Witch Plans

City Hall

The structure of this building is essentially an upside-down pyramid built at a 34-degree angle. Each of the seven floors in the building are approximately 9 feet wider than the one below it.
The ground floor entrance area is only 126 feet wide, and holds the main reception lobby where people visiting the offices upstairs can gain direction. The majority of the public-related services can be found on the first two floors.
The second floor has an uninterrupted view to the vaulted ceiling on the top floor. Anything above the second floor requires security access, or guests to sign in before heading up to the five floors that are actually responsible for running the city.

chloe_icon.jpg james_icon.jpg

City Hall, at night. It's not generally a time when the city councillors meet. At least not after 10:00 PM at any rate.

As promised, they key card that was given to James is set to work as of 9:00 PM, when the regular city meetings are at an end. Up in the second floor conference room, a host of those who do not work for the city are present, as well as Dallas' illustrious mayor.

The meeting, held clandestinely has been going on for the last hour. Conversations swaying back and forth about ways to deal with potential vampire uprisings. An out of state senator currently has the floor, discussing magical implementations to bring them in line.

The surprise of the evening? McNaab specifically requested a certain redhead be present. Said redhead is sitting to the right of McNaab, mind continually scanning those in attendance as well as trying to get a solid location on the man that's supposed to be present. Her own thoughts are running along the lines of « Shit, shit, shit, I so should not be here… »

Getting into the building was a lot easier than James anticipated, really. That usually raises his hackles just a little — in that this-could-go-south-real-quick-if-yer-not-careful-mate sorta way. Tonight is no exception. He's chosen to leave the dogs at home. They're big and more likely to be noticed in a place like this than he is. Having the forethought to at least attempt to dress in the manner of a city hall employee (which is to say he added a black suit jacket to his usual ensemble), he's ghosted through the semi-darkened hallways without a great deal of difficulty thus far. In the first place, there are copious shadows he can gather around himself for camouflage. In the second, he moves fast enough to be little more than a blink-and-you-miss-it blur on the security cameras.
And finding the cameras' blind spots really isn't all that hard. Especially since most of the most important denizens of the mayor's privy council don't want to be observed any more than James does. Thus, it's amazing, really, how lax security has become — at least from a human perspective.
That's not to say, however, that all security is absent. Just easily avoided… or glamoured, as the case may be.
Now, James has positioned himself in an architectural sweet spot— one of those places where voices carry easily from one place to another on account of the building's acoustics. He found the spot entirely accidentally. And, to be sure, his vampiric hearing is a definite help. He's been sitting, listening for most of the last hour, expression entirely neutral. The thought in his head?
Bloody, fucking witches.

When the void-mind is noticed, the redhead seems to visibly relax a little. It's noticed by a few around the table, and more than one believe it's because she's buying into this idea of 'subduing' the vampires should it become necessary.

Chloe actually has to fight mouthing off to them. After all, she's kept this job more or less to keep Will informed and she can't do that well if she gets herself fired.

"The chances," says a man across from Chloe, "of that even working are less than one percent."

"Not so," argues the senator. "With a large enough group of supporters, and a connected group throughout the country it should be easy enough. If you don't believe me, we can always set up a trial run here in the city. You want the competition to take the heat, don't you, McNaab?"

"Well, sure," McNaab replies in his broad Texan accent. He gives a tight smile. "First rule of politics, always make sure your opponent takes the heat."
James leans back against the nearest wall, arms folded over his chest in a relaxed manner, expression still dead.
"But here's the thing:" he hears the mayor continue, "It backfires and the vampires find out it was us, we could have a whole kiss of them breathing down our necks, and not in a friendly manner. Not to mention the fact that if it does works, and they find out we're behind it… well, we're back to that unfriendly kiss thing again. Looks like something of a catch-22 to me. Especially since, if it works, and Wright takes credit, his campaign gets a major boost. You do know, don't you, that, on average, there's more folks that dislike vampires in this country than not, right? I'm all for supporting vampire rights, providing they stay in line." His chair creaks some as he leans back. "It's keeping them in line that's the problem, especially with the recent troubles. How do you propose we solve that?"

This is where Chloe interjects a mumbled, "Wright would never take the credit, even if he does prefer that all vampires be eradicated."

There is a bunch of dirty looks and a few, "How do you knows," shot in her general direction. To which she easily answers, "My sister-in-law works at his campaign offices. I get a good idea as to what Zane Wright will and will not do." That, and stopping into his store a few times made it pretty easy to pick his brain without his ever knowing.

"It backfires, and the ones weaving the magic take the heat… or the witches here in Dallas." The man glances at McNaab, a knowing look and smile. It would seem there is something there that he's not saying. Something that causes Chloe to wince. "It works, same blame. Shift it on Wright, or shift it to the city witches. You knew nothing. That's what we're good for, m'boy. Putting the blame elsewhere."

"And then we end up with, what?" McNaab counters drily. "A witch hunt? So much better…"
Sat where he is, James actually quirks something of a smile behind glittering eyes. He'll need to speak to Isobel and her pet witch about this night, no doubt.
"Do you wanna win this or not, Ernie?" another man across the table complains. "You've been in politics long enough to know you can't make omelets without breaking a few eggs."
"I've got no problem with breaking eggs, Clarence. You know that," McNaab replies. "I wouldn't be mayor, now, if I did." He turns his gaze to the senator, glancing briefly to Chloe in consideration of her interjection. Threat-benefit assessment: Chloe's probably more of a threat to Wright than to him, whether or not her sister-in-law is a firm Wright supporter. At least, he hopes so. Undeterred, he regards the other politician. "Complete deniability. I've got no problem with that. But, just exactly how do you propose to execute this little test run of yours?"

"Let them hunt the witches, Ern. Better than them finding out and draining your entire staff dry, hmm?" The man turns to Chloe, shooting her a dirty look. There is a strong thought there that literally causes her to back her chair up. Her frown deepens, but she remains quiet.

He smirks and nods to McNaab. "You just leave that to me so you can have plausible deniability. If I tell you how we're going to do it and when, you'll be expecting it. Can't have any of your staunch vampire supporters aware that we're doing this now, can we?"

McNaab lets out a rough breath. The answer doesn't make him happy, but he can't deny the wisdom (politically speaking) of it. "Fine," he says gruffly, the man who likes to always be in control ceding a little of his control to the elder statesman. "You're right. I don't wanna know." Already, in the back of his mind, a contingency speech is forming, outlining his new, stronger anti-vigilantism stance — a.k.a. I'm not anti-vampire, I'm anti-lawbreaking. Vampires are citizens. All citizens must obey the law.
And, of course, at this point, laws don't really regulate the use of non-vampire magic. « Though, maybe they should. »
He'll leave that thought for another time, however.
"At least do me the favor of using out-of-city, or even out-of-state witches, okay? Then, I can claim both plausible deniability and lament out-of-jurisdiction interference as sincerely as Wright." Keep them on even footing.

"Fine. The coven here isn't nearly strong enough anyhow." The man snorts, taking his seat again. Chloe? Well she shoots them both dirty looks and then glances toward the shadows. If she could send a thought to a vampire mind, now would be the time she'd want to do it. Hopefully James is catching the conversation and can bring it back to the Estate.

"Mayor McNaab, if you like I can have Sheila start working on the speech come next Monday. You can set Walden, down at the by-law office into working that into effect before the election mid-November." This from Chloe, who's trying to maintain her professionalism when all she wants to do is kick the man. The things he doesn't know…

"We'll take care of it," says the Senator to both the mayor and the young red-head at his side.

James just may enjoy his conversation with Isobel, after this. He can just about imagine it:

"Izzy, luv? 'Ow'd you like to go huntin' wif me?"

"Witches from outta state what fink they's gonna put one over on us. You always did say witch blood was the sweetest…"

Yeah. That'll go over. Especially given how touchy she's been of late. He'd pity her pet witch, but he's never been much given to such sentimentality.
He cuts the flight of fancy short, however, as the meeting's conversation moves along. He is supposed to be paying attention, after all. Izzy will want a full report. The closer to verbatim, the better.
In the meeting room, however, McNaab pins Chloe with a curious look. He didn't say anything aloud about either the speech or the by-law he was thinking about. Remarkable, really, how the girl always seems to know what people are thinking. Young Fontane was right about that. Uncanny, really.
His lips purse slightly in speculation. Can witches read minds or is she just psychic?
That thought unsettles him, as it occurs to him, however. If vampires and witches are real… what about psychics and other supernatural beings and monsters? And how do you screen for that?
Of course, if she is a witch, and she can read minds… He glances to the senator speculatively as well. Can he read minds?
« Perhaps we should talk about this, later, Miss Cornett, » he musses silently, glancing her way once more.
Of course, Ivan Fontane was the one that recommended Chloe. And the senator is the boy's grandfather.
The thought in his head is pretty clear: I wonder if I'm being setup…
He straightens. "Right," he says, then, a long drawl. "Is there anything else we need to discuss, Senator? If not… I'm sure my wife would appreciate it if I actually got home before midnight, for once." He says the words with a light humor, one that causes some of the others in the room to chuckle knowingly.

Shit. Did he just…? Chloe is going to play dumb. She hears nothing out of the ordinary. Besides which, she's listening in on the Senator's thoughts, wondering if it's more about setting up his granddaughter than anything else that he's going for. So far as she's aware, there's bad blood there or something. Ivan always hated it when she pried into family matters.

Flipping open her planner book, Chloe glances to the Mayor. "Your wife is out of town until Thursday," she mutters under her breath. Quietly so that the other humans can't hear, but her vampire in the corner can. "She took the kids down to Austin for something school related. Chaperoning, right?" Tapping the page, she clears her throat and offers the other men a smile.

"Gentlemen, if you'd like I can call down for the town cars to bring you to your rooms or wherever else you would like to go for the evening, on the City of course." Closing up her book, she looks at each of them and then flips her cell phone out of her briefcase before setting the books in and closing it up.

The senator peers at the mayor momentarily and then nods with a chuckle. "Your wife will be happy to know that we're out of here then. If anything changes between now and the test, I'll send word."

"Outstanding," McNaab says with a smile now. As the other men nod their assent, and flash another round of ol' boys club grins, no one protests Chloe's offer. Indeed, they almost seem to expect it.
In his corner, James remains perfectly still, shadows still gathered nicely about him. The humans file from the room, unaware of the spy — spies — in their midst. So it does seem, at any rate. The night is young for the vampire. And not all that old for some of them, either. Regardless, it means James can be patient and wait until the coast is clear until he finally drifts from the premises to enjoy a playful hunt in a neighborhood friendly to his needs before finally returning to the estate.

RP log.

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