The Sheriff is *IN*

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Kriss 6 months ago.

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    Marshall Nystrom

    Duke inserts the keys into the door of the city fringe’s sheriff’s office, noting the musty smell and cloud of dust that accompany his ingress. He takes a brief look around – a desk, overflowing with neglected paperwork; a chair too rickety to hold his weight; a flask with a silver star painted on it, hanging on the wall; a window built into a wall that never gets sunlight – and grimaces. After the rock monsters destroyed much of this part of the town last month, burrowing too close to the surface and causing sinkholes to consume many of the buildings nearby, the office is in surprisingly good shape. Duke tabulates a quick mental list of the tasks to complete before the office is up and running, prioritizes them, and gets to work

    Two days later, the big cyborg settles into the newly-reinforced chair, the cement blocks under it supporting his massive frame handily, and flicks on the electric lights, smiling as they flicker on. This town has plenty of issues, but at least he’s in a position to do something about a few of them now.

    The porch lights outside the office flicker on as well, illuminating a freshly painted sign, the letters neat and blocky, reading



    There’s a knock on the door. Outside, Caulder waits in his business suit, hands in his pockets, his chin lifted upwards.


    Marshall Nystrom

    The summer breeze brings a moment’s respite from the heat as the doctor waits, hearing the sound of a chair scraping against the floor inside. The door swings open a moment later, and Duke waves him inside before pouring a glass of water for each of them, sitting down across the desk, now neat and orderly since he’s had a few weeks with it.

    “Doctor, I’ve been expecting you. Is this about the Kitsana issue, or has something new cropped up?”



    Almost instantaneously from the opening of the door, Caulder assaults the office with a monolithic stack of papers bombarded soundly upon the desk which used to be neat and orderly. The desk groans in protest from the impact and papers from the top take flight and re-enact a dance in the open air. Caulder sips from his glass of water as the last of the wayward papers scatter, looking perhaps a little more pleased with himself than might be socially acceptable.

    “Well, if it isn’t my good friend Duke, and newly appointed sheriff, no less. I trust you are molding into your newfound obligations well.”

    He sets the glass down on the table, casting off a couple more papers to the wind.

    “As astute and diligent as ever – consistent with my expectations, which for you are unusually high given your previous pattern of such behavior. Indeed this is about the issue. It occurred to me that I had missed about a week’s worth of regular deliveries of my notices to this office, so I brought them today as well as accompanying documentation for my litigation.”

    He sips from the glass and sets it down. A paper soars gracefully over Caulder’s head, then meanders toward the floor.

    Caulder smiles.

    “How have you been?”

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  Kriss.
    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  Kriss.

    Marshall Nystrom

    Duke blinks once, slowly, at the stack of papers now cluttering his desk, then carefully starts sorting the papers into several stacks.

    “I am doing my utmost to serve the needs of the town as a whole, Doctor, and with all the damage done to the buildings, infrastructure, morale, constabulary, and mental and physical health of the populace, it’s a wonder anyone still lives here. Tenuous connections are all that hold this town together – did you know that there’s only one person left that is legally allowed to authorize building repairs? One woman. Tamis Joni has been working night and day to coordinate construction teams to shore up the hardest-hit parts of the town, but we have crews – many of them volunteers! In this town! – that have been standing by with nothing to do because they don’t know where to go. Nobody has brought fresh stone into the city to make repairs with since the Volistin’s caravan got burned by a raiding party, so the crews have been scavenging stone from uninhabited buildings to repair the ones that can still provide shelter. Meanwhile, the crews at the quarry have amassed such a stockpile that I had to authorize a group of deputies and militia to guard it until we can organize a caravan to make a few trips out there.” Duke sighs and frowns.

    “And that’s… one of the smaller problems I’m dealing with. To be honest, Berith, as much as I’m trying to get this city back up and running, I can only do so much. I’m overwhelmed – not mentally, I just literally do not have enough time to deal with even half of these issues myself, and nobody else has stepped forward to help out.”

    By this point, Duke has managed to deftly and efficiently sort the entire tower of paper into neat bins beside his desk, with a file box set aside for the litigation.

    “But enough about me – how are you doing, Doctor? How’s the charity drive going?”



    Caulder presses a finger against his chin thoughtfully.

    “Hrrrm… Sounds like an astonishing lack of efficiency and delegation. Clearly, more people from the Fringe should volunteer their talents and faculties, lest this turbulent community of ours collapse like a jenga tower beneath the weight of its structural inadequacies.”

    He coughs.

    “Anyway, I have full confidence you will attend well the responsibilities of your position,” he says, nodding with approval and smiling faintly as Duke gracefully resolves and files away the barrage of paper.

    “It is progressing slowly but adequately. I’ve all but suspended store business for the time being, that I may focus on the charity and… other, matters at hand. I figure I’ll write this year off as a financial ‘wash’, as they say. Perhaps see even if I may claim the losses and deductions on my taxes next year,” he chuckles.

    Then he leans forward a little and adds, his voice suddenly becoming quite grave, “It will do even better after Kitsana lines its coffers with her ill-gotten gains.

    And about that, Sheriff… Is there anything more you need from me that will allow us to progress this matter to its logical conclusion?”

    Caulder rolls his shoulders back and clasps his hands together over his chest.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  Kriss.

    Marshall Nystrom

    Duke quirks an eyebrow, noting with amusement Caulder’s careful sidestep around volunteering any of his own time.

    “Unfortunately, Doctor, my ability to compel others to follow the law goes about as far as it did before I was elected, and I’m a fair sight busier. I don’t think I’ll even make it out to the Fringe for a few months, I have so much to take care of here.” He sighs.

    “You’re right about Kitsana, though. She’s aided us plenty in the more existential threats, but has assaulted, hexed, and now stolen from us as well. I was reading up on what my actual ability to pursue legal action was, and it’s more limited than you might think – busy as I am, all I can really do at the moment is provide you with a writ that legitimizes actions taken against her if she does not make reparations. I’ve already drafted it, here.” Duke reaches into the drawer and pulls out a folder, flipping it open to reveal- nothing. He frowns, checks the folder name, and searches through the adjacent folders, frowning harder.

    “It’s not here. I had it notarized by a judge after writing it, give me a moment.” Duke stands and pulls out his comm device, conferring briefly with the anonymous clerk on the other side. A minute later, he breathes a quiet curse and sits back down.

    “Caulder, my apologies. It appears that the formal writ has been stolen from both my office and the judge’s office, and it will take me a couple of days to finish recreating it. I’ll send it to you via a courier soon, but in essence, it authorizes you to compel Kitsana to make reparations equal to 5000 credits worth of Elyrium or goods to the charity, the transfer of which must be observed by a magistrate, deputy, or sheriff. It will also state that if Kitsana refuses to make these reparations, she will be banished from Oasis until such a time as she is willing to pay. Is that sufficient? I’m sorry to leave the enforcing to you, but I can’t be spared and I couldn’t do much to aid you in that particular endeavor in any case.”



    Caulder’s eyes widen and his body starts to tremble. He breathes in and out, slowly, his voice a forced calm.

    “You mean to say that… not only will the matter progress before the end of the month, but that I will be serving this writ and judgment to Kitsana personally?”

    He bites his lower lip and sucks air in through his nose. An unseen, visceral energy flows through his limbs, stretches out to his very toes, and threatens to jolt out through his twitching fingers. He smiles.

    “That will do. Thank you, Sheriff. I knew that I could count on your due diligence.”

    With that, Caulder turns and walks out of the office.

    Out from the street erupts a litany of boisterous, unrestrained laughter. The laughter, suffused with dark delight and a relentless, boundless vigor, seems to echo and warble down the city street, drowning out the other sounds of civilization, until it suddenly stops.

    The door opens and Caulder sticks his head through it.

    “Excuse me, Sheriff. If it’s not too much trouble, may I have a copy of that writ in Terran and another copy in Fey? To ensure readability for all parties, of course.”

    He slams the door closed without waiting for a response. The laughter resumes, as though it never stopped.

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  Kriss.
    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  Kriss.
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