Scene Sixty Six
In which a character runs into trouble with her boss.
It had been a very long helicopter ride, and customs had been much too thorough for Clare’s liking.
She had hoped that her visit to the office would be a brief one, purely to serve notice that she was back in the country and that she would be happy to come in to get some work done, after she had had some sleep.
She wasn’t so lucky though; almost before the lift doors opened Clare heard Sandra call out to her from the front desk “Rowind Said That He Wants To See You At Your Earliest Convenience.”
Clare still remembered how empathetically Sandra had stated her views on Abandoning Work, and she waited to hear the smug tone in her voice, but it wasn’t there. That worried Clare, she wondered just how angry Rowind was if her ‘friend through a steel door’ was too concerned to gloat over something.
She nodded and started to walk towards the corridor that held the editors office. Frankie and Andrew had followed her up in the lift. As she walked away to the right, Frankie walked to the left, rejoining the mass of reporters like he had never left. Andrew stood there looking scared and confused, which was his usual expression. Sandra jerked her head, and he darted gratefully behind the desk. Clare notice that while he looked as scared as ever, his run was more measured and he kept his head held high.
But there was no time to wonder about the change that had overtaken Andrew. Clare walked down the corridor and found the editors office. She opened the door and walked in, remembering to knock halfway through. The office looked almost exactly the same as when Greg had inhabited it, but now Rowind was sitting at the desk, in a huge leather executive chair that made Clare think of fighter jets. The chair had been the only piece of furniture that Rowind had brought with him, and Clare wondered why he was so attached to it.
Rowind had also brought a pipe with him. Clare had never seen him smoke it, and neither had anyone else that he had talked to, apparently chewing on it just helped him think. He was chewing on it now, while glaring at Clare and not saying a word. Clare took the hint and sat down.
“What kind of a stunt did you think you were pulling, Miss Summers?” Rowind opened.
If Clare had been standing she would have taken a step back from the force of the rebuke. Rowind was short tempered and emotional, he was notorious for it, but he had never spoken to Clare like that before.
Clare ran through several responses, most of them were rephrasing of ‘Going to get a get story for the paper.’ She spent too long deliberating, and Rowind cut in with a different question. “Do you have any idea what kind of a situation you’ve set off here?”
“No?” said Clare by way of answering, she really had no idea what her editor could be talking about.
With an irritable jerk of his hand Rowind sent a newspaper sliding in her direction across the table, he had clearly been keeping it close at hand.
With a furrowed brow Clare picked up the paper, it was the USA Today, which was odd; she had agreed not to sell her information to anyone, the paper should have nothing to go on.
She unfolded the paper. It had a giant picture of her on the front, looking very noble, and the caption read ‘Lone Voice silenced, Is this too much?’