Debbie Van High and Rose Fletcher soon found they had little in common.
“Picard? This is the real answer of you?” Rose asked. “Have you never seen the original series? He is my favorite.”
“But that wasn’t the question. ‘Favorite’ captain is entirely subjective,” Debbie said. “But ‘best captain’? The one who best embodies what it means and what it takes to be a Star Fleet captain? There is only one correct answer.”
“And you of all SimSelves should know that answer is ‘Janeway’,” Rose said. “She really Get to Know her crew and is best leader for this reason.”
“Ehh, maybe second best,” Debbie could concede.
“This Chat is Boring,” Rose said. “I think I will go to school.”
“That’s a good idea!” Debbie said. “If you would stop skipping school all the time, maybe you’d meet some Sims your own age.”
“But it is not fun to be a Child here,” Rose said. “Everyone here hates the Childs.”
“Not everyone,” Debbie said. “but Karli Wheeler is over here a lot, or we’re all over at her house to help with this stupid wedding.”
“You dislike weddings?”
“Well, I came here because I was mad at my Fleshy for squandering so much potential Simming time planning her own wedding, and what happens?” Debbie asked. “I plunk right in the middle of another wedding I could care even less about!”
“Wow! And I thought it sucked to be me here!”
“Yeah! And it’s not like I’m planning to stay here forever! I was told I was going to get to play first, after the SIMposium was over, but Karli and now Allison just steamrolled right in! At this rate, it will be time to go home and I still won’t have had my turn.”
“This is not fair!” Rose said.
“This is not fair,” Debbie agreed.
Meanwhile, inside, Allison Skinner was happy to see her cousin was still an Adult when she showed up for breakfast,
“You made it!” Allison said. “That’s that Skinner can-do spirit in action!”
“Not really,” Peyton had to admit. “It was after three in the morning before I could afford Youth Potion, but I hadn’t turned Elder so I just went for it.”
“Huh, that sounds like some sort of glitch; maybe we should report it,” Allison said.
“No, no; we’re good,” Peyton said. “I was thinking it might be something as simple as you can’t age up while you’re away from your home lot.”
“If that were true, how would Townies age up?” Allison wondered, “but it should be easy enough to test. Does anyone have a birthday coming up that they don’t want to avoid?”
“I can think of someone,” Debbie said as she came into the dining room. “Rose Fletcher! She hates being a Child here.”
“Yeah, well, Karli doesn’t make it easy, that’s for sure,” Peyton said.
“Well, Rose is due to age up in a couple of days anyway,” Allison said, rising from her chair.
“I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if we threw her an early birthday party,” Debbie said.
“That’s a great idea! And we can check to see if it can be hosted on another lot,” Allison said. “Thanks, Debbie! Maybe we can do it after we’re done looking at wedding dresses and Rose gets back from school.”
“You mean tonight?”
“Well, probably tomorrow night,” Allison said. “I’ve got to let Enkeli play through for a bit, and she needs to get started before school starts.”
“Before school starts? Why?”
“Oh, that’s kinda an ecretsay,” Allison said cryptically, nodding toward Peyton
“It’s a what?” Peyton asked.
“Nothing!” Debbie said. “Anyway, what I really came to talk about was … um, our plans for, you know, after the wedding?”
“Can this wait?” Allison asked. “I really have to let Enkeli get started and I’m kinda pressed for time myself.”
“I know the feeling,” Debbie laughed. “I guess it will have to wait.”
Many hours of Build Mode later, Enkeli Starwing appeared on the edge of a new residential lot with her young ecretsay.
“What is this place?” Damion Skinner asked.
“It’s a fresh template,” Enkeli said. “It’s called Newcrest, and it’s my new home and your temporary hiding place.”
“This is your home?” Damion scoffed. “I thought it was a bus stop.”
“There’s more here than meets the eye,” Enkeli said defensively. “This is just the entryway to my new home.”
“OK, so where’s the rest of the place?”
“Follow me,” Enkeli said. “I’ll show you around.”
“Sure, but why the … uh, small footprint?” Damion asked.
“Well, I wanted a small lot to save Simoleons, but I wanted plenty of open ground for a launch pad, a telescope and ancillary equipment.”
“But you could put all that stuff up on a flat roof, can’t you? Back home …” he started saying, lingering on the porch.
“Hurry up!” Enkeli said. “Anyway, I could do that, but I kinda want to keep a low profile.”
“As low a profile as you can maintain while launching manned probes into space from your back yard?”
“Right,” Enkeli said. “The Astronaut job is just temporary anyway; I won’t make a career of it, but in the meantime, I’m going to pretend this area here is the control room for the launch pad. My computer will go here.”
“Where’s my computer,” Damion asked.
“Try the library.” Enkeli laughed. “You’re only going to be here a couple days; you’ll live.”
“That’s not living,” Damion said. “Isn’t there anything to do here?”
“Study,” Enkeli said. “Let me show you to your cell.”
“I think I can find my way around,” Damion said, heading for the stairwell. “Looks like you could use a trip to the little girl’s room.”
Damion went downstairs and found the shiny plastic walls and modern furnishings carried through into a small efficiency.
“Kinda alieny-looking,” Damion said.
“That’s the look I was going for,” Enkeli said. “A lot of people may have forgotten that Enkeli Starwing isn’t a Sim at all, but a cobalt alien.”
“But you’re not an alien,” Damion observed.
“Because I’m not Enkeli Starwing,” Enkeli said. “The technology that sustains her back home wasn’t available here at the beginning of the SIMposium, so she made me, a synthetic avatar, to represent her here.”
“Wow, and Get to Work was released right after that. You could have been an alien if you’d just waited a couple weeks,” Damion said.
“It wasn’t even installed in this World until a few days ago,” Enkeli said.
“But now that it is here, I might go into Create-A-Sim and see if I can swap this synthetic avatar for a genuine alien mesh,” Enkeli said.
“That would be a terrible waste of a lot of truly excellent CAS-work that went into making your synthetic avatar,” Damion protested.
“Besides, you’re not a Sixam alien, Enkeli; you’re more than that,” Damion said. “You pre-date them. I think you should see about downloading the cobalt blue skin tone, and some CC black eyes.”
“Oh!” Enkeli said, surprised by Damion’s intensity.
“I could do that,” Enkeli said. “I might even fiddle around with the Maxis-made content in fulleditmode and see if I can do something with it.”
“I could help you research mods and custom content if you’d like,” Damion offered.
“No way,” Enkeli said. “Only if you promise to stay out of any M-rated third-party content sites. I seriously doubt Jamie Rose wants you scrolling through ‘realistic’ nude skins and woohoo mods and Wright-knows-what.”
“How’s my browser history any of her business?”
“Look: You may not live in Skinnerville anymore, but Jamie’s still your fairy godmother,” Enkeli said.
“That’s totally unfair,” Damion said.
“Once you’re a Young Adult, and have your own household, you have the right to do whatever sick, Evil things your heart desires. But while you’re under my floorboards, you answer to me, and I answer to Karli, and Karli answers to Jamie.”
“This is Teen abuse, is what it is,” Damion said. “And don’t forget your role in it when I get back from Evil Camp and begin exacting my revenge.”
“Still planning to go the comic-book super-villain route?” Enkeli asked.
“It sure beats sitting around some basement, studying!”
“I thought you liked studying?”
“I do! Knowledge is … knowledge is …”
“Gawd, you are dumb,” Damion said. “I was going to say knowledge is power.”
“OK, have fun at school, Sir Francis,” Enkeli called from the hallway. “I think I need to Be Alone.”
“School starts in, like, ten minutes! You can’t wait?”
Damion stood. “That TV’s so small it probably doesn’t even have the Comedy Channel in it. No stereo. There’s some books, the old, analog kind. Yippie. I wonder how bad my room sucks.”
“Well, at least she got the color right,” Damion thought. “Wonder how she knew?”
Otherwise, the room offered nothing to do but a place to sleep, a place to sit and a place to Plan Outfit.
Damion sat on the bed and locked his bedroom door.
“Well, that. I can do that,” Damion thought. “That’s a little control, at least.”