New Gotham
Dinah Lance blondecanary
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New Gotham City, Saturday
Councilman Winston Watson was enjoying his lunch at Boylan Road eatery, happily spooning up etouffe and noshing on crusty bread while having his PA read the latest developments from various political maneuverings. His assistant could eat later. On his own time.

Anyone who wanted to talk to a politically connected mover and shaker knew where to find him, of course. He always had lunch here on Saturdays. Made it easier to discuss things, out of the 'office.'

[ooc: expecting one! ]

Pamela had told Raven where she could find Councilman Watson today. She felt a little guilty about interrupting his lunch, but she really wanted to help Pamela with her project.

She spotted the councilman right where Pamela said he would be, recognizing him from his description. She gave him a very warm smile as she approached. "Excuse me, Councilman Watson?" she said. "I am very sorry to interrupt your lunch, but I was hoping you could have a few minutes to speak to me about something."

The Councilman looked up, pleased and a little avuncular when he saw Raven, and gestured to one of the other seats. "Not at all, my dear. Not at all. Who might you be?"

"Thank you," Raven said as she sat down. She smiled and nodding in greeting to the PA as well.

"My name is Raven," she said. "I am a friend of Dr. Pamela Iseley. Are you familiar with her project in Robinson Park? She is having difficulty with permits and such, and I wished to speak on her behalf to see if there is something we can do to hurry this approval process along."

"Ah. Dr. Iseley." The Councilman looked less pleased now, and more resigned. "We've explained this to her multiple times; the area which she wishes to turn into a garden is zoned for commercial development." He tapped the end of his fork on the table. "We need that area for businesses. Dr. Iseley hasn't given us a compelling reason why it should be a recreational area without any money coming in, instead."

"Because people need a place of beauty and peace where they can relax and enjoy themselves," Raven argued. "So much of life is spent in pursuit of money, while physical and spiritual health is neglected. A place where people can go to let go of their stress and worries for a time would go a long way toward restoring that health. New Gotham is a large city, and it will need a much bigger place for its people to go than you have granted Dr. Iseley. I believe if you give her the area she wishes, you will see New Gotham rewarded with citizens who are much more rested, which in turn will make them much more productive and happier in their daily jobs."

Councilman Watson heard Raven out, then waved at his PA. "Howard, take a break." He waited until the man had moved away to another table before turning to Raven with a slightly condescending expression. "Young lady, I'm happy to have happy workers. The people of New Gotham deserve a nice space. And they have one in Robinson Park. And Millenium Mile, which also brings in money." He took a sip of his water and put his glass back down, then dabbed at his mouth with his napkin. "Now, if Dr. Iseley wishes to compensate us for the revenue lost from that area, we'd be willing to re-visit the concept."

Raven frowned a little. "Compensate you? How do you mean?" she asked.

"A donation," the Councilman explained, sounding even more patient and patronizing. "The Councilman's Fund for Commercial Projects. So that we're able to re-allocate funds as needed."

No, Howard didn't need to be here for this part of the discussion, or be anywhere near with any recording devices.

"I'm sure Dr. Iseley has the funds available from her-- former career."

"Dr. Iseley has left that career behind her and is attempting to make amends for it," Raven said indignantly. "And neither she nor anyone else should have to resort to bribery to do good for this city."

She could sense the greed coming from the councilman, and it was making her angry and hungry at the same time.

"Miss Raven, you clearly don't understand how things work in New Gotham," Councilman Watson said with some amusement. "Or any big city. All other things being equal, money has to win, so projects can be completed. It's simple economics."

"That is not fair," Raven insisted. "And you should not think it is fair, either."

She reached out with her powers them, drawing his greed into her and changing it to a much more charitable feeling. "Money is not everything," she said. "Surely you can grant approval for this project if you think about it."

The Councilman's expression went mulish, then confused. "I... could speak with my colleagues..." He rubbed at his head, well-rooted greed and self-interest fighting with a sudden impulse toward generosity.

Raven smiled brightly. "Thank you," she said, pulling further on the threads of his green. "I am certain you will be very persuasive." Especially with the pulse of compassion and a new appreciate of beauty and relaxation she was sending him.

He signed in relief, or maybe resignation and said, "Very well. I'll speak with them as soon as possible. Dr. Iseley should have all her permits in place by tonight."

He frowned, then smiled. "Would you like me to buy you a dessert, young woman?"

If she'd taken gluttony from him, she likely would have said yes. But it was greed she was struggling to control now, and she was sorely tempted to ask him for his wallet or just take it for herself.

"No, thank you," she said, standing up. "But thank you for your time, and I am grateful for your help in this matter. I will leave you to enjoy the rest of your lunch, and I wish you a nice day."

Once she'd left the restaurant, Raven called Pamela to give her the good news.

"Raven! How are you doing? We've made some wonderful progress at the park just in the last day, you need to come by," Pamela said as she answered the phone.

"I am well, thank you, and I am on my way to the park as we speak," Raven said. "But I did not want to wait to give you the good news. I have convinced Councilman Watson to see things our way, and he has assured me you will have all your permits issued by the end of the day."

A delighted laugh came over the phone. "I knew I had the right idea asking you to help!" Pamela sounded giddy. "That's wonderful! We can expand as quickly as we need to, and the water won't be a problem now-- are you sure he won't change his mind?"

"I do not think that will be a problem," Raven assured her. Given time, the councilman's natural greedy tendencies would return; she hadn't completely taken all of it out of him. But by then the project would be completed and there would be too much public outcry if they tried to tear it down.

"Ohh, that's wonderful. I have one more person to talk to, but I think I can manage him on my own," Pamela said. "Some of the police in the downtown division, I swear... Anyway. You need to stop by, and see what we've accomplished so far!"

"I am on my way," Raven said. "I will see you soon!"

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