AC: Bush43 Dailiy Week Two

Jason Kenney jasonkenney at
Tue Jun 13 06:15:40 PDT 2006

Artifice Comics -

Your good friend and mine Derrick Ferguson likes to write.  A lot.  And
it's good stuff too.  But when he's not writing he watches movies.  And
then he writes about those.  Well, a bunch of those movie reviews have
been collected in the handy, dandy DERRICK FERGUSON MOVIE REVIEW
NOTEBOOK (available here -  Neat,
eh?  What's even neater is he's been interviewed about it!  Yeah!  A
podcast is available for you to hear Mr. Ferguson wax poetic about his
work here:

Go get it.  It's good.

And now for the daily Bush!


BUSH43 #26
By Jason S. Kenney


"Rough night?"

Isiah Rowe was stepping out of his kitchen with a mug of coffee, when I
came through the door just after six the next morning.

I tossed the wad of my suit coat, collared shirt, and tie on the couch.

"In more ways than one," I said, as I started towards his room, the
only room with a closet so the only place I could hang my work clothes.

"You okay?" he asked, as I walked past him.

I smirked.

"I'll get back to you on that."


I walked into City Hall and straight to the elevators, ignoring the
people that looked sideways at me, the people that wanted nothing to do
with me, who hated my presence.

I pressed the button, turned to someone who walked up to wait as well,
nodded, and was ignored.

This is my life.

I hadn't even sat down in my office before the phone rang.

"Mister Carter," said the stuffy voice on the other end, one I imagined
belonging to a librarian more than a secretary. "Mayor Romanov would
like to see you in his office immediately."

"Thank you, Miss Meyers."

Romanov's office was four floors below mine, on the second floor with
an expansive view of Main Street.  His secretary, Nancy Meyers, nodded,
as I walked by and into the office.

Romanov stood behind his desk, taking in the view, his back to me like
it usually was when I came to see him.

It was for dramatic effect, I was sure of it, and it was wearing thin.

"Did you have a good time last night?" he asked without turning around.

"You wanted to see me?" I said, ignoring the question.

"I'm giving you a new office," Romanov said, turning to face me.  I was
surprised by the lack of a cigarette.  "You'll be moving to the third
floor, the office just above mine.  And, you will be getting Miss
Meyers to help with your scheduling and such."

"Why the sudden move?" I asked.

"You are a busy man, Jeffery, and you should have an office appropriate
to your position.  Also, Nancy is the best at what she does, and
someone of her caliber could certainly help you out, don't you think?"

"Fair enough," I said with a nod.

"Commissioner Jordan will be here around ten; I'd like you to sit in."
Romanov smiled.  "He wasn't too pleased with having to sit through last
night's interview."

"I bet," I said with a slight smirk of my own.  "But, he needs to be
out there, he needs to say something, or the people of the city will
notice his absence."

"And, you can remind him of that.  Until then, move whatever stuff you
have in your current office to the new one.  Your calls are already
being routed through there, and I intend on having Miss Meyers up there
by lunch."

"You do anything last night that I should know about?" I asked, and
that pulled a smile and mischievous look out of Romanov.

"Whatever do you mean, Jeffery?"

"I guess I'll find out soon enough," I said, knowing I wasn't going to
get anything out of him.

"See you at ten, Jeffery."


The phone was ringing, as I opened the door to my new office, a box
full of papers the only stuff I had to move from one office to the
next.  I dropped the box on my desk and answered.

"Jeffery Carter," I said, turning to take in the view I now had, the
same view Romanov's, only one floor up.  Not bad.

"You sound awfully awake, all things considered."

Instead of sending chills, her voice was a pleasant surprise.

"Well, I've learned to put a good face on my weariness."

"Oh, so you're weary?" asked Cassandra Trellis on the other end, her
voice light, joking.

"More worn out."

"Uh huh."

"Like after a good workout."

"Uh huh."

"So, instead of digging a deeper hole here," I said, turning back to my
desk and starting to pull out my papers. "To what do I owe the pleasure
of your call?"

"Got some info I thought you'd like to hear."

"Oh, really?"

"Evening news across the city's going to be running some numbers we're
publishing tomorrow morning."

"'We're publishing'?"

"The Globe."

"You work for The Globe?"

"You didn't know that?"

"You didn't tell me."

"You never told me you worked for the Mayor's office, and I figured
that out on my own."

"Yeah, but this is different."

"Do you want the numbers?"

"Are they worthwhile?" I asked, as I grabbed a pad of paper and started
searching for a pen.  "The Globe doesn't exactly have a soft spot for


"Gimmie what you got."

"The Mayor has a twenty-one percent approval rating."

"Really?"  I plopped in my seat and opened a drawer to find a ton of
pens.  "I'm shocked he pulled double digits."

"You and a lot of folks here.  Disapproval's in the mid-sixties."


"Wanna hear the Commish's numbers?"

"Enlighten me."

"Thirty-eight to fifty-eight."

"Ouch," I said, jotting down his numbers.  "How's that compare to under

"Twenty point drop in the last four months."

I let out a whistle, as I made a note.

"Want to hear your numbers?"

That gave me pause.

"I have numbers?"

"Uh huh."

"I've only been here four weeks."

"That's a third of the Mayor's time in office, Jeffery."


"But, since you've only been there four weeks, forty-three percent have
no opinion of you.  But...  You ready?"

"You want a drumroll?"

"Thirty-five approve of the job you're doing."

I dropped my pen and leaned back.

"You're kidding me."


"I'm only doing what the Mayor tells me to do.  I'm his mouth piece.
How can people think better of me than Romanov?"

"They like your face better," said Cassandra.  "Or, most folks find you
to be more honest; at least, you're perceived so."

"For four weeks."

"For four weeks," she parroted.  "Your time stateside seems to reflect
well on you too."

I sighed and rolled my eyes, not that she could see it.

"I'd rather just forget that whole episode, thank you very much."

"Why?  Aside from the New Mages making an appearance, you did well."

"Doesn't look that way if you watch the news or read, say, The Globe."

"You went overseas in an effort to represent the people of the city,
Jeffery.  They notice things like that."

"Is this with them noticing the investigation that started yesterday?"

"This was taken over last weekend," Cassandra said. "So, they're going
to be a little outdated."

"Just the same, that's interesting," I said, trying to figure out what
to do with this bit of information.  "Oh, since you're at The Globe,
could you do me a favor?"


"Could you find out what it is up Tina Wilson's ass for me?"  She
laughed.  "That lady has been nothing but a pain in the butt since I
got here."

"For four weeks," she said with another laugh.

"For four weeks."

"She's only doing her job."

"Well, I'm trying to do mine, and she's not exactly helping things."

"You can bring it up with her yourself.  She'll be there Saturday."

"Oh, joy, I can get dressed down outside of the office too!"

"So, what are you doing tonight?"

"Not sure yet," I said, looking at my watch and realizing I had five
minutes to get downstairs.  "I was thinking of going out and about, you
know, doing my thing."

"Uh huh."

"Or maybe getting some sleep.  But, plans could change.  Listen," I
said, grabbing my notes. "I've got a meeting at ten I have to get

"You better run."

"Yeah, can I call you tonight?"

"You better."

"I will.  And, is there any way I can get a copy of that poll, all the
results and such?"

"You can buy the paper tomorrow."


"Jeffery, if they knew I was talking to you right now, I'd be out of a

"Okay, okay, sorry."

"But, if we were to meet for lunch..."

"I like the way you think."

"You'll like the way I do many things."

"Oh, my."

"So, what are you doing for lunch?"

"Where would you like to meet?"

I looked to my watch again.  I was going to be a few minutes late with
Romanov.  But, it would be worth it.

"Palm," Cassandra said.  "Say twelve-thirty?"

"That's an awfully high profile place to be doing this."

"You embarrassed to be seen out and about with me?"

"Of course not, but we both have appearances to keep."

"And, I'd like to appear around town with you if you don't mind."

"All right, twelve-thirty at the Palm, then.  Do you have a number I
can reach you at just incase something pops up?"

I quickly wrote her number down.

"All right," I said, as I finished.  "I've got to jet.  See you at

"See you there."

And, she hung up.


"Want to hear some interesting numbers?" I asked, as I walked into
Romanov's office.

Commissioner Jordan turned slightly in his chair, which was an effort
in and of itself, but he did not rise.  Romanov simply looked up from
something he had been looking at on his desk and met my eyes, a
cigarette dangling from his fingers.

"Do tell," he said, leaning back and taking a drag off of his smoke.

"The Globe did a poll that will run in tomorrow's papers," I said,
sitting in chair next to Jordan, reading off of my notes.  "You have a
twenty-one percent approval rating."

"And, what does that matter?" asked Romanov with a blow of smoke.

"It matters a hell of a lot if you want to run this city properly.  It
matters that the Commissioner's approval rating sits at thirty-eight,
which is twenty points lower under you than it was under the previous
Mayor, yet the crime rate remains unchanged."

I noticed Jerrod shift in his seat out of the corner of my eye, tugging
at his collar.

"The public's fickle," said Romanov. "You just said yourself, they're
just as safe..."

"But not safer," I said. "And, that's probably part of the problem."

"Do you have any of those details?" asked Jerrod, his voice nervous but
no more so than usual.

"Unfortunately, no," I said. "Though I hope to after lunch.  And, like
I said, it's going to run tomorrow morning, and I assume that they'll
give it to the various television outlets tonight, so we may hear more
before the day is out."

"What about you?" asked Romanov with a grin still plastered across his

"What about me?"

"How do your numbers look?"


"Thirty five percent approval rating?" asked Jerrod.

"I haven't been here long enough to screw up," I said with a shrug.

"But, you've been here long enough for folks to form an opinion of
you," said Romanov, leaning forward to tap ash off of his cigarette.

"Forty-three percent have no opinion.  Besides, it's The Globe.  They
don't exactly appreciate us, so I'm not about to take this to the

"Still," said Romanov. "You're doing your job, Jeffery."

"Yes," said Jordan. "And, perhaps you could spare me any more
interviews like last night's."

"How did that go?" I asked, looking from Romanov to Jordan and back.

"Horribly," said Jordan.

"Well enough," said Romanov with a dismissive waive.  "And, you need to
start having a presence on these things, Barry, or people are going to
start wondering what the police are doing.  And, that leads them to
questioning your leadership.  And mine."

"Right," said Jordan with a nervous nod.

"So, what are your plans for today, Jeffery?" asked Romanov, stubbing
out his cigarette.

"I have a couple of releases to get out, just basic statements for the
press.  Otherwise, I'm in a holding pattern, depending on any new
details on the investigation or these numbers coming out, unless
something else pops up."

Romanov and I looked to Jordan for an update on the last part.

"Ah, as far as I know," said the Commissioner. "We had a fairly quiet
night last night.  Nothing major that needs to be brought to your
attention, at least."

"I want a full list of any reports from last night on Jeffery's desk by
noon," said Romanov.

Jordan nodded but didn't say a word.  Standard procedure for the few

Yea, busy work.

More information about the racc mailing list