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The Seven Plagues of Kōri-Chi

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The Dominion of Kōri-Chi, in addition to its beautiful, silent cold landscapes which well deserve to be painted, is renown for the incredible establishment of its organised crime: seven renown syndicates lead the black market and a rather large chunk of the economy, from the underwurld. Such syndicate know no limits, and even openly financed candidates to the elections, yet with the ascension of Aragushi to the rank of Governor, after a few years of rule, it seems such may very well change, as for unknown reason the man starts leading the charge following the death of two investigators, to crackdown organised crime, with his assistant Maura and Minister of Justice Gounza.

Governor Aragushi would rise up from his seat, and grab with his left hand the microphone, bending it slightly to make it more attainable for his voice, while rising the head slightly, as to get a glimpse of the arcades presenting the hemicycle. His right hand, sweating a bit, as he held a booknote, dark blue cover with the symbol of the government, the one he was always carrying and checking throughout his speeches and travels. He was a bit exhausted, as after all it had been a rather exhausting debate since the legislation was first put onto the floor of the Diet the 2nd January, the day following the death of two investigators.

« Your Excellency, Speaker » first exclaimed Aragushi, moving his body towards his right, as to see the Speaker currently managing the session of the Diet, « Your Excellencies councillors he pursued, moving his regard towards the left, « Observers » he’d conclude as introduction, greeting those who stood even higher, not members of the hemicycle, yet who would observe, from journalists to simple assistants or even civilians curious enough to attend who were authorised through special permit, while he’s rearrange his glasses with his left hand, « Organised crime is, and remain a disease, alongside an insult to our institutions » he first proclaimed, something that quite naturally most people would agree on, publicly, yet in private may be less engaging in such statement or backing it with actions. « The factions, of organised crime syndicates, rotten our institutions since the very dawn of time, allowing unacceptable actions, condemned by law, to go unpunished » Aragushi went on, marking a break, as he knew such would be pleasant to see for the national televisions currently covering his speech, trying to give some emotion, « The two investigators, as part of the national security, who died at the hands of such criminals, because they were doing their rightful duty, towards their country, their families and every single citizen, are dead only because of the cowardice of our institutions to handle seriously the matter » he accentuated, with a heavier tone, alongside being more emotional as to try to convey his point, « Dear councillors, do not make their lives pathetic by saying that they died in vain by voting “no”. Make them get meaning, as to honour their families who lost precious men, as to honour our citizens who lost precious servitors of law. Vote for the present legislation, ensure that our crackdown upon anyone tied to them is done properly, give the means to our investigation force to avenge their death. Manzé! » would finish and exclaim Aragushi, before he bowed towards the assembly of representatives, and moving after towards the Speaker still bowing, as a round of applause erupted spread throughout the assembly, and mostly taking the roots from his party’s ranks, while Aragushi would sit down again, and observe the Speaker.

The Speaker would let time flow, for the hemicycle to round up its applauses, however it was yet to come… Pushing him to lift, and press hard his hammer, tapping it on the wood structure before him, letting know to the councillors that they were called to be quiet. Due to great discipline, such peace in silence would emerge rapidly. « The Diet shall proceed to the vote of the legislation on the floor, the 2022/01/02 Legislation: on crime syndicate crackdown, political life transparency & investigative powers extensions » he simply stated, prior to having the Deputy raise under him, as this one was to prepare to speak, « The vote shall be done in alphabetical order, Security seal the gates » he’d order, as to ensure the voting process shall not be attained as per the standing orders, giving glances from either side to verify as the security was sealing gates, before placing themselves in front of the gates and waiting in military posture, with their hands reaching one another in their back. « Deputy, you may start the call and count » ordered the Speaker, as under his watch the vote would proceed, the Deputy calling one member at a time, checking who was present, until such was done, before moving on to the same procedure, however this time only calling those who were present, and noting their vote on the legislation.

As the hour would pass, the voting remained close, however ultimately, the Deputy would have finished his call, would take a document, move around and take the small stairs leading to the Speaker, as he’d bow, and present with both his hands the document, leading to the Speaker nodding, as he’d pick up the document, placing it in front of him, and opening it, before preparing his voice, « The 2022/01/02 Legislation: on crime syndicate crackdown, political life transparency & investigative powers extensions vote results: 165 councillors on 171 present; 84 “yes”; 80 “no”; 1 “abstain”. The legislation is therefore accepted by the Diet. Manzé! » would unroll on a most neutral tone the Speaker, «  The session is now closed, and a new session shall be open tomorrow at 8 AM. Manzé! he concluded, before having the entire Diet exclaiming at its turn « Manzé! » acknowledging the decision alongside the end of the session.

As the entire hemicycle would start to empty itself, Aragushi followed by his assistants and close-security followed through, where journalists, eager to receive commentaries from the various figures of the Diet, were waiting. The noisy crowds which attempted to surround various illustrious figures of the Diet, from the different parties and well-known figures, were all tendering their microphones, as the heavier cameras attempted to trace themselves a path without being pulled aside. The attention was mostly on the Governor Aragushi effectively, for obvious reasons, « Are you satisfied by the result of the vote? » a female voice asked, as microphones were now parading in front of him.

« Yes naturally, even if I must admit being surprised at the 80 councillors who voted against such measure, who voted against honouring the 2 investigators who died, and making sure such never happens, ever, again » firmly entrusted Aragushi, as he naturally enjoyed of such pretext to depict the opposition as supporting the crime syndicates and those who murdered the two investigators.

« Do you truly think that such a crackdown upon all the institutions, as to root out corruption, will be successful? » he added in the hubbub a male voice, which Aragushi would pick.

« It is the most essential piece of legislation that does propose concrete and tangible steps against crime syndicates that are known to influence greatly our politics currently, ever since the establishment of the Dominion as an entity » Aragushi first went on, to give some historical vision, at how in the past such crackdowns had been greatly limited given the known unofficial proximity of most politicians or administrators with the heads of the crime syndicates, « We are empowering our investigators with all the available strength, and shall ensure that for the future elections, only acceptable candidates are shown to our electorate, setting a good example for younger generations » he’s further add with a smile.

« What do you think of opposition leader, Hangul, who just commented now: “this is legislation is relatively ironic from the Governor who have proximity with the Dark Oak Syndicate » asked another male voices, rising above the others.

This would make Aragushi lose a bit of the enthusiasm he had, before moving ahead, and placing his smile well before the camera, hiding his surprise at such declaration or slight anger, as he’d give a glimpse on his left, seeing Hangul being interviewed equally by other journalists, « Well, I say, that before doing such terrible accusations, one need evidences. I for my part always have condemned syndicates, and outside the official capacities, never had any interactions with them » he concluded, with a firmer tone. « That is all » he added, making a wave with his right hand, leading to his close-security to dismiss the journalists, and create a path through the crowd to reach the car that was awaiting him.

Edited by Kori Chi
minor spelling edits (see edit history)
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« Quite a mess, Governor » expressed with an enthusiastic and amused voice Mora, as Aragushi had just been opened the right door of the back of the car, and slide in with the pressure of the crowd of journalists still screaming questions and trying to get a glimpse of his face, as he took his seat.

The door would close, and the vehicle would move on smoothly, letting Aragushi take a deep breath, before a final « Yes… Yes » he’d simply comment, realising where he was now and resting a bit in his seat. He’d close both his eyes for a few seconds, letting the crowd pressure behind, and feeling the acceleration of the car.

Mora would extend his right hand towards Aragushi, holding a whiskey glass filled with water, with two ice cubes. Aragushi would feel the gesture, from the small noise of tissue of Mora’s suit, extending him the glass, as he was used to, even with both his eyes closed. He’d pick it with his left hand, keeping his eyes resting, and sipping from that refreshing source.

« Thank you » proclaimed Aragushi after the first sip, feeling relieved by such, as his dry throat clearly needed it. « Do you know if the Emperor shall object to it? » he asked, about the legislation which just have been voted, since even if such remained rare, it was possible for it to happen. The Emperor with his many Realms to overlook, would sometimes be one of surprise with one of his Imperial Envoy correcting the trajectory of History by deciding otherwise, changing the decision, if not sometimes, completely rewriting it, or simply VETOing it.

« Analysts say no » Mora replied directly, handing over this time a folder.

Leading to Aragushi to open his eyes, and put aside his glass, picking with both hands the folder, before opening it. Think tanks and lobbies had developed ever since the Empire existed, alongside the God-status that have been granted to the Emperor, the technics and abilities to try to predict the decisions of the Emperor, if he shall interject or not on a matter, for instance removing an official from his duties, or simply blocking without discussions a voted legislation. Chances were relatively low, given how busy the Emperor was, and how he couldn’t care less, at least that was what was supposed unofficially, about some matters, such as the war against crime, and even supposedly, he would second such, even if he cannot officially do such naturally. « Good » concluded Aragushi after having read rapidly through multiples pages of the report granted to him by Mora, before dismissing the folder on the side.

« Also… » would start on Mora, as he was to bring something heavy, a matter that required most important diligence, therefore starting with a graver tone as to get Aragushi’s attention, which he would, as this one would move his head towards him as to fully grant him his attention. « Our… “Friends”, as you could have predicted, did not enjoy the passing of such legislation » went on Mora, letting the duty of translating between the lines the meaning of such, to Aragushi.

« Yes, such was expected » concluded with a satisfied smile Aragushi, moving his look away from Mora, as if the matter was irrelevant.

« This does include the Dark Oak Syndicate » added with a short breath Mora.

« So? » Aragushi wondered a bit obfuscated.

« Hangul just evoked, at the exit of the session, the potential unofficial ties between you and them. Do you not make a connection? » Mora wondered sincerely.

« Tut-tut » cut short Aragushi, not liking the tone of Mora, nor where this may go. « It would be against their interest to unveil any information regarding our potential understandings » he clarified, trying to shut down Mora’s concerns. « Plus it would make Hangul have an unofficial connection with them, therefore condemnable by law, with a proof! » Aragushi exclaimed, a bit upset, as his small tantrum was directed at Mora.

Mora went on to bow slightly with his head and shoulders, « My apologies Governor » he asked for, to which Aragushi would give a hand gesture as to forgive, knowing that he may have reacted a bit too strongly equally, since such scenario was probable, and even would make sense given Hangul, as opposition leader, known cunningness and methodology. « I have been your right arm, in the shadows » remembered himself Mora, « However, shall I fail to protect your secrets, I shall pay it with my life » he further clarified, as to make Aragushi understand that he did not bring the matter lightly, but well because he suspected something, and thought that it may unveil to the grand public, which may ultimately doom him.

Aragushi’s face took a darker tone, as his face was now colder, more serious, slightly nodding, « I understand well » he expressed, as he put his left hand on Mora’s right shoulder, as this one would bow again with his head. « Investigate » he commissioned him, « Do what you do the best » he entitled him.

« I shall » confirmed Mora, as his head rose, and he’d move a bit forward on his seat, as to attain a button, that was to let know the driver to stop.

The car would slow down, the same as the entire cortège, before finally stopping fully.

Mora would open himself the door on his side, passing a leg out, as his head moved out. « Mora » exclaimed Aragushi. Mora would stop, in-between, just turning his watch towards Aragushi. « You have all my trust » Aragushi let him know, as Mora would let appear a smile on his face, nodding with his head, before moving fully outside the car, and closing the door, as the car would restart, the same as the cortège.

Aragushi knew that the intuition of a professional such as Mora, as young as he remained, given his experience in the domain, was to not be undermined, and well followed. After all, in such domain, in politics, nothing could be let to hazard, it would be too dangerous to let such go, unpredictably. Plus, such insurance, as to make sure to nail the opposition, to remove any asset Hangul may have in his sleeve, was always good to take, specially as to solidify such legislation and perhaps even, who knows, find evidence that may further Aragushi’s own agenda. Ever since he had been taken under his wing, as his protégé, the small orphan of the dirty streets felt an unconditional loyalty to Aragushi, going even beyond than the one to the Emperor one may support. Therefore, no matter the actions Mora would take, Aragushi remained confident in his abilities, and to hide his track if necessary, to cover his mistake if he ever made any.

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« Governor » would exclaim Gounza, the Minister of Justice, as he saw Aragushi, well accompanied, entering. Bowing as to well greet the Governor, while he had the head looking down, Gounza would go on « It is an honour to receive you ».

« We are honoured to welcome you » would repeat in unison the various members which seems to work in the Ministry of Justice, as they all greeted the Governor in that traditional fashion: arms close to the body, bowing of 20° forward towards the Governor.

« Thank you » simply commented with a simple smile, advancing forward Aragushi, as he’d look in different directions to honour those who just greeted him, who were many, « Thank you » he’d add as to really be done with such, before finally untying the button of his jacket, and seating down, being helped by one of his assistant holding the chair. He was now seated at the lead of a rather large conference room, as others, including the Minister, would join him to seat equally. « Please, proceed » ordered with a hand gesture Aragushi.

« Very well » smiled and acknowledged by a slight bow Minister Gounza, standing up, while photographers would enter the room, moving in each corner, and try to memorise such photos as a certain tension remain. « Naturally, all personal electronic devices are to be deactivated » he was precise nonetheless, giving the sense of confidentiality such room inspired, a second touch. « What you shall testify here, is the efficiency in real time, of our investigators, through their newly extended powers, granted by the Diet thanks to Governor Aragushi » wanted on Gounza, as a round of applause well synchronized kickstarted as to salute the Governor again for such victory, which he’d thanks by a simple hand gesture and rapidly dismiss. « Please start » ordered Gounza, towards what seems to be a team operating in a room semi-open towards them. The main large screen, which the conference table was organised towards, would launch, and allow seeing a display map with various colours, and a legend to transmit meaning on such. « The Dark Oak Syndicate is considered as the most dangerous of the many crime organisations our Dominion consist of » expressed in a serious tone Gounza, before chuckling, as if to display a sense of superiority, « That was until today » he pursued, smiling, and being self-satisfied, as it felt well in how he spoke how much he seems to have dreamt of saying such words, how many times he must have said those in front of mirror as to let his conscious express and try to relax… « Captain Hiro » stated Gounza, seating down.

« We have 3 interventions teams who are going to intervene into a building, in the coastal city of Miibata, well-known for its thriving tourism industry, and suspected since many years to welcome the headquarters of the Dark Oak Syndicate » first established Hiro, « Building is composed of 5 floors following official plans, and all 3 shall simultaneously enter it, while two additional remain in back-up, and other investigators have locked the area through a security perimeter of 50 meters. We are to intervene at your order » commented Hiro, giving a glance at Gounza, as he’d sat down.

Leading to Gounza to stand up, « This demonstration of strength of our security forces shall conclude and prove that the latest legislation was well necessary, and that we may at last dream of a future free of organised crime » he exclaimed, with a large smile, met by another round of applauses. Gounza would give small nods at those, enjoying it all. Until they’d finally fade, eventually, to when he shall give a small glimpse as to check for the approval of the Governor, before ordering, « Investigators, go ».

Immediately, the dots on the projected map would go on to move in an orderly manner, like an anthill, as images from what seems to be obtained by flying drones, would appear equally on the side of the screen, to further give a more fantastic view of what was happening. However, a minute only going in, at the shock of the room, fireshoots would be heard from the audio obtained by drones, as glimpses of fire exchanges could be caught on cameras, and some dots no longer moving on the map. No commentary was done by any official, the show was to remain one, of the cold and brutal efficiency of the investigators, to be proven to the Governor and those attending. Yet, it remained, it led more to a horror movie view of the situation, as dots which seems to belong to one of the back-up team would enter into display, and further screams alongside fire shots would be heard from the drones’ audio, making those 15 minutes, the longest ever…

Governor Aragushi had fortunately no experience of such prior, the Dominion not having the need of active military operations that may result in such brutality… However, he started to doubt about the intelligence of organizing such event… Specially with so many active senior investigators in the room, as Aragushi feared such intervention was turning into a massacre, apparently. If such was the case, Minister of Justice Gounza could very well blow up like a fuse, since after all it was his purpose to try to take risks to win the war of information, while being dismissed if he failed, even only once.

Shoots would continue to be heard, and all thought it was the worst they’d ever hear from such “show of strength”, until… A massive explosion would take place, leading Aragushi into a rage, that he shall contain and refuse himself to display, as to preserve the little honour Gounza may have left. Aragushi simply stood up, « I have seen enough » he commented, slightly bowing as to salute, while the firings were still going on, and leading himself towards the exit, being followed by his assistants, as the doors would open.

« Continue » ordered Gounza at the people seating, while he’d run a bit as to attain back the Governor in the alley he had just taken. « Governor, please stay, this is important for communication figures » stated, reminding the impact of photographers, who fortunately were working for the Ministry, as to allow material to be released for this “success”.

Aragushi stopped, turned coldly towards Gounza, « I do not think that displaying the death in real time of honourable men and women is something that is required that I attend to » he dryly unleashed.

Gounza would bow, as to apologies, and try to make it up, while Aragushi wouldn’t give it more thought, and leave, as he turned back and would go on to exit the building as to attend other matters. Trusting Gounza on this one to try to save his skin, by managing as well as he could and surely shall, shall he wish to survive, the communication of such operation, and try to silence all those people who attended such in this room.

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