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Another Coven Rule RP
M JacksonMiracle

What can I say, it makes for a really great topic! This will be the third version of this RP, so to keep things fresh, we'll change up a few things about the background of this universe. In this universe, politics play even more of a key role than they have in the past. In other words, the Elites (Cullens) aren't just responsible for keeping order within the North American Continent, but they handle all aspects of governance. They are subject to their own laws, as well as the laws of the Volturi. As with all of our RPs, some things will remain the same, and other things will change. The goal is simply to have fun, grow our writing skills, and expand our imaginations.

2/25/2017 #1 Report
A Ambivalentanarchist

(Hey, Miracle! :) I just got here and I'm so, so excited to take a more political turn with this RP! I'm working on a post for Robyn first, and will follow with a few from my other characters! :))

2/25/2017 #2 Report
M JacksonMiracle

Jasper: *Technology. Sometimes it could be a wonderful thing, and other times, not so much. Humans had more trouble with the pitfalls of technology than vampires did, but they were certainly not immune to it either. Identity theft, credit card fraud, computer hijacking, they were all things that even a vampire could fall victim to. Unfortunately, a vampire's options for making things right again were much more limited than they were for a human. Especially if they knew that the perpetrator was also a vampire. Most days were fairly normal for him. Around 7 am, he would drink a warm mug of blood, and read the news online, both human news via the AP, and vampire news via O-Positive, before heading to his office around 8 am. O-Positive was the attempt at a daily news report for creatures of the night that sprang up a few years back. It detailed which hospitals and blood banks had a surplus of supply, and which ones were running a little low. It also included a summary of any newly proposed legislation that was set to come before the various Councils of the Elite. However when he had logged in to view today's edition of O-Positive, his computer had suddenly frozen and a screen had appeared stating that control of his device has redirected to the Sanguinist Republic, a group of dissenters that had recently come to light when they had petitioned the Volturi Kings for permission to hold open elections presumably in order to de-seat the current North American Council of the Elite, and get supporters of their cause elected to office instead. The petition had been denied and for awhile it seemed that the group had gone dormant. However, the message on his computer now clearly meant they were anything but dormant. Apparently, control of his device could only be returned once he pledged his allegiance to the Sanguinist Republic and donated a half million dollars to their cause. Yes, a half million was just pocket change to him, and it would never be missed, but donating to a group that sought to oust him from his spot among the Elite was not something he was inclined to do so readily. He tapped a few things into his computer, trying to reboot the system and dislodge the hackers from their attack, but nothing he tried seemed to work. He groaned in frustration before shutting off the machine and packing it away. He would stop by IT on the way to his office and turn over the computer to them for debugging. Tossing back the rest of his now cold blood, he packed up the files he had brought to his quarters with him and headed out to face the day.*

2/25/2017 #3 Report
M JacksonMiracle

Rosalie: *massaging the back of her neck as she studied the proposal in front of her. She had been in her office all night reading over the plans to reallocate some of the funds from the Capital Improvement Project to an urban development program meant to build or purchase a series of houses in each of the major cities across North America in such a way that a nomadic vampire would have a nice place to hang out in as he or she traveled across the continent. Typically, nomads would rent a cheap hotel room, or just hang out in the woods until it was time to hunt for their next feeding. But if they had a house to stay in with entertainment choices, internet access, and a supply of fresh blood bags, then they would be less inclined to cause a big mess wherever they went. At least that's the theory. She wasn't entirely sure agreed with the theory, but more importantly, she wasn't sure that the proposed percentage of the Capitol Improvement Project budget the proposal would reallocate would be enough to cover the expense of both buying and maintaining enough houses to make the program a success. It was worth a little more research, but she wasn't sure that it would ever be enacted. She had drawn up a spreadsheet detailing the exact budget it would take, including the man power and time it would involve, then compared that to the theory of the benefits such an endeavor would reap, and placed it all back in the file for the next person on the council to review.*

2/25/2017 #4 Report
A Ambivalentanarchist

Robyn: *It took every ounce of mental strength she had not to flinch when Carlos opened the door to her bedroom, and she had to dig into her deepest reserves not to grimace when he closed it was a deafening slam. The force of it broke the wood away from the hinges, which only served to anger the temperamental man that much more. Every instinct in her body told her to run, she could see her means of escape right there, in the space between his body and where he had broken her door. But, she tramped down hard on those instincts. She had tried to escape, she had defied him before, and each time it had only ended in such terrible pain for her that she had wished for death. Instead, she forced herself to be the pinnacle of calm on the outside, even if she was filled with such violent terror* I take it your meeting didn't go well? *She asked, with a collectedness she hadn't been sure she was capable of until the words passed her lips. Instantly, she regretted them. His eyes darkened, and she knew that meant nothing good for her*

Carlos: No. It didn't. *He spat, venom practically spewing from his lips. His fists remained tightly clenched as he took in the woman who sat, still and silent in front of her vanity. She was almost like a doll, perfectly poised with her dark auburn hair, her stark white skin, and eyes that matched the color of her blood red lips. She was dressed in a simple black dress he had given her—what hadn't he given her? She was amusing at times, frustrating at others, but she was his. His to lavish with attention, or his to punish, whatever mood struck him, whenever the mood struck him. And he was in a particular kind of mood tonight. He was desperately trying to merge his anti-elite faction with another, grow their numbers, but all attempts so far had been utter and complete failures. At first, he had told himself that it was no matter, that he would fins another faction whose values more closely represented his own, but it seemed most against the elite establishment were hopelessly fractured, and that deeply interfered with the numbers his plan required. But, despite the resistance he faced, he knew there was one place he had complete control. Here, in this room. And, tonight, he planned to take full advantage of that fact* As you can imagine, I'm a little tense. *He admitted, his voice becoming smoother, softer as he relaxed, he watched almost gleefully the way her own muscles tensed as he unfurled his fist* You're just what I need, mi amore. *He even had the nerve to chuckle as he approach, but she didn't move, even when he wound her curls around his fist, pulled her head to one side, and bit deeply into her neck*

Robyn: *She could still feel Carlos' venom burning her as she sat in Eclipse several hours later, sending little waves of pain through her body, each reminding her of the way he had brutally used her body to sate his own needs. She was wearing a new dress, red, to replace the one he had torn from her body. It revealed a little more skin that she would have liked, but she was a vampire now, and his abuse left few lasting marks. It was a little comfort to nurse the glass of blood she had ordered, and awaited what Carlos hoped would be a new recruit. She was perfect for such a job, she realized, because she knew too little to be a danger to him, and because she knew what horrors she would face if she thought about using what little she did against him. Or, worse, tried to escape him. So, instead, she sat quietly, and tried to enjoy the AB negative in her hand, despite the loud music, the relentless heartbeats, and the images that flashed behind her eyes that all threatened to drive her towards insanity*

2/25/2017 . Edited 2/25/2017 #5 Report
A Ambivalentanarchist

Alice: Good morning! *Rapping her knuckles lightly on the door to Rosalie's office before she pushed the door open. Being the vampires that they were, there wasn't a real need for such measures, she would have been able to hear from outside if Rosalie was in need of privacy—although she highly doubted it with Emmett out of town—and just the same she was sure Rosalie had heard her approach, probably all the way from upstairs. Still, it was a gesture that demonstrated respect, which was important when you mixed work and family* Still working on the Capital Improvement Project, huh? *She asked, a bright smile on her face as she presented Rosalie with a freshly-warmed mug of blood* I don't think you've taken a break in a while, so I figured I'd bring you something to drink. *It went unsaid that it was something that Emmett usually took care of when he was home, she knew the blonde didn't need any help missing her mate any more than she probably already was. Alice was sure that at least part of the reason Rosalie threw herself into projects like these with such gusto was so that her husband could be home more often, instead of being out trying to enforce the law of the land* I also wondered if you'd had a chance to look at the Habitation Tax Incentive Program? It's not competing legislation, exactly, but it's meant to try and accomplish the same thing, just going about it a different way. Vampires who habitate in the same place for a certain percentage of the year get a tax credit. It'd be a little cheaper than creating all that housing, and if it wasn't used, then those funds would still be liquid. They could just go another place, instead of us having those houses and all that blood go unused, and we could possibly have to just turn around and sell them. Besides, as is, the CIP doesn't have a clause to prevent problem nomadic vampires from hopping to houses in different cities, and using NACE funds to keep causing the same havoc they always have.

2/25/2017 #6 Report
A Ambivalentanarchist

Emmett: *He knew he really shouldn't. It was unprofessional. But, he couldn't help but roll his eyes at how vehemently this particular nomad was trying to resist arrest* I'm not going to tell you again, man! I get that you're pissed at me right now, but I'm not the one who broke the rules. You're not a newborn, and even if you were, it should have been common sense that you don't drain a human in front of a camera. And an ATM? A close-up shot? No, don't shake your head and tell me it wasn't you. I've seen the video. I've seen the stills. And you, my friend, are going to have to face up to the charges. *Sighing when he finally managed to snap the man into the titanium cuffs. They were welded tough enough that even a vampire couldn't break them, even at the latches, and they kept the vampire in question in a docile position, with their arms locked behind their back, their ankles locked together, and a shortened chain between the two, essentially hog-tying them. It seemed barbaric to some, but it was far better than ripping vampires apart limb-by-limb, like they did in the old days. In fact, the relatively new invention had been created and used because of outcries that tearing apart vampires like that was cruel and unjust, especially because—although most were—not every vampire that had to be arrested turned out to be guilty. At least not always with what they were originally charged with. Heaving a great sigh, Emmett hoisted the man into a cage in the back of a truck disguised to look like it was hauling groceries, locked it securely, and patted the back to let the driver know it was finished* Alright, boys, that's the last one. Let's get them to Forks!

2/25/2017 #7 Report
M JacksonMiracle

Rosalie: *giving Alice a grateful smile as she sipped the blood that her sister had kindly brought her* Thank you, I needed this. *taking another sip as she listened to her explain the benefits of a tax credit for habitation* I was just going to add a few notes to that proposal packet now. *pulling out a blue colored folder and reading over the summary at high speed* The only argument I've come across against HTIP is that it seems to reward Nomads based on their word alone. Residents can prove habitation easily enough given fluctuations in utility bills, but all we have to go on for Nomads is their word. And while we do value honesty and openness between Elites and constituents, there is always the promise of some kind of proof to back up whatever we tell them, and vis versa. Nomads already feel that we give Residents too much of a tax break because of the Employment Credit. The goal behind that credit was to make sure that Residents were not double taxed by both us and the human governments, but Nomads feel that it's unfair because they typically make less than Residents and believe they deserve higher credits. Granted, what they earn is actually what they steal from their prey and while theft from a deceased hunted human is legal, it is still considered income and still subject to tax, but it causes them to be ineligible for the employment credit. How do we know that introducing another credit that favors Residents over Nomads won't cause them to feel even more slighted?

2/25/2017 #8 Report
A Ambivalentanarchist

Alice: Well, the point isn't to make them feel slighted, it's to encourage more nomads to adopt a residential lifestyle. *Sighing a little as she pulled a thick file folder out of her even larger, pink couture purse* I've received more letters on this proposal than I have on any other tax credit this decade. There are arguments on both sides. The majority of the vampiric population are already Residential. It's a tougher lifestyle. You have to be much more careful when you feed, and you can't make the easy money that most Nomads can, because that much killing when you're staying in one place just doesn't work. They want HTIP to show favoritism towards them because they're the majority, and because their lifestyle causes a lot fewer problems for us. Some have argued that's they're being rewarded for using fewer NACE funds in policing and judiciary sectors. And they're right—Residents cause us fewer issues. That's the reason we're having this discussion at all. Nomads cause a lot of problems that we really need to minimize, especially given the growing digitalization of the age. All it would take is one video being posted past our filters on social media and the Volturi would bring the hammer down on us all. And 90% of the time, those issues are caused by Nomads who don't bother to have a better awareness of their environment. Others have argued that if we want to get Nomads to settle down, we should make the credit only apply to Nomads who are becoming Residents, or have become Residents recently. We could frame it as a way to help with the hardships of settling and changing the way they handle their finances, but in that case, vampires who are already Residents might feel alienated, and seeing as they're the overwhelming majority, I don't really want to go down that road if I don't have to.

2/25/2017 #9 Report
M JacksonMiracle

Brutus: *watching in the side mirror as Emmett finally managed to subdue the last vampire on their list and lock them securely into the back. It had been a long week and the Peace Keeper contingent were all eager to get home and return to mates, friends, and lives left behind. But he had known what he was signing up for the moment he took the job with the Capital. He had applied for the Peace Keeper position at Jasper's insistence that he needed someone he could trust as part of the team. The Major secretly insisted that Emmett was too soft at times, and he wanted someone who still remembered how to use force to get the job done. Of course, he would never admit that to anyone. The War was a long, long time ago, but to this day, he had way too much respect for the Major to throw him under the bus like that, so to speak. He knew how much the Major missed field work, but ever since Edward had taken a step down from the Council of the Elite to spend more time with his family, there just wasn't time for it anymore. He could only hope that he was making his once commander proud in his stead. Grinning at the knock and Emmett's orders* Yes, Sir, boss. On the way. *carefully turning out into traffic and locating the nearest interstate to take them home.*

2/25/2017 #10 Report
M JacksonMiracle

Rosalie: *closing her eyes in thought for another moment as she mentally weighed the consequences of the proposal in front of her for good or for ill. Slowly opening them again and meeting Alice's steady gaze.* I agree. I think that this is what has to be done. We'll carefully script the law so it's clear that we're entirely impartial and that we support all of our constituents and this is just one more tool that we're using to do that. *writing up her notes and carefully signing them before adding a few pages to the file and setting it aside with the other one.* We should get all of this to Jasper for a final look through before passing it along to the Lord Regent. He may feel that the CIP is overfunded as it is and that we should keep the majority of NACE funds for Peace Keepers, but he'll still want to look it over before signing off on the recommendations we're putting forward.

2/25/2017 #11 Report
A Ambivalentanarchist

Carlisle: *A fleeting smile passing across his lips as he sent his response to the email he had received from Edward. His first adoptive child was having the time of his life on a well deserved vacation on Isle Esme with his wife and daughter. In this most recent message, Edward relayed his and Bella's love, along with news of how his beloved daughter Renesmee fared. The little girl had become fascinated with building sandcastles, and from the photos Bella had apparently insisted she include, her creations were getting more and more complex every day. Her latest creation looked a little bit like the Roman Pantheon, if you squinted at it just right, and it made Carlisle's heart swell with pride. It was a touch bittersweet that she was growing so quickly, that his work forced him and most of their family to miss so much time with her, but he was also infinitely glad that Edward had taken her away, that they three of them could enjoy their time together away from the worries of the rest of the world* Such innocence is fleeting. They should be allowed to enjoy it while they can. I'll have an eternity to get to know her, but her parents deserve to have this time to themselves, to watch her grow up, to cement those precious memories in their minds forever. *With a heavy sigh, he moved on from that happy news to the other emails in his inbox. Although he preferred his mail in paper and ink, these days it was much more efficient to use email. He could see what each message was about at a glance, and could even sort them by priority when times were busy. There was even a small mailroom in the grandiose building in which they had taken up residence sorted and scanned what paper mail they each received, allowing him to reach it all in a single place. Although he did abhor many things about the modern era, he had to admit that it was one thing that had made his everyday life simpler. Today's mail wasn't much different from many others. Most of the letters were from everyday vampires, giving their opinion on how they though governance was going. Sometimes it was praise, most of the time it was a complaint of some kind. He didn't have time to read many of these. Instead, most of his attention focused on legal correspondence. There were at least a dozen proposals or amendments on the docket at any one time, and it was on his shoulders to decide which were the most important, and which he, for whatever reason, decided to let fall to the wayside. Recently, their biggest issue had been the illegal activities of Nomads, and so they had gotten much of the attention of the legislation. There was also a proposal up to amend Sire rights and responsibilities. Traditionally, it had been a Sire's job to ensure any newborns they made knew the law, that they were taught control. To this end, Sires were responsible for the actions of the vampires they made in their newborn year. By making this the Sire's responsibility, it discouraged vampires from simply creating large groups of newborns to do their bidding. A Sire could only create as many newborns as they could control. But, because of this responsibility, they were also allowed to legally dispose of the newborn without cause. The clause had been created to allow Sires an out if they turned someone by accident and didn't want to take on the burden, or to deal with an especially unruly newborn, but it had been taken advantage of lately, by a vampire in the U.S. Virgin Islands who had turned almost fifty newborns, then slaughtered the lot as soon as people started asking questions to avoid punishment. It was an archaic law, but the question was, how best to fix it? He favored an amendment allowing a newborn to find another vampire to volunteer as their Sire, but that had it's own issues. Newborns often didn't have the connections to ask that of someone, and even if they had, few were up for such a task. Further, it would cause backup in the judicial system force every Sire who wanted to dispose of a newborn to declare so in person, but otherwise, how would they know the newborn had gotten the chance to petition for a new Sire? It was enough to give him a headace, not to mention the fact that Jasper hadn't bothered to his initial email asking for his opinion on the matter. To that end, he decided to pick up the phone and call the other man, hoping to catch him, but curiously the phone went straight to voicemail. Even curiouser, instead of Jasper's regular voicemail, he received a generic message* That's strange.

(I figured if they went for his computer, they might go for his phone, too. ;))

2/25/2017 #12 Report
A Ambivalentanarchist

Emmett: *Hopping into the Black SUV that led the caravan. The discreetly armored vehicle was void of personality, and it he had to admit that it made him a little bitter that he drove it more than he did the Jeep he had parked in his personal garage. Honestly, the amount of work he had been doing lately would probably have made any Peace Keeper bitter, or so he told himself. Since Edward had taken a step away from work, taking Bella with him, Jasper had been shackled behind a desk, and he had taken on twice as much work. Rosalie was always telling him to cut back, but how could he? He knew he wouldn't be able to look himself in the eye if he took normal shifts while every man under him pulled doubles and tripes. Being a Peace Keeper wasn't the most popular occupation in the vampire world. It had great benefits, and it paid well, but it was dangerous, even to the most dangerous creatures on the planet. And after the infamous Major had pulled out, so had many of the others who had so fervently looked up to him. And, despite their best efforts, they just couldn't get their numbers back up to where they had been* Maybe we should get into recruiting. Advertise our benefits package better. We just... We need more men. And women. What we're doing isn't working, and I know I can't be the only feet on the ground that are frustrated. *Thankfully, this ride home was comparatively short. They had gone up to Seattle, made a short trip through Tacoma and Olympia, nothing like many of the cross-country trips he had already made this year. They would be home soon enough, where he would hopefully have a few ideas to pitch to the family. He wasn't the best with legislation or PR, but he knew they would all be willing to listen, and at least one of them would have an idea that could help*

2/25/2017 #13 Report
A Ambivalentanarchist

Alice: *Her brow furrowing at the mention of their adoptive brother* You know, I tried emailing him this morning, just to bounce a few ideas off of him, but I haven't heard back. I texted him, too. I figured he was on a really long call or a series of early-morning meetings, but I still haven't heard back. Why don't you give me a copy of your final proposal sheet and I'll run both ideas by him in person. That way I can make sure he hasn't desiccated underneath a mountain of paperwork or something. *Chuckling a little at the image that sprung to mind. Not that desiccation was in any way funny, but the idea of the mighty Jasper Whitlock being weighed down by something as light and delicate as paper was certainly chuckle worthy, especially when she envisioned a leaning tower of Pisa sized stack weighing him down at the chest like an anvil* And anyways, his office is right on the way to the Lord Regent's, and I need to see him for something else, anyways. *her expression becoming marginally more serious at the mention of 'something else,' which had become a euphemism for her visions among the family*

2/25/2017 #14 Report
A Ambivalentanarchist

Robyn: *She had emptied her first glass of blood slowly, carefully. She wanted to savor it, of course. That was any vampire's prerogative. But, for her, it was deeper than that. She had walked into the dark, surprisingly classy establishment in a tremendous amount of pain. Every step had been taken with careful precision, so she didn't falter. Her order had been placed simply, so she didn't stutter. Every sip had been taken with the minutest of motions, so her hands wouldn't tremble. But, finally, finally, the pain had begun to fade. She wanted to sigh with relief, but she didn't want to weather the extra attention that might bring. There were already a number of human men eyeing her. She was beyond disinterested in letting them touch her, even if all she wanted to do was tear their throats out and feel the warmth of their blood, to have it gush out into her mouth in the rhythm of a rapidly beating pulse. She didn't give in to that urge, however. She had a mission here. That mission was to sit, and to hope a particular man showed, with promises of money and loyalty to the cause she knew Carlos was so devoted to* Excuse me? *She asked the bartender softly. She had known he was a vampire when she had walked in. His red eyes had been her first clue, although strangely enough several humans in this club seemed to be wearing contacts that made their own eyes look the same color. Then, there had been his scent, distinctly different from the rich, fruity scent that human blood carried. Of course, the kicker had been his lack of a heartbeat. It was easy to spot, even beyond the loud music, once she was seated at the bar. She had felt confident enough to order a beverage of her choice then, and now, after a near half-hour of watching him out of the corner of his eyes, she was confident that he was more than just an employee here. She had seen enough interactions with Carlos to recognize the swagger both carried. With his confidence, the way he moved and lorded over the bar, he was clearly the owner, or maybe a manager. Either way, he would know what she was dying to* I'm here to meet Jasper Whitlock. But, it seems he's running late. You wouldn't happen to know him, would you? *Strictly speaking, she knew she shouldn't be asking. She was only supposed to wait for the man, not reach out to him. However, it was starting to look like he might not show, and Robyn felt a chord of terror strike inside of her as her mind unwittingly wandered to what her fate would be if she returned empty-handed* I tried his phone, but it wasn't picking up. *That wasn't true either, but under Carlos' tutelage—if one was generous enough to call it that—she had become quite the expert at choosing which emotions she allowed to cross her face when*

2/25/2017 #15 Report
M JacksonMiracle

(Have to leave here in a bit to go pick up my dinner, but won't be gone for long! :) )

Rosalie: *nodding to Alice in understanding* Sounds good to me. I need to get out of the office for a bit anyway. Tell him hi for me. *grinning as she handed off the final proposal to Alice to deliver to their brother and fellow Councilman.* Normally I would have expected him to already be emailing us his opinions on his own caseload by now. I'm surprised that we haven't heard anything from him since last night. I'm starting to think your theory about him being buried under an avalanche of paperwork isn't so farfetched after all. *bringing up another spreadsheet on her computer and starting to type away as she watched Alice leave and head off down the hall.* Just one more cost analysis to complete and then break time. Promise, just one more, that's it.

Jasper: *feeling almost naked without the companionship of his computer, phone, and tablet, all of which IT had deemed to have been compromised and had therefore confiscated in order to reprogram and hopefully trace the source of the hacking. It was strange how quickly the objects had become like an extension of his body even though he hadn't grown up using anything like them. In fact, when he was growing up they didn't even have electric lights, or indoor toilets, or cars for that matter. Times really had changed since then. He had gotten far too use to many modern conveniences, but there was still one thing he insisted on doing from his days as a human. He still kept paper journals containing his thoughts on the most important pieces of work that he did for the Elites. Right now, he was busy scribbling away in one such journal regarding the latest attempts by the Sanguinist Republic to influence and manipulate their coven.* Computer hacking, while seemingly childish, can be a very effective means of controlling any target. People are desperate to get back the technology they have become too dependent on. If they can hack my tech, then there's nothing stopping them from doing the same to tech of ordinary citizens. But what would they gain from doing so? What motivation would they have for hacking someone's computer? Money? A promise of support? Perhaps proof that they voted for the Sanguinist Republic if the Volturi actually approve such an absurd thing? It could be anything really, but we have to nip this in the bud before it gets out of hand. Hopefully IT can trace the source and I can send a Peace Keeper unit after them. Better yet, I'll go myself. This was personal against me after all. I should be the one to bring the perp to justice. But there's too much here that needs my attention.

2/25/2017 #16 Report
A Ambivalentanarchist

(Okay, Miracle! Here's hoping you pick up something delicious! :) )

2/25/2017 #17 Report
A Ambivalentanarchist

Alice: Of course I will! *Her smile brightening once again as she straightened her pile of paperwork, sliding it into the convenient center slot of her overly large purse before hoisting the patent leather bag over her shoulder and quietly leaving the room. She knew she probably looked a little comical with her own purse doubtlessly dwarfing her, but it was a thing of practicality, having to carry around as much paperwork as she did. She figured she might as well have a pretty accessory to go along with it, and she was quite pleased that the Chanel bag she had commissioned for the task was one-of-a-kind. She was just glad that she wasn't human, otherwise the weight of the thing might have her hunching over to one side, and poor posture was something Alice Brandon had always had little patience for* Knock, knock. *She called out loudly as she approached Jasper's office, knocking gently against the door before she opened it, her head tilting far to one side in confusion when she saw that Jasper's computer was noticeably absent from his desk, and his tablet and phone were both out of sight as well. Instead, Jasper was scribbling away in one of his infamous journals. It wasn't an odd behavior for him, but it was odd to see him doing so this early in the work day* Oh, wow. You didn't click on another chain email again, did you? *She joked lightly, but he didn't seem amused by the reminder of the Y2K incident that had left him certain that every electronic they owned with a clock was about to become useless. Of course, that was back when they had all shared a single computer, and none of them had used it often. They had been a bit behind the times, she hated to admit, until the explosion of social media on the internet and the first generation of millennial vampires had forced them to move forward. But, to be fair, they had all come a long way since then* Sorry. I won't ask if you don't want to talk about it. I just wanted to run a few things Rosalie and I were talking about by you. *Pulling the large stack of papers from her purse, but only handing him the first two from the top* These are the proposals we were working on this morning. Those are Rosalie's ideas for the CIP budget, and then a provisional version of the HTIP. We just wanted to see if you had any thoughts before we put them to the Lord Regent for consideration. *Pausing for a moment as she read both, before abruptly releasing the breath she had been holding in a heavy sigh* Okay, I lied. I'm going to ask. What happened? Did someone vandalize your computer, or something? It's that why you haven't been answering your emails or texts all morning?

2/25/2017 #18 Report
A Ambivalentanarchist

Emmett: *He was exhausted, he was irritated, but he couldn't help it. A big, stupid smile still spread across his face when the caravan pulled up in front of the detention area behind his home. He really shouldn't have looked so happy helping those vampires into jail, but it was beyond his control. For the first time in nearly twenty-four hours, he was close to his mate. He could feel it, like a physical weight was being lifted off his chest. If was relief and joy all at once. Of course, he still had to go through the utterly boring formality of booking each and every one of them into their individual cells, ensuring each was held at the correct security level based on a set of risk factors Jasper had helped them design years ago. It was a system they'd had to develop over the years, as better surveillance and tracking methods had increased their abilities to identify and track down vampire lawbreakers. At first, they had simply expanded their facilities, but, at the suggestion it had quickly become apparent that every vampire who went into custody didn't require maximum security. Of course, Jasper had created the first flawless screening system for it. Since it's induction, that hadn't had a single successful escape attempt. So, when the checklist told him to put every vampire they'd collected into general holding, he didn't bat an eye. He sealed them up, finished the paperwork, and went on his way, whistling a happy tune as he hurried upstairs to wash the grime of the road off of himself*

2/25/2017 #19 Report
M JacksonMiracle

(back and stuffed with some very delicious Olive Garden! :) )

Spencer: *studying the girl with the trained eye of a man who was close enough to the Elites to consider them business contacts, but not so close as to consider them friends. Initially, he had opened Eclipse as a sort of a joke. He advertised it as a bar for creatures of the night, and his drink selection included a variety of blood themed beverages, many of which were actually served right out of blood bags. Customers could purchase a variety of merchandise specific to the bar including red tinted contacts, plastic fangs, daylight rings, and black capes. There was enough of the truth to be found in his products and merchandise that ignorant humans would believe his eyes were simply a result of contacts, and that all the thick red drinks patrons were partaking of were the result of food coloring. Of course, he exaggerated other things and took advantage of the mythology created by modern television shows and movies. He even had a section of merchandise dedicated to hunters, consisting of wooden stakes, and vervain bracelets. He dare not sale matches in that section just in case an over zealous human decided to test them on him. The girl standing in front of him now didn't seem like the usual type of person that Jasper would usually meet with. She seemed young, too young to have been born during the time of the Civil War and therefore too young to have known him when he was in the army. Perhaps the Major was starting to expand his circle of influence. But really, it wasn't his place to question the Elites. He chose to play things casual with this girl, maybe gather a little more information before tipped his hand too much.* Councilman Jasper Whitlock? As in, one of the Elites? Sure, I know him. I mean, who doesn't? He's an Elite. Everyone knows the Elites. Or do you mean, do I know him personally? *shrugging slightly* He comes in here sometimes. They all do. I'm the only bar in town that caters to specific tastes. Speaking of which, you seem to be dry. Can I get you another? *kindly offering to refill her mug with another warmed bag as any owner of a bar would when a customer was empty* Did you try the hard line at the Capitol? The 800 number they always say to call if you need anything? Say "representative" enough times, and you might actually get one of the secretaries on the line. And if you're real lucky, they'll even run an extension up to his office for you. Then again, you know the Elites, always busy with something. He probably just forgot.

2/25/2017 #20 Report
M JacksonMiracle

Jasper: *rolling his eyes at her gentle teasing, but choosing not to verbally respond to it as he looked over the papers that she handed him* The only thing I would add is to make sure anything we get on the books includes a double penalty for attempts to the cheat the system. It usually doesn't dissuade anyone from lying to us, but at least it gives us the recourse to collect a fine from them later. I still think that if the Lord Regent let us execute the mid level offenders, then it would do a lot more to dissuade the lesser criminals from acting out, than rewarding them for habitation will. Habitation doesn't mean we'll have fewer problems, it just means the problems will be concentrated rather than spread out. Fear of consequences screams a lot louder than hope of a reward. But I know how the rest of you, and most importantly the Lord Regent feel about this, so I'm willing to settle for the HTIP. Looks like you've hashed out most of the details pretty well. I have no doubt the Lord Regent will appreciate the work you put into it. It really does sound good. I hope he approves it for the next stage of development. *smiling tightly to let her know that his words were genuine even if it wasn't his first choice, it was as good as an alternative as he could hope for. Running a hand through his hair when she insisted on the details behind his fast from technology* I wish it was as simple as vandalism. You've heard of ransomware, right? Where a hacker takes over your computer and threatens you with keeping it locked until you pay them a fee or agree to do something outlandish to benefit them? I guess I got a little too close to finding out too much about the movements of the Sanguinist Republic. They hacked me sometime early this morning while I was logging into O-Positive. I don't think the zine has anything to do with it, it was just bad timing. I wasn't about to pay some woman at Eclipse half a million dollars and pledge my support to the Sanguinist Republic to get my computer back, so I took it down to IT to see what they could do to fix it, and if that fails, I'll just buy new equipment and retrieve everything off the backup servers. IT was pretty sure that it was a targeted hack, and that the Capitol network wasn't affected. And now you know.

2/25/2017 #21 Report
A Ambivalentanarchist

(I love Olive Garden! They have the BEST minestrone!)

Robyn: I'd love another, thank you. *She said, a slight smile curling up at the corners of her lips. It only took her a moment to decide angle she was going to play. She was subtle about it, but her body language changed. Her body tilted forward towards him, as if in interest, as she reached for her newly refilled drink and brought it to her lips for a minute sip. She crossed one of her legs over the other, showing a little bit more leg. He wouldn't get the full effect from his side of the counter, but it wasn't like she was trying to seduce him; the thought of letting him touch her was just short of revolting. No, she was just trying to get him to open up a little. He was clearly being distant on purpose—as if he hadn't known it was "Councilman" Jasper Whitlock she'd been talking about. She didn't know what game he thought he was playing, but she was determined to beat him at it.* How many Jasper Whitlocks are there in the world? Not many, I'm sure. Even fewer here. *She hoped a change of disposition might change his mind. Instead of distant, now she was warm, almost flirtatious, although she felt none of it. She felt hollow, empty. She just wanted to get what Carlos wanted—and avoid as much pain as possible in the process. This seemed the easiest way to get it. After all, it was her beauty, her body, that even Carlos seemed to value about her. It was the same thing that was catching the eyes of men and women alike throughout the dimly-lit bar, and everywhere she went now, it seemed, since immortality had finally embraced her* I hardly think Jasper would approve of me using government funds to get in touch. *She purposefully used her first name this time, hinting at a closer relationship than she had with the man—in fact, she hadn't even met him* It's not really an issue of representation, exactly. *In a calculated move she chuckled a little, then bit her lip, as if she was flustered, embarrassed, perhaps a little excited* You know, it's new... And... Casual... *Again, she was hinting at something that she knew had never happened, but nothing about her would have given it away, in fact, she traced the rim of her glass fondly, as if replaying a memory. There were all tactics she had seen before. Carlos practically had a harem of women around him, and every single one of them were better at handling him than her. Still, she had managed to pick up on a few things in her time around them, things that worked much better on other men than they every had on her Sire* Still, I don't like being stood up, even if it is in the name of state business. Maybe I'll just stay for... *Chewing on her lip for a long moment, pretending to be torn, even when she knew she couldn't possibly leave, not yet* One more drink. They are very good. *Flashing him a warm smile as she raised her glass to him, as if in salute, before she took another sip, humming around the warm liquid*

2/25/2017 #22 Report
M JacksonMiracle

(Not to mention the breadsticks! :) )

Spencer: *narrowing his eyes slightly as he tried to determine how much of what the girl across the bar from him was saying was true and how much of it was an act. The Major hardly needed him to protect him. If the girl was crazy, he would quickly make sure the whole world knew about it in short order. But if he played his card to get the Major down to the bar and she did turn out to be lying, there was no doubt he would see his fair share of the Major's wrath for wasting his precious time. If the girl was telling the truth, on the other hand, then surely she must know that she isn't the only romantic fling the Major has engaged in over the years. There was never anything serious between him and a girl that he had witnessed, but it wasn't uncommon to see him with a flavor of the week kind of girl every so often. Maybe the Major had just grown tired of this one, and decided to let her figure it out for herself rather than having the decency to tell her in person that it was over. Finally, he let out a breath and decided to play his hand.* Ok, fine. Let me make a call. I just hope he doesn't shoot the messenger. And I hope that you're prepared to hear it if he says he isn't showing. *pulling out a phone and scrolling through his contacts until he found Alice's number. If anyone knew what the Major was up to, it would be his partner and fellow council member, Madam Brandon. He half expected her to answer with an explanation before he even had a chance to explain why he was calling as she so often did when her visions showed her everything she needed to know before she was told. He didn't call the Elites very often. In fact, he had only troubled once or twice before when there was a brawl at the bar he couldn't break up on his own, but that didn't stop him from keeping their direct lines stored in his phone in case of emergency.*

2/25/2017 #23 Report
A Ambivalentanarchist

Alice: *Chuckling a little at the suggestion that Carlisle would go for the death penalty* You know Carlisle would never allow Capitol Punishment—no pun intended—for anything like tax evasion. That just isn't realistic. And that isn't anything the rest of us would agree to either. I mean, I know we would free up more jail cells if we just killed vampires every time they broke the law, but that isn't the way things work here, Jasper, you know that. *Sighing a little, although there was more warmth in her gaze than frustration. This was, after all, something they had long agreed to disagree on* Not everyone responds the way you think they will to threats of violence and death. Having those kinds of restrictions makes some people more crazy. You know, the punishment for everything is death, so they do everything. Once they've committed one crime, there's nothing worse to do. It makes people reckless. That's the reason we have incremental punishments. I mean, "The punishment fits the crime," is a mantra that's been around in this country long before even you were born, Jas. *Sighing a little when his expression remained unchanged* Well, I agree with you that there should be harsher penalties for people who try to take advantage of these programs, and I will make sure those end up in the final versions of both proposals. Thank you. *Nodding her head deferentially to him as she took the papers back from them, then pausing for a long minute as she considered his words concerning his missing electronics, jolting as an idea occurred to her* Wait, so you're telling me that someone you know is involved with the elusive Sanguinist Republic is sitting in Eclipse right now, and you're just... Sitting here? I mean, take away that she's trying to blackmail you, but imagine what she could know? Please, tell me that you reported this to someone, at least, independent of the ransomware? Are the Peacekeepers going to check her out? If she had a record, we could even bring her in, see if we could get her to flip? I mean, we suspect they've done it to our own men before, the ones we've sent in that have just disappeared. We could do it. If anyone could do it, it would be you. *Shaking her head a little* Or, maybe, Peter, if you could call in a favor. Honestly, I thought you'd jump at the possibility of getting back into the field, but if you haven't realized this until now, maybe you're not as eager as I thought you'd be. *Holding up her finger to ask him to wait a moment when her phone began to ring. There number of people who had the number to her personal line was pretty limited, so it was usually fairly important when someone deigned to call her number directly instead of texting. She was almost glowing with triumph when she was who was calling* Hmm, it's Spencer. I wonder what he could possibly want? *Saying the words with only a hint of sarcasm before she answered the call* Hello, Spencer. *She said, before she said something that she never did; she made a split-second decision* If you're calling about the young woman waiting on Jasper, he's running a little late. Can you let her know he's having some technical difficulties, and that he'll be there shortly? And, uh, give her a drink on my tab. Something special. Feel free to tell her it's from Mr. Whitlock.

(Done!)

2/25/2017 . Edited 2/25/2017 #24 Report
A Ambivalentanarchist

(Editing! ;))

2/25/2017 #25 Report
M JacksonMiracle

Jasper: *shaking his head at her surprise with the inaction he was choosing to take on this one* You're right. There was a time when I would have charged full steam ahead into that bar and arrested her on the spot, tortured her for days, and petitioned the Lord Regent to let me get rid of her. But as you have tried to point out time and time again, my method isn't always the best. Sometimes, it's better to try a different approach. The way I see it, she's probably some kind of lacky. In which case, she knows nothing, and even if we could flip her and send her back in, she'd never learn anything that would be of use to us. She goes back empty handed, maybe they take their frustrations out on her. One less Sanguinist for us to deal with. Opposite that, she's somebody important. If that's the case, she's probably not alone. I try to arrest her, her protectors attack me. I manage to fight them off, arrest as many as I can, and cause a big scene in front of a bunch humans at the bar. We can't afford to have a spectacle like that. Which means, I would have to cooperate with them. And I despise the thought of doing that. I go in with backup, the same thing happens. A spectacle. The Sanguinist Republic likely knows what all the peacekeepers look like. Even the most recently hired ones. We send them in, even in civilian clothes, they run, we lose them. That's the biggest advantage they've always had over us. They know us. We don't know them. I'll ask Spencer for camera footage later and we'll at least be able to get her face on file. And we can run facial recognition on any other vampires on the bar at the same time. Maybe we'll get lucky. I just don't think that a direct confrontation is the best way to go about things this time. And you know how difficult it is for me to say something like that. The other men who have disappeared may have been flipped, but more than likely, they're dead. A group with that kind of hoodzpah is a group I'd rather stay clear of until we have enough information for a clean arrest. So far, they've been walking the line too closely between legal and not legal for us to get any charges to stick. *growling when Alice hung up the phone after talking to Spencer* Alice! We just talked about this. I'm not going to Eclipse. I would either be walking into a trap, or wasting my time, possibly both. *pausing for a long moment when the pixie just kept staring back at him, finally throwing his hands up in the air in defeat* Fine! But there's only one way this can work. I refused to think of this before because honestly, it scares me, and you know, I'm not afraid of very many things. I can't do anything in the way of making an arrest or flipping her or anyone else she's with. All I can do is play along. But that comes with perhaps the biggest risk any of us have ever taken. If, and that is a huge IF, she believes me, then I'm stuck in this thing for the long game. I might have to disappear. I might have to intentionally sabotage the Capitol. I might have to give them something before I'll be able to glean anything from them. And if I mess up, even just a little, I may not be able to return. Is the Sanguinist Republic really worth all of that? If you say it is, then I'll do it. But I need you to be absolutely sure it's worth it.

2/25/2017 #26 Report
M JacksonMiracle

Spencer: *hanging up the phone, knowing that the girl was sitting close enough that she would have been able to hear every word* Guess you were telling the truth after all. His partner wouldn't lie and say that he's coming if he isn't. Although, I'm not sure what technical difficulties he would be having... *letting his voice trail off as he pulled a bag down from the top shelf and heated it up* This is a one of a kind blend. You can't get it anywhere else in the world. *pausing for dramatic effect* It's from my personal stash. *pouring it into a mug for her and sliding it into her hands* Drink it slow. It's kind of strong. *giving her a wink* I'm Spencer, by the way. My wife Bayleigh and I specialize in different mixes. Every now and then, we'll come across the perfect little gem, like this one. I don't believe I caught your name, miss...?

2/25/2017 #27 Report
A Ambivalentanarchist

Alice: I'm not going to tell you that you have to do anything. I might hold some sway over you, but I can't tell you what to do, you've made that abundantly clear over the years. If it's my advice you're asking for? If you're asking if I think the Sanguinist Republic is a threat? Then, yes. Absolutely, yes. Of course they are. They're a huge threat to everything Carlisle has worked so hard to build, everything all of us have worked so hard for for so long. They call themselves a Republic, Jasper. And people acknowledge that, respect that. Even the Volturi acknowledged them, even if it was with a refusal. If they had gone about to appealing to them another way, and Carlisle didn't have Aro in his corner, we might have had a real problem. And who's to say that we might not in the near future? We have no idea of their real numbers, but we do know that they're growing. You said it yourself. They're incredibly well-informed, incredibly smart, incredibly prepared. If we don't do something about them, and soon, we very well might not be in the position to do anything about them anymore. But, because we don't know their numbers, and because—so far—they've been relatively non-violent in their efforts, and because it's been so difficult to keep up our Peacekeeper numbers... The Lord Regent has decided that letting them exercise their right to free speech and hoping that they eventually get tired of not being listened to. On this one... I'll freely admit he's being too much of a pacifist. These people have shown themselves to be violent and dangerous, even if other people want to dismiss "Alleged Sanguinists" trying to blow up our Peacekeepers' caravans, or cases of resisting arrest involving these zealots that lead to the death of our officers as isolated incidents, but I can't. I haven't seen anything definitive yet... But, it's a pattern. If I could, I would go in undercover. But, with how outspoken I've been against these extremists, I know they would never believe me. Besides, it's you they want. Which means they think that they can flip you. They wouldn't even try if they didn't think it was at least possible. If you did play along... I mean, of course it could go wrong. It is a risk, and not one that I'm going to say I'm completely comfortable with you making... But, I haven't seen any visions of doom and gloom yet, and you know I'll have your back the entire time. Whatever you need.

2/25/2017 #28 Report
A Ambivalentanarchist

Robyn: *She had to say that she was surprised to say the least that this Whitlock character was going to show. Pleasantly surprised, of course. She was starting to think that this was one of those impossible tasks Carlos liked to give her, knowing how hard she would try, knowing that she would fail, knowing that she would come back to him—because running only made things worse—and knowing that he would be able to act justified in punishing her in the cruelest of ways. She felt something like relief, before dread washed over her again. There were still so many things that could go wrong. All it took was one, minor miscalculation, and she would spend the next several days wishing she were dead; more than she usually did, anyways. Still, none of that showed on her face, or in her body language. Instead, she gave Spencer a slow, cheeky smile* Well, it's nice to hear I'm not being stood up after all. Honestly, I'm in the mood for a little fun. *She chuckled a little, softly at the admission, like someone who was already having it* Wow! *Humming in genuine pleasure at the scent of the next glass that was sent her way. Whatever it was, it was divine, rich, dark, and sweet, like chocolate. Most blood seemed to have a fruity scent to it, but the was different, more elegant, more complex* If the scent is anything to go by, I'm a very lucky girl. Thank you. *She took a slow, tentative sip of the liquid, and it was like an explosion of her tastebuds. It had an extra kick to it, an overly exuberant warmth that spread through her veins a little more quickly that anything else she's had the opportunity to sample* Hmmm. Yes. I like this a lot. There's so much depth of flavor. It reminds me of Valentine's Day. *Beaming at him as she took one more sip before she set the drink down* No, no, don't laugh. It really does. The first thing that hits you is the scent. Like rich, dark chocolate. The good kind. Then you drink it, and it's like this deep, dark wine. And... Just a hint of strawberries. Maybe cherries, too? It's just... It's amazing. Congratulations, Spencer, on this fine beverage. I will definitely be coming back if you have more like this behind the shelf. Maybe I'll catch the missus next time I come. *The corner of her mouth turned up as she mentioned Bayleigh, almost as if she would be just as interested in his wife as she would be him, which was true, just not in the way she was insinuating* My name is Robyn. Like the bird, but with a "y." I had very whimsical parents. Rubbed off on me a bit, I think. *She laughed, but inside, she felt something twist painfully. She was sure a flash of her sorrow showed in her eyes, she regretted saying anything about them, but there was no taking it back now. Besides, right now she needed to be convincing. It was much easier to sell all the lies she was telling, with her face, with her body, when there was just a pinch of truth in the mix*

2/25/2017 #29 Report
M JacksonMiracle

Jasper: *taking a very long time to respond again, even long for him, as he carefully weighed the path before him* I don't disagree. They are dangerous. I just wish I knew more about what I'll be walking into. I've tried researching them the best that I can, as we all have, but I still feel utterly blind. Maybe I've been out of the field too long. Maybe my instincts are growing cold. I should be jumping at this chance, but I can't seem to take that final step. But if I don't act now, we may not get another chance. Part of me was hoping that if I ignored them, they would push the envelope even further and trip up somehow. But what if it's a one time only deal and I miss it and people die because of it? I can't have that on my conscience. Maybe you don't see the doom and gloom because I haven't made a firm decision yet. You're the only one, besides IT, who's seen me this morning. You came to my office to ask me about the HTIP and didn't find me. My office was empty. So were my quarters. IT has all my tech so I'm out of pocket and can't be reached over the intercoms. You assume I'm just busy with something in town so you don't alert anyone to my absence. In fact, no one notices that I'm missing in action until late tomorrow morning. At least 24 hours from now. You don't know what to make of it. You only see a blur when it comes to me. Spencer will deny that I was ever at Eclipse. IT will lose everything on my computer including the exact wording of the ransomware message. Do you understand? Think you can handle all that? Good. *standing and grabbing a new journal from his bookshelf* If I get the chance, I'll leave you encoded notes to let you know I'm still alive. The code will be complex, but you and the other Elites will be able to read it. No one else will be able to crack it. *shoving the journal into a sack along with a thermos of blood and a few other various items that he wouldn't be caught outside the Capitol building without. Meeting Alice's eyes seriously for a long moment, speaking more with that look and the few emotions that he couldn't keep himself from projecting to her, than he could ever speak with words.* Oh, and one more thing...can I borrow half a million dollars? I never keep any cash in my safe anymore since I pulled back from field work.

2/25/2017 #30 Report
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