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No One Talks About It; Newspaper, Open
Topic Started: Oct 18 2012, 01:50 PM (2,006 Views)
MurderWeasel
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((Steven Salazar continued from Pretend This Thread Title is a Witty Lyrical Reference))

Steven stepped into the journalism room, took one look around, and nearly walked back out.

It was clear, at a glance, that things had gone wrong in a hurry. There was Mara, standing off to the side. There were Claire and Jack, standing up. There was Zubin, the only seated person in the room. Everyone looked angry and confused, and Steven had heard some really harsh tones as he'd approached the room. The tape recorder in his pocket was already running. It wasn't exactly unusual for tensions to run high when it came to Aurora's journalism department; it was a popular program filled with strong personalities and ideas. Half the members were nice enough people but woefully deficient in the art of prose. Steven had to skip articles now and then to keep from rolling his eyes, and he'd said this a time or two. The staff knew how not to take stuff personally, or at least the ones worth their positions did.

So, he was expecting an editor to be reaming someone out for messing up there/their again, or maybe for some of the reporters to be disagreeing on how to spin a story. It looked, however, like this was a little bit more personal than that.

Zubin was probably the source of the chaos, since he was very definitely not a member of the newspaper crew. Steven didn't begrudge him that; Zubin had his fingers in every other pie around school, between his failed bid at class president and his leadership of several teams and clubs. It wasn't unheard of for students to spill into the journalism room during quieter times of day, especially if the computer lab was full or if, like Zubin, they were eating. There weren't usually people around the journalism room to scold people for risking getting food in the keyboards, and as long as the interlopers weren't disrupting actual newspaper business, Steven didn't mind their presence.

That was not a universal point of view. He really, really hoped things weren't about to come to blows. There'd been too much of that of late. All the computers were off, which wasn't a good sign. He had a few theories as to what might've happened, but that was less important than preventing this from spiraling into total chaos. The newspaper room was a room for professional behavior. It was dead fucking serious business, and Steven did have some stuff to work on. More than that, the last thing he wanted was for his compatriots to get a grudge going. That would make the rest of the year a real nightmare. Journalists never forgot wrongs, and while they could handle disagreements when it came to their work, clashes of personality were a little more likely to hurt feelings long-term.

"Someone's gonna have to run me through the Five Ws, 'cause it looks like we're all set to make the headlines, huh?" he said. "I thought I was the only one who liked being a part of the news. Slow week?"
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"My my. Well, of course that's the conclusion that you would come to. Obviously, when someone is acting in a way that you personally can't comprehend for one reason or another, you jump to the conclusion of illicit substances," she said with her arms crossed.

"Hmmm, let's see," she said tapping her finger to her cheek. "You're belligerent and you're clearly disoriented since after three times of pointing it out and asking, you still seem not to have noticed that you are in the wrong room. Sounds like you're altered to me."


She walked up close to Zubin and leaned down. "It'll take a few minutes for the computers to boot back up, so I suggest you go watch your nonsense elsewhere." She jabbed a finger in the direction of his food. "And there's no eating in computer rooms. Now get out before you make me go through the trouble of fetching the faculty advisor to come throw you out."


Mara didn't bother acknowledging Claire much. She was a nonentity to her. Steven walked in, understandably confused. Mara put a hand on her hip. "Afternoon, Steven. We've had a little accident," she responded breezily. "I'm sure you'll be able to get right to work in a few."
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decoy73
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Steve Salazar came in, wondering what was going on. Mara, for her part, came in real close and explained to Zubin that he had to be the one on drugs since she had told him where they were and he wouldn't leave, before telling Steven that it was an accident. Zubin laughed. No real humor in this one, just sarcasm at Mara's, wait what was that word? Oh, right. Bitchiness.

"Yes. Mara pulled the stick out of her asshole and is trying to beat me to death with it, and it got caught in the computer cord." Zubin himself stood up to show the full extent of the problem, putting himself face-to-face with Mara.

"But for all her intelligence and fashion sense and what have you, she made one small error. I mean, it's not like I was minding my own business, bothering nobody else before Mara came here, pissed off at my presence. It's not like she unplugged the computers and caused more problems than if she'd just ignored me. No, the really funny thing is, and you're going to love this: It's not that I'm not hearing what she's saying." Zubin lowered his voice to a stage whisper. "It's that I'm not listening to her. I don't care." Zubin smiled.

"So here's what's going to happen: the computers are going to turn back on, and I will return to what I was doing. If you are smart, you'll go back to wherever you were and recoup your losses, since you were probably doing something here too. Then you can go do whatever it is you want: other clubs, having lunch, or even rubbing one out at home." Zubin paused for a second. That was something he'd pay to see, although it would likely never happen. "Probably the only way you'll ever get some. Or, you can decide to continue this idiocy, and I can test to see which one of us has Homer Simpson Syndrome." Zubin sat back down.

"Your choice."

He did honestly feel bad about his statement. It was kind of hypocritical to make fun of Mara's ability to get any when he himself was similarly unable to get laid.
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((Hey, Decoy! Just a reminder that there's a posting order. You can break the post order if you're exiting the thread, but otherwise, try to stick to it so everyone gets a turn :) . New posting order is now Rugga, Decoy, Flare, Laurels, Weasel))
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((Skipping Flare to keep the thread going))

Fasten your seat belt, Esteban. It's going to be a bumpy night. Or day. Whatever.

Esteban Salazar had come into the newspaper room, curious to why everyone was shouting at each other like they were in a Spanish melodrama. While Claire hoped the current argument would lead to Amaranta and Zubin fighting each other with ham hocks like in that one film, the duo responded to Esteban's question. Amaranta treated the situation like it wasn't a big deal, letting Esteban know he could work soon. Zubin, however, decided to go the personal route with his attack. He, like Claire, had noted the hypocrisy of Amaranta unplugging the computers, but he had to go for the jugular with his response, going after her attitude and masturbatory habits. Sure, Claire thought Amaranta could be a pest, but Zubin was speaking like they were going to duke it out in the newspaper room. They were getting really close to one another, and it wouldn't surprise Claire if Zubin found himself on the receiving end of the back of Amaranta's hand.

No, wait, she's not going to slap him. That would require her to actually give a shit about what he has to say about her.

Claire rolled her eyes and loudly sighed.

God, this is so stupid, and I need to write my fucking review. I don't need Groucho Marx and Michelle Rodriguez here turning this into a fucking soap. I've got a deadline to meet.

Claire walked over to the plug Amaranta stomped out and knelt to the ground. She picked up the plug and put it back in the electrical socket. She hoped that would turn the computers back on and would allow her to get back to work.

"Yeah, I'm just going to do my work now," Claire said, sitting back down in her chair. "You two idiots can continue to argue about who's got the bigger dick, just keep it quiet."

God, I hope Jack doesn't think this is how newspaper club normally goes.
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Well, things were definitely not going as Jack had planned. Then again, they very rarely seemed to. What he had hoped would just be a simple, friendly talk with Claire had gotten him stuck in the middle of an argument that seemed like it could turn into an all-out brawl any second. THAT was definitely something he didn't want to happen.

Jack only barely registered Steven's presence as he came in the room. He was more focused on the situation at hand, how to deal with it, and, possibly most importantly, how dumb it was.

You have GOT to be kidding me. All this over one frickin computer, or video, or whatever it was that even started this? NO ONE CARES.

Now that he had addressed the situation in his mind by yelling at it, there was the problem of what to do about it in reality. There was no real way for him to leave the room without causing more of a problem, and just standing there was doing squat and making him feel more awkward by the second. Not to mention if the heat between the two picked up any more he would boil on the spot. That left one option - confronting them.

It took Jack at least ten seconds to actually muster up the courage to actually DO it. He wasn't usually the one to handle confrontations like this - he usually passed that duty off to someone else. Unfortunately, there didn't seem to be a "someone else" at hand right now, so Jack just had to take the plunge himself at the moment. He took a deep breath and walked towards the fight, hoping that he wouldn't end up dead by the end of this.

"OK, guys, look," he started, right now just trying to get the words out and heard. "I'm not sure there's really a right or wrong person here. Look, Zubin, I guess doing... your stuff in here wasn't the best idea, so maybe you could've just... waited or something. I dunno."

He then turned to Mara. Round 2... the hard one.

"Still, I just think you're being really judgmental and controlling here. Honestly, who really cares what he does on the computer here? It's not like this place is packed or anything, and as long as it's not against school rules... which I don't think it is, at least... there shouldn't be any problem. And, I mean, pulling the plug? Really? I think you reeeeeally need to calm down, and that's the nice way of putting it."

He was trying his best to not look at his adversary's face, as he assumed what he saw he wasn't going to like. Still, this was the most confrontational and aggressive he had been since... ever, really, and right now the adreanaline was starting to flow through him a bit.

"And YOU..." Jack continued, turning towards Steven.

There was a pause.

"Well, uh... wait, you weren't... never mind then."

Aaaaaand there it goes. REALLY? You just HAD to keep going.

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MurderWeasel
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Steven kept quiet and let the others talk. One of the most important parts of being a reporter, even one who got involved all close and personal with the news, was knowing how to be a good listener, to get to the bloody, beating heart of the matter. People liked to talk about themselves, usually, and they especially liked to air grievances. A little silent encouragement was enough to get just about anyone to spill, especially in the heat of the moment.

Mara brushed him off, as if he was just worried about his news. It wasn't unusual for her, but also told him she probablt wanted him to stay out of this. He might've let it go at that,called it a day and assumed they'd worked their problems out, had Zubin not decided to chime in. His tone was derisive, angry. That was something Steven could understand and relate to, even if he usually exercised a little more discretion in the way he delivered his barbs, but what was worrisome was that Zubin was just half a step shy of blatantly threatening Mara. Combined with the fact that he'd lifted himself out of his chair, he was clearly escalating the situation. Steven really, really didn't want to see anyone caught up in a brawl, not this close to graduation and not among a crowd of people who were, by and large, decent citizens of Aurora High.

Claire ducked out of the conversation. Jack tried to be a voice of reason. Steven chuckled a little when the boy rounded on him, all ready to ream him out for his contribution to the situation. It was a small thing, a simple mistake, but it provided an ease in the tension, and that was something Steven felt he could capitalize upon.

"Guilty as charged," Steven said with a smile and a nod. There were no hard feelings; Jack wasn't picking on him and had admitted his mistake, so everything was cool. Now that he'd been brought more fully into the situation, Steven also had an opening to share something else with those assembled.

"Unfortunately," he continued, "I've got some confidential newspaper business to talk in regards to the class trip. It's not that big a deal, but the teachers say I've got to clear the room of anyone who's not on the staff. Shouldn't take more than ten, and I'm sure the computers will be back up by the time I'm done, but otherwise I think the computer lab has a few open seats."

That would take care of Zubin, at least for the moment. The key to calming down, Steven had learned, was often space. If he couldn't spit any more insults into someone else's face, it became much easier for him to let go of the little things. He hoped the same would be true for Zubin and Mara, and, failing that, that Zubin would just find somewhere better to be instead of continuing to poke around a hornet's nest.

Had this been Steven's fight, or even one he'd adopted like out at the fields, he'd have probably been invested in reaching some kind of meaningful resolution. As it was, he just wanted the damn thing over.
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Her eyes changed. The ferocity that burned in her eyes a moment ago seemed tempered. They opened wide and her face unwound, making her skin smooth. Her lips were just slightly parted. Her eyebrows raised and came together ever so slightly.

The overall effect was something unusual for her. The change was at once quick and gradual.

Her eyes were lowered and hid by her long lashes when she moved to look at the desk near her and ran one of her hands over it contemplatively. Her long black pony tail swept over her shoulder. Steven had tried his hand at attempting to get Zubin out of the room in a gentle manner, but that wasnt good enough for her anymore.

Okay, she whispered.

Were done now, she said slightly louder. I asked you to leave a room that you have no business being in and were not using for its intended purpose. I didnt ask anything else. And you say that it doesnt even matter what I would have said because you werent listening anyway. I told you to leave and you made crude sexual comments about me. Would you have treated me that way if I were a boy? Would you have completely disregarded the thing I had the absolute right to ask you and then try to degrade me sexually if I were a guy? Youre the worst, you know that? You think just because I yell and you dont that makes you the good one. Well it doesnt. Youre disgusting.

She stood near Steven and pointed towards the door.

"Leave."
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((Due to Decoy's Away, I'm skipping))

Claire stared at the computer screen as the computer rebooted. Esteban was handling everything pretty rationally, considering Amaranta and Zubin were sort of crazy. Claire had to admire how calm he was. This had to be a weird situation he was walking into, so it must take a lot of restraint to be able to survey the situation and be able to respond without bursting out laughing.

While Esteban was trying to remove Zubin from the area calmly, Amaranta continued to castigate Zubin. Claire did sort of wonder what made Amaranta think Zubin wouldn't make the same crude jokes if she were a guy. Claire sort of figured guys made cracks about their buddies and their sexual habits.

Claire looked over as Amaranta took her place next to Esteban. Of course standing next to Esteban would make her seem a lot more in the right. Claire rolled her eyes.

I better be able to recover my document without hassle. Not that it's gonna be hard to remember how I felt about one movie, but I still want to be done in time.

The computer screen flashed to life. Claire quickly began to log back in.

"Computers are back up!" she shouted to the group.

"Now let's try to work without issues," she quietly muttered to herself.
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A phrase Jack had commonly read in books was "those seconds felt like hours" or something along those lines. Personally, Jack has always found that a bit silly, as he felt no matter what situation you were in, there was no way time was moving THAT slowly. Still, those seconds after he had joined in the argument had felt notably longer than ordinary seconds. There he was, trapped in between the raging drama queen, the mysterious newcomer, and... well, Zubin. It was not really where he wanted to be, and he was already starting to regret his actions.

"You know, like always."

Considering that, it was a relief when Steven brushed off his accidental accusation with a smile. Jack felt his body ease up a bit, his heart rate starting to approach normality once more. He didn't know Steven that much, but he seemed like a nice guy. Didn't hurt that the guy could probably charm his way out of Guantanamo.

Steven brought up his intentions for visiting, as well as proclaiming that the computers would probably be up and running soon. This was, in fact, shortly followed by Claire announcing the computers powering back on. Jack forced a half-smile and leaned back against the nearby table. Things were diffusing. Always a good thing.

It didn't help his mood, then, when Mara launched back into her tirade against Zubin. Jack stifled a groan - he was now really not in the mood. And that was before she brought up sexism.

"Yeah, I think I'm just gonna... go."

With his hastily prepared declaration, Jack spun on his heels (not TOO quickly though, as to not seem too frantic) and walked back over to Claire. Even he couldn't place the look on his own face; it was somewhere between a smirk of amusement and a glare of annoyance.

"Geez, is it always like this in here?"
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