A/N: Hi everyone. This is the first time I've written something based on The Sims, but inspiration struck recently. Hope you enjoy. I'm not entirely sure where this is going yet myself, but I do have several ideas for how the plot may wind up.

Ajay Loner had been an unremarkable man; just another young singleton moving to a new town to escape his family and pursue his own hopes and dreams to strike it rich. Nothing unusual about that. Nothing at all.

Until you understand that Ajay's newly bought bachelor pad resided in Strangetown, a place infamous amongst sims for being the site of many a supernatural disaster. In just the past couple of years, there had been reports of aliens coming down from space and copulating with both male and female sims to proliferate their species, as well as the reappearance of a minor celebrity miles away from her home having suffered from amnesia. Her mind had been wiped clean of her husband and daughter. Nobody ever found out what happened, though many took the lazy route and blamed the infamous aliens. Ghosts were seen so often in Strangetown that their appearance was no longer newsworthy. The small town's negative publicity would have been enough to have most average sims running for the hills. It was a surprise that Strangetown had remained a thriving community, but of course, the oddballs had to have somewhere to live.

Ajay held in his hand a scrap of lined paper with its edges torn and an address scrawled across it in splotchy blue biro:

91, Road to Nowhere,
Fiesta Desert,
Sim Nation

'Road to Nowhere'… It sounded ominous in itself as is, even disregarding the goings on of Strangetown.

Ajay wordlessly handed the note to the burley, rough-skinned trucker through the driver's window. The sweaty man looked apathetic and smoked a cigarette, blowing smoke into Ajay's deep brown eyes.

"Yeah, sure buddy," he nodded, tilting the brim of his blue cap upwards. Ajay rubbed his eyelids and smiled in response. Together with the help of the trucker and his middle-aged father Vikram, the twentysomething loaded up the few possessions he could call his own and departed his family home for good. He didn't look backwards, but reflected in the side mirror of the truck, he could see his frail, white-haired mother sobbing.

Vikram consoled Madhuri, placing an arm around her and gently stroking her shoulder and curling her hair around his index finger. "Ajay has always been a rebellious one," Vikram muttered darkly, squeezing his wife's arm. The white moving truck sped off into the distance, a cloud of dust billowing up from behind its thick black tyres. Ajay sighed and leant his head against the warm glass window.

"Somethin' botherin' ya, kid?" the older man with unwashed salt-and-pepper hair asked. Ajay shook his head and began reading the SimCity Herald that was sitting on the dashboard, mostly so that he wouldn't have to maintain small talk.

Five hot hours later, the moving truck pulled up at the side of a concrete highway running linearly through a wasting landscape. Road to Nowhere split a canyon in two; dry, crumbling red cliffs towered on either side. The sparse settlement was far enough away as not to be devastated if the cliffs did collapse, but still… Ajay gulped. The reality was that this was his life now. His new house was panelled in pale lemon siding and featured a single cactus in its front yard. The local paper boy had left a copy of The Strangetown Eye beside his mailbox. Sand fell from between the bleached pages when Ajay picked it up. He had barely gotten out of the truck, yet felt the intense rays beating down on his bare neck.

'New Nuclear Plant to Open on Road to Nowhere.'

The young man turned his head and noted the large grey cooling towers further towards the horizon. Their silhouettes were visible between the canyon walls. Strangetown seemed like a suitably out-of-the-way place to try out any controversial science, so Ajay wasn't too surprised. Well, at least nothing suspicious is going on right now, he thought, folding up the Eye and making his way inside.

He smiled. The main room was spacious and the kitchenette would suffice. He had a small bedroom with a small single bed and pale blue painted walls. A wooden-framed window granted him a picturesque view of the canyon and the bountiful stars that would surely blanket it at night.

The trucker gruffly helped Ajay drag in the couple of mouldy cardboard boxes housing his worldly possessions, took his payment and skidded off out of the desert never to be seen again. It was the point of no return. He had done it. Ajay couldn't help but feel highly aware of his nerves tingling. His parents really did have no control over him anymore. He would not be coerced into an arranged marriage against his will and he would not be expected to follow the traditional, backwards customs of his ancestral culture. He was a free man, ready to carve his own path in the world, and a free man always needed a job.

Ajay lay back into his hard mattress and crossed one leg casually over his knee, scouting the Eye for any vacancies. They were mostly dead-end jobs working as cashiers in the couple of local shops, but one did catch his eye.

Wanted: Mailroom Technician, Beaker Technologies Inc.
Keep the copier and coffee machine in working order. Be organized, prompt, and friendly and have pleasant and helpful telephone manner. Customer service experience desirable.
Contact L. Beaker for details. 07855 432190

Ajay pulled his old mobile phone from his bag and dialled. He felt his chest rise and fall as he listened to the tinny ringing tone and waited nervously. He expected the line to go dead, but after five rings, it crackled into life.

"Hello, how can I help?" queried a melodic male voice slightly distorted by the digitising process.

Ajay bit the knuckle of his left index finger nervously and stammered, "Uh… Hello? Is this L. Beaker?"

A short pause. "Yes."

"Well uh, I saw the Eye today… You're advertising a job vacancy?"

Inside the large, castle-like house situated beside a tall radio tower and the only building on the side street named 'Tesla Court', Loki Beaker, who sat in a plush armchair in a dark room, grinned, his straight white teeth flashing.

"Perfect," he said quietly. "We need a secretary to keep things… in check. Show up outside Tesla Court tomorrow morning at 9am. It's not difficult to find. The radio tower should stand out to you. I'll look forward to seeing what you're made of."