CT Book I Summary

(This is a summary of the characters and plot points in early Catastrophe Theory. The story follows two families, the Jeong-Espinosas and the Lius. Like many stories, it centers around tormenting Sims, but doesn’t do conflict for conflict’s sake. It’s about the kind of ill-defined naturally occurring problems that have no clear solution and make you close the computer and think about what you’ve done. Contains spoilers.)

The Jeong-Espinosas

First Generation

Mike (Michael) Jeong

Mike is clearly the protagonist of Catastrophe Theory. He has the most skills, the biggest house; he’s a great husband and father, he’s charismatic, he’s gorgeous, and everyone loves him. Unlike everyone else whose lives are clearly falling apart, Mike is stable.

Relationships: Husband of Claudia; best friend and former roommate of Xiyuan; father of Charlie, Kendra, and Hector

Career: Former comedian, former CEO, current astronaut

Established Most Strongly In: Heart, Head, Hands, Hector

Claudia Espinosa

About 40 Sim-years ago, Claudia immigrated to Newcrest to become Miss Universe. She met and married Mike, changed jobs, and is now trying to get Newcrest to understand there’s more to Mexican food than tacos and burritos. Claudia is sunny, bubbly, and positive. She’s also constantly plastered. Some believe she started drinking to put up with the jackass above, or fries her brain with juice to keep up the cock-eyed optimism, or that her anti-worry pro-be-happy demeanor is masking her severe depression—but what we can say for certain is, the last time she was sober was before the kids were born. Claudia has a favorite child. It’s Hector.

Relationships: Wife of Mike; best friend of Aileen and Xiyuan; mother of Charlie, Kendra, and Hector

Career: Former Miss Universe, current Mexican chef

Established Most Strongly In: Heart, Head, Hands, Hector, arguably

Second Generation

Dr. Charlie (Charles) Jeong-Espinosa

Charlie is brilliant, an absolute unit, and a high achiever, but prefers fishing in hidden caves to socializing with other Sims (unless the conversation is centered entirely around science facts). After graduating, he moved to a mostly-transparent house in Willow Creek. He entered the Doctor career, doing his job as well as all of his coworkers’ jobs, and showed the astonishing ability to diagnose patients based on symptoms they displayed when he was in a different room. Within 2 Sim-years of meeting Josephine at a bar, he started dating her, moved her in, got autonomously engaged in the home gym, and married her, even though he still finds the relationship confusing. Jo gave birth to their son Jasper shortly after the wedding. Charlie regularly sneaks out of the house to hike, visit space, or go fishing. It’s been stated that, despite his accomplishments, he’s deeply unhappy with his life.

Relationships: Son of Claudia and Mike, husband of Josephine, brother of Kendra and Hector, father of Jasper, best friend of Shu, ex-lover of Ana

Career: Doctor

Established Most Strongly In: Guide Me, North Star (if you can only read one story, make it this one)

Josephine “Jo” Jeong-Espinosa (née Liu)

Josephine met Charlie’s butt at a bar and followed it to Willow Creek. After speedrunning the courtship process, Jo became pregnant with Jasper and quit her job. This gave her plenty of time to freak out about the birth/parenthood in general, filling notebooks with extensive research on child enrichment before Jasper was born. When Jasper entered toddlerhood, Jo decided to re-enter the workforce, this time to start a parenting blog (“Jumping Jasper!”) that showcases her family and research. Jo tries to present information as neutrally as possible, regardless of whether it came from her doctor husband or an all-caps rant on NooBoo Corner. She’s frequently forced to interact with Shu, whom she believes to be a bad influence on her son. Josephine is (unintentionally) one of the most highly downloaded Maxis-curated Sims on the Gallery—this might be her darkest timeline.

Relationships: Wife of Charlie, sister of Gavin and Maxwell, mother of Jasper

Career: Former journalist, current blogger

Established Most Strongly In: Guide Me, North Star

Kendra “Kenny” Jeong-Espinosa

Kendra grew from a toddler who never took off her monster jammies to a little girl who obsessively drew monster pictures to a teenager who started writing horror stories to go along with the monster pictures. She shows a fascination with fear, pain, and death, and thinks uncomfortable art is hilarious. Near the end, she grows up and moves out; it was never clarified what neighborhood she moved to, but guess. Go on, guess.

Relationships: Daughter of Claudia and Mike, sister of Charlie and Hector, best friend of Wyatt and Shu

Career: Bartender, freelance horror poet

Established Most Strongly In: Heart, Head, Hands, Hector

Hector Jeong-Espinosa

Hector is an outgoing, cheerful teen who takes after his mother. Claudia occasionally stops drinking to teach him the basics of Mexican cooking. He’s proud of his Central Simerican heritage, loves Cuban interior design, and would like to visit Selvadorada soon. (If you like, think of ‘Mexico’ and ‘Cuba’ as representing their Central Simerican equivalents; Selvadorada is treated in this work as the equivalent of Costa Rica.)

Relationships: Son of Claudia and Mike, brother of Charlie and Kendra

Established Most Strongly In: Heart, Head, Hands, Hector

Third Generation

Jasper “Jasi” Jeong-Espinosa

Jasper, the topic of Jo’s blog, aged into a child the day before Winterfest. Father Winter refused to give Jasper a gift because he didn’t do his homework for the school he hadn’t started attending. Jasper currently has only three goals in life: look at Shu’s texting history, get revenge on Father Winter, and become a memelord.

Relationships: Son of Charlie and Josephine, huge fan of Shu

Established Most Strongly In: Guide Me, North Star

Important Extrafamilial Sims

Ana Asteya

Willow Creek’s local sadhvi, formerly Nicolette Fenton (allegedly). She runs around the forest doing yoga and not showering. She has an oddly high sex drive for a sadhvi, and has hooked up with Charlie.

Wyatt Romero

Kendra’s best friend since childhood. Wyatt’s favorite words are ‘irony’ and ‘post-modern’ and he will work them into any conversation. He’s known for his awful parties.

Cruz Greenwood

Charlie is obsessed with Cruz Greenwood for absolutely no fucking reason whatsoever.

The Feng Twins

Charlie and Carlie Feng (yes they actually named the twins that) are Victor and Lily Feng’s daughters, and appear to have ties with the Chinese mafia. Charlie (in pink) has been observed hitting on both Kendra and Hector.

The Lius

First Generation

Xiyuan Shallot-Liu (formerly Xiyuan Liu)

About 45 Sim-years ago, Xiyuan immigrated to Newcrest from Shang Simla and became a violinist. He was roommates with Mike for over a decade before meeting and marrying Aileen. Autonomously, he came out as a gay man late in life, and, again I must stress that this was autonomous, hit on Lord Bernard Escargot Shallot IV at a bar in front of his wife. This started a fight that ended with him leaving Aileen (and their young son Shu) to live in San Myshuno. After realizing he and Bernard were soulmates born a century apart, he convinced the dead artist to leave Mimsy and marry him for love instead. The two are frequently sighted at galleries, orchestral performances, and their penthouse balcony, where they have the only stable relationship in the story. Xiyuan has a reputation for being pretentious and uptight.

Relationships: Current husband of Bernard, former husband of Aileen, best friend and former roommate of Mike, best friend of Claudia, father of Shu

Career: Former musician, current Patron of the Arts

Established Most Strongly In: Seven Days at the Von Haunt Estate (and if you can only read two stories, this is the second one)

Aileen Jensen (briefly Aileen Liu)

Aileen was a townie who gained main-character status by having similar traits to Xiyuan. After her husband left her for a ghost, Aileen quit her software engineering job to become involved in the self-love movement, gaining an appreciation for mantras and Lizzo. But Aileen faced another challenge after the divorce, one that she couldn’t self-help herself out of: her world was so small, there wasn’t a single other Sim she could see herself marrying, much less being in a fairytale Xiyuan/Bernard relationship with. These feelings wore Aileen down after years of her and Shu running around sleeping with everyone. When Shu moved out, her thoughts of suicide intensified. She chose to live, using her insight and increased capacity for empathy to take the self-love movement in a different direction, and chose a new husband by pinning two names to a dartboard.

Relationships: Wife of Matt, ex-wife of Xiyuan, best friend of Claudia, mother of Shu

Career: Former startup mogul, current self-help author

Established Most Strongly In: Option 3

Bernard Shallot-Liu (formerly Lord Bernard Escargot Shallot IV)

Bernard was born in 1863 to wealthy landowner parents. In his adulthood, after nearly bankrupting his estate by partying too hard, he married Mimsy for her large dowry. One night, he got hella angry at a painting and threw it into the fireplace, which set the rest of the house on fire, and he and his wife are Sims so they just pointed at the fire and freaked out until it killed them both. Bernard and Mimsy spent a century wandering around their estate as ghosts, scaring children. As time passed, Bernard continued to practice painting, making use of his experience to portray his unique understanding of time. This caught the attention of a prestigious artist and collector, who encouraged him to give his dream another shot—and also to leave his wife, epic Gothic love story happened, second chance at life, etc. While Bernard is portrayed in other fan works as a monster who killed Mimsy for S&G, here he’s extremely chill and likes sneaking downstairs at night to eat sugar cereal. Bernard has been actively parenting Shu, and has a much higher tolerance for his shenanigans than Xiyuan does.

Relationships: Husband of Xiyuan, ex-husband of Mimsy, stepfather of Shu

Career: Former failed painter, former ghost Lord, current successful painter

Established Most Strongly In: Seven Days at the Von Haunt Estate

Matt Stevenson

Aileen married Matt so she wouldn’t kill herself. He likes books or something.

Relationships: Husband of Aileen, stepfather of Shu

Career: Astronaut

Established Most Strongly In: N/A lol

Second Generation

Shu (Xishu) Liu

Dear lord, where to begin. Shu is the only child of Xiyuan and Aileen. Having inherited his dad’s talent and received extensive training, Shu mastered every available creative pursuit before reaching adulthood. By high school graduation, he found himself bored and unsatisfied: none of the available jobs let him be truly creative, and he’s a thrill-seeker who feels suffocated by conventional sets of goals. So, to his dad’s horror, he starting making money by dating older people and selling the date rewards. He got kicked out of Xiyuan’s apartment for promiscuity/profanity reasons and now lives with two of his girlfriends, Chantel and Gen. Shu, despite being an incredibly crass dumpster fire, is popular with women because he (a) grew up managing his mom’s and Chantel’s emotions, so his capacity for emotional labor is legendary; and (b) will do their dishes because he has the Neat trait. He loves kids and will go out of his way to interact with them.

Relationships: Son of Xiyuan and Aileen; best friend of Charlie and Kendra; stepson of Bernard and Matt; boyfriend of Chantel Lucas, Shannon Bheeda, Genevieve Haskins, Olivia Spencer-Kim-Lewis, Billie Jang, Max Villareal, Elsa Bjergsen, etc.

Career: Escort, freelance musician

Established Most Strongly In: Shallot-Liu vs. Shu, arguably

Important Extrafamilial Sims

Chantel Lucas

Chantel is Shu’s alpha girlfriend, a position she earned by stalking him until he asked her out. She gave him a promise ring on their second date. She’s passionate and intense, and a talented musician in her own right, but also suffers frequent erratic breakdowns. Her hobbies are following Shu around, receiving attention from Shu, watching the same rom-coms 49 times in a row, and browsing Simstagram for things to put in her wedding binder. Despite having been together for about 8 Sim-years, Shu has not proposed to Chantel, expressing doubt that she has an identity outside of their relationship. Charlie has suggested she may have BPD.

Relationships: Daughter of Angela and Colten Lucas, girlfriend of Shu

Career: Musician

Established Most Strongly In: To Being an ‘Us’ For Once

Genevieve “Gen” Haskins

Gen lives with and dates Shu, but doesn’t have the same intense feelings for him as Chantel does. She’s a party girl who’s just along for the ride. Gen is most well known for combining red and hot pink in nearly every outfit.

Relationships: Girlfriend of Shu

Career: Pro gamer

Established Most Strongly In: To Being an ‘Us’ For Once

Shannon Bheeda

Shu’s second-favorite girlfriend. She was vetoed as a roommate by the other two roommate-girlfriends because she’s a horrible person, although horrible people seem to be Shu’s type.

The Fengs

The Fengs are obsessed with Xiyuan and won’t leave him alone. Here they are in various stages of being in his apartment or begging to be let into his apartment.