Reconstruction Committee

a story
2017-08-13 20:33:38,
2017-08-22 10:57:14
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“So you see, with all these holes blocking it up this won’t be ready for the Adellen Cactus Festival!”

                Leon Waterhouse eyed the holes in question. They weren’t blocking up anything. However, the small café was riddled with bullet holes. Looking up and down the street, the effects of the battle could be clearly seen. A broken vegetable cart. Smashed windows. Angry shop owners sweeping away debris. Even a young girl trying to clean a blood stain from an inn’s wall. Leon lit a large pipe and examined the damage.

                “Are you listening?” cried the baker again, running short of breath, “We might actually have a shot of breaking more than even this year. It’s about to bloom and the train might actually stop regularly. This town needs those rich tourists to come here and spend money but they won’t stay two seconds if this place looks like some shooting gallery!”

                “What was the reason?” said Leon.

                “What? Who cares,” said the baker, “They are gone and the town’s a wreck!”

                “I need to know because altercations like these are either a daily occurrence or an abnormality. So, what was this one was about.”

                The baker sighed, before pointing down the road,” altercation at the bar. Seems a bounty hunter had his eyes set on some payback with an old friend. The two bounty hunters had a shootout all down the street, pulling in both their entire crews. People were hit, even an explosion. It went all the way to out meager little docks!”

                “I didn’t see an airship dock,” said Leon.

                “Hence our problem,” said the baker, “What’s the point of the Reconstruction Committee if they aren’t any use to us. Can you fix this? Huh?”

                “I used to be a national classes carpenter,” said Leon, smiling and stroking his beard, “I’m one of the top architects in Antiford. That’s why I’m on the Committee, sir. Some spackle and patchwork will fix up these walls good enough. New carts can be rented for the festival, by us by discount if needed. However, you are an outlier and these sort of parts and you don’t have wanted posters for the top criminals in Antiford publicly displayed. The last arrest in this town was over four months ago and yet the last shoot out was a few minutes. I’ve been down here four times in the last year alone.”

                “What are you saying?”

                “I’m saying, we’ll patch this up for your little Festival, but you should think twice of ignoring wanted criminals for their business. We might not come back,” said Leon, catching the baker off guard, “Now return to your work and I’ll return to mine. We’ll ensure these bullet holes are fixed.”

                Leon turned and walked away from the blushing baker, but was approached by his own assistant. His own assistant had narrowed eyes and pursed lips, trying to make eye contact with Leon.

                “The committee was quite clear we were to offer advice and a plan, but not a simo of aid,” spat the assistant, “This damn town has taken advantage of our-“

                “And their entire economy prays on this one, three day event a year,” said Leon, “If that falters, they don’t make rent, or taxes, and without tax or rent this town crumbles and our jobs are gone.”

                “But we aren’t a free building band-aid service.”

                “Look, I’m in command of this account and I say we’ll patch up some bullet holes, gets some new windows, and make this town look wonderful for their festival,” Leon turned to his assistant and leaned in to whisper, “We do this because we’re better than the monarchy. If we don’t, then we are just a crown by another name to these people.”

                Seeing that his comment shut up his assistant, he proceeded to open a notepad and began scratching down a list of needs on it as he surveyed the damage done.