It could be tied to the character’s level of independence. Because the whole deciding to speak or not to the Governor is sort of a cross roads to kick over the old apple cart. Of course it could be rebuffed as out of order, or like the forthrightness of a character saying that he’d be good for the Senate, found greatly amusing by Overstreet. And part of the process of gaining renown in the society is gained by a vampire who is willing to stick his head above the ramparts and take a risk.
Like making jokes about the Dominus is inappropriate and yet it can be still done when Draper and the artist come to town.
Reading the text properly, you’re right. It’s easy to go a little goggle-eyed sometimes!
Small thing but is Bailey’s maker important at all? I only ask because as far as I can tell there aren’t even any intimations about him. At least in Aichinger’s case we can imagine he’s somewhere in Europe doing his thing and I know in Carothers’ and Harding’s case there a big reason to keep their Dominus quiet. But with Bailey it seems like an interesting gap, considering he’s of American stock and all. And he can become an important ally in St Louis, so it’s interesting the topic doesn’t get breached socially either.
Of the top of my head I think there’s a couple of rampage points in New Orleans around Clotho. Taking revenge on the Vicksburg companion’s death perhaps, but that could be a little more calculated. I think you mentioned the possibility of implementing one in Memphis if one tried to break up the seance and people didn’t take one seriously. At least in that case there’s a bigger gathering of people, important people too.
I suppose what I mean is that there’s the charm to persuade Slattery to go away, but if the character lacks that but looked tough, perhaps from features acquired in a character mortal lifetime if not from things acquired subsequently. (There was a line at the start of St Louis about a waitress bouncing off a character’s ‘solid frame’ if he had 4 strength, so I’d assumed from that that improving the character’s strength has some visual effects. I think I read something you wrote once about 3 strength being comparable to a sportsman.) My point being that if the character looked tough and was edging for a fight, there might be a threshold where the policeman might decide to retreat and get more support or try a different approach. After that, that’s where the other stuff below comes in, where one has to think about trying to deal with the problems in the long term.
I don’t mean that one could namedrop Bailey and Herr A to Slattery as such. But just after, there could be an option to go to one of them and say “I have this problem, could you use one of your connections to get Slattery off my back?” Of course there could be requirements for this, a debt needs to be promised and all that, but it could be another option.
I understand your thinking a lot more now. But I suppose that’s the question: Does the character want someone tracking their every movements and on their tail all the time who’s also in a position of authority? That has complications too, particularly with the Rule of Reserve. At least this would allow us the option to get Slattery off our back, if we don’t want to kill him or don’t have the money to pay him off on a long term basis.
Thinking about it, does the Mayor attend the wealthy gathering one can organise to express annoyance at the city’s trade unions? This is around the time the bridge is being built. Perhaps a character who had his own contacts at the top of the St Louis society, or even know a mason or two, if acquainted with the order and made introductions with some of them at the party at the start of St Louis, could reach out to one individual or another and ask for their help? Vampires are still flesh and blood of course, but at least in the aftermath of the Slattery confrontation there should be a few ways to prevent an up-jumped hobbledehoy from fleeing one on a long-term basis. Aside from murder!
I could see the not being alive part working. It would add another element to Bailey’s letter of sympathy over the life after death question in the letting writing stage. Also possible that just because a vampire has a Quaestor for a father and a successful Senator for a sun, that he’s still just ‘middle management’. Does his own thing, without being outside the society, but isn’t particularly interested in getting involved with vampire politics or holding office.
And my final thing I promise! We hear a bit about Senate debates in Memphis. Meeting and agreeing the dates of caucuses, in a formal setting somewhere. There aren’t any vampire newspapers of course, but perhaps there could be a couple of references to the Senate meeting about different things. Perhaps to try and agree a formal stance on the Dracula book or the occasional reference to Lockridge/Bailey bickering about the Revolution or Cuba. Just bits of cosmetic gossip if nothing else, that a high ranking/lore versed vampire might hear.