A cool breeze blows through the barren desert. Despite the chilly air, the rocky ground is still warm with the lingering heat of the already set sun. As the wind rustles the bushes, the musky smell of creosote fills the air. The landscape looks hellish--the dehydrated lake and anemic plants contribute to the atmosphere of death. The inky, endless horizon is dotted with twinkling lights, the only indication that there is indeed intelligent life.
A flash of golden light breaks through the darkness. With an electronic hum, a slim figure materializes in the middle of the dead lake.
The mysterious creature's hands immediately reach for her head and neck. She appears to be relieved upon finding everything in its proper place. I'm always worried that I'm going to get decapitated when I teleport, she thought. Teleportation accidents aren't unheard of, but they are rare.
The figure gives half-hearted glance around before producing a communicator. "I've arrived," she whispers into the device.
There is a moment of stagnant silence before a deep, deliberate voice crackles from the communicator. <Excellent. Welcome to Lucky Palms, Agent Polaris. I hope you find your new home charming.>
<We have procured a domicile for the purpose of your research. Coordinates are being transmitted as we speak. Become familiar with your new home. You will find a dresser with hu-man clothes in it. Make sure to dress appropriately.>
Polaris rolls her eyes. "Affirmative, Commander. I will contact you for further instructions after I reach the hu-man domicile," Polaris sarcastically emphasizes the last two words. The communicator chirps, signifying the end of the dull conversation.
Polaris takes a longer look at her surroundings. The arid, rolling landscape reminds her of home. Perhaps that's why Commander chose this place, Polaris thinks, so his agent wouldn't feel homesick. She examines the coordinates Commander sent to her and sighs. The house is several miles away. I guess he wanted me to get some exercise, too. She begins the long walk to her new home, hoping she doesn't run across a stray and easily-frightened human. A teal woman in a jumpsuit might be a rather jarring sight, Polaris thinks, That would be bad--having my cover blown on the first day. Humans are not understanding of difference. The illusion of commonality is of the utmost importance.
As she ambles, Polaris reaches her arms out so she can feel her surroundings. The mesquite feels like pointy fingers jabbing at her. The cacti are sharp and prickly, and the yucca pokes through her jumpsuit and angrily scratches her. Unpleasant, but not unexpected. Polaris pauses at a Joshua tree and gently touches it with her right hand. The bark reminds her of the acacia trees of Alcyone, her home. She is surprised by the nostalgia she feels. She's been looking forward to this assignment for so long that she didn't think homesickness would creep up on her so quickly.
Polaris finally reaches a road. Despite the cool weather, she is sweating. She wipes her face and looks at the structures in front of her. "Better get used to this," she murmurs to herself.
It takes Polaris another hour before she finally reaches her assigned residence. As Polaris strolls up the path to her new home, she is pleased with what she sees. It's the perfect human home. It has flamingos and everything! She pauses at the door, expecting it to open automatically--a brief moment of dissonance before she remembers she has to turn the handle and open the door herself. The inside is pleasantly painted and decorated, but she doesn't take much time to look around before she heads to the bedroom to pick out her disguise.
Polaris pulls open the heavy dresser drawer and examines the strange clothing. She finds something acceptable and changes quickly. Her new attire is surprisingly comfortable. Much better than that onesie, she thinks, hoping that the lack of jumpsuit will contribute to fewer wedgies. She examines herself in the mirror before giving herself an approving nod. I don't think I can pass for human, but at least I'm cute.
Her first two objectives complete, Polaris settles down to call the Commander. She turns on the ancient looking computer (or comp-u-tor, as Commander would say) and accesses the proper communication channel. Commander's visage appears on the screen with an alarming beep.
<Excellent, Agent Polaris. You look fantastic.>
Polaris smiles humbly. "Oh golly, ya sure do know how to make a dame blush," she bubbles in a falsetto voice. She had picked up the slang by watching human movies, though she is aware that such vernacular is outdated.
The Commander continues, ignoring her snide joke. <Now that you are settled in, let us run through the scenario. What is your name and profession?>
"Polly Bee. I perform data entry from home. A rather cushy job, really."
<Where are you from?>
"Bridgeport. All strange humans are from Bridgeport."
<What are you to say if a human asks about your complexion?>
"'I have a rare disease called Alcyonian Syndrome. While not fatal, it leads to abnormal coloration and elfin features,'" she has learned this story by rote. "I have to say, Commander, I'm not quite sure humans will buy it."
<Humans are gullible and dumb, Agent. You overestimate them greatly. Finally, let us discuss your actual purpose in Lucky Palms.>
"I am to collect samples of flora, fauna, geological features, and anything else of note and send it to the lab for examination," she replies impatiently. Such an irritating and pedantic conversation. The sun is rising and Polaris wishes to explore her brave new world.
"And," she continues quickly, "I am to observe the interactions of humans while keeping myself at a distance."
<Correct, agent. There is no room for error. If we are to succeed in our plan, you must tread carefully. Do not interact with the humans, no matter how innocent they may seem. File your first report tomorrow.>
The Commander hardly finishes speaking before Polaris ends the communication. Rising from his chair, he skirts around the desk and leans against it. His guard remains standing stoically beside the desk. Commander looks pensively at the blank screen in front of him. "I hope she does not lose sight of her mission," he mumbles.
After a pregnant pause, Commander rises from the desk and spins around on his heel to face his guard."Keep an eye on her, Agent Crux," he orders. "Dismissed." Crux salutes the Commander and mutely leaves the room.
The sun has finally risen in Lucky Palms, but Polaris finds herself too fatigued to leave the house. Her initial goal of exploring her new home fades quickly. She reclines on the couch and reflects on what the Commander told her. Tomorrow, she thinks, tomorrow I'll begin my work. Carefully. Sleep overtakes her.
Author's Note: And so begins my random legacy! It is my first time trying to write a story for my sims, and I'm still learning how to effectively stage pictures. I made the mistake of taking a lot of pictures at night in poorly lit areas, so I hope that doesn't detract from the story too much. I hope you found the prologue enjoyable, dear readers. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.