Saturday, November 12, 2016
Chapter 73: Sister Sell Out
Rayna Ramos grew up in this city; she knows its evil ways, and in turn she inflicts that evil back on it. The family that moved into this house likely couldn't afford to install a thief detection system, and while that means they might be slim pickings, it also means they'll be easy pickings.
Rayna was sure the two men and the woman were asleep, but she hasn't taken ten steps towards their television before she is violently leapt on.
As he subdues the burglar, Milo worries for his family, not his material possessions.
There is no way he's going to let this criminal hurt Ceth.
Carlos somehow sleeps through all the yelling and screaming, but Ceth trots downstairs to appreciate it and cheer Milo on. Ceth has been stuck on lyrics to a new song, and Rayna's yelps of pain inspire her.
"This wasn't even worth it!" Rayna groans. "This house has nothing but garbage in it!"
"I'll give you something to bitch about," Milo warns.
With a howl that shakes the walls, Milo transforms.
Rayna has the brave trait, but too much is too much.
"Don't come back!" the deep growl threatens her, as she flees in terror.
Maybe it's trite, but she's totally going to rethink her "career" choice.
After such a rude awakening during the night, Milo sleeps in the next morning, allowing the sun to rise high in the sky before he pulls himself out of bed.
Before breakfast, Milo checks on the washing machine, and pulls out the damp clothes to hang on the line.
"Happy Leisure Day," Ceth greets him.
"That's right." Milo yawns. "Where's Carlos?"
"At work! Can you believe it?"
"Well, he loves his job," Milo says with a small frown.
"But you have the day off, right?"
"Let's find somewhere fun."
Ceth figured the public pool would be crowded on Leisure Day, so they try there first.
In Monte Vista, the pools are an elegant affair, but in Starlight Shores the only public pool looks clinical and far too chlorinated, and is attached to a musky gym.
"I bet we should have gone with the beach," Milo suggests.
"UGH," Ceth cannot contain her disdain.
"Oh it's not that bad. Seaweed season is over now..."
Well, this was a bust. The only men here are either married, unattractive, or named Milo.
Ceth begins to reconsider the beach suggestion.
She spots some completely unfamiliar faces, though, and can't let herself leave until they have heard her sing. The latest song she's trialing was inspired by some western theme game in the arcade, as well as bubbles in the arcade, and it draws the attention of a random old man.
"Such an excellent voice," he says.
Ceth smiles. "Don't I recognize you from somewhere?"
"Charlie Ray Buckshot," he introduces himself. "I still hold the record for top ten hits, but... ah, most people only know my name for the gossip these days."
Ceth remembers now. Something about Buckshot's wife divorcing him, taking most of his fortune, and sleeping around with their pool boy. Seeing the hurt flicker in Charlie's eyes makes her instinctively think of Reggie, her adoptive granddad, and she suddenly feels too sympathetic to say anything rude. "I haven't heard any gossip," she lies. "I'm pretty sure I've seen your picture at the Rodeo-Go-Go."
"I was on my way to the sim-fest there today..." he pauses, thinking it over a moment before offering, "It's invitation only. You may consider yourself invited."
Ceth doesn't know if she should be getting creepy vibes from the old man or not, but the Rodeo-Go-Go is hardly a scary place to follow someone to, and this may be the big break she's been waiting for. Plus, she has Milo with her.
"I'll just let Willard know about you," Buckshot says, pleased to see Ceth and Milo when they show up at the Rodeo-Go-Go's doors.
Willard Wright, a wannabe screenwriter turned manager of the Rodeo-Go-Go, looks Ceth over. "Ceth La Mer, hm? You're going to need a catchier name than that on my stage."
"But Ceth La Mer is my name," she protests.
"You need a brand." Wright watches her try and fail not to scowl. She's already won him over by name-dropping Perenna Goldbeard. She can afford to scowl. "I have just the name for you. I was saving it for someone special."
"Shouldn't I pick my own name?"
"If you can come up with something better than Sister Sell Out."
She stares at him in silence, wondering what about her was 'special' enough to warrant this.
Most of the names in here ring a bell, and many of the faces are plastered on billboards around town. Fellow singer Sadie Mason, world adventuring magician Steve Cupp, the hopeless romantic contortionist Bryce Savage, Finnegan Sawyer... wait, wasn't Sawyer that pool boy?
Nah. Ceth must be misremembering.
While she's giddy with anticipation, Milo could not be more bored, and feasts on some nachos while Bryce Savage contorts himself on stage.
Ceth feels awkward watching this highly paid celebrity work and thinking her aunt Lu could do it better.
She can empathize when Bryce accidentally sets his butt on fire, though.
Ceth is introduced as Sister Sell Out and asked to take the stage. For the first time in her life she feels what might be stage fright, a weird feeling knotting up in her chest, but she is determined not to choke. She pastes on a confident grin. "I'm Sister Sell Out, and this song... well, I wrote it myself."
She pauses only a moment to catch her breath before launching into the song, not giving herself time to judge the audience's facial cues for their reaction to a newbie.
The young singer throws her entire body into the song, acting out each word with conviction and passion.
"She's good, but she's not that good, and she's on the slim side..." Finnegan Sawyer tries to turn anyone in earshot against his competition.
The loud applause Ceth receives speaks for itself.
She's out of breath after the performance, too exhausted to hide the joy she feels. She's had nagging doubts about this singer thing, that dull, painful feeling she needs to be elsewhere, doing something else... but as she watches the audience cheer and jump around, a temporary peace settles over her.
The next performance is from Sadie Mason. Ceth cheers Sadie on, but can't help wondering how anyone takes her seriously, with that terrible hair.
After Ceth's time in the spotlight, Milo ditches the Rodeo-Go-Go and instead attends a pool party Ernesto invited him to. Turns out Ernesto is kind of a bum that lives in Mithun Khan's house, and while Mithun and his wife Ariella are out of town, Ernesto sees no problem hosting a party to keep himself company.
On one hand, Milo thinks this is kind of wrong, but on the other hand, there are hot chicks in bikinis, juice, and the chance to see what Mithun's place looks like.
Mithun's pool is pretty awesome.
Mithun's garage is also pretty awesome, boasting several pieces of gym equipment and a pool table. Maybe when Milo is paid more, he thinks, he'll convert his family's garage into something nice like this.
Ernesto gets into a fight with Courtney Foster.
Milo is torn between which friend to comfort and check up on. Ernesto is his buddy, but Courtney is his teammate, recently promoted.
Milo regrets possibly biting off more than he can chew when Courtney launches into a detailed explanation of how much of a scumbag Ernesto is.
Being too new to town to understand the depths of Ernesto's scumbaggery is not something Courtney can blame Milo for, though. Meeting for the first time outside of the workplace, the two find they have a lot in common.
Back at the Rodeo-Go-Go, Charlie Ray Buckshot takes the stage.
He has disqualified himself from winning the friendly competition. He just wants to be on stage.
Ceth finds herself singing along with some of the songs. Country western isn't usually her style, but a great artist can make anything sound good. She and Charlie are, in her opinion, great artists.
Never fear, citizens... it is only Carlos, searching the stars.
Night falls, and the party at the Rodeo-Go-Go goes on.
Finally, Willard Wright gets on stage again to announce the winner of the simfest.
He puts some flair into it.
A winner is you!
(A winner is Sister Sell Out.)
Ceth is honestly shocked by her win, given the exclusivity of the event and her talented competition, but Charlie insists she earned it.
"Hey, guys!" Ceth gets home feeling pretty good about her chances of making it big in Starlight Shores, but her boys are too busy grousing about something to notice her cheerful mood.
"So then all of a sudden Courtney starts freaking out, she says 'what am I doing, I told Bryce we'd try to make it work, but here I am flirting with you instead of watching his simfest'. I swear I'm going to have to write off ever finding another girlfriend," Milo moans.
"Bryce Savage?" Ceth pipes up.
"Yeah..." Milo mumbles. "How'd you know?"
"Our money problems this week are OVER! I discovered a new singularity!" Carlos can't contain himself any longer.
Milo sighs and looks away while Carlos and Ceth discuss science stuff. Maybe she can keep up with all that jargon, but Milo can't. Why is anybody paid anything to study gravity things happening inconceivable distances away?
Etc.: Carlos was paid 10,000 simoleons for discovering a black hole at his workplace. Woo! Now I can furnish the upstairs bathroom!
I had written off simfests as glitchy and worthless after Lucida's try at them in Monte Vista. I only did this one because the family desperately needs the cash. To my shock and delight, it seemed to be working properly for once. Several different performers took the stage, and at first the Rodeo-Go-Go was packed with sims. Most of them left halfway through the simfest but I'm still pleased.
I'm writing most of the Starlight Shores town sims based on their EA bios.