Meeting the mayor
Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.
Carol Ferris was never exactly a hero: unlike the Green Lanterns, the Star Sapphires had their own code, and it was – or rather could be – somewhat flexible from time to time. Add to that that Carol had no intention of remaining a member of the middle-class (make that lower middle class), and so it was no surprise that she began not only to send feelers out into the job market, but also to screen through the business news, preparing to make some sort of play at the market.
It was both something and not much of a something, and so Carol Ferris was surprised, when Faith – who has been somewhat scarce ever since Carol settled in Sunnydale – made an appear-ance late one afternoon and told Carol that the mayor of Sunnydale wanted to see her.* * *
“Now why would the mayor want to see me, especially considering that I appear to be rather un-important,” Carol asked the younger woman, as Faith drove to the mayor’s residence, relatively quickly and looking rather glum as well. “Do you have any ideas why, Faith?”
“Basically? He’s at least thrice as smart as you may take him to be, and he got the idea that your appearance doesn’t match your substance,” Faith replied, quietly. “He didn’t hear it from me, Ms. Ferris, but it doesn’t matter – he’s the Big Boss, so... be very careful and respectful at your interview... unless you got your old powers back?”
“No,” Carol actually shuddered. “The ring... I don’t know how to describe it... it’s bad. I do not want to talk about it, please.”
“Fair enough,” Faith exhaled, clearly upset. “But in that case, Ms. Ferris, be careful!”* * *
Richard Willikins III, the hereditary mayor of Sunnydale, greeted Carol with a politician’s smile, which was just wrong – not just because it was a politician’s smile, which didn’t reach his eyes, but because Carol used to be a Star Sapphire. As such, she had encountered plenty of humanoid aliens (and other humanoids), and learned to distinguish them from ordinary humans quite well.
The good mayor Richard Willikins III fully fit into the non-human category, his overall appear-ance notwithstanding, and given their respective positions of power, that was not good. Suddenly Carol began to feel a lot more apprehensive about the unhappy look Faith gave her before leaving the mayor’s private office.
“So, Ms. Ferris, I’m guessing that you’re wondering why I have called you here?” the mayor asked, not even pretending to be humane any more.
“Well, yes,” Carol said, still cautious.
“Well, good,” the mayor said brightly, “and here’s the crunch. Normally, I just do not care what the citizens of my little town do, as long as it is not to oust me, of course, politically or otherwise. If they do, then I do something about it right back. Now, however, is a special time for me, and I would not have my little citizens rocking the boat, if you catch what I mean?”
“I’m rocking the boat?” Carol said carefully. The threat was there, but she could not quite see it clearly yet.
“Yes,” the mayor nodded, all sad and somber now, in a mocking sort of a way. “You strive to improve your lot in the world, you strive to attract attention to yourself – and by default you’re attracting unwanted attention to my town. Normally, that would be just fine, but for now – it is not. So, please do not try to force my hand, and keep your ambitions at a low burn – or else pack up and leave town, ‘kay?”
“For how long?” Carol asked, trying to make a better sense of the mayor’s madness.
“Regarding my ambitions-“
“Oh, that,” the mayor said brightly, “not for long. Just until the end of this school year, see? Not long at all, got it?”
“Yes, got it,” Carol said faintly: she still had not taken the full measure of the man... of the man-shaped thing before her, and that bothered her almost as much as the thing itself did. Put to-gether, well... it was downright frightening. “Can I go now?”
“Yes, please do,” the mayor said magnanimously, waving his hand. “Have a nice day.”
Carol doubted that, but she left all the same.TBC