Candice Marie McArthur (neé Flippo-Levens) / Ciem is a young superheroine from the canceled 2006 version of the Ciem webcomic, before the successful 2007 version came out. 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 Despair Gerosha. She was part of an effort in 2006 to reboot the Ciem webcomic series and erase parts of the 2005 Gerosha Prime version that didn't turn out well. Due to both problems with the Despair Gerosha narrative and problems with the equipment on which this version of Ciem was being created, this 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 Classic and Comprehensive Candis. While Classic (and later Cataclysmic Candi) would tone down Despair Candi's personal issues quite a bit; Comprehensive Candi would take Despair Candi's problems to extremes. 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 literally any other.
Her teammates consist of her two boyfriends /eventual husbands Donte "Emeraldon" McArthur and Denny Levens, who compete with each other for her affections. She begins the series by trying to decide whether she and Donte are going to pursue a romance, or remain good friends. Donte is a police chief in this version, but he's not very good at his job. Worse: the age difference between him and Candi complicates things for both of them. Candi intends to 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 5'6", she's taller than most 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.
Despair Candi is second version to feature tentacle centilegs, a tradition harkening back to Candi Prime. Instead of having 64 of them, her number is reduced to 32. Her replacement in Classic Gerosha has only 16. Every later version maxes out at ten centilegs, though theirs are thinner and much shorter, being more like glorified stingers than actual extra legs. 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.
Courtesy of Imaki, Candi has a suit containing Zeran wardrobes. These are a quantum storage package set 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. Issues of how she can get around were not entirely addressed. However, it was assumed at one point that her centilegs could be used as vines to swing from in limited contexts.
Despair Candi was the first version to suffer with a mild form of nymphomania. Every version since then has varied the degree to which she is able to overcome it. While Comprehensive Candi later took that to the extreme, Classic and Cataclysmic Candis were much more balanced individuals.
Unlike later versions, whose problems can trace back to either a supernatural curse or years of sexual harassment and abuse from former classmates, this version of Candi has the problems she does due to little more than being young and stupid.
Like with every version since this one, Despair 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.
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.
Little was explored to determine how far back Candi's ancestry truly did go in this version. However, it remained consistent that Marissa Hood is her maternal grandmother. Little was known about Dwayne Lloyd at the time either, except that someone to the effect of Dwayne had to have existed at some point. The child that resulted from Dwayne and Marissa 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.
Very little was ever explored about the early life of Despair Candi. It is established that she was 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.
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 both died of cancer. Her older sister Erin gained custody of her, along with gaining custody of Miriam and Marina.
Little is spoken of about Erin in this incarnation, as she's barely in it. Also, this is the first time that Candi has ever commented on Marina getting pregnant with the child of Matt Baret and then moving away. Before this, Candi never even gave much thought to Marina.
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. Like with Candi Prime, most of Despair Candi's family would have nothing to do with her.
This version's middle school life is given little to no mention. However, it is clear that some of the problems in later versions existed to a lesser extent in this one. 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 left town. He later would return, this time as an adversary. Candi would still have feelings for him, and be reluctant to fight him.
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. How she met Donte is not explained very well either. 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 personal struggles with desire.
Ciem (2006 version)
While Candi runs into Don and ends up battling him, the house where she and the others were living comes under attack. Erin, the only one home, valiantly puts up a fight to save her own life when Gunner Soorfelt comes after her. But it's all in vain. Candi heads home to find that Erin has been savagely murdered. She then flees to Viron. Once there, she gets a job at the Rahler's Bowling Alley and remains friends with Donte. However, she runs into Denny Levens while there and becomes torn over her affections for both men. The bowling alley gets taken over suddenly by Victor Nanale, who wants to convert it into a strip club. He offers for Candi to become a stripper and keep her job, but she declines. She instead grows suspicious that Victor may be a part of the notorious Kerpher Gang, which has been kidnapping children in the area and turning them into prostitutes.
Meanwhile, Duke Arfaas abducts the Malestrom family and turns them into his henchmen with the aid of AI backvisors. Dolly gets turned into S1 the Bunny, whereas Jeraime gets turned into the brutal killer L1 the Llama. One evening, Candi is in the park, trying to recover from some lady at church giving her a bad name with the congregation. She is wearing a cheerleading outfit, as she was part of the pom squad for Viron. As she is in the park, she sees an unidentified Meethlite make an attempt on Denny's life. She intervenes, resulting in an explosion that kills the would-be assassin. Scared for Denny's life, she accompanies him home to his place. The two end up embracing each other, then have sex. Feeling bad about it, Denny proposes to Candi on the spot. A month or so later, Candi discovers she's pregnant. The two marry a month after that. However, Denny is unfaithful in the marriage, and they begin fighting.
One evening, L1 comes to their house and murders Denny. He gives chase to Candi, who begins going into labor. She also ends up involved in a street conflict as she tries to maneuver her car to escape L1 and make it to the hospital. She succeeds, but slips into a coma after giving birth. She wakes up in a cabin that is sinking into the bog two weeks later. Imaki leaves behind a video for her to watch, explaining everything. She heads to Viron to become Ciem and set things right. Meanwhile, Donte has been captured. She vows to rescue him, as he's the only lover she has left.
Little else is known about what would have happened after this, as the story's development was canceled officially in October of 2006.
Similar to other versions of the character, Candi in this version is a cautious and reserved, beta-dominant female. She is more prone to self-pity than any other version, and more lacking in common sense than any other. She is very lacking in focus. 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.
Despair 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. 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.
While far from high-quality, Despair Candi's version of events was an early attempt at filling in all the various details of Candi's biography that were omitted in Gerosha Prime. It was also an attempt to re-characterize both her and Denny, seeing what things would have been like had both been less noble figures to begin with. "Despair" in this version comes from the fact that the series was canceled in favor of Classic Gerosha, but also refers to the fact that the only Candi who appears more depressed than this one is Comprehensive Candi.
As such, the run-down building where she battles Don is the original Stolly's Building; where she battles Don in the 2007 version. This was also the first version to come up with a design for what Erin's house would look like. It was the first to mention what life at home with Erin and Miriam would have been like for Candi. It was also the first version in which she knew Donte before she knew Denny. Despair Gerosha laid the groundwork for Gunner Soorfelt to exist, whereas he didn't prior.
Another first for this version was the fact that Candi began with the orange suit, and that pregnancy was her biggest weakness. Before that, self-doubt was her greatest weakness.
This version of Candi, as stated above, was the first to have the orange suit from the very beginning. However, this orange suit was only slightly revised from the suit she used in the 2005 version of Ciem 2. Better graphics than that were not entirely possible, given that the entire production was being made on an HP Pavilion 8700 desktop from the year 2000. Said machine had insufficient video memory and RAM to properly handle the graphics-intense demands of The Sims 2.
It was decided that a new look was needed for Denny as well, so he didn't look so much like Sam from The Strangerhood as his previous incarnation did. Candi herself was given the second-lightest skin forcefully, so she wouldn't look pasty white like in Gerosha Prime. Even so, she looked a bit too pale in many scenes of this version. She had gray eyes in this version, just like her Gerosha Prime counterpart had.
Perhaps most significant to her is the fact that she still had to fight L1 the Llama, as opposed to Musaran. L1 in this version was mashed together from a Sims 2: University llama head and a repainted Stormtrooper outfit. Metallic shine gimmicks were added, to make this L1 look slightly more threatening than he was before. Changes were also made to Donte, to make him more casual and more likely to be someone Candi would have known for a while.