Allison Skinner felt vulnerable, wearing her PJs in the presence of a Teen with overclocking hormones, so she spun into her Everyday 1 outfit before they sat down.
She realized too late that the outfit left less to the imagination than her sleepwear had.
“So, Damion, what are you doing here?”
“Right now I’m looking for a place to live.”
“Don’t worry about that,” Allison said. “I’m sure you can stay here until you find your way around,”
“And how do you know my name?”
“Uh, from the user interface?”
“I mean really.”
“Uh, I sorta rifled through my mom’s files while no one was home,” Damion admitted.
“Your mom keeps a file on me?”
“No, but you’re in it,” Damion said. “Mom keeps track of this blog.”
“Really?” Allison asked. “Is there nothing else to read back on your planet?”
“Oh, lots!” Damion said. “It’s just that mom is from here.”
“Your mom wouldn’t happen to be Thalia Skinner?”
“I knew It!” Allison exclaimed triumphant. “You’re my creepy little nephew!”
“Well, if by creepy you mean stealthy…” Damion demurred.
“And not so little anymore either,” Allison said. “I can certainly understand why a Sim of your, heh … demeanor, would want the heck out of Skinnerville, but why would you come here, of all the gawdawful places?”
“Well, my options were kinda limited,” Damion said.
“Right. Nice. Legacy. Guh!” Damion said. “I don’t want to be nice, and I don’t want to risk getting stuck out in the suburbs of some Legacy game and waste away as an NPC.”
“Well, I certainly understand wanting to get out of a Legacy Challenge, but I still don’t understand why you came here.”
“Well, why did you come here?” Damion retorted.
“Oh. Well, that was to get away from all the, heh … Insane Sims on my side of the family,” Allison said, glancing away.
“Ba hahaha ha!” Damion laughed. “And how’s that working out for you?”
“Shut up!” Allison said. “So it wasn’t a well-thought out plan!”
“At least I have a plan,” Damion said.
“Oh you do? What is this plan?”
“I don’t know if I should tell you,” Damion said. “You seem to like to thwart Evil plans.”
“Well, I came here for supervillain tryouts.”
“There’s no such thing as supervillain tryouts,” Allison said.
“That’s not what this ad says,” Damion said, rising to get his smartphone out.
“Show me this ad,” Allison said.
“It was in my in-box: ‘Are you Evil, Mischievous, or just-plain Mean? Are you tired of being sent to your room just for saying what should be on everyone else’s mind? Tired of waiting for your parents to acquiesce to your demands? Do you suspect your parents are hiding the truth from you? Convinced that broader Worlds await you outside the cozy confines of your older sibling’s Legacy Household?’”
“That’s one tightly targeted ad,” Allison said.
“And here’s the good part,” Damion said. “’You are correct! You don’t have to languish on some 15-by-20 lot on the wrong side of Newcrest while watching your older sibling take all the playing time. At The Village Evil Co-op, we can help you live up to your potential, or down to your potential – far be it from us to judge – and become the Sim your parents are afraid of.’”
“That’s all fine and dandy, but I’ve never heard of The Village outside of some old BBC re-runs, Damion. Are you sure you’ve come to the right World?”
“Yes, I’m sure,” Damion snapped. “It gives this IP address and say if you’re interested, to inquire at Oasis Modern, ask for Number Two.”
“Number Two?” Allison said, suppressing a giggle. “Damion, I wouldn’t believe everything you read in this ad. Number Two is a charlatan and trickster.”
“That’s exactly the sort of mentor I need!” Damion said. “You know what it’s like back home, with everybody dripping with love and good intentions. It’s stunted my development!”
“I know, I know, but listen: Number Two is just as likely to rob you blind as help you, probably more likely,” Allison said. “And I’m not sure he’s in much of a position to help. I think he’s probably just realized he can’t afford Oasis Modern on his own and is just scrounging for roommates to help pay the bills.”
“Are you trying to tell me I can’t go?”
“I’m telling you to be careful, but it’s not my place to tell you if you can or can’t go,” Allison said. “I imagine you’ll have to stay in school, keep your grades up, help with chores and if you have time for an afterschool job, your guardian may let you go to Evil Camp.”
“My guardian? But I thought you said I could stay here with you?”
“I said you could stay here ‘til you’re settled, but I don’t live here,” Allison said. “You’ll be staying with my fiancé and his best friend and a SimSelf named Enkeli Starwing and Karli Wheeler.”
“I’ve heard of Karli Wheeler! Jamie Rose keeps a file on her too.”
“That doesn’t surprise me,” Allison Skinner said. “Jamie and Karli go way back. In fact, if you’re looking for a guardian, you should probably talk to her first.”
A few minutes later, Karli woke from a Nap in the kids’ bedroom with the eerie sense that someone was in the room with her.
“Hey! What are you doing in here?” she asked as she crossed the room.
“Um, working on some extra credit for school while waiting for you to wake up.”
“Well, that’s a constructive way to spend your time,” Karli said. “Now, why don’t you go do it somewhere else so I can finish my Nap?”
“Oh. OK. I’m sorry.”
Karli half-turned and saw that Annette Thayer, one of their many houseguests with the Always Welcome Perk, had swooped in for a Nap behind her.
“Oh, heck, now you are going to have to move your plum, kid,” she said. “You’re sitting on the last open bed.”
Damion snapped his textbook closed and was about to get up when Rose Fletcher burst into the conversation.
“Aunt Karli! Aunt Karli!”
“It’s Ms. Wheeler, and I’m not your aunt.”
“Ms. Wheeler! Ms. Wheeler! I’m bored!”
“That must be tough.”
“Read me a story!”
“Oh, I’d love to, Rosie, but I…’m helping this young man with his homework,” Karli said. “Look: Why don’t you go play with the dollhouse?”
She turned to Damion with a conspiratorial wink. “So where were we?”
“It’s a whole unit on local history and I’m not from here; I don’t know any of this stuff!” Damion said. “What kind of name is Dimenche? What the heck is a portable quantum transcendental astroguanometer?”
“Hey! I actually can help with this,” Karli said. “In fact, not only can I tell you what a portable quantum transcendental astroguanometer is, I can show you one, and introduce you to the daughter of its co-creator, the famous Dylon Skinner.”
“OK, famous isn’t the right word, but the Skinner Brothers’ work is well-regarded among students of paratechnology, particularly in the field of quantum transcendental astrometry. In fact, two of today’s leading researchers in that field live in this very — “
“Ms. Wheeler! Ms. Wheeler!” Rose cried out piteously from the corner. “The dollhouse is smashed!”
“Oh yeah. Tough break; I guess there really isn’t anything for you to do here. Maybe you should run along home.”
“But where are the dolls?”
“I … I think they were home when it happened.” Karli turned away, trying to keep a straight face. “They’re probably *giggle* probably trapped in the rubble.”
Karli let herself laugh out loud after Rose ran crying from the room.
“Oh gawd! Did you see her sad little face?”
Damion snapped his textbook closed again.
“I’ve got to hand it to you, Ms. Wheeler,” he said, standing up. “That was cold-blooded.”
“I’m so sorry you saw that!” Karli said, suddenly feeling less Angry now that Rose was out of the room. “I’m usually not like that! You must think I’m horrible!”
“Dude! I think you’re hilarious! Trapped in the rubble. That kid’s gonna need therapy!”
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me; I just hate kids for some reason!” Karli said, warming to the subject. “I guess it’s because they’re sticky and noisy and destructive and demanding and can’t cook for themselves, y’know?”
Damion knew exactly what she meant.
But he did not know what to say.