Played Your Eyes 5: Lobby

Banks sat there in the lobby of the Hilton hotel, slouched in his chair, looking like a drunk that had stumbled in and taken up residence there instead of some doorway purely by chance. Asa had worked hard to try and get him to smarten himself up, but he was actively resistant towards any imposition of order.
Asa was trying to smooth over relations with the ARMY representative who was understandably not impressed. The guy had expressed an interest in walking up to Banks and shooting him in the head and it had taken a lot to talk him down.
‘What is this shit, Ms. Blumen? Granted, at the moment we need a representative of the established press to get our message out there and calm down the country, but looking at him, i have to ask, are we really that desperate? What the fuck is he supposed to be?’
‘He’s a world class reporter – he is used to reporting on war zones. He has lots of experience.’
‘Pull the other one – it has bells on it. He’s washed up – anyone can see it. Can he even string a sentence together?’
‘Oh, yes, he’s quite verbally dexterous.’
‘Christ, do I have a choice?’
‘I’m sure Mr Hent will find him admirably suited to the task.’
‘Ms. Blumen, no offence, but given how strongly you’re defending someone who looks like they have  a whole raft of problems that makes it a miracle they are still here, one has to wonder if you’re just being paid really well, or if maybe you’re on something even better than he is.’
‘Blumen! – Blumen! Can you come over here for a second? I am being hassled by some grubby little oik who claims to be working for this establishment. All I did was ask the stupid fucker for a drink and he starts trying to push me out the door. Blumen – sort this out or I’ll have your job!’
‘Ms. Blumen, I wonder, do you understand how delicate matters are at the moment? Do you believe that our efforts to stabilise the country are going to be helped any by having this drunken buffoon interviewing a representative of our cause? It shows that we are willing to accept your establishment’s insults and that we do not take ourselves seriously, and nothing could be further from the truth. If you were confronted by a situation such as this, what would you do?’
‘Mr Shirk, I can assure you, no matter how bad he looks, when you put him in front of a camera he will perform perfectly. He was apparently always like this before a show and no one ever suspected who saw him on TV.’
‘Apparently? Meaning you’ve not exactly seen this miraculous change occur? Tell, me Ms. Blumen, as a journalist, how reliable is hearsay? Are you really willing to gamble your future on this man?’
‘I don’t have a choice.’
‘Maybe. But we do.’
‘Do you? Aren’t we really in the same boat? Look, if Mr Hent does the interview and it goes wrong and he wants to shoot Banks through the head then who is really going to complain? I’ll be ruined and won’t have anything to lose. The interview can be effectively buried – no one loses.’
‘Hmm, a strangely persuasive argument, even if aall this jumping through hoops is not something I would ever haave wanted to be doing.’
‘One does what one must.’
‘Yes, of course. And I think you need to go and deal with your charge.’
‘Yeah, maybe you’re right.’

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