Damn you funny people of Minds. I'm trying to focus on just a few stories at a time. There you go giving me ideas that just need a story.
(Here's a link to what I'm talking about)
Anyway, here's a story about an election in a small generic South American countries where two different agents are trying to rig it in favor of a different candidate. I don't know if this will be a weekly series. It depends on my schedule and the interest in it. So, if you like it, share it around.
“My opponent has no idea how he’ll pay for all his promises. He’s never worked a proper job in his life. He would doom us to the poverty we have seen in too many of our neighbors, with these incomprehensible social programs, and nationalizing of private assets. He would see San Rotura become the next Venezuela, and I will not see it happen, or my name isn’t Mateo De Leon!” The gathered crowd cheered for the man on the podium, who so proudly declared his name. He was a big man with a strong chin, broad face, and thick black hair accented with a grey streak starting just above his right temple. To his mind he was the epitome of the strong Latin leader.
The patriotic music for his campaign kicked off the mark the end of his speech, and he proceeded stage right to his staff. He waived to the crowd who all held up signs bearing one of his many slogans. Take that Alonso, you fake prick, De Leon thought to himself as the curtain blocked the view of the crowd.
“Excellent work sir,” complemented a short man handing De Leon a bottle of water while reading something on his phone.
“Naturally, I am a great man, and San Rotura needs a great man to lead her,” De Leon answered.
“Yes sir,” the man said. “We’re already getting positive reviews on twitter about your speech. We’re getting the usual complaints though. We should find a way to mitigate how your viewed on homosexuality, or the immigration problem.”
“Why should I care, the fairies make up less than three percent of the population, and the foreigners less. A lot less if I have anything to do with it, and I do.” De Leon said holding his head up high. I don’t know why you keep insisting we go after these groups, Torres. They are unpopular with the public, which makes them a losing issue for me.”
The man named Torres nodded but didn’t look up from his phone. “Alonso is accusing you of being unusually cruel to those groups sir. A victim can be a powerful thing.”
“We’re not in the United States where such things are tolerated. This is San Rotura. What’s on the schedule for tonight.” De Leon started walking towards the exit. Torres followed beside him as other staff fell in behind them.
“This was the last event for today. You still have a meeting at the office, then dinner with your wife at La Habitation Verde.”
“Finally, some good news. I’m starving.” De Leon said as he reached his car and Torres opened the door for him. Both men got in the back seat. “To the office Alvarez,” he said to the driver. “So, what’s that filthy communist Alonso up to now.”
“He’s not a communist sir, he’s the head of Democracia Socialista. They’re pretty adamant about not being communists, sir.” Torres said not looking up from his phone.
“And a murderer will claim he not a murderer if you ask him. Just tell me what he’s been up to,” De Leon fumed at being contradicted.
Torres undaunted by his boss’s anger flipped his phone to a different screen. “He’s still harping on that video of the chief of police throwing water on that homeless migrant to make him leave.”
“We already put the man on suspension. What else could we do? He has a family and has been a staunch friend for years.”
Torres frowned and added, “Alonso is reminding people of that too.”
“I’ve seen countless people do the same. It might as well be a traditional welcome at this point. Tourism is a big business here and I won’t see that ruined because other countries are so poorly run.” De Leon said firmly hoping to end the matter
“I’m sure your right sir. There’s also the matter of your tax records being released,” Torres said. “Some news anchors are saying you’re not paying your fair share.”
“I took the deductions I’m legally allowed to take. I guarantee that sleezy Alonzo hasn’t paid what he owes. At least I’m truthful about my finances. I swear if it wasn’t illegal, I could have the minister of finance prove it. That’s my greatest shortcoming Torres, I’m an honest man.” As if he were acting in a movie he turned and looked out the window. San Rotura’s capital city that shared its name with the country was a beautiful sight. Pristine homes, clean streets, and even the poorest citizen in the city enjoyed the fruits of the small country’s great wealth. De Leon would not relinquish his beloved Latin paradise to some halfwit rich kid with socialist ideals, so he could turn his country into a laughing stock.
De Leon waived off the rest of Torres’s information for the remainder of the car ride. He just wanted to watch the people, his people, enjoying another beautiful Saturday as the outdoor restaurant opened for business and the markets closed up shop to be with their families. This was his country. When they reached the capital building Torres opened the door for him again. The two walked inside. Different government employees greeted him and complemented his recent speech as he made his way to his office. He stopped with a few and cut a few jokes. It was important to keep his underlings happy. It was also important to keep an eye on them in a campaign year.
As current president he occupied the biggest office in the building. It wasn’t hard to miss. It sat at the end of a long hallway, behind a set of arched oaken doors. He stopped at the entrance and turned to Torres, “How long till my meeting?”
“About thirty minutes sir,” Torres said.
“Good, I’m going to enjoy some alone time until then. See that I’m not disturbed.” De Leon said staring down at his top assistant. He wanted to make it clear how little he wanted to be bothered. Torres nodded and walked away.
The office was a grand thing. It sat on the third floor with giant windows and a large wooden desk that was far larger than would be practical. But De Leon thought it only fair that the most powerful man in the country have the largest desk. He poured himself a drink from a crystal decanter sitting on a nearby shelf. He had a fondness for fine alcohol, which was only proper for a man such as himself.
The click of the door locking made him look up. A pale man in a dark suit stood there smiling at him. “Good speech, you really live up to the lion in your name. “The man spoke in English, a language De Leon knew and spoke well, but didn’t like. Despite the citizens of San Rotura being proud of how close they were to their European ancestors This man would have easily stuck out in this country. There was no mistaking him for an American.
“Agent Taylor,” De Leon spat the name out like just saying it ruined the taste of his drink. “What do you want?”
Taylor laughed as he slowly made his way toward De Leon’s desk. “Is that anyway to talk to your benefactor. I’m just checking up on my favorite project, making sure he doesn’t do something stupid like not fire some obvious dead weight. One that makes him look uncaring towards the poor.”
“I will not fire my chief of police. We are not in the US where you care so much about the poor of the world you send you over priced military all over to make more. The people of San Rotura care for their own welfare and that of their families. Let the rest of the world take care of their own.” De Leon was course but careful in his word choice.
Taylor tisked as he took a seat. He lay back in the chair spreading himself out, as comfortable as if he were in his own living room. “Yes, yes, I know. You’re such a proud people, and so great I bet not one in a hundred American school kids have even heard of you. Oh, third greatest sugar exporter of south American. You know this election would be so much easier for us to help you win if you could keep your staff from attacking vagrants in front of cameras.”
De Leon growled and lowered his eyes. He hated being talked to like this. He hated this American as well. If he wasn’t so sure some outside source was helping his opponent, he would have never taken this deal. For now, he would have to grin and bear it. “I have held this seat for two terms. I know what I am doing.”
Taylor threw his hands out. “No doubt, no doubt. The great Lion of San Rotura can win all on his own. You can tell yourself what ever you want so long as you give us that island for our base when you win.” He said smiling at his scowling host.
De Leon pointed at the smirking agent, “Here in San Rotura we work for what we have. You’ve said you are here to help. Well, let’s see what you have to offer. So far all you’ve done is insult me, my country, and my patience.”
Taylor threw back his head and laughed. “I knew I came here for a reason.” He opened his suit jacket and pulled out envelope. “That should keep Alonso busy for a while. If I know you Latin types correctly this should burn his ass pretty good.” He tossed the envelope to his host.
De Leon cautiously prodded the envelope. “What is this?”
Taylor got up and started walking toward the door. “Information, if you play it right it can be very damning. It’s not like the policies and performance that you’re probably used to arguing, but we find back home all you really have to do is taint the other guy’s character.”
De Leon grimaced as he looked at the parcel. “Is it true.”
“It honestly doesn’t matter, but yeah, it’s true. I’ll leave it to you to figure out what to do with it. Don’t disappoint me big Lion.” Taylor walked out of the room through a side entrance and left De Leon alone.
The envelope was blank and unsealed. De Leon felt contempt as he opened it and found a thick fold of paper. He shook it open and started to read. Soon he cracked a smile, before long he was laughing as only hatred for your enemy can make you laugh.