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A new Consulate
[Image: 107D35D4-F7B5-4489-9BE1-8DF3012412C8_zpswifbpgqm.jpg]

Within an hour of the Ascendancy's impromptu announcement that these power wielders, these channelers as Evelyn Avalon called them, were widespread across the globe, Viktor's life as he knew it ceased to exist. As deputy-consul for the Ascendancy, he was the chief man in charge of all Consulate affairs in the CCD. His oversight kept the Consuls that reported to him in check, but he was completely unprepared for the fallout of this announcement. But it would be a cold day in hell before he admitted as much to the Ascendancy.

He recalled the sheer horror that knotted his stomach when he stood off-stage, watching the live press coverage of the announcement. He trusted the Ascendancy with every shred of his being, but shock could hardly describe the moment. While public eyes watched, he kept his jaw locked tight, eyes impassive. But as soon as he joined the Ascendancy in private, he demanded more information.

Whatever the Ascendancy's plan was, Viktor had the task of carrying it out. First, it began with the creation of a new Consulate. Consulate on ---

Fuck him if he knew what to call it. Well, he'd figure it out later.

The consulate needed a leader, a Consul. It would ideally be someone Nikolai chose himself. Someone like him.

Viktor always knew the Ascendancy was different. Spend a day in the man's private company and anyone could know as much. He'd seen things, extraordinary things, happen around the Ascendancy. And he wasn't the only one. Others saw them too, staffers, aides, even the cleaning crews that mopped the fucking floors knew something was different. But nobody really knew. Nobody ever asked. They just believed, accepted, and put their heads down and worked. That didn't stop rumors filtering out of the Kremlin, though. Viktor was aware of some of them-the Consulate on Propaganda took advantage of some and smothered others. Apollyon was a word they disliked. Archon was carefully planted in exotic places of the CCD, Archon of Ages. Whatever the hell that meant.

Then there was the monument. Fuck fuck fuck but that thing was scary as shit. Viktor was sure one of his under-Consuls shit his pants when the Lenin Mausoleum fucking melted before their eyes. Forget the fact that Lenin's body was gone forever. Forget that the tomb melted. But just fucking look at the archway that rose in its place. If the Ascendancy did that with his mind, what else could he do? What else had he done? Viktor didn't want to know. He believed the Ascendancy when he claimed to be the oldest and strongest of all these people-these power users, these, what did Evelyn call them? He quickly filtered through a screen of notes. There. Yes, Channelers. If there were a thousand channelers out there. Anyone that had the Sickness, that meant the CCD loomed on the brink of anarchy. They had to be regulated. Trained. governed.

That was where the Consulate would step in.

And Viktor finally had his name. He keyed in the new title and submitted the executive order for the Ascendancy to sign later that day.

"Consulate on Channeler Oversight"

Now. To find someone competent enough to lead it.

Viktor had his chief aide submit two pages of suggestions to lead the Consulate on Channeler Oversight (CCO). Two pages of names complete to links of additional information including credentials, experience, loyalty, and trustworthiness and not a single fucking person was suitable to the job. Hell not even Viktor himself had the requisite requirements for the job. And what exactly were the requirements to lead the CCO?

First: be one of these channelers, second: be everything else a Consul had to be.

Aside from the Ascendancy, Viktor was aware of only one other candidate. Commander Vellas raked his nerves. How the Ascendancy trusted the man was beyond him, but by proxy, Viktor had to likewise invest his trust. Michael was so far loyal to the CCD, and had proven his worth and valor in combat, but he was not suitable for a bureaucratic role in government. There were the others as well, although Viktor hadn't met any of them personally, he didn't want someone in the position who may be more loyal to Vellas than to the Ascendancy.

That meant he needed to look elsewhere. He pulled up the files on registered power users--channelers--he mentally corrected himself, and sent a note to update the registration form to reflect the new name. It sounded much less idiotic than fucking magicians, like the Ascendancy was a side-show in a circus.

Except for that initial technical snafu when the site went live, the registration servers had been busy. The CCO would eventually take over running the logistics of the data, but given the short time frame in which the site was erected, staffers were still being compiled to organize the results. When Viktor logged in to his admin account to see the site traffic for himself, he almost choked. In a matter of days the site had millions of hits, and massive numbers of registered accounts. Assuming even a fraction of those were real, and not spam, it would be nearly impossible to parse through the people any time soon.

He called his under-Consul into his office. "I want you to redo the list. But this time compile names of individuals with requisite experience from the registration accounts. I'll make you a proxy admin right now."
The under-Consul nodded and left to get right to work on it.

In the meantime, Viktor filtered the registered users to browse through the ones based in Moscow, just to get an idea of who all was out there.
Viktor rubbed his eyes and glanced at the clock. It had gotten late. A stretch and he leaned back in his chair, wondering where the hours went. The screen before him was filled with open pages on registered power users, these 'channelers' that he'd been reading about for hours. Many of the accounts were faked. After reading numerous examples, he could almost pick out the genuine ones with a glance.

Like this girl, he swiped back to her file, already having lost her name to the sea of names his eyes roamed that night.

Strange things happen to me. I can't control them, and I don't understand them, and they scare me. Objects move. My paintings become real. Which part is the magic part? Am I just crazy?

Then there was a guy somewhere in the files that claimed to .. A knock on the door and Viktor looked away as his under-Consul entered - face pale and haggard. Worse than a late night could explain. Viktor frowned.

"What happened?"

"The Ascendancy, sir. He was shot. They're taking him to Kremlin Clinical now."

Viktor's chest tightened, horrified. In a flash he grabbed his coat and burst out of the office, demanding details as they walked.
Continued in Fallout

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