Author Topic: In The Dirt  (Read 3669 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.
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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?"
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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."
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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.
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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.
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Offline Saiketsu

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2019, 08:55:39 AM »
Now they were talking politics.

"I want a special training for first responders of the city who have to deal with the violences caused by supernaturals," he said easily, as if he had been waiting for the proper audience to make requests to, the list written in the back of his mind. "I want a specific group of people who can be responsible for cleaning up exposure messes and a system for how it happens - memory swipes, Dominations, the works. I want a paper trail on all the events that happen here, that way when someone fucks up, we can follow it and try to fix it.

"I want a fifteen-mile perimeter around the city as a no-kill zone too," he added with a swirl of his finger. "If Hampton PD finds one more junkie bled dry in that bordering supermarket parking lot, me and Mayor ShitForBrains are both gonna have the DEA breathing down our necks, sticking their noses where they don't belong." Eddy studied the vampire, but gave no quarter. It wanted to be a leader in this city? Time to play ball, kid.

"And I want a special grant for victims of supernatural violences - $2.5 million."

Offline Trillian

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2019, 10:46:57 AM »
Ben felt hysteria building up inside of him. So much that he couldn't fully control the bubble of laughter that rose in his chest, so it came out with a 'pah' and a brief smile before he shook his head and looked down at his lap to centre himself. After a brief moment, he looked up again.

"You're asking me for things that are already in place, so it's easy enough for you to be involved or even take over. There's already a first responder unit in the city, called the Ward. They police our kind because they are our kind. Currently they answer to all of the District Leaders but having so many bosses make their job hard. I would like to see them fall under your umbrella, as a special task force. I can put that into motion for you."

He didn't admit he could do it immediately, which he could because of his relationship with Captain Xiamara Hadar. He didn't know how she felt about him on a personal level but he could tell that she liked his funding and that he kept her in the loop. It had been his idea for her to piggyback on Sacramentum resource for eyes and ears in the East. Charon didn't care about a lot of stuff going on that the Ward would, and now the Sacramentum's people had someone else to report things to that they were bothered by. He could organise a meeting between the Mayor and the Captain.

"As for cleanups, that would currently fall under the District Leaders depending on territory. I myself don't like the idea of a dozen various ways to handle something like that, or a dozen different laws that change when I cross the street." He couldn't help but roll his eyes, though it was hardly professional. "The District Leaders absolutely won't relinquish that kind of control to anybody else but I can think of a workaround," Ben said, his mind turning to all of the ideas he'd had for the Ward but hadn't vocalised to the Captain because he'd felt it wasn't his place. She was already annoyed he'd headhunted a few of her police force for Academy Security. "Since they've already permitted the Ward to work in their area, I would have a special cleanup division integrated into the Ward."

Ben couldn't say anything about the 'bordering supermarket parking lot' because he had no idea what the Mayor was talking about. He couldn't remember where Hampton was in relation to the city - north or south or east or west. He only knew that it wasn't north-west because the ocean was there. He made a mental note to find out where Hampton was and then report what was going on to the relevant District Leader. He knew it wasn't Jake or Zoheret.

"I'll, um, inform all of the District Leaders about the perimeter." He would talk to the Captain, actually, and have her make an official request with the reasons why.

"As for the grant, I can set something up, though it'll have to pose as a charity for regular violence to keep it above board and no surprises or investigations with weird results as to where money is coming from." He didn't see Kerr having a problem donating money to such a good cause. Ben knew he was already giving to third world nations to nourish and clothe their poor.

It also gave him another campaign positive - to set up a charity.  A widespread charity such as this would be not only awesome but go towards Ben's already solid philanthropist reputation. He'd heard rumours that Jake McCloud ran a soup kitchen or did charitable work in the Brazilian Quarter, but Ben could point out that was not out of the kindness of his heart but actually an obligation for being District Leader and having to look after his constituents.

"It'll be easier for me to do all of this as a District Leader myself. I need votes but I'm limited to finding them in the City Central district alone. Could you email me a census of everyone living within the metropolis? I can cross-check them with our registry of those 'in the know', but mine are almost two years old so they're out of date."

Considering everything he'd said he would do for the Mayor, he thought he could be afforded this one small thing.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Saiketsu

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2019, 09:45:08 AM »
It was insulting to sit and listen to Ben Samson speak to him as if he had no idea about the structure of the monsters in this city. Of course he knew about the Ward. Of course he knew that each District Leader had their own forces that patrolled their part of the city, like so many gangsters. He let the little devil speak its piece entirely, the stoney expression remaining in place despite Samson's simple answers to all of his points. He'd let that laugh go, too; they were an arrogant bunch, these vampires. Every single one that had walked into his office had been so condescending to him that he began to not care about their concerns. Monsters will be monsters, he supposed. But Eddy refused to even acknowledge Samson's request for the census until all the major details were ironed out.

"I want training developed for my people, for the humans who come into contact with this bullshit," he demanded evenly, counting off on his fingers for emphasis. "Every homicide detective, every fire captain and chief, every EMT. I want them all to know how to handle supernaturals, recognize them, stay away from them if they have to - brand it how you want to, I don't care. But I want them to be human, not some collection of creatures who have no idea what it's like to be human in this city."

He paused before adding firmly, "And I want a list of every supernatural that lives in this city."

Offline Trillian

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2019, 10:02:32 AM »
His first instinct was to say no. Outright no. Humans had no right policing his kind, but they could have a say for their own kind. When Ben had been thrown in front of the Oligarchy, he'd had nobody to represent him and his interests. He couldn't call the cops, he couldn't ask for a lawyer, he'd been at the mercy of someone who looked at him like an obstacle and not a person. That wouldn't do. But neither was what the Mayor wanted, because it was too much the other way.

"I'm not stopping you from training your own people in whatever way you choose," he said, but he knew the Mayor couldn't unless all those people were 'in the know'. If he could round up that many people, then great. If they knew about supernaturals, they might sign up for the Ward instead, where the resources, their support and the pay was better. The Mayor wouldn't like that but Ben could see it happening. Why work for humans protecting humans from supernaturals for shitty pay when you could work for supernaturals protecting everyone, even other humans, from supernaturals for great pay and an induction into an amazing world?

"As for the registry," Ben said, knowing his votes were going to die here and now but fuck it, this was big picture stuff. He had one, because of old Oligarchy records, and every District Leader had one, plus their updates for their areas, and the Ward had the one that was most up to date, but he hadn't asked the Captain for it because he didn't want to put her in that position where she favoured him with dubious information (which he doubted she would do anyway), "tell me why you need it?"

Whatever you say, the answer is going to be a flat out no
But I want to know what you're thinking
And I'm going to watch you for lies
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Offline Saiketsu

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2019, 11:23:43 AM »
"For the same reason your so-called District Leaders have one," he answered simply with a shrug of his shoulders. "As the Mayor of the city, I should have access to know who is in the city. I have a registrar filled with information about how many naturalized citizens and immigrant populations exist in this city. I have access to records of their visas and immigration statuses, in case something were to happen - to them or to others. It's the same across the board: sex offenders, convicted murderers, serial rapists. I have an idea about how many Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Hindus, where their places of service are, their food markets, what populations come from which countries...

"It all comes down to knowing who is in the city and how we can keep everyone safe."

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2019, 12:38:29 PM »
Ben felt like the information the Mayor was asking for wasn't his right to give away. In truth he shouldn't even have the register in the first place - he only had access to it because it had been with Kerr's things from the Oligarchy, and he'd salvaged it after his sire's not-death.

"That sounds fair," Ben said evenly, because it certainly sounded fair and reasonable regardless of his opinion that it was a slippery and very dangerous slope. Once information was handed out, it would be impossible to take back. "I can't give you that as a lowly citizen, though. I'd need to be elected first."

That's all he was asking for, at this point. Once elected, promises would be reset unless they were beneficial for everyone. The last thing Mayor Figueroa had asked for was not beneficial for Ben's people.
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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2019, 09:27:45 AM »
Eddy looked over Ben's poke face, spotting it for what it was at an intuitive level. He didn't trust it as far as he could throw it. Mayor Figueroa took this promise with a grain of salt. This little shit was going to make one great politician if it was elected.

There were a few things that Eddy could figure out in their short meeting together, but they were things he believed firmly.

Firstly, Benjamen Samson was an arrogant little p.r.i.c.k. He didn't know if it was a personality trait or a quality of his newfound species but, quite frankly, Eddy didn't care. How kind it was that Benjamen Samson, private citizen running for office, wanted to make sure that the Mayor of the fucking city was kept up to date with the supernatural political occurrences within his own city! Eddy was reminded sharply of when Jennifer, his oldest, was eight and she tried to convince him about the Democratic stance on state taxes, as if he wasn't wrist deep in it everyday at work. Back then, he had smiled and handed her off to her mother. Likewise, Samson clearly thought he wasn't aware of everything that happened in his own city. Samson was treating him like some old fool. Funny, really.

Secondly, Benjamen Samson knew how to play the game already. In their brief exchange so far, the vampire had managed to come up with an easy, fluffy answer for every problem Eddy proposed without actually promising much of anything or taking any responsibility for the shit that had already happened. It was smart. There were no gifts given until the day of reckoning when he was elected to office. It made Eddy think that somehow this kid had a connection to some kind of politics before choosing to run for office in 'Central District'. With everything that had been going on lately, Eddy hadn't had the time to look into the identity of the rich little fuck who paid him off. What was that saying about a gift horse?

Lastly, Benjamen Samson had access to an expansive amount of resources. Eddy hadn't missed the point where Ben spoke about 'cross-checking' voters. Somehow this little nuisance had access to some kind of list that Eddy didn't. He couldn't be sure, of course. Was it only the list of humans 'in the know'? Or was it the entire list of supernaturals in the city? He didn't even begin to wonder how the kid had gotten any of that information - Eddy had been briefed on who the old Oligarchs of the city were and Samson's name hadn't been one of them. In fact, before the purchase of the private lands for that stupid private Academy - which put enough cash in Eddy's pockets to send all three kids to Brown University for four years and still have money left over for to pay off the mortgage - the name Benjamen Samson hadn't been in any files or heard on anyone's lips.

Friends close, enemies closer, and all that.

"When you're elected District Leader," Mayor Figueroa began, sure that the events would come to pass one way or another, "I want Central District to take the reigns and train the human and supernatural first responders who are the front line of this city the proper information they need to pick up the messes caused by supernaturals and humans alike. I want the Ward reinforced with human responders as well. I want to know that when my EMT's go out into the city and face the carnage of a werewolf attack they'll deal with it safely, effectively, and with as little psychological damage as possible. I can't train them on how to treat a werewolf or vampire bite. I don't want my teams getting blindsided by some... demon because someone heard a mysterious noise in Pisky and called it into the human law enforcement. That's my concern. I want whoever gets to the scene of the crime first to be fully prepared for anything this city can throw at them. It's only fair.

"You can look at it as part of some 'city improvement' crux to your campaign. Tie it in with the Supernatural Relief fund as some package deal. The public loves more protections. You want to look like the good guy? That's one way to do it.

"In the meantime, I'll make sure that census makes its way to you right after yours and McCloud's stances are made public." The smile that he offered was as fake as any he had given that night. Samson would either give in to Eddy's request or not get the list.

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2019, 09:57:38 AM »
The look Figueroa gave him had Ben tentatively reach out mental fingers and brushing them against the mortal's mind, feeling his emotions of frustration and bitterness. Damn, Ben had been there a hell of a lot, when dealing with the District Leaders. He knew exactly how that felt. It made him feel bonded with the Mayor, though for now he knew it was only one way. He was the antagonist trying to become the protagonist.

Ben's smile twitched at the 'when' that Figueroa initially used, considering his words. "I understand what you're saying," Ben replied slowly, thinking about how the Ward would be the first responders but a citizen calling regular police about a supernatural issue was a valid concern. "I agree that your people shouldn't be blindsided. I want to keep everyone safe, it's only fair," Ben nodded, using the Mayor's words because he was influenced by him.

He smiled, nodding enthusiastically at the ideas of looking like the good guy. Protections were great. Protections were excellent.

"Um, let's come back to the stances thing in a second, I want to talk protections." Ben shifted and pulled a small leather bag out of his pocket, holding it towards the mayor over the desk. "This is for you. I had it made for you because you shouldn't be vulnerable. It's temporary until I get something better organised, but it'll stop my kind and others from scanning your mind or pushing into your thoughts. It won't stop the older and more powerful, but it's a start."

He hoped that his gift would go a decent way towards a more peaceful union between them. He wanted the Mayor to trust him the most. He didn't think he'd get all of it, but if he could be most trusted, then that was something.
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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2019, 10:55:44 AM »
The ass-kissing and rephrasing weren't lost on him. The fake smirk and accompanying hardened eyes remained fixed through the other's response, settling only when something came out of it's pocket. Protections, Samson said.

When the leather pouch was put on his desk, Eddy lifted an eyebrow questioningly at the vampire sitting across the desk. Was this another bribe? While Samson explained its use, Edgar took the small pouch and removed the necklace inside. The first thing he noticed was the pastel pink of the marbled stone, almost translucent. The oval stone was polished to a high shine, it's circumference wrapped in an intricately basic design of dusky copper wire. The pendant was attached to a flimsy copper chain that looked far too big for his neck. In the palm of his hand it might as well have been the weight of a few quarters, the size being roughly equivalent. Mayor Figueroa gave the vampire a disbelieving look.

It was entirely underwhelming.

"This is going to protect me from psychic attacks from vampires and werewolves?" Of course it was. Pink was for protection; everyone knew that. This was some New Age bullshit. He fought the temptation to roll his eyes and snort in contempt at the vampire as he looked down into the stone in his hand. His smirk poisoned now with disbelief and resignation that Ben Samson was an idiot.

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2019, 11:20:35 AM »
"Not werewolves," Ben replied, seeing that his gift hadn't been received well. He frowned and took a risk, pushing a thought into Figueroa's mind. He cuaght the gist of a fleeting thought when he was in there and responded to that. He pressed his lips tightly together and waited until he was looked at rather intensely.

It's not New Age bullshit.

"You don't have to wear it," he said immediately after, his expression serious rather than smiling, and Figueroa would no doubt recognise it had definitely been his voice. "But it can be hidden under your shirt if you choose to."

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2019, 08:14:20 AM »
When the vampire's voice, clearer than he had heard it all night long, appeared in his head, Mayor Figueroa jumped, his chair creaking and eyes widening in brief terror. Adrenaline flooded his face and neck, his heartbeat picking up and a sort of fuzziness blocking his ears from hearing anything but the echo of Samson's voice. It was perfectly clear inside of his head, not distorted by being squeezing through the damaged ear canal on his left side like everything he had experienced for the last twenty or so years. After the brief second of terror, as the pieces began fitting together and Samson continued talking about the damn necklace, anger filled the cavern of his chest.

Who the fuck was this little punk? Eddy had the flicker of a thought of grabbing this little shit by his collar and tossing him out onto the street on his ass - but then pushed it away viciously, figuring he'd be able to read that too if he wasn't careful.

This was a whole new ball game. He had to calm down.

Friends close.

Eddy took a breath in but kept his eyes on Ben Samson, mentally psyching himself up for another invasion while trying to get himself back under control. He wondered quickly what else this little fuck could do, but abandoned that thought immediately for the same reason as the last thought. His brown eyes settled into an open glare.

"You've got some nerve, kid, you know that?" He took the necklace and dropped it around his head, letting the pink pendant settle gaudily on his green shirt. "Happy?"

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2019, 10:20:04 AM »
"I'm sorry, I didn't want to do that to you," Ben admitted, shaking his head. He'd seen the shock on the mayor's face, how extremely he'd reacted. "But others of my kind aren't always polite. Most of them try to be, like most humans try to be good people, but there are a handful of those who take advantage."

He didn't tell the mayor that vampires his age or younger probably couldn't send a message quite that clearly or catch the recently thought words in his mind - Ben had a knack for it that surpassed his vampiric age. It was the only talent he'd had a head start in. But anybody twice his age or more wouldn't have a problem if they didn't have an issue.

"I know you don't trust me yet. I can only offer you goodwill and prove myself over time. I'll take out a page in one of the underground papers with my goals. Um, stances," Ben corrected, using the word he wasn't really familiar with and thinking it was a political terminology thing. "Surely what Jake McCloud does or doesn't do involving his own stance shouldn't have any bearing on whether I get the electoral roll?" he prompted. "I'm here wanting to work with you, share information with you, give you a voice on a platform you've been kept from." Ben's gaze left the mayor to glance out the window over the mayor's shoulder. "We can help each other."

And that was something politicians understood, right? Scratching each other's backs? Figueroa had to be comfortable with something like that, right?
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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2019, 04:19:30 AM »
He didn't drop the glare but he considered the vampire's words nonetheless. Eddy watched as another twist of manipulation came out of its mouth, a request for quid pro quo. He leaned back in his chair slowly, propping an elbow on the armrest of the chair and supporting his chin with a fist.

"If I give you that census, how am I going to be guaranteed that my people will get what they need?" he asked with a accenting flick of his hand. "This is the first time I've even seen you."

He was firm in his desire for these services. That census seemed to be the only bit of clout he could bring to the table with a creature who could inject itself into his mind whenever it deemed appropriate. Edgar wasn't particularly protective of the list of names and he certainly wasn't overly fond of this Ben Samson. But he was fond of $2.5 million supplementing the disasters budget, privately funded front-line training for first responders, and an expanded force of control over these damn creatures. "For all I know, you're not the real Ben Samson, but some... shape-shifter posing to be him. If I were to just hand this list over, my constituents would be at risk."

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2019, 08:21:09 AM »
Ben stared at the mayor as he reassessed his initial idea of him. The guy was paranoid as fuck.

"Well..." he began slowly, "shapeshifters can't read minds or push thoughts into them. But if that's how you feel I can't do anything to convince you. My world is more treacherous than yours, so if you're uncomfortable trusting me or anyone else from it to be your guide, I understand."

He figured this meeting was over, if the mayor didn't want to help him.

"Um, I'll still pass on the perimeter information to the Ward and they can inform the District Leaders. We don't want attention from the surrounding counties either. I'm really sorry we can't work together."

Ben was a picture of misery as he made to stand, intending on reaching a hand over for a shake goodbye. He hoped Jake McCloud wouldn't swan in here and do a better job convincing the mayor.
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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2019, 04:08:33 AM »
"You're the only one thinking that we can't work together, here." Edgar said simply with a brief shrug of his shoulders. "All things considered - my being human and therefore at a disadvantage in this situation," he gestured with two fingers between them, "I figured you'd be willing to make some promises to help all of the citizens of the city," not just yourself or your kind, he implied with a tight smirk. He stood at the same time as the vampire, buttoning his jacket closed and set in his position. "After all, you're the one who implied that my requests would be easy to implement. All I'm asking is a public promise and that list is as good as yours." He raised his eyebrows as if the choice was an obvious one that Samson was a fool to disregard, making no attempt to move beyond his desk or shake Samson's hand just yet.

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2019, 08:25:08 AM »
At his statement that Ben was the only one who thought they couldn't work together, he stopped before getting to his feet. He stared at the mayor as thought he'd grown two heads. Had he not just said he couldn't even trust that Ben was who he was? What the fuck was that about, then? A joke? Since he'd already given up on Figueroa, Ben's attitude shifted gear. He wasn't going to put up with that mind game shit. If the mayor was the kind to say one thing and then immediately contradict himself (a huge surprise and disappointment to Ben), then they really wouldn't be able to work together - but he took the mayor's statement to mean there was one more chance.

He spoke again, evenly and matter-of-fact, but he remained perched on his seat ready to go.

"Look, I'm a straight talker. People don't like me because of it and I expect you'll probably be the same but here goes. You've been resisting and demanding prizes from me this whole meeting and then you finished on the idea that you can't trust me because I might be a shapeshifter which is a bizarre accusation. Just to be clear, I already have a list of people who are living in the central district who are supernaturals or humans in the know. All I want from you is a list so I can cross-check that nobody moved from here to there, or maybe new supernaturals who entered the city that I already know about ended up living in the metro area. You're arguing with me over it like it's gold. I don't need it, I can work around it, it was just a way to get a working relationship with you. But if you don't want to work with me, just tell me no and I'll leave you alone."

He waited to either be kicked out of the office or for the mayor to do damage control so that his funding didn't walk out the door. Ben wasn't the NRA here, he didn't want the mayor to change policies for him.
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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2019, 03:51:45 AM »
Talk about missing the forest for the trees, he thought to himself as the vampire responded to his accusation like it was fact and not an example. He didn't know Ben Samson from any other supernatural brick in the wall and he was the Mayor of the goddamn city. Was Samson really just expecting the Mayor to give up information without gaining from it somehow? It could have been a massive security breach that, if it fell into the wrong hands, would leave him not only jobless but have him facing a hefty prison sentence.

Elected officials couldn't just hand out citizen's private information without a significant amount of trust. As civil as Samson was attempting to be, there were some crucial details it was missing about holding a public office. Mainly, you don't shit where you eat.

Eddy's face remained a neutral expression, listening and waiting and nothing else. There was a second reference to 'cross-checking' that damn list. There was definitely something wrong with that. At first he considered handing the census over simply because it would help him unseat that little prick McCloud, but instantly reconsidered, weighing his knowledge against his options. He tucked the acknowledgement of the list away for future use. Blackmail, maybe? Perhaps he could subpoena that list on grounds of city welfare? He'd have to think on it.

"Look, Mr. Samson," Eddy said, tucking his hands into his pockets and rocking back onto his heels. "I've met with McCloud before. The kid's a flashy idiot with a position of power in a big city. He walked into my office like he ran the damn city, not me." At mention of the so-called 'Central District Leader', Edgar gave a nod in the general direction of the office door. "You're a much better politician in a much better position than he is right now; I heard about the West District and the trials and all that. And if that school of yours is doing as good as I've heard, then you have nothing to worry about." He smirked wryly at the vampire.

"Of course I'm interested in getting human representation on that council you're building. But you have to give me something to go on here." He looked hard at Ben, his words sounding like common sense in his ear. "A public statement about your platform for the safety of humans and supernaturals alike is not only going to go a far way with the voters, but it's telling me that you're the right guy to put trust in. It's a show of good faith that you are a man of your word. And in return, you'll get the city census and the unwavering support from the Mayor's office."

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2019, 11:10:06 AM »
Serious-minded and nervous as hell, Ben was greatly relieved that Figueroa had finally stopped feeling like a minefield. It only made Ben more aware that he was entering a game far superior than he was used to. He'd had a sharp learning curve in working with others in getting the Academy up and running, sure, but that was so far removed from what this was that he realised how awfully inexperienced he was. Managing a project and hiring people to perform a job was nothing like working with people to manage other people. What the hell was he thinking? He realised now how badly he needed those advisors. He was going to lean on them pretty hard at the start.

"Thank you. That's completely reasonable and I'll do that straight away." He should've released a statement about his objectives straight away anyway - it was an oversight that he hadn't. "I'm not surprised about Jake behaving that way to you. That's my biggest problem with him, actually - he demands worship but calls it respect. He doesn't know what respect even is. You know, I looked into him recently. He used to rule in other cities, and at some point or other during his leadership the vampires there descended into war. It makes his move into the west so much worse because it shows he learnt nothing from his past." Ben stood as well, figuring they were winding up, but since Figueroa had told him he was in such a good position, Ben explained why he thought he wasn't. "Jake has been around for a long time though, in a position of power. An article came out recently saying 'if it isn't broken, then don't fix it' because keeping the status quo is less scary than taking a risk for improvement. The onus of proof that he's unfit to lead is on me while also not leading a negative campaign, and my biggest claim to fame is that I'm the ex-Luminary's 'wife'," Ben used air-quotes. If Figueroa didn't know who Ben Samson was, he certainly would've heard about Kerr Galvin. "I learnt a lot watching you campaign last year, actually. It was amazing to watch. You were the calm inside the whirlwind that was your opponent," he said with a grin, relaxed enough now to gush a little.
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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #33 on: September 28, 2019, 02:11:32 AM »
An impressed confusion filtered into his expression. "You were Kerr Galvin's... uh... partner?"

Of course he had heard of Galvin, the former Luminary of supernaturals. Besides the briefing that he had received on the vampire from the former mayor, he had seen it around town hall from time to time. An impressive, bleeding-heart (illusion) of a man. The first time Eddy had laid eyes on the vampire - without knowing what it was - he was running for Senate and was interested in seeking out the former Mayor's vote specifically. He had never spoken with the Luminary, and neither did he realize just what the hell a Luminary was in the city - at the time he just assumed Kerr Galvin was the head of some organization lobbying for more wiggle room. It wasn't a common sight to see Galvin, but he had become familiar enough with the shape of it and its presence, though something had always irked him. After he had been elected Mayor, Eddy figured out why that was. But with Galvin dead, there was nothing else to really worry about.

He had been informed of the dissolution of the Oligarchy for Supernaturals, the death of the Luminary, and the division of the city districts amongst the old 'Oligarchs'. While it had been a lot to comprehend and take in - like learning the inner workings of a city he knew nothing about - he was assured that the supernaturals would leave him in relative peace.

Fat chance of that now.

"Make sure you mention that warmongering if you ever go to debate. The first rule of politics is to not react to any of the stupidity that's flung your way - a lesson McCloud could learn."

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #34 on: September 28, 2019, 02:47:14 PM »
Ben nodded and wondered if he should've mentioned Kerr at all. Perhaps he'd just undone all of the moves he'd just made with that one admission. Would he now no longer be considered credible? His usual doubts began to surface. Instead of that happening though, he was given advice about how to handle Jake. From the positive-campaign mayor himself, he'd been told to mention the warmongering. Not as a smear, but as a fact. And to keep his cool.

Yes, and yes.

"Thank you so much. Here's how to contact me," Ben said, handing the mayor a card with his name, email and phone number on it. It was one of his Academy cards, and had the Academy's name and crest printed across it, with Founder in small print underneath Ben's name. "I'll send you copies of the papers when they come out," Ben said, for he would make his announcements in all the publications. He held out his hand for shaking this time, glad that they hadn't cut the meeting short after all.
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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #35 on: October 02, 2019, 06:47:33 AM »
Eddy extended his hand perfunctorily and gave Ben Samson's a firm shake, the vampire's business card in his left hand. "You're welcome, Mr. Samson." He gave the vampire a practiced, charming smile, the kind he had used to win his own elections. The meeting seemed to be reaching its natural conclusion and he was pleased to see that the little brat seemed like he might actually take his offer. An optimistic outcome indeed, though only time would tell. "And please do. I'm looking forward to reading those papers." It was hardly necessary to have the physical papers anymore when he could find out just about anything online, including the supernatural publications. Perhaps Samson didn't know that he was given access to those particular media outlets?

He circled out from behind his desk with the intention of walking the vampire out of his office as the opportunity politely arose. With a friendly hand on his shoulder as they walked closer to the door, Edgar took note of the texture and quality of the suit on the other. High quality, custom fitted. He should have expected as much. "Do let me know if there is anything that I or my offices can do to get you started off on the right foot." That same affable tone and winning smile.

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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2019, 09:44:14 AM »
Ben was completely charmed by that smile, starstruck by a political hero. He smiled back, a little bashfully, as he was thanked for the necklace and then shown the door.

"Thank you, I will," he promised, though he would make sure only to contact when it was necessary, not wanting the mayor to regret or retract his offer in the future.

He left town hall feeling really good about how the meeting had gone.
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Re: In The Dirt
« Reply #37 on: October 05, 2019, 07:54:57 AM »
Edgar Figueroa maintained that same smile until the door closed behind the vampire, when his expression fell into something pensive and unamused. He blew out a sigh and looked down at his shoes, pacing a slow path in the floor between the windows that looked out over the city and the coat hook by the door. He paused occasionally to look down on the traffic and buildings outside absently, lost in thought and waiting.

After about fifteen minutes there was a knock at the door - Tiffany, the receptionist who had greeted Ben Samson and had stupidly given him a glass of water would be heading home now and did he need anything before she left. Eddy shook his head and watched her leave the office without much conversation. This time, when the door clicked shut, Mayor Edgar Figueroa removed his iPhone from his pocket and unlocked it, staring down at a screen full of useless apps for a long moment, debating.

He clicked the phone open and pressed the number 9 key and then hit the send button, lifting the phone to his face and throwing a weary glance over his shoulder. He watched as Tiffany walked through a nearby parking lot, unlocked her 2008 Toyota Corolla and stepped in. The line rang once and picked up with a familiar greeting. Eddy smiled, if only to get the sound into his voice and through the phone.

"You'll never guess who I just had a meeting with."