Carlo Uniki stretched in front of his new house, sore after using his muscles in ways he wasn’t used to.
“Well, we’ve finished all of the building,” his sister Carissa said. “Now how are we going to survive?”
“We could try farming again,” Carlo suggested.
Carissa made a face. “We already tried farming, back in the desert. We didn’t even get to harvest our first batch before the volcano erupted. We should do something with more immediate results.”
“Someone sounds smart,” a voice from behind them commented.
The siblings turned around the see Emperor Domino Allah standing in their front yard.
“Thank you, Highness,” Carissa said, curtseying.
“Do you have some suggestions for us, then?” Carlo asked.
“I do, actually,” Emperor Domino said. “Carlo, I could use you at a place called a restaurant. It’s where food is served to the public for money. You could do some different odd jobs there. Carissa, I can see you doing some other odd jobs around the Empire, maybe even ending up getting paid to make appearances at our upper class parties. What do you two say?”
Future Sims would say that Emperor Domino offered Carlo a job in the culinary career and Carissa a job in the slacker career.
“What do I say?” Carissa repeated incredulously. “I say you’re being very kind, and thank you very much!”
“The same goes for me, Emperor Domino,” Carlo said.
“Great! It’s settled, then. I have just one condition,” Emperor Domino said. “You get the jobs and keep them only if you visit with Grand Abbot or Mother Serenity every weekday to get some education. I’m not going to employ brainless cavemen in my new civilization.”
“It’s a deal!” Carissa said enthusiastically.
Carlo agreed as well, though slightly more suspicious.
When Emperor Domino left, the two siblings faced one another.
Carissa squealed. “Isn’t this great?”
“I wonder why he’s helping us,” Carlo said.
“Because he’s a wonderful Sim that we were right to elect leader!” Carissa said. “He saved our lives once, and now he’s doing it again!”
“You’re not getting a crush on him, are you?” Carlo asked.
“Pfft, as if,” Carissa said defensively. “Why?”
“I’m just looking out for you, sis. He’s probably not going to marry anyone in Rome.”
Carissa stared. “Where else would he find a wife?”
“Where do you think Grand Abbot and Mother Serenity and Mars came from? Elsewhere. Somewhere out there, more Sims exist.”
“And what makes you think he would go traveling just to look for a wife when there are plenty of available girls here?”
“You are getting a crush on him!”
Carlo sighed. “He just strikes me as really arrogant, even more than Cosimo. He’s probably going to be looking for some exotic quality in a wife, rather than someone from the community he grew up in. In fact, I’m even a little bit surprised that he stooped to offer us jobs. It’s not like we’re close friends of his or anything.”
More staring from Carissa. “Next thing I know you’ll be questioning why he saved all our lives when the volcano erupted.”
Carlo chose to ignore that statement. “And why did he talk so disparagingly of how our lives were when we lived in caves?”
“He’s just psyched that we get to broaden our horizons, and he doesn’t want us to miss out on the incredible opportunity!”
Carlo doubted that, but he gave the appearance of agreement for harmony’s sake. The subject was dropped.
The Uniki household quickly adopted a routine of rising for education during the day, working in the evening, and studying at night – during the weekdays, anyways. Weekends were different. They had fun on Saturdays, and they attended the chapel for the Plebeians on Sundays.
They eventually found out about the Slaves, and Carlo’s dislike for their Emperor strengthened. Carissa still defended their ruler, but even she had to admit that the situation with the Slaves was bad.
“On the bright side, though, at least we’re not Slaves,” Carissa said.
Carlo exhaled sharply. “How can you say that? Don’t you feel bad for them?”
“I know you love family a lot, Carlo,” Carissa said, “but you have to learn to appreciate the moment. You can’t get so upset at others’ misfortunes, or you won’t be able to carry on with life.”
Carlo still seemed bothered, though.
Carissa discovered a method of distraction.
She was walking home from work one day in the rain, when she heard an animal whimpering between two buildings. She followed the sound and found a tiny puppy struggling to get out of a mud puddle.
Her heart melted. She had never seen puppies before – only grown wild dogs. She gently picked the animal up and, accepting the stains she would get, placed the puppy under her shirt against her skin to try to warm him up.
She brought him home to Carlo, who instantly fell in love with the creature and named it Kidd.
With the name came permanency. Kidd stayed with the Unikis.
Carissa was grateful to note that taking care of Kidd meant that Carlo thought and worried less about the Slaves.