My experiment in community-oriented policing seemed to be working on my first day walking the beat. The Angry Sims who had wandered onto the lot, itching of a Fight interaction, were dispersing.
Fey Johnson was still standing there, fuming beside me on the porch of the Heck household, but that was just her normal, everyday rage, not some Detective Career Track-induced Angry state.
“It must be nice to get your turn in the rotation,” she said venomously. “I’ve been here longer than you – spent most of that time under house arrest or being experimented upon by EA/Mobile Customer Secret Service, but I’m glad you got to cut in front of me.”
“Well, you did delete an entire household of Sims,” I observed. “You’re lucky no one deleted you.”
“Oh, you’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Fey spat.
“No! But face it, Fey, you’re not exactly pleasant to be around,” I said as I followed Fey down toward the sidewalk. “As I recall, even your own sons left you in a doorless room to starve after they came of age.”
“Do not blame my boys for that!” Fey said, spinning on me. “That was that Insane little glitch who played me! She’s the one who went into Build Mode, and then blamed my sons! And then she didn’t even have the courage to narrate what she’d done, just buried their generation under a Flickr album and moved on to Generation Five!”
“Well there’s no risk of that happening here,” I said. “In this blog, every trip to the bathroom gets its own chapter.”
Fey looked up and laughed.
“Truly,” she said. “But it does make me worry that my turn in the rotation may never come around.”
“You should go to Number Two’s supervillain camp when his turn comes around,” I suggested. “He’s going to be one of the first households to get played after the blog gets back from Le Dynastie d’Angers.”
“WHAT!” Fey stormed. “That pusillanimous little popinjay gets to play ahead of me? Me!”
I settled in for another round of Fey’s ranting, thinking I’d taken the Fight out of the Sims on my beat.
I still needed to issue a citation if I was to advance beyond Cadet, so I sent the invisible floating camera off to look up and down the sidewalks for litterers.
So the invisible floating camera wasn’t there when a Fight interaction broke out in front of the Heck’s house. It raced up the sidewalk to zoom in on the fog of battle, wondering where I had disappeared to.
The invisible floating camera zoomed closer to the fight and vaguely made out what appeared to be Tattoo Guy …
… beating me into a Daze.
He stepped back victoriously, saying something about sic semper tyrannis as I reeled on the sidewalk..
I clicked on him to ask what him what dinosaurs had to do with it (I was dazed, like I said), when I noticed Issue Citation on the wheel of contextually appropriate interactions.
Any reservations I had about issuing citations evaporated.
I clicked on it.
“Hold it right there, mister,” I said. “I’m going to need to see your SimID.”
He took one look at me, arched one enormous eyebrow …
… and walked right around me.
“Hey! I said hold it!” I said as I followed him.
I was trying to execute the Issue Citation interaction but there were two peculiar actions queued in front of it, interactions I could not simply right-click away.
Listen to Gossip and Listen to Joke. Their icons were white. Clearly rendered in The Sims 4 graphic style but very different, like icons from a different submenu.
I figured they must be from a unique set of interactions related to walking the beat. Whatever they were, they were keeping me from achieving this short-term personal and career objective.
“Aren’t you gonna arrest me, pig?” Tattoo Guy taunted as he walked nonchalantly toward the edge of the subneighborhood.
“I’m gonna let you go with a warning this time,” I said. “But don’t blame me for deficiencies of the criminal justice simulation in this game. I didn’t write the Detective Career Track; I’m just playing it.”
“Yeah, well, we wouldn’t be living in a police state if there weren’t Sims willing to be police,” Tattoo Guy said. “Think about that when your head clears.”
I was back home, cleaning up after my Upper Crusts club gathering from the night before, before the Daze faded and gave way to an emotional state that flickered between Happy and Tense.
And I didn’t want to think about what Tattoo Guy had said, or how much he seemed like an externalized manifestation of my own internal debate over my career choice, or how difficult it must be for him to arch those enormous eyebrows …
So, when Josie Tyler called and asked me to hang out on The Bluffs in Windenberg, I jumped at the invitation.
I got a Travel With… menu when I said yes, and invited Enkeli Starwing, Karli Wheeler and Allison Heck to come with us.
“This was supposed to be a club gathering,” Josie said, noticing that our group plumbobs lacked the Upper Crust icon.
“Sorry,” I said as I spun out of my uniform.
“Don’t worry about it,” Josie said. “The other club members are here too, I just know you were worried about the apparent lack of deep social interactions at your club gathering, and I thought this might help.”
“What might help?”
“Take them to a place where they can’t engage in club-sanctioned activities,” Josie said. “There’s nothing to eat or drink here, except maybe some wild growfruit. Let’s see how everyone gets along if we’re not stuffing our faces all night.”
What everybody did was gather at the edge of the swimming hole and Get to Know each other.
It was a nice conclusion to a rotten day. I was glad Josie thought of it.
It was late when I finally got home and I was exhausted. I napped on the couch in my Swimwear and made myself wake up in time to wolf down some yogurt before I went to work.
When Wednesday morning’s get-to-work menu popped up, I decided to click “Go Alone” instead of “Join”, to see what would happen.
What happened was I disappeared, the game clock shifted to cheetah-speed and, seconds later, my work-day was over and I re-appeared on the sidewalk outside Yuma Heights.
My Tense moodlets yielded to an Embarrassed one when the notification submenu told me that I’d earned a promotion to Officer that day.
“Really?” I said as I went from Embarrassed to Angry. “Some algorithm thinks it can do my job better than I can?
“Well, we’ll just see about that!” I said, shifting again from Angry back to Tense.
I don’t know.
I have enough vacation days to get the end of my turn.
I could do that.