Author Topic: In The Dirt  (Read 3674 times)

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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
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

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."

Offline Trillian

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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.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Saiketsu

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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.

Offline Trillian

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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.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Saiketsu

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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.

Offline Trillian

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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."

INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Saiketsu

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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?"

Offline Trillian

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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?
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Saiketsu

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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."

Offline Trillian

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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.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline Saiketsu

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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.