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[personal profile] breezeshadow
Taking a much-needed week-long vacation and I can feel my muse stirring after what feels like years of writer's block. I think playing the Wekesa family in The Sims 3 helped. And thus I bring you: Bakari and Batuuli having a cameo in Abandoned Gardens:

The carriage rolled to a rough stop about twenty minutes after their arrival in Rezten, and Rose May heard the driver mumbling to himself as he hopped down from his seat and walked over to assist them out of the vehicle. Rose May pressed two silver coins into his hand when he helped her step down, and his grumpy face turned briefly pleasant. Soon, however, his normal manner had returned, and the carriage was rolling back down the street, the ostriches’ talons ticking against the stone pathway.

The building was made of beautiful, pearl-white sandstone bricks with a glittering gold dome, with a figure of the Great Dragon standing on Her hind legs and looking toward the stars. Yet for all of its outside beauty, the inside was even more opulent. The floor was marble, with richly-painted walls of various geometric patterns in red and yellow. On the walls of the anteroom were a series of portraits, which ended to Rose May’s surprise in a daguerreotype. The image was of the Empress Joy, sitting on her throne room, her eyes piercing through the floating frame and into their souls. Rose May could not imagine being in the same room as the woman without great unease.

“Haunting person, isn’t she?”

Rose May jumped at the deep, accented voice, and upon turning she wondered how the man could have sneaked up on her. He was incredibly tall, at least half a metre taller than her, with rich dark brown skin. His blond hair, tinged with red, was cut very short with a trimmed beard, and he had bright blue eyes. He wore a floor-length white robe with a brightly patterned cloth wrapped around his waist and reaching to his knees. He bowed politely, then put a white cap with blue embroidery back on his head.

“I did not mean to startle you. I am Bakari Wekesa, though you may call me Bertram if it suits you better.” The man winced upon saying the Welen name.

She knew the surname immediately, and rapidly called up her proper manners. “Pardon my surprise. I was wrapped up in the picture.” Rose May curtsied. “Rose May Pursa. Good to meet you, Mr. Wekesa. Are you here on official business?”

The Wekesa family was the royal family of the Eramen — or rather, Msakajunia Nation. She had heard the man’s Welen name several times and seen it in the papers more often; if she remembered correctly, he was a foreign adviser and tradesman, being the primary person who would negotiate trade agreements with the Empire. Unsurprisingly, the papers had portrayed him as an evil, greedy man who bullied the Empress into following his demands. They never mentioned him knowing basic courtesy, for one.

“I am not sure myself.” Bakari chuckled dryly, shrugging. “As far as I know, the Empire is not involved in this event, yet my sister and I were invited anyway. I suspect this Sir Falk simply wants to make high-ranking friends.”

“Bakari! They have cleared our— ah, are you making a new friend?”

The woman approaching them was only a few centimetres shorter than Bakari, with similar facial features — yet her eyes and hair were a deep brown, and on her cheek was a bright tattoo of a silver dagger with an emerald snake for a hilt. Rose May could not help but stare; the design popped out out of the woman’s skin, the snake almost alive. She wore brightly-coloured and patterned clothes wrapped around her waist and torso; Rose May could see words printed on them, but could not understand them. Her hair was in tight thin braids and tinged with red, similar to Bakari’s.

“Forgive me.” The comment, Rose May realized, was directed at her and not the new woman. “This is Batuuli Wekesa, my sister. She is the eldest daughter and thus heir of our family.” Bakari said the last phrase with distinct distaste.

Batuuli laughed loudly, smacking her brother across the shoulder. “Jealousy makes you ugly. They have verified we are not assassins. Let us go enjoy the party.” The woman smiled at Rose May, who realized she had resumed staring. “You like the tattoo? It is a custom. Every family has a design, and I thought ours looked best when shown off.”

Rose May smiled politely while Bakari rolled his eyes. “It looks very good on you. I thought the serpent was alive, at first.”

“You flatter me, but I appreciate it.” Batuuli smacked Rose May on the shoulder, grinning widely. “I hope you enjoy yourself. You seem tense, like my brother here. Being tense is no good for a party! You both need to learn that.”

Bakari snapped something in an unfamiliar language, then looked over at Rose May. “Forgive her, Ms. Pursa. She never did quite learn about manners.”

And as they walked away, Rose May realized that a familiar face had quietly walked over to stand beside her. Looking over, she was unsurprised to see Duff’s amused expression.

“Did you just have a chance encounter with Msakajunia royalty?” He shrugged away Rose May’s stare. “They don’t consider themselves such in their culture, if I recall correctly. It’s just the best translation. Still, you make odd friends.”

“I think it was only because Mr. Wekesa was also curious about this daguerreotype.” Rose May looked back up at the eerie image.

“He has probably met her in person and was comparing it. Let us go into the hall, though. You go with Jacob.”

If anyone out there actually knows about East African traditional clothing and can let me know if what I gave Batuuli and Bakari makes sense, that would be great. Unfortunately yet unsurprisingly, the internet did not yield a lot of information, what with its European-centric views and all.

And as a fun bonus, one of Alden and Bakari's adopted children married a man who then used Joy for a magician trick:

She made exactly the face I'd expect. Also grr, my spreadsheet says Bakari has brown-red hair but in the Sims he still has the blonde-red hair he started with! Which one is it, me?!

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