Author Topic: Phlogiston: A Steampunk Adventure RP  (Read 51046 times)

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Offline Neoadept

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Phlogiston: A Steampunk Adventure RP
« on: April 29, 2009, 06:42:33 pm »
Phlogiston:  A Steampunk Adventure


The elevator shuddered gently as it reached the top of the Grand Central.  The high tower was situated near the center of the city and had in recent decades been adopted by the upper class as a kind of neutral ground.  While the enmities of the outside could never be safely forgotten, they could be politely glanced away from for a few hours.  The deals brokered there, often never even mentioned outside and certainly never written down, changed the face of the city.

Issac Keysely, currently one of the more distinguished members, stepped out and was immediately ushered to his usual seat in a south facing balcony.  It was, of course, domed over, and the wind usually meant that the view was just clear enough to see a long ways without enough clarity to see the gritty and unflattering details of the streets below.  He took his seat, the glass behind him framing his factory to the west.  High stacks constantly issued the smoke that resulted from the production of engine parts and the massive pumps moving their loads of water, oil and, recently, natural gas.  While the most prominent part of his holdings, his ownership actually extended a good ways around it in his personal grounds and his holdings of various tenements (reasonably priced, but absolutely profitable).  That wasn't even counting the spiderweb of piping and the accounting stations that spread over a large portion of the city and was the basis for his power.

Lucinda Tos was standing just outside of one of Grand Central's upscale bars. It was still fairly early in the day but such conventions were meaningless to a person of her status. She sipped some kind of black drink from a short glass and watched as Issac was escorted to his usual spot. Grinning slightly, Lucinda reached into her cream-colored business suit and pulled out a gold pocket watch. She stared at it for a few moments and waited for the second hand to cross over into a new minute. After it finally happened she began walking towards Issac's private balcony. Wasting no time, she pulled the door open and sat down across from Issac.

"Mr. Keysely." Lucinda said, taking another sip from her glass.

The headquarters of the People's Power Company could be seen behind Lucinda which was quite a feat considering the state of the environment. One of her big issues was eliminating the smog and dust the choked most of the city and, at least in her portion of the megalopolis, she had been successful. The sleek white exterior of the PPC HQ shimmered in the hazy morning light. At the top of the tall tower was a gigantic clock face that tirelessly counted off the hours, minutes, and seconds in the day. Toward the ground was a large plaza that had been decorated with dozens of colorful balloons and was bustling with people going about their daily business. Beyond that,hundreds of smart-looking houses had been constructed in perfect columns and rows. Together, it all made up the PPC community; everything a person could ever want or need was provided by the company. Their lives were dominated by the Company, yes, but in return they were able to enjoy a good standard of living that most people in the city could only dream of.

"Well..." Lucinda paused, listening as her clock tower informed the city that another hour had begun "Shall we?"

"Yes," Isaac said, unfolding a menu, "I believe we shall.  I think I may have an omelet.  Incidentally, Megalos seems to be having some trouble with the drought," he inserted casually.  Bruce Megalos had been a thorn in both their sides with his monopoly on rail travel in and out of the city for years, but recently his rate hikes had gone beyond nuisance and into irritant.  They'd been wearing him down with their respective weapons for some time.

His own method of choice was the drought.  The thing about controlling the water supply, was that you controlled the water supply.  This was not to say that he simply turned off the water.  There were always genuine shortages, he merely had to choose who to cut to maintain service to the others.  He also cut off entire blocks at a time, which tended to encourage the other inhabitants to deal with the irritant on their own.

The latest drought had lasted over a week, and without water to refill the steam engines on this end of the line business was grinding to a halt.  "You done anything about him?"  He asked as the waiter arrived and he placed his order.

"I already ate, just get me a refill" Lucinda said, handing the waiter her menu "So you cut off his water? Clever! I've been taking some liberties with his shipping mandates. I tell him I need twenty tons of something sent somewhere and he unknowingly ends up shipping thirty. The trains run slower, they need more maintenance, the tracks suffer more wear... complaints increase and the bottom line starts to suffer."

The waiter reappeared with and Lucinda grabbed her drink from his tray. She raised it into the air and smiled.

"You notice he hasn't been skulking around Grand Central lately? Word on the street is that he's been getting paranoid... thinks that there's some conspiracy to run him out of town." Lucinda laughed "Anyway, his time is up. We can initiate takeover proceedings whenever. You can take what you want, I'll be fine with the leftovers; but, I want Megalos... nobody plays games with me. You can pay me back by sending out a few of your goons to find him."

"Kysely Power is not responsible for the disappearance of any individuals and mourns their loss," Isaac answered automatically with a smirk.  "But perhaps he'll show up anyways.  Do go easy on the rails, though, we need them."  He cut into his omelet, "God knows they don't raise pork inside the the city, and I'll be the one footing the bill on repairs.  Just in time, too.  I've got a shipment coming from the south that I wouldn't trust in his grubby little hands."

"Great." Lucinda said, raising her glass once again "Well, don't let me keep you from your meal."

With a polite nod, Lucinda got to her feet and left the table. She finished off her drink and set the glass down in a potted plant by the door. Before making her exit she turned and looked at Issac.

"I hope you've got something good coming in that shipment." she said smugly "I'd hate to be the only game in town."

"I shouldn't worry about that, my dear," Isaac said softly, "the future is bright and it's all mine."  He made a mental note to contact Cicada.  Not about the business with Megalos, who could be handled by more conventional thugs.  There were more persistent thorns in the side to remove.


Nefarious?  Nearly.  Ne’er-do-well?  Never!  Neither nearly names this narrator.  Naive and knowledgeable, notorious and inscrutable, this nascent Nero is known naturally as Neoadept.

Offline PatMan33

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Re: Phlogiston: A Steampunk Adventure RP
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2009, 07:04:11 pm »
Aaron Saint-Cloud sat in a pub somewhere in the depths of the city. He was a small man and wore dark brown pants with a matching brown vest and a puffy white shirt underneath. A pair of scummy black shoes were on his feet and a stovepipe hat sat on a head of long blond hair. He was drinking a black concoction from a short glass and listening to the people around him. In his line of work it paid to listen. Sometimes it led to new jobs and other times it led to a way out. Aaron was hoping for the former, it has been a while since he'd had a good job.

"How's that grease gun treating you?" the bartender asked casually, pointing at Aaron's drink "Don't get too many people ordering those."

"It's not bad." Aaron said, slapping a wrinkled bill onto the bar "Keep them coming."

"You got it." the bartender smiled, eagerly pocketing the cash.

Saint-Cloud was a man on the run... at least in a sense. He wasn't some lowlife thug, in fact he'd never committed any serious crimes in his life. But he was working as an unlicensed repairman and for some people that was enough. He specialized in the devices created by the People's Power Company. If it had been any other company he might have been offered a job, but that was not the way the PPC worked. Instead he was actively hunted for breaking Company policy. It didn't matter though, nobody had even been close to catching him so everything was more or less fine. Aaron did have to watch his back though, the times ahead seemed uncertain and he could feel something in the air. Changes were coming.

Offline Krakow Sam

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Re: Phlogiston: A Steampunk Adventure RP
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2009, 07:06:47 pm »
About a mile south of Grand Central, in a decidedly less well to do part of the city, one of Mr Megalos' trains thundered down the track, albeit in a slightly rattly fashion. It was a small mercy the trains were running late recently, as a man was being held over the tracks.

"Wh why?" he wheezed, clawing at the hand gripping tightly to his collar and dangling him half a foot off the ground without much effort.
"Van Hepple wants to send a message to people that don't make their insurance payments" grunted Cicada behind his red neckerchief "Nothing personal"
The man gave a short scream as he was dropped onto the tracks and had a split second to vainly try to crawl to safety before the thundering One O'clock from the factory district reduced him to a red smear.
Cicada turned and flexed some muscles in his legs just so. The energy pent up in the springs running along the back of his thighs and calves was released, propelling the man at least a story into the air. There was a snap as canvas wings unfolded from his back and the bounty hunter glided almost silently on the shimmering heat haze emanating from the scorching undomed city streets.
Sam is basically right, he's just cranky.

Offline Josasa

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Re: Phlogiston: A Steampunk Adventure RP
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2009, 07:48:43 pm »
The hymn of the giant organs finally came to a halt as the old fingers of the organist relaxed their pressure on the keys. It had been a long song and Saburo was relieved it was finally over. But at the same time it meant that it was his turn to take the spotlight. He sat in his seat for several seconds longer than he should have, staring out at the congregation his church had attracted. They were a dirty group at best, adorned in the nicest fashions the lower class stores had to offer. Their finest 'church' clothes.

Finally Saburo stood up and made his way to the podium. Once there he took one last look at the crowd before launching into his well thought out speech.

"Countless times our mighty Father has told us to be kind upon everyone in this world. So be kind and considerate... and nice to everyone," he tacked on the end at the last second. "Because that is what God wants us to do." And with that Saburo made his way back to his comfortable chair. When he had sat back down he looked out at the congregation. Many of the older people whom had chosen seats towards the front of the church were sending glares his way. Everyone else seemed relieved that his speech had been so short. At this point though, it should have been expected seeing as Saburo had been a priest for almost five years. Nevertheless, he never failed to piss off the more devote followers of the faith.

Exactly 15 minutes after the completion of his homily, Saburo was out of the church and into the city. He made a beeline to his favorite bar, pushing through the vast crowds and maneuvering through the tight quarters that the city provided. When he arrived, Saburo burst through the door.

"The regular, John," Saburo said as he strode towards the counter. Several of the regulars snickered at Saburo's rather dramatic entrance. Those that weren't nearly gaped at him as the noticed the priestly garb Saburo had neglected to take off.

"Long mass?" John the bartender asked as he pointed to Saburo's clothes. At the same time he planted the requested drink in front of Saburo.

"You don't know the half of it. And one of the fans is still broken. We called out the mechanic awhile ago, but you know how things run around here..." Saburo trailed off, taking the first swig from his beverage.

Offline eropS

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Re: Phlogiston: A Steampunk Adventure RP
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2009, 07:57:17 pm »
Christopher Santucci whistled as he walked and jingled his keys to his home away from home. It was morning, and time to open up shop. He arrived at his little shop in the middle of the city. With a slight movement of his wrist he quickly unlocked the front glass door and opened the door to his shop. Business had been slow lately, but that didn't bother Chris. He bent down to pick up the mail that had been dropped in the slot from earlier this morning, smiling at the large yellow envelope. Happily Christopher opened the package and took out the small mechanical parts that were unavailable to most white collar citizens. He then put down the rest of the mail behind the counter, uninterested in anything else. Christopher failed to note the black envelope with the red seal. Jingling his keys Christopher whistled a recognized tune and with the slight of hand unlocked and opened the 'back door' to his shop, slamming the door shut behind him until a customer would grace his clockwork store.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 08:00:15 pm by eropS »
No, no, he did. In the everything else section, at least. Officially, this makes him king.

Offline martyk

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Re: Phlogiston: A Steampunk Adventure RP
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2009, 08:01:06 pm »
As the grand whistles at the People's Power Company headquarters blew to mark the start of a new work day, Ian stared down at the ants below from his office, already having been hard at work for hours.  Many wondered if the Chief Engineer ever went home at all, and the answer to that question would be "rarely".  Turning back to his desk, he flipped though the day's paperwork, already completed and sitting in a neat pile.  Giving the newly minted schematics a final once-over, he gave it his stamp of approval and promptly shoved it into an ornate brass tube, which in turn was shoved unceremoniously into a slot on his desk, and whisked off in a blast of steam to the factory overseer, where the papers within would dictate the development of new products.  It was always new products, as the old ones never needed revising.  Ian had made sure of it.

The letter delivery system had actually been designed by Ian in an effort to maximise efficiency, and minimise how often he had to talk to the uneducated dolts in the factories.  It was slowly being implemented across the city, bringing convenience to the people, easing the jobs of the postmen, and bringing in a tidy profit for the Company.  Letting out a slow sigh, Ian stood back up, and made his way to the large double doors leading to his workshop.

Just as his hand reached the doorhandle, there was a loud bang behind him as his office door was flung open by some miserable cretin.  Straightening upright, he slowly turned to face the intruder with a glare that would turn a gorgon to stone.

Suddenly realising the critical error he had made in his haste, the man stammered, "Erm, sir?  I am Henry Jensing, Repair Foreman.  I just wanted to speak with you about some of the security measures placed within some of our newer products."

"Tell me Mr. Henry Jensing, Repair Foreman, the customer could not possibly activate it by accident, am I correct in this assumption?" Ian rebutted, boredom and anger dripping from his voice.

"Well, no, not really..."

"Then I fail to see the problem.  Please, enlighten me as to how my design strikes you as inadequate.  I'm aching with anticipation to hear your explanation on how it was critical enough for you to barge in here unannounced." Ian interrupted, slowly approaching Mr. Henry Jensing, Repair Foreman.

"Er, well you see, sir, and I mean no disrespect, but it strikes me as, well, unsafe..."

"Unsafe?" Ian interupted again, now standing uncomfortably close to the man.  "I was under the impression that the whole point of these systems was to prevent unwanted tampering with the machine, something which is explicitly warned against and strictly prohibited.  Now I can only see it being unsafe in two circumstances.  One is an unauthorized civilian has taken it upon themselves to tamper with patented People's Power Company mechanism, which as I just explained to you is prohibited, so why do we care in the first place.  Second, a poor uninformed PPC repairman stumbles upon it and lops off his fingers when the springs lash out, something he should have been informed of.  Something that I was under the impression that it was your job to ensure he was informed of."

His face now inches away from the man, Ian's voice quieted back down from the roar it had built up to to a unsettlingly calm one.  "Let me make myself perfectly clear, Mr. Henry Jensing, Repair Foreman.  I have done my job flawlessly.  It is your job to ensure your men do theirs flawlessly.  You are expected to do your job under any circumstances.  That is what you agreed upon when you joined the People's Power Company.  You are not paid to think, you are paid to follow orders.  If you were paid to think, then I'm certain you would be capable of it to some degree and we would not be having this conversation.  I hope that I have not wasted my breath explaining this to you."

A moment of uncomfortable silence followed before Mr. Jensing backed away from Ian and with a quick nod of his head, blurted out "Yes sir, thank you sir." before hastily retreating to the safety of the hallway, closing the door behind him.

Straightening back up, Ian adjusted his tie and let out a rare smile.  "Well that was fun." he said contently.
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Offline Andrew Ryan

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Re: Phlogiston: A Steampunk Adventure RP
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2009, 08:13:37 pm »
In the cities main train station, about a mile east of Grand Centeral, Noel Allen sat patiently and waited for the next train. It didn't matter to him that he had no destination in mind or that he had arrived near on four hours early for it, all that mattered was the train. He had always loved trains, or as he called them 'Iron Greyhounds, and today was the day for this perfect indulgence, since had just gotten his weekly check from Allen Foundries and he had plenty of money to burn. As the next train entered the station, Noel got up almost mechanically, made his way to it, and got on board.

The train was particularly cramped and confining today and Allen could barely move through the isles to his luxury car up front. It took him a little while but he finally made it to the car. A snooty looking conductor in a red suit bared his path into the car.

"I'm sorry sir, but this car is for reserved passengers only." said the conductor in a small, squeaky voice.

"Hello, I'm Noel Allen" he said, bringing his hand to the conductor in a forced hand shake "I have a reservation for this car. It's under Noel Allen. Check it and you should find it."

At once the conductor reached into his pocket and got out a number of fancy greeting cards, each one of inscribed with the signature of a famous industrialist or socialite. He quickly checked through all the invitations and found Allen's. It was a on a beautiful piece of hand made parchment and yet on it appeared to be the signature of a seven year old.

"Ah, so you are Sir Noel Allen, am I correct?"

"Yes, yes you are. I am Noel Allen. Now would you please let me into the car?"

"One last formality, sir. If you would be so kindly as to show me your signature..."

At this point Noel was getting frustrated. He hated having to be checked like this and asked for his signature. It took him a while to write it and in the end he always seamed to mess it up. Reluctantly, he reached into his front pocket and pulled out a pen and notepad. He promptly scribbled his signature on to the front, tore off a page and gave it to the conductor. The conductor smiled a little at the nature of the signature, they were the same alright, although very lacking in terms of structure or straightness.

"Ok, I guess you do have a reservation. Welcome to the Club Car Mr. Allen."

"Thank you." said Noel as the conductor opened the door, allowing him to stroll into the car and it's stuffy upper crust atmosphere.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 08:20:58 pm by Andrew Ryan »
"Don't worry 'bout me. I wouldn't worry about me. Don't you worry about me. Don't you worry 'bout me!" - Talking Heads, Don't Worry About the Government

Offline Little

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Re: Phlogiston: A Steampunk Adventure RP
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2009, 08:20:08 pm »
Making his way through a dispersing congregation of people departing from a church, Sir Horace Mockett looked happy. He was back in the packed city, not flitting around doing odd jobs in those high-class domes. The streets suited him much better, in his humble opinion. Eagerly scanning faces, he looked like a down-on-his-luck factory worker, which was a common look these days. Wearing tattered, dirty clothing even by street standards and awkwardly peering at people got him many looks from some of the older members of the crowd, but Horace didn't mind. He was looking for a friend of his.

After idly milling through the throng of chatting churchgoers, he discovered his good friend who was wearing a battered suit was talking with a fellow who looked as destitute as Horace pretended to be. After standing there and patiently tapping his foot while listening to the poverty-stricken man rant about how his neighborhood had been cut off from water due to yet another drought, Horace impatiently butted in.

"Excuse me, my friend, but my friend Jehovin and I need to discuss rather more important matter than another water shortage."

Jehovin shoots Horace an exasperated look, but the destitute man looks far more irritated. Glaring at Horace vemonously, the poor man stalks away, shouting over his shoulder, "See you later, Jeh!"

Horace smiles as Jehovin sighs, "What is it, Mr. Thompson?"

Horace grins at the perfect use of his fake name, then replies, "I need a job. I'll work in your general store. Come on, you owe me one."

Jehovin looks exasperated, "You keep bringing that up! I already paid you back, but fine! See you tomorrow, but just leave me alone for now!"

Horace smiles, delighted with what he perceives to be his excellent negotiating skills. He quickly departs from the church and casually wanders down the streets to a bar he once knew. To his surprise, it was still open. He quietly opens the door and walks in, ignored by the patrons of the establishment except for a few idle glances. He sits at the bar while the bartender talks to a figure wearing a priests robe. Annoyed by the short wait, he walks to the side of the room to a row of rusting machines, each machine with a container filled with cheap ale resting above a simple tap. Sliding two coins into a narrow slot on the contraption's side, he pulls out a small flask from under the rank garments and holds it up to the tap. A small stream of ale steadily pours out until the flask is full, and Horace returns to the counter with a happy smile on his face, his head filled with nothing but plans of intoxicating himself then returning to his small room in a crumbling building as night falls.
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Offline PatMan33

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Re: Phlogiston: A Steampunk Adventure RP
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2009, 08:24:48 pm »
"Broken fan?" Aaron said instinctively, momentarily forgetting that a fan was probably not the big job he needed "Ah... I can look at it for you."

At that point, Aaron turned and looked at the person who had been speaking. Whoever it was, they appeared to be some kind of clergyman. Chucking to himself, Aaron got up and took a seat next to the man. A job was a job; still, he had to get some big work soon. The secret to Aaron's success was his ability to get PPC parts. They were his bread and butter; unfortunately, his bread and butter was sitting in his basement and sooner or later it would begin attracting flies. It didn't pay to be a pessimist though. Aaron would take any job he could get in hopes that it led to something bigger and better.

Offline Little

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Re: Phlogiston: A Steampunk Adventure RP
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2009, 08:30:46 pm »
Turning his head after a long swig from the flask, Horace notices a particularly vile drink in the hands of a denetly dressed man. Never being one to try a new drink, he gestures towards the dark drink that rested on the counter and asked the man, "If you don't mind me asking, what kind of brew is that? I don't think I've ever seen it before."
The best person ever.  She should have won the Peace Prize.

What? No full control over children? You do realize that some of us have particular plans for those children.

Offline PatMan33

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Re: Phlogiston: A Steampunk Adventure RP
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2009, 08:37:02 pm »
"Huh?" Aaron turned, a little annoyed at being interrupted "It's a grease gun. They're popular in certain circles down in the southern slums... it's best if you don't what's in it."

Offline Josasa

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Re: Phlogiston: A Steampunk Adventure RP
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2009, 08:47:16 pm »
Saburo looked over at the man that had been sitting a few seats down from him.

"Yeah, it's one of the larger ones too. It sits up pretty high in wall, almost near the ceiling. It gets awful hot in the church without that thing working. But you said you could fix it? Are you a repairman?" Saburo eyed the man that had moved closer to him. His clothes looked like that of the average citizen. There wasn't any sign of a company insignia that were somewhat common on the more prestigious monopolies.

Offline Andrew Ryan

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Re: Phlogiston: A Steampunk Adventure RP
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2009, 08:50:13 pm »
Noels stay on the train was brief. He had his daily train fix, now he needed his people fix. He got of right at the next train stop, which was only about 15 minutes into the trip. As he casually strolled off the train and into the crowd, Noel was scanning for a place where he could meet and talk to people. Finding none in his vicinity, he casually strolled on away from the platform and onto the busy streets of the city. He strolled casually down the sidewalk as any noble with near limitless pockets did but with a little more of an extra bounce to his step and a small tip of the hat to any lady walking by. He had been walking carelessly for about five minutes before he snapped out of his joyous trance and came to his limited senses. He looked around for his usual social club but he was bewildered to see that he wasn't anywhere near it. Quit to the contrary, he wasn't even in the right part of the city  He had gotten off a stop too early.  Frantically, he looked for any sort of bar or tavern that could satisfy his urge for social contact. He frantically walked down the street another block or so before finally finding a small hole in the wall pub. He quickly entered the pub, pushing open the large steel front door and set off towards the main bar, where his usual ritual of meeting people and 'friendly' conversation took place.
"Don't worry 'bout me. I wouldn't worry about me. Don't you worry about me. Don't you worry 'bout me!" - Talking Heads, Don't Worry About the Government

Offline PatMan33

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Re: Phlogiston: A Steampunk Adventure RP
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2009, 08:51:52 pm »
"Yeah I do repairs." Aaron mumbled "My prices are better than the corporations and I always show up on time."

Aaron took a gulp of his drink and began to probe a bit.

"You've had problems with other repair companies, yeah?" he asked "Who'd you hire? Were they corporate or... not?"

Offline Little

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Re: Phlogiston: A Steampunk Adventure RP
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2009, 08:55:42 pm »
Horace turns towards the new arrival as he takes a large swallow from his grimy metal flask. He smiles at the newcomer, the ale was cheap, but it wasn't weak! The newcomer looked happy, which was always good. There wasn't enough happiness in the city, and anyone who brought even a little more of it to the slums deserved a tip of the hat. He gave a bob of the head while tipping an imaginary hat, annoyed he couldn't wear his fedora in public these days. Nine years may have been awhile, but people in power always remembered revolutionaries.
The best person ever.  She should have won the Peace Prize.

What? No full control over children? You do realize that some of us have particular plans for those children.