“What’s up gang?” The alien girl approached them, smiling broadly.
Pauline’s head was spinning. This wasn’t possible. Was she dreaming? Did her fantasies get so realistic looking that she couldn’t tell them from reality anymore?
“We’ve got a newcomer, Peyt,” the blonde girl announced excitedly.
“This is too awesome,” the alien beamed. “Are you my long lost sister or what? I’m Peyton, by the way, but I guess you would have figured that one out! And these guys are Starr, Ted and Davion.”
“My name is Pauline,” Pauline said weakly. She still didn’t understand what was happening. The girl in front of her was clearly an alien, a full one, just like her mother. But none of the others seemed to care, or mind, if anything, it seemed they all admired the Peyton.
And Peyton didn’t appear to be ashamed of her appearance one bit, on the contrary, she looked so happy… Pauline couldn’t take her eyes off hr. It was all so puzzling.
Before she could say anything else, the girl hugged her. “Welcome to the family,” she grinned.
Pauline froze. This had to be a dream.
“I… I don’t understand…”
“You poor thing, you look so overwhelmed,” Peyton exclaimed. “I get it, I’ve never met anyone like us either! Come on, let’s chat! I need to know all about you!”
She dragged Pauline to the nearby bench. “I can’t believe we’ve never ran into each other! I mean, I haven’t even heard of any other aliens on the planet, let alone right here, in Windenburg!”
“Windenburg?” Pauline asked hesitantly.
“Well yeah, the port in the distance… wait, have you just landed on the planet? I always assumed all aliens would only ever get here the same way I did, but I guess that’s pretty close-minded of me,” Peyton pondered.
Pauline studied Peyton’s joyful face. That girl was the least close-minded individual she could have imagined. And more important, she was no monster… but she was definitely an alien…
“No, I was born here, actually,” Pauline explained. “Just on these islands. But I’ve never been to the mainland… How did you get on this planet?” Pauline asked.
“My parents think they’ve been experimented on by aliens,” Peyton shrugged, as if it was no big deal.
“They say their memories leading up to me being conceived don’t seem to add up too much, like there are some parts missing… but they do know a UFO took my dad the night before their wedding and he returned back with me planted inside him.”
“So your parents are…normal?” Pauline gasped. “And they think of you as their daughter?”
“Normal? I don’t know, they’re pretty goofy,” Peyton smirked. “Though in all honesty, I’m pretty lucky to have such chill parents. My dad is a dance team captain, and my mom’s DJ. What about your parents?”
“My mom is a painter. She… she is like you. A full alien.”
“What do you mean?” Peyton asked.
“I’m only a half-alien,” Pauline explained hesitantly. “But my mom… she looks more like you and she has… powers. Do you?”
“I never thought of them as powers,” Peyton said. “But yeah, I guess I do. I can read people’s minds if I want to, and pretend to look like someone else. But… why would you want to?
My friends and family are always honest with me, so why doubt them and read their minds? If you think people aren’t trustworthy, then why would you want them in your life anyway?”
“But… the disguises? You could look like a regular sim?”
“And what’s the fun in that?” Peyton asked. “I love being me! I’m unique… well, less so now that I’ve met you,” she laughed. “But still… the things that make each person different are the things that make us special. Why would you ever want to hide them?”
“So you don’t hide from people on the mainland? And they don’t think you’re a… monster?” Pauline’s voice was barely audible.
“What? Of course not! The people in Windenburg are the most welcoming ones you’ll ever meet,” Peyton shook her head. “You know what? I think it’s about time for you to see the mainland for yourself!”
“Are you sure this is safe?” Pauline looked around nervously. The mainland was prettier than she’d ever imagined, and so far, they hadn’t run into a soul. But Pauline was terrified of meeting the locals.
“Don’t worry, my parents live right here,” Peyton reassured her. “And as you know, they raised an alien. So you know you’ve got nothing to worry about there!”
With a silent plea, Pauline followed Peyton into the house.
“Hey guys, I brought a friend for dinner, is that cool?” Peyton greeted her parents.
“Hello,” Pauline peeped.
“Of course it’s fine! Hi Starr,” Peyton’s mother stopped mid-wave as she turned around. “Oh, you’re not Starr! Hi, I’m Candy!”
“Any friend of Peyton’s is a friend of ours,” Peyton’s father smiled at Pauline.
“Da-ad, don’t be corny,” Peyton rolled her eyes.
“But who can you count on to embarrass you if not your parents?” Paolo chuckled. “Come on, let’s eat.”
“Have you just moved to Windenburg, Pauline?” Candy asked the newcomer enthusiastically.
“I grew up on one of the islands, but normally only my mom goes to the mainland. She’s a painter,” Pauline changed the subject.
“That sounds really fun,” Candy smiled. “Though I can’t say I know a whole lot about art!”
“Don’t say that, your music is art honey,” Paolo praised his wife.
Pauline remained mostly quiet during dinner, just taking her surroundings in. The atmosphere around the table was so genuinely warm; Peyton’s parents seemed enamoured with each other and Peyton was acting so natural and carefree around them, as if she had no idea how lucky she was.
Everything Pauline had ever known, everything Astrid had taught her… was the world really that different from what she’d been told? And why would her mother lie to her?
Everyone gathered in the living room after dinner. Peyton wasted no time and started dancing to Candy’s music. Pauline tried to dance a little too, but she was too overwhelmed and needed to sit down.
“Are you ok, Pauline?” Peyton joined her new friend and her father on the couch.
“I… your family is so amazing,” Pauline breathed out.
“They have their moments,” Peyton chuckled.
“It’s just,” Pauline didn’t know how to choose her words, but she had to ask. She looked at Peyton’s father: “I would have thought you would hate aliens… They experimented on you, took your memories, kidnapped you and…” She stopped herself, scared of losing her new friend if she said more. But Peyton just smiled.
“I don’t really see it that way,” Paolo answered. “Candy and I got together around the time when the strange things started happening to our memories. So maybe the alien experiments brought us together. Who knows if we would have ever gotten married if it wasn’t for them!”
“And of course, they gave us our beautiful daughter! We would have never had any children if it wasn’t for that. So if anything, we should be thankful for those aliens. Bring on more of them,” he laughed.
“So, are you not scared of the mainland anymore?” Peyton asked as the girls said goodbye later that evening.
“I think my mom must have ran into some really bad sims,” Pauline pondered. “I don’t understand why she would have told me those horrible things about this place otherwise… it was probably all a misunderstanding.”
“You need to ask her,” Peyton encouraged her.
“I will,” Pauline nodded. “Thank you… for everything!”
“Hey, thank you,” Peyton hugged her. “I always wanted a sister, and who’s closer to that than another alien! Don’t underestimate your coolness,” she winked. “And see you soon!”