Sunday, August 18, 2013

Steelhead Elections: Interview With Jobias Barthelmess

By Bixyl Shuftan

When Steelhead held it's election campaign for mayor recently, there were three candidates. Besides the incumbent TotalLunar Eclipse, two challengers came forward to run for the office. They were Willow Leafstorm, the owner of the Green Fairy club, and Jobias Barthelmess, whom was most well known for his attempted shooting of the community's sheriff Fuzzball Ortega. Jobias has been associated with other misdeeds, but none of those were proven. He also has a known bias against nonhumans, a definite negative in this community were elves, fae, weres, furs, nekoes, humans, and others socialize and do business freely. During the debate, Jobias was mocked by many of those in the audience, and even he himself admitted he wasn't the most popular candidate.

The elections went on as planned on August 6, with most feeling Jobias didn't have a chance at winning. But when the results were announced at the town meeting a week later, the results shocked the crowd. Jobias had gotten the majority of the ballots! How could he have gotten this, many openly wondered, feeling the votes had somehow been tampered with. While Lunar argued for calm, some such as Willow would hear none of accepting the "scoundrel and criminal" as mayor.

Soon afterward, I was going by the newly opened Steelhead public schoolhouse when I noticed two adults inside talking. Getting closer, I noticed they were Lunar, whom had built the place, and Jobias. Lunar saw me, and invited me in. Turning to the man in black, "Mr Barthemless, unless you're officially in office you can't fire anyone." Jobias regarded me momentarily, "Oh, *that* Fox News," then turned to back to Lunar, "Once the recount's done, however, and I'm sworn in office …" Lunar sighed, "Yes, after you've been sworn into office, the oath is taken, the paddling of fish then you're mayor." "Now, please, leave us," Jobias told the elven figure, "Your ears are distracting me. Finish my Town Hall!" Lunar stared at the mustached man for a moment, then simply commented, "Alright, play nice. Take care Bixyl." He then walked to the doors and left.

Bixyl Shuftan: "Good evening Jobias. It seems congratulations are in order."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Yes, well, THEY are demanding a recount. But, not to worry, I shall be sworn into office soon."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Oh yes, as I recall, your apparent victory took many by surprise."

Jobias Barthelmess: "And yet, I was declared the winner. Which is a good thing, because one thing that Steelhead City has been lacking is proper leadership, as well as utilizing the surrounding land properly."

Bixyl Shuftan: "How has it been lacking in leadership? And what's wrong with how it uses it's resources?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Well, not to offend, but let's just say that there are times that good old fashioned HUMAN know how works best in situations."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Oh, please explain?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "It's just the natural order of things. Nothing more needs to be said."

Bixyl Shuftan: (raises an eyebrow) "What natural order of things, might I ask?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Humans are superior. Look at some of the great minds of our time. Professor James Moriarty, Human. Doctor Fu Manchu, Human."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Hmmm, so those people are examples you're giving as superior humans?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "But of course. And, like me, are misunderstood."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Ah yes, it does seem your apparent victory has caused much discussion. Perhaps .... we could put a few matters to rest with this interview."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Yes, thank you."

Bixyl Shuftan: "To begin with, how did you decide to come to Steelhead?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Merely traveling along, and ran across this town. Not realizing that Ortega had been living here for sometime before I arrived."

Bixyl Shuftan: "You knew of Marshal Ortega before coming here?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Oh yes. His true name is Ortegavich. I had made an attempt at leadership in the past. The ruler of Moldavia, which is located in Eastern Europe, was, much like here in Steelhead, not utilizing his country to it's fullest potential. Ortegavich's wolf tribe, as well as other tribes, over threw me, and placed the buffoon I replaced back in power."

Bixyl Shuftan: "So your problems with him are because he's one of this particular tribe?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "That and a mangy mutt. They made him Marshal of this town, and yet, he's obviously useless."

Bixyl Shuftan: "How is he useless?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "All these others claiming that THEY protect Steelhead. Obviously, he's not right for the job."

Bixyl Shuftan: "One would think a werewolf would be quite useful in detering crime."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Attracting fleas, perhaps. It's time for changes in Steelhead, bringing industry here, making Steelhead the place to bring a bright future for mankind. Oh, yes, and of course, all non humans to wear collars. No particular reason, just something Professor Moriarty had suggested." ((Cuz I'm EEEEVIL!))

Bixyl Shuftan: *raises an eyebrow* "Collars? I assume you mean something other than shirt collars?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "No, I mean collars, like the one the Elf was wearing. It will keep them in line."

Bixyl Shuftan:  *keeps a straight face as he takes notes, but his tail flickers and bristles in an irritated manner* "Exactly what seems to be the problem as far as humans, and the various other races are concerned?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "It just does not seem natural."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Going back to the industry, what's wrong with the economic rate of growth the region already has?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "I mentioned this at the debate. They could do so much better than what they've done. Look at New Babbage. That's a prime example of what Steelhead could be. ONce I'm officially sworn in, trees in Steelhead and Nevermoor will be chopped down and large factories will be built. Also, in St. Helens, there will be strip mining. May also have the mines of Boomtown re-opened."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Why were those mines closed, might I ask?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "I'm not sure. I'll have to ask the Elf at our next meeting."

Bixyl Shuftan: "As for the strip mining and forest felling, well, there seemed to be a great deal of resistance to the idea at public meetings."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Ah, the primitives fear change. Not to worry, they'll get used to the idea."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Durring the meetings there were a few references to your, previous activities in Steelhead. Could you explain what these activities were?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Ah….well…..I had a ......... " *fidgets*

Bixyl Shuftan: "Yes?" *has pencil and paper in hand*

Jobias Barthelmess: "Nervous breakdown."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Nervous breakdown?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Yes, that's it. Nervous breakdown."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Interesting, Please explain."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Slightly delusional, it seemed I wanted to harm the mangy mu......I mean, Marshal Ortega. Apparently, I did shoot him with a silver bullet. But I've no memory of this." *tries to look innocent*

Bixyl Shuftan: "Oh yes, I believe Lunar mentioned it, and at the debate, you admitted to this."

Jobias Barthelmess: "But the doctor's at the sanitarium in Caledon took care of me, and I'm quite alright now."

Bixyl Shuftan: "I see." *takes notes* "Also, Lunar mentioned you had a few debts."

Jobias Barthelmess: "A Barthelmess repays all his debts. If I have any, I assure you, they WILL be paid off."

Bixyl Shuftan: *takes more notes* "Then there's the matter of the youth of the town. As I understand your plans mentioned at the debate were, less than well received."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Well, we can't have them running about, unattended. So, working in the proposed factories, and in the mine would be quite useful to them. Have them earn their keep, learn to be part of the workforce. Some of them smell bad already, so they're used to sweat and grime, obviously."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Well, if them running around is the question, why not just keep them in school, like the one we're in now?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Well, they're not always in school, now are they? Can't lock them in here 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Already checked into that, I can't get away with it.....I mean.....Ummmm....NEXT QUESTION!" *pulls out a hankerchief and wipes his brow, muttering, "this reporter's good." *

Bixyl Shuftan: *has trouble keeping from cracking a grin and takes more notes* "Yes, um, as I recall, there were some concerns about voter security, about how the box seemed a little flimsy. Any comments?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Well, the Elf said all votes would be safe in the box. If they're concerned about the box being flimsy, they should blame him. Not me."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Hmmm, it was my observation it was he who thought it looked flimsy."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Well, *I* didn't put it there. I had suggested helping out with the elections, but was rejected. Thankfully, I was allowed to run."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Curious how you chose to run under, what was it, the Villians Party?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "That's what they refer to me as. A villain. Myself, Moriarty, Fu Manchu, Thomas Edison….."

Bixyl Shuftan: *raises an eyebrow* "How is Thomas Edison a villain?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Gaining credit for 'his' invention. " ((He stole the lightbulb.))

Bixyl Shuftan: "So, in your opinion, there needs to be more villains in politics?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "If you mean those poor misunderstood soles that were labeled as villains? Yes. Perhaps some to run news sources as well. The truth needs to be told."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Well, I shouldn't comment about my establishment's competition *restrains a smirk* "Let's see, being a villain, how well acquainted are you with the town's lawyers?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "The one's here are too nice."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Too nice? Please explain?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Just like many others in this town. They're too soft. One of the reasons this city is so behind others, and not living up to it's full potential."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Like Remmington Pion, who ordered this special election?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Yes. I believe he favored the elf to win the election. None of them realized how well liked I really am in Steelhead."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Interesting. In the debates you admitted you had some problems with your image."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Well, I will admit that I'm surprised to be the victor, but the results seem to be clear, and once the recount has been done, it will be made more clear. I AM the new mayor of Steelhead City, and a new dawn shall rise on this Pacific Northwest town."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Yes, after the recount. And as I understand it, a number of the others are demanding a very thorough count of the votes, including Willow Leafstorm."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Probably jealous because she didn't win."

Bixyl Shuftan: "She does seem very determined to keep an eye on you."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Yes, well, if that truly bothered me, I wouldn't be in Steelhead."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Let's see," *looks at his notes* "Was there anything we haven't covered?"

Jobias Barthelmess: You have my plans for Steelhead? Factories, mining, etc. Bringing a bright future to Steelhead. ((Poor misunderstood soul that I am)) I believe that we covered everything.......and some that will place me in a negative light."

"Now I have grown bored of your questions. Go, place your article."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Allright, see you at the recount. I'm sure it'll be ... interesting."

It was about then that I left the schoolhouse, and looking behind I could see Jobias slipping out, and heading away into the shadows.

Since the interview, the controversy over the Mayoral election continues. There's been talk of organizing a group of "Brownjackets" to make sure Jobias doesn't get the job. It's doubtful collars will be part of the group's dress code.

The next town meeting at Steelhead is Tuesday night, August 20th.

Editor's Note: The town election campaign was set up as a community roleplay, with "the Jobias Barthelmess character was created for the sole purpose of having an avatar that folks would love to hate."

Bixyl Shuftan

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