A vampire in Brussels, by Camilla10
A/N. This and other stories are meant to keep you entertained while I work on The Parachutist sequel. A vampire in Brussels is very different from my usual fare. It is a political story I wrote taking my leave from the organization I worked for 25 years.
Oh yes, Edward and Jacob are in Brussels, to deal with an important event in world politics. In the meanwhile Bella and Nessie go shopping. No kidding.
AVIB is dedicated to Friends of the Earth Europe. FoE International and Amici della Terra. Hi dears, I love you, even if I am retiring.
The Twilight characters belong to Stephenie Meyer, no copyright infringement is intended. The plot, however, belongs to me. Commissioner Caretta belongs to the Government who indicated his name, the Italian one, that is. I would not touch him even if I had gloves on.
I hope that the filthy language of the Italian Commissioner does not disturb anybody. It is quite realistic, considering the content of some intercepted calls of Italian politicians that surfaced during Court cases. And if you are scandalized by his lack of political correctness, well, this is the whole point… he is a son of a bitch. I admit it, this is my second Italian politician with a dirty mouth and a black soul… like the Hon Valerio Donati in a story soon to be published here. We do have good politicians, buy the nasty ones are more inspiring, somehow. By the way, this story is rated T, just for his language.
The time is present time (albeit Jacob and Nessie are married), but the political framework is totally imaginary. Alternate Universe, really, and so are the humans involved, of course. In reality, the G8 has practically disappeared now. This story postulates that there is an effort to revamp it. Mm, revamp, interesting word.
Many thanks to: Gerardo, John, Gianna, Alberto, Ino and to my beta reader Totoro.
Commissioner Sergio Caretta
Bored, bored, bored. One fucking indigenous leader after another, when will this damn hearing end? Our beloved President Martines wanted it, and now I am stuck here.
Oh, the representative of the Indonesian indigenous people has finished. Who is next? According to the program this is one Jacob Black, spokesperson for the US Natives. Uh, a redskin, maybe he has a feather war bonnet. No, he hasn't. Pity, it would have been entertaining. He is a very tall guy; impressive but…quite young. Here they say that he is an elected Representative in the Washington State Legislature.
So what is it this time?
We have had GMOs tree plantations substituting virgin forest, fuel crops doing the same, rubber trees ditto. Then we had dams and displacement of local communities, and now we have Uranium mining on ancestral lands. Yeah, excess logging on the Olympic Peninsula and the West Coast in general. Yeah, so on and so forth. He can talk himself hoarse, there is no way I am going to support the Resolution's Part 3; dealing with forest protection and the rights of indigenous people on their ancestral land.
All this because of this year's G8. It has finally dawned on the Heads of Government that the G8 is slipping into irrelevancy. Now it's the G20 to be hot. Journalists report on first ladies shopping rather than on final declarations. So the motherfuckers, spurred by the US, want to revitalize the meeting, formalize it somehow. They are going to approve a Resolution this time, not a Declaration, and commit to have it passed by their respective Parliaments afterwards. Sherpas have been busy and now the Resolution is drafted with all the alternate texts in brackets. Should the G8 approve Part 3 it in its most extreme formulation, a lot of current business activities would be seriously hampered, when not grinding to a halt. The EU Council of Ministers has given to the Commission a negotiating mandate, and President Martines, blast him, is doing everything nice and proper. Hence the reason for this hearing.
My objective, which corresponds with a vengeance to the objective of the Italian Government, is to derail the Resolution, or at least ensure that the tamest wording is approved. Our premier has been pressured both by Russia and China to make this happen, as they are concerned about the veto power and protection it would give to their own indigenous populations, a thing that they do not find acceptable.
So who would be my allies among the other Commissioners? The French, probably. They certainly would not want to see uranium mining stopped, as it could well happen, and the British. Well, in fact, all the Commissioners from countries with revamped nuclear plans, of course. Almost everybody, then.
Then there is the issue of fuel crops. Here I have a personal interest, due to my wife's family business, so I must be careful on that. In Southern countries there have been a lot of protests because fuel crops compete with food production. But, what the hell, planes must fly.
Of course after the negotiating phase, it will go again to the Council of Ministers. I hope the Italian ones will perform. The cocksuckers are so involved in domestic affairs and scandals that foreign policies very often escape their attention. In the next few days I'll call the Minister for European Affairs, to make sure he and I stay on the same page.
After all, I owe him, and he owes me. When he was a regional Governor and was making free of European funds, I, his regional minister for Agriculture, did help him cover his shit. Not without safekeeping some copies of the most damning documents, of course. So, in a sense, it could be said that I hold him by the balls…but no, we are good friends, and he did do his best to get me inside the Commission. Out of friendship? But of course!
Oh, finally the Indian has finished. Three more to go…
Here I am, waiting for Mr. Gordon, the suave lobbyist. He will not arrive before 11, though, so I can enjoy my beer at leisure. I am actually a wine person myself, but some of the beers in Belgium are really good, so I am being slowly converted. And here at La Petite Mort – count on the Belgians to give kinky names to places – the variety available on the menu is staggering. Not a lot of people here tonight, however.
Ah, here comes one of the guys from this morning's hearing. Yes, the Native American, with a party of three. A very pretty girl - not native, with a mass of bronze hair, and a stunning couple. They are pale as death, though. The woman has long dark brown tresses and the most incredible eyes I have ever seen. Golden, almost like a cat.
But wait, the young man with her has the same eyes, while his hair is the same color of the Indian guy's pretty companion. Strange, those three must be related. Brother and sisters, maybe. They have all ordered Kriek, the red beer that's so…surprising. The native must have cracked a joke because they are all laughing. The pale beauty says something and then the Indian's girlfriend nudges her and says "Oh Mom, come on…"
Mom, she said 'Mom'? Impossible, maybe it's a nickname.
The Jazz band advertised for the night starts playing, so I cannot get further items from their conversation.
I muse briefly on this morning's hearing, looking at the Indian and remembering his misguided requests, then I wonder what the next request of Mr. Gordon is that I will have to satisfy in a completely different field.
For the moment I ensured that the lobby register remained voluntary, and that there were plenty of loopholes. And I got my reward, I sure did. Now it is sleeping peacefully in my secret account in the Cayman Islands. The number of the account is embedded forever in my mind, not written anywhere, too dangerous. But the money is still not enough! Not if I want to free myself of the bitch I married. We can still stay married, I don't give a damn, but I am done with her always having the upper hand. She is stinking rich, so she thinks she can control everything: the Southern countries' governments where her inherited holding invests, her toy boys, and yours truly.
Enough is enough.
In any case, I did earn the money I got because I did deliver. I saw the way the fucking NGOs were complaining; louder and louder. Bastards. Why have they stopped hugging trees and begun meddling in things they barely understand? They have decided to make the life of lobbyists' hell and to make sure that companies are NOT properly heard by the Commission, with a chance to influence it. Now that the effectiveness of the Register is being evaluated, they are again on the warpath.
Unfortunately, a lot of members of the European Parliament agree with them, so to thwart their efforts will be much harder now. I must make sure that my next reward is proportioned …
Uh, a text message. Mr. Gordon is not going to make it tonight. Fine, I'll relax and enjoy the music.
"Do you mind if tomorrow morning I leave you with Nessie? I have something to do with Jacob."
"OK, I don't mind. We have to go shopping."
"You must be kidding me!"
"No, seriously, Renesmee needs a few conservative but elegant outfits for when she has to accompany Jacob to some function. Here, all the best French and Italian designers have their Show Rooms and they are all near our hotel. We just need to walk up and down Avenue Louise. We'll also look for a present for Alice.
"So it's settled, then. Now come here, please."
Commissioner Sergio Caretta
My assistant tells me that one of the indigenous leaders that was at the hearing yesterday wants to see me. He is leaving tomorrow, and promises to make it short.
Well, I'll be nice. Let him come.
Jacob Black. He is the American native that was also at La Petite Mort yesterday. Hell, he is big, towering over me as we shake hands. And he is not alone; he brought with him his brother in law, whom he introduces as Edward Cullen. A strange guy, this one is. His hand is very cold, and he is so pale! My assistant, however, is looking at him like he is God's gift to women.
Puttana. Albeit, yes, I suppose you could define him as handsome. He gives me a visiting card with "The Cullen Foundation" embossed on it. The logo is some heraldic animal with a...hand, I think, over its head. Only a website is given as an address.
Surprisingly enough, he is the one who speaks. In flawless Italian, imagine! He tells me that his Foundation cares about nature protection and the rights of indigenous people and he hopes that I will do the utmost to ensure that the famous G8 resolution will grant the maximum, in that sense. Yeah, when hell freezes over.
"I am sure this paper will help convince you," he says, handing me a sheet.
On it, penned perfectly, there are only three lines. I look, stunned.
The first line says "Lobby Activities' Regulation", the second is just Mr. Gordon's name, and the third is… damn him, my account number in the Caymans!
Winded, I see him rise, offering me his hand and adding.
"I am sure you will do your utmost, Signor Caretta."
He smiles to me, showing very white and strong teeth. After that they both leave.
"Edward, do you think he will deliver?" I ask my bloodsucker father in law while we stroll leisurely on Rue de la Loi. The weather, as they tell me is often the case in Brussels, is overcast.
"Well," he answers, "I don't think he is as powerful as he likes to think he is, and I don't think Italy's role is so important. But to see him squirm was really worth it. When I read his dirty mind in the Jazz club, I could not resist. What a disgusting individual!"
Well, as one does not write for money, the only thing that works is a review … please?
As you might have inferred, the issue Mr. Caretta is selling to the lobbies' representative is the regulation of lobbyists' activities, practically uncontrolled so far. He intends to keep it so, if he can. Groups like Friends of the Earth Europe are campaigning about it. I kept details to the very minimum, but if you want to know more, just google "Alter-eu".
In this story, the Italian Commissioner has the Competition mandate. Italy had a fantastically good and totally honest Competition Commissioner, Mario Monti, nicknamed Supermario, but that was some years ago.
A Sherpa is a diplomatic negotiator, preparing Summit's decisions on behalf of his Government.