PHD #336: Lesson One
Lesson One
Summary: Nataly's first day on the job.
Date: 28 Jan 2042 AE
Related Logs: The Library of Hard Knocks (Sawyer criticizes Nataly's work) & Ebb and Flow (Nataly gets hired)
Sawyer Nataly 
News Room - Deck 3 - Battlestar Cerberus
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear
This room isn't huge by any means, but it does have all the updated equipment and a small news staff that runs the area.
Post-Holocaust Day: #336

Despite all belief, this is still a functioning News Room. They produce news letters, obituaries, historical documentation, editorials and of course the occasional hard hitting press bulletin. Sometime after Warday, Sawyer became the defacto boss of this little operation, and still has a few members of QUODEL that work doing the editing and formatting. There are a few lingering in here now, pounding away on their keyboards or running copies on the machine that hums along with that musty smell of toner filling the air. Averies herself is exiting the Dark Room, clicking off the little red warning light as she leaves and shuts the door with a little hip-check.

Sporting her new ID badge and a dress that is the closest thing to formal that she still owns, Nataly walks into the News Room nervously. The way she looks at it, she seems very much to fear that this might all just be some kind of elaborate trap. She walks up to one of the desks and takes a deep breath. "Hi, uh, I'm Nataly Rassvet, and I'm looking for Miss Averies…"

A skinny man with big glasses barely looks up from his keyboard to hitch his head in the direction of the Dark Room. That's the only help Nataly gets as to Sawyer's location, but lucky enough it's a modest sized room so spotting the greenhorn isn't that difficult. "You found me. Look at you with your shiny new security clearance." Sawyer makes a little detour to her desk, assuming that Nataly will follow. "That means you get one of these." A press placard is pulled out of her center draw and tossed ontop of a stack of papers. "Don't abuse it, I was the one that had to sign for you so if you end up in the brig, I'm the one whose ass gets drug out of bed in the middle of the night." Or hammock, whichever.

"Yeah, uh, ok." Nataly takes the placard and holds it in her hand, still looking around and wondering where the trap will be coming from. "So, uh, what exactly are you going to be having me work on, here? What do you want me writing?"

"What do you want to work on?" Sawyer answers a question with a question as she plops her rump in the most comfortable chair in the room. It still squeaks like the dickens, but it's a comforting noise after all these months. While the journalist waits for the girl to answer, she starts rummaging on her desk, having once again misplaced something in the mountain of papers.

Nataly sits across from her in the considerbly less comfortable chair on the other side of the desk, thinking. "I want to write about the situation on the Elpis. But I also want to write about the fleet. Something so that the folks on Elpis can see more of the military than the MPs and the partying pilots."

"Aha." It's not said in acknowledgement of Nataly's words, but in triumph as Sawyer pulls a pack of cigarettes out from where it was hiding. "Then you can start on fluff pieces." She's quiet for a moment, just long enough to flick a lighter to life and spark a cherry. "They're called 'humanitarian' pieces. Stuff about quality of life, stories about the family so and so left behind. If it's going to be produced from this office, it goes through me first. Nothing gets printed and distributed without my stamp on it."

Nataly's face twists up a bit at that. Fluff? "Fluff? But it's important stuff, stuff that reminds everyone that we're all still human, stuff that makes it harder to demonize someone, whether they be Civillian or Military… why do you call it fluff?"

"Don't take it personally, kid. That's just what we called it before the bombs fell. If we change our terminology now, the cylons win." Sawyer gives a little sardonic smile, reaching over to ash her cigarette in a glass dish for that very purpose. "So do you have any vices? Use bad language? Gamble?"

The question catches Nataly off guard. She thinks about it. "Uh, I can name every Caprican Starlett who dated a Tauron Pro Pyramid player over the last two years, what movies they were in, and who they wore to the last Colonial Film Awards… does that count?" Maybe it wouldn't. "I drank some at a high school party when I was still underage… and threw up in the bushes afterwards."

"Then you damn well better learn, because right now the only people you're telling me you'll be able to relate to are tittering high-school girls, and last I checked, that's a very small percentage of the remaining population. Start learning it all. Learn to spit, cuss and scratch yourself. Learn to play triad and how to bet on a pyramid game. Learn to smoke, take a punch and deliver a joke. Know how to dress professionally, but still rock a pair of jeans. Get yourself a manicure and then don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. What I'm telling you is to learn how to be a chameleon, because if people can't relate to you, there's not a chance in Hades they're going to open up to you." Sawyer pauses. "Are you taking notes?" This is premium shit she's dishing out.

Nataly does, in fact, have her notebook down, and she's writing it all down as she goes. "Ok, I think I can manage the Pyramid… folks are always playing and I'm pretty good at guessing who'll win…" she keeps writing. "Not a whole lot of fumarella left, though, is there? Shouldn't I leave it for the folks who need it?"

"I'm not saying take up the habit enough to kill yourself. I'm saying learn how to do it so that everytime you inhale, you aren't trying to cough up a lung. You'd be surprised how easily 'this'," This being Sawyer extending her pack of cigarettes across to Nataly, with one partially poking out from the mix, "Can open a door."

"Oooooohhhhh…" Nataly says, and then nods. "So… ok. I don't need to really become all that… just be good enough at looking like it so I can get my foot in the door. An eltee might not want to talk to a nosy reporter, but a cute girl with a nice ass can get an exclusive…"

"Careful." Sawyer says, tossing the pack of cigarettes off in a direction that will likely result in them being lost again in short order. "That's a fine line you'd be treading, and you may not like the consequences. When you use sex, they expect sex." And something about the way Sawyer says it, sometimes they /get/ sex whether it was the intention or not.

"Yeah," Nataly says with a sigh. "And it might be hard to tell whether or not I'm doing it for the story or for a date." She broods a bit on that point. "Ok, so get some cigs, suck on one every now and again, maybe have a drink or two. Careful with the sex, don't want to get in over my head." She taps her pencil against her notebook.

"Basically, try do your research /before/ you talk to somebody. It might just give you that edge you need to get them to open up. Sometimes it's unavoidable, those impromptu interviews, but if you know you're going to try and track down someone, do your homework on them first." Sawyer takes another drag on her cigarette, looking away to some negative space. "And never, ever get too close to your story."

Scribble, Scribble. Nataly is still dutifully taking notes. "What do you mean by that?"

Sawyer swivels slightly in her chair so she can look at Nataly directly again. "Don't get too emotionally invested in the people you're interviewing or the story you're doing. It impairs your judgment and worse, it harms your work."

Nataly nods, and writes that down as well. "Um, sorry if this is too personal, but did you do that… with the Admiral?"

Sawyer gives a smoky little laugh, the thing coarse coming out of her throat. "Now you know why I stopped reporting about Michael. I did my work as the court reporter, but I didn't publish an article on the outcome of the trial or his execution. Why? Because it would have been that opinion-laden, emotional drivel you put out about martial law. Don't worry, we'll break you of that."

An eyebrow raises at that. "You know, I reread that article after we met in the Library. There were opinions in it, yes, but I still don't understand what about it made you so angry. The opinions weren't just mine, but also those of the people I discussed the article with. Given the drivel that Rene-Marie and his cronies have been spewing concerning the military, it seemed pertinent."

Sawyer snorts. "First of all, you caught me on a phenomenally bad day. And second of all, if you thought that was pertinent, then you don't need to stay working for me. Rene-Marie will get what he's asking for, and more. Putting out that pamphlet was like tossing a paper napkin on a fire. It did nothing but add fuel. You drew a cartoon on the back for frak's sake."

Nataly snorts right back. "Gosh, a piece of paper containing an article and funny drawings. I can't imagine where I would have gotten the idea for that, not you know, nearly every newspaper published in the Colonies before the war." She shakes her head. "How is he going to get it? I honestly don't see how letting him be the only voice out there helps anything. With all the shit Abbot's trial stirred up, even if Rene-Marie were nailed for directly threatening the fleet he would be seen as a martyr by half of the folks on Elpis. But if THEY changed their minds about him, saw exactly what he was doing, then him being taken away would be justice." She sighs. "You weren't the first to tell me that I was only gonna get myself hurt opposing him, but doesn't someone need to?"

"You're…" Sawyer stops herself, "You know what?" Sawyer stands from her desk, reaching out to pat a stack of manilla folders. "Why don't you file for a while? You're not even ready for fluff pieces yet."

"Nice 'No Comment.'" Nataly says, then grabs the folders. Off to work.

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