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 Beat of the Night, 18 April, 2167 / Bruce Vaughan
Bruce Vaughan
 Posted: Jul 4 2018, 10:24 PM
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Evolute
45 YEARS
Citizen
Tier 3
807 Posts
Mental Manipulation - able to manipulate other people's minds through mind control, illusion projection, and memory manipulation, primarily.
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The bartender at that moment delivered his water glass; Bruce took it after slipping him five dollars for his trouble. She offered her toast just as he picked up the glass, and he held it ceremoniously. “May we not lose more than a seat.”

Such was his philosophy on the matter, what he strove to articulate while focusing on a clean campaign. On behalf of Evolutes from Evesdown to the Malachite temple in a nearby neighborhood, they had far more to lose than the Ramsey’s Council seat. He hoped to inspire so that they could move forward, so that, some day, he represented only himself rather than standing in for every citizen with a Blue ID card.

With that, he sipped his water, allowing it to cleanse his palate and dilute the effect of his earlier cocktail.

His eyes widened a smidgen when she asked her question. Could it be she didn’t know? That he had found someone in this city who had become familiar with his name only through his campaigning, independent of Shangri-La? Divorced from, and thus untainted by, the rumors that swirled about?

Incredible.

When was the last time he’d had the opportunity to describe Shangri-La on his own terms as opposed to countering vicious rumors and preconceived notions no more accurate than an underground SkyRail?

“I run a fantasy retreat in Haven.” That was how he had explained his grand ambition to the loan officer at each bank he visited before securing the seed money. “People come to take vacations or to celebrate milestones or holidays. We have some spa facilities as well. You might have heard of it – Shangri-La.”

@Nicolette Blanchet
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Nicolette Blanchet
 Posted: Jul 6 2018, 03:46 AM
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Evolute
23 YEARS
Institute
Tier 3
80 Posts
Telepathy
Heyho is Offline



Colette raised her - by now almost empty - glass to return the toast, paraphrasing a centuries old 'slogan'. "We have nothing to lose but our chains.", she smiled, and took a last sip from the ever tasty wheat beer.

She noticed a glance of surprise in the man's eyes, when she asked him about his civilian work. Her 'sixth sense' also felt a sort of genuine surprise emanating from him. It seemed, he's completely sure that everyone knows very well what's his business is. Well, it was her fault actually. She knew Bruce was a businessman of some sort, and had well enough money to finance his campaign, she also heard he's running some kind of business in Haven, but she was too lazy to read through the specific details.

"James Hilton. Lost Horizon.", she said firmly with a quiet smile, when her drinking partner said she might've heard of 'Shangri-La'. It was quite much of a cliché naming a 'fantasy retreat' like that, but at least, it caught the attention. And well, still better than naming a palace or a disco or anything else 'Xanadu'.

In fact, Colette has heard about this Shangri-La. There were several rumors circulating about the place, from quite dubious sources. She didn't know how much of those were true, since she's never actually been there, but Bruce didn't seem to be a guy dealing with the underworld to launder their money or with aliens to brainwash the population into zombies helping them to prepare the invasion of Earth. Those were two 'stories' she's heard about the place.

"So, you're dealing in fulfilling people's fantasy?", she asked, tilting her head towards the waitress, to get her another glass of beer, "What if someone dreams of eating spaghetti with Ronald Reagan on top of the sails of an 18th century French frigate, while playing a church organ with their feet?"

@Bruce Vaughan
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Bruce Vaughan
 Posted: Jul 9 2018, 09:14 PM
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Evolute
45 YEARS
Citizen
Tier 3
807 Posts
Mental Manipulation - able to manipulate other people's minds through mind control, illusion projection, and memory manipulation, primarily.
Bright is Offline


Bruce smiled broadly as she identified the book that had provided his fantasy retreat with a name. Not everyone understood the origins, attributing it only to a word from the vernacular. “That’s right. It seemed fitting.”

Better than Xanadu, he agreed. That had…other connotations.

“Then I commend their dexterity and do what I can to help them.”

The quip bore close resemblance to Bruce’s plan of action. It was an outlandishly specific fantasy, the type not that nobody who sought his services desired to experience. Too absurd for all its components, none of which fit together.

The type (not the specifics, those always changed from person to person) was one he had heard before. Often those who found Shangri-La’s purpose either uncomfortable or bewildering threw together anything they could think of, creating a fantastical olio. As such, he was used to addressing the queries with a smile without wasting thought on how to put it together.

Yet, he did have clients who had ultra-specific fantasies, ones that ranged from debauchery to recreating memories or scenes from beloved books or holos. The ones who desired to become an animal or to experience a different gender; to shrink to fairy size or to become giants or to meet fantastical creatures or long-dead historical figures or to travel to exotic lands. They did their best through a combination of costumes and props, holos, virtual reality technology, Bruce’s powers, and Surrogates.

Another sip of water wet his beak, and he drew the conversation back to the broader topic of his work rather than specific hypothetical fantasies. “There’s something to be said about fulfilling fantasies, when we can keep them safe and healthy. My clients are happy, my employees are happy, and I’m happy.”

It was the pitch he had made when cultivating a client base, and what he told nosy neighbors. It was also his sincerely-held belief. Shangri-la was an unmitigated good for the community.

@Nicolette Blanchet
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Nicolette Blanchet
 Posted: Jul 13 2018, 11:21 AM
Quote
Evolute
23 YEARS
Institute
Tier 3
80 Posts
Telepathy
Heyho is Offline



"Awesome.", Colette replied with a grin, enjoying how Bruce appreciated her zany kind of humor, "So, if I ever meet someone who dreams about eating pasta with a dead president on top of a sailboat playing an organ, I can wholeheartedly recommend them your little business."

She listened to the man explaining her what he did for a living, and he realized he was quite fond of his place. So much, it kinda rather seemed like he's talking like an advertisement, trying to sell 'Shangri-La' to potential financiers. At least, someone dedicated to his job, she thought, hoping he'd be just as much dedicated to his job as a councilman if he'd get elected.

"Fulfilling one's fantasy can be quite positive, if done in a healthy way.", she nodded in agreement, however, she also reminded herself of the other, not-so-healthy ways people tended to reach out for their fantasies, instead of facing the harsh reality. She's met so many addicts, who intended to escape the sad reality of their lives by taking drugs or getting drawn to booze, she wasn't sure that fleeing into a fake fantasy world would actually be a solution to anyone's problems.

"Unfortunately, many people prefer less healthy ways to do that.", she said, while she picked up her next beer from the waitress, "I guess, Shangri-La is a much better alternative than the jitterbug."

@Bruce Vaughan



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