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Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Saint- Part Three

There was a special section of the city that hadn’t fallen into complete and utter ruin like the rest. It was nestled against one of the umbilical poles holding up a Dome , and the four or five buildings that stood there actually looked clean and almost elegant until the smog cleared a little and one stood within fifty feet of them.
For a quick refresher on what came before read The Saint-Part Two -the management
            One of these buildings was the office of the long-suffering Rawlins, Smith and McGuire firm. The ancient stone structure looked like it was one of the buildings the government tried to save due to its supposed historical significance, but then quickly gave up one when they realized they’d have to spend money on it. The grit and soot that discolored the building gave it a sinister appearance along with the fact that all of the window openings had been bricked over.
            Karen stared up at it with open dismay and Robert smiled at her, “It’s okay. They just took the windows out because they kept getting broken. That, and these buildings are some of the few that actually have something to protect.”
He pushed open the bombproof door and Karen stepped into lobby that looked more like a hotel from the 1920’s that had decayed horribly for centuries. They had barely entered when a man wearing a stiff suit and an even stiffer expression grabbed Robert by the elbow and dragged him bodily a few steps to the left, “God damn it, Robert! Who the hell is that woman? We don’t allow prostitutes in here on company time!”
“Excuse me?” Karen asked, her eyes wide with surprise at the man’s lack of subtlety.
“This charming character, Karen, is Chester McGuire, Senior Partner of Rawlins, Smith, and McGuire.” Robert gestured to him with a smile, and Chester just looked as if something had died on his shoe.
“Nice to meet you.” Karen extended her hand only to have it ignored entirely.
            “She isn’t a prostitute, Chester.” Karen looked at the floor awkwardly at how near to a lie that was, “She’s an heiress.”
“Robert, you will address me as Mr. McGuire, and you can’t bring every fucking probate orphan back to the offices as if we’re a boarding house for the soon to be rich.”
Karen’s jaw dropped again and Robert held up a hand awkwardly, “It’s nothing personal, Karen. He doesn’t mean it, he just likes to shout at me so that no one explodes from the pressure.” his voice was surprisingly light and easy, and Karen couldn’t help but smile at the look of murderous rage that flashed across Chester’s face.
“We’re the last vestige of a country that valued property rights so many years ago, and a lot of government officials would like to see the whole concept gone, and since rich assholes like me still want to make sure that their children and grandchildren don’t have live like animals in this piece-of-shit world where communicable diseases and food shortages. The idea of passing wealth on to the next generation is antithetical in a so-called fair society, so I would appreciate a bit of decorum from you!”
            Robert eased his arm free from Chester’s grip, “You will have to excuse him, Karen. He’s under a bit of pressure-“
“Pressure? You don’t know what pressure is! Let me tell you about my morning! I have a client in the building right now who thought she was going to inherit fifty million dollars.”
“Thought?” Karen asked.
“Well, her older sister is actually her mother. Do you believe this shit?”
“How can that be? I mean how is it possible that someone wouldn’t know that.”
“Grow up. A young girl gets pregnant and the family panics. There are still families in this world who value what the world thinks.” Chester sniffed, “Not that you would probably understand the concept, but there are people up there,” he jerked a thumb upwards, indicating the Dome high above them, “Who are actually rather Edwardian in their ideals of familial propriety.”
“Edwardian?” Karen blinked, and Chester rolled his eyes.
“It was a period in history. Jesus Christ, never mind…”
Robert jumped in, “Not everyone pays attention to what goes on in the family. The mother tells her husband that she’s pregnant, unexpectedly. He travels a lot and he isn’t interested in a lot of sex, not with his wife anyway. The mother puts on weight and sends the daughter away to her sister’s house when she starts to show. The wife times the situation so that she gives birth, early, when the husband is away and the daughter and her baby return secretly. Everyone’s happy.”
“What about the real mother?”
“She gets to show the baby as much affection as she wants, except when her dad is home.”
“That’s…” Karen shook her head, searching for a word to fit the disgust she felt.
“Tragic? Yes, it is.” Robert nodded.
“So what went wrong?”
“The cousins of the girl. They watched the whole pregnancy and now that her father is dead they want a part of the estate.”
“That’s blackmail.” Said Karen.
“Now she’s a fucking lawyer.” Said Chester, rolling his eyes upwards.
“Karen,” Robert said calmly, “you’re going to face other issues once this whole process starts. We live in a tough world and family members resent when a relative moves into a higher standing, especially when money is in short supply for everyone else.”
“What issues?”
“You don’t think that Uncle Herbert was only interested in your bath times?

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