Bad Apples

Thursday, September 9, 2010

In every town, in every city, there are always criminals lurking around every corner. You might imagine the stereotypical beatneck thug, or even the high-class politician taking one dip too many into their campaign coffers. Yes, those are the easiest to spot... But that is what makes them the least sizable threat.

It is those lurking in plain sight, the ones you never even thought to question, that you should be on your toes looking for. Don't belittle the clerk at the grocery counter; it could be your last meal. Don't annoy the taxi driver; you may find yourself at a 'dead end'. There are bad apples everywhere, waiting to be weeded out...

But the last place we may check to find these bad apples may be the ones in our own buschel: and those might be the most dangerous of all.

Another day in Twinbrook taking names, looking for crime, hacking the police database for leads, playing pretend cop for the good guys at City Hall. Jebidiah Kane hated this job, but... it was a job.

You know, the kind where you won't get hit with a baseball bat of guilt every time you come home to your wife.

When Jeb got a call to the local grocery, it was nothing new nor surprising. "Thanks for coming so quick Mr. Kane, I knew you were the man to call."

'Aren't I always,' Jeb groaned to himself. 'Even when it's the most mundane thing ever.' Clearing his throat, he answered with a brief, "What seems to be the trouble, Clark?"

Clark Peddler looked around suspiciously before responding, "Our apples have gone missing. We got a huge shipment in this last week, but they all just vanished a few hours after arrival. I'm betting all my money that local gang's got something to do with it. They've been terrorizing us more and more the last few months."

"Well, don't jump to too many conclusions right away," Jeb said thoughtfully. "But it is probably the most likely culprit. I'll get back to you when I find a lead."

Jeb didn't even bother sticking around the grocery to look for evidence; when something this big went down, people weren't stupid enough to leave things like fingerprints laying around. It was better to just jump right to the heart of the matter.

And the heart of the matter in this case was this 'local gang' -- and the best way to get information was the source itself.

"Let's cut right to the chase, Marta." Jeb certainly didn't waste time. The more pansy-footing around the issue, the more excuses she was likely to come up with. "Big shipment of produce missing at the market. I don't want to have to ask twice... What'd you guys do with it?"

"I don't know what you're talking about, Mr. Kane."

"Sure you don't. Now, you've done your obligatory lying... So, tell me the truth. I don't want to have to make things messy."

"I'm bloody serious, Kane," Marta Tomasi responded, her expression that genuine aire of defenselessness those thugs prided in their female members. Well... if she was gonna play hard to get, then Jeb would just have to play hard.

Marta Tomasi had not been a resident in Twinbrook for long, but she'd already struck up quite the reputation. Jeb couldn't help but be reminded of Cody, all those years ago in Riverview; a sultry female using her femininity to get what she wanted... Money, recognition, status in the criminal community. Rumor had it that Marta's quick-fingeredness with a safe was legendary, as was her ability to con men out of their share of the profits.

But Jeb wasn't going to let her get her way, this time.

After tugging her inside away from prying eyes, Jebidiah let loose. "I've had it, Ms. Tomasi. These games don't work on me."

"Well they aren't games when you're telling the truth, are they, Investigator?"

"I don't need scumbuckets like you telling me you're capable of the truth when you're living happy and free under the law, Marta. Now give me answers!"

"You ain't gettin' nothing from me, you sleazebag!" Jeb forgot how feisty this one was... And how strong. That first uppercut to the face nearly scrambled Jeb's brain, but all it took was a quick comeback that she didn't expect to get the upper hand.

"Tell -- Me -- Where -- They -- Are -- TOMASI!" Jeb yelled as he bobbed about in a circle, his arm wrapped so tight around her throat she probably couldn't answer even if she wanted to.

Marta managed to squeeze out of his grasp, and immediately slammed her hands into Jeb's face to try to knock him away. "I'm not giving anything to a traitor like you!" she yelled back in defiance.

But... her defiance was simply no match for the 'persuasive' methods of Jebidiah Kane. Not today, at least.

"Aaaggh, fine, alright alright! Yer gonna freakin' break my back!" Marta rubbed the sore spot as one would try to soothe their soiled pride. "The Hawks didn't have anything to do with the heist. We were gonna take some, but by the time we got there, everything was already gone, so we split. Ya happy?"

Jeb groaned. "That's all you've got? Dammit... Guess I'm gonna have to do some snooping around, then."

"Haha, good luck with that," Marta responded with a foxy roll of her eyes.

"Yeah... Thanks," Jeb mumbled as he began to turn to leave.

"You know..." Marta continued, the corners of her lips turning up slightly at the disgruntled look on the PI's face. "There was once a time when the likes of Jebidiah Kane didn't need to chase down apple snatchers to rub two Simolie's together. There are legends in our circles of Blackjack Kane... Hackers that worship the codes he wrote, safecrackers that idolize the knobs he could turn.'

"That man... He could be doing so much better than chasing apple shipments. Whatever happened to him, Jeb? Whatever happened to that man?"

Jeb stared into Marta's eyes with a gaze of disbelief. How did she know? Had he really become that famous to the criminal kind? While the idea was a little gratifying, it was also a little frightening: how long until the cops got wind, as well?

"I don't know what you're talking about, Marta." Jeb shook his head as he turned to leave. "And Blackjack's a stupid name for a legend."

"If you say so, Mr. Kane. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get some shuteye before I actually do some meaningful thuggery tonight. Pardon me for wanting to give you a worthwhile case to work on."

Jeb grumbled, but finally turned to leave. As he did so, the rock in his stomach began to grow. 'That man... He could be doing so much better than chasing apple shipments.' Those words stuck in his mind like a puddle of hot glue -- and just as painful.

The remainder of the weekend, Amelia didn't see or hear from Alesha at all. Eva eventually called to let them know she'd shown up safe and sound (hank the plumbbob!), and there was no need to worry... but Amelia was confused why her friend would do something like that in the first place.

Amelia had never been to Alesha's house. It was a lot closer than she imagined, the way Alesha had described it... Meredith made sure to give careful directions, though oddly not worried that her little girl was taking a bike-ride this late at night. (Tsk, Meredith.) When Amelia finally arrived, she was really surprised; this wasn't anything like what Alesha had described.

Although she was a little bit grossed out at all the swamp everywhere (and ew, was that a frog?) Amelia scampered up the front steps and rang the front door.

She didn't have to wait long, though; from the small house within, it was easy to hear people scurrying about towards the entrance.

When Amelia saw her friend pop out the door, she thought that she didn't look quite as pleased to see her as she thought she'd be. "Oh, uh, hi, Amelia..." was Alesha's greeting.

"Hey, Leesha... What's going on?"

Alesha quickly stepped out and continued talking with a low voice. "What're you doing here, Mia? I thought I told you we were renovating and.. you know.. couldn't have visitors."

"Yeah, sure. I see lots of building going on. Why would you lie to me, Alesha? I'm yer best friend... I don't care where you live. I do care that you'd run away from home and not tell me, though."

"I.. I'm sorry," Alesha stuttered. "I was just really embarrassed, okay? I wanted you to think everything was happy here. Like at your house. Where your dad actually comes home, where your mom has food on the table by 6... It's just all perfect and stuff. And I wanted you to think I had that, too."

"Hah, yeah, because I really care that your mom is as annoyingly picky about when and where and how and what we eat, and that my dad is aaallways around so I can never do anything reeaally fun," Amelia said with an eyeroll. "I honestly don't, Leesha. I like your mom, and as long as she makes something other than fish soup, I'll survive. Did I mention that's why I'm here? She made it tonight. AGAIN."

The two girls gave each other a tight squeeze. "Just don't tell anybody at school, 'kay? I don't want everybody to know I'm poor, and--"

"Trust me," Amelia responded as she held her friend tight. "I won't say a word."

Meanwhile, Jeb was going the long way 'round to getting the answers he needed: interrogating the locals. This always proved to be a quick way to get to the bottom of things, but he was surprised just how quickly it worked, this time.

"Missing apple shipment, really?" Lolly Racket asked Jeb with wide eyes.

"Yeah... Why do you sound so surprised?"

"Well, grandma and I just picked up a whole sack of apples just this morning..."

Jeb pondered this for a moment. "Where did you buy them from, exactly?"

"Oh, that sweet man Oliver Mayweather, he opened up his own stand just across from the theatre. 'Course, it's closed now, but I'm sure he'll be open again tomorrow, he looked like he had more than enough to last him for a few days of sales."

Well, that sounded a bit too suspicious. So, where the thugs actually stealing the produce, but having it sold under a different face to take the blame?

And lookie here, wasn't it his opportunity to find out.

"Oooh, lookit meee, I'm Jebidiah Kane, the loser PI who acts like apples are big business," Mr. Racket responded when Jeb interrogated him about the possibility of the thugs' involvement.

"Don't waste my time, Max," Jeb responded angrily, but Racket just gave it back by pretending to clean out his ear.

"Oh Marigold, honey, do you think you could swat this fly away from my ear?" Max said after a moment. "I can't seem to get it to go away on my own..."

"Don't test my patience!!" Jebidiah yelled, this time. The fury in his voice was suddenly tripled, and the anger he'd felt at Marta's place felt miniscule in comparison. "You know what I'm capable of, Racket! Don't make me go to that extent!"

"I-I-I--" Max stuttered in response (such a coward, he is). "Seriously Kane, I don't know nothin'! Even if I knew I pry wouldn't tell ya, but I don't, so it don't matter anyways, alright?"

Jeb had had enough; he suspected Max was telling the truth -- he was a pretty easy nut to crack -- but he figured a good smack across the face would do him some good.

"That's the message to send to your cronies the next time they try to stand up to me!" Jeb growled, before marching off in the opposite direction.

There was a moment he considered sitting down to play chess to cool down... take some of his fury out on those stupid game pieces. It'd be much better than going home to Meredith with his anger unchecked. The last thing he wanted to do was go home like this... or with this case unsolved.

He was so close to cracking it, too -- he had a lead on Oliver Mayweather... Oliver... Oliver... say, wasn't that Oliver's roommate?

"Wyatt Walker, I presume?" Jeb said with a stiff handshake. No one slipped by his eyes... Nobody. "I'm Jebidiah Kane, resident PI here in Twinbrook."

"Aah, yes, I've heard many great stories about you," Wyatt responded. "It actually reminds me, I've been having some trouble with my neighbors and I--"

"That's great, but, I actually need your help with something. Can you tell me about Oliver Mayweather?"

"Oooh, sure, Ollie!" Wyatt responded with a broad smile. "Great guy! Wouldn't hurt a fly. Sometimes isn't exactly the quickest on the uptake, real forgetful sometimes too, but he's got a kind heart and at least sometimes does the dishes."

Mm. Not really the information he was hoping to hear, but, at least he figured that it meant Ollie wouldn't give him a hard time with questioning like Thug #1 and Thug #2 had.

"Can we speak in private, Mr. Mayweather?" Jeb asked when he ran into Ollie trying to flee the premises when he showed up.

"Oh... oh, sure, yeah, sure, come inside," Ollie stuttered before letting him in.

"Look, I've had a bad day, and I don't have the patience for any more games, so. Here's the deal. Tell me where you got the apples, and I won't kick your sorry ass."

Ollie seemed to find this funny. "Kick my ass? Really? A nerd like you?" Snerk!

That did it.


"Aaaggh, fine, sorry!" Ollie squealed as Jeb finally finished his signature tactical assault. "It was just a joke, please don't hurt me!"

"Then tell me where the apples are!" Jeb growled.

"They aren't here, they rest are in this fridge storage unit.. er... you know... um... it's next to the bistro... That one place... con... er..."

"Consigment store?"

"Yeeah, that's it. That's where Clark told me to keep them."

Clark Peddler! Jeb should've known it. All roads lead to Rome... But some just lead right back to where you started. He should've smelled that dirty stink all over this case from the beginning. But why? Why would he steal from his own store?

It was pretty easy to find out -- a quick snoop through the trash, and Jeb discovered Peddler's insurance settlement from the stolen produce. Lovely.

Once he had the evidence in hand, it was quite easy to get the money back from Clark. "Fine, here's the money! Mail it back to the insurance agency! Just don't turn me into the cops, I can't lose my business!"

No, Jeb had no intention of turning him into the cops... But, the idea of picking up some pocket change from this settlement would be nice.

Yes, very nice indeed.

Another case, solved. As Jeb got home and relaxed while reflecting over the day, he couldn't help but feel a little bit proud of himself. It was he, Jebidiah Kane, that got to the bottom of things... He, Jebidiah Kane, that kicked three consecutive butts in the name of justice. He, Jebidiah Kane, that saved an innocent apple shipment from earning a greedy sim far more money than he deserved.

But he couldn't help but wonder... Was this really what he wanted?

His eyes peered from underneath the brim of his special sleuth hat, but they were not the curious, bright eyes of his youth... They were the aged eyes of a man who was getting too old to be unhappy.

Perhaps there was still time... Perhaps, there was still a way.


Unknown September 9, 2010 at 2:09 PM  

This was a seerriiously fun post to do.

Thank you, EA, for involving all these Sims in this case at once. I love you.

PS: Wyatt and Mary Anne (via MJ) were just married in my game, yesterday. I believe that leaves... Ollie and Sam as the only ones not yet married. (Marta also got married, but you'll hear about that later.)

Anonymous,  September 9, 2010 at 2:17 PM  


My sides hurt from laughing so hard.

OMG. Marta! *snort, snerk* You...I...*laugh*

Ollie is an apple fence! I have to go to my daughter's volleyball game. Maybe I'll be able to reply coherently after that. Probably not, though. *laughs*

Unknown September 9, 2010 at 2:21 PM  

Didn't I say that Chrysame would love this post? ^^ Teeee heheehe.

I'm glad I gave you some giggles before the game, Chrysame. ;) I look forward to more incoherent snickers when you return!

Anonymous,  September 9, 2010 at 2:30 PM  

One more thing before I dash. Wyatt looks very very yummy sitting there playing chess.

And so cool. He keeps making dinner while his roommate gets pummelled. No reaction. Must. Chop. Onions! And the expression you caught on Ollie's face is perfect. "Please don't hurt me!"

PiB - Nicarra September 9, 2010 at 2:32 PM  

Great update. Marta makes a great leader of the current gang. Tough, no nonsense and capable of melting normal guys with those fluttering eyes...too bad Jeb's a bit immune to that. :)

Ollie, the famous stolen apple fence. I can see why you mentioned this case, very funny. Ollie, next time check on their background before you assume they have no skills.

So what will make our dear Jeb a happier camper?

Unknown September 9, 2010 at 2:53 PM  

"Must. Chop. Onions!"

Hehehe, yeah -- I didn't even notice this until after the fact. I realized when going through screenshots that Wyatt was there, and it tickled me pink. Ollie totally had no idea what he was getting into. He'd never do anything bad intentionally! He swears!

Marta and Jeb have gotten along really well, despite her being the ring leader. Even after they fought, they still got their relationship up to a reasonable level. I guess the shared klepto trait helped. ;)

What will make Jeb a happy camper, indeed!

PiB - Nicarra September 9, 2010 at 3:01 PM  

I did notice that Wyatt was just preparing his dinner ignoring everything else in the room.

I'm sure Ollie was led astray by Clark. He has the best intentions, and didn't Clark own those apples? :)

It's fun to watch which Sims get along and which Sims don't. Although Tatianna is almost always a don't. She's very choosy. But she does have like 4 friends in town. Many many enemies.

Anonymous,  September 9, 2010 at 4:11 PM  

Our team won! WooHoo!

I love little Alesha. Sweet baby. Amelia is a good friend.

Marta, Marta, Marta. Next time use the wrench. It frightens me to think who she could have married.

Ollie, I hear one Sam Grant is single. He's one cute sim. Just don't go for Amy Bull.

Unknown September 9, 2010 at 4:16 PM  

Tatianna getting along with someone is practically an oxymoron. There are times it happens, though, I suppose... Probably other snobs and/or meanies, though. Or reaaallly tolerant.

Alesha: definitely a sweetie. Amelia: good friend? We'll see about that. >.>

Marta actually ended up with Bradley's old babysitter. ;D He aged up recently and I guess Marta's into the whole goth look. I need to move them all into their own houses I think. I know Ollie is still living with Wyatt and Mary Ann (which is annoying, because then the architect job I got for the 'new marriage' was actually from Ollie).

I may have to move Ollie in with Sam and see what happens. ;) Don't worry about Amy though, she's been happily married for quite some time. (Thank gawd.)

And, yay for the volleyball win! :D :D *cheer*

PiB - Nicarra September 9, 2010 at 4:34 PM  

Sam's next letter home shows that Tat can occasionally get along with people. :)

Sam and Ollie? You'll have to give Sammy at least a little push cause I've never seen him have a boyfriend without a shove in that direction. It would be interesting to dive into their lives long enough to see who they have romanced - that can fly well under Twallan's radar.

Yeah for the volleyball win.

Unknown September 9, 2010 at 4:48 PM  

IIRC, I got a popup recently about Sam having broken up with someone... I think it was one of the service NPCs. I'll check next time I'm in the game. That was really recent though, like.. two days ago. I think that's his second girlfriend, too. Not having very good luck, is he. :(

Sam and Ollie would be interesting to say the least.

PiB - Nicarra September 9, 2010 at 5:23 PM  

They probably visited Sam at home once and fled screaming. :)

You can always just throw him a baby or three - whether or not he has a partner. Always a great daddy.

For some reason, I can't see Sam with any boyfriend except Thomas. Girlfriends plenty but not boyfriends.

Deema316 September 9, 2010 at 5:24 PM  

I was laughing so hard at this. Seeing Marta as the gang leader, Wyatt, Ollie, the whole works. Looks like they are all learning that Jeb is not a sim to be pushed. I guess Wyatt decided it was best to pretend nothing was happening rather than get his butt whipped too. :)

Those comments Marta made to Jeb were not nice. I think his ego has taken a plunge and he's going to do something just because of that.

Oh Amelia, I really hope you keep your promise but have a feeling you won't.

A big congratulations to Chrysame's daughter and her team for winning the game.

Anonymous,  September 9, 2010 at 5:34 PM  

I'm sure Sam will find a proper girlfriend.

Ollie will do fine on his own as well. :) He generally does.

Thanks for the congrats on the win. It was a good game.

Unknown September 9, 2010 at 6:09 PM  

Hehe, it's possible, PiB. Although, you should see Ollie and Wyatt's place... It's... revolting. Stinking laundry piles everywhere, dirty dishes *everywhere*... I have no idea how Mary Ann was able to stand moving in.

Marta is only one of many in the criminal career, and she's actually pretty low on the ladder compared to most of them, but I've been planning to bump up her level to a more appropriate job title. It's really funny seeing how many Sims are in the criminal career right now, though. Heh.

Amelia is a pretty good kid and would never intentionally hurt anyone, but she may or may not always be the perfect friend. Especially not in comparison to Alesha... But Alesha's miss goody two shoes, so. ^^

PiB - Nicarra September 9, 2010 at 6:39 PM  

That sounds like Sam's ideal bachelor pad. Revolting is just his speed.

I have been known to push people up the career ladder cause I think that's where they should be.

Amelia means well but Alesha is extra good...hmm.

Unknown September 11, 2010 at 1:36 AM  

Because I like to share, this is why I've been really lax about updates this week:

First finished drawing in over a year. Finafreakly, Kaleeko. *headthunks*

Deema316 September 11, 2010 at 9:59 AM  

I just saw your drawing Kaleeko and that is just beautiful. I wouldn't even know where to start something like that.

Anonymous,  September 11, 2010 at 12:26 PM  

It's gorgeous, Kaleeko. I'm so glad to see that you're drawing, again. You're very talented.

Di Al Martini September 12, 2010 at 6:35 AM  

I'm sorry, I almost missed this post. This is so hilarious and fun to read :D I love every part of this, but mostly the part involved Ollie.

Jen September 12, 2010 at 7:15 PM  

Sounds like Jeb wants to get his hands dirty again. So to speak.
He must be bored with investigating these same petty crimes done by the residents of TB.

I would actually like to see Jeb back as a criminal, I think it really suited him. lol

Little Ameila and Alesha are just too cute. Best of friends. I'm not so sure about nobody finding out at school though. Sounds like someone or something will slip up. ;)

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