Buck had had innumerable run-ins with Verna Zee in the Chicago office. Once he felt she had overstepped her bounds and had moved too quickly into her former boss’s office after Lucinda Washington disappeared in the Rapture. Then, when Buck himself was demoted for ostensibly missing the most important assignment of his life, Verna did become Chicago bureau chief and lorded it over him. Now that he was publisher, he had been tempted to fire her.Vermic's response:
I would really, dearly love to read a Verna's POV version of this paragraph. Everything about this one positively screams "unreliable narrator".My attempt to provide it follows, though I note that I was so focused on the filling in about the past that I sort of forgot to work in that this is when he's kicking her out of her office during World War III. You know, when she, as a news person, would be kind of busy.
Verna first met Cameron Williams in the midst of the world altering catastrophe that the event had been, her boss gone she'd stepped into the role of organizer because if the Chicago office hadn't relied on battlefield promotions no one would have been in charge and anarchy and panic would have been allowed to reign. She couldn't let that happen because it was vitally important, especially during disasters, that the news got out. Into that Williams had walked and taken offense at her for shouldering more responsibilities than anyone had ever asked of her.
She was glad to be rid of him when he was gone and under her the office did it's job and did it well. The battlefield promotion was made official and she didn't give a second thought to Cameron Williams until he fucked up a major assignment in New York.
Assigned to cover a high level meeting at the UN he never showed up, the meeting became a major news story when it unexpectedly became the scene of a murder suicide. The deaths of either of those involved would have been a major story that shook geopolitics even if the world weren't already in the midst of the the worst turmoil in human history.
Any member of nearly any news organization would have given nearly any body part to have had a reporter in the room when it happened. And GW was supposed to have.
Rather than admit his failure Williams had lied, tried to claim that he was in the room and did cover the story even though none of his facts lined up and everyone agreed that he was not.
In the aftermath of that, when he should have been fired, he was sent to her. She'd tried to find a place to fit him in her team even though she neither wanted nor needed his help, and moreover, even though she had little use for a reporter she couldn't trust.
He responded with insolence and rather than go through channels he insisted that she take the matter straight to the top. Partially to humor him, partially to test to see if his "after hours number" for their boss was correct, she'd done just that. The resolution was imperfect, it was clear that emotions were at play, notably a strong fondness for Williams, but it at least got him out of her hair. He would work from home independent from her office.
And that, she had hoped, would be the last she heard of him.
Then freedom of the press died. All media was consolidated under a single entity, and that entity served at the whims of the newly forming one world government. As everyone had to make difficult decisions about whether to quit in protest or remain in their role in hopes that they could make it something more than just state sponsored propaganda, one figure emerged who would head this new one word media.
When she heard it would be a reporter she by turns thought maybe it was a good thing, and wondered who they had found to so completely sell their soul as to lead the end of free media. That figure: Cameron Williams.
With all of the world's media to push around she had hoped he wouldn't have time to bother her further, but now here he was, kicking her out of her office.
Or something like that.
[Left Behind Index]