who gets to ride it and press the buttons. It seems like riding up and down the lift is just as much fun for Norns as for humans.
(Did you ever try that thing where you push all the buttons for every floor as a child? :D What about pushing them all just before someone else stepped on? Maybe I was a naughty child but these are some of my favourite memories involving lifts. Lol.)
Poor Twinkie, he's being chased by the totally enamoured Strawberry! She's really in love, or so it would seem. Twinkie went to find some peace and carrots yet instead he met this little lady and she hasn't given up on following him around, or, as you can see, chasing her darling. "My loooove~!"
The ugly baby critter from Mama Mushu seems to be chasing him too. Oh Twinkie, I'm so happy for you. (*edited due to a mix-up with Norns)
With everything going so well, I suppose it was time for something to go a little bit awry. Strawberry came down with an illness. She may have overexerted herself chasing after Twinkie because it was quite a nasty one. Not only did she have Antigen 3, she also had an unknown toxin in her system. I'm not too sure why her body was producing antibody two as well as antibody 3 but that may have had something to do with it.
Needless to say, Miss Strawberry's romantic endeavours were placed on hold while she was quarantined so she could rest while being encouraged to eat a steady diet of carrots, jelly and pink lemonade.
Smiling even though she's sick, Strawberry's sweet personality certainly shines through. She really amazed me with her postive attitude. Most of the time when my Norns fall ill, there's nothing but woe and misery. It could have been the sugar hit from the pink lemonade she'd just drained, though I like to believe otherwise.
Strawberry pauses to tell me a secret! Isn't that the most adorable pose ever?
"Guess what? Did you know...that this is a magical button that lets you play with Grendels? Don't tell anyone, okay, or it won't be a secret."
Shortly after flashing those big smiles, Strawberry curled up on the ground and promptly passed into a deep slumber. It's okay, she's just fast asleep, recovering and resting; the little Z 'popped' right when I took the picture. Or maybe she learned this trick from Fluffbum.
Twinkie, now free from the attention of his number one fan, chose not to leave the garden area. He chose instead to amuse himself with the spinning top while he waited for her, much to my delight. That is the mark of a true friend and a gentleman. Most gentlemen probably don't play with spinny toys while they wait but hey, whatever works, works. =^.^=
Twinkie was finally rewarded for his patience by being reunited with the fully recovered Strawberry, who was overjoyed to see him. They greeted each other with nuzzles, tickles and little kisses in the springtime breeze.
The two Norns soon strayed into the house to share a meal together and snuggle by the fireplace. Yet, it wasn't too long after that Twinkie ran off with a cheeky smile on his face that perhaps held just a hint of satisfaction.
Strawberry blinked, staring at her love who had suddenly got up and ran for the hills right when they were sharing a happy kisspop. That's right - there was the signal for a male Norn to bolt. He'd just left Strawberry with the gift of an egg, which meant (apparently) that it was time to flee.
All the other stallions were playing and enjoying a sort of bachelor's paradise on the island. We were expecting a new member to the herd. Albia was peaceful. What could go wrong? Lucky for me, the Observation kit was opened, or I may not have noticed that three of my Norns had fallen sick. Drat, these antigens come at the worst of times. With three Norns having their life force drop below the 50% mark, one of them being pregnant, I was kept on the tips of my fingers.
Unfortunately, this didn't leave much time for taking pictures. Everyone was gradually being nursed back to health. When Strawberry's egg finally appeared, I nabbed it and put it out of the way for a while, not wishing to hatch a vulnerable foal into possible danger, even if I was going to export them shortly after the birth.
Strawberry and Twinkie were not the only couple to be blessed with a gift. After the illness had finally subsided and peace returned to the land, Pan and Boots welcomed their tiny blue gem with white speckles. It was a tense and delicate moment, and both Norns stared at the egg with a hint of seriousness despite the joyous event.
Pan had not been able to lay her egg naturally. Her due time had come and gone, with no egg making an appearance and the father (unlike Twinkie), staying by her side, waiting along with her. I could have left the egg in her belly but it felt too sad letting them get their hopes up and then nothing happening, plus it would have been a shame to lose a small life. So, I used the C-Section COB on Pan, hoping it would work. Thank goodness, for it was indeed a success and well worth seeing them looking at the reward.
Now this next pregnancy was completely unexpected! I had tried to coax both Strider and Cola to mate with one of the females or males around them throughout their time in Albia, yet neither ever seemed interested, were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or got distracted by hunger, crowds or other things.
So the way this happened was really amazing. In fact, it was so amazing that Honey (the Norn up the top near the lift), dropped her carrot in surprise! Two of the least likely Norns for the event came together by chance on the island. It must have been fate because Cola was fast asleep when Strider decided to give her a heartfelt kissss....pop! Cola and Strider were soon expecting their very first egg. I actually did a small happy dance and cheered for them. Then again, er...being given the gift of an egg while one is unaware of it because one is sleeping...does sound a little strange. I'm not sure if it was a glitch. Does anyone else have Norns that have had this happen? I thought that both parties would have to be awake to um...participate in the act of egg-making, but Strider shows me this is maybe not so.
Not content with having one child, Strider kindly shared his genetics with Honey a while later, adding further to her bewilderment. Don't worry, Honey, I'm sure you'll be a wonderful Mama. <3 Strider sure looks very pleased with himself.
Oh dear, whenever things are going too smoothly I should know to expect trouble. But that's too pessimistic for me! Lol. I'll keep looking on the bright side.
The reason I say this is Cola just gave me a huge scare. Don't let her happy smile fool you. She's pregnant with Strider's egg and what does she do? Take a trip across the sea and try to munch on the ugly tomatoes! She didn't try it only once, either. I told her to 'push food' to try and distract her from the plant but she gleefully announced her intentions to 'push weed' over and over, trying to take a bite.
I rushed to find her some other food but even pointing her to 'push food' didn't work. I practically had to shove the honeypot under her nose and command her to eat it, where she finally took a couple of licks. Phew!~ Who knows what effect ugly tomatoes would have on my Cola. I was afraid that they'd cause her problems so she couldn't lay her egg. Giving her Hand a scare must have been worth it.