sAvaGE gIAnT fEliNe tHrEaTEnS tErriFIeD yOuNg wOmAn
And we're back after a seemingly endless two-month period of absence. Good lord, was it an eventful last two months. We truly copped an earful from the broadcasting studio for that last episode. I in particular was carted in front of the studio head, who spent the next hour or so berating me about the "crass, completely inappropriate content" I was putting out, because an episode all about an obese blue woman sleeping with multiple men and birthing a pair of hellspawn is ostensibly not what they want children to see. Exactly why any child would be watching at all is beyond me, because we all know children are too busy hurling racial abuse while playing multiplayer matches of FIFA or Fortnite.
So after that debacle, the studio cut our budget. Our grand plans to invest in the construction of a whole economically run-down neighbourhood and force our Sims to reside in squalor have to be scaled back or postponed for the time being. As of writing I have yet to hear the final decision, because the person in charge of this series's budgetary management is currently heavily hungover in a Dublin alleyway somewhere. As of now we have to take this drastic budget cut to the chin and think of creative ways to get around this latest bit of corporate interference. We've even had to downsize the apartments for our Sims because we cannot afford the expensive penthouses any longer. From now on our Sims will have to reside in more modest apartments like actual ordinary people.
From now on we've decided to split the households up into three apartments. Besides the budget cuts, the other major reason motivating us to make this change is the fact that having to babysit up to eight Sims at once in one household is enough to make Mitsuki hyperventilate. I'd rather she doesn't collapse on the floor in the middle of an episode filming with a worryingly intense heartbeat rate, especially when medical treatment in America can potentially break one's bank if your insurance company decides to be an unempathetic prick one day. Another more minor reason is simply because you can't fit eight people in a small apartment. I mean you can - it's not impossible - but I'd rather not sleep on a puke-soaked sofa while another flatmate is on the floor right next to me like some unloved dog.
So for this week, let's have a gander at the <consults notes> Corpse Brigade household. Seriously, Mitsuki? Corpse Brigade? That's clearly a reference to something, but for the life of me I don't recognise what it's alluding to. I'll have to Google this one, so give me a minute:
The Corpse Brigade, also known as the Death Corps, is a revolutionary organization from Final Fantasy Tactics. They are led by Wiegraf Folles, and consist of peasant soldiers from the Fifty Years' War who were denied pay.
Oh, woops! I confess, I haven't played Final Fantasy Tactics, which - I know - is sacrilege. You can chop off my head later.
So if the Corpse Brigade consists of peasant soldiers with grievances over a lack of remuneration and we're calling this household the Corpse Brigade, are we essentially calling them filthy peasants? That's a bit rude, surely? I'm sure they're all very sophisticated and successful young men and women. So let's meet our peasants for this week:
- Joe Sly (@sly)
- Claudia Charmy (@charmy)
- LJ Soulcorruptor (@Soulcorruptor)
- Tami Shivas (@shivas)
- Jake Ross (@Ross)
Alright, you lot at the back can stop booing now.
DAY 1 - TUESDAY
6:32am - The moving company has finally left and now we can officially say the new downsized apartments can now be lived in. It simply took a while to find the wayward landlord to fulfill their legal landlord duties to ensure the apartments were even halfway habitable before we send actual Sims in to take up residence. I really hate these runaway landlords who believe all they have to do is shake hands with prospective tenants, hand them a rental agreement contract and just bugger off elsewhere thinking they can simply just collect rent money every month with zero obligations to do anything else.
Everyone, including Sims from other apartments, is already up early in the morning and standing gormlessly in the hallway. They're all standing suspiciously close to each other in rank and file, probably close enough where someone can easily lick the back of the neck of the person in front of them. It appears they're all congregating like wooden scarecrows in front of a noticeboard in the hallway, but for the life of me I have no idea what could possibly be so interesting on the board to warrant everyone piling in front of it like they're attendees at a live concert. The last time I've seen anyone this excited to see a noticeboard was when I was at middle school jostling to see what my exam results were. Spoiler: my exam results were consistently great. I am a nerd.
Olivia cannot resist the alluring smell of Kira's hair while Kira herself is utterly transfixed at the crappy wallpaper. Who knew her favourite colour is beige?
As we glance around at the Corpse Brigade apartment itself, we notice the chalk outline of a body that looks like they were doing some ritual dance on the floor immediately prior to their demise. Who is this chalk outline of? A previous resident who met his demise by the door? Did the landlord do this when a tenant was severely in arrears? Is this why the landlord did a runner when our Sims characters tried to move in, because he was trying to cross the border into Mexico and evade the long arm of the law?
While LJ is an accomplished lab technician, Ross is jobless but because girls don't take kindly to a man's admission that he is unemployed, this thought motivates him enough to look for a job on the spot. Logically, he decides to take up a position as a detective at a police station for an eye-watering sum of $52 an hour. Wow. That is an insane hourly salary for a rookie detective. Perhaps that's just how a Simsville dollar is valued. One US dollar must be equivalent to like eight Simsville dollars?
Tami too seeks to kickstart her own career. Art commission work only gets you so far. Given her natural beauty and talents, Tami can surely pursue a rewarding career in practically any field, from mechanical engineering to TV reporting work. Which is why she signs up to be a criminal - specifically a 'Felonius Monk' for an organisation known as 'Mobwives' for $23 an hour? Okay, I have several questions. Firstly, what kind of gang is 'Mobwives'? Is this a gang of bored spouses of existing mafia bosses whose husbands have no intention whatsoever of allowing their wives to play any major role whatsoever in their criminal enterprises? So when Don Vito Corleone is busy doing his thing, is Carmela secretly harbouring her own ruthless criminal ambitions instead of attending Mass? If so, you go, girls. Secondly, a 'Felonius Monk'? Why, is her job to dress up in Chinese monk garbs and wait at a temple to steal people's monetary donations when no one is looking? Thirdly, only $23 an hour? That's 44% of what Ross will earn!
8:34am - Tami, being an avid cat lover, shares her enthusiasm and passion for cats to LJ and Ross. Ross for some reason would rather be anywhere else than be in a conversation about how adorable cats are and wanders off. I reckon he’s off to bed. Just over fifteen minutes later he's already fast asleep and snoring in his bed.
Okay, let me take this opportunity to critique these flatmates' decorative senses. I know we're in the run-up to Halloween, hence the décor, but there is something ghastly about the choice of Halloween decorations on display. There is this rather horrific cobweb design...thing on the wall which looks like it can easily impale someone if it so much as falls. The couch cover meanwhile resembles a sheet ghost, except for the fact that it's a vivid tangerine colour. Is this meant to be the ghost of Donald Trump? The man's ego is so inflated that it wouldn't surprise me if post death his ghost returns to this mortal realm just to tell us how he's the most admired man in the afterlife ever. So right now Sly is sitting down studiously reading something - probably the entirety of George RR Martin's works, because The Winds of Winter sure as hell isn't coming out anytime soon.
9:27am - Sly is finally finished with his engrossing novel and Claudia feels now is the appropriate time to strike a casual conversation with Sly. They have so many things to talk about. Did you see the boxing match last night, perhaps? How about last week's game and the forecast for preferred teams ahead? Maybe they can even talk about politics, because there is absolutely no way whatsoever that any conversation about politics can ever backfire. No, she instead decides to evangelise about the benefits of vegetarianism to Sly. Claudia is of course a vegetarian, because that's what this game tells me. But then the game also told me in the third episode that Olivia is a vegetarian even though she was caught in the very first episode happily munching on a small mountain of hot dogs like it's Man Vs Food! They certainly weren't Quorn hot dogs either! As such I expect the game to be lying and for Claudia to later be caught preparing some fancy Saltimbocca alla Romana veal dish later.
LJ: VEGETARIANS HAVE NO SOUL. IN FACT THEY CORRUPT SOULS. THEY'RE SOUL...CORRUPTORS.
For some reason Tami looks a little under the weather. I suppose it is October and it's prime season for a bug to go around, but seeing as she is sitting on the couch in between Claudia and Sly, I don't have high hopes for their health. That cold is destined to spread to the whole flat. Tami does apparently want to fix a bad relationship with Adriano. I didn't even know they have a poor relationship. What could have caused this? Is Adriano miffed that Tami has decided to join a gang of bored dons' wives?
10:06am - Claudia is also unemployed. I suppose even an Instagram addict with many followers and countless albums of selfies taken in a variety of countries around the world is unemployed if all she's doing is burning money at the rate of a first-world country burning through an oil addiction. Naturally she also wants to start contributing to society in a more tangible way than simply uploading selfies now and while you'd THINK she'd get a job in social media and lend her expertise to that field, someone scrambles her mind and coerces her into diving into a life of crime instead. Her new job will be a 'Tough Gal' at Mobwives for a pitiful $9 an hour.
$9 an hour? While Ross's detective job will net him nearly six times that amount? What kind of nonsensical economy is this? Who would willingly take up a job with such lowly pay? What does 'Tough Gal' mean? Will she be paid to be one of those background figures who stand behind the mobster boss and walk with him wherever the don goes?
Yes, that is indeed a child's bed and children's decorations on the wall. I think we may have got the wrong apartment...
Here's a miracle - I mean, besides the miracle of Ross actually being awake again now - Sly has actually listened to Claudia's impassioned pitch for the virtues of vegetarianism and accepts that she may even be right. Vegetarianism does sound like an attractive proposal and something that could be fantastically beneficial for his diet, his own personal health and most importantly, would be a sort of lifestyle change that can greatly benefit the environment. Sly has seen the light and is now awake to the epiphany of how harmful and unsustainable the entire meat industry is. Down with the mindless consumption of meat at the expense of the environment. Down with pastoral agriculture!
11:10am - Perhaps worried that Claudia's bewitching vegetarian evangelism will get to Ross as well, Tami decides to act quickly. She takes Ross's beautiful manly hands and tries to kiss them but is denied. Ouch. Even Ross can tell those lips are ridden with a viral disease. He has police detective work coming up soon and he'd rather not have the plague while on duty.
"Heeeeeeeeeeeeeey, remember that totally not-awkward-at-all date we had a few episodes ago...?"
This is confirmed roughly twenty minutes later when Tami starts to genuinely feel the effects of dizziness and her dazed self can only curse the realisation that there is a distinct lack of medicine in the apartment. I suppose everyone was so preoccupied with the furniture and decorations when moving in that basic necessities like visiting the pharmacy to stock up on medicinal supplies was overlooked.
"Heeeeeeeey, Jake! How about you and I go on a date...to a pro-vegetarian protest march?"
Sly is currently at work and has hit upon a crushing conundrum: one that will make or break his nascent career as a secret agent. He has a suspect in custody and the man isn't cracking during the interrogation. Presumably we're not dealing with any regular criminal hauled in to the station. Given Sly's line of work, this suspect must surely hold secrets so vital for state interests that national security itself is at risk. Again. Sly has a duty to the United States of America. Or Simsonia. Or whatever this country is. He has to play good or bad cop. Naturally he picks the bad cop option, which involves outright threatening the man. Though knowing Sly, it's just as likely he's about to break the suspect's kneecaps with an iron wrench. Whichever option he picks, the manoeuvre is successful and the suspect finally cracks - hopefully not literally.
11:43am - Perhaps sensing that Ross will soon be lost to Claudia's enchanting vegetarian evangelism, Tami decides it is now the time to step in and save him from the witch's evil clutches. The ordinarily sweet and friendly young woman breaks out of character to start hurling abuse at Claudia. The volley of abuse from Tami is so intense it literally brings Claudia to her knees - for like a minute.
11:54am - Tami materialises a wrapped box from her behind. Perhaps she was out of line to snap at Claudia so fiercely. Perhaps the woman's vegetarian evangelism isn't that harmful that it warrants the abuse. Perhaps two flatmates at war is the last thing their fellow flatmates would want to experience in this modestly sized apartment. Perhaps she is being selfish - what right does she have to let her own insecurities govern the whole atmosphere of this flat? Perhaps she should be the bigger person here and make up for her aggressive transgressions. So she hands this gift to Claudia.
It's a stinkbomb. The odour immediately diffuses throughout the room, enough to send any poor cat to an early grave. Understandably upset that she had unwarranted abuse and a cruel prank hurled at her from someone who ought to be a friend, Claudia erupts and the pair descend into a massive row which seemingly drags on forever, while Ross casually munches on his lunch while sitting on the child's bed inches away from them. Nothing perturbs this guy.
"THIS STINKS AS MUCH AS SOCIETY'S SLAVISH DEVOTION TO MEAT!"
1:00pm - Ross learns that Tami is single (well, it's not as if Tami's had much time to find another guy given how recent that last date was...). I wonder why he seems interested in her again. Maybe he's turned on by an angry woman who needs to put soap in her mouth? But who cares about that, because Claudia has just thrown a drink all over Tami's face. Why is it always a drink? Why can't angry Sims throw other concoctions at each other? How about someone throw miso soup on a flatmate next time?
1:35pm - The cold viruses have been happily incubating inside Tami and now they're ready to fully take over the driver's seat. Instead of retiring to bed and pray she can sleep away the cold in due course, a visibly dazed and unwell Tami staggers off to the kitchen to scramble up a quick lunch...and presumably to contaminate the kitchen with the cold virus at the same time. Though she magically manages to avoid causing the Sims equivalent of the Grenfell Tower fire, she isn't unable to avoid Claudia wandering over to continue the vicious argument on the spot. Because Claudia is a risk-taker (you have to be, when you see some of her daredevil selfies and her proclivities for maxing out her credit card to experience her overly expensive global trips), she ignores the danger of viral contagion and physically manhandles Tami by shoving her.
And now Claudia has a disease. Karma proving that once in a while, it does exist!
Poetic justice is at hand, because Claudia is now ridden with what looks like smallpox...probably. Look, I'm not about to actually go on Google and look for images of smallpox sufferers. She can't upload any selfies today on to Snapchat or Instagram. She'll frighten away half her followers within the hour. I suppose she could heavily edit photos of herself using Photoshop and then slap all manners of Instagram filters on top to make the images so laden with bloom effects that no one can even see her facial features anymore, much less her rashes.
Tami continues to struggle to stay on her feet, let alone exert enough precise motor functions to keep her pan steady on the hob. I'm taking a look at what she's cooking, expecting a luxurious omelette or something, only to see a thick slice of bread. Is she pan-grilling toast and literally nothing else? How appetising. With the level of finesse you can only find with a dazed, sickly person, Tami elegantly manages to flip the toast unintentionally - straight onto another hob. Were it a plate, I'd genuinely be impressed. You tried, Tami.
I know when I have a cold my body comes down with mysterious orange swirls as well.
2:08pm - It's been a trial, but finally Tami has mastered the art of pan frying a slice of toast in spite of her condition. Now she can sit down and enjoy this dry, greasy chunk of hard, slightly burnt bread and - oi! Claudia marches up to the hob and essentially snatches away the toast that Tami had prepared. With her spoils of war in hand, Claudia takes the pilfered slice of toast to the table to consume while poor Tami is left to just materialise a bowl of cereal from thin air. At least I presume that is meant to be a bowl of cereal. It's awfully green. It's like a bowl of small green balls. They could well be large peas, come to think of it. Maybe Tami too has succumbed to Claudia's vegetarian dogma and is literally consuming a bowl of uncooked peas.
One career criminal stealing toast from another career criminal. These are hardened veteran law breakers, ladies and gentlemen.
2:50pm - Just as it seemed the atmosphere had finally shifted for the better and the two women have finally put their differences aside as they awkwardly sit in front of each other both looking as poorly and depressed as a hungover Dubliner on a Sunday morning, Claudia starts scratching intensely and believes she is overcome with fleas. I don't know how you would even contract this in the first place, but I suppose the people of the late 14th century weren't expecting it either when the Black Death ravaged from Asia to Europe. Tami takes this opportunity to happily snipe at the flea-ridden Claudia instead of y'know, running away as far as possible, and at one point even asks if Claudia has wet herself.
Misery loves company
I also love how casual and blasé Ross is being about the whole situation. One flatmate has a debilitating viral cold and the other the plague but he's comfortable to faff around in the background, chuckling to himself like a goof. Goddamn. Does nothing perturb this man? Nuclear winter could be setting on Simsville or a full zombie outbreak could occur any minute now and he'll still be prancing around like nothing's happened.
Unfortunately we won't have the opportunity to test the durability of the immune systems of our flatmates - nor will we get the chance to see how long Ross lasts until he comes down with smallpox too - because the Mitsuki of real life, the actual game master of this whole virtual social experiment, would like to actually cure these hapless simpletons. Would it honestly be any loss if they all drop dead right now? It would mean a few more chalk outlines on the floor, and Sly & LJ can at least come home to an unexpected early Halloween surprise.
Game Master Mitsuki therefore sets out ordering a PC for this lot. But the budget only appears to consist of $2,378. Look, don't ask me where this lot even got that amount of money from when nearly everyone was jobless to begin with. Maybe this all came from the savings of Sly and LJ. Someone in this household has to subsidise for the lazy lifestyles of these sloths after all. Now unfortunately for the Corpse Brigade, PC prices are ridiculous here in Simsville. The better models look like one has to take out a small mortgage just to be able to afford them - and that's probably without accessories, external storage, RGB lights, mouse, keyboard and stereo speakers! So they have to settle with the most affordable piece of trash they can find. They settle on the ‘How Low Can You Go Deskblock Computer’ for $800. Evidently not THAT low then! What kind of prices are these? Is the Simsville economy like that of Brazil's, where foreign brand products tend to be utterly exorbitantly overpriced compared to other markets?
3:26pm - The medicine magically materialises in the flat without even anyone having to show up with the package. With the medicine in Claudia’s inventory, she takes her portion and is back to full strength while Tami…goes to wash the dishes in the bathroom sink? Do you guys not have a kitchen sink? Woman, you can do the dishes AFTERWARDS. Take your meds first! Good grief, Tami is like the polar opposite of a student living in a shared flat.
3:48pm - After dawdling around for long enough, Tami's common sense finally tingles and she quickly downs her bottle of medicine - wait, hang on. What kind of meds are these? They look like they come in alcoholic bottles and you have to consume the entire amount like it's a pint of beer?! What if it isn't enough to quickly cure your malady? Would you need to purchase more bottles for $50 a pop?! This is how broken the healthcare industry of this country is! Come, comrades! You know what to do. Marx said a true revolution necessitates the utter overthrowing of one hegemonic social class by another. Together, we plebs can come together to overthrow these dirty executive capitalists and make medicine and healthcare affordable again!
Okay, hold up. I'm no doctor or a biologist BUT I know there is a massive difference between something like a cold or a flu (a viral illness) and the plague, which is bacterial. They are two very different ailments. As far as I know, both Tami and Claudia just consumed an entire bottle each of the same medicine. What on earth is this medicine? It subdues the cold virus AND it's full of potent antibiotics as well? Ah, never mind.
Ross: "How can people enjoy books? There are only words! No music comes out like with Spotify; there are no graphics like in a video game and there are no moving pictures at all like with a Netflix TV show!"
4:01pm - Whatever that anti-virus, antibacterial medicine is, it works. Tami is now back in tip-top condition, ready to re-energise the atmosphere of the apartment with her natural allure. I don't know if feeling immediately lustful and flirty is a side effect of the medicine or not, but she strikes a sexy pose for Ross, who by now has given up trying to work out how books work and how anyone can derive enjoyment from an entertainment medium that is only just comprised of words on a page. Ross takes the sexy pose very well and is left grinning like a horny middle school kid. Unfortunately he doesn't seem as impressed when Tami follows up by flexing in an attempt to show off her muscles. Nor is Ross very receptive when Tami straight up confesses her attraction of him. Perhaps still haunted by how their last date turned out, or it's because Ross may have taken medication of his own, he is once again overcome by sudden drowsiness and collapses on his bed, falling asleep almost instantaneously. How rude.
Just as I'm about to safely say peace and tranquility have finally returned to this disease-ridden apartment, a horrible sound coming from outside shatters it all. It's Kira in the hallway, singing like a strangled pet. This is the same Kira who enjoys making her own cover versions of her favourite songs, right? No doubt hearing this painful assault on ears from her apartment, Tami responds by rushing into the bathroom to belt out a beautiful tune of her own, which is extra impressive considering she literally just recovered from a debilitating cold that must have done a number on her throat. If only Ross were considerate enough to stay awake to hear this.
6:30pm - The tedious working day is finally over. Sly is back from work, and looks very tense, which I surmise to be a natural part of his work. Any job where you have to make the decision to threaten some bloke you've detained and maybe even break his kneecaps would make me feel tense...and slightly psychopathic. Like being a dentist or a financial trader in the City. Or maybe Sly actually killed the man today. Whatever is on his mind, he has the ear of Mitsuki (as in the Sim Mitsuki, not our invisible Game Master in the sky), whom he openly divulges his problems and concerns to in that hallway outside the apartments. Mitsuki on the other hand looks more irritated than anything, as if she's just realised she left the gas on, but is too polite to make up any excuse to flee the scene. Sly, just leave the woman alone. You need to desperately use the toilet anyway.
"...and then I beat him with a golf club so hard half his jaw went flying out. That will teach him for not being cooperative with me. Hey, you look pale. Was it something I said?"
6:58pm - Because we can't possibly have an episode without his creepy mug popping up somewhere, Adriano HAS to make his obligatory appearance now of all times. He pops out of his flat to take the trash out, which seems uncharacteristic of him. Naturally he proceeds to do it as creepily as possible with his trademark sneak and somehow phases through the solid walls to get past Sly and Mitsuki. I think we call this a glitch in the Matrix. No, not the actual glitching through the wall. I mean the fact that Adriano exists in this game is a glitch in the Matrix. No architect must have intended for him to exist.
I'M GON GETCHU
7:21pm - Adriano by now has decided to wander into the Corpse Brigade apartment uninvited and unannounced. Somehow no one has yet to throw him out, so he takes this lack of resistance as tacit approval of his visit. That is until LJ returns from the laboratory, and is less than pleased to find this intruder swanning around his apartment like he owns the place. In order to show him who is boss, LJ requests a polite handshake. Not sensing anything amiss, Adriano obliges only to receive a lethal voltage dose from a hand buzzer. Well, it's not quite lethal, unfortunately. He's still alive and none the worse from the shock, but I think I speak for everyone when I say we all wanted Adriano to be the second chalk body outline on the floor.
7:31pm - It seems Adriano isn't the only one to have experienced a nasty sudden brain lobotomy today. Mitsuki also absent-mindedly wanders in and finds herself in the bathroom just while Sly is serenely answering the alluring call of nature on the potty. Good thing he's doing his important business while sitting down, because he'd likely shoot his jet all over the place the moment Mitsuki unexpectedly barged in looking lost. Mitsuki can only circle around the room and walk back out, leaving Sly alone again to seriously contemplate the novelty of installing a lock on this bathroom door. It would probably help alleviate embarrassing situations such as this.
Why is everyone so keen to use THIS particular bathroom sink to wash their dirty dishes?! O__O
7:38pm - Just as Adriano in a rare moment of good manners and humility tells the residents of the Corpse Brigade apartment that he genuinely likes the place, would like to hang out with them and wonders if there is any food lying around, LJ interjects to show his neighbour that not everyone is welcome in this flat. Look, I've lost track of what the pair are rowing about and I've grown past the point of caring. Perhaps they're angrily debating the most important topics of our day such as Hideo Kojima's reasoning for why Quiet in Metal Gear Solid V looks the way she does and whether it undermines or benefits her character. Or maybe LJ had had it up to his neck with Adriano's latest trivial complaints of the day.
The situation escalates in ways that we could all see coming from a mile away and the two men engage in the most bro-like of behaviours - a full brawl right next to chalk body outline, naturally! The Khabib Nurmagomedov VS Conor McGregor fight this isn't quite! As the angry brawl occurs, Mitsuki wanders out and looks like she is trying to take a peek, except she is standing in the hallway outside the apartment and she is staring at an opaque wall. There is no actual transparent glass by the door. She is literally staring at the wall, so unless she has X-ray vision, she can't be having the most exciting view of the action.
Adriano: "SMELL MY FILTHY HANDS, YOU PEASANT. SMELL THEM."
So who is the Khabib and who is the Conor? Who will emerge the victor of this extraordinarily tense fight? Does anyone even care anymore who wins or loses? Hands up, does anyone care? Is anyone invested? What's that? You'd rather watch a real UFC lightweight battle?
LJ emerges victorious, probably because his hand buzzer must have already burnt half of Adriano's nervous system to ashes. Following the fierce fisticuffs, the pair quickly calm down on the adrenaline and shift to a casual chat about the local property values. As you do. Or you never know. Who is to say that isn't what McGregor and Nurmagomedov did following that match? Maybe after that scuffle in the octagon McGregor and some of Nurmagomedov's close acolytes came together (language barrier aside) to have a serious discussion about how the property ladder across the first world has become increasingly hostile and unattainable for young millennials these days, most of whom lack actual savings of their own and are left to languish as permanent renters?
Mitsuki: "THIS WALLPAPER IS REALLY FASCINATING."
LJ and Adriano then chat about fast food, then what appears to be video games and...then I see the trash icon appearing above Adriano's head, which makes me think he called LJ a shit gamer. LJ responds diplomatically by strongly insinuating that Adriano has crabs, aka pubic lice - probably after all that sexual contact he enjoyed with Queen Brahne in the previous episode. Speaking of which, whatever happened to Brahne and the two hellspawn Adriano had seeded in her? Oh well, maybe we'll never find out. Let's try and not think about them.
9:10pm - With Adriano, LJ and Ross uncharacteristically all together in one table, Ross takes the opportunity to regale his unlikely new buddies with a thrilling tale of one of his many, many life experiences. This is a tale of his heroism - of gallantry and bravery the likes that were barely seen in the Australian outback since the first humans decided to settle in that utterly imposing dustbowl of a land. His tale involves frogs and bats...and robots? And art? Hang on, I was expecting to hear some gripping Hollywood-esque account of how he avenged his people by taking on the emus on his own with only a crowbar as a weapon. Never one to allow the emus' victory to remain unaddressed and a permanent stain on Australia's historical conscious, Ross took it on himself to beat every last aggressive emu to death, and he possesses the scars from that fateful battle. And a lot of emu eggs for the frying pan.
LJ: "Niiiiice, Ross. Now could you take out all the penguins as well? I hate penguins, you see..."
While this occurs Mitsuki tells Kira all about how she doesn't like rain. After all, it's wet, cold, and gets everywhere. Kira, as someone who utterly adores the rain and would gladly sacrifice a newborn if it means a hot, humid summer can give way to a refreshingly cool and wet winter, has that look on her face that says "lol, yeah okay, whatever you say, weirdo!"
9:41pm - Sly, who has been studiously reading on his own, because it's one of the only possible pastimes in this flat, decides to express how he feels about the book he's reading. Judging by his over-the-top reaction, by physically walking over the bathroom and farting on the spot by the sink, he was probably trying to read a young adult romance novel. A literal musical note exudes from his derriere, which suggests his fart is so graceful it is literally melodious. Perhaps this bathroom is some mystical musical sanctuary, like some magical auto-tune zone that can take any sound within its walls and converts it into a lovely musical number. Maybe that explains Tami's masterful singing? Put me in that room, please. I want my burps to come out sounding like a rapturous opera.
Immediately after, Claudia marches into the bathroom and somehow doesn't re-contract the Black Death from Sly's fumes.
10:15pm - Oh, fantastic. Speaking of the Black Death, it would appear LJ has caught the plague as well. At this rate we'll have to bring out our dead and chuck his disease-ridden corpse out through the window.
10:47pm - Understandably, LJ would rather not die or turn the entire apartment into a quarantine zone (whichever happens first), so he decides to order another batch of that same medicine from online. For safe measure, because nowadays you can casually catch smallpox just by casually reading a novel in your own home, he orders five bottles, which will clock up to an eye-watering total of $250. Feck that, I think a slow, excruciatingly painful death by bubonic plague sounds more pleasant than having to toss all that money away - money they may not even have at this rate!
The bottles magically materialise on the spot, which means all of Amazon's delivery workers are now completely redundant and have likely all been systematically laid off. LJ seems to be in no hurry to cure himself of this ghastly affliction however, and leaves the bottles gathering on the table looking like it's the middle of a student drinking game.
11:05pm - Claudia takes her turn on the crappy PC. With a monitor and screen resolution that absurdly low-quality, every picture on Instagram and Snapchat must look like total garbage, which mostly defeats the point of casually browsing such websites anyway. But that's not what she's using the computer for. She's actually playing FIFA on it! Yes, this computer can play 3D games! Here I was thinking it can't run anything more advanced than a Commodore 64! So which version of FIFA must this be? The one from 1996?
11:17pm - Now finally done with tempting fate, LJ acquiesces to the screaming discomfort in his body and takes one long swig at a bottle of medication. Now if only he can look this cool with a whole shot of whisky...
Notice the smiling crab on the wall. Mr Krabs is teaching young children that drinking booze is a-okay!
11:33pm - Kira, most likely in an attempt to get as far away as possible for one night from the likes of Tom and/or Olivia, has popped round to hang out with her best buddies. Sensing this is the appropriate time to instigate trouble, the Game Master decides to randomly materialise a small pet poop on the table just in front of her while she's busy conversing across the table to Sly.
Despite the putrid, nauseating stench emanating from the turd in front of her, Kira seems none the wiser. That's right! She doesn't even notice it! This is ripe for an obvious joke: that Kira is so used to shit that it's as unrecognisable to her senses as air. Or as the Kira of real life said on Twitch: she is so used to listening to other people's shit that it doesn't even register anymore or...something to that effect? I can't remember what her exact words were. This bodes well for me. I'll happily visit Kira's apartment one day, shit in her toilet and NOT flush. Then we'll see if she'll notice it.
It almost looks like the smell of that turd is making Kira smarter...
DAY 2 - WEDNESDAY
12:02am - Shitty move, bro. Claudia, who is presumably more pure and less sullied by the harshness of the world than Kira, does in fact notice the literal turd on the table and freaks out, because it's such a hygiene issue. Unfortunately her common sense ends right there because instead of delicately scooping the turd away to be disposed in an appropriate place like say, the toilet, she grabs the turd with her hand and chucks it on the floor, staining the carpet with an odious splatter of nauseating brown. Claudia's descent into madness plays before our very eyes as she expresses the laughable audacity to point at the splattered turd on the floor and demand it be cleaned up, even though she just made the situation so much worse.
Sly is demonstrably upset when he learns his expensive leather shoes have just stepped on the turd. He demands it be cleaned up and unlike Claudia, he is actually in a legitimate position to make such a demand. Claudia can only dutifully comply and instantly cleans the mess up by...once again grabbing it with her bare hand and throwing it all into a bin bag to be taken outside? Okay? We're not going to give that table a good blast of bleach, or the floor a thorough bit of carpet cleaning & scrubbing? How about that door handle that Claudia has just touched? Shouldn't that be disinfected too? NO WONDER YOU IDIOTS SOMEHOW KEEP CATCHING THE PLAGUE IN HERE.
12:47am - Apparently Ross had gone back to sleep in the intervening time and has just woken up again. He looks oddly sheepish, as if he's also caught a cold. But never mind that. He's sporting a fetching pair of boxers with a heart design and the viewers in the Twitch chat all agreed that he looks damn fetching in it, like some disheveled bad boy.
Sly: "Wait, what did I just drink? What was in those bottles on the table? I thought it was whisky..."
Ross waltzes over to the creaking old PC to play square block Tetris. What? He wasn't going to be able to run any intensive MMORPG or open-world game set in Ancient Greece on this equally as ancient PC.
1:40am - After having a chat with Sly and finding out the latter really, really, really dislikes the Sun and clearly does not praise the Sun, Ross returns to bed like he's some kind of koala. Y'know, 'cos he's Aussie.
2:00am - Tami's home after a hard...half-day at work as a 'Felonius Monk'. Let's see what she's made. $161! That's not bad. Considering it's $23 an hour she ordinarily earns, it means she was at work for roughly seven hours, which sounds right to me.
2:57am - "URONKA!" LJ comes to a stunning breakthrough and has an idea for something that will truly revolutionise our way of life. He feverishly jots down his genius conceived plans for something known as a 'Momentum Conserver', which sounds like something our team desperately needs if we want to keep our show running without viewers walking out on us or our broadcasting company axing us mid-season.
3:45am - Mitsuki in real life shelled out money to buy a pets expansion for this twisted virtual social experiment sim game, and by God is she going to put that money to use and squeeze some actual value out of her purchase. We at Final Fantasy Forums adore cats (all cat haters are banned, because it's strictly against Terms of Service to hate anything so adorable) so it's only logical we insert a pet cat into the world of Simsville. As such Claudia is tasked to go to the PC, boot up yet another dubious website and find an ideal cat to adopt. Which felicitous feline will be our chosen one? Who is the kindred kitten who will join the rank and file of the Corpse Brigade household?
WE CHOOSE A CAT NAMED HERMAN! AAAAAAAND HERE'S WHERE I HAD TO SQUINT VERY HARD AT THE SCREEN. Now, Herman in other people's virtual social experiments looks like a perfectly normal cat. He's a bit plump, but he has dark patches that perfectly contrast the orange-and-white parts of his fur. Our Herman on the other hand - at least in the initial picture - looks a little like Adolf Hitler. I think it's the top part above the eyes. It looks like Hitler's signature parting.
3:50am - How convenient! There is a lady (named Ritu Banerjee) coming around with the pet carrier and Herman. What a surprisingly decent pet adoption service. Not many businesses would happily send someone round with a pet carrier and the cat as requested during the graveyard hours of the very early morning. Ritu is here to start a process known as an adoption evaluation where presumably we have a set amount of time to see if we can quickly build a loving rapport with the cat before he is officially adopted into the family. In the meantime Ritu will hang around the apartment and treat the place like she's a guest with benefits.
LJ has a second epiphany (sorry, "URONKA!") of the night. He now has ideas for something called a 'Synthetic Food Serum'. Congratulations, LJ! Maybe he's discovered a unique new method to solve world hunger that is commercially and economically feasible to mass produce and distribute on a large global scale involving lab meat. If we can successfully produce enough lab meat that is sustainable, not overly expensive, safe to eat and not ethically questionable, that's a big plus in my book...unless you're vegetarian.
4:15am - Aww! My kokoro! Tami cheerfully plays with Herman, first by gently petting him, then with a laser pointer on the kitchen floor. As this happens, the Kira in real life notices that the Mitsuki of real life has to manually adopt the cat before the allotted time is over and both Ritu and Herman have to depart. Unfortunately for the Kira of real life, she isn't the one currently running the simulation, and the Mitsuki of real life can only selectively read the sections of Twitch chat that so happen to be about anything BUT the adoption requirement. Yes, the producer and the director of this show are currently experiencing a total breakdown in communication and as a result this show is about to go sideways. Maybe the producer should consider being the director for the next episode, so embarrassing instances like this can be avoided?
LJ: "URONKA! I got it! How about a kind of bleach solution to help clean the cisterns of toilets? GENIUS."
NOR HAVE YOU PURCHASED BASIC STUFF LIKE A FOOD BOWL OR A LITTERBOX, the Kira IRL continues to say exasperatedly, only for such words to fall on deaf ears, which is admittedly more entertaining than if everything were to go right.
HOOMAN, PLS. MEOW.
4:58am - Uh, oh! Herman has yet to grow accustomed to this apartment full of bizarre strangers and hisses aggressively at Tami. Or as Kira IRL calls it: ROAR MEEP, which is simultaneously one of the most and least threatening things to imagine. Though taken aback by Herman's sudden attack mode aggression, Tami refuses to give in, for she is a friend to all cats, big or small. She will keep building this bond with Herman until the cat is as cuddly as...umm, I was going to say the real life Kira's cats, but then I remember that one of them kind of physically torments her on a regular basis, so I had to scrap that analogy halfway through.
Ritu meanwhile catches the madness bug in this flat and starts to enthusiastically have a conversation...with the wall. Now, there is a cat on the wall, but she does know it's just a decoration, right? It's not an actual physical or sapient cat capable of holding a conversation with anyone, right?
Prime r/PeopleFuckingDying material
In the intervening time it would appear Sly has fallen ill too, because he seems uncomfortable, embarrassed, dazed and riddled with headaches. Great, is there ANYONE left in this flat who has yet to either catch a cold or the bubonic plague today?
7:14am - Ross has finally had enough of sleeping. By this time Herman had retreated to a little spot in the corner away from everyone else, but the moment Ross wanders over in his direction, the cat...mysteriously vanishes into thin air. Literally. Literally vanishes. Into thin air. Like a ghost. Umm...
Maybe this cat is more a wise spirit than a normal cat. Maybe this spirit is angry that he was only considered an adorable plaything and not an actual orphaned, lonely animal for a genuinely loving family. Maybe the utter failure by this show's director to have him formally adopted quickly enough was the last straw and as such he must dematerialise from the physical realm for the time being, travel along the aether and find another property inhabited by a family that does care enough to quickly sign the animal adoption paperwork? Well whatever the reason is for this cat's literal disappearance, the Kira in real life will not let the Mitsuki in real life forget that she lost a cat.
8:14am - To add insult to injury, Tom wanders in, believing he can just do that because we're all friends, right? Sure, Tom. Please come in. Hopefully you'll catch the bubonic plague as well. He does wonder why other people in the neighbourhood are avoiding him - and in all honesty I can't fathom why anyone would do such a thing. It's genuinely a mystery for the ages...
9:10am - Ritu Banerjee, who has spent the last six hours or so talking to a wall and dining & taking food without permission as if she owns the place, finally decides to leave, probably thinking everyone here is a goddamn idiot and the adoption evaluation presumably ending in disaster. And all we have left is an empty pet carrier…
Wow, what a downer ending. We lost a cat. Well done, everyone. Maybe it's time we step up our efforts and see if we can all come together as a community to try and find out the whereabouts of Herman. We can't allow a vulnerable cat to be itinerant, ownerless and practically left to fend for himself in these cold, dark, unforgiving streets. As such I made this crude poster and I implore everyone to print as many of these out as you can and pin or stick them in as many places as you can.
Please, please, please! Help us find Herman! I hope he hasn't gone off to find more Lebensraum.