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Gear Up, Guardian

Alden dreads election years.  He despises having to talk to the press.  The complexities of his job alone are bad enough without the added pressure of having to answer inane interrogatories about how he feels about this or that policy, over the establishment of which he has absolutely zero influence or control.  His number one responsibility, as far as he is concerned, is to enforce the law, and that isn’t going to change, regardless of the current administration.  His position isn’t an elected one; he earned the title of Guardian of Chicago, and he’s proud to be the protector of both the magical and non-magical citizens of this city.

Of course, this year’s election was very contentious, and that created more than a few headaches, some not even all that minor.  But, at least at the local and state levels, there have been no problems as a consequence of the results.  Both the mayor of Chicago and the Governor of Illinois are progressive — all for broadening the rights of magic users.  Nationally, though, the newly elected President and the recently overturned Senate and Congress majority are now conservative.  And so far, it seems their primary agenda is going to be to put even more restrictions on magic users.  Because rounding them all up into heavily guarded, de-militarized “Magic Zones” wasn’t enough???  Some have even discussed deporting them all to Ndakinna, Gallia, or Atlantis.

Things in the US have been getting steadily worse for magic users for some time now.  Anti-magic user groups have been gaining in popularity, with the religious right ramping up a burgeoning anti-magic sentiment among the middle class human base, led by a smattering of churches preaching fear, hatred and bigotry against anyone associated with any type of magic, claiming all magic to be the work of the devil.  The news playing into the right’s agenda, too — like puppets on a string — with continuous backhanded coverage highlighting crimes in which the perpetrators were alleged magic users, especially hard hitting on any cases in which violence was involved, also did not help any.  But fear sells more papers than reassurance; panic drives up more broadcast ratings than a fair and balanced media.  And in this environment, the trade of both is becoming entirely too much of hot ticket commodity.  During the election cycle, this already volatile situation began heating to a boiling point as the right wingers stirred the pot, railing against the dangers of magic users in or near their communities, relentlessly hammering away at an already divided America, now being whipped into a frenzy.

Shortly after the election, Alden had been mobbed by reporters about the results, to which he had simply replied, as always repeatedly with his standard go-to political fallback, “No Comment,” hoping to leave it at that.  However, “No Comment” doesn’t adequately convey his genuine reaction.  In fact, no mere words could effectively express what he was feeling.  He wanted to lash out at the ignorance of the President-elect with both barrels blazing.  Alden knew better than that, though.  He’s not a politician, and he had already gone on record before the polls closed, making his stance clear that he does not support most of the positions the incoming regime had campaigned on.  So of course, the local correspondents wanted to get his reaction to the outcome.  As if his feelings had changed?  What could they have been expecting?  Were they hoping to see him lose his cool and fly off the handle?

No, Alden could not be conned, he would not take the bait.  No matter how much he wanted to rant and rave, he knew that would not help him feel any better, nor anyone else, for that matter.  Instead, he kept his comments to himself, kept his cool.  He knew what he had to do.  If he was going to keep magical citizens protected in Chicago, he was going to have to step up his efforts.  And, he was going to need to keep officers under him settled down, which he hoped wouldn’t prove to be too tall of an order.

The majority of badges in the psych squad were magic users, psychics, and therianthropes.  There were only a handful of humans on the squad
all mostly good guys but there were a few of them who agreed amongst themselves that mages are too dangerous... some even implying in whispers and hushed tones that they must all be stopped.  Alden suspected none of those realized he recognized and understood their secret talks and inside signals, though just as well, he figured, as he was going to have to keep an eye on that group... a job easier done if they weren’t as diligent about keeping a lookout over their own shoulders.

Alden sighed to himself.  There was no way of getting around it.  This was going to be his new normal for the next few years.  He only prayed conditions weren’t really on their way to getting as bad as Vittorio had predicted before he went off to Ndakinna with Chepi and the other agents.  He hated to admit the Vampire might be right, but a few extra hundred years on the ground does tend to generate a keen insight for anyone with open eyes and half a brain... and say whatever else you wanted to about the old gangster, even Alden had to give it to that scoundrel
he was certainly no slouch in either department.  In his heart, though, Alden knew it, too... as much as he wanted to hold out hope for the future, there was no use pretending anymore... the writing was already on the wall.

It occurred to the Guardian that perhaps this might have been the wrong time to have just sent away an individual with eyes and ears on the ground, ties to certain “dubious” elements, loyalty to magic users, a nearly unmatched power, and centuries of longevity... after all, it pays to know one’s history.  Perhaps that set of skills could come in handy, and the one who wields them might be just exactly the type of ally which could prove to be most useful in what may
very well turn out to be a long-running, and imminently looming oncoming battle.   Perhaps, perhaps...

But Alden shook himself out of that daydream.  He doesn’t have time to think about that now.  There’s work to be done, and he’d best get to it.

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( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 12th, 2017 09:00 pm (UTC)
You managed to comment on current events in the context of your story, and still make it work as a story, which is quite an accomplishment.
Feb. 14th, 2017 12:17 am (UTC)
Thank you, I was worried I wasn't going to be able to pull it off.
Feb. 13th, 2017 01:55 am (UTC)
Boy, this sounds familiar! I liked what you did with this.
Feb. 14th, 2017 12:18 am (UTC)
Thank you, I felt like it was time to say something.

Edited at 2017-02-14 12:21 am (UTC)
Feb. 13th, 2017 09:02 am (UTC)
Good job on slipping to the side of current events with an alternate magic sort of thing. Nice entry!
Feb. 14th, 2017 12:21 am (UTC)
Thank you
Feb. 13th, 2017 11:07 pm (UTC)
Very timely!
Feb. 14th, 2017 12:22 am (UTC)
thank you
Feb. 13th, 2017 11:31 pm (UTC)
What a superb allegory. I think you could even take this further, deeper. You're such a gifted writer and it's wonderful to see this other direction you took your skills this week. I struggled with the prompt because of the political/legal associations but YOU took that and made it a fantastic challenge. Well played!
Feb. 14th, 2017 12:25 am (UTC)
Thank you very much, I knew I was taking a risk with this one, but I felt I needed to say something.
Feb. 14th, 2017 07:13 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed how you intertwined the fantastic and the real.

that can go wrong really easily (personal experience talking), and you totally aced it.
Feb. 16th, 2017 03:03 am (UTC)
Thank you, Part of me wanted to go in another direction because I was worried I would not pull it off.
Feb. 14th, 2017 07:59 pm (UTC)
What a terrific allegory of current politics with your story setting-- because these things do tend to repeat themselves. Somehow, we don't learn well enough from the past, or aren't alert enough to the precursor signs.

If Vittorio really does have some telepathic abilities along with his vampire qualities, then yes-- he would have been useful to keep close by in a situation like this!
Feb. 16th, 2017 03:04 am (UTC)
Yeah it does suck that we never seem to learn from the past. Vittorio is not telepathic but he is still good to have around.
Feb. 15th, 2017 02:37 pm (UTC)
Ah! This sounds familiar. I liked the way you went with this. Great use of the prompt as well as the current situation. Kudos!
Feb. 16th, 2017 03:04 am (UTC)
Thank you
Feb. 15th, 2017 09:25 pm (UTC)
Very cool entry! It reminds me a bit of The Hollows series of books by Kim Harrison. :)
Feb. 16th, 2017 03:08 am (UTC)
Thank you, I am not familiar with that series, I will have to check it out.
Feb. 16th, 2017 03:12 pm (UTC)
Nice use of current events, and the prompt!
Feb. 16th, 2017 11:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you
Feb. 16th, 2017 06:14 pm (UTC)
This was great. Can we have some of that magic in our world please?
Feb. 16th, 2017 11:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I wish we could have a little magic in this world
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )