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  #31  
Old 09-09-2019, 10:24 PM
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Kodama listens to Dracula drone on about the particulars of his potential future country. She frowned slightly when he used the term 'powerful fools'. The more she listened, the more those words seem to echo an escape hatch of sorts for the Vampire King. The man said he was going to have his country. He was adamant about it. So the questions was... why were the Champions here? Really? If it was about Public Relations and getting along then this would be a different type of meeting. It's almost like they were here to rubber stamp his proposed country, so they wouldn't have a right to complain later on or something.

Did Dracula know what the Champions were chosen for? Really? What their task was? Kodama was tempted to ask that outright. "Would you actually change any facet of your future country if we objected to it?" Kodama asks. Unless the answer was yes there didn't seem much point to questioning the details. The way Dracula had been answering their questions thus far certainly leaned in that direction.
  #32  
Old 09-09-2019, 11:24 PM
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Wraith, Enoch, Kodama, and Sapphire

Dracula turns his attention from Wraith to Kodama. "Yes, I would," he replies simply. "And just as you have the right to object, I have the right to justify myself; if there is a concerted, emphatic protest against a course of action, we are here to resolve it. Otherwise I would have come alone to this meeting, and held it several days after we crossed the border. Here and now, as Dzu has just demonstrated, you have access to a larger breadth of knowledge, and as the entire governing body of the vampire nation is currently in attendance, we will be able to implement changes immediately, with no excuses for lack of communication."

"I believe him," Oberon says after a considered silence, focusing his attention on Kodama. "I have already expressed my concerns to the Council, and received satisfactory assurance. All that is wanting for my full trust is time and practice."

"Zdravko," Dracula says, evidently giving permission to the tech-savvy vampire.

Zdravko clears his throat. "Yes. Enoch, this is addressed to you particularly, but I'm presenting it to the table." He folds his hands on the table. "In lieu of a paperwork heavy identification system, we have a tentative plan to provide a single wireless device to all citizens in addition to an assigned number, to serve as their universal identification and source of government alerts, similar to the National Alert Service many American cellphones already carry, capable of signalling emergency services. Think of it as a pager, with all due security and encryption measures in place, and the latest in durability and battery technology; I almost have it monitoring human and vampire vitals alike!" His eyes sparkle. "And I believe I have created a system capable of monitoring these devices simultaneously, easily rendered only directly accessible through relevant warrants, providing the police with valuable data if need be. I would consider it an honor if you would take a look after we have finished here."

"Yes, thank you Zdravko," Dracula interrupts, cutting off the vampire before he keeps gushing. "The intention is for citizens to carry it with them and provide them with a method of identification and contacting the authorities, et cetera et cetera, monitoring their general location and possibly their health without needing to violate their privacy so thoroughly as have unfettered access to their telephones, which I understand have become universally used to hold and manage many forms of personal data."

"You're gonna track the location of everyone in the country?" Epirus asks, disbelievingly. Dracula nods. "Yes, in essence, although the intent is for the information to only be accessible with the proper court documents and authorization; it is little more than a vastly simplified public surveillance system, of which I am sure the regional governors will institute several, but designing one to precisely record the public actions of both humans and vampires poses unique technical challenges that Zdravko has yet to surmount."
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  #33  
Old 09-09-2019, 11:30 PM
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"Essentially both an electronic identity card and a tracking device. Are these going to be compulsory?" Wraith asked Dracula.
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  #34  
Old 09-10-2019, 12:11 AM
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Wraith, Enoch, Kodama, and Sapphire
"Compulsory to own," Dracula replies. "Not necessarily to carry. But as it may well be the only accepted official ID, apart from voluntarily submitted personal biological data and of course the assigned number, not having it in public would be penalizing oneself. And of course, a system in place to deactivate and reissue for those who should lose it, or have it stolen, or broken. The United States already has sthis passes for scathing political commentaryuch a system; the difference here is that the citizens will be informed they are being tracked."
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  #35  
Old 09-10-2019, 12:57 AM
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Enoch

Enoch is surprised that Kodama spoke up at all, especially to ask the question he had been batting around with Kali. The question is answered with appropriate civility. Oberon believed as well, which carried some weight.

Then, Zdravko spoke up. Enoch followed hits discourse easily enough, nodded his acceptance of the vampire's invitation. And, of course, a technical challenge to consider. He started to feel the same scripted feeling that he had experienced at the banquet in Romania.

The young doctor sighs. Regarding your system of sentencing, I myself spent several years being exploited by a government in a similar arrangement. What you're describing is involutary indenture no matter how you gild it with good intention.
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  #36  
Old 09-10-2019, 01:25 AM
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Wraith, Enoch, Kodama, and Sapphire
"That is correct, Enoch," Dracula answers, switching back to the previous topic. "And while your experience is unfortunate, the fact that you don't wish to do it again is something of a testament to its utility as a corrective tool; and I somewhat doubt you were given a fair trial of your peers and sentenced by a judge, in accordance with the American legal system -I assume it was American? In any case, it IS intended to be a punishment, though one that leaves neither permanent physical or mental trauma, and that provides not only a benefit to the rest of society but the opportunity for gainful employment upon release." He shakes his head. "The world has changed in the past one hundred years, but I do not understand why it is now preferable for a prisoner to serve their time sitting surrounded by other criminals and bare concrete walls. If I were to enter any prison in the world, and informed them that every day spent working hard outside of the cell counts for three from their sentence, how many of them would jump at it with both hands? It was once true that prisoners were expected to work every day of their sentence, with no consideration given to how much work was done, only that they were forced into it." He pauses for a moment, considering Enoch before continuing in a less historical note. "Would you prefer it if we allow them the choice to serve a longer sentence in solitary confinement, or with a handful of other like-minded inmates supervised by Zdravko's system? You certainly cannot expect me to allow them to become more skilled at committing crimes while the justice system has placed their daily lives in the government's hands, as so many other countries seem content to do."
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Do no harm, take no guff.

Last edited by WhovianBeast; 09-10-2019 at 01:27 AM.
  #37  
Old 09-10-2019, 02:03 AM
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Enoch

A reasonably lengthier sentence, yes. As long as there was a choice. Enoch agrees. He leans back in his chair, thoughtful.
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  #38  
Old 09-10-2019, 10:55 AM
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Kodama felt completely out of her depth. Fundamentally she was an idealist at heart, but that part of her sensibility was being whittled away hard by undertaking the pragmatic wisdom of other people. She wasn't a student of history really, especially not the pros and cons of government styles or justice systems. Even if she was, throwing vampires and metahumans and all that on top of it was too much for herself to consider.

So she'd have to wait and see. And keep a particularly close eye on anything she found egregious. Not only would she need to convince her other Champions to make a stink about it, they'd in turn have to overcome Dracula and his 'right to justify' himself and come across as something other than powerful fools... or whatever.

Ferocus had told her to trust in Oberon as they were likeminded in their concerns and interests, so hearing him speak up definitely meant something. How much of something she couldn't say exactly. It would've meant more spoken in confidence between the two of them, she couldn't tell if the Fae King was doing some public posturing here.

"South Africa has issues with water shortages, and has a lot of coal plants providing energy since it has a lot of coal deposits. I don't recall any of you being a Minister of Energy so I'm guessing that falls under Commerce... or Public Services..." Kodama's eyes drift between Nicu and Amaris mostly, glancing briefly at Yeomra who also fell under the Commerce umbrella. "Since you'll be making all the rules in your new country... any thoughts to remedying those problems?" While water shortage was clearly stated as a problem, coal power plants was not. It wasn't a hard inference to understand that Kodama thought it was.

Last edited by Shylocke; 09-10-2019 at 12:31 PM.
  #39  
Old 09-10-2019, 11:17 AM
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Wraith, Enoch, Kodama, and Sapphire
"So noted."

Indeed it is, Ichabod picking up his pen and writing several lines of notes.

"South Africa is a nuclear power," Nicu replies at a nod from Dracula. "Currently about 5% of their total power is nuclear, we're aiming to increase that drastically. The nuclear waste can be recycled through appropriate transmutation rites, and once we have the technology to capture carbon emissions, those too can be used for transmutation, or potentially as raw components in other magic practices. As for the water shortages, desalination plants will be built; in the meantime, producing water is a relatively simple spell, and it scales wonderfully for crisis alleviation. Summoning storms is trickier, but achievable, and of course the more mundane tactic of instituting water rations."

"We're sensitive to the issues of pollution and carbon emission, Kodama," Marcel adds with a polite nod.

"Yes; we have no such concept as leaving problems for the next generation, so we must plan for the future accordingly."

"What about apartheid? If you're letting people stick around, there's gonna be a lot of bad feelings that stay with them."

"We will not police the private holding of personal convictions," Dracula states, raising several eyebrows. "Inside their own household, people may say whatever they like. However, we will not allow the denial of public resources to citizens based on the color of their skin, nor will violence motivated by such be tolerated. Repeated expression of personally targeted, racially motivated obscenities may be cause for civil or criminal suit."

"What about religious freedom?"

"So long as the practicing of their religion does not violate other laws, any citizen will be free to exercise their religion in private, including communal structures held by corporations or companies. Mass public exercise of such, unless in the form of a formal protest, will require prior permission from the region's government."

"That's not going to be looked upon favorably by most."

"Most humans are not violently allergic to many religions," Dracula states. "No group should feel restricted from being in a public space; this necessitates that the actions of some groups be restricted."

"Freedom of speech? The press?"
"Unless it incites lawless action, causes physical harm, is clearly fraudulent for the purposes of tangible gain, or is of evident moral depravity, individuals may say what they please in public spaces; likewise, the press may report on what they wish, though an independent body may be required to maintain factual standards."
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  #40  
Old 09-10-2019, 12:29 PM
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Sapphire wasn't a politician by any stretch of the imagination, and while she didn't know it, she was feeling a lot like Kodama here.
There are quite a few things in her past that if they came to light, she could be indicted for theft in quite a few places across the globe. To her knowledge though, she hadn't taken anything that had directly hurt innocents, but... she couldn't deny she was a thief before when it came right down to it.

She wanted to comment, "We'll see" on a lot of what Dracula and his consorts were saying. It didn't take any leap of the imagination to know that a nation of Vampires would quickly become a world power on all levels.
She'd seen how they had come together to resurrect the King that sat before her, and with him now in charge it would only multiply those kind of efforts on projects.
She didn't like it, and Inka had already picked up on that.
It had nothing to do with Vampires being free to start their own nation, but in how the rest of the world would respond to them. Such a nation would have advantages on so many levels that the rest of the world would need to have Vampires or Metahumans on their own just to compete on the world stage economically, not too mention military if it came to that.

"I'm not politician, nor am I a ruler of anything, nor do I aspire to be. But what I am, is someone who comes from common mixed stock humans, and it is in this world that I've walked and lived. I don't have years of experience to pull from, but what I do have is years of experience in knowing how these common people deal with each other, both bad and good.

You say you'll have freedom of speech, but let some bible waving preacher yell from the street corner that he loves you so much he's gonna tell you how your way of living means you're going to hell, and see how that goes over. Now, I don't agree with that, but I do believe he should be free to do that because that's what he believes, and his words might hurt your feelin's but if you can't take it, then tell him what you believe back, don't fine him, or say he can't speak.
See, I'm from the south of the U.S.A., and while most don't so much like a preacher doing such a thing on a street corner 'cuz it makes us all feel judged, we will all fight for his right to do so. Most people don't get the kind of people or places I grew up in, and think us racist, or bigoted, build careers on insultin' us hillbillies and rednecks as we're called. But if you look close, and walk a mile or so in those shoes, you'll see people who just want to live the way they want, don't hate anyone, and are most times generally satisfied just to hurt themselves.
Now, you might be wonderin' why I'm tellin' you all this, so here it is.

It's these same people, and a whole lot more around the world, I'm bettin' most, that won't see your new nation as you want it to be seen. You and yours will have all kinds of advantages normal people just don't have. I saw the way everyone came together for you in that ritual and it was impressive. I'm sure my imagination can't even come up with all the ways that kind of intelligence and effort can impact a nation for it's finances, world trading, and even military might. And I didn't even mention the centuries upon centuries of experience all of you have at your disposal that normal humans can only read about in books or hope to remember bein' told by grampa or grandma.
It's gonna be a scary thing for a lot of people, most I think, and though you can understand that, you can't know what that feels like. Maybe some of your people who have been turned can remember, but will that matter?

So the question from me is, how are "you" gonna handle this?"
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  #41  
Old 09-10-2019, 10:06 PM
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Wraith, Enoch, Kodama, and Sapphire
"How will am I going to handle my country being feared for being exceptional?" Dracula clarifies. "There are several primary methods, easily supplemented by additional tactics down the line."

He steeples his fingers and leans forward, making eye contact with Sapphire. "The first method is an insistent, repeated, public statement that we do not intend to fight offensive wars, and our government will send no military aid to either side of international conflicts. We will not make American mistake of attempting to make the rest of the world fall into our line; I believe the President James Monroe had some good points about a nation attending to its own business. The second method is the private pursuit of convincing international leaders that we mean no harm, and certainly do not mean to conquer. If the public majority and their leaders both deem us not to be threats, the vocal minority will be little more than bothersome."

He looks around the table. "I have quite a bit of experience with frightening and very little with being frightened, but humans fear the unknown most of all. I imagine that many nations will disbelieve us initially, but if they are not foolish enough to attempt a first strike, I have no intention of antagonizing them. We will not pursue advanced weapons systems beyond those necessary to defend our own borders, and we will strive to convince the global population that vampires are not monsters, and to convince leaders that they do not need to fear our military might, for we have no intention of using it offensively; as I am both the monarch and very nearly immortal, they needn't even fear what might happen in the event of a regime change."
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  #42  
Old 09-10-2019, 10:45 PM
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Enoch

As much as the prophecy has him, and perhaps some of the others on edge, as much as his own experiences have turned him off of government in general, everything is sounding at least reasoned and thoughtful if a bit authoritarian in places. Hm. Kali, nothing odd getting into my head and making all this seem reasonable, is there?

Enoch looks to Dracula. We were also given certain assurances about limits on procreation, how will that be regulated?
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  #43  
Old 09-10-2019, 11:10 PM
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Wraith is quiet. Absorbing the information from both sides. Sapphire may have had a point about free speech, but Wraith also thought people had a duty to responsible free speech. Hate, lies and bigotry shouldn't be spread under the shield of free speech.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:13 PM
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Wraith, Enoch, Kodama, and Sapphire
'Not that I can tell... if there is, it's more used to being in here than I am.'
"For humans, they must report childbirth," Dracula replies. "The practice of abortion will be heavily regulated, for the purposes of encouraging live births, and government regulated adoption agencies will be in place for unwanted children; if no suitable surrogate family can be found, then they will be raised in a class setting according to their aptitudes. As for what you likely meant, a license will be required to turn a human into a vampire, witnessed by the person themselves, two signatories of which one must be human, and a notary. Only humans over the age of sixteen will be allowed to be turned. Turning a human against their will shall be treated as a serious crime akin to rape and serious bodily mutilation. We do not intend to restrict an adult's free choice to become a vampire, but we cannot allow others to force people into an immortal life if they do not choose it. There will be exceptions in place if vampirism it is the only method to save or drastically improve the quality of their life, but modern medicine and restorative magic in tandem should be able to combat many ailments without it."

He looks shrewdly to Enoch. "Is this in line with what you were promised?"
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Is hard being hero? Yes. But someone must wear soap.
Do no harm, take no guff.
  #45  
Old 09-11-2019, 12:24 AM
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Enoch

Enoch nods. You've done much to set my mind at ease, thank you. He takes a breath and continues, looking at his hands. Full disclosure, I should be able to effect a reversal of the transformation, as a remedy for cases of it being involuntarily initiated.
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