I detoured from my beat and followed Allison Heck into Verity Victorian, not realizing that a stream of Angry Sims was trickling in behind me.
“Well, look at you! You look like you could go into labor any minute!” I said.
“I knooow!” Allison said melodically, almost singing. “We came home a little early, on Saturday night, and I started puking right away!”
“That’s wonderful, but I thought Bryon wasn’t so sure about having children,” I said.
“He isn’t,” Allison said, “so we talked about it and came up with a compromise.”
“That’s good you were able to find common ground,” I said as I felt the baby move.
“Yep, no more than three children in the household at any one time.”
“You’re going to have three kids?” I started to worry about the population limit again. During my time playing detective, the local population had been growing dramatically, introducing the risk of Disappearing Townie Syndrome for the first time in this World.
“Well, only three living in the house at once,” Allison explained. “We can replace any Young Adults that move out on their own with fresh babies!”
“Are you serious? I mean, I’m a Family Sim too but … that’s a lot of … are you just trying to beat Thalia’s Skinner family record for most babies?”
“Beat Thalia? Me want to beat my dear cousin-in-law Thalia (Osborne) Skinner?” Allison protestethed too much. “I think I can honestly say I hadn’t even thought of that until you mentioned it.”
“Well, that’s good,” I said. “I mean; doesn’t the population limit worry you?”
“Of course it does, Debbie,” Allison said, “but it will be a long time before our turn at the top of the rotation comes around again, and I can dream in the meantime.”
I knew exactly what she meant, and had to get out of that conversation fast. Allison doesn’t even actually have the Aspiration to have a large family, but I do.
But I don’t want to do it here, of all places; I want to wait until I go back home.
But I didn’t have any idea when that might be.
And in the meantime, I had a job to do.
I realized that my visit with Allison had ushered a swarm of Angry Sims into and around her home. To advance in my Detective Career, I think I was expected stand back and wait for a Fight interaction to break out.
But that wasn’t my style.
No. One of the reason’s I entered the Detective Career Track was to test my theories on community-oriented policing.
I didn’t don this Work Outfit 1 of blue just to punish my fellow Sims after they broke laws.
I wanted to create a social environment conducive to preventing crime in the first place, I wanted to restore the pristine and peaceful atmosphere that prevailed in the World before …
… well …
… before I joined the police department and unleashed this horde of Angry litterbugs and brawlers in the World in the first place.
Rather than enforce the laws, my goal was to keep the peace. So instead of waiting for the situation to deteriorate enough for me to issue a citation, I tried to defuse the situation.
“And don’t forget that if you do let this interaction end in a Fight, I’m going to have to issues citations to one or both of you.”
My efforts were soon rewarded as Bjorn Bjergsen and the tattooed Young Adult whom I did not recognize began to Find Common Ground.
“I mean, by whose authority is she walking around issuing citations anyway!?!” the Young Adult wanted to know. “Does this Detective Career Track apparatus answer to any sort of civil authority?”
“Well, some freedom-fighters in the modding community have developed a third-party Political Career Track, but EA/Mobile certainly hasn’t released one,” Bjorn said. “Apparently, EA wants to acclimate Players to the notion that it is perfectly acceptable to live in a World where ‘law enforcement’ is completely unaccountable to Sims or their elected representatives.”
“Let alone the complete lack of any sort of Law Career Track to give ‘criminal’ suspects a fair hearing in court,” the tattooed guy said.
“Or even determine the legality of these so-called laws,” Bjorn said. “I mean, Fight interactions have been an acceptable interaction since, will, since time and The Sims began, and suddenly they can be declared illegal?”
“And what about this new Litter interaction?” Tattoo Guy asked. “They seriously can just create an interaction, make up a law against it and then fine you if you autonomously engage in it?”
“That’s the modus operandi of corporate capitalism in a nutshell,” Bjorn started saying as I headed inside to see if any wedding cake was left. “Create a need and then fill it, at a profit that must grow into perpetuity at an annualized rate of no less than … “
“ … no less than blah blah blah,” I said as the crackle and whir of the broken refrigerator drowned out the Boring Conversation on the front porch. I gobbled up the last uneaten half of Rose Fletcher’s chocolate birthday cake …
… and returned to the porch as an Angry Fey Johnson joined the Group Chat interaction.
“… and no sooner had my wife shooed her away from our stove, then she jumped right in our shower!” Bjorn was saying.
“Funny how there’s no law against that but she can fine us for … what was it called again?” Tattoo Guy asked.
“Right! Littering,” Tattoo Guy said. “And we’re not allowed to Fight anymore.”
“Wait! Who says we’re not allowed to Fight anymore?” Fey asked, then struck through my verb choice. “Not asked! I demand an answer!”
“Oh, well, let me introduce Cadet Debbie Van-Judge-Jury-And-Executioner,” Tattoo Guy said. “See, she can’t make time to go after real career-track criminals because she’s too busy making life miserable for honest, hard-working NPCs.”
“Now, hold on,” I said. “It’s not that I choose not to go after real criminals, it’s that there is no such functionality in the Detective Career Track.”
“Typical bureaucratic inertia,” Bjorn said.
“Now wait a dang minute!” Fey demanded.
“You mean to tell me that the new Detective Career Track has nothing to do with fighting real, organized crime, and everything to do making life miserable for the average NPC?”
“Yeah, it’s bullpoop, isn’t it?” Tattoo Guy said.
“Bullpoop?” Fey chuckled in genuine amusement. “Are you high? That’s the best news I’ve had in weeks! Here, I’d been afraid the police would make trouble for me, but instead …. Instead!”
Fey couldn’t stop chuckling for seconds.
“I mean, just look at how Angry everyone is! It’s … it’s wonderful, Debbie!” she finally said. “I spent so much time and energy trying to fill my subjects back home with fear and hostility, and here you’ve done it with one click on the Find A Job interface!”
“Now, Fey, I’m afraid you’ve gotten the wrong idea,” I said. “I joined the police department to help prevent and detect crime, and help maintain public order.”
“Can you believe this poop!” Tattoo Guy said. “I don’t know about you, but I don’t have to stand here and take this!”
“Oh, well, sorry you couldn’t stay,” I said, somewhat insincerely, as Tattoo Guy headed down the front stops.
“I didn’t say I couldn’t stay,” he said. “I said I don’t have to stand here and take this.”