Author Topic: In The Dirt  (Read 3673 times)

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Offline Trillian

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In The Dirt
« on: September 02, 2019, 10:23:52 AM »
Ben, wearing a navy suit over a black button-up shirt and a navy tie, sat in the waiting room outside the Mayor's office. He'd contacted Edgar Figueroa to organise an appointment, thinking he would have to wait a long time to meet with him, but Figueroa's assistant asked him to come in the next night at seven.

Ben was lucky that the Luminary building was so close to City Hall because the sun hadn't been down for very long before his appointment. He made it a point to arrive on time but now he waited while the Mayor was on a phone call (or something). His assistant had asked Ben to remain seated and had offered him a refreshment. Ben, curious about what he would be given, accepted.

Now he sat with a glass of water in his hands, untouched.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2019, 11:01:13 AM »
He stood looking down at the city with the cell phone pressed to his ear, not really listening while his son Jackson rambled on about some asinine new math technique from Japan that they taught kids these days. Eddy peppered the conversation with little grunts and words of interest, but waited for him to get to the point. With a flick of his wrist he checked the time and cursed at his own lateness.

"Well, Jackson, that's a very good story, bud, but I have to get back to work now. Say goodnight to your sisters for me... I know buddy... ok... good night." Without waiting to be released from the six-year-old's attention, Edgar Figueroa slipped the phone into the back pocket of his pressed black trousers. He had taken his blazer off after his last meeting and left it on the hook near the door. Now, as he went to open the door to greet his mysterious visitor, he slipped the blazer back on over his jade green dress shirt, buttoning it and smoothing it down before going to greet Mr. Samson.

When he stepped out of the office, he was surprised to see a young-looking man in navy. When last time he had been contacted by these creatures, he had been approached by some old geezer, ugly as sin. With precision, his thin lips spread wide as he greeted his last appointment of the night, wanting nothing more than to get this over with.

"Mr. Samson, I presume?" He extended a hand to the vampire, preparing himself for the steely touch of its skin. When the vampire took his hand and gave it a shake, he was surprised by its warmth, something much different from the older one before. Edgar remained smiling at it in that polite and open way that he had perfected over the years. "Please, come into my office."

Edgar led the way, holding the door open for his newest annoyance and closing said door behind it. "Have a seat," he suggested as he went around to his own desk and sat. "What can I do for you, Mr. Samson?" He knew it was a question he would come to regret.

Offline Trillian

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2019, 11:14:58 AM »
Edgar Figueroa looked better in real life than he did in on television, though his charisma still carried, even through his fake smile. Ben thought he looked much better when he wore a considered expression, thoughtful and calm. He'd heard the new Mayor was 'in the know' so it was interesting to find that his staff weren't - at the very least his assistant didn't have a clue, or perhaps just rubbish at identifying. After more than a decade out of the sun, Ben had lost all of his tan but he wasn't as bizarredly white as others of his kind. His eyes were harder to hide, though, but their supernatural glow was often mistaken for contact lenses.

Mayor Figueroa looked dangerous in a way that Jake McCloud didn't but likely wanted to. He had an intensity about him that appealed to Ben. He'd voted for this man in the last election, not really knowing that much about him other than what his campaign had shared. There hadn't been a lot of mud thrown his way, but Ben knew that the Mayor wasn't above a little bribery; it was how Ben had managed to carve a spot of land for himself on the edge of Meadowcrest Woods, protected from developers. Or rather, how Sacramentum had managed it. They'd known who was open to it with subtle mind scans.

Ben set the glass of water that he'd been given down, making sure to take from the small pile of coasters the Mayor had near the corner of his desk. He returned the smile that Figueroa gave him and nodded his acknowledgement of the question before speaking. Aware of his own body language, he sat with his hands palms flat on his legs, which were slightly spread, and his back against the back of the chair, not ramrod straight but with good posture.

"Thank you, Mayor. I wanted to introduce myself because I'm running for the City Central District. Have you met my rival Jake McCloud?"
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2019, 09:50:17 AM »
"City Central District," he responded with fake enthusiasm, not exactly sure why these creatures were so insistent on breaking up the city into districts for their own governance. Especially when the city already had pre-determined wards for electing politicians.

"Hmm. Why, yes, I have met Mr. McCloud." That faked smile remained poised, despite the annoyance of the topic of conversation. "He was among the first of your kind to greet me when I came into office. He's the current leader of Central District, is that correct?" His tone was light, conversational, despite already knowing exactly who Jake Mc-fucking-Cloud was.

Offline Trillian

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2019, 07:02:48 PM »
Ben wasn’t quite as smooth as the Mayor across from him but he wasn’t transparent either. He had nothing to hide in terms of his dislike for Jake, though he would be professional. He didn’t respond to the smile given him, holding the Mayor's stare and unable to help himself from admiring the other.

“I want you to be in the loop as to what's going on politically with, um, the underground,” he said, unable to think of a word to describe all species without saying ‘supernaturals’ which sounded like.a bad horror show in his opinion. “Jake runs the district in a way that doesn’t represent all species. I’m trying for something more balanced, with a council in place, more like what you have. I don’t want to ignore the human population either. I've spent more of my life as a human than as a vampire,” he said with a smile, though a few years he would no longer be able to make this claim. Revealing his young age would hopefully endear the Mayor to him... at the very least make him relatable and/or underestimated.

He waited for the Mayor to start connecting the dots himself and hoped he would be met halfway.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2019, 09:10:51 AM »
It was a difficult task, but Edgar kept his face still as the vampire expressed his dislike of McCloud's rule. The word 'underground' almost made him falter, a tightening of the muscles around his mouth reflecting his knowledge of the ridiculous situation Edgar found himself governing. He looked down at his hands and composed himself better, not caring how the vampire took this action.

Within his first few days in office, it was made abundantly clear to him that the human officials had essentially no say over the lives and expectations of the creatures who lived there too. No, that was done amongst themselves just as it always had been. As Mayor, he was expected to let the supernatural creatures take care of their own, as if they were some tiny sovereign population within the city - like Native Americans. One of the leaders - the blonde bitch with the nice ass - had used the term 'off limits' when she had sauntered into his office like the devil. There were monsters in the city and he was simply supposed to let them roam free and kill who they wanted. The governing monsters were there to clean up the mess.

That garbage may have worked with the last Mayor, money greasing palms that never did much with the office to begin with. But now times were a-changin'. Edgar had spent too many years fighting monsters in the Middle East and Eastern Europe to come home and play nice with the monsters next door. Even as they tried to convince him they were more human than not.

Edgar remembered the 'gas leak' situation well. He remembered how well this fantasy so-called governing body had kept the humans safe during the MONTHS of slaughter, madness, and supernatural revels. Homicides had been at a record high, the police force at a record low. Riots in the streets on his drive to Capitol Hill. At the time he didn't understand what was happening or what had caused it all. He almost believed the whole mass hallucination bullshit - but the whispers in the building began making too much sense for what he saw. Months of madness that he was told to just accept as a gas leak because Mayor Stilton had said so? His guns had remained loaded since that day.

He purposely didn't respond to the vampire's suggestive statement, deciding to let the thing squirm a bit first. Ben Samson may have had enough money to convince him to give the little shit a piece of land for some protected school, but he didn't own the damn city. The city was Edgar's. He'd be damned if this creature thought that he'd be some easy target to play with, to manipulate into giving him anything he needed.

"Is that so?" He kept his tone vaguely polite, though he let a gentle touch of his distaste at being reminded that this kid had chosen to become a blood-thirsty beast color his meaning. Edgar leaned slowly back into his chair, resting his elbows on the armrests and weaving his fingers together over his abdomen.

Offline Trillian

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2019, 10:40:41 AM »
This Mayor, with all of his charm and appealing looks, was playing his cards close to his chest much like the District Leaders had been. At least he wasn't posturing though he did seem wary. Not unexpected though Ben thought the man would be more open with somebody who was extending a hand to him. Mortals had never had a say in the running of a supernatural district. Ben had expressed a desire to change that and the Mayor hadn't leapt on it.

Perhaps he was waiting for the catch.

The District Leader meeting Ben had crashed had become something of a trial run, and because Ben really was young enough to remember the antics of human politicians as well as young enough to still be on the electoral roll and have a say, he felt he had a better grasp of how to tackle this meeting.

"That is so," Ben said with a measured smile and a nod of acknowledgement to words that meant nothing. Perhaps the Mayor wouldn't like them coming back to him.

"Do you see the opportunity presented to you, Mayor Figueroa?" Ben asked. If the Mayor played dumb, he'd go a long way to losing Ben's respect and potentially losing having a say on Ben's council of advisors... or the start of his mini-Oligarchy. He'd wanted to have someone to represent human interest - at least for those humans in the know. They were in that weird place of being policed by both the human and supernatural population. His own life had been upended because of rubbing shoulders with supernaturals. He wanted the people who still lived and breathed and who literally fed his kind to have recognition and someone to turn to that they could trust to represent them fairly.

And it would be Ben.

New York of the past had taken in the rejected, unwanted and unloved, the stragglers, the wounded and the poor. Now look at the city it had become; a powerhouse, a beacon, a shining star in a world and listed among other 'great cities'. None of the District Leaders were ambitious enough, except maybe Jake, but he was too short-sighted for such vision.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2019, 09:46:22 AM »
"Well you see, Mr. Samson," Edgar began, abandoning his semi-comfortable position for one more engaged. He leaned both elbows onto his desk, crossing one wrist over the other as he stared straight on at the young vampire. There was a new chill in his voice but his expression remained polite. "I'm in a bit of a predicament here. On the one hand," he gestured with a quick flick of his fingers, "it sounds like you're offering me a chance to take a place at the big, bad immortals' table, which seems like I'd have the ability to represent and protect my people more... ideally." His thin lips spread into a smile but that coolness remained in the rest of his expression. Patronizing, Nancy always said.

"But on the other hand," he continued, a touch of concern flavoring his message, "you're allowing me - or one of my guys - the chance to sit on a director's board of creatures who have no issue with killing any of my citizens because," he threw his hands back in a gesture of nonchalance, wrists turned backwards at shoulder level, "that's just what they do.

"I suppose I'm supposed to feel honored by that consideration." He flicked his hand at the vampire casually.

Offline Trillian

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2019, 04:41:59 PM »
Ben was aware the smile didn't reach the politician's eyes but he still thought the man charismatic. He had a way about him that had Ben responding to it, though he knew it wasn't a nice way. He'd come in wary but also armed with the knowledge that this man was a man who would bend.

He was glad when Edgar mentioned protecting his citizens but his eyebrows raised slightly when the other side of the argument was made. A side that wasn't even true.

"I've never killed anyone," he said. After a moment he added; "I believe most of the murders in this city are at the hands of humans. I wouldn't hold you personally accountable for your entire species, though."

The subtext of his message was clear: like you're doing to me.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2019, 12:52:11 AM »
"True," he admitted immediately upon the ending of Samson's comment about humans killing each other, "but murder has always been deemed as an exception to the rule of civilized society. We find and prosecute our murderers, not cover up their crimes. Can vampires and werewolves and demons boast the same?"

Offline Trillian

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2019, 07:52:22 AM »
"Yes, of course. The coverups are there to keep our kind secret but the offenders are still punished, much more harshly than you seem to believe. And while you do find and prosecute your murderers, it isn't long before they're back on the streets. No system is perfect; if you want to find holes in mine, you will find them, just like in yours."

Ben stared at the Mayor, wanting to say more, wanting to ask why Figueroa was so resistant to the idea of having a seat at the supernatural table. Ben didn't understand why he wasn't leaping at the chance. Surely knowledge, even wihtout the power that went with it, was better than being ignorant of what was going on?

"You don't have to take my word for it. You can find out for yourself or through your proxy."
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2019, 11:09:55 AM »
He stared at the little brat and pressed his lips into a tighter line, annoyance flickering across his features. Clearly it wasn't capable of seeing the logic behind rehabilitating people who didn't need to kill humans to survive. Why else would this vampire be making any comparison between their two systems - human and supernatural?

There was nonetheless a point to be taken. If Samson was so interested in providing the human population a seat at the table, maybe it was worth it to see what kind of bullshit they all planned. Maybe it would allow him the opportunity to established some of his own protections. Maybe it would provide him the opportunity to limit the amount of legal human casualty in the city.

The whole situation was fucked. Had he known about the depth of the carnage and mayhem that the city was steeped in, he probably would have reconsidered running for mayor. That's politics for you - every city has her secrets. Eddy could feel his hair turning grey.

He was tempted to bring up the point that these District Leaders should have been working for him, not the other way around. Instead they expected him to be some puppet as they pulled the strings and told him what to say, masked up in some kind gesture of inclusivity. There was no way that he could guarantee that any human in this damn city would be safe from supernatural abominations. These monsters were here to stay and he needed a way to play nice.

And this kid wasn't even an elected official yet.

"What are you after, Mr. Samson?" He asked lowly, a sharp edge cutting through his remaining politeness. "What are you here for, hmm? You want me or someone else to sit on this council thing that you're proposing if your elected? Alright, fine. You want my entire office to publicly support you to the rest of the human population in the know? Fine - you can't be any worse than that little prick McCloud." He gave a nod in the general direction of the door, as if the other vampire were just outside.

"But don't approach me like this is some kind of olive branch offering and you're the bringer of peace between the species. Because it isn't. I'm a politician too, you know. Don't treat me like I'm some kind of honored guest at a table that I should be in charge of in the first damn place."

Offline Trillian

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2019, 11:41:43 AM »
At first Ben thought things were going well even though the tone didn't match. It was the end of a long day, the guy was probably tired, and the words were positive. Ben's smile, initially polite, broadened into something more genuine when he heard the brittle insult about Jake McCloud being voiced. It was easier working with those who didn't like Jake. He didn't have to fear that the current District Leader wouldn't swoop in and undercut him like he'd tried to do with Lan Bao recently.

But then the conversation turned and captured a net full of hostility.

That's a pretty aggressive stance
For a politician who sliced into heritage-listed lands
So you could have money in your pocket
and I could have an Academy


Ben decided he would give Figueroa a moment's grace, because it would be frustrating to become Mayor of a city that had a whole other side to it that was untouchable. He preferred to know that Figueroa was upset rather than having the man clap him on the back while filled with hatred for him.

"No, I understand," Ben said softly, nodding. "There's a lot of history that can't be undone in a single night. You'll be so much more than an honoured guest, you'll be an active participant. I need to win, though. Because I know what you're up against. Not everybody agrees with me that humans have a place in our politics, whenever I bring it up it's pointed out that you have your own governance in place... but humans are interacting with us and they can even become us, so we should have an overlap. And that's where you come in. You deserve to have a say in both worlds."

He was mirroring what Figueroa had said - that he should be in charge of all of them - but with a slight twist; that Figueroa would be able to straddle the two. He used the word 'deserve' to make his words more compelling. He didn't fancy that Figueroa would fall for his mild manipulation but sometimes people didn't care what the pandering was headed towards as long as it was there.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2019, 10:51:45 AM »
"No," Eddy corrected smoothly, his voice never raising, "what I deserve is to be the Mayor of the city - the whole city. You all consider yourselves citizens, don't you? The human population has to obey the city laws, pay fines to the city, pay taxes to the betterment of the city. Your supernatural citizens do that too, right?" He pointed the question at the young vampire as if he didn't know the answer when, of course, he did. "You want me to accept that you're part of the city, right? Well, I'm the Mayor. I run the city. And if you want this whole representative thing to work, I'm going to need more than just a seat at a table where we navigate what the acceptable amount of human death is."

He watched the vampire closely, waiting to see what he was made of. What kind of politician would Mr. Benjamen Samson be?

Offline Trillian

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2019, 11:02:46 AM »
Ben stared at the Mayor for a short moment, aware of passing time and how he was going to show his stance when he didn't have a stance to show just yet. If he couldn't manage this guy during the meeting between them, then Figueroa - as 'perfect' as he was for the role - would be too difficult in the position. Ben didn't want a yes-man but at the same time he wanted people working with him, not against him.

"As I've been saying, there is no acceptable amount of human death," he began, reminding Figueroa that his assumptions about vampires and the like were incorrect. They were all predators here. What was bothering this human in particular was that humankind wasn't the only predator, and that seemed to be a truth he was having trouble with. Ben replied to the rest of the statement; the crux of it, really. "And what do you have in mind?"

Because if you think demons, vampires and dark angels are going to answer to a human
You are in for a world of frustration and potentially suffering
And I kinda still like you even though you're being a shit to me
Because at least you're fucking talking to me while the DLs wouldn't


Ben's hands fisted on his lap as he waited to hear what kind of demands were going to be made. Hopefully, they wouldn't be ridiculous.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :