A pale, elderly man staring out, “I don’t have a problem with criminals getting punished. In fact, I’m all for their punishment.”
“That is the tonight’s final word. This is Talia Knox, signing off. See you tomorrow Stroud.”
“That’s a wrap,” her producer said her ear.
Pushing back from the news desk, Talia mentally summoned her pet, as she walked off stage to her dressing room. Her pet, a small hovering gray ball with the station’s logo on one side, and a blue eye met her at the dressing room.
“Have a good rest?” addressing her pet.
Pet, dipped a bit; a sign she always took as yes.
An evening meeting…
“I need to get out into the city,” Talia announced to the room of managers, producers, and more assistants than she cared to count.
“Do you have a story to pitch?” A producer whose name she did not know asked.
Another producer jumped in, “Your numbers are up. People like you.”
“People love you,” someone else interjected.
And another person and another person; each one louder and more insistent behind the news desk was here future because people loved her now. Maddening. Her pet dipped, touching her shoulder in sympathy from the waves of frustration she was emanating. Shoving the pile of notes aside, Talia grabbed her coffee, sipping slowly eyeballing everyone as they continued to shout her praises over each other.
Pet resting on her shoulder the clamor and din died down, everyone looking at her.
“I need to investigate real stories, not read the news. I know people love me,” sarcasm lacing her words, “but anyone can be a talking head.”
“Yes, I do have a few stories to pitch, an investigative series of reports on the gangs of the city,” Talia started holding up her hand stalling everyone from responding, “We have covered a lot of crime and gang news recently. I am positive the people who love me will love me reporting about gangs and criminal organizations.”
“Criminal organizations?” Someone voiced.
“Which gangs?” Another voice.
“Why not focus on something else, more…what’s the word I’m looking for?” an assistant producer asked.
“The word you are looking for is safe,” Talia replied, edge to her voice, “I do not want safe,” enunciating each word.
“Talia,” her long time producer began, “How much time will you need to bring me a proposal so we have a better idea what you have in mind?”
Pet perked up, hovering above her right ear; sipping her coffee slowly, “Two weeks. Give me two weeks for research.”
Assistant producers conferred with producers who conferred with managers, all of the conversation in hushed tones finally centering on her producer.
“Two weeks,” she said without any emotion.