Damion Skinner left his bedroom and let the door slam behind him.
“Not even a lump of clay in this dump,” he said loud enough to be heard through Enkeli Starwing’s bedroom door.
He flumped down hard on the loveseat.
“I guess I could sit here and Talk to Self, if I was Insane,” he muttered. “Of course, if I’m trapped down here long enough, I will go Insane. Maybe that’s her plan.”
“Why would I want you to go Insane?” Enkeli asked.
“So I’ll fit in better?”
“OK. Sure. You figured it out.”
“What are you doing?”
“I’m getting a job,” Enkeli said, “and if you’d just check the TV instead of complaining about it, you’ll realize it has all the channels. It’s small, but it’s not cheap.”
“I couldn’t help but noticed that all these objects are pretty high-priced,” Damion said. “How could you afford this place? I didn’t think we were ‘allowed’ to used money or real estate cheats anymore.”
“I didn’t cheat,” Enkeli said. “I moved you and Karli into a Not in World household, then moved myself into another homeless household. Then I merged you and Karli’s household into mine, and then I sent Karli back to Verity Victorian. That way I had enough money to buy this place, with 3,000 Simoleons left over for contingencies.”
“That sounds like cheating to me,” Damion said.
“It’s not a cheat, it’s simply exploiting weaknesses in the game engine to …” Enkeli started to say.
“Anyway, you’re Evil! What do you care if I cheat a little?”
“I wasn’t saying I was against it,” Damion said, “but let’s just call it what it is.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t call it cheating but I see your point,” Enkeli said. “You might have the Evil Trait, but everybody has a little Evil in them.”
“It’s the ones who don’t know it that you really have to watch out for,” Damion said. “Most real Evil in the World is perpetrated by those who think they’re absolutely in the right.”
“You certainly have been studying a lot,” Enkeli said.
“Yeah, and I better get to school so I can turn in my extra credit,” Damion said, rising from the love-seat.
“I should get going too,” Enkeli said. “I need to get about four hours of programming in before work.”
“Programming, right,” Damion said. “You’re going to sneak to the library and play Fallout 4 all day.”
“I hadn’t even really thought about it,” Enkeli said, surprising herself.
“Well, good luck with your studies then,” Damion said.
“You too,” Enkeli. “Hope you Make An Enemy.”
Enkeli stepped out on the porch and saw Bryon Heck ambling up the sidewalk.
“Yo, Bryon! Wait up!” she called.
“So this is where you ended up, working in a toll booth?”
“It’s not a toll booth,” Enkeli said. “It’s my home.”
Through the curtain-less picture windows, Bryon could see the room was furnished with nothing but a desk and chair.
“Not much into privacy, I see,” he said. “Or sleep, for that matter.”
“That’s just what I want passing Sims to see,” Enkeli said. “Nothing. So, what brings you way out here?”
“I’m guessing it’s Fewer Random Townies on Community Lots,” Bryon said. “All the other pedestrians and joggers were already in the character directory, too. No new Townies. And MC Command Center is still working.”
“That’s good news.”
“So what brings you out of your toll booth?”
“Well, I was going to go to the library for some research, but seeing you reminds me I could go to your place and use that sweet gaming rig upstairs,” Enkeli said. “I mean computer. Is Vivek home to let me in?”
“Do you mean Willow Brook Wilkes?” Bryon said. “He’s home, but good luck prying the mice from his hands.”
He’s been playing Fallout 4 since you left.” Bryon said. “He downloaded some mods and custom content so he can duel-wield a revolver and bullwhip, so he needs two mice.”
“He … he didn’t overwrite my save, did he?” Enkeli asked nervously.
“No, he started his own character and set three vials of Sleep Replacement Potion on the desk,” Bryon said. “If you need a sweet gaming rig for your ‘research’, you’ll probably have better luck finding an open one at the library.”
“That’s alright,” Enkeli said, dialing up a ride. “I can go to Yuma Heights. It has two sweet gaming rigs.”
While Yuma Heights did have two sweet gaming rigs, it also had three other game-addicted SimSelves in residence. Enkeli found Jamie Rose hogging the PC in the front bedroom.
“I bet you’re not planning to get up any time soon,” Enkeli said.
“Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner!” Jamie said.
“But shouldn’t you take that bathrobe back to the spa before they realized it was stolen?” Enkeli asked.
“Nice try, Starwing, but I can assure you I did not steal anything,” Jamie said. “I can only assume that the bathrobes are complementary.”
“Yeah, well good luck explaining that to the judge,” Enkeli said, heading for the other PC.
“Good luck finding an open computer,” Jamie said. “We haven’t been able to get Jessica out of the bathroom since we downloaded mud baths; but Debbie’s still here.”
Enkeli went to the back bedroom and saw that she was losing a race to the desk chair to Debbie Van High.
“If I can just lure her away from the keyboard,” Enkeli thought. She canceled her pending Practice Programming interaction and quickly queued up some contextually appropriate interaction with Debbie instead.
And it almost worked. Enkeli lured Debbie over toward the window seat with some inane banter. She was about to cancel the interaction and dash to the computer before Debbie had a chance to react, when Allison Skinner traipsed into the room and bee-lined for the desk.
“Dang it, don’t tell me you’re a gamer now, too!” Enkeli said when she saw that Allison had loaded a Sims saved game.
“Don’t be silly,” Allison said. “I’m just queueing up some Formal outfits for our shopping trip later.”
“You figured out a way to shop for wedding dresses at the clothiers?” Enkeli asked.
“No, but I figured out a way to fake it for the screenshots; we’ll just go to Magnolia Promenade and pretend we went shopping for dresses. You’re come along, right?”
“Probably. I mean, if I’m not working,” Enkeli said. “I joined the Astronaut Career Track today.”
“Congratulations!” Allison said. “Getting in some more binge-role-playing before you have to start going to work?”
“Actually, I want to put in about four hours of programming practice to get ready for work,” Enkeli said.
“It’s going to be weird now, with the SIMposium over,” Allison said. “No more freerealestate on, no more motherlode. No more babysitting Eric Lewis.”
“I know. I was sitting in my own room this morning, thinking how weird it was to be sitting in my own room,” Enkeli said.
“It’s going to be strange not bunking together in a big movable house party,” Allison said. “I hope we all stay in touch.”
“Oh, I think we will,” Enkeli said. “There’s always going to be the fight against Disappearing Townie Syndrome to draw us together, and things to celebrate, like your wedding.”
“Well, maybe,” Allison said. “I guess we have so far, but will we stay in touch as we’re all pursuing our own lives, starting our own families?”
“I’m not starting a family; I’m just keeping your cousin out of sight until his future mother and grandmother go back to Skinnnerville,” Enkeli said. “Who’s starting a family?”
Allison looked over her shoulder at Enkeli and laughed.
“Did you forget about my upcoming wedding already?” she asked.
“No, I just didn’t realize you guys were talking about having children,” Enkeli said.
“Well, no. We haven’t talked about it, but that’s what you do,” Allison said. “Get married, get a big 50-by-50 lot and start cranking out heirs and spares.”
“Maybe that’s what you do – being from a Legacy Challenge game and all – but that’s not what everybody does,” Enkeli said. “You should probably see what Bryon thinks of all this.”
“Oh, you’re being silly,” Allison said.
“Chica, you don’t want to have this conversation on your wedding night, while your Whims are screaming Try for Baby and Bryon’s are whispering WooHoo.”
“Well, I still think you’re being silly, but if it makes you feel better, I’ll talk to him,” Allison said.
“Don’t do it for me!” Enkeli said. “I just think it’s for the best, but if you would do me one favor …”
“Just … wait until I’ve gone home.”