Hinden's Mayor, Flynn Artoris, was a man beset with issues, at the best of times. He had to act as the maintainer of the status quo, before the council could spend their hours deliberating each issue thoroughly.
Stoutness about the tum, his swirling mustache (this was the honor of politics, the rare and glorious thing to be able to pride in your facial hair, rather than shave anything at a moment's notice) and thick dark brown kriffidin business suit were the dominating things you'd notice about him, aside from his pocketwatch, designed in the shape of a gear, symbolic of his role.
He was pacing the second floor of the Hinden Town Longhall, which slowly, casually rotated (each floor at a different speed) throughout the day to pass the time, as it was built on the framework of one of the central churning gears. This was the Meeting Room, a lengthy runway with chairs snug in the wall on all sides, dipped into the floor so that the person filibustering the powwow in the central runway could have a sense of status.
The council was gathering, and he was growing steadily more nervous. In his earlier years, he could've pulled this off without even breaking a sweat. But he was weary of the job--and he'd had the brilliant idea of having a child a little too late. It wasn't as if he could immediately depend on other families to supply the politically roused as their kids. It'd be ridiculous! Absurd!
"Rabblerousers. Ruckworms. Riotous!" He murmured to himself in his deep, syrupy voice as he paced the runway.
The council alone knew why he was so nervous. They were all voicing their opinions. Trying to get something done on their own terms. He thought them kind, if a little self-posessive. Elders, workmen, the lot of them had their own things to cover. If only there was a--
"HAH." Mayor Flynn stopped everyone dead with a sudden burst of laughter, followed by a satisfied, steely grin. This was met with returning smiles; everyone knew what that kind of display meant.
"There's a ship here, yeah?" He waggled a finger back and forth. "We've got kids eager to satisfy their family honor, yeah? Make something of themselves! Well, send out the postrockets! Get our best and brightest over here! This season's batch of fresh minds! The files, get the files!
"What was the name of that Wochea girl again? Telai? She's of age, right? Sure! She's always buggering about with her glider in her spare time, but she's so darned good with responsibility, we've definitely got to bring her around.
"Did you all see Trekkor recently? The kid's not very good with machines, but look at the scruff on him! He could be a politician some day. Talk about a protege--Huh? What? Okay, okay, I am digressing. But get him over here! Big issues, big problems.
"Speaking of Big Problems, you all realize that that girl Trisha has been stuck doing work for her family? No, no, I'm not inciting scandal here, don't quote me, but I figure this might be an opportunity for official town commendation. It'd help her out! Send a letter for her, too!
"And the Habbayo boy, Leonan! His father's said the boy's been listless! Needs excitement. Well, this should be enough for him. Definitely! Bring him along, the Habboyo line could use some modern-day prestige. ...No, I'm not implying anything. I mean, really, are we going to exclude anyone? Not too many left in the stack here, let's see...
"What? Tyrn? The kid from Aeloch. Hm. That's right, I agree, it wouldn't be exactly fair to deny him. He's a sturdy sort, I suppose. Definitely an asset. Mhm, excellent idea, glad I thought of it. Huh? Well, you helped. Kidding, kidding!
"Oh, hey! Bernard, the kid with the bright hair. The alchemist, what's his--Herbert, yes, thank you, Herbert's son. They were gonna go with the paperwork to keep their test fairly local. Well, I'm sure they won't mind a deviation, they like mixing things up, so let's mix things up!"
"...A-a-and, that's it, I think. That's the whole group of kids up for assignments. Nobody left out? Great!
"...What? Of course I'm not going to send them out there by themselves. The ship is here, isn't it? The pilot, what's his name? Azariah? Let me see that. Azariath... Lockthane! Right! He's an adult, right? He's even got crew, two kids, same age as our group. He's got experience! Sounds good to me. Yeah, they'll be fine. This sort of manuvering is just the thing to get on call with the bigwigs!"
The Mayor's fervor got the council jumping, summoning their assistants and the civil servants around the Hall to scurry about. One waifish little secretary ran with the compiled stationary over to the town's postrocket central control hub, a centralized building close to the hall that day or night burped steam wildly from the mass of pressurized tubes that shot out into the ground to homes all around Hinden.
The notes are made with wood-cut type, apart from the name, handwritten in. The secretaries' state of confusion makes the end product a slightly erratic if relatively clear read.
"DEAR (and the name of the graduate was here),
MAYOR FLYNN ARTORIS OF HINDEN TO SEE YOU, EXTREMELY URGENT. ON CALL FROM THE ECHOMITTER, TO SOUND ON DELIVERY FOR CONFIRMATION. TWO HOURS FROM THE MESSAGE, BE AT THE TOWN LONGHALL.
HINDEN TOWN LONGHALL COUNCIL"
Seal, watermark, raised edges. Very official.
Mayor Flynn chuckled ravenously. This was the best part of his job. He spun on the runway, and charged to the other end of the room, gripping a huge voisamp, flipping on the Town's Information Broadcast Echomitter. Not precisely rare to do, but still important!
"Now hear this! Now hear this!" He said, his thick, friendly voice repeating in a huge blast across the surface of Hinden. "Stationary has just been delivered to choice homes. Check your mailtubes for Important Stationary right this moment! Don't even give me time to blink! Get to those tubes! And I mean everybody! Over and out!"
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