“Audrey Burnham!” Enkeli Starwing said when she spotted the former Townie in the kitchen. “I didn’t know you were here.”
“I’m kind of hard to miss in this outfit,” Audrey quipped. “Karli invited me. She said she had some sort of announcement?”
“Had an announcement,” Enkeli said, “but things turned out better than she feared. You didn’t happen to fiddle with the mc_settings file when you were restoring it the other day, did you?”
“I … I didn’t think that was my place,” Audrey said.
“Who knows?” Enkeli was saying when Suzy Wong stepped between them. “So many Sims have administrative rights around here it’s hard to tell who’s doing what.
“Suzy, you still have administrative access, don’t you?”
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” she said. “Any idiot would have revoked my password when I quit working for the SIMposium, but Bilmonaghan isn’t just any idiot.”
“So did you turn culling off?”
“Me?” Suzy asked. “Of course not. Culling is the most efficient way to get rid of Townies.”
“Ouch,” Enkele said, though it was Audrey who was wounded by the remark.
“Besides, why would I help?” Suzy asked as she rummaged in the fridge.
“I still haven’t been paid for my last job.”
“Suzy, I didn’t have anything to do with that,” Enkeli said.
“Oh, I’m not blaming anyone,” Suzy said. “Anyone here.”
“Did having culling disabled create problems?” Audrey asked as Susie sashayed away.
“Actually, it didn’t have any effect; someone broke our mods when they installed Get Together,” Enkeli said. “They’re fixed now, and we’re going to leave culling turned off for now; I’m just trying to get a handle on what’s going on here.”
“Is there anything I can do to help out around here?” Audrey asked.
“I … I just wanted to trade a few things,” Enkeli said, before she remembered what game she was playing.
“Strike that,” she said. “You know what? We should just help with the party score. We can rack up a few points if we can find just one more Sim to dance with us.”
They went to the TV room, where they found Bryon Heck also trying boost the party score.
“Oh, thanks sweetie,” Allison Skinner said when her fiancé’s blown kiss reached her, “but that still doesn’t count as a kiss.”
“And none of the valid Kiss interactions are coming up as contextually appropriate,” Bryon said, rummaging through the wheel of contextually appropriate interections, “but here’s one that might help.”
A few minutes later they learned that WooHoo didn’t count either.
“Where are you going?” Bryon asked when he realized Allison was getting up. “Further research is in order.”
“You fell asleep, tiger,” Allison said. “I think you need to try to help entertain some of your other guests.”
“I still don’t understand why no Kiss interactions are rolling up as appropriate,” Bryon said as they headed downstairs.
“Maybe it’s because I know you’re just using me to boost the party score,” Allison teased. “You have been terribly cold and distant lately.”
“Oh, that’s a lie,” Bryon said.
“True,” Allison said, “but you have seemed a teensy bit preoccupied since you and Vivek got back from Windenburg.”
“Didn’t I tell you? He’s planning to break up the band!” Bryon said.
“After the wedding. He thinks he should move out on his own!”
“Oh, that’s silly,” Allison said. “You talked him out of it?”
“He’s quite adamant that it’s the only right thing to do,” Bryon said.
“Oh, I’ll talk to –” Allison started to say, when a strange Sim caught her eye.
“Hey, new kid,” she said. “How long have you been lurking at the bottom of the stairs?”
“Not long,” the stowaway said with an innocent smile. “I was just wondering what song you were listening to up there in the master bedroom. I swear I’ve heard it before.”
“Heh. I have a creepy little cousin back home who … “Allison started to stay, before calling back to Bryon. “Honey, why don’t you go mingle with the other guests. I want to get to know … “
“Damion,” the stowaway provided.
“It would be,” Allison said.