The stupid thing is that I wasn’t all that scared. I didn’t think Human Resources and Security are at Apartment because of the Elas or the messages from whomever, but that doesn’t matter. They were there for something and nothing they could be there for is good. I was so distracted wondering why I wasn’t more afraid that I didn’t fully listen to what the smiling Human Resources woman was saying to me. Something about inspections, which doesn’t make sense because Human Resources doesn’t do inspections, that’s what Housing Authority does.
I found all that fear I had been missing when she put her hand on my knee and said “Neil would you like to go outside?”
For the nanosecond after her hand touched my knee but before her words touched my brain I felt a thrill like I had never had before. I’m not one of those debauched sleazebags that brags about having tried “everything” but I’ve earned a few adult sim credits before and I’ve used them. I can tell you unequivocally that nothing in simsense compares to someone touching you in real life. There was nothing erotic about it literally, but I would have traded all the sims in the world for another second of that contact.
That was the first nanosecond. Then my brain processed the threat. She said Outside. She was there for Termination. I felt like I had started to flop onto my ComfortSoft after a shift and while I was in the air but before I landed I saw that it was covered with poison needles. There was no escape, just a horrible painful death coming with no way to avoid it.
My trainer Karlos said that if I ever had to deal with Human Resources that I shouldn’t say anything. Don’t give them the satisfaction of begging. Accept fate with dignity. Sorry Karlos, when the time came I immediately threw myself on the floor and started abjectly begging.
I don’t remember either of us sitting down (where did she get a chair? I don’t have any extra chairs) but I was sitting until hurled myself off my seat and I started bawling for mercy. I said I would do anything, anything, not to go Outside. I would rat out anyone they wanted. I would kill people. My parents if they wanted. Whatever they wanted. And I meant it.
Her response? Laughter. Not mean mocking laughter at my expense, pretty friendly laughter. Like we were old friends sharing a joke. If they could record that laugh and play it back the same way I heard it would be a best seller. It made me feel better even while I was still convinced I was going to die.
“Neil” she said, still chuckling “I meant go outside for a walk, there’s a park right across the street. I certainly didn’t mean going outside the city you silly goose!”
She laughed again and it was so nice I felt myself smiling involuntarily in response. I was in total brainlock, go for a walk? A park? Across the street? I knew what those words meant but it was like she was suddenly speaking a different language that just happened to use the same words only they had entirely different meanings. I was so shocked that I didn’t even get up. She had the Security guys pick me up and put me back on my chair.
I found their touch gave me much less of a thrill for some reason.