11301/City Fall: Escalation

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City Fall: Escalation
Date of Scene: 06 April 2020
Location: NYC: Judge Veers' Condo
Synopsis: Natasha talks with an ally within the civil government about ways to bring the Foot Clan's control to an end.
Cast of Characters: Shredder, Shadow

Shredder has posed:
    The weeks have gone long, the problem with long fights is that they tend to wear down the underdogs. Veers has definitely been the under dog. He sits in his study. He put an ad in the paper for The Shadow: I think we need to talk again, V.

    The judge sits in his study, looking over the city. A gold coin sits on his desk in front of him. It isn't one of the coins the Foot gave out, but it is approximately the same size. This one is actually a plastic child's play thing. Who would have guessed that such a worthless trinket might be what keeps him alive. He's carried it about with him, careful to let the edges be seen by those he thinks might need to know he has a coin. His face looks tired. He was supposed to retire last year. That didn't happen. Instead, he has continued on, trying to find a way to keep his city from falling to the Foot. He's no superhero, he's just a civil servant dedicated to his city. He sits in a rather less formal T-shirt with a volunteer logo for the NYC Zoo, and a pair of jeans.

Shadow has posed:
    One moment, Veers knows he's alone in his room. The next, he senses he isn't anymore -- and he hadn't heard a thing; no creak of door or floor, no rustle of fabric... But one of the shadows in the corner is less empty than it was a moment ago.

    "You called for me?" comes the voice he recognizes, still not even remotely sounding like it could come from a human throat, but still less harsh and accusing than it was the first time they met, even if those blue eyes still blaze as unsettlingly...

Shredder has posed:
    There's a slight start. While he was expecting her, Veers still didn't expect that very moment to hear the Shadow's voice. After he settles himself, he answers. "Yes," Shadow," Veers says, "I've been hoping to hear that you've had some success on your end of trying to find the underbelly of this," he holds up the plastic coin, "whole thing. I suppose it is no mystery now that the Foot Clan is pulling the strings, given their antics at publicly declaring themselves the city's protectors and whatnot." He rubs his head. "I have to say, things do not look good from where I sit."

Shadow has posed:
"... In truth, less than I had hoped to, but more than I'd expected," the Shadow replies. "The first phase of the Shredder's plan was to unite all crime under his rule, and deal publicly and harshly with those who declined his 'generous' offer to set himself up as a better protector of law and order than the actual law."

    The Shadow lets out a brief chuckle. "Unfortunately for him he chose his front men very poorly when he tried to expand into Gotham. Gotham's gangs are a... Stubbornly independent breed, even compared to other cities. They have to be, to be willing to persist in a city of Bats. They did not take well to an out-of-towner making a bid for power, and the local lieutenants he selected had more ambition than charisma. I admit I pushed things along, but negotiations would have gone poorly in any event. And once he massacred the representatives of unconvinced gangs who'd come to /his/ proposed parley... He showed how little his word is worth. Even those of Gotham's gangs that were willing to bend knee are having second thoughts,... And forces required to keep them in check are fources he can't bring to bear elsewhere -- and several of New York's gangs are uniting against him."

    The Shadow then sighs. "That is the extent of the good news, I fear. The next phase of his plan was an expansion of the Coins -- magical chess sets that work upon the will of the recipient, leaving them open to his suggestions... And they were sent to the well to do, the influencers and the aldermen. The next phase of his plan is a full-out takeover."

Shredder has posed:
    There is a frown from Judge Veers. "Thank you for that breakdown, I had not followed closely what was happening in Gotham, what with plenty on my plate here," he confesses. "I've noticed something about the way the Foot has influenced the civil sector. I don't see plays for a new mayor, or a new DA, or any of that sort of overhaul of power." He shrugs. "It's very quiet. There is an old story I used to hear as a parable of sorts," he explains. "Satan and his demons are wishing to bring more people to hell. Too many people are becoming Christians, you see," he waves his hand as he tells the story. "The first Demon says 'we should tell them there's no judgment', Satan tells them it won't work because in the human heart, they know there is judgment. The next tells him 'say this is more fun' but of course anyone who follows evil to its end can say quite definitively that the cost is too high. So that won't work either. But the last demon, he says "Tell them there is no hurry."

    A finger lays aside Veers nose. "You see what I'm getting at. These ninjas, they have felt no need to have a point at which there is a dramatic reveal and their master takes a political office. They are content to allow things to quietly work in their favor, and there is an illusion of power in the government. People elect their officials, they feel they have a say. Meanwhile the nature of political shenannigans has created a machine that keeps the power very comfortably inside of the Foot's control. They have what they want at this point. All that is left is for them to wait and let time take its toll. It's the long game."

Shadow has posed:
    The Shadow nods. "And at seventh and last, their leader is Onmitsu. It's in his nature to rule from the shadows rather than in the light."

    "And while I can confront and thwart him there, it would only be a temporary measure; at best, others would flow into the vacuum created."

    The Shadow's bulky coat and hat conceal most of their body language, but there is a distinct sense of reluctance at admitting to limitations. "If this infection is to be cut out it needs to be seared by light, not shadows. And my agents' capacity to act in the light is... Limited."

Shredder has posed:
    Veers nods. "Well, from where I sit, people like the shade. He's consistently kept the level of attention lower than what INTERPOL or SHIELD or any of the other organizations which are designed to stop this would deem a sufficient threat. The frog boils slowly." He sighs. "My term is ending soon. When it does, it's possible I would be replaced. Normally I would welcome that, but I'm not sure in this environment if I do. My wife has told me that I need to just let younger people take up the mantle. He gives half a smile. "I'm sure you've heard something like that before. You've been a folk legend since...the thirties? Forties?" he asks. Of course, he doesn't know that the mantle was already passed. "Perhaps I just have trouble trusting in the competence of others. Maybe I would make a good tyrannical overlord myself with that attitude."

Shadow has posed:
    The responding chuckle comes out harsher than it probably is. "I've heard it said that the best rulers are those who most emphatically do not /wish/ to rule -- but whose conscience leaves them no other option. Then again, many bad rulers undoubtedly proclaim the same reluctance while they convince themselves that they have a duty to do what they already want to. Matters are rarely so simple as one might like."

    They nod thoughtfully. "The Shredder is entirely too careful to be easily spooked into raising the temperature too much too quickly. If we want this to warrant higher attention, we will need to bring the matter to INTERPOL or SHIELD ourselves."

    A pause, a narrowing of eyes as the figure considers options. "None of my contacts at Interpol have the level of access required to convince them to act... And matters are not yet dire enough to warrant burning my contact at SHIELD to get an audience at the highest level. Some favours are... not called in lightly."

Shredder has posed:
    "Then I suppose we should just write our congressmen," Veers answers with an arch of his brow and a sardonic smile. "I'm sure that this "Shredder" is counting on the fact that no one will uburn their own bridges to stop him. Whoever he or she is, I'm sure that there is a rather healthy understanding of psychology behind this move. I could come out and publicly declare to the city that I've witnessed a great level of corruption and what not. If I do, then I'm sure to be a target in more ways than one." He shrugs. "But if there is no one to swing at the pitch..." He winces. "I don't much like the idea of dying for no reason."

Shadow has posed:
    The Shadow chuckles again and inclines their head. "Point taken, they reply. "I'll see what I can arrange. The meeting should be... Interesting, at least..."