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Voodoo Economics (The Lodestone Mine Incident)

"The bill is passed," the Speaker of the House announced. Congressman Kelley smiled; this would show the executives of Amalgamation Investment Group who was in charge of the county. First it had been the banks and car companies; then it had been the insurance and the oil companies; everyone thought that they could get an easy handout from the government.

"No more bailouts" had been the slogan that he used in his campaign against the incumbent, and the voters responded to it. America was tired of bailing out corporations and companies that could not balance their books and yet had their executives living in estates like royalty. Enough was enough.

There was a smattering of applause for the ever staring newsfeed. This was a glorious day. Next on Congressman Kelly's agenda was to set up his Presidential exploratory commission; if America was sick of Congressmen who supported higgledy-piggledy bailouts, then surely the President who enabled it all should be easy to challenge. Yes, Congressman Kelley thought, he was rising swiftly to the top.

"Look at his smug smile," declared Robert Putman. "He thinks that this is his witch hunt. Boy, he is in for a surprise."

"Robert, are you sure that the Stonecutters are behind this?" asked Lt. Governor Blake.

"Yes, I am." Putman was annoyed; Blake had more to lose than Amalgamation did; it was the lives of the citizens of his state that were at stake here.

The third man in the room picked up the remote and turned off the television. Seckel focused on his breath, willing himself towards detachment. He spoke slowly, carefully, watching every word that he said.

"We would not be in the mess if we would not have attempted to make a killing. Precious metals were the last bastion of stability, and investors wanted large profits. And we thought that we could give them what they wanted. But we forgot the reality of business; it is inherently risky."

"No, we forgot that despite our machinations that the Order of the Twilight Star was still a threat. You would think that with the lawsuit over who was the rightful heir to the assets of the Order that they would have been too busy to interfere with us."

"They were rogue Adepts. They were not answering to either serpent. There was no way to predict that some of them would band together and prevent the project from coming to completion."

Seckel shuddered at the memory. Their words still burned: Ge univax gi ax cafafam Ghob. Panpir lonshin esdooain. Abramig ag audcal. (We banish you back to the realm of Ghob. With the power of the Tetragrammaton. Prepare no more gold.)

"And now we all are going to pay the price...hopefully not before Congressman Kelley pays the price for his own ambitions."

"Something to warm your heart in hell..."

A month later, Congressman Kelley stepped into the office at the Lodestone mine. This was one of the most wasteful locations of the Amalgamation Investment Group. Not only were they paying their executives big bonuses, they had been paying their supervisors here a thousand times the mining industry standard. Well, no more---the government was now in charge of this company and they were going to do things in an economic manner.

Kelley picked a book off the absent foreman's desk: Nameless Cults by Friedrich Wilhein von Junzt. He smiled; some people will believe anything; bet he also believed in voodoo economics and that giving tax breaks to the rich created jobs.

Congressman Kelley's aide came into the office. "Sir, the miners have walked out of the mine. They say that they are not getting paid enough to work down there."

"Greedy bastards." Kelley's eyes gleamed. "Are the news crews still here?"

"Yes sir," the aide said.

"Good. Get me a hard hat. We will show the people of America that the mine is safe and that Amalgamation was just wasting money."

"Yes, sir." The aide went out to find a hard hat for the Congressman.

Yes, he would show them. He could see himself in the Oval Office already. Soon the aide was back with the hard hat, and a couple eager news crews. All was good in his universe.

Down into the mine, they went. It was well lighted...until the knocking begin...the reluctant miner that they had brought with them fled towards the surface. Kelley laughed...until the overhead lights went out. Then illuminated only by the camera lights, the tentacles came out of the walls and the screaming begin. The loudest screamer was Congressman Kelley.