3. Introducing Mayor Cartana & Mild Absentia
>>Mayor Cartana's B-Nook, 7:32 a.m.
Peter Cartana was rolling up his blue shirt sleeves as he came to the table. His 2 children, Caya and Mick--7 and 9--were already eating bits fruit and croissants already laid out.
Peter Cartana's main eating area faced out over a wide expanse of presently turning trees. The room was formed in an octagonal shape, fronted by the windows, backed by a step up into the 'family room', sided by the entrance to the kitchen and floored with heated dark red ceramic tiles.
"Good morning my beautiful midgets," Peter said, smiling at them plenty, holding his hands out to his sides as if wanted to hold them both. In addition to the white t and blue button down he had on his black trousers and black boots. Silver watch which told time all over the world, an important thing to have if you were mayor.
Caya giggled, flopping a juicy piece of cantaloupe into the side of her mouth. "We're not midgets Daddy,"
"Well you better make sure and keep eating . . . 'cause you never know . . . "
Caya giggled again, her little button nose squishing.
Alissa strode in: "Boy, are you kids up early!" She was tall and black haired and svelte. With a linear, old money face which suggested everything that made Peter shudder. Hence, the wedding. She was a brilliant mayor's wife--whipsmart and a devious deductive. She was barefoot in black suit and light blue shirt, hair as yet undone but magnificent when wild.
"It's the Crematora debates today--I wanted to be ready." said Mick. He was cutting his celery and carrots into pieces with his fork and knife. Switching hands for every bite. Cloth napkin neatly on lap. The quickly-changing green leaves outside brushed softly against the window. The sun was out but there was a light coating of raindrops on the windowpanes. "Which reminds me father, you have a guest already in the waiting room."
Peter looked up from his coffee. "What? Already? At this--" Then his face went slack as he looked in that direction.
"Uh-huh," said Mick, as if silently noting his thoughts. "It's Mild Absentia."
Their thick gorgeous black hovercraft raced carefully off to the office, accompanied by 2 gents--sentries, that is.
Peter was positively apoplectic: "In My Own City! But how can they--"
Mild Absentia sat calmly across from him, an impeccable Asian man of indeterminate age. With beautiful hands. "Don't worry, Peter, we'll get them out."
"Damn right we'll get them out!" Peter shouted, his face all red, the veins in his temples and neck sticking out. "They took over Washington by blithe mistake--that ballyhoo is still being counted out about that--but before That's settled they send their guard out to every state in the nation to Tell THEM what's up?? Sienna didn't Vote for Them--Not by a LANDSLIDE!"
"These are dangerous times, afoot, Peter," Mild said, slowly rubbing his chin.
"There's No way, no way in hell. Did you call up the D.A.?"
Mild checked his watch. "He should already be at your office."
"Good," Peter said. "We slap a lawsuit on the federal government before lunch. Get an injunction against their goons. We'll screw 'em to the Supreme Court Alley. Yes . . . yes . . . but Jesus! The . . . the . . . "
"The sheer bad manners," Mild put in.
"Yes!" Peter said, snapping his fingers at him. "Yes, exactly! The sheer bad manners! Where's the diplomacy in this? NONE! I tell you--which is why their party never had a chance in the first place. This can't last Mild, it's a clearcut case of a nationally rigged election . . . it's damn near a bloody fucking coup is what it is--and I ain't even bloody fucking english!"
"I know you aren't, sir," Mild said calmly.
"And speaking of English, where's Butterworth for all this? At the office, too--oh no wait, he's on vacation isn't he? Well, pull him, for godsake's!"
"Already done, sir." Mild said. "Butterworth should be arriving back in Sienna by sundown."
"Not soon enough."
"He was in Antartica sir,"
"Oh, all right then. Until then . . . I'll . . . no, I won't make a statement yet . . . it's not that bad yet. How many are there?"
"Of the federal goons, sir?"
"Yes, how many?" Peter asked.
"Just forty," Mild said.
"Forty. Forty federal lawmen coming into my city unannounced and uninvited suddenly arresting my citizens for archaic laws we don't even honor anymore . . . we'll show them fucking Sienna . . . " A new look passed over Peter's face then, as he was deep in thought. A look of unbearable confidence. "Forty! Forty federales trying to take on Sienna!"
"There's more where that came from, sir."
Peter laughed his deepest belly roar. "Ah, no, but I've got time now . . . forty is just fine for now . . . but this is war, no doubt--bloodless of course--but war nonetheless . . . " Peter for the first time sat back in his velvetine cushions, let his body relax. "This is a historic day, Mild, ole' buddy,"
"What's the leader's name? Of this present odious federale contingent?"
"Darryl Sam, sir."
"Darryl Sam," Peter repeated, turning it over in his mind. "You know anything about him?"
"We'll have a video file prepared for you at the office . . . from the looks of it tho, he's nothing special."
"Yes, the old danger of underestimating your opponent doesn't mean much with this . . . well . . . they've got vulgarity going for them, I'll sat that much."
Mild chuckled. "Yes, sir,"
"And will this . . . Darryl Sam be at my office . . ."
"No, sir, one of his lietenants we've been in contact with has informed us that as Sam has been up all night and he is presently sleeping it off--"
"Well, I've already underestimated their vulgarity, that's for sure." Peter reached forward for one of the 3 newspapers on the hovercraft's floor. "So what are papers saying about all this, anyway--?"
Peter looked up as Mild placed a gentle hand on his forearm.
"Peter, there's one person who escaped from them, who've they've identified, who half their team is presently look for . . . who I haven't yet told you about."
Peter's face went ashen with fury as their mayoral hovercraft lifted into the Town Hall Garage.