Catch up on all my previous installments here.
For today’s installment of the A To Z Challenge, we’re going by Laura’s surname. This is a look into some of the anti-alien sentiment that still exists around the time of the refugee’s release from quarantine. This is a precursor to one of my favorite chapters in The L Squad. I got weird, which is fun. Here’s the world’s introduction to Laura Juarez.
A phone smashed into the wall as Laura Juarez entered her boss’s office. She jumped and winced and considered leaving. She didn’t just want to leave the room and the building but the job. She thought of quitting many times, but this was her dream job. She followed in her father and grandfather’s footsteps. Journalist was the only job for her. She would have preferred to be employed by a network other than FBS, but they’re the network that gave her a chance.
“Have you heard?” Mr. Laurasbossman asked. Yes, it is quite the coincidence that he’s Laura’s boss, and his name is Mr. Laurasbossman. I think it’s Icelandic.
“Heard?” Laura asked, trying to suppress a cough. The cigar smoke made the room look like a dirty cloud.
“The aliens. Have you heard?” Mr. Laurasbossman repeated, cryptically.
“What about the aliens?” asked Laura Juarez.
“They’re being released. They’re freeing them from quarantine,” said Mr. Laurasbossman.
“Do you want me to do a report?” asked Laura. “I could interview some of the aliens and welcome them to our planet.”
“I want you to do a report,” said Mr. Laurasbossman. “I want a report on the dangers of these aliens. I want them portrayed as vicious and blood-sucking. Tell the world about the diseases they carry.”
“If any of that were true, they wouldn’t be released from quarantine,” said Laura Juarez.
“I don’t care what’s true,” said Mr. Laurasbossman. “That’s our stance. That’s our story.”
“I became a journalist to report the news, not makeup stories,” said Laura. “What about the facts?”
“No one cares about the facts,” said Mr. Laurasbossman. “People want sensationalism. They want to be scared. More importantly, they need to know that these aliens are a threat to our planet’s safety.”
“I don’t believe that,” said Laura. “I think…”
“Enough!” yelled Mr. Laurasbossman, shaking free the ash from the end of his cigar. “That is the story we’re telling. Now, go tell it or go back to whatever local news channel you escaped from before coming here.”
Laura paused. She pondered the value of her integrity. She wondered if the job of her dreams, the career she worked all her life to get was worth selling out her values and her forebearers. Rage swelled up inside her at the thought. It wasn’t worth it. The time had finally come for Laura to tell this megalomaniac what she really thought of him. He could take this job and…
Laura left and got to work on her report.