One minute, I was making chocolate cake for my newfound friends among the Upper Crusts …
… and the next I was standing on the porch of the Bjergsen household, kicked out for using the Bjergsen’s stove and shower.
I thought it would be OK!
How was I to know I was one of the few played Sims in this World who didn’t have the Always Welcome Perk?
“’The last straw’,” I repeated, Clare Bjergsen’s final dialog box still ringing in my ears.
“You haven’t seen the last straw from me,” I said as I walked to the edge of the lot. “There’s a lot more straw where that come from.”
I went back to Oasis Springs, where I ran into a friend and former housemate while I was out hunting Easter eggs.
“I must say, the married life certainly seems to agree with you, Allison!” I said as she almost passed me on the sidewalk. “You look absolutely radiant!”
“I think that’s just because the camera was pointed straight into the setting sun,” Allison Heck said. “You look great, too. How’s your first day in the rotation going?”
“Great!” I said. “I started an Easter egg collection, a MySims figurine collection, I joined a club – “
“Ooh! I think you’re the first Sim here who’s joined a club!” Allison said.
“And the first to get kicked out of a club gathering,” I said, “but it’s OK. It’s Oh-Kay. I’ve got the Always Welcome Perk now, and I think I’ll host a club gathering here, see if I can get back into the club’s good graces.”
“Well, if you’re stuck in that giant mansion by yourself, you might as well make use of it,” Allison said. “Good luck. So what club did you join?”
“The Upper Crusts,” I said. “They’re all about eating and drinking, and cooking and mixing drinks. I figure, I have to do that stuff anyway, why not rack up some Club Points while I’m at it, right?”
“Right! So, are you still going to join the police department?”
“I already have; I start tomorrow.”
I was looking forward to being on the force. I had a strong background in the mystery genre back home, and was looking forward to trying my hand at the police procedural subgenre.
I soon learned it would be a long time before I got my own cases. I would start as a lowly cadet, sent under supervision to do the detective’s grunt work, finding clues, gathering evidence and witness statements.
My first assignment was simple: Search for clues. I didn’t even need to search, the clues were all spray-painted in neon squiggly lines on the floor of a discotheque. Whoever this perp was, they wanted their crime to be noticed.
I set to work photographing the evidence, hoping Hugo Villareal wouldn’t notice me.
“Excuse me, officer, aren’t you the Sim who got kicked out of the Upper Crusts yesterday?” he called out to me from across the empty dance floor.
I hurried over to him, so he’d keep his voice down.
“Oh, I didn’t get kicked out of the club, just out of Clare Bjergsen’s house,” I said, changing the subject in my official capacity. “So, what can you tell me about what happened here? What did the perp look like?”
“Well, I didn’t get a good look at him, or her, but he was the exact same height as everyone else,” Hugo said. “Well, everyone but babies and children.”
It wasn’t much to go on, but it was a start. I was making a mental list of everyone I knew who was the exact same height as everyone else when I spotted one of them, frowning at the edge of the dance floor.
Karli Wheeler was director of the Disappearing Townie Syndrome Foundation in Oasis Springs, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting the spread of culling.
In that capacity, Karli came to serve as the de facto Mayor of the World after the local player’s SimSelf disappeared weeks ago.
“Karli! Thanks for coming to my first crime scene investigation! That’s so sweet!” I said. “But, um … you probably shouldn’t really be here, what with it being a crime scene and all. “
“Oh, no, Debbie, I’m not that sweet; I’m here as a witness, or a suspect, or something,” Karli said. “I’m not even sure where this plummin’ place is.”
“Well, I have an option to take a witness statement from you,” I said. “That’s a good sign.”
“Yeah, well, the perpetrator would be a witness too,” Karli said.
“Well, you do match the only description I have of the perp,” I said. “Wouldn’t that be hilarious if you were my first arrest?”
“Yeah. Ha ha,” Karli said dryly. “I’m cracking up over here.”
Something was troubling me during my Analyze Evidence interaction back at the station. I realized it was my conversation with Karli.
What if she was the perpetrator I was assigned to help look for?
She might hate children and use foul language, but she’s not a criminal, I thought as I wrapped up my analysis.
But what if the game randomly assigned her to be the perpetrator in this case? Or some other otherwise innocent Sim. It would be difficult not to feel guilty myself, if that was the case.
Would there even be crime in this World if I hadn’t joined the Force, I wondered as I waited for one of the computers in the station to free up, so I could file my report.
“Is it right to let the game turn some random, innocent Sim into a criminal just because I wanted to play detective?”
Macie Badgett, our Evil receptionist, tilted her head back in maniacal laughter.
“Innocent Sim! Mwha haha ha ha! You haven’t even taken your first doughnut break and you’re already cracking under the pressure,” Macie taunted. “Face it, Debbie Van High, you’re too soft to be a good cop, or even a bad one.”
“That’s Cadet Van High to you, Macie the Evil Receptionist,” I said, formulating a plan.
“It’s just Macie the Receptionist,” Macie said. “Evil is just a Trait, not part of my job title.”
I needed to get on a computer to file my report before shift change, and my fellow SimsSelf Sarafina Plumsin shared a technique Cadet Candy Corny uses in that situation. I had been hesitant to use it.
But not anymore.
“But maybe you’re right,” I said as I walked closer. “I’m a Glutton and I just joined the Upper Crusts; maybe I should get in a culinary career.”
“The Upper Crusts? Never heard of them,” Macie said.
“Not yet, but I’m going to make them popular as soon as I have enough Club Points,” I said. “I already bought us a sweet secret handshake. Wanna see it?”
“It wouldn’t be very secret then, would it?” Macie said.
“You could join us! Then it would be your secret too!” I said. “I can invite two other Sims to join.”
Macie rose from her chair.
“Join you?” she asked. “All the default members of these Clubs are Windenbergers; I wouldn’t mind having the chance to case those households.”
“Well, you’re going to need to know our secret handshake. Stick out your right hand,” I said …
… and zapped her with the joy buzzer.
“One point twenty-one gigawatts, Macie!” I chuckled.
“XCom reference?” Macie asked after she shook off the initial shock.
“No, Back to the Future,” I said.
“Never heard of it,” Maggie said. “Still, that was a good trick. I take it you need the computer?”
“Just for a few minutes,” I said. “You don’t mind?”
“Not at all, I also need a few minutes … to plot my revenge.”
“Oh! … Good,” I said, trying to play it cool. “So … it’s a win-win.”
“Not if I can help it.”