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Trinity RPG - Resurrecting Warren Shaw

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<H1>Resurrecting Warren Shaw</H1><H3><A HREF="mailto:lordschmit@aol.com">by Chris Schmidt</A></H3><HR> obclogo.jpg
12.20.2115 - Sydney, Australia -- Office of OBC News Director Paul Kilmer

Paul Kilmer sat with his head down on his desk. This had been a terrible year and it was shaping up to be an even more terrible week. His office lights darkened, he sat in silence and sighed to himself. It was after-hours and almost everyone else had gone home. Christmas was around the corner. But Paul was in no mood to go home to his family.

First off, he had a bad cold. It was something he was forced to suffer through, since he was allergic to cure-all pills. There was no Vitakinetic on staff, and the Æsculapians had more important things to do than cure colds.

Secondly, he had yet to get one of those new Legionnaire action figures his son wanted. It was the new hot toy this year. They were sold out everywhere he went. He only had five days left to find one.

<IMG SRC="http://www.white-wolf.com/trinityfiles/assets/AVATAR-SHAW.gif" ALIGN=RIGHT>And third, OBC's top reporter, Warren Shaw, had died last month.

It was the last problem that kept Paul in the office. Shaw was a major commodity. The most recognizable and well-liked reporter in the business. His recent death threw a monkey wrench into OBC's works that no one had been prepared for. In the board meetings, the subject was the Aberrant-in-the-room that no one wanted to talk about, mainly because no one knew what to do about it.

A light flashed on his desktop. Paul looked at it blankly, not rushing to answer the incoming call. He sneezed.

"Bill, put the call through." he told the computer agent as he wiped up the mucus he had just spread onto his desk. Orchidware Bill complied quietly.

It was Richard Johansson, one of OBC's lower level executives, calling in from his office in NordAmerica. Unlike most of his peers, he took an active and skilled hand in the actual day-to-day works of the megamed, instead of just sitting in his office doing paperwork. And he got little thanks for it from the higher-ups. His avatar image looked up at Paul from the desktop.

"Hello, Paul. Feeling any better?"

"No, Rich. I'm not. Got any more brilliant questions?"

The avatar seemed to cock it's head sideways. "Well, no need to get snippy. I know things haven't been easy the last month, but..."

"Sorry, sorry." Paul interrupted, "You're right. Things have not been easy. How're things going in the studio?"

"As well as can be expected. Everyone's wondering where Warren is. We keep saying he's still on vacation on Mars. But that's starting to wear thin. Everyone knew how much Warren disliked going anywhere. The idea of him going anywhere is odd at best."

Paul nodded as he blew his nose. "We'll have to tell everyone the truth soon. I'm wondering if it was such a good idea to keep Warren's death a secret in the first place."

The Richard-avatar looked back and forth. "We weren't certain how to handle it at first. We wanted time to find a new anchor to replace him before we made his death public. But that's stretched on for a month now. By the way, how do you look?"

"Look? I look sick, Rich. My eyes are watery, my nose is red and raw, and my face is overall pale. Why?"

"Just curious. Your avatar looks perfectly normal. It's an odd contrast to your scratchy voice." he chuckled.

"Glad you think it's so funny." Paul followed his reply with a cough. "Now, who do we have for a replacement?"

"No one."

"No one?!?!"

"No one."

Paul sat and started at Rich's image. "There has to be someone." He sighed. "Alright. We've been pussyfooting around this long enough. Let's get down to it. Who do we have on staff that can replace Shaw?"

"Can? Several. Should? None, really. We have plenty of competent anchors. But none have the name and face recognition that Warren did. None that the viewers would loyally watch every week. As soon as they find out Shaw's gone and we have no big name to fill in for him, they'll all go to another megamed for the news."

"Oh, come on. We had to be preparing for this eventuality. We had to have been preparing someone to take over for Shaw one day. For God's sake, Warren wasn't old or anything, but he wasn't immortal, either. He was going to go someday."

Richard nodded. "Yes. And we do have several younger reporters that could take over for him one day. But not now. We haven't developed any of them well enough yet."

"Great. We have a dozen highly-skilled holo-journalists, but they're all secondary....Hell, not even that. Tertiary to Shaw. There's no one working for OBC that comes close to Shaw's level."

"Cori Heisler does." Richard piped in.

"Yes, but she doesn't work for us, now does she?" Paul blinked. "Wait, didn't I tell someone to try and recruit her?"

"Yeah, me."

"I never heard back on that. You make her an offer yet?"

"Yup. No go. Cori's too comfortable over at MMI. We offered her a shitload of money, but she wasn't interested. And since we couldn't let her in on Shaw's demise, we couldn't outright offer her the Retrospective desk, which would be the only thing she'd settle for."

"Dammit, Richard! Giving Heisler Retrospective was the whole idea!"

"And how would I do that? Tell her Shaw's dead? Why would she bother then? She could just sit there at The Painful Truth and be the top journalist in the business, with no competition. She wouldn't need Retrospective then."

"Shit..." Paul put his head in his hands and gave a sigh that turned into a minor coughing fit. "You're right. Cori's so competitive, she'd be the first to report Shaw's death, even before we announce it, and soak up the ratings and plenty of Warren's old viewers."

"Gotta respect her for that, though," Rich laughed.

Paul wiped his nose with another tissue. "Okay. Who else could we recruit?"

"Stephanie Chan is somewhere right behind Heisler. The Final Frontier is doing really well in the ratings lately."

"Exactly why stealing her will be so hard. GN won't let their new cash cow go anywhere. She's the first big name reporter they've had in years."

Richard's avatar shook it's head. "Okay, then what about one of MMI's lesser known people? Someone who'd want to get out from under Cori's shadow?"

"Like who?"

"Ummm......" the avatar paused as the real Richard searched for the information. "Joyce Dupree? Carlos Viminez?"

Paul just shook his head. "No, neither one's got the recognition factor we're looking for. Anyone else?"

Richard's voice sounded a little meek at the next suggestion. "Uhh... Dazyl Grenich?"

Paul gave the hologram head a deadpan stare. "For Retrospective?? Please tell me that's a joke."

"Uhh, okay. That's a joke."

"Thank you. Now, is there ANYONE we can recruit?"

"None with the name recognition you're so dead set on." Rich replied.

Paul sat back in his chair, sighing again. This wasn't working. With Warren dead and no one to replace him, Retrospective was dead in the water, and OBC News would drop dramatically in the ratings. Viewers would go over to MMI or GN. There were no other options.

"We may as well give up, Rich." the News Director said. "We'll have to start over with someone new and let them try to build an audience. We have to let Shaw's legacy go."

"Yeah, I guess so." the executive said. "So, how's the family?"

Paul grimaced at the change of subject. "Oh, hell. I still haven't gotten that new Legionnaire doll for my boy. Deedee won't let me forget to keep looking, either."

"Hey! I can help you there! I know a guy in that works at the company that makes those. I use him all the time when shopping for my nephews."

Paul sat upright. "Really? Rich, your a lifesaver! Thank you so much."

"What are friends for? Too bad the Warren situation isn't that easy to solve."

"Yeah." Paul leaned forward on his desk again. "So, how is your life going? Your mother still nagging you to marry Samantha?"

The avatar groaned. "Yes. Mom doesn't get it. It's not that simple. Sam and I have things to work out before we can go any further in our relationship." He paused. "But, I came up with a brilliant solution."

"And what's that?" Paul coughed.

"I rigged my avatar with an automated response program, made just for when my mom calls. It talks to her, and she thinks it's ME!" Richard laughed hard.

Chuckling, Paul shook his head. "And she hasn't caught in yet?"

"Nope. It's been two months since I've actually spoken to her. I will eventually, but I need the break from her constant pushing."

Paul sat and looked at Richard's avatar silently.

"Paul? You there?"

"Yeah."

"What's wrong?"

"Rich, we still own the rights to Shaw's image, even though he's dead and gone, right? I mean, we can still use his name and face for stuff, can't we?"

Richard cocked his head again. "Umm, yes. Mainly for promotional purposes and shit. Why?"

"Call all our top techs. I want a conference in the morning."

"Okay. Want to tell me what you're planning?"

"You gave me a brilliant idea, Richard, thank you again."

"Uhh, sure thing. What brilliant idea did I just give you?"

Paul Kilmer sat back in his chair, smiling broadly and feeling good for the first time in weeks. Crossing his arms over his chest, he looked at Richard's avatar.

"We're going to bring Warren Shaw back from the dead."

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