Friday, November 25, 2016

Chapter 77: Get Blitzed

Milo meets up with Kirstin Law at The Warehouse, as they planned.

Finnegan Sawyer's life has not been going great lately, as you can see. He had to give up singing and is now in food service.

After munching on some cheap nachos and making a few drinks disappear, Milo and Kirstin dance, connecting over their tastes in music and other shallow meaningless things.

Meanwhile, Ceth is on her way to get blitzed at the bubble bar when she notices... this...

Yep. She's not even going to process that.

And Carlos is out buying groceries.

"I don't know what your deal is, lady, but you need to stop stalking me."

"Take the flash drive from my pocket," she whispers. "You can use it to get into the central file system at the observatory. You can see the truth for yourself."

"I'm walking away, now," Carlos says.

It isn't until Kirstin is playing a game of hoops with Milo behind his house that Milo becomes smitten with her. She may not know much about sports, but her athletic prowess is unmistakable.
Even in those heels, she rocks a basketball.

"So how is it you're on the dating market?" she asks.

"Shortage of eligible bachelorettes, I guess," Milo laughs nervously. "What about you?"

"I grew up around here. Never was very popular. Not into the arts scene. I can't stand art, to be honest with you. Performances don't move me, splashes of color don't excite me. Having fashion sense is a chore. I'm utilitarian, not pretentious. They voted me Least Likely to Succeed in school. But who's laughing now? I'm the one who's financially stable, while I'm watching most of my old classmates' dreams of being famous crash and burn."

"That's a lot to take in," Milo says. "But you like Blink Revival," he reminds her of the song they danced so well to. Or at least the band that brought that song to life.

"They sing about the sim condition. Stuff that's real. Down to Earth." She glances back at him after sinking another ball into the hoop. "You're down to Earth. I can tell."

"Yeah," he says distantly, as he thinks about magic and werewolves. "I had a bad experience too. Dated my best friend in high school... like a moron... then breaking it off with her was almost impossible. Then she wanted to woohoo anyway, but it was a cover for trying to steal from my parents."

Kirstin can't keep herself from laughing. "Well she sounds like an amateur..."

"What do you mean?"

"Nothing. Sorry man, I don't mean to laugh, that sounds rough."

"So I guess we both have issues," Milo tries to laugh too.

"Hey, I'm sure your user radar will work properly next time. We all made mistakes as kids."

Kirstin may be a career criminal and a top notch thief, but she is not a user. She doesn't need anyone. She's not even sure she needs a date, but it's not every day a total hunk pays attention to her.

Dang, he's got skill!

But so does she.

Or at least, she's got moxie?

"I'll see you on Friday," she says, as she leaves him.

Her parting gift is a shy kiss on the cheek.

Etc.: Milo has a type...

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Chapter 76: The Conspiracy

Remember the proprietor at Mick's not even walking out of the office to see Ceth?

Well, now he's dancing with her.

And when Ceth dances, everybody dances.

"So how were Mom and Dad?" Carlos asks, when his little brother returns home.

"Fine." Milo plops down onto the sofa. "Found out 'Lupe has some kind of kleptomania problem when Aunt Izzy had her arrested for trying to make off with some of the family sparklies."

"Ouch. What was she up to besides that?"

"I don't want to talk about it. I just want a hug."

Carlos frowns, concerned, and leans over to hug his brother. "I'm just now realizing you are like... twice my size."

Milo almost smiles. "Bro, you need to lift."

Another day.

Another beach party.

Milo is right back into the swing of things. Maybe seeing Monte Vista again was good for him; he's focused on his career and his life here, now.

Kirstin Law pretends to understand when Milo tells her about his bold move on the field that secured a critical win against the Llamas. All the sports terminology is alien to her, but Milo is cute and enthusiastic, and totally ripped, so she doesn't mind listening to him chatter.

Stripes are so in this season.

Mercedes May tries to cut in, but is ignored.

"Why is the hottest guy in the room talking to objectively the ugliest woman in town?" Mercedes sighs.

Her roommate, Sadie, just frowns.

Kirstin may not be traditionally beautiful, with that long nose and her hair packed into awkward braids, but she's easy to talk to and she rocks that little skirt.

"Looks like things are winding down here. Want to grab a bite to eat somewhere?"

"I know just the place, but I have a job to get to," she says, without ever mentioning what her job is. "How about tomorrow? The Warehouse? I'm sure you've been there."

"Dance club, huh? That sounds fun." Milo's phone begins to ring, letting him know that his night will not be free either, anyway. He's supposed to have the day off, but as soon as he hears the buzz, he knows the boss must want something.

Ceth's quest for new romance hits just as many snags as Milo's. Barry Whitfield lays on the charm, but he clearly just sees the successful young singer as a meal ticket...

Ceth and Rehman Sagar click instantly due to their shared genius trait, but the fact that Rehman has a teenage son scares her off.

Darren Lott is obviously interested in Ceth, but he's still an asshole.

Carlos is not looking for more romance, or anything at all that's on Earth, and instead prefers to chill at this spooky hangout called a "future lounge". Freaky science gelatin for the win!

Properly known as The Erutuf, this is a good place to run into other researchers off the clock. Natasha Gooder, who works in the lab across from Carlos's, is heavily invested in the theoretical harvesting of dark matter, and not just because her family is frighteningly rich enough to have its claws in everything around here.

Carlos finds Natasha, and her entire family, a bit intimidating... but he is able to make small talk.

Coworker relationships may be a work performance metric later? He's not sure. Best to be prepared.

His favorite feature of Erutuf is the chatty waitress, Clarisse Eastin.

She likes to gossip with Carlos about her patrons. "That's Evan Best. The cop. You know, his son Calvin used to date Natasha... but her parents threw such a hiss fit. Threatened to cut her off financially."

Even Best chows down on his sandwich, oblivious. He's mostly naked because he was enjoying one of Erutuf's swimming pools.

"Not sure if you've noticed, Carlos, but that chick pretending to play pool over there? She's been staring at you the last three or four times you've been in here."

"The one in white." Carlos nods, an almost imperceptible head tilt. "Do you know who she is?"

"Not a damn clue. But she only ever shows here when you're here, and she leaves after you do."

"Thanks, Clarisse."

Carlos dares to glance his stalker's way, but she does not meet his eyes, instead shifting her position around the table, doing her best to look as if she's actually playing a game.

Carlos decides the best solution to this problem is to simply not engage it. He leaves the main room, but... she follows him. In retrospect, maybe he should have stayed where everyone else was.

"Chilly night," she says.

"Hn," Carlos grunts into his drink.

"Hot tub?" she suggests.

The pool and hot tub look quite inviting, but Carlos has never been one to enjoy swimming.

"I didn't bring a change of clothes," he says.

"You could always go without," she says, as she saunters towards the pool, her hips swaying in a way that she must think is enticing. He didn't even notice when she stripped into swimwear.

Carlos downs the rest of his drink quickly, tilting it back until it clinks against his fangs. He has every intention of leaving immediately... and yet... blast it, his curiosity gets the best of him.

He sits down at the edge of the pool and stares at her pointedly. "Leaving now won't make you lose interest, will it?"

"Very good," she answers. "No, it won't."

"Then what do I owe the honor?"

"I notice things. I notice the thief having too many drinks, telling her accomplice to avoid the old Woods' place, they have a nasty dog. No, one of them is a dog. With fangs. Perhaps yours? You don't exactly do much to hide them."

"They're not real," he says.

"Then can you take them out for me?"

"If I were a vampire, my skin would glow with unnatural magic."

"Yes." Her eyes are unwavering, unblinking, and for the first time he notices how huge they are. "Tell me... Carlos Goldbeard-Rossi... why do your eyes glow, but not your skin?"

"My eyes don't glow. They're naturally pale."

"Sister Sell Out's eyes are naturally pale," she corrects. "In the right lighting, your eyes lose their glow, becoming dark green. Her eyes are always the same."

"I'm a scientist. Do you want me to sit here all night explaining light to you? Because I think you have a basic misunderstanding of how it works."

"The only misunderstanding is why a vampire is in my city. We have the right to protect ourselves, you know."

"I'm not a vampire."

"Then what are you?"

"A scientist?" He waves his hands in exasperation.

She watches, as if the gesture could be meaningful. "You work in the observatory."


"Tell me about the aliens."

Carlos laughs. "That's it, I'm out of here."

"I know there are aliens," she calls out, as he walks away. "I know you know something."

As Carlos leaves Erutuf, he notices Natasha dancing alone. Was swimsuit lady a test, he wonders? Doctor Gooder would know if it was a test. But if it wasn't a test, asking about it could land crazy conspiracy theorist swimsuit lady in a bit of trouble. She may be crazy, but she doesn't deserve that...

...So he keeps his mouth closed. As he has always done.

Etc.: The Advanced Technology skill is one of Carlos's job requirements now, so I plopped down that future lounge for him. It has several interactive gadgets in it that allow him to raise the skill.

Some of you may be asking yourselves "what about the Ceth x Carlos pairing?" Rest assured I have not forgotten about their little moment, and neither have they. They're romantic interests in game, after all, so I do mean that literally. Sims never forget.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Chapter 75: When the Moon Hits Your Eye

As Milo gets more and more game time with The Gnomes, his popularity skyrockets, and he's invited to more and more parties.

He meets more and more ladies...

...and can't stand most of them.

Priscilla's very nice, and clearly digs his muscles, but she's not single.

Milo still thinks of 'Lupe often. He wishes she were around, so they could both be living this wild lifestyle.

Keg stand fail.

Ladies' man fail.

Party drama.

Party girls.

Mercedes May annoys Phil. She's so obviously evil. Why does anyone tolerate her?

Ernesto finds the bathroom, and parties there long after everyone else has left.

Carlos takes Milo aside to yell at him later. He thought they had agreed on there being no parties in the house.

"Why isn't Ceth getting yelled at?" Milo whimpers.

Ceth gets yelled at, too.

"Oh, I see, you want me to never have any friends over just in case you turn into an ugly ass werewolf," Ceth mocks.

"Yes exactly!"

"Maybe you should just chain yourself in the garage like a normal dog when you feel like having a meltdown like a little toddler!"

"Maybe you should learn common courtesy or empathy or something, since we can't exactly afford to live separately right now!" Carlos growls.

Listening in from downstairs, Milo cringes and backs away slowly.

"Oh, like anything about you is common!"

"That is not what I meant!"

"I'm going to have a social life whether you like it or not!"

"I don't see why it has to be in OUR house!"

While Ceth and Carlos screamed at each other, Milo took off to Yolanda Lemmon's swim party.

"Way too many dudes here," Ernesto complains.

Most of these guys do not look as good without their shirts on as Yolanda hoped.

She smiles brightly when she notices Milo. "Thanks for coming to my party."

"I'm surprised to see you throwing one," he says, aware of her loner trait.

"Yes, well, I had my reasons..."

Those reasons involved disappearing into a bedroom with Richter Steele. Milo excuses himself from the party early and takes a stroll down the beach.

The moon shines bright over the ocean, but it is never a full moon. It isn't the real moon at all. It is merely a decoration in the sky. Earth lost its moon long ago, and now machines keep stability in its stead. Milo sometimes wonders if his kind had something to do with this.

He knows the stories. A curse caused werecreatures to go lose their minds every time a full moon was in their sky. It made no biological sense, but then, magic is not bound to the biological.

Homesick as he is, Milo returns for a visit.

His parents want to know everything. So he puts on a smile and tells them Starlight Shores is great, fantastic, ocean-y. He tells them about his career success, and Ceth's career success, and how much Carlos loves his job. 

"It's a shame you don't play for the Roos," his mother reminds him, before she laughs and promises she'll still cheer for his team.

He meets up with Guadalupe at the arcade above the pizzeria. She doesn't seem too happy to see him, but still jumps at the chance to hang out with him.

She tells him about her father dying, and about a string of jobs she quit, and about a string of boyfriends who dumped her.

He's missed a lot in her life, apparently.

Guadalupe isn't the only one airing grievances tonight...

Gianna Toledo and Marlene Monty are having a disagreement. Apparently it concerns Marlene's son Gaius, but Milo cannot hear the details over the music and beeps of the various arcade machines.

Parents can be so meddling, he thinks. Maybe it's good he keeps his in a different town most of the time.

Even after all the negativity they've been through, Milo finds 'Lupe's presence comforting. When she does smile, it lights up his night.

"So... where did you learn to dance so well?" She immediately feels dumb for asking. The answer is Starlight Shores, of course.

"Well, mostly from Ceth," he says.

She's still so pretty, he thinks. Maybe he should ask her again to come to Starlight Shores, now that her father has passed on? No... something tells him she doesn't want that. She will never want that. She doesn't want a fresh start. She wants to stay here. And, Milo realizes, he has moved on. Home isn't the same place it was before. As much as he missed things here, now that he's actually in Monte Vista he can't wait to hit the road again. "You... uh... wanna get some pizza, 'Lupe?"

"Sure, in a little bit."

She wanted a soda first.

Delicious pizza! Almost as good as Carlos makes.

Oh. 'Lupe is still talking.

"...and my Dad left some of the estate to your aunt," she's saying. "Do you know anything about that? My sister kind of shrugged at me. I don't know if that means she doesn't know, or what, since we're barely even on speaking terms."

"Huh? Why are you fighting with Tina?"

Guadalupe shakes her head, not answering. She and Valentina have never been close.

Milo shrugs and takes another bite of pizza. He chews slowly, then swallows. "Well, Izalee was your aunt Venessa's daughter."

"Are you serious?"


"No way. What the hell?"

"I don't know," Milo lies. "She left my Grandpa when aunt Izzy was just a kid."

"What the hell," Guadalupe repeats. Her father gave her a lot of shit for associating with Milo. Now this, and he's not even around anymore to explain himself. Guadalupe barely even remembers her aunt Venessa at all.

They go back to the Goldbeard place to play video games. It's less enjoyable than the arcade, sadly, because Guadalupe is so insecure about stupid things, making her a sore loser on "real" games as opposed to the ridiculous rigged arcade games, where everyone is expected to lose.

She doesn't feel like going home, so Milo just does his best to comfort her.

"Thanks for letting me know you were in town," she says softly. "I haven't had this much fun in a long time."

"No way I'd come back and not see you," he replies. "You were my best bud."

She leans over and kisses him. It's clumsy and desperate, but, he can't deny it also makes him feel warm and excited.

"Sleep with me," she says.

"I have to leave tomorrow," he replies, finding his voice again with difficulty.

"I know you don't want a relationship with me. We wouldn't be good together. I just... trust me on that. But I still want to... well... unless I'm not good enough for you..."

"Dammit 'Lupe don't talk yourself down."

"Then shut my mouth," she teases.

The only bed left in the house big enough for two people belongs to Milo's parents, so these two frisky sims settle on woohoo in this wardrobe.

Izalee shouldn't have left her cursed wardrobe in Milo's old room if she didn't want this to happen.

"H-how am I in my swimwear?" Guadalupe is pretty certain she left it at home.

"I don't know," Milo says, "but it's really hot."

Control yourselves, guys....

Exhausted, they later decide the bed in Milo's room is big "enough", kinda, to collapse on.

I remind you Milo's room doesn't even have a proper door on it.

In the dead of night, Guadalupe slips out of her... ex-boyfriend's... arms. Yes, he's just her ex. She has to keep telling herself that. They have no future.

Her teen trait was kleptomaniac. She kept that from Milo. It was a struggle. She doesn't understand what drives her to do this, to steal. Maybe it's jealousy. Success and happiness comes so easily to other people, but not to her. Or maybe it's some kind of compulsive madness, keeping her awake, thoughts drawn persistently back to all these shinies laying around unguarded...

The saddest thing is that she thinks this silly walk is stealthy.

Guadalupe doesn't have her father's skills. The local crime syndicate, Good Guys Inc., won't have anything to do with her. She thoroughly bungled the trial job they had her on, and everything she's ever successfully stolen has been minor and stupid.

Perhaps that changes tonight, she thinks, as she looks over the glittering gems...

Or, maybe things just get worse.

"I have you on camera, and I'm calling the police," Izalee informs her.

The household witch sensed Guadalupe's possible treachery hours ago.

Etc.: What would happen without the moon? Bad stuff. But nothing a good old fashioned dose of super sci-fi can't fix?!?!

The oceans would not be completely still, but they'd be a lot calmer.

And most things in them would die.