Candice Marie McArthur (neé Flippo-Levens) / Ciem is a young superheroine in the canceled Ciem webcomic trilogy. She is one of several incarnations of Ciem throughout the Gerosha multiverse of Dozerfleet Comics, this one in particular being part of the continuity known as Classic Gerosha. She was part of an effort in 2007 to complete a reboot of Gerosha Prime Ciem, first attempted in 2006 with Despair Gerosha Ciem. Due to both problems with the Despair Gerosha narrative and problems with the equipment on which that version of Ciem was being created, the 2006 version was canceled. However, the arrival of a Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop as Dozerfleet Portable in December of 2006 allowed for work on a reboot of Ciem to happen anyway. In the beginning, whole scenes from 2006 were re-created for 2007.
Since this version of Candi was made before the November 2012 US presidential elections, the inspirations behind Sodality were not yet in place. This version of Candi started out as little more than an effort to make her and her story more original, and to clean up continuity and other problems that dated back to Gerosha Prime. With no Ameristani regime, this version's battles were focused more on battling petty crime and serious criminal sex offenders. Those traits would carry over later on to her Comprehensive Gerosha counterpart, who took some of Classic Candi's personal struggles to extremes. Later on, Cataclysmic Candi would tone down the previous two's personal issues quite a bit; to focus on a larger narrative with bigger themes while also making the character work better with test audiences. Occasionally, this Candi would battle the Hebbleskin Gang, along with their monsters and henchmen. It is Candi's godfather Imaki Izuki that produces the equipment that allows her to become Ciem officially later on, although Imaki is less-personally involved in Candi's life in this version than in the latter two.
Her teammates consist of her boyfriend/eventual husband Donte "Emeraldon" McArthur, Dolly "the Earwig" Malestrom, and a few more that come and go. She begins the series in Ciem by trying to decide the direction she and her fiance Donte are going to go with their plans in life, especially considering he is off to fight in the Phaelon-Metheel War to put a stop the Hebbleskins there, which would put his life in danger. Meanwhile, Candi intends to stay behind in Indiana and attend Viron University. Living at Erin's house, Candi begins to plan her move away to Viron for college.
Powers, accessories, and weaknesses
In keeping with the standard power set for most incarnations, this version of Candi has centuition and accelerated healing. She also has enhanced speed, strength, agility, constriction, and body flexibility (although, she still has trouble being as flexible as a professional contortionist.) She weighs 122 pounds, but can push or lift nearly half a ton out of her way if she needs to. At 5'7", she's taller than later incarnations of herself. She can jump a full story at a time if she needs to.
Her greatest skill comes in the form of the execution of maneuvers involving her centilegs, which are long tentacles with stinger tips that protrude from her upper wrists, shoulders, hips, thighs, and lower calves. They contain a venom that is comparable to bee venom, which can incapacitate someone. Enough stings can cause temporary paralysis, making it easier for her to subdue adversaries. Her centuition works similar to spider sense, in that it lets her sense danger coming and evade it. She can also stalk fleeing adversaries for a short time even after they've left her field of sight, with an almost "psychic radar" ability to know where they are. She dodges bullets after hearing a "phantom scream" sensation that lets her know exactly which direction a bullet is coming from. She can heal quickly from most bullet wounds, just in case one does manage to hit her anyway.
She also possesses the ability to view another individual's romantic history based on an aura she can sense around the eyes, with darker auras indicating more sexual history. (Virgins have no aura.)
Finally, her abilities include an enhanced metabolism. While she gets plenty of exercise, she is able to keep her weight regulated more easily than most. This comes in handy during pregnancy, as she'd likely gain a lot of weight otherwise.
Most importantly, Classic Candi is the last version to feature tentacle centilegs, a tradition harkening back to Candi Prime. Long tentacle legs had the advantage of providing her with swinging abilities and having whips with venom on their ends. They could also be used to help her break a fall. However, compact storage seemed improbable and. Every version after this one features "short" stinger centilegs. The change limits her range of attack more, but allows her venom payload to be slightly more powerful. It also makes it easier for her to maneuver without becoming entangled and tripping over herself.
Courtesy of Imaki, Candi has a few tools in her Ciem arsenal. Zeran wardrobes are quantum storage packages that enable her to store and change clothes quickly. They are modeled after the Zeran technology that was first developed by the Marlquaanite Lord Zeras in the second century AD. Zeran teleporters allow her to move from one place to another quickly, though her small-size models are very short-range. She can transport about two football fields tops in distance, though usually teleports shorter distances to preserve battery life. Combined with roof-hopping, she uses Zeran teleporters to get around town when nobody is able to fly her across. This helps her out tremendously with getting out of tight spots. In spite the fact that centipedes in nature can climb walls all the time with little difficulty, she cannot do any of her own wall-crawling without additional equipment.
Classic Candi was the first to use the Curse of Honeybee Samuel as an excuse for her development of nymphomania. While Comprehensive Candi later took that to the extreme, Cataclysmic Candi did away with the supernatural explanation. She instead is the way she is due to childhood sexual harassment and abuse in the public school system. Even so, Cataclysmic Candi has a much milder problem with her libido than either Classic or Comprehensive Candis. Classic Candi's problems don't truly manifest until after her first time with Denny. From there, she doesn't notice she has a problem until she and Donte being slipping up a bit too regularly. Donte has little self-control in this continuity, though more than his Comprehensive Gerosha counterpart has and less than his Cataclysmic Gerosha counterpart. Classic Candi is extremely clingy, being somewhere in-between Comprehensive and Cataclysmic Candi in terms of how clingy.
This version's world depicts bezeetol as a fuel oil, rather than a drug like in Cataclysmic Gerosha. Even so, exposure to it causes considerable confusion and makes it difficult for Candi to use her powers effectively. Like with every version since Despair Candi, Classic Candi is particularly susceptible to her powers being dampened if she gets pregnant. This becomes a source of internal conflict for her, as she looks forward to having children. Due to how most birth control pills work, this means that she cannot be on birth control either. The exception to that rule is that she can use condoms, and she was seen in one Ciem 2 deleted clip keeping a box of "Philistine"-brand handy when Donte visits her.
Since the Marlquaan is indirectly responsible for how Phexos are able to get their abilities, she is also susceptible to being trapped in a Marlquaanite prison. However, Emwaults are more directly tied to the Marlquaan. This means that her boyfriend is even more susceptible to imprisonment. Any Marlquaanite she meets, however, is going to have a direct bond, and be the most susceptible. This means that her non-Phexo and non-Marlquaanite friends are essential teammates in reducing her likelihood of capture.
Candi's double-maternal great-grandparents include the Indo-Persian explorer Sadasheeva Cherupara from India and Alexis Hood from Indiana. Their union was generally frowned upon by both their families; but they were determined to make their marriage work. Some Thuggees had a score to settle with Sadasheeva, however, and stalked him all the way to his home with Alexis. While Sadasheeva himself was murdered, his wife Alexis escaped. She raised their daughter, Marissa Hood, in the forests outside of what would one day become Gerosha.
Marissa eventually took over living in her quiet home after Alexis died. She discovered that much of her life would be a repeat of her mother's - up until the day that a fugitive named Dwayne Lloyd invaded her home. Dwayne is a descendent of the accursed Honeybee Samuel, and spreads that curse to all his offspring. Dwayne was eventually captured, but the tragedy had one positive effect: Marissa conceived. The child that resulted was the young Shalia Hood, who grew up to become the wife of Stan Flippo. Shalia also became a politician, and her efforts helped to bring down the Hebbleskin Gang's growing influence. She played a major role in bringing things to a head in town in 1990, leading to Fantisk Hebbleskin and Sgt. Luddin destroying the city. She helped the Phaelites and National Guard defeat both crime lords, and pushed the Hebbleskins back. She and Stan then built Gerosha atop the remains of its former town.
Stan's history was even more convoluted. The abusive minor league baseball player Steve McNolan finally alienated his pregnant girlfriend, Alison Ligash. As he was in prison dying of throat cancer, he vowed to break out and seek vengeance on Alison for leaving him. She found refuge in a kindhearted male friend: Tobey Flippo. Tobey agreed to marry Alison, as well as adopt the child inside her. However, Steve betrayed the couple to the Hebbleskin Gang, whom he had been doing dealings with. Phaelites in the area agreed to protect the young Flippo family - at a price. Stan was to have two experiments performed on him. The first was that some of his cells would be extracted to produce a half-clone. These would be inserted in a donated egg from a Phaelite woman, and would lead to artificial partial cloning. While Tobey was not a fan of the idea of reproductive science, he relented and allowed Alison to give the scientists permission to experiment with Stan. The second experiment merged Stan with "Grandma Centipede," a Peruvian giant centipede that was captured and used for experimentation.
Through this, Stan became a Phaelite Experiment with the blueprints for a Centhuen Prototype. When switched on, a gene inside one of his children would lead to that child developing the centipede powers that the Phaelites were trying to create. Their goal was to begin with enhanced human beings with centipede abilities, which could then be employed to form an army. From there, they'd create large monsters that were more centipede than man, dubbed "True Centhuens." The first successful implementation of a Phaelite Experiments' Offspring ("Phexo") into a Centhuen Prototype was Charles "Centipede Charlie" Hammerstein, who used his abilities to some effect in Japan during World War II. They were looking to make an even better version of Centipede Charlie, and were beginning to question the possibility of what would happen if they produced female Phexos. Through early tests, they discovered that the female Centhuen Prototypes were prone to their powers being dampened in the event of pregnancy. They figured that those women would learn to control themselves around men, reducing the need to worry about this minor detail.
Baby Stan's half-clone was inserted into the womb of a Phaelite scientist named Insila Murtillo, who volunteered for that experiment. The half-clone was not to know for several years who his true father was. The baby that grew inside Insila was born as Ploribus Murtillo. He grew up to become a war hero, and changed his name to Ploribus Philippine to protect his mother. He eventually learned the truth about who his father was, but chose not to get too involved in Stan's life as that would only complicate matters. Even so, his half-siblings are aware of who he is.
After Alison died, Tobey took Stan into the woods outside of Boonville to live. He taught Stan how to be self-reliant, and inspired in Stan a quest to find the lost treasure of the pirate Henry Lohtz. Stan eventually met Shalia, and the two of them embarked on a journey. Being the first couple to successfully stumble on the treasure, they were immediately rich beyond their imaginations. However, they decided to call their investment "Project: Gerosha." This is because they discovered the Gerosha Stone, a seashell that became the most prized possession of Lohtz.
Stan and Shalia married soon after the death of Marissa. Their first son was Reily, who grew up to become a world-famous chef. During the Battle for Gerosha, young Erin Wyer was discovered to be an orphan. She was adopted by Stan and Shalia. A few years after the battle, Reily met and married Ashlee Kornsdall. They immediately had a son named Kirby. Stan and Shalia meanwhile had six more children of their own. Mike and Jeff would go on to become co-owners of a party supplies store. Tom Flippo would go missing at the age of 8, never to be heard from again. Finally, Stan and Shalia had the triplets Candice, Miriam, and Marina. Strangely, only Candi manifested the Centhuen Prototype ability set.
Candi was born as one of three fraternal triplets to Stan and Shalia Flippo on September 9th, 1999. She was the only Filippo child to receive the Centhuen Prototype mutation via Stan. Her two non-mutant sisters, Miriam and Marina, would develop other talents. Candi had lived for much of her early life going back and forth between being exposed to various environmental factors and being sheltered from them. She was aware early on of her mutation, and her implied calling in life; but has always had mixed feelings about it. Since she was a baby, this version knew she was unique. However, she generally tried not to show off her centilegs to her other sisters. She began living a double life, unaware that Erin was aware of the reason behind everything all along. Unlike Comprehensive and Cataclysmic Candis, Classic Candi was in the dark about her true purpose for much of her life. Erin explains it to her in "The Zeran Fallout," chapter 2 of Ciem.
Imaki Izuki, her godfather, built her suit technology as with all incarnations. However, he observed Candi from a distance and made measurements by proxies of his. He rarely got involved with his goddaughter directly, for reasons never explained. As such, they didn't have the relationship that Candi hoped for. Candi's world was turned inwards in October of 2006, when her parents were run off the road by Hebbleskin Gang associates. Her older sister Erin gained custody of her, along with gaining custody of Miriam and Marina.
Erin proved more level-headed in this version than in later ones. While Comprehensive Erin had a bad temper and Cataclysmic Erin is bi-polar, Classic Erin never truly loses her sanity. She is still strict with the girls, but not melodramatic about it. She does kick Marina out of the house for getting pregnant, but it's portrayed more sympathetically.
Since Reily was busy with his wife Ashlee and son Kirby touring the world as celebrity chefs, he felt little connection to his biological sisters. The fact that they were technically young enough to be his daughters made meetings even more awkward, leading to him generally ignoring all his sisters. His luxurious lifestyle also conflicted with the family model of living beneath one's means, resulting in him being ostracized by Erin. Tom's vanishing weakened the family's bonds of unity further, and the girls felt even more isolated in the fact that their older brothers Mike and Jeff would have nothing to do with them.
Unlike with Comprehensive and Cataclysmic Candis, very little is ever said of Classic Candi's middle school life. However, it is clear that some of the problems in those versions existed to a lesser extent in this version. Mostly, that clarity comes in the fates of Candi's sisters: Miriam and Marina. Candi found that the more politically-correct the school's curriculum became, the more hostile the school's environment became for all students - not just her. She began dating a certain Don Mendoza in sixth grade, in spite of Erin's wishes to the contrary. She thought she could cheer him up when he began having doubts about the goodwill of God, following the fact that his mother was sick and dying and his father was missing. However, the Hebbleskins also found him and got to him. Finding them willing to give him more than just promises to hold onto, he turned on Candi and left town.
Unlike with Comprehensive and Cataclysmic Don Mendoza, Classic Don was unable to successfully penetrate Classic Candi before she fought him off. Therefore, the rape theme in later versions is absent in this one. In later versions, the fact that he succeeded in his initial goal before she was able to fight him off leads to her being haunted by his memory. In this version, Candi views Don more as a former friend who lost his way. While he does attempt to rape her later on, he is in no way successful. In Comprehensive Gerosha, he succeeds both times that he attempts to rape her. However, he fails to kill her. Classic Candi was deemed during creative development to be in need of remaining a virgin until after marrying Denny, as was the case with Gerosha Prime Candi. This was due to a rejection of her "shotgun" wedding to Denny in Despair Gerosha, an interpretation that quickly went off the rails. While it was stated that Marina became promiscuous, having the total partner count of 17 that has been canon ever since, the rape themes of her backstory also were not canon in Classic Gerosha.
Candi's high school years, much like her middle school years, are not highly elaborated on in this version. High school as a whole appears to have had more of an impact on Miriam and Marina than on Candi. Instead of meeting Donte while on a field trip, she meets him one summer while battling Jeff the Invisible. Other than Marina getting pregnant and then marrying Matt, Miriam is the one most affected by events in this version. Phil Couric was hardly portrayed as heroically in this version as in later ones. Instead, this Phil was suicidally depressed. Miriam offers to sleep with him to cheer him up. It doesn't work. Candi tries to offer Miriam counsel after Phil drowns himself. However, her advice rings hollow given her own secret desire to break the rules so she can have a child with Donte.
Main article: Ciem (webcomic)
After giving it a lot of thought and consideration, Donte decides to go to Phaelon to help the Phaelite cause in defeating Duke Arfaas. After training atop the Stolly's Building, Candi finds says goodbye to Donte. No sooner does he leave, however, then Arfaas launches a raid on Gerosha. Don the Psycho shows up out of nowhere and tries to shoot Candi. When she dodges his bullets, he brags about his strength enhancement and challenges her to a fight. He sets the building on fire, just to make the battle more interesting.
Meanwhile, Miriam and the girls at the pool party she went to are suddenly rounded up by panicked police; who take them all into custody "for their protection." Erin goes home after running errands, only to be attacked by Gunner Soorfelt. Gunner and Skellig sneak up from behind and murder Erin with an MP5-A5. They decapitate the body, then stuff her remaining corpse in the shower to threaten the other Flippo sisters. When Candi accidentally throws Don the wrong direction to get him off, he falls backwards into a pile of burning rubble and is instantly engulfed in flames. He screams something barely discernible while dying, and Candi is traumatized. She grabs her wallet and keys, and Don's trenchcoat. Since her other belongings are all torched, she flees in the hopes of not being seen. She arrives at the front door of Tracy McAuley, who informs her that Donte has been captured and claims he was killed. Tracey goes on further to inform Candi that Miriam is in jail, and that Dominick is on the way to get her out. Candi vows to flee Gerosha, possibly forever.
After collecting her inheritance money, Candi buys a house and enrolls at Viron University. She also buys a car, and applies for work at the Hazy Eighties Bowling Alley. She also goes church shopping, when she runs into the Viron Community Church being pastored by Rev. Wilbur Brocklyn. She finds her classes to be mostly uneventful, although she finds signs of suspicious activity that the Hebbleskin Gang is infiltrating town. When two teachers plot to kill her, she escapes that floor of campus and runs into Denny Levens. He informs her that most of her suspicions are justified. Arfaas and his sister Harga test out Justin, and determine he isn't tough enough to be their Centhuen Prototype-slayer. They instead decide to target the Malestrom family, known critics of Arfaas. While Khumar and Lindsay deduce Candi's identity, Dolly prepares dinner and Jeraime gets ready to enjoy it. No sooner do they sit down to eat then their house is raided by the Hebbleskins. Jeraime is attached to an aggressive AI unit dubbed "Musaran," and kills Justin with little to no effort. He is declared by Arfaas to be the perfect candidate for killing Phexos with.
Meanwhile, Candi and Denny begin developing affections for each other while bowling during Candi's off shift. Their celebration of new-found love is briefly interrupted by a battle, when a distraught and despairing Jeral Cormier transforms into Botan the Plant-Man and flees the scene when Candi whips out her centilegs to get him under control. Through telepathic visions, Kimiyato Hiriyama begins tormenting Candi. It's suggested that Kimi has done so several times before. Nolle Barret, a cranky old lady who's heard rumors about Candi, begins destroying Candi's reputation at church.
It's not long afterward that Candi gets a week off from work. But in that week, her boss dies. The business is taken over by Victor Nanale of the Kerpher Gang, who bulldozes the bowling alley and promises to put a strip club in its place. This, in spite it being a zoning violation. When Candi arrives and objects, Victor begins making sexual taunts. Candi expresses her disgust in Victor, then leaves. She decides to join a cheer squad to occupy her time while not having a job. However, she ultimately doesn't stay on the squad for long.
Several months later, Candi awakes to find Gunner and Denny fighting near her front door. She intervenes, and saves Denny's life. Gunner tries to blow Candi up, and blows himself up in the process. Candi walks away from the blast only mildly singed. However, Denny's efforts to call the police are in vain when the dispatcher reveals that she doesn't care what happens to him and Candi. Instead, Candi and Denny have a late fish dinner. Denny then officially proposes to Candi. She accepts. She helps him clean up the mess of Gunner's suicide, then heads to bed with Denny asleep on the couch. The two elope the following day in the privacy of Candi's home. They consummate their marriage that same evening.
A debit card thief named Kelsea Linney begins making life miserable for Denny when she launches baseless allegations of "stalking" on him for demanding to know what happened to his debit card. As Kelsea learns more about Denny, she learns that he married Candi. She immediately suspects that Candi is Candi Flippo, and decides to aid the Hebbleskins in assassinating Candi - without telling them of her suspicions.
Meanwhile, an angry Botan turns a man into a tree in downtown Dirbine when that man steals Botan's car. Candi arrives in a crude "Spookface Centipede" outfit to get the raging Botan under control, but her powers begin to glitch. Botan lets her go when he suspects she is pregnant. She heads to a pharmacy shortly afterward, and a quick pregnancy test confirms her suspicions. She heads home to tell Denny the news; and he has mixed feelings about it. He complains about losing his job. Candi soon realizes that getting pregnant so soon could come back to bite her.
By Christmas Eve, Candi and Denny know for certain they will have a girl. They name her Angie. However, as Candi is at Viron Community Church performing "One Quiet Moment," Musaran commits a massacre on the campus of Viron University. Candi learns of it the following morning, horrified to think that the deactivation of her powers prevented her from being able to do anything to stop it.
She begins going into labor a few months afterward, all while she uncovers a nefarious plot by the police chief Merle Hourvitz to help Duke Arfaas secure total control of Dirbine. She also overhears a plot specifically to kill Denny. She escapes from the campus and defecting police, and makes her way home. However, Musaran has already killed Denny. She battles Musaran, but quickly loses the match. Kelsea Linney and her very young son arrive in a sports car with a bomb, and the intention of planting it near Denny's house in order to blow up the entire house and kill Denny - Candi along with. Musaran's interference with Kelsea's plan, however, convinces her to instead drive her car straight into the house and detonate the bomb while still attached to it. Her suicide bombing proves successful only in destroying the building. Musaran flees. Candi pulls herself from the rubble, and then gives birth to Angie before passing out.
She awakes two days later in the hospital, and meets her long-missing brother Tom Flippo. She also learns that Angie didn't survive long after birth. Imaki Izuki is revealed to be in the same room with her, but has little to offer her except the location to some suits he made for her in secret. He immediately dies of a heart attack right in front of her, and tells her that Donte is alive after all. From there, Candi and Tom formulate a plot to infiltrate the police department and learn the truth. However, Tom doesn't stick around.
Before tackling Arfaas directly, Candi decides to do something about the Kerpher Gang. As Ciem, she easily defeats Victor Nanale and rescues the kidnapped Maria Sanmarcos. However, escorting Maria home to the Latin Town district proves dangerous when Hebbleskins spot her. They send in Musaran to abduct the child for a Hebbleskin ransom. A battle atop a semi truck and across several building tops unfolds. She lets loose with her inner rage that Musaran killed her husband and daughter, and at one point sends the monster flying through a window. Rather than finish the fight, she gets back to Maria and gets the girl home. This window flight damages some of the AI's circuitry, causing Musaran to question why he needs to remain loyal to Arfaas. Instead, the AI wants to kill everything.
Candi begins busting several petty criminals. News Team 26 of Dirbine take note of Latin Town residents cheering on La Ciempiés, and shorten her name to "Ciem" to maximize their ratings. News of Ciem infuriates Arfaas, who wonders how it is that Musaran failed to stop the one Centhuen Prototype that appears to be the most in need of being stopped. Candi later hacks into a database, using a few skills she learned off Miriam. She acquires enough information to learn of Musaran's real identity - and how to free Jeraime from the AI's control. She also learns where Donte is being kept, and engineers a staged incident as Candi Levens to get herself captured.
Soon after her arrest, Candi meets Donte. She confesses everything that's happened to him, and promises to come back and rescue him. However, her efforts have inspired Ploribus Philippine to act. Musaran, acting increasingly mutinous, tries to attack and kill Arfaas, forcing Arfaas to retreat. Ciem sneaks aboard the ship after getting some cooperation from the likes of Dolly. Right as Donte is about to be incinerated, she sets him free. He smashes a glass tube and absorbs a green fluid, which restores his powers and youth. However, he ends up with a cancer in his back that he cannot defeat with powers alone. Ciem battles Musaran to distract him, while Donte pulls himself together.
Musaran escapes the ship when he realizes Emeraldon is back, and begins terrorizing an office park. Candi takes Donte back to Gerosha, where they find one of his spare Emeraldon suits. Donte then drops her off at the office complex, so she can get Musaran under control while he destroys Arfaas' ship. Both heroes prove successful. However, Candi is only able to defeat Musaran at the expense of breaking Jeraime's nose and blinding him.
As the city begins to pull itself together and recover from all the confusion and Hebbleskin occupation, Candi and Donte arrange for Denny and Angie's funerals. Donte promises Candi they can resume their relationship in about a month's time, and Candi promises to wait for him. Ciem eventually becomes a sidekick for Emeraldon, and the two are shown at the end of the first story preparing to stop the Sapphire King's latest scheme.
Main article: Ciem 2
Right as Candi and Donte are about to go through the process of adopting Charlie, two gay men named Gary and Darryl decide to make trouble, claiming they should have Charlie instead. Even though the will puts Donte in front line, the judge rules that Candi and Donte have one month to get married in order to be considered top priority. Candi is embarrassed to admit to Laurie, but she and Donte have slipped back into their old bad habits and begun to sleep together frequently. She also begins to suspect that she is pregnant, given that she feels more under-the-weather than what her abilities would normally allow her to. She keeps having flashbacks to a time when she and Donte tried to have a baby in Khumar's corn fields.
One evening, when Donte leaves to get some more treatments from Darius, Candi is awakened by a disturbing dream in which the ghost of Angie tells her that Miriam is in trouble. She goes patrolling the evening as Ciem, and intercepts a plot by Lloyd Kolumn and his henchmen to assassinate Andrew Tinsel. This gets her involved in a global conspiracy in which the Mik-Non terrorist group and Hebbleskin Gang try to start a war between the US and China. Miriam has been framed for involvement, and wants her name cleared. Candi's powers begin glitching as she plays bodyguard for Miriam, essentially confirming that she is pregnant. However, she and Miriam eventually defeat Captain Aardwulf and Donte destroys the Ming-Yo. Black Rat and Vienna Dockler help Miriam clear her name. Candi marries Donte in Vacaville, CA. Miriam and Steve McLaine get married at the same service, making it a double wedding. Marina and Matt are there with Andy. Also there is Jessie Levens, who is not about to abandon Candi simply because she'd married out of the Levens clan.
Candi and Donte go about adopting Charlie, and Candi later acknowledges to Donte that she's having a baby boy. Candi at one point is confronted with the fact that she helped Miriam escape from jail, and Ploribus Philippine orchestrates matters so that Candi only spends 2 weeks in jail and no longer for her role in this. The "2-week special" trope is born, and would be used much more frequently in later versions.
Main article: Ciem 3
Two years go by, and Candi finishes her studies at Viron University. She and Donte prepare to move to Kentucky so she can begin work in her program. However, they run into complications when Lloyd Kolumn and Milp intervene. Candi is captured at one point, and is beheaded by Lloyd's men. If not for the intervention of a Phexo that got loose named Delusia, Candi would have died. She didn't have any Denny pills handy. Upon her rescue by Dolly, she gains new friends in the form of Mukade and Meerkat. She also discovers the secret to curing Botan the Plant-Man - but they need to first free him from Milp's mind control and defeat Milp to pull it off. After an epic showdown, most of downtown Evansville is destroyed. However, Dolly's actions prove to be the most essential in undoing Kolumn and Milp's plans. Therefore, it's revealed that the "liPo" of legend was actually Dolly, not Candi, as previously thought.
Candi and Donte move to Kentucky as planned, and buy a house where they feel they can raise Charlie and Frank in peace.
Candi becomes fairly successful at her job, and is able to help pay for Donte's many visits to Lex for cancer treatment to keep his condition at bay. At the age of 37, Candi gives birth to the twins John and Dana. Their births prompt her to spend only ten more years as Ciem, before retiring from superheroics completely. When Charlie becomes a super-rich billionaire, he allows most of his family to live under him. Candi is able to retire completely, focusing on the well-being of her other children. She also trains them in what it means to be Emwault-Centhuen Prototype hybrids.
Main article: Ciem Tomorrow
At the age of 53, the Hebbleskin Gang's last remnants get lucky and capture the McArthur family. Frank and John are able to escape with Donte, but employ help from the Gray Champion in trying to track down Candi and Dana. Both girls are now without any remaining Denny pills, and the Hebbleskins seek to repeat Kolumn's experiment. They boast right before Candi is placed on the block that they have already managed to kill her sisters, Miriam and Marina. They are successful in Candi's execution, and quickly make off with the head rather than stand around and celebrate. Dana is immediately lowered into position on the exact same block where she witnessed her mother being killed. However, right before the fatal blow is dealt, the executioner's swing is blocked by the Gray Champion's sword. Gray immediately sets to work killing all remaining Hebbleskins in the area, and secures Dana's escape.
Candi's head is sent to Metheel, where it is processed along with those of her sisters. A Meethlite history museum features the skulls of all of Shalia's daughters as trophies, a testament that Duke Arfaas eventually got what he wanted. Her body ends up being buried in the Gerosha Cemetery, in the same mausoleum as her ancestors. Without her, Donte quickly slips into a depression. His cancer worsens, and Lex is unable to fight it. Dana soon finds herself an orphan. John goes to live with Charlie's family, while Dana elects to live with Lex Philippine. She soon finds herself also in the care of her cousin Andy Baret, who goes by night as a cyclist named "the Pitohui." When the Phaletori put a dome over Gerosha and send it into eternal nightfall, similarly to how the Hebbleskin Gang did that in The Battle for Gerosha, Dana and her cousins form Team Ciem to reclaim the town.
Similar to other versions of the character, Candi in this version is a cautious and reserved, beta-dominant female. Like with Cataclysmic and Comprehensive Candi, she can be viscous if cornered and cruel if her friends and family are harmed. However, she prefers stealth and subduing her enemies to the more ruthless tactics of Dolly and her Earwig suit. She is a hopeless romantic, and dreams of a family with Donte quite often. She is very protective of her sisters, and feels frustrated when they end up in situations where she can do nothing for them. Unlike Cataclysmic Candi, Classic Candi is less-focused, and is less willing to complete a job. While she loves Donte more than she has any other man, her self-control issues interfere with her ability to remain entirely faithful to him. Denny Levens existing in this version complicates things for her.
She suffers with a case of hypersexual disorder, stronger than that of her Cataclysmic Gerosha counterpart, yet not as exaggerated as her Comprehensive Gerosha counterpart. While Cataclysmic Candi and Donte slip up with each other a few times before their wedding, Classic Candi is addicted to sex from the moment she first officially gets it. She strives to get it from Donte whenever possible. This leads to a sense of self-loathing in her, as she realizes this behavior is wrong. However, she finds it difficult to shake her habits. Unlike Despair and Comprehensive Candi, Classic Candi was able to keep her sex drive mostly under control before actually having sex. She did, however, have a problem with erotic dreams. She was somehow still able to save herself for marriage, having her official first time with Denny.
Classic Candi takes a page out of Prime and Despair Candi's playbooks, however, in that she only ever has sex with two men. Cataclysmic Candi harkens back to that tradition, with her only successful consensual partner for full-blown sex being Donte. Classic Candi has a disturbingly higher tolerance for bondage than her predecessor counterparts and her Cataclysmic counterpart, though little real justification is provided. She is not as extreme in this sense, however, as is Comprehensive Candi. Classic Candi, like other versions, tends to keep a small circle of friends, not socializing much beyond her circle. She struggles with crippling codependency and frequent depression, worse than Cataclysmic Candi but not as bad as Comprehensive Candi. One of the few times she's shown to be truly happy is when she is able to finally settle down and enjoy being a mother.
Many story elements that arrived in Ciem involved a compromise between Candi's story as was being told in Gerosha Prime and how events were unfolding in Despair Gerosha. Generally, improved versions of Despair Gerosha events were adhered to - except in regards to Candi successfully saving herself for marriage with Denny. That was taken from Gerosha Prime. Having her fight Musaran was an attempt at making her fight a villain that would be more iconic and actually look more threatening. Gerosha Prime's L1 the Llama was little more than a Sims 2 base game llama mascot suit, and hardly looked like a credible threat apart from Jeraime's soulless staring into the distance. Despair Gerosha Ciem featured a more-metallic suit for L1, melded together as a kitbash of a Stormtrooper outfit and the University lama head.
While the new L1 certainly looked menacing, the motif still didn't make sense. Centipedes and shrews are natural enemies. There is nothing credible about a centipede battling a llama, and L1 was chosen for the 2005 version of Ciem simply because he was convenient. Numerous other supporting cast members were also toyed with, in an effort to make them more interesting.
Many other items in the webcomics were also ways of the author incorporating his own experiences up at Ferris into Candi's world, offering commentary on them. It is for this reason that Candi and Miriam both are seen at various points wearing T-shirts that advertise Snakes on a Plane. Careful observers would also note a poster for The Bison in Candi and Miriam's bedroom. Scarface Beverages was an obvious parody of Starbucks, featuring because there was a Starbucks on the Ferris State campus.
In keeping with typical tradition for reboots, the first story is what changed the most. While the plot to Ciem 3 would eventually be dropped in Sodality, elements of Ciem 2 would make their way even into the third season of that show. Therefore, Ciem 2 was ruled the strongest entry overall in the original for its ability to survive multiple interpretations. The third story tended to be the weakest, undergoing a radical change in plot structure between Despair and Comprehensive Geroshas before being abandoned entirely. The first story was never strong in its own right until Classic Gerosha, however.
Like the previous versions, Classic Candi's world was very much an experiment with The Sims 2, in an effort to push the game to its limits to see what could be created with it. Her house was an effort to play with the game mechanics for Seasons, taking advantage of creating the perfect place for a fishing spot. The campus of Viron was modeled after Ferris State, with the Scarr Building an obvious parody of the Starr Building.
References to faces and names the Dozerfleet founder knew in 2006 and 2007 also helped to solidify the Viron campus as being modeled after Ferris. Laurie Pegol, for example, was modeled after Liz Pegouskie. Merdie Dolon, a cameo, was modeled after Meredith Doyle. Niles Beldon, a sociology teacher, was modeled after the real-life instructor Nick Budimir. Nick, at the time, was filling in until the sociology program could find someone more permanent. Nick himself was actually a regular part of the faculty at Muskegon Community College. Many of the villains were modeled after real-life individuals that the Dozerfleet founder had encountered on the Ferris campus also. Many of Candi's interactions with cameos and many of her and Denny's experiences were commentaries on things that had either happened to the Dozerfleet founder or to one of his friends.
Some elements were prone to surviving from previous incarnations. Candi's hairstyle for Classic Ciem 2 was different, but the hairstyle she keeps at the end of Classic Ciem is the hairstyle she would have used in Gerosha Prime Ciem 2. That hairstyle is also the one she had near the end of Gerosha Prime Ciem, and was ruled the look for Candi - before Comprehensive Gerosha re-envisioned both the character and her hair. Candi's skin is the second-darkest possible in Sims 2, a step down from the second-lightest as in Despair Gerosha. This was part of an effort to force the character's appearance to conform to something a little more genetically logical for who her parents were, as opposed to making her the white-as-snow version of herself that she was in Gerosha Prime. However, her eyes were still gray. This was changed to brown for Comprehensive Gerosha later.
Unlike later versions of Candi, designed after models like Charo Ronquillo and Nanda Soebaigo, Classic Candi wasn't intentionally modeled to look like anyone in particular. She was, however, coincidentally similar in appearance to a student at Ferris named Veronica Ybarra. This make for awkward interactions between the Dozerfleet founder and Veronica, who wasn't sure what to make of the fact that a cartoon character looked like her purely by accident.
Changing perhaps more than Candi herself was her Ciem suit. The Gerosha Prime version of her suit was...anything but impressive. Her first story suit was a brown repaint of a ski outfit, one that looked awfully warm to wear. The mask didn't look very spectacular either. Her next suit in Gerosha Prime Ciem 2 became the template that all later incarnations of the character would seek to emulate. It swapped out the itchy brown design for a sleek orange outfit. Improvements were made to the mask and centipede symbols, leading to a character that all-around looked sharper and more eye-catching.
However, her base orange suit that featured in the 2007 version of Ciem lacked texture. The canceled 2009 version of Ciem 2 addressed this, creating a new Ciem suit that contained a "septagon weave" pattern to give texture to the suit. That weave would become part and parcel of the suit's design from that point forward, along with later incarnations also containing even-more-improved centipede decals.
Leibniz-Newton effect issues
Main article: Candi Levens vs. Starline's Candi
There was some discussion in 2007 and 2008 about the surprising similarities between Classic Ciem and the similar-looking Candi Jane from Starline Hodge's webcomic Candi. It is important to note that, in spite their obvious similarities, neither character was inspired by the other. In a June 27, 2007 e-mail, the coincidence of these characters was duly noted, with Dozerfleet Productions using Yahoo Mail and Starline Hodge Productions receiving through G-Mail. Starline was given permission to allude to Ciem in Candi, as a result of that. Comprehensive Ciem provided more venues for reference, should the Candi continuity have ever caught up to whenever Ciem: Vigilante Centipede would have been released.
Marvel's Jessica Jones
On Friday, Nov. 9th of 2007 at 9:48 PM EST, articles were discovered of the Marvel character Jessica Jones, who was created in November of 2001 by Brian Bendis and Michael Gaydos. Candi's marriage to Donte has some superficial similarities to Jessica's marriage to Luke Cage.
In particular, Candi and Jessica have similar body figures and also share the fact that they have African-American husbands with whom they eventually have children. However, Candi's centuition allows her to become something of a psychic detective in addition to her forensics work, while Jessica is oriented more towards a traditional detective practice. Jessica Jones requires Jean Grey of the X-Men to make her immune to mind control, but Classic Candi becomes immune to most forms of mind control that she faces after the birth of her daughter Angie.
Since the defeat of Milp's telepathy, nobody else has ever attempted to mind-control Candi. In Comprehensive Gerosha, Kimi's power over Candi is reduced to mere clairvoyance. Even this power is gone in Sodality, where mind-reading is not an issue with a majority of characters. In fact, only Extirpon seems particularly capable of reading Candi's mind.
Tom Six's "Human Centipede"
As of 2010, buzz began to flood all over the Internet about Tom Six, creator of the much-loathed film The Human Centipede (First Sequence). In fact, much of the renaming of the original Ciem webcomic, as well as much of the justification for a reboot with Ciem: Vigilante Centipede, was to distance the fictional species of Centhuen Prototypes as much as possible from the abhorrent surgical procedures depicted in Tom Six's film. Even so, Ciem 1 is still referred to as Ciem: The Human Centipede on Mod The Sims Social. Outside of MTS, efforts were put into overdrive to avert public association between Ciem and Tom Six's "centipede."
- ↑ "Jessica Jones." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. May 26th, 2008. 1:08 PM EDT.