Tuesday, Simtember 13, 2416 | Silverton Estate | Bay City, Califorsimia
I cried and showered and cried some more. The water did little to help my heart, but it did soothe some of the aches and pains in my back. I crashed back onto the bed, too upset to bother to venture downstairs to eat. I tried to rest again, but sleep refused to come. Finally, after nearly an hour of tossing and turning, I beat the bed with my fists and propelled myself up.
Every time I learned something new about the past, I felt depressed. No wonder my mother battled depression. No wonder no one told anyone anything. No wonder people ran away from home. No wonder I ran away from problems. It was in my heritage, my history. It was embedded in my DNA. I didn’t like it, but it made sense to me now. As I was lamenting internally, I heard a chiming sound from my laptop. I frowned. Who was messaging me?
When I sat down at my computer, I was pleasantly and oddly surprised by the screenname.
BernishBeauty: Nonno? Are you actually messaging me?
casa_Riveria: Kassiopeia, is that you?
BernishBeauty: Yes, Nonno, it’s me. This is Kass. I didn’t know you knew how to use messenger.
casa_Riveria: A lovely young man at the senior center showed me after helping us set up our new computer.
casa_Riveria: His name is Malvolio.
casa_Riveria: I wanted to learn to use email better and he helped me understand messaging.
casa_Riveria: The name of the person you want to talk to lights up when they are online and at their computer and then I type what I want and it sends my words to you and we can have a conversation.
casa_Riveria: Does a bell ding for you when my words come through on your screen?
I smiled. My grandfather learning about technology was oddly endearing. I began to type my response.
BernishBeauty: Yes it does. Nonno, you know that you don’t have to hit enter every time you write a new sentence.
casa_Riveria: I don’t? OKAY. Good to know.
casa_Riveria: I am surprised you are awake, Kassio. You are not a morning bird.
BernishBeauty: Of course, I’m awake, Nonno. It’s only 9:34 in the evening here.
casa_Riveria: Oh my! It is just past 6:30 here in the morning. It must be Tuesday there still.
casa_Riveria: How are you enjoying the weather in Califorsimia? How are classes? You are not letting any boys distract you from your studies, are you? Where are you working these days? How’s my mother’s estate? Are you enjoying the mansion? My mamma made a good choice in leaving the place in your responsible hands.
I smiled again. Nonno and his incessant questions. I would need to tackle them one at a time.
BernishBeauty: The weather is warm for Simtember, but pleasant. I only have three classes right now, my speech course, a journalism class, and introduction to accounting.
casa_Riveria: Ah. Accounting. I remember my accounting classes. Take good notes. It is a good class to have under your belt.
BernishBeauty: It’s my hardest class and since the accident, I’ve missed three classes and have to make up for some of the work, but I think I can manage.
casa_Riveria: And your work?
BernishBeauty: I’m interning at the Bay City Buzz, remember?
casa_Riveria: Sì, Your Nonna mentioned that. Do you like it?
BernishBeauty: Yes, I do actually.
casa_Riveria: Good. A newspaper job is good solid work. And boys? Are you seeing anyone?
I felt like that was a trick question, or at the least, a loaded one.
BernishBeauty: No, Nonno, no boys.
I decided to leave out running into Davis again.
casa_Riveria: Good. I want you to stay focused on your studies and your work. It’s important for a young woman your age.
BernishBeauty: Of course.
I didn’t know what else to say.
BernishBeauty: Nonna, can I ask you a question?
BernishBeauty: Can you tell me more about your mother and how she came to the Silverton Estate? I know about Bisnonna working in the film industry and she filmed several here in Bay City and up and down the Califorsimian coast, but I don’t know much about her childhood and how she came to the City and how she got this estate. And I’d like to know more about my ancestors before Celestia. Would you tell me?
There was a short pause before he answered my question.
casa_Riveria: I was just seeing if your grandmother was awake yet, but it seems like we will be having breakfast later. I have time for a story.
BernishBeauty: Awesome! I’ve been wanting to learn more about my own heritage.
I could practically see my Nonna swell with pride. He loved telling stories, especially stories of history, and personal history was even more important to him. Perhaps I’d finally gain some understanding about the estate.
casa_Riveria: Like any story worth telling, this one begins a long, long time ago, with my mother’s mother. Actually, the story begins long before even my bisnonna. My great-great grandmother, actually, is a good place to begin. Her name was Sandra Byrd Austin.
BernishBeauty: Doesn’t sound Simtalian.
casa_Riveria: She wasn’t. She was a Sim National. A Simmian. Sandra… oh… I wish I could send you a picture.
BernishBeauty: You can send me a picture via email or you can attach one right here.
casa_Riveria: I can?
BernishBeauty: Do you see the paper clip symbol on your messenger? You can click that and it will ask you to upload a document. When you click on the upload option, it will show you the computer files and you can find a picture if you’d like.
casa_Riveria: I will try.
casa_Riveria: I need a minute or two. Your Nonno is not as young as he used to be. We didn’t use these fast computers back in my day.
casa_Riveria: What do you know? It worked. Do you see the picture?
BernishBeauty: No, did you attach it?
casa_Riveria: Yes. Oh dear. Now it’s asking me if I would like to send.
BernishBeauty: Click send Nonno and I’ll see the picture here.
casa_Riveria: Oh I think I figured it out. Do you see her picture now?
BernishBeauty: Yes, she’s very pretty.
casa_Riveria: Yes, she was. Sandra was supposedly an amazing cook. She worked on the military base as a civilian chef. That is where she met her husband, my great-great grandfather, Edison. He was a Peteran military chaplain. I’ll send you a picture of them together. This is on their wedding day.
BernishBeauty: Nice looking couple. She’s quite tall.
casa_Riveria: They were a handsome couple. Yes, Sandra was taller than her husband. Edison was re-stationed on the moon right around the time that Sandra became pregnant with their daughter. Avalon, my great grandmother, was born in the only civilian colony on Simterra’s moon, Luna, that is Lunar Lakes.
casa_Riveria: Avalon grew up and became a journalist. She was quite good at her job. She got the only civilian posting to Moon Base Charlie to get an inside scoop on the Simterran military activities. You would’ve liked her, especially with your interest in news in common. I just sent you a picture.
BernishBeauty: See Nonno, you’re getting the hang of this. I didn’t know there were any journalists in the family. Avalon sounds like an interesting woman.
casa_Riveria: Avalon met her husband on Moon Base Charlie. I guess military brides run in the family. She was present during the Xenosi bombing in 2268. She was one of seventeen people to survive as many key personnel were killed.
BernishBeauty: Wow! How sad.
casa_Riveria: Shortly before the surprise attack, Avalon’s father, Edison was on a scout ship to deep space, trying to get past the asteroid belt to locate the Xenosi homeworld. They were contacted by a military vessel which had broken down and needed repairs and asked to take the remaining relief troops to Moon Base Charlie. The scout ship took on the relief troops even though it was against protocol because if they had remained on the vessel, they would’ve suffocated because the oxygen flow had been damaged. They arrived in space above the base within the first few minutes of the attack, and they themselves were badly damaged. All high-ranking command officers were killed.
casa_Riveria: Edison rammed the enemy Xenosi ship allowing time for the nine surviving crewman to get to escape pods. Edison was killed in action, and posthumously awarded a medal of honor.
BernishBeauty: Wow! We have a real military wartime hero in the family. How come you never told me this Nonno?
casa_Riveria: I am proud of my great-great grandfather, but it is hard for me to speak about such things.
BernishBeauty: I won’t pry. I’m sorry, Nonno.
casa_Riveria: No, it is alright, bambina. I wanted to be a space pilot long ago. Did I ever tell you that?
BernishBeauty: No, I didn’t know.
casa_Riveria: Nonna knows and possibly your mother too, but I don’t usually speak about such things.
casa_Riveria: I was never able to join the military.
BernishBeauty: Why not?
casa_Riveria: Because of my vision. I couldn’t afford the surgery to fix my eyes, and by the time I had the money to, I was past the age for boot camp.
BernishBeauty: Mi dispiace.
casa_Riveria: Now, there, bambina, don’t feel sorry for me. It is not your fault. I have lived a full and happy life. It was a long time ago. I do not wish to live with regrets.
BernishBeauty: That’s a good attitude to have, but still, Nonno, I am sorry. You would’ve been a good pilot, I’m sure.
casa_Riveria: Hush, bambina. I will finish the story.
I took the hint.
BernishBeauty: Yes, please!
casa_Riveria: Jackson Silverton was the son of Cynthia and Charles Silverton. They were both killed during the Food Riots on Luna.
BernishBeauty: Food riots? I remember studying them briefly in school. Did that happen during the time of the military expansion projects, Nonno?
casa_Riveria: Ah. Yes. Simterran governments were expanding their military bases because of the First Cold War with the Xenosi. As long as we didn’t extend past the asteroid belt, the aliens left us alone, but foolhardy Simterrans couldn’t accept that. They wanted to wipe out the Xenosi or at least severely cripple them. At the time, we certainly didn’t have the military might to beat the far-advanced enemy but we knew little about the Xenosi.
casa_Riveria: During the expansions, if you remember this in school, Lunar Lakes wanted to be declared free from Simterran law, and subsequently, be established as their own nation. They wanted to build more cities on the moon.
BernishBeauty: I remember that. And Simterra wouldn’t let them?
casa_Riveria: Of course not. We couldn’t appear divided to the enemy, and frankly, I think the government honestly thought Lunar Rebels was too puny to be much of a threat.
BernishBeauty: I remember now. A woman named Tessa something bombed the World Senate in Setra after the Senate President wouldn’t listen to their claims for independence.
casa_Riveria: That’s right, Tessa Monaghan, and after the bombing, the World Senate cut off its food supply to Lunar Lakes. Within a year, the Food Riots began. That’s when Jackson’s parents, my great-great grandparents were killed.
BernishBeauty: How sad!
casa_Riveria: Jackson was among the many children and teens who were taken by Simterran government representatives to the planet, Simterra.
BernishBeauty: The Lost Children, yes. It’s devastating how the younger generation were ripped from their families and homes. Did Jackson go willingly or was he forced?
casa_Riveria: He chose to come. He was fourteen. He joined the Youth Corps and eventually enlisted in the military , but since he was orphaned, he would’ve been forced to come anyway.
BernishBeauty: I didn’t know about this.
casa_Riveria: Yes, well, your Nonna and I haven’t always shared details. We’ve been piecing together our family history in the last year since I have the spare time. Did you get the picture of Jackson I sent to you?
BernishBeauty: Yes I did. So I assume he married Avalon after the Xenosi bombing?
casa_Riveria: Yes, Jackson asked to be re-stationed on Lunar Lakes. As you may remember from the history books, after the Food Riots and the Lunar Lakes Rebellion, the Simterran government established a temporary peace and occupied Lunar Lakes for almost thirty years.
casa_Riveria: During the time, my relatives came to Lunar Lakes to be apart of the reconstruction. Their daughter, Catalina was born during this time.
BernishBeauty: Your grandmother so my great-great grandmother?
casa_Riveria: Yes, Catalina Silverton-Antonelli.
BernishBeauty: How did she meet great-great grandfather?
casa_Riveria: Ah yes! Teodor. The husband of Catalina and father of Celestia. Are you getting bored with the details?
BernishBeauty: No, not at all, Nonno. I love this.
casa_Riveria: Catalina was sent to Scuola Simatica in Monte Vista, Simtalia for her high school years. When she graduated, she decided to stay and attend university in Simtalia also. She met her husband, Teodor and they were married after graduation. I will tell you of Teodor and Catalina’s life.
BernishBeauty: Yes please do.
casa_Riveria: Catalina struggled to have children. Because of this, she was not accepted well by the Antonelli family. This especially caused tension, I am told, with her mother-in-law, Andrea, a housewife and stay-at-home mother, who had seven children of her own. Catalina begged Teodor to leave Monte Vista, and they saved money for five years working a little vegetable cart in town.
casa_Riveria: One day, Teodor excitedly came to tell his wife about a possible job in the Sim Nation. He could work in the silver mines in Califorsimia. This was, of course, during the height of the Califorsimia Silver Rush. Teodor and his wife became part of the silver-seekers, also called the ’09ers for the year they began arriving in Califorsimia and some of them were called the Silver Foxes.
BernishBeauty: Which the Bay City pro football team is named after if I’m right – the Miner Niners. And the pro ladies soccer team are called the Silver Foxes.
casa_Riveria: Very good. Do you know why the originals were named Silver Foxes, young lady?
BernishBeauty: Because they were scavengers in a sense, and many of the silver seekers were ruthless to their comrades in the mines, fighting over every bit of silver they could find. And from what I’ve seen of the soccer team, they take no prisoners on the field too.
casa_Riveria: Yes, and this definitely concerned Catalina, but she felt anything was better than living with her harshly critical mother-in-law. They booked passage to SimNation. During the time, Catalina became gravely sea sick. The journey was hard for her. When they docked in Sao Paten, Mexsimco, they missed the boat for the continued journey up the west coast because of her sickness.
casa_Riveria: Catalina and Teodor could only afford passage on a small fishing boat. The fisherman took them as far up the coast as Bay City, docking on one of the outer islands. Teodor set up a small camp for them, and swam to the mainland to obtain work.
BernishBeauty: Wow! That is quite a long swim.
casa_Riveria: Teodor had been on a swim team during his university years. He was quite a talented swimmer.
Perhaps that is where I got my love of swimming, I supposed.
casa_Riveria: Teodor obtained employment with the Argentonauts, a company of Simspani ’09ers, as he struggled with the Simlish language and no other company would hire him. He worked long 11-12 hour days in the mines and then came home, working to build a small home for Catalina on the island. The work in the mines was dangerous. There were ventilation issues. There were frequent cave-ins. The miners would often fight one another for a speck of silver dust. There were cave creatures, mostly wolves, who would attack the miners, and occasionally there were rumors of wolf-like men attacking the miners also. Legend says there was a whole colony of these wolf-like Sims living in an underground network below the streets of Bay City.
casa_Riveria: Now Kass, these are just legends. They aren’t real, you know that right?
BernishBeauty: Okay, Nonno.
I couldn’t help but think he meant werewolves but for whatever reason, he wouldn’t admit to it. Werewolves in Bay City! A myth? A legend? Another curse of the Xenosi? I wondered if the networks were still beneath the city and if so, where?
I hurried to catch up to Nonno’s typing.
casa_Riveria: Teodor managed to build his small home for Catalina on the island within a few months of hard labor. By this point, she was pregnant with their first child. She was overjoyed. They sent word to his family and hers. Teodor was about to send the last nail into the kitchen floorboards when his hammer fell through into the ground below.
casa_Riveria: When he crawled beneath the house to retrieve his hammer, he discovered an old wooden chest had been buried in the sands. With the help of his friend, another miner named Berilo, he lugged the chest out onto the sands.
I waited with bated breath as Nonno continued typing.
casa_Riveria: When he opened the chest, he found hundreds of thousands of silver Simoleons. He had struck silver and now he could provide for Catalina and his unborn son without ever having to return to the mines again. The chest even contained numerous pieces of silver jewelry – rings and chains – and even several strings of sea pearls.
casa_Riveria: Teodor and Catalina rejoiced. He sold most of the silver jewelry and traded the silver coins for a beautiful mansion – a dream home for his wife. They decided to name it the Silverton Estate for his wife’s maiden name. It seemed fitting given the way they were able to pay for the home and land. He wisely invested the rest of the money into the forming unions and put the rest of the money into a newly established bank of Califorsimia.
casa_Riveria: Teodor quit working in the mines and opened a shop where he could work as a silversmith. He hired Berilo as the family butler. Teodor spent his days crafting fine pieces of silver as he bought the mine from his former company, the Argentonauts, and demanded better safety procedures be put into place, the workers be paid more, and that the workers would receive a share of the profits. Every afternoon at three, he would paint on the roof of the Silverton Estate for a total of two and a quarter hours. This was his favorite pasttime. Everyone knew not to disturb him when he was painting. Then at fifteen after five, he would come downstairs, wash his hands, and join his wife at the supper table.
casa_Riveria: Catalina was quite an accomplished musician back in Monte Vista. With their newfound wealth, Teodor was able to purchase a cello for his wife. She would spend the afternoons playing her music in the library while her husband painted. Rumor had it she trained under the talented Sul-Sul Ma during her first few years at the Silverton Estate.
casa_Riveria: But tragedy followed the Silverton-Antonellis in their first year at the estate. Catalina delivered a stillborn son. They laid him to rest in one of the tiny graves behind the estate. It’s still there. Have you seen it?
BernishBeauty: The one that says Cosmo Silverton-Antonelli? Yes, I’ve seen it in the small cemetery behind the estate.
casa_Riveria: In the years to come, Catalina would miscarry four times. Every time she failed, Teodor would make her a new piece of silver jewelry. He became quite famous for his exquisite pieces. Catalina would dawn the jewelry at their lavish parties.
casa_Riveria: Catalina adored her husband and loved each piece he designed for her, but it wasn’t enough to fill the hole in her heart. She hadn’t been able to carry a child to full term. Catalina had an especially hard time when Teodor traveled to Af’simica to obtain Ziwanese jewels for his latest piece.
casa_Riveria: When he returned, Teodor split his days between crafting a new piece and painting an extraordinary creature he had encountered during his time in Af’simica.
casa_Riveria: Catalina donned the newest piece of her husband’s craftsmanship at a Love Day gala. Teodor received nearly one hundred orders at the party. Teodor stressed out about the orders, knowing full well he couldn’t complete them all on his own. They talked about hiring new staff to work with him, but Teodor was a very private person. He preferred to work alone, only allowing his wife and occasionally Berilo, the butler, into his craftsman’s studio. Nonetheless, Catalina talked him into relaxing with her after the party. She made him a bet. If they could have a baby, Teodor would hire a housekeeper for the estate and an assistant for his workshop. If they didn’t, Catalina would let the subject drop and would take cooking lessons. And nine months later…
casa_Riveria: …they welcomed their first baby girl, your great-grandmother, Celestia.
BernishBeauty: Oh wow! How awesome! I bet great-great grandma was so happy.
casa_Riveria: I’m sure she was. Teodor continued making and selling exquisite one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry and spent his spare time painting. Catalina poured her heart and soul into raising their daughter. Teodor, true to his word, hired a housekeeper, Berilo’s sister, Benicia from Mexsimco. He also hired a new butler and took Berilo as his apprentice.
casa_Riveria: Celestia grew up in a house full of artists. Her mother, Catalina continued to play beautiful music on the cello. Her father was obviously a talented jeweler and painter. Berilo soon became a competent apprentice and would make trinkets for “the little mistress” as he called Celestia. Benicia, the housekeeper, was a beautiful soprano singer and in her spare time taught Celestia how to sing. The new butler, Hans, had formerly built sets for the local up-and-coming film studio in town, Seastrider Studios, and he continued woodworking as a hobby, building numerous bookcases and shelves for the estate.
casa_Riveria: Celestia, despite enjoying and admiring the artistry around her, preferred to spend her days in books. She hoped to travel or to be an actress someday. She liked reading William Simspeare plays and biographies of the Sim Union cinema stars. She would beg Hans to tell her stories about the actors and actresses who had worked at the Studios when he had. She talked to Catalina about quitting high school and going to Big Apple City to study on Simway. Catalina dismissed this dream as nonsense. Celestia said she felt trapped in those days. The estate was stuffy and she had few friends because her life was so privileged. Catalina tried to cheer up her daughter with some beautiful classical pieces, but Celestia would roll her eyes and go right back to reading. Celestia planned to run away against her family’s wishes, but something stopped her plans.
casa_Riveria: Tragedy struck the family again. Catalina died from a brain aneurysm in the winter after Celestia’s sixteenth birthday. Both father and daughter mourned the loss of Catalina. Her beautiful music would no longer dance off the walls of the estate. Her beautiful eyes would no longer light up at the breakfast and dinner table when her family joined her. Celestia was sad because her mother would never get to see her graduate from high school and go onto be a famous movie actress. Teodor took his wife’s death very hard.
casa_Riveria: For days he wouldn’t leave his room. He wouldn’t eat. He wouldn’t bathe. He would just lie on his bed and sleep and cry. Celestia tried to connect with her father, but he barely said two words to her.
BernishBeauty: That’s so sad.
casa_Riveria: It was. Celestia became even more isolated from her friends. Her father forbid her to go anywhere except for school and the cemetery. He refused to see anyone except the housekeeper and his daughter, and even then, Benicia became very protective of Teodor and often ordered Celestia out, worried she would just upset her father or remind him too much of his deceased wife.
casa_Riveria: Celestia had to mourn alone. She had to live alone. Berilo had returned to Mexsimco to attend to his sick mother. Celestia had been surprised that Benicia hadn’t returned with him, but when she learned that Berilo and Benicia were step-siblings, it made a little more sense. Even so, Celestia was suspicious of the housekeeper. The woman could be found coming and going from Teodor’s room at all hours of the day and night. Celestia once tried to enter her father’s room alone, but found it locked, at his request… supposedly. After six months, he moved to the attic bedroom, saying he could not bear to sleep in the bed he had shared with his wife a night longer.
BernishBeauty: That is very strange.
casa_Riveria: Strange indeed. Once my mother told me, she found Benicia and her father in the attic bedroom in what appeared to be a romantic context. Benicia had started wearing Catalina’s clothes and had styled her hair very unlike her economic status. Celestia had screamed at Benicia to stop touching her father. Teodor had only been bewildered by his daughter’s outburst and Benicia had quietly ushered Celestia out of the room and locked the door. She had hissed at my mother and told her that her name was now Betty. Celestia was never to return to the attic bedroom or she would pay the consequences. My mother had been too scared to fight back or argue with the older woman.
casa_Riveria: Shortly before my grandfather’s death, Teodor was found by Celestia signing some papers in the attic bedroom. Celestia had just turned eighteen and as the “woman of the house,” was going to force Benicia… Betty… whatever her name was… out of the estate. She found her father and Betty and a strange man in the attic, talking in hushed tones and signing paperwork. The strange man, dressed in rather fancy attire, ushered Celestia out of the room promptly before she could really speak to her father. He bolted the door. Celestia managed to wiggle her way into the upstairs bathroom through the outside window and found her father hadn’t been taking his prescriptions for months. She was immediately suspicious and panicked. She called the police.When the police arrived, it was too late. They discovered Betty was legally married to Teodor Antonelli…
BernishBeauty: WHAT?!? NO!?!
casa_Riveria: Yes, the mysterious man in the attic had been a justice of the peace from Strangetown and had married them in a private ceremony. Someone had forged Celestia’s signature on the paperwork as the supposed witness. Overcome with confusion and panic, Celestia passed out and the police assumed she was unwell and left.
casa_Riveria: When Celestia came to, she found Betty had hired some men to remove Celestia from her own family estate. With no where else to go and no one to believe her, Celestia left and tried to contact Berilo. He misinterpreted her “cry for help” phone message, but he did manage to get her a contact with his former film studio. Celestia was able to obtain a job within two weeks. When she returned to the estate, she found her father had died, supposedly of a heart attack.
BernishBeauty: How awful! I hope Celestia got justice.
casa_Riveria: As a result of her hasty marriage, “Betty’s” will was questioned by the estate lawyers. Her family’s legal firm sent a representative, a paralegal by the name of Butterworth.
The estate manager? He was a paralegal? He was the attorney assigned to the Silverton Estate, right? The caretaker that was supposed to be here when I arrived? My mind was racing. I had so many questions, but I didn’t want to overwhelm Nonno.
casa_Riveria: Butterworth was able to obtain Betty Antonelli’s birth certificate, proving she wasn’t a Sim National and that her name wasn’t Betty, but was actually Benicia Consuelo, which Celestia, of course, knew all along, but now they had proof.
casa_Riveria: With proof of her lying about her identity, Butterworth managed to obtain a legal eviction notice for Ms. Consuelo… a.k.a. Ms. Danvers.
Wait, did he type Danvers? Like Danvers… Danvers? Like Heather Danvers? I wondered if she was a relation to the slimy housekeeper.
casa_Riveria: Butterworth discovered two years worth of mysterious transfers out of the Silverton-Antonelli bank accounts. The money had been released in uneven amounts to appear like gambling debts. He was never able to prove the money was received by Benicia, the “sham” wife, but he did manage to trace the accounts to some attorney in Miniopolis. He was able to prove Benicia was set to stay and “inherit” the house, but the eviction notice and impending investigation apparently scared her enough into leaving.
BernishBeauty: Wow! That is insane!
casa_Riveria: Celestia was able to return to her home and bury her father. However, many of her father’s paintings and jewelry went missing, supposedly taken by Benicia or one of her associates. Celestia attempted to press charges but without a physical person, the courts dropped the case within two years. Butterworth promised Celestia he would help her get her family’s painting and jewels back, but to this day, nothing has been recovered.
BernishBeauty: So that is the mystery of the Silverton Estate?
casa_Riveria: Yes, I suppose you could call it that.
BernishBeauty: Did Betty… Benicia ever return? Did she get caught?
casa_Riveria: From what I recall, she was never caught and subsequently was never prosecuted. The case was on thin ice as is as she technically legally married Teodor Antonelli. Celestia did see her one more time. It was three years later and she was paying her respects to her parents in the cemetery.
casa_Riveria: Celestia swears she saw Benicia as Betty Danvers, still wearing her mother’s coat, standing in the cemetery that day. She only caught a glimpse of the woman, but she swears it was her. She also swears Benicia was wearing one of Catalina’s necklaces. The light of the winter day caught the gleam of the silver sparkling necklace. By the time, Celestia went to call out for help, the former corrupt housekeeper had disappeared.
BernishBeauty: Wow what a story! So they never found Benicia or the paintings or the gems?
casa_Riveria: No. Rumors floated around town about the paintings and jewels being smuggled out of the estate in the subterranean passageways beneath the city, but no one could ever prove the tunnels existed.
BernishBeauty: Really? No one ever could?
casa_Riveria: No. Most people think if they did exist they had long since collapsed because of rotting wood and earthquakes.
BernishBeauty: I suppose. Still… it’s an exciting story. I wish they had found things and Celestia had received justice.
casa_Riveria: We have to hope she will someday. Oh now your Nonna is awake and I’ve spent far too long on this computer of mine! I need to go to breakfast, but it was lovely to chat with you, granddaughter. I hope we can do this again soon.
BernishBeauty: Yes, I’d love to hear more stories. I miss you, Nonno.
casa_Riveria: I miss you too.
As I exited messenger and closed the lid on my laptop, I sat in stunned silence for a few minutes. Silver mines. Lost jewels. Lost paintings. Corrupt servants. Strange culprits in cahoots. Legendary tunnels beneath the City. Possible werewolves. The Silverton Estate had just gotten a whole lot more interesting and as I unfolded more details about my family’s history, the mysteries surrounding the family home had just gotten more convoluted.
2.24 Coming Soon!
- Will Kass confront her mother about Amy’s encounter with Bella?
- Will Kass read more from Bella’s diary?
- What will Kass do with the information she received from her Nonno about the family estate?
- What about these mysterious tunnels beneath the City? Do they exist? Are they really home to werewolves? Will Kass find them?
- Will Kass find Benicia Consuelo a.k.a. Betty Danvers? What connection does the woman have, if any, to Heather Danvers?
- What about Mr. Butterworth and his connection to the estate?
- And the million dollar question… What happened to the Silverton family jewels and Teodor’s paintings?
- Simarojan was changed to Simpani. See more here.
- Dates were changed.
- To view the updated Fullbright-Riveria-Silverton-Antonelli family tree, click here.
- To view details about military and war on Simterra and elsewhere, click here.
- Malvolio, the name Nonno mentions at the beginning, is actually Malvolio Romano, a computer whiz. He is still alive in my Simworld.
- Sandra Byrd Austin is the great-great-great-great grandmother of Kassiopeia, the wife of Edison Austin, and mother of Avalon Austin-Silverton. Sandra was a military cook. Sandra is a homage to Cassandra Austen, the sister of writer, Jane Austen.
- Edison Austin is the great-great-great-great grandfather of Kassiopeia, the husband of Sandra, and the father of Avalon. He was a Peteran military chaplain who died aboard a scout ship carrying relief troops to Moon Base Charlie in a heroic action that saved the crew.
- Avalon Austin was present on Moon Base Charlie as a civilian journalist during the Xenosi bombing of 2268. She also met her husband, Jackson on the base. Avalon is the great-great-great grandmother of Kassiopeia, the wife of Jackson Silverton, and the mother of Catalina Silverton.
- Jackson Silverton was the son of Cynthia and Charles Silverton, who died during the Food Riots of the 2253-2255. Jackson is the great-great-great grandfather of Kassiopeia, the husband of Avalon, and the father of Catalina. He joined the Youth Corps shortly after leaving Lunar Lakes due to being an orphan. He joined the military and was eventually stationed on Moon Base Charlie where he was one of the survivors of the Xenosi Bombing of 2268. Jackson asked to be restationed on Lunar Lakes where his daughter was born. When Avalon was a teenager, her parents sent her to boarding school in Simtalia.
- The Food Riots on Luna, Simterra’s Moon, began shortly after the bombing of the World Senate in Setra, Simtulan by a Lunar Lakes rebel, Tessa Monaghan. Read more here.
- Catalina Silverton was born on Lunar Lakes, Luna, but was sent to Monte Vista, Simtalia on Simterra for boarding school during her teenage years. Catalina stayed on Simterra and attended university where she met her husband, Teodor. They were married in Monte Vista, and eventually traveled to Bay City, Califorsimia, Sim Nation during the Silver Rush. Catalina Island is named after her and is off the shores of Bay City. This is a play off the real Santa Catalina Island located off the shores of California. Catalina lost multiple babies before the birth of her daughter, Celestia. Catalina Silverton-Antonelli is Kassiopeia’s great-great grandmother.
- Teodor Antonelli is Kassiopeia’s great-great grandfather. He is the husband of Catalina Silverton-Antonelli and the father of Celestia Silverton-Antonelli. Teodor also had six siblings. He traveled to the Sim Nation during the Califorsimian Silver Rush and became a miner. After finding riches beneath his home on Catalina Island, he quit the mines and began working as a silversmith, eventually a jeweler, and a painter. He was briefly married, under coercion and delirium, to Benicia Consuelo a.k.a. Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Danvers shortly before his death.
- Celestia Silverton is the daughter of Teodor and Catalina. She was born and raised in Bay City, Califorsimia. She inherited the Silverton Estate after the death of her father and the settlement of the case against Benicia Consuelo. She is Kassiopeia’s great grandmother, and the woman from whom Kass gets her middle name.
- Scola Simatica is the school in Monte Vista.
- The Califorsimian Silver Rush is a play off the California Gold Rush. The Silver Rush began in late Simgust of 2308 and continued through Simtober of 2319. Many people traveled from across the world to Califorsimia from this time, including people from Mexsimco (Mexico), Simspani (Spain), Simtalia (Italy), Af’simica (Africa), Simina (China), Simpan (Japan) and even Osimceana (Oceana). The biggest influx of foreign seekers of treasure happened during the year 2309 which is why these people were often called 09ers, a play on the 49ers. They were also called Silver Foxes.
- The Miner Niners professional football team of Bay City, Califorsimia is a play on the San Francisco 49ers.
- The Silver Foxes is a professional women’s soccer team, named after the first Silver Foxes of Califorsimia.
- The Argentonauts are a play off the Argonauts. This was the nickname of those who participated in the California Gold Rush. Argonauts were also a band of heroes who accompanied Jason in his quest for the Golden Fleece. In my Simworld, Argentonauts are a group of silver miners who came from Simspani. Teodor worked with the Argentonaut company when he first arrived in Bay City.
- Sao Paten, Mexsimco is on the western coast of Mexsimco, Sim Nation.
- The Legend of the Werewolves tells the story of men who became wolves or men who chose to live with wolves or men who were altered to become wolf-men – the werewolves. The first sighting of a werewolf was in 2212 in a cave in Northern Califorsimia. Legend says they created a whole network of underground caves and tunnels beneath Bay City and other surrounding cities. During the Califorsimian Silver Rush, werewolves or actual wolves supposedly would attack the miners, probably to protect their colonies and families and livelihood. The werewolves of Califorsimia have never been confirmed, but the legends persist. Werewolves have supposedly spread throughout the SimNation and possibly farther, but again, nothing is confirmed.
- Berilo Consuelo is the step-brother of Benicia Consuelo and served as the butler to the Silverton Estate. Later, he was promoted to silversmith apprentice of Teodor Antonelli. He and his sister were born in Mexsimco.
- Sul-Sul Ma is a play on Yo-Yo Ma, Chinese-American cellist.
- Cosmo Silverton-Antonelli was the stillborn son of Teodor and Catalina Silverton-Antonelli.
- Ziwanese jewels are from Ziwa Bonde, Af’simica.
- Benicia Consuelo is the step-sister of Berilo and she served at the housekeeper of the Silverton Estate for many years. After the death of Catalina, Benicia was the sole caretaker of Teodor Antonelli, whom she briefly married under coercion and managed to swindle her way into controlling the estate temporarily. She took the name Betty Danvers during her short-lived marriage.
- Hans, the new butler, is a reference to Han Solo or Harrison Ford, who was found by George Lucas building sets for Star Wars. Seastrider Studios is a play on Skywalker and Lucas Ltd.
- William Simspeare is a play on William Shakespeare.
- Simway is a play on Broadway.
- The mysterious Mr. Butterworth was once a paralegal before becoming a full attorney later. He helped Celestia force out Benicia Consuelo and reclaim her family home and fortune, although some of the fortune was never recovered.