Logs:Red Tape

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Red Tape


Characters: ST: Bishop, Participants: Sage
Date: 2020-04-04
Summary: The alpha of a neighboring pack approaches Sage with a favor: slip a talen under the desk of a local city councilman.
Disclaimers: Warning: New Orleans' extremely ugly city hall makes an appearance.

Themesong of Bureaucracies Everywhere

Unbroken Fang, iminir alpha of Wind, has approached Sage. The two packs occupy near-adjacent territory, the exact boundaries ambiguous enough to be under frequent dispute; while such conflicts have not yet grown any worse than the occasional scent-marker or angry glare when two people pass, the nature of werewolves often means it's only a matter of time until a powder keg is lit. Understanding that, Unbroken Fang -- known to mortals as Avery Routis, a local pawnbroker -- has made overtures toward Sage. It went a little something like this, Sage walking around one night, and Avery dropping in on him quite literally from an above fire escape:

"Vasily," the blond-haired, blue-eyed wolf called, having that air of a surfer fifteen years past his prime. "I don't have time for small talk. The office you work at, for Councilman Santos. We need this planted in his office. Under the desk."

From his pocket he produces an unknown talen, looking like a dreamcatcher forged of rusting wire.

"Do us a favor, we'll owe you one. It works out nice for everyone."

--

Sage is surprised by very little anymore, so literally being dropped in upon gets a small start, but then he recovers, and he hears to wolf out. He doesn't even correct him on the hyphenated last name, Vasily-Cohen, because honestly, what wolf is going to care about that little detail? It's a small bit of egotism he doesn't possess. Vasily is good enough. "What is it?" he asks as he reaches for the talen. "I'd like to know what to expect."

--

"Call it a Biter," Avery suggests, and indeed, portions of the wire on the inside of the pseudo -dreamcatcher's frame have been twisted to sharp points, like a circle of teeth, to create the inner lattice. "Our Ithaeur's got a thing for convincing spirits to test out new talen designs. It's like a dreamcatcher. It collects.. ambient thoughts." He looks at Sage's face for a moment. "It's not a mind-reading thing. Hang around it for a few hours, unguarded, and the teeth will twist into a picture reflecting your overall thoughts. Moods."

He pauses, hands it over to Sage, brushing a hand through his hair.

"And if there's a second set of thoughts in there, lurking in the background, the pictures wind up.. warped."

A second pair of thoughts. The insinuation there is clear enough to one with knowledge of the wolf life: they suspect the Councilman might be Ridden or Urged.

--

Sage gets it, there's the spark in his eye as he puzzles it out. "Yeah, I can do this," he says. "I don't work with him directly, but I'm always getting sent to his office to drop off and pick up stuff." He turns the talen in his fingers, studying it out of curiosity. "You need me to collect it after it's had a chance to do its thing?" he says. "How long?" He doesn't question. If the wolves want this done, that's all he needs to know.

--

Avery gives the Biter another look once it's out of his hands, as if glad to be rid of it himself -- the relief is momentary, but there. "It shouldn't take more than a day, so long as he's *there* near it." The wolf folds his arms over his chest, looking toward the blooded. "Don't try to be a hero. If -- *if* -- we're right, he's too dangerous for you. Just act natural, give it a day, pick it up the next."

--

Sage smiles wryly and says, "I'm not looking for a fight. I'll be in and out in the morning, then again the day after. Since no one's coming into work, it'll be easy to be gopher for the whole office. They're kind of sharing hte interns that show up anyway. If he gets a little too curious about me, I'm going to cough a few times and go home. I'm well aware of where I am on the food chain."

--

The deal is made, and with a nod, Avery turns and walks off, rounding a corner and fading from view past the apartment blocks. He's left Sage with a mission and a magical trinket, and a night to ponder how best to get the job done.

Come morning, the multi-tiered city hall rises like a glittering monument to power before the wolfblood, its front face a massive array of polished, reflective windows that catch the early light and burn like a torch. Broken up into various chambers and sections, Councilman Santos' office is on the third floor, east side, parked near an elevator and stairwell. This part of the building is always colder than the rest, the air conditioner's super-charged. Outside his office is his receptionist, a plump woman in her mid-50s who takes calls, receives guests, and mostly informs them Councilman Santos understands their concerns and will get back to them soon, then promptly forgets them.

Santos is in early, his office occupied.

--

Sage shows up bright-eyed and, well, not bushy-tailed, but well dressed. He's poignantly aware of how normal he has to be at work. Even though he's liable to trip off every gaydar this side of the Mississippi, he //tries// to pass for just a normal, up-and-coming political dynamo. He's all business. He grabs all the stuff in his boss's out box to deliver, and he looks for something addressed to Santos. He doesn't go right to the man's office, instead delivering things like he normally would. It's business as usual.

He curses inwardly when it turns out Santos is in his office, but it's no matter. He can do this. He asks the receptionist if he can go on in, as these files are high priority.

--

The receptionist smiles up at Sage. They've been -- well, coworkers is generous, but they've worked in the same building since Sage joined, and have on occasion seen one another before. "Oh, hello, handsome," she says flirtatiously, batting her brown eyes playfully at him. She's always spoken to him in a bit of a grandmotherly way. "I'm sorry, but Mr. Santos is very busy with meetings right now, and told me he isn't to be disturbed. You can just leave them right there," and she nods toward a space on her desk, "and I'll give them to him when he's done."

--

Sage grins at the receptionist and winks. "Hey, beautiful." He's not above a little harmless flirtation to get in good with the receptionists around here. They're the ones that really run the show, he's learned. "Are you sure? I was told they have to be given to him. I can come back buy in a few minutes if that's better, or I can wait. It's no trouble. Do you want me to grab you a coffee or something?"

--

"Oh, I would love a coffee," the receptionist -- Jane, Sage will remember, as they chat -- admits. She raises a hand to her mouth to politely cover it and lets out a small, put-upon yawn. "These early mornings are such a chore! With staff rotating so often, the hours are so inconsistent; but Mr. Santos, bless his heart, always makes sure I'm here first thing in the morning, no matter what."

She smiles, and the smile's a little forced.

"I imagine he won't be too much longer, so if you really must hand them over directly.. you go get some coffee, and I'll buzz him, okay, handsome?"

--

Sage tells Jane, "I don't know how you do it. I'm not built for early mornings, but here we are." He always manages to make things he says sound ever so slightly suggestive. It's a speech impediment, he can't help it. He's just drawn this way. "Cream or sugar?" His friendliness is genuine as he sets out to get Jane coffee. He likes mom and grandma types. Back home, he was a total mama's boy. He even goes to the coffee station with the good k-cups. He's got to try to do this again tomorrow, so it never hurts to bring Jane the good stuff.

--

"Oh, sugar, please, that'd be great," Jane answers, and gives a friendly little wave as Sage wanders off.

A few minutes pass, and Jane, ever so grateful, takes the nice cup and brings it to her lips, drinking in the scent of the coffee. She makes some idle chit-chatter, and offhandedly mentions that Mr. Santos should be available in just a few minutes, inviting Sage to wait right where he is.

"You know, just the other day..."

"...and he threw the ring on the ground, just like that!"

"... for Easter, but with all the troubles lately, I'm just not sure if..."

On and on and on and on does Jane drone, so delighted to have someone to talk to for a little bit and help pass the time. The office has been so lonely lately, after all, but eventually, the words begin to sound like the drone of bees, noise more than content, and a faint irritation blossoms in Sage's heart. She just keeps talking and talking, and he barely has any room to contribute himself!

Not to mention the ticking of the clock up on the wall, tick-tock, tick-tock, obsessively broadcasting the fact that Sage has been here for more than a few minutes, and no progress is being made. And then..

"Oh, sweetie, sugar? I'm supposed to watch what I take in, my doctor said." Jane purses her lips, and Sage could swear she's sneering at him, briefly -- giving him a disgusted look.

--

<OOC> Bishop says, "Sage has been struck by an unknown spirit's influence, specifically over the emotion Anger."

<OOC> Bishop says, "It's been inflamed in him. He's just mad. Little things feel like big things. God, waiting on bureaucrats and politicians is fucking mind-numbing."

<OOC> Sage says, "So it's Sage when he runs out of wine."

Angrydrink.gif

--

Sage is pretty good about chatting over nothing. He doesn't have much to contribute about Easter, though what the talk is remind him of is how he won't be there for the family' seder for Passover, and finding a place in Louisiana that carries matzoh is impossible without having to travel further than he'd like, not that his pack would really understand Passover. Sure, the food isn't great, but it isn't supposed to be. It's supposed to remind one of suffering.

Which is exactly what he's doing. Listening to this woman droning on and on. He likes Jane, but come on. He eyes her at the disgusted look. Maybe his sincerity falters a titch as he says, "It's just as well, you're already so sweet." It's not his fault he has resting bitch face.

--

"Well thank you, sweetie," Jane replies, noticing the subtle shift in Sage's tone and doing her best to ignore it. "But next time, please, no sugar." She asked for sugar. She definitely asked for sugar, didn't she? She falls silent at that, looking cowed by the man's facial expression, going back to her computer and typing something out.

Tick-tock, tick-tock, time marches on. It hasn't been more than ten minutes, but Jane's utter silence and the constant clicking of the clock seem to drag it out into an eternity, until the frustration bubbling up from Sage's gut is like a fire. Come on, come on, come on, come on..

FINALLY, the door opens, and Councilman Santos -- D District, a black-hispanic mixture with smooth cheeks, a bald head, and a strong jaw to complement his piercing hazel eyes -- walks out. He looks to be in something of a rush, as he gives Jane a polite little nod and entirely ignores Sage, making his way toward the bathroom.

His door is left open, but Jane is there. Will Sage simply.. walk in?

--

Normally, Sage would be more subtle about all this, and he would wait until Santos returned, but Jane is giving him the silent treatment, he wants to put his fist through a wall, and this talen has to get planted, so he gets up and walks right in. He just walks right in and slaps the damn thing under the desk. He's already put some blue tack on it to hold it up under there. It works for posters, it'll work for talens. He's relying on fortune to favor the bold, and for the deed to be done before Jane even registers he's helped himself into the office.

--

Jane remains focused on her computer as Sage stalks into the office, though her eyes do lift and swivel to follow the wolfblood from their corners. She's stopped typing, though, and if he were more focused he might have realized she's faking being busy. Still, in his irritable mood, those things seem unimportant -- a five-minute job has taken like twenty, and he'll be glad to simply be out of this too-chilly corner office.

Bam, the dreamcatcher's slapped up under the desk with a wooden thud, and Sage can walk right out without focusing on the fake shrubbery or family photographs.

And as he comes out, the bathroom door twenty feet away opening and Santos coming out, Jane clears her throat pointedly and reaches out her hand. "Well, you certainly treated those files roughly," she says. "It'll be our secret. Sorry I gave you the wrong coffee."

--

Sage honestly doesn't even want to deal with Santos right now. His approach to policy is hamfisted and short-sighted, and he's not going to take an intern seriously, so there's no point talking to him. Especially today. So he walks out of the office and is about to breeze by, but Jane addresses him, and she's actually being nice? He manages a smile, but he looks stressed. Real stressed. "It's okay," he says, and his voice is a little tight in his throat. "I think I'm going to call it an early day. You take care all right?" He needs to run, maybe scream, maybe burn his office clothes and dance naked around a bonfire. Whatever his plans end up being, they're going to involve boxed wine.

--

"Alright, sweetie, you take care," Jane says. Santos looks down at Sage as the intern walks by, looks to Jane, and asks, "Your nephew?"

Jane smiles sweetly at Santos. "Just a coffee boy, Mr. Santos," she answers. She doesn't bother

telling him he had files brought over. If they're important, let the bastard miss 'em.