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 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."
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.