Extract from ‘The Pornography Wars’.

This is the section I have just been working on. Any feedback is welcome!!

‘I have that data,’ Lavv called across to Tryyxx. She was in her study, her tablet open with strings of data hanging in the air that she was busy scrolling through, each of her optics focussing on a different string.

Tryyxx ambled in from the living room and stood behind her, massaging her shoulders, scanning through the data. ‘Where did you get this from?’ Tryyxx looked aghast. She could see that it was highly personal data not permitted for anybody apart from the civic planners, particularly not those involved with politics.

Lavv flicked a couple of optics her way with a disdainful look. ‘I have my means. If we are going to win this damn election for Brrrad we are going to have to use everything we’ve got. It’s going to be a dirty fight. You don’t win a war by nunnyyfooting around.’

Tryyxx bobbed her eyepods. ‘It would not be good to be caught with it, that’s all. That’s highly hush-hush civil planning data intended for social provision and infrastructure. Not even, well actually, especially not, government personnel are allowed to get their hands on that stuff. It would confer an unfair advantage.’

Lavv shook her eyepods in disdain, as if she needed telling. ‘That’s precisely why I got hold of it.’ She swung eyepods her way, an expression of disbelief on her face. ‘Don’t for one minute tell me you haven’t got hold of this stuff. I know you have.’

Tryyxx ignored the condescending tone. Of course she used that clandestine data. It was just a shock to find Lavv had her own recourse to such highly protected information. ‘So what have you turned up?’

‘It’s seems very much as we expected. Brrrad has a large fanatical following of just under 40%. She also has an equally motivated similar sized opposition who can’t stand her. The swing voters are all turned off. They are all voting Gyrra.’ She looked round at Tryyxx. ‘It’s not enough, is it?’

Tryyxx sighed and pulled up a pexi to study the data in more detail. ‘If it wasn’t for the stupid system Brrrad wouldn’t have a nuuffs chance. Thankfully everyone has to vote and most of them vote with their hormones and not their brains. That gives us a chance. You always have a chance in a two krrrll race. How Gyrra managed to get through all the preliminaries is a wonder. Fortunately she’s a very weak candidate. Brrrad’s been lucky that the opposition have been so disorganised and fragmented. They’ve been more concerned with career assignation than focussing on Brrrad. She sneaked through.’

‘Even so, she’s way out ahead,’ Lavv pointed out despondently.

Tryyxx was looking at the figures and had to agree.

‘You don’t think it might not be best to spacewarp to the other side? It’s obvious that Gyrra, weak as she might be, has a far greater chance of winning. It could be expedient.’ Lavv was glaring at the data with a gloomy, downcast expression on her face.

Tryyxx pointed to the playroom where the trutlets were being cared for by their new employees. Grrmm and Srrlle had them thoroughly occupied with some exciting looking educational game. She pointed to the new servor with its prestigious array of juices and quality drugs. She pointed to the massive new tridee plinth and array of gravopexis. ‘You want to give this up? You know that Gyrra won’t pay enough to cover all this. No. We have to get Brrrad elected if we want to hang on to this way of life.’

‘OK,’ Lavv agreed, pouting and exhaling deeply, ‘but that will only work if we succeed. And the chances of that are looking pretty slim right at this moment.’

‘Right,’ Tryyxx said. ‘I guess it’s in our interests to ensure the cretinous clown gets elected. Let’s get to it.’ She took her tablet out and began making notes. The two of them were quiet as they absorbed the intricacies of the details and processed the modelling.

‘What have you got?’ Tryyxx asked when they had finished trawling through and processing the data.

‘Solid base of 39% who won’t change whatever. They are hooked on her libertine, maverick personality. They’d die for her.’

Tryyxx checked her figures. ‘Yep. That’s my figure too.’

‘45% strongly opposed. They think Brrrad’s a complete lazy, inept clown who is completely useless. Pretty accurate assessment in my view.’ She shrugged her optics and glanced round at Tryyxx. ‘39% of those think she’s a menace who is divisive and positively dangerous. I do not think it is going to be possible to prise any of them away from Gyrra. They might not all like her but she’s not Brrrad and that’s good enough.’ She turned her optics on to Tryyxx. ‘That leaves us 16% to work on and the bulk of them heavily lean to Gyrra. It looks bleak.’

Tryyxx bobbed her eyepods. ‘The sleaze accusations are cutting through a little. It looks like we have 2% in the bag. If Brrrad can keep it up that might rise a few points.’ They both knew it wasn’t going to be enough.

‘So we have all the libertines on board,’ Tryyxx mused, peering at her notes. ‘We need more.’

Lavv turned to face him. ‘Here’s what I think.’ She jabbed a few notes into her tablet. ‘Firstly we get Brrrad to run a campaign against the Fringers. There are a lot of bad feelings about them.’

Tryyxx raised her eyepods. The Fringers were all the ones on the outskirts of the federation – the pioneers and more radical elements who lived semi-wild. There was a lot of resentment over how they kept wanting to jumptube in and use all the amenities without contributing. With darkened skins due to the hard radiation they encountered they were easily identified and came in for a lot of abuse. ‘We’ll be accused of racism?’

Lavv shrugged. ‘So be it. As long as it wins us votes.’

‘But we’ll lose the Fringers.’

‘They are only a minority,’ Lavv pointed out. ‘Most of them would vote for Gyrra anyway. According to my modelling we’ll gain more than we lose.’ She scrolled through to find the relevant section. ‘There you are – 79% projected Gyrra. We haven’t got a lot to lose. Besides, we can identify the most virulent Gyrra supporters and fiddle with the comcom on the fringes. Make it harder for them to register or vote.’

Tryyxx nodded. She liked that. She did a bit of calculating. ‘Still not enough.’

‘No,’ Lavv admitted. ‘This is where things get difficult. By my calculations we need a bunch of the puritans.’

Tryyxx looked startled. The puritans rarely voted at all and certainly were not people that she would consider to be in Brrrad’s territory.

‘I know,’ Lavv said. ‘It’s a calculated risk. If we could win over a bunch of them we might just edge it.’

‘How would we do that without losing the libertines?’

‘We work on the principle that the 39% of hardcore fanatics will vote for her anyway whatever we do.’ Lavv grinned at her. ‘So we offer the puritans something they really want.’

Tryyxx looked dubious. ‘The only thing that bunch of nutters want is to do away with conjugos.’

Lavv grinned back at her.

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