Candice Marie McArthur (neé Flippo-Levens) / Ciem is a young superheroine from the original 2005 Ciem webcomics, the predecessor to all Candis to come after. 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 Gerosha Prime. She was first envisioned as one of several children for Stan and Shalia Flippo, as part of the reward they would have for their saving of the Gerosha-Craterville area from Sgt. Luddin and Fantisk Hebbleskin. While the original plan was for her series to spoof the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, just to push The Sims 2 to its limits, the series quickly went in its own direction.
Various production problems with this version led to a failed reboot in 2006 with a modified Candi sculpt and skintone. In 2007, a successful reboot rendered Classic Candi. This would lead to Ciem 2 be remade and Ciem 3 being completely re-written. Later on, both of those sequels were re-envisioned as Ciem: Nuclear Crisis and Ciem: Condemnation for the Comprehensive Gerosha remake of Ciem, titled Ciem: Vigilante Centipede.
Since this version of Candi was made before the November 2012 US presidential elections, the inspirations behind Sodality were not yet in place. With no Ameristani regime, this version's battles were focused more on battling petty crime and the Hebbleskin Gang. As far as personality flaws go, this version had the fewest. Her personality in general was not entirely well-developed. It is Candi's godfather Imaki Izuki that produces the equipment that allows her to become Ciem officially later on, and this version's Imaki was involved in her life to some extent. Like Comprehensive Imaki, Imaki Prime was only in the picture of Candi's life for a short time before having a heart attack. But he did at least do things with her to prepare her. Despair and Classic Imakis, however, were barely involved at all in Candi's life. The most active is Cataclysmic Imaki, who actually ends up sharing joint custody of Candi with Erin.
Candi's only real teammate in this version consists of her boyfriend / eventual husband Donte "Captain Emerald" McArthur (initially misnamed Donte Williams.) She begins the series by discovering through Dominick and Tracy McAuley that Erin has been murdered. From there, her powers manifest and she flees. She tries to learn to cope with her new life in Dirbine, with the help of her husband Denny Levens.
Powers and weaknesses
This version established a basic power set that would ring mostly true for later 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.) Her weight is never specified, but she can push or lift nearly half a ton out of her way if she needs to. She's also about 5'5.5". 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.
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.
Candi Prime features tentacle centilegs, a tradition that was not done away with until Comprehensive Candi. She had 64 of them, far more than any other incarnation. Despair Candi had only 32, with Classic Candi having only 16. Every later version maxes out at ten centilegs, though theirs are thinner and much shorter. 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 .
Candi Prime is particularly susceptible to her powers being dampened if she is under too much stress or begins having doubts. 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.
This version explores Candi's origins the least of all. However, it has established a theme that remains consistent throughout multiple versions 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. Dwayne in The Battle for Gerosha was nothing like his later incarnations, and was not even given a name. 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.
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."
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 eight more children of their own. Mike and Jeff would go on to become co-owners of a party supplies store. Jason and Tanya would be born, but never mentioned again. Vince 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.
Ciem (2005 version)
Candi's parents died of cancer some time in the early 21st century. Candi is then raised by family friends Dominick and Tracy McAuley. She learns one day that her sister Erin was murdered, and her powers manifest. She freaks out, and runs away. Some years later, she is married to a scientist named Denny Levens. He performs an experiment on her to make her able to hide the pores where her centilegs come out of. He also shows considerable interest in what it means for her to be a Centhuen Prototype. However, when Duke Arfaas decides he has his own plans for Denny, L1 the Llama is sent to attack the house. A pregnant Candi is weaker than normal, being out of shape from not working out while pregnant. She is unable to prevent Denny's abduction, and flees in terror when she is unable to defeat L1.
She ends up on the streets, where she gives birth to Angie Levens. However, Angie dies a short time after being born. Candi is then mistaken for a prostitute by a patrolwoman, and is quickly arrested. She awakes the following morning in jail, where she is bailed out by her godfather Imaki. The two go over what has gone on, and Candi shares her fears that Denny isn't alive. It's revealed that he is alive, but has been turned into the evil Dr. Leone through an AI backvisor not unlike the one used by Arfaas to control L1.
After Candi gets settled into a new life in a new apartment, Imaki trains her on how to become Ciem. She goes out in search for answers, but L1 and his assistants S1 and S2 the Bunnies begin terrorizing the town. Candi becomes a part-time detective, and soon gains the curiosity of police chief Donte McArthur. Donte has his own secret - he's also the town's semi-retired superhero "Captain Emerald."
As Candi and Donte get to know each other better, they are attacked by the trio. Donte is captured, but not before she learns where he's being taken so she can rescue him. She battles S1 the Bunny, and manages to get the bunny head and AI backvisor off. Dolly Malestrom is revealed to be underneath, and she quickly divulges extra information. In a very crude Ciem suit, Candi then heads to the hijacked office center where Donte is about to be incinerated. She manages to set him free, right as Arfaas is about to destroy the city with a doomsday ship. As Donte battles the doomsday ship, Ciem battles L1. She manages to defeat him, but only after an extremely bloody battle. Jeraime Malestrom is revealed underneath. He is rendered blind by what Ciem has to do in fighting to subdue him. However, Dolly is grateful to have her and Jeraime have their lives back.
Candi and Donte continue to be best friends, and actually fight crime alongside one another.
Dr. Leone is charged with making Captain Aardwulf. But the experiment goes awry and he is murdered by his creation. Candi begins to question if Denny is still alive or not, and if it would be right for her and Donte to move on. Meanwhile, the Hebbleskin Gang targets Miriam Flippo to blame her for their part in trying to formulate an elaborate plot to steal two radioactive blue rocks from China called the Ming-Yo and Ming-Cho. Their goal is to start a war between the US and China. As Candi begins playing bodyguard for Miriam, the plot gets increasingly convoluted. A CIA agent named Vienna Dockler gets involved at one point. With the help of Chinese agent Black Rat, Vienna is able to create a distraction long enough for Ciem to rescue Miriam for Capp Aard and for Donte to steal the Ming-Yo and destroy it over the Gulf of Mexico. When it is revealed that Denny is dead, Candi and Donte resolve to get married.
Ciem 3: Curse of the Millipede
Candi and Donte look forward to retiring from superheroics entirely, but run into issues with a ninja assassin named Kimiyato "Milp" Hiriyama. Candi has to suit up as Ciem once more to stop the menace. She succeeds, but only at the expense of having to lose her centipede powers and have a damaged heart. Candi and Donte lead a pretty reasonably-long life afterward, having children Frank, John, and Dana.
Candi was to be one of the last three children that Stan and Shalia would give birth to as part of an effort to fulfill Stan's desire to have ten children, as set forth in the Family Aspiration of The Sims 2. She was originally only known by her formal first name, Candice. She was named after actress Candace Cameron Bure. Her sister Miriam was named after the Sandra Bullock version of Moses' sister, as seen in The Prince of Egypt. Marina was named after the marina object in SimCity 2000.
While far from high-quality, Candi Prime's versions of events were an early attempt at giving Candi a story while also trying something different. The Battle for Gerosha was a rushed attempt at a romance story that quickly took a sharp detour into science fiction. Also, such things were extremely commonplace for Sims fics of the time. To make a story nobody else was attempting, the Dozerfleet founder decided to cook up a tale of superhero suspense that all-the-same utilized what the game did best to its advantage. Centipedes were chosen as a theme due to all the garden centipedes living in the backyard of the Grand Ledge House. Before he became Emeraldon, Donte was referred to as "Captain Emerald." He was at the time using a blatant variation of the Captain Hero suit that Sims got when they reached to top of the Law Enforcement career track in-game. Later renditions would give him increasingly original costumes to wear.
Nearly everything about Candi's world at the time was in some way limited by the lack of variety of objects available for toying with in The Sims 2 and its University expansion. That the machine rendering everything had insufficient RAM and video processing ability didn't help matters either.
Other than the bare minimum customizations added for the sake of being able to tell the story at all, this version of Candi consisted almost entirely of base game and University expansion content for The Sims 2. Little was done to correct her genetic appearance to make it realistic. Rather, she was a straight age up of the Sim that was born to Stan and Shalia at the end of the 2005 version of The Battle for Gerosha. That is also why she had red hair.
Candi's Ciem suit looks extremely crude in this version, as it was the first attempt the Dozerfleet founder ever made at creating a custom superhero suit for The Sims 2. Much of the 3D mesh's bitmap wrapping scheme didn't make a lot of sense at first. There was discontent with the suit's appearance sufficient to warrant a re-creation of it for Ciem 2 that looked several times better. Another suit, even more advanced, was toyed with for Ciem 3 before it was eventually abandoned. Every version of the Ciem suit for Candi to wear since then has been an homage to her 2005 Ciem 2 outfit.