Reality Patrol, Tal Sharnis Bureau . The following is a transcript of the portion of this afternoon’s meeting that addressed yesterday’s announcement by Big H Development and the subsequent request by the city council for Reality Patrol intervention. Present at the meeting: Regional Director Garza, Deputy Regional Director Perkins, Community Liaison Officer Enriquez, Special Agent Sojac, and myself. - D. Crowstairs, Senior Administrative Aide . Regional Director Garza: Enriquez, please report. Community Liaison Officer Enriquez: Yesterday morning, Big H Development announced an ambitious development plan to be carried out in the Oakland neighborhood designated District OB304 - the Fentown neighborhood is what the locals call it. This is clearly a response to the Reality Patrol’s laying claim to the former ThingTown Station site in District OB323, which Big H had previously been planning to rebuild. Having a monorail station somewhere in that area, plus a surrounding shopping district and the businesses and more affluent renters inevitably drawn by such developments in a neighborhood, represents the sort of financial goldmine a company like Big H won’t pass up. Since we’ve declined to give them back the original site for this one, they’ve found a new site. Agent Sojac: A site where a lot of people already live. Community Liaison Officer Enriquez: That’s right. This plan will displace a lot of people, a lot of families that have been in that neighborhood for generations. Even those whose homes and businesses aren’t torn down to make way for the initial development may be unable to afford to keep living in the area due to the economic shifts the development plan will bring. That’s where we come in. The city council approved Big H’s proposal in record time – Big H has a lot of money and influence, and we all know how corrupt the council is. But now they’re getting nervous. They expected some resistance from the residents of the neighborhood, of course. But there’s also a major public library in that neighborhood... Regional Director Garza: Tell me the council wasn't fool enough to approve a plan that involves tearing down a public library. In this city. Community Liaison Officer Enriquez: No, sir. Libraries in this city are practically sacred shrines. Every politician here knows better than to mess with the libraries. Apparently, they actually thought the librarians would be grateful to have a new monorail station and business district near the library. Regional Director Garza: I take it the librarians didn’t see it that way. Community Liaison Officer Enriquez: No, sir. It turns out the librarians see themselves as guardians of the city’s culture in every way - and apparently that includes advocating for the preservation of old neighborhoods. Once the council found out the librarians weren’t happy about the development plan, they panicked. They’re worried that if the librarians go public with their objections, it will stir up a lot more resistance than Big H or the council bargained for. From nearby neighborhoods like WolfTown, and leftist political groups all over the city. They’re worried about this new group called the Unravelers Curse-Coven getting involved, and most of all they’re scared of Baraka Monster. Even though the new site is well outside the borders of Feral City and WolfTown, the areas Baraka Monster declared to be under his protection, they’re still worried he’ll take an interest. Regional Director Garza: So they’ve appealed to us for help. Community Liaison Officer Enriquez: Yes, sir. They’re planning to bring in the Monster Hunters – but if Baraka Monster decides to take a hand in things, they’re afraid that will tip the scales to the point where the Monster Hunters won’t be able to handle the resistance on their own. My sources tell me they also asked for help from the City Guard, but the Rakshasa vetoed the request. So now the council is asking us to step in and put down any resistance the Monster Hunters can’t handle. Regional Director Garza: Is there any good reason we shouldn’t just send them the usual refusal and the usual reminder that the Reality Patrol is not a municipal police force? Community Liaison Officer Enriquez: They do have a bit of a novel argument this time, sir. They maintain that because we classify Tal Sharnis as an Interdimensional Disaster Area, the building of infrastructure such as monorail stations should be considered a form of disaster relief – and that it falls within our purview to save the city from anyone who’d try to interfere with disaster relief. Regional Director Garza: Hm. That is new. Agent Sojac, you know this city better than any of us – any thoughts on this? Agent Sojac: Yes, sir, I do have thoughts. The neighborhood they’re planning to tear down is full of rooftop food gardens, just like most neighborhoods in the city. With no viable place to grow food outside the city limits, gardens are essential infrastructure. So this development plan doesn’t really advance the city's infrastructure – it just replaces essential infrastructure with non-essential infrastructure. Regional Director Garza: I see. And if I’m not mistaken, Agent Sojac, the head librarian at that branch of the public library is a relative of yours? Agent Sojac: Yes, sir. My sister. Regional Director Garza: Hmm. And knowing her as you do, how likely do you think it is that your sister will speak out openly against the development plan as the city council fears? Agent Sojac: I think it’s highly likely, sir. And I’d expect her statement to be strongly-worded and very public. Regional Director Garza: I see. And in your estimation, would such a statement from your sister have the sort of effect the city council fears it would, in terms of rallying public resistance? Agent Sojac: Yes, sir, I think it would. Regional Director Garza: And can you think of any good reason why the Reality Patrol should help to put down this resistance? Agent Sojac: No, sir. As you’ve said, sir, we’re not a municipal police force. Regional Director Garza: I concur. Enriquez, inform the city council that the Reality Patrol is not a municipal police force and will not involve itself in this matter.
There’s a lot that’s seriously messed up about the city of Tal Sharnis, but the city’s got its good qualities, too — one of those qualities being the great respect that much of the general populace has for libraries and librarians.
See you next Wednesday,