Book 1: The Neanderthal Era; Prologue: The First Generation

Once upon a time, way back even before the Croods, there lived a dying community. Many Sims existed and lived together, but that was the problem. Overpopulation was a serious threat to the water and food supply. Anger led to violence, which led to death, and still the original danger persisted. Some Sims left in search of a better home.

One such group consisted of three young couples who desperately wanted a better environment in which to raise their children: Dan and Dami Allah, Oscar and Isa Nanu, and Yuga and Yenna Unki. The Allahs were fair-skinned and blond. The Unkis were dark-skinned with black hair. Oscar had a medium skin tone and red hair, while Isa was just a shade darker with brown hair.

“It will be an adventure,” Dan said, taking his young wife by the hand.

“This is not a game, Dan. We must succeed for our children,” Yuga said, rubbing his wife belly, where he hoped his future son or daughter already was.

“If we die, our fate will have been no different than if we’d stayed,” Oscar said.

“Will you boys stop being so dramatic?” Isa demanded, looping her arm through her husband’s.

“We’re not going to die,” Yenna said. “There’s too much at stake.” She believed that she was already pregnant, and she was determined that her unborn child would have a happy life.

“We should take some things with us,” Dami said, mostly ignoring the rest of the conversation as she packed as much of the village’s bland, bordering on spoiled, food as the six of them could carry.

The group traveled for weeks, marching at night and sleeping during the day. Even the most foolish Sim of that time knew that traveling during the day would probably kill them. The only landscape they knew was a desert terrain. The sun burned much too intensely for physical activity beneath it. They would all die of dehydration, heat exhaustion, or both before even coming close to finding a decent place to live.

Not that traveling at night was all that safe, either, though. They still practically burned through their food and water supplies.

Two weeks later, just as the group had run out of food, they stumbled upon gold. Well, not really. What they found was much, much more valuable than gold.

“Would you just look at the size of this water hole!” Dan exclaimed in triumph.

“Echo!” Isa called.

“Echo!” her echo replied.

The water hole was a true oasis, complete with green grass and shrubs. The land was harder and moister here than the ordinary, shifty sand of their former home, and countless caves dotted the landscape. The couples got to work fishing immediately, to satiate their hunger before their curiosity led them to explore the immediate vicinity.

They truly had found a wonderful place, as there were several smaller oases around the one large one. The group split up into pairs, each couple moving into caves that had a nearby personal water hole. They survived on fish while they planted seeds and hoped that the earth would provide just a little bit of life.

Their plants flourished beyond all expectations. The couples could have been content to raise their children on fish only, but they ended up with such a variety in their diet that they hardly knew what to do with all their new food.

Granted, farming was very hard work. The men did most of the work, as their wives were often bedridden with pregnancy sickness. However, the price was one happily paid.

A couple of years later found the couples thinking about and blessing their decision to leave their homes.

A very pregnant Dami sighed in contentment, leaning into her husband as they watched their firstborn baby, their son Danny, wave his chubby little hands around in glee. It was a bit difficult to see in the dark cave, but that was nothing the Sims weren’t used to. Bringing fire inside the caves would add to the risks of their overheating.

“You were right to have us leave home,” Dami mumbled.

“I don’t think of that place as home anymore,” Dan replied softly.

“True,” Dami agreed. “This home is better than anything we could have dreamed.”

A stone’s throw away, Oscar wrapped his arms around his wife’s extended belly. By the dim light shining through the cave entrance, the couple watched their firstborn, their son Ouran, sleep peacefully. His little chest rose and fell in a rhythm.

“I’m so glad we came here. This is paradise,” Isa whispered.

“Perhaps one day I ought to make a quick trip back and tell some of our other friends what a great place we found,” Oscar suggested quietly.

Isa frowned, mildly concerned. “Oscar, we don’t want this place to become overrun like things were there. Think of the environment we want our kids to have.”

On the other side of the Nanus from the Allahs, the Unkis were similarly watching their firstborn, their daughter Yinna. Despite her bulging stomach, Yenna hugged her daughter close while her husband caressed the cheeks of both his little girl and his wife.

“I want her to grow up to become a respectful young woman who also won’t take trash from anyone,” Yenna said.

“She was born first, so she will get all we own when we’re gone,” Yuga promised.

Where the couples had come from, patriarchy was much more common than matriarchy, but there were some families that were matrilineal in nature, occasionally even matriarchal. Yuga was so delighted with their new home and healthy baby that he decided to pass things on to his firstborn regardless of ordinary gender rules.

For years and years, the families lived in peace. Each couple produced six bouncing babies, and the Unkis even had a set of twins. Farming and fishing took their toll, burning everyone at some point or another, especially as the families began to outgrow their caves. Eventually, some of the children moved into their own caves, sometimes alone, sometimes with siblings, and sometimes with friends. The second generation had begun their independent lives.

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