Friday, July 12, 2013

Chapter 1.4: Take a Chance

Weeks pass without incident. The summer days shorten, and the dry heat is replaced by icy dampness. Polaris has fallen into a comfortable routine: she finds gems, sells half to the local consignment store, and submits the other half to the Hegemony. Polaris continues filing her reports with Crux; her rewards are mechanical conversations with her purple overseer. There is no mention of Luke, or Eni, or the new gem cutting machine. Crux seems blissfully unaware of Polaris's adventures

It's strange, Polaris thinks, how gems appear, disappear, and reappear. She wonders where the gems come from. She tries to keep her mind busy with silly unanswerable questions instead of investigating herself and her situation. She has practically been in stasis: while she has started earning a steady income, she has made no other moves to worm out of the Hegemony. She has a lot of impulses she wants to act on, but she doesn't know which impulse is correct.

Polaris likes how her breath is visible when she exhales in cold weather. It's just water vapor condensing, turning into little bursts of fog. The body is a whole made out of a billion little different molecules, and the cold makes that evident. So no matter how she feels, she knows she isn't hollow inside.

As Polaris returns home from an excursion, her phone chirps melodiously. She pulls it out of her pocket and looks at the screen: Luke Loveday. They haven't talked since  her house was vandalized and subsequently improved. "Hey," she answers nonchalantly, trying to hide her excitement.

"Hey," he says, "you know, I've dialed your number a million times and hung up."

"Why would you do that?" she asks, confused.

"I've been afraid to talk to you. I've been thinking--a lot--and I think I know why you pushed me away. Can we meet to talk about it? I know it's early, but I figured we could grab a cup of coffee. My treat."

"Sure," Polaris tries to sound casual. Truthfully, she doesn't want to keep Luke at arm's length. She's done that before, and it's frustrating in every sense of the word. They arrange to meet in an hour at Palms Port Cafe, a coffeshop housed in an old industrial building on the lake.

The bitter cold rolls of the water, biting at Polaris's skin. It feels colder outside the coffeehouse than it felt at her house."Polly, I'm glad you're okay," she hears Luke behind her. Turning around, she sees he's holding his hand over his heart--a sentimental gesture.

"Why wouldn't I be?" she replies, unsure of what to say.

Luke grabs her, pulling her in for a hug. "I was surprised that you didn't want to talk after the burglary. I thought something had happened. You made it sound like you were in some kind of trouble last time we spoke."

"I was lured here with the promise of coffee, Luke. I will not accept cheap hugs as substitute."

"Right. Let's go inside; it's freezing anyway."

They settle down at a table while they wait for the barista to make their coffee. Polaris looks around the empty coffeshop. The gray walls are decorated with bright paintings by local artists. She's impressed by their talent. The couple is quiet for a moment before Luke finally speaks.

"So I feel like a heel," Luke admits, "I was way too handsy that night."

Polaris didn't know what she expected him to say, but that wasn't it. "Handsy?"

"I was moving too fast. That's why you didn't want to see me again."

A million thoughts race through her head, from the completely obvious (Too fast?? I kissed you the day we met, dummy) to the slightly less obvious (Don't worry--I enjoyed it). She had seen enough movies to know what to say, though. "You're right--I felt like an object," she lies, "like you were using me." Ugh.

"You've seen too many movies, Polly," he laughs. Oh crap, he's on to me! "I promise, I'm interested in more than your body."

"I know--you're also interested in my piercing intellect and razor-sharp wit," she says dryly.

"I am," he replies as he leans forward and reaches for her hand. "Maybe we should stay friends for a while, and see where it goes from there," he suggests. Polaris's heart sinks, but she knows it's for the best.

"Yeah," she agrees, holding his hand, "just friends." 

"I've gotta jet, darling," he says, "I've got work. Talk to you later." Luke runs out the door towards the theater.  Polaris feels slighted--he didn't buy her a cup of coffee.


Polaris makes sushi for dinner that night, her favorite dish since it's both yummy and fireproof. As she cuts the fish, the knife knocks loudly on the cutting board. Each heavy knock makes her heart sink lower. She underestimated the power of her own emotions when she became involved with Luke. She knows that Luke could be endangered if she starts a relationship with him, but she doesn't want to limit their relationship to "just friends." She feels a wanting much deeper than that.

After dinner, she reclines on her bed to watch T.V. before she falls asleep--an unhealthy ritual, but it takes her mind off of matters. She finds a stupid movie about a mad scientist who tries to take over the world with a legion of evil robots. Hardly a cost effective method of world domination, she thinks with a yawn. Her eyelids begin to close when she hears the doorbell ring.

Polaris slowly approaches the front door cautiously peers out the porch window. Her heart swells when she sees Luke peering back in with a somewhat maniacal smile. "It's fucking cold," he yells, "are you gonna let me in?" Polaris opens the door.

Luke rushes in and before she can say anything, he leans  close, wrapping his arms around her waist. "I take it back," he admits, "I don't think I can be just friends with you."

Polaris strokes his face. "I hope you're not suggesting we become enemies," she says, purposefully obtuse. Luke laughs.

"I don't know what it is, Polly, but I can't stop thinking about you. When we first met, you were forward, happy. But I know there's also a different side to you, a lonely side. You need someone, and I want to be him."

"Finally," she replies, "I was afraid I was going to have to conscript some poor soul if you didn't volunteer," She hesitates before continuing, "join me in the bedroom?" Stop, her rational side screams in her head. She ignores it.

Luke wordlessly picks her up and stumbles towards the bedroom, showering her with haphazard kisses. He drops her on the bed and begins to pull off their clothes with aggressive yanks.

They are so entranced with each other, the couple doesn't notice a slight glow emanating from the television.

Crux is obviously unhappy with what's happening on screen in front of him. He anxiously taps his feet. You imbecile, he thinks, you...harlot!

He falls back onto the desk and holds his head in his hands, trying to ignore the fumbling mess on the view screen. 

Of course, now is when the Commander decides to check in on Polaris's progress. "What do we have here?" the Commander asks slyly as he enters the room, "My, what is our dear Polaris up to?" Crux felt shivers of disgust roll down his spine.

"It seems Polaris has become emotionally involved with a human, Commander," Crux weakly says, "I would recommend we withdraw her from this assignment immediately."

The Commander candidly watches the screen. "That's more than emotional, Agent Crux," The Commander says, "and I fear that there might be much more in store for her. Sexual relations are frowned upon amongst our own, and it is downright immoral to mate with such an inferior species. I must alert my superiors, and I will send for Polaris to return as soon as possible. Frankly, I am surprised she has gone this long without incident," he pauses, examining Crux's face, "Do not worry, Crux. Your work has been stellar. This will not reflect poorly on you."

"Thank you, Commander Eridanus," Crux says. The Commander nods and leaves hurriedly. Crux despairingly detects a smirk on the Commander's face.


Luke gently traces his fingers along Polaris' smooth thigh. She's falling asleep, her eyes struggling to stay open. "I'm sorry," he softly says, "if I hurt you. You didn't tell me you were a virgin."

"Well, sex isn't really..." she stops herself. Sex isn't really allowed on Alcyone, was what she was going to say. "Sex has never really been important to me," she finishes.

"Well, I guess I'm honored to be your first. I feel like Captain Kirk--I made it with a hot alien chick," he smiles.

"Alien?" Polaris sits up, "What makes you think I'm an alien?" She tries to sound casual, though she is panicking. 

"It was a joke, Polly. I know you have some rare disease. I heard it from a coworker who heard it from a friend who heard it from Kinslee Hudson. I guess that was insensitive," he confesses, "but I didn't know how to bring it up."

"Oh," she says with relief, "yeah, Alcyonian Syndrome. It's not fatal," she says after seeing the worry on his face, "just embarrassing."

"Well," he says, "I'll just go one pretending you're my alien." He pushes her back onto the bed and rests his head on her.

"I don't think that's very funny," she mutters as she stares at the ceiling, "I don't call you a womrat, even though you look like one." 

Luke feigns offense. "Womrat?? That's cruel."

"Stop calling me an alien, and I won't ever mention the uncanny resemblance again," she tries to barter.

"Make me," he dares. She gently pushes him off of her and rolls on top with a grin, taking him up on his challenge.


The snow melts overnight, and so Luke suggests they go out for dinner. "I want to treat you to the best view in Lucky Palms," he explains. Polaris enthusiastically agrees, eager to see more of the desert she has fallen in love with. He takes her to Blooming Cactus Bistro, which truly does boast the lovleist view--and the best food--in Lucky Palms.

"You ordered a grilled cheese sandwich?" Polaris asks incredulously once they receive their food, "this is the fanciest restaurant in town!"

"Hey, I take great pleasure in simplicity," Luke retorts before taking a bite, "that's why I like you." 

"Gee, thanks."

"I don't want you to think that I'm just interested in sex," Luke says, "so wanna go on a real date tomorrow?"

"I thought this was a real date," Polaris says between bites, "besides, I don't think you could find anything more impressive than this." She gestures to the breathtaking sunset in front of them.

"I'll take that as a soft maybe," Luke laughs. The sun is setting quickly, and they can feel the temperature dropping. "I'll call you tomorrow."

It's snowing when Polaris leaves the bistro. It's hard to believe how quickly the weather can change here--from warm to freezing in only two hours. She smiles as she reflects on the past day, but her heart drops when she sees movement inside her house. Someone's in there. She hesitantly swings open the door.

"Hello, Polaris," the Commander says in a mocking tone, "I love what you've done with the place."

Author's Note: I know! I'm evil for ending the chapter at this point. And to make it worse, work is picking up again so I might not be able to update for a few days. I'm also waffling on a storytelling decision for the next chapter: I'm considering having the majority of the chapter told from the perspective of a secondary character. 

Re: sex not being allowed on Polaris's home world--I totally stole that idea from Demolition Man. For those of you haven't seen it, Demolition Man is a sci-fi/action movie that takes place in a 'utopian' future where swearing and sex are outlawed, Taco Bell is the only restaurant, and there's no such thing as toilet paper. It's campy and totally worth checking out if you like cheesy science fiction, Sylvester Stallone, and/or Sandra Bullock.

There was also supposed to be more to their dinner date, but I realized afterwards that I took like two pictures of them and a million pictures of the view. It was all filler, but I'm still sorry.

As always, thank you for reading!


  1. The movie that made Taco Bell change its logo. xD

    I want badly to see what happens next!

    Lucky for Polaris, her biology is similar enough to a human's. O.o Lucky for this whole legacy, probably.

    And I see that pic of Luke on Crux's desk. ;D

    1. Did that movie really cause Taco Bell to change its logo? I didn't know that!

      I'm actually always bothered when aliens and humans are capable of interbreeding (see: Star Trek), but I've fallen into that trope myself, if only for the sake of my legacy. :p

      I'm glad you can tell it's Luke! I got so frustrated editing his picture in.

    2. According to the Internet, yes.

      Check out #7! (Though #3 also has to do with Demolition Man.)

      Some places still use the old logo.

    3. Haha, that's wonderful! I always wondered why Taco Bell changed from more southwesty type colors to the pink and purple.

      Also, that article really made me crave Taco Bell. :/

  2. Yay for Polly and Luke, and Uh Oh for Polly! Commander don't you dare hurt Polly! I hope Eni or Luke comes and help her or something!

    Great cliff hanger! I was a basket of emotions reading this.I'll be waiting my dear. Great update as always. Oh and I remember Demolition Man hehe nice reference.

    1. Thank you, and thanks for reading! I'm sorry to create a rollercoaster of emotions and then end on a cliff hanger. I'll be trying to update ASAP. :p

  3. Ooof! What a ride!

    So I'm super glad Luke showed back up and then Showed Up, but now I'm just terrified for him and Polly!

    And Crux having to watch made me giggle like crazy. I kind of get the feeling he deserved to have to watch.

    And as usual, the Commander makes my skin crawl. Yikes.

    Gattica played around with the idea of using sex to reproduce as being an inferior method, but they did at least still think sex was viable and fun. Ha!


    1. I'm actually not that Gattaca (I'm a horrible sci-fi nerd), so I'll hafta check it out.

      And poor Crux--having to go through such an awkward situation. I'm glad it was amusing though. :p

  4. What a meanie to end the chapter where you did! I can't wait to see what happens next. I certainly hope that there is some intervention. I can't help being a little creeped out that Crux watched Polly get it on with Luke. I still am shipping the two of them though.

    I do wonder why Crux was looking into Luke, which he obviously was. Jealousy? Perhaps Luke is more than he seems? I must know!

    1. Mwahaha, I really am mean. Crux is supposed to keep track of her, so it may not entirely be his idea...

      I hope to answer your last question very soon. C:

  5. WHAT?! NO! Not cool Missus Face!!!

    SO happy that Luke came back, and that they uh... hit it off.
    I hope she's at least pregnant so we can see what a Luke/Polly baby would look like.

    Poor Crux. I have a feeling he was the one from the dream. That's the reason the Commander put him in charge of her. Thank you to Becky for pointing out that pic of Luke, that was brilliant! You're an amazing photo-editor!

    I hope Polaris can some how escape back to Luke, because I imagine he'll be pretty broken up when she doesn't turn up to their date! :(

    Just blow off work to do this, yeah? (Ok, so I'm totally not doing that, I'm actually volentarily working overtime, but I didn't leave at a cliffhanger like that!!!)

    1. Little do you know, I'm getting a positive moodlet at your suffering. >:)

      Thanks--I was worried that the picture would look strange. I'm not so practiced at photo-manipulation, but I'm trying to be patient with it.

      I'd love to call in sick and claim I need to work on my sims story. Actually, I'm working from home over the summer so if I am diligent I may finish up soon.

  6. Oh noes! I'm glad Luke came back, but it looks like things are about to go horribly badly for Polaris! I'm intrigued by Cruz thinking she's a harlot for sleeping with Luke though, strikes me as a interesting choice of words...

    1. I picked harlot partially because it's so outdated, but you're right: it is an interesting choice. :)

  7. Uh oh---it looks like Polly is in trouble! I wonder how she is going to get out of this one?

    I'm somewhat sad that she chose Luke (I like Crux better)---and why in the world didn't she go to Luke's place? Surely she remembers all the cameras that are at her place?

    1. I thought of that when I was setting up the chapter (I was going to make a swinging pad for Luke and set the story there), but I knew I wanted Polly to get caught in flagrante delecto (because she has to get caught at some point), and I didn't know if I could explain how it would happen at his place. Maybe she had a lapse in judgement?

  8. Oh no...I had a bad feeling about where that TV came from, now we know. Crux seems to have an attachment to Polly and a history with her, I hope he can help her in whatever the Commander has in store for her. It can't be good for them to show up at her house like that =(

    1. I want to lie and say, "nah, he's just there to hang out and play video games," but it isn't good. I hope to have a new chapter up soon (within a day or two or maybe earlier if I'm inspired).

      Crux does seem to have an attachment...

  9. How creepy of Crux & Commander to watch Polaris!
    I love Polly & Luke, they are a cute couple.

    It's hard not to get distracted by the views in Lucky Palms. I'm doing a wishacy there and it's just so beautiful. I love the scenery pics.

    1. It really is a distracting view! I have to constantly keep myself from taking pictures.

      Thank you for reading!

  10. So cute! I also caught that little hint you put in there :p

    Also: Where are the little green babies? I hope it wont be too long!

    1. I'll tell Polly to pick up the pace re: the little green babies. It shouldn't be too long, though.

  11. Oh snap! I'm wondering how much trouble Polly is in. The date between Polly and Luke was very sweet, and he is starting to grow on me. I still want to see who the mystery guy was in her dream was though. Poor Crux though if he WAS that mystery guy. What an awkward situation to be in.

    1. Well at this point you know the answer to the mystery guy so yes, that was a very awkward situation for him! I feel really bad for making him go through that. :C

  12. I've been reading along and just had to comment on this chapter because of everything that happened in it. I'm enjoying the relationship between Polly and Jake, it's cute. But I'm also worried about how much trouble Polly is going to be in. I already feel it's safe to say she won't be leaving the simnation, but I wonder just what exactly is going to happen to her. Fortunately there are still more chapters for me to read after this. I would have been upset to have been stuck on this cliffhanger.

    1. Haha, I'm kind of evil about cliffhangers! Luckily you didn't have to wait.

      I'm glad you like the relationship between Luke and Polly, though obviously you already know what happens. I have a soft spot for Luke.

  13. Aw! Poor Crux...I find him interesting, and I'm curious to find out the 'real' him. Seems he's just following orders out of necessity not because he wants it may change because of Polly and Luke's relationship? Oh the mysteries! I know I"m behind where you are, but the emotions are real! :D

    1. Poor Crux indeed. :c You're very perceptive--there's more to Crux than meets the eye. :D