Week 1/Day 1
I’d recently moved into the only place I could afford—the cheapest house in all of the simverse.
You know which one I mean…that little nothing of a house that is diagonally across from Johnny Zest’s in Oasis Springs.
Even my neighbor JZ is doing better than me. He may live in a cramped trailer but his lot is quite large.
I, on the other hand, live in a tiny house on a tiny lot. Life couldn’t be more mundane.
Today starts out like any other. I wake up early and make myself breakfast, then have a cup of coffee while watching the news on the internet.
I hear the mail being delivered earlier than usual, so I walk outside to the mailbox.
Inside the mailbox lies an unstamped envelope with no return address, addressed to Jin Sanada. Uh, that’s me.
Date: April 1, 2016
Program: The Wonder Child Project
Project: RRR (Phase 1)
Greetings Citizen Sanada. After screening the genetic backgrounds of hundreds of sims, you have been especially selected—in view of your superior genetic profile—to participate in the Wonder Child Project. Moreover, the government has noted your unmarried status and desire for children. We are here to remedy both.
We have paired you with a fellow citizen of similar age that we have determined to have complementary personality and genetic qualities optimal for child rearing.
You will be given a $22,000 stipend and the choice of lot to purchase. There the two of you will take up residence as ordinary people. You will take jobs in the area of your choosing, and otherwise blend in with the neighborhood.
As part of this program you must reproduce at least once with your selected mate. The first child born of the coupling will be the ultimate focus of this project: the “Wonder Child”.
Once this child is born, you are to devote your entire lives to raising them as successfully as possible. Leave no advantage ungranted, no assistance unrendered. Your undivided attention must be given to this child. Any efforts to improve yourselves or any subsequent children are to be for the indirect betterment of your Wonder Child.
This is a competition. There are hundreds of other couples doing the same as you. Show us your child rearing skills, make the best child that one can make, and you will be rewarded handsomely.
We look forward to a positive reply.
Director, The Simverse Center for Genetic Excellence
To be honest, I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately, if you haven’t noticed.
Though I’m a freelance painter, I’ve been feeling quite uninspired these days for reasons unknown. Maybe it’s because I feel like my life’s going nowhere.
I’m a cheerful, creative Sim with the Family-Oriented trait, so all I’ve ever really wanted to do is meet my soulmate and raise a family together.
Fate’s not been kind to me, though, and I’ve never managed to meet “the one,” so I’m intrigued that this Center believes it could find my perfect match
just by comparing genetic profiles.
I can’t say I like the idea of raising a child as part of a government-sponsored competition.
And the letter never actually explains why the simverse has need of so many Wonder Children.
What should I do about this letter?
I take a look around my colorless home and decide to give her a call, that woman whom the Center believes to be my perfect match.
Her name is Misa Nishijima and she answers the phone soon after the second ring, sounding somewhat disoriented.
We introduce ourselves briefly then discuss the feasibility of collaborating on the project.
I decide the least I can do is go to meet this woman in person.
It’s not like I’m leaving much behind here. It’s just a day trip but I pack up all my belongings anyway, then phone for a cab.
As you can see, I don’t own much.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the simverse in a nicer part of town lives Misa Nishijima, a somewhat distant relative of the wealthy Nishijima Dynasty.
She just recently graduated from high school yet lives alone in a ritzy Tudor house in downtown Windenburg, a city girl through and through.
A few hours earlier, Misa also receives a similar letter from the Simverse Center of Genetic Excellence.
But let’s allow her to tell the story.
Soon after reading the letter, I am shaken out of my shock by the phone ringing.
In a daze, I dash for the phone and realize the caller is that man, Jin Sanada.
I don’t know what he’s like as a person, but he certainly has a pleasant voice—gentle, warm.
Just how compatible might we be, I wonder.
We hypothetically talk about which lot we’d prefer, if we were to collaborate.
Much to our surprise, we both choose the same lot—that beachfront lot on the island off the coast of Windenburg City.
Though I live in the city, I have the Loves the Outdoors trait.
What could be more ideal than living near the ocean, constantly hearing the sound of waves?
Jin (look at me, calling him by his first name already!) persuades me to meet him at the lot.
Even though it’s just a day trip, I rush upstairs to throw some things into an overnight bag.
I try on a few outfits, trying to decide what clothes to bring. (Why am I trying to impress him?)
After letting my family and friends know that I’ll be away for a few days (what? A girl can hope, can’t she?), I phone for a taxi and wait on the curb.
What do you mean this is too much luggage? What’s wrong with a little optimism?
Somehow, I just know that letter is going to completely transform my life.
Jin: I arrive on the island first and stand around awkwardly.
When I spot Misa through the trees in the distance, I realize I should have hidden my bags.
Suddenly, I feel foolish and embarrassed at being seen with all my luggage.
Jin: Well, this is interesting…she seems to have brought a suitcase! Well, well. And wow, she is unbelievably gorgeous!
Misa: There he is! I wonder what kind of desperate person would come all the way out here to talk with some stranger. (No, I’m not referring to myself…)
And why did I change my clothes at the last minute? My “Get in, loser” tee-shirt was just fine!
But now that I’ve dragged this stupid suitcase halfway around the island, I’m all sweaty and want to change again!
We introduce ourselves, in person this time, then I explain that I’d like to change my clothes.
Jin: If you’d like, how about if I throw together a temporary shelter for us? Looks like you also came with plans for an overnighter.
Misa: Sure, go ahead. Whatever you like (but please stop eyeing my suitcase).
(An hour goes by…)
Misa: Wow, considering we’re just going to spend one night here, this sure looks like the foundation for something more permanent.
Jin: (grins shyly) Oh, you noticed that? On the south side facing the ocean would be the Focused room.
To its north would be an Inspired Room. There’s one restroom to the east for now. You can change there.
I hope you don’t mind that I used some of our funds to buy a bed for you to sleep in tonight and a sofa for me.
Misa: Uh, sure. (He is really handsome and very nice, but I’m still too embarrassed to admit that the ferry captain is arranging for all my luggage to be driven over by jeep tomorrow morning.
Jin: For now, I’ve placed the sofa so we can sit and look out over the ocean. Come sit with me, please.
Are you feeling okay, Misa? You look a little upset.
Misa: Bah, that stupid ferry captain asked me if I’d planned to open a department store on this island.
Jin: Really? Why would he ask you that? You only have one suitcase.
Misa: What? Oh, it’s nothing really. Hey, this is such a fantastic view!
Jin: This would be a wonderful place to live and raise a….and go fishing and stuff.
And so the two get acquainted and in the process they learn that they both share the Family Oriented and Loves the Outdoors traits. In fact, they are getting along exceedingly well until an interruption from the Welcome Wagon.
Jin: (texting to Misa: How do we get rid of the Welcome Wagon? Do you think they’ll leave if we start fishing?)
Misa: (texting back: It’s worth a try!)
After losing the Welcome Wagon, Jin and Misa do a little more fishing, a little gathering, and a little more getting to know each other.
In fact, they become best friends!
By nightfall, they’ve gotten to know each other very well indeed.
If you look very closely at the dark brown bed placed in the middle of nowhere in pitch darkness, you can see the little hearts. (Sorry about that!)
Hey, you two! A thousand apologies for spoiling the lovely mood and all, but I’ve been sent here to hear your decision about the project.
You can call me Watcher.
Jin: Are you here representing the Simverse Center of Genetic Excellence regarding the Wonder Child Project?
W: That I am. And, erm, don’t rush to get dressed just because I’m here. *blushes beet red
Jin: Well I do have two questions. My first question is for Misa: What could I do to convince you to stay with me here?
Misa: You need to ask?
Jin: Oh Misa, you were made for me. I was hoping that you’d feel the same way as I do.
Now I’m ready to ask my second question, Watcher.
W: And that is?
Jin: Watcher, where do we sign?
Watcher hands them each two copies of the agreement, which they swiftly sign then resume making eyes at each other.
W: Oh no, please don’t worry about me! I insist on seeing myself out. (Hmmph! How rude!)
Tonight, we leave the blissful couple delighting in their newfound happiness.
The real work shall begin on the morrow.
And that, boys and girls, is how Jin Sanada and Misa Nishijima became a participating couple in the Wonder Child Project administered by the Simverse Center for Genetic Excellence.
The sacrifices some sims are willing to make for the advancement of sim science never cease to amaze!
(All poses in this chapter by kiruluvnst)
This is very much not my usual way of doing things–I love quirky, extremes, absurd, or unpredictable happenings. But this chapter is, well, pretty sappy.
However, these two sims are so striking (yes, I’m immodestly saying it about my own sims, sorry!), the coastal scenery is breathtaking, and the poses are so romantic that I’m unable to carry on with my usual snarky humor.
The friendship and romance bars for both sims maxed out by late afternoon and Jin was chomping at the bit to propose, but we are waiting a day to be safe.
Perhaps the real challenge of narrating this challenge is to work around the fact that it entails intensive skill-grinding. Hopefully, we can all be distracted from that reality by the pretty sims and lovely scenery.
Thank you for reading!