Governor Santos bows his head, gives a shallow cough, and begins to perspire. Alpha leans back in his chair and grins over at Roy.

"I'd sign the executive order myself but the signature will only look authentic if you operate your own muscles," Alpha says as he lessens the pressure on the governor's arms. Santos shakes free of the invisible bonds and picks up the pen.

No stranger to strong arm politics, Santos has never experienced this level of influence. How did they get in my head? Remote restraints? There is no technology like this! More sweat rolls down his neck and into his collar as the scope of what he is doing unfolds in his mind.

"I've never given away so much state land by executive order. You know this will be challenged immediately in court. Your operation will be exposed," Santos reasons with more hope than conviction.

"Not a problem with the courts, Governor Santos. You know Judge Wilshire?" Alpha pauses for Santos to reflect then reaches out to the fibers.

The phone on the desk buzzes.

"Judge Wilshire on the line, sir," says a voice on the intercom.

White as a sheet Santos picks up the phone.


Marie meets with a group of state senators extolling the virtues of the Old Guard Patternist movement and the importance of loyalty.

"When momentum swings, senators, you need to swing with it. The OGP has an unbreakable network of support that can keep you in office until you retire."

One by one the senators stand and speak their minds but Gyre is doing all the talking. The puppet show solidifies cooperation. If one senator is compromised, they rarely believe that a majority of the legislature is being similarly manipulated. They need a functioning government to keep public order. Gyre and Marie just make sure the laws benefit the OGP.


"Easy enough," Marie later tells Alpha and Roy while sharing some lunch with them on the OGP jet, "I think we can finish two more states today."

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