Casus Bella: 55 – Kinda Like a Family


A Fight broke out toward the end of my after-hours party.

Macie the Evil Ex-Receptionist had been taunting me for my unwitting role in the apparent disappearance of a Townie Teen I was trying to protect …


… when Moishe Martinez leapt to my defense and knocked some manners into her.


All the guests made for the front door when the Fight interaction ended, but I was able to stop Chief Ava Pike to Apologize.


“Apologize? I’m going to put in for your promotion!” Ava said. “Macie showed no trouble holding a coffee cup in her right hand when she was berating you, nor any trouble throwing a mean right jab during her altercation with Moishe. I’m pretty sure I can get her worker’s compensation claim overturned.”


“Well, I did some good after all,” I said.

“Right,” Ava said. “And about your … um, failed mission.”


“What about it?”

“Just … don’t let the game beat you, OK?”

“Thanks Chief,” I said, then headed up to my room …


… and wasted a couple of hours browsing the web for ways to restore deleted Townies to the game. Or what is known about the fate of suspects after they are persuaded to confess to a crime.

“Am I the only one who wonders about this stuff?” I wondered.


That morning, in my dreams, I found the Amatos, and they were so happy to have their boy back from jail that they didn’t seem to mind that I was the one who put him there in the first place.


But one look at Yuki the Receptionist’s face when I arrived at work told me that dream would not be coming true.

“Bad news, I take it,” I said.


“Look, Debbie. Don’t blame yourself,” Yuki said. “You meant to do that right thing. You’re just too late.”

Ruben Amato was not in his cell.


Apparently, after I’d extracted his confession to a string of vandalism charges, the Teen had been deleted from the game while I was at home, plotting his escape.

“That’s not much solace,” I said. “I never should have arrested him to begin with!”


“You wanted to solve one case,” Yuki said. “How could you know that vandalism is considered a capital offense?”


Chief Ava Pike and Assistant Moishe Martinez came into the processing room.

“I guess the jailbreak’s off,” I said dejectedly.

“So you didn’t tell her the good news?” Moise asked.

“What good news?” I asked.


“Well, we may have been too late to save Ruben, but at least the other inmates are still here,” Chief Pike said. “You can still stage your jailbreak.”

“So, you don’t mind?”

“Heck, no,” Chief Pike said. “Just hurry and get out of here before the game generates any more detectives. I already have more employees than workstations.”


Getting the inmates out of the cell was easy …


… but getting them to do anything with their chance for freedom proved elusive.


Near the end of my shift, one of the inmates seemed to make a break for it. Noah Baumgartner left the jail …


… and made it as far as the front porch of the station …


… and a couple of the other inmates joined him, but then they stood out there waiting …


… until my colleagues came and led them back to their cell.


In the last minutes of my shift, it looked like Brantley Salinas was pleading with Det. Blain for his release …


… but my shift ended and I found myself standing out on the sidewalk back home.  Left to act autonomously, I just stood there, unable to think of a single thing I might want to do.


Cassandra Goth 2.0 came outside and broke my gloomy reverie.

“We saved you some scrambled eggs,” she said as she approached. “Are you hungry?”


“I suppose,” I said. “I’m just having a hard time working up an appetite, or … or anything.”

“Oh,” Cassandra said, “so your rescue operation didn’t go as you’d hoped?”


“It didn’t go at all,” I said. “Ruben Amato was executed overnight and the other inmates … I could get them out of their cells, but they wouldn’t leave!”

“Oh, Debbie! I am so sorry,” Cassandra said. “Do you need some time to be alone, or is there something Rick and I can do to help?”

“Unless you can think of a way to get a Sim to leave his jail cell, there’s nothing anyone can do,” I said. “I guess the game beat me.”


“Probably,” Cassandra said. “If you could stay at work all night like a regular community lot, they might eventually drift off to wherever Townies call home, but because you’re forced to leave at shift-change –“

“Those poor fellows were spawned in jail,” I said. “They think it is home.”


“What a Gloomy existence,” Cassandra said with a tinge of jealousy.

“But if I can’t get them to leave, and I can’t kick them out, maybe I can draw them out,” I said, as the outline of another Crazy Scheme began to take shape.


“What are you thinking?” Cassandra asked.

“I think … I’m going to be leaving here tonight, Cassandra” I said. “Do you and Rick need any help with redecorating?”

“Not at all. We just added some single beds to increase capacity, sold off a bunch of items that were clogging the household inventory and put some gym equipment in the courtyard. The only thing we didn’t do was get Energize-buffing plumbobs for the the gym, but only because there aren’t any.”


“Well, here. Last Sunday, I found a ruby out back that emits an energizing emotional aura,” I said, sliding it from my Personal Inventory to hers.

“Thank you, Debbie,” Cassandra said. “Certainly feel free to take anything you can Put in Inventory before you leave, and don’t forget there’s a plate of scrambled eggs in the fridge that literally has your name on it.”


“I will, Cassandra, thanks,” I said as she headed back to the house. “I just have a few things to round up out here first.”


I ran off to the lemon tree beside the house to harvest some more fruit. I was so busy in my active Detective Career that I had been living off lemons I’d harvested last Sunday.

And I had a feeling this week was going to be every bit as busy.


I went through Yuma Heights, taking the grill from the courtyard and a hot chocolate set someone had set out on the kitchen counter.


Then went through the house and gathered up all the toys I’d amassed fulfilling some small Whims inspired by my deferred Family Aspiration­­­.


On my way out the door, I found one more toy I’d forgotten about.

“Ooh! Sarafina Plumsin’s robot!” I said, snatching it up. “Wonder if there’s some way I can get it back to her?”


I stood up straight, opened my phone and punched up the Household Management interface.


After a few minutes backing into and out of the Transfer Sims interface, I closed the phone and waited for the load screen.

“I guess it’s kinda like a family,” I said.


And moments later I was standing by the bay in Windenburg with four ex-cons.

“Gentleman!” I declared, “Welcome to your new home!”


“Home?” Noah Baumgartner said. “It’s an empty field, Officer Van High.”


“No,” I said. “It’s a fresh start.”



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