Baking By Death is back baby! And before we get into it, I just want to yell about EA skin tones for five seconds.
You’ve probably heard/read about this, but in the year our lord 2020, its bananas that this game lacks skin tone swatches for darker skin colors that don’t look straight up wild. Listen, the lovely and genius Xmiramira put out the Melanin pack and it adds like 50 swatches, but 1) it’s custom content when it should really be included in the game, and 2) she put the first one out in 2016.
Let that sink in.
And do not get me started on the make-up. I love having a diverse cast of characters in my story, but I’ve got a pretty narrow set of “lewks” to work with because the options for darker skin tones are frankly, atrocious. I know people complain about that MAC update, and a lot of the options are insane, but I was glad to at least have a “blush” option that didn’t look like clown make-up on brown skin.
I want to see myself reflected in a game I spend so much time (AND MONEY) on. I don’t think it’s too much to ask. I see the statement about Black Lives Matter, EA, but now I’m going to need to see some action.
Alright, rant over. Let’s get to the insane romantic and supernatural adventures of gods and monsters…
Vlad clenched and unclenched a few fingers, but otherwise did not move. “I thought I would begin surveying my internal injuries, but I find they are too great in number.”
Alice tried to shift onto her side but couldn’t quite do it. She draped her arm over Vlad’s shoulder. It hurt…everything hurt. She was desperate for water but the kitchen was so far away.
“Can you…?” she moaned, unable to finish.
“Doubtful,” Caleb sighed from the other couch. He propped himself up on one elbow and heaved into a trash can. “Not doubtful. Impossible,” he croaked, bringing up a shaking hand to wipe his mouth.
Not only was his body still trying to purge the venom, his clothes were damp with basilisk viscera. The smell was atrocious.
Deacon made no comment. His head finally stitched back on, he commenced with snoring—a testament to his exhaustion since zombies generally did not require sleep.
Alice grimaced as she finally managed to turn onto her side. “You’re Fear itself,” she groaned. “I didn’t think anything could actually hurt you.”
Vlad sat up, gingerly touching his forehead. He leaned back, staring at his hand as if he half-expected it to be covered in plasma. “I heal,” he rasped, “That doesn’t mean I can’t get hurt. Particularly when god-like powers are involved.”
“Clearly,” Alice replied, not bothering to keep the sarcasm out of her voice.
“The next time you tell me that you have a plan, you’ll excuse me if I question you in more detail,” he snapped, and then frowned as if talking so forcefully hurt him.
The front door creaked open. William sauntered into the room and then froze. Alice felt a little flutter of hope. Maybe he could bring her some water, or painkillers…ice for the bruises?
His voice seemed loud. Too loud. The volume someone spoke when they had not just killed four basilisks. “Mother of llamas,” he gasped. “What the hell happened to all of you?”
SIx Hours Earlier…
“Does no one in college wear black?” Vlad thundered, tearing a drawer out so hard he snapped the wood.
Alice stretched and rolled onto her stomach. Still completely blissed out from her hours of…what had he called it?
“What is your problem?” she yawned. “Who cares?”
“I care. I will suffer many indiginities but hunting basilisks wearing neon green is not one of them!” he ranted, tossing a brightly colored sweatshirt over his head.
Alice swallowed a laugh. She knew Vlad’s relaxed attitude towards his clothing options was only going to last so long. It actually ended quicker than she thought. She owed William twenty simoleons.
“Try the bottom drawer with the workout clothes. I’m sure there’s something black in there…” she trailed off at Vlad’s disapproving look. “What?”
“Are you not planning to wear clothing on this particular adventure?”
Alice sat up. She hadn’t intended to go on this little adventure at all. She might be the God of Death…technically, but she was sporting a very mortal body. Vlad didn’t actually believe he could keep her from getting hurt in the middle of a supernatural fight. Right?
“It sounds dangerous,” she hedged.
“That’s why you won’t be alone,” Vlad replied, raising an eyebrow.
Yep. He totally thought he could keep her from getting hurt. Hubris was a word they were going to need to have a talk about.
“This seems like a…you know…a you guys sort of thing,” she tried again.
“You know, like vampire supernatural zombie fighter types,” Alice maintained. “I thought I’d…you know, focus on the baking…”
“Deacon had his head ripped off,” Vlad replied evenly, but there was an edge to his voice.
“I mean yeah, but it wasn’t attached right to begin with!” Alice laughed and then snapped her mouth shut at his dark look.
She was slowly adjusting to a lot of things: no Ben, vampire/demigod lover…boyfriend (?), the existence of basilisks. She wanted The Owl because she wanted to live but as far as Alice was concerned, the jury was still out on the actual job of being a god.
But if she said that out loud, she’d have to talk about all her feelings and confusion to someone who had the last 600 years to get used to their identity. She doubted Vlad would be sympathetic. Heck, sometimes she struggled to be sympathetic with herself.
Sighing, Alice snatched her shorts and kitty cat sweater from the laundry pile. If she was going to go into some kind of supernatural battle, she at least wanted to feel like herself.