Saturday, June 21, 2014
Chapter 12: Vox
"Animatronic toys, huh?" Rhonda GilsCarbo has graduated from high school, and is much more agreeable as a toy shop employee than she was as a teenager looking for social interaction from cool people and only cool people at the summer festival. "I guess this place seriously is in need of some neat interactive stuff. I mean look around, it's mostly creepy ass dolls."
"So you think your boss will talk to me?" Reggie asks hopefully.
"Sure," she says, desperate either to annoy her boss or to find something to do other than stare at the scary clown mannequins and rubber ducks all day, "I think this 'support local artists and the economy' bullshit angle is going to take you places."
The younger Goldbeard boys have a look around the shop while Reggie conducts business.
"Look at all this stuff!" Ray gasps.
"This is what being a rich kid is like," Rohane informs him.
"No fair," Ray sighs.
"Let's build a block castle," Rohane suggests.
"But I wan' play with the bunny..."
"Ray, you have stupid cheap bunnies at home! We only have limited time here so we are building a castle."
Reggie's efforts to bring in some cash pay off, and he is allowed to adopt a puppy.
Vox is a sheltie with a mutant white patch on his head. He's tiny right now, but someday... he'll be... uh... less tiny. Yeah. We all feel safer already.
"Stupid thing howls loud enough to usher in an apocalypse," Petra sighs. Since the new puppy, she's been unable to practice keyboarding without this nonsense starting up.
If sharing a bedroom with four younger siblings wasn't enough to make her want to leave this house as soon as possible, the addition of the puppy certainly was.
Seriously it looks like even this leering gnome could murder Vox.
...Where did that gnome come from, anyway? I do not know.
Reggie is playing with a kicky ball in the yard one day, when suddenly it begins to emit magic smoke, floats, and then vanishes.
Being a sensible young mage, Reggie casts some spells to track the leftover energy signatures back to their source.
The kicky ball is sitting amidst a scattering of random objects next to Rohane's bed.
And when the narrator says "random", she means none of this stuff belongs to Rohane. And most of it doesn't belong to anyone in the family. And there are traffic cones.
None of this junk was here earlier this morning! Reggie takes his concerns straight to his mother. "Rohane isn't even home right now, so the likelihood that he is behind this is near zero. And Vox cannot climb the stairs without assistance."
"It was probably the gnomes," Greta says dismissively. "They have teleportation powers that work differently from ours."
"I am not prepared to accept sentient lawn gnomes without evidence," Reggie says, wary of practical jokes.
"Don't you notice they move?" Greta's face scrunches into a frown, as it occurs to her that things in this house often move without being sentient. The house is full of kids after all. "They're a mysterious species. Best not to anger them by getting rid of the objects, but we can move them away from Rohane's bed."
"What if these... objects... are stolen?"
Greta casts a suspicious eye over the snowboard and decorative bean jar. "It'll be fine. They might even vanish back from whence they came. Just respect the gnomes, and they'll respect you, generally. They help to ward away bad spirits."
"You've never mentioned sentient gnomes before," Reggie harps on the ridiculousness of it. Do these things watch him while he sleeps? Ewww.
"It... slipped my mind until this moment, honestly. Strange."
"...and then she said it had merely slipped her mind," Reggie tells the tale to Petra, since bothering his father or younger siblings seems like a terrible idea.
"Yeah, as soon as I graduate, I am so out of here." Petra cringes. "Right now my prospects are looking like splitting the rent with those drama queens Terry Taylor and Diana Lombardi."
"I think I'd rather stay with the gnomes," Reggie laughs.
Gysael's age-up-day falls on a Leisure Day, so the whole family is home to celebrate with cake.
Hats are yesterday's news. Greta styles her youngest's hair in two fat braids big enough to hide those ears.
"You're still Gysael the Gremlin to me," Petra jokes.
For a little while, Ray, Gysael and Rohane share an age state.
They like playing video games together...
And they especially like playing "beta testers" and "control group 6" for Reggie.
But all cute things eventually come to an end. Rohane ages up.
"Put the noisemaker away or I will bite your face."
EPILOGUE: In the middle of cooking some firecracker shrimp, Scarlett stops what he's doing to pop a personal pizza in the oven. I'm starting to understand how most everything you cook ends up a charred mess, Scarlett.
Scarlett does not have the absent-minded trait. What happened here was a really weird glitch. That or, maybe he got so hungry, the hunger freakout action caused him to abandon cooking the food... and then his first instinct was to cook different food?
But what happened next was a weird glitch. Instead of going into the oven, the pizza seemingly vanished into thin air, and I instructed Scarlett to resume cooking the shrimp. But I knew in my heart I was in for it. The pizza may have vanished, but the game knew it was there. Somewhere. Lurking.
So a few minutes later, Scarlett sits down to eat his (not burned, outstanding quality) firecracker shrimp...
And then this happens.
Greta rolls her eyes at Scarlett's incompetence as she casts an ice blast spell to put out the fire.
Unfortunately, the fire alarm already woke up all five of their children.
Etc.: The pizza glitch was not my most noteworthy glitch this session.
Gysael refused to age up normally. I tried cheats, I tried cake, I tried flipping my monitor the double bird, nothing. She would start clapping, like she was going to sparkle and age up, but the "have birthday" action wouldn't appear and after a moment and she's go play with a toy or whatever. As it turned out, parts of Gysael's file had become corrupted... specifically all of her clothes, though there may have been more issues I didn't discover, since, when I grabbed her and "sold" her for 0 simoleons, then used a mod to recover missing sims, she was finally able to age up but had slightly different facial features. It was like half of them had to be erased, so the game re-rolled her genetics or something.
I'm lucky it wasn't more dramatic than it was. Can you even spot the change? It's her eyes. Her eye shape turned into Scarlett's, and her irises turned bright pink-mango (wtf?). I was able to change her eye color to normal, but her slightly different face had to stay.
And I'll be the first to say... I actually like her face better now.