Author Topic: Surprise Visit  (Read 435 times)

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Offline Satyr

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Re: Surprise Visit
« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2019, 09:34:10 AM »
When Kerr mentioned they might have to leave the city if Ben lost, the weight of what he'd risked to try and become District Leader finally settled on his shoulders. He felt sick that he'd gambled everything they had on a role that he was a serious underdog for. What the fuck had he been thinking? Why had Charon and Kerr supported this?

"I hear Greece is nice this time of year," he said with a voice that didn't sound like him, and laughed. It echoed hollowly in his ears and didn't sound right, so he stopped.

with his boot on our necks

He could almost feel it now. His hand reached up to massage the side of his neck.

Online Existentially Odd

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Re: Surprise Visit
« Reply #31 on: August 13, 2019, 09:33:38 PM »
Kerr smiled, weariness replacing the fear simply because he couldn't keep up that level of emotion for the next three months. Acknowledging the possibility of a loss was enough for now. He believed in Ben, he believed in their strategy... and he also believed Jake would have these same fears about them, should he lose the election. Kerr had to hope that that shared fear would keep him a little humble, should he triumph.

"According to Owen, it's the most magical place on Earth," Kerr chuckled, stepping close to Ben and fitting himself around him, leaning down to kiss where his hand was fretting at his neck. His head stayed on Ben's shoulder, the giving and taking of comfort through proximity a natural instinct with their blood connection. Owen hadn't put it quite like that but Kerr didn't want to think about Zoheret being there and Owen was the next best association he had. As soon as he thought her name, however, she was in his head, demanding attention anyway. Insufferable bitch.

"What do you want to do about the Ward? My suggestion - as your politically-baptised lover," he said sarcastically, "is to motivate the Captain into courting all the districts for equal funding. It will leave them open to a potential negotiation of terms yet again, but if everyone's paying them, they can't be accused of being yours." Of course, they had positioned the City Ward beneath them altruistically but being their sole benefactors had also given Ben advantages Kerr couldn't deny. If Zoheret wanted to bleat about the impropriety of it, the others wouldn't be far behind.

They should've used regular couriers to deliver the invitations but hindsight and all that.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Surprise Visit
« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2019, 09:41:32 PM »
Ben nodded, tucking himself into Kerr's hold and relishing it. He enjoyed Kerr's smell and touch and wanted to be enveloped by it.

"The Captain was muttering something about wanting to crash the meeting herself for funding. I think that fifteen million I gave them last year isn't going to last another year with all the new recruits they had. I don't think she'll need me to suggest she chase down a payment schedule from all of them." Ben sighed. "I worry about the ones who don't want to pay. Like Jake or Zeus or Saraekiel who openly state they have their own people. It means that there won't be a neutral force patrolling their districts. I don't like that idea. Technically speaking, I'm neutral right now, funding them. Maybe they should hit up private investors instead."

Online Existentially Odd

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Re: Surprise Visit
« Reply #33 on: August 14, 2019, 06:15:20 AM »
Kerr pondered both sides of the argument, trying to predict the better option. He closed his eyes, his face pressed tightly against Ben's neck since he'd cuddled in closer. Love swathed them, pure and potent in their emotionally raw states, emanating from the ethereal place where their souls were eternally bound, by blood.

If Captain Hadar petitioned the other district leaders, it could draw attention to the Ward's status as being funded solely by Ben and cause those districts to reconsider the ward's presence in their territories altogether. It didn't seem a good idea to attract scrutiny at such a delicate time (or ever). It could also prompt them to make greater demands of the Ward, if they felt their financial contribution warranted it.

Going to private investors seemed safe, though the Ward could be just as much at the mercy of questionable decision-making because they owed their ongoing existence to those that invested. It could make them lackeys, with less integrity, beholden to their rich masters and not to the city's supernatural population.

Neither option particularly appealed, though the first was more honest. Besides, Zoheret had brought it up. It was only a matter of time before others  asked questions also. "Privatisation really would appear to be the end of their neutrality and I don't think they'd have a hope of patrolling all the districts anyway. Best to go for the one that has a chance of keeping them independent and in all parts of the city," Kerr advised.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Surprise Visit
« Reply #34 on: August 14, 2019, 08:51:51 AM »
Ben listened to Kerr's advice and thought about all the organisations that lobbied for their self-interest in the mortal world. The thing was, they didn't lobby the police, they lobbied the politicians.

"You're speaking about corruption now. I don't think the Captain would let herself be swayed by any group no matter the money she was offered, but I know how it looks from the outside. So..." Ben considered the best option. "Maybe the District Leaders should be beholden to a certain amount? And private investors can donate anonymously? Or the Ward can have fundraising events or something?"

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Re: Surprise Visit
« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2019, 11:38:13 PM »
"I'm definitely not anticipating the Ward would become corrupt," Kerr clarified. "And I agree the district leaders should contribute but I'm also fearful that you were exactly right with your original point. Why would they pay to support a neutral force when they already pay their own people to do what they want in their district? It'd be easier to just eject the Ward and lock them out for good. Maybe private investors and fundraising is a better idea after all," he mused, gnawing on his tongue stud while his hands rubbed Ben's back thoughtfully. His brow was furrowed, because he couldn't see a way to solve this problem without he and Ben's motives being questioned.

"The problem is, there's no independent authority to which they're all beholden; that was the beauty of the Oligarchy. If you lose this election, perhaps that's the role you need to campaign for - city liaison, purveyor of all districts and commander of the City Ward, moderator - mediator, when needed - and neutral governance for and representative of all the supernaturals and the naturals. All the districts have right now are lists of laws and punishments worked out if anyone breaks them but where's the support for the variety of beings in their districts? Where's the advocacy and reward for those doing the right thing or just needing help? It's not like all the species are segregated according to their leaders - and they shouldn't be! But to whom are the leaders accountable? They don't act like they're aware it's to their constituents. They just do what they want and no-one's watching."

Kerr was aware he was venting and not offering solutions but declaring what he wished for seemed necessary for his thoughts to clear them away and get to a solution. He hoped. At the very least, sharing his feelings with Ben made him feel better.

Offline Satyr

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Re: Surprise Visit
« Reply #36 on: August 15, 2019, 09:30:06 AM »
Ben pulled out of Kerr's hold to stare at him with a concerned expression. He was getting the impression that Kerr wasn't serious about Ben campaigning for the Luminary position. Nobody would take him seriously, he couldn't control anyone, and very suddenly he was awash with a new wave of respect for Kerr for being Luminary and keeping everyone together. It really hadn't been the Mimics keeping the Oligarchy going, it had been Kerr. And even he'd had doubts about himself at the time.

Everyone was banging on about how old someone was to be an appropriate leader for the Oligarchy, but nobody was talking about how honest, or how moral, or ethical, or fucking fair someone should have to be. That wasn't age-related, that had to do with character.

"Zoeheret admitted that she doesn't want someone honest as a District Leader, and I know she's not alone in that.  There's a big difference between someone who keeps the truth to themselves and someone who's underhanded. I feel like Zeus, Zoheret, Saraekiel and Jake are underhanded. That's four out of six. This city is fucked... but at the same time I don't want to abandon it. I was born here. I grew up here. It's home." He was preaching to the converted in Kerr, he knew. Appealing to someone who agreed with him. But still, it felt good to say it out loud.

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Re: Surprise Visit
« Reply #37 on: August 15, 2019, 11:16:47 AM »
Kerr nodded at Ben, smiling sadly in his agreement with his fledgeling's assessment. Underhanded, yes, possibly. In a brash, ostentatious manner most of the time, which was where their true skills in deception played out. He also understood Ben's attachment to the city but he didn't share it. He'd lived too long and called too many different places 'home' to feel particularly connected to anywhere. Perhaps still to Ireland but even that was a stretch after so long away from it.

Ben and Ichabod were his connection to this place. Even though he had some acquaintances he might even call friends - and certainly allies - he wasn't attached to anyone but his fledgelings. If ever he lost connection with them, he'd leave the city, he was fairly certain. The supernatural population here was unique and that was a comfort but it wasn't enough to tether him here. Only his loves could do that and they could all travel to somewhere far less problematic if it came to it. They'd find it hard, at first, but they'd get beyond it, Kerr was sure. He had.

As their sire, it was his role to guide them through life changes such as those. For the sake of everyone's mental health, he'd insist they leave when the time came... but there was no need to burden Ben with thoughts such as those now, when there was still hope.

"Once the election is over, there'll be one less underhanded asshole, I'm confident," he grinned, leaning forward to press a perfunctory kiss to Ben's lips. "And you'll show them that honesty, compassion and respect aren't the qualities that they should dismiss when considering their constituents." His smile was far more confident than their conversation had been.